Faults and Prejudices

Meeting the Queen

“So, Ms. Granger,” Mrs. Malfoy began. “What exactly do you do for a living?”

“I work for the Minister of Magic to remove old laws,” Hermione said confidently, hoping that Narcissa would be happy with that answer, so she didn’t have to tell her she’s there to break specifically pure blood laws to the queen of the sacred 28.

“Interesting,” the elder Malfoy nodded, then took a dainty sip from her tea cup. “And how exactly does this involve my Draco?”

If Hermione wasn’t uncomfortable before, she was now. She had this talk with Ron’s parents when they started dating. The ‘what are your intentions’ talk. She most certainly wasn’t dating Malfoy, and she had no intention to. “He has more resources than I do on the current law, and he’s an expert on it,” Hermione explained.

Mrs. Malfoy looked her over skeptically. She was about to ask which laws her son could possibly be an expert on, when the man himself finally spoke.

“Mother, Granger cannot tell you any more about this, for her safety and mine,” Malfoy calmly intervened Hermione’s interrogation.

This did two things. First, Hermione swung her head around with an gracious smile on her lips, thanking Malfoy for saving her. Second, Narcissa’s expression changed completely. Worry etched itself in her regal features as she looked at her son, dripping with concern.

“Are you in danger, Draco?” Mrs. Malfoy frowned. “Maybe you should tell the ministry there is no more you can do for them. They just can’t seem to understand that you didn’t want any part of-” she started to fret when Malfoy interrupted her gently.

“Mother, I’m fine, no one is out to hurt me unless a select few people figure out what law we’re trying to break. I only work with Granger, and she understands,” he comforted.

That took Narcissa’s mind off her son being in immediate danger, but her skepticism turned to Hermione. “Ms. Granger, do you understand, or is my son just trying to smooth things over? I don’t want him harassed anymore for a choice he hardly even had,” Mrs. Malfoy said, giving Hermione a stern look. If there was one redeeming quality of the Malfoy’s it was that they were incredibly protective over each other.

Hermione had to put on her best face for her next words, “I wouldn’t let anyone harass your son Mrs. Malfoy.” Draco snorted softly, but Hermione ignored him and continued, “I believe that Malfoy had a fair trial, and agree with Wizemgamot’s opinion that he was working primarily out of preservation of himself and his family.”

Still with a stern look, but a slightly softened tone, Mrs. Malfoy questioned, “Ms. Granger, a work relationship such like yours and my son’s also has a personal level. You work quite closely for hours, I presume. What are you personal opinion on my son’s past grievances?”

This required Hermione to think quick. She had a feeling that Mrs. Malfoy could see through any lie she could come up with, and she knew that Hermione was a muggleborn and wouldn’t agree with everything. But, she needed to come up with an answer that could still grant her access to the Malfoy library. So, she decided on carefully constructed truths. “I personally believe that on the side of the war he was on, I would have done nearly the same as Malfoy to save my family,” Hermione replied, tearing up at the ending. She continued in a bit of a rough voice, “I have done regrettable things to save my parents and myself. Why would I judge your son for doing the same, just in his own way?” Hermione was surprised that she actually believed what she said. A weird feeling encompassed her chest, something she’d never felt for Malfoy before: Empathy.

~

Narcissa eyed the girl speculatively. She seems very competent, for a Mudblood. Sincere intentions She obviously doesn’t sympathize with our beliefs, but she is keeping Draco busy, and he’s been restless before the last week. Oh, and why isn’t Draco wearing a shirt, or proper attire for that matter? I hope he is not having relations with the Mudblood girl. Oh dear, I hope she doesn’t have some mistaken notion that she is at a high enough stance to even consider courting my son. Mention Astoria. “Draco, how is Astoria? I am quite sure she would not fancy knowing you are improperly dressed around Ms. Granger,” Narcissa chided.

~

Draco groaned internally. He knew that his mother would question his lack of proper attire, but he hoped she would not bring up Astoria. Astoria Greengrass was his latest ‘girlfriend’, if he could even call her that. His loving mother decided to take it upon herself to find him the ‘perfect pureblood wife’. Draco agreed to go on dates with her to see if he found her attractive, and she was a pleasant girl, but something just didn’t feel right. She was agreeable, elegant, and was well read, just as any traditional pureblood wife was, but she lacked a certain fire. She would hardly ever stand up to Draco, and when she did, he knew that it would take five minutes of arguing to wear her down. Wasn’t a wife suppose to be a companion? Someone to do things with. Astoria was a person that would applaud from the sidelines. Luckily for Draco, his father hadn’t drawn up a marriage offer to the Greengrass’s yet, so Draco had more time to find another. But for now, he needed to get his mother’s mind off of Astoria.

“Astoria is well, mother. I’m sure that she would not care about my appearance in front of Granger. She understands our past,” he replied in a bit of a clipped tone. It aggravated him that his mother brought up Astoria in front of Granger, giving her material to use against him, and implied that Granger and him were doing anything remotely sexual.

“I was just looking out for your lovely girlfriend, Draco. Now, I’m sure you both have a lot of work to do, so I’m going to go back to the garden,” Mrs. Malfoy announced as she lifted herself out of her chair. Once up, she took a step to head to the gardens, stopped, then turned her head to say, “Draco, do get dressed this morning,” before waving the two adults in an obvious dismissal, and heading out the french doors to her roses.

>>>

“I’ve never had someone just send me away like that before. I was as if I was the maid to the Queen, and I lingered too long,” Granger grumbled as they trudged up the stairs back up to the library.

“That’s her style. I suggest you don’t hope for anymore of her,” Draco muttered darkly as he opened the library door for Granger. As she wandered back to their place before their late lunch, he called out to her, “I’m going to put on proper attire,” he said, imitating his mother, much to Granger’s amusement. “I will be back.”

~

Malfoy’s imitation of his mother was spot on, no doubt from years of practice, and it helped relieve pent up frustration knowing that he did not enjoy the chat anymore than she did. Now, Malfoy is with Astoria? Isn’t she Daphne Greengrass’s younger sister? Sounds like a match made in pureblood heaven. Malfoy seemed a bit peeved his mum brought it up. Is Astoria suppose to be his secret? Or does he not even like her? Arranged marriage doesn’t seem to far fetched for the Malfoy’s. They’re as old fashioned as anyone can get. I am surprised he’s not with pug-nose Parkinson, though. Now that’s a thought. I think the Malfoy’s would like me more-

Hermione immediately ended her train of thoughts. There was no way that she would allow herself to even think of being apart of the Malfoy family. They would rather have their son kiss Harry Potter than to imagine Hermione ‘Muggleborn’ Granger in their lives on a regular basis.

Malfoy’s entrance broke Hermione out of her self-deprecating thoughts, and she quickly picked up the nearest book to seem as if she hadn’t spent the past 10 minutes thinking about his relationship. He too appeared to have been lost in thought as he didn’t notice her scramble, and he sat down in his chair without a comment and a blank look on his face.

~

Draco was not liking the turn his day took. He had kept Astoria a secret from most of the Wizarding society thus far, and he was displeased that word might get out. How was he to convince Astoria to have a mutual breakup when all eyes were on them? For all of her good qualities, the one Draco liked the most was her care, and he knew she would care enough about his feelings to let them both part ways peacefully. However, her love for being in the spotlight could very well overpower her good qualities. But, the more pressing issue was that this could damage both of them horribly. Her, for being with a deatheater, and him for the past that Witch Weekly will eventually dig up.

Finally coming out of his thoughts, Draco looked up to a very flushed Granger with her nose two inches away from a monstrous volume on child law. She was sideways in the arm chair with her back sunk down and her legs crossed up on the arm. Her hair was everywhere, it came out of the bun she had it in much earlier. It looked as if a quill was stuck in the side of her massive brown poof, and her usually pressed business attire was rumpled. A crease formed between her brows as she reread a passage. Her right foot bounced up and down rhythmically. Fascinating. This is what a Granger looks like in her natural habitat. Smirking at his thoughts, Draco turned to a nearby tome he had not yet finished combing through, and acted as if he had not been staring at Granger for longer than necessary.

>>>

The day passed quickly with both Draco and Hermione engrossed in book after book; Hermione fidgeting, Draco still as a rock, and both trying very hard to achieve a case that would change their lives. Once the grandfather clock chimed eight, Hermione reluctantly got up, stretched her sore back, and bid her companion goodbye. Well, goodbye until tomorrow.

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