Hermione got up out of bed and dressed in some better clothes as her ones from yesterday were completely ruined. She dressed in jeans and a plain white blouse, she walked out the room and into the bathroom to brush hair and brush her teeth. She then proceeded into the living room where she was met with two people she didn’t expect. They both cut their conversation short and turned to look at her.
“Hermione, you’re finally awake! Come and have some toast, wont you?” said Remus gesturing to the plate on the table. Harry sat beside him, eating his own piece of toast.
“Wha . . . what are you both doing here?” she demanded rather than asked.
“I relieved Ron last night because he had to see Sarah and Remus turned up this morning,” said Harry simply.
“Relieved Ron? Who’s Sarah?” she asked, still not understanding completely.
“Oh yeah, I think you fell asleep . . . Sarah’s Ron’s girlfriend, she was pissed with him after yesterday and he needed to leave.” Harry explained. Hermione was still confused but she took her seat beside Harry and directed her next question at Remus.
“What are you doing here? I thought you would have gotten the hint that I didn’t want to see you after yesterday!” she growled. He looked unperturbed by her attack.
“Yes I did get the hint but I feel that there are . . . certain things we need to talk about.” he said calmly.
“I don’t feel like talking.”
“Well I feel that it’s necessary.”
“I’m scared to ask so I’m just going to go out for a while. Bye!” said Harry suddenly and then he dissaparated. It was quite sudden. Hermione sighed, got up from her seat and walked to the kitchen bench to pour herself some tea. She didn’t even turn to look at Remus.
“I don’t care what you have to say, Remus. You can’t make my decisions for me.” Remus chuckled a little.
“I figured you’d say that, that is why I’m here. I will tell you my side of things and then you can make all your own decisions.” Hermione was curios now; she couldn’t deny that she wanted to know why Remus was so overprotective about her relationship with Draco. She took her tea to the table, sat down at her seat and then gave him her complete attention.
“Ok, I’m listening,” she simply stated and then took a sip of her coffee.
“Ok. As you know, I’ve been following you since the start, my job was to protect you and so forth . . . but you already know all this. When you got involved with Mr Malfoy that night, I became a bit worried because . . . well let’s face it, its unimaginable! You woke up the next morning and he was gone. Even though you wouldn’t admit it at the time, you were hurt beyond reckoning. Your face showed it all when you read his note,” he paused to let what he had said sink in and she made no effort to break into his story or correct him. “You went on and got stronger, physically, emotionally and magically, but there was something missing – your passion. Without Draco, you were merely operating on automatic pilot. Then there was the attack and he was back again. You were out of it at the time but we had a very careful conversation. It went like this . . .
“I want to be let in on all of this. Why you’ve been following her and what you and Dumbledore are up to.” Draco stated.
“No, I want to know why you’ve had your brutes following her and I want to know right now!” ordered the man.
“You tell me first then I’ll tell you Professor Lupin.”
“I’m not a professor so don’t call me that,” replied Remus. Both men refused to start the conversation. “What do you want Draco?”
“I want to know why you’ve been following her all year!” he said calmly. “I want to know the whole truth and then I’ll let you know what you want.” Remus sighed.
“I have been following her under Dumbledore’s orders – for her safety.” Lupin said.
“And . . . ?”
“What exactly does she need protecting from other than those idiots Lestrange following her?”
“Ever wonder why they were following her? Voldemort’s up to something - and it involves Hermione. I have to keep her safe from everything.”
“What is that supposed to mean? Everything.”
“Doesn’t matter.” Remus shrugged off the question. “Now that I’ve told you, what have you been up to? Why are you following her?”
“Same reason as you . . .” Draco replied. “Her safety.”
“And why exactly to do you care about her safety? Last time I checked you abandon her in the middle of the morning.” Remus had obviously struck a cord there because he made Draco stand up from his chair. It was only Draco’s last remaining ounce of what was right that kept him where he stood and not tackling the ex-professor.
“I DID THAT FOR HER SAFETY TOO! How dare you assume to know my character?!” Remus stood up in his chair so the only thing separating the two furious, armed wizards was the old oak table.
“I know exactly who you are. You are Draco Malfoy, son of Lucius Malfoy and a pure blood. I consider Hermione to be my daughter and just the same as any other blood relative! I will not see her hurt again boy! Blood lines are not important to me!” Remus roared.
“Nor are they to me anymore!!” yelled back Draco.
“You say you’ve changed but you’re still the same nasty little boy that you were when in your fathers care. Like father, like son! And as long as it is my job – you will never go near Hermione again!!!” the room went silent after Remus’s outburst. The two men stared each other down. Draco sat back down in his chair at the head of the table and put his hand over his eyes.
“Leave, Remus. Now!” he said quietly and Remus exited the room to go check on Hermione.
“. . . I was angry and worried and didn’t mean half the things I said but I still stand by what I said – that this relationship between you and Draco is not wise, Dumbledore is worried also, but I see you’re going to go ahead with it anyway. I care too much about you to see you get hurt by the likes of him, Hermione. Like I said, I consider you a daughter in most senses.” He finished with a sigh yet not taking his eyes off Hermione, waiting for her response. He was hiding something, there was something not said but she smiled a little to reassure him that she wasn’t going to scream at him.
“I . . . like you said, I am going to continue my relationship with Draco, nothing you say can change that! But I now understand where you were coming from when you had your outburst although I feel there’s something you’re not telling me.” She eyed him cautiously. “I’m flattered that you consider me your daughter – you’re more like a father to me than anything.” they both smiled and a small pop introduced that Harry was back.
“Hey Hermione, I just had the best idea! Why don’t we go out tonight – go out to a club or something? Just have some fun!” Harry said excitedly. Why not? Hermione felt up to it tonight! Go have some fun!
“Sure! And I know just the place!”
**Later That Night**
Harry and Hermione stood in line at The 226. This thing between herself and Draco and what Dumbledore knew of it and wasn’t saying was worrying her, but there was nothing she could do. She trusted Dumbledore with her life.
They hadn’t been waiting long – they had got there particularly early and now the line for entrance was trailing around the corner with them at the front of the Que. It may have been the best muggle nightclub in Manchester but it was bloody difficult to get into! Hermione and Harry were talking to each other when Hermione suddenly heard her name.
“Miss Hermione, isn’t it?” Hermione spun around and was met by Freddy, the friend of Draco. She smiled at the fact that he had remembered her name.
“Freddy! How’s things?” she asked politely over the chatter of the people in Que. Harry gave her a quizzical look.
“Great. Haven’t had any troubles yet tonight! Where’s Mr M-” she cut him off.
“Couldn’t make it. Busy. Told us to go without him!” she stammered. Freddy smiled.
“Oh well, I’ll see him again – hopefully with you on his arm! Come on in.” he smiled and removed the red velvet rope that stopped them from passing. They walked past and she thanked him, trying to hide the blush on her face from what he had said. Harry and Hermione walked down the narrow passageway together.
“THAT . . . was the most polite bouncer I have ever met!!! And who’s this Mr M – who’s name he nearly said before you cut him off!” Harry smiled and glanced at Hermione.
“It was no one important . . . no one really.” she trailed off as they entered the club with the music pounding against the walls. They walked to the bar and sat down. Harry’s hand in the small of her back, guided her on to the stool. It was ok though, it was Harry. They drank and they talked together, she was enjoying this conversation more than the forced one she had had with Draco on that night. His hand touched hers gently and it seemed almost purposeful, but it was nothing weird, because . . . it was Harry. It was ok . . . wasn’t it?
He watched from the other side of the bar, in completed disguise so even Hermione wouldn’t recognise him. He was becoming more and more unsettled and jealous by the way she laughed with him and the way he subtly touched her. She may have not thought it was anything out of place but he, Draco, knew what Potter was up to. They were too close to each other, or, he was too close to her. There! The look on her face. She knew something was up – that his intentions were more than friendly. She’s excusing herself – going to the toilets?
Draco got up from his seat and followed her to the ladies rooms. Just before she was at the door, he grabbed her arm and pulled her to the side. She panicked at first because she didn’t recognise him. She thumped against his chest in her panic before his voice calmed her down.
“Hermione, wait, don’t panic. It’s me . . . Draco; I’ve just got a disguise on.” he said quietly. She recognised his voice and calmed down again.
“Draco, you scared the crap out of me!!! What are you doing here?” but he dismissed her question with a wave of his hand.
“Watch out for Potter, he’s hitting on you. You just don’t know it yet!” and then he was gone, vanished into the mass of dancing people. She was really confused.
Once she had come out of the bathroom, Harry asked her to dance. She was wary of him now and watching his every move. She didn’t want to think that her best friend was trying to make a move on her but now she couldn’t get it out of her head. Damn Draco! The beat was fast so she wasn’t worried particularly about dancing with him. They walked into the crowed so they weren’t too far in and then started pumping to the music. The beat was getting faster and faster and the people crushing in against her. Suddenly, Hermione felt something that shocked her; Harry’s arm going around her waist and pulling her closer to him.
“I want you Hermione, I always have.” he whispered in her ear. She didn’t want to know what was going through Draco’s mind right now. He was grinding against her and she didn’t like this one bit. He was her best friend – how could he want to . . . ? She didn’t want to! She tried to move away from Harry but he still pulled her against his body. Ewwww! Harry’s body – she didn’t want to touch it like . . . that! She looked over Harry’s shoulder and saw eyes that scared her! Draco. He was only a few steps away and not in disguise. He looked furious. He was armed with his wand in his hand and daggers in his eyes. He was ready to kill. She pushed back against Harry’s chest harder this time and shook her head. He knotted his eyebrows and then led her away from the music and dancing to a corner where things were more quiet and secluded spot. He ran his hands up her arms, holding her close, but she pulled away from him.
“No . . . Harry, we can’t!”
“Why? Oh . . . Mr M?”
“Well . . . yes, actually . . .” said Hermione. Harry was rough; he grabbed her arms and held her in her place.
“If he’s so important, how come I haven’t met him? How come he’s not here right now?” he growled. She was suddenly scared of him – the pain growing up her arms from where he held her still. Then someone spoke from behind them.
“He is! Take your hands off her!” yelled Draco. Harry took his hands away from Hermione’s arms which were now red and sore. He chuckled a little.
“Malfoy? What are you doing here? I thought you’d be out there terrorising with your little Death Eater buddies!” said Harry, a smile still playing on his face.
“No, actually. I’m here, right now, telling you to keep your hands off my girlfriend!” he hissed as his arm curled around Hermione’s waist, pulling her close to his body. Harry’s face changed dramatically as he realised that Draco was being serious and that Hermione didn’t pull away in disgust like she should have done. He turned on Hermione.
“Are you kidding me? Malfoy? You’re with Malfoy?” he spat at her and she winced as he released his anger and advanced on her. Draco spun her behind him – protecting her with his body.
“Don’t take another step Potter or I’ll curse you into oblivion!” warned Draco, showing just the tip of his wand from beneath his black robe.
“Sod off Malfoy!” yelled Harry. At this stage, Freddy the bouncer walked over to them.
“Look, I got a call from the bar manager saying you were causing a stir. Now you’ll all have to quiet down or I’ll . . . Mr Malfoy . . . when did you get here?” Harry exploded.
“MR M? MALFOY IS MR M??? HOW COULD YOU BETRAY ME LIKE THIS HERMIONE?!?”
“I’m sorry Harry, but it’s the way it is. I . . . love Draco.” At this point, Draco spun around to look at her in shock. “I really do. I’m so sorry Harry.” she whispered, looking around Draco’s form to watch Harry’s reaction.
“Oh fuck it Hermione. Fuck you and fuck you!” he directed at Hermione and Draco and then stormed out of the club. Freddy spoke next.
“Everything ok? He won’t be coming back in! I can tell you that!” he asked the embracing couple and they both smiled.
“Yes, thankyou Freddy – we’re going now anyway. See you some other time.” Draco and Hermione left the club with his arm around her shoulders. It felt good to hold her again – she was warm and his safety from reality. He made the way for the small dark alleyway but she stopped him.
“Could we just walk for a while? I don’t feel like going back there yet.” she smiled shyly. He smirked at her and then guided her down the dark street – people whisking past them on their own business. They walked together for quite a while, talking sometimes and then sometimes content with the silence. The streets were now dark and deserted except for them.
“I suppose we had better get you home, hey?” he asked her. Then there were rapid footsteps behind them and Draco was immediately on guard. He let go of Hermione, pushed her to the wall of a building for her safety and then pointed his wand at the unknown that was advancing on them. Potter.
“I have something to say to the both of you!!!” he screamed, his wand held out, pointing straight at Draco’s heart. They were moments apart from killing each other when suddenly twenty or so tiny pops presented the arrival of peoples unknown. Hermione looked around at all the dark figures that she could barely make out. Then she saw the eyes. Dark red slits glowing in the night.
“Ah, Miss Granger, so nice to finally make your acquaintance! Too bad it will be the last time . . ” said the voice of Lord Voldemort.
Authors Note: So Voldemort finally caught up with them! What does he have in mind? Hmm . . .
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