Chapter 8 : Shades of Green
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“Hermione, relax.” I said soothingly, placing my hand on top of hers.
“I can’t.” she whined looking toward the door in the front of the bistro. “She’s late. She’s not going to show up. She hates me already. She-” Hermione faltered, eyes widening.
“She’s here.” I said, a little quieter then I had intended. My mother walked gracefully into the bistro. She took out her wand and sent her coat flying into the coat room. I smirked inwardly. Imagine if she had done that in a muggle restaurant. Underneath her coat she was wearing emerald dress robes which framed her body perfectly.
We both stood as she made her way to the table.
“Hello Mother.” I said, taking her hand and gently placing my lips on her knuckles, then gesturing to Hermione. “This is Hermione.”
“Hello Mrs. Malfoy.” Hermione said strongly, it was that Gryffindor courage showing, forcing out a smile while extending her hand.
“Miss. Granger.” my mother said stiffly, grasping Hermione’s outstretched hand for a second, then dropping it as if it was contaminated. Anger flared inside me for a minute, and then was extinguished in a flood of guilt as I realized that I used to be like that.
We all sat down and waited for my mother to peel her black leather gloves off before she spoke, wasting no time in getting down to the point of this luncheon.
“So, Miss. Granger.” my mother said, fixing Hermione with a cold stormy glare. I watched Hermione flinch, her courage faltering, so I quickly took her hand under the table. She gripped it tightly, like an alcoholic grips a bottle of single malt. “What will you be having for lunch?”
I watched as Hermione’s eyes flicked down the menu. I knew though that she wasn’t reading the names of the dishes, she was reading the prices. I was paying for this lunch, and my mother was testing her. If she picked something too cheap, and my mother will think Hermione is insulting the Malfoy name and wealth. But if she picked something to expensive and she’ll think Hermione was just with me for my money. Thank Merlin beards that Hermione was the smartest witch of our age, so she figured that out.
“Hmm. I think I’ll have Lob Scows. It’s one of my favourites.” she said confidently, laying down her menu and smiling nervously at my mother, hoping she made the right choice.
“Wonderful choice.” she said, her eyes warming a touch. Hermione must have seen this, because her grip on my hand loosened to that of an alcoholic with some cheap wine. “You’ve had it before then?”
Once again, a shallow question seeking a deeper answer. My mother wanted to know where Hermione had tasted this traditional Welsh dish. This would give her a look at Hermione’s background.
“Oh yes. Ginny introduced it to me when she first started playing for Holyhead.” smiled Hermione, her face lighting up at the thought of her close friend. “I’ve loved it ever since.”
“Ah yes, young Genevra. I encountered her at a dinner party not too long ago. She and Mr. Potter seem to be doing quite well.” said my mother. This comment could go many ways. It could be testing Hermione’s social outings, choice of friends, or her thoughts about marriage.
Just then the waiter sidled over and asked what we would be having. We each gave our orders, watching as he wrote them down. He tapped his wand to the paper and it disappeared. Then he gave a short bow and scurried off.
“Yes, they’re doing excellent. They are both very busy with work but enjoying life.” said Hermione, seeming to play it safe by having a short answer.
“Yes, of course, I would assume being a Quidditch superstar and a head auror would be very time consuming professions.” smiled my mother. We all laughed, a little uncomfortably. But I did notice that my mother and Hermione both seemed to be relaxing.
The waiter came back again, this time with three glasses and a pitcher of water. He levitated everything on the table, bowed curtly and left again. I watched him walk over to a table occupied by two women. I was scrutinizing the woman’s lurid green coat when my mother caught my attention again.
“So Hermione, Draco told me you work in St. Mungo’s.” my mother said, sipping her water daintily.
“Yes. I’m currently in the Spell Damage ward, but I hope to be working with Creature Induced Injuries soon.” she said, then turned and smiled at me. “I love working with Spell Damage, so please do not misunderstand me. If I wasn’t working with Spell Damage, I probably would never have had the pleasure of treating Draco.”
I was half tempted to kiss Hermione, right in front of my mother. Unfortunately, I had to satisfy myself by caressing Hermione’s thigh underneath the table, smirking slightly as I felt her leg tense, then relax almost immediately after.
“What sparks your interest in Creature Injuries?” asked my mother, ignoring Hermione’s last comment.
“Well I’ve always been fascinated with that subject. I’d love to be able to study the effects of werewolf bites and werewolves for that matter more close- closely.” Hermione stuttered. I watched as she blushed slightly under my mother’s penetrating stare. Hermione probably thought those eyes could see right through the table and see my hand as it travelled dangerously up Hermione’s thigh. Sadly, Hermione ruined my fun by sliding her hand underneath the table and taking mine off her leg and holding it firmly. I loved how assertive Hermione could be!
“Really?” pondered my mother. “Werewolves were my favourite subject in school.” she smiled secretly. She had told me this, once upon a time, in third year I think, when I came home for Christmas, complaining about Lupin.
“I’d love to hear your thoughts on it sometime.” Hermione said eagerly, then blushed when she realized who she was talking to.
“That would be lovely.” smiled my mother warmly.
My mother’s brick wall of scrutiny and dislike crumbled suddenly. I could tell by her eyes. Her composure was more relaxed and she had a warm open smile.
Hermione seemed to notice this also. Her grip loosened substantially on my hand and then she let it go completely. She placed it on my thigh and rubbed small circles with her index finger, smiling over at me.
Our food arrived gracefully on the table. It smelled wonderful. Our waiter lowered his wand and put it back in his apron.
“Enjoy.” he smiled, bowing and backing away.
We all unwrapped our cutlery, placed out napkins in our laps then began to eat. I had what Hermione had ordered, it being my favourite dish as well. She removed her had from my thigh and began cutting her food. I cut mine hastily, trying not to make a mess, and then slid my hand back under the table. I watched Hermione bite her lip, but she didn’t remove my hand as I drummed a random tune on her thigh.
My mother quizzed Hermione again, but this time on simpler things. She asked about books, and music. Places Hermione’s been and places she wants to visit. My mother also asked about hobbies and work days. I stayed out of it most of the time. I just watched them interact silently, smiling. It was only when my mother asked about Hermione’s parents did I stiffen.
“What are your parent’s occupation?” asked my mother, a little stiffly I saw. But I was glad that she had even asked the question.
“They’re both dentists. They fix dental problems.” she quickly said, smiling slightly as we both nodded politely. As if we thought it was a very important job.
“And do they live in England?” she asked politely. My mother always took good care of her teeth and made me do the same. She once told me that your teeth represent how much you take care of yourself.
“Yes, in Essex. They are still in the same house where I grew up.” she said, smiling slightly.
“Essex, really?” I asked, turning to Hermione. “Mother loves Essex. She’s always trying to drag me over there to go flying.”
Mother grinned sheepishly. “Yes, well it is lovely. All the open country.”
“Yes it’s beautiful. If only I could fly...” sighed Hermione dramatically. I snorted out a laugh and saw my mother smile wide.
“Well then, this is perfect.” I said, smirking. “When we go to meet your parents I’ll bring my broom.”
Hermione’s eyes widened in horror at the thought of learning to fly. I was amazed that she could battle death eaters but not fly. “Er, that’s alright. It’s really too late for me to start learning.”
“Nonsense.” scolded my mother. “It’s never too late to learn something new.”
“Old dogs can’t learn new tricks.” quoted Hermione, as if this ended the discussion.
“You are not a dog, and you are hardly very old.” I said firmly. Now that this idea of teaching Hermione to fly was in my mind, I would follow through with it.
“You simply can’t make me Draco.” she stated. If she was standing, then she probably would have stomped her foot, but she settled for a sharp glare and folding her arms across her chest.
I’m sure that my eyes sparkled mischievously as I ran through a list of possible ploys that could get Hermione to cave.
“Oh yes, he can.” laughed my mother, she was enjoying this a little too much. “Draco is very persuasive. It’s a Malfoy quality.”
An uncomfortable silence followed as I scowled. I hated being compared to my father. This was one of the many changes that had happened because of the war. From my birth to maybe age of 16, I worshipped my father. Everything I did, I did to impress him. I wanted to be more like him. I sighed at my waste of 16 years.
Thankfully our waiter came. He vanished our plates then asked if we wanted a dessert. I looked to Hermione and my mother, but they both shook their heads, no.
“Just the bill please.” I said, drawing my money pouch from my pocket and enlarging it. I paid the bill, and left a generous tip for our waiter. I guess leaving generous tips was a good Malfoy trait.
“Thank you, sir.” his young face lit up. “Have a great day and please come back again.”
We all stood up. My mother flicked her wand and her coat came to her. I smiled and took Hermione’s hand in mine and waited for my mother to speak first.
“Well Hermione, you receive a passing grade on this test.” smiled my mother, still a little stiffly, as if she was disappointed. She extending her hand warmly and I could tell that the initial ice storm had passed.
with a camera bouncing off her chest as it hung from her neck.
At least that girl decided not to tattle on me. I’d die in this god awful place. I thought, walking swiftly down the drafty and dull corridor, with the folder held tight in my hand.
Now that I had registered myself with the Ministry, I was totally free to take my revenge on one Miss Hermione Granger. She was in for it; I had been bidding my time, waiting for the perfect opportunity. Little Miss “smartest witch of her age” will have no idea what hit her.
I came to a halt outside a cell, not a maximum security one, but it was top security. I peeked inside the cell. I saw a man lying on his back on the hard cement bed; eyes closed, and matted blonde hair flayed out around his head.
“Knocky, knocky!” I called, rapping on the side of the wall. I quickly admired my bright red nails. The man inside opened his eyes slowly, sat up gingerly, and turned to face me.
“Why, Miss Skeeter, what a pleasant surprise.” sneered Lucius Malfoy. He stood up, taking small, light steps toward me. He stopped a few feet from the bars and crossed his arms.
“Well, I don’t know if this surprise will be pleasant for you.” I said, waving my folder in the air, laughing maliciously.
“I know that, you being anywhere is not in the least bit pleasant, bug” he sneered again, smirking “I was just being polite.”
I blushed angrily, but composed myself before answering. “Mr. Malfoy, have you heard from your wife lately?”
He pondered the question. “Yes, not as often as I would like, but what can I expect?” he sighed.
“Did you hear from her yet this week? Say, four days, Saturday?” I asked, watching his face as his eyes narrowed.
“Not as often as I would like.” he repeated.
“What a pity.” I sighed, smiling wickedly. “Then I suppose you need to see this then.”
I hauled the latest issue of Witch Weekly from the folder. It wasn’t even on the stands yet. Come tomorrow, everyone would know about the Malfoy scandal.
I slid it to him through the bars. He took it from me, scanning the front cover. A low growl escaped his lips at what he saw. Draco Malfoy, his only son, with arm around little Miss Granger while she shook Narcissa Malfoy’s hand.
“Should I pass on your congratulations to the happy couple?” I asked, smirking at the rage in his face. He didn’t say a word, so I hastily made my exit.
You do not mess with Rita Skeeter.
[gosh im so sorry i couldnt get this out before the break . oh wells , its out now right ? :) anway, thanks to my beta alanna, she's doing a wicked awesome job ! and what do you think about the chapter ? i really really want to hear some feedback ! and happy holidays readers ! ]