Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or any of its characters. That rightfully belongs to J.K. Rowling and her wide imagination that I one day wish to have.

Summary: You can't shatter what's already broken. But this heart seeks for the one thing that will make it whole. Can Hermione pick up the pieces and start new? Or will she look for help in all the wrong places?

Authors Note: Sorry for the long wait. Regents, finals, tests; whatever you call them have been taking my time up greatly. Also there is the disturbance of writer's block. Now that it's summer I hope I can update more for everyone. I have had so many ideas for this story that I have a notebook full of them. Now that I'm free of school I can finally add them to the story. Please leave a review or flame, whatever you choose.

Please excuse any misspellings or grammar mistakes. I accept any type of reviews, especially the ones that support me and help me out with my story. Flames are accepted, apparently.

Enjoy!

This story is beta'd by Optical Illusion. Thank you so much!

Because of You

Chapter Two: Be a Father

Bad news seemed to be the only thing that he discovered in his life. A simple envelope from his black owl was attached to its foot. It was enclosed with a tiny note saying 'Come home.' This was never good news.

Upon arriving home he realized there was an absence in his house. No noise was heard, only the silence from the halls and the cold feeling from the thick walls. He was told his mother was murdered by local Aurors that was searching the town. She had been sick in bed at the time, having just received a message from the Dark Lord. Her mark that resided upon her left arm began to burn and stung. She jumped out of bed, clutching herself before the bedroom door was thrown open.

Lucius Malfoy ran inside the room, yelling for his wife to hide. More pain and spread across Nacrissa's body at that point. He realized it and ran to her side. But, it was too late by then. Aurors now flooded the room, looking around for any mysterious things. Upon looking, they found a woman clutching the Dark Mark.

She was immediately grabbed and taken out of the house. She put up a fight; she must return to her master, he was calling her. Nacrissa whipped out her wand and cast 'Crucio' on the man and woman holding her down. Everyone started fighting her and through the dust that had risen up on the spot Nacrissa was found unmoving and breathless. Someone had cast 'Avada Kedarva' on her while she wasn't paying attention.

Of course Lucius ran out. Before he could do anything to anyone, he was grabbed and permitted to stay quiet.

Draco could not believe witches and wizards who were supposed to be helping the world killed one of their own. He realized they discovered she was a Death Eater, but she had a fair chance at defending herself.

He now walked into the study where his father remained for quite some time. They left together in silence and returned in the same matter.

The funeral went well. Many people arrived and left their blessing. Most said 'Poor woman, she was so young,' or 'Never had a chance at the world.' Everyone tried to comfort Draco and his father but nothing could quite do the trick. Soon the burial sight cleared out leaving him, his father and a couple of close family members.

Draco and Lucius walked together in silence, neither bringing up the courage to say something to one another. Finally words were spoken, it was bound to happen.

"Of course, you know this means you will be taking your mother's spot for the Dark Lord's wishes." Lucius said in a low voice. A man came up to him and wished them both luck and told them how wonderful a person Nacrissa was. They both shook his hand and thanked him for coming before they both were alone once again.

"He will contact you in a few days." He continued, "You should start getting ready. You'll only be gone a day or two so I'll contact Dumbledore and tell him it's just some family business. You are to tell no one about this, not even your fellow Slytherins."

Draco said nothing, but merely walked in silence next to his father. "Draco? Are you listening to anything I am saying?" He spat, an angry emotion flashing across his face. Draco stopped walking, his head looking down onto the floor. His eyes were covered by the blonde hair that hung over his face. His body shook as a sob escaped his throat. How could he be so heartless?

"Son, stop crying!" Whispered Lucius rudely, looking around and making sure no one was watching.

His mother was gone. Gone... forever! The only person that actually cared for him would never return to the Malfoy Manor again. She was the one person that would comfort him when his father yelled, or when he had trouble in school. She was the one person he would confide in without being yelled at or hit. She never hurt him in anyway, and he respected that greatly. But now that was all gone and his father didn't even care the least bit. He saw sorrow in Lucius' eyes; his wife was really his one true love. They had such care for each other when they were first married. But that all changed when Voldemort came into the picture.

How could she be gone? His mother, mom, mommy, mistress, whatever you may call her was gone. This fact was something that hit Draco badly. So bad, that he gave up and cried. He cried in front of his father, in front of the one man that wanted him to be stern and serious.

"Draco, stop!" Spat his father again. "If you don't I--" His words were interrupted by two arms that had grasped his side. He looked down at his son who now had his head buried in his chest and his arms wrapped around him. His son was… hugging him…

"Please," sobbed Draco, "What I need you to be right now is my father… not Voldemort's right hand." More tears emitted from Draco's eyes and now wet his father's expensive robes.

There was silence between the two for a moment before something shocking happened. Lucius Malfoy wrapped his own arms around Draco. Lucius Malfoy had hugged his son.

Hogwarts

"You just don't understand, do you?" Hermione huffed, as she waked up to the Gryffindor tower along with Ron and Harry. Her pace quickened as they arrived on the appropriate floor and the two boys followed.

"We would if we were mental, maybe." Ron retorted, rolling his eyes some. He nudged Harry's arm as he whirled his finger in the air next to his head. Harry let out a laugh and grinned.

"What are you two laughing about back there? Ah, just hurry up!" Hermione yelled with somewhat of a motherly voice. "Anyway, I don't get how it's so hard to understand. He doesn't want to send letters out to the Head Girl and Boy because they wouldn't know what to do when they arrived here. Prefects don't have much of a job since they just take orders from everyone. The Head's make the orders and tell the students and younger staff what to do. Professor Dumbledore will probably announce them tomorrow since it's a Friday today." She explained, finally arriving to the portrait of the Fat Lady.

"Why, hello little ones! You must be new here, welcome to Hogwarts." The Fat Lady grinned widely. Her flushed cheeks squeezed together and her giant dimples creased her face. She clapped her hands together and giggled some. "Actually," responded Harry, who had been quiet for quite some time, "We're in our seventh year here."

Ron snickered slightly and she became redder with embarrassment. "Preposterous! You think I'm some kind of idiot? Of course I knew that, I was only making a joke. I learned that from old Charles and Nicholas down in the poker picture." She chuckled nervously, "Um, password, my dears?"

Harry and Ron both turned to Hermione, who had a brow raised and was taping her foot quickly. She cleared her throat and straightened her back. "Jobberknoll." She stated firmly, smiling some as the portrait swung open with a creak. All three stepped in side, saying hello to some friends.

"What's a jobberknoll?" Whispered Ron in Harry's ear. Harry shrugged in return. He was about to speak want Hermione interrupted, grinning brightly.

"A Jobberknoll is a tiny blue speckled bird which makes no sound until the moment of its death. When it dies it lets out a long scream consisting of all the sounds it has ever heard. Their feathers are important ingredients in making potions that affect memory." Hermione said a matter of factly.

This time it was Ron who laughed as Harry shook his head, but still smiled. They all sat down on the nearby red sofas. Hermione chatted and giggled along with Lavender. Ron and Harry became deeply interested in a conversation with Dean Thomas and Neville Longbottom about the newest Quidditch news. Collin Creevy had passed once or twice snapping pictures of the common room and the people occupying it.

Everything was fine before a high pitched scream was blown out of Lavender Brown's mouth. "Oh Merlin! It's a rat, it's a rat!" She screeched as she jumped up on her chair. Students nearby screamed and ran out of reach of the floor. Neville jumped up heroically and started stomping around on the floor trying to squash the rodent.

"Oh, KILL IT!" Yelled out a third year girl, who now resided on a chess table.

Hermione jumped up from her seat and pushed Neville aside. "Don't!" She hollered, grabbing it off the floor and holding it protectively. "It's not a rat, it's a Niffler!"

"What's the difference? It's still disgusting!" Said Lavender as she hesitantly dropped back into her seat. She acted as if the rodent had wanted her and only her feet. She curled up Indian style in her chair.

"Niffler's are rare! They're very different from a rat or a mouse." Hermione held up the small black fluffy long-snouted creature. "They attracted to anything they see that's shiny. They probably saw the silver buckles on your shoes."

"You're so weird sometimes, Hermione." Lavender shook her head. "I don't comprehend you most of the time."

Hermione huffed and rolled her eyes before walking off to the girl's dormitories. She transfigured an empty tissue box into a small cage and put the Niffler inside it. Opening the draw she pulled out her purse and placed a small sickle in her new pet's home. It instantly ran over to the shiny object and spread its body across it as if it were hiding it from prying eyes.

"I'll give you to Hagrid tomorrow. I'm sure he'll love you." She smiled softly as she pulled out a pair of cotton pajama shorts and tank top. Hermione tied her hair back in a small pony tail and she walked off to the bathroom to wash up. When she finished she returned to her bed and closed the curtain. She whispered goodnight to Crookshanks who had taken a liking to the foot of Hermione's bed.

The large feline curled up in a ball between Hermione's feet and he purred when she scratched his ear. Hermione smiled and lye back in her comfortable bed. She stuck her hand out of the curtain and switched off her light and finally closed her eyes.

Hermione drifted off into a sleep. A sleep she hoped was full of good memories and kindness. In the back of her head there was a small prayer her nightmares wouldn't return. She'll just have to see tomorrow morning.

Author's Note: Many thanks to my reviewers for the first chapter. I hope everyone is happy with this one. I made sure I wrote more than the first installment. Please leave feedback so that I may improve this story as I go. Thank you for reading!

Ari