A/N: This was written before the seventh book, so it's going to disregard everything that happens. Please don't let that bother you. It's also Draco/Hermione, so if you hate that, don't read. Otherwise, enjoy!


Hermione Granger, a nineteen-year-old striking brunette with a petite frame and long, wispy hair stood at her doorway, watching the rain slowly trickle down onto the sidewalk in front of her. The clock in the tiny kitchen read almost one o'clock, but Hermione took no notice of it as she stared out blankly into the fog. Her eyes were red and puffy from crying and her blouse hung loosely from her shaking shoulders.

A short, plump woman with bright red hair came walking in from behind, a hesitant smile on her face. She slipped her arm around the other girl's shoulder and gave her a comforting squeeze. "Thank you," Hermione said listlessly, looking down at the large plate of cookies Mrs. Weasley held out to Hermione. She munched on one-halfheartedly and continued staring out the doorway into the countryside that surrounded the Burrow where the Weasleys lived. The two remained silent for several minutes before Hermione shifted uncomfortably.

"Do you think he's…" she was so choked up that she couldn't finish her sentence. Mrs. Weasley back at the clock behind her. One of the hands was turned so that it indicated Ronald Weasley, her son, was in mortal peril. Hermione followed Mrs. Weasleys' glance and let out a soft sob. For two years, ever since Harry Potter had finally defeated Voldemort, not a hand on that clock had ever turned to the words "Mortal Peril". Now Hermione feared for the life of the boy she loved, Ronald Weasley.

Things since the death of Voldemort had nearly gone back to normal, except for Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy. Ginny Weasley had died in the final battle, something that Harry had never truly gotten over. Lucius Malfoy had uttered the words that sent the dreaded killing spell at the youngest Weasley child.

Draco had watched in horror as Harry had chased down his father, too senseless with hate and pain to be stopped. Draco had watched as the form of his lifeless father, the father he hated and loved, crumple to the ground in front of Harry. Aurors restrained him before he could attack Harry back, but after that he had disappeared, angry and inconsolable. No one had heard from him since.

The clock stuck one o'clock loudly, making Hermione and Mrs. Weasley jump. Hermione stained her eyes, trying to find Ron and Harry in the distance. Ron had left at lunch to invite Harry to dinner, instead of having him eat alone at home like he usually did. Harry had not been himself since Ginny's death, and even though Mrs. Weasley and Ron were terribly hurt as well, they had put all their effort out into cheering Harry up and making him a part of the family like he used to be.

Hermione started out into the rain, but Mrs. Weasley grabbed her shoulder roughly and held her back. "No!" she said worriedly, "not you too, Hermione! We can alert Arthur and the Ministry if need be, but I won't have you going out there all alone." Hermione shook her off and shook her head.

"I can't just stand here and leave them alone like this, especially not Ron. I have to go."

"Hermione, please…"

Hermione felt something inside of her snap. "Listen to me! You can't protect me forever. I'm not some little girl any more. My parents may have been killed, but that doesn't mean you need to take their place."

Mrs. Weasley instantly flared up, angrier than Hermione had ever seen her before. "Don't you dare tell me that! All I've done is tried to be kind to you and Ron, to make you a part of the family."

Hermione stared at her. "I'm not Ginny," she said simply. "And pretending I'm your daughter won't bring her back. I've already lost a friend, and my parents, but I'm not loosing Ron."

Mrs. Weasley let go of Hermione's shoulder and stared at her blankly. Hermione brushed away the angry tears that had been running down her cheeks.

"You go, dear." Mrs. Weasley said, forcing the kindness into her voice. "Take care of yourself." Hermione nodded and stepped out of the door and into the darkness.

Hermione walked briskly down the dark, and almost empty street of Diagon Alley. She had found Harry's house empty and decided to search wherever she could think of. Diagon Alley had been the first thing she had thought of. The guilt of how cruelly she had treated Mrs. Weasley hung over her like a shadow, but she brushed it aside. Hermione buttoned her coat up and speed up her pace. Suddenly, a low voice sounded behind her.


Hermione recognized the voice, and whipped around, her wand ready. She looked to an alley at her side and saw the pale face of Draco Malfoy. Before she could react, he had knocked her wand from her hand and had clamped his hand over her mouth, dragging her into the dark depths of the alley, where nobody could find her.