Chapter 2 : The Dementor
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As Draco apparated out of the kitchen he felt Hermione's gaze upon him and felt inadequate. He should have been more for her. The moment he arrived in his flat he felt wrong, like a part of him was missing. The feeling was similar to that of dementors. He suddenly remembered the first time he had seen Hermione after the war.
It was a mild day in June, summer was late that year and there was still a slight chill in the air as Draco left the manor for his disciplinary hearing at the ministry. he decided to apparate a few minutes away from the entrance, in an old alleyway between two blocks of muggle flats, so he could have a chance to sort out his thoughts before he arrived. He was not scared, for he knew that he would deserve any punishment he was given. It was all of a sudden that the slight chill intensified dramatically. The pale sun seemed to evaporate and the general noise of the busy London road at the end of the alley was cut off completely.
It was at that moment that the pavement beneath him seemed to disappear. He let out a deep grunt of pain as his ankle twisted and he crumpled to the paving slab. The only things going through his head were old memories. Bad memories. Memories of himself as a child and his father hitting him. Memories of Voldemort killing people in front of him. Memories of threats for not completing his 'mission' from Voldemort when. He was only sixteen.
Then he heard a voice. It sounded like a woman's voice but he couldn't quite make out the words they were saying, it was like listening to a badly tuned radio. Then a bright object streaked before his eyes, burning his retinas. He turned his head abruptly to see an otter, dancing and playing in the air as if it were water.
The noise returned and the sun reappeared. Draco felt a hand on his shoulder and another on his painful ankle. Someone was leaning over him, mending his ankle. He didn't feel right, his hearing was fuzzy and his mouth dry. The last thing he could remember was a delicate scent. It was fresh and musky all at the same time. Then his eyes un focused and he heard a sickening THUD as his head collided painfully with the curb.
When he came round the first thing he heard was a soft shushing noise coming from above him and felt a hand smoothing his hair down off his clammy forehead. He dragged open his heavy eyelid and tried to focus on the face about a foot away from his own. He saw the delicate features on her face, the panic in her eyes and the teeth nervously nibbling her bottom lip. Hermione Granger was kneeling next to him, shivering slightly due to the fact her jacket was carefully folded under his own head. She had not noticed he was concious yet. Her large eyes were darting around the deserted alleyway. He tried to sit up and she quickly looked at his pale face.
"Draco-I saw you -dementors- can't believe it - here - you passed out - I didn't know what to do" her panicked voice trailed off as she caught sight of the look on Draco's face. She abruptly stood up and dusted her clothes off. Draco tried to imitate her but his legs felt too weak to raise himself. Hermione reached out a hand to him and helped him to his feet. He caught sight of the scars on her arm. The word 'mudblood' was just paler than the smooth skin surrounding it. He winced, that was his fault. He tried to do up the fastening on his cloak but his hands were trembling too much.
"Thanks" he choked. She looked up at him, as if surprised he could speak, licked her lips then swallowed.
"That's... Ok" she said, all the time not taking her eyes off him, as if worried he might faint again. There was an awkward silence.
"What are you doing here anyway" Hermione almost whispered.
"Disciplinary hearing for a-all the things I did in the war" Draco stuttered, trying desperately to look anywhere but at her. Why had she saved him after all he had done to her?
She could only reply with a small "oh", she couldn't think of anything else to say. She returned to nibbling her lip.
"Where are you going" Draco blurted out, more for something to say than anything else.
"I'm visiting the ministry too, they asked me to be on the wizengamot for the..." Her voice trailed off
"-the deatheater trials" Draco sighed as he finished her sentence. This phrase had been seen a lot recently in The Daily Prophet. She gave a small nod in reply "- aren't you a bit" he paused "young" he continued.
Hermione was indeed the youngest person to be a member of the wizengamot in 300 years. Kingsley Shacklebolt however, had decided that as she had played such an important part in the war, she would be a perfect juror for the hearings against alleged deatheaters. She explained this to Draco as he picked her coat up, dusted it off and handed it back to her.
They then both turned and walked towards the ministry together, in silence. Both feeling that the day was going to be a lot more awkward than they had expected
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