Chapter 9 : A Total Eclipse of the Heart
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Thanks to griffindorechicky101, Violet, KxxDxx, annyluvesmalfoy, falling in love, and hola for the sweet reviews. I hope you enjoy chapter 9!!
“We need to go back. If not today, tomorrow,” Hermione announced at breakfast that morning.
Harry, still tired, moaned and slumped over the Daily Prophet. Ginny just nodded absent-mindedly as she perused a cupboard in search of carrots, which she decided were much better than pickles, which were absolutely disgusting and ‘how, Harry Potter, could you suggest I eat pickles with my ice cream? I absolutely hate pickles.’ Draco however searched Hermione’s eyes with a skeptic’s gaze.
“It’s not safe,” he replied.
“It’ll never be safe. Not if we don’t return,” she retorted.
“I don’t want to risk you- or Weaselette- getting hurt.”
“I’m a big girl, Malfoy, and so is Gin. We’ve faced crueler enemies and we’ve survived.”
“Don’t underestimate them.”
“I don’t. But I know that if we don’t go back, everyone we love will be dead soon.”
“Don’t you think you’re exaggerating a bit?” he asked.
Hermione couldn’t tell them about the future. No good could come from knowing the future, no matter what the future Mrs. Draco Malfoy thought. She wasn’t the type of girl who could burst out in fake tears to get her way either. She wasn’t Pansy Parkinson. Nor was she able to glare at people, cold-blooded, like many of the other Slytherins. So she did what she could: she stared at Draco levelly until he was unnerved.
“Fine. Fine,” Draco surrendered lightly. “What do you think, Potter?”
Harry looked up.
“Oh, for Merlin’s sake, Harry!” Ginny cried. She dragged a pot of coffee over to the breakfast table and dumped coffee in Harry’s cereal, his milk glass and his cup of tea. It splashed all over, onto Harry’s glasses, his robe and his paper.
After seeing his beloved P.G. Tips contaminated with horrid coffee- even though it was top-notch quality, as Draco refused to carry anything less in his houses- Harry’s eyes grew wide and his mouth dropped.
Hermione looked at Ginny in horror. Hormones were one thing, but this?! That was too far.
“I agree with Hermione. We need to get back. We left everyone unprotected. Teddy’s still at Andromeda’s,” Harry replied finally.
“Well where exactly do you suggest we return to? What if we pop into someplace and get trapped by Death Eaters?” Draco asked sarcastically.
“It’s not like we’re planning to invade the bloody Ministry of Magic again,” Hermione argued. “We can just go to somewhere Unplottable.”
“Because there are so many of those,” Draco drawled.
“Which the Death Eaters all know about, and which is probably under surveillance,” Draco replied.
“Where do we go then? Aunt Muriel’s old place?” Ginny asked.
Everyone looked at Harry as if he were crazy.
“The Malfoy Manor?”
“My old home?”
“Don’t you see? Malfoy Manor is Unplottable. No one can enter unless they have a Malfoy with them. And Malfoy Manor is the last place the Death Eaters would suspect we’d return to,” Harry said eagerly.
“What about your parents?” Ginny asked Draco.
“They’re away,” he replied shortly.
“Then that seems perfect. Malfoy Manor it is.”
While the rest of the group mumbled in agreement, Draco got on a jacket and exited the flat, entering a yellow cab.
“Where to, sir?”
“British Memorial Garden, if you please.”
The ride was a fairly silent one. Draco was deep in thought. He’d told the trio the truth. Most of it. What he hadn’t told them is that, at the beginning, he’d been a member of the Mangiatori de Morte Rinasce. A founding member.
It all started after the war was over.
Draco was angry. So angry. His father was being imprisoned, for at least ten years, and his mother was dying away. The ministry had exiled his mother from Britain. They forbid her to have contact with her son or husband, and her magic was suspended. She had been innocent. Harry Potter had even testified for her. But the Ministry ignored that. She wouldn’t last the month at this rate.
As his hearing ended, and as he was cleared of all charges, he returned home to a cold manor, empty and bleak. That was the way Draco spent his summer, before he received a letter from Professor McGonagall.
Dear Mr. Malfoy,
In light of recent events, you and the rest of your classmates are invited to redo your final year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. If you choose to attend, please owl back as soon as possible.
Minerva McGonagall, Headmistress of Hogwarts
For some reason, Draco responded. While he didn’t fancy attending school with Potter any longer, spending the year alone, without his family and fortune seemed a bleaker prospect. A week before Draco was due to Platform 9 ¾, he received another owl.
Dear Mr. Malfoy,
I am pleased to inform you that you have been selected to be the Head Boy of Hogwarts. Congratulations. Your badge is attached in the letter, and I expect you to meet in the Head’s compartment at no later than 12 o’clock.
Minerva McGonagall, Headmistress of Hogwarts
Surprised, Draco sent a quick note to his friend Blaise, who Flooed over to Malfoy Manor.
“Drake, your house is a bit scary,” Blaise noted casually.
“Yeah, well the Dark Lord was living here for over a year, so it’s probably to be expected.”
“Sure,” Blaise agreed. “Now, what’s the matter?”
“McGonagall made me Head Boy.”
“Merlin’s bloody beard. Are you serious, Drake?”
“Look for yourself.”
He handed over the letter and started pacing.
“You know, if this is true, that means you’ll be sharing a room with…”
“The one and only. The Granger whom you have had a crush on since she punched you in the jaw.”
“I can’t, Blaise. I can’t share with her. It will be torture. I’ve heard she’s dating the Weasel. She’ll probably marry him,” Draco spat.
“Woah, woah, calm down Draco. Do you realize how jealous you sound, first off? Secondly, remember who you are, mate. You’re a Malfoy. If you want Granger, you’re gonna have to bust your arse, because last I checked, she hated your guts. So stop whining and decide what you’re going to do,” Blaise demanded.
Draco shot Blaise a look of loathing but realized he was right.
When he entered the Hogwarts Express that term, he saw her. Her ringlets the color of honey gleamed as she burst into a wide grin, inhaling the scents of Platform 9 ¾. Taking a deep breath, Draco rushed towards the Head’s compartment. For the first several months, they remained coldly polite towards each other, only asking questions when it was absolutely necessary. But Draco could never forget the day it happened. He had been reading a novel that McGonagall had recommended him; he seemed to be one of her best students these days, as no one else had more to lose after school than he if his N.E.W.T.s failed. Just as he was about to start a new chapter, the portrait leading to their common room opened with a bang.
“Don’t ever talk to me again. Don’t you dare, Weasley,” Hermione spat as she ran into the room. She crumpled onto the floor in front of an armchair, sobbing inconsolably. After several minutes of hesitation, Draco pulled a blanket over the brunette and rubbed her back soothingly.
“Hermione? What happened?”
“What happened, love? You can trust me.”
With a sniffle, Hermione looked up into Draco’s eyes.
“Ronald…Ronald cheated on me,” she wailed.
He’d never know what caused him to do it, but Draco pulled Hermione into a hug and held on to her for an endless amount of time. They fell asleep in that position.
The next day, Draco opened his eyes to see Hermione Granger nestled in his arms asleep. With a smile, he gazed at the girl he loved until she woke up.
“No problem, Granger. Shouldn’t you be off for the holidays?”
“Shouldn’t you?” she asked back.
“There’s nothing for me to go back to,” he replied, looking away.
“Surely you’ve some family…”
“You were there, Granger, the day they sentenced my family.”
“Don’t you want to visit them then?”
“Why would I? My father’s not allowed any visitors for another year at least.”
“But your mother?”
“She’s in exile.”
“I’m sorry, Draco…” Hermione replied awkwardly.
“What about you? You must have plans.”
“I did. But…I don’t really fancy returning to the Burrow for the holidays anymore.”
“Your mum and dad?”
“They’re still in Australia. I told them I’d be at the Burrow. They won’t mind anyways. They’re still not too happy with me for erasing their memories.”
“So we’re both spending the holidays here then?” Draco asked.
Hermione nodded hesitantly. Draco stood up to grab his cloak.
“What are you doing?”
“I’m going to Hogsmeade. I’ve a few parcels to pick up, and I fancy a firewhiskey. Are you coming?”
Hermione scrambled on her feet.
“I’ve never had a firewhiskey before.”
That was the first night Hermione Granger had a firewhiskey. While she was browsing a bookstore, Draco picked up a few presents for her. While his family was ripped from him, his fortune had not been.
That holiday was the best that Draco had enjoyed in a while. It was the best for Hermione too, who recalled her last Christmas being spent with Harry searching for Horcruxes. When Hermione opened her parcel, she nearly cried. Draco had sent for a rare copy of Healing Magick that had been in the Malfoy Library for years. Along with this was a red silk scarf. Draco received in turn several potions books, a few Muggle plays written by a man named William Shakespeare, and some Muggle candy: a Mars bar, Smarties, Cola Cubes and Wham bars.
Slowly, Hermione learned to trust Draco. Oftentimes, on weekends they would spend more time in each other’s company instead of their friends. When Draco received a summon from the Ministry to check up on the status of his affiliations with the dark arts, Hermione accompanied him. When Hermione decided to return to Australia for their spring break, she insisted that Draco accompany her. He met her parents and enjoyed being a tourist without receiving glares for being a Death Eater. They studied for N.E.W.T.s together, as they were the brightest of the class. But one person was not happy.
Ronald Weasley was upset. Ever since he’d been caught cheating on Hermione, she’d given him the cold shoulder. Harry would always remind Ron that he did deserve it. But replacing him with the Ferret was intolerable! He and Lavender had fallen apart over Easter, when she caught him staring at a few pictures of Hermione. And now that Lavender was gone, he wanted nothing more than to apologize to Hermione. What kind of friend was he? He’d been a git. There were no other words to describe it. He’d betrayed her once, when he first dated Lav. Once again, he’d betrayed her. The difference was that a certain blonde Slytherin was not there to worm his way through their friendship. Hermione had forgiven him once; he’d not been deserving of that forgiveness. And she surely would not forgive him again. Still, he was decided. He hadn’t appreciated Hermione. He wanted her back. How had he won her back last time...the mead!
Draco had kissed Hermione Granger at least ten times this year. Sure, it wasn’t what he was used to. But he was not willing to push her. She was in a fragile state due to the Weasel, and he would support her no matter what. He had decided to surprise her with a dinner, homemade courtesy of the Slytherin, when she burst through the room.
“Ron’s in the hospital wing!” she gasped.
“What?” he asked, not unkindly.
“I think he was trying to kill himself! He ingested a very dangerous potion; he’s lucky to be alive!”
Draco raised his eyebrows.
“I have to visit him.”
“Are you sure you want to?”
“Draco! He’s my best friend.”
“Was. He was your best friend. Remember all the tears this year, Hermione? It wasn’t me who caused them this time.”
“You know it’s true.”
“But he’s been my friend for years.”
“And he threw that down the drain. Don’t hurt yourself, please.”
“He’s hurt, Draco. He needs me to be there for him. It doesn’t mean I forgive him. But I owe it to that boy I was best friends with.”
That’s when Draco said the words. The words that would cause him- and the world- pain.
“Don’t expect me to pick up the pieces again.”
He said them before he could cover his mouth. His stupid Malfoy pride.
Hermione turned to look at him, eyes cold and mouth pressed thinly.
“I don’t need your help, Malfoy.”
Even then, everything could have been saved. Draco could have apologized when Hermione returned from the Hospital Wing. He could have begged her forgiveness. He could have visited Weasley with her, to show his love. Instead, he let his pride act. When Hermione returned, he gave her the cold shoulder. She returned it with an equally cold shoulder.
They didn’t talk for months. As graduation loomed nearer, Hermione spent more time with her old Gryffindor friends, and Draco skulked around the dungeons, whining to Blaise. He remembered the day everything died.
“Have you even tried to apologize, Drake?”
“You’re such a bad liar. What kind of Slytherin are you?”
“It’s just, well we’re both too stubborn to admit our faults.”
“It’s gonna cost you big time, mate.”
“No, no, no. I’ve got it all planned out this time. After graduation, I am going to woo her back. I don’t care what it takes. I love her. I love Hermione Granger.”
Blaise turned his head away sharply.
“What? I thought it was a good plan,” Draco pouted.
“Maybe it is. You should have thought of it about a month ago though.”
“Isn’t that Granger over there?”
Sure enough, Hermione was locked in a passionate embrace with none other than Ron Weasley. Draco stormed off in a fury. When he graduated, he decided to spend time at his old villa in Italy. It was there that he met Angelo Di Cassoletti. Angelo was something of a Pureblood fascist, and he eagerly welcomed Draco once he learned Draco’s last name was Malfoy. He spent a year with Angelo and his new friends, but slowly he realized he was becoming the man his father was. He did not like his father. He wanted to be Draco Malfoy, the Auror, or Draco Malfoy, the Healer. Anything other than Draco Malfoy, the Death Eater. That’s when Draco fled back to England and decided to manage the Malfoy businesses permanently. He contacted a few friends, met up with Astoria one day and decided to take her out on a date. They quickly became a couple and Draco tried to forget about Hermione Granger.
When Hermione snogged Ron that day, she’d seen Draco. She wanted to make him so jealous. Ron was conveniently there. And so she locked lips with the young Weasley, convinced that Draco would come back to her instead of giving her the everlasting glare. Unfortunately, it seemed as if Draco Malfoy no longer cared for her. He spent more and more time with Blaise Zabini, Astoria Greengrass and Theodore Nott. So when graduation came round, Hermione agreed to be Ronald Weasley’s girlfriend, even though she’d vowed never to be with a cheater again. She often wondered what would have happened if she’d stayed with Draco. But it seemed like it was not to be.
A mobile pulled Draco out of his reverie.
“Draco?” It was Hermione.
“Are you alright? Harry wanted to see if we all wanted to go to lunch before leaving?”
Once again, Draco had a choice to make.
“That sounds fantastic. But before we go, I need to tell you something…do you remember the day we stopped talking?”
I hope you enjoyed the backstory of Hermione and Draco. I felt like it was a necessary breather before the four wizards and witches return home to Great Britain for battle. I also think it was necessary to reveal the history between Hermione and Draco. Please please please leave a review. I always love to hear what readers think about a chapter, and I always welcome suggestions!
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