for Devi - although you didn’t ask, I thought I should repay you for your wonderful Romione graphic

“Draco” she said softly, snuggling a bit closer to him under the covers

“Hmm” he answered, his arm moving around her but still he didn’t open his eyes.

“You’re not going to force me to leave Dhiaran, are you? I know my being here isn’t what you want but I wish that you could try to understand my position…” she paused, as words seemed to fail her “… If only you understood why I can’t leave then you wouldn’t ask me to go” She finished lamely. It was long moments before he spoke, his voice quiet but serious.

” I understand Hermione” he told her and she turned shocked eyes to meet his. Was he saying what she thought he was saying? That he wasn’t going to fight her about staying. Although his face was impassive, the clarity in his mercurial eyes gave her the answer and she reached up to hug him, relieved and ecstatic beyond words.

“I…” love you, was what she nearly blurted out but she caught the words before they could be expressed. Suddenly she couldn’t meet his eyes, knowing that it wouldn’t be difficult for him to see the depth of feelings that she held for him. She knew that by saying those words, everything would be irrevocably changed between them and Merlin help her but she didn’t think she was strong enough, at the moment, to face a possible negative response from him.

“What’s wrong?” he asked gently, cupping her cheek with his palm.

“Nothing” was her too quick response “…I guess I just can’t believe that you’re agreeing” she lied, hoping that he would believe that.

“That’s all?” he asked skeptically

“That’s all” she confirmed, looking at him steadily. He did not believe her, she could see it in his questioning eyes. After what seemed like an eternity of silence he finally nodded imperceptibly and she knew that this was his way of saying that he wouldn’t pursue it. She gratefully put her head on his chest and closed her eyes, all the while trying to control her panicked heart rate.

“You are to stay on the camp at all times unless it comes under attack. This is not optional” he spoke after a moment and there was no mistaking the authority in his tone.

Normally, she would have bristled at this but it was time for her to reciprocate and understand his position. Today he had left a mission, without his men, without any thought for his own safety in order to ensure her safety. To say that his actions were extremely dangerous would be an understatement and she knew that if any harm came to him, especially because of her, she would forever be tormented.

“Okay” she whispered, raising her head again to meet his unfathomable gaze. No more words were spoken between but when he pulled her closer to him and rested his head on hers, she new he was relieved that she had agreed.