Title: Remember the Hate
Rating: T+ (Sexual suggestive stuff, raunchy kissing, nudity-but not detailed, and swearing.)
Summary: Draco and Hermione entered a relationship after Hogwarts and lasted about two years. A decade after their separation, Draco sees Hermione for the first time since and is displeased to discover she does not remember him at all and sets out to investigate why. This leads him to the revelation that he is the center of a conspiracy formulated by friends.
Disclaimer: I own nothing except for the time I spent writing this story. Everything belongs to the incredible JKR.
A/N: So I got a pm with a question of when I was going to be bring back Remember the Hate. I suppose I can start posting the first few chapters today and the days to come. This version is a bit more tidy than the last version I deleted and will go along with a companion fic I'm working on called the Road of Forgiveness, as well. Some sentences have changed to flow smoother. I've done my best in editing and cleaning up the grammar and making the phrases and spelling more British than American. I know the story will not be perfect and certainly not genuine with the amazing Brits, but I can proudly say it's a hell of a lot better than it had been before. *Shrugs* At least I think so.
Also, this story has a specifically designed timeframe and does not go along with JKR's epilogue but may have similarities. Anyway, I hope this version is enjoyable. Read and Review and tell me what you think!
"Is there anything I can help you with, sir?" a familiar voice asked and Draco Malfoy turned away from the bookshelf he had been eyeing and on to Hermione Granger who smiled at him genuinely, showing her set of pearly white teeth and that cute dimple located right below the left corner of her mouth. Her brown eyes were bright and prepared, indicating that she was ready for any question he may ask her.
Draco's shoulder blades brushed against the bookshelf behind him, having leaned backwards in apprehension. There was no reason in the world as to why Hermione Granger was looking at him like that.
"Uh…" Draco said and searched her eyes for something. He was not entirely sure as to what he was looking for, but he needed to delve into those pools of chocolate to get something. When he could find nothing there but curiosity, his focus drifted downward to her nose which was still dusted with those darling freckles that used to weaken his knees, and then to her mouth which was still dark pink and in the shape of cupid's bow. Her hair was pinned back at the nape of her neck with a quill. In her arms was a stack of ten or more books leaning against her for support. She was wearing a simple black t-shirt with a bright design on it with those trending Muggle jeans clinging to her legs like a second skin. Her feet were donned in black slip-on flats with jewel-like studs embedded in the material. His eyes flew back to her face and wondered how he missed it before. She was wearing glasses, too. They were thick-rimmed, maroon, and rectangular framings perched on the top of her nose.
"Hermione," Draco managed to choke in belated response. To his surprise she looked utterly surprised. Her shapely eyebrows leapt together and her lips parted in question.
"I'm sorry. Do I know you?" she asked.
Draco's eyes bulged out of his head and his jaw must have dropped to the floor because there was a painful pop on the back of his mouth.
Well of course you bloody know me! I'm Draco Malfoy, you cad! You used to love me!
His tongue waggled in preparation to unleash his thoughts upon the daft girl's person when an annoyed voice belonging to a six year old boy spoke up, "I found what I was looking for, Father. Can we go now?"
Draco looked at his bored looking son who appeared beside him and then at Hermione who smiled widely at the scowling, cherub faced boy.
"Peter Pan," she said while pointing to his book. "Excellent choice. I do hope you enjoy it."
The boy's scowl softened a bit but then turned up his nose and asked haughtily, "Didn't a Muggle write this?"
Draco expected Hermione's smile to dissipate at his son's arrogant tone but was shocked to find her smile widening even further. He could see almost all of her teeth, top and bottom. Her head bobbed up and down. "Indeed."
"Hmmm," Scorpius noised and looked at the cover of his book. "And you said it was an excellent choice?"
"Yes," Hermione answered.
"Okay, then." He wrapped an arm around the book and held it to his tiny chest and took a few steps forward and extended his right hand in politeness. "I'm Scorpius Malfoy, by the way."
A soft, dewy expression came over Hermione's face and all Draco could do was watch the scene unfold. She placed her stack of books on the nearby table and bent over, extending her own hand.
"I'm Hermione Jean Granger," she announced and gently shook the boy's hand. "And I do hope you will be back and visit me and my store."
Her store? Draco mused, blinking in confusion and looked around at his surroundings. Was this a new place? How long had she been there?
"Blimey!" Scorpius exclaimed with excitement, startling Draco out of his befuddled thoughts. "Hermione Granger! Father!" He whirled around to meet his father's confused face. "She's Hermione Granger! She's best friends with Harry Potter like Aunt Pansy's weasel is!"
Draco numbly nodded his head up and down, unsure of what else to do or say.
"Will you sign my book?" Scorpius asked, bouncing on his toes and opening up the book with his hands.
"I guess." Hermione lifted up her hands and shrugged. She pulled the quill out of her hair, and Draco watched as straight hair tumbled loosed. His eyes narrowed at the lack of curls and at the golden color. There was blonde in her hair and watched as she bent down once more to sign his son's book with a flick of her wrist and fingers.
"It's my birthday today. I told Father months ago that I wanted Peter Pan for my birthday. Obviously, he didn't get it for me, so now we are here," his son informed her with a reproving expression directed towards his father.
"Happy Birthday, Scorpius," said Hermione.
"This is my father." Scorpius nudged his head in his father's direction.
"Scorpius' father." Hermione smiled and held out her hand. "I'm Hermione." She then shot him a skeptical look. "But you knew that."
"You know her, Father?" Scorpius questioned as Draco slowly took Hermione's hand in his and shook it timidly, afraid her hospitality would seize the moment their hands touched, like she would come to her senses and remember him and try to kill him or something equally frightening.
"Uh…" Draco noised but was interrupted by his son.
"Well of course you knew her." Scorpius sighed with a silly grin. "You went to school together, right?"
Draco watched as Hermione's blinked in surprise at the boy's revelation and wondered what the soddin' hell was going on?
"We did?" Hermione asked the boy and then placed her focus on Draco like she was hoping he would clear things up.
"Yeah. You were in the same year together. Weren't you, Father?"
Draco hesitated before answering his son's question. "Yes."
"Oh." Hermione frowned and then bit her bottom lip and scratched behind her ear like she was trying to remember something. "I'm afraid I don't remember you. What was your name again?"
"Draco," answered the blond wizard, his own brow contorted in confusion, as well. "Draco Malfoy."
"Malfoy," Hermione repeated and then resumed nibbling on her bottom lip. After a moment, she spoke again. "I know the name. I mean…everyone does, but I'm sorry to say I don't remember you, though."
"Dear Merlin, I feel embarrassed." Hermione brought her palm to her forehead and blushed. "I thought I knew everyone in our class. Well…not know them, but knew their names."
Draco had wanted to bellow. Growl. Hiss. Bloody hell, how could she not remember him? Great Salazar, they had more than just 'being together in the same class.' They had history that stretched beyond Hogwarts.
"Well, I do apologize for not remembering you. You must think I'm some daft twit or something. And you remember me. I feel awful."
Draco wanted to speak. He had much to say, after all, but nothing came out. All he could do was nod his head and shove his hands into his pockets.
"We should probably be going," Scorpius said while flipping through Peter Pan, unaware of the mucky frequency slopping around between the two adults. "I'm having a party."
"Have fun. Happy Birthday," Hermione repeated.
"U-uh…How much do I owe you?" Draco fumbled out while fishing for his wallet in the pocket of his suit.
"Consider it a birthday present and an apology for being a daft twit. Enjoy the book, Scorpius, and I hope to see you two again soon." She waved goodbye and picked up the books she had placed on the neighboring table and quickly disappeared into the stacks, a trace of spicey orange spritz left behind that tickled Draco's nose.
There were children between the ages of two and ten running around in the Malfoy Manor, their high pitched squeals of delight echoing throughout the hallways. The portraits of Malfoy ancestors tried to chastise these progenies of present day witches and wizards into content behavior, but the children would merely giggle or even dare to roll their eyes before kicking up their knees again and scampering away.
"Draco!" Lucius Malfoy hissed at his son from his designated spot above the fireplace in the younger Malfoy's office. "The children are out of control. The other portraits are complaining. Your Grandfather Abraxas reproved Scorpius, and do you know what that boy did? He had the audacity to stick out his tongue and call him a dead old coot!"
Draco, who had been busy rehashing what had happened in the bookstore an hour before, slowly shifted his eyes onto his late father frame-encased setting. In a bored and distracted tone, he replied uninterestedly, "Well, isn't he?"
"Draco!" Lucius growled and then paused. He sucked in an unneeded breath, like he was collecting himself, squared his shoulders, lifted up his chin and nose, and sighed, "Draco, your thoughts are distracting you away from your child. Gather yourself and go discipline the boy."
"Father!" Scorpius burst into the room and shouted breathlessly with at least thirty children behind him between the ages of two and ten. "It's time to cut the cake!"
"I will be there in a moment," Draco promised.
"Scorpius, behave yourself," Lucius admonished the boy with one brow cocked.
"And if I don't, what are you going to do about it?" Scorpius taunted and stuck out his tongue and waggled his hands with his thumbs stuck in his ears. He then cackled before hightailing himself and his posse out of there, his laughs echoing throughout the room and hallway.
"He has been spending too much time with Pansy and her brood. I forbid you to associate your family with hers. That Blood-Traitor Harlot has done nothing but begat trouble into Scorpius' life."
"Well, I can't do that. Half those kids were hers. If I disinvite them and cut them off all social and holiday events, Scorpius will not have enough Pureblooded children to play with."
"Half those kids? Great Salazar!"
"Well maybe not half but definitely a fifth. The ones which were ginger-haired at least."
Lucius scrunched his brow and stated morbidly, "There were six."
"Interesting," drawled Lucius. "It seems since my demise, I have missed much. You do not tell me much, Draco. I feel I have to rely on other portraits to get any sort of news and half the time it's secondary and missing keen parts or completely useless. Phineas Black now has three portraits: one here, one in Hogwarts, and one in Twelve Grimmauld Place. One would assume he has more information on the outside world. However, he only holds knowledge of Hogwarts business and the pregnancy woes of Ginevra Potter."
Draco stifled a laugh before standing up from his office chair and exiting the room. He ignored the hisses and chastisements from the portraits and made his way towards the garden where his son's party was. He got there just in time for the cutting of the cake which was being directed by Pansy and her wand. Draco's eyes narrowed and scanned the crowd for his wife and eventually settled on Blaise and weaved his way through the party guests towards his friend.
"Where's Astoria?" Draco asked him.
"I haven't the slightest idea. I've been here with Tamara and Jacob for an hour and haven't seen her."
Draco sighed in annoyance and cursed his flippant wife. He flared his nostrils, sucking in a deep breath and adjusted his tie. "No matter. I'm sure she will show up eventually. Probably without knickers or sobriety, as well, like she did last year on Scorpius' birthday."
Blaise pursed his lips and nodded solemnly. "Maybe she's at her sister's?"
"Was Daphne at her sister's when she would disappear?" Draco asked angrily.
"No," Blaise answered quietly.
Draco tossed him a sympathetic look before settling his eyes on his son whose face was being peppered with kisses by Pansy as all the children and most of the adults sang 'Happy Birthday.' The woman probably knew that the boy's mother was absent and was doing her best to give him a mother's affection. She was very good at it and always had been, Draco mused. He watched as Ron Weasley came up behind Pansy and smacked her on the rump. She seized her kissing and stiffened, whirled around, and glared at her husband menacingly while everyone laughed.
"Merlin, she's about due, isn't she?" Blaise surmised, eyeing Pansy's rotund tummy bump warily.
"I believe so," Draco agreed; however, his thoughts drifted elsewhere when he saw Weasley and reminded him of what happened earlier that day with Hermione.
"Something on your mind?" Blaise inquired.
"Something happened today in Diagon Alley," Draco said.
"Good or bad?"
"Bloody hell if I know." Draco shook his head, thinking back to Hermione acting like she hadn't a clue as to who he was. "I saw Granger today."
"Granger?" Blaise blinked owlishly. "Hermione Granger?"
Draco goggled at his friend. "Do you know any other Grangers?"
"No need to get snippy with me. I'm just…shocked is all. I didn't know she was back in England. Bloody hell. I mean…are you sure it was her?"
Draco chucked Blaise an incredulous look. "Of course it was her, you ponce! I'd recognize my ex anywhere."
"Just checking." Blaise raised his hands in surrender. "What did she look like?"
The memory of Hermione physicality threw Draco off track on what he was actually trying to tell his best friend.
"Good," whispered Draco, who then squished up his face in embarrassment and ran a hand through his close cropped hair. "I mean…"
Blaise snorted and sipped at the drink drink he had in his hand, shaking his head and clucked his tongue.
"I mean she looked different."
"Different," Blaise echoed with a hint of a smirk at the corner of his lips. "Is that what they're calling it these days?"
"No, I'm serious. Her whole…" Draco paused and waved his hand up and down, "demeanor was different. Her attire. Merlin, even her hair."
"Her hair," repeated Draco. "It was straight and most of it was blonde."
"There was still brown. Kind of at the bottom. Underneath the blonde I think."
"Are you sure it was her?" Blaise repeated.
"But what?" Blaise leaned towards his friend.
Dracp pinched the skin between his brows and sighed, "She didn't know who I was."
When Blaise didn't say anything, Draco lowered his hand and gazed pleadingly at his friend who had an unreadable expression on his face.
"You spoke to her," stated Blaise and rubbed his chin pensively. "You didn't just see her."
Draco eyed his friend's behavior with a critically. "Yes," he slowly said and folded his arms, slit his eyes, and cocked his head to the side. "Indeed, I did speak with her. She didn't remember me, and you don't seem that perturbed by it."
Blaise's hand abandoned his chin and his arms folded, as well. Long seconds drifted between the two former Slytherins as they stared into each other hard. Draco mentally drove into his friend's skull and attempted to use Legilimency, but was shut out by Blaise's perfected skill of Occlumency.
"What do you know, Zabini?" Draco hissed at his friend, his voice low and dangerous.
"I haven't the slightest as to what you're talking about," Blaise's said calmly and quite lightly, but Draco knew the man better than anyone.
"Oh, I think you do," Draco pressed. "Tell me, Blaise."
"Tell you what? What are you going on about?"
"She doesn't remember me," Draco gritted out, his teeth bared and brow furrowed. "At all."
"That's…." Blaise hesitancy was too long, and they both knew it. The darker wizard closed his eyes and released a sigh of anxiety.
"Blaise," Draco started.
"I'm not going to say anything. I'm going to enjoy the rest of the party, eat some cake, and take my kids home. And you…" Blaise licked his lips and offered. "Why don't you just forget you ran into Hermione Granger today?"
Draco watched him disappear into the crowd of party guests. He balled his fists and resisted the urge to smash something to bits. Instead, he eyed the piece of birthday cake handed to him by Ron Weasley. He glared at the chocolate cake and then at the giver. "We need to talk. My office in five minutes. Don't keep me waiting."
Draco sat at his desk and realized that he still had the cake. With a huff, he stabbed his fork into it and shoveled a large chunk into his mouth.
"Manners, Draco! I did not raise you to eat like an animal!" Lucius hissed. Draco resisted the urge to open his mouth and show his father the contents of his mouth. Instead, he grumbled indigently and pushed the plate away and began to think of questions he could ask Weasley. The office door opened and the man entered. Draco, being so anxious, leapt from his chair and bombarded Ron with a, "She doesn't remember me!"
Ron halted in his footsteps, startled by the other wizard's furious and unexpected outburst. His blue eyes were wide and his mouth hung open in question.
"Uh…" he noised.
Draco was aware his words were a bit one dimensional and did place Weasley directly into the furnace instead of gradually beckoning him towards it. Regardless, the younger Malfoy cared little for pleasantries and knew Ron would get the drift eventually. He watched him blink a few times, release the tension in his shoulders, and fold his arms protectively against his chest. His jaw squared in determination and his mouth formed a grim line. His response surprised Draco.
"It's better that way." And then Weasley turned to leave.
"Don't you dare leave! You owe me an explanation," Draco howled.
"I owe you nothing, Malfoy, and neither does she!" the man shouted back.
Weasley stalked out of the office with Draco on his heels. "Come back here! We are not finished!"
Weasley didn't even turn around. He just waved his hand up in the air in a dismissive gesture and walked towards a confused Pansy and his brood at the end of the hallway. He slung an arm around her shoulder and leaned his lips towards her ear and watched them move. Her lips pressed together tightly and nodded with a grimace. It was then when Draco realized there was a conspiracy involving him and Hermione, and he was going to find out everything no matter the cost.
He flung himself back into his office and howled at nothing in particular. He braced himself against the fireplace and glared at the flames. He needed to Floo somebody but was unsure as to whom. Potter, maybe? No, the spectacled git would be just as helpful as Weasley. Perhaps Potter's wife would be more accommodating.
Draco felt a punch of betrayal in his gut. Pansy knew. Blaise knew. Merlin, who else knew? Pathetically, he raised his head up at his father with a near pout gracing his bottom lip. "Did you know?"
He watched his father raise a brow and quirk his lips. "I don't even know what year it is, Draco."
Draco chuckled bitterly and nodded his head. He sniffed and swallowed the thick gall that had formed in his throat. He crossed his arms and rested his head on them, knowing his father was probably staring down at him in disgust and disappointment for tearing up and showing such a dramatic amount of emotion. "Now I'm going to see what Phineas is up to."
Draco watched his father disappear from his portrait before dashing out of his office and through the Manor. He found his mother bidding farewell to the guests in the Reception Hall. Scorpius was at her side and was smiling in appreciation for their company and gifts. Draco wondered if his mother knew anything. He stopped and shook his head for clarity and knew he needed to focus on what was important. His son for instance. And maybe his wife and more specifically, his marriage. Hermione Granger was his past. He needed to be more focused on the present and future. But the girl didn't remember him which irked him terribly. It wasn't right. How come she didn't remember him? Did she bump her head? Did someone throw an Oblivate at her? Merlin, was she just pretending she didn't know him because… because she hated him that much?
Draco knew it wasn't the latter. Hate him, she might, but not enough to flawlessly pretend she didn't know him. Hermione would have been cold towards him and tried to act indifferent. Maybe even ignore him. Her behavior towards him was kind and genuine. She truly had no idea who he was and behaved like she had never seen him before.
Glowering to himself, Draco rested his back against the wall and shoved his hands into his pockets. He needed to put all of his attention on his family right now, but he deserved to know what the hell was going on with Hermione Granger.