Battle Scars

One winter's night, a common muggle game of truth or dare is held in the Gryffindor common room. Because of it, Hermione is stuck in a situation she never expected to be in with her previous tormentor. Will he dare to tell her the truth? Or maybe not…? Discalimer: I do not own any of the characters or the world of Harry Potter. Credit goes to J.K. Rowling. I only own the story idea.

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1. Battle Scars

(Song: Battle Scars by Guy Sebastian ft. Lupe Fiasco)

Hope the wound heals but it never does
 That's cause you're at war with love
 You're at war with love, yeah

 

Hermione couldn't believe her current situation. She was heading towards the newly restored room of requirement in hopes of finding an object to steal from it. She sighed at the absurdity of the dare she had been given as she made her way through the currently empty hallways. She had tried to reason with her fellow Gryffindors but they wouldn't hear it. A frown came across her face as she recalled the previous events of the night.


--Flashback--


“To Gryffindor!”  Dennis Creevey said, raising his glass of pumpkin juice. Agreements were heard as most of the students raised their glasses to celebrate their house’s most recent quidditch victory against Slytherin. Although they had not won the cup yet, spirits were so joyful that a small party had been thrown in honor of the victory.
As people shared jokes, told tales, drank, ate, and celebrated, Hermione Granger sat in her favorite spot next to the fireplace, sipping her pumpkin juice, and joyfully contemplating the rest of the house members. She had realized, upon going back to Hogwarts, that everyone had changed. Some, like Dennis Creevey, seemed more outgoing and brave; others, seemed more sullen and gloomy. She supposed that different people had different ways of coping with loss and trauma. Another surprising realization she had made happened on her first day back. She was shocked, like so many of her fellow students, to find skeletal-like horses pulling the carriages which she had always thought pulled themselves. She could now fully understand Harry’s feelings on that first day back in fifth year. Speaking of Harry, her disappointment was immense upon realizing that he and Ron were not to attend their final year at Hogwarts. Try as she might, they could not be dissuaded out of their decision. That decision was also one of the reasons she and Ron had broken up. It was mutual, of course, due to so many arguments and differences in character that simply could not be resolved.
Suddenly, a tap to Hermione’s shoulder awoke her from her reveries. It was Dennis. She smiled and looked up at him expectantly.
“We were just wondering if you would like to join us for a game of truth or dare?” He said.
She sighed, “I don’t know…”
He gave her a look that blatantly said that he wasn’t going to take no for an answer.
She rolled her eyes, set her glass down, and headed to the center of the common room where the remaining Gryffindors were grouped.
A few rounds into the game, she had been asked to choose between truth or dare and, being the brave Gryffindor she was, she picked dare.
She immediately regretted it.


--End of Flashback--


As she entered the Room of Requirement, she hesitated. She couldn’t believe what she was about to do. What if she got into trouble for this? That would not be too good for her reputation as Head Girl. Shaking her head disapprovingly, she walked on, rummaging through the objects in the room. That is until she came to an abrupt halt in front of a fireplace which was, surprisingly, lit. An armchair was placed in front of it, at such an angle that she could just barely make out someone’s outline in the chair, and a familiar mass of platinum blonde hair.

 

These battle scars don't look like they're fading
 Don't look like they're ever going away
 They ain't never gonna change
 These battle...

 

Hermione stepped back, hoping not to draw any attention to herself. An encounter with the person seated in that chair was an event she wanted to avoid as much as possible. Unfortunately, she managed to stumble over a pile of objects, which immediately collapsed causing a large tumult. She gasped, and stared at the person who was still seated in the chair. He had only slightly tilted his head and grunted as he caught a glimpse of her. He turned back towards the fire, hoping she would not disturb his presence any longer.


Hermione sighed and decided she had to deal with this. She had to deal with the constant itch in the back of her head that transplanted itself indefinitely since the battle of Hogwarts. She had to deal with Draco Malfoy. She had never wanted to be enemies with him, nor had she expected to be allies; she only hoped that now that the war was over, a truce could be settled amongst them. Provided of course that he wasn’t still the obnoxious git he had previously been.


She summoned all the Gryffindor courage she could muster and seated herself in the armchair adjacent to his. She glanced at him and expected to see a look of annoyance or disgust upon his features, but to her relief, and great surprise, she only perceived indifference in the expression of his face.


A few years ago, Draco might have moved away in disgust from the muggle-born witch but he couldn’t do so anymore. He had spent way too long listening to his Slytherin instincts, trying to make Salazar Slytherin proud, trying to make his father proud, and he was tired of it. Tired of constant pointless arguments and pretending to flinch in disgust at every supposed ‘mudblood’ he encountered. Granted, he once did share the same condescending views, but something had changed in these past years. Maybe it was the war that changed him, but then again maybe it didn’t.


“If you’re here to lecture me Granger, you can save your breath. I’m not in the mood to argue or listen to you for that matter.” Draco said, refusing to look at her. It would be too much for him to handle. It would bring too many memories of the war back and he wasn’t prepared to face that.


Hermione shook her head, “On the contrary, Malfoy. I’m not here to lecture you. I just need to ask you something.”


Keeping his gaze on the flames, he asked, “What?”


“Why did you do it? At your manor, why didn’t you just rant Harry out?”


He frowned, “Why do you care?” He got up, facing her, bracing himself to tell her exactly what she expected to hear which was definitely not the truth. “Why don’t you just go look it up in one of those books you always have your nose stuck in? The answer always seems to be in there. In fact, I’d bet you’d rather be anywhere rather than be here asking me that stupid question. It doesn’t matter why I didn’t rant him out; it was a mistake. At least if I had done so, you wouldn’t be here annoying me.” He wanted to add a familiar ‘filthy little mudblood’ but he couldn’t bring himself to.


She got up as well, wishing to waste no more time here, and, giving Malfoy one last glare, headed for the door. But just before she stepped out she heard Malfoy yelling.


“Wait! Wait, Hermione! Just, wait!”

 

I wish I never looked, I wish I never touched
 I wish that I could stop loving you so much
 Cause I’m the only one that's trying to keep us together
 When all of the signs say that I should forget her
 I wish you weren’t the best, the best I ever had
 I wish that the good outweighed the bad
 Cause it’ll never be over, until you tell me it's over

 

She turned back towards him, impatiently tapping her foot, only to find his back turned to her.


He sighed, one hand running through his hair. It was now or never.


Still gazing at the fire, he started, slowly, barely above a whisper, “I did it for you.”


Hermione’s brows knitted in confusion. Surely she had misheard him, right?

 

These battle scars, don’t look like they’re fading
 Don’t look like they’re ever going away
 They ain't never gonna change
 These battle…

 

He didn’t let her protest though, as he went on. “I know what you must be thinking. That it’s not possible.” He turned towards her before continuing, his expression glowing with the most sincerity Hermione had ever seen coming from him. “But believe me when I say, I did it for you. Not for that Potter boy. At the time I didn’t know what I was doing, but then later, when my parents called me over to join Voldemort’s side, when Harry was supposedly dead, it just clicked. The way you stared at me, with that hurt expression on your face, I finally understood why I had done it. I understood why I felt sick at hearing your screams when my aunt was torturing you. I understood why, so many years ago, I had warned you to keep your bushy head down back at the Quidditch World Cup. Because subconsciously, I wouldn’t be able to bear you getting hurt. You may be thinking now about all those times I taunted you when we were kids, you may be reminiscing on those awful words I said. And yes, I have to admit, I hated you back then. But not for the reasons you’re thinking of, nor the reasons I thought I was acting upon. I hated you for making me question everything I have ever believed in, and was brought up to believe in. I hated you because you made me feel things I had never felt before. And most of all, I hated you because I had to. You thought I was a jerk, a spoiled brat, and I didn’t blame you for that, but what would my fellow Slytherins think if I didn’t hate you back, or at least acted like I did?”

 

I wish I couldn't feel, I wish I couldn't love
 I wish that I could stop cause it hurts so much
 And I’m the only one that's trying to keep us together
 When all of the signs say that I should forget her
 I wish you weren’t the best, the best I ever had
 I wish that the good outweighed the bad
 Cause it’ll never be over, until you tell me it's over

 

Draco sighed, and ran his hands through his hair, holding back tears that were threatening to spill, “I guess what I’m trying to say is that, I-I’m sorry. Deeply, and terribly sorry.” He stepped closer, “I don’t expect you to believe me, or to forgive me. I know I don’t deserve your forgiveness. I just-”


But he was cut off by a pair of soft lips colliding with his.

 

Cause you've set me on fire
 I’ve never felt so alive, yeah

 

Draco was surprised at first, but then relief flooded over him, and he melted into the kiss.


Hermione was, herself, surprised by her own actions, but she decided to let her heart take control of her acts for once. When her lips collided with his, that’s when the knot in the back of her head dissolved, and she had never felt freer. She was confused by her feelings, which had been in deep turmoil ever since that day back in the manor, but now was not the time to analyze them.


As they pulled away, Hermione smiled slightly, “You talk way too much.”


Draco, however, pulled back and looked down at his hand, “I need to show you something.” He hesitantly lifted the sleeve of his robes on his left arm, revealing the mark which had haunted his nightmares for months.

 

And I’m at the point of breaking
 And it’s impossible to shake it

 

Hermione’s eyes widened ever so slightly and she stepped forward, grasping his hand, tracing the Dark Mark with her fingertip.


Draco flinched at her touch, which sent shivers down his spine, but found it oddly soothing.


Hermione raised her own left hand and lifted her sleeve, revealing the scar Bellatrix had cut into her arm. The word ‘Mudblood’ was clearly distinguishable. “I guess we both have our scars. Marks whose causes we would like to Obliviate out of our minds.” She stepped closer to Draco and embraced him in a hug. Then, leaning up, she whispered softly into his ear, “It doesn’t mean anything. Don’t let it define you, Draco.”

 

These battle scars, don’t look like they’re fading
 Don’t look like they’re ever going away
 They ain't never gonna change
 These battle…
These battle scars, don’t look like they’re fading
Don’t look like they’re ever going away
I ain't ever gonna change
These battle…

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