Chapter 3 : Chapter 3
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As Malfoy looked through Hermione’s bills noting down expenditures on a piece of paper there came a knock on the door. Hermione opened it to be greeted with the angry face of her landlord, she groaned silently to herself when she saw him; knowing exactly what this would be over. “Miss Granger you are finally home,” he sneered. His thick black moustache quivered as he talked, and his hazel eyes screwed up into a glare, “You didn’t think that I’d noticed you’d been trying to avoid me, and ignoring all the messages I sent you. I’ve been far too generous but you are three months behind in the rent. I’ve given you plenty of warnings and have been extremely nice about it, but you have taken me for granted. I want my money and I want you out the building.”
“I am so sorry” Hermione apologised, “I can get you the money but please don’t kick me out! I have no where to go,”
“I want the money and you out of this flat. I’ve given you enough warnings, but you have tried to avoid me and not even a small bit of money has come my way. I don’t want to have to deal with this again, so I want you out!”
“Problem?” came Draco Malfoy’s voice behind Hermione,
“Yes, your girlfriend,”
“I’m not his girlfriend!” Hermione quickly cut in,
“I don’t care what you are, all I want is my money!” Hermione’s landlord shouted his moustache quivering faster than ever.
“How much does she owe you?” Malfoy asked as he took a checkbook out of his pocket and a pen,
“This nuisance” he pointed at Hermione, anger seeping through his voice, “Owes me 2,000 pounds,”
“That’s an awful lot for three months” Malfoy pointed out,
“Well there is also money added on for the inconvenience she had caused me, as well as money for all the things she had broken,”
“Ok,” Malfoy wrote the check and handed it over to the Landlord, “here you go,”
“Good, you are lucky you have a good friend here Miss Granger,” he pointed towards Malfoy as he continued to glare at Hermione, “And I want you gone by tomorrow evening. I’m fed up with being nice to you, so I want you out of this building by then.” His moustache continued to quiver as he waited for Hermione to agree, once she had, he closed her door and walked away, leaving Hermione rather ruffled.
She stomped around her flat muttering obscene things about her landlord under her breath. “Tomorrow!” she shrieked as she collapsed onto her sofa.
“I thought me helping you out would be easy,” Malfoy complained, “Why does helping someone always come with so many issues, first Potter and Weasley now you!”
“Well, maybe if you hadn’t have been such a horrible person in Hogwarts you wouldn’t be feeling guilty and wouldn’t have to do this!” Hermione snapped at him, “Stop complaining Malfoy, you’re life could be much worse!”
“As could yours” he pointed out, “You are lucky you have me as a guardian angel to help you out,”
“You an angel?” Hermione scoffed, “What exactly can you do about my predicament?”
“Firstly I am paying off all your debts, (not the one I have with you Hermione said to herself) so you can get your life back on track. I shan’t buy you a new house as I don’t believe in handouts. So I shall allow you to crash at my flat until you earn enough money to buy your own.”
“Don’t believe in handouts? Then what do you call all this money that you are freely giving me,”
“Well you have to work to pay it off” Malfoy smirked, “That’s the catch. You shall become, my cleaner, my cook and my own personal assistant to pay off your debt.”
Hermione’s head fell into her hands as she groaned once more; her pride was taking a serious knock, “I have to work for you?”
“Yes! A good catch if you ask me, this way you can pay me back and earn a little bit of extra money too,”
“I suppose I did agree to this deal,” she moaned, “I’m getting exactly what I deserve.”
“Yes…well I’ll pack up all your things using magic and send them to my actual flat and to the guest room,”
“Actual flat? What was the flat we were just in then?”
“I told you that flat is for when I bring girls around and for an escape and it is unplottable. Completely hidden from everyone and everything. I must say Granger, you aren’t half as smart as you were at Hogwarts, looks like not only have you given up magic but you have also given up your brains.”
Hermione made to go for a swipe around his head but Malfoy ducked. He then took his wand out of his back pocket and magic-ed up some cardboard boxes and went around Hermione’s flat packing all her things away. “You could have spent less money on books and more money on clothes and your rent!” Malfoy pointed out as he realised most of the things he was packing up were in fact books. Hermione didn’t respond her head was still in her hands as she was trying to keep herself calm as she felt like her world was crashing down around her. In one day she had managed to loose a job and a home and end up indebted to Draco Malfoy.
“Why do you need a cleaner and cook and assistant?” Hermione asked, once her head had resurfaced out of her hands,
“So I have more time to do other things,” came Malfoy’s voice from inside her bedroom.
“What will I do about my other jobs though?” she asked,
“Well I’ve already quit your job in the bar and that occasional Sunday job. You lost the one in the coffee shop already and you can quit your bookshop job later,”
“How did you manage to quit my jobs for me when you sound nothing like me?”
“Magic” came Malfoy’s reply. He walked back out of her bedroom with a multitude of boxes floating behind him, “Everything’s packed Granger,” he told her, “Though I couldn’t find your wand. I thought you might want to begin to use it again,”
“My wand is resting in one of my books,” she told him,
“Now why doesn’t that surprise me?” he smiled. Hermione noticed that he actually had a really nice smile. It was a smile that would make a girl go weak at the knees, Hermione didn’t go weak at the knees but she did find herself staring at Malfoy more closely. She realised he was in fact extremely good looking, muscular and very enticing. Hermione shocked herself realising what she was thinking and mentally slapped herself.
Malfoy took one last glance around Hermione’s flat before holding out his hand, “Time to go?” he told her, “I’ve already locked the door and sent the keys to your landlord,”
“Ok thanks,” Hermione mumbled. The realisation that she was leaving her home of three years now hit her, she glanced around her flat feeling nostalgic before taking a deep breath and grabbing Malfoy’s wrist. “Let’s go,” she told him. Draco nodded before quickly apperating.
Hermione peered around Malfoy’s flat. This one was vastly different to the one she have previously visited; unlike the other it did look like it someone lived there; it was an absolute tip! There were bits of paper everywhere, takeaway food containers spread across the floor. There were just random bits and bobs just strewn throughout, looking at it made Hermione feel quite queasy as she knew she would be the one clearing it all up.
Malfoy looked at Hermione’s face with slight satisfaction, “lots of work to do Granger! But first I advise you to call up that bookshop and quit.” Hermione nodded in response and pulled out her phone out of her pocket. She was on the phone for a good few minutes before the conversation before she looked over at Malfoy, “Done! In fact I think she sounded rather happy to hear me quit,”
“I wonder why…” Malfoy said sarcastically. “Your room is that one there, (He pointed to the door that was the furthest away from the living room and kitchen), my room is that one, (he pointed to the door situated behind Hermione), the last door contains the bathroom and you can see the kitchen and living-room. You can start cleaning tomorrow. I would advise using magic as it’s quicker but I doubt you’d want to do that,”
“If magic is quicker why haven’t you cleaned yourself?” Hermione asked,
“Never had the time, I’m far too busy earning money and helping people out to think about myself.”
Hermione snorted at Malfoy’s comment, “Sure…” she told him sceptically, “Well I best be off to bed a lot of cleaning to do tomorrow.” Hermione began to head towards her room but stopped abruptly before turning around and facing Malfoy, “I just want to say, thank you. I really appreciate all the help you are giving me, it’s really nice of you.”
Malfoy just nodded in response feeling quite awkward, Hermione Granger was thanking him and telling him he was nice, wasn’t an everyday occurrence. Hermione had quickly turned around and walked into her room.
Draco pushed a couple of things off the sofa and collapsed on to it. He was exhausted and now he had to put up with living with Granger in his own house. Immediately he began to regret offering for her to stay in his house the only comfort was the knowledge that he could now get Granger to do anything he wanted. He knew he was going to enjoy that power; although he had changed considerably since Hogwarts his distaste for Hermione was still prominent.
He filled himself a glass of wine and was soon drinking like no tomorrow, pretty much how all his evenings ended. Alcohol was who Draco Malfoy spent most of his nights with; it helped to stop the nightmares and the guilt that rested heavily on his shoulders.
Hermione had slept peacefully. The room she was in was twice the size of her bedroom in her own flat, she lay on a double-bed it’s soft duvet caressed her skin. The room not only had the bed in it but an oak desk, wardrobe and chest-of-draws as well as a bookcase.
She knew she better get up so dragged herself out of the warm bed and changed out of her pyjamas and into some clothes. She threw back on what she had been wearing yesterday because it was still clean and smelt fine; she had gotten into a habit of wearing an outfit until it got dirty or smelt.
Quietly she left the room, as she wasn’t sure what the time was. She stood outside her door and saw a sleeping Malfoy clutching an empty wine bottle while another two lay on the floor next to him. Hermione’s nose wrinkled in disgust as she got a whiff of sick, causing her to gag slightly. It was then that she noticed that the whole living room was not only covered with takeaway food containers and paper but a lot of bottles of various different alcohols. All as empty as the one clutched within Malfoy’s tight grasp. “So Malfoy’s got an alcohol problem…interesting,” Hermione said to herself as she crept towards him.
She placed her mouth close to his ear and shouted, “Wake up Malfoy!” He woke with a start, and clutching his head in pain,
“What did you do that for?” He moaned, his voice gruff and dry sounding.
“I am your personal assistant now so I thought it best if I woke you up, so you could start getting ready for work,”
“You’re a cow Granger. Did you know that?”
“I’d rather be a cow than a drunk covered in my own puke,” she told him as she stood back up.
“Whatever Granger,” he slowly stood back up and casually sauntered off to his room, still clutching the wine bottle. Hermione watched as he disappeared into his room, before evaluating the situation around her. Without magic it was going to be extremely hard to clean up the flat, knowing this though still didn’t make her want to use her wand.
Draco appeared back out of his room, now groomed up: his hair precisely messy a new clean shirt and trousers alongside a tie and waistcoat and the distinctive smell of peppermint. “That was quick,” she pointed out, “You don’t even look like you’ve got a hangover anymore!”
“It’s called magic and potion, Granger” Malfoy told her still clearly disgruntled, “Today I just want you to clean up the flat, nothing else. Stay away from my room but clean everywhere else. When I return after work I want this place spotless and all your bills will be paid for.”
“Ok,” Hermione nodded. “Where’s all your cleaning equipment?”
“It’s call a wand Granger,” he sighed before picking up his briefcase off the floor and disapperating.
Hermione turned and went into the kitchen and began to rake through the cupboards in search of something that would help her clean. There was nothing. Literally nothing. The only thing she could find were bin bags, she held the bin bags in one hand and cast a look across the flat, “Best get started then,” she sighed.
Her day consisted of throwing all rubbish, mostly takeaway and alcohol containers, into the bin bags. Then organising all the pieces of paper into neat piles. By the end of it Hermione was sat of the sofa holding one of her books within her hand. Hogwarts: A history, she read the title over and over again before slowly opening the first page.
There it was…her wand. Resting neatly into the wand shaped indent she had formed with magic before placing it safely within. She stroked the edge of her wand gently, not daring to pick it up and made a list of pros and cons in her head.
Three years had been a long time, and in that time she gradually gained a fear of magic it sent a shiver down her spine whenever she thought about it. Hermione’s thoughts of magic were only bad ones, no matter how many times she tried to think of a good moment with magic it just turned dark and the good moments never appeared.
“Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light,” Hermione muttered to herself. It was true all she had to do was turn on the light and find those good memories and vanquish those that made her cry at night, magic was a wonderful gift, truly wonderful. Hermione knew she was lucky to be able to be a witch, she was proud to be one so why was she cowering away from it?
Hermione couldn’t remember why she had decided to give up magic, her parents wouldn’t have wanted this, just by her stopping to use it didn’t mean that they would come back. They were gone, as were so many others, and by her running away from magic and huddling in a corner wasn’t solving anything. Where was her Gryffindor bravery? Hermione gazed down at the pages of Hogwarts: A history, she had left her bravery within the pages of this book, the many adventures she had at Hogwarts forgotten because she couldn’t bring herself to accept that that part of her life was over. So she had tried to forget it instead.
She took a deep breath before lifting her wand out of the book, immediately the book’s indented pages became smooth once more. Hermione whispered gently, “Lumos” once again her wand obeyed her lighting up. She closed her eyes and began to relive all the happy memories she had decided to banish to the darkest part of her mind, but now she was bringing them back to the light.
Tears fell down her face, but these were tears of joy as he remembered all the wonderful times she had had with magic at Hogwarts with Harry and Ron. She smiled as she opened her eyes, finally feeling free again. “Perhaps having Draco Malfoy come into my life wasn’t a bad thing after all,” she whispered to herself as she continued to smile. Standing up off the sofa she looked around the flat with a couple waves of her wand everything was spotless and shinning; the bulging bin bags were gone and the carpet was clean as were all the surfaces, not a stain in sight.
Hermione looked around at the clean flat and clutched her wand to her chest, “Thank goodness for magic.” Opening back her copy of Hogwarts: A history she placed her wand back, “That’s enough magic for today” she told herself already feeling slightly overwhelmed at the prospect of her beginning to use magic again. Hermione closed the book with her wand inside before returning it back to her room where she waited for Malfoy to return; she had to wait as there was no food in his flat and she had no money in order to leave and go buy some. She felt like a housewife.
“Holy crap, this place is tidy!” exclaimed Draco when he walked in. Hermione poked her head out of her door, “How the hell did you manage this?”
“A woman can to anything,” Hermione told him,
“Yes, well after doing such a wonderful job of cleaning up your pigsty I would enjoy it if you bought some food,”
“Yes, you see it’s this amazing thing. It fills you up and gives you all the required nutrients and minerals you need to live,”
“I know what it is!”
“Then why don’t you buy some, not all of us live off takeaways and alcohol,” Hermione told him now stepping out of her room and facing towards Malfoy, “It would really help, because I am starving,”
“You not eating has probably done you some good, you might even have lost a few pound,” Malfoy smirked,
“You prick!” Hermione shouted, “I’ve cleaned your whole flat and you repay be my insulting me and calling me fat!”
“Actually I repaid you by paying off all your bills. Anyway you can eat once we’ve sorted you out,”
“Sorted me out?” Hermione asked still seething with anger,
“Yes. If you are going to be my personal assistant you are going to have to look the part I can’t have some tramp in granny clothes who doesn’t wash follow me around all day.”
“You are such a wanker!”
“Bet you wish you hadn’t given up magic so you could hex me don’t you? Words aren’t quite as effective on me” he smirked, “Now go have a shower, Granger. You smell absolutely vile.”
Hermione shot daggers at Malfoy before doing as he told and went off into the bathroom to have a shower.
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