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AN: I don’t own anything from Harry Potter

            Hermione’s blood ran cold the second she spotted her. Her mind raced with all the possibilities as to why Draco’s mother stepped into her shop. Could it have been that she found out what she did to her son and now she’s here to get her revenge or turn her into the Ministry or send her off to Azkaban? Was she here to buy a book? What could she possibly be doing here in her bookshop?

            Hermione took a few deep breaths before finally getting up the courage to greet her newest customer.

“Welcome to Once Upon A Time books Mrs. Malfoy. May I help you?”

            The elegant woman dressed in the chicest wizarding apparel turned towards her. She looked at Hermione; her expertly made up eyes regarding her from head to toe and her ruby red lips pressed together as if she had a bad taste in her mouth. Her skin pale, much like Draco’s. The woman had such an aura about her you would almost think she were royalty they way she carried herself.

            Hermione looked down at herself suddenly wishing she wore something a bit nicer then jeans and a casual blouse.

Mrs. Malfoy looked down her nose at Hermione and arched one perfectly shaped eyebrow and asked, “Do I know you?”

Hermione’s throat suddenly felt dry, “Not personally, my names Hermione Granger. I went to school with your son.” She said.

“Granger?” Mrs. Malfoy’s eyebrows went up in surprise. “You’re that…muggle-born girl Draco’s always talked about. Your Harry Potter’s friend correct?”

Hermione’s heart skipped a beat when she mentioned Draco talked about her, but then again she was being silly…beyond silly, anything Draco would have said about her back then couldn’t have been anything pleasant.

“Yes ma’am I am.”

“Hum…I thought Draco said you became a healer over at St. Mungos.” Mrs. Malfoy said.

“I was, but it was a little to fast pace for me. So I decided to do the next best thing I love.”

“Working in a bookshop?” the scowl back on her face.

“Actually I own this bookshop. I opened it up a few months back.” Hermione explained, bloody hell she felt like she was giving the same speech she gave Draco when he first walked in here.

Narcissa looked around the room taking in every detail with a judging eye. “Hum, well it’s very quaint. Much more organized then the bookshops in Diagon Alley.”

“Are you looking for anything in particular?” Hermione asked.

“Actually I’m here to inquire about my son, you haven’t seen him around here have you?”

Hermione’s stomach dropped, how did she know that Draco’s been coming here much less hanging out with her? She tried to pull herself together before Narcissa became anymore suspicious.

“Um, what do you mean have I’ve seen him around here?”

Narcissa turned and looked back at her, “Well he lives close by and I’ve been trying to get a hold of him. I went to the Ministry looking for him since I haven’t heard from him. I talked to your friend Potter and he said that my son was on a special assignment but if I needed to get a hold of him to come here.”

            Shit, why did Harry tell her to come here? She had no idea how to handle Draco’s mother. What on earth was she supposed to say to her regarding her son?

“He has been known to stop by every now and then. But it usually isn’t until after 4:00pm.” Hermione explained to her, which wasn’t a lie he has stopped by everyday when he changes back which is usually after 4:00 or so.

Mrs. Malfoy looked displeased.

“If he stops by later I’ll let him know your looking for him.” Hermione informed her.

She nodded, “Very well, just have him owl me as soon as you see him.”

“Of course.”

Narcissa looked around her bookshop. “Are these all muggle books you sell here?” she asked.

“No I also sell magical books in the back.”

“In the back?” Narcissa sneered.

Hermione ignored her remark, “Yes I keep them behind the portrait of the castle.”

“Why not keep them out front?”

Hermione looked around her shop to make sure no one was listening in on their conversation. “This is muggle London. I can’t have just anyone looking through them.” Hermione tried to explain.

Mrs. Malfoy looked displeased that Hermione was trying to prove her wrong. “Then why sell them at all if you have to keep them hidden in the back?”

Hermione tried not to end up being the one sneering since she realized that Mrs. Malfoy was trying to insult her. “I sell them because I want to cater to both worlds, since I myself am a part of both worlds. I want to let all witches and wizards and other magical beings know that it’s okay for them to live in harmony with muggles.” She explained then added, “And the books aren’t hidden in the back as long as you know where to look.”

            Mrs. Malfoy turned away with an unladylike snort. Hermione tried not to grin for she knew she won this round.

Once Mrs. Malfoy composed herself she turned back to Hermione, “You wouldn’t happen to have any books on gardening would you?”

“Is there anything in particular that you’re looking for regarding gardening or gardening in general?”

Mrs. Malfoy let out a sigh and her posture became more relaxed and less cold. “I’m having a problem with rabbits. Their eating all the heads off my flowers and I’ve tried everything to keep them at bay but they keep coming back. My friend told me about a spell on garden gnomes. She said they would keep the rabbits away as well as other vermin. Do you have any books on magical garden gnomes?”

“Not specially but I think I might have a book that has some information. Just let me look up the title in the catalog system.”

            Hermione turned to the computer on her desk. She looked up the title then noticed that she no longer had that particular book in stock. Suddenly remembering that Draco bought that book for his mother’s birthday the first time he came in. That must be why she’s came here looking for him because her birthday was coming up. And knowing the Malfoy family she probably had some big party planned to celebrate the occasion.

“I’m sorry Mrs. Malfoy I had the book but I recently sold the last copy a few days ago. I can order it if you like, but it’s going to take a few weeks before it comes in” Hermione told her, she figured it wouldn’t be wise to tell her that her son bought the last copy as her birthday present.

“No that’s fine I’ll just ask my friend if she remembers the spell. Thanks anyway. And remember if you see my son tell him I’m looking for him.”

“Of course Mrs. Malfoy have a nice day.”

“You too Miss Granger.” Mrs. Malfoy gave a curt nod in Hermione’s direction before leaving the bookshop.

            Hermione let out a breath she didn’t realize she was holding. Okay so good news was she had no idea what happened to Draco, bad news was she was looking for him which means she would most likely eventually find out and she would be in deep shit. What was she going to do? She needed to contact McGonagall again to find out if she’s made any progress on finding an alternative way to break this spell. She realized that she still had the ancient book where she found the spell in the first place. But that was fine with her; McGonagall could keep it for all she cared. She didn’t want anything more to do with that book that had spells in it that effected people’s lives like it has hers and Draco’s.

            Draco! She needed to warn him about his mother looking for him. She couldn’t leave the shop to go check on him and she had no access to using an owl since they didn’t recognize her since she had no magical abilities any longer. She looked at her phone that was on her desk. That was it; she would call him or rather leave him a message on the answering machine that he would surely hear. She picked up the phone and dialed her number; it rang five times before sending it over to her voice mail.

“Hi Draco…it’s me Hermione. I’m calling because I just wanted to give you a heads up. Your mother is looking for you. She came into the shop about 10 minutes ago asking for you. Apparently she went to the Ministry first and ran into Harry. And he told her that she could probably find him here. And she wanted me to tell you that she wants you to contact her immediately. I don’t think she suspected anything thing…you know about the spell but anyway as soon as you…change you should send her an owl or go see her before you do anything else. Just incase it’s something serious…which I don’t think it is, she just seemed very insistent that you get a hold of her. Anyway I just wanted to let you know that, I guess I’ll talk to you later. Okay bye.” She hung up feeling silly that she called and left a message on her own answering machine, but he had to be there because there was no way he could leave until he changed back.

            Shortly after Mrs. Malfoy left her shop the crowd died down tremendously. She figured this was the best time to go to the back since there were only about two customers looking through the shelves. She picked up some magical books that she had up front under the counter that she needed to take to the back. She walked up to the castle portrait and whispered the password and waited for it to reveal the secret entryway. But nothing happened. She said the password once again a little louder and still nothing happened. That’s weird why wasn’t it working, she thought. She took a deep breath and tried to focus on the hidden doorway and spoke the password one last time.

“I’m sorry dear, did you say something?”

Hermione turned around and looked at the elderly woman who spoke. She sneaked a quick look at the portrait, which was still a portrait, no doorway in sight.

“No, I’m just talking to myself,” she waved it off as if it were an everyday thing for her.

            The elderly woman just smiled and turned back to the book she was looking through. Hermione turned back to portrait which was still hung on the solid wall. Panic started to rise in her chest. She quickly walked back up to the front and set the books on the counter. What was going on? Why wouldn’t the doorway open? And why did that woman even notice her? She thought. There was supposed to be an enchantment on the hidden doorway so muggles wouldn’t notice the comings and goings of other customers. But that woman clearly saw Hermione standing there speaking the password.

            Why wouldn’t the doorway open? Did it suddenly stop working? When she set the whole thing up, she remembered reading about it and it said as long as her shop was in business under her management the doorway would remain open. She never read anything about it having to be renewed or anything like that. So why wasn’t it working?

            She took a deep breath telling herself not to worry about it right now. Once everyone leaves she can go back there and investigate further. She went over and poured herself a butter beer. It only managed to fill up halfway before it sputtered and spitted out foam and nothing else. Great just another thing that needed to be done. She only had one more keg in the back, which meant she needed to order more soon.

            She went back to the counter where the magic books sat. She was about to put them back under the counter until she could figure everything out. But something made her pause. She glanced at the book on top. Love Potions Made Easy, she reached out to open to the first page. But nothing happened; it was as if all the pages were glued together. She couldn’t even lift the cover up. She lifted the whole book and examined every corner and surface of it, maybe there was a hidden lock or something that she had to push in to open it. But she couldn’t find anything; it looked like any other normal book. What was going on here? She tried to open it up again and it wouldn’t budge.

            Frustrated she slammed the book down on the countertop and turned to the next book, Centaurs and Hippogriffs and Unicorns Oh My! Magical Creatures from A to Z. She took a deep breath and lifted the front cover. And nothing. She set the book on it’s spine and with her hands she tried to pry the book open, tugging in opposite directions. She pulled and tugged till her fingers hurt and sweat beaded on her forehead. She gave up convinced this was some horrible trick somebody was playing on her. And she just needed to relax and not let it affect her. It had to be a trick or a prank right? Why else would the hidden doorway not open or the books.

            She glanced around the shop there was a gentleman in the sports section leafing through a book on rugby and clearly he wasn’t having any issues opening the book. She walked over to a random shelf and picked a book, taking a deep breath to help center herself she lifted the cover. It lifted with no trouble. She went through the entire book making sure none of the pages were sticking together.

            She smiled to herself, see there was nothing to worry about it was just a silly temporary prank, she told herself. She walked back to the counter and lifted the cover to the book about magical creatures and nothing; it was like a solid piece of wood.

“Damn-it,” she muttered.

            She shoved the books under the counter getting them out of her sight. She just wasn’t going to deal with any of this now. As soon as the two customers that were in the shop left she quickly went over to the front door and turned the lock and flipped over the closed sign. This would be the prefect time to take a quick lunch break anyway.

            Once the door was locked she quickly made her way to the back to her office. She went through her small personal bookshelf until she found the book she was looking for, How to Run a Business with a Magic Twist. She pulled if off the shelf and without thinking about it she opened it up.

“Shit,” she practically screamed.

            It wouldn’t budge like it was welded shut. What is happening here? She needed this book to try to fix her magical doorway. Without it she didn’t know what to do. She shoved the book back on the shelf and stomped back out and over to the portrait.

Taking a deep breath as she stood in front of the portrait and said the password loud and clear, “Broomstick.”

            She shut her eyes thinking maybe that would help. And when she popped one eye back open and stared at the solid wall. She felt like she wanted to either start crying or screaming. What in Merlin’s name was going on here? She walked up to the wall and laid her hands against it to make sure it was a solid wall and not just an illusion.

            She tried again this time keeping her hands on the wall. And again nothing. She knew it was a bad idea but she went over to the corner and started dragging a small step stool over to the portrait. She stood on top of it and lifted the portrait off the wall. This as she expected was a bad idea, because the picture weighed just about as much as she did. She set it on the ground as gently as possible and then examined the now bare wall. It didn’t look any different. Just a bare solid wall with cheery wood paneling.

            She said the password again, but this time with very little hope of it actually working. And sadly she was right. Nothing happened. She ran a shaky hand through her hair trying to control the mayhem of emotions that threaten to come forth. And with a very audible grunt she hefted the portrait back up and placed it where it has always hung. She stored the stepping stool where is has always been placed in the corner.

            With a heavy heart and shoulders sagged she walked back up to the front. She figured she should open the shop back up since she has lost her appetite and she needed something else to distract her from all of the complications she was experiencing. What was she going to do? She had load of books back there and what was she going to do now that she couldn’t serve 50% or her clientele…okay so currently it was more like 25 maybe 30% of her clientele, but someday it would be 50% if not more.

            And after all that work Draco did to put her shop in the Daily Prophet. She needed to figure out what was going on. Mrs. Malfoy was the only magical customer so far to come in today. But surely she wouldn’t do something like that. She might not like her that much but she wasn’t evil. So if this was a prank, who would have done it? Maybe it was just her, and it wasn’t a prank at all. She lost her magical abilities when she turned Draco into a cat but that didn’t mean she became fully muggle.

            She couldn’t sense or perform magic but she could still see it. And just the other day she’d been walking in and out of the portrait with no issue. Were all her senses in magic fading? It would sadly explain why all the magic books she came in contact with wouldn’t open. She laid her forehead on the cool countertop by the register and tried practicing some evening breathing.

            Just then the chimes on the front door tinkled to life, she knew automatically that it was him without lifting her head. She heard his footsteps come near the counter. She slowly peaked her eyes over her arm that she had carelessly thrown on the counter and her other one thrown over her head. She looked up at him. He had a mix between an amused and confused look on his face with one eyebrow arched up in question.

“Hi,” she said quietly as she straighten up to greet him.

“Hi, what’s wrong?” Draco asked looking more concerned when she didn’t return his smile.

“Can you go to the back and get me a book and bring it up here?”

His eyebrows grew together which caused his forehead to crease, “Okay,” he said slowly as if he wasn’t quite sure what she was asking. “Anything in particular?” he asked.

“No, just anything it doesn’t matter.”

“Okay I’ll be right back,” he said sounding more confused then ever as he started making his way to the back.

            She didn’t want to watch, she was sadly secretly hoping that he didn’t make it through the hidden doorway. At least then it would mean that she wasn’t the only one having issues. He came back a few seconds later holding a thick book with weathered pages on potions. Bloody hell that meant he could get through the threshold and she couldn’t.

She took a deep breath preparing herself for the next test, “Okay, now open it up.” she said as he set it down in front of her.

            He arched an eyebrow up at her in question but did as she asked. He easily opened the cover and flipped to a random page. She looked down at the pages and rubbed her eyes to make sure she was seeing what she thought she was seeing.

She pointed to the center of one of the pages, “What does it say right there?” she asked her voice growing shaky.

He gave her a confused look, “Um Hermione it doesn’t say anything beca…”

“Ha I knew I wasn’t the only one.” She cut him off almost wanting to jump for joy, relieved that she wasn’t the only one staring at pages that were completely blank.

“Uh what are you talking about, ‘you aren’t the only one?’” he asked sounding worried now more then confused.

“I’m not the only one who can’t see any words written down in the book, there just blank pages.” She said knowing she was on the verge of sounding completely mental.

“No Hermione, I was saying it doesn’t say anything because it’s showing a picture of a Norwegian Ridgeback dragon and on the next page is the potion on how to create Dragons Blood. Hermione what’s going on?”

“Damn-it,” she muttered in an almost inaudible whisper, tears filling up her eyes.

            Eyes that were staring blindly at the blank pages in the book in front of her. she felt the blood rush from her face, she knew she had to sit down before she passed out. Immediately Draco shut the book and came around the counter and pulled her into his arms and held her tight gently rocking her back and forth as his hands rubbed calming circles along her back.

“Its okay honey, just tell me what’s wrong,” he said in a worried yet soothing voice.

            Which just made the tears that threaten to fall erupted and cascaded in a waterfall down her cheeks, soaking part of his shirt. Normally men would run at the first sight of a woman crying but Draco just held her tight, letting her cry until she calmed down enough to speak.

“My…ma…magic its…gone…it’s…disappearing.”

Sorry everyone that it took me so long to update. I thought I knew where I wanted to go with the story from the last chapter, but when I went to write it out I drew a complete blank. But I'm pretty sure I'm back on track now...hope you enjoyed the chapter and keep reading and reviewing!!!

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