"She's waking up," somebody said through the blur that was Hermione's thoughts.
Her first coherent thought was that her head ached so much. It felt as though somebody had knocked her unconscious with a brick. As her memory began to come back, she realised that was exactly what had happened.
"What," she began, her voice croaky, "what happened?"
"One of the storm troopers managed to get out half of the Killing Curse but Malfoy knocked you to the ground before it hit you," Harry explained.
Hermione's mind couldn't seem to process this piece of new information. Lucius had saved her? Her? A Mudblood? A thought struck her. "Is he okay?" she asked, struggling to sit up. She slowly opened her eyes and the world swam into view in front of her. Harry was sitting beside her bed, looking down at her.
He nodded. "Yes, he's fine. Just has a concussion, same as you. Will's been treating both of you." He hesitated.
"I owe you an apology."
Hermione turned her head, wincing at the pain, and saw Snape sitting on the other side of her bed. A small frown creased her forehead as she wondered what the two were talking about before she woke up. Not insulting each other, she hoped.
"We all owe you an apology," Harry said, with a look at Snape. "We all froze when Jean pointed her wand at you. If you hadn't…" he trailed off.
"It's fine," she said, rather curtly. She closed her head and leaned back against the pillows. "What now?" she asked quietly. "We just killed the Minister. That is grounds to be Kissed."
Harry gave a wry smile. "I doubt Kissing would be used as a method of punishment from now on. Anybody could stop it."
"Anybody who knew Chinese," she corrected automatically. "That's supposing that this information gets out into the general public. After all, nobody knew before this."
"We fix the wizarding world, of course," Snape said dryly.
Hermione gave a small laugh, coughing slightly at the painful feeling. She took a sip of water from the glass beside her bed. "Haven't we already tried that?" she pointed out. "After the second Voldemort war. And look at how that turned out."
"We get Ron and the others out of prison, firstly," Harry said decisively.
"That's only the small things," Hermione said quietly and thoughtfully. Her head still ached, but she could see the massive problems mounting up in front of them already. "What do we do with the storm troopers? Who is going to be the next Minister? More importantly, what are we going to tell the public?"
"Don't you mean how much are we going to tell the public?" Snape said.
Harry stared at him but Hermione nodded slowly. "Indeed, that may be the only solution."
There was a small knock on the door and Will poked his head inside. "Hermione, Lucius is here to see you."
The door opened fully and Lucius stepped in. He was dressed in blue Azkaban inmate clothing for the first time in quite a while and Hermione almost giggled at how silly it made him look.
Snape and Harry exchanged looks over Hermione's bed and then both, almost in unison, stood up and walked towards the door. As he walked out of the door, Harry turned around. "I'll see you later then, Hermione."
Lucius came over to Hermione's bed and sat down on the chair recently vacated by Harry. "How are you?"
"I have a headache," she admitted. And then, she stared up into his eyes. "Thank you."
The Daily Prophet, May 12, 2006
"The sixth Minister for Magic in six years, was the word on every witch and wizard's lips today. Would this one last?
"Lucius Malfoy's inauguration is scheduled for next week but he has already resumed his former wife's duties after Narcissa mysteriously resigned. She is rumored to be in Switzerland after it was found that she appropriated Ministry funds for her own purposes.
"It surprised the entire wizarding world when former Death Eater Lucius Malfoy declared himself a candidate for the Minister-ship after all charges were dropped against him before Narcissa disappeared. Even more surprising was the staunch support given to him by war-hero Hermione Granger and war-hero Harry Potter He ran on a platform of tolerance and amending past mistakes and received a strong majority.
"Even the Muggle Prime Minister is said to be pleased with this new turn of events. See page six for a reprint of the letter received by the Ministry this morning by Muggle post.
"The Daily Prophet wishes Minister Malfoy all possible luck for his upcoming term in office."
Author Notes: Yes, short chapter. Sorry about that. This fic is now finished. I do have plans for a sequel but I'm not entirely sure when I'll finish it. Reviews are always welcome. :)