Chapter 15 : Silent Treatment
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“Mione?” Draco questioned as he shifted towards the shaking witch. “Mione what is it?” Draco placed his hands either side of Hermione’s face and made her meet his eyes. But when she met them he saw, not a look of utter despair, but a look of happiness and he frowned at her.
“The Weasley’s,” Hermione smiled through her tears.
“What about them?” Draco asked as he wiped her tears away.
“They…dammit just read them,” Hermione smiled as she handed the wad of envelopes to Draco. Draco raised an eyebrow as he saw the letters.
“You want me to read them all?” Draco groaned.
“Fine, just read George’s, Mrs Weasley’s and Ginny’s,” Hermione grinned. Draco groaned to himself but quickly found the letters she mentioned.
So I should think that you’ve received a fair few letters from my family. I spoke to them, and yes I spoke nicely. I just told them what you told me, I hope you don’t mind that I told them, I just feel like they should know what you did for them and start moving and helping you in the same way you helped us.
Write back and tell me what they said, Harry is finishing this letter so I have no idea what he’s going to write, so tell me if he writes something I should hex him for.
Love always Ginny
You should know that Ginny had a shouting match with George and yelled at the Weasley’s leaving them with a threat, so do not be surprised if all your letters mention Ginny at some point. Also Mione I’m sorry. I don’t know why I didn’t notice what you were going through a long time ago. I’ve known you since first year and I should have recognised what you were doing and been there for you, but I didn’t and for that Mione I am sorry. I’m coming by later so make sure Draco knows.
P.s when I say later, I know you’ll get these in the early morning with your prophet which by the way, I can’t wait to read!
“You’re telling me that Potter didn’t realise you weren’t healed?” Draco suddenly sneered. Hermione glanced up at Draco and frowned at him.
“Stop being an ass Draco, no one realised,” Hermione whispered. Draco looked up at Hermione and saw her biting her lip nervously and her nervous habit made him want to comfort her and take her for his own at the same time. Draco shook his thoughts from his head and opened Mrs Weasley’s letter.
Hermione dearest, I am sorry to hear from Ginny how you truly felt and I am deeply ashamed that I didn’t realise what you were doing to hide your feelings for my benefit. I am also incredibly sorry for your loss. I feel like I should have done more for you when you first found out, but I shall make up for it.
Hermione you have always been like a second daughter to me, I will always love you as one of my own and my door will always be open to you no matter what time of the day it is. And good luck with Draco Malfoy, I ran into his mother a couple of days ago. The change in Narcissa is absolutely shocking, she actually smiled at me can you believe it? But if you send your owl I will send you some cakes and things unless you want to pop around and get them.
Love from Molly
Draco dropped Mrs Weasley’s letter on the bed and fell back laughing so suddenly that Hermione jumped a mile in the air and then glared at him, but her glare only made him laugh harder.
“What pray tell is so funny?” Hermione asked with her hands on her hips.
“Firstly the fact that you’re so angry, secondly, the fact Mrs Weasley is shocked that my mother has changed. Losing a psychopathic husband you hold no love for generally changes people like that,” Draco said, sobering up quickly as he sat up. Hermione shook her head and turned back to the Quibbler article she was reading. “By the way, what does Molly mean by your owl? Do you have one?” Draco asked.
“I was going to get one before I left The Burrow, but I didn’t in the end,” Hermione answered before again turning back to her magazine. Draco sighed and turned to George’s letter.
I’m sorry. Ginny came around yesterday morning and almost hexed some sense into me. I’m not going to do what Charlie and Bill are doing and say sorry, I’m here if you need me. I’m going to tell you the truth.
To be honest although you helped me, I envied you, I hated you and quite frankly I wanted you gone. Why? Because you were never seen to be crying, you didn’t have those permanent red rings around your eyes, you didn’t have bags from lack of sleep and everyone woke someone up if they were sharing a room but Ginny told me you slept the night through. Not once did you ever wake up screaming blue murder. I hated that. You acted as if the deaths of Remus, Tonks and Fred just rolled off you without touching you, leaving you standing as perfectly as you had been before they died. You just went from person to person putting pieces together as if we were your favourite jigsaw puzzle. Only nothing could ever fill the void Fred left in the Weasley family picture.
Yet against all odds you healed us, you helped me, you put me back on my feet and got me running the shop again. You got mom working again, you got her smiling, she stopped losing weight, dad stopped losing hair, Ginny stopped screaming herself awake every night and Harry started sleeping and eating. You worked on us all one by one till we were whole again and then you just slotted in happily.
But I never could forgive you for being happy or at least okay when we were all broken, and then to see you in the paper with Malfoy. To see that you had run out on us and gone to Malfoy after finally showing you weren’t made of stone was the final straw.
Then Ginny came back and explained. I didn’t realise you had silenced yourself before you went to sleep, nor did I realise that you were always using vanity spells to clear the red eyes, or that you thought your loss was less than ours and we needed someone who wasn’t crying. Now I know all that I am sorry for what I thought about you.
You are the bravest, strongest and most selfless person I know and I am proud to call you my sister, so if you ever need me you know where I am.
“That’s pretty intense Mi,” Draco murmured as he placed the letter next to him on the bed.
“You just read George’s letter?” Hermione asked as she looked up. Draco nodded and opened his arms for Hermione who after hesitating for a second climbed back onto the bed and into his warm embrace.
“Well at least you have your Weasley’s back on side,” Draco said. Hermione couldn’t see his face but she could hear the smirk in his voice and she poked him in the side.
“Are you hungry?” Hermione then asked. Draco nodded and let Hermione go so he could get up and pull on a tee-shirt and his joggers. He would normally just wear his joggers or on some days just his boxers, but with his mother in the house he had to be fully dressed.
Hermione skipped out of Draco’s room and handed Narcissa the Prophet and the Quibbler before heading over to the kitchen to make breakfast.
“Narcissa is there anything you want for breakfast?” Hermione asked over her shoulder.
“I’m fine with whatever you make Hermione,” Narcissa answered as she turned off the TV.
Within half an hour Hermione, Draco and Narcissa were sat around Draco’s table eating the breakfast Hermione had made and Narcissa had been full of praise for Hermione’s muggle cooking.
“Oh by the way, Ginny and Harry will probably stop by later on today. I say them both because they never go anywhere without the other. Narcissa smiled while Draco just nodded.
Yet just as Draco finished his nod the floo lit up in a burst of brilliant green flames and Ginny stepped out gracefully. Harry was right behind her but he managed to fall out of the fireplace and almost fall, causing Draco to snort.
“Eight years of using a floo and you still cannot land right, Harry do you ever learn?” Hermione asked with a sigh as Harry stood up and straightened his glasses. Harry scowled at the black haired witch before him before his features relaxed and he strode over and pulled her into a bone crushing hug. Startled, Hermione froze and Draco and Narcissa could only stare.
“Mione I’m so, so, so, so unbelievably sorry. Those months after the war before Hogwarts I should have been there for you, I should have realised you needed someone by the fact you were wearing a stone mask and had become almost as good as a Malfoy at hiding emotion. I knew you wouldn’t want to show weakness when you were quite obviously broken, but I couldn’t drag myself out of wherever I was long enough to help you. Instead you dragged us all out one by one and didn’t shed a single tear. You are the bravest, strongest, most stupidly stubborn witch I’ve ever met and your actions would put Godric Gryffindor, and all his braveness, to shame. But even though I don’t deserve it, do you forgive me?” Harry said sincerely as he murmured to Hermione. Hermione could hear the humour in his voice at points but at the same time she could feel engulfing aura of guilt and sadness emanating off him and sliding into her.
Just as Hermione registered the aura she began to wriggle so Harry wasn’t wrapping her in his arms too tightly, he let her go willingly and looked down into her eyes. Hermione found herself staring into the bright emerald eyes of the man she considered her brother and best friend and she smiled and nodded. She could never refuse Harry, she loved the silly plonker too much.
“Now what did the Weasley’s say?” Ginny asked. Hermione heaved a great sigh and then accioed her letters from Draco’s bed and handed them to Ginny.
“If you really want to know, you won’t mind reading through them all right?” Hermione snickered. Ginny rolled her eyes and then chose only one letter to read. Hermione only had to glance at the length of the letter to know it belonged to George.
“Mione your story was so good,” Harry grinned as he picked up the prophet from the table and beamed at the large picture of an arrested Rita Skeeter.
“It wasn’t that good Harry. It was just facts, opinions and pictures, the only good thing is the fact that she is already arrested and if she resists questioning they can use Veritaserum on her to get the truth, or force her into her animagus form. There is absolutely no way she can wriggle out of this,” Hermione grinned as she sat back down in her seat. Harry then turned his attention to Draco’s style of dress.
“Since when did you wear clothes in the morning Draco?” Harry asked frowning as he sat in a chair he conjured up. Draco’s eyebrows raked up under his fringe as Hermione and Ginny both snorted. “You know what I mean! I distinctly remember coming to drop off a book for Hermione the one morning and you were roaming in only your boxers. You then said you roamed like this every morning and we had a mini argument about…” Harry trailed off as Draco relaxed and snickered.
“Anyone would think you like seeing me in my underwear Potter,” Draco drawled and Harry gave Draco a dead pan look. Hermione, quickly seeing where this was going jumped in to answer Harry’s question.
“Narcissa’s staying with us until she gets married because Malfoy Manor rejected her, so Draco decided to wear clothes,” Hermione answered simply. Narcissa nodded her head to back up Hermione’s statement; only, this caused Harry to look between the two bedrooms then at the three people.
“Separate bedrooms right?” Harry asked as he narrowed his eyes at Draco
“Harry stop being a prude! We’re sharing a queen sized bed, it’s not like we even touch each other,” Hermione scolded. What she said was half the truth and half a lie. Yes they were sharing a queen sized bed, but they were definitely touching as Draco would always hold her close as they slept. The look Harry was giving her told her that he definitely didn’t believe Hermione was telling the entire truth but her prude comment made him close his mouth. Ginny looked up at Hermione as she set down George’s letter.
“I should apologise to him shouldn’t I?” Ginny asked meekly. Hermione looked up at her best friend slightly shocked.
“I wouldn’t apologise just, I dunno say something about his letter. It was sweet to read and I should probably stop by soon,” Hermione answered before she pursed her lips in thought.
“Probably but for now pass me that Quibbler, I wanna know what Luna wrote,” Ginny said as she held her hand out for the magazine Narcissa had left next to Hermione. Hermione rolled her eyes and handed the magazine to her fiery friend.
“That reminds me, what did she say?” Draco suddenly piped up. Hermione looked across the table and noticed him toying with his food nervously.
“She wrote exactly what we told her, with a few comments on unfair journalism on the prophets behalf, and all the stuff that would turn the public in our favour while stating that although we’re living together and have a couple of dinners, we are nothing more than close friends,” Hermione said as she copied Draco in pushing her food around.
Draco watched Hermione’s hair fall forwards over her shoulder sadly. The woman he was so obviously in love with had publically friend zoned him despite the searing kisses she would give him. He knew he was letting too many emotions show on his face in the way that his mother was looking at him curiously and even Harry had picked up on something being out of sorts, it was only a matter of seconds before Hermione would look up and…
“What’s up Draco?” Hermione asked as she met his eyes. Draco found himself lost in the milk chocolate depths of her eyes as he struggled to find something to say.
“Nothing,” Draco then murmured harshly and he pushed away from the table and strode off to his room, waving his wand harshly at a blank space of the wall so that a new door appeared, but before he could observe anyone’s reactions to it, he slammed his door, stripped off and sank back into the bed that unfortunately, still smelt like the witch he wanted to avoid.
Hermione watched Draco’s door slam and winced, before she turned to look at the new door. Ginny was the first one up and she quickly darted across the room to open the door next to Narcissa’s bedroom. Standing up Hermione followed Ginny to the door and she realised it was another bedroom. A room of a more modest size when compared with Draco’s and decorated in colours of cream and lilac. Hermione knew instinctually that it was her room, and she couldn’t sort out whether she was relieved or saddened at the fact he’d made a room for her.
“I thought you were sharing a room?” Harry asked quietly.
“Were being the operative word. Now this room’s been made I’m quite obviously not sharing with him,” Hermione said as she folded her arms across her chest, not in an angry gesture, but one that made Harry want to hold her tight.
“Why’s he done this?” Ginny asked. Hermione shrugged and Harry looked between the two girls and frowned the he pieced together Hermione’s last words before Draco suddenly stormed off and he grimaced. Unfortunately for him, Ginny caught the look and glared at him, only relaxing when he mimed telling her later. Hermione had enough on her plate without knowing that she had caused her recent problem by friend-zoning a guy who quite obviously loved her.
The first couple of days after they started sleeping separately were a struggle for Draco but from his point of view, were not much a struggle for Hermione. While she had taken to reading everything and anything in his library, Draco had had more than enough time on his hands to mope and feel sad about this friend-zone until it was driving him crazy. His mother had been into his room on more than a few occasions to complain at him and tell him he was being silly about the forced split, but no matter how many times she visited, he left her with the same closing line. “It’s easier this way”. But although Draco’s feelings only intensified with the passing weeks up to his mother’s wedding, he kept them under wraps by adopting the emotionless attitude he had perfected as a child.
Yet contrary to what Draco believed Hermione was actually having a hard time of it. She loved falling asleep next too Draco, he made her feel safe and secure and she did have feelings for him. But for the life of her she couldn’t figure out why Draco had made the third room or why he was keeping his distance from her. Harry knew but wouldn’t say, claiming it was Draco’s business if he wished to say or not. So Hermione slept late and woke early, cast all manner of vanity spells on herself so she could look alive, then buried her head in a book and acted as if she wasn’t affected by the expressionless Draco that she lived with.
As the days drew closer to Narcissa’s wedding, Hermione spent more and more time with Narcissa helping her prepare for her wedding until the night before when Narcissa was experimenting with hairstyles in front of her mirror.
“Hermione,” Narcissa started. Hermione looked up from the small book she was reading and focused on Narcissa, meeting her baby blue eyes in the mirror.
“Cissy?” Hermione questioned.
“Hermione please talk to Draco,” Narcissa pleaded.
“And say what? He refuses to talk to me aside from who’s cooking. I don’t know what I did wrong!” Hermione suddenly burst out. “I don’t need his drama on top of everything else I’ve been dealing with. I’m sorry Cissy but I can’t.” Narcissa simply continued her eye contact with Hermione before nodding with a deep sigh and returning her wand to her hair.
Draco jumped when he heard Hermione’s voice loudly through his mother’s bedroom door, what shocked him even more was the fact Hermione had no clue what he was pissed at her about, then he felt guilty for his behaviour. She was right; she didn’t his drama on top of everything else that she had suffered. He needed to get a grip and get over himself. Then his house phone rang causing him to jump more at the shrill sound.
Hermione had installed the phone the previous week as an easier way to talk to her friends so naturally only she used it, but Draco waited for Hermione to get the phone but when she didn’t appear he cautiously made his way up to the phone and picked it up, placing it to his ear the way he had seen Hermione do.
“So Hermione how’s the ferret?” Ginny said as soon as the phone was picked up.
“Hey!” Draco growled as he heard Ginny’s words.
“Oh hey Ferret, how’re you?” Ginny said with a laugh.
“Do you want Hermione?” Draco asked, bypassing Ginny’s question.
“No actually, are you somewhere where you can’t be heard?” Ginny answered after a few seconds.
“I’m in my living room, why?”
“I want to talk to you Ferret,” Ginny growled. Draco suddenly very afraid moved to his room and silenced the door.
“Okay, I’m ready,” Draco whispered as he let out a breath.
“What the fuck are you playing at?! Hermione needs you, yet you’re blocking her out because your pride has been hurt! You knew what you were getting yourself into when you got involved with a damaged girl, so explain yourself!” Ginny yelled down the phone. Draco winced and pulled the phone away from his ear.
“Firstly, ow, that happened to be my ear you screamed down, secondly, I don’t know, I was coming to the conclusion that I need to grow up,” Draco sighed. Ginny said nothing, and then the phone went dead. Draco looked at the phone in his hand and then made his way out to his room to place the phone on the hook but found he was met by Hermione. “Hi,” Draco murmured as he placed the phone on the hook.
Hermione whipped around in shock and Draco smiled slightly.
“So you’re finally talking to me?” Hermione hissed. Draco’s eyes narrowed at the witch in front of him.
“Well trying to, but if you’re going to be…” Draco started but Hermione overrode him.
“Save it Draco, I don’t wanna hear it,” Hermione hissed, as she strode towards her bedroom and summoned a coat, putting it on before heading to the front door.
“Where are you going?” Draco growled.
“Out!” Hermione yelled before striding out the door and slamming it behind her.
“So when I try and apologise, she’s a complete drama queen about it!” Draco yelled to his flat. Narcissa suddenly opened her door.
“Well what do you expect Draco?” Narcissa asked.
“Not you too,” Draco raged as he headed to his bedroom, but before he could shut the door his Mother appeared in the doorway.
“You pushed her away Draco, for what reason, she can’t see, but it was you who did that. So when you put her through all your drama and finally get over yourself and want to talk to her, do not expect her to come rushing back to you all happy that you’ve finally spoken one word to her,” Narcissa said sternly. She could see her son’s anger in the set of his shoulders and the tight fists, but she continued until she had finished what she wanted to say before walking out of his room and shutting the door, summoning her coat and following Hermione out the door.
Meanwhile Hermione had made her way down to the lowest floor of Draco’s flat and made her way to a small café over the road. It had been raining for no apparent reason once again, but then September needed no excuse to rain in Britain, so by the time Hermione arrived her hair and her coat was soaked. Clenching her fist around her wizarding money she turned it into muggle money so she could buy herself a coffee.
“Hey miss what can I get you?” The guy behind the counter asked as he wrote down a previous order for food. Then he looked up and gasped. In front of him stood a beautiful woman, wet yes, but she was absolutely gorgeous although she had this crease between her eyebrows and a tightening around her eyes that showed she wasn’t feeling very happy.
“Just a coffee please, with milk,” Hermione answered before handing over her money and running a hand through her wet hair. “Is there anywhere I can dry off a bit as well?” Hermione asked.
“The ladies room has a hand dryer if that would work,” the guy supplied as he cashed Hermione’s money. “I’m a bit behind at the minute, but when you’re dry your coffee should be ready.”
“Thank you,” Hermione murmured then she followed the signs to the ladies washroom. Once there she locked the door after making sure there was no one in there and used her wand to partially dry her hair, then stood with her hand under the hand dryer to keep it running, before she deemed herself in there for long enough and went to collect her coffee.
When she went out there she was met by Narcissa holding Hermione’s coffee.
“Hermione,” Narcissa started, her voice was soft but Hermione had come to known Narcissa well enough in her isolation that she could hear the almost silent pleading edge to her voice.
“Please don’t,” Hermione sighed as she sat down in a chair. Narcissa followed her and sat down opposite her, simply observing as Hermione drank her coffee.
“I’m asking you for my sake, to play nice with Draco, just for tomorrow,” Narcissa said. She wasn’t really asking a question so Hermione couldn’t say no. Narcissa left no room for movement, so she nodded reluctantly. “When you’ve calmed down you should come back to the flat, it’s getting late. I’ll leave you to your peace for now,” Narcissa said, then she was gone as quickly as she had come, pulling up the hood on her long cloak before she left.
Hermione finished her coffee slowly and after a while she was the last person left in the café.
“Hey miss, I need to close now,” The guy who served her called as he pulled on his jacket and jangled the keys in his hand. Hermione jumped and looked up at the guy with brown eyes and blonde hair. She smiled softly as she stood and pulled her hair over her shoulder and went to leave, bracing herself for the pouring rain that had only become harder.
“Thanks,” Hermione smiled as she went to walk away, but the guy called her again.
“Hey, you’ve forgotten your…” he trailed off as he picked up what he was holding. Hermione turned around and saw a long black cloak hanging from his hands. The cloak belonged to Draco and she quickly took it from the boy.
“My cloak, thank you,” Hermione smiled as she walked closer. She was loathe to do this, but it would be better if he didn’t remember two strange looking people in his café. As she reached him she took the cloak and raised her hand to his temple with a soft smile. With a soft murmur she obliviated the memory he had of the two witches, then swung the cloak over her shoulders and shuddered in its warmth and the smell that was distinctly Draco and after grabbing the note attached to the cloak, left quickly. Out in the rain Hermione pulled the hood over her head and read the note “for the rain”. Hermione quickly dropped the note and started to make her way home, noticing that there was not only a warming spell on the cloak but also a water deflecting spell.
When the guy blinked he found himself standing in the centre of his café holding his keys. With a shake of his head he flicked off the lights and noticed a small dark figure hurry past the window before he left the shop and locked it.
So this chapter was exceptionally hard to write and it’s basically a filler but more interesting stuff next chapter I promise.
Thank you to every single person who has reviewed so far, every one of them puts a smile on my face. Sorry for how long it’s taking to get these chapters up, sometimes writers block just gets to me and validation time has been long.
Anyways hope you enjoy this chapter, and I’ll see you all next chapter ;)
~ eden xxx
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