A/N: Hey everyone. Well here I am… with the sequel. Shall I get started? I suppose I should.
DISCLAIMER: I only own the plot.Afterglow
She looked at Pompfrey with tears in her eyes as she held her hand over her stomach in disbelief. Pompfrey placed a hand on her shoulder and walked away allowing a worried Narcissa and Ginny to come in. They sat beside Hermione and the look on her face said it all. Narcissa turned away sobbing silently. Ginny sat beside Hermione and put an arm around her comfortingly.
"What happened?" asked Harry walking in looking at Hermione, "Did you-"
"I lost the baby, Harry," said Hermione through her tears, "I lost Draco's baby."
"It's not your fault. It can happen in the first three months," said Ginny rubbing Hermione's back.
Hermione stood up and left the hospital wing. She ran across the school grounds and over to where ten tombstones stood. It had been two months since the battle, since Draco died before her very eyes. She was informed of his body missing and instantly Hermione wanted to go after Lucius. It was Narcissa who made her see sense enough not too. The world everywhere was in repair. The Dementors were nearly all destroyed with ten being sent back to Azkaban. Diagon Alley was being redone to look the way it did before the Death Eaters began their domination.
Hermione stood in front of Draco's tombstone, looking at it angrily, "You did this didn't you? You want me to let go of your completely! Well let me tell you something Draco Malfoy! I won't let go. I can't let go. I love you… and I won't say goodbye because you told me not too. I won't say a word."
"Hermione!" cried Ginny running over to her crying friend, "Come on… let's get back to the Burrow. Fleur probably has gone and baked your favorite choc-chip cookies."
Hermione allowed herself to be lead away to where Harry and Narcissa stood. She glanced one last time at the tombstones before facing her future and what laid ahead.
"Eat up," snapped Snape sliding in a lump of cheese and bread into the cell, "It's the best you'll ever get for a long time."
Draco hungrily bit into the cheese and bread. It had been two days since his last meal and the meals he did get were small. For two months his life had been this way. Eating every third day and spending the rest constantly worrying about Hermione and how she was coping. If only he could send a letter to her, something to tell her he was alive and not to worry. But that was impossible. Weekly he was punished either by a beating or something humiliating to entertain his father and Snape.
Once his small meal was eaten Draco drowned the rest of his hunger with some water from the bucket. He then returned to his corner and stared at the spot where he and Hermione had first made love, the only time they had made love to be precise.
With a sigh he fell into a deep slumber, sleeping away the rest of the day.
HDFour Years Later…
"Hermione go home," said her workmate Jemma, "You have been here for 15 hours. You can work more on the spell tomorrow."
"I have been working on this spell for two years, Jemma," replied a frustrated Hermione, "It took me what… six months to find a cure to a messed up spell that makes the person appear dead?"
"That was different. How far away are you from discovering it?"
Hermione sighed and looked down at her paper work tapping her quill tip on the table. She brushed her shoulder length curly brown hair from her eyes and looked up at Jemma, "It could be any day now."
"But not today. Hermione its 10pm. You have been here since 8am. That's 14 hours. Go home."
Hermione sighed and reluctantly agreed. Her work was her life. She had her first two days off coming up for the first time in three months. After the world was sorted out Hermione began a year and a half course in working in the Department of Mysteries. She loved the work for the challenge it threw at her everyday. She closed her folders and carried them to the staff room. She worked in the section of creating new spells and counter curses to badly casted spells. Finding one to the death look like spell was a big achievement to Hermione. Only her friends knew she worked in the Department of Mysteries, as they were her family. As for other people she simply told them she worked at the Ministry of Magic in the Aurour Department.
Hermione headed out of the staff room. She signed out in the workbook and picked up her paycheck from her pigeonhole before heading to the exit door of her section. It shut behind her and Hermione muttered a spell that only the people who worked in that Department knew to stop the walls from spinning and to light up the actual exit door. She walked across and opened it making sure to shut it firmly behind her.
"Evening Miss Granger," said one of the two Security Guards who guarded the door since her Fifth Year incident. The two knew who worked inside but were sworn to secrecy.
"Evening Jack," smiled Hermione, "Quiet afternoon?"
Hermione smiled and headed up the corridor. She stepped into the elevator and as always; it was empty at this time of night. She headed to the Atrium and stepped out and walked to the water fountain area before apperating to her cozy two bedroom home, which she shared with her bestfriend, Ron.
"About time you got home," sighed Ron reading the Daily Prophet, "You missed dinner."
"I do most nights," replied Hermione with slight annoyance, "I am close to working out the counter curse."
"Tonight's dinner was different. Harry and Ginny came over. One last dinner with just the four of us before the wedding on Saturday. They are heading to America for two weeks after that."
"Oh Merlin!" cried Hermione utterly disgusted with herself, "I am so sorry! It slipped my mind completely."
"Like a lot of things have over the four years," muttered Ron turning back to his paper.
Hermione slammed her folders on the table and stormed out of the kitchen and down the hall to her bedroom. She slammed her door behind her and sat on her bed staring at the ground with anger. She pulled her robe off and removed her shoes. Standing up she collected her pajama's, towel and under garments before heading into her ensuite bathroom.
Ron stood up and put the jug on to make him and Hermione a coffee. As he got out their cups the front doorbell rang seconds after the sound of Hermione's shower turning on. Frowning, Ron left the kitchen and walked into the lounge room and over to the front door wondering who could possibly be using the front door instead of the fireplace and who would be visiting this late in the night.
Him and Hermione lived in a muggle village twenty minutes away from where Diagon Alley was situated. All their family and friends used the fireplace, which was fine by them.
Ron unlocked the front door and pulled it open and swore out loud in shock as to who he was seeing. The blonde haired person half smiled at Ron as he stepped backwards letting them inside where it was much warmer.
"I must say, it has been a long time since I last seen you," they said removing their cloak.
"Yeah… four years," replied Ron shutting the door, "Sirius said you were in France when I last seen him."
Narcissa Malfoy shrugged her shoulders, "I knew it was time I returned to England. How are you, Ron? Sirius said you and Harry were now working in the Aurour Department at the Ministry of Magic."
Ron smiled nodding, "Yeah. It's great, well it is so far."
"Is Hermione home?"
"She's in the shower."
"How is she? Overall?"
Ron sighed and gestured for Narcissa to sit down on the dark blue two-seater lounge with him sitting on the single seater, "Overall… on the outside she looks pulled together, like nothing is wrong with her. But on the inside I know it is a different story. She is constantly working or doing something to keep her mind busy. I swear when she goes to bed she is decoding her work in her mind."
"Did she grieve at all?" asked Narcissa frowning.
"No. I mean she cried a little but that was it. She went to bed a mess and woke up determined to get on with life."
Narcissa sighed and shook her head, "She hasn't healed emotionally then."
Narcissa nodded, "I went away to France to do that."
Narcissa stood up suddenly, as did Ron. They looked to the hallway entrance seeing Hermione standing there in her pink pajama pants and white singlet top with a pink dressing gown on left open.
"Hello Hermione," said Narcissa calmly, "It's lovely to see you again."
"I'll go and… make some coffee's and… clean the kitchen," said Ron wanting to leave the tension filled room.
"I never thought I would see you again," said Hermione walking in, "Especially after you blamed me for loosing the baby. Don't you think I hate myself enough because of that?"
"I apologize for that. I was angry."
"So was I," replied Hermione shortly as she closed the lounge room curtains, "Why are you here?"
"To see you," admitted Narcissa, "Sirius told me of your behavior and Ron just told me of how you haven't grieved."
Hermione turned around to Narcissa crossing her arms over he chest, "You know nothing about how I act or if I grieved. What they say isn't necessarily how it all seems. They don't see me every single second of the day. Yes, I work a lot. I work a lot because that is what makes me happy! I am doing something I enjoy. When I work I feel… whole."
"But grieving-" started Narcissa to have Hermione hold up a hand in silence.
"I do grieve. Every night for the past four years I grieve! I cry myself to sleep. And when I am upset I go to my room and let the tears fall," said Hermione with tears beginning to fall down her cheeks, "I am dealing with more pain then you know! My parents were murdered, Draco was murdered and I lost the last physical piece of him I had… and I hate myself for that… so… so don't go coming into my home claiming you know more about me than I know about myself because you know NOTHING!"
Narcissa looked at Hermione silently as she wiped her tears away and gave a sniffle. Hermione walked over to the coffee table and grabbed a tissue to blow her nose with.
"I'm sorry," said Narcissa softly.
"Whatever," snapped Hermione, "Your sorry isn't going to change anything. If you will excuse me I'm going to bed to cry."
Hermione walked past her and down the hall, slamming the door shut behind her making pictures on the walls rattle dangerously. Ron walked in looking grim faced. Narcissa sat down shaking her head with tears in her eyes.
"That did not go how I wanted it too," sighed Narcissa, "Now she hates me more then ever."
"It'll pass… hopefully," said Ron, "At least we know she is grieving. I never considered her doing it alone."
Narcissa nodded and took the coffee Ron offered her, "I doubt anyone did."
Ron nodded and spent the next hour talking to Narcissa about her time in France and Harry and Ginny's wedding on Saturday.
Draco looked up at the cell door frowning. Standing there was his father and Snape. Both looked down at him in hate and disgust. Draco pushed himself to his feet and looked at them with all the dignity he could muster.
"You are being moved from the cells," said Lucius firmly, "You will return to your room and shower. After showering you join Severus and I at breakfast."
"Why?" asked Draco hiding his surprise and curiosity as to what they were up to.
"That will be explained at breakfast. Severus, take him to his room."
The cell door swung open and Draco was lead out by Severus. He stumbled up the staircase and into the entrance foyer. Snape shoved him along to his bedroom door before throwing him inside. Draco fell to the ground and the door snapped shut behind him. He pushed himself up and looked around his old room. It looked the same as it did four years ago. His bed was made neatly with clothes folded on it for him to dress in after he had a four-year long waiting shower.
Ignoring the rest of his room, Draco headed to the bathroom. He pulled off the ruined, smelly robes he'd been in since the battle and stepped into a hot steaming shower. He wet his hair, literally feeling the dirt and grime washing out of it. He scrubbed it three times with Shampoo and Conditioner and then scrubbed down his body with his manly shower gel. For one long hour he showered and the whole time imagined Hermione and him seeing each other after four long years. How he was going to achieve that he didn't know. Obviously his father was going to try and lure him back onto his side and this time Draco would make him believe that.
He got out of the shower and dried his body with a white soft towel. He dressed and dried his hair looking in the mirror to see his reflection. Being in the cell for four years had changed him. He had lost plenty of weight, enough to make his normally well fitting clothes to hang off him loosely. He sighed turned away from the mirror. Then he spotted it, sitting on his desk a folded Daily Prophet. He walked over to it and unfolded it. It was dated to four years ago, three days after the battle. The front page showed a picture of Hogwarts and people dressed in black standing around a group of gravestones. He peered closely at them and gasped in shock. There was one for him, bearing his name birth and death date. He looked at the people in the picture and spotted his mum crying and his beloved Hermione leaning her head on Harry's shoulder as she cried and looked at his gravestone.
"They think I'm dead," he said softly to himself as he dropped the paper, "But I'm not... I'm not dead."
A knock came at his door and Draco turned around as it opened revealing Snape.
"Come along, Draco," he said, "Breakfast is being served by the house elves."
Draco followed Snape out of his room and down stairs to the dining room. Lucius was already seated at the table serving him self-delicious looking food that made Draco's mouth water at the sight. Snape gestured for him to sit down in his old seat.
As soon as Draco sat he piled his plate with all different foods available. His father and Snape watched him in amusement. Draco shoved the food into his mouth savoring the taste that wasn't bread and cheese.
"So, Draco," said Lucius as Draco guzzled down a glass of pumpkin juice, "I assume you understand what this all means?"
Draco shook his head pretending he didn't as he cut into some bacon.
"Severus and I have gained new followers. Over fifty so far. As for you I am hoping to be able to trust you again. The question is, do you want to be with a bunch of people who think you are dead or with your own Father?" said Lucius leaning towards Draco, "You and I both know we have great power running through us both. We can do great things with our power. What do you say son?"
Draco chewed silently for a few moments, pretending to mull the idea over. He kept himself on guard to keep Snape and Lucius from his mind. Finally he nodded, smiling warmly at Lucius.
"Alright," he said, "You are right after all. They didn't even consider the fact I could still be alive. Shows how loyal they are to me. I gave them everything, I gave Granger everything and she left me for dead!"
Snape and Lucius smirked at Draco nodding both glad to see they had Draco back on their side after four long years.
"Welcome back son," said Lucius toasting him, "Welcome back."
Draco smiled and nodded raising his refilled glass in response.
Saturday came before Hermione could believe it. She woke early the next morning with her alarm. Today was Harry and Ginny's wedding. This day alone had been building up for over a year with Harry proposing the year before on Ginny's 22nd birthday. Hermione was instantly asked to be the Maid of Honor and Ron the Best Man. The other bridesmaids were Luna Lovegood, who was Ron's girlfriend, and Tonks. Thankfully Tonks regained her ability to walk two months after the war. Harry's other groomsmen were Neville and Sirius.
Hermione sat up and turned off her alarm scratching Crookshanks between the ears before she stood and slipped on her slippers and dressing gown. As she left her room Ron stumbled out of his looking puffy eyed and with disheveled hair.
"Late night?" asked Hermione referring to Harry's bachelor party the night before.
"Hey I came home at 2am. Ginny was smart enough to throw her Hen's night on Thursday," replied Ron groggily.
Hermione chuckled and said loudly, "Would you like a coffee with some hangover cure pills?"
Ron groaned and leaned on the hallway wall, "Hermione… don't… and yes please."
Hermione smirked and walked into the kitchen. She flicked the jug on and opened the medication draw up and pulled out the hang over cure pills. She got two for Ron and flicked her wand to speed the jug up. Ron walked in a few minutes later less puffy eyed.
Hermione handed him his coffee and the pills. She watched his face relax after he took them and drank the coffee.
"Can you believe it?" said Ron looking at the ceiling in amazement.
"Believe what? That we have a white ceiling?" replied Hermione confused looking up at the ceiling.
"No," said Ron with a laugh as he looked at Hermione, "That my little sister and our bestfriend are getting married!"
"Oh… yeah. It's about time really," said Hermione smiling, "So… was last night fun?"
"A man never tells the going ons of a Bachelor Party."
"Well I don't see any men in the room," teased Hermione before laughing at Ron's stunned expression, "I am kidding Ronald. Calm down."
"Well it's not like you told me anything about the Hen's party," replied Ron pointing out the truthful fact.
Hermione nodded and sighed glancing at her watch, "I have to go. Today is full of… manicures, makeup and Merlin knows what else."
"Hermione with makeup. Interesting."
Hermione swatted Ron on the arm and dumped her left over coffee in the sink before going to get dressed. She dressed into pale blue jeans and a pale yellow button up blouse. She slipped on white shoes, brushed her hair and grabbed her hang bag before apperating to The Burrow where the women would meet for a morning breakfast. The wedding would take place at Hogwarts, as it really was where Ginny and Harry's love blossomed. The ceremony would take place in the Great Hall and the reception would be outside near the lake.
"Good morning!" called Hermione placing her handbag on the kitchen bench.
"Hello Hermione," greeted Fleur, "How are you?"
"Good," smiled Hermione as Fleur flipped some eggs in a fry pan, "Where's Ginny?"
"Getting dressed. Luna is in the toilet and Tonks is yet to arrive."
Hermione nodded and wandered into the lounge room. A large photo of Molly was framed above the fireplace. She smiled at everyone with her kind brown eyes. It was a moving photo. She would move within the frame and her facial expression changed with the mood in the house.
"Morning Molly," said Hermione before she wandered back into the kitchen, "Fleur can I help with anything?"
"Set zee table please," she said gesturing to the long Weasley table, "You know where the gear is?"
"Yeah," said Hermione annoyed that Fleur thought she knew nothing about the Weasley home.
She grabbed a tablecloth from the cupboard next to the one under the sink and placed it over the table, making sure it was even on both sides. She found the plates, forks, knifes, spoons and cups. As Ginny and Luna entered the kitchen Hermione was placing a pitcher of pumpkin juice on the table.
"Hello!" cried Ginny hugging Hermione, "How are you?"
"I'm fine. Hey Luna," smiled Hermione hugging Luna as well, "You should have seen Ron this morning. Huge hangover."
Luna laughed, "I'd expect nothing less."
"Morning all," said Tonka walking in with bags of food, "I brought some things for this morning. Let's see… oh Remus' famous muffins… you know the fruit ones. Ah… orange juice and some fruit salad. All energizing in its own way."
"Zat is lovely," smiled Fleur, "Isn't it Ginny?"
Ginny nodded and helped Tonks unpack. Hermione and Luna gave each other odd looks. Ginny and Fleur had grown to get along better over the years but today there was some tension between the two, obviously to do with the wedding.
The women sat down and began eating and chatting about anything and everything.
"Hmm, look at this Severus," said Lucius handing his friend the paper as Draco walked into the dining room, "Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley are getting married today."
Snape peered at the article; "It says the Maid of Honor will be Hermione Granger with the bridesmaids being Luna Lovegood and Nymphadora Tonks. The Best Man is Ron Weasley of course and the Groomsman Neville Longbottom and Sirius Black. Oh, did you know this, Ron Weasley is dating Luna Lovegood and they have been a serious couple for three years. Hmm… and Granger is currently single."
Draco's hearing perked at the last part. He smirked and said coldly, "I broke her poor mudblood heart. Serves her right… using me to escape."
Lucius laughed and nodded, "Causing her pain all these years later. That's my boy."
Draco smiled, though it pained him to do so. He buttered his muffin deciding to steer clear of bread and cheese for a long time. He wondered if the paper was telling the truth about Hermione being single. Snape handed him the paper and he finally saw a recent picture of her, apparently taken the other night at the Hen's party. She was holding a bottle of drink and was laughing along with the other guests. Though she was smiling Draco noticed the light in her eyes was gone. Her hair was much shorter, only at her shoulders but the style made it curl nicely.
"When do you plan on striking, Father?" asked Draco placing the paper to the side.
"Soon. That I am sure of. It is time we let them know we do not go down forever. This world is far too mudblood filled for my liking."
Draco nodded and took a sip of his coffee before turning the page of the paper to read the sports section.
Hermione watched on with tears in her eyes as Harry and Ginny kissed for the first time as Mr and Mrs Potter. Ginny looked stunning in her strapless white gown that belled out from her hips. Her fiery red hair was pulled up into a French twist with her fringe to the side. Hermione's dress was pale pink with one strap. It was fitted nicely, loosing up at her hips to allow her to walk. Luna and Tonks dress was the same only with two straps. Their hair was all curled and clipped back at the fringe.
Finally the reception began with the Weird Sisters playing. Hermione wandered around talking to different people. She was filling up her glass with some muggle wine when she was tapped on the shoulder. Hermione turned around and smiled in surprise at who was standing in front of her.
"Oliver Wood," she said, "Famous English Keeper. How are you?"
"I'm doing great and yourself? I heard you were an Aurour with Harry and Ron," he said filling his own drink up.
"Yeah. I love it. Work is great. So how is Angelina? I heard you two were engaged."
"No… we broke up about two months ago. She wanted to go to America and play for the Salem Quidditch team. I had commitments here with the England team… but it happens."
Hermione gave Oliver a sympathetic smile, "I'm sorry to hear that. I really saw you two together forever."
"Me too… but anyway. What about you? Do you have a young strapping man?"
Hermione laughed but shook her head, "I'm single. Didn't you read the Prophet today? They mention my status along with Ron's."
"And for once they are correct."
Hermione nodded, "I was expecting them to say I am dating a gorilla."
Oliver laughed at Hermione's comment and sighed, "I was once supposed to be dating a banshee. Did you read that?"
"I did! That was a week after your engagement announcement."
"I sometimes wonder if they have first year students writing for them."
"Me too. But that is the magical media for you."
"Do you want to dance?" asked Oliver suddenly, "Just one dance."
Hermione smiled and nodded. Oliver took her hand and led Hermione onto the dance floor as a slow song started to play. The two danced and talked some more, laughing at each other's jokes. Hermione looked around her and saw Ginny and Harry eyeing her with a twinkle in their eyes. She smiled at them with Oliver as a camera flash went off. The two ignored it as Oliver leaned close to make a comment about a guest's outfit. Hermione smiled as she spoke ignoring the second camera flash as well.
As Hermione was about to reply someone tapped her on the shoulder. She turned to the side and saw Professor Trelawney looking at her nervously. Hermione stepped back from Oliver looking at her least favorite Professor worriedly.
"Professor," said Hermione, "Is everything alright?"
"Could I possibly have a word with you?" she asked sounding rather sane.
Hermione nodded and she told Oliver she would be back soon. She followed Trelawney to the side of the dance floor. Trelawney pulled out a sheet of paper and held it tightly.
"Recently I have been having dreams of my past predictions. The more real ones. Last night I had another dream from four years ago. I was walking through the school corridors when I ran into young Mr Malfoy. I had a prediction at that moment. As soon as I woke up I wrote it down and I believe you should be the one to read it."
She handed Hermione the paper who unfolded it and read what was written on it.
The one they seek will escape,
Through death a heart will break,
Death though, will deceive them all,
The battle will end with tears,
For years peace will live,
Until the past becomes unravelled.
Hermione read it again and her mouth fell open, as she understood. She looked up at Trelawney with a pale face.
"This means Draco is alive," she said her heart racing, "He faked his own death."
A/N: And that is where I leave you all for the first chapter. I hope you all enjoyed it and I will soon return with the second chapter. Please review! It took me two days to work on this chapter.
Until next time…