Chapter 1: Prologue
"There is an indentation in the shape of you
Made your mark on me, a golden tattoo"
When Draco Lucius Malfoy was born, with a golden rune on the inside of his right elbow, that represented the vine wand his soulmate would own, Narcissa made him a promise that she would do everything in her power to make sure they ended up together, whether she was a pureblood, a half-blood or a muggleborn.
She knew the pain of being separated from one's soulmate – how you never really felt complete and she vowed to never let her son experience that torture. Her marriage to Lucius had been the result of a betrothal contract her father had arranged when she was only five and not even the discovery of her own soulmate had convinced the man to break it.
Still, as she stared down at the beautiful blonde baby in her arms, she found herself forgiving her now dead father. For how could she hate a man that had inadvertently given her the greatest gift in her life.
When Hermione Jean Granger was born with a golden tattoo on the left side of her ribcage, neither Helen or Richard Granger knew what it meant or how their daughter ended up with such an odd birthmark.
When strange incidents occurred throughout their house or their dental practice, they chalked it up to coincidence that their daughter was always present.
But when a woman named Minerva McGonagall showed up at their house and told them both she and their daughter were witches before transforming into a cat, they started to think about all the strange incidents and knew she was telling the truth.
Hermione herself, had always been a curious child, and upon discovery of her strange golden birthmark she hunted down every runic alphabet book she could get her hands on and discovered it meant hawthorn. She didn't know what exactly it meant and wasted no time in asking her new professor if she did.
"Oh" Minerva blushed, glancing at Hermione's muggle parents, "well it's your soulmate mark, or well one of them at least." Hermione's eyes widened and she stared in shock for a few seconds before she had the sense to ask some questions. But Minerva merely chuckled and gave her a list of books about the subject that could be purchased from Diagon Alley.
And when Hermione eventually read that it represented the wand her soulmate owned, she had to hold her tongue and not ask Mr. Ollivander about all the hawthorn wands he'd ever sold.
Chapter 2: Bonding over Trevor
"There is an indentation in the shape of you
Made your mark on me, a golden tattoo"
Narcissa Black stood at the door of her son's bedroom and silently wished that the day she'd been dreading would go away. She wasn't ready to say goodbye to her dragon for three months, not when he'd been her constant companion his entire life. She wondered if Andromeda had felt like this when she'd sent Nymphadora off to Hogwarts since Ted worked a full-time job at the ministry.
The past few weeks had flown by. There had been so many afternoons spent at her sister's and the Potter's that she'd barely had a moment alone with her son. He'd be so different when he came home at Christmas – more independent, less likely to need her constant attention.
There was also the fact that at some point over the next year he'd likely meet his soulmate. Narcissa had spent a lot of time over the past eleven years wondering about the girl who'd change her son's life. She just hoped that Draco didn't alienate her before they'd even had a chance to get to know one another. Her son reminded her so much of her ex-husband sometimes it was worrying, but then he'd relax and her Draco would appear. She wasn't shocked when he'd ended up with a hawthorn wand from Ollivanders – their contradictory nature was well known.
Still she hoped that he would be okay. That he wouldn't let the Malfoy name dictate who he would be at school. She took a deep breath and was about to knock on his door when it was thrown open from the inside and her son appeared before her already dressed in casual robes and a confused look on his face.
"Mother?" He asked and Narcissa couldn't help the chuckle that escaped her mouth at how formal he was being at 8.30 in the morning.
Hermione Granger was hyper and if Helen didn't know better she would have assumed her daughter had been up the whole night eating sweets. Hermione hadn't sat down since she'd bounded down the stairs at 9 exactly, her brand-new trunk filled with more books than the first year reading list had required, trailing behind her. She had been dreading this day for almost six months now. Ever since that witch had showed up and informed them of their daughter's true abilities.
Everything was going to change now. There had always been a bit of a chasm between Hermione and her parents – she was much smarter than either of them ever had been at eleven and now she was heading off to not just a boarding school but a magical boarding school. She would learn things Helen would never be able to understand, never be able to help with and she knew that as the years passed their relationship would become more and more distant.
She only hoped that if her daughter ever had any normal teenage girl problems that she wouldn't hesitate to contact her – even if it was by owl and about her so-called soulmate. That had surprised her more than anything. The idea that witches and wizards had magical tattoos to help guide them to their one true love.
She smiled sadly at her daughter and leant back into her husband's embrace when she felt him rest a hand on her shoulder.
"She'll be fine" he murmured into her hair as he gave her forehead a peck. She could only hum in agreement and silently pray he was right.
"Trust Malfoy to be late" Harry Potter huffed as he stood on the platform of the Hogwarts Express and cast an eye about for his friend. Lily Potter rolled her eyes while her husband James smirked before they pulled him into a hug which had him flushing red with embarrassment and squirming out of their grip.
"Oh, my Merlin! Mum! Dad! Stop" he hissed hoping no-one had seen how embarrassing his were. "I'm just going to wait for him on the train" he muttered, taking one last look around him.
"Good idea love" Lily agreed, giving him a little shove and a smile.
"Quite right son" James said.
Harry turned to look at both of them, eyes narrowing in suspicion at their behaviour.
"You don't have to be so eager to get rid of me you know" he muttered stepping onto the train.
Eventually he found an empty compartment and pulled his trunk up into the racking before waiting for his cousin. He'd waved goodbye to his parents and was excited to finally be heading to Hogwarts.
He was jolted from his thoughts when someone entered the compartment, though unfortunately it wasn't Draco but a redhead. A Weasley.
Harry had never met the redhead in front of him, but he knew enough about the other sacred twenty-eight families to know who he was.
"Can I sit in here with you? Everywhere else is full." Harry shrugged and swung his feet down and took a peek out of the door to see if his friend was anywhere closer to finding him.
"I'm Ron Weasley" the boy said and Harry smiled at him, and fixing his glasses with one hand reached the other out to him.
"Nice. So, you first year yeah? Excited to finally get to Hogwarts? I've got five older brothers'. I know all about the place – all Gryffindor's too. That's where I'm hoping to be. Well I doubt I'd get put anywhere else you know. What about you what house you hoping for?"
Harry stared at the boy, Ron, who spoke a mile a minute before shrugging.
"Don't know. Don't really care I suppose."
Ron stared at him wide mouthed and was about to speak when the compartment door was shoved open again and his face quickly transformed into a glare.
"Drac-" Harry started but was interrupted.
"Malfoy" Ron spat venomously, "What do you want? Can't you tell where you're not wanted? Surprised they even let you into Hogwarts what with your death-eater father!"
Harry stared at Ron in shock for a moment before he stood and pulled his wand out, pointing it at the other boy who blanched.
"What are you doing? Don't you know some wizarding families are better than others? You don't want to make friends with the wrong sort!" Ron said.
Harry glanced at Draco, whose jaw was clenched tight, before turning back to glare at Ron.
"I think I can tell the wrong sort for myself thanks" Harry spat, "come on Draco, let's find Neville or Theo or someone" he said, pulling his trunk down and leaving a fuming Ron Weasley alone in his compartment.
Hermione wiped the tears from her eyes and squared her shoulders before making her way down the train corridor. There were no empty compartments and even though she was almost twelve, she had never been very good at making friends so she wasn't happy about just popping her head into one and asking to join.
Luckily, she was saved by a young boy who seemed close to tears himself, coming towards her.
"Are you OK?" She asked carefully. They boy looked up at her and swallowed.
"Yeah. I just – I've lost my toad Trevor" he whispered, worrying his bottom lip and darting glances at the ground around them.
"Oh!" Hermione smiled, "I can help you look for him if you want?" They boy's face brightened.
"Sure. Do you have a compartment I can put my things away before I do though? There's no empty one's." The boy nodded and Hermione followed him, silently thanking God that she'd found somewhere without much hassle.
"I'm Hermione by the way, Hermione Granger" she said. The boy turned back to look at her and smiled but kept walking.
It didn't take long for them to stow Hermione's trunk before they split up in an effort to cover more ground. Hermione was having no luck even with her gaze firmly on the floor and asking of every compartment if they'd seen a toad. She was paying so much attention to the floor that she walked straight into two other boys who were still pulling their trunks behind them.
"Oh god I'm sorry I wasn't looking where I was going" she muttered looking up at them. The two boys just nodded at her, the black haired one giving her a lopsided grin, while the blonde one brushed himself off.
"No worries. What's so interesting about the floor anyway?" The black-haired boy asked her.
"Oh! I'm looking for a toad, a boy named Nevilles lost one."
"Trevor?" The blonde asked before turning to look at his friend, "Longbottom really is awful with that thing" he smirked. The black-haired boy chuckled but gave his friend a gentle shove before turning back to Hermione.
"Neville's our friend. You wouldn't mind taking us back to his compartment, would you? I wouldn't worry about Trevor either. He always shows up." The blonde scrunched his nose up as though remembering something unpleasant before he turned to Hermione.
"He really does" he muttered, waving a hand out in front of him to indicate she should lead on before they both gripped their trunks tighter and began to follow her.
Hermione had never seen anything as grand as the Great Hall in her whole life, and she'd been to Westminster Abbey with her parents on numerous occasions. There were gasps all around her as her fellow first years looked up and saw the midnight sky above them where the ceiling should be. She turned to the ginger haired girl beside her.
"It's enchanted, to look like the night's sky. I read about it in Hogwarts; A History."
Behind her Draco rolled his eyes at Harry who only smirked in reply as they came to the end of the hall and were met by the sight of a scraggly old hat sitting on a stool. They stood in silence as one by one students were called and placed into their house's.
When Hermione was called, she took a deep breath and told herself not to panic. She'd read all about the houses and was only worried about possibly being placed in Slytherin – as a muggleborn, she knew she'd struggle to fit in there the most and so, was extremely happy when the house declared her fit for Ravenclaw.
Harry, Draco and Neville shared a look at her placement before returning their attention. All of the boys were surprised when Neville was placed in Gryffindor, but both Harry and Draco were pleased for him. Draco had barely had the hat placed on his own head before he was declared a Slytherin. He smirked at Harry, who only rolled his eyes in response as he waited for his own name.
Both his parents, godparents and obscure family members (like his uncle Remus) had all been placed in Gryffindor, but his aunt 'Cissa was a Slytherin, as had his aunt Andromeda been, not forgetting his own grandmother Dorea so he wasn't feeling terribly apprehensive about telling his parents, when the hat declared him a Slytherin and he slid into a seat beside Draco who was grinning widely at him.
Hermione smiled and clapped for all the students sorted but especially those who were sorted into her own house. She'd wanted Ravenclaw. It made the most sense to her and when the other girls who had been sorted alongside her leant forward and started talking about their upcoming classes, she smiled widely at the prospect of having friends who finally understood her.
Chapter 3: Parental Advisement
"There is an indentation in the shape of you
Made your mark on me, a golden tattoo"
"He's staring at you again" Draco mumbled to Harry not taking his eyes off the bowl of porridge he was stirring jam into.
"He's been staring at me all year. Mum said not to worry about it though and that if he tries to talk to me in a non-headmaster way to tell her." Harry looked up at the same moment Draco did, "Said she'd send dad and uncle Sirius up to sort him out".
Draco smirked, "pay good money to see that."
Draco went back to his breakfast, "You ready for charms exam?"
Harry shrugged, "Suppose. Only first year, not like it matters."
"Try telling that to Granger" Draco grumbled – Harry laughed.
"You just don't like that she beats you in every class. And that she's a girl. Or her hair. Or how she always beats you to the library and takes the best table beside the window. Or how when she raises her hand in class she waves it about until the professor -"
"Yes, Potter I get it! I don't like her" Draco blushed, embarrassed he apparently spent so much time talking about the most annoying girl he'd ever met – and he was friends with Pansy Parkinson, it was quite an achievement. Harry stared at his best friend for a moment, laughing quietly.
"Of course, you don't like her!"
"Did you hear that Professor Quirrell was fired?"
Hermione's head snapped up - "What?" She hissed to her best friend Padma, who had slipped quietly into the seat beside her at their favourite table in the library. "But our defence exam is in an hour!"
Hermione could feel her hysteria building and took a deep breath to try and steady her nerves. Padma took her hand and counted with her slowly.
"It will be fine. You're more than ready 'mione." Hermione smiled at her friend and nodded before turning back to the revision notes she'd been combing over just to be sure. She'd struggled with this class more than any of her others and was determined to make a good showing but before she knew it Padma was dragging out of the library and down to class where most of the other first years were waiting already. They quickly made their way over to the other Ravenclaws, who unlike the other students, who were frantically reading notes and textbooks, were relaxing against the wall seemingly unperturbed by what was about to happen - Hermoine sent a small smile in Neville's direction when she spotted him.
Hermione glanced up to see Draco Malfoy leaning against the wall looking perfectly relaxed while his best friend, Harry Potter, shuffled through some notes, quietly reciting what he was reading. Hermione smirked at him.
"Worried about kicking your arse in another test Malfoy? Of course not."
She missed his scowl as the door opened and they shuffled in.
"What the hell was Dumbledore doing hiding something like the philosopher's stone at Hogwarts anyway?" Lily mumbled to Narcissa as they waited for the train to roll in. Narcissa shrugged but didn't turn to look at her friend – she was straining her neck to try and catch a glimpse of the train coming around the corner. She was beyond excited to see Draco. It was the first time in her life that she hadn't celebrated his birthday in person with him and she hoped he would be pleased by the surprise party they were having at Black Manor tomorrow.
The news that Dumbledore had done a favour for a friend which had resulted in a teacher attempting to steal it and getting injured by a three-headed dog amongst other things, had not gone down well amongst the parents of Hogwarts students. And that was only the parents that knew. Narcissa doubted that many muggleborns parents had been informed about the events and since the students themselves were apparently none the wiser about what had actually happened, she doubted they would ever know. She caught sight of a couple standing not too far from them and could instantly tell they were muggles – they looked nervous and Narcissa felt for them. How strange their world must seem to them?
"How did your parents cope with you going to Hogwarts?" She asked Lily as she continued to look at the couple giving her neck a rest. Lily followed her gaze and frowned thoughtfully.
"Ok I suppose. I never really asked them about it. My sister was a complete nightmare about it as usual though" she muttered sarcastically. Narcissa sent her a quick grin, remembering the only time she'd met the muggle in question at Harry's eighth birthday party.
"Do you think we should go and introduce ourselves?" Lily asked. Narcissa stared at her friend, her best friend technically as she squinted at the couple, "Yes I think we should 'Cissa" and before Narcissa could object she was being dragged over to the couple.
"But their child won't even be in Slytherin – what's the point?" Lily looked at her for a moment before smirking and continuing on her way.
"Interhouse unity?" Narcissa rolled her eyes.
Helen Granger stared in awe at the two witches in front of her as they introduced themselves and chatted to her as though she were no different than them - nobody had ever spoke to them before when they'd come to get Hermione at Christmas and Easter. She had so many questions for them about their world but decided that their first and possibly only conversation shouldn't be a game of twenty questions. But when the redhead, Lily, she remembered had mentioned being muggleborn, a term Hermione had brought up frequently before she even left for the school, she couldn't stop herself from asking about the one thing she had spent more hours worrying about than anything.
"How did your parents react when they found out about your golden tattoo?" She rushed out in a breath. Lily blushed while the blond, Narcissa, merely raised an eyebrow. "I'm sorry. I understand it's quite personal but it's something that's been bothering me for nearly a year now and I'm reluctant to accept that Hermione's life will be dictated by some hawthorn rune" she whispered waving her hand dismissively and missing the way the blonde's eyes widened at her words.
"Amm well they never actually knew" Lily answered, looking a bit sheepish.
"Really?" Narcissa asked turning to look at her friend who shook her head in reply.
"I never told them and they never made the link when I got my visit and letter" she shrugged, "plus they loved James anyway. I don't think it would have made much difference to them to find out he was definitively my soulmate" she smiled at Helen before glancing at Narcissa who rolled her eyes at the look her friend was giving her. Helen was sure there was a story there but was stopped from asking by the sound of a loud whistle and the sight of the Hogwarts Express rounding the corner.
"Who is that our mums are talking to?"
Draco looked up to see what Harry was talking about but had no answer so merely shrugged as they made their way over. He was less than impressed to find Hermione already there talking animatedly to the two women.
Hermione looked up and scowled at the sight of Malfoy, again.
"Malfoy?" She mocked sarcastically, glaring at the woman who had shoved her gently in the shoulder at her tone, "what?"
"Hello mother" Draco smirked at Narcissa, who merely rolled her eyes at his antics while he shot a smirk of his own at Hermione who had suddenly gone pale.
"Mum" Harry nodded at Lily who sighed dramatically at the lack of attention and affection her own son was giving her.
"Mrs Granger I presume?" Draco asked, pulling out his best manners and turning to the woman behind Hermione, a hand extended in front of him. The woman smiled brightly at Narcissa who was staring at her son with obvious pride.
"You presume correctly young man" she laughed lightly before clasping her hand on Hermione's shoulder. "We should be going. Thank you both so much for humouring me and the other thing" she whispered conspiratorially to the witches before looking down at her daughter, "say goodbye to your friend's love."
Hermione glanced up at Draco and Harry, "Bye" she murmured before turning and leaving with her mother.
"Did you see her face?" Harry chuckled beside him as Draco stared after her.
"What?" He asked his friend turning to look at him. At the look on Harry's face though he smarted, "oh, yeah. She was well shocked" he smirked walking off towards the floo and away from his mother and 'aunt' who were staring after them.
"Did you hear what she said about-" Lily didn't get the chance to finish her question before Narcissa had interrupted.
"Yes" she smirked at her friend, "Hawthorn."
"I'm glad you're home. I missed you terribly when you were gone."
Hermione smiled up at her mum, even as she felt the tiredness of the day creep upon her eyelids.
"I missed you too mum" she murmured, letting her eyes close as her mum softly ran a hand over her forearm.
"Did the fact I'm almost asleep give me away" she muttered sarcastically – her mum laughed.
"I'll leave you in peace. We have a big day tomorrow."
Her mother was halfway out of the room when she asked why.
"Oh. Narcissa, young Draco's mother, has invited us to his surprise birthday party" she answered and Hermione's eyes shot open, "I told her we'd love to go. Your father has to work but I'm happy to take a day off. We were having quite an interesting conversation before you got off the train and I'm quite eager to continue it" she said her eyes widening at Hermione sitting up suddenly.
"We don't have to. It's fine mum. Go to work. I'll be fine here. We really don't have to go!"
Helen stared at her daughter, "Don't be ridiculous Hermione" laughing as she left the room and shut the door.
Hermione groaned and fell back into her pillow.
"I feel so out of place" Hermione murmured quietly to Neville as they waited for Draco to arrive downstairs for his party. Neville looked at her in confusion.
"Because we're not friends. I should not be at his birthday party. I don't even know why his mum invited me, we're not in the same house or anything." Neville shrugged.
"So? It's a party. Who cares?"
"I'm sure Malfoy will" she muttered, but Neville had already jumped up and shouted "SURPRISE" with the other guests, as the birthday boy stepped out onto the patio, his face breaking out into a wide grin at the sight.
"Do you think he knows?" Sirius asked Narcissa as she sipped on her wine and observed the party, particularly her son, who was having a conversation with Harry, Neville and Hermione.
She shook her head and smirked at her cousin. "Not a chance!"
"Are you going to tell him?"
Narcissa stared at Sirius like he'd gone mad. She thought about all the time's the Granger girl's name had appeared in the letters her son wrote home weekly, how she seemed to challenge and push him to be better without either of them realising it, how quickly they bantered with each other the two times she had witnessed them together. If by the time they were old enough to realise what they were to each other occurred and they still hadn't worked it out she wasn't sure they ever would.
"Only if he acts like an idiot!"
"He is half a Malfoy" Sirius quipped.
Narcissa elbowed him hard in the ribs.
"There is an indentation in the shape of you
Made your mark on me, a golden tattoo"
On the morning of her thirteenth birthday, Hermione woke to find her second golden tattoo on the inside of her right wrist. She stared in wonder at it for a moment before her finger was running over it. She didn't have to pull out one of the dozen rune books she had tucked in her trunk to know that it was ehwaz and she couldn't stop smiling as she remembered what it meant – equality, duality, change, love and partnership and they were only some of the meanings. .
Since arriving at Hogwarts, Hermione had barely given any thought to her soulmate mark. She was still so young and in no way looking for a relationship. All the boys she knew were annoying. Sure, some of them were attractive and sometimes she wondered what it would be like to kiss them, hold hands with them, cuddle with them but that's it. She has had so much magic to learn, things that other people, her friends, have known about since birth that she hadn't had time to contemplate magical tattoos. She remembered her mother asking her over the summer if she thought she'd met him already and how she'd stared in horror at the thought any of the boys she'd met was the one for her.
She felt tears burning her eyes though as she continued to trace the ruin – whoever she was made for, was made for her, would be her equal. Would love her for her regardless of her many faults. She wiped her tears just as Padma, Mandy, Lisa and Sue ripped open her drapes and shouted "Happy birthday", their arms laden with presents and a cake hovering in front of them.
Hermione grinned widely at them.
Second year of Hogwarts flew by so quickly Draco wasn't sure how it was suddenly the last week in April. Exams would be starting in two weeks and him and Harry had finally decided to buckle down and get started on some revision. Draco wasn't particularly worried. He'd manage to keep his grades good all year, and even if he was still behind Granger in all his classes, he was at least second. But Harry, although not bottom of the class by any stretch, struggled with exams. Practical exams were a walk in the park for his friend but the theory always challenged him. Draco knew from experience, how easily distracted his 'uncle' James could get, so had never been too shocked by Harry's inability to focus. He'd heard Harry moan about how he wished he's gotten more than just his mother's eyes plenty of times.
So, that was why they were currently in the library, along with most of the other students in the school who had any intention of passing their exams. Draco finished reading his notes for potions and leant back in his chair, clicking his neck as he did. Harry was still scrawling away beside him and Draco found himself looking around the library, in particular, the direction of his favourite table which he was only ever able to sit at on the days Granger or one of the other Ravenclaws, hadn't already commandeered it.
"Go take a walk or something. You're distracting me with all your sighing and posturing" Harry groaned, removing his glasses and rubbing his eyes. Draco smirked but pushed his chair back from the table and left Harry to it. He wandered aimlessly through the library stacks and was paying so much attention to his fingers as they trailed over various book titles, that he didn't notice Hermione walking towards him, her own head stuck in a book.
When they bumped into each other, the stack of books she had levitating behind her crashed to the ground as she did, Malfoy falling on top of her and just managing to get his hands out in front of him to stop himself from crushing her.
"Malfoy" she hissed.
"For Merlins sake Granger. Couldn't you pull your head out of a book for once in your life and look where you're going" he snapped, scrambling up and straightening his robes before offering her a hand.
Hermione glared at him but took his hand anyway. "But yes of course it's my fault Malfoy. Not like you weren't watching where you were going either" she murmured.
Draco rolled his eyes and let go of her hand, but not before catching sight of the rune she had tattooed on the inside of her wrist.
"Thanks" she spat, waving her wand so that her books could once again levitate behind her, and storming away from Draco.
Draco shoved his hands in his pockets and sighed.
Draco had never given much thought to the golden rune on the inside of his right elbow. He knew it was something that his mother regarded highly, given her own circumstances, but other than knowing that the witch for him had a Vinewood wand, he hadn't spent any amount of considerable time thinking about what that meant for him.
Girls were annoying and irritating and could barely hold a conversation about quidditch, so what good were they to a twelve-year-old?
Still, when Draco woke on the morning of his thirteenth birthday and spotted the new rune adorning the inside of his left wrist, he felt a flurry of excitement. He had only had one rune, one soulmate mark for twelve whole years and now here was a new one. Immediately Draco was disappointed his mother wasn't present to share the moment and that she would have to read about the development in a letter.
It was still early, and a Saturday to boot, so Draco quietly climbed out of bed and dug through his trunk for the textbook of runes he knew his mother had packed for him, but for which he'd never had a use for – until now.
Draco was pleased to see that the rune represented equality, love and partnership amongst other things – his soulmate would be, was, his equal. Draco knew that being a Malfoy came with responsibilities (even if his mother had tried to protect him from them), and it was a relief to Draco to know that he would have a partner, someone who would love him for who he was, flaws included.
Draco traced the rune with his finger and frowned He was sure he had seen the mark before, but he couldn't for the life of him remember where-
"Happy birthday mate" Harry, Blaise and Theo shouted from behind him. Draco jumped, shutting the book and tossing it back into his trunk, all thoughts of where he had seen the mark before joining it, as he smirked up at his friends and let them shove gifts into his hands.
This is a short chapter and covers the entirety of second year. I wanted to get it done and out before third year begins because thats where things are really going to start happening and it would have been awful of me to make you wait a week for this measly 1000 words and then another week for any actual action.
Chapter 5: Boggart's and Buckbeak
“There is an indentation in the shape of you
Made your mark on me a golden tattoo”
“Are you sure you want to do this ‘Cissa?”
Narcissa glanced at her sister Andromeda, who was clutching at the latest copy of The Daily Prophet so tightly, she was surprised it hadn’t torn and knew that placing Black Manor and the Tonks house under fidelius was the best and safest option.
She looked back at Sirius, who looked like he hadn’t gotten any sleep since the news of the Azkaban breakout had been released and nodded.
Sirius sighed, and running a hand through his hair stood from the table.
“Let’s do this now then – you’re going to be each other’s secret keepers?”
Narcissa nodded and helped her sister out of her chair, snapping her out of her stupor.
“Are the Potter’s going back under too?” Andromeda asked as she wound her hand into Narcissa’s and Sirius rounded the table to do the spell.
“Yeah. Going to have a proper fucking secret keeper this time round too” he growled and Narcissa frowned and placed a hand on his arm before he began.
“It’s not your fault Sirius. You can’t blame yourself for Peter’s betrayal” she murmured quietly. She knew all about feeling guilt for something you had no control over – her marriage to Lucius had at least taught her that.
Sirius laughed harshly and smirked though, “Oh I’m not feeling guilty cousin. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the little rat.”
The news that his father, who had attempted to claim Imperious when Voldemort had fallen all those years ago, and failed, being imprisoned for life alongside his aunt and uncle in what was supposedly, an unescapable prison had somehow managed to escape from Azkaban, along with a handful of other death eaters, including the man who had betrayed his ‘Uncle James’ and ‘Aunt Lily’, scared Draco. Not because he was afraid of them or what they would do now that they were free after twelve years’ incarceration, but because his mother, who Draco had always known to be fierce and proud and unshakeable had come slightly undone.
He found her pacing the corridor outside of his room on more than one occasion (when she must have thought he was asleep) and he had heard her debating with both Lily and Andromeda, about him not possibly returning to Hogwarts for his third year. He was thankful that his uncle Ted had brought up the fact that Remus, his cousin Nymphadora’s boyfriend, and another surrogate uncle of his own, would be returning to Hogwarts with them to serve as the defence professor. His mother however had only acquiesced when James had informed her that Dementors, would also be stationed around the school grounds in an additional attempt to protect the school and its occupants – Draco was less thrilled about that fact.
“You alright mate?”
Draco sighed and nodded at Harry before climbing aboard the Hogwarts Express, ready to start their third year at Hogwarts.
“So Daphne then?” he grinned at his best friend when they finally reached an empty compartment.
Harry blushed and Draco laughed.
Hermione couldn’t stop glancing at The Daily Prophet that Padma had abandoned on the table whilst they ate breakfast. The image of Lucius Malfoy, who looked so like Draco it was unnerving, kept gnashing its teeth and she had to turn the paper over less she lose what little of her breakfast she’d managed to eat. She poked her scrambled eggs around her plate for a few more minutes before giving up and shoving the plate away from her.
Her eyes automatically went to the Slytherin table on the other side of the hall and through the gaps of both the Hufflepuff and Gryffindor tables, she was able to see both Harry and Draco talking quietly while they ate their breakfast in relative peace. She had heard the rumours upon boarding the train back to school about how Malfoy’s father had escaped and how it was all his fault that they were stuck with Dementors guarding the school.
Hermione shivered as she thought about the Dementors. They had stopped the train on the way to school and the coldness that Hermione had felt seep into her bones had left her with nightmares for the next few days.
“You ok? Charms starts in ten” Padma said quietly beside Hermione, bringing her out of her reverie. Hermione nodded and smiled at her friend and hooked her arm through hers as they made their way to class.
Remus Lupin stood at the doorway of his defence classroom and waited patiently for the Slytherin and Gryffindor third years to quiet down and quit hexing and catcalling each other. He knew his honorary nephew, Harry, had been sorted correctly into Slytherin when he subtly alerted his housemates to his presence and they almost instantly settled – it took the Gryffindor’s a few minutes more to realise what was going on and Remus felt himself cringing and silently thanked Merlin that his own Gryffindor housemates hadn’t been so oblivious.
He strode into the classroom and smiled warmly at the students, ignoring their pointed looks at the wardrobe behind him.
“Good morning class. Today we’re going to be delving head first into the third year curriculum and deal with a boggart. Can anyone tell me what a boggart is?”
When no-one raised their hands immediately, Remus took a deep breath, realising how much he already missed the Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff class from yesterday, and begun to teach.
Harry wasn’t sure what his boggart would be. He wasn’t really afraid of anything as far as he knew. He wasn’t afraid of spiders like Weasley, or clowns like the Patil twin he could never remember the name of (he only knew it wasn’t Padma) - he wasn’t even afraid of Snape (who definitely had his moments being the head of Slytherin and their potions professor) like Neville; so he wasn’t entirely sure what his boggart would be. It turned out he needn’t have worried though because he didn’t even get a chance to face it.
He should have known what Draco’s boggart would be. He should have alerted his uncle Remus that it wouldn’t be a good idea to let Draco take part in the class given everything that had been going on the past month and a half. He should have known, should have expected, the snarling face of Lucius Malfoy when Draco, laughing and joking with Theo beside them, stepped forward to face his worst fear. He should have known that Draco wouldn’t realise how serious, how realistic his worst fear actually was.
He really should have known that Lucius Malfoy wasn’t Draco’s worst fear, when he saw the body of his aunt Narcissa lying dead at the feet of the escaped Malfoy patriarch.
And he definitely should have been prepared for when Draco stumbled forward, shaking, quietly crying and attempted to bring his ‘dead mother’ back to life while the fake Lucius laughed at the sight.
Draco didn’t let the incident in defence stop him from swanning off to care of magical creatures with Harry, Theo and Neville following him ten minutes later, once Remus had dispatched of the boggart and shoved a bar of chocolate into his hand.
He didn’t let the rest of the Gryffindor’s and their pity glances bother him – especially Weasleys taunts about his mother. He didn’t – he grit his teeth like the Slytherin he was and promised himself that Weasleys day would come and that Draco would hex the ever living shite out of him.
So what if his worst fear was actually something terrifying? At least it wasn’t spiders.
He leaned against one of the trees surrounding the empty gathering that Hagrid had led them to for their first class and only smirked at Harry when he muttered a quiet “are you alright?”
When Hagrid led a hippogriff into the clearing he, along with the rest of the class, was mesmerized by the creature known as Buckbeak and when Harry was involuntarily selected to approach the beast and actually garnered it’s respect and was able to fly it around the grounds he smiled and watched in awe, moving forward with Neville, Theo, Crabbe and Blaise when Harry eventually landed again.
“That was brilliant” he chuckled, slapping a hand on Harry’s shoulder and nodding his head in Daphne’s direction so Harry could see how impressed she was by what had happened. He was so busy laughing at Harry and his blushes that he didn’t realise the Gryffindor boys had moved forward in an attempt to get some praise of their own.
“Hardly difficult is it?” Ron Weasley scoffed moving to stroke Buckbeak, and even though most of the Slytherin’s were in the way, he pushed past them knocking them out of the way.
Draco wasn’t surprised when he turned to see Buckbeak raring up in anger at the way Weasley was pulling on him.
But the way the rest of the Gryffindor’s shoved into them at the same moment and inadvertently knocked Draco into Buckbeak’s path when his front legs came down and his talon ripped through his robe and shirt and then the skin and tendons of his right arm;
Well that did surprise him.
By the time Hermione got to dinner all anyone in the school, it seemed, could talk about was Draco Malfoy.
Apparently it wasn’t bad enough that he’d probably had the worst defence lesson ever when confronting his boggart but had also apparently been injured in care of magical creatures, though according to who told that particular story at any one time, it was either his own fault for insulting the creature they’d been studying, or the fault of the Gryffindor’s they shared a class with, specifically Ron Weasley.
Hermione was inclined to believe the latter rumour when on her way up to Ravenclaw tower with Padma and Sue, they encountered a handful of Gryffindor’s, including said Weasley, regaling some younger students with the story of how Draco Malfoy had spent most of the day crying.
Hermione didn’t particularly care for Malfoy. He was her biggest rival that was for sure and Hermione had no doubt that in four years he would be selected for head boy. But they had a tentative friendship and shared a good friend in Neville, who despite being in Gryffindor hadn’t let house prejudices stop him being friends with people from his childhood – even if they were in different houses.
So when she heard Ron Weasley, a boy who had insulted her repeatedly over the years for actually doing her homework and knowing the answers to simple questions, insulting and mocking Malfoy for showing some emotion in defence and then being injured because of him and his recklessness, she couldn’t stop herself from stomping over to him and giving him a piece of her mind.
“And then. And then, he rolled around the floor crying” Ron laughed, Seamus Finnegan and Dean Thomas chuckling beside him – none of them noticed Hermione advancing on them, wand drawn, until the end of it was in Ron’s face.
“Everyone thinks that the Slytherin’s are the worst! That Gryffindor’s are so bloody courageous and noble when really you’re nothing but bullies” she hissed – Ron smirked at her.
“Oh I’m sorry Granger did I insult your precious boyfriend? Is Malfoy your soulmate? ooooohhhh” he smirked at Seamus and Dean, rolling his eyes at her behaviour.
Hermione blinked. Twice, before narrowing her eyes and stowing her wand away back in her robe pocket.
“I’d rather have Malfoy as my soulmate than an ignorant bully like you Weasley” she spat turning on her heel – she didn’t get far though.
“Don’t make me laugh. Malfoy would rather die than have a mudblood for a soulmate” he scoffed.
Hermione couldn’t remember clenching her fist and punching Ron hard in the face, his nose breaking against her knuckles and blood spilling down his face, but Padma assured her, as she huddled her to the common room that it was the best thing she’d ever seen.
Chapter 6: "Is that an otter?"
"There is an indentation in the shape of you
Made your mark on me, a golden tattoo"
Even though it was only November, winter had certainly arrived at Hogwarts and brought with it a cold and harsh wind that battered Draco, Harry and all the other Slytherin boys waiting to try out for the quidditch team.
Draco stood with his arms crossed tightly across his chest, his hands curled into his armpits in an attempt to fend off frostbite, and watched Pucey, the captain, lecture them about the empty positions and what he expected from them if they made the team.
He smirked at Harry when Pucey called for the chaser try-outs to begin, and stepped forward to earn his place. Him and Harry had spent most of the previous summer flying around the grounds of Potter Manor with James and Sirius in an attempt to be as ready as possible for this day.
Nothing was going to stop him, either of them, from getting a spot.
"Are you that worried about the bet Sirius?"
Sirius smirked at Laurel Greengrass, Draco's godmother, from across Narcissa's living room and continued to wrap the gifts for his godson and 'nephew'.
"I don't need to be worried about you and Snivellus being better than me at anything sweetheart" he sneered at her.
Narcissa glanced at the pair of them, hiding a smile behind a cup of tea, until Laurel caught her eye and glared at her.
"James did just get them both new brooms last year Sirius" she sighed half-heartedly, getting up from her seat and pouring them all more tea. At Laurel's continued glare, even as she muttered a quiet 'thank you', she continued.
"And you can continue to call Severus Snivellus all you want, it still won't help us forget the sight of you both drunk and drinking and dancing together at Christmas last year" she smirked.
"Bloody overgrown batman" Sirius muttered under his breath, ignoring the cackling of the witches around him and missing Lily's entrance.
"Sev?" The redhead asked, taking a seat beside Laurel and helping herself to a biscuit, "Still pretending he doesn't like him?" She asked the woman beside her, who could only smirk in reply.
Sirius finished wrapping the gifts and after a few moments drinking his tea looked up at the witches.
"I just wanted to take their minds off the latest sighting is all."
Both Narcissa and Lily's lips pressed into firm lines and their hands gripped at each other's even as Laurel reached hers across the table and grasped Sirius'.
"We know. We were just teasing."
Sirius nodded, but looked back up at them smirking as he withdrew his hand and stood, stretching out as he did, "Still me and James did put them through the ringer. Seeker and chaser," he sighed, "couldn't be prouder."
When he looked back it was to find three sets of eyes rolling at him.
Hermione stood in the dark alcove opposite ancient runes and watched her past self fiddle with the time turner that was currently hidden under her jumper. She patted her hair down in an attempt to calm it somewhat, because from this angle it looked beyond frizzy and that had been an hour ago.
When she disappeared from view, Hermione stepped into the emptying corridor and straight into Malfoy, though fortunately neither of them went clattering to the floor this time.
She hadn't seen Malfoy up this close since the incident with Weasley at the beginning of term, but with his hands placed firmly on her shoulders, in an obvious attempt to prevent her from falling to the floor, she couldn't help blush as she remembered his words.
"Alright Granger?" He drawled.
Hermione nodded and moved past him and into the class muttering a quiet 'thanks' as she did before she sunk into her seat beside Padma and Mandy.
"Ok?" Mandy asked as she watched her friend, pull her books and quill out, blushing furiously in the process.
Hermione sighed and nodded, looking ahead to where Professor Babbling was beginning to lecture, her fingers absentmindedly trailing her Ehwaz rune on the inside of her wrist.
She didn't notice Malfoy doing the same thing with his own Ehwaz rune, across the room.
"It's a firebolt" Draco whistled lowly, as he unwrapped the broom that had been dropped into his lap moments ago. The low whistles that echoed his own from the crowd gathered around both him and Harry, who hadn't yet opened his own package, was a reflection of how new and impressive the broom was.
"Fuck off" Harry gasped, scrambling to unwrap his own package.
"10 points from Slytherin for Language, Potter" Professor McGonagall spoke as she swept past their table and continued on her way to the teachers table.
None of the Slytherins even glanced at her as they watched a second firebolt emerge from the brown paper.
"We are so winning the cup this year" Pucey exclaimed, high fiving Montague behind Draco, who was grinning like an idiot at his best friend.
"Sirius" they both said, standing from the table and abandoning their breakfast, sprinting from the great hall, brooms tucked firmly under their arms.
Hermione glared at Ron Weasley as he loudly lamented about the fact Potter and Malfoy had received new brooms, Firebolts apparently, in the library.
She hated when people came to the library and then proceeded to treat it like their common room. Didn't they understand they were supposed to be quiet? That the library was to be treated with respect. Hermione snorted quietly at that thought. Ron Weasley wasn't respectful of anyone outside of his own house, and even that was pushing it, he'd never have respect for a room.
"I don't understand why boys like quidditch so much" she murmured quietly to her table of friends, focusing her attention back on the arithmancy essay she was struggling to get through.
"Hey" Lisa nudged. Hermione smiled up at her friend rolling her eyes.
"You don't act like it's life or death though, and you're on our team. Weasley isn't" she said nodding in the direction of where the redhead was still moaning about the fact.
Lisa shrugged and returned her gaze to her own essay.
"That's not a boy thing. That's a jealousy thing."
The other girls at the table nodded their agreement.
Narcissa and Lily had both agreed that it was safer for the boys to stay at Hogwarts for Christmas, no matter how much the boys protested, which was why Draco and Harry found themselves making their way back down to the dungeons after their fifth Christmas day dinner of the week.
Dumbledore had announced that the house-elves were so excited about the holiday that in the week leading up to the actual day they were trying to perfect the meal, so it was the only thing available at dinnertime.
"If I never see a piece of Turkey again in my life it will be too soon. In fact, that goes for all meat. Perhaps I'll become a vegetarian" Harry grumbled as they sank into the green leather couches of the Slytherin common room and enjoyed the peace. Draco smirked at his best friend.
"I'll write to Uncle Sirius and let him know you'll be feeding him my mums sausages from under the table next summer then" Draco sighed sarcastically, sitting up and reaching for a piece of parchment. Harry sat up suddenly and yanked the parchment out of the way frowning.
"I forgot about your mum's sausages" he groaned, lying back with an arm strewn across his face. Draco snickered and looked up at the sound of the common room door opening.
He was on his feet and heading towards the crying first year before Harry had even finished speaking.
It took a while but eventually the young girl stopped sobbing and looked up at the two third year boys sitting on either side of her and explained what had happened.
The word made both Harry and Draco shiver and they instinctively moved closer to the girl as they listened to how she'd been with some friends from Hufflepuff walking around the lake when the dementors had come closer to them and they'd been defenceless as they'd escorted them back to the castle.
When she had calmed down and made her way to bed, Draco and Harry sat in silence as they thought about what had happened, which ultimately led them to thinking about the reason they were there in the first place.
"I hate him."
Harry frowned at his best friend, his cousin and wished that he could do something to help him feel less helpless.
Remus Lupin listened to Dumbledore lecture the staff on how regular the sightings of the escaped death eaters were becoming and hoped that Dora was being safe. Well as safe as an auror could be hunting escaped death eaters.
He was shocked to find Harry waiting for him in his office when he got back. Even more so when he explained why he was there.
"The Patronus charm. That's what you're looking for Harry."
Harry sighed in obvious relief and looked up at his professor, his uncle.
"Will you teach us? Me and Draco? Please?"
Remus sighed, rubbed his eyes, and pulled a bar of Honeydukes finest from his robes before nodding.
Padma and Hermione were taking full advantage of the spring weather late February was providing them with, as they wandered around Hogsmeade in their short sleeves and jeans. The other girls had gone on to Schrivenshaft's but Hermione and Padma had been adamant about stepping in, 'just for a moment' they'd promised, to the Hogsmeade branch of Flourish and Blott's.
Padma was feeling relieved to escape the oppressive coldness that the dementors shrouded Hogwarts in and even though there had been a few death eater sightings in the tiny wizarding village that bordered the outskirts of the school, the ministry nor Dumbledore had thought it was a wise decision to station some of the awful creatures around it.
As soon as they stepped into the tiny shop the girls split up. When Padma finally noticed the time, she wandered the stacks for her best friend and was about to help her fetch the book she was reaching for when she stopped mid-step and watched as a golden tattoo appeared on the inside of her right elbow.
"Hermione" she gasped, taking a half step towards the other girl, her finger pointing to the spot where the form of a wolf now rested.
Hermione turned smiling at her friend until she saw her face.
Padma grasped her wrist and pulled her into a hug, "Didn't you feel that?"
"Feel what?", Hermione frowned and pulled back from the enveloping hug.
When Padma pointed out her new addition Hermione traced it in awe. She knew from the dozens of soulmate books she'd read that it was rare to get this tattoo, the form of her soulmate's Patronus, and automatically knew that she wanted to give him his, whatever form it was.
Draco, Harry and the rest of the Slytherin quidditch team stomped into the changing rooms after another gruelling quidditch practise and quickly stripped out of their cold and wet quidditch gear.
The final game of the year, Slytherin vs. Gryffindor was coming up at the end of May, and Pucey was adamant that they were going to win. He didn't care for his teammates to moan about the fact he was driving them into the ground with his relentlessness. They were only two weeks away from the big day after all.
As Harry got re-dressed in clothes that were both warm and dry he glanced at Draco, about to ask if the other boy if he wanted to head down into Hogsmeade for a few hours when something on Draco's hipbone caught his eye.
"Is that an otter?" He asked, squinting, even with his glasses on, and stepping closer to Draco as he attempted to pull a long-sleeved shirt on.
Draco stopped, the shirt halfway on.
"It is an otter. Merlin Draco, you've got an otter on you" Harry laughed, pointing.
Draco followed his finger and looked down to see the otter, the form of his soulmate's Patronus, sitting proudly on his left hipbone. And even as Harry continued to laugh, Draco found his fingers tracing the golden tattoo, his heart racing.
Chapter 7: The Sins of the Father
"There is an indentation in the shape of you
Made your mark on me, a golden tattoo"
Lucius Malfoy stood, disillusioned, on the edges of Hogsmeade and watched his son.
He hadn't seen the boy since he was one and a half, and it wasn't like he'd spent any quality time with the child then. To see him now, twelve years later, was almost like watching a younger version of himself.
Lucius would never have been acting as uncouth as the boy was behaving and Lucius felt his face contort into a snarl as he recognised Narcissa's obvious coddling of the boy.
He'd have to straighten that out of him. Malfoys were to be respected and feared, not pulled into head-locks by their peers and laughed at.
His observation of his only son and heir was interrupted by the appearance of both Dolohov and Rookwood. The three-escaped death-eaters stood silently for a few moments watching the inhabitants of the village and the students visiting move around without fear, no idea what lurked on the very edge of their idyllic town.
Lucius kept his eyes trained on Draco though and when he spotted his son break apart from his friends and head into what looked like a branch of Flourish and Blott's, he gave a nod to the two men beside him.
When he felt them move away, towards the shop, he apparated back to the shrieking shack and waited for their return.
Draco laughed at the sight of Harry pulling Neville, Theo and Vincent into Zonko's before turning and heading in the opposite direction towards the book shop.
It was his mother's birthday in July and he wasn't sure he'd be able to obtain her gift without her noticing, so he'd ordered the newest copy of Miranda Goshawk's charm's theory to the Hogsmeade branch so he could surprise her – his aunt andromeda too since she'd been taking him to purchase a present every year for as long as he could remember. He could just imagine the shocked look she'd have to see him finally have something already prepared.
Draco took a moment, while the owner retrieved his delivery from the back room to wander the aisles. He unintentionally found himself looking at the books that referred to golden tattoo's and felt a thrill of excitement go through hi.
Had his soulmate been here? Had they stood in this spot and reached for these books? Had they been impressed to see the form of his Patronus show up on their skin?
Draco was so distracted by the thought of his soulmate that he didn't notice the two men who had entered the shop.
Or the wards they had erected.
Or the way they had suddenly cornered him.
He didn't notice anything was off until a noise, a falling book, interrupted his thoughts and he looked up just in time to see the bright red light of a stunning spell hit him.
Hermione was drifting in and out of Padma and Parvati's conversation, as they sat outside Madam Puttifoot's and enjoyed their last Hogsmeade trip of the year, when she noticed Harry and Neville. They'd caught her eye a few minutes ago when they'd exited Zonko's joke shop and waved before heading in the direction of Flourish and Blott's.
Now though as the boys raced from the book shop, a worried look on both their faces, towards The Three Broomsticks', Hermione realised that something was wrong. She stood abruptly, accidentally knocking the edge of the table as she did, and made her way towards them.
Both boys came to a halt in front of her and she hadn't even opened her mouth to ask what was wrong when they were telling her.
"Malfoy's missing!" Harry gasped, bent over at the middle and trying to catch his breath.
Hermione felt her blood run cold and was sure her face had gone pale. She'd been wary of coming to Hogsmeade all year, what with the escaped convicts from Azkaban still on the loose and no ghastly dementor's protecting the village. She wasn't even sure there were any auror's patrolling either and the fact that Draco Malfoy, son of one notorious escapee Lucius Malfoy was suddenly missing -
Harry and Neville had both already darted past her when she regained enough mind to try and help them, and when she turned around to see where they'd gone, she spotted them pulling an increasingly worried looking Professor Lupin from Honeydukes.
Remus escorted both Harry and Neville back to Hogwarts.
He couldn't believe that this, a possible kidnapping, was happening on today of all days.
He had been quite looking forward to seeing James and Sirius later on that evening for their monthly get together, now though - Remus shuddered. It wasn't worth thinking about.
He escorted Neville to his office whilst Harry ducked down to the Slytherin dormitories and collected the 'Marauders Map' and to check Draco wasn't currently lounging about there. They talked amicably for a few minutes until a knock cut short their conversation and the door opened to reveal Severus.
"Ah Professor Snape" Remus said, stepping back so that the other man could enter the room, "Did Harry send for you?"
Snape tilted his head and placed the flask he had been carrying on the desk before he spoke.
Remus blinked and watched the other man, nodding his understanding before Harry burst into the room, marauders map in hand and active.
"I can't find him" Harry gasped, exhausted from obviously having ran all the way up from the dungeons. Remus moved around the desk quickly and took the map from him to double check for himself.
He swayed though, and had to clutch onto the desk when he saw the name 'Peter Pettigrew' floating around the whomping willow.
"Neville. I'd like you to go back to Gryffindor Tower please" he said, his eyes not lifting from the map on his desk, "Severus we'll need to contact James, Sirius, Tonks and anyone else you think that can be trusted in the auror department.
"Draco Malfoy went missing from Hogsmeade about an hour ago and I've just spotted our old friend Peter on the map" he rushed out, finally lifting his head to meet the wide-eyed stare of both his friend and 'nephew', "I have a terrible feeling that Lucius Malfoy has reunited with his son."
The three of them quickly exited the room, summoning patronuses to send to their friends as they did.
The flask of Wolfsbane potion that Snape had brought with him sat untouched and forgotten about on Remus' desk.
Narcissa Malfoy was enjoying tea with her sister when Lily Potter burst through the floo almost hysterical. Narcissa took one look at the other woman and felt her heart drop into her stomach.
"What happened?" She asked shakily, setting the cup of tea down and reaching for the other woman at the same time.
Lily rushed across the room and embraced her. Narcissa was stock still. She embraced her trembling friend and felt her own sisters hand rubbing calming circles into her back.
"It's Draco. He's been taken."
Narcissa eyes closed, hear heart coming to a slow beat in her chest as she let the words sink in. She didn't have to ask who had taken him to know the truth.
"Of course," she eventually murmured into her friend's hair, helping Lily sit beside them and grasping the other woman's hand tightly in her own.
She was going to kill that bastard of an ex-husband when she saw him.
Sirius, James and Tonks met Severus, Remus and Harry on the way to the willow, James' face contorting into an angry snarl when he saw his son.
"No, absolutely not!" He exclaimed before turning on his friends, "Can't believe you thought it would be a good idea to bring him" he snarled.
Both Severus and Remus opened their mouths to protest that they had done no such thing, that they'd sent harry off to the dungeons only to discover him beneath the invisibility cloak only moments ago, but it was Harry's voice that was heard.
"He's my best friend dad. I'm going. You can't tell me it's not something you wouldn't do for uncle Rem or Sirius" he shouted over the arguments of the adults.
Sirius looked pointedly at James, knowing that his godson was right, more than he could know seen as it was something that had happened to them on more than one occasion.
"I'll stay at the back with him" Tonks murmured quietly, "keep him out of trouble." James crossed his arms and narrowed his eyes at his son, his twin before he gave a sharp nod and immobilised the tree so that they could all begin to move into the passage that would lead them to the shrieking shack.
Draco woke up groaning. He carefully moved his hand to the back of his head to feel a large swollen bump there, but thankfully could feel no blood. He slowly opened his eyes and wasn't too surprised to find himself in a rundown, dirty, dark room. He grimaced as he thought about the state of the bed he was currently lying on before he began to feel around for his wand.
He froze when a voice sounded from the corner of the room and he turned his head to see who had spoken.
Draco couldn't remember his father, at all, and it wasn't like his mother had ever seen fit to adorn Black Manor with any pictures of the man after he'd been incarcerated – he wasn't her soulmate after all, but as Draco took in the sight of the man with long, lank and dirty blonde hair, tattered clothes and a still confident swagger in his step, that was slowly making his way towards him, he knew without a doubt that he was this man's son.
Draco smirked when the man flinched.
Harry watched in awe as his father, two uncles and head of house, duelled with the contingent of escaped death eaters they'd encountered upon first entering the shrieking shack and suddenly felt extremely childish for making them bring him along. He shook himself though that Draco, his cousin and best friend was here, captured though and stayed close behind Tonks so that she was still able to fight without worrying about him.
They edged further and further into the abandoned property, stunning and restraining as many death eaters as they could until they came to the top of a staircase and could hear arguing coming from the room.
"-be respectful to your head of house-"
"-No father of mine-"
"-insolent little shi-"
Harry watched in awe as his father burst into the room and stunned the escaped Lucius Malfoy, his body falling hard to the floor. Harry burst from Tonks' arms and embraced a shaking Draco, who was staring at the new occupants of the room.
Sirius moved forward quickly, pulling Draco from Harry's arms and wrapping his own around his nephew.
"You're ok Draco" he muttered quietly, holding onto him tightly when he went slack in the embrace, tears overwhelming him.
They levitated the bound and stunned escapees, including Peter Pettigrew, who Remus had spotted scurrying around in his animagus form as they'd been leaving, ahead of them as they made their way out of the tunnel and back towards Hogwarts.
They'd just exited the tunnel when Harry felt Remus go still beside him, and shouts of "oh shit" and "get the boys out of here now" went up around him.
Snape grabbed a hold of both Harry and Draco and began to pull them back towards the safety of the castle when both Sirius and James transformed and attempted to manoeuvre Remus towards the safety of the forest.
Unfortunately, as Tonks was preparing an emergency portkey to transport the prisoners back to the ministry, Lucius Malfoy sprung forward, wrestled her wand from her and took off into the forest.
Draco screamed, Padfoot and Prongs launched themselves at Moony, Tonks teleported with the remaining prisoners and Snape roughly pulled Harry and a furious Draco back as Lucius Malfoy disappeared into the forest.
"There is an indentation in the shape of you
Made your mark on me, a golden tattoo"
Narcissa hadn’t let go of Lily’s hand since they’d been escorted to Dumbledore’s office. Even when Harry and Draco had been dragged, literally kicking and screaming about how they needed to go back and help, into the office by Severus, Lily had kept a firm hand on the small of her friends back.
Draco had rushed into his mother’s arms, reminiscent of when he was younger and clung to her as he shook.
Eventually the boys, passed out - Narcissa couldn’t blame them. She wanted nothing more to climb into her bed, keep Draco within easy reach and never leave it again.
The hours passed quickly, the moon setting and the sun rising - James, Sirius and Dumbledore all trudged into the headmaster’s office with quiet, grim expressions. Lily gently nudged Harry’s head from her shoulder and stood to greet her husband, whilst Sirius crossed the room and settled beside Narcissa and took her hand in his, squeezing it gently as everyone sat down; Draco was still sleeping between them.
“What happened?” she eventually asked, her voice no more than a whisper as she continued to stroke Draco’s hair.
Sirius grimaced and nodded across the room to James.
“We found him” he started, shaking his head when Narcissa’s mouth curved upwards into a cruel smile, “but the dementors found him first.”
“No” Lily gasped, turning to look at her husband to determine whether he could be lying.
James only nodded.
“So” Narcissa began, her hands trembling as much as her voice, “they gave him the kiss?”
James looked away from his friend, “Worse.”
“They fed on him” Sirius continued quickly, “they sucked out a little bit of his soul, piece by piece. He’s” Sirius closed his eyes, “he’s not soul-less but-”
“He’s mad” Dumbledore interjected, speaking for the first time since they’d re-entered the room, “the aurors have removed him to St. Mungo’s where he will spend the rest of his natural life under tighter supervision than Azkaban could ever manage.”
James glared at the man for his thinly veiled comment against the ministry, but said nothing. Narcissa nodded dumbly, relieved and angry - she had wanted a go at him herself, now she’d never get the chance.
“What about the others?” she asked, turning to look expectantly between the aurors in the room, “have they said anything useful?”
Another look passed between the two men, a conversation only they were privy to, and Sirius squeezed her hand.
“Bellatrix” he murmured, wincing when her eyes widened in terror, “she was there apparently. Left them to their own devices mostly it would seem, but yeah” he sighed, rubbing a hand over his tired face, “she was there.”
Exam results had been posted for every other class. She knew that it had been a full moon last night, but Professor Lupin had been a competent teacher for most of the year, and though she knew he’d been somewhat involved in the capture of Lucius Malfoy and most of the other Azkaban escapees, and would undoubtedly be tired, she still excused herself from the Ravenclaw table immediately after breakfast and made her way towards the defence classroom.
She was relieved to find him there, less relieved though at the disarray in his office and the belongings he was obviously packing.
“You’re leaving” she murmured sadly, slumping into the chair he magically pushed towards her as he continued in his tasks.
“Unfortunately yes” he smiled at her, though Hermione could tell it didn’t reach his eyes, “somehow, word of my condition has reached the Daily-”
“Hermione” he said slowly, smiling gently at her, “I know.”
She nodded and stood, wringing her hands uncomfortably in front of her, Merlin knew she didn’t want to bother the man with something as trivial as exam results when he was being forced to leave his job.
“Thank you Professor” she murmured lowly, turning to leave him to it.
A hand stopped her though, and she turned to find him standing there with her marked exam, “No. Thank you Miss Granger.”
She shakily took the exam from him, beamed at the 96% score it bore and skipped out of the room brimming with excitement, leaving in her wake a very amused werewolf.
“Whoops. Sorry” Hermione said sheepishly looking up from her book and shocked to see it was Draco Malfoy she’d run into. No-one had seen a hair on his head since he’d gone missing in Hogsmeade only a week ago, and although Professor Dumbledore had assured them that he was perfectly safe and ‘no he had not been murdered’ by the escaped Death Eaters, as some rumours had crudely suggested, it hadn’t stopped the gossip mill from turning.
“Dra- Malfoy” she said, tucking her book under one arm and getting a grip of her bag with her free hand, lest she reach the traitorous thing forward and run it over the cut that still looked fresh and was currently mar-ring his handsome face, “How are you?”
Hermione wasn’t sure whether she had some extra muggle-born ability that let her know when other people were lying, but when Draco smirked at her, she knew he was fronting.
“I’m fine Granger” he said, leaning casually against a compartment door, “you?”
She didn’t get a chance to answer, because the door he was leaning on slid open, Harry Potter’s head poked out and Draco stumbled forward almost knocking her to the floor in the process.
“Merlin Potter” he grumbled, straightening himself and throwing a glare in Hermione’s direction at her continued laughter, “are you blind?”
Harry looked at Draco, his eyebrows furrowing in confusion as he stared at his best friend before he slowly lifted a hand and pointed to his glasses, “yes.”
“Morgana strike me down” Draco murmured to Hermione, who only laughed harder, “What is it?”
“I opened the letter” he said sheepishly, passing it to Draco, who snatched it out of his hands and started to read it, and finally noticed Hermione, “Alright Granger. Any plans for the summer?”
“Not really” she began, shrugging her shoulders, “my parents will prob-”
“He got them?” Draco gasped, grinning at Harry who nodded his head fervently, “I can’t believe he really got them” he murmured quietly, rereading the letter and missing the questioning look Hermione threw Harry.
“Quidditch World Cup final tickets” he said, “best birthday present ever.”
“I’ll say” Draco chirped in, still not looking up, Hermione nodded.
“I don’t really like quidditch” she shrugged, suddenly aware that they were still crowding the train corridor.
“But?” Draco started, finally looking up and frowning, “I always see you at our matches.”
Hermione’s blush spread across her cheeks so fast she was sure it’d become permanently etched on her face, but Draco seemed oblivious to her discomfort, as she quickly bade them goodbye and shuffled off down the corridor away from them.
“We’ll write you” Draco called after her, “about the world cup” he went on, as she turned and gave him a grim smile before disappearing from view.
Draco sighed, then smiled down at the letter again.
“You’re hopeless” Harry laughed when he finished stuffing his belongings into the rack above their heads and finally sat down. They’d long past Hogsmeade, clearly he and Granger had been talking for longer than either of them had originally thought.
“What are you talking about?” Draco asked, completely clueless as to why Harry was acting like an idiot, but all he did was laugh.
Over the years, Helen Granger had built up a reasonable friendship with Lily Potter and Narcissa Malfoy, often joining them for lunch and occasionally shopping. Of course, she found it easier to meet up with and discuss any worries of her own about Hermione with Lily, simply because the red-head was much more amenable to meeting in a cafe down the road from the Granger’s dental practise, but she enjoyed the company of Narcissa just as equally, which is why it wasn’t that strange for her to be sitting between the two witches as they, along with Hermione and another young man called Neville, sipped tea and awaited the arrival of Draco and Harry.
Of course, it was slightly unsettling, to see two fully grown men each dressed from head to toe in sports paraphernalia arguing with each other about whether Ireland or Bulgaria were the better team.
“They’re very enthusiastic” she said carefully, eyeing the two witches beside her as she took another drink of her tea.
“That’s one word for it” Lily murmured over the rim of her cup, her eyes widening and a snort escaping her, when Draco and Harry skidded into the room, both of them also arguing about which team was going to win.
“Ireland is the bet-”
“Krum is the superio-”
“Bulgaria are -”
“Ireland are medi-”
All four men stopped arguing as they caught sight of what the others were wearing.
“Jesus, Mary and Joseph” Hermione sighed, sharing a small smile with Lily who was grinning at her exclamation.
“BULGARIA DAD!” Harry fumed.
“Ireland Sirius? Really?” Draco sneered.
“BETRAYED BY MY OWN SON” James exclaimed.
“Always knew you’d look good in red” Sirius snarked at Draco.
Hermione shared a glance with Neville, who simply laughed at the expression on her face, “Why are we friends with them again?” he asked, popping another one of Narcissa’s homemade macaroons in his mouth.
Hermione was still trying to figure that out when they suddenly all began to laugh.
Hermione would never admit it to anyone who asked, but she’d had a fantastic time at the match.
She’d cheered for Ireland making Draco scowl, then switched her loyalties and cheered for Bulgaria much to Harry’s chagrin. She’d danced an irish jig with Sirius and teased Neville for his bewilderment regarding the french Veelas.
It had been amazing.
She’d grinned at Draco, when Krum, just as he’d predicted, caught the snitch then rolled her eyes in amusement at Harry’s reaction because Ireland had still managed to beat them on points.
The four teenagers had hooked their arms together when they’d exited the stadium and were making their way back through the camp, Hermione tucked firmly between Draco and Neville, the former of which kept a firm grip on her arm and stopped her from stumbling forward over any of the numerous obstacles in their way.
They all entered the Potter family tent to find a party well underway, their former professor in attendance too. Hermione smiled brightly at him when he nodded his head in greeting before he turned back to a pink haired woman that was obviously his date.
“Here” Sirius murmured lowly, thrusting four bottles of already opened butterbeer into their hands, “don’t say anything to your mums” he winked at them, before disappearing into the crowd. Neville, Harry and Draco all grinned and began to enthusiastically drink down their bottles.
“What did he mean?” she asked them, looking at Harry, who happened to be standing across from her, but Draco had already pushed the bottle towards her mouth and the liquid was spilled into her mouth. Immediately she began choking, “he spiked it” she gasped, covering her mouth and wiping the drink that had managed to escape, “but that’s-”
“What uncles do” Draco and Harry said together, winking.
Hermione rolled her eyes, then took a smaller sip.
They were having an excellent time drinking, laughing and dancing, until a sharp scream sounded from outside the tent and the party suddenly stopped.
Hermione saw James and Sirius share a look before they both glaced at Remus, glared at the four teenagers (an obvious warning) and disappeared, along with a few other adults out of the tent’s entrance.
Harry and Draco both made to move after them, Draco slipping out of Hermione’s grasp from where they’d been dancing together, when they were both roughly jerked back by Remus, who’d caught them both by the scruff of their shirts.
“You saw what they said” he hissed at the pair of them, dragging them back further into the tent and out of sight of the entrance, “do you want them to get hurt worrying about you two?”
Hermione thought they both looked pretty contrite at the thought.
They’d barely been waiting for five minutes when Sirius burst back through the entrance. The screams were louder now and there was more of them, and as Hermione watched him slip through the crowd in search of them, she saw him stop a few times to say something to a few people, who immediately began to exit the tent.
By the time he’d reached them, she’d heard the words Death-Eaters and muggle torturing and fire - she clutched at the closest hand she could, which squeezed her tightly in return and thanked God, when she saw Sirius pass their former professor a comb and heard the words emergency portkey.
She stepped closer, pulling the hand that apparently belonged to Draco, with her and held on tight as she thrust their joined hand forwards to touch the comb.
She knew she’d never forget Harry or Draco’s cry of anguish though, when they landed safely in the back garden of Potter Manor.
Hey. I'm really sorry that it's been a month since i updated, but now that they're getting older, alot more canon related things are happening and whilst i have this story planned out all the way to the end of seventh year, I haven't wrote down every in-between thing.
I love Draco and Hermione and i want to do them justice here without skipping over anything important.
So yes, i'm sorry, but thank you for sticking with me and them.
Alot is going to start happening - James and Lily might still be alive but there's still a pesky Triwizard Tournament and an even peskier Viktor Krum to deal with.