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A Perfect Charade by ivy_018

Format: Novella
Chapters: 11
Word Count: 31,992
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Substance Use or Abuse

Genres: Humor, Romance
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Arthur, Bill, Charlie, Draco, Fred, Ginny, OC
Pairings: Draco/Hermione, Harry/Ginny, Ron/Hermione

First Published: 08/28/2006
Last Chapter: 05/10/2008
Last Updated: 05/10/2008

Summary:
Based on The Wedding Date.   When Ron splits with Hermione  right before Harry and Ginny's wedding, she gets desperate and hires Draco Malfoy to be her date.  Little do they know that their feelings might be more than professional, but it'll take some convincing and a little change of scenery to figure out that they were meant for each other. Lovely banner by Queen_Mab! 









Chapter 5: "New Evidence to the Contrary"

A/N:  Sorry that that update took so long.  This story has been sitting in the vault for such a long time, but as I looked through my work over the last couple days, I did some re-evaluating and streamlining.  I am impressed and pleased at how much attention this story's first four chapters has gotten even without being recently updated.  And so, I have made a decision to give this story a little bit more attention to see where it will lead me.  I am not sure how long it will end up being.  As you can see, I am deviating from the Wedding Date plot a bit, because I want to make this my own.  But I thank you for all your reviews.  Please keep them coming and tell your friends.
Happy Reading!
~Ivy
P.S.  So which of my lovely readers would like to make me a banner for this story (I'd like to update it and claireabella is not responding) and for my new Christmas story which I promise you will love as it develops.  It's called This Gift: A Christmas Story.   Thank you!

"Looking at you, holding my breath, for once in my life I'm scared to death, I'm taking a chance letting you inside..." -Lifehouse "First Time"




Chapter Five











Ron paced the room quickly.  There was something funny about Hermione just showing up for Harry and Ginny’s wedding with Draco Malfoy, their sworn school enemy.  The funny thing though was that when he tried bringing it up with anyone, they refused to listen to him, writing off his doubts as if he was a little insecure child.   He shook his head.  He would prove them wrong and then Hermione would be publicly humiliated.
   
At that moment, Harry walked into the room.  “What’s up Ron?”
   
“So remember how I was saying that I think that she and Malfoy together are a fake?”
   
Harry rolled his eyes.  “You broke up with her.  Remember?”
   
“So what if I want to get back together with her?” Ron asked. 
   
“That’s not your choice to make Ron,” Harry said, sitting down in the armchair opposite from his momentarily deranged best friend.  “Besides.  She seems happy for the first time since the break up.  Give her a little space.  Maybe we were wrong about Malfoy.”
   
Ron gave him a disbelieving look.  “Maybe we were wrong about Malfoy?  Maybe we were wrong about Malfoy?!”
   
Harry stood up.  “What are you?  A parrot? That’s what I said!  You know, you’re kind of being a jerk right now, Ron!”
   
“I’m being a jerk?” Ron asked.  “I can’t believe I’m hearing this from you!  You’re my best friend and you’re not going to support me?”
   
“Hermione’s my other best friend and I was devastated- Devastated when you broke her heart right before my wedding!  What did you expect her to do?  Come alone?”
   
“No,” Ron faltered.  “I don’t know.  But I certainly didn’t expect her to come with Malfoy.  Seriously Harry.  How unrealistic is that?  Even if she doesn’t hate him anymore due to her ‘look at everyone in a new way’ philosophy, I don’t think Malfoy could suddenly like her.”   
   
Harry sighed.  “It is weird, Ron, but after what happened just a couple weeks ago, like I said before, I’m happy for her.  They look happy together and Malfoy is right there for her all the time.”
  
Ron just glared at Harry. “I still think something’s up and I intend to find out.”
   
Harry stood up and headed for the door.  “Well whatever you do, don’t hurt her again.  I don’t think I could forgive you.”
   
Ron stood, seething as Harry left.  How could his best friend turn on him and then suddenly decide to side with his ex girlfriend?  He didn’t want to hurt anyone, but how could they all be so blind to what was obviously a charade? 
   
Leaving the room, Ron was determined to get to the truth.

   
******











Meanwhile, across town, the couple in question was in their hotel suite, fighting, as per usual.  It was over something relatively stupid, but if Harry and the rest of the wedding party could’ve seen Draco Malfoy and Hermione Granger at that moment, Ron would be proven some kind of hero. 
   
“I can’t believe that Ginny’s having a Muggle themed bachelorette party,” Draco snorted, laughing his head off.  “I’m guessing she did that for you?  Correct?”
   
Hermione rolled her eyes, struggling to keep her temper in check, even though with every passing second, she was getting more and more fed up with Draco’s cheap shots at her friends’ expense.
   
“As a matter of fact, Draco Malfoy, Muggles are actually geniuses about inventing clothing,” Hermione said smugly as she looked through her closet to find the little black Prada dress that she’d brought for the occasion. 
   
Though Hermione didn’t have enough money to afford anything from Prada, let alone a new black dress that cost almost $1600, it had been a gift from her very wealthy grandmother who lived in America.  Through many business and personal acquaintances, she had come to know the owner of Prada quite well, and got almost anything she wanted.
   
“In fact, all of the clothing that you High Society wizards wear are based off of Muggle designers like Prada, Christian Dior and Michael Kors,” she said smugly.  “As for jeans… Those were invented by Muggles as well.”
   
Draco just glared at her.  “So what?  Wizards made all the clothes I get.  Not Muggles.”
   
Hermione just went about getting undressed and changing.
   
“Getting a little too comfortable there, aren’t you?” Draco asked from behind her.
   
Hermione shrugged.  “Well, you’ll have to get used to it.  I have to watch you change.”
   
“And that’s a hardship, I’m sure,” Draco said sarcastically from behind her.  “I am incredibly well built.  I don’t know why you’d complain.  Most women of your- status- don’t get to see me undressed or rather- at all.”
   
Hermione turned around, struggling to button up the back of her dress.  “One day, Draco Malfoy, your cockiness is going to come and kick you in the butt.”
   
“It’s not cockiness, its merely elevated confidence,” Draco retorted and then, seeing Hermione struggling slightly, said.  “Do you need help with that?
   
Hermione sighed.  “Yeah.  I do.”
   
Draco crossed the room and went behind her; his long, masculine fingers nimbly finishing what Hermione’s more feminine hands could not.  He patted her on the back.  “There you go.”
   
“Okay,” Hermione crossed the room to the closet.  “Now I just need the shoes.”
   
Putting the tall, matching stilettos on her feet, Hermione walked to the bathroom and put her hair in a loose ponytail so that wavy tendrils could delicately fall and frame her face.  Turning around, she took a deep breath and looked at Draco nervously.  “How do I look?”
   
Draco, who had been rooting through his suitcase for something to wear to Harry’s bachelor party, turned around at Hermione’s request and gaped unknowingly when he saw her.
   
The dress held her curves in a tight but delicate manner, framing everything but not cutting off her airflow.  The girlish ruffles around the bust served only to aid the light, delicate feeling of the outfit rather than make her look ostentatious.  Her high heels gracefully lengthened her already long and beautiful legs.  And finally, the loose ponytail was the perfect touch to her beautifully made up face.  In a word, she was a vision.
   
Hermione smiled.  “So… Is that speechless in a good or bad way?”
   
Draco smiled and shook his head.  “Why do you have to shock me all the time, Hermione Granger?”
   
“What are you saying?” Hermione asked.
   
Draco walked toward her slowly, building tension.  As he stopped in front of her, he ran a finger languidly down her cheek.  Hermione was sure he was going to kiss her, but he didn’t.  He ran his hand over her hair and looked into her eyes.  “You’re beautiful, Hermione.  Don’t ever doubt it.”
   
Breaking the moment by looking at his watch, Draco looked down at her.  “Come on.  You’re going to be late.”
   
As they sat in the hired car, Hermione nervously kept glancing at her date.  Why did he shock her all the time was the better question.  One moment he was yelling and teasing her and the next he was calling and looking at her as if she was the most beautiful thing in the entire world.
   
No one had looked at her that way since Ron.
   
With the image of Ron suddenly appearing in her head, another disturbing thought crossed her mind. 
   
Ron knew.
   
“What’s the matter?” Draco asked, sensing her tension.  Being that he was right next to her in such an enclosed space, he couldn’t help but notice the tension that now emanated around the entire backseat.
   
“Draco,” Hermione whispered. “I think he knows.”
   
“You think who knows what?” Draco asked, clearly confused.  This was definitely random, though it probably, whatever it was, wasn’t for her.  He had always been told, time and time again, that nothing was ever random for the person who was thinking it. 
   
“Don’t be an idiot,” Hermione snapped.  “Ron knows that we’re a fake.”
   
Ignoring the “idiot” comment, Draco turned to her.  “Why do you think that?”
   
“Just the way the way he always looks at me and tries to pry the truth out of me,” Hermione said, wringing her hands.  “I would feel like a fool if everyone knew I had hired you.”
   
The car pulled up to a stop in front of the bar where the bachelorette party would be taking place.  Draco got out and then walked around the other side of the car and opened the door where Hermione was still sitting, looking numb.
   
Proffering his hand, Hermione took it and he pulled her out.  Leaning her against the car, Draco looked her in the eye with such an intense look that, had Hermione had any doubt how powerful he really was, she had none anymore.
   
“Listen, Hermione,” Draco said.  “I am the best in the business for a very good reason.
   
“Anyone will listen to me and believe what I have to tell them.  But here’s the deal.  I can’t do it alone.  You have to help me.  You have to have the confidence to ignore Ron.  All he’s looking for is attention.
   
“He’s jealous that you managed to come with someone else so fast and he’s trying to prove you wrong.  Don’t let him do it.  Make him think that you actually are madly in love with me.  And I’ll make him think the same thing.
   
“For this weekend we are lovers, together forever.  It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.”
   
And then he held her there, up against the car, taking in her scent and trying to ignore how good she looked and how delicious she smelled.  Hermione simply gazed into his eyes until he broke the connection. 
   
“You should go in.”
   
Hermione shook her head in wonder.  “Wow.  You are good.”
   
Draco just smiled smugly.  “That’s why I’m the best.”
   
Hermione just rolled her eyes.  “Shut up.”
   
Making her way into the bar, all the girls immediately took on her, calling her dress gorgeous, amazing, and absolutely stunning.  Ginny even hinted that Draco probably had fallen all over himself when he’d seen her like that.  Hermione didn’t even have to say that something like that had in fact, happened.
   
At that moment, Draco bent under the small doorway clutching a black Gucci purse.  “Hermione.”
   
Hermione turned, along with every other woman in the vicinity to see handsome and personable Draco Malfoy holding out her purse. 
   
“You forgot this,” he explained. 
   
Hermione blushed and then leaned in to kiss him.
   
“We may as well do this properly,” Draco whispered.  It was barely audible against her lips.  
   
And so he leaned into kiss her and as their lips met, Hermione had the same rush of pleasure that she had gotten the last time she had kissed him.  He kissed her softly and then got more demanding as she opened her mouth against an onslaught of softness and delicious pleasure.  All around her, Hermione could barely hear the cheers of the girls as they basically made out in front of them.  All she was aware of was the magic of the moment that had begun, not when Draco had just kissed her but when she’d watched him watch her as she put on her dress for this event for the first time that day, when he’d called her beautiful.
   
Finally, he pulled back and kissed her on the forehead.  “I’ve got to run, Darling, but I’ll see you later.”
   
Hermione nodded, her head still spinning from the strength and tenderness in that kiss.  Was that what it was like falling, or should she say, pretending, to fall for the enemy? 
   
“Wait,” Ginny called.  “You could stay.”
   
Draco gave her a charming smile.  “It’s okay.  I’ve got to go play with the boys now.”
   
Hermione tucked a stray lock of hair back on his head.  “Play nicely, Draco.”
   
He winked at her and then left the room. 
   
Ginny turned to her and squealed loudly in her ear.  “He’s so cute!”
   
“I can’t believe you would ever say that about Draco Malfoy,” Hermione shook her head as she ordered a Cosmopolitan from behind the bar. 
   
“You’re the one who’s dating him,” Ginny said, ordering another shot of schnapps. 
   
“So, Hermione,” her friend, Lila came up from behind her.  "I am so jealous that you get to shag this guy, no matter if he was your school enemy.  Somehow, I don't believe it.  But you should send Merlin a bottle of firewhiskey or a pumpkin pie.  You know, just for good measure."
   
Hermione’s mouth dropped open in shock.  She had no idea it would’ve been this easy to fool all these girls.  Especially Ginny who was her best friend.  So as she denied any claims of having been in bed with him, she quietly wondered what it was like at the bachelor party.

   
********











Ron and Harry sat at the bar in the mansion where Harry’s bachelor party was being held.  At that moment, an unmistakable presence entered the room.  Every male head at the party turned in Draco Malfoy’s direction.  He took it easily and clearly was accustomed to people staring at him, whether in admiration or anything else…
   
“How can you say that Hermione would actually be dating a guy like that?” Ron asked Harry again.  It was in fact, the fifth or sixth time since Harry had told Ron that Draco was indeed going to be at the bachelor party.  When Ron had said it would be weird because Draco really shouldn’t be there (at the wedding) at all, Harry had retorted by saying that even though it was odd, Ron should be accustomed to it by now and that it would be rude not to invite him.  Plus, Harry, unlike Ron, was intrigued about this new Draco Malfoy who seemingly had Hermione in complete and utter happiness.
 
"There's just something I don't like about him," Ron mused.

Harry took a drink from his glass and laughed.  "He's less than ninety percent body fat and he's shagging your ex-girlfriend."

“No, Harry.  It's definitely not that.  Look at the way he walks,” Ron snapped, trying to get Harry’s attention back to the present.  “Walking around like he owns the place.  Just like a Malfoy."
   
At that moment, Draco walked over to the two of them.  “Good evening, Harry.  Ron.”
   
“How’s it going, Draco?” Harry asked.
   
“It’s great,” Draco smiled sincerely.  “Who would’ve thought?”
   
“For sure,” Harry replied.  “But we’re happy to have you.  It’s so nice to see Hermione so happy.  How’s she doing anyway?”
   
Draco shrugged.  “She’s great.  Having girl time and all.”
   
Draco looked over at Ron who looked absolutely livid.  “What’s the matter, Ron?”
   
“You’re what’s the matter, Malfoy,” Ron snarled.  “You may have everyone else fooled but I know you’re up to something.”
   
Harry rolled his eyes and put a hand on Draco’s shoulder.  “Don’t worry about it, Draco.  He just had some bad food.”
   
Draco turned with Harry in the direction to walk away from the nonsense going on around him.  They were headed in the direction of Oliver and Fred and George when Ron grabbed Draco, spun him around, and clocked him right in the nose.
   
As expected, Draco’s nose immediately started to bleed.
   
“Cheap shot, Ron,” Draco said, standing with his arms crossed as blood dribbled down his face and onto his new suit. 
   
“What the Hell was that for, Ron?” Harry shouted.
   
By now, everyone had turned to see what was going on. 
   
“He’s a traitor,” Ron yelled, clutching his red fist.  “He’s not really in love with Hermione.  They’re planning something!”
   
“Ron,” Harry pushed him back.  “Get out of here!”
   
“Why are you making me leave?” Ron, who was now clearly under the influence of far too much alcohol, began slurring his words.  “Make him leave.”
   
“Draco didn’t do anything, little brother!” Fred called back.  “Come on George.  Let’s take Ron and put him to bed.”
   
Ron fought out of his brothers’ grasp but they pinned him down.
   
“We’ll be back,” Fred mouthed as they dragged their younger brother out of the room.
   
Once they had gone, Harry turned back to Draco and handed him a napkin.  “Are you okay, Draco?”
   
“Yeah,” Draco pulled out his wand, pointed it at his nose and healed it instantly.  “What’s with him?”
   
Harry shook his head in a hopeless manner.  “I don’t know.  Just ignore him.”
   
But Draco couldn’t ignore him.  He now had a sinking suspicion that Hermione was more right than either of them had realized.  He had to do something or their whole secret would be revealed. 
   
Who knew what would happen if that were to come out.

   
   

   

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