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A week later, Hermione was standing next to her stove making herself a batch of pancakes when she heard a tapping at the window. She looked up to see a majestic white owl waiting patiently with a letter in its beak. Wiping her hands quickly on a towel, she made her way over to the window and opened it. She offered the owl a treat from the dish she kept by the window in exchange for the letter. The owl flew off, obviously not expecting Hermione to reply. She closed the window and opened the letter.
I will help you. Although, not for the maiming or anything like that, only because it brings justice to your mother... and because you won't hurt my mother.
Meet me outside the Leaky Cauldron at 1 pm today.
Hermione smirked. "I knew he'd see sense." She said to herself, before she burnt the piece of parchment, disposed of its ashes and continued to cook her breakfast.
At 1:01 pm, Hermione apparated to Diagon Alley, arriving just outside the Leaky Cauldron. As always, she was dressed in a long sleeve top to hide her MUDBLOOD scar and 'cover herself', and a pair of jeans, despite it being the hottest day they'd had in the last two years - Hermione Granger couldn't exactly be seen wearing something 'scandalous', and anything short would be exactly that.
"You're late." Draco complained, his voice a bit hard.
"I'm sorry, who is in charge here?" Hermione smiled a sickly smile, causing Draco to grumble to himself. "Right, so what are we doing? Why'd you want me to meet you here?"
"Hey, one of the reasons you recruited me was so that you could talk about your feelings." He smiled innocently at her. "So I thought we could talk over lunch."
Hermione narrowed her eyes at him. "Seriously? You do realise that it would have been better to talk in to safety and privacy of my own home right?"
"Oh well, we're here. Can't back out now."
"Yes, I can." She started to walk away when Draco grabbed her wrist. "You've got to stop preventing me from leaving." She said coldly.
"Come on, Hermione, what have you got to lose?"
"My dignity and both of our reputations." She snapped back. "And when did you start calling me 'Hermione'?" She raised an eyebrow and looked at him suspiciously.
"I can't exactly call you Riddle in public, and Granger isn't your real name." He whispered.
"Another reason why we shouldn't be seen in public. You can't call me anything without raising suspicions and getting the rumour mill running."
"It's just lunch. And besides, if I'm going to be around you a lot more, it would be a lot less suspicious if we created the illusions of a budding friendship."
"That is an annoyingly smart point." She gritted through her teeth.
"You're not the only genius in the world, Hermione." He smirked at her.
"I wouldn't go that far. I don't think anyone would say you're anywhere close to my intellectual level." She countered. "And you should watch yourself around me." She warned.
"That is no way to talk to a friend, Hermione." He batted his eyes at her, causing her to groan.
"Come on then." She started walking into the Leaky Cauldron, stimulating a triumphant grin to spread across Draco's face.
They found a table in the corner of the pub, much to Hermione's delight as it would mean that less people would see them together. Once they were seated they ordered their food, typical Fish and Chips for Hermione, and a Medium-Rare Steak for Draco. About half way through their meal the door to the Leaky Cauldron burst open, causing many customers to jump, and a group of people hurried in - most of them red-heads.
"Now, there's no need for that Mr. Potter." Tom, the bar keeper, reprimanded.
"Sorry, Tom. Have you seen Hermione? She's not in her flat or at Flourish & Blotts. Please, Tom, it's of the utmost importance." Harry asked.
"Sitting at the corner table, eating lunch." Tom replied.
Harry shot him a thankful smile before he beckoned the Weasleys to follow him. He walked up to Hermione and raised his wand. "I'm sorry Hermione."
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Hermione has a secret. She's known it for a while and it's changing her. People have noticed she's not the same person... not since he died... Credits and thanks goes to lemonerd222 for the AMAZING cover!!!