Draco rolled over and opened his eyes, only slightly aware of the comfortable warmth beside him. The sunlight was streaming in through unfamiliar curtains, and through the haze of sleep he could vaguely see a red shirt in the corner of the room. Blinking his eyes rapidly, the memories of the night before came rushing back to him, and he gasped in horror. He turned slowly, looking down at the sleeping figure beside him. Upon recognizing the bushy brown hair, he leapt from the bed as though it were on fire.

He started to quickly don his black slacks. He felt dirty; the type of dirty that couldn’t be washed away by a simple shower. He could not believe things had gone so far. She was a Mudblood, dammit! His father was probably rolling in his grave at that moment!

He moved to exit the room, and was forced to step over many books strewn hither and thither. Stinking Mudblood lives in the filth she deserves, I suppose, he thought viciously, kicking many of the books out of his way. As he placed his hand on the doorknob, there was movement from the bed, and a soft sigh.

In horror, Draco spun slowly on the spot, terrified of what would happen if she were to find him here. She was vicious with a wand—even he had to admit it—and the wand was within easy reach beside her.

He froze as she rolled over to face the door. Immobile with one had on the doorknob and the other clenching his shoes, a look of dismay crossed his face as the young woman raised her head to look at him.

“Malfoy?” she asked, surprise and venom both coating her voice. Obviously she didn’t recall what had happened. She would. Eventually.

Before she could say anything else, Draco bolted out the door and down the stairs, leaving the confused Mudblood behind.

Hermione watched in bewilderment as Draco Malfoy scampered out of the inn room that was her home. She looked slowly around, spying the crumpled red shirt on the floor and recalling the pair of shoes the young man had held. Memories came trickling back to her, and she inhaled sharply, covering her mouth with her hand as she looked under the blankets at her naked body. What had she done?

She sat up quickly and jumped from the bed, running towards the bathroom and hopping into the shower. Hermione adjusted the tap to hot and let the scalding water trickle down her skin. Gasping at the heat, she picked up her cloth and scrubbed her skin fiercely. Even after twenty minutes, when her skin was red and tender, she still couldn’t get the feeling of disgrace from her body.

After her brutal shower, she pulled on the first articles of clothing she could lay her hands on, and pulled her still-wet hair into a pony-tail. Stepping nimbly down the stairs, she kept her head down as she walked towards the bar. Climbing onto a barstool she waved her hand towards Madame Rosmerta.

“Aren’t you going a little heavy on the Firewhiskey, my dear?” the kind woman asked. “That’s every day this week. Can’t I bring you something a little less strong today? How about a Butterbeer?”

“No thanks, Rosmerta, Hermione insisted. “A Firewhiskey is fine.” The elegant barmaid shook her head in disapproval, but brought her a glass anyway.

Being eighteen is supposed to be fun, she reflected as she stared into the dark red liquid a little while later. But instead I find myself without a home, without parents and without a life. And I just slept with Draco Malfoy.

At this depressing notion, she drained her glass and motioned again to Madame Rosmerta.

“That’s quite enough for today, Miss Granger,” Romerta insisted, clearly concerned. “Why don’t you go and sleep it off now?” The barmaid was nearly pushing the abysmally intoxicated young woman out of her seat. Too far gone to protest, Hermione obediently climbed the stairs slowly towards her room.

Draco Malfoy was in a similar state at Malfoy Manor; but unlike Hermione, the young man had no one to tell him when to stop. After draining his fourth tall glass, he refilled it and looked into the depths, recalling the last two months.

They had been hell, to say the very least. He tried his hardest to push the thoughts out of his head and drained his glass again. He poured himself yet another and stared into the multi-faceted surface of the glass. He rose from his seat and approached the fire, unsteady on his feet. As his eyes slid in and out of focus, the flickering flames brought back the horrors of the Final Battle and the sickening results.

He had watched as one of his only companions – not friend, but companion – was killed by his own stupidity, burned to death in Fiendfyre. He had watched as his father, the man he respected – not loved, but respected – was carted off to Azkaban, to be left in the cold mercy of the Dementors and die less than two weeks later. And he had watched his mother – a woman he actually had loved – die from grief, depressed and alone.

He had watched all of this, and yet had still been unable to do anything.

And now there was the Mudblood. He could not believe she had had the impudence to touch him, the Slytherin Prince, with her filthy hands. Better yet, how had he suffered from such a lack of judgement?

Growling angrily at the thought of her, he threw the glass and the remaining Firewhiskey into the fire and watched in satisfaction as it exploded in a cloud of red smoke.

Draco stumbled drunkenly as he made his way to his bedroom. He collapsed onto the grand green and silver four-poster, asleep before his head even hit the pillow, dispelling away his intoxication as well as all his worries.

Hermione awoke to a sharp tapping sound from her window, causing her head to throb painfully. As she looked up, she could vaguely see the outline of an owl hovering outside the window. She stumbled over to it, closing her eyes against the blinding sunlight, quickly accepting the letter before she pulled the curtains closed. Throwing the letter onto the bed she staggered towards the bathroom and wrenched open the medicine cabinet, sifting through the many potions and pill bottles before finally finding the potion she was looking for.

She quickly drained the thick green liquid and her head cleared at once. Sighing in relief, she made her way back to the bedroom, flopping down on her bed and opening her post. Something metal fell to the floor with a clatter. Warily, she looked at it and struggled for breath as surprise engulfed her.

She leant down and scooped up the badge – for that’s what it was, a badge – and read the small word on it: Prefect.

She already had a Prefect badge; but she had lost it somewhere along the way of growing up. Wait – she was supposed to go back to Hogwarts this year, wasn’t she? She still hadn’t finished her N.E.W.T. year. She had forgotten that amidst her depression.

She had to go back, she decided. Her parents would have wanted it, and now they didn’t remember her, she wanted to make sure they would have been proud of their little girl.

Wiping away a stray tear, she flopped backwards onto the bed, staring up at the ceiling before something dawned on her. Here she was, graduating a year late, an alcoholic Prefect. Now that was a first.

Deciding she wanted to make a good impression, she leapt from her bed and showered quickly before dressing. Leaving the letter on the bed and closing the door behind her, she descended down the stairs towards the bar.

“Another Firewhiskey, Miss Granger?” the barmaid asked disapprovingly. Hermione shook her head.

“No thanks, Rosmerta, I’ve got to go to Diagon Alley. Can I use your Floo?”

“Of course, dear,” the woman said cheerfully, gesturing towards the hearth. “The powder is in the flower pot.”

Hermione smiled and nodded, approaching the hearth and lighting a fire with her wand. She threw the powder into the fire and spoke clearly as she stepped gracefully into the vivid green flames. “Diagon Alley!”

As soon as the uncomfortable spinning had come to a halt, Hermione stepped deftly into the darkened pub. Waving happily at Tom, she strode eagerly into the bright sunlight and dazzling colours of Diagon Alley.

Draco was awoken by a timid squeak coming from beside his bed. Immediately alert, he spun around and seized the source of the noise by the neck. A sharp squeaking voice met his ears.

“Master, Master, Noddy is sorry, Noddy was just bringing Master his post and his potion, sir,” the small form trilled. Draco released it in disgust. It yelped and placed a letter and a cup on his beside table before scuttling off.

Huffing in annoyance, Draco rubbed his eyes with the back of his hand and drained the thick green liquid to clear his head. Picking up the envelope, he broke the familiar red wax seal and tipped out the letter. Something heavy fell out and bounced onto the bedspread. He picked it up.

He raised an eyebrow sceptically as he read the print on the badge. Prefect. Did they actually think he would come back?

But then, he didn’t have anything better to do, did he? Sighing in resentment, he summoned the house-elf back, thrusting the book list into its tiny hands.

“Buy these, and a new wand,” he instructed coldly. Noddy bowed and disappeared with a small pop.

A/N - Soooo......what did ya think? I'm already like, 25% done the entire story so updates will come quickly! Don't forget to review!


EDIT 07.05.08 - This is the beta'ed version of this chapter. Big thanks to my wonderful beta Mahalia from the forums! She did a great job!


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