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Chapter 3 : The Living Dead
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“I think we should go out for dinner tonight. What do you say Mother?” A handsome young man turned around to face his mother.
“Darling I don’t think that would be advisable.” The woman smiled back to her son.
“But Mother I’m tired of being cooped in this immensely depressing house!” The son replied back.
“I know darling but England’s not safe for you.” The mother replied.
“England is a country Mother. Countries aren’t dangerous, people are.” The boy replied.
“Yes, and for that exact reason I wished you would have just stayed in America.” The woman replied.
“But Mother England is my home. I was born here. I can’t help that I’m curious about my birthplace.” The boy replied.
“I know Liam and I understand your curiosity but it is just not safe for you to be here.” The woman replied putting a hand on her son’s shoulder. He shrugged it off, clearly annoyed.
“Which I still don’t fully understand why Mother. I think you at least owe it to me to explain why you are so intent on me not being in England.” Liam said with anger.
“Darling I’m sorry I’m being so elusive and secretive but please you have to trust me on this. Have your stay but leave as soon as you can.” The woman pleaded.
“I’m beginning to think you do not enjoy my company.” Liam scoffed.
“No of course not sweetheart! It is not you and you must never blame yourself. It is just an old woman’s worries that’s all. Please darling, for your father’s sake.” The woman replied gently. Liam instantly recoiled. The mention of his father always sobered his raging moods.
“I know Mother, I know. I would never upset Lucius.” Liam said taking his mother’s hand.
“Thank you darling.” Narcissa said smiling.
“Ms. Granger?” A small voice from outside Hermione’s office spoke.
“Yes Miranda?” Hermione replied looking up from her paperwork.
“This arrived for you just now.” Miranda said holding out a large brown box. Curiously Hermione picked it up.
“Thank you Miranda.” Hermione smiled as she placed it onto her desk and read the card:
Hope you are feeling better today darling. I’m so sorry but Father needs me to return to France a day earlier. I promise I will make this up to you when I return next week. I love you so much and I’m already missing you terribly.
Hermione sighed. She knew whatever Lex had given her as an apology present was sure to be beautiful and outrageously expensive yet it didn’t matter. She wished he could have stayed at least one day longer with her. He was here for almost a grand total of 23 hours before he had to up and leave again. Hermione slowly opened the box’s packaging. Inside was a single golden rose with a small note attached: Bewitched so that every moment I think of you it will multiply. Just as Hermione was done reading the card, another three golden roses formed in her hand. She couldn’t help but smile. Lex was amazing.
“Knock knock!” Ginny’s voice echoed from the door. Hermione placed the flowers down on her desk.
“Gin! How are you!” Hermione beamed as she went to greet Ginny.
“Wonderful. How are you?” Ginny asked pulling Hermione into a hug.
“Oh you know, the usual. Come here sit.” Hermione offered.
“No I’m alright I just came by to make sure you weren’t working too hard and seeing as you’re not doing anything let’s go out for some drinks!” Ginny suggested.
“I can’t just leave Ginny as tempting as that sounds!” Hermione replied.
“Oh silence! You can leave whenever you want.” Ginny said. “Hermione what’s going on with your flowers over there?”
Hermione turned around to see a mountain of golden roses forming. Clearly Lex was missing her quite a lot for they were beginning to slowly eat up her entire desk.
“Oh they’re these bewitched flowers that multiply every time Lex thinks of me.” Hermione said smiling.
“Isn’t that sweet. Did he leave already?” Ginny asking full well why there were millions of roses now in Hermione’s office.
“Yes. But he says all this traveling will end really soon. I just hope it happens sooner than later.” Hermione confessed.
Of course she was proud of her fiancé. Any woman would be proud to have Lex Ashford, one of the hardest working people she knew, to be their husband-to-be. Yet, every time he left, Hermione always had a sinking feeling. She hated his frequent trips back to France. She kept reminding herself that it was because of her Lex moved all the way from the comforts of home to be with her here in England. It was a huge sacrifice on his behalf and now he was just trying to smooth the working situation as best as he could. Hermione had do try to be a bit more grateful. Still, she couldn’t help but be a little bit selfish and want him all to herself.
“Well let’s go Hermione!” Ginny said snapping Hermione out of her train of thought. Hermione nodded, grabbed her purse, and both girls walked into the fireplace.
“Oh come here Ginny, they just opened up this new little café that serves the best butterbeers in all of Diagon Alley!” Hermione exclaimed as both girls walked toward Gringott’s. They found a perfect table for two outside the busy café.
“You’re right… these are the best butterbeers in all of Diagon Alley.” Ginny stated as she licked the cream off of her upper lip.
“So how are you and Harry?” Hermione asked.
“Thank you Augustus. Mother will love these.” A very familiar voice echoed through Hermione’s ears. She shook the thought from her head. Just as she did, she felt a very heavy parcel fall to her feet and she let out a little yelp.
“Ah! Oh I’m sorry, here I got it.” Hermione said recovering quickly and bending underneath the table to grab the parcel.
“I’m very sorry Miss. I just have so much in my hands. Ah, thank you very much.” The young man said looking directly at Hermione.
“You’re wel…” Hermione stopped mid-sentence. She went wide eyed. Her honey dew eyes were glossy from the person who stood in front of her.
“I apologize again. Have a good day.” The man said smiling.
“Draco?” Hermione called out.
It was him. She wasn’t hallucinating the other night. It was Draco she saw. She wasn’t quite sure how this could be but she was overcome with emotion. She felt her arms wrap themselves around him in a tight embrace. Draco wasn’t dead. She knew it wasn’t true. He couldn’t, no he wouldn’t have left her. No, he wouldn’t have… at least not in the way she thought he had. Because here he stood, he was alive, breathing, existing. It was too much for Hermione’s heart to handle. She was overcome with joy and sadness all at the same time that it felt suffocating. She couldn’t breathe. She pulled off with the largest smile plastered on his face but something was wrong. Why did he look… confused?
“I’m sorry. I think you’ve got the wrong person.” The man said smiling sympathetically.
“No… you’re Draco.” Hermione said looking right at him.
“I’m sorry my name is Liam. I don’t know of any Draco’s.” Liam replied looking at her. Hermione felt scandalized. What was he playing at?
“Draco this is amusing but enough is enough. Stop pretending you don’t know who I am.” Hermione said a bit aggressively.
“Hermione…” Ginny voiced.
“No Ginny look at him! It’s Draco! Draco don’t you recognize us?” Hermione screamed desperately.
“I’m so sorry but I haven’t the faintest clue who either of you are. I’m very sorry but I must be going. I hope you find Draco. I’m really sorry.” Liam said with great anguish in his face. He began turning around. Hermione couldn’t let him go.
“No wait!” Hermione yelled as she grabbed his arm. She looked down and noticed a long vertical scar running up the side of his arm. “Where did you get this?” She asked.
“I’ve had it as long as I could remember. Is there something wrong?” Liam looked back at her.
“I’m sorry about my behavior before. I probably mistook you for someone. I’m sorry again.” Hermione apologized.
“It’s quite alright. Really.” Liam replied smiling.
“But um, I work at St. Mungo’s and if you wanted I could take a closer look at your scar. Perhaps I can heal it. If you want. Here’s my name and my contact information.” Hermione said quickly writing down her name and office number for St. Mungo’s and handing it to Liam.
“Oh thank you. That’s very kind of you… uh, Hermione.” Liam said reading the paper. He looked back down at the name.
Hermione noticed his face tense. His brows furrowed as if he were concentrating very hard. It almost looked as though he were struggling to remember or recall something, almost as if her name was a trigger for some far distant memory. But he quickly looked up and smiled instead.
“You’re welcome Liam. I hope to see you soon.” Hermione said as he nodded and walked away.
“Ginny…” Hermione began as she watched him walk off. “Tell me you saw what I saw.” Hermione said as she looked back at her.
“I’m not sure what I saw.” Ginny replied hesitantly.
“Gin that was Draco!” Hermione exclaimed.
“His name was Liam and he hasn’t a clue who either of us are. I don’t think it was.” Ginny said carefully.
“Ginny you saw him! Obviously his memory’s been meddled with or something!” Hermione said desperately.
“Hermione, I know the thought of seeing Draco… well you’d do anything for it. But it wasn’t Draco. He looked very similar.” Ginny said boldly.
“He had his eyes Ginny for Christ’s sake.” Hermione let out sharply.
“But it wasn’t him. Draco’s…” Ginny stated.
“…Dead I know! But how can we be sure he really did die!” Hermione said.
“Hermione…” Ginny said softly giving her a skeptical look.
“Alright I know that look Gin! I know I must sound crazy but think about how you felt when Fred died! Wouldn’t you give anything to know he was still alive?” Hermione pleaded.
“Yes I would. But I also wouldn’t want to get my hopes high on something only for them to come crashing down. Hermione just please forget about it. You have Lex.” Ginny begged.
“Fine but this isn’t over.” Hermione said folding her hands and taking a sip of her butterbeer. Ginny merely rolled her eyes in disapproval but both girls silently agreed to not further discuss the subject.
Later on that day Hermione found herself alone once again in her home sorting out old Daily Prophets from the newer editions. She had tried to keep herself occupied as much as she possibly could but her thoughts kept lingering back to the encounter with Draco… Liam? She wasn’t entirely sure what to address him by. It was strange how closely he resembled Draco. He had Draco’s eyes. He had those beautiful, bright, crystal clear icy eyes that she loved so dearly. Hermione knew them as well as she knew her own two eyes, perhaps even better. She was positive those were Draco’s eyes. But none of it made any sense. He didn’t have Draco’s golden blonde hair nor his slender yet muscular body. This doppelganger was much taller than she remember Draco being. He had mousy brown hair that was much longer than Draco ever dare let grow.
“Ugh Hermione get a hold of yourself!” She chastised. She needed to focus. She was creating all these assumptions about a man whom she wasn’t even certain was Draco.
She knew she was going crazy. Perhaps it was work and the lack of seeing Lex that was causing her to be so delusional. Oh how she missed Lex though. He would have understood; he always did. She needed someone to tell her she wasn’t going crazy, that she only missed Draco so intensely that her mind was tricking her into seeing him again. Oh and what she wouldn’t do to see her Draco again. It was unfair, cruel, vile and downright painful when she thought about the happy life she could have lived with him. She knew they would have been happy; Hermione was sure of it. Just when she thought she couldn’t feel any worse than she did, she picked up the Daily Prophet proclaiming the death of such a young and handsome youth: Draco Abraxus Malfoy. Hermione felt her heart fall into her stomach.
She knew that the tears were coming soon but she couldn’t do anything to stop them from falling. She read the article again describing the grief that had gripped the Malfoy family and other close friends. It was almost unbearable to see a small moving picture with Draco smiling beside Narcissa and Lucius. Hermione just couldn’t understand why Draco was so determined to leave for America. What did America have to offer him so badly that he needed to leave her? It was too much for Hermione to take once again. She didn’t want to open those gates once more. Folding the paper neatly, she placed it at the bottom of the pile of Prophets she was going to keep and took the rest to throw into the garbage.
“You really didn’t need to go to Diagon Alley to get me these things Liam.” Narcissa said.
“I wanted to Mother.” Liam said smiling.
“Did anyone give you any trouble?” Narcissa asked looking at him curiously.
“No why would you ask?” Liam said looking up.
“Just curious.” Narcissa smiled.
“Well actually now that you mention it I did bump into this one woman. Uh she was quite pretty.” Liam said now recalling.
“Oh really? What did she look like?” Narcissa inquired.
“She had this brown hair with perfect locks of curls and these honey colored eyes. You had to have seen her.” Liam breathed heavily.
“She sounds lovely darling.” Narcissa said absently.
“Yes but she seemed troubled.” Liam replied now recalling the encounter.
“Troubled? How so darling?” Narcissa said focusing on the letter she was currently writing.
“Well she kept mistaking me for someone. Said I reminded her terribly of this one bloke she knew. Then as I was leaving she said she was probably wrong and gave me her address to see her if I wanted my scar fixed because she worked at St. Mungo’s.” Liam shrugged but Narcissa was frozen mid-sentence.
“She said you resembled someone?” Narcissa asked very carefully.
“Yes but I forgot the bloke’s name she kept saying…” Liam admitted trying to remember.
“What was her name?” Narcissa questioned.
“Um, uh…” Liam said trying to recall. Quickly he reached for his pocket where he procured the paper that had her name and address. “Ah, Hermione Granger.” He said smiling.
Narcissa felt all the color leave her pale skin. Her eyes widened as though she had seen a ghost.
“Hermione Granger? You conversed with her?” Narcissa asked.
“Well for a little bit. Not really that much.” Liam said not noticing the change in his mother.
“Oh well… Liam I know you hate my secrets but I have to ask of you never to see her.” Narcissa said plainly.
“What? How come?” Liam looked confused.
“Darling it is better to not associate ourselves with those people. Please, do your Mother this one favor by not contacting her. Please Liam promise me.” Narcissa sounded desperate.
“Why Mother?” Liam was a little annoyed by his mother’s elusiveness.
“Just trust me please darling.” Narcissa pleaded.
“Fine.” Liam said annoyed and frustrated as he got up and left the room. He went back into his bedroom. He opened his window where a small brown owl sat perched on the window sill. Liam went to his desk and wrote a quick letter.
“Hey there girl, I need you to deliver this for me.” Liam said attaching the letter to the owl. He patted the owl on the head and the tiny bird soared into the night sky. It looked majestic clipping through the clouds and soaring towards the moon. His dark skin shimmered in the night light as did the small white envelope. The little owl made his way towards St. Mungo’s where Hermione Granger would find her inbox filled with one very curious letter from a certain Malfoy.
Author's Note: Hello lovelies! I'm so sorry I haven't updated you in the longest time! Well now that its summer and my first year of college is over, I finally have found some time to sit down and write! So with no more apologies I hope you enjoyed this chapter and are curious as to who this Liam Malfoy really is! See you darlings next chapter!
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