Chapter 13 : Chapter Twelve
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Hermione woke up the next day with a pounding headache. She felt around her bedside table for her alarm clock that has been ringing for the past twenty minutes, and threw it across the room hoping that it would finally stop ringing. It was incredibly cold in her room, and she wondered if Draco had opened the windows in her bedroom.
She had auror training in the morning, and she knew that she couldn’t miss anymore days. Hermione rolled over in her bed, and felt her headache intensify with every move she made. Her arms and legs felt incredibly weak, and so did the rest of her body when she attempted to stand on her own two feet. Hermione strained to keep her eyes open, and her forehead creased as she tried to contain the pain, pounding in her head.
As she opened the door, she stumbled out of her bedroom and walked straight into the bathroom for a shower. Hermione groaned in pain as she hunched over the bathroom sink. She fumbled with the mirror, trying to pry it open with her hands, but she couldn’t seem to find the edges of the mirror. As soon as she got the medicine cabinet opened, her hands skimmed through the several bottles stacked on the shelves. “What kind of person doesn’t keep aspirin in their house?” she muttered to herself angrily.
Opening the door of the bathroom, she slowly walked over to Draco’s bedroom, not caring if he was still there or not. She opened the medicine cabinet in Draco’s bathroom and found that it was almost empty except for a few necessities. Hermione then remembered that Draco was not a muggle, and he probably had no idea what aspirin even was.
“God, my head.” Hermione said, groaning as she held her head in her hands. Before exiting Draco’s room, she noticed that his bed was neatly made and it didn’t seem like he slept in it either.
Hermione’s headache still did not disappear. In fact, her headache had simply gotten worse. There was about fifteen minutes before she had to floo to training. She quickly got dressed, and dried her hair. Hermione grabbed her bag, slipped on her shoes and flooed into the Ministry where her class agreed to meet for the day.
The Ministry was filled with several people bustling in and out of the fireplaces, getting to where they needed to go. Hermione spotted Ron’s flaming red hair amongst a small crowd standing in the front of an empty corridor. “Hermione.” Ron greeted civilly.
If it weren’t for the massive headache pounding against her head at the moment, Hermione would’ve sincerely apologized for her absence and for partially leaving her life with them to start a new life with Malfoy. Unfortunately, her headache was too intense to ignore, and she didn’t want to argue and plead to Ron in order for him to finally accept her decisions. “Hello Ronald.” Hermione said, erasing any sign of pain from her face. “How are you?” she asked.
“Fine.” He answered. Hermione narrowed Her eyes at Ron when his actions sunk in. He was acting like a six year old who was in a fight with his older sister.
Hermione rolled her eyes. “Ronald, honestly please don’t continue acting like a child about this whole situation.”
Ron glared at Hermione. “I am not acting like a child.” He said through gritted teeth. “And I have every right to react this way.” Ron said. “You’re getting married to that bloody git as if you had no choice.”
“Please.” Hermione said, shutting her eyes, hoping that she would feel better. “Don’t start this. You honestly have no idea how hectic everything is.”
“Then walk away from everything.” Ron said in a pleading voice, attempting to convince her to walk back into her old life, picking up right where she had left it the night she ran into Malfoy. “This is the ferrets problem, not yours. I don’t see why it’s you that has to help him with his own problems.”
She sighed. “I can’t back out now Ron.” Hermione told him. “I do regret agreeing to everything, but I just can’t go back on my word.”
There was a moment of silence between them, and Ron’s features softened. Hermione knew that she had gotten through to him, but she wasn’t sure if he would finally let this go or not. “He’ll break you.” Ron said softy. “You’re already a lot different than how you were before.” He said. “He promised that he’ll give you a divorce in a year or two, but what if you won’t want that anymore? What if you’re not longer Hermione Granger, but Hermione Malfoy?”
Hermione allowed the words to sink into her head, and she soon realized what Ron meant. He was afraid, jealous and angry all at the same time. “You think that I’d eventually want to spend the rest of my life with him?” she questioned. “Ron, I’ll still be me- the girl you knew since you were eleven years old.” Hermione told him. “I won’t ever change, and no one- especially Malfoy will cause me to change.”
Ron laughed bitterly. “C’mon Hermione.” He said. “Look at you. You’re no longer happy.”
“I am happy.” Hermione replied, although she knew it wasn’t very convincing. She wasn’t sure if she was trying to convince him, or herself. “I am happy.” She repeated.
He shook his head. “Malfoy took away the spark that made you, you.” Ron told her. “You might as well be walking with a dark cloud hanging above your head.”
Hermione looked away from Ron, knowing very well that there was no point in arguing with him. “Alright?” Harry asked Hermione once he had joined the two who had settled in silence. She nodded, giving him a small, weak smile that told him otherwise.
The simulation of the day was in a dark, burning forest. The class has been split up into two teams, and both teams had to survive the other’s attacks. It was a game of strategy and strength, something Hermione could barely focus on. She had detached herself from Harry and Ron, running off onto her own so perhaps they may cover more ground apart rather than together. Half of her brain told her that it was incredibly foolish to go off on your own, but the other half, the more conscious half told her to do so.
Trees were collapsing everywhere around her, as the forest went down in flames. The thick smoke made it almost impossible for Hermione to see five feet in front of her, and the loud sounds of the trees colliding with the ground made it impossible to hear anything but her own breath. She rested against a tree, which wasn’t incased in flames, and felt her head spinning in circles. She began coughing loudly as more smoked engulfed her body. Her eyes began to tear, and she could no longer see anything but grey blurs, and small black figures coming after her. Her hands gripped the trunk of the tree tightly, hoping to find some kind of support as her knees weakened. The pounding in her head intensified and she felt as though she was spinning around and around, up until she had finally hit the ground.
Draco was sitting furthest from the white board, consumed in his own thoughts. His father was standing in the front of the room, ranting about something he probably already knew enough about. There were several other witches and wizards sitting along the long table, all dressed in black and grey suits- all were listening to Lucius Malfoy intently. Draco fiddled around with his quill until it no longer entertained him, and he soon moved to doodling on the paper in front of him.
He felt like he was a Hogwarts student once more. Sitting in the back of class as the Professor rambled on about something that he could care less about as he doodled on his parchment or textbooks. Draco suddenly wished that he was back in school, and all he had to worry about was his own well-being and his grades.
A knock on the door brought Draco out of his thoughts as his own personal secretary walked inside as she apologized for her abrupt presence. “I’ve just received an owl for Draco, sir.” She said to Lucius from the door. “From a Ms. Ginny Weasley. It’s said to be urgent.”
Hermione’s face immediately came into his mind as he stood up and excused himself from the meeting. “I’ve placed the letter on your table.” His secretary said, before she departed from him and walked over to her own desk right outside his office.
Draco walked into his office, picking up the folded letter placed on the middle of his desk.
She has a high fever- mother is taking care of her.
Ron and Harry brought her here after she collapsed while in training.
Collect her if you’d like,
But she may stay here as long as she wants.
I thought I’d inform you before you have a fit.
P.S. If she’s ever returned to us like this again,
There’ll be hell to pay.
A small smile formed on Draco’s face after reading Ginny’s threat. Despite his urge to piss her off even more, she knew better than to anger a redhead, especially if she’s a Weasley Woman. God knows how far their tempers can go. Draco dropped the letter in his pocket, and grabbed his wand from the drawer in his desk. Draco apparated right outside of the Burrow and he proceeded to knocked on the wooden door.
“Malfoy.” Ron said, glowering at him from the other side of the doorway. “What do you think you’re doing here?” he growled.
Draco cleared his throat, prepared to act as civil as he possibly could. He knew that Granger would have his head if he were to act rude towards her friends. The fact that Mrs. Weasley was standing not far from the door also contributed to his attempt of a civil attitude towards Weasel. It was also a rather stupid idea when there are three against one. “I’m here to get Hermione.” He said, biting his tongue to prevent any insults slipping past his lips. “I was told that she fainted, and was brought here.”
Ron crossed his arms over his hands. “You really think that I’m going to just hand her over to you?” he demanded. “You obviously don’t take good enough care of her.”
Ginny appeared behind her brother, and pinched him on his right arm causing Ron to yelp in pain and back away. “Ignore him.” Ginny told Draco as her eyes narrowed at her older brother. “Ronald, don’t you dare.” She snapped at her brother as Ron began walking back to the doorway. “Go help Harry with the car or something.” Ginny ordered. Draco fought back a laugh when Ron pushed past Ginny and headed towards the back of the house. “She’s right in here.”
She led Draco through the house and into the sitting room where Hermione was lying on the couch. Molly Weasley was hovering over Hermione, her wand pointed to her forehead. “Mum’s been trying to get her fever to go down, but it’s still pretty high.” Ginny told him. “If things get worse, then I suggest you take her to St. Mungo’s.”
Draco nodded. “Thank you Mrs. Weasley, but I’ll take it from here.” Draco said, stepping around the coffee table and sitting on the edge of the couch, feeling Hermione’s forehead.
Molly stepped back with a hesitant look on her face. “If you can, try to give her some muggle remedies.” She said. “Maybe her body will respond to that better than magic potions. And try to get some food down her stomach, preferably something hot.” Molly wasn’t sure if she was able to trust Draco with someone who was practically her daughter.
He nodded again, smiling up at her. “Thank you Mrs. Weasley.” Draco said. “I’ll take good care of her.” He pushed more of Hermione’s hair away from her forehead and neck, noticing that she had begun to sweat. Draco’s hand rested against her forehead as she felt her temperature.
As Molly looked down at the young couple, she was suddenly reassured that Draco would indeed take care of Hermione. She wasn’t exactly sure what it was, but she had the idea that it had to do with the way Draco looked at the woman resting below him. Perhaps it wasn’t much, but she knew that she couldn’t keep Hermione from him. Molly could see that he wouldn’t even allow it.
Draco gathered Hermione up in his arms, adjusting her head so that it was lying against his chest. Hermione’s eyebrows knitted together, and she buried her head deeper against his chest. “Thank you again.” Draco said sincerely. “And please thank P-Harry and Ron for me as well.”
Ginny nodded. “Please keep her home for a while until she’s well.” Draco walked to the fireplace as Ginny followed him. “And remember what I said to you Malfoy.” She said with a threatening voice. Draco was beginning to understand why both her brother and boyfriend were afraid of her.
He grinned at her. “Thanks Weasley.” Draco said, quiet enough so that Mrs. Weasley didn’t hear. Rolling her eyes, Ginny threw floo powder in the fire, and watched Draco disappear with Hermione in his arms.
The sound of the doorbell brought Draco out of his thoughts. He was sitting on the floor in front of the coffee table, leaning against the couch as he watched television. Hermione was sleeping behind him, a thick blanket wrapped around her body. A cold towel was placed on her forehead, but she was still sweating.
Draco stood up, placing the remote on the table, and walked to the door. He took a quick look at Hermione who began to stir in her sleep. “Go back to sleep.” He said softly, pointing his wand at the towel, making it colder with a simple charm. He opened the door, and suddenly regretted his decision. “This is the first time you’ve actually used the front door and the doorbell.” Draco said.
“Stop being so cynical Draco.” Miranda said, stepping around him and entering his flat without an invitation. “Would you just please talk to me properly for once?”
He shut the door behind her before stepping in front of her. “What do you want?” Draco asked.
Miranda sighed. “To give you another chance.” She said, her nose high in the air. “Let’s go out to dinner and perhaps I can think of forgiving you.” She was wearing a short black dress with dark red pumps. “Go get dressed Draco.” Miranda said. “I made reservations for eight thirty tonight.”
Hermione heard voices by the doorway, and all she wanted was complete quiet, other than the sound coming from the television. Her entire body was on fire, and the blanket placed on her didn’t make her feel any better. She wasn’t sure who the other woman in the room was, but she could recognize Draco’s hushed voice. She took the towel from her head, and threw it on the table as she pushed the blanket from her body. As soon as she picked up her body, she felt her head ringing.
Very clumsily, she placed her feet on the ground, and stood up, trailing her fingers over the arm of the couch for support. Hermione opened her eyes fully, and walked over to where Draco was standing, his back to her. She reached out, gripping his right arm and came face to face with Miranda.
“Hermione.” Miranda said her eyes narrowing as she caught sight of Hermione. “I’m sorry but Draco’s going to have dinner with me tonight.”
Hermione looked up at Draco, who looked completely torn between the two women. “Is he now?” Hermione asked, ignoring the pain in both her body and head for the moment, as she prepared herself for what was to come. “Well I’m sorry Miranda, but Draco, my fiancé has to stay home tonight.” She said sternly.
Miranda looked from Draco to Hermione and back to Draco. “Draco?” she asked. “Let’s go.” She said, as her eyes bore into his.
Draco sighed, looking away from her and focusing his mind on his fiancé. The term fiancé suddenly didn’t sound so horrible to him- however; the fact that it no longer did, sent shivers down his spine. “Miranda, we spoke last night.” He said. “I told you already, I’m getting married.” Draco placed his arm around Hermione noting how noticeably she eased away from his touch.
Miranda eyed his arm around Hermione, before she looked up to glared at him. “You know Granger, you won’t survive in this life style.” She spat, her eyes falling on Hermione once more. “He’ll drag you down, and you won’t even notice it. Just remember that.” She turned around quickly, but then turned her head back towards the couple. “You won’t get another chance Draco.” Miranda said, threateningly. “Once I walk out of that door, I’m gone.”
Hermione rolled her eyes, and shoved Draco away from her. “Goodbye Miranda.” Hermione snapped, pushing her out of the door and closing it on Miranda’s very surprised face. She locked the bolts, and secured it with her wand before she turned to Draco with a glare.
Expecting a bemused and horrified expression from Draco, Hermione was extremely shocked to find him leaning against the doorway with a large smirk on his face. “What are you smirking at?” She snapped angrily, walking back to the couch. Hermione could tell that he was struggling not to laugh. She, unlike Draco, was not amused by this situation. Hermione was disappointed at Draco, and seething at the same time. She knew that what Miranda said wasn’t true- she knew that she had another act up her sleeve, and she would stop at nothing to get Draco back in her life.
Draco laughed. “I told you.” He said, still smiling as he sat back down on his previous spot on the floor. “It would be completely insane have the two of you in the same room.” Draco pulled the blanket up around Hermione’s body once more when she had settled into the couch.
Hermione rolled her eyes and slapped his hand away from her forehead. “You’re the most idiotic man on the planet, did you know that?” she asked him, rolling on her side to face the television. “You can’t even stick up for your own bloody self. And to a woman at that!”
His face suddenly softened, and he turned away from her as remorse settled in him. “I’m sorry Granger.” Draco said, apologizing once more. “For last night.” He continued. “I didn’t really realize what I was doing until I’ve done it.”
“Are you talking about what happened in the manor or what’s been happening in the past five or so years?” Hermione asked, suddenly remembering what he had said to her last night after the party.
Draco thought for a moment. “Both.” He answered.
She slapped the back of his head. “That’s not all you’re getting.” She snapped. “You never apologize to people, do you?” Hermione said, her eyes closing.
He chuckled. “How can you tell?” Hermione merely laughed in response.
They both fell into a short period of silence. Hermione closed her eyes, in attempt to rest, while Draco continued watching television, occasionally cooling Hermione’s towel with his wand. “Malfoy.” Hermione began, her eyes still closed. “Pansy said something to me the other day.” She said. “She thought that I should tell you.”
“What?” Draco asked as he began flipping through the channels.
“She thinks that the wedding may have to be moved up earlier.” She said, slightly fearing his reaction. “Pansy said that it should get Miranda and the Minster off our backs, as well as your fathers company.”
He went silent for a moment, until he turned to Hermione. “I’ve actually been thinking the same thing too.” Draco said. “I just wasn’t sure if you’d be okay with it or not.”
Hermione sighed, and turned so that her back was facing him. She left Draco with a hanging question- left him wondering what her answer would be. And with that in her mind, she drifted off into a deep sleep.
“He’s going to bloody regret everything he’s ever done.” Miranda muttered darkly as she walked down the streets of London and into the Three Broom Sticks. “Granger will wish that she had never agreed to marry that stupid prick, and I will soon have him all to myself.” She sat down on an empty stool by the bar and ordered a small glass of firewhiskey. “Stupid bloody mudblood.”
A chuckle came from beside her, and she was surprised to see Wesley Carrow sitting beside her with a drink in his hand. “Talking to yourself Miranda?” he asked. “You know, people say that it’s the first step towards insanity.” Wes grinned.
She glared at him. “What are you doing here you prat?” Miranda asked unpleasantly.
Wesley turned away from her, looking down at his wand in his hands. “They’re going to move the wedding up to an earlier date, did you know?” he asked her.
Miranda turned to him and said, “What are you talking about?” she asked with disbelief. “Draco’s not to be married until his next birthday.”
He shook his head. “Draco isn’t stupid, Miranda.” Wesley said. “He knows what’s going to come, and to be ready for it, he needs Hermione to finally settle down as a Malfoy.”
“He won’t ever agree to that.” Miranda said, turning away from him. “I know Draco, and he’s not about to let go of something that he’s had for years.”
Wesley smirked. “What makes you think that Hermione isn’t enough for him to give that up?” he asked. “You did after all, cheat on him for a long time.”
“What’s your point?” she snapped. “What do you want me to do about it?” Miranda asked angrily. “Grovel at his feet and beg him to take me back?” She growled, and indulged herself into more firewhiskey. “I will never go so low as to beg for a man to take me back.”
“You’re a woman.” Wesley said. “Think of a plan to get Draco back. Merlin knows you’re conniving enough to pull something like that off.”
Miranda narrowed her eyes at him. “Why do you care so much?” She asked. “What do you get out of their break up?”
“Nothing that you should be concerned of.” He answered. “Just do what you have to, and in time Draco will come running back to you.”
Wesley stood up, dropping some sickles on the counter before he walked around Miranda and towards the exit. “This doesn’t have anything to do with that Granger girl, does it?” Miranda demanded angrily. She threw a galleon on the table, it being the smallest amount she had. “Are you serious?” She insisted as she followed him out of the pub, her heels clicking against the cold stone floor. “You want me to steal Draco away from that mudblood so that you can have her for yourself?”
“Maybe I do.” Wesley snapped, turning around to face her. “Don’t call her that.”
Miranda snorted loudly. “Well, Wesley.” She said, crossing her arms in front of her chest. “I must say- your taste in women had worsen over the years.”
He glared at her. “You’re just angry because you weren’t able to steal someone else’s man for the first time in your life.” Wesley retorted.
“She’s dirt!” Miranda exclaimed. “She’s the type of person that we walk on to wipe our shoes with!” she said. Miranda stopped to think for a moment. “However, if you distract her enough then Draco may begin to see how much of a whore that woman really is.”
“You’re a spoiled brat, did you know that?” Wesley sneered.
She laughed loudly. “Who was the one encouraging me to steal Draco away from Hermione?” Miranda asked. “Do your job in distracting the mudblood, and I’ll do mine in convincing Draco that she’s just simply not for him.”
Wesley sighed. “It’s going to get harder you know.” He said. “Their wedding date will be pushed up, and they’ll be swamped with wedding plans. Do you think you can get Pansy to help out?”
Miranda rolled her eyes. “No.” she spat, thinking of the friend that had betrayed her. “She’s on Granger’s side in these kinds of matters. And since they’ve got Pansy on their side, it’ll be a lot harder.”
“We’ll manage.” He replied. “Oh, Miranda.” Wesley called, just as she was about to walk away from him. “Don’t bring your father into this. Play nice.”
She smirked. “I can’t make any promises, Wes.” Miranda said, a devious plan forming in her mind.
A/N: I'm soo sorry for the long wait until the next chapter. I was planning to post this chapter up while the queue was closed, but then i never got to finished it. So i hope you guys enjoy this one ^_^
I know, i know. You all thought that Miranda went bye-bye because of the last chapter- well, she obviously didn't. You guys will be seeing much more of her and Wes and in the next few chapters. You might even begin to hate Wes as much as you hate Miranda. Who knows? (; But at least Draco is finally coming to his senses, and he's beginning to shy away from Miranda now. I ALSO see a bit of chemistry between Hermione and Draco, don't you guys? ^_^
So, enjoy this chapter. I've been working on something new for a while now but i'm not sure how long i'll take this one. I'm working on rewriting Lost Memories since i'm not too entire happy with how everything is going right now. I'm also working on re-writing Confessions Lies and Secrets of Melanie Benson. It'll be the same plot and everything, just a bit different. I feel that Adrianne is straying too far away from her friends, and I don't like that.
So hang tight- summers here FINALLY. So i've got a bit more time on my hands. I do go out during the day, and i'm planning to do some volunteer work this summer, but no worries- i stay up late at night anyway, just texting away so i might as well work on something while i'm at it :).
There'll be a bit more fics coming out, since it's summer and everything i'd like to base it on the upcoming season. ^_^ my fics do centralize around romance and a bit of angst here and there, so it'll probably be about that. (: .
Enjoy guys- please remember to read and review. You guys keep me motivated by all your wonderful reviews ^_^.
LOVE , STACY.
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