Draco suspected Hermione's exasperation. He figured this sentiment by the way her honey eyes grew big, flecks of gold restricted to the rim of her iris only when permitted under the light in an inflexible angle beneath the massive dining room chandelier. She stared at his mother, who was chewing amicably in a diminutive corner of her little mouth, a napkin flying up to her meticulously injected lips, dabbing daintily. Dabbing—not wiping.

Hermione hated the way his mother's fork and knife (hers—actually; she always set out her finest set of silverware in which Mrs. Malfoy would always comment—"this could not be real silver—" or "this metal is so dull.") scrape along the broad porcelain plate with the little periwinkle snowflakes as the focal point. Nails on a chalkboard—but no sound would emit from underneath the cheap silver. There was serious scraping inflicted about the cast-off porcelain and Hermione was waiting for the promising strident noise. She needed to hear the little cries of conformity that could fly into Draco's ears on little snowcap wings (—Draco's favorite).

Hermione's whisper was nearly inaudible, "—Recorbe Ruito—" and the screeching commenced.

Draco's mother, clad in a pressed crème suit, her bony manicured fingers swelling with rings and jewels; she stopped cutting her bloody little lamb and looked up as if searching for the source of the noise that had just echoed throughout the dining room. Little bambi eyes stared Draco in the face. Hermione watched those bambi eyes, switching back from silver to blue, silver to blue. At this point, Hermione anticipated the day that the light from those blue orbs would cease.

"Excuse me for a moment." Mrs. Malfoy let out tersely. She stared at Hermione before leaving the room; silver pumps clicking against the hardwood floor.

Draco failed to notice his mother's antics. Just like most people aren't quite aware of the devil. Just because you can't see something doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.

He proceeded to fill his mouth with mashed potatoes. Hermione fought herself from popping his potato-filled balloons with her fork.

"I've been so good, Draco," She whispered furiously, refolding the silk napkin on her lap. "So fucking good to that—" Her eyes lingered on the doorway in which Mrs. Malfoy had just departed, "—woman." She paused, searching Draco's expressionless face for a reaction. "She put a silencing charm on the silverware," She picked up a fork in exasperation and flung it around in her hand. "And when I deactivated the spell and the noise started she—"

"The lamb was a little undercooked," Silver pumps reentered the room. Hermione pursed her lips together and sat back in her chair. Draco's mother sat down in her seat next to her son and smiled at him as he sipped his wine, mouth full of meat. "How much are you paying your chefs for these disastrous entrees?"

"Mom," His voice was thick and calm. "The meat's fine. Stop overanalyzing everything." Narcissa let out a snide snicker and her eyes glimmered in the light as three glasses of wine finally sank in. "Oh dear boy, you're beginning to sound like your father."

Hermione could almost see Draco's serene spirit escape his panting body. He clenched his fists around his silverware, avoiding his mother's eyes. Hermione hated how Narcissa knew how to push all of Draco's buttons. Images of Lucius Malfoy being tortured upon insanity by the Dark Lord's clan flooded Draco's throbbing head. Three days later, he was found dead in his chamber of St. Mungo's Hospital, his toes just skimming the cold floor.

"Draco," Hermione reached across the table and firmly squeezed Draco's arm. She stroked against his tense muscles until they finally softened.

Narcissa went on, "You can't shy away from your destiny, my dear. Your father was a letdown to everyone—and from the looks of it, you'll end up like him too—" Hermione cringed at the sound of the silverware dropping against the wooden table.

"You don't know shit." He spat. "You don't even know who the fuck I am. You didn't give a shit about me until dad died because you wanted to push me into being the exact opposite of what I want."

Narcissa grasped the clutch of her wineglass until her fingers grew white. "You're speaking nonsense." She lifted her eyes and rested them upon Hermione who was tensely seated upon her chair. "It's because of her that you think all these foolish things. I come here so I can check up on her. She's brainwashing you to believe that you're not supposed to follow what you were born to do—"

"It's bullshit." Draco sputtered. "You know it's bullshit."

Narcissa was not one to let a person mortify her. Especially her own son—in front of his bitch muggleborn wife of his. Her angry eyes searched around the room, from defiant Draco to Hermione, who sat unnervingly in her chair, tracing the design of her china with her eyes like she had never seen a snowflake before.

"I cannot stand fighting with you, Draco," Narcissa emerged from her seat so abruptly that she rattled the silverware upon the table and disturbed the wine in their glasses that opted for a safety drunk in such an uncomfortable scene. "You know I care for you." Draco almost saw a twinkle of sincerity in a sea of formality that was his mother's haughty eyes before she apparated from the mansion.

Hermione could still hear the china clatter upon the table. For a while, she just stared at the thread work of the silk napkin in her lap. She peered up at Draco who was lost in thought, his eyes falling lightly on his wine glass.

"Baby," She tried in a soothing voice. Instead, it came out as a timid squeak. She was aware of the dangers lurking in Draco's life. So dangerous, in fact, that she was almost certain that she were in some sort of danger too, no matter how many times Draco tried denying this. She cleared her throat and tried again. "Baby, you're too hard on yourself." He looked up at her distantly. Her face softened and she attempted a reassuring smile. "I know how hard you think about all of this." She rose from her chair, the napkin silently dropping to the floor. She walked around the table and seated herself upon his lap, reaching around so she could wrap her arms around him as she kissed his head.

"You let her get to you." She murmured into his skin. He tugged away from her embrace and she stumbled back to her feet. From her spot next to him, she watched as he lifted his elbows onto the table and supported his face in his hands.

"She's my mother." He uttered monotonously. "She's my goddamn mother." Hermione stared at her feet, suddenly feeling extremely foolish. All this time, she had had an on-going battle of nonesense with her mother-in-law. Little did she know of the war growing between Draco and his mother.

It was as if a magician had finally granted her sight and she only now could see the hurt in her husband's eyes.

It was as if she could now finally see the devil himself.