The next morning I woke up, far from refreshed. My whole body was just stiff and sore, I guess sleeping on a cold hard floor will do that for you.
Slowly, I sat up, groaning as my muscles protested and my back cracked. I looked around and noticed those damned house elves had repaired everything, making it seem like the previous night never happened. The thought of house elves made me smile; Hermione was always ranting about some P.U.K.E. or something. I fought the urge to bury my head in my hands. Hermione...
Shaking my head, I stood up, walked over to the plush green armchair and sat in relief. "I must get Tinky to run me a hot bath..." I muttered to myself. On the table next to me was The Daily Prophet, with a large mug of hot coffee that, by the smell of it, was laced with Pepperup Potion.
I took a large drink from the coffee and smiled as my body was soothed. "Maybe those elves should get paid after all..."
I glanced over at the front page of the paper. The cover was a large picture of Hermione, with a large caption beneath it.
REVERED WITCH FOUND DEAD!
Hermione Granger, best known for her work to abolish pro-pureblood laws and for being best friend to Harry Potter, was found dead in her own home late last night. Three sealed letters were found near her body, addressed to the Potters, the Weasleys, and, curiously, Draco Malfoy. The Potters and the Weasleys have declined comment on what was written in those letters. Malfoy has not been reached at the time being.
Foul-play was suspected because of the foes Granger has garnered throughout her lifetime. However, no evidence has been found to support this conclusion. The final statement on her cause of death is intentional self-harm. A funeral is scheduled for her tomorrow at 12 p.m.at the Charing Cross Road cemetery. Anyone who wishes to pay their respects are welcome to attend.
For the coverage on Granger's funeral, and a short biography, please purchase Sunday's edition of The Daily Prophet.
I sighed and tossed the paper into the fire and made a mental note to write a letter to the Prophet to not recieve Sunday's edition.
Tinky appeared in front of me and bowed. "Master Malfoy, there are people at the door wanting to talk with you," he said.
"Who are they?" I said, sitting up straighter.
"There is a tall blonde lady who says she works for The Daily Prophet..."
"Not her again..." I grumbled.
"...one man with black hair, and another with red..."
"Pot-head and Weasel!" I snarled.
"...and the last person is," Tinky gulped, "your mother."
I groaned. She was the last person I need poking around in my life. "Bring Mother into the parlor and give her some tea. I'll be down there after I clean up. Send the rest away. Oh, and have Gracie run me a hot bath," I said.
Tinky bowed once again. "Yes, Master Malfoy. I'll get right on it, Master Malfoy." He dissapeared.
I left my office and trudged up the stairs wearily. I had a feeling the next few days were going to be long.
I had just settled in my bath when my mother burst in.
"Mother!" I cried, sitting up, and trying to cover myself. "What are you doing here? Can't you knock?"
My mother rolled her eyes. "Draco, its nothing I've never seen before and you can't just keep me waiting by myself for forever down there," she sniffed.
"It hasn't even been 5 minutes," I said dryly.
"Well I'm a busy woman," she said innocently.
"You run a flower shop!" I cried, exasperated. "All you do is sit and watch people work, how can you call that busy?"
Mother pouted. "Fine, I was bored, are you happy now?"
I rubbed my face with a hand. "Can you please go back downstairs so I can finish my bath? I'll be with you as soon as I can?"
"No need to get angry with me," she said, turning to leave. "Oh, and dear, I think you should get that mole checked out."
"OUT!" I bellowed, losing my temper, and she flounced out. Merlin, that woman almost made me as angry as Hermione did...
I shook my head and tried to keep all thoughts of a certain brown-haired cutie out of it as I finished washing up. I got down to the parlor, and, of course, Mther was no where to be found. "Where could that damned woman...oh no, my office! The letter!"
I raced over to my office, flinging open the door right as my mother was reaching for Hermione's letter. "Don't...even....think...about it!" I panted.
Mother dropped her hand and turned around innocently, keeping her hands behind her back. "What are you talking about, dear, I haven't done anything?"
"Hands where I can see them," I ordered, marching forward.
"Draco, I don't see..." she protested.
"Mother..." I warned, a vein in my temple throbbing.
She sighed. "Fine," she said, raising her hands, palms up. The letter fluttered down the the floor behind her. I snatched it up and shoved it in my jacket pocket.
"Didn't I tell you last time you were here to stay out of my stuff?" I said.
"You said to not touch anything when you weren't home," she replied cheekily, smirking.
"Okay, but didn't I tell you just a few minutes ago to go back to the parlor?" I said.
My mother's smirk grew. "You told me to go back downstairs. I am under the assumption that this is downstairs, is it not?"
The vein in my head threatened to explode. I said slowly, so I wouldn't lose my temper, "Please, go into the parlor, and do not touch anything except the couch and your cup of tea. Am I clear?"
She looked down sadly, I had ruined all her fun. "Yes, sweetie. I will go and be a perfect little doll of a mother just like your father wanted me to be a perfect little doll of a wife."
"Aww, now Mother, don't pull this," I cried, hurrying down the hall after her.
"Pull what, dear? You know my words are the truth." She looked up at me with sad eyes.
I pulled her into a hug. "Oh Mother, I don't want you to be a mindless china doll. I just want you to not mess with my things," I said.
She pulled away and said, "Thank you." She patted my cheek before continuing down the hall and turning into the parlor.
I followed her and sat across from her in a stiff armchair. "Okay, now what is it that you want, Mother?"
"What is this about you and Hermione Granger? It says in the Prophet that she sent you a letter," she asked.
"That is none of your business," I said, immediately standing up. "If you're going to interrogate me about my personal life, I'm going to have to ask you to leave."
"Fine then," she said stiffly. "I'll see you on Sunday, unless you want to cancel that, since you seem to want nothing to do with me."
"Mother, I won't cancel, I'll have brunch with you on Sunday, but please, just go!"
She gave me a short hug then walked out, accompanied by Tinky.
I sat heavily back on the armchair. "Why does she have to be my mother?!"
I woke up late the next day, barely having enough time to brush my teeth and run out the door to Hermione's funeral. I stopped at Mother's flower shop on the way there, to get a bouquet and to apologize. She wasn't there, but I got a bunch of forget-me-nots. It was fitting that these were her favorite flowers.
The minute I stepped into the cemetery, Potty and Weasel were upon me. Weasel looked tore up, his eyes were as red as his hair and his nose was runny, which he tried to fix by giving a large, and rude, sniff with his exceedingly large nose. Potter looked very much like a broken man. His posture was slumped, skin ashen, and when he looked at me, the fire behind his eyes was gone.
Wealsey forcefully grabbed my arm. "You're not welcome here, Malfoy!" he spat.
"I am under the impression that anyone who wished to pay their respects was welcome. At least, that's what the Prophet said," I replied cooly.
He ground his teeth, then snorted. "Why did she send you a letter!? You caused her to kill herself, didn't you?!" he accused.
"Weasley, you're causing a scene," I said. "And if you really want to know, she loved me. Now if you would kindly get your filthy hands off of me and let me pay my respects, its what she would've wanted."
He howled in anger and pulled his other arm back to punch me, but Potter stopped him.
"Ron, mate," he said quietly. "Let it go. She's dead, fighting with him won't change that. And he's right... its what she would've wanted."
Weasley let go so suddenly I almost fell over. "Fine, but I'll be watching you, Malfoy..." he muttered before watching away.
I made my way towards the front of the crowd and placed the forget-me-nots in her coffin, one bouquet of many. "You'll forever be missed, Hermioine," I whispered.
I neared the exit of the cemetary when I bumped into a slight woman with blue-grey eyes that were wide with shock.
"I'm sorry, miss, I didn't see you," I said quietly.
She covered her full lips with a slim hand and shook her head, backing away. "I....I...I have to go," she said in a rush, turning and dissapearing into the crowd.
"Who was that?" I said to myself. She seemed so familiar, but I know I would've remembered seeing that face before.
I trudged out of the cemetary and apparated back to the Manor, with thoughts of a strange woman clouding my head.
A/N Summer + nothing to do on a Monday = A long chapter for you :) I think this one is so far my favorite chapter of the story. I tried to make it a little more humorous and upbeat with the appearance of Narcissa Malfoy, I don't want you all crying after every chapter. Anyways, I still need/would like a beta! Also, Hermione needs a new name for the next chapter, any ideas?
P.S. Wonderful chapter image done by elizabethnicole@ TDA
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