Chapter 8 : Malfoy Manor
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10th September 1031
Today is the day. I am going to Malfoy Manor this evening; the family truly believe I am highborn foreign wizard. If only they knew the truth. I plan to hide it in the forgotten library and all I hope is that it stays forgotten. When it needs to be found the moment will come and whoever should find it will be the one I need. My plan will come together yet I still admit fear. All of my children will be there but I pray that none shall see through me.
Hermione slammed the journal shut and Medusa’s head snapped up with glistening eyes. This is just a coincidence, Hermione thought to herself when she looked at the calendar. Saturday the 10th of September and it was the day she was visiting Malfoy Manor. She hadn’t been to the manor since that one day during the hunt for horcruxes. She had felt so much pain and now she would relive it through the memories. She sighed and reluctantly climbed out of her bed, leaving its warmth.
"I would like you to accompany us today Medusa. It would let you see other surroundings," Hermione informed the drowsy snake on the armchair. She also wanted a sense of security and with Medusa she felt that.
"Of course mistress," the snake hissed. Hermione smiled and walked down to the bathroom. It was too early on a Saturday morning for anybody else to be awake so she was taking this rare opportunity to sit alone and in peace. The sun was streaming through the mosaic windows in rainbow coloured lights. Red, orange, green, blue, and every other colour danced across the cold tiles. Hermione turned on her favourite tap and out poured pale pink, rose scented water. The smell drifted through her nostrils and she already began to feel content. As the pool sized bath began to fill she took the opportunity to browse through the many shampoos and soaps along the shelves. There was a product for everything, black hair, blond hair, thick hair, thin hair, short hair, long hair, straight hair and curly hair. Normally she would use her own shampoo but for once she decided to try something new, what was life without risks? One shampoo and conditioner caught her eye. It claimed to control wild hair and soften curls. Whether or not it would work Hermione did not know but if it did not at least her hair would still smell delectable as it was scented with apples. She turned back to the bath, turned off the taps and slowly began to sink into the scolding hot water. She sighed and tilted her head back against the ledge. She rarely had time to herself these days with all her studying and head girl duties. She looked down at her body and traced her faint scars; one from her belly button to her hip bone, one stretching down from underneath her left arm, several scratches on the top of her shoulders and countless numbers of scars on her thighs. This was what war had done to her skin and it left her feeling self conscious.
After Merlin knows how long Hermione rose from the bath with her hair dripping wet and wrapped a towel around herself before walking back up to her room. She went about trying to find something to wear whilst her hair air dried. She glanced at her appearance in the mirror and gasped. That shampoo really worked. Her hair had little frizz and the curls hung like silk around her shoulders. That was definitely a product she would be using again. She looked through the contents of her small make up bag, she was after all leaving the school and she wanted to give the Aurors a good first impression for future reference. Hermione rarely bothered with makeup and even today she only applied mascara and a tinted lip balm.
"Come now medusa," Hermione said and left her room with the snake in follow at her heel. The first person she saw when she reached the common room was Harry and for once he was not with Ron. She could see his black hair sticking up and his head was in his hands.
"Harry?" she said softly. He turned his head towards her and smiled. "Is everything okay?" he sighed and shook his head. Hermione sat down next to him and rubbed her hand soothingly in circles on his back.
"It’s Ginny," he choked.
"What about her Harry? Tell me what’s wrong, what happened?"
" We were out meeting at midnight by the Quidditch pitch like we usually do and I saw her standing there in the moonlight. She looked so beautiful Hermione, her face was perfect and her hair blew around her in the breeze.... Then I saw him," harry could feel the lump rising in his throat.
"Who's him Harry?" Hermione whispered, she did not like where this was going.
"I don't know, I couldn't see his face because I was too busy focusing on her reactions. When he tilted her chin up to face him I saw her look at him the way she used to look at me. Her eyes were alive and then he kissed her. I thought she would back away, I was willing her to back away!" he sniffed " but she didn't," he gazed into the fire feeling empty as if someone had taken what had once been hers in his chest.
"Oh Harry, I'm so sorry," Hermione was tearing up for him now as she wrapped her arms around him.
"She’s been distant since we came back to Hogwarts but I never thought..."
"Nobody would have ever thought she would do this Harry. Nobody," she said into his hair. She felt him wrap his arms around her and now they held each other, comforted by each other’s company. Hermione had missed this, talking to Harry and Ron, comforting them, and even just sitting with them.
"Eck hem," came a voice clearing their throat by the stairs. Harry sighed when he saw who it was and pulled away. “I’m not interrupting anything am I?" Draco asked.
"No Malfoy. I'll speak to you later Hermione," he mumbled and walked back up to his room.
"What was up with him?" he asked.
"Nothing," Hermione shook her head, Harry would not want Draco to know.
"Okay well I thought we could have breakfast at mine instead of here if you want," he suggested.
"That would be nice," she smiled weakly, still upset for Harry, she would need to have words with Ginny.
"Shall we go then? Miss McGonagall will be expecting us soon," he said and began to walk towards the portrait. Hermione got up to follow and stopped when she saw Salazar Slytherin looking at her.
"Miss Granger," he nodded.
"Sir," she nodded. Hermione did not feel comfortable talking to the man not long after reading his secrets.
"Would you mind telling me the date?" he asked politely, Hermione hesitated before answering,
"The 10th of September,"
" And where are you both heading on this fine day?" he asked with what Hermione could only assume was an attempt at a smile.
"Malfoy Manor Sir, my home," Draco replied. Salazar Slytherins head snapped round to look at Draco and then back to Hermione again before walking away. Draco shrugged it off and began to walk towards the head mistresses office with Hermione in silence.
"Unity," they said together and walked up the spiral staircase and into an empty office. On the desk was a note
Miss Granger and Mister Malfoy,
I am attending an important meeting and therefore will not be able to see you both off. I trust you know how to use floo powder and will act in an accordingly manor. I expect you back by curfew this evening. I wish you luck,
Draco grabbed a pile of the powder, stood in the fire and shouted,
"MALFOY MANOR!" and he was gone leaving Hermione to follow after him.
"Malfoy Manor!" she pronounced clearly with Medusa around her feet and felt herself being pulled to her destination. She landed off balance but was steadied by a pair of strong hands holding her elbows.
"Are you okay?" Draco asked staring down at her. She nodded, stood up straight and brushed the dust off herself. She looked around the grand hallway she now stood in.
"It seems lighter," she stated noticing the bright light shining into the hallway.
"I never liked the dark," he said and beckoned for her and Medusa to follow him as he turned and began to walk. Everywhere Hermione looked she saw more doors, more hallways and more portraits, where could the forgotten library be? She wondered. Several portraits greeted Draco and many sneered at Hermione as she passed them muttering mudblood. She rolled her eyes, that name was beginning to get old. Others looked quizzically at Medusa who hissed in reply.
"Here we are, I hope you like pancakes by the way," he smiled and headed to the fridge.
"Yes pancakes are fine," she whispered still in awe at the room. The kitchen had to be the centre piece of the manor. With high ceilings and old wooden work tops it almost seemed...cosy.
"Good because it's one of the few things I can cook," he chuckled.
"You're cooking?" she asked amused
"Is something funny?" he raised an eyebrow.
"No, I just never thought I would see the day Draco Malfoy cooked his own food," she said playfully. He reacted by throwing a pinch of flour at Hermione’s face but she ducked gracefully. “Now that isn’t a very polite way to treat your guest,” she laughed before walking around the room.
“My mother used to love cooking, she was nearly always in here,” he smiled sadly. His mother had taught him to make pancakes when he was nine years old. He remembered burning his thumb so she leant down to kiss it before showing him how to flip the pancakes.
“Are these all you?” Hermione asked from the fridge. She was staring at multiple photos of a little blond boy.
“Yeah, this is the only room we actually have normal family photos,” he smiled as he flipped a pancake. She smiled at how relaxed Draco seemed to be in this room. She sat down on one of the old oak chairs around the small circular table; clearly made for only the family of three. She waited patiently whilst Draco dished up the pancakes and added strawberries and sugar.
“Where’s Medusa gone?” she asked looking around the room.
“Probably to hunt or something I don’t know,”
She slithered silently along the floor turning corners wearingly. Right, left, down the corridor, fourth door on the right she repeated in her head. She hissed as she reached the small and battered door. It opened as she reached it.
“Ah Medusa, I knew you would make it,” he whispered “Is she here? She came with him?”
“Yes master, she is here,” Medusa hissed back.
“Good, it is all going to plan. Yes it is all working well,” he hissed “Now leave Medusa, they must not know where you are,” Medusa hissed in reply before slithering away from him and the room.
“This is delicious!” she exclaimed taking another bite.
“You sound surprised, I wasn’t going to poison you,” Draco laughed and she grinned. Draco was draining his orange juice when he heard the doorbell, he and Hermione froze. “I’ll get it,” he told her and left the room. His heart was beating uncontrollably in his chest as he walked down the corridor to the front door. His hand rested on the cold metal handle and he took a deep breath.
“Good morning Mr Malfoy,” came the deep voice of Kingsley Shacklebolt.
“Minister, I wasn’t expecting you to be joining us,” Draco replied as he shook his hand.
“Me neither,” came Hermione’s voice from behind him. He opened the door wider and allowed the minister and the Aurors into the hall.
“Hermione Granger, my how you’ve grown and as lovely as ever,” he grinned before hugging the petite witch. Draco looked at them curiously.
“You two know each other?” he asked.
“Of course, Kingsley was one of the few people that I could have a sane conversation with in the order,” Hermione laughed. Draco should have suspected that that was how they knew each other.
“Hermione Granger? As in the muggleborn from the golden trio?” squealed the youngest of the female Aurors. “I’m Rosaline Cartel; it’s lovely to meet you!” the beautiful blond as she reached out and shook Hermione’s hand enthusiastically.
“A pleasure,” Hermione laughed. Roseline’s smile faltered when she saw Draco. She pulled Hermione behind her and had her wand out as her eyes trained on Draco. He furrowed his brows at the girl confused as to what she was doing.
“A muggleborn in the presence of an ex deatheater, a killer! What did you do to get her here Malfoy? Kidnapped her? Or blackmailed her?” she sneered.
“Miss Cartel!” boomed the minister.
“Honestly minister you cannot believe that Miss Granger would be in the presence of such filth at her own accord!” Rosaline shouted, the other Aurors took a step away from her. Whilst Hermione yanked her hand from the girls grasp and went to stand beside Draco.
“Actually Miss Cartel it is entirely my own choice. If you were a properly trained Auror you would know by the records kept that Draco is not a killer! Yes he used to be a deatheater but that was not his choice. His records show that he has not killed anybody or used an Unforgivable curse! Now I would prefer if you did not insult my friends especially the owner of the manor that you are standing in!” Hermione’s eyes flashed dangerously.
“Hermione, it’s fine honestly it’s nothing I haven’t heard before,” Draco sighed and squeezed her shoulder.
“Yes but I don’t like my friends being accused of things they didn’t do!” she complained but leant into him anyway whilst his arm was around her shoulder.
“Sn-Sna-Snake” one of the Aurors stuttered as Medusa slithered down the staircase. All wands pointed towards her.
“NO! Stop! Medusa come here!” she commanded and the snake obeyed rising in front of Hermione. After many gasps of shocks Draco spoke up before anybody could ask questions.
“Minister you have permission to search the whole house but I would prefer if you would search my private sitting room first before Hermione and I go there,” Draco told him whilst avoiding the female Auror’s glare.
“Thank you Mister Malfoy, this should not take long,” the Minister informed him and left the hall with the other Aurors. Draco turned to look down at Hermione who was glaring at the spot where Rosaline had been. He turned her head up to look at him.
“You really consider me your friend?” he asked softly.
“Lately you’re a closer friend than Harry and Ron,” she smiled.
“Well I am the better looking one,” he winked. Hermione laughed and slapped his arm.
“So what do you want to do?” she asked, he smiled and pulled her by the hand behind him.
It was beautiful. Painted in soft rose pinks with cream wooden furniture. Bookshelves lined the walls full of books dating back hundreds of years. A marble fireplace stood proudly between the bookshelves, the flames flickered gently in the light. In the centre of the room on the soft rug were two armchairs in stunning floral fabric. What attracted Hermione the most were the large French doors that Draco had opened. She walked towards them and gasped as she stood out on the balcony. She looked out at the beautiful garden laid before her eyes. A large lake was surrounded by different species of trees, exotic flowers and winding pathways.
“Beautiful isn’t it?” Draco said as he leant against the balcony. This was one of my mother’s other favourite places. It was the only place in the manor she ever got any peace. It’s the only room...Voldemort never stepped foot in,” he sighed and rubbed his eyes.
“Nobody blames you Draco. You weren’t the one to invite him into his home. How did he never find this place anyway?” she asked.
“I don’t know. I don’t even know how my mother found it. It’s been forgotten for centuries,” he told her as he smelled the roses climbing around the doors.
“How can anybody forget a library?” she laughed before stopping suddenly “The forgotten Library...” she whispered and walked back into the room and looked around it.
“Hermione? What do you mean the forgotten library?” he asked furrowing his brow.
“I can’t tell you,” she said and began looking in amongst the books for something, anything. He spun her around.
“Hermione this is my house, you can tell me,” he said looking straight into her eyes. She sighed and took the risk.
“At the beginning of the term on the train I found a book, or at least I thought it was a book but it turned out to be Salazar Slytherins Journal but the thing is it was written throughout late 1031 when he was thought to be dead. Anyway I was reading an entry made on the 10th of September saying that he hid something in Malfoy Manor in The Forgotten Library, this must be the place Draco!” she explained quickly and returned to searching the room.
“Woah, woah, woah! Salazar Slytherin? THE Salazar Slytherin, one of the founders of Hogwarts?!” he shouted.
“Do you know any other Salazar Slytherins?! And keep your voice down we can’t let the Aurors hear!” she whispered loudly.
“So it’s something of his?” he asked and began searching the room as well.
“I don’t know it didn’t say!”
“Well he could have been more bloody helpful!” Draco hissed. They searched every nook and cranny and after half an hour they still had no luck. Hermione collapsed into the one of the armchairs next to Draco and sighed. That’s when she noticed it, the empty portrait above the fireplace. She stood up in front of it, portraits were rarely empty for so long and she could tell this one had been vacant by the layer of dust gathering on the surface. She cautiously brought her fingers up to the gold nameplate and wiped away the layer of dusk. She took in a sharp breath and read the name.
“Salazar Slytherin,” she whispered. “Draco help me remove the portrait!” she said urgently and grabbed one side.
“But won’t it have a sticking char- he didn’t finish the sentence as the frame was lifted down from the wall. They looked at each other and then back to the small square door on the wall. Hermione reached out slowly and grazed the door with her knuckles. When nothing bad happened she slowly eased the door open which creaked eerily. Hermione pulled out a large, black, old and battered book.
“Mister Malfoy?! Miss Granger?!” They head Kingsley called from hall.
“Reducio!” Hermione said and placed the shrunken book into her pocket. Draco hurried her out of the room and locked the door behind them.
“Everything is in order Mr Malfoy, we will leave you two now,” Kingsley said in his deep voice.
“Thank you Minister,” Draco smiled shaking his hand.
“Please it’s Kingsley to any of Hermione’s friends,” he smiled back. After many goodbyes and signed forms the Aurors left leaving Hermione and Draco alone. Suddenly Hermione didn’t feel safe, the fact that Salazar Slytherin had walked through these halls haunted her and memories of Bellatrix LeStrange soon came flooding back.
“Can we go back now Draco?” she whispered. He nodded and walked towards a large door and into the drawing room. She froze, not here she thought and looked to the spot on the floor. She rubbed her left wrist where the word “mudblood” could still be faintly seen in the light. The pain had been excruciating, ripping through her whole body like a fire from within trying to escape. Her eyes began to water and she collapsed down onto her knees staring at the spot on the dark wooden floorboards.
“Hermione? What’s wrong?” he knelt down next to her.
“It hurt so badly Draco, so badly” she sobbed as the tears began to run down her pale face. Then it hit him, this was where his aunt had tortured her whilst he was forced to watch from the sidelines.
“We have to go Hermione, you can’t stay here,” he said pulling her to her feet. He wrapped his arm around her delicate wait and half carried her towards the fireplace. Her eyes stayed locked on the floor.
“You didn’t help me Draco, I was willing you to help me!” she cried.”Why didn’t you help me?!” the tears began to soak into the shirt he was wearing.
“Hogwarts!” he shouted. As they were pulled towards the headmistress’ office he hung on to Hermione tightly. Nobody was there when they stumbled out of the office. Hermione was shaking uncontrollably in his arms “Hermione you need to calm down!” she kept crying.”Hermione! Look at me!” he shouted. Her red eyes looked up at him timidly before fresh tears began to fall. When he tried to walk her to the door he gave up and carried her instead. Few students were roaming the corridors but any that were stopped to give them odd looks.
“Secrets!” He shouted at the Hogwarts founders before they could ask questions. He stumbled through the portrait to face all of the seventh years. “Just my luck,” he groaned.
“Hermione!” he heard Neville shout first.
“What have you done to her Malfoy?!” Ron shouted with his wand raised.
“I haven’t done anything! We were at Malfoy Manor, everything was fine until we entered the drawing room!” he shouted back as he placed Hermione on the sofa.
“Are you crazy?!” it was Harry’s turn to shout at him this time. “She’s been having nightmares about that room for the past year!”
“How was I supposed to know?! She didn’t say anything! She was the one that decided to come with me!” he screamed as he knelt down by Hermione side. He took her hand in one of his own and wiped the tears from her face. “Hermione, look at me please, you should have told me,” he said softly.
“I’m sorry, I just...I thought I could handle it,” she whispered as she looked into his now welcoming eyes.
“What were you both doing at the Manor anyway?” Harry demanded.
“The Minister and some Aurors wanted to search the house to make sure everything was in order and Hermione was told by the head mistress to come with me,” he sighed. Before Ron or Harry could throw another complaint Godric Gryffindor spoke up from the portrait,
“I think you should all retreat back to your rooms and leave Miss Granger to rest,” he said forcefully. After many complaints and shouting matches they seventh years left Hermione on the sofa with a blanket wrapped around her. With one last look Draco climbed the stairs and was stopped by Neville.
“I wouldn’t go in there if you want to live,” he said nodding towards his dorm. “You can come into the head’s common room” he told him.
After being unable to sleep Hermione had sat up with puffy eyes and stared absent mindedly into the fireplace. She was stupid to think she could handle going back into that room and letting Draco see her that way had been another mistake. They had only just established their friendship and after today she wouldn’t be surprised if he never wanted to be know the emotional wreck that she could be. She felt something digging into her leg and that’s when she remembered the book. She quickly pulled it out of her pocket and brought it back to original size. Taking a deep breath she tried to untie the black ribbon, but nothing happened. She frowned and tried again but still no luck, after countless spells and harsh pulling at the pages and ribbon it still wouldn’t budge.
“Need some help?” she heard Draco from behind her. He cautiously walked towards the sofa and sat down next to her not wanting to frighten her.
“It won’t open no matter what spell I use I can’t get the stupid thing to open!” she through the book roughly onto the coffee table.
“Let the boy open it,” said a voice from the portrait. Hermione and Draco both looked up to see Salazar Slytherin standing alone watching them with cold eyes. They looked at each other before Draco took a deep breath and sat the book in his lap. As he untied the ribbon a silver light twisted around his wrists. A shiver ran up his spine before warmth engulfed him throughout his veins. He gently took the corner of the leather to open the book. It opened effortlessly in his lap with a burst of more silver light.
“You are the one Draco Malfoy,” Salazar Slytherin smirked.
Hello Everyone! I hope you all enjoyed this chapter "Who was Medusa talking to?" you may be asking...well.....I'm not going to tell you just yet. I also couldn't resist leaving this chapter on a cliffhanger and boy are you all in for a big secret from the old battered book in the next chapter! "You are the one Draco Malfoy" the next chapter is one I have been looking forward to posting for a long time! and you will find out Draco's secret family past!
Thank you to my loyal readers:)
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