Chapter 5 : A Tough Investigation
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Hermione sits quietly reading one of her favorite books, on the leather couch located in the living room in a nightgown. It has been one hour since she arrived home from the Ministry exhausted from the day, having dealt with the woman who accused Malfoy, and being around Malfoy period.
The hot tea in her left hand burns her skin as Hermione picks it up absentmindedly, distracted by her new book. Following getting off work, Hermione stopped by at Flourish and Blotts to buy some brand new books, something she does often when she is stressed.
"Hermione? Are you in there?" asks a familiar male voice, with a knock following it.
Hermione sighs as she recognizes his voice. Ron isn't good at giving people space, especially if it is her.
"I'll be out in a moment Ron," Hermione's strained voice calls back to him, regretting not turning the lights off and hiding. She is still not sure about what she wants to do about their relationship yet.
"Great because I need to talk with you about the other night," he says, nervousness lacing his voice.
"You don't say?" Hermione smartly replies, as she lays down her book and walks through the entryway to join Ron outside. It is cool and there is a bit of light rain going on above them where low London clouds rest. Hermione has become chilly because she is in her nightgown and folds her arms together, trying to stay warm.
"Let's sit here," Hermione suggests, sitting on the porch swing, while taking a breath of the cool air. Ron follows her lead and sits next to her, twiddling his thumbs a bit in nervousness.
"Hermione, I have loved you since the first day I met you on the Hogwarts Express. I’ve never fallen in love with Lavender. She was just basically a stupid bloody crush back in sixth year and honestly I didn't enjoy one bit of her obnoxious snogging. The woman barely could keep her lips on mine she was so sloppy!" He pauses and Hermione scowls at the fact he remembers Lavender's snogging, making him continue even more uncomfortably. "Anyways the point is, is that I still have no feelings for her. I thought I did when we started talking again but I feel nothing for her, only for you. My mind was just messing with me."
"Messing with you was it? How am I supposed to believe that after you ignored my pleas to not talk to her and owled her for the last three months, Ron? Do you know how nervous I was that I was going to lose you again? And how could you figure this out all in one day, your feelings for her?" Hermione accusingly inquires.
"I just spent the whole day thinking about it. I had to come tell you before I forgot what to say! And lose me again? When have you ever lost me before?"
"When you left Harry and I that night, it scared me to death. I thought I would probably never see you again and that you'd be dead as soon as you apparated wherever you did. After you returned I decided that I never want you out of my sight again," Hermione says, her eyes watering at the memory of Ron leaving Harry and her that rainy night in the tent. It didn't seem like such a big deal, but it was with the danger everyone was in at the time.
"Well Hermione, I don't want to ever leave again," Ron assures her, grabbing her hand, which she rejects as she places her head in her hands.
"Then prove it. Don't hurt me, please? I have already been through enough hurt as it is!" Hermione tells him, tears falling down her cheeks and into her lap.
"I want to get back together with you."
"Ron I just don't know if we should get back together this fast. We just broke up last night and for good reason," Hermione tells him with a heavy heart. She is afraid she will get hurt, afraid that trusting Ron again will cause a disaster after hearing him say he liked Lavender the night before last. She knows damn well he wouldn't have said it if he didn't mean it.
"Hermione, I want you back and I will do anything to prove it. I told Lavender we can't speak by owl anymore and I’ve cut all ties with her. Can we just forget that any of this ever happened?"
"I just don't think we are going to be able to patch things up between us. We’ve been arguing too much,” she tells him.
"I know we can Hermione because we are meant to be together. I know you work long hours and I barely get to see you but it's so worth it for the time that we do get together," Ron begs, looking out into the neighborhood before them and up at the dark rainy sky just hoping she will agree.
"Just come inside," Hermione surrenders, mad at herself for letting him off so easy but missing his company already, at the same time. She then stands up off of the porch swing and opens the front door, letting Ron in before her.
Ron takes off his jacket and hangs it up like this is still his own flat. He then starts a fire, sits on the leather sofa, and says, "I know it will be a long time before you forgive me for talking with Lavender. But I will prove to you that you won't regret it."
"Well I hope so. But for now you're sleeping on the couch so I hope you’re comfortable. I’m off to bed because I have to go to work and mentor Malfoy, like I will be for the next few months. Even more work than usual," Hermione complains, yawning as soon as she finishes her sentence. She walks over to an end table and picks up her book then heads in the direction of her bedroom.
"Wait, what?!" Ron intervenes, appalled by what he thinks he heard.
"Yes you heard me correctly. I am Malfoy's mentor until further notice. Because of probation with the Wizarding Court he has no choice but to work for my section of the Department. Oh and he and his girlfriend are our neighbors as well," Hermione reports to Ron, with a shrug.
"Well bloody hell," Ron says, with a lift of his eyebrows then says half-jokingly, "I guess it makes it easier to kill him if he's our neighbor."
"Ron, there will be none of that. I'm off to bed as I said, goodnight."
"Can I have a kiss?" Ron wonders immaturely as he grabs a soft blanket from the entryway's closet and finds a furniture pillow to sleep on.
"Goodnight." Hermione concludes in rejection, closing the bedroom door behind her. She won't let him off that easy.
The alarm clock isn't as painful to her ears as it was the morning before, but Hermione hates the sound regardless. She picks up her wand and flicks towards the off button and groans before putting her cold, skinny feet on the brown hardwood floors.
She leaves the bedroom to get a quick shower and slides on a silky red work dress for the day when finished. Looking into the full-length mirror located between her closet door and the closet, Hermione grins slightly at her appearance in approval.
Hermione casts a charm to get her hair as straight as she likes it and leaves her master bedroom. She walks straight into the kitchen area where her boyfriend, or ex, whatever he is going to be when she finally decides, stands smiling awkwardly by the kitchen island.
"Good morning!" he greets enthusiastically.
"Good morning?" Hermione says questionably.
"I've made us breakfast! Eggs, toast and sausage!"
"Erm thanks Ron," Hermione says. "But this won't change the fact that I’m still mad at you."
"I figured," Ron admits with a frown, as he sits down at their kitchen table. "But I tried."
Hermione tries not to chuckle when she examines the breakfast before her. The yellow scrambled eggs contain many parts of black, from being burnt, and the toast is a dark brown. But Hermione eats the breakfast anyway, fighting not to spit it out.
"Was it horrible?" Ron asks Hermione as she finishes her last bite.
"No. It erm –filled the spot," Hermione answers with a wide smile, hoping it looks convincing.
"Great," Ron says, smiling satisfyingly. He then walks to Hermione and attempts to kiss her on the lips and Hermione pushes her head back from him, to where he can't get to her.
"I don't know if we are together Ron! Can you stop that rubbish?" Hermione strictly gets onto him.
"I thought we made up last night?"
"That doesn't precisely mean we are back together for sure!" Hermione reminds him with a smirk.
Ron then takes her hands and pulls her body into his. "I want it to mean that."
He then pulls her to him and places his hands around her small waist. Pulling her close, he bends down to kiss her and this time she doesn't reject it, as Ron moves his mouth in rhythm with her’s, she suddenly feels an old spark, one like she did when they first got together. When they break apart though she remembers the purpose of why they are not what they used to be... he might potentially like another woman.
"I- I’m about to be late. I have to go," Hermione says as her face reddens. She doesn't know what to do about them and needs to think it through first but he isn’t giving her the time.
Ron follows her out of their front door also, trying to keep up with her. "Are you actually taking this training Malfoy thing seriously?"
"Yes Ron. No matter who I am mentoring it is part of my training, my job! When do I ever not take things seriously?" Hermione snaps back.
"Fine, whatever. I’m sure the bloke will find himself with a name on his cell again soon," Ron retorts back at Hermione. A sharp crack in the air follows him as he apparates. Hermione rolls her eyes and then apparates right after him.
When the two arrive in the Ministry, Ron is walking quicker than Hermione and is almost at the elevator when Draco crosses her path.
"Hey mentor, mind if I join?" Draco asks playfully, with a sly smile toward Ron.
"Not at all," Hermione says, noticing that he is somewhat trying to hack Ron off and going along with it because she too is pissed off at Ron.
Draco jumps on the elevator with Ron and Hermione, causing Ron to smirk at Draco and Draco smirks right back. Nothing has changed between the two opposite men, and it never will either.
The elevator is filled with an awkward silence as more and more witches and wizards board and squish Hermione, Draco, and Ron together.
"If you touch me Weasleby, I'll curse you."
"Same goes for you ferret."
Malfoy's already smirking face got even more intense when Ron uses his old school name.
"Oh shut up the both of you! We are adults for Merlin's sake!" Hermione intervenes, as they all arrive at the second floor.
The three of them walk into the Department and Ron takes Hermione's hand, before she and Draco leave his side. "I love you, have a good day."
Hermione doesn't answer him but just waves and then walks with Malfoy away from him and into the Detective Office of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Hermione's face remains grim as Malfoy and her walk toward the office and Draco can't help but notice.
"What's wrong?" Malfoy wonders, as they enter the office and sat down. But he shocks himself when he catches what he just asked.
"Nothing that’s your business."
"Well I am sorry that I am taking the time to even ask a mudblood what might be causing her a bother. Let me go back to being the asshole that I usually am and not caring. Damn," Draco says with his famous smirk plastered on his lips once again.
Hermione looks up into his gray eyes, wondering if he actually cares what is wrong. She fights with herself whether to tell Draco or not and she decides to blurt it out, since she has been hiding her problems for the past few days inside.
"Ron had been owling Lavender Brown behind my back. I knew for three months but still stuck with him regardless because I love him and tried to trust him. Well I found out that their friendship seems to be more than that and Ron told me he fancies Lavender but loves me, does that make sense?"
"Yeah but the thing is I don't really care," Draco says quietly, shocked that Hermione actually is talking to him about personal problems, he doesn't really give a damn to hear. But he did ask her what was wrong, not expecting a whole sermon of why she felt bad about herself. But her response the first time hacked him off and he shut himself down.
Not hearing him, she went on- "I told Ron to leave, but he came back to my house last night wanting to patch things up between us. I’m not so sure I want to patch things up because even before the other night we haven't been happy in a while. Okay- I am going to stop this rubbish now and go get a coffee from the breakroom. I'm sorry Malfoy, feel free to ignore me. I have just been rather stressed lately."
"Okay, thank you for sharing your life story, Granger," Draco smartly retorts, as Hermione blushes from spilling out her problems to a past enemy and then disappears from the room, embarrassed. She returns moments later with a huge mug of coffee and a stack of papers.
"Here are our cases from today. I am honestly an emotional rollercoaster and I can't believe I just shared personal stuff with you of all people!" Hermione tells him, setting down the pack of papers and sitting back in her office chair, her face red.
"I’m not sure why you would share that uninteresting soap opera with me either, Granger," he replies, mocking her.
Draco then finds himself looking at Hermione and over her body when she bends over to pick something up off of the floor- probably more paper. He can't believe that he is actually finding her attractive when he first saw her again since two years, at the pub. Oh yes, he hates her... but hate for a person doesn't have anything to do with attractiveness, right?
Hermione looks up at Draco with raised eyebrows. "Are you okay, Malfoy?"
Draco's usually fair face reddens and he replies coldly, " yes Granger, your annoying voice is just making me tired, that's all."
"Okay?" Hermione says as she noticed the way he looked at her just seconds ago.
"Well... as I was saying this case looks like something that we could investigate but I think we should go through some policies today. So let's give this to Officer Pack and sit in the office today instead."
"That sounds good to me, I just have to sit here and listen to your boring voice," Draco says, with a yawn.
After Hermione catches Draco looking at her, she feels a little uncomfortable. This is an ex-Death Eater, that Hermione used to hate back in school and they both are in a relationship right now and he is insulting her as usual. What would make Draco look at her like that of all people? But she can't focus on that right now. The case that is in front of them is one that she doesn't want Draco to see, in fear that he will become ballistic... the case of Narcissa Malfoy.
Hermione takes the pack of parchment and throws it into her desk for now, as Draco looks at her questionably. "Wait, who was the person on that case? I saw a flash of gold that looked like-"
"Er, it was a woman from Azkaban. A case to get her out," Hermione says, interrupting him.
"Let me see, mudblood! You're hiding something and I think you forgot who my last boss was! I know when someone's keeping something from me," Draco growls, and reaches over the desk to grab the packet from the drawer before Hermione can close it.
Narcissa Malfoy nee Black
Malfoy was placed into Azkaban following the war along with her husband, Lucius Malfoy and son, Draco Malfoy. She is responsible for helping the Death Eaters in Voldemort's bidding. But Mrs. Malfoy is also the one who lied to Voldemort to save Harry Potter's life. This is the only reason why her case may be investigated-
Draco throws the paper across the office and sighs as he places his head in his hands. "Of course it's my mum's case. Why else would you hide it from me, mudblood?"
"Stop calling me mudblood, Malfoy. That will get you out here fast! And I wanted to avoid you getting worked up about it. There are other highly trained Detectives that can conduct your mum's investigation. It would be too hard on you Malfoy, and this is my professional opinion."
"I don't give a damn about your professional opinion Granger. After all we are the same age so I’m as professional as you are, if not more. I want to come with you to do this investigation. I want to get my mum out because she doesn't deserve to be in there," Draco tells her with a heavy determined voice.
"I know she doesn't and that's why I want to fight for her. She fought for Harry and if she didn't then my best-friend wouldn't be here right now.”
"Can we go then?"
"Let's go," Hermione agreed.
A/N: So Hermione tried hiding the packet from Draco and he found out that they were about to investigate his mother's Azkaban stay. What do you think will happen?
I hope you enjoy my story so far and that you keep reading it!!! I promise they are in no way close to being together yet, don't worry.
What will happen with Ron and Hermione? How will Draco make his way into Hermione's life? Please just keep on reading! ;)
thanks for even reading and please R&R if you can!
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