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Chapter 9 : Letters
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Ron sat patiently waiting for Hermione to wake up. He’d decided he wasn’t going to any classes till she woke up. He held her hand in his, stroking the back of it with his thumb. He knew she was going to be ok but he was still worried and he had to hear from her what had happened before he hit Draco again. He was sure it had been his fault somehow.
Hermione’s school bag was on the floor at the end of her bed, it caught Ron’s eye and he decided to have a look through it to pass his time. It was mostly school things, an apple, several books that she was reading in her spare time and then an envelope that was sealed with Hermione’s name on the back. After everything that had happened the day before he was sure it was from Draco. He even recognised the hand writing.
Ron looked over at Hermione who was still in a deep sleep, Madam Pomfrey had informed him she was awake for an hour or so that morning before he came and she gave her some more medicine so she didn’t have to suffer with a throbbing head all day. He slowly opened the envelope and pulled out the letter that was inside. He was nervous Hermione might wake up and catch him but he had to know what was going on.
I hope you’re ok. I’m writing you this because I can’t ever imagine saying this to your face. You were right yesterday when you said I’ve gotten a taste of what I put you through and I’m sorry for that, for the past seven years. I know saying sorry now doesn’t change anything but I’m tired of us having the same argument every time there’s conflict. I hope we can both let go of our past. We have to spend enough time together with this partner thing, let’s not make it more difficult than it already is.
Ron went to tear the letter but couldn’t he knew if Hermione found out that he had opened something that was for her she wouldn’t talk to him! Things were already starting to become awkward between them because he wanted her so badly. He folded the letter and placed it carefully back in the envelope then back in her bag. He didn’t really know what Draco was talking about but he had an idea. Hermione didn’t really give them the details of the arguments they had but Ron could always tell when they had been fighting.
“Has she woken up yet?”
Ron looked up to see Draco standing in the doorway of the hospital ward his heart jumped to his throat, had he seen him read the letter? His first instinct was to say something about it, but if there was a chance he hadn’t seen him read it he was going to take it so he tried to remain calm
Draco nodded then turned to leave
He turned back to see what Ron wanted
“You better hope you didn’t do anything to her you’ve tortured her enough mentally for years and now it seems you’re hitting her too”
“Even if I did care about blood status anymore, I would never harm a girl”
“Ha, if you cared about blood status? It’s what makes you” Ron jeered
“It used to” Draco sighed
“You can’t fool anyone Malfoy”
“In that case, you’re a waste of space Weasley with no money and your family is a disgrace to the pureblood race”
Ron stood up with his fists clenched
“AH, ah, ah, Weasley! Everyone has a label, are you going to let yours define you?” he smirked and walked away backwards knowing Ron was still trying to figure out what he meant.
Hermione opened her eyes slowly, praying there was no more pain in her head. She was pleasantly surprised when there wasn’t, however, there was a dull ache in her neck and her body felt numb from lying in the one position the whole time, but these things were tolerable. She sat up slowly. Ron’s upper body was sprawled across the end of her bed and the rest of him on a stool. He looked so uncomfortable, but typical Ron, he was sound asleep. She appreciated he was there but it worried her slightly. She couldn’t shake the feeling he still wanted to be more than friends. She gently picked up her bag from the end of her bed. She remembered that Draco had returned it. To pass her time till Ron woke up she figured she may as well catch up on a book she had been reading.
“The Sorceress and the Squib”
She didn’t normally read soppy romantic novels, but this one had been critically acclaimed so she felt obliged and she was secretly enjoying it.
As she pulled the book out of her bag an envelope fell out. She inspected the stationary before opening it. She pulled out the piece of paper and looked both sides, it was blank! She folded it back up and placed it back in her bag for later inspection, all she wanted to do now was dive into another chapter.
Five chapters later, Ron finally woke up, he was happy to see Hermione was too and back to her old self with her head buried in a book.
“The Sorceress and the Squib? Doesn’t sound like your kind of book!”
“It’s critically acclaimed” she turned the page and peered up over her book at Ron
“How you feeling?”
“I was worried you know” he placed his hand on Hermione’s leg “What happened?”
“I fell and banged my head, didn’t Malfoy tell you?”
“Oh he did, I just don’t believe him”
“Honestly that’s what happened Ron, I remember it clear as day. I caught my foot and fell, well rather, I slipped and banged my head. My head was bleeding so Malfoy gave me a towel and healed it then I got really dizzy and then I woke in here so I assume he took me here?”
“Yea he did, he carried you in his arms. He passed me Harry and Gin in the Hall on his way”
Hermione burst out laughing, her shoulders shrugging
“What’s so funny?” Ron scowled
“I would have loved to see the look on your faces, Malfoy carrying me when I was unconscious with blood on my head”
Ron’s expression slowly changed to a goofy smile and he joined in Hermione’s giggles
“We did think the worst” his face suddenly fell back serious “What’s going on with you two? Why were you at the lake together, and what in Merlin’s name happened over breakfast?”
“It was a joke Ron that’s all”
“Well it wasn’t very funny I’m starting to think maybe you banged your head before breakfast too”
Hermione pulled her bag towards her and placed her book on top of it. Ron fretted as he remembered the letter. He was hoping she’d never find out he read it before her.
“And another thing, that doesn’t explain being alone at the lake together” he asked half serious and half distracting her from opening her bag
“That was just a coincidence, we just ending up in the same place at the same time”
“It’s still his fault you got hurt”
“As much as I’d love to blame him, it was my own stupidity” she opened up her bag and slid her book in. “I think I want some sleep” she lied, hitting for him to leave.
Ron picked up on the tone and got up from his stool “I’ll come back with Harry in a while yea?”
As Ron walked away, Hermione remembered the envelope. She quickly pulled it out of her bag
“Wait Ron do you know that this is?” She held it out “It’s a blank piece of paper inside it definitely wasn’t there when I packed my bag after lunch yesterday”
He looked he right in the eyes “No I’ve no idea” he left quickly after that, panicking about how he was going to explain this when she figured it out.
Draco sat in the courtyard staring blankly ahead into the trees. A stiff wind blew his robes back away from his torso and made his eyes water a little. His mind felt blank like he had been sedated, he was enjoying the numbness. Earlier that morning a letter arrived for him by owl. It was from his mother. This was the first time he had heard from her since she left, he didn’t open it, and he didn’t have to. He knew her handwriting and her stationary he just simply placed it in his robes and got up from his untouched breakfast and for some unknown reason ended up at the hospital wing to find Ron sitting with a still sleeping Hermione. He wanted to know if she had gotten his letter.
“Draco?” a firm hand was rested on Draco’s shoulder breaking the sedation
He looked over his shoulder to see Harry standing behind him, his broom in one hand and his Quidditch gear slung over his shoulder.
“Are you coming to practise? Today’s the day we revise the rules before try outs, and considering you’re the Slytherin Captain”
“That’s not why you’re here” Draco shrugged Harry’s hand off his shoulder “I haven’t read it” he sighed
“Read what?” Harry questioned
“I know you know my mother wrote to me, I’m sure the ministry was waiting for something like this to happen, they knew she wouldn’t be able to stay away”
“I did hear, but I knew if it was something about where Lucius is you would come to me like you agreed, honestly when I heard I thought you could use a, em…” Harry cleared his throat
“We’re not friends Potter” he got up from where he was sitting and began to walk away
“Malfoy, I’m trying to help”
“I don’t need your help” he snapped. His mind suddenly flashed back to the night Snape killed Dumbledore, he had offered to help him too and he refused just like he was refusing Harrys. He reached into his robes and threw the letter towards him them stormed off towards the castle.
Harry shook his head and picked up the now wet letter off the ground. He slowly opened the red wax stamp and slid out the dripping parchment
I’m sorry it had to be this way. Don’t think we never loved you, we do that’s why we had to leave for your safety. Please don’t hate us. If you need anything visit vault 86DM in Gringotts, it has everything you need.
We love you
NM & LM
Harry watched as Draco pushed open the doors to the castle then back at the letter. He was going to call him back but knew he wouldn’t want to read it, not just yet. He thought back to the very first night back at Hogwarts when he and Draco looked out to the forbidden forest together in the astronomy tower, he had known Draco had no idea where his father was after the arrangement they made before school started, but Harry didn’t know his mother had also abandoned him till that night. He remembered Draco saying they left him his full inheritance and the entire Malfoy fortune, so something struck him as off in this letter saying about another vault, surely he had all the money he needed? What was in this vault?
Lucius Malfoy was a prime target as far as the ministry was concerned. Draco turned over the ledger with the whereabouts of hundreds of death eaters in return for his freedom, but he also had to give up the location of his father as soon as he knew. The ministry thinking his mother would eventually be the one to let it slip after they found out she was also missing. They knew she couldn’t stay away from her only son. Harry felt like this vault could be some sort of key as to where Lucius is.
“I see you’re feeling better!” Draco placed his bag across from Hermione. She was sitting in the prefect’s common room sorting through a stack of papers.
“I don’t really have time to study today, I have to catch up on all this head girl stuff, Neville done as much as he could, but these are all for me”
Draco lifted one of the piece of paper up and scanned through it quickly
“Are they all requests?”
“Pretty much” she sighed
“You’re only out of hospital, like what, a day and you’re worrying about some silly requests that you probably can’t even fill?”
“I didn’t realised you cared” she asked, grinning!
“I don’t” he scorned flicking the paper back at her
She smiled as she placed it back on top of the pile “Thank you for the other day Draco, you acted so quickly and knew what to do, I just..”
“Don’t! I owed you, surely my letter made that clear”
“Letter? You mean the blank piece of paper in the envelope in my bag”
“Blank? Maybe I charmed it wrong!”
“It was charmed so that after it had been read it would turn blank” suddenly it clicked with Draco, he had seen Ron with her bag, he must have read the letter. Anger seeped from his core through his whole body, so much so, that his face flushed red
“Weasley” he spat
“What?” Hermione was confused for a moment then it struck her too “Don’t!” she cried after Draco as he began to storm toward the door “Let me handle this one, please” her voice laced with rage
“How dare the pathetic, indigent, nosy…Agh…Weasley” he pushed the door shut with all his strength. The bang caused Hermione to jump in her seat.
“What did it say?” she barely whispered
“Nothing I could say to your face” he replied, still furious.
“Oh” she lifted another sheet off the pile and pretended to read it, the tension between them felt like it was wrapping around her body and closing in on her
Draco cleared his throat and looked back at her. He could see she was upset, it was a look he used to cause her, but now it was being caused by someone who was supposed to be her friend. He too had recently felt the sting of betrayal.
“It was an apology to you” he managed to say after building up the courage “For everything”
He had no idea why, but a wave of emotion washed over him and he got a little choked up. He looked at Hermione again, her brown eyes staring straight at him, tears trickling down her face. Everything about her looked so delicate. From her water filled eyes to how the light from the window was shining on her face.
As she was looking at him she looked into his blue eyes, but she didn’t see the coldness she always had, instead she seen sadness and depth. He walked back towards the table and sat across from her. The vow of silence they had once agreed upon was being taken up once more, however, this time it was different. It wasn’t that they didn’t want to speak to one another, they were silent because they actually wanted to talk but didn’t know how to.
Harry looked out over the forbidden forest from the astronomy tower as he waited for Draco, hoping he received his owl over dinner. That forest would hold more significance to him than anyone else would ever know, it wasn’t where he once again escaped death, it was where he spoke to the people who meant the most to him one more time. He put them thought aside when he heard footsteps approaching.
“Potter, whatever the letter said I don’t want to know”
“I know” Harry moved over on the rail to make room for Draco “It’s what I want to know!”
Draco folded his arms and leaned against the railing while breathing in the cold, crisp air
“What’s in Vault 86DM?”
“I’ve never heard of it”
“It was in the letter, it must mean something to you?”
“Honestly Potter, never heard of it! Our vaults were just titles the Malfoy Vaults and are recognised by our wands”
Harry handed him the letter, “Read it” he moved back from the railing “Please” he asked and left the astronomy tower. The letter was personal, and even though he had already read it Harry didn’t want to be there when Draco read it himself.
His heart wrenched when he read the first two words
He could hear his mother’s voice. He took a deep breath and carried on reading. When he had finished, he thought long and hard about this vault but nothing came to mind and like Harry he knew it wasn’t money, he had more than enough. He folded the letter and placed it in his journal, something about it seemed so final, as if they were saying goodbye forever. He scrunched the letter in his fist and ran after Harry
“Potter, Potter wait!” he called down the steps hoping he was still close by. He leapt down the steps skipping every second one
“HARRY!” He called down the corridor as Harry turned to go down the next one
Harry stopped in his tracks and waited for Draco to make his way over to him.
“We’ll go, tomorrow. If it’s a link to where they are I suppose you better be there”
“Are you sure?”
“Would I have said it if I wasn’t?”
“You’re just going to give them up, just like that!” Harry was a little offended that he would just offer up his parents like that
“They done it to me” His lips curled into a scowl
“To protect you!”
“Do you want to know where they are or not Potter!”
Harry wanted to know what was in the vault and give Lucius what was coming to him but he couldn’t understand why Draco was giving them up so easily.
“I just don’t get it, he’s just offering them up on a platter”
“Harry” Hermione fell into the seat beside Harry “He feels abandoned by them”
“They’re just protecting him!”
“Hold on Harry aren’t you supposed to be tracking them down?” Ron handed him a tall mug of coffee and sat across from him and Hermione
“Yes but I can’t comprehend someone giving up their family”
“Do you want him to or not?”
“Who’s to say there’s evidence where they are in this vault? What if it is just money?” Hermione reached over and dipped a biscuit into Harry’s coffee waiting for the chocolate to melt. Ron laughed to himself at her boldness
“True, but what if it is?”
“Do you want me to come to keep you level headed?” she offered
“I don’t think that’s a good idea” Ron suggested “You are only out of hospital because of that git”
“Well to be honest Ronald, I no longer value your opinions” she smiled sweetly but kept an angry tone to her voice
“What’s that supposed to mean?” he asked dazed by her outburst
“What did that letter say? I never did get the chance to read it!”
“What letter? Malfoy’s?” Harry asked, completely confused by the entire situation
“No! Mine!” She snapped and got up from her seat and stormed off
“What was all that about?”
Ron hung his head in shame “I may have read a letter Draco wrote to Hermione”
“It was in her bag, it was also charmed so that after it had been read it disappeared”
“Oh Ron” Harry sighed in disapproval
“I know!” he rolled his eyes dreading a lecture from Harry
“What did it say?”
“He was apologising to her, it was a shitty attempt to be honest she was better off not seeing it, she doesn’t need to be lied to by him”
“Or for her friends to abuse her trust” Harry snapped
“Wait a minute you read his letter from his mother”
“Because he let me!” Harry followed Hermione’s take on the situation and left the room leaving Ron alone and annoyed at himself.
So another chapter down, I hope it was ok, I know it was a little jumpy!
Thanks to everyone who has reviewed and read my story! Keep’em coming!
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