Draco hopped the last three steps on the main stairway and turned, bolting into the Kitchen hallway.
"MUM! DAD! HELP! GREG'S HURTING JOIE!" Draco ran into the Dining Hall, crashing into a chair as he did so. Lucius and Narcissa looked at their son in horror, making him repeat Hermione's dilemma. The three took off back up the stairs, running into Draco's room to find Hermione blue-faced and passed out on the floor, Greg positioned close to her ear, hissing at them.
Lucius growled and ran to Hermione, swishing his wand at Greg and banishing him back into his tank. Hermione's face began to color, but she was still breathing lightly. Lucius flipped her over, onto her back, propping her head back and opening her mouth so she could collect more air in her lungs. Slowly but surely, Hermione regained color and gasped for air, coughing and hacking, a large bruise around her entire neck. Lucius gently helped her sit up as she gasped for air, sobbing in pain as she did so. He hugged her as she cried, Narcissa and Draco joining him.
"Nar, go get an ice pack, a vial of Calming Draught, and a vial of Gutter Relaxo Draught. You know, the Throat Soothing Draught. And hurry."
Narcissa fled the room in search of the items. Young Draco watched as his friend's neck changed from the pretty peach that it was to an awful purple and black color. He grimaced, holding her and his dad as she cried. He turned to glare at Greg. He crawled over to Greg's tank and smacked it, but the snake didn't care, he'd done enough damage for one day. This only angered Draco more, in which case he began yelling at Greg.
"Stupid dumb snake! You hurt Joie! We were just trying to magic you out of your tank and you had to hurt her! You mean 'ol snake! I hate you!" Draco banged on Greg's tank again, making him hiss in annoyance and as a warning. Draco looked back from the tank and saw Hermione still crying, but Lucius was staring at him in shock.
"Draco, did you just say you were magicking Greg out of his tank?" Draco looked at his father guiltily. He nodded without looking up, retelling the story of how Draco could get Greg out of the tank if he just said a little spell and closed his eyes, saying that Hermione finally did it before Greg hurt her. Lucius' mouth had dropped open further, if possible, as Narcissa returned to the room. Mr. Malfoy shook his head, administering the Calming Draught, then the Gutter Relaxo Draught, and setting the ice pack on her forehead to cool Hermione off.
Before long, Hermione was well enough to play again, but both children were restricted to the Living Room, Hermione having the ice pack magically attatched to her neck, unbeknowest to her. Narcissa and Lucius sat on the couch as the kids played Candyland, a muggle board game. Narcissa glanced at the clock, hours later. Six, on the dot. They both heard a small POP! and the doorbell a moment later, Heather Granger entering the Malfoy Manor. Hermione looked over at her mother, but didn't even acknowledge her presence. She turned back to the game before she heard her mother say, "Hermione, come. We need to get home now."
"Aw, Heather. Stay for a moment. A few things happened today that may need to be discussed." Narcissa pointed to the seat across from her and Lucius' couch.
Heather meerly looked at Narcissa, "I believe it's better if we leave now. I'm sure Hermione will tell me on the way home."
Hermione didn't say anything, but everyone saw her glare at the game board and her piece glow for a moment before she shook her head and continued the game. Narcissa removed her slightly shocked eyes from Hermione's little magic display back to Heather. She shook her head, standing and brushing a few strands of blonde hair from her clothes, walking over to Heather.
"Heather, Joie got into a fight today with a girl named Pavarti Patil and Greg attacked her. Do you not think we should sit and talk about this? At least let's talk about the fight!" Heather shook her head, walking over and grabbing Hermione's arm, pulling her up to her feet.
"Sorry, Narcissa, but we've got to run. Say goodbye, Hermione." Heather tugged at Hermione's arm slightly, the little girl yanking her arm from her mother's grip to hug Narcissa, Lucius and Draco. She finally rejoined her mother, but did not grab her hand. "Goodbye, Malfoy's."
Heather quickly strode to the door, opening it and walking through, waiting for Hermione. Hermione slowly made her way over, glancing back at the Malfoy family. They each spotted a flicker of sadness and fear before she turned, closing the door on her way out.
You've got troubles then
I've got 'em too
There isn't anything I wouldn't do for you
We stick together we can see it through
'Cause you've got a friend in me
-From the song "You've Got a Friend in Me" from the movie "Toy Story" by Randy Newman
December 24, 1982
Hermione let her mom brush her hair, trying to get it a little less frizzy and frazzled. Or more that she was forced to let her mother brush her hair. Hermione yelped in pain when Heather grabbed her hair and began wrenching her brush through it.
"Ow, Mum! Let me do it!" Hermione whined, managing to get the brush from her mom. She brushed her hair, managing to get all the knots out without hurting herself. She handed the brush back to her mother, going downstairs. Jeremy had arrived yesterday with his wife, Esther. Esther really didn't like Heather, and Hermione could see that. They both ignored each other whenever possible and spoke with so much ice it showed while they were together. Well, when Esther had arrived at the house, and the two didn't greet each other, the temperature literally dropped. When they did speak to each other, it began to snow, and it hadn't stopped yet.
Hermione went into the Living Room, decked in her snow gear. Everyone else was decked out also, gloves, hats, and boots ready. Heather came downstairs and they all piled into the family van. They were headed to the Malfoy's for a double party since the parents had planned something for Christmas Day and couldn't have a party for Hermione seperately. Once they had reached the house, thirty minutes away, they saw all the kids and their parents outside. Hermione saw lots of families she didn't know but obviously the rest of the family did. Jeremy worked in the American Branch of the English Ministry in Princeton, as an Auror, so he had contact with the Unspeakable families. Esther worked in the American Branch of the Daily Prophet and had gone on maternity leave since June.
Jeremy and Esther were expecting their first child soon. He was due December 30th, but babies were rarely born on their due date. Besides the Unspeakable families that everyone but Hermione knew, she also saw Seamus, Neville, Dean and a few kids from school. Before Hermione got out of the car, she scowled at Seamus' father's happy face as he played with his son and his "girlfriend-turned-fiancÚ" in the snow.
"KELLY!" Hermione screamed as she got out of the car. A small asian girl with long black hair, green eyes, and a white snowsuit looked up from shoving snow in her brother's jacket. She smiled and squealed, running to her friend. They hugged and Hermione felt a snowball hit her in the back of the head. She turned and saw Draco hurl another one, hitting her in the side of the head. She screamed in anger and chased Draco around the yard until she tackled him. She shoved snow down his shirt and smiled.
"Happy Birthday, brat." Hermione smirked.
"Well, Happy Birthday to you too. You're a brat too!" Draco pushed Hermione off of him. She stood and brushed her jacket off, holding out her hand to help Draco up. He got up quickly and made a snowball, throwing at the back of her head as she turned to say 'hi' to Blaise. She whipped back around, glaring at him and the chase started again. Soon enough, everyone had broken into a huge snowball fight between a couple groups. Esther sat to the side and reffed the older kids game. Mrs. Sawaged, Riley's mom, was also pregnant and reffed the younger kid's game.
The older kids teams were Team Beta versus Team Kappa. Team Beta consisted of Jeremy, Carlton Sawaged (Riley's older brother), Brigit, and Eric. Team Kappa had Celeste, Andy and Ricky Waylan, and Lucius. Alright, Lucius isn't a kid, but Team Kappa had a 12-year-old and two 13-year-olds. They were going to be slaughtered without an adult's help.
The younger teams were Team Pirates versus Team Princess. Team Pirates had Draco, Seamus, Neville, and another girl from the Marcus', Genie. Team Princess had Hermione, Dean, Blaise, and Kelly Lu, the girl from earlier on. Hermione and Draco were captains and led the fight against each other. The fighting of the four teams continued for hours. The mother's and their babies or toddlers that were too young to fight, had gone inside thirty minutes ago to warm up and the Referees went with them.
During their fighting, Hermione suddenly became really thirsty. She would've eaten the snow for water, but she really wanted cherry juice. Just the thought of even trying to eat the snow for water repulsed her and made her sick. She looked over at Draco and saw him licking his lips, trying to eat the snow, but heaving violently (luckily nothing came out), and dropping the snow back to the ground. Hermione bent down and grabbed a handful of snow, trying to eat it before her head began to pound. She looked up at Draco just as he looked up at her. They both stumbled toward the house, desperately needing cherry juice.
"Do you want cherry juice, too?" Hermione asked.
Draco nodded, "I tried eating snow, but it made me sick."
The pushed the back door open and found Hermione's mother stradling Mr. Sawaged, Riley's dad, in front of one of the counters. They were kissing heatedly and Mr. Sawaged's arms were way up Heather's shirt. Her hands were travelling all over his body, touching many private areas.
"MUM!" Hermione screamed, cyring. Her head hurt from the need for the juice and her heart was tearing from her mother's dishonesty.
Draco stood next to Hermione and tried to calm her down as the two adults jumped apart while trying to hide his shock, this having been the first time he's seen Hermione's mother cheating on Uncle Ernest. Hermione looked up, and through her tears she saw her mother buttoning her shirt and glaring at Hermione. Heather took a wet papertowel and rubbed her lipstick off her and Mr. Sawaged's, Marlon's, face. She then angrily threw the papertowel in the trash and stomped over to Hermione, ripping her from Draco's side.
"HEY!" He yelled.
Mrs. Granger glared at him, "Shut your mouth before I close it for you."
Draco kept his mouth shut but glared at her. Heather turned back to Hermione and held her arm tightly, forming a bruise. She began to shake Hermione until she looked like a doll with her head lolling around. Draco began to shake with fury and fear, his fists balled up. Heather then began to whisper furiously at Hermione, so no one in the other room would hear her.
"Hermione, how many times have I told you to leave me alone when I'm busy with someone!? How many times, Hermione?!" Heather was extremely angry and the physical pain Hermione was experiencing wasn't helping.
"You don't love Dad anymore, do you!?" Hermione wailed. Hermione was crying from her realization, the pain her mother was causing, and her stomach was tearing at her. She desperately needed cherry juice. She glanced over and saw Draco crying from pain and for her.
"How dare you speak you filthy, little wretch!" Heather screamed and raised her hand to smack Hermione after casting a silencing charm and an immobilizing charm on Marlon, who was still present in the kitchen. Hermione cowered and heard Draco scream. The hand never came in contact with her face because Ernest came running in and saw the situation. Draco was screaming, crying and holding his stomach while Hermione was being held by her mother, her crying and holding herself in pain. Heather had her hand raised to smack Hermione, but she wasn't looking at her daughter. She was looking at Draco and Ernest, wondering how Draco's yell made it through the silencing spell she had put on the room to contact Ernest.
Ernest looked at the two frightened kids, his shocked wife, and a frozen Marlon Sawaged. He saw where Heather's hand was positioned and glared at her, grabbing their daughter. He picked her up and managed to pick up Draco, yelling at his wife.
"What the bloody hell's gotten into you!?" Ernest was still trying to stop Hermione and Draco from crying.
"I...i..." Heather tried to explain, but Ernest ignored her and took the kids into the foyer, going upstairs and setting them on Draco's bed. Both were crying badly and holding their stomaches.
"Cherry juice, cherry juice, cherry juice..." they chanted, panting and crying.
Cherry juice...? Why do they want cherry juice?
Instead of questioning it, he ran down to the kitchen and saw his wife sitting against a cupboard, Marlon nowhere to be found. Ernest got the juice and poured two cups. Before he left, he questioned Heather angrily.
"What did you do to them!? How could you scare two six-year-olds like that?! What the hell's your problem?!"
Heather ignored him. He growled and marched upstairs, helping Hermione and Draco drink the juice. They both stopped squirming and their pain stopped, so the tears stopped. They both laid back down against the bed and fell asleep. Ernest watched them for a moment, perplexed by their behavior, when the kids began to glow. Hermione glowed yellow while Draco glowed blue. Ernest was amazed when Draco and Hermione shifted to face each other and the glows mixed, turning green.
The glasses Ernest had been holding refilled themselves and he dropped them from shock. The glass broke and the juice went everywhere, but it magically rebuilt itself and collected the cherry juice, flying over to Draco's nightstand. When the glasses hit the nightstand, everything in the room began to change. The room turned light blue with green carpet and pictures of Draco and Hermione decorated the room, some of the pictures containing all of them. The green glow, which had been floating peacefully over Draco and Hermione, turned to Ernest and turned red. It hissed at Ernest and he began to back away from the glow.
It trailed closer and closer to him, never leaving Draco and Hermione, but a strand of the red glow following him. He opened his mouth to take a deep breath and run, when the glow shoved itself down his throat. He felt like he couldn't breathe. He felt the strand making its way to his heart, and it tried to pierce it, making him gag out in a cry of pain. He then felt like he hand two little pairs of hands trying to help pull the strand out. He tried to grab the little hands, but they kept slipping from his grip. The strand finally pierced his heart and he felt something get planted. The strand then quickly sucked itself out, like a vaccuum cleaner. Ernest's vision swelled for a moment before he took a deep breath and passed out.