Summary: A fight between Draco and Hermione causes them to miss the Hogwarts express. Now, stranded wandless and penniless in muggle London, Hermione finds herself teaching Draco just what it means to be muggle and that things aren't always the way the seem. A mixture of moments of action, adventure, despair, love, lust and humour.
"There are moments of strength and moments of weakness. My moment of strength was deciding to hate you as soon as I met you. My moment of weakness is right now…"
Disclaimer: I own nothing you recognize.
Chapter One: For The Power Of Love And The Love Of Power
For all the hours here that move to slow
There's all this letting go, that won't pass
If all this love is real, how will we know?
And if were only scared of losing it, how will it last?
Hermione stood in the entrance hall, her thoughts spinning at an alarming rate. Draco Malfoy had just kissed her palm… Now this was all very well and good, if she'd been a giddy Slytherin girl, desperate to bed the infamous pureblood prince. But she was Hermione Granger, for Merlins' sake! A Gryffindor, a muggle born and his sworn enemy… What on earth had possessed him to do that? Her anecdote in the carriage had been just a random thought, spoken aloud carelessly, not an invitation.
"Miss Granger? Are you alright my dear? The headmaster is waiting for you,"
Professor Flitwicks' high voice snapped her out of her hurricane of thoughts and the entrance hall swam back into focus and she nodded in acknowledgement.
"Of course Professor. I'm on my way," she replied hastily and broke into a run, as she made her way to Dumbledore's office.
"Ah miss Granger! Welcome, welcome. I trust your journey was a good one?"
Dumbledore had stood up from behind his desk as Hermione had burst into the oval shaped office, and she shook his hand warmly as he strode across the room to greet her.
"Yes, very good professor thank you," she assured him, "I'm sorry I'm late. I was…er..."
She faltered, but Dumbledore saved her from any further explanations as he motioned for her to sit.
As she flopped into the squashy armchair opposite Dumbledore's desk, Hermione took in her surroundings for the first time and marvelled at how comforting the headmasters' office was. It felt like coming home to a giant bear hug and hot cocoa. The fireplace was erupting with flames that lit up the room and spread warmth like chocolate after an encounter with a Dementor and the walls were lined with the millions of books and papers that Hermione had always itched to get her hands on.
She also found herself musing on her companion since the incident in the hallway, not ten minutes ago. Draco sat still and silent, his eyes closed and his body turned slightly towards the flickering fireplace. Strands of his fine blond hair fell across his forehead and the illuminating glow from the flames made him seem almost ethereal. If Hermione didn't know better, she wouldn't have believed an ounce of evil could have ever laid a finger on the boy beside her. Maybe that was the brainwave however. He was the perfect ambassador for evil.
"Now then, Mr. Malfoy, Miss Granger," Dumbledore began to speak and Hermione shifted in her chair and felt Draco do the same; both of them sitting on the edge of their seats as so not to miss a word.
"Firstly, I'd like to congratulate you on your new positions. The positions of head boy and girl are those much envied and coveted among the student body and have been for generations. Those who hold them do so because of the remarkable talent, compassion and loyalty shown to their schoolmates, house and to Hogwarts itself."
Hermione bit back a derisive laugh. Since when had Malfoy ever shown any compassion to another? As for loyalty… well maybe to his own house, but not to Hogwarts. He was the son of a death eater and the heir to that particular family business. However, she had to admit, grudgingly, that he had talent. She'd seen his work with her own eyes and he was good. Leisurely, almost lazy in his efforts, he seemed to produce perfect results without trying. She detested him for it.
"Previous heads have gone on to become highly successful witches and wizards, and you too will be extended every courtesy, in order that you too may achieve what you set out to. I tell you this not because of my pride in my students successes, but because there is high expectation placed on the heads, especially when it comes to behaviour towards each other and their duty to unify the houses of Hogwarts. Before term officially starts I need to ask of you both whether or not you can manage to work together effectively, or do I have to reassess the situation?"
Hermione looked at Dumbledore in horror. He was really giving them this ultimatum – get on or lose out? She glanced across at Draco, who was also viewing the headmaster with the same look of disbelief. He caught her eye and shrugged.
"I'm in," he spoke up. Dumbledore smiled warmly at him and then turned his attentions to Hermione.
"Me too," she agreed, her voice an almost inaudible whisper.
"Marvellous!" Dumbledore enthused, and beamed at both of them. "Now then, head duties!"
It was late that evening when Hermione finally reached the warmth of the Gryffindor common room. The meeting with Dumbledore had lasted a good two hours and they had discussed a host of items, including prefect duties, Christmas festivities and the plans for the following spring. She had expected a lot of work as head girl but she had a few new duties to add to her already extensive list. It had been decided that she and Draco would patrol the corridors on weekend nights, leaving the rest of the week free for head duties and school work.
"Mione! There you are! I can't believe you missed the train! The driver refused to go back and pick you up – we tried though…"
Ron's voice instantly lifted the weight of head duties from Hermione's shoulders as she entered the common room and spotted her best friends.
"Were you okay in London last night? I heard you got picked up with Malfoy. How come he missed the train?"
Harry had now joined the conversation, though with less buoyancy as Ron, whose energy was making Hermione feel quite exhausted.
"To tell the truth, Malfoy and I had a bit of an argument on the platform and that's why we missed the train… but you can't say anything about it. Were supposed to be "getting along" for the sake of our head boy and girl positions," Hermione filled them in, quietly.
"Malfoy's head boy!" Ron yelped as if he'd juts been struck with a red hot poker.
"That's insane – what was professor Dumbledore thinking?!," he continued, fuming. Hermione glanced at Harry, who seemed to accept this news without much fuss.
"You alright Harry?" she asked as Ron fumed about the head boy situation to anyone who'd listen. Harry nodded.
"Of course. I'm just tired. You missed a good feast last night Mione, but I'm glad you're here safely," he smiled at her and she returned the gesture.
"You already knew, didn't you," she stated frankly and the dark haired boy nodded.
"I was in correspondence with Dumbledore most of the summer," he informed her.
"And…?" she probed him further but he shook his head.
"I will tell you, but here. There is a mountain of secrets in the corridors of Hogwarts right now and I don't know the half of them. Dumbledore tells me the very minimum. But I will tell you," he promised.
Hermione took in his tired expression, his furrowed brow and worried eyes and knew to ask nothing more. Harry may have been told just the bare minimums but those secrets were enough to cause hours of worrying, she knew.
"When you're ready," she agreed.
"Tomorrow," he promised, then excused himself to bed.
Not long after Harry left the common room, Ron disappeared up the boys staircase after his friend. Maybe Ron already knew what was on Harry's mind, but she'd wait patiently till he divulged them to her himself.
It was early the following morning before Hermione retired to bed. She worked late into the night creating plans for her prefects, who she would be addressing the next morning, putting the finishing touches to her summer essays and writing a couple of letters to various parties who might help her with the plans for the spring.
Curling up in her four poster bed, she felt at ease and fell asleep easily. That night she dreamt of nothing.
Draco Malfoy tossed and turned in his bedroom in the Slytherin dungeon. He was being plagued by his subconscious again. Tonight he dreamt of his childhood. A subject he hadn't believed his mind would have the courage to unearth. He was in a park, playing with some of the muggle children from the nearby town. The boy's names were Henry and Samuel. He remembered them clearly. They'd been playing on the roundabout when his father had appeared out of nowhere.
"Come Draco. Time to leave." His father had called to him and Draco had pouted.
"I don't want to leave. I'm having fun, father! Come and meet my friends!" he'd called back, grinning at the two muggle boys.
His father had shown a fury like none other when he'd learnt of his son's involvement with common muggles. The boys had not been spared.
Draco awoke to their final screams and bolted upright in his bed, sweat dripping down his forehead and torso. He tore off the covers and propelled himself out of bed and into the bathroom, where he threw up into the sink.
Washing his face afterwards and running the tap to mask his shaky breaths from his dorm mates, he stared back at his reflection.
He couldn't do this any longer. He knew it would be bad but this was too much to handle. Betraying the dark lord, even without his knowledge, would eventually kill him. He'd always been warned by his father, by Snape, by the dark lord himself. The history books supported it, the death eaters lived by it. Live for him or don't live at all. The motto that was now the bane of Draco's seventeenth year was coming true. His lack of sleep would kill him slowly and painfully. But he had no other choice did he. He chosen his fate and he would stand by it. Whether it killed him or not.
His stormy grey eyes scoured his reflection in disgust. The well sculpted good looks he'd once held sacred, the same ones that had allowed him to bask in other people's adoration and envy were now simply the mask hiding the evil. The face of an angel… What a cruel, twist of irony that was.
He splashed his face with water once again and silenced the taps as his breathing fell back into its normal, stable rhythm. Drying his face, he pulled on a sweater and pants over his boxers and left the stillness of the dormitory.
"Hermione! Mione! Ah crap! What is up with this staircase?!"
The sound of Ron's voice and descent down the girl's staircase, as it transformed itself into a slide in order to prevent boys from accessing the girl's dormitories, woke Hermione rather violently from her deep slumber.
"What the hell, Ronald Weasley?" she groaned as she threw her dressing gown over her night clothes and made her way out onto the landing.
"Erm... the prefects are waiting for you in the great hall….its ten past nine."
"It's what?!" Hermione screeched as she glanced at her watch and realised that Ron was correct for once.
"Oh my god, I'm late! I'm the worst head girl ever! I bet Malfoy's loving this!" she threw her various comments around as she threw on her jeans, a sweater and her robe, before joining Ron in the common room.
"Er Mione… hair?" he suggested tentatively, eyeing her birds nest look.
"I'm a head girl, not a Barbie girl, Ron," Hermione snorted, yanking her tangle of curls into an elastic band at the nape of her neck.
"Sorry I'm late everyone!" Hermione apologized as she swept into the great hall and addressed her new prefects. She knew the majority of them, the Gryffindor's, Ron and Parvati, Lisa Turpin and Terry boot from Ravenclaw and Hannah Abbott from Hufflepuff. The Slytherin prefects were Pansy Parkinson and another boy, who she believed to be Malcolm Baddock, but she wasn't sure. She didn't recognize the Hufflepuff boy at all.
"Ah Granger, nice of you to turn up… at last. We were wondering whether or not you had survived the night. I see my lucks out," Draco's voice stopped Hermione's thoughts and she glared at him.
"Even you can't have everything you want," she snapped in reply.
"No, just most things," he hissed back, "Lost your badge already have we, Granger?"
Hermione glanced down and felt her stomach sink as she remembered shed left her badge on her night stand. She was not making a good first impression at all.
"You could borrow mine?" Draco offered and she snorted.
"It says head boy, ferret face," she reminded him. Draco gave her a once over with his grey eyes, letting them linger on her unruly hair.
"Well you're not the height of femininity now, are you…" he smirked and Pansy Parkinson let out a titter.
"Shall we get started?" Ron asked tentatively, breaking up the argument and Hermione blushed slightly and nodded.
"Of course. My apologizes, once again, for being late. Now then I have the schedules here for prefect duties, which include castle patrolling, Hogsmede duty and general assistance to the head boy and girl when needed. You will be divided into pairs for patrol duty. Ron and Hannah on Mondays, Pansy and Terry boot on Tuesdays, Lisa and Dustin on Wednesdays-"
The unknown boy, Dustin, smiled back at Hermione as she read his name and she noticed for the first time how attractive he was. She shook this thought from her mind as she finished the rota.
"Malcolm and Parvati on Thursdays and on Fridays the group of sixth year prefects will patrol together. They are Ginny Weasley, Luna Lovegood, Ernie Fielding and Richard Ulealy. Myself and Mal- Draco will patrol Saturday and Sunday evenings. Any questions?"
The prefects shook their heads and Hermione smiled in relief. She'd been expecting some resentment for matching up pairs from different houses. She felt a little sorry for Terry who had been paired with the obnoxious and vain Pansy Parkinson, but it couldn't be helped.
"Now then, there will be a Christmas ball this year, for fifth, sixth and seventh years only. It is being held on Christmas Eve, because on Christmas morning a select group of seventh years will be departing for a month's tuition at a neighbouring school, namely Beauxbatons and Durmstrang. Myself and Malf–Draco are going, as well as four other students who have shown remarkable talent over the past year. In the month that we are gone, Ron and Lisa will be acting head boy and girl and classes will continue as normal."
Ron beamed up at Hermione as she announced this and Hermione caught pansy shooting Draco a very dangerous look out of the corner of her eye.
With all the plans discussed, the prefects left slowly, discussing where and when they would meet for patrol duties, until it was just Hermione, Draco and Pansy left in the room.
Hermione watched slyly, over her timetables, as Draco and Pansy had a heated but whispered argument. He watched as Pansy sighed dramatically and crossed her arms, and then allowed Draco to kiss her cheek, before stomping out of the hall. Hermione raised an eyebrow at Draco as he neared the table and slid into the seat opposite her.
"What?" he snapped at hew and she shrugged.
"Nothing," She replied, pretending she hadn't witnessed the disagreement.
"She's just upset," he said eventually, defending his on – off girlfriend. Hermione nodded.
"I'm sure. Her life must be very upsetting," Hermione replied in a mock understanding tone. Draco glowered at her.
"Don't mock what you don't know about, Granger," he warned and Hermione rolled her eyes, but returned to her work.
As far as Hermione could see Pansy Parkinson had no right to throw a tantrum about anything. She was one of those girls who got everything they wanted. Fascinatingly beautiful, wealthy and intelligent she was envied and desired.
"I sent some letters last night. There's a wizarding band from Bulgaria that are meant to be good. I thought for the Christmas ball-"
"Yeah, something like that – Viktor knows them. I asked them to play. Makes a change from the weird sisters," she added, still lost in her patrol timetables. Draco frowned at the fact that she knew a famous quidditch star and he didn't, but had to admit that the Ridgebacks were a lot more popular then the weird sisters nowadays.
"Sounds fine to me. Are we having a theme? Dumbledore suggested a theme – To... er... liven it up," he quoted the headmaster. Hermione scratched her nose with her quill and sighed.
"I'll add it to my list of things to do," she replied, writing the word "theme" on to her growing list.
"I think of the theme," Draco said, and Hermione bit her lip in concern.
"I think I'm able to come up with one suitable idea granger. I am rather intelligent you know…" he smirked, causing a shiver of irritation up her spine. God he was so pompous.
"Fine then. You think of the theme. We'll discuss the plans next week," she gave in.
"We'll discuss them when I'm ready Granger," Draco corrected and Hermione glared at him. He returned the glare.
"This meeting is over," he said finally and swept his papers together and into his school bag.
"Whatever," Hermione replied flatly and waited to hear the sound of him leave so she could relax.
"Tell me, is this any better?"
Hermione jumped a little as Draco was suddenly beside, holding her hand in is, examining where she'd cut it on the door frame in Knockturn alley.
She held her breath as he traced a finger lightly over the shape of the scar that was now forming.
"X marks he spot," he murmured, still tracing its shape, and then he glanced at her.
"It's better," she replied.
"Good," he replied curtly, dropping her hand onto the table top and sweeping out of the great hall.
Hermione sat there stunned into silence for a couple of seconds before glancing at her hand and examining it more closely. The scar that marred the palm of her hand was not a simple cut but one in the shape of a X. Draco's words echoed in her mind as she cleared up her work and fled to the safety of the Gryffindor common room.
Pansy was waiting for him, when Draco arrived back in the common room just before lunch. He knew she would want to finish their argument and he sighed under his breath when she stepped out of the shadows, a furious expression on her face.
"Pansy, please… I cant be bothered with your petty tantrums anymore," he warned he, slinging his bag onto the low coffee table in the centre of the common room and flopping elegantly into an armchair. Pansy glowered at him. It was remarkable how she could look so beautiful even when she wanted to tear his limbs off.
"Draco, you promised me one thing this year. One tiny thing. That I was to be your first priority at all times. Now you're disappearing off to France or Bulgaria! How is this upholding your end of the bargain?" she snapped, furiously tossing her mane of black hair.
Draco stopped being fascinated by her and retorted.
"Bargain? What bargain is this? I made you a promise, which I fully intend to keep and you promised me nothing. Where's this bargain you're so keen on highlighting?"
"I promised to love you. It went without saying," she hissed back, folding her arms across her chest, drawing his attention to her low cut neckline. Nice play, Pansy, he praised her mentally.
"Ah yes, this love thing, your always talking about. Now then, let me set you straight. You do not love me, just the things I can give you, the status, the security, and the envious stares. You know that just as well as I do. And about this promise I made to you. How does my leaving for a month affect it in any way, shape or form, hmm?"
He watched in amusement as pansy glared at him angrily for a few minutes, then slowly began to regain her composure.
"You're right…" she said eventually, "I'm sorry," she added. Draco smirked. He knew that she was lying her way back into his favour, but then it's what she always did. He knew her weakness. She was so afraid of losing her connection to him and his power, that she would bend to his will no matter what.
He watched as she sauntered across the room towards him now, admiring her slender frame and exquisite face. She threw a leg either side of him, straddling him, not caring that there were other people in the common room, all watching, all envious, and kissed him deeply.
"You are always my first priority," he reassured her, as she trailed kisses down his throat and felt her smile against his skin.
"I'm glad to hear it," she replied, then added, "And I will always love your wealth, status and the envious stares…"
Draco chuckled and allowed her to finish her apology.