Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
A/N: As I said this is a repost of my fic Secerne. It's been edited and imroved and there are a few drastic changes (for the better). So if you've already read it, read again!
Hermione stared pensively out of her eleventh story office window onto the busy streets below.
She glanced down at the file she held in her hand.
Name: Draco William Malfoy
Registered wizard/witch: yes
1. The use of magic in the proximity of non-magical people.
2. Violation of human rights.
3. Four counts of murder.
Here it was. After ten years of waiting it was here. The day they would put Draco Malfoy away for good. There was no fine and no probation this time. This was life in Azkaban. This was her day. Ten years of blood sweat and tears was paying off. A criminal who had escaped them for years and gotten away with murder countless times was going to be put to justice. And yet, she wasn't as satisfied as she thought she would be. In fact she was almost sorrowful... no not quite. More like nostalgic. It was like the end of an era. After everything they had shared, after everything they had been through, it had come down to this. She had won.
She was startled out of her thoughts by two arms wrapping around her waist.
"Are you alright?" Ron asked worriedly.
"Fine. Why?" she replied
"You just seemed a little far off."
"I was thinking." She said, looking away from her husband and out the window.
"Nothing important." She told him unconvincingly.
She had been married to Ron last month. It came as quite a shock to everyone, including herself. They hadn't even been officially dating when he asked her.
"Well, Harry is waiting for us at the party. The party starts at 7:00." Ron said, looking at his watch.
"You can go without me. I'll be there in a little while."
"Oh come on Hermione, you can't be late to your own party. We've been working non stop on this case for years. It's about time the Ministry did a little something for us."
"Ron, I need to talk to him." She said, finally turning around to look at him.
"Malfoy." She said under her breath, hoping he wouldn't hear her.
"What? What could you possibly have to say to him? What makes you think he would listen even listen to you? We're putting him behind bars for the rest of his life!"
"I need to see him. Don't you think it's disgraceful that we have been working to charge him for the past ten years but we haven't actually seen him in since our graduation?"
"Not at all. I have no desire to see him now or ever again. Just knowing that he's being put away is good enough for me."
"Well you don't but I do." She said, voice breaking in her struggle to hold back tears.
"Absolutely not! I'm not leaving you here with him!"
"It's too late Ron. I've already made the arrangements."
"God damn it Hermione! What the fuck were you thinking?"
"I ate drank and slept Draco Malfoy for ten years of my life! I don't care what you think about it but I need closure!" Ron could see she was close to tears and sighed in defeat.
"Are you sure you want to do this? He's been cursed and had his wand snapped but he's still very dangerous. God knows what he'll do to you if you get within an arms reach. And what if he finds a way to get around the door charms?" Ron was clinging to any possible reason, no matter how feeble, for her to forget this whole thing and just leave with him.
"Ron, I cast those charms myself, and they are the same ones that are in his cell. If he knew the nonexistent way around them he would be gone by now. And as for me, I am quite capable of taking care of myself."
"Jesus Christ Hermione, why do you do this to me?" He said pulling her into a protective embrace.
His wife was tenacious and he couldn't win this no matter how hard he fought it.
"Remember…" Ron began.
"I know constant vigilance." Said Hermione, repeating the words of an old friend.
Ron he kissed her goodbye and pulled her close one last time before leaving the office worried out of his mind.
Was this really a good idea? She hadn't seen him in a decade. What would she say? She remembered her years at Hogwarts. Things were so simple. They had years to worry about their future. It seemed so far away. They all knew what would happen. He would be a businessman. She would marry young. He would be a Death Eater. It was already planned out. It never occurred to them that one day they would actually have to live it.
A knock at the door pulled her out of her reverie and a large, brawny man in guard uniform robes entered.
'Excuse me, Agent Weasly. The prisoner is outside. Would you like us to bring him in?"
"Yes... and... I know this sounds strange, but could you... you see... could you unbind him? And step outside while we talk?"
"Well, I don't know miss. He is very dangerous and we have strict orders to not let him out of our site."
"I know, but he doesn't have his wand. There's not a lot of damage he can cause in this building. And I'll call you if things get out of hand."
"Well, alright. But I'm risking my job. Only for you Hermione."
"Thank you Dean."
Harry had gotten Dean Thomas a job as a guard at the Auror office. It seemed strange to her that they had all come from the same place, but for some reason she was able to start from the top, while people like Dean could work their whole lives and not have half of that.
She heard him mumbling to the other guard who, by what she could hear, was named Sid. He didn't seem too pleased with the idea of unbinding a murderer and leaving him in a room alone with a woman. She didn't think he would agree to it until she heard the sound of 10 gallions falling into Sid's hand. Dean couldn't afford that.
"She's in there, Malfoy. I'll be right here. If you try anything, I'll take you back to the cell. If you think it's bad there, just wait 'till you get to Azkaban."
Agonizing seconds passed. Hermione knew there was no way to turn back now.
The door creaked and opened slowly. Through it came a tall pale man that she would know even after ten years as Draco Malfoy. He had changed so much since she had last seen him. He was much taller. He was more muscular, no longer the thin faced boy she had met in her first year. As he came closer she could see into his astonishingly gray eyes. She expected to see a look of defeat or fear in his face, like all the other prisoners on their way to Azkaban. But there it was. That look of self assurance that always made you think that he knew something you didn't.
"Hello" she said. It came out more shaky and nervous than she would have liked.
"Hello" he said, of course with perfect confidence.
"Um, sit down." She said, gesturing to a chair in front of her. They sat in soft chairs by the fireplace. The area of her office always reminded her of her old Griffendor common room.
They sat in awkward silence for a few moments.
"Why am I here Granger?"
"I don't know."
"Is there really anything left to talk about?" He said, the sound of defeat just barley escaping through his voice.
She hesitated for a moment. What could she say? He was like an animal in the wild to her. Would he run away if she spoke? But she knew him better than that didn't she.
Finally she found her voice.
"It wasn't supposed to be like this. You were just a kid. Just some obnoxious punk little kid. How did you get here?"
"Oh please. You always knew this is where I would be."
"No, I really didn't. I could never really picture you as a follower. I always saw you striking out on your own. Reeking your own havoc. I always thought you were too selfish to sacrifice yourself for someone else's glory."
"I've learned a few things since my father died. There are things that are higher in priority than ones self."
"What is that supposed to mean?"
"You misunderstand us Death Eater's."
Even though she had known for years, hearing him call himself a Death Eater made her unconsciously flinch.
"Do you really think that we spend every waking moment hating Muggles? Not likely. Most of us stopped caring ages ago. No, it's the profit, the glory, the power that drive us. There are small prices to pay for it, but it's worth every bit in the end."
Hermione was beginning to let her guard down, even though she knew she could be making a fatal mistake. He was as nonchalant as ever. He spoke as if they had been lifelong friends and he had seen her just last Tuesday.
She hesitated nervously before speaking again.
"I don't know what's wrong with me. I don't think I'll ever believe you're a Death Eater, even if I have seen first hand some of the atrocities you have committed."
He looked at her almost amused. His pride has been wounded knowing she didn't think him capable of brutal slaughter of hundreds.
"Is that so?" he said as he lifted up the left sleeve of his robe.
And there on the perfect white skin of his forearm was the dark mark.