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13 March, 2004

Dear Mr. Malfoy:
It has come to our attention that on 12 March, 2004, you purchased the following items:

1) Five drams of moondew
2) Eighteen drops of heptacorn blood
3) Two scantlings of powdered Horntail scales

As you are no doubt aware, the terms of your probation specifically forbid the use or possession of these items. Kindly refer to proviso 3965-EE for a list of prohibited items. You will clearly note that moondew, heptacorn blood, and Horntail scales are eighth, seventy-first, and one-hundred-and-sixty-third, respectively, on this list.

We politely request that you return or destroy these items immediately upon receiving this missive. Failure to do so will result in further punitive actions.

Sincerely,

Anthony Goldstein
Probation Officer
Ministry of Magic
Department of Magical Law Enforcement
cc: Hester Butterfield

 

13 March, 2004

Dearest Mister Goldstein,

As you are no doubt aware, the terms of my probation officially end in approximately two months. At that time, I can do whatever I bloody well please, including using powdered Horntail scales to temper the blush on your mother’s cheeks after I show her a good time.

At the present, however, I am not using the prohibited items for anything. Technically, I do not possess them either. I have given them as a gift to my beloved house-elf Minchy, who has been instructed to return them to me in approximately two months’ time. Even though it is dreadfully declasse to re-gift items, I will likely forgive Minchy for this faux pas.

So, as you can plainly see, I do not possess the intended items and I am not presently using them. You are, therefore, cordially invited to stuff it, Mr. Goldstein.

Heartfelt regards,

Draco Malfoy

cc: your mum

 

14 March, 2004

Mr. Malfoy,

It is with great difficulty that I look past the overwhelmingly rude tone of your response to inform you that your purchase of the items in question on March 12th violated the terms of your probation. Even if you are not currently using or in possession of the items, they were indeed in your possession for a period of time. The terms of your probation have thus been violated.

If you do not destroy or return the items immediately, you will be submitting yourself to further legal action.

Anthony Goldstein
Probation Officer
Ministry of Magic
Department of Magical Law Enforcement
cc: Hester Butterfield

 

14 March, 2004

Dearest Mister Goldstein,

It is with great difficulty that I look past the overwhelmingly priggish tone of your response to inform you that you can’t even prove that I actually purchased them. Are you entirely sure that it wasn’t someone using a disillusionment charm or polyjuice potion? No, you are not. Therefore, seeing as how you have nothing but circumstantial evidence to support your trumped-up charges, I once again cordially invite you to stuff it.

With Warmest Wishes from Malfoy Manor,
Draco Malfoy

 

15 March, 2004

Dear Mr. Malfoy,

I have reviewed the correspondence between you and Mister Goldstein. I understand your position about the possibility of someone assuming your identity. While I think this is unlikely, especially considering the fact that the ingredients in question are currently in the possession of your house-elf Minchy, I recognize that the possibility of error creates a precarious legal situation.

That being said, the matter of you potentially violating the terms of your probation is a serious one. Unless you consent to return or destroy the materials, a representative from the Ministry will be sent to investigate the matter in person.

Regards,

Hester Butterfield
Head of the Probation Department
Ministry of Magic
Department of Magical Law Enforcement

 

15 March, 2004

Dear Hester,

The ingredients were expensive, rare, and took bloody forever to get into this country. I am neither destroying them nor returning them. As for sending someone: if it will get you people off of my back, you can send the goddamn Minister of Magic.

Fondly,

Draco Malfoy

 

16 March, 2004

Dear Mr. Malfoy,

A ministry official will arrive at your residence tomorrow morning. It would greatly aid her investigation if you could promptly reply to this owl with the following information:

1) For what purpose do you intend to use these ingredients?
2) Why did you (or someone masquerading as you) purchase these ingredients at this particular point in time?
3) Are there any other individuals who are aware of your involvement with these ingredients?

Regards,

Hester Butterfield
Head of the Probation Department
Ministry of Magic
Department of Magical Law Enforcement

 

16 March, 2004

Dear Hestie,

1) None of your

2) fucking

3) business.

Cheers,

Draco Malfoy

 

16 March, 2004

Dear Mister Malfoy,

I am writing to inform you that I will be arriving at your residence tomorrow at promptly 10 AM. Kindly ensure that the ingredients in question will be available for inspection.

Hermione Granger
Violations Investigator
Ministry of Magic
Department of Magical Law Enforcement
cc: Hester Butterfield

 

DATE: 17 MARCH, 2004
FIELD AGENT: HERMIONE GRANGER
REPORT ON CASE #4893

At precisely 10 AM on 17 March, 2004, I requested entrance to the residence of Mr. Draco Malfoy.

At 10:49 AM, I was granted admission to Mr. Malfoy’s residence by a house-elf named Timpkin, who informed me that Mr. Malfoy would be joining me shortly.

At 12:38 PM, Mr. Malfoy joined me in the drawing room. He apologized for his lateness, explaining that it had taken him a longer time than he had anticipated to butter his crumpet this morning. I asked Mr. Malfoy to provide more information about his intended use of the potion ingredients. He declined. I then asked Mr. Malfoy to furnish the ingredients so that I could examine them. Mr. Malfoy made several rude comments. I pointed out to Mr. Malfoy that the sooner I was able to complete my investigation, the sooner I would be able to leave his residence. Mr. Malfoy then sent Minchy to bring the potion ingredients in question.

At 1:22 PM, I completed my analysis of the moondew and the powdered Horntail scales. The details of this analysis can be found on pages 3-27 of this report.

As it is currently a waxing gibbous moon, the heptacorn blood is invisible, rendering it impossible for me to examine at the present time.

At 1:24 PM, I attempted to establish with Mr. Malfoy a convenient time for me to return and complete my investigation. Mr. Malfoy informed me that he would be “exceedingly busy for the next several weeks.” Mr. Malfoy, who delivered this information while wearing a bathrobe and sipping cognac, suggested that I arrange our next meeting via owl. I agreed and returned to the Ministry.

 

20 March, 2004

Dear Mr. Malfoy,

As per our discussion, I am writing to schedule a follow-up meeting so that I might complete the investigation of the heptacorn blood. I understand that you are a busy individual, and am therefore prepared to work around your highly demanding schedule. Please suggest a day and time that would be most convenient for you.

Hermione Granger
Violations Investigator
Ministry of Magic
Department of Magical Law Enforcement
cc: Hester Butterfield

 

22 March, 2004

Dear Miss Granger,

Would it be too cliché of me to suggest the Twelfth of Never? If so, I offer an alternate suggestion of the Twenty-Third of Fuck Off.

Most Sincerely,

Draco Malfoy

 

22 March, 2004

Dear Mr. Malfoy,

I have referenced a variety of calendars from civilizations both magical and Muggle. Despite my extremely thorough survey, I was unable to identify either of the dates you have suggested. Instead, I’ll be there on 30 March at precisely 10 AM.

Please do have the heptacorn blood available for inspection at that time.

Regards,

H. Granger
Violations Investigator
Ministry of Magic
Department of Magical Law Enforcement
cc: Hester Butterfield

 

DATE: 30 MARCH, 2004
FIELD AGENT: HERMIONE GRANGER
REPORT ON CASE #4893

At precisely 10 AM on 30 March, 2004, I requested entrance to the residence of Mr. Draco Malfoy.

At 10:31 AM, I was greeted by Timpkin, who notified me that Mr. Malfoy was too ill to leave his bedroom. I asked Timpkin if he might allow me to see Mr. Malfoy despite his illness. Timpkin was hesitant to grant this request, replying that Mr. Malfoy had specifically stated that he was too ill to receive visitors. I then asked Timpkin to deliver a message to Mr. Malfoy suggesting that he schedule an alternate meeting time with me immediately.

 

2 April, 2004

Dear Mr. Malfoy,

I am writing to express my extreme concern for your health. When Timpkin informed me that you were too ill to receive visitors, I asked him to deliver a message requesting that you reschedule our meeting. Three days have elapsed since that time. Because I have not yet received a reply from you, I can only assume that you are gravely ill. I consider it a matter of professional and ethical duty to have a team of highly skilled Healers sent to your residence immediately.

If, of course, you can muster the strength to reply to this owl, indicating that you do not require the six or seven Healers to thoroughly test a spectrum of bodily fluids and orifices, then please do so immediately.

Sincerely,

H. Granger
Violations Investigator
Ministry of Magic
Department of Magical Law Enforcement
cc: Hester Butterfield

 

2 April, 2004

Granger,

Oh fine. Show up whenever.

-DM

 

2 April, 2004

Mr. Malfoy,

I’ll be there at 3 PM this afternoon. If you make me wait more than five minutes, I’ll assume you’ve suffered a relapse.

Regards,

H. Granger
Violations Investigator
Ministry of Magic
Department of Magical Law Enforcement
cc: Hester Butterfield

 

DATE: 2 April 2004
FIELD AGENT: HERMIONE GRANGER
REPORT ON CASE #4893

At precisely 3:00 PM on 2 April, 2004, I requested entrance to the residence of Mr. Draco Malfoy.

At 3:04 PM, I was greeted by Timpkin, who ushered me into the drawing room, where Mr. Malfoy was waiting. I conveyed concern for Mr. Malfoy’s health and asked about the nature of his illness. Mr. Malfoy declined to provide answers to my polite inquiry into his physical well-being. I did, however, observe that Mr. Malfoy did not exhibit any obvious signs of having recently been ill.

I asked Mr. Malfoy to produce the heptacorn blood so that I might proceed with the investigation. After enduring several minutes of what I assume Mr. Malfoy considered to be scathing wit, I was led to a potions cabinet by Minchy.

While Mr. Malfoy provided comments, many of them suggestions about where I might put my quill when I finished my survey, I examined the heptacorn blood. My full report can be found on pages 5-19.

Having completed the analysis, I questioned Mr. Malfoy about his intentions for the blood, the moondew, and the Horntail scales. He refused to supply any information. I urged Mr. Malfoy to reconsider his uncooperative stance, promising him that the Ministry would look more kindly on his activities if he were more transparent about them. He replied, and I quote, that he would “look more kindly on [me] if [my] blouse were more transparent.”

I did not offer any retort to this comment because I noticed that the jar labeled “Goosegrass” most assuredly did not contain Goosegrass. Goosegrass is, of course, yellow. The blades of grass in this jar were forest green. I asked Mr. Malfoy what was in the jar. He responded: “It’s bloody Goosegrass, you stupid cow. Can’t you read?” before slamming the cabinet shut and urging me to mind my own business.

I informed Mr. Malfoy that the Minsitry would certainly be looking into this matter and returned to the office.

In light of the wide variety of forest-green plants that might indeed be in this jar (see pages 20-28 for a partial list), I strongly urge the Ministry to continue this investigation.

 

2 April, 2004

Granger,

I’m owling you at home so that I don’t leave a bloody paper trail at the Ministry. I suppose you can just forward this to Butterfield when you’re done reading it, but I’m taking the chance that you won’t.

The substance in the jar was not Goosegrass. It’s Brakeweed. Yes, I am well aware that I am not allowed to have it in my possession. I swear to you on my honor that I am not using it for Dark purposes and that I will not use it as a potion ingredient until my probationary period is over.

I would rather prefer it if the Ministry did not get involved in this.

-D. Malfoy

 

2 April, 2004

Malfoy,

You swear to me on your honor? Thanks, Malfoy. That’s the best laugh I’ve had in months.

-H.G.

 

2 April, 2004

Granger,

Look, I am well aware of how that sounded. And while I am ever so happy to have brightened your day with laughter, I was being completely serious. I’d offer you money to keep your trap shut about this, but I assume that your Griffyndorishness would prevent you from accepting it. So instead, here’s what I’m prepared to offer: Please, Granger. Let this be.

Do I need to tell you how difficult it was for me to write that?

-D.M.

 

2 April, 2004

Malfoy,

Do I need to tell you how ridiculous you sounded in that letter? Were you drunk when you wrote that? Are you seriously suggesting that I ignore the facts that you A) are possibly violating your probation by having a prohibited potion ingredient in your possession, B) were attempting to deceive a Ministry official by using a misleading label, and C) just tried to bribe me … all because you used the word “please”?

At any rate, the report is already on Butterfield’s desk. Would you like me to send a follow-up letter informing her about the Brakeweed, or shall we just wait until a Ministry official can examine it in person?

-H.G.

 

2 April, 2004

Granger,

Tell Butterfield you’ll do the follow-up. You can bring a vial of veritaserum. I’ll take it willingly. You ask me about the Brakeweed and the other stupid ingredients. If, after hearing my answers, you decide that the Ministry needs to hear about it, then fine. If not, you will let it go.

-D.M.

 

2 April, 2004

Malfoy,

I sincerely apologize for not believing you when you claimed to be ill. You are obviously suffering from an exceedingly high fever. This is the only rational explanation as to why you think that you can bloody tell me what to do.

-H.G.

 

2 April, 2004

Please, Granger.

-D.M.

 

2 April, 2004

Malfoy,

I’ll be there at 10. If you make me wait more than thirty seconds, the deal is off.

-H.G.

 

DATE: 3 April 2004
FIELD AGENT: HERMIONE GRANGER
REPORT ON CASE #4893

At 9:58 AM, Mr. Malfoy led me into his home. He brought me immediately to the potions cabinet so that I might complete a follow-up inspection on the suspected Brakeweed.

After a thorough analysis, I was able to determine that the substance is, in fact, Goosegrass. The discoloration has occurred as a result of the Goosegrass coming into contact with lilylimes. Apparantly, Mr. Malfoy was attempting to concoct a potion that would reverse the swift recession of his hairline. I am confident that the discolored Goosegrass poses no threat to anything except Mr. Malfoy’s ever-expanding forehead.

As for the other ingredients, Mr. Malfoy has been exceedingly rude about this entire ordeal, but his behavior strikes me more as an indication of his petulant nature and unfortunate upbringing than as any cause for worry. I have not seen any sign of Dark Magic, nor do I believe that Mr. Malfoy has ill intents for any of the ingredients in question.

That being said, I will certainly pursue this investigation further should the Ministry deem it necessary.

cc: Draco Malfoy

 

4 April, 2004

Granger,

“attempting to concoct a potion that would reverse the swift recession of his hairline”?

Was that truly necessary?

-D.M.

 

4 April, 2004

Malfoy,

How dare you complain about that? I just lied to my boss for you, you stupid arsehole. Your hair is thinning; deal with it.

Also, I hope you’re holding this piece of paper extremely tightly, as it is going to burst into flames in approximately four seconds.

-H.G.

 

4 April, 2004

Granger,

I will have you know that decades of Malfoy men have proceeded well into their nineties with full heads of hair.

Do you really want to enter into a discussion about our respective hairstyles? Because I assure you that I am game for this.

-D.M.

P.S. Splendid incendiary charm. I would be more impressed had I not learned how to do that as a second-year.

 

4 April, 2004

Malfoy,

I must admit that I am a bit confused. Have I not just done you an enormous favor? Do I not know something about you that you would vastly prefer no one else to know? I rather think you should be sending me expensive gifts instead of bothering me at home with your useless letters.

-H.G.

 

4 April, 2004

Granger,

Expensive gifts? And here I thought you were above bribes. No matter. I will have fifty of the finest baby house-elves clubbed immediately so that you can finally own a decent pair of gloves.

-D.M.

 

4 April, 2004

Malfoy,

That was not even close to funny.

-H.G.

 

4 April, 2004

Granger,

I rather disagree.

-D.M.

 

5 April, 2004

Malfoy,

Please stop sending me letters. I am tremendously sick of seeing your egregiously large owl perched at my window. Overcompensating for something?

-H.G.

 

5 April, 2004

Granger,

Oh, a witty barb about the size of my penis! How novel! What a robust sense of humor you possess! Do you see where the ink has smeared here? That’s from the tears of laughter I have just shed. Really, you must come back to the Manor post haste so that we can share another afternoon of delightful repartee. It is simply too peaceful here without your shrill voice reverberating off of the antiques. What say you drop by for tea tomorrow at 4?

-D.M.

 

5 April, 2004

Malfoy,

The only reason in the world that I might possibly accept that ludicrous invitation is the fact that my doing so would most assuredly ruin your afternoon.

Tomorrow at 4, then.

-H.G.

 

7 April, 2004

Mr. Malfoy,

Thank you most kindly for having me over to tea yesterday. The Regurgitation Hex you placed upon the blackberry scones was ever so clever. What a pity you were too distracted by the Ming vase that began to teeter off the end table to notice that that I had switched our plates. I certainly hope the potted plant recovers.

I will be sending you a bill for my shoes.

Cheers,

Hermione J. Granger

 

7 April, 2004

My Dear Miss Granger,

Your concern over the potted plant is most profoundly appreciated. I assure you that it, unlike your shoes, has suffered no permanent damage. Perhaps if your shoes were made out of something besides whatever Muggle fabric they are actually made of (I believe they call it “Rubbish from a Dumpster,” but I don’t pretend to know much about such things), they could better withstand minimal soiling.

You may still send a bill for the shoes if you would like. As you can plainly see, however, I have included a new pair with this letter. I assume that they will fit you. I had to guess on the correct size based on my rather hasty appraisal of your feet.

-D.M.

 

7 April, 2004

Malfoy,

Your taste in shoes is exquisite! You know, I’m sure that I saw Hagrid wearing the same exact pair just last week. (His were, I believe, a bit smaller).

Please accept this small token of gratitude in return.

-H.G.

 

8 April, 2004

Granger,

I am ever so happy that you seem to still be in touch with the Weasel who owns that exceedingly classy “joke” emporium.

You’ll be pleased to know that I had actually been planning on dying my face this particular shade of turquoise for quite some time. It accentuates my aristocratic cheekbones quite nicely, I think.

Any idea as to how long this might last? I only ask because I want to ensure that I return the favor in appropriate measure.

Fondest Regards,

D. Malfoy

 

9 April, 2004

Malfoy,

Two or three days.

-H.G.

 

9 April 2004

Granger,

What kind of a response was that? I’m quite disappointed.

-D.M.

 

12 April, 2004

Malfoy,

Not all of us have the luxury of voluntary unemployment. I have an actual job where I actually work, you know. I simply grew tired of your childish bids for attention.

Enjoy the rest of your probation. Good luck with your plan.

-H.G.

 

12 April, 2004

Granger,

“Childish bids for attention”?!? Which one of us turned the other’s face aquamarine?

-D.M.

 

13 April, 2004

Granger,

You’ll be delighted to know that my face has returned to its normal color. I suppose retaliation on my part will no longer be necessary. Thanks ever so much for making me come to appreciate the natural pallor of my cheeks.

-D.M.

 

15 April, 2004

Granger,

I think it best if I send a brief update to that last letter I sent. Although my face has returned to its normal color, the rest of me has turned an alarming shade of magenta. Also, I seem to be in a small degree of pain. My skin feels like it might be shrinking little by little. Would you kindly send for some Ministry Healers? And do let them know exactly what you did to cause this present situation.

Regards,

Draco Malfoy

 

15 April, 2004

I’ll be there in an hour.

-H.G.

 

15 April, 2004

Malfoy,

Miraculously cured my arse.

I can’t believe I spent so much of my evening in your company. Stop wasting my time, Malfoy.

-H.G.

 

16 April, 2004

Granger,

You left some sort of Muggle device here. It’s making this infernal beeping melody that will not stop. Shall I use magic to smash it or shall I use a more traditional Muggle means? Perhaps a blunt object?

-D.M.

 

16 April, 2004

Malfoy, I don’t know how you got that mobile from my purse, but you are seriously trying my patience. DO NOT smash it. I’d ask you to just send it to me, but I think I know better by now. If it hadn’t been so bloody expensive, I’d just get a new one. You are SUCH A BLOODY PRAT. I’ll get there as soon as I can.

-H.G.

 

16 April, 2004

Did you just accuse me of taking your “mobile” from your purse? Preposterous. You probably left it here on purpose so you’d have an excuse to return.

-D.M.

 

17 April, 2004

Malfoy,

I suppose I should thank you for not smashing my mobile. It was very noble of you to refrain from following your first impulse. I suppose I must also thank you for the tea yesterday. Although perhaps I should wait to see if it wreaks havoc on any of my major organs.

-H.G.

 

17 April, 2004

Granger,

How are your organs?

-D.M.

 

17 April, 2004

Malfoy,

Fine, thank you. How are yours?

-Granger

 

17 April, 2004

Granger,

What is that supposed to mean? Did you do something to my tea?

-Malfoy

 

17 April, 2004

Malfoy,

I don’t recall. I might have. But then again, I might not have. Not knowing is the worst, isn’t it?

Also, I hereby rescind the thanks I previously issued for not smashing my mobile. What you did was even worse. I wasn’t even aware that you knew what a ring tone was, let alone how to change it to you shouting “MUGGLE PHONE! MUGGLE PHONE!” every time someone calls. Wanker.

-Granger

 

18 April, 2004

Granger,

Yes, I actually impressed myself with that idea.

Incidentally, if you feel like gaining revenge by ruining my Saturday evening, you are welcome to join me for dinner tomorrow.

-Malfoy

 

18 April, 2004

Malfoy,

Actually, ruining your Saturday evening is my fondest desire. I’ll see you then.

-Granger

 

20 April, 2004

Granger,

Thank you ever so much for utterly ruining my Saturday evening, as promised. You have the table manners of an ill-bred toddler. Also, your choice of conversation topics was even more inane than I’d expected. In short, it was one of the most loathsome evenings I’ve spent in recent memory.

Sincerely,

Draco Malfoy

 

20 April, 2004

Malfoy,

The feelings are exceptionally mutual.

Ms. Hermione J. Granger

 

23 April, 2004

Granger,

Thank you kindly for dropping by unannounced for that surprise inspection. May I see the report you filed with the ministry for this visit?

-D. Malfoy

 

24 April, 2004

Malfoy,

I thought I sent you a copy of that report. It must have got lost in the mail. I’ll see if I can get another copy sent to you shortly.

Also, I think I am in the mood to ruin this Saturday evening for you. This way I’ll have a matched set. What say?

-H.G.

 

24 April, 2004

Granger,

I’ll think about it.

-D.M.

 

24 April, 2004

Granger,

I’ve thought about it. Are you awaiting my reply with bated breath? I like to imagine that you are.

You can come by if you’d like. But only because I think it does you some good to spend time in my presence. I make such sacrifices for you, Granger.

-D.M.

 

28 April, 2004

Granger,

I think we can count this past Saturday as only half-ruined. It seems that you’ll have to try harder than that to earn your matched set.

Speaking of matched sets, you left a rather frilly pair of knickers here. They’re not at all my size or taste, so you should come by to fetch them at your earliest convenience.

-D.M.

 

28 April, 2004

Malfoy,

I’ll stop by to pick them up tomorrow. I really can’t stay long though. Work is very busy.

-H.G.

 

28 April, 2004

Granger,

Of course. I understand. You are very busy. I’ll simply hand them to you at the door. Then you can be on your merry way.

-D.M.

 

30 April, 2004

Granger,

Was your way indeed merry? It was merry for me.

-D.M.

 

30 April, 2004

Malfoy,

Shut up.

-H.G.

 

30 April, 2004

Granger,

Make me.

-D.M.

 

1 May, 2004

Granger,

Well, I have to hand it to you. That was an effective way of shutting me up. Congratulations. I hope to shut you up in entirely similar ways very soon.

-D.M.

 

5 May, 2004

Draco,

I am not entirely sure how to say this, but I think maybe just being direct is the best approach. So here: This has to stop. And not because you are Draco Malfoy and I am Hermione Granger and blah blah blah all that rot, but because of what you told me not very long ago under the influence of veritaserum.

I know how much thought you’ve put into your plan. I know how important it is to you. I know why you’re doing it. We haven’t talked about it since you told me about it because until now, it hasn’t really mattered to me. Your life is your life. I mean, it still is, of course, but … I’ve just found myself sort of embroiled in it lately. And you know I didn’t mean to. I meant what I said about how I didn’t want anything serious … how whatever we were doing … we were just … “doing for the sake of doing” or whatever. But here I am, writing you this letter. And here you are, reading it.

I could tell you that you’re taking the coward’s way out, but that’s not true. I couldn’t do what you are going to do. I couldn’t leave England and the life I’ve made here. I couldn't even think about looking in the mirror and seeing someone totally different for the rest of my life. I couldn’t start over someplace completely foreign. Yes, you’re running away, but you’re also running without a safety net and without any possibility of returning to what you’ve known. I don’t know if that’s brave, per se, but it certainly isn’t cowardly.

I could tell you that you’re making a huge mistake, but I don’t know that for sure. I know what it’s like to be hated for who I am, but I don’t know what it’s like to feel like I deserve it. I’m not writing that to make you angry, or to assign blame; I’m simply saying that I don’t know what it’s like to bear that kind of guilt or shame or fear or regret or grief or whatever it is that hangs over you like a sad moon.

I could tell you not to do this, but I’m not sure that you would (or should) listen to me. I suppose it’s not my place to tell you things like that. We haven’t known each other in the way that we have been knowing each other lately for a particularly long time. So I’m not some authority on your life or your decisions or anything like that. But I do know this: against all of my better judgment and my pre-determined intentions, I’ve grown somewhat fond of you over the past few weeks, Draco. I imagine that were I to spend more time with you, I would grow somewhat fonder.

So what I’m doing by saying “this has to end” is very selfish. I am protecting my heart. If you are going to do what you have been planning on doing, then it will be far easier for me to just end things here than to let myself grow any fonder of you in the scant time before your probation ends.

I’m sorry.

-Hermione

 

7 May, 2004

Hermione,

I’ve given your letter some thought.

I don’t know if you were expecting a reply or not. Then again, what one expects to happen and actually does happen aren’t always the same thing, are they?

I don’t suppose I ever properly thanked you for keeping my secret for me.

Have a lovely life, Hermione Granger.

-Draco

 

13 May, 2004

Draco,

I swore to myself that I wouldn’t write to you again before you left, but here I am, writing to you.

I know you’re leaving the day after tomorrow, and that you’ve probably got a billion other things on your mind, so you can just throw this in the rubbish bin or set it on fire or whatever if it’s too much for you to think about.

I don’t even know what I want to say.

That’s a lie.

I want to tell you that I thought it would be much easier for me to stop seeing you and talking to you. I thought that if I just cut everything off, my strange infatuation would go away, and the fact that you were essentially about to disappear would have no impact on me whatsoever. This has not turned out to be the case. I miss you, Draco. For some strange, stupid, completely unfathomable reason, I miss you.

I’m still not trying to make you reconsider. I just wanted you to know that wherever you end up, whomever you end up being, there is someone who knows who you are, and who cares for you quite a bit.

Good luck.

-Hermione

 

14 May, 2004

For fuck’s sake, Granger. This is hard enough as it is.

-D.M.

 

14 May, 2004

I’m sorry, Draco. I shouldn’t have sent that letter. I’m sorry. I take it back.

-H.G.

 

14 May, 2004

You can’t just take something like that back.

-D.M.

 

14 May, 2004

What do you want me to say?

-H.G.

 

14 May, 2004

Lots of things.

-D.M.

 

14 May, 2004

This is no time to be coy.

-H.G.

 

14 May, 2004

I wasn’t being coy. There literally are lots of things I’d like you to say. And don’t ask me to elaborate, because I won’t.

See, now I’m being coy.

-D.M.

 

14 May, 2004

Fine. Here are some other things I can say to you.

I like watermelon. My favorite bird is the emperor penguin. When I was in third grade, I thought that if you swallowed gum, it would grow into a gum tree in your stomach. I have never owned a flattering hat. I wish you would stay, Draco. I wish you would stay in England and see what happens when you let people surprise you by how they can forgive you for things you don’t think you’ll ever forgive yourself for doing. I wish you would stay in England and give us a shot.

Those are things I can say to you. But I probably won’t say them because you’re leaving in 29 hours and it’s really not my place. Plus, I know for a fact that you think emperor penguins are silly animals.

-H.G.

 

15 May, 2004

I appreciate your letter.

I think part of me would rather not have read it, because it is easier to do what I am about to do without having to think about what you just told me.

Another part of me, however, is glad to have read it. I think this part is larger or, at the very least, more important.

I don’t really know what to say to you, Granger. I don’t know what to think about anything anymore. I just want to go. If I could leave tonight instead of tomorrow, I would. Despite what you said in your other letter, I am a coward; I’ve known that my whole life. Cowards leave instead of dealing with the repercussions of their actions. Cowards run instead of rebuilding. Cowards fool themselves into thinking that they can start fresh instead of realizing that wherever they go, whatever face they wear, they are actually the same fuck-ups they’ve always been on the inside.

 

15 May, 2004

Draco,

Have you even for a second considered that people are not the choices they’ve made but the choices they make?

-H.G.

 

15 May, 2004

Hermione,

It’s really too late to start this kind of psychobabble with me.

-Malfoy

 

15 May, 2004

Draco,

Why does it have to be too late? Why does it have to be tomorrow? Why can’t we talk about this face to face?

-H.G.

 

15 May, 2004

Hermione,

Because of what happens when your face gets too close to my face.

-D.M.

 

15 May, 2004

Draco,

That’s my point! Would HERMIONE GRANGER kiss the DRACO MALFOY that you assume you are?

-H.G.

 

15 May, 2004

Hermione,

Maybe the HERMIONE GRANGER I thought I knew is actually a complete madwoman.

I have to go, Granger. Stop making this so hard.

-D.M.

 

15 May, 2004

Draco,

Just think about it. You have a choice. You won’t have this same choice after you drink that potion.

-H.G.

 

15 May, 2004

Hermione,

Look, what we got ourselves into was obviously a mistake. It’s only made everything worse for me and for you and I just want to forget it, okay?

Let me be. If you send another letter, I won’t read it.

Thank you for trying.

-D.M.

 

26 May, 2004

Granger,

By now, you must have noticed that there are no reports in the Daily Prophet about my untimely demise. This fact, and the arrival of this letter, may therefore suggest to you that I decided not to go through with my plan.

This is not the case. I’ve simply decided to postpone it.

As much as it nauseates me to admit this, you were right. I have a choice. For the first time since I thought of this idea two years ago, I felt like I was rushing a decision that could be made days, weeks, months, years from now. The sense of urgency I had to carry it out precisely on the date of my probation’s end was more from a devotion to poetic justice than to any sort of good sense.

I don’t want to make another wrong and irrevocable decision. I want to understand what I am doing and why I am doing it. And I want to understand why I shouldn’t. I think you can help me with that part.

Can I see you sometime soon, Granger?

-Draco