Chapter 5 : D.E.W.
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Over the next few weeks several owls arrived carrying letters from Rose written to Hermione and Hugo. They delighted in her correspondence and eagerly replied to her in letters of their own. Rose was settled into her fourth term and seemed in good spirits. Hugo was recovering from the absence of Rose and his cousins, and was kept busy during the day at various neighborhood homes where he was able to be tutored and spend time with other children his own age.
Hermione of course was kept busy at the ministry with her department assignments, and her work regarding D.E.W. She was pleased to find that her life at the ministry, though stale, was hardly disrupted by the new head of Dark Arts office, Draco Malfoy. Other than brief glimpses of him from a distance, she rarely saw him and had remarkably avoided enduring any other loathsome elevator rides in his company. Though, admittedly Hermione did carry Malfoy in her thoughts quite a bit after seeing him with his children at the train station, she had almost completely pushed him from her thoughts over the next few weeks and was back to focusing on her life's normal routine.
Before Hermione knew it, another Monday had arrived unwelcome. The beginning of her work week brought a hasty and unpleasant end to her already fleeting weekend. Hermione used to enjoy coming to work at the ministry, but things had undoubtably changed. Hermione had loved serving as an Auror bedside her husband and best friend. But there was no going back to that, Hermione knew. Although she did manage to discover her passion for work at the ministry again when she decided to pursue D.E.W. it seemed as though her undertaking was futile. None of her proposals had manifested into anything other than towering stacks of papers atop her cluttered desk. Her job had become stagnant. Hermione came into work that day with her accustomed apathetic attitude. She made her way into her office just shortly before an enchanted paper airplane came gliding in after her landing expertly on her mahogany desk. The paper was official straight from the Minister's personal offices. This immediately peaked Hermione's interest and she earnestly reached for it knowing it must contain a higher degree of importance. Hermione unfolded the paper plane and pored over its contents.
Hermione Jean Granger
Department of International Magical Office of Law
Head of Elfish Affairs
Your request for the construction of the Department D.E.W has been reviewed and is ready to be brought before the board for vote.
Please have your proposals in order and ready to present to the board Friday morning eight O' clock.
Madame Celia Janesken
Head of Ministries Board of Departments
Hermione jumped up from her chair ecstatically. Finally! She thought smiling from ear to ear. All of her hard work was going to pay off, and things were going to change. She was going to change things. Until she remembered the typical attitudes of people whenever she brought up D.E.W., and how long it had taken to get to this point. It was not a popular idea by any means, and she instantly became deflated. How was Hermione ever going to be able to sway the board? How could she make them her feel her passion and see the necessity of a department that would represent and protect the rights of magical creatures that have been denied from them for centuries. But Hermione was determined. She had to sway them, and she would. She would get those votes no matter what it took. Newly elated, Hermione's mind buzzed thinking of everything she would have to prepare for her Board meeting. She knew she needed to head straight for the library. She didn't waste any time and grabbed armfuls of folders and loose papers, and headed out the door.
She was so consumed in her own thoughts that she didn't even notice were she was walking and slammed hard into someone, her papers flying out of her arms. "Oh, no!" "I am so sorry!" Hermione cried. She looked up to see the poor person she had inadvertently collided with when her stomach flipped leaving her with a nauseous feeling. Standing before her in a crisp black suit was Malfoy. "I-I'm sorry I wasn't paying attention to where I was walking." Hermione immediately bent down to the ground in order to start gathering her papers and avoid Malfoy's gaze at the same time. She was mortified. To her horror he did the same and crouched down to assist Hermione in picking up her fallen papers strewn all over the ground. He didn't say a word, while they gathered the papers in an awkward silence. Hermione almost wished he would just say something like a normal human being. After they had stood up Malfoy handed Hermione a stack of her papers and made eye contact.
"I think that's all of them." was all he said.
"Thanks." Hermione uncomfortably replied. Malfoy walked away from her without another word. How embarrassing Hermione groaned, kicking herself for being so clumsy. Wanting to flee the humiliating scene she hurried towards the elevator just before it closed, a man's arm thrust out from inside in order to pry the doors open for Hermione to get on. Hermione open her mouth to thank the courteous man and then quickly snapped it shut. Embarrassment flushed throughout her body all over again as she quickly stepped onto the elevator and retreated into the corner behind the gracious man, Draco Malfoy. Only to magnify the awkwardness they were the only ones on the elevator. "Which floor?" Malfoy asked Hermione.
"Library!" Hermione stupidly cried out. Her face reddening she corrected her impulsive reply, "The sixth floor please." Malfoy raised his eyebrows at her.
"Library it is." he cooly responded lighting up the button to the sixth floor. "I should have known you'd be headed straight for the library." Malfoy unexpectedly voiced breaking the silence in the elevator.
"What exactly is that supposed to mean?" Hermione responded taking offense although she didn't quite know why.
"You haven't changed much I guess, you practically lived in the library at Hogwarts." Malfoy answered.
Hermione was indignant. "Have you changed Malfoy?" Hermione said coldly.
Malfoy stared at Hermione but did not say a word. A placid woman's voice sounded letting them know they had arrived at the sixth floor, and Hermione exited the open doors without another glance at Malfoy.
Hermione was fuming as she walked to the library. He hadn't changed at all, he was still the same mannerless jerk she had gone to school with all those years ago. When she sat down at the nearest table in the library to organize her jumbled papers she began to calm down. Well..he didn't actually insult her she thought. He didn't say it maliciously, and Hermione really didn't know whether it was meant to be an insult or not. She was suddenly was very unsure and felt stupid. Her cold reply had been very bitchy indeed and Hermione was doubtful whether or not he deserved it. He did after all help her pick all her papers after she had rudely rammed into him, and held open the elevator doors for her after they had practically shut. But she couldn't forget the past, Malfoy was awful. Always had been and surely always will be. People that vile do not simply just change. But then Hermione remembered how he was with his children…sweet..loving. A good father. Maybe he had changed after all…?
Hermione then suddenly realized she was spending far to much time obsessing over something that did not matter to her in the first place, and she forced her mind back to her work the best she could for the rest of the day.
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