Watson insists that I am the dramatist in real life. Some touch of the artist wells up within me, and calls insistently for a well staged performance. Surely our profession would be a drab and sordid one if we did not sometimes set the scene so as to glorify our results.
- Sherlock Holmes

"Parvati?" Ginny asked in shock. "But..."

"Never suspected me did you?" Parvati asked back, looking smug. She slowly walked towards them, her wand still aimed at, her high heels making no noise on the plush purple carpet.

"I knew that perfume was familiar!" Hermione and Harry exclaimed together.

"Do you mean to tell me that you've been running around here, killing everyone, while wearing a very tight, very short mini skirt and patent leather stiletto heels?" Ginny asked in disbelief.

"Yes, well just because you're a murderer doesn't mean you can't dress well. I kill, and I do it while being fashionable." She tossed her long pony-tail over her shoulder, making her gold earrings dance in the candle light. "One should always look good, no matter the circumstances."

"So," Harry started, his hand itching to grab the revolver that was sticking out of the waistband of his pajamas. He wanted to keep her talking, maybe she'd let her guard down a bit and then they could jump on her. "I understand why you killed Zabini. He kept your sister prisoner, hurt her, and ultimately made her kill herself..."

"Kill herself!" Parvati shouted, making them all jump. "My sister would never have killed herself, you dolt! That bastard sliced her throat and said she did it herself! I was here, in the closet, and saw the whole thing!" She started crying, but quickly wiped away the tears harshly with the back of her free hand. "He never knew I was there. After he left the room, I vowed that I would get my revenge for what he had done to her."

"I killed him and I loved every fucking moment of it!" she said, smiling sweetly. "He was so surprised when he saw me, thinking it was Padma's ghost come back to get her revenge! He tried to shoot me, but missed, and then I took out the dagger I'd given to Harry and threw it, hitting him right in the heart. I jumped on him and stabbed him over and over!"

Everyone was silently visualizing every horrid detail in their mind, seeing the shocked expression on Blaise's face as the ghost of his murdered wife took her revenge.

"He fell back on the bed dying, blood pouring from his wounds, and then I took the rope and strangled him. The house-elf helped me hold him up so that I could shoot him in his head, and then we strung him up from the ceiling. It went so smoothly, and thanks to Neville and Pansy and their loud love making, no one heard anything!"

Draco was barely listening to her. He was still caught up by the fact that Padma had been murdered. "But it was investigated," Draco said. "Blaise told me the authorities concluded that it was suicide." He felt sick to his stomach. He had had a chance to save Padma and had failed. When he had heard that she killed herself, he was overcome with guilt and blamed himself. Now, if this was true, he felt even worse. He had left her to die a most horrible death at the hands of a lunatic.

Parvati saw the painful look on Draco's face and her expression softened. "Draco, don't feel guilty about what happened. You tried to help, and my mother and I are eternally grateful for what you did." She wanted to reach out and comfort him, but knew the second she did, one or more of them would seize the opportunity and capture her. "We hadn't seen Padma for months; he kept her away from us and told us lies about where she was and how she didn't want to see us any more. When you rescued her, we at last had the chance to see her again, even though it was only for a short time."

"But why did you kill Ron?" Hermione asked, pointing to his mutilated body. "I mean you cut him in half!"

"Talk about over-kill!" Draco said with disgust.

Parvati rolled her eyes. "I thought you were supposed to be smart, Hermione? He was having an affair with my sister while he was married to you. He told her that he would leave you to be with her. He promised it over and over but never delivered. She got tired of it, and even though she still loved him, she went off and married Blaise instead. For a long time, I blamed you, but then I realized that you too were just a victim. I decided that..."

She backed up slowly, making her way over to the bed. "It was all his fault that she ended up dead!" she screamed. "If he would have had the balls to leave you and be with her- but NO! All he gave her was empty promises and excuses, giving her no choice but to seek love somewhere else!" Her face was contorted with fierce anger. "This was all his fault!" she whipped off the covers and spit on his mutilated body.

"I crept up behind the bastard and..." She pretended to wrap a garrote around an invisible person and choke the living shit out of them. "He never saw it coming!"

Hermione moaned and buried her face in Draco's chest. Ginny averted her eyes and tried to not pass out.

"You sent him an invitation at the last minute so that you could kill him as well?" Harry asked, taking a step towards her, hoping in her anger that she didn't notice. "You think this was just as much Ron's fault as it was Blaise's, don't you?" Harry wished he could just whip out the gun and blow her knee cap off or something. "How did you know about this party anyway?"

Parvati smiled, looking very pretty despite being crazy. "The house-elves, of course! Most of them belonged to my family and came to live here after the marriage. They were very loyal to my sister and to me as well. The one that answered the door was the one who reported directly to me. He told me everything that went on in this house. After Padma was murdered, he informed me that Draco was blackmailing Blaise, but that Blaise was going to turn the tables on him at this party."

"When he saw Ron turn up, he was prepared though; because he had been planning on showing Hermione all the information he had collected on her husband anyway, so why not humiliate him in person instead?" She covered Ron back up and then looked over at Hermione, who was clinging to Draco and sobbing. "The only reason I didn't kill you is because Draco loves you." Her hand slid across the sheet as if caressing the dead body underneath. "He was very kind to my sister, and so I decided to repay his kindness by helping him to get the woman he loves."

"You killed Pansy so Draco could be with me?" Hermione asked, with morbid fascination.

"I knew being the conceited whore she was; sooner or later she would run to her cosmetics bag to powder her plastic nose. Yes, I killed that slut, bitch of a wife of his, so that he would be free to be with you."

"Oh, what a very splendid thing to do!" Ginny said sarcastically. "How nice of you to go and turn Pansy into what resembles a charred fish-stick, just so Draco-fucking- Malfoy can be happy!"

"I'd shut your trap if I were you, Ginny. After all, I have no reason to keep you alive, do I?" She took her hand from the bed walked slowly up to Ginny. She stopped directly in front of her and stuck her wand under Ginny's chin. "On second thought, maybe I'll keep you alive..." She seemed to ponder this and then said, "Yes. I'll let Draco and Hermione escape, kill Harry, stun you, and plant false memories in your mind of you being the killer."

"What about motive?" Draco asked. "Who's going to believe that Ginny killed everyone? That's beyond stupid."

Parvati's smile faltered. "Hmmm. You're right, Draco." She shoved the wand harder into Ginny's neck. "Well, then I'll just have to kill them both and leave no survivors. The house-elves will tell them that Blaise went psycho, killed everyone but Harry and when Harry saw his beloved wife was dead, he killed himself- with this wand."

Harry saw Ginny's eyes widen with fear, and he quickly thought of something to distract Parvati. "How are you going to use that wand to kill me, when we all saw for a fact that our wands were useless? Blaise cast a spell..."

God you're an idiot, aren't you?" Parvati snapped.

Hermione suddenly realized something. "When Blaise died, the spell was broken..."

"Very good, Hermione!" Parvati said taking the wand out of Ginny's face and turning towards her. "When I killed that sorry excuse for a man, your wands once more became functional and more importantly, the doors and windows were no longer sealed!" She giggled brightly as if she had just won the lottery. "That's right! You could have escaped out the front door anytime you wanted!" She was grinning manically. "But it's too late now, and I'm afraid that I must kill the both of you."

Ginny backed up, bumping into Harry, who held her tightly with one hand- hiding his body so that he could take out the gun without Parvati seeing.

"Do you honestly think I'm going to stand here and do nothing while you kill Harry and Ginny, and then just let you walk away? I'll kill you before I let that happen!" Hermione said, digging deep and finding her courage.

Parvati seemed a little shocked. "I'm really sorry, Draco, but it looks as if I'm going to have to kill your precious Hermione as well. Hell! I might as well just kill all of you" As she backed up and aimed her wand at the small group, the lights suddenly came on, blinding them all. Harry took his chance and pulled out the gun, pushed Ginny to the side and cocked it, ready to blow Parvati's fucking head off.

Parvati heard the gun, turned, slashed her wand in Harry's direction and sent him flying into the wall. The gun flew from his hand, bounced off the carpet and landed at Draco's feet.

Draco bent to pick it. He let go of Hermione long enough for Parvati to grab a hold of her, spin her around, pinning her arm painfully behind her back and hold her wand directly over Hermione's chest. Draco pointed the gun at Parvati's head, his aim was steady and his eyes were hard.

"Let her go, you cunt and maybe you won't die," he said.

"Please, Draco," she said with a little laugh. "You don't even know how to use a Muggle gun. I on the other hand, no very well how to use a wand. Do you want to take a chance with her life? Do you think you could figure out how to shoot me before I can kill her"

Draco looked at Hermione, not knowing what to do and hoping to find an answer in her eyes. Parvati was right; he had no clue how to fire this gun. What if he missed and killed Hermione instead?

"What the hell are you waiting for, Malfoy?" Harry asked. "Shoot the bitch!"

Sweat was beginning to pour down his face and it was burning his eyes. His hand was starting to shake as he became more unsure by the second.

"Malfoy!" Harry shouted. "You damn coward, do something!"

"Just shut the fuck up, Potter!" He had caught a glimpse of something out of the corner of his eye- something no one else was seeing and he smiled to himself.

Parvati was almost pleading. "Just think about it, Draco. What if you hit her by mistake and her head explodes like a melon? Do you really want to go through life knowing you killed the only woman you ever loved?"

Harry was frustrated beyond belief. "Don't listen to her!"

It was too late; Draco lowered the gun, looking defeated.

"That's a good boy, now toss the gun away," Parvati said.

Draco looked up sadly and threw the revolver. It landed behind her with a soft thud next to the bedroom door.

"Now, I'm going to let her go, and then she's going to line up with the rest of you so that I can finish the job!" She pushed Hermione, sending her falling into Draco. "I think I'll kill you first," she said to Ginny. "Maybe I'll scalp you and make a wig out of that glorious ginger hair of yours."

There was a tense moment and then, the rest of them saw what Draco had seen and their eyes lit up with hope.

"And then I think Hermione should die..."

"The only person in this room that's going to die is you, Parvati," Neville said from behind her.

Parvati spun around. "Neville! You look like death! What happened to you?"

"You know damn right what happened to me, you crazy bitch! You hit me with a fucking brick and pushed me down a flight of fucking stairs!" He was hiding the gun behind his back, praying that she didn't notice. "Why?"

Parvati rolled her eyes. "Neville, darling, I had to do it. You saw me and I couldn't let you tell them it was me!" She slowly raised her wand. "This is like the never ending night from hell, isn't it? I feel as if I've been killing all night and have gotten absolutely nowhere!" She sighed heavily. "Well, I have no one to blame but myself, right? I should have made sure that you were dead, Neville. A stupid mistake- one that I'm going to rectify right now by making your brain explode in your skull."

"I don't think so," Neville said, and before Parvati could do anything, Neville tossed the gun to Harry who quickly took aim and shot her, right in the back of the head. Neville watched her shocked expression go slack, and then she fell face forward into the purple carpet.

Harry stood there, the smell of gun smoke wafting up his flared nostrils. Did he really just kill someone? It all had happened so fast!

"The authorities are on their way," Neville said, he was swaying and looked like he had been run over by a train. "I heard her say that the spell was broken, so I went and flooed the Ministry. Then I managed to get the lights back on and stagger back up the stairs."

"Thanks Neville," Hermione said, kissing his cheek. "You saved us all."

Neville blushed and stammered, " WW...what are we going to tell them when they get here?"

Harry walked over and with the toe of his slipper, gently moved Parvati's hand to see if she was still alive. No response. "We tell them everything. They'll want to know what happened."

"Everything?" Ginny asked, meaning the blackmail and the secrets.

"Well, maybe not everything. We don't need to mention certain... er... things, but if they ask who killed the murderer, tell them that it was Harry Potter- in the bedroom- with the revolver."

Suddenly, Ron sat up and started clapping. "That was bloody brilliant, mate! Best script yet!"

EPILOGUE "I agree! Luna! Where's Luna?" Harry shouted.

Luna came strolling into the room, followed by George, Seamus and Padma, who were all smiles.

"That was a damn brilliant script, Luna!" Harry said excitedly.

"Thank you, but it would have been nothing without George's special effects and makeup!" She was a little shocked that her script was so well liked.

"It was way better than Ron's attempt last month!" Harry said, holding out his hand and helping Parvati to her feet.

"Hey now," Ron said, pulling his legs out from underneath him. He stood up and fake bloody intestines fell to the carpet with a plop. "Mine was MUCH better than that disaster Seamus made up!"

Draco frowned and rolled his eyes. "Please Weasley! You having the Butler be the one who did it was the dumbest and most played out thing I've ever seen! It was painful to be a part of!"

"Does it matter?" Ginny said, laughing. "We all agree that Luna's is the best so far, even better that Hermione's!"

Draco cleared his throat, "Well if it weren't for Hermione and her wonderful imagination, we would have never started this little monthly production. Her's was the first and in my opinion, still remains the best." He winked at her and she smiled sweetly back. No one but Luna and Harry caught the unmistakable exchange of love that passed between them.

Harry thought at first it must have been his imagination, but on second glance, he saw that hey were indeed gazing longingly into each other's eyes. 'What the hell?' he thought. 'How is this possible?'

Pansy walked in the room, wiping her face with a towel, trying to get the black makeup off. "I'm getting sick and tired of this! Why is it that I always have to die?"

"Because we all hate you and really wish you were dead," Draco said and then laughed like he didn't mean it when he really did, and was pretty sure everyone else felt the same.

"Well, I get to write the next one and I'm sure as hell going to have fun thinking of ways for all of you to die!"

"Surely you're not planning on killing me?" Blaise asked, entering the room still wearing only his underwear and the noose around his neck. "I will not be murdered twice in a row, and especially in a way concocted by my evil-minded wife."

Pansy lifted her eyebrow as if to say 'oh, really?'

I'm your husband and I forbid it!" Blaise said, stomping his foot.

George chuckled. "Forbid it? For Merlin's sake man! We all know she wears your balls around her neck!"

"Yeah! If there was ever anyone pussy whipped, it's you!" Seamus said. "She is definitely the man in the relationship!"

Blaise turned on Seamus with furry. "Shut up, Finnigin! I heard you have to massage YOUR wife's scaly stinky feet every night, and Marcus told me he even spotted you buying her tampons at the store! Talk about whipped! You'd never catch me pacing the pad aisle!"

"Enough!" Harry said. "I really don't want to hear about how Parvati has feet that look and smell like a trout..."

"I do not!" she said, pouting. "I have very pretty feet!"

"Whatever!" Harry snapped. "I for one am tired and really should be getting to bed. Shall we call it a night?"

Everyone agreed, and filed out of the room and down the stairs.

"Do you need some help cleaning this up, Draco?" Luna asked, standing in the foyer. "We really did make a mess."

Draco smiled gratefully at her. "No, that's okay. I haven't been able to sleep lately, and cleaning this up will give me something to occupy my mind." He looked around at all the scuff marks and the fake blood pool with a brick lying in the center. He thought about cleaning up all the broken glass upstairs, and maybe- just maybe- he would pick up a shard of that glass and slice his wrists open...

"I'm really sorry about your wife leaving you," Luna said in her innocent voice. "I never really liked her much."

Everyone looked around uncomfortably. Draco's face was expressionless.

"I thought she was a right bitch," Blaise said with a smirk. "You're better off without her, mate."

"Draco," Padma said, laying her tiny slender hand gently on his arm. "Zabini is right- for once." She shot Blaise a look of pure loathing. "Now you are free to find the woman who will truly love you as much as you love her. There IS such a person out there whether you believe it or not." She squeezed his arm slightly. "Someday you will be happy again. You will find the woman you desire and you will make her yours, I know it."

Draco wanted to throw her off and scream to whole room that he could care less that his wife left him. What was making him depressed and suicidal was the fact that he HAD found the love he desired and was forced to watch her live her life with someone else!

Hermione lifted her eyes from the floor and searched out his. She saw pure pain in them, pain that she to felt- every second of the day. She wanted nothing more than to run to him, throw her arms around him and tell him over and over how much she loved him.

"Yes, well, thank you for your kindness," Draco managed to say, tearing his eyes away from Hermione's. "I guess I'll be seeing you in a few weeks, then?" He said to the group, who were now walking out of the front door and onto the well manicured wet lawn.

"Sooner than that, Malfoy," Harry said. "We have that meeting tomorrow, remember?"

"Oh, right!" Draco said. It had completely slipped his mind. He cringed at the thought of sitting in a room with Potter and Weasley all afternoon discussing this and that.

Luna stood on tip-toe and kissed Draco on the cheek. "Bye-bye!" She waved and then Disapparated. George took Padma's hand and after saying their farewells, they too went home.

"See you, mate!" Seamus said with a salute. He and Parvati walked down the path a bit and then disappeared. Neville patted the dog for a bit and then after yawning hugely, said that Hannah would be waiting up and he needed to get going.

After he left, Pansy said with relief and a bit of distaste, "I'm so glad he's gone! Pretending to make love to Longbottom was nauseating!" She shivered. "His hands all over me! I need to take a shower for like ten hours to disinfect myself!" She brushed her dress as if making invisible Lonbottom-cooties fall to the ground. "How about you, Draco?" she said, looking to see if Hermione and everyone else was out of earshot.
Hermione and Ginny were looking at the roses and Ron and Harry were discussing Quidditch or something. "I bet you were totally disgusted having to pretend to have sex with Granger in that closet, right?"

Draco glanced over at Hermione, who had picked a rose and was holding it under her nose, inhaling its sweetness. The moonlight was dripping down, illuminating her figure under that silky nightgown she was still wearing. She looked sexy and beautiful. "Pretending. Yeah..." he said, dragging his eyes from the lovely vision before him and looking down at Pansy's grimace. "It was the most horrible experience of my life."

"And yet," Blaise said. "It wasn't the first time it's happened, is it?" He furrowed his brow, thinking. "If I'm not mistaken, both your script and her's had scenes with you having sex." He grinned slyly at Draco, who just looked blankly back at him. "Are you trying to tell us something?"

"Like what?" Draco asked. "You think Granger and I have something going?"

Blaise looked into Draco's face, trying to discover if he was indeed getting it on with the Mudblood.

"Don't be ridiculous!" Pansy said. "Draco and Granger?" She laughed so hard she snorted. "That's the funniest thing I've ever heard!" She grabbed Blaise by the arm and pulled him down the path and together they Disapparated, Pansy's laughter hanging in the air.

"I'm telling you, there is something going on!" Ron was trying to keep his voice low, but was finding it increasingly difficult to do. "That's the third time it's happened!"

Harry agreed whole-heartedly with Ron. There was definitely something going on, but he decided not to voice his suspicions- he was going to lie instead. "You're just being paranoid! Hermione loves you. Why would she ever cheat on you with Malfoy? She hates him."

Ron frowned. Was he just being paranoid? It was just that she was so smart and beautiful, and he often wondered just what in the bloody hell she was doing with him. There were plenty of other men out there; men that were more attractive- and had more money; men like Draco Malfoy.

Harry saw that Ron was still thinking about it and smacked him in the head.

"Oi! What did you do that for?" He asked, holding his head as if in severe pain.

"Trying to knock some sense into you! She loves you and she would NEVER have an affair with another man- especially Malfoy."

Ron looked at Harry's serious face and decided he was right. "I'm just being stupid, aren't I?"

"Like always," Harry said, laughing. They walked over to Draco, who was standing alone on the front steps looking at the storm clouds that were blowing in. "Well, Malfoy, it's been fun. I look forward to doing it again."

"Yes, I rather enjoy our little get-togethers." He felt suddenly more depressed than he had ever felt in his life. He really did look forward to their game of Clue, not only because he got to see Hermione, but because for that one day a month, he felt as if he had real friends.

He watched as Hermione put a rose tenderly behind her ear. She looked up at him, her head tilted to the side, her hair falling over her shoulder and she mouthed the words 'I love you'. His pulse rushed and he suddenly knew he couldn't stand there a moment longer without shouting to the heavens that he loved her too. He abruptly turned, walked up the steps, slamming the door behind him.

"What the hell was that all about?" Ron asked Harry, as Hermione and Ginny walked over.

"Don't know."

They looked at the door a moment longer and then Ron asked if they were ready to go.

"More than ready," Harry said. "It's been a long night."

They started to walk down the path when Hermione suddenly stopped. "Oh, no! I've forgotten something! I'll be right back!" she said and rushed back towards the Manor.

Draco was sitting in the library in the chair facing the fire. He was holding Hermione's jumper in his hands, and his tears were falling onto the soft fabric. He didn't hear the front door open and he didn't hear her approaching, until she spoke.

"Draco?" she said softly.

He didn't answer and so she came around the chair and knelt down, taking his hand from the jumper and grasping it in her own.

"I can't do this anymore, Hermione," he said, letting the tears fall; wanting her to see his pain.

"We have no choice. We knew it from the beginning, and we agreed to keep it a secret"
Draco lifted his head and she closed her eyes as his fingers caressed her cheek. "I'm suffering, Hermione. You have no idea how it feels to want to touch you, hold you- make love to you, and not be able to."

"What the hell is taking her so long?" Ron asked angrily. "I'm going to see what's going on." He started towards the door, but Harry held him back.

"I'll go. I need to ask him something about the meeting tomorrow anyway." He hoped Ron would agree. Who knew what he would find if he just barged into the house? Ginny was looking at him strangely, knowing something wasn't right.

"Fine! But hurry!"

Harry quietly opened the front door and made his way down the hall. He had no idea where Hermione and Draco were, so he just looked in every room until at last he heard voices coming from inside the library. He crept silently over to the partially closed door and listened.

"You don't think I'm suffering as well?" Hermione said. "How do you think I feel looking at Ron everyday and wishing it were you I was sharing my life with instead?" she stood and strode over to the fireplace. I wish things could be different, but there are children involved- your children. They think Ron is their father and to tell them otherwise would crush them."

Draco smirked. "Do you think it was a coincidence that Luna put that in her script? About our children, I mean?"

Hermione watched the flames dancing, seeing strange shapes. "Luna is very perceptive. She sees things that others ignore."

"Do you think she knows that we're in love?" Draco stood and walked over to her, embracing her and planting gentle kisses on her neck.

Harry just about gasped out loud with shock. Hermione and Draco? In Love and... the children were really Malfoy's? He could not think why she would love HIM- apparently some things were meant to remain a mystery. He slowly backed away from the door and made his way back outside.

"Well?" Ron asked angrily. "Where is she?"

"She's coming," Harry said, still in shock. "She's just stopped to talk to the house-elves."

Draco was sucking the skin on her neck, his hands running hungrily over the thin material covering her breasts. "I wish everyone could know how much I love you."

"That's not possible, and unless you have a better idea, my love," Hermione said, turning around and kissing him passionately. "We have to keep our secret."

Draco suddenly did have a wonderful idea. When it was once again his turn to write the murder mystery script, there was really going to BE a murder- Weasley was going to die. "If you say so my, darling. You never know, perhaps your dear husband will meet with an untimely death and then we can be together- forever."