EUPHORIA- A STATE OF INTENSE HAPPINESS
Harry Potter, in his immaculate robes, went down the hall of the great Ministry of Magic, feeling greatly confused with all the chaos going around him and this new particular case.
Why, the great Harry James Potter wasn't even given the time to meet his fiancée, the Quidditch player, Ginny Weasley. Ever since Lord Voldemort has gone down, the heroes weren't given the chance to celebrate in peace. No, right after a good lengthy break of glorious peace, a wave of Death Eaters appeared, much to everyone's surprise and fear. It had left the Golden Trio and their friends very curious as to who the Death Eaters were. They were bent on trying to find out.
Harry made his way to the elevator.
"Good noon, Mr Potter," said an elf, shivering. "Oh dear, oh dear… my master… oh dear, I shall apparate," the clumsy elf had muttered, before disappearing with a puff.
Harry had thought the elf a little too odd, but, with a sense of nostalgia, compared him to poor Dobby.
The elevator opened with a little 'Ding!' and Harry quickly walked to the Minister's Office. He knocked two times, one loud and one soft, and gave the door a little kick.
"Harry, you can come in," Kingsley Shacklebolt's voice said to him from inside the room. Harry opened the door.
"Settling in nicely, are we, Kingsley?" Harry joked, staring at the various paintings and frames on the wall. There was one of Dumbledore, and Harry's gaze lingered there for a moment. Kingsley cleared his throat, and with a grim smile, replied "Yes, yes, the room is quite comfortable."
Taking a look at the seats in front of the table, Harry cocked his head to the side in question.
"How completely impolite of me, Harry. Please, take a seat," Kingsley nodded, also nudging the small container of sweets.
Harry stared at it in wonder. "Sweets in the Minister's office," he muttered to himself, but Kingsley appeared to have heard him well. "I try to make bad situations seem not-so-bad," he answered. "And besides, I thought I could do this to honour old Dumbledore. He had a sweet tooth no one really bothered to mention."
Remembering Dumbledore, Harry took out a lemon drop. "May I have one?"
Harry opened his mouth and savoured the tangy taste of lemon. It brought back a few memories, this one. Memories he had thought were long gone.
"You have mentioned that you used the sweets to make a bad situation seem a little more positive," said Harry, "Is this a bad situation we are about to discuss?"
Kingsley shuffled in his seat and looked at Harry straight in the eye.
"I am not sure," he replied to Harry's question. "It isn't bad, but it clearly doesn't mean anything good."
"You're confusing me, Minister."
"You remember the Malfoys, don't you?" asked Kingsley and Harry frowned.
"Do you think they started all this?" Harry asked in response.
Kingsley shook his head. "It's impossible. Narcissa and Lucius Malfoy were found dead."
Somehow, fear settled in Harry's stomach. His jade eyes searched Kingsley's.
Kingsley tried to make light of the situation. "In the forest, by the Killing Curse. Of course they were killed instantly, there was no sign of a struggle. Must have caught them off guard."
"How… How about their son?" Harry felt compelled to ask. "Was Draco among those killed?"
"No. This is what we should discuss," Kingsley said in a grim tone, "Draco Malfoy was found unconscious and wounded next to them. We assumed that he fought with his parents' attackers before he was hexed unconscious. We do not know who their attackers are, but we intend to find out."
Harry gave Kingsley a questioning look. There was just something not adding up to this. "Why didn't they just kill him off? Like his parents?"
"I do not know," Kingsley replied, looking as baffled as Harry was, "But that is one thing we have to find out."
"Is Malfoy being questioned?"
"He's not awake. But we must question him once he does."
Harry stood up from his seat. "What do you want me to do, Minister?"
"You know what I'm asking you to do. Make a decision," said Kingsley, arranging the papers on his desk.
Slowly, Harry opened the door. "Will do, will do."
The only thing Harry heard before he closed the door was Kingsley's soft murmur.
"Make a good one, Harry. Make a good one."
Hermione Granger stirred on the sofa, ignoring the voice. She made a tiny groan and swatted the voice away from her, shutting her eyes. She didn't need this. Not when she still had something to do.
"Please, Hermione. This won't take long. Ginny's told me you've been sober and…"
Hermione opened one eye and glared at the unwelcome visitor. She adjusted her blanket and closed her eyes. "Go away, Harry. Ginny's wrong about my condition at the moment, as usual."
She heard Harry sigh deeply, and she forced herself to keep her eyes shut. Harry didn't like visiting her in the mornings. She was far from being a morning person, and she made sure that everyone knew it. Harry usually respected her schedule, so this might be an important matter. She hated to keep Harry away from her- it wasn't her usual self. Grudgingly, Hermione opened her eyes and struggled to sit up. Harry winced, taking in her dishevelled appearance.
"Where'd you drink last night?" asked Harry. Hermione groaned and sat up, her eyes red and her hair wild. "I had some extra in the kitchen," she answered, rolling her eyes immaturely. "Surely, Harry, you know of my addiction."
Harry looked down and shook his head. "Of all the ways you choose to forget, you choose the 'getting drunk and happy' one."
That comment seemed to infuriate Hermione even more. "Keep the comments to yourself, will you Harry? We all have ways of coping. This is mine."
"It's a damn shame it is, too. You never drank."
"But now I do so let's just leave it at that."
Hermione shoved the blanket off her, and got to her feet. She hobbled unsteadily to the bathroom, pausing at times just to get herself steady. Harry's comment had definitely got to her. Hermione grunted. She sometimes missed the old her. That part of her was gone- along with the others who had died during the war. Hermione Granger was dead. This- this new monster- was the new her.
"You need help?" asked Harry.
Hermione shook her head. She finally made it to the restroom. Hermione placed all her hair to the side and lifted up the toilet seat. She proceeded; emptying her stomach of the drink she had last night and the microwaved chicken she had forced herself to digest.
Flushing the toilet, she wiped her mouth and brushed her teeth. When she came back, Harry was reading Hogwarts: A History on the sofa, looking uninterested as she did when it came to dating. Harry looked up and raised an eyebrow at her.
"Is this your daily routine?"
"Not daily, no," Hermione replied. "This happens twice or thrice a week."
Shaking his head, Harry dropped the book and muttered, "Bollocks."
Hermione took a pillow and clutched it tightly. "Anything special you wanted to tell me?"
"Yes, actually," answered Harry. "I'll be straight to the point. I've got to inform tons of people."
"Okay then. You may fire away," said Hermione, waving her hand dismissively.
"The Malfoys are dead."
Harry watched as Hermione's hand went up to her mouth. Harry was relieved to see the old Hermione come back, even if just a little. He was every bit as damaged as she was, maybe even more, but he needed Hermione. He loved Ginny, but Harry loved Hermione as a sister, and it was killing him to see her so different, so opposed about everything.
"The attacks can't be their fault then!" Hermione exclaimed. "There was that one attack last night. And they were gone even before the attack from last night happened, weren't they?"
"We don't know. They were just found dead. And Malfoy Junior was found unconscious next to them," Harry said in response. "We're still trying to find out."
Hermione perked up. "You want me to help? I really can, you know, it's not much of a fuss and…"
"No, it's fine," said Harry, rejecting her offer. "You still have to translate those runes and get us some help with the spells and paperwork. Plus, you're also helping out as a Healer."
Folding her hands on her lap, Hermione bit her lip. "One suspect crossed out then, am I right?"
"Maybe, Hermione," Harry replied, shifting in his seat in unease.
Hermione frowned at her best friend. "There's something you're not telling me."
Sighing, Harry leaned forward and bore his bright, emerald eyes at her brown ones.
"What do we do with Draco Malfoy?"
She sat up straight and cocked her head to the side in confusion. "What?"
"What do we do with Draco Malfoy?" Harry repeated, furrowing his brows. "I need help. I have to choose what to do with him."
Hermione raised an eyebrow. "We can't just throw him in with the Dementors, Harry."
"Wow, Hermione, I didn't know you thought I was that cruel," Harry joked, rolling his eyes, and Hermione laughed, just like old times. "But no, we won't get anything with tossing him to the Dementors. We need answers, 'Mione. Answers."
"Why don't you ask Ron?" asked Hermione. "Did you tell him yet?"
Harry shook his head. "Ron won't be serious about all this. He never really liked Malfoy, remember?"
Hermione scrunched up her nose. "Of course, how can I forget?"
"And besides, it was always you who stood up for equality and peace and…" Harry trailed off. They needed Hermione's forgiving nature for them to heal. He, too, realized that he needed Hermione's kind heart for him to start healing. Along with Ginny's love, maybe the nightmares would slowly go away. Harry then realized that maybe Hermione was hurting more than he was at the moment.
What did Hermione need?
"I think we should do the usual- questions, Veritaserum, and all of those. Then maybe we can make him work for us?" Hermione suggested, biting down on her lower lip. "I mean, it really is your choice, Harry. I won't mind. If he proves to be one of the good guys here, then maybe he'll actually be useful. Malfoy's smart, Harry. Remember Hogwarts?"
Harry nodded in response. "Malfoy could be handy in the near future."
Hermione massaged her temples and tried to ignore the continuous pounding in her head. "What do you mean, 'in the near future'?" She asked. "Aren't you going to continue the questioning today?"
"He's not exactly awake yet," Harry confessed, rubbing the back of his neck.
"He's still unconscious."
With a small shrug, Hermione snuggled with her pillow. "Well. That's all the advice I can give you, Harry. Don't be rash, though," Hermione added. She sighed into her pillow. Malfoy was tough work. He was undeniably proud, something Hermione quite detested in him. Harry seemed to know what she meant too, because he nodded and gave her a crooked smile.
"You might need to help with the Malfoy duties too," Harry said, getting up.
Hermione's jaw dropped. "Are you actually serious right now? He'll toss me around, Harry. He won't listen to some Mudblood-"
"Hey!" Harry cried, pointing a finger at her. "Don't ever call yourself that!"
Silently, Hermione nodded. "You understand, though, don't you? He won't listen to me."
"Well, if he doesn't listen to you, he would have proved himself to be lower than the lowest of scum, Hermione. Then maybe we can toss him to the Dementors," he grinned. Hermione tried to grin back, but her hangover was in full throttle.
Trying to shoo Harry away with her hand, Hermione winced. "I'll talk to you later, Harry. I have to go check on my Pepper Up supplies," she reasoned, motioning to her forehead. "My head is killing me."
With a nod, Harry turned his back towards Hermione and walked to the Floo. "Goodbye, Hermione. And take care of yourself. Please."
Hermione nodded quickly, then immediately stopped, as she felt the sharp stab of pain. "Yes, yes I will, Harry. Don't forget to contact me when something happens."
"Of course!" Harry called out before disappearing from her home.
With a sigh, Hermione prodded to the kitchen.
Merlin, help me when Draco Malfoy is finally awake from his slumber, Hermione thought glumly.
A/N: I'm new to this site. WOW. This is just a short prologue to start off. There will be tons more to come!