Chapter Seven

Diagon Alley

A week had passed since the ball. The rest of the night had gone smoothly, Hermione never spent anytime with Draco or his friends, and the rest of the week was spent relaxing with Draco again. She and Draco had grown very close over the week. A tapping at her bedroom window brought Hermione out of her thoughts. She got off the bed and opened the window. The tawny owl flew in and perched on the back of her chair. Hermione walked over and calmly undid the letter. The owl hooted and flew off again. She shut the window and sat down on her bed, preparing to open the letter. She turned it over and saw the wax seal of Hogwarts. Excitement built up inside her and she almost tore open the letter. A badge fell out of the envelope into her lap. She gasped and quickly scanned the letter.

Hermione burst into the dining room, a huge smile plastered on her face. Draco was standing in the room also with a huge smile on his face. "I'm Head Girl!" Hermione squealed. Lucius' face lit up and then changed to confusion. "Wait, when did you go to Hogwarts?" He asked. Hermione gulped. "When I lived with my adoptive parents I got a letter when I was eleven saying I was a witch. So I went to Hogwarts. I'm in Gryffindor before you ask." She told him. She prayed with all her heart he didn't put the pieces together and work out who she was before. Lucius smiled. "Well done. I'm not too happy about a Malfoy being in Gryffindor, but as long as one of you is a Slytherin and you are happy, that's all that matters." He told them. Hermione turned to Draco. "Am I right on assuming, from your smug face, you were made Head Boy?" She smirked. Draco nodded enthusiastically. Hermione laughed. Around others Draco put up a hard, cold front, but around her and his family he was just normal. She began to wonder if he was like this with his friends too.

"…What do you say Mione?" Draco finished. "Say to what? Sorry I was miles away." Hermione said, blushing. Draco grinned. "I said how about a trip to Diagon Alley, I'm sure you're dying to get your hands on the new school books. You've already read loads from the library." He teased. Hermione shot him a glare, but nodded. "Ok. But hurry up; I really want to get my books." She joked. Draco laughed, as did Lucius and Narcissa. It wasn't long before the whole Malfoy family were laughing, a rare occurrence. Hermione stopped laughing first and smiled at her family. All the Malfoys put up a front when they were in public, but in private they were kind and funny at times. Lucius stopped shortly after and smiled at his daughter. It was a shame he had missed so much in her life; but what he had done, he had done for her protection.

Hermione pulled her sweater on and stepped outside, into the hall. She walked over to Draco's door and knocked on it. A second later, Draco opened it sporting a sweater and some jeans. The twins were dressed almost the same. Hermione was wearing a light red sweater and wore jeans with high heeled boots, while Draco wore a green sweater with jeans and trainers. He smiled at her and they walked down into the living room. Narcissa was sat on a sofa reading a wizarding romance novel. She looked up as her children entered the room. "Have a good time, won't you." She smiled. Hermione walked over and gave her mother a quick hug before joining Draco in Flooing to Diagon Alley.

Hermione stepped out of the fire at the leaky cauldron and brushed the soot of her jeans. Some strands of blonde hair had found their way over her shoulder, so she flicked it back again. This action caught the attention of some men around her age. She saw them looking and scoffed, taking Draco's arm and walking out of the Leaky cauldron. They stepped into the small courtyard and Draco pulled out his wand. He tapped the bricks and the wall melted away to reveal the magical shops and people milling around. He turned to her and shot her a dazzling smile. "Shall we, Sister dear?" He joked. "I think we shall, Brother darling." Hermione shot back. They stepped into the crowds and Hermione let go of Draco's arm. She pulled out a list of things to get. "First of all we need some potions ingredients." She said. "That's this way then." Draco replied, pulling her through the crowds.

They finished the list in no time at all. "Right, now we can do our own things." Hermione announced. "Okay. I'm going to go to the Quidditch shop." Draco told her. "I'm going to stay here a bit, look at other books." Hermione answered. Draco shrugged and left his twin in her favourite shop, Flourish and Blotts. He pushed past the crowds and headed towards his goal, his favourite shop. As he entered, he caught sight of a familiar black haired boy. He walked over. "Blaise, nice to see you again." He called. Blaise Zambini spun round and gave his friend a grin. "Yeah, you too. I'm just here to check out the new broom, it's really cool." He told him. Draco nodded. "Let's go check it out then." He smirked, leading his friend into the masses.

Hermione sighed and ran her hand over the many spines of books before her. She was so lost in her thoughts she didn't even notice a group of people try to pass her, that is until one bumped into her. "I'm sorry my dear." The woman apologised, kindly. Hermione's face lit up. She knew that voice. She turned round and caught sight of the Weasleys and Harry. "It's okay Mrs Weasley. I was rather hoping of running into you." She grinned. Mrs Weasley frowned and stared at her. "Do I know you?" She asked, confused. "Of course you do. It's me, Hermione Malfoy, once Hermione Granger." Hermione told her. The group's jaws dropped as they stared at her. "Surprise. I told you I'd changed." She giggled. "Bloody Hell Mione!" Fred gasped. "What, is there something wrong?" She asked, teasing them. "No, it's just…" Fred began. "You're beautiful." Ron burst out, turning red instantly. Hermione began to blush as well. "You think so?" She asked. The Weasleys and Harry nodded vigorously. She laughed and pulled each one into a hug. Ginny grinned when she, Harry and Ron pulled her away from the rest. "I knew who you were right away. Witch Weekly had a picture of you and Malfoy at your Birthday ball. I loved the tiara by the way." She told her. Hermione smiled. "Thank you. Daddy bought it for me." She grinned. The three began laughing. "What?" She snapped. "It's just that you're calling one of the most feared Deatheaters in the country Daddy, at his request!" Harry spluttered. Hermione smirked and they all shuddered. "Don't do that! You look too much like ferret!" Ron gasped, clutching his heart. "Talking about me were you?" A drawling voice made them spin round. "Come on Mione, we've got to get back to the Manor. Father will have a fit if we're not back by one. You've really got him wrapped round your little finger." Draco smirked. Hermione laughed. "Daddy's so protective." She sighed, shaking her head. "But can't I have five more minutes, please?" She asked. Draco rolled his eyes. "Fine, I'll meet you in the Leaky Cauldron." He sighed. Hermione smiled and quickly hugged him. Draco grinned when she drew back. "You know you're going to ruin my reputation if you keep hugging me in public." He joked. Hermione blushed. "See you later then." She called as dragged her friends away to the ice-cream parlour.

The four chose a quiet table at the back of the room so the wouldn't be overheard. As soon as they sat down, Hermione leaned forwards, laced her fingers together, put her elbows on the table and rested her head on her fingers. "So what's been going on?" She asked. The two boys were still in shock to from seeing Hermione hug Draco like that. "Nothing much, isn't that right boys?" Ginny answered. Ron just moved his mouth and no sound came out. "Bloody hell Mione. You hugged, Draco Malfoy, our worst enemy." Harry finally got out. Hermione rolled her eyes. "Over the past week I've gotten really close to Draco, and that was just natural. In fact on my first night there, I had a nightmare and Draco comforted me. I ended up staying in his room all night." Hermione told them. Ginny sighed. "That's so sweet. I take it you're younger than him." She added. Hermione nodded. "By ten minutes." Ginny sighed again. "He's getting right into the roll of being big brother, that's so cute." She said, dreamily. "Wait, does he know who you used to be?" Ron asked, quickly. "Yeah, and Mother does. They've both sworn not to tell Daddy. Draco's promise was sealed with a spell, and Mother's just happy she's got me back and is delighted I'm the brightest witch of my age." Hermione told them. "I hate to think what Lucius would do if her found out." Harry muttered. Hermione paled. "That's what my nightmare was about. All of you and the rest of the Weasleys and my Mother died, then Draco led Daddy over and I turned back to Hermione Granger and he killed me." She told them. She glanced at the clock. "I'd better go. I'll write to you later." She called. "Wait, Mione!" Ron yelled. Hermione turned to see him holding out two pieces of parchment. "Take this. One piece is connected to all three of us and the other will connect to who ever you want it to. It's the twins' new invention." He smiled, handing them to her. Hermione nodded and scurried away, delighted to have a way to contact them.

Draco sat on a stool in the Leaky Cauldron chatting to Blaise over a drink. They were talking about the Dark Mark and how to avoid it, when Draco spotted Hermione enter the pub. "Excuse me, Blaise, Hermione's here and we have to go. But how about you come round next week? Bring Crabbe and Goyle, I suppose Pansy will have to come too." He smiled, getting up to go. Blaise nodded and watched as he friend approached Hermione. Draco offered his arm to her and she gladly took it. They stepped into the fire side by side and Draco threw some powder into the fire, shouting "Malfoy Manor!" as he did so. There was a roaring of green flames and a horrible spinning sensation, before the twins stepped out into the living room. They glanced at the clock and saw it was One o'clock on the dot. "Do you want to go swimming?" Draco asked. Hermione nodded. "Go grab your swimsuit and I'll meet you outside. The last one in is a rotten dragon egg." He smirked.