Different Silences

The streets looked just like they had the night a month ago that she had first retrieve Draco from the park. The sickly yellow light was casting the same glow as it had that night; there was no cars on the street or other people on the sidewalk. It was utterly still.

Draco and Hermione were silent as they walked. Hermione vaguely realized he shouldn't even be out of 12 Grimmauld Place without the Order's permission, but she didn't care. He wasn't doing any harm, and he was still unarmed. He deserved a night out. Even just a short walk out. He was in relative captivity, she knew, but he didn't complain. For someone who is used to having everything that his fingertips, including freedom, he was doing a good job of taking his new life in stride. He wasn't silent, but he didn't complain nearly as much as Hermione would have expected him to.

Even tonight he didn't complain or whine about this being the first time out in a month. He just continued to surprise her.

The night air was cool and breezy. Hermione felt refreshed the second she stepped out of the door, but the more she walked, the better she felt. The silence was a nice change from the constant talk and chatter that was 12 Grimmauld, but there was something a bit unsettling about the silence. The only way Hermione could even think to describe the silence that was surrounding her was with the word complete. It was a complete silence. The echoing footsteps didn't even interrupt the complete silence let alone the night sounds like the crickets. No, the footsteps and the sounds of the night made the silence all the more complete.

Going in and out of the sickly yellow light of the street lamps felt unsettling and uncomfortable. It was like jumping into different places each time. Light to dark, light to dark. It was almost eerie. Hermione didn't feel like talking. This seemed so surreal to be walking around the block in the middle of the night with Draco Malfoy. Nothing seemed normal.

Draco felt weird being out of 12 Girmmauld Place. It's as if he was finally being set free, but he was more than aware that he was going back to his captivity as soon as this little walk of his and Granger's was over.

Granger.

She had invited him to go for this walk, but she wasn't talking. She was acting as though he wasn't even walking beside her. He caught only glimpses from out of the corner of his eye of her. He didn't dare actually look at her. The yellow light from the street lamps over head came and went as they passed beneath them. It was hard to get a good look at her from his view.

Draco liked silence. Silence was welcomed during their walk, even though part of him wanted her to talk. He didn't really want this silence. Silence was what he receive most at 12 Grimmauld Place, and it would have been a nice change to actually talk to someone for a chance. But he didn't say anything either.

"Nice night," Granger commented from nowhere.

It took Draco a moment to even realized she had spoken, let alone what she had said. "I suppose so," he allowed. It was true, though; the night was quite nice. With its cool breeze, a silent street, it seemed almost to be a picturesque painting of a normal London street.

Granger was silent for a moment before saying, "Thanks for coming with me."

Draco shrugged, but then realized that Granger couldn't see him well, if she was even trying. "At least it gets me out of the house."

"Yeah, I'm sure it must be stifling be there day in and day out." She sounded almost sympathic.

"It wouldn't be my choice of a place, but it's not so bad. At least, for the most part, everyone leaves me alone." He wasn't really sure why he was acting as though it was no big deal to be there, but for some reason, he felt the need to reassure her.

"I don't living with those who I've considered enemies most, if not all, of my life would be my choice either."

Draco grinned into the darkness. There was her bluntless, boarding on tactless. Silence just didn't suit her anyway.

"Well, I don't think anyone would given a choice."

"Look, I'm really sorry about your mother." Her words were rushed, but sincere.

"We went over this. Even though I love to have one of the Golden Trio apologizing to me, forget it. It's done and over with. You didn't kill my mother; the blame lays strictly on my father."

The time the silence that followed was an uncomfortable one. It was almost long and drawn out. Draco wanted to say something, but he didn't really know what had caused the silence so suddenly.

"Your father is evil."

The whispered words were quite startling, but said so forcefully. He didn't know what to say at first.

"I know," he said honestly, and then added, "I know that more than you'll ever know."

The silence that followed this statement wasn't uncomfortable; they were just pensive.

"Your mother wasn't evil," she tried.

Draco felt as if Hermione was trying to make ammends for her tactless way of telling him the news, but he didn't like it. "My mother was no saint."

"No one is," she qualified.

"True," he whispered. The darkness was filled once again with the silence and tainted with the sounds of the night, and the light footsteps of the pair.

Draco stole a sideways glance at Hermione as they passed through the light of a street lamp. She looked torn. She was frowning intently, and she had expression of the utmost concentration on her face.

"Tonks was a great person," Draco found himself saying. He felt as if their converstion, if that what it was called, needed something light hearted added to it. The silences that seemed to occupy most of it was anything but light hearted.

"Well, yes. But she was no saint either."

"I thought we decided no one was a saint." He grinned smuggly into the darkness, having felt he had one up on her now.