The whole hall was quiet as they continued to listen to the attendee of the Wizengamot who was questioning Snape at the witness stand.
“Miss Granger tried to escape your custody in a two time occasion and you have consequently thwarted both circumstances. The war has been won over and stil you kept her in the far islands of Beltane. A decade Mr. Snape if we would specify it – the time for which you have kept Miss Hermione Jean Granger under your custody. The Dark Lord has been defeated only months after the incident of the ambush to the Order of the Phoenix. Tell me if these details are correct?”
There was silence as they waited for Snape’s answer.
His black eyes scanned the attendee first before putting out the word.
“Obviously.” Snape silkily answered him without blinking.
There were strong murmurs in the crowd around them.
“You kept her?” the attendee asked. “And nobody knew about it? Nobody until you were discovered?”
“Nobody.” Snape’s casual answer.
Hermione was silent across the room where she sat next to Harry.
He was going to lie again.
He was going to keep from everyone that someone else knew where they were.
He was obviously not going to drag in another name in the case – not that it was no longer relevant.
But he was obviously torturing himself into turning himself as a lone criminal into this.
He wasn’t going to drag in the name of that Malfoy woman – he was going to keep her name clean from all of it just as he had promised her.
For Narcissa Malfoy, Draco no longer deserved an additional shame onto his already lifetime smeared resume.
“Ten years into your custody – you had provided her with things and clothes, food and a good shelter. By all means, where did you get all these resources?”
Snape didn’t answer but the attendee continued as he walked around the hall making himself heard all over the large room.
“A secure and almost, completely isolated island Mr Snape – where would you get your means to survive? Yes, let’s assume that there is a small town across it but where – where in the name of heavens did you get resources to sustain everything that the both of you would need?”
They were obviously trying to find out if he had other accomplices.
Hermione was sure that he’d rather die than tell them the truth behind that.
“I had a post at Hogwarts before.” Snape simply answered him. “I had a good position at Hogwarts as an instructor.”
The attendee almost laughed at him but Snape ignored it.
“I do not supposed that teaching could provide you such wealth Mr. Snape.”
“You undermine my skills and intellect in a profession-“
“No.” the attendee impatiently cut him off. “You had an outside resource. Someone from the outside was obviously helping you. Who was it?”
There were a couple of murmurs around the room again.
Hermione could tell that Harry had shifted from his chair but his eyes were focused on Snape.
That thought didn’t seem to occur to him or anyone else for the matter but it interested Harry.
“I had no one else.” Snape answered quietly. “I was able to provide everything by what I had already and by selling custom-made medicinal properties – potions in our world – across the town. We didn’t need much – enough clothes and meal were all we needed. Miss Granger was certainly not demanding of anything else.”
“And if she was sick?”
“I provided her with whatever potions were needed to tend to her.”
There was another silence.
Hermione wanted to say something but knew that it wouldn’t do any good anyway.
The attendee moved away from him with a heavy sigh.
“So it seems you really did take good care of Miss Granger.”
“She was well attended too.” Snape said in a mocking tone. “And much more.”
The attendee sharply turned to Snape who had given him a smirk and a knowing smile.
Even if it was a small gesture, Harry caught sight of it from where they were seated.
“Harry.” Hermione whispered holding his arm that was slowly curling into fists.
“I’m fine.” Harry said through gritted teeth shoving his hand away from her.
“Was there any time Mr. Snape that you had physically hurt Miss Granger?”
“Harm her?” Snape slowly repeated. “Physically?”
His black eyes turned into small slits as if he was asking him something stupid.
And then he slowly relaxed over his chair as if taking his time to answer the question.
It was challenging the patience of the attendee.
“Did you not read her medical records?” Snape slowly asked.
Gasps were heard across the room.
“Mr. Snape please answer the question directly.” one of the members of the Wizengamot had spoken.
“Was there any time, Mr. Snape, that you had physically hurt Miss Granger despite that you have taken good care of her welfare?”
Snape looked back at the attendee and then nodded at him.
“She was physically well when she was found, was she not?”
“A few pounds less than normal but she was in a good state.”
“Because I took care of her.” Snape simply said. “If any, I only relished to what a man would certainly desire and lust for a –“
Reactions from the crowd were heard once again.
Snape only smirked.
The attendee looked back at him with wide eyes.
Something that was glinting in his black eyes somewhat angered the attendee.
He knew what he was targeting but he had to continue with his questions.
“You admit that you have physically hurt her?”
The attendee stared at Snape for a moment.
Never has he ever questioned a man willing to answer and admit the accusations.
“Will you specifically tell us how you have physically hurt her?” the attendee asked.
Snape stared at him for a moment with his black eyes boring to the attendee’s gaze. And then without a mistake, a small smirk appeared across his face again.
“You would like me to specifically give you in detail how I had.. enjoyed our stay at the cottage?” he slowly asked with such pleasure in his silky voice.
A robust of reactions came from the crowd once more.
“You would like me to give you in detail how I had successfully manipulated her mind or how I physically and sexually assaulted Miss Granger?”
“NO!” Hermione had loudly screamed from the audience.
Everyone stared at her direction and Harry struggled to keep her back to her seat.
“No! You’re lying! Severus! You’re going to Azkaban, don’t do this!” she cried strangling herself free from Harry’s grasp.
One of the members stood up and nodded for a few Ministry officials to go over to the side where Hermione and Harry sat.
“Mr. Potter, please restrain Miss Granger or she will be taken out of this courtroom.”
But the crowd became harder to sustain as well.
They were all pointing at Snape’s direction and throwing off words at him.
“Harry.” Hermione struggle against the officials. “Harry, do something-“
“Keep quiet, Hermione!” Harry warned her nodding to the officials to let her go.
“If you do not keep your voice down and behave we are both going to be thrown out of here-“
“I don’t care!” Hermione screamed at him with wide eyes. “I don’t give a damn!”
Harry stared at Hermione with tears struggling in his own eyes.
He couldn’t understand it. He saw her medical records and had read and seen all the evidences and traces that Snape had indeed physically used her.
Did she lose her mind?
How could she not understand reality from fantasy?
“Harry, please help him –“
“I’m not going to help him!” Harry suddenly said.
He suddenly grabbed her by the arm and pierced her painfully as he pushed her down back on her chair.
“Harry, you’re hurting-“
“Keep yourself together!” Harry angrily said and people began to stare at their direction.
“I can’t believe you’re doing this to me-“ Hermione screamed as she stood up and pushed Harry backward.
Harry was able to steady himself and then he angrily grabbed her by the arm and she screamed in pain.
People now openly stared at them and even the Wizengamot’s attention were on them.
Hermione’s cries echoed all over the hall.
“You’re not being fair!” Hermione cried at him.
Harry was losing his patience as his fingers painfully dug around her arm.
“He’s going to be in Azkaban for what he did to you.” Harry breathed out. “He’s going to rot in that godforsaken place for what he did to you.”
And with that, he stormed out of the courtroom leaving Hermione crying by the chair and being contained by the Aurors.
Hermione remained at the coffee shop across the building.
The hearing had finished and Harry had not returned.
Harry was so pissed with her that she wasn’t sure if he was going to attend the next hearing or if he was even coming home that evening.
“May I?” asked a voice.
Hermione looked up and saw Draco standing with a cup of coffee in his hand.
The café was quiet and wasn’t that crowded when her eyes discreetly looked around her.
He obviously wanted to sit with her.
She didn’t say anything but she sighed and nodded curtly.
She backed away a little from the table and grabbed her book with her at her end of the table.
“Thanks.” Draco said with a slight nod and he sat comfortable in front of her.
She nodded and continued to ignore him.
She reopened her book to return to her ready but was well aware that Draco was staring closely at her as he stirred the small added shot of caffeine over his cup.
“Where’s Potter?” he casually asked her.
“Do you see him around?” Hermione answered without even taking her eyes from the book.
Draco looked up at her dead-pan of an expression.
He knew that reaching out to them wasn’t going to be easy.
Draco didn’t say anything but Hermione seemed to have a bit of a conscience to realize that there was no reason for her to lash at him.
“He went home, I think.”
Draco looked up at her slightly surprised but he didn’t say anything.
“I’m sorry.” Hermione said. “I didn’t mean to sound crappy and all. I’m just not feeling well.”
“That’s alright.” Draco returned curious at what she was reading. “It’s understandable.”
Her love for books has never vanished from her no matter of the years that had passed.
Hermione continued with her reading as if she was alone by the table .
“It’s understandable, you know.” Draco said at his attempt of some sort of small talk.
Hermione still didn’t answer.
“I mean, it’s been very hard for him lately.” Draco said taking a sip from his cup.
This time, Hermione’s eyes slowly left her book and she looked up at him with a narrowed glare.
“Well, it’s not like it’s not hard for me, is it?” she snapped at him.
Draco stared and reached his hand out to her across the table.
Hermione closed her book shut and shoved it back to her bag and was ready to leave.
“It’s not what I meant.” Draco said and it was evident that he didn’t want her to leave.
“I’m sure you meant something else.” Hermione said ignoring his attempt to stop her.
Draco extended his hand to reach across her over the table.
“Granger, you need to understand that Potter is going through a lot-“
“I am also going through a lot!” Hermione angrily said shoving his hand away.
Both their cups of coffee nearly toppled over the table.
Her brown eyes were so cold and her face red in anger.
Draco stopped in mid action staring quietly at her.
He has never seen her that angry before.
She had a point.
“I’m also going through something, Malfoy but do you see me losing it all over in front of the Wizengamot?”
She was beyond furious as she held her hand up towards the other direction.
Her anger towards Harry had obviously found someone else to vent on.
He didn’t say anything.
He didn’t want to put more wood on a fire that was already more than enough to burn him alive.
He tried to ignore her by changing the topic.
“I heard they’re warning.” Draco said sitting back over his chair. “Even if he is Harry Potter, they are going to ban him from the trial if he doesn’t learn to restrain himself if he loses it again.”
Hermione didn’t say anything this time.
She was staring down at him and how comfortable he looked over her table.
“He listens to nobody.” Hermione said sitting back again.
Draco tried his best to hide the smallest tinge of smile that appeared over his lips as she sat back down.
“Are you sure about that?” Draco asked casually. “Have someone to talk to him like – you know, professor Lupin? He’s with your lot isn’t he-“
“He listens to no one.” Hermione repeated emphasizing the last word.
Draco didn’t say anything.
He began to talk what looked like a sort of small planner from his bag and an elegant looking quill from the inside pocket of his robes.
“Aren’t you going home yet?” she asked curiously seeing his actions.
“I have a business deal in two hours.” Draco answered. “Aren’t you going to go home yet?”
Hermione looked slightly irate again.
“I don’t want to go home yet.” Hermione said settling her book back over the table again.
Draco only nodded at her.
“I want to be away from Harry. To stay somewhere where Harry’s not all over the place spreading his anger.”
Draco looked up at her and could not only hear but also see the frustration over her face.
He’s heard that she’s been living with Harry since she was out of the hospital since she was found.
For about half an hour, they just sat quietly across one another.
Hermione had gone back into reading her book again and Draco kept his attention over his planner.
But he wasn’t really writing.
He was just sitting across her, pretending to be doing something when he was actually observing her closely.
She obviously could stand him now than when they were younger.
“Granger.” Draco quietly said.
“Hmmm.” Hermione said changing the page of her book..
“He’s not hurting you, is he?” Draco slowly said.
Hermione didn’t answer but he caught sight that her eyes had stopped moving.
She had stopped reading and was obviously contemplating on what to answer him.
Hermione slowly looked up at him, staring with careful eyes.
Draco sighed and slowly reached out for her hand across the table.
“I know it’s not my business but I just wanted to-“
“I have to go.” Hermione said shutting her book again and shoving it back into her bag.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t – Granger-“ Draco said trying to stop her but she was determined.
He watched wordlessly as she put her things back inside her bag and wore her scarf across her neck.
“I need to cook for Harry before he gets home. I totally forgot.” Hermione said avoiding his gaze. “I have to go. I lost track of time-“
Hermione stopped and stared over his hand that caught her wrist.
They stared at one another in mid-action.
“I’m really sorry, I have to go.” Hermione said pulling her hand back from him.
Draco gently let her go.
“I’ll see you again, won’t I?”
“At the trial.” Hermione said moving away from the table.
“I mean for coffee! Granger, wait-” Draco called out after her as she immediately walked away from the table to the point that she was running already.
He stood there, staring after her wake and curious with her actions after hearing his question.
He could almost swear that he could smell the fear coming out from her well-groomed features.
“The only reason that you are here is because your father had gone a great deal of favor for my family.”
“Understood. And I am more than grateful.” Draco quietly replied as he bowed towards the Ministry personnel who let him enter the high-security tunnel that led down the corridor and towards a completely sealed room.
He opened the door for Draco and let him inside without meeting his eyes.
Draco nodded and quietly entered.
“You have only an hour to stay here and ask him what you need to.” the official had said.
“This is the first and last time I will ever do this for you, young Malfoy.”
And with that, he left Draco alone in the room.
Draco pulled up a chair inside the sealed room and stared around him.
His footsteps ebbed away down the corridor and then nothing.
The silence in the room was almost dementing.
Draco quietly sat and waited for the door opposite him to slowly open.
It took a few moments and when it did, a man garbed in prisoner’s clothing came out.
The man just stared at him for a moment, still in what looked like a frozen state of shock upon being taken out of his cell and brought upon into that room.
It has only been three months and years had already been added to his facial features.
Their eyes met.
The look of shock slowly faded away from the man with black eyes.
“It must have taken you a great deal of money and favors to get me out of my cell to meet you in this secluded room.”
Draco stared up at his godfather that he has not seen up this close for so many years.
Sitting across him now and hearing his cold and snarky voice slowly returned him at the point in time where he used to scare the wits out of him.
“You have to eat.” Draco said waving his wand across them over the table.
A large tray slowly appeared filled with a full meal.
The black eyes lingered lazily over the tray and then back at Draco.
“Bread and butter will not change my fate, Draco.” Snape quietly said sitting straight over his chair.
“But at the moment, it will change your state of hunger.” Draco said. “Eat.”
Snape didn’t move.
He was just staring at him, carefully studying Draco and trying to read through his mind which he has found to be open and vulnerable for him to read through.
He wasn’t there to hide anything from him or was there for any sort of sneaky agenda.
“What do you want, Draco?” he asked in a clear voice. “What is it you want from me?”
“The truth.” Draco gave the straight answer staring meaningfully back at him.
There was silence.
Then Snape gave out a hoarse laughter.
It sounded as if his voice had not been used for this long.
“The truth, Draco?” he asked him waving his arms over his dirty and dangling prisoner’s clothing.
He was giving his godson a mocking smile.
“This is the only truth, Draco.”
Draco didn’t look amused at all.
Draco didn’t look amused.
He shook his head.
He did not understand him.
“I can get you out of here.” Draco seriously said.
He moved closer across the table and rested his arms over it
“Severus, I can get you out of here if you would like to. I am one – if not the only – of the richest man in all of Europe.”
Snape stared back at the determination glittering over his godson’s eyes. .
“I can get you out of here.” Draco whispered. “But you have to let me. You have to help me get you out. You have to tell me what has happened all those years.”
Snape’s black obsidian eyes met Draco’s.
He could also see the desperation in his eyes.
There was sincerity to help but there were things he didn’t understand as well.
For him, despite of all the years that has passed, Draco was still too young to understand everything.
And he was too old for a new life.
He was never going to be with Hermione anyway.
“I am tired, Draco.” Snape said.
He moved closer to the table and rested his hands on either side as he slowly stood up.
His black eyes lingered over the sandwiches but he did not touch them.
He noticed his eyes lingered longer over the cups of tea before them.
He could tell that he was reminiscing some of the old days where he brewed for passion and hatred.
“I am a tired and old man, Draco.” Snape quietly said. “Let me be. Leave me alone. Leave me here. There is no life for me outside-“
“That’s a lie.” Draco interrupted him. “You know there’s a life outside of these-“
“There is no life for me out there, Draco!” Snape suddenly said.
His black eyes were filled with anger this time.
“You of all people should understand that.” Snape said. “There is no life-“
“Don’t you want to be with Granger?” Draco asked him. “Were you two not in a relationship?”
He suddenly blinked and looked away from him.
Draco was only second-guessing but his reactions were already revealing things he wanted to know without even asking.
Draco stared at him, determined to get the answers he came for.
“It’s Granger, isn’t it?” Draco said. “There was something in those years-“
“You don’t understand what you’re talking about-“
“To hell with that!” Draco suddenly yelled at him. “You can foold the world but not me – no, you cannot-“
“Enough of this, Draco!” Snape lashed out at him banging his fists over the table.
Draco’s eyes widened in alarm.
He stood away from the table and was struggling to kick the chair.
His fists were clenching at his sides as he tried to avoid Draco’s gaze.
Draco waited for him to calm down a little.
“I can get you out of here.” Draco said yet again. “I can assure a future for you and for Hermione – all you have to do is-“
“There is no future for the two-“
“You are a hero of this war if you have forgotten!” Draco angrily yelled at him.
“I am no hero of this-“
Snape’s eyes widened.
Draco had banged his fist over the table and his godfather glared at him as if he was mad.
They stared breathing heavily against one another.
Snape looked furious but it was nowhere near how Draco looked at the moment.
“I can bloody get you out of this hell.” Draco breathed out. “I can goddamn give your life back if you want to. But you need to tell me – you need to make me understand what happened in those years.”
Snape didn’t answer him.
If any, he only looked like he wanted to avoid his gaze.
“Why did you take her? Why did she stay with you for that long only to come back and end up this way?”
Still, there was nothing.
“I can get you out of this hell.” Draco said in barely a whisper.
His godfather stared back at him.
Snape could swear that he could see the same begging eyes from Narcissa many years ago. .
“Please.” Draco’s voice broke the silence. “Let me help you as you have saved my mother and loved her as if she were your own sister.”
Snape looked away from him, the pain in his eyes very evident.
And Draco was nowhere giving up.
“If you have loved the both of us, you will let me help you. She would want it. Please let me help you.”
The rain was so hard that it made it very difficult for Draco to see where he was going exactly.
His travelling cloak was so drenched that it weighed heavier than usual over his shoulders.
He looked around him as he reached what looked like a very old village.
It was almost midnight and he wasn’t sure where exactly he was.
He was only sure of one thing – he had been travelling for seven hours – following the trails of magic of his own mother as she Apparated and Disapparated place after another.
He tried so hard to keep himself hidden from her but not too far that he’d lose sight of her.
She was very careful that he could swear that she was doing something along the lines of stealth.
He followed her carefully and as quietly as he could possibly do so.
And she had stopped in front of what looked like an old-looking inn and pub.
He entered ten minutes after she did.
The bar was full and the wizards and witches inside were foreign looking people.
He may be at a side of London that he’s never really visited or so.
No familiar face greeted him and so he entered quietly and looked around his surroundings beneath his hooded cloak.
He went straight towards the bar where the bar man was cleaning several glasses.
“May I help you?” he asked Draco as he reached the counter.
“Have you seen a woman walk here?” he asked not really knowing how he was going to describe her.
The barman stared curious at him as his eyes continued to scan the room.
“A woman in black cloak and emerald robes?” he asked him.
“Yes.” Draco said. “She entered a few minutes before I did.”
The bar owner just stared at him.
Obviously perplexed and annoyed at Draco’s inquiry as he seemed uninterested in ordering anything.
“Are you going to buy a drink?” he asked him.
Draco looked back at him, annoyed.
And then he realized that he was asking for some money for the information he needed.
“Bloody hell.” Draco muttered rolling his eyes.
He pulled out several galleons from his wet pocket and tossed it across the table.
“What would you like to drink?” the bar owner asked casually.
“Whatever you have.” Draco said impatiently. “Now, have you seen her?”
The bar owner stared up at him as he prepared him something to drink.
“The woman with the blonde hair?” he asked her with a raised brow.
“Yes.” Draco answered in gritted teeth. “Where did she go?”
“Why would you want to know?” the barman asked him as he tossed vodka and some other things over his glass.
Draco glared at him.
“Because I already paid you for the answer.” Draco angrily said adding a few more galleons across the table.
The barman smiled as he collected over the additional coins.
Draco impatiently waited as he finished his drink and placed it carefully in front of him across the table to drink.
“She exited the bar the moment she got here.” the barman answered. “She used the back door and went to her usual place at the other side. Her usual habit. She visits every three months. ”
Draco’s eyes widened at the answer.
“Do you know her?” the man asked him
“Where’s the exit?” Draco asked back getting himself off the stool he sat on.
The man stared blankly at him for a moment
“Bloody hell.” Draco spat at him. “Are you kidding me?”
The barman only smirked as Draco tossed another pouch full of galleons across the counter.
“Straight to that corridor. Turn left and then a door across the back – the black one. There is a staircase that will lead you to the private rooms. She hired the third door at the left side. Only employees are allowed. However, sicne you’ve been very generous like that woman-“
“Keep the bloody change.” Draco spat and before the barman could say anything else, he hurriedly left the counter and followed the given direction.
Draco followed the man’s directions and has quickly reached the black door that led to the staircase.
His heart was pumping so fast.
He was unsure of what he was going to see and why he was even there in the first place.
And most importantly, he knew that he was betraying his own mother’s trust.
He had been doing it for weeks now.
Draco had been following her whereabouts and trying to know who she was talking to or writing the anonymous letters to.
But he had failed time again.
But tonight, he was going to find out about his mother’s deepest secret.
He had been very determined for a long time now and he has never gotten this far as tonight.
He had a hunch, but he couldn’t be very sure until he sees it with his own eyes..
She was seeing someone.
And he had a terrible idea on who it might have been all along.
All the anonymous letters, the things she would sneak out of the manor or packages she sends out and disappears without a trace.
It felt as if she was feeding some secret family.
But that secret will no longer be tonight.
Draco breathed and entered the black door he’d reached.
As instructed, he found the staircase that led to the door and the private rooms area.
He found the seventh door altogether and counted the third at the left side.
As instructed, he found the staircase that led to the corridor with private rooms.
He found seven door altogether and counted the third at the left side.
His ears were agile and he was vigilant for any type of movement at all from any of the rooms and doors around him.
He halted at the third door at the left side.
He wasn’t sure now what to do.
Should he knock?
Should he blast the door open?
But before he could even fully decide, he heard noises from the inside of the room - like something had been yanked away that caused the heavy sound.
“You’re endangering yourself! You have to give her up!”
A voice had screamed fully.
Draco’s eyes widened.
He knew that voice too well.
And it made him fearful to hear fear in that tone that was usually in command or proud.
Draco slowly took his wand out and held it tight in his hand.
He has decided to draw himself inside the room and use Stunning Spells.
But before he could even begin counting before he blasts the door, it suddenly burst open right at his face.
Draco nearly dropped his wand.
His blue eyes met very wide and surprised pair of black eyes.
Severus Snape, his ex-professor and godfather was standing right in front of him.
“You…” Draco whispered unable to move a muscle.
His godfather looked as surprised as he was.
And then at one glance, her mother suddenly appeared behind him and was looking over Snape’s shoulder to see what was happening.
Her eyes widened upon seeing Draco.
Draco’s eyes ran from her then back at Snape.
He had a moment to take in his image.
He had not seen him for about a year now and he looked as if he had aged many years already.
He was wearing a travelling cloak that looked old and shabby.
He was bearded and his eyes were sunken too deep as if he barely slept at all.
He was even thinner than Draco had ever seen him.
Draco opened his mouth to say something but then, a sudden flash of light appeared before him and a spell he knew too well had been uttered before he could even take one step backward and defend himself with a spell that would counter act on, “Obliviate.”
“Should I Obliviate Harry then?” Draco asked as he stood in front of her across the table.
Hermione looked up at Draco Malfoy and nodded for him to have a seat.
“You don’t have to.” Hermione dryly replied.
“Then pray tell why you had invited me for coffee?” Draco asked.
It has been two days since the trial and Draco had been walking around Diagon Alley when he saw her inside a bookstore.
He entered in the hopes of stalking her to see if she was alright.
But she saw him thinking that it was a chance upon encounter.
Hermione then asked him if he wanted to have coffee with her.
“I told you.” Hermione replied. “I’m bored at home.
Draco stared at her.
Hermione Granger was never bored with her books.
There was always something to read or something to do for her.
“I would have believed that if you had been in Slytherin.” Draco said signaling for the waiter to give them two cups of cappuccino and a platter of sandwiches.
Hermione didn’t say anything at his comment.
She looked like she wanted to say something but didn’t want to continue.
Hermione only bit her lower lip, avoiding his gaze and pretending to look for something inside her bag.
“Pray tell brave Gryffindor – if you’re really brave, then tell me the truth.”
Hermione looked up at his mocking tone.
“Why did you ask me to accompany you here?”
She looked away and placed down the book she took out from her bag.
Draco stared and waited and for some reason, her brown eyes were suddenly intimidating him.
He tried not to blink away.
“Is it wrong to see you?” she asked. “Is it really wrong to want to see an old schoolmate?”
“I would have been fooled if I’m an idiot.” Draco said with a small smile at her.
Hermione bit her lip and looked annoyed.
“Slytherins are not stupid, Hermione.”
She rolled her eyes at him and opened her mouth for a backlash but Draco suddenly grabbed her arm.
It was a sudden but gentle movement.
She looked sharply up at him as if she had been electrified.
She tugged and pulled her arm back but Draco refused to let her arm go.
“I’m sorry.” Draco said letting her arm go.
He watched as she touched and rubbed the area he had touched as if it was a painful grasp.
Did she not want to be touched by any man?
Was she still traumatized at being touched by a man?
“It’s nothing.” Hermione said avoiding his gaze again.
“I’m just wondering why.” Draco said. “It’s not that it’s wrong. I’m just slightly confused and all. It may be wrong for Potter.”
“Everything is wrong for Harry nowadays.” Hermione suddenly said.
She returned her attention to her book and Draco quietly observed her.
There was spite in her tone.
“Hermione?” Draco slowly said. “Can I call you that?”
“Yes.” Hermione answered without looking up at him.
“Are you and Potter fighting?”
“He’s a changed man.” Hermione sighed heavily. “He absolutely hates everything now. He’s a stranger. It’s as if I don’t know him anymore. He’s sour all the time. He barely smiles and he wants nothing and talks nothing but –“
“Putting my godfather to jail.” Draco ended the sentence.
She didn’t say anything.
She turned her head the other direction and just as the waitress returned for their order.
Draco watched her depressed eyes as she moved forward for her cup of cappuccino.
“Hermione, I will try to help the two of you.”
Her eyes slowly lit up but she didn’t say anything.
Draco didn’t know why but her attention towards him seemed and felt so important at that very moment.
He slowly reached forward her hand again.
His fingertips touched the back of her wrist.
She didn’t withdraw this time but she didn’t react either.
“Draco, look.” Hermione heavily breathed looking up at him. “Just try.”
He stared at her with a questioning glare.
“I will do my best.”
Suddenly, Hermione let her coffee go and placed both her hands over his extended hand across the table.
Draco was too shock himself to move at all.
“I’m begging you now.” Hermione said looking back at him with a saddened gaze. “I know I am in no place to ask you anything. But please.. please, Draco.”
“Severus is innocent.” Hermione quietly cried at him. “Severus is innocent and that as much I can tell you.”
“Where have you been?”
Hermione quietly entered their darkened living room space.
The whole house was dark and it started raining again outside.
“I just wanted some air.” Hermione answered without reluctance.
She removed her travelling cloak and dropped the house keys over at the small end table next to the sofa.
She carefully placed a small paper bag on the sofa.
“I bought us some dinner so you don’t have to cook tonight.”
Hermione didn’t say anything.
Harry’s tone was one of mockery and she was sure that they’d end up fighting again.
“Yes, really, Harry.”
Harry stared up at her with eyes that were ignited with anxiety.
“Nothing else?” he had asked her. “You did not go anywhere else?”
“Where would I go?”
There was some silence between them and they only exchange glares.
Hermione did not like how Harry was treating her recently and she will definitely not tolerate it.
“Tell me if you’re going to have dinner so I can prepare it for you.”
Hermione began picking up the paper bag again and was about to turn to leave when Harry grabbed her thin wrists.
He looked up at her with mixed emotions of anger and question in his eyes.
“I will ask again.” Harry quietly said. “Where did you go?”
Hermione stared down at him.
She did not understand what answer he wanted.
Was he following her the whole day?
“I already answered you.”
Hermione tried to grab her arm back but Harry didn’t let go.
“You’re not going to tell me?” he challenged her.
Hermione’s eyes darkened down at him.
She angrily snatched her hand back.
“I already answered you.” Hermione angrily said pushing herself away from him. “ I don’t have to explain myself.”
Without another word, she turned away from him with the bag she was carrying.
But before she could reached the door Harry had suddenly launched from the chair and had closed it before her face.
“WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?!” he suddenly yelled at her pushing her against the door.
Hermione’s eyes widened in shock and pain.
Harry was standing before her seething in anger.
She had never seen him like that and it scared her.
The look in his once warm emerald eyes had gone.
It was like he was being possessed.
“I’m not going to let you cheat on me-“
“I’m not bloody cheating on you!” Hermione screamed at his face.
Hermione turned away from him and tried opening the door but it wouldn’t budged.
She looked up at him and knew that he was using wandless magic to close and lock the door.
“I asked you and asked you nicely, Hermione. I just want to know where you have been-“
“I’ve gone out for air and bought groceries and dinner for us-“
Harry angrily screamed and he shoved the paper bag away from Hermione’s hands.
Two platters of packaged food scattered all over the floor with bottle of warm Butterbeers spilling all over.
Hermione stared up at him but before she could react Harry had shoved her back against the door.
She fell hard and painfully towards the floor.
She cringed in pain as her knees hit the marble floor painfully.
Harry angrily grabbed her arm and shook her.
“Why are you lying to me!”
He pushed her back on the floor.
Hermione closed her eyes, stunned as Harry angrily raised his arm ready to hit her.
She coward and whimpered in fear but the blow never came.
She slowly looked up and saw him staring at down at her with tearful eyes.
“Harry..” Hermione softly whispered.
It took him a moment for Harry to regain composure.
He blinked and stared at the mess around them as if not aware of what he has done.
He straightened himself breathing heavily
“I’m not hungry.” Harry simply stated straightening his cloak.
He walked over the spilled food and kicked the empty bottles of butter beer.
“I’ll be back before midnight. I need to finish a work at the Ministry.”
Without another word, Harry had moved away from her and towards the door.
Hermione was left on the floor, stunned and scared at what had just transpired.
She remained unmoving until she heard their entrance door open and close and lock and she heard the familiar sound of Disapparation.