Chapter 11 : Convincing
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“Mum. Dad. This is Draco.”
Everything was quiet for a moment, and Hermione held her breath, fear making her limbs tremble. Draco had his fingers wrapped around hers, squeezing tightly. He wanted so badly for them to accept him.
“Draco?” her mum was the first to respond, slowly and in confusion.
“Draco Malfoy,” Hermione continued, “He’s from Slytherin.”
Though they were Muggles, they understood who this boy was.
“Hermione, dear, I’m not quite sure what you mean. Granted, we got your letter, but we didn’t really think it true. I mean no offense to you, Draco.”
He just nodded and smiled, horrified that this was going so poorly already.
“Draco and I are dating,” Hermione began, blinking unsurely, “I know it doesn’t make a lot of sense, but—”
She cut herself off, sighing. Thankfully, her dad came to the rescue.
“I’m sure they can explain once we get them settled in, Jean.”
Her mum nodded apprehensively before motioning toward the car.
“C’mon,” Hermione whispered, squeezing Draco’s hand one last time before pulling him off.
He looked strangely at the foreign thing in front of him, and Hermione almost laughed.
“It’s a car. Uh, Muggles drive it. It’s kind of like a broomstick. It’s a means of transportation, like apparation.”
“Okay…” he said slowly, “What do you do with it?”
“Here,” she said, opening the door, “Sit down inside, but that strap around you, and buckle it in. I’ll be right back.”
Draco’s eyes went wide as she left him to help put everything away, and so he was left to get in the car, cautious and afraid. Hermione was back in a few minutes, sliding in next to him. Her parents got in up front, and, soon, they were driving off. It didn’t take more than a half hour to reach Hermione’s house, and Draco smiled as they pulled into the driveway.
“I know it’s not the Malfoy Manor or anything,” she prefaced, “But it’s home to me.”
“It’s very you. I like it,” he complimented, smiling over at her.
Together, they unloaded the car and moved their stuff into the house. Hermione was just beginning up the stairs when her mum stopped them.
“Uh, Hermione, can I speak with you a moment? Draco, if you want to take the things into the upstairs hallway, that would be nice.”
Draco just nodded before starting upstairs with his trunk. Hermione took a long breath before following her mum into the living room, their dad close behind.
“What’s going on?” her mum immediately demanded.
“It’s really hard to explain,” Hermione confessed, “But, I mean, you know how this summer was. You saw everything that happened between us, how we grew together. I just… mum, I’m so confused. I love him. I really do. I… we… we slept together.”
It came out all in a rush suddenly, and everything Hermione had wanted to say to her mum for the past few months came tumbling out. She started crying, and her mum pulled her against her, stroking her hair.
“I guess my question of whether or not you two wanted to sleep in the same room has been answered.”
“I’m so sorry, mum.”
“Baby girl, it’s okay,” she cooed, “I’m happy for you. Albeit, I’ll have to have time to digest you growing up so quickly,” she said with a small smile, “Go upstairs before he thinks we ate you.”
Hermione just nodded, stowed away her tears with a wipe of her hand, and hurried off to go find Draco.
“Is everything okay?” he immediately asked, and she smiled.
“Everything is perfect. I love you.”
“I love you so much, Hermione,” he responded, pulling her toward him for a soft, adoring kiss.
“So,” he began once they parted, “I assumed this was your room.”
“You assumed correctly,” she said with a smile.
“Are we staying in here together?”
“My parents actually agreed. I think part of it has to do with the lack of guest room. Shall we unpack?”
“We shall. And then, I’m going to kiss you into oblivion.”
“Dinner first, silly,” she chided, tapping him on the nose before going to her suitcase.
The first week passed flawlessly. Hermione and Draco spent every waking moment together, wandering around Hermione’s neighborhood, taking turns on the swing at the park, learning Draco in the Muggle ways such as television and music, cuddling, and talking nonstop. They continually found new things to converse about, things they never had thought of before. They came to know each other incredibly, and they never grew tired of one another.
On Tuesday of the second week, Draco’s mother wrote.
I will assume you are somewhere safe for the holidays. Tell her I she has my utmost gratitude. I will be forever in her debt for all that she has given you. Thank you so much.
I was glad to hear that he made it safely back to school. I hope nothing harms him further, though we’ll have to figure out something for the summer. I also wonder if you’ll come home for the summer…
I cannot stray much longer. Just know that I keep you near and dear in my heart, and I wish so terribly that we could spend this Christmas together. Think of me.
I love you very much.
He showed it to Hermione once he’d finished reading, and she read it in silence, handing it back once she’d finished.
“Are you okay?” she asked after a few moments.
“Yea. I just miss her,” he admitted, pulling her back against him.
They were sitting on the couch in her living room, a fire crackling across from them. It was late, nearly the earliest of the morning. Hermione had been itching to ask about Draco’s family for some time now, and though it was a sensitive topic and a sensitive moment, she dared asked now.
“Tell me about them, the Black’s, the Malfoy’s.”
Saying Sirius’ last name brought a stab to her heart, and she had to blink away a tear. Harry’s face popped into her mind, and she closed her eyes, desperately trying to push the memory away. When she finally opened her eyes again, having regained herself, Draco was watching her closely.
“You knew Sirius,” he stated, and she nodded.
“He was one of the greatest men I’d ever known. I’d never seen such conviction and determination in someone before. Well, other than myself. He wanted so badly to give Harry everything that he possibly could. He wanted him to live happily, to never forget the memory of his parents. He wanted nothing more than to give Harry his whole heart.”
“I hate her, too,” he laughed humorlessly, “Auntie Bella. She’s a miserable woman. You would think that she would love her sisters, her true blood, but she doesn’t. She only loves herself and that despicable wretch of a Lord.”
Hermione was taken aback. She’d never before heard Draco speak such ill of his family, his kin, those that he had so readily worked for.
“I have three aunts. Andromeda is the oldest. You know her, also. She’s married to the Muggleborn Ted Tonks. Their daughter is Nymphadora. I’ve only met her a few times, and I stayed with her briefly over the summer, as you know. She’s a very, very kind woman, and one of the best mothers I’ve ever met. I will be forever grateful for her hospitality toward me. Then is Bellatrix, and she married to Rudolphus Lestrange. I’m pretty sure they never speak nor do they ever see each other, but I’m not surprised seeing as she’s just disgusting and vile and horrible. And then my mother, Narcissa. She used to tell me stories of when she was in school, how she met my father,” he paused to smile genuinely, “He sounded like such a romantic. They sounded like they were so very much in love. It was beautiful. I’ll always wonder what happened.”
He fell silent, then, and Hermione only prodded after a few minutes, “Who else is there?”
“Well, I don’t know a lot about my dad’s side, though I do know his father was Abraxas. He never speaks of them. The only reason I know about my mother’s family is because Bella is so keen on the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black,” he ended this in a rather comedic voice, one in which made Hermione giggle.
“Were there any other good ones?”
“Very few. Isla Black is, as far as anyone can recall, was the first to go off the deep end. She married a Muggle. Alphard, who I’m sure you’ve heard of from Sirius at some point or another, helped out Sirius when he ran away in his sixth year. He was interesting. I wished I could have met him. Sirius loved him, though, or, at least, that’s what my mother tells me from when she was younger. Andromeda and Sirius were the best of friends. Marius was a squib, Cedrella married a Weasley. Oh yes,” he responded to her shocked face, “I’m technically related to the Weasley’s, Potter’s, Crabbe’s, Longbottom’s, Bulstrode’s, Burke’s, Yaxley’s, Crouch’s, and probably some others. And, there’s Phineas, of course. I never heard much about him, other than he supported Muggle rights.”
“Sirius ran away?” Hermione questioned, curious.
“Yea. Uh, I think he went to Harry’s dad’s place.”
“You’re telling me all this as if it’s common knowledge to you, as if you’re family just goes around talking about all of it.”
“They don’t. But, my mother was very keen on me knowing about my family history. She said she didn’t care what had happened and who didn’t want her to talk, she was going to anyway, and so she told me all that she knew or could in good conscience.”
Hermione just nodded, soaking it all in. The first conclusion she came to was a shocking one: she wanted to meet Narcissa.
The first time she breached this topic was three days later, and, at first, all Draco could do was sit in silence, comprehending what she’d just asked him.
“It’s impossible, Hermione,” he said finally, shaking his head, “I can’t even see her.”
She knew it was impractical, but she desperately wanted to know this woman who so adored him.
“Someday,” he tried to promise, kissing her on the forehead, “But not until this war is over. It isn’t safe.”
“Absolutely not,” he said with finality, looking into her eyes, “Don’t ask me again.”
“Draco, that’s not fair.”
She tried to say more, but he’d already gotten up off her bed and was going toward the door.
“Where are you going?” she yelled.
“Somewhere!” he shouted back, and she just crossed her arms in anger as she watched him leave.
He didn’t return until nearly the next morning.
Her brow furrowed at the noise, and she tried to roll away, but a stern hand shook her shoulder.
“Hermione, wake up.”
“Go away,” she grumbled, finally turning onto her side.
“Hermione, please,” it begged, but she just continued to ignore it.
The voice sighed, took her shoulder and rolled her back, and she was being kissed. Her eyes instantly flew open only to find icy blue ones staring back at her.
“Where have you been?” she demanded too loudly.
“Sh,” he warned, putting a finger to his lips.
“What?” she snapped, sitting up.
And then she noticed how he had one arm extended, his fingers wrapped around the bedpost, his whole body leaning into that one arm. She noticed the dark stains on his white vneck, the bloody scrapes and scratches on his face and neck, and his haggard breathing.
“What happened to you?” she gasped, quickly getting out of bed and pulling his arm around her shoulders.
She helped him toward the bathroom where she sat him on the toilet and flicked on the light. He was a ghastly white, and his wounds look so much worse in the light.
“Take off your shirt,” she ordered, going to the cabinet above the sink to find peroxide and a hand towel.
When she turned around, she had to compose herself before moving forward again. She wet the towel before dabbing away the blood on his stomach.
“Tell me what happened. Or don’t. I don’t care, just talk to me, please,” she said after a few moments of silence.
“I went outside, just for a second, which was stupid of me, to go out without you, and there was someone there, as I should have known there would be. I was attacked, ambushed. They didn’t use magic, Hermione. They had knives.”
“Why are you back so late?”
“They dragged me somewhere, and I couldn’t find your house for the longest time.”
“Okay. Okay. Bite on this. Roll back your tongue.”
She handed him another hand towel, rolled up, and he did as told, wincing and shutting his eyes as she began cleaning his wounds. He took the towel out when she finished, straightening so she could probably wrap him.
“This may need serious tending, but that’s the best I can do for now. Are you coming to bed?”
She stood, putting away her supplies.
“I just want to hold you.”
The sincerity in his voice shocked her, and she turned to look at him. He was crying.
“I’m so sorry,” he whispered, shoulders shaking, “I shouldn’t have left. I shouldn’t have gotten so angry.”
“Draco, sh,” she cooed, going to kiss him, “It’s okay. As long as you’re safe and happy, then I am. Come on, let’s go.”
And she whispered him the sweetest things she could think of until he dozed off, his tears drying as he slept.
I know. I’m sorry. I haven’t updated in forever.
But! I have good reason, I promise. Here’s the AN that’s been going on every one of my oneshots that I keep posting:
“I’ve taken on a stupidly large idea that I’ve dubbed The Snow Patrol Project. This is part two of thirteen.
Some odd amount of months ago, I made my boyfriend a mixtape of only Snow Patrol songs, those only that reminded me of him, and so I’m taking those thirteen songs and turning them into oneshots that feature only three pairings: Harry/Ginny, Draco/Hermione, and Sirius/Lily. Yes. I know. It sounds crazy, and it probably is, but I think I’m going to have a lot of fun with this.”
So, yea, that’s that. If you want, go read them. They’re really fun and I really love writing them. I’ve only got three left to write, so that’s why I finally sat down and wrote this. So, go give them a chance! Don’t forget to review this and that, if you happen to read that, and look out for the new chapter of Lullabies! It hopefully will be going up tonight, as well.
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