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Amends Unmended Chapter 4 - Working with Granger

Hermoine's dream started the way it always did, with her back in Hogwarts running away from the Slytherin boys. She had never been exceptionally athletic and, with her robes tripping up her feet, was easily caught by the four boys. She knew two of them – Blaise and Theo – but there were two younger boys she didn't know.

She put on her best brave face as Theo's fist held onto her arm like iron, "Let me go."

Blaise gave the Gryffindor a simmering look, his eyes piercing through her and seeming to suck out her soul. He smirked in that trademark Slytherin way, "No Princess. I think I know something I'd rather do with you..."

The four boys fell on her with wolfish grins, quickly divesting her of her school robes and ripping her blouse open to roughly fondle her breasts. Though she screamed and struggled the attack continued and no hero came to rescue her. Instead, Theo dropped his head to her neck to bite and suck violently – she had bruises for weeks after that.

Blaise was reaching a slimy hand under her skirt when one of the younger boys noticed someone out in the corridor, "Oy! Malfoy."

Hermoine shivered with distaste, knowing instantly that these boys were going to have their way with her, and that Malfoy would certainly make it as painful as possible for the rest of the last year.

Malfoy walked into the room and sneered at the four boys, glancing down at Hermoine with a look she had never quite seen on his face before. It was still his usual angry smirk but there was something different, something softer about it for almost a moment.

Blaise's hand brushed over her panties and Hermoine screamed, resuming her useless struggle against her captors as the boy who had hailed her arch rival offered her up, "Draco, you should take a taste of this bint. She's still got some fight left in her."

Malfoy's eyes flashed and he snarled at the four boys, sticking his nose in the air and turning away, "I don't dirty myself with mudbloods Niro, and I don't believe your father would like it if he found out you did."

The four boys released Hermoine as though she'd suddenly turned into a tea kettle and burned them all. As quickly as her nightmare had begun it ended, with Blaise and the others spitting on her as a last insult and then following Malfoy down the corridor.

Hermoine instantly awoke, her bedsheets tangled around her body as she had apparently tossed and turned during her nightmare. A sheen of sweat lay over her body as she worked on calming herself down. Breathing – in, out, in, out...slow it down Hermoine – Relaxing – start at the bottom, unclench toes, relax calves...

With an impatient huff at herself Hermoine rolled out of bed and headed down to the kitchen. A cup of tea and a book were the best way to relax and she knew it. Besides, she knew from experience that she wouldn't be able to sleep after having that dream. She would always sit awake until dawn came, afraid that if she let her eyes droop she'd be back in that darkened corridor with the shadows of her past.

As the water heated itself on the stove Hermoine leaned against the counter. There were only six people in the world who knew about what happened in that lonely corridor so long ago, and only two of them probably even remembered it. Would he? Did he? She shook her head, scolding herself. It didn't matter. Malfoy probably hadn't even meant to save her.

But he did.

And she had never forgotten it. Harry never understood how Hermoine didn't just ship Malfoy off to Azkaban after that first incident three years ago. He'd used memory charms on his elf Gibby which was enough of a crime to put him away for a couple of years (Though Hermoine eventually admitted that House Elves did not want to be free, she did alter her approach with SPEW and created several laws to protect them from physical and magical harm in her first year with the ministry). She'd passed it off as giving everyone equal chances but she knew that Harry's natural inquisitive nature was enough to have left him speculating.

She could have told him – Harry probably would have understood – but deep down in her heart she knew that The Boy Who Lived would pass off her image of Malfoy as a knight in shining armor, claiming that he truly believed that it was dirty to touch a muggle born.

Hermoine huffed as the tea kettle screeched. For almost five years she had told herself the same thing over and over again – Draco Malfoy was nothing but a no good ferret who believed that his blood was better than hers. But she couldn't quite shake the feeling that that look in his eyes – the one right before he 'called the boys off' – had been some sort of apology. As stupid as she knew it was (and she spent ample time arguing with herself over this one) Hermoine Granger couldn't help but believe that Draco Malfoy had saved her innocence. And possibly her life.

Which is why she had saved his ass from Azkaban so many times. And why she had felt compelled to offer him a job at the Ministry. Well, part of the reason for that anyway...

Steeping her favorite brand of earl grey into the cup, Hermoine gathered the mug into her hands and drifted toward her favorite reading chair. Tomorrow – she glanced at the clock, 2:48 – correction, today was Malfoy's first day at the Ministry and she was his new supervisor. What had she gotten herself into?

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Malfoy strolled into Granger's office five minutes late for the meeting. His cool blue shirt pressed and fitted underneath his barely closed Ministry robes. The muggle born witch was on her phone, her elbow propped on the desk in a way that should have been unprofessional. Of course, Draco thought, this was Granger he was thinking about, and she was always professional. He sidled over to the hardwood chair that sat across from her desk, one that he'd sat in so many times before, and sprawled into it. He had brought one manilla folder of his 'research' to appease his new superior and tapped it against his leg to get a rise out of the woman.

Hermoine had, obviously, grown up because she didn't rise to his bait and simply continued her phone conversation, "Thank you Mr. Willoughby, I'll send somebody out to stop your tea kettles from biting your ankles as soon as I can. But until then I recommend you go upstairs. I don't think they can climb the stairs...no, I'm almost certain. Good then. Yes, they'll be there before noon. Yes. Goodbye. Yes. Goodbye Mr. Willoughby."

Tired of his tapping game, Malfoy conjured a snitch and began catching and releasing it, smirking at the exasperation plain on his former classmate's face as she terminated her call. He waited exactly thirty seconds for her to shuffle her paperwork and send an airplane message buzzing off to the unfortunate wizard who was going to be sent to Mr. Willougby's before speaking.

"Rough morning Granger?"

Hermoine raised an eyebrow at the snitch as Malfoy played catch and release, "Nothing out of the ordinary. Now," Using silent, wandless magic, Hermoine turned the snitch into a key and stood up, "I suppose I should escort you to your new office. We can hold our preliminary meeting there."

Malfoy, who had been taught by his mother to always stand when a woman does, followed Hermoine out of the room. Smiling down at the petite key in his hand he thought, for the first time, that maybe this new 'job' of his wouldn't be that bad after all.

Four hours later, slouching amidst piles of unsorted research, Malfoy altered that opinion. His 'office' seemed to be no more than an oversized closet and Granger had transfigured the desk to take up the majority of the space in there so that they could 'get down to business' as she said. She was sitting not two feet away from him, a small space cleared in front of her so she could take notes on the budget, proposed research areas, clinical work, and other such nonsensicals that he simply just didn't care about.

He hadn't really been adding much to the conversation, apparently Granger had been thinking about this sub-committee for a really long time because she just kept spewing her ideas out of that cute, bow shaped mouth of hers, waiting for him to nod before taking more notes and arguing with herself. It was kind of intriguing actually – to see someone so utterly passionate about their work (well, his work technically). But Draco's stomach was starting to rumble and if he had to decide between listening to Granger hold a discussion about when to start probing the minds of Obliviate victims or watch her eat he'd choose the latter.

Hermoine was in her element, down and dirty with her research to the point where she had almost forgotten Malfoy was there. Almost. She was in the middle of a mental debate when he interrupted her (Oh no! She'd been saying her thoughts out loud again.) rudely, "Granger! Seriously, I'm starving."

Hermoine shook her head, bringing herself back to reality and frowning slightly, "I left my lunch in my office.."

Malfoy's eyes widened momentarily and he bit his tongue to keep from letting out a frustrated groan. If work was going to be this frustrating he might as well have stayed at home! "Uh-uh Granger! I am not sitting in this tiny office all day listening to you rant about your little sub-committee. Let's go."

Grabbing her arm, Malfoy dragged his boss out of the office and to the nearest apparation point. He heard a faint, "Where are we going? My office is..." before he pulled his boss hard against him and apparated them both out of the stuffy building. It was lunchtime.

Well, Chapter Four is here and in the clear! It is also a bit technical/plot oriented but I guess you Dramoine fans will just have to suffer through until I get to the good stuff. :) Reviews are always appreciated as they let me know that you...

Enjoy the Ride,

Ckorkows