Story: A Case to Win
Summary: Hermione Granger takes Lucius Malfoy's case as a favor to Draco, despite the public (and Ron's) obvious issues with it. Secretly, everyone in power hopes she wins. As she builds a case for Lucius, a tragedy strikes the Malfoy family. Hermione realizes that she stopped wanting to win as a favor for Draco a long time ago, now she wants Lucius free. As feelings develop between the two and the case begins, Hermione fights for Lucius's freedom… and her happiness. But someone will stop at nothing to make sure Lucius stays in prison.
A/N: I don't know how often I will update this, or how it's going to end. But I hope you like it. I don't have a beta, so ignore any errors I missed.
Chapter One: Granger and Weasley have a Falling out!
A reliable source nearest to the power couple of Hermione Granger and Ronald Weasley, states that the two have had a falling out. The Prophet wonders, as does its readers, if Ronald Weasley finally got sick of ignoring that his girlfriend's many indiscretions.
"Did you or did you not tell me that I had a job to do and that you understood that?" Hermione stood in the middle of the kitchen, clutching her tea in her hands. "And did you not say that you "understood my job was at stake and would support me" even if the press was hounding me."
He had the good grace to look sheepish as he replied, "But they are calling you…"
"Thank you Ronald, but I don't need you to repeat the utter rubbish the Prophet prints. Strangers in Diagon Alley do that enough for one day." She placed her empty tea cup on the counter and crossed her arms over her chest. She was wearing a gray pencil skirt with a white silk blouse and black pumps. She tapped her left foot softly in irritation. "I'd rather think you would welcome the opportunity to defend me, you did so when the Prophet spread lies about Harry."
Ron looked down into his cup of tea and didn't say anything at first. He swirled the liquid around with a spoon, contemplating how best to get out of trouble. "Harry was just my friend. You are my girlfriend and the things they are calling you…"
"Again, did you not say you understood? I have a job to do Ron; this is no different than if you were asked to arrest… oh say Seamus. You would have to do that, because you swore an oath as an Auror. I swore an oath as a lawyer, he wants a retrial and I have to defend him." Hermione picked up the designer briefcase that was sitting in her unoccupied chair at the dining room table.
Ron eyed the bag with disgust. "You don't have to win," he said. "You don't have to even try. You can just show up and let him do all the talking. You took this case and you might just win. And you've become friends with his… spawn."
"I need not remind you, Draco and I were friends long before I took his father's case. And I'll have you know Ronald Weasley; Draco Malfoy punched a reporter in the nose when the reporter called me a Death Eater slut." She walked across the floor, her heels clicking softly. "When you want to grow up, you can come back home; until then I think it is best you go back to your mother's."
"Hermione… please…" but Ron's words were wasted, she was already gone. "Blast," he muttered.
Chapter Two: Granger returns to prison, trial for Malfoy pushes forward
As we promises, the Prophet brings you more on our following of the Malfoy trial. Reporters stationed at Azkaban say that Hermione Granger entered this morning to meet with her client. Sources inside the prison have said that Miss Granger intends to show evidence that Malfoy was forced to do He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named's biddings, of punishment when he failed, and evidence of sympathy and resentment from the elder Malfoy. Sources in the prison confirm that the youngest Malfoy still refuses to visit his father. The Prophet's readers are in agreement; why would the son refuse to visit the father, if the latter wasn't guilty?
"Hermione Granger to see Lucius Malfoy," she said in curt tone to the prison guard.
"Back again eh lassie? Thought for sure you'd let this one rot. No tellin' what things he's done, eh?" He took her wand and placed it in the holding container in the back. He handed her the ticket. "Pretty girl like you shouldn't be here with hard men like this. Ain't right I tell you," he said and flicked his wand. The door creaked open and Hermione walked through it. "Have a good time," he said with a grim expression.
The clicks of her heels were heavy and loud as she entered the "attorney" room. Little more than an integration room, he could imagine her before she even turned the corner and entered the room. He would know, for example, that her eyes would be flashing with fire, her hair would be mussed, and the first words out of her mouth would be damned guard. "Damned guard," she muttered under her breath, oblivious to the smirk that graced Lucius' face. "Bloody annoying is what he is, reminds me of Ronald. Oh bugger," she said as she tripped over a crack in the unimpressive stone floor below them.
Lucius caught her around the waist just in time and helped her regain her balance. "Careful Miss Granger, women who wear heels that high should always be aware of cracks in the floor." At this point, she will shrug away from him, straighten her skirt, and sit down in the little chair they provide on the opposite side of the table from his chair.
She did not disappoint. She shrugged away from him, smoothed down her skirt, and sat down in her chair. She crossed her legs at the ankle and placed her briefcase on the table. "Thank you Mr. Malfoy." He nodded in acknowledgment and sat in his chair. "How have you been? I recently saw the Minister about the horrible conditions that you've been experiencing here and he swore he'd see to it personally."
"They have improved, thank you." Lucius tapped the desk softly with one finger. "The Minister himself came to see me."
"What!" Hermione said shocked. "I hope, for his sake, that he did not say anything pertaining to the case."
"Oh no," Lucius said with another small smirk. "Minister Shacklebolt was quite careful in what he said to me and what he asked. He was merely curious if I knew the extent of your sacrifices made in my defense." Lucius pulled something out of the pocket of his prison robes and placed it on the table. Hermione found herself staring at the cover of that morning's Daily Prophet with the blaring headline that said "Hermione Granger; Defender of Muggleborns or Whore of Death Eaters?"
Hermione rolled her eyes and began pulling things out of her briefcase. "I have a few more witness testimonies that I need you to read over."
"Will we be ignoring this then?" Lucius crossed his arms and leaned back against the chair.
"What could we possibly have to talk about? The Prophet has never been known for telling the truth." Hermione flipped through the pages she had in front of her, keeping her eyes off the man in front of her.
Lucius placed a hand over the papers, halting her progress. "I wish to speak about this." She rolled her eyes but looked up at him. Her glance told him to continue. "Why did you keep this from me?"
"What matter is it to you? Again, the Prophet has never told the truth, what made you think they wouldn't pounce on this?" She reached back into her bag and pulled out another paper, this one was Saturday's issue. She threw the paper down on the table and watched him read the headline, "Hermione Granger and Draco Malfoy, secret affair under Lucius Malfoy's nose." "As you can see, they will grasp at anything to create gossip."
Lucius stared at the picture of his son, walking arm in arm with Granger down a muggle street. He was smiling and she was laughing at something. "You two look happy."
"There is nothing going on between your son and I, and this has no relevance to your case." She pushed three sheets of paper towards him. "Read those and if you consent that they are acceptable and truthful, sign the bottom with that quill."
Lucius looked down at the papers and then looked back up at her. "Why have you not quit? I imagine that the gossip isn't making your life any easier."
"I have a job to do Lucius," she reminded him. "And I was the only lawyer that would even consider taking the case in the first place."
"Why did you?"
"For the last time, your son told me you weren't as guilty as the world believes. He begged me to take the job, to help you. I'm doing this because Draco is my friend and he needed me. There have been times when I have needed him…" she stopped suddenly and her hand went to cover her mouth. She was not supposed to talk personally with this man, this Death Eater. It had been an unspoken code since she walked into the room with him that first day. "Please read those, I am done talking about me."