PostHBP: No one believed him but her. DHr, Oneshot.
Draco Malfoy scowled as he listened to an unfortunate muggle pour out his soul to the bartender. The bartender, Draco saw, could really care less but tried to appear as if he did in order to acquire a decent tip. Muggles danced behind him, reminding him of animals in heat.
He sat there sneering into his drink - dreaming it was Firewhiskey but having to settle that it wasn't. After all, he was an escaped convict. The Wizarding World was off limits and after the incredibly warm welcome he had encountered at the Grimmauld Place earlier in the evening, he could help but wish to drink his life away.
In a moment of lost resolve, he pounded a fist on the bar, not caring at the looks he received afterwards. He could not help but be angry.
He was angry that no had believed him. He was angry that Severus was wasting away because of him and no one would bother to help them. He was angry that the only person that even seemed the least bit concerned had been Mudblood Granger.
He was angry that he was in some stupid muggle shack, drinking cheap liquor with the last bit of money that he had. He was a Malfoy. He should be above this. Of course, he should also be above kissing the nasty feet of some insane half-blood monstrosity.
He snorted bitterly, once again ignoring the odd looks he was receiving from the more sober of the patrons.
He kept his head down, white blond hair falling into his face as a woman slid onto the stool beside him. He stared fixedly at the worn tabletop, hoping to avoid any idle chitchat with her. He slowly took a sip of his drink, imagining the burn of wizard alcohol and wishing in vain.
He stubbornly kept from looking at the muggle as she turned her body towards him, and reaching out to place her hand over his as it was wrapped around his glass. He flinched away from her, growling low in his throat, wishing he could hex her for her insolence.
But then he heard her laugh, like a thousand bells chiming merrily, and she spoke, voice sweet as golden honey and every bit familiar.
"The Draco Malfoy I once knew would not have given up so easily."
He finally turned to look at her, staring into kind mahogany eyes, twinkling at him. Her frizzy curls fell around her face and pouring down over her shoulders and he noticed that despite the establishment they were in, she still wore her plain robe over her muggle clothes.
He sneered at her halfheartedly and threw back the rest of his drink, slamming the glass back down perhaps a bit more forcefully than he should.
"Perhaps the Draco Malfoy you knew is dead, Granger."
She merely smiled at him for a moment. In her silence, the bartender made his appearance to take her order and was not pleased when she just wanted water. Without a doubt, he believed the bar space should be for higher paying customers. The annoyed man raised a brow at Draco who shook his head. With a scowl, he turned and gathered Hermione's water and placed it in front of her vehemently, liquid sloshing onto the table. She simply whispered a thank you to him and took a drink, disregarding the furious man as he stalked off.
"Perhaps, you are right. The Draco Malfoy I knew would have never asked for help in the first place."
Draco's lip curled venomously. "I accomplished nothing from coming to your idiotic Order, Granger. So you have no reason to mock me."
He made to leave but she grabbed his arm, jumping off her stool to stand before him. She ignored the curious eyes around them as she leaned her face intimately close to his. He tried to tell himself it was so she wouldn't be overheard. He also tried to ignore his hormones as they reacted to her nearness.
"You have accomplished something, Draco. You have my allegiance if no one else's."
He raised an eyebrow at her, not impressed. "What can you do, Granger?"
"I have been trained these last few months by Madam Pomfrey. I have tended to the wounded already. I have access to hundreds of medicinal potions and ingredients."
Draco could not keep his relief from spreading into his voice. "So you can help him?"
She nodded. "I also have access to Dumbledore's portrait."
Draco's face seemed pained when she mentioned the late headmaster. "What could a painting do?"
"It is the only thing left of Dumbledore that can speak on his behalf. Perhaps, I can find something that can assure Professor Snape's innocence."
"A trial would be impossible with the war as it is."
"Not a trial, at least, not yet. To get the Order to listen to you, you must have proof. You do not have the credibility for them to trust you. The portrait - and perhaps a pensieve if I can find one - could help Professor Snape and yourself gain what you need."
He stared at her as if she were merely an image caused by a crazed mind. "What's in it for you, Granger? What's the catch?"
"I get to help someone who is in need of it. It's a reward all its own. Of course," She smiled, reaching up with one hand to brush his hair from his eyes. "I also get to find out just what makes Draco Malfoy tick."
He growled and grabbed her by the waist and pulled her to him. "You'd be surprised, Granger."
She smirked and wrapped her arms around him, leaning in to where her lips brushed against his when she spoke. "I already am."
Without a thought to the muggles around them - most were intoxicated anyway - they disappeared with a soft pop.