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A Stranger Life

By Missielynne

Adventure / Romance

Guilty

Hermione woke up with a start. Ever since she'd entered the reality that had turned her into a pureblooded Slytherin, as well as Draco's wife, she'd been having the oddest dreams of her rightful Gryffindor past. They concerned her, because she figured that she would have forgotten all that by now. Not that she actually wanted to of course, but strictly for the sake of personal adjustment.

Beside her, Draco stirred. "What's the matter? Did you have another one of those dreams about the other reality again?"

Hermione nodded and hopped out of bed. "It's really strange. You would think that if I were supposed to adjust to this reality, the dreams would stop, and I would be able to. And yet, nothing's changed. At least not in my mind." Suddenly, she turned around and gave Draco a hard gaze.

"Do you ever feel strange about what we did? Like that we shouldn't have done it, and that all this seems really unnatural?"

Draco sighed. "Don't tell me; you're already feeling guilty for abandoning Potter, Weasel and all the rest of your Gryffindor buddies just for a little social and emotional security."

"Yeah, that's about it. And that's not the only reason I stayed. When Pansy came into my room and told me how I'm viewed by our families compared to how she is, I guess I just got drunk with power. That's the real reason I wanted to stay."

Draco laughed. "You wanted to stay for the sole reason of being able to torture Pansy emotionally because you knew you could?"

Hermione nodded and headed to the bathroom to run a cool cloth over her forehead. The dream had still left her a bit shaken. "Yeah, petty and immature, isn't it?"

Frowning, she turned away from the mirror. "But we're really just kidding ourselves with this whole situation. I mean, for one, I'm not sure if I even love you, and could you honestly look me in the eyes and tell me you love me too?"

"Yes," Draco said immediately. He leaned in closer so that they were eye to eye and said "I love you too."

Hermione nodded. "All right. But you only did that to prove you could. You didn't really mean it. And why is it so easy for you now? Before we got here, things were going well enough. We were being civil to one another and there was even the occasional minute when I, as Hermione Granger, muggle-born witch, felt that I could have fallen in love with you as you were. But let's face it. Reaching even civility took a couple of months. It didn't just happen overnight. But now you can tell me you love me without even blinking an eye. It's because I'm more like you, isn't it? I'm exactly the perfect Slytherin girl your parents want you to be with."

Draco nodded. "All right. I admit that there is truth to what you say, but you have to admit, this is the only way this would have worked out. Why else would we have landed here instead of back home if it wasn't?"

Hermione looked at him for a moment, then turned on her heel and stalked out of the bathroom. "So you're telling me," she replied furiously, "that the only way we could be together in this reality or any other is for you to get what you want and do nothing for it, while I give up everything, including my beliefs and every single person I hold dear? My God, you must have a really high opinion of yourself."

Turning on the sink so he could brush his teeth, Draco looked at her angry reflection in the mirror behind him. "When you get dressed, put on something classy. We have to go out to breakfast with my parents again this morning."

Hermione's eyes widened. "You mean they want me to meet more of your relations? My God, how many do you have that I haven't already met yet? Will you tell them I don't feel well? I really don't think I can handle another brunch."

Draco frowned. "No I can't. This one isn't like last time where Father's sister wanted to see you again. These are relatives you haven't met yet. Get dressed. I'll watch you if I have to."

Hermione rolled her eyes and gave in. She went to the closet and pulled out two robes, holding them up so he could see them. "Which one looks better?" she asked tiredly. Draco picked the green one and herded Hermione into the bathroom to help her into it.

Once they were both dressed, they left the house and walked down the street to the little French-type café where they always met Draco's parents for brunch. They were early however, and while they waited, Hermione talked some more.

"Are we ever going to move away from your parents' prying eyes? I mean, we're out of school and married, yet we just live down the street from them! It's like we never left at all! Doesn't that bother you?"

Draco rubbed his temples. "I'll tell you what's starting to bother me. Can't you keep quiet for more then two seconds?"

Hermione shook her head. "No, not until I feel like I've gotten my point across."

"What point?"

"The point that we shouldn't be here, and this whole sick reality is wrong! This is not what I want to do with my life. This is the life for someone like Pansy, who is perfectly content with doing nothing to enhance her life or her brain. Give me vampires and time-travel any day."

Draco sighed. "I admit you were much more pleasant to be around when you were muggle-born, and I do miss doing all the adventurous stuff we did before we got into this life, but what do you propose we do about it?"

"It's easy," Hermione said simply. "I'll go see Professor Dumbledore and get him to cast Priori Chronus spell and we'll go back in time, and it will be like this whole sorry affair never happened.

"Yes, but where are you going to ask he send us? To when we got Stanley in the car accident before he met Ariella?"

Hermione nodded. "Of course. Then I was still a muggle-born. It won't do us any good if we go anywhere else."

Draco nodded. "All right. So we have a plan to make things back into the way they were. After brunch, you write Professor Dumbledore and see if you can get it set up. Now that we have that on the horizon, can you at least pretend like you enjoy brunch? For the sake of my sanity?"

Hermione nodded. "Of course. But the main objective for what we're going to do is not only to get things back the way they were, but to find a way for us to be together that is pleasant and tolerable for both of us. Because I still want to be with you. I just don't want to give up everything to do it."

And as Narcissa and Lucius approached the table, Draco whispered, "Smile. They brought Professor Snape this time, as well as Aunt Bellatrix."

Nothing you recognize is mine!

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