Chapter 1 : Kensworth Preparatory School
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A/N: Oh dear. Trio characters. Trio Era. I don't do well with that. I'm sorry for trying =P But no, I hope this goes okay ^_^ I've always had a problem with the whole... Draco is a family man, Hermione is the loving, beautiful mother-of-one type cliche Dramione. I'm sorry if that offends anyone. But this is the way I'd see a Dramione ship.
Chapter 1: Kensworth Preparatory School
His fingers flipped quickly through the photo album as he felt warm, salty tears fall down his smooth cheeks. He was about to reach up to brush them away when something caught his eye. It was the last photo Rosalind had ever taken, and the last memory Draco had of her.
It was a Muggle photo, so unlike the photos he was accustomed to. All the figures were perfectly still. His dark-haired, blue-eyed Muggleborn wife, their four year old daughter, and himself, smiling and beaming at the camera Rosalind’s father was holding.
He sighed and leaned back deep into the couch. To this day, he still couldn’t ever imagine how he had ended up with a Muggleborn. He still remembered the day he had wished for them all to be wiped off the face of the Wizarding World. But, he had fallen in love with her.
And the rest was history.
History, as history does, was fading away for Draco, and he found it harder and harder to picture her face each day. Looking down at the photograph he held in his hands, Draco resisted the urge to scream out loud in grief. How could he have not seen it? How did he manage to be completely oblivious to her pains for so many long years?
For there, underneath the skillful mask of radiance and joy was the suffering of a very lost woman, a woman who struggled to find her place in the world.
He peered closer into the royal blue eyes, and was startled at what he saw. He had never truly examined them this closely before. Usually, either he or Rosalind would look away. But now he understood why. She had not wanted him to see her anguish, and he himself had not wanted to see anything but her shining exterior.
The façade she so expertly put up.
She had been suffering for a very long time. Life had not been easy on her. The death of her mother at the tender age of seven had upset her a great deal, and had scarred her for life. She had never had a motherly presence to hold her hand, to guide her.
But she had done the exact same thing, and abandoned her only daughter.
How history repeats itself.
When she had learnt of her disease, the Muggle illness ovarian cancer, she had had no desire to fight it. She opposed the idea of being treated at St. Mungos, opting for the same Muggle hospital her mother had been treated in. And consequently, the same hospital her mother had died in.
Oh, the irony.
He gripped the photo tighter, and his eyes narrowed in anger. He had been angry. He had been angry at her for leaving him, and for leaving Careen. And he was angry at her because she had had an option. She could have lived. But she had chosen not to.
But why, Rosalind, why did you desert me?
She had had no strength left to fight with, and she had always been a strong believer in the natural, non-magical way of life. He supposed he couldn’t have expected any more from her.
But sometimes to think, that she could have been by his side right now, at this very moment, if it had not been for her stupid stubbornness and her pathetic love for her Muggle origins.
He blamed the Muggle world. He always had and he always would.
He whirled his head around and saw Careen in the doorway to the parlour. He let out a frustrated breath.
“Careen.” He gave her a reproachful glance, and tears filled the little girl’s blue grey orbs.
He shook his head, annoyed. “I’m sorry,” he said at last, and Careen looked up at him with wide eyes. “But aren’t you supposed to be in bed? You have big day ahead of you. Your first day of Muggle School!”
He let out a sarcastic cheer, and mildly regretted being so bitter around his daughter. But he couldn’t stop himself. He was in one of his crap moods, and Careen’s Muggle schooling didn’t make it any better.
They had been her last words, her last request to him. He had argued that Careen would do just as well with a private governess, but she had held out. Muggle school. And as angry as he had been, and still was, with her, he had absolutely no intention to turn his back on her desires.
So Muggle school it was.
The paperwork was pure torture.
Mother’s title, mother’s name, mother’s maiden name, mother’s profession.
So what of the little children without a mother? He had resisted the temptation to rip the enrollment form many, many times.
He slowly registered that Careen was still standing there. Sighing, he reached down to pick her up, and carried her into her bedroom wearily.
Hermione stared out of the window despairingly. The bleary rain splashed against the windows.
She sighed and looked down at the lesson plan in front of her. Tomorrow was the beginning of the new school year, her second year teaching at Kensworth Preparatory School. She was taking the new Reception students. She wondered how that’d turn out.
Children clinging onto their parents? Floods of tears? Sulky eyes and droopy mouths? Teaching then the alphabet and how to count to twenty?
She put her head in her hands. She couldn’t do this. She didn’t teach Reception! She had wanted Grade 6 again. She didn’t do well with little kids! They made her impatient. And she didn’t really like the idea of teaching boring basics everyday.
a, b, c, d, e, f, g
1, 2, 3, ,4, 5, 6, 7
Who on earth would rather teach that than… say, geography? Or… electricity? At least in secondary school, or Hogwarts, the teachers got to teach every year, from First Year to Seventh year. That would have been okay. It would have been a nice balance. Sometimes she wondered why she hadn’t just taught secondary school.
But no. She was stuck for a whole year tying shoe laces and reading story books.
She groaned aloud. She had had enough of children’s stories from Beedle the Bard. Muggle stories were not much of an improvement. Besides, children’s stories held way too many memories.
She had complained, of course. Complained and whined to the Headmistress. But she hadn’t any notice.
Other teachers had been wary of her new position too. Most Reception teachers were fresh-faced, blonde with perfect teeth, and incredibly smiley personality and a huge love for children. Who would have expected bushy-haired, bitter and sarcastic Hermione Granger to teach Reception? She’d probably have the kids murdered by the end of the first week!
Hermione knew they were all cautious of her bitterness. But no one knew of her pain and her sorrow. No one knew of her past life. No one knew that she came from another world. And no one knew why she had escaped it.
Revenge. It was a bittersweet concept. She would have given anything to be able to seek revenge for Harry and Ron, yet revenge had ruined her world.
It had been two years ago, and Harry had succeeded in defeating Voldemort, and Molly and finished off his most faithful supporter, Bellatrix. Most of his followers had been captured, but as always, a few had remained in the open.
They had tortured Harry to the point of insanity. Harry was now in a private ward in St. Mungos. She made a mental note to herself to go visit him sometime. Usually, she avoided it. She couldn’t face it. Not his child-like, confused and bewildered look. Not the raw emotion of pain and sadness that was forever imprinted upon Ginny’s face. She couldn’t, and she wouldn’t.
She could not face up o the fact that Ron was not by his best friend’s side either. For Ron had been captured shortly after Harry’s torture. But even though the remaining Death Eaters had been rounded up and executed, to this day, no one knew whether Ron was even alive or dead. So much for her and Ron’s happy ending.
Revenge. It had all been for revenge.
She had been persuaded to go into hiding, or to leave the wizarding world. She was one of the Trio. They’d come after her next. She opted for the second option. And even now, when it was safe, she had chosen to remain in the Muggle world, not able to re-enter her old life, and face up to her old pains.
Hermione got up from the couch and walked towards her bedroom in her relatively small, but cozy apartment.
She was even scared and apprehensive about the coming day. And for the first time in ages, she doubted herself. She didn’t think she could do it.
But only time would tell.
“Come on, Daddy! Get up! Wake up!”
Draco rubbed his eyes groggily, as Careen tugged on his hand. He couldn’t do this. He just wasn’t cut out for fatherhood.
“No Daddy! Now! It’s my first day of school!”
He groaned. He had forgotten. He wasn’t ready to step into the world that had claimed her life. In his eyes anyway. He couldn’t, and he wouldn’t.
“Come on Daddy! Please!”
But as he slowly sat up in bed, he knew that he would. He wouldn’t let Rosalind or Careen down.
“Alright, alright. Just a minute!”
Careen cheered happily, and rushed into the kitchen.
Draco stepped out of bed with a sigh, and threw on some clothes, and walked into the bathroom, dragging his feet.
“Daddy! Hurry up!”
“Okay Careen! Be patient!”
By the time both Draco and Careen had gotten dressed, and eaten breakfast, they were late. Extremely late.
Careen was close to tears, and tugging on him sleeve urgently.
“Now! We have to go now! I’m already late!”
Draco rolled his eyes. Careen was just like her mother. Always had to be punctual for every goddamn thing.
“Don’t worry, Careen. Being late isn’t the end of the world. It’ll be okay. Trust me. I was always late.”
This was a lie. Lucius and Narcissa were too proud and pure-blooded to be late for anything, whether it was a social function or school. But Careen didn’t know this. Lucius and Narcissa had been gone form his life since Rosalind had entered. No matter how much they both loved him, they just couldn’t forgive him for marrying, and falling in love, with a Muggleborn. He didn’t blame them. No matter how much he loved Rosalind, he almost couldn’t believe and forgive himself.
They stepped out of Malfoy Manor and Draco side-apparated with Careen to a secluded alley way in Muggle London, and together, hand in hand, the father-daughter duo began to make their way to Kensworth Preparatory School, ready for Careen’s first day of Reception class.
“Good morning, class! I’m your new teacher. My name is Miss Granger, and I’ll be your teacher for Reception class.”
Hermione forced her face into a smile that came out more like a grimace. But hopefully, it wouldn’t make a difference to the puny students. She had always reprimanded Ron for calling the First Years small, but she had to admit, the Reception students were unbelievably tiny. She sighed. She never had much practice with small children, being an only child herself.
She didn’t blame herself for dreading class. The children had hung onto their parents for dear life, and the adults had looked at her with pleading eyes, as if she could have done something to help. What was she meant to say? ‘Hey, they’re your kids!’
She had even considered bribing the students with money, but had decided coaxing them with toys to be more efficient. And cheaper.
The children were now staring blankly at her. She gazed back helplessly. What was she supposed to say now?
“I guess… I guess I should take the register first.”
Still, the children merely stared at her, and she vaguely wondered if they even knew what taking the register was.
“I’ll say a name, and if it’s you, just say here… or… yeah, just say here.”
“Lucy Avetts? Lucy Avetts? Lucy?” She let out a frustrated breath. The midgets were still just staring at her!
“If you’re name is Lucy Avetts… please raise your hand.” She spoke slowly, as if talking to a five-year old child. Okay, so they were five-year olds. Who cares? They were still so agitating!
Finally, a little girl with brown pigtails and big brown eyes raised her hand.
“My name is Lucy, Miss.”
Hermione forced herself to smile again. “Lucy Avetts?” she questioned.
The girl shrugged her shoulders. “My name is Lucy.” she repeated.
Hermione felt like screaming. “Is anyone else here called Lucy?”
A little boy raised his hand. “No, darling, your name can’t be Lucy.” Hermione said, slowly losing her patience.
The boy’s hand immediately dropped.
Hermione nodded. “Okay, you’re Lucy Avetts,” she informed the little girl with pigtails. Lucy merely nodded.
The next part of the register went on without a glitch. With the exception of Lucy, everyone seemed to know both their first and last names. Until it got to ‘Careen Malfoy.’
Hermione stopped, puzzled. Malfoy? She knew a Malfoy. But it couldn’t be him. First of all, he was definitely not the type to commit, settle down and have children. Second, even if he was, he would probably rather die than send his children to a Muggle school. He was the type to have glamorous governesses, sent straight to his manor. Never would he expose his children to such ‘filth’. Yet there it was, clear as day, printed on her register. ‘Careen Malfoy.’
Malfoy wasn’t even a common name.
“Careen Malfoy?” she repeated. She hoped she wouldn’t get another repeat of Lucy. Trust the possible child of Malfoy to be troublesome. But even as she said it, she knew it probably wouldn’t be any child of his. No, it was just way too unlikely.
Suddenly, the door crashed open. Hermione and the class looked round in surprise. Her heart skipped a beat as she saw who had entered.
No, it couldn’t be him. No bloody way.
She wasn’t able to confirm her suspicions as the man had his head lowered toward the little girl that was clinging to his pant leg.
For the first time that day, Hermione’s face relaxed into a genuine smile. She couldn’t help it. The little girl was so cute! She had messy dark hair, that looked like it hadn’t been brushed, big blue grey eyes, and rosy pink cheeks. Her lips were trembling.
Best of all, except for perhaps the eyes, she held no resemblance at all to the man she was thinking of.
“I’m sorry about this. She was so excited a while ago. I don’t know why she won’t let go now,” the man said, still staring at his daughter. “And I’m sorry we’re so late.”
She smiled again. “It’s okay. She’s probably just nervous. I’m sure she -”
The man had just looked up, and their eyes had connected. She gasped. No… it couldn’t be. But this was impossible! No… she refused to believe it! It couldn’t…
A/N: Well.. was it okay? :S Just let me know by popping a review into the box below =) Please??