<a/n: Apology note is below :(
This chapter is not yet beta-read.. chapter images will soon be up..>
He had no idea where she lived. He had no idea how to contact her. How in the world was he supposed to find her?
He scratched his left brow as he tried to think. It was already 4:00 in the afternoon and he was still in the middle of his work yet he can’t stop thinking about Hannah. Or was he supposed to start calling her Hermione now.
‘Not that I like her or anything’ he told himself.
It was only that he felt guilty. Not that he even cares about her. It was only that he wanted to apologize. He kept telling himself this over and over again like a mantra.
“You got attached to one of your callers didn’t you?” Dina who was just right behind her had whispered on his ear.
Draco sat up straight immediately. “I—
Dina nodded. “It happens” she said. “She a regular caller?”
“She used to” he answered.
Dina already knew about the whole situation. Narcissa had already filled her in. She had been watching Draco all afternoon.. “So she stopped?”
Draco did not respond and instead massaged the back of his neck.
“You want to contact her again?”
Again, Draco ignored her. He was beginning to feel annoyed. He hated when someone was prying in his business. He opted not to talk incase he said something he will surely regret.
“You are aware that all calls received have all been registered.”
Draco did not understand what she meant hence for the third time, he did not respond.
Finally, Dina was exasperated, “Ignore me one more time and I wont give you her number and her address”
Draco’s head immediately whipped around at Dina. Dina held up a torn piece of paper.
“H—how did you get that?” His eyes were wide as he stared at the piece of paper in Dina’s hand.
“Finally the sleeping tiger has awakened aye?” she smiled, “I told you all numbers are registered. Only a few people have access… and I’m not one of em but... well, I have my ways. ” She winked at him.
She handed him the paper.
Jane Marie Granger
63 Wimpole St
London, W1F 9EP, UK
Contact Number: # 020 7966 3000
He could not believe his eyes. He had been pondering over how he was going to get a hold of Granger for 2 days and now the answer was in his hands.
“Your mother told me about your little dilemma and I thought I’d help out.”
Draco looked up at her. “What did she tell you?”
“Oh, only that you were talking to this chick on the phone and you two had a row. She stopped calling so now you wanted to apologize” This of course was a lie, but she did not want the two to have an argument because of this.
Draco was relieved to know his mother didn’t tell her all the details. “But how did you get a hold of her address?”
Dina smiled, “Well, the number was registered to that name so I went into the trouble of looking it up in the address book. Aren’t I a darling?”
“You didn’t have to do that” he said. He hated that he felt awkward towards her. She didn’t like owing to other people.
“Please, do you think I like having to look at your moping face every day? Sure, you’re broody and moody even before and everything but the sad and pathetic look makes me lose my appetite at lunch.”
“I—Thank you” he said, awkwardly.
Dina smiled at him softly, “Don’t mention.”
Draco gave him an awkward smile, nodded and fingered the paper in his hands.
“No really. Don’t mention it. I am going to be in so much crap if you tell anybody what I did. So don’t mention it.” Dina gave him a reproving look before smirking.
“I won’t” Draco said, simply.
Dina nodded before leaving. Someone he barely knew someone he treated with just half of the politeness he could have given or have the ability to give yet he never thought someone like that will ever give without taking anything in return.
He can’t understand this ridiculous concept. He never has. He treated his mother with some respect and he thought that was how she returns him with love. And so he was at loss.
Days have passed and yet Hermione could still not get over it. She should have known of course. Just like everything else that is going on in her life at the moment, she should have already known that last ray of hope was going to be spurious.
She sat down in her window sill as usual and looked down at the children playing at the park.
Draco Malfoy. Draco Malfoy. Draco Malfoy. Draco effin Malfoy.
She certainly did not see that coming. How could this have happened? Haven’t she went through enough? And now she actually told the slimiest most evil ferret her deepest darkest secrets. She actually trusted him, granted it was his voice she trusted.
And now he knows everything. Every single detail of her life.
‘And you know almost all of his’ A voice inside her head stated this fact. ‘Did he not tell you what he had to go through all these years, growing up? Did he not tell you he was willing to change?’
She pondered over these for a few seconds before shaking her head. ‘No, of course he will never change. Besides, apple doesn’t fall far from the tree right?’ she told himself.
‘But wouldn’t that mean you are also just like your own mother? Your selfish and greedy mother?’
Hermione grunted out loud in frustration, banging her head at the same time when someone knocked on her bedroom door.
“Hermione? It’s us. Can we come in?” Hermione father said from the other side of the door.
“Do I have a choice” she muttered under her breath before saying, “Yeah, alright”
Mark and Jane Granger stepped into Hermione’s room looking both worried but content.
“What is it? What do you want?” Hermione asked without looking away from down the park outside her window.
“Your father and I have come to an agreement.” Jane said, a soft smile playing across her lips.
“Do I want to hear this?” Hermione asked. The last time her mother told her about her father and hers agreement, her whole world almost fell apart.
Mark had a grin on his face and said, “You’re going to stay with me.”
Hermione almost fell from the window sill that she had been sitting. She whipped her head and stared at her father and mother. “What did you just say?”
“You’ll be staying with me.”
There were several more minute of silence from the three people in the room.
“I—I” Hermione could not believe her eyes. She looked at her mother, fearing she will object any moment but she stayed quiet on her father’s side with a smile on her beautiful face. “For real?”
Her mother nodded at her silently. “On the condition that… that you visit me in Australia constantly.” Her mother said, sadly. “When you become of age, you can even set up a floo network in Australia so you can visit anytime. Then, we’d be able to have our own little family time. I know you probably would wan—
She wasn’t able to finish her sentence as Hermione had thrown herself at her mother. Jane was positively stunned as she has not been hugged by her daughter for years. She smiled heartily and closed her eyes, savoring the moment.
“Thank you, Mum.” Hermione whispered in her ear. She knew it must took a lot from her to give up. Her mother was never one to back down from the fight. She always won. “Thank you.”
“Whatever makes you happy” her mother whispered.
The two pulled apart and Hermione immediately went up and hugged her father tightly. “I really get to stay huh?”
“Yep. I’m going to have to put up with you for a long time and vice versa.”
“I think that’s a pretty reasonable deal.”
“I do too” her father chuckled.
Hermione grinned before turning towards her mother. “Mum, you’re flight is in four days right?”
“Actually, I rebooked my flight” Her mother said, “I’m leaving tomorrow.”
Hermione blinked up at her. She was still her mother after all. She was still somewhat sad of her departure. “Do you want me to help you pack?”
“No, I’m fine honey. Thanks for offering anyway.” Her mother said.
The two hugged Hermione tightly one last time before leaving her room. Hermione retired to her window sill, ridiculously content. Everything was finally settled now. Almost everything, anyway.
She gets to stay. She gets to live with her father and graduate with everyone else in school. She smiled thoughtfully to herself and continued watching the park from below when a silver blob caught her eye from below.
She blinked twice and looked around for that silver head and she found it, right underneath her house. The person was walking back in forth in front of her doorstep as if having an interior battle.
She would recognize that silver-blonde hair if she was to stand in front of a thousand white ferrets. ‘What in the world is he doing here and how did he find my house?’
She pressed herself closer towards her window and observed him. ‘And what in the world is he doing pacing back in forth in front my house?’
“Bad idea, bad idea” Draco muttered to himself. “Definitely a bad idea”
He was pacing back and forth infront of Granger’s door, unsure of what he was doing. “No way, I should do this. I’m going to get kicked out anyway. And who the hell does she think she is? Why do I have to come all the way to her house just to apologize. I already did!!”
Draco walked down from the front steps and into the streets. Children were playing around in the playground. He had no idea that a certain brown-head was watching him intently from her window above.
A young girl with bushy brown hair was crying, her pink dress astray and her cheeks stained with her tears. She cried to herself in the seat in front of the park. Draco looked around for the parents of the child but it seems she was alone.
Maybe it was her counseling job that opted him to do it but before he knew it, he was sitting right next to the distraught little girl.
The little girl stopped crying for a second and looked to her side, at the man sitting before continuing to cry.
Draco never had any experience with howling children. He had no idea what to do or what to say. Not once in his life did he ever talk to a child. Even when he was a child himself, he was surrounded by adults.
Silently, Draco handed the little girl his handkerchief. It was a few more seconds before the girl noticed the white cloth in front of her face.
Draco urged the handkerchief in front of her face while the girl hesitated.
Finally, after a few more silence from the girl she said in a very quiet voice, “I’m not supposed to talk to strangers”
Draco smirked to himself before saying, “Me too, but don’t worry. We don’t have to talk if you don’t want to. Just take the hanky, will you? Little girls look prettier when they aren’t crying.”
“But I’m not pretty… even when I’m not crying” the little girl said quietly.
“And who said you weren’t?”
The girl silently pointed at the boy who was in the swings but instead of sitting on it, he opted to stand while swinging. “He said my hair is horrible and that my teeth are as big as a rabbits’.” A single tear dropped from her face again.
Draco was stunned as he listened to the girls story.
“He keeps picking on me and telling me I have no friends. He keeps telling everyone I don’t have real parents.”
“Where are your parents?”
“I don’t know. I live with my foster parents, if that counts though” the girl sniffed. “They’re very nice people, they even bought me this dress and they give me lots of toys all the time.”
“It’s very beautiful.” Draco smiled at the girl though the dress was looking messy from her previous outburst, “You know that boy over there? The one that keeps picking on you?” the girl nodded, “do you want to know why he does that?”
The girl nodded again furiously.
“There could only be two reason”, Draco held two of his fingers in front of her “One is that he’s jealous.”
“Jealous? Of me?” The girl’s eyes widened. “Why would he be jealous? He is really really rich and he even has a wii. He gets everything he wants”
‘A wii?’ Draco chose not to ask her what she was talking about, instead he said, “Just because he gets everything he wants, doesn’t mean he’s happy.”
“Tell me, what makes you happy the most?”
The girl thought over this before saying, “When my foster mother tucks me in my bed and sings to me. She’s got a very very nice voice. She sings to me almost every night.”
“You see? You didn’t say anything about toys or wii or anything, did you?”
The girl shook her head.
Draco nodded, “He must be very very lonely. With what he’s doing to you, he doesn’t even seem like his parents taught him how to be nice. He doesn’t know anything.” Draco took the handkerchief from her hands and began wiping her dirty face.
“He probably just don’t have anything better to do or maybe he’s jealous because you don’t have your real parents but your foster parents love you. We never know, maybe he has a very lonely story of his own”
“Maybe he does” the little girl had her face scrunched up as she contemplated over this.
“The second reason… now get this, he could actually like you” Draco said with a grin on his face.
“Me?” the girl whispered.
Draco nodded and whispered to her back, “Yes, you! He could be doing mean things to you so that he can get your attention.”
“Really? But all he has to do is make friends with me and I would notice him.”
“See he doesn’t know that. I guess he’s parents never taught him anything so maybe he doesn’t know that all he has to do is to be nice.” He said. “Will you give him a chance for you to be friends?”
“Maybe...” she said thoughtfully, “But only if he stops calling me ugly.” She frowned.
Draco Malfoy laughed, “But you’re not! You are definitely the prettiest little girl I’ve ever seen in my whole life.” He didn’t feel to mention she was the only little girl he’s ever actually talked to in his life. The little girl smile widely at the handsome young man in front of her.
Suddenly they both hear a huge cry. They whip their heads to find the boy in the ground, his knees scraped and bloody.
‘Well, he was stupid enough to stand up while swinging… serves him right’ he thought as he silently smirked.
“Oh no” the little girl said as he watched the horrible scene in front of her. She jumped up from her seat and started to walk away but Draco stopped her.
“Where are you going?”
“You said to give him a chance right?” the girl smiled, “Do you mind if I have that?” the girl pointed at the handkerchief Draco was holding which he immediately put into her small hands.
“Thank you Mister, you’re really nice” the girl said. She started to walk away but stopped herself and hugged Draco briefly which stunned him to no end, before walking off.
He watched as the little girl approach the boy hesitantly at first. The boy was howling in pain, clutching his knees. She silently sat down on the ground beside him and handed him the piece of cloth with a soft smile on her face.
The boy looked at her in surprise. When he didn’t take the handkerchief, the little girl tied it to his knees gently. He winced from the pain but didn’t say anything. The little girl helped him up without saying anything and began helping him walk.
As they both left the park, the little girl turned around and waved at Draco. He waved back though still stunned himself. Though he gave her the advice, he didn’t actually think she’d be able to forgive in just one second.
He watched as the girl held the boy’s arm, helping him. Giving without anything to return, would he ever be able to learn that?
He stood up from his seat and turn around, finally deciding that he will definitely have to face Granger but he was surprised to see that she was standing right in front of him.
“What are you doing here, Malfoy?” Hermione asked, glaring at the man infront of her.
“I’m not allowed to go to parks now Granger?”
“What are you doing in front of my house?” she asked.
“Why would I, Draco Malfoy, ever want to go to your house, Let alone know where you live” He smirked.
“Oh please Malfoy, Will you stop pretending. I already caught you. You were standing in front of my house just minutes ago. Now, tell me what you want?” she told him, getting tired of the games.
‘I guess there’s really no way of getting out of it’ he thought. He sighed loudly and looked at her.
“I came because I—… I came here to tell you that I…” he stuttered. ‘Draco Malfoy stuttering in front of a girl? This must be a miracle. I’m going crazy’
“Will you spit it out?”
“I’m here to apologize Granger.” He finally said.
Hermione crossed her arms, “Didn’t you do that already? And didn’t I tell you I can’t forgive you”
Malfoy balled his hands into a fist. He knew he has to control his temper if he was going to make a sincere apology. ‘How in the world did that little girl do it? Should I swing around like that boy did?’
“What happened that day—“ he started but Hermione cut him off.
“Don’t you dare talk about what happened that day. You have no right to talk about that day.”
“Look I didn’t mean for it to go that far. I’m serious. I tried to get him to stop but he wouldn’t. I never meant… We only needed the money. It was never a plan to go that far.” He explained.
“I'd like to see things from your point of view but I can't seem to get my head that far up my ass.” Hermione told him. ‘How could he even make excuses for what he did?’
Draco glared at the stubborn girl in front of him, “Look Granger, I came here to give you my sincerest apology, so take it or leave it.”
Hermione smirked, “As if I would ever dream of taking your apology. And what kind of lame excuse is that? You needed money? You, Draco Malfoy, needed money? Please.”
“Do you think I would be working in a hotline service if I had money Granger?” He told him, “I thought you were supposed to be smart, use your common sense”
“What, so you’re broke?” Hermione asked, still smirking.
Draco’s cheeks turned slightly pink. ‘How humiliating to admit infront of his worst enemy that he was broke’ He pressed his lips together tightly before finally admitting. “Why, yes Granger, I am. Are you happy now?”
“How could that be?” Hermione raised her eyebrows, she still wasn’t sure on whether to trust him.
“Didn’t you listen to anything I said on the phone? My father’s dead.”
Of course she knew. She didn’t have to hear it over the phone, she knew about Lucious Malfoy’s death the day after it happened.
“I’m not here for you to throw me a pity party. I came here because… I know I went too far that time. I know I should have tried harder to stop him. I know that I have done so many things to you that I’m so far past the line from ever being forgiven. But I’m standing here right now anyway, just like that little girl, hoping somehow I’d be given a second chance.”
Hermione speculated his words carefully. It didn’t sound like Malfoy at all. “Second chance for what?”
“The Hotline service is getting bankrupt without your calls… It would be… nice… if you could call again... sometime” Draco muttered. He wasn’t sure if she heard him as half of him was hoping she didn’t.
Hermione almost smiled but stopped herself. She can’t forgive him, at least at the moment. Too many things happened; she just doesn’t know if she could trust anyone anymore.
But then again, she thought about how much he’s helped her as Damon and how much, just by observing him today, he really has changed. If he didn’t look like Malfoy, he would never believe it was him standing in front of him right at that moment.
“I’m not expecting you to forgive me right away. I believe I’m going to have to earn that though I have no clue as to how but just give me a chance to prove to you that I can be human sometimes too” he said. He couldn’t really understand himself. All the things he was telling her, it was as if someone else had taken over his body and knew it better than himself.
“Why... Why are you doing this Malfoy? Why do you want a chance? What do you get out of it anyway?” she asked.
Draco thought about it for a long time. What does he get out of it? Why is it that at that moment, he wants nothing more than to be given a chance? What does he get out of it? Finally, he found the answer.
“Nothing. Absolutely nothing”
Giving without expecting anything in return. It’s about time he tried it out himself.
<A/n: I know i promised i would update sooner than before but there i go again. This time i have a really really valid excuse. I quit one of my jobs and so i'm able to write again for fun. I even update my other story lol. I really am sorry... I know i must have already lost half of my readers and i really deserve that but i really really will try and finish this.. Again, sorry :(>