Upon entering the dining room, Hermione noticed Mary and Daniel at a table in the far back corner, tugging on Draco's arm; she led the way to the table.
Mary was the first to notice them.
"Hermione, Draco I am so pleased to have you join us. Look who it is, it's your father's friend Draco, Mr. William Clarke" Mary was pointing to the man sitting next to her at their circular table. Mary was triumphal with herself for being able to recognize Mr. Clarke in the Parisian Cafe and then ask him to join her and Daniel for dinner.
The man they had been searching for, the man formerly Wilford Clarke sat to the far right of Mary, diagonal to Daniel. He had gray hair, but with spots of his natural black hair. His eyes were a piercing green, which were hidden behind a pair of glasses.
He reminded Hermione of Harry and thought that is what Harry will look like when he reaches the age of sixty.
Clarke looked confused as he stared at Draco. "A friend of your fathers' boy? What is your family name?"
As they sat across from Clarke and next to the Marvin's, Hermione squeezed Draco's hand, as if telling him that everything will be all right. She kept repeating to herself mentally, and Draco glanced at her if he understood what she was thinking.
Draco cleared his throat he started out shaky, but as he kept talking, he grew with confidence in saying his name. "Yes you see well we've never met before Sir, I believe you had a falling out with my family. My name is Draco Malfoy, and this is my wife, Hermione." Draco turned and smiled softly at Hermione, who smiled a nervous smile back.
Clarke visibly shifted uncomfortably, but pulled it together not to cause a scene in front of the muggles at the table. "Malfoy yes I haven't heard that name in quite some time. What may I ask are you doing here?"
Visibly unsure on why there would be wizards here since they had their form of transportation across the Atlantic.
Before either Draco or Hermione could answer Mary did for them "You see Mr. Clarke, Draco, and Hermione are on their honeymoon and are traveling to America" she smiled at the faux couple.
Clarke turned towards Draco and Hermione wide-eyed. "Is that so? My dear, you must be pure of heart to marry such a man as Mr. Malfoy" Clarke said with disdain to Hermione.
She knew what he meant and saw Draco look away; again she squeezed his hand.
"Actually no I'm not Mr. Clarke, while our start was a bit rough since I come from a background that some elder Malfoy's found undesirable, you might say." Hermione turned to the Marvins and quickly explained "My family has always been forward thinkers, and my mother is part of the suffrage movement which my father encouraged. This was something that took the Malfoys some time to get comfortable with. I also had to come to terms with the fact that Draco had grown in a way very different than mine. "
Hermione rotated back towards Clarke "You see Draco, and I had to overcome so much and after all that we've been through we realized that trivial things were such a waste and decided to look deeper into each other."
As Hermione spoke, she realized that she wasn't lying. She and Draco had been through a lot, each facing their demons and coming out of the war alive and better people. Hermione took Draco's hand in her's and squeezed tightly.
"Draco here isn't like the rest of his family, he's a good man."
Clarke nodded in understanding though still apprehensive he bowed towards Draco "I see, well it has been awhile since I have spoken with your father Mr. Malfoy, how were you aware that I was going to be on board?"
It almost felt like to Hermione and Draco that Clarke was trying purposefully to ruin their back story; they couldn't blame him though the wizarding world had been unkind to him, especially Malfoy's family.
"We started our honeymoon in the Highlands, and we were visiting a castle near Dufftown, where we read that you would also be on board Titanic. I told Hermione about your relationship with my family, and she insisted that we try to call upon you to make amends and reach an understanding." Draco explained, hoping Clarke understood what he meant.
Clarke's lips curved slightly up "Ah yes I am very familiar with that castle, I used to visit there as a boy. Are there still ravens all around? When I was younger, there used to be all over the place."
Hesitant to answer Draco and Hermione looked at each other before looking back at Clarke who winked at them.
His wink made the pair relax a bit more.
"Yes, plenty of ravens, badgers, and snakes still roam the area. You also see the occasional Mountain Lion, which happens to be my favorite" Hermione smiled.
It was fun to speak in a way only the three of them knew.
Hermione ever the Gryffindor jumped right into what she wanted.
The Gryffindor way leap before you look.
It was noticeable that Hermione was trying to contain her excitement "After Draco had told me who you were Mr. Clarke I became rather interested in learning about you and about your discovery. The whole concept is fascinating. Are you going to America to discuss it with the Americans?"
Draco watched Hermione interact with Clarke; she looked so happy, she looked as if the book she was reading had come to life in front of her. In a sense it had. Draco wanted to make sure she was that happy always. Draco couldn't help at smile at his faux bride.
Taken aback at Hermione's interested, Clarke choked on the appetizer he had begun to eat. He quickly drank, so water as everyone at the table looked at him with concern.
"Are you alright there Clarke?" Daniel said as he waved an usher over to refill Clarkes now empty water glass.
Coughing Clarke said "Yes I'm fine. Thank you. It's just that no one has asked me about that for almost ten years. I wasn't expecting you to have heard about it. That discovery as you call it almost ruined my career, in fact, it did. I had to move away from my home, friends, family everything that I have ever known, all because some people just couldn't accept the fact that certain blood isn't always the answer."
Clarke looked at the Marvins who were staring at him wide eyed and turned back to Hermione with a bitter smile. "So to answer your question yes, I am heading to America to see if they will take my discovery proposal seriously, unlike the British. The Americans seem to be more willing and open to new ideas wouldn't you agree Mr. Marvin?" Clarke seemed eager to change the subject.
Daniel heartedly agreed "Yes there is nothing an American likes more than new ideas and what it can mean for them. America is the place of dreams and accomplishments…."
Hermione and Draco zoned out what he was saying, neither cared about the so-called American dream.
"Do you think they will listen and accept it?" Hermione asked after Daniel was done talking.
Clarke set down his silverware, folded his hands and brought them to his chin "In all honesty, I fear I won't be able ever to tell them. It is something that will be lost with me forever."
The table sat quietly after this comment. Soon Daniel waved the notion away as it was senseless.
"Nonsense, Titanic is said to be the safest ship sailing the seas today. And you seem to be in perfect health, so wherever this journey is to take you, you will succeed."
Draco had to hold back from rolling his eyes over Daniels overzealous optimism.
Clarke smiled at Daniel, "Thank you son."
Hermione tried to bring up the topic again to no avail.
The rest of dinner was spent with small talk between everyone at the table. When Clarke wiped his mouth placing his napkin on his plate in front of him.
"I must be retiring now. Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy it was a pleasure meeting you."
He stood and Draco joined him in action. "You as well Mr. Clarke
Aware that Clarke was trying to escape from talking to them again Hermione pleaded with him "Please Mr. Clarke is it at all possible that we can meet again in a quieter setting? I do wish to speak with you some more."
Clarke undoubtedly wanted to be left alone, but after looking into Hermione's eyes he conceited. "Of course. You and Mr. Malfoy can meet me in my cabin for tea. Say around 3 o'clock?"
Hermione looked at Draco, who nodded, both were hoping to be home by then, but since Clarke was the key to that, they had to agree. "That sounds perfect, thank you so much."
Giving a curt nod, he left, leaving the faux Malfoys and the Marvin's at the table.
"Well isn't this great, you were able to see an old friend" Mary beamed.
Hermione who had been deep in thought smiled "Yes it is wonderful. I, I mean, we want to thank you, Mary, for making this whole evening possible, without your help we wouldn't know where to start."
"What by chance did he discover?" Daniel asked as he sipped his wine.
Draco looked at Hermione interested in what she had to say because this whole time he had yet to ask her why Clarke was even important to her, he was so focused on them going back.
Hermione dabbed her mouth with her napkin "Well according to what I have read he discovered a mutation in blood, a variation that could prove that people are more alike than some want to think. Unfortunately, some people still let their prejudices cloud real scientific proof, which is what happened to Mr. Clarke."
"Fascinating. It is a shame to see such good people not succeed because of prejudices in the world" Daniel said.
Draco made a mental note to ask her more in-depth on what it was he discovered.
Draco was pulled from his thoughts when Daniel asked him on whether he wanted to join him in the smoking room for a cigar and brandy.
"The offer is tempting Daniel, but the misses and I are going to go back to our suite and call it an early night."
To Hermione's chagrin, she caught Draco winking at Daniel to imply something else.
Daniel smirked in understanding "Well goodnight then. Hopefully, we will see you tomorrow."
Draco and Daniel shook hands and Hermione and Mary kissed each other's cheeks.
Draco had just shut their door when Hermione slapped him on the arm before storming further in the room to sit on the bed.
"Hey what was that for?" he asked as he rubbed his arm.
"Did you have to do that?" she said miffed.
Draco furrowed his brow he honestly had no idea what she was so mad about. Dinner had gone fairly well, they were going to speak to Clarke alone tomorrow, and they were so close to going home. What could she be mad about? "Do what?"
"I saw you give Daniel that wink after dinner. He now thinks we came back here to you know…" she sighed.
The infamous Malfoy smirk crept on his face "You mean have sex. Well, darling, we are a married couple and when two people like ourselves are in love we share that love in carnal exercise."
He had tried his damnedest not to laugh. He went over to her spot on the bed and reached down to grab Hermione by the waist and pull her up.
"Oh shove it Draco. It made me embarrassed. I don't like having my private life displayed like that" she pushed him away from her sitting once again on the bed.
"I apologize, honestly, but we need to make our marriage story believable. Besides it isn't like it's something either of us has never done before."
Taking a seat on the chair in the corner, Draco began to undress, starting with loosening his tie and unbuttoning his collar. Followed by taking off his shoes.
Hermione was biting her lip, and her hands were clasped tightly together placed on her lap. She was looking at the ground, this was one conversation that she never thought she would have with Draco or anyone. Fighting the urge to cry of the embarrassment of the situation.
Draco glanced up when Hermione didn't respond "You mean?"
Her head shot up "It isn't a crime, nor the worst thing in the world."
Draco cleared his throat and sputtered out "It's not."
Gaining his voice, again he continued "I just assumed that you had. Especially after the conversation this afternoon."
Noticing Hermione's angry glare Draco quickly added "Not that you look or act like a slag, you don't I swear, I just assumed that you had a least done it once. You were so angry when I assumed that you hadn't done anything I figured that you must have."
He moved to the bed and sat next to her, still keeping some distance between the two of them to not upset her even more.
"Well, I haven't. I was offended that you thought I wasn't capable of ever being in that situation."
Sniffling Hermione said, "I almost slept with someone, but I stopped it, a part of me think perhaps I shouldn't have. The other half is glad that we didn't do anything."
Draco could feel in the pit of his stomach a burning of jealousy of this person that has her so upset. He wanted to know who she almost slept with but was not about to push her into telling him.
"I know you want to know who."
Frowning Draco figured that it was just a logical conclusion due to curiosity not that she knew what he was thinking.
"I'm not going to sit here and say I am not curious to find out who this bloke was. It wasn't the Italian guy was it?" Draco couldn't explain why it was crucial to him that it wasn't the Italian.
Hermione scoffed "Merlin no. I told you what happened between him and me. Will you just forget him!"
Draco shrugged an apology.
"You don't have to tell me, only if you are comfortable, I don't want to make you upset. I've done that enough in our past and don't want to do it anymore. But who was this almost lover?" He joked to lighten the mood.
She chuckled "Almost lover."
They sat in comfortable silence for a few minutes before she began.
"Well it was during the war, I was at the Burrow."
Noticing his confused look explained, "That's what the Weasleys call their house. The house one night was surprisingly empty. Everyone was either at meetings for the Order while Molly, Fleur, and Ginny were trying their best to arrange Bill and Fleurs wedding.
"I just couldn't do it anymore, I was tired and wasn't sure if it was all for not. Despite Harry being the chosen one we rarely were able to go to Order meetings since we were deemed too young." She chuckled bitterly.
"The ones who had been fighting this war since they were eleven were too young. Ginny tried to have me go with them to plan the wedding, but I declined.
"Fred, one of the twins, could sense that I was upset offered to stay with me this particular night. This was post taking Harry from Privet Drive but pre going on the hunt for Horcruxes."
She smiled at the memory as she continued "He made me some tea, and we sat and talked for what felt like hours. He let me cry and express all my fears, not once did he make a joke. That must have been difficult for him.
"I explained how I was tired how there was so much evil in the world. How even people our own age were able to do such bad things. How they wouldn't go against the wrongdoing, they were a part of. At that moment it felt like we were never going to win the war. I was just lost."
Gulping and holding back anger to tell her that she was talking about him and all his wrong decisions. Draco moved slightly away from her. Was this what she thought of him? That he wanted to do everything he did? That it was easy for him?
Hermione didn't appear to notice Draco's change in demeanor went on with her story.
"Fred gently took my hand in his, then lifted my chin with his other so he could look me directly in the eyes and said confidently 'Hermione with people like you fighting there is no way we can't win the war.'"
Pausing Hermione glanced at Draco wondering when he moved so far from her. He had a scowl on his face, she didn't understand why but he nodded his head to indicate to keep telling the story.
"I'm the one who initiated the kiss. We eventually made it to Fred's bedroom. Each of us had removed our shirts, and soon all our clothes were gone except our undergarments; it was at that moment I realized what was about to happen. I rolled off the bed quickly and profusely apologized, grabbed my clothes and left.
"Fred wasn't even mad at me. He later came to me and said he understood why I acted like that. He figured I still loved Ron and didn't want to do anything that would ruin that. Which was partially true, I didn't want to ruin my friendship with Ron if I slept with his brother. But there was more to it. It didn't feel right.
"That feeling is what makes me feel even worse about the whole thing. Fred was such an amazing person, and now he's gone." She broke out into sobs.
Draco got over his bitterness of his past flaws in Hermione's eyes and quickly moved closer to her and took her in his arms "It's ok. You've done nothing to feel guilty about."
Hiccuping Hermione said "Now I have to live with this memory for the rest of my life, how could he be gone? How could it not feel right? Why did everything have to be so complicated?"
She cried, releasing all the pent up sadness that she wasn't even aware that she was holding on to.
Draco wrapped his arms around her tighter and softly said "It's alright shh, it's alright. Something in you knew that it wasn't right, and just imagine what if you did have sex with him, I'm sure that you would be feeling a hell of a lot worse than you are right now. When the time comes, you will feel it, and you will be happy with your decision."
Draco held her close; it hurt him to see her so upset.
It also frustrated him that he sounded like a right poof talking about their feelings. Glad that Hermione couldn't see him he roll his eyes at the circumstances since he was positive that she wouldn't understand that the action was directed at himself and not her. He leaned against the post of the bed and pulled her close to him again as she continued to cry into his chest.
A few minutes later Hermione calmed down. She pulled herself up from leaning on Draco's chest.
She sighed in content "I just want to say thanks for everything." She tilted her head up to his and gently kissed him.
Each paused for a moment staring at the other letting what the kiss had meant. Draco wasn't sure whether it was just a thank you kiss or if it was something more. Hermione wasn't sure why she did it, but it felt right.
"I'm going to run myself a bath," she said as she got up.
For the first time, Draco noticed that she had brought along a bag with her "What's in the bag?"
She looked at it "Oh just a few essentials, like a couple of pair of knickers, hairbrush, my shampoo. I didn't expect to be here for very long, but I wanted to be prepared."
Looking at Draco, she said "I'm sorry that I don't have anything for you since I didn't expect you to be here. I mean you can always borrow a pair of my knickers" she tried to muffle a laugh.
Draco let out a fake chuckle "Oh my yes you are funny, I'll be alright. If you don't want to put on your old clothes, you can wear my original shirt that I had on to sleep in. I'll just sleep in my boxers. If that's not a problem for you?"
"No that's fine, thank you." Blushing, she excused herself to the bathroom.
Filling the porcelain tub with hot water Hermione sank her body in.
Instantly feeling relaxed. Hermione tried to forget all of the worries and fears of the past, present, and the future.
However, in the back of her mind, the fear that Clarke would refuse to send them back to the present was still there.
Clarke had no reason to do it, either way, she and Draco meant nothing to the man. On the one hand, Clarke could not send them back for the mere fact that Draco is a Malfoy and to Clarke, they are still evil and letting one die will be some rewarding feeling. Clarke might also look down upon her for associating herself with Malfoy.
On that same hand, the wizarding world has given him nothing but trouble so why should he help two young wizards. However, on the contrary, Hermione hoped that after she adequately explained everything Clarke would realize how times have changed, and they were just trying to do good, so he had to send them back.
Dunking her head under the water, she pushed the thoughts out of her mind. There was not more that she could do and worrying was not going to help.
As she had gotten older, her hair had become less, bushy and curly, still both but it had tamed naturally like her mother always said it would. It also tamed with the constant use of hair potions and charms, to make it not so big.
Popping out of the water she wiped her eyes. Picked up the shampoo bottle that was sitting next to the tub. Opening it she took a whiff taking in the Lavender and chamomile scent that reminded her of Hogwarts, she missed it. Sighing she poured the shampoo into her hand and began to massage her scalp.
Once done Hermione rinsed herself with the attached shower head, now grateful that Draco had insisted going to a first class room since having a private bath, with shower, was divine.
Climbing out when she was done Hermione wrapped the towel around her body and walked to the sink.
For the first time since that morning, and after being called beautiful by Draco twice, she looked at herself in the mirror. Staring at her reflection, she still couldn't call herself beautiful, but she could begin to call herself pretty, which caused her to smile.
Placing her bag on the counter, she pulled out a pair of knickers, followed by face lotion, then her hairbrush. She rubbed her face with the lotion; the salty air was making its dryer than normal.
Following she began the task of brushing her hair. Hermione had learned to split her hair into sections and always start at the bottom. Her magical shampoo worked wonders at detangling and keeping her hair soft, but it could only do so much. Ten semi-painful minutes later her hair was all brushed. Hermione was not looking forward to what it was going to look like in the morning with it being dried naturally.
Finally ready to get dressed she put on her clean knickers. Looking around Hermione realized she had rushed so quickly into the bathroom she forgot Draco's shirt.
"Bollocks," she whispered.
Pulling the towel tighter around her, she opened the door "Excuse me? Draco? I forgot to grab your shirt before coming in here. Please get it for me."
Draco was lying on the bed in his boxers reading. When he heard his name, he looked up from his book to see a towel-clad Granger in the doorway of the bathroom.
The white towel she had on was wrapped very tight around her small frame. She held her arms crossed in front of her. Her hair still somewhat wet was hanging over her left shoulder. She looked both innocent and not. The slightly shy expression on her face, combined with her rosy cheeks made him a bit dizzy. Draco could only just stare at her.
Hermione called to him again getting impatient "Draco, please get me the shirt. I don't know where you put it or I would've grabbed it myself."
Hearing his named called again brought Draco out of his thoughts "Sorry. Right, here it is."
Rising from the bed he went to the dresser opened the first drawer and pulled out the shirt. Draco made his way to the bathroom door that she still occupied. Standing in front of her, he smelled the most pleasant scent of lavender and chamomile. He realized that it was her shampoo.
"Here you go," Draco murmured as he handed the shirt to Hermione.
"Thanks" Hermione replied. Being this close to Draco, in just a towel was making her feel things that she wasn't sure about.
"I'll be out in a moment" she hurriedly closed the door in his face.
Draco exhaled and went back to the bed. Grabbing his book, he began to read again.
He heard the bathroom door open a moment later like Hermione had said. His shirt hit her right below her bottom. Hermione was running the towel through her hair. Hermione appeared to be less shy now that she was dressed.
She looked irresistible to Draco at that moment, unbeknownst to him she was having similar thoughts about him when she saw him his boxers.
Feeling more comfortable now that she wasn't completely naked anymore Hermione exited the bathroom towel drying her hair a bit more so it would hopefully dry more evenly.
Draco moved closer to the wall so she could climb into the bed next to him.
"Thanks for letting me sleep in this," Hermione said, still drying her hair.
"You're welcome," Draco said.
While being in bed together had been awkward the night before, this evening it somehow it felt natural like they had been sharing a bed for ages.
"Where did that book come from?" Hermione asked as she tossed the towel on the floor.
"I didn't picture you as the type of person to just drop towels on the floor" Draco teased.
Hermione rolled her eyes "I'm glad I'm not as predictable as you might have thought. Now, what are you reading?"
While you were in the bath, I was bored, I decided to try to find something to read. So I ran up to the reading room and grab some books for us to read. Here."
Draco handed one that was next to him over to her, it was A Midsummer Night's Dream.
"What are you reading?" Hermione asked as she rubbed the cover of the book in her lap.
Pulling book slightly away from his body Draco flipped to the cover and read it out loud "A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle" he shrugged and went back to reading.
Hermione looked at the book in her hands and the one in his she began to frown.
"Wait a minute, how is it possible that you just happen to pick out books by two of the most famous muggle authors that ever lived in a mere ten minutes?"
Once again he closed the book, this time he added a sigh of frustration of being interrupted once again.
"You were in there close to forty minutes, not ten. It took me, twenty minutes to decide what to read. Though I will confess, I have heard of the two of them. Not these specific stories, just in general. Some of the Slytherins didn't care about blood purity and were able to enjoy muggle things and would tell others about them. I would always think them to be ignorant and didn't know what they were talking about. So I refused to read any of their works. But after everything I figured now would be a good time to give them a try. Have you read that before?"
She gently touched the book in her hand "Yes, it is actually one of my favorite comedies of William Shakespeare. Fun fact about myself, I was named after a character in one of his other plays the Winter Tale actually." she smiled.
"So this is a play, not a book" he didn't understand.
In her element, Hermione explained the works of Shakespeare to Draco.
"Correct. Shakespeare was a poet and a playwright, he has his sonnets, which are love poems. Then he has his plays that have been bound into books. Shakespeare's plays are split into three categories: tragedies, where almost everyone dies in the end, histories, based on real people and events; but artistic license is taken, then finally comedies, which are usually nonsense and all around fun. That is what this is." Hermione lifted the book to show what she was talking about.
"It's a Midsummers Night Dream, the plot is slightly confusing, it is set in ancient Greece and the main characters are two sets of couples. The couples separately plan to run away and elope with each other. When they enter the woods, they are put under a spell by a mischievous fairy named Puck to have them think the wrong person is their lover. It's pure chaos, and it's beautiful. Now for his sonnets, like I said they are customarily love poems. These don't have official titles, most publishers will use the first line of the sonnet as the title, so in general they are referred by the number. There are 154 sonnets altogether. One of my favorite sonnets is Sonnet 130."
Hermione began to recite Sonnet 130 closing her eyes feeling the words as she spoke them.
"My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.
"Having a hard time following, what is he trying to say?" Draco asked.
"Well, Shakespeare is expressing his or rather the narrator's love to a woman who isn't necessarily beautiful. Here let me paraphrase it for you.
"My mistress's eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips;
If snow is white, then her breasts are a brownish gray;
If hairs are like wires, hers are black and not golden.
I have seen damask roses, red and white [streaked],
But I do not see such colors in her cheeks;
And some perfumes give more delight
Thanthe horrid breath of my mistress.
I love to hear her speak, but I know
That music has a more pleasing sound.
I've never seen a goddess walk;
But I know that my mistress walks only on the ground.
And yet I think my love as rare
As any woman who has been misrepresented by ridiculous comparisons
"Despite all her faults the narrator still finds her beautiful and loves her. It is a parody of the traditional love poem."
Draco nodded in understanding.
"Go back to this, though" he pointed to the book in her hand "if it isn't a book, then why is it like a book?"
"I assume it must be a muggle thing because most plays are bound into books, that way people can read them whenever they want and not just see them performed."
Flipping through the book, she smiled "I'm glad you picked this one it is my favorite comedy."
Hermione snuggled closer to Draco in the bed. "What do you think of your story?"
Draco smiled and snuggled closer to her "I'm happy that you like it. I wasn't sure.
"I am enjoying mine very much. It is surprisingly fantastic; Sherlock Holmes is badass. Who knew Muggles were so talented."
Hermione rolled her eyes fighting the urge to shout 'me, I knew Muggles were this talented.'
The pair was soon reading in silence; Hermione was curled up low on Draco's bare chest holding her book near his stomach. Draco had his left arm gently resting on her left shoulder holding his book over her head.
Lightly stretching after he finished the chapter he had been reading Draco remembered he had wanted to ask Hermione what exactly it was that Clarke discovered.
Closing his book he cleared his throat to get her attention, that didn't work so he called her name.
"Hmm, do you need something Draco?" Hermione didn't look up from her book.
"I wanted to talk, but if you're too wrapped up in Shakespeare, then I'll leave you alone."
She rose from his chest creating a cold spot where she was "Oh, okay."
She closed her book and leaned back on her pillows looking at him "What did you want to talk about?"
Draco rubbed his chest where she had been "Well I realized tonight at dinner that I have never asked why you were so interested in finding Clarke. You went into a bit of detail telling Daniel Marvin; but what did he really do? Why is it so important to you?"
Hermione glanced down at her lap, how to explain why she wanted to know more about this man?
"Back in 1902 Clarke had discovered that wizards and muggles have the same blood types. The only difference is there is a mutation or rather extra gene in the DNA of wizards, which is the gene that makes them wizards. There is no difference between quote-unquote, purebloods, halfbloods, muggle-borns or even muggles themselves.
"I figured that if I were able to obtain the information I could use it for future generations. So no one would have to go through what we've had to. I just can't help but get angry at the whole situation. It wasn't just your family, Harry's great grandfather also banished Clarke, along with many others whose families we know. Perhaps if the members of the Wizengamot had accepted this actual scientific fact rather than punish Clarke, we would never have had the two wizard wars. Voldemort would have had a difficult time rising to power since his cause would be fruitless. Which would mean that Harry's parents wouldn't have died, Sirius wouldn't have spent twelve horrific years in Azkaban. Your family would be different as well. We wouldn't have had all the senseless deaths over whose blood was better or the right kind, this proves that it is all the same.
"Clarke isn't even mentioned in textbooks. I wanted to meet the man who history forgot. I wanted to make sure people knew his name." She sighed at the end of her speech.
Draco took her hand "You're incredible Hermione. Not many people would be willing to travel back in time just to help those in the future. People will not only remember Clarke's name but yours as well.
"However what you fail to mention is what your follow up plan would be if Clarke didn't send you back. You're not so irresponsible to only be thinking of a grade, that you would risk your life."
"When did you become so nice? You've been complimenting me practically this whole time. Who are and what have you done with the snarky Draco Malfoy?" she laughed.
"Hey I've always been nice, I just never directed any of it to you before this year" he half chuckled, half looked apologetic.
Mentally shaking away the memories of him being cruel to Hermione he continued "Besides it isn't so much about being nice it's about being honest. You know me I am always one to speak what is on my mind" he smirked.
"Now tell me what your follow up plan was, I am aware that you had to have one since you are Hermione, you plan for everything."
"My follow up plan? Not sure how well it would've worked but my plan was to go to America and present Clarke's findings myself. In the hope that perhaps if the Americans accepted the findings, then Britain would soon consent to them as well. Then the wizard wars won't even happen. So no it wasn't just for the grade. After I was done, I would figure out some way to go back to the present."
"Leave it to a Gryffindor to try to save the world" he smirked pulling her into his chest again he had liked her there.
She curved into him, feeling content.
He began to fiddle with her hair and said absent-mindedly "It's an alright follow-up plan, but just so you know we will be returning to the year 1998 together before the ship sinks. I am positive of it."
"How can you be so certain?" she looked up at his face longingly.
Draco rolled his eyes "Aren't you the one in Gryffindor, the one with the faith, hope, and courage bullshit?
"I'm certain of it because let's face it between the two of us we can pretty much conqueror anything. We aren't the first and second in our class for nothing."
Hermione chortled "I guess you are right."
"Of course I am right, you act as if it is something I rarely am" Draco retorted.
"I also want to go on the record saying that I am not thrilled how you have cried so much while we have been here. It's been a little over 24 hours, and you've cried at least four times. I thought I told you I don't console people very well, I'm not comfortable with it."
Hermione playfully smacked him "Hey, you are the one who has made me cry! But I think you've done a splendid job of making me feel better."
They sat quietly for a minute then Hermione said.
"I know it was an accident that you are even here with me, but I am glad that you are. I wouldn't be able to do this alone. Furthermore, if I'm honest, I wouldn't want to be here with anyone else. I…appreciate you Draco."
Draco took her hand, brought it to his lips, and kissed it softly "I appreciate you as well Hermione."
Readjusting in bed, he said, "We should get some sleep."
Draco then noticed Hermione's face get sad. He said "Or we could just continue to read."
At that, her face brightened with a smile.
Her smile caused Draco to chuckle "Bookworm."
She stuck her tongue out and laughed "Takes one to know one."
She settled back into her original position and went back to reading. With her on his chest and his arm wrapped around her is how they fell asleep.