BY : ssdawning
Category: Harry Potter > Het - Male/Female > Draco/Hermione
Dragon prints: 24416
Disclaimer: I do not own the world of Harry Potter, it's characters, nor make money from writing this.

{I really wasn't going to start this new story until I finished my other big story TCAT, but it attacked my brain and wouldn't leave, so here you have it. The Muse does what it wants to.}

This story will eventually be a Draco and Hermione romance, but there will be a lot of story leading up to that point. It will be full of angst, drama, and heartache. If you want a sweet fluffy romance where Draco and Hermione get together and fall in love quickly, then you better read another story. The characters may seem OOC and that's the way I like it. Things will turn out eventually, but if you've read my bigger stories before, you know I build things up slowly. Thanks and enjoy.


Blinded: Chapter 1

The Night Before:

The woman woke in the dead of night when she heard her child screaming. Jumping out of bed, she dashed out of her bedroom and into her son's nursery. Skidding into his room, she came to a stop at seeing the wand pointed at her son's head while being held by a scruffy looking wizard in dirty and ripped clothing.

"Don't move or your son will die." The man held the woman's son in a tight grip as he wiggled around trying to free himself. "One small curse will snuff out his life in an instant." The man's filthy hands on her pure and clean little son wanted to make her vomit.

The woman knew what he said was true, and that he meant every word he said. His face showed no mercy, as he curled his lip into a sneer. Her small, vulnerable son started to cry out for her in his tiny voice, "Mum, he's hurting me." He reached out his hand towards her. Even though he was a few steps away from her, it might have well been meters.

The man only tightened his strong grip around the boy's neck, and the child's skin started changing colors as his airway was being cut off.

"Oh sweet Merlin…please let my child go." The tears flowed freely from her eyes as she saw her toddler son being choked slowly to death. She desperately tried to think of something to do, but felt helpless knowing any small move could result in her son being killed.

Her small movement forward was hardly noticeable until she lunged for the large man. Throwing the child to the side, his wand came up, "Avada Kadvra" and the curse shot towards the woman and she fell lifeless at his feet. The small child tried to run towards his mum, but was swooped up in the man's arms, silenced, and thrown onto a broom and they flew out of the large nursery window.

The dead body of the woman, eyes open and her face set in shock, was left in the silent nursery surrounded by too many toys and no child left to play with them.


The Next Morning

Down in level two, in the Ministry of Magic is the department of Magical Law Enforcement. Around the corner from the access lift, and past a set of heavy oak doors, lies the Auror Headquarters. Within the Auror Headquarters is a large auditorium with a capacity to hold over 200 people that would consist of the members of the department of Magical Law Enforcement. Rarely was this room ever used, until today.

The many witches and wizards came into the room chatting and talking about what had happened over the weekend. Ron Weasley kicked back his very large feet on the chair in front of him as he chatted up Seamus Finnegan about the latest win of the Chudley Cannons in the Quidditch match the night before. The two men had been Auror partners ever since Harry Potter had been made the Head Auror of the department. Ron missed being partnered with Harry, but he felt the pressure was off of him now not having to live up to the standards of being assigned cases with Harry Potter-The Boy Who Lived and now national War Hero.

Many of the former Dumbledore's Army members were now working in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Some had become Aurors, others had become Hit Wizards who were a magical SWAT team, some worked for the Investigation Department, while others were members of the Magical Law Enforcement Patrol, who functioned very much like the Muggle Police. Only Neville Longbottom worked outside of this building, he was a professor of Herbology at Hogwarts. He'd had his fill of fighting dark wizards and wanted some peace in his life, and plants had always been his greatest passion.

None of them spoke about why they'd been called there this morning. They all had an idea of what this would be about, but it had never involved all of them meeting together to discuss it. So they proceeded to talk about nonsensical things with no real concern for those topics and ignore the huge elephant in the room.

The chatter came to a halt when Head Auror Potter walked in and stood at the head of the room. His looks had not changed much in the seven years since he had killed the monster known as Lord Voldemort. His unruly black hair still stood on end. He still wore his same round, glasses, but he had grown another three inches. He was now a confident man in charge of one of the largest and most important organizations in the Wizarding World.

"If I could please have your attention. This meeting needs to come to order." His voice echoed throughout the large auditorium as people sat up to give him their the attention he called for.

"As you may all know, this entire department has been working on a very difficult case the past two years. With no great success, but with much dedicated effort from all of you, we have not solved this case. In fact, we're not even close to solving it."

The whole of the room shifted uncomfortably in their seats. They knew how hard it was to admit failure, especially when it involved children. With the magical population just starting to rise after the war, because of the many "post-war marriages", it had excited them all to see so many new babies entering their world. So when magical children born to Half Bloods and Pureblooded parents started to be kidnapped, it threw the newly calm society into a panic.

"Minister Shacklebolt feels it is in the best interest of our world and this department to turn the heading of this case over to someone who has the means to hopefully finally crack it. Everyone in this room will answer to this person and you will fully be following their lead." Quiet whispers ran through the room as Harry finished speaking. Who was better than Harry Potter to lead this case? He after all was the one to finally defeat the most evil wizard of their time. Minds were racing as to whom this man would be that could and would do a better job than Harry Potter.

The back door to the room opened and the sound of heels click clacking on the tiles was all that could be heard. Ron groaned in his seat, and slid further down as he stared at the woman walking by in her black, skin-tight, pencil skirt, and form fitting, red silk shirt. Her legs, with firm calves were encased in a pair of fashionable, four-inch heeled stilettos. Her hair was swept up in a tight chignon, with only a few whispers of curls falling down to frame her face.

When she made it to the front of the auditorium, she whirled around, holding a clipboard in her arms and a determined look on her face.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce to you, our newly appointed boss, Hermione Granger, Deputy Head of the division of Magical Law Enforcement." A polite round of applause could be heard amongst the room. Many felt in shock and awe as they hadn't seen nor heard from Hermione Granger for the last seven years. She'd been off somewhere to train and work while even her closest friends hadn't been aware of the location. After the war, her brief romance with Ronald Weasley had ended badly. Hermione had left the country and ended all contact with her friends.

Now those who had been closest to her didn't know how to respond to her sudden presence. Harry Potter was being detached, but professional, while Ron Weasley was timidly trying to melt into his seat. He knew he had been 90% to blame for her having gone away and leaving their lives. Ron had so shaken up the confidence of the plain and brainy bookworm that when he broke up with her, there had been nothing else for Hermione to do but run away from the trio and Wizarding England. Now she was back, and there was nothing left of the low confident, bushy haired and very plain witch. Somewhere along the way she had found her own self-worth and beauty. Her self-assured air as she walked into the room plainly showed she was not intimidated by anyone in that room, especially her former boyfriend.

Harry, always the gentleman, turned towards her, took her hand in his, shook it and bowed his head, "Welcome back to England Ms. Granger. It'll be a pleasure to work with you again." Anyone who had gone to school with the trio looked at this quite awkward situation. Instead of two close friends hugging each other after a seven-year absence, there was a casual display of common courtesy instead.

"Thank you so much Auror Potter for that kind welcome." Hermione nodded back to him. The rest of the audience sat staring at the strange "dance" happening in front of them. Whatever had occurred seven years ago had not only broken up Hermione and Ron's relationship, but it had also hindered the friendship between Harry and Hermione.

Hermione, now wearing make-up and dark red lipstick, faced the crowd of 200 plus people and cleared her throat. "As you are aware, in the past two years our world has been facing a tragedy of the kidnapping and disappearance of eight half-blood and pureblooded children, ranging between the ages of one-year and nine years respectively."

The lights went off and a screen came down where the faces of the eight children were displayed. "This department has found no trace of the children. You've found no blood, no bodies or clothing scraps have been recovered at any of the scenes. We hopefully can assume that they are all still alive." Even though Hermione was stating the facts, the whole of the room felt guilty at not being able to recover even one of the children.

"From left to right in the order of their disappearance we have three-year old Matilda Goldstein, daughter of Anthony and Patricia Goldstein, and next there is one year old Vincent Goyle son of Gregory and Millicent Goyle." Seeing the beautiful and innocent faces of the children was making some of the tender-hearted people in the room weep. As the other six slides came up showing the other six missing children, the mood in the room became even more somber.

"As of last night we have one more child to add to this list." A picture of a pale, blond headed child with grey eyes filled the screen. Gasps could be heard throughout the room, as the child was easily identifiable as a Malfoy.

"This is two-year old Scorpius Draco Malfoy. He was taken from his nursery at Malfoy Manor last night approximately around 2:00 a.m." Hermione looked out to the bodies around the room and could see the looks of shock on most faces. How could someone as famous and prestigious as a Malfoy child have become a victim? Malfoy Manor was known to be protected by unbreakable blood wards. How could anyone have broken into a fortress such as Malfoy Manor?

"To make this case even more difficult, Scorpius was not the only victim. His mother, Astoria Greengrass Malfoy, was found in the nursery murdered by an Unforgivable Curse. We now are investigating a homicide, thus why the whole department is now involved in this case and why I'm now in charge."

The lights went up and all 200 people stared at Hermione's stern face. She walked back and forth making eye contact with as many people as she could. Those sitting closest to him caught the shooting glare she sent towards Ron. He could only tuck his head down and not meet her eyes in return. What had happened between the two of them to create such animosity in Hermione Granger to her former boyfriend?

Ron looked up at Harry to get his attention, but found Harry staring at Hermione puzzled by her behavior and sudden return to England. To make matters worse, she was nothing like she had been, looks or otherwise when she had left seven years ago. The trio had truly fallen apart at the seams.

"Are there any questions?" Hermione looked out at all of the curious, but familiar faces staring back at her. All she wanted to do was go to the privacy of her office and get away from her former friends. She had returned to England to solve a difficult case, and maybe even prove her worth to those whom she'd left behind. The last thing she wanted now was to become entangled in any relationships. She had liked being free to date and sleep with anyone she wanted without expectations or who the press wanted to see in their Golden Girl. In fact, her latest lover was waiting for her back in Paris hoping for her swift return. Maybe she'd head back on the weekend for some needed rest and relaxation. It was hard not to let her past insecurities surface being back in England. It had taken days for her to mentally prepare to walk into this room today. Now that she was here, she was damn sure that she was not going to let anyone intimidate her. She wasn't the old Hermione Granger anymore.

Realizing that everyone was still watching her as she daydreamed, she dismissed the group. "The meeting is adjourned, but all of you need to stay on high alert. Also, be ready for some changes in how things will be run from this day forward."

Ron grumbled to the others sitting by him, "Great! It's going to be Hermione the Terror of Organization in which we do it her way or no way. She drove us all around the bend getting ready for our NEWT's." A few people sitting close by snickered at his words.

Up at the front of the room, Hermione glared at Ron as if she'd heard every word he'd said. Getting this case solved quickly had suddenly become top priority of everyone in the room, and all for different reasons.


That is the end of chapter one. I hope that it has peaked your interest enough to hang around and read this story. I can assure you that this will be a good story with a decent plot/storyline and a romance will blossom along the way. As always, your reviews are appreciated and you always amaze me at your insight and help me know of your interest in any story I write. That's all for now.


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