I can feel the draw,
I can feel it pulling me back,
It's pulling me back.
Are you drifting way beyond what's normal?
Cause round your mind rings,
The words that they would say.
When you go home, everything looks different
And you're scared of being left behind?
Just listen to your friends, they only care and hope you're alright.
"You look horrible," was Ginny's first words as Hermione walked into her hospital room. The red-head was already up and dressed in a pair of jeans and a red sweater, a scarf wrapped around her neck. In her arms was baby Lily, still fast asleep. Hermione knew she looked terrible; her hair was an utter mess this morning and refused to coöperate. She was dressed in a comfy pair of jeans and she was pretty sure her sweater was on backwards, but her head and eyes hurt too much to care. She had tossed and turned all night, barely sleeping as the sight of Malfoy haunted her. The storm raged on during the night just like Hermione's thoughts raged on. She found herself wondering if he was alright, but she quickly brushed those thoughts away. She would not pity him, not after what he had done to her. He deserved everything he got.
"Thanks," Hermione mumbled as she rubbed her eyes. "They're letting you go already?" She asked as she walked over to kiss the top of Lily's head softly. She was only coming for a visit, but now it looks like she would be the one to take Ginny home, unless Harry was around there somewhere. "And where is Harry?" The room was empty except for the three of them and Ginny's bag.
"I've done this a few times Hermione; I don't need all the instructions like I did the first time. I feel fine and they said Lily was ready to go home. Harry has gone to get the car," Ginny held Lily out to Hermione, who gladly took her into her arms, making sure to support her head. She had all the confidence in the world in Ginny's mothering abilities; she seemed to have a good handle on the four boys in the house. Ginny rummaged through a few cupboards before finding what she was looking for and straightening up. She held up a small vial of clear liquid, showing it to Hermione, who immediately recognized it.
"Honestly Ginny, I'm not hung-over," she scolded, swaying Lily gently.
"It doesn't just work for hangovers smart ass," Ginny said as she walked back to Hermione, taking Lily from her and handing her the vial. "It'll help with that headache."
Hermione mumbled a thank you before picking up Ginny's bag, pocketing the potion. There was a potion for everything and even after all these years she still wasn't used to using them. She would feel better once she's had a cup of coffee to drown herself in. She followed Ginny out of the room, waving at a few healers she knew as the two of them made their way towards the front of the hospital.
"Come by for coffee in the afternoon," Ginny said as Hermione held the door open for her and they both stepped out into the street. The air was fresh and clean after last night's storm and the sky was a brilliant blue. Hermione loved the smell of the city after the rain, it smelled fresh and like the earth. The rain washed away all the bad smells and the filth, leaving everything clean. If only the rain could wash away her thoughts and make them clean too.
"Of course, but you need to get some rest Ginny." Hermione scanned the street for Harry and the familiar black ministry cars that usually accompanied them, but she couldn't spot them.
"Rest? I barely know what the word means anymore," Ginny asked as she too swept her eyes across the street. "Hermione did you leave your car here?"
Hermione's head snapped up and she followed Ginny's gaze toward her car. The white Audi was still parked in the same spot at the far end of the parking lot. It was still early and her car was the only one in the lot. How could Ginny have known that? Hermione knew that she was observant, but she didn't think she was psychic. When Hermione didn't answer Ginny explained further.
"Why would park at the end of the lot if there are so many spaces available? The only logical reason is that you left it here and apparated home."
"I didn't want to drive in the storm," Hermione lied, tucking her hair in behind her ear. Ginny's eyes narrowed as she watched Hermione and she knew the red-head suspected her of lying, but she just kept her cool. Finally Ginny decided to just drop it and she turned her attention back to looking for Harry.
"Where is that man?" She wondered out loud. Hermione was about to answer when the black ministry car pulled up. Harry quickly jumped out of the car, running over to Hermione and kissing her cheek before taking Ginny's bag from her.
"You look terrible; did you go to a party last night?" He asked as he kissed Ginny before helping her into the car with Lily.
"Very funny," Hermione rolled her eyes, a small smile forming on her lips. "We'll see how great you two look once that little one starts getting her teeth." Harry cringed as he opened the trunk and out Ginny's bag inside and Ginny just laughed.
"A little whiskey and she'll be fine."
"We're all going to need whiskey to get through this," Harry laughed as he closed the trunk and he walked around the car. "You're coming for dinner right? Teddy keeps going on about Hogwarts and I figured who better to talk to him than one of the professors?"
"Well I was invited for coffee..." Hermione shrugged, pushing her hands into the pockets of her jeans.
"You're staying for dinner." Ginny said as Harry got into the car. "We'll see you tonight." She waved at Hermione before the car pulled into the early morning traffic. Hermione smiled, shaking her head at her two best friends. What would she do without them?
A moment later Hermione unlocked her car, sliding into the driver's seat. She let out a relieved sigh; Malfoy was nowhere in sight. He must have found some other place to squat. Why didn't he just go home? Hermione shivered as the image of Malfoy Manor flashed in front of her, the dark, looming towers and the dark windows. The house was beautiful in its own way, the gothic architecture was something to be admired, but Hermione would never be able to set foot in its haunted halls again. Was Malfoy avoiding his house for the same reason that she was, or had he lost the house somehow? Secretly she wished that it was the latter, but she instantly regretted it. Losing your home and your family was not something she would wish on anyone; not even Draco Malfoy.
She put her foot on the brake before pressing the start button. She knew she wasn't supposed to turn her head when she reversed, but she couldn't help it. She put the car in reverse, turning her head as she eased her foot off the brake. It was only when she turned her head that she noticed there was someone in the car with her. She let out a scream, her foot slamming down on the brake. The car lurched backwards, colliding with the lamppost; she had hit the gas instead of the brake. Draco Malfoy sat up, his body slamming into Hermione's seat as the car collided with the lamppost.
"Bloody hell," he cussed as he pulled himself up. Hermione's heart was racing, her breathing so hard she could hear it in her ears. "Who taught you to drive?" Draco sneered. Anger shot through Hermione as she turned around to face him.
"What the hell are you doing in my car?" Without waiting for an answer she jumped out, examining the back of her car. It was nothing a simple spell could fix, but she was still angry at him.
Malfoy stumbled out of the car as well, his pale face growing even paler as he looked at the damage. "You left it open last night; I needed a place to sleep." He spat the words out, almost as if it was difficult for him to admit to sleeping in her car. He shot her an irritated look, as if it was plainly obvious and he was disgusted that someone of her stature couldn't figure it out. Hermione tried very hard to keep her cool and she shot him a cold glance. They were not twelve and this was not Hogwarts, he couldn't bully her anymore.
"Couldn't find a comfortable bed in that house of yours Malfoy?" Hermione snapped back, crossing her arms over her chest as she watched him. His expression grew dark and she could see ghosts in his eyes. She immediately regretted her words.
"How much?" Malfoy asked, not answering her question.
"How much money do I need to give you to repair the car Granger," Malfoy sighed, still irritated that he had to explain everything to the brightest witch of their era.
Hermione was stunned; did Draco Malfoy just offer to pay for the damage that he had caused? Her mouth hung open again and Malfoy rolled his eyes.
"Merlin's beard Hermione," he ran a hand through his filthy blonde hair. That was the first time he called her by her given name. His eyes widened as he realized his mistake and he cleared his thought. Hermione was still in shock, not able to wrap her mind around the events that just took place. Finally she shook her head to clear it, pulling her wand out and waving it at the back of the car. The bumper popped back into place and there wasn't a scratch on the white paint.
"Nothing, you don't owe me anything." Malfoy nodded before turning around and pulling his shredded black cloak over him. He started to walk away, but something in Hermione made her call him back. "Malfoy!" he was a few paces ahead of her already and she ran to catch up to him. "Where are you going?"
Malfoy looked down at the brown-haired woman; he was still a good head taller than she was. He shrugged his shoulders; he didn't have anywhere to go. He couldn't go home, it didn't feel like home anymore and he wasn't allowed to go inside. He had next to no money either, as he couldn't touch anything in his family vault, but luckily he was smart. Before the war started he put away a sum of his own money in his own fault, unfortunately when he went to Azkaban the Dept. Of Justice took away his key. He was working on getting it back, but for now he was left with nothing.
"Come home with me?" Hermione stopped. Her brain had disconnected from her mouth again. What was she thinking, inviting him to her apartment? Draco Malfoy! She must be coming down with something.
Malfoy opened his mouth, he was about to protest, but she cut him off. "I insist, only for one night." She grabbed him by the arm, dragging him back to her car.
His father must be turning around in his grave knowing that his only son was accepting the help of Granger.
"Ginny!" Hermione's head appeared in the fireplace of the Potter Manor a few hours before dinner time. Teddy was sitting on the floor, paging through some of his Hogwarts books. He looked up as he heard Hermione and he smiled, his hair changing to brown curls to match hers. Taking on certain features of a person was something he did when he was excited to see them. Hermione laughed as she watched his hair grow almost to the floor.
"Aunty Hermione!" He exclaimed, pushing the curls out of his face.
"Hi Ted, do you think you could Ginny for me?" The little boy nodded before jumping up and disappearing out of the door. Hermione looked around the living room. It looked exactly like the Gryffindor common room, with a few other colours here and there. Hermione remembered when Harry turned 18 and it was revealed that he had inherited Potter Manor from his grandparents. He never knew they had a Manor and at first he wanted to sell it, but Ginny convinced him to at least explore it first. He stayed in there for a whole week, digging through books on his family and everything left. Parts of the house had been destroyed, but he wasn't sure if that had happened during the first or second war. He started to restore the house and pretty soon it became their family home again.
"Nice to see you Hermione," a voice said from the corner of the room. Hermione smiled as she looked at the portrait of James and Lily that hung on the wall. Lily smiled at her, waving and Hermione waved back.
"Hermione?" Ginny came walking into the room, bouncing Albus on her hip. Albus laughed and waved at the picture of his grandparents and they waved back. Ginny put Albus down between the books and he happily started throwing them around. "What's wrong?"
"Draco Malfoy is on my couch."
Ginny blinked, stunned for a moment, before she burst out laughing clutching her stomach. "You're joking?"
"I'm serious Ginny! Draco Malfoy is taking a nap on my couch." Hermione launched into the story of how she found him in her car and how she offered to help him out. "It was so awkward in the car." Hermione cringed, remembering the tense air between them. The small space they were in didn't help either.
"So what did you do?"
"I took him home, shoved him into the shower and fed him and now he's passed out on the couch."
Ginny waggled her eyebrows suggestively and Hermione shook her head. "Ginevra Potter it is not like that!"
"Oh come on Hermione, sexy Draco Malfoy is on your couch!" Ginny made a lot of rude hand gestures and got scolded by Lily for doing so in front of Albus. She just snickered and covered Albus' ears. "Get in there Hermione."
"You're impossible Ginny," Hermione sighed. "I'll see you tonight."
"Bring Draco along!" Ginny yelled just as Hermione pulled her head out of the fireplace.
She was in big trouble.