"'Cause you are not alone, and I am there with you, and we'll get lost together, til the light comes pourin' through..." -Michael Buble "Lost"
The knock on the door came right on time. Hermione looked down at her watch to confirm that Draco Malfoy had impeccable timing, to say the least.
“Come in,” she called.
The door opened and Draco Malfoy walked swiftly in and collapsed on the couch. Unlike last time, he didn’t look quite so undone and yet with her experience as a doctor, Hermione could tell that he was still tormented by something.
“How are you, Draco?” She asked, testing out his name.
He simply sighed.
“That bad, huh?” Hermione asked. “What’s the problem now?”
“It seems like things keep piling up on me,” Draco said heavily.
Hermione stood up and rubbed his arm. He jumped so far that his hand hit Hermione in the nose, causing it to bleed. “Ow! God damnit! Draco!”
Draco jumped up. “I’m so sorry, Dr. Granger.”
Pulling out his wand, he said. “It seems like I can’t do anything right.”
Hermione sighed. “What happened, Draco?”
Clutching her nose, Hermione hobbled over to her desk, searching like mad for her wand. Why she had put it down in the first place, she had absolutely no idea. She heard footsteps and suddenly Draco was at her side. “Allow me. After all, it was my fault.”
Hermione stood up and looked at him.
“Come lie down,” he said. “Then you can take your hand off your nose.”
She did. Once he was done, she stared up at him in wonder. “Since when are you so nice?”
He shrugged. “That was one of your conditions, wasn’t it?”
“Well yeah,” Hermione stood up and walked back over to the chair. “I just didn’t think you’d rise to the occasion so well.”
He smiled slightly. “I am capable of surprise, Dr. Granger.”
“You can take off your coat, Draco,” she said, motioning to the coat rack by the door. He did as she asked and then lay back down on the couch.
“Okay,” Hermione folded her hands in her lap. “Now tell me. What’s the problem?”
Draco sighed in remembrance. “This week has been the worst week of my life...”
And with that, Draco was plunged backward in time to when his life had really started to worsen.
The Saturday after he had made that deal with Granger, he had been sitting in his living room, sipping tea. He remembered that he was due to meet his mother for lunch, when suddenly, Narcissa Apparated into the room.
Draco jumped off his seat, landing painfully on the floor.
“Draco!” His mother rushed over. “Are you alright?”
“Ow,” Draco winced at the pain on his head. “Yeah. I’m fine. Why are you here?”
Now that he looked at her, he realized how positively dreadful she looked. Her hair was mussed up, she was still in her nightgown, and tear streaks were etched on her beautiful face. “Are you alright?” He echoed his mother’s question.
“As a matter of fact, Draco,” Narcissa sat down next to him on the couch. “I’ve had a dreadful morning.”
“What happened?” Draco asked worriedly. “Pinky!”
Pinky Apparated in front of him. “Please get my mother a cup of tea and some of those biscuits you made this morning.”
“Yes, Master,” Pinky nodded and scurried away.
The other elf appeared a moment later. “Yes, Master?”
“Go to Madame Malkins and buy my mother a dress,” Draco ordered. “Just tell her who I am and tell her to send me a bill.”
Rosie nodded and left.
Narcissa turned back to Draco. “Anyway, as I was saying... Well, I awoke this morning and your father wasn’t in bed with me as he usually is. I know he slept with me last night because I remember falling asleep in his arms.
“All the same, I got out of bed to go find where he was,” she continued. “I heard voices downstairs, so I crept down the steps and saw he was meeting with that awful Mr. Leeder.”
Draco stiffened at the name. “And so?”
“Well,” Narcissa sniffled. “They were talking about the upcoming election. Mr. Leeder was telling your father about how good of a minister Lepus was in Germany. Romildus was telling your father about different elements of his son’s reign.”
“Like what?” Draco asked, having a very bad feeling about what was going to happen.
Pinky came back with the tea and biscuits and then left them alone once more.
“Like Dementors roaming the streets, a national curfew (death to those who disobeyed), censored news and media, no back talk against the government, prisons where prisoners are tortured,” Narcissa was still shaking and Draco put his arm around her. “It wasn’t even a democracy anymore, Draco. It had all the makings of a dictatorship.”
“What does that have to do with us though?” Draco asked, trying to remain calm.
“Your father has just made a deal with the Devil,” Narcissa whispered. “Lepus is planning on doing exactly the same thing here if he wins.”
“What’s the deal?” Draco asked, suppressing a disturbed shudder.
“Romildus said that if you agree to this new reign,” She explained, “then they will destroy any competition that you may have.”
“And if I don’t?” Draco asked, dreading the answer.
“Then they’re willing to take England by force.”
Hermione was looking at him in horror. “That sounds awful. So what happened after that?”
“About what?” Draco asked her.
“Well, why did your mother come to you after she heard? Did they get in a fight or something?” Hermione asked.
Draco nodded, remembering what Narcissa had told him after she had finished relaying information to him. “As a matter of fact, they did.
“According to Mother, after Leeder left, she walked downstairs and confronted my father. She asked him why he was betraying me and allowing someone like that such easy access to the government.
“He yelled at her about butting into his private business and then said that he wasn’t betraying me, he was simply trying to keep me safe. Mother asked him how that would keep me safe and how anyone could possibly benefit from that type of government.
“Father said that things had gotten somewhat out of control since Scrimgeour was killed and that we needed more control, something the Leeders could help us with.
“Mother said that England would never stand for something like that so recently after the Dark Lord’s death. She said they’d fight back and that it would be suicide to follow Leeder. She reminded him that following the Dark Lord to the end hadn’t brought them any happiness.”
“So how did your mother end up at your house then?” Hermione asked.
“Well,” Draco went on, “Father yelled at her, said he knew what he was doing and told her to leave if he didn’t agree. She did and she came to me, told me exactly what she had heard and I let her stay with me.”
“So, she’s living with you now?” Hermione asked.
Draco nodded. “But that’s not the worst of it.”
Hermione looked at him in shock. How could finding out that some guy wanted to turn wizarding England into a dictatorship not be the worst of his problems? “So then, what is?”
“I have a cousin,” Draco sighed.
“So?” Hermione asked, failing to see the importance of this piece of information.
Draco glared at her. “I have a cousin that appeared on my doorstep earlier this week. I have no idea who she is, I’ve never heard of her, and she’s a Mudblood!”
“And she’s your cousin?” Hermione asked, furrowing her eyebrows in thought. “Somehow that doesn’t make any sense.”
“Oh,” Draco answered snidely. “You figured it out too, did you? That my entire family is Pureblood and suddenly I have an unknown cousin who’s a Mudblood.”
Professionally, Hermione decided to avoid the “stop freaking out,” that she wanted to say and instead replaced it with. “So, how does that make you feel, Draco?”
Draco snorted. “That’s such a cliche doctor thing to say.”
Hermione shrugged. “Well, I am a doctor.”
“Should I tell you another story?” He asked reluctantly.
Hermione looked at the clock on the wall and then at her watch which echoed the time. “We still have twenty minutes.”
Draco went back in time again to Monday morning. He was getting ready to go to work and was having an early breakfast with his mother who was settling in nicely. Pinky and Rosie had already gone over to the Malfoy house to collect a bunch of her belongings, choosing to do it when Lucius was not in the house. Draco had agreed that this was probably a good idea.
All of a sudden, Rosie came scurrying into the kitchen announcing that a Ms. Giselle Malfoy was here to see the master of the house. Draco and his mother exchanged a confused glance but told Rosie to send her in. Giselle Malfoy came around the corner and Draco looked her over.
She certainly looked like a Malfoy; very attractive with long white blond hair and blue eyes, a slim figure and beautiful features. If her last name had been anything else, Draco would probably have started flirting with her.
“Are you my cousins? She asked in an accent that Draco couldn’t quite place.
“What is your name?” Narcissa asked.
“Giselle,” the girl answered. “Giselle Malfoy.”
“Sit down,” Narcissa said kindly. “Tell us. Why are you here, Giselle?”
Giselle sat down opposite Draco who tried not to look at his mother in question. “Well, it’s a terrible story, really.”
“Rosie!” Draco called.
Rosie appeared in an instant. “Get Giselle a cup of tea.”
When Rosie returned with the tea, Giselle smiled at the elf and thanked her. Draco could’ve sworn that he saw Rosie blush with gratitude at this treatment. He wasn’t sure whether or not elves could blush.
“Your story,” Draco prompted.
“Oh, yes,” Giselle nodded. “My parents and all my family was killed in my country. I was out of the house at the time and when I found out I ran away as fast as I could.
“I’ve been living with a friend of mine from France for a few months, but I decided that I couldn’t trouble them any longer,” Giselle explained. “I did some research and found you on my family tree. So I found you and I really do hope that I can stay with you. I have no where else to go.”
“Of course you can stay,” Narcissa said kindly, squeezing her hand. “Though truthfully, I didn’t even know you existed.”
“Oh,” she smiled. “Well, my parents are Muggles. I found out that I was a witch when I was eleven. I got a letter from the German school for magic, Zauberkraft..’
“Your parents were Muggles and you’re from Germany?” Draco asked in disbelief.
Draco and his mother exchanged a glance.
“Rosie!” Draco called.
When the elf appeared at his side, he said. “Why don’t you show Giselle up to one of the spare bedrooms?”
Rosie nodded and turned to Giselle. “Follow me, Ms. Giselle.”
Giselle turned back to Draco and Narcissa before she followed Rosie. “Thank you so much for taking me in.”
Hermione looked at Draco, still so shocked over the turn of events. “What do you think about having a Muggleborn cousin?”
“It’s shocking,” Draco still had a hazy look in his eyes. “Do you think she’s maybe lying? She’s from Germany. What if she’s a spy for Leeder?”
Hermione couldn’t help rolling her eyes. “Jeez, Draco. Not every German supported Leeder. I’ll bet most of them didn’t but were too scared to do anything about it.
“It kind of sounds like Voldemort’s reign.”
Draco shrugged. “Yeah. It kind of does. The English would never stand for that.”
“Exactly,” Hermione agreed. “Therefore, it would be easier to convince them to continue to support you instead of Leeder. Just write a bunch of laws in favor of minorities. The people always like that.”
“Don’t get your hopes up, Dr. Granger,” Draco said warningly. “You may be my doctor but I didn’t ask for your political advice.”
Hermione held up her hands in surrender. “Sorry. I was just suggesting.”
Draco nodded and then turned the subject back to his cousin. “But what about Giselle?”
“Well,” Hermione shrugged. “She’s living with you now, isn’t she?”
“Yeah,” Draco confirmed skeptically. “So?”
“I figured the answer was fairly obvious,” Hermione said in a probing manner.
Draco glared at her. “Apparently not, because I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“It’s common human decency, Draco,” Hermione answered it for him. “Be nice to her, get to know her, talk to her. Maybe she could help you.”
Draco rolled his eyes. “Yeah. Right.”
“Stop being so skeptical of everyone,” Hermione said. “Blood isn’t everything, you know.”
“In my family it is,” Draco answered quickly.
Hermione shrugged. “Well, now you have an excuse to change all that.”
They were quiet and Hermione could tell that Draco was thinking over what she had just said. Her eyes traveled to the clock on the wall. “Time’s up, Draco.”
He looked back at her. “Okay. Well, I’ll schedule another appointment.”
Hermione raised an eyebrow. “Okay.”
“Does that surprise you?” Draco asked.
“Well,” she said carefully. “Last I saw you, you weren’t your best. I figured that on a better day you wouldn’t think twice of me.”
“Hate to break it to you, Granger,” Draco said, slipping on his coat. “But I need a doctor and you’re all I got.”
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