Draco rushed through the halls of his home, pureblood etiquette gone as he ran as quick as he could to his father’s study. He knew that Lucius would be there, it was the time that his father set aside for Ministry paperwork. He could hear the echoes of his dragon hide boots stomping against the marble floors, and knew that his father would hear him before he got to the door.
Sure enough, Lucius Malfoy was waiting for him at the doorway of his private study, giving Draco a surprised look. “Draco, aren’t you supposed to be at Ho-”
“Father! In the foyer,” Draco interrupted, hands on his knees, catching his breath. “Sev’s here with me, we need a Healer.” Lucius’ eyes widened. “Are you okay? Is he okay? Where are you hurt?” The questions all came pouring out as he checked Draco over for injuries. Draco pushed his hands away as he breathed out, “Not me, or Sev. Harry.”
“Harry? Harry Potter?”
Draco rolled his eyes. “No, Harry Houdini. Yes, Harry Potter! Go!”
Lucius sucked in a breath. “I’ll go get Tom, while I’m at it.”
Draco was already running back to the foyer as he yelled back, “You do that!”
When he got back to the foyer, he saw Snape and Harry over on a nearby love seat, Snape holding Harry’s hand (the one that wasn’t broken), and Hermione...
She was still over by the floo, tears streaming down her face.
He had come to care about Hermione over the few hours, and sighed before going to comfort her. He walked over reaching out to her, but then thinking better of it, let his hand drop. “Hey... hey, it’s going to be okay,” he said tentatively. She sobbed even louder, and in one sudden movement, she flung herself into his arms. He held her as she cried into his shirt, rubbing her back soothingly. Her words were muffled as she cried, “How could he leave Harry like this?!”
He pulled back from her, grasping her shoulders firmly, and even though he hated to say it, “Things aren’t always what they look like. Just keep that in mind, Hermione.” She looked up, her eyes red and puffy, and smiled brokenly at him. She backed up a bit, and wiped her nose on her sleeve. “Thanks, Draco.”
She looked around at the area since arriving. She walked over to a portrait that was against a dark coffee table, an elegant man dressed in emerald green robes fit for a king, a golden S.S. engraved on the frame. “Salazar Slytherin,” she whispered, running her fingers over the painting. She turned to Draco, “I thought there was nothing left of him?”
Draco looked at the painting. “Oh, him. Yeah, our Lord brought it with him when he came here. He never talks, though he is a portrait.” Her hand dropped. “Oh,” she said softly.
Suddenly, the doors burst open, Lucius Malfoy, a man with black hair and red eyes, and a healer came rushing in. The red eyed man seemed to recognize Harry immediately, exclaiming, “Harry!” and rushing to his side. The healer took to work immediately, casting charms and spells and administering potions. This continued for a length of time. It seemed to take hours to Hermione, waiting to see if her friend would make it. Draco sat next to her, holding her hand for comfort, and she squeezed it tightly. She studied the man now holding Harry’s hand, before turning to Draco and whispering, “Who is that?” Draco looked down at her surprised. “You didn’t know?” Her brows furrowed. “Know what?”
Draco gestured back to the red eyed man. “Who else could it be?” She raised an eyebrow. “What, do you mean to say that he’s Vol-” She gasped. “Really?” she asked. Draco nodded. “Try to remember that not everything is always as it seems. Give him a chance.” She frowned, but nodded, going back to waiting for the healer to be finished.
Snape and the healer took turns healing Harry, letting their magical cores rest for a bit before getting back to work.
Eventually the healer sat down, exhausted, announcing, “It is done. I have healed what I can. The rest will have to heal on it’s own.”
After Harry was taken to his chambers, still sleeping, Voldemort turned to Hermione and Draco. “Young Malfoy, I presume there should be no trouble for her to room with you until another room is prepared?” Draco looked at Hermione, who shrugged. “Of course not, My Lord.” He gazed between the two, and sharply nodded. “Good. I must be off.” And just like that, he was walking away.
Draco turned to Hermione. “Well, if you’ll follow me, my good lady?” She gave a tiny smile, holding out her hand. He pulled her up and along the halls to his bedroom.
It was elegant, and large, Hermione noticed. Cleanly, and the color went good with everything. Though he was a Malfoy, she supposed. The color scheme was black and silver, though there were hints of green, like the tassels on the window drapes. There was a writing desk in the corner, and the carpet was a nice cream color. Eyes skimming over the room, her eyes stopped on the bed. It was a queen, with curtains much like the Hogwarts beds. She blushed like crazy when she came across the inevitable question.
“Um, who’s going to sleep where?” Out of the corner of her eye, she could see Draco was blushing too. “Well I-I can take the floor...?” She shook her head furiously. “Don’t be silly! Despite the carpet looking pretty comfy I can’t imagine it actually being nice to sleep on.” Draco let out an exasperated sigh. “Well I’m not letting you sleep on the floor either, so what do you want do?” She blushed brightly. “We.. can share...maybe? I mean, I’m okay with it if you are...” He blushed, rubbing the back of his neck, “I-I don’t mind.”
They just stood there staring at each other for a few minutes before Draco broke his gaze.
“Well, I have to change. Do you want to, or...?” Hermione shook her head. “I’m fine.” He nodded distractedly, clearing his throat. “Okay then. Ladies first? I’ll be back in a bit. I’m just going to go get ready for bed.” She nodded, looking at the bed. He left, and after staring at the bed for a few more seconds, sighed and got under the covers, asleep in just a few short minutes.
This is how Draco found her, curled up on one side of his bed, breathing softly. He smiled to himself, gently getting on his side of the bed and adjusting the covers.
A few minutes later Hermione was snuggled into his side, both sleeping peacefully.
Back at Hogwarts, Minerva McGonagall was scolding Dumbledore in the office. He wasn’t paying any attention, of course, he was wallowing in his thoughts.
Could he give up his plans? Everything he had ever worked for, no matter how wrong it seemed to others, wasted?
No, no he couldn’t do that.
So what did he have to do? Get rid of any obstacles in the way, so, getting rid of Snape and the Dark Lord, as originally planned. Though, he mused, he might have to get rid of McGonagall if she didn’t shut up about all the wrongs he’s done. He knows the wrongs he’s done. He knows he couldn’t possibly pay the debts he owes. He also knows he has nothing to lose.
Dumbledore, despite everything, was in his office moving his chess pieces.
After all, it was for the Greater Good, right?