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A/N: Hello readers! Well, I know I said my next story would be Beautiful Soul, but I had a hard time getting it started, so I tried this one. I hope you like it. Not to worry though, I will continue Mission Impossible.

AU- Ron died in the war and Draco went off to America after his seventh year.

Chapter One: Granger!

Draco
The nasty scent of wet dog rushed through my nose as I walked into the dreary Leaky Cauldron. I looked around the place and there was no denying that I was in the world that I had tried so hard to get away from. A shiver ran up my spine as I heard the hollers of a bunch of drunks playing cards.

“Can you move out of the door way!” A harsh voice grumbled behind me. I turned around and saw a small old man that looked about half drunk and homeless. I thought to say something to him, but just moved, rolling my eyes.

This is only for a week. Just for dance lessons and then I can return to America and marry Isabella like planned. I told myself to keep from turning around and going back that instant.

“What can I do for you?” The short, chubby man asked from behind the bar as I approached it.

“Do you have any firewhiskey?” I requested, hopefully.

“Sure do, coming right up.” He replied. He then poor it and slide it to me. I turned it up, very grateful.

“Draco? Draco Malfoy?” Asked a surprised voice behind me. I winched and swallowed the liquid in my mouth before turning around.

“Yeah?” I replied, not for sure who I was talking to. It was a guy with black hair and dark eyes. He was well overweight and was balding on the top of his head. He looked really familiar, but I just couldn’t place him.

“Blaise Zabini, do you not remember me?” The man informed me and I sat there shocked. He had really let himself go since school.

“Oh… yeah.” I nodded, trying not to let my shock slip.

“So, what have you been up to?” He asked, taking a seat beside me. I tried not to let out a sigh of frustration. I didn’t need any of my past bumping into me while I was here.

“You know, Blaise,” I started, trying to thinking of a reasonable excuse to leave. “I haven’t went to see my mother yet. So will you please excuse me…”

“Oh… sure.” Blaise replied. “How long are you here for? Have you moved back?”

“No, I am just here for a week.” I explained as I got up.

“A week? Why so short?” His questions were really getting on my nerves now.

“My fience wants me to learn to dance and my mother has been begging me to come to visit. There is a great dance school near the mansion, so it is like killing two birds with one stone.” I sped through and turned away heading toward the door. “Good day.”

I sighed with relief when I made it outside and cursed myself for even going in there. I knew I was just procrastinating, so I wouldn’t have to go home. I knew I had to, though. Mother would probably send out a search party in the morning when she was sober and realized I hadn’t arrived yet.

~*~*~

As I stood at the iron gate in front of the mansion a flood of memories came crashing back to me. The time I broke my arm when I fell out of the tree, the time father had slung me into the pool in the back yard, or the time I had tried to run away and had gotten stopped at this very gate. I didn’t have a very glorious childhood and I never shared it with anyone. I told Isabella that I had two parents that loved each other and loved me. I couldn’t bare telling her the truth.

When I finally got done walking down memory lane, I opened the gate and proceeded in. Nothing had changed. Everything was exactly as it was five years ago when I left. There was trees lined down the walk way, a bird bath in the middle of the left side, a flower bed ((That the gardener kept going, mind you)), and the rose bushes on either side of the porch. Seeing it from the outside looking in, you would think a perfectly happy family lived here.

It seemed like centuries before I ever reached the door. I knew what was waiting for me inside and I dreaded it. If I didn’t do it now, though, I would have to later. Later she would be worse. So I pushed open the door and walked in.

Just like the outside, nothing had changed. The old, wooden, dusty grandfather clock stood at the entrance with the black metal coat rack beside the door. I removed my cloak, placing it on it and went on into the living room.

When I did, I noticed something immediately. My mother was slumped over in the arm chair beside the fire; a whiskey glass threatening to drop out of her hand. As she turned her drunken head toward me I noticed the wrinkles and craters in her face. I couldn’t stop myself from winching. Her once beautiful blonde hair was now dull and stringy.

“Mother,” I nodded toward her, not moving from my spot at the doorway. I watched as she stumbled up and tried to moved toward me.

“Draco…” she slurred, her eyes half open. “My baby boy! Come here and le…*hicup* let you mum take a look at you.”

I just stood there with my arms folded across my chest, eyes set on the ceiling. I hated seeing my mother like this. It had been this way ever since father’s death.

“Wow… look at you.” She grabbed both of my arms. “You look just like your father did when he was your age… did I ever tell you how we met?”

“Yes,” I hissed, jerking away and running up the stairs. I didn’t stop until I got to my old room, which, of course, hadn’t changed.

I locked my door just incase she had changed and could get up the stairs drunk.

How dare she insult me like that! Look like my father, my arse! I am nothing like my father then or now. Damn, why did she have to be such a drunk? It isn’t like he ever loved her back!

I just laid down on my bed and waited for sleep to come. I hadn’t been here a day and I already wanted this week to be over.

“You bitch!” My father’s angry voice roared over the house and my four year old self curled up tight in the corner. Mother and Father were fighting again. Mother had come in on Father and his woman of the week. She was stupid for saying anything.

“I…” I heard my mother start, but then a loud crash. I was sure it was my father slamming her into the nearest wall or door.

“Get out of my damn house!” He shouted. I covered up my head and tuned the rest out, wishing it would all go away.

When I looked up I was no longer four. I was eleven and I had just gotten home from Christmas break. To no surprise my mother and father were fighting. I was upset that they didn’t even pretend to be civil for Christmas.

All of a sudden I heard a splash, which made me look out my window. I saw my father holding my mother underwater in the pool. I rushed down the flight of stairs and out of the back door.

“Stop! Stop!” I screamed and threw myself onto my father, making us both tumble into the water. Thankfully he let my mother go and see went to the surface coughing. I hurried out of the pool, knowing what was to come.

“Draco!” My father yelled, pushing himself out of the pool. He hurried over to me, backhanding me at first. I fell to the ground. “How dare you push me into the pool!” He then took his right foot and kicked me. I had learned by now it was better just to lay there and not move. He went away if I didn’t try to fight back.

I sat up in the bed, the sunrays from outside shining into the room. I looked around and it took me some time to realize I in my old room. I let out a sigh and took out some clothes from the closet, hoping my old clothes still fit, before heading off to the shower. I knew my mother wouldn’t be up. She didn’t rise before noon.

After the shower I was off to Madame Levell’s Dance School. I was taking private lessons there. I didn’t want anyone else to witness what a terrible dancer I am.

Hermione

House payment, electricity, food, clothes. This was all the things I needed to have money for and I had gotten fired a week ago. It was looking dreary and I realized that I had to go work for Madame Levell’s at the dance school. Madame Levell was my aunt and I had learned to dance as I grew up. Durning the summers of my teen years I would help around the studio and even help teach the dances for extra money. I hated teaching, though and it was the only position open, according to my aunt. It looked like my only option though.

As I walked into the studio the familiar aroma of flowers and potpourri hugged my nose. I closed my eyes and took it in, remembering back to so many afternoons I spent here in my youth.

“Hermione,” a cheerful voice greeted me and I opened my eyes to see Cheyrl, another teacher, walking toward me. “How are you on this lovely morning?”

“All right,” I lied, faking a smile. I didn’t want to be here. I didn’t want to put up with the whinny dancers.

“Good,” she nodded. “Now, you aunt has had a person scudel for a private lesson and she wants you to do it. She said she knew you didn’t like teaching dance and thought it would be best. Is that all right?”

“Yeah…” I replied, shocked. “That would be great.”

“Okay,” she began to walk and I followed close behind. “He should be here in about twenty minutes. Here is the room, have fun.”

She gave me another cheerful smile as she opened the door and then walked back down the hall.

I sighed with relief, thanking heavens that I was only teaching one person. I just hoped he wasn’t a whiner.

Draco
I took a glance at my watch again as I rushed down the busy street. I was five minutes late. Now, I didn’t want to do this, but I also didn’t want to be late. This made me rush even more.

When I finally did make it to the school I hurried in, not taking the time to notice anything. I was already late. I walked up to the girl standing at a podium.

“I am Draco Malfoy.” I stated, staring at her. She looked at me and then at a piece of paper.

“You are late,” she stated. Like I already didn’t know that.

“Yes, I know. I am sorry, I got lost.” I explained, not really caring if she believed me.

“Hm…” she then stepped out from behind the podium and motioned for me to follow. “You intructer has been waiting.”

I chose not to say anything. What else could I say? I already said sorry, what else did she want?

She opened a door and nearly pushed me inside, slamming the door shut behind me.

“Rude.” I muttered, brushing my shoulder off. I then looked around, spotting another girl with her back turned toward me.

“You are late.” A familiar voice said to me. Like Blaise, though, I couldn’t place this. She then turned around and I felt my stomach plung.

“Granger!”

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