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Stuck in the Middle by a_free_elf
Format: Short story
Chapter 4: The Visitor
Well this is my longest chapter yet. I feel like it's a bit of an achievement really. Anyway this is chapter 4 :) Some spellings and grammar might be a bit off because I wrote this at about 2:30AM, sorry :o
Also, review this chapter, otherwise I'm just guessing what to write and I don't know if you like it or not. Anyway, enjoy, much love xxx
Azakaban had greatly improved it's conditions since before the war. The walls were fully insulated, beds had been put in all calls and dementors had been banished. All of this was to try to rehabilitate prisoners.
It's soul aim now was to help inmates have a new start in the outside world. It had come to terms with the fact that many accused deatheaters were forced into a lot of their actions in the war and were now suffering with the consequences. It still was, however, not a desirable place to be. It reeked with the scent of deprivation. It had an aura of depression and deep sadness.
Hermione Granger had a few odd looks as she apparated into the main foyer and spoke to one of the guard about visiting an inmate. She was told there were checks to be done, paperwork to be filled out and the process could take up to 3 days. This was no issue for her, she felt as if those 3 days would be needed to work out what she was going to say.
She disapperated after giving her necessary details to the guard. As soon as she had left, all who had heard the conversation between the two turned to look at each other. Whist they had pretended to be oblivious to the girls identity, they had all known who she was.
She was 'The Girl from the golden trio' everyone knew her. Her face had been plastered over front pages, interviews with her in all the witch's magazines. She was a well know figure in the wizarding world. She was the girl who saved them, although none of them fully understood how much she had sacrificed for them. Yes, the Azakaban guards were all curious why Hermione Granger would wish to visit a deatheater. Especially Draco Malfoy
3 days later, Hermione was at her parent's house, lying, fully stretched, on her bed. Not doing anything in particular, just lying on the sheets and staring at the ceiling. She sat up abruptly as she heard a scratch on the window. She hated that noise, it made her shiver down her spine like nails on a chalkboard. She looked over to see a beautiful tawny owl at her window, holding a letter in it"s claw, flapping it's wings to keep it's body airborne.
She rushed to the window, fumbled with the catch in her anticipation, then finally swung the window open, knocking the owl down in her doing so. She bent over the windowsill in the way her mother told her very strictly NOT TO DO as a child and was almost hit in the face by the owl as it regained it's height.
She welcomed it in the her room and it circled overhead for a few seconds, looking for a suitable place to land. It finally decided on her chest of drawers. It swooped down, neatly landing next to the empty bowl of cornflakes she had eaten for breakfast and held out her leg for Hermione to remove the letter.
She unrolled the parchment to read
Dear Miss Granger,
We are writing to inform you that all the necessary paperwork has been completed for your request to visit Mr. Draco Malfoy in cell 394. Visiting hours are between 2-4 on weekdays, and 6-8 on weekends. Visitng outside of these hours are strictly not permitted under any circumstances.
Attached to this letter is a form that must be completed by you and returned to the unit at your first visit.
Hermione quickly scanned the room for a quill and a bottle of ink, signed the form and apparated to Azakaban before even dismissing the owl on her drawers. Upon arriving, she noticed that many people were looking at her oddly as her shoes made a soft pattering noise on the floor. Muttering could be heard from the unseen parts of the room and Hermione had the feeling she was being watched.
As she handed the form to the new guard she tried to stope her hand from shaking, but to no avail. Her nervousness was evident in the colour of her lips, by the lack of brightness in her eyes. She was lead by the guard down a corridor, then down another, then through what looked like a canteen, then through another corridor, this one was lined with cells.
She tried not to look at their inhabitants but saw some familiar faces. Some deatheaters, some snatchers. She was concentrating so hard on not catching any of their eyes that she walked straight into the guard who had stopped and was fiddling with a large bunch of keys.
'Odd' she thought 'how we still use muggle inventions such as keys, even in a place like this' She took a deep breath, and walked through the door that was held open for her. He was lying on the bed. Not too differently from how she had been before she had left. Except he had his eyes shut and appeared not t have noticed her presence in the cell. She looked around the room quickly before nervous clearing her throat.
His eyes quickly flicked open and he turned his head to look at her. His eyebrows furrowed slightly as he attempted to comprehend the situation. She took a deep beeath and swallowed before sitting herself down on the hard wooden chair she noticed in the corner of the cell. He sat up and swung his legs off the bed to bring himself into a sitting position.
"why are you here?" Draco tried to make his voice sound calm as casual as if this were a perfectly normal situation that regularly occurred
Hermione swallowed before answering "I-I came to see if you were- well" She cast her eyes round the small cell as if looking for inspiration
"Yeah, I'm doing fine, I suppose" he replied, doing his best attempt at a relaxed tone
"I'm sorry for dropping in on you like this, so, out of the blue" He tried to talk but she continued over him " I just felt really bad about, about the hearing really. I'm so sorry this had to happen, I'm sure you never meant for all of that stuff to happen. It just kinda does. I mean if I had been the son of a deatheater I'm sure I would have done exactly the same thing" She paused and Draco interjected while he had the chance
"Granger, it's alright" he said biting lip, just as he had seen her do at his hearing "it's alright" His eyes darted down at the grimy floor then back up at her, looking her dead in the eye "it's alright" He repeated again, as if trying to convince himself
"Because I deserve everything that has been given to me. I deserve every second in this place because I did horrible things" His voice cracked as he spoke, but still he continued
"I did horrible things and knew horrible people who did equally horrible things to perfectly good people. Horrible people who did horrible things to you" His eyes dropped from hers and he looked at the sleeve of her shirt, under it he knew, was the scars of the word 'mudblood' on her skin.
His breathing became ragged and his shut his eyes and put his face in his hands.He heard the chair move and was expecting to hear the handle of the door being opened but instead felt the bed sag a few more inches closer to the floor as it took the weight of another person.
He felt a soft hand on his back and another on his knee. He felt the dampness of tears on his hands and swallowed to keep himself from full on crying. Her hand snaked it's way across his back and rester on his shoulder.
She pulled him in towards her and he put his head under hers, continuing to silently shake. She held him until he stopped, until his breathing steadied and he relaxed into her. She watched as he drew himself up, wiped his nose on the back of his hand and stood up.
" I think you should leave now, Granger" He said, at her rather than to her. His voice was full of a bitterness she had not heard in it before, not even when they were at Hogwarts. It seemed void of any sort of emotion or feeling. Usure of what to say to his abrupt change of character she stood up, looked at him confusedly and left, leaving the door to slam behind her.