Draco and Hermione
by aphrodite-phaedra

McNib's home was huge. Almost as big as Hogwarts' East Wing. From the front, Hermione counted fourteen windows, eight on the second floor and six on the first. The driveway itself was enormous with fountains every fifteen metres or so. Everything was so orderly and tranquil, as if the war had not happened and it was still peacetime.

In one of corner off the driveway, two young children and a black Labrador were playing with a ball. The older child, who looked at least eight, was a boy with curly blonde hair and intelligent green eyes. The younger child looked about five and was a girl who looked exactly like McNib, with his straight brown hair and matching brown eyes.

McNib called out to them. "Eric! Nicole! Get over here now!" He sounded surprisingly strict with them. The children very obediently put down the ball and walked over. They stared curiously at Hermione. "Now, children, what did I say about playing in the gardens?"

"You said we were not to play until after tea, sir." Eric answered timidly.

"So what is your excuse for directly disobeying my orders?"

Nicole started to look scared and hid herself behind Eric. "Please sir, mother gave us permission to play. She said Duke might need exercise."

"He can be walked by a servant can't he? Go back to your books. Now!" Hermione thought that he had forgotten about her until he turned to her with a slimy smile on his face. "Come, I wish to introduce you to my wife."

He led her through the front door, which was a gigantic and made of oak, up the curved marble staircase, along a hallway and into a bedroom. It was all done up in shades of white that gave it an almost clinical feel. In the centre of the room was an enormous four poster bed, covered with silver bed sheets and bed hangings, on which McNib's wife lay. McNib walked up to her bedside and propped her up.

Eric evidently got his delicate features from his mother. Her blonde curls fell to just beneath her generous bosom and her green eyes locked onto Hermione, studying her. "You are the Dark Lord's reward, I presume. Hmm." She gave a small sigh. "Very pretty." She got out of the bed, slipping her feet into intricately embroidered satin slippers. She was pregnant. "You will sleep in the kitchen with the other maids and will only come when you are summoned. Clare will give you your chores." Then she smirked at Hermione in a manner that made her itch to slap her. "You may leave us now."

Hermione blinked and turned around. Where was she supposed to go? No one had shown her the kitchens yet. She decided to just look for them herself. She walked back through the hallway and down the stairs, starting when a hand reached out for her arm.

"Hello. You must be the new girl then." Said a short, plump lady, "I'm Clare and you are?"

"Hermione Granger." Hermione answered cautiously.

"Yes, very well then, please follow me." Clare led her through a set of carved doors and then down some stairs. At the foot of the stairs were two doors. "Now then, love, this door on the right is the kitchen door. Simply push it open to enter. This other one, however, is a bit more complicated." She pointed to the door knob. "When you want to enter your room, you have to turn this ninety degrees to the left and then repeat your password. Yours is 'monarchy', I believe. Go on then, try it."

Hermione placed her hand on the door knob and winced. It was very cold. She turned it to the left and then repeated her password. The door knob then slowly swivelled back to its original position and the door opened. Inside was a tiny room, no bigger than the broom cupboards at Hogwarts. In one corner lay a mattress with a thin blanket at its foot.

"This is your room," Clare could hardly fit in there with her. "You will stay here at all times unless it is your turn to do duty or you are called. The mistress does not like the idea of maids wandering about the place." She made to close the door and then stopped and said, "Your duty will be serving the mistress and you will do this duty during the day. If the mistress should need assistance at night you will also be the one to help her. Have you any questions?"

"Yes, just one: when do I begin with this… duty?"

"Tomorrow morning. I will send someone to wake you early, so sleep well now."

"Thank you, Clare. Good night."

"Good night."

Author's Note:

I'm sorry if you guys think these are too short but if you want them longer, they'll take more time to write. I know I have not really been updating that frequently but I am very bust at the moment and am still working the story through. Thank you those of you who commented. a-p.