By the time Hermione had located her room, the straight red hair had transformed back to her usual main of bushy brown hair. She looked in the mirror and smiled. It was like being united with a long lost friend; Hermione was looking at herself and felt happy. Anna Waterson would most likely never raise her head again.
The next morning Hermione met Draco in the breakfast room and they began to pool their ideas.
After several hours of heated discussion and the reminder that Hermione was in fact working for Draco, they came to a conclusion.
“We take things slowly, I contact Goyle and worm my way in. I introduce you as my, my girlfriend and then we find all we can about what is going on in the underworld.”
Hermione was sceptical about the girlfriend element, but Draco had reassured her that the only way she was going to be able to accompany him anywhere was to pretend to be his girlfriend. It would also mean sharing a bedroom with him and for all intents and purpose acting like they were in love. A thought which would make many of the deceased turn in their grave. But Hermione was sure that Dumbledore would have been vaguely amused by the situation and probably congratulated the two for trying to further house unity. But Dumbledore had been dead for nearly six years now and times had changed.
“This is going to be a long process, isn’t it?” Hermione asked, looking directly at Draco.
He frowned slightly, “It depends on how welcoming Goyle is. In theory we could be fully engrossed in their activities by a month. But it could take up to six months. Things will simply take their course. But we won’t always be around the Goyle’s with their type it is a matter of socialising and charming your way in.”
“Ah, I see.”
After a moment of silence Draco spoke up.
“If we are to be a convincing couple then we should learn a little about each other. Well you should learn about me at least.” Draco said leaning forward on the table, his elbows on the shiny mahogany.
“Your name is Draco Lucius Malfoy, born on the fifth of May nineteen eighty. You were at one point Seeker for Slytherin and briefly spent time as a ferret.” Hermione sniggered to herself slightly.
“You can leave the ferret part out.” He said sourly,
“You have grey eyes. Your wand is eighteen inches of elm and has a dragon heartstring core; though that wand is not your first wand. You have been working for the Ministry of Magic for the last four years. You were the youngest ever Death Eater. You are a talented Potioneer and very good at Occlumency”
Draco looked at Hermione, regarding her for a moment; wondering if it was possible that she had been stalking him.
“How do you know these things?”
“I pay attention. Harry took your wand, I was in your Potions class for five years and Harry told me about your talents. However I am sure there is much more to you than simply what I could gleam from seven years of school.” Hermione said matching the odd stare Draco was giving her.
“Humm, well I haven’t had a girlfriend in a long time so I am not quite sure how much you should know. But I shall tell you some bits that happened after school. My father was put into Askaban which a very chatty elf which drove him mad. Eventually he died in a secure ward of St Mungo’s. My mother was in Askaban too, she was released on grounds of ill health. I had her nursed back to reasonable health. But then she was murdered by a nurse, revenge killing. She was the first to go.”
Draco looked down at the grain of the table,
“I don’t miss them, no, they caused me too many problems. What I do miss is company, an elf can only provide so much social interaction.”
Hermione looked at Draco in a different light. In many ways their lives had turned out very similar. Both parents had died; they were lonely, and pretending to be people who they were not.
“So what is your favourite colour?” Hermione asked, changing the subject in a rather unsubtle manner.
“I don’t have one.”
Draco mused for a moment, “Ok we need to plan your story. Obviously you were home schooled, but where and what family do you come from?”
“Let’s say I come from… Beaconsfield. I could be a distant cousin of the Weasley’s the red hair would give me that.” Hermione said casually.
“The second of November nineteen-eighty, that will be your birthday. You don’t like cats; your parents are dead and…”
Hermione made a satisfied face, “What about money?”
“You work as a clerk in the Ministry, which Mr Potter said would have to do. Oh and you met me at a Christmas party for the clerks three years ago.” Draco said smiling slightly,
“And our first date was a cup of coffee and then you took me on a romantic walk round your grounds.” Hermione quipped, smiling slightly too.
“You have thought far too much about this,” Draco commented.
“Better safe than sorry. Also we are not considering marriage or children any time soon.”
Draco frowned deeply, “I have to keep my family going you know, even if I don’t like the previous generation very much.”
“Well children in my condition would not be best advised.” Hermione said sounding rather matter of fact.
“Are we talking about Hermione and Draco, or about Eve and Draco?” Draco asked, cocking an eyebrow.
Hermione glared at Draco, “Eve.”
There was a moment of drawn out silence.
“Where were we?” Hermione said, feeling her cheeks burning.
“We have sex four or five times a week.” Draco said coolly, examining his nails.
Hermione flushed bright red, “Once a week.” She corrected,
“Not likely, Goyle does know me. Four or five times a week.”
Hermione frowned, “You must have one hell of a libido.”
“I haven’t had sex in three years, if you must know. Self-control is a big thing for me.” Draco quipped, looking directly at Hermione.
“Well I beat you, never.”
“You heard my Malfoy, never.” Hermione said through clenched teeth,
“Yes, Hermione Granger has never had sexual intercourse.”
“Oh, fair play to you though.”
They looked at each other, wondering for a moment why they were talking about such a personal and sensitive topic and then burst out laughing.
The day rolled on with little incident, Hermione and Draco were, as some would put it ‘bonding’. The circumstances were not the best, but adversity causes many strange things.