Hermione sat in her office at her desk long after Draco left. After a half an hour had passed, she wrote to Molly apologizing for taking so long and that she would be home soon. Molly replied back that it was okay and that she was enjoying her time with the children. “They’re going to grow up to be lovely people.” She had written, and Hermione put a hand over her mouth to muffle her sobs. She set the letter down and cried.
Hermione didn’t know what she was thinking. Four months being in France had clouded her judgment and she shouldn’t have let it done so. She had actually begun to think that things were going to be alright. She and Ron were going to have happy lives and the ugly past was going to be put away –or at least on her part buried so deep that no one would be able to find it. But Hermione was wrong. She forgot that the past had a terrible way of sneaking back up on you. Some days it would be a whisper. Others a little shout. And sometimes there would be nothing at all. But for her, her past had taken on a life of its own and its name was Draco.
Just thinking about him made Hermione want to scream and curse him. “The bloody bastard…” She said aloud, and wished he was there so she could say it to his face. He was making her life so difficult and all because he could see that her kids weren’t Ron’s from one picture. And ever since then Draco was hooked on her like a drug.
He kept talking about her affair with Harry. He followed her to France. And above all things he kept assuming things about her that Hermione prayed to Merlin weren’t true. Draco was a bad cold that she couldn’t shake, and no medicine in the world was going to be able to cure her. He was relentless, and Hermione didn’t know what she was going to do. Threatening him wasn’t going to work. All Draco would have to do is blackmail her if she did a thing like that. He had already admitted that he was able to sink that low, and Hermione hadn’t doubted it.
Sighing and with a hole in her heart she realized that she was clay in his hands, ready to be molded however he wanted. The only thing Hermione could do now was try to hold him off for as long as possible.
When Ron came back on Sunday afternoon, Hermione was more than happy to see him. She hugged him tightly and wouldn’t let him go. He had laughed and said, “I guess this means you missed me?” Hermione smiled and nodded. They had decided to eat in that night, because from the time they had come to France they had taken up the practice of going out to eat. It was a nice little treat to eat at home for a change, and Ron thought it would be a good idea to solicit their eating out to twice a month rather than every Sunday. Hermione agreed, not because it really was a good time eating at home, but because in the back in her mind she couldn’t help but think that maybe Draco would find her.
After the little unwanted incident with Draco in her office, Hermione openly admitted to herself that she was now paranoid. As she went to work that week, every time there was a knock on her door she kept thinking that it would be Draco. When Hermione went to lunch with Ron, she kept thinking that she saw him walking down the streets and smirking at her. It got so bad that she could’ve sworn that at various times of the day that she could hear his voice.
“Draco’s bloody haunting me…” Hermione said to herself, but when it hit Friday, she had begun to have some hope. Draco had said that by the end of the following week, she’d realize that she wanted, no, needed, him. Well, the end of the week was right at her doorstep and Hermione hadn’t sought him out in any way.
Maybe he’ll be the one to realize something out of all of this… She thought to herself, and then smiled as she opened her door and greeted Katherine Arceneau, her neighbor and new friend, inside. Since finding out that she was a witch. Hermione and Katherine had become good friends and went into town together once in a while. Pretty soon Hermione knew all of the wizard spots to hang out and bring her kids to. To her surprise it turned out that there were a lot of them. “A lot of wizards like to come to France.” Katherine had told her. “I suppose they feel freer to use their magic here.” Hermione agreed and could attest to that, having seen a witch take out her wand in broad daylight without much worry or care.
“Where is Ron?” Katherine asked as she sipped her tea.
“Out with Isabella and Evan in the park I presume.”
“Oh, well, how come you are not out with them? It is not much of a family outing without the mother.”
“Ron snuck himself and the children out this morning.” Hermione laughed. “Usually I’m up by eight on the weekends due to Isabella jumping on the bed, but not today. I woke up at eleven and when I did a tray floated into the bedroom with a huge breakfast on it and a note from Ron saying that he took the kids out for the day to give me some rest.”
“That’s the sweetest thing I have ever heard!” Katherine smiled. “Dylan’s idea of giving me rest is offering to wash his own dinner plate.”
Hermione stifled a laugh but then let it out seeing that Katherine was heartily giggling. The two of them finished drinking off the rest of their cups of tea and moved over to the living room sofa.
“But really, Hermione, you and Ron must be the cutest couple I have ever seen. How long have you been married?”
“Five years in January,”
“Well, keep it up. I would like to be one of the first people invited to your fiftieth wedding anniversary.”
Hermione smiled and nodded, saying that she’d be sure to, and then somehow managed to catch a glimpse out of the window. When she did, her smile faltered. She shook her head and then looked again, trying to make sure that she was only seeing things. After doing so it was gone, but a worried look was still on her face. I couldn’t have just seen Draco…could I? Hermione asked herself, but couldn’t answer for Katherine had snapped her back to reality.
“Nothing, it’s just…well, you’re probably just going to say that I was just seeing things, but I thought that I had just seen someone standing outside of the window.”
“Was it a man?” Katherine immediately asked. Hermione furrowed her brow and then slowly nodded. “Was he tall? Blonde hair..?”
“Yes, but, Katherine…did you see him too?”
“Yes, but, not today.” She said hesitantly. “I thought I was just seeing things because one minute he would be there and the next he wouldn’t be, but now that you have seen him too, I guess it’s not just me?”
“You mean to tell me that you’ve seen someone watching my flat?” Hermione asked in shock.
“Not watching, but just…you know, someone walking pass, stopping for a moment to stare at the flat and then move along. The only thing that seemed strange was seeing him so often. Do you know him?”
“…Yes,” She replied ruefully. “And I think I need to pay him a little visit to tell him to bugger off.”
“He looks dangerous Hermione.” Katherine said worriedly. “Maybe you shouldn’t go alone.”
Hermione looked at her friend thoughtfully. She was a caring woman, really, but she had to deny her offer. Sure, it would’ve been better to have her along so she wouldn’t be alone with Draco, but she couldn’t risk Katherine telling Ron about it by accident. All that would end up doing is bringing up questions that Hermione didn’t, and wasn’t, going to answer. No, it was better this way.
Being a Ministry official had its perks; one of them being that she had clearance to just about all of the files that the Ministry kept and no one would question her efforts. After five minutes of searching through the Department of Residences did Hermione find what she was looking for: Draco’s address. He really did live close. Ron had said it was a twenty minute walk, but it was more like fifteen. What were the odds that he would choose to live somewhere that was so near to her? How could he have even known where she lived exactly? She supposed he could’ve just asked Monsieur DuPont since they were just such good friends. But that didn’t make any sense either. Hermione had sent DuPont after Draco before he had confronted her about being followed.
So how did he know…? Hermione kept asking herself, but then stopped, when she realized that she was finally outside of his flat. To her surprise it wasn’t that big. It resembled much like her own flat but with a tad more land. With a great push within herself, Hermione walked up the pathway slowly, wondering how much of a fool she would look like if she had just stopped and turned around to go back home. She didn’t have to be the one to confront him. She could’ve asked DuPont to relay the message she was there to say. But no, Hermione told herself, he couldn’t be trusted anymore and it had to be her no matter what.
After a million steps Hermione reached Draco’s front door. She rapped on it loudly and quickly. No one answered. There wasn’t even a sound on the inside. She knocked on the door again, this time longer and harder, but still there wasn’t a budge from within. All of this way and he’s not even home? Hermione thought. It really was a pity. She didn’t know if she’d be able to strike up the nerve to come over here again. This was a spur of the moment, pissed as hell, visit. Surely on her way back home all of Hermione’s rage would simmer down and the only thing she’d have left in her to do would be to curse Draco into oblivion when she saw him again.
With a shake of her head Hermione turned around and began heading back down the pathway she came up. After two steps she stopped, took a quick inhale, and forgot to exhale. Draco, the little devil that he was, was walking up to his flat. He had his head down and seemed to be heavily thinking about something. When he took out his key and looked up from the ground, Draco stopped. He was three feet from her and when Hermione didn’t move or say anything, he smirked and then chuckled.
“I almost gave up on you.” He said smugly. Hermione huffed and crossed her arms.
“I’m not here for what you think.”
“Oh really..? Then what are you here for?”
“To find out why the hell you’ve been stalking me.”
Draco cocked a brow at her and laughed. He shook his head amusingly and walked passed her to his door. He took his time opening it and went inside, leaving the door open. Hermione expected him to come back to it. She wasn’t finished yet. There were plenty more things that she had to say and, hell, she had came all that way to say it and she was going to do it! But what was slowly driving her mad was that as she stood outside in the middle of Draco’s pathway looking more and more idiotic, he didn’t come back. The front door was just open wide showing parts of a spacious living room with Draco nowhere in sight.
Hermione didn’t want to go in. She wanted to turn right around and just head back home, but she couldn’t just leave like that. He had laughed at her. She had accused him of stalking her and all he did was laugh. It couldn’t just end like that, but that was childish. Hermione should’ve been the bigger person by letting him laugh and getting him back later. Live to fight another day as she chose to live by, but what Draco said from inside the flat drowned out her little motto.
“Are you just going to stand out there and let the neighbors gawk at you? I left the door open for a reason.”
Hermione didn’t hesitate this time around and she walked inside. After she closed the door behind her she spotted Draco standing by one of his plush sofas with his arms crossed. Neither of them said a word to each other, probably waiting for the other to spark the conversation. After a minute or so, Hermione finally got the nerve to speak.
“Why have you been stalking me?”
Draco smiled. For a minute Hermione thought that he was going to laugh at her again, but instead he motioned for her to sit down. She struggled with idea for a moment but then did so, choosing to sit opposite him so that she couldn’t be in easy reach of him.
“I think you and I need to determine what stalking is, Hermione.”
“Excuse me?” She said with a huff. “I think I bloody know what stalking is, thank you very much. Besides, my neighbor saw you!”
“I’m pretty sure that your neighbor doesn’t know what she saw.” Draco replied calmly. “I’ve been passing your flat for months and I didn’t know it until one day I saw you walking towards it with your kids. I just consider it a plus that when I go out on my errands that your flat happens to be on the way. So what are you going to do? Cut my eyes out if I happen to stop for a second and see if you’re there?”
“…In that case I’d appreciate it if you found another route to and from home.”
“Why does my presence bother you so much?”
“Because you said you wanted to sleep with me, that’s why.” Hermione snapped quickly. “It’s one of the most unsettling things I’ve ever heard.”
“Why?” Draco asked. “Because I’m the one who said it..? Or because you have the opportunity to do it and you might want to?”
Hermione didn’t like the way this was turning out. All of the ranting and raving that she thought she’d be doing by now wasn’t happening. Draco had just voiced the words that she had been battling in her mind for a little over two weeks now and there was nothing to come back at him with. No sarcasm, no quick quips, no sort of rebuttal at all. There was nothing left for her to do except…well…succumb.
“I wish you’d stop reading me.” Hermione muttered quietly. She was frowning and staring at her lap. She didn’t see when Draco had gotten up from his seat or feel when he sat down beside her. She only figured out that he was there when she felt a gentle hand nudge her head to look in his direction.
“I can only read people who let me.” Draco told her softly. “And whether you want to accept it or not, you’ve been letting me do it from the moment I found out the truth about your kids.”
“…You’re never going to leave me alone, are you? No matter how much I beg and plead you?”
“I’d very gladly do so if you really wanted me to. There’s going to come a time when your husband isn’t going to be there. You won’t have Potter and there’s only going to be me. The sooner you realize that the better.”
“I don’t understand why you want to have me so badly. There isn’t an ounce of logic in it.”
“Well, let’s just say that I’m a bit obsessed with you.” Draco smiled. “You’re not how you used to be. You’re angrier, feistier, and a hell of a lot of other things that’s got me attracted to you. And by the way,” He pushed back some of Hermione’s hair from her face and continued. “In answer to your question from back in your office –about if I got turned on by women who have affairs? The answer is no. I get turned on by women who aren’t innocent.”
author's note: wow i feel like i havent posted on this forever, and i think its only been about a week or so lol. ah well, all that means is that i missed doing it :) and ah, hermione's at his house. this is DEF not a good idea, but of course the story continues on the next chap as always :)
hope that you liked it and i look forward to reading/responding to your reviews!!