Everything In Its Right Place

Chapter 3

They arrived on Hermione's doorstep. She opened the door and dragged him inside, slamming the door behind her.

Draco looked sick. Side-Along Apparition was nauseating in the best of circumstances, but combined with copious amounts of Firewhisky, and she was afraid he'd vomit on her carpet.

Outside, two distinct pops were followed by pounding on her door. Harry and Ron had followed her, as she supposed they might.

"Let me out of here, right now Granger," said Malfoy, his face ghost white. "I don't need your protection." The banging on the door continued and Malfoy was headed straight for it.

"Petrificus Totalus!" Hermione used a cushioning charm to keep him from a painful crash. "I'm sorry Malfoy, really, but you leave me no choice."

Hermione opened her door and went out on the stoop, closing the door behind her.

"What are you playing at?" said Ron.

"Hermione, why did you bring Malfoy to your house?" said Harry.

"Because he's drunk. Because I felt bad for him. I don't know!" said Hermione.

"He'll hex you in your sleep, Hermione!" said Ron.

"Not likely, Ronald! He'll sleep. He'll wake up, he'll leave. It's better than him freezing to death because he couldn't make his way back to the castle!" Hermione said.

"Hermione," said Harry, raking his hand through his hair. "It's very noble, but we can take him back to Hogwarts. You don't need to keep him."

"It's fine Harry, really. Besides, he can't handle another Apparition. Really, it's fine."

"You can't trust him, Hermione!" said Ron angrily.

"I'll sleep with my wand in hand, alright? Now, don't the two of you have homes of your own to get back to?" Hermione said.

Harry and Ron exchanged a look. "Alright, Hermione," said Harry, "just…send an owl in the morning? So we know you're okay?"

"Yes, yes," she said impatiently, waving them away. "Good night."

Harry and Ron Disapparated, Hermione went back inside. Leaving Draco petrified on the floor, she went to her bathroom and brought back a phial of Sleeping Draught. She levitated Draco to her couch, and set him down gently.

"I'm going to release you," she said softly, "and you're going to drink this Sleeping Draught. No arguments, no discussion, understand?"

He could not answer, so she released him. He took a deep breath, and snatched the phial from her hand. She thought he might throw it at her, but he uncorked it and quaffed it immediately. His eyes closed.

Hermione went into her kitchen to prepare a hangover potion.

Early the next morning, Hermione went to check on her house guest. He was still sleeping soundly. She went into her kitchen and began prepare breakfast.

The smell of frying meat apparently roused him, and she heard him groan from the living room. She poured hangover potion into a glass, and carried it to him.

"Good morning," she said. "Drink this." She offered the glass to him.

He eyed her suspiciously, then took the proffered drink. He drank it in one long swallow, handing her the empty glass. Its effects were immediate, and he rubbed his eyes. Hermione nodded, then headed back towards the kitchen.

"I've made breakfast, if you're interested," she called out.

She heard his footsteps approaching. He stood in the doorway, watching her plate the chipolatas. "Have a seat," she said, gesturing towards the table.

He sat, eyeing the sliced oranges, grapes, and toast she had laid out. She set down the platter of sausages, and sat across from him.

She was a little embarrassed about her appearance. Her hair was in an untidy bun on top of her head, and she was wearing a tank top and pajama pants. Though he'd slept in his robes, they looked unwrinkled. He must have Charmed them, she mused.

He had served his plate and was chewing, examining the room. She served herself and began to eat.

"Is this a muggle house?" he asked. She nodded.

"Why do you live in a muggle house?" he asked.

She shrugged. "It's close to my parents, and…well, why not?"

They continued their breakfast in silence. When Draco had finished, he pushed his plate away from him. "Thanks," he said, without meeting her eyes.

"You're welcome." she said. "Malfoy, about last night…"

"No," he said, rising abruptly. "I'm not having some deep…we're not going to…oh sod it!" he said, stalking away from the table. He went for her door, flung it open, and walked out.

Hermione heard him Disapparate, and went to close the door. She decided to send owls to Ron and Harry, assuring them she was perfectly safe, and that Malfoy was still a git.

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