Chapter 21

It had been six months and Hermione had found out who prisoner 613 was about a month ago. He had been fished from the rubble of the Manor, unconscious and injured. Disfigured they had said. She had thought about him every day before and every day after they told her of his survival. She didn't know why she hadn't gone to see him. She was scared. She didn't know how she would feel and she didn't want to hurt him. He had lost everything now. His family was dead, along with most of the Deatheaters and anyone else in the house. Two others had been recovered from the rubble. One of the Carrow's, which had quickly committed suicide and another young Slytherin girl which had been four years her junior at Hogwarts.

All of Voldemort's supporters had their property seized and handed over to the muggles in reparations, including all the Malfoy holdings and wealth. Hermione is working on the reparations committee, trying to establish good post-war relations with the muggles, who had turned out to be fairly reasonable even though they believed the main culprits needed to be punished to deter any future action. The muggles had insisted that the relations between the two people go back to the state of secrecy. The new Ministry, which Hermione was now a part of, have been assisting the muggles with obliviating much of the affected muggle population. The muggles had also blamed most of the damage the Deatheaters had inflicted on Muslim extremists, who were only too happy to take accountability and too disorganised to realise they weren't responsible.

The wizarding world wasn't exactly returning to normal. Most of the Gryffindor families were gone and much of the Slytherin population was now decimated as well. The Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs were starting to return from overseas or returning from hiding, and the slaves had been freed including Luna who managed to reunite with her father. One of the governors from Hogwarts, which Hermione didn't know was taking over as Head Master. The new Minister was some man called Ralf Mentwart, who had spent most of the war overseas, but seemed to have some confidence from what was left of the ministry workers who hadn't died in the war as Deatheaters or by the Deatheaters.

Even Neville came back for a while, but quickly departed again as he had met some girl over in America. It was great to see him and Hermione cried through most of it. But they kept in touch by owl/inter-Atlantic mail service. Other than Luna, there weren't that many familiar faces around anymore. Working on the reparations committee kept her insanely busy.

Hermione had returned to her parent's house, which was more like a burnt out shell. It reminded her of bad memories so she moved into Harry's house on Grimmauld Place, which had since been given to her along with all his other property. She had managed to cheer it up a bit with a thorough scrub out and generous lick of white paint. She even managed to remove the screeching painting of Mrs. Black. Well not from the wall, but she managed to remove the wall. It is now stored in the basement along with some of the Black property and treasures. The committee didn't feel right handing over any of Harry's property, so now she was stuck with the Black family stuff. She guessed could give it to Draco now if he wanted them. He was the only relative to the Black family still alive. It really was the only stuff he had left now. Even the rubble of Malfoy Manor had been sold.

But now she was finally going to see him. A large part of her didn't want to. Didn't want to confront him and the mess of emotions related to him. It had all been so much easier when she could bury herself in work. But he had stopped eating now, so she couldn't ignore him anymore.

Walking through the corridors of Azkaban made her shiver even though the Dementors had all been abolished. She wasn't sure if they had been destroyed, wasn't even sure if they could be. Azkaban contained some of the stray Deatheaters that had not been at Malfoy Manor on 'Liberation Day' as the Ministry now preferred calling it. More of a PR exercise than anything. Draco and the Slytherin girl were both here along with all the criminally insane people that were here before, most sadly becoming so while incarcerated here. Once things settled, maybe she should try to set up a rehabilitation programme for the ones with some hope.

Her footsteps echoed through the halls and she could hear people scuttling around inside the cells. The guard was waddling ahead of her through the maze of corridors. Everything was grey or black, some shade of depressing. He finally stopped and pulled out his massive keychain and wand. It took a minute just to unlock the door and Hermione felt like she wanted to throw up.

Draco was lying on a pile of straw in one of the corners. He was on his belly facing away from her. His hair was matted and he was wearing the same clothes she had last seen him in six months ago. He was much skinnier now.

"Hello, Draco," she said and got no response. She waited a while and sat down along the wall a metre away from him. "I hear you're not eating." Again she was met by silence.

"Just go away," he said after a while. His voice was hoarse like he hadn't spoken for a while. Just like hers had been, she realised with a bitter smile.

"Eat something," she said.

"Will it make you go away?"


"Fine, I'll eat now go away," he said and shifted.

Hermione didn't know what to say. Like she had feared, there was nothing she could do or say to make things better. He had lost everything and was now a prisoner. She knew how that felt. She also knew that he preferably didn't want to feel at all.

"You know I don't like it when you get too skinny," she said. Repeating word he had said to her in what seemed a lifetime ago, while at the same time seeming like yesterday. Being with him was odd. Partially it seemed like it had been a couple of days since she had seen him last.

"Please go away Hermione, I have nothing to offer you," he said quietly.

"Like you ever had," she snorted.

She could see the tension building in his body.

"But for some reason," she continued, "for some inexplicable reason, I have kind of missed you." Which sadly was true, but her bed just didn't seem to get warm enough. She had tried hot water bottles, even an electric blanket which was a mission to install in Grimmauld Place.

She heard him shift some more.

"I have nothing," he said. "They're all dead. They've taken everything."

"I know," she said.

"I couldn't even get you pregnant."

Hermione was trying to suppress the 'What the fu..' what her mind was screaming, but in the end decided to dismiss it. She knew he had some severe issues with boundaries.

"I am absolutely useless."

"That may have something to do with the muggle contraceptive that your mother gave me."

He shifted some more and mumbled something.

"I suppose, if you were dead set on having a baby...we know...go halves," she mumbled. "Obviously, not right now, because I am insanely busy." She couldn't quite believe what she was saying, but it was just coming out. She had just offered to have a child with Draco Malfoy, which was only a testament to her own precarious mental state.

"Please don't tease me," he whispered and turned around to look at her.

He had a large, angry scar running from his forehead down his cheek. It had injured the eye which was now lost its pigment completely. Her instinct was to look away, but she didn't.

"I..." she started but didn't finish.

He sighed and shifted back to lean on his elbow.

"Miss me, have you?" he asked.

Oh wonderful, arrogance. It made her bristle, but she could only shrug because it was sadly true. She supposed arrogance was a good sign, even though she wanted to punch his face in.

She could almost see a hint of the smirk too.

"You look like shit. Now eat."

"Fine," he said, "And I always look good, even in my more humbled state, if nothing else I look good."

Hermione couldn't help but roll her eyes. She guessed that scar wasn't going to hold him back. It did add a certain mystery to his annoyingly handsome face.

"The muggles insist that you serve at least another two years," she said more seriously. "Although I think once the muggle requirements are up, they will let you out. Everyone pretty much wants to put this war behind them now. If that is even possible. Everyone seemed to have had their fill of loss and death. Five years of war seems to be enough."

The considered for a minute then asked, "But in two years, you will be there?"

"Yes," she confirmed.

He reached out and touched her knee where she was sitting. She could feel the warmth of his hand through her robes. He looked so thin and frail, she had expected him to be cold.

"I have to go," she said with a grin. "I have a meeting in three minutes."

"Saving the world again?" he teased.

"Someone has to put this world back together," she said as she knocked on the cell door. Before leaving she said, "See you in two."

She heard the heavy noise as the door shut behind her. She wasn't going to see him in the meantime. He had to be punished after all, just for being an arrogant prick. He could spend two years worrying about whether she would be there or not. She would, but she didn't mind if he worried about it.

"Granger," she heard him call.

"What!" she yelled back from down the corridor.

"I want to be married."

Hermione rolled her eyes and swore slightly.

"Fine," she said back after a while. Who was she to kick someone when they were down, she justified to herself. "But I don't have time to sort some ridiculous wedding."

"Turns out, I have nothing but time," he called back.

She continued walking.

"Granger!" she heard him again from further away. "I always knew I'd get you in the end."

"And you will probably live to regret that over and over again," she yelled back before leaving with a smile.

The End.