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Chapter 7 : Fancy an Omelet? And by the way, We're Doomed.
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Sorry for the long wait! For a while, I lacked the inspiration to do any writing...they say that's what college apps do to you. Ah well. I'd like to thank Emily Malfoy, Emerald-Eyed Cat, Dracolovergirl5000, KxxDxx, Jakumo1, Sarahkay502, Appreciative Reader, Barbara, Stephanie, Lindsii, Liv, Starkidgleek, kriss, LovesMagic, shelli, and Ambre for leaving such sweet and thoughtful reviews. As per usual, I do not own anything save for new characters- none of which appear in this chapter, I believe- and the plot. Without further adieu, happy reading!!
The room was pitch black and cries of hysterical women could be heard. One woman however remained eerily silent. Hermione crept slowly along the walls, trying to remember the exact proportions of where Harry had been from her a minute ago.
“Harry?” Hermione whispered amongst the screams. “Harry?”
“I’m here, ‘Mione. Don’t light up your wand, they’ll notice.”
Harry too was silent, save for the sentence. He knew how to survive in situations like these, and as a husband, his first priority that night was to save his wife and their unborn child.
“Do you have Ginny with you?”
“Good. Hold on to my hand. Draco’s going to take us away from here.”
“What about Ron?”
“I…we can’t. It’s too risky.”
“Hermione, he’s our best friend!”
“Yes, but think of Ginny. Think of the baby. Ron’s fully capable of protecting himself. Sometimes, Harry Potter, you need to shove off that hero complex of yours and think of other things. Got it?”
Hermione only slightly regretted yelling at Harry about his hero complex. That’s what the Slytherins had called it. That’s what the Death Eaters had called it. But it worked. Ginny was going to be safe, her baby was going to be safe, and Harry knew Hermione’s words were true.
“Do it, Draco.”
A few seconds later, Hermione felt the sensation of something pulling on her navel. She knew they had Apparated to safety.
“Incendio,” Draco whispered. Candles flickered with life.
“Where are we, Malfoy?”
“This is a safe house of mine. It’s a bit small, so I hope you won’t mind that.”
Hermione looked around. It was a normal sized flat.
‘A bit small’ my arse, she thought.
“What’s going on there? Shouldn’t we be there helping?” Ginny queried.
“Oh, Ginevra. Still naïve it seems. No, we would not get out of there if I hadn’t taken the chance. It’s you three they’re after anyways. And, well…me too, I suppose,” Draco added thoughtfully. He didn’t add what Harry was thinking: and Ron.
“Who are they?” Harry’s eyes hardened like steel.
“They are the Mangiatori di Morte Rinasce. The new Death Eaters. It started up as a small group of rebel Death Eaters that evaded Azkaban. They were pretty sub-par…young teens who had idolized Voldemort and all that he believed in. The Italian Ministry didn’t view them as a large threat. The most they’d accomplished was graffiti on Muggle bus stops or petty thefts. They almost died out, initially. Lack of funding, so I heard, until they found a few wealthy benefactors.”
“Who?” Hermione asked.
“Yaxley. Yaxley, Avery and our own classmate, Theodore Nott, all managed to evade Azkaban. They heard of the latest uprising…”
“Theo?” Ginny asked.
“You called him Theo?” Harry looked shocked.
“Well we were Potions partners when you three abandoned me to go on your merry hunt. He wasn’t the kindest at first, but he warmed up to the idea after he truly realized the error of Voldemort’s ways. He was always so scared. He was scared for his life, scared for his mother’s life. His fear turned into hatred when his little sister was killed in a Death Eater brawl. Theo hated the Death Eaters…he hated what it all stood for…”
“Yaxley is his godfather. Mr. Nott had been particularly clever in that he hid much of his wealth in foreign banks. That was common for Purebloods during Voldemort’s reign, although they’d kill you rather than admit it. The fact remained that they were uncertain of whether or not their Dark Lord would vanquish or be vanquished. It was Yaxley who orchestrated it all though. After he heard about a new uprising, Yaxley forced Theo to help fund the movement, utilizing Yaxley’s own gold as well as Avery’s. They were all from ancient bloodlines, ancient and wealthy bloodlines, so the money problem was easily remedied. I’m sure he must have scoffed at the motley crew when he first laid eyes on them. Still, he adapted them. Muggle killings started occurring more often. The Mangiatori de Morte Rinasce shaped up due to Yaxley. He disciplined them and taught them. He took over Voldemort’s crown. And now he’s ready.”
“And what do they want?” Hermione continued bravely as she watched her friends shudder at the thought of Death Eaters.
“They want you. They want retribution. They want to kill every last remaining Order member, and they want to kill all of the traitors, like myself, who did not fight until the end for that psychopath wizard. And then they want to do what Voldemort set out to do: to rid the world of impure blood and rule over Muggles.”
The words chilled the Gryffindors’ blood. They made eye contact. Harry was tense, as if this too was his own fault. He’d allowed them to leave Ron. Ginny looked sick, perhaps because she had abandoned her brother to an almost certain death or perhaps because the baby was upset at the thought of it’s parents being murdered and was protesting. And Hermione? Her face was blank and pale. It was starting again. Just as she thought she had found happiness, evil had to come ruin it again.
“We can’t go back, can we?” she asked, her voice steady.
“Not for several weeks, unless we receive word.” Unlike Hermione’s voice, Draco’s shook in fear. He remembered the horrors of the Death Eaters. While Potter and Co had experienced the Death Eaters and Voldemort on one level, Draco had experienced them on another. He’d lived among them; he’d been forced to torture for them. He’d witnessed innocent blood been spilt, and heard the orchestration of several muggleborn massacres. The Mangiatori de Morte Rinasce was exactly what people had given their lives to prevent from occurring. And here it was. All over again.
Hermione stood up slowly.
“There’s no use crying over spilt milk. We can use this time to our advantage. We can use this time to strategize.”
Her voice was mechanical. Just as it had been when she and Harry continued their Horcrux hunt alone. It was the voice of reason, the voice of knowledge and the voice of dispassion.
“Erm, Malfoy? Where’s the loo?” Ginny asked timidly.
“Down the hall, second door on the left,” Draco dismissed.
The group remained silent after Ginny left. When she returned, she asked a very pressing question:
“Where are we location-wise?”
Hermione awoke to sunlight. She was wearing an oversized T-shirt, probably one of Draco’s. She was too tired to remember. But as she looked out, heard the noises of traffic, viewed the flashing lights and smelt the waft of a city with countless people, she remembered where she was. New York City. A city for dreamers.
Slowly, she got out of her warm bed and unconsciously traveled towards the smell of breakfast.
Draco Malfoy was making breakfast. Hermione almost wanted to laugh. The idea that the Pureblood prince even knew how to cook an egg seemed absurd. Yet there he stood, with a bloody apron on no less, carefully watching a few frying pans.
“What can I get you? Eggs, bacon, hash browns, omelet? Name your pick.”
“Who taught you to cook?”
“I don’t think I listed that.”
“Well, you did. Don’t you remember?” Draco stared at Hermione oddly. Then it hit her.
Hermione had almost been reconciled to the fact that she and Ron would never again be best friends or anything else. He’d cheated on her. He’d made it very clear that he did not want to associate with her anymore. So why did he have to keep pestering her with owls? An apology note mingled with Lavender’s perfume was not going to mend the hole he’d made. At least she had her safe haven: the library. But that particular afternoon was a rainy one. Harry had decided to write out a gameplan for the next Quidditch game in the library. For once in his Hogwart’s career, he was able to be a normal student. He’d decided to model this game after one of his very first games, but was finding it hard to write out the plan for Ron had tagged along. Lav, of course, insisted on meeting up with him. When Hermione entered, she let out a sigh of relief. Then she saw the kiss.
Lav had launched herself onto her boyfriend, and Ron opened his eyes in shock. His gaze lingered on the girl he’d sometimes fancied but more often teased. His ex-girlfriend. The girl he’d cheated on. He was so sorry. He’d sent her a note every day, but never got a reply. And he didn’t even see her outside of classes since she lived in her own dormitory now. What he did see, though, was that same girl- the girl who he had teased for her lack of athletic prowess- sprint out of the library as if she’d been running marathons her whole life.
She bolted out of the library just as quickly as she had entered and fled to the Head’s Common Room. Draco was lying on the sofa, book in hand.
“Oi, Granger! Do you mind? Some of us want a bit of peace and quiet.”
Hermione didn’t answer.
“Granger? You ok there?”
A single tear dripped down her face.
Draco’s tone was gentle and kind. He sat the book down and guided Hermione towards the couch.
“What’s wrong, love?”
“He was there. In the library with her…they…they were snogging.” Hermione burst into tears.
After handing a handkerchief over to the distraught Head Girl, Draco started thinking.
“Excuse me?” Hermione glared.
“You heard me. I’m hungry.”
“You…you’re such an insensitive prat! Summon a House Elf then. Or, even better, make something yourself.”
“I want to. I want to make something. The only thing is, I don’t know how to cook. Will you teach me?”
“What, are you asking me because I’m a Mudblood? Or because I’m a woman?” she replied scathingly.
“No, I’m asking you because about a month ago, I smelled the most wonderful aromas coming out of this kitchenette and I saw you stirring something at the stove.”
Hermione dropped her hostility and looked up at the blonde boy. Had he just complimented her?
“So, please Granger, don’t make me beg. Would you teach me to cook?”
Hermione had agreed. After all, “women like it when their men cook for them,” she’d said. They decided to make dinner together. After obtaining supplies from the kitchens, Hermione divvied up the tasks. Draco was in charge of heating up the water and cooking the angel hair pasta. After protesting that he could most definitely heat up water, thank you very much, he also received the task of making a salad and a homemade vinaigrette dressing. Hermione made a fresh, chopped tomato and basil sauce with shrimp. Then she made a quick strawberry tart for dessert. The two sat down, consuming their masterpiece with grins. It was perfect comfort food for Hermione. Draco had been an absolute genius.
Later, they sat in front of the fire to play a Transfiguration game. As the night drew to a close, Draco leaned over and kissed Hermione delicately on the lips.
“Happy Valentine’s Day, Granger,” he smiled before walking up to his room.
“You’ve come a long way Draco,” Hermione said softly. “You’ve been promoted from pasta to breakfasts.”
“Yeah, well someone very wise once told me that women like it when their men cook for them. So I practiced.”
Hermione leaned towards Draco, as if pulled by an invisible force. Just as their lips were about to meet, Ginevra Potter entered.
“Mmm! Is that bacon I smell?! I’m starved! Malfoy, that looks edible! Are you sure it’s not poisoned?”
The two sprung apart. Draco dished out a platter for Ginny alone while Hermione poured herself a glass of orange juice. Ginny continued to chatter, oblivious to the scene that had occurred moments ago, and Harry entered, hair askew.
Harry mumbled something unintelligible.
“He’s like this until about 10 nowadays,” Ginny explained knowingly. “I think he’s just spoiled because he can come in whenever he wants to the Auror department. Ah, the perks of being head of your own department…”
Hermione and Draco remained silent for the remainder of breakfast, save for the occasional glances directed towards one another. Harry remained slumped in his seat, coffee mug in hand. And Ginny? She chattered on…
“You know, I’m not much of a fan for American bacon. There’s no real meat on it, just burnt bits of fat. Yet, for some reason, it satisfies the craving…what do you think of vanilla ice cream with bacon and pickles? Malfoy, do you have any ice cream? And pickles! There must be pickles!”
Questions? Comments? Please review! I always love hearing what people have to say about the stories, and I love to hear readers' ideas as well. I also promise I will not make you wait as long as you have for the next chapter. I've got a pretty good idea of what's going to happen next, and I can't wait to type it up!!
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