AN: Alrighty folks, the moment you’ve all been waiting for! Actually two moments for some of you because this chapter Hermione will have a recollection with Ron about the big scene with Malfoy after the battle and then she finally comes face to face with Draco and let’s watch the sparks fly! There may be a surprise in store for you as well! Clumsy!
The weeks that followed Hermione’s transformation were stressful for her and for those that loved her. It wasn’t easy to watch her struggle to learn how to live with some of the instincts that were overwhelming her and fighting to learn control. Hermione for her part was frustrated and depressed due to the fact that the gnawing hunger for her mate just grew on a daily basis leaving her in a constant state of longing for an unknown person and then learning to control her Veela was even harder than learning to control her magic had been.
Her friends and family tried very hard to hide their pity but she sensed it anyway. She finally felt a bit of what Harry had felt all those years when people would stare at him and she hated it! It pissed her off but she knew they were just worried for her and sorry she had to go through this as she reminded herself constantly when she’d feel herself start to give in to her Veela.
“Your losing focus Hermione! You have to always keep control!” Fleur lectured.
“I’m sorry! This is so hard Fleur and sometimes it feels like I will never succeed.” Hermione confessed.
“It will get much easier for you once you have your mate I promise. However, along with the mate come stronger emotions and desires. When you find him you’re going to sense whenever danger approaches him and you will be gripped by the strongest desire to kill for your mate to protect him. That must be controlled obviously but you will feel an even deeper desire to mate with him and mark him; once he accepts your mark all these wild emotions will become easier to keep control of.” Fleur explained as they walked through the garden and grounds of the Burrow.
Today was set aside to try and prepare for the meeting with the Malfoy’s tomorrow. Fleur seemed to feel she was ready and had enough control with the addition that she goes along with them for lunch. Today they were walking everywhere to allow Hermione to get used to other scents not found at home or the Burrow. They skirted the little town near them and Hermione had begun to get a feel for reigning in some of the wild urges she had when her senses were assaulted with different sights, smells, and sounds.
The hearing alone had been hard enough because she could hear things she never had before and there was the fact she could hear conversations she shouldn’t be able to. There was the group of men who had noticed the two young women and been quite descriptive of what they thought of them, that had made both girls laugh. There was also the group of women jealous of the beauty of the two and were quite scathing in their discussion of them.
All in all Hermione was very glad when she sat in the garden to enjoy some alone time because she was extremely tired but also worried about her control tomorrow. There were a number of unpleasant incidences between her and the Malfoy’s and there was so much bad blood there but having Fleur along would be comforting.
Unbeknownst to Hermione her loved ones had been together while she was gone making plans of their own. The twins were closing the shop tomorrow, Charlie took a vacation to come home, Bill was insisting on being there to support both Fleur and Hermione whom he’d become even more fond of since she and Fleur became so close. His wife had few friends and Hermione had quickly become very important to her. Then of course there was Harry, Ron, and Ginny who had come up with the plan to begin with. So all in all when Hermione met with them tomorrow she would be surrounded by her loved ones who would be strategically hiding from her but surrounding her entirely should something happen and she needed them.
Hermione heard the back door open and close and she knew within seconds without looking that it was Ron headed over to her. He was heavier footed than anyone else at the Burrow and of course had his own scent.
“Mind if I join you?” He asked when he walked up behind her.
“Sure. You seem tense Ron, is something on your mind?” She asked worried about him.
“Well it’s about Malfoy to be honest. I am not going to try to talk you out of going again; I know your mind is made up. No, this is about what happened at Hogwarts.” He told her.
“Oh, that. I thought we just weren’t going to talk about it. Ron, I only knew you were lost in grief and would regret it later. We had all the adrenaline from the night running crazy through our veins when he snuck up behind us and I know you, once news that Fred was fine reached you it would have sunk in what you’d done.” Hermione tried to comfort him and tell him the truth.
“I know which is why I wanted to finally say thank you.” He smiled at her. “You’re right as usual, I tend to act then think sometimes and I wouldn’t have been able to live with it. I just thought that with the eve of the lunch upon us it was the right time to clear the air. I really despise the prick but you were right to step in.”
She took his hand and held it in her own and easy as that the emotional scene that night was forgotten. Friendship with Ron and Harry wasn’t always easy, especially with Ron’s hot headedness but she’d never once regretted bonding with them over that troll. Until the two of them she’d never had a friend before and they were the best friends she had along with Gin. She gained so much strength from them that she knew whatever happened at the lunch, she’d be ok.
“Let’s head in I can smell dinner is done. Molly is sending Fred to get us.” Hermione informed him.
The next day Hermione was awakened two hours before her lunch by a guilty looking Fleur.
“What happened?” Hermione asked once she was awake enough to notice her mentor and friend’s eyes.
“I did something that I thought would help you but Bill got mad about. He says I need to give you the letter I received this morning and tell you what I did. He’s very angry right now, even refuses to speak to me at the moment.” Fleur pouted.
Hermione felt her stomach clench. Bill was not one of the Weasley’s she was closest to although that was changing due to Fleur but for him to get this angry she was sure she wasn’t going to like it.
“I contacted Narcissa Malfoy.” Fleur said with pleading eyes. “I only did this so that they understood how hard it may be for you! I wanted it to be easier, so if they understood then they could act accordingly. Please don’t be mad at me I promise my intentions were good.”
“Let me see the letter before I decide to be mad or not.” She answered as Fleur handed her an envelope.
Dear Mrs. Weasley,
Thank you for your note this morning. We will keep in mind her youth as a Veela and act accordingly. We owe Miss Granger so many times over for what she has been through and what she’s done for us. Her Veela status will not affect anything because it doesn’t change why we want to meet with her. We actually have a more mature male Veela in our family so we’re quite comfortable with it, have no fears.
Hermione was shocked to be frank. The Malfoy’s were at the very top of the pureblood elitist society and to hear Narcissa Malfoy openly acknowledge that somewhere in the long line of pureblood Malfoy’s there was a Veela trait which obviously made their claims to being pureblood bullshit.
She groaned, “Fine I won’t get mad. It’s bound to come out publicly eventually anyway.”
Hermione was pounced on as Fleur hugged her making her laugh. She had really gotten to know Bills wife as a result of all the time they now spent together and she was a bit ashamed of herself for how she had judged the woman. Like Hermione at one time Fleur had few friends, women were jealous of her beauty and tended to be catty towards her and few men ever looked beyond her loveliness to get to know her. Hermione had quickly become a very good friend and Fleur was anxious to keep her friend and was therefore grateful for her forgiveness.
Two hours later Hermione was dressed in a new outfit Fleur and Ginny had gotten for her birthday. She wore the fitted black jeans with a shiny ¾ sleeve gold top with a chunky belt and jewelry. It was not her normal style but she had to develop a new style for her new body anyway and she loved how pretty she felt while wearing it. It also had the benefit of being able to encourage her bravery when she got nervous because it reminded her that she was after all a Gryffindor at heart and that was hugely comforting.
Finally she took one last look at her darker curls and light makeup and enjoyed the overall affect and headed downstairs to join Mr. and Mrs. Weasley and Fleur who were waiting for her so they could leave.
“You look so beautiful ‘Mione.” Molly smiled giving her a hug. “Are you sure you want to do this? We can always cancel.”
“I’m fine I promise. Let’s just go get this whole thing over with.” Hermione sighed.
They headed out of the Burrow and all four disapparated to Diagon Alley. When they had all appeared between the door to the Leaky Cauldron and the brick gateway to Diagon Alley Arthur tapped the bricks and opened the arch for them to pass through. Hermione smiled again like she always did upon seeing Diagon Alley come back to life. Gone was the emptiness of the stores and street, it was once again the magical place it was when she first discovered there was magic.
She smiled bolstered by her surroundings as they walked past the different stores. She suddenly stopped dead in her tracks as they passed 93 Diagon Alley.
“Why is Weasley Wizard Wheezes closed? It’s a Wednesday so it should be open!” Hermione asked.
“They are closed for lunch probably.” Fleur answered. She knew exactly why it was closed but the other group hidden somewhere among them didn’t want Hermione to know they were there unless she needed them and she promised to keep their secret.
Two blocks later Hermione again stopped but this time in excitement! Her eyes grew round and dilated, her nostrils flared and her body tensed into a slight crouch. She took off running before they could stop her, she smelled HIM! He was somewhere close and the hunger took over. She wasn’t thinking about anything but getting to him. Her mate was somewhere close by and she needed to find him, screw the meeting! She heard them coming behind her, Fleur in the lead and gaining which made Hermione run faster, following the delicious scent that only her mate had!
She reached a small café where the scent was strongest and she was floored when she followed the scent straight to a table where three very blond diners sat.
“Finally! I found you!” She said throwing herself straight into a very surprised Draco Malfoy’s arms. Just after that Fleur caught up and Hermione turned defensively to her.
“He’s mine!” She growled in a feral manner.
“’Mione I won’t get closer to him I promise but you need to calm down and remember where we are and who that is.” Fleur reasoned with her.
Draco jumped away causing Hermione to look behind her and try to get back to him when someone spoke. It was a strong alpha male Veela which was not to be ignored.
“Hermione, Mrs. Weasley, Draco all of you stop! Miss Granger I understand what you’re feeling, but Draco doesn’t. Draco it seems that Hermione has found her Veela mate and it is you.” Lucius Malfoy announced freezing everyone in their tracks.
“YOU?!” Hermione shrieked.
“What the Hell?” From Draco, and a smile from Fleur.
Once she had calmed down and the other Weasley’s had caught up, including the secret group who’d heard the confrontation and come running Hermione looked around her and did the only logical thing she could in reaction. She fainted letting the blackness have her.
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