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Bound to You by blandie

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Format: Novella
Chapters: 18
Word Count: 23,511
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Strong Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Substance Use or Abuse, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme, Contains Spoilers

Genres: Drama, Romance, Young Adult
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Blaise (M), Cho, Draco, Ginny, Luna, Pansy
Pairings: Draco/Hermione, Harry/Ginny, Ron/Luna

First Published: 09/19/2012
Last Chapter: 08/21/2014
Last Updated: 08/21/2014

Summary:






Banner by the extremely talented canta_loupe@TDA
Over 26,000 reads, thank you so much!

When the Golden Trio graduate from Hogwarts everything goes as planned, Hermione goes to University and Harry & Ron become aurors. What happens when Hermione chooses a career path- and it leads her to someone that used to be her worst enemy...


Chapter 1: New Beginnings
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beautiful chapter image made my elaine_17@TDA
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The morning sun shone through the window, hitting her face causing sparkles to shine across her pale skin. Hermione's eyes fluttered open as she stretched luxioursly in her enormous four poster bed. Swiping her hand through her thick mane of curly brown hair, Hermione curled her nose up in disgust. Groaning, she made her way across the wood floors to her bathroom, walking in she immediately took off her pyjamas and jumped into the shower. 

After her long shower, Hermione grabbed her wand and shot a smoothing spell at her hair, transforming her unruly locks into beautiful shining ringlets. Stepping out into the hallway of her flat, she waved her wand at the stereo system causing a pop song to blare out. She danced her way into the kitchen, putting a cup under her cofffee machine and grabbing a croussiant from her bread box. Pushing herself up onto the counter, she grabbed her mail. While sipping her drink, she sorted through it all, until she came across a letter from the Ministry. Intrigued, she set her coffee down onto the counter, and used her un-manicured finger nail to slice open the envelope. 

Miss Hermione Granger,

We are pleased to offer you the head position in our forensic analysis unit, which works together with our aurors to capture and prosecute dark wizards. If you are interested in hearing more about the position, please owl me and we will arrange a meeting. 

Regards,

Neville Longbottom

Head of Ministry Hiring

P.S. Can't wait to see you! It's been way to long Mione!

Hermione could not believe it, she knew getting a university education would help her get a job, espicially as she learnt muggle and wizard things, focusing on forensics. But she couldn't believe that the Ministry itself had head hunted her! It was a dream come true. Quickly she accioed a quill and piece of parchment then quickly scribbled her response.

Dear Mr. Longbottom,

I would be delighted to hear more about the position, sounds like the job for me! Please let me know when you meet you.

Sincerely

Hermione Granger

P.S. Can't wait to see you either Nev!


Beaming brightly, Hermione walked to her living room window, calling to her owl, Roger. "Rog, please bring this to Neville Longbottom at the Ministry" she said as she gave him a treat. Flapping steadily, his snowy white feather disappeared over the rooftops. Turning into her bedroom, she walked into her large closet to look for a suitable outfit. Pushing through the racks and racks of clothing, she finally decided- a black pencil skirt with a teal button up shirt, black pumps and some silver jewelery. After putting this on, Hermione walked to her vanity, putting on minimal make-up, just a little mascara and lip chap. Grabbing her wand and purse of the way out, she made her way to her window where Roger was tapping insistently. Opening the window, Hermione snagged the letter from his claws, as he was already starting to fly away. "Busy little bugger, isn't he?" she thought as she opened the letter from Neville.

Is 12:30 an okay time to meet?

Neville 

Hermione smiled at his lack of formality compared to his previous letter, glancing at her watch she saw that it was 12:20. Walking over to her fireplace, Hermione grabbed a handfull of floo powder, stepped into the fireplace and spoke very clearly the words "Ministry of Magic, Neville Longbottom's Office" and with a large noise and puff of green smoke, she was gone. 

 

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Author's Note:

Hey everyone!! This is my very first published fanfic so I hope you all like it :) Sorry the first chapter's so short... just wanted to get my first chapter out there!
 


Chapter 2: First Day
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Chapter image by kenden@TDA

Hermione stumbled out of the fireplace and into Neville's office. Dusting herself off, she grabbed her purse and looked up. Neville was standing in front of her with a big goofy grin on his face. Before she could even say hello Neville had her in a rib crushing hug.

"Hi Nev, good to see you too" Hermione smiled up at his lanky form.

"Hermione, I've missed you so much! It's unreal! Neville exclaimed, finally letting her out of his embrace.

Smiling, Hermione stepped back "So, tell me about this job offer!"

Neville smacked himself on the forehead, "of course, of course, I completely forgot that's why you're here! Well basically we're looking for a forensic analyist who also has experience is defence against the dark arts seeing as the job is to convict dark wizards, which is what the auror department is all about. Although, you'll do a lot of normal homocides as well!" he said passionately.

"Wow Neville, that job actually sounds perfect for me! I'd love to take the job if you still want me." Hermione's said happily.

"The job's all yours then, you can get your office right now" Neville replied, walking towards his office's large oak door. Hermioned followed him out of the office and into the dim lit hallway.

"That's strange, I didn't think that your office would be in the department of mysteries, Neville" Hermione mentioned as her shoes clacked noisly against the dark blue stone floor.

Neville turned slightly and gave her a bit of a grimace. "Oh.... yeah about that, well my office was in the central part of the Ministry but I sort of accidentally charmed my office to spontaneously set itself on fire. So someone's fixing it but while they are I'm in the department of mysteries! Hermione snickered quietly, but when Neville looked back she just smiled blandly. Fairly soon they entered the auror department, Hermione had been here before to visit Harry, Ron and also Sheamus and Dean who were also aurors. "Well, your office is right over here, the coveted corner office!" Neville revealed.

Hermioned walked through the large glass door that Neville held open for her. This office was completely gorgeous, it had cream coloured walls with one large bay windor over looking scenic London. There was a large white retro desk over looking the windor, with a large chair behind it, huge white bookcases surronded the rest of the office and to complete the room there was a charmed orchid on a coffee table near the door. "Nev, this office is stunning..." Hermioned bubbled.

"I'm glad you like it" Nevilled said rubbing his nose and staring at his feet. "I'll just leave you to get settled in, there's some files for you to look over, you'll start actual work tomorrow morning, see you later Mione!" Neville strode out of the doorway and into the hallway. Hermione walked over to the desk and sat down in the chair, spinning around to face the window. She could not believe her luck, this was going to be a great job. 

 













 

He could not believe his bad luck. Why did he have to be the auror assigned to baby sit the new forensic analyst? I mean sure he'd get to arrest a ton of people, but he'd really miss working with his bestfriend, Blaise and even Potter and Weasel had been easier to get along with after they all graduated from Hogwarts. Guess he'd just have to see how it went... Draco Malfoy walked out of  a fireplace into the Ministry of Magic, heading towards the auror department. The door to the corner office was open and he could hear femine humming from inside.











 

Poking his head inside the door, Draco saw a beautiful woman with quite pale skin and long brown ringlets was on her tippy toes, trying to reach a book on the top shelf of the bookcase. Draco sauntered across the office and easily plucked the book that she was reaching for off the shelf, sweeping it into her awaiting hand. The woman quickly looked up at him, her eyes wide and mouth opened in shock.











 

 











 

"DRACO?!" Hermione almost yelled.











 

 











 

"Granger. You're the forensic analyst?" he asked, shocked beyond belief. "Yes, yes I am.. why?" she asked him one eye brow raised in emphasis. Draco rolled his eyes at her "Well, looks like we're going to be partners, I'm your auror." 













 

 













 

Holy hell. Draco Malfoy was ridiculously attractive. He went from looking like a greasy ferret to a majestic swan in a matter of less than four years. Four years, it seems like ages since they had last seen eachother. Draco looked well, really well. His dark suit brought out his pale skin and platinum blonde hair, his piercing blue eyes raked over her body as hers looked all over his. Slowly moving her eyes up over his thin waist up to his toned chest, Hermione met his eyes.











 

"You look... different Granger. A good different." Draco smirked.











 

 











 

"You too." Hermione admitted with a sideways smile. She walked towards her desk, setting the book down upon it, turning towards Draco again. "So, how have you been? Married? Kids?" Hermione asked with a small smile as she sank down into her office chair.











 

Draco laughed "I've been pretty good. Not married, divorced and no kids. What about you Granger, do you have a ball and chain and some snot nose brats running around?"











 

Hermione crossed her petite legs and answered him "Nope, I'm not married and I don't have any children."











 

Draco frowned slightly and leaned back on the bookcase. "What happened to you and weaselbee? I thought you two were engaged.."











 

Hermione sighed tiredly "Oh, how did you not know? Me and Ron broke up more than two years ago, we just weren't working out, fought all the time, I guess we just wanted different things. He's dating Luna Lovegood right now actually. Who did you end up getting hitched to anyway Malfoy?"











 

Just then an impatient click of shoes came up to the door, emitting Harry into the room. "Hermione, Malfoy. Hate to make you work before you've even settled in Mione, but we have a body I need you to look at. Malfoy I'll take her just for today, the boss is giving you the rest of the day off because of the funeral. I'm really sorry by the way mate, your dad wasn't my favourite person, but I am still sorry for your loss" Harry then turned to Hermione, "Grab your coat and wand, we're going to apparate to Scotland in about five minutes, I'll meet you downstairs" he said as he dashed out the door and towards his office.











 

"Draco.. I am honestly sorry to hear about your father, I had no idea. Please accept my condolences to both you and your mother." Hermine said sincerely. "Thank you Hermione, I really appreciate it. Good luck on your first case, I'll be back tomorrow to help work on it." Draco replied, already walking towards the door. As soon as he left, Hermione grabbed her purse and jacket and rushed out the door and towards the lift. 


Chapter 3: Old Friends & New Friends
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Beautiful chapter image by RosieQueen @TDA

"So, you and Malfoy are friends now? You've never mentioned him at all!" Hermione burst out as they apparated into a small village near Glasgow.

 




"Oh, yeah I guess it just never came up. Me and Draco are friends now, have been since he became an auror just after I did. He's changed a lot for the better, even his divorce has made him a better person, oddly enough." Harry replied with a shrug of his shoulders.


Hermione's brow furrowed " wait, who was he married to?" Harry laughed a little, "You couldn't have guessed? He married Astoria Greengrass right after we graduated from Hogwarts, it's weird you never heard about it. She was really awful to him, always nagging, going out with other men, she ended up cheating on him with one of his friends, she's pregnant with the other guy's child now."


Hermione's mouth opened in shock as her eyes opened wide she said "I would've never guessed that... Poor Draco." 


Harry nodded, leading Hermione into a small pub near the street they apparated into. They chose a table near the front and each ordered a firewhisky. Just as they sat someone really familiar walked towards the bar. Noticing us, she walked over with a huge grin on her face. "Hermione! Hermione Granger!? You're the new forensic analyist?!" Cho Chang asked incrediously, pulling up an empty chair.


Hermione chuckled "Good to see you too Cho, and yes I am! Do you have our case or are you just here for fun?"


Harry winced slightly, remembering how Hermione had reprimanded him about Cho in their fifth year at Hogwarts. "Yes Hermione, Cho is our liason for cases. Can you tell us the details please and we'll get right to work." 


Cho smiled, sensing Harry's awkwardness. "Yup, so we believe it to be a homocide, no suspects. Just one wizard killed in his garage, still holding onto his wand when we found him."


Hermione nodded, calculating and thinking already, "Alright Harry, let's go see the body and get this case closed as soon as possible so we can tell the family what happened." All three got up, paid the bartender and walked out the door and into the cobbled street. Cho motioned them towards her car, "We take cars when we're working right in town, too many muggles around to apparate without them noticing" she said shooting a glance at man just walking out of a phone box. They all got into Cho's silver Mazda and she quickly drove off down the road.


 They drove until they reached a small street, pulling up to a large white stone house. They all stepped out and Cho led them to garage door, opening it they all stepped inside.


 "Hey Cho! Hi, you must be Harry & Hermione, my name's Charles and I'm the auror who was called in first to this. It's all yours now, see you!" Charles smiled shaking Hermione, Harry and Cho's hand then walked straight out the garage door. 


Hermione then walked over the the body. It was male, roughly 6'2 about 38 with sandy brown hair and very tan skin. 


"Alright, well you're all good here, send me an owl if you need anything." Cho said, walking back to her car.


Harry walked over and knelt beside Hermione, who was examining the body. "So, what're you thinking Mione?"


Hermione's brows furrowed, "I think this was a test, there's no way they needed me to tell what happened to this man, it's obvious waht happened. You can see here that he has a book of defence hexes right here, his wand and a nice metal garage door. Perfect for practicing hexes, wouldn't you think? Except I bet you he did a more advanced hex, got it wrong because of intonation" she motioned with her hand toward's the man's lips which were almost black and had significant skin damage "and therefore the spell bounced off the metal, killing him."


Harry nodded understandingly and took his cell phone out of his pant's pockets, dialing a number. "Hey, it's Harry. Can you get some techs to the homocide at 148 Collingway Road to test and analyze Dr. Granger's work. Alright thanks, we'll lock the door when we leave but the password to get in in sherbert lemon."


Hermione chuckled at the name of the password. "Y'know what Harry, we can totally apparate from here to the Ministry, any wards this guy had died with him" Harry agreed and they soon apparated back to the Minsitry. After getting back, Hermione and Harry did some paper work from the case, then both decided to go home as it was after 5:30. Waving good-bye, Hermione apparated from outside the Ministry to her apartment. 


Hermione arrived at work early, walking into her office and drawing out today's case file from the bin Neville had given her. A soft knock on the door roused Hermione from her reading. It was Draco.


"You ready to go Gra- er Hermione?" Draco asked rubbing his jaw unconciously. Hermione joined him at the door and they soon left the Ministry. "We're apparating there, would you mind taking my arm? Just because you don't know exactly where we're going." Draco added.


"Yeah, sure." Hermione said as her small pale fingers laced over Draco's arm. The familiar feeling of a hook in her navel pulling her into the air, then letting her drop came over her. Opening her eyes she saw that they were still in London, albeit not a very nice part of London. The streets were filled with garbage and other things Hermione didn't want to think about. 


"The victim is in this building right over here" Draco said over his shoulder as he led the way to a ramshackle apartment. Pushing open the creaky door, Hermione had to step over garbage, splintered wood and various cans and bottles. 


"It looks like no one's been in here for ages..." Hermione whispered to Draco, staying close behind him as they walked single file up the spindly staircase, the elevator looking much too dangerous. 



"It's been empty for a few years at least, really popular for drug deals and the like. I don't know anything about the victim except someone magical definitely murdered them." Draco replied as they got to the door of a very ratty looking apartment. Stepping in, Hermione could see that this was where the victim had lived, a horrible looking old matress was in the middle of the room, cans and bottles littered around it. The apartment didn't have much else in it other than those few items. "The body's over here" Draco said as he walked across the room and into the delapitated kitchen.



Hermione walked into the kitchen behind him and knelt down to examine the body. "Yup, definitely the killing curse. This guy's definitely a wizard though, see his wand? Why would he be living here I wonder..." 



"I have no idea... Any idea what made someone murder him? I mean, doesn't seem like he has a lot going for him, judging by this place."



Hermione laughed slightly as she walked around the body. Noticing something odd, she kneels down again. Reaching just under the man's left side, she pulls out a small baggy of an almost clear substance. "Ooh hoo hoo, look what we have here. This here is calatius root, a very powerful magical hallucagin. It's worth a ton on the black market, guess we know why this guy was a target... Why would someone leave the stuff here though? Wonder if he made any other mistakes."

 

Draco was listening, although he started walking back to the doorway, looking closely he saw what he was looking for- a hair. Using his wand, he extracted it from the doorknob, using a quick spell to determine from who it came from. "I have our first suspect. Millicent Smith." Draco said with a smirk to Hermione.

 

"So, Miss Smith. Do you know a Mr.Karloff?" Hermione asked as her and Draco sat opposite Millicent Smith in an interrogation room.

 

"No, I do not" Millicent replied sniffily, shaking her head and then starting haughtily at the ceiling.


"Hermione, can me and Miss Smith have a minute please?" Draco asked sweetly.


Hermione frowned slightly, but left the room none the less. 
"So, Millie. How do you know Jack Karloff? Don't stress, I have evidence you were there, so don't deny it. Make this easy on yourself, if you tell me the truth, I can cut you a deal."

Millicent broke out into tears and threw her upper half onto the table in front of her. Slowly getting a hold of herself she replied to Draco "I'll tell you what I know but p-p-please don't hurt him.... It's my boyfriend, Jacob. He's into some pretty harsh drugs and he'd been buying them from Jack... But Jack didn't want to sell anymore, wanted a better life. So I went with Jacob to go see him, and then..then.. then Jacob lost his temper and did something horrible.." 

 

Draco leaned forward, making direct eye contact "It's alright, go on."


"He killed him. Right in front of me. I ran out, I've been running ever since." she whispered. 


Draco nodded. "Okay, thank you for telling me, if you go with this officer right here, she'll help you to fill out some paper work."


*clink* Hermione and Draco's wine classes hit eachother with a beautiful note. "To great partners fighting crime!" Hermione said happily.


 Draco took a sip of the rich merlot and . leaned in towards Hermione. "You did really great today, couldn't have solved it without you."


"You too." Hermione replied shyly. After a few too many glasses, both of their tongues began to loosen about their lives. Hermione told Draco all about how she thought that her and Ron had been perfect for eachother, but Ron had other ideas. She had put so much effort into their annual new years eve celebration- just for the two of them. And Ron had decided to chose that night to break it to her that his feelings weren't for her anymore, that they had changed and he really didn't want to hurt her.

 

Hermione had agreed to the breakup, more to make Ron happy than anything. She spilled to Draco how hurt she had been at the time, the nights she stayed up crying and then the first social event when Ron had shown up with her good friend Luna. 

 

Draco had then taken his turn and told her all about his life with his wife. How they had gotten married close after he graduated from Hogwarts. Life had been great, his mother was back to herself, his father was on the mend to being a better person and he was married to the love of his life. Then after years of what he thought to be a perfect marriage, Astoria had hit him with a bomb, she was pregnant. At first he was overjoyed, thinking that he would be a father.


However, after a couple days of telling him about the baby Draco had found out from a servant that the baby was in fact not his- it was his friend Andrew's. His whole world had been rocked. After the divorce, Draco had nothing to live for, therefore he threw himself into work and quickly made his way up the totum pole. 


"Well, I say that's enough deep talk for tonight, but thank you for listening. Would you care to dance?" Draco asked, extending his hand to Hermione as a slow song started playing in the crowded bar.

 



 

Hermione nodded and followed him out onto the dance floor. As she wrapped her arms around his neck, his settled around her waist as he drew them closer to one another. Letting his forehead drop to hers, they swayed in time to the music for what seemed an eternity. 






When the song finished, Draco helped Hermione into her coat and took her home. "I'll see you tomorrow Hermione." Draco kissed her hand and soon apparated to his own house. 


Hermione opened her flat door and as she closed it, she leant against it and smiled to herself. 

 

AN: thanks for all the wonderful reviews and for everyone who is reading my story:):)

 

 


Chapter 4: An Embarrassing Question
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Hermione woke up feeling amazingly at ease with the entire world, stretching languidly she then hopped out of bed and walked out of her bedroom, down the hallway and into the kitchen. Looking through her sparse cupboards, she found nothing appealing for breakfast. Sighing, she made her back into her bedroom and then into the bathroom. After getting a shower and dressing for the day Hermione decided she would just get coffee and something to eat at the tiny cafe right outside the ministry. Grabbing her wand and handbag, she then apparated out of her flat and into a tiny alley near the ministry. As she landed she could feel the large drops of a usual London Autumn rain, shrieking slightly Hermione then dove her hand into her handbag, grabbing a black umbrella. Once under the safety of the umbrella, Hermione made her way down the street and into the cafe. Luckily it was fairly quiet this time of day as most of the business people in London were already at work, so Hermione only had to wait moments before being served.

“Good morning, what can I get you today?” a young looking male barrista asked her as she walked to the counter.

“Hi there, could I get a morning glory muffin, a coffee with just cream and also a black coffee with cream and sugar on the side?”

“Yes, no problem! Your total comes to £4.15, is that for here or to go miss?”

“To go please” Hermione answered with a smile, handing him the correct money. After a minute or so, the man passed her a bag and two coffees. “Thank you” Hermione called as she walked out of the door. Hermione quickly scurried to the telephone box that allowed witches and wizards into the ministry. Entering the ministry, Hermione pushed her way through muttering polite “excuse me's” and “pardon me's”. Finally making her way to one of the golden coloured lifts Hermione got in just in time before the doors closed. She found herself standing beside her longtime best friend and ex-boyfriend, Ron Weasley.

“Hullo Hermione, how are you this morning?” he asked with a grin.

Hermione smiled back, things had been a little bit awkward between them after they had broken up and she'd be lying if she said she felt no jealousy when Ron had first brought Luna around but after a short amount of time she found that she was actually really happy that they had gotten together. “Hi Ron!” she answered, still smiling.

“So, I hope you haven't forgotten about my wedding this weekend... I just wanted to make sure that you're still bringing a plus one?” Ron asked, not unkindly.

Hermione tried to smile but it ended more like gritting her teeth “Yes of course, see you this weekend!” she replied just as the lift stopped at her floor.

As she stepped into the auror department she realized that this was Ron's floor as well, but he didn't get off. She then made the realization that of course, he was going to say hi to Luna, she worked in the department of mysteries. Hermione walked towards Draco''s office and knocked quietly on the door.

“Come in” he answered neutrally.

Hermione pushed the door open with her back and surveyed the office. Draco was sitting in his chair, his feet propped up on his desk as he read the daily prophet. On the front page was a photo of Ron and Luna from their engagement party almost a year ago, the headline read “1/3 of the golden trio and new owner of the Quibbler get married this weekend!”

Draco put down the paper and looked up at her, raising his eyebrow. “Something you needed?”

“Erm, no... Well yes, but I got you a coffee, I didn't know what you took in it, so it's on the side” Hermione rushed, shoving the coffee at him quickly.

“Easy there Granger, don't spill it on me” Draco quipped, “By the way, I just take it black, what about you?”

“Just cream” Hermione answered, fidgeting with a stray thread on her clothes “Soooooo Draco....” she began, “Seeing as we've been getting along and we're putting the past behind us.. Would you do me a tiny favour?”

Draco sighed looking at a very nervous Hermione. “What is it?” he asked tiredly.

“Wouldyoupleasebemydateforronandlunasweddingplease” Hermione rushed out in a mumbled slur of words.

“What was that?” Draco questioned with a frown.

“Would. You. Please. Be. My. Date. For. Ron. And. Luna's. Wedding. Please.” Hermione asked firmly.

Draco shrugged, “sure, why not”.

Hermione sighed audibly, her shoulders relaxing. “Thanks Malfoy” she replied, then spinning on her heel and making her way to her own office.

The rest of the week past quickly and before Hermione knew it, it was the day of the wedding. As soon as she woke up, she sent a patronous to Ginny to tell her she could come over anytime to get ready. Hermione had assumed when Ron and Luna got engaged that Luna would ask Ginny and Hermione to be her bridesmaids but she should have known better. In typical Luna style she had announced the them all that she didn't plan on having any bridesmaids as she thought for her they would be bad luck, however Ron still had Harry as his best man. Hermione heard flames roar in her fireplace, Ginny was here.

After hours of girl talk and tons and tons of time used to make them selves presentable for a wedding, the girls were ready, and just in time.

Draco turned up at Hermiones apartment the the exact time that Harry did.

“Draco? Why in merlin's name are you here?” Harry asked, his eyes wide.

“I'm Hermione's date.” Draco replied, smirking slightly.

Harry then smiled and clapped Draco on the back. “Good to hear, but try anything and I'll make sure you're sorry mate.”

Draco just nodded, out of the corner of his eye he could see the girls coming out of Hermione's bedroom. He had never seen her look more beautiful. Hermione coyly smiled at him. She was wearing a floor length purple silk dress, it was strapless and had a sweetheart neckline as well as a slit up the left side. Her hair was curled and braided over one shoulder. Draco stepped forward to kiss her cheek, “You look stunning Hermione” he murmered in her ear.

Hermione blushed as Draco's lips brushed against her ear, “Thank you very much kind sir”. Hermione finally took the time to look at her date. Draco looked damn good, he was wearing a straight expensively cut black suit with a black shirt and pale blue tie. His hair was arranged messily over his forehead and he had obviously just shaved. “Mind if I charm your tie to match my dress?” Hermione asked shyly.

“Whatever you want.” Draco replied with a shrug, as Hermione did this he looked over to the other couple. Ginny was wearing a floor length one shoulder dark green dress and was adjusting Harry's green tie.

“Alright, we should be off. Everyone ready?” Ginny asked impatiently.

They all replied in the affirmative and soon the group were all apparating to the burrow.

The grounds of the burrow looked stunning, it looked quite similar to when Bill and Fleur had got married here, Hermione couldn't help but to think back to that day and the real beginning of their quest for the horcruxes. Harry, who had landed beside Hermione after apparation sensed her mood and hugged her tightly. Hermione shrugged off her mood and tried to smile, “this is a celebration, let's celebrate!”

They four walked into the large white tent that had been set up, they were shown to their seats by one of the many Weasley cousins, even Ginny wasn't sure which one it was. In a short period of time everyone was seated, Harry, Ron and the minister for magic were standing at the front of the tent. A beautiful melody came from the string quartet playing on the stage and as the audience stood and turned they could see Luna coming down the aisle with her father. To everyone's surprise she was wearing a beautiful white satin ballroom style wedding dress, but as she made her way down the aisle everyone could see that it was really a beautiful myriad of colours with a sheer white fabric over top. It was a beautiful dress and suited Luna perfectly.

Xenophilius handed Luna off to Ron, kissing her cheek. Ron beamed at Luna, both of her hands in one of his. The minister went through the ceremony and faster than you could say quidditch, they were married. The ceremony of wizard weddings are always nice, but nothing can beat the reception.

Hermione, Draco, Harry and Ginny were seated with the married couple as well as George and his wife, Angelina. At first it was a little awkward having Draco there but after awhile of him being a perfect guest, things became more realaxed. After food and cake were served and the couple had danced their first dance, Draco offered his hand to Hermione and they joined the other couples on the dance floor. It was a slow song so Draco wrapped his large right hand over Hermione's and laid his left on her waist. She raised her other hand to his shoulder and they began to sway.

“Thank you again Draco, for coming.” Hermione whispered, lowering her head onto his toned shoulder.

“My pleasure” Draco whispered back, holding her even tighter. 

 

AN: Sorry for not updating in forever! Please read and review! :)


Chapter 5: A New Case
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Beautiful chapter image by kjp@TDA
 Hey everyone! Please review it only takes a tiny amount of time & I'd really love to  hear people's feedback to make my story better! :) I reply to everyone! Sorry that this chapter's a bit short, the next one will be longer!

Anything you recogize as part of J.K's amazing works are obviously hers!  

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"Hey, I got you a coffee" Draco said as he pushed open her office door with his foot, walking in holding two steaming cups of fresh coffee. Hermione happily accepted the drink and took a sip.

"What's our case for today?" She asked as she absent mindedly checked her muggle email.

"Uhm, I don't know the exact ins and outs of it, but we're going to a really brill house in Manchester, so I'm guessing someone swanky is involved." Draco replied, finishing his coffee and throwing the paper cup basketball style into the rubbish bin.

Hermione rolled her eyes “Seriously throwing it like that? Are you still in Hogwarts, Malfoy?”

Draco's face fell slightly but he kept his slight smirk plastered on his face. “Very funny Granger. Alright, let's go shall we?” Draco swept out of the office and into the hallway. Hermione struggled to follow at a normal pace, having to break out into a jog to keep up with his long strides. “We'll just take my car if that's okay, too many muggles around the house to apparate.”

“You know how to drive?” Hermione asked incredously. Stopping right in her tracks, people pushed by her roughly to get outside.

“Granger, you're holding up the traffic and yes, of course I know how to drive. I learnt a few years ago.”

Hermione shut her opened mouth and quickly met Draco inside the parking garage. To say Draco's car was nice was a complete understatement. It was a gorgeous black 9/11 Porsche with all leather interior. Sliding into the left passenger seat, Hermione ran her hand over the seat.

"Ìf you`re done fondling my car, we will get going" Draco teased her, putting his car into gear and speeding out of the garage and into the street. 


Draco zoomed through the busy city streets until they got to a massive stone mansion on the edge of the large metropolis. Draco's eyes windened slightly. “I know where we are...” he stated ominously.

“Oh? Where are we then?” Hermione replied hesitantly.

“This is the head honcho of a muggle's gang, this guy's a real piece of work.” Draco said as he guided the car into the driveway behind a rather dilapitated blue Austin Martin.

Stepping out the car, Draco and Hermione made their way up to a very young auror who was standing beside the blue car.

“Actually, he was a real piece of work. It's his body you'll be examing Ms. Granger.” The peckly faced young auror said to them as he pushed his glasses farther up his pointed nose.

“Thank you Anthony, you can leave now, I'll take care of Ms. Granger, don't worry.” Draco told the young man. Draco steered Hermione through the large wooden front doors and then up the large marble staircase. As they turned a corner, they saw the body protruding from a doorway into the middle of a long hallway.

Hermione stopped suddenly. “Wait, Draco why are we here if a muggle was killed? Shouldn't their police be taking care of this case?”

“Oh, well the first responders to the case believe that this man was killed by someone magical. We have our connections in the muggle world."

Hermine nodded as she chewed her bottom lip slightly. She knelt beside the body, observing it from a variety of angles, poking and prodding it slightly and finally doing a quick non-verbal spell over the victims stomach area, Hermione had figured it out. “So cause of death is definitely poison, a magical poison to be specific. I'll have to get them to take a sample to analyze to tell exactly what, but judging from what the spell told me, I can be fairly sure it was dark magic.”

Draco nodded and whipped out his cell phone, calling for some techs to get samples.

Pop the techs apparated beside Draco. Saying hello quickly, the got their samples and started a series of magical tests. “Yes, Ms. Granger you're definitely right, it's a very rare potion, must have been a really powerful dark wizard who made this...”

“So, Draco any ideas on who coulds be behind this?” Hermione asked as they walked out of the mansion to his car.

“Yeah, a few. But I don't think it would be a good idea for you to come with me where I'm going, these are some pretty bad people...” Draco said as he opened Hermione's door for her.

“Malfoy. Don't you dare, you of all people should know how much I've been through, I can handle this.” Hermione lashed out.

“Easy Granger, easy. Fine, if you really want to come, you can.” Draco said, backing the car into the busy street and heading into the very heart of the city. Slowly they got into more and more lackluster parts of the city, Draco sped the car down short little side streets until they got to a warehouse near the edge of the river. “Alright, I know you really want to know where we are, so I'll fill you in. Back during the war, some death eaters used to meet here to talk, plan and what have you. Some still stay here, they've been pardoned officially but no one will accept them, so they live down here. Don't be too shocked at their state, but they'll tell us what we need to know.”

Hermione just nodded and followed him into the grey building. The stench of unwashed bodies hit her nostrils as they walked through the door. She quickly shot a no smell spell at her nose and went after Draco deeper into the maze of boxes that was this warehouse. As she made it through the boxes into a sort of clearing she saw Draco kneeling in front of what looked like to be bum, but she could tell the man was a wizard, just a disheveled one.

“Uh-huh, right, yes, mhm, got it, okay thank you sir. I appreciate your help with this case.” Draco said sincerely to the man, shaking his hand with a smile. Draco then raised his eyebrow at Hermione and jerked his head towards the door.

“Wow, you sure work fast.” Hermione pointed out once they were back in the car.

“Yeah, well I have to, lots of time constraints in our jobs, eh? I've got our number one suspect, Rabastan Lestrange.”


Chapter 6: The Arrest
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 “Wait.... As in Bellatrix's brother in law?!” Hermione almost shouted. As she twisted in her seat to see Malfoy's face better.

“Yeah... I'll drop by with some more auror's to get him tomorrow, I need more evidence before I can make an arrest.”

Hermione just twisted her lips slightly and looked out the windor. “Draco, can you take me home please, I'm not feeling so well` She gave him the directions then laid her head against the cold glass window.

“Sure, no problem..” Draco replied as they made their way to Hermione's flat. It took them about forty minutes to get all the way across the city, when they arrived Draco noticed that she was fast asleep. Smiling slightly to himself, Draco picked her up gingerly and made his way up to her flat. Plucking her keys out of her purse, Draco used his foot to push open the door and carry Hermione in.

Walking over to the couch he attempted to set her down carefully but Hermione just clung to his neck and whimpered slightly. Sitting down on the couch with Hermione draped on his lap, Draco looked down into Hermione's face.

She really had changed a lot since he had seen her a few years ago. Her nose was still small and pert, she still had a dusting of freckles and she still was a know-it-all. However, her hair was no longer a rats nest, but now consisted of beautiful shining brown ringlets cascading down almost to her  waist. Her skin was so clear and perfect, like porcelain and her body was... well she had definitely grown up.

Draco then shook his head violently to get those images out of his head- this was Granger for christ's sake. His ex enemy and now his partner. He could not have thoughts like this about her, it just wasn't right...

Hermione's head started to twitch slightly as her arms slackened from Draco's neck. Looking down he could see silent tears streaming down her face. “Hermione! Hermione are you okay?” Draco almost shouted, shaking her slightly.

Hermione swollen eyes open slightly and she immediately began sobbing hysterically. Draco laid down on the couch, drawing Hermione to lay at lenth in front of him. Holding her in his arms he let her sob into his shirt and he whispered comforting nothings into her ears.

“I-I-I'm so s-sorry Draco. I've never cried like this before.” Hermione sobbed, not looking up at him.

“Hermione, it's okay. You're such a strong person, you need to let it out.” He replied, pushing her chin up so that their eyes met. “Tell me why you're crying”

“It's a lot... Please don't stop me or I won't be able to go on... It all started when I realized I loved Ron, and he chose Lavender over me. Then he chose Luna over me. Is there something wrong with me that he doesn't want to be with me? Then there's the fact that maybe I'm not living up to the expectations everyone had of me- am I really the best I can be? And today.. today was hard. I can't believe that someone magical would use our special gifts to kill someone who doesn't even know about them... It's just so....” and Hermione started crying all over again.

“It's okay, it's okay. Shh, relax.” Draco whispered, holding her close. “I know that the person who did this was awful, us and the regular people, we're not on the same playing field. It was wrong and you and I are going to catch the bastard that used his advantage, I promise you.”

Hermione sniffed, looking up at Draco “When did you change your tune about muggles?” she asked, eyes sparking with curiousity.

Draco half shrugged “Well it was what I was taught growing up, but after the war I moved out of my parent's house and started a life of my own. After moving I realized the things that I had grown up thinking were right- were completely wrong. It was really, really hard. I had to rethink every little thing in my life, nothing was ever the same, everything was even more difficult. In the long run though, it's made life so much better, I can't believe that I was shrouded by such horrible judgement, let's just say I've grown a hell of a lot in the last couple years.”

Hermione replied “Oh Draco, I'm sorry I didn't mean to drag your parents into the conversation!”

Draco chuckled slightly “Don't worry about it, it was really only my dad who had the strong feelings on the subject, my mum was just scared of him. He went to Azkaban, as you know doubt heard. But my mother was free to go, so she divorced him and she's been actually quite happy lately.”

Hermione smiled through her watery eyes “That's really great, Draco. I'm so sorry for going all mushy and crying all over you- Oh dear, I've gotten your shirt wet! I'm so sorry.” She said as she jumped off the couch and grabbing a kleenex started to dab at Draco's shirt.

“Granger, Granger, relax. It's only a few tears, nothing a wand can't fix” he said as he shot a drying spell at his chest.

“Oh, of course, of course.” Hermione said, using the discarded kleenex herself.

“Are you alright to be alone? I don't want to leave you alone but I need to get some plans set for tomorrow. You should really get a good nights sleep.” Draco said stepping towards her.

“Hmm, oh yeah don't worry I'll be fine. See you tomorrow.” Hermione finsihed lamely.

Draco took another step towards her and leaning down slowly planted a soft kiss on Hermione's pale cheek. And with that he spun and strode out the door.

Hermione lifted her small hand to her face. Touching her face where his lips had been she sighed heavily. Walking into her bedroom Hermione didn't even bother changing, she just curled up under the covers and promptly fell asleep.

Draco apparated as soon as he got out of Hermione's apartment, arriving in his study at Malfoy mansion. Immediatedly walking over to his liquor cabinet, Draco poured himself a healthy dose of a very strong firewhiskey. He couldn't believe himself, why was he letting himself get close to her?

Taking a large swig of his drink, Draco sank into his large leather chair. Swiping with face with his hand, he sighed tiredly. Grabbing a stack of work papers, he started to fill the neccesary forms out to arrest Lestrange.


 

The morning started badly for Hermione. Waking up still fully clothed, Hermione stumbled to the bathroom and took a long, hot shower. Yawning as she entered her closet Hermione quickly grabbed a pair of black slacks, a red shirt, ballet flats and a leather coat. After slugishly pulling on all of these items Hermione made her way into the kitchen, then she apparated directly outside the Ministry. Walking into her office, Hermione started to check her e-mail.

“Hey, are you ready to go?” Draco questioned her as he popped his head into her office.

Hermione jumped slightly before standing up “Yeah, where are we going first?”

To arrest Lestrange, you don't have to come, but if you want we're leaving right now. That is, me, Harry and Ron.”

“Ron?” Hermione asked, frowning.

“Yeah, sorry I would've got someone else but he's the only auror not on a case right now” Draco apologized.

“No, no it's fine, let's go!” Hermuone replied, moving towards Draco.

Draco immediatly stepped backwards quickly, but gestured for Hermione to proceed him to the lift. “So we're meeting the others outside, then we'll apparate to Lestange's house.” Once they were outside, they met up with Harry and Ron.

“Hermione!? You're coming?” Ron asked, his face completely pale and his large blue eyes bulging.

“Yes Ronald. I'm coming. Let's go.” Hermione retorted, grabbing Draco's arm.

Draco nodded to the other men and promptly disapparated. They arrived at a rundown looking mansion. The grounds were dull and unkempt, the mansion looking extrememly rundown and neglected. “Alright, this is the plan. Ron, Harry, you two go around the back to cut him off if he tries to run, Hermione and I will take the front. Okay, go!”

Hermione and Draco quickly walked to the front door, closing his fist, Draco pounded on the old wooden door. “RABASTAN LESTRANGE THIS IS THE THE MINISTRY, OPEN UP.”

Hermione stood, wand out just behind Draco. When nobody came to open the door, Hermione motioned Draco to the side and threw a spell at the door, breaking it down instantly. Striding into the house, Draco close behind. Hermione then entered the first room that she saw.

Rabastan Lestrange was in a very, very bad state. His dark black hair had grown long past his shoulder. It was disheveled and greasy, his skin was pale and scabbed. However, he was sitting proudly at his large oak desk, dressed in an expensive looking suit. Smiling he said “Welcome my nephew and... I`m afraid I don`t know who this delicious creature. What a strange surprise, to what do I owe the honour?”

“I think that you know.” Draco replied stonily. “You are under arrest for the murder of a muggle, please stand and you will be escorted to the Ministry.”

“I don't think so my boy” Rabastan replied, aiming his wand at Draco.

Nonplussed, Draco shot a silent petrifying spell. At this moment, Ron and Harry burst into the study. “Let's get him out of here Malfoy, we met some of his “friends” on our way in, their stunned but I get the feeling there'll be more” Harry yelled. Hermione turned towards Rabastan “Levicorpus” she said calmly, levitating him out the room.

Draco, Ron and Harry followed her out into the driveway. Draco nodded and they all quickly apparated to the back entrance of the Ministry.

“Draco! Perfect, you've got your suspect. I have an interrogation room booked for you, follow me!” Cho Chang bubbled, smiling at all of them. The tree of them – with a levitating death eater followed her into the Ministry, winding through multiple dark corridors they finally made their way to almost the bottom of the Ministry into a small room. It was fairly dark, one small light fixture, a large table and two chairs. Two on one side of the table, one on the other side.

Hermione set the the unconcious Rabastan into a chair, undoing her spell. Harry then spoke “Alright, are you two good here? Cho just gave me a letter that Neville owled, me and Ron are needed upstairs.” Draco replied just as Hermione opened her mouth. “We're fine. Thanks Harry... and you Weasley.” Harry nodded and Ron inclined his head slightly before they both strode out.



Well... I guess we'll just have to wait until he wakes up.” Hermione sighed, leaning against the cold grey wall.

 


Chapter 7: I See Sky
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 “Yeah, I guess so.” Draco replied, rocking back on his heels and staring at the concrete floor. “So I'm S-”

“I'm sorry for breaking down in front of you, please just forget it. Forget everything that happened and we'll just go back to our professinal relationship.” Hermione blurted, cutting Draco off.

“Oh, yeah. For sure, good idea. Ok.” Draco said, rubbing the back of his neck. At that moment, their captive decided to wake up.

“OI! What's going on?” Rabastan yelled at the two. “Why am I here?! Where's my lawyer?!”

“Sir, you're in the interrogation unit of the Ministry of Magic. You are here because you're under arrest for the knowing and intended murder of a muggle. You do have the right to have a lawyer, but they won't be here for a few minutes. In the meantime I have a few questions.”

Rabastan smirked “You're not getting anything out of me. I refuse to speak until my lawyer comes.”

“Hmm.. It's too bad Draco.” Hermione mused “Most real men don't need a lawyer present, they can handle themselves.

Draco caught her eye and nodded inconspicously “Yes, that's right Hermione. Most men we interrogate don't need a lawyer at all, in fact. But whatever suits you Mr.Lestrange. We'll just be going now then.”

Draco followed Hermione slowly to the door, just as his large pale hand hit the doorknob Rabastan snarled “Fine. Ask away my boy if it's really that important.”

Draco spun around and walked to the table “How kind of you. So how do you know a....” Draco flipped open the case file on the table “Mr. Lambardo?”

“I've never heard of him before.” Rabastan sniffed.

Hermione then entered the conversation “On the contrary, I have forensic evidence that you have entered his house multiple times, sure you don't want to sing a different tune?”

Rabastan swallowed adubily. “Okay, okay. I know him, alright? What about it?”

“He's dead.” Draco replied with no hint of emotion.

“Well I'm sorry to hear that but I don't see what that has to do with me.” Rabastan replied with a smirk.

“Hermione, can you get your test results please.” Draco requested of the poised brunette sitting beside him.

Hermione dug through the case file, finally finding the papers she was used to. “The potion of which killed Mr.Lambardo contained many normal potion ingredients, but a couple not so common ones stood out to me-ingredients only a dark wizard would dare to get: unicorn blood, an extremely rare snake venom and a human finger bone.”

“I don't like what you're suggesting..... Who are you anyway?” Rabastan narrowed his eyes at Hermione.

“My partner, Hermione Granger. I assume you've heard of her before” Draco said.

“Draco, you're partners with this mudblood?” Rabastan hissed.

Draco stood up quickly “Watch your tongue, Lestrange, before I curse it off.”

 

Hermione stood tall. “Don't worry about it Draco, names don't hurt me. They only reflect badly on those who say them.” In her peripheral vision she saw Draco wince and noted to watch how she phrased things in the future.

“So, care to tell us why you murdered this man?” Draco asked Rabastan.

“I didn't kill anyone, I have no idea what you're talking about..” Rabastan complained.

“Oh, I think you do. In fact, I can prove it because you're not as smart as you seem to think.” Hermione sneered. “You really should've cleared up your materials... Leaving your cauldron with potion still in it right in your house? Sloppy, sloppy work.”

Rabastan's eyes buldged out of his head. “W-w-what. No, no. I can explain, I can!” he babbled. “I-It isn't mine, it's a friends! Yeah- a friends he's just borrowing the space.”

“Lestrange, make it easier on yourself, just confess.” Draco pushed a quill and parchment towards their captive.

Glancing up at his captors, Rabastan conceded that he'd just do what they said. He pulled the items towards him and started writing.

Hermione looked up at Draco and nodded towards the door. Draco nodded back and led the way out of the room.

“That was some performance there, Ms.Granger” Draco teased, winking at her. “How'd you know he still had the cauldron though?”

Hermione blushed “oh.. I had no idea, it was pure speculation, I saw someone do that on a cop show once and I wanted to try it...” she murmered.

Draco lost it. His laughter came in long strands, like many notes of a song. It was a beautiful, musical laugh and Hermione was hypnotized by him. His short blonde hair was slightly messed up and his usually cold grey eyes were crinkled up and shining. Hermione could feel her breath coming faster and she spun around to stop him from noticing.

“I-I'm sorry Granger. It's just... I never thought you would just wing something like that.” Draco sputtered

“Hmph.” Hermione said as she turned around, trying to look stern “Well I can be spontaneous ..”

“Oh really? Hmm... I dare you then... Show me your idea of spontaneous. Right now” Draco dared

“Draco! We can't do anything spontaneous, we're at work!” Hermione retorted

“Exactly! It's even more impulsive! Take a risk, or are you too chicken?” Draco smirked

“Fine. Meet me outside in two minutes” Hermione ordered, spinning around and strutting down the hallway.

Draco grinned to himself, taking his wand out of his pocket he quickly sent a patronus to Neville “Hermione & I are going to go get some grub, Rabastan is writing his confession under guard as we speak. See you tomorrow”. With that final action he strode to catch up with the quick stepping brunette.

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

“I can't believe we're doing this... This is crazy Malfoy! I was joking when I suggested this!” Hermione hissed to her blonde partner as they looked out of the plane's open door. At an altitude of 3500 ft the witch and wizard gazed over the British countryside.

“Relax, we have our wands if any of these muggle contraptions go wrong.” Draco reasoned, poking his harness and parachute. He stuck his hand out and Hermione grabbed it tightly

“Okay, whenever you two are ready, jump! You did say you've done this before right?” The older man flying the plane inquired of them.

Before Hermione could say anything Draco replied “Oh yes, of course. Thanks!” With that he jumped straight out of the plane, Hermione coming soon after him.

The air rushing past her was like nothing else – even better than flying or apparating or any magical travel. Plummeting through the air was a feeling she could hardly describe, it was so frightening and nerve wracking, but incredibly exciting and joyous at the same time. Just at the exact time Draco had told her, she reached over and pulled the string to her parachute. The huge blue chute billowed out and slowed her down.

Draco reached the ground first and as Hermione almost was to the ground he grabbed her into his arms bridal style. Laughing he asked her “How'd you like it Mi?”

Hermione laughed as she fell into his arms. “Mi?” She questioned, eye brow raised.

Draco blushed, “Oh, uhm, it just fits. Do you mind?”

“No, not at all. It's just no one's ever really called me that before. And I absolutely loved parachuting. When have you done it before?”

Draco's eyes darkened a little “Oh, well after my dad went to Azkaban and my mum sort of sodded off, I became really into extreme sports, bungee jumping, sky diving, free running. Y'know that sort of thing.”

“Oh... I see” Hermione murmered, casting her eyes downward as he let her gently down onto the grassy hillside.

He kept his arms around her waist, his silver eyes looking intently at her. Hermione slowly lifted her head so that her eyes met his. Her breath caught in her throat as she curled her hands up to Draco's chest. “Draco” Hermione whispered, leaning forward on her tip toes.

Draco's eyes lightened and he smirked slightly “You've got dirt on your nose, Granger” he teased.

Hermione gasped, pushing his arms off of her and wiping her nose angrily with her arm. She started daggers at Draco then spun, apparating away.

Draco's laughter died in his throat as he saw Hermione leave him. Kicking a mound of grass, he stalked away. Muttering to himself he walked and walked and walked until his mind was in some resemblance of order. “Damn that Granger, she almost made me forget myself. I cannot like Granger.”


Chapter 8: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
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AN: Hey everyone! Thank you so much for the kind reviews! Chapter dedicated to devvaitan for an especially nice review! 

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 Draco walked across the hall to Hermione's office, then frowning, he walked back towards his own door. He had to talk to her, it was almost the end of the day. He paced like this for over two mintues until finally striding to Hermione's door and pulling it open quickly. “Granger.” Draco choked out.

“Yes Malfoy?” Hermione turned from her book shelf, her long hair spinning. Hermione looked him over- he looked really disheveled. His usually perfectly styled platimun blonde hair was stuck out in all ways and his clothes looked like he'd slept in them.”

“I'm sorry for yesterday.” Draco replied, staring at her without blinking.

Hermione's eyes flashed “Oh, don't be sorry. I forgot all about it. Now if you don't mind, I'm going out.” Hermione started to walk by him.

Draco grabbed her arm, “With who?” he asked, his eyes turning steely. He turned his body towards her and leant into her.

“Me”. Ginny Weasley popped her head into the room. “Let's go Hermione! Oh Draco, I think Harry wanted to know if you want to go out for a drink!” and with that Ginny grabbed Hermione out of Draco's grasp and dashed down the hallway with her and out the front door of the Ministry.

“Uhm... So what was that all about?” Ginny asked as the two girls apparated to a wizarding club.

“Oh... Well Draco's being very odd lately, first he'll say he wants to be friends, then he'll do something that makes me think he wants to be more than friends, then he's back to saying that we can only be friends.” Hermione said exasperately as they nodded to the club's bouncer, who let them cut the line into the club.

“Mhm... I see. Here, come with me to the loo, we look way too formal to be here. I just learnt this new spell from Madam Malkin the other day when I was in- it takes exact outfits out of my head and makes them!” Ginny gushed as she led Hermione through the dark club and into the ladies washroom. She then pulled her wand out of her pocket and began to perform the spell on Hermione. In an instant Hermione's outfit had transformed into a little black dress with a plunging neckline and her shoes had switched to a pair of small kitten heels. Ginny then changed her outfit into a white sequin dress and cute strappy heels. Ginny then tilted her head and gave Hermione a calulating look. Casting another spell towards Hermione, it sorted Hermione's hair out into a half down, half up hairdo and made her makeup a little more exaggerated. After fixing her own appearance, Ginny led them back out into the club and to the bar.

The bartender immediately came to wait on them “Hey there” he said with a wink “what can I get you two beauts?” Hermione smiled “I'll have a gin and tonic, thanks.”

Ginny then included “I'll have a vodka collins”. After receiving their drinks, the girls made their way through the mounds of people to a table. “So, I was sensing some sexual tension back there... Anything you want to tell me” Ginny asked Hermione with a grin.

“Oh Gin... I don't even know what's going on. It's like one step forward and two steps back with Draco.” Hermione sighed and rested her head on the table.

Ginny put her hand on Hermione's “Don't worry about it, these things work themselves out- he'll figure out his emotions soon enough!”

Hermione smiled at her friend and took a sip of her drink. “You're right, as per usual.”

Ginny grinned “Of course, let's dance!” she grabbed Hermione's hand and drug her out into the throng of people on the dance floor.

-

“Harry, do we have to go here? I thought you meant a pub or something mate.” Draco complained as he and Harry apparated outside of a very popular club.

Harry chuckled “Don't worry, I'm only looking out for you, trust me you'll want to be here” Harry nodded to the bouncer as he and Draco made their way into the dark club.

The lights were bright and flashing as Draco made his way towards a table with a drink in hand. Sitting down at the table opposite him was Harry. Taking a sip of his whiskey, Draco scanned the dance floor. His eyes eventually landing on a pair of girls only around fifteen feet away. They were quite different- one had long red hair and very pale skin, the other dark curly hair and slightly tanned skin. The brunette was dancing with a guy but the red head was only having what seemed a mild conversation with someone. There was something achingly familiar about these girls, Draco thought to himself. As the brunette turned, Draco inhaled sharply.

-

Hermione was having the time of her life. She was dancing with a guy she vaugely knew from Hogwarts, Terry Boot. Strangely, she didn't feel uncomfortable at all, even though the dance they were doing was quite provocative and entailed a lot of grinding and hip motions. Hermione was in the moment- and loving it. Suddenly as Terry spun her around even in her slightly blurred vision Hermione saw a flash of blonde hair and immediately knew who it was.

Terry pulled her into his chest and smiled down at her “I've really enjoyed dancing with you, want to go out sometime?”

“Oh Terry, I've had a great time! To be completely honest, I don't know where my feelings are at the moment, it wouldn't be fair on you if I agreed.” Hermione apologized.

Terry only smiled and winked good naturely “Don't worry about, if you ever change your mind, look me up” He then kissed her hand and made his way to the bar.

Hermione turned around and saw Draco staring intently at her. Taking a last gulp of his drink he stood fluidly and made his way towards her. His walk was almost an effortless glide, and Hermione felt her knees start to go weak.

“Dance with me.” Draco commanded as soon as he reached her, a slow song starting to play.

Hermione only nodded as he gracefully took her right hand in his left, and set his other hand on her waist.

“Enjoying yourself with Boot?” Draco spat.

“Yes, he's a dear friend. Are you enjoying yourself Draco?” Hermione replied mildly, looking up at him.

Draco only grunted and pulled Hermione closer to him. “You don't understand what you do to me, you really don't” Draco breathed looking intently into her eyes.

“Show me” She whispered, staring just as much into his eyes. Pushing herself farther into his arms, she then tilted her lips toward his.

Draco moved towards her lips agonizingly slowly. Millimeter by millimeter he came closer, his breath mingling with hers. As his lips came an inch from hers, he whispered “not yet” and pulled back.

Hermione sighed, and turned to walk away. Draco snapped her back towards him, he glared at her “stay” he commanded, she pushed herself a way and Draco added quietly “please Hermione.”

She let his arms wind around her again, but kept her body stiff. “Why are you being like this? Be honest with me for once.”

Draco sighed “It's complicated. I just don't trust myself around you”.

Hermione looked questioningly into his eyes. “I can't understand you.” Hermione then twisted out of Draco's arms and towards the exit. Draco watched her goes, his eyes betraying no emotion. 


Chapter 9: The Day After
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Amazing chapter image by aconite @ TDA!

 Draco's head was pounding. He had drunken way to many firewhiskeys last night, and this morning was payback. Sitting on his bathroom floor with his pressed against the cool tile floor, Draco groped around for his wand. Finally reaching it he accioed a hangover spell to him. Drinking it gratefully, despite the awful taste. He couldn't even remember what had happened after Hermione left. He slightly recalled drinking a lot, but other than that he was drawing a blank.

Slowly pulling himself up, Draco forced himself into the shower and blasted the cold water down onto his body. Pressing his hands against the shower wall, Draco bowed his head. Thinking of Hermione was driving him crazy, he couldn’t believe his attitude towards her. He needed to apologize, to make it up for it. Stepping out of the shower, Draco dried off and pulled on a pair of slacks and a green jersey. From across the room Draco could hear an owl tapping at his window.

Draco walked to the window and opened it, picking up the letter from the owl, Draco gave it a treat then leaned against the window sill, opening the letter.

Draco,

Please meet me at the Ministry at 12:30. Very important.

Harry

Draco strode into his bedroom, grabbing his wand he then went to his fireplace and stepped in. Grabbing some floo powder and throwing it on the ground he yelled “Harry Potter’s office, Ministry of Magic.”

Draco stepped out of the fireplace in Harry’s office, dusting himself off.

“Draco. Thank you for coming.” Harry shook Draco’s hand, then motioned for him to take a seat across from on the other side of his large oak desk.

Draco sat, giving Harry a quizzical look. “Alright Harry, what is this about that couldn’t wait for Monday?”

Harry sighed “Well, we have a security problem pertaining to one of our auror’s… Who is being threatened by someone in your family.”

Draco’s eyes hardened “Who?” he growled

“I think you’ve probably guessed… Radalphous Lestrange. He’s targeting someone very special to all of us, I think you can guess who.”

Draco’s face became even paler than usual, he said in a monotone “Hermione?” Harry nodded in affirmative and Draco spun, slamming his fist into the wall of the office. Pulling back, a large indent was left in the cream coloured wall.

Draco slowly got control of himself again, taking deep breaths. “Why is he going after her Harry?”

Harry sat up in his chair, one hand massaging his forehead. “Well, as I’m sure you remember, your aunt had somewhat of a vendetta against Hermione, especially with the torture she went through at your manor. Your uncle is now obsessed with carrying out his late wife’s unfinished business.”

“What can I do?” Draco asked.

“You can marry her.” Harry stated, his face completely serious.

“Potter, now is not a good time to be joking around. She would never condescend to marry me- she hates me!” Draco almost yelled.

“I wish I was joking, however I am not. You must marry her! It’s the only way she’ll be safe, Radalphous would never murder his own niece, even if only by marriage” Harry explained “If we can come up with a believable back story and you and Hermione can act accordingly, we’ll be able to keep him at bay until we can catch him and deal with him sufficiently.”

“Fine, I’ll do it. But I Granger gets to hear it from me- okay?” Draco growled

Harry beamed “Alright, whatever you want, good luck mate”

Draco smirked and strode out of the room flooed back to his own apartment.

--

The early morning had not been kind to Hermione, with an aching head and very sore stomach she muscled her way to her couch and spent the whole morning eating waffles and watching her favourite tv shows on the muggle television. At around eleven thirty, Hermione slowly made her way to her bedroom, and grabbing her gym bag, she quickly apparated to the gym.

After a great workout and a lengthy shower, Hermione pulled on some sweatpants, put her hair in a ponytail and made her way into the living room. Throwing herself down on the couch, Hermione almost fell asleep but roused herself to grab her phone and order Chinese take-out. Just as she found a movie she was interested in, her doorbell rang.

She yelled "Coming, just have to grab my wallet" as she ran to her kitchen, grabbing said item, she dashed to the door. Pulling it open, she was surprised to see not the delivery boy, but Draco who looked very grim. "Hermione, can I please come in?" Draco asked politely. Hermione opened the door wider to admit him, frowning she gestured for him to have a seat, taking for herself the large armchair. Draco awkwardly sat on her long black leather couch. "Hermione, we have to tell I something and it's really quite serious, but please don't be too distressed." Draco said, placing his elbows on his knees and leant forward. "You may or may not know that Bellatrix Lestrange had a husband. His name is Radalphous and unfortunately he's just as twisted and insane as she was. Also unfortunately, he's my uncle by marriage as you have probably already figured out. The thing is Hermione, that he's coming back from where ever he's been hiding, to do one thing and one thing only."

 Hermione looked up from staring at her hands, unable to make eye contact with Draco, Hermione asked the floor “to do what exactly?”

 "To kill you." Draco replied, his eyes looking sad.

 Hermione jumped out of her chair, her eyes grew wide as her hands shook slightly, Draco lunged across the room as she looked like she was about to pass out. Hermione gained control and waved Draco away. "So, what am I supposed to do? Go into hiding for the rest of my life? Hermione asked, thowing her hands into the air.

“No, no of course not Hermione. I have a solution to this ..problem, but I don’t think you’re going to like it.” Draco murmered “Well…. The solution is to become Mrs. Malfoy- and therefore be save because he would never kill family- no matter how insane he is.”

"W-w-what. I can't marry you  Malfoy! We've hated each other since we were eleven! This is ridiculous, what would people think?" Hermione flashed angrily.

 "Hermione look, you're not exactly my idea of a perfect spouse either, but to be completely blunt, I want to get back at my ex and believe it or not, I don't want my uncle to murder you. So I suggest that you accept this proposal and we'll divorce as soon as the Ministry catches Lestrange." Draco pleaded.

 Hermione ran a hand through her hair and threw herself back into her seat. "Fine. But Harry and Ron better catch him quickly."

Dracos face relaxed and he almost smiled, “Oh, unfortunately until they get catch Rapalphous, Harry doesn’t want you in the public as much as can be avoided- so we won’t be working together out in the field, two other auror’s will be covering for us. We will be working in the Ministry interrogating and working on profiles, etc.”

Hermione huffed angrily, but didn’t complain, she understood Harrys logic completely.

 Draco made his way to Hermiones door, turning around he softly said goodbye and let himself out.  Hermione slowly walked into her bedroom and softly closed the door. Sinking down on her bed, she curled up into her comforter and promptly fell asleep, forgetting all about her take out order.


Chapter 10: Unfortunately Engaged
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 The next day dawned cold and rainy and Hermione did not want to get out of bed. Flicking on her bedside table lamp, she brought of her book and started to read. At 7:45 she decided she should get ready for work. Heaving herself out of bed and into the shower, then walking into her closet she threw on a pair of slacks, a shirt, cardigan and a pair of heels before apparating out of her apartment. As she walked through her office door she saw a familiar back towards her. "Draco." Hermione greeted as she swept over to her desk, now facing him.

"Hermione, how are you? I have an idea on how to break our engagement to the public."

 "I'm alright, thanks for asking. Do tell your amazing idea." Hermione replied drily.

 "I was thinking that we would go to La Crousette for dinner, and I'll pop the question there, it's always packed with the who's who of wizarding society so the whole world will know after twenty seconds."

 Hermione shrugged "Sounds fine with me, we'll have to go to my parents house soon so you can meet them, I think it'll be easier if they're on a need to know basis, I don't want them tangled up in this." Draco agreed readily and soon left for his own office. Sitting primly at her desk, Hermione turned on her computer and started checking her emails. She had one from Neville

Dear Mione,

Thank you for agreeing to the protection that was offered to you last night. I know it's not what any of us would've liked but it's definitely the best. No cases today- so just catch up on any paper work from tomorrow, or go over case reviews to see if there's anything you would like to have a look at.

Thanks,

Neville.

Hermione started going through old cases, deciding which ones she would like to have a look at. Around twelve her computer binged, opening up her email she saw that she had an IM from Ginny:

Hi dollface,

I have today off from work and I was wondering whether you wanted to meet at that little bistro at one and have lunch?

Hermione instantly replied:

Hi Gin,

I'd love to have lunch, I have so much to tell you, it's unreal. See you there.

Hermione finished up her last bit of paperwork and put on her coat. Grabbing her purse she walked out the door and to the lift. Arriving downstairs, she walked out the front door and walked down the street and into a quaint little bistro that her and Ginny used to be frequent customers at when Hermione was in university and Ginny was at nursing school in between quidditch practices- now she usually just played quidditch, but she had her occasional shift at St.Mungo`s.  As she walked through the small wooden door, a waft of spice and warmth hit Hermione's nostrils. She made her way over to Ginny who had saved them a beautiful table by the window.

"Mione! Feels like I haven't seen you in ages" Ginny exclaimed, jumping up and giving her a big hug.

Hermione laughed and replied "You too Gin, you're never going to believe what happened last night."

Ginny raised an eyebrow "Mione, all you do is read books, what did you lose your favourite?"

Hermione grumbled "Shut up Ginny... No, that's not it at all. I just thought you'd like to know that Lestrange is after me, to finish what Bellatrix started and to kill me. So Harry and Draco came up with a plan that I'll marry Draco to be safe until they catch him. "

Ginny's green eyes widened like saucers as she leaned forward "Oh.My.Goodness. Hermione Malfoy.. That doesn't even sound that bad actually, I always did sense a spark between you two."

Hermione flushed "Ginny! There is no spark, hush. Anyways, I thought I should tell you before you hear from someone else." They spent the rest of lunch chatting about the wedding and other such things until Hermione had to go back to work.

Rushing home after work, Hermione realized she had no idea what to wear for dinner. Looking through her closet her eyes landed on a dress Ginny had bought her and she had never worn because it was just a little much. It was a vibrant red halter that ended just above her knees and was skin tight. Squeezing into this, Hermione then put on a bit of mascara and a touch of lipstick. Shoving on a pair of red stilletos and pulling on her trench coat, Hermione apparated to the restaurant. Waiting right there for her was Draco and damn did he look good. He had on an all black suit and his hair was lightly ruffled as he no longer gelled it as he did when they were kids. Smiling at her, he offered her arm and as she took it lightly he led her into the restaurant. It was an extremely swanky restaurant.

 It was mostly cream or red coloured with small elegant tables scattered throughout. Large crystal chandeliers hung from the charmed ceiling so that they looked as if they were floating. Draco pulled her chair out for her and they sat down. After ordering their wine and entrees they chatted about work and what kinds of cases they were going to miss. As their dessert course came more and more people were whispering about Hermione and Draco having dinner together. Once they were finished dessert Draco gave her a wink and fluidly bent down on one knee in front of her, pulling out a very large diamond and ruby ring saying sweetly "Hermione Jean Granger, you are the love of my life, would you do me the honour of becoming my wife?" Hermione acted well by gasping just at the right moment and flinging herself into Draco's warm embrace saying "Yes, yes of course! A million times yes!" As his mouth came towards her ear Draco whispered "We should make this really convincing, right?" and his lips softly touched hers.

Draco could not believe this night. It was heaven, it was hell. After his oh so heavenly kiss with Granger, they left the restaraunt and were swamped by reporters asking them a multitude of questions. Thankfully Hermione thought quickly and yelled to the reporters "Hi there. Sorry to be rude, but honestly this is our engagement night and we don't want to deal with this right now. One reporter from the Daily Prophet, one report from The Quibbler and one reporter from Witch Weekly will be invited to an interview at our flat in two days time. Thank you."

With that Hermione grabbed Draco's hand and apparated them straight into her kitchen. Draco looked around at this surrondings, Granger definitely had taste, he had to admit it. The kitchen was really nice, white marble floors and counters, red walls and a big counter. Hermione offered him a butterbeer and he accepted readily.

"So, I was thinking that if you don't mind, you could move in here at least until the interview's over so it looks like you've been living here. I mean if you don't want to, it's okay, I'm sure you have better places to be.." Hermione rambled on.

"Granger, relax! Yes of course I'll stay, I'll apparate home now and get some stuff to make it look real. See you in like thirty minutes."

Hermione's shoulders slumped as he disappeared. She couldn't believe this night, it was nothing like she expected. Well, actually she expected everything that happened.. Except she would never have expected, even with her big brains, her reaction to Draco's kiss. It was sweet, warm and oh those lips.. Those lips were magical. She took deep calming breaths as she took her last gulp of butterbeer and went to clean both of their glasses. She slowly made her way down the hallway and into her room. As she stepped into her walk in closet she pulled out her wand and charmed it so that it grew to double it's size so that there was room for all of Draco's clothing. After this she walked into the bedroom and charmed a photo of her and Harry to look like one of her and Draco. Walking into the living room, she almost slammed right into Draco.

 "Oh, hi! Didn't expect you back so soon." Hermione said as she moved around him to straighted the cushions on the couch.

"I didn't have a lot to get. I charmed some photos so they look like us" he blurted, shoving them into Hermione's hands. She looked down at four photos them in frames. One was them at a beautiful white sand beach, she was wearing a blue bikini and he had green shorts on. His arm was around her and they both had huge grins on their faces. The next was them in a cute little park, sitting on a park bench gazing into eachothers eyes. Next to that they were in the rainforest just about to go across a zipline and were sharing a quick kiss. The last looked like a professionally done photo as the background was a stunning meadow filled with flowers and Draco was standing behind her, pulling her against him as they both smiled at the camera.

"Wow Draco, these are actually really believeable" Hermione murmered with wide eyes as she dispersed them throughout the flat.

"Thanks" Draco returned with his trademark smirk. "I'll just put away my clothes and other stuff." He walked towards the bedroom with his black duffel bag.

Hermione trailed after him into the closet. "Is there enough room?" she asked leaning forward to see him.

"Yeah, it'll do" he said with his trademark smirk as he finished magically sorting his clothes away.

Hermione nodded and walked all the way into the closet. Going over to her side, she grabbed a pair of sweat pants and a baggy shirt then started on her way to the bathroom. "I'm going to get a shower, I charmed an extra bed for you so don't worry. Oh and there's another bathroom down the hallway to the right if you need it."

Under the hot stream of water Hermione's body started to relax. Washing her hair with her strawberry scented shampoo she started to sing a little melody.

 

Draco walked down the hallway to the other bathroom and grabbed a quick shower using his favourite bodywash that smelt like a cross between scotch and mulling spices. Pulling a pair of boxers on and ruffling his hair with a towel, Draco then walked back to the bedroom. Looking over the the bed he saw that it wasn't actually one bed anymore. There was two beds. Draco chose the one nearest the wall and crawled right in, grabbing his new found favoruite book "To Kill A Mocking Bird". What the heck was that noise? Draco wondered as he roused from his book world. It sounded like singing... Was Granger singing? She wasn't bad actually, he reflected but none the less shouted "Hey Granger! Mind piping down a bit? Trying to read here!"

Hermione blushed furiously. She couldn't believe she had sung when Malfoy was within hearing distance. Using a drying spell on her hair, Hermione then pulled on her sweatpants and shirt. Casually walking into the bedroom, she swung herself under the covers and promptly flipped over so she wasn't facing Draco. "Goodnight." she murmered as she squirmed around getting comfortable.

"Night." Draco replied, setting down his book, switching the lamp off and also turning over.

 

Hermione's alarm blared and Draco jumped out of bed, launching himself across Hermione to hit the alarm.

"Ouch! Draco, what the hell are you doing? Get off." Hermione yelled, struggling to get out from under him.

Draco had only one thought on his mind- to get the damned alarm to shut off. His mind didn't even register that he was jumping on Granger to do so. But he'd be damned if she didn't feel just right underneath him. Her petite little body was slithering down his, trying to get out. Draco felt as if he could ravish her right then and now. Oh my goodness, what the hell was he thinking? Draco wondered as he quickly pushed himself off her and stalked out of the room saying over his should "Sorry Granger, I really hate alarm clocks. You make a great landing pad though, thanks."

Hermione groaned as she rubbed her belly where Draco had landed. Watching Draco as he walked out, she soon followed. Walking into the kitchen, she saw that he had already started making coffee.

"What do you take in yours?" he asked while holding up the box of milk, a box of cream and some irish coffee sweetener.

"The irish sweetener today, thanks." Hermione said as she reached into the bread box. "Want a bagel with cream cheese?"

"Yeah, that'd be great." Draco replied as he poured each of their coffees, setting them beside eachother in front of stools on the counter. He sat down on one of the stools, pulling his drink towards him inhaled deeply, savouring the smell of the rich brew. He watched as Hermione toasted both of the bagels and applied cream cheese. Handing Draco his, Hermione sat down on the other stool while taking a gigantic bite.

"So, I guess we should go to work... eh?" Draco asked with a wink.

"Guess so. Uhm... So what are we telling people at work? Do you think they know that we're engaged?" Hermione asked hesitantly.

"It'll be all over the news papers. It's not everyday one of the member's of the golden trio get engaged, now is it? Draco teased.

 

Hermione chuckled slightly ``Well no, I guess you have a point there. So we should just.. erm, grin and bear it?`` she finished lamely

 

Draco just nodded, finishing his bagel quickly he then made his way to the shower. After both of the apartment`s inhabitants had finished their morning ministrations,  they apparated to the ministry- ready for day full of paper work and interrogations.

 

AN: Chapter image by SwissMiss @TDA! Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the amazing reviews, I love reading and responding to all of them. :) Also thank you to all of silent readers, you are just as much appreciated!! Also I've had some comments about Neville's career which I show in the first couple of chapters, I know in the book he becomes a teacher, but I just loved the idea of them all working together! Again, thank you to all my amazing readers!


Chapter 11: The Interview
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Chapter image by moriarty@TDA

Hermione had an extremely tough day at work, between stacks upon stacks of late paperwork and constant congratulations on her engagement. All such congratulatory remarks were more shocked and curious than actually well-wishing and it made Hermione exhausted.

 

Almost as the working day was over, Draco popped his head into her office. “Hey you, wanna grab a bite to eat?” he grinned at her

 

Hermione stared at him in shock. Had Draco Malfoy actually smiled at her? She shook herself and quickly replied in the affirmative. Following Draco out, he apparated them to a small diner. 

 

Holding the door open for Hermione, Draco then put his arm under her elbow and steered her towards a small booth in the corner of the restaurant. Once they both had slid into opposite sides of the booths, Draco asked her “How was your day?”

 

Hermione smiled at him “Well, not great actually. Between huge amounts of paper, I think about fifty people congratulated me while looking at me like I had lost my mind… Is it really that unbelievable that we would get married?”

 

Draco laughed slightly “I know exactly what you mean, my day was more or less the same. And yes, I do believe people really do not believe that we would ever be together, I mean we hated each other for years and years.”

“Well, yes that’s true, but we’ve both changed so much. We don’t hate each other anymore, do we?” Hermione asked, toying with her paper napkin.

 

“No, I don’t hate you at all. It’s been a really long time. Since sixth year at Hogwarts, I regret so many things that I did, you’ll never fully understand how much I regret treating you the way that I did. I’ll never be able to make it up to you Hermione.” Draco put his head into his hands.

 

“Draco, stop.” Hermione leaned forward and pulled Draco’s hands into hers, “I do not hate you, and you are making it up to me- you’re saving my life for Merlin’s sake!”

 

Draco conceded and soon the waitress came to take their order. After eating their dinner, they apparated home, both immediately going to bed, dragging their feet with tiredness.

 

The next day- a Saturday dawned rainy and gloomy. Rising from his bed, Draco made his way into the bathroom he had claimed. After getting a shower, he made his way into the kitchen and slowly started making  batter for waffles, as he didn’t know where all the ingredients were. After finishing the batter, we cast a quick spell that a friend had taught him, turning the batter into beautiful Belgian waffles.

 

Hermione stumbled into the kitchen, still in her pajamas and came upon the sight of Draco piling two plates with waffles covered in ice cream and strawberries. “MMM.” Hermione moaned as she pulled herself up onto a stool. Quickly tucking into their breakfasts, they hardly heard the knock on the door.

 

Draco, even though he remained shirtless after his shower, walked to open the door. Pulling the door open, he looked at a small dark haired witch, a taller blonde witch, and a tall but slightly chubby auburn haired wizard. “uhh, Mi.. We have some company sweetheart!” Draco yelled.

 

Hermione dashed out of the kitchen, upon seeing their guests she gasped “Oh dear, I’m so sorry I completely forgot about the interviews- I’ll go get cleaned up, just a few minutes!”

 

Draco turned to the small group “I apologize, we were having a lazy morning- I’ll go get cleaned up and we’ll be right out.” Walking into their bedroom he almost ran into a very frazzled Hermione. He grabbed her shoulders and forced her to look up at him. “Relax. You just get ready and I will deal with getting the rest of the house ready.”

 

Hermione smiled at him gratefully and ran into her closet. Draco sighed and cast a quick spell at their separate beds- drawing them together into one King size bed. Then after casting a few spells to neaten up the room, Draco walked into the closet that Hermione had disappeared into and pulled on a pair of slacks and a burgundy jersey.

 

Hermione then dashed by him “Where are my shoes, where are my shoes?!” Draco walked towards her shoe rack, plucking what he knew to be her favourite pair of mocassins he waggled them in the air after coughing slightly.

 

Hermione plucked the shoes out of his hand, pulling them on and then rushing out the door again. Draco watched her leave, admiring her figure in slim fitting jeans and an athletic looking sweater.

 

Draco soon sauntered out of their bedroom as Hermione was pouring their guests tea, a smile plastered on her face. “Hey love, why don’t we get this interview started?”

 

Hermione beamed at him “Yes, sounds good”. They sat close together on a small red love seat, facing the interviewers who were each on their on chairs; parchment and quills at the ready.  “Okay, uhhh sir? You may ask your first question, which paper are you from?” Hermione asked with a smile.

 

The young wizard blushed but replied quietly “I’m Euan MacGregor from the Daily Prophet. My question is `How did you first meet?’”

 

Draco leant forward, one hand drifting over Hermione’s knee. “I’ll answer that one, love. Well, we officially met September 1st, 1991. However I would like to say we met in the correct way on July 18th, 1998. After the ending of the second war, my mother and I were released and I happened to run into Hermione at  a book shop- our relationship went from there in secret. We didn’t feel that it was appropriate to flaunt our relationship with everyone still grieving, it’s been hard hiding our feelings, but now we don’t have to” He smiled sweetly at Hermione.

 

Hermione put her hand on top of Draco’s, turning to the small dark haired witch she asked “And which paper are you from? And your question?”

 

“My name’s Verity Williams, I’m from the Quibbler and my question is ‘I think everyone knows that you two were not exactly eachother’s biggest fans… How did you get over that?”

 

Hermione nodded at the question “Yes, in the past Draco and I have not been friends, actually we were enemies during school… But after the war we both decided we needed to put aside old prejudices and move on with our lives. I mean, basically prejudices are what started these wars, so it’s better for everyone to let them go, it was better for us anyway” Hermione smiled happily up at Draco and he leant over and kissed her cheek.

 

The tall, long haired blonde witch then crossed her legs and smiled seductively at Draco “Natalie Roberts of Witch Weekly. So, Mr. Malfoy, you’ve been tied to a few very lovely ladies in your time, is it hard for you to settle down? And Ms. Granger I’m sure quite a few of our readers will be very interested to hear you are no longer interested in your long time love, Ronald Weasely.”

 

Draco kept a very cool composure and answered her in a very calm way “Well Ms.Roberts, I have dated a few women in my time, but to be completely honest it isn’t even an effort to settle down. I could never imagine my life without the beautiful women beside me”

 

Hermione then answered her question “No, I am not interested in Ron. It’s been quite a long time and we are both happier this way.” She snapped

 

Draco then stood up “Thank you for coming, but I’m afraid you’ll all have to leave now.” The journalists one by one shook Hermione and Draco’s hands, then exited the building. The blonde witch lingering a little longer than the rest.

 

When they all had finally left Hermione leaned into Draco’s side. Draco squeezed her lightly but then untangled himself from her, walking towards the kitchen.

 

Hermione stood alone in the living room, wondering about Draco’s change of behaviour. Sitting on a couch she started to think about how strange Draco had been acting- his mood swings and total change of attitude. Finally after mustering up the confidence Hermione strode to the kitchen “Draco. I need to ask you about your drastic behaviour… and the things you said at the club.”

 

Draco had his back turned towards her, his hands resting heavily on the counter. Slowly he turned, his eyes a very dark grey. “Do you really want to know?” Draco asked her

Hermione nodded her head, stepping towards him quickly.

 

Draco held a hand up for her to stay put. “Hermione, this is hard for me. I want you to know that it’s not about how I used to feel for you, that’s all in the past. It is about me now though. I will never be good enough for you, the things that I’ve done….. I’m ashamed Hermione, and I know that this marriage will be fake, but my feelings for you aren’t.”

 

Hermione gasped “Draco, I don’t even know what to say. When did you figure this out?”

 

Draco looked down awkwardly, rubbing his thumb over his fingernail “Well, to be honest, our first day of working together. I’ve battled so much with my emotions, I’ve tried to hide it, I could never be the one you need. I couldn’t stop though Hermione, my feelings for you are incredibly strong, and I understand that you don’t feel the same way… But could you try?”

 

Hermione gulped “You could be the one I need, who knows? Yes, yes I can try.”

 

Draco beamed at her, striding forward to envelope her in his arms “Thank you” he whispered. 


Chapter 12: Engagement Party
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stunning chapter image by astoriaviana@TDA

“Hey Hermione! Are you ready to go to my mum’s?” Draco yelled as he entered their apartment. “Uhm……..” he heard Hermione from the bedroom. Walking into the room and then into the closet he saw Hermione sitting on the floor surrounded by piles of clothes. “Mi… What are you doing?” Draco asked quietly.

 

“I… I don’t have anything to wear” Hermione murmered, her hands laying in her lap, “your mum is going to hate me Draco…”

 

Draco knelt down next to her,  pushing her chin up with his hand. “You are perfect, my mother will be at least civil, I promise. You are strong, courageous witch and you will be fine.” He lightly kissed her lips then drew her up to her feet.

 

Walking to the far edge of the closet Draco quickly grabbed a white pencil skirt and a cream coloured blouse, he passed these to Hermione with a grin. She smiled back and started to change as he was walking out. “I’ll meet you at the door”

 

After changing, Hermione and Draco made their way to the fireplace and flooed over the Malfoy Manor. Emerging from the fireplace, Draco dusted himself off and then turned to help Hermione wipe a bit of smoot of her nose. As they finished Narcissa Malfoy walked into the room.

 

“Hello son” Narcissa said as she walked up to embrace him. She then turned to Hermione“It’s nice to meet you on more friendly circumstances Hermione” she said warmly, embracing her too.

 

“You too” Hermione replied. She and Draco sat beside each other on the couch, his mum in an armchair across from them.

 

“So, you two are engaged. How nice, but Draco you never even told me you were dating. I was quite shocked to read it all in the Prophet.”

 

“Well Mum, It’s been a bit of a struggle to keep our relationship from people- I’m really sorry for not telling you, it was my decision not Hermione’s.”

Narcissa smiled “Dear, I never thought it was her, do not worry yourselves. I know now and that’s what matters. I have an engagement gift for you two though.” She then rose from her chair and made her way to a desk on the other side of the room, opening a drawer she brought out a piece of paper. Walking back she then handed it to Draco and sat back down with a smile.

 

Draco read the paper over twice. “Mum…. This is the deed for the house…”

 

“Yes Draco, it is. With your father gone, I don’t need this huge house all to myself. So I’m giving it to you two, you can redecorate and change anything you want, make it your own! I’ve bought myself a nice town house in London, so don’t worry about me.”

 

Draco and Hermione thanked her profusely and ended up staying for dinner. The night went splendidly well, conversation and laughter flowed and Hermione and Narcissa became quite good friends by the time they were ready to leave. Hugging goodbye, Draco and Hermione then flooed home.

 

“Now that wasn’t so bad, was it?” Draco asked cheekily as they were getting ready for bed. After agreeing to really try for their relationship Hermione had just kept the bed as it was. They both crawled into bed and Draco pulled Hermione against his chest.

 

Hermione chuckled “No, it wasn’t bad at all. I quite liked your mum, now you have to meet my parents tomorrow”. Snuggling contentedly against Draco, they both soon drifted off to sleep.

 

--

“It’s nice to meet you Draco… We’ve heard a lot about you, none that great to be honest” Hermione’s dad said to Draco as he shook his hand.

 

Draco winced slightly “Well sir, I won’t deny it. I was a complete ass to your daughter and many other people. I’m glad to say that I’ve changed a lot, and my intentions are honourable towards your daughter.”

 

Hermione’s dad nodded and led Draco into the living room to meet Hermione’s mum. She greeted Draco in a friendly manner and the evening went along nicely. After dinner they all went into the living room again to watch “home movies” of Hermione growing up. Draco enjoyed watching small four year old Hermione accidentally blow up a lamp when she was angry about losing her favourite toy. Then he watched seven year old Hermione at a dance recital, awkward and scrawny, not being able to do any of the dance moves. Lastly he watched eleven year old Hermione, her fluffy hair and large brown eyes as she smiled saying good bye to her parents at the train station.

 

Hermione blushed at every embarrassing moment on the television screen. Glancing over at Draco she noticed that he was enjoying this way too much… “Well, it’s been great. However, Draco and I really need to get going. Thanks for dinner and everything, I’ll e-mail you tomorrow.” Hermione led Draco to the door as they were driving home (Hermione’s parents living in a very muggle part of England and not having a floo network).

 

Getting into the driver’s seat of his car, Draco was still chuckling quite loudly. “Hey! Stop that, it’s not that funny!” Hermione said indignantly, shoving Draco in the ribs. Draco stopped chuckling but drew Hermione closer for a kiss. Hermione sighed and gave in, then sitting back into her seat buckled her seat belt.

 

Zooming through the deserted streets, they soon made their way back to the apartment. Unlocking the door, Hermione entered first “I’m going to grab a shower” she said as she walked into their bedroom.

 

Draco soon followed suit in the bathroom down the hall, he couldn’t believe how well everything was going. He never thought Hermione would actually give him a chance. It seemed like she was even falling for him a little bit… His thoughts stayed with him as he snuggled into bed with Hermione.

 

--

 

You are cordially invited to the engagement party for

        Hermione Granger & Draco Malfoy

         Held by Ginerva & Harry Potter

         November 1st, Potter Residence

 

“Uhm Mi… When did we decide to have an engagement party?’ Draco yelled to Hermione from the kitchen. Hermione came hopping out of their room, struggling to pull on a knee length leather boot.

 

“What?! We aren’t having an engagement party..” Hermione replied as she finally got to the kitchen, seriously thinking about her choice of footwear this early in the morning.

 

Draco handed her the invitation as Hermione’s face started to get more and more red. He slowly backed up against the counter. Hermione dashed into the living room and jumped into the fireplace, yelling Harry and Ginny’s address.

-

“Ginerva Molly Weasley! You are in so much trouble!” Hermione screamed as soon as she arrived. Harry ran into the study from who’s fireplace Hermione had arrived from. Seeing her frazzled state he yelled for Ginny, gave her an apologetic smile and ducked out the door.

 

Ginny soon popped into the room, speaking before Hermione could scream any more. “Mione, relax please. It’s just a small little party with our closest friends- no need to worry.” Ginny pouted.

 

Hermione sighed exaggeratedly “Fine Gin…… But you can’t go crazy with this okay.. small!” Hermione stated, gazing accusingly at her bestfriend.

 

Ginny giggled and ran to draw Hermione into a tight bear hug. “Yay! Okay, I planned your party for two days from now, I sent other people’s invitations earlier- I didn’t want you backing out by telling you awhile ago. We need to go dress shopping- now!”

 

After both girls getting ready (and Hermione owling Draco with her plans- so he wouldn’t be worried) they apparated to muggle London and started dress shopping. Ginny soon found a stunning floor length strapless silver dress but Hermione struggled, trying on dress after dress.

 

Finally Ginny brought Hermione over a dress to try on, as soon as Hermione came out of the dressing room with it on Ginny gasped. “Mione, it’s absolutely perfect.” Hermione stood in front of the mirror wearing a midnight blue floor length dress, it had criss crossing straps and a long slit up the side.

 

After searching high and low for shoes and jewellery for their outfits the two witches stopped for lunch in a café, then went back to their respective homes.

--

 

Soon the night of the engagement party was upon them, Hermione had just finished applying her make-up and was pulling her hair into a bun with a few curly tendrils curling down. After changing into her dress, shoes and putting on her jewellery, Hermione met Draco at the bottom of their apartment buildings stairs.

 

Draco couldn’t believe his eyes- his fiancé was the most gorgeous woman on the entire Earth. Her pale skin shone against the fabric of her dress and her brown eyes seemed to sparkle just for him as she floated down the stairs. Offering her his arm, he then led them out the door and into a deserted alley to apparate to the Potter’s.

 

As they stepped into the large colonial style house Hermione was overwhelmed by all the people and overall splendor. Walking around the main room designated for dancing and socializing Hermione counted at least half a dozen refreshment tables and saw upon a small circular stage, there was an orchestra playing. Pulling Draco along behind her, Hermione wound around people-stopping here and there to thank people for their congratulations. Finally they found Harry and Ginny, after many hugs and thanks both men asked their partners for a dance.

 

Sliding onto the dance floor, Draco and Hermione got into position and started into a graceful waltz across the floor. People all over the room watched the two as they spun around and around. Who would have thought that two more opposite people would get engaged? However no one could deny that they looked perfect together- tall, pale, blonde haired and strikingly handsome Draco paired with short, brunette and undeniably beautiful Hermione.

 

Suddenly a ruckus could be heard across the room and before she knew it Draco’s smile was knocked off his face as he fell to the ground after a pale freckly hand smashed into his face. 


Chapter 13: The Wedding
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Chapter image by rebel_heart@TDA! Sorry I haven’t updated in such a long time, I’ve been super busy with school! Please don’t stop reading my story and reviewing, I treasure every single one! J Song featured in this chapter(not a songfic!) is Hate and Love by Jack Savoretti & Sienna Miller. If you haven’t heard this song please go check it out, it’s my absolute favourite!



 

“RONALD BILLIUS WEASLEY! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! Hermione screamed at Ron and then knelt beside Draco, stroking his forehead lightly.

 

Ron was a quickly turning a dark colour of red as he yelled back “I could ask you the same question! I go away with Luna on vacation for a few weeks and I come back and my bestfriend is engaged to the ferret?!”

 

Hermione’s eyes filled with tears “Don’t you want me to be happy Ron?” she whispered. At this moment Draco finally gained his feet, glaring at Ron he then guided Hermione towards the door. Before leaving he turned to address all the guests “Thank you all for coming- the invitations for the wedding will be out soon!”

 

With that final address they exited the building and apparated back to their apartment. After getting into the apartment Hermione finally broke into tears, clinging to Draco tightly.

 

He swept her up into his arms bridal style and carried her into their bedroom. After carefully removing her shoes, Draco then pulled the blankets up before snuggling in beside her.  Stroking her hair Draco whispered “Everything will be alright love, Ron’ll come around.”

 

Hermione snuffled and nodded, tucking her head under Draco’s chin, she promptly fell asleep.

--

The next couple weeks seemed to fly by, between wedding plans, work and dealing with Hermione’s now high security, the couple were extremely busy. Before they knew it the day of the wedding was upon them.

 

Hermione took a very deep breath, today was her wedding day. Looking into the mirror she stared at her reflection, she hardly recognized herself. She was wearing a long ivory dress with a vintage lace top, her hair was braided into a complex design and her make up was stunning. Checking herself over one more time, Hermione emerged from the room that had been assigned for all the ladies to get ready. Standing in the hallway was her dad- taking his arm they made their way down the large staircase and out the back door. As they neared the aisle the orchestra began to play the iconic muggle wedding march. Looking down the aisle Hermione’s eyes fell the Draco. He looked marvelous, he had an all black tux on and was actually smiling. Hermione smiled nervously at him, and as they arrived next to him her father took Hermione’s hand and placed it in Draco’s.

 

“Do you, Hermione Jean take Draco Lucius  to be your husband for all the days to come?” asked the wedding official.

 

“I do” Hermione replied confidently, though her hands tightened on Draco’s.

 

“And do you, Draco Lucius take Hermione Jean to be your wife for all the days to come?”

 

“I do” Draco said huskily, his eyes never leaving Hermione’s.

 

“Then I declare you bound for life” the official finished, beaming. Many cheers went up and as Hermione surveyed the crowd she saw tears being shed by both her mother and Draco’s. She then lifted her eyes to meet Draco’s stare, standing on tip toes their lips met in a sweet kiss as the wedding guests whistled and cheered.

 

 

 

It was dusk in the back garden on Malfoy Manor. A large white tent was set up in the middle of the garden, a wooden dance floor covered from the middle of the tent out into the garden. Scattered all around the grounds were white candles, orchestral music floated out from the tent and people mingled, waiting for the bride and groom to reamerge. Harry, Ginny, Ron and Luna sat at a round white covered table, chatting and discussing the wedding. Well, everyone except for Ron, he sat moodily poking his wand at the enchanted red orchids in front of him. Luna suddenly gasped  and the other three brought their attention to the couple entering the door.

 

Hermione looked absolutely radiant as her and Draco stepped out from the double French doors of the manor and out into the garden. Draco wrapped an arm around her waist as they glided down the concrete steps and drifted to the dance floor. Hermione beamed up at him and wrapped her arms tenderly around his neck, pulling herself closer to Draco’s chest. As they melted into each others arms, Hermione’s favourite song began to play, Draco whispered a few lyrics softly into her ear. “Sunshine and rain make a beautiful thing, everything you are is everything I’m not, night and day, light and dark. Everything I need, is everything you’ve got, all your hate, all your love.” Hermione’s eyes started to tear up as she gazed into her new husband’s eyes, “you know my favourite song”.

 

The tears began to fall and Draco leaned forward to kiss the tears off her cheeks, finally ending with a deep kiss upon her red lips. “I know more about you than you think, I understand that this is going to be hard, I know that we’re only married out of necessity, but Hermione… Hermione I can’t imagine my life without you now. I want us to work. I want you.”

 

“I want you.” Hermione stated boldly, her still slightly tear filled eyes meeting his fierce grey ones. Running her fingers lithely through his light hair, Hermione pulled his lips down to meet hers in a hungry kiss. A very embarrassed sounding cough broke their moment of passion, twisting her face Hermione saw a very red Harry looking at her “may I cut in?” he asked.

 

Draco nodded, kissing Hermione lightly on the forehead and walking to greet his mother. Harry then pulled Hermione into his arms, spinning her ‘round the floor. “Are you really happy Hermione?” Harry asked, his eyebrows crinkled.

 

Hermione smiled “Yes Harry, I’ve never been happier.”

 

“I’m glad, I’ve actually come to like the new Draco, as does everyone else, well other than Ron that is” Harry replied.

 

It was now Hermione’s turn to frown, “I don’t understand, I always thought that you hated Draco way more than Ron…”

 

Harry shrugged “I think it has more to do with you than him, actually. He never quite got over you, I guess seeing you with someone else, especially Draco, would make him quite upset. Don’t worry about it tonight though, enjoy yourself!” Harry then swung her around to face Draco.

 

“Are you okay, love?” Draco asked as he drew her towards him and rested their foreheads together.

 

“I will be” Hermione sniffed, burying her head into Draco’s chest. She took his hands into hers and slowly entwined their fingers.

 

“Wanna get our of here Mrs.Malfoy?” Draco asked her with a cheeky smile, bringing their entwined fingers up to Hermione’s chin, tilting her face upwards.

 

Hermione beamed back “I do”.


Chapter 14: Taken
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Chapter image by FairyQueen @ TDA

Draco swept Hermione into his arms as the couple made their way to the bridal suite.  Crossing the threshold, Draco leant down to kiss her sweetly. “Are you sure about this? We can wait if you want!” Draco whispered, holding Hermione tightly.

 

“I’m sure.” Hermione replied, kissing Draco as she began to pull off his jacket. As she unbuttoned his shirt, she left kisses where the buttons had been. Making her way to the bottom of the shirt she went for his belt but Draco pulled her face back up to meet his.

 

“Easy you little vixen.” He said as he unbuttoned the back of her vintage dress. In no time the rest of their clothes were strewn to the floor.

 

…..

 

Hermione’s eye flickered open and took in her surroundings. She was laying on a four poster bed with many black puffy blankets, scanning the room she saw it was quite big, gold coloured walls met dark granite floors stretching to the bathroom door in the far corner and out onto the open patio. Stretching her arms over her head, Hermione grabbed her shirt that was on top of the headboard. Pulling it on she then turned to see Draco laying on his stomach, face tilted towards her.

 

His face was relaxed, a slight smile on his thin pale lips, his white blonde hair lightly tousled. Hermione smiled fondly at him and then cautiously climbed out of bed. Walking over to a dark wooden table, Hermione saw that it was covered in silver dishes with covers, opening one of them she saw a large stack of warm, fluffy pancakes.

 

Grabbing on of the white plates at the edge of the table, Hermione started to fill up her plate with a variety of breakfast foods. As she went to grab the coffee pot, a large pale hand got there first. Hermione spun around to meet Draco’s smirk, “Coffee?” he asked, as she nodded he poured her some. Handing her the cup, he then filled his own and they sat down opposite each other and chatted over breakfast.

 

Suddenly Hermione heard a tingling noise from across the room, following it to her bedside table, she realized it was her phone and answered it immediately.

 

“Hermione! We need you and Draco at the office ASAP.” Neville nearly screamed.

 

“We’ll be there in a few” Hermione, replied as she ended the call and wrenched open the closet door. Grabbing a pair of jeans, a shirt and riding boots.

 

“What’s going on?” Draco questioned as he strode towards her.

 

“Neville didn’t explain, he just said we had to get to the office as soon as possible.”

 

After quickly getting dressed, Draco and Hermione flooed over to the Ministry. “Neville! What’s wrong?!” Hermione asked as soon as they got there.

 

“Is it really you? Tell me something only you would know…” Neville asked, looking at Hermione strangely.

 

“Of course it’s me.. Uhm, in fifth year you asked me for relationship advice about Luna?”

 

“Oh god, it is you” Neville said, crushing Hermione into a bear hug.

 

“Neville, what on Earth are you talking about?” Hermione asked, awkwardly patting Neville on the back.

 

“Well this morning we got an anonymous owl from someone, saying that you had been kidnapped last night and someone who had taken polyjuice potion was in your place.”

 

“Well, no it’s me.” Hermione replied, turning to face Draco. “Do you know who could’ve sent the owl?”

 

Draco only shrugged “I’ve no idea, Mi.”

 

All at once, every large paned window in Neville’s office simultaneously smashed into millions of tiny shards, cascading down onto the floor and the three people now flattened to the ground.

Dark smoke surrounded the two wizards and witch and they could see nothing but the darkness that threatened to suffocate them. As it swirling and glided around them, they frantically sought for eachother, but to no avail. Then as soon as the smoke came, it dissipated. Neville stood up gingerly, his skin cut in many places by the flying glass.

Turning around he noticed that Hermione was not there. “Hermione!? Hermione!!” Neville yelled, spinning to face Draco. “Where is she?”

 

“They took her” Draco said, not even bothering to get to his feet, his face emotionless.

 

AN: Sorry, I honestly planned on writing more for this chapter, but I haven't updated in forever so I felt that I owed it to my readers to add something new! I'll probably come back and add more, I'll let you all know if I do! Thank you so much to anyone reading/reviewing my little story, I appreciate every single read and every single review! Don't be shy, I'd love to hear from you!



 


Chapter 15: Missing
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Stunning chapter image by mockingjay @ TDA!


Hermione’s head hurt more than being knocked off a broom twenty feet up. Putting her small pale hand up to her hairline, she felt sticky warm blood. Groaning she struggled to open her eyes, she could barely see anything.

Near the edge of her vision, she could just vaguely see the outline of a wall, moving her hand to her pocket she found that her wand was gone. Looking down at her legs, she could see blood coming from a number of differecent lacerations, the pain was immense. As she shakily tried to stand, she fell with a scream- her leg was broken and without her wand there was not much she could do about it. Dragging herself across the floor, she made her way towards the distant light coming from the left side of the room. After an agonizing twenty minutes Hermione got herself to the doorway, it was metal and had bars, through this she could see a historic looking stone hallway, leading to a set of marble stairs. The only light was coming from an orb about halfway up the wall. A sound caused Hermione to drag herself nearer to the wall, away from the field of vision of anyone at the door. Ominous footsteps began to sound down the stairwell...

 

==

 

“What do you mean, they?!” Neville yelled at Draco

 

“It must be my uncle and his friends.” Draco replied, finally showing some emotion, his face drawn with pain.

 

“What do you know Malfoy?” Neville asked, teeth clenched.

 

“Not much, almost nothing really. My mother let me know of some correspondence she had heard from some of our relatives still wearing their dark marks. They spoke of a possible kidnapping of someone close to the order”.

 

“Any specifics? Anything at all?” Neville questioned earnestly “Think man, think!”

 

“Give me a minute damn it” Draco snarled

 

“We don't have a damn minute! For merlins sake, this is Hermione!” Neville shouted back.

 

“I'm well aware, she's my wife Longbottom!” Draco sighed, head in his hands. Rubbing his forehead with the back of his hand, Draco suddely sat up straight. “Hold on a mo, I remember something.... An old prison not too far from my uncle's old castle..”

 

Draco shot out of his seat and strode out the door, Neville following closely behind. Neville walked into Draco's office to see him rifling through one of the large black filing cabinets. “I know that we had a vial with a memory of an important interview that led Rapalphous to not be imprisoned... I think the prison might be mentioned in it!”

 

Draco pulled the vial out of the cabinet and motioning to Neville, walked over the pensive. Draining the vial into it, Draco and Neville were sucked in after it.

 

**

 

Inside a small concrete room Radalphous Lestrange sat across a large metal table from a ministry official. After a period of general questioning the official asked “In our records we have you owning more than your family estate, it says here that you own a prison?”

 

“Yes” Lestrange answered cooly, “what of it?”

 

“We have records that some dark events have happened at this prison, care to elaborate?”

 

“No, not really.”

 

“Well if you don't want to talk... We have a beautiful cell in Askaban for you, ready right now!”

 

“Don't be so hasty... The dark lord used it for the keeping of certain high risk visitors during the wars, don't send me to Askaban! I have so much more information, so much more!”

 

“Where is the prison, Lestrange?”

 

“Near our estate, five miles North to be exact.”

 

**

 

Draco and Neville came back to reality with the slight grogginess that going into someone else's memory gives you.

 

“So do you think you could find it?!” Neville asked excitedly.

 

“I believe so, let's get some backup and go!” Draco replied

 


Chapter 16: Toujours Pur
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  CI by heartfelt@TDA :)

Later that evening a group of aurors including Harry, Ron, Neville, Seamus, Dean and Draco were gathered outside the line of apparation near the prison belonging to the notorious dark wizard, Radalphous Lestrange. The air was quite chilly and they were all attired in warm jerseys, jeans and boots, each had their wands already drawn. “Okay everyone, Dean has already gone forward and found out that there are in fact witches or wizards in the building, whether they are the people we are looking for or not, we have no idea, but we're going in!” Harry addressed the group surrounding him. “I want Ron and Neville to go over the South wall and in that way, Seamus and Dean you have the North and Draco and I will be going through the 'secret' way into the dungeon part of the prison”, everyone ready? Let's go”. Harry ordered, moving away from the rest of the group.

 

Harry lead Draco towards the hedgerow surrounding the property, he whispered to him “Luna found the blueprint for this secret entrance in the ministry records from a very, very long time so hopefully it's still here..”

 

The duo slowly and silently crept along the hedge, Harry looking for any signs of a secret passage. Draco was also scanning for any abnormalities. Suddenly Draco tugged on the back of Harry's black jacket. As Harry spun around Draco put a finger to his lips and pointed through a gap in the hedge. Through it they could see a man leaning against a stone fence, wand at the ready, but he looked extremely lethargic.

“Petrificus Totalus” Draco whispered, pointing his wand at the unknown guardsman. The man had a look of surprise on his face as his limps froze and he fell with a thump onto the grass. Draco then slowly climbed through the gap in the hedge, Harry following closely behind.

 

Harry then stepped in front of Draco, after looking around extensively he finally murmered “lumos” and suddenly they could see much more clearly. They were in a heavily wooded area, it was a cloudy evening and all light came from the tip of Harry's wand. They began to search for an entry way, levitating large rocks and stumps to see if any such doorways could be found. After what seemed like forever but was probably more like fifteen minutes Harry thought that he had found something. After noticing that an average looking tree stump's roots did not seem too attached to the ground it sat on, Harry whispered “levicorpus” while pointing his wand at the stump and sure enough, a set of stairs could be seen going downwards from underneath where the stump had been.

 

“Let's go” Draco said quietly, his wand was now also glowing light from the tip and he led the way down the stairs and into the cold ground. The stairs were very narrow, the steps were thin and the dark stone was extremely slippery in some spots. As Draco looked to his right he could see liquid running down the sides of the stairwell as if they were racing to get away. They quickly made their way down the rest of the eerie staircase and down into an equally dark and decrepit hallway. They slowly walked down the hallway, their steps echoing loudly, stopping suddenly Harry almost smashed into Draco's back. Draco turned around and said quietly “I'm going to shoot a silencing spell on our feet, our footsteps are much, much too loud.”

 

Harry nodded in consent and after the spell was done they began to walk again. After a few minutes they came to a large oak door, cut in the shape of a half moon. “This is it” Draco breathed, his hand outstretched towards the small handle. It was, as was expected, locked. “Alohamora” Draco whispered, and the door slowly opened towards them. Stepping through cautiously Draco found himself face to face with a very large stone statue of a serpent. Draco jerked back slightly, almost hitting Harry.

 

“Alright mate?” Harry whispered urgently.

 

“Yeah, there's a statue here, I think it works like the entrance to the headmasters office at Hogwarts.” Draco replied, also in a whisper. Draco stepped forward cautiously and sure enough there were steps leading their way up the serpent. “Any idea what the password might be Potter?”

 

“Death eater?” Harry suggested.

 

Draco smirked slightly, “Nope, that didn't work.” Draco frowned slightly “Toujours pur”, he whispered as loud as possible. The snake began to coil upwards, bringing Harry and Draco along with it.

 

“That's the black family motto” Harry said softly, looking at Draco questioningly.

 

Draco shrugged and looked away from Harry, “Bellatrix used to always say that to me before she would leave the house after a meeting”.

 

As the snake made its ascent, the men could see that the walls of the room were beginning to become more dry, they were reaching the surface. Finally they made it to the top, they stepped onto a short landing facing a large wooden door. Draco crept towards it, trying the handle he noticed it was not locked. Opening it an inch, he gingerly peered through it, after checking that the coast was clear he made his way into the next room. Harry followed closely behind him into the room, it was large and circular; covered floor to ceiling in dark marble. Harry began to walk around the room, looking for another door or opening. As he was just opening his mouth to call Draco over, the crack in the wall that he had been staring at smashed open, bowling Harry over.

Five death eaters stormed into the room, hexes streamed across the room as Draco struggled to keep them at bay so Harry could stand up. Once Harry was on his feet the door two positioned themselves back to back and battled furiously with the death eaters until all five had been taken care of.

 

“Phew, wasn't expecting that one, eh mate?” Harry grinned at Draco

 

Draco tried to smile in return but the muscles in his mouth just would not allow it. His worry for Hermione was beginning to cloud his brain, he had to find her soon. The two men made their way through the doorway and into the hall that the death eaters had come through moments earlier. This hallway was lighter than the last, but still dingy, with wall sconces that held large flickering candles. The candles flanked each wall and cast an eerie glow over the stone of the hall. Slowly and silently Draco and Harry walked down the hallway until they reached a large metal door, Harry opened it slowly and peeked around.

 

“I can see stairs and some sort of light... There's nowhere to go except down.” Harry whispered back to Draco.

 

“Let's go then” Draco replied, letting Harry lead the way through the doorway and onto the stairwell. The stairs were made of marble and were quite slippery. Harry let Draco step in front of him and they both gingerly made their way down the stairs. Draco could see something.. The edge of a foot maybe? He walked more quickly, his chest beginning to feel tight. He could see legs.. and blood, lots and lots of blood... He was now at the bottom of the stairs and could see that the figure was definitely a very petite woman. “HERMIONE” Draco yelled, rushing towards her and enveloping her in his arms. As his arms wrapped around his tiny wife, said tiny wife began screaming bloody murder....


Chapter 17: Safe
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Gorgeous CI from Hobbit' @TDA :)

AN: I am so so so so sorry for the horrible wait for this chapter... I really have no great excuse, just life! Please enjoy this chapter and read and review! :)

 

Hermione could hear the footsteps coming closer as they echoed off the cold stone floor. She could feel the blood from her wounds seeping onto the marble, but didn't have the energy to even move her hand to staunch them. She lay stretched out on the floor, her arm stretched as if to escape. The footsteps were almost to the bottom of the stairs now, Hermione struggled to push herself onto her knees, but collapsed again as she felt the full extent of her injuries. She could now see out of the corner of her eyes a pair of black dress shoes stepping off of the stairs, then heard a her name cried out as the feet came rushing toward her. Suddenly she was grasped in a pair of strong arms. The pain of her injuries was just too much as she screamed at the top of her lungs and promptly lost consciousness.

 

The seats outside of Hermione Malfoy's hospital room were completely filled. A sea of red hair was interrupted by one of shining blonde, Draco Malfoy sat with his head in his hands.

 

A nurse came down the hallway, her feet slapping against the tiled floor in foreboding succession. She made her way slowly to stop in front of the gathered people. “Mr. Malfoy? Your wife has been cleared for visitors now, one at a time”.

 

Draco surged to his feet, a wild look in his eyes as he strode quickly to the door on the other side of the hallway, yanking it open he walked into the room. Hermione laid on the hospital bed, her pale skin almost matching the stark white of the hospital sheets. Bruises blossomed over her delicate skin and even from feet away, Draco could see her split lip. Draco drew a sharp intake of breath as he slowly walked towards her. Sitting on the edge of the bed he hesitantly moved his hand toward her face, stroking the side of it lightly.

 

Hermione's eyes drifted open blearily, slowly adjusting to the harsh fluorescent light. Draco grasped her hand, leaning towards her. “Hermione, love can you hear me?”

 

“Yes” Hermione croaked, her voice raw and pained.

 

Draco grabbed a glass of water off of the bedside table and thrust it into her hand. Hermione drank greedily, draining the glass in an instant.

 

“Hermione... Do you... Remember me?” Draco asked, movingly slightly away from her.

 

Hermione frowned “Of course, why wouldn't I?”

 

“I.. I thought that when I found you, you had perhaps been obliviated.” Draco replied, moving back to his original spot.

 

“No, no I remember everything, I wasn't screaming because I didn't know you, I was screaming in pain”Hermione motioned to her multiple injuries.

 

“Oh Merlin, I'm so sorry my love, this is all my fault” Draco cried, his head pressed to the mattress.

 

“No, no Draco, darling it isn't.” Hermione replied, grabbing Draco's hand and kissing the palm.

 

“Hermione I was supposed to keep you safe, that was my mission. I failed. I failed you.” Draco said through gritted teeth.

 

Hermione leaned forward, ignoring the pain and gripped Draco's face tightly. “Don't you ever, ever say that again. We can make it through anything, this is not your fault”.


Chapter 18: & Sound
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AN: I am so sorry for not updating!! I hope you enjoy this new, albeit short chapter. I'm hoping to have another one out this week as well! This story will not be abandoned I promise! Please read and review! :):)

“How are the two of you doing?” Harry asked as he poked his head around the hospital room door, hair askew as always. 

Draco was sitting in a chair pulled as close as possible to Hermione’s hospital bed, both of his hands holding onto one of hers. Hermione smiled weakly at her friend from across the room, motioning for him to come forward “fairly well, can’t wait to get home though!”

Harry chuckled slightly, coming forward give Hermione a gentle hug. “Yes I can imagine! I told everyone waiting that you were okay, and when you feel better we can all get together. Figured it might be a bit much to have all those people in and out!”

Hermione sighed in relief, “Thank them for me please Harry, though I do think your plan is a good one. I’m just not up to it right now.  Also, Draco was telling me that he suspected they may have put some memory charms on me, apparently that’s one of the ways that they enjoy wreaking havoc with people. However I certainly remember everything, can you ask a healer to come in so I can ask them about it?”

Harry’s smile dropped as he heard Hermione’s words “Well I hope that’s not the case, but yes of course I’ll ask someone right away.” Harry then gave Hermione another quick hug, nodded to Draco and left the room.

Hermione struggled to sit up as straight as possible, stopping for a moment to catch her breath as the pain overtook her for a moment. Finally with Draco’s steadying hand, she was in an upright position. Her skin still looked akin to the pale bed sheets and the cuts and bruises that covered her body contrasted against the cheerful flowers, cards and gifts from friends.

Draco then said Hermione “I’m fairly certain that if you had one of the hexes put on you, your memories would be gone already.”

Hermione shrugged "Well I will be very happy if that’s true, but I want to ask to be doubly sure.”

Draco nodded, leaning forward and kissing Hermione’s hands, “whatever will make you feel better darling.” Hermione nodded, squeezing his hand in thanks, then closing her eyes to rest for a moment.

Within minutes a knock on the door came, Hermione was still dozing so Draco called “Come in!” to the person outside the door. A young male healer came through the door, he was quite tall with tousled brown curly hair that looked almost similar to Hermione’s. “Hello, my name is Healer Patrick and I’m here to answer your questions about memory charms. I’m a healer on the fourth floor and memory spell damage is my speciality.”

Draco rose from Hermione’s side to shake the man’s hand and replied “Thank you for coming to quickly, I’ll let Hermine ask you the questions.” Hermione then felt a hand on her shoulder gently shaking her “c’mon love, wake up now. The healer is here to see you”.

Hermione opened her eyes, blinking blearily as the room came into focus. As the white walls, chairs and vases of flowers came into view, Hermione focused on a tall man wearing lime green robes. “Oh! Hello there!” Hermione squeaked, trying to get her hair out of her face as fast as possible.  “Thank you so much for coming, basically I just wanted to ask you if there is any chance that I’ve had a memory charm put on me, but it didn’t work correctly or is taking time to come into effect?”

Healer Patrick frowned slightly, his dark eyebrows pulling together in concentration as he thought. “Hmm… I’ll do an spell test on you if you don’t mind to ascertain whether one was put on you or not, but I have never seen a memory spell that took longer than a few seconds to effect the person.”

Hermione nodded her ascent and the healer then came over, pulling out his wand. He waved it slowly back and forth in front of Hermione’s forehead, murmuring unintelligible words. The air around the wand began to glow purple and Healer Patrick smiled. “Mrs. Malfoy I’m happy to tell you that no memory charms have been placed on you recently!”

Hermione beamed at the healer and then at Draco. Draco then leant forward, kissing her forehead softly. “Thank you very much Healer Patrick” they both said in unison. The healer smiled at the couple and then left the room quietly.

Hermione sighed gratefully as she sank deeper into the blankets of her hospital bed. After giving Draco a quick kiss, she then pulled her blankets up onto her shoulders and closed her eyes to sleep.

Draco sat quietly in a small plastic chair beside the bed. As he sat, he looked at his beautiful, small and strong wife lying so close to him. Taking a deep breath, he leant forward to move a lock of her hair away from her face. That was when he saw it. A small mark, difficult to see and for many, unremarkable. However Draco knew what this tiny mark located just under Hermione’s ear lobe meant, and he was immediately afraid. 


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