Chapter 1 : Welcome Back
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chapter image by autumn.shades@tda
Hermione was glad to be back home. In London. It had been a year since she had seen her friends and although they kept in touch via owl, she still couldn't help the stabbing pain she felt every time she thought of them. Harry, Ginny, Luna, Neville and Ron. Ron. Her boyfriend. She wasn't sure if she could still call him that. She had been gone a year and everyone had kept in touch all except for Ron. She had sent him countless amount of owls and not once did he reply. She'd always ask about him whenever she owled Ginny or Harry, and they'd both say the same thing; 'he's fine.',Hermione highly doubted that, but she wouldn't want to worry her friends by complaining about Ron so she'd kept her thoughts to herself. And since she was back home, she was going to see Ron again.
It had been four years since the war and so many had changed. After the death of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, various death eaters had been sent to Azkaban. The Malfoys on the other hand were not, they were found Innocent in court and were said to only have been behind Voldemort to protect their family.
After graduating from Hogwarts, the Golden Trio was followed by reporters and paparazzi wherever they went, they were always on newspapers and magazines 24/7! That was one of the reasons why Hermione decided to travel around the world before she turned 20, at the same time completing her Auror training. She had gone to Greece, France, Australia, America, and decided to spend the last few months in Italy. Everyone said she was mad when she told them she wanted to go travelling; Ginny and Luna however, supported her even though they too thought she was mad. She told them that she wanted to be free, independent and see the world.
The week she was due to leave was hectic; reporters were everywhere, as Hermione had told the wizarding world that she was to leave. She had received numerous owls from everyone, all of them asking if she was mad. The newspapers had made accusations as to why she was leaving. They said it was because there was trouble in paradise, referring to Ron and Hermione. And another was that it was because the golden trio has broken up. After she read the articles, Hermione was quick to arrange an interview with Luna for 'The Quibbler' so she could set the record straight and tell them the real reason she was leaving was not because of Ron or Harry but simply because she wanted to live a little, and will be back in a year.
Hermione was now walking down the stairs at Heathrow Airport. From a mile away she had caught a glimpse of Ron’s flaming red hair and a smile crept to her face. She was going to see her parents and friends and couldn't help smiling. She saw Ginny turn around, and she noticed the big grin on her face.
"HERMIONE!" Ginny screamed as she began running towards Hermione, causing the gang to turn around and follow behind. Hermione dropped her hand luggage and suitcase so she could hug Ginny properly.
"Hermione! What did you do to your hair?" Ginny said as she eyed Hermione's new hair.
"I had it cut down, don't you like it?" Hermione asked as the rest of the gang finally reached her, except for Ron and her parents who were slowly trailing behind. Hermione heard the gasps. Harry, Luna and Neville all froze and were looking at Hermione's hair.
Hermione had cut her hair just a few weeks ago. She wanted to return back home with a new look. Her hair was a pixie cut and she loved it very much. However she wasn't sure her friends did.
"Don't you all like it?" She asked, afraid for the response.
"It looks absolutely amazing!" Ginny was the first to speak "I love it!" She said as she started to give Hermione a humble hug.
"I agree you look absolutely amazing." said Luna as she joined in the hug.
Once they had both let go of her, Hermione turned to face Harry and Neville. Neville too came over and gave Hermione a hug and Hermione couldn't help but smile. Neville had grown to be quite good looking; she couldn't believe he used to be this round-face shy boy with a short chubby build. Puberty was good to him. Once she released herself from his tight grip. She turned towards Harry and before he could say anything, she leapt on him and locked him in a squeeze.
"Hermione.. I...” He was literally panting. "I'm so glad you're back! And you look amazing!" He was practically beaming now.
"So what did you bring us?" Asked Ginny as she began digging into the hand luggage Hermione had discarded on the floor next to her. Hermione wasn't paying attention anymore; she was now walking slowly to Ron.
"Hermione, you look...” He uttered. "Your hair... It's... nice." Hermione grinned and pulled him into a warm embrace.
She pressed her lips up onto his and ran her fingers through his red hair, as he laid his hands on her hips and pulled her closer. Hermione couldn't hear anything; she had drowned the world out so it felt like only her and Ron existed in this world. They had completely forgotten that they were in an airport, filled with hundreds of muggles.
"Get a room you two!" said Neville. As they let go, Hermione realized that her parents were standing right behind Ron, looking embarrassed. Hermione went up to them both and gave them a hug.
"Hermione, you look so grown up!" said Jean Granger. "Has it been a year already?"
Hermione was now feeling teary at the sight of her parents. After the war had ended Hermione had gone to Australia and bought them back home. She had explained to them what had happened and they understood that she only did it to protect them. They had grown fairly closer since the war.
"Now shall we go? There's a surprise waiting for you at the burrow." said Neville casually. Luna muttered something under her breath and slapped Neville hard on the arm.
"You idiot! You just ruined the surprise!" Ginny said. "It’s not much of a surprise now is it?" Neville looked sorry and Hermione couldn't help but giggle.
"It's okay guys, It's been a long flight and I just want to go home and have an early night." She said softly, careful not to hurt their feelings. "Thank you all for coming, I really appreciate it!"
After that had all said they're goodbyes, Ginny, Neville, Luna and Harry found a safe spot and apparated home. Hermione's parents drove home and then Ron and Hermione apparated home aswell.
Two years ago Ron and Hermione had decided to move in together. In less than a month, they had bought an apartment in the muggle village of Ottery St Catchpole, which was also were the Weasleys and Lovegoods lived. The apartment was protected by charms and spells, making it hard for reporters to find out where they lived.
Hermione had forgotten that she was supposed to be mad at Ron. She was caught up in the heat of the moment when she kissed him publicly at the airport. She started to blush at the memory.
"Mione, you're blushing." Ron said, looking at her amused. He was wearing nothing but black pajama pants.
"Why didn't you write to me?" Hermione asked him, careful not to sound irrational.
He was completely taken back. "What?"
"I was gone for a year and you didn't even bother to write to me." she accused him.
Ron was walking about the apartment. Clearly not paying attention to what she was saying.
"Ronald Weasley! Pay attention to me!" she said through gritted teeth. She was now getting impatient.
"I didn't know what to write about." Ron shrugged, obviously not wanting to have the conversation.
"I was gone for a year and you had absolutely nothing to write to me about?" Hermione was raving.
"I was busy." he said, as he grabbed a magazine about Quidditch.
Those three little words sent Hermione's temper through to roof.
"You were busy? How bloody busy were you that you couldn't pick up a quill to write to me? You had 370 days! You left me worried!"
Ron dropped the magazine and turned around to face her. His blue eyes showed deep emotion as they surveyed her up and down. He looked mad. "Yes I was fucking busy. You left me alone for your own selfish self! Not once did you bother to think about how it would affect me! I went days fooling myself that you would come back! I got lonely!"
"What did you mean you got lonely?"
"Well.. er.." He uttered, as if unsure of what to say next. "I've got to be somewhere." He marched swiftly about the bedroom and pulled on a shirt and before Hermione could say anything, he had apparated out of the room, leaving his girlfriend confused.
Draco Malfoy walked out of the elevator at the top floor of Malfoy Inc. There were several people who were walking hurriedly past each other, and as soon as he walked in they all turned to look at him. He, however, was in no mood to talk. He had a banging headache, all due to his terrible hangover.
"Morning Boss." said Amanda.
Amanda was Draco's P.A. She had long blonde hair that reached her hips and was tall and skinny. When he met her at the interview a few months ago, he thought she was a model, as she was that incredibly attractive. Today, Amanda wore a short dress, black leggings and red leather pumps, that made her legs look longer than they already was.
"Morning Amanda." he barely muttered. His hangover just got worse and worse.
"Are you all right sir?" asked Amanda, her face had dropped and she looked worried. "You look terrible.'
"I'm okay Amanda." he said. Trying to convince himself he was.
Amanda, however, was not convinced and the way she was looking at him showed it. "Your girlfriend's in your office. She came about an hour ago and I told her that you weren't here, but she insisted on waiting for you."
Draco was not in any way excited to face his girlfriend. He was still not feeling very good, and she would just make things worse.
"Thank you Amanda." Amanda smiled and walked over to her desk to pick up the muggle device that was now ringing.
He had barely closed his office door before she had started yelling.
"Where the hell have you been?" yelled Astoria Greengrass.
Astoria Greengrass was Draco's girlfriend of two years. Astoria was the younger sister of Daphne Greengrass, his former Slytherin classmate. They had both attended Hogwarts but didn't start dating until two years ago. She had long brown hair that was always curled or let down. Astoria was wearing a leopard blouse with black bodycon skirt and red pumps. She was always dressed to impress.
He walked over to his desk. "I was out drinking..." he said as he took a seat on the large chair behind the large desk "With Blaise and Pansy" he added. "I lost track of time and it was too late and I was far too drunk to apparated home. So Blaise and Pansy kindly offered me their guest room for the night." He stood up and walked around his desk to where Astoria stood. "I'm sorry."
Astoria relaxed and smiled at him. "I was worried sick." she simply said.
Draco smiled and went to sit back behind his desk as Astoria sat down on the chair opposite him. She picked up a magazine that she had been reading before, and Draco noticed it was 'Witch Weekly' and to his surprise he saw who was on the front cover. It was Hermione Granger.
"Did you hear?" asked Astoria, following Draco's gaze. "She's back. Came back yesterday I heard. Apparently she cut off her hair. I haven't seen it but I heard it looks horrible!"
"Where did she go?" asked Draco, ignoring Astoria's last remark.
"I don't know. But she was spotted in Italy a couple of times last month." she answered. "I don't know why she left in the first place, now that she's back she's not going to be left alone."
"What do you mean?"
"She's part of 'The Golden Trio'." Astoria said, with air quotes. "She's a celebrity in the wizarding world. She's been gone for a year, now that she's back the media will want to know all about her journey."
Draco, began to shuffle some papers on his desk.
"Have you heard about her boyfriend? The red haired boy. Apparently he's been cheating on her. He's been caught with countless girls over the year." Astoria looked back to her magazine, but still continued speaking "I doubt anyone told Granger, when she finds out she's going to have a fit."
"Weasel's cheating?" Astoria nodded. Draco almost felt bad for Granger. The last thing you want is to find out your own boyfriend's been cheating on you with not one, but many different girls.
"I better get going. I've got a hair appointment." Astoria said, standing up while grabbing her bag and stuffing the magazine in.
She walked over to where Draco was sitting and laid a quick peck on his lips before walking out of his office. The ghost of her heels hitting the floor echoed in his ears.
My first try at a Dramione. I know it started off completly cliche, but it's all part of the amazing plot. I really do feel bad for making Ron look like the bad guy, but like I said, it is all part of the plot. Everything will (hopefully) work out in the end.
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