You are viewing a story from harrypotterfanfiction.com
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters (or places) that sound familiar or known. They are fabulous creations of J.K Rowling. I do, however, take responsiblity for the characters that are unknown. :)
*A/N: Ignore book 7!
**Beautiful banner by slytherinprincess!!**
The door of flat #15 was being pounded on impatiently.
Twenty-three-year-old Hermione Granger flipped over in her queen-sized bed to glance at the old-fashioned alarm clock that sat on her bedside table. It read exactly 4:40am. There was still an hour until her clock should have woke her.
The knocking on the door continued, growing louder and more impatient by the moment.
Hermione rubbed her eyes and reached for her wand, “Lumos.” She used her wand light to guide her to the front door.
Only a muggle would be pounding on the door this early, she thought. She placed the lit wand on a nearby coffee table and opened the door with a yawn.
The stern woman that stood before Hermione had strict posture that showed she meant business. Hermione saw the St.Mungo’s pin attached to her long white cloak, a witch after all, she thought to herself.
“Can I help you?” Hermione asked as politely as possible.
“Are you Miss Hermione Granger?” The witch asked briskly.
“Yes. Yes I am.”
“I have an important letter for you.” She held out her hand which produced a parchment magically.
Hermione took the parchment and read it quickly, more awake now. She looked confused, “Wait, but this is impossible,” She said, finishing the letter and wrapping it back up. “I’m not due at St. Mungo’s for another week.”
“Madam, I am just here to deliver the message to you. I am not at liberty to discuss it.”
“Well…” Hermione sighed and pushed a strand of bushy hair behind her ear. “I guess I’ll have to go see Ron and let him know…” She said to no one in particular.
“I need an immediate answer, Miss Granger.” The woman said, her posture still the same.
Hermione sighed again, “I’ll come right in.” She closed the door with a sigh and started to get ready.
Pansy Parkinson ran to the front desk of St. Mungo’s hospital, her face tear-streaked and stained from mascara.
“I’m here for Draco Malfoy!” She screeched at the blonde receptionist.
The woman eyed Pansy for a moment as if she was some sort of escaped mental patient before checking her records, “Malfoy…Malfoy…he’s on the fourth floor, Spell Damage.”
Pansy broke into a run for the lift, barely making it before the doors closed. When it reached the fourth floor she dashed out into the hall and began checking the name tags of each door she passed. She found it at the end of the hall: Room 200 Draco Malfoy.
She tried to open the door but it was magically locked. Through the door’s tiny window she could see two cloaked men inside, observing the patient lying in the bed.
Pansy fell onto a chair in the lobby and wiped her tears with her sweater sleeve. A cloaked figure emerged from the room, grasping a clipboard.
“Is he going to be okay?” Pansy asked as she jumped up from the chair and grabbed the man’s arm.
“I’m sorry, but who are you?” The healer asked, lowering his glasses to observe Pansy.
“I’m Draco’s friend,” she said reaching up to wipe another tear from her face. “How is he?”
The healer sighed, “He’s still in critical condition. It’s hard to know what exactly happened to him. We tried every counter curse but it’s no use.”
Pansy gasped, clasping her hand over her mouth as new tears welled up in her eyes, “Will…will…he live healer?”
“Of course his chances of living are slim at the moment my dear,” he glanced at his clipboard and Pansy let out a muffled croak as the tears began falling again. “For now, we just have to wait for Healer Malaria to see him; she’s the Spell Damage specialist. Do you happen to know what kind of accident Mr. Malfoy was in?”
Pansy swallowed hard, but shook her head vigorously and looked at the man through teary eyes, “No sir.”
Hermione showered at 5:15, right after the messenger left. Since it was already too late to go back to bed, she figured she would head to the Ministry where Ron was to let him know she was starting her volunteer work a week early at St. Mungo’s.
At six o’clock, the sun started shining brightly behind the mountains in the distance. Hermione thought it was a great day to go for a walk in the summer weather, but having so many things to do that day, she would be lucky to be given a coffee break.
Hermione apparated from her place straight to the Ministry office. Although many witches and wizards didn’t arrive at the Ministry early, Hermione knew Ron would come in earlier than he had to since he was in charge.
Ever since the war against Voldemort had finished 5 years ago in her seventh year at Hogwarts, everything had changed. Harry had killed off the Dark Lord by himself. Many Death Eaters were either caught or dead; no one escaped alive. Some, however, claimed that they were under the Imperius Curse and were set free after a sip from Vertaserium.
Cornelius Fudge had mysteriously disappeared, but many stated that he cowardly left when he saw the downfall of the dark side. Proudly enough, the Ministry was handed over to the command of the Weasleys. Mr. Weasley, having been the Head Minister, gave Ron the position of Minister of Magic, which Fudge had previously been. House-elves were also freed thanks to Hermione’s S.P.E.W. and Ron’s support in that.
Hermione inhaled the smell of brewed coffee as she headed inside the office. She could still remember the day she proudly kissed Ron for his help with the release of the house-elves. Ron was taken aback, but he didn’t waste any time in asking Hermione out on a date after the raging war was over.
Hermione had accepted, but after their first three dates, things weren’t connecting and she had called it off with Ron.
They argued a lot which was nerve-wracking for Harry and Ginny who started seriously dating at the same time.
After a while, their friendship slowly returned to normal. Not exactly perfect because Hermione sometimes thought Ron still had feelings for her, but she didn’t feel anything for him.
She passed her office door, peering over at Ron’s, which was slightly open. Hermione smiled. He was there alright.
She opened the door and was surprised to see Luna Lovegood in Ron’s office and the two of them laughing hysterically. Luna was sitting in one of the chairs in front of Ron’s desk with a steaming cup of coffee. She glanced over her shoulder when she heard someone enter the office.
She wiped a tear of laughter from her face, choking on her words. “H—Hi Her---Hermione.”
“Hi, Luna,” Hermione chimed back. “Hey Ron, I just wanted to let you know that I won’t be coming into work this week.”
Ron stood up from his chair as if it were on fire. “What do you mean Hermione?” He asked, no longer as amused as Luna.
“I’ve gotten a notice that I have to help at St. Mungo’s hospital earlier than I thought.”
Luna smiled dreamily at her, “Oh, how nice of you to volunteer. That’s always a blessing.” Luna looked back at Ron attentively with her usual odd smile on her face.
Hermione smiled back as she observed Luna’s always peculiar behaviour. “Thanks.” She shifted her attention back to Ron. “I wanted to have your permission for an early leave, as you are Minister.” She said courteously.
Ron ran a hand through his smooth, gorgeous red hair. “Yeah, okay. Sure, Mione.”
“Thanks, Ronald. I knew I could count on you.”
Ron turned bright red again.
“I’ll see you two later then,” she turned on her heel and left out the door, Ron still grinning after her and slowly returning to his seat.
A woman with glasses wearing a buttoned white cloak and greyish-white hair appeared before Pansy. She rubbed her neck with anxiety after having been in Draco’s room for nearly four straight hours.
“How is he healer?” Pansy asked anxiously, quickly rising to her feet, her eyes big and watery.
“He’s recovering dear,” the woman replied, her voice small and squeaky. “There are a few…minor things that have been brought forward, but he has his health.”
“What minor things?” Pansy asked as she folded her hands across her chest and moved around anxiously.
“Well…” The healer pulled off her glasses and rubbed her eyes. She put them back on as Pansy eyed her. “Mr. Malfoy has…temporarily lost his vision.”
Pansy shook her head, backing into the plain white wall behind her. Her eyes were wide as if they could pop out any moment. “No…” She whispered her hands shot up to her mouth and she squeezed her eyes shut, more tears began sliding down her face.
“My dear, it is only temporary,” the healer assured her, grabbing hold of Pansy’s wrist and trying to calm her. “We’re sure of it. Mr. Malfoy will need assistance to recover, but---"
“I’ll do it!” Pansy exclaimed, pulling her hand free from the healer. “I’ll help my Draco recover!”
“No, no, my dear.” The healer said patiently. “Mr. Malfoy will need a nurse’s assistance. But don’t you worry…” The healer beamed with pride. “Here at St. Mungo’s we have the best nurses there are.”
Hermione approached the nurse’s station outside the reception area. She had her own locker with her white nurse’s cloak. She wasn’t allowed her own personal equipment yet as only a volunteer at the hospital.
Another nurse came in casually and started stuffing her locker with her cloak and untying her long raven hair. She looked absolutely exhausted.
“Long night?” Hermione asked, doing the opposite and smiling at her.
The woman sighed, “Yep. Around midnight there was a seven year old that kept screaming his lungs out from a bite he had, turned out just to be a Muggle-spider bite. Then there was Miss Shelby who suffered from improper spell damage. And I just came out of observing some pureblood patient that was in an accident last night, he’s still here.”
“What’s wrong with him?” Hermione asked curiously as she fiddled with her volunteer badge.
“I don’t know…I just got off my shift when the next doctor came in his room. I don’t even know if they figured out what happened to him yet.” The nurse sighed again. “Well, I’m glad the night’s over and the day is mine.” She tossed her fleece jacket over her shoulder and headed for the doors. “Have a good one.”
”You too,” Hermione called after her. She smiled and headed up the lift to find out where she was needed.
“Draco?” Pansy held the blonde haired boy’s hand in hers. “Can you hear me?” She asked for the fifth time.
The man kept his eyes closed, but this time he responded in a disgusted tone. “I’m not deaf Pansy.”
The black haired woman pouted her lips apologetically. “I’m sorry Draco.”
Draco opened his eyes and Pansy felt a tear roll down her cheek. “D-Draco?” She asked nervously.
Draco blinked his eyes several times, and slipped his hand from Pansy’s to rub at his eyes.
“P-Pansy?” Draco asked a bit startled.
Pansy grabbed for his hand once more but he yanked free, “Yes Draco?”
“Pansy! I can’t see! I can’t see!” He was frightened now, squirming in his bed, stretching his hands in front of him mindlessly.
Pansy dropped her face into her hands again, sobbing loudly. A nurse came in at once, grasping the crying woman’s arm, pulling her out of the room where Draco was still yelling fearfully.
A male healer came in and tried to calm Draco down. “Please, sir. Mr. Malfoy, don’t move like that!” He tried to reach for the patient’s arm and only barely missed a fist in the face. The healer pulled out his wand and whispered something inaudible to Pansy. Draco stopped flipping and lay unmoving on the bed as if in a sleep.
The healer shut the door behind him, leaving the nurse and Pansy in the hall, without another word to either of them.
The nurse patted Pansy gently on the back. “Ma’am, I suggest you go home and get some rest.”
“No. I want to stay by him.” She looked at the nurse with mournful eyes. “He needs me.”
The nurse shook her head, pulling Pansy along with her down the hall. “I’m sorry, but Mr. Malfoy will be leaving soon.”
“Wh-What do you mean?”
“He’s going to be in homecare with a personal nurse to take care of him.”
They approached the lift now, but Pansy struggled against the nurse’s firm grip, she tried to dig her feet into the tile floor and fight against the older woman.
“Ma’am!” The nurse said strictly, her grip increasing on Pansy’s arm. “If you do not cooperate, I will have to use force.”
“I want to be with Draco!” Pansy screeched. “I’m not going to leave him!” She yanked her arm free and started running back to the room, but the nurse made a grab for her robe and barely caught it, holding Pansy back.
Pansy still did not give up. She turned around forcefully swinging her fist with all her might, successfully hitting the nurse square in the face. The nurse gave a yelp and fell to the ground, her lip began bruising immediately and a trickle of blood seeped from the gash at her mouth. She pulled out her wand as Pansy arrived at the door of Room 200.
Hermione got off at the second floor first to see if there was anything she could help with there. Everyone had everything under control on that floor, so she headed back to the lift and went up to the third floor, there, things were also okay.
There was a patient who kept giggling uncontrollably, but a healer with blonde hair assured Hermione everything was taken care of.
Finally, Hermione ascended to the fourth floor, Spell Damage. She had barely stood on the floor when three pairs of nurses passed by her, levitating someone high above their heads. They were talking in whispers, occasionally gasping and swearing.
One nurse had a bruised lip and a nasty gash beneath her mouth. She looked like she wanted to beat something or someone. She swore under her breath. "-Rotten woman! Taking advantage of me like that----she got what was coming----"
She passed by Hermione with such force that she was almost knocked off her feet.
Hermione ignored the obnoxious nurse and made her way to the front of the hall where there was a long table labelled FOURTH FLOOR: SPELL DAMAGE.
Hermione sat at the table, fingering the patient files. There was nothing to do and it was quite odd because she had been called in early for volunteer work yet there was nothing at all that needed to be done. As she retrieved a random folder labelled Hexes, a pair of women came strolling at her.
“Miss Granger!” A woman’s voice exclaimed.
Hermione looked up a little startled and smiled, “Hello, Healer Vaquero.”
“Miss Granger, I’ve been looking all over for you my dear.”
“Really?” Hermione placed the folder back into the cabinet. “What is it that I can assist you with?”
Healer Bertha Vaquero pulled Hermione to the side, her hand on her shoulder. “Listen my dear, we had a patient come in last night---well, was brought in----that had been in some sort of accident.” She was whispering now. “The thing is that we don’t know what type of curse or hex or whatever-Merlin-it-is he’s been put under, but the poor man has lost his vision.”
Hermione gasped, looking at the doctor.
“Yes, it is true.” The healer tied her hands together now, fidgeting. “We have been able to spot that his sight loss is temporary, but the thing is that we don’t know how long temporary may be. It could be weeks---months--- even years before he can see again.”
Hermione wrapped her arms safely around her chest as if a cold storm was about to hit. “What can I do to help?”
“We need to assign him a personal nurse so he can learn how to learn----oh, how do you say---everyday things---such as personal grooming----feeling by touch and listening. We’re hoping you would be his personal nurse, Hermione.” The doctor sounded anxious. “I’m counting on you to help us out, there’s no one else that can do it right now.”
Hermione produced a huge smile. To help someone who was suffering, she would definitely never give up such an opportunity.
“Of course I’ll do it.” She said proudly.
Bertha smiled with glee. “Oh, I knew I could trust you my dear! You’ve been assigned a house in Cambridge and you can apparate their right now. Nurse Carrie here will assist you there----"
“Wait, a house in Cambridge?” Hermione seemed taken aback. “Why isn’t he being kept here in London?”
Nurse Carrie and Healer Vaquero exchanged looks.
“There’s more to it, isn’t there?” Hermione questioned.
“It’s more of a precaution.” Nurse Carrie said coming into the conversation for the first time. “Whoever brought in the patient had left in such a hurry that he dare not reveal himself. We happen to believe that----"
“----Whatever happened to this patient wasn’t an accident.” Healer Vaquero finished. “We believe that he may be in grave danger and it is best for you to aid him somewhere away from here. It’s really for the best.”
Hermione scoffed. “I’m supposed to be taking care of someone that is in danger and will most likely be putting my life in danger as well?”
“My dear, it’s not at all like that!” The healer argued. “We only need three months Hermione. Please. You’ll be out of harm’s way in Cambridge. No one will know you’re there.” She inched near. “Will you do it…please?”
Hermione peered into the doctor’s warm brown eyes and felt her expression go soft. “Nothing out of the ordinary will happen, right?”
“Absolutely not! I promise!”
“Well…okay then. I’ll do it.”
The healer and nurse beamed at her. “Thank you so much darling!” Bertha exclaimed once more, patting Hermione gratefully on the back. “Off you go then! Carrie will take you there and everything you need will already be there. Be safe now you two!”
Nurse Carrie took a hold of Hermione’s arm for side-along-apparition. Hermione closed her eyes for five seconds and when she opened them again, she saw a whole new surrounding.
It was such a lovely place; it could have been a mansion. They were positioned in the living room (Hermione guessed) where there was a couch and a single recliner with a coffee table in the middle of them both. In the front of the room, there was a television set and the walls were surrounded with either paintings or non-moving pictures.
Nurse Carrie seemed to have followed Hermione’s confused gaze toward the pictures and TV. She laughed. “This is a muggle’s home! We bewitched it with many protective spells so there will be no intruders or murderers entering here.”
Hermione was sure Carrie was joking about murderers, but the word made her shiver nonetheless.
Carrie led Hermione around the house, showing her the place. First, they entered the kitchen where the white marble counters stretched from one side of the kitchen halfway to the other side but stopped at sliding doors. On another wall were the oven and microwave along with stoves and opposite of that was the sink with a dishwasher beside it. The sliding doors opened to the backyard. Hermione peered out and saw a large oak tree with a lake stretching for Merlin knew how long.
Across from the living room, there was another small room with a desk and file cabinet with a lamp on it and what looked like a clear glassed cabinet on the far side of the room. There were many trophies in it. Some looked like baseball, soccer, football, and even a few basketball trophies. One stood empty with no title.
They ascended the stairs and Hermione questioned about how good of an idea it would be for a blind person to have stairs but Nurse Carrie assured her it was a good way for them to learn to find their way by touch.
At the top of the stairs, the bathroom was first on the right hand side, followed by a room and there was another room on the left side. The wall ended with a closet on each side. For such a large and elegant place, there were very few rooms.
Hermione followed Carrie back downstairs.
Carrie smiled at Hermione appreciatively. “It’s so nice to have volunteers like you to come to the hospital and do such helpful deeds.”
“I’m glad I can help.”
“Well I should be heading back---and oh, upstairs, the room on the left has all the things prepared for the patient. He’ll be coming in any moment before noon.” She headed back into the living room where Hermione followed. “I must tell you that you are forbidden from contacting anyone by floo powder or owls for at least the first two months.”
Hermione looked as if she were about to argue, but she let it go. It was already going to be a hard summer after all.
“Also…” Carrie turned back to Hermione. “As a St. Mungo’s nurse and adviser, I must have you give your full and undivided attention to this patient. There's no turning back my dear. You will not be replaced. You will have to remain here for your three months. Do you understand?"
Hermione nodded her head. "I understand fully."
“Well, alright then. Since that’s settled, you’ll find that Healer Vaquero has already sent your belongings upstairs to the room on the right. I shall be on my way then and we will meet again after your three months are over. Good luck Madam.” The nurse said graciously, bowing and vanishing within seconds.
Hermione checked her watch which read fifteen minutes to eleven. She headed back upstairs, humming softly and went into the room on the left to lay out some blankets on the bed and make the pillows fluffy for her patient.
Only ten minutes passed as she folded up some old sheets from the wardrobe when she heard a loud pop and a squeak on the bed.
She turned around and screamed in surprise.
The blonde man on the bed quickly sat up, stretching his hands uneasily in front of him. “Wh-what? What’s going on? Who’s there?” He questioned his voice weak.
Hermione toppled backwards into the closed wardrobe, her hand tightly clasped over her mouth in shock. She didn’t know what to say. She couldn’t believe what she was seeing. It has to be a dream---it just has to be.
She rubbed her eyes to be sure, but the scene was still the same; Draco Malfoy was on the bed, waving his hands frantically, and she--Hermione, muggleborn---was his personal nurse.
“Who’s there?” Draco demanded again.
Hermione cleared her voice and tried to steady herself. “I’m your personal nurse--er--Mr. -Malfoy.” She choked, as her breathing evened out.
“Oh, well---why did you scream?” He asked immediately, his expression softening.
“I---you--just---came out----of no where--it--frightened me.” Hermione lied, still not believing the sight before her.
“Where am I?” He asked, feeling for the edge of the bed so he could put his legs down.
“Didn’t--" Hermione cleared her throat. It was awfully sore. “Didn’t Nurse Carrie tell you--"
“No, no one told me anything except that I was going to have a personal nurse.” Draco snapped back immediately agitated.
Hermione didn’t say anything. She was at loss for words. How could have I been so stupid? I didn’t even bother to ask who the patient was beforehand. I was so excited and now…
“Hey, Miss!” Draco said, capturing her attention. She edged away from the wardrobe, but kept her distance from him.
“I’m thirsty.” He said in an obnoxious voice.
“Um--hang on---here--" Hermione pulled out her wand from her inside cloak and waved it at the table beside the bed. “Aguamenti.” Magically a glass of water appeared.
“I hope you know that I’m blind and I can’t get to my water.” Draco said with rudeness.
Hermione scoffed. This was going to be a long three months. She bargained for the wrong deal. “Er--here---" Hermione held the glass of water in one hand placing it against Draco’s hand. His sudden hand movement caused it to spill.
“Ah---that’s cold!” Malfoy complained. “What are you doing? Showering me in freezing water?”
Hermione frowned. This was the same Draco Malfoy. “Well, you shouldn’t wave your hands around like that. You may be blind, but at least have some sense.”
She was breathing heavily as she cleaned up the mess with a flick of her wand.
“Are you a nurse or some sort of mad woman?”
Hermione glared at him, and for a split second she wishes he could have seen it.
She spoke before she could think. “I’m just doing my job Malfoy.”
Draco looked as if he had the wind knocked out of him. “What did you say?” He asked his voice calmer than before. “That voice…I’ve heard it before.”
Hermione bit her lip in frustration. Why did I say that? Why? Why? Oh, I’m such an idiot!
She laughed. She surprised herself as well as Draco.
“What’s so funny?” He asked curiously.
Before Hermione could answer to her absurd outburst, the grandfather clock downstairs somewhere chimed loudly through the house indicating it was twelve.
“Time for lunch.” Hermione said; glad to be changing the subject. “What would you like…Mr. Malfoy?” She added as nicely as possible.
“Hmm…” Draco rubbed his chin in thought for a moment. “Chicken legs with hot gravy and a light salad with--cut and peeled--cucumber and tomato slices, along with some old fashioned wine. And believe me--I’ll know if that wine is old fashioned or not.” He folded his hands across his chest, determinedly staring at his nurse, but he was a few feet off.
Hermione scoffed once more. She shrugged her shoulders and said, “Yes Mr. Malfoy,” with much difficulty, heading back downstairs.
She approached the kitchen and drew the blinds open with her wand and flicked it a few more times at the countertop and started lunch. She prepared something for herself as well. The wine was definitely going to help her relax.
Pansy hurled an empty drinking bottle across the wall, causing it the crash with a loud shattering noise.
“I want to see Draco!” She screeched, tears rolling down her stained face. She didn’t bother to wipe them off this time.
Another man that was seated besides her, cowering each time she protested angrily, now patting her arm sympathetically.
“We’ll---we’ll see him soon enough Pansy.” He soothed. “He’s at St. Mungo’s--"
“No!” She yelled furiously again. “No, he isn’t at St. Mungo’s! They took him away. They took my Draco away.” She dropped her face in her hands.
“What do you mean took him away?”
“They gave him some personal bitch to take care of him when he had me! I could have taken care of him!”
“Well--where did they go?”
Before the pudgy man could react, he was slapped harshly across the face. He looked shocked and angry. “What was that for?” He asked his hand safely covering his cheek.
“I don’t know where they went you git! If I did, you think I would be sitting here with you?!”
“Millicent was right--" He started, but Pansy turned quickly toward him that he was afraid he was about to get another thrashing.
“Don’t talk of her in front of me!” She screamed, pulling at her hair this time. “It was all her fault! Her fault---Crabbe’s fault---and----and---all their fault--" She cut off again, sobbing madly.
“You know they only did that to protect Draco.” The man whispered softly.
Pansy shook her head. “No…no they didn’t.” She looked up and met the man’s eyes. “They did it to protect themselves Gregory. Only to protect themselves.”
Draco nosily munched down his food while Hermione sat in the opposite side of the room, eating her food, but to her dismay, she was losing her appetite.
“Can you not eat so loudly?” Hermione finally snapped.
Draco swallowed his food and a wicked smirk appeared on his pale face. “I don’t recall you having a disability. Oh, no---that’s right--I’m the one who’s blind.”
“I don’t think blindness has anything to do with your annoying chewing.”
“Since I already have someone as selfish as you be my eyes, I don’t think I need you to take over my eating either.” Draco took a huge bit out of his chicken leg.
Hermione closed her eyes and rubbed her temples on either side of her head. I don’t know how much longer I can take this.
“I’d like my wine now Nurse.” Draco said.
Hermione sighed and pulled out her wand. “Windgarium Levoisa.” She levitated the bottle and poured some wine into the glass nearby. She then lifted the glass into Draco’s hands, being careful not to drop it this time.
Draco took a sip and smacked his lips. “Mmm….this is good.” Another sip and another smack.
Hermione felt like smacking him for a moment.
“Well, I’m heading back downstairs to clean up, so--" Hermione started.
Argh! Leave me alone already!
“What’s your name?” Draco asked.
“Wh--what? Why do you want to know?” Hermione asked startled.
Draco scoffed. “Well, you can’t expect me to call you Nurse or Miss while I’m here.”
“I don’t mind.”
“But I do. So, tell me. What’s your name?”
Hermione swallowed uneasily. My name? If he knows my name, he’ll go berserk. He doesn’t know my middle name.
“My name is--er--Jean.”
“Jean?” Draco asked. He looked skeptical.
“Yes. I’m Jean. Well, Mr. Malfoy, if you don’t have any more questions, I will be on my way then.” With that, Hermione nearly broke into a run down the stairs and into the kitchen, away from Draco.
Draco scratched the bottom of his chin. I know that voice…and it doesn’t belong to anyone named Jean.
Ron finished his last bit of pecan pie his mother had sent him for dessert.
There was a knock on the door as Ron threw away his empty food plate. “Come in.”
The door opened and a round faced man with a yellow polka dot bowtie came in. He smiled at Ron. “Hullo Ron.”
“Hey Neville mate.” He pointed to the bowtie. “What’s that for?”
“Oh…” Neville blushed immensely. “Hannah gave it to me as a gift.”
After the war was over, Neville and Hannah Abbott was another happy couple that bonded. Hannah admitted she fell in love with Neville the day he saved her from a Crucitas Curse by one of the death eaters. Every time someone asks how they fell in love, that’s the first story she pours on them.
“Right---um---it’s--bright.” Ron managed to choke, half-laughing.
“She said it matched my personality.” Neville explained dreamily. “Oh, by the way--before I forget--" He pulled out a letter in a grayish envelope and handed it to Ron who quickly opened it.
Hey Ron mate,
Ginny and I are having loads of fun here at Grimmulad’s place. Gin actually hired a house-elf to help us with the cleaning up. I hope Hermione doesn’t take it too personally. The house-elf did actually volunteer to do the work for free because she was a fan, but Ginny insisted on paying her. Besides that, all is well. We haven’t heard from Hermione yet, so if you can reach her somehow and let her know that we’ve been meaning to ask her for some books on magical bugs and pests, that’ll be great. Well, I’ve got to go now. I think Gin is battling a pixie in the other room.
P.S. Hedwig is still suffering from that wing injury so I couldn’t send her out with the letter, but Neville volunteered to take it for me to you. I hope he doesn’t forget.
Ron wrapped the note back up and tapped the desk with his free hand. As he thought about what Hermione was up to, Neville stood up.
“Well, I reckon I should be heading back home. I’m taking Hannah out to dinner tonight.”
“Have fun.” Ron replied. What are you up to Hermione?
Hermione flickered the channel once----twice and thrice.
Nothing interesting is on nowadays. She grudgingly dropped the remote onto the couch and opened a few cabinets at random. To her surprise and delight, she found a few muggle books she could read to pass the time.
“The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas.” Hermione curled up on the couch like a ball. It was half past three and she had already cleaned up the house--which hardly needed any cleaning, mind you---so she became bored very quickly.
But to her joy, Malfoy had fallen asleep right after eating lunch so she didn’t have to worry about dealing with him for a few hours.
“Chapter one.” Hermione said, fingering the book’s fragile page.
“Jean!” Draco’s voice rang from up above.
Hermione clenched her teeth in frustration and slammed the book, getting to her feet at once.
Hermione entered the room to find Draco sitting upright on the bed, his blonde hair a mess.
“What is it?!” Hermione screamed, startling him.
“I-I wanted to go to the restroom.”
Hermione rolled her eyes. This is the biggest regret of my life.
Draco held out his pale white hand and for a second, Hermione felt chills run down her back as she touched it.
She pulled him to his feet and led him to the toilet next to his room. He had to be directed and positioned properly before he allowed Hermione to leave him.
When he was done, she could hear him call her name loudly again.
“I don’t want to stay in that boring bedroom.” Draco complained. “Take me some place else.”
“Well, we can go downstairs and into the living room if you wish Mr. Malfoy.” Hermione said as she took a hold of his arm once more.
Draco frowned. “Don’t call me that.”
Hermione furrowed her eyebrows. “Why not?”
“That’s what my father goes by. I refer to be called by my first name.”
“And that would be?” Hermione added as skeptically as possible.
“Draco.” He replied smoothly.
“Right---er---Draco.” The name gave her shivers and it felt even stranger coming from her own mouth.
Hermione took Draco’s right hand and placed it on the railing of the stairs. She let go of his other arm.
She climbed down three stairs and waited for Draco to do the same, but he seemed to freeze for a minute or two and then slip the toe of his right foot out cautiously.
“What are you afraid for?” Hermione said, approaching him once more. “Just feel with one foot and then step as the other follows. You act as if the stairs will be changing any moment.”
“Well, sorry for being blind!” Draco spat sarcastically his hand shaking on the railing.
Hermione sighed. “I—I shouldn’t have said that.”
“No, it’s good that you did. As long as you’re being honest here, why don’t you add a little more criticism about the other things that I seem to be doing wrong.”
“Sorry.” She mumbled. She knew she was going to regret that later.
Nurse Carrie shut off the lights in her office and bid good-bye to the other nurses, her shift being over for the evening.
She approached her vehicle--being a muggle born---when someone grabbed her shoulder from behind.
She pulled out her wand.
“Whoa, whoa. Hold it my dear!” The lofty blonde man exclaimed, holding his arms up.
“What do you want?” She asked harshly, pointing the wand directly at the man’s throat. She didn’t care if any muggle was watching.
“Put that wand away. I’m not here to hurt you.” He said with a hint of gentleness, but his voice firm.
Nurse Carrie didn’t budge. “What’s your business?”
“I wish to have information regarding a patient of yours.” He said simply. “His name is Draco Malfoy.”
Carrie eyed the blonde man suspiciously. “And who are you?”
He smirked appreciatively. “I’m his father, Mr. Malfoy. Lucius Malfoy.”
“Your son is in good care. That’s all I can tell you.”
Lucius laughed maliciously. “I need to know more than that my dear. And you…” He edged near Carrie ignoring the wand pressing further into his throat. “…will give me more information---one way or another.”
“St—stupefy!” Carrie said, but it didn’t work since her voice was shaking.
Lucius laughed again, more evilly this time. “You can’t do anything to me you filthy mudblood.” He grabbed her wand easily from her shaking hand. “I will teach you to talk.” He snapped her wand in two and threw it at her feet. He pulled out his own wand as Carrie cowered against her car. “Cruc-"
“Stupefy!” A woman’s voice across the lot yelled.
Lucius fell to his feet at once, completely knocked out. The woman came running at Carrie.
“Merlin! Carrie, are you alright? Did he hurt you?” The woman grabbed the startled nurse by the shoulder and dragged her to her feet. “Carrie? Are you okay?”
Carrie merely nodded her head as her eyes watered.
Draco stretched himself on the couch happily; glad to be finally in another room.
Hermione sat across from him, trying to read her book, but for some odd reason, she didn’t feel right with being in the same room as Malfoy.
“I’m going upstairs to my room now. Just call me when you need my help---like you do.” Hermione closed the book and headed upstairs, but Draco’s whispering reached her ears.
“Who does that voice belong to?”
The blonde man slowly opened his eyes to a shadow floating above him. He shivered at the sight of the masked creature, backing himself against the brick wall.
“Finally awake Malfoy?” A man’s brisk voice said from beyond the darkness. He came into full view beside the floating shadow. He was wearing a long black cloak and the only colour that seemed to come out of him that moment was his red hair that was also growing grey.
The blonde man did not reply, nor let his sight leave the shadow that hovered back and forth in the room.
“Ah…are you frightened of dementors, Lucius?” The man in the black cloak asked, pacing the room himself. “That is a surprise. I thought they used to work for You-kno--I mean--Voldemort. You were in the inner circle of Voldemort’s group--the most loyal servant of them all, you claimed. And yet, here you are… so many years after Voldemort’s downfall, you’re still going about the old ways. You attacked a muggleborn. Why?”
Lucius’ gaze finally left the dementor when it left him to guard the door. He focused his attention on the red head man, his pale face producing a vicious smirk. “You think you’re so great don’t you, Weasley? You’ve got dementors doing your dirty work. Pity, I thought you would be used to doing it by yourself by now.”
Mr. Weasley’s face turned red, but he quickly turned his back to Lucius. “I wouldn’t talk so high now Malfoy. You are in a lot more trouble than you think. Now, I want answers, not nonsense! Tell me, why did you attack that muggleborn nurse?”
Lucius scoffed. “Why don’t you waste your pathetic time asking that mudblo---"
“Silence!” Mr. Weasley bellowed. “I will not allow that kind of language here!”
Lucius rolled his eyes and stood up, his smirk reappearing. “Oh…of course, I had forgotten. You love their useless kind. You love those worthless, weak---"
“Dementors!” Mr. Weasley said at once, and Lucius fell to the floor, whiter than ever. A dementor floated around his body, sucking the happiness out of him.
“That’s enough.” Mr. Weasley said again and the dementors backed off. “Now, Lucius you will talk. I want answers and you will tell them to me--and it’s your choice--either the easy way or the hard way.”
Lucius glared at him with the last bit of energy he could produce at the moment.
Hermione stood with her shoulder against the kitchen wall, with her arms folded across her chest. She watched Malfoy with amusement. He was touching the walls and--slowly--making his way to the fridge, he smiled to himself when he opened it. He wanted a bottle of butterbeer, but accidentally, he grabbed a bottle of V8 juice instead.
He took a sip and spit it out immediately, a look of disgust on his face. Hermione couldn’t help, but to laugh.
“You were there the whole time?” Malfoy asked, placing the bottle back in the fridge and shutting it.
“Yeah, pretty much.” Hermione went to the spot were he spit out the juice and she wiped it clean with a swish from her wand.
“Why didn’t you say anything?” Draco looked violated. “Did you think that was funny?”
“Yes, as a matter of fact, I did think it was funny. I haven’t had one bit of entertainment since I’ve gotten here and I didn’t want to ruin the only chance I had of watching some.”
Draco frowned. “I hope you know that I’m the patient here and--"
“Yes, yes, I know. You’re the one who’s blind.” Hermione mocked, rolling her eyes. I’m tired of Malfoy’s complaining and it’s only been half a day.
“I’d like to go sit down now, or perhaps you’d like me to sit down myself so I’d fall over for your entertainment?” Draco said sarcastically.
“Now that would be hilarious.” At the look from Draco’s face, Hermione quickly said, “I’m just kidding! It’s harmless fun.” She hesitantly touched Draco’s hand and led him into the living room, releasing him to sit on the couch.
Draco didn’t say anything, but looked as if he were in thought. “Can I ask you something Jean?” He asked so softly and politely that Hermione thought he might have been under the Imperius Curse.
“Yes. What’s on your mind…Draco?”
“Where did you go to school? I mean, you’re obviously from a wizarding school, but where did you go? Was it in London?”
Hermione hesitated. Why is Draco all of a sudden interested in knowing things about me? “Why do you want to know?”
“Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m bored out of my mind just thinking to myself all day. I would like a civil conversation for once.” Draco folded his arms across his chest, leaning back against the couch cushion.
“I still don’t think its right. I mean, we’re two strangers who don’t know anything about each other---"
“--Which is exactly why I think we should get to know one another. The only way that can happen is if we actually communicate.”
Hermione was taken a back. Draco was never so refined before. It was a bit creepy.
“Okay, then. What do you want to know?”
“First of all, where did you go to school?”
Hermione inhaled a long breath and waited a few seconds before releasing it. The grandfather clock ticked loudly in the silence. “I went to Beauxbatons Academy.”
Draco’s eyes shined with excitement. “I remember that school! They came to Hogwarts during the Triwizard Tournament. Were you there as well Jean?”
“Um--I actually—I don’t really remember.”
“How old are you?”
“Then you must have been there at Hogwarts the same time I was. I’m also 23 and I was in my fourth year when the Triwizard Tournament was held. How could you not know about it? That was when that Diggory boy had been killed. Don’t you remember?” Draco pressed on.
“Oh---right! Hogwarts! The school with the—um--scary maze and dragons.”
“So you were there during the Triwizard Tournament, right?”
“Yes, I was. I just---erm---forgot. It’s been a while.” Hermione stood up to leave, but Draco’s voice stopped her once more.
“Did you go to the Yule Ball?”
“What? Oh, yes, the Yule Ball. Yes—er---I remember that.”
Draco sat forward with anticipation. “Who did you go with?”
Hermione’s anger passed its peak. “That’s none of your business Mr. Malfoy! You have no right of asking me such personal questions! Now, if you don’t mind I’m going to make dinner and I do not wish to be bothered unless it’s regarding your meal.” With that, Hermione stormed out of the living room and headed straight into the kitchen.
Draco looked as if he had been slapped across his face. Was it something I said?
A brown haired plump woman walked alone at night in the graveyard. She lightly hummed to herself as she passed the gravestones.
“Millicent,” A voice whispered behind the woman. She turned around and instead of pulling out her wand; she pulled out a piece of parchment instead.
“About time you showed up. I was starting to think you changed your mind,” the woman named Millicent said, handing the paper to the man.
“Don’t be silly. I would never give up an opportunity to succeed on the dark side.” The tawny man replied opening the parchment and reading it in one quick glance. “And you say that these orders came from Lucius directly?”
“Do you have any doubts, Blaise?” Millicent asked sceptically, placing her chubby hands on her waist.
The man took a long breath of the chilly air. When he released it, he replied, “No, not at all. If Lucius wants her dead, then so be it.”
“Alright then Malfoy, now you’ll give me the answers I want,” Mr. Weasley said, sitting at a table in the middle of a dark room with only the fire torch in the corner lighting the room.
Lucius was seated across from Mr. Weasley, looking disgruntled. His face was paler than ever and he grabbed at his throat as if he was gasping for air.
“Tell me, why did you attack Nurse Carrie?” Mr. Weasley asked at once.
Lucius couldn’t hold it in, “I wanted information.”
“Information? What kind of information?”
“Your son, Draco Malfoy? Why?”
“I wanted to know---his---his---whereabouts.” Lucius squeezed his own throat harder and harder, but the words kept spilling out.
“Why?” Mr. Weasley pushed.
“Because---because---I want to---I want to kill him!” Lucius stood up with such force that his chair was thrown backwards. He angrily tossed the table aside, pulling his blonde sleek hair. “I want to kill him!”
Two dementors came in at the sound of commotion and pinned a hysterical Lucius to the brick wall.
“Why do you want to kill him?!” Mr. Weasley questioned. “Why?! What did he do?! Why do you want to murder your own flesh and blood?”
But unfortunately for Mr. Weasley the dementors had sucked out parts of Lucius’ soul, making him unconscious.
Dinner wasn’t so bad. After Hermione had helped a quiet Draco upstairs to his room, she had made dinner in a breeze, but took her time in delivering it to Malfoy, for she didn’t feel like seeing him again.
He didn’t complain about anything this time, which surprised Hermione, but made her content even more.
She didn’t mind sitting by him this time because he was very quiet. Hermione thought he might have not realized she was still in the room with him.
She was very silent as she ate, as the only noise that came was from Draco’s fork hitting the bottom of his bowl.
When he was finished, Hermione reached him before he could call out her name again.
She grabbed the plate and bowl from him and left to the kitchen as Draco fell backwards onto his bed, pulling the blankets up to his neck, and with his eyes wide open, staring up. Well, for him, he wouldn’t be able to see anything since he was blind, but the way he was staring, he looked as if he wasn’t even blind. His cold eyes looked as if lost in thought.
Hermione turned the light off and shut the door, heading to the stairs with the dishes. She turned back at the foot of the steps, wondering what caused Malfoy’s sudden silence, but as she was thinking of this, she didn’t watch where she was stepping.
Her right foot slipped on the first stair and as she grabbed for the railing with her left hand, the dishes went crashing down the stairs.
Almost immediately another sound came from the bedroom. It sounded like a hard thump on the floor. The door swung open and out came a pallid Draco. He touched the wall and tried to make his way to Hermione.
“Jean? Jean, where are you?” He asked apprehensively. “Are you alright?”
“I’m---Oof!” Hermione started, but Malfoy had crashed right into her, accidentally pushing her into the railing.
Draco was pressed right against her. He keenly touched her arms, sliding his icy hands up to her shoulders. Hermione felt violated. She shoved Malfoy backwards with all her might. He stumbled into the wall opposite her.
They were both breathing like mad.
Draco spoke up first. “What the hell was that for?”
“You crashed into me!” Hermione accused.
“I can’t see Jean!” Draco retorted. “You act as if I did it on purpose!”
Hermione glared at Malfoy while he looked criticized.
“What happened?” Draco finally asked once more, his breath relaxed, but still heavy.
“I—I dropped the dishes. It was nothing.” Hermione went down the stairs in a hurry.
Draco listened as she left and touched the wall he was pushed forcefully in to, making his way back into his room.
It took him a while without Jean’s help. On his first try, he entered the restroom and then he finally reached his room, taking about twenty minutes just reaching his bed carefully.
He sat on his bed and pondered.
What’s her problem?
Millicent entered the Leaky Cauldron. Instead of taking a seat and getting something to eat or drink, she handed gold coins to the bartender and left the pub.
Outside, she wrapped her cloak tightly around her body for the night was growing colder.
She walked a few blocks before entering an alley. She was going to apparate, but a voice stopped her.
“Where do you think you’re going?”
Millicent swerved around and looked at the thin woman that stood before her. She pulled out her wand and a smile spread across her face.
“Why, hello Pansy,” Millicent smirked. “What brings you here?”
Pansy held her wand steady, coming closer to Millicent. “I’m here to get you for what you did.”
Millicent pointed her own wand in the same manner at Pansy. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Don’t play pathetic with me! You know exactly what I’m talking about!” Pansy snarled. “Crucio!”
Millicent jumped to one side successfully missing the Unforgivable Curse. “Stupfey!”
Pansy was ready. “Ennervate!” Millicent’s curse countered, but she barely missed it.
“Conjunctivitis!” Pansy fell to the ground, nearly missing a blind curse.
“Petrificus Totalus!” She yelled at Millicent’s feet. She fell to the floor, her whole body wrapped in invisible ropes. Pansy stood up and brushed dirt off her robes. “Now I’ve got you.” She kicked Millicent in the stomach. “That was for Draco! And this…” She pointed her wand menacingly at her, “…is for me! Avad--"
Pansy’s wand was disarmed from her. She turned around and saw Blaise Zabini approaching her.
“Blaise! What are you doing?” Pansy barked.
Blaise picked up Pansy’s wand and pointed his own at her. “I’ve got orders Pansy.” He took a quick glance at a struggling Millicent.
“Orders? What orders? From who?” Pansy asked hysterically. She was cornered in the alley by Blaise.
“From Lucius Malfoy.”
Pansy cowered against the wall. Her eyes were wide and tearful. Her sight didn’t leave the wand’s tip that was aimed straight at her heart. “Wh--what ar--are you doing?”
“Sorry Pansy…” Blaise didn’t look one bit emotional. “Avada Kadavra!”
Mr. Weasley looked up at the sound of the gentle knocking on his office door. “Come in" hee said promptly.
A middle-aged man with a full grown mustache appeared in the doorway.
“Mr. Weasley, I have news for you regarding---"
“Please, shut the door first.” Arthur requested, standing up at once. “Have a seat.”
The man obeyed at once.
“Would you like some tea or anything at all?”
“No, I’m fine.”
“Well, then. Let’s get down to business, shall we?” Mr. Weasley sat down in his seat and sighed with anxiousness. “What is it you would like to tell me Mr. Feinbecker?”
“Your prisoner, Mr. Lucius Malfoy, is in critical condition.”
“What does that mean?”
The man’s mustache furrowed up in a frown. “My dear sir, you should know what that means. Mr. Malfoy cannot be released for interrogation at any cost. He has entered the trauma state which is unsuitable for communication.”
Mr. Weasley sighed heavily and leaned back in his cushioned chair. “How long?”
“I’m sorry, but I cannot say.”
“I need answers. Mr. Malfoy is a notorious murderer who claimed death to his own flesh and blood.”
“What? He told you that?”
“No, not himself. We had to get it out of him by force. We used Vert---"
“Excuse me, Mr. Weasley, sir?” A woman’s voice asked politely, opening the door slightly.
“Yes, Miss. Brown?”
“You have a message that came in by owl.”
“Bring it to me, please.”
The woman shut the door and reappeared seconds later. Her long chestnut hair braided behind her slender back. She wore a plaid skirt that was past her knees and a white blouse that made her look professional. She handed Mr. Weasley a brown envelope.
“Thank you Miss Brown.”
“You’re welcome sir.” She said at once and turned heel out the door, shutting it.
Mr. Weasley spent no time in ripping open the envelope and scanning the letter with eagerness. When he was done, his face scrunched in mixed confusion.
“What is it?” Mr. Feinbecker asked worriedly.
“I have to go.” He stood up and grabbed his cloak.
“But wh—where? Is everything alright?”
“I’m not sure.” He opened the door and looked back at his stricken face accomplice. “But I have to go to the Leaky Cauldron to find out for sure.”
Ronald Weasley couldn’t concentrate much after Hermione’s absence. He was constantly thinking about her.
He finally surrendered to his thoughts by dropping his quill onto his desk. He leaned back in his leather chair, folding his hands in a dreamful way behind his head.
“Ronald! You’re going to walk me into something!” Hermione complained, trying to peel her best friend's hands away from her eyes while managing to walk at the same time. “We’ve been going like this for hours! Where are you taking me to?”
“Shh…” Ron whispered in her ear. “I’ve got a surprise for you.”
“A surprise? Now’s not the perfect time Ron.” Hermione took a few hesitant steps forward, holding her hands out just in case. After climbing out on some stairs, finally, the pair came to a halt.
“Ready?” Ron whispered again.
Hermione nodded her head.
Ron pulled his hands away from Hermione’s eyes and said, “Surprise.”
Hermione gasped at the scenery. They were inside the Hogsmead Sweet Shop. In middle of the store of sweets was a single table with a vase full of roses. There were about fifty candles floating around the shop.
Ron held out his hand to Hermione, gesturing to the table. “May I?”
Hermione took his hand, but her mouth was slightly opened as if she wanted to say something, but she couldn’t.
“What are--flowers---but here--this---is---in a shop---after school hours---we could get in trouble--oh, how lovely---but---but---still---” Hermione stuttered, staring unbelievably at her surroundings.
“Hermione, please.” Ron said, taking his seat across from her. “These last two years have been crazy and I just wanted to spend some time with you…alone.” Ron blushed.
Hermione stared at him for a moment.
His eyes were pleading. The look on his face said ‘just enjoy tonight and please don’t tell anyone’.
Hermione sighed and smiled. “Okay. Two friends spending time together. Sure, but just don‘t do this again without permission next time.”
Ron turned as red as his hair. “Would you like some butterbeer?”
Hermione nodded her head. “So…” As she held out her glass that Ron poured her drink in. “You made dinner then?”
Ron croaked and nearly dropped his glass. “No, actually…I didn’t.”
Hermione’s eyebrows narrowed. “Then who did?”
Ron felt it coming before he even answered.
“Don’t tell me those poor house-elves did all this!” Hermione argued.
“I---I didn’t ask them---”
But Ron’s reply was interrupted by a jingling of bells. Hermione looked around, searching the room for the noise, but Ron was already ahead of her. He went back down to the cellar, opening it.
“What is it Winky?” He asked the little dirty house-elf.
“Someone coming sir!” She said in a squeaky voice.
“Is it Filch?” Ron asked at once.
Winky shook her head that the hat Hermione made her fell off her ear. “Trouble! Big trouble!”
A scream stopped Ron, making him go pale. He left the cellar and ran back up stairs to Hermione. “Hermione! Are you okay?”
Hermione stood by one of the windows of the shop. Her eyes were wide and terrified. She pointed to the Hogwarts castle.
From where they were standing, Ron could see that the beautiful castle was on fire. Right above the castle, there was a horrifying symbol lighting the night sky. A skull with a snake emerging from its mouth. The dark mark.
There was a knock on the door that caused Ron to come back to reality. “Who is it?”
“It’s me, Annie, sir.” A squeaky voice replied.
“Come on in Annie.”
The door opened and a tiny woman, about in her middle twenties’ came rushing in. Avoiding eye contact, she spoke to Ron. “A witch was found dead in the alley behind the Leaky Cauldron by a muggle.”
“Thank you for letting me know Annie.”
The woman turned scarlet and left the room, a smile appearing on her bony face.
Ron heaved a sigh and wrapped his cloak around his neck, heading out to the Leaky Cauldron.
Mr. Weasley walked back and forth outside the Leaky Cauldron in the alley. A witch and a wizard accompanied him.
The wizard was a murder specialist from Zurich who studied the body that lay among the garbage bags.
The witch was a healer that arrived before anyone else for she lived only a few blocks away and noticed muggles huddled around the body and informed the Ministry at once. She was the one who sent Mr. Weasley a letter right away.
As they stood in the deserted alley, a surprise pop nearly frightened them.
Ronald Weasley stood before them now, observing the scene. When he saw the body of Pansy Parkinson lying among the bags, he looked at his father for some explanation.
“Parkinson?” Ron gasped as he joined his father and the other two. “Who would have wanted to murder her?”
“That’s what we’re trying to find out son.” Arthur replied, scratching his head.
“Were there any witnesses?”
“Not as far as we know.”
“I--I can tell you the tr-truth.” A hoarse voice whispered behind them.
Everyone turned around to see an aging man about in his late sixties shaking in his cloak. His face was pale and his lips were turning blue from shivering so much.
Mr. Weasley came forward first. “What’s your name? What do you know? Who killed Miss Parkinson?”
The man shook his head at once. “Not out here!” He gasped. He looked around horrifyingly. He pointed to the Leaky Cauldron. “Inside! Follow me.”
Mr. Weasley and Ron followed. The witch and wizard stayed back and decided to send the body to a safe place for later burial.
The elderly man led Ron and Arthur inside the pub, to a back room with a single chair and window.
He immediately started pacing the room.
“What’s your name?” Mr. Weasley asked at once.
“You claim to know that you know the truth. What did you see?”
“Two people…a man and a woman.” He stopped now as if he tried to remember. “Millicent Bultrode and Blaise Zabini. Millicent came to me first. She paid me gold coins to---” The man stopped mid sentence. His eyes bulged out momentarily, before falling face down to the floor.
Ron rushed to the body first. He quickly felt for a pulse. “He’s dead.”
Mr. Weasley quickly spotted a hooded figure running away from the window. “Locomotor Mortis!” But the mysterious person dodged the curse.
Mr. Weasley, along with Ron, ran outside the pub, trying to chase the hooded figure, but whoever it was, was long gone.
“He must have apparated.” Ron breathed.
“Well…how do we really know it was a he?”
Miles away in Birmingham, a witch and a wizard drank joyfully in a wizarding bar.
“Here’s to Parkinson’s death.” The toady woman said, holding up her glass in victory.
“Cheers.” The chubby man replied, clinking his glass with the woman’s.
The chucked down their drinks in one gulp.
“I still can’t believe it happened this way Millicent.” The man hiccupped, motioning the bartender for another refill.
“It couldn't happen in a better way than this Goyle." She exclaimed, burping loudly without excusing herself. "I'm glad she's gone."
Gregory laughed cheekily. “Me, too..” He chugged down another glass full. This time he went for the full bottle.
"Pansy was bound to come after me anyway, but...” Millicent paused and burped again, “…instead of getting her revenge, she got her death.”
“That bitch deserved it after slapping me like that!.” Gregory started laughing out loudly that many wizards shot annoyed glances at him. “Damn whore! Wish I could have killed her myself!" He slammed the empty bottle on the table shattering it in many pieces. He chuckled. “Give me another Willy.”
The old bartender looked uneasily at Goyle. “I think you’ve had enough.”
Gregory pulled out his wand and tried to aim it at Willy. “I said give me another drink…not another excuse you pathetic mud blood!”
Three wizards stood up at this remark, as well as Millicent. She tugged on Goyle’s shirt collar. “You’ve had enough Goyle. Let’s go.”
The wizards didn’t sit down until Goyle and Millicent were out of the bar and out of sight.
Outside Millicent accidentally ran into a hooded man rushing towards them.
“Hey! Watch where you’re going!” Millicent barked.
“Bultrode! It’s me.” The hooded figure whispered.
“Blaise?” Millicent asked, trying to make out his face but he kept pulling the hood further down.
“What’s wrong with you?”
“We’ve got to hide. Now!”
“Why? What happened?” Millicent slowly released a heavy Goyle to the floor.
“That bartender you paid! He talked! He was telling the Weasleys’ what happened! He told them our names!”
“What?” Millicent hissed. “I knew I shouldn’t have trusted that old bastard!”
“I took care of him. That’s the main reason I’m here. We’ve got to hide because now that he spilled our names the Weasleys will be searching for us two.” Blaise stopped and scanned the area. It was clean.
“Where should we go?”
“Anywhere. But we need to hide. Now!” He grabbed onto Millicent’s arm trying to apparate, but she pulled away.
“What about him?” She said pointing to a drunk Goyle on the floor.
“Leave him there. No one’s after him. Besides he’ll slow us down. Let’s go.” Within seconds they disappeared arm in arm.
Lucius Malfoy sat rocking back and forth in an empty room with only a door that had a window on it to see through.
A uniformed nurse opened the door and came through, helping Lucius to his feet.
“Come on now. Time for lunch.” He said, finally balancing Malfoy.
Lucius didn’t say anything, but followed. His arms were chained together and so were his legs so he couldn’t run. Behind him, an armed guard followed. Mr. Weasley sent him. When they were informed that Mr. Malfoy was a prisoner at Azkaban prison, guards had to be with Lucius twenty-four seven.
The nurse held open a door with tables that many witches and wizards were already eating food at.
When Lucius entered, the door slammed shut behind him. He took a seat at the nearest table and waited until a plate of food appeared magically before him.
He looked at his fellow acquaintances trapped inside with him. None of them looked familiar.
There was one that claimed that he was the dark lord with evil power, but he also claimed that flobberworms were muggleborns in disguise.
Lucius quietly dabbed at his food with a plastic fork.
“Why hello there!” A voice chimed. “Mind if I sit here?” He asked Lucius.
Without looking up, Malfoy nodded his head. The man hurriedly took his seat as if someone else would have taken the opportunity.
Lucius noticed that the man was about his age, with blonde hair and a smile plastered on his face. He kept grinning at the woman across from him.
“Hullo there. Would you like an autograph? Don’t be shy now.” He quickly took out a picture and a quill. He signed it and handed it to the lazy eye woman across from him. “Take it. There’s more of where that came from.” When the eccentric man saw Lucius stare him, he excitedly pulled out another picture from inside his shirt. “Would you like one as well? Not to worry! Not to worry! I have plenty for all of my fans!”
He signed the picture and handed it to Lucius, slapping him on the back. “Tell your friends they’re welcome to ask. I’ll be happy to sign my autograph for all of them.”
Lucius looked at the picture. The blonde man was grinning at him and winking nevertheless. On the bottom of the page it read “To my favorite fan. Best wishes, Gilderoy Lockhart.”
“Ah, I can see you want one too, don’t you lovely?” Gilderoy continued, pulling out three pictures at a time.
Lucius saw that the first woman he gave the picture to, spit on it and threw it to the ground with annoyance.
“I thought I told you no pictures and quills here Mr. Lockhart!” A shrill voice commanded.
Gilderoy looked frightened. He hurriedly tried to collect the pictures back into his shirt, along with his quill, but he wasn’t quick enough.
An old woman with a nurse’s cloak retrieved the items from Gilderoy, marching away with them.
Everyone continued eating, not paying attention. Lucius guessed that Gilderoy tried to hide pictures in his clothes all the time wherever he went. This wasn’t something new to them.
Malfoy didn’t feel very hungry at the moment. He got up and made his way to the restroom. He went inside and poured cool water on his face. He stared in the mirror. His image was horrible. His face was weary and tired. His eyes were droopy. And his hair…long, gorgeous blonde hair…was now tangled and flying in all directions. He tried to undo the tangles, but it was no luck.
“Here. This will help.” A man’s voice said from behind him.
Lucius turned around and saw to his amazement that the dark haired man had exactly what he was wishing for: a comb.
He quickly grabbed it and combed down his hair with such excitement. His eyes were gleaming with hope. When he was done, he smiled at his image in the mirror. He stood up tall and felt pride grow within him again.
Lucius handed the comb back to the built man.
He stared at Lucius for a moment. “Aren’t you Lucius Malfoy?”
Malfoy swallowed noticeably and nodded slowly. He tried to leave, but the scrawny man held out a long hand.
“Fredrick Wilson is the name.”
Lucius shook his hand hesitantly.
“What is a rich man like yourself doing in an asylum?” Fredrick asked folding his muscular arms across his chest.
Lucius bit his bottom lip and averted his eyes around slowly, but didn't speak.
The man laughed heartily by Malfoy's reaction.
Lucius already figured out why Fredrick was there. He was just as mental as him; a psycho path who enjoyed torturing and murdering people for entertainment.
“Listen friend, they all think we‘re mental, but we‘re not are we?” He stepped a bit closer now. “I’m only in here because I’m a wanted criminal in Scotland. I murdered three mudbloods at a shop during broad daylight. I used the Imperius Curse on a wizard just for fun. I tortured a witch when she refused to date me.” Fredrick’s black eyes shinned with excitement. “I’m better off in here than out there. But soon…” He inched closer towards Lucius, “I will escape out of here, too. I’m just waiting for the right time. I’m half blood so I ain’t too good with escaping places like this. With a little help from an accomplice…maybe I can escape.”
Lucius had turned stone cold and blankly stared at the man before him. What he was asking of him was so big and great, (freedom) but…it was a risk as well. He was already a prisoner in Azkaban. Guards stuck with him like frosting on cake.
“You’re not mental either are you?” Fredrick asked slyly. It was as if he was reading Malfoy’s mind.
Lucius pushed his way out of there, his eyes widening by each second.
“I know how you purebloods work! You can’t hide forever!” Fredrick said. “I can be your ticket out of here!”
Lucius rushed out of the bathroom being closely followed by his guard back to his locked room.
**A/N: Sorry I didn’t bring Hermione and Draco in this chapter, but I had to build all this up first. They all have important parts in the story as well…except for Lockhart. I just added him in there for fun! I promise the next chapter will be about Draco and Hermione.
The endless hours had turned into restless days; the days into weeks. The weeks had turned into one month.
One month that passed like hell for Hermione Granger. She had achieved nothing but boredom in her attempt to pass the time.
The first two weeks all she did was read the same books that came in her suitcase with her. For the first time in her life, she was tired of re-reading Hogwarts: A History, and the other loads of books in the house.
Draco wasn’t being easy on her either. He was constantly annoying her about her privacy. It was either that or bugging her about how he was bored to death in his room.
Now with only two months left, Hermione had quickly picked up a new hobby, with luck, to pass the time.
She started to write her own stories and adventures. She had gotten the idea as she was reading some of her old books. When she figured some scenes were better than others, she thought to herself she could write a better story. So, she did.
She had already started a story about a philosopher named Joseph and his cousin Murray who were searching the far lands for ancient treasures. She was finishing up on chapter 9 “The Last Golden Sandal.”
As Hermione comfortably took her usual seat by the fireplace on the carpet, she heard footsteps coming down the stairs. She didn’t bother to look up since she already knew who it was.
Draco stepped with confidence now as he placed his right hand on the railing while coming down.
When he was at the foot of the stairs, he took two steps forward and stopped. He waited as if he was about to cross the street. He took a few more steps and paused. He put his hands out and bent half way down trying to touch the sofa, which he did successfully. He smiled and finally sat down.
Hermione didn’t pay attention to him. She continued scribbling down ideas for her next chapter in her story.
“What are you writing?” Draco asked, trying to look in Hermione’s direction, but his eyesight was directed at the fireplace instead.
“A story,” Hermione replied in a monotone manner. She already knew the process. Malfoy comes into the room and questions what she’s up to.
“A story? About what?” Draco asked curiously.
“About two guys who are searching for lost gold.”
“How far are you?”
“What are the characters doing?”
“Searching for lost gold.”
“You already said that.”
“And you already asked me that.”
“What’s your problem?” Draco asked suddenly, his voice and face were pained by her shortness.
Hermione looked up now. The question surprised her. “What do you mean?”
“I mean ever since I got here you’ve been in a bad mood. I thought nurses were usually helpful and---"
“I am helpful if you haven’t noticed.”
“Yes, you are, but you’re also rude and unpleasant to talk to.”
Hermione scoffed. She tossed her pencil and notebook to the floor. “You’re the one who’s unpleasant to talk to! You’re the one who is always questioning my privacy! Have you ever thought that maybe I’m not interested in telling you about my past or where I come from?!”
Draco stood up; his muscular arms folded across his built chest.
“I just wanted some civil conversation with you! I don’t mean to be rude or in your business, but I thought maybe we could get to know each other and--"
“And what?!” Hermione was practically screaming now. “And snog me?! I know your kind and for your information, I’m not interested!”
Draco‘s face went pale for a few seconds. “I’m not the type of person you think I am.”
Hermione placed her hands on her hips, glaring at Malfoy. “I know exactly what type of person you are. You and your father think you rule the whole world just because you’re rich and spoiled and have good connections.”
“I’m not like my father,” Draco said through gritted teeth.
Hermione laughed mockingly. “Of course you are. You’re the spitting image of him.” Hermione stepped closer now. “You don’t care about anyone else, but yourself. You always want what’s best for you.”
“That’s not true,” Draco whispered.
A wicked smirk appeared on Hermione’s lips. “It’s beyond that…” Hermione leaned forward and whispered, “…It’s in your blood.”
Draco went white for two seconds before he snatched Hermione by her upper arm.
Hermione was shocked. “L--let go of me,” she stuttered.
But Draco’s grip was firm on her arm. Hermione glanced into his cold eyes and felt chills run down her back.
“I‘m not like my family and I never want to be,” Draco breathed against her cheek. He released Hermione’s arm gently and made his way back to the stairs, walking up them, one hard step at a time.
Gregory Goyle sat in the middle of a dimly lit room with only an empty chair across from him.
He played with the tip of his cloak boringly until an older looking man popped magically into the empty chair.
The man held out his hand. Gregory was about to shake it, but the man pulled his hand away. “Give me your wand,” he directed.
“Unicorn and pixie feathers, very nice.” the elderly man gave back Goyle’s wand.
“Why am I here?” Gregory asked, but the man disappeared as soon as Goyle asked the question.
Another pop scared Gregory. This man was old as well, but not as old as the other man before. This man had a firm posture and looked like he meant business. His red hair was slicked back which made him look very professional-like.
“Goyle. Gregory Goyle.” He said, seating himself in the empty chair. “I have some questions for you regarding your friends.”
Goyle glared at the figure before him, gripping his wand very tightly. “And what if I don’t tell you?”
The man looked as if Goyle must have been joking. “Oh, you’ll tell me…one way or another.”
“Screw you, Weasley!” Goyle stood up forcefully that caused his chair to tumble backwards. “Avada Kedavra!”
But all that came out of Goyle’s wand was grey smoke.
“I asked Mr. Ollivander to check your wand before the meeting; therefore, there would be no interruptions. I think he did a marvellous job as usual. I’ll have to see to it that he gets recognition for his work at Azkaban prison.” Mr. Weasley motioned his wand and set the chair upright again. “Now, sit down.”
Grudgingly, Goyle obeyed.
“Tell me, Goyle…where did you last see Millicent Bulstrode?”
Goyle remained silent for a few seconds, glaring at Mr. Weasley.
“Would you like me to call in the Dementors?” Mr. Weasley asked.
Goyle turned pale.
“I’ll ask you again. Where did you last see Millicent Bulstrode?”
Gregory swallowed hard. “Sh-she was with me at a pub enjoying a drink.”
“What did you two talk about?”
“Pansy Parkinson was found dead in an alley behind the Leaky Cauldron and the bartender claimed that Bulstrode and Zabini were both at the crime scene. Now, I’ll ask you one more time---"
“She said that she was glad that Parkinson died! She wanted to be rid of her from the beginning.”
“Was she the one who killed Parkinson?”
Goyle shook his chubby head. “It was Blaise.”
“Why did they kill her?”
“She didn’t say. She was just happy that it happened.”
“Where did they go to?”
“I don’t know. I was drunk. I woke up on the side of a curb and it was nightfall. Millicent was gone.”
“Was Blaise with her?”
“I don’t know! I was drunk and knocked out!” Goyle heaved a sigh. “I can’t tell you anything else. Can I go?”
“Only if you tell me something valuable,” Mr. Weasley leaned back into his seat waiting.
“I don’t know anything else to tell you. What do you want, lies?” Goyle huffed.
“No Goyle. I want the truth.” Mr. Weasley stood and approached the door. “You tell me what I want to know or I’ll have to bring in a special guest.” He turned the doorknob slowly and an eerie feeling suddenly filled the room.
Goyle cowered in his chair, holding up his shaking hands to shield himself. “Fine, I’ll tell you! I’ll tell you whatever you need to know just close the damn door! Don’t let that hideous thing in here!”
Hermione sliced the carrots slowly, unaware of exactly what she was doing. Ever since Draco’s sudden reaction to her remarks, she had been lost in thought about what he had said.
He seemed really angry when she mentioned his family. He said he wasn’t like them. The way he gripped her arm…it gave her shivers to remember.
She pushed away all those thoughts and dumped the diced carrots into the boiling soup over the stove fire.
It wasn’t anywhere near dinnertime, but she just made an excuse to stay away from Draco that day. She planned on just giving him his dinner and leaving his room for the rest of the night. She didn’t want to feel his cold stare on her again, even though he couldn’t actually see her. She didn’t even want to think how he would look at her if he did actually see her.
As she poured the soup into a bowl she heard a loud crashing noise in the living room. She dropped the pan with a loud clank and ran in the other room.
Hermione gasped at the sight before.
Lying at the foot of the stairs, Draco was rolling around in agony as he gripped his arm and groaned.
Hermione rushed to his aid. “Dear Merlin! Are you alright?” She tried to lift Draco up, but he was too heavy, so instead of making him stand, she pushed him upright against the wall.
Draco bit his bottom lip to stop him from groaning, but the look on his face was scrunched in pain.
“Where are you hurt?” Hermione asked, forgetting all her anger and confusion, focusing on her patient; just like a nurse would do.
“I’m fine,” Draco moaned, but that was a lie. “It’s nothing major. Just some bruises on my legs and back.”
Hermione immediately noticed blood on his arm. “You’re bleeding! Let me take a look at that.” There was a large bleeding gash spreading from his elbow to his upper muscular shoulder. “I’m going to have to fix that.” She stood up, searching the room for her wand. Where on earth did I put it?
“It’s nothing.” Draco, on the other hand, was trying to stand up by himself. “It’s just a small cut that happened when I fell down the stairs.”
“A small cut? Merlin, it’s as long as the Nile River! Let’s get you to the sofa.” Hermione took a hold of left arm, helping Draco to his feet. With much effort, they succeeded and struggled to the sofa, where Hermione released Malfoy.
“Hang on a second.” Hermione rushed to the kitchen, taking a quick glance around for her wand.
When she didn’t see it anywhere, she damped a towel and went back to Malfoy’s aid. “Hold up your arm. I’m going to wipe the blood clean.”
Draco did what he was told without a single word. Hermione wiped the spilling blood clean from his arm.
“Where did you get the cut from?” She asked while wiping the blood.
“I-I fell down the stairs,” Draco replied.
“You couldn’t have gotten this cut from a fall down the stairs. This looks like something sharp cut deep through your skin tissue.”
Draco swallowed hard and pulled his arm away.
“Hey! What are you doing? You’re going to get blood on the sofa!” Hermione protested.
Draco didn’t say anything, but held his arm against his chest securely.
Hermione watched him for a few seconds. “Here. At least put some pressure with the towel on top of the cut to stop it from bleeding.” Hermione wrapped the towel around his arm and Draco gripped it tightly on his wound.
“I’ll be back.” Hermione started to get up, but Draco seemed panicky.
“Where are you going?” He asked suddenly sitting upright.
“I’m going to look for my wand. I misplaced it somewhere.” Hermione went for the stairs and stopped. “Are you sure you’re okay?”
“I’m…fine,” Draco whispered without turning his head.
As Hermione ascended the stairs, she noticed small drops and smudges on the carpet of the stairs, but nothing that showed Draco might have been injured there. On the top floor, she saw blood drops on the white carpet all over the place. It looked as if after Draco was hurt he tried to make his way to the restroom, but couldn’t find his way properly.
Just as she thought, the blood stains were coming from Draco’s room. She opened the door and took a peek inside. She saw that there was a suitcase on the edge of the bed. It wasn’t locked so Malfoy must have been searching through it.
Hermione felt strange about going through Malfoy’s personals, but her curiosity got the best of her. Besides, the blood stains were also on the bed.
She approached the bed slowly taking in every moment of suspense that filled her. She put out her hand on the trunk, tossing the top backwards.
A shrill scream filled the air. It was as if some alarm had gone off when she opened the suitcase. “Intruder! Intruder! Intruder!”
She grabbed the top and flipped it on the suitcase again, shutting it. Successfully, the screaming had stopped, but another angry voice was yelling downstairs.
“Jean! Jean!” Draco’s voice echoed through the house.
Hermione went back downstairs, figuring Malfoy heard the racquet and wanted to question what she was doing.
“What is it?” She asked as casually as possible.
Draco was already waiting for her at the foot of the stairs. “What do you think you‘re doing?”
“What do you mean?”
“Why did you go upstairs?”
“I told you. I went to search for my wand.”
“And you just happened to think that your wand was in my room?” Draco’s stare got hard.
“Well, that was a possibility now wasn’t it?”
“Was it also a possibility that your wand might have been inside my suitcase?”
Hermione swallowed. “I-I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Don’t lie to me!” Draco stepped on the first step of the stairs. “I know that noise. I put that alarm in there myself. What right did you have to go through my stuff?”
At least now you know the feeling. Hermione narrowed her eyes. "Well, you weren’t telling me the truth about that cut on your arm. Maybe if you didn’t lie about it I wouldn’t have to go searching through your stuff.”
“What I tell you is my business. If you’re damn confidential about your life then so am I.” Draco squeezed his arm tighter and tighter. Hermione could see the veins popping under the skin in his hand.
“Fine then, I guess I’ll be getting too personal if I say that I can mend that cut for you.” Hermione mocked.
Draco sighed deeply and his facial expression relaxed. “Wait.” He said, but Hermione never moved an inch. “Listen…I didn’t mean to be…rude.”
Hermione waited for it, but the apology never came.
“Anything else you want to add?” She asked curiously.
Draco waited a few seconds and light breathing filled the gap in between them.
“Well, there is one thing,” He said, rubbing the bottom of his chin. “Can you sit with me?”
Hermione was taken a back. “Wh--what?”
“Can you sit with me here? I just don’t want to be alone right now.” Draco made his way back to the sofa, sitting down lightly.
Doesn’t want to be alone? What am I, his shrink? Hermione took two steps down the stairs. “Um…sure, but I have to warn you that I’m not ready for an open conversation just yet.”
Draco chuckled softly. “I’m alright with that.”
Hermione took her seat across from Draco on the other sofa, watching him carefully.
“Well?” He said after a moments of silence.
“You said you were going to mend my cut. I’m not a nurse, but I think stopping the blood from spilling out of me soon will help.”
Hermione sighed. Right. Just tell me what to do…that’ll make things a whole lot better. “I have to find my wand first. I don’t know where I placed it.”
“Do all nurses lose their equipment?” Draco joked, but Hermione frowned.
“Do you want me to fix that cut or make it deeper?” Hermione threatened and Draco turned pale.
“Ah, here it is.” Hermione retrieved her wand from the floor beside the fireplace. I don’t know how I missed it.She took another good look at Draco’s cut before mending it with her wand. It was pretty deep. Only a knife could have given him that kind of a cut. I wonder what really happened.
After she was through mending his cut together with some magical stitches, she released his arm, but suddenly, Draco caught her hand in his own.
Hermione tried to pull it away, but he kept it tight in his own hand.
“What are you doing?” She asked almost panicky.
“I know that I can be hard sometimes, but that’s only because…” He took a deep breath, “…that’s how I was raised. It’s not something I’m proud of, I can assure you. I don’t want us to keep up this vendetta between us. You’re a great nurse and I am a good guy and I just want you to know it.”
Hermione swallowed uneasily. She seemed frozen at his words. The Malfoy she knew was never so kind.
Draco’s expression turned soft and Hermione immediately noticed something in his eyes she never seen before, emotion.
Before Hermione could react, Draco brought her hand to his lips and kissed it lightly. “Can you forgive me Jean?”
Hermione stood up like she was shocked with electricity suddenly. She yanked her hand away, watching her patient’s face turn from soft to concern.
“Jean? Is everything alright?” He asked standing on his feet. He put out his hand and almost touched Hermione on her shoulder, but she moved out of his way.
“Ye-yes, I-I’m fine.”
“So do you forgive me then?”
“Huh? Yeah…um…I do.” Hermione left the living room and went into the kitchen, rubbing the top of her hand as if she had been bitten by a mosquito. He must have really lost a lot of blood.
Gregory Goyle was thrown backwards into a dark cell by two Azkaban guards.
“Hey! Let me out of here!” Goyle yelled, grasping the iron bars. “Let me out! I told you what you needed to know, now let me go!”
“You are a wanted Death Eater,” Mr. Weasley said behind the cell. “You committed thirteen murders. The murder of Mr. and Mrs. Vane, John Dawlish, Dennis Creevy, Michael Corner, Stewart Ackerley, Eleanor Branstone, Sally-Anne Perks, Mr. Wood, Rose Zeller, Xavier Rastrick, Geoffrey Hooper and…Percy Weasley.”
Goyle pounded the cell with his fists. “Damn you to hell, Weasley!”
“You may be going there first, Goyle.” Mr. Weasley said plainly before leaving.
Vincent Crabbe was walking alone outside a park in Buckingham, England. He pulled out a flask from his inside cloak pocket and chugged it down.
A few middle-aged women passed by. The first two were brunette with short and shoulder length hair wearing jeans and flowered blouses. The two behind them, a blond and African American lady with black braids were busy chatting nosily.
“Why hello there,” Vincent said, pulling off his glasses in an attractive manner. The girls snickered with each other and scooted past him.
However, a girl with blond curly hair did happen to stop. “Hi. My name is Ursula.” She said in an American accent holding out her hand.
Vincent grinned with pleasure. He took her hand and kissed it. “My name is Vincent.”
Ursula giggled in a girlish fashion.
“You’re an American, right?” He asked her.
Ursula nodded her head, blushing all the same. “How did you know?”
“Your accent, its different.” Vincent gave her hand a little squeeze. “But it’s very beautiful.”
Ursula giggled again.
“Are you alone here?”
“Unfortunately I am.” Ursula’s face went sour. “My sister and brother didn’t want to join me to look at the beautiful sights of Buckingham. They fled off to France instead. They said that to meet here in a couple of days. Until then I’m here by myself.” She battered her eyelashes at Vincent.
“You won’t be alone any longer.” He said gravely. “I’ll be happy to show you around.”
Ursula smiled proudly.
Vincent held out his arm for her. She slid her arm through.
“Who knows?” He said, winking at her. “Maybe we’ll even take a tour of my mansion.”
“You have a mansion?” Ursula exclaimed. “Cool!”
Vincent chuckled at Ursula’s American remark. He found the language peculiar.
“Where’s your mansion?” Ursula pressed on. “Can we go there now?”
“Not just yet, no. We have to wait first.”
“But why?” Ursula pouted like a little girl. “Can’t we go there now? I’ve never been inside a mansion before.”
Vincent chuckled. “My dear, now’s not the perfect timing. You see, I have a few guests that are staying with me at the moment and they wouldn’t be pleased to see that I’ve brought home another,” he said in a king-like manner.
Ursula gave him a playful shove. “Please. Pretty please with a cherry on top.”
Vincent stopped and took a long look at her. She was quite attractive. A few of her large curls hung in front of her slender shoulders. Her make-up was done to perfection. She looked like an angel with red rose petals for lips. Her dress was clinging to her body so closely that Vincent couldn’t help but to stare at her bosom. Her slender legs went on for miles. Altogether, she looked like a model.
When Ursula noticed Vincent eying her, she bit her bottom lip sexily. She pressed herself closer to him. “I promise I’ll be a good girl,” she whispered suggestively.
Vincent gulped and held Ursula closer and breathed on her cheek. “I’ll make sure of it.”
Hermione didn’t want to think about anything, but lying in her bed and letting sleep engulf her.
As she shut off the remaining lights downstairs and headed upstairs, she noticed that Malfoy’s door was slightly opened. She saw that he was already fast asleep.
She sighed and went to her bedroom. She changed, as quickly as possible, into her pyjamas and collapsed onto her bed. She threw the blankets over herself and stared plainly into the darkness.
Something wasn’t right. She couldn’t find sleep so she tried something else. She tried counting sheep like her mother taught her to do at a young age. That attempt was also fruitless.
She flipped to her right side and stared out the window. There were shinning stars in all directions. She decided to count the stars instead since they were more interesting to watch. After counting 433 stars and still not being sleepy, she checked her clock for the time. It was half past eleven.
She sighed deeply and sat up, fluffing her pillow this time.
Endless thoughts kept squirming through her head like a non-stop rollercoaster. It was getting pretty annoying.
Why can’t I sleep? Hermione thought angrily. She flipped onto her back once more.
Over a room away, she could hear the light snores of Malfoy.
“Ugh,” she whispered in disgust. Why does he have to snore so loudly? Doesn’t he annoy me enough already?
Hermione bit her bottom lip in frustration and thought. He goes around knocking stuff over like a clumsy drunk! I can’t wait until this is over! I don’t want to be by him ever again. She turned to her left side this time, her hands folded under her ear.
Hermione yawned loudly. He’s just the same. He’s just like all the rest of them. Hermione’s eyelids were getting heavy. Dim-witted, spoiled, idiot--Hermione’s thoughts shut off as her eyes finally closed.
Hermione opened her eyes and saw that daylight was shining through her window like a blinding headlight. She shielded her eyes with her hands as she sat up.
She heard clanks of dishes downstairs. She listened for the sound of a voice, but there none came. She figured Malfoy must have gone downstairs and wandered accidentally into the kitchen, dropping things over.
Hermione took a deep, annoyed sigh and pulled the blankets off of herself and went to the bathroom to get ready for yet another long day.
Another crash of a pan falling into the sink reached her ears.
She tidied herself up and went back to her room, changing out of her pyjamas.
As she walked down the stairs and into the living room, the noise stopped. It was so silent she thought Malfoy may have killed himself.
She opened the swinging door leading to the kitchen and saw Malfoy sitting at the table with his back turned towards her.
He held up a cup to his lips and took a sip. Hermione guessed it may have been coffee since there was a pan in the sink.
She was a bit surprised that he had managed to make coffee, but after all, he did need to learn these things anyway; the sooner, the better.
She went to the fridge and opened it, retrieving a gallon of Sunny Delight. She went over to the sink and washed a glass for herself, pouring the orange juice.
She inhaled the sweet smell and drank it in one gulp.
“Finally awake are you?” Draco asked in an icy voice. He didn’t look up from the table, but kept his eyes and face downward.
Hermione watched him slowly. “Yeah, I was pretty tired. I couldn’t sleep last night.” Hermione went over to the stove and pulled out a frying pan so she could prepare some egg omelettes. “What would you like for breakfast?”
“I already ate,” Malfoy replied plainly.
Hermione did notice that he also had a piece of toast on a plate in front of him. There was a butter knife dipped in grape jelly beside the plate.
“You sure you don’t want anything else?” Hermione asked uneasily.
Hermione waited a few seconds as the clock ticked loudly in the other room. Looks like he woke up on the wrong side of the bed today, she thought as she examined him.
“How long did you think you could keep this up?” Malfoy asked suddenly.
Hermione stared at him blankly. “What are you talking about?”
“You know exactly what I’m talking about, Granger.”
Hermione’s eyes literally bulged out of her head. She backed herself into the kitchen counter behind her. “Wh-what did you say?”
“You heard me…” Malfoy looked up and looked at her directly in her eyes, “Granger, I know who you are.”
Hermione swallowed uneasily as she watched Malfoy get up and approach her. “You can see?”
“You think I wouldn’t find out?” He said, his voice was as cool as his eyes. “You think I’m an idiot?” He seized Hermione by her shoulders. “Well I do know! I can see everything now!”
Hermione gasped as she tried to pull away from his strong grip. “Let go Malfoy!”
Malfoy pressed harder against Hermione, making her gasp louder due to the counter stabbing in her back behind her.
She tried to kick her legs, but Malfoy didn’t leave any space between them.
“Afraid, Granger?” Malfoy breathed, making her shiver. “That’s how I felt when I was blind, but you didn’t care.”
“Y-yes, I-I did care.” Hermione stuttered, but that only made Malfoy angrier.
“You had a hell of a way of showing it!” He dug his fingers deeper into her shoulder blades. “You didn’t give a damn about me, Granger! You thought less of me even though I was in need of your aid!”
“Malfoy, get the hell away from me!” Hermione screamed at him, but he only smirked.
“I’m going to make you suffer for the way you treated me.”
"You make idle threats Malfoy." Hermione said in what she had hoped was a threatening and mocking voice, but she still felt a single tear drop slide down her cheek.
"You think so?" He asked with a raise of his eyebrow. Hermione forced herself to stare into his frightening eyes. "Don't tempt me to do something worse to you." He watched as Hermione took a noticable gulp.
“I despise you, Granger.” Draco whispered his face closing in on hers, licking his lips. “I despise you so much.”
“Then kill me already. I’d rather be dead.” Hermione said in determination.
Malfoy laughed again. “Death is what you want and death is what you deserve, but I won’t give you that pleasure easily. No… I’m going to torture you. I’m going to give you exactly what you deserve.”
Hermione struggled against him, terribly frightened. He was strong, very strong and she wasn’t even armed for this. She had absently left her wand in the bathroom upstairs.
She did the only thing that came to her mind that time: she stomped down on his bare foot with her shoe.
Just as she hoped, Malfoy pulled away from her, holding his foot in his hand. She shoved him backwards with all her might and grabbed the butcher knife on the counter. She held it up at him.
She was breathing hard, taking rapid breaths since the battle had worn her out fast.
Malfoy stood where he was and glared at Hermione. He took a step towards her, but Hermione was ready.
“Don’t you dare take another step if you want to live,” she said in a hurried and threatening voice.
“You wouldn’t,” Draco whispered, taking another hesitant step.
“I would! Just try me!” She screamed at him, obviously beginning to panic. She had never killed anybody and even though this was Malfoy, she couldn’t see herself murdering him.
Draco smirked at her uneasiness and went for her wrist, but missed completely. Without thinking twice, Hermione swung the butcher knife in one swift motion, barely scratching Malfoy across the chest, making a horizontal rip on his t-shirt. The cut was no bigger than a paper cut.
Malfoy stumbled backwards, in obvious surprise, but he got over it quick enough. "Is that the best you got, Granger? You're going to have to do better than that." He narrowed his eyes at her and was about to advance once more, when suddenly, he fell on his knees on the marble floor. He looked up at Hermione with emotional eyes.
Hermione placed her hand over her mouth; her eyes watered from the horrifying scene before her. All she could think was I killed Malfoy!
“Je-Jean…” Draco whispered, his breathing laboured, “Why? Why, Jean?”
**A/N: Sorry that this chapter was shorter than the others so far, but I didn't want to add so much detail in this one because well...that's what the next few chapters are for. ^_^ Hope you continue enjoying! Please leave a review! It makes me *smile**
Hermione stood still as she watched Malfoy’s body fall to the ground in slow motion. The moment felt surreal.
He fell at her feet, his hands securely around his chest. Blood poured on the kitchen floor like a huge rain puddle.
Hermione did nothing but stare at the body, hoping it was all a dream.
“M-Malfoy?” she croaked.
Draco didn’t move, but his eyes were open and un-living.
She gave him a gentle kick in the shoulder to make sure that he wasn’t dead. When he didn’t move, she began to cry hysterically. Her legs gave out underneath her, letting her fall down onto her knees besides Malfoy’s body.
“He‘s dead!” she cried frantically. “I killed him!” She dropped her face into her hands, sobbing.
“J-Jean…” Draco whispered.
Hermione looked up from her hands, staring unbelievingly at the body on the floor. Malfoy was moving his head to the sides slowly.
“Jean…” Draco said again, looking up. He wasn’t looking directly at her which surprised Hermione.
I thought he could see. She felt chills run down her spine and she slid backwards just in case he was faking and was plotting to attack her again.
“Help me,” he said as a tear slid from his eye.
Hermione watched him with sad eyes. She thought he was dead and now that he was alive--which was good news to her--she couldn’t believe he was asking for her help.
“Help me, Jean. Please.”
“You--you harassed me,” Hermione said in a mere whisper.
Draco took in a sharp breath, gasping at the pain coming from his chest. Blood continued pouring out. He didn’t say anything at first, but then dropped his head to the marble kitchen floor limp again. He’d fainted.
Hermione’s mind and heart were racing like mad. If she was going to do something, she had to do it fast.
She ran into the other room, up the stairs, retrieving her wand from the bathroom. She didn’t care that she stained the carpet along the way.
She came back into the kitchen to find that the body was gone. She froze. All that was in the kitchen was a big, bloody mess, but no body.
Merlin. Hermione gasped, gripping her wand tightly. She was armed and prepared, this time for the worst. She noticed some bloody foot prints leading to the other end of the kitchen and outside into the backyard. She followed them hesitantly.
As she neared the back door, she heard voices; familiar voices. One belonged to Draco…and the other…
She cracked the door open for a bit and saw the last person she expected to see: Bellatrix Lestrange.
She was standing over a body that was on the ground. When Hermione peeked closer, she saw that Draco was on the green grass, grasping his bleeding chest with one hand and his wand in the other. He was glaring at his aunt. Hermione waited and listened.
“You’re a disgrace!” Bellatrix said, spitting at Draco.
“I won’t let you do it,” Draco replied through gritted teeth.
“You’re as pathetic as that Mudblood.” Bellatrix stopped pacing and stood straight with confidence. “After I’m through with you, I’ll go kill her myself.”
Hermione gasped. She pulled her wand up safely against her chest, her body shaking. She waited some more, not being able to decide whether to call for help, save herself or save Draco.
“Don’t do it,” Draco continued, trying to sit up, but that caused him great pain. “I won’t let you.”
Bellatrix laughed maliciously. “The Imperius Curse was working perfectly. That is until the Mudblood had to strike you with that knife.” She sighed contently. “Oh, well. Now I just have to kill you both. I was going to start with the Mudblood, but then I remembered…family always comes first. Avada Kedavra!”
“No!!!” Hermione screamed launching forward. The last thing she saw was a bright green light filling her eyes.
Hermione jumped up at once, breathing heavily. She heard a scream fill her ears at once. She knew she had a nightmare, but she wasn’t the one screaming. No, the sound was coming from another place in the house; a room right beside hers.
Malfoy, she thought.
The nightmare was still fresh in her mind and she couldn’t get past the idea that Bellatrix might be in the house. Hermione threw off her blankets and lit her wand, rushing her way to Malfoy’s room.
There, she saw that Malfoy’s blankets were kicked away, and he was thrashing around violently, talking in his sleep.
“No! Don’t!” he yelled, throwing his hands into the air frantically.
Hermione approached him and saw that he was sweating like mad.
She summoned a wash bin filled with cool water and a towel into the room with her wand.
She was a bit hesitant to sit next to Malfoy after her frightening nightmare.
She sighed. No, I have to do this. It’s my duty.
She wetted the towel and damped it gently on Malfoy’s head. He stopped screaming and thrashing, but was still whispering.
“I--I can’t. Please,” he breathed.
Hermione watched his expression closely. His eyes were closed and his fists were clenched tightly by his sides.
“No…please,” he paused for a moment. He was breathing shallowly.
Hermione continued wiping the sweat from his forehead with the cloth. She pressed the towel from one part of his forehead, to his ghost-like face.
Suddenly, Malfoy made a grab at her wrist.
Panicked, Hermione tried to pull away, but Malfoy spoke hoarsely with shut eyes. “Don’t leave me.”
He loosened his grip and Hermione stumbled backwards into the wardrobe. She stared unbelievingly at Malfoy.
Why is he so grabby? She thought, rubbing at her wrist.
She had dropped the towel on the floor beside the bed. She stood perfectly still for a moment, eyeing Malfoy like he was about to jump out at her.
He was breathing lightly now, his hands open; one on his chest and the other under his head.
Hermione shook her head and retrieved the towel and wash bin, leaving the room. She took one last glance at Malfoy, shivers running through her body.
Millicent Bulstrode stood peacefully beside a window in a lavish room. She stared outside, fingering the windowsill.
“Are you going to stand there all day?” A voice said behind her.
She didn’t bother to turn around, but continued staring outside. “What’s it to you, Zabini?”
Blaise chuckled and approached her. “Listen, with Parkinson dead and Lucius in Azkaban prison, we should be really careful.” He paused for a moment, watching Millicent with dark eyes. “The house-elf, Marty, told me that you went out yesterday.”
“So?” Millicent asked focusing her attention on the windowsill.
“So, you shouldn’t be going outside during a time like this. May I remind you that the Order and Ministry are searching for us? This isn’t a time for a stroll. I don‘t want to see you ever leaving the mansion again without my permission, understood?”
Blaise gripped her upper arm tightly. “Understood?!”
Millicent glared at him. “Yes.”
He let go of her arm, “Good.” He left the room without another word.
Millicent cursed under her breath. She pounded her fist on the window. Something immediately caught her eye. She saw two figures coming towards the mansion gate.
“What the hell?” Millicent breathed, rushing down the stairs and into the dining room. She waited until the doors opened and the couple came in. She stood behind a wall, watching and listening.
“Oh, how beautiful!” The blonde girl was exclaiming, holding onto the man’s arm. “It’s so big! Can I have a tour?”
“Of course,” the lofty man replied, patting the eccentric woman’s hand.
Millicent’s face grew hot with anger. She showed herself in front of the happy couple.
“Millicent, what---" The man started, but Millicent stopped him in mid-sentence glaring at the pretty woman.
“Vincent!” She complained, pointing a chubby finger at the woman, “Who the hell is she?”
Hermione woke up at exactly five o’clock, sunrise the following morning. After the nightmare she had and checking on Draco every half hour, she couldn’t find sleep again. The night had been bad enough for her, sleeping again gave her shivers. She didn’t want to dream.
She grabbed a pair of her clothes and headed for the shower. She decided to wait to make breakfast since it was so early. She didn’t want to make too much noise since she was afraid of waking Draco. She didn’t want to face him that early yet.
Around fifteen minutes to six, she sat on her bed, drying her wet hair with her towel. Knowing that she couldn’t stay in her room forever, she went downstairs as silently as possible, causing a creak in the stairs once or twice.
She went into the kitchen to make breakfast for herself. Before she entered, she patted her jean pocket, making sure her wand was with her.
Hermione opened the door and pulled out her wand immediately at the sight before her. Draco was already in the kitchen, seated in the same chair as her dream. The only difference was that his head was resting on his folded arms on the table.
She pointed her wand directly behind his head, approaching him cautiously. She kept eyeing the backyard door as if Bellatrix herself would come in and battle her.
She could hear Draco’s light breathing.
He’s asleep, Hermione thought as she saw Malfoy’s face on top of his arms. What is he doing here?
Hermione stood where she was a moment longer, studying Malfoy. His messy hair was in front of his forehead, covering the top of his eyes. His light pink lips were slightly apart. He looked much different sleeping the way he was.
Hermione was unaware that she was smiling at the sight of him. He needs a haircut.
She noticed that there was a glass that was half filled with water beside him on the table. She shook her head and started to make some pancakes. She took out a flat pan and some eggs from the fridge.
Draco moved his head from one side to the other, but his movement caused the glass on the table to fall down, shattering on the marble floor. He woke up with a start. “Huh? Wha--?” He moved his hands frantically around the table. “Shit. I broke it.”
“Yeah, you did,” Hermione replied, watching him.
“Huh? Jean, is that you?”
“No, it’s the Queen of England,” Hermione joked.
To her surprise, Draco chuckled at her humour. “Is it morning already?
“Yeah,” Hermione said, mixing the eggs with the pancake flour. “What do you want for breakfast?” Hermione flipped the pancakes, keeping a watchful eye on Malfoy just in case. Once or twice, she even fingered her wand in her pocket.
“Nothing, I’m not that hungry,” Draco said when Hermione took a seat across the table from him.
Hermione ate her pancakes in silence, looking up at Draco a few times. He was folding and unfolding his hands constantly like he was bothered by something.
“Why did you come here, to the kitchen?” Hermione finally asked him after a few minutes.
“I came to get a drink of water. I guess I fell asleep here without knowing it,” Draco replied hesitantly.
“Did you sleep well last night?” Hermione asked watching him closely.
“Uh, yeah, it was…okay,” he replied uneasily.
“I guess you don’t remember screaming in your dream?” Hermione pressed.
Draco went pale, grasping his hands tightly. He bowed his head down. “You heard me?”
“I bet the whole neighbourhood heard you,” Hermione said, taking a sip out of her orange juice. “What were you dreaming about?”
“It was nothing,” Draco replied quickly.
“It didn’t sound like nothing. You kept saying things like ‘Don’t. Please. Don’t leave me.’”
Draco swallowed, going white as a sheet. “I-I said that?”
“Yeah, and you also grabbed me again.”
“Sorry,” he whispered slightly, the apology barely reached Hermione’s ears.
“What were you dreaming about?” Hermione asked curiously.
“Why do you want to know?” Draco asked cautiously.
Because maybe it’ll give some leads to the Ministry and Order! Hermione cleared her throat. She had to pick her words carefully if she wanted something out of Draco. “I’m your nurse and I want to help you. I can only help if you let me.”
Draco loosened up at her remark. “Okay then,” he said. “I’ll tell you. I had a dream about my mother.” Draco contemplated, brushing his hair back out of his face. “When I was a little child, my mother would always leave me.”
“Why?” Hermione asked.
“She had places to go; people to meet. I had to stay home all the time with…” He bit his bottom lip, “…my father.”
“Well, my mother wouldn’t come back for weeks, sometimes for months.”
“Was she working for someone?” Hermione pressed, obviously interested in finding answers.
Draco shook his head. “No. She didn’t work. My father did all the work. She only left to meet with her old school friends and sometimes…relatives. Last night, I had a dream that I was 8 years old and she was leaving me again. This time, she was leaving to America and said that she wouldn’t be back for a year or two. She said that I would be in the care of my father.”
Hermione watched Draco’s expression darken at the mention of his father. “You didn’t get along with your father, did you?”
“No.” Draco said in an angst manner. “He would constantly beat me whenever I would mention my mother. He didn’t like me talking about her while she was gone.” He paused, taking a long breath. “And that’s it.”
“What do you mean?” Hermione asked puzzled.
“That’s all of my dream,” Draco replied.
“Can you lead me outside, Jean? I’d like to sit in the sun for a while,” Draco said standing up.
“Sure.” Hermione reached him and grabbed his arm with easiness. She led him to the back door, and released him to a patio chair where he sat.
Hermione decided to stay with him for a while longer.
I think I’ll stay out here. It’s a beautiful day and there’s nothing important to do. Hermione took a seat on the soft grass under an apple tree’s shade. She looked up at the sky, pondering what Draco had just told her. He must hate his father more than the rest of us.
Millicent tried prying herself out of Vincent’s hard grip, but it was impossible. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” he barked at her in a closed room.
“You didn’t answer my question! Who is she?!” Millicent snapped back.
“She’s my guest and you sure as hell didn’t treat her like one!”
“Maybe that’s because you’re drooling like a stray dog all over her! She’s a common whore and that’s how she should be treated!”
Vincent slapped Millicent swiftly across the face. She placed her hand over her cheek, tears filling her angry eyes.
“You stay the hell out of our way,” he said darkly before tossing Millicent backwards off her feet, on to the floor.
Vincent left, slamming the door shut behind him.
Millicent kicked the wall with her foot, sobbing madly.
Outside the room, Vincent found Ursula in the living room, the way he left her. She was chatting with someone amusedly and Vincent hoped it wasn’t Marty, the house-elf.
As he got closer, he saw that it wasn’t a house-elf she was talking with, but a person.
“Blaise, what are you doing here?” Vincent asked, staring at the man seated on the feathered sofa beside Ursula.
The pair looked up at him. Blaise stood up with confidence, helping Ursula up as well.
“Vincent, you didn’t tell me that you were bringing a guest,” Blaise said, grinning proudly.
“Yes, well…it was last minute,” Vincent replied through gritted teeth, trying to hint at Blaise’s departure. Being obnoxious as he was, Blaise didn’t move an inch. “Ursula,” Vincent continued, focusing his attention on the blonde now, “shall we continue with our tour?”
“Oh, Blaise gave me the tour already,” Ursula replied smiling.
“It was my pleasure,” Blaise said courtly, kissing Ursula’s hand. She blushed and Vincent went red, too, but it was from anger.
“Yes, thank you, Blaise. Now, if you’ll excuse us, I’d like to chat with Ursula in private.” Vincent said, pushing between them. He grabbed hold of Ursula’s hand, and instead of waiting for a response, he left upstairs, pulling a flustered Ursula behind him.
“What the hell is his problem?” Blaise asked no one in particular.
“I’ll tell you what his problem is!” Millicent said coming behind him, “She’s his problem! Bloody whore!” she cursed.
“Now, now, Millicent, there’s no need for name calling. She’s a guest, not a whore. There was only one whore we knew of and she’s already dead.”
“I don’t care!” Millicent screamed at him. “I don’t like her!”
Blaise scoffed. “You’re just jealous.”
“Why should I be jealous?”
“You’re jealous because you’re not over Vincent.”
Now Millicent scoffed. She placed her fat hands on her chubby waist. “I’m not jealous. I just don’t think she’s good news.”
“Right,” Blaise said, brushing past her. “If someone is better looking than you, they’re immediately not good news. Get a life, Millicent, stop ruining others’.”
“I should say the same for you, Zabini! You were the one who was trying to snog her behind Vincent’s back. You’re the one who should be getting a life.”
“It’s not my fault I attract women. I can’t help it. It runs in the family,” Blaise said smoothly, smirking.
“Looks like it skipped a generation,” Millicent whispered as Blaise left the room.
She stood in the living room, glaring at the room upstairs. “There’s something about that woman that cannot be trusted. I can sense it. I’ll find out myself soon enough.”
Hermione woke up bright and early the next morning. Around seven, she jumped out of bed and headed for the shower. After tidying herself up, she jogged down the stairs, tying her wet and bushy hair in a ponytail, heading for the kitchen. She was wearing a red t-shirt with denim shorts since it was getting pretty hot for summer.
Once in the kitchen, she summoned a piece of parchment and quill and started noting down stuff for her grocery shopping.
She finished her list and went into the other room, rolling up the parchment and putting it in her left pocket, with her wand securely in her right.
She threw on her shoes and made her way back up stairs to Draco’s room. She found him sound asleep peacefully. The sheets were only covering his legs and down. Apparently he was feeling the heat as well for he did not have a shirt on. The bandage from his wound was the only visible cloth on his upper body at that moment. He had one arm across his stomach, and the other was across his forehead.
Hermione noticed that his chest had a few droplets of sweat trickling down. She had the sudden urge to wipe it clean, but thought otherwise. She focused her attention else where.
Something that caught her notice right away was that Draco didn’t have a Death Eater’s mark on his arm. She remembered how he was given the task to murder Dumbledore, but couldn’t do it. He had to be a Death Eater. There was no way of getting rid of that mark. Even Snape couldn’t rid of it after switching sides.
She remembered how Draco’s right arm was bleeding like crazy a few days ago and he was over protective when she tried to heal it for him. He kept gripping his arm securely against his chest for some reason. Hermione thought, Maybe he tried to cut his tattoo up with a razor blade? A butcher knife perhaps?
Either way she thought about it, didn’t make sense. The dark mark couldn’t just vanish with a simple cut through the vein. It had to be more complicated than that. She shook her head of the views. Why do I even care about getting rid of the Dark Mark? It’s not like I was branded with one for life. Thank Merlin.
She started to leave, but Draco stirred from his sleep. He stretched his arms high in the air as he yawned loudly. He rubbed his eyes for a minute and kicked off the blankets from his legs with his feet. (He was wearing light blue boxers). He turned to his side and sat on the edge of the bed for a moment, bowing his head down.
“Are you alright?” Hermione asked still standing at her place beside the door.
Draco looked up suddenly, surprised somewhat, but sighed and brushed his hair back with his hand. “Yeah. What are you doing here?”
“I just came to check on you. I was about to go out for some grocery shopping and I thought I’d let you know first,” Hermione said, twisting the doorknob in her hand.
Draco stood up now. “You’re going out and you were going to leave me here alone?”
Hermione was taken a back. “I thought maybe you wouldn’t want to come.”
Draco scoffed. “You should have asked me first.”
“Well, you were asleep. I didn’t want to bother you,” Hermione retorted back.
Draco’s frown turned into a gentle smile. “I’m awake. You can ask me now.”
Now it was Hermione’s turn to scoff. “Do I have to ask you when I already know the answer now?”
Draco smiled at her remark. “I guess I better be getting ready then.”
“I’ll be downstairs,” Hermione said and without waiting for a reply she left his room.
Lucius Malfoy stared outside a single window in the sitting room. He touched the window as a gentle summer breeze flowed through the trees. He sighed.
He missed the outdoors. He had been inside the asylum for so long that he had forgotten the feel of a simple breeze through his luxurious hair. He missed the feel of freedom.
Light foot steps approached from behind him, but Lucius didn’t budge. A shadow covered his view. He turned around to see none other than Fredrick Wilson cheekily grinning at him.
Lucius tried walk away, but Fredrick stood in his way. “Listen friend, I got something here that you might find interesting,” he said checking the place for unwanted witches and wizards (guards). He pulled out a long wooden stick with the golden etchings ASLYUM WAND.
Lucius’s eyes nearly popped out at the sight of it. He tried to touch the wand, but Fredrick safely tucked it back under his shirt.
“I know, I know. You’re wondering how I got this baby. It was pretty risky business, but man I gotta tell ya, it was totally worth it!” Fredrick exclaimed.
Lucius opened his mouth as if about to say something, but closed it again with the shock that consumed him.
Fredrick smirked proudly. “Now Malfoy, it’s your choice. Are you in or are you out?”
Hermione murmured the items off her list as she rolled the cart in the grocery store. Draco was right beside her, his left hand on the cart as it rolled.
“Potatoes,” Hermione said as she looked up from her list. They were currently in the bakery aisle. “I forgot the potatoes. I’ll be right back. Don’t go anywhere.”
Draco nodded his head and chuckled. “You won’t have to worry about that Jean. There’s no reason for me to leave.”
Hermione smiled as she walked away thinking about what Malfoy just said. ‘There’s no reason for me to leave.’ I wonder what he meant by that.
She shook her head, a smile still plastered on her face as she turned the corner of the next aisle. As she lifted a heavy potato bag from a box, she saw two men walking by with long, black cloaks on. Giving in to her curiosity, she immediately followed them.
They walked to the aisle of sweets and candies, putting random items inside their cloaks like it were their home. They were talking in hushed voices. Hermione walked into the aisle before theirs, standing directly across from them, listening to their conversation.
“—Ha! What a plan, Flint! It’s just too bad Millicent and Blaise can’t be a part of it,” the first man said, retrieving a pack of Hershey’s and stuffing it in his pocket.
“It’s their bloody fault, Nott,” the other man replied viciously. “Damn those two for pulling a sick scheme like that…murdering Parkinson in the middle of our plans.”
“You know that it was a part of Lucius’s orders that she had to die, Flint,” the man named Nott said.
“To hell with Lucius’s orders! Since when do we have to listen to him when he’s stuck behind a cell?! My father was a better leader than he ever will be. I say Malfoy got what he deserves. Bloody bastard,” Flint complained, punching a box of M&M’s on the shelf.
“How are we going to deal with Millicent and Blaise if they’re following Lucius’s laid out plans?” Nott asked, biting off a Snickers’ wrapper with his teeth.
“Well, let’s get them on our side first. As soon as I get Slytherin’s jewel in my hands,” he chuckled maliciously, “let’s just say that in the end, Bulstrode and Zabini are going to get the same treatment that Parkinson got.”
Hermione gasped inwardly as she listened on to their conversation, temporarily forgetting that Draco was only an aisle away from them, waiting for her.
“What are we going to do about Draco then?” Nott asked helping himself to a piece of candy.
Flint smirked evilly. “When I get my hands on him, he’ll wish he was in the asylum beside his father.”
Both men started laughing cruelly.
Hermione felt like the world beneath her feet was spinning. Her heart had fallen into the pit of her stomach. And her heart was racing so fast and pounding so loud she was afraid that it was about to burst.
“Terrible what happened to his mother though,” Nott contemplated. “She was getting herself involved with death the moment she married that bastard Lucius.”
“I have this feeling that she had something to do with Grffyndor’s dagger,” Flint replied, relaxing his elbow on one of the shelves. A muggle woman passed by hurriedly at the sight of them.
“Oh, yeah. What makes you say that?”
“She was with that American doctor, what’s his name…?” Flint’s voice trailed off.
“Jack Walker,” Nott said.
“Yeah, that half-blood.”
“So, what about him?”
“You idiot. Narcissa was meeting with him. She was having an affair behind Lucius’s back.”
“I don’t blame her. A life with Lucius, I’d rather die,” Nott laughed.
Flint, ignoring Nott’s joke, continued, “That doctor was a specialist in finding historic treasure. He discovered the dagger when Narcissa last met with him on one of his trips. I read about it in the Mudblood paper. He described it as a dagger with jewels set in the handle and a “G” carved into the blade, which could only mean that…”
“…that it really is the dagger of Gryffindor,” Nott finished.
“He gave it to Narcissa. I’m sure of it,” Flint said, rubbing the bottom of his chin. “After all, they were having an affair, why wouldn’t he give her a precious discovery like that?”
“It makes sense. Where do you think it is now?” Nott said cleaning his teeth with his index finger nail.
“Don’t know. She probably gave it to Draco. If I find him, I’ll have that dagger as well as Slytherin’s jewel,” Flint burped loudly.
“What about Ravenclaw’s necklace then? I heard that Hufflepuff’s cup broke apart last year. That’s useless now.”
“Ravenclaw’s necklace is as useless as Hufflepuff’s cup. The only thing we need to worry about is getting Slytherin’s jewel from Egypt and then --”
“Jean!” Draco’s voice rang out through the store. Hermione felt like her heart was ripping in two. She had been so absorbed in Flint and Nott’s conversation; she didn’t realize that Draco was in the same store as his life depended on it. “Jean, where are you?”
Hermione quickly registered that Draco was nearing her aisle. What if they see him? Hermione thought panicky. She pulled out her wand and went in the direction of Draco’s voice. She figured out that Nott and Flint hadn’t figured out that it was Draco who was calling yet. She didn’t want to think what would happen if they did know he was in the same store as them.
She found Draco at the end of the bakery aisle, holding onto the shelf for sense of direction. “Jean!” He continued calling out. Hermione reached him and yanked him backwards by his hand. He almost fell down. “What the--?”
“Come on, let’s get out of here!” Hermione breathed, pulling him out of that aisle, into the next, leaving the cart and passing an elderly couple. She had to find a safe place to apparate; with no muggles around.
She reached the back of the store, but Draco pulled his hand away. He stopped in his tracks.
“What’s going on, Jean? Why are we running?” He asked, worried.
Hermione searched the area, making sure the two former Slytherins were not close by. A muggle husband and wife were staring at her strangely. Well, that was no surprise; she was out of breath from running through the aisles.
“Please, Draco, trust me. Let’s go,” she reached for Draco’s hand, but he didn’t move.
“Not until you tell me what’s going on,” he said again firmly this time.
“It’s not safe for you here. We have to---” She stopped as she saw Nott and Flint walk into their aisle. She pounced, literally, on Draco, both of them almost collapsing on the marble floor as she apparated them home. She didn’t care if any muggle saw them at that moment. She was just worried about getting Draco safely home.
They fell in their living room, on the soft carpet. Hermione opened her eyes and saw they were in their home, safe again. She breathed a sigh of relief, dropping her head onto Draco’s chest. His arms were safely wrapped around her, one hand on her lower back and the other hand behind her head.
“What was that about?” Draco breathed into Hermione’s hair.
Hermione lifted her head up from his chest and stared into his fearful eyes. “You’ve got a lot of explaining to do Draco.”
**A/N: I know, I know. It’s supposed to be “Grffyndor’s sword” not “dagger”, but they are completely two different items in my story, so I just wanted to clear that up. So yes, in my story, there is Grffyndor’s sword AND dagger. I know about the whole “horcruxes” (I.e. Hufflepuff’s cup, etc...), but this is an A.U. story, I can assure everyone. And the thing about the “dark mark tattoo” being on their arm for their whole life, yep, I made that one up, too. It’s all made up! I’ve had some people give me a hard time before (not on this story) about things that didn’t match so that’s why I had to mention this, but thanks to everyone that has been understanding with this story so far. :) **
Ronald Weasley’s day wasn’t going great so far. Annie, his assistant, had accidentally spilled hot coffee onto his lap when bringing his morning breakfast. Around lunch time, two over-sized men came barging into his office, arguing like a married couple about something that didn’t even concern Ron. And when Ron was getting ready to use the Floo Network home, he was transported into Knockturn Alley only to be told by an elderly squib that the Floo Network was not working properly.
Finally, he had no choice but to take a portkey home. He landed on the hill overlooking the Burrow. Now as Ron brushed the dead leaves off his tweed jacket, he walked hastily to his home, his expression tired. He entered the house and murmured a greeting without looking up.
He kicked his shoes off his feet and cursed when he nearly tripped over his own foot.
“Ronald!” Mrs. Weasley said in a firm, but nervous voice.
For the first time since Ron entered the Burrow, he looked up to see more than just red-heads seated at the dinner table. He noticed a certain blonde seated on the opposite side of Charlie. Her face was pink, but she smiled graciously at Ron.
“Luna,” Ron said, surprised. “What are you doing here?”
“Your father invited me to dinner,” she said, still smiling.
“You should have invited her yourself, Ron,” Mr. Weasley said, frowning.
“Well…I-I…didn’t…know…” Ron stammered, but Mrs. Weasley grabbed his arm and yanked him forward, motioning for him to sit next to Luna.
He plopped down on the seat, staring at everyone else. They were all wearing mischievous smiles.
Across from Ron sat Fleur, Bill, Charlie and Mr. Weasley at the end, while Ron and Luna were on the other side along with Mrs. Weasley.
His mother smiled graciously at everyone. “Well, what are we all waiting for?” Mrs. Weasley said, magically placing plates in front of everyone. “Let’s eat.”
Millicent paced back and forth in her room, occasionally stopping to listen for any footsteps that passed the hall and into the guest room. She had heard none yet.
“Where is that bloody woman?” She cursed.
The doorknob turned and the door squeaked open to reveal a tiny, beast-like creature.
“What the hell do you want, Wittleton?” Millicent angrily addressed the hesitant house-elf.
The house-elf bowed low to the ground. “Apologies, Miss,” he spoke gently. “I come to tell you lunch is ready.” The house-elf got ready to leave, but Millicent quickly spoke up.
Wittleton obeyed. “Yes, Miss?”
“Tell me where that American woman is.”
“You mean Ursula,” Wittleton said dreamily.
“Shut up and tell me where she is!” Millicent spat.
“She is in lavatory, Miss.”
Millicent tapped her chubby fingers on her mouth in thought. “Hmm….”
“May I leave now Miss?” Wittleton asked.
“Get out of my sight you sack of vermin!”
Wittleton snapped his fingers and he was gone in thin air.
“That’s the fifth time today that woman has gone to the lavatory. Something’s not right.” Millicent smirked. “Something’s not right, indeed.”
Hermione paced the room anxiously, every once or twice taking an impatient glance at Draco. He was rubbing his temples and looking bothered.
“Well?” Hermione asked, biting her bottom lip.
“That’s a lot you want to know, Jean,” Draco said, looking up.
“Then start from the beginning. I want to know,” Hermione said, sitting next to him.
Draco followed her movement and turned his face to the side. “What do you want to know?”
Hermione peered deep into his eyes. “Everything.”
“Before I can tell you anything Jean, I’d like to know first why were you in such a hurry to leave the grocery store? What happened? Who did you see?” Draco asked.
“Fine. If you really want to know who I saw, I’ll tell you. When I went to get the bag of potatoes, I came across two Death Eaters, Marcus Flint and Theodore Nott.” Hermione paused and watched Draco’s expression go pale. “Now, I don’t know about you, but I sure didn’t want to stick around.”
Draco swallowed and rubbed his hands together in silence.
“They had a lot of interesting things to chat about, Draco,” Hermione continued. “Now, it’s my turn to ask the questions.”
Draco slowly nodded his head. “Ask away,” He whispered.
“What on earth were two purebloods like Flint and Nott doing in a muggle grocery shop?”
Draco rubbed the bottom of his chin. “They’re most likely hiding from the Ministry.”
“That doesn’t explain a lot,” Hermione said flatly.
Draco smirked. “Put yourself in their place. If you were a wanted Death Eater, where would you go?”
I’d never want to be Death Eater. I’d rather kill myself. Hermione thought about Draco’s remark for a few seconds and nodded slowly. “Of course. The one place where no one would search for purebloods would be in a Muggle store.”
“Fine. Explain to me the significance of Slytherin’s jewel. What is it and why do they want it?” Hermione asked.
Draco took a deep inhale of breath, slowly exhaling it out. “Slytherin’s jewel is the greatest jewel in the whole world. It is as big of a deal as the Sorcerer’s Stone once was.”
Hermione folded her hands in her lap, eager to hear more. “What is it capable of?”
Draco paused for a moment before continuing. “It’s told that the Slytherin jewel is powerful enough to bring back the dead.”
“Anyone?” Hermione gasped.
“It cannot bring just anyone back. The jewel can only bring back someone that was a part of Slytherin’s house and someone that has only been gone in between 10 years after they died.” Draco continued, his eyes darkening. “Ever since Voldemort was killed by Harry Potter, the Death Eaters have been trying to search for Slytherin’s jewel. They want to bring back Voldemort.”
“Wait,” Hermione said, thinking for a moment, “even if Voldemort managed to come back from the dead, wouldn’t Harry just be able to kill him off again?”
Draco shook his head. “It’s not that simple. The jewel has stronger powers than just bringing back the dead. It can give unimaginable strength…power.”
“How did they know of the jewel?” Hermione asked.
“I don’t know for sure. It’s something Voldemort only told his inner circle about. I wouldn’t know. I only found out about it through--” Draco momentarily crunched his fingers in his palms, popping them.
“Your father,” Hermione finished for him.
Hermione pulled on her shirt nervously. This was a big deal. Flint and Nott were speaking of the jewel and if they were able to get their hands on it then the whole world would be doomed…all over again.
“But I doubt it’s anything to worry about,” Draco said absentmindedly. “I heard a while ago that it was put away to be destroyed. It’s probably already gone by now.” Draco smiled, but Hermione knew that he wasn’t convinced.
“Who has it?”
“I don’t know. I just know that it’s not in evil hands or we’d all be dead by now.” Draco grinned, joking. “Anything else you’re curious about?”
Hermione paused for a moment, chewing her bottom lip. “What do they want with you?”
Draco’s smile faded away. He rubbed the back of his neck, looking tensed. “I guess there’s nothing to hide now that you already heard most of the story.” He sat forward, his arms on his legs. “They want Gryffindor’s dagger and…”
Draco leaned back against the couch, sliding his hand over his bandaged arm. “And I have it.”
Hermione didn’t gasp, which didn’t surprise Draco. He was certain that Flint and Nott must have already mentioned the dagger as well.
“What powers does the dagger have that they want?” Hermione scooted herself closer to Draco on the couch because of the interest of their conversation. She didn’t realize how close she was until Draco’s leg brushed against hers. She moved a few inches away, unable to hide the blush that crept up her face.
“Well, to be honest…I really don’t know why they would want it. I just know that…it can purify a lost soul,” Draco said in deep breaths.
Purify a lost soul? Hermione thought in confusion, “What do you mean?”
Draco swallowed uneasily, holding his arm to his chest once more.
The time went by in silence as none of them said anything and then it hit Hermione like an epiphany. She stared unbelievably at Draco’s arm and then at his face.
“You mean that you were able to get rid of it…permanently?” Hermione asked, obviously in shock.
Draco didn’t flinch. His soft breathing was the only movement coming from him.
“Merlin,” Hermione’s mind was swirling. I read every book and never, ever came across anything that could get rid of their mark!
“Can I see it?” Hermione asked tentatively.
“It’s upstairs in my suitcase.” Draco got up to make his way to the stairs, but almost tripped over Hermione’s stretched out legs.
“I’ll get it.” Hermione volunteered, but Draco quickly said, “There’s an alarm on it, or did you forget?”
Hermione frowned. “Fine then. Trip and flip, but I don’t have all day, you know.”
Draco smiled and held out his hand. “I didn’t say I didn’t want you to come along.”
Hermione smiled back and slid her hand into his, getting up. As they walked up the stairs, Draco didn’t release her hand, and Hermione wasn’t eager to let go either.
They walked into his room and Hermione directed Draco to his suitcase. Draco opened it easily and the alarm that once filled the room before was as silent as a sleeping owl. He rummaged through his cloths and boxers, reaching for the very bottom of the suitcase. He pulled out a hand long case that wasn’t very big.
He opened it by murmuring an enchantment and revealed a tiny, toothpick-like dagger. He placed it in his hand and with the other, picked up his wand from under his pillow and said, “Enlargo.” The tiny toothpick grew bigger. Now, the handle was in Draco’s hand, with the blade stretching pass his fingers. The handle was crested in beautiful diamonds and the letter “G” was glimmering in the blade.
Hermione held it in her own hands, admiring it. “It’s beautiful.” She gasped.
“I know.” Draco said, smiling.
Hermione looked at Draco’s bandaged arm once more. “Can I see your arm?”
Draco looked hesitant, but unfolded the bandage slowly. Hermione placed the dagger on his bed and took a hold of his arm with one hand, unwrapping the bandage with the other. “I’ll get it off faster for you.”
As Hermione unwrapped the bandage, she kept biting her bottom lip because her heart was pounding like crazy. She guessed that she was feeling nervous because she was going to see Draco’s cut up arm.
She peeled off the last part of the bandage and furrowed her eyebrows together. There was nothing there. His arm was as clean and undamaged as a baby’s bottom.
Draco inhaled a breath and held it. “What do you see?”
Hermione twisted and turned his arm. “Nothing. There’s nothing here.”
Draco laughed happily. “It’s gone!” He pulled Hermione in a sudden bear hug. Hermione was so shocked, she couldn’t find the energy to function her arms. “It’s gone, Jean! That bloody tattoo is gone forever!”
Draco finally let go of Hermione and hugged his arm.
Hermione couldn’t help, but to smile at Draco’s childish behavior. She started laughing, too.
“I’m so happy!” Draco exclaimed. “I wish--” Draco paused in mid-sentence and stopped in his tracks. His face had the fallen expression once more.
“What’s wrong?” Hermione asked, unable to understand his sudden odd behavior.
Draco swallowed and made his way to his bed, sitting down on it. “N-nothing.” He stuttered. “I’m just glad that I don’t have to live with that mark anymore.”
“That’s not just ‘nothing’.” Hermione sat down next to Draco. “You said that you ‘wish’. Wish for what?”
Draco dropped his head downward. “I wish…my mother could have seen this.” His voice was cracking.
“Well, I’m sure she’ll be able to see it once you’re out of here. We have about another month and a half to go and then---”
Draco shook his head. “No, you don’t understand.” Draco buried his face into his hands. “I’ll never see her again.”
“Why not?” Hermione asked.
“B--because she--she’s dead,” Draco croaked.
Hermione gasped. She never did like Narcissa, but her heart tore into two to see Draco cry. Without thinking, she wrapped her arms soothingly around him and brought his head to her shoulder.
“Who killed her?” Hermione asked softly.
Draco swore under his breath, “My bloody father.”
**A/N: Just a little side note I want to add is that Gryffindor’s dagger does have more than one use, but getting rid of the Dark Mark and becoming pure is just one of them. There is another use Draco should be aware of, but he doesn’t realize it until later. **Samhria
Hermione held Draco in her arms for a few minutes, but the time seemed to fly by like endless hours. Her arms were getting sore and her breath was rapid due to her steadfast heartbeat. But what hurt most of all was her neck. She had it arched to one side while holding Draco against her, and the pain ached from her neck down.
She heard a few sniffles from Draco. She held his shoulders and helped him up. She gazed into his heartbreaking eyes.
“Are you alright now?” she whispered politely.
Draco nodded his head and brushed away the last tear that escaped his eye. “S-sorry about that. I usually don’t get all emotional.”
Hermione cheeked a smile. “It’s okay to get emotional, you know.” She rubbed his back soothingly, not knowing anything else to do.
They sat in silence for a few seconds and a question dawned on Hermione. She was itching to ask Draco.
“Um, Draco?” she asked, biting her bottom lip.
Draco looked up, his eyes sparkling. “Yes, Jean?”
“If you don’t mind me asking…was your father the one who made you blind?” Hermione finished, watching Draco closely.
Draco sighed and stood up. Hermione followed him to the window.
“If you don’t want to answer, I understand---” Hermione stated quickly, but Draco interrupted her.
“I don’t mind,” he said plainly. He paused before starting again. “I saw him murder my mother in front of my eyes.” Another pause. “He saw me and wanted to kill me before I said anything to anyone. He knew I would say something. I was close to my mother after all. The moment I saw him lay his bloody eyes on me, I knew I was as good as dead.”
“Then what happened?” Hermione pressed.
“I ran for it. I tried to get my wand from my room upstairs, but he had already called on his minions to kill me. Everyone was after me.”
“Luckily, you made out alive,” Hermione breathed.
“I wouldn’t call it ‘luck’.” Draco frowned for a moment in thought.
“What is it?”
“As I was running down the hall towards the front doors, I saw a green flash of light come at me.”
“How are you sure it was green?”
“I was hit by it. We have a mirror in the hall and I saw the reflection as I passed by.” He paused momentarily.
“The green light reflected off the mirror and hit me straight in the face.”
“It hit you straight in the face?” Hermione quoted. “That’s how you went blind?”
“That’s the last thing I remember seeing. What I don’t understand is…” His voice trailed off in thought.
“What?” Hermione questioned.
“I could’ve sworn I heard my father’s voice yelling out the killing curse. That’s when I was hit by the reflection. I went unconscious.”
Hermione chewed her bottom lip. “That doesn’t make sense though. If he shot the killing curse at you, you wouldn’t be blind…you’d be dead.” She imagined Draco dead and for some reason, shivered at the thought of it.
“I know, but it just gets to me sometimes.” Draco touched the glass window. “It’s like a bad dream you can’t seem to shake off.”
“I know the feeling.” Hermione murmured.
“When I woke up, I didn’t know where I was. I heard random people talking around me, but I couldn’t hear myself talk or open my eyes.” Draco brushed his bangs back. “I remember Pansy being beside me one time. I could hear her talking to me. She held my hand and didn‘t want to let go.”
Hermione felt a knife stab at her heart hearing of Pansy Parkinson being alone with Draco. She thought she was just hallucinating. I’m not jealous! Especially not of Parkinson! She forced in her mind.
Draco continued with his story. “When I opened my eyes all I saw was complete darkness.”
“Who took you to St. Mungo’s?” Hermione asked, trying to focus her mind on something else.
“I honestly don’t know.” Draco said. He rubbed his chin for a second and walked back to the bed. “Where’s the dagger, Jean?”
Hermione retrieved the dagger and placed it in Draco’s hands.
He held it gently in his hand as if it were about to dissolve away. “I remember…”
“Remember what?” Hermione asked immediately.
He stroked the dagger’s blade momentarily. “That day…my mother gave me this dagger. She had just returned from her trip with Jack and she gave me the dagger to keep.” Draco paused as if waiting for a response from Hermione.
She returned his look and said, “So, you had this dagger with you that day your father wanted to kill you?”
“Yeah…and Jean…” Draco’s eyeballs were looking as if they might pop out. “I think I’ve just found out what else Gryffindor’s dagger is capable of.”
“And that would be?” Hermione asked impatiently.
“Whoever has this dagger in their possession cannot die.”
Hermione blinked several times. “What?” She finally huffed. “But how’s that even possible? I mean, your mother had it and well…” She hesitated.
Draco shook his head. “No, not that kind of possession. I meant if someone was carrying the dagger with them, then they couldn’t die. I had it with me Jean. The dagger was inside my cloak when my father tried to kill me.” He smacked his forehead. “Of course that’s why nothing happened. He did shoot the killing curse at me, but I didn’t die because of the dagger.”
“But you did go blind,” Hermione said straight-forward.
“That must have been because of the reflection of the mirror. I was hit in my face.” Draco contemplated. “Speak of luck.”
“Right.” Hermione said. “Gryffindor was a genius wasn’t he?” She grinned.
“Yeah. He’s alright.” Draco smirked.
Ursula smiled at her image in the mirror and opened the door from the lavatory to head out. She gasped, holding her hand to her chest.
“You scared me, Millicent!” she said to the woman before her.
Millicent smirked at Ursula. “Sorry, dear. I didn’t mean to frighten you,” she said. Her voice sounded sarcastic. “So…I’m a bit curious. You don’t mind me asking you any questions, do you?”
Ursula smiled graciously, walking past Millicent, making her way to her guest room. “I don’t mind. What do you want to know?”
They both walked into the guest room and Ursula gestured Millicent to the sit on the bed.
“Well…” Millicent said as she sat herself down on the bed, “…I’ve noticed that you go to the lavatory an awful lot.”
“With all due respect Millicent, that’s not a question, that’s a comment,” Ursula said slyly.
Millicent folded her fists in her hand. She forced a smile. “Well, yes, Ursula. That’s right. It is a comment. But here’s my question, why do you go to the lavatory so often? Is there something you’re hiding?” She joked, but wanted to know seriously.
Ursula shook her head, playing with a strand of curly hair. “It’s nothing I’m hiding, but I do have a problem.”
Millicent sat forward in anticipation. “You can tell me.”
Ursula hesitated and bit her bottom lip. “The truth is…” She glanced around the room for a second. “…I have a bladder infection.”
Millicent’s mouth hung open as she searched for some words. “You-you wh-what?”
Ursula nodded her head vigorously. “I have to go frequently to the bathroom because of my bladder.”
“You’ve got to be damn kidding me!” Millicent spat as she stood up.
“What’s wrong?” Ursula asked politely.
Millicent walked out of the room, and slammed the door behind her. She stomped her right foot on the ground. “A bladder infection!” She kicked the opposite wall, frightening another house-elf downstairs. “She’s lying! She just has to be! Yes, that’s what it is. That bloody mudblood is telling a lie! I just know it.” She scoffed as she left to her room. “A bladder infection! Ha!”
Lucius held his breath as he and Fredrick walked down the dungeon stairs. The smell of blood and sweat filled the cold air. He never thought that the asylum would have a dungeon, but then he remembered it was an asylum.
It was dark in the dungeons. There wasn’t much light except for the torch that Fredrick held as he worked carefully with each crunching step.
He looked back once in a while at Lucius to see if he was alright, or not planning on attacking him since he was the one with the wand.
After a long time of walking in dried leaves and mud puddles, they came to a halt. Fredrick looked around the area and gestured to Lucius to back up; Lucius obeyed.
Fredrick murmured an enchantment at the opposite wall and swished the wand, but nothing happened.
He handed the wand over to Lucius. “You’re the pureblood, you try.” He said, huffing his chest out.
Lucius took the wand and glanced at the wall. There were a few strange marks that were unfamiliar. He took his wand and tapped one of the marks and the wall made a loud cracking sound. He quickly backed up, thinking it was a trap.
“Shit.” Fredrick cursed behind him. He stared at Lucius. “What the bloody hell did you do, Malfoy?”
Lucius didn’t say anything, except continued staring at the wall as it cracked from one corner to another.
Blaise Zabini clipped his cloak on and headed downstairs to find Vincent Crabbe. He bumped into a flabbergasted Millicent downstairs.
“What the hell’s wrong with you?” He asked rudely as he examined himself in the opposite hall mirror.
“None of your business, Zabini!” Millicent barked back, biting her nails.
“Whatever. Tell me, where’s Vincent?”
Millicent stopped in her tracks and folded her arms across her chest. “Do I look like a house-elf to you?”
Blaise smirked evilly and opened his mouth to say a response, but Millicent gave him a nasty gesture before he could say anything. She ran up the stairs to her room.
“Wilfred!” Blaise said loudly.
With a ‘pop’, a wrinkly house-elf appeared. He bowed, but not too low.
“Where can I find Crabbe?” Blaise asked plainly.
“Outside in garden, sir.” Wilfred replied, coughing afterward.
Blaise gave him a disgusted look. “Get rid of that cough before you get me sick!”
The house-elf bowed and disappeared with a ‘snap’.
Vincent touched one of the red rose’s from the rose bush and broke it off.
“What beauty,” he whispered as he caressed the rose with one hand. He placed it in the inside pocket of his cloak. He listened to the approaching footsteps behind him. “About time you showed up,” he said without turning around.
“I had things to take care of,” the man replied roughly.
Vincent turned around and approached his guest. He held out his hand to the buff, dark wizard.
The wizard shook it forcefully.
“It’s been a while since I’ve seen you,” Vincent said. “Sit down.”
But the wizard didn’t budge. “I’m not here for any pleasantries, Crabbe.” He folded his hand in a fist. “Where the hell is everyone?”
“They’ll be here soon, Greyback.” Crabbe replied calmly.
“You should know I don’t like to wait,” Fenrir Greyback growled.
A sudden ‘pop’ interrupted them. Wilfred the house-elf bowed. “They’re here sir.”
“Good.” Vincent replied smirking at his guest. “Let them into my study and tell them I’ll be there momentarily.”
“Very well sir.” The house-elf left.
Vincent gestured to the open door. “Shall we?”
Hermione tossed her pencil to the floor, stretching her arms high in the air. She glanced at her watch for the time.
She wasn’t very tired or exhausted. Hermione sighed and retreated to the couch. She retrieved the T.V. remote and turned on the television. She changed the channels and tried to watch something--anything--that would make her mind turn off. (Which was a bit impossible for her.) Since nothing was on, she flicked the television off and relaxed on the couch.
She heard Draco come out of the family room. She bit her bottom lip, hoping he would just go upstairs to his room and not come by her.
That is exactly what happened. Draco walked into the living room and plopped down on the opposite couch from Hermione.
“What are you doing, Jean?” He asked.
Hermione shut her eyes for a few seconds before replying. “How did you know I was here?” She asked, regretting the question the moment it left her mouth.
Draco smiled. “I smelled your fragrance. Vanilla.”
Hermione was a bit shocked that he knew her shampoo fragrance so precisely.
“My other senses are stronger now that my eyesight is gone.” Draco’s face sadden.
Hermione fought the urge to place her hand over his, but did it anyway. “Your eyesight is not gone forever, you know. It’s only temporarily.”
“Thanks for the reassurance,” Draco said simply. He placed his left hand over hers smoothly.
Hermione swallowed uneasily. “No problem at all.” She removed her hand from his. “That’s what we nurses are here for.”
Lucius blinked his eyes several times, rubbing them. Apparently the light from the wand had gone out and now, there was total darkness.
“Bloody hell,” Fredrick cursed next to him. He rose to his feet. “Lumos.” The wand’s light reappeared and now Lucius could see clearly.
He gasped as he, too stood on his both feet. He walked forward and gaped at his surrounding. There was no longer an opposite wall. It was as if some monster had bitten off a huge circle of the wall.
Fredrick walked through the hole and grinned proudly at Lucius. “Well, Malfoy, I gotta say I didn’t know you had it in you.”
Lucius joined him and stared at the bare night sky with the fresh air breezing past them. He took a long inhale before exhaling it out. He smirked evilly.
Fredrick slapped him on the back. “Damn it, friend! We’re free from this hell hole! We’re finally free!”
Hermione tossed and turned in bed until she couldn’t take it anymore. She sat upright on the edge of the bed, brushing her frizzy hair down. She couldn’t find sleep and it was past ten.
She sighed deeply and headed for the bathroom. She walked in and examined herself in the mirror. Her hair was bushier than ever. Her sleeping blouse was wrinkled due to her frequent movements and her facial expression tired. She gave up staring at herself and headed for her bedroom.
On her way there, she swore she heard a fluttering sound come from Draco’s room. Being as curious as she was, she cracked the door open a bit and took a peek.
Hermione wasn’t the only one who couldn’t sleep that night. She saw Draco seated on his bed, with his back against the bed frame and his hands half-way up in the air. Sometimes he opened them and sometimes he quickly closed them.
Hermione opened the door a little more and when Draco opened his hands again, she saw that he had something gold and round in his grip.
What is that? Hermione was so interested in what Draco was playing with that she took two oblivious steps into his room and only stopped dead in her tracks when she caused a creak in the floorboard. Damn it!
Draco, on the other hand, smiled. “You couldn’t sleep either, Jean?”
“You heard me then?” Hermione asked as she neared his bed without a choice.
“No, I smelled you,” Draco replied plainly.
Right. Hermione rolled her eyes.
“Have a seat,” Draco said nicely as he scooted over to the side and patted the bed.
Hermione swallowed uneasily. Even though her mind was arguing with her, she still found herself moving towards Draco’s bed and before she could think straight again, she was sitting next to him…on his bed.
They were awkwardly quiet for a few minutes. More like Hermione felt awkward. She peeked a glance at Draco and he seemed fine with her sitting next to him on his bed. It didn’t seem strange to him in anyway.
Hermione scoffed inwardly. He probably does this all the time with women.
“You okay, Jean?” Draco asked, interrupting Hermione’s thoughts. “You’re awfully quiet.”
“I’m fine.” Hermione swallowed and focused her attention back on Draco’s hands. “What are you holding?”
Draco grinned. “You want to see it? Come and get it.” He held his hands high in the air.
“Ugh, Draco,” Hermione complained. “Don’t do this.”
“Why? Can‘t catch a blind man?” Draco joked, getting up from the bed.
"We'll see about that." Hermione grinned. She stood up onto the bed as Draco backed up against the wall.
She pounced off the bed and headed for him, but he was quicker than she thought. His movements were more confident than before. But she wasn’t giving up without a fight.
Hermione ran after Draco around the whole room and nearly caught him by his arm, but he slid away by the skin of his teeth.
“Too slow,” he mocked.
The fluttering sound from Draco’s hands was becoming louder and louder. It was as if the thing in his hands was getting excited.
Draco ran to the right and Hermione jumped on him, causing them both to fall onto the bed. Though, they weren’t well aware of this yet.
Hermione pinned Draco down by the arms with her elbows as she tried to pry his hands open, but Draco pulled his both hands out of reach high above his head. They were laughing like crazy.
Finally, Hermione reached up to his hands and her face was only a few inches away from Draco’s. She didn’t realize this yet.
Almost. I almost have it. She thought as she peeled Draco’s fingers apart. Got it. His hands opened enough for a small golden ball with wings to fall out. It fluttered around in the room, glimmering in the moonlight. Hermione was so amazed by the beauty of the snitch that she didn’t look down at the person she was on top of.
“Jean,” Draco breathed on Hermione’s neck.
She felt shivers go down her spine. She looked into Draco’s eyes and saw more than just emotion. It was something else, but Hermione couldn’t understand what. Above the fluttering of the snitch, she could hear her heart pound loudly. She guessed that even Draco could hear it.
Draco, slowly, leaned closer to Hermione. Her vanilla fragrance is so damn intoxicating, he thought mesmerized.
The tip of his nose touched the bottom of Hermione’s right ear lobe and she closed her eyes, temporarily enjoying the moment of Draco being so close to her.
“Draco…” Hermione whispered, biting her bottom lip.
Draco’s hand that was on Hermione’s lower back, now slid underneath her sleeping blouse. The moment his cool hand touched her bare back, Hermione felt realization hit her. She lifted herself off of Draco and pulled down on her blouse. She felt blood rushing to her cheeks.
“Jean?” Draco asked concerned, sitting upright.
“I-I’m feeling really tired now. Night.” Hermione lied and headed out of his room before Draco could say anything.
Vincent rubbed his temples in agitation. Everyone had arrived just as planned, but they were not at all in line and patient, like he secretly hoped they would be.
Marcus Flint and Theodore Nott were the ones to argue the most above everyone else. Fenrir was the one who didn’t say much since it was a full moon and he had transformed into a werewolf. Occasionally he roared angrily to shut everyone up.
“--Don’t give a damn---” Flint argued.
“--Isn’t your bloody father’s---” Millicent cursed back.
“--Hell with it all!” Nott shouted.
Someone whistled loudly. Everyone quieted down and stared at an impatient Crabbe. “We’re not getting anywhere by arguing with each other.” There were many glares. “The Dark Lord had order and order is what we need.”
“Yeah!” A new Death Eater said excitedly.
“Shut up!” Vincent said. “I’m not done.”
The new Death Eater went back to chugging down fire whiskey.
“Who the hell put you in charge?” Flint cursed.
“I am in charge and you will all obey me,” Vincent said, puffing out his chest.
“Like hell I’m listening to what you have to say!” someone else behind the crowd yelled.
“Yeah!” someone else agreed.
Everyone started talking at once. Even Fenrir got in on the conversation.
“--I could be a better leader than all them,” he said.
“--That’s not fair,” someone argued.
“--Then you can eat anyone who disagrees with you.”
Fenrir growled. “That’s exactly my point.”
“Shut the hell up! Look!” Blaise barked. He pointed out the window and into the air. Everyone followed his gesture and looked outside. They all were in shock. Up in the sky, a phoenix illuminated the night. It was a golden phoenix with its wings spread out.
“What the hell--?” someone said.
“I know who did that!” Millicent said suddenly. Everyone stared at her. “Follow me!” She ran out of the study room and headed up the stairs to the guest room. The bed was neatly made and the room, completely empty.
“She was here!” Millicent explained.
“Who?” Fenrir asked.
“Ursula,” Blaise said. Everyone looked between him and Millicent.
“Who the bloody hell is Ursula?” Flint asked.
“The American Mudblood Vincent let into this mansion,” Millicent said straight out.
Some Death Eaters gasped, and many cursed. “--A Mudblood. Vincent?”
“He betrayed us!”
“Where the hell is he?” Fenrir barked and no one knew the answer.
Ursula stood outside in the garden as she watched the lovely phoenix glow in the dark night sky.
“Who the hell are you really?” A cold voice questioned behind her.
Ursula didn’t turn around nor did she move an inch.
The man turned Ursula around roughly to face him. He pointed the wand to her neck. “Answer me!”
Ursula merely smiled sweetly. The smile was wiped away immediately from her face as she started shaking, as if she was having a seizure. Vincent backed away in shock like he was staring at some monster.
Ursula gagged and gasped, as her blonde curls turned into raven straight hair. The colour of her face was no longer fair, but dark and known.
“You?” Vincent said in temporary surprise. “Millicent was right.” He held his wand at her and smirked. “You played a risky game and now…you have to suffer for it. Cru--”
“Experillarimus!” Another voice yelled. Vincent was hit in the chest and thrown backwards off his feet. The tall, handsome redhead approached the raven haired woman that stood before him. He placed a kiss on her neck. “No body messes with my wife.”
“You‘re late, Fred,” the woman said plainly as she pulled out her wand from underneath her shirt.
The redhead chuckled and placed another kiss on her jaw. “I’m right on time, Angelina.”
The two of them headed inside the house and Angelina Johnson mouthed to Fred Weasley, 'Where are the others?'
Fred grinned. “On their way.”
They went into the hall and separated. Angelina took the study room and Fred headed upstairs.
“Stupefy!” Angelina heard Fred shouting, so she headed upstairs to join the fun.
She nearly missed a curse as she reached the second floor. “Petrificus Totalus!” She hit one of the new Death Eaters.
She got up and ran for one of the rooms, but Blaise Zabini aimed an Unforgivable Curse at her. Someone pushed her to the side and fell on top of her.
She stared at the redhead. “Don’t do that again, Fred!” She said, socking the Weasley in the arm.
He raised an eyebrow. “Uh, you’re welcome?” He got up and helped Angelina to her feet before heading out into the hall once more. He turned back and smirked at the woman. “By the way, I‘m George.”
As many more Death Eaters arrived, so did Order of the Phoenix members and the Ministry.
Bellatrix Lestrange entered the mansion once the dark mark had been set off into the air. She rode in on her broomstick and laughed gaily when curses passed by her like a breeze.
Kingsley pointed his wand at Bellatrix’s broom. “Incendio!” The end of the broom caught on fire and as Bellatrix sprayed water at it with her wand, she crashed into the opposite wall, falling to the floor. Kingsley went after her.
Cho Chang arrived with Michael Corner, Neville Longbottom and Hannah Abbott. They were battling with the new Death Eaters. They were stronger than they looked.
Luna Lovegood and Ronald Weasley arrived almost immediately with George when the Phoenix mark had been set off into the sky. They were fighting Death Eaters in the garden that were arriving at the same time.
Angelina hit a Death Eater with a knock-out curse and was making her way down the opposite hall when Millicent Bulstrode ran after her.
“Fight me, you whore!” She cursed at Angelina.
“Don’t call me a whore, you jealous bitch!” Angelina didn’t need to be told twice to put a pig like Millicent back in her pen.
“Crucio!” Millicent shouted angrily, but Angelina being a former Quiddtich player, dodged the curse with her brilliant reflexes.
“Conjunctivitis!” Angelina tried, but Millicent was quick enough to miss that one.
“Is that all you’ve got, Bulstrode? You’re more pathetic than I thought!” Angelina mocked.
Millicent’s veins looked as if they were about to pop out. Vincent arrived on the other side of Angelina and pointed his wand.
“Avada Kadavra!” They both yelled at the same time. Angelina fell to the floor. Vincent was hit by Millicent’s curse, and Millicent was hit by Vincent’s.
Crabbe crashed into the opposite wall and fell to the floor, while Bulstrode flew through the window behind her and fell to the ground.
Angelina got up from the floor and heaved a sigh of relief. “Damn, that was a close one.”
“I’ll go first to make sure it’s safe,” Fredrick said as he armed himself with the wand and took cautious steps out in the open.
Lucius stood by the wall and watched Fredrick carefully. When it was safe, he motioned for Malfoy to come out as well. He obeyed.
He ran out towards Fredrick. They both stood for about two seconds admiring the open scenery.
When he got his chance, Malfoy took a cheap kick to Fredrick’s stomach, and socked him in the face. Fredrick fell backwards to the ground, dropping the wand. Lucius picked up the wand and pointed it at him.
“What the bloody--” Fredrick wiped away the blood that dripped from his cut lip. He stood up. “What the hell are you doing, Malfoy?” He cursed.
Lucius smirked greatly. “I can never be too careful.” He said.
“Even if you kill me they’ll still find you!” Fredrick said, holding his hands up in the air.
“It’s a risk I’m willing to take,” Lucius responded.
“You’ll regret this, Malfoy!”
“No, I won’t.” He pointed his wand at Fredrick’s chest. “Avada K---”
“Petrificus Totalus!” Someone from behind said. Lucius fell to the floor, wrapped in invisible ropes.
“What the---” He looked up to see a familiar redhead approaching. He picked up the wand from the floor and handed it to Fredrick. “Weasley!”
“Lucius Malfoy for escaping from the Azkaban Asylum, your punishment hereby is a kiss from the Dementors,” Arthur said as if he were reading from some invisible parchment.
Dementors started arriving from all directions.
Lucius struggled on the floor. “No! Noo!”
Fredrick smirked at Malfoy. He shook hands with Mr. Weasley.
“Thank you for your cooperation, Mr. Wilson,” Arthur said kindly.
“Anytime, Mr. Weasley.” Fredrick grinned. “This is what criminals like Malfoy deserve.”
“Amen.” Both men stood back as the Dementors flew down and took turns sucking a piece of Lucius’s soul. The last Dementor arrived to give Lucius the final kiss of death.
Fredrick smirked as he folded his arms across his chest. “I told you you’d regret it, Malfoy.”
Ronald saw his assistant Annie come to the door and before she could knock, he said, “Come in, Annie.”
She entered and, looking flushed, asked, “How did you know it was me?”
Without looking up, Ron replied, “I saw you coming through the window.”
“Oh,” Annie said, biting her fingernails.
“Is there something you come to tell me?” Ron asked patiently.
“Oh, right!” Annie shuffled with the papers in her hands and took out a ripped out piece of parchment. “Um, Luna said that she got the flowers you sent her and she’s thankful.”
Ron smiled. “Can you send Luna a letter letting her know that I’ll be visiting her again soon? Tell her that I’m still finishing up the prisoners’ report, but the moment I get some free time, I‘ll see her.”
Annie nodded and headed out the door. “Okay, Mr. Weasley, sir.”
When the door shut, Ron contemplated the night Luna was attacked by the devious, former Slytherin, Daphne Greengrass.
“Stupefy!” Ron yelled at the nearest Death Eater that had jumped off his broom.
Luna was beside him, helping him attack the numerous arriving Death Eaters. She spotted one sneaking into the other side of the garden, preparing to attack Neville from behind. She ran for the Death Eater.
She grabbed the Death Eater’s leg and pulled down. The Death Eater cursed at Luna, falling on top of her. Both of their wands fell in the bushes.
The Death Eater was a woman. A woman Luna knew right away.
“Greengrass!” She said as the devious woman stumbled to stand up right.
Daphne took a confident punch to Luna’s face. Luna fell backwards, but was up again in no time. She kicked Daphne hard in the knee, causing her to fall to the ground.
“Don’t mess with me, bitch!” she cursed, swinging her legs menacingly in the air.
Luna stood up and wiped the blood from her bruised lip. She prepared herself for the worst now that she didn’t have her wand.
Daphne swung her fist in Luna’s direction, but she successfully missed it. She grabbed a hold of Daphne’s left arm and twisted it, but Daphne was quick enough to hit Luna on the head with her right hand.
Luna didn’t give up that easily. She yanked down hard on Daphne’s left arm, causing a loud pop to fill the night air.
Daphne cursed loudly. “You damn bitch--broke---my arm!” She took another swing at Luna’s face, knocking her backwards.
She took out a pocket knife from inside her robe and flung it angrily at Luna. She successfully tore a hole in Luna’s robes. She lifted her right hand and cut a gash in her left shoulder.
Luna cried out in pain as she grabbed her bleeding shoulder. In another swift motion, Daphne stabbed Luna’s right arm. She lifted her pocket knife once more, but Ron had arrived just in time.
“Stupefy!” he yelled at Daphne. She fell to the ground with a loud thump. He held a fainting Luna in his arms. “Luna!”
She merely smiled weakly at him. “Hey…,Ron,” she said, before closing her eyes.
Ron had apparated to St. Mungo’s right away. He couldn’t risk losing Luna. After all, they were supposed to be fighting together. He blamed himself for her getting hurt.
He had remained by her side for the rest of the night. He visited her the next day as well, but since most Death Eaters had been either killed or caught, he had a lot of work on his hands. He needed to finish filing his paperwork.
Ron snapped out of his memories and glanced hopelessly at the paperwork. He sighed and scratched his head. “Sooner or later…it’s got to be done.” He picked up his quill, dipped it in ink and started to finish his work.
Two days after their close encounter, Hermione kept her distance from Draco, afraid he might touch her again. She was afraid to feel the way she did whenever he was close by her. It was beating her up inside, but she refused to give in.
On the third day, Hermione woke up six am and went out for a peaceful walk in the backyard. The sun was peeking above the far off mountains in the distance, welcoming yet another beautiful summer morning. She walked further toward the few trees that stood beside Silverfish Lake. She smiled at the glimmering lake, remembering how the Hogwarts lake gave her the same happy feeling inside whenever she just wanted to relax.
Glancing at her watch, Hermione noticed she still had another half an hour till Draco woke up, so she decided to walk beside the lake and enjoy her time in peace while she still could.
She sighed deeply as she took a seat against of the larger oak trees. Draco had passed into her thoughts again. She remembered how his hand had touched her skin and it gave her shivers at the memory.
Why did he have to do that? Hermione thought in agitation.
Because he likes you. Another voice replied in her mind.
Hermione pulled on the grass on the ground with her right hand. That’s ridiculous! He doesn’t like me. And I certainly don’t like him! She argued back.
You keep denying it, but you can’t hide your feelings forever, Hermione. The voice echoed in her head.
I don’t have feelings for Draco! Hermione obliviously dug her fingernails into the dirt as she thought, Do I?
Mrs. Weasley grabbed hold of Angelina Johnson in a bear hug and refused to let go. “Oh, dear, I’m so glad you’re alright,” she said.
“Mum, she won’t be alright anymore if you continue to squash her,” Fred joked.
Mrs. Weasley let go of her daughter in-law right away and blushed. She smacked her son on the arm.
“Ow!” he said, rubbing his arm. “Attacking me now?”
“Angelina could have been hurt!” she said in her motherly tone. “You should have stayed with her. I heard she was almost hit by the killing curse.”
Fred glared at George who merely put up his hands in protest. “Ididn‘tsayanything,” he said through a bite of cinnamon bread.
“Wait till your father gets home!” Molly said flicking her wand in the air. “He hasn’t heard the last of me. Putting my sweet daughter in-law in danger…I’ll have his neck for this…” she raged on and on while cooking dinner.
Fred stole a seat next to a flushed Angelina. “I hope I didn’t get your father in too much trouble,” she whispered to her husband.
Fred grinned mischievously. “Let’s just say that Dad’s been in worse situations.”
George sat on the other side of Angelina and matched his brother’s wicked grin. “Way worse.”
Hermione blinked her eyes several times, shielding them from the bright yellow sunlight. She yawned momentarily before remembering she was supposed to be making breakfast. She didn’t want to think what Draco would have thought if she wasn’t there. She got up and raced to the house. A quick peek at her watch told her it was 7:20am. She mentally taunted herself for falling asleep outside on the grass.
She opened the door and listened for any sounds of footsteps or callings. There were neither. She frowned. He isn’t awake yet?
Hermione went upstairs and took a peek inside his room. The bed sheets were all over the place, but there wasn’t anyone sleeping on them. She edged the door further open thinking perhaps Draco was beside the wardrobe, but nope. The whole room was completely empty.
That’s odd. Where did he go? She thought puzzled. The bathroom was also empty. She took a glance at her room just in case, but it was just the way she left it. She went back downstairs and checked around the living room and the laundry room. She opened the door to the front yard and searched around, but didn’t see Draco anywhere.
She rushed back inside the house and to the kitchen when she heard a quick fluttering sound come from the backyard.
Hermione stepped outside and saw that the snitch from two nights before was hovering around outside, shining in the sun.
She took a few steps forward and bumped into some invisible force. She rubbed her nose and looked up to see Draco’s pale features come back into clear view. He held a broom stick in one hand and a wand in the other.
“Are you okay, Jean?” he asked.
Hermione wrinkled her nose. “Yeah, just fine. Why did you put a disillusionment spell on yourself?”
Draco smirked. “A man flying on a broom stick in broad daylight. I think that would capture a Muggle’s attention, don’t you?”
“Then why are you flying? And where did you get that broom from? How long have you been out here?” Hermione asked all at once.
Draco just laughed at her questions. “I’m flying because it helps me relax. The broom is mine. And I’ve been out here since I woke up. I don’t know what time it was, but the moment I felt the sun shine on my skin, I got up.” He put his right leg over the broom. “Any more questions?” he asked slyly.
Hermione’s mouth just hung open speechless. She couldn’t find any words to say.
“Do you want to go out?” Draco’s voice rang in her thoughts.
Hermione was appalled by his question. “What did you say?” she asked, a bit harshly.
“I said do you want to go for a ride?” Draco repeated. “What did you think I said?”
Hermione swallowed and shook her head, knocking the random thoughts in her mind. “I thought…never mind.”
“How about it then? Want to go for a ride and feel the wind through your hair?” Draco said, smiling.
“Um…no. I’ll pass,” Hermione said.
Draco was taken a back. “What? Why?”
“I don’t like riding. I’m afraid of heights.” She stared at her shuffling feet.
“Well, I can help you get over your fear,” Draco said, holding out his hand for her.
Hermione stared at his hand and back at his face again. His blonde locks were covering the top of his eyes. “No. Maybe some other time. I haven’t eaten breakfast yet.”
Draco looked down, but replied with a mere “Okay”, before making himself invisible again and heading in the air.
Hermione couldn’t see him anymore, but saw the trees’ leaves fall to the ground whenever he passed by them.
She started to head inside when she heard a distant bad word escape from Draco’s mouth. She turned to see what was going on, but since he was invisible, it was impossible to spot him.
Hermione waited for a few seconds before she saw an enormous splash in Silverfish Lake. She ran for it. Draco had fallen in the water. She could see him clearly now since the invisibility spell had been lifted the moment he hit the water.
Without thinking twice, she jumped into the lake, fully clothed and swam towards an unconscious Draco. She grabbed his arm and dragged him out of the water, to the edge of the lake.
Hermione pressed her ear against his chest to listen for a heartbeat. She heard a faint one. He’s not breathing, she thought frantically.
She put one hand to his forehead and the other to his chin, opening the airway. She covered his mouth with her own and took a breath. She lifted herself and counted three seconds and took another breath. She folded her hands together and compressed down on his chest thirty times.
“Damn it, Draco!” she cursed as she finished her thirty compressions. She bent down and took one breath and was preparing for the next one, when Draco gasped and gagged. Hermione helped him to his side, where he coughed out murky water. She patted his back and wiped her hair out of her face.
When Draco balanced himself upward, Hermione (unexpectedly) embraced him in a hug. He welcomed her by wrapping his arms around her tiny back as well.
“You saved my life, Jean,” he said into her shoulder.
Hermione pulled away from him and felt his hands slid from her back, down to her waist. The sensational feeling was back. She abruptly stood up and helped Draco up as well.
“Well, you should know better than to ride on a broom!” She said in a motherly tone. “You’re blind for Merlin’s sake!” They walked back to the house together, Hermione taunting Draco (who was grinning), along the way.
Hermione helped Draco to a couch, changing his wet and dirty clothes into dry clean ones magically with her wand. She did the same with her clothes as well, wearing a red t-shirt and denim jeans. She also dried her hair, which was now puffier than ever. Luckily, most of it was tied back with a ponytail, even though some parts stuck out from the sides.
Draco was grateful that Jean saved his life, but he seemed to be in pain. He rolled up his sleeve from his left arm and revealed a bloody scratch on his elbow.
Hermione took his arm in her hand and closely examined his bruise. “I’ll have to put some ointment on that first before I bandage it.” She said to him. “I saw some upstairs in the bathroom cabinet. Let me go get it.” She got up and ran up the stairs two at a time, returning in a flash.
She sat next to a quiet Draco on the couch and held his left arm in her left hand, slightly twisting it to get a better look at the scratch. First Hermione wiped the blood and bruise clean with a wet towel. Then she opened the ointment and rubbed it between her palms, cautiously massaging his elbow thoroughly. The cream was thick and had to be rubbed in slowly to soothe the pain and heal the cut.
As Hermione was massaging his arm in silence, one of her larger curls fell in front of her face and she absentmindedly pushed it behind her ear with her fingers.
“Shoot,” she said, sighing.
“What’s wrong?” Draco asked right away.
“I think I got some of the cream on my cheek when I was pushing my hair out of my face.” Hermione sighed exasperatedly. Since her hands were both caked in ointment, she couldn’t clean it off her face at that moment.
“I’ll clean it for you. Where is it?” Draco lifted the wet towel up in the air with his free hand.
“No, I-I’ll just clean it myself later,” Hermione replied.
Draco frowned. “By then it’ll already have dried up on your skin and it’ll be more difficult to get off.”
Now it was Hermione’s turn to frown. He was sounding like a professional healer who knew what he was talking about.
“O-okay. Fine,” Hermione said in a surrendered tone. “Go a little to the left.” She directed Draco with the towel. He was just a few inches off, beside her ear. “A little more. Right there.”
Draco wiped her whole cheek with the wet towel, getting rid of the cream successfully, but he didn’t stop. “Is that better?” He asked.
“Yeah, I think you got it,” Hermione responded, doing her best not to stare into Draco’s loving, blue eyes.
“Good,” Draco breathed. His thumb slipped over the towel and brushed Hermione’s cheek gently.
The moment she felt his fingers come in contact with her skin, she felt like she was about to melt. She closed her eyes momentarily at the feel of his touch. She didn’t open her eyes even as she felt Draco’s uneven breathing come near her. Nor did she open them when his lips softly brushed against the corner of her mouth.
Her mind couldn’t function properly. One minute her eyes were closed and the next…Draco was kissing her. Not that she didn’t like the kiss. It was something she hadn’t expected from him. He didn’t look like the sensual kisser he was proving to be.
The kiss brought an electric shock through her whole body, even though it wasn’t pressured. It was exciting, but sweet at the same time. Draco’s lips never left once they touched Hermione’s. He started out slowly, caressing her lips with his own, enjoying the moment. When he felt Hermione move her lips against his own, he pressed a little more forward, but still trying not to rush anything.
He kept his hands placed on her shoulders, holding her steady. He was afraid that if he let his hands wander again like before, she might freak.
Hermione let her body relax as she kissed him back. Draco’s a good kisser, she thought in pleasure. Her eyes popped open. She stared at the blonde hair that blocked most of her sight. Did I just say that? She pulled away from him, holding Draco back with her hands on his chest.
Draco didn’t say anything, but slowly opened his eyes, a shy smile playing on his lips.
Hermione quickly stood up, but felt something weighing her down. Draco had caught her wrist.
“I have to tell you something, Jean,” he said, almost in a timid voice.
“Please don’t do this,” Hermione said, shocked by the way her voice had sounded. She tugged at her hand, but he wouldn’t let go.
“Jean…I-I think I’m in love with you,” Draco managed to croak.
Hermione didn’t bother to hear anything else. She yanked away her hand as if some wild beast had grabbed at it. She ran up the stairs, hearing Draco’s voice echoing behind her.
“Jean! P-Please wait!” He had come to the foot of the stairs, hearing her leave up them, but he didn’t follow when he heard a door slam shut upstairs.
“Mr. Weasley, what information can you give us regarding Mr. Malfoy’s death?” A brunette woman reporter asked the confident red head.
“Mr. Malfoy pretended to remain crazy to be in an asylum, where he successfully plotted to escape,” he said in a strong voice. “Captain Fredrick Wilson here…” Arthur directed the crowd to the built man standing behind him, “had his wand stolen from Lucius and was threatened to aid Malfoy’s escape.”
Another reporter, a blonde one with curly hair and glasses held up her hand. “Rita Skeeter. Mr. Weasley, how can you be confident that the Captain didn’t help Mr. Malfoy to escape without being threatened?”
Some murmurs were spread through the crowd of reporters and photographers. Rita Skeeter looked pleased with herself, as usual.
“Ms. Skeeter, I have no doubt that Captain Wilson was caught under Mr. Malfoy’s force. Why you ask?” He said quickly before Rita could ramble on, “Because for several reasons. One, Mr. Wilson has been a guard under the Azkaban asylum for 23 years.” Many seemed excited to know this. “Two, he’s a close friend of the family that I have known for quite some time. I wouldn’t suspect his friendship. And finally, we have tested the wand Lucius had stolen for curses he used. He was going to use the Killing Curse. Mr. Ollivander tested the wand himself. Would you doubt his work, Ms. Skeeter?”
Some eyed Rita with disgust. Some cursed at her. Arthur and Fredrick smiled in her direction.
She forced a toothy grin. “No, I could never doubt Mr. Ollivander’s great work,” she finally said.
“Excellent,” Mr. Weasley replied. He glanced around at the rest of the crowd. “That’ll be all.”
Hermione rubbed her eyes as she rose up from the bed. It was dark outside. She blinked several times to get a good look at the time on her watch. It was ten to six. She sighed and stood up stretching.
Her eyes were swollen from crying so much. She couldn’t recall why she had cried or rather she didn’t want to remember the cause. She waited a few seconds by the door listening for signs of Draco nearby. When all was clear, she rushed to the bathroom and closed the door slowly, locking it.
Hermione stared at her messy features in the mirror before her. Her hair was wild as if she had been shocked with electricity. Her eyes were red and puffy, as well as her cheeks. She threw cold water on her face and just stood there for endless minutes. She didn’t want to go downstairs and face him.
After what he had done, she wished she could just disappear, but since she still had half a month to remain without contacting anybody, she thought avoidance would be the best way to go.
Hermione took another look at herself and decided a warm shower would do her good, so she turned on the water and got in, fully clothed. The water hit her face, and she remained still. She wanted the water to cleanse her body and her face. She was feeling her insides rip apart, but the water seemed to soothe away her pain.
After about ten minutes standing in the shower in her clothes, she threw them off and remained there for another forty minutes, letting the time pass by as she let the water drown her unknown misery.
She wrapped herself in a towel and stepped out, only to see a trickle of blood fall down her leg.
“Damn it,” she cursed. No wonder I feel miserable.
Draco walked to the fridge and took out, what he hoped, was a gallon of orange juice. He made his way to the counter and tried to pour the juice into a glass, but he missed and it fell to the ground with a shattering crash. He figured Jean must have heard that and she would be coming down any second, but no footsteps ever approached.
Draco slammed the juice gallon onto the counter, causing juice to spill every where. “Shit.” He walked outside to the backyard and pulled on his hair. He was frustrated.
Ever since Jean had ran upstairs after their kiss, she didn’t come down. Her heard sobs from her room and when he tried to enter, it was locked. He called her name several times, but she didn’t answer him. Finally, he had retreated to his room, thinking for two or three hours about what happened. When he didn’t hear Jean come out of her room, he went downstairs. He sat alone in the living room, hoping Jean would come down eventually. She never did.
He just wanted to talk to her; comfort her. She had kissed him back. How could she not feel the same way he felt about her?
Draco brushed his hair back, but it was stubborn; it kept falling into his eyes. He walked back to the door and he heard a pan being tossed in the sink. His heart skipped a beat.
“J-Jean?” He asked tentatively. There wasn’t a response. He tried again. “Jean, is that you?” He made his way to the counter and sink, but he couldn’t smell her. He touched the counter. The juice mess was cleaned up. She must have cleaned it up and left once again.
Hermione heard Draco come back into the kitchen and she retreated to the living room, droning out his voice calling her middle name. She didn’t dare take a shower with the vanilla shampoo this time; she already knew its effects.
The following morning Hermione woke at five in the morning just to make breakfast, but to her surprise, Draco was asleep in the kitchen. The moment the swinging door had opened, he had awaken.
Hermione let the door swing back and she rushed back upstairs, hearing footsteps follow her. She entered her room and shut the door, locking it. She heard Draco speaking behind it.
“Jean, please,” he pleaded. “I-I just want to talk.”
Hermione leaned her forehead against the door, closing her eyes tightly, trying to stop tears from escaping once more. “Leave me alone,” she managed to gasp.
“I-I can’t, Jean,” he replied softly. “I just can’t.”
He didn’t hear her say anything else. He heard her footsteps slowly fade away. She must have gone to the other side of the room.
Draco pressed his head against the door, sighing. He just wanted her to understand. Why was it so hard? He loved her. Did she not love him back? Was she feeling guilty for some reason? Was there…someone else?
Draco’s heart fell in the pits of his stomach. He hadn’t thought of that. What if there was someone else? Did she have a boyfriend? Was she married? He felt his insides spin. The one woman he felt something for might have been someone else’s all along.
He slowly made his way to his room, feeling broken inside. He went to his bed and sat down. Can she…be someone else’s? It was a possibility. She had a beautiful scent that made his insides do back flips. She was a good listener and a great person to talk to. Her voice was as pleasant as an angel's. She seemed to make all his problems go away with her lovely laugh. He smiled to himself. Who couldn’t fall in love with her? She is perfect.
The only thing was he didn’t know was her face, but he was positive she was as beautiful as her voice. He wished he knew who she was. She seemed so familiar. Had he gone out with her before?
No, I would have known. No woman I know has as intoxicating a fragrance as she does, Draco thought to himself. He rested back on the bed, relaxing his body as he thought of Jean some more. I wonder what she looks like. I wonder who she is.
Two long, aching days had passed with Hermione being cooped up in her room and Draco trying to talk to her. He wasn’t successful in anyway, mind you. Every time he went to her room, the door would be locked and she had placed a strong charm on it so that it couldn’t be opened with a simple spell.
Hermione, on the other hand, was feeling tired of being a prisoner in her own room. She felt nauseous sometimes due to the lack of food. When it was midnight or later, she would secretly head out of her room to the kitchen for a nighttime snack and rush back before Draco had heard her.
Daytime was the most difficult time; not only for Hermione, but for Draco as well. He walked back and forth on the stairs, hoping that Jean would come out sooner or later; either for the bathroom or for the kitchen, but she remained there for the rest of the day. He would occasionally go the kitchen and grab a snack to eat, but he was rarely hungry.
Draco kept his mind focused on if Jean was eating or not. He didn’t see her come out of her room anymore. He wondered if she was starving herself because of him. Sometimes, when he did hear her come out of her room at night, he would lie in bed, wide awake, just listening to her head downstairs to the kitchen and back. He didn’t want to go after her, afraid that she might not come out of her room at night either if she knew he was awake.
Now, as the third day was coming upon them, Draco prepared himself for another sorrowful, lonely day.
He went into the kitchen and neatly made himself a jelly sandwich. He wasn’t too bad at that now. Normally he would eat the sandwich with a glass of milk. That was usually his morning breakfast; that is, if he ate at all. But today, Draco felt like having eggs. That would give him the energy that was being drained out of him slowly.
Draco opened random cabinets, above and below, trying to find the frying pan. Finally giving up, he pointed his wand directly in front of himself and said, “Accio frying pan.” Unfortunately for him, three different pans flew at him at once. He was hit by all three.
Cursing loudly, Draco picked up one of the pans, placed it on the stove and pressed one of the knobs. He remembered something Jean had said about turning the ignition. He went to the fridge and took out three eggs and tried to break them gently on the pan, but he heard a sizzling noise which made him realize he accidentally spilled the egg yolk directly on the fire instead of the pan. He cursed again.
Hermione cracked open the kitchen door. The smell of burnt eggs reached her nose and she nearly laughed at the sight before her. Draco’s right hand was covered in egg yolk, while the other hand was holding his wand that was spraying water on the burning stove.
He picked up the pan with his gooey covered hand, but it slipped and fell to the floor with a hard clank. Draco cursed loudly this time and picked up his right foot. The pan had fallen on it.
This time Hermione grinned widely as she watched a crazed Draco make his way to the kitchen table and sit down to rub his foot.
Hermione slowly entered the kitchen, one soft step at a time and she pointed her wand at the mess and magically cleaned it up with a swish.
She started to leave, but Draco slammed his fist on the table.
“Damn it!” he said. He dropped his face in his hands and Hermione stopped to watch him. “What did I do wrong?”
He was talking aloud to no one specific.
“I don’t deserve to live. There’s no one to live for.” He whispered the last sentence. When he pulled his hands from his face, Hermione watched as a few tears escaped his eyes and fell to the table. He didn’t bother to wipe them clean.
Hermione felt a stab in her heart. Was it her fault he was acting like this?
Draco was still oblivious to her presence there and he continued talking to himself. “Am I not worth loving? I must not be.” He chuckled lightly. “Merlin, how would it feel to be loved? I wouldn’t know. Mum was always out and father…” He slammed his fist once again on the table, “And now Jean.”
Hermione felt her breath stuck in her throat at what he might say about her.
“Merlin, I love her,” he said in one breath, pushing his hair back. “But she doesn’t feel the same way about me. Who could blame her? I’m a worthless bastard.”
Hermione couldn’t believe the way Draco was speaking of himself. He was in way over his head for talking about himself so harshly.
“I just wish…” Draco paused, taking deep breaths. He looked up to the ceiling. “If anyone up there is hearing this, I just wish that I could talk to Jean again. Just once. I’d do anything to get a chance to hear her beautiful voice once more.”
With that, Hermione left the kitchen and went up to her room to think about what Draco just said.
“Hey Ron,” Luna said smiling at the redhead coming in through the door. He came just like he promised. Her heart fluttered at the sight of him. “Have a seat,” she said, patting the extra space on the bed beside her.
Ron didn’t hesitate. He came and sat next to her, holding out a bouquet of yellow roses. “Here you go, Luna. These are for you.”
She took them graciously and beamed. “Thank you. How did you know these were my favorite?”
Ron raised an eyebrow. “You told me about them last week, remember?”
Luna smiled in remembrance. “Oh! Of course, how silly of me to forget.”
Ron matched her smile. “So, how are you feeling? The Healer outside told me that you will be out in no time, as long as you’re not in any pain.”
Luna placed her small hand over Ron’s. “I’m not feeling any pain as long as you’re with me.”
Ron’s cheeks turned bright red, but Luna didn’t seem to pay attention to his embarrassment. She gave his hand a gentle squeeze. “I have a favor to ask of you, Ron.”
He nodded his right away. “Yeah, sure, anything.”
“When it’s time for me to go home, will you take me?” Her eyes bore into Ron’s lovely blue ones.
Ron nodded again. “Of course I will.” They remained silent for a few seconds as they held each other’s hand.
“Aw…look at the sweethearts!” A mocking voice came from the door. George and Fred stood in the doorway, with their parents right behind them.
Ron immediately stood up. “What are you doing here?”
Mrs. Weasley passed through her two joker sons and walked over to the bed. “We’re here to see Luna, of course,” she said cheerfully, as she placed a gentle kiss on the blonde’s forehead. She sat down a vase of white roses on the drawer beside the bed. “How are you doing dear?”
Luna’s broad smile lit her face once more. “Fantastic, Mrs. Weasley.”
“Merlin, you two!” Mr. Weasley’s voice rang from behind the twins. “You’re blocking the way. Either go in or make way for the rest of us!” He pushed his way past his sons and smiled at the young woman. “Ah, Luna.” He approached her and took her hand in his own. “Feeling better, are we?”
Luna nodded her head in agreement as she glanced at Ron beside the door again. His cheeks were turning red again as his brothers poked fun at him.
Mr. Weasley patted her hand in a fatherly way. “Good, good. You need to feel better dear. We want you to join us for dinner again. How does that sound?”
Luna looked at a flushed Ronald and grinned at Mr. Weasley, “That sounds wonderful, Mr. Weasley.”
Mr. Weasley followed her gaze and nodded knowingly. He winked at Luna. “Doesn’t it?”
Later that morning, Hermione sneaked downstairs once more to see a frustrated Draco cursing and throwing open random drawers, until he found a towel, which he wrapped around his hand. He had burned himself.
Hermione felt sorry for him. She had stayed away from him for two days and he couldn’t even take care of himself. She was a terrible nurse. What would the other nurses say about her? She could just imagine Carrie taunting Hermione for her horrible work.
Hermione shook the memory from her mind and took a deep breath before entering the kitchen. She opened the fridge and took out a tomato and a few other items. She gently laid them on the counter as she took a pan and started the chopping the tomato, onions and random items, tossing them into the pan. She ignited the stove.
Draco obviously heard all of this and was surprised (and excited) to know she was there beside him again, but when he called out her name once and she didn’t respond, he decided not to try again.
He remained silent as he heard her feet shuffling from one place to another; opening cabinets and the fridge occasionally.
Hermione did her best not to stare at Draco. She even tried to pretend he wasn’t there, but his ragged breathing wasn’t helping. She knew he was listening to her every movement. She couldn’t ignore it, but she decided she was just there to help him; not to talk to him.
Finally, half way through the fresh aroma of Hermione’s cooking--which caused both of their stomachs to growl in hunger---Draco spoke up.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “I’m sorry for what I did. But I just have to know…why? Why did you avoid me? Was there something I did wrong? Or…” Draco swallowed loudly, “is there someone else?”
Why would he think there’s someone else? Hermione thought momentarily as she tried to decide to respond to his questions or not.
They remained quiet until Hermione heard footsteps behind her. She turned around, but was already too late. Draco was a few steps away from her. She tried to give him the slip by sneaking sideways, but he grasped her by the arms.
“Tell me, Jean, please,” he pleaded.
Hermione felt her heart crumple as she noticed a few fresh tears fall down his cheek.
“Tell me, is there someone else? If there is, I’ll leave you alone. I…promise.” Draco’s choked breath was on her face. His lips were dry and parted.
Hermione cursed herself for staring at his lips. “No,” she whispered.
“What?” Draco said only half-hearing her.
“There’s no one else.”
Draco felt his heart come together again at her words. His grip increased on her arms. “Then why, Jean? Why are you running away from me?”
Hermione pulled herself from his grip. “I don’t know!” she replied. “Maybe it’s because we don’t belong together! You don’t even like my kind!” she added harshly.
Draco seemed lost for a moment, but then regained his voice again. “You’re a Muggle-born.” It wasn’t at all a question. He seemed confident about his answer. “I know you are.”
Hermione snorted and for a split second she thought Draco might have figured out her real identity.
“But what I don’t get is…” Draco paused before starting again, “you don’t think we belong together just because we come from different bloods?”
Even that sounded odd to Hermione. Was that the real reason? Of course it is! She argued in her mind. He wouldn’t dare go out with me if he knew I was a goody-two shoes Mudblood!
Draco’s chuckle reached her ears.
“You think that’s amusing?” she asked with her hands on her hips.
“Well, yeah,” he replied, his arms across his chest. “I mean I knew all along you were a Muggle-born.”
“You…did?” Hermione felt like running off that moment, but her feet couldn’t function properly.
“Yeah, nothing in this house is magical and you know how to work everything. You’re obviously a Muggle-born or a half-blood, but either way, I wouldn’t refuse to date you just because you‘re either.” Draco smiled sheepishly.
Hermione tried to find another excuse. Okay, so he doesn’t mind dating a Muggle-born, but that still leaves me! How would he feel if he knew that he was really dating me, Hermione- the-know-it-all-bookworm-Granger?!
She didn’t dare say anything about that. Draco approached her in her blank state once more. He reached for her hand. As if reading her mind he said right on cue, “I love you for who you are.”
Only if you knew who I really was, Hermione thought to herself. The same annoying voice in her mind was back. You’re Hermione Jean Granger.
Finally, finding her correct voice she responded, “I’m just not ready to date, Draco.” She left him alone in the middle of the kitchen.
“If you were…” Draco said, causing her to stop dead in her tracks. “If you were looking to date, what would you be looking for in a guy?”
Hermione found herself frowning. She kept a list of things she hated in guys, but the opposite, there were so many things. Where to start?
“Someone’s who is passionate, loving, caring, understands my needs and wants, someone who cares about everyone around them, no matter what blood they may come from.” She paused and flicked her wand at the boiling pan on the stove, “And of course, a guy who can cook.” She added humorously.
Fantastic image by slytherinprincess!
Later that evening, Hermione perched herself comfortably on the living room floor. She flicked the many channels on the television trying to find something entertaining. To her amusement, she came across the Discovery channel. She spent on an hour watching a show about how people talked about ghosts in their home and how some Muggle men actually tried to catch them. She thought of this as more of a comedy show than a reality show.
Half past five o’clock, Hermione heard clanks of pots and pans in the kitchen. She turned off the television and decided to go upstairs to wash herself up before confronting the noise.
The moment she did come back down to the kitchen, she found herself holding back on the laughter that wanted to exit from her mouth.
It was complete chaos. That was probably the right word for it. Almost every type of pot and pan was lying out on either the counter or the floor. Tomatoes were on the table, some leaking red juice as if they had been gripped too hard. The fridge was left wide open causing a cold chill to fill the kitchen. The sink’s water was running and nearly over-flooding. There were two pots on the stove, but the burner wasn’t on.
Thankfully, Hermione thought. As she walked further into the kitchen, she stepped on an egg and nearly slipped, but caught herself by grabbing onto the counter nearby.
She spotted Draco on the opposite side of the kitchen, holding in his right hand his wand and in his left hand, what looked like a bag of chicken legs. He was heading for the stove.
Hermione quickly turned off the water faucet and headed for the fridge, shutting it. “What on earth is going on in here, Draco?” She asked, not knowing whether to laugh her guts out or taunt him for his immaturity.
“Oh, Jean.” Draco half blushed as he nearly dropped the bag of chicken legs onto the floor at the sound of her voice. “I was just—er—“
“Look at this mess! It looks as if a tornado had been through here!” Hermione pulled out her own wand and started pointing at random items to make them go back to their original place. “What were you thinking?”
“I---um—was just…” Draco’s voice seemed to trail off.
“What were you just trying to do?” Hermione taunted, finding her angry energy. “You know you can’t handle this kind of stuff.” She grabbed the bag from his hand. “That’s what I’m here for.”
Draco merely nodded his head and took a seat at the table, listening to Jean clean up the mess he had made.
After Hermione successfully cleaned up the kitchen, she took out one of the clean pots from the bottom cabinet and started to cook dinner herself.
“You still didn’t answer my question,” she said in the middle of their two-minute silence. “What were you doing? You know it’s my responsibility to cook for you. If you were hungry you should have just asked, I was getting ready to—“
“You said you liked guys who could cook,” Draco interrupted her softly.
Hermione stopped whatever she was doing and blinked her eyes several times. “Wh-what did you say?” she asked hesitantly, afraid she didn’t hear him correctly.
Draco fingered his wand, fiddling with it. “You like guys who can cook and I just…” he took a deep breath, exhaling it, “I just wanted to cook for you.”
Feeling as if this was the funniest thing in the world, Hermione burst out laughing. Draco didn’t flinch. He kept his eyes downcast toward the table.
Hermione felt bad. I shouldn’t be laughing. She thought to herself. He obviously means it. She cleared her throat. “Well, you’re not a perfect chef, but you aren’t bad for a blind guy trying to cook a homemade meal.” Draco grinned.
“Plus,” Hermione went back to cooking dinner, “you didn’t set the house on fire. That definitely counts as something.”
Ron helped Luna out of her hospital bed, holding up her packed bag for her. “Ready to go then?” he asked cheerfully.
“Yes. I’m going to miss this place,” Luna replied, patting the bed softly. “The bed was just right and the service was great, of course.”
Ron rolled his eyes. He never liked staying in the hospital for too long. The nurses would come all the time; whether you were sleeping or having a time alone with a friend. He was annoyed with their services. But after all, this was Luna. The smallest things amazed her. That’s what he liked about her. He shook his head of the thoughts and opened the door.
Luna passed by him and threw him a pleasant smile. “Thanks again for taking me home, Ron.”
“It’s no problem at all. Really. I like to get away from work once in a while,” Ron replied sheepishly.
“But still, thanks.” Luna stood up on her tiptoes and placed a gentle kiss on Ron’s cheek. He turned scarlet.
They headed out of the hospital and into the phone booth where they apparated to Luna’s place. Luna’s father wasn’t home at the moment, so they were alone in the big house.
“I-I guess I should be going then,” Ron said nervously.
Luna nodded with a smile, but it faded quickly.
“Well, it’ll be boring to be alone in this house until father comes home,” she said, taking a seat on one of the flowery couches.
Ron brushed his hair back with his hand, causing it to have a messy wave. “Well, I guess I can stick around for a while…I mean, er—if you want me to.”
Luna’s face brightened up. “Of course I want you to, but if you have to go to work, I can’t stop you.”
“No, it’s alright. I don’t have much to do today anyway.” Ron sat down on the couch next to Luna who was watching him.
“So…” he said.
“Where are my manners?” Luna said suddenly standing up. “I’m sorry Ron, would you like anything to drink? I have pumpkin juice, lemon juice, butterbeer and I believe we may still have some maggot juice.”
“M-maggot juice?” Ron asked feeling nauseous.
“Oh, I know what you’re thinking and don’t you worry...” Luna said as she headed for the kitchen. “It’s from Egypt so you know that their maggots are specially hand-picked.”
After dinner, Hermione headed out into the backyard, sitting by the large tree beside the lake. She stared at the glimmering lake, occasionally spotting a fish or two jumping in and out of the water. She felt herself relax as she sighed deeply.
That’s a shiny fish. Hermione spotted not too far away from the lake, but the odd thing was that it looked as if it was fluttering and staying above up the water. She sat upward, alert now. That’s not a fish! She was now standing up, watching the golden shiny item fluttering close by the water and reaching high altitude once more. “Draco!” she said through gritted teeth.
“Yes?” Draco’s voice came from behind her.
Hermione spun around to face the blond. He was holding his wand along with his broom in the other hand. She pointed unbelievably at the broom. “What do you think you’re doing?”
“I’m going for a ride,” he replied simply.
Hermione scoffed. “N-no, you’re not! You know what happened last time. Or did you forget the unsuspected accident you had with the lake that almost cost you your life?” She was breathing quite heavily.
Draco merely smiled. “How can I forget the day a wonderful woman saved my life?”
Hermione blushed, but kept her chin high since she knew that Draco couldn’t see her embarrassment. “If you think I’ll come to rescue this time, you’re wrong!” She folded her arms across her chest.
“You won’t let anything happen to me,” Draco said confidently. “You’re my nurse.” He started to make himself invisible with his wand, but Hermione stopped him. He looked confused. “What’s wrong?”
Hermione narrowed her eyes. “I’m not going to risk going for a swim again this time.” She sat behind Draco on his broom. He was definitely surprised by her decision, just as she was. “I’m going with you. That way I’ll direct you.”
Draco grinned. “Sounds great.” But he got off his broom and Hermione raised an eyebrow. He changed his position from in front of her to behind her on the broom. “But if you’re going to direct me, you’ll have to sit in front of me.”
Hermione nodded her head, not being able to find the right words. She waited as Draco made himself invisible and then her. She felt a cooling sensation from her head down her spine. She knew that feeling anywhere. She was invisible now.
Draco kicked off from the ground and they reached the air at a steady speed. They were above the top of the tree now. Hermione’s grip increased on the broomstick, as they were getting higher off the ground.
“Which way?” Draco whispered in her hair.
Hermione felt herself getting nervous each moment, but enjoying herself at the same time. “Go straight.”
Draco obeyed. When the broom suddenly sped up, Hermione fell back against Draco since she had accidentally loosened her grip on the broom. “Oh, s-sorry,” she said sheepishly.
“It’s okay,” Draco whispered closely to her ear. She felt shivers go down her back.
“Turn slightly left now.” They were above the lake that stretched for miles in both directions. Hermione decided they would fly above it because it looked lovely in the sun.
After flying lightly, Draco directed the broom to go up a little higher. Hermione’s nervousness engulfed her once more. She let out a little whimper as she stared down. She closed her eyes tightly.
“Are you okay, Jean?” Draco asked.
Hermione pressed herself backwards into Draco, having the daylights scared out of her from the height they were ascending now. Draco, on the other hand, had one hand on her waist and the other holding her shoulder. She was frightened from heights and he knew it.
“Jean, relax,” he directed her. “Don’t look down. Focus on something else. Feel the wind blowing in your hair.”
Hermione listened to Draco’s soothing suggestions. She opened her eyes and looked upward at the sky and the puffy white clouds they were passing. The sun was setting, but she didn’t dare look any further down. She felt her breathing come to a normal pace. The wind did feel good through her hair.
She smiled. Feeling better than before, she laughed. Draco smiled at the sound. This was the best day ever for him, excluding the part of trying to cook.
“Put your arms out,” he recommended.
Hermione bit her bottom lip. “I-I don’t know if I can,” she said back to him.
“Here,” Draco said sliding his hands down her arms, “Let me help.” He stretched her arms outward with his own guiding her.
Hermione felt excitement wrap around her. “This feels so good,” she breathed.
Really good, Draco thought. The tip of his chin sometimes bounced against Jean's shoulder and he tried to fight the urge to kiss on it.
Hermione took a deep breath and took a hold of Draco’s outstretched hands and placed them around her, which very much surprised her as it did Draco.
Draco felt his breaths go ragged. His face was now pressed against Jean’s. He didn’t move, thinking she was panicking again, but the moment he felt her fingers lace gently between his own, he smiled and scooted himself closer to her.
Hermione felt Draco’s cold face pressed against her own soft one. She felt him scoot himself closer behind her. She closed her eyes and for the first time since she had arrived there, she approvingly relaxed against Draco’s body.
They flew like that for another hour, Hermione occasionally telling Draco which direction to head in, but other than that, they were pretty quiet in each other’s arms.
“Maybe we should head back now. It’s getting dark.” Hermione finally spoke up.
Draco nodded and listened to Hermione’s directions to where their house was. They landed beside the tree and at the edge of the lake. Draco removed the invisibility charm with his wand just as Hermione did with her own wand.
They walked back together to the house in silence. They entered from the back door and went through the kitchen to the staircase. At that moment, Draco shrank his broom and placed it in his pocket, walking behind Jean up the stairs.
The moment they were on the top, in the hallway, they stopped in their tracks. Hermione stood faced Draco (just a few feet away), while he on the other hand, tried to figure out where Jean was standing.
Hermione watched Draco shove his hands into his jean pockets and glance down at the floor awkwardly.
As if in some sort of trance, Hermione approached Draco and placed a gentle kiss on his cheek. She made her way to her room doorway and turned back. “Good night, Draco.” She said.
Draco smiled. “Sweet dreams, Jean.”
With that, Hermione retreated to her room, leaving the door fully open. She fell onto her bed and sighed happily as she found herself drifting off to sleep quickly and becoming consumed by peaceful, loving dreams.
Draco couldn’t sleep that night. He couldn’t control the excitement he was feeling about Jean’s new attitude around him. She was actually giving in to her feelings for him. He was happier than a dog with a bone. As he tossed once more to his right side, he heard the grandfather clock ring loudly in the silent house announcing yet another passing hour.
He wasn’t sure what time it was, but he felt he had been awake for endless hours, just thinking about her. Draco turned over and lay down on his back, with his arms folded behind his head. He couldn’t wait for the next day to hear Jean again; feel her close by and smell her lovely scent. And he especially couldn’t wait to talk to her and hear her joyful laughter that still rang in his ears and throughout his mind.
Hermione kicked her plaid blankets off with her thrashing feet. She tossed and turned in the small bed, occasionally gasping for breath. Her eyes were tightly shut and her face as pale as if she were a ghost. Her forehead was beaded in sweat that trickled down her face and into her cinnamon hair, drenching it.
Hermione found herself racing down a dark narrow alley that seemed to be closing in on her. The faster she ran, the faster the walls neared. She was at the edge of the alley when she jumped out for her life. Thankfully she had made it. She was on her knees in puddles of thick water.
There’s no such thing as thick water, Hermione thought as she touched the liquid between her fingers. In the moonlight, the crimson color glowed on her fingertips. It was blood. It was someone’s blood. Someone had died.
She stood up and took two steps forward, almost tripping over a body that lay on the floor in the darkness. Hermione gasped, stumbling backwards. The body was that one of a Death Eater, the face covered with a mask and a cone shaped hat on the head. A shiny silver dagger stood upon his chest.
Without knowing what she was doing, Hermione fell down next to the body and pulled the dagger out of the chest of the dead body.
Suddenly bright lights flashed in her direction. “She killed him!”
Hermione was on her feet now as she shielded herself from the many lights. “What’s going on?” She asked as she saw three figures approaching her now.
“Mudblood!” Someone cursed, as they got closer.
Hermione saw that they were armed with wands and she wasn’t. She turned around and ran for it, but her legs felt heavy as iron as she tried to get to safety.
Two curses flew just above her head. She would have been hit by the third one if she hadn’t jumped behind a dumpster. Her breaths were short and ragged. She needed help, fast.
The dumpster she shielded herself with was blasted aside. “Kill the Mudblood!”
They were getting closer now. Hermione turned a corner of the alley and ran into someone big and rough. She looked up, hoping it was help, but was scared to death when she realized it wasn’t.
The man stood before her masked and armed. He held his wand to her head in a robotic motion. “Kill the Mudblood,” he said in a gruff voice.
Hermione shoved him to the side and continued running on. “Help! Someone help me!” She ran straight into a dead end. She turned around to see thirty or more Death Eaters arriving and approaching her with their wands directly in front of them.
She grabbed a full garbage bag from the floor and tossed it at the nearest Death Eater who just flicked it away with a swish of his wand. Hermione cowered into the corner, her eyes tearful and wide in fear. “Get away from me!” She screeched.
“Kill the Mudblood,” they chanted in unison. “Kill the Mudblood.”
A strong pair of arms grabbed Hermione by the shoulders and lifted her up. Hermione refused to open her eyes and stare into the evilness of her killer. “No!” She screamed and thrashed. She had successfully managed to hit the Death Eater squarely across the face. “No! Get away!”
Draco gave Jean a gentle shake to wake her up. “Jean, it’s just a nightmare,” he said in a warm voice, trying to avoid another accidental hit by her movements. She had already managed to punch him in the jaw unfortunately.
But Draco still didn’t give up. He squeezed her shoulders this time. “Jean, it’s me, Draco!” He said a little more firmly this time as if he were talking to a deaf person. “Wake up! Please, wake up.”
Hermione had stopped kicking and screaming, but her body was shaking. Draco had managed to hold her in his arms. He was shocked at how cold Jean’s body was. He rubbed as much of her bare arms as he could, giving her body warmth.
Hermione opened her eyes slowly. At first all she could see was complete darkness, but then after some squinting she realized she was in her room and in safe hands….
Feeling her heart pound in suspense, Hermione shot her head up to see whose arms she was in and immediately felt butterflies rise in her stomach the moment her eyes fell on the pale face of Draco.
His eyes were shining with concern and both of his arms were around her, his hands were on her arms, rubbing them up and down with warmth.
Hermione didn’t know what surprised her more, that a blind Draco came to her rescue or that she didn’t want him to leave. She pressed her head against his chest, hearing the faint, but rapid, beats of his heart against her ear. She sighed in relaxation and closed her eyes.
Draco felt Jean shift closer against him, her head lying lightly against his chest. His heartbeat had increased a faster pace with her so close once more in two days.
After a few minutes sitting very, very still, he could hear her breaths go peaceful, and he knew that she fell asleep once more. Hoping not to wake Jean, Draco scooted back on the bed and leaned back against the wall, holding Jean in his arms. He loosened his grip and tried to help her back on the bed, but she grunted against him and placed her hand on top of his shoulder. He got the hint that she didn’t want him to leave. He wasn’t protesting.
Draco leaned his back with the wall and sat there with Jean in his lap, sound asleep, with his arms protectively around her. Her vanilla scent filled his breaths and he could feel the light tickle of her hair brushing his chin. Even as uncomfortable as he was positioned, he could get used to sitting like that anytime.
Morning came with the bright sun illuminating through Hermione’s room window. The light had reached the bed’s end at around 7am. Though morning, the couple in the bed were still sound asleep.
Spending almost an hour sitting up with Jean in his lap, Draco eventually got tired and sleepy. He had slid lower and lower on the bed until he was lying back down on the mattress. Jean was still half on him, with her arm curled around his shoulder and neck, and her face buried in his chest. Draco had fallen asleep almost right away once he was lying on the bed. He tried not to disturb Jean with too many movements, so they slept in that position for the rest of the night.
Now with morning approaching, Draco was lying straight, with his arms sprawled to the side, his light snores filling the room. Hermione was on her back now, with her head laid on Draco’s hung out arm. Her arms were folded on her stomach neatly.
When the grandfather clock chimed eight o’clock, Hermione tossed to her right side grudgingly and wrapped an arm around Draco’s stomach. Her face became buried in the side of his chest. She inhaled the fresh Bounty smell of his white t-shirt and dug her face further into his shirt.
“That tickles,” Draco said in a small, but humorous voice.
Hermione automatically opened her eyes to his comment and lifted her head to see Draco on her bed, with nothing but a thin t-shirt on and boxers. She noticed that she had an arm around him and his left arm was just below her pillow, on the spot she had just got up from.
She smiled at the sight of the blonde man that lay before her. His eyes were closed and his face had a dreamy look on it. His lips were lightly closed together in a blissful smile and his blonde hair was all over the place.
Deciding not to awake him when he looked so peaceful, Hermione slid her arm off of Draco and sat up on the edge of the bed. She sighed deeply. She brushed down her bushy hair with her hand, but it was no use without a brush…or spell. She stood up and stopped halfway when a board in the floor creaked loudly. She took a backwards glance at Draco and was relieved when he didn’t awake from the noise.
Hermione made her way to the bathroom as silently as possible. She clicked the door shut and started the day with a warm shower.
Draco heard the sound of water running. He turned to his left side and noticed that he was alone. Jean had gone already. He touched the spot on the bed where she was previously sleeping. He smiled. He wondered how she would react that day. With this thought in his mind, he was motivated to get up out of bed and head to his room where he changed into some proper clothes for the day.
Mrs. Weasley paced in the kitchen of her home, occasionally checking her family clock to see where her husband and sons were. Lunch was almost done and they still weren’t home from work yet.
She had rushed to set the table when the back door opened and in came four redheads, a brunette and a blonde.
Mrs. Weasley embraced all of them with a hug each, gesturing them to the table. “About time you lot showed up. Lunch is getting cold. Sit down and grab a plate.”
The group didn’t need to be told twice. Bill and Fleur took the seats on the right side of the extended table, while Fred, Angelina and George sat on the opposite side. Mr. Weasley sat at the end of the table and prepared himself with a plate of sweet goodness when the door swung open again.
There stood in the doorway were Ron and right beside him, Luna Lovegood. They were smiling and Ron’s face went a bit red when his twin brothers blew kisses at him.
“Come on in, dearies.” Mrs. Weasley gestured to the empty seats at the table. “Have a seat and have a bite.”
They obeyed and didn’t say anything else. The only noise that continued for a half an hour was loud munching and scrapings on the plate from spoons and forks.
Ron stuffed his mouth with delicious pumpkin pie while George and Fred smirked between their brother and the blonde that accompanied him at the table.
“Ron, slow down. Luna’s not going anywhere,” Fred said.
“Yeah, you’ll have plenty of time to snog later,” George added.
Ron’s whole face turned as red as a tomato as he choked on his pie. Luna handed him a glass of water and patted him on the back. He drank the whole glass in one gulp, gasping for breaths as if he had been in a swimming marathon. Not being able to find his words quick enough, he glared at his devious brothers.
“Fred! George!” Mrs. Weasley said in a taunting voice. “Stop that foolishness!” Although she was trying to defend her younger son, she still couldn’t hide the smile that spread on her lips.
Hermione found herself in a happy mood that morning. During her shower she hummed the jolly tune of “Accidentally In Love” by Counting Crows and while cooking breakfast, she felt like skipping around the kitchen, but refrained from doing it with Draco there. Even though he couldn’t see her, she still wasn’t going to risk it.
Now as she was washing the dishes after lunch, Hermione smiled widely as she thought more of Draco. Although the nightmare she had was a bit foggy in her mind, the scene she saw from morning was still fresh.
Draco was on the bed beside her. He had come beside her to comfort her after her nightmare. She was in his arms.
She sighed deeply. Am I falling for Draco? She thought to herself. She smiled and bit her lip. I think I know the answer to that.
After washing the dishes, Hermione made her way to the living room to find Draco on the couch with his broom in his hand and a silver-looking towel in the other, wiping the broomstick.
Hermione sat across from him and he grinned when he heard her arrival. “What are you doing?”
“I’m cleaning my broom,” he replied, no longer wiping the broomstick. “I’m—um—planning on going for another ride today.”
“Oh, really?” Hermione asked, hoping he would ask her to come along.
“Yeah. I was hoping that if—maybe—er--you’d—you would like to join me?” Draco asked, his cheeks turning red.
“Yes, I would,” Hermione responded as her face turned just as red as her heart fluttered in her chest. Merlin, I’d love to!
A/N: Sorry for the late post. School started about a week ago for me and I have loads of work to do. I was still working on this chapter, but I was uncertain in some areas. Still, let me know what you think. Oh, and to most of you that have the question “When is Draco going to find out that Jean is Hermione?” My answer is that I don’t want to spoil it for you (or anyone else for that matter), so be patient and you’ll see when Draco finds out. I promise you that it’ll be worth the wait. Thanks for reading and please review! :)
(The ending to last chapter…)
“Yes, I would,” Hermione responded as her face turned just as red as her heart fluttered in her chest. Merlin, I’d love to!
Draco held out his hand for Hermione. She reached out her right hand for his, but immediately felt hot water burn her skin.
Hermione gasped, turning the water faucet off. She had been daydreaming while washing the dishes. She smiled as she wiped her wet hands on a hand cloth.
As she headed into the living room, she heard distant noises coming from upstairs. She followed the racket and made her way to Draco’s room.
Hermione found Draco rummaging through his suitcase, tossing out random things to the floor, murmuring to himself.
“Er—Draco?” Hermione asked as she entered his room perplexed. “What are you searching for?”
Draco kept his face down as he continued to shuffle his hands through his jeans’ pockets. “I can’t seem to –uh, find my broomstick.”
Hermione felt a thick lump form in her throat. “Wh-what?” She choked.
“I shrunk it last night and placed it in my pocket, but I can’t find it.”
A sudden idea popped in Hermione’s mind. “Why don’t you just cast an Accio spell?”
Draco frowned. “That won’t work.”
Now it was Hermione’s turn to frown. “Why not?”
Draco sighed. “I—I sort of placed an anti-Accio charm on my broomstick.”
Hermione looked incredulous. “What? Why on earth would you do something like?”
“Well,” Draco brushed his hair back, “it was a very expensive broom; one of the best I had. I didn’t want someone to steal it.”
Hermione threw her hands up in the air. “Well, now what are we—“ she stopped herself before she could say anything else.
“What were you going to say?” Draco asked a smirk forming on his lips.
Hermione bit her bottom lip and fell to her knees right away on the floorboard checking underneath the bed. “Let me help you try to find it,” she said hoping to change subjects.
“It’s going to be hard to find since it’s shrunken,” Draco said.
“Like finding a needle in a haystack,” Hermione murmured.
After thirty minutes searching the room, staircase, and living room, Hermione pretty much felt the urge to give up. It was utterly hopeless. The broom was lost and they weren’t going for another romantic ride.
Hermione sighed sadly as she plopped down on the sofa, rubbing her temples. Draco came into the living room a few minutes later looking just as pooped.
“No luck,” he said sitting down on the sofa next to her, but since he couldn’t see, he nearly sat down on top of an exhausted Hermione. She managed to scoot over, but since she was already at the end of the sofa, there wasn’t much room.
Luckily enough, Draco barely missed her right arm and leg. “Sorry,” he said, embarrassed.
“That’s okay,” Hermione replied, feeling butterflies rise in her stomach with Draco’s left side of his body pressed against her right side.
“So…” Draco said, turning his face sideways toward her.
Hermione turned to look at him and found herself staring at his lips. She could feel his warm breath on her nose.
“So…” Hermione said. Without knowing what she was doing, she felt herself inching forward to close the gap between her mouth and Draco’s.
Draco seemed to be doing the same, somewhat confident about what direction he was headed in.
Hermione was centimeters away from Draco’s lips when the grandfather clock struck loudly.
“I guess I should get lunch ready,” Hermione whispered, her face just where she left it.
“I’m not that hungry,” Draco responded, raising his eyebrow in intimidation.
Hermione furrowed her brows together. “I still have to cook for you whether you like it or not.” She stood up and grinned. “After all, I am your nurse.”
Draco smirked mischievously as he listened to Hermione’s footsteps fade into the kitchen.
Luna watched amusedly as Ron paced back and forth on the green blooming grass. She munched noisily on a piece of potato chip.
“Ron, you’re going to make yourself dizzy,” Luna said. “Best you take a rest.”
Ron frowned at her suggestion. “I’m going to get those two back for what they did.”
“Who two did what-what?” Luna asked taking out another chip and examining it.
Ron sighed in frustration and turned in the direction of his house. Not too far away, the Weasley twins were working on their latest prank projects. He glared at them. “Doesn’t it bother you that Fred and George—um, you know—“He paused to glance at Luna. She was eating another chip, watching him closely now. “—well, you know—they embarrassed us.”
Luna stopped eating her chips, staring at him obliviously. “What do you mean?”
Ron felt like pulling out his hair at that moment. He didn’t want to explain it all over again. It was already enough painful the first time around, “About…ahem…when I choked on pie.”
Luna smiled and stood up now. She handed him the empty chips bag, brushing her hands on her violet jeans. She stared up at him, her smile glowing on her pale face. “You needn’t feel embarrassed about something that isn’t true.”
Ron didn’t look convinced. “Yeah, but—“
Luna pressed her index finger to Ron’s lips. “No buts. Besides, I know someone as cute as you wouldn’t be caught snogging with someone as weird as me.”
Ron looked as if he had been punched in the stomach. “Come on now, Luna. You’re a-a great girl. You’re funny. Um—attractive. Very attractive and a good catch. And you’re…”
“Not Hermione,” Luna added. Her expression was unreadable and Ron found himself staring at her face, trying to find something, anything that could tell him what her reaction was. “You love Hermione, not me.”
Ron was speechless. He opened his mouth and closed it unable to find the right words to say.
Luna gave him another smile, but a sheepish one. “I’m not mad, Ron. It’s obvious you love her. And I could never be her.”
“Luna—I,” Ron started.
“Please, Ron.” Luna interrupted. “Don’t say anything else. It will only make you look like a flobberworm.”
Ron was taken aback by Luna’s sudden humor in a talk like this, but after all, she was referred to as ‘loony’.
She took a few steps away from Ron, her eyes in the direction of the Burrow. “Just remember, Ron, you can give your heart to someone, but you may not receive theirs in return.” She focused on the ground now. Ron noticed a teardrop fall down her cheek as she Disapparted into thin air with a ‘crack’.
A few hours had passed after lunch for the duo. With no broomstick, they didn’t have anything to keep them entertained, well that was until Draco came up with an idea.
“How about I make myself invisible and you try to find me?” He suggested.
Hermione didn’t think it was the greatest past time in the world, but since she would be spending time with him, it was worth a try. “Okay.”
Ten whole minutes had passed by and Hermione hadn’t been able to spot where Draco was.
He would often give her clues, but it was no use. For a blind guy, he was pretty quick.
“You’re getting close,” Draco said in a mocking voice. “I can hear your shoes squishing in the mud ground.”
Hermione thought she heard his voice come from beside the tree. She slowly walked there, holding up her hands in front of her to feel for Draco’s invisible body, but he wasn’t there.
It was her shoes that were causing Draco to figure out where she was. She sat down on the floor and removed her sneakers, tossing them aside.
Draco heard her shoes far away and spoke up confidently. “Looks like you’re heading in the wrong direction.” He waited at the edge of the lake for Jean to speak up, but instead quietness filled the air. “Jean?” He asked worried why she didn’t say anything. “Did you leave—oof!”
Hermione had successfully tackled an invisible Draco into the lake. They both gasped and gagged for air, before standing up right.
Hermione laughed gaily at the sight of Draco. His wet hair was draped over half his face, making him look utterly ridiculous.
Draco brushed his hair back with his hand. He frowned. “That wasn’t funny.”
“Yes—that--was!” Hermione gasped between her fits of laughter.
“I’ll show you funny,” Draco said making a jump for her, but he missed and landed in the deep side of the lake.
Hermione brushed away her tears of laughter, waiting for Draco to come up to the surface, but he never did. Her heart skipped a beat. She held her breath and went down into the water, but she didn’t spot him anywhere. When she came back up to the surface for air, she saw Draco’s body floating on the water not too far away. She gasped, rushing toward him. “Draco?” She said, turning him over. She patted his flushed cheek. “Draco?” She said again eagerly. Immediately a frightening thought ran through her mind. “Oh, Merlin!” She cried. “Oh, dear—“
Suddenly, Draco burst out laughing. He stood up in the water now, grasping his chest. He laughed so hard that his face was turning pink. Hermione took a few steps away in the water, gaping at him as if he were some horrifying monster. “You’re—“
“I-I wish—I wish I could’ve seen your face!” Draco stuttered in the same laughing manner Hermione did before.
Hermione wrapped her arms around herself securely, her eyes filling with tears. She covered her mouth from letting a sob escape, but unfortunately for her, Draco heard it.
He immediately stopped laughing and his expression turned serious. “Jean?” He asked tentatively holding out his arms for her.
“Damn it, Draco.” Hermione said, her voice cracking. “That really wasn’t—funny.” She collided into Draco’s arms, sobbing in the side of his neck.
Draco patted her soaking back. “I’m sorry,” he whispered, his lips hovering just above her damp hair. “I didn’t mean to scare you.”
Hermione’s sobs slowed down to an end. She still had her head pressed against Draco’s wet t-shirt.
“Are you okay now?” Draco asked, holding her by her shoulders.
Hermione bit her bottom lip. “Yes,” she barely whispered. Her eyes trailed along Draco’s face; from his lovely blue eyes to his pink, parted lips.
She found herself aching for those wet lips. She stood up on her tiptoes in the water, her breaths becoming more ragged. She pressed her lips against his in a gentle kiss. Immediately, Draco responded to her kiss. It was something he had been waiting for for a long time. He tightened his grip around Jean’s back, one hand around her waist.
Hermione responded to his touch. She slid her hands from his chest to the back of his neck, into his damp, blonde locks. Their kiss became intense by the minute. Draco slid his tongue hungrily across her bottom lip and Hermione opened her mouth, giving him full permission to explore.
Draco smirked inwardly when he heard a moan escape from the back of Jean’s throat. He was enjoying this. He loved hearing her feel satisfied by his touch.
Hermione felt Draco’s hands slide up and down her back as they kissed. She shivered when his wet hands slid onto her bare back.
Draco thought she might freak out, but this time, she wanted him more. She chewed playfully on his bottom lip, causing a loud groan to escape Draco’s mouth. She smiled mischievously.
After a few minutes chewing, sucking and exploring each other’s mouth, they eventually pulled away from the lack of oxygen. They pressed their foreheads against one another, breathing heavily; a grin plastered on both of their faces.
“How about we take this some place else?” Draco suggested seductively.
“I’m game if you are.” Hermione replied, giving him lustful kiss.
Draco scooped up Hermione in his arms from the water and walked out of the lake, onto the grass, their lips still glued together.
They managed to get to the back door, but not without crashing into it at first. Both managed to find the humor in this and laughed it off like a silly little joke.
They created a pathway of puddles from the kitchen all the way up stairs to Draco’s room, but they didn’t seem to care. Only one thing was on their minds at that time.
Draco gently placed Hermione on his bed, pressing his lips against hers once more. Their kiss became heated in a matter of seconds. Hermione slid her arms underneath Draco’s shirt, pulling it off. Draco did the same with her shirt.
Soon, there were in only undergarments, tossing and turning on the bed like two animals fighting over a piece of meat; well, in this case, for the top position.
Hermione finally got it. She sat on top of Draco’s stomach, her legs on the either side of him. She had him pinned down by the arms. He was obviously grinning like a schoolboy.
Hermione’s face was a few inches away from him when she whispered, “Gotcha.” She slammed her lips down on his, immediately slithering her tongue inside his mouth.
Draco tossed Jean to her side while kissing and changed their position. He was just above her now, mocking her like his prey.
He lowered his head and kissed on the first part of Jean that reached his lips. (It was her neck.) He placed loving kisses from her neck down her body, hearing her shudder pleasurably. His hands reached her shoulders where he felt her bra straps still on. He slid them off, as if it were some fragile piece of clothing, and followed with his lips to her tender spots.
In a split minute, Hermione’s undergarments were on the floor, and Draco’s boxers were on the edge of the bed.
“Are you sure?” Draco asked hesitantly, hoping she was entirely sure and didn’t fall into regret the next morning.
Hermione slid her leg against Draco’s thigh, her hands on his back, pressing his body tightly against her own. “Yes,” Hermione whispered so quietly that it was almost inaudible to Draco.
There was no going back now. She couldn’t fight the urge any longer. She wanted this. She wanted him.
A/N: Due to the sudden HPFF crash, all the reviews my faithful readers left for the previous five chapters are lost. L Since I can’t get them back, I was hoping that everyone that’s reading this can do me the favor of leaving a review on those chapters. I’d sincerely appreciate it. J Thanks.
Hermione woke up at exactly seven o’clock the following morning. When she turned to her side, she smiled.
Last night wasn’t a dream.
Hermione snaked her hand over Draco’s bare chest, lightly caressing his muscles with her fingertips. This movement woke Draco up quite quickly. His face broke into a mischievous grin as he turned sideways, facing Jean.
“Good morning,” he said as gently as ever. “Sleep well?”
Hermione matched his grin and replied, “Just fine.”
Draco slid his hand down Hermione’s arm until he reached her hand. He brought it to his lips and kissed each fingertip softly.
Hermione slipped her free hand into Draco’s smooth blonde hair, ruffling it a bit. “You need a haircut,” she said jokingly.
Draco chuckled. “And a shower.” He turned to face the edge of the bed and stood up, stretching and yawning at the same time. He peeked over his shoulder at her and smirked. “I’m ready to start a new day with you.”
Hermione lifted herself by propping up on the bed with her elbows. “Where do you want to go then?”
Draco smirked. “Anywhere, as long as you’re my eyes.”
Hermione smiled as she watched Draco grab a pair of his clothes from the wardrobe and head for the bathroom.
She then sat up and grabbed her wand. “Accio t-shirt,” she said. Since she wasn’t specific, a whole pile of white t-shirts came flying at her from Draco’s wardrobe. She laughed to herself as she threw one of the t-shirts on. It was a bit big for her. It almost reached all the way to her knees. She stood up from the bed, her legs shivering from the lack of clothing, and raced to her bedroom, pulling on a pair of jeans.
While going downstairs, she was making her way to the kitchen when she heard the doorbell ring.
Puzzled that someone actually stopped by after nearly two months, she went to the door and opened it. Hermione gaped at the person standing in the doorway, unable to grasp the right words to say at the moment.
“Morning, Ms. Granger, dear,” the elder woman in a black cloak said. She eyed Hermione from the head down and added, “Did I wake you?”
Hermione quickly regained herself and shook her head. “N-no, no! Not at all, Healer Vaquero!” She stepped aside. “Please, come in.”
Bertha Vaquero (a healer from St. Mungo’s) walked inside the house and watched Hermione shut the door behind her. “Please, have a seat.” Hermione gestured to the nearby couch.
“No, no, dear. That’s quite alright. I have to be going soon anyway.” Bertha gazed around the living room. “I’m here to see Mr. Malfoy. I need to do a check-up on him to see if his vision is improving.”
“Oh, ahem. Well, Drac--I mean, Mr. Malfoy, is upstairs, I’ll go get him for you.” As Hermione turned to go up the stairs, she noticed that Draco was coming down. He was wearing jeans, but no shirt. And his wet hair was dripping water down his neck onto his bare chest.
Hermione’s face flushed and she had to avert her gaze from Draco‘s body, because something about him that moment had turned her on.
“Uh, Mr. Malfoy, someone is here to see you,” Hermione said in the strongest voice she could produce at that moment.
“Yeah, I thought I heard voices. Who is it?” Draco said as he reached the end of the steps.
Before Hermione could respond, the Healer spoke up. “I’m Healer Bertha Vaquero from St. Mungo‘s Hospital. I’m here to have a check-up on your vision.”
Draco frowned. “Well, I still can’t see. What do you want to check-up on?”
“I want to see if there’s been any improvement, Mr. Malfoy,” Bertha replied sternly. “Now, have a seat.”
Draco obeyed. He reached the couch and sat down as neatly as a person with perfect vision could do.
“I’m impressed, Mr. Malfoy,” Bertha said. “It seems you’re having no trouble at all without your sight.”
Draco smirked mischievously. “I had help.” Hermione blushed once more.
“Yes, well…” The Healer busily rummaged through her leather bag, pulling out a few items. “Aha!” She pulled out a huge pair of glasses and a feather with a vile of bluish smoke.
“Okay, Mr. Malfoy. This is tear gas,” Bertha said opening up the vile. “I want you to inhale it and hold it for a few seconds. It will release tears from your eyes. Don’t worry, it’s completely harmless, but--let me warn you--it will sting your insides, but don’t exhale it until I say so.”
She held the vile up to Draco’s nose, who inhaled it with a long breath. He held his breath pretty well, but then his eyes turned a sudden pinkish color around his bluish pupil. Then, a tear slid down from each eye, and Bertha caught it on the gray feather.
“Okay, now you may exhale,” she said, examining the feather.
Hermione watched silently. Draco exhaled a long breath, wiping his face clean of tears with the back of his hand.
Bertha brought the huge glasses to her eyes and Hermione immediately figured out that she was using a magnifying glass.
“Hmm….” Bertha said as she watched the place on the feather where the tear had fell. “Interesting. There’s a lot of improvement.”
“Will I get my sight back?” Draco asked hopefully.
“I’m not a seer, my dear boy!” Bertha said in a humorous tone. “I’m a healer. This test only revealed that there have been improvements. I cannot say precisely when, but there is--a chance of hope--that your sight could come back any day now.” She packed up her supplies.
“Alright then. I must be off now.” Healer Vaquero headed for the door. “I have another patient to visit as well. You take care now, Mr. Malfoy.”
She headed to the door with Hermione by her side. “So, you’re certain that his sight will return?”
Bertha nodded her head. “Most definitely, but I cannot give a precise date or time.”
“Thank you for coming, Healer Vaquero.” Hermione opened the door.
“Take care, my dear.” Bertha replied and strolled outside, past a little boy riding his bicycle who was staring strangely at her.
Hermione shut the door and leaned her head against it. She should be happy that Draco was about to get his sight back soon, right? Then why did she have a knot in the deep pits of her stomach that was telling her otherwise?
The day went by pretty numbly for Hermione since she kept thinking about what Healer Vaquero had told her…had told them.
She wanted to tell Draco who she really was, but something in her mind was fighting against it.
Why would he have made love to me if he didn’t care about me?
The common answer she was getting back was, because he’s a man. All men want is the same thing.
But Draco loves me!
Not the real you. He doesn’t even know who you really are.
What if I tell him?
What if he doesn’t feel the same about you then? Do you really want to risk it?
Hermione bit her bottom lip. She hadn’t thought about that. What if Draco did change the way he felt about her once he figured out who she really was? Was it really something she wanted to risk? She had never felt this way before about a guy and now, was she going to risk it by revealing her true identity? There’s a chance that Draco could accept her…but then there was also the possibility that he could resent her. Did she want to live with the feeling of being so loved or with the feeling of regret when revealing the truth?
She knew one thing for sure…if she did reveal who she was, she could never take it back. So, Hermione did the one thing that she found to be most safe, she bottled up her feelings. She didn’t want to risk it because she really did love Draco…and for him to feel the same way about her (that moment) was the greatest feeling in the world and she didn’t want to lose it.
“Hey, love,” Draco said, bringing Jean closer to him. “You’re pretty quiet. Are you alright?” Draco was worried that the feeling of regret was finally catching up with Jean. He hoped that she didn’t regret what they shared last night.
Hermione smiled softly. “I’m fine. Just a bit cold, that’s all.”
“I can fix that.” Draco rubbed his hand up and down Hermione’s bare arm. “Is that better?”
Hermione’s mood brightened. “Yes, it is.” It really was making her feel better. “We should probably get inside, it’s getting dark.”
They stood up and walked hand-in-hand back to the house, Hermione smiling the whole way.
That night wasn’t as great as the night before--per se--but it was just as sweet. Draco magically widened his bed for him and Jean to sleep cozily and openly together.
Hermione wasn’t 100% certain at first, but with a little persuasion from Draco, she finally gave in.
They rested in each other’s arms throughout the whole night, Hermione occasionally tossing and turning, but Draco rested peacefully.
The next morning, Hermione was the first to get up bright and early; 6:30 to be exact. She sneaked a quick warm shower and headed downstairs to get breakfast started.
Around 7:30, Draco came strolling down the stairs like a joyful kid with a lollipop. “Morning, Jean,” he said entering the kitchen. He immediately wrapped his arms around Jean’s waist from behind, kissing her shoulder.
Hermione’s heart thumped loudly and uncomfortably in her chest from the moment she left the bed. Ever since the Healer had revealed information about Draco getting his sight back any day now, Hermione was always risking yet another day she spent with Draco; fearing he would wake up one day, see her in his bed and…Merlin, she didn’t want to think what he would do.
“What are you making today, love?” He asked, his arms still locked around Jean.
“I’m making scrambled eggs. You want some?” Hermione asked as normal as possible.
“Sure.” Draco kissed Hermione’s neck. “Thanks, love.”
When they sat down on the table together to get started on their breakfast, Hermione couldn’t eat, let alone look in Draco’s direction.
What am I going to do?
Hermione thought miserably as she poked her scrambled eggs with her fork. I’m risking my identity every day now just being here.
That afternoon, when Draco was outside seated underneath the oak tree, playing with the golden snitch, Hermione started preparing lunch for them outside; a picnic as Draco had suggested.
As Hermione magically sealed Draco’s sandwich, a brown owl came flying in from the backyard. Hermione wasn’t afraid, being used to seeing owls occasionally as they sent and brought messages in the wizard world.
She watched as the owl sat down on the kitchen counter, pecking at his wings. As soon as Hermione untied the parchment from his foot, the owl flew on his way. Hermione unrolled the parchment and read…
Ms. Hermione Granger,
Your nursing services are coming to an end. Hearing from Healer Bertha Vaquero that you have successfully aided Mr. Draco Malfoy in caring for himself, you have been given full permission to leave your post. If you feel you need to continue caring for the patient, then you may proceed. The choice is entirely up to you.
We will contact you when further assistance is required.
St. Mungo’s Healer,
Matilda J. Honeyweed
Hermione crumpled up the letter and tossed it in the trash. She was given the opportunity to run away from all of this. Would she do it?
Spotting the owl looking at her strangely, Hermione picked up a pen and paper from beside the phone and wrote her letter. She tied the note to the owl’s leg and murmured something under her breath while pointing her wand at the owl.
As if understanding what to do, the owl flew out the backyard in which he came, disappearing in the fluffy clouds outside.
Hermione took a deep breath and retrieved her picnic basket from the counter and walked into the backyard, approaching Draco.
I hope I’m doing the right thing.
Ron was sitting just outside the Burrow, playing Wizard’s chess with his older brother, Fred, when a brown owl came flying at the pair of them.
“Whoa!” Fred exclaimed when the owl perched right upon their chessboard. The little Wizards went jumping and screaming off the board, looking for cover in the grass.
“Bloody hell!” Ron cursed untying the note from the owl’s foot. He unfolded it and read it in a flash, his eyes widening in surprise.
“Who’s it from?” Fred asked, collecting the little chess Wizards from the ground and into his hands.
“Hermione.” Ron whispered.
Fred raised an imitating eyebrow. “Really? What does it say?”
Ron’s eyes still on the paper, responded, “She’s coming here.”
Fred smirked at his brother. “When?”
Ron, still in much shock, looked at his brother now and replied, “Tomorrow."
Draco and Hermione’s picnic had gone smoothly. Much smoother than Hermione hoped. Leaving the next day was only making it harder for her to do.
But it has to be done Hermione told herself.
The evening left Hermione resting peacefully in Draco’s arms, whose back was against the large tree trunk.
“Are you alright, love?” Draco whispered softly against Jean’s ear.
“I‘m doing fine.” Hermione sighed deeply.
“Are you sure? You’ve been pretty quiet this evening.”
Hermione nodded her head lightly, her mind disagreeing with her. “It must have been something I ate.”
Draco wrapped his arms tighter around her. “Well maybe you need help running it down.” He kissed her temple.
Hermione smiled. “What do you have in mind?”
Draco nibbled on her neck, unsteadily breathing, “I’ve got a few ideas.”
“Oh, like what?” Hermione asked mischievously.
Draco kissed her jaw sensually. “For one, let’s take this to the bedroom and I can show one solution I think will do the trick.”
Hermione grinned as she and Draco both rose to their feet, Hermione making the picnic disappear with the swish of her wand, and heading into the house and immediately up the stairs.
Upon entering the bedroom, Hermione wrapped her arms around Draco’s neck, kissing him feverishly.
Draco was a bit taken back with her sudden actions, but nonetheless, returned the kiss in the same manner, his hands wandering underneath her shirt.
Hermione pulled away from Draco momentarily, just enough to pull his shirt off and continue attacking him with her impatient kisses. She slid her hands down his back and played mischievously with the hem of his pants. While exploring his mouth with her tongue, Hermione managed to undo the button and zipper of Draco’s pants.
Draco pulled away breathing heavily and obviously surprised. “Jean…” He breathed. “Are you feeling alright?”
As Draco spoke, Hermione tossed off her own shirt and pants, standing before him in her red lacy bra and knickers.
She pushed Draco down on the bed and sat on him, with her legs rocking his waist. Draco let out a pleasurable moan as Hermione made some gentle movements. She leaned down and breathed last words, “No more talking.” She tackled his lips with her own, her tongue immediately entering his mouth, with her waist moving back and forth on Draco’s waist with the help of his hands.
It wasn’t long before Hermione’s bra slipped off and she grappled with Draco’s boxers. They were just below his knees when Hermione slid off her own panties and rubbed herself intimately against Draco.
Draco let out another moan as their breathing was getting rougher. Draco tried to toss Jean onto the bed so he could get his chance with her, but she was making it really hard for him this time. She wasn’t as sensual and patient like the first time they made love. She was lustful and eager. And as much as Draco was still in shock by her behavior, he didn’t dare speak of it in their moment of love; mainly because he enjoyed it.
In the end, Hermione collapsed on the bed beside Draco, breathing rapidly, but turning to face him anyway. “I’m feeling fine.” She whispered.
Draco grinned, taking her hand into his own. “I’ve noticed.” He kissed her hand and they rested in each other’s arms for the reminder of the evening.
Ron quickly tidied up his flat for what would be the tenth time that day. He was overly excited that Hermione would be coming to his place the following morning. He was a bit skeptical that she didn’t mention why, but he didn’t care about the reason, just that she was coming.
He remembered that she mentioned she was going to apparate to the Burrow first and from there, he could pick her up.
Ron looked at the time. It was a little past eight. After doing a thorough check of his flat for the second time, he clicked off the lights and apparated to the Burrow, joining his family for dinner and awaiting his best friend’s arrival the following morning.
Hermione watched as Draco got up out of bed and headed for the restroom, hoping to take a shower. He didn’t notice that Jean was awake, watching his every move.
As Draco left the room, Hermione took a peek at her watch which read a quarter to nine. She sighed deeply as she turned to her side, touching the spot on the bed where Draco had previously lain.
Am I really doing the right thing? Hermione asked herself for the millionth time. She heard the shower turn on in the other room. She bit her lip, admitting to herself, It may be hard, but I can’t risk another night here. I already told Ron I’ll be coming. There’s no turning back now. She lay in the bed for several minutes, just thinking to herself, when a thought passed by her. This is your final night with him…you should make it last. Hermione sat up abruptly, looking at the opposite wall as if she had x-ray vision. “I should make it last.”
She got up out of the bed, pulling the sheets around her and walking to the bathroom door to find it slightly open. It was as if Draco was luring her in. She pushed open the door, spotting Draco behind the sheets, shampooing his hair. She dropped the sheets onto the floor and without hesitation, pushed open the drapes, getting into the warm shower.
Draco heard her entrance into the shower and smirked. “Missed me?”
Hermione wrapped her arms around his muscular body, her head resting on his back. With her eyes closed and a few of her tears mixing with the shower water, she murmured, “I always will.”
Ron paced back and forth in the living room of the Burrow, everyone staring at him.
“Oi, Ron. Stop pacing like that…” Fred complained.
“Yeah, you’re giving us a headache.” George finished.
Angelina glared at the twins. “Quit bothering him, you two! Can’t you see your brother is in distress?”
“Oh, he’s in distress, is he?” Fred asked wickedly. “Well, why didn’t you say so?” He turned to his twin. “George, if you’ll do the honors…”
“My pleasure.” George stood up and pointed his wand at the cup on the coffee table. He murmured something inaudible and flicked his wand. The cup turned into a very chubby frog sitting on the coffee table croaking.
Fred picked up the frog and shoved it in Ron’s face. “Be distressed no longer for your Prince is here!”
George puckered his lips and batted his eyelashes, “Kissy, kissy Princess Ronnie.”
Ron glared at his twin brothers, shoving the frog away. “Bugger! Knock it off!” The frog fell to the floor and jumped its way out of the room and into the kitchen, out the back door. Luckily Molly was upstairs or she would have had her sons’ heads for making her lovely china cup turn into a frog and hop away.
Fred and George collapsed to the couch, laughing, obviously pleased with themselves. Fred raised an eyebrow when his wife glared daggers at him.
“What?” He choked in between laughs. “You were the one who said he’s in distress.”
“Ron,” Angelina took a hold of the redhead’s arm, “let’s go talk somewhere peaceful.” She pulled him along out the kitchen and into the yard, walking out onto the dewy summer grass.
“So?” Angelina asked, her hands on her hip. “What’s the matter?”
Ron stared at his shuffling feet and stuffed his fists into his jeans’ pockets. “I-It’s n-nothing, really.”
Angelina raised an eyebrow, staring hard at her brother-in-law. “Don’t lie to me, Ron. It’s obvious something’s bothering you.”
“Well…” Ron started feeling uncomfortable. “It’s Hermione.”
“You know that she’ll be coming here tomorrow, but…” Ron paused as if to find the right words to say.
“But what?” Angelina pressed.
“Well, you know I’ve fancied Hermione for sometime now and the thing is that I always end up acting like a total git around her.” Ron brushed his hair back with his hand. “I want her to know that I’m not an idiot.”
“Ron, Hermione knows you’re not an idiot.” Angelina said, smiling.
“How do you know?”
“Because Ron, Hermione is clever. She’s been your friend for so long now. You think she would have stick around if she didn’t see more to you?” Angelina patted him on the back. “Ron, you have nothing to worry about. Hermione isn’t as thick as you make her out to be. Who cares if you’re a klutz? Who isn’t?”
“Yeah, I guess you’re right.” Ron said unconvincingly.
“Listen, if its any consolation, Fred is a bigger git than you.” Angelina said, smirking.
Ron grinned. If anything, that did make him feel better.
“Come on, let’s go inside. Your dad promised us a surprise dessert from work.”
Together, they walked back inside the house, Ron letting go of his stress and finally enjoying his evening with his family.
Hermione moved her place from Draco’s arm on the bed, onto his bare chest. His hair was still wet since he didn’t get a chance to dry it properly after their second love making.
Even though Draco was asleep now, she could have dried his hair with her wand, but she didn’t. She found him to be more attractive with his wet bangs slicked back and the wet drops sliding down his neck and shoulders.
She sighed as she traced her fingers along his jaw. She was going to miss him. Looking at him brought tears to Hermione’s eyes. She, slowly, lifted her head from Draco’s chest, sitting upright on the bed, grasping the sheets tightly against her body.
I don’t think I can wait until tomorrow. She thought, wiping away her tears with the sheets. It’s already painful to leave him as it is. She slid her legs on the bedside, standing up as carefully as possibly. I’ve already made this night as memorable as can be.
Hermione took one look at Draco, leaving to her own room. She pointed to her suitcase, flicking all of her clothes into her luggage. She then grabbed a pair of her undergarments, throwing them on, along with a v-neck shirt and jean pants.
Packing all of her things, she levitated the luggage downstairs and ascended one last time to Draco’s room. There, she saw Draco sleeping so peacefully, he looked like an angel. Hermione, her eyes flooding with tears, bent down and kissed Draco on the lips ever so softly.
She walked to the door and turned back, whispering, “I love you, Draco. Goodbye.”
She made her way, unwillingly, down the stairs and beside her luggage, tightly grasping the handle. Not wanting to awaken Draco with her apparation, she sneaked out the back door, closing her eyes tightly and falling backwards with a ‘pop’. She disappeared into thin air.
At first, Draco heard birds happily chirping outside his window. With his eyes closed, he turned to his side and patted the bed, hoping to find his love. When he didn’t feel her there, he figured she must have gone down stairs to get breakfast started. He yawned loudly, rubbing his eyes open.
He sat up straight, opening his eyes. He blinked several times, not believing his sight. What he saw before him was the window in his room and two robins flying happily around the sunny sky.
Draco jumped out of bed, gazing at the sight around him. “I can see! Great Merlin, I can see!” He rushed downstairs in his boxers, making his way to the kitchen. “Jean! Jean, I can see!” But he found the kitchen empty and quiet. Confused, he went into the yard, searching for his love. “Jean! Jean, where are you?” He laughed joyfully as he stared at the beautiful outdoor sights. He saw the tree where he and Jean used to sit together and the lake where she rescued him after his careless act.
Remembering that he was looking for Jean, Draco ran back inside the house, and up the stairs, shouting, “Jean! Jean!” He looked in bathroom and in Jean’s room, which was all neat and tidy. It wasn’t long before he realized that the drawers and wardrobe were empty.
Furrowing his eyebrows together, Draco sadly descended the stairs, plopping on the couch. “Where did she go?”
The frequent thoughts kept scurrying across his mind. She left…
“But why?” Draco asked aloud. “Why would she leave?”
He recollected the thoughts from the previous night of his and Jean’s love-making. She was desperate to make love to him. There was something bothering her. She was planning to leave that night…that’s why she was so quiet and eager.
Draco slapped himself on his head. “Why hadn’t I seen that sooner? Obviously something was upsetting her. Damn it!” He stood up and rubbed his hands together determined. “Well, I have my sight back and one thing’s for sure…I am not letting go of you that easy Jean…even if I have to search the whole world, I will find you.”
A/N: Sorry for the long wait, but I wasn’t too encouraged to continue writing especially after the reviews I lost for a few chapters. *tear* I wasn’t going to abandon the story either, but I just needed time to pull myself together. Chapters 13 to 17 need more reviews. Can everyone please, pretty please, leave one review for each of those chapters…even if its just to put “:-)”. I don’t mind, I just need reviews for those chapters because I’m falling apart! No, seriously…it’ll just make me feel a lot better and it‘ll make me work faster, too. Thanks.
A/N: I just wanted to thank everyone that left reviews for the previous chapters. I’d like to personally thank the following persons: Krystle Lynne, Kt, padfootissohot, Sing4theSole, Reesecup, Dracosluvr347, Veronica, Hanne, Deni, Rebecca Malfoy, Lillylover22, JR Nite Dragon, herewego_again, and Jemione, who took the time to leave a review for each of those chapters that were missing them. This chapter is dedicated to all of you!
Hermione groaned loudly as she turned from her side. Her head was somewhat aching as if she had been hit by a hammer. She rubbed her eyes and sat up in the queen sized bed that enveloped her in almond colored sheet covers.
The room wasn’t her own, nor was it familiar. There hung wizard pictures on the opposite wall, but the moving figures were too hard to see from where she was sitting. On the adjacent wall, there was a window that was slightly propped open with the drapes softly moving from the summer breeze that came from outside.
Hermione got up out of bed and noticed that she was wearing pajamas that did not belong to her. Confused, she scratched her bushy haired head, not remembering changing her clothes the previous night. Her suitcase was in the room and locked just like she had left it. Her clothes from last night were draped on a nearby chair with her wand just dangling from her pants’ pocket. She retrieved her wand and headed for the bedroom door.
A clatter of dishes reached her ear and she followed the noise down the hall and into the living room where one futon and loveseat were placed along with a coffee table in the center and a television set in the opposite direction. Just behind the living room, Hermione saw a marble counter overlooking the kitchen where a redhead stood softly humming to himself and tossing pancakes magically in the air with his wand.
He was oblivious to Hermione’s appearance as he continued to hum happily and flip the pancakes like a pro.
Feeling as if she were in a dream, Hermione suddenly spoke out, “Ron?”
Alarmed, the redhead dropped the pancake he was flipping onto the ground and turned around.
“Hermione, you’re awake!” He said joyfully as he made the dirty pancake vanish.
“Ron…” Hermione looked around at the place once more. “How did I get here?”
Ron’s smile faded and he turned off the stove and approached his brown-haired female friend. He gestured her to the round wooden table that was placed in the kitchen, nearby the refrigerator. “Have a seat, Mione.”
Hermione obeyed and shook her head. “I-I don’t remember apparating here.” Ron went to retrieve his friend a cool glass of water. “It seems like all a blur to me.” She looked at Ron for some reassurance that she wasn’t dreaming when he handed her the glass of water.
When their eyes locked momentarily, Ron’s hand shook nervously and he accidentally spilled some water on Hermione.
Hermione jumped up in surprise, her sleeping pajama soaking wet and not to mention, cold.
“Oh--gosh, Hermione--I-I’m so so-sorry!” Ron rushed at her with a towel.
“No, it’s fine.” Hermione said, cleaning herself with a flick of her wand.
Ron turned as red as his hair and started twisting the towel timidly in his hands. “S-sorry.” He whispered.
“Well, it‘s taken care of now.” Hermione said and then raised a suspicious eyebrow. “By the way, who do these pajamas belong to? And how did they get on me?”
Ron’s embarrassment passed as he tossed the towel aside and took a seat across from Hermione, who also sat down now. “They’re Angelina’s. She came over last night and was nice enough to help you--er--change.” He blushed again, although Hermione didn’t know why.
“But how did I get here?” Hermione pressed. “I remember apparating to the Burrow. What happened last night?”
Ron furrowed his brows together. “You don’t remember?”
Becoming agitated, Hermione retorted, “No, I just want to play 20 questions. Of course, I don’t remember! Why else would I be asking Ronald?”
Ron flushed red and brushed his hair back. “Yeah, you’ve got a poi--”
“Ron, how did I come here?” Hermione interrupted.
“Oh, right! Um--when you apparated to the Burrow, it was pitch dark out and apparently you hit your head on our picnic table outside.”
Hermione looked skeptical.
“No, really!” Ron said when he saw the look from Hermione. “Dad was the one who found you unconscious. It was lucky, really. If he hadn’t been working late last night, who knows how long you would have spent outside in the cold.”
“Then what happened?” Hermione asked when Ron paused for some time.
“Dad brought you inside and Mum warmed you up with loads of blankets right in front of the fireplace. You were freezing! I--erm--stayed up with you through the night and then when you were warm enough, I told Mum I would apparate you to my flat, here. She said it was fine and sent Fred and Angelina with me. Angelina brought her pajamas with her since your clothes were cold and wet. She changed you and I spent the night in the living room on the futon while you were sleeping in my bed.”
Hermione went silent for a few minutes taking in all the information. She couldn’t believe she had been knocked out for so long.
Ron sadly shook his head. “Mum was raving mad though. She blamed it on me, she did. Claiming that I should have been the one waiting for you outside. She was right, you know. If I had stayed outside for a few more minutes, maybe you wouldn’t have gotten hurt.”
Hermione’s face loosened up a bit. “It’s not your fault, Ron. I should’ve been more careful. I didn’t light my wand and therefore, faced the consequence of hitting my head.” When Ron didn’t look convinced, Hermione patted his hand gently, “I’m feeling loads better now.” Ron smiled from ear to ear and locked eyes with Hermione for a few seconds. “If you don’t mind, I’d like to take a fresh shower and then I’ll join you for breakfast.”
Even after Hermione retreated back down the hall and to the bathroom, Ron was still grinning like a schoolboy.
Draco approached the redhead nurse working at the front desk of St. Mungo‘s Hospital, who was occasionally blowing a bubblegum and popping it loudly.
“Excuse me.” Draco said trying to get her attention.
The redhead took one look at him and smiled mischievously. “What can I do for you handsome?”
“I’m looking for Nurse Jean.” He said in a straightforward tone.
The nurse scrunched her face in confusion. “I’m sorry, but there isn‘t any Nurse Jean here at St. Mungo‘s.”
Draco lifted an eyebrow. “What? But she was my nurse. I just talked to her a day ago. She was from sent from St. Mungo‘s to take care of me. How could you not know her? Why don‘t you ask someone?”
The nurse blew another huge bubble and popped it, smacking her mouth like a camel. “Listen honey, I personally know every nurse and volunteer that works at this hospital and I am telling you that there is no one here by the name of Jean.”
“How can that be possible?” Draco whispered to himself anxiously.
“Are you referring to Jane Smithson? She’s been a nurse here for thirty years now.” She grinned, her crooked teeth showing.
Draco shook his head. “No, no. I’m positive her name was Jean. At least, that’s what I’ve been calling her.”
“Do you know her last name?”
“Last name?” Draco thought himself an idiot that moment. Why hadn’t I ever bothered to ask her last name?
“Well?” The nurse impatiently asked.
“Uh--no, she didn’t tell me.”
“Well then,” The nurse smacked her mouth again, “I can’t help you darling.”
Draco sadly bowed his head and was about to leave when the nurse spoke up again.
“Wait.” She said catching his attention. “There is another way you could find out about your nurse.”
“How?” Draco asked urgently.
She leaned in forward and checked from behind to make sure no one was coming. “Don’t tell anyone I told you so, but on the fourth floor, every nurse assigned a patient must fill out a form that is kept in the patient’s file. If you want to know your nurse’s name--address, phone number, anything--you can find it in the medical file.”
Draco grinned graciously, “Thanks for your help,” and he quickly rushed for the lift to the fourth floor, but as he was ascending he neglected to hear the words of warning from the nurse, “No one is allowed to see the file except for a healer!”
Draco, however, was determined to find answers. He didn’t understand why Jean would lie about her name. She was sure making it hard for him to find her again. But he surely wasn’t going to give up. He needed to know where the love of his life was and someone at this damned hospital was going to tell him, one way or another.
Hermione finished her second piece of pancake and shook her head as Ron held up a plate for another one. “No, no. That’s it. I think I’ll pop if I have another bite.”
Ron smiled as he took his seat across from Hermione and nervously played with his pancake, the churning in his stomach preventing him from eating anything.
“So tell me, what did you do all summer?” Hermione asked as she took a sip from her orange juice.
“Nothing much. Just loads of paper work on death eaters. Did you hear about Malfoy’s death?”
Hermione spit out her orange juice on the table, choking on it. She tried to steady herself as Ron brought some paper towels to clean up the mess.
“Are you alright Mione?”
Hermione nodded her head. “Yes, just fine. So,” she cleared her throat, “you were saying something about Malfoy’s death?” The name Malfoy just didn’t sound right in her mouth anymore.
Ron took his seat once more and nodded his head, “Yeah, Dad caught him and it was his idea to hatch this plan where Malfoy would try to escape, and he would catch him red-handed. It worked and Malfoy’s soul was sucked out by dementors. Nothing less than he deserves, really.” He paused for a moment and added, “You know, I think Draco deserves the same consequence.”
“How could you say that?!” Hermione said nearly jumping out of her seat.
Ron was obviously taken aback by her sudden outburst.
Hermione slapped herself mentally, hating herself for bursting like that. “I mean, I just believe people can change if they want to. Besides, souls getting sucked by dementors, that’s a fate worse than death and I don‘t believe anyone deserves that.”
Ron seemed convinced by her excuse and went back to eating a piece of his pancake. “How was your summer, then?”
Hermione completely froze. It was felt as time had stood still for an eternity after Ron asked that specific question. She couldn’t find an accurate response. Her summer was a lot of things, but she couldn’t tell Ron anything about Draco. She was determined to forget him and move on, no matter how difficult it proved to be.
“My summer was fine. Just fine.” Hermione said in a squeaky voice, her eyes on her plate.
“Really. What did you do?” Ron asked interested in the conversation.
“Er--what did I--uh--do?” Hermione repeated. “Um--well, there were a lot of things.”
“Oh, I--um--just had to do some volunteer work at St. Mungo’s for some time.” Hermione nodded her head.
“Oh.” Ron said and then added as an afterthought. “I was at St. Mungo’s with Luna. I don’t remember seeing you there.”
“No, no! Not at the hospital St. Mungo‘s!” Hermione exclaimed, chuckling a little. “I meant, I was doing volunteer work--um--aboard. You know, aboard, at another place. Just the regular, taking care of some injured patient. Not a big deal.”
“Okay.” Ron said, taking her dishes and his own into the sink. “So, I--er--have the day off. I was thinking that maybe--I don’t know--you and I could--um---go hang out someplace for--er--some time…” When he got an odd look from Hermione, he quickly included, “--Just as friends, you know!”
Hermione nodded her head. She did miss catching up with Ron. Harry and Ginny were off at their honeymoon for the end of the summer and since Ron has been busy at work, just as Hermione was busy with volunteer work, she thought it would be best for the both of them to spend time together. Besides, it would also take her mind off of Draco…something she needed badly, but in some way, didn’t really want.
“Hey Ron,” Hermione said, catching the redhead’s attention, “Can I ask you something?”
“Yeah, anything Mione.” Ron took a seat.
“Um--have you ever loved someone, but felt as if there was a barrier between the two of you?” Hermione asked, tentatively watching her best friend’s reaction. She didn’t want to give anything away that she was talking about her former enemy slash lover.
Ron’s face turned pink and his heart started thumping faster and louder in his chest.
She feels the same way, too! He thought excitedly. But its best if I don’t move things too quickly.
He smiled and tried to keep his heart at a steady speed under his chest. “I--I have loved someone--I mean, I do love someone, and I do occasionally feel as if I am a distance away from her, even though she might be so close to me.” Ron said breathlessly, his eyes on his crush.
I wonder who he’s in love with, Hermione thought to herself. “Doesn’t it hurt to be so far away from someone that your heart desperately aches for?” Hermione asked apprehensively.
Ron took frequent peeks at her lips, licking his own feverishly. “Yes, it hurts more than anything in my life, but you know what I think?” His blue gorgeous eyes met with Hermione’s gentle brown ones. “I think that love is something worth waiting for.”
“What do you mean you can’t tell me?!” Draco boomed at the blonde nurse that was cowering in her chair.
“I-I-I’m s-sorry sir, but you can’t--” She started nervously.
“I was the patient and you‘re telling me that I can‘t see my own medical chart?!”
The nurse timidly shrugged her shoulders.
“Bring out Healer Vaquero! She will settle this matter.”
“I-I’m sorry sir, but Mrs. Vaquero’s away on emergency leave.”
Draco irately pounded his fists on the desk and spoke through gritted teeth, “I demand to speak to a healer right now.”
The nurse was immediately off her chair and disappeared down the hall within a matter of seconds. A few minutes later, she came back with a bearded man that wore a white cloak with the words “Healer Montgomery” stitched on the front.
“Yes, can I help you sir?” He asked in a thick voice.
“My name is Draco Malfoy and I was a blind patient here that was assigned a personal nurse for two and a half months. I’d like to see my medical file.” Draco said.
The healer raised a skeptical eyebrow. “You want to see your own file? But why?”
“There is important information in my file regarding my nurse and I‘d like to have a look at it.” Draco responded simply.
The healer tusked and shook his head. “I am sorry my dear boy, but we cannot release that information to you. Confidential. It’s the rules.”
That was the last straw for Draco. He grabbed the healer by the collar of his robes and held him against the wall with one balled fist and pointed a wand at his throat with the other.
“I’ve had it with your damn rules!” Draco snarled. “You will show me my file! Now!”
The healer choked, but still managed to nod his head. Draco let him go and the healer took him back to the room with the nurse’s files.
“You’ve got a lot of nerve boy.” The healer murmured.
The healer flipped through numerous files, and finally came across the file with the words written on the front, “Malfoy, Draco”.
“Here we are.” The healer pulled out the file and flipped it open as Draco anxiously watched.
After a few minutes of total silence, Draco tried to make a grab for the file, but the healer held it away from his reach. “Ah, ah.” He said, shaking his head. “For healer’s eyes only. It will shut if anyone else dares to take a peek.”
Draco sighed deeply. Waiting to find out about the true identity of his nurse made him so tense.
“Ah, here it is.” The healer smiled vastly and shut the folder, looking at Draco.
“Well? Who’s my nurse?” Draco asked uneasily.
“Your nurse was Granger. Hermione Jean Granger.”
“Your nurse was Granger. Hermione Jean Granger.” Healer Montgomery.
Although he just got his sight back, Draco seemed to have gone deaf after hearing these specific words because he could no longer hear the Healer’s concerned voice asking him if he was alright.
“Did--Did you just say--Jean Granger?” Draco asked in a mere whisper.
Finally hearing Malfoy say something for a long moment of silence, the Healer smiled. “Yep, sure did. Although we didn’t call her by her middle name here at St. Mungo’s. She’s known as Hermione or Miss. Granger.”
Draco felt so many things that moment that he felt as if the room were spinning. He gripped the counter nearby to balance himself.
Jean. He thought. Granger. Hermione Jean Granger. The name continued echoing in his mind.
“Would you like to take a seat?” The Healer asked in a worried voice. “You’re looking pretty pale.”
Draco silently obeyed as he sat down on a chair that the Healer conjured for him in midair with his wand.
Draco held his head between his hands. Jean. She lied to me.
Well, technically she didn’t lie. Another voice intelligently responded in Draco’s mind. She just hid her real identity. And it’s no wonder that she did. You’ve taunted her and tortured her for so long. It’s a surprise that she didn’t murder you during your vulnerability.
“Merlin.” Draco inaudibly whispered. I can’t believe it’s Granger that was taking care of me the whole time. I can’t believe she’s the one…I’m in love with.
Draco took some time to let this soak in his mind. His vision was occupied with memories of the time he had spent with Je--Hermione.
He remembered her scent so well. Intoxicating vanilla. Her laugh was music to his ears. And her voice…
Draco mentally hit himself. He successfully put the puzzle together now. Of course! Her voice! Why hadn’t I figured it out before? I remembered her voice from some where! No doubt it belongs to Granger. He stood up now, so many emotions running through him at that moment.
“Mr. Malfoy, with all due respect, I advise you to sit down. You’re looking like a muggle that has seen a ghost.” The Healer spoke with strictness.
Draco ignored his words, or rather didn’t hear them, for his mind and heart were racing rapidly.
I understand why she didn’t reveal her true identity from the beginning, but that doesn’t explain afterwards. Why didn’t she tell me the truth after I had told her that I didn’t mind muggle-borns? What about after we had made love together? Why couldn’t she have told me?
Maybe she thought it would change the way you felt about her. The voice automatically replied.
Without giving a respond to his own voice in his mind, Draco cleared his head of the past thoughts and tried to figure out his next move.
Finally acknowledging the Healer’s presence, Draco glanced at him and asked, “Where does Gran--I mean, Hermione, live?”
The Healer shook his head disapprovingly and went to fetch the file once more. He glanced over it in a flash. “She resides at the Evergreen Flats at 425 Maple Rd. here in London. Her flat number is #15.” He was about to shut the file when he mockingly added, “Would you like to know her number, too?”
Draco said, “No,” and before the Healer had a chance to respond, Draco took his hand, shook it enthusiastically and was out the door in no time.
“Hey, Mione.” Ron spoke up from behind the bushy-haired preoccupied woman. He held up a book. “I thought you’d like this one.”
Hermione turned pale upon reading the title of the book. The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas.
“What’s wrong?” Ron asked, interrupting her thoughts. “You don’t like it?”
“It’s not that. It’s just that…I already read this book.” Hermione said with a momentary pause remembering the last time she read this book was when she was with Draco, regretting taking care of a patient without knowing who it was.
“I’m not surprised.” Ron said, blushing. “You do love reading. I just thought you might like it since it’s the first edition.”
“Thanks Ron.” Hermione said, still clinging onto the book. “I don’t mind reading it again.”
Ron’s face brightened. “Well, what do you say we get out of here and catch something to eat? It’s starting to pile in here.” He turned and pointed to a larger crowd gathering at the back of the bookstore. Apparently some famous author was supposed to come in and do some book signing.
Hermione agreed and they went to the front of the store, purchased a few books that Hermione had interestedly picked up and they left the shop, heading out into Diagon Alley.
“If you don’t mind Ron,” Hermione said when they were clear out of the packs of witches and wizards, “I‘d like to apparate to my flat for a quick second just to drop these things off.”
Ron nodded his head. “I’ll come with you.”
Hermione shook her head. “It’s alright. It’ll only take a second.”
Before Ron could protest, she disappeared and was back within a few minutes.
“I thought you said it would only take a second.” Ron jokingly said.
Hermione turned serious. “One of my neighbors dropped off some of my mail. She started asking me some things about my summer and where I’ll be staying and such. Nothing major.” She changed the subject. “Now, let’s go get some food, shall we? I‘m starving.”
They walked past many piles of wizards and witches who were mostly with their children doing last minute shopping for the start of the school year that was yet to come the start of the following month.
They finally made it past all the hustle and bustle, to Meg’s Café, that was newly built a year ago right next to the Weasley’s Joke shop.
Although outside the shop, it seemed quite peaceful, inside was quite the contrary. There was hardly no space to walk through and gangs--mainly teenagers--were seated at the many tables, chatting animatedly about random things.
Ron and Hermione managed to squeeze through and find a table in a corner beside the window where a blonde woman was sitting alone, sipping a butterbeer and appeared to be reading a magazine.
“Let’s go there.” Ron pointed to the table.
“No, Ron.” Hermione protested. “She might be waiting for someone. Let’s not bother her.”
“Come on.” Ron insisted. “We’ll just ask her. If she is waiting for someone, then we’ll wait till another table is cleared or we’ll leave.”
Before Hermione had a chance to respond, Ron was already making his way to the table and Hermione found herself chasing--yes, chasing--after him.
Upon getting there, Ron comfortably took his seat across the blonde woman, patting the seat beside him. “Go ahead and have a seat Mione.” Ron directed.
Hermione looked to the blonde woman and hoped she wasn’t minding, but upon seeing who it was, she grinned with surprise and joy.
“Luna!” Hermione took a seat next to her and gave her a friendly hug.
“Hullo Hermione.” She said, matching her grin.
“What are you doing here all by herself?” Hermione asked right away. “Are you waiting for someone?”
Luna’s smile slowly faded as she replied, “I still am…” He gaze went upon the redhead seated across from her. “…But I don’t know for how much longer.”
Draco knocked on the door of flat #15 for what was the fifth time. He didn’t hear any response and was positive she wasn’t home, but he was just making sure by pounding for the sixth time.
“You know, it’s polite to knock once and wait.” A feminine voice spoke up from behind Draco. He saw a thin Arabic woman coming up the stairs. Her head was covered with a shawl, hiding all of her hair, leaving only her face visible. She wore a silk black blouse with a long jean skirt.
“I’m looking for Hermione. Do you know where she is?” Draco asked.
The woman smiled lightly. “You just missed her. She came by her flat to drop off some things, but then was on her way again.”
“Did she say where she was going?” Draco pressed.
The woman shook her head. “That would be useful information now, wouldn’t it? But I’m sorry. She was in a hurry. She didn’t want to keep her friend waiting.”
Draco was feeling less and less satisfied each time he felt he was closer in finding Granger.
“Will anyone mind if I stay here and wait for her?” He asked hopefully.
“You’d have to talk with the innkeeper of these flats, but it wouldn’t be any use to wait for Hermione here.”
Draco looked at the woman oddly. “What do you mean?”
“Hermione mentioned that she won’t be coming here for the rest of the summer. Instead she’ll be staying with a friend so she can catch up.” The woman started fumbling with her keys, opening the door to flat # 14.
“Potter?” Draco thought aloud, but the woman quickly shook her head.
“No, I’m positive it’s not Harry she’s staying with.” She said.
“But how are you sure? You just said you didn’t know which friend she was staying with.” Draco said shortly.
“I know, but Hermione couldn’t be staying with him because Harry’s gone on his honeymoon with Ginny for the rest of the summer.” She slipped open the door and turned to face Draco. “Besides, there’s plenty of other friends of Hermione’s that she could be staying with. I could give you a list, but not an exact answer.” She gave another polite smile. “I’m sorry I couldn’t have been of more help.”
“No, you’ve been more helpful than you think. Thank you.” Draco disapparated as the Arabic woman entered her flat and shut the door.
Hermione relaxed on the lovely green grass at the open and occupied park. There were a few guys playing Frisbee close by, their greyhound occasionally jumping in the air to steal the flying disc.
There was a married couple with their newborn playing on the slide. Little toddlers were trying to build sandcastles in the sandbox and a few bicyclists whizzed past on the walkway, obviously racing each other.
Ron and Luna were seated next to Hermione on the grass, Luna busily reading her magazine upside down and Ron staring at his Quidditch book, but obviously not reading it.
Sensing something wrong, Hermione asked her redhead friend, “Is something bothering you Ron?”
“Hmm?” Ron said looking up. “It’s nothing.” He lied. “Just um--thinking about what Harry and Ginny are doing right now for their honeymoon.”
Hermione smiled. “Yeah, I haven’t heard from them in a while. I wonder they’re up to.” She placed down the book in her own lap and stared off into the distance where she saw a couple--teenagers--smooching under an oak tree. The boy sat with his back against the tree trunk and the girl was relaxing in his arms, leaning her head sideways to give him a kiss.
Her own mind started drifting off back to the days where she sat with Draco against the lovely tree and had no worries…well, except for one.
Even though she fought against it, she kept pondering where Draco was…and if he had gotten his sight back yet or not? Would he come to search for her? Well, he obviously wouldn’t succeed since she didn’t tell her full name. He’d probably go to St. Mungo’s….
But they wouldn’t release that kind of information to him! She assured herself.
But what if he finds a way…and what if he figures out who I am. Upon these thoughts filling her head, Hermione bit down on her lip anxiously.
What if…? She asked herself.
Draco had successfully apparated to the Burrow, but the problem was the same as the one he came across before, no one was home. And even if they were, what was he going to do? Just stroll across their lawn, knock on the door and say ‘Hi. Draco here. I’m looking for Hermione.’
He was mental, he was. He was starting to leave, once again, but a sudden thought occurred to him. Weasley worked at the ministry. He knew Arthur Weasley worked at the ministry anyway. He was the new Minister of Magic. Maybe he could ask him--kindly--of Hermione’s whereabouts.
He apparated there, even though he figured there was a slight chance he was going to be attacked and bounded and even sent to Azkaban. But it was worth a shot.
After Luna left the park, Ron and Hermione left to Ron’s flat and spent the rest of the evening seated outside the patio, staring at the stars. They were both seated comfortably on a bench outside the flats where there was a pool, a fence and lots of bushes.
Almost everyone that lived in the flats nearby had retreated to bed, and it seemed to Hermione that she and Ron were the only ones awake during that time.
“Don’t the stars look beautiful?” Hermione mindlessly asked as she stared off into space.
“Yeah.” Ron blankly answered back with his eyes on Hermione instead of the night sky.
Hermione found his gaze and her and met his eyes. “What?” She asked.
“N-nothing.” Ron said nervously. He waited for a while before speaking again. “Mione, you don’t think--I-I’m a git, do you?” Ron asked.
Hermione had to lean in to hear the last bit. “No, not at all.” She quickly said, raising an eyebrow. “Why would you even think that?”
“Well, I-I don’t know.” Ron answered truthfully. Thankful his flushed face was being concealed by the darkness, he asked, “Wh-what do you think of me?”
Hermione smiled genuinely. “Ron, you’re a lot of things, but you’re not a git. You’re sweet and a great guy to hang out with…”
Ron watched on mesmerized as Hermione continued listing great things about him. Not being able to control himself that moment, he reached forward and scooped Hermione’s face in his hands and placed an eager kiss on her lips.
Half-panicked and half-shocked, Hermione jerked away as soon as she could--mind you, Ron had a pretty tight hold on her face.
She stood up abruptly and so did Ron, who was panting and flushed from the whole face. “M-Mione--” He started, but Hermione stopped him.
“No, Ron. I’m sorry.” She said. Thinking unclearly, she raced to Ron’s flat and rushed in her room, locking the door and tossing herself onto her bed.
“So Granger, do tell me, because I‘m just dying to know,” A familiar male’s voice mordantly spoke from the corner of her bedroom, slowly emerging from the shadows, “Is Weasley a better kisser than I am?”
A/N: Is that an awesome ending to this chapter or what?? I just personally loved it, but I’ll leave the review and rating up to all of my amazing readers! And by the way, I finished this chapter late at night so sorry if there's some mistakes and such. As always, please leave a review :D Thanks.
A/N: This chapter is going to start off with HOW Draco ended up in Hermione’s room. So, to those who were asking if that was Draco in Hermione’s bedroom, the answer is yes. After the flashback, then it’ll continue off to the present, where I left off in the previous chapter. Just a heads-up. And remember to leave a review as usual. Thanks!
Draco had brushed past all the security of the Ministry building. There stood at least four to five aurors at the entrance to the building. When first apparating to the phone booth and successfully descending down to the Ministry building, Draco thought it was a piece of cake, but that was before he had seen all the hustle and bustle of the many aurors and witches and wizards rushing all over the place.
Of course he had been to the Ministry before, with his father on a few occasions, but this was nothing like those times. The hall with the fountain and lovely stone statues were the only thing standing still as the lobby immediately packed with over-sized pointy hats and billowing cloaks and endless chatter.
Draco nearly missed a crash into a mail trolley on his way up the lift, since he couldn’t see too much with his face down and his blue Dodgers cap ducking his sight. He wasn’t too comfortable with the blue hat he had found inside the phone booth since he never wore anything like that before, but it was essential to his entrance in the Ministry, hoping someone wouldn’t spot him or recognize him.
Draco made it--luckily--past all of the aurors without a hesitation or a double look in his direction. He found the office of the Minister in the back of the lobby, with the golden letters engraved on the wooden door ‘Minister of Magic Arthur Weasley’.
He took a deep breath and knocked on the door. At first, all he heard were voices talking animatedly, but no one seemed to approach the door. He tried again, a little harder this time, but the voices continued talking, as if ignoring the person at the door.
“I’m afraid Mr. Weasley isn’t in his office at the moment.” A kind woman’s voice spoke from behind him.
Draco turned around to see a brunette in high-heels wearing a red blouse with a black pencil skirt. She tried to go for the professional look, but the obvious expression on her face showed that she was still a newbie.
“But I can hear someone talking inside.” Draco said flatly.
The secretary blinked her eyes several times as if being asked a difficult question. “I believe those voices belong to Mr. Weasley’s office portraits. Benedict and Charles do enjoy talking while Mr. Weasley is out of his office.” She eyed Draco from his head down. “I-I’m sorry, but…do I know you?”
“No, no.” Draco responded hurriedly. “I’m from the States. This is my first time here.”
The secretary merely nodded her head, but still looked suspicious. “Well, um--would you like me to take a message for you…to give to Mr. Weasley?”
“No, that’s fine.” Draco made to leave the lobby, as the brunette continued eying him upon his hasty leave.
Upon reaching the lift to ascend back up to the hall where he would exit, an interesting article caught Draco’s eyes from the newspaper a wizard was busily reading in front of him.
The title read: “L. Malfoy’s Kiss of Death”. Draco read as much as he could from behind the wizard with the newspaper.
Lucius Malfoy had been given the kiss of death by dementors, a consequence for his attempted escape from Azkaban Prison. Mr. Weasley says the death was nothing less than what Malfoy deserved for trying to escape yet another much needed punishment. Upon the death of wanted murderer Lucius Malfoy, a few days later, the capture and mortalities of many death eaters were performed so heroically by the Order of the Phoenix. Story continued on page 2.
“Good riddance.” Draco murmured under his breath.
When the lift came to a stop, the wizard left with the newspaper in the left direction, as Draco walked straight toward the hall of statues. He started to leave make way to the lift that would ascend up him to the phone booth, but a conversation between a woman and a wizard caught his attention.
“--Don’t think Ron will have time to play Quidditch.” The woman said.
Weasley! Draco made his way beside the woman and the man, pretending to wait for someone, but eavesdropping on their conversation.
The man scratched his head and Draco took a glance at him, immediately recognizing him at once as Dean Thomas. He remembered him from Hogwarts because the day Ron was really sick and Draco picked on him, Dean stood up for the redhead, which proved he was a great friend of Weasley’s.
The woman, who was a short blonde, with radish earrings dangling from her ears, Draco saw was none other than Luna Lovegood.
Dean spoke really anxiously, “I really needed another chaser for my team. We’re playing against the Giants next weekend and you know how they get when someone else forfeits. I’m not going to let that happen.”
Luna shook her head so hard that Draco noticed her radish earrings shake violently. “Don’t worry Dean. I’m sure you’ll have some luck.”
“Yeah, yeah.” Dean said absent-mindedly. He paused momentarily and then scratched his chin. “Do you have Ron’s address by the way?” He asked suddenly as if an epiphany hit him.
The blonde seemed to look at his direction momentarily as if he were asking her an odd question. “Don’t you have Ron’s address?”
Dean went quiet for a moment and then said, “Y-yeah, I did, but I lost it.”
Convinced, Luna took out a piece of parchment and quill from the inside of her purse and wrote down the address and handed it to the wizard.
“Thanks.” Dean said, his eyes on the parchment.
“You’re welcome.” The blonde put away the quill and started to leave. “I’ll see you around Dean.”
“Yeah, yeah. Bye.” Dean walked by the nearby trashcan and dropped the parchment with Ron’s address in it, and he walked toward the front of the door and disappeared.
Draco immediately raced to the trashcan and pulled out the parchment and gripping it in his fist as if it were something special. He raced outside the doors where Dean had previously left.
Outside, Draco passed a dazed and confused Dean who stood blankly, scratching his head and looking to and fro. As Draco passed him, he couldn’t help, but to smirk when he heard Dean utter the words, “How on Merlin’s earth did I end up out here?”
Draco apparated to the address of Ron’s flat, but found it was empty. It wasn’t like he was just going to break in there to find Granger, but rather wait for her. And once she was alone….well, that was for later. First things first, he needed to find her.
He realized that the side window of Ron’s flat was opened. It belonged to a bedroom and he guessed that it was Weasley’s since there was nothing in there, but moving pictures, a bed and a window chair. He left the room and swore he heard voices outside the flat, just below where the pool was shimmering in the dark moonlight.
He went out and hid among the bushes, making himself unseen with the invisibility charm that he used to find the snitch back when he was blind and Jean--Hermione---was with him.
Just as he suspected, he spotted Granger and Weasley seated comfortably on the bench nearby the pool, staring up into space. Before he knew what was happening, Weasley cupped Granger’s face and they were kissing.
Feeling jealously and anger boil up inside him, Draco disappeared back to the open bedroom window at Ron’s flat. He paced outside the window, refraining from cursing or hitting anything.
To his surprise, the door of the open window bedroom flew open and someone came in, shutting the door and collapsing on the bed.
When Draco saw who it was, he--slowly--made his way into the darkness of the bedroom, hiding into the shadows. Without controlling his emotions first, Draco covetously spoke up, “So Granger, do tell me, because I’m just dying to know, is Weasley a better kisser than I am?”
Hermione’s head immediately shot up at the sound of the familiar voice. She looked in the direction of the emerging shadow and nearly jumped up off the bed. She was feeling so many emotions at one time, she didn’t know exactly how to react, so she went with the first reaction that came to her at that time and it was surprise.
“Malfoy!” She exclaimed, pulling out her wand.
“Accio wand!” Draco said at once. Hermione’s wand went flying into his hand.
And before she had time to react for any other surprises, Draco magically locked the bedroom door with his wand and shut the window.
“I--I--I’ll scream.” Hermione stuttered, as if putting up a threat.
“Silencio.” Draco said in the room. “Already taken care of.” He said in a low voice. He continued to approach her, with her wand safely tucked in his pants’ pocket.
Hermione continued backing up, until she realized she had backed into the opposite wall. Draco stopped and stared at her--hard.
“Wh-what do you want?” Hermione asked, acting as if she were seeing Draco for the first time since she graduated Hogwarts.
As weird as it sounds, Draco laughed. He didn’t burst out laughing like a madman--mind you--but his chuckle was enough to surprise Hermione.
She continued staring at him as if he were a monster; even though she didn’t admit it at the moment, half of her wanted to wrap her arms around the blonde man before her, for she had missed him dearly.
Draco’s eyes bored into Hermione’s, trying to peer through her soul. “There were just some things I needed to clarify Granger….” He took a pause, raising an eyebrow, “Or should I call you Jean.”
“What?” Hermione asked, her heart beating so rapidly that she thought she it would explode. “J-Jean? You‘ve obviously gotten you‘re head in a rut because I‘m not J--”
“Don’t lie.” Draco took two steps forward, standing about a foot away from Hermione. “I know all about you’re summer with me….how you were the one who was caring for me, under your middle name. You really thought you had me outsmarted, didn’t you?” He took another step forward, “Well, guess what Granger?” He took inches away from her face now, “You’re not the only smart one around.”
Hermione saw as Draco licked his lips and leaned his face down toward her when his lips sensually touched her own. She felt her eyelids give in on her and--as if in a trance--slid her hands from Draco’s chest to his smooth hair. Draco pressed the kiss further, until Hermione stopped him and held him back by one hand on his chest.
“Wait.” She whispered, almost breathless. “But--I thought--you didn’t--I mean--I would have never expected you to--”
“Never what?” Draco asked, his eyes boring into her own. “Never accept you for who you are?”
Hermione nervously bit down on her lip as if avoiding said question. She merely nodded her head.
Draco put a finger to her chin, lifting up her face to his own. “You’re forgetting something Granger. I fell in love with you because of who you are, not because of your blood.” His expression turned serious. “And don’t you forget that.”
A smile formed on Hermione’s lips and before she could think about where she was (Ron’s flat), she kissed Draco with such passion that she missed from the moment she left Draco back in Cambridge.
Hearing the words she so desperately craved for after these two and half months, she didn’t desire to hear anything else, but spend this moment with her love.
Draco scooped up Hermione in his arms and they fell onto the bed, kissing and tossing off their clothes in the mist of it all. After so long, they craved nothing more, but to be in each other’s arms. Draco placed light kisses all around Hermione’s bare chest and stomach, his hands caressing the outline of her body. Hermione wrapped her arms around Draco’s neck, with her eyes closed and enjoying the moment that she missed.
Their love-making had been so strong that night that they both fell asleep, wrapped in each other’s arms, stuck in their own fantasy world, oblivious to the reality around them.
Once morning had arrived, Ron had tucked the fold-out couch back in and started to cook breakfast. Although he couldn’t sleep the previous night from the encounter with Hermione, he managed to doze off after watching some television.
He desperately wanted to talk to Hermione, make sure she was okay, but when he came to his flat, he found that the bedroom in which she was sleeping was locked, so he decided not to bother her. Beside it was so quiet that he figured she must have fallen asleep.
Ron, yawning and stretching, pulled out some eggs and flour and decided to make Hermione some pancakes and take breakfast--specially--to her.
Conjuring up some flowers and a card with the words ‘I’m sorry’ along with the food, he made his way to the bedroom with the breakfast tray in his hand.
He knocked twice, but he didn’t hear a sound. He checked the time, which read 7:20 and he knew that Hermione was usually awake during this time, for she was an early riser.
Ron, as carefully as possible, unlocked the bedroom door with his wand and walked in. He spotted Hermione under the blankets, and he smiled, approaching nearer.
Once he was beside the bed, he slowly tugged the sheets lower to reveal Hermione’s pleasant smiling face, with her eyes closed. Ron, now grinning, pulled the sheets a little lower and his smile immediately faded as he dropped the breakfast tray with a huge clatter.
Hermione and Draco opened their eyes at once upon the sound of the clatter and looked up to meet a pair of angry blue eyes glaring at them.
A/N: For those that might be confused, Draco used the Imperius curse on Dean to get the information he needed from Luna. So that’s why Dean was so confused at the end. Oh and once again, this chapter was posted at night. (I mean half an hour away from 12am), so I’ll fix any mistakes there are later. Leave a review!! Thanks a bunch! :)
Hermione quickly sat upright in the bed, lifting the blankets up to her chin as she did, feeling Draco’s reassuring hand on hers. “R-Ron….” She choked, watching her friend’s face go from red to a dark red.
Ron opened his mouth a few times not being able to find the right words--either that--or refraining from cursing at the pair of them. He had his wand out and it was pointed at Draco, his hand noticeably shaking. He glared between them. First his eyes on Hermione and then on Draco, narrowing his eyes so low that it looked like they were closed.
“Ronald, please…” She said, edging in front of Draco, blocking her friend’s view of him. “Listen to me. It--It’s not what it seems.”
“Oh, really?!” Ron blurted out. “Then what is it Hermione?! Because it bloody looks like you were snogging Malfoy!”
Hermione’s face turned red at his remark--and not because of his mention of her snogging Malfoy--but rather because he was right.
Before she could say anything else, Draco spoke up from behind her, pushing her back so he could get a good look at Ron again.
“Weasley, I--” He started.
“Shut your bloody mouth, Malfoy!” Ron shouted so loudly that the moving persons in the photos were frightened. “I don’t want to hear a damn word from you! I swear to Merlin, I’ll hex you!”
Draco didn’t seem hesitant at all from Ron’s threats, but nonetheless, he went quiet when he felt Hermione’s hand grip his tightly.
Hermione let out a deep sigh and tried to reason with her redheaded friend. “Ron, just listen to me.”
“No, Hermione.” Ron shook his head. “No bloody way am I going to listen to how you lied to me.” With that, he barged beside the door and without turning back said in a menacing voice, “Get out of here. The both of you. I don’t want to see the either of you ever again.”
Hermione quickly pulled out her undergarments and clothes from somewhere inside the bed, and saw Draco doing the same. She slipped on her bra and pants, and as she slid down the bed covers, threw on her shirt.
She stood up from the side of the bed and stepped on flowers that were sprawled on the floor. They had fallen from the breakfast tray, along with other items. Beside the flower, she found a card. Hesitantly, she picked it up and read in her mind, I’m sorry.
Hermione bit her lip, trying her best to hold back the tears that threatened to come forth to her eyes.
Draco came to her side now, and softly laid a hand on her shoulder. “Are you alright?” He asked in a concerned voice.
Even though she wasn’t, she still managed to nod her head without saying a word. She inhaled a sharp breath and let it go after a few seconds. She turned to look Draco in the eyes.
“I have to talk to him.” She whispered.
Draco met her gaze, his eyes gentle and kind. “He’s not going to listen to a word you have to say.”
Hermione averted her eyes to the ground on the breakfast tray. “But I still have to try.”
Draco wrapped his arm around her shoulder, placing a kiss on her temple. “If that’s what you want. I‘ll be right here beside you.”
Hermione pulled herself away from him, shaking her head. “No, no. I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to be here right now.” She bit down on her lip, her eyes wide. “The last thing I want is for Ron to send you back to St. Mungo’s.”
A smirk played on Draco’s lips. “Well at least this time I’ll be able to see my nurse.” Adding on as an after thought, “And know who she is.”
Hermione frowned and said, “Please Draco. I don’t have time for this. We’ll talk later. For now, all I want is to fix my friendship with Ron.” She sighed deeply, fidgeting with her hands, rooted on the spot.
“Where do you want me then…if not here?” Draco asked.
Hermione bit her lip. “I guess the only place that we both know of.”
Draco raised a skeptical eyebrow. “You mean--”
Hermione dismissed him with an impatient wave of her hand, “Yes, yes. That’s exactly what I mean. Now go.”
Draco disappeared within seconds, but was suddenly back with a ‘crack’ in front of Hermione. Before she could react to his sudden appearance, he took her in his arms and gave her a long, passionate kiss.
When Hermione pulled away from him, they were both breathing heavily. “Draco…” She started in partial shock, “What was that for?”
Draco smiled kindly. “For luck.” He let go of her and stood only a few paces away. Looking her straight in the eyes with a small smile, he said, “Don’t take too long,” and disappeared into thin air once more with a ‘pop’.
Hermione smiled softly at the spot where Draco previously stood, and brushed her fingertips past her lips. She cleared her thoughts and took another long breath before heading into the other room to confront her angry friend.
She found Ron in the kitchen, picking up pots and pans and random items, as if finding an excuse to do something--anything--with his hands.
She bit down on her lip and approached him hesitantly. Standing beside the table in the kitchen, Hermione spoke up lightly. “Ron.” She whispered.
Ron’s head suddenly shot up in her direction, obviously surprised by her appearance there. His surprised expression immediately went grim, and he went back to his chores.
“I thought I told you to leave.” He said in a cold voice.
Hermione swallowed uneasily as she gripped the table chair firmly. Her knuckles had turned snow white, but she continued tightening her hold.
“I-I don’t think it’ll be fair for me to leave without telling my side of the story first.” Hermione said in the same small tone similar to when she first spoke up.
Ron dropped a saucepan into the sink, causing a loud metal clatter to fill the kitchen. He didn’t look up, but instead, bowed his head down. “Just leave, Mione.” He said so softly that Hermione had to lean in to hear his words. “Just go away. I don’t want to see you right now.”
Even though a tear slid down Hermione’s cheek, she still didn’t give up. “Ron, I--”
“Damn it, Mione!” Ron cursed, banging his fist hard on the counter.
Hermione shook from his anger. She had seen Ron upset before--many times, mind you--but this time wasn’t like any of those.
When Hermione didn’t move an inch, but only shook at the spot she stood, Ron continued yelling.
“Didn’t you hear me?!” He shouted. “You’re smart enough to figure out other things, but you can’t understand when someone says ‘go away’?!” He turned his back toward her once more, this time his hands finding a small towel nearby, which he twisted and scrunched in his hands.
“I told you, Ron.” Hermione said, her hands now loosening on the chair, her arms falling to her sides. “I’m not leaving until you’ve heard my side to the story.” Unexpectedly, she took a seat at the kitchen table, folding her hands on the table as if preparing for a quiz.
Ron looked skeptically at her, his mood only worsening, but Hermione thought she saw a flash of panic in his eyes for a second. That made her feel a little better.
At least this way, he’ll have to listen to me eventually. I’ll never leave this spot until he does. But as she thought this, Draco’s last departing words came to mind, Don’t take too long.
Luna sat in her office, obviously daydreaming. Even with the loud chatter outside her office quarters about Dean being under the influence of some curse without knowing, she still managed to daydream pleasantly.
Suddenly the door burst open and in came a flush Seamus. He looked disheveled from his expression, but nonetheless, gave the blonde a small smile.
“Did you hear?” He asked.
Luna beamed back at him. “About what Seamus?”
“About how Dean was under the influence of a curse.”
Seamus scratched his head and scrunched his face in confusion. “It’s yet to be determined. Don’t know for sure, but some say it must have been an Unforgettable. Dean said for one moment he was talking to you and then all of a sudden, he found himself outside without any memory of how he got there.” He folded his arms across his chest.
“Does anyone know who it was?” Luna asked, putting a sugar quill to her lips.
“Someone from outside must’ve sneaked in and put him under the curse.” Dean said with a satisfied look on his face as if he had solved a decade old mystery.
“Well, where is that someone now?”
Seamus’s smile faded completely. He unfolded his arms, scratching his head once more. “Don’t know for sure. Looks like he--or she--escaped.”
“Hm,” Was Luna’s response as she turned to her paperwork.
“Where’s Ron?” Seamus asked. “I’ll be he’ll get a load of this.”
Luna’s gaze met his once more. “Ron has a few days off.”
Seamus raised an eyebrow. “Really? What for? There’s no point in having a day off alone.”
“That’s just the point.” Luna said, her expression blank. “He’s not alone. Hermione’s staying at his place for the rest of the summer.”
“Ah.” Seamus said, with a look of understanding on his face. He stared at the blonde, trying to gaze into her eyes, and read her thoughts. “How are you doing?”
Luna smiled. “I’m doing fine.”
“Are you sure? I mean--’cause--you can find a better guy--”
“I’m doing fine, Seamus.” Luna repeated, her eyes boring hard into his as if trying to get the message across telepathically.
“Uh--okay.” Seamus stumbled backwards into the door and left without another word.
Luna sighed deeply and put her sugar quill down, her thoughts drifting around her once more. She had only wished that her daydreams would come true someday.
Hermione watched as Ron’s expression loosened some of the anger, but not all of it completely. He sat across from her now, his eyes down at his fidgeting hands. He was dissolving all of the information she had just told him and trying to find a response for all that he heard.
It was lunchtime when Ron finally gave in and sat down at the table across from Hermione, his anger somewhat controlled, when he said he would hear her story. She was glad to have told him everything--well, excluding the intimate parts about her and Draco--but everything else. How she was shocked to know that she was caring for him. How she only treated him like a patient, but overtime, learned a lot about him. And how they slowly fell in love with each other. She also mentioned the part about how she ran away from him to forget the memories of him, but he ended up finding her because he loved her for who she was. She specifically tried to make an emphasis on this part for she wanted Ron to know that Draco actually loved her and didn’t care anymore that she was a muggle-born.
And now, Hermione waited patiently--and nervously--as she watched Ron react to her story. He stopped fidgeting with his hands, but didn’t look up.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” He finally asked in a low voice.
“Because I was afraid of how you would react.” She responded, murmuring afterwards, “Like the way you did today.”
Either Ron ignored her response or didn’t hear it, he continued. “When were you going to tell me? Or were you planning on keeping this a secret forever?”
“No, Ron, I swear!” Hermione said in a panicky tone. “I was going to tell you…”
“When?” Ron’s anger was getting the best of him again. “When I found out for myself?”
Hermione bowed her head down and sniffled noticeably. “I-I’m sorry you had to find out this way.”
Ron took a long, deep breath, shutting his eyes momentarily. Ever since he encountered his best friend and former enemy snogging, he had gotten a very throbbing headache.
Upon hearing a sniffle once more, Ron opened his eyes and looked across the table at Hermione. Her hair was tied up, away from her face. Her cheeks were burning red from crying so much, as well as her eyes, which were still wet and dripping teardrops. He noticed how there lie a puddle on the table in front of where Hermione sat. His heart ached seeing her this way.
A voice of reason spoke in his mind. You love her so much, yet you put her through hell.
Well, she’s the one who put me through hell in the first place. I think it’s only fair. Ron responded to the voice.
There’s nothing fair about hurting the one you love the most. If you truly did love her, then you will stop this madness. You will forgive her and move on.
She slept with Malfoy! Something like that cannot be forgiven. Not in a million years.
You say this because you’re jealous. You loved her so much that it pains you to see her happy with someone else.
I loved her more than anything else and she didn’t feel the same way about me.
It is natural to hurt. That is a part of love. There will be heartbreak. But remember, there will be love again.
Ron cleared his mind and watched as Hermione wiped her nose on her shirt sleeve. Ron conjured up a handkerchief and handed it to her.
Hermione looked at him in surprise, but took the handkerchief nonetheless. She thanked him under her breath.
“Ron,” She started once again, when her nose and tears were wiped clean, “I know that I shouldn’t have lied to you and I’m so deeply sorry--”
“It’s okay, Hermione.” Ron found himself saying.
Hermione looked at him in surprise again, blinking her eyes several times, hoping she heard him right.
“It is?” She asked.
Ron smiled softly. “Honestly? No, it isn’t.” He said with a chuckle. “But I can’t stay mad at you forever. You’re one of my best friends Hermione.” His smile faded and his expression went sad again. “It did hurt to see you with Mal--Draco--but I shouldn’t have acted the way I did.”
Hermione quickly slid her hand over his. “No, you had every right to be upset. I didn’t tell you the truth when I should have. I swear it won‘t happen again.” Ron put his other hand over hers, looking down at their hands instead of her face. Hermione bit her lip anxiously and asked, “So does this mean you forgive me?”
Ron stood up, sliding his hands away from hers, “No, I don’t forgive you…” He watched as Hermione’s eyes blinked back tears, “…yet.” He folded his arms across his chest, a smile playing on his lips. “It’ll take some time to heal, you know.”
Hermione smiled and stood up as well now. She rushed toward him, wrapping her arms around his back, hugging him tightly. “I’m so lucky to have a great friend like you, Ron,” She mumbled against his shoulder.
Ron didn’t smile at her remark, but merely replied, “Yeah, I know.” He slowly pushed Hermione away from him to get a look at her. “You should go now. You don’t want to keep Malfoy waiting.”
Hermione’s eyes widened in surprise, “How did you--”
“I overheard.” Ron said, shrugging his shoulders. “Now go.”
Hermione smiled once more. “You’ll make a lucky woman very happy some day.” With that, Ron watched as she disappeared into thin air.
Ron went into his office to find the loads of paperwork waiting for him on his desk. Sighing, he went to his chair and started flipping through all the paper in front of him, carefully dipping his quill in the ink bottle.
The door opened and two persons slipped in, walking a few steps until they reached the desk. Ron finally looked up.
“Seamus.” Ron said, smiling at his friend. “Hey, Luna.” He said. Even though he had a pretty lousy day so far, seeing the blonde’s face, he felt loads better.
“Hey Ron. Dean told me he saw you slip in your office.” Seamus said, grinning. “I thought you were taking a few days off, you know, to spend time with Hermione?”
Ron looked at Seamus and then in Luna, in turn. Seamus looked as normal as usual, with a mischievous look on his face, but there was something off about Luna. She had a small smile on her face, but it looked as if it were forced.
“Yeah, about that.” Ron said, brushing his hair back. “Some things came up, so I decided to come to work.”
“What things?” Luna asked curiously.
“Nothing, really. I don’t feel like talking about it now.”
Luna’s expression fell, but she continued to force a smile. “I guess I’ll go finish up my paperwork.” She said.
“Okay.” Ron said without looking up.
As soon as the blonde left out the door, Seamus turned to his friend, tusking disappointedly.
“What?” Ron asked.
“How blind are you, mate?” He asked, folding his arms across his chest.
“What do you mean?”
“Can’t you see what’s going on with Luna?” He shook his head. “You’re tearing her apart. Poor gal.”
“What are bloody talking about?” Ron cursed, standing up now.
“Damn it, mate!” Seamus pounded the desk with his fist. “She’s in love with you, mate!”
Ron collapsed back onto his seat, staring blankly at his friend. “Wh-what? But--how do you--did she--?”
Seamus shook his head again. “It’s obvious the way she acts around you. Everyone has known for ages, but you’ve been too bloody blind to see it!”
“Luna’s in love with me?” Ron repeated.
“I told her she could find a better bloke than yourself--”
“You what?!” Ron nearly yelled at him, standing up again.
Seamus put up his hands defensively. “Hey, Luna’s a great gal, mate. I just don’t want her to wait around for you to come to your senses for the rest of her life.” He left out the door, a huge grin plastered on his face.
Ron paced back and forth in his office, the words racing in his mind over and over again. Luna’s in love with me.
The door opened again and without looking up, Ron said in an annoyed voice, “Damn it, Seamus. What other news have you brought me?” When he looked up, he saw that it was not Seamus, but rather a flushed Luna standing in the doorway.
“Oh, sorry.” She said. “Seamus said you wanted to see me.”
Ron cursed in his mind, and swore to get Seamus for this later. “Yeah, sure. Come on in, Luna.”
She took a seat at the chair across from his desk, watching his nervously. “Is everything alright?”
Ron finally took a seat on his chair, and tried to keep his heart and breath steady. “I--um…” He took a long breath. “Luna, what do you think of love?”
Luna’s face flushed once more and she bowed down her head to hide it. “It’s a beautiful thing to go through…but can be hard and painful, too.”
“I know what you mean.” Ron said. When Luna gave him a curious look, he continued. “Hermione’s with Malfoy.”
Luna’s eyes widened in surprise. “Draco Malfoy?” Ron nodded his head. “Wow, that must be painful.”
Ron nodded his head. “You have no idea.” He looked at Luna and sighed. He walked around the desk, standing just beside her chair. “Listen, Luna. I just want you to know that you can tell me anything.” He paused for a moment as she continued staring at him. “I know I can be a major git sometimes, and definitely blind to others’ feelings--” His sentence was cut off with a sudden kiss on his lips.
Luna held his face in her hands and kissed him ever so lightly. Ron immediately kissed her back willingly, his lips curling into a smile. He never dreamed he would be this happy to kiss someone besides Hermione. Life was full of surprises.
When they pulled away, Luna smiled her genuine smile at him. “You’re right. You can be a git and blind…” She leaned a little forward, “But that’s what love is all about.” They embraced in another heartfelt kiss.
Hermione had awoken from the couch inside the house she remembered so well from spending most of her summer there. She rubbed her eyes and remembered being outside by her favorite oak tree with Draco, but she must have dozed off and he carried her inside. She smiled at the thought.
Upon hearing dishes clattering in the kitchen nosily, she followed the sound and opened the swinging kitchen door, and saw so many things swooshing and flying and moving around the area with magic.
The table was set to perfection with a rose right in middle of the table and a few candles that lit the room. Draco approached her, wearing an apron, and gave her a loving kiss.
“Draco, what on earth are you doing?” Hermione asked, chuckling at the sight around her.
Draco smirked. “You said so yourself that you like a man that can cook.”
Hermione wrapped her arms around him. “At least you haven’t burnt or broke anything.”
“Not being blind helps.” Draco wrapped his arms around her back, kissing the tip of her nose. "And having my nurse with me."
A/N: Okay, this is the end, folks! I'm sorry to disappoint everyone, but I thought a cute little ending like this fit this story. :) I know I said I would have an epilogue, but since I'll be pretty busy, I decided to collide the epilogue along with this chapter. (The epilogue was basically going to be Ron/Luna's part). Hoped you liked it! I'll be posting more Dramione fics in the future so be sure to check them out! ((And once again any mistakes will be sent to my beta to fix))