Chapter 17 : Hiding
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AN – I don’t usually do these things right at the beginning but there are five new characters which have strange names:
Shuen – (shwenn)
Sera – (Seera)
Jodem – (How it’s spelt)
Meywa – (Meewa)
Lura – (Loorah)
Hermione took off running as soon as she was out of the door and as soon as she was out of the building she turned right, not knowing where she was headed but she knew she was heading away from the centre of London. It was dark out so she wasn’t conspicuous in her black cloak but it was raining steadily. As she ran she couldn’t help but wonder as to why she wasn’t in tears and crying on the floor as opposed to running away with no emotion whatsoever, but whatever the reason was, she was glad of whatever was protecting her from herself.
After a while Hermione had to stop, she had run for nearly an hour just like she had done in the morning before she found out about her parents. And by the time she caught herself she was in the middle of a small town somewhere and the spells on her cloak had worn off. Silently kicking herself Hermione couldn’t fathom the reason she had run all the way out here on her own at midnight. All she had on her for her protection was her wand, but then truthfully that was all she needed. If she ran into muggles she could get away with an obliviate, if she ran into wizards however she was in trouble. With an angry wave of her wand Hermione tried to replace the spells on the cloak, yet her magic wouldn’t hold and she pulled it off her shoulders and checked it.
“Well that’s just fucking brilliant isn’t it,” Hermione cursed under her breath as she recognised the cloak as Draco’s, Draco protected all his belongings with spells so only he could tamper with them, which basically meant Hermione was going to get wet. So figuring she would need some kind of shelter, she drew her wand and held it flat in her hand.
“Point me,” Hermione whispered as she concentrated hard on finding some shelter. The wand span in her hand for a second then pointed down the road the way she had been heading.
After half an hour of walking the wand pointed to her direct left, and Hermione peered into the window curiously. What she was looking at was a small bookshop on the lower floor of an old small Tudor house. Looking up Hermione noticed that there was a light on. So taking a deep breath and removing her sodden cloak she knocked the door as the rain pelted her face. There was no reply for a few minutes and just as Hermione raised her hand to knock again the door flew open and a small elderly woman peered out.
“Hello. I’m sorry to bother you, I just…I need somewhere to stay for the night,” Hermione shivered as her teeth chattered around the words.
“Good Lord, come in come in,” the elderly woman said sounding shocked as she stood back. Hermione walked slowly across the threshold and stood in the small cosy shop area until the elderly woman took her hand and pulled her to the back, up a flight of stairs to a small bathroom. “Here, you’re absolutely freezing. Have a bath and I’ll provide you with some clothes and a bed for the night yes,” The woman said. “Heaven knows why you were out in that rain at this hour, you could catch a cold or you could have been hurt or anything could have happened to you.” Hermione stood awkwardly as the woman continued nattering about the perils of the night as she filled the bath.
“I’ll just get you some night clothes then you can have your bath.” Hermione nodded as she shivered violently. The warmth of the bathroom was making her feel even colder in her sodden clothes, but the elderly woman who reminded her so much of Mrs Weasley was back in seconds with a nightgown and a towel then with a smile she left Hermione to her own devices.
Hermione stripped off and then sank into the bath gratefully after wincing a fair few times at the warmth on her cold limbs. Slowly her body began to thaw out and she sighed sleepily. With a slow movement Hermione slid down the bath so she could lie with her head and hair under water and she closed her eyes and breathed in and out softly as she felt her emotions surface and leave her at the same time until eventually she sat up and smiled to herself. Climbing out of the bath Hermione dried herself off, pulled on the nightgown and then slung her bag over her shoulder as she picked up the wet clothes before unlocking the door. What she saw made her smile as she found the lady sitting on a little sofa in the middle of the corridor with her feet tucked up and a large volume on her lap.
“Hi,” Hermione smiled. The lady looked up and smiled as she slowly stood up.
“There, you look much better poppet. Now I’ve made up a bed for you in the spare room and you’ll be cosy enough there for tonight. We can talk tomorrow morning, goodnight dear,” The lady smiled as she pointed towards the bedroom door before walking through another door with her large book. Hermione shook her head as she headed through the door. How can one woman be so utterly caring and trusting? But from the time Hermione had rolled under her pillows, sleep had taken her away.
The following morning found Draco lying in his bed with his hands behind his head as he stared at the ceiling. Last night he had cried, he had screamed and he had broken a fair few things. Yet nothing really seemed to purge him of the guilt and the brokenness he was feeling. Hermione had told him she was actually starting to not hate him and he had ruined it all with his stupid pride. While he lay there he heard the phone ring three times in succession, then he heard an apparition crack and heard Ginny shouting Hermione’s name. With a growl Draco dragged himself out of bed and yanked on some jogging bottoms before opening his doorway and staring at the red head sat on his sofa.
“She’s gone,” Draco said clearly. Ginny jumped as she looked up at Draco. Then she narrowed her eyes.
“What do you mean by she’s gone?”
“I mean, last night we had an argument and she walked straight out of that door,” Draco answered, enunciating every syllable carefully.
“What the hell did you do?” Ginny growled as she advanced on him. Draco narrowed his eyes at Ginny and walked across to the other side of the room by his kitchen where he casually poured himself a firewhisky and watched the red head as he downed his drink. “What are you doing?” Ginny asked as her eyes widened. Draco shrugged as he set the glass on the side and folded his arms across his chest.
“I told her I loved her,” Draco murmured. Ginny’s eyes widened as she stared him. “And she told me, no I don’t, I’m lying.”
“What?” Ginny gasped as she started to walk towards him.
“Don’t Weasley. I don’t need your pity,” Draco growled as he interpreted the look in Ginny’s eyes. Ginny froze where she was and then crossed her arms over her chest.
“What did you say to make her leave?” Ginny suddenly asked. Draco levelled a cold gaze at the red-head across from him.
“I told her she was right. How could anyone love her, annoying, know-it-all bookworm that she is, no wonder Weasley left her,” Draco said quietly as he looked at the floor. He heard a few quick steps and then felt a slap across his face.
“How dare you,” Ginny snarled as she raised her hand again. Draco caught her wrist and stared straight into her angry brown eyes. Whatever she saw there caused her to sober and start to pull away with an apology on her lips.
“Get out,” Draco snarled as he threw the witch away from him and walked to his bedroom and slammed the door.
“Draco!” Ginny yelled through the door. Draco screamed in frustration and then went to open the door.
“Get the fuck out of my flat Weasley!” Draco yelled.
“Not until you listen to me!” Ginny screamed back.
“Save your breath. I don’t want to hear it!” Draco yelled.
“No! Listen to me!”
“If you won’t leave I will,” Draco growled as he threw on a tee-shirt and pulled on his cloak and some pumps before apparating away back to Malfoy Manor where he was greeted the silent halls.
Hermione was woken up in the morning by the woman knocking on the door but when she opened the door she unpleasantly surprised by the way the woman was holding her wand.
“That’s mine,” Hermione croaked.
“Oh I know, I haven’t held one of these for years,” The woman smiled as she held the wand carefully.
“Can I have it back please?” Hermione whispered. The woman smiled up at Hermione.
“What?” Hermione questioned.
“You can’t use your wand after you hide it wherever you wish to. I’m muggleborn and I gave up on it and returned to the life I was raised in. If you stay here, you can’t use this,” The woman said slowly.
“That’s fine. I’m muggleborn myself so I know how to live without magic,” Hermione said with relief as the woman handed her wand back.
“Good. Now how about you get dressed then we’ll get acquainted,” The elderly woman smiled. Hermione stared after the woman as she headed downstairs and then she turned and using wandless magic transfigured her wand into a silver necklace and hung it around her neck before she moved to get dressed.
“How do you like your tea?” The elderly woman asked as Hermione found her way to the small kitchen in the back of the bookstore.
“Two sugars with milk please,” Hermione answered as she sat down. Soon enough the woman placed the hot drink in front of Hermione and sat down. “I apologise if this sounds rude, but who are you?”
“Good question. So how about I tell you about me, and then you tell me what you can about yourself,” The woman smiled. Hermione nodded and the woman took a sip of her tea before launching into her story.
“My name is Elizabeth Rosen. When I was eleven I got the letter to go to Hogwarts and I completed my education and found a job in the ministry when I left. I was there making laws and legislation to make the muggleborn life easier because what I went through wasn’t easy. The support for me wasn’t there once I got to Hogwarts. Most of the population was pureblood; there were few half-bloods and even fewer muggleborns. I managed to find a friend in the man that became my husband later and I used to spend the holidays with his family because it was too difficult for my family to raise me. When Voldemort rose to power the first time I was almost 40 and in a big position but when I heard they were killing muggleborns muggles and blood traitors I was at work. So I rushed home to see if Richard and my 7 year old daughter were okay but when I got there the dark mark was above my house. The death eaters had killed my family” Hermione gasped as Elizabeth sighed shakily.
“As much as I’d lost everything I wasn’t ready to die so I ran. I disappeared into the muggle world and the last magic I used was a series of powerful protection spells on this bookshop and on me. No one with magic can find this place. If they can find it they would have to be specifically searching for it, and even if they were searching for it, they would only be able to find it if their intentions were pure. The magic I used on me is a glamour charm where you cannot see who I am unless you meet the conditions set on the house. Then I put my wand in a case and hid it in the attic. Out of sight out of mind… It was easy turning my back on the world that killed my family and it gave me a sense of starting over, but I could never forget even though it was 25 years ago,” Elizabeth finished sadly, then she looked up. “Enough about the sad life of an old woman, what brought you here?” Hermione finished the last of her tea and then looked deep into its depths as she started to rehash her story in her head.
“Two years ago Voldemort was high in power again, and I was best friends with Harry Potter and Ron Weasley. At the funeral of Dumbledore I made the conscious decision to go with Harry in search of Voldemort’s horcruxes so he could be defeated. But I knew that being a muggleborn would put a target over my head if being friends with Harry didn’t. So I modified my parents’ memories and sent them to Australia, with no memory of having a daughter. I then went with Harry. A year later I returned to Hogwarts after Voldemort was defeated and I asked the ministry to find my parents. In August they told me that my parents had died in a plane crash over to Australia. I practically killed my parents,” Hermione whispered as she bit her lip to stop herself from crying.
“I spent a week slipping into depressed stupors when I tried to suppress my emotions, then I met Draco Malfoy again. He took me in, looked after me and we got close and kissed a few times, but last night he told me that he loved me. But that’s stupid because he hasn’t known me as a friend for long. He knew me, but we were enemies, he being a pureblood and me being, to quote him back then, a mudblood. I told him he was lying and he admitted that he didn’t love me and he was lying. How could anyone love me, annoying know-it-all bookworm that I am. Then he tried to take it all back but I wasn’t listening to anymore lies,” Hermione finished on a hard note. Elizabeth looked at Hermione for a few seconds with her green eyes and then brushed a curly lock of grey hair back into place.
“I’m assuming you ran away and that’s how you ended up here.” Hermione nodded as she looked at her fingers. “Well. No point crying over spilt milk ay, how about you work with me in the shop today?” Elizabeth smiled. Hermione looked up shocked and then grinned.
“You would do that for me?”
“Well an old woman needs help nowadays.”
“Sweet… Oh erm, my bag has an extendable charm on it… Is it alright if I keep that? It allows me to hold all my belongings,” Hermione asked. Elizabeth observed Hermione for a few minutes then nodded.
“You set the charm before you knew you were arriving here. You had no idea that you would end up here. Anyways, we have work to do. So how about some toast then we’ll open up shop. For a small bookshop I get a fair few customers as I double as a library,” Elizabeth grinned enthusiastically. Hermione couldn’t help but return the enthusiastic smile.
Draco heard a series of loud cracks and looked around him to find five elves standing there nervously scuffing their feet as they twisted the disgusting rags his father had given them for a uniform.
“Right, what are your names?” Draco asked tiredly.
“I is Shuen and this is my Sera. That is Jodem and his Meywa and her sister Lura. We is the elves Master Lucius chose for Master Draco to own after Master Lucius passed,” The oldest male elf spoke up. Draco followed down the line and then nodded. Five high bred elves sounded exactly like the kind of thing his father would leave to him.
“Right starting from now, you call me Draco, I call you by your names no, master and elf things in my presence. Secondly I’m going to see to it that you all get uniforms and will be given pay. I am not freeing you and your pay will probably be something of a galleon or two a week, I do not wish to treat you as slaves, but I don’t I wish to disregard your loyalty to me and the manor but I feel these are necessary steps if I’m to win…” Draco stopped himself, and then he shook his head and stared down the line of his elves. Their facial expressions ranged from acceptance to fear but they each nodded.
“Jodem, Meywa, Lura I do not need your assistance at this present minute I shall call for you later,” Draco said with a slight smile and as the three elves he addressed disappeared after a stumbled ‘yes Draco’, he turned to Shuen and Sera. “You two will be personal elves. Shuen you shall be mine. Sera, you shall be the personal elf of whatever witch I take to be my wife. Now you should both be aware that I plan to pull down this manor and rebuild it how I like. I hope that you five will remain loyal to me,” Draco said. Shuen and Sera nodded and Draco dismissed them with a wave of his hand before heading up the stairs to his old bedroom where he flopped face down onto the bed.
The next two weeks passed for Hermione in very much the same way as they had the first day. She would wake up and have a cup of tea with some toast, then spend all day amongst the muggle world in the bookshop/library. Hermione and Elizabeth would talk about everything and anything and Elizabeth would help her through some of her hardest struggles, even shedding some light on a reason the one morning.
“Lizzie?” Hermione murmured as she stacked a few books on the counter
“Yes?” Elizabeth answered as she looked over from the shelf she was sorting. As she looked on the young woman she noticed a sad tint to her eyes and a crease in the centre of her forehead that clearly said she was distressed and Elizabeth recognised that look. “You’ve noticed what he meant to you haven’t you?” Hermione looked up shocked as Elizabeth voiced the question she couldn’t say.
“Yeah… I miss him, but he…” Hermione whispered then she narrowed her eyes. “He’s probably out there with some pureblood bimbo so it doesn’t matter,” Hermione snapped. Elizabeth frowned at the vicious words from Hermione’s mouth and folded her arms across her chest as she observed the girl moving books more harshly than she usually did.
“Have you ever considered that Draco Malfoy is a proud man?” Elizabeth questioned as she attempted to voice the issue that had stuck out at her from the first moment.
“I know he’s proud.” Hermione huffed.
“Then have you ever considered that he did mean it when he said he loved you and his harsh words were said to save his pride. I mean you did say that he tried to take it all back. What if he was lying when he said he didn’t love you and isn’t shacked up with some pureblood bimbo?”
“Well he’s not exactly searching for me so that speaks for itself.” Hermione then moved away to put the books from the library counter back on the shelf and Elizabeth figured Hermione had ended the conversation, but Elizabeth had seen that flicker of doubt in the brown eyes of the girl. She was coming around, slowly.
Coincidentally, the same day Elizabeth left the doubt in Hermione’s mind, was the same day when Narcissa and Carlos turned up at Malfoy Manor.
“Go and get my son,” Narcissa snapped at the elf who had escorted her inside.
“I’d appreciate it if you did not talk to Shuen like that Mother,” Draco growled as he came down the stairs and took in the sight of his mother and step father waiting by the door.
“I’m not here to discuss elf rights at the minute, I’m here to find out why you told Hermione you don’t love her,” Narcissa said in a low voice. Draco sighed and walked into the parlour where he offered his mother and Carlos a seat and sat down himself. The situation reminded him deeply of the last time he had been in this position, only last time his mother did not look so angry with him.
“Where did you hear this from?” Draco asked as he pushed his blonde hair out of his eyes tiredly. It had grown past his eyes now and he was continuously pushing it back, but to find the will to do something that would leave his mind free to think was not high on his list of things to do.
“Ginevra Weasley. Harry Potter also told me that you’re telling your elves not to let them in,” Narcissa frowned.
“Why? I thought you loved Hermione?” Narcissa questioned.
“I do, that’s the problem. I love her, she doesn’t love me, I told her and she told me that I was lying to her so I told her I didn’t then realised what I’d said and tried to take it back but she wasn’t having it. She obviously doesn’t love me because otherwise she would be back here with me,” Draco said in a quick low voice. Narcissa stared at her son for a few minutes then huffed as she stood up.
“I can see that you’re not budging when I talk to you. Carlos please talk some sense into my son?” Narcissa asked. Carlos nodded with a smile before kissing her hand and watching her floo out of the Manor.
Carlos sat back in the chair and relaxed as he observed his moody stepson with his green eyes.
“So… I’m too scared of your mother to go home without at least attempting to talk to you so, explain what the problem is,” Carlos said calmly.
“Do I have to?” Draco sighed as he stood up.
“Well you can explain to me today or you can explain to me tomorrow, but I’ll be coming back every single day until you talk to me,” Carlos said very matter of fact and Draco instantly sat up as he noticed the truth in his step-fathers threat. “Good you’re ready to talk now. Now what’s up?”
“I miss her,” Draco murmured after a while.
“That much I gathered, you don’t look yourself, the question is, what are you doing about it?” Carlos asked as he sat forwards.
“Nothing, if she loved me she’d come back on her own,” Draco murmured as he flopped back into the chair.
“No. Let me tell you something Draco. She will not come back on her own. She may not have told me the entire story but I got the gist of it from Cissa. She lost her parents, two people who loved her more than anything else in the entire world,” Carlos started but Draco groaned. “No listen to me. You may love her and I hazard a guess that she did love you, but she is subconsciously scared. What happens if she falls in love with you and you leave her for someone else? That’s what happened with Ron Weasley and the loss of her parents will make any girl wary. So she will not hunt for you, you need to find her and grovel on your knees for her forgiveness because what you said to her was out of line Draco,” Carlos said fiercely. Draco looked slightly shocked at Carlos but what he said hit home. He took Hermione in with the thought to heal her but now he must obviously be making it worse.
“Shuen,” Draco called. The house elf cracked into sight and bowed to Draco.
“No Draco. You must search for her, not Shuen, you must put in that effort,” Carlos said before Draco could give the order to his house elf.
“What?” Draco asked incredulously.
“Draco, you pushed her away, now you, not your house elf, must pull her back,” Carlos said on a final note then he too stood up and flooed home.
Draco sat in thought for a long while after his step father left his manor then he apparated to his room and got dressed before waving his wand at his hair to trim it just so he wasn’t constantly moving it from his eyes. Then he apparated back to his flat figuring that was the best place to start.
Hey so I am so so so so so sorry for taking so long to update this. I’ve been caught up with school work (I know terrible excuse, but it is the truth). I’m going to try and get these chapters up fast now so the story is done before exam season hits me properly or at least mostly done.
I hope you enjoyed this story and restored hope for the Dramione romance ;)
As always leave me a review on what you think I enjoy reading them and all you people who have reviewed all if not most of my chapters are amazing!!!
(Sorry for the extra big spaces I can't correct them)
~ eden xxx
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