Disclaimer: I do not own any Harry Potter characters and the Harry Potter world. They all belong to JK Rowling.
"Almost Perfect, Almost Yours"
Summary: A pureblood family abducted Hermione when she was born due to their desperation for a daughter. In a world of beauty & wealth, she has become Draco Malfoy's dream girl. What will happen if he finally knows that her blood is not as pure as he thinks it is?
Pucey Family Manor, England
Hermione smiled as she slowly opened the little fingers of the hand that protected her squinting eyes from the sun. She softly giggled as its beams danced across her freckled face. She could hear the angry voice of her mother calling her name, but she couldn't care less. She stifled a chuckle as she adjusted her weight on the tree's branch and hugged her newly-worn chiffon dress to her knees, further hiding herself from the screeching woman.
Earlier that day, she was told by her Nanny Demelza that her parents were expecting some very important guests.
Little Hermione always hated it when they had visitors. It only meant that she had to wear those huge fluffy dresses again, like today. It wasn't that she hated wearing them. They actually felt nice to touch, especially those silky ones. But then her mother had always pointed out that a real pureblood, like her, had the responsibility of wearing them properly.
She was expected to raise her chin up to a proper level, do a curtsy in the most delicate way, and always smile.
Sometimes, after hours of smiling, her cheeks would even hurt!
It was a pretty tedious job.
She was also expected to play the piano or sing for their guests while her brother, Adrian, would do nothing except eat with them.
It was very unfair to be in her position.
Sometimes, she even wished that she could be a boy like her brother. He even got to go to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and this house called "Slytherin" while she was expected to be fluent in French in preparation for her first year in southern France's Beauxbatons Academy of Magic.
It was so far away from home that she was expected to stay with her Aunt Genevieve during holidays until she finished her schooling, and she would only go back home if she was required to.
Hermione felt like her mother just couldn't wait to get rid of her.
Nanny Demelza said, however, that her mother was only looking out for her own good and Aunt Genevieve would teach and train her to be a perfect lady of the Pucey family.
Her mother had always said that Hermione was destined to give their family a great honor someday. All she had to do was grow into a beautiful, engaging lady.
Hermione didn't understand this, of course.
How could she give them a great honor by simply being pretty and entertaining?
But she would do it anyway.
She had no other choice.
She might be a little rebellious at times, but all that she really wanted was her mother's love and approval.
She had always craved her love, but for some reason, she just couldn't get it.
Her only comfort was the hope that maybe Aunt Genevieve could give her that.
Her father and brother told her that she didn't need to worry about being away from home because they would visit and see her there anyway.
She just hoped Adrian would keep his word and wouldn't forget her entirely while he was enjoying his time at his wonderful school.
Adrian always told her that they had more fun at Hogwarts than any of the other Wizarding Schools in the world. He was even given a new broom when he expressed an interest on Quidditch. Adrian was planning on trying out for the Quidditch team when he went back to Hogwarts after the summer.
Once, she had asked her father to buy her a broom too, saying that she also wanted to learn how to fly before entering school so she could play Quidditch. But her father had simply laughed amusedly and told her that she was a girl and there was no way her mother was going to let her do a ridiculously unladylike act like play Quidditch.
Lady Petrova Pucey was a very strict woman.
She was a perfectionist, too.
She didn't like to see any flaws or imperfections in anything, most especially in her daughter.
On one occasion, she had even personally magically shrunk Hermione's large front teeth, afraid that they might not end up the perfect size if she let anyone do it instead.
She wasn't as gentle and caring as her husband. She was quite the opposite, actually.
She would punish Hermione by locking her up inside her room for the whole day if she got on her nerves.
But she had never physically hurt her.
Hermione thought it was only because she was afraid of leaving a mark on her skin if she did, and that just wouldn't do, would it?
It would endanger the family's honor.
She would often tell Hermione that a woman's beauty was her power.
Hermione didn't understand this. She supposed she was talking about her magical powers or maybe about the family's honor again, but she wasn't sure.
It was a good thing that her father and brother always defended her whenever her mother would go overboard.
Adrian would even defend her when their mother was going to punish her again for scratching up her knees or for ruining another dress. Hermione could never see why she needed to be punished for accidentally hurting herself. Her mother had those really expensive potions to get rid of most scars and blemishes, after all, so she didn't really have to punish her, right?
But she would anyway.
Sometimes, Hermione even heard her parents fight because her father was defending her.
Hermione loved her father so much.
But he looked nothing like her…
They said she got her looks from her mother because she was beautiful, but sometimes, Hermione just couldn't see any similarity at all.
She had brown curly hair while her mother's was straight and black. Her eyes were hazel brown in color while her mother had emerald ones.
Nanny Demelza said it was just because she was still very young and when she grew up she would look exactly like her mother.
Hermione often wondered why Adrian had their father's shifty grey eyes, black hair and looked so much like him even though he, too, was still very young.
She supposed girls grew up very differently.
That's why she hated being one.
Just like today.
"Come out wherever you're hiding, you little scoundrel! It's not funny anymore! Our guests are very important! If you don't come out right now, I'll be placing you inside your closet for a week!" Her mother threatened her angrily. Hermione could tell that she was livid now as her hands were already on her hips and the veins were visible under her creamy skin.
Hermione gulped and scooted further into the branches of the tree, making sure to be as quiet as possible.
She really wanted to show herself now before it got worse, but she just couldn't.
She'd get punished after entertaining the visitors, anyway.
She'd rather stay in the tree and not waste her time if that was the case.
"Have you found Mione yet?" Her brother suddenly emerged from the house. He was wearing his new robes, looking quite impatient for the visitors to arrive.
"This is insane! That girl has no manners at all! Where did I go wrong in raising her? I can't wait to send her to Genevieve so she can properly tame her," Lady Petrova growled outrageously.
"Mother, I'm sure Mione is just—" Adrian suddenly stopped as he met Hermione's shocked and nervous face. Her feet were dangling just meters above their mother's head.
"What is it?" Lady Petrova asked while turning around to see what her son was looking at
"N-Nothing, Mother… I just thought I've seen a gnome," Adrian lied, trying to turn his mother's attention from the tree that held his little roguish sister.
"A gnome? I thought the gardener took care of that problem! Our visitors are going to stay here for two weeks, for goodness' sake!" Lady Petrova shouted angrily, placing a hand on her chest as if she was going to have a heart attack.
Little Hermione bit her lower lip and grinned when her mother walked away and went inside the manor. She looked so mad as she ranted on about how this day couldn't get any worse, making Hermione giggle. Hermione was even sure Lady Petrova's face was trembling and scrunching up so much that she looked too funny to even be considered scary, although the woman really was.
Her brother gave her a warning, heated look while Hermione just beautifully smiled back at him and mouthed a soundless "thank you". Adrian sighed and turned to follow their raging mother.
Smiling beautifully and innocently had always worked for her, anyway.
Oh, how she just loved her brother…
Maybe beauty was the power of a girl after all.
Draco Malfoy was bored.
In fact, he was so bored that he felt like throwing the golden ashtray in front of him.
His father would surely be livid and would punish him for it but it would be so much better than being invisible.
He was expected to be prim and proper for the whole two weeks of their boring summer vacation becuase they were staying in this house to discuss some of their family business.
He hated it when he had to go along and act as if he was the product of the most wonderful family when in fact it was extremely the opposite.
"Ah… Petrova, it has been quite a while," Narcissa beamed happily when the lady of the house entered the great hall, cutting off the endless discussion of his father and Mr. Pucey.
Mr. Pucey's wife looked well refined and aristocratic just like his mother. Beside the lady was a boy, about his age and maybe just a little older.
The boy smiled at him in a friendly gesture, but little Draco just glared back and stood straight in order to compensate for their height difference.
He was a very competitive boy, and having an older and taller boy next to him just wouldn't do, would it?
"And who is this lovely young man?" The lady named Petrova squealed at him in delight. Her voice was too sweet. It made him feel sick.
"This is my only son, Draco. Say hello, Draco," Lady Narcissa urged him while gently pushing him forward to the lady.
"Hello," he muttered unwillingly.
"Oh, such a darling, isn't he? Well, this is my son, Adrian. You two are going to be really great friends," Lady Petrova smiled, pushing her own son towards Draco.
Draco thought it was plain stupid and fake.
His mother had a lot of friends but she always talked badly about them behind their backs. She could detect even the smallest of flaws in them and make them all a big deal so that she could brag about her superiority to others. He had even overheard her talking to one of her friends that they were doing business with the Pucey family just because she was a charitable being and she felt quite sorry for her long-time friend.
She said that the Puceys were nearing bankruptcy and all that they had now was their great name and status inside the wizarding society.
"My Adrian just started attending Hogwarts last year. He's in the Slytherin house. He's going to try out for the house team this school year. He's pretty good at Quidditch, you know," Lady Petrova suddenly mentioned.
"Oh how wonderful! My Draco is pretty good at the game too. He's been flying since he was four…"
Draco internally grunted since he knew he was going to witness an endless session of conceited talks again. Even his father had transformed into his arrogant expression and scooted nearer to boast that he was the one who had taught Draco about the game… leaving out the small details of nonstop beatings whenever he couldn't shoot a goal, of course.
He looked sideways to stare at the beautiful view outside the huge arched glass door of the foyer instead. The garden was pretty luxurious and he could see how vast the place was.
Though he knew it was nothing compared to their manor, it was still very refined and the different textures and hues of the place had mesmerized him.
He suddenly wanted to go outside.
He watched his parents cautiously.
They were now boasting about their wide estates and properties…
He gave Adrian small warning stares; just confident and daunting enough to make him shut up before Draco could sneak out.
Slowly and carefully, he took a few steps to the door and gently slid it open so his little form could slip outside without anyone noticing it.
Adrian never said anything but never stopped looking at him. He was probably jealous and wary of the fact that he needed to stay and listen to the exaggerated stories of the adults while Draco could run off and play.
Draco smirked at him through the glass door when he was finally outside, then in a blink second… he was free.
He always got what he wanted because he wasn't a coward.
That Adrian boy was just too wimpy to be like him.
He tried to whistle and hopped a little, feeling like a freed prisoner as he casually picked a daffodil and placed it inside his pocket.
He then picked a few more and threw them away, just because he could.
He squinted further to see the variety of flowers and grassy mounds that surrounded the grounds.
He leaped up onto the stoned stairs to see a nearby pond that gurgled soothingly, adding a good ambiance to the place. He smirked when he saw the colorful fishes just beneath the surface.
"It's quite boring in here, huh?" Draco sneered at the little wiggling koi carp. "Well, let's add a little adventure to your uninteresting, dreary life, shall we?" He added as he dipped a finger into the pond. The carps instantly swam towards his finger, thinking they were about to get fed. "Stupid creatures," he murmured before he caught one of the carps by its tail with his other hand. The carp wiggled in his grip, looking tormented, but he just laughed.
"Stop it! You're torturing it!"
Draco looked around and saw two hazel brown eyes staring at him angrily.
Right then, Draco Malfoy knew he would never forget this day.
Thanks to my beta readers: MissElizabeth12 and EchoDeltaNine!
Adrian Pucey is a minor character in HP. He first started attending Hogwarts for the school year 1989-1990. He's in Slytherin and played the role of a Chaser. I always thought the actor that played him was quite cute so I chose him, besides the fact that he has very little background information. Because of this, I needed to write some added original characters such as Lady Petrova, Nanny Demelza and Aunt Genevieve.
I've always wanted to write this and I have some really exciting scenes in mind. :) It haunted me to no end and I just REALLY needed to write it, so tell me what you guys think, okay?
Can I get a little favor and a small review from you? Thank you.
A blessed day to all!