It has been four months since the second wizarding war ended. Four months since The Boy Who Lived defeated the Dark Lord or, dare anyone say it, Voldemort. Four months since Aurors, students, professors of Hogwarts, members of The Order and, most importantly, The Golden Trio fought in the biggest battle known in wizarding history. Four months since loved ones were lost. Four months since things changed for the better and for the worse. It has been four very long months.
It was raining heavily on a Sunday morning and below the clouds, a dark parade was being held. No, not Lord Voldemort sort of dark, but a rather gloomy and sad occasion. A funeral. To be more precise, the funeral of a Death Eater – Lucius Malfoy. In some cultures, the fall of rain during a funeral signifies the happiness of the deceased and that he is resting in peace. Other cultures however, believe that a single raindrop that falls during a funeral signifies the unhappiness of the deceased and the reluctance to let go.
To Draco Malfoy however, it meant nothing. Nothing at all.
In front of Draco was a casket and inside that casket was his father. Father, he repeated in his head. It was always father and never dad. That was how Draco regarded the man who raised him, if one could call that raising. He had never been close to his father and yet, he had the need to always please his father. It was like an unquenchable thirst that plagued him throughout his schooling years. Everything Draco did in Hogwarts was to gain his father's approval and to make Lucius proud.
In this moment however, those things were at the back of his mind.
Draco did not feel sadness for the death of the man that claimed to be his father.
Draco did not feel upset by the death of Lucius.
Draco simply felt numb.
Lucius was killed by none other than the killing curse. It happened before it was time for his trial in front of the Wizengamot. The green spark came from the wand belonging to a Voldemort supporter and hit Lucius square in the chest. Perhaps the murderer saw Lucius as a blood traitor as he didn't fight for the Dark Lord in the end, or perhaps, Lucius was simply despised by everyone and this one person took it upon himself to finish off Lucius. The latter was more probable to Draco.
Draco and Narcissa on the other hand had their trial three months after the war and their punishment did not involve the word Azkaban. Narcissa was sentenced to one year of probation while Draco only received half of that as he was still young and the Wizengamot gave him a second chance. Being on probation meant no use of magic, surprise visits by representatives from the Ministry, as well as the fact that their whereabouts must be made known to the Ministry among other things. Lucky him. At least he wasn't on house arrest, he thought to himself.
Of course Narcissa's sentence was influenced by the fact that she lied to The Dark Lord to save Harry Potter albeit it was only done for her best interest – her son. Also taken into account was the fact that she never took the Dark Mark but married a man who did.
The rain kept falling and beside Draco, sat Narcissa Malfoy in black robes. Though it was a funeral, Narcissa still looked elegant and proud. She held her head high and sat with one leg over the other exposing her black heels sticking out beneath her robes. She kept her posture straight and stiff, but Draco knew better.
The slight quivering of her lips every once in awhile, and the excessive blinking were one of those few things that punched a huge hole straight through her facade. She also shivered and it was not due to the rain, as a spell was casted to keep everything and everyone within a mile's radius dry.
Narcissa Malfoy was not okay.
Heck, she was far from okay.
The man that was currently giving a speech made Lucius sound as innocent as Longbottom's toad, and Draco did nothing but rolled his eyes at the man. Narcissa on the other hand let out a small sob and clung onto every word the man said and nodded in agreement. However rude this may be, Draco didn't feel like being here. He wanted to return to the Manor and try to live a normal life or rather, a life as normal as he could possibly manage.
Draco looked around trying to busy himself with something more entertaining than the man that stood before him that spewed words coated in insincerity. Around him were other people who made an effort to come – whether or not due to obligation, or simply because they wanted to. Some of them were from Malfoy Industries while others were close family friends such as the family of Parkinson, Zabini and Nott. They all dressed in similar black robes. However, none stood out as elegantly as his mother did.
Everything was green around Draco. He scanned his surroundings and to his dismay, all he saw was the grass and trees, as well as that mount of dirt that would bury his father. He looked up at the sky and frowned. Draco saw what seemed like fireworks outside the cemetery that were in deep contrast to the clouds that hung above him.
Someone was definitely celebrating his father's death.
"Bloody fireworks," he muttered under his breath as he tore his eyes away from the flashing lights. He scanned the area another five times and sighed inwardly.
Draco found nothing worthy of his time and settled down a little more into the chair he was sitting on. Draco felt his mind wandering and soon he began thinking about the will Lucius Malfoy wrote. Malfoy Industries now belonged to Draco. So did the entire Malfoy fortune, as well as the Malfoy Manor. Draco could just sit back and relax. He could grow old without the need to earn another Galleon. His thoughts drifted further and further away until a small movement behind the trees on his right snapped him back into reality.
Draco blinked his eyes and focused on the tress to find the culprit who forced his mind from drifting. Surely, no one was cruel enough to cause havoc during a funeral. No one could be that heartless, Draco thought to himself. Draco unconsciously gripped his wand that was tucked into his robes. Always be prepared, he told himself. It was a phrase he grew up with and it was engraved into his memory. He looked harder as the movements behind the trees became less subtle.
Though he could not clearly see the face of the culprit, he noticed the hair.
Dark brown and slightly less bushy than it usually was. It could only belong to one person. A smirk played at his lips. Draco finally found his source of entertainment.
Hermione Granger was, and still is, that girl who is always sure of her every move. Her entire being was governed by reasoning and logic. Emotions were things she just felt, but rarely played a role in her decision making. Hermione Jean Granger, the brilliant muggle born, the brains of The Golden Trio.
She was pacing outside the gates of a private cemetery and she knew exactly what was going on inside. However, she didn't know what people would make of her presence today.
Hermione decided to come out here without the influence of her emotions. Perhaps a hint of it, but it was only a very small part compared to everything else. Yes, Gryffindor's Golden Girl decided to attend the funeral of a well known Death Eater. She came without Harry and Ron's knowledge for a very good reason. The both of them would have turned this funeral upside down and danced on Lucius's grave. Perhaps not Harry, but definitely Ron.
She knew they couldn't and wouldn't see logic, and only thought of Lucius as an inhumane blood thirsty Death Eater. Hermione did not deny that he was a cruel and vile man, but she was here to pay her respects to Narcissa and Malfoy. The latter had lied about their identity when they were caught and for that she was thankful.
She stopped pacing and walked straight into the cemetery. She made up her mind in the morning and she was not backing out now. Hermione Granger was not a coward.
As she walked, she suddenly felt something graze her legs and she jumped. She muffled her shriek with her hands and turned around. Behind her was a ginger cat – much like Crookshanks, staring up at her as if she was lost. Well she was lost, in a way. Hermione didn't belong here. Don't they keep stray cats out of private cemeteries, she thought to herself. Ignoring the cat, she continued walking towards the funeral procession, looking for a familiar face in the crowd. Perhaps someone from the Ministry was here.
She held her breath at the first thing she saw.
Oh, Merlin. Draco Malfoy was staring back at her. His eyes bored holes into her head and her feet were rooted to the spot when she saw his expression change from bored to utterly amused.
Draco whispered something to his mother and excused himself. He marched up Granger and he smiled to himself. He cleared his throat as he neared. The look on her faced morphed into something that he couldn't decipher.
"Granger," Draco began as his smile was replaced by a mask of indifference.
"Malfoy," she greeted.
"Are you lost? Or did you come to get hexed? Because if it's the latter, you could march right on. But I'd advise you to leave," he said. She obviously didn't belong here. There were at least ten people at the funeral who would have hexed her into oblivion if they saw her. I didn't save you during the war to have you get hexed to death here, he added silently.
"I'm just here to pay my respects."
"Surprisingly, I don't find that hard to believe, but it's probably not the best place for you to pay your respects, Granger."
She stared into his grey eyes and saw nothing. No emotions playing behind his arrogant facade. Hollow.
"I.. Right. You're probably right," she said.
"I'm sorry for your loss, Malfoy. Send your mother my condolences," she continued with an empathetic smile. She turned around and Disapparated with a pop before Draco could even mutter a word.
Good, he thought to himself. At least she had a sense of self preservation because he wasn't kidding when he said ten people would hex her if she made her presence known.
He really didn't save her just so she could die from hexes.
He made his way back to his mother and thought about how he repelled a killing curse that nearly hit her during the war in Hogwarts. Of course, she didn't know he was the one who blocked the curse.
It was that moment where he realised that being a Muggle-born did not make her inferior. She fought alongside Pure-bloods and she matched their skills. If not, she exceeded them. She made it known that being Muggle-born did not render her magical abilities useless.
It was that moment where Draco finally realised that he wanted nothing more than to have Voldemort killed that night. Most importantly, it was that moment where he finally let go of the beliefs that he was brought up with. Of course, he never admitted that to anyone, especially not Granger. He was a Slytherin after all, and Slytherins have a reputation to maintain.
With that, he sat back down and tuned out his surroundings once again. Nothing was more boring than the funeral of a man he called father who turned out to be anything but that.
Disclaimer: If I owned Harry Potter, Draco and Hermione would have ended up together. And they would haveblonde haired babies with brown eyes, or brown haired babies with grey eyes. Or both. Yeah, both sounds good.
Author's note: Hello! This is my first time attempting a chaptered Dramione fic. With that said, I'd appreciate your feedback as that's what fuels me to write. So review away and let me know what you think! Also, much thanks to my beta, Christine, who does a wonderful job with all the editing! It's rated M for a reason. Enjoy! xx