Chapter image by obviously394@TDA
They were standing in a familiar looking hallway with large windows that looked out to some lovely green hills. Sunlight was pouring in, lighting the hall with bright, warm light. Hermione blinked a few times to adjust to the brightness as she looked around. “Are we… at the Mansion?”
“Yes, the day you and Blaise were born as a matter of fact.” He answered. “Hush now; this is very important.”
Hermione watched as a younger version of her father came running down the hall.
Pietro’s heart was pounding as he ran down the hall, coming to a skidding halt in front of a closed door. He pressed his ear to the door and listened. Screaming could just be heard through the thick wood of the door; screams of pain. Nervously, he bit his lip and began pacing in front of the door. He knew that he wasn’t allowed in until everything was done, but that didn’t stop him from wanting to burst through the door.
Suddenly, the screaming stopped and a faint crying was heard. The door swung open and a much smaller, much younger Gripa came waddling out carrying a bundle in her arms. “Sir, oh Sir, it’s a boy!” she squeaked.
Pietro leaned down and took the little bundle from Gripa and cradled it in his arms. Brilliant violet eyes stared up at him as he looked into his son’s tiny face. “He’s so handsome.” He whispered. “Gripa, Marjorie’s carrying twins; there should be another baby on the way!”
Just at that moment, more screaming began and Gripa hurried to her Madame’s side, shutting the door with a slam as she went. Pietro looked over his first born and smiled. “Blaise…” he said softly. “Yes, I think that suits you; Blaise Dominic Zabini.”
A few moments later, Gripa came bursting back through the door with another bundle. “A girl, Sir!” she said. “She looks so much like Mrs.”
Pietro took the baby girl from Gripa. “Yes, she does.” He agreed. “How is Marjorie?”
“Mrs. is doing well Sir.” Gripa answered. “She’s resting. You may see her if you likes.”
“Thank you Gripa.” He said.
Pietro then strode into the bedroom and went straight over to the bed where his wife was resting. He sat down on the edge of the bed and kissed his wife’s forehead. “How are you?” he asked, placing their son in her arms.
Marjorie looked up at him and smiled. “I’m as well as I should be after just giving birth. Oh, Pietro, they’re everything I’d hoped they’d be.” She said weakly.
“Yes, they’re beautiful.” He said.
“What shall we call them?” Marjorie asked.
“Blaise Dominic… and…” He paused, looking down at their daughter.
Pietro smiled at his wife. “Yes, Hermione Jean.”
Suddenly, a look of terror fell over Marjorie’s face. “Pietro, her shoulder… look at her shoulder.” She whispered.
Pietro held the newborn baby girl up and looked. The blanket she was wrapped in had fallen from her tiny left shoulder revealing a Crescent shaped birthmark. “Oh dear.” He said faintly.
“Pietro, we have to do something.” Marjorie told him. “The Dark Lord entrusted you with finding ‘The Bearer’ and killing her. Our daughter…”
Pietro kissed his daughter’s head gently then placed her in her mother’s arms. “Hush now, rest. We’ll figure something out.” He whispered.
“But, the Dark Lord…”
“Will never know of our daughter being born.” He said. “We’ll hide her, fake her death… something. No one will ever know.”
“But the Malfoy’s… she’s betrothed to Draco…”
“We’ll figure something out, darling.” Pietro said, silencing her. “Now rest, we’ll discuss this later.”
The scene faded to black and Mr. Zabini gripped his daughter’s hand. Seconds later they were sitting in Mr. Zabini’s study with Mrs. Zabini looking at them anxiously. Hermione looked from her mother to her father. “So, that’s why you took me to live with the Grangers, because I’m this… Bearer?” she asked softly.
“We wanted to protect you.” Mrs. Zabini explained. “We couldn’t risk the Dark Lord finding out about you, so we found the Grangers and…”
“And abandoned me there for nearly seventeen years!” Hermione exclaimed. “You took me away from my home and, seemingly, loving family and left me with complete strangers.”
“Hermione, you can’t have expected us to give you to the Dark Lord.” Mr. Zabini said. “That would have killed us.”
“And leaving me with strangers and allowing them to raise me didn’t?”
“Of course it did darling, but we had to do what was needed to keep you safe.” Mrs. Zabini said, tears beginning to fill her eyes. She wanted to hug her daughter tightly to her, but considering she had only just met Hermione earlier that day she decided against it.
“So you just gave me up?” Hermione questioned. “Why couldn’t you have just gone into hiding?”
Mr. Zabini ran a hand through his hair and sighed loudly. “Hermione, it isn’t that simple.” He stated flatly. “We couldn’t just go into hiding. The Dark Lord would have searched for us. Don’t forget, I was charged with finding the Bearer and disposing of… well, you.”
“So how did you keep You-Know-Who from finding out about what you had done? I know he’s excellent at reading minds.”
“It was a matter of keeping out of his sight as much as I could manage under the guise that I was searching out the Bearer.” Mr. Zabini said. “Plus, I hid the memory of you away in my pensieve so even if he had used Legilmency on me, he wouldn’t have found any memory of you.”
“It must have frightened you very much to find out that I was going to grow up to possess such a power that could destroy the darkest wizard of all time.”
“We were more frightened of you being killed than anything else.” Mrs. Zabini said. “So we hid you away.”
Hermione thought for a moment. Understanding and forgiveness washed over her as she thought about the sacrifice they’d had to make for her. Then another question came to mind. “So why the betrothal to Draco?”
“Well as far back as I can remember, our family has wanted to merge with the Malfoy’s.” Mr. Zabini said. “But both families had only ever turned out boys. Lucius and I had been friends since before our days at Hogwarts so when we had both married, we made a pact that if one of us ever had a daughter, and the other a son, they would be married.”
“I see.” Hermione said. “Does Lucius Malfoy know my true identity?”
“No, only your mother and I know.” Her father said.
“We couldn’t risk anyone being in danger of knowing your secret.” Mrs. Zabini said. “We told anyone who knew we were having twins that you were very ill and needed to be hidden away.”
“Didn’t anyone ask questions about what I was ill with or anything of the sort?”
“Of course they did. We couldn’t have anyone pulling the truth out of us so we made it clear that it was a touchy subject with us.”
“Are you still loyal to You-Know-Who?”
Mr. Zabini looked a bit taken aback by her question. “Hermione, you must understand; once you’ve received the Dark Mark, there is no changing sides.” He said sadly. “No matter how much you may want to.”
“Surely there must be something you can do. Have you tried talking to Professor Dumbledore? I’m sure he could help you and Mr. Malfoy as well, if he’s interested.”
“Hermione, promise me that you won’t do anything to try and save Lucius and me.”
Hermione shook her head. “I’ll not make any such promise.” She said. “I’m sure there’s a way for you to get away from You-Know-Who and I’m going to find it.”
Mrs. Zabini put her hand on her husband’s arm, silencing him. “Pietro, perhaps we should let Hermione go to bed. I’m sure she’s had a rough day.”
“Yes; that I have.” Hermione agreed.
“Very well. Good night, dear one.” He said softly, kissing her on the forehead. “Sweet dreams.”
Hermione nodded. “Good night.” She replied. She then headed out of the study and back up to her room, thoughts of books she might be able to use to find out how she might help her father flowing through her mind.
Draco shut the door to his room with a yawn. It had been a long and confusing night and he was ready to call it a night. He looked over at his desk and saw a few letters sitting on top of a book he’d left open earlier that afternoon. With a few steps, he stood in front of his desk and sifted through the letters, seeing who they were from when a bright red envelope caught his eye.
He picked it up and it sprang to life, a loud voice echoing off the walls of his room.
RIGHT, NOW LISTEN HERE YOU BLOODY FERRET! HERMIONE WILL NOT… I REPEAT, WILL… NOT… BE MARRYING YOU! SHE DOESN’T LIKE YOU SO YOU JUST STAY AWAY FROM HER ALRIGHT? YOU DON’T DESERVE YOU! YOU REALLY DON’T! I HOPE HERMIONE HEXES YOU INTO OBLIVIAN!
Draco let out a howl of laughter as the howler burst into flames, destroying itself. He knew that Ron Weasley was quite fond of Hermione but he had no idea that he’d go to such lengths as to actually send him a howler. Isn’t he seeing that Lovegood girl? He thought.
He continued to chuckle as he picked up another letter. A soft groan escaped his lips when he recognized the curly writing on the envelope. Why does she always have to bother me? He thought. Haven’t I told her I’m not interested in her enough times for her to leave me alone? Such a stupid twit.
I’m so terribly sorry to hear the news that you’re engaged to that filthy Hermione Granger. You must be so miserable right now! Don’t you worry, Drakie, I’ll have my father write to your father as soon as possible about this! You won’t have to marry that disgusting Mud-Blood!
All my love,
He rolled his eyes. He couldn’t believe what a twit Pansy Parkinson had turned out to be. And an obsessive one at that. He threw her letter into his fireplace with a loud sigh and picked up the final letter.
Right now you’re out taking a walk with my sister. I honestly hope that the two of you can get along and one day even love each other. I can’t think of a better bloke for my baby sister than my best mate, so treat her well.
Welcome to the family,
A smile came across his features as he re-read the brief letter. In all the years that he had known Blaise Zabini, he’d never known him to express his feelings, at least not to a detailed extent. It was nice to know that Blaise was trusting him with his sister. He knew Hermione meant a lot to Blaise, even if she hadn’t been a part of his life until earlier that evening. He had always spoken to Draco of her, wondering what she might have looked like and such.
At the thought of Hermione, a picture of her flashed into his mind. She truly had looked radiant tonight, there was no denying that. He could only imagine what she would look like once the Glamour Charm that had been cast on her wore off. A bit like Blaise I imagine. He thought. He then suddenly grabbed a piece of parchment and a quill and sat down in the high backed, leather chair and began writing.
When he had finally finished writing the letter, after several drafts, he looked at his clock and noticed that it was well past midnight. He quickly folded the letter and stuffed it neatly into its envelope and wrote the address on the front. He then set the letter aside, wanting to wait until the correct time to send it.
He then stood and grabbed a fresh pair of pajamas. He quickly changed into them and laid down in the king sized bed, hands linked behind his head. He glanced around the dimly lit room and sighed heavily.
For the past seventeen years, he’d lived in this room and come Christmas Holiday, he’d no longer even live in Malfoy Manor. His parents had arranged for him to have a house of his own once he was married and while he was excited to finally be living on his own, he couldn’t help the sentimentality that crept over him.
With a huge yawn, Draco rolled over onto his side and looked around the room. Few pictures hung on the warm green walls or sat on the elaborate maple desk in the corner of his room. Black carpet covered the floor, graced with deep green throw rugs in front of the fireplace and next to his bed. An armoire stood against the far wall, a green snake carved into its side in the shape of an ‘S’.
He’d had his room decorated like this since he’d come home for Christmas during his first year at Hogwarts. His parents had been so proud to learn that he’d been sorted into Slytherin that they had had their house elf, Dobby, change the décor of his room. It had been a shock when he’d come home and seen his “new” room.
His eyes came across his Nimbus 2001 propped up in the corner of his room, neatly groomed and shining. On the wall above his fireplace hung a large portrait of the Slytherin Quidditch team, for which he played Seeker. His eyes looked over at his desk, where, shining next to his Head Boy’s badge was a smaller badge with a ‘C’ on it. When he’d received his Hogwarts letter, he’d gotten not only the Head Boy position but the Quidditch Captain spot as well.
An elaborate cage stood, climbing half way up the wall, between two floor to ceiling stained-glass windows adorned with green snakes. A soft hoot came from inside the cage and Draco turned his attention to the large eagle owl that sat perched on one of the many perches. “Hush, Helios.” He said softly. “You know Father doesn’t like hearing you making a lot of noise.”
It’ll be interesting to see how Hermione decorates our new house. He thought. He was certain that she’d use Gryffindor colors but the thought that she might do something different, and well, homely, intrigued him. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see. With that thought, he closed his eyes and, within minutes, fell asleep.
The following morning Draco woke to the smell of something delicious being cooked in the kitchen. He looked at his clock and saw that it was 7 o’clock. With a small yawn, he stretched his long limbs and climbed out of the bed. He made his way over to the grand cage and opened the latch, letting the brown and black eagle owl out.
The owl perched obediently on its desktop perch and waited. Draco took the letter he’d written the previous night off the desk and placed it in his beak. “Take this to Hermione Zabini at the Zabini Mansion.” He said softly, now holding up a small parcel.
The owl hooted in reply and took the parcel in his talons. He then flew swiftly out of the now opened window. Draco watched as the owl disappeared, thoughts of what Hermione’s reaction might be swimming through his head.
After a few moments, Draco moved from his spot in front of the window and strode over to his armoire. He opened the doors and selected a fresh pair of boxers out of the top drawer. He then made his way into his bathroom. Bright light surrounded him as he sidled over to a small shelf that stood next to his shower. After placing his clean clothes on the shelf the tall, lean wizard then stepped into the shower and drew the curtain.
It was a quarter to eight before Draco emerged from the shower, clean and fresh-faced. He wrapped a fluffy green towel around his waist and padded over to the silver, emerald snake encrusted sink. In minutes, he emerged from the bathroom freshly shaven and clad in a deep blue, button down dress shirt, and a pair of black slacks.
As he began leaving his room, he noticed an owl flying toward his window. He hurried over to the window and opened it for the oncoming owl. It flew into the room, dropped a letter on his desk, and quickly flew off again.
Draco lifted the letter off of his desk and smirked at the scrunched writing; it was from his Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor and Head of Slytherin House, Severus Snape.
I received an owl from your father telling me of your betrothal to Miss Zabini. I offer my congratulations.
See you on September 1 for your final year at Hogwarts.
Head of Slytherin House and Professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts
Draco placed the letter back into the envelope and let it drop back onto his desk. He opened a drawer to his left and withdrew a black granite box encrusted with a jeweled version of the Malfoy family crest. He opened the box, which held a stack of letters, with a tap of his wand and added his letters from Blaise and Professor Snape to it. He then closed the box and placed it back in the drawer. Then, with a turn, he marched out of his room and headed down to the dining room for breakfast.
A tiny elf greeted him at the door. “Master Draco, just in time sir.” It said. “Breakfast is nearly ready.”
“Thank you Rookin.” Draco said as a chair moved itself out for him and he sat down. “What are we having?”
Rookin climbed onto a stool and poured some pumpkin juice into Draco’s goblet. “Rookin has ordered bacon, sausages, scrambled eggs, biscuits with butter and jam, and croissants sir.”
Draco smiled. “Excellent. I hope there’s plenty.” He said. “I’m starving.”
“Not to worry Master Draco sir. Rookin would never let you go hungry sir!”
“I’ve no doubt about that.” Draco said. “You’re always popping in on me asking if I need any food or something to drink.”
“Rookin worries that Master Draco is too thin, sir.” The elf said, concern filling his voice.
Draco patted the elf on the head kindly. “Is there anything special happening today?” he asked as breakfast appeared on his plate.
“You is to attend the Coming of Age party for Mistress and Master Zabini at the Zabini Mansion.” Rookin croaked, pulling an invitation out of his grubby clothes-like garb. “This arrived just moments before you came down.”
Draco took the invitation and opened it.
Pietro and Marjorie Zabini request your presence:
This evening at Six O’clock PM for a party
In honor of
Blaise Dominic and Hermione Jean’s Seventeenth Birthday
Draco read over the invitation once more and sighed. This is just great.
He thought. Not only am I gonna have to deal with every seventh year Slytherin, but I’m probably gonna have to deal with all of Hermione’s friends too… Just great.