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Title: Disaster and a Bottle of Wine
Author: Tyrror
Pairing: Draco/Hermione
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Foolish children with foolish parents will inevitably make foolish mistakes. It is horrible when they manage to finally realize them only to discover they will be unable to set them right. Will this be one of those moments for Draco Malfoy, his penance for fighting on the wrong side?


If I had two dozen roses,
And an old bottle of wine,
If I really could have hung the moon,
Would it change your mind?

He stared down at the dozen red roses that lay across her plate on the other side of the two-person table. All around him the house elves were back to business as usual. The lights were back on and the stoves were rumbling, probably cooking breakfast for the morning, but none of that matter now. He lowered his head and placed his forehead in his palm, not bothering to brush the long blonde hair out of his face. How could this go wrong? He had tried so hard. Did he do something wrong? Was it something he said? Slowly he lifted his head to look back across to the empty seat just beyond the almost burnt out single candle that sat in the middle of the table.

“Maybe I should have brought two dozen roses.”

He mutters to no one in particular. Glancing around in one last hopeless attempt he sees that she’s still not back and stands up with enough force to knock the chair over. His first thought is that he should let the damn elves get it, but then he stops himself. If he ever wanted a second chance, that was going to have to be the first thing he change. Slowly, he glanced over at the three house elves who stood by patiently, ready to lift the chair back into place when he stalked off. Then he leaned over, took the chair, and placed it gently on its legs. As he exited the kitchen of Hogwarts, Draco Malfoy looked back down at the three house elves and muttered, “Thanks for trying,” before leaving. Three sets of wide and very surprised eyes followed him out the door.
________________________________________________________________________________

*Earlier*

Everything was in place. Everything was perfect. He had spoken to the house elves, and even done so kindly. They had the scenery down to a “t”…he began to suspect they may have done this before, but complimented them anyway, earning him a small army of grins. Earlier in the day he had managed to gain the trust of a first year Gryffindor. It didn’t take much doing, when you’re a seventh year all first years want to be your friend. After that all he had to do was get the boy to slip the note to her when he wouldn’t be around to be suspect. It all felt rather childish, but still, he couldn’t think of anything better to do.

Now he sat in the decorative chair on one side of the little rectangular two-person table. There was a single white candle standing tall and proud in the holder on the old-fashioned red and white checkerboard tablecloth, and a dozen red roses we perched across her plate. He was waiting, and with nothing resembling patience. The elves had even been so kind as to turn all the other lights off, leaving only the candle to provide the romantic glow, and causing for a small thud to be heard every so often in the distance.

He straitened his tie for the four-hundredth time in the past two minutes and looked down at his pocket watch again. It was exactly twelve, midnight, and she wasn’t here. It’s not like her to be late. The ice was starting to melt in the little stand that held the wine and his left foot had managed to pick up a rather annoying twitch. Then he heard the creaking just off to his left and knew that the portrait guarding the kitchens had just been opened. Slowly, Hermione Granger stepped into the candlelight with a look of utter confusion playing across her face. She was still dressed in her school robes, the colors of red and gold flashing from her tie in the candlelight.

“Draco?”

The word wasn’t a statement of fact, but rather a question, as if she questioned his existence in the room. Slowly she took another step forward into the circle of light before reaching into her robes and pulling out a piece of paper.

“Did you send this to me?”

Her voice held an edge and he almost flinched, but it was not the Malfoy way to flinch, especially not for a woman. He reached out and took if from her, knowing full well what it would say, but opening it and reading it anyway.

Hermione,
Meet me in the kitchen at midnight, I have something to tell you that I’ve wanted to say from day one.

Folding the note, he set it down lightly on his empty plate and smiled back up at her.

“Yes, I did. Please, sit down.”

He motioned to the other chair with one hand and Hermione moved towards it, taking the chair in her hands and pulling it back slightly before stopping.

“What am I here for? What kind of horrendous joke is it going to be this time?”

There was no doubt about the bitterness in her voice and he couldn’t help but hate himself. All that time, all those years spent calling her all those names, and it was all lies. It’s a commonly known fact that boys can do stupid things when they like a girl. Well Draco had chosen the stupidest of them all and decided that the best way to hide his emotions was to choose the other extreme. He hated himself for it, but eventually it became second nature for him to say things to her that he could never really mean. He looked down at the note on his plate before looking back up at the girl glaring at him from the other side of the table.

“Grang…Hermione…I…I don’t know what I want to say, now that you’re here. I’ve been stupid…all these years…”

He didn’t know where exactly he was pulling all these words from, and sure they were coming in a bumbling, idiotic mess, but at least they were coming, and that was more than he was hoping for. All he could do was keep going now that he already had one foot in it all.

“I only called you all those things because I knew that my family would never accept it…would never believe that there perfect boy had gone against their cardinal rule and fallen in love with a muggle-born, so I tried to convince myself that I hated you…I tried to convince myself…but it didn’t work…I could never pretend good enough, and now I don’t care what they think…all I care is…what you think…”

There, he had said it. He looked deep into the shadows of her face, hoping for something, anything. Then he got it. Something that seemed vaguely like crystal fell from her face and shattered on the back of the chair into a thousand tiny shards, and he realized that it was a tear. She looked up at him again and he could see the tears, but they were only the icing on the rage that had contorted her usually beautiful face.

“How could you?…HOW could YOU?”

Her words bit into him, and he didn’t even know what she was accusing him of yet.

“You are the boy that every girl dreams of, even me. You may be a complete ass, but there’s something about you that makes you what every girl wants at some point, and I had that point. Then I finally find someone who wants me for what I am, and you try to ruin it with this. How COULD you?”

She spun on one heel and charged out of the portrait that she had only just come through. As she swept out of the room her robe caught momentarily on the edge of the wine stand, knocking in to the floor and causing the bottler to shatter in a great crash. Glancing back at the wine now all over the floor, another muffled sob escaped her throat before she managed to make it to the hall and out of the blonde’s sight.

When she had first started to walk off, Draco had stood, reaching out to her with one arm, but something had stopped him from going any farther. Something that resided in the center of his chest and felt like a block of cement combined with something resembling ice. He sat back down on the chair and watched as the wine bled across the floor, tiny shards of glass glinting in the small light. Pulling his wand out of the sleeve of the tux he had managed to get just for tonight, Draco muttered a charm under his breath and watched dazedly as the bottle rebuilt itself and the wine poured itself back in.
______________________________________________________________________________________

*Return to present*

The dungeon halls were cold and dark in the midnight hour, but the air was old and stale and left something to be desired. Draco ran his hands along the stone of the wall as he made his way back to the common room. He didn’t know what to do now. He had pulled out all the stops. He had tried to make amends and they hadn’t worked, but that didn’t mean that he was going to stop trying. The wall before him opened at his command and he stepped gingerly inside, glad that no one was up, but that was no surprise at midnight. He pulled out his watch and checked it, scratch that, one-o-three. Like a man caught somewhere between life and death, Draco made the way back up to his room in the hopes that he might still sleep tonight, but he doubted it.

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tyrror

December 2012

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