"Hermione! Hermione sweetheart don't swing too high!" her mum called as she went higher and higher on the red swing in their back garden.
"Honestly Mark, she's seven years old she isn't going to kill herself on a swing," Alison, her mum told him. They sat side by side on the large picnic rug covered in food watching their little girl.
"She's special you know, not just with the magic she shows. She's destined for big things," Mark smiled.
"What happens with her magic though? I don't think it's normal for a seven year old girl to be able to make flowers grow in seconds, which is nice but remember when she blew up the garden shed? It could be dangerous Mark," Alison frowned. He put his arm around his wife and reassured her.
"Our Hermione is already reading bigger books than I did by the time I was thirteen. She has the language of an adult and the literacy skills of people three times her age. trust me Alison as worried as I get for her, I know that she is destined to be brilliant and I just can't wait to watch her grow up into a beautiful young woman and watch her own kids running around blowing up sheds," he laughed. Hermione smiled to herself as she overheard her parent’s conversation and jumped of the swing before joining them.
"Miss Granger, Miss Granger," she looked up into the face of the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher Professor Rookwood.
"Sorry I didn't hear the question," she replied, he smiled softly at her.
" I said class is over, you can go now," Hermione looked around her at the empty classroom, Draco had a free period and had gone to see Mrs Laurel for his elemental lessons so she had nothing to do with her time. "Would you like to tell me what is bothering you?" the professor asked.
"I assumed it was public knowledge," she sighed.
"Of course it is, I just wanted to give you the opportunity to talk about it," he offered her a piece of chocolate and sat opposite her. It was little motions here and there that reminded her of Lupin, the carefree look, slight scruff on his jaw and the chocolate of course.
" Has anybody ever told you that you are rather alike Remus Lupin?" she asked and he looked taken aback, "I'm sorry, it was rude of me to pry,"
"No, it's fine," he studied her before replying," Miss Granger you are a very trustworthy person I hear and the most talented witch in the school so if I tell you something you must promise that it does not leave this room," he closed the door with a flick of his wand.
"Of course," she frowned, he sighed and clasped his hands together.
"My parents were in their last year at Hogwarts when Tom Riddle began his second year. My mother had overheard many of his plans and seen him do awful things so when she gave birth to me a year later she sent me away. I was raised by a professor at Durmstrang and studied and lived there until I came back here after the war to teach. My parents were always worried about Tom Riddle and they didn't want me to grow up in a country where they believed an Evil wizard would rise. They had a second son 15 years later in 1960 but they kept him and raised him. Remus they called him, Remus Lupin. He taught this subject too I believe, probably a better teacher than me but then he had the better upbringing, he knew his parents." Hermione didn't know what to say so instead she said the first thing that came to mind.
"You have a nephew, Teddy is his name," he smiled.
"I know, I saw him once in the park with yourself, Ron and Harry," he twiddled his thumbs. "Your turn, what's on your mind?"
“I just can't stop thinking about them. They died not knowing that they had a daughter that had fought for them and loved them. I never existed to them and that's what hurt the most, the fact that I wouldn't have been one of their last memories and that the last time I spoke to them was two years ago. I'll never have my mother’s arms wrapped around me lovingly or my father glaring protectively over his shoulder at the boys that made fun of my hair at primary school," she sniffed, willing herself not to cry. Professor Rookwood pushed a box of tissues towards her along with another piece of chocolate and smiled empathetically. Hermione glanced at the time on the clock and gasped, she was supposed to me in the headmistress’s office fifteen minutes ago. “I’m sorry professor but I’m late for a meeting!” she said as she walked towards the door and paused, “Don’t worry about your secret, I won’t say a word,” She left the classroom, leaving Professor Rookwood alone with his thoughts.
Where was Hermione? He had to cancel is elemental lessons for this and she was supposed to be here fifteen minutes ago, Draco thought to himself. The past few days had been spent studying maps and making plans for the mission and here he was sat waiting because she was late. He didn’t know who would be accompanying them on the mission or exactly how or when they would be undertaking it. All Draco knew was that if Hermione didn’t hurry up they wouldn’t be getting back to the common room to plan the Casino night fundraiser.
“Sorry I’m late!” Hermione panted as she ran through the door while trying to catch her breath. “Was....speaking....to....professor”
“It’s perfectly fine Miss Granger however; you may be in bit of a rush now. The mission date has been set,” the headmistress said softly.
“Great! When is it?” Hermione asked enthusiastically as she took a seat next to Draco.
“In twenty minutes,” Snape said with a smirk from his portrait.
“I’m sorry, what?” Draco asked calmly.
“It had to be unpredictable, so that nobody would know what was happening. You two have fifteen minutes to head back to the common rooms, get changed and grab anything you need before meeting back here. Nobody must know where you are going, am I understood?” Miss McGonagall said with all seriousness. Draco and Hermione nodded in sync before Miss McGonagall waved them out and they began running towards the common room on the opposite side of the school. As Draco ran he noticed the dark clouds gathering in the sky, rain began to fall gently against the stone courtyard and everything seemed darker and gloomier. He noticed Hermione speeding up next to him, they weren’t just in a hurry, Hermione was taking this as competition. Draco smirked and lengthened his stride, easily overtaking her and arriving at the door first. He waited for her as she ran towards him before he told Salazar Slytherin the new password. Unfortunately for Draco and Hermione ever seventh year along with Ginny and Luna was sat around the fire in the common room.
“About time,” Ron mumbled. Draco looked at Hermione. Hermione looked at Draco. With a glance at the seventh years they bolted up to the Head’s common room where Hermione had hidden all the things they needed for the mission. She reached into the beaded bag that was hidden in her desk drawer and pulled out Draco’s clothes and her own. Draco began to unbutton his t shirt but paused when he noticed Hermione wasn’t changing.
“Why aren’t you changing?” he asked.
“I don’t want to change in front of you,” she said protectively, he rolled his eyes.
“Hermione we have about five minutes to change and get back to Miss McGonagall’s office. I will turn around whilst you change now hurry up!” he threw her t shirt at her that was on the sofa and turned around. Hermione had never changed so quickly in her life, whilst Draco put his shoes on she double checked that everything was in her bag, maps, two spare wands, potions, food, tent, she was prepared for everything. Now they just had to face the students downstairs in the common room again. Draco smiled reassuringly as they both walked down the staircase silently as if they were going to go unnoticed. They made it a few steps before Ron and Harry were stood in front of the portrait hole.
“Where are you two going?” Ron asked, with his arms crossed against his chest.
“Well you see we have this...uh...thing,” Hermione muttered.
“What kind of thing? You seem like you’re in a bit of a rush,” Harry said copying Ron’s stance. Hermione remained silent as she rattled her brains for a plan.
“What do you have to say Malfoy?” Ron said coldly. The blond looked at him and then towards the other students.
“Blaise!! What are you doing to Ginny?!” He shouted. Ron and Harry turned to face the couple that were confused by the outburst as they sat on completely different chairs talking to other people. Draco grabbed Hermione’s hand and dodged around the two boys and out of the portrait. They ran away from the shouts of the boys behind them and up to the head mistresses office. Still hand in hand they entered the room now filled with many people.
"We must be quick," Kingsley spoke from the fireplace. " Arthur, George. And Myself will be with you the whole of the mission including at the campsite. Bill, Charlie and Professor Rookwood will be stationed at different points of the ministry on our arrival. Mr Malfoy you will apparatus with me and Miss Granger you will apparatus with George. is everything understood?" Hermione and Draco nodded sternly at the strict and sharp instructions.
"Good luck," the headmistress smiled as Hermione grabbed George's arm and felt the knot in her stomach as she apparrated into a forest. Her legs gave way beneath her but strong hands caught her waist. She grabbed their shoulders and pulled herself up against them and breathed calmly.
"Really Hermione I didn't know I had that sort of effect on you," George whispered and raised his eyebrow. She hit him playfully on the arm. "Still as feisty as ever I see,"
"Still as full of yourself as ever I see," she laughed before embracing him in a hug. "It's been so long," she smiled and relaxed as his arms pulled her closer. He sighed,
"I know, I'm sorry,"
"You have nothing to be sorry about. How have you been?" she asked resting her head on his chest.
"Better I suppose. I've been seeing Angelina occasionally...well... a lot more than occasionally,"
"That's great," she grinned.
"Are you two finished?" Draco said leaning against a tree.
"Had to ruin the moment Malfoy," George let go of Hermione and went to help his father and Kingsley charm the area which left Hermione and Draco to set up the tent. Hermione watched from the sidelines as Draco attempted to put together the tent poles. She gave him another five minutes before she performed the charm to pitch the two tents.
"Well that was easy," Draco muttered.
"Quiet!" Kingsley whispered loudly. Draco and Hermione froze and listened. To begin with they couldn't hear anything but then there was the odd few cracked twigs and then mutterings.
"Get in your tent," Arthur commanded. Hermione didn't need to be told twice and dived in next to Draco on the pile of blankets. They lay facing each other in silence. Hermione’s eyes adjusted to the darkness and she looked around the cramped space, trust Mr Weasley to choose to use small muggle tents. She lay with her arms wrapped around herself to stay warm; they could be lying here for ages before Kingsley deemed it safe. She sighed and looked in front of her at Draco’s chest; she looked down his arms and noticed how muscular they had become. Her eyes scanned back up to his noticeable collar bone which was visible with his V necked t shirt. Her eyes continued their journey upwards towards his chiselled jaw line until they came in line with his lips.
"Like what you see?" he whispered. Hermione looked up startled and made contact with his eyes which were focused on her own.
"Don't think so highly of yourself Draco," she rolled her eyes before closing them and attempted to sleep. Draco laughed silently to himself at her clear embarrassment of being caught staring. He watched her peaceful face, her slightly pink cheeks, the strand of hair falling against her jaw and then her beautiful brown eyes that were staring up at him.
“Like what you see?" she mocked. He smiled gently and lifted his thumb up to her cheek. He stroked it gently before removing his hand.
"You had an eyelash on your cheek," he whispered.
"Look I'm sorry okay! It was only a joke! I thought you would have been able to guess it was really me talking to myself! Now if you've finished having a go at me I'm going to bed!" they heard George just before they saw him fall into the now overly full tent. "Really? He chose muggle tents?" he sighed as he wriggled in between Hermione and Draco. Hermione laughed at his attempts whilst Draco scowled at the sudden coldness of not being next to Hermione's warm body. After Merlin knows how many minutes the three of them were under several layers of blankets huddled together. George was adamant that they should stay up but Hermione was too tired and fell asleep within half an hour. Draco and George lay next to each other in the awkward silence before George spoke up,
"So...Malfoy...what are your intentions towards Hermione?"
"I'm sorry, WHAT?!" his eyes widened.
"Shhh you'll wake her up and then she will hear you confessing your undying love for her," he smirked.
"I do not have an undying love for Hermione,"
"So when did she go from Granger to Hermione then?" he wiggled his eyebrows
"Since we became friends," he said stubbornly.
"Yes. friends," Draco rolled onto his side and closed his eyes. Just...friends.
Hermione woke to the early morning chirps of birds and the sound of a sizzling pan outside of the tent. The scent of food drifted towards and her stomach rumbled so she crawled; cat like out of the tent over George who was snoring loudly. She kept crawling until she was a safe distance from the tent because she knew if she stood up knowing her luck she would fall backwards onto the tent.
"Having fun crawling on the ground ?" came a voice around a small campfire as Hermione stood up causing her to instead fall forwards instead. "You aren't a morning person are you?" Draco asked as he caught her elbow.
"Yeah well somebody woke me up!" she snapped, brushing off the leaves from her clothes.
“Really aren't a morning person. I guess you don't want breakfast then seeing as it’s what woke you up," he smirked and began serving up pancakes and bacon onto plates.
"Well...." she began sitting down on a log. Draco just smirked and handed her the full plate. She sat and ate politely whilst Arthur, George and Kingsley emerged from their tents.
"YOU can cook?!" George gasped as he sat next to Hermione and ruffled her hair.
"It's not that big a deal okay you only need ingredients and a frying pan," he sighed handing the three their plates. The boys sat and discussed the tactics for the day while Hermione sat in silence alone with her thoughts. The last time she had been camping was when Ron, Harry and she were hunting for horcruxes. Things could change so much in such a small space of time. Last time she was camping she had been happy and laughing with Ron and Harry; it wasn't that she wasn't happy here with Draco but when had things changed? Ron and Harry were so different now, Ron more than Harry. She couldn't remember the last time she had sat down and just talked with the two of them. She sighed and kicked the stones in front of her.
" Hermione? You ready to go?" she heard Draco ask from behind her. She sniffed, wiped her sleeve quickly across her eyes and forced a cheery smile onto her face before turning round.
"Of course," she said rather too enthusiastically and Draco noticed as he frowned at her but she walked towards the others before he could say another word.
"Right the ministry doesn't open to employees until eight o’clock which gives us two hours to get into the Department of Mysteries and hunt for the prophecy," Kingsley said just before they all grabbed a hold of the port key.
Draco rubbed his forehead with the palm of his hand. He had never been very good at landing after port key travelling and this time was no exception. He looked around him but was engulfed in darkness.
"Hello?" Draco called out.
"Who was that?"
"I think I'm standing on something,"
"That would be my foot George!"
" Oh we'll hello Hermione ""
"Everyone be quiet! Lumos maximus"
Draco looked around the now lit up office of the minister. Kingsley sat in his chair, Arthur was leaning against the desk and Hermione was squashed by George.
“Draco, George you know the plan, good luck,” The minister nodded his head. Draco walked out of the door and George beckoned Hermione to follow them.
“It’s freezing down this corridor” Hermione hissed. Draco smirked as he raised the temperature with his hands.
“What did you just do?!” George shouted
“So much for not letting people find out Draco,” Hermione rolled her eyes but Draco kept walking. “Draco is an elemental George, a fire elemental to be exact,”
“Shh! I heard something” Draco hissed. The three of them walked slowly around the corner and came face to face with a wand but the three of them sighed with relief
“You scared us Professor,” Hermione said and relaxed.
“I apologise Hermione, I was just making sure you weren’t somebody else,”
“Who else could we be?” Draco narrowed his eyes.
“Leave it be Draco let’s just go,” Hermione sighed and walked on. She briskly made her way through the many corridors until she arrived at the door of the department of mysteries and then to the door leading to the prophecies.
“I’m not sure we’re in the right place,“ Draco said looking at the map he had been given.
“Oh we are,” Hermione smirked.
“How do you know?” George asked
“I’ve been here before,”
“I still don’t .....” Draco trailed off as Hermione opened the door and they were faced with millions of glittering prophecies.
Hello everyone! I hope you enjoyed this chapter! I can't believe it has been over a month since I updated! where has the time gone?! I'm so sorry you all had to wait so long but I've had exams in school and homework to do but now that my homeork is complete I have a week left of my holiday to write some more! :) Next chapter will include the second half of the Malfoy prophecy! I hope you are all looking forward to more answers!
Thank you again for your time and patience :)
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