Chapter 1 Ministry,Hospital, Home
The war left a lot of damage -both mentally and physically- the golden trio suffered so much loss; not only within the Order but with personal matters, and family loss is the most painful.
Hermione was standing in the door of the place that she once called home, and in this point she realized some of what Harry must feel, that emptiness in the chest when you recall you lost something important, "evil step to hurry" she said to make herself move and wipe the tears that vacantly roll down her cheek. She walked towards the ministry gates, after the war she persuaded Harry to finish their studies even if they didn't go to Hogwarts, if they had private tutors or home schooled themselves, and that's how they finished their last year, in Harry's manor library studying for their NEWTS. After they both finished with their exams, Harry and Hermione were propositioned to become joint Minster of Magic. After losing her parents, she was glad her relationship with Ronald ended up so amicable. Both parties agreeing it felt strange. Even if Hermione had a stronger emotional attachment to him longer than a teaspoon.
-'It's today right Mione?'- A calm soothing voice, that could only belong to Harry whispered slightly behind her, she turned her head to face her best friend, work partner , and now, the only family she had left.
-'Not a day goes by where I don't feel guilty about it, what I couldn't fix for you Hermione'- Said Harry a bit sad two years had passed since she attempted, but failed, to restore her parents memories.
-'And I keep reminding you, that it was and is not your fault; it was my own decision, right or wrong but MY own decision. – Her voice, full of authority and left no room for reasoning , she was sick and tired of hearing Harry blaming himself, for the "memory loss" of her parents.
-'You can say that as many times as you want, but that doesn't change the fact that its indirectly my fault'- he said with a small smile in his face to let her know that he gave up …. For now, she needn't carry all the guilt.
-'You never change, you strong willed Gryffindor'- Hermione retorted with a similar smile in her face.
-'The memories came back at you?'- Harry threw an arm around her shoulders, knowing full well the memories haunted her, like they did him.
-'Yeah, but you know that it's only for today, tomorrow I'll be back to the same old Hermione'- She replied with a sad smile trying to convince herself more than Harry.
-'Ok, well after work I will wait for you in my house with marshmallows, chocolate cookies, and hot milk'- Harry proposed in a friendly manner -'Well let's work, man how many followers did that guy have? , I'm really sick of dealing with death eaters, two years in a row and we have not finished yet … not even close'-He stared at the names on the court papers.
After the war, the most physically or mentally dangerous were put in front of wizengamot, any who were still lingering, waiting to be judged were either on house arrest or still in St Mungos for intensive treatments.
-'Some of them were forced; others were under the imperious curse, but you are right, most of them were on his side by choice so we have to see who was who in the war'- Replied Hermione in a matter of fact tone.
They arrived at the designated judgments room, and opened the large double oak doors. Lines of young members of the Wizengamot council rose on their feet in applause to welcome them. Most, if not all, of the younger council members went to school with Harry and Hermione, and among them sat Ron, one of the "golden lions" and so called main heroes, were there to help the two ministers in the final judgment.
-'Good morning everybody, it's been a while, let's start with this, first of all I want the research department to bring me the cases that are proved they were under the imperious curse, and give Hermione the list of the forced ones, we all know this is the fast way to do this- Harry said in a brief meeting.
-'Harry, we have a problem here, this has to be wrong, it says Lucius Malfoy acted by force, well we know Draco was, and Narcissa was dragged in to the propaganda but Lucius?, I mean Lucius Malfoy?, I don't think so, he seemed too sadistic'- Hermione looked worriedly from the list of names to Harry.
-'We will move the Malfoy family to the end of the day, I want you to prove me right otherwise we go forward with what is writing, use your excellent knowledge Mione and prove us right- Harry, the ever serious one where Hermione wanted justice.
-'No, I will only need to talk to Malfoy before you whack that hammer on the mallet, care to accompany me? - Said Hermione smiling.
-'Ok, in the recess we will go and talk to Malfoy, how come I can't deny you anything? - Replied Harry with a smile at the end.
-'Because I'm your adorable friend'- Hermione tried to smile angelically.
After Ten judgments or accused death eaters, all of which were sentenced to life in Azkaban. Harry called a recess, Hermione jumped out of her chair, eager to have her talk with Draco Malfoy.
-'Good afternoon Malfoy, we want to talk to you, ALONE'- Harry specifying the "alone" part and took Draco from the detention cell, away from his parents.
-'You got a problem Potter? You want me to plead for my freedom?'- Even if Draco tried to make it try and sound snidely Hermione could hear the desperation in his hoarse voice.
-'No, I was the one that wanted to talk with you, now tell me right and clear, is it true that your father was forced to be a death eater?'- Hermione demanded and she stared at Draco's façade slowly cracking.
-'And you expect me to say yes and send my own father to Azkaban? – Draco laughed sarcastically
-'I was hoping you would do the right thing, he is your father and I understand that you do not want to betray him, but he was a death eater and killed a lot of innocent people, and plus he caused the basilisk incident in our second year of Hogwarts, I don't care if he redeemed himself or not after the war ended'- Hermione was exasperated and was praying to Merlin that Draco would do the right thing.
-Don't get mad Granger, I'm going to talk, I will tell you what you need to hear, but not for you or Potter, or even for the magical world to come to peace but for my mother, you're right my father wasn't forced nor under a curse either, it was his own choice. He knew about the investigation upon us and did anything to prove that he was forced, and when I said anything it means anything, he beat my Mother when she suggested to give up and accept whatever punishment you give us, for now I don't want him near us'- Draco sighed and put his back to the corridor wall.
-'I understand, thank you for your co-operation Draco, let's go Harry our recess is over'- Hermione and Harry walked away from Malfoy as he was led back into the holding cell by an Auror.
-'At the end of the day the judgments of the Malfoy were the last and easiest ones to make, for all of Wizengamot council, Narcissa Malfoy and Draco Malfoy were exonerated but still put under lenient House arrest for 6 months for crimes they still actively took part in, and Lucius Malfoy was condemned to suffer a romantic Kiss form a Demantor.
The only thing that was considered was the fact that Ron insisted on watching over Draco and Narcissa in House arrest, he said "they may follow the paths of Lucius after judgment" and suggested constant vigilance, but the court decide to consider it first before giving Ron a final answer.
-'Finally finished for today, I'm really exhausted, does your offer of hot milk and cookies from morning still stand?'- Hermione asked as she blinked her eyes rapidly trying to keep them open.
-'Of course however you forgot the most important ingredient... Marshmallows!'- Harry chuckled softly and allowed Hermione to floo through first from their office.
The next morning, after spending the night over at Harrys house, Hermione returned to hers to freshen up, only to find an owl perched on her window sill with a letter wax sealed from Wizengamot council board members, mostly older Wizards and Witches of the oldest family's. Sighing she almost didn't open it and was more eager to glace through it and put it with the pile of others, always the same, after a judgment ruled they would send letters expressing gratitude towards her and Harry. Opening it within the same wandless spell she used for all her letters, she allowed the parchment to float as she read it. Skipping the compliments and the sweet words written, when she finished reading the letter she received another owl from the St Mungo Hospital via the same owl who brought her the thank you scroll. Re-reading the Wizengamot letter again, Hermione realized that it was not a normal 'thank you' letter and add a little bit extra on the bottom. The letter stated that she was selected as the most capable witch to watch over Draco Malfoy at this particular time she was stunned, how for Merlin sake was she selected to do that job?, then she read the Saint Mungos letter, she didn't finish the letter when she was magically pulled to appear at the reception of the hospital.
-'Good morning miss, I'm Hermione Granger…'- She started to introduce herself to the intern when Harry interrupted.
-'And I'm Harry Potter, we are looking for the Malfoys, we are their legal guardians'- Finished Harry huffing.
-'hum… ok, took you long enough, the letters only allow you to read to a certain point before taking you to your destination … follow me'- the young nurse turned and walked up the main stairs.
-'They suffered an attack in their manor, the people involved set off the new Ministry alarms already alerting Auror's to the intrusion they even realized they were captured, but they suffered a lot of internal damage, they spent the whole night here, we didn't know who we were supposed to call… we informed the ministry to cover our own backs and they said we had to appoint you guys as their guardians'- Explained the nurse while walking through the corridors, and finally stopping at one door like all the many overs … white.
-'They can go home now but you will need to know their situation, Draco may have a disability, we couldn't discover what kind of disability yet but with the combined spells used on him we know he may have one, and the mistress may be very weak and exhausted all the time, she used too much of her Earth magic trying to protect her son, we will be on call the next couple of weeks and will be making house calls.'- Explained the nurse as opened the door.
-'Excuse me, but your guardians come to pick you up'- The nurse promptly left without being included in any third war.
-'Granger and Potter? This must be a joke'- Draco ran his hair through his, exasperated they needed babysitting at all. Narcissa with all the strength she could muster silenced her son with one glance.
-'We are surprised as well Malfoy, well, pleased to meet you again Mrs. Malfoy, I'm very grateful to meet you, and so I agree to be your guardian, I didn't chose, the ministry sent me a letter to let me know that I'm going to be your guardian, shall we go Mrs. Malfoy'- Said Harry smiling as he offered his preferred arm.
-'Thank you Harry, you may call me Narcissa I feel we may get along just better with first names, but I'm worried about my son'- Narcissa glanced at Draco's direction.
-'You don't have to worry, I'm going to be his guardian Madam, and I give you my word that I'm going to do my best to make your son is comfortable, I know that you and him don't like the kinds like me but I swear he will be safe and you can come to visit him anytime you like'- Hermione offered as she laid a soft tentative hand on the elder woman's shoulder.
-'Hermione Granger right? I have nothing towards the muggleborn, my niece is … was a half-blood, today I owe my life and my sons life to someone like you, my dear'- Narcissa tried to sound as genuine as she felt.
-'Well, I'm going my beloved son, I will come to visit you someday soon'- Narcissa threw her arms around her Son willing herself not to cry. -'Please, I'm begging you, don't give problems to this girl, I pray to Merlin to take away some Malfoy away from you give you some of my Black heritage- she whispered in Draco's ear.
-'Come Malfoy, we are going to your new home'- Hermione allowed Mother and Son to part respectably before she held onto the cuff of his shirt and disappeared with her destination in mind.
When Malfoy saw the house Hermione occupied he rubbed his eyes and sighed with relief, although it was placed in a street full of muggles, the house had an magical element to it.
-'Pretty nice Granger, I was scared to face a muggle house'- Draco admitted with a little smile.
-'I'm glad that it likes you too, it will make getting on to easier.'- Hermione retorted ironically.
Upon entering the house Hermione explained to Draco where his room was, then she give him a full tour of the house, to finish in the kitchen.
-'Big enough Granger, who would thought that you actually have taste for decoration, furniture and buildings?'- Draco smiled as he sat at the small quaint kitchen table.
-'You don't know me Malfoy; you truly don't know me'- Hermione was not meant to sound cruel and Draco knew it, She occupied her hands by preparing the dishes for lunch time.
Draco was staring at her moving around the kitchen almost whimsically. Suddenly his sight became a little blurry, "I must be tired" , Rubbing at his eyes with his hands, allowing the natural moisture to move around in order to get rid of the blurriness, but, the more he stroked the less he could see.
"what the hell is going on?" he stands and tries to focus his sight on something but he couldn't see anything but shadows.
Hermione was cooking a recipe from her notebook, turning around to ask Malfoy what he wanted for dessert, she finds him standing next to the breakfast bar stroking his eyes and trying to focus his sight on something.
-'Malfoy, Are you all right? Is something the matter?'- She tries to approach to him cautiously.
-'Don't get any closer Granger, I don't know what you did to me but I don't want you near me'- Draco accused angrily
-'I didn't do anything to you, the nurse told me that you may have a … disorientation but they don't know to what extent…'-Hermione tried not to give too much away just in case they had not informed him. Hermione put her knife down and approached Malfoy whom was walking in circles while keeping his hands on his eyes.
-'DON'T LIE TO ME! I KNOW YOU DID SOMETHING TO ME! , you know what, I didn't want to come to your house either, I was forced because some stupid attack on my home which sent my mother and me to the hospital, and I would much prefer to be there an DIE , BEFORE HAVING TO COME LIVE WITH A MUDBLOOD LIKE YOU!'- Malfoy managed to yell before promptly fainting.
Hermione prevented Draco's head from hitting the floor, but a sudden pain hit her arm and heart, "mud blood, mud blood…" that word even when she was proud of it or she claimed to be, the pain of her scar was only to remember how painful that word could be, she let a few tears drop down her cheeks as levitated a floating Malfoy to his room.