White Flag

Rating: R, possibly NC-17
Category: Alternate Universe, Drama/Romance
Summary: Draco finds out what happens when he falls for another Muggle-born.
Disclaimer: Harry Potter characters belong to Jo Rowling and her people. Alias characters belong to JJ Abrams and his people. BtVS and Angel characters belong to Joss Whedon and his people. The Alliance of Destiny characters belong to Humaira and me.

It had been almost five years since Draco Malfoy had lost the only woman he had ever loved. Her name was Meliza Masterson. Muggle-born. Draco had met her at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry in their first year. He teased her endlessly for being a Mudblood, but there was something both infuriating and intriguing about the way she accepted the insults he slung at her every time they were in class or passed each other in the hall.

It was difficult to explain to anyone, much less to himself, what attracted him to Mel. Perhaps it was the way she smiled, the way she tucked her hair behind her ear when she was nervous, or simply the way he felt whenever she was around. Either way he was in love.

He proposed on the Hogwarts Express the day they graduated from school. Draco dragged her into the car he was sharing with his supposed friends from school. Blushing, Mel accepted immediately. Crabbe and Goyle were confused, as they were apt to be. Mel and Draco kept their seven-year love affair under wraps, meeting in places where other Ravenclaws and Slytherins wouldn’t see them. Pansy Parkinson burst into tears when she saw Draco kneel in front of Meliza. But they didn’t matter to him anymore. He had his Mel and that’s all that mattered.

The last hurdle they had to overcome as a couple were Draco’s parents, Lucius and Narcissa. The same night he proposed, he introduced Mel to Narcissa, explained she was Muggle-born, and that they were getting married. Narcissa smiled uncomfortably and hustled Draco into the expansive kitchen, leaving Meliza in the front hall.

“Draco, how could you?” Narcissa said, a tone of horrible disappointment in her voice. “I always thought you would end up with that nice Parkinson girl.” Draco shook his head wordlessly. “You can’t marry her,” Narcissa said flatly.

“And why the hell not?” Draco said hotly.

“What would your father think?” she asked. Lucius Malfoy was supposed to have been serving a life sentence in Azkaban, but broke out when the dementors rebelled during the height of the Second War. He had been in hiding ever since. “Lucius would disown you.”

Draco set his jaw. “So be it.”

Armed with barely a galleon to his name, Draco fled with Meliza to her father’s second home in America. The wedding plans came together slowly but surely, but it never once dulled the pain of not getting the Malfoys’ blessing. Mel was more than perturbed. She hated the fact that Narcissa didn’t want to have anything to do with them. She yearned for her future mother-in-law’s approval. Why Draco agreed to go back was beyond him. That was his first mistake.

As it was, Narcissa didn’t welcome them back with open arms. She treated them like uninvited guests. Julian Sark, Draco’s adopted brother, was visiting again and didn’t make his decision any easier. Not like it was in Julian’s vocabulary to go out of his way to make sure Draco was happy.

“You know it irks Narcissa. Just dump the Mudblood and be done with it,” Julian advised.

On the third night, Draco would never forget the moment Mel died. They were slow dancing to a song that played only in their heads. Two words were uttered from across the darkened library room – Avada Kedavra – and then a flash of purple sparks. Mel froze in his arms lifelessly, her eyes wide open. In a fury, Draco cast every curse he had ever learned into the spot the Unforgivable curse was cast. Draco ran blindly into Julian and Narcissa’s chambers, but they were fast asleep and pissed off that Draco had disturbed them.

Draco buried Mel in her father’s family’s mausoleum and never returned to the Malfoy family castle again.

Several years after Mel’s death, Draco decided to train to become an Auror for the Ministry of Magic. He maintained the ultimate bachelor’s life, complete with enough nicks in his bedposts to warrant several new beds. As it was, he had never come to terms with Meliza’s death.

Boarding the elevator to return to his apartment for a night alone, a familiar bushy-haired woman got on the lift after him.

“Draco?” she asked after a few moments of silence as the lift whirred to life.

“Hermione?” Draco replied, putting two and two together.

“How are you?” she said uneasily.

Draco shrugged. “Surviving. Do you work here at the Ministry?”

“Yes,” Hermione nodded. “I was assisting Professor McGonagall for awhile after we graduated. I work in Misinformation now. And you?”

“I became an Auror because of…” Draco stopped abruptly. The reason he became an Auror was to bring to justice who ever killed Meliza, but he couldn’t tell Hermione that. “I became an Auror because of the prestige,” he finished up lamely.

“Well being an Auror for the Ministry of Magic certainly is a very highly regarded position,” Hermione offered, noting his reluctance to voice the real reason.

“Would you like to have dinner with me?” Draco blurted out before he could stop himself.

Two dots of color appeared on Hermione’s cheeks. “I’d love to.”

Which is how Draco Malfoy, former Mudblood hater, came to be sitting across from Hermione Granger, Muggle-born genius, in a Muggle restaurant.

“So…” Draco began uncomfortably after they had ordered their meals. Conversation never came this hard during dinner with a nick in the bedpost, he admonished himself.

“So…” Hermione echoed.

“Have you spoken to anybody else… from our class?” Draco asked.

Hermione nodded. “Harry and Ron are still about. Harry just came back from America and Ron works in the Ministry at his dad’s old post in Misuse of Muggle Artifacts.” She paused. “I’m surprised you haven’t seen him around. I saw him when I started last week.”

Draco shrugged. “I probably have. It’s hard to miss a Weasley around work,” he joked. Hermione returned his generous smile with one of her own.

After dinner, which they got through with lots of humor and no bloodshed, Draco hailed a cab for them to share. Turns out Hermione lived around the corner from him. As they stopped at Hermione’s flat, her hand hesitated on the doorknob to the cab. “Would you like to come up?” Draco looked at her in surprise and nodded.

“It’s not much, but it’s home,” Hermione explained as she opened the door to reveal her sparse but inviting flat. She slipped out of her cotton jacket and threw it on a nearby chair. “Draco… I must admit I had far less than honorable intentions when I invited you up here,” Hermione said, chuckling to hide her discomfort.

Draco merely smiled. He had played this game many times before. He hadn’t thought about it at length, but maybe it was because of Meliza’s untimely death that he hadn’t bothered to confront those fears and find someone else. Draco reminded himself that tomorrow Hermione would wake up alone in bed and that would be it. But as she strode across the threadbare carpet to press her tiny body against his, he felt a little flutter in his stomach, a feeling he hadn’t felt in his gut since Mel. Hermione tilted her head up and their lips met.

Hermione didn’t know how they got into her room, but one minute her lips were touching Draco’s; the next, they were naked in each other’s arms.

“Hermione…” Draco began cautiously, pulling away slightly.

Hermione shook her head violently, her body craving for his touch. “Please don’t say anything,” she begged. “I’m afraid I’ll lose my nerve.” Draco obliged silently, pulling her waist closer to his and kissing her.

After they had made love, Hermione snuggled close to Draco, who stayed awake, his left arm curled around his head, his right arm protectively around Hermione. She had left a window open and the light curtains began to blow in the breeze. A fog began to seep in and something else appeared too.

Meliza, dressed in jeans and a blue tank top, materialized out of thin air. Draco gave a start. She looked exactly the way she had when she died in his arms.

“Hello love,” Meliza said softly, leaning aginst one of the tall bedposts of Hermione’s canopy bed.

Draco carefully extracted himself from Hermione’s embrace. “Mel,” he choked. “Is that you?”

Mel chuckled, something he had only imagined for the last two decades. “Of course it is silly!” she teased him.

Draco flung himself towards her, but she shook her head. “I can’t stay for long,” she warned him. Her eyes fell on Hermione emotionlessly.

“Mel, look. I can explain…” Draco began, pulling his drawers on.

“Explain what? It’s been, what? Three days since you got any nookie?” Mel joked teasingly.

“You’ve been watching me?” Draco accused her, immediately regretting his words.

Meliza threw her head back and laughed. “Maybe. Anyways, the reason I’m here is because I couldn’t have picked a better successor to replace me,” she said, angling her head around Draco to eyeball the still-sleeping Hermione.

Draco grimaced. “Replace you? I could never do that. I love you,” he explained.

Tears sprang into Meliza’s eyes. “I know. But I’m gone, remember?” Meliza replied bluntly, wiping the ethereal tears away.

Draco shook his head. “No matter.”

Meliza sighed and shook her head too. “Draco, do me a favor, okay? Get on with your life. You can’t live your life like this anymore. You can’t live like your life ended when mine did. That’s a terrible way to live and a horrible way to honor my memory.” Mel paused, breathing slowly and evenly to calm down. “I’d rather see you happy with Hermione than sad without me for the rest of your life.”

Draco stared at her as if she was mad. “If that’s the case, then I’ll do what I should’ve done years ago,” he said, making a move. Meliza stopped him, her hand warm on his arm. In that instant, Draco knew that she knew. Suicide had been on his mind in the darkest of times, just when the pain of losing Mel hit him the hardest. He fought against those thoughts, but it was difficult.

“It’s not your time,” she said softly. Draco turned to face her shamefully.

“I’m dreaming, aren’t I? This isn’t real at all,” he whispered weakly.

“Could a dream do this?” Meliza asked softly, molding her body with his as she had done so many times before and tilting her head up to meet his. Draco relished in her kiss before she pulled away to look up into his eyes.

“Promise me you’ll do right by her,” Mel said, nodding in Hermione’s direction.

“I promise,” Draco whispered. Mel kissed him again.

“Please don’t go. I don’t know what to do without you,” begged Draco.

Mel smiled a sad smile. “I’ll find you.” She paused. “We always find each other.”

Draco awoke with a start. He was still in Hermione’s bed and the sun was beginning to rise. He instinctively licked his lips and still tasted Mel’s kiss. Hermione groaned and reached out across her queen-sized bed. Draco replayed Meliza’s advice in his head and smiled.

“Do you object?” teased Draco softly.

Hermione opened an eye. “Object to what?” she asked apprehensively.

“To finding me still in your bed,” he asked coyly. Draco rolled over and pinned her to the bed.

“Draco!” she squealed, squirming against his weight.

Then Draco’s face took on a serious note.

“What?” Hermione dared to ask, fearing the worst. “You’re married, aren’t you? You’re got a wifey who cooks you meatloaf every night, two beautiful kids, and a little white dog in Surrey, that’s what you’re gonna say, aren’t you?”

Draco released her from his grip to flop back onto the bed. “For someone so smart, you sure do come up with some fanciful notions,” he teased her, leaning on his side to face her.

“Well, you’re gonna say something like that?” Hermione accused him.

“Not so misleading, no,” Draco replied. “Do you remember another Muggle-born in our year, Meliza Masterson? She was in Ravenclaw.”

Hermione knitted her eyebrows. She hadn’t told him about the Alliance of Destiny. “Of course I knew Mel! She was one of my dearest friends. Why?” she added suspiciously.

“Mel was my girlfriend at Hogwarts. My fiancee.”

“Your fiancee?” Hermione echoed. In all the years she had known Meliza – before and after joining the Alliance of Destiny – not once did she think her friend was dating Draco. They weren’t many secrets between them, and this was a big one. “But you never even came to her funeral.”

“I did,” Draco began. He felt a little odd telling her like this, but it had to be told. He owed Meliza that much. “I just couldn’t bring myself to mourn with the rest of you. I stayed away until you all left. I wanted to mourn in private.” He sighed.

“I’m not telling you this to pity me, Hermione. I just… want you to know where I’m coming from,” he explained, allowing himself to be embraced tightly by Hermione.

“I suppose I should tell you my hangups as well,” Hermione offered, almost flinchingly.

Hermione explained that she had gone on holiday. She chose to visit Viktor Krum in Bulgaria. They had always been friendly and she wanted to see Bulgaria. Ron, upon hearing this, Apparated to Bulgaria and attacked Krum. There, he confessed his love to Hermione, who realized that she had loved all this time. But, upon their return to London, they both realized how very different they truly were.

“It was just like in a movie, ya know? Boy meets girl, girl pursues a potential love in a foreign country, boy snaps and is forced to admit his feelings… but they never tell you what happens after the film ends. You’re just supposed to live happily ever after.” Hermione sighed. “Ron and I want very different things from life. I still love him,” she admitted, “but not like that.”

“Enough of this,” Draco growled, pinning Hermione to the bed once again.

“Oh,” Hermione groaned between Draco’s fervent thrusts.

“Wha-at?”

“We’re going… to be late… for work,” Hermione heaved breathlessly.

“So… what?”

Hermione began to scream, trying to brace herself against their furious lovemaking. She lapsed onto the bed, panting heavily. Draco smiled his cocky little smile and lowered himself onto the bed after her.

Hermione flopped over to look at the clock and let out a little yelp. “I just started at the Ministry! This’ll look terrible in my records,” Hermione complained, trying to get up. Draco held fast onto her arm.

“We both can afford to miss the day. We’ve got a lot to catch up on.”

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