Chapter 14 : Revenge Story
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Hermione held her breath in for a few seconds and then let it out slowly through her mouth and thankfully Luna didn’t seem to mind the wait and was neither writing anything nor glaring at Hermione.
“I understand It’s quite painful Mione, but don’t forget I am your friend you can talk to me,” Luna then spoke up dreamily. Hermione looked up and looking at her wide eyed friend caused her to suddenly relax.
“I’ll go right back to the end of sixth year. Harry told us he was searching for horcruxes through our seventh year at Dumbledore’s funeral. Me and Ron refused to let him go alone, he gave us the option to turn away at a point in first year and we used the fact we stayed right behind him as proof to show we weren’t going anywhere through seventh. I knew that disappearing with Harry when Voldemort was after him was a real risk, not just to me, but to… my… my parents as well. They were muggles; they had an even weaker chance of standing up to Voldemort and his death eaters than the muggleborns and half-bloods that he targeted in our own community. So I tried to save them. I cast a memory charm on them, removing me from their memories and planting a false one that they have always desired to go to Australia. I figured Australia was far enough away that they would be safe,” Hermione whispered. She knew that a whispered voice would be hard to hear on the tape, but it was all she could manage when she was speaking about something so hard to understand. Draco rubbed soft circles into her shoulder as she summoned the strength to speak again.
“There was more?” Luna prompted gently. Hermione nodded and breathed deeply before opening her mouth again.
“When the war was over I put an enquiry into the ministry to ask them to find Wendell and Monica Wilkins, refusing to do it myself so I could be there for the Weasley’s. I didn’t really mourn myself as I felt having my entire family alive made my loss less than the Weasley’s who had just lost a son and brother. I went back to Hogwarts and broke up from there early July. Two weeks ago on Friday the 3rd August I was called to the ministry and was told that my parents didn’t make it to Australia, they died in a plane crash heading over there, by the time of the crash I was already running with Harry and I had no access to any newspaper, let alone a muggle one. I can’t really tell you what happened after that because until I saw you on the Wednesday I was in and out of consciousness, losing whole days on the occasion. I was diagnosed with acute depression that caused momentary stupors when I suppressed my emotions,” Hermione spoke. Strangely enough the more she spoke the stronger she felt until she was no longer whispering but talking normally, although still feeling quite sad. Luna nodded to herself and then made a few quick notes on her page before reading the next question.
“Moving onto something a bit lighter now, why the change in appearance Mione? I mean the black hair and the “revealing clothes”, are all a bit anti-Hermione,” Luna asked. Hermione grinned as she pushed her hair behind her ear.
“The black hair was all about not being so recognisable, but the straight hair is a personal preference. I wanted some time without the unruly curls; I didn’t want to have to think about my hair any more than just acknowledging that I needed to pull a comb through it and that being it. The revealing clothes are not something I make a regular of. The night I went out was the first time I’d drunk since the end of war party. I don’t make a habit of drinking excessively; in fact I’ve only done so twice in my life so far. That night I went back to my parent’s house although it was my house at the time. I wanted it destroyed, I didn’t want anyone to live there full stop. To vanish it, or blow it up when it was in a muggle village would be too noticeable, the only logical explanation for a house being destroyed in the muggle world is a fire, so that’s what I caused. I believe their fire crew put it down to arson,” Hermione smiled. Luna simply nodded and jotted something on her page and then paused before jotting something else down a little lower down.
“You just answered my fifth question about questionable drinking habits, so I should probably tell you my next questions. I was going to ask one of you about your living arrangements and then ask about the calming draught incident, and then include some of Rita’s second article about what’s changed between you two and whether you are really dating?” Luna’s wide grey eyes examined the proximity of Hermione and Draco as she spoke her last question and noted Hermione’s blush in her mind.
“I’ll answer the Calming Draught incident question first. I honestly cannot say why I did it. I don’t even know myself. I just remember being alone and being tired of being so depressed and as I was watching TV I started shaking, which I recognised as the onset of a stupor, so I took a calming draught and it did nothing so I took another. Before I knew it Draco was back and I was happier than I’d ever felt. I don’t know why I kept going after the second one which stopped the shakes, but I was told that I passed out and my heart and lungs failed on me. It was the stupidest thing I have ever done,” Hermione answered solemnly. Draco reflexively clenched his other hand out of Hermione’s line of sight. That had been the day he had almost lost her, the same day he realised how much he cared for her. Luna noticed his strange reaction but did nothing more than acknowledge his presence with a flick of her eyes to him and back again.
“So, I hope you don’t mind Hermione, but can I ask Draco on living arrangements?” Luna asked as she turned her wide grey eyes on the man. Hermione nodded and smiled at Draco who returned a slight smirk.
“What do you want to know Luna?”
“Why you chose to bring Hermione to your muggle flat after her night out, and why you chose to let her stay, why she’s still here now?” Luna rattled off. Draco leant back into his sofa and frowned as he thought of how to answer Luna’s questions.
“When I saw her out I already knew of what had happened because I met her in The Three Broomsticks earlier the same day, she was working as a waitress in disguise when she ran into me. She almost had another stupor but instead went to sleep after refusing to let me leave her after bringing her back to the inn safely. When she woke we argued as anyone would expect but when I apparated away I resolved to look out for her. I didn’t realise I would have to do that so soon. I saw her in the club with a wizard looking not even the tiniest bit drunk while Hermione was nowhere close to sober, so I refused to let her leave, and then took her home with me where I put her to bed with me to keep an eye on her throughout the night. I have been that drunk before and waking up because you’ve choked on your own vomit is not nice,” Draco smirked. Hermione frowned at him but he simply smirked wider and continued. “In the morning she made breakfast and then I noticed her looking through the housing section in the Daily Prophet but I didn’t think it was wise for her to go and find somewhere for her to live while she had no job and was still on shaky ground. She’s still here now because I gave her an open invitation and she obviously enjoys my company,” Draco finished with an arrogant smirk.
“Don’t be such an arrogant ass Draco,” Hermione scolded and Luna’s eyebrows raised as she noticed the light banter between the two.
“No really Luna, I enjoy her company and I’m glad she stayed, regardless of whether she’s a muggleborn or not. Blood status stopped meaning much to me when my father went to Azkaban. Everyone’s blood is red, we all bleed the same way, I feel pureblood prejudices need to stop,” Draco said seriously. Luna could only stare at Draco for a few seconds before she recovered herself.
“Quite a different Draco Malfoy to the one we all know and love to hate I see,” Luna stated. Draco winced slightly.
“A very different Draco Malfoy if you knew me during my school days,” Draco murmured soberly. Hermione ran her hand over Draco’s fist in his lap softly.
“I hope you won’t mind if I write about it, but I can’t help but notice your…connection. What has changed between you? Because what I’m seeing is nothing like the shouting and screaming at each other that used to go on during Hogwarts,” Luna smiled. Hermione and Draco laughed and then looked at each other before looking at Luna. “We haven’t had a bad morning yet. I wouldn’t be surprised if you saw a few hex marks on the walls after we have one,” Draco snickered.
“Hex marks that he has made because we all know I don’t miss,” Hermione replied with a sharp smirk. Draco poked her side quickly and Hermione yelped before glaring at him.
“Everything’s different now I guess. He’s been there for me when I didn’t want others around. Harry and Ginny were there for me, but Draco was different, I didn’t know him well and the thought of getting to know the new caring Draco Malfoy was enough to make me really open my eyes for even the briefest of moments. I needed him then and now we’re close,” Hermione answered. Draco looked blankly at Hermione and then looked at Luna who was watching him.
“I changed in the war. I had to watch as Hermione was tortured by Bellatrix, to do something would have cost us both our lives, but hearing her screams and seeing her pain, it made me want to never again witness that amount of pain in anyone, not even Ron Weasley. So drawing on that, when I saw Hermione she was in pain once more and I needed to do something so I’m helping her, and she’s right we are close now.”
Luna nodded satisfied as she consulted her notes and jotted little things here and there on different lines.
“So you’re not dating?” Luna then pressed. Both Hermione and Draco shook their heads, Draco a little less vigorously than Hermione, something Luna noticed but chose not to note. “Do you want to say why you passed over the company Draco?”
“It was just something I needed to do. I’ve never wanted to be a part of my father’s company, I’ve never wanted to follow his plans for me, so at the first opportunity I stopped following orders and started living my life how I want to,” Draco answered. Luna simply smiled to herself and then looked at the last questions on her list but scribbled them out.
“Finally, I figured you’ve received some backlash from the first article. Draco I feel you’ve addressed your stance on the pureblood way but Hermione what about you?” Luna said all business and no play.
“Yes actually. I received a fair few horrible letters from muggleborns and people who generally looked to me to set the bar on their daughters. Muggleborns have spent their lives being oppressed, disregarded and treated like less than dirt by the pureblood scum they spoke about. Yet what they said to me was no better than what certain purebloods have said to me in the past. You can’t accuse someone of being scum and then behave the same way. Like Draco said, all blood is red and we all bleed the same. For those that look to me to set the bar for their daughters, you should all find a new role model. I am nothing special, I’ve been told I’m bright, but that’s because I lived my life in a book and built my home in the library. If not for Harry and Ron I would probably be this unknown muggleborn witch, too uptight to have any fun and too bright for my own good. I’m looked up to because I stood next to Harry in a war that he won and not because I did something amazingly brilliant that deserves respect. I am also only human. If they can honestly raise their hands and say they’ve never been utterly smashed, only then can they judge me on my behaviour on Wednesday of last week. I am however, very sorry that their daughters saw me like that,” Hermione spoke fiercely. Luna smiled as she listened to what Hermione had to say. The girl talking sounded like the girl who had spoken in Hogwarts, the girl who had stood up to Umbridge’s regime and forced Harry to form the DA. She sounded like Hermione.
“I guess that’s it you two. If I’m going to get this out tomorrow I must be on my way now but thank you,” Luna smiled dreamily as her natural demeanour came back. Hermione, Draco and Luna stood simultaneously and Hermione hugged her friend.
“No thank you Luna. I’m glad you’re doing this for us. Anyone else would have twisted our words all back to front and inside out. Are you sure you don’t need paying for this?”
“Honestly Mione. I will make more off Quibbler sales of your interview than you could give me so yes, I’m sure I do not need you to pay me,” Luna smiled. Draco stood nervously as Luna’s eyes raked over him. “Don’t be a stranger Draco,” Luna then said dreamily before she collected her things and let herself out.
Both Draco and Hermione stood facing the doorway after Luna had left slightly stunned and were only broken out of it when Narcissa walked out from the spare bedroom.
“Draco dear what was that about?” Narcissa questioned as she waved her wand to summon a book from Draco’s library.
“Luna Longbottom has taken over the Quibbler from her father and she was doing an interview,” Draco answered as he peered at the title before raising an eyebrow.
“What was she interviewing you for? And don’t look at me like that young man,” Narcissa smiled.
“Mother you’ve read the story a thousand times and she wasn’t interviewing me per se, she was interviewing Hermione,” Draco grinned as he sat down on the sofa and flicked on the TV before changing to a sports channel showing a football match between Man U and Chelsea that had just started. Hermione rolled her eyes when she saw Draco’s choice of channel then turned to Narcissa who was watching the box with wide eyes.
“It’s a television, a muggle device that they use for entertainment,” Hermione explained briefly.
“But there’s people in the box,” Narcissa mumbled. Draco tipped his head back and caught his mother’s eye with a mischievous look in his eye. Narcissa noted the look in his eyes and aimed a swat at the back of his head causing him to duck.
“You understand how we have moving photographs right? Well in the muggle world they can create things like our moving photographs without magic. They call them recordings and once done they can broadcast them to televisions so we can see what they’ve made. Once it’s on our TV it’s called a show and you can watch whatever’s broadcasting at the time by using the remote that Draco’s sat on,” Hermione explained, her voice lilting into a soft smile as she noticed Draco. Draco looked over at Hermione and smirked.
“Why are you sat on the remote Draco?” Narcissa sniffed as she moved to sit in an armchair with her book.
“Because Mi is not a big fan of football and likes to take the remote and change it onto these terrible Drama’s, Eastenders, Neighbours and Home and Away being three of her favourites yet three of the worst things I’ve ever witnessed,” Draco explained as he smiled sweetly at Hermione. Hermione scowled as she sat down on the other end of the sofa and summoned one of her own books from her beaded handbag in Draco’s room.
“They’re a refreshing break from the ups and downs of the wizarding world,” Hermione sighed as she aimed a soft kick at Draco’s leg. Draco pretended he could neither hear nor feel and Hermione scowled deeper as she opened her book.
Until the end of the 90 minute game, including half time, Narcissa, Hermione and Draco sat in relative silence, except for when whatever team Draco was supporting scored. Then he would let out noises of happiness and Narcissa and Hermione would shush him loudly. Only when the game was finished did Draco stand up and offer to make dinner, a sentiment that both Hermione and Narcissa appreciated greatly, until something started to burn.
“Draco what the hell are you burning?” Hermione questioned without looking up from her book. Only when the scent of burning got heavier, did Hermione jump up and run to the kitchen area where she saw Draco trying to stop something from burning without magic. “What are you doing?!” Hermione then yelled as she went to move the man out the way.
“I’m trying to do things the muggle way! How do you do it so easily?” Draco yelled back as he stood his ground.
“I was taught, now move so I can rescue it,” Hermione hissed. Draco narrowed his eyes and refused to move anywhere. Then they heard the murmured sound of a spell and the smell of burning disappeared as did the burnt food. Instead the kitchen set about making a meal all by itself causing Hermione and Draco to turn towards Narcissa who was calmly reading.
“If left to you two, the food would have set on fire by now,” Narcissa then sniffed with a slight smirk. Hermione scowled at Draco and then ran for the remote getting it just before Draco who refused it up without a fight and set to tickling Hermione. With a squeal Hermione wriggled away from the man and skipped to the other side of the room, leaving Draco on the sofa looking over the top of it sneakily.
Knowing he was up to something Hermione readied her magic for an attack even though she didn’t have her wand and just as she did so she felt a tingle across her neck causing her to reflexively swipe her hand through the air summoning a shield that blocked Draco’s tickle spell before it hit her. Only the shield caused the spell to ricochet off and head in the direction of Narcissa. Hermione gasped and without conscious control of her doing it a shield sprang up over Narcissa at the last possible second and the spell having hit a second more powerful shield disintegrated. Draco stood gawping at Narcissa for 5 full seconds, giving Hermione enough time to summon her wand from the floor by the couch. Hermione then sent a non-verbal tickling spell at Draco, one he was too slow to block, and he doubled over with laughter, clutching his sides as the spell attacked him.
“Do you give in?” Hermione asked as she picked his wand up off the floor. Draco watched her with tears in his eyes, he wanted to say no, but the tickling was gradually becoming more intense.
“I give in, please, please stop,” Draco gasped between breaths and laughter. Hermione let out a quiet chuckle and lifted the spell, and watched Draco as the last vestiges of laughter left his body before he fell limp on the ground. Alarmed Hermione fell to the floor by him and began checking his pulse, only to find that his arms had carefully snaked around her waist and she had no way of getting free. Draco tugged her body towards his and holding her on top of him he kissed her, feeling utterly delighted when she kissed back.
The next morning Hermione woke up in Draco’s arms with her head on his chest and she smiled sleepily.
“Good Morning,” Draco breathed. Hermione sat up then and looked down at Draco with a small smile. He slowly raised a hand and brushed her hair behind her ear then ran a soft finger across her lips. “Your article should have made the paper today right?” Draco then asked.
“Yes, and Luna’s interview,” Hermione smiled as she lay back down with her head on her own pillow. Draco turned to face her resting his head on his elbow and watched the sunlight play on her rosy lips.
“Are you sure you don’t want your own room Mi?” Draco suddenly asked as he captured the milk chocolate orbs of the beauty next to him with his own grey eyes.
“Not at the minute I don’t, at the minute I’m fine,” Hermione smiled, then she turned away from him to get out of bed, only to have Draco take hold of her arm and turn her to face him. Slowly he caught her chin and brought his lips to hers and kissed her softly, before pulling away and turning onto his back as he pretended not to see her shiver.
Hermione left the bed and went through to the main room and Draco remained in his bed listening to the sound of the TV drifting through his flat. His mother had always been an early riser and always a curious cat too, he had no doubts at all that his mother had managed to operate the TV in the amount of time they had been asleep. He heard the quiet voices of Hermione and his mother drift through the house, Hermione sounding more and more excited, before she burst back into the room.
“They’re here!” Hermione yelled. Draco looked towards the door and chuckled at the sight that met his eyes. Hermione was smiling widely, her eyes alight with all the spark they had held when she was answering a question at school and in her arms she held a copy of the Daily Prophet and the Quibbler along with a handful of personal mail. She skipped over to the bed and plonked herself next to Draco and handed him the prophet to read while she set to reading the Quibbler.
Rita Skeeter’s Bug Problem
By Hermione Granger
Rita Skeeter, esteemed journalist for the Daily Prophet, rose quickly to the top of her career straight after leaving Hogwarts. She somehow had a knack for finding the juiciest stories and writing them before anyone even had a chance. So after seeing her stellar stories, why would anyone have any reason to doubt the innocence of the young platinum blonde witch?
For the first years of her career Rita kept her stories strictly to the truth, not one word of a lie was written, even if her stories may have contained a bit more detail than the sane person would reveal to a journalist. But gradually as society called for a dirtier “truth” Rita’s stories became harsher and less on the straight and narrow pathway.
During my fourth year, as the entire wizarding world knew, the Triwizard Tournament came to Hogwarts, everyone also knew that Harry was chosen as a Hogwarts champion (which was later revealed as one of Voldemort’s earlier plots in the second war). During that year Harry came under scrutiny by the Daily Prophet and Witch Weekly through none other than Rita Skeeter. Very soon she was making Harry into something that he is not, eventually including myself in the mix in stories written for Witch Weekly about a supposed “love triangle” involving myself, Harry and Victor Krum. None of which was true.
Rita was eventually banned from Hogwarts grounds shortly after the first task, but yet she still managed to get strange scoops on a personal level about Harry and myself. Curious I began to research how someone could be in a school unseen by anyone except those giving her direct interviews. I came up with theories like as invisibility cloaks and spells, none of which could be true as she would still require proximity to hear the stories.
My answer came to me near the end of the year when I remembered that after the second task a “water beetle” was pulled from my hair during a private conversation, a conversation which appeared in an article written by Rita Skeeter. I eventually unearthed that Rita Skeeter is an Animagus. As seen in the pictures on the right, Rita Skeeter’s animal form is a beetle with markings around the antennae similar to the shape of her glasses.
Yet that’s not all, not only is Rita Skeeter an animagus, but she is an unregistered animagus, an offence that usually gains the offender a minimum of 5 years in the newly developed Prison of Azkaban. The length of the sentence depends on how the offender used their animagus form, and as Rita Skeeter used hers to spy on people and then spread their personal business about mixed in with a large dosage of untruths, I wouldn’t expect her sentence to be a small one.
Many of you might ask why I didn’t tell anyone about this 4 years ago when I found out about it. Well I was 15 and incredibly innocent. I preferred to see the best in people no matter what they did, so I gave her a second chance. I had no reason to be reminded of her until her recent story about me, which told not only a fair few private matters, but twisted them around into a lie. But better late than never.
A note from the head auror – We arrested Ms Skeeter last night at 9:00pm after we were made aware of her whereabouts and she awaits trial although pleads her innocence.
“Damn,” Draco whistled. “You write a pretty solid story Mione,” Draco then grinned. Only when he looked up his grin vanished as he saw Hermione was not holding the Quibbler but staring at the bunch of personal mail on the bed with tears cascading down her face.
So there you have it, Hermione’s revenge story and Rita’s punishment so far, also you got Luna’s interview. I think there’s a pretty fair amount in there, although I don’t feel like it’s one of my better chapters. Yet never fear, I did a quick plan and if I include all that I have, you’re set to get another 16 chapters and more (I didn’t plan to the end of the story).
I’m not going to spill anything about why Hermione’s crying (again), but I shall update as fast as I can because I’m rushing off to write the next chapter now XD
But as always, leave me a review in the little box below, I love to read them and answer them when I can and they always make me feel that little bit happier.
Ooh on a final note, just to clear up any confusion with my spelling or phrasing, I am British although some words I think I use the American for. Sorry :)
~ eden xxx
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