Hermione entered her room slowly and carefully, almost as if the room was sealing her marriage.
"It's beautiful, ain't it?" said her maid, Hope Namson before leaving the room. Hope had learned that Hermione didn't punish her for speaking her mind. Hermione didn't like having a maid (too close to house-elves) but she had to choose her battles with her mother carefully.
It was a beautiful room. Since her mother was in her room resting (she said she had a headache) and Draco was off arranging one thing or another, Hermione didn't have to hide her awe.
A bed was on her right, pushed up against the corner, with curtains tied to the wooden bedposts, looking very inviting and beautifully soft. A small tea table was in the middle of the room, with a few chairs scattered around it and a small vase of flowers nailed down to it. The walls were covered in a lined floral pattern, with the bottom half painted white, which gave the room a very cheery and sophisticated air.
"Yes it is." Hermione agreed even though no one was there.
She went to her trunk, grabbed a book, and began to read on the bed. Just as she got to a good part there was a knock on the door. Hermione quickly hid her book (Margaret disapproved of her reading all the time. She said men hated a woman smarter than them. Besides, what was the use when all she needed was to be a good wife and mother?) and answered the door. It was her mother's maid.
"It's time to get dressed for dinner, Ma'am." Hermione sighed. She was used to getting dressed for every occasion, but she didn't like it. It was time wasted that could be spent doing other things, things that are actually useful for everyone.
Hermione unbuttoned her dress, and waited for the maid to tighten her corset. Once that was as tight as was humanly possible, the maid picked out a dress for her.
The dress of Hope's choice was a pale tan color, a bit washed out, with paisley cloth sewn together with transparent lace that buttoned high onto her neck and down to her wrists. There were thin layers of lace piled on her shoulders, making Hermione’s forearms seem much skinnier than they actually were. A paisley sash was tied high on Hermione’s waist, covering her middle even tighter than her corset.
Hermione thought it was very pretty, very drab, and completely fitting of the current predicament she had found herself in.
"Are you ready now, Hermione? We don't want to be late!" Draco snapped as he barged into her room.
"Hello to you too." Hermione muttered darkly under her breath. In a normal tone she said, "Yes. Shall we get going then?"
Once they entered the dining room, Hermione's mother beckoned her over and began speaking before Hermione could take a proper look around.
"This is my daughter Hermione, and this is her fiancé Draco Malfoy." Over the course of the meal, Mrs. Granger chatted about her wedding, all the important people invited, and Hermione's future as Mrs. Malfoy. With each sentence, she felt sicker and sicker until at last she couldn't take it any longer. Hermione needed to get out of there before she burst out screaming. Something her mother definitely wouldn't approve of.
"May I please be excused, Mother? I'm afraid I feel a headache coming on." Hermione said, knowing that would work. Mrs. Granger was often visited by headaches so she would not deny her daughter.
The second she was out of seeing or hearing distance, she began crying softly, wanting to kick something really bad. Instead, since there was no use dwelling on things she couldn't control or making said things worse, Hermione went to the library. She always did her best thinking while reading and she had heard marvelous things about the first-class library. If it were like everything else on the boat, it was sure to be grand. Besides, her mother and Draco would disapprove.
About ten minutes later Hermione was sitting down on deck with her selected book, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. She was at the part when Jane first met Mr. Rochester when a voice said, "Such a pretty girl shouldn't be sitting out her by herself." Hermione looked up to see a bunch of third class passengers. In her desperation to be left alone, she had left first class area. Now she was starting to regret that choice because she had a bad feeling about these men. If only Hermione had a wand! Of course, it was against the law to use magic against muggles, but she wasn't a witch anymore. Or was she?
"Something bad could happen." a companion of the first speaker said, walking closer and closer with each word. Hermione clenched her hands into fists. Even Mrs. Granger would approve if it meant saving Hermione's reputation.
"Leave her alone!" a voice seemed to call out from nowhere. The men turned around to see who was there, and Hermione took her chance. She hit the man closest to her with her book, silently apologizing to her current companion. There was a loud crack, and the man who had been hit covered his now bleeding nose, swearing loudly.
"Let's get out of here!" the men scrambled off at last, and Hermione took a look at her savior.