Shattered Trust - Separation

Chapter 12

Draco stood near the top of a mountain in northern India. In his hands was a golden bracelet with emerald stones, and he was just about to drop the bracelet into a crevice. The bracelet had been the item Voldemort had sent him to India to track down. Draco had spent nearly a fortnight scouring India, searching for the bracelet. Quite early on in his search he'd heard about the gold and emerald bracelet that was passed onto the next generation of the family when they married. However the family line had died out generations ago, leaving the whereabouts of the bracelet a mystery. A bit of digging revealed the bracelet was still rumoured to be in India, all Draco had to do was find it.

Ironically Draco's search led him into the muggle world, where he found the bracelet in a museum in Kolkata. Using magic it was easy to break in and steal the bracelet. Once he had the bracelet, Draco contacted Voldemort to let him know that his mission had been a success, although he did refrain from telling The Dark Lord that he'd found the piece in the muggle world. Voldemort might just decide he didn't want it after all, and send him off in search of something else instead.

Once Voldemort knew he had the bracelet he'd arrived in India along with Bellatrix. Telling Draco to stay put for a few days, he'd disappeared with the bracelet and when he returned he gave the bracelet back to Draco and told him to hide it where no-one would ever find it, before he'd headed off for a romantic break with his lover. That was how Draco ended up in the Himalayas, looking for a safe hiding place for the bracelet. He'd chosen to drop the bracelet into a crevice, because unless you used magic it would be impossible to be retrieved.

As he threw the bracelet down into the crevice and cast a few extra security charms around the area, Draco idly wondered what the bracelet actually meant to Voldemort. This was now the fourth item he'd hidden for Voldemort, and there had to be a reason behind it. Draco just didn't know what it was, and despite making a list of the other things he'd hidden before he'd left for India, Draco found his curiosity fading again. As with everything else since Hermione died, nothing seemed important any more, and as he usually did, Draco turned his thoughts back to ending his pain.

Despite that wish, Draco knew deep down that he wasn't totally suicidal. If all he wanted to do was die, he could have done so numerous times. As Theo had pointed out months ago, he could have cast the killing curse on himself whenever he wanted, and even now he was standing in the middle of nowhere with danger surrounding him. While the crevice he'd thrown the bracelet in wasn't big enough for a person, there were plenty that were. He could easily take a tumble in the mountains, and no-one would ever find him in time to save his life. While Draco may not have been overly suicidal, he still wasn't concerned about his life. If he died, then he died, so be it.

Before he'd left for India, Draco had overheard his parents talking about him and his recklessness. They both hoped that the longer he survived, the more likely he was to start engaging in life again. Unfortunately for them, the exact opposite was happening to their son. The longer Draco was living without Hermione, the colder and more distant he was becoming. Losing Hermione had shattered him, and there was no way he was allowing himself to go through that pain again. His answer to that was to shut himself off from the world, if he didn't let anyone into his heart then it couldn't be broken any more if he lost them.

After being up in mountains for well over an hour, Draco double checked the bracelet was well protected before apparating back to his hotel. He then swiftly packed his bag, checked out and headed home to the manor.

It was nearing midnight as Lucius sat in his study, firewhisky in hand as he scanned through some papers for the family business. Not that he could focus as all his thoughts were on the witch currently residing in the guest bedroom nearest to his bedroom. Narcissa had decided it wasn't wise to put Hermione in Draco's wing give their son's recent attitude towards visitors. Lucius had agreed, but he was fully expecting her to move into Draco's wing when his son returned. Not that Lucius knew when that was going to be as there had been no word from his son since he left, so they had no idea when he was due back.

As if on cue, Lucius felt the wards of the manor ripple as someone apparated directly into the vast house. Considering the only people who could apparate straight into the manor where himself, Narcissa and Draco, he knew his son must have returned. Despite wanting to rush straight off to see Draco and inform him of everything that had happened, Lucius remained in his study to give his son a small bit of time to settle in. Once he was confident Draco would have had enough time to freshen up, Lucius headed off to see his son.

Lucius knew his son would know he had arrived the second he entered Draco's wing, and he was just hoping he didn't dash off as he often did. Lucius was hoping that after being away for weeks, he would be content to stay where he was. Luckily for Lucius, Draco hadn't left when he felt the wards been breached. He was sitting in front of the fire, in his own personal library.

"Father," Draco greeted shortly as his father approached him.

"Draco." Lucius returned. It was clear right away that Draco's time away had done little to counteract how cold and distant he was these days, but hopefully things were about to change. "May I sit, I have some things I wish to discuss with you."

"Take a seat," Draco answered. "Do you want a glass of firewhisky?" he offered as he stood up and strolled over to a nearby cupboard where he stored his liquor.

Lucius accepted the proffered drink from his son. Even if Draco was distant, his manners were still perfect and he never just told Lucius to leave. Sometimes if the conversation took a personal turn, Draco would sit stoically and not respond until Lucius gave up and left, but Lucius was determined that it wasn't going to happen this time. Although to be fair, he still hadn't worked out how to tell his son that the witch he loved and had spent the last several months mourning for was still alive.

"What can I do for you?" Draco asked as he handed his father his drink, before sitting back down in his chair.

"I'm sure you're aware that recently I've been monitoring an Order property alongside Rabastan and Rodolphus," Lucius began.

"The mystery prisoner the Order are holding," Draco replied with a scoffing snort. He'd heard what his father had been investigating lately, but frankly he thought it was ludicrous and he reckoned that whoever was giving him the information was just pulling his leg.

"You don't think it's true?" Lucius questioned, taking a sip of his firewhisky.

"I don't see who the Order could possibly be keeping prisoner," Draco answered with an unconcerned shrug. "It's already been established that no Death Eaters are missing. Those lucky sods not with us are dead."

"I do wish you wouldn't talk like that," Lucius grumbled.

"Then don't talk to me then," Draco shot back. "You know my feelings, and you know why I'm like this."

"Indeed I do," Lucius said, finishing his firewhisky and placing the empty glass on the table as he made a decision. "Come with me Draco, I've got something important to show you."

"Can't it wait?" Draco asked, making no move to get to his feet. "It's after midnight and I'm knackered."

"You'll want to see this," Lucius said firmly. "And you'll want to see it tonight."

"Fine." With a sigh Draco placed his own glass down on the table and rose to his feet. "This better not have anything to do with damn prisoners. I know The Dark Lord is keen for me to turn my hand to torture, but I'm really not in the mood tonight."

"The prisoners in the dungeons can keep," Lucius replied. "Although I'd bet that you'll be dying to get to them as soon as you can."

"So if we're not going to see the prisoners, where are we going?" Draco asked.

"To see the witch the Order have been holding captive," Lucius answered.

"Bloody hell, they did have a prisoner," Draco said, unable to hide his surprise.

"They did," Lucius confirmed. "And yesterday afternoon we liberated her. We have two members of the Order downstairs in the dungeons, but the witch the Order were keeping under lock and key is in a guest suite."

"Who is it and why were they holding her?" Draco asked. "And more importantly, why the hell is she in a guest suite?"

"I think it's better if you see for yourself," Lucius said. Even though it was late he was betting Hermione was still awake, and even if she wasn't, he knew she would want to be woken to see Draco.

"I'm not in the mood for mysteries Father," Draco snapped as Lucius turned and walked out of the library. "Just tell me what's going on."

"If you want to know what's going on, come with me," Lucius replied from outside the library, refusing to bow down and give into his son.

Not bothering to check if Draco was following him, Lucius strode down the corridor that led out of Draco's wing of the manor. Initially he wasn't sure if his son was behind him, but as he entered his and Narcissa's wing of the manor, he heard Draco muttering behind him. Lucius couldn't quite make out what his son was saying, but he was clearly baffled to be taken to his parents' wing of the manor.

As they approached the spare room where Narcissa had settled Hermione, Lucius was relieved to see a light shining under the door. Reaching the door, he turned to his son and gestured for him to knock.

"Just what is going on?" Draco asked his father rather than do as he asked and knock on the door.

"I think the witch on the other side of the door can explain better than I can," Lucius replied cryptically. "I just want you to know, your mother and I will support you in whatever you decide to do next, Draco. You may have spent months pushing us away, but we still love you and you're still our number one priority."

Totally baffled by his father's words, Draco let his curiosity get the better of him and he rapped on the door. Smiling slightly, Lucius slipped away down the corridor towards his own bedroom, leaving Draco to deal with whoever answered the door to the spare room. Just as Draco was about to give up and return to his own wing of the manor, the bedroom door began to creep open. Draco's mouth was already open, ready to give whoever was behind the door a piece of his mind when his entire world froze. Standing in front of him, as large as life, was Hermione. She was wearing a pair of silk pyjamas that Draco suspected belonged to his mother, and her long brunette hair was still damp from the shower.

"Hello Draco," Hermione said quietly as Draco staggered back from the doorway, his eyes locked on Hermione.

"I'm imagining you," Draco muttered. "You're not real."

"I'm very real," Hermione said as she carefully stepped forward and reached out her hand for her boyfriend.

Draco jumped as Hermione's hand settled on his arm. Tentatively he reached out and touched her hand as if it prove to himself that she was real. The second his hand touched real live flesh, he surged forward and pulled Hermione into his arms, tears falling from his grey eyes as he embraced the love of his life. She smelt slightly different to how he remembered, but that would be the different toiletries she'd used at the manor, but she felt exactly the same in his arms. For the first time since he'd learnt that she'd died, Draco felt complete. He just didn't know what had happened to gift him back the witch he loved.

"How?" he asked, refusing to let Hermione move from his bone-crushing embrace.

"It's a long story," Hermione replied, clinging onto Draco just as hard as he was hugging her.

Both Draco and Hermione knew they had a lot to talk about, but right now all that mattered was that they were back together. Against all odds they had been reunited, and they both silently vowed that nothing or no-one was going to tear them apart again. Now they were back together the Order needed to watch their backs, because together they were coming for them, and together they would wreak their revenge for all the months of pain and suffering they'd had to endure before they were reunited. Together they would destroy the Order and forever change the face of the wizarding world.

To be Continued…

A/N – Thanks for reading part 2 of Shattered Trust. Part 3 – Reunited – will be publish in a couple of weeks.