Chapter 6 : Purple Dress
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Before Hermione could blink it was Thursday. The week had gone by so quickly she couldn't quite believe it. She had been working herself to death preparing for her Board meeting which was now only one day away. She had accomplished a great deal and had everything together that she really needed…but she couldn't help but feeling she should have done more. However, today was a special day at the ministry and she knew she would be getting no more work done. The annual bring your child to work day had come again and Hermione knew the work she had completed would just have to be enough for the next morning's meeting.
Hugo was excited as always, and Hermione enjoyed being able to take him to the ministry with her. That morning, Hermione had awoken very tired, her lack of sleep over the last few days was starting to catch up to her. She walked into the living room tempted by the wafting smell of freshly cooked bacon and discovered a pretty lavender dress draped over the couch that she had long forgotten was hidden in the back of her closet. She lumbered into the kitchen where she found her son flipping bacon from an old iron skillet next to a pile of mouthwatering buttery pancakes.
"Good morning, Chef." Hermione said kissing her son on the head.
"This looks absolutely delicious." Hermione praised her son.
"Morning Mum!" Hugo said with full energy. "I already laid out your clothes and everything, you better hurry and get ready we don't want to be late." Hugo said.
"That dress?" Hermione replied warily to her son.
"Yep!" Hugo smiled.
Hermione vaguely remembered her son saying it was his favorite dress the last time she wore it, claiming how pretty she looked. That had been years ago. As uncomfortable as she would feel wearing it to work she did not want to disappoint her son.
After she devoured her tasty breakfast she hurried to get ready. Hugo was right, they didn't have much time so she would need to be quick. Hermione went to her room and pulled on the dress feeling completely out of her comfort zone. The dress felt foreign on her body.. she hadn't felt the need to dress up since Ron had passed.
She glanced in the mirror and quickly smoothed out her hair, brushed her teeth, contemplated putting on mascara but she was already feeling like a fish out of water so she didn't want to push it. Hermione had certainly changed in appearances since her days at Hogwarts. She had always had a very petite and delicate figure, but she had filled out considerably since she had children. Her chest was much fuller and her hips wider. Though she was still very slim she had gained all the curves she wasn't originally blessed with. As a woman of thirty Hermione had grown to be her most beautiful, though she didn't realize it at all.
Hugo was raring to go waiting for Hermione at the fireplace.
"You look great!" Hugo smiled at his mother.
"Well I have to look half way descent if I'm going to be in the company of this handsome man all day." Hermione grinned at her son.
"Alright..alright…Let's go mum or we'll be late!" and with that they stepped into the ashes of their fireplace and were on their way.
When they arrived at the ministry it was obvious that it was not a normal work day. The Atrium was filled with Ministry workers accompanied by their children and the atmosphere was much more relaxed and more noisy than usual. Hermione and Hugo greeted familiar faces as they made their way to the lift. The elevator was full and boisterous as Hermione wedged themselves inside. Just as the doors were about to close a familiar arm appeared ushering them back open.
"Room for two more?" Malfoy asked the crowd daughter in his arms.
"Of course, just squeeze on in!" Gregory Hoppers, Department of Magical Games and Sports enthusiastically waved him inside.
Malfoy and his daughter climbed inside placing themselves uncomfortably close to Hermione. She certainly could have done without his company to start out her day but she had to admit his adorable daughter made his presence a bit more tolerable. His daughter looked beautiful in a ice blue dress and white bow pinned in her silver hair. She was staring at Hermione.
"Your pretty." the little girl said smiling at Hermione. Hermione blushed but managed to return her smile.
"Guess what?" Hermione replied slightly surprising herself. "You're much prettier." The little girl beamed and Hermione suddenly didn't care that she was in the arms of a man she had always detested, she couldn't resist the little girl's charm. Malfoy smiled at his daughter proudly and kissed her on the cheek.
The day was scheduled out specially. Ministry workers and their children would be able to visit each department where they would have speakers, activities, and games pertaining to that particular department. Hermione thought a lot of it was rather mawkish but Hugo was greatly looking forward to it so she put her game face on and travelled with her son to each floor and partaking in the festivities. The first stop was the Department of Magical Games and Sports, which proved to be one of the most exciting. Greg Hoppers spoke an animated speech about their work and kept the interest of most children. There was even a broom race which Hermione was dismal at but Hugo was thrilled just to compete.
Hermione had to admit that even her floor was rather stale and was unlikely to hold the interest of any of the children. But she was just happy that Hugo seemed to be enjoying himself. As the day neared its end Hermione was pleased to find that she enjoyed herself just as her son did. But her jitters for the next morning's meeting were starting to effect her and she was ready to get home prepare herself..even though there really wasn't much more she could do. They bid farewell to friends and caught the elevator just before the doors closed. Hermione lit up the button for the atrium and the doors closed only for a few short moments before they were reopened a couple floors down. Malfoy with his silver haired daughter in tow stepped on. The girl lit up when she saw Hermione and Hugo alone on the lift and Hermione couldn't help but to return a smile.
"Hi, again!" The little girl beamed.
"Hi!" Hugo replied happily.
"Hello there." Hermione said warmly.
Malfoy nodded at them in recognition then looked away seeming somewhat uncomfortable.
"My name is Evie!" "What are your names?" She asked looking congenially at Hermione and Hugo.
"Hi Evie! I'm Hugo, and this is my mom Hermione she works here at the ministry." Hugo
replied to Evie.
"My dad works here too!" Evie replied excitedly.
"I like your dress." Evie said sweetly to Hermione.
"Thank you Evie, your dress is very pretty too." Hermione smiled at Evie.
"Thanks, my daddy got it for me!" Evie beamed twirling around in a circle.
Malfoy looked down at his daughter and smiled but remained quiet.
The elevator stopped and the familiar mild voice sounded, letting them know they had arrived at their destination.
"It was very nice to meet you Evie." Hermione smiled
"You too!" Evie exclaimed while her father picked her up.
"Bye!" Hugo waved happily.
Malfoy nodded at them making eye contact with Hermione just long enough to make her feel uncomfortable and then they were out of sight.
"That was the best day ever Mum! Hugo exclaimed to his mother as they walked toward a fireplace.
"Do you think you'd like to work here when you're all grown up?" Hermione said to her son smiling.
"Yep! Just like you and dad." Hugo replied.
Hermione smiled and put her arm around Hugo as they stepped into the fireplace.
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