Chapter 2 : 2. Ariel
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The day was beautiful. The sun was shining brightly, the birds were singing and it was warm. This type of weather didn’t come often in England and so when it did it was a surprise. However, right now, Hermione was numb to it. Who wouldn’t be if it was the day they had to move in with the devil? Nothing could be worse right? Wrong. That is because Hermione’s devil was no other then Draco Malfoy himself.
After receiving the letter from Dumbledore telling her that she was to move in today at noon, Hermione has managed to come up with 101 ways to kill yourself. And most of them weren’t pretty.
Apparating outside her now to be home Hermione looked at in awe. Of course she has heard about the size of the manor and even been here once, (although she tried not to remember that night), she couldn’t help but let her eyes pop out due to the size. From the front it was obvious that the manor had 3 floors. However as she looked to her left and right she couldn’t see the start nor the end.
The first time she sat her eyes on this house she hated it and now was no different. The gates were huge and dark as was the manor itself. It felt much like de-javu, only minor different as it was daytime, she was going in there alone and if you would like to call it “willingly”.
After finally crossing the huge garden at the front of the manor Hermione finally made it to the front door and without any further investigation for the moment knocked hard on it. On the outside she was composed but on the inside she was nervous and shaky. However she needed to remind herself that she was now on a mission. Suddenly she remembered the first rule her, Harry and Ron made in secret from everyone else. Always have fun, then there is a bigger chance getting the last laugh. And she could have fun torturing Ferret-face. After all she was going to be his wife. At that thought Hermione shuddered.
Slowly the door opened and Hermione was full prepared for some dark magic to come out of it. However a young girl stepped out. She had light brown hair and perfectly green eyes. She was wearing a simple white dress and if Hermione took a guess she would say she was about 18 or 19 years old.
“Hello Miss” said the girl “My name is Ariel and I shall be your personal maid. I am also a muggle-born witch like yourself and I prefer to do everything the muggle way” she said smiling nervously.
“Nice to meet you, Ariel. I am Hermione Granger and please call me Hermione” answered Hermione who was surprised that she got personal maid but happy that at least it wasn’t a house elf.
“Alright Hermione” answered Ariel smiling once again.
“I think we will be great friends Ariel. God knows I need a good trustworthy girlfriend around here” said Hermione brightly.
“Yes I…” started Ariel brightly but was cut off by a new voice.
“Ah Miss Granger” said a cold voice behind Ariel who straight away turned and bowed slightly.
“Mrs Malfoy” she added as she got into her original position.
“Ariel, you’re free to go” continued Narcissa paying the girl little attention.
“Ariel please come by my room in about an hour” said Hermione politely smiling at the girl before Ariel walked off. Turning to Narcissa she forced a smile.
“Miss Granger. Nice to meet you… again” answered Narcissa “Please follow I will show you to your room” and with that she turned and walked into the door she came through.
“The mansion is huge. But after a while you get familiar with it and things are easy to find” said Narcissa as Hermione looked around.
“Right” said Hermione. Somehow she doughted she could ever get used to the number of hall in this house. After about another 5 minutes the two reached a room and Narcissa stopped.
“For now you and my son will be in separate bedrooms. His is right across the hall” she said gesturing to the door across the hall “however as he is the man of the house now you wont be able to get in to his room without his permission at least for now” she added before turning back to Hermione room.
“Here is your key it will only work at your touch” she finished before handing Hermione the key and stepping away from the door.
Quickly Hermione inserted the key in and opened the door. The room inside was huge as well. There was a big four post bed to the right wall near the window with huge white fluffy pillows. There was a wooden but a white carpet lay on it. There was also a fireplace and three bookshelves. A couch and two arm chairs stood nicely around the fireplace. There were three other doors. One was to what looked like a huge balcony, another Hermione guessed was the bathroom and the third was the wardrobe.
“Now we are having dinner at 7’sharp. Formal and some of Draco’s friends will be there to make sure you are more comfortable with out society before the engagement ball the night after tomorrow” said Narcissa bringing Hermione out of her thoughts “There are clothes in the wardrobe for you to wear” she added eyeing Hermione’s clothing with distaste “And that’s all. I shall see you at 7” and with that she walked out the door and down the hall.
Closing the door Hermione didn’t bother processing much of what Narcissa said, after all she had 7 hours and thus she didn’t need to worry about something as stupid as a dinner party. What Hermione wanted most at the moment was to escape and forget everything. Thus she walked over to the bookshelves and started picking out book. She choose a very ancient looking tome. On the front cover there was no writing, but further investigation into the book revealed to Hermione the surprising title “Hogwarts: A History” bellow it in elegant writing was written one sentence “the first ever edition to be published in the world, 17th July”. Excited to see how much the history book has changed to the one she knew Hermione sat down comfortable in one of the many chairs in front of the fireplace and in matter of seconds lost herself away.
An unexpected knock came on her door that, unfortunately for Hermione, dragged her out of her own little world and threw into the cruel hands of reality. Putting the book down Hermione quickly opened the door and was pleasantly surprised to see Ariel standing there.
“Hey What--” started Hermione but was cut off by Ariel who looked her up and down with shocked eyes.
“You haven’t even showered?” she asked in disbelieve.
“Ermm.. no” said Hermione glancing at the huge clock that was hanging near the balcony door. It clearly read five o’clock.
“There is still two hours” she continued as she opened the door fully letting Ariel in before shutting the door behind her.
“Two hours is nothing!! Now come on, hurry up and shower missy, I’ll get everything else ready.” Said Ariel as she pushed Hermione towards the bathroom door. (Which was just like the prefects bathroom at Hogwarts)
After the shower Ariel helped Hermione do her make-up and hair. She also helped her pick out a dress as Hermione was quite pissed to see all the dresses black or dark green. During all this Ariel told Hermione about herself.
Turned out Ariel was 18. She was a muggle born witch but when she was eleven her parents didn’t let her go to a French magic school after she got her letter. Ariel always wanted to know what it would be like to be a witch and so she secretly researched it and applied for a special school which she now attended every Monday and Thursday. It was a school for witches and wizards who got their magical abilities later then others. Finally on her 18th birthday she ran away from her home and ended up here. She read about the Malfoy’s needing a maid and so she applied. And now here she was. It was quite a tale to tell.
At 6:45pm Ariel left to give Hermione some alone time before the dinner. Hermione was very happy to have made such a great friend. However now that she was alone looking at her reflection her nervous started to settle in.
She looked beautiful, she knew it. She was wearing a dark green dress that was tight around the chest but fluffy at the bottom. Her make-up looked natural and her hair was in elegant curls with a wonderful dark green butterfly clip. Her heels were small, she made sure off it. She hated heels. Overall she looked great.
But she wasn’t nervous about that. She was mainly nervous about seeing Malfoy again. After all it has been three years and she was here on a mission to spy on him. This was just crazy. Pushing it all to the back of her head Hermione decided that right now she needed her Griffindor courage and not panic. So straightening her back she gave herself a smile that didn’t reach her eyes and looked at the clock as it chimed seven. Turning to face the door she was surprised to see it open and even more surprised to see a figure standing in her doorway.
“Long time no see, mudblood” came the arrogant voice of the one person she has been dreading to see.
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