Back at Malfoy Manor, which Draco technically owned, since his father's imprisonment, and his mother had passed it on. Despite that, Hermione and Draco hardly ever went there. They owned a flat in Wizarding London, but they didn't want to be bothered, and her friends knew of the flat, even if they never visited. Although if there was ever a time that they would visit, it would be know. And know was when she least wanted them.
The two of them were eating dinner in silence, Hermione was still grieving for her friends. It had been 3 days since they had been checked into St. Mungo's and released the same day. Due to what had happened, they had not ventured out of the flat, instead hoping to receive some sort of communication from Hermione's friends. But to her sadness, no post from Harry or any of the Weasleys came. Instead the only mail they got was an owl from the Ministry of Magic:
Dear Miss Hermione Granger and Mr. Draco Malfoy,
Due to your recent experience with Mr. Ronald Weasley, I have seen it fit, to call together a meeting of the Wizengamot in 2 weeks time, on the date of September 20. If you are, for any reason unable to make the meeting please let me know.
At the meeting it would be ideal, and further help your case, if you were willing to be submitted to Veritaserum, and a pensieve viewing. They are not required, and you can do one without the other if you so choose. It is recommended, by myself, that for the strongest case, you and your fiance both do them. It would significantly help your case.
I have also taken the liberty of collecting the statements from St. Mungo's concerning your stay. But, it would be recommendable that you do the same. I will be having no part in the case, other than that of an overviewer, and will not be voting in the case.
The trial, because of the importance of the case and the accused, will be expected to last approximately two to three hours, but may be longer or shorter.
If you wish for any witnesses to be called, the Ministry has to be alerted of who, and they must be okay with being questioned under the influence of truth serum. They must also be present at the meeting, and can also be in the audience, and will not be allowed to vote in the case.
Thank you for your time,
And see you on the 20th of September,
Head of the Wizengamot, Order of Merlin 2nd class, war heroine
After reading the fairly short letter from Susan Bones, who had been in their year at Hogwarts, and Hermione remembered fondly of, she turned to Draco, who had read the letter over her shoulder.
"What are we going to do now?"
If anyone knew what to do, it was Draco, who had been born, bred and raised in and for politics.
"We are going to go shopping."
At her questioning and incredulience look, he elaborated.
"We have nothing to wear, and nothing makes people take you as serious, as looking good does."
An hour later, Hermione had sent the owl back to the ministry, this time with a letter expressing that they would be there, and that they would contact her with information concerning the witnesses. They clasped hands, and apperated, together into the Leaky Cauldron.
They were immediately pinned with the stares of the people that immediately recognized them. Amongst them, sitting by himself was Dean Thomas. Hermione upon seeing him, smiled at him, and waved. When his only response was to stare at her, or more accurately over her shoulder, she went over to him, Draco following behind her, slightly taller than her, and visible to Dean the entire time. When she got over there, he stood up, and began to walk away, but threw words at her from over her shoulder.
"I honestly didn't believe it when I saw it in the paper, but here you are with him, and for once, the papers got it right."
He continued on his way, and pulled out his wand, tapped the wall, and entered the Alley, all while Hermione stood there, a confused expression on her face, an expression that was mirrored on Draco's.
Draco shook off his confusion, and took the hand of his witch in his, and pulled her, gently over to the brick wall, glaring at the people that were still staring at them, and pulled out his wand.
Hermione shook herself out of the surprised state she was in, and followed him through the newly revealed opening in the wall, choosing not to comment on the newly occurring event.
"Where to first, ya think?"
There was silence before Draco responded,
"All occasions robes store, or the fancy one?"
So they went down the alley, and curiously wherever they went, the people around them went silent, before whispering to themselves. The people that they passed, stopped walking and looked, wide eyed at them, before averting their eyes, and continuing on their way twice as quickly as before. Draco glared at them when they passed, and most people found it best to not bother the couple, though many looked like they wanted to.
Finally they came to the robe shop at the end of the corner, and entered. It was, thankfully, almost empty. Besides the employees and associates that worked at the store, there was only an elderly woman who was just finishing up at the register.
Draco and Hermione split up, looking for robes that would be suitable for their day in court.
Draco found a robe of dark grey, almost silver, that he immediately had tailored to him, and bought. He was just finishing up, and was going to find Hermione when she came out of the back room. She had a dark green colored dress robe that had been tailored already, and fit fine.
He payed, despite Hermione's protesting, and then shrunk down both of their bags. Hermione grabbed his hand, and they walked together out the door.
On their way out, the two of them saw a large crowd gathered at the end of the road, Hermione turned to Draco, and gestured with her head to the end of the street, shooting him a questioning look. He nodded subtlety and they turned to the commotion. They weren't, however prepared to see their faces in the hands of most there.
It was a Special Edition of the Daily Prophet. All about Hermione, Draco, Harry and Ron.
Hermione shared a wide eyed look with Draco, before he put his head down and went up to the stand, where he grabbed one, carelessly tossing a few coins as he went. He walked back over to Hermione, and she leaned in close to him and said,
"Lets leave before they realise who we are." So they turned around, faces down and walked away, hoping against hope that no one had seen them. They were only about halfway down the street, when they heard running feet behind them. Fearing the worst they turned back, and were relieved to see that it was only the one person, who seemed to have recognised them. Hermione looked closer at the face, and was horrified to see that it was a male…. With bright, vibrant hair, and a long lankey look about him.
"It must be George." Hermione whispered to Draco, knowing that he wouldn't recognise him yet.
"Do you want to disapparate before he gets here?" Draco asked in vain, he knew fully well that Hermione would rather confront him, not to mention that Hermione probably considered him to still be a friend.
"No...I'd rather see what he has to say. Worst comes to worst, we can use whatever he says as evidence against Ron in court, as he is his brother, and will doubtlessly be on his side in this.
Hermione sighed tiredly, studying the person, only just down road.
"As wrong as that is, I think that he will be totally on his side, and probably say something that we can use against them." Hermione finished grimly, only momentarily surprising Draco, she had obviously thought this through.
When George was close, within a 10 yards he stopped running, and slowed down to barely a walk. Draco stepped a few feet away, wanting her to be able to talk, but at the same time, show George that he would step in.
When George was only a few steps away, he stopped, and held up the paper, that had been crumpled up and balled in his fist, and opened his mouth, a furious look on his face. Hermione mentally prepared herself to be yelled at, and blamed and all sorts of horrible things. What she was not prepared for, however was denial.
"I can't believe that people would believe any of this rubbish." His eyes were fixed on Hermione, it seemed that he hadn't registered just who she was with, probably thinking that it was just someone who had confronted her, but was not actually there with her.
He continued on, blissfully ignorant of the incredulous look on Hermione's face, "It is complete and utter rubbish, who would believe any of it?! I mean come on, you and Malfoy...Dream on." He shook his head in wonder, scoffing.
"I mean whoever wrote it did not check their facts, you hated Malfoy in school, and he hates you. It is unbelievable that you two would ever, ever get together!" George looked on the verge of ripping up the paper, as he held it with two hands out in front of him, eyes scanning it furiously.
When she couldn't think of what to say next, her fiance picked it up for her.
"Look, Weasley, I don't know how to tell you this, but Hermione and I are very much together. Though I don't see how it is any business of yours, or anyone else's for that matter." At the cold, icy, unmistakably tone of Draco Malfoy, George's eyes flicked to him, and his furious face morphed into one of shock.
Without another word to George, Hermione grabbed her fiance's hand in hers, her wand in the other, and disapperated the away, not wishing to waste her time anymore.
Hermione apparated them to Malfoy Manor, figuring that her friends would go to the flat if they wanted to find her, which they doubtlessly did.
Once there, Draco unfurled the newspaper that he still had in his hand. He quickly scanned the headline, then grimaced, and put it on the table that was on the far side of the room.
"Come look at this." said Draco, but it wasn't needed, as Hermione was already following his footsteps to the table. She gasped as the quickly began to read it.
Hermione Granger and Draco Malfoy: Love Discovered…. And what the rest of the Golden Trio had to 'say' about it.
It was recently revealed to the public, and friends alike that Hermione Granger, esteemed war heroine and best friend of Harry Potter, and the thought love interest of Ron Weasley, had been secretly dating, and is now engaged to Ex Death Eater, Draco Malfoy, son of Lucius Malfoy, a loyal, right hand man of You-Know-Who.
In light of their past, it seems unlikely that the two got together of their own accord. It is likely, but not confirmed, that Hermione was placed under the effects of a charm or potion by young Malfoy. We can only hope that Miss Granger's health did not suffer any consequences of this sinister plot. It is also clear that D. Malfoy has a cell in Azkaban with his name on it, hopefully next to that of his father.
Fans of the Golden Trio and of Hermione Granger herself are calling for more extreme punishment to take place. Without the Dementors presence, Azkaban is hardly the punishment that it once was.
When Ron Weasley and Harry Potter, two of the members of the Golden Trio, heard about what was going on between their friend and the Death Eater, they immediately thought that it was unauthentic, and so they confronted Malfoy, all in the hopes of helping their friend. Ronald, an auror, took extreme measures to get Malfoy to take off the charm on Hermione, his friend of 11 years. Miss Granger was, unfortunately and unintentionally hurt in the crossfire, and was taken to St. Mungos alongside Draco.
As of now, there are, regretfully few details on what happened in the fray. But we can only hope that justice is served for the Golden Trio. We at the Daily Prophet sincerely hope that Hermione is restored to her health and that justice is served-
Hermione stopped reading, the article continued onto the next page, but she didn't want to read anymore of it. She looked at Draco, to see that he was done reading, and was looking at her.
"Where did they get all of this information?" he asked, his voice uncharacteristically quiet and soft.
"We didn't talk, Ron is at the ministry, in custody. So it could only have been Harry."
Draco nodded slowly, then looked at her, "We should talk to the reporters ourselves, tell them what really happened at the 'fray'."
"I agree," Hermione said then paused in thought, a slight frown on her face. "But first I think that we need to confront Harry himself."
Draco looked at her in surprise, "But we can't. They could use it against us when we are on trial, since we sought him out."
Hermione smirked, "If we keep our cool, and let Harry say most of the words, we could use what he says against him. The means justifies the end. It won't matter that we sought him out."
Draco reluctantly agreed.
Just a short 20 minutes later, the two of them were in the dining room again, the paper lay untouched on the table. The two were dressed to impress, thinking that they could use all of the confidence they could get. Hermione was wearing robes of dark blue, with silver stitching, knowing that Draco liked the color on her, and a black cloak in her arms. She hurriedly put it on. Draco himself was wearing silky black robes, with a silver cloak, already on. Both of them had wand holsters on their dominant wrists, concealed by sleeves. Hermione had suggested that they bring them, but not in plain view, so that they would seem less threatening, but they still had them in easy access. Draco had readily agreed, thinking that it was a great idea on her part.
Hermione took a deep breath and stepped forward, up to the fireplace in front of them. They were going to floo so that no wands were needed to be out, and that way Harry would be able to deny them entrance if he wanted. Hermione didn't think that he would dare to deny them entrance after all that had happened. They needed to talk.
Hermione grabbed a handful of the floo powder and threw it into the fireplace. She looked back at Draco one last time, smiled and stepped into the bright green flames.
She was whisked away, and for a moment everything was dark, and then she was in a posh sitting room, facing the two couched walls. On the couch on the wall closest to Hermione, sat Ginny and Harry. The two of them were very close together, Harry's hand was draped over her shoulder, and she was leaning into him. On the other couch was Molly and Arthur, next to them sat George. All of them were listening to Molly talk. Harry and Ginny were nodding along in agreement, while George looked angry and was glaring at his mother. Molly looked angry, not at anyone, but at what she was saying. Arthur simply looked resigned.
They all looked up as the fire sounded, and she walked out of it.
Hermione looked at them, and gave a silent sigh, wishing that it had just been Harry and Ginny. She looked at the fireplace, knowing that Draco wouldn't be through for another 5 minutes, as they had previously agreed. She would come back if it got violent, and they had decided that she would try to stay near the fireplace.
Hermione just brushed the soot and ash off of her robes and cloak, and shook it out of her hair, even as everyone started to yell and glare at her.
"Draco Malfoy! I ask you-" started Molly, before she was interrupted by Arthur grabbing her hand and pulling her back down next to him on the couch, murmuring in her ear. Molly nodded regretfully, and remained quietly seated, though she glared at Hermione vehemently.
"Honestly Hermione! Just show up here, as if you are welcome here! I think not, not after everything that you have done to this family!" Ginny yelled, jumping up from her seat on the couch. Harry too rose from his seat, but didn't say anything to Hermione, or anyone else for that matter. He grabbed Ginny's hand, and pulled her back down, gently to the couch. She sat, but only after glaring at Hermione as if she had just killed her cat.
"I know that you all don't care what I have to say, but I just want it known that I can date, and marry whoever I want, and it is in no way up to you." Hermione paused, as if expecting one of them to but in and argue that with her. No one did. However she did notice that while everyone else glared at her, George nodded, no hostility in his eyes.
Hermione took a breath and started back in, "Also, Ron greatly overreacted and what he did was uncalled for and unprovoked. Draco did nothing to him." That was where the Weasleys argued with her.
"How could he not! It is completely your fault!" Molly yelled, and Hermione shot her such a look, that it shut her up.
"How dare you!" Harry looked deeply insulted as he said this, probably taking offense at the mere idea that it was Ron's fault.
"Unprovoked! With Draco Malfoy hanging around?" Ginny all but screamed, remembering him from her school days.
The voices of Harry, Molly and Ginny mixed together. Ginny and Molly had both risen to her feet. Harry was glaring at her, but he also looked regretful, if angry. Arthur, though he didn't say anything to her, was glaring at her, it was clear that he was not, in any way, on her side.
George, on the other hand, was a different case. He looked angry, and had risen to his feet, but he was not looking at her, instead his furius gaze was on the rest of his family.
"She's right!" When George said this, everyone else stopped talking, and looked at him, shocked that he would defend her over them.
"It wasn't her fault that Ron has a temper! If he is too much of an idiot to know that he shouldn't shoot the Cruciatus Curse at people, then he deserves what he will get!" Everyone else was staring at George, no one had expected him to say any of this. After the death of his twin, even years later, he was still inclined to be quiet, and generally peaceful.
"We shouldn't, and don't, have any control over who she dates, like she said. She didn't have to tell us, and we have no right to be angry that she didn't. We should be happy for her, not blaming her for Ron's stupidity." his voice had gone quiet, or maybe it just seemed it. The rest of the room was deadly silent and everyone's eyes were on him.
The silence was only interrupted when the floo sounded and Draco stepped into the room. All eyes turned to him. Under the silent stares, Draco blinked. He had expected yelling and possibly even curses. Not this. Not the silent, deathly silence that flooded the room.
It seems that things may stay like that forever, when Molly stepped forward, her eyes fixed on Hermione. Everyone else, except for Hermione and Draco were sitting.
"How dare you! How...Dare…You." Her voice was quiet, and no one expected for her hand to dive for her pocket, and a wand to appear in it.
She missed, luckily for Hermione, which was who she her wand had been trained on. Hermione quickly flicked her wrist, and her wand fell into her expectant hand. Draco did the same. Hermione quickly turned to Draco, knowing that he would be on the verge of using his.
"No we can't! Think!"
Luckily for Hermione and Draco, there was no need for either of them to use their wands. George had stood up, pulled out a wand, and wordlessly disarmed his mother. Before anyone could react, he had crossed the room, and grabbed a handful of floo powder. He hesitated before throwing the powder in the fireplace, and turned to Hermione and Draco.
"If there was one thing that I learned from the war, it's that you have to move on and forgive. If you ever need me, just owl. I don't blame you for what Ron did. And Draco, I know that if Hermione was willing to go anywhere near you, then you are nothing like your father."
He turned around and threw Molly's wand on the ground a few feet away from where she now sat. Without further ado, he threw in the powder and was lost in the green flames.
Hermione turned to the rest of the room, and saw that everyone was looking at her and Draco. She looked at Draco, and nodded. They both turned and reached for the floo powder, grabbing a handful each.
Before they could leave, Harry stood up and spoke.
"Hermione, just so that you know, I completely consider our friendship to be over."
Hermione didn't turn around at his voice, nor his words, knowing that he would say something like that. She was only sad that she hadn't said it first, as she felt the same.
Over the years that she had dated Draco, she had slowly accepted that because of her relationship, her friendship with both Ron and Harry would be over.
Hermione and Draco threw the powder into the fireplace, and stepped in, not even sparing a glance at the people behind them, all of whom were all staring at the fireplace. At the place where three very important people had just left through.
Hey! Sorry about the shortness of the last chapter, this one is longer.
Thank you so much for the people who have reviewed, especially the last Guest! It really makes my day when people review, so thank you for that :) Hope you all enjoy the chapter, and this story in general, writing really makes my happy...
Have a great rest of your day, and week (we're almost to Friday)!