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Respect Me by Hermione_88

Format: Novel
Chapters: 19
Word Count: 37,249
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Mild Language, Mild Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature

Genres: Drama, Romance, Action/Adventure
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Dumbledore, Lupin, Snape, Voldemort, Draco, Ginny, OC
Pairings: Draco/Hermione

First Published: 01/05/2005
Last Chapter: 10/23/2005
Last Updated: 07/01/2007

Summary:
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OVER 159,000 READS!!! Newly edited version! Hermione and Draco are forced to work together when they are both accepted to the same Auror training facility, but when their respect for each other grows and a friendship begins, will hard times and tribulations force them apart or possibly strengthen their relationship more than they could have ever imagined? Read to find out. TRILOGY COMPLETE! CHECK OUT 'TWO WARS TO FIGHT' AND 'IN THE END . . .'


Chapter 1: Prologue: Graduation
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Authors Note: Ok guys, this is my first story of the trilogy. Initially when I wrote it – it was a ‘very detailed prologue’ but I’ve now decided that it’s just the first in a trilogy. I’ve gone over it totally – fixed up all my mistakes (hopefully got most of them) and even revised some of the text. Hope you like it! And don’t forget to review!

Hermione_88

Respect Me


Prologue: Graduation


The day was beautiful. It was a warm spring day and summer was just around the corner. Hermione, Ron and Harry sat beside the lake, basking in their last days as students of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. So much had happened in the past year – so much that they’d all like to forget. There had been that thing with Harry. He’d been having a very hard year this year, with the pressure of exams and everything – there was also the thing with Voldemort – ever growing in power and ready to strike. Half way through the year – Harry had simply disappeared. It was so unexpected – no one had noticed until Hermione had said something. Ron had been too busy stuffing his face to realise that the seat of his best mate was empty. Hermione had known immediately where he’d gone. He’d gone after Voldemort. She alerted Dumbledore straight away and he’d rushed to the rescue. Only – it hadn’t been that simple. Harry remained missing-in-action for three months. Hermione didn’t remember much from that time – only the pain and worry that she suffered.

They were all sitting in the Great Hall for dinner when all of a sudden, Harry just ‘appeared’ with a bang in the middle of the Gryffindor table – apparently dead. The Hall had gone into hysterics and even Dumbledore was too panicked to try and calm them as he rushed Harry to the hospital wing. Harry had been close to death – but the wonderful work of Madame Pomfrey had brought him back to full life. To this day – only Dumbledore knew of what had happened to Harry during those months and why he’d gone away. It had hurt Hermione and annoyed Ron why he wouldn’t tell them – but in the end they had understood that he couldn’t tell them – it was simply too hard.

Another person who might have known about what had happened to Harry though – was Ginny Weasley. Some time at the start of the year, Harry had finally gotten the nerve to ask her out again (after the sixth year fiasco). She had accepted happily and these days they were rarely seen apart. Ron was a little disgruntled by this but he understood that it was the way that things were meant to be – oh, and he trusted Harry . . . relatively.

Ron had also had the nerve to ask Hermione out during their seventh year. It had been hard for Hermione to turn him down – after all, he was her best friend, but sometimes – best friends just aren’t meant to be like that! He took it personally at first but after a few days he soon saw things her way.

Another interesting development had been that some time after Harry had come back from his little escapade – the Ministry of Magic had managed to ‘accidentally’ catch a group of Death Eaters. This was indeed a very important group of Death Eaters – some of them known to be on the inner ring with Voldemort. One of them was none other than Lucius Malfoy. The ministry had wasted no time with them. They didn’t even bother to try and get information from them. The four of them were sentenced to death by beheading. Since there were no Dementors left these days that took orders from anyone other than Voldemort – beheading was the only option for the Ministry. Mr Malfoy was executed on February 29th. Draco Malfoy had inherited all his fortune and nothing had been said of it since.

The seventh years had finished their N.E.W.T.S. last week and were glad that they were finished! Hermione had been paranoid about them ever since. With exams behind them – the only topic left to talk about was what would happen next . . .

“I guess that we’ll have to all get jobs, hey? We’ll, ‘cept you Gin . . .” said Ron as his glazed over eyes stared into the distance across the lake.

“Ron! I thought you said that you knew what you were going to do next year? You said that you knew! How could you be so irresponsible as to leave it until the last minute-” Hermione reprimanded but was quickly cut off.

“I DO KNOW! I just have to get dad to get me that interview with Mr Bagman at the Department of Games and Sports!” he said forcefully and she just kept quite. Harry and Ginny were totally oblivious to the conversation at hand as they were too wrapped up in each other. They whispered gently to each other and pecked each other on the lips. Ron and Hermione knew better than to pay attention! Harry and Ginny seemed to snap out of their embrace and addressed the other two.

“We’re going to go for a walk, ok?” stated Harry and Ron and Hermione just nodded their agreement. The loving couple got up and made their way around the lake until they were out of sight. Hermione and Ron sat together in silence just staring into the lake. It was too soon that they heard approaching footsteps. They didn’t even need to turn around to know who it was as the all too familiar drawl of Draco Malfoy met their ears.

“You love birds living up your final day of luxury until its back to sleeping on the floor, eh?” he said and Crabbe and Goyle scoffed beside him at his lame attempt at an insult. Hermione immediately jumped to her feet – ready for the attack with Ron jumping up beside her.

“What’s wrong Malfoy, no defenceless first years around to torment so you decided to try your luck once again against someone like me, who’s out of your league?” Hermione spat at him only six feet away.

“Ha! The Mudblood actually thinks she’s better than me! No, I wouldn’t want to get any closer to you just in case you brush up against my robes and I’d be forced to burn yet another set!” he said with his usual smirk on his face, stepping back just a little to help his point.

“Shut up Malfoy, go back to the castle and powder your nose.” she sneered at him and then turned her back on him and sat back down beside the lake. Ron hesitated for a moment before doing the same thing.

“How dare you turn your back to me you ungrateful little Mudblood” raged Malfoy. After all – no one – especially a Mudblood like her turned their back on him! With this in mind he pulled out his wand and crossed the small distance between them. He grabbed her by the back of her clothes at the collar and hoisted her off the ground. He spun her around so that she was facing him and pointed his wand directly at her eye. “Now I’ll make you respect me the way you should!” he hissed at her. Hermione heard the scuffle as Crabbe and Goyle restrained Ron – knocking his wand out of reach.

“Let her go Malfoy or so help me . . . I’ll . . .” Ron growled, struggling against his human restraints.

“You’ll what Weasel? Faint?” he laughed. Draco turned his attention back to the Mudblood in front of him and was rather confused to find a different look on her face. It was one of amusement! “What’s so funny Granger?” he asked of her and she just continued to smile. All of a sudden – she leaned forward and grabbed him by the scruff of his clothed like he had her and pulled him close so that there wasn’t an inch between them.

“You can do whatever you like right now Malfoy but you’ll never earn an ounce of my respect that way.” she sneered. She quickly whipped out her wand and pointed it straight at his heart. “Now get your filthy friends here and bugger off!” she spat at him. He kept her gaze for a moment longer – not quite sure what to make of her threats. Sure, she had threatened him before – but this was different. She was more certain when she said these things – she was surer of herself. Draco decided not to push things and released her.

“Come on, Crabe, Goyle, let the Weasel King go, I have better things to do then stick around with these losers!” he stated. He turned on his heel and marched back up to the castle as if he owned the place. Hermione and Ron looked at each other quickly. Harry and Ginny then returned from their ‘walk’.

“I just saw Malfoy leave, what did he want?” Harry asked with obvious loathing lacing his words. Hermione was about to answer when Ron quickly jumped in before her.

“Hermione – what did you say to him? Whatever it was sure made him take off fast!” Ron asked her, gazing at her in wonderment and happiness. She couldn’t help but snicker at his comment.

“I just told him that I’d never respect him – no matter what . . .” she replied and they all laughed at how Malfoy must have reacted to this little comment. They made their way back up to the castle for their final night at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

*^*^*


Authors Note: Well, there it is – the first chapter in the story. Trust me, ok, don’t judge too harshly on this chapter – it will get much more interesting soon!!!

Hermione_88

Chapter 2: Results and Far Away Intentions
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Respect Me


Results and Far Away Intentions


Hermione sat in her parents study flipping through her copy of 'Great Wizarding Events of the Twentieth Century'. It was now the 10th of August and she was still awaiting the results of her N.E.W.T.’s. If they didn’t come this week, she thought she might just go crazy. Just as these thoughts filtered through her head, her mum poked her head in the study door.

“Hermione dear, I think you had better come downstairs!” she stated a-matter-o-factly.

“Why? What’s wrong?” asked Hermione a little nervously.

“Well, there’s about a dozen owls downstairs with mail and they refuse to give it to anyone else-” but Jane Granger was cut off mid sentence because at the mention of magical post coming for her, Hermione jumped out of her chair and raced down the stairs. She ran into a kitchen full of chaos. Her father stood at the door with his muggle newspaper in shreds in his hands. All through out the kitchen was perched about a dozen owls. They were on the chairs, on the bench tops and on the table. Tawny, snowy, carrier, they were all there, all different sorts.

“Hermione, please . . .” her father pleaded as she ventured forward towards the crowd of owls. They all hopped forwards onto the table expectantly as she approached. The first one was a large barn owl. Hermione untied the letter from its leg and it took off. She turned the letter over and read the seal.

'Warwick Institute of Defensive Education'

A little ‘oh’ was whispered from Hermione as comprehension dawned as to what the letter was addressing. She had to find it. It had to be here. She quickly started taking letters from the owls without reading who they were from until she got to her copy of the daily prophet. The owl dropped it and started hooting demandingly. Hermione dipped her hand into her pocket and pulled out an assortment of galleons, sickles and knuts. She put five knuts into the owls pouch and it took off out the window. She then retrieved the last two letters from the remaining two owls. They both flew out the window and towards the horizon. The pandemonium of owls had ceased and her parents hesitantly came back into the kitchen and resumed their usual seats at the table looking at Hermione’s pile of letters on the table. Hermione started ruffling through them all and checking the seals until she found the one she wanted.

'Department of Magical Education and Testing'

“Hermione, is that . . .” Mrs Granger asked.

“Yeah . . .” Hermione whispered, still holding the unopened envelope in her hands.

“Well, are you going to open it or not?” her father asked, kind of amused at the look of ‘aw’ on his daughters face.

“I . . . I can’t, you do it.” she stuttered, more nervous than she had been in her life.

“Hermione dear, just open it. Anyway, where are all these other letters from?”

“They’re most likely from the institutions that I’ve applied to.” she stated, “Ergh, I think I’m going to be sick.” Her father then leaned across the table and took the letter from her hands.

“Well, if you’re not going to do it then I will.” he said turning the letter over ready to open. All at once the letter was snatched back from one side and he was slapped gently on the shoulder from his wife on the other side.

“Rodger you’re so tactless.” said Jane. But all attention turned to Hermione who had decided to open the envelope. She read to herself . . .

~*~

Department of Magical Education and Testing
Sub-Department of Grading and Tertiary Admissions
Level One, Ministry of Magic.
Vandalised Telephone Box, Grouter Street, London.

Dear Miss Granger,

Congratulations on the completion of your N.E.W.T.’s. Your results are as follows.

Charms:
Theoretical – 184%, Outstanding
Practical – Outstanding

Transfiguration:
Theoretical – 179%, Outstanding
Practical – Outstanding

Herbology:
Theoretical – 164%, Outstanding

Defence Against the Dark Arts:
Theoretical – 122%, Outstanding
Practical – Outstanding

Ancient Runes:
Theoretical – 135%, Outstanding

Potions:
Theoretical – 182%, Outstanding
Practical – Outstanding

Care of Magical Creatures:
Theoretical – 174%, Outstanding

Astronomy:
Theoretical – 131%, Outstanding
Practical – Outstanding

Arithmancy:
Theoretical – 156%, Outstanding

History of Magic:
Theoretical – 112%, Outstanding

Overall Result:
Percentage – 1549%
Grade - Outstanding

Congratulations on your results. We have already admitted applications to all of your preferred tertiary education institutions, if you pre-selected any. You should receive responses from these institutions the same day as this letter arrived. Congratulations once again.

Terrence Hawkshack,
Department of Magical Education and Testing.

~*~

Hermione placed the letter down on the table very carefully and let out her held breath. She’d done it. She’d passed her N.E.W.T.s with O’s in every subject. ‘I wonder what Harry got?’ she thought to herself.

“. . . Hermione, what does it say?” She tuned back in to hear her mum calling her name. She slowly passed the letter over to her mum who took it eagerly. Her father got up to read the letter over her mums shoulder. She watched as their eyes skimmed over the page until it was put back down on the table. No one said anything for a moment but continued to look at the piece of parchment. Until . . .

“Hermione . . . this . . . this is wonderful!” her mother exclaimed. Her father came round to her side of the table and picked her up out of the chair and brought her into a bone-crushing hug.

“That’s brilliant darling, I knew you’d do well!” he said in her ear, still holding her in the hug. Once she was released from the hug and then one from her mum she returned to the table to read all of her other letters. She opened the first one and it read . . .

~*~

The Lynton Auror Academy



Dear Miss Granger,

Congratulations on the completion of your Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests and your excellent results. Your results were quite extraordinary and it would be an honour if you came to The Lynton Auror Academy to complete your Auror training.

The Lynton Auror Academy does not disclose their whereabouts to anyone but their enrolled students or other ministries or training facilities. We have successfully taught over 1000 Auror’s who now hold full time jobs either in England or overseas . . .

~*~

Hermione stopped reading and opened all the other letters. There were seven in total, and they came from Birmingham School of Auror Training, Warwick Institute of Defensive Education, The Lynton Auror Academy, Department of Magical Law Enforcement – Auror Headquarters, The Liverpool Head Auror Training Facility, The Manchester Department of Auror Education (the MDAE) and The Bristol Academy of Defensive and Offensive Wizard Learning.

Hermione was flabbergasted. She got accepted to all of the Auror training schools. They all said the same thing as the first letter. ‘Congratulations . . . you have been accepted . . . blah blah blah.’

“I’ve been accepted to all of them. I can’t believe it.” she said with complete wonderment in her voice.

“Which one are you going to go to?” her mum asked

“I don’t know. I guess I’ll have to decide soon. I wonder what Harry and Ron got?”

“You’ll know soon wont you. When are you going dear?” asked her father, still staring at all the letters of acceptance strewn across the table. One other letter and the daily prophet sat untouched.

“Next week, on Sunday. Wonder who this is from?” she picked up the last unopened letter and looked at the back. It had the Hogwarts seal. She ripped it open and began to read . . .

~*~

Dear Miss Granger,

I would like to congratulate you personally for your results in your N.E.W.T.s. You should know that all the teachers here at Hogwarts are extremely proud of your efforts and express their greatest praise for your results. Your results are the highest ever recorded for a Hogwarts student, with the past champion only a staggering 103% lower than your own final percentage. Congratulations again and good luck with your future career.

Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore,
Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

~*~

“Can’t wait to see Harry!” said Hermione, looking up from the parchment feeling on top of the world.

**Sunday – Next Week**

Hermione stood before the giant aging house that was 12 Grimmauld Place. Moody poked her in the back slightly edging her forwards. When she reached the door he knocked twice and waited. Suddenly the sound of lots of locks being unlocked filled the silence and the door opened. She was quickly ushered inside and the door closed behind her.

“Hermione!” She turned around when she heard her name being called and there stood two of the most important people in her life. Harry, tall and broad, his black hair sticking up at every angle like usual. There beside him stood Ron, taller than Harry and very gangly with his bright red hair growing very long, Hermione was sure Mrs Weasley was aching to cut it. She rushed over to them and hugged them both in turn. But she couldn’t help herself and asked.

“What are your results? What did you get?” They both smiled at this question.

“Told ya so Harry, you owe me five galleons!” Ron said laughing a little. Harry couldn’t help but laugh at the quizzical look on Hermione’s face.

“We bet on what would be the first thing you said when you get here, but Ron won.” he said, stifling his laughter. They all took Hermione’s stuff up to the room she would be sharing with Ginny, who gave her a huge hug when she walked in. Then they all went back down to the drawing room and sat in the squishy chairs around the coffee table.

“So . . . what did you all get?” she asked for a second time, much more impatiently this time. The question hung in the air . . .

**Some Time Later**

“So . . . you’re going . . . away?” she whispered. Harry had explained that he had been accepted to the Halkirk Institution of Defensive Education and Protection, apparently the best institution in all of England and Scotland combined. ‘But he’s going away’ she reminded herself. She didn’t know if she could handle Harry going so far away.

“Yeah, but its only for about three years then I’ll probably get a job and move back here, that’s even if I pass . . .”

“Of course you’ll pass Harry, you’re . . . Harry.” she exclaimed a little exasperatedly. “I suppose your right, but you’ll still write and everything and come back when you can and-” but she was cut off.

“Of course I will `mione, you don’t actually think I could just leave and forget it all, do you?”

“No, it’s just that, its going to be so different without you here. When do you leave anyway?”

“Well I’ve already replied and then their going to send me back all that sort of information, but I’d guess that I’d leave bout the same time as school goes back, September 1st.” he stated, a look of concentration overcoming his face. “Anyway Hermione, you haven’t told us how you went!” So she launched into her results and her problems of choosing an institution but her heart wasn’t in it like earlier that week now that she knew how drastically her world was about to change because he was going away.

*^*^*


Authors Note: Interesting . . . very interesting. Just to clear things up a little (just in case you were thinking along these lines) Hermione DOES NOT have a crush on Harry! They have been best friends for seven years – the idea is preposterous. Don’t forget to review! Just write a little note in that little box below and –VOILA!- you’ve done it!

Hermione_88

Chapter 3: A Quick Departure
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Respect Me


A Quick Departure


Hermione had made her choice. She had sent her declining responses back to all the schools but the MDAE. That’s where she had chosen to go. They had won her over with their extensive library range and their excellent curriculum. She was going to go to the Manchester Department of Auror Education and become the best Auror she could. Harry had also gotten his information back from the Halkirk Institution of Defensive Education and Protection and he had to leave almost immediately. He had to be there by the 24th of August and it was already the 19th, so he had to leave tomorrow night. Ginny was more upset than anyone. Harry had been trying to talk to her for three days but to no avail.

Mr Weasley had also managed to get an interview for Ron with Mr Bagman yesterday, and he now had a job as an assistant to Mr Bagman. He also started in three days, just enough time for the paper work to be processed. So they were all getting ready to go head first into their careers. Hermione was now sitting in the drawing room reading her copy of 'An Appraisal of Magical Education in Europe' when Ginny came into the room carrying post.

“There’s a letter for you.” and she passed Hermione the letter. Hermione turned it over and looked at the seal.

“It’s from the MDAE!” Hermione said as she opened the letter and pulled out several pieces of parchment and read aloud . . .

“Miss Granger, we welcome you to the Manchester Department of Auror Education . . . blah blah blah . . . my name is Theodore Madley . . . Please ask for me as I’ll be your advisor . . . classes start September 1st . . . a meeting will be held for you to meet your classmates . . . blah blah blah . . . WHAT? August 22nd??? Cant be!” At this stage, Ginny had jumped up from her seat and snatched the letter from Hermione’s hand. Her eyes skimmed over the page even as Harry and Ron burst into the room

“What? What are you screaming about?” Harry asked and Ginny shoved the page under his nose.

“Hermione has to be in Manchester by Friday!” she exclaimed

“What!?” they both yelled

“I have to call the Magical Transport Department, get a train ticket for tomorrow, pack, ergh . . . tell mum and dad. I’ve got to go . . .” Hermione muttered to herself as she headed to the door.

“Hermione . . . but-” Ron stuttered but was cut off quickly.

“Look I’ll be back tomorrow but I’ve got to get going now.” and with that she walked out the door.

**The Next Day**

Hermione had rushed to the Ministry last night to get her train ticket but had spent the entire day packing at home and ringing around in Manchester to arrange accommodation. She now apparated to Grimmauld Place to say her goodbye’s to everyone. Harry and Ron were the first to meet her.

“Hermione what’s all this?” Harry asked gesturing to all her luggage.

“I’ve got to get on the train in an hour so I had to come say goodbye now and leave straight from here.” she said with a note of sadness in her voice.

“But . . .”

“Ron I’ve got to go, I can’t leave it any later” she said. They sat for a while talking things over and discussing when they would all see each other again. It was harder than she thought. How could she in one day just be expected to pack up her life as she’s known it for the last 18 years and just move on to another place where she wouldn’t know anyone or anyplace? It was hard but she had to do it. Ron starts his job tomorrow; Harry leaves for his training in the north the day after. Was there ever going to be a time when they could get together, all three of them again? Hermione looked at her watch.

“Oh damn, my train leaves in fifteen minutes, I’ve got to get going.” she could feel it coming on. The tears welling up just behind her eyes. At this stage other people were starting to come out and say their goodbyes. Mr and Mrs Weasley came and hugged her. Moody, Lupin and Tonks - who had turned her hair into bright rainbow colours just for the occasion - came and said their farewells. Fred and George just turned up in time to give her their newest type of specialty pranks basket. Ginny was the last to give Hermione a hug before it was really time to say goodbye to Ron and Harry.

“We’ll come with you to the train station; see you off the proper way!” said a sombre Harry. So they moved out into the hall and with a final wave, the three of them disapparated to the train station. Hermione Granger was gone from Grimmauld Place for the last time in maybe quite a long time.

**At the Train Station**

“. . . train to Manchester leaves in five minutes from platform 3 and six tenths . . . train to Bristol leaves . . .” boomed the voice. Hermione only had five minutes to say so much to her two best friends before she had to leave for god only knows how long. She stood on the platform beside the train of blue and gold and before she could help it the tears that had been threatening earlier finally escaped from her eyes.

“I’m so sorry, it’s so hard.” she sobbed as Harry pulled her into a comforting hug. And she hugged him back so hard.

“Shhhh, its ok `mione, we’ll see each other in no time, so don’t you worry.” he said. She pulled back from his hug and looked at Ron who suddenly seemed very interested with his shoe laces. She smiled.

“Ron?” she said quietly, bending her head to look at him. “Ron?” yet he still ignored her. So instead she reached forward and pulled him into a forced hug. He seemed shocked at first but soon enough he responded by tightening his hug, nearly squeezing the air out of her.

“It’s not fair!” he said. She pulled out of the hug and looked at him.

“Ron what do you mean?”

“It’s not fair because now both of you are going away to do bigger and better things and I’ll be left here working for the ministry with a winging Ginny because her boyfriend and best friend have gone away.” he stated sounding so snobby that it would have been an alright imitation of Malfoy. Hermione smiled and hugged Ron again and soon enough she felt Harry’s big arms around her as well. The beautiful goodbye was ruined by the sound of the whistle blowing and the train starting to move. They all ended the group hug quickly and both Ron and Harry grabbed her bags and threw them in the door. Hermione jumped in the door quickly before the train began moving too fast, she gave a final wave and then she was gone, on her way to her new life.

“Suppose we had better get back then.” said Harry to a fairly miserable looking Ron who nodded sadly and with that they disappeared from the platform and reappeared almost immediately back in the hall way of 12 Grimmauld Place. There stood the rest of the people who had come to say goodbye to Hermione.

“How’d it go?” asked Mr Weasley.

“We’ll . . . she’s gone . . .” said a saddened Harry and with this remark they all retreated to the kitchen for dinner.

*^*^*


Authors Note: He he he. Now things will start to get a little interesting. **Starts laughing evilly to herself** “Mwa ha ha ha ha!” Ok, I seriously think I’m losing the plot! Oh well, leave a review to tell me if you also, are losing the plot! =)

Hermione_88

Chapter 4: A New Beginning
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Respect Me


A New Beginning


“Wingardium Leviosa!” Hermione levitated her luggage down the small corridor trying to find a compartment. She soon found one that she had to share with a little old lady and some man who was very well rugged up with his hat drawn over his face, asleep. ‘That’s strange, it’s not cold at all . . .’ Hermione thought to herself. She placed her luggage in the over head compartment and settled the cat cage with Crookshanks inside against the compartment wall and then took her seat beside the little old lady.

“Hello dear, off to Manchester then?” she asked. Hermione nodded and the lady just kept on talking “I’ve got to go there to help my granddaughter with her kids, their running wild and she needs to go to work and just between you and me . . . she can’t afford the child care . . .” but Hermione tuned her out as she laid her head back to rest.

**Sometime Later**

“Dear . . . you had better wake up now . . . come on now.” the old lady was nudging Hermione awake. ‘How long have I been asleep?’ but she had no time to think because the train had already slowed to a stop. She noticed that the man wearing all the clothes was already gone so she got her luggage down and exited the train. She made her way outside to find a cab and when she did the man helped her put her luggage in the trunk and then asked her where she would like to go. Hermione pulled a little piece of paper from her pocket and read aloud.

“Ahh, 29 Mulberry Road, Salford.”

“No worries luv, jump in.” replied the cab driver. She got in and settled down with Crookshanks in his cage next to her. She watched the sights pass her by until the cab slowed down in front of an old white and brown building. She got out with Crookshanks cage and stood staring at the great old building. The cab driver had gotten her luggage out and placed it on the path beside her and was tapping her trying to get her attention.

“Sorry, here you go.” She gave him his money and then he was gone. She whispered a spell to make her bags as light as a feather and then picked them up and walked all the way up to the large old wooden front doors and pressed the buzzer.

“Yes?” a man’s rusty voice was buzzed back.

“Ahh . . . my name is Hermione Granger and I’m here to see . . . ah . . . Mr Edwards?” she announced back into the speaker. At first there was silence and she stood there feeling quite stupid as if the man had decided she wasn’t allowed to come in and was ignoring her. But now she heard the deadlock being unlocked and the giant door creaked open. There stood a hobbled fat man with balding grey brown hair and tweaky eyes. He grimaced slightly at the picture of the young woman of eighteen standing in the door way, her three suitcases on the floor beside her and a cat cage on the other side.

“Well come in then. No don’t worry about all those!” he said gesturing to her luggage, “You take the animal and one bag and I’ll get the other two.” Hermione poked her wand out of her sleeve and whispered “finite Incantatem” so her bags would return to their normal weight and the old man wouldn’t get suspicious.

“Mr Edwards I presume?”

“Yes that’s me, now I’ll just run you quickly through how things work around here. Many wizards and witches live here; yes - don’t look so shocked, I know you’re a witch. I’m a squib myself but my wife’s a witch.” They began to climb the staircases up to the third floor and he continued to talk. “Magic is restricted to your own living quarters so there is none in the hallways. The last tenant was a year ago so the room will be quite messy. I’ll expect you to keep your quarters clean and tidy and inspection is once a month unless I feel a surprise inspection is necessary. Rent is £405 a month and you’ll ask permission from me before you make any changes to the rooms. All clear?”

“Yes, crystal!” she replied to the old man who at first had seemed a bit scary but now just seemed . . . old.

“If you have any problems just ask my wife, I’m too busy. Here you go - room 3d” and with that he dropped her bags at the door and gave her the key and was gone before she could even say ‘thankyou.’ With much trouble she unlocked the rusty lock and stepped into the most disgusting room she had ever seen. Stained off white coloured walls, dusty and sticky wooden floors and a dead mouse in a mouse trap on the kitchen bench. ‘I’ve got a lot of work to do . . .’ she thought and so setting her bags just inside the door and getting to work.

**Later That Night**

Hermione had never been very good at the household spells but by the time she had finished cleaning this place she had mastered the ‘Scourgify’ charm better than Mrs Weasley. But now the floorboards were shiny, the dead mice were gone and new traps were set and she had spent the entire day painting the walls clean white. She would spend tomorrow buying some furniture but now all she wanted was a hot shower. The bathroom that had earlier been dusty and smelly was now a sparkling white. She slipped her dirty clothes off of her slim body and stepped under the hot water. She spent five minutes in the shower until all of a sudden it went icy cold. She screamed and jumped out for her towel and got dressed in her shorts and singlet. She went to sleep that night on the cot that was already in the room thinking about all the money she would have to spend tomorrow on furniture.

She spent the next day picking out furniture for the place. It wasn’t really big so only a few items were necessary. She picked up a large wooden queen bed and mattress really cheap at a second hand store. She got a lounge and a small table and chairs and a dresser. By the time she got back to the apartment – ‘Home, I have to remember to call it home’ - the place was fully furnished and she was ready for the day that was to follow where she would start her new career.

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Authors Note: Oh my goodness! This was SUCH a boring chapter to write! It’s all just filler until the real fun begins (sorry to all those who I misled by saying that the real fun began in this chapter!) Blah! Sorry you had to endure this! Leave a review to tell me how boring you also thought it was!

Hermione_88

Chapter 5: Spies From Both Sides and The Unexpected Classmate
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Respect Me


Spies From Both Sides and the Unexpected Classmate


**Grimmauld Place in the Early Hours of Friday Morning**

“Sir, Harry’s settled in well and no one has recognised him yet I don’t think.”

“Yes, same with Hermione, she’s settled in well and even been out shopping already. I had a scare on the train because she came into my compartment while I was asleep but I don’t think she recognised me - I had my hat down and my good coat over my clothes.”

“Very good, very good. And how is Mr Weasley going? Anything out of the ordinary?”

“No, I’ve been into his office quite a lot to see how he’s going and I’ve had Newly, that new kid, positioned in his office but he’s none the wiser. Too excited about the job I think.” Just then a tall, bald, black man apparated right into the middle of the meeting and greeted them all quickly.

“I’m sorry but I have to make this quick. He knows I’m following him and has been trying to lose me all night. He’s still safe and doesn’t seem to be up to anything but I’ve got to get back” to this the old man with the long silver beard and the sparkling eyes nodded and the tall man disapparted.

“Very good then. Best the three of you be returning to your positions. Keep me updated on what happens. Today things will get interesting for Harry and Hermione and I want them watched all the way. I don’t care how many people it takes . . . Harry, Hermione and Ron’s protection is of the upmost importance and our other subject needs to be watched, I am unsure of his actions yet. I’ve contacted the directors of both schools and they are aware of the situation at hand and they will allow both of you two access to the schools to continue surveillance.” He said this whilst gesturing to the two people who were following Harry and Hermione.

“Yes headmaster!” the three spies chorused and with that they all disapparated. Soon after their departure Fawkes appeared in a burst of flames beside Dumbledore with a letter that required his attention at Hogwarts. He read the letter and then folded it back together and placed it in his pocket.

“Peeves has been up to his usual start of term trouble again I see . . .” and with a tiny pop he was gone.

**29 Mulberry Road, Salford - Apartment 3d**

Hermione woke early that morning feeling no more refreshed from the sleep because she had been too nervous about the day to come. She showered much more quickly as she didn’t feel like a repeat of the other night. She had to be at the MDAE by 9.30 that morning and it was already 7.50 . . . actually, thinking about it . . . she didn’t even know where to go! Now dressed in some neat black trousers and a white blouse she ran to the kitchen counter and picked up the letter containing the information about their meeting this morning. She skimmed over it but there still were no directions or address. ‘What am I going to do?’ she had begun to panic. She wouldn’t make it to the meeting and then she would be immediately dismissed. ‘What do I do???’ As her panic heightened a creamy white owl pecked at her window. She turned and unlatched the window to let the owl in. It swooped through the window and landed on the chair. She walked over and untied the letter from its leg and it swooped back through the window. She read the letter to herself.

~*~

Miss Granger,

Meet at the fountain in Peel Park at 9.20 to meet your advisor Theodore Madley. You will be given further instructions here.

~*~

“That’s all?” she said to no one. She finished getting ready and was ready to go. She gave Crookshanks - who seemed totally unbothered by the sudden move of home - a final scratch on his head and left out the door. The street below was very busy with fast moving traffic and she had decided to hail a cab considering she didn’t know the area well enough to try apparating. She told the cabbie where to go and was surprised to find it was only located a few streets away. Immediately she saw the fountain and walked over to it to take a seat on the bench beside it and glanced at her wrist watch. It read 9.15. Only five minutes to go and soon she notice a few people in particular hovering around the fountain. One looked familiar. The person wasn’t familiar but what they were wearing. She could have sworn that it was the same hat and coat that she saw on that strange man on the train. All of a sudden he glanced her way and noticed her staring at him and he started to walk away from the fountain very quickly. She got up to follow but he passed behind a few other people and then he was gone. ‘Must have disapparated’ she thought to herself but what she didn’t notice was the same man standing with a group of tourists behind her.

Her attention was soon diverted to a tall man dressed in a light blue shirt and jeans. His hair was dark and he had a square jaw that looked like it had been cut from stone. Hermione was kind of in ‘aw’ of this handsome man until she noticed the little gold badge on his chest. She couldn’t read it from where she sat but she soon got her chance because he started walking towards her until he was standing straight in front of her. She took her chance to read his badge and inscribed into the gold metal read ‘Theodore Madley – Student Advisor’.

“Miss Granger?” he asked, bending down slightly to allow him to talk face to face with the young beautiful woman.

“Ah . . . ah . . . yes, yes that’s me. Are you Theodore Madley?”

“Yes that’s me. Just allow me to gather up the other students . . .” and with that he walked away to a young man who was standing on the grass to her left. From here on he continued to walk around and talk to strangers until he finally called them all together in a group of no bigger than six. “Welcome, now the proper introductions will begin in a few minutes once we’re inside the Depatment. Now to get in to the Department all you have to do is use this key” At this stage he held up a tiny golden key. It looked old fashioned and battered as though it had been used too many times. “You will all get one and all you have to do is fit it into any locked door keyhole and unlock. It will open up to the entrance to the Depatment. Now here . . . all of you take a key and go find a door . . . any door will do.” So everyone took a key and walked away, heading for shops and other doors that may allow them to enter the Department.

Hermione made her way to a café down the street and when standing at the closed door she slid the key into the hole and turned. ‘Wonder if the muggles will see this?’ The door clicked and opened just enough for a slither of light to shine through. She pushed the door open and walked into the atrium of a beautiful shining room. The walls were golden and shining with figures fighting in battle inscribed into them. There at her feet was written ‘The Manchester Department of Auror Education’ in silver on the black slate floor.

“Congratulations now just make your way to the oak doors over there and once you and all the others have settled we will begin the introductions. I’ll return at the end of the day to show you the way home. If you don’t have any other queries I’ll be going.” Hermione noticed him turn and look in her direction and . . . ‘Did I imagine that?’ . . . he had smiled at her before disapparating? She allowed the thought to linger for a moment until she noticed all of her other classmates heading towards the doors. They opened and they were in a large hall that had about thirty chairs all facing to the front. At the front were seven seats facing towards the student chairs. Many people were already sitting down so Hermione took a seat in the back row still waiting for the meeting to start. People were talking in hushed voices amongst themselves and Hermione felt a little left out. She heard a smooth laugh come from the other side of the room just as the last of the students filled the seats. She saw a blonde girl smiling and laughing with the man beside her. She was flirting like crazy and the man beside her seemed to be enjoying it. He looked familiar though but she couldn’t tell because all she could see was the back of his head and his smooth blonde hair. Someone’s chair was knocked over and he turned around to see what had happened. Hermione heard her own gasp as she recognised who the person was. Blonde hair, black robes and eyes like blue ice. ‘No . . . no . . . it cant be . . . oh why me?’ The man was none other than Draco Malfoy.

**Southern England**

“Master, I have met with the girl and she is unaware of who I am.” said the servant.

“Good, keep it that way. I’ve set Rabastan and Rodolphus to follow her. Now earn her trust.” The cold voice of Lord Voldemort hissed.

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Authors Note: Dum dum dummmmm! Now the fun begins!

Hermione_88

Chapter 6: The Manchester Department of Auror Education
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Respect Me


The Manchester Department of Auror Education


“Welcome students! Right now, about thirty of you sit in this hall. There are six third years, eight second years and sixteen first years. For those of you who know how this all happens, well, you can ignore me for a few minutes but all your first years had better pay attention. As you heard there are only six third years and by the end of this year they will be cut down to about two or three. Only the best become auror’s from my school so be ready to be tested . . . always be ready. This is the basic rule of a good auror. Remember it.” the old headmaster paused, “Now I would like you all to stay for a while and have something to eat and get to know your peers as I would like to get to know all the new faces and meet with all the old ones. Classes will start in three days at eight o’clock on Monday. So be in the atrium at this time and we will begin.” his sentence finished abruptly and he stepped down and began to talk with a tall boy with sandy blonde hair. Hermione sat for a while still digesting what she had just heard and who she had seen. ‘Why? Why him? Why couldn’t it be someone else?’ Draco Malfoy hadn’t noticed her yet and she hoped he wouldn’t. She looked around the room to see him talking with the same blonde girl from before. The girl beside her turned and said hello.

“Hello, I’m Constance.”

“I’m Hermione. Are you new as well?”

“Yes, but I’m a late applying student.”

“Late applying, what do you mean?”

“It means I’m not fresh out of school like you, I worked at the ministry for a while but I decided to apply eventually. Are you from Hogwarts?”

“Yes, just finished. So are lots of people late appliers?” Hermione asked

“Actually I think you’re probably the only fresh one.” Hermione looked around the room to notice that some people weren’t young at all but might have been about thirty or so. Her eyes once again rested on Malfoy.

“No, he’s fresh as well.” She said in a deathly tone whilst gesturing to Malfoy.

“Who, the blonde? Mmmm he’s nice.” She smiled while looking at him and Hermione felt it her duty to set her straight.

“Ohhhh no! He’s not nice at all! He’s horrible, evil and conniving . . . he’s one of the most terrible people you’ll meet. You’ve worked at the ministry. Surly you’ve heard of the Malfoys . . . well, he’s one of them!” At this comment, Constance’s eyebrows shot up and she looked away as if she were ashamed of what she had said. Then Hermione heard the voice that she hoped she could avoid.

“Granger? Ha! What are you doing here? Protesting for the poor little house elves that prepared this meal?” Malfoy strolled over looking his usual smug self. Dressed impeccably. His blonde hair hanging in his glaring ice cold eyes.

“Why is it that no matter where I go you seem to follow me like a bad smell? Am I cursed or something?” she spoke calmly. She would not allow herself to be provoked. Even though the house elves shouldn’t be working in a place like this!

“That bad smell . . . that’s the smell of your Mudblood self and you should consider yourself blessed, not cursed, that I would stand within three feet of you!”

“Blessed? Ha! I’d rather take my chances against the Whomping Willow again than be near you!”

“Why you filthy little-” but Draco was cut off by the entrance of the headmaster into the conversation. Hermione now noticed that the entire group of people were quiet and listening to the conversation.

“Ah! Good to see that the two fresh Hogwarts students have met and may I be the first to congratulate you both at being the first working pair to be chosen! I usually save the partner choosing until the end of the meet and greet so that I can see how people get along but I see you two will be well suited!”

“Sir you don’t expect me to be partners with-”

“Yes, Miss Granger, I do and I expect you both to co-operate with each other and the other partners!” For once Malfoy wasn’t complaining. Hermione glanced at him to see what he was making of the situation but found that his gaze was focused somewhere else. She followed it to see that there were two people standing in the corner and one of them being the man that she had seen in the park that had gotten away from her. Beside him was a tall black man and it was impossible to make out any of his features except the glint of a gold hoop in one ear. Hermione decided to seize her chance and rushed towards the two hidden men. But only feet away they both disapparated. ‘Damn. Lost him again!’ The headmaster seemed oblivious to what had just happened but Malfoy was staring at her with a look of complete confusion on his face. The headmaster now addressed Hermione.

“Miss Granger, did I hear you had an encounter with a Whomping Willow? Please tell me about this!” and so he steered her away from Draco and into a distracting conversation.

**Sometime Later**

“Well, this has been a good meet and greet and remember to meet in the atrium at eight o’clock on Monday, and wear some durable clothing please. So now you can go back out and meet with your advisors. Goodbye!” and so the headmaster swept out the doors and to the right into some unknown corridor. Hermione made her way to leave the hall and find Theodore but just before she had made it to the door she was grabbed and pulled to the side.

“Malfoy get your hands off of me!” she hissed and made to walk past him but he put his arm out to stop her.

“Who was that in the corner? You knew one of them. Who are they?” he asked.

“How am I supposed to know? The guy in the chequered hat and coat has been following me all the way from London. Why? Why were you staring?”

“The big guy has been tailing me for a week and no matter what I do to try and lose him he always finds me . . .” This was strange!

“Why are people following us?” The conversation seemed too civil.

“I don’t know . . .”

“Hermione? We’re waiting on you. Could you hurry it up with your . . . um, friend?” Theodore asked or her but Malfoy quickly retaliated a response.

“Look, Hermione and I are talking so could you just wait!?” That last sentence was too weird for Malfoy. He called her Hermione and they were actually talking without any insults. Malfoy gave her a final piercing gaze and then swept away to his advisor.

“Nice fellow! Now come on.” Theodore said. For some reason – this man made her giddy like a young school girl. She giggled at his sarcasm and then went to join the rest of the group outside. Theo, as he’d asked them to call him, showed them how to get back to the real world. They could either use the floo to a certain place or they just stick any old key into the door that they wanted to walk back through in the door which that particular key worked for. Hermione used her house key and in no time she was standing in the kitchen again. This was too much for her. Malfoy, stalkers, and total exhaustion! She flopped on her bed and as soon as she closed her eyes, she was asleep.

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Authors Note: So – Draco and Hermione have followers huh? Oh! This is becoming interesting! Please review!

Hermione_88

Chapter 7: Tested
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Respect Me


Tested


Hermione woke at 6.30 on Monday morning, finally ready for what the day was to dish out to her. Working with Malfoy. If she was going to fail for any reason it would be because of him. She had spent her weekend discovering Manchester. She went shopping for new clothes and shoes and explored the many magical lanes and shops. She often glanced behind her – for some reason she always thought she could see someone following her; she even glimpsed her chequered stalker a couple of times. But there was also others following her. Men dressed in black flowing cloaks but every time she turned to see them they were gone or an old lady suddenly stood where she saw them. She was being followed.

She showered and dressed in her black track pants and a tight navy blue singlet. She put a tee-shirt over the top and was ready to leave. She pulled the small golden key and the chain out from under her shirt and fitted it into the lock of her front door. It unlocked and she stepped into the golden glimmering atrium. The walls shone bright with the early morning sun bouncing off them and the particles in the air floated through the rays of sunlight that illuminated the room. Hermione spotted everyone standing in the middle of the room looking much more hesitant. They weren’t dressed fancily like they were last Friday, but were dressed in exercise clothes. One girl who she remembered to be a third year was dressed in a skirt and a much worn tee-shirt with holes that looked as though they had been burnt into it. Everyone looked very sleepy. Hermione glanced at her watch and read the time to be 8.00 - time for everything to start. Suddenly a large group of people walked into the atrium. The man standing in the front now addressed the group of students. He was tall and bulky with a loud booming voice.

“Third years proceed to room 7, second years to room 3.” he ordered and more than half of the students move off down hidden passage ways as well as four of the people who she assumed to be the teachers. Now only the first years stood in the atrium. They were left with the large man, a short stumpy man with a white sticky-outy beard and moustache and a tall skinny woman with the biggest nose Hermione had ever seen. Hermione now noticed Malfoy at the back of the group standing next to the tall blonde girl again. No matter what he wore he still looked like a million galleons. Plain black trousers with a plain white sweatshirt. It revealed the lean figure that you never can notice when people are wearing robes. Now the tall man ordered their attention just as Constance came to stand next to Hermione.

“First years, welcome to the Manchester Department of Auror Education. I will now call out your partners and I ask you to assemble as I call them out. Stratford and McFie. Grey and Weston. Evans and . . .” Now people were moving in and out of the small group to get to their partners. Constance had moved off already to stand with a man who went by the name of Weston, so obviously her last name was Grey. “Malfoy and Granger.” Hermione decided to move over next to Malfoy who just ignored her. By this time everyone was in pairs and now the woman with the large nose stepped forward. She was very skinny and seemed almost frail. She wore a long flowing silvery dress with a blue crochet shawl over her shoulders. But when she spoke her voice was harsh and demanding.

“Now listen here. For the next week you will all be tested both mentally and physically. This is a process to figure out your strengths and weaknesses. Anyone who we feel is not up to standards and has no chance of improving to our standards will be dismissed immediately. You can all call me Professor Lawry. This is Professor Killick (pointing to the large man) and this is Professor Merritt (pointing to the little guy). Now follow me and your training will commence.” and so she turned on her heel and with Killick and Merritt proceeded down a hall way to the right of the hall doors.

**Draco and Hermione’s P.O.V.**

The old bird took them all down some dark hallway which was lit dimly by candles and they stopped in front of a large, wooden, black door. The midget was now talking.

“Inside this room you will have to work together in your partners to defeat whatever problems come your way. Get to the end with your partner. That is the simple task that we ask of you. Don’t come to the finish line without your partner or you won’t have finished the course. Good luck.” Draco huffed. ‘Great. Now I’ve got to work with the Mudblood Granger!’ She was standing beside him, but he hadn’t bothered to take any notice of her yet. He glanced sideways at her. She was shorter than him, only just. Her hair pulled back into a tight pony tail, smooth and sleek where it was pulled back but frizzy onwards from the base of the ponytail. She wore simple black track pants and joggers as well as a blue tee-shirt. Simple and tidy just the way Draco liked it. Not that he cared what she wore . . . after all . . . she was still a Mudblood! Right?

“Come on.” she said as she made her way through the door with the rest of the people. He eventually followed through the door pushing some girl out of the way so he could walk through first – not bumping into anyone. The room was dark - pitch black in fact. He couldn’t see anything – not the walls or the roof or . . . anything. He had to find Granger if he was to complete this thing.

“Granger, where are you?” he hissed into the dark

“I’m here!” came a voice from behind him. he turned around and started to walk towards where he head her voice, when he ran smack bang into her and knocked her down. He couldn’t help but laugh – even though he hadn’t seen it, he imagined that it was funny! She was on the floor. ‘Just where she belongs in front of me!’

“Lumos” he whispered. The light from the tip of his wand illuminated only a small amount of the room in front of him. He could see her on the ground just getting up.

“Don’t help or anything! Where are we? Hang on . . . where’s everyone else?” She had gotten up and also muttered the light charm and began to walk around the room but couldn’t find any walls, just pure darkness. Draco also walked around the room trying to find a door, but none was to be found, not even the one they had come through to begin with. They wandered around in the darkness occasionally looking back to see the other persons light. Draco wandered around a little longer but kept thinking ‘This is pointless!’ - but suddenly he met with some sort of material – soft and thick but suddenly an ear piercing scream lit the air and he turned to see the light from Hermione’s wand on the ground, which meant she had dropped it, but then where is she? The room suddenly came to life with the light from about a hundred balls of fire floating in the air way above their heads. When Draco had seen the balls he looked up. They seemed spectacular with the flames changing colours from red to green to blue but he was pulled away from the dancing flames remembering her scream. He brought his gaze back down from the roof to be met with the material only now he could see it for what it was. It was a black cloak and the one wearing it was hooded with his face shrouded in darkness. Draco stumbled backwards away from the figure and now he could see that they were surrounded by these cloaked figures in a circle of about two dozen, all with their wands at hand. He looked for Granger and found her struggling in one of persons grips – she’d obviously run into one in the dark as well. He let her go all of a sudden and she fell backwards and shuffled across the ground towards Draco. She got up and was now standing beside him. He ‘Accio’d’ her wand and caught it firmly in his grip.

“Will you be needing this?” he held out her wand to her and she tried to snatch it from him but he held it firm, only for a moment then let it go. There was no small talk with the cloaked figures and the curses started flying as the cloaked figures advanced on Draco and Hermione. The stunning curses swept by as they ducked and dodged out of the way – one whisking straight across the end of Hermione’s ponytail, burning and singeing her hair. The room was light enough to see the walls now and over in the corner Draco could see a door, he didn’t care where it went as long as it got them out of this one-sided battle.

“Granger! There!” he pointed to the door and she took notice and started to make her way to it but there was one problem. Them. The advancing figures, but now it was time to fight back. They just needed to clear their path to the door.

“Stupefy! Stupefy! Stupefy” Hermione shot at some of the people and they fell to the floor unconscious and on her left Draco did the same and two others fell to the floor, but there was still so many of them. One of the figures to Hermione’s right yelled the disarming charm and her wand flew out of her hand into the offender’s hand. She was stuck now. The curses kept flying her way and she was forced to duck from them. She had to get her wand back! She ran full pelt at the person with her wand and before he could get a spell at her she had tackled him to the ground. Draco only just saw this event from the corner of his eye but he was mildly impressed by her guts. While he was looking at her one of the people sent a line of fire at him with the ‘flagrate’ charm and his clothes were caught alight. He was caught off guard at first but put it out with some water from the tip of his wand. He cast the Impediment Jinx at the few oncoming attackers and ran straight for the door. Now he was only waiting on Granger.

Hermione was rolling on the ground with the attacker who was holding her wand just out of reach. She pulled her elbow high and brought it down on his cheek. In his pain he had dropped her wand on the ground beside them, now all she had to do was reach it. She tried to roll off him towards her wand but he grabbed her before she could get off and dug his nails into her face and arm. He had the longest nails she had ever known for a man. She wriggled to get away but as she did his nails dragged along her skin, ripping into it. She used her final weapon and brought her knee down - HARD - into his groin. He cried out in pain and she was able to get away. She grabbed her wand and immediately stunned him. She ran for the door where Draco was already standing firing every spell he could think of at the attackers. She reached the door and they both ran through and she locked it with a flick of her wand, yelling ‘colloportus’, sealing it with a squelching noise. They had done it! They had worked together to get past the attackers. They looked at each other quickly. He was a mess. The left side of his shirt had been burnt back to his neckline and some of his left arm was burnt as well.

“Are you ok?” she asked as she seized the arm and began to examine it. He gasped as she took it but he yanked it out of her reach.

“I’m fine.” he said as he held his arm close. He looked her over. She had something like claw marks down her cheek and down her left arm, cutting into her shirt, but other than that she looked fine. Draco was quite shocked when she proceeded to take her tee-shirt off but was grateful ‘or was it disappointed?’ when it revealed the light blue strap-top underneath. He had never seen her like this, she was . . . lean. The strap-top hugged her form perfectly as it outlined her breasts all the way down her waist to her hips. She tried - but couldn’t - rip up the shirt and she let out a little moan as she revealed a gash on the inside of her palm. He took the shirt from her and began ripping it into strips which he then wrapped around her hand and upper arm. He tried to wrap some around his arm but was unsuccessful. She reached up to help but he pulled away.

“Would you just let me help?” she yelled in frustration. It was amusing to see her angry but he decided he’d rather finish this trial, so he surrendered his arm and the makeshift bandage. She wrapped it up – tight! Just to watch him wince as he tried to remain calm. This was something she enjoyed but it seemed Draco Malfoy had filled out just a little as well. He was still tall and skinny but she could see his muscles tense when he winced from the pain. She made sure she got her share of touching but pulled away not to make it obvious. ‘After all – he’s Malfoy!’ Once his arm was wrapped up tight they decided to go on. Hermione turned around to face the next part of the test and there in front of her lay Harry, her parents, Ron, Ginny and all the Weasley’s – Dead.

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Authors Note: Well, it turns out that this testing part was a bit longer to write than I first anticipated – so I’ve split it into two chapters. Please review – I love it when you do!

Hermione_88

Chapter 8: Overcoming the Death of a Loved One
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Respect Me


Overcoming the Death of a Loved One


Hermione felt her heart plummet into her empty stomach. They’re dead . . . all of them. Harry, her parents, Ron, Ginny, and all the Weasley’s – all dead. They were cut and bloodied and their faces stuck with looks of horror. She began to shake horribly but Draco didn’t notice because before him lay his mother in her finest gown with a black shawl around her. But she wasn’t elegant anymore. There she lay in a tangled, bloody mess. Gashes across her face, her arms sliced and the left one severed and her chest sliced open showing her insides. Draco felt like he was about to heave and he felt tears welling up in his eyes and spilling over the edge, but he couldn’t force himself to look away. ‘Who had done this?’ He took a few steps forward but he heard a ‘thump’ and slowly turned to she Granger on the ground shaking madly. He couldn’t understand why she was losing it - he didn’t know what to do. So he bent down to her level on the ground to look at her. Her head was bent over and she was shaking madly.

“Granger . . . wha . . . what’s wrong?” he heard the sobs coming from her and realised she was crying. Now he was really stuck at what to do! He didn’t know how to comfort anyone . . . let alone the Mublood . . . no, just Granger. He had to call her Granger. So he tried as best as he could. He gripped her chin firmly with his two fingers and lifted her head so she was looking straight at him. Her eyes flowing with tears and a red runny nose, she looked disgusting - but he had to help. “Why are you crying?” he asked firmly, showing no emotion in his voice even as he stared her straight in her brown eyes with his grey-blue ones. She sobbed harder but she somehow managed to get her words out.

“They’re . . . they’re . . . all . . . d . . . d . . . dead!” and she broke down harder. It suddenly struck Draco what was really happening here. He picked her chin up again so she was facing him again.

“Don’t you see what’s happening . . . it’s not real! None of it’s real! It’s all a test! They – whoever they are, aren’t dead because they’re not real!” he basically yelled at her. A look of realisation slowly overcame her red and tear stained face – ‘it was another test! It couldn’t be real! Harry was at Halkirk and Ginny was at Hogwarts. She would have been told if they were missing or . . . dead!’ Draco smirked at the look on her face as she realised the truth. He got up from his kneeling position on the ground and noticed that she was still shaking a lot and finding it hard to get up so he reached down and grabbed her by her shoulders and lifted her clear off the ground into a standing position. She was still shaking madly but she managed a smile and a quiet ‘thankyou’ and together, they proceeded across the room to the door on the other side but having to dodge and walk over the bodies that they separately saw. But as Hermione was stepping over the dead form of Harry, he reached up and grabbed her ankle. She screamed and began shaking her leg madly but Draco couldn’t understand why until he saw the faint - transparent image of Harry Potter holding onto her leg. Now he realised what she must have seen that made her so upset . . . him. She was breaking down over Potter. Didn’t she realise he was probably going to end up dead because of Voldemort anyway? But right now he had to get her away from this – whatever this was. He tried to grip Potters arm and pull it off but when he did, his hand passed straight through it. This was too weird for him. Hermione was still screaming.

“Get off . . . you’re not real! I know your not!” but no matter how much she screamed and shook her leg he wouldn’t let go. So Draco did the only thing he could think of and grabbed her around her waist and pulled her away, all the way, to the door, which he opened and pushed her through. When on the other side, he put her down and stood her in front of him and looked her square in the eye.

“What you saw was not real! Get that through your head! It’s all a test and we have to finish this!” she nodded a tiny nod and then looked away. She looked a mess but Draco admired her for what courage she was showing considering she had seen her so-called best friend dead. She continued to walk down the hallway that now faced them. It was skinny – only about a meter wide, but it stretched so high that he couldn’t see the roof and it smelt, boy, did it smell!!! They continued on down the corridor in single file, with Hermione taking the lead. She still hadn’t said anything since her screaming in the last room and he was kind of frightened of her reaction. But why did he care at all? It was Granger – she was a Mudbl . . . Granger. That’s it! ‘So stop acting like you care!’ They had been walking for about ten minutes now down the straight corridor with no twists or turns and it seemed strange that they hadn’t met anything yet. But as soon as this thought sounded in Draco’s mind the walls, the floor and everything began to shake violently.

“What . . . what’s going on?” Hermione yelled from up ahead. Now rocks were starting to fall from the dark roof – if there even was one!

“I don’t know but RUN!” he yelled at her as he began to run himself. The rocks were coming down faster and harder and they were getting bigger and bigger. They were running full pelt now along the skinny hallway and Draco could only just see Hermione in front of him, she was disappearing into the darkness until he saw her falter and fall down. He stopped just behind her.

“What happened, come on, get up!” A large rock lay on the ground beside her.

“It’s ok, a rock hit me . . . on the shoulder . . . just help me up.” He got her up and pushed her a little to keep running but suddenly the shaking and the falling rocks stopped. “What happened?” she asked in a whisper.

“I don’t know but we should keep movi-” but Draco was cut off because a huge crash of something hitting the ground behind them. Something BIG! They were in total darkness. But out of the darkness came a noise. Quiet at first but steadily growing closer, not louder. It was getting closer! It sounded like . . . growling. Draco muttered the ‘lumos’ charm to get a look at what they were dealing with.

At first the light didn’t reach far enough but slowly the cause of the growling came into the light. It was a dog. A normal dog . . . but . . . it was different. Same size but it looked like it was made of rock. As soon as they had seen what it was, they tried to start moving backwards. But the dog charged them and before they could get a spell off, it grabbed hold of Draco’s leg and pulled him down, his wand falling from his reach. He was defenceless. He yelled and attempted hitting the dog but he still couldn’t get it off his leg – which was screaming out in pain. Behind him, he heard a quick word spoken and then the dog exploded into a thousand little rocks. Hermione rushed up and jumped over him to examine his leg.

“What did you do?” he asked but yelling out in pain when she touched his leg.

“Sorry . . . I used the Reductor curse, simple, lets get this bandaged.” And so she quickly said the ‘ferula’ charm and his leg was immediately splinted and bandaged so he was at least able to stand on it. She lifted him up and hung his arm over her shoulder for his support, at which moment she gasped – he was leaning on the shoulder the rock had just hit - and they continued down the hallway that was now littered with rocks. They walked (or in Draco’s case – hobbled) down the passage for another five minutes when they reached a dead end.

“NO! damn it!” she screamed.

“Do that same charm, blast a hole in the wall like you did to the dog!”

“I can’t, the wall might fall in on us! Rrrrrrrr! Think, Hermione! Think!” She leant Draco up against the wall and then began to pace in what little room she had left. Suddenly she stopped and said clearly “dissendium!” At first nothing happened . . . but then the walls began to shudder, and the bricks of the wall unfolded in a sort to reveal a door way. They stepped through and there stood Professor Lawry.

“Congratulations, you finished the test.” and with that they both fell to the ground in exhaustion.

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Authors Note: I was watching a really scary movie when I was typing this so I think that might have been sort of influential – can’t actually remember the title of the movie though. Hope you liked it! Please review!

Hermione_88

Chapter 9: A Traitor Revealed . . . Kinda
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Respect Me


A Traitor Revealed . . . Kinda


There were several people sitting around them, injured and bleeding, with the teachers looking at their wounds. Hermione and Draco lay there, collapsed on the floor with Professor Lawry standing over them when two people burst through a door beside them. One of those people was Constance and she looked terrible. She was covered in soot with cuts and grazes all over her body but hanging off her shoulder was her partner, Weston. He was unconscious and hanging limply off of her form. Professor Lawry bent down to Draco and Hermione and asked if they were seriously injured. They shook their heads and she was away to help Constance and Weston. Hermione lay back on the floor and closed her eyes. Her shoulder was hurting the most at first but now it had gone numb with the pain. She hadn’t looked at it yet but she wasn’t worried, if it wasn’t hurting it didn’t bother her. She looked around the room at all the injured students leaning up against the walls and lying on the floor when she noticed something out of place or actually - someone. Standing in a corner of darkness was the man with the chequered coat and hat and the big black man with the golden earring. She made to move to get to them so they couldn’t get away but the drowsiness overtook her. With her eyes closed she felt her mind trying to slip from consciousness but she fought against it. Draco, who was leaning against the wall, looked over at the mess of Granger that was lying on the ground beside him. That gash on her shoulder looked nasty. He noticed now that she had her eyes closed and he couldn’t help himself to say something.

“Look, Granger, I realise that your bed – if you even have one – might not be that comfortable, but you can’t sleep here.” No response. She wasn’t seriously asleep – was she? “Hey, I’m talking to you.” He leaned over her and nudged her arm but she didn’t stir. “Come on . . . wake up.” he hissed at her, shaking her a little to try and wake her. But she didn’t stir. He shook harder this time and then harder again but she still didn’t wake up. ‘Something is wrong!’ He had to get help. He called for the big guy, ‘ahh . . . what’s his name?’ “Professor . . . Kill . . . Killick! She won’t wake up!” Professor Killick moved away from the student whose leg he was healing and moved over to Hermione. He knelt down beside her and opened her eyes to look at her pupils. He growled quietly to himself and then moved to the gash on her shoulder. He pressed his two fingers against it and more blood leaked out.

“She’s lost too much blood, I have to get her to the hospital, come on and you can come too.” He picked her up off the ground as if she weighed nothing. Her arms lay limply at her side and her head tilted backwards. Draco got up and started to limp slowly after the tall and commanding professor. He rushed them out a side door and down a long narrow hallway with many doors all along the walls and then suddenly he stopped, nearly nocking Draco over who was right behind him. He turned to the door on the left that was as undistinguishable as the rest of them and they opened all by themselves and he walked through. The room looked just like the hospital wing at Hogwarts only maybe a little tackier. Multiple beds with bedside cabinets up against the walls, only the beds were made with mismatched and different coloured sheets instead of the white ones that they use at Hogwarts. The far wall was all shelved and every little bit of room there was, was covered in jars, bottles, cages and bowls of medical potions and creatures. In front of the shelves was a little brown nobly table where a fat witch attired in a nurses uniform. Killick rushed in and immediately the woman jumped up and rushed over. He placed Hermione on one of the spare beds where she lay limply and with skin as pale as if it had never seen the daylight. Before the nurse had even checked on Hermione she looked Draco up and down quickly and immediately pointed at the bed beside hers and barked “Sit!”

Draco decided that this was not the time to push it so he sat down on the bed that had clowns on the pillowslip and a blue and green striped sheet and blanket. The nurse now went straight to Hermione’s shoulder and just like Killick had, she pushed her fingers onto her wound. Her frown deepened and she began to bark orders at Killick who immediately went to get the jars and bottles from the shelves that she demanded. They seemed to be busy so Draco lied back and rested his head on the fluffy pillow and closed his eyes. ‘If this was the first day, what will the rest be like?’ but no sooner had this thought popped into his head he lost all consciousness and fell deeply into the world of nod.

**Many Hours Later**

Hermione opened her eyes and her vision was blurry and bright. She blinked a lot until her vision came clear and she saw the bright shining golden ceiling. She looked to her left and there on there she saw many people resting on beds. ‘This must be the hospital . . .’ On the bed beside her lay Constance still sooty and now with many little bandages on her head and down her arms. She looked to the right and there she saw the back of Draco Malfoy, for, he was unmistakable with his bright blonde hair. He lay on his side and now his leg was taped up properly with clean bandages instead of the dirty ones from their endeavour. Hermione rolled her head back to stare at the ceiling and thought about everything that they had gone through in the last hour or so. ‘We worked well together . . .’ and as much as she didn’t want to admit it if it weren’t for Malfoy she probably would have not made it through the fake dead bodies.

**Southern England**

“Master, Granger and young mister Malfoy seem to be co-operating together too well together, they passed through the course with no problems and both came out very much intact!” said the harsh voice of a woman, bowing in the Lords presence.

“He has been becoming a bigger problem ever since he ran to that fool Dumbledore when his father was executed. I think that it may be time to make young mister Malfoy disappear . . . and not return.” said the cold voice of Lord Voldemort in his chair with Nagini wrapping herself around the bottom of his cloak. A smile stretched across the woman’s face, large and toothy.

“My Lord, may I please have this pleasure? I would not dare fail you!” she asked.

“Very well, don’t do it now, do it later in the week when that Granger brat is not going to notice until it is too late to help him.”

“Yes my lord, thankyou my lord, thankyou.” she continued to bow and tip toed backwards away from the most powerful wizard who ever lived.

**Friday Afternoon**

They had been tested alright. It was now the end of their trial period and continuous testing and Draco couldn’t find a place on his body that was not sore. He and Granger had been put through everything together and now as much as he couldn’t believe it, he didn’t mind working with the know-it-all Granger. She was a hard worker like him and wasn’t ready to fail at anything - so they got along fine when they were working. Already two of the students had been sent home because they weren’t up to the standards of the teachers when they were put to trial. As soon as he walked into his penthouse apartment which was located in the city centre of Manchester, he had stripped off all his dirty clothes, leaving a trail behind him on his way to the bathroom. He stood naked in front of the shower as he turned on the heat – hard, and stepped under. The first touch of water was almost painful on his bruised body but now it was soothing as the water cascaded down his back. He had only been under for a few minutes and his doorbell rang. He scowled as he reached for the bathrobe and stepped out of the hot water. He tied the long white fluffy bathrobe around him and went to answer the door. He thought that it might have been Rachel, the blonde he had ‘befriended’ in the hall on that first day when they were to meet everyone. He had been seeing her until he had caught her snooping through his apartment and so he had told her to get out. He hated untrustworthy people. He was going to tell her to go away unless she had some sort of good, good excuse to get back inside and she had better ‘suck up’ a lot.

Draco had almost reached the door when all of a sudden a blue blast forced the door off its hinges and it flew straight at him. He jumped to the side and the white panelled door landed in shatters just where he had been moments ago. He looked at the doorway and there stood someone he couldn’t believe. Armed with their wand, it was . . .

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Authors Note: “Argh!!!” she screams as the audience throws their popcorn at her!!! Ok – don’t kill me! The answer to who it was is only a chapter away! Quick! Go for the chapter! Not me!!!

Hermione_88

Chapter 10: Draco's Story
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Hermione_88

Respect Me


Draco’s Story


Something was wrong. Hermione went to her classes on the second Monday of her school term and there was no Draco. She had been assigned a new partner by the name of Tim Dawson and she hated him more than Draco. He was rude and always criticising her, which Draco had done all her school life but at least she got a little respect when they were working together. With Tim, they could be halfway through a time test (obstacle courses that they go through timed to test the new things that they had learnt) when he would stop grab her by the arm and then start to have a go at the way she did something wrong or didn’t do something to comply with what he said. When he grabbed her it was rough and painful and now she had a bright blue bruise in the shape of fingers around her upper arm. As much as she didn’t want to accept it, Draco was much better and she hoped that he’d be back soon. Another thing that was odd was that Professor Lawry had been limping around the place. She looked as though she were trying to stay off of her left leg ‘Maybe she’s an active Auror?’ thought Hermione, which would explain her limp if she were attacked while out on a mission, but it seemed wrong. All of it. That night she lay down on her bed as soon as she had walked through the door and fell asleep immediately.

She woke to a rattle. Just a tiny noise but it was out of place amongst the sounds of the traffic below and her loud running refrigerator. She jumped out of bed quickly and grabbed her wand from the bedside table and approached the bedroom doorway cautiously. The rattling stopped and then she heard the noise of her floorboards creaking right near her front door. Now she knew where the intruder was because only the floorboards in front of the door creaked like that. She twisted around the corner of her bedroom doorway and ducked behind the couch so not to be seen by the intruder. She poked her head up over the couch and yet she couldn’t see anything. It wasn’t really dark in the room with the moon from outside but she still couldn’t see anyone.

“Granger? You here?” whispered a voice - one she recognised.

“Malfoy? That you?” she whispered back into the darkness.

“This is stupid! Lumos.” he said in plain voice but it seemed a little croaky to Hermione’s ears. The room lit up with the light from nowhere and for a moment Hermione was baffled. It was as if the spell caster couldn’t be seen. A moment later, Draco appeared out of thin air as his invisibility cloak flew up over his body to reveal him. She stood up where she was behind her couch and Draco smirked at her clothing. Short shorts and a white tank top were her only pyjamas tonight. She blushed. He looked tall and proud in that moment and she was in a kind of ‘aw’, but then he faltered, holding his side. He looked hurt. She rushed over to his side but still did not touch him. “A hand would be nice!” he snapped. And in her confusion she grabbed his arm that was not pressuring his side and guided him to lie down on her couch. He grunted with the bumpy movement and pressed harder at his side.

“Wha . . . what’s happened? Why are you in my apartment at . . .” she glanced at the wall clock, “at 3.10 in the morning? Where have you been???” she said in her frustration, this was all very confusing and she was dead tired. But he just groaned a little and applied more pressure to his side so Hermione let the questions slide and turned her attention to his injuries. She went to lift his hand away to look at his wound but as soon as she tried he pushed her away.

“Leave it!” he half yelled, half hissed.

“Did you come here for a cup of tea and a chat or do you want my help?!” He glared side-on at her but then moved his hand from his side and Hermione saw the full extent of his injuries. His shirt was soaked with his blood and when she peeled it away she found a towel that was once white but now dark crimson. She peeled it off also and saw the deep gash on his torso. She let out a little gasp and then ran to her kitchen and grabbed the tea-towel from the stove and ran back to him. “Here” she pushed the towel against his wound and he let out a quiet yell in pain. “Hold that there and I’ll be right back . . . hold it tight” and so she picked up her keys and dashed out her door but it wouldn’t close properly behind her because he had broken the handle, so she left it ajar. She ran down two flights of stairs to the medical cabinet that was stuck on the wall. She nearly ran past it because of the darkness of the hall, but the cabinet was illuminated slightly because of the glowing exit sign which positioned above it. Her key opened it and she pulled out everything that was in there and ran back up the stairs to her room. When inside she shut the door as best as she could, but couldn’t properly because of the broken handle – a result of Draco’s handy work. She ran over to Draco on the lounge and dumped all the medical supplies on him.

“Rob a hospital did you?” he stated more than asked, but he moved the wrong way and winced as the pain seared in his side. She began to use the many different creams and liquids for help against infection. When she poured on the medical alcohol he yelled out from the searing and stinging on his side. “What are you trying to do? Kill me?” he yelled at her.

“Shhhhh! You’ll wake my neighbours!” she hissed at him. As he glared at her in that moment she almost could have sworn that she saw tears in his eyes but he turned his head away before she could be sure. She finished cleaning and dressing the wound and then leaned back against her T.V. and let out her somewhat held breath. “How do you feel?”

“Fine, didn’t need your help anyway!”

“Then why did you come here and wake me up in the middle of the morning?!”

“I . . . I . . . I need to tell you something.” he stuttered and now turned his head to look at her seriously. He attempted to sit up on the couch but his side seared with pain and he let out a gasp. She leaned up to help him and for once he accepted her help. Not welcoming as such but he let her help none the less. Once he was sitting upright she went back to her place on the floor cross legged. He looked down at her and began his tale.

“I was attacked.”

“WHAT?!”

“Yeah! Friday afternoon, just when I got home. I just got into the shower when the doorbell rang. I got out and went to answer it when . . .”

**FLASHBACK – FRIDAY AFTERNOON**

“BANG!!!” A sudden blue blast forced the door off its hinges and it flew straight at him. He jumped to the side and the white panelled door landed in shatters just where he had been moments ago. He looked at the doorway and there stood someone he couldn’t believe. Armed with their wand, it was that Lawry woman, the professor.

“What the bloody hell do you think your doing?” he yelled at her, but these words washed right over her as an evil smile played on her face.

“Well Mr Malfoy, so nice to see you too! I’m afraid I’m here on bad business – bad for you at least . . .” the smile deepened and her eyes became manic almost. ‘This woman is crazy!’ he thought to himself.

“I’m sorry, but my Lord – our Lord - thinks it is time that you were – retired!” and with that final word he knew he was in trouble. She shot a reductor curse straight at him and he jumped aside. This woman was definitely serious, that curse would have blasted his flesh off his bones! ‘Where’s my wand?’ He had it before the shower – in his back pocket. It must be in the bathroom! He started to crawl towards the door that was only a few feet away but she had other plans. “I don’t think so Mr Malfoy. REDUCTO!” The curse blew a hole in the ground where his head had been only moments ago.

“YOU CRAZY WENCH!!!” he screamed as he got to his feet and scampered to the bathroom and closed the door behind him but only moments later it got blown to pieces with another reductor curse. He slid across the wet floor to his pants and pulled his wand out, flipped over so he was on his back and pointed it straight at the professor who now stood in the blasted doorway. “I can play dirty too . . .” he said with a creeping smile coming over his face. “Reducto!” Because of his level on the floor the curse swept at her legs which she dodged, but not fast enough. The curse skimmed her left leg along the calf. She screamed in pain and fell to her knees as the flesh was blasted off her leg and his white tile floor was splattered with blood. He got up off the floor and stood up in front of her.

“YOU LITTLE . . . ARGH! . . . LITTLE SHIT! I’LL KILL YOU!” she screamed at him from her position on the floor.

“Haven’t you been trying to do that since you got here and you still haven’t been very successful?”

“REDUCTO!!!!!” she screamed. He wasn’t expecting this one as it swept across the room and pulled the flesh from his side. He screamed out and fell to the floor and before he gave in completely to the pain he wanted to finish this. ‘Don’t kill her!’ a little voice sounded in his head. So he shot a stunning charm at her and she flopped to the floor unconscious.

**FLASHBACK ENDED**

“. . . and from there I just left. I got my towel, wrapped up my side in it, got some clothes and left.”

“You . . . just . . . left???” she stuttered after hearing his shocking story. This was unbelievable. “Why? I . . . I don’t understand – why was she trying to kill you?”

“Why?” he said in an incredulous tone “Because I left. That’s why. No one ever leaves the Dark Lord and lives more than a few years and that’s in exile! I don’t know why he has been so lenient with me and left me alone for so long but I guess that now he’s decided that I’m a little more dangerous than he thought.”

“How is it that you can talk about serious matters like this and still sound up your self?”

“Wha . . . I was merely stating that he thinks I might rub some of my secrets off on . . . on . . . you!” A dazed look came over his face as if he had just realised something. “Oh no. Damn. How could I be so stupid? Now by coming here I’ve put you in danger. Damn!”

“Ummm, did you know that everything you just said sounded so, SO wrong when referring to me? Usually you would have jumped at the chance to get me killed! So why do you care now?”

“I . . . I don’t. It’s just that . . . I don’t, ok! So you can stop looking at me like that!”

“Looking at you how? I don’t know what you mean!” she smiled.

“Like you’ve found some dirty secret you want to spill. I don’t! Ok?!” he stated defiantly and she smiled more but dropped the subject.

“Ok, don’t panic. Look, you can stay here on the lounge for the night or until your better but I really need to get some sleep. I won’t go to my classes tomorrow so we can work this out and how you’re going to get your life back together.”

“Get it back together?” he stated “Don’t you understand what I just said? If I go back he’ll just find another way to kill me, someone else to do the dirty work. I’m just a small part in this but he wants me dead all the same! I’m not safe in England anymore, I need to go into hiding . . .” Hermione was shocked at what she had just heard. She tried to speak but the words didn’t sound right.

“Bu . . . what? . . . How . . . you mean I have to stay with that idiot Dawson?” This was the last thing she wanted to say but it was the first thing that came out. She gave an exasperated sigh and her head sunk into her hands. Draco smiled.

“That’s the first thing you say? No ‘what?’, ‘how?’ or ‘when?’ but ‘Dawson’? Who is Dawson anyway?” Hermione sighed aloud again and raised her head from her hands to look at him.

“He’s the idiot that they stuck me with after you disappeared! He’s such a wanker! Ergh! And now I’m stuck with him!” and once again her head dropped into her hands. Draco couldn’t help but utter a little laugh.

“You mean to say that he’s worse than me?”

“Yes!” she practically yelled but as soon as she did her eyes widened in shock of what she had said “I mean . . . well . . . you’re . . . you’re not so . . .” but her words melted into unheard mutterings.

“What was that about me?” his voice lightened and bubbly almost from the way he was making her uncomfortable.

“You’re not so bad . . . now.” she almost whispered. Now smugness had returned.

“Hermione Granger - taking a liking to me! Who would have thought?!” he said almost happily.

“I haven’t taken a liking to you! It’s just that you’re not as much of a prat that you were before and I can actually, for once, handle being around you! Not that it really matters because you still consider me to be a dirty Mudblood know-it-all!”

“HEY! Haven’t you noticed that I haven’t called you that since school? If I’ve learnt anything from this horrendous week of pain and tests then it’s that you’re not as bad as I always thought you to be!” ‘You idiot! Did you really just say that?’ he thought to himself after his bursting of feelings. The room was now deathly quiet. So quiet in fact that they both heard the noise that would have been indistinguishable before from the normal night noises of the apartment. But now they heard it clearly. The tiny creek of floorboards. She turned to look at the entranceway and just visible in the crack of her doorway that remained open - was a person. They were staring through the door that still stood slightly ajar. As soon as the stranger noticed that their attention was diverted from their heated conversation to him in the doorway. He fled. Hermione jumped up and ran to the doorway but when she got there, their peering intruder was gone. She fixed the door handle with a simple ‘Reparo’ and then sealed it with the ‘colloportus’ charm. She turned to face Draco who was sitting stark upright on the couch.

“Look, ummm . . . maybe we should just forget what was said tonight and go to sleep. We’re both tired and need rest.” she said whilst he stared straight at her. He continued staring at her silently for a few moments after. She broke the dead silence and turned and walked to her bedroom and pulled a blanket and pillow off of her bed and brought it back out to the couch. She set him up with pillow and blanket and only when she said goodnight and was turning to leave did he grab her arm with tight fingers wrapping around her wrist. The touch wasn’t rough and hurtful like Dawson’s had been, but as tight as it was, it was warm and gentle, something she never thought Draco could be. She turned to look down at him while he lay against the pillow.

“I meant it, you know. What I said. You’re a good person, it’s just I never took the time to take notice.” he said seriously. She smiled a little.

“Well, you’re not such a bad person either . . . when you’re in a good mood!” He smiled back at her. Their eyes lingered on each others for a moment, perhaps a moment too long but he let go of her wrist and she returned to her bed. Even though she said that they both needed sleep, she knew neither would get any tonight.

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Authors Note: So – the teacher was a traitor, huh? That wench! Sorry – that’s kinda my favourite word at the moment! I’ll get over it soon enough. Anyone who’s read this story before might notice that in re-editing the story, I’ve cleaned up some of the language. Since the first time I wrote this – I’ve had a change of heart about how much I swear and so I thought that it should also be reflected in my writing! Ciao all, and don’t forget to review!

Hermione_88

Chapter 11: Relax
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Respect Me


Relax


The next morning they woke up late. It was 11 o’clock by the time that Hermione had tidied the apartment. Draco’s bloodied towel was in the bin and his invisibility cloak that he had used to sneak into her apartment the night before was now folded on the couch. He now sat in some neat track pants and a black polo shirt at her small table drinking the cup of tea she had made him. It seemed that those liquids and creams from the medical cabinet were actually of the magical kind because there was no way that his wound could have healed as quickly and as much as it did last night from muggle medicines.

She had also gotten up extra early to go to his suite to gather him some clothes for him to change into and any other little things that he needed which was how he got his clean clothes that he wore now. They now sat in a neat suitcase on the floor by the door. She now sat opposite him at her tiny table and drank her tea in silence. Nothing had been said between them this morning except how his coffee was to be made and what clothing he wanted. It was an uncomfortable silence. She had to break this silence.

“Well, I’m going to go for a shower before lunch and then . . . I don’t know.” He didn’t even look at her all he did was nod his head and continue drinking his coffee and reading the Daily Prophet. She gave up with the non-existent conversation and went and showered. Her pyjamas were stained with blood so she simply took them off and tossed them in the dirty washing basket in the bathroom. It seemed that she should stop caring about her clothing because these days, they were always dirty or stained in one way or another. Whether from training at the Department or from once sworn enemies turning up on your doorstep bleeding to death! She slipped under the hot water and began to wash the blood and grime off of her body once again. She was half way through washing her hair when the door buzzer rang. ‘Damn!’ She rinsed her quickly and stepped out of the shower for her towel which she wrapped around herself. She would look terrible to answer the door like this. Wet sopping hair halfway down her back and a very short white towel that didn’t leave much to the imagination. She ran to her room to get her night robe to put over top just in case the person at the door happened to be a door to door pervert – not that you had them regularly! She walked briskly out to the living area where Draco stood very still looking at the door which buzzed again.

“Where do I go?” he whispered. She looked at him strangely.

“What do you mean?”

“I’m not supposed to be here, what if that were someone looking for me?” She then remembered how much trouble he was in.

“Get your invisibility cloak and hide in the bathroom.” she whispered back. He ran to his cloak and then rushed to the bathroom as she headed for the door which buzzed a third time. “Yes, yes. I’m coming!” She reached the door and opened it to see Professor Lawry standing there.

“Hello Hermione, dear. I came to see if you were alright because you weren’t there this morning.” The anger and fear boiled inside of Hermione as she stared at the woman in front of her who seemed so nice but was really working for Voldemort. So two-faced! She should turn her in now! But she couldn’t because she wasn’t meant to know anything about Draco’s situation!

“Hello Professor, ummm . . . please, come in.” She knew she was taking a risk here but she had to appear normal and polite. The professor whisked straight past her and into her living area, immediately taking in everything that was there.

“Do you have visitors? Am I intruding?” she asked politely. ‘YES!’ Hermione thought to herself.

“No, not at all. I have no visitors.” Hermione answered putting on her sweetest student-to-teacher voice that she had used on McGonagall all the time.

“Oh, I assumed because you have two tea cups out, still one with tea in it!” Hermione looked straight at the table where Draco had left his tea when he had run into the bathroom to hide. She had to stay calm. She had to pretend Draco wasn’t here. She looked around the room for anything else she might have used against her. Her eyes fell on the suitcase as she was building a plausible explanation for everything in her mind.

“I . . . I had visitors last night, I’m just so forgetful, forgot to clean up. I . . . got some rather bad news, really.” Time to put this excuse to the test. “My mother is in a muggle hospital, she’s . . . sick. I’ve just finished packing, as you can see-” she gestured to the suitcase which sat closed on the floor, “I was just having a shower and about to leave when you got here.” She smiled sweetly hoping that the story would be believed. There was silence for a few moments and Hermione believed that the old witch was not taking the story seriously. But after a few moments the smile was returned and she continued on with the conversation.

“I’m so sorry to hear that dear, are you leaving today?” she said in a supposedly sympathetic tone.

“Ah, yes . . . yes I am.”

“Suppose you won’t be back for at least two or three days. Oh well, I’m sure you’ll catch up.” Hermione’s heart sunk as she realised that she was going to have to miss a few days of classes for this petty lie . . . all to save Malfoy’s ass!

“Professor, did Malfoy happen to show up to class today?” Hermione decided to play stupid and see what she had to say.

“I suppose you should be the first to know Miss Granger.” said the professor in a saddened tone, “Mr Malfoy is wanted by the ministry for we believe that he has ties with the Dark Lord and has been a part of a group of some Death Eaters torturing muggles in the south. So, no . . . he hasn’t been back to classes and if he does have the nerve to come back he will be captured and sent to the ministry immediately!” ‘What a liar!’ Hermione thought to herself. How could she? Just a straight out lie and now he’ll be in more trouble. The professor must have noticed the emotion and shock that came across Hermione’s face.

“You haven’t seen him lately, have you Miss Granger? Because if you have, you can just tell me and the Auror’s will go get him, dear. Nothing to be worried about!” she asked in a sympathetic tone, her head bowing a little to look Hermione in the eyes.

“NO! No, I haven’t. But if I do . . . I’ll let you know immediately . . . can’t have him running around torturing muggles . . .” Time to get her out of here! She was breaking this story down too quickly “I’m sorry professor but I really have to get going. My train leaves soon, and I can’t afford to miss it!” The professors face came back to its hardened form as she knew she was going to get nowhere with this girl now.

“Very well dear, I’ll see you back at the department later in the week. Don’t be too long away. You’re struggling with your weaknesses now, and we don’t want to increase them by missing too much training. Goodbye!” and with that she simply walked out the door. ‘Weaknesses? Wench!’ Hermione rushed to close it and lock it behind her and then leaned against it for a moment until she remembered that she had to let Draco know of what happened just now.

She crept into the bathroom but he was nowhere to be seen. ‘Must still have the cloak on!’ she thought to herself.

“Draco, you can come out now.” but still there was no movement or noise. “Draco?” she started to walk around the bathroom with her hands out stretched and thought about how stupid she might look from his point of view. The floor was wet with puddles of water from her shower. Suddenly she felt something brush against her hair as she walked by the shower curtain “Draco, if you’re playing, it’s not funny!”

“I think it is!” came a voice from her right. She whipped around but there was still nothing to be seen. She reached out her hands to touch the unseen but still, there was nothing.

“Draco, it’s not! Now come out!” she practically yelled.

“No this is more fun.” said his voice now on her left. She turned around once again to try and catch him but his voice now came from her right again. “Nope! Too slow, got to be faster!” he laughed at her. She looked so funny from his point of view. The gown was coming undone and he could see the plain, short white towel that only just covered her. Her long legs were smooth and lean and uncovered by the towel. She looked practically edible. His ideas of Hermione had changed since he had started training with her. She was no longer the dirty Mudblood teenage girl from his school years but a well defined young woman who knew what she wanted and how to get it. He admired her for that. But it wasn’t just admiration for her that burned inside him. The other was a deeper feeling than that. Whenever he looked at her he couldn’t help a feeling of absolute . . . desire. Her long legs, her smooth stomach, her luscious lips and smooth hair. All he ever wanted to do was touch her or be around her in some way but he knew it was futile because she would never return the feeling even if he weren’t too proud to admit it. While he was off in his own world she had gotten close enough to feel the soft fabric of the cloak and had ripped it off of him.

But the sudden pulling off of the cloak was too fast and scared him ever so slightly that he slipped. He tried to grab her to steady himself but it was useless because they both went down on the slippery tiles – he on top of her. She smacked her head on the tiles and she yelped in pain and grasped her head and screwed up her eyes. And as he came down on top of her his side smacked on the tiles and reopened his wound and yelled out in pain. They both lay there grasping their pains when he started laughing. He couldn’t help it but it just seemed so funny. She turned her head to look at him where he lay against her, body to body, and glared at him.

“What, may I ask, is so funny about this situation?!?” she stated still grasping the back of her head in pain. He was so close. His left arm was under him, grasping his side and the other wrapped around her waist tightly from when he had grabbed her to try and stop his fall. They were lying in a cold puddle of water on her bathroom floor and as she had noticed before – so close. Close enough to . . . ‘no . . . don’t think that!’

“Everything. Just . . . the . . . look on your face! So funny!” and yet he continued to laugh like he had never laughed before but she continued to stare at him without any hint of a smile on her face.

“How is it, in such serious times like these you can be so relaxed? All of England is looking for you and yet you want to play games!”

“You need to relax a little I think!” he said to her face which was so close, close enough to . . . ‘no’ “I know! I reckon we should go out tonight and let you relax a little, huh?”

“I thought you said you can’t be seen! Anyway, I don’t think that you and I should, well . . . you know . . . go out together.” she stuttered, trying to finish her sentence properly. He smiled a little at her bashfulness.

“It’s not a date, so don’t panic! And we won’t get seen by anyone where were going! Trust me.” She still didn’t look convinced. “I’ll even make a few . . . modifications to my appearance just to be safe.” He quirked his eyebrows a little and from the look on her face he had won.

“Where are we going?” she asked tepidly, still not looking him fully in the eyes. He removed his hand from her waist and brought it up to her chin. He lifted her face so she was looking directly at him instead. ‘She’s so beautiful . . .’

“You’ll . . . ummm . . .” He wanted to kiss her lips so badly now but he knew it would be wrong. She wouldn’t trust him anymore than she did already.

“Draco . . . what?” she queried, a smile playing on her face but she couldn’t help the fluttering feeling that was playing in her stomach from his intimate touch and gesture. He was incredibly close, she should just give into the urges, give in and . . .

“You’ll see when we get there.” he finished his sentence. He had to get out of this rather intimate position before he did something that they both might regret later. “Now, can you help me up? My side is killing me.” Her urges were slashed by his sudden wanting to get away. He let go of her chin and ceased all touching completely as he tried to get himself up. She decided to get up and help him because it looked as though his wound had opened again from the red that now stained her white tile floor. Tonight awaited and she would accept whatever came her way.

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Authors Note: So, Hermione is really starting to look at Malfoy in a different light – who would have thought? =)

Hermione_88

Chapter 12: Very Relaxed
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Respect Me


Very Relaxed


Hermione still had no notion of where they were going. The only hint he had given was to dress for clubbing. This really didn’t sound like something she would be into, but she said she would go, no matter how grudgingly she had given into that. That night she dressed to impress. She still couldn’t shake that wondrous feeling she had felt while laying on the wet floor with his arm around her waist. She wanted to put it to the test. She had nearly given into the urge to lean forward those few centimetres to kiss him, taste him. To run her tongue along his lips and kiss him like she had never kissed Victor in sixth year. She knew what she was getting herself into. She knew he was a Malfoy. The one man that, just a few months ago, the idea of kissing him would have been preposterous and possibly make her gag. But now, he was different. Even if he slapped her afterwards, she just had to try it. Tonight her plan was to have his attention on her, and so her clothing would need to make an impression. She dressed in her three quarter length black, rag bottom skirt. The slits came all the way up her thighs yet the skirt covered her enough to let the imagination wander. Not that it needed to wander much farther than this afternoon where she was basically naked except for the towel that only just covered her. She also wore her cherry red spaghetti strap top that showed what cleavage she had obtained. Her hair was tamed to large ringlets which ran all the way down her back. Her makeup - simple, yet enough to make her eyes shadowy and misty with black and grey eye shadow, and just a hint of gloss on her pouted lips. She looked at her reflection one final time in the mirror and she liked what she saw, so she stepped out of her room and into the living area where Draco stood. At least . . . she thought it was Draco.

Draco had said he would change his appearance a little. He still wore his black suit pants and his dark moss green suede long sleeved shirt; let a little lose at the front. He also donned a simple silver chain around his neck. Really, it was what he always wore when he went out somewhere, but it was his hair that he now wore differently. Now chopped back and rusty brunette, he looked nothing like his former self.

It was only a spell that would wear off in a few hours - but still, it was nice to be someone else for once. The look on Hermione’s face was priceless as she stepped out of her room, but it was how she was dressed that caught his attention. Sexy yet not smutty. Her bare shoulders, her long smooth legs (once again!), and her dark mysterious eyes. He was instantly drawn to her.

“What have you done to your hair?!” she had startled him back from his heavenly daydream. He smiled at her reaction.

“Said I’d change a little, so I did.” He shrugged his shoulders to show that he didn’t care.

“It . . . its just a spell . . . isn’t it?” she asked carefully.

“Of course! It will wear off in by the end of tonight. Simple really.” she let out her breath that she was holding and then perked up a bit more. She spun around on the spot and her rag bottom skirt flared out around her. The sight of her made his breath catch. The animal desire in his gut blazed.

“What do you think? Ok for where we’re going?” he was speechless for a few moments, but then,

“Yes . . . perfect.” he stated and he noticed her blush slightly before turning to get her purse. She was now ready to go and so was he. “Well, let’s go then.”

“Come on. Can’t you tell me where were going now?” she whined slightly, pouting her bottom lip a little.

“No. We’re going to be there in a few minutes so you can just wait.” he stated simply, “Now, grab hold tight. We’re apparating there.” He held out his arm to her and she glanced at him suspiciously because of his secretive actions before linking her arm with his and holding on with the other. He couldn’t help but smile at her and she at him but then they were gone, disappeared into thin air.

**Middle of Muggle Manchester**

They reappeared in a dark alleyway, rubbish everywhere and trashcans toppled over. She clutched a little tighter on his arm.

“Draco, where are we?” she whispered, the little puffs of breath mist were visible in the cold dark night.

“It’s ok. Come on, it’s just up here.” She felt relatively stupid now for coming without knowing where they were going. She still held tightly onto his arm as they walked through the dark alleyway, but he seemed unperturbed by it all. Finally they came out onto a busy street and across from them was a line of people trailing all the way down and around the corner. The air pulsed with the thumping of music coming from inside the club. The tiny looking building where the line began had a flashing sign that read . . .

“The 226! The best muggle night club in all of Manchester! Now you see why we had to apparate into that alleyway back there.” he said. She was slightly shocked.

“Muggle nightclub? But . . . you . . . ?” she stuttered. It seemed that no matter what she thought of Draco he always seemed to be contradicting her thoughts. Her knowledge of him was changing rapidly.

“Yes, I know. ‘Draco who despises muggles.’ Well, I’m here, aren’t I?”

“Why’s it called the 226?” she queiried.

“No, it’s not called the two hundred and twenty six but the two – twenty six. Its how many people they can fit onto their dance floor at one time and it looks as though they might actually reach their limit tonight! Come on then.” He still had hold of her arm and pulled her across the road to the door where the giant bouncer stood.

“Mr Malfoy, good to see you again.” he said politely. Hermione looked up at Draco by her side and raised an eyebrow at him and he smiled. He seemed to do a lot of that to her lately and every time he did it made her stomach do a back flip. She longed to have him look at her now because every time he did it seemed it was a look just for her. His eyes no longer cold icy blue, but now they seemed a little greyer. But she must have been imagining things because this was Malfoy she was referring to and he could never feel such things for her as she imagined. It was impossible. Wasn’t it?

“Hello Freddy, how has the night been?” Draco asked courteously back to the large man.

“Had two fights, two working girls and from the amount of people I’ve let in, id say the place is pretty much full!” said the harrased sounding bouncer. His attention then turned to Hermione and his facial expression lightened “This is the first date I’ve seen you bring here. What’s your name?” he directed at Hermione.

“I’m Hermione. She stated simply, smiling at the large mans wonderful manners.

“Good friend of mine. I treat her with the upmost respect.” Draco cut in. Hermione turned to stare at him. ‘What a blatant lie!’ she thought to herself jokingly.

“Well it’s nice to meet you Hermione! You’re the first Mr Malfoy has ever brought here-” his sentence stopped as he saw a fight break out in the Que. “Got to get back to work, in you go then. See you later Mr Malfoy.” He opened the door and the entire crowd groaned and some people even yelled abuse.

“Thankyou Freddy!” Draco thanked him and then guided Hermione inside.

“That was a lie Draco!” she said sternly.

“What was?” he asked as they glided down the hallway.

“You, treating me with the ‘utmost respect’!” she answered back.

“Actually it wasn’t. I respect you and I would consider you a friend. Maybe not a friendly friend but a person I can rely on.” A slight ‘oh’ escaped her but it was completely drowned out by the thumping of music. “You may not respect me Hermione, as you made quite clear on graduation day, but I’ve learnt to respect you in this small time and I hope you can do the same with me too.” The door opened into a tiny hallway which led to a bar and then on the other side of the bar was a mass of people dancing. Hermione’s thoughts were overcome by what Draco had just said. She never thought that he would feel like that – even now. He led Hermione to the bar and sat her down on a stool then seated himself beside her. “Ok, what do you want to drink?” he asked.

“Ahhh . . .” Hermione was actually in the mood to try something different. She spotted the woman a few seats down from Draco sipping on something that was yellowy-green. “I’ll have whatever she’s drinking.” she pointed to the woman and Draco ordered it. He ordered just a simple whiskey for himself. Their drinks arrived and they sipped and talked about nothing important. The conversation was forced and uncomfortable and she looked around the room which was full of happy people, chatting and having a good time. She felt out of place and uncomfortable in the crowded club. She finished her citrus drink and ordered another.

After her third of the yellow drinks she was slightly more relaxed and she remembered her goal – to kiss him. Just one simple kiss, that was all that was required, and she was going to make sure that she got it! She turned to face him properly and noticed that two empty whiskey glasses sat in front of him with a third half drunk.

“You’ve been busy, I didn’t even notice you order any more.” she said simply.

“You can talk! You’ve been drinking them like they’re milk.” he said straight back to her. They sat in silence for a while when he ventured on. He got up from his stool beside her and held out his hand. “Come on. You’re bored, I can see that. We’re going to dance!” he smiled.

“Ummm, no - I don’t think so!” she said quietly.

“Well, I do, so come on!” he lifted her up out of the chair and pulled her in the direction of the dance floor.

“No . . . Draco, I really don’t want . . .” but her words were trampled as she was pulled into the mass of crazy dancing people. He pulled her through, never letting go of her hand until they reached a small empty spot in the middle of the floor and immediately pulled her close to him. This was unexpected and her breath caught in her throat. They were body to body and she could feel his every move against her. They both started to pulse to the music which was fast and hard, their bodies meeting every beat. Her hair flying out around her as her head moved from side to side. She was just getting into the beat when it suddenly turned slow and rhythmic instead of the fast and pulsing stuff before. The many dancing people around them slowed and fastened themselves to a partner and began to sway to the beat. Draco hesitated for a moment but considering he had been so forceful with her, she decided to return the favour.

Draco was shocked when Hermione leaned forward and wrapped her arms around his neck and pushed her body flush against his. After a moment of awkwardness, he wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her in tightly. She was just the right size to rest her head under his chin. It felt perfect. He moved his hands up to feel her soft hair. She also did the same thing. Moving her hands up his neck to feel his hair but she didn’t meet the soft lengths of his platinum blonde hair but the cropped and prickly hair that he had used as his disguise. She preferred his normal hair.

The couple next to them were arguing about something inaudible and truthfully Hermione and Draco could care less. But then the male of the arguing couple was pushed backwards into Draco and Hermione, knocking them over and making many other couples stumble. Hermione squealed a little as she went down to the floor, Draco’s arms still around her. The other couples grumbled but returned to their caressing and kissing. But Draco was pissed that their moment was ruined.

“HEY! What the bloody hell do you think you’re doing you filthy muggle!” he yelled over the music. The bloke who was pushed turned around and faced Draco who had helped Hermione up off the ground and now stood beside him, her hand never leaving his.

“What did you just call me – asshole?!” the guy yelled back at Draco, advancing just a little. Hermione tightened her grip on Draco’s hand and pulled him slightly. The stranger’s girlfriend, if that was what she was, screamed some obscenity at him and then turned and left. “Oh come on baby . . . come back!” the mans attention was divided and Hermione took this chance to lead the fuming Draco through the crowd to the side of the dance floor. He took her aside by the arms and surveyed her with a once over.

“Are you ok?” he asked, complete concern in his voice. She nodded. They now stood there with the music still thumping (a fast song had now started playing) staring at each other. Total silence seemed to exist between them. He wanted her and she wanted him. It was really simple. He leaned in, closing that space between them and just when he was about to make contact she put up her hand in front of him.

“No.” she said simply.

“Why?” He was puzzled. Didn’t all her movements tonight prove that she wanted him as much as he wanted her?

“Change it back.”

“What?” This was becoming confusing.

“You’re hair. I like it better the other way.” she smiled and he smiled back. He muttered the quick spell to cancel the other and his hair magically grew and lightened back into its normal state. Everyone else was too busy to notice the sudden change. The look between them lingered only a moment when she leaned in and closed the gap between them.

The kiss was bitter sweet. At first soft and gentle, lips moving against each other until she felt his tongue brush against her lips and she opened to receive him. Their tongues intertwined with each other. His arms wrapped around her waist pulling her close against his body. Her arms went up around his neck and then proceeded to travel up into his longish hair, fingers running through it with silky ease. The kiss became fiercer and wanting as their tongues became passionate and fast. They pulled apart to catch their breath and then he leaned back in but she stopped him again.

“What?!” he asked, a little more impatiently this time.

“I’ve got all the proof I need, let’s go.” She began to lead him by the hand out of the club, but he halted and so she did too.

“Where are we going?” he asked

“Back to my place . . . unless you don’t want to . . .” she said in a questioning voice, but he jumped to the chance immediately.

“Yes! Yes. Of course. But . . . are you sure?”

“Yes.” she smiled at his concern. “Now come on.” She continued to lead him out of the club by the hand. They left past Freddy and just as they were halfway across the road someone yelled out.

“YOU! HEY YOU, COME BACK HERE.” It was the angry stranger from the dance floor. Draco turned around to face him but Hermione pleaded to keep going and so he turned back around and continued to walk towards the alleyway, but the man persisted onwards. “You messed things up between me and my girl, now you’re gonna pay! HEY, don’t walk away from me! What, your bitch control your life?” Draco halted and turned around.

“What did you call her?” he asked quietly looking the man straight in the face.

“Your bitch, that’s what I called h-” but the man’s sentence was cut off as Draco forgot his wand and slammed his fist straight into his face. Hermione screamed and now several other men from the que ran forwards. Hermione grabbed Draco’s arm and dragged him into the alleyway.

“Where bid he doe? Where bid da ‘iddle mudda pucker doe?” screamed the man with the now broken nose. They ran after Draco and Hermione but when they reached the dead end of the alleyway, all they found was rubbish.

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Authors Note: Hmm – nothing to say here! Review!!!

Hermione_88

Chapter 13: Too Relaxed?
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Respect Me


Too Relaxed?


They appeared in the middle of her living room still hand in hand, staring straight ahead. Hermione turned her head a little to look at Draco. He still stood still, his hand still clutching hers down by his side and he was still fuming from the wanker from the club.

“Bloody muggle! Should have crucio’d the bastard – show him!!!” he mumbled under his breath. Hermione took the initiative stepped in front of him and kissed him just like in the club. She felt his tension fall away immediately as his hands came up from his sides and ran up across her cheeks. Their bodies moved up closer against each other and hands began roam. She ran her hands up his front and wrapped her them around his neck then up into his hair as their bodies moved closer than imaginable before melting into one. Tongues intertwining - going faster and faster, gasping for breath.

His hands now moved down her body, caressing her curves, then back up to her shoulders where he slipped the spaghetti straps off her smooth shoulders. He ran his hands up and down her arms then down to her waist. He couldn’t get enough of her. She began to walk him backwards in the direction of the bedroom – all the while still kissing passionately not moving from each other’s bodies. Soon enough they were in the bedroom, beside the bed and they pulled apart from each other just long enough to rip off his shirt and then hers. She now stood there, top naked except for her lacy black bra. She then moved her hands down to continue stripping him of his clothes – beginning with his belt buckle. He moved his hands down and halted her hands. She looked up at him with a questioning look on her face.

“Hermione . . . you’re beautiful but . . . are you sure?” he questioned carefully. Her face softened.

“Draco . . . yes. I’m not a child. I know that I want this. I want you . . .” she stated simply and he smiled at her and leaned down and kissed her gently, slow and passionate, caressing her cheeks with her beautiful hair falling around her face.

“Ok then . . . now let me help you with that problem you were having!” He then, very easily removed his belt and pants. They went back to kissing - quick and hard, tongues rushing against each other madly as their longing for each others bodies increased. She slipped her skirt off of her hips and now there was barley anything hiding her or him except for her small garments of underwear and his boxers. They were now still, not kissing but just standing together, his hands around her waist her hands restfully clutching his arms. She brought her hands up behind her back and unhooked her bra which then fell straight to the floor. He moved in and began to kiss her.

Their kisses deepened as they fell onto her over springy bed – hand and tongue movements never ceasing. His kisses began to trail down her body. Sucking. Licking. Biting. His actions made her moan out loud with the pleasure he was creating. Harder. Softer. Her moaning – louder. Quieter. While he continued with his actions, his hands moved down to her panties which he then proceeded to take off. He threw them to the floor with ease. His underwear that was holding him back soon had a place beside hers.

They were now totally stripped and he moved up to her face and kissed her. Then it began. Slow and smoothly. She let out a gasp as the all too familiar pain came back from that long time ago since her last. She screwed up her eyes but then opened them again as the pain slowly turned to pleasure. He grunted a little as he continued, all the while he cradled her body below his, her hands clasping around the back of his shoulders as her moans increased with his grunts. He opened his eyes and looked at her – straight in the eyes. They were alive with the moment and her lips slightly parted from her heavy breathing. Her eyes closed tight again as the pleasure overtook her. He began to move faster, his thrusts increasing along with her moans of pleasure. The peak was close. They could both feel it. Tingling with pleasure. They heightened. She clutched tighter to him and he held her closer against his chest. Higher. Faster. Louder. Screaming out at the peak and then it was over and he collapsed on top of her – both panting fast.

He rolled off of her so that he lay beside her, still holding her in his arms. They were still breathing heavily. When their breathing became controlled he had to ask her.

“Was that your . . . well . . . you seemed like you were . . . hurting . . .” he asked carefully. It wasn’t something you normally talk about after sex.

“No, you weren’t my first. It’s just been a long time since . . .” she stated. Now he was intrigued. Long time. That meant it was probably at Hogwarts. He had to know who.

“Who was it?”

“I’m not telling you that!”

“Was it Potter?”

“NO!” she was outraged a little that he would think of him first. “Harry and I are nothing but friends. Never would we . . .”

“Well if he knew how good this was he’d want to in a heart beat!” she slapped him on his side. She didn’t know whether to be offended or flattered. He smiled at her reaction. He loved to get her riled. Her reactions were funny yet beautiful. But back to the topic in question. “Then it had to be Weasley.”

“Oh god no. Not Ron.”

“Then who? No actually, when?” he asked hoping this question would help him a little.

“Ok, I’ll give you that. It was the summer holidays after sixth year.”

“Really? Hmmm . . . Longbottom?” he smiled; he knew she wouldn’t like that. And he was right when she hit him instead of a response.

“Oh . . . you really are infuriating! It was Victor-” she said exasperated.

“KRUM?!? No way! You and him?” he was clearly shocked.

“We did date for over a year! But that was a mistake anyway because he was really twisted!” Draco still looked a little shocked that this mystery man wasn’t any ordinary loser but the seeker he idolised.

“Why was he twisted?”

“He asked me to marry him and leave school because he said he could provide for me. He was defiantly a few sheep lost in the top paddock!”

“Huh?”

“Means he was a little lost in the head.” She explained and snuggled closer and he wrapped his arms around her tighter. She thought about her day so far. A visit from the traitor Professor Lawry. Slipping fun in the bathroom and a night out on the town. And now a cosy bed. She was told to relax so she did. She faded off to sleep in Draco’s arms.

She looked so beautiful laying there in his arms. Her hair fanned out around her and the sheet just covered her. He felt a bit chilly now that the heat of the night had disappeared. He looked over to see that her window was open and letting the cold breeze in. He got up and closed the window and she whined a little now that he had moved away from her. She would be cold now that he had moved away from her, so he brought up her dooner and wrapped it tight around her small body. This was when he realised what he was doing and came to his senses. He’s on the run from the officials and Voldemort and here he is bedding Granger and putting her now in more danger than before. If someone were to figure out that this came to be, they could really use it against him, because, let’s face it - he didn’t consider this a one night stand. He had feelings, maybe not really strong ones but he cared for her and her safety.

He had made his decision - he was leaving. He collected his crinkled clothes off the floor – dressed and then left the room.

**Early the Next Morning**

Hermione woke and immediately it felt wrong. Something wasn’t right. She felt around her bed and quickly figured it out. She was alone.

“Draco?” she called out. No answer. Why? She got out of bed and wrapped the sheet around her. She walked out of the bedroom and looked around in her living room. Empty. She looked around the room and saw a piece of paper and a pencil on the counter. He’d written a note. It read . . .

~*~

Hermione,

I’m sorry you had to wake up and find me gone. No doubt you’re annoyed! I’ve done something wrong by staying so long with you. I took advantage of you when you were weak. I’ve put you in danger. I’m going to go find some old friends now, establish an existence somewhere else. I’ll see you again soon. Don’t give up hope on me. You’ll respect me yet.

Draco.

~*~

“I’m not weak – they all think that!” she half screamed, half whispered. She threw the note to the ground and screamed. “I’ll show them. I’ll be the strongest ever!”

*^*^*


Authors Note: Well, this chapter is the entire reason why the story is rated mature. I originally wanted to make this much more detailed but they won’t let me! :(

Hermione_88

Chapter 14: Attacked!
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Respect Me


Attacked!


**One Year Later - 12 Grimmauld Place**

“Welcome everyone! I want to hear all of your reports . . .” said the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The man at the end of the table stood up first.

“I think that Hermione has accepted that I follow her everywhere, she’s quit trying to lose me or catch me. I feel that her guard needs to be increased because the brothers Rabastan and Rodolphus have been hot on her tail more lately. I’ve also notice a new presence that follows and watches her building building, I try to get close but their way to fast for me and always get away.” The man in the chequered coat sat down again.

“Hmm this troubles me, I would like to put another person on Hermione’s watch but it we won’t have anyone until next week. I’d like you to be with her everywhere until then.” said the headmaster.

“Yes sir.” replied the man. Now a woman stood up with sparkling blonde hair and a rather crooked nose.

“Harry’s been fine, totally oblivious to my movements around him because of the ever changing disguise I think. This worries me Albus, that Hermione is being followed so closely and Harry not.”

“Yes I know, it worries me also.” The woman sat down and then an old hobbled man with a shining electric blue eye stood up.

“Weasley’s back home again so my report is turned to Molly.” The man sat down and the podgy Mrs Weasley stood up.

“Yes, Ron’s home again, got a week off and wanted to spend it with Gin, considering he hasn’t seen her in a while. Nothing strange so far that I’ve noticed.”

“Very well, everything sounds fine, but Miss Granger’s predicament worries me. I’ll be assigning another watcher to her next week. I will see you all next week.” and with that, everyone disapperated and the kitchen of 12 Grimmauld Place was left empty.

** The Manchester Department of Auror Education

Running. Death Eater. Shots fired. Duck. Stop. Punch. Kick. More. Stupefy. Run. Faster. “Keep Up!” she screams at her partner. Running. Faster. Dragon! Run faster. Slide. Stupefy Maximus! Door. Run. Open. Done.

“Well done Miss Granger. You could do better Mr Dawson.” greets Professor Torry, the professor who replaced Professor Lawry when she got arrested for being a Death Eater after an anonyms source revealed it to the Ministry. Tim glared at Hermione quickly and left. “That’s one of your fastest time trials yet, you’ll be in great shape for the start of year exams tomorrow.”

“Thankyou Professor, I’m going to go shower and eat, goodbye professor.” Hermione headed off to the shared showers where she had no problem sharing the room with a bunch of other naked female students. Once she had showered, she headed off to the hall to eat lunch until she had to get back to training. She walked into the hall where others were eating and was immediately beckoned to a table on the other side of the room.

“Hermione, there’s been more Death Eaters caught again by that mystery crew. You know - the bunch of scary fellas.” said Constance who was waving a copy of the Daily Prophet at her. On the front page was a picture of the beaming minister for magic, Kenneth Gudgeon – the new fit young minister that replaced Crouch after Voldemort was found to be alive. Hermione ran over and snatched the newspaper from Constance. “Gee, all you had to do was ask!” she complained.

“. . . Officers were tipped that a group of Death Eaters would be at a scene at a certain time (information not disclosed) by the same unknown source that has been tracking Death Eaters and other dark creatures for the past six months. This new unknown anti-‘He who must not be named’ group has been responsible for catching many dark followers over the past six months but are yet being held responsible for the death of many wizards who afterwards have been proven to be followers of the dark lord. The minister for magic made this statement this morning, “This group is not to be considered helpful. The man known as ‘the hunter’ or ‘the dragon’ and also their leader is dangerous and wanted for the murder of three wizards . . .”” Hermione finished reading out loud and threw the newspaper back on the table.

“Not good huh?” asked Constance as the other members of the table looked at Hermione strangely.

“They’re still convinced that the Hunter is bad. They just don’t want to admit that now that they’re getting help, they’re succeeding.” she said as she flopped down at the table and grabbed one of the muffins in front of her and bit into it.

“You always get so worked up about this – why?” asked Constance curiously. “It’s like your sticking up for him and his motley crew or something.”

“Well, I just don’t believe that The Hunters are bad. People are just scared of them because of the way their described. ‘Big, tattooed and scary’ - people are easily scared.”

“I think you need to relax a little before the examination tomorrow. How bout we go out tonight?” offered Constance.

“No. All I need is sleep tonight and nothing else. I don’t want any trouble before the exam!”

“Why not? You’re already the best in the class. You’ll do fine tomorrow!”

“I don’t want to do fine. I want to do excellently!”

“Fine, well I’m going to get back to it all. Cya later!”

“No you won’t. I’m going home.” said Hermione.

“What no more training?”

“Nah, I’ve changed my mind, I want to go shopping!”

“What, even with your stalker there?” Constance tilted her head backward towards the stranger that stood in the corner just watching. Everyone was used to him and just accepted that he was there all the time or whenever Hermione was around.

“Yeah, he’s never done anything else but follow, so I don’t mind.”

“Ok, be safe.” said Constance and then both the girls walked to the atrium and went their separate ways – Constance to another training room and Hermione to the exit.

**Muggle Shopping District of Manchester**

Hermione walked down the street of muggle Manchester browsing the windows of the clothing stores, knowing all too well that her follower weren’t far behind. The streets were nearly empty and there weren’t many other shoppers on the foot paths.

Hermione suddenly noticed a man in a dark black cloak cross the road up ahead of her. ‘Strange for muggle Manchester . . .’ she thought to herself and gripped her want in her pocket as she slowed her walking and pretended to look in a shop window. The man was walking fast towards her with his head down and hood up so she couldn’t see his face. When he was no more than ten meters in front of her - he stopped, pulled his wand on her and shot a fire charm at her. She threw herself to the pavement to get out of the way and then suddenly someone was beside her shooting stunning shots at the cloaked figure. He dodged them easily. He was obviously well trained, she could see that easily.

She jumped up from the pavement with her wand in hand and looked to her right and noticed that it was her follower/protector in the chequered cloak that had rushed to her aid. She shot a stunner at her assailant and he dodged and ran towards her, full pelt, nocking her to the ground with his full weight on top of her. The air was knocked out of her lungs and she was temporarily dazed and winded. When she regained her composure she knee’d him in a tender area and rolled him off her.

Her follower had been caught around the neck by another of the men in black and was now trying to get him off – both their wands lay on the road. Hermione ran to get them but suddenly buckled over in head splitting pain. She fell to the ground, screaming for it to stop, the tears streaming down her face. She wanted to die. She remembered this feeling as the Crucio curse. The pain stopped as suddenly as it had started. She was left crippled on the road, coughing up her own blood. She slowly stumbled up and turned, ready to shoot at her attacker again, but as soon as she turned around, she was confronted by a strange sight.

A rather tall black man with black tattoos down his arms, a bald head and golden hoop earring in one ear was helping her follower up off the ground and the two men in black cloaks were lying on the floor – totally unconscious. Both of the men – her follower and this new helper - looked mildly familiar, but she was too disoriented to think about it at the moment. The black man shot two sets of red and purple sparks into the sky and then rushed towards Hermione with the chequered man limping after him.

“Come on, we have to get out of here!” he said and helped her up off the ground and pulled out what seemed to be a video tape, tapped it with his wand then placed her hand on it. Suddenly she felt the pulling feeling behind her navel and knew she was being pulled away from the scene.

They appeared in a dark musty room. All the curtains were closed and there was dust on everything in the room – obviously not used a real lot. Hermione felt her knees collapse involuntarily under her and both men who were on each side grabbed her arms and held her up. They helped her to the door and when it was opened her eyes squinted at the blinding light of the room. She was led over to a squishy moss coloured lounge which she flopped onto unceremoniously. A bulky man with black tattoo art work all down his neck rushed over to her.

“Hi there, are you hurt anywhere?” his voice was surprisingly kind for such a scary looking man. Hermione wheezed and coughed quite coarsely and pointed to her chest to imply to the man of her lungs as she was too busy coughing to talk. “Your chest? Lungs? Ok, I want you to try and breathe deeply for me . . . that’s it . . .” She tried but she just kept coughing harder and harder, covering her mouth with her hand. She was starting to feel dizzy from her lack of air. Her head spun. Everything was spinning. Round and round. Then she collapsed on the dusty lounge, her entire body going limp.

**Observers P.O.V.**

He observed from his position at the table that she fainted from all the coughing. Blade tried to help her once she had tried to say it was her lungs hurting but even being the best medic of the group couldn’t stop this.

“Whoa! Someone help me, we have to get some oxygen into her.” he yelled to no one in particular. He had been seated at the table with charts and papers all around and had been watching the young girl and her acquaintance ever since they had walked in from the other room. Her arm was flung to the side and there on her hand he saw something that made shivers run down his spine. Blood. The inside of her palm where she had been coughing into was splattered with blood. Two of his men rushed over to help the medic Blade to lay her down and pump oxygen into her lungs. He had to say something, so he rushed from his place at the table and moved forward into the light which glinted off of his platinum blonde hair.

“Blade, her lungs must be punctured – look!” he pointed to her shiny red hand. The medic’s breath came short when he saw it.

“Sir . . . I . . . you know what this means?” he asked quickly while he got up to start collecting certain instruments from around the room.

“What does this mean? What’s happening?” asked her chequered companion, who rushed over to her side. “What’s wrong with her???” he demanded at the dim eyed Draco Malfoy – leader of The Hunters.

“He’ll have to operate – find the puncture and seal it.” Draco replied, feeling the weight of this accident on his shoulders. He should have seen this coming! It was obvious – wasn’t it? “Come on, we’ll check on her later. Let’s talk – Blade, you have everything you need?”

“Yes sir.” replied Blade who was now in the process of lifting her onto the table – ready to operate. Her companion was not eager to leave her side but she looked like she was in good hands – no matter how scary these giant men looked. The only half normal looking one was Malfoy and even though he had seen him no less than a year ago when he was befriending Hermione – he still looked very different from then. He wore a black polo shirt – his arms exposed. Up his left arm was completely tattooed with intricate designs that reminded him of blades or swords or something. The tattooing continued up and just finished on his neck, curling up behind his left ear. He had cropped his blond hair back to a short length that hung just above his eyes – much like he used to wear it when in the lower years of Hogwarts - but without the slick. His arms seemed bulkier and he just looked bigger in general just not much different in height which was thankful for because he was already taller than him by his last year at Hogwarts.

Draco led him into another room which had a giant table in the middle of it, surrounded by about thirty chairs – some in a second row because there wasn’t enough places at the table. Draco walked straight to the head of the table and sat down. He motioned for the man to sit down, which he did. Draco then looked at him straight in the eye.

“I want to be let in on all of this. Why you’ve been following her and what you and Dumbledore are up to.” Draco stated.

“No, I want to know why you’ve had your brutes following her and I want to know right now!” ordered the man.

“You tell me first then I’ll tell you - Professor Lupin . . .”

*^*^*


Authors Note: Oh – PROFESSOR LUPIN! The chequered man is professor Lupin! OMG! =)

Hermione_88

Chapter 15: Truths
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Respect Me


Truths


Hermione could feel her consciousness returning to her, yet she still didn’t open her eyes. She tried to breath but the breath that she took in was raspy and sore. She groaned a little from her sore lungs and opened her eyes slightly. The room was bright and blurry and she couldn’t focus on anything.

“Errgh . . . !” she groaned again as she put her hand to her head. It felt like she had been hit with a mallet, either that or she was severely hung-over!!! Then she heard voices. Some she didn’t recognise – they were mainly hoarse and unfamiliar but out of the blue came a voice that she knew as . . .

“Remus?” she croaked and tried to sit up.

“Hermione! No, lay down!” He rushed over to her side and helped her lay back down although all his movements appeared like a blur to her.

“Remus? What are you doing here? What happened?” she ordered but her head began to spin slightly.

“Wait Hermione . . . just a moment, wait until he gets here, then we’ll explain everything!” said Remus Lupin, one of Hermione’s favourite teachers and closest friends from Hogwarts.

“Wait for who?” she asked. The room began to focus around her and she was able to see the shabby four poster bed that she lay on and the other men that stood around the room. The men began to shuffle and mumble, but no one answered her question. She closed her eyes tight again and continued to rub her head. Suddenly the mumbling stopped and footsteps announced the arrival of another person. Maybe this was the ‘he’ they were waiting for. She felt another presence kneel down beside her.

“Hermione? Are you ok?” his voice, full of concern and care and the one she had secretly been longing to hear again for so long, and now he was here.

“Draco?” she croaked and opened her eyes immediately only to be met with the horrible blinding light again. Her eyes focused on him. Perfect. The same yet different. He smiled at her, his facial features full of his relief. He stood up and dismissed his men.

“But sir . . .” a big burly looking man covered in tattoo’s said.

“I said you can go. Don’t challenge me on this, Tatumn” Draco ordered, sounding important and full of authority. The man left grudgingly. That’s when she noticed his arm - absolutely covered in black tattooing. She grabbed his arm to get a closer look.

“Wha . . . ?” but her sudden movement had caused a rough coughing to begin again. He looked down at her hand clutching his arm and for a moment looked horrified. His expression relaxed and then he removed her hand from his arm, gently placing it on the bed.

“We’ll talk about it all when we’re alone” he smiled and sat down beside her again. Hermione noticed then, the dirty look that Remus gave Draco and she wondered about its meaning. Their attention now turned to her and Draco asked the first question.

“I’m betting you have a lot to ask, so, what do you want to know?”

“What happened and why?” she said croakily yet somehow assertively. Remus answered her question.

“You were attacked by the brothers Rabastan and Rodolphus who are Death Eaters under Voldemort’s control. They have been following you since the start of the year, we don’t know why exactly but we have our suspicions.”

“Why are you here Remus?” she asked next.

“Well, I thought that you would have figured that out by now, but I’m actually the one that has been following you since you got here.”

“You?!?” she then observed his clothing and it made sense. “Oh . . . you’re the chequered man!”

“Oh, am I? I was wondering what you would call me.” He smiled slightly at this lighter side of the story.

“Remus . . . why were you following me? Why didn’t you tell me?” she asked.

“Well, it was all part of Dumbledore’s plan to watch all you kids after you finished at Hogwarts to make sure that everything went ok, but of course Harry, Ron, Draco here and yourself were most closely watched because of your past encounters with Voldemort. Now everyone who was being watched was fine and we noticed no extra activity around all of them except you. We soon noticed that you were being followed by Death Eaters and we still have no idea why. We thought that they would attack sooner than they did!” he finished.

“Why am I being watched so closely? Are you sure Harry and Ron are ok?” she rushed but he held up his hand to halt her words. Draco scowled at the mention of Harry and Ron but she ignored him – she didn’t have time for him at the moment.

“Trust me on this Hermione, we’re all as baffled as you, but we’re sure that Harry and Ron are not being watched – only by us.” Hermione sighed and let out her held breath. “Are you sure that your feeling well enough for this Hermione dear?” She smiled at his concern.

“Yes I’m fine, thankyou Remus.” She turned her head to look at Draco and noticed him looking straight at her yet not saying a word. “Ah, Remus, could you leave me and Draco alone for a while . . . we, ah . . . need to talk.” she said cautiously. Both men’s expressions changed – Remus didn’t look pleased about this.

“Hermione, I don’t think that-” he started but she cut in front of him.

“Please, Remus . . . we need to talk privately.” He gave in unwillingly and made to leave from the room.

“I’ll be in the next room . . . if you need me . . .” he stated before leaving and closing the door behind himself. Now they were left alone with one another and considering that they needed to talk – nothing was said.

“Can you help me up?” she asked as she tried to sit herself up. Draco hesitated.

“I think you should probably stay lying down.” he said but the ice cold glare that she gave him was incentive enough for him to help her. He sat her up and helped her lean against the bedpost then took his place sitting on the bed beside her. Once she was settled and the spinning in her head had stopped she began.

“I’m not weak.” she simply stated. Her voice didn’t show any emotion.

“What?!?” he asked, completely befuddled.

“In the letter you left me after we . . . after that night, you put it down to me being weak. I’m not weak!” she said a little more forcefully.

“I know you’re not weak! Of course you’re not! You’ve proven that by your work at the department – top of your class, again.” he stated.

“How . . . how do you even know that when I haven’t seen you since . . . then?” she asked a little more curiously this time.

“You don’t actually think I’d just abandon you, do you? No, I’m sure you’ve heard of my group – The Hunters, I’m their leader. I’ve been watching you since then, making sure you have a private escort everywhere you go – you probably didn’t even notice them when they are around. And another thing, stop referring to our time together as ‘then’ or ‘that night’ like it was some bloody one nighter that should have never happened because we both don’t feel that!!!” Once he finished they both sat their in silence. Draco thinking about what he had just disclosed and let out and Hermione on the other hand was thinking about the two pieces of huge information that she had just been told – one being much more important than another.

“You . . . you really think that?” she asked tepidly.

“You don’t?” he snapped, his terrible temper firing up.

“I . . . I . . .” she stuttered, unsure of what she should say because after all, if she let out her real feelings on this matter – she would be weak . . . wouldn’t she?

“Hermione . . .” he exhaled deeply before continuing. “I’m not afraid to say that ever since that night, I haven’t stopped thinking about you. Your body and every little thing about you have been running around in my head for the past year and I know that if I don’t do something about it soon, I might go insane.” he finished and she was flabbergasted. How could he harbour all these feelings for so long and live with them when she had tried so dearly to block them out and barely survived? Her lip quivered and she looked him straight in the eyes.

“Draco . . . I . . . I . . .” but still her words would not come out, no matter how much she tried. He’d been trying so hard not to touch her at all since she had arrived but now she looked irresistible. All in the same moment he leaned in against her and kissed her and it was everything she remembered from that one passionate day. He leaned in hungrily and kissed her lips harder as she wrapped her hands around his neck as their lips worked against each others. He pulled away from her and she opened her eyes and let it all run out along with the tears that ran down her cheeks. “Draco, I’m so sorry. That night we spent together, it meant everything to me and I would give anything to have it back again. I . . . I just don’t see how this could work . . .” He rushed up against her so that they were only centimetres apart.

“Don’t worry about that . . . we’ll make it work some how. Hermione, I’m not prepared to leave you again, the last time was hard enough!” She smiled and he wiped her glistening tears away from her cheeks and then moved in again and continued their kissing. Her hands winding around his neck once again and he pulling her close yet careful not touch her chest where her stitches were. They continued faster and more passionately until someone walked through the door on the other side of the room.

“I’m sorry to intrude but I think-” Remus’s sentence halted when he saw what was happening on the other side of the room on the four poster bed. The couple pulled apart and stared in his direction in somewhat horror. They watched as his expression changed to one of complete anger as he stormed to their side of the room, picked Draco up by the back of his collar and ripped him out of Hermione’s arms. Draco looked at the crazy man now in complete horror. “I told you; well before she woke up that she was off limits!!! This relationship can not happen! It will never work!” he roared as many men crowded the open doorway, absolutely unsure of what to do.

“Remus, we can make it work.” Hermione spluttered but she was soon overtaken with coughing. Remus controlled his anger and turned to look at Hermione.

“No, Hermione, you know it could never work. Now come on, we’re leaving.” and he took her arm gently yet firmly and lifted her from her spot and guided her to the door. Draco rushed over to them but Remus raised his wand to him. Draco was close enough to whisper a last few words to Hermione before she was gone.

“I’ll find you. We’ll make this work, I promise.” he whispered and then stepped back to give Remus the room he demanded. His men still stood at the door, not letting them leave. “Let them pass.” Draco ordered and his men stepped back. Remus led Hermione into a dark and dusty room and then, together, they dissaparated.

**Somewhere in Southern England**

“How did she get away?” hissed Voldemort at his two useless followers Rabastan and Rodolphus.

“Master, there was another unaccounted for. We . . .” whimpered Rabastan.

“I don’t want to hear your excuses. I must have the girl dead, we’ve let this go too long and from what I’ve seen, she can change things! If my kind – my power is ever to advance . . .”

“Master, if only you would explain . . .” said Rodolphus.

“I need not explain myself to the likes of you!” spat Voldemort. “She must be killed though, that is for sure. And I will kill her myself!” Voldemort vowed then turned his attention to punishing his servants with the Crucio curse.

Many miles away, at a hidden house on a street called Grimmauld Place, a young man with jet black hair woke up in bed, sweating from the vision of Voldemort plotting to kill his best friend.

*^*^*


Authors Note: I AM OUTRAGED – AT MYSELF!!! HOW COULD I BE SO STUPID??? I have just discovered that there has been THIS chapter missing from the original posted version ever since – ever! That means that everyone who has read this before has missed this chapter! Argh!!!!!! I’m so sorry!!!!

Hermione_88

Chapter 16: I'll Be Here
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Respect Me


I’ll Be Here


Hermione and Remus arrived at Grimmauld Place in the early hours of the morning and yet the house was full of activity. Various witches and wizards were rushing from room to room and in the middle of heated conversations and even though they had arrived right in the middle of it all, no one had noticed them arrive. Hermione was too dizzy from the apparition and swayed, but Remus held on to her tightly. Suddenly someone screamed and rushed over to them both enveloping Hermione in a giant hug. When the bulky woman pulled away she made the connection that it was Mrs Weasley.

“Come now Molly, she’s fine, just needs a look over. Where’s Dumbledore? No doubt he’ll want to see me!” stated Remus to an out of control Mrs Weasley.

“Study Remus. Come now dear, you come with me. EVERYONE GET OUT OF OUR WAY, SHE’S INJURED!” shouted Molly to the curious crowd of onlooking witches and wizards – most of whom Hermione didn’t know. She felt rather humiliated from Mrs Weasley’s fussing but her mind still lingered on Draco. He said he’d come back for her. She had to believe him . . . she had to. She would wait if she had to.

Mrs Weasley walked Hermione into a bottom bedroom and laid her down on the bed. She rushed out of the room for a few moments and then returned muttering to an elderly looking grey wizard.

“. . . Remus says that she’s had her lungs sealed, poor thing.” said a very sorrowful Mrs Weasley.

“Don’t worry Molly, I’ll look her over properly.” said the grey aging wizard and then Molly left the room. “Hope you don’t mind my checking you over?” said the kind old wizard. Hermione shook her head to signal that she didn’t mind. “Just to make this a little easier for you, I’ll put you to sleep for a few moments.”

“I don’t mind.” she croaked. The old man said a simple spell with his wand pointing at her and then it all went black.

*^*^*


“Mum, let us in . . . its Hermione, we have to see her!” came a whinging voice from the other side of the door. Hermione felt groggy and the first but then everything came right and then she felt better than she had in the past few days. She felt happy and energetic. She looked at the old medic for his diagnosis, but once again the sounds from outside the door overtook.

“Please Mrs Weasley, let us in. It’s important!!!” yelled the voice she knew she recognised.

“I’m sorry Harry not until the healer is finished.” said the soft yet forceful voice of Mrs Weasley. The healer motioned for Hermione’s attention.

“You’re fine. I just gave you a potion for healing your body a bit quicker than normal. Best I let those young men in now before the break down the door, huh?” said the old man with a smile.

“Thankyou.” said Hermione to the kind old man who then walked to the door, opened and then was nearly knocked over by Harry and Ron barraging into the room. They rushed straight to her bedside. The old man exited and closed the door again, giving them complete privacy.

Harry enveloped her in a hug and she could feel the pressure of another hug from her other side as Ron squeezed her too. The hug lasted so long and she was happy to feel loved by someone again. Her mind quickly struck back to Draco, but she shook that thought from her head. The two burly men pulled away and surveyed her.

“Hermione, are you ok?” asked a nervous Ron

“Yes, Ron I’m fine. Actually I feel better than ever!” she beamed. “How have you both been, I haven’t seen you in over a year, can you believe it?”

“Hermione, there’s something I’ve got to tell you but-” Harry’s sentence was cut short as Ron hit his arm gently.

“Harry . . . what? What’s wrong?” she asked because she knew now that something was up.

“Hermione, I had another one of my dreams – where I see what Voldemort is doing. It . . .” his sentence trailed off and he looked as though he were trying to come to terms with what was happening.

“Harry, what?” she demanded.

“He wants to . . . to kill you.” Her breath caught in her throat. She wasn’t expecting this.

“Why? Why would he want me?” she asked, fear unmistakeable in her voice.

“I don’t know; something about what he’s seen and that you can ‘change things’. I don’t understand it. I’ve told Dumbledore and he’s working on it with the others.” Harry continued. Hermione was struck by fear. Surprisingly, Ron was the voice of reason and calm.

“There’s nothing we can do so there’s no point worrying too much. Dumbledore is working on it now, he’ll figure something out.” he finished. Hermione was baffled at Ron’s first shown maturity. Where did this come from?

“Ron, when did you get smart?” she asked. It sounded so hurtful, but that wasn’t the point. Ron went red at this comment and began to take a real interest in the wardrobe. Harry laughed.

Ron, is in love.” said Harry simply. Hermione laughed out loud.

“I never said I was in love!!! Just that . . . Sarah . . .” he trailed off, not knowing how to finish his sentence and Harry and Hermione laughed some more. Harry and Ron began to bicker over each others love lives. It made Hermione remember Draco once again and how she longed to see him again. With the contempt of her two best friends bickering away like they were back in Hogwarts again and the man she wanted back in her life again, she fell into a pleasant peaceful sleep.

*^*^*


Hermione woke later in the morning as the first rays of sunlight started to creep through the window. Harry and Ron were gone from her bedside and her blankets were pulled up to her chin. She smiled and got up out of the bed, noticing that she was still dressed in her old musty clothes from yesterday. Her work clothes were totally ruined from the attack and her all morning training for . . .

“Oh no!!!” she yelled. She bolted for the door and rushed out into the kitchen of Grimmauld Place where a very small group of familiar witches and wizards sat. Dumbledore was at the head of the table, nibbling on a piece of bacon. On his left was Remus Lupin and on his right was Allastor Moody. There was also Tonks, Mr Weasley, Elphias Doge and Dung. As soon as she ran through the door, all conversations halted and all attention was directed at her. Remus stood up immediately.

“Hermione, what’s wrong?” he asked, rather alarmed at her strange and startling entrance.

“My first exam is today, I have to leave!” she said and then made to rush out the door.

“Hermione no wait!” he said then rushed out the door after her and caught her in the hallway before she had run out the front to apparate. “I’m sure Dumbledore can organise for you to take it at a safer time.”

“You don’t understand! I’ve been training for this day for the past three months; I’m not going to give it up that easily!”

“Hermione, we won’t allow it. It’s not safe at the moment. You’ll just have to stay here.” said Remus with a final note.

“You can’t tell me what to do Remus! You think you can but you can’t!!! You tried to separate me and Draco and now you think you can order me around?! I’m not a mindless child anymore – I run my own life!” she screamed at him, and then there was complete silence. The silence was broken by a very groggy looking Ron at the top of the staircase.

“Separate you and Draco . . . what?!” he seemed very confused but then realisation came over his face. “Hermione . . . you’re not . . . ?” What could she say to that? She was seeing the one man he had always hated – how could he understand?

“I . . . I have to go.” and she made for the door.

“Hermione . . .”

“Don’t talk to me Remus!” she spat.

“Hermione! Wait, I’m coming!” shouted Ron. Hermione spun around to look at him.

“Ron you can’t come! You’re in your pyjamas!” she said incredulously. He ran down the stairs to the coat rack, chucked on his overcoat and sneakers then turned around to look at her.

“Now I’m ready . . . come on, or you’ll be late – we have to talk!” and he grabbed her hand and led her out the door.

“But . . . I . . .”

“Come on!” and so he dragged her out the door into the early morning sun on the doorstep and then they both dissapparated.

**Later That Night**

Hermione lay exhausted on her couch – her clothes ripped and torn, cuts and bruises all over her body. She was mentally exhausted from her trials and the trial of explaining everything to Ron. Ron was pacing back and forth in front of her – anger and confusion boiling inside him. She felt tired already from her all day trials at the department but now Ron was making her dizzy as well.

“Ron can you please stop pacing – I’m not feeling too good.” she asked. He stopped his pacing and turned to face her where she lye on the couch.

You’re not feeling too good. I’m feeling . . . I’m . . . I . . .” he gave up and plopped down on her sofa chair with his head in his hands.

“Ron . . .” she started but still couldn’t string together her words.

“Let me get this straight . . . you and Malfoy . . . together? Why? . . . How?” he asked, lifting his head to look at her. His explosion from his initial discovery over and now he wanted answers.

“We were together at the department and it just . . . worked, somehow. Ron I really can’t believe it myself but it just happened and I . . . want to see how it goes.” She sighed and rolled her head back to look at the ceiling feeling as though she were ready to doze off. Her eyes began to close and her mind began to drift into sleep.

“Do you love him?” asked Ron and her eyes shot open – instantly awake.

“What?” she shot up into a sitting position on the couch and stared straight at him, her aches and pains instantly hurting again. “What did you say?”

“Do you love him?” he asked a little more straightforward this time. Hermione was dumbfounded. Of course she didn’t – it was preposterous.

“Of course I . . . I . . .” she couldn’t finish it, she didn’t love him – it was impossible – too soon.

“That answers everything.” he said finally. She was hurt and confused and feeling the pain of it all. She closed her eyes to maybe help collect her thoughts but then it all just faded away.

Ron’s P.O.V.**

She really was very tired. She just fell asleep, instantly. He was so confused. He’d given up on his feelings for Hermione a long time ago in Hogwarts when she had made it clear that it wasn’t mutual. Still, how was he supposed to react to this . . . It was Malfoy . . . how was he supposed to react to his best friend seeing his worst enemy? ‘I suppose I’ll have to accept it . . . but-’ his thoughts were suddenly cut short when a small pop sounded in the room.

“Harry!” Ron whispered loudly, just quiet enough not to wake Hermione.

“Ron, I’m sorry it took so long to get here. Why did you leave so quickly? You could have woken me. Remus is acting really strangely and Sarah . . . you’d better go!”

“What about Sarah? Oh damn, that party . . . I better go, I have some explaining to do!” Ron whispered, and started to rush around the room collecting his few things that were scattered. “Hermione . . . she’s just fallen asleep and . . .” Harry nodded.

“Yeah, don’t worry I’ll fix it all. You go!” and with a quick smile and a thankyou, Ron dissaparated. Harry looked at a very battered Hermione laying on the lounge. He very carefully picked her up and walked into her room, placing her on the bed. After a lot of hunting around, he finally found some first aid stuff and began work on her many cuts and bruises, treating them with complete care until she was as good as new. He completed his treatment and then wrapped her up in her blankets, closed her bedroom door and retreated to the couch in the living area to watch some bad re-runs.

**Hermione’s P.O.V.**

“Hermione, wake up . . .” someone was whispering her awake. She opened her eyes to complete darkness. She shot up in bed and tried desperately to get away from the mysterious voice. She had made it to the edge of her bed when two strong hands grabbed her shoulders and held her motionless. “Shhhhh, it’s ok, it’s me, Draco” the voice whispered.

“Draco?” and she brought her hands up to caress his face and around the back of his neck where she moved her hands up into his hair which validated that it was him. He brought his arms around her in the dark and held her close, making her feel safe for the first time in these terrible past days. “Draco . . .” she whispered and tears fell down her cheeks.

“Shhh, its ok . . . I’m here, shhh . . .” he soothed, stroking her hair and comforting her. She pulled away and tried to see him through the dark. Her bedside alarm clock illuminated her room only just enough to see the glint on his hair and the soft glow on his skin. He saw the tears fall down her cheeks. “Please don’t cry . . . don’t cry Hermione . . .” he asked as he wiped the tears away from her cheeks with his thumb.

“Draco . . . I . . . I, its just . . . Ron and . . . Lupin, I . . .” and more tears fell from her eyes as all the confusion from the past few days rushed back. He pulled her close again and continued to stroke her hair.

“Shhh . . . you’re exhausted, you need sleep . . . come on . . . lye down . . .” He lied her down on the bed and then lied down beside her, holding her close. “I’ll be gone when you wake up – can’t let Potter find me here even though Weasley already knows.” She looked into his eyes with confusion in her own.

“How do you . . . ?” she asked but he cut her off.

“Hermione, as long as you’re in danger, I’ll be with you everywhere you go. You’re safe with me, Hermione.” he finished and then moved in and kissed her gently on the lips. She smiled and then snuggled closer to him so that their two hearts were one against the other.

*^*^*


Hermione woke the next morning feeling much better and refreshed, not only because all her cuts and wounds had been treated sometime during the night but mainly because he was here. There was no evidence left now of his presence here during the night except for her memories of his visit and promise.

You’re safe with me, Hermione.

Surprisingly she felt better knowing that he or one of his men would be with her everywhere she went. Shouldn’t she feel as though her privacy were violated? She didn’t. She felt safe and secure again – much like she did when she was in Hogwarts – under Dumbledore’s watchful eye. Only now she felt something more . . . love. It was true what Ron said . . . she did love him. It was so obvious to her now. Her stomach stirred when he was near or fluttered with butterflies at his gentle touch. She’d never been in love before, so this is what she imagined it to be.

*^*^*


Authors Note: Woo hoo! I’m approaching the end now! Yay! Tell me what you think. I still can’t get over the fact that I missed a chapter . . . stupid Stacey!!!

Hermione_88

Chapter 17: Unwanted Attention
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Respect Me


Unwanted Attention


Hermione got up out of bed and dressed in some better clothes as her ones from yesterday were completely ruined. She dressed in jeans and a plain white blouse, she walked out the room and into the bathroom to brush hair and brush her teeth. She then proceeded into the living room where she was met with two people she didn’t expect. They both cut their conversation short and turned to look at her.

“Hermione, you’re finally awake! Come and have some toast, wont you?” said Remus gesturing to the plate on the table. Harry sat beside him, eating his own piece of toast.

“Wha . . . what are you both doing here?” she demanded rather than asked.

“I relieved Ron last night because he had to see Sarah and Remus turned up this morning,” said Harry simply.

“Relieved Ron? Who’s Sarah?” she asked, still not understanding completely.

“Oh yeah, I think you fell asleep . . . Sarah’s Ron’s girlfriend, she was pissed with him after yesterday and he needed to leave.” Harry explained. Hermione was still confused but she took her seat beside Harry and directed her next question at Remus.

“What are you doing here? I thought you would have gotten the hint that I didn’t want to see you after yesterday!” she growled. He looked unperturbed by her attack.

“Yes I did get the hint but I feel that there are . . . certain things we need to talk about.” he said calmly.

“I don’t feel like talking.”

“Well I feel that it’s necessary.”

“I’m scared to ask so I’m just going to go out for a while. Bye!” said Harry suddenly and then he dissaparated. It was quite sudden. Hermione sighed, got up from her seat and walked to the kitchen bench to pour herself some tea. She didn’t even turn to look at Remus.

“I don’t care what you have to say, Remus. You can’t make my decisions for me.” Remus chuckled a little.

“I figured you’d say that, that is why I’m here. I will tell you my side of things and then you can make all your own decisions.” Hermione was curios now; she couldn’t deny that she wanted to know why Remus was so overprotective about her relationship with Draco. She took her tea to the table, sat down at her seat and then gave him her complete attention.

“Ok, I’m listening,” she simply stated and then took a sip of her coffee.

“Ok. As you know, I’ve been following you since the start, my job was to protect you and so forth . . . but you already know all this. When you got involved with Mr Malfoy that night, I became a bit worried because . . . well let’s face it, its unimaginable! You woke up the next morning and he was gone. Even though you wouldn’t admit it at the time, you were hurt beyond reckoning. Your face showed it all when you read his note,” he paused to let what he had said sink in and she made no effort to break into his story or correct him. “You went on and got stronger, physically, emotionally and magically, but there was something missing – your passion. Without Draco, you were merely operating on automatic pilot. Then there was the attack and he was back again. You were out of it at the time but we had a very careful conversation. It went like this . . .

**FLASHBACK**

“I want to be let in on all of this. Why you’ve been following her and what you and Dumbledore are up to.” Draco stated.

“No, I want to know why you’ve had your brutes following her and I want to know right now!” ordered the man.

“You tell me first then I’ll tell you Professor Lupin.”

“I’m not a professor so don’t call me that,” replied Remus. Both men refused to start the conversation. “What do you want Draco?”

“I want to know why you’ve been following her all year!” he said calmly. “I want to know the whole truth and then I’ll let you know what you want.” Remus sighed.

“I have been following her under Dumbledore’s orders – for her safety.” Lupin said.

“And . . . ?”

“And what?”

“What exactly does she need protecting from other than those idiots Lestrange following her?”

“Ever wonder why they were following her? Voldemort’s up to something - and it involves Hermione. I have to keep her safe from everything.”

“What is that supposed to mean? Everything.”

“Doesn’t matter.” Remus shrugged off the question. “Now that I’ve told you, what have you been up to? Why are you following her?”

“Same reason as you . . .” Draco replied. “Her safety.”

“And why exactly to do you care about her safety? Last time I checked you abandon her in the middle of the morning.” Remus had obviously struck a cord there because he made Draco stand up from his chair. It was only Draco’s last remaining ounce of what was right that kept him where he stood and not tackling the ex-professor.

“I DID THAT FOR HER SAFETY TOO! How dare you assume to know my character?!” Remus stood up in his chair so the only thing separating the two furious, armed wizards was the old oak table.

“I know exactly who you are. You are Draco Malfoy, son of Lucius Malfoy and a pure blood. I consider Hermione to be my daughter and just the same as any other blood relative! I will not see her hurt again boy! Blood lines are not important to me!” Remus roared.

“Nor are they to me anymore!!” yelled back Draco.

“You say you’ve changed but you’re still the same nasty little boy that you were when in your fathers care. Like father, like son! And as long as it is my job – you will never go near Hermione again!!!” the room went silent after Remus’s outburst. The two men stared each other down. Draco sat back down in his chair at the head of the table and put his hand over his eyes.

“Leave, Remus. Now!” he said quietly and Remus exited the room to go check on Hermione.

**FLASHBACK ENDED**

“. . . I was angry and worried and didn’t mean half the things I said but I still stand by what I said – that this relationship between you and Draco is not wise, Dumbledore is worried also, but I see you’re going to go ahead with it anyway. I care too much about you to see you get hurt by the likes of him, Hermione. Like I said, I consider you a daughter in most senses.” He finished with a sigh yet not taking his eyes off Hermione, waiting for her response. He was hiding something, there was something not said but she smiled a little to reassure him that she wasn’t going to scream at him.

“I . . . like you said, I am going to continue my relationship with Draco, nothing you say can change that! But I now understand where you were coming from when you had your outburst although I feel there’s something you’re not telling me.” She eyed him cautiously. “I’m flattered that you consider me your daughter – you’re more like a father to me than anything.” they both smiled and a small pop introduced that Harry was back.

“Hey Hermione, I just had the best idea! Why don’t we go out tonight – go out to a club or something? Just have some fun!” Harry said excitedly. Why not? Hermione felt up to it tonight! Go have some fun!

“Sure! And I know just the place!”

**Later That Night**

Harry and Hermione stood in line at The 226. This thing between herself and Draco and what Dumbledore knew of it and wasn’t saying was worrying her, but there was nothing she could do. She trusted Dumbledore with her life.

They hadn’t been waiting long – they had got there particularly early and now the line for entrance was trailing around the corner with them at the front of the Que. It may have been the best muggle nightclub in Manchester but it was bloody difficult to get into! Hermione and Harry were talking to each other when Hermione suddenly heard her name.

“Miss Hermione, isn’t it?” Hermione spun around and was met by Freddy, the friend of Draco. She smiled at the fact that he had remembered her name.

“Freddy! How’s things?” she asked politely over the chatter of the people in Que. Harry gave her a quizzical look.

“Great. Haven’t had any troubles yet tonight! Where’s Mr M-” she cut him off.

“Couldn’t make it. Busy. Told us to go without him!” she stammered. Freddy smiled.

“Oh well, I’ll see him again – hopefully with you on his arm! Come on in.” he smiled and removed the red velvet rope that stopped them from passing. They walked past and she thanked him, trying to hide the blush on her face from what he had said. Harry and Hermione walked down the narrow passageway together.

“THAT . . . was the most polite bouncer I have ever met!!! And who’s this Mr M – who’s name he nearly said before you cut him off!” Harry smiled and glanced at Hermione.

“It was no one important . . . no one really.” she trailed off as they entered the club with the music pounding against the walls. They walked to the bar and sat down. Harry’s hand in the small of her back, guided her on to the stool. It was ok though, it was Harry. They drank and they talked together, she was enjoying this conversation more than the forced one she had had with Draco on that night. His hand touched hers gently and it seemed almost purposeful, but it was nothing weird, because . . . it was Harry. It was ok . . . wasn’t it?

**Draco’s P.O.V.**

He watched from the other side of the bar, in completed disguise so even Hermione wouldn’t recognise him. He was becoming more and more unsettled and jealous by the way she laughed with him and the way he subtly touched her. She may have not thought it was anything out of place but he, Draco, knew what Potter was up to. They were too close to each other, or, he was too close to her. There! The look on her face. She knew something was up – that his intentions were more than friendly. She’s excusing herself – going to the toilets?

Draco got up from his seat and followed her to the ladies rooms. Just before she was at the door, he grabbed her arm and pulled her to the side. She panicked at first because she didn’t recognise him. She thumped against his chest in her panic before his voice calmed her down.

“Hermione, wait, don’t panic. It’s me . . . Draco; I’ve just got a disguise on.” he said quietly. She recognised his voice and calmed down again.

“Draco, you scared the crap out of me!!! What are you doing here?” but he dismissed her question with a wave of his hand.

“Watch out for Potter, he’s hitting on you. You just don’t know it yet!” and then he was gone, vanished into the mass of dancing people. She was really confused.

**General P.O.V.**

Once she had come out of the bathroom, Harry asked her to dance. She was wary of him now and watching his every move. She didn’t want to think that her best friend was trying to make a move on her but now she couldn’t get it out of her head. Damn Draco! The beat was fast so she wasn’t worried particularly about dancing with him. They walked into the crowed so they weren’t too far in and then started pumping to the music. The beat was getting faster and faster and the people crushing in against her. Suddenly, Hermione felt something that shocked her; Harry’s arm going around her waist and pulling her closer to him.

“I want you Hermione, I always have.” he whispered in her ear. She didn’t want to know what was going through Draco’s mind right now. He was grinding against her and she didn’t like this one bit. He was her best friend – how could he want to . . . ? She didn’t want to! She tried to move away from Harry but he still pulled her against his body. Ewwww! Harry’s body – she didn’t want to touch it like . . . that! She looked over Harry’s shoulder and saw eyes that scared her! Draco. He was only a few steps away and not in disguise. He looked furious. He was armed with his wand in his hand and daggers in his eyes. He was ready to kill. She pushed back against Harry’s chest harder this time and shook her head. He knotted his eyebrows and then led her away from the music and dancing to a corner where things were more quiet and secluded spot. He ran his hands up her arms, holding her close, but she pulled away from him.

“No . . . Harry, we can’t!”

“Why? Oh . . . Mr M?”

“Well . . . yes, actually . . .” said Hermione. Harry was rough; he grabbed her arms and held her in her place.

“If he’s so important, how come I haven’t met him? How come he’s not here right now?” he growled. She was suddenly scared of him – the pain growing up her arms from where he held her still. Then someone spoke from behind them.

“He is! Take your hands off her!” yelled Draco. Harry took his hands away from Hermione’s arms which were now red and sore. He chuckled a little.

“Malfoy? What are you doing here? I thought you’d be out there terrorising with your little Death Eater buddies!” said Harry, a smile still playing on his face.

“No, actually. I’m here, right now, telling you to keep your hands off my girlfriend!” he hissed as his arm curled around Hermione’s waist, pulling her close to his body. Harry’s face changed dramatically as he realised that Draco was being serious and that Hermione didn’t pull away in disgust like she should have done. He turned on Hermione.

“Are you kidding me? Malfoy? You’re with Malfoy?” he spat at her and she winced as he released his anger and advanced on her. Draco spun her behind him – protecting her with his body.

“Don’t take another step Potter or I’ll curse you into oblivion!” warned Draco, showing just the tip of his wand from beneath his black robe.

“Sod off Malfoy!” yelled Harry. At this stage, Freddy the bouncer walked over to them.

“Look, I got a call from the bar manager saying you were causing a stir. Now you’ll all have to quiet down or I’ll . . . Mr Malfoy . . . when did you get here?” Harry exploded.

“MR M? MALFOY IS MR M??? HOW COULD YOU BETRAY ME LIKE THIS HERMIONE?!?”

“I’m sorry Harry, but it’s the way it is. I . . . love Draco.” At this point, Draco spun around to look at her in shock. “I really do. I’m so sorry Harry.” she whispered, looking around Draco’s form to watch Harry’s reaction.

“Oh fuck it Hermione. Fuck you and fuck you!” he directed at Hermione and Draco and then stormed out of the club. Freddy spoke next.

“Everything ok? He won’t be coming back in! I can tell you that!” he asked the embracing couple and they both smiled.

“Yes, thankyou Freddy – we’re going now anyway. See you some other time.” Draco and Hermione left the club with his arm around her shoulders. It felt good to hold her again – she was warm and his safety from reality. He made the way for the small dark alleyway but she stopped him.

“Could we just walk for a while? I don’t feel like going back there yet.” she smiled shyly. He smirked at her and then guided her down the dark street – people whisking past them on their own business. They walked together for quite a while, talking sometimes and then sometimes content with the silence. The streets were now dark and deserted except for them.

“I suppose we had better get you home, hey?” he asked her. Then there were rapid footsteps behind them and Draco was immediately on guard. He let go of Hermione, pushed her to the wall of a building for her safety and then pointed his wand at the unknown that was advancing on them. Potter.

“I have something to say to the both of you!!!” he screamed, his wand held out, pointing straight at Draco’s heart. They were moments apart from killing each other when suddenly twenty or so tiny pops presented the arrival of peoples unknown. Hermione looked around at all the dark figures that she could barely make out. Then she saw the eyes. Dark red slits glowing in the night.

“Ah, Miss Granger, so nice to finally make your acquaintance! Too bad it will be the last time . . ” said the voice of Lord Voldemort.

*^*^*


Authors Note: So Voldemort finally caught up with them! What does he have in mind? Hmm . . .

Hermione_88

Chapter 18: Above and Beyond
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Respect Me


Above and Beyond


Hermione’s breath caught in her lungs. This couldn’t be right. Her world was totally turned upside down. She was in love with Malfoy, Harry hated her and Voldemort was coming after her? It was all wrong! The Death Eaters were closing in on their group of three. Voldemort addressed her once again. He and his followers circled their little group in an intimidating fashion.

“Miss Granger, do you know why I seek you so?” he asked simply, his voice causing shivers to run down her spine.

“N . . . no.” she stuttered.

“Well, this is curious that you have no idea when I thought Dumbledore would have told you everything as soon as he knew! Or Mr Potter perhaps? But I don’t really think he understands what he sees when he rarely does.”

“What are you on about Tom?” demanded Harry.

“Oh, don’t worry Harry, you’re still my number one concern but this requires my attention now. You can die after.” Voldemort smiled an evil smile that made Hermione cringe. He then turned his attention on Draco. “Ah, young Mr Malfoy, I knew we’d catch up eventually.” he smiled again. Draco looked terrified – a look she never thought she’d see on Draco’s face. It petrified her.

Draco acted fast. He grabbed the little pendant from around his neck, held it tightly in his fist and whispered a few well chosen words. As soon as he did, fifteen little pops announced the arrival of his men. The big scary figures loomed in the dark. She didn’t know which she was more terrifying, the Death Eaters or The Hunters. The fight started, Death Eater against Hunter. Terrifying flashes illuminated the dark street and she could just see the gruesome truth of the battle. She felt Draco clasp her hand and pulling her around the corner and away from the battle.

“Hermione, go, now. It’s not safe here!”

“I’m not going anywhere without you!”

“Granger! GO!” he hissed, but she wasn’t given the chance to fight back or leave because a sudden flash and then Voldemort was next to them. Hermione screamed. Draco tried to push her away from Voldemort but his attempt was useless. Voldemort grabbed her wrist and she felt herself scream from the inside out as she was lifted up from her body and away from the scene.

**Draco’s P.O.V.**

He didn’t know what happened. He was holding onto her – trying to get her away from ‘him’ but he got her. He only grabbed her wrist and then she went limp. Voldemort had disappeared into a wisp of black smoke. Draco checked her neck for a pulse and felt nothing. He began to sob.

“Hermione! No! You can’t be . . .” he cried to her unresponsive body. She was gone and there was nothing he could do. He had failed and she had died.

**Above and Beyond**

The feeling running through Hermione’s body was amazing. She felt . . . powerful. Tingles shivered up her arm. She lifted it up to look at it but she was shocked at what she saw. She was no longer her normal self with skin and flesh but she was – she didn’t know what she was. She could still see the shape of her fingers and arm and even her nails but she was made of – well, it looked like shimmer dust to tell the truth. Her entire body and clothing was all made of moving, floating blue shimmer dust. She glittered and shun so bright and magnificently that it dazzled her.

“You wonder what you are? I can tell you!” hissed his voice. She looked up to see him only moments away but he looked normal, the way he was before. So why had she changed?

“What am I?” she asked.

“At the moment, you are pure magic. There is no form of your physical self here at the moment – only you’re magical self.” he said.

“Whe . . . where are we?” she asked again, finally looking around to notice the place where she stood. There was nothing, only dark and light, there was no in-between.

“We are between life, and death. I have brought you here to prove a point.” he stated and began to pace in front of her, like a lion stalking its prey.

“Send me back!” she demanded.

“No, I don’t think I will.”

“SEND ME BACK!” she yelled, tears streaming down her face.

“Why?”

“I don’t feel . . . right.” she whispered.

“Ah . . . you feel the life draining from your mortal body; it won’t be long before there is no return.” he smiled and she felt . . . anger? tingle through her body. The blue dust glowed brighter and she felt . . . lighter.

“What do you want?” she hissed, her shimmering self glowing ever so slightly.

“Don’t you see how you glow when your emotions run high? You’re too powerful. I’ve watched your power grow throughout the year, you’re dangerous to yourself and others. No muggle born I have ever seen has ever had such an increase in magic, the closest was . . . Potter, and he was half muggle.” Hermione heard this and glowed even brighter. She smiled.

“You mean to say, you’re scared of me?” she laughed a little. He snarled.

“CRUCIO!” and she withered in pain, her radiance diminishing to a dull glow. “I can still squash you like the filthy Mudblood that you are. You want to challenge me? What would you’re parents think of you picking a fight you can’t handle?” he simpered. The pain ceased and she looked up to see the shadowy figures of her parents. They were in the hallway of her home in London, getting ready to go somewhere by the looks of it. They were dressed in their good clothes and her mother was carrying her handbag, she only took that when they were going somewhere important. Her father was smiling at her mother and he held out his hand to her, ready to leave. Then his face changed, just a little at first and then he crippled over in pain. Hermione could see that he couldn’t breathe very well, and he seemed to be holding his chest in pain. Her mother rushed to his side, crying and trying to help him. Tears streamed down Hermione’s face.

“Stop! STOP! YOU’RE KILLING HIM!!!” she screamed. She wanted to hurt him, make him stop but she couldn’t tear her eyes away from the terrible vision as her mother then buckled over in pain, just the same as her father had. Hermione cried harder and harder, and she didn’t notice that her glow had returned brighter than it had been before. Hermione fell to the ground, holding herself as her parents bodies became still. They were dead. Voldemort laughed at her obvious pain.

“You see that I can hurt you much more than you can hurt me. But to prove my point, why don’t we see Mr Malfoy?” Her head shot up at the mention of his name. ‘Not Draco, please not Draco . . .’

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Author Note: **Singing and dancing** One more chapter to go! One more chapter to go . . . !

Hermione_88

Chapter 19: Protect Him, Protect Her
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Respect Me


Protect Him, Protect Her


The space around her began to change dramatically. The spaces of light and dark began to meld into each other and started to take form. Some became a brick wall of a building, and then there was the trash can and then two other forms down beside it. At first she couldn’t work out what it was, but it began to sharpen and she saw that it was two people, one holding the other. Draco and . . . herself. He sat slumped on the floor holding her limp body in his arms, shuddering with every sob that escaped. It was a terrible sight for Hermione to see but she couldn’t tear her eyes away from her own body that appeared dead. Her legs were sprawled, her arms lay limp and her head and shoulders were held in Draco’s arms while he rocked her, back and forth, sobbing over her dead body. She noticed the terrible burn mark on her arm where Voldemort had grabbed her. It was black and charred and looked terrible. She began to cry at the sight of Draco – so sad – over her body. She wanted to tell him that she was fine; she was ok, that he was in danger! But her time had run out when a sudden black mist appeared beside Draco and turned into the body of the most dangerous wizard who ever lived.

Draco spun around when he felt the cold presence of Voldemort against his back. He laid Hermione’s dead body on the ground gently and turned to face him. He sneered at the evil grin that played on his face.

“You . . . YOU KILLED HER!!! I . . . I’LL KILL YOU!!!” he screamed at him and Voldemort just smiled.

“No, young Mr Malfoy, it will be you who dies and with you, so will she!” he hissed, enjoying every minute of this torture.

“What . . . what do you mean?” Draco asked.

“She is not dead! But she dies every minute that she is away and her time is almost up – are you listening Miss Granger?” said Voldemort and he cackled at the look on both of their faces. For although she could see Voldemort and Draco, Draco could not see her magical form standing right beside him – his invisible comrade in war.

“You lie . . . YOU LIAR!!!” In his anger, Draco shot the killing curse at Voldemort. He merely apparated away and then appeared again only a few feet from where he was. His face became serious and he held out his wand, pointing it straight at Draco.

“I’ll show you how it’s done!” and the killing curse flew straight at Draco’s heart. Hermione panicked, she didn’t know what to do as she watched the curse fly straight towards the man she loved. So she did the first thing that came to mind – she jumped. She jumped in front of Draco, shielding his body with her own – only it was her magic that shielded him, not her body! She braced for the impact . . . but it didn’t come. She turned around and everything was as if he hadn’t shot the curse at all. But he obviously had because both Draco and Voldemort looked stunned.

“Wha . . . what?” Draco asked. But Voldemort sneered as his obvious unsuccessful killing.

“Stupid girl! Your magic repelled it!” he spat at Hermione – looking straight at her. “There are other ways to kill him!” Hermione was still totally unsure of what had really happened but she now knotted her eyebrows in defiance – she wouldn’t let him kill him. But she was caught off guard as the confused Draco buckled over in pain – just like her father and mother had. He groaned and held his stomach in pain. Hermione panicked ‘No . . . not again . . . not him!!!’

“Stop . . . no . . . don’t do it!!!” she screamed at Voldemort, her tears coming down again.

“You wished to challenge me girl? This is your own fault!!!” he yelled. Draco cried out in pain and his helplessness. Hermione cried and knelt down beside him, trying to help him. But he couldn’t see or hear her and when she tried to touch him, her hand just passed straight through his body. She was helpless and he was alone. Her attention turned to Voldemort again as Draco’s cries grew louder and more excruciating by the moment.

“Leave him alone – it’s me you want!!!” she said forcefully but Voldemort just grimaced and continued with his torturing of Draco. She screamed again “LEAVE HIM ALONE!” she advanced on the wizard, but in spite of her, he worsened Draco’s pain. With her anger burning and Draco’s pain sounding in the background, her magical glow grew brighter and brighter and the little blue particles that made up her form began to buzz around faster and faster. She felt her magic grow more and more and she once again felt that sensational feeling of lightness. Voldemort was watching her a little but most of his attention was on the torturing of Draco Malfoy. He laughed as Draco began to weaken and his fight against the pain gave way to his exhaustion. Hermione couldn’t allow this – she said she wouldn’t let him die. She would keep her word no matter what!

That’s when she did the craziest thing yet – she ran at Voldemort. Full pelt. Her magic then began to race as fast as her – shooting around in the confines of where her body would normally be. Only moments from Voldemort and then something happened. Her blue particles that represented her magic burst forth from the seams of her bodily form and she was scattered as her magic melded around Voldemort’s newly found body. He screamed as he released Draco from the pain and focused on his own which coursed through his body. How could this happen to him? Hermione had lost her self for a while and all she could feel was the space where she was spread and her anger to stop Voldemort. He couldn’t stand the pain any more so he retreated with a few final words.

“This isn’t over yet . . .” he yelled and then he was gone in a cloud of dark mist Hermione was still adrift and she couldn’t feel anything but the enormous amount of power that was her own. Draco struggled to move from his position on the ground and it was then that Hermione knew she had to get back into her real body. For him. She focused on her scattered form and it began to come together – blue particles from one side coming to form an arm or a leg and soon she was her self again as the last of the particles collected together, but she still required one more thing – her real body. She walked over to where her physical body lied on the dirty ground. She looked as though she was asleep but she obviously wasn’t because she wasn’t breathing. She looked down on herself and then she felt a feeling of being drawn in. The magical specks rushed into her physical body and then all she saw was darkness.

Hermione opened her eyes and all she felt was pain. Her chest ached, her arms ached and she had a splitting headache. She drew her first giant rasping breath as the air filled her lungs. She went over in her mind what had really happened whilst she caught her breath. She felt her fingers and toes tingle as the blood began to rush again. But then she remembered . . . ‘Draco’. She forced herself to move . . . she had to for his sake. ‘Is he alive?’ She crawled to where he lied, his breath rattling and his arms shaking as he tried to get up.

“Draco . . .” she whispered and slowly his head turned to look at her. He looked her in the eyes and then he looked down again. He began to cry again and she moved closer to him. “Don’t . . . please . . .” she croaked. Though his head remained downward cast, his hands snaked around her back and held her close against him. He cried a little harder.

“I thought you were dead!” he sobbed and she wrapped her arms around him and together they sat in the dark alleyway until she had told him everything that had happened.

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They walked out of the alleyway together into what looked like a war scene. She noticed the Aurors that were popping in and around the scene, trying to capture any Death Eaters they could. It looked as though most of The Hunters had retreated as now only the Aurors were fighting. Bodies were strewn all over the road, sparks still flying in the distance as the uninjured battled on. Hermione could only just make out Harry to be one of the battlers off in the distance.

“Draco, we have to help him!” Hermione yelled. She tried to rush forward but Draco held her back.

“No. Your hurt, tired and your needs are bigger than his!!! You’re staying here with me.” he ordered.

“But . . .”

“NO!” he ordered and pulled her down onto the kerb beside himself. She smiled weakly at his obvious concern. They sat in silence beside each other and mentally went over what had happened this night.

“Hermione?” asked Draco.

“Hmmm?” she replied, her head resting from her exhaustion on Draco’s shoulder as they watched the dying battle from afar.

“You told me what happened, but you didn’t tell me why it happened.” she looked up at him.

“I don’t know why it happened. But he’s going to keep coming after me no matter what – and I don’t even know why!” she said.

“He won’t get you! He can’t, after today – I’m never letting you go again!” said Draco and she smiled at him again and then rested her head back on his shoulder. “Hermione . . . I love you too!” he whispered and her head shot up to look at him. She tried to speak but couldn’t find the words. “You said, back there in the club, that you loved me and . . . I love you too.” Finally a smile broke on her face.

“I love you Draco!” and she wrapped her arms around him and they held each other.

“I love you Hermione and I promise from now on, nothing will happen to you! We’ll get to the bottom of this and we’ll find out why you’ve been followed! I promise you’re safe with me!” She curled up in his arms while they sat on the kerb of the massive murder scene. For once in her life, she was ready for whatever came her way because she had someone there to help her all they way.

THE END . . . not really!


Authors Note: Well, there it is! Don’t kill me. I know it’s not a very satisfactory ending – just make do with it until the next story – which is out and completed by the way! So! Please review – I’d love to hear what you have to say!

Hermione_88

http://www.harrypotterfanfiction.com