Ok, I realize that pairing Hermione and Draco is really wrong. It's one of those "only fanfics" sort of impulses that I have. In the actual books I will kick and scream with horror if Hermione and Ron do not end up together. But Herm/Ron fics are not interesting to me, because evil is much more exciting, even if I want good to win. So here's a quick little adventure I did, while bored, in my spare time.

Standard non-ownership disclaimers here for I own jack all and am as poor as sin.

Part 1: The Actors He swept through the house with anger unmatched to any he'd felt before. Break from school was long and boring and the fact that he had been left at home to his own devices only reinforced the feeling of uselessness that permeated his existence in the house he'd spent his life in. Elegant, rich, it all reeked of aristocracy and privilege. Naturally it would, Malfoys had lived here for centuries, and they were proud of every inch of the crumbling castle. Everything was dark, cold, uninviting. and Draco was thoroughly tired of doing nothing but walking around all day. The house only held a very few options, and he wasn't in the mood to spend his whole vacation in the library. The grounds were well enough, lush and green, and well they should be for all the money and magic that went into their care. More for show than for enjoyment, as many of the Malfoys possessions were. Sure, once in a while he would practice spells on animals for kicks, turning them into other animals or objects, but that had limited appeal. What he needed was a person. He wasn't sure for what, but he knew he needed some human company. Most of the servants had gone with Lucius and Narcissa to Germany for the summer, and the ones that were let were careful to stay out of sight from the temperamental 17-year-old boy lest they become the butt of his vicious ennui.

"This is no good," he said out loud, (a common habit born of being left alone too often) "I must speak to someone, anyone." the air around him crackled with bitterness, then mellowed ".or at least watch someone talking to someone else." The idea flowed into his head and filled him with a sweet anticipation. He moved quickly and surely down long hallways with heavy dark colored drapes over all the windows until he reached a far back and inconspicuous corner that looked like any other corner of the castle and walked straight into the wall. Coming out the other side of the secret opening he moved down the stairs at a steady pace, his feet moving confidently over the dark steps in the faint light. At the bottom of the stairwell was a small room. Comfortable, albeit dark and unfriendly, he looked at the plush cushions set in front of the large clear orb that dominated the center of the room. This was his mother's domain, for as a witch her scrying powers were unmatched by almost anyone in her generation. She had been a spy for Voldemort many years ago, and when he left she continued to practice what she did out of the need to know what was going on outside the castle that she did not often leave.

When she had first showed him this room a few years ago, he had been skeptical. Scrying was an imperfect art and often you didn't see what you wanted or nothing at all. Narcissa had the patience to try again and again with enough concentration to get fairly consistent results, and she taught her son as well as possible so that he too could have a good grasp of this complex art. Combined with Lucius' combat spells lessons, and various other subjects he was tutored in over the summers in the past Draco was becoming quite proficient in the dark arts. It was well he should, if he were going to continue the Malfoy legacy. Next year was going to be his last at Hogwart's and if he did not have a good grasp of his future now, then he never would.

But his attention, then wandering, snapped back to the orb with delight and interest. Around the room were various objects that he could pick up and use as a focus. The knife on the shelf caught his interest, as knives often did, and he thought about the chef downstairs even now making his food. The image sharpened fairly quickly due to Draco's long familiarity with the surroundings and the person. A boring image really, as the chef was in the midst of preparing some roasted meat and happened to be seasoning it at that moment. There was a brief pause in activity as the chef pulled a bottle of brandy from beneath the counter and drank about a fifth of the bottle before returning to his work as if nothing had happened. Realizing that this was where most of the brandy was probably going, Draco was amused by this interesting indiscretion. It didn't matter to him much, his father had plenty of money to fuel the cook's drinking habit, and as long as his food got prepared then at least he was doing his job. At the same time Draco coolly started to think up punishments and in doing so lost his concentration and the scry all at once. That was a brilliantly uninteresting foray, but with a smirk he thought of a far more diverting one.

Grabbing some glasses off the shelf, he thought as intensely as he could about Harry Potter. Knowing what Harry was doing would be eminently valuable and at the very least would ease some of his boredom. Swirling gray and green inside the orb formed a mad tempest for a minute or two and then began to settle and firm. Outlines of smoke took on three dimensions and then all at once snapped into focus and Draco could see Harry Potter smiling. A sneer crept up to his lips, but he quickly stifled it as the emotions were beginning to make the scry cloudy again. Potter came into clear view again, and as the picture widened Draco could see Ron and him on broomsticks tossing a quaffle back and forth for fun. They were laughing and the sun was bright in the trees around them. Then Ron, with a bright smirk said something to something below him and dived off his broom. As there was never sound, and Draco couldn't read lips since it would break his concentration the actions would have to speak for themselves. Now following Ron, he saw him land in the middle of a large, murky looking lake. The large splash that followed made Harry laugh and he soon followed suit right behind Ron.

They both laughed and pointed in a direction. Panning out more, Draco saw the sputtering, wet form of a fully clothed, formerly dry Hermione. She began shouting something and jumped and stomped her foot just a little. Obviously they had caught her by surprise, and even thought she did not look particularly angry, she also did not seem pleased at the new state of things. Ron and Harry started to splash one another, but Draco no longer had any interest in their banal activities because Hermione was beginning to strip off her sodden clothing on piece at a time. Her pants came off first and he thought he was seeing a tantalizing peek at her panties when with a jolt of disappointment he saw her take off her top to reveal a bathing suit. They had obviously planned on going swimming from the start. While Hermione brushed out her hair and wound it into a bun, Draco took time to admire her form. She must have filled out a few years earlier, because no one could have gone from frizzy haired nothing to. that in but a year. Her form fuzzed at the edges as he was losing control of the scry, and when she almost spilled out of the top of her suit before catching it (after giving a quick look around to make sure no one saw) she fuzzed out completely. Draco tried to recapture her image, but failed. There was no way he could keep his head straight at the moment. He had suddenly formed some plans to consider.

Walking up the stairs he felt vaguely unsettled. Merely looking at Granger had made his palms itch just a little to touch that fair skin. Hell, he wanted to do more than just touch it. His aroused state was uncomfortable, but her refused to relieve himself as he prided his own ability to control himself. This attraction to Granger would have to be dealt with, and he knew what needed to happen no matter the consequences. If he needed her, then he would take her, and bring her here. At least he wouldn't be bored anymore.


Hermione's summer was off to a fabulous start. Ron and Harry were marvelous fun and they spent all their time together. Soon Ron would be traveling with Hagrid to see his brother and the dragons. Hagrid, who desperately wanted to work with dragons again, had talked Ron into the jaunt and with Ron in his last year this would be an ideal time to use Ron visiting his brother before Ron was too busy with other things. The trip would take Ron away for almost the entire summer. Harry and Hermione were not so excited to go to central Europe because of all the political problems, even if it was in the woods, and so didn't press the issue when Hagrid said it would be too dangerous for the two of them to go as well. Ron had already promised to write every day, and Harry and Hermione knew very well that he probably would if to nothing but complain about the prolonged camping trip.

Harry and she were planning to go all through London to clubs and to hear all sorts of music as she and he had not spent much time in the Muggle world and wanted to have some of the normal teenage experiences that other kids their age did. Movies, dancing, and all sorts of fun were in order. Ron was very irritated that he had to miss all the fun, but admitted he was still excited to see his brother and to learn a little more about dragons and maybe he'd go around in other countries and see the Muggle sights there. Vaguely unsure how to tell him about the general uneasiness in that part of the world, they figured that Hagrid would keep him safe enough and told him that that sounded like a great idea. But all that was for the future, and there was no reason to linger on thoughts of their impending separation. For a moment there was a feathery sensation in the back of her mind, it faded a little and she dismissed it as a bug flew in front of her. Tying up her hair, she thought she felt something again, only stronger. Finishing tying up her bun, and after readjusting her suit I guess I need to go buy a bigger one!, Hermione jumped into the water, ignoring her uneasy feeling as a result of dwelling on the separation from Ron that was impending in a couple days.

Immediately, she was attacked by her two overzealous friends and totally soaked by a large wave of shrieking happy friends. The water fight that ensued was juvenile, ridiculous, and totally unworthy of their mature teenage mentality, but none of them cared at that moment except that it was a hot day and they were playing in the water. Soon, tired and happy they began to lazily swim across the small lake. Harry got out to sun himself on the shore while Ron tried to get some of the gritty dirt out of his hair that Harry had rubbed in there during a particularly underhanded move in the water fight. Hermione made lazy circles in the water, lying on her back and feeling the sun warm her stomach. It was a good day, a great day, one of the best she'd ever had. There was no way that that feeling could have been broken, and she could hold on to this brief moment of youthful carelessness.

A cold hand grabbed her leg from beneath the water, and Hermione screamed as loud and as hard as she could immediately losing her buoyancy and landing right on the sneaky form of Ron who was the culprit who had just given her a fright.

"Ron! That was a horrid thing to do!" She sputtered and coughed out a little water as Harry laughed himself into hiccups on the shore.

"Oh come on, Mione, it's not like you got hurt or anything." His smile became sly. "Besides, you never know when the great Loch Ness Ron will hit."

"I still think you're a horrible, immature, cruel." she dissolved into laughter as Ron began to tickle her. She sank down into the water again, as she couldn't keep treading water in that state. Sputtering, she resurfaced and splashed him as she jetted away to the shore in a false huff. Swimming quickly behind her, Ron pounced a couple more times before giving up on Hermione's superior swimming ability as she stayed well ahead of him. Ron and Hermione laid down on the shore next to Harry. Tired, a little hungry, and drying in the sun, they looked at the trees and the bugs that darted over the water.

"So what happens next year?" Harry said quietly.

"We get a year older, we graduate." Said Ron.

"We figure out what we want to do in the world and get jobs, I guess." Hermione said.

"I haven't really thought out what I want to do that well." Ron started "There are so many options, and the opportunities are spread out wide before all of us. Especially you two, although I must say I've already had an offer or two to take up some Ministry positions next year. Although entering the Ministry was not my first thought."

"I always saw myself teaching, I suppose. I mean, I would love to go on learning until I can't cram a single other thing in my brain, but that's not too practical. Then there is always the option of research. Researching ancient forms of magic would be a wonderful way to spend some years and gain some experience.. Maybe travel some too." Hermione's voice took on a wistful far away quality. She had spent a lot of time thinking about her future, it's part of what had given her such drive in her schoolwork.

"So Harry, what about you? Auror?" Ron raised an eyebrow. "You could write a book and make gads of money. I could just see it, Hell on a Dollar a Day by H. Potter, and you could make even more money with book signings with lots of young women screaming and fainting in front of you." Hermione was softly chuckling and Harry was giving his friend a lop sided smile that bode playful trouble if he continued. Standing up he began to imitate the supposed fainting women. "Oh Mr. Potter! Eeeeee! Oh my heart." and down he crumpled in a neat heap at Harry's feet.

"Beautiful performance, you should take up acting Ron. I know several soap operas who are dying for your kind of talent." Harry shoved Ron hard and he rolled down the embankment into the water with a soft plop. Flipping over, he began to swim a bit again, enjoying the cool of the water on his warm skin.

"But really Harry, what are you going to do?" Hermione's voice was soft and inquisitive.

"I'm not sure, really." He brought his knees up under his chin. "I suppose the expected thing is to be an Auror, or something terribly dangerous and heroic. You know I've never been one for decisive decisions far in advance. When it comes down to it, I'll know what to do. I just hope I don't hesitate."

"Of course you won't Harry," Hermione said forcefully. "We're young yet anyway, and have at least a whole year in front of us with no worries."

"I hope you're rig.. YOU GIT!" Harry jumped up and made a flying leap at Ron who had just sprayed them with cold water, shocking them both into expressions that gave him fits of hysterics. Apparently, playfulness ran in more Weasleys than just the twins. There was to be no more talk of futures that day when there was so much tangible, delirious present.


Books were spread all throughout the library. Some of them open, face down, spine cracked, pages slightly ripped, but nothing that a little bit of magic couldn't fix. The maids would have a tough time of it this evening cleaning up, as there were only two of them for the whole house and this alone would take a couple hours. But then, Draco didn't really care what sort of messes other people had to clean up for him. Cursing loudly and vehemently he tossed another book to the floor from the ladder he stood on. There had to be something useful up there. He knew that they had the damn book, unless someone stole it at some point in recent years. But that couldn't be, as the library had enough magic protecting its precious, and sometimes illegal, contents that it hadn't been pilfered in several decades. At least not stolen from successfully.

Then he found it. A low hiss of pleasure inadvertently escaped through his front teeth. Ah yes, Memory Charms and their Uses. Perfect. Excellent. Superb. He gave a low laugh.

Better notify the maids to make up one of the more remote guest bedrooms, one of the. secure ones. He was expecting company, even if they didn't know they were coming.


Hermione and Harry waved goodbye to Ron as he returned home by way of flu powder. They had had a small party at Hermione's house for which her mother had graciously made food and drink for several Gryffindors, Ravenclaws, and Hufflepuffs as well as for Hagrid so that Ron could be sent off in style for the summer. Everyone else had cleared out long before, with Hagrid and Ron being the last to leave. The room was adrift in broken streamers, brightly colored and listless now that their use was through. There would be quite a lot of cleaning up to do, even though the party had not been rowdy.

"You want any of this food, Harry?" Hermione's mother asked "Certainly we don't need much of the leftovers and I'd hate to think of what those nasty relat. you know it isn't my place to say anything, pardon me dear." She gave Harry a pat on the head and gathered up some green streamers.

"You're really very lucky Hermione," Harry started "I wish I had a loving family to go home to."

"Black will get on the right side of the law eventually, as soon as the bureaucrats get it all straight that he's not dangerous. Otherwise, you only have to stick it out for one more year." Giving a crinkly smile she gave him a hug. "Now help me get this food put away before the sauces turn in this heat."

"It's terribly hot isn't it?" Harry, and indeed everyone cleaning, was sweating, and the room was still oppressive from when everyone was around and talking and laughing. "But it was nice to see everyone for a little while. It's a shame so many of them are leaving for the summer holiday as well."

"Well, most people's families want to spend the summer with them before they run away after next year. It's understandable that most people won't be too available." Hermione's scowl at the stain on the carpet made her somewhat comic. "Certainly we'll have a hard time of it trying to find people to go clubbing with us."

"What a dreadful thing to call it," Harry remarked. "A bit like we are back in the Stone Age trying to find dinner or something. Or it is as if we are part of some gladiatorial game."

"The point is that we need to go out and start acting more like typical teenagers and get a taste of what it is like before we enter the real world. I for one will be happy to experience a little careless fun, so we're going out tomorrow right?" Harry nodded. "But do you know where we're going to go?"

"Not exactly."

"Well, I've got the car from my parents but I need to be home by one on pain of death or suspension of insurance." Hermione scrubbed at a solidified glop of something on the wood surface of the table with a sponge. "Or death. I don't really know which is worse. I suppose we could just drive into the city and take our chances."

Harry looked vaguely nervous. "I've been thinking that, well, we don't exactly look like most of the other kids our age." He paused a moment as the thought formed more completely. "We don't follow the same trends, and are essentially out of it. I mean, we aren't even in on most of the trends of the wizard world unless we are at school. I don't know about you, but being essentially locked in the house all summer has not been conductive to being 'in style'. What do you think that other people will make of us?"

Hermione stopped scrubbing the table a moment. "I see your point." She paused a few moments more. "I suppose all there is for it is to go shopping and find out what people our age wear so that we can at least look normal even if we don't know what sort of slang or trends are popular at the moment. Do you have a little money?" Harry nodded, as naturally he had plenty for whatever he needed as long as it was not excessive. "I've got a bit saved as well, and I think that we can get at least a couple outfits worth to make us look, um, cool."

Harry and Hermione finished helping clean and Harry took off for home with flu powder, promising that they'd go shopping tomorrow afternoon in preparation for tomorrow night. Although Hermione smiled confidently and appeared to have all the answers, she herself worried some about how she and Harry would relate to other people their age. There was plenty that could go wrong, and she didn't want to be thought weird and hence unapproachable on their first try at being in the normal teenage scene. One especially worrying thing was what they would look like. Their inexperience would probably be as obvious as if they had painted "innocents" on their clothing even if they were very competent in magic. Magic didn't give you good people skills. Magic didn't make you naturally likable. Bah. It was just another skill, and she was good at picking up on things quickly.

Looking down at her plain cotton skirt, plaid, knee-length, and her white cotton shirt she began to wonder what it would be like to be in daring clothing. Something that showed some thigh, and possibly. off the shoulder a little on the shirt. Her wardrobe was practical, and useful. It contained everything she needed to get around a busy school and be perfectly well dressed and comfortable. There were robes over everyone anyway so it ultimately didn't matter what you wore. Might as well be comfortable. In her experience, beauty was not only pain but extreme discomfort, (which can be much worse than pain). Even as she was not ugly, she made no pretense at great beauty. It just didn't mean that much to her. But now it would have to. She needed something to go out in, and she didn't exactly know where to get clothes like that. Certainly not department stores, as they would only possess normal clothes like the kind that were her normal sensible ones. It would be time consuming, but she was sure that eventually someone would direct her and Harry to a place where they could get something decent to look like normal youth. She heaved a soulful sigh as she arranged couch cushions.

Tomorrow would be busy, and it was too late to do anything more than look in a phone book for interesting sounding shops as nothing was open at thing late in the evening. Might as well go read a bit more from nest year's text books as it was a couple hours until midnight and she wouldn't be able to get to sleep fast in this heat until it got to be a bit later.


It was so complicated. The way the spell worked he would need to expend an enormous amount of energy doing what he needed to do, every day he would have to renew it as well otherwise it would weaken and fade out all together. But he only needed to do it on two people if he did it well, and maintaining it once cast would be only a minimal energy drain. He could see why so few people used it as it had to have someone fairly devoted to keeping it going and it was much more worthwhile to devote that energy to something else more potent and permanent. But for his purposes it was ideal. The rest of the problems could be dealt with as they popped up. The best way to deal with it was make the whole thing as air tight as possible. It only needed to be effective before 5 weeks were up, then his parents would get back from their vacation and he would have more training. Maintaining it that long would make him weak, and he would surely be punished for doing badly if he didn't stop at least a little bit early. No rest for the wicked. His mother was fond of saying that with a queer little smile playing on her thin lips. Draco licked his own thin dry lips before putting down the book he had been studying intensely for many hours. He would need materials, but they were easy to come by. He would need opportunity, which was less easy to come by, but he could create opportunity. The scrying crystal would be a great help there, and soon enough a window would open. Then he had to be ready to move at a moment's notice.

It would take three days at least to prepare everything and get it all set down. Bringing out a piece of parchment and a quill and inkpot he began to sketch out a rough draft of how it would go. Brilliant. He would have three weeks, maximum, then two weeks to recover his energy and strength and no one would be the wiser. If the staff ratted on him, he didn't particularly care. There were excuses he could make. Or he could just lie. His father didn't care as long as he covered up his tracks. That would be easy enough, as long as he kept enough energy for the last spell. but that was a ways away. Looking down, he began to make a list of what he would need.


Lamenting again and again the current state of fashion, Hermione pulled off a shirt in the dressing room knowing that she would never be able to find something that was acceptable. It was intrinsically unfair that Harry had been so deucedly easy to shop for whereas it was taking forever to shop for her. Harry waited outside the ladies dressing rooms looking very uncomfortable and awkward as pretty young girls with nice clothes passed by and giggled. His red cheeks made his new look slightly less cool but much more adorable. Large jeans, some interesting shirt combinations, and some sunglasses were all that he really needed, and with his newly spiked hair (not that it had needed much help, just a little styling) he made a very attractive picture. A couple suits too that were quite acceptable. However, holding a girls purse in the ladies section of a highly trendy and alternative shop in a remote part of town did not exactly instill lots of confidence in him for his new look. Hermione, understanding his discomfort, was trying to go as fast as possible but the state of things couldn't be helped. She'd try on something and it would look nice but be too revealing, then another thing that seemed to be pretty but fit like a paper bag around her middle, but she had had some success in that she found one shirt that she liked and an attractive pair of low cut jeans.

".mion. ee.. Soon. ple.." The mumble was low but distinctively Harry from outside somewhere.

"What's that?"

"Hermione we need to go soon, please," she could practically hear the blush in his voice "I don't know how much more of this I can take."

"Ten more minutes and then I promise we'll be out of here. Just be grateful I don't have to go buy makeup too. Although I do need to get shoes after this." His groan made her smile. She sighed as she faced the last garments in a pile by her side. Picking up a skit she renewed her efforts.

There was some rustling from the dressing room and Harry waited somewhat impatiently for Hermione to emerge. When she did she did not look happy, but there was no distinctive disappointment so Harry assumed all would be well. After all, his shopping had gone so quickly that he couldn't imagine why hers was so time consuming. Being so picky, but knowing what she wanted, made the shoe shopping go quickly enough and they made their way back to Hermione's so that she could change and get ready for their first attempt to paint the town red. He didn't have to wait too long, but the Hermione that strode into the living room was slightly different than the one he had expected. Since it was still warm in the night, she had gone for a tank top that exposed a fair amount of her midriff in a pattern with lots of Japanese characters on the material, some black Capri pants, and black with white striped platform tennis shoes. Her makeup was striking and exotic, with black eyeliner and blue lipstick.

"I feel like a clown Harry." She grimaced as she tried to cover up some of her bare middle. "Among other things."

"Well, you look lovely. Besides, you aren't the one who is going to be wearing sunglasses at night." He gave a lopsided smile. "I'm the real fool here."

"Oh hush, that's why we bought you different colors." Hermione pulled him through the front door towards the car. "Now let's get moving since it's already 9 and it takes almost an hour to get somewhere and park, and if I'm going to be in this getup then someone better damn well see me besides you."

"That's all well and good but where are we going.?"

"Wherever the music is loudest!"


So what's this, thought Draco, pretty little Hermione is going out dancing at night? The scry dissolved immediately as he couldn't keep his thoughts on the surroundings themselves. The way she looked had been new and provocative, for her, at any rate. It had only made him even happier that the project was going forward so smoothly. Plans swirled instead where images had momentarily before existed. It was too easy, and he wished she had at least made it difficult a little bit. No matter, she and wonder boy Potter could do the town as much as they wanted as long as two days from now they were gone for at least three hours from Hermione's house. That's how long it would take to put the spell on her parents. It was quite ingenious really. The spell was designed to integrate with past memories making the new memories absolutely seamless, and when the spell itself was used up then the false memories would evaporate leaving a blank spot in which most people didn't even miss. They would most likely assume whatever happened most frequently had been the reality. No harm, not traceable, but needing constant maintenance it was still illegal to practice due to its insidious nature. The parents would believe what he needed them to believe and then they would forget it. Hermione he would fix by putting a memory charm on her at the end. She would forget everything, her parents would forget, and everyone would assume that they had been doing what they had been doing for the past few weeks. Routine was a beautiful thing. The only one who could mess everything up was Potter. He needed to get that nasty scarred little prat out of the way for a few weeks.

Walking up the steps he tried to think of something convincing. Just removing Potter would be difficult and suspicious. What would be effective as a short but undeniable removal from Hermione's presence for three weeks? The problem didn't trouble him for long as he realized that a trip somewhere would remove Harry quite simply from the picture just as his parents had been made absent. Those ghastly muddy Dursleys were as common as they came, and would be greedy enough not to question a free vacation to, oh, India. Draco smiled hideously, but not from pleasure. It would be expensive, it would be suspicious, but they were too stupid to think about why it was wrong. Maybe if he had it be that Harry won and that he had to go if the rest were to, then they would insist on taking him. Otherwise they would leave him behind for sure and doom the whole project.

It would be a pittance to send four people to India for three weeks or more. He could put down some rubbish about how they'd be the envy of all their friends, or whatever it was that those Muggle travel brochures said. The point was Potter would soon be gone. When Granger went to see Harry off at the airport, then for sure he could have someone delay her so that he could enchant her parents. Then when she got home that evening.

Now the smile, equally hideous, was one of pleasure and anticipation.


"I'm so sorry Hermione, I really am. We were just starting to get to know some people and go to some really interesting places." Harry looked frazzled and apologetic.

"I know. Who knew that something like this would happen? I mean, it seems pretty fishy, but then why would the dark forces want you to be with your whole family and someplace like India as well? It just doesn't make sense and I don't like it." She gave Harry a hug. "You take care, and write me lots, even if it is regular mail. I'll probably get it the day after you get back anyway."

"C'mon you rotten little baggage! We can't go without you!" Mr. Dursley, dressed in ridiculous looking shorts and a Hawaiian shirt, looked menacingly at Harry and then stalked back to his waiting wife and son.

"Better get going. 'Mione take care. Careful in the clubs alone, I mean, I won't be there to protect you anymore." Harry hugged his friend back before picking up his bag and walking back towards the Dursleys.

Hermione waved him goodbye and sighed. She would probably not go to any clubs. Not for another three weeks at least. She would probably just stay at home and read. Ultimately, she would be half right, but she had no idea as she waved what was happening at her house. In fact, even when the car got a flat and she got no response from home she still wasn't alarmed. It was a Saturday and her parents could have gone out shopping or something, and it was easy enough to call a tow truck. She was a capable and intelligent young woman and she did not fear getting a flat tire here or there. Then the tow truck man with the new tire was so slow that she felt it took hours for him to get there let alone get the tire changed and ready for her to drive on it again. But eventually it was finished, and she gave him the billing information a bit crossly as at this point she was ready to go and maybe change her clothes since it had been a terribly hot day and the sweat was rolling down her back in sticky droplets. Soon enough Harry would probably be in worse heat. Or maybe it was the monsoon season, or something equally interesting. Stifling her loneliness at thoughts of Harry and Ron, she pulled into the driveway with a satisfying crank of the steering wheel. The house was quiet and she went to the bathroom immediately to take a cool shower and get the dirt of the road, (or more accurately the side of the road) off of her. The water was heavenly, and soon enough she was dried off and changed into some of her regular plain comfortable clothes.

Selecting a book to read, she made her way downstairs to get some water and ice. Holding the ice tray, she turned to find that Draco Malfoy was leaning against her kitchen counter. With a gasp the tray fell with a clatter and the glass-like sound of ice shattering on the floor. Her first thought was where she had put her wand. upstairs and eternities of space away in this situation. Malfoy had the upper hand, and she stilled as if spotlights had been flashed onto her, but her heart beat that much faster in cold fear.

"You have nothing to be afraid of, Granger. In fact, I'm sure you'll find that there may even be something to be glad of." The smirk was evil and he knew it. "You're parents are safe. They're taking a nap at the moment actually. You see, the past couple of hours have been very trying for all of us."

"What did you do to them?" The anger under the fear was obvious and growing. The protectiveness was edged with a sense of confusion as to why he was doing something so aggressive and incriminating.

"Nothing really. Nothing that they'd ever notice, or anyone else for that matter." He paused a moment. "Maybe you, I suppose." He walked towards her, wand out and ready in case she tried anything to pick up the discarded ice tray from the floor and place it on a counter. "You see, they are now convinced that you are home right now but unavailable to talk and very very busy."


"Well, you see, as long as you are home but reclusive then no one will ask where you are?"

"And where shall I be?"

"Why, I'm ever so glad you asked!" his eyes lit up, giving them a healthy sparkle. He moved closely next to her so that lips were close to her right ear. "With me of course." he whispered. As her eyes widened in shock Draco gave a large step back and shouted out something quickly just as Hermione made to dive behind the counter in the middle of the kitchen to get out of range. She was too late and fell heavily to the ground in a deep sleep. Grimacing, because the way she had hit the floor would probably leave a few painful bruises, Draco dragged her body over to the fireplace. Throwing in the floo powder, he felt assured. Things had gone better than he thought they would.