Draco apparated home with a bit of a smile on his face. He looked around the Manor and saw that it was completely empty. The Ministry was to take the Manor in two days, and the only things that were left were two beds. Draco hardly cared. He scoffed at it all because he and his mother were safe so long as he and Hermione could pull it off.
“You look very happy for someone who’s going to have to share a cardboard box with his mother.” Narcissa said once she caught sight of Draco. He merely laughed and sat on the edge of her bed.
“Believe me, Mother we won’t be homeless for a moment. On the down side we’ll have to stay with Auntie Ara for a while but-”
“I already told you, I won’t live with that woman-”
“There’ll be no way around it if I want my money.”
“Money..?” Narcissa asked with interest. “What money..?”
“Granny Velda left me some money in her will. In fact she left me all of it.”
“All of it?! Draco, do you realize what this means?! We’re bloody saved!”
“Not quite,” Draco said grudgingly. “I have to do a few things before I can get any of it. Mother…I have to marry a muggleborn for at least a year.”
“I’d rather live in a box.” Narcissa joked. “Merlin, is this what we’ve been reduced to? I suppose we don’t have much a choice, now do we? You’d better choose a woman wisely, Draco. It’s bad enough to have our blood tainted, but she should at least be able to look the part-”
“I think Granger will do just fine.”
“Granger? As in Hermione Granger..?”
“Is that a problem?”
“…No, no, I assume you could do worse.”
Hermione wrote to Ginny and told her to come to her flat immediately. By the time the Floo was activated, Hermione had been pacing around her living room for the twentieth time, heavily mumbling under her breath.
“Alright, ‘Mione, what happened that I had to drop everything in order to come and see you?”
“Gin, I just agreed to do the craziest thing. I mean, I’m sure I can back out of it, but it can benefit me so greatly…”
“Wait, what exactly are you talking about. What did you do?”
“You’d better sit.” Hermione told her as the two of them sat down on the sofa. After taking a few breaths, she spoke again. “I went to a pub after coming from the hospital. While I was there, I saw Malfoy and we talked and he asked me to do something that I actually said yes to.”
“Well, he asked me to marry him.”
“WHAT?!” Ginny shouted. “Have you gone MENTAL! What on earth possessed you to say yes to that? No, forget that; what on earth possessed Malfoy to ask you?”
“We’re two desperate souls, that’s why.” She replied grimly. “You heard about the Malfoy repossession, right?”
“Of course, it’s the running talk at the Leaky Cauldron.”
“Well, Malfoy has a way of getting over two hundred billon galleons so he and his mother won’t be homeless since his grandmother died. But, he can’t get the money unless he’s been married to a muggleborn for at least a year.”
“So let me get this straight. You’re going to marry someone you’ve loathed for years, just because you have pity for him?! ‘Mione, this makes no sense!”
“It does if you look at it from the point of view that I’ll be marrying into money. Money that can pay for the operation that my mother needs,”
“…You’re selling yourself for forty thousand galleons?”
“Yes. I help Malfoy and he helps me. I call that a fair trade.”
Ginny left Hermione’s flat sometime later after expressing all of her worries and fears. Hermione told her that it was a necessary process and that she was doing it for her mother’s sake. Sighing, Ginny Flooed home, and Hermione went into her bedroom to get ready for bed. While slipping off her denims, she spotted a photo of her, Harry, and Ron. She picked up the photo in her hands and thought about what her two best friends would say if she told them that she agreed to marry Draco.
“They’d probably think someone slipped me a Mickey.” Hermione concluded as she set the photo down and finished changing. She lay in bed and turned out the lights, but she didn’t fall asleep. You’re selling yourself for forty thousand galleons… Ginny’s words echoed in her mind. Hermione groaned and rolled over onto her side. “But I need to do this.” She said aloud, and then became aware of the rapping on her window. Staring through the darkness of her bedroom, she realized that an owl was outside. Hermione got out of bed and let the owl in. After taking the letter from its beak, she realized that it was from Draco.
I’m getting the money you want tomorrow. Think you can come by the Manor tomorrow around five? We’ve got quite a few things to discuss if you’re going to become the next Mrs. Malfoy.
Hermione shivered at the last sentence. She had half a mind to tell him that she was changing her mind and to find another muggleborn to get him out of his predicament. But, Hermione stopped, and reread the first line which said that he was getting for the forty thousand tomorrow. Her fate was practically sealed.
It wasn’t hard for Draco to get the forty thousand galleons that Hermione asked for. At first he was worried about how he was going to pay it all back to Gringots, but upon further investigation of Granny Velda’s will, he’d get a quarter of his inheritance once he said, “I do.”
“That is if we can make it past Auntie Ara.” Draco dimly noted. If they couldn’t prove that their “affections” for each other were real, then his giving her the money would just put him in a deeper ditch.
At five he made sure that he was at the Manor and that his mother was nowhere in sight. A second or two later, he could hear his fireplace coming to life and then the subtle sound of heels on the marble floor.
“This place looked huge enough with things in it.” Hermione said with her arms crossed. “Without anything, it’s massive.”
“Do you always say what’s obvious?”
“Yes, it’s actually a personality flaw… Can we get this discussion over with please?”
Draco resisted the temptation to roll his eyes and concluded in his mind that he’d have to get used to her mouth. He led the way into his bedroom and motioned for her to sit on the bed. She looked around the room, more than likely for a chair, but then after contemplating the Ministry repossession, the bed must’ve been the only thing left in the Manor, so she sat on it. Draco stuck his hand into his pocket and gave her a check. Hermione took and half-grinned, but then frowned.
“Malfoy this is for twenty thousand galleons.” She said confusedly. “I told you that I wanted forty, not twenty.”
“It has to be done this way, Granger.” Draco defended. “If I give you all of the money and my Auntie Ara finds us out, I could be out forty thousand galleons and be in worse trouble than I’m already in. I can’t take that chance, so, you get twenty.”
“No, you don’t understand.” Hermione told him sternly. “I want no I need, desperately, the whole amount. If I don’t get it, I’m saying no to this entire ordeal and you can find yourself another muggleborn witch to get you out of this mess.”
Draco stared at her in disbelief. He had seen her passionate about many things, but never something as materialistic as money. He furrowed his brow a bit and conjured his checkbook in order to write her a check for the remaining amount.
“Why do you want this so badly?” He asked as he handed it to her.
“Just know that the reason is urgent enough to make me want to marry you. And, if it makes you feel any better, if things don’t work out I’ll pay back the loan myself.”
Draco nodded and leaned against the wall next to the bed. Hermione secured the two checks in her pocket and cupped her hands. The two of them stayed in those positions for a while until the silence became unnerving.
“I wrote to my Auntie Ara this morning.”
“She immediately discredited us.”
“Well, we’re not even standing in front of her and she can already tell we’re lying.” Hermione chuckled.
“If you think it’s bad now, wait until we’re living at her Manor.”
“Excuse me? Living at her Manor?”
“But of course,” Draco said as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. “In case you’ve forgotten my Manor is repossessed. So I, my mother, and you are unfortunately going to be living with the horrid woman.”
“No,” Hermione told him firmly. “You told me we’d have to prove to her that we loved each other. You said nothing about having to move in with her!”
“Well, sorry for forgetting to mention that little tidbit, but I’m telling you now.”
“Honestly, Malfoy, did you expect me to suddenly drop everything in my life?”
“We’re getting married, Granger, what did you expect?” Draco argued with frustration.
“We’re not getting married tomorrow.” She retaliated. “I thought I’d have time. For Merlin’s sake, I have a job.”
“You can keep it.”
“I have a flat and I’m not selling it.”
“Fine, you can keep the flat too if it’ll keep you from griping all the bleeding time.”
“Thank you…and for your information, I wasn’t going to sell it even if you’d said no. Now when are we moving into your Aunt’s home?”
“I have to pack away all of my things by tonight?!” Hermione exclaimed. Draco rolled his eyes and he was right ready to yank his hair out.
“Yes, Granger, by tonight, do you have a problem with that?”
“No, not at all,” She said grumblingly as she stood. “I’ll be back in a few hours.”
Draco watched her as she gathered her things. He led her back to the fireplace and soon she was enveloped by emerald green flames and he was letting out several sighs of relief.
“She’s going to drive me insane.” Draco mumbled and had a deep feeling in the pit of his stomach that he wasn’t getting his inheritance money.
Hermione grudgingly got out two suitcases and began packing away all of her clothes. She went drawer by drawer, not really caring how neatly she placed everything. She didn’t know why she was so irritable about all of this. It wasn’t like as if she didn’t know what she was getting into.
“I just didn’t know all of this would be happening so soon.” Hermione said aloud. She took out the two checks from her pocket and stared at them. “At least I’ve got what I wanted.”
She wrote to Ginny and told her that she got the money. Ginny was glad for her, knowing how much she needed it, but then retracted her happiness when she read the part about Hermione moving in with Draco and his family the same night.
Harry and Ron are going to kill you… Ginny wrote in the response. Hermione knew that this was true, but there was nothing she could do about it now. At the moment, her two best mates were out doing field work for the Ministry and were hugely encouraged not to have outside contact with anyone until their task was over and done with.
“By the time they get back it’ll probably be my wedding day.” She joked, took one last look around her flat and apparated to Draco’s Manor.
Draco had all of his things packed and ready to go by the time Hermione got there. Narcissa was staring nostalgically at the bare walls of the Manor until her attention was brought to her future daughter-in-law. Hermione didn’t know if she should’ve been offended or flattered to see Narcissa sizing her up and down. After about thirty seconds of awkwardness, she broke away her gaze when Draco cleared his throat.
“This better work,” Narcissa said grimly as she gathered her things and stepped into the fireplace. Hermione frowned. She had a feeling that that sentiment was directed towards her rather than thin air. She watched as the flames engulfed her and then felt an odd sensation on her hand. Looking down she saw that Draco was holding hers. She gazed at him for a moment and saw that his face was expressionless. A second later he was leading her into the fireplace, having their things levitating into the fireplace with them. Soon, they were leaving the Manor and stepping out into an even grander fireplace and seeing Narcissa being hugged tightly by a rather short and curvy woman who wore a bit too much make-up. She let Narcissa go at the sound of her fireplace going off and stared Hermione and Draco.
“Well, isn’t it the so-called happy couple.” She said showing big lips covered in red lipstick and perfect teeth.
“Auntie Ara, it’s so good to see you.” Draco lied blindly.
“Oh, stop with the arse-kissing and move aside, will you?”
Ara literally pushed him out of her way and stood directly in front of Hermione. She put her hands on her hips and walked around her.
“Well, Draco, out of all the mudbloods out there you chose a decent one.” Ara said as she crossed her arms. “But don’t think just because I said that you’re off the hook.” She added to Hermione. “I don’t think he gives a flying fig about you. For all I know he picked you up at a local pub because you were just as desperate as he was. So what’s he paying you for sacrificing your lovely time and effort, huh? Twenty galleons..? Forty..? Probably only five since that’s how much you look like you’re worth.”
“Excuse me?” Hermione said with her cheeks reddening with anger. Draco, sensing danger, stepped in-between the two and placed his hands on her hips to settle her. Ara smirked and chuckled. Hermione calmed down, whether it was being caught off guard by the woman’s laughter or Draco’s touch, it didn’t matter, because now Ara was walking away from them and leading the way down the corridor.
“Don’t just stand there.” Ara called from the middle of the hallway. “I’m showing you to your bloody bedrooms so move along.”
Narcissa shook her head. Draco rolled his eyes. Hermione was on the verge of saying a few un-lady-like things, but did nothing except allow Draco to take her hand and lead her to follow Ara.
_________________________________________________________ author's note: okay, so chap two is here as promised! plz remember to leave a review...i luv seeing what you guys have to say! :) thanks for reading!!
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