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Penitence by star_lite84
Chapter 5 : A Pureblood in a Muggle World
 
Rating: 15+Chapter Reviews: 4


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A/N: Sorry for the wait, but the muggle world can be so mundane. It's hard to make it seem wonderous in the eyes of a wizard.

 




Chapter 5: A Pureblood in a Muggle World

 

It was just like the first day at Hogwarts. You barely slept a wink the night before, only to just drift off when it was time to wake. Your senses scream that you are not in your bed at home, there are noises you are not accustomed to, and then there were the showers.

Wizarding and muggle plumbing were virtually the same. There are just some things magic can’t improve. Yet, here Draco stood, in the upstairs hallway of the Granger house, glaring at the gray and yellow flowered shower curtain. There was nothing worse than trying to figure out the handles of a shower that you were not familiar with. He remembered the first shower at Hogwarts has practically scolded the top few layers of his skin. How could something so simple challenge his intelligence? He sighed as he wondered whether or not he should just scorgify himself everyday instead. Just as he was about to retreat back to his room to do just that when snort came from down the hall.

“Afraid of catching something?” Hermione asked as she leaned against the door frame.

Draco tried counting to five before responding. It was far too early, and there wasn’t an ounce of caffeine in his body to argue.

“No, if you must know, I was thinking over what your father said yesterday.” He responded as he looked back into the bathroom.

“Oh? What was that?” She asked as she crossed her arms.

“About not taking the easy way out while I’m here. So I thought I’d start with a simple shower, but realized…”

“You don’t know how to turn it on.” She finished with a smug look.

She could the tightening in his jaw as he refrained from responding. Hermione pushed herself off the wall and walked down the hall. She waved him over the shower and pulled back the curtain. She explained the set of knobs protruding from the wall and the small switch to start the showerhead. Draco nodded when she finished, and she made her exit.

‘Hasn’t been here twenty-four hours, and he’s making an attempt to not use magic.’ Hermione shook her head as she made her way down to the kitchen.

 

~*~

Erica and Henry Granger’s practice had a rotating schedule. Working four days a week, with a three day break allowed them to occasionally work on Saturdays. They found that it allowed their working patients the time to have a proper appointment without having to adjust their own schedules. This was one of those Saturdays. Erica Granger was currently reading the paper while drinking her coffee on the island in the kitchen. Henry Granger had been the first to wake, therefore, the one to make breakfast. He was currently turning a few slices of bacon over in the skillet when Hermione entered.

“Good morning sweetheart. How did you sleep?” He asked as she made her way over to the cabinet.

“Alright, I guess. It’s just a bit odd, knowing that he’s staying in our house.” Hermione replied as she pointed up at the ceiling to indicate Draco.

“Is it…going to be a problem?” Her mother asked.

“…No, no it’s just, we don’t know each other as well as I know Harry or Ron,” She said as she poured her coffee. “It’s only month, it’s not like he’s living here permanently.”

Hermione went over to the fridge to grab some milk and a carton of strawberries. She poured herself a cup of coffee, and began to slice the berries on a plate. She had missed this when she was on the run. The normalcy of preparing meals, not having to go out into the woods and forage wild mushrooms, and attempt to make something they could survive on.

She could hear Malfoy’s footsteps on the stairs as her father was placing the bacon on the table. She looked towards the door of the kitchen to watch him enter, and was not paying attention to the knife in her hand. Just as Draco entered the kitchen, Hermione had brought the small knife down on her thumb, and sliced the edge of her nail. She gasped at the pain, but when she looked down at the cut and the small knife in her hand, it happened.

Draco was only three step into the kitchen as he watched Hermione stare at the small abrasion and lose her focus. She didn’t look as though she was going to pass out, or cry, but the troubled look on her face seemed to cause her to escape the present. She was lost in a memory as a trickle of red dripped onto the counter, just missing the plate of berries. He could feel the small familiar crackle in the air, and watched as a light breeze pushed a few strands of hair into her face. The windows in the kitchen were currently closed.

Erica had looked up when Hermione had gasped and watched as her daughter faded away. She carefully placed the newspaper on the countertop, and gently reached over to take the knife out of Hermione’s hand. Draco watched as the pages of the newspaper separated, floating only centimeters apart, not enough to draw attention. Hermione’s mother placed the knife on the newspaper without looking, creating a pseudo paperweight.  Once the utensil was out of reach, she laid a hand on her daughter’s arm.

“Hermione, darling?” she asked as she gave her a gentle shake.

Draco watched as Hermione blinked and take in her surroundings. She looked to her father, who gave her a gentle smile, and then over to Draco, who was looking at the knife on the counter.

“I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening, did you need something mum?” she asked, completely confused.

“Yes, I would like for you to stop bleeding over the strawberries. Come to the sink, dear. We’ll get you cleaned up.” Her mother answered.

Hermione blinked at her mother then looked down at the counter, and noticed the cut on her finger. She looked around for the instrument that caused the opening and noticed it in the middle of her mother’s newspaper.

Draco watched as Hermione’s eyes found the knife and unconsciously brought her uninjured hand up to the scar located on her throat. She let her mother bring her over to the edge of the sink and wash out the cut. Erica reached under one of the counters to retrieve a small clear box and pulled out a bandage, and then proceed to clean the counter and check the berries. When it was declared that there were no traces of blood on the fruit, Henry placed the plate on the table.

Hermione flexed her hand a few times to get some flexibility from the bandage before joining everyone at the kitchen table. Normally when she faded, it usually ended up with her on the floor, but this time was different. Fading while conscious was a new experience, and it unnerved her. She still couldn’t recall what was happening around her, and yet when she snapped out of it, she felt both refreshed and drained. Almost like taking a nap for far too long.

Hermione reached for the jam for her toast at the same time Draco was reaching for the bacon. The slight bumping of their hands didn’t cause sparks, it didn’t cause fireworks, it didn’t release a surge of magical power; it was simply human skin on human skin. Both made of cells, both warm and smooth, both the same. Hermione didn’t even acknowledge the contact and continued to reach for her jam. Draco, on the other hand, paused in his travels to look at the colliding appendage. She hand strong hands. Hands that carried the weight of overwritten tomes for years on end. Her fingers were long, piano fingers. She had an indentation on her ring finger, presumably where her quill laid when she wrote inches upon feet of scrolls. Hands that inevitably, had saved a world.

“So, what do you two plan on doing today?” Hermione’s mother asked as she reached for her coffee.

Hermione paused in the attempt to spread the grape jam on her toast and looked over at Draco. He in turn slowly placed his bacon on his plate and waited for Hermione to answer.

“Um…” was Hermione’s eloquent answer.

“Oh now, you are not spending the day cooped up in the house with a book. Take Draco into town, show him around. And while you’re at it stop at the market, I have a list of things you can pick up.” Erica scolded lightly.

As Mrs. Granger went over the list of items with Hermione, Draco could not help but notice the outrageous print on Mr. Granger’s shirt. The V-neck blue shirt was covered in sets of teeth with a pair of feet. Some sets portrayed an open mouth while others were closed.

“They’re scrubs.” Hermione’s voice interrupted his analyzation.

Draco looked over at her with a raised eyebrow. She had that sly smile back on her face. The one she liked to wear when she knew more than he. He was fairly certain he wore that exact look many a times in school.

“It’s a type of fabric that healers in our world like to wear.” She continued to explain.

“Most are made to resist fluids like blood, but we really like to wear them for comfort. Some doctors prefer to wear the plain boring colors,” Henry explained as he sent a pointed look at his wife’s purple uniform, “But I like to make a statement.”

“And a statement you are making, dear.” Erica replied as she brought her plate over to the sink.

~*~

“I’m not getting in that.”

Draco stood in the doorway with his arms crossed, looking like a five year old ready to throw a tantrum. Hermione sighed as she twirled a key around her finger.

“It’s not like we can apparate or even fly a broom, and besides with the list my mother gave me, there is no way we can carry all the groceries back. So either you get in the car, or I’ll make you carry them for three bloody miles.”

Draco stared at the silver tin can on wheels. He wasn’t sure how he felt about a powered carriage. Especially when he had to rely on Granger operating it. She had tried to explain it was almost like the thestral pulled carriages at Hogwarts, except she controlled the direction and the speed. She even showed him a small official card that proved she knew how to operate one.

He watched as she rolled her eyes at him and opened the front door.

“Look, I’m going, but when my parents start to ask how your tour was, I hope you’re prepared to tell them you were too scared to even leave the house.”

With that she got in the vehicle, and shut the door. Merlin help him, it was going to be a long summer. Draco huffed and walked over to the opposite door. He got in and sat on the seat.

“You need to latch the buckle.” She explained as she pointed to a strap behind his shoulder. He grabbed it and placed it within the locking mechanism on the side of his seat. He watched as she placed the key into a small opening on the side of the wheel. When she turned it, the tin can on wheels let out a growl. He looked over at her to see if she was just as unnerved, but Hermione simply looked in the mirror and moved a stick that allowed the can to move backwards. He sat motionless as she expertly moved the vehicle onto the road, then moved the stick again to propel them forward.

As they drove through the quaint little suburb, Draco noticed the commonality of the properties. Each building made out of red bricks, white window panes, and a variety of greenery in the yards. Some chose a low hedge to outline their yard, while others had a multitude of flowering shrubs. Even as an outsider, Draco could tell that some of the properties they passed had to cost quite a bit. While the Granger’s household was not as large as some of the ones they were passing, it wasn’t a small shack either. This was definitely a mid to high society town.

They passed many other moving vehicles on their way into town, each one a different shape and color. When they came to a stop, Draco watched as a muggle wearing an odd hat on a two wheeled device, roared passed them.

“That is a motorcycle. It is practically a broom on the ground. People that ride them prefer to be out in the open air, and usually like the need for speed. Thus, the helmet they were wearing to protect their head.” Hermione explained as she turned onto a street filled with various shops. They only drove a few more feet before she pulled into a large lot filled with these ‘cars,’ as Hermione called them. She turned into a spot and stopped the car. Draco felt the as the growling came to a halt as she turned the key again. Hermione unbuckled her seatbelt, and opened the door. Left, with no other option, Draco did the same.

“I doubt that you have ever stepped foot into a market before,” she started as they walked towards the large gray building, “but this is where muggle purchase their food.”

“I’ve been to a market before Granger.” He replied.

“Really?” she asked, not believing him, “One would think that you would send your house elves to do such things.”

She grabbed a large metal cart and walked through a pair of doors that magically opened on their own. He was about to scold her for using her magic in the presents of muggles, when he saw another pair of doors open as a muggle exited the building with a similar cart.

He followed Hermione into the store, and looked around with wide eyes. He wasn’t lying when he said he had been to the market before, but the outdoor markets in France, where his family vacationed in the summers, were vastly different than this.

He had never seen so much food in one place. He watched as people stood, inspecting the various fruits and vegetables, trying to decide which was best. He followed Hermione through the many alleys as she scanned the shelves for the exact item on her list. Many of the people walking around had more than half their cart full, while others only came in looking for one or two items, which they carried.

Granger wasn’t too far off when she mentioned the house elves doing most of the chores. There were plenty of times he had asked an elf to bring him something to eat, without wondering where the food came from or whether they actually had it in the house. He asked, the house elf always delivered. That’s just how it was.

It wasn’t until Hermione was finished that Draco began to feel a bit unnerved about the amount of muggles at the front of the building. He watched as Hermione got into a queue and began to pile her food onto a counter. He began to feel claustrophobic in the narrow line as she chatted with the shop keeper. Hermione piled the bags of food into her cart, and Draco watched as she exchanged the muggle money with the girl behind the counter.   

~*~

After depositing the food they purchased back in the house, Hermione insisted that she at least show him around the neighborhood. It was a quiet area, Draco had noticed that there weren’t as many cars driving around this area, as there were when they were in town. He would tune in and out as Hermione pointed out various locations, parks, primary schools, and certain neighbors her family was friends with. They were rounding the corner to head back to her house, when a flash of white came tearing out of the yard in front of them. Draco watched as Hermione bent down to receive the wild beast.

“Pepper, you naughty boy! You’ve chewed through your leash again.” She lightly scolded as she scratched the dog under the collar.

Hermione watched as the dog went from licking her hands clean, to suddenly noticing that she had company with her. Pepper edged closer to Draco sniffing the bottom of his trousers. Hermione held her breath. She knew that when Crookshanks trusted someone, he would show the bare minimum of affection, rubbing up against a leg, sitting in a lap. But she wasn’t how Pepper would show if he trusted someone he just met. He had always been a friendly dog towards her and her parents. She watched as Pepper circled around Draco, continuing to sniff. When he came back to the tips of Draco’s shoes, he sat and stared directly at Draco.


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