A/N: So, it's finally here! Sorry for such a long wait but school started and reformatting my functionality took some time. Thanks so much to everyone who faved, reviewed, or alerted this story, it's the best thing an author could get!
Just one story clarification, it is stil summer in the story so Blair hasn't started at NYU so disregard this season of GG, and I made her family own the Waldorf-Astoria b/c it made my plot flow easier and made it more believable, and also brings in a viable HP connection i may use in the future.


Chapter III: Truths & Falsehoods

Waiting for her former (or current, she didn't know) arch-nemesis in a torrential downpour, in America no less, was not how Hermione Granger had planned to spend her anniversary. Had any other case come in Harry (who had been appointed head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement) would have let it wait until tomorrow or let someone else take it, but not this case. No, this man needed to be caught and it needed to be someone who knew his ways. Draco Malfoy must be apprehended as soon as possible.

xoxo

What a dismal day to match my dismal life, Blair Waldorf thought to herself as she gazed from her bed out the open window into the grey sky scrapers of Manhattan that were nearly by the storm clouds filling the sky above. Ugh, stop feeling sorry for yourself and do something. But Blair knew she had already pulled every trick out of her hat and despite everything Chuck still wouldn't let her back in.

It had been a month since the fateful blast about that blonde brit and her, and nothing had changed. Chuck was still on the outs and despite her resolution never to think of it again, she was continuously drawn back to thoughts of her English counter part. If Blair were sentimental she might have even thought they were meant to be, but of course she is not.

Whatever, concentrate on the person who sent the blast. Who could it have been? She thought no one she knew had been at the party, therefore certainly no one could have known about Gossip Girl, but she was apparently wrong. She had asked Dorota to call for a guest list, which should have arrived by now.

"Dorota, where is my guest list?" Blair yelled in that dangerous tone she used when on the precipice of falling over the edge.

"Miss Blair I have tried but there are certain guests who wish to maintain their anonymity."

"What?! How is that supposed to happen! We were at the party, we could have seen them all! Do they expect all the guests to have been blind or have forgotten an entire night?! Call again and get the list NOW!"

"Miss Blair I have called multiple times, never have they complied."

"Fine. Go through flight records."

"Blair, that would be a needle in a haystack."

"Not if you set a window for only people who flew to London and back to New York with in a 6 day radius of the party."

"Still…"

"Do it Dorota. Now is not the time for excuses. It's time for my life not be the only thing that is falling apart. Get that needle so I can fix this mess."

xoxo

The bite of the dry gin that he swallowed in the cush of the seat flying 20,000 feet above the Atlantic, did nothing to take away the sting of the wave of emotion still crashing into his tide pools of feelings that had been stewing for a month. Home had been hell.

After the… incident with… that, girl his father had basically been beating the life out of him with his iron cold fist. The dark cloud that hung over his life was the worst it had ever been, worse than 6th year, worse than ever. No not the Dark Arts stuff, not now that he had to be careful of watchful ministry eyes. Just isolation, a deprivation, no one had spoken to him. None of the house elves obeyed him and he wasn't allowed to leave his room and he was expected to rewrite the Malfoy family tree from memory, including illegitimate children and pets.

In the past Draco wouldn't have minded the absence of company, at least that of his crazed father, and even for the first few days it wasn't so bad, but after a short time his insides were burning and the worm of his family's approval ate away at him like it always did. Only this time it was worse. She wouldn't get out of his head either; her dark eyes, with glints almost as sharp as his, biting in the night…

Ink spurted all over his pristine white shirt as he struck his quill down with a bit too much relish and it did nothing to better his temperament.

The crystalline blue eyes peered at him from the black abyss of ink pooling below him, strength, faith, hope, love, friendship all things he wished he had but would never attain. Searching and searching since his mission. It was never just about taunts and jabs and silly duels and curses, it was all so real and so very cold. The realization of bitterness was like biting into a lemon expecting an apple, baking soda in your tea, the chill of icy water on your throat as air rushes from your lungs. Trapped and lost for a way out, but out is what is needed to survive. Exit and breath, stay and drown, drifting to your own demise.

An abrupt knocking on the door brought Draco out of his sinister reverie. Draco didn't need to reply, whoever it was would enter regardless of his sentiments. Just as expected the brass knob turned and the platinum hair of Lucius Malfoy swished in. There was a surprise in him though; his face carried a subtly bemused expression, but also a hint of annoyance, not the stone cold glare he had worn whenever in Draco's presence in the past month.

"Father."

"Draco, I know you want to get back into our good graces, but this was a slightly rash decision. Still, I am proud of you."

What is he talking about?! Successful at what?

"Fath…" but Lucius cut in, "No need to explain your motives to me my boy, all is forgiven, your moment of weakness is forgiven. I only wish you had chosen a lower profile enemy to… take care of so it wouldn't be necessary for you to leave for a time."

"Leave?"

"Yes, you will be departing in three hours for America. Fortunately, I had business that needed to be taken care of there anyway, so you won't be unoccupied and your presence wasted. Most unfortunately you will have to travel the muggle way to throw the ministry off your trail at least momentarily. We had a decoy arrive in New York by the Floo Network an hour ago as well." His father stopped pacing and looked him in the eye, "Your head seems to be finally screwed on straight."

Draco stared blankly at his father, what was he talking about, a lower profile family?

"No need to be so humble, Draco. What was it like?"

"It was great, but I better get packing," Draco buffered. What the hell is going on?

Lucius clasped his hands together. "Of course, of course no need to get distracted by victories."

With one quick smile (something Draco hadn't seen for years) Lucius Malfoy turned and left the room.

Perplexed Draco turned and saw the latest edition of the Daily Prophet lying on his desk, unread:

FINNIGAN FAMILY MURDERED, DARK WIZARDS SUSPECTED

On the evening of Tuesday the 16th, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Finnigan along with their son Seamus were found dead in their beds. Mrs. Finnigan a longtime advocate for freedom of House Elves, and Mr. Finnigan a muggle, made the two enemies within the Dark Magic community, especially with the Malfoys, known for their vocal support of Elf subservience they frequently clashed heads with the family when both weighed in on Ministry matters. Although Lucius Malfoy, is under 24 hour surveillance there are others in his family who are suspected. (continued A6)

The threads just keep unraveling, Draco thought as he cast the paper into the fire. Lauded by his family for a horrible deed he was actually being framed for, great. This has to end, Draco thought as he turned to his wardrobe to begin packing.

xoxo

The dreary light of the bar still mimicked the day that had just closed on the streets of Manhattan, but as always a lively night was awakening. But there were two figures in the bar of a hotel that weren't about to revel in the night's romp; appearing opposite sides of a spectrum, one golden hair and black tailored clothes the other dark locks and a white cocktail dress fitting her like a glove, but appearances can be deceiving and don't these two know it.

Blair Waldorf took a seat in the bar of her father's hotel. She always came here when her troubles were too much. She grew up here, unconventional yes but she would never have become so shrewd, and conniving, not to mention able to hold her own in witty repartee, if not for watching her father conduct business in this very bar. No one else knew she came here, her friends at least, thought she hated the place; she was alone in the world. Except for Stewart, the barmen, but he had become more of a father to her, at times, than her own.

"The usual I presume?" Stewart asked as Blair gracefully slid up to the bar.

She merely flicked him a glance to indicate a yes. She had some serious thinking to do. Only one name had come up for on the flight search, and it was one she'd never heard in her life, nor had any search yield any results, yet that is, Blair simply needed to broaden her range. She heard the scrape of a chair across the bar, it's not like it was unusual for there to be other patrons; she didn't even both looking up, until she heard the newcomer speak. She knew that voice. It had been haunting her for all of a month, torturing her, reminding her of what she shouldn't have done and what felt so right.

Her suspicions were confirmed as her eyes met the jaded blue across the bar.

"Really, is this some sort of joke?" Malfoy said.

"You tell me. You're the one in my home this time, and if it is, to be honest, it's no longer funny." Blair replied.

He gazed at her for a moment eye blazing with fury but something glimmered underneath. "You have no idea the trouble you've caused."

"More like you have no idea. How about you try rebuilding and empire brick by brick, and see how it suits you."

"Rebuilding an empire? Really I don't think whatever petty squabble I've created in your silly social life can compare to what is happening in my world, muggle."

"Muggle? Did you really, truly just call me a made up word? I'd think someone so versed in problematic situations would at least have the skill to talk their way out of them without reverting to incoherent babbling."

He rose, the glimmer gone from his eye, he'd never be able to understand this frivolous bitch, "A MADE UP WORD! SOMEONE IS DEAD! AS IN NO LONGER LIVING! I DOUBT THAT COMPARES TO…" Blair stared back with condescension did he really expect her to believe someone died because they had sex. No. Not possible.

"Quite the performance Malfoy, but I'm afraid that's just what I was looking for, not this young lady here."

Draco's face slid so quickly Blair wondered if the young lady who had walked from the shadows of the room had even seen it. Anger, a flash of fear, and then his signature smirked graced his ironically angelic face.

"Granger, to what do I owe this great pleasure?"

xoxo

"Don't play the fool Malfoy. Neither you nor I would be here if it weren't for the Finnigans."

"Truly, Granger I have no Idea what you are talking about. Are you sure your smarts haven't dropped a few points since school, because last time I checked the Finnigans were all alive and well in their home in Surrey."

"This isn't a time for your games you're a suspect in the murder investigation of the entire Finnigan family. Just come quietly back to London and if you truly have no idea what has happened you will be quickly cleared at the ministry."

"You see Granger that's where you hit the snag. It would be of great inconvenience for me to return to London this evening as I still have business here in America, and I have a funny feeling that if you had the evidence to arrest me you would have done so by now."

"You see that's where you hit the snag, Malfoy. You just gave me all the evidence I need to take you back on suspicion murder. What was it again? 'Someone is dead! As in, no longer living!'"

"Nice bluff, but I know you can't take me on that. You're just trying to weasel something that constitutes more of a confession out of me. I applaud your attempts, but I think it's time we leave." Draco icily finished taking his glare from Hermione to glance at Blair and give her the hint to follow his lead. She may be pompous, but she at least would help him with this, they weren't completely different souls.

Blair stared back eyes pooling with countless emotions as her head scrambled, but she managed to nod and rise from her seat. Who was this Draco Malfoy really? A killer? I doubt that, thought Blair, he may be conniving but he could never kill someone by his own hand, he just wasn't strong enough. At least, she thought this was clear, but maybe only to her, because this Granger person obviously disagreed.

Blair's thoughts continued to race as she took Draco's offered arm as he passed her, leading her into the lobby and towards the lifts. What was this ministry? Why did they hold any authority, and if they did, why had Blair never heard of them, as she considered herself relatively knowledgeable in world powers.

"Don't think you've heard the end of this Draco, and it wouldn't be in your best interest to try anything funny" the girl shouted after them.

Blair glanced back and really took her in for the first time. Curled bronze-blonde hair, hazel eyes, pretty face, and put together outfit, professional, but obviously not someone who put too much stock in appearances, or fashion. Their two girls' eyes met and Blair was surprised to see the fierceness burning behind them. Why did this mean so much to her? Someone is truly dead, her head rationalized, but there was more to it than that, she and Malfoy had some sort of history, that much was clear and it wasn't just frustration that seethed in her eyes. This girl was not to be underestimated.

Suddenly Blair was jolted out of her reverie as the steel doors of the elevator shut her and Draco inside. She turned to look at him, and just like before his blue eyes met hers like an oceanic surge. The energy of a tidal wave filled the claustrophobic chamber, and really what could the two do but drown.

xoxo


Okay so I hope you liked it! Next chapter should be coming soon-ish. I know what I want to happen (elevator sequence, Hermione's quest, and enter Pansy) Thanks so much again, for all your reviews etc. please keep it up, they're great motivation! Thanks for reading! :]]]]