Chapter 9 : She Will Pay!
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Hermione woke up the next morning and the first thing she saw was Draco’s head on the bed next to her with his body slumped forwards in his chair. Smiling softly she raised her head and smoothed his hair back, ignoring the fact that something felt different as she touched the man next to her. With a soft groan he blinked and looked at her.
“Morning,” Draco smiled. Hermione smiled back and stilled her hand, Draco’s smile slipped from his face replaced by a sad expression. “What were you thinking?” Draco whispered.
“I don’t know,” Hermione breathed as Draco caught her hand in both of his.
“Don’t ever do something like that to me again please,” Draco pleaded quietly. Hermione’s mouth fell open as she stared into the liquid silver eyes of the man in front of her.
“I won’t,” Hermione answered. Just then the door opened and Healer Karris wandered in.
“Ahh you’re awake,” The woman said with a ghost of a smile across her face. “Do you want to talk about why it happened?”
“No,” Hermione whispered.
“Hermione,” Draco murmured quietly as he looked at her. When she caught his eye he nodded.
“I can’t Draco, I don’t know myself,” Hermione whispered.
“How about you try and explain the feelings you felt,” Healer Karris prompted and Hermione snapped.
“Can I just go home please? I don’t know! I’ve never done something so stupid in my life! Let me go home!” Hermione yelled and the Healer sighed.
“And how do I know that you won’t do something like this again?” Healer Karris snapped.
“Trust me,” Hermione breathed. Draco looked between Hermione who was close to tears and the healer who was close to losing her temper.
“I’m helping her, she asked me for her help so I will help her,” Draco spoke and he met the healers annoyed look with a fierce expression in his own face and he saw her cower.
“You do realise what you are agreeing to right Mr Malfoy?” Healer Karris asked.
“Yes I understand perfectly well. Is Hermione able to go home yet?” Draco asked.
“Of course, however we shall still continue the appointments as scheduled,” Healer Karris said sternly while Draco nodded
“Of course,” Hermione conceded when she caught the look her healer was giving her.
An hour later while Hermione was tucked up on the couch with a hot chocolate and a book with her feet resting in Draco’s lap while he watched basketball on the TV, there was a tapping at the window. Hermione looked up and as Draco was too preoccupied with the game she waved her wand at the window and let the owl in with the daily prophet. She summoned her money bag, paid the bird and then unravelled the paper. When she saw the front page she screamed.
“What?!” Draco yelled as he looked around the room for danger after jumping up from the couch. Then he spotted Hermione holding the daily prophet and trembling.
“Look at this!” Hermione cried as she threw the paper to the floor and started sobbing in her hands. Draco ignoring the paper on the floor went and knelt in front of Hermione and caught her face in his hands.
“Hermione it’s going to be okay, I’m here,” Draco murmured.
“How did they find out?” Hermione whispered through her tears. Draco ignored her and picked her up, carrying her to his bed where he laid her down and shushed her.
“It doesn’t matter, just calm down,” Draco whispered as he pulled Hermione towards him and let her sob against his chest, while he wondered how the Prophet had managed to get hold of information on Hermione, because it could only have been the information about her mental state at the minute that could have caused Hermione to cry like that.
It took almost half an hour for Hermione to fall asleep and when she did Draco summoned the prophet from the front room and saw the headline.
Hermione Granger, Role Model No Longer!
Seething Draco took in the photo beneath it and saw that it was a photo of Hermione passed out in Draco’s arms as he took her to St Mungo’s. The moving picture kept replaying the moment when he had shifted Hermione in his arms before walking off as it was the only moment when the photographer had been allowed to see her face, as her hair gave nothing away. Draco spied the little note under the picture indicating to turn to page 4 for the full story and did so. When he found the page he gasped, because there was a double paged spread, one side made of the story, the other made of pictures of Hermione in a pink dress staggering outside before Draco disapparated, a picture of a calming draught, a wicked witch drink, and the cherry on the cake, a photo of the old bookish Hermione taken just after the war.
With a hiss of anger Draco began to read.
Hermione Granger, Role Model No Longer!
By Rita Skeeter
When given the name Hermione Granger, the public would picture the bookish muggleborn who fought alongside Harry Potter in the war and struck ambition into the hearts of young girls overlooked by society and a feeling of pride in muggleborns everywhere. We imagine the girl pictured on the right with brown hair, brown eyes and toothy grin.
Now look at her, Hermione Granger was spotted staggering from the nightclub “The Wicked Witch” on Wednesday night clearly very drunk and being supported by Mr Draco Malfoy, former death eater known for being “The Slytherin Prince” in his school days. She has also discarded the bushy brown hair that would signify her presence in favour of straight black hair, and her casual none revealing clothes have clearly been overlooked here, in favour of short, skin tight, pastel pink dresses that leave little to the imagination. No one knows for sure what Hermione was doing at a nightclub like this but she appeared there after allegedly burning down the muggle house that belonged to her parents Jean and Richard Granger who died at the beginning of Hermione’s seventh year.
But going out to nightclubs is not all, apparently our dear Gryffindor Princess, one half of the Golden Duo, has been living and sleeping with the pureblood Slytherin Prince who took her home from the nightclub, while attending multiple appointments at St Mungo’s. The icing on the cake of the ruined image of Hermione Granger however, happens to be her overdose on Calming Draughts yesterday morning that got her admitted to hospital in the arms of Draco Malfoy (see front page image) and gave her a near death escape when both heart and lungs stopped working. The near death drew happy couple Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley to the hospital alongside Draco Malfoy who admitted to Harry Potter in a public café that he has feelings for the muggleborn.
Hermione Granger had managed to all but disappear since Ron Weasley spilt all about what happened when they disappeared for the year up to the war and left with a different woman after cheating on Hermione and telling Harry Potter he could no longer stand him, yet the recent news involving Hermione’s drinking habits and her overdose leaves us all to question, how long has she been hiding her alcoholism and what is she actually up to with Draco Malfoy? The Gryffindor Princess has fallen from grace but is she still worthy to be a role model to your young daughters? Many of our readers would think not.
Draco cast the newspaper aside in disgust and then turned to face the woman next to him. Rita Skeeter was a poisonous woman and she had somehow managed to overhear Draco’s conversation with Harry and Ginny, yet she had been quiet for so long. Nothing had appeared in papers that wasn’t a direct interview from someone, but this, this wasn’t an interview this was information she had scooped by being a beetle. Draco knew about Skeeter’s animagus form from fourth year when he had said evil things to the woman so she could publish them. Then it had been funny, now he wanted the woman to pay, there should be laws against stuff like this happening.
“I’m going to get her so hard. How dare she?” Hermione snarled quietly. Draco jumped and then looked down at Hermione who was awake and appeared to have read the paper as he did.
“What?” Draco questioned as he sat up.
“I am going to get Rita Skeeter for everything she’s ever done. I warned her in fourth year about writing about me without my consent, now she will find out just how serious I was,” Hermione growled as she sat up. Draco sat up with her and ran a hand through his hair worriedly.
“Are you sure? I mean, it could get messy,” Draco murmured. Hermione looked at Draco with fierce determination in her eyes and Draco cowered. “Okay you’re sure, no problems,” Draco conceded quickly.
Just then Draco and Hermione heard the floo chime and Draco climbed off the bed, drew his wand and opened the door slowly and peeked around the corner to see Ginny go to stand up only to be flattened by a very flustered Harry Potter. Draco snorted and then felt a soft arm around his waist, and a small body leaning on him.
“Hermione you shouldn’t be up,” Draco whispered as he wrapped his arms around her waist and supported her.
“Who is it?” Hermione asked, ignoring Draco’s comment.
“Ginny and Harry,” Draco snickered.
“What’s so funny?”
“Ginny went first and Potter flattened her,” Draco snickered. Hermione let out a loud shout of laughter and her laughter cut through the quiet bickering between the betrothed on the floor.
“I’m glad you find our misfortune so funny Malfoy,” Ginny growled as she stood up. Draco held up the arm that wasn’t supporting Hermione in mock surrender.
“I wasn’t the one who laughed out loud, that was Hermione here,” Draco drawled. Harry stood up and straightened his simple muggle jeans and a tee shirt and then raised his wand and cleaned off the soot on his clothes.
“’Mione, how’re you?” Harry breathed as he walked towards the pair in the doorway.
“Angry,” Hermione growled, narrowing her eyes.
“Why?” Ginny asked.
“Oh as if you don’t know. Are you telling me that you didn’t found out Draco’s address from Blaise and floo over here to tell Draco to hide the paper from me?” Hermione gasped in mock shock as she broke her eye contact with Harry.
“How’d you…” Harry gasped.
“Harry you are as terrible at occlumency as you were in fifth year,” Hermione smirked.
Ginny, who was standing a bit behind Harry looked from Hermione to Draco and back again and noticed that the smirk that was on Draco’s face was almost identical to the smirk on Hermione’s, and the tone she had used was the exact female replica of Draco’s. Hermione then switched her eyes to Ginny who after being reminded Hermione was a legilimens dropped her eyes to the ground and threw up the mental shields she had learnt to erect back in her seventh year when training with Hermione.
“Honestly Harry you should get Ginny to teach you,” Hermione snickered as she winked at Ginny when she raised her eyes.
“When did you learn occlumency, and when did you learn legilimency?” Harry asked Ginny and Hermione asked. Ginny and Hermione grinned at one another.
“Harry darling, when you were all worn out after teaching Hermione to play Quidditch, Hermione and I decided to learn legilimency and occlumency, seriously, they’re valuable skills in life,” Ginny smiled sweetly as she rested her hand on Harry’s arm softly.
Draco who had grown tired of the child’s play between the three friends coughed slightly and Hermione looked up at him only to go a tad bit dizzy and fall into Draco, who caught her quickly and lifted her into his arms.
“I’m putting you back to bed,” Draco smiled as he looked down at Hermione.
“No, I’d rather sit on the sofa,” Hermione whined softly.
“Okay,” Draco gave in and Hermione smiled up at him as he walked across the room and placed her on the couch, sitting at the end with her feet in his lap.
“Thanks, now, you three will not be able to stop me, I am going to get back at Skeeter for her printing this story. I warned her, now I’m going to reveal her as an unregistered animagus in my own story for the prophet at the same time I’ll ask Luna to release an interview to explain my actions, because what she’s written is only half the truth. No one knows that the other night was the only time I’ve ever been out alone, or the fact I’m being treated for depression due to discovering my parents died 2 years ago only last week Friday,” Hermione said fiercely, once she was settled. Ginny and Harry looked between each other and then nodded at Hermione, obviously used to the fact that Hermione was not a force to be reckoned with when she got going.
“Is there anything you need?” Harry asked.
“I’m not sure yet Harry, but I will let you know. But Draco do you have a study?” Hermione spoke. Draco nodded and pointed at a dark wood door in the corner of the room and Hermione nodded. Ginny sat down on one of the couches and leant back watching Hermione and Draco carefully and noticing something between them.
“Hermione, won’t you need some sort of proof that Rita Skeeter is actually an animagus?” Ginny asked. Hermione looked up at her friend and groaned.
“How in the world will I get that?”
“Well how about I tail Rita under Harry’s cloak for a full day and you somehow slip Rita Skeeter information that Hermione will be going for a meal with Draco the same day. Now if she wants to get the dirt on you two then she’s going to have to go animagus to get to you, if I’m tailing her maybe I can take a photo of her as she transforms, she’s not amazingly smart so she will definitely be slightly cocky as to where and when she changes,” Ginny mused. Draco looked at Ginny with shock in his eyes.
“You should have been in Slytherin,” Draco smirked.
“Did you know the hat debated putting Harry in Slytherin?” Ginny smirked. Harry shot daggers at Ginny while Draco crowed with laughter.
“Harry Potter, the golden boy himself, placed in Slytherin? You have got to be fuckin’ kidding me,” Draco laughed. Hermione snickered behind her hand at Harry’s expression.
“You do know that was the most hidden secret I have?” Harry pouted.
“Awh, don’t be sad Harry,” Hermione then mocked. Harry glared at her too as Draco grinned at Hermione.
“So are we actually going for dinner?” Draco asked hopefully.
“I guess if we want it to be as easy as possible then we should actually go for a meal right?” Hermione smiled sheepishly. Draco nodded and Hermione sighed deeply. “When shall we go?” Hermione asked.
“As soon as you’re strong enough to go, so when do you think you could manage going on a date with Draco Malfoy all dressed up and looking stunning?” Draco smirked. Hermione leant forwards and smacked him over the back of his head lightly.
“Arrogant prat,” Hermione then smiled as she leant back. Draco looked affronted and shocked as he stared at the black haired beauty in front of him. Hermione simply smiled her best don’t-hate-me smile and folded her hands in her lap.
“When do you think you’ll be strong enough Mi?” Harry asked as he controlled his silent laughter, while Draco still seemed in a state of shock.
“Given me three days, I’m already bored of sitting still,” Hermione pouted.
“Well how about you get your story written then when we go out you can get your proof,” Draco said as he recovered.
“And what if she turns up in her animagus form?” Ginny suddenly asked.
“Then we’ll set a spell that means she’d have to get up close and personal to hear us and then we can just catch her, force her out of her animagus form and capture the transformation then force her back again. I’m hoping that it will work,” Hermione smiled.
“You are brilliant,” Draco grinned and Hermione smiled shyly.
Ginny and Harry stayed the remainder of the day with Hermione and Draco and stayed for dinner also. Hermione found it intriguing to watch the way Harry and Draco started off very cautious with how they were but eventually slipped into an easy conversation and banter until they met the topic of quidditch.
“Would it have killed you to let me get the snitch just the once Harry?” Draco whined. Harry sat back and laughed as Draco pouted.
“Yes Draco I think it might just have killed me. The entire Gryffindor house would have hexed me for letting you guys win, but shall I tell you what is even more shocking?” Harry snickered.
“What?” Draco asked eagerly as he leant forwards.
“Hermione plays all four positions of quidditch as well as you and I can seek,” Harry smiled. Hermione groaned loudly as the boys conversation suddenly broke through the conversation Ginny and Hermione were having through Legilimency.
“Why is it shocking Harry?” Hermione whined.
“Because if I remember correctly, your broom stayed firmly on the ground in our flying lessons,” Draco snickered.
“So I developed a likeness for being high up and gained a bit of confidence in my own abilities, but, I’m not as good as you, Harry and Ginny,” Hermione murmured modestly.
“Mione, shut up. You saved every single shot I threw at you, you put the Quaffle through the goal every time you had it, you made George feel like he got Fred back by his side beating PLUS you beat Harry to the snitch. You are better than all of us Mi. Now shut up and deal with it,” Ginny smiled. Draco looked at Hermione in awe as she blushed heavily.
“You beat Harry to the snitch?” Draco gasped.
“Only once, and he was distracted,” Hermione muttered.
“Bullshit, I was as focused on that snitch as you were, you just got there first,” Harry said sorely. Hermione chose this moment to lower her eyes to the table and throw up her mental shields so she could continue her dinner, even though she was thoroughly embarrassed.
“I have to see you play one day Mi,” Draco grinned as he leant closer to Hermione. Hermione stiffened as she heard the used of her most favourite nickname on the lips of Draco Malfoy in his smooth velvet voice. No one noticed her slightly stiffened posture and Hermione relaxed as she placed some pasta in her mouth while listening to the conversation.
So people, what do you think? I’m curious to see who saw that coming. Please leave a review and let me know if you actually saw the Rita Skeeter story before it happened. I’m really glad you guys like my story and thanks for all the reviews so far.
So just because you guys are awesome, I’m going to tell you, the next chapter will contain Hermione and Draco’s meal/date/plan to get Rita in the open.
~ eden. xx
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