Summary: Hermione has left the Wizarding World for Muggle France. After two years of living a life without magic, two former Slytherins appear at her doorstep offering their services to be her own personal bodyguards. The past resurfaces and Hermione is reminded of what she truly is.

A/U.

Disclaimer: I don't own anything.


EMBERS

Prologue

There were three reasons why I decided to leave.

First and foremost, I wanted a change of scenery. The War had left the Wizarding World in shambles. My former job as an Arithmancer in the Ministry of Magic no longer held its appeal. My salary dropped several zeroes. I barely had enough to support myself. Much of the money being drawn in by the Ministry was being dedicated to reconstructing what was left of the wizarding community. I decided that it was time that I searched for greener pastures.

Second, both of my parents were killed in the war. Brutally murdered by three unknown Death Eaters. I sought vengeance by standing beside my best friend throughout the entire ordeal with Voldemort. I was set to fight to the death. It had been a bloody battle. I never thought I would live to tell the tale. And so I was left an orphan. With no sibling to rely on. The only living relative I had left was my father's younger sister. The Weasleys offered to house me, but I refused. Why?

Because Ronald Weasley, otherwise known as "The Cheating Jackass" or "The Lying Bastard" (whichever way you prefer) had ripped out my heart and shredded it into a million tiny pieces.


I

"Déjeuner le chéri!"

Her aunt's lilting voice called out to her from below. "Une seconde auntie!" She responded loudly. She sighed and stared at her reflection on the full-length mirror. No one would believe that the woman in the mirror was Hermione Granger. Drastic changes had occurred during the last two years that she had spent in France. In her aunt's business, it was obligatory to look a certain way. She was, after all, the Queen of the fashion industry. It was only expected that her assistant should look as fabulous as she did. And Hermione Granger happened to be her own personal assistant.

Hermione grabbed her black Prada bag and clambered down the staircase of her aunt's contemporary villa. It was a bit too large for Hermione's liking, considering the fact that they were the only two people who lived there. But she would be lying if she said it wasn't beautiful. With glass windows, an indoor swimming pool, and an upper deck, it was a house fit for a celebrity. But then again, Fiona Granger was one.

"There you are!" Fiona exclaimed from behind the marble kitchen counter dressed in a snug Marc Jacobs dress. Her dark brown hair was cut in a short bob and her fingernails were painted bright red. She was furiously typing into her Blackberry. "I have a lunch date with the editor-in-chief of Vogue today so I won't be around to oversee the fitting of the models for the show later. Will you be able to handle it?"

Hermione nodded. "Of course."

"Fabuleux!" Fiona said with a wide smile. She kissed Hermione on both cheeks before leaving. "I'll see you tonight!"

"Bye." Hermione watched her go and shook her head. Two years was a short time for anybody else. But to her, it felt like an eternity. Comparing her life now and her life before – it was simply surreal. Hogwarts seemed like a dream. She almost wondered if she still knew how to perform magic. Her wand was stashed away at the bottom of her trunk at the very back of her closet, hidden behind designer clothing and useless necessities.

Maybe it's time that you went home. A voice whispered in her head.

"This is home." She murmured to herself. There was a part of her that blamed herself for the death of her parents. If only she hadn't been a witch. It could all have been avoided. This is what hindered her from reuniting with the Wizarding World. It brought back to many painful memories. Way too many.

Her iPhone began to ring. An unknown number flashed on the screen. "Hello?"

"Is this Hermione Granger?"

The hairs on her neck stood on end at the sound of the voice. Pure British. No French accent. There was something disturbingly familiar about it. It made her uneasy. "Yes, this is she. Who is this please?"

"You'll find out when you meet me at the door."

She froze.

"Hello?"

She reached for the nearest dangerous thing she could find – a rolling pin. Cautiously, she made her way over to the front door, keeping to the walls. There was an impatient sigh on the other end of the line. "I'm waiting." And the line went dead.

She considered calling the police. But what if it was some important contact of Fiona's? Finally she made it to the door. She peered at the small window by the side. A sleek black Mercedes McLaren was parked in their driveway. For some reason, that made her a bit comfortable. Surely a murderer or a thief wouldn't be driving something like that.

Unless it was stolen. She told herself. Get a grip Hermione. You've been watching too many Muggle movies.

Taking a deep breath, she pulled open the door and suppressed a gasp. There were two of them. And they had their backs turned on her. They were discussing in low tones. Both were dressed in business suits. One in navy blue, one in black.

"Good morning." Hermione greeted in a weak voice. Her finger was hovering above the speed dial on her phone – just in case. She hid the rolling pin behind her back.

The one in navy blue turned around and flashed her a winning smile. "Good to see you again Granger."

Her jaw went slack. "Zabini?"

"France apparently suits you." The one in black said with an unmistakable drawl. She'd recognize that smirk anywhere. Now she knew why that voice had sounded so familiar. And disturbingly so, too.

It belonged to Draco Malfoy.

"Why do you have a rolling pin in your hand?" Blaise wondered incredulously, brushing past her and into the house. Draco steered her by the elbow and followed Blaise in, shutting the door behind them with a soft click.

Hermione was dumbfounded by all the things that were currently happening: One, Blaise catching her with the rolling pin. Two, Blaise just walking in without any form of invitation from her. And three, Draco actually touching her without a single sign of disgust.

The world must be coming to an end. She thought, flabbergasted. After all, what else could be the reason for all of this?

She watched speechlessly as the two men made themselves comfortable on Fiona's Danish white sofa. "Flagrante." Draco hissed, pointing his wand at the Helsinki marble fireplace. It immediately burst into flames. Hermione staggered back several steps at the sight of magic. It had been so long since she had last seen it. It was like a wake-up call.

"Would you mind explaining to me your sudden presence here?" She asked, trying to keep her voice calm. Already, a million ideas were forming in her head. Each more distressing than the last. Was she in trouble? Did one of her friends die? It took all of her willpower not to say any of these things. Instead, she dropped her rolling pin onto the kitchen counter and took a seat in front of the two former Slytherins. They exchanged a glance. Blaise appeared to be telling Draco to do it. The blonde rolled his eyes and sighed.

"If you can remember, Granger. We're Aurors."

"I know that." Hermione said, browsing through her memories of the War. It had changed people. Mercifully, these two had been part of the few followers of Voldemort that decided to become something – better.

"I suppose I'd better start from the very beginning." Draco said, exhaling deeply. "This might bring back – painful memories. But they're crucial information, alright Granger?"

She nodded mutely. Her heart was going a hundred miles per minute.

"One of the three Death Eaters that had killed your parents still hasn't been found. We tried searching for him for the first few months after the imprisonment of his two cohorts, but we found nothing. We gave up on the case until recently – when he left us a note demanding for the release of his two friends. If we did not comply, he was going to finish the job that the Dark Lord had given him two years ago."

"Which is?" She asked shakily. But she already knew the answer.

"Killing you."

Her eyes snapped closed at those two words. Of course. Death Eaters were big on revenge. She was the reason behind the imprisonment of his two cohorts. She was also a Mudblood. Furiously despised by the likes of them. And she had a close connection with Voldemort's greatest enemy – Harry Potter.

"What makes you think he'll succeed?" She asked them. "I've been here for two years straight without using any sort of magic and I'm still perfectly safe. I don't think he'll be able to find me."

"He's been able to elude the Ministry of Magic for a very long time Granger. I'm pretty sure he could very well succeed in finding you." Blaise pointed out.

She scowled. "I can handle him."

"Are you sure about that?" Draco asked, cocking an eyebrow. "You don't have the Dream Team to back you up now. And you yourself said that you haven't been using magic for a while now. Do you really think you can handle him on your own?"

"Yes." She snapped, rising to her feet angrily. How dare they think of her as a weakling? She had killed her fair share of black wizards during the War. She had dispensed an uncountable number of self-defense spells. There was no way one single Death Eater could cause her any harm. The sheer thought of the murderer made her blood boil.

Draco smirked. "I beg to differ."

"Get out."

Blaise shook his head. "Sorry Granger. Ministry's orders."

"Don't you have more important things to do?" She asked, planting her hands on her hips. "Or are you two so far down the list of Aurors that you get assigned with the weakest job there is?"

"Actually Granger, there really isn't much going on at the Wizarding World at the moment. This is the most action we've got since the War. He's the only missing Death Eater out there. Everyone else is locked up or dead."

"And besides," Draco added, stretching languidly on the couch. "I miss France."

TBC



A/N: Please let me know what you think. So I can decide whether or not to continue this story. Thanks!