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My Saving Grace by littlemissmb
Chapter 1 : Barter
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 14

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Beautiful Chapter Image By JRose16@TDA


[Lyrics at the end are from the song that pippin sings in lord of the rings. doesnt have a name as far as i know so yeah. here it is.]

She was distraught and in shock, Hermione had been through hell this holidays.

No one had had a worse summer than her. It was her seventeenth birthday today, though most people would be celebrating their birthday, she instead sat in the lounge of her now destroyed home.

For Forty-two horrible hours she had been forced to watch her father, her stepmother and her little sisters be tortured before they were brutally slaughtered before her eyes.

Another Eight hours after that she had been abused and tortured herself. She had the Stitches, bruises and cuts to prove it.

Beside her sat Albus Dumbledore. Standing in front of her was the Prime Minister of the Magical World. Whatever this guys name was this week. Moving around her house were most of the ministry officials gathering evidence.

'Hermione, you need to tell us who did this so we can find them capture them and sentence them!'

This was the first time she had been in this house since it had happened. Hermione had been brought straight from St Mungo's.

Every time she closed her eyes images of her eight year old twin sisters being beaten or abused, her stepmother under the cruio curse or her father being disfigured flashed through her mind.

She couldn't be here anymore, she needed to get out of this house. Standing up she walked towards the front door, she opened in just as a mail man was about to knock. In his hand was a clipboard and a brown envelope.

Placed by the stairs was a large Carrier of some kind it was facing the road. It was lucky for him that the foyer had no blood stains, broken furniture or officials in it.

Shock was clearly written across his face, no wonder. She looked like she had been in a war zone, She had been in a war zone but surely he would find that out tonight on the news.

'Uh, delivery for Hermione Ella Jane Granger?' He stammered. As far as she could remember she hadn't ordered anything. Then it dawned on her that today was her birthday, It was probably a birthday present.

But from who? her only family were now dead and her friends would simply owl something. Holding her bandaged hand out for the clipboard, the delivery man hesitated.
After signing he simply gave her the brown envelope and one last look before leaving. The letter in her hands felt cold and heavy, especially for a letter.

Deciding to read it out side where she could have some privacy. Hermione shut the door behind her and sat on the stairs next to the carrier. 

Numbly she turned the letter in her hands. It was her stepmothers writing on the front with curly letters saying 'Hermione'. Somewhere inside her a million knifes pulled at her heartstrings.

Our precious Hermione,
Happy Birthday our darling. Seventeen already! Wow how the years have flown. Of course we could not forget the many years you complained about wanting a dog, never to get one.
Well here you are, you finally got one. You will have to leave it here during the school term as you are not allowed dogs at your school.
Enclosed is 100 pounds to go buy Leashes, Baskets, Food, etc. Can not wait to see your face when you see the beautiful little puppy we have chosen for you.

Its mother died giving birth too, just like yours... Remember always that we will forever love you Hermione baby girl, we would die in a heartbeat to protect you.

That line broke her already broken heart. The tears that had been falling already fell at a new pace. Struggling, She continued to read.

All of our love, Cassie, Chelsea, Dad and Mama
p:s. The locket is your mothers, it is also the key to the safe in your bedroom, Yes there is a safe in your bedroom. Lift the photo of us all and the wood. You will find it there.

She looked in the envelope. Sure enough there was a bundle of notes that supposedly made up 100 pounds. There was also a silver locket, engraved on the front was two roses entwined. She had often seen this locket and had become very fond of it.

A small whimper was heard from the carrier next to her. Turning it to face her she saw a small white puppy, it looked sort of like a husky x labradour in a way. The puppy looked as though it was barely old enough to be separated from its mother.

'So your mums gone too huh?' Her tone held nothing but bitterness.
She opened the cage door and picked the puppy up. She carefully placed the letter back into the envelope and placed around her neck the locket.

It held two photos. one of her mother and the other of the rest of her family. Then she walked back inside. Past the surprised officials and to the only room in the house that had not been entered during the Fifty hours of torture.

Putting the dog on her bed she walked to the photo of her stepmother, her father, her and her to little sisters. Following her stepmother's instructions she took the photo down. As she had been told the wood here could be lifted and behind it was a safe. Upon opening Hermione saw Piles and Piles of bundled money, family jewels, a family crest on a necklace and photos. placed on it was a note from her father simply saying 'your mother left this for you xx Dad'

This was as much as she could take. Hermione fell into a heap on the floor crying her heart out, all the pain, the agony, the loss... it would be the last time she cried about the loss of her family.

Another three days had passed and she was now heading to king cross station for her final year at Hogwarts school of witch craft and wizardry, this year as head girl. Dumbledore had allowed her to bring her new puppy as it now held great meaning to her also because now she was head girl she was only sharing a room with only one other student, the head boy.

Still very clearly were the bruises, gashes, cuts and stitches all over her body. It must have been hurting but her body was just numb to all pain now. St Mungo's had done all they could but as the death eaters had used dark magic it was hard to do much besides stop the bleeding. Although they had done all the could it did not stop muggles from starring.

Even upon entering platform 9 3/4 her fellow schoolmates could not help but stare in shock, their mouths hanging open. However no one said anything not even Harry, Ron and Ginny as she continued to walk straight past them.

Finding the head compartment wasn't hard and once she had seated herself on the floor with her back against the chair she decided to let her new pet out, the head boy, whoever he was, would just have to deal with it.

'Here puppy..' her voice was even, no hint of anger nor sadness, no bitterness or hatred, simply even. It sounded foreign to her, not hearing her voice excited or cheerful. The train lurched as the puppy stumbled out of the carrier and walked towards her.

Hermione was yet to come up with a name for the little runt-sized pup.

The compartment door slid open and shut quickly as the head boy entered the compartment. She heard his gasp and quick intake of air then 'Jesus Christ' whispered under his breathe, she was used to this reaction and did not bother to look up from the playing puppy beside her.

At least the head boy said nothing else about her visual abuse. Looking up she was not surprised to see Draco Malfoy of all people was the head boy, it made sense, his grades came second only to hers. 

Dumbledore entered the compartment in time to save Draco from further awkwardness.
"Now, as you know, obviously you are the head boy and girl for this year. you will have your own dormitories this year and will also be sharing a common room, a small library and a head boy and head girl bathroom also a kitchen which is fully stocked. Here is a list of your Duties and what not." he handed us both a pile of papers and turned to Malfoy "Mr Malfoy, Miss Granger has permission to have this gorgeous little puppy here with her as it holds great value to her. If this causes a problem for you, please come see me and i will arrange other sleeping arrangements for you. As it would seem Miss Granger is having trouble speaking to anybody but the dog at this point in time and finally i hope you both enjoy your year. Please try to be some-what civil towards each other. Good day"

With that he was gone, Hermione really wished he hadn't said that stuff about her only talking to the dog and other sleeping arrangements if her puppy becomes a problem. It made her sound crazy, she wasn't, she knew she wasn't.

'So your not talking then Miss Granger?' Draco looked at her, there was no harsh tone in his voice it was simply casual and since when had he called her Miss Granger?

It had always been Granger or Mudblood. Of course he knew what happened to her. Every person in the entire nation magical or muggle that watched the news knew what had happened to her without the gory details.

Hermione simply looked at him, he could not read her expression as it was Blank, he could however see in her eyes that she was dead inside, that was something that did not surprise him.

A small bark interrupted his thoughts. 'Yeah i know, i want to hurry up and get there too.'

Hermione replied obviously to the dog. There was another bark from the tiny dog next to her and she looked down
'Why wouldn't i be OK, slightly hungry but other than that im fine.' Another bark was the reply and the a lick of the hand.

'So Granger, i know your not going to answer me but i just wanted to tell you that i intend to take up Dumbledore's request that we be civil towards each other, i know you probably think im only doing this because of what happened to you this summer but honestly i would like to seriously and deeply apologize for the way i have acted these past few years. I lost my father too these holidays, but unlike yours, mine deserved to die.' He looked for any reaction or hint to her response
'and anyway i just wanted to tell you that although it is not an excuse i only acted the way i did for the past six years because my father forced me so. I'm not going to treat you any differently than i would anyone else im acquainted with. I'm sure your sick of being treated like a bomb about to go off any minute'

Hermione listened, silent as ever, taking in what Draco was saying. His fathers death had been on the news too. He had been a powerful figure in both the muggle world and the wizarding world it would seem. 

Still she said nothing simply looked up at him and forced a small smile to show her thanks.

'Anything from the lunch trolley today dears?' Someone interrupted. Hermione stood and grabbed everything off of the trolley, buying the lot, payed the lady and sat back down.
Instead of putting it tidily in one place she dumped it all one the spare space on the floor.

Draco looked over to see that the puppy had began licking Hermione's face.

'No. If you want to play with him you ask him to sit on the floor and im sure if he wanted anything he would help himself or maybe you can ask him that too.' Hermione shook her head while struggling to open a chocolate frog.

Draco tried hard not to laugh. The little puppy barked in his direction. He looked at Hermione to see if it was OK but she didn't seem to care as she had moved onto Burtie's every flavor beans having given up on the chocolate frog.

Sitting down on the floor Draco glanced at the dog. 'Come on then.' He patted to the floor next to him and suddenly the puppy was pouncing on him.

'Do you have a name little fellow?' Draco said searching the collar for a name tag. Another bark in Hermione's direction.

'Yeah yeah i know i need to name you. Ew. Spinach and cake, doesn't sound good does it boy?'

Suddenly the compartment slid open again to reveal Harry, Ron and Ginny.

'Hey mione..' Ron mumbled awkwardly Ginny raised an eyebrow at Draco who was still playing with the puppy before she looked at Hermione.

'How you doing herms?' Harry asked although he looked like he already knew she wasn't doing too well.

'There's no use talking to her you know.' Draco stated not taking his eyes off the puppy.

'Whats that supposed to mean Malfoy.' Ron snapped getting defensive.

Draco rolled his eyes and placed the puppy on the ground. 'She isn't talking to anybody except the dog"

He noticed their disbelieving faces. The white ball of fluff settled its head on his paws and starred at Harry, Ron and Ginny.

'Hermione you have to talk at some point' Ginny reasoned only to receive a look that clearly told her she did not.

'OK we'll sort this out later when Malfoy isn't around' they left with Ginny dragging the two boys away.

Deciding to play some music because it was too quite she played J. Tillman - Barter blues and Hermione sung to her puppy.
'What about Barter? do you like the name Barter boy?' Two barks were returned and she smiled. 'Barter it is' Several hours later the train had arrived, The feast was over and Dumbledore had shown them to their rooms.

'Come on Barter, were going for a bath' The bath in the shared bathroom was the size of a swimming pool and went into the ground rather than up. It had stairs leading down into it.. It was a swimming pool. The bathroom was tiled with black tiles.

Draco could hear the bath filling and Hermione talking to Barter. 'Look i know you like Malfoy but you don't want him to get sick of you and going to Dumbledore about it, your the only thing Ive got now you realize?'

Draco chuckled he wouldn't go to Dumbledore. The little guy had already grown on him. He heard Hermione getting into the water and resumed talking with Barter 

'No, don't give me that look,im fine. I'm just sick of people asking how i am, im not a bomb, im not going to explode any second in their faces. They weren't there though. They didn't have to see their little sisters being abused and beaten time and time again, or their step mother under the cruio curse, or their father being cut up alive. Images like that just don't go away.'

He felt so sorry for her, for once in his live he wished he could take away her pain, she had been through so much in so little time, seen more than anybody should ever have to see. He probably would have killed himself by now. 

'Besides, whats done is done. Maybe people like us deserve that kind of torture, maybe thats my punishment for being a Mudblood in a wizarding world.' Draco walked towards the door and sat outside against the wall listening.
'Maybe its what i get for having opposed the Dark Lord. Whatever the reason i was punished its not them, my friends, who have to live through this every day and night seeing their dead families faces running through their minds.'

It was now that Draco was interrupted by a knock at the portrait door. Reluctantly he got up to answer it. There standing on the other side was her friends Harry, Ron and Ginny.

'Malfoy is Hermione here.' came the voice of the only female.

'Yes, but A) shes in the bath, B) She doesn't want to see you and C) she wont talk therefore she wont answer to anything you say. So that leaves only one possible conclusion. Goodnight.' With that he slammed the door shut and walked back to the the wall he had been sitting at and resumed his place.

'I should have died with them. Stupid ministry for interfering. I wished i had died with them..' Draco froze. Hermione said no more after that, instead started to sing a song he recognized from somewhere, a slow sad muggle song..

'Home is behind.. the world ahead..And there are many paths to tread....through shadow.. Through the edge of night...'

Draco could not believe how amazing her singing voice was. 'until the stars are all aligned...mist and shadow...Cloud and shame...all shall fade..'

It was at that moment he swore to protect her, he didn't know why but he did not want her going through this alone and it was clear her friends would be no help..

'allll shall...fade...'

[A/N: hey guys so ive re-edited this chapter its only a few small things to make the rest make more sense like barters name and the song she was listening too. stuff like that. =] ]

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