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". . . Miss Hermione Granger!"
At the sound of her name being called, Hermione broke from her nervous reverie.
Chapter 1: Unexpected Events
4 MONTHS EARLIER
Hermione Granger entered her gloomy office and sat at her desk with a sigh. Her head throbbed and she felt drained from her extensive morning trial.
As a Ministry-appointed Defense Inquisitor, she was no stranger to long, stressful days in court. Having been a Defense Inquisitor for the Wizengamot for almost a year now, she'd seen her share of taxing trials. They always took a lot out of her, and today's had been no exception.
Chapter 2: A Decision
Hermione's low heels clacked behind her as she headed toward Kingsley's office. When she arrived, she was greeted by his secretary sitting behind a large mahogany desk.
"Miss Granger," the petite blond said, flashing a beaming smile. "How can I help you?"
Chapter 3: The Meeting
Draco Malfoy stared at the blank brick wall in front of him. Time had ceased to matter.
He'd only spent a few months in this gray, hopeless cell of Azkaban, but it felt like a lifetime.
Chapter 4: Dire Circumstances
An hour later, Draco sat in his cell, still fuming over the events of that afternoon.
Goody-goody Granger? That's the best the Ministry could come up with for my defense?
Draco knew the Ministry had been corrupt during his father's time, but it obviously hadn't changed. Now it was just corrupt in the opposite direction.
Chapter 5: A Mother's Love
Hermione was in her office filling out paperwork for the case she'd closed that morning. She rubbed her eyes wearily. As stressful as her morning in court had been, it was nothing compared to the afternoon she had.
What was she thinking? That she could actually represent Draco Malfoy? And defend him, no less? It was ridiculous.
She could just imagine Harry's and Ron's reactions.
Chapter 6: What Our Memories Allow
Hermione examined the flask in her hand, turning it over a few times. She was very curious what Narcissa Malfoy's memories held.
Memories played a very critical role in the world of magical law. Of course, there were certain precautions, rules, and considerations that came into play but, overall, memories could be very telling when trying to establish the innocence or guilt of an individual.
Chapter 7: Don't You Know?
Hermione barely slept at all that night, tossing and turning, reliving everything she'd seen in Narcissa Malfoy's memories. She wondered if Narcissa spent most of her nights as troubled as she was right now, haunted by those scenes from her past.
As Hermione drifted in and out of restless sleep, there was one overlying question nagging at her brain. Would she become Draco Malfoy's Defense Inquisitor?
Chapter 8: Notions
Draco threw himself down on the hard cot Azkaban called a bed and stared at the stone ceiling.
Well, that went . . . strangely.
He couldn't help but reflect on the miserable turn his life had taken. The once proud and powerful Malfoy heir now reduced to a prisoner, relying on the girl he once bullied mercilessly for his freedom. It was laughable, really.
Chapter 9: Bound to Get Hurt
That evening, Hermione fought her way through a very crowded Leaky Cauldron to meet Harry, Ginny, and Ron for dinner. As she pushed through the throng, she noticed several patrons glaring at her and heard a few non-discreet, angry whispers.
Hermione's history of defending Death Eaters had not made her as popular as she once was. In fact, the Daily Prophet had more than once referred to her as a "traitor" to Muggle-born witches and wizards.
Chapter 10: A Good Soul
Draco entered the meeting room the next day, he was greeted by the sight of a very frazzled-looking Hermione, arranging her papers. Her hair was pulled into a haphazard bun with numerous tendrils escaping, and there were dark circles under her eyes.
"What's wrong with you?" he asked as he sat down.
Hermione barely glanced up. "I, uh, didn't sleep well last night."
Chapter 11: I Used to Live Alone
When Draco got back to his cell, he threw himself on his cot and assessed the books and music-playing contraption.
The reality of what Granger had just done hit him. It was incredibly kind and considerate of her to bring these things for him. She really was far too compassionate.
But then again, he shouldn't have been surprised. After all, this was the girl who wasted half of third year trying to save a manic hippogriff's life, and then later devoted her spare time to freeing house-elves.
Chapter 12: The Unlikelihood of Hope
"Cormac McLaggen!" Hermione spat venomously the minute Draco sat down the next afternoon.
"What did you call me? Is that some Muggle swear I've never heard before?" Draco's tone was light, but he was a bit wary. The last time he'd seen Granger this angry had been in their third year when she'd slapped him. He moved away from her slightly.
"No, Cor-mac Mc-Lagg-en." She pronounced each syllable distastefully. "He's the prosecuting Inquisitor for your case."
Chapter 13: I Wish
When Draco entered the meeting room the next day, Hermione took one look at him and dropped the papers she was holding.
"Malfoy!" She was by his side in an instant. "What happened to you?"
"A run-in with some Death Eaters yesterday." He eased himself into his chair, grimacing in pain. "It's surprising, really, the punches some of them can throw when they've done nothing but wave a wand their entire lives."
Chapter 14: Some People
Hermione sat at the Three Broomsticks, nervously drumming her hands on the table. She had invited Harry to meet her here for lunch so she could ask him to testify on Draco's behalf.
She had no idea if he would agree to it or not. Yes, he had testified for Narcissa Malfoy, but Hermione knew he was truly grateful to her for her actions the day Voldemort was defeated. It had, indeed, changed everything.
Chapter 15: Through the Looking Glass
"We're going to focus on your memories today," Hermione told Draco when he entered the meeting room the next day.
"How fun," he said, crossing his arms as he walked over to where she was setting up a Pensieve. He'd been dreading sharing his memories with her ever since she told him he'd have to.
"All right, it's ready." She turned toward him.
Chapter 16: Questions
The two guards threw Draco into his cell, where he landed on the cold stone floor, then slammed the door shut, locking it behind them.
He got up and sat on his cot, placing his head in his hands.
What did I just do?
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