A/N: This is the sequel to A Tail Changes Everything, school's staring soon, so this one won't be updated near as frequently as the first one, but I'll write them as fast as I can... If you've read the epilogue of A Tail Changes Everything, then you know how this one ends, it's everything in between I'm going to be filling in. I know the sequels are rarely as good as the originals... But I wasn't sure I was quite ready to be done with this story yet, so if you're worried about it ruining the first one, don't read it. Thanks for everyone who gave me their opinion on whether I should write this; more people thought I should than shouldn't, so here it is! What do you think?
Disclaimer: Nothing's mine, except the plot... And all of it will continue to not be mine for the rest of this story, so I'm going to stop with the disclaimers.
Hermione Granger woke up and squinted irritably at the rustling coming from the far corner of her room. "Malfoy," she started crossly, "what the heck are you doing in my bedroom?" Hermione was happy that she was getting along better with Malfoy since their triumphant return from the Burrow, but not to the point that she wanted to wake up to him rustling... Was that a bag of muggle candy?
"I'm hiding from Potty and the Weasel, obviously."
Hermione frowned and ignored the juvenile nicknames for her best friends. "How did you even get in here?"
Malfoy pointed to her window, which was open a small crack - too small for him to have flown in on his broom. She snickered; he was so cute when he was an owl, and the fact that he couldn't talk made him so much more bearable. "Okay, so you can fly back out and hide in your own room."
Now it was Malfoy's turn to frown. "I can't, I was in the loo when they showed up and my bedroom door's open, have a heart Granger," he asked her with sad puppy eyes. Hermione was once again surprised by the person Malfoy could be when he decided that he didn't need to keep the mask up. "Think about it like this: it's the only time you'll ever have someone as attractive as me willingly in your bedroom," and sometimes he was the exact same as he was before.
Hermione gave him an evil grin, causing him to pale. "Now Granger, let's not do anything rash..." He held up his hands in a placating gesture, but it was too little too late.
She unlocked her door with her wand and let out a piercing scream. Harry and Ron heard and came bursting into the room just as Malfoy threw himself in the closet. "What's wrong?" They demanded at the same time once they had determined that there was nothing life threatening visible in the room.
Hermione stared into the corner that Draco had just vacated as if there was something horrifying there. "There was some kind of huge rodent there," she told her concerned friends. "It was just sitting there. Some kind of rat... Or ferret."
Ron and Harry gave her a strange look. "Hermione... Since when have you been afraid of mice?" Harry asked, looking at her worriedly.
"I'm sorry for scaring you two, it was just a really obnoxious rodent, it startled me. You two go ahead, I'll meet you in the Great Hall." Harry and Ron gave her strange looks again, but they did what she told them and left the room.
"You can come out of the closet now, Malfoy," Hermione told him, amused.
Malfoy, however, was not amused. "That wasn't necessary, Granger; I wasn't bothering you or anything," Malfoy complained as he came out of her closet.
Hermione sighed, if that was 'not bothering', she really didn't want to see what bothering was like – then again, she had worn a cupcake, so she probably already knew. "You can go back to your own room now Malfoy. Next time you're going to hide from someone, I suggest you stay an owl and hide in the owlery."
"There's owl droppings everywhere in there," he told her with a disgusted look as he walked out the door, presumably to head back to his own room. Hermione glared at the back of his green hair, but didn't bother commenting, she had to meet Harry and Ron in the Great Hall before they came looking for her – they meant well, but the overprotective older brother routine got old.
"I'm glad to see you three are getting along again," Ginny told Hermione as she sat down at the table with Harry and Ron. Hermione grinned happily at her; it had taken them a week, but they had finally sorted everything out after they saw the picture and realized that Mallory was actually Malfoy.
"We're dealing with it by shifting all the blame onto Malfoy," Harry said cheerfully while Ron nodded in agreement. Hermione rolled her eyes, if anyone had bothered to ask her, she'd tell them how everything was actually Fred and George's fault; but if the boys wanted to get back at Malfoy, then she was fine with it – he wasn't exactly innocent in it all. Besides, planning it kept them from focusing on the fact that she had snuck their enemy into one of the few places he never should have been able to go.
"You know you're not in the clear yet," Ginny reminded. "We're not the only ones who are going to be getting a copy of that picture. Dumbledore's keeping it to himself for now, but I have a feeling he's saving it for a special occasion or something."
Hermione groaned; with the way things had been going for her lately, Dumbledore would save it and use it on a newsletter sent out to all the parents of Hogwarts of something.
"We should get going, I'm going to be late for Arithmancy and you two have to get to Divination," Hermione told the others, glancing nervously at the headmaster seated at the front of the room as if she expected him to suddenly conjure posters of the Christmas picture around the Great Hall.
Potions had been an interesting experience for Hermione since she had come back from her Christmas vacation. She had always been good at potions, but Snape refused to give any of the Gryffindors anything higher than an E on principle. Hermione had been happily surprised to find that she had received an O on a potion earlier in the week. Either she was getting better at potions (doubtful) or Snape had decided that she wasn't so bad after all – she had a feeling it might have had something to do with the picture of the twins stuck to the ceiling as bats he currently kept on his dartboard.
"Hermione!" Ron whispered from the desk behind her, Snape was up at the front giving instructions on the potion they were to be making in class, so Ron appeared to think that it was all right for him to try and talk. Hermione ignored the loud redhead behind her, if Snape was going to start marking her fairly, then she was going to take advantage of the small boost her grades were going to get.
When she continued to ignore him, Ron started poking her. She turned around to glare at him. "What?" She demanded in a furious whisper, finally fed up with his behaviour.
Snape glanced over at the group of Gryffindors and scowled. "Mr. Weasley, ten points from Gryffindor and detention tonight. Meet me after class." He said menacingly. Hermione was smug; that's what Ron got for interrupting her during class, he probably wanted to copy off of her paper or something.
"Sir, I don't think that's fair, he wasn't even saying anything." Harry tried to defend his friend. Hermione suppressed a sigh; he had to know what was coming.
"You will join him in detention Mr. Potter; ten more points from Gryffindor and meet me after class as well."
The Slytherins on the other side of the room snickered, and Hermione couldn't help but be a little smug that Snape had decided she was worthy of fair treatment all of a sudden.
At the end of class, Hermione rushed off in a hurry; she didn't want to see the sullen looks Harry and Ron were probably giving her for somehow managing to get away with talking during potions.
"What's the rush Granger?" A voice asked from behind her as she was almost back to the Head's dormitory.
Hermione didn't even glance over her shoulder at Malfoy. "I'm trying to get into the dorm before Harry and Ron catch up to me..." She trailed off as she opened the portrait hole and felt a spell hit her.
Draco watched in horror as Hermione shrunk down and down until she was the size of a small child. Scratch that, Draco thought, she was a small child.
Hermione looked all around her and eventually settled on Draco. She burst out crying in the way that only small children can.
Draco cringed; he still couldn't deal with her tears, even when she was a four year old. "You Gryffindors seem to get into all kinds of mishaps, it can't be good for my health," he told her as he picked her up.
Hermione only looked at him with watery eyes and sniffled. "I want my mommy," she told him sadly.
Draco was at a loss for words, how do you tell a four year old that she can't have her mommy because she's actually 17 and attending a boarding school far far away from her parents? "Granger..." He started, only to be interrupted by high pitched screaming.
"Hermione!" The small girl insisted in her screeching little voice.
"Hermione," he started again, wincing a little at the strangeness of calling her by her first name, whether she was herself or not. "We're going to go to the hospital wing first, then you can see your mother." He was relying on Madam Pomfrey fixing her, so he wouldn't have to keep his promise.
"I'm not allowed to go places with strangers... What's your name?" She asked him on the trip down to the infirmary.
"Draco." She tilted her head to the side and contemplated him like he had seen her do to the things that both fascinated and annoyed her as a teenager.
"Kay, not strangers anymore," she told him happily. Draco sighed; apparently once you knew someone's first name you were no longer strangers. Granger's parents really should have taught her to be more careful around people she didn't know. He shook his head, it really wasn't any of his concern and he didn't care what possible danger Granger was in as a child.
"Mr. Malfoy, please tell me that small child resembling Miss. Granger is actually some sort of illusion," Madam Pomfrey said when he walked into the hospital wing. Draco raised an eyebrow; she seemed awfully optimistic for someone who had to piece back together the victims of all kinds of spells and potions gone awry. She sighed and moved towards Draco to take the toddler from him, but Hermione resisted.
She took one look at the approaching mediwitch and yelled "NO!" She held on tighter to Draco and hid her face in his shoulder.
"HERMIONE," she corrected him again, very loudly. Draco winced; she was still hiding her face right beside his poor ear.
"Hermione," he amended with an eye roll she couldn't see, "you need to let Madam Pomfrey look you over so she can fix you." She took her face out of his shoulder and looked from Draco to the waiting mediwitch.
"Can I... wear the hat?" She asked hopefully; pointing at the white hat that was resting on top of the mediwitch's hair. Draco snickered and Madam Pomfrey sighed and held it out for her to take.
Hermione happily put it on her head and then allowed herself to be handed over. Draco was ordered to wait in a chair by the door; he tried to protest that just because he'd found her didn't mean he had any responsibility towards her, but the mediwitch was having none of it.
He was mildly disturbed by the happy, childish giggling coming from behind the curtain; four or not, Granger was not supposed to sound that carefree and happy, it was too disturbing and went against everything he knew.
While he was waiting, Draco stared vacantly out the window while he thought. His eyes widened and then narrowed into a threatening glare as he realized what had most likely happened; the trap had been meant for him. It was probably another one of the stupid pranks Potter and Weasley had been pulling on him for days – though none of them had been successful yet, it seemed that Potter's talents lay in the evil fighting while Weasley's lay in the ... If any had been discovered yet, they would have been in the useless field.
Hermione came wandering happily around the curtain and crawled into Draco's lap while eating her lollipop, he picked her up and put her in the chair beside his – she seemed to have no respect for his person space when she was like this. "I'm afraid, Mr. Malfoy, that there's nothing I can do. You're going to have to wait until the spell wears off. It shouldn't take more than a week." Madam Pomfrey told Draco as she shooed both him and Hermione out of the infirmary.
Hermione stood beside him looking up at his face while he thought about what in the world he was supposed to do with this tiny Granger.
"Holy crap, it's a mini Mione!" A female voice said from across the hallway. Draco looked up and was ready to bang his head against the wall; it was the she-weasel and Blaise.
"Who are they?" Hermione asked Draco quietly as she slipped her hand in his and half hid behind him.
"You work fast mate, I didn't even know that you and Granger were even a couple yet," Blaise told him with fake awe in his voice.
"She not Granger's daughter, she's Granger."
"HERMIONE!" she corrected him once again.
Ginny and Blaise chuckled. "She's Hermione all right," Ginny said with a grin. "And she's sooo cute!" she exclaimed excitedly, moving forward as if to cuddle Hermione. Draco scowled at the both of them.
Hermione hid behind his legs to avoid the advancing Ginny. "The red hair lady scares me," she whispered, peeking around his legs at the she-weasel. Draco understood her fear; the girl could be scary sometimes.
"You're her friend, you can take her," He told the she-weasel, trying to pull Granger away from him, but she was hanging on to his leg with one arm and his hand with the other, he couldn't pry her off.
"No no no! Want to stay with Draco!" She was screeching.
When she started to cry, Draco gave up. "Fine, but you better not annoy me, and I'm not changing any diapers."
Tiny Hermione put her hands on her hips and told him in her best know-it-all voice, "I'm four I haven't worn diapers for years." Blaise and Ginny watched in amusement and a bit of disbelief as a small Hermione lectured Draco on potty training. He gave up trying to get her to stop and just nodded along as she rambled on.
"Now there's something you don't see every day," Blaise said to Ginny as they watched the two walk towards the head dorms. Hermione had grabbed onto Draco's hand and insisted she was going to get lost if he made her let go.