The Last Petal...

He grew up full of prejudice. Was taught he was superior. He knew nothing of other people's feelings, nor did he care. The very idea of love and light made him sneer. But what would you expect, from a beast?

For the Beauty and the Beast competition

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12. Eleven

Hermione sat sobbing in the common room. Her shoulders heaved as the hurt came back to her.

She closed her eyes and let the memories wash over her. Tears leaked out of her eyes as she remembered:

"Your so ugly!" Pansy cackled

"How do you live with yourself! You such a loser!" Daphne had added

"Do everyone a favor and die!" Millicent screeched grabbing her bag and throwing it at her

The whole time, Hermione had been biting her lip and fighting the tears. She wasn't going to give them the satisfaction of seeing her cry.

"How do you have any friends? You're so fat!" Pansy finished jabbing Hermione's stomach with her wand

Hermione pulled at her hair and flung herself face first into the couch as the tears continued.

There was nothing she could do. She felt like dying.

She ripped off her robes and threw them at the nearest object. The tinkle of glass breaking followed shortly after the bundle left her hands.

She just sobbed more as Crookshanks nuzzled her arm and pushed his way into her lap. Her nudged her face tenderly and licked her cheek gently.

Hermione pushed him away as another wave of agony hit her.

His meows of protest rang through her head like a bell. Her hands were pressed over her ears trying to block out the sneers, but you can't run from your own thoughts.

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That was how he found her. Face pressed into the couch, hands buried in her hair, sobbing and wailing in pain.

Alarmed, he dropped his bag and ran towards her.

"Granger!" Draco yelled grasping her shoulders and shaking her, "Granger! What's wrong!"

She looked up at him.

Her eyes were bloodshot and full of sadness, tears glazed her cheeks, her hair was wild, and her face was pale.

"Granger? Are you okay?" Draco asked, gently now

She shook her head as more tears built up in her brown eyes.

He sat on the couch next to her and took her in his lap as she started crying.

He stroked her hair and whispered comforting words into her ear.

Hours past, and Grangers tears slowly ceased.

"Thank you," she whispered softly, not looking at him and biting her lip

"Don't mention it," Draco replied, "now, if you don't mind I'm going to bed."

Granger stood up immediately.

Draco got up, and walked toward his staircase. When he got to the foot of the stairs, he looked back.

Granger was staring as him, and looked away when his head turned towards her.

"Come here, Granger," he said slowly

She hesitated before walking towards him.

"Why were you crying?" He asked when she reached him

"Um...just.....things people said....it's not a big deal," she murmured

Draco reached out and grabbed her wrist when she went to brush her hair out of her face.

"Draco....?" Granger gasped her breath catching slightly

"Your lying. You were screaming; it was clearly a big deal. What happened? Really," Draco demanded not losing grip on her wrist

Angry tears welled up in her eyes as she tried to pull her wrist out of his hand.

"Some girls called me fat, ugly, a loser, and told me to kill myself! Are you happy now?!" She yelled the tears spilling out of her eyes now

Draco didn't say a word. He just pulled her back into his eyes.

"Don't you dare believe a word these jerks said. It's not true," he growled

"I'm gonna go to my room now," Granger said

He noticed her glance at the shards of a broken vase, than at her wrist currently locked in Draco's hand.

"Oh no. Your coming to my room. I feel like if I leave you alone you try to drown yourself or something," Draco reasoned, "come on,"

He tugged her arm and pulled her up the stairs despite her protests.

"I don't have anything to sleep in!" Hermione tried

"You can borrow one of my shirts," he said not glancing at her as he muttered the password and walked in still dragging her behind him

Draco spun her around onto the bed before pointing his wand at the door, locking it, and holding Granger's wand teasingly in front of him.

Granger huffed and reached out for her wand. Draco put her wand in his pocket and went to his closet.

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Hermione sunk into the bed and rubbed her temples. Draco emerged from his closet with a pair of athletic shorts and a navy blue t-shirt on. In his hand was a green t-shirt.

"Why do you keep insisting I wear Slytherin colors?" Hermione pouted, glaring playfully at the t-shirt in Draco's hand.

He just smirked and threw it at her.

When she was in Draco's shirt and her own black capris she began to worry.

Where was she sleeping? What if someone found out? Why was he doing this?

Draco was sprawled out on his bed.

"What are you waiting for, Granger? Get over here," he yawned lazily

"What?! I'm not sleeping in the same bed as you!" She protested

Draco looked up at her and smirked.

"Why? Are you scared? I promise I won't bite," he teased

When her frown stayed put on her face, he sighed and payed back down.

"Fine. Grab a pillow and blanket and sleep on the floor for all I care. Just let me sleep," he grumbled

She did just that. She snuggled into a spare blanket on the other side of the room. She was as far away from him as possible; which was about five feet away from his bed.

Draco's head appeared over the side of the bed as she pulled the blanket up over herself.

"You look so lonely over there, Granger" he said, his eyes scanning her little nest

"Your one to talk, Malfoy," she grumbled

He chuckled and got up.

"Your bed looks comfier than mine," he said as he flipped down on top of her

"Draco! Get off me! I'm trying to sleep!" Hermione squealed

Draco yawned.

"Did I hear something? Must be the wind," he said ignoring the squirming witch underneath him

"Draco!" She protested pushing against his back, "Get off!"

Draco rolled off her and just stared at her.

"You wanna know something?"

"What?"

"I think I'm in love with someone,"

"With who?"

"Professor McGonagall,"

"What?!"

"I'm just kidding. Don't take everything so serious, Granger. Of course I don't like Professor McGonagall,"

They sat there in silence for a while, each lost in their own complicated maze of thoughts.

After a while, Hermione's eyes started to droop. Her head fell onto Draco's shoulder as she retreated to her world of dreams.

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A soft bit of pressure hit Draco's shoulder. He looked over and saw Granger was asleep and her head had fallen onto his shoulder.

He smiled slightly and found himself wondering what if would be like to kiss her.

"Stop it, Draco! She is a mudblood and you shouldn't even be this close to her!"

For once, Draco ignored his thoughts and eventually found sleep. The most peaceful sleep he'd had in a very long time.

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