After a day of shopping with my 2 mums I was beat. We met outside the Leaky Cauldron at 10 and I ran to give my Mum a big hug while she shouted “Hermione!” I missed her and Dad so much. Mother hugged her as well and we all set off for our shopping spree. We stopped in numerous clothing, shoe and jewelry stores. I must have tried on a thousand different outfits while they just chattered away happily outside of the changing rooms.
Around 1 we took a break and had lunch at a café Mother knew the owners of. It was a small French place called ‘Le Petit Paris’. The food was delicious as I had thought it would be. After that we continued to raid all the boutiques and I had to put a cushioning charm on my wedges because my feet were screaming at me. ‘What the hell was I thinking wearing these when going out with 2 obvious shopaholics?’
I pulled the women into Flourish and Blotts after we were done enhancing my wardrobe. They said I was taking too long so they took all our bags outside and told me to meet them at Florean Fortescue’s for an ice cream when I was done. I mumbled an “ok” as I perused the shelves of my old friends. Still a bookworm at heart, nothing will ever change that.
After probably an hour or two I finally picked out 4 books and headed up to the register. After waiting behind 2 women it was my turn to pay.
“Hello, did you find everything you were looking for miss?” The handsome, tall, dark haired, blue eyed sales clerk asked me. Ok, must not drool, must not drool. Damn he’s gorgeous!
“Miss?” He asked again breaking me from my reverie.
“Oh um yes. I obviously can’t take the whole store so I just picked these for now.” Ha ha yeah my attempt at a cute little joke didn’t turn out too well. Maybe I should owl Fleur and ask her for some flirting tips. Ugh, which reminds me, I still need to tell my friends about the new me.
He laughed. He laughed? “Yeah, I know what you mean. Every time a new stock comes in I’m always the first to look through it to see if there’s something new I can read.” Wow, there are nice, cute, smart guys out there. Who knew? Well, except for Blaise of course, I caught him one night reading one of my books I brought from home. ‘Gone with the Wind’. To say the least, I was SHOCKED, but I was glad he was reading a classic so I let him be.
I smiled at him and paid. “I hope to see you in here again soon, Miss…?”
“Zabini. Mia Zabini.” I gave him another smile and turned to leave.
“I’m Liam by the way.” He called out to me as I was halfway through the door. I turned around and chuckled before I left.
I bounced over to the ice cream parlor and ordered for the 3 of us. While I was waiting for our orders I was thinking about a certain blued eyed, dark haired guy. Maybe I should go back in there and give him my number. ‘Uh hello stupid. Knock knock knock. Anyone home? You’re in the magical world; he probably doesn’t even know what a phone is.’ Oh yeah whoops. Oh well, he knows my name, if he wants to find me he can.
I had a dazed look on my face while eating my strawberries and cream. Mum kept asking about the manor and my experiences the past 3 weeks, also why I looked like I was in lala land.
“Enough with the third degree Mum, I’m just happy. I’m with 2 of the most important women in my life right now.” It wasn’t a lie, but my mind kept straying back to the bookstore.
After we said our goodbyes outside of the leaky cauldron Mother and I decided to floo home instead of apparate because we had so many bags. I followed after her and actually managed to step out of the fireplace instead of tumble.
“I’m going to bring all of this up to my room and put it away before they get even more wrinkled.” I told her, then kissed her on the cheek and thanked her for a wonderful day. I levitated all the bags behind me and headed up the stairs towards my room. Ok, green is over here, pink there, yellow back there, red here, black there. Yes, yes ok I color coordinated my closet.
My massive walk in closet is amazing and now houses anything I will ever need. My Mums made me get 6 party dresses, 3 cocktail and 3 formal. A zillion different shirts of all kinds. Skirts, pants, I hate shorts so I only bought pajama shorts, jackets etc. You name it, we bought it. I was about to take my shoes off when I heard my mother call me.
“Mia, would you please come down here.” She sounded excited. Hmm, maybe I get a cake for surviving a day of shopping with those women.
I grabbed my wand off my bed and shoved it into my pocket. When I reached the last step I called out “Mum?”
“In the sitting room darling.” Came her reply.
I walked toward the sitting room doors and could hear Mother chatting away with someone. Then I heard Blaise laugh as well as a couple of other people. As I stepped into the room I froze. My eyes went wide and I couldn’t move a muscle.
“Mia, I would like you to meet the Malfoy’s. This is Lucius Malfoy, Narcissa and their son Draco.” My eyes flickered to each member of the Malfoy family while she introduced them. Then my eyes fell on Blaise. He had a triumphant smirk on his face and stood up and walked towards me.
As my feet were still stuck to the ground he stood behind me and pushed me a little into the room while whispering so only I could hear “What is that term muggles use Sis? Oh yeah. Paybacks a bitch.” I could feel my blood go cold and would not take another step.
He moved around me to go sit back down and looked into my eyes; a look of worry crossed his features.
“Mia, aren’t you going to say hello?” Mother asked me but I still couldn’t do a thing.
I watched as Draco Malfoy moved over to stand in front of me. He lifted my left hand to his lips and said “It’s a pleasure to meet you Mia; you are even more beautiful than your mother let on.” He then kissed my hand and looked up into my eyes and smiled.
Something inside me finally clicked and I wrenched my hand forcefully out of Malfoy’s grip and gave him a look of loathing. Then within a second I had my wand out and pointed back and forth between the two Malfoy men. I took a few steps backwards to distance myself from the arrogant Slytherin.
“What in Merlin’s name do you think you are doing?!” Mother yelled at me, scared that I was going to hex one of her “guests” at any second. I can’t really blame her; no one ever explained to her what happened in the past between me and the Malfoy family.
I then turned my wand on Blaise. “You! How could you?! You know and… and you thought this would be fun? A joke?!” I was screaming now. The elder Malfoy’s and my mother had put their glasses down and I could tell they were slowing stepping towards me while Draco was stepping back.
“Mia, please I- I didn’t think it would be that big of a deal. Just a little joke, like what you did this morning. I didn’t think you would react like this. Please just lower your wand; it will all be alright I promise.” Blaise was trying to play this off as no big deal? Hey “bro” you are sorely mistaken. Yes, you know my history with these people from Hogwarts, but you have no idea what went on during the war.
Blaise got up and walked towards me calmly while I finally lowered my wand. “Blaise I want a word with you. Now.” I said as I stalked out of the room and into the dining room. I could hear his hurried footsteps behind me.
When he was in the room I slammed the doors shut with a wave of my wand and cast a Muffliato so no one would hear our argument. Then I rounded on him.
“What the HELL were you thinking? You know I hate Malfoy, and his father. Why on earth would you do this too me?!”
“Mia calm down it was only to get you back for this morning. I’m sorry; I didn’t think it would make you this upset. Surely you can survive a night with them right? Where’s all that Gryffindor courage?”
“Why haven’t you told him yet? They obviously don’t know who I am, or was.” I asked.
“I- I didn’t know if you wanted anyone to know…yet. I mean it’s your choice to tell people I guess.”
“Were you there Blaise?” I said as I turned around and ran my hand along the smooth wood of the dining room table.
“What do you mean? Was I where?” He asked me.
“At the battle. You weren’t there right? You left through the room of requirement didn’t you?” I knew he had, I saw him leave through the tunnel to the Hogs Head with the rest of the Slytherins.
“No, I wasn’t there.” His voice sounded ashamed.
“You have no idea what it was like Blaise. To watch the Death Eaters kill people I loved. You have no idea what I went through this past year along side Harry and Ron. You don’t know anything about me.” I whispered the last sentence to him while taking the charm off the room and walking towards the doors.
He grabbed my arm as I passed him and spun me around so we were face to face. “Then tell me, make me understand.” He pleaded with me and I could tell by the look in his eyes that he was truly sorry for upsetting me.
I removed my arm from his grasp and placed my hand on his cheek. I looked into his eyes and said “No.” I then turned around and walked out the door leaving Blaise by himself.
Mother was waiting for me in the entrance hall.
“Mia, dear is everything ok? You had us worried back there.”
I took a few deep breaths and finally answered her.
“Yes, I’m sorry about that. Could you please make my apologies to the Malfoy’s? Tell Mrs. Malfoy it is lovely to see her again.” I asked her. Blaise was right, where was my Gryffindor courage. Please don’t let it fail me right tonight.
“Madame dinner is ready.” Gracy appeared in the hall. Oh just lovely, I have to have dinner with the ex- Death Eater family.
“Thank you Gracy.” Mum said turning to let her company know it was time to dine.
“Mum, I’ll be in there in a few minutes; I’m just going to use the loo.”
She disappeared into the sitting room while I turned to use the bathroom by the staircase. As soon as I was in I once again used a Muffliato, what a great spell. I let out a long scream and splashed my face with water. I stared at myself in the mirror trying to will myself to get through this night.
“Come on Hermione, you can do this. They’re just 2 stupid blonde arrogant men. You can do this.” Fixing my hair and drying my face with my wand I walked out of the bathroom, straightened my back, held my head high and walked towards the dining room.
You really do hate me universe don’t you!? I took my seat, the only seat left. Mother and Lucius had the heads of table; Narcissa was to mum’s left, Blaise to her right. Draco was to Narcissa’s left and straight across from me as I was sitting to Blaise’s right and next to the man I loathed second only to Voldemort.
“Well everyone dig in.” We started to serve ourselves; I was surprised to see that the Malfoy’s didn’t mind that they didn’t have house elves running around at their feet serving them whatever they asked for. The food was delicious and I was maintaining my calm, but alas the silence had to be broken some time right?
Blaise leaned over ad whispered in my ear, “I’m sorry, Mum made us sit in these exact positions. I tried to sit where you are but she almost had a fit.”
“It’s ok.” I whispered back. Mrs. Malfoy saw our little conversation and decided now was a good time to break all the tension.
“So, Mia, how do you like Zabini Manor my dear?” She asked in such a sweet welcoming voice I didn’t have the heart to be mean to this woman. I wouldn’t have anyway for she had a big hand in the downfall of Voldemort. I think she is the only reason her husband got out of an Azkaban sentence.
“Oh, well I like it very much ma’am. It’s been 3 weeks and feels like I’ve been here all my life, it feels like a real home. I’m enjoying spending time getting to know my family.” I replied and received a few smiles from around the table.
“What kind of music do you like?” This question came from Draco. I looked up from my plate and found he was staring hungrily at me. Eww, Malfoy get your eyes off me! I wish I could Imperio his ass and drop him in the pond out back, but I know I’d probably be sent to that hell hole.
*cough* “Um, I like most anything, except country. The Beatles, The Weird Sisters, Rolling Stones, Linkin Park, Sum 41, Blink- 182, Green Day, Sinatra, and Blaise just got me into Cauldron on Fire. So I like a mix of stuff, classics to what’s new today.” I said all of this while looking at his nose; I didn’t want to make direct eye contact again. I didn’t like the way he was leering at me.
“Most of those sound like muggle bands.” This came from Lucius and he had a hint of disdain when he said muggle.
I whipped my head around to glare at him. “Yeah. So?” I asked in a hard voice.
He didn’t have a reply; he just picked his fork up and continued eating. I continued to glare at him.
“Mi…” Blaise spoke under his breath. I turned my head back to look at my plate.
“Blaise tells us you go to Hogwarts. What house are you in?” Mrs. Malfoy asked.
Before I could get out a reply Lucius opened his big mouth again.
“Well Slytherin of course. Everywhere else is full of blood traitors and mudbloods.”
“Lucius!” My Mother and Mrs. Malfoy scolded him. Draco looked unsure of what to say or do and I saw Blaise stiffen beside me.
“What the hell is your problem? Is there a war still going on that I don’t know about? Should I be out in the trenches fighting with Harry and Ron again?” I stood up from my chair and yelled at Lucius. My movement was so abrupt the chair clattered to the floor behind me.
I felt Blaise’s hand on my arm and shook it off.
I heard Malfoy across the table whisper “Granger?” I pulled out my wand and pointed it at him.
“Shut up ferret!” As soon as I said this his face paled, if that’s even possible with his complexion. Ha, yeah now you know it was me you were torturing all those years. Stupid prick. I turned my gaze back to Lucius. He shifted in his seat clearly a little uncomfortable.
“Mia, maybe you should go up to your room and cool down. Blaise please take your sister upstairs.” Mother said.
“If you touch me Zabini I will use Ginny Weasley’s bat bogey hex on you.” I growled without taking my eyes off Lucius. Luckily Blaise did not try to subdue me.
“Miss Zabini I meant no harm. I apologize if I offended you.” He was very calm while choosing his words. That made me even more pissed off.
“Oh yeah, you apologize… ha. Do you apologize for this?” I asked as I tilted my head back and showed him the scar from when his sister-in-law cut my throat with a knife. I saw his eyes widen in realization at who I was. I heard Mrs. Malfoy gasp.
“Hermione.” Mother tried talking to me in a stricter voice, but I wasn’t finished.
“Do you apologize for standing there and watching as she tortured me? Huh? The 3 of you were there and watched as Bellatrix, that stupid bitch, Crucioed me over and over again. And yet, you did nothing! That night at Malfoy Manor haunts me every day. I relive it multiple times a week when I close my eyes at night. I can hear her cackling and asking me where I got that damned sword. Nothing will be able to take my nightmares away!” I was yelling at them all and felt hot tears pour down my cheeks. I noticed out of the corner of my eye Blaise was sitting back down in his chair with his head in his hands. Mother’s face was covered in streaks of mascara. The Malfoy’s sat there and took all I had to give.
“Was I really that bad? I was smart wasn’t I? I could fight. But I wasn’t good enough for people like you. I had to prove myself every step of the way. I was even better at school than your son, but I still wasn’t good enough. According to you I was a mudblood. Someone that should be squashed beneath your shoes. But remember this, I won. The people that fought against that bastard and his followers won. The people that died, Dumbledore, Sirius, Fred, Remus, Tonks, they were my family and people like you took them from me. Look at me Lucius! Sure, you switched sides at the end, but what you and your family did to me and my friends, muggles, muggleborns and so called “blood traitors” in the years leading up to the final battle will never, I repeat never be forgotten.” Once I finished my speech I left the room.
I heard footsteps behind me when reached the stairs. I stopped once I heard Malfoy’s voice.
“Hermione…” It was soft, pleading. It was the first time he had ever said my name and it shocked me so much I felt myself crumble to the ground and burst into a new wave on hysterical tears. Before I hit the ground I was engulfed by a pair of arms and pulled into Draco Malfoy’s chest. I couldn’t take it anymore. I wrapped my arms around him and let everything drain out of me. I needed comfort, from anyone at this point and he was the first one on the scene. I felt him pick me up and pull me onto his lap while he sat down on the first stair.
He held me tighter and rocked me back and forth while letting my tears soak into his shirt. Every now and then I would hear him whisper “I’m so sorry Hermione”, “Shh, it’s ok, it will all be ok.”
I don’t know if I believed him. I just needed him to hold me in that moment. I continued my sobbing and heard footsteps enter the entrance hall.
“Blaise would you please have Draco bring Mia up to her room?” I heard my mother ask Blaise. She sounded both angry and devastated.
I felt myself being lifted into the air and clung onto Draco tighter than I already was. Hell, I’m holding onto Draco sodding Malfoy. Ya know I don’t even care right now. I feel like if I let go, one I might be dropped on the floor, and two I might lose all of the strength I have left which isn’t much.
When I squeezed him tighter he whispered “Shh, it’s alright I’ve got you, I’m not going anywhere.”
We eventually made it to my room and I felt Malfoy try to lay me down on the bed, I wouldn’t let go.
“Mi, come on you need rest and Draco needs to leave.” Blaise tried prying my hands from the back of Malfoy’s shirt.
I just gripped him tighter and buried my head in his chest while shaking my head No. My tears were basically at a standstill now. They tried a couple more times but to no avail. I’m Wonder Woman, why don’t they realize this.
“Alright. I guess I’m staying then.” I heard Malfoy say and felt his short chuckle vibrate through his chest.
“Fine. I want to talk to you anyway.” I have never heard Blaise so angry before. I felt Malfoy flinch at the tone of my brother’s voice. Oh boy, gotta stay awake for this one Hermione, you might get the chance to hear someone else scream at Malfoy tonight.
Malfoy slid out of his shoes and slowly climbed onto my bed all the while with me hanging onto him like a koala bear. He situated some pillows behind himself and sat me on his lap again. I felt Blaise fumble while taking my shoes off. The buckles on women’s shoes are way too small for a man to maneuver; it was pretty funny watching him try to attempt this.
Finally!! He then brought the covers up around me and Malfoy.
“I’m guna to go tell them what’s going on. No funny business Malfoy or I’ll kill you.” I once again felt him flinch when his best friend addressed him by his last name.
I heard Blaise leave the room and felt Malfoy relax against the pillows a bit and let out a sigh. He brought one hand up to my head and started to comb his fingers through my hair. It was a soothing gesture and felt really nice, but I did not want to fall asleep before he got his verbal assault from my brother.
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