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Chapter 2: Voyeurism Hermione's quill moved feverishly fast across the parchment. She didn't know what propelled her to change her essay at the last minute, but she had the sudden inkling that it wasn't up to par. She didn't initially intend on doing any work that night; she was actually at the library to tutor Harry and Ron on their assignments. But the redhead was the first to leave the scene, claiming he had other important things to do back at the dorms. Although his propensity towards lifting his academic standing had risen over the years, he still spent much of the study period trying to engage Harry in a sword-fighting match with their quills. Harry had stayed a few minutes longer, before deciding he had enough. Hermione let him go without nagging him too much. Those past couple of weeks had been horrendous for him, as he had received another letter from the Dark Lord. But this time, the letter had not arrived by owl post during dinner, but was sitting on his seat in Potions class. Although no acts of violence had yet materialized from the Death Eater camp, there still was the possibility of attacks. To keep her mind from wandering to the Dark Lord, she decided to re-write her essay. She was determined to win some extra points in Potions for her house; during most classes, she always ended up losing five or ten points here and there for showing off. But she had to admit that personal recognition for her work was what she was really after. Snape was the only one of her professors who had never acknowledged she was an excellent student. A past assignment had been returned with the note, "Too longwinded. This wasn't supposed to be a novel." But she was determined to win him over with her writing. She was busy glancing over her books, when she caught sight of Draco walking into the library. He had been coming there a lot lately, she thought. She kept her gaze on him as he made his way to the same spot he had been the night before. She stared at him for several more minutes, as she tried to think of what he could be up to. There was no doubt in her mind that he had delivered that letter to Harry, since it was widely known that his father was Voldemort's right hand man. After staring at him for a while longer, she continued with her essay once more. While in the midst of writing an eloquent sentence, which she thought would impress even Snape, the students at the table behind her started laughing, and disrupted her thoughts. They had done that a lot during the night. She knew what they were looking at; everyone in the library knew, since they couldn't keep their chuckling to a minimum. Ron had glanced through that same publication earlier in the night, but he had the decency to keep all comments to himself. After the umpteenth giggle and silly statement about genitalia, she turned around and glared at them. "Do you guys mind?" she said to the group. "Some of us are actually here to study and not to look at pornography." Some of the other students made derogatory comments at her - one of which she recognized as Katie Bell's younger brother. She stared at him, before picking up her books and heading to the next table. She slammed her things down on the table and glanced up at Madame Pince. But the librarian was too engrossed in her book to take any notice. Hermione recalled that she had been reading that same novel every night that week. Hermione sat down again and tried to concentrate on her assignment. But as she wrote, Ron's words echoed in her head. He had once said she would grow up to be a pious old maid like McGonagall. Hermione had certainly given him a piece of her mind for making such a comment. And to think there was a time when he fancied her, she thought. Of course all of that had occurred during the fall of their fifth year, when his fierce jealousy over Krum had caught her attention. But it didn't last long, as he soon found someone else to keep him occupied. And her romance with the Bulgarian Quidditch player soon fizzled; the constant glare of the media and their absence from one another was too much for her to take. She took a deep breath and tried to ignore the snickering students behind her. Her quill moved with such little effort, as she ended her composition. She was about to congratulate herself on a work well done when she felt a prickling sensation on her neck, as if she was being watched. And low and behold, she was. Draco was leaning against the shelves watching her. She put down her quill and stared back at him. She narrowed her eyes in the same manner that never ceased to subdue Ron; but Draco held her gaze without flinching. She eventually gave in and looked away. Draco was always doing that nowadays, she thought. She long noticed that his teasing and taunting had died down considerably. And his interactions with Harry were minimal at best. But although he wasn't as confrontational as the previous years, there was still something dangerous looming in the depths of his gray stare. She kept her head lowered and watched him from the corner of her eyes. He eventually stopped looking at her and began fumbling with the books on the shelves. She winced when she saw him toss books onto the floor, and step on them in the process. When it was determined that Draco wasn't doing anything mischievous other than vandalizing school property, Hermione turned her attention back to her essay. She was looking it over one last time, when someone tapped her shoulder. "Ms. Granger," said the librarian, "it's time to leave." Hermione straightened up her books and put them all in a pile. "Madame Pince, I hope you will do something about those students back there. They were making a lot of noise. I'm pretty sure you heard it from your station." Madame Pince was in the process of walking away, but she suddenly stopped in mid step. She then walked backwards until she was facing Hermione. "Miss, please don't tell me how to do my job. I am quite capable of keeping my library in order." They looked at each other for a moment before the librarian walked away. Hermione could see that she had her novel tucked in the front pocket of her shirt; the bare-chested man on the front cover winked at her. She signed loudly as she placed her work in her bag. But as she walked to the door, she could hear a faint noise coming from the shelves. She headed to the isle Draco had been in and walked to the center, where the noise was the loudest. A red book on the fifth shelf was moving uncontrollably, as it tried to free itself from underneath a large pile of bibles. "I'm out of order," it screeched. "This is not the proper place for me." Hermione could definitely see that the books were placed in every which way on the shelves. She reached for them and placed them back in their designated areas. She wedged the complaining book between Searching for God in England and The Religious Experience of Wizardkind. "Thank you so much Miss," said the appreciative book. "Don't mention it," Hermione muttered under her breath. "By the way, if you are interested in learning how to get more spirituality into your life, I'm the book for you." "No thank you." Hermione had one more book left in her hands, but there was no filing code on it. She was about to call for the librarian, when she read the gold lettering on the spine. "Draco Malfoy." Her brows furrowed, as she flipped the book over for any other markings, but she saw nothing. She opened the book, and caught a glimpse of the writing on the pages. The librarian watched her from two isles away. She pressed her arms tightly against her chest and crept up behind the unsuspecting girl. "I thought I told you it was closing time." Hermione immediately closed the book. "I found something." She was about to hand over the journal so the other woman could owl it back to its owner, but she stopped herself. She then realized that she could benefit from the content on those pages. Plus, the annoyed expression growing on Madame Pince's face further enforced her decision to keep her finding to herself. She glanced back down at the journal, and quickly said, "It's nothing." She headed out of the room and made her way back to her dorms. She walked back with quickened steps as her heart pounded over her discovery. Her initial thought was to show Harry and Ron what she had found, so all three of them could examine it. When she walked through the portrait hole, she forwent her plan to complain to Katie about her little brother, and headed to the seventh year boys' dorm instead. She was about to knock on the door, when it creaked open. She could see that Harry was asleep in his bed. She stayed at the entryway for several minutes debating what to do next. She finally decided that it would be best for her to examine the contents of the journal first, before sharing it with Harry; she didn't want to give him any unnecessary fright, as he already had other things on his mind. She would also wait to tell Ron, as she knew he wouldn't be able to keep such news to himself. Hermione normally would have taken a shower that night, but she decided she would bathe in the morning. Plus, she couldn't waste any time; there might be important material in the journal that needed her immediate attention. Since the night was still young and she knew her dorm mates would wander in and out of the room, she closed the curtains around her bed to let others know she was not to be disturbed. She placed her pillows against her headboard and settled herself into a comfortable position. Her wand sat in her lap, giving her just the right amount of light. She brought the journal to her face and glided her fingers along the leather exterior. A queasy feeling started to develop in her stomach. But before she opened it, she wondered if Draco had set a trap for her. The Malfoys were by now renowned for having bewitched diaries. But she shook off the possibility that her finding it was a ploy to entrap her, like Ginny. Plus, if Draco had intentionally wanted her to find it, he would have placed it out in the open instead of burying it under a mountain of books on an isle that received little traffic. As she prepared herself to read, she was finally hit by the magnitude of her finding, which sent excitement through her body. She had often seen him writing in it during Potions. She was certain that there was something sinister on those pages; the look on his face while he scribbled always told her he was up to no good. Plus, he would sometimes halt in the middle of writing, and turn around to glance her way with a smirk on the edge of his lips. Hermione brought her legs up to her chest and balanced the journal on her knees. She finally opened it and flipped from page to page, as her eyes focused on random words on various entries. All of this heightened her enthusiasm and she couldn’t hold back from reading an entry in the middle of the journal. 16 June 1996 The train pulled up at King's Cross Station at around 6pm. This should have been a great night for me, as I was going to sleep in my own bed instead of the lumpy one they have in school, but things went wrong right away. Nigel picked me up at the station and right away he began to show me some attitude. I told him to take the scenic route home, but he disobeyed my orders once more. I don't know why we keep him in our service when he's become so rebellious. But things got considerably worse when we got to the manor. Father immediately called me into his office, not even bothering to give me a moment's rest. But I assumed he was going to give me my new Quidditch gear. My mother had ordered the green colored ones the week before, but they looked dreadful. I much preferred the black and silver. So I went into Father's office expecting him to hand me the box, but he had a go at me instead. He lifted up the report I had owled him the week before on Potter and started to yell at me. "Did you think this was a joke?" he asked. He brought the parchment to his face and read. "8:30am, Harry is eating breakfast in the Great Hall. He is wearing the same flannel shirt he had on two days ago. To his right is Granger and to his left is Weasley." "I did just as I was told," I said. "I followed Potter around and recorded his actions." "But this is not what I wanted. I needed to know if he was talking to Dumbledore and what he knew of our plans. What you've written does not help me at all." "But that was the best I could do. It's not like I could waltz up to the Gryffindor table and eavesdrop on their conversations, now could I?" "Are you being smart with me?" I didn't say anything else and just lowered my head. "Our Lord asked you himself if you would do this for him,” he said, “and you agreed. But I never thought you would do such a sub par job. How can I hand this garbage to him now?" First of all, it was Father who asked me to do it. Our Lord has never spoken a word to me directly. But I didn't repeat any of this to Father. He ripped up my report and tossed it in the bin. All those months of hard work for nothing. But I didn't want him to think I had not taken the assignment seriously. "Father, I tried to get as close to them as possible, but every in the house is wary of m--" "I don't want to hear your excuses. You always have an excuse for everything. Your problem is that you don't try hard enough. You could have gotten me my information if you really wanted to. I thought I could count on you, but I guess I can't." He stopped talking and just stared at me. But he soon went back to his work and left me standing by the door, waiting to be dismissed. I tried to mention how I'd gotten excellent marks on all of my finals, but he said he didn't want to hear anymore from me and told me to leave him alone. When I got back to my room, I saw that my new Quidditch gear was on my bed. But it was the green colored one. I was so angry, I took the shin pads and threw them against my dresser, shattering the glass award I had gotten for excellence in Dark Arts. I spent the rest of the night in my bed. I even cancelled my lesson with Liam. Hermione leaned into the pillows and flipped to the beginning of the journal. 4 August 1995 My mother woke me up early this morning so I could get ready for the arrival of the Dark Lord. She then spent all afternoon ordering the servants around so they could get the manor ready. I've always wondered about the Dark Lord, since I've never seen Him. I once asked Father what He looked like, but he snapped at me. "What kind of ridiculous question is that?" he asked. "The only thing you need to know about Our Lord is that He is all powerful and it's because of Him that we live this grand lifestyle." Soon the time came for Our Lord to finally make His appearance. At three in the afternoon, Father finally arrived with Him. My mother had me line up with the servants in the hallway. And in unison, everyone lowered his or her head when He walked through the door. Our Lord was heavily clothed in thick black robes and the hood obscured His face, so I couldn't see much. But that didn't stop me from looking up to get a view of any of His features. He walked slowly down the hall, with a bit of a limp. Looking at Him up and down, He didn't seem any bigger or stronger than Father, nor that impressive. But He stopped to glance at me. We stared at one another for several minutes, before He whipped His head around and said, "Malfoy, why is this boy looking at me?" Father was then by my side and pushed my head down. "I'm sorry My Lord," he said. "I would have thought you'd teach him to show my some respect." Father continued to squeeze my neck with his hands, forcing me to look down until Our Lord walked away. Then he lowered his voice and said how I had embarrassed him and that he thought I would know better. 15 August 1995 I was in my room tonight, when I heard someone screaming. I ran out to the hall and looked down the stairs to the first floor. That's when I saw several of the Death Eaters dragging a man down the hallway by his arms. The man had a sack over his head and kept screaming, "Help me please. Someone call 999." One of the men kicked him in his side and he finally stopped talking. They eventually led him to the dining room. I walked down the stairs to follow them, when I overheard my parents arguing in Father's living quarters. "I don't want this in my house," my mother said. "Especially since Draco's here." "So what if he's here? It's about time he got to see what I did. He'll be doing the same thing in a couple of years." "But why did you have to bring him into the main house? Why couldn't you use the shed?" "It's better here. The dungeon is a much more appropriate place. Plus, it's big enough to fit everyone. Why are you so agitated? You've never said anything about this sort of thing in the past. Our Lord just wants to have a bit of fun tonight. He's been gone for far too long and needs some excitement." My mother sat down on a chair and put her hands over her face. "Why does this have to happen now? Just when things were finally settling down for us too. Why do you have to involve yourself in this petty activity?" "Involve myself?" asked Father. "This is who I am. It's in my blood and Draco's as well. I didn't choose it; it chose me. And the only way I can leave is through death." That's when my mother started to cry. "But I don't want things to go back to the way they were. We're going to deal with the Ministry raids all over again. Remember when Draco was a baby and we had those constant searches." "Well, that's the price we pay." "Things are going to get worse. And of course everyone knows he's staying here." Father whirled around and glared at her. "What's wrong with you woman? You should see it as a great honor to host him. Anyway, leave me in peace. You're agitating me and I need to keep my focus for what I have to do." I hid behind one of the tapestries when my mother walked out of the room. Shortly afterwards, Father exited. He was wearing his red robes. He only wore them on very rare occasions and kept them in a cedar chest in his closet. I used to sneak into his room and try them on when I was younger. One time, when I was ten, I put on the robes only to discover that part of the right sleeve was wet. When I touched the damp spot, there was blood all over my hands. That's when my mother walked into the room. Before I could say anything, she slapped me across the face and ordered me to take off the robes. She then yelled at Helena for not keeping a better eye on me. I made my way down to the kitchen and entered a small storage room near the laundry. I crawled under the old chairs and table until I reached the vent. When I opened it, I was able to see a small portion of the dungeons. The man who had been screaming was in full view. The sack was now off his head and he was sitting in a small chair surrounded by the Death Eaters. He was sweating a lot and blood was running down his temple. "Please release me," he said. "I'm a very rich man. I could give you any amount of money you desire." The Death Eaters laughed. "Your money is of no value to us," said Our Lord. All the men had their usual black robes on, but I could still recognize many of them. Goyle's father stood out because of his potbelly. Mr. Goyle stepped in front of the man and pointed his wand at him. "No," said Our Lord. "This night belongs to Malfoy." And that's when Father walked into sight. "I want you to take your time with this one, Malfoy." The Death Eaters crowded around the seated man and carried him out of sight. The room was then quiet for a long time afterwards. I was about to leave, when I heard the man scream again. This time the cry was louder than when he was in the hall, and it sounded like wailing. Wave after wave of screams followed that one, until I couldn't take anymore and left the room. 16 August 1995 I'm so tired. I couldn't sleep. I spent the entire night thinking about the man in the dungeons. Every time I tried to close my eyes, I kept hearing him screaming over and over again. At breakfast, I thought I'd fall asleep in my food, but I forced myself to stay awake. Father seemed to be in good spirits though. But my mother was in a bad mood. She kept glaring at him the whole time. And she left the table without even touching her food. Just before breakfast was over, Father told me the Parkinsons were coming over for an extended visit. I was hoping I could spend a summer without seeing them. When I left the table, I saw Nigel taking a tray of food into the North Wing. I wish I could sneak in there to see what Our Lord does all day. Last night was the only time I saw him since his arrival. I've looked through lots of books for possible spells Father could have used on the doors, but I couldn't find any. 16 August 1995 (that afternoon) Pansy and her parents are here. I decided not to greet them when they first arrived and stayed up in my room. Plus, I see enough of her during school. I was putting on my equipment for my lesson with Liam, when she walked in. I didn't say anything to her. She stayed by the doorway and stared at me for a long time, before she sat on my bed. "You've been ignoring me this summer," she said. "You didn't even come to my party." I don't know why she'd be upset, since I didn't go last year either. I just continued getting ready. But she wouldn't leave me alone and kept talking. "It was really nice of you to invite me to the Yule Ball. But I was a little upset when you went off with your friends." "We weren't on a date," I said. "So why shouldn't I have left?" "I wasn't even upset about that." "Then why are you bringing up something that took place eight months ago?" "No particular reason. I just couldn't get over the fact that you invited me." She's been saying that for a while. I don't know why it's such a big deal. Then she started talking about her summer and the fight she had with Millicent during her party. "I hate her so much," she said. "She's always spreading lies about me." She went on like that for several more minutes. I had to tell her to leave because she was annoying me. My practice started in five minutes, and I couldn't have her distracting me. 17 August 1995 Tonight was quite interesting. I sneaked into the kitchen at around one in the morning to get a bite to eat, when I ran into Pansy. I didn't expect her to be there, since the guesthouse has its own kitchen. I didn't say anything to her, but grabbed my sandwich and left. But she followed me to the library and would not leave me in peace. I don't know what happened, but somewhere between discussing our fifth year, we started talking about sex. She asked if I've ever done it. I didn't want her to know my business, so I just nodded my head. When she told me she was still a virgin, I nearly choked. Marcus used to tell me stories about her all the time. And knowing the kind of girls Marcus went after, I never would have imagined she was a virgin. I didn't say anything else after that and just sat back and listened to her describe what she wanted her first night to be like. But I wasn't really listening to her, but looking at her legs. I never realized until then how nice they really were. I was so preoccupied with them that I almost missed out when she said, "I want to lose my virginity to you." That took me by surprise. I never had a request like that before. So we decided that we would do it the next night. 18 August 1995 Tonight was the night Pansy and I did it, sort of. It was perfect timing too because both of our parents were going to some show in town. I pretty much spent today getting ready for the big night and I sent George to town to buy me some condoms. I went over to the guesthouse at 8 o'clock. She looked really pretty tonight and wore her hair up. We didn't really do anything for the first half hour or so. We just sat in her bed while she told me about her summer. She then spread out all the jewelry her father had bought her on their trip to Italy. When I placed my hand on her thigh, she moved away. It wasn't until five minutes later that she showed some real interest, when she kissed me on the cheek. But she gave me a real kiss on the lips a moment later. We ended up rolling around on her bed. I told her to touch my crotch, but she freaked out and got off the bed. She stood by her closet with her hands over her mouth for several minutes before she said anything. "I don't think I can go through with this," she said. "I'm not ready for sex." So, I asked her for a ... "Oh my God," said Hermione as she let the journal drop out of her hands. She opened her curtains to see if anyone had heard her. The room was dark and quiet, and was made even more eerie by the moonless night. She held her breath, so she could easily detect any noises. All she heard was the occasional rustling of bedcovers and light snoring. She closed her curtains and continued to read. I lifted her shirt and bra and kissed her breasts. I tried to place my hands down her pants, but she kept pushing them away. I lay back on the bed and watched her undo my belt and zipper. When she pulled down my boxers, she brought her hands over her mouth again and kept saying, "Oh my God." And then she kept staring at it for the longest time. It was a nerve-wracking moment for me. It was one thing to be naked, but it was entirely another to be stared at like that. She giggled a lot before we actually did anything. Hermione's eyes continued to grow wide from the content; Draco's writing was extremely blunt and detailed. Several times, she had to stop reading from fears she would awaken her dorm mates with her loud gasps. Afterwards, we just sat on the bed and looked at each other. It was really awkward. She tried to give me a kiss on the mouth, but I turned my head away just in time. I told her I had to get some sleep because I had an early practice, and left. 28 August 1995 This afternoon started off all right. My mother insisted we have lunch on the back veranda. Everything was going well until Nigel came out and handed Father a small box. I could tell from the gold wrapping that it was from the jewelry store. My mother saw it too, because she started smiling and held out her hand to Father. But Father didn't look at her or even give her the box. My mother kept staring at him for about ten minutes, before she threw her napkin onto the table and went inside. I went to her living quarters later to pay her a visit, but Gemma told me she didn't want any company. 5 November 1995 Pansy told me she loved me tonight. We were in our usual room getting dressed when she said it. First, I thought she was just kidding. But she had a serious expression on her face. She even gave me a hug afterwards. Then she kept staring at me. I didn't say anything to her and just walked to the other end of the room to try to find where I'd thrown my trousers. We didn't say anything to each other for the rest of the night. But when we got back to the common room, she ran up to her dorm. I didn't think I'd have trouble sleeping tonight, but I can't seem to close my eyes. I've never had anyone say that to me in my life. 20 June 1996 I was practicing with Liam today out in the rain. He loves it when the weather's bad. "It builds character," he's always saying. He was teaching me the Bromley Special. He was known for doing it when he played for the Falcons. I was looking forward to learning it. I've even seen Potter do it a couple of times, but not very well. I tried it several times, and I got it right away. But I fumbled when the snitch was released. I almost had it in my grasp when I slid off my broom and landed on my side and hurt my arm. The worst part was that Father was staring at me through the window. When I got back in the house, he was standing by his study door, staring at me. My mother tried to see if I was all right, but I told her to leave me alone. I didn't even cradle my arm while I walked upstairs; I let it hang by my side, which was a big mistake because it started to hurt even more. But I couldn't do anything else because he kept watching me. I tried to go without medicine for nearly an hour, but I couldn't. My arm feels a bit better now, but I wish I could have just lived with the pain. 6 July 1996 No one was home today, so I went to Father's room. In his closet, there were some new robes and shoes I hadn't seen before. One robe fit me perfectly, but the shoes were a little big. But I really wasn't interested in the clothes; I really wanted to find out what was in the box I found last week. I pulled the box from under his bed and said the words to open it. I finally found the spell after looking for it in one of my spell books. Inside the box were pictures of my mother. The first one looked as though she was in her twenties. I was looking through the pictures, when a pink cloud floated up to my face. That's when I knew Father had used a spell on the photographs. I used to have the same curse on my collection of wizard cards in my bedroom. I bewitched them all to look like Dumbledore, so Blaise wouldn't steal them. I took the spell off the pictures and the images of my mother began to disappear. The top photograph was now of Father. He looked really young, like he was still in school. He looked a lot like me and styled his hair in the same manner as well. There were a few more images of him playing Quidditch and holding up awards he had won. But towards the bottom of the box, the pictures got stranger. One of them was of a naked woman. Her hands were chained to the wall, her mouth was gagged and her breasts were wrapped with some sort of leather strap. They almost looked purple. The picture underneath that was of a man and woman having sex. But the man had his hands around the woman's neck and seemed to be choking her. Some of the other pictures involved animals. I didn't really look at those. I still can't get those images out of my mind, especially the woman with her black and blue breasts. All I know is that I have no desire to go back to Father's room. 23 July 1996 Our house got raided tonight. I should have suspected something was up this afternoon when I saw the servants cleaning out the North Wing. And the servants were in the library, taking out certain books. Nigel even came into my room this morning and started taking out the spell books Father had given me. The raid happened at around midnight. I was in my room reading when I heard loud voices coming from the hallway. When I went downstairs, there were about ten Ministry officials standing in the entryway. One of them was having an argument with my mother. "Look Madame," he said, "if you cooperate with us, we will only be here a short time." "Just make sure you don't break anything,” she said. “Last time you guys were here, one of your men broke a vase. I will take action against you if anything is missing." Weasley's father was in the group and he took a step forward. "I will personally see that nothing in your home is broken or disrupted." He placed his hand on my mother's shoulder, but she smacked it away. My mother stared at him and then walked away. Then all the men dispersed throughout the house. They went from room to room, opening up cabinets and drawers. But they spent most of their time in the dining room. When I peeked into the room, I saw that some of the men were on their hands and knees, feeling along the floor and walls. After about two hours, they left. When I got back to my room, all my things had been moved. It took Nigel an hour to straighten everything up. 25 August 1996 We just got back from our trip to Paris. Father wasn't with us again because he had "business." This year, my mother decided to invite Crabbe and Goyle. Since they'd never been to Paris before, my mother insisted on taking them to all the museums and other touristy places. But I was able to have some time to myself for a little while. I even tried out my French at this little bistro. The waitress gave me a few odd looks at first, but I think I did pretty well. Now it’s just Crabbe, Goyle and I at the house. My mother went off to visit a friend. Anyway, everyone was in my room, when I got an owl from Pansy. It appears she's talking to me again. In her letter, she said she was sorry about being mad at me for not asking her to go with us. She wanted to see me today. Says it would be worth my while. She even sent me a pair of her panties. I was sitting by the window writing her back, when Crabbe started looking over my shoulder. "Is Pansy coming over?" he asked. "What if she and Mandy meet?" "So what if they do?" It would have done Pansy some good to see her competition. Plus it would be interesting to see how the girls would react around one another. But I wasn't in the mood for all that drama. And I couldn't waste the hard work I’d done to get Mandy. When we all went to the game room, I kept seeing Crabbe sticking his hand into his jean pocket. Later on, I saw him take something black out of his pocket and rub it between his fingers. I didn't think it was anything, until I got back to my room. The letter Pansy sent me was still on my bed, but the panties were gone. I was going to yell at him for taking it, when the doorbell rang. It was Mandy. I could tell she dressed up for the occasion. She initially didn't want to come into the house. "Is anyone else around?" she asked. "Just Crabbe and Goyle." "Then I can't stay. I can't have people know that I've been here. My parents think I'm at a friend's house." "Don't worry about it Mandy. Crabbe and Goyle won't say a word. They know better than that." I took her hand and kept reassuring her that no one will know about our meeting. I think it helped because she became more relaxed. I started off by giving her a tour of the house. I think she was really impressed. "I thought your house would be dark and gloomy," she said. "Filled with people chained to the wall. But it's really lovely." We then had our lunch outside. I was surprised things were going so well. Nigel was even acting like an obedient servant for once. After an hour of listening to her talk about being a Prefect for Ravenclaw and other things, I led her to my bedroom. She was shy at the beginning and didn't want to do much, but I finally got her. 31 August 1996 I was packing my things for the train ride tomorrow when I slammed my fingers on the trunk. I still can't believe the scream that came out of my mouth. Too bad my mother wasn't around, or else she would immediately be in my room asking me if I was okay. I called out for Nigel, but as usual he was nowhere to be seen. I went down to the kitchen to get some ice for my fingers. On my way back, I passed by Father's study. The door was opened a bit and I know he always liked it closed. I didn't even think he was at home. But when I opened the door to see who was inside, I saw him sitting behind his desk. Normally, he would have had his head lowered as he looked over the parchments that always covered his desktop. But this time, he was reclining in his chair with his arms behind his head. There was an odd expression on his face that I've never seen before. I was busy staring at my father until I realized there was a woman sitting on his desk. Even though she had her back to me, I could still tell that she was Father's secretary. I've only seen her several times at his office, but never at the house. She wasn't wearing any shoes and she was grazing her bare feet against Father's thigh. "Can I help you with something?" Father asked me. "No, Sir," I said. "Then get out and close the door." I closed the door. But I pressed my ear against it and listened for several minutes. I couldn't hear anything for a long time, but then I heard Father's chair squeak. I ran down the hall and hid in the music room just as he opened his door. 21 April 1997 Pansy had another go at me this morning. She stormed into the boys' bathroom while I was shaving my chest and started yelling at me. I nearly took off a nipple because of her. "I know about you and this girl," she said. "I know what's been going on. But the thing I don't understand is why you would do this to me." I rinsed off the razor and put it back in my bag. I inspected my chest for any little hairs that I might have missed, when I felt her hands on my shoulders. "Why are you making this difficult for me?" she asked. "It sometimes feels like I'm the only one doing all the work in this relationship. I'm the one who always has to chase after you and initiate all the interactions between us." I didn't want to say anything else to her, I'd said enough over the past couple of months. She just kept watching me through the mirror while I brushed my hair. But then she leaned against one of the sinks and pulled the brush out of my hand. "I love you," she said. I walked over to get my clothes off the hook. I'd just gotten the top button of my shirt fastened when I heard her crying. I continued to get dressed. "Why are you always doing this to me?" she asked. "Are you trying to purposely hurt me?" I tried to pretend she wasn't even in the room. I was doing a pretty good job, until I felt a wet towel hit the back of my head. And that's when I lost it. "God dammit," I yelled, "why the hell do we have to go through this every single day? Can't I have a moment's rest without you attacking me?" "I'm not trying to attack you. I would just like to get some answers from you. Every time I ask how you feel about me, you never respond." "I don't have to answer to you. And as for this relationship that you speak of; there is none. I'm only with you when it suits me. I made it perfectly clear to you from the beginning that we were not together. How many more times do I have to tell you that?" She lifted her hand. I thought she was going to slap me again, but she didn't. She just placed it over her mouth. She was shaking. I just turned around and placed my hands against the wall. "Your crying is annoying me. Just get out of here and leave me alone." She didn't leave as immediately as I hoped. She stood there sniffling for about five minutes before she finally walked out. It took me awhile to get back into my routine. It's been like this for nearly a week. But she's never intruded on me like this before. I think I sat on that floor for about thirty minutes before I finally finished getting dressed. Hermione finally reached the end of the journal, as she read the entry he had made that night. October 5, 1997 My head has been pounding all day today. I was feeling really nauseous after Potions. My Mythology teacher let me leave class early so I could go back to the dorms. This made the Muggle-born mad because she raised her hand and asked why I was allowed to leave. The teacher told her because I didn't need any preparation for the exam. But that girl wouldn't stop and said, "Then can I leave too? I'm prepared as well." But Professor Dorian didn't say anything to her. If my head wasn't hurting so much, I would have laughed. All I wanted to do was lie down for a while. But when I got to my bed, there was already a letter from home. I didn't open it for a long time because I already knew whom it was from. He's been sending me these letters nearly everyday now. When I finally did open it, I found that it was indeed from Father. I was a short note, wanting to know if I was studying for the December ceremony. His owl was still waiting outside the window, so I guess he wanted an immediate answer. After I answered his letter, I lay on my bed and closed my eyes. I've been studying those books he gave me for several months now. With my homework and everything else, I've been very busy. I don't know why he would be so worried. Out of all the guys who are going through with the initiation, I'm the most capable. I would be worried if I was Crabbe or Goyle's father. Marcus told me the ceremony is long and painful. But I think he just said that to scare some of the other guys. He's probably just mad because he didn't make it. I don't even want to think about that right now. Every time I imagine myself sitting in front of the Dark Lord, I start feeling sick. I was looking forward to it a while back, but now I don't even know. There was another article in the papers today about our house getting raided. I didn't read it. But I'm sure Weasel will say something to me about it tomorrow. Mandy sent me another letter. I just put it in my box with all the others. She's been getting really persistent lately. And careless. She didn't even bother to use one of the school owls when she sent it either. But I can't worry about her at this moment. I just have to concentrate on being prepared for the ceremony. Hermione finished reading. She had changed positions during the course of those hours and was now lying on her stomach with the journal spread out on her bed. She looked over that entry one last time, concentrating on the passage that talked about her. She was indeed angered that morning when Draco was allowed to leave the class. But now that she saw her actions down on paper, she realized how foolish she seemed. She was both surprised and disappointed over what she had read. Draco seemed to offer little information about Death Eater plans for which she could pass onto Harry. But he did mention something about an initiation ceremony in December. Hermione reach into the top drawer of her nightstand for a piece of paper and jotted down a note to herself for the next morning. She them flipped through the pages of the journal once more, her eyes searching for passages that had caught her attention. She first went to the entry describing the contents in the box under Lucius Malfoy's bed. "Some of the other pictures involved animals," she read out loud. She then contorted her face into a grimace. It surprised her to learn that Draco had been following them around all those months; she had never noticed what he was doing before. She grabbed her sheet of paper and jotted down this important piece of information. When she couldn't find anything else to make Harry aware of, she closed the journal and placed it underneath her pillow. She slowly climbed off her bed and stretched her sore muscles. A surprised look came across her face when she looked down at her watch; it was one in the morning. After a quick shower and changing her clothes, she climbed into bed, ready to get some sleep before her busy day began. But the contents of that journal beckoned for her and she couldn't resist reaching underneath that down pillow for it. Her eyes skimmed through the pages once more, taking in every detail of Draco's life. Although she told herself that there might have been valuable information about Voldemort that she could have skipped over, in reality, she liked reading about his personal life. There was something voyeuristic about what she was doing. She especially like reading about his love life. "Mandy," she mumbled to herself. She recalled a seventh year in Ravenclaw by this name, but it surprised her to think that anyone in that house - or any other house other than Slytherin, for that matter - would ever venture to Malfoy Manor. She reached for her paper once more and scribbled down 'Mandy Brocklehurst.' She then sat with her back pressed against her headboard for several minutes, contemplating what she would do with the journal. She could send it back to him, she thought, since Draco was obviously not using it to communicate with Voldemort. But she decided to keep it for a while longer. It might come in handy later on.

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