Chapter 4 : Anything is Possible
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Draco left the Leaky Cauldron and slowly wandered back to his house, all the time thinking about Hermione. He couldn’t believe that the strong willed girl from Hogwarts, that wouldn’t take shit from anyone, was still with someone that would treat her like crap. When he found himself facing his front door, he absentmindedly got his key and unlocked the door, letting himself into his house. A rush of fluff came to greet him as his puppy Casper, a bright white Samoyed dog jumped up and started to try and climb up his leg.
‘Hey boy’ smiled Draco as he knelt down, letting the dog lick his hand. ‘How are we today Cas?’
The dog barked and began to chase his tail, before looking at Draco with his tongue hanging out and tail wagging. Draco chuckled while opening the door wider so Casper could get to the garden.
‘Go on then boy’ he chuckled as Casper bounded happily through the open door.
Draco stood up and made his way to the kitchen where he proceeded to make himself a cup of hot chocolate. He stood leaning against the kitchen counter, thinking about the nights events and wondering what had possessed him to act so out of character towards Hermione. When he had seen her in the pub, he had every intention of being nasty towards her, like he had in school. But when he had seen that bruise… He shuddered. A real man should never hit a woman. He was brought out of his daze by Casper running in from the garden and slipping on the kitchen floor tiles making him slide into a cupboard. Draco couldn’t help but laugh. Once again though, he found his thoughts straying back to Hermione. He sighed. He had no idea what to do. But one thing was for sure, he thought as he got himself ready for bed, he had meant every word he said.
Hermione silently got out of the bed she shared with Michael and tiptoed to the bathroom, terrified of waking him up. She glanced in the floor length mirror as she passed it and winced as she took in the purple and black bruise on her cheek. It was going to be hard to cover up. She picked up her makeup bag and continued her way to the bathroom. She looked closer at herself in the mirror above the sink and sighed. How was she going to hide this from her friends? She gingerly touched the tender bruise and winced again as the pain hit her. She undid her makeup bag and, pausing only to hear if Michael had woken, carefully hid the bruise as well as she could. As she was finishing up, she heard the unmistakable rumblings of Michael heading for the kitchen.
‘Hermione!!’ yelled Michael from the next room. Trembling slightly, Hermione answered.
‘Y-yes Michael?’ she called timidly, slowly making her way back through the corridor to the kitchen.
‘Get your fat arse in here and make me my God damn breakfast!’
Hermione’s pace sped up. If he didn’t get his food on time, she knew, then it would be worse for her. She entered the kitchen and saw Michael sat on a dining room chair, scratching himself. She moved past him and quickly set to work making him his daily breakfast: A full English. She placed the plate in front of him and he began shovelling the food into his mouth, barely pausing for breath. When he had finished, he belched loudly and Hermione took this as her cue to remove the plate. She glanced at the clock and noticed it was now 7:50. Ten minutes before she was supposed to open the shop she owned with Ginny.
‘Erm… Michael?’ she began. He merely grunted and she continued. ‘I-I have to go to work now, can I leave?’ He grunted again and she quickly moved from the kitchen, wanting to get out as quickly as possible.
Hermione loved her job. She had had the idea shortly after Ginny had left Hogwarts. Ginny had loved the idea and decided to help Hermione out and go halves with her. It was the wizard equivalent of a muggle Internet café. People could go in, order food, and just sit at one of the many tables and do whatever they liked. Of course, with Ginny so pregnant, it was left to Hermione to look after the café for a while. She didn’t mind. She could always count on help if she needed it from Harry or Ron or her other friends, but she liked to work on her own. As Hermione got to the bottom of her building, she looked at her watch. 7:55. Although she lived just a few streets from the entrance to Diagon Alley, she decided to apparate to the Leaky Cauldron. She couldn’t afford to be late. She dashed down the side alley between her apartment building and the one next to it and turned on the spot. The familiar feeling of being compressed into nothingness overwhelmed Hermione, but it was over as quickly as it came and she found herself stood outside the Leaky Cauldron. She hurried inside, trying not to draw attention to herself. She remembered all too well what had happened here the night before. She hurried through to the back and used her wand to open the door that lead to Diagon Alley. The street was practically deserted, as it always was this early in the morning. The only people there were the business owners, busy opening their shops and the early morning travellers, hoping to have a quick browse before heading to work. Hermione removed the key to the shop from her pocket and placed it in the keyhole and turned. It was dark in the shop but she quickly fixed that by opening the curtains. The interior of the shop was quite plain, but not boring. The sky blue walls went well with the white tables, making them look like clouds. She hurried down to the end of the shop and proceeded to do her opening ritual: Check the till, open the kitchen, wipe the tables down and change the ‘closed’ sign to ‘we’re open’. She had not long sat down to enjoy the silence that came before the rush when she heard the bell that signified a customer. Sighing, she stood back up and walked to the front of the café.
‘Welcome to Le Petite Café, can I take your-‘
Hermione’s mouth flew open as she took in the sight of the person stood in front of her. In the doorway, black suit neatly pressed, blonde hair glittering in the early morning sunlight, a look of uncertainty on his face, stood Draco Malfoy.
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