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Troubled Times



“Come on, Hermione, wake up! We have things to do today and I have to take you along for most of it.” Draco moaned at Hermione as he shook her gently with a hint of annoyance in his tone.

He had been trying unsuccessfully for the past ten minutes to take Hermione from her sleep but she stubbornly just laid there. He was beginning to believe that she was only pretending to sleep in order to anger him. Today just wasn’t the day to anger him. He had a brunch with his father, shopping for his mom, and later a dinner two seats down from the Dark Lord himself. In between he also had to worship the Dark Lord at every free moment by yelling at prisoners and other such notions.

Growling in anger he shook Hermione more roughly, “Wake up!” He yelled rolling her over once, the blankets falling away from her slender body.

Letting out a cry of frustration Hermione sat up, “What!” She yelled at him, “I’m tired I need my sleep, I can’t help it if you have a big busy day ahead of you! Deal with it yourself!”

Pulling the blankets back towards herself Hermione tried to get comfortable again but Draco snatched the green blankets and tugged, “No As my personal servant you need to accompany me during the day. This wasn’t my idea. Do you think I want to haul you around all day?”

“I’m sure you don’t because I’m just a stupid mudblood, right?” Hermione shouted, pulling on the blankets, and moving to kneel on the bed.

Draco gave in to playing tug-of-war with Hermione, “No, because you’re a pain in my ass.” He told her giving one giant tug on the blanket.

She rolled her eyes, “You’re not exactly prince charming yourself. I think I prefer being locked up in a dungeon cell than spending an entire day with you.”

With a final, hard tug Draco pulled the blanket roughly and with it came Hermione. Dropping the blanket and reaching out he caught Hermione before she could fall off the bed. Laughing lightly Draco set her down on her feet but didn’t let go for a moment.

“I’m sure you would. Now that you are awake though you should go get dressed and ready for the day. We have a brunch with my father and I need your help picking out a birthday present for my mother. Then Snape would like to see me sometime this afternoon and to finish our day we have a feast while sitting two seats away from the Dark Lord.” Draco told Hermione all of this with a sarcastic smile on his face, “Sound like fun doesn’t it?”

“Let go of me, Malfoy.” Hermione pushed him away.

Stomping off Hermione left the bedroom to tidy herself up before she inevitably had to sit down with Lucius Malfoy for a small brunch.

~*~*~


“Could you have taken any longer to clean yourself up? We only have a few minutes now and I have to fill you in on servant etiquette.” Draco chided Hermione in a hushed voice as they hurried down the hallway.

“Etiquette ” Hermione yelled in a hushed voice that was more like a whisper, “I’m the one who has to be taught etiquette. You should teach yourself something about etiquette ”

“Not now Hermione, I have a lot to tell you.” Draco argued with her before he was cut off.

“Don’t call me Hermione.”

“Not now.” Draco snapped becoming a bit irritated, “Listen, when I’m eating with my father we’ll be sitting together at a small table and you are for the moment our waitress, for lack of better term. While, yes, you only have to obey me on usual terms around the castle here you must also do as my father say. Don’t give me that look. Say he wants you to cut his steak of something, you have to concur. You also can not dine with us and unless you are serving a purpose to either my father or I you are ordered to stay ten feet from the table.”

“That’s completely disgusting,” Hermione snapped at him no longer keeping her voice down, “You two swine can sit there and eat to your heart's content while I have to take orders from you and don’t even get to eat.”

“Yeah, yeah. I know, but there is nothing I can do to change that.” Draco shrugged as he stopped outside a large doorframe. “Keep your head, I can only protect you so much.”

Knocking on the door Draco passed Hermione a warning glance as she muttered darkly to herself and entered when he heard his father’s voice.

The room was exquisitely decorated with a king sized four poster bed. The curtains were drawn and looked to be made of a fine dark green silk. Hermione wanted to reach out and touch the fabric but was sure she would be scolded by one of the Malfoy men.

In all his ‘glory’ Lucius Malfoy sat in a large black armchair, his walking stick with the snake head leaning against his chair. “Draco, you’re a bit early.” He said surprised.

Draco shrugged at his father and leaned over to hug him. Hermione stood near the door taking in the beauty of the room. A large fireplace was set up to her right with a mirror settled on the wall above it. Taking a step closer she looked closer at the picture placed on the mantle. The one farthest from her was one of Lucius and a young blonde woman who was more than likely Narcissa Malfoy. Both we were smiling up, their arms wrapped around each other. The next one was a wedding picture of the two and the one after that was Narcissa holding a baby and Lucius standing behind her. The rest seemed to be a family portrait, taken every few years. The closest one to Hermione seemed to be very recent as Draco looked nearly the same as he did now.

“Granger!” Draco hissed from a door nearby. “Come on!” He waved her to follow him through the door.

Quickly Hermione moved across the room to follow him into the next room. Inside was a small table with only two chairs, one slightly taller than the other. Lucius Malfoy sat down in the larger seat and waved his son to the chair across from him. When his father had his head turned Draco looked to Hermione, who was standing near the door, and nodded to a cart of food.

Taking the hint Hermione scowled but began wheeling the food over to the two men sitting at the table. Picking up a bowl-like food cover Hermione revealed a piping hot cauldron of what looked to be beef and kidney stew. The delicious smell of food filled Hermione’s nostrils and her stomach growled loudly. It had been over a day since she had last eaten.

Lifting another smaller food cover she found two small plates of garden salad, complete with an array of vegetables. Handing them out to each Malfoy, Hermione looked around the cart for bowls. Finding some she ladled out stew for each man and set the bowls in front of them. Lastly she set a bowl of dinner rolls in front of them and stood back.

“Granger,” Lucius Malfoy smile at her with a bittersweet tinge, “Please do the honors of pouring my wine.”

Had Hermione been in any other situation she would have rolled her eyes at his cockiness but instead she stepped forward. Opening the wine bottle she slowly poured it into the senior Malfoy’s cup.

“A little more...a little more...a little more...stop that’s too much!” Lucius Malfoy told her, “Throw it out and pour again.”

Hermione bit back her insults and dumped the wine out and began again. After several tries she had successfully poured the perfect amount of wine, which was exactly the amount she had poured the first time. Huffily Hermione stood near the door and waited for them to finished eating. It was torturous for her to stand there and watch them eat while she couldn’t touch a single bite of food.

Soon enough though both Malfoys had put down their forks and Lucius Malfoy stood, “I must go meet your mother. She wants to redecorate something or another at the manor. I will see you some other time son.”

The older Malfoy nodded to his son and quickly apparated away, to tend to his wife’s love for decorating. Silently Hermione wished that she had finished her apparating exam before school had begun.

The room was silent until Draco broke it, “Well,” He said, “Are you going to sit down and eat or not?”

Hermione smiled at him.



Following closely behind Draco Hermione tried to not get lost in the sea of people milling around her. He had taken her into a busy village much like Hogsmeade except larger with more stores and she wasn’t positive but Hermione could have sworn she had heard some people around her speaking in French.

“Where are we?” Hermione hissed in Draco’s ear, pulling him closer from the back of his robe.

“Small village in southern France. There’s a perfume shop here that my mother adores.” Draco told her taking her smaller hand in his. “I don’t want to lose you.” He said with a cocky grin and wink.

“Let me go.” Hermione snapped pulling away from him. “I’d much rather get lost.”

“Don’t be so hostile.” Draco told her wrapping a firm arm around her waist. “I need your help here.”

The eighteen year old girl struggled against Draco’s grip, “I don’t want you touching me. Why can’t you just hate me like you have for the past six years.”

Draco didn’t reply.

Stopping in front of a girly store Hermione crinkled her nose, much preferring a book store to a shop full of perfume and make-up. Inside the carpet was a light pink and there were racks of robes hung up on one side. On the other side there were evening gowns. Approximately twenty feet in front of her was a large square glass counter full of jewelry. The middle was hollow for a person to stand in and check out items. The other side of the square featured perfumes and make-up.

Taking a swift look at a few robes nearby Draco grabbed a sparkling white one, “This will do.”

Hermione snatched it away from him, “Did you even look at the size or price tag or anything?” She snapped looking at the tag. It was for plus-sized women. The Gryffindor had only seen Narcissa Malfoy on a few occasions but she knew very well that she was not a plus sized women.

“Draco, this is not your mother’s size, at all.” Hermione sighed putting it back on the rack, “You need something smaller, like this one.” She picked up the same dress in a smaller size.

The blonde boy looked at her for a moment and shrugged, “Ok.” He said taking Hermione’s hand again and pulling her over to the perfume. “Then I need your help deciding what perfume to get her.”

Yanking her hand away, Hermione plopped down on the floor and opened the perfume cabinet and picked one. “Well sit down and start sniffing for one that smells good.”

Shrugging, Draco cautiously picked up a perfume bottle and sniffed it. His nose crinkled and he pulled back from the bottle. It smelt like his grandmother. This was going to be a difficult task.



“Are you sure she’s going to like this stuff?” Draco asked nervously as the cashier rang up their purchases.

“I’m positive she’ll enjoy her birthday this year.” Hermione nodded, “When is her birthday?”

“Tomorrow.”

“Way to wait until the last minute to go shopping.” Hermione chided instinctively trying to shove her organized ideals into his head just as she had tried on Harry and Ron many times before.

He rolled his eyes, “Oh don’t start, Granger. You might enjoy having things done right away but not everyone does.”

“So now I’m Granger and not Hermione?”

“Shove it. You were complaining about being called Hermione too.” Draco snapped irritably, rather confused at what he was supposed to call her.

“Here you go, sir,” The cashier said handing Draco his packages, “Have a nice day.”

“You too.” Hermione smiled as her and Draco exited the store.

“Hey, Hermione.” Draco said as he shifted through the package to make sure everything was okay.

“Yeah?” She asked absentmindedly as her eye caught a bookstore across the street from them.

“Thanks.” He said in a quiet voice, taking her hand in his.

A small smile etched across her face and this time she let him hold her hand.



“When is dinner over?” Hermione hissed as she cut Draco’s dinner salad in front of him.

Draco sighed, “I don’t know but I want to leave just as much as you do.”

The two were sitting so close to the Dark Lord any talking was suspicious. Many of the other men sitting at the head table had their own personal servants. Some Hermione recognized but not all of them. It was odd though to see how a real servant was treated and Hermione realized how lucky she was that Draco had taken her in. Although he was the reason she was there at all things could be much worse for her.

Some of the other girls were slapped around for doing something wrong and she was sure she had seen some being ‘hit on’. Draco too was looking around at the other girls and hoped very much that how he treated Hermione would not be brought up. She was barely a servant compared to some of the other girls. So far that evening she had only done the basics and he had tried to keep her out of the way.

On his right Draco’s father was ordering around a small girl, she couldn't possibly be older than a second year, faster than Draco could keep track of. Soon though he hoped dinner would be over and he could retire to his room with Hermione, who seemed to not be as hostile towards him since they went shopping.

Just as this thought crossed his mind the brunette leaned over his shoulder, filling his glass with pumpkin juice and he smiled up at her brightly. She returned the smile but was gone in a flash, retreating back to the wall. Neither that the simple act of kindness had been noticed by another.

“Ms. Granger.” Draco’s heart stopped as he heard the Dark Lord’s snake-like voice slither over to his ears. “Ms. Granger, could you fill my cup with some pumpkin juice, please?”

Hermione didn’t move for a moment but then quickly, with her head bowed slightly she made her way over to the Dark Lord. Before she made it though she tripped, as if an invisible force had reached out and grabbed her ankles. The pumpkin juice splattered all over the Dark Lord’s black robes and sprinkled onto Snape, who was sitting next to him.

It was as if a hush had fallen over the Hall when the Dark Lord stood, his face red with anger. “Draco!” He shouted, the hall going completely quiet, “Punish this foolish mudblood,” He shouted his red eyes gleaming.

Shakily Draco stood up, his wand in hand and a heavy heart in his chest. Towering over top of Hermione, who was kneeling on the floor he looked down at her, “I’m sorry.” He mouthed to her as she looked up at him with her honey eyes. “Crucio!” He shouted regretfully.



Hermione growled as once again she was woken from another well needed sleep. Every since her punishment at dinner the other night her body seemed to be in pain somewhere. Whether it was a headache or a toe ache she had dealt with it. This was the second time in only a few days. Rolling over she opened her mouth to lash out at Draco but his hand slid over her mouth stopping her words.

“Be quiet. We’re leaving.”

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