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Chapter 15 : Chapter 15 ~ Rebuilt
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Hey everyone! Hope you liked the previous chapter and I'm going to apologize agead of time to leave this one on a cliffhanger.
I do not own anything recognizable from the books. Those belong to the super talented author J.K. R. :)
Chapter 15 ~
The note had arrived just after she had woken up on Sunday. She had been so excited, but what the words said made her throw up a wall and prepare for the worst. The letter had been so short and didn’t say anything about coming back or loving her. Hermione felt tears coming on, but fought them back and decided she needed to be strong. She sat in her bed and thought for a long time about her feelings and if she should wait for him and how. Should she write him constantly? Should she send a letter at all? Could she wait for him? But how long would it be? Would she wait for him if it was over a couple months? By the time it was lunch time and Ginny came to get her, her brain hurt. The worst part; she was no closer to a decision. So it fell to default that she would wait for him until she made a decision.
She spent the entire day walking around the grounds by herself. It was a couple weeks into October and today was a chilly one. She breathed in the crisp air and could smell that Fall scent that she loved. It took her a minute to realize she couldn’t remember the last time she had smelled this and noticed it. Last year she, Ron and Harry had been on the run and never stopped long enough to breath. So much had been happening that many little things had been missed. Hermione took full advantage of the moment now and leaned against the huge old tree by the lake, closing her eyes at the same time. Her thoughts drifted to Draco again. She knew she was stalling on making a decision, because as soon as she made one she was going to stick to it. Hermione hoped it was ok, whether or not he still wanted her.
When she opened her eyes, the sun was fully over the lake which meant it was probably around lunch time. She made her way as slowly as possible back to the castle and joined Harry and Ginny at their table. Every girl in the hall seemed to be discussing Ron. She wondered if he’d gotten into another fight or something. She turned to ask Ginny, but Ginny beat her to it.
“Did you know Ron is dating someone!?”
“What! No. I had no idea.”
“Yeah, that’s what all the buzz is. I guess some Ravenclaw girl who transferred from Beauxbaton.” Ginny madding a retching noise as she finished.
“What’s her name?”
“Lianna Rosire. What is with him and girls with L names?”
Hermione glanced down the table and saw that Ron wasn’t present. She had to admit she was curious to see the girl and wondered when they had started dating. Not that it really mattered, it just meant that now all of her friends had someone and she didn’t know if she did. Just as she was thinking about this, the hall went quiet and then lots of whispering started up. Hermione knew why before she turned to see Ron walking toward all them with a very pretty girl next to him. She had long chocolate brown hair and hazel eyes which were perfectly placed on either side of her petite nose. She looked to be about 5’8 and was curvy in all the right places. Hermione had to admit that she was very pretty… no beautiful. She looked back at her pie and suddenly felt self conscious. Her physical appearance was nothing like Lianna’s. Hermione was pretty with nice wavy hair, chocolate eyes and a slight flush to her cheeks, but she knew she was nothing compared to this girl that Ron had chosen. She glanced at Ginny and noticed she was severely scrutinizing Ron’s new girl and Hermione could tell she was struggling. They sat down and Hermione was then dragged away by Ginny who obviously had something on her mind. Hermione couldn’t wait to see how this was going to go.
Draco and his elves proved to be super productive on Sunday, which meant the house was done and the gardens were almost half way done by dinner time. He was pleased with how everything looked and told the elves that they could have tomorrow off of working on the yard. They insisted that they were fine, but he insisted right back that they take a day off. They made up for it by making a wonderful dinner and told him that tomorrow’s meal would be something he had never tasted before. As he walked to his room he smiled at the elves enthusiasm.
The next week seemed to fly by. He redesigned some of the garden path ways and added a few. He also used the extent of his ability and reading books to create a garden that was similar to the Room of Requirement. People walked in front of it twice, thinking of what kind of place they needed and then entered through the gate he’d created. He let the magic offer almost an unlimited and various kinds of paths and garden types, which would then respond to how the person is feeling and what they think before entering. He didn’t know what compelled him to make a garden like this, but he felt the urge and that urge took him the better part of three days to complete. It was beautiful when it was finished and all he could think of was bringing Hermione here. Then his heart sank. What if she was too hurt or mad at him? What if she had moved on, even though he had told her that he would try to come back. Try. He was such an idiot. He should have made a better promise or written more in his letter. He needed to talk to her and started trying to work out a plan in which he was not bewitched beyond repair by Hermione, Potter or his girlfriend, Ginny.
By the next morning he had decided what to ask Hermione and tell her. He hoped that she wouldn’t be too mad and would concede to his request. Draco wrote his heart into the letter and waited for his owl to return. After his owl, Achilles, had left, he felt the need to pace even though he knew it would be awhile before there was an answer. He decided to go to his new garden and relax for awhile.
Another week had passed since Draco’s letter had reached her and she still hadn’t decided what she was going to do. The school had, however, died down a little about Ron’s new girlfriend who he had been dating two weeks, but had been in secret until now. She was annoyed by the fact that he was still so protective of her when he wasn’t even close to being in her life. She still hadn’t spoken to him since the fight and he avoided her, probably to save his own skin. It was Sunday again and she was relaxing in her favorite chair in the library, doing homework, when there was a slight tapping on the window by her corner. She went over and recognized the owl. It was Draco’s.
She rummaged in her bag and found an owl treat she used to keep for Pigwidgeon. She handed it to the beautiful owl and untied the letter from his leg. It was a very long letter and Hermione took a breath before starting to read,
I am sorry I have been so silent and distant. I have been very busy and had a lot on my mind. I know that is not an excuse for my behavior, so I will say I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart. I had to leave Hogwarts for a little while because everyone seeing me as a Death Eater is annoying and has been getting to me. Then hearing what people were saying about me after the fight was like salt in an open wound. Everyone wanted Weasley to hurt me. I also left because I felt I was going to drag you down by being with you and I needed time to think. I should have talked to you about my decision, but I’m still not very good about talking to people about my feelings. I also want to apologize for not writing you more. I truly have been busy, but I have also been nervous. I have no idea what you’re doing or thinking and I truly hope that you are attempting to wait for me.
I do love you and have missed you so much since I’ve been here. Oh, and here is Malfoy Manor. I’ve been working on stuff here and trying to figure out my life. Here is where I get more nervous as I write…
Will you accept my request for a date and to come here to see me and talk? I really would like to see you, but I’m not quite ready to return to Hogwarts. So…
Will you, Hermione Granger, come to my manor next Saturday around 12?
Please consider it and write me an answer. If you don’t answer I will still be ready for you on that day at that time for your arrival. Again, I am sorry.
P.S. I don’t think I have every apologized so much in my life.
She had tears running down her face as she smiled. He still loved her! She leapt up and raced up to her dorm to tell Ginny. Not until Hermione had begun to shake her that she realized it was Sunday and barely 9am. She stopped shaking her friend, but too late… the beast was woken up.
“What in the blazes are you on about Hermione?! It’s Sunday and I swear I will hex you to the end of the earth if it’s before 10.”
Hermione grimaced. As Ginny glared at her as she sat up.
“I’m so sorry Gin, but I got a letter from Draco. Go back to sleep, we’ll talk later.”
“What! A letter? Why didn’t you say that?”
She sat straight up and patted the bed beside her, while simultaneously reaching for the letter. Hermione couldn’t help but giggle a little. Ginny was such a gossip girl. She handed the letter to Ginny and waited as she read it. By the end of the letter even Ginny had melted a little.
“That is such a nice letter, finally. It only took him almost two weeks.”
“I know. It made me feel so much better!”
“So, are you going?” She said, eyeing Hermione.
“Yes. I want to see him but I’m a little nervous about going to the Manor.”
“I’m sure you’ll be fine since you’ll be with Mal-Draco.”
That next week seemed to drag on for an eternity. Hermione had immediately written Draco back after talking with Ginny and received a short and sweet note in confirmation from him. Sitting through all of her lessons and then watching, and attempting to ignore, Ron and Lianna kissing and hanging all over each other every second and watching some of his fan girls try even harder to talk to him, as though they thought it would change his mind. At one point on Wednesday, Lianna had actually spoken up and told the girl who wanted his autograph to “stuff it and back off.” Ginny had then given her credit that she had handled the situation pretty well and could hold her own, as of yet. This got a laugh out of Hermione because she knew that if and when Lianna had to face Ginny, it would be an epic showdown of tempers.
Finally Friday evening arrived and she and Ginny were in their dorm putting the final touch to her outfits. It had all been Ginny’s idea that she should be casual, but look amazing. This led to Ginny going through all of Hermione’s clothes and picking out two outfits. As Ginny folded the last item and explained to Hermione why she must wear it, Harry’s silvery stag appeared.
“Can you ladies come here for a second?” The stag said.
Hermione and Ginny left and walked over to the boys dormitory. They knocked and waited for an all-clear. Instead Harry opened the door and ushered them in. The girls looked at him questioningly and started to speak, but Harry interrupted.
“Hermione, where is Draco?”
“Um, he’s at Malfoy Manor, why?”
“I think he may be a target of some people who see him as a Death Eater.”
“I just received a message from Kingsley and he warned me, Zabini is also a target and the threat is coming from Hogwarts. Ginny, you’re here because it has been rumored that Ron might have something to do with this.”
The girls stared at him. Ron targeting Malfoy? They knew he had always hated Malfoy, but to target him and go after him?
“Harry, are you sure?” Hermione said.
“Not a 100%, but from the way he beat Malfoy up when he was here is a clear indicator. We’re keeping an eye on him, but we think that someone should be with Malfoy. I told Kingsley that I had someone in mind to stay with him. Hermione, I’ve already cleared it with the Headmistress as far as your classes. She would have your homework sent to you.”
“Of course I will, when would I leave? I was already heading out there on Saturday.”
“Yes, I was going to see him. He sent me a letter.”
“Oh well I guess its settled then.” He finished a little awkwardly.
She and Ginny headed to their room to pack more clothes and discussed what was going on. It was obvious that Harry was still getting used to idea of Hermione and Draco together and they talked about why Ron would want to continue chasing Draco, if it was indeed him. She was headed out in the morning after Harry informed Draco, since Kingsley had started using him for Auror business. Hermione couldn’t wait to see Draco. It had been about two weeks, but after what happened if felt like much longer.
The next morning she woke up, after only 4 hours of sleep, and felt jittery all over. Hermione didn’t quite understand why she was so nervous, but she was. At the appointed time, she left the castle and met the Headmistress in Hogsmead to use the portkey that had been set up. She took hold of the portkey and felt that sensation of her navel being pulled into of her backbone. When she was about to get to her feet, a hand presented itself to her and she gratefully took it. As she stood up she looked into the eyes of the man she loved, Draco Malfoy.
Draco had been notified of possibly being targeting and was informed that someone would be coming to stay with him. Harry had then informed him that his guest would be arriving the next day around 10am. He was standing outside the manor at the designated time and looked up as her heard a wooshing sound. His heart leapt to the clouds when he saw who it was. They had sent Hermione! He rushed over and offered her his hand to help her up. She took it and he noticed just how soft her hands where. She stood and looked up at him, a small smile on her face. He knew that his face was almost an exact mirror because he could feel himself grinning like an idiot.
“I didn’t know they were sending you!”
“Yeah, Harry asked me and of course I said yes, especially since I had already planned on coming this weekend.”
“I think this might just be the best thing ever!”
He couldn’t help but show his enthusiasm. Her smile was like an angel and the pink on her cheeks made her irresistible. He loved how she looked.
“So are we going to go inside?” He heard her ask.
Suddenly he was nervous. He had spent so much time working on the house, but he knew that there were bad memories here for her too. Would she feel comfortable? Would she be ok with everything? Will his cleaning be enough to make her feel happy with him here? He noticed her looked at him,
“Uh yeah, we can go in. I tried to make it better.”
They walked up through the main gate and he replaced the wards to protect them. As he opened the door he looked at the girl who stole his heart and held his breath as the house within became unveiled. He heard a gasp beside him and froze.
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