Hermione was finding it hard to try to sleep in Gryffindor Tower that night so she sent her patronus down to Snape's quarters, and packed some of her things to take with her. She then waited for him outside the fat lady's picture. She began to think about her day and remembered just how bad it really was.
No matter the reaction that she expected to get when she got back to Hogwarts she never really set herself up for a total melt down of friendship with those in Gryffindor, except for harry and Neville, but that is pretty much what had happened. When she had woke up with Draco's arms around her this morning she felt safe. Like she was ready to return back to her home. Her Hogwarts, but the truth was that after a week of being gone Hogwarts would take some getting used to again.
Draco and herself took their things to their dorms and met up with Severus right outside the doors to the Great hall right after everyone had set down to lunch. Snape wanted them to walk in together, Hermione didn't think about this at all. She had kind of gotten used to being around the two of them anyway. When she walked into the hall everyone stopped and starred at the little trio. Hermione gave a little wave and then walked over to Gryffindor table.
"Hermione so glad that you're back" Neville had told her as he moved a seat down so she could sit next to Ginny and across from Harry.
"Thanks Neville. I've missed all of you guys."
"Didn't seem like it the way that you walked in with Draco and Snape." Ginny spoke to her like she belonged with the Slytherins.
"Well I have spent the better part of two weeks with only Professor Snape, and Draco and I had a pretty huge bonding experience I guess you could call it." But before she could go on to explain Lavender Brown picked up on the words 'Draco,' and 'bonding', and not much else.
Down the table you could hear her telling others in Gryffindor that Draco and Hermione had hooked up while they were both away from the school. The little tale kept escalating Hermione didn’t think anything about it because Brown was a gossip. Then when Ron walked up to the table, and told her that he couldn’t believe how much of a slut she was. “Sleeping with both Snape and Malfoy at the same time? Hermione you are the most disgusting kind of slut. Who else have you been with behind our backs?’
“Maybe Rita was right about her Ron. You never can trust a little heart breaker.” Ginny had decided to take a chance and hurt Hermione while she could. Later she could always say that she overreacted like Ron if this turned back on her.
“What are you two talking about?”
“The whole table is talking about it Mione. How you shacked up with Draco and our dear old Potions teacher. Is that how you really get good grades?”
At this moment Hermione slapped Ginny and ran from the Great Hall her hunger forgotten. Hermione ran to the lake and got as far from Hogwarts as she could. In her haste she had completely forgotten about Harry’s map.
She was there for maybe thirty minutes before Harry had come out looking for her. He just held her like he would have any other day. Hermione had missed this while she was gone. No matter what she knew that Harry and her would be together until the end.
Later when they had returned to the Tower Hermione had been summoned to the Headmasters office. He had seen the fight and had decided to let her calm down. Somehow he knew exactly when she had come back inside.
“Ms. Granger it seems that you missed your afternoon classes today.”
“So did Harry sir, and as he is not here I am sure that is not what you want to talk to me about.” Hermione just wanted to get this talk over with so that she could go to bed.
“Yes. Well you are of course right. You see there was this little matter of you hitting another student the muggle way in the Great Hall.”
“Sir she was saying that I slept with my teachers to get my grades. You know that I don’t do that. Heck she knows that I don’t do that.”
“Then why would she say this?” When Hermione didn’t answer he went on. “Ms. Granger I am afraid that since it is your word against her, and I saw you attack her I am going to have to give you a detention. With Mr. Flinch this weekend. Saturday night I believe.”
“But Headmaster that is when the next Order meeting is going to be.”
“Is it? Well I am sorry Ms. Granger, but you are not of the Order so I do not see how this will affect you. Now I suggest that you go to bed and try not to harm any of the students on your way. Goodnight MS. Granger.”
Things had not improved when she reached her dorm either. All of her stuff had been thrown about the room and the words slut and whore were written on her curtains. When she had called McGongall the older women had told her that this was horrible. But since she couldn’t prove who did it, because it was done by hand and not by magic, there was nothing that she could do about it. Maybe she should apologize to her dorm mates for causing a scene. Once she left Ginny walked into the room and informed Hermione that everyone knew how much of a dirty bitch she was and that none of them were going to help her.
Hermione had run down to the common room, and was laughed at. Neville saw what was happening and ran to get Harry. Harry made everyone stop. Hermione knew that she only had two friends in Gryffindor right now and the fact that everyone else hated her made her so freaking angry. She hadn’t done a damn thing. She wanted to move in with her guardian right then, but thought that that might fuel the gossip.
Nothing else had happened, but Hermione just couldn’t sleep in the same room with those girls tonight. It didn’t take long for Snape to arrive and collect Hermione.
Snape left Hermione to her thoughts on the walk to the dungeons. He wasn’t sure what was wrong since he hadn’t seen Hermione since she left the Great Hall. He didn’t think that whatever she had slapped Ms. Weasley for would still be upsetting her. He thought that they would get over it like most of the females in this school.
When they got down to the Dungeons Hermione wasn’t surprised to see Draco. What did surprise her were her professor’s quarters. They were like a little apartment, with a little kitchen and living room. There was only one bathroom and two bedrooms.
“I’m sorry Hermione. Albus said that he forgot to put your room in here and that he would take care of it tomorrow. You shall take Draco’s room tonight and he can sleep on a cot in mine.”
“Thanks Severus. Today has been horrible.”
“Your parents just died Hermione. This is your first day back. This will take some getting used to.”
“That’s. That’s not it. It’s the rumors. The abuse. I can’t believe what they are doing to me right now. And the detention for slapping Ginny, but she is getting away with everything.”
“What are you talking about?”
“You don’t know? I thought as my guardian they would have had to have told you?”
“Told me what Hermione?”
“About everything. All of my stuff was thrown about the common room. Someone wrote on my curtains that I was a whore and a slut. McGonagall said that there was nothing she could do because it was done the muggle way and not by magic. So she can’t know who did it. And Ginny and the rest of Gryffindor house, minus Harry and Neville, are saying that I was shacking up with you and Draco. That I slept with you to get my grades. Dumbledore said that he couldn’t get any of them in trouble because he hasn’t heard about any of it. And he gave me a detention for the next order meeting with Flinch.”
“Draco stay with Hermione. I am going to have a little chat with our headmaster.” With this Severus left and went to the fireplace to floo Lucius.
“What do you need at this hour? Are the kids alright Severus?”
“No. Lucius I need a Governor here with me so that I can address an issue with the headmaster over my charge. He is allowing Hermione to be bullied.”
“OK. Give me twenty minutes and I will be at the School. Come let me in and we will talk to him.”
Draco and Hermione heard the discussion. Hermione had forgotten just how important Lucius was to the school, and was once again thankful that he was on her side. She hadn’t thought about that much. He was a death eater. She knew that in the final battle she could face him on the field. She looked at Draco. There was a chance that in the not so distant future they might have to fight each other to the death.
The thought was a chilling one. She had never really thought that this could end up in a killing battle. When they were younger it seemed like a game. Almost like the chess game from first year. We could get hurt, but no one would die. No one young could ever die. Right? But then Cedric died, and Sirius. The truth was that if she wanted to be in the front of this battle with Harry and Ron that she might someday become a killer as well. Last year she had faced off against death eaters. For some reason the Death eaters never tried to kill her or her friends, except for Harry. She knew that so many times she herself could have died in that battle, but no one sent that particular curse at her. She had thought that they were lucky, but thinking back she realized that the Death Eaters were not there to kill them. But on a final battle field she knew that they couldn’t, and wouldn’t be able to not shoot to kill. And neither could she.
If Albus was surprised to see Severus and Lucius he didn’t show it. Even at 11 at night Albus welcomed them with a smile and an offered lemon drop. His guests though were not in near as good a mood as was Albus.
“Headmaster I am sure that you know why we are here.”
“On the contrary, Severus, I am not sure why you are here. Though I am always pleased to talk with my staff and any governor of our school. Is something wrong with Draco, or Slytherin House?”
Before Severus could say what was on his tongue Lucius decided to enter the conversation. “Headmaster as you are aware any instance where a parent or guardian of a child needs to have a meeting with the headmaster about the child’s wellbeing, or treatment, the parent/guardian has the right to have a governor attend the meeting.”
“Yes I am aware.”
“You are also aware that any instance when a student reports harassment to a member of the staff said students’ parents/guardians need to be informed in a timely manner.”
“I am aware of that fact Lucius.”
“Then we must ask why have you not told Severus about Hermione’s complaints? Why have you not acted on these complaints?”
“I have not told Severus because the complaint happened a little late in the day.”
“Headmaster it is my understanding that they happened before our staff meeting. The staff meeting that you held me after to tell me that you would make sure Hermione’s room was added tomorrow. So why didn’t you just tell me then?” Severus decided that he was done letting Lucius talk for him. Hermione was his charge.
“I’m afraid that it must have slipped my mind. Old age you know? Was there anything else?”
“Yes. Ms. Granger will not be attending her detention this weekend headmaster.” Lucius decided that this was as good a time to make Albus understand that he wouldn’t be pushing that girl around just because she didn’t do what he wanted.
“I’m afraid that that is out of your hands Lucius.”
“I am afraid that you are wrong. You see Hermione is going to be needed at the Governors meeting that night, and any meeting and or ruling by the Governors overrules any of yours, I believe you will find I am correct if you reread the rules.”
“Why is she needed at the meeting?”
“Because we are going to get to the bottom of this harassment complaint. Do not worry headmaster this issue is now completely out of your hands. The Governors will decide how to approach the issue, and discipline for both the students involved, and any member of the staff that knew about it and didn’t take any action. I believe that is all headmaster. Thank you for the meeting. Once again your company was excellent.”
“Why did you cut me off in there Lucius?” Severus asked him once they got back to the dungeons.
“Because you are too close to the issue. Since you are Hermione’s guardian I didn’t think that you would be able to just go in there and talk civil with him. It’s kind of like how you mainly talk when something is wrong with Draco.”
“Thanks but I still don’t like it. I guess you are right though. For some reason I just can’t stay clear minded when I think about what he let happen to Hermione today.”
“Neither will Tom.”
“Do you think that we should tell him? Right dumb question.”
“I will owl him when I get home.”
“Speaking of not keeping a clear head how do you think he will handle it?”
“Good point I will owl Minnie instead.
When they got back into Severus’ apartment they found Draco and Hermione working on all of their makeup work. Thankfully it was a Friday night and they didn’t have to get up in the morning.
“Ms. Granger come and have a little chat with me please.” Lucius beckoned for her to come and sit with him in the little kitchen. “Ms. Granger I never want to get a floo at ten thirty about you being bullied that day again. You need to tell us what is going on when it happens. The next time that anything like this happens and Severus or Draco is not around I want you to talk through this and let us know what is happening.” He pulled out a beautiful hand mirror that reminded her of the one that Sirius gave Harry. “Yes two way mirrors are kind of a black specialty. Narcissa made this one for you when I told her what was going on. She has the sister mirror. Whenever you need her for anything at all just use the mirror. Okay? Hermione I need you to promise me that you won’t let this happen again.”
“I promise. I really didn’t think anything about what happened at lunch today. Rumors go around all the time and Ginny and I have been fighting a lot lately. It hurt but more just because my parents just died than anything else. The stuff in my dorm though. That was uncalled for. And McGonagall basically said that they were going to get away with it.”
“That is another thing. You are not going to serve that detention this Saturday. Instead you will be coming to the Governors meeting. We will find out who did this to you and determine how to punish them. Hermione Narcissa wants you to also know that if you need to talk to her about anything just use the mirror, okay? Or if you just need to get out of the school for a day let her know and she will come and get you. Okay?”
“Thanks. I will keep that in mind.”
“Have a goodnight. Severus will you walk me out of the castle gates?”
Once they were outside and away from any prying ears Lucius spoke up. “Well I guess bringing them in together was a good idea. Sarah seems to be getting closer with Draco and further from her little group.”
“Not Potter. He and Longbottom seem to want to be her heros. They are standing by her. Plus her friends will all forget this in a day or two. You will see Gryffindors forgive all the time.”
“But they won’t forgive her once they find out who she is.”
“When are we going to tell her?”
“Let her finish out the year and the summer holidays. But lets’ not anger Dumbledore. We want both her and Draco to become heads next year. Who knows? I might even be able to talk the decision from Dumbledore’s hands this time around. The Governors have overturned more than one set of heads. As long as she stays out of trouble and they both have the highest grades Dumbledore will have to choose them.”
“Why is their being heads so important to Tom?”
“Because it is to them. You remember how he was in school. He recognizes that in what Minnie has told him about her. He knows that being a head is important to her, therefore it is to him. He is a dad Sev. And he wants what is best for his daughter. Thank you for the escort. See you tomorrow when I pick them up for the meeting.”
When Severus got back to his quarters both Draco and Hermione had fallen asleep while doing their homework. He gathered there things and put a blanket over each of them before extinguishing the light and going to bed himself.
I do still do not own anything. I am very sorry that I haven't posted another chapter in almost a year. My personal life went to the cleaners and back this year, but since i am back on track I hope to post more often. Thanks to everyone that is still reading.
Also note that I do not believe that Albus is evil just that he didn't really think Hermione's problem was such a big deal in face of the war. Minerva on the other hand was still angry at Hermione. Wonder how that Governors meeting is going to go? So does anyone have any idea of who should apologize first? Ginny or Ron? Should Draco and Hermione show open friendship or just keep it behing closed doors in the dungeon?Let me know!