This is my first attempt at an actual Dramione...we'll see how it goes. Please R&R!! :)
I don't own anything, sadly, *sniff*...it all belongs to the brilliant JKR...
Image found on HP Wikia via Google Image Search.
Chapter One: Chance Encounter
The stars were bright above, streetlights shining on every corner as Hermione Granger walked back to her hotel room. At the beginning of the summer, some of her muggle friends had decided to have their own vacation-sans adults. Of course, they invited Hermione along, as they had much catching up to do. They were under the impression that Hermione went to a special academy for gifted students. Eagerly, Hermione had accepted the invitation, ecstatic when her parents had immediately said yes. They were proud of her daughter for being a witch, but they also thought it would be a good idea for her to spend some more time around muggles.
It was now the last day of the last week of their vacation in Paris. Hermione and her friends had spent most of it at the tourist attractions during the day, and clubbing at night. On this particular night, however, Hermione didn't feel like being around inebriated teenagers, muggle or not. She opted to leave the club early, letting her friends know she would be back at the hotel if they needed her. Chances were, they wouldn't be back for another two or more hours. So Hermione walked on, exhausted but satisfied at how her vacation went. She still had another week before having to board the Hogwarts Express back to school. She should be getting her letter sometime soon, she thought. Of course, Hermione hoped to be getting the spot of Head Girl.
With a sigh, she kept going, wondering what the school would be like now that Dumbledore was dead. Professor McGonagall had taken his place and was Headmistress now. Nothing would be the same without him, and as much as she loved school, Hogwarts in particular, she almost would rather not go back. Unfortunately, she, Ron, and Harry had been explicitly forbidden from leaving school. Dumbledore had left a letter for them with McGonagall, with very specific instructions. They were to continue at Hogwarts, and the other Order members were to hunt down the rest of the Horcruxes. Harry needed to be kept safe until the final battle, and they couldn't afford to put him in danger and risk his death before facing Voldemort. Out of respect for Dumbledore's last wish, they did as they were told, as much as Harry abhorred it.
She was torn from her thoughts by the sounds of a rowdy group of men down the street from where she was waiting for the traffic light to change. They were sauntering over in her general direction, and her stomach did a small, terrified flip.
Damn, I probably shouldn't have left the club alone...Please pass me by, please pass me by... As she said her silent prayers the light turned green for her, and she nearly bolted across the street, slowing down to a fast walk once on the other side. Relieved, she kept walking, unaware that she had gained the attention of the group, and they were now walking towards her, following her path. It wasn't until she had walked two more blocks that she noticed them again. Oh God, they're following me? In an attempt to lose them, she began taking turns and going through shortcuts. As a child, she and her parents had vacationed in Paris frequently, and she knew this neighborhood particularly well. At least, she thought she did. Clearly, that had a native advantage.
In a matter of minutes, they'd managed to herd her into and abandoned street. She knew where she was, and how to get to the hotel from there, but she couldn't help the feeling of dread coming over her. The rowdy group now had her surrounded. They spoke in slurred, drunken French. She had trouble understanding the language enough as it was, she hadn't visited France in a few years and as a result her French was a bit rusty. She had the itching need to pull her wand out, but the goody-goody side of her could only think of the consequences of using magic in front of muggles, even inebriated ones. The last thing she wanted was to get herself in trouble and risk her possibilities at being Head Girl. You really need to straighten your priorities... The memory from her first year came back unexpectedly, and she nearly had the urge to laugh. Is this what they mean? Life flashing before your eyes and all that rubbish?
One of the men made a grab for her, but she ducked out of the way, as if dodging a spell, trying to free herself from the circle she was trapped in.
"Leave me alone!"
"Ooh...British woman....very nice." For some reason, all she could think was how unromantic his heavy French accent sounded. She nearly threw up in disgust at the man and his cronies. Dodging a few more hands she managed to break free from the little circle and broke into an all out sprint to the main street, where she could easily make it to the hotel from. Unfortunately for her, grace and speed have never been her strong points. Clumsily tripping and falling face-first, she was a sitting duck. She nearly reached for her wand, but someone had beaten her to it. The ringleader of the group was swung off to the side, very unceremoniously, and landed with a grunt and a dull thud. This was enough for the other three to stop advancing on her. Looking around, they tried to decipher the source of their leader's demise. The looks on their faces reminded Hermione of Crabbe and Goyle whenever they lost track of Malfoy.
Suddenly, a cloaked figure appeared to Hermione's right. Hand outstretched, he was holding a wand. Nonverbal magic...who is this guy? The other three men suffered similar fates, all of them going unconscious, either from shock or a hit to the head. The cloaked figure immediately moved over to her and grabbed her roughly by the arm, making her stand.
"Be more careful not to get yourself killed. Potter and Weasley would hate to lose their little bookworm." In shock she looked up to see who her savior was. He wore a hooded cloak, but she could still see his face under it, shadowed over.
"M-Malfoy?" Alarms went of in her head, screaming Traitor! Traitor! She was frozen to the spot though, unable to react with nothing more than his name. He didn't respond to her, but she was unsure of whether it was because he didn't want to bother acknowledging the fact that he had just saved her, or because he was being beckoned by a second figure.
"Mr. Malfoy, we do not have time to be gallivanting around as heroes." He dropped her arm roughly, but she said nothing, another wave of shock washing over her as her mind registered who the second voice belonged to. It was the distinct drone of her least favorite professor, or ex-professor. Before she could say anything, they were both gone, their exit signaled only by the distinct pop of Apparition. Hermione wanted to kick herself for her slow reaction. Here, she had had the chance to catch two of the most wanted wizards, and she wasn't able to do more than utter a single word. The rest of the way back to the hotel, five blocks, the same word replayed in her head, over and over.
Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid... By the time she'd reached the hotel, she'd lost count of the amount of times she'd thought the word. She practically stormed into the building, leaving a deadly feeling of anger and frustration in her wake. Not only had she failed to even react properly to the appearance of Snape and Malfoy, but she had also let them see her as a cowering damsel in distress. Needless to say, she was pissed, more so at herself than anything else. And so she stormed on, up the steps, too angry to sit still inside the elevator. Even though she had to climb five stories, her anger didn't sway for a second, nor did she show any sign of being tired.
Slamming the door to the suite she shared with her friends, she bee-lined it for her room. The suite was quite extravagant and elegant. It reminded her of Malfoy, and with that thought she berated herself again, and a whole new wave of anger washed through her. Walking into the room she shared with her neighbor, Ashley, she grabbed a pen and sheet of paper, determined to get word of their appearance to Harry and Ron, who were sure to be with the Order or at The Burrow. Using her copy of Hogwarts: A History as a desk, she bent over it to write.
Harry and Ron,
Please forgive my lack of courtesy, but this is more important than just a 'hello' letter.
Snape and Malfoy were here in Paris. I know this because I saw them myself. I won't go into the details of our encounter, but just trust me on this. They were here! I saw them while I was walking back to my hotel tonight.
See you soon,
Satisfied with herself, if only feeling slightly better than before, she folded the paper and prepared to send it. Then she felt like an idiot. She had no way of sending it because she didn't have an owl with her. Angry, and sighing in resignation, she decided to wait until the next day, when she was home, to send it. So she took another paper, rewrote the letter to make sense when she sent it, and mentally kicked herself for having overlooked that slight problem. Her friends would have thought it odd if she'd brought her family owl, Minnie, with her on the vacation. She folded the letters and placed them in her book, slamming it down with more force than she'd intended to onto her nightstand.
Stupid Malfoy, and Prof-Snape...! She still had trouble not thinking of Snape as a professor. Despite her dislike for the man, she had hoped that his being a professor would have somehow made him at least slightly good. Hermione still found it so difficult to comprehend why Snape would kill Dumbledore. Malfoy, on the other hand, she had no qualms about insulting. She channeled all her anger and embarrassment at the night's events into throwing her clothing into her suitcase, leaving only her outfit for the plane ride home and going to bed in a large t-shirt. A sinking feeling started developing inside her, and she became nervous. She hadn't been this nervous since she first found out about her acceptance to Hogwarts. Now she was afraid of what Harry and Ron would think of her for being so fragile. Harry wouldn't react badly, but Ron...he was sure to say something rash, courtesy of his teaspoon sized emotional capacity. Unfortunately, or maybe not, she didn't have to face them directly until they met up on the Hogwarts Express, and by then any of her embarrassment will have died down, along with any reaction on Ron's part.
Ugh...this is week is going to fly by...why did I have to come to Paris in the first place?
Much appreciated, please review!! That's what keeps me going! *points at review button* please? lol