Disclaimer – I do not own anything but the plot. J.K.R does.

Chapter five

Lost And Found

Draco sat up and Stared at Hermione intently. "What did you just say?" he said. "Your father" she repeated, "He's dead. He died a year and a half ago". Draco sat for a moment trying to take this new information in. "How did it happen?" He asked in a small voice. "He was murdered. Your mother was thought to be the main suspect, but she had an alibi and no motive that they could think of, so they let her go. I guess she did have a motive after all. She was protecting her son".

As he sat, Hermione saw a tear slide down his cheek. "I've been hiding for nothing haven't I?" he said. "I ran for nothing". "It wasn't for nothing" she said, close to tears herself. "You ran to save yourself". Draco stood up quickly. "Save myself? Save myself? I didn't save myself. In running I destroyed myself. I left everything I knew and loved behind. My life, self-respect, dignity... my mother. I'm nothing but a coward". Hermione stood to face him. "That's not true," she said. "You may have run, but anyone would have, been placed in your situation". "But I'm a Malfoy, Malfoy's don't run". Hermione took his hands in hers. "You may be a Malfoy, but you're also a Draco. You're only human, and humans have an instinct to survive above all others. It's that instinct that made you run, not cowardice". "Do you really think so?" he asked. "Without question" she replied simply.

He let go of her hands and pulled her to him, feeling the warmth of her body as she pressed against him. "Thank you," he said. "For what?" Hermione asked him. "I gave you food and let you take a shower". "You know what you did for me," he said kissing the top of her head. "When I thought all was lost, you found my life and gave it back to me. I shall always be grateful for that. You did more for me than anyone ever has, except maybe my mother". She looked up into his face. "Speaking of your mother, don't you think you should go and see her?" Draco's eyes widened at the thought. "Yes," he said. "But first, I would like to ask you for just one more thing, if I may?" "Of course," Hermione answered him. "Come with me," he said. "I would like the woman who helped saved my life to meet the woman who found it". "I would be honoured," she said.

Outside the Malfoy Manor, Draco gripped Hermiones hand in his as he prepared to walk through the large gates. "Are you okay?" she asked him. "I'm not sure," he admitted. "You'll be fine," she said smiling up at him and giving his hand a little squeeze. "Are you ready?" "As I'll ever be," he replied. And he led her through the gates and up to the front door. As he rang the bell, he nervously moved from one foot to the other. He heard someone turn the handle a second before the heavy door swung inwards. A house elf was standing on the other side. "Master?" the little elf said, beckoning them in. "Why did you ring the bell?" Draco just shrugged and held Hermiones hand tighter. "Will you tell my mother I would like to speak with her?" he asked with an authority he barely remembered. "Of course Master," said the elf, and he ran off. It felt like a lifetime for Draco as he waited for his mother to come downstairs.

Suddenly he heard the swish of her skirts as she descended the stairs. He saw her hand appear as it followed the banister. Then came her arm, and finally his eyes rested on her face. He had forgotten how beautiful she was. Hermione let go of his hand and motioned him forwards as the woman reached the last step. "Mother?" He said, his heart thudding in his chest. "Draco? My son." Came the response. And she gathered him up in her arms and held him tightly. "Please forgive me," he mumbled into her shoulder. "I just wanted to make things right". "There is nothing to forgive," she said.

Holding her son at arms length she caught sight of Hermione out of the corner of her eye. "And who is this?" she asked. Draco turned around. "Mother, this is Hermione Granger. Hermione, meet my mother". "I'm very pleased to meet you Mrs. Malfoy". Hermione said her hand outstretched. "Please, call me Narcissa", the woman replied smiling, and took Hermiones hand warmly in her own. "Well," Hermione said turning to Draco, "I really should leave now. The two of you have so much to catch up on". "Nonsense," said Narcissa. "You must stay and join us for tea. Any friend of Dracos is a friend of mine". "I don't want to intrude". Hermione said looking between Draco and his mother. "I brought you here" Draco said," and I would like you to stay". "Okay" she said, "I would like that very much".

They took tea in the family room and Narcissa wanted to know everything. She asked where Draco had been, and was quite surprised to find he had been hiding out in the muggle world. "It was the only place I knew my father would never dream of looking", Draco said, and she nodded her head. Draco told his mother where he met Hermione and about when she took him in off the street. They also talked about things that Hermione felt she had no business listening to.

After a few hours Hermione realised how late it was. "I'm very sorry, but I think I'd better be on my way," she said. "Mrs. Malfoy? Narcissa? Thank you for your hospitality". "The pleasure was all mine my dear," she said smiling. "I'll walk you home," said Draco. "There's really no need," Hermione said. "Oh but there is," he replied, "I left my blanket there". Hermione thought for a moment. "You know what they say? If you leave something that important behind, it means you don't really want to leave". "You don't know how right they are," he whispered. And he bent and kissed her. Narcissa Malfoy looked at Draco and Hermione and thought how wonderful it felt to have found her family once again.

The End