The Keeper

As Hermoine finds herself confronted with the truth, will she be able to swallow her pride and apologise for years of hatred?
// Dramione Fanfiction //

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1. The Truth Will Set You Free

Hermione Granger had just celebrated her twenty third birthday when a small package arrived at her doorstep at dawn. She did not discover this package until eleven fourteen, as she spent the best part of the morning trying to find her living room floor under the piles of confetti, streamers and balloons. Her birthday had been nice. The gesture itself, was nice. Harry had gone above and beyond to gather her friends from all over the wizarding world, let alone persuade them to succumb to muggle traditions to celebrate with Hermione. Throughout the night, she rejected countless positions, from Auror to a mere assistant in George's store. He claimed the business was getting out of hand and he needed a bright witch to keep him organised, but she suspected that it wasn't the job, but the loneliness he was trying to escape from. However, despite her heavy heart, she refused, insisting he call Romilda Vane, as she recalls the girl harbouring a talent for cunning tricks, as well as a fancying for ginger boys. George said he'd look into it. As the night came to a close and her friends left her house in cars, a form of transportation they we're not all familiar with, Harry stayed, as he always does. He began to pick up after the party guests, but Hermione shooed him, inviting him upstairs to her office. They sat and drank coffee, catching up and reminiscing old times. "You know, Mione, they don't have to be old times." She sighed, a small smile revealing her admiration in Harry's reluctancy to give up on her. "Harry, after what happened there, with us, I need this." She gestures to the room around her. "You need a home office?" Harry enquired, furrowing his brows. Hermione laughed, rolling her eyes at the boy playfully. "No Harry don't be so daft, I need normality. A world that I can logically calculate. I want to make something of myself, not just have it handed to me." She slouched back in her chair, a mannerism she often avoided. Yet, in this moment, she felt the burden of expectation weigh down on her. "I know I don't have much here, but everything I have is what I have earned, and I am happy." She said softly, reaching for her coffee mug and cupping her hands around it, the warmth seeping through her fingertips and up her arm. "Don't you miss it. Magic, I mean." Harry asked, adjusting his glasses as he leaned his elbows onto the desk. The confusion on his face almost broke her, but she shook her head. "It was convenient, yes, but I don't want to be defined by magic. I have other strengths and weaknesses that I'm exploring and developing. Harry, truly." She reached across the table, covering his hand in her own. "I'm happy." 

By the time eleven twelve had come, Hermione was dressed in her winter coat, her hands wrapped in mittens and her feet bundled in several pairs of socks. She lived for this weather, the brisk bitterness keeping her focused and awake long into most nights. She considered it productive. She was in desperate need for groceries, as she woke for breakfast to find that her entire pantry had been raided last night. Even her guilty pleasure chocolate had been nicked, even though she very rarely had that for breakfast. Upon leaving the house, the small package went unnoticed. It was precisely eleven thirteen when she realised she had left her purse on the counter, and secretly wished she had her wand. However, she did not, therefore she begrudingly trudged up the stairs, only to stub her toe on the package she somehow missed on her way out, cursing under her breath as it rolled down the stairs, coming to a stop on the pavement in front of her apartment. She growls inwardly, jogging down the steps to snatch the package up and take it inside, dumping it on the bench as she searches for her purse. She had left it in the kitchen, hadn't she? In a state of frustration, she threw her bag onto the counter, heading toward her bedroom to grab her wand before mentally scolding herself. She wasn't this weak, she'd faced far worse and done perfectly fine without magic. She lied on the couch in defeat. She could shop tomorrow morning. She could order take out tonight. She closed her eyes, imaging what her life may be like if she left. Became an Auror, just like everyone expected her to. She could be happy. If she tried really hard. If she could avoid Ron. The thought of him made her snap her eyes open, sighing to herself loudly. Tears failed to appear, as they had since the day he packed up and left. They had their problems, undoubtedly, but she would have never walked out on him the way he did her. Just packed up and left. Packed. The package suddenly reappeared in her mind, jolting her to her feet. She walked briskly back to the table she placed it on, welcoming the distraction whole heartedly. She unwrapped the string covering the brown paper enclosing a small box. She opened it carelessly, begging her mind to focus on the task at hand rather than a certain red-head who broke her heart. A card caught her eyes first, a small smile curled on her lips as she recognised the hand writing. 'My dearest Hermione. Happiest of birthdays. Please do me the honour of meeting me at Armani's at seven thirty this evening. Hope to make your acquaintance.' She pulls a stunning necklace from the box, a pendant of an otter hanging from the gold chain. She didn't recall telling them her patronus, however she assumed she had just forgotten. She and her mysterious friend had been sharing these notes since she and Ron parted, the first offering condolences for her divorce. It took weeks for her to reply, her heart heavy with the loss of her first love. She had, in all honestly, forgotten about it's existence until she moved from her and Ron's shared apartment. She stumbled across it almost a year ago now, and they continued to write to this day. This was the first time Hermione had been offered a chance to meet the stranger, and she had no intention of turning it down. 

She fiddled with the otter charm nervously, biting her lip heavily. She rocked herself on the bar stool, side to side, her jittery mannerisms reflecting the whirring of her thoughts. She tried to breathe deeply, however her teeth inking into the plump flesh of her lip gives her something to feel other than the hurricane ripping through her stomach. She sipped on her vodka sunrise habitually, not necessarily desiring the taste, but the subsided feeling of anxiety that washes through her with every sip. Her blood stained the rim of the glass, her nervous habit getting the better of her. She quickly dabbed at her mouth with her napkin, as if embarrassment was below her. She returned to her drink, downing what little was left in one go and willing herself to breathe. What if she didn't recognise whomever arrived? They certainly knew her. What if, instead of the handsome Quidditch star fantasy she'd previously indulged in, she was met with some stalker. She was certain it was him. The probability was heavily in his favour. He was sentimental, hence the handwritten notes. He knew Hermione was smart, and hoped to impress her by matching her extensive formalities. No one had ever been as gentle with her as Krum had. She often found herself fantasising about him, his strong arms, calming presence. While it helped her find the solace of sleep, she did not, deep in her heart, desire to be with him. Intellectually, he failed to challenge her. He was physically stunning, and he cared so deeply for her, yet she was not sure if she, after everything that had happened between her and Ron, could turn him away. She knew she did not love him, but that did not stop her from seeking his touch and his warmth. Hermione checked her watch. Six fifty seven. She was nothing, if not prompt. However, she was embarrassingly early, the temptation of meeting the mystery writer that captivated her proving too much. She may as well be nervous in a bar getting drunk than at home with nothing to calm herself. She'd sworn off the damned stuff, however today was an exception. A special occasion, if one pleases. She was tipsy, surely by now. She'd downed three drinks in thirty minutes, requesting her drinks to be more and more concentrated as she waited. Her nerves, while still adamant, began to loose themselves in the liquor, as Hermione's cheeks flushed as she chatted with the bartender. He was quite the looker, with sandy blonde hair and broad shoulders. She attempted to keep his eye contact, her eyes droopy with the weight of her drunken state. She decided it was the same as a sexy hooded eye look, therefore continued to shamelessly flirt with the attractive man. She touched his hand, and he laughed at her jokes. Just as she decided to ask when the boy, whose name had already slipped her mind, got off work, a cough interrupted her. She turned to the stranger, brown eyes meeting grey. 

The cold air was bitter, inching its way through the buttons of Hermione's blouse and sending shivers through her body. Despite the alcohol raging through her system, the snow falling gently onto the pavement was unmatched. She trudged home, her heels sinking into the white sheet covering the floor. Swears slipped from her lips with every steps, her frustration radiated for miles. "Hermione, please, take my coat." Her companion pleaded, watching her shrug it off her body as soon as it touches her. He bends to pick it up, dusting it off before jogging to catch up with the girl stumbling her way through the street. "I don't need anything from you." She spat nastily, turning her head over her shoulder to yell at the boy trailing behind her. Her loss of focus sends her lurching to the ground as she lost her footing, leaning into him for support. "Clearly don't need me at all." He drawled, making her mutter curses under her breath. She reluctantly took his arm, knowing she would otherwise freeze to death in the gutter. They walk on in silence until they reach the stairs leading up to Hermione's apartment. "A thank you would suffice." He said dryly, as Hermione groaned loudly. "You come into a bar, hassle me, take me home against my will and ruin my plans for the night." She huffed, her sentence broken and stuttered. She leans against the railing, her eyes closing as she attempted to compose herself. "And what were your plans exactly Hermione. To get off your face and throw yourself onto the nearest deadbeat who'd shag you. If you think that's going to help you get over Weasley, you're not as smart as everyone makes you out to be." He said harshly, only just able to finish his sentence before Hermione's small hand connected with his cheek, a loud slap echoing across the empty street. He stood flushed, his gloved hands cradling his burning cheek as his mouth hangs open. As if sobriety had hit her like a truck, she stood adamantly, fire ablaze in her usually timid eyes. "How dare you. You have no place to question my affairs you twit. Tell me Malfoy," She challenged, threatening the distance between them, their faces only inches from the others. She watched him squirm under her scrutiny, savouring her moment of domination. "Did you take me out of that bar because I was making a bad decision or because it wasn't you I was making it with."

Their eyes were locked intensely. He could feel her chest against his, rising and falling gently. Her gaze, while fiery, held layers of lust, begging him to make her feel things they both knew Ron couldn't. His lips crashed into hers, a moan leaving her plump lips. His hands groped her ass, kneading the flesh between his large hands as he pulled the girl off her feet. She wrapped her legs around him, her hands on his neck, willing him closer. He growled as she bit into his lower lip as he pressed her back to the railing, allowing his hands to travel as they please. They found her waist, sliding upward to her breast as he pinches her nipples simultaneously which elicited a cry of pleasure from the curvaceous girl. "Keys..." She mumbled, her lips pressed against his. He picked her up again, his hands returning to the ass he couldn't help but worship. He felt across her pockets, searching for anything to unlock her apartment. He pushed her roughly against the door, ripping open the buttons of her blouse, hearing the scatter across the pavement. His lips attached to the swell of her breasts, sucking harshly. She cried out, her hand pulling at his hair while the other scraped down his back. She tugged at the shirt he wore, yet he ignored her, admiring the bruises he'd left across her chest. Her moans urged him on, as he trailed further and further into her blouse, tugging down her bra with his teeth before pulling a nipple into his mouth. "Draco, fuck. Keys." She mumbled, biting into his neck, which in turn had made him moan, her body pleasured by the vibrations rippling through her. He placed her to her feet, lips not leaving hers for a second. She was addictive, intoxicating and purely magical. She reached for her purse, the one Draco was surprised to find he still had a hold of. She threw it to the floor, keys in hand. She fiddled with the lock as Draco collected their scattered belongings from the floor. In her state of sexual frustration, Hermione struggled to open the door, yelping in shock as it swings open by itself. She turned to see her lover, wand in hand, smiling smugly. She frowned at him, recollection of her pact resurfacing, even in her tipsy state. "It doesn't count if it was me using magic." He whispered, taking her hand and kissing it gently before Hermione threw herself at him, tugging him inside hastily, slamming the door behind them. 

 

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