Alrighty, here is Chapter 27 of The Game of Love! I feel like this chapter could use a bit more editing so it flows a little better, but I thought I'd post it anyway. :P Enjoy!
Chapter 27: Meet the Parents: Part One
“I really should have seen this coming,” Hermione muttered to herself as she threw open the doors of her wardrobe and began pulling out every article of clothing within her reach. “I mean, it was bound to happen, right? I should’ve known that one day Draco will have to meet my parents. Honestly. Why didn’t I see this coming?” When her arms were full of clothes, she backed away from the wardrobe and tossed everything into an open, empty suitcase.
Ginny Weasley listened to Hermione’s monologue with great amusement. She couldn’t help but grin as she observed her friend’s nervous energy. It was endearing, really, to see how agitated and stressed Hermione was about a simple overnight date involving Draco Malfoy and dear old Mr. and Mrs. Granger.
“And did I mention that it’s an overnight date?” Hermione continued, speaking directly to Ginny now. She slammed the wardrobe doors shut and then turned to the overflowing suitcase.
“Yeah, I think you did,” said Ginny, humoring her. “What do your parents think of that?”
“I haven’t told them yet,” Hermione admitted, stopping for a second to rub her eyes tiredly. She hadn’t slept very well the night before. “I don’t want to even think about telling them. My dad is so overprotective that I bet he’ll force Draco to sleep in the basement and put a lock on my bedroom door.”
“It’s not like you two would try anything while staying at your parents’ house, right?” said Ginny slyly.
Quite predictably, Hermione blushed. “Of course not!” she exclaimed, flustered. “I was just saying that—”
“Calm down, Hermione,” said Ginny, grinning. “I know what you were saying.”
Hermione glared at her redheaded friend for a moment. “You don’t understand, Ginny,” she snapped. “Harry already knew your parents long before you two started dating, so you didn’t have go through this nightmarish scenario!”
Ginny couldn’t help but roll her eyes. “Nightmarish? Really, Hermione? I think you’re overreacting to this whole thing, to be honest. I mean, Draco really likes you. He’s going to be on his best behavior when he meets your parents. And your parents will love him, probably, if he turns on the charm…which he most definitely will.”
Hermione took a deep, calming breath. “Maybe you’re right,” she said.
Ginny smirked. “Of course I am. And besides, what could possibly go wrong?”
Draco Malfoy inspected his appearance in the mirror as he knotted his cobalt-blue tie. He had been told that this particular tie brought out the color of his eyes, which was why he had chosen to wear this one rather than his usual green one.
He was wearing a black suit, Muggle-style. It was tailored to fit and freshly ironed. His hair was neatly combed but not gelled back, which was just the way Hermione liked it, he knew.
When he was satisfied with his appearance, he turned away from the mirror and strode over to his bed, where a small overnight bag was sitting. He checked its contents to make sure he had everything he needed and then zipped it up. He was ready to go, but couldn’t leave just yet.
He reread the note Hermione had given to him earlier that day. Since Hermione’s name had been drawn out of the hat first, she didn’t have as much time as the other girls to warn her parents about the imminent rendezvous. That was why she had suggested that she go over to her parents’ house first to explain everything to them. Draco would find his way over there on his own, when they were ready for him.
Hermione had given him a strange Muggle device, something called a cell phone. It was sleek and shiny and black and very small. She told him that she would call him to tell him when he could come over. She tried to explain how it worked, but she only confused him. In the end, she told him that when it rang, he should answer it, and they would be able to talk.
Now he was waiting for her call. He paced around his room, trying to hide his nerves. He sat down and tried to read a few pages of a novel but found that he was unable to concentrate. He tried to imagine what Hermione’s parents would be like. The only things she had told him about them were that they were dentists—whatever the heck dentists were—and that Mrs. Granger’s favorite flowers were chrysanthemums.
Suddenly, he heard a loud ringing noise and jumped in shock. The noise seemed to be coming from his pocket, oddly enough. He reached in and pulled out the cell phone. Sure enough, it was ringing.
Well, now what should he do? He brought the phone to his ear, as Hermione had instructed him, but it still rang, rattling his sensitive eardrums. He frowned and inspected the phone a little more closely. Nothing stood out to him. He pressed random buttons and eventually the ringing stopped, replaced by Hermione’s voice. He put the phone next to his ear again.
“Hello?” he tried.
“Draco?” said Hermione.
“Hi Hermione,” he said, somewhat gleefully. He now knew how to work a cell phone, a Muggle invention! She would be so proud of him.
“Well, I’m glad to see you got it to work,” she said, amused. “Anyway, you can come over now. You have my address, right?”
“Yes, it’s right here,” he said, taking out the note again. “I’ll be right there.”
“Okay,” she said. Draco could almost feel her smiling through the phone. “I’ll see you soon.”
“Love you,” he said before hanging up, smirking. He wondered what she would think of that.
Draco put the cell phone back into his pocket, picked up his bag, and headed out the door. A limousine was waiting for him outside the manor. He gave the chauffeur the address and then leaned back in his seat. In just under an hour he would be meeting Hermione’s parents. He was nervous as hell, but like a true Malfoy, he appeared as calm and composed as ever.
Hermione hung up the phone, suddenly feeling as light and as giddy as a girl with her first crush. But the feeling quickly vanished as she heard the voices of her parents in the next room. They were arguing…again.
“What do you mean her boyfriend is coming over to stay with us?” Mr. Granger shouted.
“I mean exactly what I said!” Mrs. Granger shouted back, very impatiently. “It’s only for one night, Robert. You said you wanted to meet the boy, didn’t you? Now stop making it such a big deal!”
“Yeah, I wanted to meet him,” said Mr. Granger grumpily. “But I didn’t want him to spend the night here…with our darling daughter.”
“Oh, Robert, it’ll be fine. Hermione said that he’s the perfect gentleman.”
Hermione sighed. She had come home this morning to find her mum baking cookies and her dad out golfing. Her mum had taken the news quite well, but since her dad was out golfing she wasn’t able to tell him yet. Apparently he had come home while she was on the phone with Draco, and her dear mum had taken the liberty of telling him first. At any rate, she decided it was time to enter the scene. She strode into the kitchen and gave her dad, who was wearing a bizarre pair of green-and-purple plaid pants, a hug. “Hi Daddy,” she said cheerfully.
“Hermione dear,” said Mr. Granger, softening immediately.
“How was golf?” she inquired.
“Excellent,” he said. “I caught two birdies.” He beamed.
“Fantastic!” said Hermione, holding up a hand for a high-five.
“Thank you, dear,” he said. “Now, what’s this that your mother’s telling me about? Something about a boy coming over tonight to visit?”
“Oh yes,” said Hermione. “Remember Draco? I told you about him on the phone a week ago. It’s time for the meet-the-parents part of the show, so he’s coming over today. I’m sorry it’s such short notice….”
“That’s fine, dear,” said Mr. Granger. “But does he really have to stay the entire night?”
“Yes, it’s part of the rules,” said Hermione, knowing that her dad was a stickler for rules. “And there will be a small camera crew too, to record everything for the show.”
“Ah,” said Mr. Granger.
“In other words,” his wife cut in, “you need to be on your best behavior.”
“Yes, dear,” said Mr. Granger, sighing.
“You can start by changing out of those ridiculous pants,” said Hermione, trying to make it sound like a joke even though she was quite serious.
“Why, what’s wrong with them?” he said innocently.
“They’re a bit too…loud for the occasion,” Hermione explained. She began steering him toward the staircase. “He’ll be here any minute now. Please go change, Daddy.”
Mr. Granger turned to his wife for support. “Do you think these pants are too loud?” he asked.
Mrs. Granger rolled her eyes. “I think they’re positively ridiculous. Come on dear, let’s go find something that won’t make her boyfriend’s eyes bleed.” She led her husband up the stairs and out of sight.
Still too nervous to sit still, Hermione paced around the house, straightening everything as she went. Any minute now, and Draco would be knocking on her front door to meet her parents.
Draco peered out the tinted window of the limousine as the chauffeur pulled up to a row of modest blue-and-white houses. “Are you sure this is it?” he asked.
The chauffeur nodded in reply.
Shrugging, Draco got out of the limousine with his bag in tow. Without bothering to check the house number, he strode up to the nearest house, assuming that it’d be Hermione’s. He looked around quickly to make sure that no one was watching, pulled out his wand, and conjured a bouquet of chrysanthemums. He rang the doorbell and waited.
After what seemed like a very long time, the door opened, revealing a little old lady with white hair, thick glasses, and wrinkly skin. She was so short that she barely came up to Draco’s waist.
Draco frowned. Hermione hadn’t informed him that her grandmother would be there too….
“What does a handsome young chap like you want?” the old lady shouted at him.
Draco blinked. “Uh—”
“Speak up, I can’t hear you!” the old lady shouted.
Draco raised his voice. “You must be Hermione’s grandmother!” he nearly shouted.
“Who on earth is Hermione?”
So this old grandma was deaf and senile. “She’s my girlfriend and she’s expecting me, so—”
“Expecting you? No one’s expecting you! You young people get ruder and ruder every time I meet one of you,” the old lady grumbled. “Say, what’s your name?”
“Draco Malfoy,” said Draco, at the end of his patience.
“Drake? Oh, Drake! Why didn’t you tell me it was you?” the old lady’s voice changed completely and she was now giving him a frightening, toothless smile rather than a ferocious glare. He preferred the glare. “Come inside and give your great-grandma a hug.”
Draco’s eyes widened. “Um, I’m not your great-grandson,” he said hastily, backing away.
“But you said your name was Drake!” said the old lady.
“Not Drake,” Draco shouted at her. “Draco! With an ‘o’ at the end of Drake!”
“So you are Drake!” she exclaimed. “Don’t be shy, come on in. I have some pudding you can eat if you’re hungry, dear.”
Draco nearly tore his hair out in frustration. “I’m sorry, but this is all a big mistake. I’m looking for Hermione—”
The next thing he knew, the old lady had grabbed a heavy vase and had chucked it at him with surprising force. He instinctively ducked. The vase crashed into the driveway instead of his head, shattering into a thousand pieces. The old lady glared at him as she reached for a china plate this time.
That was it. With a strangled yell, Draco ran from the door and didn’t dare look back.
Hermione looked up from the windowsill she was currently dusting, startled. She looked around for the source of the noise. It didn’t seem to come from inside the house….
Someone was yelling. She peered out the window at her neighbor’s house, trying to figure out what was going on. At that moment, a tall man with blond hair ran past her house like he was running for his life. Her mouth dropped open. The duster fell out of her hand and clattered to the floor. That couldn’t be….
She ran out the front door. “Draco?” she called out, uncertainly.
“Oh, so you’re Hermione!”
Hermione winced and turned on the spot to see her old neighbor waving a china plate at her. “He was looking for you, you know!” the old woman shouted.
“Oh,” said Hermione meekly. “Thanks, Mrs. Harrison.”
“Just tell him not to bother me again!” Mrs. Harrison grumbled before slamming the door shut.
Hermione waved half-heartedly and then ran out onto the street. “Draco?” she shouted.
She spotted him just then, taking cover under a large oak tree. At the sound of her voice, he looked up, clearly relieved.
She walked over to him. “Draco, what happened?” She pressed a hand to her mouth, willing herself not to laugh. He looked shaken. His tie was coming undone, and his hair was a mess.
He was trying to catch his breath. “That mad old woman,” he gasped, “tried to kill me!”
“Did you knock on the wrong door?” said Hermione.
He looked ashamed. “Yeah, I did.”
Hermione couldn’t help it. She burst out laughing.
He glared at her. “It’s not funny!”
“Oh, it is,” she said, but she stopped laughing. She ran her fingers through his hair, straightening it, and then redid his tie. “Come on. You have to meet my parents now.”
“Please tell me they didn’t catch that on camera,” said Draco.
“Oh, we did,” said the cameraman, dropping out of the tree.
Draco merely glared at him and the cameraman quickly said, “But we can cut that segment out if you’d like, sir.”
“Come on Draco,” said Hermione, leading him away from the tree. “It’s time to meet my parents.”
Draco sighed, straightened his jacket, and then followed Hermione to the correct house this time. She pushed open the door and led him into the house where her parents were waiting. He swallowed his nerves.
Mrs. Granger was smiling at him, while Mr. Granger looked rather disgruntled. Hermione stepped forward and cleared her throat unnecessarily.
“Draco, meet my mum, Jane, and my dad, Robert. Mum and Dad, this is my—er, this is Draco. Draco Malfoy.” Hermione tried to smile, but she was too nervous.
“It’s so nice to finally meet you, Mrs. Granger,” said Draco, holding his hand out to Hermione’s mum first, seeing as she appeared to be more welcoming.
“Oh, it’s lovely to meet you too, Draco,” said Mrs. Granger warmly as she shook his hand. “And please call me Jane.”
“Mr. Granger,” said Draco, turning to Hermione’s dad. “Thank you so much for welcoming me into your home, sir.”
Well, at least he has manners, thought Mr. Granger grudgingly. “It’s our pleasure to have you here, son,” he said, making an effort to be nice.
“So, Mum, where will Draco be sleeping?” said Hermione, a bit nervously.
“Oh,” said Mrs. Granger, as though just realizing that her daughter’s boyfriend would be sleeping over. “Well, Draco dear, I’d put you in the guest room, but it’s full of junk at the moment…I’ve been cleaning out the attic, you see. And we can’t possibly have you sleep on the couch…it’s not nearly long enough.”
“He could stay in the basement,” Mr. Granger suggested hopefully.
Mrs. Granger shushed her husband. “Don’t be silly, dear. Now, Hermione, your bed is big enough for two people. Draco can stay in your room!”
Hermione’s mouth dropped open the same time her dad’s did. She quickly closed her mouth, while her dad continued to look dumbstruck. Draco was smirking…of course.
“Now, are you sure about that, honey?” Mr. Granger stammered. “Hermione’s only—”
“She’s twenty-seven, dear, and a very responsible adult, as is Draco, I’m sure,” Mrs. Granger interrupted her husband.
“Yes I am, sir,” said Draco, speaking directly to Mr. Granger. “I won’t do anything to harm your daughter or make her feel uncomfortable.”
Mrs. Granger beamed at him and elbowed Mr. Granger in the ribs repeatedly until he decided to stop arguing with his wife. “Well, that’s fine with me, then,” he grumbled.
“Fantastic,” said Mrs. Granger. “Hermione, go show him where to put his things.”
“Erm…right this way,” Hermione mumbled, leading him to the stairs.
“You know,” said Draco once they were out of earshot. “I like your mum.”
Hermione turned her head to give him a half-annoyed, half-amused look as they made their way down the hallway. “Of course you do,” she said snappishly. She pushed her bedroom door open. “Well, here we are.” She was nervous again.
Draco set his bag down by the door and surveyed the room with great interest. The walls were painted a calming shade of lavender, the same color as the sheets on her white four-poster bed. A painting of the English countryside was hanging above her dresser, which was littered with picture frames and other objects. On the other side of the room, there was a large bookcase that was literally stuffed with books of every kind along with a large glass window and a very inviting window seat. Draco had no trouble at all imagining Hermione sitting by the window, reading the afternoon away.
His silence was beginning to unnerve her. “What do you think?” she said. “I mean, I know it’s a far cry from the Malfoy Manor, and it’s rather small, but it’s only one night, and—”
“Hermione,” said Draco, causing her to fall silent. “It’s perfect.” He put a comforting arm around her shoulder.
Hermione smiled and relaxed at last, leaning into his embrace. With him at her side, she just might be able to make through the night.
And there you have it. Part Two is coming up next, of course. For those of you who have been wondering, I have about six more chapters to go...but that could easily change :P
Please don't forget to review! And thank you for reading ^_^
Yours till the Erumpent horn explodes,
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