Chapter 6 : Hero
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The house had been silenced long ago and as her scream rent the air she knew no one would look for her, no one would try and drag her back from the depths of her own personal hell and she suddenly felt the desire to watch something burn. She wanted this house to go up in flames, she didn’t need the reminder of her parents, and she didn’t want anything to do with the muggle world that had taken her parents away from her. Stupid, over ambitious Muggles.
Standing up Hermione felt emotion and magic course through her and she whipped her wand out at the sofa she had cuddled her parents on when she watched TV and watched it explode. She then turned her wand on the curtains and watched them disintegrate as she sent a slicing charm through them. Then she turned to the pictures on her parents’ wall. Disgusting, non-moving muggle photos. She stood appraising every single one of them with annoyance before she jabbed her wand them, leaving 2 photos surviving. Those photos she placed inside her beaded bag. Running from the room she made her way to her parents’ room in tears.
Slowly and carefully Hermione pushed open the door, and she stepped through. As she stared around the room Hermione felt herself fall, and she battled with herself. In the last dregs of clarity in her mind caused by the calming draught, Hermione felt the overwhelming need to move on, to get past the rut she was stuck in and start to live again. Her friends were getting married, her other friends were having a baby and apparently Draco Malfoy wanted to have dinner, why she would never know, but he did. These were things to live for, but Hermione couldn’t shake that scary feeling of being the one at fault.
If she hadn’t been a witch, she wouldn’t have gone to Hogwarts and would never have met Harry Potter, become his friend and endangered herself and her family so much so that she had to send her parents away so she could fight Voldemort. All this was her fault.
Hermione collapsed onto her parents bed and curled up in a ball there crying, not caring how long she lay there, not caring whether she died of dehydration or starvation she didn’t feel like moving any time soon and no one would try and move her.
As night time fell the tears finally stopped, replaced by an empty feeling, but Hermione gathered a shred of resolve and slowly stood up off the bed and noticed that her wand was on the floor buzzing something horrid to signal the fact she was supposed to take her calming draught. Turning towards the bag that was also on the floor Hermione fished out the calming draught’s she should have taken earlier in the day and was supposed to take tomorrow and went to her parents bathroom where she threw them down the sink. She didn’t need them, didn’t want them, and definitely was not going to rely on them. Instead she was going to go out. She was going to go out and have a bit of fun and enjoy herself.
But first she needed to remove the remainder of her belongings from the house her parents had left her.
In under an hour Hermione had packed everything she owned and they were inside her beaded bag, she was dressed up in a baby pink velvet dress that was skin tight to just shy of her mid thighs and her make-up was done to emphasise her eyes and hide the way they held no spark. Staring into her bathroom mirror Hermione pointed her wand at her hair and magically dyed it black, before straightening it with a long lasting vanity spell and adding loose curls that hung about her waist. To finish her outfit she slid on some patent black heels and flung on the leather jacket hidden in the base of her beaded clutch bag.
“Incendio,” Hermione breathed as she aimed her wand at her childhood bed, then she turned her back on the flames and made her way down the corridor opening every single door on her way through. When she reached the bathroom she created a new fire that would burn through the tiles and porcelain, then she marched downstairs and out of the house, to the roaring sound of the flames.
When she reached the street Hermione apparated away to a wizarding nightclub known as The Wicked Witch, having no need to pay her way in or wait in line due to the fame that goes with being Hermione Granger, even if she did have Black hair. It was jam packed inside the club and Hermione had to squeeze her way through the mass of bodies all moving with the pulsating music just to get to the bar.
“Hi,” A masculine voice purred as Hermione found her seat. She turned her head to appraise the man who had called her and she smiled coyly as she realised he wasn’t that bad to look at. Brown hair, blue eyes, handsome face; he was no Draco Malfoy that was for sure but… Hermione stopped her thoughts cold, since when did Draco Malfoy ever become the person to set the bar on her standards.
“Hi,” Hermione smiled when she got her voice back.
“Would you like a drink?” The man asked.
“Sure,” Hermione said with a flirtatious smile. The man summoned the bar tender and directed him to me.
“What can I get for you my darling?” The guy on the bar asked me as he appraised my body.
“What do you suggest?” Hermione grinned as she leant forwards, allowing the square neck of her dress to gape ever so slightly. The bar tender who was actually around Hermione’s own age gawped at her.
“I would recommend a Wicked Witch, if I’m honest. It would suit you,” The man next to her ear purred. Hermione turned back to him and smirked.
“And why do you think that?”
“Because you have come here dressed to kill and you’re addling a poor young man’s brains. She’ll have a Wicked Witch, I’ll have a firewhisky.”
“So what’s your name?” Hermione asked.
“Ryan Wood, and you?” Hermione masked her shock at the fact the man didn’t know who she was and the lie formulated in her mind in an instant.
“Cody Loreté. I’m from France, but moved here a year ago,” Hermione lied smoothly as her drink appeared in front of her. She looked carefully at the drink and saw it was an interesting mix of silver and green, of course it would be Slytherin colours, and she raised it to her mouth and took a sip.
It was smooth like a milkshake, but fruity as if she was biting into the apple’s she could taste there alongside almonds and coconut and finally there was an alcohol burn that heated her like she was a cauldron above a fire. The drink hit her harder than firewhisky and she gasped as she felt her head go light.
“Damn that is good,” Hermione hissed as she tipped her head back. Ryan laughed as he downed his shot of firewhisky in one.
“Do you want to dance?” Ryan asked.
“As soon as I’ve finished this, I definitely will,” Hermione grinned.
“Come on it’s smaller than a firewhisky and I managed to knock that back,” Ryan teased. Hermione snickered at the challenged and raised her drink and swallowed the rest of it in a single gulp, as soon as she felt the heat she felt the drink go straight to her head. Ryan took her hand and led her into the crushing mass of dancing bodies turned her around and pulled her flush to his body so her back was against his front.
The music was loud and throbbing and the alcohol in Hermione’s system, that was possibly 3 times stronger than the alcohol in firewhisky, started to control her movements till she was dancing against and grinding against Ryan, regardless of the fact she could feel his desire growing. Ryan eventually pushed her away and pulled her back to the bar, ordered another drink for her which this time Hermione downed in one before Ryan paid and started to pull her towards the exit.
“Hey, sorry can I have a dance before you leave please miss?” A voice asked. The voice reminded Hermione of plush velvet and satin silk and she nodded as she tried to focus on her next dance partner. Ryan suddenly snapped back into action as the new man tried to pull her away.
“Sorry mate but we’re just leaving,” Ryan snapped.
“Not until I get my dance you’re not,” The man sneered. Hermione felt herself be yanked against the new man’s chest and she gasped as her head swam. She was really, really drunk and she’d only had two drinks, but then Hermione had never been much of a drinker.
“Where are you taking a girl who’s so drunk she can barely recognise me?” The man drawled.
“She’s not that far gone mate,” Ryan said defiantly.
“Oh really, you gave her a drink that’s stronger than firewhisky, got your kicks dancing with her and then gave her a second with an added shot of firewhisky. This girl is not much of a drinker,” The man insisted.
As Ryan started hissing out a reply, Hermione felt her awareness shift and she started to recognise the voice of the man holding her upright. Ryan tried to tug her away from the man and she suddenly felt very, very light on her feet followed by the impending feeling of being sick.
“I’m…gointafrowup…shtoppullin,” Hermione slurred as she looked up. When she looked up she noticed messy white blonde hair and she knew instantly who she was clinging to.
“Hey,” Draco smiled as he noticed her look of surprise.
“Hi,” Hermione whispered in a small voice.
“I’m going to take you home okay,” Draco said clearly as he tightened his hold on Hermione.
“Hey! You don’t just cut in on someone’s prize like that you dick,” Ryan snarled. Draco froze as he started to move towards the exit and then so quickly Hermione wasn’t sure it actually happened, Draco punched Ryan square in the jaw and then pulled Hermione to the exit as the man went down.
When the fresh air finally reached them Hermione gulped as a feeling of clarity came over her, but then Draco tightened his hold and apparated with her and as soon as the being-squeezed-through-a-tube sensation had ended Hermione felt vomit flow up her throat. Draco knew instantly that she would throw up and conjured a bag for her to be sick in. As soon as she had finished he vanished the bag and she passed out, making Draco dive to catch her.
“Sweet Merlin, when I said I was going to care for her, I didn’t quite mean exactly like this,” Draco groaned to himself, but he wasn’t particularly bothered as he cradled the woman, bridal style, in his arms for the second time and took her to his bedroom.
Laying her under the black sheets he found an old quidditch jersey from school and some shorts he had and then magically swapped, her dress, bra and stockings for the jersey and shorts, then he changed into some shorts and climbed in next to her. He didn’t touch her, he stayed as far away from her as he possibly could on the bed, but as he fell asleep he remembered feeling an intense desire to go and wrap her up in his arms.
Hermione woke up to the sound of breathing as someone tried to move her. Protesting she tightened her arms around whatever she was holding. She was warm like that and didn’t want to move, especially as moving cause pain to go through her head like a jackhammer. Someone sighed deeply and Hermione then became aware of the beating sound underneath her ear that was like a heartbeat and she opened her eyes blearily.
Hermione’s eyes were first met by a pale expanse of skin, with soft contours here and there, only interrupted by her own arm which she tightened around the waist of the person she now realised was a man. With a gasp Hermione closed her eyes and drew away, sitting up slowly before opening her eyes.
When she opened her eyes she was met by a shirtless Draco Malfoy who stared up at her with his grey eyes silver and sheepish. Hermione groaned into her hands and lowered her head onto her knees which she drew up.
“Two questions… One, did we sleep together last night?” Hermione whispered.
“Look down at yourself,” Draco interrupted. Hermione did open her eyes to look and saw she was wearing an old Slytherin jersey and some shorts. “I didn’t look at your body, I switched your clothes magically. Next question?”
“Do you have anything for this hangover?” Hermione asked. Draco chuckled and climbed out of bed.
“As a matter of fact I do,” was Draco’s reply, and he padded across to his bathroom and walked in, unaware that Hermione had stared at his back and arse the entire way. When he came back he was holding a vial of hangover potion and he handed it to Hermione, who took it gratefully and drank it.
When the potion had taken affect Hermione gasped as she remembered with perfect clarity what had happened last night.
“Thank you,” Hermione whispered.
“What for?” Draco asked as he pulled on his seventh year Quidditch jersey.
“Well rescuing me from that dick, he would no doubt have taken advantage, erm bringing me somewhere safe, not taking advantage of me even though we’re sharing a bed, and finally thank you for this,” Hermione smiled as she raised the empty vial. Draco sent a dazzling smile back at her.
“Do you know how to cook?” Draco then asked. Frowning slightly as she leant back on the bed Hermione nodded.
“Well you could make it up to me by making me breakfast,” Draco suggested. Hermione laughed and rolled out of bed with a smile on her face.
“Sure I guess I could make you breakfast,” Hermione grinned. Draco grinned back and led Hermione through the door, across the living room to the open kitchen.
“Since when did Draco Malfoy live in a modified Studio Flat?” Hermione mused out loud.
“Since Draco Malfoy decided he didn’t want to live in Malfoy manor after handing over the company. In fact when my mother gets remarried I’m going to level the place and rebuild. I don’t care how many generations of bloody Malfoy’s have been living there, I hate it,” Draco said quickly. Hermione looked at the beautiful man across from her slightly taken aback at his outburst but then she flicked her wand at the stereo and started to dance around the kitchen as she prepared the stuff for breakfast, effectively lightening the mood.
Draco watched the small woman dance around his kitchen as she cooked, he couldn’t help but watch the way she moved her body as she dance and his eyes were almost glued to the way moved her hips with the music, every so often throwing a glance behind her when Draco had thankfully returned his eyes to a safer area. Only Hermione knew what he was watching, she knew she shouldn’t have been tempting the poor man, but this was the most fun she’d had since she had heard of her parents, then she stopped abruptly.
Her parents were dead.
Draco watched Hermione’s body freeze and go stiff and then he watched her start to shake, so he got up and hugged her from behind.
“It’s okay, don’t bottle it inside, if you need to cry, cry. I won’t be going anywhere because you are after all, in my home,” Draco murmured soothingly. Hermione turned to face Draco and buried her face in his chest where she began to cry in earnest. Flicking a stasis charm over the kitchen he lifted Hermione and took her back to bed, where he tucked her in crawled in next to her and pulled her close to him, letting her cry as much as she needed to, all the while murmuring soothing words in her ear.
Hermione couldn’t quite come to grips with the fact that she Hermione, 1/3rd of the Golden trio was lying in bed with Draco Malfoy and actually being comforted, but at the same time, she needed this kind of comfort, she needed to be held without hesitation and while her friends would all hug her and tell he it was alright they would much sooner offer her a cup of tea than pull her into bed with them to comfort her comfortably while telling her they’ll be there for as long as she needs them and wouldn’t be going anywhere. She needed this.
Eventually Hermione’s sobs developed into soft hiccups and Draco stroked her black hair, noticing it was as straight as his own.
“What did you do to your hair?” Draco murmured.
“Dyed it and straightened it with a long lasting vanity spell,” Hermione whispered against Draco’s shoulder.
“Why?” Draco questioned.
“I like my hair black and straight,” Hermione murmured.
“You better now?” Draco asked.
“For now yes,” Hermione answered then she sat up and climbed out of bed. “I was making breakfast wasn’t I?” Draco grinned and followed Hermione back to the kitchen where she continued making breakfast.
When Hermione placed a plate of eggs, bacon, beans and savoury pancakes in front of him and then placed a cup of coffee next to it Draco looked up at the woman as if he was worshipping her.
“Did you cook this by hand?” Hermione looked over from the counter where she was stirring her coffee surprised by the cool tone of Draco’s voice.
“Yes,” Hermione answered.
“Why are you not married yet?” Draco gasped. With deliberate slowness Hermione picked up her own plate and walked over to the table where she sat down opposite him and surveyed him.
“Why do you ask?” Hermione countered.
“Any man would be a fool to not try and pursue a woman who cooks like this in the morning. Gods this breakfast is perfect,” Draco groaned as he swallowed a forkful of eggs.
“That makes you a fool then,” Hermione grinned. Draco levelled a look at Hermione and gave her a soft smile as he shrugged.
“You should do that more often,” Hermione whispered.
“Do what?” Draco asked with confusion.
Draco and Hermione ate their food in a comfortable silence and only spoke afterwards when Draco watched Hermione brush her black hair behind her ear and turn to the property section of the Daily Prophet.
“Looking for a place?” Draco asked.
“Yeah,” Hermione answered shortly.
“Well I destroyed my parents old home yesterday, as in, burnt it to the ground and I’m not staying with Harry and Ginny, or Luna and Neville or Pansy and Blaise simply because they’re all happy couples and I don’t want to intrude. And I need to run some errands today, namely going to my parents’ muggle bank with their wills and transferring their assets to me, then transferring some of the money from my account to Gringotts,” Hermione muttered.
“You have a Gringotts account?” Draco asked, his voice ever so slightly betraying the shock he felt.
“Yep, the ministry opened one for me after the war, they put my reward in it,” Hermione smiled as she leant back. “Surprised?”
“Just a tad,” Draco smirked. Hermione simply shrugged and turned the page roughly. “Hey be careful... Look, don’t rush things, if you want you can stay here with me until you feel like you’ve got your feet properly underneath you,” Draco smiled.
“And when can I be said to have my feet properly underneath me Draco?” Hermione asked. Then she gawped at the man in question almost mirroring his expression.
“Did you just call me Draco?” Draco asked, getting his composure back quicker than Hermione. Hermione suddenly snapped to attention and she composed herself enough to look cool, calm and collected.
“Yeah, only returning the favour, since we’re on first name basis and all,” Hermione said as a nonchalant answer. Draco’s mind was reeling under the shock of her saying his name, he loved the way it sounded on her lips, so soft and sweet and then remembered Hermione’s question.
“When you have a job, when you no longer cry at the drop of a hat, when that spark returns to your eyes completely,” Draco then answered. Hermione looked at the man in front of her and simply shrugged faking a feeling of indifference when she was in truth absolutely thrilled that he cared enough to let her stay.
This chapter was really difficult to write until Hermione went out but at the same time I loved every second of it! Let me know what you think and leave me a review :D Chapter 7 has been written so you’ll get that one when it’s validated :D
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