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Draco walked around the Malfoy Manor lovingly, admiring the antique vases that had been collected throughout the years, and scowling when someone from the Ministry apparated in and with the help of another to cart the beautiful vases away. Growing more angry and depressed by the minute, Draco made his way to the West Wing of the Manor (where the Ministry workers hadn’t yet started taking the things in it) and found his mother in the lounge, pouring over an endless load of papers.

“Going through Father’s list of debtors isn’t going to help stop the Ministry from taking all of our possessions.” Draco told her from the doorway. Narcissa looked up from the bundle of paperwork and, when she looked back at it, tossed it all to the floor and let out a frustrated sigh.

“Curse your father for leaving us with this mess.” Narcissa said angrily. “At least he can call Azkaban a home. We’ll have nowhere to live by the end of week.”

Draco closed his eyes at the sound of something breaking and swore heavily. He was tempted to yell at them to be careful. If they were to be taking Malfoy property and leave him and his mother homeless, they’d might as well show some bit of courtesy and not break anything.

“Auntie Ara already said we could stay with her until things get better.”

“I’d rather jump off a cliff than live with that beastly woman.” Narcissa snapped. Draco smirked and crossed his arms. His mother was a rather entertaining woman when she was stressed. “Oh bloody wonderful, what’s this now?”

Draco turned his attention to what Narcissa was fussing over. A black owl came in through the open window and dropped a letter on the desk in front of her. Both of them knew that it was bad news. Only bad news was delivered by a black owl. That was how they found out during Lucius’ early life he borrowed loads of money that was unable to be paid. Narcissa hesitantly opened the letter and her face fell even more than already had.

“What is it, Mother?”

“…Granny Velda died.”

“Lovely,” Draco said briskly and turned to exit the room as quickly as possible. Once he entered the nearest room, he closed the door and leaned up against it. He hadn’t shown an ounce of emotion when his father was sentenced to Azkaban. He hadn’t given any indication of anger when he and his mother were given the repossession notice. Yet now, hearing that the only family member he could stomach being around and, daresay loved had passed away, Draco felt like a pathetic child, even more so when a single tear slid down his cheek.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Draco and Narcissa went to the funeral two days later. By that time, the Ministry had begun emptying out the West Wing of the Manor which would probably be completely emptied by the time the funeral was over. Narcissa sat near the front among all of Granny Velda’s friends and family members. Draco, he admitted to himself, wasn’t as brave as his mother, and watched the funeral at a distance. When it was over Narcissa found him and went over to her son along with a man he didn’t know.

“People were asking for you.” Narcissa told him. Draco shrugged his shoulders impassively and nodded to the man who was standing next to her.

“Who’s he?”

“This is Mr. Foyer. He wanted to speak with you.”

“Hello, Mr. Malfoy.” Mr. Foyer said as he stretched out his hand. Draco took it and gave it a brief shake. “I’m here to take you to the reading of your grandmother’s will.”

Draco nodded and told his mother that he’d see her back at the Manor. After that he disapparated with Mr. Foyer into a small office. The two of them sat down near each other as Mr. Foyer took out Granny Velda’s will which happened to be written on elegant parchment. Draco took a look around the room and furrowed his brow. He was the only one there.

“Are you ready to begin, Mr. Malfoy?”

“…Yes, but, where’re the others?”

“There’s no need for others. Now, to avoid keeping you here longer than you’d need to be and jumping down to line thirty, the will says, ‘I, Velda Malfoy, am, at the time of writing of this will, worth a grand total of two hundred and sixty billion galleons. I have thought long and hard about who should receive this money at the time of my demise and am please to say that my grandson, Draco Scorpius Malfoy should receive it all.’”

“All of it?!” Draco nearly shouted.

“Yes, apparently so. Though, she has a few restrictions.”

“What kind of restrictions?”

“It says here that you’ll only be able to inherit her money if you’re married and stay married for at least a year.”

“Well, that won’t be too hard.” Draco grinned. “Plenty women around here I could get-”

“Ah, I’m not quite finished. You have to be married for at least a year, but to a muggleborn." 

“You’ve got to be kidding. What was Granny Velda thinking? I wouldn’t lower my standards for-”

“Two hundred and sixty billion galleons..? If I were you, I’d think again.” 

Draco sighed and motioned for Mr. Foyer to continue.

"Alright, in addition to the marriage, you must prove to your Aunt Ara that you truly love the woman you’re going to marry and not just doing so for the money.”

"...This is going to be hell." 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Hermione couldn’t stay in the hospital room any longer. She had been called at home about two hours ago by her mother’s doctor, who said that her condition was getting worse. Hermione had been sitting by her mother’s bed ever since then now she was returning to the waiting room to meet Ginny, who had graciously tagged along.

“How is she?” Ginny asked. Hermione wiped her eyes and shook her head.

“Not good. My mother needs an operation and its twenty thousand pounds.”

“That’s double the amount in wizard money, isn’t it?”

“Yeah and there’s no way I can afford that.” Hermione sighed and crossed her arms. “Gin, what am I going to do?”

“Don’t worry I’m sure you’ll find out something. Do you want me to apparate home with you?”

“No, it’s fine. I think I’ll stay outdoors for a little while to clear my head.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Draco took with him a copy of Granny Velda’s will and apparated to a local pub. He kept repeating, “Two hundred and sixty billion galleons,” over and over and smiled. It was the answer to his and his mother’s prayers. The Ministry could have the bloody furniture and Manor. With the money they could buy a new place, better furniture, and put the ugly past behind them.

“But I have to get married.” He grumbled. “To a mudblood no less… How the hell am I supposed to pull that off? No mudblood witch in their right mind would come even near me knowing my distaste for their kind.”

It was as if on cue, because as Draco put his firewhisky to his lips, the door to the pub opened, and Hermione walked in. He was more or less surprised to see her in a pub, and even more so when she went straight up to the counter and called for a firewhisky which she downed as soon as she got it and asked for another one. Draco, who had turned in his seat to look at her, settled back down and bit his lower lip.

She’s a muggleborn... He thought. And I could do a whole lot worse than her… Draco sighed and watched as Hermione put her hand to her head. She took what may have been her third firewhisky glass in her other hand and walked in his direction. Before she completely passed him, Draco worked up the nerve to grab her wrist. Hermione turned and didn’t hide her surprised when she saw who had stopped her.

“Long day, Granger?” He asked her. Hermione cocked a brow and sipped her firewhisky. She licked her lips once before responding to him and fighting for her wrist back.

“You could say that.” She told him. “I assume you’ve had an even longer one seeing that you’re talking to me.”

“What do you know? Could be the firewhisky,”

Hermione chuckled and shook her head. She rolled her eyes and stared at him.

“Alright, I’ll humor you.”

Draco smirked as she sat down, sipping on her drink and looking like as if she could use another one. They sat in silence for a while, both losing sobriety by the second and neither really caring. After fifteen minutes or so, Draco began thinking of a way to bring up the, “I need to marry a muggleborn witch, care to help me,” thing, when Hermione, the brilliant woman that she was, made the perfect opening.

“I heard about the Ministry repossession.” She told him casually. “Sorry that it’s happening.”

“Yes well, everything’s just about going down the drain for the Malfoy family.” Draco replied. “No money, no place to live and, to top it all off, my grandmother died a few days ago…”

“I’m really sorry. No wonder you’re in a pub tonight. And I thought I had it bad.”

“No, it’s alright. I’m considering what she left in the will as a recompense.”

“Oh, what did she leave you? If you don’t mind my asking…”

“Two hundred and sixty billion galleons,”

Hermione, who was in mid-swallow, chocked a bit at the mention of the money. Draco laughed as she compiled herself.

“I guess it doesn’t matter if the Ministry takes your things now.”

“No not really, but of course before I can even get the money I have to do a few things first like marry a muggle born witch for a year and prove to my Auntie Ara that I really love her; so what do you say Granger, want to help me?”

“Excuse me? Malfoy, is this your way of asking me to marry you so you can get your inheritance money?”

“Yes…are you willing to help me?” Draco asked her. Hermione ran her fingers through her hair and stared at him in disbelief. 

"You've got to be insane." She told him. "No woman in their right mind would agree to such a thing. And even if I was remotely interested, what would I get if I was?"

"...What would you want?" He said uneasily. Hermione bit her bottom lip. Her mind drifted over to her mother who was in a hospital bed. No, she didn’t want to spend a year married to Draco, but if this was the only way to get what she needed, she could suffer through it.

"Twenty thousand pounds,"

"That's forty thousand galleons in wizard money, Granger!!" Draco half-shouted, disrupting the people around them. “Did you forget that I’m broke? How am I supposed to give you that?”

“You can take out a loan from Gringots until you get your inheritance.”

“Gran-”

"Do you want my help or not?"

Draco groaned inwardly and outwardly. He didn't want to give it to her, but he needed the mudblood's help. He glared at her and Hermione crossed her arms.

"Fine, but you better make this work. My Aunt Ara can spot a liar from a million miles away. If she doesn't believe we love each other-"

"I'm giving up a chunk of my life in exchange for forty thousand galleons and to save your arse. Believe me, I'll make it work."

Hermione got up after a short while. Draco told her that he’d owl her with further information since she told him that she wouldn’t do a thing he asked until she got the forty thousand galleons in her hand. When she finally left the pub and apparated home, she went into her bedroom and stared at herself in the mirror.

“What the hell did I just do?”
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author's note: 'ello once again.... its me with yet another story.... plz review and tell me what you think!!! :)

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