Chapter 17 : The Begning of the End
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“Sir,” the limo driver said interrupting his deep thoughts, “Sir we’ve arrived.”
“Yes thank you, take my bags to the usual room,” Draco said sternly as he helped himself out of the black stretched car.
He could hardly feel his legs as he approached the front door of the house. His staff had heard of his arrival and had, per etiquette, gathered amongst the vast front steps to greet him. Draco had not been this excited to come home since his mother had resided here. She now unfortunately was spending the rest of her days in St. Mungo’s, having been tortured by Voldermort as punishment for his father’s mistakes as well as protecting her only son. Draco shook off the bitter thought of his beautiful mother wasting away in that hospital as soon as he seen the front doors burst open and Hermione barreling towards him.
“Draco,” she said waving her arms in welcome and running up to him.
“You are a happy one,” he said with the biggest smile his staff had seen on his face in years.
“Oh Draco you just have to see, oh you arrived just in time. One of the mares she gave birth earlier and the colt is just adorable. Hurry come on worry about that later,” she said taking his briefcase from him and tossing it aside as she rushed him up the stairs and into the house.
Draco froze immediately upon entering the foyer. Hermione stopped in her tracks and spun around with a huge smile on her face. She was gorgeous standing there as the sun radiated her features. She had apparently had her hair pulled back in a pony tail but it was now tousled and a few strands that had escaped her hair clasp were now hanging loosely around her face and neck. He noticed her cheeks were smudged slightly with dirt and he could only assume she had been helping as much as she could with the birth of the new colt. He had always known she was more of a hands on type and he had always secretly admired that about her.
“Come on silly stop diddle dawdling,” she said laughing happily. But Draco could only stand there and take in the presence of his mansion. The atmosphere breathed a presence he had not felt in years, life. The house he had turned his back on after his mother’s admittance into St. Mungo’s was once again full of life. The sun shown through the windows and glistened upon the marble floors and the air felt renewed and fresh.
“Draco, are you ok?” Hermione asked when he had not budged from the spot he was standing in. She walked closer to him, squinting when the sun graced her face.
“I’m fine,” he said contently and smiled at her whole heartily.
“Well come on then,” she said excitedly and again grabbed his arm and pulled him through the mansion and back outside off the west patio and down to the stables.
They spent the rest of the afternoon helping as much as they could with the horses and with the mare and her new colt. Hermione had a good laugh when Draco fell over backwards into one of the watering troughs in a failed attempted to get out of a bucking stallions way. The stallion had been one of her projects since she had arrived. He had not yet been broken and he seemed uneasy to tame, but Hermione took a vast liking to the white steed. Draco watched how she seemed to calm the horse with ease while others fled from its angry stomping.
“How did you get him to do that?” He asked as he leaned onto the stable door in which she was bidding the stallion to rest.
“Do what?” she asked with a calm smile.
“Make him nice towards you. He seems to hate anyone else.” He stated honestly.
“I don’t know really,” she said, “I mean I have had experience with horses before. My mum and dad had a few and they made me take lessons.” She said as she patted the steed gently on its long nose.
“You took riding lessons as well as dance lessons. What can’t you do Granger?” he joked. She let a small laugh escape her lips and Draco felt his stomach lurch with nervousness.
“I guess we have a lot in common,” she said plainly and staring at the now very tranquil horse.
“You’ve something in common with a horse?” Draco asked sarcastically.
She turned and simply smiled at Draco. Though he was well educated and brought up in wealth he still seemed so sheltered to her.
“Aye,” she said, “We are both very much misunderstood and it is through that we have found our common bond.”
Draco did not know what to say. He watched silently as she whispered something to the stallion and then hug its strong neck.
“Maybe you would like to go riding after dinner,” she asked playfully as she turned from the horse and walked towards him. “That is if you can ride.”
“Oh I can ride Ms. Granger I assure you that,” he laughed.
“Well then Mr. Malfoy we shall see just how well you can ride after dinner,” she challenged.
A/N: Sorry the last two chapters have been a bit short - remember I had to revise one very large chapter into three. So the next one shall be longer in length I promise!!
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