Chapter 10 : For Everything
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“It feels so good to see you my little witch,” said Jean Granger, hugging her daughter.
“Yeah, it feels good to see you and Dad too. Sorry I was late, traffic was quite heavy. Hey Dad,” she added as her father bear-hugged her as he used to as a kid, swallowing her whole. It felt good to be home.
“Now hurry and freshen up so you can eat your lunch. Then you have to go grocery shopping with me. Your cousins are coming over tonight and are going to stay here till New Year’s.”
“Wait, what? Which cousins are you talking about Mum?” she asked, exasperated as she pulled out of her father’s arms.
“Your Aunt Jen’s family; Madi and Eva.”
Oh no. Hermione hated Madi and Eva. Before she went to Hogwarts, the two sisters would never include her because she had her big front teeth back then and baby fat, not to mention her crazy hair she’d inherited from her mother. Not like Hermione wanted to be included either. All they would talk about were boys, which ten year old Hermione didn’t find amusing at the time, while fourteen year old Madi and twelve year old Eva did. They both thought they were too cool for Hermione. If only they knew now that their boring cousin Hermy – a nickname Hermione despised – was a witch.
“Come on Mum, do I have to be there? Can’t I just, I don’t know, hideout in my bedroom?”
“Absolutely not,” she replied sternly.
Robert Granger squeezed Hermione’s shoulder. “Your mother’s right honey. They haven’t seen you in ages, even Uncle Bob and his family are going to be here for the holidays.”
Hermione sighed. Okay, so Uncle Bob wasn’t half bad, better than snooty Aunt Jen was, and his kids were younger so they didn’t acknowledge Hermione much. “Fine,” moaned Hermione as she climbed upstairs to her room, entering the shower, letting the sound of the water hitting the tub drown her thoughts.
Draco stretched in the tub, wincing slightly. The meeting with his fellow Death Eaters did not go well. Upon arriving the Dark Lord began questioning Draco on how his task was going, Snape smirking coldly in the corner. Displeased with his less than satisfactory answers, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named then ordered his followers to one by one perform the Cruciatus Curse on the boy.
Tears fell silently from his cold gray eyes at the pain that continued to linger from the wounds. Years and years of being bullied first by his father, by his aunt, by Snape, and now Voldemort left him so sensitive and damaged he was like a bottle ready to explode. Draco felt scared and lonely wishing he had someone to talk to. Anyone. The stress was getting to him, he was losing weight drastically, had bags under his eyes, wasn’t doing his homework, quit Quidditch, he was also on the verge of losing his Prefect badge, and though it hurt him to admit it, he hated having to distance himself from his friends. He needed to tell someone, so he could show how he really felt, and to cry all the bottled up pain. He felt like a little girl but he hadn’t cried in a while and that was what he really needed to do. Soon the silent tears turned into sobs and hiccups, draining into the sewers.
“Draco dear, where are you going?” asked Narcissa softly.
“Out,” he replied. “Don’t wait up.”
“Draco its Christmas Eve tonight...” his mother started, clearly hurt.
“Mother, when have we ever sat down as a family and had dinner?” he jeered. “Besides, she’s not family,” he sneered, referring to his aunt, taking advantage of her absence from the Manor.
“No Mother, I need this. You always let me go out late into the night. It’s only three right now, the sun hasn’t even set. I’ll be back eventually,” he dismissed, before grabbing his broom. Narcissa watched silently as he flew away to who knows where.
“How about these ones?” asked Hermione.
“No dear, those are too... normal for this event,” she replied as Hermione held up a pair of gray and black plaid pajamas.
“I don’t even know why we have this stupid game,” she mumbled grumpily, as she put them back on the rack. “I never win anyways; Uncle Bob and dad always have the snazziest pajamas.”
“Its Granger family tradition,” her mother replied, who had picked out Betty Boop pajamas for herself that light up in all the wrong places. “Fine, you can wear what you want,” she added airily as she looked at her daughter’s face. “But somebody won’t be getting a prize...”
“Oh well, that’s awful isn’t it?” Hermione said sarcastically, as her mother turned away to the grocery aisle to finish off what they needed for the dinner.
“Hurry up and find a pair and meet me in aisle 5 okay?”
“Yeah, yeah,” she said half-heartedly.
“I think you should get those ones Granger,” she felt a voice breathe on her neck.
Instantly, she pulled out her wand, flipping around to face who had joined her. Both her wand and jaw dropped when she saw who was standing in front of her.
“Draco?” she said in awe.
“Very well spotted Hermione,” he mimicked, as she had said that to him when they unexpectedly bumped into another once in the corridors at Hogwarts, earning him a smack on the arm as the flustered girl put her wand away.
“And may I ask why Draco Malfoy is here in a filthy Muggle store on this fine day?” she wondered aloud pompously, a smirk playing on her lips.
“I was bored so I went flying,” he said, pointing to his broom that rested against a rack. “And then I saw this place all lit up so I came to check it out.”
“You flew here?” she hissed.
“Calm down! And yeah, so? I fly everywhere, and Muggles don’t see a thing – don’t see much now do they.”
“I wouldn’t bet on it,” she mumbled, her eyes flickering to the many women in the clothing section staring at the boy – no, man that stood in front of her, with hunger in their eyes.
“Oh them. Yeah, I get that a lot; it’s all a part of my charm. Pity it doesn’t work on the people I want it to work on,” he said, staring intently at her. At her. Not the other women, but at her. Hermione felt her neck getting red, Draco laughed.
“Hermione, did you find anything?” called her mother as she pushed back the trolley that was now filled with produce. “Oh, um, sorry... Am I interrupting anything?” she asked tentatively.
“No you aren’t Mrs. Granger,” said Draco bowing down and taking her mum’s hand and pecking it. Jean Granger turned pink herself at being treated like this, and even Hermione felt weird.
“Draco, Muggles aren’t used to seeing that,” she said through gritted teeth.
“OH!” exclaimed Mrs. Granger out loud, causing many heads to turn her way. “You’re – er – from Hermione’s school?”
“Yes, you probably have heard of me...” he said shyly. “Draco Malfoy.”
Her mother looked confused. “I have to say I haven’t. All we ever here about is Harry and the Weasleys.”
“Oh,” said Draco, embarrassed.
Hermione cleared her throat. “So, are you busy tonight?” she asked breathlessly,
“No. Our family isn’t quite the Christmas type.”
“Then you must join us!” said Jean excitedly. "Hermione’s never had any of her friends over before; it’s mostly she who goes over. That is if you want to, of course Draco dear,” she added.
“If you and Hermione are okay with it,” he said, eyeing Hermione.
“Yeah,” she said. “Totally.”
“Splendid! Hermione, you still haven’t picked out anything?” Jean asked, exasperated. “Come along now, pick something out for Draco as well while you’re at it. You both need pajamas.”
“Mum...” grumbled Hermione, clearly embarrassed at the thought of pajama shopping with Draco Malfoy.
“It’s okay Mrs. Granger! Give us ten minutes,” said Draco eagerly, grabbing Hermione tightly around the shoulders, sending sparks throughout her body.
“Call me Jean,” she said before departing once more. “I’ll be in the parking lot. Draco can drive with us home.”
Once her mother left, Draco questioned her, “So, why didn’t you tell her about me?”
Hermione sighed. “Look, me being a witch was a big shock for my parents. If they’d honestly found out I was being bullied by someone at school because of my blood, they’d probably stop me from coming to Hogwarts. They don’t know about this blood purity prejudice that some people have, they won’t understand.”
She looked up and saw Draco’s face – soft, and guilty.
“I’m sorry. I really am, for everything,” he said, his voice breaking on the last words. He grabbed her hands and locked his fingers into hers, knuckles connected. “For everything.”
“I know,” she mumbled softly, having the sudden urge to kiss him. But of course they were in public so she broke away grinning. “Let’s go get you some pajamas!”
“Okay but no pink!” he joked.
“I’m not making any promises...” she teased back.
Soon they picked out matching PJs, which were a red fleece shirt, and black and red patterned flannel pants. Hermione’s heart fluttered at the thought of them wearing matching sleepwear. Take that Madi and Eva...
“Here I’ll pay,” said Draco taking out a gold Galleon, leaving the cashier confused.
“Put that away, you can’t use that here,” she whispered, before taking out her purse and using her savings account her parents had saved up for her to pay.
“Have a great day,” said the man behind the counter, still confused.
“Merry Christmas!” squealed Hermione, trying to act normal.
“Whoa, what are these?” said Draco in awe as they entered the parking lot.
“Cars, come on, mum’s waiting for us.”
“I see you were successful in pajama shopping?” she said, eyeing the shopping bag in Hermione’s arm.
“Yes Mrs. Granger,” said Draco, huffing out his chest, which made Hermione smile and look at him. She saw he still had bags under in his eyes, and his face was still tinged with grayness. Her smile faltered at the sight.
“What’s wrong?” he asked softly.
“Nothing,” she said quickly, before loading the bag into the trunk with the rest of the stuff. When she turned around Draco was looking at her weird.
“Hermione, if you don’t want me to come, just say so.”
“No!” she said, and then turned blushed at her sudden outburst. “I’m actually glad we ran into you today. I really don’t want to be at the party without anyone to talk to.”
“You sure?” he said, cupping her cheek with his tender hands, stopping Hermione’s heart for a second.
She nodded, before Mrs. Granger cleared her throat, beaming.
“Coming mum,” she said to her mother before sitting inside the car, gesturing for Draco to join them as well. After minutes of strapping the belt over Draco – which took long since he was all too excited with the contraption, they made their way to 53 Maida Vale, both of the teens holding hands in the back.
AN: You got to see a softer side of Draco in this, he really is disturbed. From everything we hear Myrtle say about him in THBP just makes me feel so bad for him. Okay, I know him showing up randomly in a muggle store is quite cliche and corny, but lol i had to make it happen so :) Anyone else excited for this party? I'm busy writing a Hinny one-shot... so it may be a while before I post again.
Will be a while until I post next... off to read some books including The Casual Vacancy..
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