Chapter 6 : Memories
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Ps: the "~" will appear every time it's swapping to a memory.
"So it all started in our seventh year itself when you and I were walking through the corridors about two or three days after the encounter with Draco and we came across Pansy, Blaise and him being cornered by a huge group of Slytherins..."
~ ~ ~ ~
"You traitors", one of them growled, slamming seventeen year old Draco roughly against the wall.
"Everybody knows that you refused to fight by the Dark Lord's side in the end- you deserved to have gone to Azkaban not our families", A girl snapped, slapping Pansy across the face. Pansy gasped and reached behind her to grab her wand.
"Expelliarmus!" Another scary looking boy said, pointing his wand at Draco, Blaise and Pansy. Their wands flew out of their pockets and into the boy's hand," Don't think we're going to let you off so easily."
"What do you want?" Blaise spat at them. He was pinned against the wall beside Draco by two others.
"Oh nothing really, we just wanted to show you what happens when you go against the people you were supposed to be with", One of the boys said, punching Draco in the stomach. He doubled over but recovered almost immediately and began thrashing around. Another Slytherin boy came from the side and helped the first pin him securely.
"It's no use!" Pansy said, "It's over! Harry Potter won, the good side one, there's nothing you can do about it anymore. The Dark Lord is GONE- He's not coming back. Ever." This earned Pansy another slap across the face. Blaise began thrashing around, growling.
"Let go of her!" He yelled. The boy holding him punched him in the stomach but he didn't give in. "Don't you dare touch her!"
"Poor Blaise- she doesn't even love you back", The girl said and Blaise's mouth fell open. He looked at Pansy,who was staring at him with a surprised expression on her face. The girl holding her let out a shrill laugh, "Oops, didn't sweetheart Pansy know you have a little thing for her, Blaise? Guess she didn't overhear you talking to Draco about it in the common room like I did."
Blaise and Pansy stared at each other, Blaise thoroughly embarrassed.
"What, nothing to say?" The girl asked Blaise.
"Yeah, I do actually." Blaise growled. The girl raised an eyebrow at him questioningly and he spat at her," Go rot in Azkaban with your dear father for the rest of your life."
The girl grit her teeth together and withdrew her wand and pointed it at Blaise.
"I don't think you want to do that", A voice but across her curse. All heads snapped to the left where two girls were standing, their wands pointed at the Slytherins. One had soft wavy brown hair and the other had flaming red hair.
"Oh, very nice Granger, and whose going to stop us?" The girl laughed.
"That would be us", Ginny smiled.
"Yeah? You and which army?" The boy holding Draco asked," Going to call Potter and-"
Hermione simply flicked her wand at them as did Ginny and all their wands came flying out of their hands and into the two girls'. The Slytherins' jaws fell to the floor with shock.
"We and our wantless magic- something that your dear Voldy didn't teach you", Hermione spat at them. She raised her wand at the girl holding Pansy.
"I would leave her if I was you", She said," Unless of course you want to get hexed, which is completely okay with me."
"You'll get into t-trouble if you do", The girl stammered, absolutely petrified.
Hermione and Ginny burst out laughing, "Do you hear yourself?" Ginny asked, " We'll get into trouble? Yeah, okay. If you say so." She pointed her wand at the girl and after a second or two, the girl began itching, letting go of Pansy, who fell to the floor on her knees.
Hermione walked over to Pansy, her wand still pointed at the others, and helped the black-haired girl to her feet. Ginny went to hold her up as Hermione stepped in front of the other Slytherin boys.
"Let go of them", She said, gesturing to Draco and Blaise.
"Or w-what?" One of them asked, trying to look confident.
"Hmmm, I don't know actually", Hermione said, stepping closer to the boy. He was the one holding Draco by the shoulders against the wall. She ducked her head under the boy's right arm and stepped in front of Draco, her face inches away from the boy's. The second boy holding Draco let go immediately.
"What do you think will happen if you don't do what we say?" She asked.
"Mud-mudblood", The boy said. Hermione pointed her wand at his throat and he began shaking.
"Let go of him now", She hissed. He didn't, but he continued shaking. She lifted her left hand and placed it gently on his shoulder. His eyes followed her hand slowly and he became thoroughly confused at the gesture. Then, her grip tightened and her nails dug into his shoulder.
"Dont. Ever. Use. That. Word. Again", She growled. And in one swift movement, she raised her right knee and hurt him where it hurt the most. The boy collapsed to the floor, wailing in pain. She pointed to the boys holding Blaise ," Let go. NOW." They immediately obeyed and stepped away from him. Blaise brushed his robes and stood straight.
"If any of you DARE try any tricks with these three again, I swear I will get you expelled", She said in a threatening voice.
"Why're you sticking up for them?" One of the boys asked. It was a question going through literally everybody's minds. Especially the three she had just helped.
"Because they, unlike you, had the guts and brains to step away from everything that was wrong. They turned their backs on the Dark Lord. That doesn't make them cowards. It makes them brave. It doesn't make them traitors. It makes them heroes. That's why." Hermione said," Now if I were you, I'd leave just about now before Ginny and I decide on hexing you."
"What about our-our wands?" The girl asked, having stopped itching.
"You can collect them from the headmaster's office tonight after dinner", Ginny said, "Until then- best of luck without them, my pureblood princess." She gave the girl a sickly sweet smile.
"Now get out of here. And remember, if any of you dare try anything with these three- I will make sure you suffer yourself. They don't call me the brightest witch of our year for no reason", Hermione smirked. All the Slytherins (except the three) growled, under their breathes of course, and left the area.
Once they had all gone, Hermione spun around, forgetting how close she was to Draco. Her face was inches away from his and silvery blue eyes met chocolate brown ones. They stared into each other's eyes with so much intensity, the other three staring could almost feel it too.
Hermione finally snapped out of it and averted her eyes from his and took a hurried step behind.
"I- I hope you guys are okay", She stammered, moving further away from him.
"Yes, thank you- uh- so much", Pansy said, " We owe you one."
Ginny smiled," You do."
"She's right, we do", Blaise nodded, "Thank you", He held his hand out and Hermione shook it, followed by Ginny.
Hermione turned around slightly and realized that Draco was still looking at her.
"We should- uh -go.." Hermione said," Harry and Ron are probably waiting for us..."
"I think three of these belong to you", Ginny said, holding out the wands. The three stepped forward and picked up their respective ones.
The two girls turned to leave after their "byes" but were stopped by Draco clearing his throat and saying, " Uh Granger... and uh- Weasley-"
The two turned around, surprised.
"Finally found your tongue, Malfoy?" Hermione asked, smiling.
Draco smiled slightly but it still held his signature smirk ," Guess so... uh- thank you."
Hermione nodded, making eye contact with him for a second but looking away almost immediately. She smiled at the three and left with Ginny.
~ ~ ~
"That was the fist time you guys actually weren't yelling at each other", Ginny smiled at Hermione, who was sitting a little shocked.
"Then what happened?" She asked.
"There was a lot that happened in between- something to do with you being attacked by a couple of Slytherins and then being locked in an old classroom and Draco saving you from there. I've only heard about that though cause I wasn't really there myself. I heard from Harry and Ron that they were walking through the corridor after some class and Draco went rushing past carrying you in his bloody arms and when they asked him what the hell he thought he was doing, he answered, "Saving your best friend's life." Apparently you were bleeding a lot and he got you to the hospital wing just in time. The boys who attacked you, of course, got suspended from Hogwarts for six months", Ginny said.
"Malfoy... Malfoy saved my life?" Hermione asked, disbelievingly.
Ginny nodded, "He didn't even insult you. I asked you about it later and apparently he was really sweet and stayed by you through most of the night just to look over you."
Hermione's mouth fell open and Ginny smiled, " I don't know what came over so suddenly. But whatever it was, it was great. Anyway, the next day at dinner- when you were back from the Hospital wing-"
~ ~ ~
"Why do Malfoy and his pals sit separate from the rest of the Slytherins?" Ron asked Ginny and Hermione, leaning across the table in the great hall, "Is it because they left the Dark Lord's side?"
"Obviously, Ron", Ginny answered, "Almost all their parents were sent to Azkaban including Lucius Malfoy. Those three are the most hated in the house. I didn't think that was possible."
"So they're pretty much alone?" Harry asked. Hermione turned around to look at the three two tables away and turned back to Harry, nodding.
"They've apparently had it really tough ever since the war", She said, "I actually feel bad for them. While they've gained a bit of respect from the good side, they've lost about 90 percent of the respect from everybody else they knew. "
Ron sighed and looked at Harry.
"Really, Harry? Do we HAVE to?" He asked.
"Come on, Ron", Harry said, standing up. Ron grumbled and stood up too.
Ginny and Hermione looked at each other, a little confused. They watched the two boys walk over to the Slytherin table and stand in front of Draco, Pansy and Blaise. They watched them exchange words and surprisingly, they saw the three push their benches back and follow Ron and Harry to the Griffindor table. They came towards Hermione and Ginny.
"Would it be okay if they joined us?" Harry asked the two girls. Hermione looked at Ron and then Harry, surprised. She then looked to the three Slytherins, who looked completely embarrassed.
"Sure!" Ginny answered, moving over to Hermione to make space for Pansy beside her. The black haired girl smiled and sat down beside her. Similarly, Draco and Blaise sat down between Harry and Neville, who commanded the entire line of Griffindors on his side to shift up. Soon, all eyes in the Great Hall were on them and whispers were filling the hall. Hermione sighed and stood up.
"HONESTLY PEOPLE", She yelled, " Yes, what you're seeing is true. Three Slytherins are sitting with the Griffindors. So what? Isn't this what our school wants? House Unity? Do you really have a problem with it? If you do, see us NOT CARE. Now get on with your own business!" Everyone immediately went back to their own conversations and everyone but the Slytherins stopped staring. Hermione narrowed her eyes at them and flopped back on the bench. Her friends were staring at her, amused.
"What?" She asked.
"Nothing", Harry said, shaking his head.
"Do you mind if I join?" A dreamy, melodious voice came from behind Hermione. She turned to see Luna smiling at them.
"Of course not!" She exclaimed. The girls shifted up and she sat opposite Neville, who turned red.
"Longbottom got a thing for Lovegood?" Draco asked, leaning across the table to Ginny, Hermione, Harry and Ron.
"Since last year", Hermione grinned, "You should see him when she actually talks to him."
Their conversation was interrupted by Dumbledore's voice booming around the Great Hall.
"Attention, students!" He said and everybody turned to him.
"Ah, I see a pleasant change in the seating arrangement today", He smiled to the Griffindors and raised his glass to the small group of red, blue and green. They raised their glasses slightly back with smiles.
"The reason I wished to get your attention was that we have been contacted by a Wizarding school in America", Dumbledore said, "They wish to have an exchange program. For those who do not know what that is, it is where a few students from our school will go to their's and a few of their students will come to our school. This school from America is known as the Jawstens School or Witchcraft and Wizardry. I am sure some of you have heard of it?"
Blaise leaned forward and asked Pansy, "Isn't that your sister's school?"
"Yeah, Hayley goes there", She answered, nodding.
"You have a sister?" Ron asked.
"Yeah- we sent her there to keep away from the whole deal with the war", Pansy said, "She was safe there."
Dumbledore continued, "So basically we are going to send eleven students from our school to Jawstens and we are going to have eleven or twelve coming to Hogwarts. The students going from Hogwarts will be leaving tomorrow night after dinner and will be going using the Hogwarts Express. They will take their trunks full of things like clothes and personal items but not books, as the school there will provide you with their own."
"Whose going?" Someone called from the Hufflepuff table.
"We have decided to give all four houses a chance- so this year, the one's that will be going are- " Dumbledore pulled out a list from his robes and held it in front of him, "From Ravenclaw house- Luna Lovegood and Cho Chang. From Hufflepuff house- Ernie Macmillan and Hannah Abbott. From Griffindor- Ginevra Weasley, Neville Longbottom and Hermione Granger. And from Slytherin house- Daphne Greengrass, Draco Malfoy, Blaise Zabini and Pansy Parkinson." Hermione, Ginny, Luna, Neville, Draco, Pansy and Blaise looked at each other and smiled.
"I wish we could go too ", Ron frowned.
"You want to know why you aren't going?" Pansy whispered.
"Uh... sure", Ron said.
Pansy motioned everybody to huddle closer and they did.
"I overheard the professors talking about this year's Head Boy and Head Girl- I think you might become Head Boy", She whispered.
"NO WAY!" Ron yelled and everybody in the hall stared at him. He turned red and buried his face back into their little conversation. "Are you serious, Parkinson?"
"Definitely", Pansy said, " I think they were going to make Hermione head girl but they decided to send her for the program instead I guess." Hermione's face fell for a few seconds but she smiled again.
"And I think Potter isn't going because they want him to join the Ministry during summer for a month", Blaise said, "As an Auror, if Im not wrong."
"How do you know this?" Harry asked, shocked.
"My mum and Draco's mum have contacts within the Ministry trying to find jobs for them and one of them told Narcissa that she might be helping Harry track down a few death-eaters who escaped. Weasley will be helping of course but he'll go back to Hogwarts as head boy, even if Potter chooses to remain in the ministry."
"That's awesome", Harry grinned.
"Students who have been selected for the exchange program, please begin packing early tomorrow morning at the latest. " Dumbledore said, "We have also decided on who the Head boy and girl is going to be but that will be announced tomorrow at breakfast, so if you wish to find out- please be present then. Continue and enjoy your meals!" He sat back down and the Great Hall was filled with talking once again.
~ ~ ~
"So that was kind of the main beginning to the friendship between us and those three- and surprisingly, Ron got pretty used to them and didn't grumble every time they were around", Ginny said. Hermoine laughed.
"What's the deal with him and Hayley by the way?" She asked.
"Oh yeah, you probably were confused when she turned up at The Burrow- speaking of which, you and Draco handled the situation of not knowing ANYTHING pretty damn well all through dinner", Ginny said, impressed, "So the same way we were sent to Jawstens, one of the students that happened to be sent to Hogwarts was Hayley which is pretty amusing because neither of the sister saw each other that way. Anyway, Ron apparently bumped into her one day and she was a sixth year but took a few classes with the seventh years because apparently she was really good. And she and Ron started talking and it was normal first but then they started seeing each other more often and they realized they had a lot in common. He even began eating neatly and behaving at the table with his food."
"No way!" Hermione burst out laughing, "That girl must REALLY be something for Ronald Bilius Weasley if he decided that table manners were necessary."
"We were really shocked when Harry told us. But then during seventh year, someone slipped Hayley a love potion and she ended up kissing this guy and Ron walked in on them- it was during the winter ball, same time as the winter ball in Jawstens where stuff happened with is too but we know this from Harry, who ended up returning to Hogwarts before jointing the Ministry after graduation. Yeah so then Ron walked in and he walked forward and shoved the boy away and Hayley... well, she slapped Ron. He was heartbroken and he ran out of the place completely upset. He didn't talk to anyone the whole night and the next day, he refused to even go near the Ravenclaws, the house Hayley was sorted to. Finally on the third day, Hayley went to speak to him and told him it was a love potion she was under and yet all he could remember was the way she had slapped him. She ended up crying and when the boy came to her the next day at breakfast, she went up to him and kicked him read hard and began punching him and wouldn't stop until Ron grabbed her pulled her away..."
~ ~ ~
Hayley watched as the doors of the Great Hall opened and Reddy bloody Johnson strutted in. She grit her teeth together as she remembered the pain she saw in Ron's eyes the night before. She had slapped the boy she loved because of a freaking love potion. She remembered how she had cried all night and woken up in the morning with blood-shot eyes and cried some more. And for what? For a Weasley. The same Weasley that was on Harry Potter's side- the same Weasley that was a pureblood- blood traitor during the war. The same Weasley that she had heard her sister mocking and making fun of with Draco and Blaise.
The same Weasley that had been her first friend here in Hogwarts. The same Weasley that had been so perfect to her. The same Weasley that she had fallen so badly in love with.
She pushed her chair behind and stepped away from the Ravenclaw table and began taking long strides towards Reddy, who saw her and smirked.
"Hey, babe", He said. BABE? HE HAD THE NERVE TO-
She raised her hand and slapped him across the face. The sound the contact made resounded all around the Great Hall and by now, everyone was staring at them, eyes wide and jaws open. Including the teachers, who didn't bother doing anything because they knew what had happened and hated the boy anyway. Rather Reddy getting slapped then Ron.
"Hale- what the hell!" Reddy exclaimed, holding his cheek.
"You tell me, you bloody arsehole!" " Hayley screeched, punching him in the face. The last time she had been this angry was when Pansy had come into her room when she was asleep and cut her hair in different levels and drawn on her face. And they were about five then!
"I-" She hit him, "Hate-" Hit, "-You-" Harder hit, "-so-" Punch, "-Much!" She kept hitting him in the chest and he kept backing up, knowing he couldn't fight back. Damn her for being a girl!
"WHY?" Hayley yelled, shoving him against the wall, "You're asking me why I hate you?! Don't you DARE try any tricks with me or my friends ever again, you complete moron! I swear to Merlin I will end you! What-" Hit, "Gave you the right", Punch, "To slip me a bloody love potion?! What in Merlin's great hell gave you the right?!"
Before she could aim another punch, someone grabbed her around the waist and lifted her off her feet.
"LET ME GO! PUT ME DOWN!" She shrieked, "Let me finish him!"
"Hayley, calm down!" Ron said, stepping away from Reddy, still holding Hayley in the air with one arm around her waist. She began thrashing around and he moved towards the doors of the Hall and went out, pushing the doors shut with his back.
"Put me down!" Hayley screeched. He put her down and she turned to face him. Obviously she didn't realize that it had been Ron because her mouth fell open and she stopped thrashing. Her black hair was a complete and utter mess and was all over her face and her eyes were raging but as he stared into them, they began to soften.
He reached forward and removed her hair delicately from her face and tucked it behind her ear. He then cupped her cheek with his hand. She immediately relaxed under his touch.
"I'm sorry", She said, softly.
Ron nodded," We're friends right?"
"Ron, I- I lo-"
"No, Hale- for now, we're just friends okay? Too much happened and I don't think Im ready yet for all the pain of the past days to go away immediately, Im only being honest."
Hayley nodded, "Im sorry."
"Don't be, you were under a love potion and I think you taught Reddy a lesson back there", Ron smirked, "Look, Hayley," He took her hands in his, "I love you." Her breathe got stuck in her throat as he said it and she was about to reply and he shook his head, "But I don't think we should rush this so suddenly. Let's give this time. Let's just be friends for now. We both know it's more but let's just... take it slow, you know?"
Hayley tried to process his words and then nodded. She stepped back and held her hand out, "Just friends then?"
Ron ignored the handshake and pulled her forward into a hug.
"What happened to taking it slow?" She asked, her arms tight around his neck.
"Taking it slow doesn't mean me not being able to hug you", He said. She smiled and he held her tight.
~ ~ ~
"That's so sweet", Hermione smiled, "Im so glad Ron finally found someone. She seemed really nice at The Burrow".
"She is!" Ginny said.
"Okay, back to Malfoy and me- what happened when we went to Jawstens?" Hermione asked.
"So we found out that there weren't any houses in Jawstens it was years living together. So basically all of us were staying in the seventh year's common room. It was pretty big and nice and all but that isn't relevant. Right, Malfoy and you. So the first few days we just adjusted to the place and it was pretty nicWelle-not as big and amazing as Hogwarts, but pretty close. Then there was Daphne Greengrass- who was a complete creep! She was really terrible! She tried to make your life a living hell by trying to humiliate you and what-not. Well, then you fell for this guy called Victor. He was-"
Hermione groaned and Ginny looked at her questioningly. "Not ANOTHER Victor!"
Ginny laughed and said," Everyone began joking about how you had a thing for Victors from other schools but Victor told people to shut up and he eventually asked you out and it was nice... All the way until you realized what a jerk he was."
"Oh dear god... What did he do?" Hermione asked, afraid of the answer.
"He basically set you up. Everything was planned just to humiliate you and who came to your rescue but-"
"Draco Malfoy", Hermione completed. Ginny nodded and Hermione took a deep breathe.
"Shall I go on?"
"Do I have a choice?" Hermione asked, giving her a small smile,"Surprise me-"
~ ~ ~
Victor grabbed her face and kissed her roughly. Immediately, she saw flashed and heard clicks from cameras around her. Her eyes were wide with shock and she was trying to shove him away from her. He wouldn't budge- he forced himself onto her as the media covered them on all sides, going wild.
She suddenly felt people pulling Victor off her. A pair of arms went around her shoulders and began leading her away. Before she could say or see anything, a bucket of cold water was emptied over her head. She stood rooted to the spot, shaking and shivering.
"Come on, Hermione", The person beside her said," Ill let you use our tent to change." Hermione looked at the person and gasped, " Daphne? Why're you helping me?"
"Because no girl should be treated like this", Daphne said, "Now come on." She lead Hermione to a large, white tent and ushered her inside and said, "You can take the pair of clothes in there in the corner and there's a towel too."
"Thank you so much, Daphne!" Hermione said. Daphne smiled and shut the tent flap.
hermione quickly peeled off her wet t-shirt and shorts and grabbed the towel. Suddenly, amidst wiping herself, the entire tent collapsed around her, except the area on top which still remained intact. She had just about enough time to wrap the towel around her torso before she saw, again, flashes from cameras.
She felt tears well up in her eyes as she realized that she had been set-up. Everything was a set-up! Her eyes landed on Daphne and her friends, who were standing by the tent, smirking and occasionally answering a question from a reporter.
She pulled the towel closer to her and ran away as far as she could. She came to a series of steps that lead to the beach and collapsed on to the top step, leaning against the wall beside her. She held the towel close to her wet body and felt tears run down her cheeks. She had never been this humiliated in her life! Those photos would be released soon... and what would people think of her...
A towel was gently dropped around her shoulders. Her head snapped up, expecting another news reporter or camera man but instead, she looked straight into silvery blue eyes. She suddenly realized who she was looking at and quickly brushed away her tears, pulled her towel closer to her and shrunk further into the wall.
"You okay there, Granger?" Draco Malfoy asked, leaning against the opposite wall, arms crossed over his chest.
"Wha-what do you want?" She asked, trying to move further away from him.
"Relax, would you? Any more into that wall and you'll phase right through it", He smirked.
"What do you want?" She said," If you're here to mock me- hurry up and just get it over with and scoot. I think Ive been humiliated enough." Her voice broke on the last two words.
"Pansy told me that she overheard Daphne talking about a plan involving you and today so when I saw the media, I came to see what had happened", He explained, "I even got you a towel." He looked quite proud of himself for this little act of kindness.
"Why're you helping me?" She asked quietly, looking up at him, "Why do you care?"
"I dont kno- I don't care", He said, catching himself from saying what had accidentally slipped in the last second and changing his sentence, " I just find it unfair that this is happening to you when you're all alone- not Weasley or Potter, and Weaslette is somewhere else with Lovegood."
"Well it is happening and its absolutely terrible", Hermione said, choking back her tears, "Stupid Slytherins."
"Hey, hey, hey! Don't diss Slytherins- some of us are quite courteous, like me!" Draco said, proudly.
"Joy, chivalry isn't dead then", She muttered before saying," What a bloody lovely way of ending a camp. I can't believe i fell for Victor."
"He's quite air-headed and dense", Draco commented, " A little like Weasley, if you ask me".
"Well Im not asking you so please just- " She took a deep breathe and calmed herself, "Why are you here?"
"Why are you so humiliated?" Draco asked, his expression serious, ignoring her question.
"Wha-What do you mean, why I am so humiliated?" Hermione spluttered, "Do you know how embarrassing it is to- to- go through all that?"
"I don't actually but Granger, there have been so many other times that you've been embarrassed, especially because of me- Ive tripped you down the stairs, Ive made your hair turn blue, Ive made your teeth grow way too big, Ive made your books fly away and you've gone chasing after them like a moron- this shouldn't be any different", Draco reasoned.
"You wouldn't know! You've never been humiliated in your life! Stupid Malfoys!" She said. Now she was just getting plain angry. What the hell would he know? Stupid ferret...
"Listen, Granger", He said, sliding down the wall and sitting on the same step across her. She looked at him. " After the Dark Lord was defeated by Potter, our entire family was treated like dirt- my father was sent to Azkaban and my mother and I were pushed around", Hermione opened her mouth to say something bubut he cut her off, "I know you're going to say that we deserve it and yeah, maybe we do but knowing for a fact that we did something wrong and having it rubbed in your face every minute of your life is... hurtful, annoying, infuriating- in other words, humiliating. So, no, you can't say that I haven't been humiliated."
"Im sorry", She mumbled," But they're going to print those pictures in the Prophet and Harry and Ron will see it- and then Ginny will wonder what I did while she was gone and then she'll feel guilty for not being there with me and then it'll reach Mrs. Weasley, who'll resort to asking questions, and then my mum- whose faced enough as it is! And- Im blabbering aren't i?"
Draco smirked at her flushed expression and nodded, "Relax, okay? My mum knows people in the Prophet and Ill get her to make sure your scandal isn't printed and you can get your Loony friend to make sure it isn't in that mad magazine the Qibbler or whatever... okay?"
Hermione pondered over what he had said and then nodded, "Okay... I just don't get why you're even bothering to help a mudblood like me... I mean, I appreciate it and stuff but... you've already helped me once- so we're even..."
"I don't get it either", Draco said," But let's face it-no one's allowed to make fun of you but, well, me."
Hermione forced herself to smile. He got to his feet and held out his hand and her eyes widened at his outstretched arm.
"Pansy and I decided that you needed some help", He said.
"How do I know it won't be another set-up?" She asked warily.
"I wouldn't waste my time in setting you up- Id do it straight out", Draco answered, "Just trust me."
"I dont", Hermione said, "But I swear Ill punch you like third year if anything happens."
"Ill take your word on that one", He smirked. She nodded slightly and put her hand in his. She felt a twisting in her stomach and he apparated them away.
When Hermoine opened her eyes next, she was in a rather large bedroom with a king sized bed with purple covers and normal bedroom furniture around.
"Where are we?" She asked Draco, who was going through the wardrobe to her right.
"Malfoy Manor", He answered, pulling out a turquoise knee-length dress from its depths.
"Why do you have a dress in your wardrobe? I mean, as.. uh... gorgeous as it would look on you ", Hermione smirked, "Is there something we don't know about young Malfoy?"
Draco smirked back ," No such thing, unfortunately. This isn't my room, its my mother's and this is one of her old dresses."
"Uh... I don't think Mrs. Malfoy will be happy having my mudblood germs on her dress", Hermione said softly, looking down at her fidgeting hands.
"My mother doesn't care about prejudices. She never did", Draco said.
"And you?" She asked, raising her head slightly to look into his eyes.
"I've changed too..." Draco said. He put the dress and a towel on the bed and walked to the door.
"Mal- Draco?" She said and he turned around. "Thank you." She smiled. He nodded and turned around to leave.
She was in the Malfoy Manor in Narcissa Malfoy's bedroom, sitting on her bed, about to wear her purple dress and was brought here by Draco Malfoy, ex-mudblood hater. Who wouldve believed her if she had told them this? Nobody.
~ ~ ~
"Malfoy ACTUALLY brought me to his Manor and helped me out and what did his mother say?" Hermione asked, shell shocked.
"His mother was most happy actually", Ginny said, smiling, "In simple words- she loved you. She made sure the stories didn't get out and the ones who actually experienced the whole scene, if they made fun of you or whatever- Draco, Pansy, Blaise, me, Luna and Neville and Cho and Hannah always shut them up."
"Wow", Hermione said, "Who knew Malfoy could be a gentleman?"
"Oh thats not the only time he was a total gentleman- one day, on some day we were out at a pub during a weekend, you got totally drunk and were about to... well... expose yourself in literal manners", Hermione cringed, " Draco gabbed the drink out of your hand and made sure you kept your well... shirt on. And when these guys guys tried to have a go at you, he punched one of them and Blaise took care of the other and I hit one of them too. And well, he took you back to campus and made sure you got changed and when you threw up all over your own bed, he let you have his and he took the floor."
"NO WAY. I REFUSE TO BELIEVE THAT!" Hermione almost yelled, "I couldnt have gotten drunk and thought of... exposing myself! And neither could have Draco- UGH, MALFOY- Come to my dear bloody rescue!"
Ginny laughed at Hermione's sudden outburst , "But it was extremely sweet, whatever you say."
"Okay, then what happened?" Hermione asked, taking a deep breathe and calming herself.
"Okay. So after that, you guys got a little closet but not close enough to stop calling each other by your last names", Ginny smiled. In fact, she wouldn't stop smiling. This annoyed Hermione a little bit.
"Okay, uh- fast forward to how we actually got together?" Hermione said. She didn't know whether she actually wanted to hear the details of her and Malfoy's lovely little relationship.
"Well it was funny actually- we got back to Hogwarts for the last few months. Hayley went back to Jawstens after Ron promised her that he would wait for her", Ginny said," and we filled Harry and Ron in on whatever they needed to know. And all of us began getting close- us Griffindors and the three Slytherins. Plus, Luna and Neville got together during our time in Jawstens. And basically everybody knew that you and Malfoy practically belonged together! Like, neither of you would admit it but we would catch you sometimes stealing glances at eachother and it was tiniest of things that gave us an idea that you...well, just belonged together! And so we decided you needed a little push. We always knew that you loved the rain so one day when it was pouring, we went to the front doors and as we expected,you said..."
~ ~ ~
"Havent you ever just wanted to stand in the rain, close your eyes and just... Just breathe and enjoy the moment? Forget everything around you for a few seconds and just..." Hermione trailed off as she stared longingly at the rain... Only a few steps away from her.
She suddenly felt someone take her hand in theirs and start walking forward. She looked to her right and stopped.
"What're you doing?" She asked Draco.
"If you've always wanted to do it, why've you stopped yourself?" He answered.
"It's... We're not allowed to go out at this time and-"
"Oh, loosen up a little, Granger! Have a little fun!" Draco said," Besides, there are always people going out in the rain somehow or the other."
"I don't know, Malfoy..."
"Fine. Don't come. You guys coming?" He said, turning to the others, who were looking at them amused, and extremely happy that everything was turning our exactly as planned. They were so predictable.
"Yeah, of course we're coming", Ginny exclaimed, a little to enthusiastic. They all began walking out into the rain, leaving Hermione and Draco behind.
"Your choice in the end. You can finally cross it off your to-do list if you come out today", He said, quietly. She looked at him, surprised.
"How do you know about that..." Hermione said. She literally had a to-do list with things she wanted to complete before graduation.
"Forget about that, just come... Please? You won't regret it, I promise", He said, holding his hand out. She took a deep breathe and put her hand in his. He smiled and pulled her out into the rain.
She stood there, the rain pelting down on her face. She closed her eyes and cleared her mind of everything. Draco watched her and seeing her smile made him smile too. Despite the whole scene being so beautiful, the only thing he could register in his mind was her. She was the only beautiful thing that he could see.
Though the breezes through trees
move so pretty, You're all I see.
He didn't notice the rain getting a bit lighter, he didn't notice the others filing out of the place and back inside, he only saw her as his feet moved to their own accord, taking him closer and closer to her.
Soon, he was just inches away from her. He lifted his hand and moved her wet hair away from her cheek and pushed it away behind her ear. Feeling his touch upon her cheek, she was brought back to reality and her eyes opened. The first thing she saw was him and she couldn't take her eyes of him. He stared into her eyes and she stared right back. Before they knew it, they were leaning towards eachother. Her arms went around his neck and he had one hand cupping the back of her head and the other around her waist, pulling her closer. He captured her lips with his own and she melted into his arms. Into this kiss. The kiss that was a whole new beginning for them both.
As the world keeps spinning round,
You hold me right here, right now.
~ ~ ~
"Wow, who knew that Malfoy could be such a romantic?" Hermione muttered.
"Well yeah", Ginny said, "So that was how you both started off together as a proper couple. Eventually he asked you to marry him and-"
"Wait wait!" Hermione stopped her, "You can just "eventually" me! Don't forget that I need these details just in case.. and well, Im curious."
"Well, basically it was pretty dramatic. You got pregnant first. "
"WITHOUT MARRYING HIM?" Hermione exclaimed," Thats so... unlike me."
"Well, neither of you saw it coming so suddenly. You'll were together at first and then something happened which neither of you like talking about, you only said that you got into a fight and then you broke up unfortunately. And you found out that you were pregnant and you told me and Ron and Harry and Ron rather stupidly blurted it out at dinner one day when we all had gone out. You refused to take wine and without thinking Ron said " Obviously she can't take wine, no preg-" and then he shut up immediately. And everyone stared at you and and you had your eyes shut and when you opened them, you looked at Draco and he realized exactly what was going on. You excused yourself from dinner and went back to your mum's house, which you moved into after you and him broke up. And he turned up there at night, completely drenched after getting through the rain. You spoke to him and you both were a mess because you had no idea what to do. Both of you tried dating but he was the first to break up with his girlfriend and while you were still with someone, he kept coming back to check on you and after a point, your boyfriend asked you to.. well, abort the baby because it wasn't his and he wanted to marry you. And Draco found out and went to his office and punched him really hard because he also found out that he grabbed your shoulders and shook you. That was the end of dear Rick Rogers."
"I can't believe all this", Hermione said, shaking her head, "Its so much to digest. I can't imagine living through it all. And you thought of "eventually"- ing me. You can't just ignore all this!
"Sorry! I shouldn't have", Ginny said, "Anyway, moving on- He came back to you and told you that he loved you and you pushed him away and told him that he was playing with your feelings. But eventually, trying to manage yourself alone in such a state became really difficult and besides, he came to check on you almost everyday and finally, one day he came to your house and without saying anything, he just kissed you and told you he loved you again and you didn't shove him away this time and... things started falling back together in place. Then... well, it was a really upsetting thing that happened. The baby inside you... there was a miscarriage" Hermione gasped, "Yeah. And you were completely broken and it got completely out of hand. You drifted away from everybody and you tried to become a writer, which at first worked out but your books varied from extremely depressing to fairytales- both what you felt you were experiencing, in depression and wanting to be in a fairytale where everything is perfect, that's what you said. At one point, you couldn't get a book published anywhere and you were basically losing it and you ended up... completely wrecked- drunk and messed up and Draco found you.
"You had pushed him away a lot. He helped you. And finally, you began healing. Oh by the way, he was a model- he became one two years after our Hogwarts graduation. He went to his modeling place one day and took you along and the people who assign catwalks and stuff- basically the modeling heads- saw you and asked you to come back because they felt you were "model- material" and you went back with Draco the next day and they worked on you and eventually, you became one of the best in the company, wizarding fashion industry actually. This new job totally changed you and you were back up and mush happier soon enough. You and Draco got extremely close again, working together on projects and stuff. One day we had gone to this wizarding concert and", She began giggling, "He literally went on stage and he took the mike from the main guy and in front of everybody, he asked you to marry him. At first you were completely shocked and embarrassed but then the whole bloody crowd began chanting "say yes" and you soon, you couldn't stop smiling and of course, you said yes and the wedding was just perfect. Blaise was Draco's best man along with Ron, surprisingly and Harry took your fathers place in walking you down the aisle and me and Pansy were your bridesmaids and Luna walked down after that with Neville. It was magical...
"Then Aaron soon came along and you were scared because you didn't want what happened before to happen again but Draco was by your side at all times and made sure nothing happened and Aaron came 9 months later and everything was perfect for your family and then you found out he was a prodigy and everyone was so happy.
As for Ritch Mcenzee, we don't really know how she happened. A month and a half ago, she joint the fashion company that you both work at and you and Draco began drifting apart slowly and soon there was more about Ritch in his life than you and Aaron started realizing that something was up and asked you who she was and you kept avoiding the question. The real you still loves Draco but she'll never admit it straight out because of Ritch. She's heartbroken and when Draco told her about the divorce, well- that was the other day when we all were asking you how you were because we knew that the real you was really shattered. It must have been confusing for both of you to not know whats going on."
"Bloody hell", Hermione mumbled, "This is a lot to take in."
"I can understand. Especially if the last thing you remember about Draco is him insulting you."
"Am I suposed to tell him all this?"
"It's up to you. If you think he should know, then yeah I guess", Ginny said.
"Anyway, Harry's dropping Aaron home in a few minutes from the garden where he and James and Lily are playing so you should probably be getting home now", She said, standing up. Hermione nodded and stood up. She hugged the red haired girl really tightly.
"Thank you so much for everything Ginny, especially for understanding what Im going through."
"Anytime, 'Mione", Ginny smiled, returning the hug.
Hermione apparated back home and realized that Ritch and Draco were already home and surprisingly enough, Aaron was already home and playing with Ritch. She suddenly saw red.
"Put him down please", Hermione said through gritted teeth, stepping into the living room.
"Excuse me?" Ritch asked, looking from Aaron who was on her lap to Draco who was sitting beside her to Hermione who was standing in the doorway.
"I said put him down", She said.
"Aaron?" Ritch asked.
"Yes, you daft bimbo", Hermione said, "Aaron, MY son."
"Are you jealous?" Ritch asked, a small smile playing at her lips.
"Put him down. NOW. " Hermione said.
"Honestly, you're not going to have him for long anyway", Ritch asked, dropping all signs of being nice and standing up, still holding Aaron.
"I will NOT be spoken to like that in my own house", Hermione said, anger evident in her eyes," If you know whats right for you, give him to me."
Aaron, himself, sensing his mother's discomfort, struggled out of Ritch's arms and ran up the stairs.
"Look what you did, you bitch", Ritch said, taking a step towards Hermione, "He's your own son and you made him upset."
"He didn't run away from you because he's upset, he ran away from you to get away from your filthy self", Hermione retorted.
"That's enough," Draco said, standing up and standing in between Ritch and Hermione, facing the latter.
"Who are you to step in, Malfoy?" Hermione growled.
"I hold the same or almost more importance that you do in this house", He said, "Get in the kitchen, we need to talk."
Hermione narrowed her eyes at Ritch and then turned and went to the kitchen. She heard him tell Ritch to go upstairs and be with Aaron while he spoke to her.
"What the hell is wrong with you, Granger?!" He whispered furiously, slamming his palms down against the kitchen table. She stood across him on the other side.
"Why was she here playing with my son?" Hermione asked.
"She has the right to!" Draco said, "And honestly, he really isn't your son either- you don't remember giving birth to him. He could hate you for all we-"
He was unable to complete his sentence as Hermione had taken two quick strides and slapped him across his face. His face got thrown to the right and his left cheek was growing steadily red. "Don't complete that sentence, Malfoy."
He swore loudly and said, "What is WRONG with you?"
"Make sure she stays away from my son", She growled.
"Why? Because you's scared that she'll take away your son just like she took away your husband? Maybe it's supposed to be so, Granger- maybe she's better than y-" Again, her hand made contact with his cheek as she slapped him for the second time.
"Shut up", She snarled, "Just shut the hell up."
"Dammit, Granger!" Draco said, his hand against his throbbing cheek, "You jealous bitch." He said, stepping backwards towards the doorway, "Or maybe you're just having your bloody time of the month." With that, he turned and left the kitchen, leaving Hermione standing there, fuming with rage.
Then a thought struck her... very suddenly. When she had begun getting her, as Draco said "time of the month", she had begun to mark it on a calendar so she was completely prepared for the pain and mood swings. She had still been doing it when she was seventeen and if anything changed, which it rarely did,she used to adjust her entire calendar accordingly. She had never found a need to change the dates though because she was always perfectly spot-on on time.
I wonder... She thought, going towards the calendar hanging against the side of the fridge. She looked at the September section and then, furrowing her eyebrows, she flipped back a month... and then another. She shook her head and flipped to October- there had to be some kind of mistake! She took a deep breathe and headed to the fireplace. Dropping a fist full of floo powder inside, she cleared her mind of everything, and said clearly "St. Mungo's!"
So thats pretty much done! The story pretty much begins to pick up from now onwards. I HATE Ritch, thats all Id like to say. Im sure you guys do too :P And for all of you who thought Draco deserved a nice, tight slap- there we have it- She didn't slap him once, but twice :D Haha, I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter and I know some of the memories didn't make sense for the fact that Ginny was narrating but I still included it because I wanted you guys to have a nice insight into how Dramione came to be in this one. And yes, I know it could have been more detailed but I didn't make it properly detailed because of reasons that you'll see towards the end of this story, in the last 4-5 chapters.
The scene of Hermione's embarrassment in camp due to Daphne was inspired from Princess Diaries, as many of you have noticed :)
Anyway, thank you for reading and please please please leave your reviews. I was absolutely thrilled at how many reviews my previous chapter got :D And I reached 12000 reads and 120 reviews as well for both stories, so thanks again (: Oh ps: I added more spacing between commas and all for those who said it would be better- so I hoped it worked, and if i missed out anywhere- Sorry!
Until next time,
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