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A Familiar Place III – A familiar place is with someone you love. Draco Malfoy must travel to the past & he's willing to endure anything, even reliving the worst year of his life, if it means he will secure his future with the woman he loves. Third in the "A Familiar Place" series. Do not need to read the other two for this one.
A Familiar Place III: A Future Untold
Draco Malfoy sat by his window at Malfoy Manor, on a starless, late summer night and looked out at the scenery below. How did he get to this place and time? He closed his eyes, with the dread of what was ahead of him hanging heavy on his shoulders. Tomorrow morning he would be going back to Hogwarts, to the relive the worst year of his life. He was not looking forward to what was facing him, but he would face any danger, any demon, any fear, as long as his future with Hermione Granger was left intact.
Was it really, only five years ago that Draco fell in love with Hermione Granger? Five years ago, that he went back to Hogwarts to finish his education. Due to a chance encounter with the former 'Mudblood' on the train, his future was changed forever, and he would not chance changing that future again for anything, even if the year they fell in love was the third worst year of Draco's life.
Flashback to Familiar Place I:
Hermione turned her head when she heard the compartment door open. She saw a pair of highly polished black shoes enter first, and then looked up to see the person walking in those shoes. It was Draco Malfoy, in the flesh.
Should she speak to him? Should she say 'hello'? Should she just turn her head and ignore his existence? She decided to ignore him. He sat down opposite her, apparently ignoring her as well, and took out a book from his bag and started to read. The apparent niceties such as "hello" and "good day" were foreign to him as well. Hermione crossed her leg and her foot began bobbing up and down, as she read her book. He crossed his legs and his foot accidentally knocked into hers. He didn't look up, for if he had he would have seen her glare, but he simply said, "Pardon", and continued to read.
Hermione wondered why he was like that. Why did he think he was so much better, so high above, everyone else? It was probably the same reason why he stood idly by while people were tortured and killed under his nose at his own house, Hermione included. She knew deep in her heart that he was just a scared kid, who really couldn't have done anything on his own against an army of Death Eaters, his own parents, and Lord Voldemort. Nevertheless, sometimes doing nothing was as much of a crime as committing the crime itself. She reminded herself that when they were captured and taken to Malfoy Manor, he never really confirmed to his family who they were, even when asked directly. His mother was the one who confirmed her identity. Still, she wasn't sure she could ever forgive him. She wasn't sure she wanted to.
Hermione was peeved, just knowing he was there. Why was Malfoy in her compartment? She should have shared with Neville and Luna when she had a chance. She put her book away, and stood to stuff her bag in the overhead compartment. She hiked the bag up, heaved the heavy load, and grunted. It really was heavy. She was shocked and appalled when Malfoy stood, took her bag from her, opened the overhead, and stuffed it in. Then he gave her a dirty look, and sat back down. Honestly. She didn't ask for his help. He didn't have to give her that kind of look.
"Thank you," she heard herself say.
"Whatever," he replied curtly.
They were all told to bring a packed lunch with them on the train, as there would be no food trolley. Hermione took out her food and it smelled wonderful. Mrs. Weasley had packed it, and gave it to her when they all saw her off this morning.
"What's that retched smell?" Malfoy asked.
"My lunch," she said, with a tone implying that he was indeed a moron.
He took that moment to unwrap his own lunch. It did smell even better than hers did. He conjured a plate, silverware, and a silk napkin. Hermione rolled her eyes. She opened her butterbeer and he suddenly swore under his breath.
"What?" she found herself asking.
"The damn elf forgot to pack anything for me to drink," he stated, just realizing this when Hermione opened her butterbeer. Hermione reached in her bag, drew out another bottle, and offered it to him. He looked at her with hooded eyes, and she actually had to move the bottle back and forth in front of him, before he took her meaning. He took the bottle and grunted. She wasn't sure, but the grunt may have been a 'thank-you'.
They ate in complete silence. It was awkward. He must have felt it first, for he reached back over and retrieved his book. Her book was in her bag in the overhead, and she wasn't about to try to fish it out now, not after all the trouble he went to putting it in there.
They continued to eat in peace, which was fine with Hermione. She sat, looked out the window, and wished she had her book. She looked over at him, still reading, and asked, "What are you reading?"
"Why are you talking to me?" he asked, annoyed.
"Sorry," she said, looking out the window again, "I'm just bored."
"Read your book," he spoke to her as if she was a two-year-old child, misbehaving.
"It's in my bag in the overhead compartment," she explained.
With anger, he put his book on his seat, stood up, retrieved her bag, and threw it on the seat next to her. He sat back down. She took out her book and began to read again.
"What are you reading?" he asked her after a moment.
"I asked you first, and five minutes ago," she scathed.
"I'm reading A Tale of Two Cities," Draco said, still not looking at her.
"I'm reading The Fellowship of the Ring," she answered back.
"I've read that one," he responded.
"I've read the one you are reading, too," she said, not to be out done.
"We should stop talking," he said unexpectedly.
"Why?" she asked, putting her book on her lap again, "We can talk, this isn't the Library."
"Someone might see," he responded.
"So what? Are you embarrassed to talk to me?" she asked, her feelings somewhat hurt. She should have known.
"I rather think it's the other way around," he stated, putting his book on his lap.
"I'm not embarrassed," she told him.
"What would you say if someone saw us talking?" he asked with the raise of one eyebrow.
"That you are irritating, and what would you say?" she said flippantly, as she picked her book back up.
"That's what I would say about you, as well," he said without a trace of a smile.
"I would say that no one asked your opinion," she pointed out.
"I would point out that you just did, actually," he countered.
"Then perhaps we should stop talking," she recommended.
"Agreed, then that solves the aforementioned problem, of people seeing us talking," he decided, as he picked up his book and continued to read.
Back at the Manor:
After the war, and with both his parents in prison, Draco had nowhere else to go, so his mother made him go back to Hogwarts. The school had introduced an accelerated program of independent study and internships for students who missed their seventh year of schooling due to the war. These students, called 'Eighth Years', studied for their Newts, and then graduated. Draco went back that year because he had nowhere else to go. Hermione went because she loved to learn.
Just as the book he had read on the train all those years ago had stated, that year was the worst of times, and it was the best of times. It was the best of times, because he became friends with Hermione Granger, and they eventually fell in love. It was the worst of times, because he almost lost her that year.
A crazy professor, a demented Auror, and a former Gryffindor, decided to make Draco Malfoy pay for the sins of his father, and they decided to use Hermione Granger as a means to an end. Draco hated remembering how he almost lost her that year. That was the year they met the Boot brothers, whose youngest brother, Terry, died trying to protect Draco and Hermione.
After graduation, they became engaged and spent a relatively uneventful year together. Draco went to school to study potions, and Hermione started teaching at Hogwarts.
The year after that, with Hermione a full pledged teacher, and Draco doing his Potion's Internship under Don Boot, who was the Potion Master, Draco and Hermione experienced what he would always consider his second worst year of his life.
The Second Worst Year of Draco's Life:
Strange things began happening to Hermione while she taught at Hogwarts. Draco was even forced to delay his Internship and return to her. She was experiencing odd events, strange dreams, and unexplained injuries. The site of the founders of Hogwarts original castle was being excavated, and Hermione was heavily involved, more so that even she could have ever expected.
The Boot Brothers once again played a pivotal role in their lives, as both protectors and friends. Unknown at the time, it was their own mother who precipitated the events of that year.
Flashback to Familiar Place II:
She sighed. She took off her shoes and socks. She was under a tall maple tree, and she sighed again. It was the perfect day for lying outside, in the shade. Hermione laid back, shut her eyes, and soon slumber overtook her. She dreamt she was lying under a maple tree, on a warm August day, and Draco was lying on his side beside her. He began to stroke her bare arm up and down with his fingertips. She opened her eyes, and saw that it was not a dream! Draco was there. She smiled widely. He had not yet noticed that she had opened her eyes. He was watching his own hand go up and down her arms. She shut her eyes again and said, "Oh, Ron, I know we shouldn't, but that feels so good."
He tickled her ribs and she laughed. "Stop!" she implored.
"You better have not been dreaming of the weasel!" he said, as he stopped tickling her and stared down at her beautiful face. She had one eye shut, to block out the sun. The sun, streaking through the shade of the tree, was dancing off her face and in her eyes. "Hello, Granger, have you missed me."
She threw her arms around his shoulders and pulled him down on top of her as her reply. "When did you get here? You weren't due until Friday."
He propped himself back up on his elbow and put his hand on her flat stomach. He leaned down and kissed her. "Do you want me to go away until Friday, because for you, I would?"
"Shut up and kiss me again," she said, and he obliged. He leaned down and kissed her with a long, passionate kiss. He rolled over and brought her down on top of him. She looked at him, as she propped herself up on her arms. "Have you seen our new living arrangements?" she asked.
He sat up with a frown. "I know the old bat didn't go with my suggestion that we share a room. What did she do, put us on different floors, on different wings."
"Close," Hermione laughed.
"Damn, her. What is she, like a 75 year old virgin?" Draco stood up and reached down to help Hermione stand. She bent down and got her shoes and socks. He picked up his bag and satchel and they started back into the castle. He held her right hand and he felt the scratch on the top. "How did you hurt your hand?" he asked.
Ignoring him, Hermione asked, "How did you know I was out here?"
"I didn't," he admitted, "I was heading toward the castle and I saw you. Why are you napping outside? Don't you have lessons to plan for?" he asked, swinging her arm.
"I have all my lessons planned for the whole year," she lied. It was almost the truth. She had them planned until December. He, however, believed her.
"You are one studious teacher, aren't you, little one?" he joked.
"I try, now tell me, why you are back early?" she asked.
He yawned and said, "I didn't have to take any of my exams, because I received all 'Outstandings' in all my courses. You aren't the only smart one, you know. Therefore, I got back a few days early. I stopped by and saw my mother first, and then came back here."
They walked in the front doors, and Hermione said, "Your boyfriend Don isn't back yet."
"Damn, I will just have to visit with you until he gets back," Draco said seriously.
They walked up to Draco's room, and he threw his things on the floor, and plopped on his bed. His trunk had already been delivered to his room. "Aren't you going to unpack?" Hermione asked, standing in the middle of his room.
"It can wait," he said, shutting his eyes.
"Won't you be able to relax better, knowing that it's done?" she asked, looking around.
"I'm relaxing fine, however, I know you won't be able to relax until I'm unpacked, so make yourself happy and unpack for me," he said, looking up at her.
She gave him a frown, but knew he was right. She opened his trunk and started hanging his clothes up in his wardrobe. He got off the bed and started to help. "I wouldn't really make you do it on your own," he laughed.
"Yes you would," she replied. As she was hanging up his shirts, he noticed her hand again. He took her hand in his.
"Tell me how you got this nasty scratch," he asked again.
"I honestly don't know. I woke up and it was there this morning," she answered truthfully.
"That's odd," he said.
"Yes, I have several bruises, too. Some are a couple weeks old, and some new ones, look," she said. She lifted her khaki skirt slightly and showed him the large purple bruise on her hip.
"Goodness, Granger, is someone beating you?" he asked, as he gingerly touched the bruise. "Where are the other bruises?"
"Here and there," she said lightly, "I saw Madame Pomfrey. She said that I must have been inflicting them to myself at night. I have been having a lot of trouble sleeping, and she said I might be having night terrors. Too much stress and worry."
"Why are you stressed and worried?" he asked, bringing his arms around her.
"School, the wedding, you being away, take your pick. I just know things will be better now that you are back," she said, looking up at him and smiling. "Oh, did you hear, Neville is coming back to do an apprenticeship with Professor Sprout. He completed a full year of schooling and now he is coming back here to study for a year. It will be like old times."
"Lord, he's probably going to be in your old room, right next to mine," he said dryly.
Hermione laughed and said, "He is, actually. You can sneak out at night and visit him, like you used to with me."
Draco shuddered as a response. He said, "One boyfriend is enough for me." Then he said, "Let's get back to your problem. How long has this been going on, little one?"
"Since I got back to Hogwarts," she explained, "but really, it's not that big of a thing, so don't worry." She bent down to take a pair of shoes out of his trunk and she saw a rather large wrapped present. "Is this a present for your boyfriend, Don?" she joked.
"If you want it, you can have it, if not, yes, it's for him," he said, taking the shoes she dropped and putting them in the bottom of the wardrobe.
She sat on his bed, and he sat beside her. She unwrapped the gift and looked in the box. It was a book. A very old, ancient looking text. A book on the four founders of Hogwarts. "Wow, this is nice, and it looks really old." She turned the large book around carefully. "This is perfect, thank you," and she leaned over and kissed his lips. "Did you know that Professor McWhorter was supervising an archeological site right here on the grounds, and she thinks she's found some artifacts that date back to the founders. I have been helping, so really, this might be very helpful."
He stood up and started to put his things away again. "Yes, I have to admit that my boyfriend, Don, mentioned it to me in a letter, so I thought you would like this book. I stole it, by the way."
Hermione put the large tome down and said, "Stole it? From where?'
"The library at the Manor," he said plainly.
"That's not really stealing, is it?" she said, bending down to help him.
"I guess not, I just liked the way that sounded. I stole something. I have to keep my bad boy image up, you know," he said.
Back to the Manor, again:
Between the excavations of the first castle, the mysteries surrounding the four founders, and the secrets involving the Boot brother's mother, Helena Boot, that year was indeed the second worst year of Draco's life. It was the year they found out that Hermione Granger, Muggle born, was a direct descendant of both Helga Hufflepuff and Salazar Slytherin. It was also the year that Nick Boot, a gifted seer, made a prophecy regarding Hermione, which his mother was determined to stop. Helena Boot tried very hard to kill Hermione that year, but in the end, she only succeeded in losing her own life, and at Hermione's hand.
None of the Boots blamed Hermione. Don Boot, the eldest, was Draco's best friend, and Helena was merely his stepmother. The other two, Nick and the youngest, Paul, found out that their mother never cared for any of her sons. She only ever loved her daughter, a woman she kept secret from all of them, a woman named Ellen Ward, who was sent to Azkaban after her mother's death, for her role in the attempted murder of Hermione Granger.
The Worst Year of Draco Malfoy's Life:
As Draco sat by his window, looking out into the darkness, he knew those two years were terrible, but somehow, since Hermione had entered his life during those two years, he couldn't classify them as the WORST years of his life, not really. No, that noble title went to the year he was forced to relive right at this moment in time - his sixth year at Hogwarts. The year he was 16 years old. The year he was forced to take the dark mark, and was given the task to kill their Headmaster. Yes, that was the worst year of his life, because that year he was alone, because he didn't yet have Hermione in his life.
Only one thing could make him come back to this God-awful year. Only one thing could make him relive it all. He had to come back, to secure his future. He had to come back, because once again, a mad woman wanted to spoil his happiness, and his future. Ellen Ward escaped from Azkaban, found an ancient tome written by Rowena Ravenclaw on time travel, and had come back to his specific year to seek revenge for her mother's death. If the woman succeeded, Draco Malfoy would no longer have a reason to live. His future would be forever altered without Hermione Granger, so to secure his future; he had to relive his past.
He just hoped he would be able to get through this year again, and without her, because if he didn't, there would be no future with her, and that was something he wasn't willing to face.
A/N: I will post Part II tomorrow, and part III a day or so after that. I hope those of you who have read the first two stories enjoy this third in the series, and I hope those who haven't read the other two will still give this a look, and perhaps go back and read the other two. Thanks so much!