I bring you another chapter to TPN. Important Author's Note at the end.


Three days passed since the dreadful night Hermione apologized to Malfoy. He had taunted her and made her repeat her apology more than once using his "bad" hearing as an excuse. She knew his ears could hear perfectly fine, and even then she didn't know why she kept playing along. Since that day they hardly spoke; only if it was necessary and about Serena, but that was it. Malfoy was also busy at the Auror office. Apparently the French, Bulgarian and Irish Ministries of Magic had been breached. Hermione had read about those incidents on the Daily Prophet but apparently nothing had been taken. Now, the British Ministry of Magic was high on alert and Aurors were on all floors, twenty-four hours a day.

Hermione wondered how Harry and Ron were holding up. She was even tempted to write to them but most likely they'd ignore her letter.

She placed the book was supposed to be reading when she realized that the manor was much too quiet. That meant two things: Serena was up to something or had already done something and was hiding. Hermione groaned as she stood up and walked to Serena's room. When she entered she was invaded by the same silence. Hermione didn't like this. Serena was a loud child. Silence wasn't part of her agenda.

"Serena," she called, picking up several toys as she walked in. "Serena, come out now. I'm not playing," she said, warningly.

At the corner of her eye, Hermione saw something shifting in the closet then out came the blond child with a pink box in her hands. It was labeled with wide, sparkly letters that said, SHOES, and she watched as the young girl piled the box on top of several boxes that were at the glass doors that led to a balcony. It was almost as if she was building a wall.

"Serena, what are you doing?" Hermione asked, slowly. This was Malfoy's child after all so she must of have inherited some of his crazy ideas.

"I'm blocking the doors," Serena said, ignoring Hermione's presence and walking back into the closet. After a while she came out dragging an even bigger box. "I don't want Death Eaters to come into my room at night and hurt Daddy and me." Serena stopped and finally faced Hermione, tears threatening to spill over her delicate features. "Will you help me block my door?" she asked in small voice that made Hermione want to run to her and hug her so tight no one would be able to hurt her.

Of course, that would be unprofessional and Malfoy wouldn't appreciate it if she restricted him from his own daughter.

Then Hermione took into account what the child had just said; Death Eaters. She was one-hundred percent sure that Serena wasn't supposed to know anything about them. Had Malfoy reconsidered and told her his family's entire truth? She doubted that. "What do you know about Death Eaters," she asked, kneeling in front the young girl and taking her small hand into her's.

Serena sniffed and wiped her eyes with her free hand. Hermione was surprised she didn't pull away from her. "That they're evil and mean...and hurt people," she said. Hermione could tell there was deeper meaning to this since it was obviously distressing the child so much. "I don't want Daddy to get hurt, Nanny Granger...I'm scared."

Hermione stood up and pushed away whatever professional manners she had to keep in front of the child. She picked Serena into her arms and allowed her to cry at the crook of her neck. She held on tight, hoping that would ease the girl's fear, but as Serena tightened her arms around Hermione, she guessed it was going to take more than a hug to make her feel safe.

"You know what," she said, brushing Serena's blond curls away from her face. "I know a spell that will protect you from dark magic." At this, Serena peeked up from under Hermione's neck and blinked rapidly as if waiting for her to continue. "You see, Death Eaters use dark magic and this spell I know will protect you and your dad."

"Really? You can do that?" Serena asked as her eyes widened in disbelief.

There was a spell that acted as a ward and prohibited the use of dark magic in a certain location, but it wouldn't hold back Death Eaters, unfortunately. Of course, she greatly doubted they would be making an appearance here when the Manor's own wards were strong enough to hold back an army of the lot.

"Yes," Hermione nodded. "Would you like me to do it, here?"

"Yes, Nanny Granger!" Serena beamed, wiping off the remainder of her tears with her small hands. She squirmed in Hermione's hold until she was set down, and took hold of the nanny's hand. "Let's start here," she said, dragging Hermione to the bathroom. The brunette performed the wand movement and incantation and allowed herself to be dragged once more. "Now here, and there...and there too!"

At the end, Hermione had cast the charm on Serena's glass doors, closet, under her bed, Malfoy's room, under Malfoy's bed, Malfoy's closet and bathroom and finally – what made Hermione's heart swell with joy – Serena demanded her to cast the spell in her own room because quote, "she needed her nanny alive". When all the casting had been done and Serena was convinced that no Death Eaters would harm her or her dad they finally made their way to the kitchens. Malfoy had not made it home for dinner, so Hermione and Serena retrieved some snacks and were sat at the dining table eating chocolate ice cream with wafer straws.

"You have to promise me you won't tell your dad I fed you ice cream for dinner," Hermione said, scooping up some of the chocolaty wonder with her spoon.

"I won't say anything if you don't tell him I had ice cream for dinner," Serena countered, smirking with a mustache of ice cream on her top lip. Hermione could tell she was a messy ice cream eater, but instead of having the inclination to tell her to clean up like she would with Ron, she found it adorable.

She was about to agree when the dinning hall doors opened, followed by a tired drawl. "Who wasn't going to tell me what?" Malfoy walked over to their side of the table and raised an eyebrow as both girls stared at him with wide eyes knowing they had been caught. "I'm waiting," he said.

"Um, well," Serena dragged out her words and looked over at Hermione as if telling her to answer instead.

"It's no big deal, really," Hermione began, setting her spoon down, "instead of eating proper dinner...we're eating ice cream." She was ready for Malfoy's lecture about how a healthy dinner was important for a six year old, but it never came. Instead he sat down across from Hermione and Serena and ran his hand over his blond hair making it messy. He seemed tired. "Would you like some?"

To her surprise, he nodded his head and took off his cloak. An arrogant smart mouth Malfoy she was used to, but a placid one...she didn't know how to treat. It was almost as if she was interacting with a stranger. Hermione Granger didn't do well with strangers.

After an elf appeared with a bowl of chocolate ice cream for Malfoy they were left in silence. It wasn't a bad silence, Hermione thought. For the first time, it was kind of nice. Eating ice cream with the Malfoys, who would have thought.

"You're not mad at us, Daddy, are you?" Serena said, breaking the silence. She was poking at the small mountain of ice cream with her spoon with worried expression on her face.

Malfoy looked up from his bowl and grinned at his daughter. It was the only kind of grin that Serena could make him produce; one that was tender, yet it still had a Malfoy glint to it. "It's all right," he said and then shifted his gaze to Hermione. "But next time I expect your nanny to at least feed you some vegetables." He looked at her pointedly as if making a point and Hermione nodded.

She should have had Serena eat a proper dinner but the ice cream seemed a lot more appetizing than anything else. After a while, Serena had finished her snack and ran to the kitchen to demand elves for a second serving in which Malfoy gave a groan but didn't protest.

Hermione looked up from her bowl and quickly covered her mouth to stifle a giggle. Malfoy had the same chocolate mustache on his upper lip like Serena did, except the sight of this on a grown man wasn't adorable, it was amusing.

"What?" he frowned.

"You," she laughed deliberately and picked up her napkin. "You have something...here," she said, gently dabbing the napkin over the top of his lip.

Hermione had not noticed she was leaning across the table and was very close to Malfoy's face. From that proximity she could make out dark half moons under his eyes. His eyes. They were a soft gray like swirling liquid steel. She didn't know why his eyes seem to fascinate her right now, but she couldn't quite look away. Her cheeks burned read when she realized she was staring, but it was the frigid touch in her stomach that caused her to jump up. Hermione had accidentally leaned over her bowl of ice cream while tending to Malfoy and it had seeped through her shirt and onto her skin. "Sorry!" she said, springing back into her chair.

When she looked up from her shirt Malfoy's expert fingers were twirling a spoon and a smirk was plastered on his lips. This caused Hermione's cheeks to turned even redder. As if staining her shirt with chocolate ice cream wasn't enough. She stood up, excused herself and left. They way Malfoy wiggled his eyebrows at her before leaving gave her a feeling that her staring had not gone by unnoticed and that he had not recoiled from her touch on purpose; but, why?

And why was her heart beating uncontrollably withing her chest?

Okay, so I know I haven't updated in a while, but real life comes first, and I'm sure you all, or most of you, know that. The reason I'm writing this AN is because of a few anon reviews I've received. I don't want to come off as a bitch, but when someone is being ridiculously stupid then I have to say something about it. I received two reviews that held at least more than a hundred UPDATE! on it. At first, I thought it was cute. The second was just desperate. I'm sorry that I can't update on a regular basis, but I am NOT abandoning TPN if that's what some are worrying about. This is my baby and there's no way I'm leaving it. I also got a very bitchy review and while I LOVE reviews I would appreciate it if they were about something concerning my story and not my updating habits. If you have something to say then have the courage to PM me and I'd be glad to talk it out. :)

Now that I got THAT out of the way it's back to TPN. So I added a bit of Dramione that will lead to stuff that leads to other stuff that will then lead to even more STUFFS. I love STUFFS. XD

I know it's a bit short, but now that the school term is kind of coming to an end and I'm done with midterms I hope to be able to write more.

Later ninjas!