Title: One Last Thing
Full Summary: When Hermione, Ron and Harry arrive at the Burrow after having visited with the Dursleys, they find Draco Malfoy sitting at the kitchen table, playing a quiet game of chess with Bill Weasley. One week of Dark Arts lessons, an intense study of Occlumency, and quiet a lot of snappy retorts later, Hermione finds herself becoming a spy for the Order alongside Draco Malfoy. "Auntie" Bellatrix, Death Eater parties, and general chaos ensue. Enjoy watching as Draco and Hermoine hate each other, reach an understanding, become comfortable allies, close friends, and then...something more.
Disclaimer: J.K.Rowling owns these kiddies. I'm not making anymoney off of this.
Author's Note: This isn't really important in this chapter, but to add humor to the plot, I'm going to make the Death Eater's a little…deranged, but in a funny way. It isn't how I really think they are, it could sort of be viewed as a parody, and I'm going to do my best not to exaggerate it or anything, but I want it to be there for…comic relief purposes.
You don't have any clue what I'm talking about, though, and won't for another chapter or two. So yeah. Story time has arrived.
Hermione Granger was having a shitty day.
She was in the kitchen at the Burrow, listening to Fleur talk animatedly to Mrs. Weasley about the wedding (Mrs. Weasley, who was preoccupied with cutting carrots for dinner, just smiled and nodded randomly), which would happen at the end of the week, contemplating just how her day had gotten so shitty.
At first, one could consider the unexpected figure of one of her least favorite people in the world (Draco Malfoy) sitting at the table playing chess with Bill Weasley a horrible start to the day, but then you find out (via Lupin) that he has already been interrogated while under the influence of Veritaserum, and is genuinely interested in switching sides and becoming a spy for the Order.
Yayyyy. Quite a cause for celebration, actually, even if he still sneers at your filthy-blooded self (while maintaining civil conversation, though, thank Merlin).
But then you get taken aside by Lupin and offered the all-important task of helping Malfoy with being a spy and pretending you want to become a Death Eater (and you can't just REFUSE that opportunity to help with the war). This, of course, will require a week not of the blessed rest and relaxation you had hoped for when you were still planning to go with Harry and Ron to find the remaining horcruxes, but a week full of Darks Arts lessons from Malfoy and training in Occlumency (but by Lupin this time, mercifully) so you can fool both Voldemort AND, terrible task of terrible tasks, Snape.
Add to that the fact that a mere minute ago you were informed by Fleur that since Ginny and Gabrielle are both being bridesmaids that lucky you, being the only other female under the age of 25 around, gets to be the Maid of Honor opposite Draco Malfoy, who will be Bill's Best Man, seeing as how he so conveniently isn't one of Bill's brothers (whom he couldn't decide between, of course), and you've got the recipe for a seriously shitty day.
"Granger. We might as well start now, don't you think? Mrs. Weasley said we could use Fred and George's old room as our practice space."
Hermione turned slowly around in her chair to look at the pale, pointed face of one of her (previously) most hated enemies. She sighed audibly, drained the rest of her coffee, and silently followed him up the stairs, cursing the fact that she had turned down Ginny's offer to play Quidditch with her, Ron, Harry and Bill in the orchard until dinner.
As they made their way into the room, Hermione resisted the urge to smile at the absurdity of it all. How had her life gotten so twisted in the short span of one day? Here she was, agreeing to follow Malfoy up the stairs to learn Dark Magic after he had just referred to Mrs. Weasley properly, and not as "that dumpy woman".
Life sure was strange sometimes.
"Okay", he said in a businesslike tone, "first things first. You do realize you're going to have to be branded with the Dark Mark, right? Are you willing to go through with that? Remember, it can never be removed or concealed, and it hurts like fucking hell for about a week, for the record."
Hermione rolled her eyes as she sat on one of the beds and folded her hands primly in her lap. "I'm quite aware of everything that lies before me, Malfoy, and I'm quite willing to do all of it for the sake of the war. It's a small price to pay for the eradication of almost all evil, in my opinion. But can I ask you something?"
He narrowed his stony grey eyes, but nodded curtly.
"What made you suddenly change your mind and switch over? Why are you agreeing to tutor me? And, most importantly, how did you get past the blood barrier?"
He stared at her for a minute, and she stared back expectantly, not intimidated in the slightest. Her lack of fear and total disregard for subtlety was probably due to the fact that she had slept very little while at the Dursleys (most of her time had been devoted to pouring over books in a vain attempt to uncover the mystery of R.A.B, since there was absolutely nothing better to do) and was very consumed with apathy toward all things at the moment, including a few very well-aimed curses from Draco Malfoy. She wanted nothing more than to roll over and curl up until morning, but time insisted they take advantage of every waking moment possible.
Bloody Voldemort, with his Death Eaters and their Dark Arts, and his great skill at Legilimency. She was so caught up in her own rambling stream of conscience that she had completely forgotten about her questions for Malfoy until he spoke, from by the window, his hands behind his back.
"That, quite frankly, is none of your damn business, mudblood."
She rolled her eyes. Figures he'd only be nice in front of the adults. She was terribly curious, though; however, it was something she could figure out later. Right now, in her state of tiredness, the best she could muster was a yawn-punctured "Go to Hell, Malfoy."
He tutted. "Not like the Virgin Mary to use such foul language, I'm surprised at you, Granger. Clearly having Pothead and Weasel as your only friends has begun to rub off on you."
"What do you know about the Virgin Mary."
He began pacing. "More than you'd think, Granger. My father taught me to 'know your enemy', among other things, which I actually find a very valuable piece of advice, useless and moronic though the muggle world is."
"Muggles aren't the enemy, you idiot."
He surveryed her thoughtfully for a moment before resuming his pacing. "True. You, being brought up in the perfect, light, golden world, Granger, can't imagine how it was for me to see the world I had been brought up in, the world my Father, a man I respected above all others, adored to an obsession, come crashing down around my feet just a few weeks ago. But I'm not about to start pouring my heart out to you, of all filthy, disgusting people, so if you don't mind, I'd like to start out with some basic Dark Magic."
She shrugged her shoulders and slumped back onto one of the pillows. "Corrupt away."
He sneered at her. "What is with you, Granger? Dubious though you may be of the Dark Arts, I'm surprised you haven't wet yourself already in your eagerness to learn something new."
Despite herself, she agreed with him. She was not being her usual self.
"I know. I'm just…tired beyond all reason. Today hasn't been the best of days. I don't think I'll be that useful as a student until after dinner, and a nap." She climbed under the covers. "And I don't wet myself in excitement over learning, you prat. Kindly leave now."
He snorted in disgust, and then turned on his heel without another word, slamming the door behind him. And with weary eyes, she mumbled "good riddance" quietly before immediately drifting off to sleep.
Author's Note: I know, that was a lot to throw at you for the first chapter. It was quite short, too, but don't worry, they'll be longer in the future. Hermione wasn't her usual self this chapter, but again, don't worry, I'll do my best next chapter to make every as skeptical and Malfoy-hating as possible. But he's immediately part of the Order, so they can't go on hating him forever…but that doesn't mean they'll all be the best of friends right away either. Ah, I hope I do this well. I hate unbelievable Draco/Hermione stories! I just can't wait to get to the good stuff, you know? Anyway, be nice, and review!