On the small seemingly deserted island, their footsteps echoed loudly. They had just got off the small boat that had brought them to the small, miserable thing of an island. Ahead of them, the fortress of Azkaban lay, clouds of a dark grey hue hung low over them, extending all the way ahead of them to the fortress. The large walls couldn't hide the plain aura of suffering and misery. Dementors were visible, through far away they were. Hermione could almost hear the screams and wails of the prisoners there, trapped in the torment of their worst memories, despite that they were too far away for hearing to be possible.
Narcissa Malfoy, Draco's mother had insisted that Hermione and Draco visit his father to tell him the news of their engagement. Narcissa was overjoyed, and had really warmed up to Hermione, though time it had taken. They were very close now, and quite the best of friends. Hermione didn't see any good coming from visiting Lucius but well, what could you do? Draco really hoped that his father had changed, and Hermione did too, if only for Draco's sake. But she thought, privately, that if anything the time he had had in prison would only have strengthened his resolve that he was right, after all a Mudblood had helped put him in jail, thus proving, in his mind, that he was superior.
So there they were. On Azkaban. After the war, Lucius had been given a lifetime sentence for his 'crimes against humanity' and aiding the Death Eaters and Lord Voldemort. He was also convicted of no less than 24 murders, but he doubtlessly had committed many more. Hermione had helped to convict him, she had testified that he did nothing when he could have stopped it, and even helped in her torture an Malfoy Manor, at the hands of his sister in law. She was so grateful that there were no hard feelings between her and Draco for it.
Hermione and Draco held hands, each gripping the others' tightly, though it was unclear who needed the support more. Hermione, who was about to meet her soon to be father in law, who would most likely hate her, and by extension his son, all because of their engagement and future marriage. Or Draco, who would have to face the bane of his childhood existence, that would most likely hate the women he loved.
Once inside the dreaded walls, two prison guards escorted them to the visiting cell, where there would be the glass that they could talk through. Lucius was already in there, bound and seated, on the farthest side of the glass, turned towards the glass and the empty seats on the other side of it.
The heavy metal door creaked as the guard opened it, it was rusty and needed to be oiled by the look of it. Ruset rust streaked down the side, it the shape of a triangle drawn with a shaky hand, coming to a point about mid way down the door.
Two more guards were in the room when Draco and Hermione entered. They nodded at the other guards and their escort guards left leaving them with the other two, and Lucius. Hermione and Draco sat, studying the man on the other side of the glass. He was haggard, his face gaunt. His skin, once a matte pale, was now a shiny yellow, that screamed unhealthy. His hair was greasy, long enough to reach his waist, and was as yellow as his face. He had a slight beard, surprisingly short for the months he had been without a shave. He was thin, and the poor robes that he was wearing hung off him, they were poor quality, probably the cheapest Lucius Malfoy had worn in his life. His eyes, once so alive with hatred at the sight of Hermione, were only able to manage meager disgust. His eyes were also haunted with the nightmare of his worst memories, that the dementors made him relive. Disgust, for her was the only thing in his eyes when he looked at the face of his son and his fiance, how ironic, considering how he looked himself.
He said nothing, only looked at her, before shifting his dead gaze to his only son. There was no emotion in his eyes as he looked at his son.
"Hello." Draco said breaking the silence.
"Hello? That's what you say to me? Hello? You come in here with a Mudblood, and from what I've assumed, and the ring on her finger, one that you wish to marry." Lucius said quietly. He obviously felt his words, or at least thought he should, but there was no emotion in his voice. His glassy eyes never left Draco, but he didn't seem to be seeing him. He hunched forward, his elbows on his knees, his mouth creating a slight sneer. He looked crazier than his sister in law, Bellatrix could have ever hoped to achieve.
It was silent for a long moment before Hermione pitched in. It had only taken one glance at the look on Draco's face to make her furious at the man in front of her.
"Mr. Malfoy...I don't know if you've figured it out yet, but I really don't care what people like you have to say to me. I've heard nothing but 'Mudblood this and Mudblood that' from you and the people like you! Guess what? I. Don't. Care. Not anymore!" she broke off, breathing hard. By the end of it she had been yelling at him, her rage at him getting the best if her, but he appeared unmoved. So she continued.
"I have found that man I love, and I intend to marry him. Whether a jackass like you agrees or not? You are here rotting in jail! You don't get to have an effect on Draco's life any more! So go back and rot in jail some more!" she had risen during her tirade at him, and at the end of it she sat down, satisfied. She studied him and his emotionless face, before turning away in disgust for him and what he believed in, what Draco no longer believed in.
"Father, I'm sorry for all that happened with us in the past. I will apologize for all of it, but the one thing I will not apologize for is finding and marrying the woman I love! It is because of her that I no longer believe in the rubbish I was spoonfed, by you, since I was born! I regret nothing to do with our relationship, except for how it started and continued during Hogwarts, until the end of the war!" He had stood as well like Hermione, but he didn't sit back down, instead he grabbed his fiance's hand and pulled her to her feet, breathing hard, and staring in hatred, and perhaps a touch of disbelief at the emotionless face of his father.
"What do you have nothing to say?" Draco asked, becoming even more furious at the idea that Lucius would have nothing to say, in retaliation or otherwise, to his speech. It was an insult that he would not deign to answer him, to defend his ideals.
Lucius looked at him, and his gaze shifted to her, before going back to him. Finally he close his eyes and tilted his head back. He would have been looking at the filth covered ceiling if he had not closed his eyes in apparent fatigue.
Hermione grew furious then. She took a deep breath and looked at the face of the man she loved. It was one of anger, but Hermione knew him so well that she could see behind it to the feelings of pain and grief that to most would be masked by the anger. He still loved his father, as most children do. If he had had his way, he would have remembered the good times, and never seen him again, except from when he couldn't avoid him in his dreams.
After everything that had happened, he regretted that it had come to this, to yelling at him, defending himself and his loved. Separated by glass. One living a fine, happy life, one rotting in hell on Earth.
Hermione didn't blame him for still loving his father, even though she didn't agree with him. She would probably still love her father, even if he had done all the things that Draco's father had.
Hermione tightened the grip she had on Draco's hand, and began to walk backwards to the door, her eyes fixed on the man that had fathered her other half. Her eyes flicked back to Draco, before returning to the shell of a man before her. Draco followed her, but he, unlike her turned to face her, tearing his eyes away from the man that had fathered him.
Draco's steps were calm and purposeful, not faltering as they strived towards the exit, not slowing down as the two armed guards joined them. His face was of ice, but it softened as Hermione grabbed his hand, and pulled him close to her.
"Are you okay, love?" Hermione questioned, having no idea, though she knew him very well and could read him, what the answer could possibly be.
"Yeah. I just want to get off this island, I don't want to be here anymore, I just want him out of my life." Draco said candorly. He was open with her, while with others he would lie and construct lies that would benefit him, a true Slytherin.
And that they did. The next boat out of there had them on it. And as they got farther and farther away from the grim island, and closer to what would only be their home for only 2 and a half more weeks, Draco felt as if a weight had lifted from his shoulder relieving his back of pain.
As they stepped onto the cold, crisp and clear land of London, Draco felt his worries slip away, he looked at Hermione, and felt only happiness. He was ready to start his new life. A life with Hermione, and without his father. He had done as his mother had asked, but he was very determined that that would be the last time he ever saw the wretched face of his father. Despite what his mother said about him changing, but she was blinded by her love for him. She just couldn't see the truth.
Hermione could feel only happiness as she held onto Draco's hand, just as tightly as he gripped hers.
All worries and stress melted off the couple as they breathed the salty air, and embraced the new life they hoped to have together.
That was how they both felt, they closed their eyes together, only opening them when a nearby person cleared his throat.
Every feeling of remote happiness and peace Hermione had felt, deserted her as she opened her eyes to see the emerald green eyes of her best friend Harry Potter, beside him Ron Weasley, her wannabe suitor, glaring blue eyes full of hatred and venom aimed at the man beside her, who breathed in sharply in surprise, even as she did.
"H-Harry...Ron. What… What are you doing here?" Hermione asked shakily, surprise still in her system.
They didn't say anything. That is until Rone went for his wand… and pointed in furiously at Draco. His mouth opened to yell a curse, she didn't hear which one, and a bolt of red light came out of his wand, when Harry yelled and diverted his wand, pushing his hand, moving it so that the red jet of light that had flown out of it went speeding towards Hermione instead.
Harry didn't mean to make it go for Hermione, he just knew that, as an auror, Ron could not go shooting the the Cruciatus curse, and have it hit anyone. Practicing it was enough trouble as it was, it was months in Azkaban if it hit anyone.
But nonetheless, the red beam of light went speeding towards Hermione, who stood frozen, shell shocked, looking at the horrid curse that her best friend had shot towards her, purposeful or not.