*Hey you guys! Omg, I really didn't mean for it to take this long! I've also been uploading at other sites so I decided to get all them caught up to the same chapters before I loaded ch. 7. It's just easier that way. As for the reviews you guys have left me, they mean SOOOOO much! I honestly love all of them! For this to be my first Dramione story and get such a reception, I get teary-eyed. I know I didn't answer all the reviews and I'm honestly sorry. Time really got away from me (I was sick for 2 weeks). I also believe I answered some of them twice so that just made me look a little stupid. LOL. I also made a little banner for this story but since FF doesn't allow banners, here is the link if you want to check it out: http : / / img . Photobucket . Com / albums / v135 / jcsgurll / AD . Jpg Also remember: I will scarcely do A.N.s and all characters named can be found at Harry Potter Wiki. :) Love y'all!*
Arriving back at Malfoy Manor, Draco and Narcissa went their separate ways. Draco went to his study while Narcissa went to her rooms. As he went through that days owl post, he poured a tumbler of Ogden's. Sinking into his chair, he sighed. The room was semi-dark, bathed in an orange glow from the crackling fire from the hearth.
He was a Veela and he was mated-to Hermione Granger, no less.
He could sit and laugh at the humour of the situation but he had more important things to do. Shacklebolt had to be notified immediately, along with his lawyers. As he thought back over the day, he really couldn't believe how everything had changed. He practically had manhandled Granger in a hospital room. What exactly had happened to him?
Draco had always been a rather reserved person. He didn't hold hands. Cuddling was absurd. He always felt smothered by the act. He was not a clingy person. However, today with Granger, he had not minded one bit. The need to touch her had been more instinct rather than compulsive.
He shook his head in amusement and sorted through the last few notices from investors and advertisements. Once finished, he called, "Tink?"
A small pop sounded by the fire as Tink entered the room. She replied,"Yes, Master?"
"I will be having dinner in my study tonight." Looking down at her, he smiled. To his shock, Tink cried out and covered her eyes. "Tink? Are you okay?" He was puzzled by her reaction. Tink never had shown any fear towards him.
Tink gave a small sob and began pulling her ears over her eyes. "Master's eyes, they shines in the light. They scares Tink."
Draco paused and recalled Granger saying something similar to him that afternoon. She'd said that he wasn't himself. He slowly turned towards his small house elf and stood up from his desk. As he took a step towards her, he glanced at the mirror above the fireplace. What he saw startled him.
It looked as if Dream Draco were staring back at him.
As Tink cowered before him, he saw what made her so afraid. As the flames sprang up from behind the grate, the orange, dusky light enveloped his face. The light made his eyes appear as if they were shiny, liquid mercury.
Taking a few quiet steps toward Tink, he knelt in front of her and said, "Tink, look at me."
Tink shook as she slowly uncovered her eyes. Gazing up at him, her hands shook as she pulled at her ears. She asked, "What happened to Master?"
Draco stared at her for a couple of seconds, collecting his thoughts. "Have you ever heard of the Veela?" he inquired.
Tink froze, her eyes met his eyes and she asked, "The Veela? It is back Master?"
Draco's eyes widened in surprise. "What do you mean 'back'?"
The following afternoon, as Hermione sat in her office, an interoffice memo flew in flashing bright red. It was an immediate summons to the Minister's office. Hermione was delighted to go up, considering she needed to tell Shacklebolt about her and Draco's situation. She had not spoken to Draco since St. Mungo's; since she did not know where to send the owl.
When she arrived at Shacklebolt's office; however, she was not allowed in. His secretary handed her an official letter along with instructions to adjourn to the private room next to the Minister's office. The contents were considered classified after all. Hermione was confused at first, but did as she was told.
The official letter was in fact her matched results. Hermione almost fainted at first glance, rereading the words until they blurred before her eyes. Then she closed her eyes as rage burned through her body. Throwing the letter into the air, she screamed, "Incinérer." It burst into ash as it fluttered to the carpet.
She proceeded to stomp the remaining ashes into the carpet.
Grinding her heel into the floor, she screamed and cursed until Shacklebolt himself knocked on the door. As she opened the door, she began screaming at him. The Minister seemed confused and cautiously backed away. As he stepped away, he tried to calm her down. He could barely understand her words, only picking up her saying, 'Draco', 'Veela', and 'Voldemort'.
As her rant tapered off, she began to cry. Shacklebolt quickly ushered her into his office. She slumped into a chair in front of his desk with her face covered. He asked, "Hermione, what is the matter?"
"Did you not know what was in that letter?" she yelled.
Shacklebolt conjured a box of tissues and thrust them into her hands. "I have not seen the results of your test. It cannot possibly be that bad," he said, giving her an encouraging smile.
"I have not taken the test yet!" she yelled, swiping angrily at her cheeks. "That is what I was meaning to talk to you about. When we were at St. Mungo's with Draco, some things became known. It turns out that Draco is Veela."
Shacklebolt's eyebrows shot amazingly high. "Well that is surprising news. The Malfoy family have always claimed to be purebloods."
"I'm his mate," she stated.
Shacklebolt slowly leaned back in his chair, resting his fingers below his chin. "Why so upset about the letter then? What were your results?"
Hermione shivered and covered her mouth. Her eyes closed in disgust as she looked towards the large windows encompassing the right wall of the office. The windows stretched floor to ceiling and magicked to show the bustling streets of London. It was a bright, shiny day, but she felt cold and nauseous.
She explained, "As of yesterday, I was matched to Cormac McLaggen!"
"Ron, calm down!"
Harry watched from his favourite chair as his friend paced circles around the study. Two hours before, Ron had received his matched results. Since then, Harry talked him out of leaving the country, changing his name, and storming the Ministry.
"My life is ruined Harry! RUINED! What did I do to deserve this?" Ron's face fluctuated between anger, fright, and tears.
Harry's feelings ranged between sympathy and laughter. It was almost as bad as dealing with Malfoy. On that thought, he shook his head and sighed. He actually would prefer Malfoy to this.
"Hello! I'm home!" yelled Hermione.
Ron took off like a shot towards the entrance hall. Harry went after him, arriving just in time to see Ron fall to his knees and wrap his arms around Hermione's waist. She stood there shocked, as she fell against the front door to keep her balance.
"Ron! What is going on?" exclaimed Hermione. She dropped her briefcase to the floor and looked to Harry for an answer. She laid her hands on Ron's hair as he blubbered into her stomach.
"It's horrible 'Mione! Just horrible!" he cried. Hermione frowned; looking down at him then looked back up at Harry.
"He got his matched results today," explained Harry.
Hermione's eyes teared and she bit her bottom lip. "Me too," she whispered, her voice hushed and thick.
"It can't be worse than mine! It just can't!" exclaimed Ron, shaking his head against her stomach.
"Oh, I believe it can," replied Hermione. She pushed Ron backward and stepped around him. Bending down to pick up her briefcase, she slipped off her shoes, and left them by the door. She wasn't in the mood to argue with Kreacher, who demanded to shine their work shoes after every use.
"You're mated to Malfoy. How worse could it be?" joked Harry.
Hermione suddenly burst into tears. "I was matched to Cormac McLaggen," she sobbed.
"Bloody hell," whispered Harry.
Ron jumped to his feet. "That git? I'd rather you be with Malfoy than that pompous arse any day!" Looking down at his results letter, he shook it furiously. He scoffed, "Hell, I'd rather be with Malfoy at this point!"
"Who did you get?" Hermione asked, tears still streaming down her face.
"Lavender Brown!" exclaimed Ron, who shook his paper again as if he thought shaking it could change the results.
Hermione stared at Ron while he stared at his paper, his face red with anger. As her blood calmed, she started giggling. Wiping away her stray tears, her laughter got louder and she said, "You'd rather be gay with Draco than marry Lavender? Oh god!"
Ron's face flushed deeper as he pictured that scenario.
Harry folded his arms across his chest as he took in the two mental cases that were his two best friends. He fought to contain his laughter and keep a straight face. He asked Ron, "Oi, what about me? You're honestly going to leave me for Draco?" He was just putting on a show of being upset while his cheeks hurt from trying not to smile. He really couldn't remember the last time they joked like this.
Ron's mouth dropped as Hermione began another round of laughter. He said, "Harry! Mate! That's not what I meant, this is just-" His voice died off as he shook the paper again.
Meanwhile, Hermione was leaning against the front door, crouching, holding her stomach. She said, "Oh Merlin! I really needed that." She gulped to catch her breath, and patted her face letting the blood recede. Her stomach ached from laughing so much, but now she didn't feel so bad. A stray giggle erupted from her every couple of seconds, but her laughing fit had ended. Picking up her briefcase, she walked around Ron towards the base of the stairs. She laughed again and shook her head. She mused, "Wait until I tell Draco."
Ron looked at her with eyebrows raised, his mouth slack. "Don't tell that veela git I said anything! I'll never live it down," he begged.
Harry smirked and winked towards Hermione. "I'd love to see his face when you tell him," he mused.
"Harry!" protested Ron.
Harry shrugged and turned back towards the kitchen. "You broke up with me Ron!" he replied, causing Hermione to start laughing again.
Ron balled his results in his hand and walked towards Harry's retreating back. "I don't see you complaining about anything! You've got it easy!"
"For once!" replied Harry and disappeared into the kitchen.
Hermione giggled as she went up the stairs, her friend's muted voices soothing her weary ears.
Draco sighed wearily as he dried the wax on his last missive. The day really had been brutal. He had not slept the night before because he interrogated Tink until the early morning hours. After questioning the small elf, he discovered that there had apparently been a couple of veela ancestors in the Malfoy lineage. When he asked her why he had never been told, she timidly replied that it was automatically assumed that he knew.
Now he was going to track down those scarce relatives' portraits and get some questions answered. He dreaded that task. Scrubbing his hands over his face, he wondered when he would be able to get Hermione involved. He thought of going directly to his mother, but realized she would be no help at all. If she had refused to help thus far, he didn't expect her to step up at all. He was convinced that she was hiding something, but couldn't figure out what it could be. The secret was out so why keep hiding? There was nothing to be gained unless the secret somehow directly involved her somehow.
Draco's weary mind refused to travel down that particular road. It was all too exhausting.
Settling back into his chair, he closed his eyes, welcoming the darkness. The last forty-eight hours were finally catching up to him. "Tink!" he summoned.
He opened his eyes as Tink popped into the study, an envelope in her small hand. "Master summoned," she murmured.
"I would like a light supper as soon as possible. I will be retiring early." Pointing to the envelope, he asked, "When did that arrive?"
Tink stretched the envelope towards him, her face guarded. "A Ministry owl just arrived with it Master. I will bring supper shortly," she explained.
Draco sighed and broke the wax seal as Tink disappeared. He frowned as he unfolded the letter, scanning the first few sentences. His jaw clenched and his eyes narrowed as he read the missive. "What the bloody hell!" he exclaimed.
Dear Lord Malfoy:
As of 4 pm yesterday, you have been matched to Miss Alice Tolipan of Chichester, West Sussex. Please be advised that you have only a set amount of time to settle all dates and legal matters concerning this new engagement per Ministry order. Failure to do so will result in adverse Ministry action. Please be advised that all inquiries of this matter will only be handled with a scheduled appointment as approved by Minister Shacklebolt.
Department of Magical Law Enforcement