Disclaimer: All characters belong to J.K. Rowling, as does the world of Harry Potter.
A/N: Story written from the first person POV of Hermione Granger.
Chapter One: Azkaban
I shut my eyes and breathed in the salty ocean air. Funny how that scent still brought with it a small sense of comfort. It reminded me of Brighton, our family vacations when I was little—
How long had it been since I'd seen them? Since I'd seen anyone?
Cold wind rushed by my cell, and I shut my eyes tighter. I could feel them tugging at my mind, searching for something to feed off of. They were unsuccessful, of course—they'd devoured my last happy thought years ago.
I was out of hope.
When the assault was over, I opened my eyes. The words I'd carved in stone so long ago seemed to scream at me in the dim light.
LONG LIVE POTTER.
Sadness didn't overwhelm me. Tears didn't threaten to fall.
I was just numb.
My thoughts wandered and, as always, landed on Ron. Where was he? Had they sent him to this forsaken island as well, or had his fate been kinder? Against my better judgment, I let myself imagine him and Harry, together, in some other place, living after death. For a moment, I felt a spark of what I used to know as happiness.
Almost as quickly, the dementors snuffed it out.
Dull footsteps echoed along the halls. I looked at my bars with vague interest. It seemed early for my daily meal, but time wasn't a relevant measurement in my life anymore. I'd be here till the day I died.
Hopefully that day would come sooner than later.
I closed my eyes again as the footsteps drew closer. They stopped, and I waited for the sound of my plate sliding on the ground. Instead, I heard a voice.
My eyes snapped open. I stared at the man standing outside my cell. He'd aged, but for the most part he was still the same Draco Malfoy I went to Hogwarts with.
He took a step towards the bars. "Surprised to see me?"
"The last time I did, your father was torturing me," I said in a small voice. I hadn't spoken for at least three years.
"I hope you can accept my apologies for that."
I pursed my lips and returned to staring at the wall.
"He's dead, you know," he continued after a moment.
"Well I hope you're not expecting my condolences."
"Far from it. Rather your congratulations. I've inherited his entire estate."
"Believe it or not, I wouldn't congratulate you if you were about to become the king of England."
Out of the corner of my eye I glimpsed him smile. "Same old Granger."
"What are you doing here, Malfoy? I'm not supposed to have visitors."
"Then isn't this a welcome surprise?"
"I'd take the dementors over you any day."
He faked a wince. "Ouch."
I struggled to my feet, but didn't approach him. "What do you want?"
"I have a proposition for you."
"You haven't even heard what I have to say."
"Nothing you could say could interest me."
"Is it too much to ask for you to give me a chance?"
"A chance?" I stomped toward the bars. "Dumbledore gave you a chance, we gave you a chance—you had plenty of chances, and you still chose to become one of the Dark Lord's minions."
"He's called the Emperor now."
"Like I care," I spat. "'Emperor' or no, you still chose the wrong side."
"You're in there, and I'm out here. Most would say I chose the right side."
"Anyone who says that is fooling themselves, and you are too if you think I'm going to entertain this conversation for one more minute."
I turned away. Malfoy reached in through the bars and grabbed my arm.
"I'm pretty sure this is one conversation you do want to finish."
"And what on earth would make you think that?"
He slowly released my arm, reached into his pocket, and pulled out a note. He slipped it through the bars. I stared at it a minute before taking it, crumbling it up, and throwing it back in his face. He caught it.
"I'm not playing games, Malfoy. If you're not walking away in five seconds, I'll scream, and every dementor on this level will come running."
"Poor choice of words, seeing as they don't run."
He shook his head, that disgusting smirk still on his face. He started unfolding the note.
Once the note was unfolded, he smoothed it out. I felt my rage boiling.
Suddenly, he held the note up against the bars. My lips froze forming the word "four" as I stared at what was written on the paper.
"I'm listening," I breathed.
A/N: Please read and review! I always look forward to feedback!
And for those of you reading my other stories, don't worry, I haven't given up on them :)