Chapter 10 : Falling
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Hermione laid awake in the middle of the night thinking deeply. The moon was full, and the light shined through the gaps of the closed curtain, and into her face. Ginny had left her room about an hour and a half ago, after making sure that she was definitely okay.
Ever since that day in St. Mungos, when she walked into the room, and found out that Draco Malfoy was her patient, her life has been spiraling out of her control. She did not understand what it meant, for all these memories to be appearing in her mind, and she didn’t understand why it was happening either. Hermione was seeing things, which she never remembered ever happening, and she was feeling things that she has never felt before.
From what she could sum up from the memories that she had just received, Draco Malfoy was her boyfriend during the 7th year, and Lucius Malfoy tortured her because of it. She also felt love towards her old enemy. It was an odd sensation, and she remembered having the very same feeling every time she was near him in St. Mungos.
Although her memories came back, the end of her 7th year was a bit blurry, and there were large parts about it that she did not understand. Hermione had memories that led to a dead end, and some memories that did not make sense at all, and it confused her even more than it should have.
Draco obviously did not share the same memories that she did, which was impossible. He did not show sign of worry or confusion,
Hermione tried hard to think about the latest memory that took place during her 7th year. Her last memory was herself and Draco, sitting in their head common room on the love seat that was placed in front of the fire place. Draco was holding a small white satin box that was a gift for her. Inside, were twin golden lockets which had an engraving inside on of the lockets.
Almost instantly, her hand shot to her neck to see if the gold locket she always wore was still there, and it was. Hermione then remembered the locket that Lucius Malfoy was crushing in his hands. Could it be that the locket that Draco Malfoy owned was the one that empowered her memories? But what was the purpose of her remembering everything? It did not scare her to be around Draco, and it did not change her motives. Perhaps, Lucius Malfoy over looked something. Perhaps, he was missing information that was necessary in his plot, and it would not work without it. She did see and feel herself being tortured by Lucius Malfoy in front of Draco, but it did not clear enough things for her. Hermione needed to know more, to understand what Lucius meant by learning what would happen if she did not stay away from his only son.
Her thoughts soon walked towards the memories that Draco and herself shared. A smile formed on her face, every time she would remember something about Draco that made her happy. Once she had realized what she was doing, Hermione rolled to her side to face the curtains, and pulled the thick comforter closer to her chin, and she squeezed her eyes shut tight. She could not think of Draco, she cannot like him.
‘Ginny you cannot do this!’ Blaise said to her, as they sat in a small table inside a café near the Potter Manor. ‘How could you agree to this?’ He asked outraged. ‘You know what’s going to happen!’ Blaise pinched the bridge of his nose, and Ginny took a deep sigh.
Ginny started, ‘We both know that there’s no stopping them now,’ Blaise just looked at her. ‘If your theory is correct, then Hermione’s memories are already back inside her head,’ She said. ‘And she’s also getting suspicious,’ Ginny told him. ‘It’s about time that she starts asking us about what had happened,’
‘Hermione might have her memories back, but Draco does not,’ Blaise told Ginny. ‘We can’t let his memories out of that locket now,’ he said. ‘Unimaginable things are going with Voldemort, and he has a plan for Draco that would kill him instantly,’ he said. ‘I know Draco, and he’ll do anything without a care for the world just to be with Hermione if his memories came back,’
They were silent for a while, and Ginny took a sip of her coffee. ‘So are we just supposed to sit there and do nothing about the fact that Draco’s life is at stake? Am I supposed to just send him off to god knows were, just to get himself killed? Is that what you want?’
Blaise stood up from his chair, and threw some money on the table. ‘I’m not asking for you to stop caring about Draco Ginny,’ He told her in a more calm voice. ‘But what I am asking you, is to watch out for the both of them, because they won’t be ready with what Voldemort has in store for them,’ Blaise waved good-bye to Ginny then walked into an alley across the street to disapparate out of the village.
‘Where were you?’ Harry asked his wife when she strode into the dinning room for breakfast. ‘I woke up at about 7 and you weren’t there,’ He explained. Ginny walked to Harry’s left and gave James a kiss on his forehead as he ate his cereal happily, and she proceeded with doing the same with the twins. She then took her usual seat at the table, on Harry’s right hand side. She unfolded the napkin that was provided by the house elves and placed it on her lap neatly, then taking some toast, scrambled eggs and bacon and setting them onto her plate. Ginny took her copy of the daily prophet, some orange juice and started reading.
Harry stared at his wife, waiting for her answer. Ginny sighed, and put down the prophet and turned to Harry. ‘I was with Blaise,’ She answered. Harry looked surprised.
‘Blaise?’ He asked. ‘As in Blaise Zabini?’
Ginny rolled her eyes at her husband. ‘Yes,’ she replied. ‘We were talking about,’ She continued with her story. ‘We were talking about Draco and Hermione’s situation,’ She told Harry. ‘I told him that they were staying- oh goodness James; stop it!’ Ginny ordered. She took James’ small milk covered spoon out of his ear, and put it aside and gave him a new one. ‘Here, at the manor together,’ she finished.
‘And what did he have to say about that?’ Harry asked.
Ginny sighed. ‘He said it was a bad idea,’ she told him. ‘He said that we both knew what would happen if they are together, and we can’t let that happen,’ Harry and Ginny sat in silence for a while. The only thing that could be heard is James’ spoon colliding with his bowl, and the giggling of the twins.
‘He’s right,’ Harry replied. Ginny looked up at him surprised, and before she could open her mouth, Harry cut in. ‘He’s right,’ He said again. ‘You know he’s right Ginny,’ Once again, Harry cut in before Ginny could say anything else. ‘But we can’t do anything about it. We all know this will happen again, and I’m sure you knew back when you were in 6th year, so we don’t really have a say in this matter,’ Harry finished. ‘Keeping them apart won’t do any one any good, and it will just get them in more danger than they already are,’ He added.
‘Good morning,’ a voice came from the main stair case. Hermione was walking towards the dinning room for breakfast. She took a seat next to Ginny and took some eggs and bacon along with toast and put it on her plate. Hermione pored herself a glass of orange juice, and took one large sip before eating her breakfast.
‘Morning Hermione,’ Harry said in a happy voice. ‘Sleep well?’ he asked her.
Hermione shook her head. ‘Not really,’ she replied. Hermione knew better than to lie to her best friends, especially since she had two right in front of her. ‘There was too much on my mind for me to go to sleep,’ she told Ginny and Harry. ‘But I’m fine,’ She said. ‘I’m not tired at all,’ that wasn’t a lie.
‘You sure you’re alright Hermione?’ Ginny asked once again. ‘We could send some healers here for you if you’re not feeling very well,’
‘I’m fine Ginny,’ Hermione said, putting a piece of toast into her mouth. ‘Really, I am,’
Ginny nodded then gave Hermione a small smile. She then looked at her silver wrist watch and saw that it was almost 9:30 AM. ‘James honey,’ she said to the small boy sitting across from her. ‘Would you get your uncle Draco down here please?’ James nodded eagerly, and put his spoon down and ran up the stairs and rushed into Draco’s room. James adored Draco, and looked up to him like a normal child would to their idol. This obviously surprised both Ginny and Harry, but they were happy that James got along great with Draco Malfoy.
Moments later, Draco came walking into the room, his hair a bit messy and he was in his pj’s as well. James was dragging him by the hand, and Draco looked as tired as ever. ‘I’m guessing that you didn’t sleep very well,’ Ginny told him. He sat next to Hermione, across from Lily, and did what both Ginny and Hermione did when they came into the dinning room.
‘Horribly,’ Draco answered, his voice still sounded groggy. ‘Anyone have the prophet?’ He asked. Ginny handed his her own copy, since Harry was still busy scanning through it for any important news. ‘Another killing?’ He asked. ‘This has been going on non-stop,’ he said. ‘What’s the order planning now?’ Draco asked Harry. ‘Shouldn’t they try to find out what Voldemort’s plan is this time?’
Harry took a moment to answer. ‘We know his plan,’ Harry responded. ‘We just don’t exactly know what he’s after,’ Draco looked confused. ‘We think that a few new people are involved in his plan,’ Harry said.
‘And who is that?’ Draco asked.
‘You and Hermione,’ Harry answered. Hermione almost choked on the orange juice that she was drinking, and Draco sat there bemused. ‘We don’t know why, and we don’t know if it’s right, but this is what it’s come to,’
Silence came over the table, and the only sound that was coming from the dining room, was the gurgling noises that James made with his orange juice. ‘James,’ Ginny said once she saw orange juice spill from either his mouth or his cup, and onto the table. ‘Stop that immediately,’
‘Yes mommy,’ James said with his head bent low. Ginny sighed, and pushed her chair back to walk over to the other side of the table to pick James up into her arms. ‘C’mon darling,’ She said as she left the table and proceeded up the stairs. ‘Lets go give you a bath, we’ll go visit grandma and grandpa,’ James’ squealing could be heard from all the way up the stairs followed by his clapping and Ginny’s laughter.
Hermione ate her breakfast quietly, and Harry drank his coffee with discomfort. ‘So we’ve become his main targets now?’ Draco asked disbelievingly. ‘Instead of his standard plan, which is to kill you, Granger and I have both become the one he’s after?’ He slumped down into his chair and seemed to be in deep thought. ‘I can understand if he was after me,’ Draco said. ‘But why in the world would he want to kill you?’ Draco asked pointing to Hermione.
Harry sighed loudly. ‘No one knows either,’ He said. ‘I am also a bit surprised that I am not on the spotlight anymore,’ He stood up from the table, and pushed his chair in. ‘I have to go to head quarters,’ Harry said. He checked his wrist watch and took his jacket of from behind the chair. ‘Everyone’s been called for an emergency meeting in about 10 minutes,’ Draco abruptly stood up from the table and followed Harry out the kitchen, leaving Hermione sitting there, reading the prophet that Harry had left lying on the table idly.
‘I want to go back to the order,’ Draco said to Harry before he had reached the doors.
‘Ginny!’ Harry shouted loudly. ‘I’m going to head quarters! I’ll be back in a few hours!’ he shouted up to her.
Draco and Harry both heard running up in the second floor. ‘James get back here!’ Ginny snapped angrily at a wet, naked toddler who was running around after his bath. ‘Alright Harry,’ Ginny shouted down to him. ‘Be careful! I love you!’ She shouted before running off to find her son.
‘No,’ Harry replied when he turned back to Draco. ‘Dumbledore gave me clear orders and told me not to let either you or Hermione out of the house,’ Draco rolled his eyes. ‘And plus, you need to stay here,’ Harry told him. ‘I don’t want to leave Hermione alone all by her self. Ginny and the kids are going to Mrs. Weasley’s house soon and Hermione isn’t aloud to go anywhere either,’
Draco rolled his eyes again. ‘Then bring Hermione along,’ He said. ‘She IS part of The Order,’
‘Yes, but the thing is,’ Harry said. ‘Both you and Hermione are not aloud to go anywhere,’ Harry told him sternly. ‘And don’t even think about flooing there. No one can floo or apparate in and out of this house unless either Ginny or I allow it,’
Draco stomped his foot stubbornly like a child. ‘So you just expect me to stay in this house until Dumbledore says its safe enough?’ He asked, raising his voice. Harry nodded, and then walked into the fire place, dropping floo powder by his feat and shouting “Number 12 Grimmauld Place”. Draco snarled angrily and walked back into the kitchen and found that Hermione was still reading the prophet.
‘Anything else interesting in there?’ He asked as he leaned on the wall. ‘Other than the fact that we’re wanted Voldemort?’ Hermione was reading an article, that was somewhere in the end of the news paper with a frown on her face.
‘Actually,’ she said. ‘There is,’ Draco walked over and took the seat next to her again, and finished his breakfast as she continued to talk. ‘The death eaters attacked a girl named Marissa DuVette,’ Hermione told him. ‘A death eater drove her insane with the cruciatus curse, just like the drove Neville Longbottom’s parents insane,’
‘What for?’ Draco asked. Hermione shrugged. ‘Probably just to get information out of the person again,’
‘But this woman was a muggle,’ Hermione told him as she continued reading. There was a picture above the article, of a woman who was lying on a hospital bed in St. Mungos, staring up at the ceiling without even blinking. ‘What did they want with a muggle?’ Hermione asked as another frown knitted on her brows. ‘She lived in a small village not far from London with her 25 year old sister,’
Draco sighed. ‘Maybe she was a squib,’
‘Then they would’ve known,’ Hermione said. ‘Squib or not, the ministry holds records of every wizard and witch that have been born,’ she told him. ‘And I doubt that the death eaters would be attacking a muggle for sheer pleasure,’
‘They’re Death Eaters,’ Draco answered. ‘They kill anyone for sheer pleasure,’
‘You think they would kill or torture without wanting something?’ Hermione asked. ‘You know as well as I do that even death eaters don’t torture without reason,’ She shut the prophet, took the last sip of her orange juice and went into the living room. She sat on the couch with her legs crossed and was thinking deeply.
Draco entered the living room, and Hermione suddenly felt that odd sensation appear in her stomach again, but forced herself to ignore it when Draco sat on the couch next to her. ‘What are we supposed to do this whole day, if we cannot go anywhere?’ Draco asked angrily. ‘That old man has seriously lost his mind if he think I won’t go crazy after being locked up in one place for such a long time,’ Draco said spitefully.
Hermione chuckled, but her attention was suddenly drawn to Ginny who came down the stairs with the twins on both arms, and James trailing behind her. ‘Off to the burrow?’ Hermione asked. Ginny nodded.
‘Fred was supposed to come and help me floo the twins over, but he obviously forgot,’ Ginny said as she checked her wrist watch. ‘He was supposed to arrive here 15 minutes ago!’ She said in an agitated tone.
‘Isn’t there a meeting for the Order today?’ Hermione asked. ‘Isn’t Fred supposed to attend too?’
Ginny nodded. ‘Yes well, he offered to stop by since if I continue flooing in and out of the burrow, the system will be lodged and who knows where I’ll end up,’ she said. ‘I need to go back to St. Mungos to take care of a few things and can’t leave them here in the house,’ Fred suddenly came out of the fireplace, receiving a glare from Ginny. ‘What took you so long?’ Ginny snapped. ‘You were supposed to be here 20 minutes ago!’
‘Well,’ Fred said. ‘A few Death Eaters stopped by a few blocks down from head quarters, attempting to find it,’ He explained. ‘Since they know now that Draco was trying to tip them away from The Grimmauld place, they decided to check there once again so a few of us had to play decoy and lead them away,’
Ginny sighed, and handed one of the twins to Fred. ‘Why hello Hermione,’ Fred said. ‘And Malfoy,’ He waved hello then good-bye, before walking into the fireplace to floo into the burrow. ‘Oh right,’ Ginny said. ‘There’ll be a party later around 6 in celebration of the Order’s anniversary. Most of the people thought that it’d be best to have it here in our house so make sure both of you are ready by then,’ Ginny told them. ‘Harry and I will be back an hour before the party starts to take care of a few things,’
‘Alright Ginny,’ Hermione said. ‘Take care,’
‘Take care of your selves,’ she told them before following Fred, while holding James’ hand and a twin in her arms.
Hermione sunk deeper into the couch when Ginny disappeared in the fireplace. ‘So,’ Draco said. ‘Are the parties around here as fun as everyone says it is?’
She thought for a while. ‘Well, if you know all the right people, then it is,’ She replied. After an uncomfortable moment of silence, after Draco gave a nod, she finally spoke. ‘What are we supposed to do until the party,’ she asked quietly.
Draco rolled his eyes for the third time that day. ‘Well what do you usually do?’ He asked.
Hermione thought for a while. ‘Work,’ she answered. ‘I just work,’
‘When you’re not working,’ Draco told her. ‘What do you do when you’re not working?’
Hermione thought again. ‘It’s very rare that I get a day off,’ Hermione told him. ‘And when I do, I end up having to go back to the hospital for some emergency,’
‘Granger,’ Draco stated. ‘You lead a very boring life,’ He said. ‘You’re such a work-aholic,’
Hermione sighed, and then shrugged. ‘Well, that was the price I had to pay when I became a healer,’ she replied. ‘I knew that I would have to always work, but I didn’t mind,’ she told Draco. ‘I told myself that once I settle down, have a family, and then I’ll resign and put full attention into The Order,’
Draco laughed. ‘I’ll repeat myself,’ He said to Hermione. ‘You lead a very boring life,’
‘Gee, thanks,’ Hermione replied sarcastically.
‘Lucius Malfoy,’ Voldemort called for his loyal servant to come forward. Lucius bowed down devotedly, and waited for his master to speak. ‘Sources tell me that you had attacked your own son and the mudblood in the shrieking shack,’ he said in a low voice. ‘Am I correct?’ Lucius bent down even lower.
‘Yes master,’ He replied. ‘I was only doing it because that mud-’
Voldemort cut him off before he was able to finish his sentence. ‘It is not wise to act without my orders Lucius,’ Voldemort told him. ‘It is also definitely not wise to attack any former students of Albus Dumbledore on Hogwarts Grounds,’
‘I understand master,’ Lucius told him.
‘Good,’ Voldemort said. ‘Next time, you shall not act without my orders,’
‘Yes master,’ Lucius replied.
‘But it wasn’t entirely ghastly,’ Voldemort told his faithful servant. ‘It leads those aurors away from suspecting me going after Potter, and they now think that our main objective is now your son and the mudblood,’
The Potter Manor was now filled with many people who dressed in their best attire who was now mingling with the other guest who were invited to this social gathering. There was soft elegant music playing which kept the guest busy with dancing in the middle of the large room they were ushered into. Several people from the order were standing around in various places of the room talking to the other guest and Harry and Ginny were standing by the door welcoming others into their home.
Draco was flirting with one of the guest who had long red hair, and a dark green dress with black laces around it. Her name was Anna Wald, and her father was a good friend of Dumbledore’s and they have done a lot of business together. Anna had just graduated from Hogwarts about 2 years ago, and was a year below Draco and his friends.
Hermione stood in front of the stairs, and looked down below her. She saw many men come in with a lady linked onto their arms. She suddenly felt like she could not breath, and the corset that she was forced to wear felt tighter around her stomach that in was supposed to. Slowly, she walked down the stairs, with her left hand lifting her long dress, and her right hand gripping the marble railing as tight as she could until her knuckles turned white.
The whole room finally came into view as she reached the last step she had to take to reach the main floor. Harry gave her a small smile when he saw her face, as did Ginny. Hermione was wearing an old fashion gown that fell past her feet, and had cloth trailing behind her. Her hair was down, but was pinned back into a small half bun.
She walked into the room where everyone was gathered, and she caused many heads to turn and look her way. Draco, who was in the middle of a conversation with Anna, had his attention turned towards the girl who every guy was looking at tonight. ‘Who is she?’ Anna whispered as she saw Hermione entering the room. ‘She seems to catch many peoples attention,’ Draco averted his eyes away from Hermione once she had caught him staring at her, and turned his attention back to Anna. ‘What is it?’ She asked him. ‘You look disturbed,’
‘It’s nothing,’ Draco replied. ‘Just a familiar feeling that’s all,’ Anna nodded and decided to drop the topic. Draco took a step in front of her, and then held out his hand. ‘Would you like to dance?’ Anna put her glass of champagne down and smiled at Draco.
She placed her small hand in his and replied, ‘I’d love to,’ Draco grinned at her, then lead them to the middle of the dance floor, then twirled her around and began dancing the waltz. ‘You’re a lovely dancer,’ Anna complimented her partner. ‘Where did you learn to dance so gracefully?’ She asked him curiously.
‘Well,’ He replied as he continued leading her. ‘Growing up in a family who would always attend these kinds of social gatherings, it would be unintelligent to decline the offer that my parents gave me to take dancing lessons, wouldn’t it?’ Draco asked. Anna laughed then nodded her head, as he twirled her around and brought her back in his arms. ‘You’re not so bad yourself,’ He said to her with a smirk.
Hermione made her way over to some people that she knew, and they commented her on how beautiful she looked; she smiled then started a conversation with them. ‘You look beautiful Hermione,’ Tonks said to her as they walked towards her and the group of old Hogwarts students she was talking to.
Hermione smiled at Tonks. ‘Thank you,’ she replied. ‘Are you here with Remus?’ Hermione asked. She realized after a few seconds that it was a rather stupid question since the married couple was inseparable.
‘Yes actually,’ Tonks replied. ‘He’s over there with Mad Eye Moody, chatting about something they didn’t want me to hear,’ Tonks told Hermione. ‘Well, I can’t expect any less from them,’ She said. ‘They’re men acting like little teenage girls,’ Hermione laughed at this. Tonks hair was currently pure black, and she had made it longer to go past her shoulders in soft curls. She was wearing a midnight black dress, with silver shoes. It was a bit weird to see Tonks without bubblegum pink hair, but she looked very beautiful with her current appearance. ‘I’ll chat with you later Hermione,’ Tonks said when she saw her husband calling her over.
Hermione was waving good-bye to Tonks, when she suddenly found Draco dancing with a stunning red head. ‘Hermione,’ she heard a familiar voice coming up to her. She turned and found Ron walking towards her in a black and white tux. ‘Lovely party isn’t it?’ Ron asked her once he reached her.
‘Very lovely,’ Hermione replied, as she waved good-bye to the couple she was talking to.
‘Would you care to dance?’ Ron asked, extending his arm out to her. Hermione smiled and took his hand as he led her to the dance floor. ‘You’re look wonderful tonight,’ Ron told her. ‘Very beautiful,’ He added.
She smiled. ‘You look very handsome too Ronald,’ Hermione replied. Ron smiled, and the couple continued dancing through the next 3 songs. Suddenly, the music stopped and Harry walked towards the front of the room, holding his wand to his throat and a glass of champagne in his other.
‘Welcome everybody,’ He announced. ‘I’d like to thank you all for coming to this event tonight, please enjoy yourselves,’ Harry’s voice was loud and bold. ‘Before you all go back to dancing, a close friend of mine would like to sing a song for all of you tonight,’ a spot light suddenly appeared on the red head that Draco was dancing with earlier in the night. ‘Please give your attention to Anna Wald,’ Anna smiled, and walked towards the front of the room where Harry was. She whipped out her wand and held it in front of her, then smiled brighter.
‘Thank you,’ She said when the crowd began clapping. ‘Thank you,’ she said again. ‘Please excuse me if my voice sounds horrid tonight,’ the crowd grew quiet and she began to sing a love song. Ron grabbed her hand once more, and led her to the dance floor where every other couple was slow dancing. Hermione smiled at Ron and they began dancing as Anna sang.
When she had reached the chorus, her voice became stronger and louder. Hermione looked up when Ron had peeled away from her and saw Draco standing in front of her. ‘May I cut in?’ He asked. Ron nodded slowly, and then walked away. Draco smirked, as they started dancing. ‘You look gorgeous,’ He whispered in her ear softly. ‘Really gorgeous,’ he whispered. Hermione felt heat rise up to her neck and cheeks as she felt his hot breath on her shoulder.
As they danced, Hermione recognized the moment as something that had happened long ago. Hermione remembered the way Draco whispered in her ear, and how he led her all around the dance floor. She remembered the way he held her form, and how he smiled while she was brought back into his arms. As the music ended, the crowd began to clap, and Draco dropped his hands, as did Hermione. ‘Thanks for the dance,’ she said to him, then left him standing in the middle of the room as the next song started.
She walked over to the open window, and breathed in fresh air. The room was packed with people, and Hermione found it impossibly hard to breathe, especially with the corset that was tightly wrapped around her stomach. ‘Hermione?’ She turned and found Harry’s emerald green eyes staring straight at her. He walked towards her, and leaned against the window pane, looking up at the night sky.
‘Hey Harry,’ She replied softly.
Silence fell upon them as the continued staring outside. ‘So I’m guessing you remember your past now?’ Harry asked.
Hermione shrugged. ‘Most of it,’ She told him. ‘But not all,’
‘Afraid?’ He asked her, as he turned to face the crowd. ‘Surprised?’
‘With what?’ Hermione asked. ‘The fact that I fell in love with Draco Malfoy?’ she asked him.
‘No,’ Harry looked at her. ‘The fact that you’re falling again,’
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