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Chapter 1 : Give Back Your Heart to the Stranger Who Has Loved You...
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Hello Everyone! This is a new short story of mine. Sorry that some of the translations seem obvious: I had to provide a translation, so I stuck to the safe side... Without further ado, I present "Mrs. Malfoy and Hermione"
It was dark that night. The full moon had passed a few days ago, and the increasingly present smog that filled Paris shrouded what few stars appeared in the sky. There was smoke everywhere. Men and women laughed, stubbing out the lights as they fumed. Cars hummed everywhere, spitting out gray vapors. Cafés, dimly lit, emitted smells of slowly cooked meat and soupe de l’oignon (french onion soup) prepared by a master. La Tour Eiffel (the Eiffel Tower) was just about to start its light show. Tourists would flock towards small boats, eagerly anticipating what seemed au natrale (natural) for Parisians.
Upon first glance, one might think that Hermione Granger was a Parisian. She wore stylish clothing, the majority of it comprised of black. She occasionally lit a death stick- although she swore to her parents she never did…dentists these days! She spoke in rapid spurts of brilliant French, and she was notorious in her apartment complex for being a true Romantic. In fact, she appeared to be the epitome of a Parisian. Unfortunately, she was not. She was a Briton. An Englishwoman, to be exact. At one point, she believed London to be the most amazing place in the world. Diagon Alley was full of mysterious allures, but she’d been England’s new Rose. Tea was taken promptly, with none of that newfangled rubbish that was appearing. A younger Hermione would have scoffed at the idea of moving to Paris. But a younger Hermione would not have experienced a heartbreak and a drastic betrayal by a friend.
“Harry! Happy birthday!” Hermione cried. Harry Potter was officially 21 years old. The war had been over four years ago, Voldemort’s regime gone. But this day was not only the birthday of Wizarding Briton’s most famous saviour. It was also the day that said-boy would be proposing to his childhood sweetheart, Ginny Weasley.
It had been a complete secret. He’d only told Hermione, and he’d only told her because he needed her help in choosing a ring. It turned out the ring was right under his nose: Lily Potter’s wedding band, made of beautiful Welsh Gold, sat in her son’s Gringott’s vault. This was put away promptly. The engagement ring itself was also right around the corner: lying in Sirius Black’s vault was a beautiful ring. It had been in the Black family for centuries. A clear, princess-cut diamond sat nestled between rare black diamonds and saltwater pearls.
“This is the one,” Harry had breathed. It was Ginny to a T: simplistic yet beautiful. Hermione nodded her assent, and Harry snatched the ring into his coat pocket.
On his 21st birthday, Harry James Potter proposed to Ginevra Molly Weasley. She happily agreed, champagne was brought out and everyone cheered. Everyone except Hermione Granger and Ronald Weasley. The former was at least composed. The latter’s jaw was clenched, his fists in balls. It just so happened that almost a year from that day, he had proposed himself…to Hermione.
She had agreed. They were supposed to be together. Everyone had said it. Champagne was brought out similarly and everyone toasted to the happy couple. They were a happy couple until Hermione found out a month before the wedding that Ron had been cheating on her since before their engagement with Lavender Brown, who had recently born him a son. Distraught, Hermione broke off the engagement and fled.
“He was a tosser to you anyways,” Harry said the evening of his engagement as he noticed his pseudo-sister’s vacant expression.
“He would have married me anyways. Despite the fact that he had a son with another woman. How sick is that?” Hermione muttered angrily.
“Don’t make more excuses for him. He’s married now anyways. It’s over.”
Hermione wandered away from Harry that evening. She wandered away from his life. He was marrying a Weasley now. Ron would be ever-present in his life. She would not subject herself to extreme torture. That evening, she packed her bags for good.
Hermione sat in a small boulangérie (bakery) with her laptop. She felt the oddest sensation, as if she was being watched. With a start, she stopped picking at her croissant and whirled around. A woman sat across the room, staring at her with large, caramel eyes. Even more unnerving was the fact that she didn’t look away after being caught staring.
“Est-ce que tu veux quelque chose?” Hermione asked politely. (Is there something you would like?)
The woman still stared.
“Parle-tu français?” (Do you speak French?)
The woman still stared.
“Oh, bloody hell! Can I help you?” Hermione asked crossly.
The woman’s face light into a smile.
“It is you,” she breathed. “I wasn’t sure when you started spouting the French…”
She mumbled something under her breath.
“You’re Hermione Granger.”
“Yes, I am…yes, I am the Brains of the Golden Trio, yes I am that Hermione. Do you have a pen at least?”
“What?” the woman was confused.
“Don’t you want an autograph?”
The woman laughed. It was a jolly laugh, not one of those delicate little ones. It was robust, thick, and beautiful. Just like the woman.
“No, I don’t want your autograph. It’s not that I don’t like you. Trust me, I do. I’m your number one supporter. It’s just…is there somewhere a bit quieter that we can talk at?”
Hermione gazed around the small, empty bakery. Was that not quiet enough?
“I’m staying at an inn a few blocks over. Care to join me?”
“I…er…I don’t…Listen, you seem like a lovely person, but I’m quite straight, thank you.”
The woman laughed again.
“I’m not interested in taking advantage of you, if that’s what you’re hinting at. I just think what I’m about to tell you may be a wee bit of a shock.”
Hermione felt stupid about jumping to the conclusion that this stranger was hitting on her. She turned beet red.
“No offense taken,” the woman smiled.
They walked in silence down the few blocks that turned out to be quite a few. Finally, they stopped at a grand entrance. Doormen opened the glass masterpieces, and they stepped onto Connemara marble, exported over 100 years ago from Ireland in huge slabs (or so the sign announced). The woman walked over to the front desk and asked for a bottle of champagne to be sent up to her room.
“Yes, Madame,” the desk clerk replied quickly. She was an important client, this woman.
Once in the room, Hermione hid her queries no longer.
“Who are you?”
“I can’t answer that yet. Ask me something else.”
“Where are you from?”
“London, of course.”
“Why are you here?”
At this, the woman sighed happily.
“Finally! My message is simple, Hermione…”
“How did you know my name…?”
“Shh, all will be revealed. I am here to tell you that you can no longer hide away in Paris. For your well-being, as for the well-being of others, it is imperative that you return to England.”
Hermione’s jaw dropped.
“I’m not going back,” she insisted stubbornly.
“You must. Albus Dumbledore once told you that if you did a certain task, more than one life would be spared. This isn’t all about you, Hermione. If you don’t come back, someone’s life will forever be worse than hell.”
“Whose? Who are you? How do you know me?”
“A young man, age 25- the same as you- who is just as lonely and will soon try to kill himself. You must stop him.”
“Excuse me? Madame Malfoy?” a muffled voice asked.
“Malfoy?!” Hermione cried. She leaped onto the bed away from this Malfoy woman, pointing her wand at her.
The Malfoy woman seemed unfazed as she walked to the door to grab the champagne.
“Why are you here? Did Malfoy send you?” Hermione seethed.
“Yes and no. Which one?”
“What do you mean? There’s only one Malfoy left: that insufferable prat named Draco,” Hermione spat.
“You are mistaken, in a way. You see, you didn’t ask me when I’m from, only where. In my time, Draco is grown up and married. But it was not he who sent me. It was his one of his children, his daughter, Elizabeth Rose Malfoy, who sent me.”
“You…you’re from the future.”
“Who are you? You’ve had your fun, now tell me your name,” she commanded.
“Yes? What do you want? Tell me your name!”
“I did. My name is Hermione.”
“What a coincidence.”
“That’s just it. It’s not a coincidence, you wanker!”
Hermione was in a daze.
“My name is Hermione. I was born Hermione Jean Granger on September 19th. My best friend is Harry Potter. I found the love of my life when I was 25. I was married at 26, and my first child was born after my twenty ninth birthday. I am now forty. My eldest is off to Hogwarts soon. But I am here because I need you desperately, Hermione. I need you to return to London to save the love of my life, to save the father of my children. Elizabeth needs you to save her father.”
“No…there’s no way I’m married to MALFOY!” Hermione shrieked in disgust.
“I know it’s not your ideal situation right now…I reacted the same way when my older Hermione told me. But it’s essential. Please. Please, help me.”
Hermione stared at this woman. She stared at herself. Her hair was darker now, probably dyed. Her face was relatively free of the cake-y makeup she despised on girls like Lavender. She was fashionable. She was beautiful. And she was crying so heavily that tears threatened to flood the building.
“I love him so much,” she sobbed, “and if you don’t return to London as soon as you can, I will never meet him. My children will never be born.”
Taking a deep breath, Hermione spoke finally.
“I will return. I will help you. I will save Malfoy from dying. However, I do not plan to fall in love with him anytime soon.”
“Thank you,” the woman breathed. “I know he was an arse to you in school, but I swear he’s changed. I know how much Ron hurt you, and I promise that pain will go away. If it makes you feel better, your children are not only much more gifted in intelligence and athletics than his are, but they are also the most beautiful- coming from a somewhat-biased mother, of course.”
Hermione just nodded. Bloody Malfoy!
Her alter-ego accompanied her to her humble flat. With a wave of the older woman’s wand, everything was boxed up and ready to go.
“I guess you’ve seen it all happen before,” Hermione mumbled.
“I’ll send these to your flat in London…”
“I don’t have a flat in London.”
“I’ve bought you one. Right next door to young Malfoy, in fact. It’s in the most lovely location too.”
“You didn’t have to.”
“I did have to. Plus, what’s mine is yours, right?”
“Did you eat any supper?” the woman asked concernedly.
“No, I don’t eat much.”
“You will get your appetite back, my dear, I promise. Now, let’s get you home.”
She apparated the two of them out of Paris and into Hermione’s new London flat. Everything was new and modern. Granite countertops gleamed against the stainless steel appliances. A flat screen telly was blazoned over a sleek fireplace made of some black stone. It was a huge flat, more of a condo really. Her bedroom was extravagant. The extra-sized bed was comfier than a cloud, and the ensuite bathroom proved to be almost as alluring as the rows of bookshelf that donned her study next door.
Hermione wanted to say something. But she couldn’t. Her eyes closed drowsily and her last thoughts were:
“Well, why should I say thank you right now? After all, marrying Malfoy seems like a large price to pay…”
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