Chapter 1: What has become of us?
Babys black balloon
makes her fly
I almost fell into that hole in your life
And youre not thinking about tomorrow
cause you were the same as me
But on your knees
Draco sat in the corner of a small coffee shop and bookstore on a frigid November evening. He't taken to coming to this little muggle out of the way place to keep from going home every night to the houe he'd inherited from his parents.
It had been four long years since the end of the war. Four years since they had graduated from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizadry. Four years since his parents had been captured and sentenced to the Dementor's Kiss for torturing and killing innocent men, women and children at the command of their Master the Dark Lord Voldemort.
Malfoy had testified agains them himself. He had seen first hand what his father could do—and what his mother had done—to the innocents they brought to their house and held in their dungeons. He even told the courts that he'd been the victim of their brutal attacks on more than one occasion. He did not claim any relation to that or any other generation of Malfoys.
It was partially for that reason that he resented returning to the house where so much hatred had dwelled over the years. Another reason was because he returned alone.
In school, Hermione Granger had been the brightest witch of her age. She'd graduated with top marks and with the highest scores on her NEWTS that any student had made in a century. She'd been awarded an Order of Merlin First Class for her role in the defeat of the Dark Lord—she stood right beside Harry Potter as he faced down his greatest enemy—and she seemed to have everything going for her.
She even had a loving, proud fiance. Ron Weasley never tried to hold her back from anything she wanted to do—he seemed to want nothing but the best for her—he seemed to love her with all his being. He'd asked her to marry him the night Voldemort had been defeated. Of course, Hermione had accepted his proposal.
Now—four years later, things were different in Hermione's life. She had no one she could turn to, had no where to go to sleep at night. She had no job and no money—except that which she made selling herself in the alleyways when it was dark enough to hide her face.
Her face was gaunt, her body slender and bony—it had suffered greatly in the years since her graduation—and her clothes were rags. She shivered against a westward wind that had picked up as the sun began to set. It was nearly time for her to go back to work.
Draco paid for his drink and took the copy of the muggle paper he'd picked up and headed for the door. He was occupied with folding the paper and did not see the slender women when he ran into her.
"Pardon me, Miss I—" but he stopped when he looked down and thought for sure that he recognized the face before him.
Hermione knew Draco Malfoy instantly. He was still the wealthiest bachelor in Great Britain. She lowered her face immediately and muttered a strangled apology, before backing away and turning and hurrying down the street she'd just come from.
Draco stared after the retreating girl for a moment, trying to remember where he'd seen her before. When the breeze picked up again, and swept her long, bushy hair about her figure. Suddenly, he knew exactly where he'd seen this young woman before. But could it really be her?
He dropped the cup of coffee and paper and took off after the woman in the tattered trench coat. He didn't want to call her name—for fear that it might not be who he thought it was—but he called out after her, "hey! Hey wait!" trying to get her attention. She only seemed to quicken her step.
Draco, having been blessed with the longer legs, easily caught up to the woman and took a hold of her arm. She attmpted to jerk it away, a frightened look on her face. "Let go of me, Ferret!" she cried, then, realizing what she'd said, snapped her mouth closed, and bolted away from him.
Draco found an Aparation point and went home more confused than ever. When he'd left Hogwarts, Hermione seemed to have everything in the world—how on earth could she have ended up on the streets? And where was she now?
The thoughts plagued Draco's mind such that he couldn't sleep at all that night. It irritated him that he was so curious about the… but she wasn't that word anymore—she hadn't been since his father had been killed. Draco didn't use the word "Mudblood" anymore. He was curious why the muggle-born witch was dressed as though that's all she had in the world, why she looked ragged, and tired. Why her arm felt as though it had no meat on it. Surely there was some explaination.
Thowing his sheets off the foot of his bed, Draco growled, stood and walked over to his window. As he looked out on the grounds of the Malfoy Manor, he wondered if he would ever see her again. If he could find her if he looked hard enough.
Something inside of him wanted to find her and help her. Something inside him needed to understand what had happened—and how it had happened—to one of the purest beings he'd ever known.
He decided to wait again for her at the coffee shop the next day. He would sit by the door, watch and wait.
For three days, Malfoy saw noone that looked like the girl he'd run into on that fridged night. He'd begun to give up hope, when, across the street, he caught a glipse of curly hair as it disappeared into an alley.
Draco hastily paid for his order, though he hadn't touched his tea, and exited the little shop in the direction he'd seen the curly haired girl go.
Hermione followed the man's orders expertly. She'd become numb to any pain or embarassment. This was her only talent. It was the only thing she had left in the world to sell. And it didn't matter anyway—it wasn't worth anything. She wasn't worth anything. She allowed herself to be thrust up against the wall, and closed her eyes as the man lifted her skirt. She felt him unbuckle his belt and thrust up against her. This always reminded her of her first time—not with the man she had loved, no… her first time offering her body to a stranger for money. It was the part right before they were inside her that she hated the most.
The man grunted drunkenly, she knew he wouldn't last long, if he managed to get any satisfaction at all. She wished it was over already—but she hooked her leg around his waist and allowed him better acces. He missed twice, and repositioned himself, holding onto one of her arms as it rested against the brick wall by her face to help steady himself. She felt pressure against her, and then, nothing.
There was a dull thud, a cracking of bone, and a sharp intake of breath and before she could open her eyes, she felt the drunkard release her and stumble to the ground. She she finally opened her eyes, she found his face covered in blood, and his nose cocked at an odd angle.
Hermione turned from her customer to his attacker, fearing she might find some other man who wanted her for himself—but what she saw was much worse. It was Draco Malfoy.
"Granger." Draco whispered, disbelievingly, through a strangled throat.
Hermione could say nothing. She was too afraid and embarassed to run. Could Malfoy possibly want a go with her as wel?
"Granger." Draco breathed again, stepping a bit closer to her. "It is you." He said, when she flinched at his tone. "Merlin what has become of you?" His voice was unexpectedly soft, and Hermione couldn't meet his eyes.
"Go away Malfoy. You've done enough damage. You can't possibly do anymore." Hermoine spat coldly, hugging her coat to her body, she suddenly felt naked and exposed.
"I won't. I can't leave you here like this. Not with him. Not—" he didn't finish his sentence, only motioned to the situation he'd found her in. He reached for her arm, but she drew back from him in fear and shame.
"Come on, Granger. I'm not leaving you here." Malfoy said, irritated at her insolence. He took her arm and aparated both of them back to the front gates of the Malfoy Manor.
OBVIOUSLY THIS IS OOC! And it's not…anything compliant either. Pure Fiction and artistic-license. So don't flame me for not following the books. :P
This is just the first chapter—and I know it's a bit…graphic. But it's rated M for a reason. As the story progresses, you'll learn more about Hermione's and Draco's pasts I'll also be sort of molding my story around the entire song.. so you'll see more of it in following chapters.
Also, the Song,
"Black Balloon" is by GooGooDolls. And I don't own the song or
anything in Harry Potter. Just in case you might have thought
Poor Hermione! Why's she on the streets? What happened between her and Ron? Can she even do magic still? All these questions and more will be answered in upcoming chapters!