Untold Lies and Secretes
Chapter 5 – What Once was Lost, Now is Found
Tonks, who was a morning person, woke before Remus, who slept like the dead on a good day, and was still out like a light. Tonks suspected that he would sleep for a while longer because he hadn't slept in almost two days and the looming full moon took a lot out of him.
As she climbed out of the bed, making sure not to disturb Remus's sleeping form, Tonks winced at the slight soreness between her thighs, but smiled as memories of last night came flashing back to the forefront of her mind. Looking back at her soon-to-be husband, Tonks, even though she wasn't an overtly emotional person, couldn't help the swell of emotion that filled her. Moving to his side of the bed, Tonks placed a quick kiss on his cheek.
Leaving his side, Tonks quickly donned her robes and headed out to the corridor and down the stairs. The flat was quiet, most of the other Order members and their families having gone to take their families to the Hogwarts Express.
Harry and Ron had questioned Hermione's absence, not knowing anything about the situation, so Dumbledore had told them that she was having familial issues – which wasn't a complete lie – and that she would be coming to Hogwarts at a later date. Tonks could tell that they knew they weren't getting the entire truth, but they weren't foolish enough to question Dumbledore, so they quietly relented.
She was in the kitchen preparing a cuppa tea and reveling over the fact that on her way downstairs she hadn't knocked or tripped over anything, when the hairs on the back of her neck stood up. Remus having taught her never to question her gut feeling, Tonks put her tea down and reached in her robes for her wand, cursing when she realized she had left it in the bedroom with Remus.
Tonks looked around and wondered what she had sensed. No one could have gotten past Dumbledore's wards without them realizing it, and…
Suddenly, a wisp of bright, white light floated into the room through the walls and quickly took the form of a dove. A patronus, Tonks realized, but not one that she recognized.
"I have news regarding Miss Hermione Granger." Tonks automatically recognized the voice of Narcissa Malfoy and her guard went up, wondering if this was a hoax of some sort. "She is safe and her injuries are healed. Currently, she is unconscious and restoring her energy. My son and I are watching over her in a flat in Muggle London. While her condition is greatly improved, I would be leery to try transporting her as of right now." Tonks quickly memorized the address the dove relayed and the warning of all the enchantments protecting it.
When the dove disappeared, Tonks's first instinct was to go up and wake Remus to tell him the news, but if he knew who had Hermione, he would explode and think impulsively and irrationally, risking too many lives. So as much as it pained her, Tonks knew she had to keep Remus out of the loop until she shared the news with Dumbledore.
Tonks hated pulling Dumbledore away from Hogwarts, especially since the year just started, but she knew this was an emergency, so she didn't hesitate to go to the hearth and Floo his office.
"Tonks, to what do I owe the pleasure," Dumbledore inquired, answering her call promptly.
"Please come quickly, Albus. I have news about Hermione."
"Of course, my dear. I shall be there in two shakes."
True to his word, Dumbledore appeared promptly, his robes billowing behind him. Tonks quickly relayed everything the dove had said and her worries about the Malfoys.
"I promise you, Tonks, Narcissa and Draco Malfoy are not our enemies, merely innocent bystanders caught in the middle. And I would remind you that only one pure a heart can conjure a patronus. Hermione is safe and in good hands with Narcissa and Draco."
"My daughter is where?!" Remus thundered, striding into the kitchen, his robes as disheveled as the man.
"She is with Narcissa and Draco Malfoy, currently. Although I suggest she not stay there much longer. Her and Draco's absences were noted both on the Hogwarts Express and at the feast. It would not be wise for them to not be at school for various reasons."
"How can you be so bloody calm about this, Albus? My daughter's life is in the hands of the Malfoys for Merlin's sake. The bloody Pure Blood supporters of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. I trust them just about as much as I trust myself during the full moon. We have to get her out of there! Who knows what they've done to her by now." Remus paced back and forth, his hands fisting and drawing blood from his palms.
"That's quite enough now, Remus," Albus warned gently. "I must ask you to calm down and I'm going to say the same thing to you that I told Tonks and I expect you to heed my words. Narcissa and Draco Malfoy can be trusted and are in no way our enemies. One cannot conjure a patronus without a pure heart and soul, and one cannot fake a patronus either. I have seen Narcissa's patronus numerous times. It's quite a beautiful animal, and very characteristic of her, if I do say so myself.
"I can understand you are anxious to see your daughter again. However, I will not tolerate any rudeness towards Narcissa and Draco when we go to their location. Do you understand?" Remus glared at Dumbledore, clearly upset about the circumstances, but he could do nothing but agree to the older man's terms. "Splendid. I believe Side-along Apparition would be a wise choice in this case. And what perfect timing, too, for I find myself in need of talking to dear Narcissa. The wonders of the world…If you would, please, Tonks." Dumbledore placed his hand gently on her shoulder and waited for Remus to do the same on her other side before Tonks took them to their destination, the familiar pull of their navels a tell-tale sign.
Hermione looked doubtfully at the cup of tea Malfoy presented to her. "Oh Merlin's beard, Granger. I didn't poison it!" Draco snapped. "If I had wanted to kill you I would have had plenty of chances to do so already."
"Draco," Mrs. Malfoy scolded. "Be nice. In the past we have given Miss Granger plenty of reasons to mistrust us. I highly doubt she'll start trusting us on the drop of a wand." Mrs. Malfoy walked past Draco and plucked the cup of tea from her son's hands and sat on the edge of the couch next to Hermione, ignoring Draco as he stomped out of the room. "I promise you, dear, my Draco did not poison this. It is merely one of his herbal remedies to help injuries such as your own."
Hermione looked at the cup and its contents once more before she reached out and accepted the tea, taking a tentative sip. The warm liquid felt good running down her throat and she took another sip, the soothing chamomile working wonders. "There now, I can already see it helping. You are feeling better, I presume. No more migraines?" Narcissa placed her hand on Hermione's forehead and smoothed back her hair.
"Yes, I'm feeling much better. Thank you Mrs. Malfoy."
Narcissa smiled and resituated the blanket around Hermione. "Oh please, call me Cissa. My Draco will be a wonderful Medi-wizard someday. It's what he's always wanted to do, you know. Ever since he was a little boy." Narcissa smiled wistfully, lost in her memories. "I must apologize for his attitude, though. He's quite mad at me at the moment and I'm sorry to say he's talking it out on you. Once he comes around he'll apologize, though."
Hermione started at Mrs. Malfoy in amazement. The Malfoys had always seemed so cold and snooty. But Narcissa and Draco Malfoy, Pure Bloods, were nursing Hermione Granger, the Mudblood, back to health. Something strange was definitely going on.
"Oh, and before I forget. I sent a message to the Order about your whereabouts and health. They should be here soon to bring you home, back to your family."
Hermione stiffened and tears started forming in her eyes. "I don't even know who my family is anymore," Hermione whispered and looked down at her tea, as if it would hold the answers to all her questions. Narcissa pried the cup out of Hermione's shaking hands and pulled her into a hug, careful of her still healing shoulder.
"There, there, dear. I'm sure everything will work itself out. There's no need to get yourself worked up into a tizzy. Everything will turn out for the better, just you wait and see." Hermione's reply was cut off by Draco striding into the room, his wand brandished and pointed at the door. Draco moved so he was standing in front of the couch where his mother and Hermione were seated, protecting them from whatever put his guard up.
"Draco?" Narcissa questioned, a slight hint of worry coloring her voice.
"Someone's coming. Quiet." Hermione's brow furrowed, but she instinctually huddled closer to Narcissa.
A knock sounded on the flat's front door and Draco's posture stiffened even more. "Narcissa, dear. It is I, Albus Percival Wulfrick Brian Dumbledore and two of my companions. Remus John Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks. Your patronus is a dove and your favorite candy is Lemon Drops, which I gave to you last Christmastime." Hermione was practically clinging to Narcissa now, not wanting to see Lupin at all.
"Draco," Narcissa murmured. "It's okay. You can let them in." Draco looked to his mother incredulously, his grey eyes stormy with mistrust, but he obeyed his mother and went to open the door, refusing to lower his wand.
As Draco slowly opened the door, Albus Dumbledore's withered face appeared, smiling slightly. "Ah, Mr. Malfoy. Your enchantments are very powerful. Enough to keep them out for a while, at least, but not me I'm afraid. Perhaps I'll teach you some charms that should do the trick, though." Draco lowered his wand and nodded in appreciation, moving out of the way so his professor could enter.
"Hermione!" a familiar voice bellowed out. Remus Lupin shoved past Dumbledore and Tonks and entered the flat, his eyes looking around wildly. "Get away from her! Get away from my daughter!" he shouted when he spotted Hermione on the couch next to Narcissa Malfoy.
Narcissa disentangled herself from Hermione, continued to hold the young girl's hand, waved off Draco from intervening, and stood to her full height, making up for the height difference between her and Remus with her confidence. "Watch yourself, Remus Lupin. Whether or not you're her parent, I will not tolerate you frightening her like this. She has been through quite a lot these past couple of days and is still healing. The poor girl is frightened out of her skin and you'd do best to remember that she is a teenage girl with feelings."
Albus watched from the sidelines as the situation played out, watching Tonks run to Remus's side, whispering in his ear and holding onto his arm to prevent him from doing anything idiotic and Draco clearly trying valiantly to hold onto his control and not curse Remus for advancing on Narcissa.
Remus's eyes never left his daughter as Narcissa sat back down on the couch and tried to calm Hermione again. "Here, sweetheart, why don't you drink so more of your tea and settle back down. It's not good for your healing if you're moving around a lot. There you go, comfortable?" Narcissa asked, tucked the quilt back around her body.
"Draco," his mother called out. "Perhaps you'd be willing to share with Remus and Tonks how you found Hermione while you check how's she's healing and I'll talk with Professor Dumbledore for a moment in the other room." Draco nodded and moved towards Hermione's side, watching Remus out of the corner of his eye. Tonks led Remus over to a high-backed armchair and sat him down. She sat on the settee next to him and kept their hands connected on the arm rest.
Narcissa stood up and let go of Hermione's hand with a promise to return quickly before she left to go talk with Dumbledore in the next room as Draco moved closer to her, looked over her injuries, and began his story. Draco could tell Lupin was upset that he was touching Hermione and that the werewolf didn't trust him, so he did his best to ignore him as he worked.
"I trust you are well, dear Cissa," Dumbledore questioned, reaching into his inside robe pocket and pulling out a small case of lemon drops and offering one to his companion.
"As well as can be expected, Albus. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named grows stronger, and Lucius more controlling. I fear for Draco. He knows how Lucius can get and I worry what would happen if Draco would ever interfere." Narcissa looked up at the elder wizard, tears in her eyes. "I can't live without my son, Albus. I wouldn't know what to do with myself."
"My offer still stands, Cissa. I am more than willing to help you and Draco. Let me help you get to a safer place. Where you don't always have to look over your shoulder."
Narcissa shook her head resolutely. "I can't. Not yet, at least. If we leave now, Lucius will never stop until he kills both of us. And I can still give you valuable information…"
"Narcissa," Dumbledore interrupted. "You're safety if far more important to me than information. I have other resources and means of finding out what Voldemort is up to."
Cissa shook her head again. "I thank you again, Albus, but I can't right now. Sometime soon, maybe. But not right now. Although, I do have one request to make of you."
"Anything, my dear."
"Watch over Draco. I need him to be safe and I find myself constantly worrying over him."
"Of course, Cissa. Although I suspect that this year will bring great changes in young Draco's life." Dumbledore smiled knowingly and led her back into the sitting room with the others.
As Dumbledore and Narcissa reentered the sitting room, Draco was just finished explaining what had happened to Remus and Tonks and was finished checking Hermione, declaring her almost 100%.
"You'll most likely experience stiffness and soreness for the next two to three days. I have a salve I can give you that should help, though." Hermione nodded and smiled shyly.
"I'd like that, thank you. And thank you for taking such good care of me."
"Well now that that's settled, we should be going, Hermione." Hermione's cold eyes drifted towards him for the first time.
"I won't go anywhere with you, you lying bastard!" she hissed out. Draco raised an eyebrow in his mother's direction, clearly wondering what was going on. "Professor," Hermione turned to look at Dumbledore. "Would it be possible for me to go straight to Hogwarts? I don't want to get too far behind in my classes." Remus knew that it was just an excuse she was using because she didn't want to be around him.
"I suppose that would be acceptable, however I think penning a letter to the Grangers to let them know you are well wouldn't be remiss. And in the future I request you don't use such language in my presence, it gives me indigestion." Hermione's jaw tightened, but she nodded anyway. "Draco, you are more than welcome to join us if you wish or you may come in a day or two. Whichever you prefer." Draco looked to his mother.
"I'll come with you." Narcissa smiled and motioned Draco over, pulling him into her arms.
"You're trunk is all packed?" Draco nodded against her shoulder. "Good boy. I'll send it as soon as I get back, and I'll throw in some Pumpkin Pasties." Draco smirked and placed a kiss on his mother's cheek.
"Stay safe, mother."
"You as well, my son." Draco pulled away from Narcissa and he walked back to Dumbledore.
"I'll make sure you have you trunk by tonight, as well, Hermione," Tonks said. Hermione nodded and let her eyes drift over Remus to settle Tonks.
"Thanks," she whispered almost inaudibly. Tonks smiled and squeezed Remus's shoulder to prevent him from rising and going over to her. Draco held Dumbledore's forearm and Hermione grabbed onto Draco's hand, much to everyone's surprise. This time Tonks couldn't prevent Remus from rising and moving towards his daughter's side, but it was too late, Dumbledore had already left, pulling Draco and Hermione with him.