Disclaimer: I own nothing, absolutely nothing except for the plot and maybe later an OC. Everything else belongs to the most adorable J. K. Rowling.
A/N: I named the fic like the movie, Sleeping With the Enemy, with Julia Roberts (my favorite actress) but it doesn't mean it's also the same plot. So don't expect an abusive husband and a woman running away.
Background: Voldemort has been killed. It's the summer after graduation, and Hermione is staying at the Burrow as usual. She, Harry and Ron are going to start their Auror Training on November. Harry is with Ginny; Ron is with Luna; Hermione is with no one. At the moment.
Sleeping With the Enemy
"Hermione, dear, can you come in here for a moment?"
Seventeen-year-old Hermione Granger stopped on her way down the stairs to the back yard to look at Mrs. Weasley, who was looking extremely serious.
"What is it, Mrs. Weasley?" she asked, rather hesitantly.
"Somebody wants to see you in the kitchen," Mrs. Weasley replied in a low voice.
"Oh, all right," Hermione said with a shrug, making her way to the kitchen. Whatever it was that people wanted to tell her, she wanted to make it last as long as she could, so she wouldn't have to go outside soon. Everyone else was outside, starting a Quidditch match; Ron had managed to convince her to play as a Chaser, but she was afraid to. Hermione had a bad feeling about this; she knew she was going to mess up and humiliate herself in front of everyone.And yet, she hoped they wouldn't laugh at her. After all, you have to suck at something. Quidditch was the only game Hermione wasn't very good at – she had even managed to get better on chess.
She opened the kitchen door and walked in – and then she froze.
"Hello, Hermione," said the old man who was sitting next at the kitchen table.
"P-Professor Dumbledore," Hermione said, slightly out of breath, "hello."
"Sit down," Dumbledore offered.
"T-thanks," Hermione stammered and sat down, not taking her eyes off him. What the hell is he doing here – and why does he want to see me? Maybe there's something wrong about my NEWTs? Maybe they're suspecting I cheated on one of the exams? But they know me, I would never do that, Dumbledore knows I wouldn't –
"You're probably wondering what I'm here for," Dumbledore said.
"Kind of," Hermione admitted. "I understand you're here to see me, Sir?"
"Yes, I am. You will be eighteen in about two weeks, am I mistaken?"
"No, Sir. I will be."
"Now, Hermione... After the former Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge, had been replaced, I have warned the new Minister, Charles Payton, that the Wizarding World is in great danger, and one of the reasons is the purity of blood issue. Purebloods think they're worth more than half-bloods or Muggleborns, and Voldemort has always known how to take advantage of that and increase the mutual anger. Now, if some day, a new dark wizard appears, he will probably follow Voldemort's ideas about the purity of blood. Therefore, I warned Payton, we must fight this phenomenon in every way possible.
"Payton took my advice, and I am quite happy on that. He's now working very hard on that issue," Dumbledore went on.
Hermione listened carefully and wondered why he was telling her all that.
Dumbledore sighed. "Normally, I watch my tounge more carefully. But apparently, the afternoon I offered Payton this, I was not careful enough and I said 'in every way possible'. I should have seen this coming, of course – but I didn't. I am afraid Payton took these words very seriously."
Hermione frowned. "How seriously, Sir?"
"That is the point," Dumbledore replied heavily. "Payton has decided on a new law, which states very clearly that in every Pureblood family, at least one child must marry a Muggle-born when they're eighteen, and vice versa."
Hermione's eyes widened and her attention was now completely fixed on Dumbledore. "Excuse me?"
"Yes," Dumbledore nodded grimly. "And since you are a Muggleborn, an only child, and eighteen in a week... I'm afraid you will have to marry a Pureblood."
"You mean – " Hermione stammered, "you mean I have to find a Pureblood man to marry?"
"Well – not quite. You see, Arthur Weasley and I have already searched amongst the Pureblood families – which are not numerous, by the way - and realized that there is only one Pureblood wizard who is about your age, who doesn't have a girlfriend or a wife yet, and whom we can trust."
"Who?" Hermione asked, holding her breath. Please let it be someone I can live with, please, let it be someone I can live with!
Hermione gazed at Dumbledore. Her mouth opened slightly, but no voice came out.
"I know you and him don't really like each other," Dumbledore said quietly, "but he's not as bad as you think. His mother, Narcissa, and I are in a good relationship now that Lucius is dead. She has affected him enormously, Hermione. He's changed. Don't worry, you'll be all right."
Hermione swallowed hard. She could not believe her ears. You'll be all right? Was that all he had to say? This was not about spending one day with someone she hated. This was about her whole life being ruined!
"He – he's really the only one?" she asked in a small voice.
"Well, actually, there are Crabbe and Goyle. They are Purebloods and not seeing people – for some reason," Dumbledore added in a slight smile. "And there is Theodore Nott, who is a Pureblood as well and not seeing anyone, too. However, Arthur and I have agreed that the best option for you was Draco. You are welcome to disagree with us, though."
Hermione felt her whole world falling apart around her. Getting married at the age of eighteen was the last thing she had planned to do. She was much, much too young to get married. She didn't feel ready. And worst of all, she would be marrying Draco Malfoy. The person who hated her more than anyone else on the planet, just for being a Muggleborn. She would have to spend the rest of her life with him. Probably have children with him... Her eyes started to well, but she forced herself to calm down. She would not cry in front of Dumbledore.
"Has anyone told Malfoy yet?" she asked, hardly breathing while trying desperately not to cry.
"Yes," Dumbledore replied. "Narcissa told him. She says he was astonished and not quite happy, but – "
Hermione snorted bitterly. "'Not quite happy'? I think the right expression would be 'furious and disgusted by the idea'."
"...but he understood the situation and realized there is no other choice," Dumbledore went on, as if he hadn't been interrupted. "And so, he accepted. You two will get married in two weeks, on your birthday. By the way, I have given permission to Miss Ginny Weasley to stay at home until the wedding, instead of going back to Hogwarts for her seventh year tomorrow. She will go back after the wedding."
"Two weeks?" Hermione held her breath again. She had two weeks to say goodbye to everything; say goodbye to her normal life, and get used to the idea of marrying someone who hated her and would probably make her life a living nightmare. And on her birthday, for crying out loud. On her birthday!
"Does it have to be so soon?" she asked, now unable to stop the tears.
"I'm afraid so, according to Payton," Dumbledore said quietly. He reached out and patted her on the shoulder. "I'm sorry you feel that way, Hermione, and I'm sorry this is such a shock to you. If there were anything I could do... I have already tried everything. I'm sorry."
Hermione closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Calm down, she told herself. Sobbing like a four-year-old isn't going to help you now.
"Maybe I can divorce him after a month or so," she suggested hopefully.
"I've talked to Payton about it. The only way you can divorce him will be to find another Pureblood who is not married, which, I'm afraid, is rather impossible at the moment. Well, in fact, you can marry Crabbe or Goyle..."
Hermione grinned a little. "Thank you for making all those efforts for me," she said politely and tried to smile.
"You're welcome, Hermione. If thee is ever anything you need from me, don't hesitate to ask for it, all right?"
"All right," Hermione answered and nodded.
"Well, goodbye for now," Dumbledore said and got to his feet. "I'll see you at the wedding, Hermione. Goodbye." With a loud pop, he was gone.
"Goodbye," Hermione said to the thin air in front of her.
"Hermione – I am so, so, so sorry."
Ginny looked at Hermione closely. "I wish there were something I could do," she said. "But hey," she added, trying to comfort her, "Dumbledore said he'd changed. Maybe he had changed? I mean, Voldemort's dead, Lucius Malfoy is dead, now Draco doesn't – "
"Don't call him Draco!" Hermione snapped.
"Why?" Ginny asked in wonderment.
"Because he has never called me Hermione, that's why. And he has never called you or any of your brothers by your first names. He always called you 'Weasley'. And he has never called Harry by his first name, too. I'll bet he keeps calling me Granger even after we're married!"
Ginny bit her lip and didn't reply. Hermione sat up and sighed deeply. "What did Harry and Ron say?" she asked in a low voice.
"They was shocked, of course," Ginny answered, "and not in a good way. Everybody went crazy, especially Ron, and Harry seemed to be more... I don't know, I think he feels sorry for you more than anything."
"Great," Hermione muttered. "Just great."
Ginny sighed again and put her arm around Hermione's shoulders. "Just remember," she said, "that we're all here for you. Always. No matter what happens, we're here. And – "
At that moment, Ron burst in, his whole face lit up in anger, and Harry ran in after him, obviously trying to calm him down without any success."
"Hermione," Ron said immediately, "I just want you to know, that I know there's something I can do – "
"Ron," Ginny started to say.
"I know there's something I can do so that you won't have to marry a Malfoy," Ron said furiously, "and I'm gonna do it. Hermione," he said, went straight forward and took her hand in his, "will you – "
"Ron, no!" Hermione yelled and jumped off the bed. "No, you will not propose to me now and break up with Luna, do you hear me?"
"But Hermione – then you won't have to marry Malfoy!"
Hermione took a deep breath. "Look," she said, "you and I were together last year, and it was great, but it's over. We are not starting this up again. You're with Luna now, and I know you love her, and you are not breaking up with her because of me. You know you don't want to marry me, because we don't love each other that way anymore."
"But, Hermione," Ron insisted, "if we get married, maybe our feelings will awaken again. And anyway, you'll probably be better with me than with Malfoy! You can't marry him – you just can't!"
Hermione sighed again. "Ron, do you think I want to marry him? I hate him. But I must do that nevertheless. I cannot accept such a sacrifice from you, Ron. You are going to marry Luna, like you were meant to do, and I will marry Draco Malfoy, because there is no other choice."
She sat down on the bed, leaned her head on the wall and closed her eyes, feeling even more horrible than before. Ginny, Ron and Harry sat down beside her and hugged her. She smiled at them through her tears and knew she had to remember, even if it wasn't much of a consolation at the moment: she would always have her wonderful friends who would support her. Always.
A/N: Well?? I'm not so sure about this story yet, but I think I can make it interesting even though the idea is not very original. Actually, I meant this story to be Ginny/Draco, but then I changed my mind. So let me know what you think! By the way, I'm going on the camp I've told you about this Sunday. I'll be back on July the 24th. I hope I can update at least once more by Sunday, but if I don't – goodbye everyone, and have a great summer.