Chapter 9 : The Day After
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Draco's head was pounding. He had drunken way to many firewhiskeys last night, and this morning was payback. Sitting on his bathroom floor with his pressed against the cool tile floor, Draco groped around for his wand. Finally reaching it he accioed a hangover spell to him. Drinking it gratefully, despite the awful taste. He couldn't even remember what had happened after Hermione left. He slightly recalled drinking a lot, but other than that he was drawing a blank.
Slowly pulling himself up, Draco forced himself into the shower and blasted the cold water down onto his body. Pressing his hands against the shower wall, Draco bowed his head. Thinking of Hermione was driving him crazy, he couldn’t believe his attitude towards her. He needed to apologize, to make it up for it. Stepping out of the shower, Draco dried off and pulled on a pair of slacks and a green jersey. From across the room Draco could hear an owl tapping at his window.
Draco walked to the window and opened it, picking up the letter from the owl, Draco gave it a treat then leaned against the window sill, opening the letter.
Please meet me at the Ministry at 12:30. Very important.
Draco strode into his bedroom, grabbing his wand he then went to his fireplace and stepped in. Grabbing some floo powder and throwing it on the ground he yelled “Harry Potter’s office, Ministry of Magic.”
Draco stepped out of the fireplace in Harry’s office, dusting himself off.
“Draco. Thank you for coming.” Harry shook Draco’s hand, then motioned for him to take a seat across from on the other side of his large oak desk.
Draco sat, giving Harry a quizzical look. “Alright Harry, what is this about that couldn’t wait for Monday?”
Harry sighed “Well, we have a security problem pertaining to one of our auror’s… Who is being threatened by someone in your family.”
Draco’s eyes hardened “Who?” he growled
“I think you’ve probably guessed… Radalphous Lestrange. He’s targeting someone very special to all of us, I think you can guess who.”
Draco’s face became even paler than usual, he said in a monotone “Hermione?” Harry nodded in affirmative and Draco spun, slamming his fist into the wall of the office. Pulling back, a large indent was left in the cream coloured wall.
Draco slowly got control of himself again, taking deep breaths. “Why is he going after her Harry?”
Harry sat up in his chair, one hand massaging his forehead. “Well, as I’m sure you remember, your aunt had somewhat of a vendetta against Hermione, especially with the torture she went through at your manor. Your uncle is now obsessed with carrying out his late wife’s unfinished business.”
“What can I do?” Draco asked.
“You can marry her.” Harry stated, his face completely serious.
“Potter, now is not a good time to be joking around. She would never condescend to marry me- she hates me!” Draco almost yelled.
“I wish I was joking, however I am not. You must marry her! It’s the only way she’ll be safe, Radalphous would never murder his own niece, even if only by marriage” Harry explained “If we can come up with a believable back story and you and Hermione can act accordingly, we’ll be able to keep him at bay until we can catch him and deal with him sufficiently.”
“Fine, I’ll do it. But I Granger gets to hear it from me- okay?” Draco growled
Harry beamed “Alright, whatever you want, good luck mate”
Draco smirked and strode out of the room flooed back to his own apartment.
The early morning had not been kind to Hermione, with an aching head and very sore stomach she muscled her way to her couch and spent the whole morning eating waffles and watching her favourite tv shows on the muggle television. At around eleven thirty, Hermione slowly made her way to her bedroom, and grabbing her gym bag, she quickly apparated to the gym.
After a great workout and a lengthy shower, Hermione pulled on some sweatpants, put her hair in a ponytail and made her way into the living room. Throwing herself down on the couch, Hermione almost fell asleep but roused herself to grab her phone and order Chinese take-out. Just as she found a movie she was interested in, her doorbell rang.
She yelled "Coming, just have to grab my wallet" as she ran to her kitchen, grabbing said item, she dashed to the door. Pulling it open, she was surprised to see not the delivery boy, but Draco who looked very grim. "Hermione, can I please come in?" Draco asked politely. Hermione opened the door wider to admit him, frowning she gestured for him to have a seat, taking for herself the large armchair. Draco awkwardly sat on her long black leather couch. "Hermione, we have to tell I something and it's really quite serious, but please don't be too distressed." Draco said, placing his elbows on his knees and leant forward. "You may or may not know that Bellatrix Lestrange had a husband. His name is Radalphous and unfortunately he's just as twisted and insane as she was. Also unfortunately, he's my uncle by marriage as you have probably already figured out. The thing is Hermione, that he's coming back from where ever he's been hiding, to do one thing and one thing only."
Hermione looked up from staring at her hands, unable to make eye contact with Draco, Hermione asked the floor “to do what exactly?”
"To kill you." Draco replied, his eyes looking sad.
Hermione jumped out of her chair, her eyes grew wide as her hands shook slightly, Draco lunged across the room as she looked like she was about to pass out. Hermione gained control and waved Draco away. "So, what am I supposed to do? Go into hiding for the rest of my life? Hermione asked, thowing her hands into the air.
“No, no of course not Hermione. I have a solution to this ..problem, but I don’t think you’re going to like it.” Draco murmered “Well…. The solution is to become Mrs. Malfoy- and therefore be save because he would never kill family- no matter how insane he is.”
"W-w-what. I can't marry you Malfoy! We've hated each other since we were eleven! This is ridiculous, what would people think?" Hermione flashed angrily.
"Hermione look, you're not exactly my idea of a perfect spouse either, but to be completely blunt, I want to get back at my ex and believe it or not, I don't want my uncle to murder you. So I suggest that you accept this proposal and we'll divorce as soon as the Ministry catches Lestrange." Draco pleaded.
Hermione ran a hand through her hair and threw herself back into her seat. "Fine. But Harry and Ron better catch him quickly."
Dracos face relaxed and he almost smiled, “Oh, unfortunately until they get catch Rapalphous, Harry doesn’t want you in the public as much as can be avoided- so we won’t be working together out in the field, two other auror’s will be covering for us. We will be working in the Ministry interrogating and working on profiles, etc.”
Hermione huffed angrily, but didn’t complain, she understood Harrys logic completely.
Draco made his way to Hermiones door, turning around he softly said goodbye and let himself out. Hermione slowly walked into her bedroom and softly closed the door. Sinking down on her bed, she curled up into her comforter and promptly fell asleep, forgetting all about her take out order.
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