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Contours by GryffindorGirl153

Format: Novel
Chapters: 27
Word Count: 161,660

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Mild Language, Scenes of a Sexual Nature

Genres: Drama, Romance
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Draco, Pansy, Ginny, Blaise (M), OC, OtherCanon
Pairings: Draco/Hermione, Other Pairing

First Published: 01/11/2009
Last Chapter: 09/08/2011
Last Updated: 09/08/2011

amazing banner by .maledefoi at Sound of Silence.

Hermione glanced at him, then back to the reporter. “Yes.” She finally said. “It is true.” Despite her words, she was glaring at Draco as she spoke. “I am engaged to Draco Malfoy.”

Chapter 1: Prologue
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

By: Gryffindorgirl153


Draco stood there, in the middle of the room, rooted at the spot. Engaged. Engaged. Engaged. His mind continued repeating the word over and over again but it never truly registered. “Draco, say something.” His mother, Narcissa Malfoy practically begged. Her beautiful grey eyes pierced into his with concern. “Darling, say something please.” She pleaded softly, anxious for his reaction.

Narcissa shook her son out of his trance, and once he focused his eyes forward, he suddenly found himself glaring at his mother. Narcissa cowered a bit and leaned back against the couch as she placed her right hand on top of her husbands’ where it previously rested. “An arranged marriage?” Draco spat furiously. “Are you insane mother?”

“Don’t talk to your mother that way.” Lucius Malfoy warned to his son in a brusque manner. “The Greengrass’ are a nice family, and their youngest daughter, Astoria, was more than pleased when she heard of this.” Draco hated how his father sounded placid and collected at situations like this.

Draco began pacing in front of the coffee table, trying to recollect his thoughts. “It would have been nice if I was informed before you two went ahead and made this decision for me.” He said coldly. “I’m only twenty for crying out loud!” Draco was livid. He hasn’t felt this much anger directed towards his parents in years. “And why must I suffer for their mistakes? They’re the one’s in need of money, not me. I shouldn’t be the one who has to give up my life for them.”

“Draco.” Narcissa warned dangerously. “Please understand their circumstances.” She said. “Marcus Greengrass is an old friend of our family. They are in desperate need of financial aid and this marriage is the only way to do it. There is no reason to be selfish.”

Draco scowled at both his parents. “I will not marry Astoria Greengrass.” He said stubbornly. “I will not marry her.”

Narcissa sat up from her position, to look at her son properly. His tall form, which he inherited from his father, towered over his small, petite mother- but even with this, she looked more intimidating. “Draco, I’ll make a deal with you. If you can prove to me that you’ve found someone before this wedding, then you’re free to go. But while you’re still single then you’re going to marry Astoria.” She finished.


The Greengrass Manor appeared as grand as usual. The marble floors were spotless, and shined as the light reflected off it. Their furniture was arranged precisely and carefully in order to match everyone’s likings. There were house elves bustling around, doing their chores obediently. Large windows were seen on the south wall of the manor, with very large heavy drapes covering the windows. Elaborate paintings hung on the walls, entrancing guest as they passed by.

The Malfoy’s flooed there at exactly seven o’clock sharp, and they all found the Greengrass’ waiting for them in the sitting room. “Corean.” Narcissa said, sweeping across the room to hug Corean Greengrass. “It’s wonderful to see you again dear.” She greeted sweetly.

Corean Greengrass was a tall, blonde woman. She had emerald green eyes, and would dress in formal green robes. Her round face matched Daphne’s, while her perfectly pointed nose matched Astoria’s. Her hair was in a sensible bun at the back of her head, with curly strands falling around her face.

“Marcus.” Marcus Greengrass smiled down at Narcissa as he took her right hand and kissed it. “Your girls look absolutely divine Corean.” She said, walking towards the two girls standing behind the coffee table. “How are you two?”

“Fine.” They chorused, as if they practiced it. The two siblings were sitting on the love seat, each on opposite sides. Their legs were tucked under the other, and their hands were placed delicately on their laps. Their blonde hair was pulled back neatly, exposing their beautifully shaped faces. Each had the same green eyes they’ve inherited from their mother.

Lucius stepped next to Draco, placing his hands on his son’s broad shoulders. “Draco, won’t you say hello?” It wasn’t a question, more like an indirect threat.

“Hello.” Draco said, rather coldly, but decided against it once he noticed the joyous light around Corean’s face diminish. “Thank you for allowing us into your home.” He said politely.

Marcus laughed loudly. “Shall we all proceed for dinner?” he asked.

Marcus Greengrass is what one would picture a typical rich father. He was round and chubby in most places. He wore expensive suits, which were probably tailored to fit his own body, and he had a thick gray beard settled on his upper lip. Marcus had a loud booming voice, and his body shook while he laughed. “The house elves have finished preparing a few minutes before you arrived.” Lucius nodded, and they followed the Greengrass’ into their dining area. “Please, take a seat.” He extended his arm out towards the empty chairs.

There was a long table in the middle of the room with just enough seats for all seven of them. Marcus and Corean took their seats at the head of the table, and Draco shuffled over next to his mother who sat directly across Astoria. “Draco, my boy- why not sit next to our Astoria tonight?” Marcus said with a large grin on his face.

Draco nodded, again, out of politeness and walked around the table to take the next available seat. “Hello.” Astoria said in a sweet, shy voice. Draco nodded in response, not feeling up to talking. The house elves began filing into the room, carrying trays and trays of food to place on the long table. “Thank you.” Draco heard Astoria say softly when a house elf placed her own serving of soup on her plate.

“Thanks.” Draco murmured. They all began eating, while their parents began conversing. Draco sat there, eating silently while he noticed Astoria sneaking careful glances towards him.

“Astoria, pass me that would you?” Daphne said in the same voice Draco remembered. “Thank you. So Draco, are you happy with this arrangement?” Daphne spoke, turning to him.

Draco suddenly felt nervous when he saw Astoria turn her head his way as well. “I- well, I wasn’t exactly notified until a few hours ago.” He suddenly felt remorse when he saw Astoria’s face fall as she turned back to her food. He took his chance to allow his eyes to sweep over her face.

Astoria was gorgeous. It would be a lie if anyone said otherwise. However, there was something about her person that made Draco squirm — and not in a good way. She had the same blonde hair as her sister, curly and long. Her skin was as smooth as a porcelain doll and she had bright, emerald green eyes that smiled along with her mouth. His head snapped back towards his food and he cleared his throat when she caught him staring.

“Draco, darling.” Corean spoke to get his attention. “Tonight, I called you all over for dinner to discuss some plans.” She said, and Draco gulped loudly. “I was thinking, perhaps we could discuss some wedding plans.”

“That’d be wonderful.” Narcissa said, smiling. “I was actually thinking about having the wedding sometime in the spring.” Draco grimaced at his mother. He had barely had time to even allow the idea of being married to soak into his brain, and his mother was already discussing wedding plans with the in-laws.

Corean gasped, her eyes brightening. “That’s what I was thinking!” she said. “We could have the cutest backyard wedding.” Corean said. Draco was suddenly reminded of two teenage girls, planning the most exciting day of their lives.

“Spring.” Draco repeated. “That’s in a few months.” He told his mother. “Could this possibly be put off until I turn twenty?” He asked, hopeful that she would find sympathy in herself somewhere.

Narcissa looked at her son sympathetically, then to Corean. “His birthday is in seven months.” She said. “I feel cruel enough having him marry at such a young age.”

Corean smiled. “A wedding in the summer will be just as beautiful.” She said kindly. “Won’t it, Astoria?”

Astoria nodded. “Of course it will mother.” She said. “The weather should be lovely.” She smiled at both Narcissa and Corean, her teeth shining as the light hit it.

Draco noticed the proper posture Astoria held as she sat at the dinner table. He distinctly remembered childhood memories where both his mother and father would scold him for sitting with a poor posture, or eating with terrible manners. Draco was brought up to be a proper pureblood, much like how he noticed Astoria was. She was like a perfect daughter, unlike her rebellious sister Daphne. Another reason not to get married to this woman had dawned on Draco. She was much too proper. She moved elegantly and swiftly, as if she as dancing with her movements. She knew what to say to elders, and when to say it, and she knew exactly what to do to make others around her feel comfortable and happy. Astoria Greengrass was perfect. And that’s exactly something Draco didn’t want.

“And don’t worry about the finances Marcus.” Lucius spoke, turning to Mr. Greengrass. “My wife and I will take care of everything.”

Corean looked at Lucius thankfully. “Thank you so much Lucius.” She said. “And Narcissa. You have no idea what you’ve done for us.”

Narcissa shook her head. “It’s not a problem Corean.” She assured Mrs. Greengrass. “I’m sure it won’t be anything that expensive.”

Corean clapped her hands together excitedly, and spoke so abruptly that her loudly voice surprised Draco as he ate his food. “This should be announced to the public before there are any more misunderstandings.” She said. “There are a lot of rumors going on about us in the prophet already, so we should have an engagement party, no?”

Narcissa nodded, just as eager as Mrs. Greengrass was. “How about on Tuesday night? We’ll have it in the Manor.”

“Perfect.” Corean said, grinning.

A/N: 082612; edited.

Chapter 2: Chapter One
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

By: Gryffindorgirl153

authors note: edited 9.1.2011

Chapter One

Draco slammed the door of his office closed with an immense amount of anger and threw The Daily Prophet on the surface of his table. When he his anger was still not satiated, he grabbed the nearest object and threw it across the room. The snow globe that Pansy had gotten him for Christmas years ago shattered against the wall, and the water spilled out among the broken pieces of glass. Guilt and regret suddenly filled Draco once he realized what he had just broken. However, all thoughts of his broken gift left his mind as he angrily strutted around his desk and settled on his chair, staring at the newspaper with disbelief once more.

Draco Malfoy and Astoria Greengrass engaged!

Who would have ever thought that Draco Malfoy, son of a multi-millionaire would ever think of settling down at the age of twenty? Draco Malfoy, son of Lucius Malfoy, a wealthy business owner is now engaged to Astoria Greengrass (19), insuring the rumor that has been going around for months! Sorry ladies, Malfoy Jr. is no longer a bachelor.

Sources report that this sudden engagement has been arranged because of financial issues on the Greengrass’ part, which had shoved them into a tight corner for months. Yet, a personal interview with Corean Greengrass reveals that the couple is INDEED in love. “My family is facing no such thing!” Is Mrs. Greengrass’ response upon hearing the previous statement. “They are getting married because they are in love, and they have been for a while now.”

It is said that the reason for this sudden engagement is due to financial issues, which have locked the Greengrass’ in a tight corner. After a personal interview with Corean Greengrass, she had made it quiet plain and clear that the two lovebirds are getting married for one sole purpose. “My family is facing no such thing.” Says Mrs. Greengrass, appalled at hearing the statement. “They are getting married because they love each other, and nothing more.”

Go and rent your tux’s gents. It is said that this will be the greatest wedding of the season! The Malfoy/Greengrass wedding has been set to take place during the summer after Draco turns twenty-one on June 5th. No further plans on the wedding have been made, other than the date and the possible location. Mrs. Greengrass states that they will arrange a backyard wedding for the two lovebirds, and will be held in the grand Malfoy Manor. An engagement party will be taking place in the Malfoy Manor as well this Tuesday night.

Congrats to the love birds!

Draco threw the paper with incredible force into the disposal bin, furious that everyone now knew about his ridiculous engagement. The moment he stepped out of the fireplace of his office, he was dumbfounded when he was immediately bombarded by the press. He had to push through several photographers and reporters who wanted a quote or an exclusive interview. He had never felt so violated in his life.

A knock on the door drew Draco out of his thoughts. He was surprised to find Astoria walking through the doorway, and stopping in the middle of his office with a small bag nestled in the palm of her hands. Draco sat up in his seat and immediately washed his face of any signs of distaste and anger. He knew it was not Astoria’s fault, therefore, he did not feel the need to show rudeness.

“I brought you some lunch.” Said Astoria in her high, sweet voice as she held up the bag in her hands. “I thought you’d be hungry. Your mum said you rushed out before breakfast was set.”

Draco took a look at Astoria and realized that any sane man would think that she was the most gorgeous woman they’ve ever seen in their life. Between Astoria and Daphne, although undeniably pretty as well, Daphne did not match her younger sisters’ beauty. The way her sun kissed her curly blonde hair, and the way her face simply sparkled as you looked at her would leave any man breathless.

Unfortunately, her beauty did not seem to move Draco as much as she had hoped. Instead of the reaction she was expecting, Draco simply looked at her as if she was as plain as a white paint. But even white paint had its glossy features. He looked at her as if she was as plain as a white sheet of paper.

Slowly, she walked to his desk and placed the lunch in front of him. “Er.. Thanks.” Draco said, surprised as he looked down at the bag. He suddenly felt overwhelmed; he felt like she was already his wife. She brought him his lunch to work and checked up on him just to make sure that he was okay.

Astoria sighed helplessly. “I saw the paper.” She said, her voice lowering. “I know that you’re against this marriage, and I know that we barely know each other.” Draco allowed her to speak freely, not uttering a single word as he watched her. “But I’m asking you to not break this off. My mother and father have gotten into several fights over this, and I’d feel terrible if I caused them any more trouble than they have to face. With this marriage, all their problems will be fixed, and they no longer have to stress over their money.” She said. “They would marry my sister off, but she’s already dating someone, and they’re already set. He’s not exactly the perfect husband for her, in their eyes at least, but she refused to leave him.”

He sighed in return. “I’m not going to pretend to like this. Whatever is happening, please don’t pretend that everything is okay when it’s not. Please just don’t force anything on me, and I guess this will end fine.”

“The press is all over us.” Astoria continued, completely ignoring Draco’s request. “Since we’re soon going to be heads of our fathers’ companies in a few years and an important merger will take place to ensure my fathers’ financial status, the press will never be off our backs until we die.” She informed him. “We can’t get a divorce. It just won’t work.” Her eyes flickered towards his awaiting his reaction.

Draco simply stared at her, stunned. “But I don’t understand.” He said. “Your fathers’ company is doing fine. I don’t understand how your family can be facing financial issues at this point.”

“My great grandmother left us a debt to pay with the Ministry that we didn’t know of. Everything we’re earning now, all goes to paying our family’s debt and everything we’ve saved up is gone.” Astoria answered. “We currently have very little to support us, enough to probably last a year. The business is doing fine, yes. Enough to get us through with little difficulty. However, investors are slowly finding out about our family bordering bankruptcy, and they’re slowly backing out. Without the investors, our company will suffer.”

“And why can’t we get a divorce?” Draco asked her. “Once we divorce, half of my money at most, will be moved into your account. You’ll be able to pay off the debts and every body wins.”

Astoria shook her head. “Even if that’s true, my parents won’t have our name tainted because of a divorce.” She explained. “Our family name is the only thing that’s hiding us now, and we’ve got to keep it clean.”

Draco snorted. “That’s a bit too much to ask of me, don’t you think?” he asked her, leaning forward on his desk. “I will marry you Astoria because I do not dare to defy my parents, and to be honest, I pity your family’s current status. But I will live my future how I want to. I will not suffer the rest of my life just to pay off your family’s debt.”

“Is it too much to hope that you’d like to live it with me?” Astoria asked quietly. “Plenty of couples found each other out of arrange marriages. Just because this is arranged, doesn’t mean that the possibility of us loving each other is not there.”

“I’m sorry Astoria, but I doubt that I can come to love you in the future. Perhaps if we had met on normal terms, I would feel less resentful towards you.” Draco replied coldly. “If you excuse me, I need to get back to work.” Draco said, as nice as he possible could.

Astoria nodded, but she didn’t leave. She took her large bag from her shoulder, and began rummaging through it. She pulled out a set of keys and handed it to Draco. “What is this?” He asked her, taking the keys.

“Your parents and mine decided that we should move in together.” She told him with a shrug. “To make this look more legitimate. This should also help us get used to the whole idea of being married. Here’s the address.” Astoria handed him a small piece of paper with neat handwriting. “It’s a small flat in London, the size is just perfect for us.”

Draco stared at the keys in horror. His parents were taking this too far. Way too far. He didn’t expect to be moving in with Astoria until a few months before their actual wedding. “And my things?” he asked, gulping loudly.

“They’ve already been moved.” She said, sounding more than happy. “It seems that they’ve set up the whole house already. I suppose they’re a bit too excited about this whole situation.”

Draco dropped his head in his hands. “Please go.” Despite the ‘please’, his firm tone proved that he was ordering her. “I need to go have a word with my father.”

Astoria nodded. “I’ll see you at home.” She said.


Draco stayed behind in his office as long as he could. He even helped his co-workers out with tasks as simple as filing paperwork, and ordering data. He sorted the stack of papers on his desk that he had been too lazy to do for months. He didn’t want to live in a flat with Astoria, much less spend the rest of his life with her. He wasn’t a romantic type of guy, but he knew that he wanted to spend his life with someone he loved. No matter how beautiful Astoria may be, he didn’t want to be forced in a marriage like this.

Draco pulled the keys out of his pocket and unlocked the door as slowly as he could. He suddenly smelled something wonderful, and his eyes settled on a large living room. His large flat screen TV was hanging on the wall, a large coffee table sat in the middle of the room and a large, black leather sofa surrounded the other edges of the sitting room.

His ears were suddenly filled with singing from the hallway to his left, and he followed the aroma, which lead him into the spacious kitchen. “You’re home.” The singing stopped, replaced with Astoria’s voice. You’re home. It sounded as if she was already his wife. “Your mother taught me how to cook this.” She said, motioning to the large pot on the stove. “It’s not as great as hers, but it smells amazing so far, so I reckon I’m doing a good job.”

Draco scanned the large kitchen, amazed. There was a large table in the corner of the room, and the walls were covered with counters. In the middle of the kitchen, there was a small island with a stove and extra counter space where Astoria was currently chopping up vegetables before she threw them into the pot.

He walked out of the kitchen and towards the end of the hallway, where there were three doors. He opened the first one and found a single bed and empty drawer space. Draco speculated that it was the guest room. He opened the second door and found a large bathroom with a lot of unnecessary space.

The next door was an enormous bedroom with a large, king sized bed placed on the middle. There were blue sheets placed on top, with several pillows arranged by the headboard. Two dressers were placed in the corner of the room, with a table on the opposite side of the room. The entire wall to the right was covered in windows, which was covered with long blue curtains.

He walked back to the kitchen before he placed his keys on the counter and turned to Astoria. “I thought you said this flat was small.” Draco said, leaning back against the counter.

“It is.” Astoria replied flatly.

“Right, I forgot that you lived in a three story manor your entire life.” He said, rolling his eyes. . Draco popped a grape in his mouth. “I’ll take the bed in the guest room.” Draco told her.

Astoria dropped the spatula she was holding and lowered the fire of the stove before she turned her full attention to him. “Draco, don’t you think we should try this?” she asked, sounding a lot more hopeful than she realized. “Just try to make this work? If we put no effort, then we will both end up miserable.”

“I didn’t say I wasn’t going to.” He told her resentfully. “For now, this is just too much for me.”

Days went by, and Astoria grew more and more annoying for Draco’s taste. Each night, she would pest him about the lack of effort he put into their relationship, and each night, he would ignore her while they ate. He tried to spend as much time in his office, and eventually, he ended up clocking out at around eleven-thirty every night.

His parents were as insistent as Astoria. His mother and Mrs. Greengrass had been constantly planning every single detail for the almighty wedding, where money was a single issue. They’ve been debating on colors, flowers, various foods, and the style of Astoria’s dress.

For the next couple of days, the press were relentless. They never stopped following Draco and Astoria wherever they went. Unlike Draco, who didn’t want to encourage the press, Astoria, who didn’t seem to have a problem displaying their relationship to the public, answered obediently. Most of her answers were lies, and the rest, were what she had been hoping for.

To his dismay, he was powerless when it came to this marriage. It was his parents taking the reigns of his life. He didn’t want to live in a flat with Astoria, and he didn’t want to be marrying someone he could no longer stand. Not to mention, he didn’t want to marry at such a young age.

“You’re home late.” Astoria said, deadpan. She was waiting in the living room when Draco entered their flat. “Your father said that you left the office three hours ago.”

Draco dropped his keys on the table, and shrugged his coat off. “I had some last minute work to do.” He lied. Lately, tired of work, he’s been spending ample amounts of time with Blaise and Pansy. He tried his best to put off seeing Astoria and her nagging.

“Did you forget what tonight was?” Astoria asked, walking towards him. It was then when he noticed her attire for the first time. She was wearing a dark blue cocktail dress, with black pumps that made her legs look like they ran for miles on end. She had let her blonde hair cascade down her back in soft curls, and she wore a light layer of makeup on her face. Even though she dressed in plain clothes and wore a light layer of makeup, she was still unbelievably radiant. “It’s our engagement party tonight Draco. All the guest are already there.”

Draco walked into the bedroom, ignoring her voice as he changed into his tux. He threw his tie around his neck, and pulled on his black shoes. Draco left his bedroom, and walked into the living room where he grabbed his keys and coat.

Astoria impatiently walked over to Draco, and did his tie for him with perfection. He resisted the urge to smack her hands away, but he knew that it would be better for both of them if they didn’t not argue. “We’re an hour late.” She informed him disapprovingly. “Even your father left work early.” She tucked his tie into his jacket, and smoothed it out hastily.

“Astoria, don’t start please.” Draco said exasperatedly, as he pulled on his coat and handed Astoria hers. “I had a long day.”

She snorted. “Look, Draco. Maybe if you actually put effort into this relationship, then I would have to constantly remind you to do so.” Astoria told him spitefully. “Don’t you think this is hard for me as well? Do you think I want to live the rest of my life with someone who can’t seem to stand my presence? No, I don’t. That’s why I’m trying Draco.”

“To be honest, Astoria,” Draco scowled bitterly. “After the past few days, I’m not sure that I even want to try this.” He retaliated. “The married life isn’t for me.” Astoria looked at him, shocked. Her hands were gripping the sides of her coat as she wrapped it around her frame and buttoned it up. “Let’s just get this over with.” Draco said, taking Astoria’s hand in his and apparating them both into the Malfoy Manor.

They were greeted with loads and loads of guest whom neither of them even knew. However, the couple politely said hello, greeting all their guest as if they personally knew each and every one of them. Astoria clung onto Draco’s arm the entire night for two reasons: to make sure that he didn’t disappear anywhere, and to keep up appearances.

“You’re late.” Narcissa snapped angrily when the couples had reached their parents. “You were supposed to leave work early, remember?”

“I’m sorry mother, it must’ve slipped my mind.” Draco replied, a hint of coldness in his voice.

“Alright Narcissa.” Lucius said before he let his wife snap at his son. “Everyone’s here, and everything’s going smoothly. There’s no reason to get angry.” He placed his hands on her shoulders to calm her down. “Draco, don’t ruin anything.” Lucius whispered to Draco dangerously. “Your mother had a fit before you came, and she’ll probably have a heart attack if you cost her anymore stress.”

Draco gritted his teeth together. “Yes father.”

To Draco, the party was boring, but everyone else seemed to have enjoyed it. Astoria and Draco posed for many pictures, pretending to be happy, but in truth, he found it horrendously annoying to have Astoria in his arms. There were many reporters approaching him, asking him various questions about their engagement, and Draco allowed Astoria to answer.

“You don’t look very happy.” Astoria remarked as they sat down on their table.

Draco looked away from her, as if he was a kid throwing a tantrum. “That’s because I’m not.” He responded sourly. “I’m sure I’ve already made that very clear.”

Astoria glared at him, her soft emerald green eyes turning rabid. “It wasn’t a question. You’re supposed to be happy Draco.” She said firmly. “You’re not supposed to look like this is the end of the world for you. Everyone else thinks that we love each other, and here you are looking like you can’t even stand me.”

“Then maybe your parents should’ve chosen your soon-to-be-husband much more carefully.” Draco snapped.

“It wasn’t their choice.” Astoria admitted quickly. “I chose you.”

“What?” he asked incredulously. “You chose me?”

“Out of all the pureblood families out there, I thought that you would be the most cooperative.” Astoria told him fiercely. “But obviously, I was wrong.”

Draco glared at her. “Obviously.” He snapped, irritated.

Astoria sighed exasperatedly. “Draco, please.” She tried, her tone adjusting to a more timid one. “Just put please try and put some effort into this. We won’t get anywhere if you don’t try.”

He shook his head, standing up and leaving Astoria sitting there by herself. There were many guests who addressed him as he walked past them, but Draco paid no attention. He quickly strode out of the Manor, incredible angry, and apparated into London. He found himself on the street of his old flat. Without another thought, he quickly walked down the street until he found refuge. It was currently snowing, and the streets were covered in a pure white sheet. He had no idea where he was going, but he was sure that he wasn’t in the mood to see anyone. Draco turned the corner and found a small diner at the end of the street.

He entered the restaurant and slid into the empty booth. The waitress tended to him quickly. “I’ll have a cup of coffee please. Extra crème.”

“Coming right up love.” The waitress was a short red head woman who was probably in her early forties or late thirties. Soon enough, she returned with a large cup of coffee on top of a large saucer. “Enjoy.” She said with a bright smile.

“Thank you.” Draco replied flatly. He sat there for the next ten minutes, sulking. He thought about Astoria, his arranged marriage, his ridiculous parents, and the infrastructure of his life, irrevocably crumbling around him. He sat in the booth until a voice broke through his thoughts.

“Well, if it isn’t Draco Malfoy.” He looked up immediately, and was surprised to find the last person her ever expected to find him. Hermione Granger plopped down on the seat in front of him and set a thick book aside on the table. “I’m surprised to see you out here. And all dressed up too.” She said, raising her eyebrows and motioning to his attire.

For a while, Draco’s eyes were glued to Hermione’s face while his astonishment failed to ebb away. Once he realized how long he had been unintentionally staring at Hermione, he quickly looked away and focused his attention out the window. “What are you doing here, Granger?” he asked, trying to sound as uninterested as possible.

He saw Hermione shrug out of the corner of his eye. “I like peace and quiet.” She told him. The way they spoke to each other, it was as if they had been friends their entire life; as If the two year gap between Hogwarts and present day wasn’t there. She had just planted herself into the open seat before him in the most comfortable manner possible.

“Well you’re not exactly getting it here talking to me.” Draco retorted. “Why are you talking to me?” he asked her, confused.

She frowned at him. “Would you rather have me leave?” she asked.

“Yes, actually. I would.” Draco snapped rudely. For as long as he could remember, he never gave a single thought about his rudeness towards Hermione. After all, that was what their sole relationship was based on. “You’re not leaving.” He remarked flatly when she did not move.

“I saw the prophet.” Hermione began, ignoring Draco. “Interesting article.” He scowled at her, despite the fact that he was more annoyed at the article, instead of Hermione herself. “Astoria is very pretty.” She told him, as if she was trying to find some way to give him comfort. “You two make a wonderful couple.”

“Shut it Granger.” Draco snapped. “I could care less about how pretty that woman is.”

Hermione made a sarcastic pout, and suddenly looked like as if she was forcing down her smile. “No retorts about me being a mudblood?” she asked him, a slight smirk on her face. “Oh c’mon Draco.” Hermione started when she caught his expression. “You’re engaged. This isn’t exactly how an engaged man acts when he hears about his fiancé.” The world rolled off her tongue, and it was probably the first time Draco has ever heard it. “So I take it that the other rumors are true?” she asked timidly. “The one about everything being arranged?”

Draco merely nodded. He finally let go of his pride for a short moment and spared her another look. It was then when he finally took notice of her appearance. Her hair was tied in a messy bun on the back of her head, and she had various strands of hair falling around her face. Thick, black-rimmed glasses framed her face and hid her honey brown eyes from the world. Hermione looked like a complete mess, and yet, Draco couldn’t help but take a second look at her, or a third, or a fourth. There was something about her appearance that made her… interesting in a beautiful kind of way. Dare he say, she looked more beautiful than Astoria ever had. “What are you doing here?” he asked her again, suddenly genuinely curious. “Came for a refuge?” Draco asked, motioned to the book on the table.

She laughed softly, nodding as she fingered the spine of her book. “My world is too noisy. I needed an escape.” Her voice held a slightly mocking tone, but Draco knew what she meant nonetheless.

He laughed bitterly. “I’d love to have one of those.” He admitted, more to himself that to Hermione.

“Of course.” Hermione nodded. “You’ve got the press tailing you everywhere. You’ve got absolutely no privacy. Aren’t you supposed to be at a party right now?” she asked, eying him carefully. “What kind of engagement party is it if the groom isn’t there?”

He grimaced openly at the word groom. “They’ll manage without me. It’s more of a party for the Greengrass’. Honestly, I think my parents just want to grace them back into the rich, pureblood society. It’s all ridiculous shit, if you ask me. I don’t even know half the people attending.”

“Well that’s the life of a pureblood, is it not?” Hermione asked, leaning towards him. “Parties where you don’t know anyone, but you still pretend that you do, and arranged marriages that you’re forced into because you don’t dare defy your parents or your family name.” Draco stared at her, slightly amazed. Just slightly “Am I close?” she asked, a small smile playing on her face. As an answer, he looked away from her again. “I thought so.”

Draco chuckled and turned back to her. “You’re still the same know it all mudblood.” Observed Draco.

Hermione smirked. “You’re not much different either.”

“I’m a Malfoy, Granger.” Draco reminded, amused with their conversation. “What more do you expect?”

“Well, I expect you to be in your house right now, with your fiancé.” She told him, cocking her head to the side. “So how does it feel like to have a fiancé, Malfoy? Fun, I suppose?”

He scowled, knowing that she was taunting him. “How does it feel like to be engaged the most annoying, detestable woman in the entire world?” Draco retorted coldly. “Horrible.”

“Oh c’mon.” she rolled her eyes. “Astoria can’t be that bad. She graduated as top in her class, she’s gorgeous — even you cannot deny that — and she’s probably the best candidate to be the future Lady Malfoy.”

“Perhaps you should marry her then.” Draco snapped irritably.

Hermione pretended to be offended. “Oh, touchy.” She mocked jokingly. “Lighten up. Being married shouldn’t be so bad.”

“And you would know?” he asked, raising an eyebrow. From his question, he had just realized that subconsciously, he was more than curious to know about the last two years of Hermione’s life.

She shook her head and held up her left hand, showing a bare ring finger. “I’m not even close to it.” She said happily, smiling. “I don’t want to get married anytime soon. My life is too exciting at this point. And I’m only nineteen for Merlin’s sake.”

Draco, who suddenly became aware that he had spent more time than intended in the diner, stood up, and pulled a few pounds from his pocket before he threw it on the table. “This has been fun, but I should go.” He said, his voice dripping with sarcasm. Hermione stood up as well, looking incredibly amused. “Don’t leave on my account.” He said suddenly.

She shook her head with a smile, and said, “I was on my way to leave when I found you. I’ll see you around Draco.” Hermione smiled at him before she took her leave and exited the restaurant.

Upon hearing his first name roll of her tongue as if she’s been saying it for years, he froze on the spot, surprised. After recomposing himself, he couldn’t fight the small smile that clawed its way to his lips. Finally, he took a step forward and followed suit, exiting the diner as quick as possible.

Once he pushed through the doors, he was immediately bombarded with several photographers and reporters, who successfully blocked any possible exit. They were all shouting loudly, begging Draco to answer their questions. There were flashes everywhere, clouding his vision for a few moments. Anger immediately struck him as he drew the conclusion that the reporters had been on his tale the moment he left the Manor.

It wasn’t until he heard a reporter shout ‘Who is she?’, when he noticed Hermione standing beside him, looking just as baffled as he. At that very moment, she turned and gave Draco a pleading look. Whilst Hermione was used to ample amounts of attention from the press due to her escapades during her seventh year at Hogwarts, she was impartial to the press’ constant habit of invading a persons privacy.

As the two stood by the entrance of the diner, dumbstruck and disturbed, the photographers took advantage of the situation and took as many pictures as they could of the couple. Reporters quick-quotes quills hovering around every inch of air as they perpetually asked questions.

“Is that Hermione Granger?”

“Why are you two together?”

“Why have you left your engagement party?”

“Are the rumors really true? Do you really love Astoria, or is it all just a plan to cover up her family’s financial problems?”

“Do you two have a relationship? Why is it that we’ve never seen her before?”

Hermione suddenly turned to Draco, and scowled openly, irritated that he had dragged her into his mess. Despite the fact that she genuinely cared about Draco’s circumstance, she certainly did not care enough to be dragged into it.

Unexpectedly, an idea dawned on Draco. It was risky, yes, and it crossed several boundaries that he would have never dreamed of crossing. However, because of his current situation with Astoria, he found that he had no choice. During the time he stood before the reporters, he quickly contemplated on the ups and the downs of his decision. But as the press grew rowdy, and as Hermione became more irritable, he was forced to set aside all rational thought and simply go with his plan. It was a selfish act, he knew it. But he was desperate.

Slightly apprehensive, he turned to Hermione with a hopeful express. She returned his gaze with big, confused eyes. Afraid that she would immediately push him away, he slowly lowered his lips beside her ear and whispered, “Please, just play along for now.” When she didn’t move further, he took the initiative and placed his hands on the back of her neck. Before her brain could even register what was happing, he pulled her face forward and his lips tumbled onto hers.

A sudden uproar filled their surroundings as the reporters’ voices grew louder, and their questions more pressing. The flashes of the photographer’s camera were more constant with each passing moment.

Draco could feel his heart beating loudly against his chest. As he moved his lips against Hermione’s, he tried his best to incorporate his feelings of remorse through the kiss, and hoped with all his might that she understood. Once he pulled away, he immediately faced the press. He was unable to face Hermione — especially after what he had just done. “My engagement with Astoria Greengrass is off.” He said. “Astoria and I were both forced into an arranged marriage in order to help her family, for reasons that I am not comfortable with disclosing. I left the engagement dinner to propose to this woman, my old girlfriend.” He put his arm around Hermione’s waist and brought her forward, as if to show her off even further. “Hermione Granger. I’m sure you’re all familiar with her.” If possible, the press roared even louder.

Hermione turned to glare at Draco, anger flaring through her brown eyes.

“I’m so sorry, Granger.” He bent down to whisper in her ear. “I’m so genuinely sorry about this, but please, help me.”

“Miss Granger, is this true? Are you truly engaged to Draco Malfoy?” A reporter with blonde hair asked, stepping up.

Hesitantly, Hermione glanced at Draco before turning back to the reporter. She took a deep breath, as if bracing herself for what was to come. “Yes.” She finally said, smiling. “It is true.” Despite her words, she turned to glare at Draco as she spoke. “I am engaged to Draco Malfoy.”

Chapter 3: Chapter Two
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

By: Gryffindorgirl153

A/N:edited 9.1.2011

Chapter Two

Truthfully, Hermione barely had the chance to allow the sudden change in her life to sink in before the reporters furiously attacked Draco, eager to dig up more and more information about his new fiancé. The uproar of the reporters and the constant flashes clouding her vision distracted her from all rational thought. As she felt Draco’s hand on her back and another on her shoulder, her feet immediately found its way back to ground.

Quick quote’s quills, which were viewed as voice recorders through muggle eyes, were being shoved into her face. She felt the arm around her waist tighten, as if it was his own way of comforting her with a small gesture. Question began running through her mind. What was she to say? Would she go on with this? Would she let Malfoy have the satisfaction of having his way again? He was asking her to pose as her fiancé, and Hermione was positive that it wasn’t about to end here.

Hermione glanced at him with a scowl, then back to the reporter as she held her breathe. “Yes.” She finally said, releasing her breath. “It is true.” Despite her words, she was glaring at Draco as she spoke. “I am engaged to Draco Malfoy.”

Upon her words, Draco released a shaky breath, instantaneously feeling a new level of appreciation towards the woman standing beside him. “We dated long ago.” Draco began. “But we split, for reasons that I will not share. At her request, I left my engagement party in order to meet her. I couldn’t let her slip away from my grasp again, so I spontaneously asked her to marry me. It was all very fast, trust me.” He explained, hoping that his story would be enough to satiate the reporters and keep them at bay for a decent amount of time. “Please excuse us.” He said politely, before he push past them as he held Hermione’s hand tightly in his.

Once they were far enough from the diner, Draco apparated both himself and Hermione into his current flat.

“Have you gone mad?” Hermione demanded loudly the moment her feet landed on the hardwood floor. “Engaged? We’re bloody engaged?”

“Sh.” Draco shushed her quickly, placing a finger over his lips. “Quiet, please.” His eyebrows knitted into a frown.

He quickly scanned the room, hoping that Astoria was still entertaining guest at their dinner party. His stomach dropped when he caught sight of a pair of long, slim legs dangling from the end of the kitchen counter. She had kicked her shoes off, and they were left forgotten, littered by the doorway of the kitchen. There were several bottles of empty firewhiskey lined on the counter beside her, and a half empty bottle in her hand.

The moment she heard the sound of the unfamiliar voice, she clumsily hopped off the counter and walked towards the newly engaged couple. “Hermione Granger?” She asked, surprised. Her breath reeked of alcohol, and Draco recoiled slightly.

Hermione, who was more than shocked to see Astoria, immediately went to apologizing. “Astoria Greengrass.” She breathed, going through the after effects of immense shock. “I’m so, so genuinely sorry.” She said before glancing over to Draco. “I’ll be leaving now.” She told him. Before she reached the door, Draco grabbed her arm, stopping her from taking another step.

“We need to talk.” He said. “Tomorrow.”

She turned and nodded slowly. “Send me an owl.” And then she was gone.

Astoria spared Draco another disapproving glance. He had been waiting for the shouting and the lecturing to come, but it never did. She remained quiet, staring at the spot Hermione was just standing on. He watched, guilt stricken, as she shook her head and stumbled into her bedroom.


Despite popular belief, to Draco, the Daily Prophet the next day was the best out of the entire couple of weeks.

Draco Malfoy and Astoria Greengrass NOT Engaged!

Sorry folks, it turns out that this highly anticipated Malfoy/Greengrass wedding will not be happing. Instead, it looks like a Malfoy/Granger wedding will be taking its place. Draco Malfoy has indeed, found a new bride of his own, and will be planning to wed her, and not Miss Astoria Greengrass.

Nineteen year old, Hermione Granger, a plain, lucid girl was spotted with Draco Malfoy in a muggle diner, not far from Draco Malfoy’s previous bachelor pad. Dressed in a plain jumper and denim jeans, she departed the restaurant with Draco Malfoy hot on her heels. After the couple shared a kiss, proving the legitimacy of their relationship to several reporters and photographers, he announced, “My engagement with Astoria Greengrass is off. Astoria and I were both forced into an arranged marriage in order to help her family, for reasons that I am not comfortable with disclosing. I left the engagement dinner to propose to this woman, my old girlfriend.”

Miss Granger replied with the following. “Yes. It is true. I am engaged to Draco Malfoy.”

Looks like the Greengrass’ had a lot more to hide that we thought. Now that their engagement is over, sources revealed that the Greengrass’ truly are facing financial troubles, having to constantly repay the debts of deceased Caedmon Greengrass. There is no further information concerning Mr. and Mrs. Greengrass’ response to the latest news.

He smirked at the article with triumph, and placed it on his smoothly desk. It won’t be long now before his mother and father burst through the door of his office to reprimand him for deliberately disobeying them and successfully placing shame on the Greengrass’ name.

Suddenly remembering Hermione, he pulled out a spare piece of parchment from his desk and scribbled a short, quick note before he sent his owl off and out the window.

Meet me in The Leaky Cauldron.
Seven O’clock sharp.
Don’t be late, Granger.

Just as his owl took flight, the doors of his office burst open, and just as he had expected, he found his mother striding in quickly, looking livid. He took note of Astoria, trailing behind her, looking just as furious.

“What? were you thinking!” Narcissa question brusquely. Her voice was loud and sharp. She dropped her copy of the Prophet on his table, and slammed her old, worn hands on the surface. She did not even flinch upon the impact. “Hermione Granger? THE Hermione Granger? And on the night of your engagement dinner? Do you have any idea what you’ve just done, Draco? Do you have any idea what you just caused Astoria and her family? Do you?!”

Draco nodded, without so much as a wince. “I’ve gotten myself out of a loveless marriage.” He replied calmly, folding his hands on the surface of his desk.

“So you’re telling me you love this girl?” Narcissa asked her son with disbelief. “You love this muggle born girl Hermione Granger? I wasn’t aware that you and this girl were even friends, much less old lovers.”

Draco nodded again. “Yes mother, I do.”

Narcissa’s eyes blazed with a whole new level of fury. “I don’t buy a single word of this, you insolent little brat!” she screeched. “You haven’t spoken to this girl since Hogwarts, how do you expect this story to sell when it is a complete lie?”

“It’s not a lie, mother.” He informed her flatly.

“Do you have any idea what you’ve done to her family? What Marcus and Corean are going through right now?” Narcissa sneered, glaring daggers at her only son.

“This should’ve been thought of before you chose me to marry her.” Draco spat. “We had a deal, remember?” He reminded her. “If I find someone that I’d like to marry before this wedding, then we could call it off.”

“Yes, but I didn’t actually think that you were dating someone Draco!” Narcissa exclaimed. “I didn’t think that you were stupid enough to allow things to unravel like this! I thought that you would at least have the decency to find a way out of this marriage without making this big of a mess.”

“What’s done is done.” He said, complacent.

Narcissa continued glaring. “I certainly do hope that you know what you’re doing.” She said in a threatening tone. “I hope to Merlin that you will learn to live with this woman for the rest of your life, because you won’t be able to wiggle your way out of this one. You want to marry that girl? Fine.”

He nodded. “I know.”

His composed state seemed to be hiding his thoughts from his mother, as he sat behind his desk, immediately thinking of ways to save both Hermione and himself from his own mess. As a façade, Draco obediently sat before his mother, his hands folded neatly. In truth, over the years, he found that it was amusing to stay as composed as possible while his mother unleashed her anger on him. It simply pushed her buttons further.

“If you mess up even once, Draco, you’re going to have to marry Astoria, as soon as possible.” Narcissa spat with distaste. “I won’t even wait till your twenty-first birthday. We’ll marry you off straight away, despite what the public has to say. Have I made myself clear?”


Sparing her son one last glare, she stormed out of the room with pent up anger still built up in her stomach. Astoria quickly followed her, and Draco was left to wonder why she bothered to show up in the first place, seeing as she hadn’t said a word since she arrived. However, once the door slammed before her, Draco released a breath he didn’t know he was holding and leaned back against the chair. His eyes trailed up towards the ceiling as he began contemplating once more. With an already convinced Hermione Granger, the only thing left was the acting.

“What on earth was I thinking?” Draco muttered to himself as he started to imagine a married life with Hermione Granger.

He recalled the previous night when he spent a couple of minutes in the restaurant talking to Hermione about things he could no longer remember. He came to the unforeseen conclusion that he ultimately preferred Hermione’s company over Astoria’s. He was not sure why, but something told him that it was the stimulating and intelligent conversations Hermione had to offer as opposed to Astoria’s constant nagging. He was aware that Astoria graduated as top of her class, but there was something different between the two women. Perhaps it was the distaste that Draco had harbored for Hermione for the past seventeen years of his life.

Like they say, there’s a thin line between love and hate.


It was around eight after seven when Draco entered the Leaky Cauldron. It had been years since he stepped foot in the old pub, and he greeted Tom, the barman, on his way to an empty table in a secluded corner. He took a seat on the old wooden chair and ordered one bottle of butterbeer and another bottle of firewhiskey from the waitress. He predicted that Hermione wasn’t the type of girl to drink firewhiskey during a meeting such as this. The waitress conjured the two bottles and set them down on the table. After he nodded his thanks, the waitress left him alone.

He stared at the door after he glanced up from his wrist watch. She was late.

A shaky feeling suddenly spread through his bones like wildfire. He couldn’t stop fidgeting. He realized that it was a horrid habit — fidgeting when nervous — but he couldn’t control himself. Hermione currently held the cards to his future. She had all the power in her hand, and that was something he was definitely not accustomed to.

Draco uncapped his drink and waited. About ten minutes later, a slender woman walked through the door, her eyes scanning the pub immediately. Hermione was no longer wearing her thick-rimmed glasses, and her hair was no longer in a ponytail. She was wearing a black pencil skirt with a white button up blouse, which adjusted to her curves perfectly. She wore high black pumps but she didn’t look much taller than an average woman.

Once she spotted Draco, she immediately rushed towards him. “I’m sorry I’m late.” She apologized, taking the seat in front of him. “I got caught up at work.”

“Granger.” Draco greeted sourly, angry that she had just made him wait for ten minutes.

Hermione wasted no time. She dropped her copy of the prophet in front of him and glared. “Do you have any idea how many people are furious with me at this point?” she demanded. “Ron wanted to hunt you down and kill you with his bare hands. I’m sure Harry would’ve liked to help him.”

Draco chuckled inwardly when he remembered that Hermione had two overprotective goons at her side at all times. “It’s not a walk in the park for me either.” Draco sneered. “If we screw this up, then I will be forced to marry Astoria straight away. My mother won’t even hesitate.”

Hermione stared at him with large eyes. “Are you actually serious?” she asked incredulously.

“About having to marry Astoria straight away if we screw this up?” Draco asked skeptically. “Yes.. Do you think my mother would joke about something as serious as that?”

“No, I mean about this whole marriage deal.” Hermione said, shaking her head. “Are you seriously telling me that you want me to go through with this? You want me to marry you?” she asked with disbelief. “Malfoy, you’re twenty, and I’m only turning nineteen. I didn’t even expect to get married until I was at least thirty. And you weren’t exactly the groom I pictured, either.”

Draco scowled, and took a sip of his firewhiskey “Granger, you already agreed that you would play along.” Draco reminded, opening the prophet for her to point it out. “The public knows that we’re going to get married. They expect us to get married. I’ve already changed my mind, I can’t do it twice.”

Hermione stared at the prophet with a horror stricken face. “B — but — but, Malfoy! I can’t get married!” She exclaimed fiercely. Relief washed over Draco when he remembered that he had chosen the most secluded place in the pub to meet. “I’m nineteen! I’m barely considered an adult in the muggle world! And neither are you! I’m still in training to be an auror, I don’t even have a proper job yet-” she continued rambling on and on about every single reason as to why she shouldn’t be married.

“Relax Granger.” Draco said exasperatedly, although he found every single reason of hers completely understandable and legitimate. “We can get a divorce in about a year or so.”

“A year?” Hermione asked with disbelief. “You want me to put my life on hold for a year just so I can help you get out of marrying Astoria? What makes you think that they won’t make you marry her once we get a divorce?”

“The Greengrass’ won’t wait that long to marry off their youngest daughter.” Draco answered calmly. “I know enough about their status to know that they are desperate for a fine merger with another company in order to ensure their financial status in society. It’s all so ridiculous, but that’s Marcus’ thinking. Especially since information concerning their struggle have already been released to the public.” He scowled at the though. “Although, I hardly think that marrying Astoria off will fix their regrettably smeared name.”

Hermione snorted at his last comment. “I don’t see why you people care so much about your family’s image.” She said. “Well you obviously don’t, but I don’t see why they care so much.”

Draco shrugged. “They’re purebloods. Their family name has lived on for generations, and those past generations have worked hard to make sure that their family will be respected and honored for years on end.” He explained further. “And it would be embarrassing if a young adult were to suddenly ruin everything.” Hermione fell silent, not having anything to say to Draco’s assessment on Pureblood families. “So are you going to help me or not?” he finally asked.

Hermione groaned and slumped in her seat. “I really, really don’t want to.” She told him firmly. “Why me, Malfoy? Why couldn’t you pick some other girl? You do have other friends who are willing to help you out?”

“But you have to, don’t you?” Draco said with a small smirk on his face, ignoring what she had just said to him. “You’ve already agreed.”

“What was I thinking?” Hermione whispered to herself in a regretful manner. “Malfoy, do we really have to do this?” she questioned desperately. “Please tell me that there’s some way we can just turn this around.”

“Yes.” Draco said, nodding. “Granger, I’m going to be very honest with you. I don’t want to marry you. I would rather marry Pansy, than marry you. But if I were to choose between you and Astoria, I would choose you.”

Hermione laughed, taking a large gulp of her untouched butterbeer. “You must hate her a lot then.” She surmised. “Emphasis on a lot.”

He chuckled. “Yes I do. I’d like to actually live with someone I can stand for more than five minutes. Astoria nags way to much.”

She cocked her head to the side, a gesture that Draco found to be very.. interesting. “Well I’ll take that as a compliment considering the past seven years I’ve spent in Hogwarts.” Hermione said. “Okay, lets talk this out Malfoy. How exactly is this going to work?”

“We move in together.” Draco answered simply. “And we get married after we both turn twenty-one.”

Hermione stared at him. “You’re actually serious about this?” she asked for about the tenth time that day.

“Haven’t I already made this clear already?” Draco sneered exasperatedly.

“But Malfoy, you hate me, remember?” Hermione told him. “We hate each other. We’re supposed to hate each other.”

“Who says I still don’t hate you Granger?” A smirk played on his lips. Draco asked, a smirk playing on his lips. “Of course I still hate you. And I’m sure you hate me just as much.”

“And yet, we’re sitting here, having this conversation about whether or not we’re going to move in together.” She replied with a playful smile on her face. “I still have auror training, and I work in the ministry, part time, three times a week.” Hermione informed him. “I have a life Draco, you can’t expect me to drop it.”

Draco sighed, leaning back, trying to think of a convenient way to make everything work “How long have you been in training?” Draco asked, trying to break everything down, one thing at a time.

“Since we left Hogwarts.” Hermione answered. “That’s.. just a little more than two years.”

“Then you’ve got about a year and a half left. That’s just perfect.” He clapped his hands together.

Hermione took another large gulp of her butterbeer. “So you seriously want to go through with this?” Draco nodded. “Why me? Is it just cause I was the one who was with you when you were bombarded with the press that night?” Draco nodded simply. “That’s just convenient isn’t it?” she scowled and turned away.

After a few moments of studying her circumstance, she came to the horrible conclusion that she had no choice but to help him. He was right. She already agreed, and it would create a big mess if she were to back out. After she completely made up her mind, she leaned forward and placed her elbows on the table. “Then we need some rules, Malfoy.”

Draco visibly let out a breathe that he had seemingly been holding for a while.

“We have a real wedding. I will not tell my parents that this is a fake relationship. This is going to be real in their eyes, understood?” he nodded obediently. “Second, I am not concerned in getting any money once we’re divorced, so it should be a clean, and easy one.”

“Anything else?” Draco inquired in a bored tone.

“No sex.” She added.

“And you are not to do or say anything that will attract attention to either of us, understood? I don’t want photographers or reporters following me around everywhere I go.” She said. “If I show up in the prophet one more time because of some ridiculous scandal that you got yourself caught up in, then I’m ending it.”

Draco nodded.

“Do you have any suggestions?” she asked, shrinking back to her seat.

“We draw lines when it concerns are personal life.” He said. “There’s an extent to prying. I swear to Merlin, if you start nagging as much as Astoria did…”

Hermione laughed softly, her eyes sparkling with mirth. “Trust me, I know my boundaries.”

“Well then.. that’s it.” Draco finished.

Hermione paused for a couple of moments. “Wow, I’m engaged to Draco Malfoy.” She said pensively, as if the idea had just dawned on her. She then laughed. “This is going to be hell.”

“I’ll have everything arranged to be moved into my old flat. It’s big enough for both of us.” Draco handed her a piece of paper. “Here’s the address.”

Hermione took the paper from his hand. “I can’t believe this.” She muttered.

When their conversation came to a close, Hermione suddenly noticed what she had been drinking. She blinked and turned to Draco. “Why do you get firewhiskey, while I get a butterbeer?”

Draco was taken aback by her question. “Sorry?” he asked.

Unexpectedly, she smirked. “I reckon you don’t think that I’m the kind of girl who drinks firewhiskey in casual occasions such as this.”

“Are you?”

Still smirking, Hermione turned to the waitress, who chose the perfect moment to walk by, and ordered, “I’ll have a bottle of firewhiskey, thanks.”

By the time she turned her attention back to Draco, she found that he was smiling right at her.


After his meeting with Hermione, Draco apparated into the flat he shared with Astoria. He didn’t remove neither his coat, nor his shoes. Instead, he stepped right in and found Astoria sitting in the living room, curled up with a book on her lap. Without a word, he walked straight into the guest bedroom, and with a wave of his wand, all his personal belongings were packed and sent into his old flat.

He exited his room and strode through the hallway, back to the living room.

“Hermione Granger, huh?” Astoria spoke suddenly once she knew that Draco was in earshot. “You must really like her then. I didn’t even know that you two ever dated.”

Draco refused to look at her. “You don’t know much about me.” He reminded her. The mere thought burned through Astoria’s mind. “I’m moving out.” He said simply. “Here’s the keys. Goodbye, Astoria.”

In truth, he regretted leaving Astoria in such a manner. His conscience told him that she had no fault in the matter, and that she deserved an explanation as to why their lives had suddenly taken a sharp turn in this direction. However, he apparated away before he could bring himself to utter another word.

Draco missed his old flat, having chosen it for a reason. It was more comfortable that his own bedroom in the Malfoy Manor. The flat itself wasn’t large, and it made him feel at him. He had a large, white couch in the middle of the living room, with an armchair sitting on the left side. His flat screen TV was back where it was supposed to be, and a monster sound system surrounded it.

There were two bedrooms, which turned out to be perfect living space for both Hermione and himself. The kitchen was a perfect size, not to big, not to small, and there were two bathrooms. One in the master bedroom, and one in the hallway.

As he walked towards his kitchen, thinking of his dinner, he found her standing over the stove with one hand on her hip, and the other, clutching a large, wooden spoon. “Granger?” he was shocked to see that she had moved in so early. “I thought you were moving in tomorrow?”

“Yes, well.” She sighed. “Due to the short notice, I had to let go of my flat early, for reasons that I cannot fully understand. That bloody land lady can’t even speak English… I think she’s just angry that I’m leaving so suddenly. At first I asked if I could keep it on hold for the next two years. I knew it was a ridiculous request, but I really loved that flat. I suppose took it badly.” she sounded irritated as her minds went over the details of the events earlier that day. “But anyway, I already moved my stuff in, is that okay? I know it’s a bit too fast… we only talked about this about two hours ago..”

“No, no.” Draco said quickly. “It’s fine. The sooner the better, I suppose. You certainly did settle in quickly, though.”

Hermione smiled, but she did not seem the least bit embarrassed. “One of my many traits is adapting quickly. And I was hungry, as well. You have absolutely no food in your house by the way. Everything was literally empty when I came here.”

“It’s because I was living with Astoria for about two weeks.”

“Oh, well I took the liberty of buying the groceries. I stocked the fridge and the pantry, although, I’m wasn’t aware of what sort of foods you fancied…” she looked hesitant. “So I widened my range, more than I’m accustomed to. I bought food that even I don’t prefer.” She wrinkled her nose with distaste, causing Draco to laugh.

“I’ll leave money on the counter for your next shopping trip.” Draco said, amusement still visible in his tone. “No —” he held up his hand before she could interrupt him. “You’re doing a favor for me, Granger, remember? I’ll provide the food, and whatever else you need from now on. You’re still in training, and you’re only supporting yourself with a part time job at the Ministry.”

Hermione smiled at him thankfully, but said, “Wow, Malfoy. It looks like your head is still as big as always.” She joked lightheartedly. “Have you eaten yet?” she asked him, the ghost of her smile still visible on her lips.

“What is that?” Draco asked, looking over her shoulder to see what she was cooking. “That smells amazing.” He remarked in a shocked tone. “Is that pasta?” Hermione nodded. She put the large spoon on the counter, and lowered the fire of the stove before she sat down on the table and poured herself a cup of juice.

Draco handed her a small black velvet box. “Here.” He said flatly. “To make it look more real.” He explained.

Hermione stared at him before she took the box out of his hands and opened it. “Malfoy, I can’t accept this.” She said. Inside was a diamond ring with a large rock in the middle. “This looks really expensive.”

Draco rolled his eyes at her comment. “Just wear it. It’s a ring, Granger. It’s not like the price will kill you. Think of it as a loan. “I’ll be getting it back once we divorce, anyway.”

“I know what it is Malfoy.” Hermione snapped irritably. Despite their current playful attitude towards each other, she still could not help how easily he annoyed her. She reckoned that it had something to do with their past relationship. She took the ring out of the box, and slipped it on her ring finger. “This feels so weird. It’s really heavy.” Hermione said, glancing up to look at him. “I hope you realize that we’re both wasting our time and money on something that’s not even real.”

Draco sighed, and stood up. “You’re not wasting a penny Granger.” He informed her. “I’ll be paying for everything. I’m just merely asking you to stand there and go along with this.”

She stood up as well and turned off the stove before she served dinner. “Just eat.” Hermione told him, placing his plate on the table. “We’ll discuss everything tomorrow. I had a long day, and I don’t want to argue with you. I’ve learned from past experiences that it simply gets us no where and it’s incredibly tiring. You’re quite stubborn, did you know that?”

He couldn’t help but laugh at her words. “Yes, Granger, I’m quite aware of my stubbornness. But as I recall, you weren’t any better.”

He loved the phrase ‘We’ll discuss it tomorrow,’ because it simply meant that there would be no one to nag him. It was different with Astoria, where she would annoy him relentlessly until she got what she wanted. She was a brat, and throughout her entire life, she was spoiled rotten. He refused to treat his wife as if she was a bloody princess. Although he wanted to make her happy, there was always a limit.

Hermione scowled, but her eyes shined with playfulness. “Eat.” Her mouth was already full of pasta. “As your thank you for the splendid dinner I cooked, you can do the dishes.”

Now it was Draco’s turn to scowl.

“Without your wand.” Hermione added.

The look on Draco’s face was priceless.

Chapter 4: Chapter Three
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

By: Gryffindorgirl153

A/N: edited 9.1.2011

Chapter Three

The next day, Hermione walked through the very familiar doors of the Burrow, suddenly met with the strong aroma of Mrs. Weasley’s cooking. “Mrs. Weasley!” Hermione greeted excitedly, as the aging lady bustled over to give her a hug.

After a long night of debating, she decided that it was best to speak with Ginny, Ron and Harry as fast as possible, in order to avoid any misunderstandings. She knew very well that Ron had taken the news badly, and no matter how deeply she was involved with Malfoy, she was not going to let her relationship with him affect her relationships with others.

“It’s wonderful to see you dear.” Molly Weasley said through Hermione’s brown hair. “The kids are in the sitting room.” She told her, as if she already knew about Hermione’s intentions. “I’m whipping up some lunch. I hope you’re hungry!”

“You know that I could never refuse your cooking, Mrs. Weasley!” Hermione told her with a smile, before she walked further into the house. Before entering the room, the large rock on her hand suddenly felt heavier than it did five minutes ago. Without another thought, she removed it from her hand and stowed it away in her purse.

“Hermione!” Ginny exclaimed, being the first to spot her. She immediately shot up from her position beside Harry to give Hermione a hug. Her long, red hair cascaded down her back, falling around her waist, and she has grown to a height that towered over Hermione. Once she released Hermione, she turned back to the toddler that was playing on the ground. “Teddy, sweetie, don’t put that in your mouth.” She reprimanded, pulling the unknown object from Teddy Lupin’s hands.

Harry had taken in his godson, to live with him and Ginny in their spacious flat in London, not far from Hermione’s old one. Although they were yet to be married, Ginny constantly expressed how much it already seemed like she and Harry had already tied the knot.

Teddy was almost three years old, and he looked like a baby version of his father, Remus Lupin. Regardless of their lack of relation, Hermione had grown immensely fond of Teddy. During the past three years, she had grown incredibly attached and protective over the young boy.

“Hermione.” Ron greeted stiffly from the couch.

“Hello Ron, Harry.” Hermione said as she picked up Teddy from the floor and nestled him on her hip. She began playing with Teddy as she animatedly bounced him on her hip, causing him to giggle.

Harry smiled at her warmly. “Hullo, Hermione.”

“Hullo Teddy Bear.” Hermione cooed, smiling at the boy she liked to consider her nephew. “So I take it that you lot are still not that comfortable with what’s been happening lately?” she asked, referring to Ron’s cold demeanor.

Ron nodded stiffly as he crossed his arms over his chest. Ginny immediately slapped him on the back of his head before she settled on the couch beside Harry. “You failed to explain the last time you were here.” She said. “I suppose you have some explaining to do.”

Hermione sighed heavily and nodded, planting herself on one of the armchairs while she steadied Teddy on her lap. “It’s fake.” She began, deciding that it would be the best if she started there. “I ran into him, two days ago, on the night of his engagement dinner in some diner, and we got to talking. I was just on my way out when we were both practically bombarded with a load of reporters and photographers. I suppose Malfoy simply wanted a way out, and he was just that desperate. So… he kissed me, to prove that we had a relationship. And.. well.. he proposed that I marry him.”

Ron cut in. “He actually asked you to marry him?” He asked incredulously. “As in a wedding?”

“Yes Ron.” She snapped. “His parents forced an arranged marriage on him, and according to him, he can’t stand Astoria.”

“I can’t believe you’re actually going to help Malfoy.” Ginny said with disbelief. “You’re actually going to go through with this and marry Malfoy. Hermione, honey, this isn’t something like helping him with an essay, or finding a job for the bloke. You’re going to get married to him. This is going to severely impact your life, believe it or not.”

“I know.” Hermione said, nodding. She had gone through everything in her mind already, and she was growing tired of other people repeating the same things over and over again. It was like a broken record that she couldn’t fix. “The thing is, I can’t back out of it now. I wasn’t thinking the night we were bombarded by the reporters. I agreed without thinking, and I’m sort of stuck with him now.” She confessed.

They were all silent for a few minutes. “So that’s it?” Harry asked. “Soon, you’re going to be Hermione Malfoy.”

Hermione nodded, slowly, taking the name in. It sounded horrendous. “I’m not too fond of the idea either.” She reassured him. “But I don’t know how to get out of it.”

In an abrupt and brusque manner, Ron strutted out of the burrow without another look.

Hermione turned to Ginny for an explanation, and Ginny immediately complied. “He’s been that way ever since he read the Daily Prophet the other day. He barged into our bloody flat, woke Harry and me up just to tell us the news.”

“Ron just needs time adjusting.” Harry told her quietly. “Are you sure you want to do this, Hermione? This — like Gin said — this is big. He’s going to have to meet your family, and you’re going to have to meet his. You’re going to have to really commit to this.”

Exasperatedly, Hermione nodded her head and rolled her eyes, which was a very uncharacteristic trait for her. “I know, Harry. I’ve thought about it over and over again. I literally feel my brain frying in my skull, but what can I do? I already agreed. I’d feel guilty if I pushed him into an even bigger hole if I backed out now.” She sighed and collapsed against the cushions. She averted her gaze towards the ceiling, and began tracing the patterns. “We’ll be divorced in about a year or two, and it will almost be like it never happened.”

Harry and Ginny shared a skeptic glance. They both knew that something as large as this would never end as something that time could simply erase. Hermione was in for more than something that would be like ‘it almost never happened.’


Draco was in his office, sitting behind his desk as he stared at the sheet of paper in his hand and a half empty glass of scotch sitting in front of him. He grimaced and began to knead his temples, since he had a pounding headache that wouldn’t go away. On his desk was an untouched prophet with a newly printed article on page five, centered around him and Hermione. He refused to read it.

He had just survived another dinner with Astoria and her parents. Mr. and Mrs. Greengrass were furious, as expected, but they were polite enough to refrain themselves from taking out their anger on Draco. Despite his fault in the entire situation, the Greengrass’ knew very well that the Malfoy’s were extremely protective of their son, and there would be a limit to how much they would allow their son to go through.

“Those wretched reporters.” Mrs. Greengrass said. “If they didn’t announce it to the public, then maybe this could have all been fixed.” She blamed the reporters again, and again, making sure to steer clear from Draco.

Once it was over, he realized that he needed to be alone. His flat was no longer a place where he could find solitude. In the past, whenever he had a long day, he would have gone straight home and set up a date with his own flat screen. Now, due to certain circumstances, he could no longer call his home a refuge, since Hermione was residing there as well.

The sudden sound of his office door opening forced his attention away from the sheet of paper and towards his mother who had just stormed into his office. “Bring her to dinner tonight.” Narcissa ordered immediately, not bothering with greetings. “If she wants to be a part of this family, then she will have to eat dinner with us and spend the night in the manor.”

Draco stared at his mother. “What is the point of that?” he asked exasperatedly. “Astoria certainly did not have to go through a night in the manor, why should Gr — Hermione?”

“Your father and I were already familiar with Astoria. Hermione, on the other hand, we know nothing about.” She answered. “We must formally meet this woman you’re about to marry.”

He rolled his eyes. “Please, just stop making this harder for us all.” Draco snapped. “Hermione wouldn’t enjoy the dark atmosphere of the manor.”

“I. Don’t. Care.” Narcissa sneered, advancing on Draco. “Bring her to dinner tonight, and you two will spend the night there. Pansy and Blaise will be joining us as well. I thought that they should have the pleasure of meeting her as well.” Without waiting for her son’s response, she whipped around and walked right out of his office, slamming the door behind her.

Draco sighed exasperatedly, his body full of pent up frustration. Thinking of his friends, he immediately pulled out a piece of parchment from a drawer and began writing.

Dear Pansy,

I’m sure by now you’re probably furious with me. I was surprised, not having had received a letter from you in the past week. To be honest, I’ve been too busy deal with all these sudden changes that it’s been hard to keep track. I’m sorry I haven’t contacted you earlier. I’ll explain once we see each other again since I don’t trust putting everything on paper. My mother and father have gone insane — more my mother than my father — but I wouldn’t be surprised if they do something as insane as intercepting my owls.

I need a favor. I know it’s short notice, and I know I still owe you an explanation, but please do this one favor for me without asking any questions, at least until we speak formally. Mother is forcing Granger and I to attend dinner tonight, and I was informed that you and Blaise have been invited. I need you to gather an entire outfit for her. One that would please both Mother and Father. You know how difficult they are to please, and Mother will probably be dissecting every inch of Granger once she sets eyes on her. You have my account number, take as much as you need. I’ll repay you with lunch when we’re both available.



Once Hermione returned to Draco’s flat that night, she found a large, white box sitting on he coffee table in the living room. Hermione approached the box timidly, her curiosity getting the best of her.

“Malfoy?” she called, setting her bag down on the couch. “Malfoy, are you here?” she kicked off her shoes and planted herself on the couch, completely exhausted. “Malfoy?” she repeated.

After a moment or two, Draco emerged from the hallway, in the midst of buttoning his shirt, with an undone tie hanging around his neck.

She looked at him curiously, inwardly wondering why he was dressed up.

“We’re going to my parents house.” He said as if he read her mind. “Wear that.” He pointed to the box on the coffee table. “And pack some extra clothes. We’re going to have to spend an extra night there.”

Surprised, Hermione gaped at him. “What?”

“Auror classes don’t start till noon, am I correct?” he continued as if Hermione hadn’t asked a question. “You’ve got plenty of time to get there. Hurry up, Granger.” He said in a snippy, impatient tone. “They’re waiting for us, and it’s best not to be late. At this point, my mother would do anything to ruin this for me.

“It’d be nice if you had told me earlier.” She sneered, picking up the box. Her anger suddenly got the best of her. She grew annoyed that Malfoy strode into the room ordering her around in a way that made her feel like a dog. “I would have been able to spend my day bracing myself for a dinner with your parents.”

Draco grimaced at her remark. “it would have been nice if I had been notified earlier as well.” He replied. “I found out not twenty minutes ago. So hurry up and get dressed.”

She stood from the couch and picked up the box, realizing that she had no choice. She suddenly felt guilty for sneering at Draco, especially when he was on the same boat as she. “Where do you buy this?” she asked, trying to play nice.

“I had Pansy send it over.” He answered. “You’re about to be sent into the Malfoy Manor with a raging Narcissa Malfoy. You’re going to need a lot more than your good manners and intelligence.”

Hermione slowly walked into her bedroom and lifted the cover from the box. She pulled out the dress and shoes. “That was decent of her.” She replied, speaking loudly so Draco would be able to her from her bedroom. She began examining the dress, and her mouth fell slightly open. “Malfoy, I would never wear this dress anywhere, much less to dinner with your parents.”

She pulled off the rest of her clothes and hesitantly pulled the dress over her head, adjusting it to the shape of her body. She stepped in front of the mirror and took a good look at her reflection.

Hermione could practically hear Draco’s eyes rolling through the door. “It’s just a dress, Granger. Hurry up and come out, or we’re going to be late.”

Not having another choice, Hermione sighed and pulled the heels from the box, slipping it on her bare feet. She fixed her hair to look presentable, and quickly applied a light layer of make up. Once she let her bedroom, she was immediately met with an irritated Draco, who was waiting outside her bedroom.

“You take so bloody long.” He commented irritably as he pushed a small, black beaded clutch bag against her stomach. “There’s an enlargement spell in there. I’ve put both our belongings inside.” He informed he. “Are there any additional things you want to pack?” he asked.

“Er..” she trailed off, peeking through the small opening of the bag. “I think you’ve got everything here.” She said, nodding. “Are we going to floo there?” she asked as she pushed the bag back into Draco’s hands so that she could slip her coat on.

Draco shook his head and handed Hermione back her purse once she tied the knot of her coat around her waist. “Too messy.” He answered. “We’re going to apparate. And since you don’t know where it is,” he then held out his hand and the gesture completed the rest of his explanation.

Hesitantly, she placed her hands over his and almost immediately, he apparated both Hermione and himself to Malfoy Manor. “Be polite.” He told her quietly. “Being your know-it-all-self won’t do either of us any good.” Nervously, he began picking lint off her dress.

Hermione immediately slapped his hand away. “You can’t pick off every single piece of lint, Malfoy.” She told him irritably. “It’s hardly noticeable. I don’t know why you’re the nervous one. I’m the one being thrown into the pit of fire.” She scowled openly as they walked up the steps, leading to the front door.

“You don’t know my parents, Granger.” He growled. “They’re extremely judgmental, and they know what they like before they even see it. My mother and father have made up their mind about you long before tonight, and their minds won’t be so easily swayed. They don’t have to like you, but it would be in your best interest to get on their good side. They like opinionated and smart women, which is why there were so fond of Astoria, but please keep it to a minimum. If you’re anything like the girl I knew in Hogwarts, sometimes, you let your passion get the best of you.” He reached the door and knocked loudly. “My father is impressed when people make artistic comments concerning the Manor, so just think of anything to say. He’s rather proud of this house, even though he wasn’t the one who built it.”

“One question, Malfoy.” Hermione whispered out of nervousness. “Do your parents think that we’re in love? Are the aware of our arrangement, or do they honestly believe the stories printed on the Daily Prophet?”

Draco’s large hand wrapping around Hermione’s, just as Narcissa Malfoy appeared in the doorway, was enough to answer her question.

“Mother.” He greeted curtly. “Good evening.”

“Draco.” His mother greeted in the same, curt tone. “Hermione Granger.” She spoke in a way that sent nerve wracking shivers down Hermione’s back. Her husband, Lucius Malfoy appeared beside his wife shortly, with the same stern look. “Please, come in.” she stepped aside, granting both her son and his fiancé entrance.

Out of impulse from his regular routine, Draco shrugged off his coat and set it into the hands of the next waiting house-elf. Being the gentleman he was, he pulled Hermione’s coat off her shoulders and handed it to the house elf as well.

“You have an amazing house, Mr. Malfoy.” Hermione commented loudly once Narcissa bustled off in order to check on dinner. “The ceiling is amazing.” She said in awe.

Lucius Malfoy pursed his lips at her comment. “Thank you.” He replied stiffly.

“The columns in the front are gorgeous.” She continued, pointing toward the front entrance. “Really, the moldings as well, it’s all very.. exquisite.” In all honesty, despite what Draco had said to her when they were standing just outside the front door, she was not trying to suck up to her fiancé’s father. She genuinely impressed by the artistic features of the Malfoy Manor.

“Dinner is ready.” Narcissa announced, abruptly appearing in the room. “Shall we go?” Her piercing eyes landed on Draco and Hermione.

As a protective instinct, Draco’s hand landed on the small of her back as he began to lead her through the halls and into the dining room. He felt Hermione stiffen against his touch, and he mentally begged her to bare with it for now.

“It was a last minute dinner.” Narcissa explained, taking her seat, opposite from her husband. “I hope you two didn’t have any problems dealing with work. However, I knew for a fact that Draco didn’t.”

Hermione shook her head as Draco sat her down on the seat beside him. He stepped in before her and pulled out her seat, treating her with an impeccable amount of respect, that even Hermione was taken aback by his gentlemanly gestures.

“I only work part time in the Ministry for three days a week.” Hermione explained. “I’m currently still training to be an auror. The part time job is only until I have a permanent job in the Auror office.”

Once they were all properly seated, Narcissa scanned the room, before speaking, “It looks like Pansy and Blaise are late. Shall we wait a few more minutes for them?”

Draco nodded.

“And what is your job in the Ministry?” Lucius asked, as if he was ready to pick apart Hermione’s life and scrutinize over every small detail. “If it’s a part time job, I suppose it should be in the lower ranking departments.”

After glancing towards Draco, Hermione cleared her throat and answered obediently. “I actually work in the Magical Law Enforcement department.” She hesitated before continuing, but the inviting look she received from Draco urged her on. “After — after the war ended, Ron and Harry were immediately offered jobs as Auror’s, while I went back to school in order to finish my N.E.W.T.S. Once that was over, the Ministry sought me out to work in the Magical Law Enforcement department. I started out as a part time worker, but when I decided to change career paths…” Hermione trailed off, suddenly aware that she had been speaking more than necessary.

“Go on,” Narcissa urged, resting her elbows on the table and tucking her clasped hands under her chin. “This is all more interesting than I expected.”

Hesitantly, she continued. “When I decided to change career paths, I took the time to go through Auror training, despite the offers I had to skip it. I wanted to be fair and go through training, like all the other Auror’s. The Ministry offered me a job three times a week, instead of completely quitting. I suppose they needed extra workers who knew how to system worked.”

“And what is your job in the department?” Lucius inquired.

“Well.. I do a little bit of everything. Although I do not hold a high position in the department due to my part time work, I aid in passing newly formed laws, I offer ideas on the structure of our society, I help fix the publics’ complaints. I mostly aid in the public relation’s office, since communicating is my strongest suit. Since the Auror office and our department are interrelated in many ways, I mingle with those matters as well.”

A loud knock kept Lucius from replying. Narcissa ordered a near by elf to answer the door. In less than two minutes time, the sound of Pansy’s heels grew louder and louder, and soon, she entered the dining room with Blaise in tow.

“Lucius, Narcissa.” Pansy greeted politely. “We’re sorry we’re late.” She said apologetically as she walked around the table to her usual place setting across the table from Draco. As she passed him, her placed her hand on his shoulder comfortingly. “I had to finish up some business with my mother. She can be very assertive when it comes to business related matters.”

Lucius chuckled. “I understand that very well.” He said. “Your mother is a smart woman, Pansy. No wonder her business is going so well.”

“How is her shop in Paris doing?” Narcissa asked, turning to Pansy. “I heard it’s doing splendidly, having had just opened last week! I must visit one day. Your mothers’ clothes were always my favorite.”

“Business is well there.” Pansy answered, smiling. “She’ll be taking the reigns in Paris from now on, which leaves me to handle the franchise here in London. We were just discussing it before dinner, since she’ll be taking a portkey to Paris first thing tomorrow morning.”

“And how are things doing in your company, Blaise?” Lucius asked, turning to the boy on his right. “Your father tells me that stocks are booming, thanks to the upcoming Quidditch season.”

Blaise nodded. “Although there’s some serious competition this year, Father doesn’t worry too much. We’re actually coming up with some new idea’s for this prototype we’ve been working on for months now. The broomstick itself hasn’t been responding well to our charms, but we’re working around it.”

“A new model, Blaise?” Draco asked, suddenly interested in the conversation.

Again, Blaise nodded, but this time, it was accompanied by a chuckle. “Are you going to be purchasing a new one again? You’ve got about five broomsticks already!”

Draco grinned. “One can never have enough broomsticks.”

“Draco, you barely have enough time to play Quidditch,” Pansy said disapprovingly. “I hardly think that you will be needing a new broomstick any time soon.”

“Yes, but I don’t think Draco will be able to resist this model.” Blaise commented with a smirk.

Hermione suddenly felt out of place as the three former Slytherins fell into a deep conversation about whether or not Draco needed a new broomstick or not.

Once they were all properly seated, the house elves began bringing in their food. “Thank you,” Hermione whispered when her plate was placed in front of her.

“So where’s Theo?” Draco asked, turning to Pansy. “It would have been nice if you brought him along.” As if Draco promptly became aware of the fact that if Pansy’s boyfriend was present, it would mean that Hermione would have to put up with more than she already had.

“Theo already had plans tonight with his family.” Pansy replied. “However, Blaise tells me that Daphne will be coming along.” She turned to Blaise.

“Yes, I hope that’s alright.” Blaise said, turning to the two hosts, Lucius and Narcissa. “We had dinner plans to begin with, but I didn’t want to miss a dinner like this.” He turned to Draco with a mischievous glint in his eyes, one that Draco knew very well. “I suppose she’s simply running late.”

“That’s perfectly fine, Blaise.” Narcissa nodded before she ordered another place setting from a house elf.

However, it was not perfectly fine. Not to Draco at least.

Once Daphne entered the dining room, the four of them — Pansy, Blaise, Hermione and Draco — were startled upon realizing that Daphne had brought her entire family with her.

“Mother,” Draco said through gritted teeth. “You didn’t tell me that the Greengrass’ would be attending dinner tonight.”

Narcissa gave him a cheeky smile. “I wasn’t aware either, but this should turn out to be a pleasant evening.”

The Greengrass’ took there seats around the table. Hermione found it extremely unfortunate that she was stuck sitting beside Astoria.

Their food was served, and dinner started with mere sounds of silverware clanking against ceramic plates filling the silence.

Pansy, who seemed to be the loudest, and most social in the table, began filling the silence with various questions concerning Astoria, and Daphne, but barely touching the Greengrass’ company, which was impending bankruptcy.

“So Draco,” Corean Greengrass began once Pansy’s questions came to a halt. She poured more wine in her glass and pursed her lips as she turned to the couple. “Tell me, how did you two meet?”

Draco glanced at Hermione, neither of them had expected to be answering questions concerning the roots of their relationship.

As Draco was about to open his mouth, Pansy immediately sliced across, surprising the entire table. “It’s an interesting story, right Draco?” she smiled. “I actually think I tell a better version than he does. A love story is always best from an observer’s point of view. Draco still denies some aspects of their relationships.” She said in a mocking tone.

Lucius cleared his throat. “Go on.”

“Well,” Pansy began without even faltering. “We all know that these two hated each other in school. I’d be a fool to say otherwise. However one day, after he moronically got them both locked in an empty classroom — I shall spare all of you the details — he… I suppose he grew a soft spot of her. They, of course, still fought. Calling each other names, and jinxing each other out of irritation. And then one night, a few days after the seventh term started, I catch them snogging in an empty corridor.”

“Pansy —” Draco warned.

Pansy turned to Draco. “Well, you did. I wasn’t sure what spurred them all, since after all, I was merely a bystander, but I suppose ever since then, he could take his mind off of her. They actually began dating about two to three months later. They’re both very stubborn, which would explain why it took them so long to finally admit their feelings for one another. However… because of the war, they were forced apart, and.. well, we all know what happened after that.” Her tone immediately grew sullen.

Draco glared at her from across the table.

“What a romantic story.” Corean remarked through gritted teeth.

“Funny,” Astoria piped up, leaning over the table to look at Hermione and Draco. “I’ve never heard about your relationship, and neither has Daphne.” She said, turning to her sister. “It’s almost impossible to sneak around in Hogwarts.”

“We were very secretive.” Hermione answered before Draco could say anything. “We only ever met in private, and we barely spoke to each other in public. Our friends wouldn’t have taken it well, so we thought it was for the best.”

Corean set her already-empty glass on the table, and began speaking again. “Well, when is the wedding?” she asked with a fake smile. “I’m sure you’ve begun the preparations already.”

Hermione shook her head slowly. “I’m afraid not. This all happened so fast, I barely had time to think of wedding plans.”

Corean gasped with fake horror. “Dear, the earlier you plan a wedding, the better it will be! Now imagine having to plan a wedding last minute.”

Hermione let out a nervous laugh. “I can’t imagine.”

“Where are you two planning on hosting it?” Narcissa asked in a cold voice. “Here at the manor perhaps?”

Draco opened his mouth to say something, but Hermione cut across, forcing his words down his throat. “Actually, there’s an old house down by the late a few miles from here. I never realized how close it was to the Malfoy Manor. I’ve been there several times during the summer, and I was thinking of having a wedding there.”

“A wedding in an old, broken down house?” Narcissa asked in a critical tone. “That’s rather unusual, don’t you think?”

Hermione chuckled and nodded. “Yes, but of course, it would have to go through renovations. It’s nothing magic cannot fix. I thought it would be perfect.”

“If you don’t mind me asking,” Lucius began. “Why did you choose that location? Does it have some sort of significance?”

“That house has been the sole root of my summers ever since I was a child. To be honest, because of my hectic life, I haven’t returned since my last year at Hogwarts. There was a small cabin not far from the house. I spent most of my time by the lake with my family. It’s.. gorgeous during the summer, and the house itself is amazing as well. I always dreamed of buying the property and fixing it up myself.”

“Describe this house to me.” Lucius told her, suddenly interested.

“Well, it seems to date back countless of years. There’s a large porch wrapped around the entire house. There’s three stories, with several windows and a lake in the backyard. Although it doesn’t sound like much, it’s amazing once you see it. She explained.

“You certainly have a lot more planning to do.” Narcissa said chipped. “It’s logical to start earlier, rather than later, regardless of your age.

“That’s quite alright, Narcissa.” Pansy interjected. “She won’t be alone. I’ll be helping her with the wedding plans. It should all turn out amazing.” Hermione was surprised when Pansy sent a warm smile her way.


“Pansy darling, will you be staying here for the night?” Narcissa asked once dinner was over.

Pansy shook her head. “No, I’m sorry Narcissa, but I’m going to have to pass. I promised to help my mother with a few last minute changes, so I should be getting home soon.”

“Send my regards to Theo.” Blaise said as he wrapped his arm around Daphne. “We’ve got to be going. I’ve got an early day tomorrow.”

Lucius nodded. “Say hello to your father for me, Blaise. Tell him that he should come by the Manor sometime and we’ll talk business.”

Blaise grinned and nodded before he led Daphne to the fireplace.

“Corean, lovely to have you over.” Narcissa said, as the two aging women exchanged kisses on the cheek. “Again, I’m sorry for the trouble.”

“It’s quite alright, Narcissa.”

Once the guest had flooed out of the manor, Narcissa turned to Hermione and Draco. “I suppose the both of you would like to go to your room now?” she asked, leading them up the marble staircase. “You’ll be sleeping in Draco’s old bedroom.” They walked down the corridor, to the last room in the hall. “Here it is.” She opened the door, revealing a bedroom the size of Draco’s entire flat. “Breakfast will be ready at 8 o’clock sharp tomorrow morning.”

Narcissa shut the door quietly, leaving the couple alone for the night.

Hermione sighed tiredly and strode into the room, not bothering to take in her surroundings. “I suppose we’re going to have to share the bed?” she asked, dropping the beaded bag on the desk sitting in front of the window. She plopped down on the bed and immediately kicked off her shoes.

Draco pulled his wand out of his back pocket and conjured up a cot by the foot of his bed. “Take the bed.” He told her in an austere tone.

“Those things are horrible.” She told him. “I really don’t have a problem sharing the bed.. It’s your bed after all. And your parents will be wondering why we’re not sleeping together if they happen to check on us in the middle of the night.”

As he began unbuttoning his shirt, he smirked widely. “You know, Granger, it almost sounds like you want to sleep together.” He teased mercilessly.

She laughed loudly. “Don’t flatter yourself. I just feel guilty if I took the bed, and you had to sleep on the uncomfortable cot.”

“Fine, if it satiates your conscience, I’ll sleep on the bed.”

Hermione pulled herself off the bed and walked over to the desk, peering inside the beaded bag. She began pulling out various clothes, and realized that Draco had packed a night gown that she did not even own. “What’s this?” she asked, dangling the thin piece of cloth by the strap, using only her forefinger.

“Er..” Draco began as he set his eyes on the thin piece of clothing. “It came with Pansy’s package.. I didn’t realize she bought something so… revealing.”

“You don’t expect me to wear this, do you?” she raised her eyebrows, staring at him.

“Are you going to sleep in that dress then?” he asked.

“Malfoy.” Hermione growled warningly.

“Then what do you propose I do, Granger?” he asked, pulling his own clothes from the bag. “Just wear the damn thing. I won’t even spare you a glance.” Before Hermione could utter another word, he strode into the bathroom and shut the door behind him.

Hermione was left to glare at his retreating figure. “Won’t spare me a glance?” she repeated angrily. “Fine.” She grabbed the flimsy night gown along with the beaded bag and waited until Draco exited the bathroom.

“You sleep half naked?” Hermione asked from the bed, when Draco emerged from the doorway, wearing nothing but pajama bottoms.

Draco turned to Hermione. “Is there a problem?” he asked.

She didn’t answer. Instead, she glared at him one last time before shuffling into the bathroom and slamming the door behind her. She quickly changed out of her clothes and slipped on the thin piece of silk. It was black, with white lace brimming the edges along her breast and thighs. After brushing her teeth and washing her face, she timidly turned the knob of the bathroom door, and hesitantly stepped out, feeling uncomfortable in her own skin.

She lifted her gaze and found Draco sitting on the edge of the bed with his elbows resting on his knees. He was fiddling around with his silver wrist watch, using the lamp on the bedside table as the only source of light.

Slowly, Hermione walked to back to the desk and dropped the bag on the surface. The sound forced Draco’s attention to turn towards Hermione, and he immediately regretted it.

Although her back was turned towards her, he managed to get a good view of her exposed skin, her tanned legs, and the dangerous curves of her body. He immediately regretted forcing her to wear the gown. The thin material barely went past her bum, covering a mere inch of her legs. He scowled and turned away once he realized what he was staring at.

Hermione then walked towards the bed and lifted the covers. She climbed under the sheets, relieved to finally have thicker material covering her body.

“Turn the light off.” He ordered firmly after he lifted the sheets on his side of the bed and climbed in.

“You’re closer to the switch Malfoy.” She said.

“I was already in bed when I asked you.” Draco retorted.

“No you weren’t.” she glared at him.

“If you had turned it off before you got into bed then we wouldn’t be arguing about this.” Draco snapped irritably.

“If you had turned it off before you got into bed, then we wouldn’t be arguing about it either. You’re closest to the door. You turn it off.” Hermione snapped. “Bloody Hell Malfoy, you’re a wizard. Use your wand.”

“My wand is in the bathroom.” Draco murmured sleepily against his pillow.

“What idiot leaves their wand in the bathroom?” Hermione asked, dumbfounded.

“Well then just use your wand.” He replied.

Hermione searched the bedside table, but her wand wasn’t there. “I must’ve left my wand in my bag.”

“What idiot leaves their wand in their bag?” Draco teased. Hermione kicked the back of his leg, and he elicited a loud hiss. “What was that for?”

“For being a wanker.” She spat angrily. “Stupid dim-witted twat.” Hermione mumbled.

Draco turned and pulled hard on Hermione’s hair. “AH! What was that for?” She exclaimed loudly, kicking him hard on his shins.

“For calling me a stupid dim-witted twat.” Draco snapped, clutching his shins.

Hermione groaned and buried her head in the pillow. “What are we, twelve?” she asked exasperatedly. “Will you just please get up, and switch the lights off?”

Draco shook his head. “Sorry Granger.” He yawned. “I’m tired.”

Hermione glared at him. She jumped out of bed with a huff, stepping over him so that her foot collided with the back of his head. Draco quickly grabbed her ankles, causing Hermione to stumble forward and fall off the bed with a loud thud. “Malfoy.” She growled dangerously, turning back to glare at him. But Draco had already flipped to the other side, his back facing her.

She stomped to the door and switched the light off, before turning back to Draco with a vicious look on her face. She quietly walked to the beaded bag on her desk and pulled her wand out before she turned back to him. With a swift wave of her wand, Draco immediately fell to a deep sleep. In a matter of minutes, Hermione managed to color his hair to turn to a mixture of multiple neon colors, and managed to lengthen it into long curls.

“Good nigh, beautiful.” She whispered with a large, mischievous smile.

Chapter 5: Chapter Four
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

By: Gryffindorgirl153   

A/N: edited 9.1.2011

Chapter Four

The next morning, Lucius and Narcissa sat across from each other, like they had done every morning for the past twenty-two years. There was a copy of the Daily Prophet in Lucius’ hands, and a copy of Witch Weekly’s magazine in Narcissa’s. They ate a quiet breakfast, finding that eating in silence was the best arrangement for the both of them.

Suddenly, loud shouts cut through the silence, alarming them both. Instinctively, both Narcissa and Lucius’ heads turned up to gaze at the ceiling. “A couples tousle perhaps?” Narcissa asked questioningly.

Lucius grimaced and turned back to his breakfast. “Draco is rather immature for his age, you know that.” He said in a bored tone. “and from what I hear, that Granger girl is just as stubborn as he.”

“I suppose you resent him for choosing her over Astoria.” Narcissa spoke, since their silence was already broken. “I’ll admit, she has some horrible qualities. That hair of hers is horrendous, and she does not fit in well in our family. But Draco is relentless when it comes to that girl.”

“I do not resent Draco for choosing her, but I do resent the fact that she is a muggle-born.” Lucius answered with a scowl. “Other than that, she reminds me of you back when we were young. Always so opinionated and witty.” Even after twenty-two years of marriage, it was still strange for Narcissa to hear Lucius speak about their past so comfortably. It was normal for couples, but not for those who were forced in an arrange marriage, like Lucius and Narcissa were. “They should be coming down soon, I suppose.” Lucius commented timidly, breaking the silence. It was obvious that he regretted bringing up the past that they barely spoke of.

“Yes, I suppose they should.” Narcissa said, glancing over the marble staircase.


“Undo the spell, Granger.” Draco ordered.

The two were standing on either sides of the large bed with their wands drawn and pointed at each other. Draco’s blonde hair was now long and curly, with various colors streaking through the strands. “You’re so bloody immature!” he snapped furiously.

Hermione on the other hand, looked livid. Her skin turned a pale blue color, and her hair turned wild red. “Then turn me back!” she demanded from across the bed. “I don’t know what spell you used for this!” she cried, gripping the ends of her hair. “I look like a bloody clown!”

“And I don’t?” he countered, pointing at the mop of hair on his head. “Change me back first! You started this..”

Hermione rolled her eyes and a cry of frustration rippled through her throat. “Malfoy, look at us.” She said shamefully. “We’re bickering like children. Just please, change me back so I can get ready and leave.” She begged as she tried to calm herself down as best as she could. “We’re not in Hogwarts anymore, you idiot.”

“You started it.” Draco mumbled under his breath stubbornly as he walked to the bathroom.

Releasing one last cry of frustration, Hermione lifted her hand and pointed her wand at the back of Draco’s head. “Stay still, Malfoy.” She ordered. “If I miss, then I won’t be trying again.” She warned. Instantaneously, Draco’s hair slowly shrunk back to its normal length, and turned back to the original blonde color.

He let out a sigh of relief upon feeling his hair change back to normal.

“Now turn me back.” Hermione ordered.

Draco turned and merely smirked. “I actually think you look better as a clown.” He crossed his arms and leaned against the doorway of the bathroom.

Hermione growled fiercely and scowled. “I swear to Merlin Malfoy, if you don’t turn me back right this instant, I will permanently turn you into a bloody toilet!” she screeched. “Your parents are downstairs, and they’re both waiting for us to attend breakfast. Turn me back now, you bloody tosser.”

Stubbornly, Draco shook his head in response. “I don’t think I remember the spell..” he pushed off the doorway and walked towards the door. “And just like you said, my parents are waiting for us.”

He reached out to open the door, but he only managed to get it halfway open before Hermione waved her wand and taped the door shut with magic. “Turn me back,” she warned threateningly. “Or else neither of us are going to leave this room. I will not walk around looking like a bloody clown.”

“The blue certainly complements you.” Draco remarked teasingly, grinning from ear to ear. He plopped down on the already-made bed and leaned back against the headboard.

Glaring at him, Hermione felt her anger skyrocket. “You know what, I don’t even know why I’m doing this. I could just walk out of her right now, and walk into the lovely group of reporters and photographers who are waiting right outside your office, who are all begging for answers from you.” As nonchalant as she could manage, she turned around and strode into the bathroom, slamming the door closed behind her. She peeled off the night gown, turned the shower on and jumped in. “And I’ll just tell them how our engagement was such a failure, and that I couldn’t stand another second of it.” Hermione shouted, loud enough for him to hear through the shower and the door.

Unexpectedly, the bathroom door opened with a bang. Hermione jumped at the sound and immediately wrapped her arms around her body in order to cover herself up. “Malfoy!” she shrieked. “What the bloody hell do you think you’re doing? I’m taking a shower here!”

Glaring at her through the glass, he waved his wand stiffly. Hermione’s skin immediately turned back to it’s original color, a pale shade of pink, and her hair was brown once again. “I was just having a bit of fun, Her-mio-nee.” He said innocently as he emphasized each syllable of her name. “There’s no need to get so touchy.”

Without another word, left the bathroom, closing the door loudly behind him.

Once Hermione was finished with her shower, she pulled out the last set of clothes that was packed into the beaded bag, which turned out to be a white, strapless sundress and a pair of brown wedges. “You packed me a dress?” she asked through the door. “Why in Merlin’s name did I allow you to pack for me?”

“Pansy sent it, along with the other dress.” Draco answered monotone. “If you don’t like it, you can change when we get home.”

After getting dressed, she dried her hair and clipped each side near her ear, allowing her fringe to fall into her eyes. She stuffed her previously worn clothes into the beaded bag, along with Draco’s, before she exited the bathroom. The moment she appeared, Draco lifted his gaze and raked his eyes over Hermione’s body. He was surprised that such a simple dress made her look so — dare he say — beautiful.

The moment he became aware of his thoughts, he cleared his throat and looked away. “Shall we head down to breakfast, now?” he asked. “We’re already thirty minutes late.”

Hermione nodded, following Draco out of his bedroom.

“This Manor is enormous.” She whispered, clearly in awe as they walked through the large hallway. “How do you live in such a big house?”

Draco shrugged. “There were always house elves’ bustling around.” He answered. “I always forced Blaise and Pansy to come over as children, so I was never alone, even when mother and father left the house for the night.”

The rest of their walk to the dining room was silent.

“Wonderful for you to join us.” Narcissa greeted disapprovingly the moment the couple stepped into the room. She was holding a glass of orange juice in her hand, and her plate was already clear of food. “What was that loud noise we heard earlier?” she asked curiously. “It sounded as though someone was yelling.”

Hermione and Draco exchanged nervous glances. “Nothing.” Draco answered immediately. “We just had a small disagreement.”

As Narcissa watched her son eat, she scowled with disgrace. “Eat your eggs, Draco. Twenty years, and you still have not learned how to eat properly.” She pressed critically. “Hermione, I certainly hope that you know how to cook.” She said. “Draco is really picky when it comes to food.”

“He’ll only eat what he feels like eating.” Lucius added, his face still hiding behind the Daily Prophet. “And he has the most horrible manners.”

Hermione had to bite her tongue in order to keep herself from laughing out loud. “Is that so?” she asked, smirking at Draco’s direction, who snarled at both of his parents. “I can cook a little bit. I’ve only ever cooked for myself though, since I’ve been living alone ever since Hogwarts. But I can always learn from my mum, and I know that Mrs. Weasley would be pleased to teach me.”

“Ah, yes,” Narcissa nodded. “I’ve heard that Mrs… Weasley really knows her way around a kitchen.”

Hermione smiled involuntarily. “Yes, her cooking is amazing.”

“Regardless, I shall teach you how to cook.” Narcissa offered. However, despite her offer, Draco knew that she simply wanted to create an opportunity to chase Hermione away from Draco. “I’ll teach you all his favorite dishes.”

“Mother, enough.” Draco warned. “I think it’s too early to teach Hermione here how to be a good housewife.”

“Hush, Draco.” Narcissa snapped without even sparing her son another glance. “Hermione, you shall start taking cooking lessons from me. It’s important to be able to feed your husband, especially since Draco is against having his own, personal house elf.”

Breakfast ended smoothly; smoother than Hermione had expected. Although Lucius and Narcissa were displeased with their son’s current path in life — marrying a muggleborn — they were courteous enough to be polite. Yet, something in the pit of Draco’s stomach told him that his mother would relentlessly plot against Hermione.

Once breakfast ended, the two said their goodbye’s and walked out of the manor. The moment they stepped outside, the weight on both their shoulders were suddenly lifted, as if they had both just been rescued from the brink of suffocation. Together, they wordlessly joined hands and apparated back to their flat.

“I will not be a housewife.” Hermione warned him immediately, glaring in his direction. “That’s much too boring for my liking. I hope you know that, Malfoy. What the bloody hell am I supposed to do all day? Clean the house, cook, take care of the kids?” she spat at the idea.

“Believe me, Granger, here won’t be any children involved in this marriage.” Draco retorted. “And I’m not expecting you to stay home all day either. Give me some credit, here. I know you better than that.”

Turning away from him, Hermione glanced at the clock and saw that it was a quarter to eleven. All thoughts of breakfast and Malfoy’s flew out of her mind the minute she found that she was late. “I’m late, I’m late, I’m late.” She muttered to herself as she began bustling around the living room, searching for her belongings. Once she gathered everything up, she rushed to the fireplace and threw a handful of floo powder inside. “See you later, Malfoy!” she shouted.


“Why hello Pansy.” Draco greeted, taking the seat across from her.

“You owe me some answers, Draco.” Pansy reminded him immediately. “What’s been going on the past couple of days? And Hermione Granger? You chose Hermione granger of all people?” She questioned incredulously.

Pansy Parkinson was no longer the pug-faced girl that Draco had known as a child. Time and genetics allowed her body to develop into the sexy, gorgeous woman that she was today. Her hair grew out, falling below her breasts, with a fringe crossing her forehead.

He sighed, knowing that he would have to answer her questions sooner or later. “my choices were rather limited at that time.” He admitted. A waitress soon approached the duo to take their order. “A cup of coffee please.” He said.

“Espresso for me, please.” Pansy requested in a perfect business-like voice. “I dose of crème and an extra shot.”

The waitress nodded and left the two to their own conversation.

“Your choice’s were rather limited?” she repeated, mockingly. “What about Miranda? Did you even stop to think about her?”

At the thought of his past, Draco scowled. “She won’t be back for another three years.” He informed her. “Hermione and I will be divorced and separated by then.”

“Do you really think that news won’t reach her?” she countered. “She’s in Paris, Draco. Paris isn’t a long way from here. News travels pretty fast, especially among pureblood witches. Parents talk during events and gatherings. You know how much they enjoy gossip.”

The waitress returned with their drinks, setting large mugs in front of both Draco and Pansy. After they each offered a ‘Thank you’ the waitress left once more.

“Miranda is the least of my problems at the moment.” Draco sneered. “She made it quite clear that she wanted nothing to do with me before she walked out on all of us. Why should she care if I’m getting married or not?”

“Did you expect her to stay here?” Pansy argued. “What exactly could she have done? She was stuck between two men, and she obviously could not choose. The two of you did not make the choice easy on her, either. Her only option was to leave.”

Draco’s jaw tightened. “She could’ve told me the truth.”

“You would have never let go of her.” She snorted. “Your temper get’s the best of you, Draco.”

Miranda Rosier, his previous girlfriend, left for Paris about a year after they all graduated Hogwarts, leaving him with nothing but a broken heart. Stricken with anger, Draco promised himself that he would forget about Miranda, even if he had to obliviate himself.

Turning away from Draco, Pansy sat back in her seat and began encircling the edge of the cup with her forefinger. “Let me guess,” she began again, as she tried to lighten the mood between them. It had been years since Miranda had been brought up in a conversation that Draco was engaged in. Out of their entire circle of friends, no one dared to bring Miranda up, in fear of drawing out Draco’s stowed away anger. “You called me here for a favor.”

Instantly, the corner of Draco’s lips rose to a small smile. “I wanted to explain things, as well.” He added.

Pansy smiled as well. “You want me to show Granger how to survive in a pureblood family, and of course, you want me to take her shopping.”

“You do have a career in the fashion industry.” Draco reminded her. “So who better to take Granger shopping than you? I’ll be paying for everything of course. You know my account number, just take whatever you need.”

Pansy eyed Draco carefully. “You know you trust me an awful lot. Enough to blindly hand me your Gringotts account number, giving me full reigns to your gold.”

He rolled his eyes. “If I feared that you would steal from me, then I would never allow you permission to my vault.”

“I suppose you’d also like me to help her with the wedding plans.” She brought the mug to her lips and took a short sip, leaving a half crescent lipstick mark on the edge. “But I believe that I already agreed to that last night.”

“I’ll be forever grateful, Pansy.” Draco grinned.

She scowled playfully in return. “You know, in time Draco you’ll be owing me your life.” She said in a warning tone. Nevertheless, she stood up and straightened out her clothes. She threw a few pounds on the table and grabbed her purse from behind her chair. “Coffee’s on me.” She told him with a smile. “But you still owe me lunch, Draco. We’ll meet tomorrow at noon in the Leaky Cauldron.” She said. “Don’t be late.”


It was twelve ten, and an agitated Pansy Parkinson was found sitting at the bar of the Leaky Cauldron. Her legs were crossed to the side formally, and she passed an empty glass of whiskey from her right hand, to her left. Her eyes constantly glanced towards her shiny, white gold watch. From time to time, her eyes would travel towards the entrance of the pub, hoping to catch sight of a familiar witch.

“I’m going to kill that boy.” She muttered to herself.

As she waited for the next five minutes, her mind wandered towards the amount of work she had sitting in her office, waiting to be touched. She began listing the amount of boutiques she would have to visit today in order to do her monthly rounds. Ever since her mother left London in her hands, work has been as hectic as ever. As she sat in the pub, waiting for Hermione Granger to arrive, she could not help but feel as though her time was being wasted.

Finally, at twelve-twenty-three, Draco and Hermione entered the pub.

“I apologize.” Draco began immediately. “I..” he glanced at Hermione, who had anger flaring in her eyes. “I… I played a little harmless trick on her, and well.. she attacked me.”

Pansy rolled her eyes, expecting no less from the two immature children standing in front of her. “You two play like children.” She scowled. “Let’s get this over with. I still have work that I need to tend to.”

Quickly, they made their way across the pub and into the backroom that lead to Diagon Alley. She tapped her wand on various bricks, and the three waited as the wall slowly opened, revealing a bustling Diagon Alley.

“Shall we start with clothes?” she asked once they entered the Alley. “What are your measurements, Granger?” she asked, as they entered Fashion Alley. “Dress, tops, bottoms, the works.”

“Er..” Hermione began, unsure of her own measurements.

They entered a clothing store, and various employee’s immediately approached Pansy, waiting on her hand and foot. She ignored all of them, and turned around, inspecting Hermione’s body.

“Hm, bust looks to be around.. thirty four inches, waist.. about twenty four, and hips about.. thirty six. My, my, Granger. You’re rather curvy, aren’t you?” Hermione blushed, and Draco chuckled beside her. “It will be rather difficult to get your clothes to fit perfectly, but it shouldn’t be a problem with magic.”

Pansy began piling various clothes on the crook of her arm, slowly making her way around the store and towards the fitting rooms.

“You pulled me out of training, for this?” Hermione whispered furiously, turning to Draco. “I have clothes Malfoy. I do not need new ones.”

Draco rolled his eyes as he turned her around and pushed her towards Pansy. “You’re about to be married into a pureblood family.” He whispered into her ear. “You need to be fully equipped.”

“You make it sound like I’m going into battle.” She whispered back.

“These clothes are too expensive!” she exclaimed, looking at the price of a blouse they had just passed. “I can’t afford any of this! Who in the world would buy such expensive clothing?” She said, muttering the last bit to herself.

“I’ll be paying for everything, remember? All you have to do is be a good girl and try the clothes on.” Once they reached the fitting room, he planted himself on one of the arm chairs provided.

Pansy stood by the clerks, and began piecing outfits together before handing them to Hermione. She walked down the hall and picked out a pairs of boots. “You know how to layer, don’t you Granger? Put these on and then come out. Then we’ll work on your make-up, and try to tame that hair of yours.” Pansy instructed before she shoved the clothes into Hermione’s open arms and pushed her into the open stall.

She then turned back to the employee’s and ordered them to follow her around the store. She trusted several outfits into their hands, followed by shoes, make-up, even accessories.

Five minutes passed before Draco’s attention was averted towards the opening curtains.

Hermione timidly drew the curtains back once she dressed herself, and bit her lip, awaiting Draco’s expected criticism. However, it did not come.

Draco merely stared at her with his mouth slightly agape.

“So..” Hermione began, looking around the room awkwardly. “Do I look the part yet?” Hermione asked him hopefully as she cutely twirled on the spot.

Upon her child-like gesture, Draco smiled. He stood up, placed his hands on her shoulders and guided her past several rooms until he reached the last one. The woman who was previously lounging back on a black, cushioned chair, immediately sat up, looking alert.

“My oh my.” The woman gasped with a snippy tone. “Have you ever heard of conditioners and moisturizers?” Hermione glared at the woman through the large mirror covering the entire back wall. She gingerly sat on the chair, and allowed the woman to pry at her hair. “What do you want me to do with this?” she asked Draco in a tone that made Hermione growl inwardly.

Draco chuckled. “It’s fine curly.” He said. “Just try to tame it. Make it less frizzy and make it shiny, I suppose.” He waved his hand, as if giving the woman free reigns to Hermione’s hair.

The next hour and a half was dedicated on Hermione’s appearance. Her face was caked with a light layer of make-up, and her hair was pried at until it shaped nicely. Pansy continued sending her back and forth through empty stalls, forcing her to try on various outfits along with shoes and purses. Once they were finished, the clerk rounded up all their purchases until Draco was surrounded by a heap of shopping bags.

By the time they were finished, Hermione looked as though she had just stepped out of a fashion magazine. She looked as chic as the models plain girls envied, and she could’ve certainly passed for one as well.

“Now, if you two will excuse me,” Pansy began as she checked her wrist watch. “I’ve got a job I should get back to.”

“Thank you, Pansy.” Hermione said genuinely. “I really appreciate your help.”

Pansy nodded curtly and smiled, slipping her large sunglasses on her face, before she turned around, her heels clicking loudly behind her, and disappeared down the street.

“You really didn’t have to do this.” Hermione said, turning back to Draco as they slowly walked down the street. “I think you just spent about a thousand galleons without even batting an eyelash. But thank you.” She added quickly.

“I’m not doing this for you.” He assured her. “You’re going to be famous now — well you were always famous, being part of the Golden Trio and all, but this will be a different type of famous. You’re my fiancé from now on, and your appearance means everything.”

She rolled her eyes. “You’re a pig, Malfoy. You seem to care more about looks thank anything else.”

Draco glared at her. “If that were true, then I would have married Astoria without a single complaint.”

“Then why work so hard in changing the way I look?” Hermione countered.

Draco simply sighed, taking a hold of her wrist before he apparated them both back to their flat. “What the hell!” Hermione shrieked the moment her feet landed on the ground. “You could have at least warned me that we were going to apparate.” She yelled loudly.

Draco winced at the volume of her voice. “Please refrain from yelling when you’re so bloody close to me.” He said, walking away from her. “You can be really loud, and it gets rather annoying.”

Hermione glared daggers at the back of his head, hoping with all her might that she could poke holes through it with her eyes.

“We’ve got a party to attend.” He informed her.

Hermione groaned. “Thank you for the early warning.” She said sarcastically. “I’m so bloody tired, Draco. I just want one day at home, to rest.”

“You’re my fiancé now,” he reminded her. “that means that you’re require to attend parties and events and any other social gatherings with me. How would it make me look if I attended a party alone?”

“Like the true, prat you really are.” Hermione muttered under her breath.

“So where’s the party this time?” she asked, tumbling on the couch. “Parkinson’s house? Zabini’s? Nott’s?”

Draco shook his head. “Pansy and Theodore live together. They have their own flat. So does Blaise. None of us live with our parents anymore.” He informed her. “It’s at the Ministry of Magic. I’m surprised that Wonder Boy and Weasley haven’t told you.”

Hermione blinked rapidly, suddenly remembering the party that Ginny had been anticipating for weeks. “Oh dear god.” She muttered, shooting straight up from her position on the couch. “Merlin, this can’t be good.”


“Would you please just relax?” Draco snapped irritably as he picked up a glass of champagne from the table. He quickly handed it to Hermione and took one for himself. “They won’t do anything to you here, there’s too many witnesses. No matter how daft I think Weasley can be, I don’t think he’ll be stupid enough to make a scene tonight.”

“That’s what you think.” She mumbled nervously as her eyes scanned the room. Ever since they arrived at the Ministry, she’s been fidgeting relentlessly, with anything she could get her hands on. At one point, she untied and retied Draco’s tie until she deemed the knot perfect.

Her arm was linked tightly with Draco as she followed him around the room. He greeted and shook hands with several people she was unfamiliar with. He mingled with almost everyone at the party, and she was surprised at how social Draco could be.

Several witches and wizards congratulated her on their engagement, and out of politeness, she smiled and offered a polite ‘thank you’.

“is this how it’s life for you every night?” she asked. “Attending parties, greeting people you’re not that familiar with?”

Draco shook his head. “It hasn’t been this hectic in a while. Usually there’s a social event at least twice every month, but since business is going well, and my parents are trying to make this as painstaking for us as possible, you can expect to attend an event like this at least once a week from now on.” He glanced at the glass of champagne in her hand. “Are you not going to drink?” he asked.

Hermione shook her head and grimaced. “Champagne has got to be the foulest of all alcoholic drinks.” Amused, Draco chuckled and downed the drink himself. “Do they serve gin?” He was unable to fight the smile that crept to his lips.

“You hate champagne and yet you drink firewhiskey.”

“There’s a certain taste in champagne that I absolutely cannot stand.” She explained. Draco gave her a strange look, which she just ignored.

They continued mingling with the rest of the guest. Hermione was introduced as Draco’s fiancé, although most of the witches and wizards in the room knew her as one out of the three of the Golden Trio.

With his hand on the small of her back, he led her away from the crowd and towards an open window. He allowed the breeze to engulf them, suddenly conscious of the suffocating atmosphere in the hall. He heard Hermione release a heavy breath as she leaned against the window sill, trying to reach out into the fresh air as much as her body would allow.

“This is so tiring.” She remarked. “My feet are going to be the death of me.”

“Comfort charm on your shoes before you leave the house. I thought you were smart, Granger.” Draco teased.

Before Hermione had the chance to respond, her eyes landed on a certain redhead, who was currently engaged in a conversation with a young woman. “Oh no,” she gasped. “Ronald’s here.” She pulled on Draco’s arm, trying to lead him away from Ron. However, Draco stood rooted at the spot, confused as to what she was trying to accomplish. “Malfoy, please, just this once, can’t you just cooperate with me?” Hermione begged anxiously, pulling hi away.

Draco, on the other hand, found her situation rather amusing. “You can’t honestly tell me that you’re afraid of facing Weasley.” He said with an amused smirk.

I’m not afraid of h — Harry!” Hermione shrieked with surprised once Harry suddenly appeared at her side. Her heart started beating against her chest loudly, and she prayed that she was the only one who could hear her wild heartbeat. Her prayers seemed futile the moment Draco turned to her direction and smirked knowingly. “How w — wonderful to see you! Are you here with Ginny?” she asked, scanning the hall.

“Ginny just went to the lavatory.” Harry answered. “Malfoy.” He greeted stiffly. “I didn’t expect to be seeing you here.”

“`Mione.” Ron greeted, abruptly appearing beside Harry. “I didn’t expect to be seeing you here. Have you done something to your hair?” he asked, leaning forward in an attempt to get a closer look. “Looks different.” He commented.

Hermione’s smile faltered, remaining weak. “I’m here accompanying Dra —”

“C’mon Weasley, did you expect Hermione to leave her fiancé dateless?” Draco asked, teasing the two men.

“Malfoy.” Hermione warned.

Ron, who had just took note of Draco’s presence, glared at him with pure hatred. Draco simply smirked arrogantly. “Listen to Hermione, Malfoy. It’s best not to provoke us.”

Draco snorted. “Pissed off, are you Weasley?” he asked tauntingly. “Pissed that you didn’t get the girl in the end?”

It took every bone in Ron’s body to refrain himself from pouncing on Draco and showering him with full blown punches. Both his hands were balled up into tight fists on both his sides, his knuckles turning to an unconventional shade of white.

As if on cue, Ginny arrived, tottering to the other side of Harry, quickly taking in the scene before her. Her eyes danced from Draco to her brother, and back. “Calm down, Ron.” She snapped, sounding more like her mother than she realized. “We’re at a party, for crying out loud.”

“Malfoy,” Hermione growled, tip-toeing to whisper in Draco’s ear. As she spoke, her lips brushed against his outer earlobe, sending shivers down Draco’s spine. “I swear to Merlin, if you do not stop, I will announce to everyone in this room why we are really getting married.” As she settled back on her feet, she found Draco glaring at her. She ignored him and turned to Ron. “Ron, you should stop as well. This is neither the time, nor the place for an argument between the two of you.”

Harry, who didn’t look any happier than Ron, growled under his breath. Ginny immediately laced his hand in his, as if attempting to remind him of her presence. He recoiled slightly, knowing that he would have to face his girlfriend’s wrath if he were to attack Draco at that very moment. “Ron,” Harry spoke up. “Hermione’s right.”

“Let’s go, boys.” Ginny said, ushering her boyfriend, and her brother away from the couple. Before leaving, she and Hermione shared a sympathetic look. “You two are like children, honestly!” Hermione heard Ginny snap before the three were out of ear shot.

Hermione then turned to Draco with a livid look in her eyes. “That’s perfect, Malfoy.” She remarked through gritted teeth. “Can you get any more immature?” Draco scowled, and looked away from her. “I made an effort to be civilized with your friends.” She reminded him. “Why can’t you do the same for me? Honestly, it’s like we’re all back in Hogwarts again! You three can’t even act like civilized adults.”

“May I remind you who made me look like a bloody clown this morning?” he snapped.

Hermione scoffed. “And who tripped me before that?”

“Who kicked me in the face?” Draco countered.

“You were the one who started arguing on who should turn the bloody lights off!” Hermione snapped, resisting the urge to stomp her feet on the marble floor.

“It’s not my fault you’re so bloody stubborn!” He snarled.

“Oh, I’m stubborn?” Hermione asked angrily, as she began following Draco while he attempted to walk away from her. “Look who’s talking, you insufferable pig-headed pra —”

“Draco!” Hermione and Draco’s attention were both forced towards the feminine voice that had approached them. As soon as Draco’s eyes landed on the woman, the glass of champagne in his hand slipped through his fingers and shattered by his feet. His mouth fell agape, and his eyes went wide.

Hermione, on the other hand, blinked rapidly, confused as to who the woman was. Her face was familiar, but she could not put her finger on it.

The unfamiliar woman began walking towards them. She was dressed in a long, scarlet red evening gown, and her blonde hair was clipped in an elegant up-do. “Draco.” She repeated with a smile on her face. Her long, slender arms reached up and wrapped themselves around his neck once she reached him.

“Miranda?” Draco breathed with disbelief.

The woman smiled warmly. “I’m back.” She whispered.

Chapter 6: Chapter Five
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

By: Gryffindorgirl153

A/N:edited 9.1.2011

Chapter Five

Hermione stared at the perfect figure that was currently hanging around Draco’s neck. She neither had any idea who the woman was, nor did she care. However, Draco looked incredibly uncomfortable as she pressed herself against him. His arms stayed limp by his sides, and the only sign of life was the steady rising of his chest.

“How have you been? Miranda asked softly, smiling as she released Draco. She gingerly placed her hand on Draco’s arm.

“W—wonderful.” Draco answered coldly.

Miranda’s smile, if possible, grew even wider. She drew her eyes away from Draco and landed on Hermione. “Hello.” She greeted with a bright smile. “Who is this..?” she trailed off, turning to Draco for an answer before her eyes flickered curiously towards Hermione.

Draco cleared his throat and forced his mind back down to earth. The pain he had stowed away — the paint hat Miranda had selfishly placed on him — came rushing back like a large, uncontrollable wave. All the memories that he had forced himself to forget found its way back into his mind, but, unlike his eighteen year old self, he did not let himself fall at her feet. Instead of unleashing the remnant of his unwavering pain, he allowed his anger to take over.

“This is Hermione granger.” He introduced, placing his arm around Hermione in a protective manner. “My fiancé.”

After being introduced, Hermione offered Miranda a small smile and opened her mouth to speak. “Hel —”

Miranda, However, cut across her. “Fiancé?” she asked, astonished as she raised a perfectly arched eyebrow. “Well, well, well,” she began, folding her arms across her chest. “What exactly have you been doing while I was gone?” Her tone was more playful than he had expected. “Well, I’d love to catch up with you sometime. How about tomorrow afternoon? At the usual place, around two?”

“The usual..?” Draco asked.

Miranda laughed good naturedly. “Don’t tell me you’ve already forgotten, Draco.”

Without another word, Draco turned away with his arm still wrapped around Hermione’s waist. He carefully led her away from Miranda — away from his past.

“Who —”

A loud tinkering from the front of the room interrupted Hermione in mid sentence. The Minister of Magic appeared before all the guest, standing on the platform with a wand pointed at his throat, and a glass of champagne in his other hand.

“Thank you all for attending this party.” His voice boomed across the hall. “I’m sure you all know that this day marks the twenty seventh anniversary of the newly formed structure of the Ministry. We are all very proud of our accomplishments to this day, and there are several people to thank in this room. If it weren’t for the guests attending the this gathering today, then the Ministry would not be running as efficiently as it does today.”

Once the toasts were over, the Minister gathered everyone to their designated tables and the food immediately appeared. Large round tables littered the hall, and expensive china surrounded each attending guest. Miranda, who was so conveniently seated beside Draco, laughed and smiled all throughout the night. Her hands would occasionally graze Draco’s arm as she constantly referred back to him every so often as she constantly entered memory lane. Despite Draco’s stiffness, she relentlessly recover old memories, sharing them with everyone at her table. Throughout the entire night, not once did Miranda ever take note of Hermione’s presence.

Once Hermione and Draco were left alone at the large table, she spoke. “I take it that she’s your ex-girlfriend.”

Draco grimaced and looked away. “Was.”

“May I ask what happened?” she asked.

“It’s another story for another day.” He answered stiffly. When he realized that Hermione was not going to let the matter go, he sighed exasperatedly and said, “Drop it, Granger. It’s none of your business. We had rules, remember? We are not to intervene in each other’s personal lives.”

Hermione glared at him. “I’m sorry, Malfoy.” She apologized coldly. “I was just trying to help.” She roughly grabbed her purse and left Malfoy sitting at the sable alone to swim in the depths of his own anger. She made a beeline across the room and towards the lavatory.

When the doors of the lavatory closed behind her, Hermione let out a breath she was holding and slumped against one of the sinks. “How do I expect myself to live another year or two of this garbage?” she muttered to herself.

For once, I was just trying to help.” Hermione glared at him one last time, before grabbing her purse and heading towards the restroom. “How do I expect myself to live another year and a half of this garbage?” She muttered to herself.

Hermione lifted her gaze and stared at her reflection in the mirror. “Mrs. Malfoy.” She whispered, cocking her head to the side. “Mrs. Draco Malfoy.” She repeated, wondering how something so strange could sound so natural in her ears.

The door of the lavatory swung open, drawing Hermione’s attention.

Miranda appeared through the doorway, walking through the threshold with impeccable grace. Noting Hermione’s appearance for the second time that night, she offered her a small smile. “Hello.” She walked around Hermione and stopped in front of the sink beside hers. “How did you do it?” she asked suddenly as she studied her reflection in the mirror.

“Sorry?” Hermione asked, confused.

Miranda smiled. “How did you get Draco to propose? I reckon it was not an easy feat.”

“Er.. no, not really.” She answered timidly. “He sort of just.. sprang the question on me. It was really, really unexpected.” Memories of the night that drastically changed her entire life sprung back into her mind. The reports, the photographers, Draco’s lips on hers..

“Really?” Miranda replied, astonishment filling her voice despite the smug look on her face. She turned back to the mirror and pulled out a tube of lipstick. “It’s just that, I know he fears commitment.”

Hermione chuckled bitterly. “He didn’t seem to have a problem committing to me.” She said through gritted teeth, finding her situation more than unfortunate.

“That’s why we broke it off, actually.” She continued as she applied the lipstick. “Well.. that’s why I broke it off. I wanted to settle down, and he wanted to.. experience life, or so he said.” Hermione did not reply. Instead, she turned her attention back to the mirror. “Oh, I’m sorry. Didn’t you know?” Miranda asked with a fake, innocent tone. She pursed her lips, smearing the red color across her plump lips. “Draco and I dated for as long as I can remember. We broke up about a year after graduation.”

“Yes, I gathered from all the stories you so conveniently shared tonight.” Hermione snapped. With one last look at her reflection, Hermione picked up her purse and started for the door without another word. After a second exchange with Miranda, Hermione realized that the woman had successfully left a deep impression, and not in a good way. She sensed that beyond her fake smiles and kind words, there was a bitch, yearning to break free.

“Oh, and Hermione?” Miranda called before Hermione reached the door.

Instinctively, Hermione turned to look at her.

Miranda was smiling mischievously. “I won’t let him get away this time.” She assured her. “That ring on your finger, it belongs to me. I suggest you step aside before you get hurt.”

Dumbfounded, all Hermione could do was gape at Miranda. “I always get what I want, Granger.” She continued coldly. “And I want Draco Malfoy back.”

When Hermione returned to her table, Draco was still sitting alone, but this time, he was twirling his wand between his fingers. She noted the look in his eyes, which was probably an indication that he was buried in deep thought. Following his gaze, she found that his eyes were glued onto a stray fork that settled in front of an empty champagne glass. Although his eyes were open, it showed no signs of consciousness.

Hesitantly, Hermione lifted her hand and gingerly placed it on his shoulder. “Alright there, Malfoy?” As she spoke, her previous conversation with Miranda sparked fresh in her mind.

Draco snapped away from his trance and shook his head, turning towards her. “Just perfect.” He answered sarcastically, his lips forming into a grimace. “Just bloody perfect.” He murmured.

Deciding that he had enough of sitting in his seat, he stood up and politely extended his hand towards Hermione. “Dance with me, Granger.” There was no sign of playfulness or amusement on his face, which caused Hermione to take it as an order. She rolled her eyes, nevertheless, she placed her hand in his and allowed him to lead her to the middle of the dance floor.

“What happened to that arrogant and constantly amused face of yours?” she asked as they began dancing. “I’m starting to miss it. It’s certainly better than this sullen look of yours.”

“What happened to that disgusted, appalled face you always had when you faced me?” Draco sneered. “Remember the rules, Granger. Keep to yourself. We are not to pry in each others’ private lives.”

“Fine, I’m sorry I asked. I’ll be sure to allow you to suffer alone next time.” She barked.

Without warning, he abruptly twirled her around, almost causing her to lose her balance. She stumbled forward clumsily, and she would have collided with the ground if not for Draco’s arm supporting her upper body. The moment she regained her composure, she straightened herself and glared daggers at Draco. He, on the other hand, looked completely unfazed and bored with their bantering. He took the lead and they resumed their heated, anger-filled dance.

In retaliation, Hermione sharply lifted her foot and stomped down on his, forcing the heel of her shoe deep into the leather material. He doubled over in pain. “Granger.” He growled hatefully.

“Serves you right, you wanker.”


The next morning was not a good day for Draco. Due to the previous night, he and Hermione woke up irritable and short-tempered. They barely spoke more than five words to each other before Hermione rushed out of her bedroom and into the fireplace. In about ten minutes, he followed suit, finding it strange to be left alone in his flat.

The minute he arrived in his office, he was met with stacks and stacks of documents to file through, along with a last minute two hour meeting that has just been scheduled the previous night.

He was slumped over his table, kneading his temples when a knock broke through his thoughts, followed by a soft voice. “Knock, knock.” Draco looked up from his desk and watched the door of his office open slowly.

Miranda appeared in the doorway, surprisingly enough. “If I remember correctly, you never had any time to get breakfast into your stomach in the morning.” She smiled softly and held up a paper bag with a large smile. “I hope you like raspberry muffins.” When she did not receive a reply from Draco, she walked over to his desk and placed the bag in front of him. “There’s coffee in there too, just the way you like it.”

Stiffly, he set the paper bag aside and waited for her next move.

When he did not utter a word, she glanced around his office awkwardly, and began speaking once more. “I have a last minute appointment this afternoon, and I can’t make the two o’clock lunch, so I’ll have to take a rain check.”

“If that’s all, are we through?” Draco asked impatiently.

“No, that’s not all.” Miranda replied. “You’ve been silent ever since I returned.” She remarked sullenly. “Aren’t you wondering where I went, what I did, why I did it?”

“I’ve been filled in by Pansy over the years.”

“She’s a doll.” Miranda commented sarcastically.

Draco did not reply.

“So this Hermione girl,” she began, stepping closer to his desk. “She seems… intelligent. I’ve heard a lot about her from the Daily Prophet and Witch Weekly. She was quite the celebrity when she was seventeen.”

“She and her friends saved the world, what do you expect?” Draco replied flatly.

“It was just an observation.”

“Well, if you’re done observing, will you please go? I have a lot of work to do today.”

“She seems interesting, too.” She continued, ignoring Draco’s statement. “I’m aware that she’s a mud — muggle born, am I correct?”

He nodded. “She is.”

She smiled sympathetically. “I’m sure your parents aren’t too happy.”

“They’re dealing.” He answered.

“Is she as good to you as I was?” Miranda asked wistfully, stepping around his desk, slowly approaching him.

He didn’t know what game she was playing. He was positive that her words held more meaning than they appeared. He was hesitant to answer her, afraid that she would find away to pick apart his words and somehow use it against him. She was witty, and cunning, and he did not expect anything less. So he decided to play along, knowing that she always loved a good, harmless game.

Past memories flooded his mind unexpectedly, and anger bubbled in the pit of his stomach.

“Better than you, as a matter of fact.” Draco answered with a small smile — the first sign of emotion he has shown all morning. “She’s rather extraordinary, the most unique woman I’ve ever met. I guess you can say that’s one of the many reasons why I l —” he stopped in his tracks and swallowed loudly once he realized what he was about to say. “l — love her.” he finished with great difficulty.

“Extraordinary, huh?” she asked, cocking an eyebrow. “What makes her so extraordinary?”

He shrugged tiredly and began absentmindedly fiddling with random objects on his desk. “Just the tiny quirks in her personality.” He answered smoothly. In all honesty, Draco had no idea how to describe Hermione Granger. It was difficult for him to draw up any compliments regarding Hermione, and it was even more difficult to start listing — if any — her quirky traits in front of the woman he once loved. “Her flaws, and such.”

“Her flaws?” she repeated, dumbfounded. “You hated a woman’s flaws. I was always under the impression that you loved me because you thought I was perfect.” She pointed out.

“Yes, well when you’re with Hermione you will learn to love the flaws.” He replied, resisting the urge to scowl at the thought of Hermione’s imperfections. She was right. He could not deal with flaws. Women should be perfect in his eyes for him to even consider loving them. “Believe me, I had no choice.” His words were bitter, despite his attempts to conceal the bitterness. He inwardly hoped that she did not catch it. “And she’s… she’s independent. She doesn’t need anyone to walk around holding her hand.” Draco felt that his last statement must have been the one sure thing he knew about Hermione. If there was anything he was familiar with when it concerned her, it would be her independent personality. It was something he, himself, admired. He felt that this day and age, it was more than difficult to find an independent woman who planned on doing more than just leaning on her husband for the rest of her life.

“Then I’m sure she would like to stay independent.” Miranda jeered. “Knowing you, you will end up spoiling her rotten, with gifts and flowers, and all kinds of jewelry.”

“That was then. Things are different now.”

“How sad.” Miranda pouted mockingly. “That might have been one of your best attributes.”

Draco resisted the urge to glare at Miranda. “I’m only teasing, Draco.” She laughed playfully.

“You’re still as shallow as ever.” He remarked, bored. “I was always forced to wonder if you truly liked me for me, and not for my name.”

“Do you two live together?” she continued, completely ignoring Draco’s rude remarks.


“We should have lunch, a proper lunch date.” She said, glancing at her wrist watch. “Pansy and Blaise can come along too. It will be just like the old days.”

“Are we finished now?” Draco asked impatiently. No matter how hard Miranda tried, he would not let her get the upper hand. Things were different now, and Draco was no longer the pitiful, love-sick teenager he was three years ago. He was not going to let her mold everything to her liking, no matter how much she tried.

“I’ll owl you the details later.” Without waiting for a response, Miranda quickly strode out of his office, leaving Draco in a more frustrated state than she had found him.


It was about eleven o’clock when Draco finally arrived home for the day. He was met with the sound of the television filling the living room, followed by two feminine voices. He was surprised to see Hermione and Ginny lounging on the couch with a thick blanket covering them both. There were countless of empty ice cream cartons littered on the surface of the coffee table in front of them, while Hermione cradled a half empty carton of cookies-and-crème on her lap.

“Malfoy?” Hermione called, keeping her eyes glued to the television. “He’s gorgeous.” Draco heard Hermione say to Ginny.

“Isn’t he?” Ginny agreed vibrantly. “but she leaves him in the end for Noah.”

Hermione nodded. “We must have watched this movie about a hundred times, and every time, the ending still gets to me.”

“Er, Hello.” Draco greeted awkwardly from the doorway. He had shrugged off his coat, and was left in his jeans and a white, button up shirt.

After Ginny took note of his appearance, she cocked her head to the side. “Malfoy, you work in an office, don’t you?” she asked. “What ever happened to the sensible attire? Where’s the suit and slacks?”

“I refuse to wear a suit to work every day.” Draco informed her. “It’s horribly plain and boring.”

“Have you eaten dinner yet? Your mother stopped by today, by the way.” She said. “She began teaching me how to cook all these dishes,” she made no effort to hide the annoyance in her voice. “It was all very overwhelming, but I suppose they all turned out delicious.”

He walked into the kitchen and began heating his own dinner. “Miranda stopped by a few hours ago, too.” Hermione said loudly. Draco instantaneously stopped in his tracks as his eyes widened. The second he heard her shuffling footsteps, he forced himself to focus on his dinner. In about thirty seconds, Hermione entered the kitchen and leaned against the counter. “She’ll be coming over tomorrow with Pansy and Blaise for lunch. And then she suggested that we all have a day out on Sunday. Perhaps to the beach, or something.”

Draco was rigid as he held his plate and fork tightly in his hands. “I don’t think that’s a good idea.” He said. “She’s not someone you’d get along with.”

“Why do you say that?” she asked curiously.

Draco scoffed and dug into his dinner. “You two are polar opposites. If I were to shove the both of you into an empty room, I’m sure she’ll end up dead.”

“Ah, so you’re protecting her from me?” she asked with a mischievousness swimming in her eyes.

“More you than her.” He said with a shrug. “You are my fiancé after all.”

“How are you so sure that I won’t end up dead?” Hermione asked him.

“What could she possibly do? Charm you to death? You’re a rather vicious woman, Granger. Especially when you happen to be irritated.”

“Regardless, it’s rude to turn down an invitation like that.” She argued, despite the fact that she knew he was probably right. “And she’s your old friend. So we should go. It should be good.. fun.. yeah — fun…”

Chapter 7: Chapter Six
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

By: Gryffindorgirl153

A/N: edited 9.1.2011

Chapter Six

Hermione’s eyes were forced open by the ear piercing screech prying through her brain. Alarmed, she immediately shot out of bed and began scanning her surroundings. It wasn’t until when she felt her walls to vibrate with intensity when she realized that the source of the noise was Draco’s wretched television. She glanced at the clock on her bedside table, and scowled when she learned that it was only eight-thirty in the morning.

“Malfoy!” she shrieked, agitated, before she shoved her head under her pillow, hoping that it would be enough to block out the incessant noises. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. “Malfoy!” Hermione called as loud as she could. The movie droned out of her voice.

She groaned and dragged herself out of bed. She stumbled out of her bedroom, down the hall and towards the living room, where her fiancé was lazily lounging on the couch with his breakfast in his lap. His eyes were fixed on the television while a black remote rested in his palm.

“Malfoy!” she repeated. “It’s eight-thirty in the bloody morning!” she shouted. When Draco ignored her, she sighed heavily and collapsed on the other end of the couch before she quickly grabbed the remote from his hand in order to turn the volume down.

“What do you think you’re doing?” he demanded angrily once he finally tore his eyes away from the television. He immediately snatched the remote back from her hands — her reflexes were not good enough to match his — and turned the volume back up.

She grimaced in his direction. “Why don’t you put a silencing charm up you selfish prat?” she asked furiously. “Try being considerate for once, Malfoy! I’m sure that there are still people in this building who are trying to get some sleep!”

“I couldn’t sleep.” He said simply. “So too bad.”

“You.” Hermione began through gritted teeth. “Are. Such. A. Child.” She tried her best to control her anger, but it was becoming more and more difficult. “Man child.” She muttered under her breath. When Draco did not show any signs of interest towards her insult, she finally let out a defeated sigh, fell back against the arm of the couch, and stretched her legs out in front of her. “Are you busy this afternoon?” Hermione asked suddenly.

Draco ignored her again. “Malfoy!” she shouted, trying to capture his attention. She kicked his sides lightly with her feet, but he continued to ignore her. Repeating her actions, she kicked him harder.

Finally fed up with her pestering, Draco snarled and pressed his large hand against her ankles, keeping them in a tight hold. “What are you doing?” he snapped, lifting the remote to pause the movie. “You’re so goddamn irritating. What do you want?”

“I want my feet back.” She spat. “If the volume wasn’t so loud, maybe you would have been able to hear me.”

“What do you want?” Draco repeated, ignoring her remarks. He did not bother hiding the fact that he was severely irritated by Hermione.

“We need to go to my parents house today.” She informed him with an angry look on her face. “For both lunch and dinner. It’s about time that I fill them in on everything.”

Openly, Draco scowled with disgust. “Draco.” Hermione glared at hi. “You have to do this for me. I went through an entire night with your parents. You need to do this.”

“Your parents are muggles.” Draco countered. “They’ve got no clue about what’s going on in our world, so why tell them something they don’t need to know?” he asked.

“My parents aren’t stupid.” She replied. “My mum especially will be able to figure out if I’m bloody getting married or not, even if I try to hide it… and it would be nice to have them at my first wedding… even though it’s completely fake.”

He snorted. “What exactly do you plan on telling them once we get a divorce?” he asked. “Are you going to tell them the truth, or are you going to go with the loveless marriage bit.”

“Do you have a better reason?” she demanded. “Unless you want to intentionally cheat on your wife and have it display on every newspaper and magazine, then that’s our safest bet. Although, if you were to cheat, that would make the process a whole lot quicker and easier.” She said.

“Don’t kid yourself, Granger. I’m not going to risk my reputation just to make our divorce easier.” He scowled. “What are your parents like?” he asked suddenly, timidly. After a strange and curious look from Hermione, Draco immediately spoke. “I just sincerely hope that they’re nothing like their daughter.” Without giving Hermione a change to reply, he turned his attention back to the television and resumed the movie.

Completely agitated, she snatched the remote from his hands once more and turned the movie off.

Draco’s lips turned into a sneer and he leaned over to snatch the remote back from her hands, which became more difficult after she laid back against the couch, moving the remote out of Draco’s reach. “Give me the remote, Granger.” He growled dangerously.

Hermione shook her head stubbornly and proceeded to turn the stereo off. “Did you just turn it off?” he snapped angrily as he reached forward, consequently hovering over her, and tried to grasp the remote again.

Out of desperation, Hermione shoved Draco off her body and onto the floor, and out of impulse, Draco grabbed onto Hermione, sending her tumbling off the couch as well. Neither of them had noticed the compromising position they had fallen into — with Draco on his back, and Hermione straddling his lower region — as he continued reaching forward, trying to pry the remote from her small hands. In the midst of their tousle, Draco’s eyes traveled down her slightly exposed body, and it was then when he finally took note of their physical contact. Hermione followed his gaze, and her eyes widened with awareness.

She jumped to her feet, but the playful banter did not end there. She quickly pranced across the flat, running to the other side of the room while holding the remote tightly in her hand.

Draco, who was growing tired of Hermione’s childish antics, pushed himself off the floor and walked up to the stereo. He turned it on and cranked it louder than ever before. The movie resumed and the action started. As a result, the speakers boomed loudly, and their flat shook with tremor.

As the incessant sound rippled her brain apart, Hermione covered her ears with the palm of her hands in attempt to drown out the sound. When she realized that she, as well, had control over the stereo, she immediately pointed the remote in its direction and turned it off.

Without hesitation, Draco turned the stereo on once more and intensified the volume.

Hermione turned it off.

The stereo went through the torture of constantly turning on and off for about five minutes before Hermione finally cracked. She let out a frustrated cry, although neither of them could hear her, and stomped her foot on the ground angrily.

“Can you get any more immature?” Draco asked with a disgusted tone.

As Hermione glared daggers in his direction, Draco let out an unexpected laugh. Taken aback, she offered the perfect opportunity for a surprise attack, and Draco immediately took his chance. He ran after her, but she had collected herself faster than he anticipated. She bolted for the couch, running behind it and back around with Draco hot on her heels. What she wasn’t expecting, however, was Draco’s hands, pushing her back against the couch and grabbing the remote right out of her palm. Realizing her defeat, Hermione glared at him as her pride showed more colors than she would have liked. Not ready to let him win just yet, she wound her legs around his waist and flipped them over to the floor, resuming their initial position. This gave Hermione the chance to snatch the remote again, and she placed it high above her head with her outstretched arm, putting the remote completely out of his grasp.

“Why. Are. You. Such. A. Child?” he demanded, frustrated beyond belief. The couple had slipped in between the small space of the couch and the coffee table. “What do you want? Do you want me to turn the television off? Well too bad, Granger. This is my flat, and I should be free to do whatever the fuck I want on a Saturday afternoon. It’s my first day off in weeks, I want to enjoy it.”

Hermione rolled her eyes and turned both the television and stereo off while her body was still straddling Draco’s. After she placed the remote on the coffee table, she turned back to him, but immediately regretted it. A strange feeling washed over her when she realized that he had been staring at her the entire time.

Uncomfortable and slightly embarrassed, Hermione cleared her throat, looking away. “Be ready to leave by three.” She told him flatly. “If I hear any noises coming from this room, I will blast your stupid speakers to oblivion.” Hermione gripped the coffee table and pushed herself off his body.

Draco, who remained flat on the floor, stared after her with anger. “This is my house!” he exclaimed.

“I live here too.” She countered, whipping around to narrow her eyes at him. “I’m your fiancé now, remember?”


“Malfoy, are you ready yet?” Hermione asked, entering the kitchen as she fiddled with the bow of her dress. After not receiving an answer, she lifted her gaze and found Draco still in his pj’s. “Are you kidding me?” she demanded angrily before she glanced at her wrist watch. “It’s a quarter to three! You had hours to get ready!”

While Draco was still dressed in his pajama bottoms and a plain white t-shirt, Hermione had already slipped into a plain, emerald green dress, falling a little before her knees. She wore simple black strappy sandals, and had a long, white coat over her shoulders.

“Relax.” He said, downing a tall glass of water. His exit was unaccompanied by an explanation, leaving Hermione huffing with anger. She was more than nervous to introduce Draco to her parents, and here he was, acting as nonchalant as ever. Ten minutes later, Draco emerged from his bedroom wearing a pair of black slacks, a plain white button up shirt, and a grey blazer. “I’m not a girl, Granger. I don’t need hours beforehand to get ready.” His hair was still wet from his quick shower.

Hermione sighed and followed him into the living room. “How are we going to get there?” he asked, approaching the fireplace as if he already knew the answer. “Floo network?”

She shook her head as she rummaged through her small purse. “We’re going to drive there.” She answered.

Draco gave her an incredulous look. “You’re going to drive us to your parents house?” he asked, disbelief plain in his voice. “There’s no way that I’m going to get into a car that you’re driving.”

She scowled at him openly after she found a set of keys in her purse. “I have my license Malfoy, believe it or not. I’m perfectly capable of driving a car.”

He laughed sarcastically as they exited their flat, and making their way down the stairs. Once they were on the street, Draco looked around, searching for Hermione’s car. “Do you even have a car, Granger?” he drawled.

Hermione glared at him. Wordlessly, she scanned the vicinity, hoping that there weren’t any muggles around to see her use magic. Once she deemed it appropriate, she took her wand from her purse and muttered a simple conjuring spell. Before them, on an empty street, a sleek, silver Camaro appeared out of thin air.

“This is your car?” he asked with a laugh.

Hesitantly, Hermione nodded. “It was a gift from Harry..” she trailed off. “After graduation, I went through this driving phase,” she kept her eyes away from him as she spoke. “I drove everywhere, it was rather refreshing actually. Around that time, Harry and Ron were interested in muggle sports cars. You should see how much Harry has bought for himself, although he only uses it for special occasions.”

Before Hermione managed to step into the drivers seat, Draco stepped in front of her. “I’ll drive.” He smirked, holding out his hands for her keys.

“Malfoy, it’s my own car.” She argued as she gripped her keys tightly in her hand. “I’m perfectly capable of driving.” Draco continued holding out his hand in a wordless attempt to get the car keys. “You don’t know where my parents live.” She informed him.

“You can direct me there.” He snatched the keys from her grasp and climbed into the drivers seat. Hermione surrendered with a sigh and walked around the car, settling into the passenger’s seat.

She eyed him carefully while she adjusted her seatbelt and shifted on the seat. “Why are you suddenly so keen on driving?” she asked.

Draco turned to her with a smirk. “How do you think my pride would feel if my fiancé was the one driving the sports car, while I sit in the passenger’s seat?”

Hermione couldn’t resist. She rolled her eyes dramatically and turned her attention out the window once they began moving. “You know how to drive?” she asked suddenly, turning to him. “I’m sincerely curious, Malfoy. Why are you so attuned with muggle technology?”

He shrugged.

“Are you ashamed of telling me the truth?” Hermione pressed playfully.

“Pansy… she works with muggles sometimes. In her field of work, it’s actually really important for her to step into the muggle world from time to time in order to get more ideas. The Parkinson’s franchise has gotten so large, that it had even extended to the muggles. Once she settled into a muggle lifestyle for a few months, she introduced me to all these knew things.” Hermione listened carefully as he spoke. “I must admit, I was rather hesitant to try the things she was suggesting, but eventually, I grew to love it.”

The two fell into an uncomfortable silence as Draco drove down the street. In order to fill it, Hermione reached forward and turned the radio on, settling on the station she always listened to. She found herself humming along to the song that was playing, up until Draco rudely interrupted her and changed the station. “What are you doing?” she demanded, the minute the sound of heavy metal filled her ears. “Malfoy, this is trash!” she shouted.

Draco turned, smirking in her direction before turning the volume up. “It’s music.” He argued. In truth, Draco hated listening to junk he could not understand. But in this circumstance, he gritted his teeth and listened to it, since he found that it did a good job annoying Hermione.

Hermione leaned over and changed the station, returning to the previous station. “This is music.” She said with a frown.

Scowling, Draco turned the station back to the heavy metal music. Hermione then slapped his hands away from the controls and changed the station back. “Pay attention to the road!” she snapped. “You’ll get us both killed at the speed you’re driving.”

“I’m sorry, princess, would you prefer if I drove slower?” he asked in a mock, innocent tone.

“I actually would.” Hermione snapped.

“I hate driving slow.” He informed her before he changed the station again.

“Why do you insist on listening to everything so loud?” she snarled.

“So that the music drowns out your incessant talking.” He snapped.

Angrily, Hermione turned the music off completely.

Draco turned to her, surprised. “What was that?” he asked.

“No music.” She told him, folding her arms over her chest. “We’ll just end up fighting again.”

“We wouldn’t fight so much if you weren’t so stubborn.” He muttered under his breath.

“Turn here.” Hermione instructed blandly. “Keep going until the first dirt paved rode to your left.”

The rest of the car ride was silent, with an exception of Hermione’s constant directing. After another thirty minutes of driving, Draco finally parked in the drive way of a large, white house, with a clean-cut lawn and flowers bordering the edge. “Large house.” He remarked as they stepped out of the car.

Hermione fixed her coat around her shoulders and reached into the car to grab her purse. “Some of my younger cousins stayed with us before.” She explained. “They went to school around here, so my aunt sent them to live with us. We needed a bigger place.”

Slowly, Draco and Hermione walked to the front door, and she pressed a small, white circle. A loud bell chimed on the other side of the door. As the doorknob turned, Draco timidly wrapped an arm around Hermione’s waist before the door opened and revealed a middle-aged couple.

“Mum!” Hermione exclaimed happily, walking up to wrap her arms around the aging woman. “Dad!” she did the same to her father.

“Hermione.” The woman greeted with a large, warm smile on her face. “It’s so wonderful to see you, dear. You’ve been so busy lately, you barely have time to stop by.” She stepped aside and allowed the couple to walk into the house. Hermione shrugged off her coat and handed it to her father. “And who is this?” her mother asked, turning to Draco.

“Oh, mum, dad,” Hermione began nervously, as she apprehensively took Draco’s hand in hers. “This is.. Draco…” she trailed off, glancing at his face, trying to make sense of his expression. “Malfoy.” She finished. “Draco Malfoy.”

Politely, Draco shook both her parents’ hands. “It’s nice to meet you, Mr. and Mrs. Granger.” He greeted warmly.

Her mother glanced at their joined hands. “Are you two seeing each other?” she asked.

Hermione took a deep breath, and nodded. “Yes, mum.” She let out a small smile. “We’re… we’re actually getting married.”

Mr. Granger’s face was washed of color, and Mrs. Granger let out a loud gasp. “M — married?” she voiced with disbelief.

“Er, mum.. why don’t we talk about this in the sitting room?” Hermione said nervously.

Recollecting himself, Mr. Granger let out a loud gruff and nodded in agreement. “Yes, Celia, I think we should be seated for this.”

Draco suddenly felt Hermione’s grip on his hands tighten — a sign that she was nervous beyond control. Hoping that it would settle her nerves, Draco grasped her hand tighter, and in turn, he as well felt an overwhelming sense of comfort. Regrettably, his insides did not mirror his cool, confident and collected exterior. He was just as nervous as Hermione — perhaps even more. Instinctively, Draco stepped closer to Hermione and preserved a short distance as they moved through the furniture and into the sitting room.

Draco and Hermione planted themselves on the couch, while her parents took either armchair, facing them.

“So..” Cecelia Granger began, breaking the deafening silence. “Married?”

“Right..” Hermione breathed. “Well.. yes mum, we’re —” she grasped Draco’s hand, which was sitting on his right knee. “getting married.” She finished, with a small, hopeful, yet nervous smile.

“I — I wasn’t aware that the two of you were even dating.” Cecelia commented. “What — what about your friend, Ronald?” she asked.

From beside Hermione, Draco resisted the urge to laugh loudly. Hermione, who anticipated Draco’s reaction, gave his hand a warning squeeze.

“I’ve told you two many times that Ronald and I didn’t work out.” She said. “We’re good friends now. Strictly friends.”

“I liked that Ronald.” David, Mr. Granger, commented as he turned to his wife. “Well mannered boy, he was.”

“We’re just friends.” Hermione snapped uncharacteristically. “Draco and I..” she began hesitantly. “We’ve been seeing each other for a while now. I know it’s all so rushed.. and I don’t expect your complete approval at this moment, but…”

Cecelia sighed heavily. “Your father and I were shocked, that’s all.” She explained. “You’ve told us many times that you weren’t planning on marrying until you’ve had your fun. And you’re only nineteen, for Christ’s sake!”

Hermione bit her lip nervously.

“It would have been nice if you had sorted your priorities before even thinking about marriage.” David added. “We know that you’re a smart girl, you always have been, and you make good choices —”

“Which is the only reason why your father and I have never forced you into anything.” Cecelia continued.

“Are you sure you want this, honey?” David asked. “Pretend that your… your fiancé isn’t sitting right beside you, and tell us honestly, with absolutely no strings attached. Do you want this?”

Hermione knew that her only option was to lie. No. She didn’t want it. She didn’t want to get married, and she certainly did not want a relationship with Malfoy. After certain events, she found herself being pulled in like a rip wave, and she had no way of getting out.

“Yes.” She answered with a whisper. “I want this.”

“Then we’ll support you, baby.” Cecelia said with a smile, before turning to Draco. “So, Draco.” She began in attempts to get to know her future son-in-law. “Tell me, what do you do? Are you currently employed?”

Draco took a deep breath. “Yes, ma’am. I’m in the family business, in line to take over when my father retires.”

“And what is your families business?” David asked.

Turning to Draco, Hermione suddenly realized that she did not know what Draco did for a living..

Ignoring Hermione’s sudden shift in attention, Draco answered. “We deal with plenty. Mostly, our company has dealt with telecommunications. Because it’s slightly different in our world, it’s a bit harder. Recently, we’ve been dipping into several new fields, trying to expand our range.”

“That sounds very… stable.” David nodded approvingly. “I take it that this is your ultimate path in life?” he asked. “Taking over your father’s business?”

Hesitant to answer, Draco shifted both his and Hermione’s hands, fiddling with her fingers. “Once the waters have stilled, I intend of taking at least a year off. I began working not long after graduating Hogwarts, and It’s been difficult. I’m only twenty, and I’m already swamped with work."

Understanding, David nodded. “May I ask when you two are planning on having a wedding?”

“In about a year or so.” Draco replied stiffly. “We would both like to wait until we are twenty-one.”

“That sounds rational.” Cecelia remarked, nodding approvingly. “Well, now that we’ve cleared the air, Hermione,” she stood up from the armchair and held out her hand. “Come help me with dinner. I’m sure that you still know how to whip up strawberry pie?”

“I could never forget, mum.” Hermione smiled. She released Draco’s hand and took hold of her mothers’.

Preparing dinner went by like a breeze. Since Draco was left with her father, she felt slightly anxious for the next hour and a half. She wasn’t neither sure how well Draco interacted with parents, nor was she sure how behaved her father intended on staying. She feared that Draco was growing uncomfortable with each passing moment, until it had dawned on her that she shouldn’t even care.

Regardless, she found herself stealing glances towards the kitchen door, unsure of what exactly it was that she was searching for.

While preparing dinner, Cecelia avoided all topics concerning Draco. She asked Hermione about work, about her plans for her future career, about her friends — Harry, Ron and Ginny — but refused to touch Draco’s corner of her life, despite the fact that it had become a rather large corner. Prior to her realization that it was for the best, Hermione was more concerned than she should have been. If her mother did not approve of her marriage with Draco, their eventual divorce will be a clean one.

It wasn’t they where setting the table for dinner, when Cecelia finally decided to shed some light on her feelings about her daughters sudden marriage.

“Draco seems nice.” Cecelia remarked. “Although I am more than surprised.. you two fit.”

Confused as to what she meant, Hermione gave her mother a strange look before she disappeared through the doorway of the kitchen in order to get the main dishes. “I don’t quite understand you, mum.”

“Well..” Cecelia began, loosely crossing her arms over her chest with a small, wistful smile on her face. “The way you’re always fidgeting when you’re away from him…” Hermione looked horrified as her mother began explaining. “Don’t try to deny it, Hermione. I saw you stealing glances towards the sitting room while we were making dinner. Dare I say, you look better with him than you did with Ronald.”

Hermione almost laughed out loud. “How so, mum?” she asked, amusement tinted in her voice. If only Draco could hear her mother now…

“Don’t get me wrong, you and Ron looked comfortable, almost like me and your father. You two have fallen into a relationship that’s based on routine and familiarity, when in truth, it should be a lot more than that.” There was a thoughtful and passionate expression on Cecelia’s face as she spoke. “But as I see you and Draco — now there’s what you call love.”

This time, Hermione couldn’t help but snort as she organized the table.

“I may just be a University professor, Hermione, but I know love when I see it. You’re always on edge.” She informed her. “Honestly, it’s hard to tell how compatible the two of you are, but you and Draco look nothing like how you and Ronald did. There’s spark.” Cecelia finished smiling.

“There’s a spark there alright.” Hermione said, turning her head to look at Draco, suddenly feeling frustrated at the mere sight of him. “But it has nothing to do with love.” She muttered under her breath when she was sure her mother was out of earshot.

“Is he good in bed?” Cecelia suddenly asked playfully.

Hermione’s eyes snapped up from the table and her expression immediately turned into that of disgust. “Mum!” she exclaimed.

“What?” she laughed loudly. “Oh c’mon, Hermione. You’re a grown woman now. You’re no longer a child. I think this conversation is now deemed appropriate, don’t you?”

“No.” Hermione answered firmly as she shook her head. “No, never in a million years will this conversation ever be appropriate between us.”

Cecelia abruptly smirked. “I’ll take that as a yes.”

“Mum!” Hermione exclaimed again. “Let’s just call in dad and Draco so we can start dinner.”

After a deep intake of breath, Hermione walked through the dining room and into the sitting room, where she stopped beside Draco. Timidly, she took his hand in hers and pulled him off the couch. “Dinner.” She smiled at him. “I see you and my father are getting along nicely.”

David stood and turned the television off. He clasped a large hand on Draco’s shoulders and smiled approvingly. “He’s a keeper.” He remarked.

“Are you now?” Hermione asked playfully, raising and eyebrow.

“My Malfoy charm even works on parents.” Draco smirked arrogantly.

Hermione rolled her eyes as they walked to the dining room together.

“What was all the shouting for?” Draco leaned down and whispered in her ear as they walked.

She grimaced and shook her head, sending a whiff of her scent in Draco’s direction.

“You sounded… irritated.” He continued while he unknowingly brushed his lips against her earlobe. “What were you two talking about?” he continued curiously.

“She asked if you were good in bed.” Hermione snarled.

Draco stopped in his tracks and scowled.

The rest of dinner went by smoothly. Draco conversed politely, and by the end of the meal, even Hermione couldn’t deny that the boy had an irresistible charm.

When the night was over, Hermione and Draco slowly walked back to the small sleek car. “That was nice.” Hermione declared. “Better than I had expected.”

“Your parents are nice.” He added. “I must tell you, I feel slightly guilty that the burden of dealing with parents are slightly uneven between us.”

Hermione laughed softly. “Meeting your parents was a lot easier than I had anticipated. Although I know that your mother and father don’t want anything to do with me, at least they had the decency to be polite.

She climbed into the passenger seat as Draco stepped into the drivers seat. He turned the engine on, and the two sped away, with headlights pointing straight forward.

“Your mother is playful.” He commented. “She seems young.”

She laughed. “Her maturity level is no where near her actual age. But it’s nice.” She said, looking out the window. “My father is never bored.”

Silence fell upon them for a few moments. They refused to move, despite the uncomfortable silence. Perhaps because in a few short moments, the silence became bearable.

“I can tell they’re not happy with my decision.” Hermione spoke softly, breaking the silence. “They simply refuse to show it. I can bet you that my mother is probably stressing about all the wrong decisions I’m about to make, right now.”

“I thought they approved.”

“They did. Only because they knew that doing anything otherwise would only worsen the situation. My parents are rational thinkers. Thankfully.”

Silence came once more, but it did not last long before Draco sliced through it. “I’m sorry.” He said suddenly, glancing in her direction. She looked confused, and he turned away. “I’m sorry for messing up your life. They’re right, you know.” He gripped the steering wheel tighter. “Your parents. You shouldn’t be getting married this young. Especially not to someone like me.”

“Someone… like you?”

“I’ll only bring you down, Granger.” He said with a tight jaw. He refused to look at her, and kept his eyes glued to the road. “I know it may not be now, but somewhere in the next year that we’re forced to spend together, I’ll end up being your demise.”

Hermione snorted. “Don’t worry about me, Malfoy. As long as we stick to the plans and the rules, we’ll get out of this safely.”

“Still..” he argued. “I’m sorry. I was being selfish. I see that now.”

She smiled at him mischievously. “As long as you know.”

Draco thought that they would become engulfed with silence once more, and began wracking his brain for something to say. However, Hermione beat him to the punch and said, “Would you look at that.” She smiled at the digital clock in front of them. “Four hours without fighting.”

He chuckled. “Who would have thought. Hermione Granger knows how to be mature.” He began laughing at his own remark.

Abruptly, the car began to slow down until it came to a halt. If it weren’t for the surprised expression on Draco’s face, she would have thought that he was stopping on purpose. “What the —” Without warning, Draco slammed his hands against the steering wheel out of frustration. “This is just perfect.” He said sarcastically as he threw his hands up in the air. “There’s no gas.”

Hermione groaned and allowed her head to fall back against the head rest. “You have to be kidding me.” She said. “We’re so far from home.”

“This is why I don’t trust muggle transportation.” He growled.

“Why didn’t you check before we left the house?” she snapped, turning towards him with livid eyes. “You’re the driver, Malfoy, you need to be responsible for these things.”

“It’s your car.” He argued with a dangerous tone. “You should be the one to keep track of the gas.”

“If you had just swallowed your pride and let me drive, then we wouldn’t be having this problem.” she countered. “I mean honesty, who cares if your bloody fiancé is the one with the sports car? You’re the one who’s about to inherit a gigantic company.”

Frustrated with both the car, and Hermione, he unbuckled his seatbelt and immediately stepped out of the small vehicle. “Is there a gas station near by?” he asked. “We can apparate there and get gas.”

“We’re in the muggle world, Malfoy.” Hermione replied as she got out of the car as well. “We’ll get caught if we apparate.”

“Gas stations have surveillance cameras.”

“Then what do you suppose we do?” he demanded.

“We could send someone a patronus.” She suggested.

“Potter and Weasley should own cars, right?”

Hermione sighed heavily and leaned against the hood of the car. They’re over sea’s, conducting a raid somewhere with a few ministry officials. That’s why Ginny came over last night, Harry wasn’t home and she got bored.”

“Pansy owns a car.” Draco said, but then shook his head immediately. “Never mind, Pansy is useless. She won’t go out of her way to get us.”

“Why not?” Hermione frowned and knitted her eyebrows together.

“She likes to torture me sometimes. And this is the kind of situation that she would just love to leave me to drown in.”

“Then we’ll have to go by foot.” She sighed exasperatedly. “Pick, right or left.”

“You want us to walk to the gas station?” he asked, shocked.

“Do you have any better ideas?” Hermione snapped. “Pick, Malfoy.”

“What if we go the wrong way?”

“Then we’re shit out of luck.”

He let out a heavy sigh. “Right.”

They began walking up the road they came from, both of them silently praying that there would be a gas station nearby. Their walk was silent. The only sounds that filled their ears were the constant cars that sped by, and the sound of their shoes hitting the pavement. Twenty minutes passed, and they were still walking. Hermione shivered once she noticed the sudden drop in temperature.

“This is hopeless.” She said in defeat. “We might as well return to my parents house and hope that they have gas.”

“You read my mi —”

“This car is stopping…” Hermione noted, pointing to a small, sleek black car that was just beginning to pull up beside them. Unexpectedly, the headlights, along with the car, turned in their direction, momentarily blinding the couple.

The headlights soon turned off, followed by the engine. The car door opened, and a man dressed in a smart, grey suit stepped out. His hands were in the pocket of his trousers, and he was grinning at Draco as he approached them.

“Carrow.” Draco stated once realization struck him.

“Draco.” The man greeted with a smirk. “Merlin, I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen you.”

“Indeed,” Draco replied stiffly. “It’s been a while.”

“Do you two need a lift?” Carrow asked, motioning to his car. “I was on my way home from a business meeting with muggles.”

“A lift to the nearest gas station would be nice.” Draco answered, nodded.

Carrow didn’t move. Instead, his attention shifted from Draco, and to Hermione. “Well,” his smirk turned into a charming smile. “Hermione Granger, is it?” he held out his hand, and Hermione shook it politely. “I’ve read all about you two in the Daily Prophet. You’re… quite the celebrity.”

“Oh yes.” Draco remembered. “Hermione, this is Wesley Carrow. He’s an old friend, from Hogwarts. I’m sure you remember seeing him around.” Hermione nodded. “Carrow, this is my fiancé, as you know. Hermione Granger.”

As a proper form of an introduction, Carrow smiled at Hermione again, and kissed the back of her hand like a proper gentlemen. “I’m certainly pleased to meet you, Miss Hermione Granger.” He breathed softly.

“Pleasure.” She replied, breathlessly.

Chapter 8: Chapter Seven
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

By: Gryffindorgirl153

Chapter Seven

“Oh, Hermione this is Wesley Carrow. Carrow, this is my fiancé, Hermione.”

Wesley Carrow smiled at Hermione, taking her hand and kissing it like a proper gentleman. “Nice to meet you Hermione.” He said, smiling.

“Pleasure.” She breathed.

The car ride was silent, as Hermione and Draco sat in the back seat of the car together. The two were holding one another’s hand, but they both desperately hoped that the nearest gas station would come quick. “I was a bit surprised to hear that you got engaged, Draco.” Wesley said as they both walked into the store for a bottle of gasoline. “And to Miss Granger as well.” He added with a small chuckle. “I was actually expecting someone along the lines of tall blonde and famous.”

Draco looked away as they began walking back to his car. “It just never worked out between Miranda and I.” he said solemnly.

Wesley shook his head. “That’s too bad.” He said. “Miranda was pretty amazing, wasn’t she?”

“You should know, you’ve dated her a lot longer than I have.” Draco responded, a twinge of nostalgia apparent in his voice.


“You know Granger, I have no idea why you even agreed to her offer.” Pansy and Hermione were walking through a muggle department store with a shopping bag hanging on each of their shoulders. It was difficult to believe that Pansy had actually asked Hermione to go shopping with her today, instead of her best friend, Miranda. Hermione considered that this was some kind of peace offering- on Pansy’s part of course. “To go on this trip I mean.” Pansy added. “To the beach.”

Hermione looked at her, confused. The entire day, the two had gotten along great. They gossiped like normal women would do, and not once did they fight about immature childish things that they used to fight about back in school. She was surprised that there were legitimate things between them to gossip about, and Hermione was surprised how intertwined their lives really were. “I don’t understand what you mean.” Hermione replied, as they walked into the bathing suit department.

“I’m sure Miranda made her intentions clear.” Pansy began. “She’s a straight forward type of person. I’m positive that she made it clear that she wanted Draco back. Don’t you feel the least bit intimidated by her?” She pulled out a black two-piece, but placed it back on the rack with a look of disgust on her face. “Miranda has the Wizarding world at the palm of her hands, and can get anything by just calling ‘Daddy’.”

It was then when Hermione finally understood her. By agreeing to Miranda’s invitation, she had just agreed to give her a chance to steal Draco back. Honestly, Hermione could care less about whom Draco ended up with. When she had agreed to this marriage, she didn’t think that her daily routines would be interrupted with Draco’s own personal career and friends. She didn’t think that Draco wanted her to actually play the role of his fiancé. Hermione simply thought that her name next to his on the Prophet would do a good enough job, but she was obviously wrong.

Pansy had picked out a plain white bikini, and was no looking for more. “I suppose you’re probably thinking ‘Why doesn’t Draco just marry Miranda?’.” Pansy said. “Draco had already switched brides once, and it can’t happen again. The press will start wondering what’s going on. Switching from Astoria to you was enough of a catastrophe. Imagine what’ll happen if he was to announce that he was marrying Miranda, the Ministers daughter.”

“Why couldn’t he just say no to the Greengrass’?” Hermione asked as she stared at the two-piece Pansy had just picked out for her. “Didn’t his parents know about their relationship?”

Pansy shook her head, and pushed another two-piece towards Hermione. “She’s the ministers daughter. Lucius and Narcissa would’ve forced them to get married straight away if they knew. Well, of course Miranda didn’t have a problem with that, but Draco did. She tried to convince Draco to tell his parents about their relationship, but the two would just end up bickering like little children, up until one of them decides to storm out of the room.”

“So is that why she broke up with him?” Hermione asked her. Pansy looked at her, surprised. “She told me- at the party the other night.” She explained. “Miranda broke up with Draco because he was scared of commitment, and all she wanted to do was settle down.”

Pansy nodded, and turned back to browsing around. “Draco had a reason to be afraid. He was only eighteen after all. Who would want to get married at eighteen? The boy had his life to live.”

“Pansy, we’ll only be at the beach for a day.” Hermione said, looking at all the swimsuits in her hands. “I don’t need this much.”

Pansy looked at her incredulously. “You can trust that we’ll be there for more than a day.” She said. “Didn’t she tell you?” Pansy asked. “Our trips usually last around a week or so.”

“But, I have school.” She objected. “I was only told that this would only take an entire Sunday.”

“I’ll have Blaise call your school for you.” Pansy told her. “His father is well known there.” She said. Hermione wasn’t surprised that their parents held high positions in places around London and in the Wizarding world.

Pansy abruptly turned around, surprising Hermione. “Granger, listen to me carefully. Miranda may have been my best friend- and she still is. But when she left everyone, she just went too far that time- especially with what she’s done to Draco. I would honestly like Draco to be with you rather than her. So don’t let him mess up his own life.”

Hermione thought for a moment. “So you want me to fight against Miranda for someone I could care less about?”

“Yes.” Pansy answered. “I do.”


“I didn’t know they actually had these sort of resorts.” Hermione said, looking around the grand building. “Well I read about them once, in a few wizard novels, but I never really knew that they existed.” There were countless of wizards and witches walking about, with their belongings levitating behind them. Others were workers who were cleaning the floors, seats and tables magically. “I sort of figured that Wizards and Witches would just settle for a Muggle resort.”

Draco scoffed. “The majority of the wizards who can even afford this resort are pureblood. Do you honestly think that they’ll settle for a Muggle resort?” Draco asked. They walked to the counter where they were to check into their room. “They’ll be complaining about getting their hands dirty the entire way.”

Hermione made an ‘ahh’ sound, remembering how prejudice pureblood wizards were. “Isn’t Pansy and Theodore joining us today?” Hermione asked.

“Hello, welcome to Wizard Resort. My name is Susanne, how may I help you?” The young lady had bright red hair and blue eyes, reminding Hermione of Ginny back home. She had a bright smile on her face, which was probably forced on by her boss, and her hair was pushed back into a sleek ponytail.

“Yes, I believe that there are reservations under Miranda Caldwell.” As Miranda’s surname left Draco’s lips, Susanne’s eyes widen, and her posture suddenly looked more diligent than before. “I don’t believe she’s arrived yet, though.” Draco said.

She nodded. “I’ll get you your rooms right away, Mr.-”

“Malfoy.” Draco finished for her. “Draco Malfoy.”

Susanne looked surprised to hear his surname as well. “Right away Mr. Malfoy.” She had left her desk, walking into the room behind the counter.

“I take it that you’re family is well known here.” Hermione said quietly. “I think she’s afraid.”

Draco snorted. “She’s afraid because I could get her fired.”

“That’s terrible.” She told him, frowning.

“Don’t worry.” He said. “I’ve no reason to do so- yet.”

“Draco!” Hermione and Draco both turned around simultaneously and found themselves staring at Miranda. “Hermione.” Miranda said curtly when she had reached the couple. “It’s good to see that you two have found the place alright.”

“We flooed here, how hard could it have been.” Draco replied.

Susanne returned with four vials in her hands. “Here you are.” She placed the vials on the counter, and pulled out seven more from the drawer beneath the counter. “These four,” she placed her hand on top of the first four that she had brought with her, which immediately turned into a murky green color. “Are for your rooms.” Susanne said. “I’m aware that Miss Shacklebolt has requested four of our best.” Miranda nodded. “And these,” Susanne placed her hands on top of the seven smaller vials. “Are your keys. It’s best to consume the entire bottle, otherwise there may be problems with entering and leaving the room.”

“Our keys?” Hermione asked.

“Yes, your keys. After consuming the potion, the room will immediately recognize who belongs inside and who doesn’t. It ensures privacy in our resort, and limits thievery or other accidents.” Susanne answered. “The potion is just as tasteless as water, so it’s not difficult to drink. There are absolutely no side effects, and the potion will wear off once your rooms disappear when you’re planned to leave.”

The trio walked towards the lift, where they met with Daphne, Blaise, Pansy and Theodore. “Wonderful.” Pansy said, taking the vials from Draco’s hands and handing them out. Miranda handed each couple one of the potion bottles as they entered the lift, and kept one for herself, clutching it tightly in her hand.

Once they had all left the lift, Draco had taken the murky green potion from Hermione’s hand, and threw it against the right wall. “Drink.” He instructed, and everyone else did the same. Hermione was surprised to see a door appear before her eyes, the marble wall transforming into two white doors. Once the ripples moving through the white door had ceased, Draco turned the knob and proceeded inside.

The room was amazing. The walls were the same as the hallway, white marble. There was a large bed with a canopy in the middle of the room, and dressers lined up against the wall. There was a large bathroom right behind the bed with both a shower and a bath. “Nice isn’t it?” Draco asked.

Hermione dropped her bag on the bed, walking further into the room, exploring. “There’s books!” she shouted with excitement.

“Yes, the rooms are also made to fit the users needs.” Draco replied. “You should get dressed. We’re going to meet everyone else down at the beach for lunch and swimming.”

“So with this whole potion thing,” Hermione began. “Does that mean that only the two of us are allowed to go past those doors?” she asked.

Draco nodded. “Yes, that’s right.” He replied. “That’s very fortunate because then we won’t have to completely act like we’re a couple. Although, you should start getting used to the idea.” Draco told her, sending her a wink.

Hermione scowled, and turned back to the bookshelf filled with books. “These are all the books I’ve wanted to read.” She breathed. “That’s amazing.” Hermione pulled out the book Atonement. “I’ve read this about a hundred times.” She said.

“So have a lot of other people.” Draco replied, unbuttoning his shirt. “It’s a classic.”

After about twenty minutes, Draco and Hermione both went down the lift, and walked out of the building and to the beach. Hermione was surprised when Draco had suddenly grabbed her hand before she realized that Daphne and Blaise were already sitting on the white folding chairs by the shore.

Draco led Hermione to the other side of the table, pulling out the seat for her like a proper gentleman. “Hello Daphne, I haven’t seen you in a while.” Draco began, as if he was just about ready to taunt her. “How’s your sister?”

Daphne glared at Draco. “A mess.” She replied haughtily. “As well as the rest of my family at that.”

Hermione looked at Draco, and he didn’t seem at all bothered about the fact that Daphne’s family was going through a crisis at the moment. She elbowed him in the ribs. “Just stop it.” She said before he could say anything else to Daphne. “Just stop.” Hermione said again, stopping Draco from saying anything else to her.

Pansy and Theodore arrived a few minutes later, sitting next to Hermione. Of course, that left one seat available next to Draco. “Hullo.” Miranda said merrily, sitting next to Draco. House elves began to magically appear, bringing the main course and small dishes to the table, as well as drinks and silverware.

A conversation began amongst the small group, while they ate their meals. Hermione grew skeptic when Draco began to intertwine his hands with hers under the table. Instead of scowling his way, she would send him a sweet smile, and continue eating, while his hand was still holding on to her own. “Lets go in!” Pansy exclaimed after about hours of chatting.

Pansy grabbed Theodore’s hand, bringing him closer and closer to the water until they were deep enough for the water to reach up to their elbows. “Let’s go in Daph.” Blaise said, following the previous couple in.

“C’mon Draco.” Miranda quickly pulled Draco to his feet, causing him to let go of Hermione. She stayed seated, watching her six other companions swim around the crystal clear ocean. Hermione suddenly wished that she had thought to bring a novel with her, to keep her entertained while everyone else went in for a swim. She stood up, and walked around the table towards shore where she planted herself on the dry sand.

The wind was strong, causing Hermione’s hair to billow around her face. “You must feel rather middling next to her, huh?” Hermione jumped at the sound of the voice, and turned to find Blaise standing there. “Every woman does.”

Hermione gave a nervous laugh. “How do you expect me not to.” She answered, careful with her words once again. “She sparkles, and I’m some old gem in the bunch.” She said to him.

Blaise sat down next to her, leaning back against the sand, supporting his weight with his elbows. “Well, he chose you over her didn’t he? That must mean something.” Blaise said.

“She was gone.” Hermione argued. She watched as Miranda climbed on Draco’s shoulders, while Pansy climbed on Theodore’s and the two girls tried pushing the other off.

Blaise continued to stare at his friends, who were still playing in the water. He then turned to Hermione, and with a somber look on his face, he said, “There are some people who leave, but they never really come back.”


Hermione was walking across the lobby of the resort, hoping to get back to her room before everyone else decided to retreat from the water. The wind had begun to pick up, and the temperature dropped a few degrees, a lot more than she preferred. It was about five o’clock, and the lobby had begun to fill up with more and more guest, much more than there had been this morning.

“Oh, I’m sorry!” Hermione exclaimed immediately after colliding with someone on her way to the lift. “I wasn’t watching where I was going.” She explained.

“It’s perfectly alright.” A familiar voice said. “It wasn’t your fault Miss.”

Hermione looked up, to see the most interesting pair of green eyes. “Oh, you’re Mal- Draco’s friend from the other night, right?” Hermione asked.

Wes smiled. “Yes, Wes Carrow.” He said. “It’s nice to see you again Miss Granger. Or is it Malfoy now?”

She shook her head. “I’m still a Granger.” Hermione told him. “A-are you here on some kind of getaway too?” They both walked to the lift, which was merely ten feet away.

Wes looked hesitant. “You could say so.” He said. “I come here during the weekends.”

“That must be nice.” Hermione said. “To be able to come here every weekend. This place is gorgeous.” She marveled.

He smiled. “I’m glad you like it.” He told her. “My family owns this resort.” He told her. “I come here during the weekends to manage it while my father is away on business.”

Hermione looked at him for a moment, then laughed. “Wow, well that’s wonderful.” She got on the lift and turned to him. “Were you on your way out?” she asked.

Wes nodded. “There’s trouble with a guest and an employee somewhere in the lobby.” He said, chuckling a bit. “I’ve been called over to help deal with the situation.”

Hermione laughed. “I bet you get those everyday.” She said. “Well, I’ve got to get back upstairs. I guess I’ll see you around.” Wes nodded, and the doors of the lift began to close, before he had stuck his arm in the middle, preventing it from going any further.

“Er, would you like to have dinner tonight?” he asked quickly. “I mean, just so I could get to know Draco’s new infamous fiancé better.” Wes finished with a charming smile. “As friends.”

She gave it a bit of thought. “Uh, I’ll have to get back to you on that.” She told him. “I’ll have to talk to Draco when he gets back.”

“Oh, he’s not up at your room?” Wes asked, frowning.

Hermione shook her head. “He stayed back at the beach.” She said as she began to wonder whether or not she should’ve said anything to him. “We came here with some friends.”

“Well if you decide to come, how about we meet in the restaurant downstairs?” Wes asked. “At around nine o’clock?”

“I can’t assure you that I’ll be there.” Hermione said slowly. “I wouldn’t want you to wait on nothing.”

Wes stepped back, away from the lift and smiled at her. “I’m sure you’re worth the wait.” He said, before the doors of the lift closed, showing Hermione her reflection on the shiny gold door.


“Why did you leave so quickly?” Draco asked when he returned back to their room later that evening. “You didn’t even go in the water.” He walked into the bathroom, quickly stripping himself of his clothes before he jumped into the shower.

Hermione was sitting on the couch with a blanket wrapped around her, while a book sat on her lap. “Sorry.” She said. “It was beginning to get cold.” Hermione made sure that she spoke loud enough for him to hear through the door as well as the shower.

“What are you getting all dressed up for?” she asked when Draco had came out of the bathroom wearing a pair of clean black trousers.

“We’re going to eat dinner in about an hour or two.” He answered. “You should start getting ready as well. Put on something nice.”

Hermione placed her book on the coffee tale in front of her and walked into the bathroom. She took a shower, and pulled a robe over her bare body. “Pansy sent that over for you to wear.” Draco said, motioning to the dress laid out on the bed. “Those shoes as well.” He was now wearing a striped blue button-up shirt.

There was a knock on the door, and Hermione looked up from the mirror to see who it was. She had quickly changed into the dark blue cocktail dress that Pansy had sent over, and had curled her hair as well. “Draco.” She heard a familiar voice. “Is Hermione here?”

“Carrow.” She heard Draco say. “What are you doing here?” Hermione’s heart quickened at the tone of Draco’s voice. She was able to assume that Draco didn’t like Carrow as much as she thought. She quickly slipped the high-heeled shoes that Pansy had sent over and quickly finished applying lipstick.

“I merely came to see if Hermione would like to join me for dinner tonight.” Carrow said suavely. “But of course, I have completely honorable intentions.” Wes grinned. “I’ll have her back by ten.”

Hermione almost laughed. To her, it sounded like Wes was talking to her father before they went on a date. “Actually, she already has plans for tonight.” Draco told him. “We’ve been invited for dinner by Miranda.” Hermione swiftly hurried to the door, pushing it open further so that not only Draco could be visible to those on the other side.

“You’re welcome to join us.” Hermione offered, obviously not thinking. “I’m sure Miranda wouldn’t mind if an old friend of yours joined us, right?” Draco’s jaw tightened as Hermione stared at him with a smile on her face.

Wes smirked. “That’d be great.”

“Wonderful.” Hermione said. “I’ll just be a moment, then we can all go downstairs.”


“Did I mention that you look wonderful tonight?” Wes asked her quietly, leaning over the seat in order to get closer to Hermione. “To be honest, I’m feeling rather jealous of Draco at the moment.” Hermione’s cheeks immediately turned red as he flattered her. Hermione turned Draco who was boring holes into the fine china in front of him. “So Draco, Hermione.” Wes Began. “When is the wedding?” The three of them had arrived to the restaurant in the back of the resort earlier than they had expected, and they were now waiting on everyone else to join them.

Draco immediately spoke before Hermione could. “In a year or so.” He replied. “Maybe during the summer.” He added. “Mother is planning for a big wedding, but I think Hermione here would prefer a smaller wedding.”

Wes smiled. “I honestly never thought that Draco Malfoy would find a wife at the age of twenty.” He said teasingly. “The man who was always scared of commitment finally found someone to commit to.” Draco scowled. “I bet she’s pretty amazing.”

“She is.” Draco answered bitterly. Hermione cleared her throat, hoping to get rid of the tension Draco was intentionally creating, and she kicked his leg under the table. Draco took a sharp intake of breath and changed his tactics. “I’m a lucky man, aren’t I?” he asked, slipping his arm around her shoulder and kissing her cheek softly.

Hermione suddenly stiffened under his touch, and she turned to Wes to find him smiling at the sight. “The luckiest.” Wes answered. “Ah, they’ve finally arrived.” Draco withdrew his arm from her shoulders, but instead, took her hands in his.

“Wes Carrow?” Pansy asked, surprised as she took the seat available closest to him. “You disappeared months after graduation.” She said in an informative tone.

“Funny how he never bothered to tell any of us.” Blaise said, sitting next to Daphne.

Theodore sneered. “Nor did he bother telling us that he’s back either.” He added.

Miranda took the napkin that was on top of her plate, and placed it neatly on her lap. She was wearing a scarlet red cocktail dress that stopped short on mid-thigh. “This is probably the first time I’ve seen him in four years or so.” She said.

Wes chuckled. “Well I heard that you were gone too, Miranda.” He said, looking at her. “We’re on the same boat here.”

Miranda scowled. “I had a good reason for leaving.”

“And what makes you think that I didn’t?” Wes retorted with a small smile on his face. “But it’s very lovely to see you all again too.” He said sarcastically.

“How about we order?” Pansy proposed, calling over a waiter who was lingering at a nearby table. “I’m sure he had a good reason for leaving.” She said bitterly, glancing over at her old friend. “Well, at least he better had had one.”

Dinner went by quickly. They each ate their meal, and had ordered desert at the end. They talked about business, the past school days, and old friends that happen to come up in the conversation. Daphne was the loudest of the group, and then came Blaise. After spending an entire day with them, Hermione was able to conclude that Blaise and Daphne were the one’s who livened every one up.

Draco had done well in paying attention to his fiancé, and apparently, Wes did too. Hermione began to feel like she was in the middle of a rivalry, one that she did not wish to interfere in. When Draco would refill her glass with wine, Wes would offer her more food, a napkin or something else to drink. “See why I don’t like him?” Draco whispered into her ear childishly. Hermione kicked him under the table to quiet him down.

Pansy stood up when she had finished her desert and whispered something to Theodore, who in turn offered his girlfriend his jacket. “I’m absolutely stuffed.” She announced. “Hermione, be a doll and join me for a walk outside.” Pansy wasn’t asking her. In fact, the way her eyes bore into Hermione’s told her that Pansy was coercing her into joining her.

“I should go with her.” Hermione told Draco. “I’ll meet you back upstairs?” she asked him before she stood up.

Draco shook his head. “I’ll probably join you by the beach later on.” He said. Draco then began to shrug off his jacket. “Here,” he began. “It’s getting cold.” Hermione smiled, and took his jacket.

“Hermione.” Pansy called from a few tables away.

“I’ll see you later.” She moved to kiss him on the cheek, but that was obviously not what Draco had in mind. He turned his head swiftly, capturing her lips in his. It was a short kiss, nothing fancy. Hermione thought that it was to get a point across- that she was definitely his, and not anybody else’s’. In the background, she heard Blaise wolf whistling, and Theodore laughing at his friend’s immaturity. Draco pulled back, allowing Hermione to leave.

Hermione quickly fell into step with Pansy, as they both walked outside the resort, and to the beach. “Miranda looked pretty irritated back there.” Pansy said. “At least you’re doing something right.”

They both took their shoes off, and sunk their feet into the dry sand as they began walking down the beach. “You know, I feel sort of terrible about this.” Hermione began. “I sort of feel like I’m getting in-between Miranda and Draco.”

Pansy laughed. “Draco may still have feelings for her, but I doubt that he would be stupid enough to let her break his heart again.” She said. “I’m even starting to think that prince charming over there is actually developing some sort of feelings for you, Hermione.” Pansy said teasingly. “I saw how angry he looked when Wes attempted to pamper you.”

“I thought that it was because they had some sort of rivalry thing going on.” Hermione said. “I doubt that Draco would care if I had relations with another man, just as long as it doesn’t afflict him and his plans.”

“You’ve got part of it down.” Pansy told her. “Do you know why Draco seems to dislike Wes so much?” Hermione shook her head. “We were all close friends before, back in Hogwarts. It was Draco, Wes and Blaise who caused havoc in the school, and you could say that the three of them were best friends. They sort of had this falling out, mostly because of Miranda. Wes and Miranda dated from fourth year, till sometime at the summer before the seventh.

“When Draco and Miranda began dating, we could all see that Wes was out to steal Miranda back from him again. A few times, he succeeded. Theodore and I caught them snogging in a broom closet a few days before Graduation, but we never told Draco about it. We tried to get him to see what was going on of course, but Draco is sometimes as dense as a piece of wood.” She said. “Wes had disappeared, somewhere around the time Miranda had left, and some people rumored that Wes went after Miranda in France.” She laughed a little. “Funny how they both show up at the same time.”

Hermione was confused. “So you’re saying that you still think Miranda and Wes have some sort of physical, if not official relationship?” she asked.

Pansy shrugged. They both settled down in the middle of the beach, washing the waves crash against the shore. “I don’t know why Miranda does a lot of things.” She said. “Miranda and I practically grew up together. She was the party girl, and I was the one who made sure the wasted princess got home safely. I guess I sort of feel responsible of her, which is why I can’t find it in myself to rat her out.” Pansy said. “Even if I know that she’s breaking Draco, I just can’t.”

“So you just let it happen?” Hermione asked. “You standby and watch Miranda hurt Malfoy?”

Pansy snorted. “Of course not.” She said. “One of the reasons why Theo and I started dating was because I had him and Blaise help me sort this whole thing out. Miranda caused problems in everyone’s life, and she didn’t even know it. Blaise and Theo were the one’s who tried to open Draco’s eyes, and I was the one who tried to talk some sense into Miranda.”

“But she did love him, didn’t she?” Hermione asked. She could see the distant figure of the five other’s who were about to join them. “She wanted to get married to him, and I’m sure that she still does right now.”

Pansy shrugged. The wind picked up, and Hermione drew Draco’s jacket closer to her body, smelling his faint scent. “Wes was affiliated with the dark arts not long ago, and Miranda is the daughter of the Minister for Magic. Does that seem wrong to you?”

“Are you saying that she’s just using Draco as a cover? That being with Draco might cover up her tracks?” Hermione asked. There were a lot of things about Miranda and Wes that she did not understand. She suddenly felt sympathetic for Draco, who seemed to know nothing about this. Was Miranda really the one who used Draco, as a way to cover up what she shouldn’t have done? “Why Draco?” she asked Pansy. “Why not another rich bloke who could probably do the job right?”

“That’s a good question Granger.” Pansy said, as the group got closer. “I think you should try and figure that out before she does something we’ll all have to suffer for.” Pansy then stood up, and jumped into Theo’s arms, laughing loudly.

Draco walked over to Hermione, kneeling in front of her and carefully planting his lips onto hers. Hermione, despite the fact that her heart had just jumped out of her chest, kissed him back. “They’re watching us.” Draco whispered when they had parted slightly. He then sat down next to her, their hands loosely intertwined. They were silent at first, as she watched Wes and Miranda walk close to the shore where the water reached. Wes had rolled his trousers up and they were both holding onto their shoes so that they were able to soak their feet in cold water. “Are you close with Pansy?” Hermione asked Draco suddenly.

He looked at her with a confused face. “Yes.” He answered.

“How long have you two been friends?” Hermione asked. She had began wondering if all Pansy said was true.

“Since the middle of first year.” Draco replied. “What’s with he sudden questions?” he asked. “Did she say something to you?”

Hermione shook her head. “It’s nothing.” She assured him. “Just curiosity.”

The couple was silent for a while. Hermione watched Miranda and Wes walk along the shore, talking by the moonlight. Pansy and Theo were sitting not far from Draco and Hermione. Pansy had her head in Theo’s lap, and she was currently pointing up at the stars. Daphne and Blaise were nowhere to be found, and Hermione could assume that they had walked back to their room.

“Granger.” Draco began, breaking the silence between them.

“Yeah?” Hermione asked, snapping her head back to him. She had been staring at Wes and Miranda, trying to depict what they were talking about. She had no such luck. “What is it?” Hermione asked him when he didn’t respond.

Draco took a deep breath, and fell back against the sand. “Stay away from Carrow.” He said. Hermione frowned at him. Was he seriously being this childish? She mused.

She laid back down on the sand, facing him. “Is there something wrong with him?” Hermione asked him. “He seems nice.”

She saw him scowl. “Just do as I say.” He told her softly. “He won’t bring you anything but pain.”

“Thank you for your concern Malfoy, but I think I can handle myself.” Hermione said. “If you give me a legit reason then maybe I might actually listen to you.” She knew what his reason was- he was scared of losing to Wes again. Maybe Draco wasn’t as daft as pansy had let on. Maybe he knew what was going on between his girlfriend and his best friend, and maybe he was just too worried or conscious about what would happen next. Maybe Draco was really just scared of losing Miranda, that he would have rather dealt with the fact that his best friend was shagging his girlfriend.

Draco sighed. “He’s going to try and steal you away.” He told her. “Just like before.”

A/N: long time no update eh? well i hope this will satisfy you guys (: not much Draco/Hermione, but hey. he kissed her twice. everything is getting more complicated since pansy had just revealed more to Hermione about their past. i sort of wanted pansy to seem like the one who tries to fixes everything within the group. like she's the gooey sticky stuff that holds everything together. :)

well anyway. i'd like to give credits for these quotes that i've been using in my chapter summary. it's all from . they have a whole variety of quotes there, and they're really nice :).

updates are coming slow. i've hardly any time to write, and i just fit the banner making into my schedule since it doesn't take very long. so please be patient. thanks :)

so, read and review!


Chapter 9: Chapter Eight
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

By: Gryffindorgirl153   
Chapter Eight

There was something different about how Draco had been acting ever since they had returned home after their weeklong escapade. Hermione was able to assume that it had something to do with Wesley’s presence back in their lives. The topic was touchy, and Hermione noticed that even Miranda’s name caused him to stiffen. Nevertheless, she continued to feel that maybe she was the cause of most of his troubles, despite the fact that he was the one who had asked her to do this.

Hermione spent the rest of her days away from her current ‘home’, and more with her old friends. Ron still never accepted what she had agreed to do, but he had come to an agreement with himself that he wouldn’t allow her situation to get in between their relationship. However, Ron was still the same overprotective person he was, and if not- maybe even more. He would constantly owl Hermione, checking up on her to see if Draco had made a move to attack her or anything of that sort.

Harry was also as overprotective as Ron was. He’d done several background searches, scraping up any dirt he could get on Draco, but unfortunately for him, he couldn’t find anything. Harry predicted that due to their high position in the Wizarding World, Malfoy Sr. must’ve pulled a few strings to set their records straight. However, this was not able to hold up since Hermione had found Lucius’ old records. There were several ruined estates that were placed under his name, and a few attacks that fortunately did not lead to death. He had been placed in Azkaban for five years, but had been let out early due to testimonies from various people convincing the ministry that he was no longer a Death Eater.

“Are you two happy now?” Ginny asked exasperated. “Malfoy is no longer a death eater, and I’m sure that Draco isn’t one either.”

After auror raining, Hermione would visit the Weasley’s at the burrow, staying there until the sun had begun to set. She knew that Draco left work at seven, and she knew that she would have to set some sort of food on the table for him. Something a proper fiancé would do. Her afternoons were spent playing Quidditch out in the field, walking around aimlessly in London, or spending her time helping Molly Weasley cook in her kitchen.

When she arrived home that night, she was surprised to find that Draco was already home, sitting on the kitchen table with the Daily Prophet sitting in front of him. “You’re home early.” Hermione said, setting her keys down on the counter. “I wasn’t expecting you till seven-thirty.” Draco didn’t respond. “Have you eaten yet?”

Draco stood up furiously and stomped out of the kitchen, leaving Hermione baffled. She walked over to the small table, scanning the prophet for anything that would anger him. What surprised her most was a large picture of her, plastered on the page with a long article surrounding it. There were several pictures of Ron, Harry, Wesley and Draco around it as well.

Hermione Granger: Promiscuous Girl?

Draco Malfoy’s current fiancé, Miss Hermione Granger has been seen by several reporters and photographers mingling and maybe even flirting with a few of her old friends, not to mention Draco Malfoy’s former best friend. The group of seven had gone to The Wizard Resort for a week, most likely searching for some peace and quiet, and Wesley Carrow has been said to be hitting on Draco Malfoy’s fiancé. Now what is he going to do about that? Miss Granger, soon to be Mrs. Malfoy had showed no sign of resistance toward him, nor to her other two friends Harry Potter and Ronald Weasley.

Sources report that Miss Granger would visit her old friends at the Burrow where the Weasley’s currently reside, instead of going straight home to her loving soon-to-be husband. Quidditch, and small dates around Diagon Alley would fill the majority of her days, and unfortunately, not with Draco Malfoy. No news yet on how Draco Malfoy is taking this new Hermione Granger, as opposed to a shy bookworm.

A small interview with Astoria Greengrass, who we had seen traveling alone in Diagon Alley tells us that she’s hoping for a breakup, and she is also able to see one in the near future. “I doubt Draco knows about what Hermione has been doing the past couple of days. If he did, I don’t think that he’s that much of an idiot to stay with a woman who’s been cheating on him.” It must be terrible to find out your fiancé has been cheating on you through a newspaper. Perhaps there is a lot more to Miss. Granger than the shy bookwork she had let us all know she was.

After several interviews with sources, we’ve found out that not only Hermione Granger has been frenzying with other men, but Draco Malfoy has also been spotted spending more and more time than the Ministers Daughter, Miranda Shacklebolt. He’s been spotted walking in and out of their home at various times of the day, mostly after the young Malfoy has finished a day’s work. There have been many signs throughout the week that maybe Miranda and Draco had been picking up where they have left of back in Hogwarts. Good luck to Mr. Malfoy and their long engagement.

Hermione angrily grabbed the newspaper on the table, and stormed into Draco’s bedroom where she found him lying on his bed with an arm slung over his eyes. “Do you honestly believe this?” she asked, furious as she threw the newspaper at his feet. “You think I’m cheating on you?”

“You can’t really be cheating on someone unless you’re in a real relationship with them, Granger.” Draco answered, his tone apathetic. “But I do believe that you’re doing something that you’re not supposed to.”

Hermione looked at him, surprised. “Spending time with my friends is something that I’m not supposed to do?” she asked. “Malfoy, it’s not as if I’m having other relations with other men.” Hermione countered.

Draco scowled and sat up. “If you don’t remember some of the conditions that we’ve made, then allow me to remind you Hermione.” He told her. “Neither of us is allowed to do anything that’ll attract attention to either of us. You suggested it yourself.”

“It’s not as if I did this on purpose to get us both plastered on front page of the prophet.” Hermione snapped. “What did you want me to do? Completely cut contact between Harry, Ron and myself and to constantly ignore Wes if he tried to speak to me?”

“If it makes all of this go away, then yes.” Draco snapped. “Don’t you get it Granger?” he asked. “Because they caught you spending more time with other men, than your own fiancé, this practically puts me to shame, not to mention my mother and father. Do you realize that my mother could no force me to marry Astoria, despite what everyone else might think?”

Hermione was seething. How dare he blame everything on her? “Don’t you dare put all the blame on me!” Hermione snapped. “Did you read the rest of this article?” she asked him. “It’s about you too.” Hermione said, crossing her arms over her chest. “And don’t even dare lie about it either. I know that you still have feelings for her, and I know about your history with her.”

He glared at her. “Don’t even try to turn this on me.”

“I have every right to.” Hermione snapped. “I don’t see why you’re forbidding me to talk to my own best friends, while you’re out doing god knows what with Miranda.” She told him. “You can’t forbid me to see my best friends.” Hermione said sternly.

Draco looked away from her, grabbing the prophet from his bed and throwing it in the garbage. “Then what do you propose we do?” he asked in an even more softer tone. Hermione knew that Draco could never give up his relationship with Miranda; no matter how much pain she’s caused him in the past. “You obviously can’t give up those two idiots, and I can’t give up my friends either.”

“This marriage wasn’t supposed to have to interfere with our personal lives.” Hermione said, sitting down at the edge of his bed.

“You can’t expect to have a marriage that doesn’t interfere with your life.” Draco told her. “That’s just completely impossible.” Draco sighed. “We need to make some sort of compromise.” He said. “My mother will probably use this as an excuse to get me to marry Astoria.”

“Then what do you want us to do?” she asked. “Spend every waking moment together?”

Draco snorted. “Well that is what married couples do.”

She looked at him with disbelief. “Are you serious?” Hermione asked. “First of all, we’re not exactly married yet, so please don’t refer to us as a ‘married couple’. I can’t even begin to explain how wrong that sounds.” She said, feeling shivers go down her spine. “And secondly, if you haven’t noticed, we can barely get along. I’m surprised that we even lasted this long in the same house.” She told him. “How exactly do you expect us to go days together without killing each other?”

He smirked. “Well we’d have to work things out then, don’t we?’” He asked playfully. “This isn’t a stroll in the park for me either, Granger.” Draco said, his playful tone suddenly bitter. “But I would at least like this to be easier for both of us, without the entire Wizarding world watching our every move.”

Hermione groaned. “You know what, to save both of us the time and to keep both of us sane, let’s talk about this tomorrow.” She said, before she left his room, closing the door behind her. “He’s bloody insane.” She murmured to herself.


The following Saturday, Hermione was reading the prophet in the kitchen, wearing a large sweatshirt and pajama pants. She was wearing thick-rimmed glasses instead of her contacts, and her hair was up in a messy ponytail. Hermione looked the same as the night Draco and her had met for the first time in years. She was lounging back on the chair, stirring a coffee in front of her as she concentrated on the latest news being exposed in the prophet.

She heard the familiar sound of someone flooing in from the fireplace, and frowned as she looked up at the clock. It was only seven, and Draco wasn’t even up yet. Hermione stood up, and shuffled into the living room, to find Narcissa Malfoy standing in a cloud of dust. “Mrs. Malfoy?” Hermione asked, surprised.

“Hello, Hermione.” Narcissa said. “Is my son awake?”

Hermione shook her head. “He’s still asleep.” Hermione suddenly panicked when she remembered that she and Draco slept in separate rooms. “Would you like me to go and wake him?” she asked, hoping that Narcissa would say to do so.

“Yes dear.” She said, as she began pulling things out of her pocket.

Hermione quickly walked to her bedroom instead of Draco’s, whipped out her wand and instantly cleared her belongings and tidied her bed in order to make it look like a guest room. She then went into Draco’s room and pulled the cover’s off his body. “Get up, your mother is here.” Hermione snapped. “Hurry!” Draco made several objections before she shot cold water out of her wand and to his body.

She rushed out of his bedroom before she could hear the string of profanities that came out of his mouth. Hermione re-entered the living room, only to find it empty. She quickly walked down the hallway and to the kitchen, where Narcissa was looking around. “Sorry, he’s just a heavy sleeper.” Hermione said. “Er, sorry I must’ve forgotten my manners.” She said. “Would you like anything to drink?”

“No, that’s perfectly alright.” Narcissa said. “I would however, like a tour of the house.”

“Oh well, then let me show you around.” Hermione said, hoping that Draco had already gotten out of bed. “This is the dining area, and that over there is the guest room.” she pointed to the door which led to her bedroom. “And this here is our bedroom.”

Narcissa pushed the door open and entered the Hermione’s room. “Dear, why are your belongings here?” she asked, motioning to the books piled on the table.

“Er.” Hermione said, quickly thinking of a lie. “Draco didn’t want our bedroom to seem cluttered with my books.” She said. “I insisted on purchasing a bookshelf to put somewhere around the house, but he said to store it in here in for now.”

“And your clothes?” Narcissa asked, after she saw clothes pilled in the drawers. “Surely there are enough dresser space in your bedroom for these.”

“Pansy recently brought me shopping, so these are my old clothes that I’m planning to store in a few days. I just haven’t found time to do so.” Hermione said smoothly. “And I didn’t get a chance to unpack those just yet.” She said, pointing to the vast amounts of shopping bags grouped in the corner of the room before Narcissa could even ask.

They left Hermione’s room and entered Draco’s bedroom. "What are you doing here mother?” he asked, obviously not caring about how he spoke to his mother. “It’s seven in the morning.” He was standing in the bathroom, wearing nothing but sweat pants.

“This is a charming room.” Narcissa said, ignoring Draco. “Did you let Draco pick the furniture?”

Hermione nodded. “Just to save us from arguing.” She met Draco’s eyes, and motioned for him to lead them all out in the living room. “I let him chose.” She immediately added once Narcissa turned to face her.

“Mum, why don’t we all go to the living room?” he asked. “M- our bedroom is no place to talk.”

“What is she doing here?” Draco hissed to Hermione as Narcissa quickly walked back into the living room. “Is this about the paper?”

“I don’t know.” Hermione whispered back. “We’re just lucky that it was easy to lie about our living arrangement.”

Draco ignored Hermione and turned to his mother. “What are you doing here mother?” he repeated, dropping down on of the armchairs that wasn’t filled with wedding gowns. “It’s seven in the morning.”

“Well, Draco.” Narcissa began. “I decided that it was time that Hermione began choosing her wedding dress!” she said excitedly.

Draco’s eyes widen as if he was dropped back down to earth, and was just informed that he was to be married in a year. “Mother, don’t you think it’s a bit too early to begin preparing for the wedding?” he asked. “It won’t be for another year!”

Narcissa frowned. “I will not allow you to convince me to procrastinate on planning the wedding, and have me stressed on the day of your actual wedding.” She snapped. “It is never to early to begin wedding preparations. It just gives us more time to relax and to plan.”

Hermione looked at Draco, giving him a look that said ‘Do something!’ “Uh, Mrs. Malfoy, would you like a cup of tea?” she asked her.

“That would be wonderful, dear.” Narcissa said as she riffled through her bag.

“Draco, why don’t you come with me?” Hermione asked, turning to him. “I’m sure you’d like coffee yourself.” She didn’t wait for him to respond. Instead, she pulled him up to his feet, and ushered him into the kitchen. “This is crazy.” She spoke in a soft whisper, afraid that Narcissa would hear their conversation in the other room. “Why is she doing this? I expected her to storm in here, raging about the prophet.”

Draco snorted, as he began pulling two saucers and two cups out of the cupboard. “I’m just glad that she hasn’t done so yet. Granger, we’re getting married.” He said. “You know that she would’ve done this anyway. I guess it’s better sooner rather than later.” He poured coffee in one cup, and hot water in the other.

Hermione walked to the other end of the cupboard, pulling out a teabag, and placing it in Narcissa’s cup. “Does she like honey?” she asked.

“Lots of it.” Draco answered. Hermione proceeded to pour an excessive amount of honey into her cup as Draco stirred. “So just go along with this, alright?” he asked. “All you have to do is try on dresses.”

“Doesn’t this bother you at all?” she asked. “This is basically a way of saying, Draco Malfoy is no longer free. He’s chained to her by marriage, and their life will be damned.”

Draco frowned. “Is that your view on marriage?”

Hermione scowled. “That’s not the point.” She said. “I’d actually feel better planning this wedding when we’re set on it.” Hermione told him. “Preferably speaking, next year!”

“Alright.” Draco said. “Just please try on a few dresses, and I’ll tell my mother some excuse, and just go along with it, okay?”

“What excuse?” Hermione asked, confused.

“I don’t know yet.” Draco told her.

Rolling her eyes, Hermione picked up Narcissa’s cup of tea, and Draco grabbed his coffee before they walked back into the living room. “Thank you, dear.” Narcissa set her tea on the coffee table, before she pointed her wand at the small black box that was settled on the floor. “Engorgio.” She said, and the black box immediately went back to its former size as a large suitcase.

“I’ve got some sample dresses here, my old one as well and a few that the shop has sent me.” She said. “We could start measuring your size and all that jazz.” Narcissa began pulling out several white dresses from the small suitcase, laying them out neatly on the couch. “Now, Draco.” Narcissa began. “Pay very close attention to this. I’d like to hear your opinion on each one of them.”

Hermione glanced at Draco apprehensively. She never thought that she would have to begin trying on her wedding dress any time soon. Apparently, Narcissa has been getting a head start on the wedding plans. “Oh, Hermione.” She said, turning to her. “I’ve spoken to the lease holder of that gorgeous house by the lake that you’ve introduced us to, and he’s agreed to allow me to take it off his hands.”

“Oh?” Hermione replied timidly.

She nodded. “The house is ours for the wedding.” Narcissa said with a bright smile on her face. She picked up one of the dresses and held it before Hermione. “Let’s try on this one first.”

Hermione stared at it, horrified. The dress was bombarded with ruffles. There were ruffles on the sleeves, the cuffs, the waistline, the bust line, the shoulders, and the rest of the dress from waist down. “Are you sure?” Hermione asked. Panicked, she picked up a plain, simple white dress and held it up. “How about we try on this first?”

Narcissa shook her head. “Nonsense. This one is lovely.” With a wave of her wand, Hermione was now wearing the hideous dress she had chosen for her. “Now, look at that.” Narcissa conjured a mirror in front of her, allowing Hermione to see her reflection.

Hermione heard Draco snickering behind her, and she wanted nothing more than to throw a ridiculously hard object on his head. “What do you think Draco?” Narcissa asked, telling Hermione to turn.

Draco laughed softly. “I think she should try on the next one.” He said.

Another dress suddenly appeared on Hermione, but this time there were no superfluous ruffles. Instead, there were several sequences covering her body, shining as the light reflected off them. Hermione could barely move in this dress. “Next.” Draco laughed.

The next dress was rather tight. It outlined her form perfectly, however, she couldn’t even walk two feet without tripping. ‘Next.” Draco said.

The dresses Narcissa had brought over looked extremely ridiculous. Some had too much ruffles, some were too pink, and others were too shiny. In all, it was simply atrocious. If Hermione didn’t know better, then she would think that Narcissa was purposely forcing these hideous dresses on her. If she didn’t know any better, then she would’ve thought that Narcissa was purposely acting this way to stop he wedding from happening- to annoy Hermione till she can’t take it anymore.

“Mother.” Draco said, stopping her before she put another dress on Hermione. “I’m sorry, but I completely forgot.” He said, standing. “Hermione and I have a date planned in about an hour.” Draco said.

Narcissa nodded. “That’s completely fine.” She said, smiling. “I’ll be back soon then, to discuss everything else.” Hermione suddenly appeared in her pajamas once more, and Narcissa’s suitcase was neatly packed. “Where are you two headed?” she asked.

Draco thought for a short moment. “Er, we were planning to spend the day in Diagon Alley. Most likely to grab some lunch and do a little shopping.”

Narcissa’s smile widened. “Perfect, do you two mind if I tag along?” she asked. “I’ve got some errands to run, and I do have something to talk to you about, Draco.”


“Is your mum planning something?” Hermione asked, as they walked down the street towards the Leaky Cauldron. “It’s impossible to have missed the prophet this morning.” Hermione was wearing one of the many outfits Pansy had chosen for her, and a bag that she had picked out herself.

Draco laced his hands in hers as the crossed the street towards the pub. “Obviously.” he said. “I’m pretty sure she is planning something.” He told her. “So whatever happens, don’t even think about showing defeat.”

“Why not?” Hermione asked. “It’s pretty difficult to be set on something that doesn’t exactly make me enthusiastic.”

He laughed. “Well you’ll have a year’s worth of practice.” Draco said, winking. “And we DID agree that we should spend more time together, no?”

“I thought you were joking.” Hermione told him, as he opened the door of the pub for her. Noise suddenly filled her ears, as the smell of smoke and alcohol filled her nostrils. “You were joking, weren’t you?”

“Now Granger, why would I kid about that?” Draco asked. They walked into the back room, and he pulled out his wand as he began tapping various tiles on the wall.

“Are you sure that’s correct?” Hermione asked, confused. “I remember it to be a sort of diamond shaped.” Draco rolled his eyes, trying again after his first failed attempt. “That’s still wrong you dolt.” Hermione snapped. “The third one you chose was wrong. It’s the brick below it!” Draco tried once more, but failed. “Honestly, Malfoy. The one you did before was right, you just had to change the third one!”

Draco scowled before he opened his mouth to say something, but was cut off when Hermione pushed him aside and pulled her own wand from her bag. She tapped various bricks, and they began to shuffle aside, allowing them to pass. “Know-it-all.”

“Stupid prat.” Hermione sneered, glaring at him. “Where were we supposed to meet your mother?”

They both entered Diagon Alley, hand in hand as they searched for the familiar shop where his mother was to meet him. “Looks like your mum isn’t alone.” Hermione adjusted her bag on her shoulder, and walked across the busy street towards the small table where Narcissa Malfoy was sitting with Astoria Greengrass, and to her surprise, Wesley Carrow.

A/N: hope you guys like this one ;)
it came a lot quicker than i expected.
please read and review!

Chapter 10: Chapter Nine
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

By: Gryffindorgirl153

Chapter Nine

They both entered Diagon Alley, hand in hand as they searched for the familiar shop where his mother was to meet them. “Looks like your mum isn’t alone.” Hermione adjusted her bag on her shoulder, and walked across the busy street towards the small table where Narcissa Malfoy was sitting with Astoria Greengrass, and to her surprise, Wesley Carrow.

Hermione saw Draco scowl, looking away from his mother. “This is so typical of her.” Draco said to Hermione before they were within earshot.

“Ah, they’re finally here.” Narcissa said as she stood up her feet. “Well, you two took a while.” She commented. Without waiting for their explanation, she quickly motioned to the other two who were now standing. “Look who I ran into.” She said, motioning to Astoria and Wesley.

“Hello Hermione, Hello Draco.” Wesley said pleasantly and politely.

Draco rudely ignored Wesley’s greeting before he looked at his mother. “Sorry, we lost track of time.” He muttered to Narcissa.

“Hullo Astoria, Weasley.” Hermione said genteelly. “It’s nice to see you again Mrs. Malfoy.”

Narcissa rolled her eyes. “Dear, it’s Narcissa.” She said. “Don’t ever call me Mrs. Malfoy again.” Hermione nodded. “Sit, sit.” Narcissa said to Draco and Hermione. “There’s no use of the two of you standing.”

“Actually, mother.” Draco said, stopping Hermione from pulling out the next available chair to sit down. “Hermione and I have got something planned for the day already.” He told her. “And we’d like to get to it if you don’t need our company to run those errands you spoke of earlier.”

“Sit down Draco.” Narcissa ordered her son as if he hasn’t spoken. He took a good look at the large round table, and noticed how manipulative his own mother was. “Hermione, dear.” She said. “Sit down over there next to Wesley.”

Hermione turned awkwardly, facing Wesley who was smiling at her. Hermione breathed nervously. “Hello.” She said only to realize that they had already greeted each other earlier. “I mean, uh- how are you?” Hermione quickly corrected herself.

Wesley laughed. “Fine, and yourself?”

She nodded. “I’m fine as well.” It wasn’t that she was nervous around Wesley. In fact, she never felt the need to be nervous around Wesley. She noticed how easy he made it to be around him and how he knew what to do or say to make one feel comfortable. “I’m guessing that you and Astoria didn’t really run into her.” Hermione whispered to him.

He shook his head. “Not at all.” Wesley said. “Do you think she’s planning something?”

“Draco seems to think so.” Hermione replied. After saying his name, she took a quick glance at him, and noticed the threatening glare he was sending her.

“How have you been Draco?” Astoria asked him. She didn’t look as enthusiastic as Wesley to be sitting with the couple, but Draco knew how deviant women were. “Great, I suspect?” Astoria said. “You two look happy.”

Draco sighed, looking away. “Astoria, please don’t start.” He said.

“Start what Draco?” She snapped angrily.

“Play nice children.” Narcissa said calmly, taking a drink of her beverage. “Draco I’ve a favor to ask of you.” She said. “Your father wants me home soon in preparation of the party tonight, so I’m afraid I won’t be able to get what I need from Knockturn Alley.”

“Party?” Draco asked exasperatedly. “You and father are hosting another one?”

Narcissa smiled. “Yes, actually it’s sort of a celebration party for Wes and his father.” He said. “Your father and Douglas ran into each other two days ago, and all they could talk about was business.” Draco looked away from her, and towards Wesley who seemed to be preoccupied by his conversation with Hermione. “Douglas has hit it big in the past few months, and your father insist that he invites old friends to the Manor tonight for a gathering.”

“So what do you need me to do mother?” Draco inquired.

“There’s this old shop deep in Knockturn Alley, Astoria here has heard about it and I thought that she’ll be able to accompany you.” Narcissa said. “You’ll need to pick up some new drapes for the Manor, a couple table cloths and hangings for the bedrooms.” Narcissa then turned to Hermione. “And Wesley can accompany Hermione in picking out a dress for tonight.” She said, smiling. “You’ll need to look your best.”

“Must we go?” Draco asked his mother. “This is after all, father’s party.”

“Of course you must.” She snapped. “There will be several people there, and this is also a chance for your father’s friends to see your new fiancé.”

Narcissa turned to Astoria who was moving a fringe of hair away from her face. “Astoria dear, would you please escort Draco down Knockturn Alley?” she asked him. “And Hermione, there are several dress shops around here, and they have lovely dresses. I’m sure with Wesley’s fine taste, he may help you chose one out.”

Wesley nodded, smiling at Narcissa. “I should get back now.” Narcissa said, standing up. “Your father was expecting me moments ago. And Hermione, we’ll be continue fitting you for your wedding dress.”

“Your mother is pretty conniving.” Hermione whispered to him as Narcissa disapparated out. She looked up at him and noticed that he tightened his jaw out of either frustration or anger. “It’s okay.” She whispered, rubbing his arm as she glanced towards Astoria and Wesley who was watching them intently.

Draco turned to Wesley and Astoria, ignoring Hermione’s hand on his arm. “Thank you but I’m sure we can find our way.” He said. “My mother just thinks I’m incredibly dense and I can’t find anything.”

“It’s no problem really.” Wesley said, stepping forward. “You’ve some errands to run. I can take her dress shopping.”

Draco stepped forward, stepping directly in front of Hermione. “No, it’s fine.” He said, trying to sound as civil as possible. “I owe her something anyway.” Draco lied. “We’ll see you at the party later.” Draco quickly took Hermione’s hand, steering her away from the two.

“That was rather rude.” Hermione said, as Draco led her towards the direction of Knockturn Alley. “I can’t believe your mom is still trying to get you and Astoria together.” She muttered. “So uh, where are we going?” Hermione asked.

They entered Knockturn Alley, and Hermione suddenly felt a familiar cold feeling rush through her body. “I never really liked this place.” She said, trying to be as small as possible against Draco’s body. There were several witches and wizards walking around, eyeing the two brightest people around. They all seemed to be dressed in rags, their hair disheveled and a look of disgust plastered on their face.

“Just stay close.” Draco told her, sensing that she was uncomfortable. “We’re almost there.”

“Well aren’t you lovely.” A middle aged man said, walking up to Hermione, completely ignoring the fact that Draco was standing right next to her. The man had absolutely foul breath, and his hands felt incredible coarse against her face. “What’s a lovely young woman like you doing in a place like this?” he wheezed.

Hermione felt two other hands touch her shoulders and she jumped with surprise. She suddenly felt Draco’s hand leave hers, and an arm snaking around her waist. “She’s with me.” Draco said with a cold voice. Hermione suddenly felt at ease, and relaxed in his arms. “Leave her be.” She could hear the restraint his voice, and how hard he was trying not to shout. “Lets go.” Draco said, keeping his arm around her.

Her breath began to catch up with her as Draco began leading her further away from the crowd. “We’re not even in here for five minutes, and you begin to attract every male in this alley.” Draco said bitterly.

She glared at him, and suddenly began to notice the arm that was still around her. Hermione began to stiffen but he didn’t seem to notice her discomfort. “Are you going to let go of me yet?” Hermione asked him quietly.

Draco looked at her, and shook his head. “We’re supposed to look like a couple, remember?” Draco said, as if he was taunting her. “Stop acting like you hate me.” They turned a corner, and continued walking down the street. Luckily, it was almost empty other than a few wizards dressed in all black.

A couple. Just thinking about those two words sent shivers throughout her body. Never in her life did she think she would ever hear Draco Malfoy refer to them as a couple, much less treat her like his girlfriend. No, not girlfriend- fiancé. But as she stood there with his arm around her, she began to question if this was real or not. Unfortunately, the conscious part of her brain brought her back to reality and told her that everything was a hoax. This wasn’t a real relationship but just a fake engagement in order to save Draco from a woman he detested.

There was something different about his touch that Hermione began to notice. He didn’t try to be as far as her as possible, nor did he seem to be hoping for everything to be over. It was as if this was completely normal for the two of them.

Draco stopped in front of a large broken down shop. “This woman may scare you.” He warned before they had entered. “She’ll know that you’re a muggle born too, so just try not to draw too much attention to yourself.”

Hermione nodded slowly. She watched quietly as Draco attempted to pry the door open, but it only caused the entire shop to creak. “Use a spell.” Hermione suggested.

“Alohomora.” Draco said, pointing his wand towards the door. It still didn’t budge. He knocked on the door causing the glass to complain against his knuckles. “Hello?” he said loudly.

She looked around the building, noticing that it seemed as though someone had raided it, leaving the shop in ruins. There was a sign on the right window that said ‘PUREBLOODS ONLY. NO MUDBLOODS ALLOWED.’ Hermione looked down, noticing the doorstep they were standing on. She then took Draco’s hand, and pricked it against a nail sticking out from the frame of the door. “What are you doing?” he asked, gasping as his skin ripped open. His blood spilled, landing on the doormat and the door suddenly opened.

“Who goes there?” A young woman was standing by the back door of the store leaning against the doorframe. She was wearing green robes, and her black hair cascaded down her back. As the couple emerged from doorway, the woman raised her head high, only to have a look of disgust on her face. “I smell a mudblood.” She sneered. “And a Malfoy.” Her head suddenly bent low, as if she was bowing in respect. “I was told by your mother that you were arriving today, but with another pureblood that you were destined with.”

Draco cleared his throat and took out a bag filled with coins. “Could you please wrap up what my mother ordered?” He said, throwing the money towards her.

She nodded; catching the bag swiftly in her hands, and began to walk around the store, constantly sneering at Hermione as she gathered Narcissa Malfoy’s fabric. “You won’t last long as a couple, you know.” The woman said as she handed Draco the small miniature bag, resized to fit in his pocket. There was a smirk on her face as her pupils went white. “Your relationship is a crude joke, and Mr. Malfoy has wishes to be with another, while the mudblood prefers to live her dreams.” Her pupils went back to its original shade of green, and her smirk faded. “Perhaps it’s better to live one’s destiny, instead of playing games with fate.”

Draco pocketed the bag, and ushered Hermione out of the shop. “She was a seer.” He said. “That wasn’t the woman my mother always consulted with when she came here.”

“So are you saying your mother purposely sent you there so that you’d hear your destiny?” Hermione asked. Then she laughed. He began to laugh loudly, causing everyone in Knockturn alley to turn his or her attention to her. Her face brightened, and she laughed as Draco took her hand and pulled her faster. “That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard someone do.”

He looked at her with a confused face. “Why is that so ridiculous?” Draco asked, now curious of her sudden outburst of laughter.

Hermione was still smiling, and at this point, she was the brightest living thing in the alley. “Who would ever expect Draco Malfoy to listen to a seer, and carry out his ‘destiny’ because of what he’s heard?” she asked. “You’re the most stubborn person I know, and as far as I’m concerned, you do what ever you want, not what you’re supposed to do.” Hermione began laughing again.

Draco looked away from her, but hearing her laughter ring in his ears caused him to laugh a bit himself. It was difficult to keep a straight face after she began laughing, and Draco, despite how angry, continued laughing. “Would you stop?” he asked, their laughter still hasn’t ceased. “I honestly can’t remember the last time I’ve actually laughed like this.”

She smiled. “Because you’re always so serious.” Hermione said. “You need to loosen up a bit Malfoy. You’re twenty years old, and all you do is work, home and then back to work.”

“That’s not true.” He said. “I attend many parties.”

“Correction.” Hermione said in a perfect know-it-all voice. “You attend many boring parties.”

Draco rolled his eyes. “Like you attend any better ones.”

“I did.” She stopped. “Well I used to.” Hermione said. “Before this whole thing started, almost every Friday’s there would be several parties going on late night, and Ginny and I would always attend.”

“You still can, you know that.” Draco told her. “I’m not stopping you.”

Hermione shook her head. “I’m practically a married woman now.” She joked rancorously. “I can’t just go partying every Friday night. And plus, who’s going to cook you food when you arrive home? You’re pretty useless with a spatula and a pan.”

“Hey.” Draco resented. “I actually make rather delicious apple pie.” The feeling of protectiveness suddenly came upon him as they neared the exit to Knockturn alley. He wrapped his arm around Hermione once more, finally noticing the hungry looks wizards were giving her.

She looked at him curiously, but dismissed the topic. “You can’t just live off apple pie every Friday night.”

He laughed. “Well, I’ll live.” He said. “I have lived alone for two years.” They were finally back in Diagon Alley, and the arm wrapped around her dropped. “Let’s go find you a dress.”

As Draco grabbed her hand and pulling her forward, Hermione couldn’t help but notice how different he was today. There was something about him that was completely different. It was as if he had just forgotten about everything he stood for, and allowed himself to enjoy what he has. “What?” he asked, when he noticed her staring at him.

She cocked her head to the side. “You’re different.”

“What are you talking about?” he frowned.

They stopped at a store Hermione recognized to be the one Pansy had brought her to. She shrugged. “You’re just different.”

Draco ignored her, and began looking at dresses for Hermione to wear. After a few minutes, Draco had several dresses on his arm, and he pushed Hermione into the dressing room for her to try on. “Go on.” Draco said, sitting down on the chair available.

“What is this?” She demanded. “Are you serious? You want me to wear this?” Hermione asked him through the curtain. After a few moments of adjusting the dress, she pushed the heavy curtain open and folded her arms across her chest. The dress barely went past mid thigh, and it squeezed her breast towards her body, making them look bigger than it normally was.

“Er,” Draco began. He gulped loudly, and shook his head. “Next.”

Hermione glared at him before she disappeared behind the curtains and began to try on another, while a smile slowly formed on Draco’s face. “Malfoy, you’re never going to ever chose dresses for me again.” She opened the curtain, and Draco began laughing loudly. The dress went all the way to the floor, and was exaggerated in the butt area as well as her arms. There were ruffles everywhere; reminding Hermione of the dress Narcissa chose for her this morning. “You and your mother have the same taste in dresses.” She snapped, closing the curtain quickly.

The next dress was extremely wide as soon as it went past her waist. She wasn’t sure she was even able to step out of the changing room wearing it. Draco began laughing once again, only because this time, Hermione had a long wig on her head. Hermione laughed a bit before she closed the curtain around once more.

The very last dress Draco had chosen for her was dark blue and it fell above her knees. As she stared at her reflection in the mirror, she immediately fell in love with the dress. Hermione quickly took the dress off, not wanting to show it to Draco.

“The last one?” Draco asked, when she emerged from the dressing room with her regular clothes on.

“Looks great.” Hermione answered. “And you’ll get to see it tonight.”

He rolled his eyes and took the dress from her. There was a sales lady waiting by the counter and she took the dress from him, putting it in a bag. “Would you like anything else Mr. Malfoy?” she asked. Draco shook his head and handed her money.

“Thank you.” Hermione said to Draco when they had walked out of the store.

“I actually knew you’d like this dress.” He said, holding up the bag. “I just wanted to have a laugh.” Hermione rolled her eyes at him before they both apparated back to their flat.

“So when is the party?” Hermione asked as Draco unlocked the front door.

“Later tonight.” Draco said. “We have hours before it starts.”

Hermione nodded as they entered the room. “Can we go get some lunch?” she asked. “I’m starving.” Hermione entered the living room, and saw Miranda sitting on the couch reading a magazine. She glanced at Draco who looked even more surprised than she was. “Uh, Hello.” Hermione said casually.

“Draco!” Miranda said, not noticing Hermione. She jumped up from the couch excitedly, and ran over to hug him. Like many other nights, Draco had no idea what to do. He glanced at Hermione who was standing a mere three feet away from them, and back at Miranda who was waiting for him to wrap his arms around her in return.

“What are you doing here?” he asked when she had finally released him. “How did you get in here?”

“Don’t forget that I know where your spare key is hidden.” Miranda said, grinning as she held up a silver key. “And my father wanted to speak to you before the party tonight.” She took his hand and pulled him to the door. “You can get ready in my house.”

Draco allowed Miranda to pull him through the doorway, not saying another word to Hermione. “Hold on.” He said, opening the door to the flat once more.

She frowned and crossed her arms over her chest. “What are you doing Draco?” Miranda demanded. “We have to go, now.”

He walked back into his flat and into the living room where Hermione was still standing. “I’ll be back later.” Draco told her. Knowing that Miranda was watching, he kissed her swiftly on the cheek. “Can you owl this to my mother?” he asked, pulling the small bag out of his pocket. “I’ll see you at the manor later.”

Hermione felt blood boiling in her body as soon as she saw Miranda and Draco apparate out of the building. Never in her life has she felt this much hatred for someone who was not trying to kill her or her friends. She looked at the small bag in her hands, and suddenly wondered how she was supposed to owl this to Narcissa. “Does he even have an owl?” she asked angrily. As if on cue, a white owl appeared on his windowsill, tapping on the window. “Well, I’ve never seen you before.” Hermione spoke to the owl as she handed him the small bag. “Send this to Narcissa Malfoy” she said, setting him back in the air.

She was startled when she heard someone knocking on the door. “Coming!” she shouted, quickly walking to the door. “Pansy?” she asked, clearly surprised.

“I suppose Draco has taken you shopping for a dress this evening?” she asked, stepping past Hermione and into their flat. “I stopped over Miranda’s house to return something to her, and I was surprised to see him there.”

Hermione shut the door and locked the bolt. “Yes,” she said. “She stopped by here moments ago, and he went with her.”

Pansy took off her coat, and dropped it on the chair by the door. “Did she say that her father needed to speak to Draco?” Pansy asked urgently. “This is not good.” She said.

“Why?” Hermione asked. “Did something happen?”

“The Minister of Magic is the most busiest man in London.” Pansy told her. “Do you honestly think he’ll have time to speak to one of Miranda’s friends for no reason at all?” she asked. “He was either convinced that there was something going on between his daughter and Draco, or something is going wrong with his father’s company.”

“I see.” Hermione said, nodding.

“But since Miranda was the one who came to get him, it has to involve her.” Pansy said. “You guys are going to be in a very, very big dilemma soon. I saw the paper this morning too. It seems like everyone is trying to split you two apart.”

Hermione laughed with a hint of bitterness. “Maybe because we just really aren’t supposed to be together.” She said as she recalled the seer who sold Draco the fabric.

Pansy sighed. “Well for now, the two of you are.” she said sternly. “You’re the only one that can pull Draco from this, so you must listen to me very, very carefully. Now is not the time to get into arguments with him because this will only cause you to push him towards Miranda, and we don’t want that.” Pansy said. “Just play nice for now, and whatever you do, do not get intimidated by his mother.” She instructed. “I think she’s trying to sabotage the wedding, so don’t give into anything you don’t like.”

“What exactly is going on?” Hermione asked, cutting into Pansy’s orders. “I don’t understand. Is something going on with Draco?”

“Miranda will do anything to get her hands on him again, you know that already.” She said. “And Draco is too much of a fool to refuse her, you know that as well. Miranda has the most power over her father, and anything she requests, she gets. I’m assuming that Lucius’ company is going to be in turmoil for the next week, and if that crashes, several other companies that are in that chain will fall as well.”

“So you’re telling me that Miranda is going to use that, to get Malfoy to be with her?” Hermione asked. “That’s foolish!” she exclaimed.

Pansy nodded. “Just a word from Miranda, and the Minister will save these company’s from falling to the ground.” The two sat in silence for a while, and Pansy suddenly looked hesitant. “Hermione,” she began. “Perhaps there’s a way for Miranda to finally let Draco go.”

“What is it?” Hermione asked, suddenly afraid of Pansy’s answer.

“We need to move your wedding forward.” She said, biting her lower lip. “To some time in the next two months.”

Hermione’s eyes widen. “There’s no way that’s happening!” she said loudly “We agreed on when we both turn twenty one.”

“Yes, yes I’ve heard it.” Pansy said, waving her hand. “But don’t you see what’s going on?”

“No,” Hermione said. “I honestly don’t. What will my official marriage with Draco solve?”

Pansy ran her hand through her hair, pushing it back away from her face. “Miranda is still fighting for Draco only because you two aren’t branded by marriage yet.” She said. “Miranda isn’t stupid- she’ll see that there’s something missing in your relationship, and I reckon that she already does.”

Hermione sighed and closed her eyes, leaning back against the sofa. “I can’t get married just like that.” She said.

“You knew this would happen when you agreed to it.” Pansy told her. “This would’ve happened eventually.”

“Yes but I didn’t think it would be this soon.” She said. “Does Malfoy know?” Pansy shook her head. “So I suppose I have to tell him this?”

Pansy shrugged. “I can do it if you don’t want to.” She said.

Hermione groaned. “The next thing I know, you’re going to be telling me that I need to have a baby with him.” She said with despite. “Why did I agree to this?” she asked, staring up at the ceiling.

Pansy laughed. “You were crazy to agree.” She said. “I would never ever agree to this if it was Draco Malfoy I was marrying. You have no idea how incredibly complicated that boy is.”

“I have an idea.” Hermione said, laughing slightly. “You’re going to be attending the party tonight, right?” she asked her.

“Yes.” Pansy replied.

“What if Miranda still doesn’t stop?” Hermione asked. “What will happen then?”

Pansy thought for a moment. “I’ll handle her.” She said. “For now, all you have to worry about is getting ready for the party tonight. Would you like me to help you with your make up and hair?” Pansy asked.

Hermione nodded. “Are you going to be going with Theodore?”

She shook her head. “He’ll be in Paris for the next week or so.” Pansy said. “He’s got some business with his father there, and he’ll be returning once it’s over.”


What scared Hermione the most, was that she was beginning to get used to arriving in the Malfoy Manor to be greeted by Draco’s parents who was standing by the door. There were several ministry cars dropping witches and wizards off, and others were apparating a few feet away from the house.

“Welcome Hermione.” Narcissa said when Pansy and Hermione had reached the door. “Your dress looks lovely!” She exclaimed. “Wesley has great taste in clothes, don’t you think darling?” Narcissa asked her husband.

Lucius nodded. “Indeed he does.” He said.

“Actually,” Hermione began. “Draco picked it out. Wesley and Astoria left moments after you did this afternoon.” She explained.

Hermione and Pansy entered the main foyer, and they both dropped their coats off in the cloakroom. “Draco chose that for you?” Pansy asked. “That’s rather impressive.” She said. “I never knew Draco had such great taste in dresses.”

Hermione laughed, remembering this afternoon. “Yes, he does.” She replied. Hermione didn’t have a chance to hear what Pansy was telling her as a sparkling diamond standing on the top of the stairs caught her attention. “Is that Miranda?” she asked. “And Draco?”

Miranda had her arm hooked on Draco’s, and they were both descending down the stairs as if she was the belle of the ball. “So?” Miranda began, as if she was waiting for Draco to say something to her. “What do you think?” she asked, motioning to her attire.

Draco stared at her face and smiled. “You look gorgeous.” He complimented.

Miranda grinned and adjusted her strapless dress. “Good.” She said once they had reached the bottom of the stairs. “Now where’s Pansy?” she asked, scanning the crowd. “Pansy!” Miranda called loudly, smiling at the woman standing on the other side of the large foyer.

As they neared the small group standing on the opposite side of the foyer, Draco’s breath caught in his throat, and his eyes went wide. Standing beside Pansy Parkinson was the most beautiful woman he’s seen tonight.

Chapter 11: Chapter Ten
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

By: Gryffindorgirl153
Chapter Ten

As they neared the small group standing on the opposite side of the foyer, Draco’s breath caught in his throat, and his eyes went wide. Standing beside Pansy Parkinson was the most beautiful woman he’s seen tonight.

“Miranda.” Pansy said as Draco and Miranda joined their circle. “Draco, I haven’t seen you in a while.”

“I’ve been busy.” Draco replied, never meeting Pansy’s eyes. He glanced sideways at Hermione who was suddenly very much interested with her feet. Draco felt Miranda’s eyes on his face, so he quickly turned his head, conversing with Blaise about recent news.

Miranda cleared her throat and began to pull Draco away. “C’mon Draco, lets go see daddy.” She said, taking him by his hand.

Pansy grabbed Draco’s arm quickly before Miranda could steal him away once more. “Narcissa requested to see her son alone as soon as he came downstairs.” She said. “If I remember correctly, she said it was an urgent matter.”

Miranda nodded, slowly giving Draco back his right hand. “I’ll be waiting for you by our old spot.” Miranda told him, not caring that his fiancé was standing a mere two feet away. She walked away, her heels clicking loudly as if she was stomping off.

Draco turned to Pansy. “I’m going to assume that my mother didn’t want to meet me at all.” He said.

She rolled her eyes. “This is a social event.” Pansy said. “I don’t think that you’ve noticed how many reporters there are around here. You have a fiancé already, and you cannot be seen doing God knows what with Miranda.” She ordered, referring to the previous morning’s paper.

“She’s right mate.” Blaise said, stepping in. “That girl will do anything to break this off.” He said, motioning his hand towards Hermione and Draco. “And your mother is on the verge of forcing you into a marriage with Astoria.”

Draco looked at Hermione who was fiddling with the buttons of her clutch purse. “Hey.” Draco began, noticing that he’s never said hello. “The dress,” He cleared his throat, and a smirk began to form on Pansy’s face. “It looks great.” Draco finished. “Turns out I have pretty good taste in dresses.” He said arrogantly.

Hermione rolled her eyes. “Yes, considering the other ten dresses you chose out for me?” she retorted, determined to ruin his moment.

“That was just for my amusement.” Draco replied, grinning from ear to ear. “As a-”

Hermione gave a slight jump as she felt a hand on the small of her back. “Wesley!” she exclaimed. “Oh, I’m sorry.” She said after seeing the look on his face. “You just surprised me, that’s all.”

Wesley nodded. “It’s fine.” He said. His eyes then traveled from Hermione’s face to the rest of her body. “You look absolutely gorgeous.” Wesley told her as his eyes landed back onto her face. “Really, really beautiful.” He complimented reverently.

A slight blush rose to her cheeks as she looked away. “Thank you.” Hermione replied.

Before Wesley was able to open his mouth, Draco cleared his throat, and pulled Hermione into the large ballroom where they joined the rest of the guest. “That was rather rude of you Draco.” She said with a frown.

Draco led both of them to the middle of the dance floor before they both began to dance. “Did you really want me to just stand there and let some other man flirt with my fiancé?” He demanded.

Hermione snorted. “Men.” She said, rolling her eyes. “Would you like it if I were to just steal you away while Miranda was speaking to you?”

“That’s different.” Draco snapped, his movements abruptly turning aggressive.

She shook her head. “Draco, maybe you haven’t noticed but that woman is trying to get with my fiancé.” Hermione said, mimicking the way Draco referred to her. “Maybe I should start acting like the jealous fiancé.”

Draco sighed. He spun Hermione around before they both regained their normal composure. “Miranda and I just have history.” He said. “This is how we always were.”

Hermione stared up at him with a look that made Draco turn all his attention to her. “You’re still in love with this girl and you don’t even realize it.” She said.

“Shut up Granger.” Draco snapped, spinning her around once more. “I don’t see how this involves you.”

Hermione sighed and took her hands off Draco’s body, stepping a few feet back. “This has everything to do with me.” Hermione said. “We’re getting married now Malfoy.” She said. “Everything we’ve done and will do from the day we announced the engagement to the reports, till the day we divorce- everything you do will affect me, and everything I do will affect you.”

Draco glared at her and placed his hands on her waist again as he lead her across the floor. “Who I love is none of your business.”

Hermione breathed out. “You’re right.” She said. “It’s not. I’m sorry.” Hermione told him. “Just please don’t do anything stupid tonight.”

His face suddenly changed, and his lips turned into a smirk. “And what would you consider stupid?”

“Anything that will get us a visit from your mother in the morning.” She replied. “As well as anything that will get us on the front cover of the prophet tomorrow.”

He laughed. “You know, any woman would just love to receive the attention you get from the Daily Prophet.”

“Well only if it was a good thing that we’re engaged.” Hermione told him. “Then maybe I’d actually enjoy attention.”

Draco thought for a moment. “Well what if it was because of a good thing that we’re on the cover of the prophet tomorrow?” he whispered in her ear. “C’mon Granger, what do you say?” Hermione noticed his sudden change in mood, and felt anxious as to what he was plotting to do next. “How about we give them all a show?”

Hermione scoffed. “What is this we’re doing now, Malfoy?” she asked. “As far as they know, this is the closest we’ve ever been together.”

His arm wound around her waist, pulling her body closer to his. “How about we give them a real show?” Draco asked, wiggling his eyebrows.

“And what exactly did you have in mi-” Hermione was not able to finish her sentence for two reasons. The first reason, several reporters had walked up to the couple, taking as much pictures as they could while pushing recorders into their faces as they shouted out various questions. The second reason was that Draco Malfoy had quickly leaned down to kiss her.

It was a short kiss. It was neither poignant nor inert. Hermione felt his arms wrap tighter and tighter around her until there was no more space in between them. She couldn’t help the squeal that had escaped the back of her throat and into his mouth. Draco pulled back, immediately setting large smirk on his face. “Now that’s a show.” He whispered in her ear.

Although their lips were no longer attached, Hermione felt like she could no longer stand on her own two feet. She was grateful that Draco hadn’t pulled his arm back from her waist, or else she would’ve fallen straight to the ground. He led her away from the middle of the dance floor, and to one of the tables where Pansy, Blaise and Daphne were already seated.

Draco sat Hermione down on one of the chairs, careful with her body. She still hasn’t said a word since he had stolen an unexpected kiss. Draco sat down on the chair beside hers and he immediately faced the crowd. Several men in suits whom he did not recognize were sending the reporters away from the room. Draco turned to Hermione who seemed to be having trouble breathing, since her chest was heaving long breaths. He placed his right arm around her shoulders, and slowly caressed the curve of her neck, sending shivers down Hermione’s spine. “Are you alright, Granger?” he asked, amused. “You seem extremely flustered.”

“Shut up Malfoy.” Hermione snapped, closing her eyes trying to regain her composure. She was paying close attention to his hand, which was idly making circles around the base of her neck. Draco was leaning close to her, and she could feel his breath against her shoulder.

Just as she was about to open her mouth to shout at him, he quickly silenced her by giving her a quick peck on the lips. “Don’t shout.” He warned. “Mother is watching us very closely tonight. And so are a few others.”

Hermione sighed, giving up in reprimanding him about his behavior. She glanced at Pansy who was currently talking to Daphne about something rather hilarious. Hermione nearly jumped out of her seat when she felt another hand twine itself into hers. She turned to Draco, the culprit, who merely rolled his eyes at her. “Can’t you at least pretend to be the least bit affectionate?” he asked. “It’s as if you’ve never done this before.” Draco said exasperatedly, his blonde hair falling out of line and into his eyes.

“I can be affectionate.” Hermione muttered to herself. “Just not to you.”

Draco didn’t seem to have heard her, because he immediately forced a conversation upon them. Hermione suspected that this was because someone was approaching them, someone who Draco wasn’t very fond of.

“Hermione.” Hermione looked up to see Wesley standing before her, looking extremely pleased. “Would you like to dance?” he asked politely.

She swore she was able to hear Draco growl under his breath. “Actually, we were planning to head outside for a bit.” Draco interjected. “Perhaps you may have a dance when we return.” He added, and slowly helped Hermione to her feet instead of his constant dragging. 

Draco spoke first before she was able to say anything. “Are you going to tell me that I was being rude now?” he questioned. “Or perhaps say that I’m playing the role of the jealous fiancé all too well?”

“No.” Hermione shook her head. “I was just going to say that that was rather civil of you.” She told him. “Who knew Draco Malfoy could be considerate.”

“Draco!” Both Hermione and Draco turned to see Miranda walking towards them, taking her time as she walked. “Your mother would like a picture of us dancing.” Miranda said with a smile. “Let’s go.”

Out of instincts she didn’t know she had, Hermione stepped in front of Draco, preventing Miranda from taking his hand. “We were actually on our way out.” Hermione said. “Perhaps you can get a dance when we return.” She swiftly turned around, ushering Draco out the manor, leaving Miranda completely baffled and enraged.

“See, I can play the part quiet well.” Hermione told Draco once they were far enough from Miranda. As she made her way towards the main doors, Draco steered her towards the staircase and to the first floor. “Where are we going?” she asked him.

“To my bedroom.” He answered. “It’s too cold outside. And guest won’t be able to walk past these stairs.”

Hermione nodded, they walked o his bedroom in silence. “Wow.” She breathed. “Your room is huge!” There was a large king sized bed placed by the wall in the center of the room. There was a desk by the window, about three doors that were probably closets and a bathroom, and an armchair by the corner near the window, and another one on the other side of the room. There were two bookshelves over flowing with books placed by the second armchair, furthest from the window.

He laughed. “It’s a manor, what do you expect?” Draco asked. “Bathroom sized bedrooms?” He kicked of his shoes and fell down against his bed.

Hermione quietly walked over to the bookshelves, immediately attracted to the loads and loads of books that he had. “Your very willing fiancé is laying on the bed, waiting for some action, and you head straight to the first form of literature you see?” he asked, laughing. “You’re simply incredible, Granger.” Draco said.

“Books are a lot more interesting than you are.” Hermione retorted. “They don’t sit there smirking at people all day.” She snapped. “You have… rather interesting books.” She said, searching through the classics.

There was a knock on the door, and Hermione turned as someone pushed the door open. “Draco?” Miranda was standing in the doorway, scanning the room. “Oh, uh- Narcissa wants to see you downstairs.” She said to Hermione sourly. “Before the toasts starts.”

Hermione glanced at Draco who was still lying on the bed with his hands over his eyes, and then back to Miranda who was currently glaring at her. “Okay.” Hermione said as she adjusted the shawl around the crook of her arm and placed the book back in the shelf and walking out of the room.

Miranda closed the door as Hermione left, and locked the door, making sure that Draco didn’t hear it. She climbed onto his bed, and hovered over his still body. “Draco.” Miranda muttered softly.

He slowly moved his arm from his face and looked up at Miranda. “What are you doing?” he asked her calmly. Draco attempted to sit up, only to have himself pushed back down on the bed by Miranda. “We need to get back downstairs.” Draco told her. “The toasts are starting.”

Miranda shook her head. “It’s not starting for another twenty minutes.” She told him, pointing at the clock behind her head. “I just thought I’d send Granger downstairs so we can have a few minutes to ourselves.” Miranda said, smiling. “Considering we’ve never had that much time together ever since I’ve returned.” Her hands grazed his face and his left shoulder tenderly.

At that moment, Draco completely forgot all about Hermione. “It’s pretty hectic these days.” He told her, gulping.

“Oh I know.” She said, pouting. “That’s why I thought-” she shrugged. “Maybe we could relive the old days again.” Miranda said. “Merlin knows we both need the excitement in our lives again.”

Draco hesitated, and wrapped his arm around her wrist, stopping it from moving up and down the contours of his body. “You know we can’t.” he said sternly, although his body was screaming otherwise.

Miranda shook her head, and began playing with the fringe of his hair. “No one has to know.” She whispered, lying close to his face. She smiled slightly, enjoying how close they were together- close enough that she could feel his breath on her lips. She leant down closer, only to have Draco abruptly turn his head. “C’mon Draco,” Miranda whispered. “What happened to taking risks and living the life?” she asked him, remembering his and her past relationship. “I remember that it was you who constantly reminded me to stop worrying.”

She bent her head lower, and her lips met his. For the first few moments, Draco had no idea how to respond to the blonde on top of him. Hermione quickly appeared in his mind, and he could see her pained face in his eyes. However, she disappeared as quickly as she came and Draco was soon absorbed into Miranda’s games. Soon, he began kissing her back as feverishly as she was. He wrapped his arms around her waist, rolling over so that he was dominant.

Their lips came apart for a moment, allowing Miranda to send a luring smile to Draco. She quickly discarded his jacket to the floor and his lips crushed hers once more. Miranda’s hands flew to his blonde hair while his traced the curves of her waist and hips.

As soon as he felt her fingers unbuttoning his shirt, a soft moan escaped her lips- and that was all Draco needed to go all the way. He found the zipper of her dress, slowly pulling it down and completely forgetting about all of the guests that were downstairs.

“You want this don’t you?” Miranda asked whispering in his ear as he planted kisses on her neck and shoulder. “You’ve wanted this for a while.” It was as if she was convincing herself more than he.

Draco nodded, before he kissed her once more. “I want this.” Draco said, and that was the only answer Miranda needed before she gave him her all.


Hermione walked out of the bathroom, closing the door behind her and shut her clutch close. It had taken her a while to find the bathroom, but she would do anything to keep away from the party going on downstairs. She walked down the stairs, adjusting the thin white shawl around her body. She walked through the main foyer and back into the ballroom where she met Blaise standing by the entrance “We’re you just up there with Draco?” Blaise asked her.

She nodded. “He should be coming down soon.”

“Er, you didn’t happen to see Miranda anywhere, did you?” He asked.

“She came upstairs to call me down.” Hermione said. “She said that Narcissa would like to speak to me before the toasts starts.” She saw Pansy quickly walk towards them with Daphne quickly in tow.

Blaise shook his head. “The toast doesn’t start for twenty minutes or so, maybe even thirty.” He said. “And do you honestly think Narcissa would want to talk to anyone when she’s got to balance an entire night in her hands?” Blaise asked. “I thought you were clever Granger.”

Hermione looked at him strangely. “What are you trying to say?” she asked, confused.

Pansy craned her neck towards the foyer, and then back to Hermione. “I’m trying to say that there’s something going on that’s not supposed to be.” She quickly walked away from the crowd, through the foyer and up the stairs.

Daphne, Blaise and Hermione followed her upstairs. “Draco?” Pansy called, walking towards his bedroom. “Draco!” she shouted. Pansy turned the knob of his bedroom, only to realize that it was locked. “Who has a wand?” she asked them.

Blaise shook his head, followed by Daphne. Hermione looked down at her purse, and back to the door. “What is he doing?” she asked softly and quietly.

Pansy stared at her. “Hermione, you can either unlock that door and deal with Draco, or you can walk away and have him do this to you every other night.” She said, stepping away from the door. “We all know what they’re doing in there. I just think that you don’t want to accept it.” Pansy said after a few moments of watching Hermione stare down at the wooden stick in her hands. “She’s just going to end up hurting him again.” Pansy whispered before she led Daphne and Blaise back down the stairs, knowing that this was something they didn’t need to see.

Hermione stared at the door, suddenly feeling anxious and livid at the same time. Her wand was in her hands, but she couldn’t bring herself to utter that charm which unlocks all doors. “Just do it.” She told herself. Hermione looked down the hall, towards the stairs to see if Pansy was still there.

Her heart was beating loudly against her chest, thumping with each breath she took. Hermione slowly took a step closer to the door, pressing her ear against the white wood. Hermione suddenly jumped back from the door as if it had burned her. Being pressed up against the door wasn’t necessary to hear the ear-piercing scream that came from his bedroom, followed by a deep groan.

Hermione had no idea what she was doing, but she knew that she couldn’t stand before his bedroom any longer. She ran down the stairs, where Pansy, Blaise and Daphne were standing.

“Are you alright?” Pansy asked her apprehensively.

She nodded. “Fine.” Hermione replied. “I just, need to get some air outside.”

The cold air hit her skin like a thousand knives. Hermione didn’t know why hearing about Draco’s sexual activities with another woman angered her so much. She knew that they weren’t to interfere with each other’s personal lives, and she knew very well that she shouldn’t have cared about it at all.

She knew that this wasn’t a real engagement. She knew this very well, which is why she wonders why this felt so much like betrayal.

A/N: So i've finally updated. I hope you guys like this (: well you probably won't, since i know most of you absolutely destest Miranda by now. And maybe even Draco as well ofr his stupidity. But don't worry, you'll all enjoy later chapters ^_^; the next chapter should be done in about two weeks or so, depending on what's going on in school. So just sit tight.

I was actually a bit apprehensive about this chapter because it was really short. I wanted to add a few more scenes but i wasn't exactly sure how the'yd fit and what would happen. So i just decided to go with this, and make sure that the next chapter will be longer , and more enjoyable to read. So please, if you guys see any mistakes, i'd love if you'd point it out to me. i don't exactly have the best grammar. I've read over some parts, just not the entire thing because- well i have a tendancy to not read over what i write :P . i know it's a terrible habbit.


so since the chapter is sort of just utterly disappoiting, i decided to give you guys a little present (: . the next chapter, i'm sure you'll enjoy.

Preview of chapter 11:

“Are you walking away from me?” Miranda asked him. “After everything, you’re just going to walk away from me? After what we just did?” she exclaimed furiously. “Am I just some one time fling for you, or something?”

Draco turned. “You left years ago.” He growled. “And then you return, and expect everything to fall back into place.” Draco said angrily, his fist balled up at his sides. “You expected me to completely abandon Hermione, and walk over to you whenever you called for me.” He said. “You came back when I was beginning to heal from what you’ve done to me three years ago and you just tore me back apart.”
alright, so it isn't much, i know. But hey, it's something. Miranda was actually getting on my nerves too. haha even though i'm the one writing it. I laughed when some of you asked if i could kill her off or something, but pushing her off a balcony. well enjoy the preview, and the next chapter shoudl be coming out sometime soon! i've just finished it a few minutes ago, and it should be good :D.


Chapter 12: Chapter Eleven
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

By: Gryffindorgirl153

Chapter Eleven

Draco felt a hand on his shoulder, as he was about to leave the room. “You’re just going to leave?” he heard Miranda ask. “Just like that?” Draco heard the pain in her voice, and suddenly felt bothered that her pain didn’t affect him as much as it should have.

He nodded. “We shouldn’t have done that.” Draco told her, as he swiftly closed the door behind him before he would’ve done something else he regretted. The sound of his bedroom door opening once more stopped him from walking further down the hall.

“You know that she’s not fit for you.” Miranda shouted in an enraged voice. “You know that she can’t live in our world- she just a mudblood! She can’t handle it. She can’t live in a high status society, and you know it.”

Draco turned to face her. “That’s exactly where she’ll prove you wrong.” Draco snapped.

She narrowed her eyes at him. “You’re really going to continue siding with her?” Miranda demanded. “Even when you know that she can’t- even when you know the truth, you’re going to continue defending that woman? Look at where the two of you are, Draco!” She exclaimed. “Both of you are constantly being followed by the press because your relationship can’t seem to withstand all of this!” Miranda cried, throwing her hands up in the air. “You two aren’t fit for each other!”

“I’m perfectly content with our relationship!” Draco said, close to shouting. “She can survive through anything Miranda.” He informed her. “Just you wait and see.” He began walking down the hall before her voice stopped him once more.

“Are you walking away from me?” Miranda asked him. “After everything, you’re just going to walk away from me? After what we just did?” she exclaimed furiously. “Am I just some one time fling for you, or something?”

Draco turned. “You left years ago.” He growled. “And then you return, and expect everything to fall back into place.” Draco said angrily, his fist balled up at his sides. “You expected me to completely abandon Hermione, and walk over to you whenever you called for me.” He said. “You came back when I was beginning to heal from what you’ve done to me three years ago and you just tore me back apart.”

“I thought that you’d be happy that I was back!” Miranda shouted. “When I left, you never wanted to make a commitment, and now when I arrive back in London, I see that you’re engaged? How do you think that makes me feel?”

“Just because I didn’t want to marry you when we just got out of Hogwarts doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t want it later on in life.” Draco told her, outraged. “But you can’t just waltz through the door and expect me to drop everything I’ve got just for you.”

Her facial expression softened. “You always did.”

“Not anymore. You know, your entire life, people has been spoiling you rotten.” Draco told her. “And I know that’s not your fault, but you can’t get everything you want in the world. Life doesn’t work like that, and everything is sure as hell not that easy. You can’t manipulate people into getting what you want.”

Miranda stared at him. “You knew I was going to come back.” She said. “You could’ve waited! You could’ve waited till I was ready to face you again, you could’ve waited for the chance to be with me again!”

“I didn’t know you wanted me to!” He shouted. “You didn’t exactly leave a note, or send an owl while you were away. I can’t read your mind Miranda. I don’t know what you want.”

She glared at him. “I’ve told you what I wanted many times Draco.” Miranda said enigmatically. “But that was clearly not what you had in mind.”

Draco threw his hands up in the air. “And we’re back to this again!” he said exasperatedly. “What about what I wanted?” Draco asked her. “What about my plans for the future? Does none of that matter? Is it always about what you want?”

“I’ve dealt with what you wanted during our entire relationship.” Miranda said. “Do you know how difficult it was to hide our relationship from people?” she asked him. “To lie to my own father about who I’m dating?”

Draco rolled his eyes. “That’s far less than marriage.” He said to her. “Just because you jump into a boat going towards a different direction, doesn’t mean that I have to jump in with you.”

“It does if you care about me!” she exclaimed.

Everything was coming back to Draco now. Memories of his old life that he has shut away had returned to his mind, and he couldn’t explain how much it hurts. Draco recalled those countless nights when Miranda returned back to the common room late at night, telling him that she had been in the library studying for her classes. He recalled the countless moments his friends had attempted to open his eyes, but he couldn’t bear to see what was right in front of him. He remembered the lies that she’s told him, about who she was with, when she clearly brought back the scent of another man.

Draco loved Miranda. He loved her with all his heart, and that was what he has been telling himself for the past few years. Draco thought that he would be able to deal with her unfaithfulness because he was once assured that she loved him, and him only. But is it really enough for Draco now? Would it just be enough to have the woman he loves love him in return, even when she was sneaking around with other men?

He didn’t know how Miranda did it. Despite the lies Hermione and him as a couple released to the public, Draco felt as guilty as he would have if they were truly getting married. Perhaps he might’ve felt worse if their relationship was real. He couldn’t live this sort of life- it just simply wasn’t for him. Draco couldn’t return home everyday to a wife, while he’s been with another woman just hours before- he just couldn’t do it, he knew he couldn’t.

He stared at her as his eyes darkened. “Doesn’t caring for someone include not cheating on him or her?” he demanded. “I’m not stupid Miranda.” He said. “I know what you and Wesley have done, and frankly- I’m not entirely sure why I’ve put up with it for so long.”

“What are you talking about Draco?” Miranda asked.

Draco laughed bitterly. “What am I talking about?” he repeated. “Don’t play dumb, it doesn’t suit you very well.”

She shifted on her spot. “How did you find out?” Miranda asked nervously, fiddling with fabric of her dress.

“That’s not important.” Draco told her, shaking his head. “But what is important, is that we have about a hundred guest downstairs, waiting for our presence.”

“You’re really going to marry her?” Miranda asked, her eyes filling with tears. “You’re seriously going through with this marriage?” she continued. “Why is it that you can marry her but not me?” She demanded, tears falling from her eyes. “What is so good about that stupid mudblood?”

Draco sighed, running his hands through his hair in a frustrated manner. “Did you really expect me to leave her for someone who’s given me nothing but grief and heartache?”

Miranda shook her head. “I expected you to leave her for someone you love and care for.” She told him. “I expected you to chose me. So lets have it Draco.” Miranda said, wiping the tears from her face. “Why her? Why choose a stupid little mudblood over me?” Draco thought for a moment. “Well, Draco?” Miranda asked impatiently. “It seems as though you can’t seem to find any reason why you made that stupid decision of yours.”

He leant against the wall of the hall and looked at her. “She walked straight into my life, stepped over everything precious and valuable, leaving everything in ruins.” Draco said.

“Well then why-” Miranda was cut off by Draco’s stern voice.

“I didn’t finish.” Draco said. “She ruined everything perfect and orderly, causing it to tumble down into chaos. And no matter how much I hated her for it, I couldn’t bare to have her away from me.”

She laughed, wiping fresh tears from her face once more. “I remember when I was the chaos in your life.” Miranda said. “I was the one standing next to you- not her. I was the one who was supposed to be wearing that stupid engagement ring!”

“Things change.” Draco said. “People change.”

“You know how h-”

Draco held up his hand. “Hermione is waiting for me downstairs.” He told her. “I don’t have time for this.” He turned around for the last time and headed down the stairs. This time, her voice, calling his name didn’t cause him to look back.

He wasn’t sure whether or not he would regret completely letting go of Miranda. Hell, he wasn’t sure whether or not he was truly and sincerely letting go of the woman he once loved. There were many things rushing through his head, but at that moment all he wanted to do was return back to his friends, and Hermione.

Draco had just thrown away his last chance at getting Miranda back. There was something at the pit of his stomach that made him want to run back up the stairs, and gather the crying girl in his arms- but there was another part of him that wanted to walk away from his past and start a completely new chapter in his life.


“Where’s Hermione?” Draco asked once he had seen Pansy and Blaise. Pansy simply looked at Draco, only to look away from him and back to Blaise. “What is it?” he asked. “What’s wrong?” Pansy still didn’t answer.

“Hermione went outside.” Blaise said. “I think you should call her back soon. The toasts will begin shortly.”

Draco nodded, and ran out of the manor and towards the garden path. He noticed how cold it had gotten, and felt the wind run through his hair. He continued walking down the cobblestone path until he caught sight of Hermione sitting on one of the concrete benches in the centre of the garden.

His eyes flashed with anger when he noticed that she wasn’t alone. There was a black jacket hanging from her shoulders, and another man sitting on the bench next to her. The man stood up, checking his watch before he held out his hand for her to take. Draco watched with immense anger as Hermione took Wesley’s hand, and allowed him to lead her down the path and back into the manor.

He could hear their conversation becoming clearer and clearer the closer as they slowly walked towards him. Draco quickly turned back to the manor before they could see him. He quickly walked through the doors and back into the ballroom. “Bloody Carrow.” Draco muttered angrily.

“Hey mate.” Blaise greeted when Draco had sat down on the chair next to him. “What’s got your wand in a knot?” he asked, taking a sip of his champagne.

“Carrow.” Draco replied bitterly. Blaise laughed slightly. “Where’s Pansy?” Draco asked, motioning to the empty seat next to Daphne.

Blaise looked down at his watch. “She went to talk to Miranda a few minutes ago.”

“Oh.” Draco replied, remembering their previous argument.

“Where’s Hermione?” Blaise asked, frowning. “Didn’t you go outside to find her?” he asked.

Draco shrugged. “I couldn’t find her anywhere.”

Daphne frowned at him. “Well where else could she have gone?” she asked. “She wouldn’t just leave the manor, Narcissa would have a fit and Hermione would never hear the end of it. And it’s too dangerous to wander off too far down the road- if she takes a wrong turn, she’ll get lost, and Merlin knows what’s hidden in those dark alleys.”

“She’ll probably be back soon.” Draco said grudgingly. The sight of Wesley and Hermione together made him want to strangle the man with his bare hands. His eyes were fixed on the entrance of the ballroom, scanning for a certain someone.

He saw Pansy storming in, her eyes ablaze. She sat down next to Draco, slamming her purse down onto the table while she plopped down onto the seat. “I reckon she told you.” Draco muttered.

“You think?” Pansy snapped. “You best hope that no one found out about this.” She said threateningly. There was something in her angry voice that intimidated Draco, no matter how tiny Pansy may be.

Draco looked up at her. “Does Hermione know?” he asked quietly, suddenly feeling worried and anxious.

“What do you think Draco?” Pansy asked, raging mad. “Granger isn’t stupid.” He growled. Miranda chose that moment to sit down next to Pansy, completely absorbed with her nails. “You better get her back here.” She said to Draco. “The toasts will start soon.”

He sighed. “Carrow has got that covered.” Draco told her indignantly.

Pansy narrowed her eyes at him. “Don’t you dare, Draco.” She said. “Don’t you dare even begin on that bit. At this point, you have absolutely no right.” Pansy pointed a threatening finger at him, and Draco knew better than to cross Pansy once she had lost her temper. “I’ll go find her.” She said. “Hold onto this for me Blaise.” Pansy said, throwing her black purse across the table.

She quickly walked across the ballroom once more, feeling that this night has been one of the longest nights of her life. Pansy didn’t know why it always came to her to clean up either Draco’s or Miranda’s mess, but she knew that she couldn’t just leave it there for someone else to clean up. Pansy believed in dealing with things herself, or else it’ll never be done correctly.

Pansy saw Hermione walking in with a jacket draped across her shoulder. “Hermione.” She breathed. “Wesley. The two of you should quickly go in, Narcissa will faint if you’re not there when the toasts starts.” Pansy said.

Hermione nodded, and shrugged off Wesley’s jacket, handing it back to him. “Thank you.” Hermione told him. “For accompanying me as well.”

“It’s no problem at all.” Wesley told her. He slipped his arms through his jacket before he walked back into the ballroom, preparing himself for the upcoming toasts.

Pansy and Hermione slowly walked back into the room together, mostly because Hermione was dreading facing Draco. “It was horrifying.” Hermione told her, breaking the silence between the two girls.

Pansy’s eyes widened. “You’ve seen them?” she asked, startled.

Hermione shook her head quickly. “No, god no!” she said. “I just- I heard them.” Hermione said. “They didn’t exactly think of putting up a silencing charm.”

Pansy laughed. “I remember walking in on them before.” She said quietly. “Well, they didn’t really- er, do it.” Pansy explained. “Well, I wouldn’t know- maybe they did. But I just walked in on them at a very heated moment, and it was rather disgusting.”

Hermione laughed softly. Before they had reached the table, she gripped Pansy’s arm, stopping her. “Is this right?” Hermione asked her, diffident. “We’re not exactly truly bound to each other.” She said. “Do you think I’m just overreacting?”

She shook her head. “Of course not.” Pansy told her. “I’d be ranging mad right now if I were you.” Pansy said. “Even if you two aren’t truly together, he needs to stay loyal and faithful.”

Hermione sat down next to Draco while Pansy sat on the other side of him. She noticed the guilt smothered all over his face, and he might as well have just worn a sign saying ‘I SLEPT WITH MY EX GIRLFRIEND WHILE I’M ENGANGED TO ANOTHER WOMAN’. She wasn’t sure whether or not she should say something to him or if she should allow him to drown in remorse.

There was a loud tinkling in the front of the ballroom, and everyone immediately cleared the dance floor and headed to their tables. Narcissa Malfoy was standing in the front of the room with her husband Lucius Malfoy standing right next to her. “Hello, good evening everyone!” she said happily. “I’m glad you’re all having a good time. Now, we’d like to begin the toasts, and then we may all get back to our frivolity.” Narcissa cleared her throat before she began speaking. “Well as you all know, you’ve all been gathered here tonight to celebrate the accomplishments of Wesley and Douglas Carrow.” The crowd gave a loud applause.

Wesley and his father stood up from their tables, and walked over to the front of the room. As they gave their short, but explicit speech, Hermione was fiddling with her wand. She was suddenly glad that people wouldn’t be able to see what she was doing under the table, as she drew on thin air using a small charm she had learned in her third year at Hogwarts. Hermione knew she would’ve been reprimanded if Draco wasn’t too afraid to speak to her at the moment, and for a short while, she was relieved.

The crowd began chattering once again, entering their own small private conversations while some walked onto the dance floor once more. The waiters and waitresses began moving across the room, offering champagne and small appetizers for the guests.

Hermione glanced at the grand clock that was by the windows. Unfortunately for her, it was only ten thirty and there would be at least a good two hours before she was allowed to go home. She spotted Narcissa Malfoy quickly walking over to their table, her eyes set on her and Draco. “Draco, Hermione- you two should start meeting a few of your father’s guests.”

Draco stood up obediently, who held out his hand for Hermione to take. “Hurry up children.” Narcissa ordered before she walked away from the couple and back to the rest of the guests.

Hermione looked away from Draco, helping herself up as she followed Narcissa towards a group of men standing in a circle. She heard Draco sigh as he followed closely behind her.

“Gentlemen.” Narcissa said, smiling as Draco and Hermione reached them. “This is my son’s new fiancé, I’m sure you’ve read all about them.” She said, introducing the couple. “Her name is Hermione Granger.”

Hermione shook all their hands politely. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.” She said, smiling. Hermione felt a hand on the small of her back, a sign of protection. She felt her hand tingling, wanting to slap Draco’s hand away from her body but she knew better than to act irrational in front of guests.

“And you’ve all met Draco already.” Narcissa said.

The men shook hands with Draco. “Business is good, yeah?” One short, stubby man asked.

Another tall man laughed, his voice booming. “Since when did the Malfoy industries ever suffer under Lucius’ watch?” he said. “I’m sure business will flourish once this young man here takes over.”

Draco smiled. “I sure hope so.”

Narcissa led the two away from the group of laughing men, and towards an old couple who were speaking in hushed tones. “Odette and Offylus Bontecou.”

“It’s a pleasure to meet you.” Hermione said, shaking their hands.

“Pleasure.” Odette said bitterly, scowling at Hermione’s appearance. “It’s a pity that woman these days aren’t very,” She paused, searching for the right word. Odette had an incredibly strong French accent, causing Hermione to have difficulty in understanding her. “Virtuous these days.” She finished with a small deviant smile. “Isn’t that right Offylus?” Odette asked. “Young Malfoy, I thought you’d have more class than this.”

Draco glanced at Hermione who looked at Odette with utter disbelief. “I assure you, Miss. Bontecou, Hermione is exceptionally pure.” Draco said, a twinge of hostility in his voice. “Now if you’ll excuse us, we’ve other guests to meet.”

“Never did like that woman.” Narcissa said, frowning. “She said the same thing to your father an I when we were introduced to them by his mother and father. Even though they were just slightly older than we were.”

Narcissa introduced the couple to several more people, including some of his father’s old death eater friends. Hermione and Draco would circle the room together, not saying a word to one another. What angered both of them the most was how most women commented on Hermione’s presumed infidelity.

Just as they thought, the night turned out to be extremely long and tiring. Hermione and Pansy retired earlier than the rest, complaining about their bleeding feet. They returned to Hermione’s flat, and fell down against the couch. They both kicked off their heals, and suck back against the cushion. It was almost one-thirty, and only half of the guests had gone, leaving the other halfback in the manor.

“Why did Malfoy stay behind?” Hermione asked Pansy, curious.

“He needed to talk to Miranda about something.” Pansy said truthfully. There was no use in keeping Hermione in the dark. It would only make matter’s worse.

“Oh,” Hermione replied softly.

Pansy stood up, taking her shoes in her hand and settling on her bare feet. She winced slightly as both her feet supported her weight once again. “I should get back.” She told Hermione. “I’ve got a long day tomorrow.” She walked over to the fireplace and then turned back to Hermione. “Don’t let Draco off too easy.” Pansy told her, before she grabbed some floo powder and flooed back to her flat.

“I won’t.” Hermione responded.


Draco and Miranda stood several feet away from each other, both of them boring holes into the floor with their attentive gazes. They were both in Draco’s bedroom for the second time that night with Draco leaning against the door and Miranda seated on the bed. Yes, they had already spoken a few hours ago, but he felt that maybe it was finally time to sum everything up. Throughout their entire relationship, no one has officially ended anything- so maybe he had to step up and do it himself.

No, it wasn’t because Draco had sudden feelings for his ‘fiancé’. It definitely wasn’t because of that reason. Their so-called relationship had grown to be strictly platonic, and he knew the both of them would strive to keep it that way. He wasn’t in love with Hermione Granger, and he definitely wasn’t in denial either. Draco simply felt like he was betraying a friend who grew to trust him- that was all.

A part of him wanted to simply walk away from the idea and take Miranda back into his arms to apologize for every absurd statement that has slipped past his lips. Though, because of the sudden intrusion in his life by the most unlikely person, he felt that he finally had the strength to face what he never wanted to face years ago.

“What do you want?” Miranda asked brusquely, breaking the silence between them.

Draco gritted his teeth and allowed his better judgment to take over his actions. “I’m going to ask you to stop with your games.” Draco said harshly. “We’ve all had enough of it.”

Miranda scoffed, and looked away. “So basically you’re just telling me to back off Granger, and let her have it easy right?” she asked him. “You’re asking me to back off because she knows that I’m more fit for you than she is?”

Draco rolled his eyes. “Would you stop turning everything on her?” he asked. “This is about you and me, not me and her.”

“What’s the difference?” She snapped. “She’s always there even if we’re just dealing with you and I! She’s the reason why everything is falling apart.” Miranda said, dropping her head in her hands.

“She’s the reason why I’m pulling myself back together.” Draco growled, knowing that it was a complete lie. “Don’t blame other people for your mistakes Miranda.” He told her.

“Was it my mistake to leave so I can pull myself together again?” Miranda asked. “I’m not going to lie and tell you that it didn’t hurt at all when you rejected me.”

He scoffed irritated. “And I’ll lie and tell you that it didn’t hurt at all when you cheated on me with my best friend.” Draco snapped sourly.

Miranda’s face softened. “You didn’t seem to care.” She said. “You knew and you never said anything. I didn’t do it to hurt you Draco.” Miranda told him. “I loved you then, and I love you now. I felt nothing for Wesley.”

“Then why did you do it?” he asked her, suddenly not believing a word that came out of her mouth. “Why did you spend all those years cheating on me behind my back?” Draco suddenly wanted to make her feel the pain that he did. He wanted to see her body fill with the pain he knew about, and he wanted to be the reason behind it.

“I-I, I don’t know!” she explained, stammering. “He came onto me one night, and it – it just started there.”

Draco rolled his eyes. “Whatever, it doesn’t really matter anymore.” He said. “Leave Hermione alone.” He turned around, opened the door and left Miranda again, for the second time that night.

His flat was dark and quiet when he had returned. Draco saw Hermione’s purse on the coffee table, and her shoes discarded by the door, so he knew that she was home. Draco still had no idea how to face her, and frankly he was a bit frightened at what she would have say to him. He took his coat off, placing it on the back of the couch and slowly walked down the hall and towards her bedroom.

The two hadn’t spoken all night, and Draco knew very well that he owed her an apology. Without knocking, he slowly opened the door of her room and found her tucked under the covers of her bed. He unfastened his tie as he slowly walked into her room, and sat on the side of her bed.

Draco cleared his throat. “Granger?” he asked nervously. “Granger.” He repeated, louder this time. She didn’t open her eyes, nor did she stir. Draco sighed, coming to the conclusion that she was already asleep. He leaned over, placing his elbows on he knees and dropped his head in his hands. He wasn’t sure what he was going to do, and he knew very well that he couldn’t allow their relationship to go on like this forever. “Merlin.” He breathed, taking his head from his hands to face her.

She was breathing at a normal pace, her chest rising and falling every so often. The moonlight illuminated her skin, and he could see a faint glow around her. The shining engagement ring sitting on her left hand caught his attention, and Draco abruptly remembered why he was sitting here staring at her. He remembered why Hermione Granger had been pulled back into his life- because he made it so.

“I’m sorry.” Draco whispered softly. “I didn’t know what I was doing- I don’t even know why I did it.” He felt incredibly stupid apologizing to someone who was sleeping, but he felt safer and more reassured. Probably because Hermione wasn’t awake to scream at him after he had apologized.

The night’s events came rushing back into his head. “I’m sorry that I dragged you into all of this.” He said. “I wish that I had chosen someone else. I wish I had chosen someone who didn’t have to adjust to this sort of life, someone who was already bound to a pureblood lifestyle. Someone unlike you, Granger.” Draco remembered the things he had said to Miranda this evening as he felt the weight come off his chest.

He remembered what Miranda had said about the difficulties of fitting into their lives, and how Hermione definitely couldn’t survive. There definitely was truth to what he had said to her. Draco meant every single word he had said about Hermione. He chose her because she was something entirely different. Hermione didn’t come from a family that raised her to believe what he did, and she definitely didn’t live a pressured life. She was everything he wasn’t, and to him- it fit. Because of her constant arguments, complaints and retorts, it kept him sane. He had something to expect when he came home, he had someone to bother when he was bored, and he had someone to look after in public.

In short, Draco had someone there. Despite the short amount of time she had been in his life, she had slowly been filling up the cracks on the sidewalk for him- the cracks that Miranda had created by walking out. Hermione may have done it in a strange and unorthodox fashion, and it may not have been what he was hoping for, no- it was a lot better.

Draco definitely didn’t want another Miranda in his life, and he definitely didn’t want someone worse. He wouldn’t be able to deal with constant interruptions at work, late night exploits or full days dedicated to one person. Miranda was practically requesting for his entire life to be dedicated to her, and knew he couldn’t give her that.

“Goodnight Granger.” Draco finally whispered. He stood up and walked out of her room, closing the door behind him.

Hermione breathed out carefully, and opened her eyes once she had heard the door close. She rolled over onto her back, carefully thinking about what Draco had just said to her. She distinctly remembered what she had heard thought he door of Draco’s bedroom, causing her to shiver with disgust. Hermione glanced at the door of her bedroom, watching as Draco turned out the light in the hallway and heard him walk into the bathroom.

She thought to herself for a moment, grasping the sides of her blanket. Was there really something more to Draco Malfoy than she thought?

A/N: So i decided that the wait for the next chapter has been too long already. i had actually finished this chapter about an hour after the previous chapter has been published, and i had just decided to post it up a week later.

Because the provious chapter was so incredibly disappointing (i know most of you wanted to bite Miranda's head off, and most of you just wanted to slap some sense into Draco), this chapter should've been a little more interesting ^_^. most of you should be happy that Draco had finally come to his senses, and Miranda was left crying. But this won't be the last you've seen of her, trust me ;) .

The next chapter should be out in a week or so, since i've got a bit more time on my hands. So read and review! Hope you guys like this one :)


Chapter 13: Chapter Twelve
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

By: Gryffindorgirl153

Chapter Twelve

Hermione woke up the next day with a pounding headache. She felt around her bedside table for her alarm clock that has been ringing for the past twenty minutes, and threw it across the room hoping that it would finally stop ringing. It was incredibly cold in her room, and she wondered if Draco had opened the windows in her bedroom.

She had auror training in the morning, and she knew that she couldn’t miss anymore days. Hermione rolled over in her bed, and felt her headache intensify with every move she made. Her arms and legs felt incredibly weak, and so did the rest of her body when she attempted to stand on her own two feet. Hermione strained to keep her eyes open, and her forehead creased as she tried to contain the pain, pounding in her head.

As she opened the door, she stumbled out of her bedroom and walked straight into the bathroom for a shower. Hermione groaned in pain as she hunched over the bathroom sink. She fumbled with the mirror, trying to pry it open with her hands, but she couldn’t seem to find the edges of the mirror. As soon as she got the medicine cabinet opened, her hands skimmed through the several bottles stacked on the shelves. “What kind of person doesn’t keep aspirin in their house?” she muttered to herself angrily.

Opening the door of the bathroom, she slowly walked over to Draco’s bedroom, not caring if he was still there or not. She opened the medicine cabinet in Draco’s bathroom and found that it was almost empty except for a few necessities. Hermione then remembered that Draco was not a muggle, and he probably had no idea what aspirin even was.

“God, my head.” Hermione said, groaning as she held her head in her hands. Before exiting Draco’s room, she noticed that his bed was neatly made and it didn’t seem like he slept in it either.

Hermione’s headache still did not disappear. In fact, her headache had simply gotten worse. There was about fifteen minutes before she had to floo to training. She quickly got dressed, and dried her hair. Hermione grabbed her bag, slipped on her shoes and flooed into the Ministry where her class agreed to meet for the day. 

The Ministry was filled with several people bustling in and out of the fireplaces, getting to where they needed to go. Hermione spotted Ron’s flaming red hair amongst a small crowd standing in the front of an empty corridor. “Hermione.” Ron greeted civilly.

If it weren’t for the massive headache pounding against her head at the moment, Hermione would’ve sincerely apologized for her absence and for partially leaving her life with them to start a new life with Malfoy. Unfortunately, her headache was too intense to ignore, and she didn’t want to argue and plead to Ron in order for him to finally accept her decisions. “Hello Ronald.” Hermione said, erasing any sign of pain from her face. “How are you?” she asked.

“Fine.” He answered. Hermione narrowed Her eyes at Ron when his actions sunk in. He was acting like a six year old who was in a fight with his older sister.

Hermione rolled her eyes. “Ronald, honestly please don’t continue acting like a child about this whole situation.”

Ron glared at Hermione. “I am not acting like a child.” He said through gritted teeth. “And I have every right to react this way.” Ron said. “You’re getting married to that bloody git as if you had no choice.”

“Please.” Hermione said, shutting her eyes, hoping that she would feel better. “Don’t start this. You honestly have no idea how hectic everything is.”

“Then walk away from everything.” Ron said in a pleading voice, attempting to convince her to walk back into her old life, picking up right where she had left it the night she ran into Malfoy. “This is the ferrets problem, not yours. I don’t see why it’s you that has to help him with his own problems.”

She sighed. “I can’t back out now Ron.” Hermione told him. “I do regret agreeing to everything, but I just can’t go back on my word.”

There was a moment of silence between them, and Ron’s features softened. Hermione knew that she had gotten through to him, but she wasn’t sure if he would finally let this go or not. “He’ll break you.” Ron said softy. “You’re already a lot different than how you were before.” He said. “He promised that he’ll give you a divorce in a year or two, but what if you won’t want that anymore? What if you’re not longer Hermione Granger, but Hermione Malfoy?”

Hermione allowed the words to sink into her head, and she soon realized what Ron meant. He was afraid, jealous and angry all at the same time. “You think that I’d eventually want to spend the rest of my life with him?” she questioned. “Ron, I’ll still be me- the girl you knew since you were eleven years old.” Hermione told him. “I won’t ever change, and no one- especially Malfoy will cause me to change.”

Ron laughed bitterly. “C’mon Hermione.” He said. “Look at you. You’re no longer happy.”

“I am happy.” Hermione replied, although she knew it wasn’t very convincing. She wasn’t sure if she was trying to convince him, or herself. “I am happy.” She repeated.

He shook his head. “Malfoy took away the spark that made you, you.” Ron told her. “You might as well be walking with a dark cloud hanging above your head.”

Hermione looked away from Ron, knowing very well that there was no point in arguing with him. “Alright?” Harry asked Hermione once he had joined the two who had settled in silence.  She nodded, giving him a small, weak smile that told him otherwise.

The simulation of the day was in a dark, burning forest. The class has been split up into two teams, and both teams had to survive the other’s attacks. It was a game of strategy and strength, something Hermione could barely focus on. She had detached herself from Harry and Ron, running off onto her own so perhaps they may cover more ground apart rather than together. Half of her brain told her that it was incredibly foolish to go off on your own, but the other half, the more conscious half told her to do so.

Trees were collapsing everywhere around her, as the forest went down in flames. The thick smoke made it almost impossible for Hermione to see five feet in front of her, and the loud sounds of the trees colliding with the ground made it impossible to hear anything but her own breath. She rested against a tree, which wasn’t incased in flames, and felt her head spinning in circles. She began coughing loudly as more smoked engulfed her body. Her eyes began to tear, and she could no longer see anything but grey blurs, and small black figures coming after her. Her hands gripped the trunk of the tree tightly, hoping to find some kind of support as her knees weakened. The pounding in her head intensified and she felt as though she was spinning around and around, up until she had finally hit the ground.


Draco was sitting furthest from the white board, consumed in his own thoughts. His father was standing in the front of the room, ranting about something he probably already knew enough about. There were several other witches and wizards sitting along the long table, all dressed in black and grey suits- all were listening to Lucius Malfoy intently. Draco fiddled around with his quill until it no longer entertained him, and he soon moved to doodling on the paper in front of him.

He felt like he was a Hogwarts student once more. Sitting in the back of class as the Professor rambled on about something that he could care less about as he doodled on his parchment or textbooks. Draco suddenly wished that he was back in school, and all he had to worry about was his own well-being and his grades.

A knock on the door brought Draco out of his thoughts as his own personal secretary walked inside as she apologized for her abrupt presence. “I’ve just received an owl for Draco, sir.” She said to Lucius from the door. “From a Ms. Ginny Weasley. It’s said to be urgent.”

Hermione’s face immediately came into his mind as he stood up and excused himself from the meeting. “I’ve placed the letter on your table.” His secretary said, before she departed from him and walked over to her own desk right outside his office.

Draco walked into his office, picking up the folded letter placed on the middle of his desk.

Hermione’s here at the Burrow.
She has a high fever- mother is taking care of her.
Ron and Harry brought her here after she collapsed while in training.
Collect her if you’d like,
But she may stay here as long as she wants.
I thought I’d inform you before you have a fit.
-Ginny Weasley.

P.S. If she’s ever returned to us like this again,
There’ll be hell to pay.
Understand, Ferret?

A small smile formed on Draco’s face after reading Ginny’s threat. Despite his urge to piss her off even more, she knew better than to anger a redhead, especially if she’s a Weasley Woman. God knows how far their tempers can go. Draco dropped the letter in his pocket, and grabbed his wand from the drawer in his desk. Draco apparated right outside of the Burrow and he proceeded to knocked on the wooden door.

“Malfoy.” Ron said, glowering at him from the other side of the doorway. “What do you think you’re doing here?” he growled.

Draco cleared his throat, prepared to act as civil as he possibly could. He knew that Granger would have his head if he were to act rude towards her friends. The fact that Mrs. Weasley was standing not far from the door also contributed to his attempt of a civil attitude towards Weasel. It was also a rather stupid idea when there are three against one. “I’m here to get Hermione.” He said, biting his tongue to prevent any insults slipping past his lips. “I was told that she fainted, and was brought here.”

Ron crossed his arms over his hands. “You really think that I’m going to just hand her over to you?” he demanded. “You obviously don’t take good enough care of her.”

Ginny appeared behind her brother, and pinched him on his right arm causing Ron to yelp in pain and back away. “Ignore him.” Ginny told Draco as her eyes narrowed at her older brother. “Ronald, don’t you dare.” She snapped at her brother as Ron began walking back to the doorway. “Go help Harry with the car or something.” Ginny ordered. Draco fought back a laugh when Ron pushed past Ginny and headed towards the back of the house. “She’s right in here.”

She led Draco through the house and into the sitting room where Hermione was lying on the couch. Molly Weasley was hovering over Hermione, her wand pointed to her forehead. “Mum’s been trying to get her fever to go down, but it’s still pretty high.” Ginny told him. “If things get worse, then I suggest you take her to St. Mungo’s.”

Draco nodded. “Thank you Mrs. Weasley, but I’ll take it from here.” Draco said, stepping around the coffee table and sitting on the edge of the couch, feeling Hermione’s forehead.

Molly stepped back with a hesitant look on her face. “If you can, try to give her some muggle remedies.” She said. “Maybe her body will respond to that better than magic potions. And try to get some food down her stomach, preferably something hot.” Molly wasn’t sure if she was able to trust Draco with someone who was practically her daughter.

He nodded again, smiling up at her. “Thank you Mrs. Weasley.” Draco said. “I’ll take good care of her.” He pushed more of Hermione’s hair away from her forehead and neck, noticing that she had begun to sweat. Draco’s hand rested against her forehead as she felt her temperature.

As Molly looked down at the young couple, she was suddenly reassured that Draco would indeed take care of Hermione. She wasn’t exactly sure what it was, but she had the idea that it had to do with the way Draco looked at the woman resting below him. Perhaps it wasn’t much, but she knew that she couldn’t keep Hermione from him. Molly could see that he wouldn’t even allow it.

Draco gathered Hermione up in his arms, adjusting her head so that it was lying against his chest. Hermione’s eyebrows knitted together, and she buried her head deeper against his chest. “Thank you again.” Draco said sincerely. “And please thank P-Harry and Ron for me as well.”

Ginny nodded. “Please keep her home for a while until she’s well.” Draco walked to the fireplace as Ginny followed him. “And remember what I said to you Malfoy.” She said with a threatening voice. Draco was beginning to understand why both her brother and boyfriend were afraid of her.

He grinned at her. “Thanks Weasley.” Draco said, quiet enough so that Mrs. Weasley didn’t hear. Rolling her eyes, Ginny threw floo powder in the fire, and watched Draco disappear with Hermione in his arms.


The sound of the doorbell brought Draco out of his thoughts. He was sitting on the floor in front of the coffee table, leaning against the couch as he watched television. Hermione was sleeping behind him, a thick blanket wrapped around her body. A cold towel was placed on her forehead, but she was still sweating.

Draco stood up, placing the remote on the table, and walked to the door. He took a quick look at Hermione who began to stir in her sleep. “Go back to sleep.” He said softly, pointing his wand at the towel, making it colder with a simple charm. He opened the door, and suddenly regretted his decision. “This is the first time you’ve actually used the front door and the doorbell.” Draco said.

“Stop being so cynical Draco.” Miranda said, stepping around him and entering his flat without an invitation. “Would you just please talk to me properly for once?”

He shut the door behind her before stepping in front of her. “What do you want?” Draco asked.

Miranda sighed. “To give you another chance.” She said, her nose high in the air. “Let’s go out to dinner and perhaps I can think of forgiving you.” She was wearing a short black dress with dark red pumps. “Go get dressed Draco.” Miranda said. “I made reservations for eight thirty tonight.”

Hermione heard voices by the doorway, and all she wanted was complete quiet, other than the sound coming from the television. Her entire body was on fire, and the blanket placed on her didn’t make her feel any better. She wasn’t sure who the other woman in the room was, but she could recognize Draco’s hushed voice. She took the towel from her head, and threw it on the table as she pushed the blanket from her body. As soon as she picked up her body, she felt her head ringing.

Very clumsily, she placed her feet on the ground, and stood up, trailing her fingers over the arm of the couch for support. Hermione opened her eyes fully, and walked over to where Draco was standing, his back to her. She reached out, gripping his right arm and came face to face with Miranda.

“Hermione.” Miranda said her eyes narrowing as she caught sight of Hermione. “I’m sorry but Draco’s going to have dinner with me tonight.”

Hermione looked up at Draco, who looked completely torn between the two women. “Is he now?” Hermione asked, ignoring the pain in both her body and head for the moment, as she prepared herself for what was to come. “Well I’m sorry Miranda, but Draco, my fiancé has to stay home tonight.” She said sternly.

Miranda looked from Draco to Hermione and back to Draco. “Draco?” she asked. “Let’s go.” She said, as her eyes bore into his.

Draco sighed, looking away from her and focusing his mind on his fiancé. The term fiancé suddenly didn’t sound so horrible to him- however; the fact that it no longer did, sent shivers down his spine. “Miranda, we spoke last night.” He said. “I told you already, I’m getting married.” Draco placed his arm around Hermione noting how noticeably she eased away from his touch.

Miranda eyed his arm around Hermione, before she looked up to glared at him. “You know Granger, you won’t survive in this life style.” She spat, her eyes falling on Hermione once more. “He’ll drag you down, and you won’t even notice it. Just remember that.” She turned around quickly, but then turned her head back towards the couple. “You won’t get another chance Draco.” Miranda said, threateningly. “Once I walk out of that door, I’m gone.”

Hermione rolled her eyes, and shoved Draco away from her. “Goodbye Miranda.” Hermione snapped, pushing her out of the door and closing it on Miranda’s very surprised face. She locked the bolts, and secured it with her wand before she turned to Draco with a glare.

Expecting a bemused and horrified expression from Draco, Hermione was extremely shocked to find him leaning against the doorway with a large smirk on his face. “What are you smirking at?” She snapped angrily, walking back to the couch. Hermione could tell that he was struggling not to laugh. She, unlike Draco, was not amused by this situation. Hermione was disappointed at Draco, and seething at the same time. She knew that what Miranda said wasn’t true- she knew that she had another act up her sleeve, and she would stop at nothing to get Draco back in her life.

Draco laughed. “I told you.” He said, still smiling as he sat back down on his previous spot on the floor. “It would be completely insane have the two of you in the same room.” Draco pulled the blanket up around Hermione’s body once more when she had settled into the couch.

Hermione rolled her eyes and slapped his hand away from her forehead. “You’re the most idiotic man on the planet, did you know that?” she asked him, rolling on her side to face the television. “You can’t even stick up for your own bloody self. And to a woman at that!” 

His face suddenly softened, and he turned away from her as remorse settled in him. “I’m sorry Granger.” Draco said, apologizing once more. “For last night.” He continued. “I didn’t really realize what I was doing until I’ve done it.”

“Are you talking about what happened in the manor or what’s been happening in the past five or so years?” Hermione asked, suddenly remembering what he had said to her last night after the party.

Draco thought for a moment. “Both.” He answered.

She slapped the back of his head. “That’s not all you’re getting.” She snapped. “You never apologize to people, do you?” Hermione said, her eyes closing.

He chuckled. “How can you tell?” Hermione merely laughed in response.

They both fell into a short period of silence. Hermione closed her eyes, in attempt to rest, while Draco continued watching television, occasionally cooling Hermione’s towel with his wand. “Malfoy.” Hermione began, her eyes still closed. “Pansy said something to me the other day.” She said. “She thought that I should tell you.”

“What?” Draco asked as he began flipping through the channels.

“She thinks that the wedding may have to be moved up earlier.” She said, slightly fearing his reaction. “Pansy said that it should get Miranda and the Minster off our backs, as well as your fathers company.”

He went silent for a moment, until he turned to Hermione. “I’ve actually been thinking the same thing too.” Draco said. “I just wasn’t sure if you’d be okay with it or not.”

Hermione sighed, and turned so that her back was facing him. She left Draco with a hanging question- left him wondering what her answer would be. And with that in her mind, she drifted off into a deep sleep.


“He’s going to bloody regret everything he’s ever done.” Miranda muttered darkly as she walked down the streets of London and into the Three Broom Sticks. “Granger will wish that she had never agreed to marry that stupid prick, and I will soon have him all to myself.” She sat down on an empty stool by the bar and ordered a small glass of firewhiskey. “Stupid bloody mudblood.”

A chuckle came from beside her, and she was surprised to see Wesley Carrow sitting beside her with a drink in his hand. “Talking to yourself Miranda?” he asked. “You know, people say that it’s the first step towards insanity.” Wes grinned.

She glared at him. “What are you doing here you prat?” Miranda asked unpleasantly.

Wesley turned away from her, looking down at his wand in his hands. “They’re going to move the wedding up to an earlier date, did you know?” he asked her.

Miranda turned to him and said, “What are you talking about?” she asked with disbelief. “Draco’s not to be married until his next birthday.”

He shook his head. “Draco isn’t stupid, Miranda.” Wesley said. “He knows what’s going to come, and to be ready for it, he needs Hermione to finally settle down as a Malfoy.”

“He won’t ever agree to that.” Miranda said, turning away from him. “I know Draco, and he’s not about to let go of something that he’s had for years.”

Wesley smirked. “What makes you think that Hermione isn’t enough for him to give that up?” he asked. “You did after all, cheat on him for a long time.”

“What’s your point?” she snapped. “What do you want me to do about it?” Miranda asked angrily. “Grovel at his feet and beg him to take me back?” She growled, and indulged herself into more firewhiskey. “I will never go so low as to beg for a man to take me back.”

“You’re a woman.” Wesley said. “Think of a plan to get Draco back. Merlin knows you’re conniving enough to pull something like that off.”

Miranda narrowed her eyes at him. “Why do you care so much?” She asked. “What do you get out of their break up?”

“Nothing that you should be concerned of.” He answered. “Just do what you have to, and in time Draco will come running back to you.”

Wesley stood up, dropping some sickles on the counter before he walked around Miranda and towards the exit. “This doesn’t have anything to do with that Granger girl, does it?” Miranda demanded angrily. She threw a galleon on the table, it being the smallest amount she had. “Are you serious?” She insisted as she followed him out of the pub, her heels clicking against the cold stone floor. “You want me to steal Draco away from that mudblood so that you can have her for yourself?”

“Maybe I do.” Wesley snapped, turning around to face her. “Don’t call her that.”

Miranda snorted loudly. “Well, Wesley.” She said, crossing her arms in front of her chest. “I must say- your taste in women had worsen over the years.”

He glared at her. “You’re just angry because you weren’t able to steal someone else’s man for the first time in your life.” Wesley retorted.

“She’s dirt!” Miranda exclaimed. “She’s the type of person that we walk on to wipe our shoes with!” she said. Miranda stopped to think for a moment. “However, if you distract her enough then Draco may begin to see how much of a whore that woman really is.”

“You’re a spoiled brat, did you know that?” Wesley sneered.

She laughed loudly. “Who was the one encouraging me to steal Draco away from Hermione?” Miranda asked. “Do your job in distracting the mudblood, and I’ll do mine in convincing Draco that she’s just simply not for him.”

Wesley sighed. “It’s going to get harder you know.” He said. “Their wedding date will be pushed up, and they’ll be swamped with wedding plans. Do you think you can get Pansy to help out?”

Miranda rolled her eyes. “No.” she spat, thinking of the friend that had betrayed her. “She’s on Granger’s side in these kinds of matters. And since they’ve got Pansy on their side, it’ll be a lot harder.”

“We’ll manage.” He replied. “Oh, Miranda.” Wesley called, just as she was about to walk away from him. “Don’t bring your father into this. Play nice.”

She smirked. “I can’t make any promises, Wes.” Miranda said, a devious plan forming in her mind. 

A/N: I'm soo sorry for the long wait until the next chapter. I was planning to post this chapter up while the queue was closed, but then i never got to finished it. So i hope you guys enjoy this one ^_^

I know, i know. You all thought that Miranda went bye-bye because of the last chapter- well, she obviously didn't. You guys will be seeing much more of her and Wes and in the next few chapters. You might even begin to hate Wes as much as you hate Miranda. Who knows? (; But at least Draco is finally coming to his senses, and he's beginning to shy away from Miranda now. I ALSO see a bit of chemistry between Hermione and Draco, don't you guys? ^_^

So, enjoy this chapter. I've been working on something new for a while now but i'm not sure how long i'll take this one. I'm working on rewriting Lost Memories since i'm not too entire happy with how everything is going right now. I'm also working on re-writing Confessions Lies and Secrets of Melanie Benson. It'll be the same plot and everything, just a bit different. I feel that Adrianne is straying too far away from her friends, and I don't like that.

So hang tight- summers here FINALLY. So i've got a bit more time on my hands. I do go out during the day, and i'm planning to do some volunteer work this summer, but no worries- i stay up late at night anyway, just texting away so i might as well work on something while i'm at it :).

There'll be a bit more fics coming out, since it's summer and everything i'd like to base it on the upcoming season. ^_^ my fics do centralize around romance and a bit of angst here and there, so it'll probably be about that. (: .

Enjoy guys- please remember to read and review. You guys keep me motivated by all your wonderful reviews ^_^.


Chapter 14: Chapter Thirteen
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

By: Gryffindorgirl153

Chapter Thirteen

Propitiously, it only took another day for Hermione to get back up on her own two feet. Fortunately for Draco, it only took Hermione two days of being sick to finally start talking to him like they normally did. There was much teasing involved and a few slaps on the head. This however, was the root of their relationship, and neither of them would give up anything to change that.

Hermione and Draco would’ve probably never gotten in this situation if it weren’t for their teasing and a mutual goal they shared in humiliating the other. Their fate as enemies was inevitable, but in spite of that, they never chose to disregard the relationship blooming from the cracks.

It was seven o’clock at night, and they had both decided that it was time to begin planning the almighty wedding, knowing that they wouldn’t have a say in anything else if Narcissa Malfoy decided to take the reigns. “Merlin Granger.” Draco said exasperatedly. “How long does it take you to choose a bloody date?” he asked, sitting next to her on the couch in their sitting room. “It’s just a bloody wedding!”

She glared at him. “As I said before, Malfoy.” Hermione said. “If we’re going to get married, we’re doing this right. I wouldn’t want my parents asking me why I didn’t even bother putting that much effort into my own wedding.”

“Aren’t we already doing this right?” he asked. “You just take so long to pick one date.”

Hermione ignored him, and shifted her body so that she was facing him. “All right, what’s your favorite number?” she asked him.

Draco rolled his eyes. “99.” She slapped him on his arm. “What was that for?” he exclaimed.

“From 1 to 31.” Hermione snapped. “Pick a number.” She instructed him.

“Four.” He replied.

She sighed. “That’s so early in the month!” Hermione complained. “How about, the twenty-fourth?” She then scowled at her own idea. “Too late in the month.”

Draco let out a groan of annoyance. “Just pick a date! We’ve been on this topic for almost an hour now.” He snapped. Hermione glared at him. “Women!”

“How about the sixteenth?” Hermione asked, ignoring Draco’s comment. “It’s right in the middle of the month.”

“Fine, whatever.” Draco said, scribbling down the date. Before Hermione cold say anything more, he held up his hand to stop her from talking. “I already wrote it down- you can’t change the date anymore.” He said quickly, with a hint of annoyance in his voice. “The date of the wedding isn’t all that important.” He muttered under his breath.

“Sure it does.” Hermione said, intertwining her fingers in a piece of yellow ribbon. “People say that if the date of the wedding isn’t set right, then their marriage will turn into a load of dung by the time they reach a month of marriage.” She flashed Draco an innocent smile. “You don’t want that to happen to us, now do you?”

He scowled at both her teasing and sarcasm. “Granger, this marriage is doomed either way, so let’s just get on with this.”

She chuckled heartlessly. “That’s right.” Hermione said, standing up, smoothening out the large Jersey she wore in order to cover up her legs and skipped into the kitchen. “It’s you and I getting married. What was I thinking, trying to make this work out?” As she opened the cupboard, pulling out two long glasses and lemonade and iced tea from the refrigerator, Hermione couldn’t help but smirk when she practically heard Draco roll his eyes and scoff. She walked back into the sitting room, handing Draco his lemonade and setting down her glass of iced tea. “Just because you think it’s not going to work, you’re not even going to try?” Hermione asked, sitting back down on the couch.

“Now, the guest list.” Draco began, ignoring her. “Whom shall we invite?” he asked.

“Draco.” Hermione said with a stern voice, puling the notepad from his lap. “At least try to make this work. Please?” she asked him softly. “I don’t want to have to spend the next year of my life arguing with you and living in reciprocated hatred.

He took back the notepad from her, and sunk deeper into the couch. “It’s not like I’m purposely mean to you, Granger.” Draco said. “It just slips out of anger. Don’t worry.” He said before Hermione could say anything else. “I’ve gotten used to you in my life already- I think I can last another year with you here.”

Hermione took a deep breath. “Your parents, my parents.” She began, not wanting to continue their previous conversation. “Pansy, Blaise, Theodore, Daphne, Astoria and her parents.” Hermione said. “The Weasley’s, and Harry.”

The guest list went on and on. “Since when did we know so many people?” Draco asked, his eyes wide. “Father will have his own friends to invite, and so will my mother.” Hermione nodded, yawning a bit. “So will my parents. Also, there’s the matter of other guest bringing uninvited guests. We should start sending out invitations and ask everyone else to R.S.V.P immediately.”

Draco nodded. “I’ll have my mother make them.” He said. “Merlin knows that she’s dying to have some control over this.”

“Why is planning a wedding so difficult?” Hermione asked, stretching her tense body out. “I can’t believe some people actually enjoy this.”

He scoffed. “Mostly old mothers who would like nothing better than to see their sun married and out of their house.”

“Neither of that describes your mother.” She informed him.

“My mother simply wants to see me suffer because she knows that there’s something wrong with our relationship.” Draco replied.

Hermione laughed. “Your mother is a smart woman.”

“Not smart, Granger.” Draco corrected as he added a few more names to the guest list. “Conniving.”

She snorted. “That’s not a very nice thing to say about your own mother.”

“That’s only because you don’t know her very well.” He replied.

Hermione shrugged, stretching her legs out by Draco’s sides, and resting her back against the arm of the couch. “What else is there to plan?” she asked him. “There’s the matter of the best man, brides mates and my maid of honor.”

He nodded. “Who will it be?” Draco asked, turning to Hermione.

“Ginny will be my maid of honor.” She answered. “Pansy could be one of my brides mates.” Hermione said. “Blaise will be your best man, I suppose?”

Draco nodded. “Would you like a flower girl and a ring bearer?” he asked.

She shrugged. “Sure, but I don’t know any little girls. But I do have an idea of a ring bearer.” Hermione said. “Teddy Lupin may be our ring bearer. And little Victoire can be our flower girl.”

“Father will have a heart attack once he see’s half the Weasley clan attending our wedding.” Draco said to her, half-heartedly.

Hermione rolled her eyes, throwing the ribbon at Draco’s face. He proceeded in tossing it back on her stomach, ignoring the kick Hermione sent to his side.


“Is this the house?” Draco asked, breathing heavily as he and Hermione appeared from the darkness of the forest. “You’re right, it’s a load of dung.” He commented with a look of pure spite plastered on his face.

Hermione watched as he doubled over with his hands on his knees. The sun had reached its peak in the sky hours ago, and it was beginning to sink upon the horizon. She laughed, clapping her hand against Draco’s back. “You can’t honestly tell me that you’re tired.” Hermione said, shaking her head at him. “What happened to all those years of Quidditch?”

He looked back at the forest, and then returning back to Hermione’s face. Draco raised his hand, pointing back at the cluster of trees. “Do you know how far the apparition point was?” he asked as his breathing began to even out. “I’ve never had to climb so many rocks in my life!”

Slipping her hand off his back, Hermione rolled her eyes and began walking across the field of wheat. “Stop being such a little girl Draco.” She called back. “Even I have more stamina than you!” Once she had reached a willow tree not far from the house, she looked back to see if Draco was still in his previous spot. “Hurry up Draco!” Hermione shouted. “We’ll have to walk through that forest in the dark if we don’t leave here before it’s close to dusk!”

Draco groaned as he picked his heavy body up and ran towards the old ramshackle house. He paused before walking up the stairs, noticing a large lake behind the house. The large deteriorated tire swing caught his attention, as it allowed the wind to swing it to and fro.

“Malfoy.” Hermione called from inside the house. “Get in here.”

He found her in a large room on the right side of the staircase. A low whistle escaped his lips. There was a large hole in the middle of the room, with various remaining floorboards crossing through the middle. There was a fireplace on the other side of the room, with a large dusty mirror resting against the mantle. A grand piano sat in the corner of the room, with a red velvet sheet covering half of it. Both the piano and sheet was covered in a thick layer of dust.

“Be careful.” Hermione whispered to Draco, gripping his arm once his left foot came close to the hole in the floor. “I’ve never been inside here before. I don’t trust these floorboards.”

Slowly and steadily, Draco and Hermione made their way to the grand piano. The keys, as well as the rest of the piano were covered in dust as well. It was evident that the previous owner of the house forgot to pull down the cover for the keys. “Do you think it still works?” Hermione asked, her fingers lightly touching the dusty keys. “We could fix it up. Use it for the ceremony.”

Draco shrugged. “Perhaps.” He replied. His middle finger pressed hard against three keys, causing the piano to give a horrid sound. “It’s out of tune.” Draco told her.

“Can you play?” she asked, walking over to the fireplace.

He shook his head. “I used to. However, I forgot everything mother taught me.” Draco answered, suddenly feeling nostalgic.

Hermione carefully maneuvered her way around the hole in the floor, walking over to the doorway in the left side of the room. “How long do you think it’ll take to fix this place up?” she asked. “Would we be able to do this by magic?”

“Granger, watch out!” he shouted, pointing to the lose floorboard that Hermione stepped on.

The house made a loud complaint, followed by an even louder shriek coming from Hermione. Several floorboards fell to the floor below, along with Hermione. “Granger?” Draco asked, leaning against the sturdy side of the ground. He heard her coughing, most likely because of all the accumulated dust in the house. “Are you alright?”

She pushed floorboards off her body and wiped the dust from her face before she looked up to face Draco. “Could you get me out of here?” Hermione asked loudly, suddenly fearing what was hidden in the darkness. “Fast?”

“Do you have your wand?” Draco asked her after spending a few moments surveying what he had to work with.

Hermione shook her head. “I didn’t think that it was necessary.” She said. “Could you just get me out of here?” Hermione asked desperately.

He groaned. “Lets get something straight here.” Draco said. “We need to start bringing our wands around with us, everywhere we go.”

“Shut up, and get me out of here!” she cried, dusting herself off.

“There’s nothing here to pull you up.” Draco told her.

Hermione looked up and glared at him. “Then what? Are you just going to leave me here because you can’t find anything to pull me up?” she snapped angrily.

Draco thought for a moment. “I’ll go back home and get my wand, and you can stay here and wait!” he suggested.

“Do not leave me here!” Hermione shouted in response. “You can’t leave me in a creepy old house Malfoy.” She told him desperately. “Malfoy!” she shouted, watching him walk out of the room. “Draco!” Hermione screamed. “Draco, get back here!” But no matter how loud she screamed she didn’t hear his footsteps enter the house once more.

Hermione shoved her hands in her pockets, hoping that she had brought her wand with her. She took a good look at her surroundings, and noticed that the cellar was almost empty with an exception of several boxes lined up on the right side of the room. The other three corners was almost pitch black, and she couldn’t see if there were stairs leading back upstairs. The sun was beginning to set, and the room was getting darker and darker as minutes went by.

“Get a grip of yourself, Hermione.” She said, turning to look behind her. “You’re a grown woman who shouldn’t be afraid of the dark. You’ve faced a lot of scarier, more life threatening situations than this.” Unfortunately, Hermione had realized that talking to herself didn’t bring her much comfort.

“Boo.” A loud scream erupted from Hermione’s throat, as she jumped and turned to face the man behind her, who was currently doubled over laughing.

Hermione’s heart was pounding against her chest, and she narrowed her eyes at Draco. “You prat!” she shouted, smacking the back of his head. “That was not funny!”

He nodded, still laughing. “Yes it was. I can’t believe you’re scared of the dark.” Draco said, laughing loudly. “How old are you, Granger? Ten?”

“How did you get down here?” she asked him, ignoring his comments.

“If you weren’t too scared,” Draco said, chuckling a bit. “You would’ve noticed that there are stairs right over there.” He pointed behind them, and in the dark, Hermione could see the faintest outline of wooden stairs.

As she rolled her eyes at Draco’s immature behavior, she began walking towards the stairs, with Draco following closely behind her. She had barely gotten three feet away from her previous spot, before her feet collided with something, causing her to trip and fall over.

Draco, who was behind her, erupted in another round of laughter. “Malfoy.” Hermione growled, realizing that it was he who had tripped her. “Really?” She asked. “How old are you, fourteen?” Hermione snapped as she continued walking to the stairs, carefully watching where she was walking. “Don’t you dare trip me again, or I’ll beat you into a bloody pulp.”

With as much sarcasm intended, Draco coward behind his arms like a scared little toddler. “I’m so scared.” He whimpered.

“Shut up.” Hermione sneered, walking up the stairs and exiting the cellar. “I can’t believe I’m about to marry an adult who hasn’t quiet grown up yet.” It was now dark, and she regretted even visiting the house at all. “Great, now we have to walk through the forest in the dark.”

Draco disregarded her last comment. “I can’t believe that I have to marry a woman who’s scared of the dark.” He shot back, following her into the forest. “I don’t understand why we can’t just apparate.”

“There are muggle hunters who walk around her at night.” She answered, stepping over a long log. “There are several of them hidden in the bushes in order to hunt, so we can’t do anything magical.” She turned around, stopping Draco from walking any further. “And for the record- I’m not afraid of the dark. I was just being aware of my surroundings.” Hermione resented.

She turned around again and continued walking down the path she had marked ages ago. Draco raised his eyebrows at her. “Okay, whatever you say Granger.” He said. “I wonder how you can sleep at night without a nightlight.”

Hermione closed her eyes as she tried to restrain herself from bashing his head against a tree. “I’m not afraid of the dark, Malfoy.” She repeated.

“I’m even surprised that you can walk through the dark forest right now without a wand.” He continued as they walked up a hill. “Or perhaps it’s only possible because my manly essence makes you feel safe and secure.” Draco smirked at the arrogant thought. “Yeah, that must be it. Having a big strong man like me must make you feel really safe, doesn’t it Granger?”

A scoff escaped her. “Sure it does.” Hermione replied, sarcasm dripping from her voice. “You’re so brave, Malfoy. Just like time when you ran away from the invisible attacker throwing snowballs at you? Very brave.”

Draco scowled, recalling the incident back in their third year. “I just wanted to get away from that ruddy Potter, that’s all.”

Hermione laughed loudly, throwing her head back. “That’s very brave of you, Malfoy. Running away from a thirteen-year-old boy throwing snowballs. Very brave indeed.”

“At least I don’t have a fear of something a little three year old girl would be afraid off.” Draco snapped back.

“Actually, I do believe little three year old girls are afraid of thirteen year old boys.” Hermione replied. “And that’s a lot more pathetic for you, since you are- as you say, a big strong man.” She giggled again, and continued walking forward. However, something caused her merriment to cease. “Oh bugger.” She muttered under her breath.

Draco stopped closely behind her. “What is it?” he asked, frowning. “Why did you stop?”

“It just ends.” Hermione said, looking forward into the distance. “Someone messed with the trail. It just ends right here.”

“Then can’t we just keep walking forward?” Draco asked. “We didn’t take any complicated turns anyway.”

She shook her head, and stopped him from walking any further. “No,” Hermione told him. “You don’t get it.” She said. “Someone completely changed the trail, and led us far from the other side of the forest. I have no idea where we are right now!”

He groaned. “This is why we have to carry our wands with us!” Draco snapped angrily. “Honestly, what kind of wizard or witch leaves their wand at home?” Hermione rolled her eyes, and she began looking around her surroundings. Unfortunately, darkness engulfed the forest, making it impossible to see further than a few feet in front of them. “What do you propose we do now?” Draco asked irritably. “We’re stuck is some godforsaken forest!”

“You tell me!” Hermione snapped exasperatedly. “You’re the big, strong, brave man. What shall we do, oh great one?” she shot at him. “I know one things for sure. There’s no way in hell I’m being stuck in a forest with you all night.” She began walking forward, hoping that it would be the correct way out.

Draco scoffed. “Any woman in their right mind would simply love to be stuck in a forest with me for an entire night.”

A scowl formed on Hermione’s face as she watched his head inflate. “Shut your mouth, Malfoy- before your head gets too big for your body to support.” She told him angrily. “And unlike those other women, I’d prefer spending my night in a warm, soft bed- away from you.”

He laughed loudly. “Why darling, once we’re married- we’ll be forced to share a bed.” Draco said, smirking. “And maybe even conceive a child.”

With a disgusted expression on her face, Hermione abruptly stopped before Draco even had a chance to wiggle his eyebrows at her. “There is absolutely no way that I am going to have a child with you.” She said sternly. “Let’s just get that straight right now.”

Arms folded across his chest, Draco looked at her. “What’s so wrong with having a child with me Granger?” he asked. “A wife is supposed to carry a mans child.”

She shook her head quickly. “Lucky for me, I’m not yours or any man’s real wife.” Hermione said to him, placing her hands on her hips. “I will not bare your child! Do you have any idea how painful childbirth can be? And how long it can take?”

Draco shrugged. “At least it’s not me giving birth.” He replied, walking around Hermione and towards the direction they were heading towards. “You’ve got hips, don’t you Granger? Aren’t they suppose to make childbirth less painful?”

“Emphasis on less.” Hermione retorted. “Just because it makes it less painful, doesn’t mean it won’t be painful at all.” She told him. “And we’re getting a divorce in a year or so. You can have a child with whatever other woman you choose after me.”

Much to her surprise, Draco turned and pouted at her. “But Hermione,” He said, his voice low and sweet. “I don’t want anyone but you.” Draco told her softly. “I can’t imagine my life without you there by my side. Losing you would be like losing the air I breathe, and the ground I walk on. Everything would just fall apart right from under me, and I’d end up falling into a dark abyss with no hope in finding my way out.”

Throwing her head back, Hermione laughed loudly, and continued walking, avoiding large rocks that were in her way. “You’re incredibly hilarious Malfoy.” She said. “You know, that almost would’ve been sweet if your voice wasn’t dripping with tons and tons of sarcasm.”

Draco laughed nervously, suddenly wondering himself if he was sincerely joking or not. However, he shook the idea from his head after fear crawled into his body. “Do you think we’re going the right way?” he asked, gulping.

“Erm,” she replied, ducking once she neared a low tree branch. “I’m not sure. I’ve never seen this part of the forest before.”

The sound of a low growl filled his ears, and he was positive that Hermione couldn’t sound so realistic. “Granger, is there any animals around here?” he asked nervously, looking around the trees and shrubs. “Wolves or bears perhaps?”

“I’ve never really been out here this late at night to find out.” She replied. “Why? Did you see something?”

Draco shook his head. “Keep walking.” He told her. “There’s nothing here.” Unsure who he was reassuring; Draco gave a small push, telling her to continue walking forward. “Just don’t make any sudden movements.” He leaned forward and whispered in her ear. “You never know what’s hidden in the dark.”

“You’re scaring me Malfoy.” She said anxiously, turning around to eye him. He was currently scanning the darkness, hoping to find a clearing of some sort. “Do you see anyway out?”

“Just keep walking Hermione.” Draco ordered. “Don’t look back.” Out of the corner of his eye, a large animal crept close to the ground was watching them. “Don’t start running until I tell you to.”

Hermione made a move to turn around, however, Draco’s hands flew to her shoulders and immediately steered her back around. “Just listen to me, and do as I say.” He said. “Trust me.”

Out of fear and anxiety, Hermione held her breath, and began counting to a hundred. Draco had led her straight forward. While their steps were calm and natural, he however, wasn’t. He kept an arm around her waist, while the other gripped her left arm lightly. His sudden awareness hinted to Hermione that there was something wrong and dangerous coming for them, and all she could do was trust what he was telling her to do.

As a twig snapped behind them, another low growl broke the silence. Hermione’s heart jumped out of her chest and Draco immediately tightened his grip on her body, holding her as close as possible. “Run, and don’t stop running.” He ordered, gripping her hand tightly. “There’s a lot more coming.”

Snarling, the wolf began running for them, launching at its prey. Draco quickly ran as fast as he could, pulling Hermione along with him. “Do you see that?” he asked, almost breathless.

Hermione looked up from the ground, and saw the small clearing that she had been hoping to see for the past hour. “It’s getting closer!” she shouted, looking back. Draco was right. There were about five more other wolves chasing closely behind the large brown one that they had seen earlier.

With its lip pulled back, she was able to see the sharp white teeth that would tear both her and Draco apart if they had no made it to the clearing in time. The wolf growled, and launched itself at Hermione. She felt Draco grip her sides once more, hosting her up and preventing her from falling to the ground.

A gunshot rippled through the air, followed by a low whimper. Despite this, Hermione and Draco continued running for the clearing, knowing that if they were to stop- there were more wolves coming for them. Carefully, Hermione looked back to see what had happened to their attackers. “Don’t look back.” Draco ordered. “You might trip and fall. Just keep running.”

Turning her head forward, Hermione kept running. For what seemed like thirty minutes later, they had finally reached the clearing and found that the apparition point was merely a few feet away. Draco immediately stopped running, and looked back into the forest. “Are you alright?” he asked, breathless as he turned to Hermione.

She nodded, breathing heavily as well. She looked back into the forest, only to find that two muggles had captured the wolf, and was now bringing it home for dinner. “It’s horrible that they can do that to animals.” Hermione whispered softly.

Draco turned to her with disbelief. “You almost got eaten by a wolf, and you’re thinking of the horrible things hunters do to animals?” he asked, surprised. “You’re unbelievable Granger.”

Shrugging, Hermione chuckled a bit as she caught her breath. “Are you alright?” she asked him.

“Not a scratch on me.” Draco said, grinning at her.

Hermione sighed with content, and her heart suddenly sped up. She collapsed into Draco’s chest, trying to control her unsteady heart rate. “That was so scary.” She whispered.

“It’s over.” He said to her, winding his arms around her body.

Once Hermione had lifted her head from his body, she found herself standing in the middle of their flat. “I didn’t even notice that we apparated back.” She said to him, looking around. Walking away from him, she collapsed onto the couch, kicking off her shoes and propping her feet up on the coffee table. “This was a heck of a day.”

Draco chuckled. “Yes it was.” He agreed, picking up her upper body, pushing it off to make room to sit.

“Ow.” She muttered, lying back down. “What time is it?” Hermione yawned. Draco’s answer was incoherent to her, as she drifted off to sleep.

Chapter 15: Chapter Fourteen
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

By: Gryffindorgirl153

Chapter Fourteen

An unusual silence had fallen in between the couple the next morning, causing an obstruct feeling to settle in the pit of Hermione’s stomach. Before Draco had left for work, there was an unconventional tension, leading to silence. She didn’t know what had aroused the unwanted tension, but she was sure that she had much rather fought with him rather than stay in silence for another minute.

She heard the door open, followed by heavy footsteps. “Granger?” she heard him call out.

“I’m in the kitchen!” Hermione replied loudly.

Opening the Daily Prophet, she scanned for any important news. Her eyes were ripped away from the words on the paper, and were focused on Draco once he had entered the kitchen. “Here.” Draco set down sets of paper in front of Hermione as she drank her morning coffee.

Hermione looked up at Draco groggily, and released the daily prophet. “What is this?” she asked him, taking a piece of paper in her hand. “A lease?”

Nodding, Draco sat down in front of her after he had poured a cup of coffee for himself. “For that house that we’re planning on using for the wedding.” He said. “I figured that we might as well buy it and get someone to fix it up before the wedding.”

“You bought the house?” she asked, surprised. “How much was it?”

Draco suddenly leaned forward and grabbed yellow parchment on the bottom of the pile and stuffed it in his pocket. “No need to worry about how much it cost me.” He told her. “It wasn’t much anyway.” He said, shrugging. “And plus, it could always come to use after the wedding.”

With a confused look, Hermione sorted through the rest of the papers he presented to her. “And how would it come to use?” she questioned.

He took a sip of his coffee, and Hermione became amused at the awkward look that formed on his face. “Well, after the wedding, we can’t exactly continue living in this flat made for one.”

“So what are you saying?” she asked. “That we could move into the house once we’re married?”

Draco shrugged and leant back against the chair. “It’s a thought.” He said to her. “They’re going to be wondering why we’re still living in a flat. My mother will be pestering us about how a house is the most suitable place to raise children and not in an apartment like this one.”

Taken by surprise, Hermione choked slightly on her coffee. “Children?” she asked with apprehension. “I thought we agreed that there will be no children involved in this little relationship of ours.”

“Did we?” He asked. “Well, I’m not exactly interested in having children right now either.” Draco said. “We could always say that it didn’t work out- us having children. We tired, and it didn’t work.”

Hermione nodded. “I guess that’s legit enough.” She said softly. “Or we could always say that it was a miscarriage. There are a lot of reasons couples can’t have kids.”

“So it’s settled then?” he asked her. “We’ll move into the house after the whole wedding, and we’ll lie and say that we tried to have kids but it just never worked out.”

“Well, what’s another lie going to do?” Hermione asked, agreeing. “You do know that moving into the house, we’ll need to buy new furniture, and we’d have to hire someone to fix it up and we’d be spending a fortune on the wedding!”

Draco stood, and placed his empty mug in the kitchen sink. “Don’t worry about the money Granger.” He said, placing his hands on her shoulders- a gesture of reassurance. “I told you, I’m going to handle everything.”

His hand slipped from her shoulders, and he began to walk out of the kitchen. “Malfoy!” Hermione called. “Why don’t we fix up the house ourselves?” she asked, getting up from the kitchen table and walking towards him. “We could do it with magic so that it’ll only take us about a day.”

“Are you sure?” he asked. “We could just hire someone you know. I don’t think either of us has any idea how to renovate a house.”

She shrugged. “How hard could it be?” she asked. “We’ve got magic, no? We could just rely on that.”

Giving up, Draco turned and walked into is bedroom. “Get dressed!” he shouted from his bedroom. “Don’t wear anything nice- you’ll be ruining it.”


After hours of work, the couple took a step back and took a good look at what they had done. The entire house had been re-done in less than a day, all thanks to magic. The whole exterior has been changed- the wood renewed and the house repainted. Walking inside, the coupe was greeted by the smell of wet paint, and a shiny floor. All doors were replaced, and the stairs had been carefully redone in order to avoid any injuries. The fireplace was dusted and detailed- all thanks to magic.

“I don’t know what we’d do without this.” Draco said, holding his wand up. “We did pretty good, Granger.” He told her, followed by a low whistle. “All we need is to shop for some furniture, and bring my mother in here to start planning the decorations she’s just dying to throw around.”

Hermione chuckled. “You’re mother is helpful.” She said.

A short moment of silence fell between them, and for once- neither of them wanted to break it. Hermione walked around with her hands on her hips, observing the details of their paint job. “You know what this calls for?” she asked, turning around to face Draco with a smile on her face. “We should celebrate tonight.”

His face broke out into a grin. “Celebrate?” Draco asked. “For fixing up an old house?”

She nodded, still smiling. “We fixed this whole place up in less than a day!” Hermione exclaimed, throwing her hands up in the air and spinning around, indicating that they had fixed up the whole house from ground up. “We should get some kind of reward for this, should we not?”

Sighing, Draco looked away and continued to admire their handy-work. “You know what Granger?” he began. “I think we should.”

Hermione’s face immediately brightened. “Really?” she asked, her smile larger. “What are we going to do?”

“How about I take you out to dinner tonight?” he asked.

The smile on her face dimmed and her hands dropped. “Malfoy, to be honest- I’m getting really tired of all these fancy dinners where I have to wear really painful shoes and short dresses.” She said to him. “How about, I’ll choose the place tonight.” Hermione said. “You need to try something new for a change.”

His face looked confused. “Where are we going to go?” Draco asked.

“C’mon.” Hermione said, taking his hand in hers and apparating to the front door of their flat. “I finally learned that it’s extremely handy to carry around our wands everywhere we go.”

They entered their flat, and Hermione turned to Draco. “Go get ready, and put on some jeans and a t-shirt.”

Before she was able to walk to her room, Draco’s voice stopped her. “Where exactly are we going?” he asked her.

She smiled. “It’s a surprise.”

An hour later, it was already eleven-thirty, and Draco sat in the living room flicking through channels while waiting for Hermione to come out and get ready. “Ready?” Hermione’s voice caused Draco to jump up on his seat.

A small laugh escaped from her lips. “Did I scare you?” she asked, smiling. “Let’s go.” Hermione said, grabbing his arm and hosting him upwards.

“Why is it that woman take so bloody long to get ready?” He asked her, walking out the door of their flat and locking it behind him. “You took almost an hour and a half.”

“Well, I was sort of just standing in the shower- that’s why I took so long.” Hermione answered. “And all the paint that you got on my hair took so bloody long to remove. I had to go through half a bottle of shampoo!”

Draco snickered. “It’s not my fault that you couldn’t get out of the way in time.” He retorted.

As they walked towards the door, Hermione turned around and gave him a look of disbelief. “Who actually chucks an entire bucket of paint at the wall and uses the excuse that it’ll work faster, when really- all that paint will just drip down to the floor.” They walked out the door, and entered the elevator.

“Hey, it worked!” he replied. “After I stopped the paint from going all over the floor with my wand, everything worked out okay.”

Hermione scoffed. “Everything but my hair turned out okay.” She said.

He grinned in response, and they left his flat, turning right and walking down the dark street. “Are we walking there?” Draco asked.

She nodded. “It’s not far, it’s about two to three blocks down.”

After walking for about five minutes, Hermione led Draco into a muggle pub. “Is this where we’re going?” he asked, staring at the old men sitting on the bar. They were slouched over their drinks, their eyes half open. The several other tables in the pub were empty except one, which two women occupied. “This place looks rather- lively.” Draco said.

“Just follow me Malfoy.” Hermione said, walking to the back of the pub.

Before she was able to enter the girl’s lavatory, Draco stopped her. “Hold on, why are we going in there?” he asked.

“The entrance is inside.” She answered, pulling him inside the bathroom by his wrist. “It looks nasty, I know.” Hermione said once she noticed the look of disgust on Draco’s face. “If you weren’t a wizard, you’d smell the stench in here too. It’s their way of warding off muggles.”

Stepping over toilet paper covered with flies, Hermione led Draco to the biggest stall. A groan escaped Draco’s mouth when the contents of the toilet were revealed to him. Hermione pulled out her wand from her back pocket, and tapped it on the dirty tiles beside her. Almost instantly, the toilet flushed itself, and moved forward, revealing a set of stairs leading down.

“C’mon.” She said, taking his hand and leading him down the steep stairs. “It’s just right over here.”

Behind the staircase, a thick black curtain covered the back wall. Pointing her wand at the rings, Hermione muttered a charm and it immediately flew open.

Draco stared at the sight before him, bewildered. “It’s just- bricks.” He said. “Is this a joke Granger?”

Rolling her eyes, Hermione pulled him forward and walked through the wall to find herself face to face with a turbocharged crowd. A grin formed on her face, and she proceeded to walk around the dance floor, and to the bar on the left hand side of the pub. “The usual please.” Hermione said once the bartender had approached her.

“And for you sir?” the man asked, turning to Draco.

“Just firewhiskey for me.” The bartender-nodded ad pulled a bottle of firewhiskey from under the bar, and placed it in front of Draco. He then proceeded to conjure a long narrow glass in front of Hermione, filling it with green and red liquid.

Hermione pulled the glass towards her and thanked the bartender. “Enjoy.” He said, smiling at the two. She looked at the crowd, and took in the blaring music before she took a sip of her drink. The pub was dark, with multi colored lights roaming around the room, and dim orbs of light floating above the crowd. It was just like a muggle night club- only better.

Draco brought the glass to his mouth and took a long gulp. Hermione gave him a look. “You’re not up for anything stronger?” she asked. “Draco- you need to loosen up and get that stick out of your butt.”

Laughing, he stared at her. “Hermione Granger is telling me to loose up. Ah, it looks like hell has frozen over.” Draco said, chuckling. “Now how did a girl like you find a place like this?” he asked her. “And it looks like you come here often enough to have a regular drink.”

“Well before I started my auror training, Ginny insisted that I had a night out to myself. She brought me here, and we’ve been coming here ever since.” She answered. “Of course, Harry and Ron don’t know a thing- they think that we spend the night in my flat watching movies and pigging out on ice cream and sweets” Hermione said, finishing her drink and ordering another one. “Harry would have a heart attack if he saw the way Ginny moved out there.”

Draco laughed loudly, setting his bottle of firewhiskey down. “Who would’ve thought that the Weaselette doesn’t like to bring it with her man.”

“You’d be surprised what a drunk woman is capable of, Draco.” Hermione said teasingly, finishing her second glass of alcohol.

A deviant smirk formed on his face. “Why don’t you show me then?” he asked. “You better watch out Granger- I don’t think your tolerance for alcohol will last this whole night.”

Hermione giggled, and stood on her feet. “Draco, I don’t think your tolerance for alcohol will keep up with mine.” She pulled Draco off his chair and pushed past several people until they were standing in the middle of the dance floor. “I bet you never had a party like this.” She said loudly, dancing along with the music. “Just move Draco!” Hermione said, laughing when she noticed that Draco was simply standing there. “Dancing isn’t so hard.”

Looking incredibly uncomfortable, Draco began moving slightly- failing miserably. However, his body became rigid once again as he felt a set of hands on either side of his body. “Just move.” Hermione instructed, moving her hands a long with his body- aiding him in dancing. “You’re getting it.” She said, smiling.

She turned around, and allowed the alcohol to take over her body. She closed her eyes, the music filling her head and laughed when she felt Draco move closer. “Keep going, you’re getting it!” Hermione shouted, loud enough to be heard over the music. “Come.” She said, taking his hands and leading him back to the bar. “You need something a little stronger than that firewhiskey.”

“Mike!” Hermione shouted, leaning over the bar. “Give me two of the strongest drinks you’ve got.”

“Coming right up!” The bartender shouted.

Two drinks slid down towards them. “What is this?” Draco asked, looking at the clear liquid.

“I have no idea- just drink it!” Hermione exclaimed, drinking everything in the small glass in one shot. “C’mon Malfoy- let’s see which one of us will end up throwing our stomach up by the end of the night.”

Draco was able to finish his drink in one shot as well, before Hermione pulled him back onto the dance floor. “There we go.” Hermione said, smiling as she felt Draco loosen up in front of her. “Just to warn you, Draco-” she said. “You might get a really bad hangover tomorrow.”

However, Draco was unable to hear her soft voice over the loud, raging music. Hermione and Draco danced the night away, getting drunk and dancing some more. It was about four-thirty in the morning, when Hermione and Draco stumbled back into their flat- completely wasted.

“Watch it!” Hermione shouted loudly before Draco could collide with the table, giggling a bit as she closed the door behind her. Being less drunk that he, Hermione walked over to him and guided Draco towards his bedroom. “Who knew that you had such low tolerance, Malfoy.” Hermione said, laughing.

A frown formed on Draco’s face. “Shut up.” He grumbled, dropping down on his bed.

Hermione bent down in front of him and began taking off his shoes. “What are you doing?” Draco asked, slurring his words.

“Hold still.” She ordered as he began kicking his feet. “I’m taking your shoes off so you can sleep.”

“Sleep?” He asked, sitting up and looking around. Hermione threw his shoes in the corner of his bedroom and moved on the bed to take his jacket off. “Why are you taking my clothes off?” he mumbled, his eyes half closed.

She chuckled. “Because you’re extremely sexy, and I must see you with your clothes off.” Hermione pulled the jacket off his arms and threw it on the floor.

Draco turned, with a large grin on his face. “Really?” he asked hopefully.

Hermione laughed. “What ever suits you Malfoy.” She said, unbuttoning his shirt. “What are you doing?” she asked him when his hand moved on top of hers, stopping her from unbuttoning his shirt. “Draco, let me just take this off so you can sleep.”

However, Draco didn’t move his hands away from her. Her eyes rose to his, and she found him gazing back at her with intensity. “Draco.” Hermione said softly, trying to break the intensity. “Draco.” She repeated after a few seconds.

She felt his eyes move over her face, around her cheeks and lips and finally back to her eyes. “You’re beautiful.” He whispered. “So beautiful.”

Hermione didn’t know what caused her to do it. Maybe it was the intensity of the moment she had just shared with Draco. Perhaps it was the warm, tingling sensation that was spreading from her hand, all throughout her body. Maybe it was his eyes that seemed to be permanently glued onto hers. Or maybe it was the reason and truth in his voice that made her do what she did. Maybe it was feelings that had been bottled up I her body for longer than she had liked.

She didn’t know why all she could think about at that moment was Draco. She didn’t realize where all the hatred she had held for him had gone. Harry, Ron, Ginny, Wesley and his mother had all left her mind, and she had no idea why.

“Draco.” Hermione breathed as she was pushed back against the bed.

She didn’t know why she had done what she did. She didn’t know why she kissed him.


Dear Readers,

yes i know, it's been FOREVER since i updated this story. almost two months? :O wow, i sincerely apologize, since i had writers block for the longest time. if i had written anything during that time, then this chapter would've came out horrible- and nothing like this.

so please be patient when waiting for a chapter. since school started, i may not really have time to write much- and i usually take about a hour or two to write a complete chapter. this chapter was pretty short- only about 3000 words. i try to make my chapters filled and juicy, so it might take long. i DO have a life other than writing, graphic making and school. so between this, school work and other responsibilities i do try to fit in some fun, so i am pretty busy these days. i STILL do take request @ TDA, or any other forum you see me around in. i'm rarely on MSN these days, but i do try to sign on for you guys.

please read and review! i'll try to get the next chapter in quickly.


Chapter 16: Chapter Fifteen
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

By: Gryffindorgirl153


She didn’t know why all she could think about at that moment was Draco. She didn’t realize where all the hatred she had held for him had gone. Harry, Ron, Ginny, Wesley and his mother had all left her mind, and she had no idea why.

“Draco.” Hermione breathed as she was pushed back against the bed.

She didn’t know why she had done what she did. She didn’t know why she kissed him.


Slowly, Draco pushed Hermione back against the bed, his hands trailing down her sides. “Draco.” Hermione breathed. She smelled his scent as her head hit his pillow, allowing herself to drown in it. His mouth tasted bittersweet, with the hint of alcohol and lime.

His breathing turned ragged, and soon, Hermione felt cold. She felt the weight on her body leave her, and as she opened her eyes- she realized that Draco had fallen beside her on the bed. A bitter scoff escaped her lips when she heard him snoring. “And he falls asleep.” Hermione said, rolling her eyes. “Way to leave a girl hanging, Malfoy.”

Laughing softly, she rolled off the bed- forcing all her thoughts of Draco to stay on the bed behind her. She turned the light off as she left the room and entered her bedroom, not even bothering to change out of her clothes before she climbed under the covers and fell asleep.


The sun streamed through the curtains of Draco’s room, moving towards his bed and over his eyes. As he opened his eyes, he realized he had a pounding headache that just wouldn’t go away no matter how much times he closed and opened his eyes. Groaning, he rolled over to his back and draped his arm over his eyes. He suddenly smelled something he hasn’t smelled in years- the aroma of an amazing breakfast.

“So is this how you treat a bloke’s hangover?” Draco asked upon entering the kitchen. “By cooking pancakes, bacon, eggs and sausages?”

Hermione laughed, and placed a tower of pancakes in front of Draco. After seeing the look on his face, she spoke. “Trust me, after how much you threw up last night you’ll be devouring this in a matter of minutes.”

He chuckled. “I could get used to this, you know.” He said, looking down at his plate full of food. “Waking up to this kind of food.” Draco sunk his knife into his pancakes covered with syrup and butter. “I never knew you could cook Granger.”

“I can only cook breakfast.” Hermione said, sitting next to him and digging into her own food. “I’ve never really had to cook myself lunch or dinner before – I always went out for that.”

“I could live with this breakfast every morning.” Draco replied happily, his mouth full of food. “Maybe being married to you won’t be so bad after all, Granger.”

She stared at him and laughed. The sound of her high-pitched laugh rang through his ears, sending a strange feeling throughout his body. He wasn’t quite sure about anything, since his mind was still clouded by the alcohol, but he knew he wanted to hear her laugh again. “It sounds like what everyone says is true- the way to a mans heart is through his stomach.”

Shoving some eggs into his mouth, he spoke, “Well I don’t know for all the other blokes out there in the world but I’d fall in love with any woman that can cook me an amazing meal.”

Hermione poked her fork through her teeth- tasting the metallic tip. “Couldn’t Astoria cook well?”

Draco looked up from his plate and thought for a while. “She’s,” he took a moment to think of the proper word. “Adequate.”

“Just Adequate?” she wondered.

He nodded. “Adequate. She’s never made me breakfast- so I wouldn’t know.” Draco responded. “Personally- breakfast is all that matters for me.” Draco lifted his head and watched Hermione nod. “Why? What does it matter if Astoria can cook or not?” he questioned.

Shrugging, Hermione began pushing food around on her plate. “Well you left her for me…” she trailed off.

“Because I didn’t like her person.” He replied, knowing the next few questions Hermione was going to ask him. “I prefer living with you for a year or two rather than her. Haven’t I told you this before already?”

She looked at him. “I always wondered why you felt that way.” Hermione said. “Astoria’s- beautiful, rich and she’s a blue blood.”

“If I thought any of those attributes were important in a woman, do you think I would’ve settled with you and not her?” Draco asked. “She’s vile, she’s self centered and she’s a brat. She expects too much of me than a fake wife should expect from a fake husband.”

Sighing, she looked up and smiled in attempt to lighten up the mood. “So do you have to go to work today?” Hermione asked.

Draco nodded, finished with his breakfast. “I haven’t gone in a while, so I think I should go in today.” He answered. “How about you? You have training today, don’t you?”

She nodded as well. “I really, really don’t want to go – but I guess I have to.” Hermione stood up and placed her empty plate in the sink, along with Draco’s. She walked over to the furthest right cupboard, and pulled out a vile filled with a red liquid. “You must have a pounding headache right now.” Hermione said, placing the potion in front of him. “You threw up your stomach last night.

Draco frowned, looking at the potion. “I threw up last night?” he asked. He pulled the cork out of the vile and brought it up to his lips. Before he was able to touch the tip of the vile with his lips, Hermione pulled his hand away. Draco gave her a curious look.

“You’re allergic to figs aren’t you?” she asked him. Without waiting for an answer, Hermione walked over to the sink and filled a tall glass with water and poured the potion inside. “I personally like figs, so I made these potions with figs in them. It’s more diluted this way- so it’s fine if you drink it like this.”

He looked at her, but drank the potion anyway. “How did you know I was allergic to figs?” Draco asked.

Hermione shrugged, grabbing his plates and placing them in the sink. “I remember back in Hogwarts- you accidentally ate a fig and almost had a seizure in the middle of the great hall.”

Draco looked down, remembering the incident very clearly in his mind. “I didn’t know you remembered that.” He said quietly.

“I have an amazing memory, Malfoy.” She said. “Maybe that’s the outcome from reading all those books.”

He laughed. “Of cou-.” A knock coming from the door interrupted Draco in mid-sentence. “I’ll get it.” He said to Hermione, who was washing the dishes by hand. Draco quickly walked to the front door and unlocked the bolts, only to find his mother standing in the doorway with a trunk floating behind her. “Mother.” He said, a hint of annoyance in his voice.

“Draco, darling- good morning.” Narcissa Malfoy greeted.

“Mother, your trunk.” Draco said. “This is a muggle apartment building. You can’t just walk around with trunks floating behind you!”

Narcissa sighed and sent her trunk inside Draco’s apartment. “Oh hush up Draco. It’s not like the muggles saw me use magic.” She said- sticking her nose back into the air and stepping right into their apartment.

He closed the door behind her and locked the bolts once more. “Mother, what are you doing here?” Draco asked. “And with your trunk, I might add.”

“Mrs. Malfoy, hello!” Hermione exclaimed, rushing towards Draco and his mother.

“Good morning Hermione.” Narcissa said, nodding her way and turning back to Draco. “Draco, your father has gone away for business- and insists that I shouldn’t stay in the manor all by myself. So I’ve come to stay with you two.” She finished, clasping her hands together.

Draco and Hermione quickly glanced at each other and back to Narcissa. “You’re going to be staying here? With us?” he asked slowly. “In this apartment?”

Narcissa nodded. “Is that a problem?” she asked. “You two do have an extra bedroom, am I correct? With the purpose of a guest room?”

“Uh- yes we do.” Hermione replied. “It’s quite alright Mrs. Malfoy. We’d love to have you here. I’ll just take your trunk to the guest room then.” She smiled kindly at the old woman and looked back at Draco once she had reached the trunk. He was staring at her with wide eyes. She quickly mouthed the words ‘DISTRACT HER. KEEP HER AWAY FROM THE BEDROOM.’

“Er- mum, lets go into the living room. We’ll let Hermione get the guest room ready for you.” Draco said leading her into the living room. “I’ll show you how to use the television.”

Narcissa gave her son a strange look. “The tely what?” she asked, sitting down on the couch. “And what is there to get ready for the guest room – It should be perfectly fine and ready for anyone to sleep in. Unless someone has been sleeping there.” She turned to look at Draco.

“Pansy stayed over two nights ago.” Draco responded quickly before his mother could assume any further. “Theo and her had a fight, so she came over here to spend the night.”

After about ten minutes of explaining to his mother what the remote was for and how it was used, Hermione came strolling into the living room with a nervous look on her face. “Well Narcissa- the guest room is ready for you.” She said. “I’m sorry, it’s just that - .” Draco’s arms flailing around behind his mother caught her attention.

‘PANSY STAYED OVER TWO NIGHTS AGO!’ he mouthed, putting two fingers up in the air.

“It’s just that we had Pansy over about two nights ago.” Hermione finished nervously. “But I’ve changed all the sheets for you and cleared out the drawers. We had a few old clothes piled there, but it was all moved into boxes.”

Narcissa pursed her lips. “Wonderful.” She said. “Well, I’ll just go in and put my things away. Draco, I simply just can’t understand this ridiculous invention.” Narcissa said, throwing the remote on the table. “I won’t ever need to know how to use that telly thing, or what ever it’s called.”

Hermione let out a breath she didn’t know she had been holding and dropped down on the couch next to Draco. “So what’d you do to the room?” he asked her, leaning back.

“I completely moved every single one of my possessions into yours. I changed the sheets, cleaned everything so there is not a single sign that I have been living there for god knows how long.” She replied. “You do know what this means right?” Hermione asked.

“What?” Draco asked fearfully.

“We’re going to have to sleep on the same bed for about a week. And act like we’re just head over heels in love.” She replied fearfully. “This should be.. easy.”

He nodded. “Easy- of course.”

“Piece of cake, right?” she asked, turning to him.

“Actually, I think this will be one of the worst weeks of my life.” Draco groaned. “It may just be the worst week of my life.”


After a long day at the office, Draco stood in front of his front door, searching his trousers for his house keys. “Damnit.” Draco muttered, realizing that he didn’t take it with his morning. He pulled his wand from his pocket and whispered “Alohomora”.

“Draco, is that you?” he heard Hermione call loudly.

“Yeah.” Draco responded loudly, taking his cloak off and setting it on the couch. “Mum.” He said, surprised, completely forgetting this morning’s events.

Narcissa placed the thick book she was reading on her lap and smiled slightly. “Good evening, Draco.” She said. “How was work?”

“It was great.” He replied slowly, turning his head towards the kitchen. “Where’s Hermione?”

Narcissa turned her head back towards her book and motioned towards the kitchen. “She’s making us some dinner.” She replied.

As if on cue, Hermione came running from the kitchen. Draco turned, only to be surprised for the second time that night as Hermione planted a kiss on his lips. “Evening honey, how was work?” she asked sweetly, a large smile on her face. She was wearing a pink apron over her clothes, and her hair was tied into a messy bun- several strands falling into her face.

“Great.” He replied, smiling slightly. Slowly, he leaned down to Hermione’s face and she felt his lips on her left ear. “You’re a fantastic actress, have I ever told you that?” he asked playfully.

Hermione rolled her eyes when she felt him smirk against her face. Draco kissed her softly on her cheek and proceeded to walk into the kitchen. “Your mother insisted that I cook dinner for the rest of the week.” She said, sounding tired and worn out. “She wanted to see what I would be feeding you for the rest of our lives.”

Draco laughed, and looked at the stove to see what she was cooking. “What ever this is, it smells amazing.” He said. “I thought you didn’t know how to cook.”

She pulled her wand from her back pocket and pointed it to the large pot. “I don’t know how to cook with my hands.” Hermione replied. “But I can do anything with a wand. I just don’t like using my wand at home.”

“So how was your day with my mother?” he asked as he pulled a bottle of firewhiskey from the refrigerator.

Hermione sighed. “She made me clean the whole flat, wash everything that was dirty and rearrange your bookshelf.” She replied. “Your mother is insane, Draco.”

Draco laughed. “Well, you only have to deal with her for only six more days.” He said, taking a drink of his whiskey.

“Only?” Hermione asked incredulously, turning towards him. “Draco, you cannot leave me alone in this house with her. I’m going to go mad!” she began pulling plates from the cupboard and set them on them on the dining table. “You CAN’T leave me here alone with her.” She waved her wand at the food on the stove and an even portion of food appeared on each plate on the table.

He grinned, and stepped behind Hermione as she poured a glass of wine for each of them. Wrapping his arms around her waist, he leaned forward and placed his lips close to her ear. “You do realize that if I don’t go to work this week, we need to flawlessly act like a happily engaged couple?” He whispered. “But then again, I wouldn’t mind doing this a few more times.” Draco said, smirking. “We’d have to act like we were- in love.”

Hermione rolled her eyes, fighting the urge to smile. She elbowed his stomach, causing him to reel his arms back to his own body. “Don’t make me laugh, Malfoy.” She said, placing the wine glasses on the table. “I would rather pretend that I was in love with you than stay at home alone with your mother for six more days.” The thought of what more his mother could make her do was almost painful to think about.

“Mum, dinner’s ready.” Draco shouted from the kitchen, taking his place at the middle of the rectangular table.

Narcissa Malfoy walked in with a disapproving look on her face. “Draco, next time you invite a guest to dinner, do not shout for them three rooms away.” She scolded. “How many times must I tell you this?” she asked, sitting down in the left side of Draco.

“Yes, I’m sorry mother.” Draco said, unfolding his napkin and setting it on his lap. “Just eat your dinner.”

Hermione took her place on the other side of Draco, and quickly pocketed her wand after pointing it at an uncooked cake on the counter. “I apologize for Draco’s behavior, Narcissa.” Hermione said, giving Draco a look that practically screamed ‘don’t leave me alone with her please’.

Dinner went by painfully slow. It was a never-ending chain of criticism towards Hermione’s cooking and their developing lifestyle. However each time Hermione turned to Draco for help, he seemed completely unfazed by his mother’s complaints and attitude. He ate his meal quietly, ignoring the rude remarks that left Narcissa’s mouth each time she swallowed a portion of her food.

Groaning inwardly, Hermione lost her appetite at the idea of spending the next few years tied to this woman.


Hermione stepped out of the shower with her hair-dripping wet. Hermione found Draco lying on the bed, slumped against the wall with a magazine on his naked chest. “Don’t you look ravishing.” Draco remarked sarcastically, taking a good look at Hermione’s attire. She wore flannel pajama pants and a large t-shirt that extended all the way to her knees. “You know, most women wear lingerie to bed, not oversized clothing.”

“I’m sorry to tell you, Malfoy- that I am not like those women.” She spat. “I actually prefer wearing comfortable clothes to bed.”

He stared at her as she climbed into her temporary side of the bed. “Shouldn’t you dry your hair?” Draco asked her once the smell of her shampoo flooded his nostrils. Clearing his throat, he continued. “You’re going to get my pillow all wet.”

Draco grunted when a mop of wet hair suddenly made contact with his face. “Gah!” he exclaimed, looking at Hermione who was laughing as she pulled her head back. “You are such a child, Granger.” He said angrily, wiping the water off his face. “The last time someone did that to me was when I was eight.”

“Oh don’t get your knickers in a twist.” Hermione said exasperatedly. “I was only having some fun.”

Leaning over slowly, Draco whispered, “I can think of other ways to have fun.” He wiggled his eyebrows at her suggestively, causing him to earn a light slap on the face with the back of her hand.

“Don’t be silly dear- we’re not even married yet.” She replied mockingly, putting on an appalled face. “Now, just stay on your side of the bed and I’ll stay on mine. Maybe that way we’ll be able to survive sleeping with each other for the rest of the week.”

Draco closed his magazine and placed it on his bedside table before he turned off the lampshade on his side. “Hey, remember I’m the mature one?” He asked her, recalling the last time they had slept on the same bed. “You were the one that colored my entire head with all the colors of the blasted rainbow!”

She rolled her eyes and turned the light off on her side. “I think you’re hallucinating, Malfoy.” Hermione said, pulling the covers over her body. “I did no such thing. Now go to sleep before you start imagining more silly, ridiculous things.”

He did not retaliate with smart, whimsical comebacks. Instead, Draco stayed quiet, staring at the ceiling, his hands folded on his stomach. He lost track of how long he laid on his back, staring at the ceiling. “Granger?” he croaked quietly, instantly regretting even making a sound. “Granger?” he repeated, suddenly curious if she was still awake.

“What is it Malfoy?” she asked sleepily, shifting her legs around under the covers.

Draco paused, thinking of what he wanted to say. “Do you regret it?” he asked her.

Hermione sighed and turned around to face him. “Regret what?” she questioned with her eyes half opened.

“Saying yes.”

He didn’t receive an answer for several moments, and for a second- he began to think that she had fallen asleep. “No.” Hermione answered finally, pushing her body deeper into the bed. “I don’t regret it. Not one bit.”

Allowing her answer to sink in deeper into his brain, Draco turned his head the other way and closed his eyes. “Thank you.” He whispered, before he finally drifted off to sleep.

A/N: HI GUYS! i'm so sososososososososo sorry it took me over a couple of months to write this chapter. there were SEVERAL different versions of this but nothing ever satisfied me. i was even hesitant to put this chapter up because i wasn't sure if this was where i wanted to lead it to. but i figured, you guys have gone SOOOOOOO long without an update, i should just post something up. i literally just finished this right now. there may be several spelling and grammatical errors- to be honest, i'm just too lazy to reread this and recheck everything. i'm quite tired and i'm going to head off to bed once i'm done writing you guys this ridiculously LONG authors note.

i left a note on my page saying that my muse has died- and it has. However, i AM trying to re-cooperate from this by trying to write more. BUT school has got me tied down and everything, and i'm ALWAYS so tired so i haven't had the time to write much. i know i've got TONS to update. i promise that i WILL try to write more. i have even taken a break from graphic making and now i do not know how to make a thing. sad isn't it? yes it is. i'm trying my best to get back into the game and i've realized that i've been neglecting my writing way too much these days. i promise i'll update once i get new and fresh ideas onto my computer !

some reminders. go check out my new fic! it's called SUPERMAN. featuring rose/scorpius. it's something different from what i've been writing so i thought i'd try it out. go read and review! lost memories.. i've abandoned that story for now since i've made a mistake in turning it pretty dark and angst. i liked how it started out but it's just not wworking for me anymore. er.. tarot cards- i am HOPING to finish the next chapter sometime soon. honestly i've only got about 10% of it down. not even - maybe 8%.

so anyway. i hope you guys are all doing great! keep checking back in for more updates :)
and btw. if you guys would like an email for an update, just leave a review and i'll be sure to add you to the mailing list !

ps. any request to be mailed before i posted this message up will be disregarded. i'm not going to look through several reviews for you guys. sorry :/ so just post another one up so that i can see it !


Chapter 17: Chapter Sixteen
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

By: Gryffindorgirl153

Chapter Sixteen


Draco paused, thinking of what he wanted to say. “Do you regret it?” he asked her.

Hermione sighed and turned around to face him. “Regret what?” she questioned with her eyes half opened.

“Saying yes.”

He didn’t receive an answer for several moments, and for a second- he began to think that she had fallen asleep. “No.” Hermione answered finally, pushing her body deeper into the bed. “I don’t regret it. Not one bit.”

Allowing her answer to sink in deeper into his brain, Draco turned his head the other way and closed his eyes. “Thank you.” He whispered, before he finally drifted off to sleep.


The next morning, Hermione awoke to the alarm clock on Draco’s side of the bed. She groaned, stuffing her face Draco’s pillow. “It’s too bloody early for this.” She muttered angrily, her voice muffled by the pillow. “Draco turn your alarm off.” She commanded loudly, closing her eyes again so sleep would come upon her once more.

About five minutes later, she began to realize the ringing of the alarm clock, blaring in her head. “Draco,” She spoke groggily, blindly hitting anything that was behind her. “Turn that bloody alarm clock off!” Hermione could’ve cried if she heard the sound for another minute. “You’re so useless!” she exclaimed, turning around angrily.

Suddenly, she realized the arm that was slumped around her stomach. “What the hell?” she wondered to herself- glancing at the man who was currently snuggling up to her shoulder. “You’re such a baby.” Hermione muttered to herself, rolling her eyes angrily. She tried pushing his arm away, which only resulted in Draco unconsciously tightening his hold on her body. “Malfoy!” she exclaimed. “Let me go!” The sound of the alarm clock blared even louder into her head. “Bloody hell! How are you still sleeping?” she shouted loudly. “Malfoy.” Hermione growled, falling back into the pillow after several failed attempts at moving his body off hers.

Being a non-morning person, Hermione closed her heavy eyes and slapped the back of Draco’s head repeatedly. “Let me sleep Granger.” He snapped, pulling her body closer to his. “Go back to sleep.” He mumbled, half asleep. “It’s still early.”

“Malfoy if you don’t get off me I will shove my wand up your-”

He frowned and lifted his head from her shoulder, causing it to fall on her hair. “What are you talking about Granger?” Draco said, almost incoherently. “Just go back to sleep. I think you’re dreaming.”

Hermione rolled her eyes, and tried pushing his arm away once more. The sound of the alarm continued ringing into her head, almost driving her to the brink of insanity. “Malfoy at least turn that bloody alarm off.” She cried angrily.

“You turn it off.” He whined sleepily, yawning a bit.

“I would turn it off if you would just get off me.” Hermione replied through gritted teeth. “Will you get off me now?” she asked civilly, trying to calm her anger down.

Draco frowned again, digging his head deeper into her tousled hair. “No.” He said childishly. “You turn it off.”

Angrily, Hermione smacked his head once more, hating herself for being so incredibly weak. “I swear if you don’t get off me I’m going to force you to sleep with your mother for the next week!” she shouted loudly.

He groaned, and opened his eyes. “What the hell?” Draco said, clearly annoyed. Suddenly, he paused and looked at Hermione. “Er..” he began awkwardly, staring at his arm wrapped around her stomach.

She rolled her eyes. “Will you get off me now?” Hermione asked, staring up at him. “Or turn that bloody alarm clock off.”

Draco jumped out of the bed quickly, as if he was just burned. He shut the alarm clock off, and an awkward silence fell upon them. He and Hermione looked at each other, not knowing what to do next. He cleared his throat, and ran his hand through his blonde hair. “Er, Granger.” He began with a mischievous smirk on his face. “If you wanted me so badly, all you had to do was ask. I mean, you didn’t have to pounce on me in my sleep.”

Hermione sat upright on the bed and immediately threw a pillow in Draco’s direction, hitting him square in the face. “Excuse me Malfoy, I believe I should be the one saying that to you.” She said, mimicking his smirk. “After all, you were the one on top of me.”

“Well, I do like to be in control.” Draco said as he placed his hands on the edge of the bed and leaned towards Hermione. “If you know what I mean.” He wiggled his eyebrows, and another smirk formed on his face.

Hermione sat in front of him; beat red and seething with anger and partial embarrassment. “Aw, cute, Granger.” He said, pointing to her cheeks and smiling cheekily. “I like that shade of red on your face.” Draco winked and picked himself up before he made his way to the bathroom- humming songs and whistling tunes. He was, without a doubt- extremely happy with his morning.


“Good morning Pansy.” Draco said happily, walking into his office. “You’re looking pretty this morning.”

Pansy looked at him through the curtain of hair covering her face. “Are you alright Draco?” Pansy questioned, suddenly worried. Draco was not a morning person. “What’s gotten into you this morning?” she asked, closing the folder she was holding in her hand.

“Oh, nothing.” He replied, still smiling. “What can I do for you Pans?” Draco asked, sitting down on his office chair and flipping through his messages.

Pansy continued staring, incredibly surprised with Draco’s behavior. “Draco, the last time I ever saw you check those was the first time you ever stepped in this office.” She said. “Are you drunk? Are you high? Did Hermione finally decide to drug you and kill you?”

He chuckled. “You’re so funny Pansy.” Draco pressed the button of the intercom planted on his desk. “Hey Potts, Oh- I mean Geraldine. Please move my 3 o’clock to one-thirty and my 5 o’clock to three. I’d like to be home early for dinner tonight.” Once he was finished he leaned back casually, enjoying the comfort of his chair. “Oh,” Draco leaned forward once more to speak to his secretary. “And after you do that, leave the rest of my messages on my desk and you can take the rest of the day off.”

“Certainly Mr. Malfoy.” Geraldine replied from the other line. “Sir, you have one last remaining message. From a Miss Granger.”

Draco’s ears unintentionally perked up. Pansy raised a thoughtful eyebrow at him, a small smile forming on her face as she realized what was wrong with Draco. “Uh,” Draco said as his eyes met Pansy’s. “Er, go on Geraldine.” He spoke, attempting to keep his cool.

“She requests that you pick her up from school today. She did not want to state the reason why.” His secretary said. “That is all Sir.”

“Very well Geraldine. Thank you, you may go now.” Draco replied. “What?” he asked, feeling Pansy’s eye on him.

She laughed. “I see what’s going on now.” Pansy said, sitting at the edge of his large desk. “I see why you’re so happy this morning.”

Draco laughed, smoothening his tie out. “What are you talking about Pansy?” he asked her, smiling like a fool.

“Look at you!” She exclaimed, pointing the folder at his sitting figure. “You even wore a suit to work today!”

He shrugged. “Hermione always nagged me about how un-professional it was for me to wear jeans to work everyday.” He replied nonchalantly, sorting through the papers on his desk.

Pansy pursed her lips in attempt to hide a smile. “Hermione, hm?” she continued. “So I hear that your mother is living with the two of you for the next week?” Draco nodded, completely absorbed in the paper he was reading. “That would mean that you and Hermione are forced to act like a happily engaged couple.” Pansy paced in front of his desk with her hands on her hips. Her high pumps making loud noises against the hardwood floor. “That would also mean that Narcissa would be sleeping in the guest room, which means that you and Hermione and now sleeping in the same bed.”

She stopped directly in front of his desk with a smirk on her lips and her arms crossed. “You liked sleeping with her!” Pansy exclaimed childishly. “Draco, I never thought I would ever see you this happy after spending a night with Hermione Granger.” Pansy had an extremely amused expression on her face, as she watched Draco’s face turned to a scowl.

“Shut up Pansy.” He said, incapable of keeping a scorned look on his face. “I just had a good sleep, that’s all.” Draco replied.

Pansy laughed loudly. “With Hermione Granger.” She suddenly felt like they were in Hogwarts again, and she was poking his buttons using a girl he fancied. “You fancy her.”

“What? No! That’s absolutely ridiculous!” He exclaimed all in one breath. “That’s absolutely insane Pansy.”

“Mhm.” She replied, smirking. “You may deny it now, Draco. But look at that smile on your face.” Pansy said, picking up her large bag on the leather couch against the wall. “I haven’t seen that smile on your face since Miranda. Draco, you look like a fool in love.”

Draco rolled his eyes. “I am not in love Pansy.” He assured her. “Is it really hard to believe that I’m having a wonderful morning?”

“I bet you liked waking up to her, didn’t you Draco?” she taunted, halfway to the door. “Oh, by the way-” Pansy said, holding up a large yellow envelope. “This is from Ginny. All the invitation replies are in here. Beware, I shrunk them – so it may sort of pop out of the envelope once you open them.” She left them on the couch and shut his office door behind him. Walking down the corridor towards the lift, she shook her head with a small smile on her face, not believing that Hermione Granger managed to bring Draco Malfoys to his knees without any effort at all.


The meeting room was extremely stuffy. Draco sat at the head of the table, anxiously glancing at his wristwatch every now and then. It was currently three-thirty. His meeting was due to end at three forty-five, and he was due to pick Hermione up at four. One of the members from another company was currently speaking, and every word spoken went in one ear and out the other.

He glanced at his wristwatch again. Three thirty-two. ‘Really? Only two minutes? C’mon.’ Draco thought desperately. The man standing continued blabbing about the model he was showing the rest of them. A model made of cardboard and construction paper. It was now three thirty-five. ‘Oh sweet Merlin, I can’t take this anymore!’

Draco stood up abruptly and straightened his suit out. “I’m sorry gentlemen, but I must cut this meeting short. There is an important matter I must attend to at this point.” He said, gathering all the papers on the table in front of him together. “Mr. Sloan, you may consult with my advisor, Mr. Berg, about the possibilities of joining our production branches. I will trust whatever Mr. Berg decides.”

“Certainly, Mr. Malfoy.” The man replied. “Mr. Berg, shall we talk statistics?”

Draco quickly exited the meeting room and made his way to his office as he loosened his tie. He opened the door and pulled the tie over his head and dropped it on the couch. “What the-” He stopped when he saw a head of brown hair sitting on his office chair. “He- Granger?” Draco asked, dropping the papers in hand on the couch.

“Your office is surprisingly tidy.” Hermione said, turning the revolving chair to face him. “I expected your meeting to go on for another ten minutes.”

He shrugged. “I couldn’t stand being in there for one more second.” Draco replied. “Why are you here? I was just about to go and get you.”

“I decided to just leave.” Hermione told him, picking up the figurine next to the intercom on Draco’s desk. “I didn’t want to stay there and wait for you to arrive.”

Draco nodded in understanding. He slowly walked over to his desk, and sat on one of the chairs placed in front. “So what do you want to do?” he asked her, stumbling on his choice of words a bit.

Hermione smiled, completely forgetting about the annoyance she faced this morning. “How about, we go finish the rest of these wedding plans?” she asked. “Your mother insisted that she would spend the day with me today to finish everything- but I decided that I would much rather do this with you.”

He laughed softly. “Smart move.”

“Well people have called me the brightest witch of our age.” She said, grinning. “Let’s go!” Hermione walked around his desk and pulled Draco to his feet. “We’ll go to London. We can do some shopping while we’re at it.”


The two spent the day filling out the list for their preferred wedding gifts, picked out several flowers, the themes and even planned out each other’s bachelor parties. By the end of the day, Draco was carrying several miniature shopping bags in the pocket of his jacket, and Hermione’s feet were bleeding from all the walking.

“Granger,” Draco whined. “I cannot go on any further if I don’t get some food in my stomach.” He groaned, wrapping his arm around his grumbling stomach.

Hermione rolled her eyes. “You’re such a baby, Malfoy.” She said, smiling.

“C’mon, be a good wife and feed your husband.” He pouted, bending down to meet her eyes.

She laughed loudly. “I’m not your wife yet.”

They found a steakhouse at the corner of the next block, and Draco ran for the entrance. “I can’t believe I just spent six hours shopping.” he began as the waiter left after taking their order. “I’ve never walked this much in one day.”

“Oh suck it up.” Hermione retorted. “After we have dinner we can apparate home and get some sleep.”

“Aren’t you happy you didn’t have to spend the entire day with my mother?” Draco asked jokingly. “I believe thanks is in order here. I saved your arse from her compulsive behavior!”

She laughed. “Yes, for once you decided not to be so completely useless in my life.”

Draco grinned broadly. “You’re welcome.” He replied proudly.

“I believe you should thank me too, Malfoy.” Hermione said. “You’re extremely lucky to have someone as smart, amazing and beautiful as me.” Her hands landed on her cheeks, and she batted her eyelashes exaggeratingly. “Why are you so lucky to have such an amazing wife-to-be?” A laugh escaped her lips, as the game they were playing almost seemed real.

Draco stared at her unknowingly. His eyes traced over the contours of her face, her brown eyes, and her hair. He breathed in her familiar scent, allowing it to fill his entire body. He was simply intoxicated, and he loved every second of it. “Why am I so lucky?” he asked quietly, his eyes still fixed on her face.

“What was that?” Hermione asked him, lifting her eyes to meet his. Despite her question, she perfectly heard what he had said.

Being shaken from his trance, Draco shook his head and brought himself back to reality. “Nothing.”

They sat in silence until their waiter arrived with their food. Hermione was speechless for the first time, and Draco was mentally slapping himself for even saying anything. “This looks delicious.” Hermione said with a smile, in attempt to ease the tension between them. “I haven’t had a dinner that looked this good for a while now.”

Draco chuckled, but said nothing more. The rest of their meal was eaten in silence. Hermione constantly glanced up to look at Draco, but his eyes were glued to his plate the entire time. ‘It’s as if he’s embarrassed.’ She thought to herself. “Shall we order desert?”

He shook his head. “I think we’re good.” Draco said as he wiped his mouth with his tablecloth. “Unless of course you’d like something?”

“Yes, actually I’d like to get some desert.” She replied, calling over their waiter. “I’d like anything sweet and cold. It doesn’t matter what you bring me, just make it cold.”

The waiter nodded. “Anything for you sir?” he asked, taking the desert menu from Hermione’s hands.

“I’d like a scotch, please.”

“You shouldn’t drink too much, Draco.” Hermione said, slightly mocking him. “We both know how low your tolerance for alcohol is.” The events of that night suddenly flooded her mind. The way he looked at her- that intoxicating kiss. She could practically feel his lips on hers once more. “We wouldn’t want that to happen again.”

The waiter returned with a small glass filled with a small amount of scotch. “You never did tell me what I did that night.” Draco told her, taking a small sip. “All I remember is waking up with that massive headache. Bugger.” He muttered under his breath.

“You don’t remember anything at all?” Hermione asked him.

Draco shook his head. “Well I remember this one dream I had- but it was just a dream.”

She gave him a small smile. “It’s not important.” Hermione said, remorsefully. “You just fell straight asleep when I brought you back to your room.”

Draco nodded and accepted her answer, despite his doubts. There was something in the back of his mind that was telling him that she was lying. Hermione Granger never lied.


Her day was tiring. Extremely tiring. By the time she finished with her shower and walked out of their private bathroom, she found Draco already in bed, with his back facing her side of the bed. “Would you like me to shut off the lights?” Hermione asked, stepping in front of Draco.

Draco nodded, keeping his eyes shut. The smell of her shampoo and body-wash mingled together before filling his nostrils. He opened his eyes, and realized that tonight; Hermione was not wearing her usual pajamas. She wore a large, oversized shirt that barely covered her thighs, and nothing more. Her hair was dripping wet, and all flipped to the right side of her head. ‘She looks gorgeous’. He thought.

She flipped his lamp off and walked around to the other side of the bed. Despite the darkness, Draco could not make himself close his eyes- afraid that this vision of her would fade away. “Goodnight.” Hermione said quietly, as she climbed into bed.

Her scent filled Draco once more, and all he wanted to do was be as close to her as possible. As he watched her for the next few moments, he realized that her fingers were wrapped around the engagement ring resting on her left hand. Her forefinger was tracing the large rock, and he suddenly wondered what she was thinking.

“Draco.” She whispered, eyes still closed.

“Hm.” He replied quietly, unsure if she had even heard him.

Another moment of silence fell upon them once more. Draco began to close his eyes, and suddenly realized how amazing it felt to have someone next to him – to not be alone.

“What’s going to happen when we get the divorce?” Hermione asked him suddenly. “Just go our separate ways, and pretend this all never happened?”

Draco opened his eyes. “What?” he questioned – her words not registering in her head.

She turned to face him, thrusting her hands under her pillow. “When we get a divorce.”

Divorce. The word seemed so unfamiliar.

“We can’t live out this lie forever, right?” Hermione said to him. “What if you meet someone you really love, or I meet someone that I’d want to marry.” She continued, suddenly more awake now. “What’s going to happen when we get a divorce.”

He chuckled, attempting to lighten the mood between them. “We’re not even married yet, and you’re already thinking about divorcing me?” Draco asked playfully. “C’mon, Hermione. Let’s not think so negatively.”

She turned over to her back once more, and turned her attention towards the ceiling. “It was just a thought.” Hermione responded softly.

“You know, when we first started this whole ordeal – that question would’ve came with a simple answer.” He said, staring at her face. “We’d go back to our old lives – and just forget that we were ever married to each other. You’d get your share of the marriage, and I’d be free from the arrange marriage my parents forced upon me. Everyone wins.”

“But now?” she asked.

Their questions we’re becoming more and more bold, and the fire they were playing with was growing. “Draco, what happens now?”

He sighed. “I never would’ve thought I’d end up here.”

“Who would ever expect this?” Hermione replied, laughing halfheartedly. “You and I, laying on this bed together. About to be married, with my soon-to-be mother in law staying in our guest room.” They both chuckled. “I guess I just never expected to end up caring.”

Draco looked down. “Caring about me?”

She smiled slightly, relieved that it was dark in the room. “Caring about what happened after.” She countered. “But I suppose, in some ways – I do care about you.”

Hermione lifted her upper body up slightly to look at the digital clock on Draco’s side of the room. “It’s late.” She said.

“I’m not tired.” Draco replied, looking up at the dark ceiling.

“Me neither. Actually, I’m pretty hungry.” She said suddenly, sitting up.

He gave her a strange look. “You ate so much at the restaurant, and now you’re hungry again?” Draco said.

Hermione shrugged. “Blame my stomach for growling.” She told him, patting her stomach in the dark. “I’m going to go look for some cookies.”

Draco rolled his eyes with slight amusement, and rolled out of bed as well. They both quietly emerged from their bedroom and walked down the hall toward the kitchen. “Shh!” Hermione exclaimed, elbowing Draco as they passed the guest room. “Your mother might wake up.” She whispered.

He smiled and slowly walked to the fridge, grabbing a carton of milk. “I got the milk.” Draco whispered, holding it up.

“I found some cookies!” Hermione whispered happily. “Grab me a glass, will you?”

Quietly, the two settled themselves on the counter top and began devouring the Oreo cookies Hermione had discovered in the pantry. “I haven’t had one of these in ages.” Draco said quietly, separating the two black cookies and licking the center.

Hermione watched him with amusement. He looked like a little child, scraping the middle of the Oreo cookie for the crème. “I can’t eat these without milk.” She said, taking her cup and allowing it to soak the cookie.

“This reminds me of Hogwarts.” Draco said happily. “When I used to sneak into the kitchens in the middle of the night with Mira-” he stopped before he could finish her name.

“Miranda?” she asked, taking a sip of her milk.

“Yes, with Miranda.” Draco finished. “We’d have a cup of milk and a bunch of cookies brought to us by the elves- and we’d spend the entire night just sitting and talking.”

Hermione stared at him as he opened another cookie, and licked the crème. “Sounds like you really loved her.” She said to him quietly, feeling remorse fill her body as she remembered the story Pansy told her back at the beach.

He shrugged. “I thought I did. I’m not so sure about it anymore.” Draco told her. “She’s a lot different now, and the way she treats you it’s just-”

“Draco – I’m me.” Hermione said. “She’s Miranda, the girl you’ve loved practically your whole life. Why does the way she treats me matter so much?”

Draco hopped off the counter top to return the milk to the refrigerator. “The Miranda I knew wouldn’t do that to anyone.” He told her bitterly. “And plus, she left all of us. She left Pansy wondering what had happened- and me wondering what I did wrong. She had an affair with my former best friend – why are you defending her?”

She looked down at her hands. “I just can’t help but wonder why you left her open arms to come back to me – someone who never mattered to you at all, despite what she did.”

He stared at her, wondering why this bothered her so much. “You know,” Draco began, stepping in front of her, placing both his hands on the edge of the counter – boxing her in. “I always regretted choosing you to help me get through this. I regretted bringing you into this lifestyle that is completely different from your past. Your spirit in dying, Granger.” He said solemnly. “It comes back every once in a while – when you’re away from everything. But when things start to fire up, it’s gone again.”

“It’s no-”

“Let me finish.” Draco cut her off before she could continue her sentence. “Soon enough you’re going to become like Daphne or Astoria Greengrass – bound by society. They’re going to tie you up and eat you alive.” He continued, shifting his gaze from her face and towards the darkness. “But whenever I think about how my life would’ve turned out if you never came along – I just can’t see it.” He sighed. “You matter more to me than you know, Granger. Don’t let them taken you in like they plan to.”

Hermione stared at him, dumbfounded. She watched his eyes, fixed towards the floor and his blonde hair hanging from his head. The bones on his back pressed through his skin as he bent over in frustration. “What the hell did we get ourselves into?” he asked quietly, running his hand through his hair.

She continued to stare at him, watching his movements in the darkness. The moonlight peeped through the closed curtain and filled a slight portion of his face. “I’m sorry, Granger.” He said to her, his eyes finally meeting hers.

Her eyes never left his, as curiosity took over. Draco was the most mysterious man she knew – and it ate her to death. She wanted to know what was going on in his head. She wanted to know why he was so frustrated and why he was sorry for something that was not close to being his fault. “Draco, don’t say sorry for something that’s not your fault.” She told him.

Before he could open his mouth again, Hermione reached for his head and pulled him towards her, their lips meeting perfectly. She completely allowed her desire to take over her, forgetting all conscious or rational thought. All Hermione knew was that she wanted Draco – and she wanted him now. At the moment, Hermione forgot that they were in a fake relationship and that they shouldn’t be engaging in sexual behavior- it was one of their rules. She forgot that his mother was currently sleeping in the room not far from the kitchen, and she forgot to even think about what would happen if they continued any further.

All she could think about was how amazing being so close to Draco felt. How soft his lips were and how he tasted so bloody delicious. She moved her lips against his, savoring the feeling of his familiar lips. His hands immediately found her hips, and drew her closer towards the edge of the counter. Draco pulled her body as close to his as possible, and deepened the kiss, much to Hermione’s delight. He ran his hand up and down her bare thigh, while his other hand flew to her neck, pressing her closer to him.

Hermione moaned softly as Draco removed his lips from hers and trailed kisses down her neck, sucking slightly. He kissed down to her collarbone, and slowly back up to her lips – driving her absolutely crazy. Everywhere he touched her, left a hot searing mark of need. He had pulled up her shirt, and slipped his hand to her lower back, loving the feeling of her soft skin.

She began nibbling on his ear, breathing heavily, knowing that it drove him insane. She sucked on the skin below his ear, causing a deep shade of red to appear. Draco growled, and picked Hermione up with ease. She wrapped her legs around his waist and continued planting kisses on his neck and around his jaw.

Draco couldn’t help but feel how easy this was for them. How natural it felt to be with Hermione- to kiss her, to touch her the way he did. He carried her to their bedroom and set her down on their bed. She looked up at him with her big brown eyes, and suddenly- everything was okay. Draco bent down, their lips meeting once more. He smiled as Hermione’s leg wrapped around his hip, as he ran his hand down her thigh, grinding their hips together causing Hermione to moan loudly. “I didn’t think you’d be a loud one, Granger.” Draco smirked as he whispered in her ear.

Hermione growled. “Would you just bloody shut up and kiss me?” she said exasperatedly, rolling her eyes.

Draco smirked triumphantly. “Why, I’d love to.” And he devoured her lips once more.

Their night was perfect. But morning had to come and ruin it all.

A/N: it's amazing how quickly this chapter came to me. honestly, i have NO idea where i'm going with this. but lets just hope it's somewhere good yeah? well i juiced you guys up with TONS AND TONS of dramione. so i suppose you guys are all happy :) .

now it's time for the bad stuff, yeah? ;)

don't forget to review! i love reading them :)

btw, i'm still open for the mailing list!


Chapter 18: Chapter Seventeen
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

By: Gryffindorgirl153

Chapter Sixteen

Hermione growled. “Would you just bloody shut up and kiss me?” she said exasperatedly, rolling her eyes.

Draco smirked triumphantly. “Why, I’d love to.” And he devoured her lips once more.

Their night was perfect. But morning had to come and ruin it all.

Chapter Seventeen

Before Draco could even open his eyes the next morning, he knew that there was something different. It was quiet- too quiet. Unlike his usual mornings, he felt content – and, dare he say – happy. Shifting his body slightly, he felt a slight difference in his mattress. Then it all hit him, like a hex – Hermione.

Draco’s eyes shot open and it took him a moment to adjust his vision to the light streaming in from his curtains. His eyes landed on Hermione, sleeping soundly beside him. Her bare back was facing him, and he couldn’t help but notice that his thin white sheets barely covered her naked body. He let out a breath he didn’t know he was holding. Last night’s events came flooding back into his mind, and he gulped loudly. “Oh shit.” He whispered.

Despite his surprise and partial regret, his eyes fell upon Hermione once more. Draco watched her body rise and fall, in correlation to her breathing. Her soft skin shined in the sunlight, and her hair glistened – despite its messy state. She was absolutely beautiful, and he found himself wishing that he could spend forever watching her sleep. Regrettably, Draco placed a hand on her shoulder and shook her body slightly. “Hermione.” He said, his voice cracking. “Hermione, wake up.”

On the other side of the bed, Hermione frowned as she felt someone shake her awake. An annoyed sound escaped her mouth and she rolled over to the other side of her body. Draco sucked in a breath as Hermione now faced him. Her breast, were exposed due to the sheets falling around her stomach, and her face drew perfection. He found himself fighting the urge to run his hands up and down her skin while kissing down her neck, shoulders chest … he quickly shook his head, getting rid of his fantasies.

“Hermione, wake up.” Draco said louder, carefully shaking her awake. “Hermione, you’re in my bed and we’re both naked.” He whispered in her ear. Before he knew it, his hands flew to his head as he felt a rush of pain sweep to the left side of his brain. “What the hell!” he exclaimed loudly, backing away from the surprised brunette on the edge of his bed.

Hermione sat on the corner of his large bed, wide-eyed. “Malfoy, what did we do last night?” she asked him fearfully. “Please tell me we didn’t have sex.”

“We didn’t have sex.” Draco muttered, still partially annoyed that she had physically hurt him – again.

She eyed him carefully. “Are you lying?” Hermione asked slowly.

“Oh, I don’t know Granger.” Draco said, shoving the sheets off his body and strutting out of bed. “We both woke up together – naked. Last thing I remember last night is you shushing me up with,” Playfully, Draco walked closer to Hermione – stopping when his face was centimeters away from hers. “This.” He planted his lips on hers, and pulled back immediately. A slight chaste kiss, but he knew it would drive her insane.

By the time Draco stood up straight as he pulled on his boxers, Hermione was sitting on his bed – seething. “Cover yourself up, Granger.” Draco laughed, throwing the closest piece of clothing towards her.

Pulling the white shirt off her head, Hermione slipped Draco’s large shirt through her arms, and buttoned it down as she followed him out his door. “My mum’s out.” He said, reading a note taped to the mirror in the hallway. “Looks like we’ve got the house to ourselves for the day.” He set the note down on the small rectangular table and continued down the hallway and into the kitchen.

Hermione frowned and picked up the note again, reading it herself. “Thank goodness your mom isn’t home.” She said, walking into the kitchen before she started brewing coffee.

He laughed, opening the refrigerator and pulling out a carton of eggs along with some sausages and bacon. “Breakfast time.” Draco said, grinning. He pulled out a frying pan from the cupboard and started a fire on the stove. All the while he began fixing them breakfast magically, Hermione sat on the countertop, watching him intently.

She watched as he softly hummed to himself – a lullaby that she had heard Ginny sing to Teddy when he was still young. Her eyes trailed towards his bare body, and noticed that muscles that lined his skin. “How do you like your eggs?” Draco asked, turning to her, shaking her from her trance.

“Scrambled please.” Hermione replied, jumping off the countertop. She pulled out two mugs from the cupboard and poured both of them a cup of coffee. “Cream?” she asked him, taking a small carton of coffee cream from the refrigerator.

“Lots of it.” Draco replied, using his wand to flip Hermione’s eggs of the frying pan.

After she had fixed both of them coffee, she stopped, hovering over the sink and sighed. Hermione looked over to Draco once more, who was now placing bacon on the pan. “You know Granger,” Draco began, causing Hermione to avert her eyes from his body and towards his face. “I can get used to mornings like this.” He said, with a genuine smile on his face.

Hermione stared at him for a moment, and she found herself smiling as well. “So can I.” She replied.

They sat together quietly. Draco was still in his boxers, and Hermione was wearing only Draco’s white button-down shirt. The Daily Prophet rested in Hermione’s hand as she read the headline news. To Hermione’s left, Draco sat quietly, absentmindedly stirring his coffee with a small spoon. “Draco, what are you doing?” Hermione asked without lifting her eyes from the front page.

“What are you talking about?” He asked her.

She broke her gaze from the newspaper and looked down at her left hand, which was idly resting on the table. Draco’s hand rested above hers, tracing small circles on the surface of her skin. He quickly drew his hand back to his own body. “Sorry – I didn’t realize I was doing it.” He said softly, bashfully looking away.

Hermione chuckled. She set the prophet down on the table and continued eating her breakfast. Every now and then, she would cast Draco a nervous glance, wondering what he was thinking about. “Okay, I can’t take this.” She exclaimed loudly after five minutes of silence. “How can you be so calm about it?” Hermione asked him quickly.

He started at her, bewildered at her outburst. “Excuse me?” Draco questioned, putting his fork down. “What are you on about now, Granger?”

She rolled her eyes. “What do you meant, what am I on about? We just had sex last night!” Hermione shouted.

“Say it louder, I don’t think the Weasley’s heard you all the way over at the Burrow.” Draco said, nonchalantly.

Once more, Hermione rolled her eyes in annoyance. “Don’t give me that crap, Malfoy. We just had sex, and you’re acting so calm about it! It’s as if this is some normal routine for you.”

He shrugged. “What do you suppose we do about it then?” Draco questioned. “Would you like to talk about it, is that what you want to do?”

“I’d like to know why we had sex, Malfoy.” Hermione snapped, glaring at him.

“Well, Granger.” Draco began. “You see, when a man and a woman are together and feel some sort of attraction for each other – there’s a slight chance that they start feeling, what’s the word. Turned on. Now if they’re… turned on enough, then it eventually-"

“Don’t get smart with me.” Hermione snapped angrily. “I know why people have sex, Malfoy. What I’m asking is, why did WE have sex?”

He paused before answering. “Well, like I said. When people feel some sort of attraction for - "

She blinked, surprised. “So you’re saying you feel some sort of attraction for me?” Hermione asked him, cutting him off for the second time.

“What?” Draco asked, his mind not registering what Hermione had just said.

She rolled her eyes. “You heard me.”

He shook his head. “No, I don’t believe that I did.”

“You just said that you’re attracted to me.” Hermione replied, her tone sounded slightly amused.

Draco stared at her. “No I didn’t.” His heart began pounding wildly in his chest. ‘Had I really said that?’ he mentally questioned himself.

“Yes you did. You said, when a man and a woman feel some sort of attraction for one another then they have sex.” Hermione replied. She sat there, staring at him wide-eyed.

“That doesn’t mean I’m attracted to you, Granger.” He replied quickly, dropping his gaze and turning back to his breakfast. “Get a hold of yourself.” Draco felt his face flush with heat, and he silently hoped to himself that Hermione would not notice.

Hermione laughed loudly. “What is that on your cheeks, Malfoy?” she asked. “Oh don’t tell me, Draco Malfoy is blushing?” Hermione laughed loudly, throwing her head back in amusement. “Oh this is amazing. You’re so cute, Malfoy. I didn’t know you could blush.”

He glowered at her. “It is not cute.” Draco muttered angrily under his breath.

Clearly embarrassed, Draco sat, quietly eating his breakfast, without lifting his eyes from his plate. Hermione followed suit, except she took short glances at Draco every once in a while, causing a smile to form on her face. Once she had cleared her plate of food, she cleared her throat and walked to the sink, remembering the point of their previous conversation. “Do you remember the conditions of our fake marriage?” she asked him, breaking the silence.

“Of course I do.” There was a moment of silence before Draco had answered her. He stood in the kitchen with his back to her, pouring himself another cup of coffee. “No sex.”

She nodded, staring at him. “Draco, last night was a mistake.” Hermione forced out. “We shouldn’t have done it.”

He scoffed and turned around to face her. “Granger, it was just sex.” Draco reassured her, knowing that it was a lie. He tore his eyes away from her big, brown eyes, unable to speak completely lies to her face. “Meaningless sex. It’s not like we sat there and confessed our undying love for one another.” He continued, swallowing loudly. “It meant nothing, it was just an act of ..” he trailed off, searching for the right word.

“Meaningless passion?” Hermione finished for him, her voice turning angry. “Right, so last night just meant nothing to you?” she asked sourly, rolling her eyes. “Alright, Malfoy.” She said, dropping her plate in the sink angrily. “Last night never happened then. We can just forget about it.” Was the last thing Hermione had said to him, before she stormed out of the kitchen and into Draco’s bedroom – slamming the door behind her, and leaving Draco alone in the kitchen, completely baffled.

Hours Later

By the time Hermione emerged from his bedroom ever since she had stormed out of the kitchen, Draco had settled down on the couch, with a book opened on his lap. His eyes scanned the pages of the novel, however a certain furious brunette, sitting in his bedroom has been occupying his mind for the last few hours, disabling him from focusing on anything else. The image of Hermione’s face the moment he woke up was etched in his mind, along with their argument.

Around six-thirty in the evening, Draco heard his bedroom door open, followed by the sound of heels clicking on the hardwood floor. He immediately averted his eyes from the book on his lap, and turned towards the hallway, expecting to see Hermione. However, what he didn’t expect was to see a gorgeous looking Hermione walk straight past him and to the fireplace.

“Where are you going?” Draco asked hesitantly, sensing the coldness of her attitude.

Hermione grabbed her wand on the coffee table, allowing Draco to get a whiff of her intoxicating scent. “Out.” She replied shortly after his question. She was wearing a tight fitting dress, which stopped at mid-thigh. Her black pumps showed off the length of her legs, and her dressed hugged her curves perfectly. She pulled out an off-white coat, and pulled it over her shoulders. “Don’t wait for me tonight.” Was the last thing she said before she threw floo powder into the fireplace, and disappeared into the flames.

Draco groaned and allowed his head to fall back against the pillows behind him. “Granger.” He groaned.


“Whoa, slow down, Hermione.” Ginny said, flipping her long red hair over her shoulder as she watched Hermione drown herself in firewhiskey. “What’s wrong with you tonight?” she asked, concerned, placing a hand on Hermione’s shoulder. Ginny pulled the large bottle of whiskey away from Hermione and in front of Harry who was sitting beside her.

Hermione shook her head. “Oh, it’s nothing.” She said, pulling the bottle of whiskey away from Harry’s hands and back in front of her. She poured herself another glass, and swallowed quickly.

As Harry watched her drink, he frowned. “Hermione, you never liked how whiskey tasted.” He said, pulling the half empty bottle away from her once more. “What’s gotten into you?” He asked her, screwing the cap back onto the bottle and placed it on the floor by his feet.

“Harry, would you stop?” Hermione asked angrily, attempting to get the bottle back from him. “I’m a big girl now, I can drink all I want.”

“No, Hermione.” Harry said as he placed all the alcoholic drinks set out on the table, out of her reach. “You’ve had enough to drink for now.”

Hermione rolled her eyes and stood up, fixing her tight dress. “Fine, I’ll just go to the bar and get more.” She snapped. Hermione grabbed her purse off the table and walked through the crowd of people on the dance floor. The loud, blaring music caused Hermione’s head to pound through her skull. The flickering lights made her go dizzy, but she managed to get her way to the crowded bar. “Give me anything strong and sweet.” She told the bartender, pulling out a few sickles from her purse. “Thanks.”

“Anything strong and sweet?” A deep voice came from beside Hermione. “What’s a girl like you doing, drinking the night away?” the man asked. “Shouldn’t you be at home, reading, like the bookworm you are?”

Bookworm. Hermione’s head turned so quickly that she had to take a while to focus her eyes on the man sitting beside her. “Oh, Wesley.” She sighed, slightly disappointed.

“Oh, Wesley?” he asked. “Why, Miss Granger – You sound disappointed.” Wesley said with a small smile on his face. “We’re you expecting someone else?”

She shrugged and took her drink from the bartender. “Thanks.” She said quietly.

“Is there something wrong?” Wesley asked. “Why don’t you take a seat?” he pointed to the vacant seat that was on the other side of Hermione.

Hermione sighed and sat down, crossing her legs. “You look gorgeous tonight.” He complemented, raking his eyes up and down her legs. “So what are we drinking to?” Wesley questioned as he picked up his drink and raised it in the air. “I have a feeling this has something to do with a certain stubborn blonde.”

“Nope.” Hermione answered simply. “Is there something wrong with a girl going out with her friends for a drink?” she asked him, finishing the last of her drink.

Wesley chuckled. “Well, Hermione. Your outfit is screaming – ‘I’m having a fight with my boyfriend, so come get it while you can’. And not to mention, you’re drinking as if you don’t care what you do for the rest of the night.” He pointed out. “If I know Draco, he would like to have his fiancé home at a decent hour if he were to allow her to go out and get a drink with her friends – especially if she left the house looking like that.”

She rolled her eyes and shrugged. “I thought this dress needed a night out.” She replied. “It’s been in my closet for the longest time.”

“Well, if Draco’s not the problem then what’s wrong with you?” he questioned, placing a steady hand on her thigh.

Hermione ignored this gesture and shrugged once more. “I’m just tired of this.” She said, asking for another drink from the bartender. “I don’t know why I’m putting up with Draco, it’s not like any of this is worth it.”

“So this is about Draco.” Wesley said as he began stroking light circles around her thighs. “I was under the impression that you and Draco were happy together,” he said, putting on a confused look. “Perhaps I missed something.” He frowned.

“Here you go, darling.” The bartender smiled and set the drink in front of Hermione. “Enjoy yourself, now.”

“Thank you.” Hermione said politely, and took a swig of the red tinted vodka. She had trouble swallowing it, but nevertheless, she continued drinking. “No, we are. Well for the most part.” Hermione explained. “How can I say this? Draco and I – we’re … complicated.” She finished.

Wesley turned his body and positioned himself closer to Hermione, allowing his hand to rise higher up her thigh. “Well, what relationship isn’t complicated?” he asked sympathetically. “And you’re in a relationship with THE Draco Malfoy.” He said, his tone sounded slightly amused. “There’s nothing simple when it comes to Draco Malfoy.”

She laughed. “Of course.”

“If you’re having so much trouble with Draco, then why are you still with him?” he asked her, moving his hand up and down her thigh, loving the feeling of her soft skin against the palm of his hand. “Just leave him.” Wesley said simply.

Hermione stared at him with disbelief. “I can’t leave him.” She said.

A chuckle slipped past his lips. “Draco isn’t worth it baby, trust me.” He said.

“You were his friend, Wesley.” She said. “How can you say such things about him?”

Wesley shrugged. “Why don’t you spend the night with me tonight?” he asked her. He began tracing his finger along the line where the end of her dress met her leg. “You won’t have to see Draco later tonight.”

She shook her head. “No, I shouldn’t.” Hermione said. “I have plans with Ginny tonight.”

“Let Ginny have her fun with Harry tonight.” Wesley said in attempt to convince her. He leaned forward and offered Hermione a sweet smile. “You can spend the night with me tonight, Hermione.” He leaned forward even more. Hermione could feel his breathe against her face, and she soon grew uncomfortable under his touch.

“No.” She told him sternly, and pushed herself off the stool and onto her feet. “I’ve got to get back to my friends.” Hermione said, grabbing her purse off the bar. “I’ll see you around, Wesley.”

However, Wesley didn’t share the same ideas as Hermione did. He pushed himself off the chair as well, and stepped in front of Hermione, trapping her in between him and the bar. “You don’t have to be this well kempt girl all the time, you know that?” he told her, pressing his body against hers.

“Get off me.” Hermione said, placing her hands on his chest in attempt to push his body away from hers. “Wesley, get off.”

About ten minutes ago

Draco stood in Pansy’s kitchen, pacing back and forth – from one end of the counter to the other. He pulled his hand through his hair, making it look more tousled than it already was. “Draco, if you’re this worried- maybe you should just go look for her.” Pansy said, slightly annoyed that Draco was being so stubborn.

“I can’t just go searching for her, Pans.” He whined. “She’s already mad. If I go after her she’s going to think that I’m trying to control her. She’ll throw a bloody fit!”

She rolled her eyes again. “Draco, seriously- just go.” Pansy said. “I’m sure she’ll appreciate this gesture. This is Hermione we’re talking about. She’s not like other girls.”

Draco groaned in annoyance, and sat down in front of Pansy. “Sitting here complaining to me won’t do you any good. Now go after her.” She said, scowling. “I’ll call Ginny and ask her where she is. Chances are that they’re together.”

“Thanks Pansy.”

“Anytime, Draco.” She said. “Now sit tight.”

Draco apparated outside the wizard club Hermione went to that night, and slowly walked inside. The club was packed, and Draco believed that it would be almost impossible to find Hermione before the nigh was over. He spotted a bright head of hair sitting by a booth and made his way past several people, hoping that he had spotted the right redhead. “Ginny.” He said, placing a hand on her shoulder.

“Draco.” Ginny said, standing up. “Er, Hermione’s somewhere here. She’s been gone for about twenty minutes.” She said, looking around. “You could check the bar.”

He nodded. “Thanks.”

“Draco!” Ginny called before Draco wandered off too far. “Did something happen between the two of you?” she asked. “Hermione can’t seem to stop drinking.”

“Don’t worry about it, Ginny.” He said. “Thanks anyways.”

Draco walked off further into the crowd. His heart raced as he spotted Hermione’s brown hair in the crowd of people. As Draco walked closer, he realized that she was leaning against some man, who had his arm wrapped around her waist. Anger boiled in his stomach and before he knew it, he was shoving past the crowd and towards Hermione with balled fists.

“Wesley, stop.” He heard Hermione shout.

He realized that Hermione was struggling under his grasp. As soon as he reached Hermione, Draco wrapped his left arm around Hermione’s waist, pulling her off Wesley with great force, causing her to stumble behind him. He balled his right hand into a fist, and pushed it forward, punching Wesley in the face. “Don’t ever, ever touch her.” Draco ordered angrily. “Ever.”

Turning around, he took Hermione’s hand tightly in his and pulled her through the crowd and out of the club. “You are never to see him anymore.” Draco said, clearly furious.

“What the bloody hell was that?” Hermione asked him, pulling her hand from his once they exited the club.

“He had his hands all over you!” Draco shouted angrily. “Do you seriously expect me to just stand there and do nothing?” he snapped. “Where’s your coat?” he asked, still angry.

Hermione looked away from him and crossed her arms over her chest. She felt the cold crawl around her body and into her dress. “It’s inside. With Ginny.” She muttered angrily, refusing to look Draco in the eye.

“Stay right here.” He ordered. “I’m serious, Hermione. Stay right here.”

Draco turned around and walked back into the club. In a few minutes, he returned to Hermione with her coat in hand, and placed it over her shoulders. “Stop being stubborn, and just put on the damn coat.” He snapped.

Hermione pushed her arms through the sleeves and moved away from Draco’s reach. “I don’t know what your problem is, Malfoy.” She told him angrily. “What is it to you if Wesley was touching me?” Hermione pulled her coat closer to her body, and buttoned it down. “It’s not like I mean much to you, anyway.”

“So is this what this is about?” Draco asked her, following her down the street. “You’re mad about what I said to you this morning?”

“I’m not mad.” Hermione snapped spitefully. “You just have no right coming here telling me what I can or cannot do.”

Draco reached out and grabbed her arm, pulling her back towards him. “You’re MY fiancé, Hermione.” He reminded her. “He was feeling you up! I’m the only one who’s allowed to touch you.” The thought of Wesley running his hands up and down Hermione’s body sickened him and caused anger to claw at his stomach.

She glared at him angrily. “Am I some kind of property now?” Hermione questioned sourly. “Are you going to go around punching every single person that touches me?” she shouted.

“If that’s what it takes, then yes, I will!” Draco exclaimed. “I don’t see why you’re getting so mad over this, Granger.” He snapped. “C’mon, I’m taking you home.” Draco told her, grabbing her hand and apparating them back to their flat.

The moment the two of them landed on their feet, Hermione roughly pulled her hand from his. “I could’ve apparated myself.” She told him, walking in front of him and into their flat. “I’m not a little girl, Malfoy.” Hermione muttered angrily.

“Well apparently you are.” He retorted. “If I hadn’t gone and gotten you from Wesley, who knows what he would’ve done!” Draco slammed the door shut behind him and pulled off his coat violently and throwing it on the couch.

Hermione stumbled through the hallway as she continued muttering to herself. “I can take care of myself!” she exclaimed back. From the living room, he heard his bedroom door slam shut, and silently cursed his mother for choosing the wrong week to invade their lives.

“What’s all this fuss?” Narcissa asked, emerging from the guest room, wearing her nightgown. “Are you two in a row?” her tone sounded a little too happy for her own good.

Draco glared at his mother. “Yes mother- we’re fighting.” He snapped. “I bet that just makes you peachy.”

Narcissa knew better than to pry into her son’s personal life when he was this angry. She quietly returned back to her room, and listened through the door. She heard banging coming from the Draco’s bedroom, followed by angry shouts. “Granger!” Draco shouted. “Open this door!”

“Sleep on the couch!” Hermione shouted from inside his bedroom, fuming. The amount of alcohol she managed to drink that night was making her incredibly dizzy and grouchy. She pulled her wand from her purse, pointing it at the bedroom door. “Silencio!” she shouted after a groan of annoyance. The room grew quiet, and Draco’s cries were hidden by the charm. Hermione walked over to the bed and pulled off her pumps along with her coat. She threw her coat towards the dresser and kicked her pumps towards the opened bathroom. “Bloody idiot.” Hermione muttered angrily to herself.

After a few moments of sitting on the bed, staring at the floor she stood up and began to unzip the back of her dress. “He thinks he can tell me whom I can and cannot see?” she continued muttering. “Stupid, idiotic, fe-”

“Alohamora!” The bedroom door unlocked and Draco barged in with his wand in his hand. “I hope you know that I’m a wiza-” he stopped in mid sentence when he noticed that Hermione was wearing nothing but her knickers.

Hermione stared at him for a moment; before she quickly grabbed the dress she had discarded on the bed and hugged it around her body. “Get out!” She shrilled in a high-pitched voice.

He rolled his eyes, and placed his wand down on his bedside table. “Granger, we had sex last night – this is nothing I’ve never seen before.” He plopped down on the bed, trying his best to keep his eyes away from her body.

“Malfoy, there’s no way in hell I’m going to sleep in the same bed with you tonight.” She snapped. Hermione had dropped the dress she was holding around her body onto the floor, before she pulled her nightclothes from the dresser. “Get out.” She told him sternly. “Get the hell out.”

However, Draco was not listening to a word Hermione was saying. He found it rather difficult to pull his attention from the girl standing in front of him – clad in a lacy bra with matching underwear. Last night’s events came back into his mind, and he couldn’t resist – it was just too tempting. His lust and passion for this girl standing in front of him consumed him, and it was just too difficult to turn away. She was right there for keeps – and as far as he knew, she only belonged to him.

Hermione had chosen a large, white t-shirt, and quickly slipped it on. Before she was even able to pull her hair from inside the shirt, she felt a pair of arms snake around her waist. “Malfoy, wha-” What came next was peculiar – the sensation of Draco’s lips on hers was immensely peculiar, yet familiar. He turned her head towards his without thinking thoroughly at the impact or consequences of their actions. Nonetheless, they both felt at home – as if they belonged.

She sighed, pulling her lips from his to take a breath. She leaned against his hard body as he dragged his lips up and down her neck, planting kisses on her cheek and down her neck. Hermione tilted her head to the side, leaning against his shoulder. After the first kiss, she had immediately forgotten what they were fighting about. She had forgotten why she was angry, along with the entire night’s events. The only thing she could focus on was Draco, and this moment. “Mm,” Hermione sighed once more. She turned her head around and pulled his head towards hers, their lips meeting again.

Turning her entire body around, Hermione wrapped her arms around Draco’s neck. Instinctively, Draco tightened his hold on Hermione’s waist, pulling her body closer to his. He pushed her up against the dresser and pressed his body harder against hers. She sighed with content. The couple stood there for several minutes, kissing and appreciating each other’s body. After a while, Draco picked Hermione up and she wrapped her legs around his waist. He walked over to his bed and placed Hermione against the pillows, his lips never leaving hers.

“Mmm,” Hermione moaned and Draco trailed kisses down from below her ear, down her neck and around her collarbone. He pushed her shirt up with his free hand and ran his hands down her sides and her stomach. “Draco,” Hermione said, as she continued to breathe heavily. “Draco,” she repeated.

“Hm?” he asked, sucking lightly on her neck.

Hermione closed her eyes and sighed, taking in the pleasure. “Draco, we can’t do this.” She said to him as she unconsciously ran her hands up and down his back and around his waist.

Draco leaned in closer to Hermione’s face, stopping only a mere centimeter away. He chuckled, and smiled. “Are you trying to convince me, or yourself?” he closed the space in between their lips with a soft, chaste kiss.

“We can’t do this.” She repeated, knowing that he wasn’t the only one that needed convincing. “Mm, Draco.” Draco had pulled off her shirt and began kissing down her chest, to her stomach and back up. “Dr-”

He quickly shushed her, placing his mouth on hers once more. “Shh, Hermione.” Draco said softly. “You want this.” He whispered in her ear, before he started kissing her once more. Hermione couldn’t resist. It just felt too good.

‘Oh well,’ she thought. ‘At least I can say that I tried to stop it.’


That night, Draco laid awake next to Hermione. One of his arms was wrapped around her waist securely, while Hermione used the other as a pillow. His room was dark; however the moonlight that streamed in through his window illuminated Hermione’s face enough, so that he was able to see every feature clearly.

About three hours ago, Draco had given up on trying to sleep. It was currently five in the morning, and he couldn’t bear to sleep when he had Hermione in his arms. Thinking about their current situation, Draco didn’t want to waste a second of their time together. He knew that Hermione was waiting for the moment when they would both sign the papers that would bring about their final divorce, and it pained him to think about it – to think about his life without the over-sensitive bookworm sleeping by his side. After waking up to her for the past few days, he knew that he wouldn’t want it any other way.

Silently thanking his mother for barging in on their lives, Draco settled closer to Hermione. He stroked her hair, pulling a few strands away from her face while he began to hum softly to himself. ‘What am I doing?’ he wondered. ‘This isn’t real. Hermione isn’t real. Everything is just a joke, and you’re letting yourself get too deep.’ He stared at Hermione again. He traced his eyes along the contours of her face, down her neck, shoulders, waist, hips and then back up. How could he pull away from her? He found it nearly impossible.

Nevertheless, Draco tried to bring himself back down to reality. He pulled his arm away from Hermione’s waist, and carefully picked her body up slightly off the bed so he can take his other arm back. He pulled the blanket around Hermione’s shoulders and smoothened out her hair against the pillows. Taking one last look at her, he sighed and walked out of his bedroom and into the kitchen.

Without bothering to open the lights, Draco pulled a glass from the cupboard and poured himself a glass of cold water. He walked into the living room and planted himself on the couch after he turned a lamp on. He sat in the living room for a good twenty minutes before he began getting restless. His mind slowly drifted away from the novel and towards Hermione. ‘What does this girl have on me that I can’t bloody get her out of my mind?’ Draco thought to himself, annoyed out of his mind.

After another five minutes, Draco glanced at the clock, which read five fifty-five. He closed the book and placed it back on the coffee table as he stood up. He finished the remaining water in the glass and walked back into his bedroom, deciding that he would try and get some sleep before he had to wake up tomorrow.

As he opened his door, he was surprised to find Hermione standing by the window, staring outside with a blank expression on her face. She a thin white sheet wrapped around her body, and Draco assumed that she was too lazy to pull on some clothes. Carefully and quietly, Draco walked towards Hermione. She didn’t seem to notice that he was in the room, since she jumped up slightly once Draco had made contact with her. “Merlin, Malfoy.” She said, glaring at him. “Don’t do that again.”

Draco chuckled, wrapping his arms around her waist. “Did I wake you?” he asked her quietly, as she continued staring out the window.

She nodded. “I thought you left,” She told him. “I didn’t hear anyone around the house.” Hermione leaned against him as she felt him tighten his hold on her.

“I was just in the living room.” He responded. “I tried reading for a while, and then I got tired.”

Hermione gave him a small smile, and grabbed his hand leading him back to the bed. “I’d like to go back to sleep.” She told him as she settled back into bed, bringing him along with her. She pulled the blanket to cover both of them, and crawled closer to Draco’s body. “You’re so warm.” She said, sighing.

He laughed, and wrapped his arms around her once more. Soon, he heard Hermione’s breaths grow steady and he knew that she had fallen asleep. Draco stared at her for a moment, and he immediately knew that he was indeed falling for this girl, and there was no way he could stop it.


A/N: hi guys! i'm so sorry this chapter took a long time. i think it's been about a month since my last update. but i hope you guys liked this chapter! it kind of took me a while to develop these idea's, which is why i took so long writing. i promise i'll try to keep updating regularly! i'm falling behind on this writing deal. there are so many more stories that i want to write, it's just rather hard.

please read and review!
again, if you want to be added to the mailing list, please leave your email on a review and i'll add you to it!

love, stacy.

Chapter 19: Chapter Eighteen
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

By: Gryffindorgirl153

Chapter Seventeen

“I thought you left,” She told him. “I didn’t hear anyone around the house.” Hermione leaned against him as she felt him tighten his hold on her.

“I was just in the living room.” He responded. “I tried reading for a while, and then I got tired.”

Hermione gave him a small smile, and grabbed his hand leading him back to the bed. “I’d like to go back to sleep.” She told him as she settled back into bed, bringing him along with her. She pulled the blanket to cover both of them, and crawled closer to Draco’s body. “You’re so warm.” She said, sighing.

He laughed, and wrapped his arms around her once more. Soon, he heard Hermione’s breaths grow steady and he knew that she had fallen asleep. Draco stared at her for a moment, and he immediately knew that he was indeed falling for this girl, and there was no way he could stop it.

Chapter Eighteen
So Scandalous

Forcing his eyes to say wide open, Draco felt the stinging sensation that kicked in once he had stepped out of his flat and into the sunlight. Having only slept a couple of hours last night, he couldn’t seem to function properly that morning. He walked into his office with a cup of coffee in his hand. There was already a stack of folders on his desk waiting for him, and he groaned as he laid his eyes on it. Upon waking up, he had hoped that he would be able to spend the rest of his day in bed with Hermione. The two had fallen asleep when the sun was already up, only to be woken up by their alarm about an hour and a half later.

There was a knock on the door, and Pansy stormed inside, banging his door open without waiting for a response. “What is it Pansy?” Draco asked quietly, placing his elbows on his desk and pinching the bridge of his nose. The loud noises weren’t complementing his head at all. In fact, all the talking simply aggravated his migraine.

Pansy threw the Daily Prophet in front of Draco with a rather angry look on her face. “Have you seen this yet?” she asked, placing her hands on her hips. “Do you have any idea what your father will do to you once he see’s this?”

Draco closed his eyes tightly, and leaned back into his chair as he picked up the prophet. Unfolding the folded newspaper, his eyes landed on the front page. There was a photograph of Wesley and Hermione sitting on a bar from the night before. “What the bloody hell is this?” he exclaimed, sitting up. “Hermione Granger: Secret relationship?” he questioned, reading the headlines aloud. His eyes quickly raked through the article, anger boiling in his body after every line he read.

“Draco, I don’t think you understand this.” Pansy said, leaning over to him. “The press is looking for anything to screw you guys over. They’re trying to find anything they can that will make your relationship look like crap to the public. They’re following your every move, as well as Hermione’s.” she pointed to the moving picture on the front page. “This – this just caused your world to get a whole lot more complicated.”

He threw the prophet back down on his table angrily. “That bastard hit on her while she was drunk.” He informed Pansy. “She’s not having some secret affair. What kind of secret affair takes place at a club with a hundred other people?” Draco asked sourly.

Pansy sighed and sat down on the sofa. “Draco, you have to fix this. You have to try and convince your dad that this isn’t true.”

“You know that man believes anything he reads off the bloody prophet.” He retorted, feeling the sudden urge to rip the prophet into shreds. “All he cares about is the public image of this company.”

“You’re THE public image Draco.” Pansy told him, her voice stern and controlling. “You’re the one that tells the public the potential of this company and things like that. Reporters are following you everywhere just to get a juicy scoop on one of your latest mess-ups. You need to look good towards the public – it’s part of your job.” She picked the prophet up and turned to the sixth page. “Do you see this?” Pansy asked, pointing to a picture of Draco and Hermione taken at their engagement party. “This picture is still circulating in the Prophet. This is the Draco Malfoy they need to see – or else this will get very bad for your father.”

Draco growled and crumbled up the prophet in his hands, throwing it in the disposal bin. “Draco – we’ve already lost several clients. They’re against your father’s decision in handing the company over to you. You haven’t been present for any of the important meetings and they feel that with you starting your own family, you can’t handle this company on your bare back.” She said softly, looking down at the floor. “Which is why your father still partially opposes this marriage – he believes that Astoria would’ve been a better choice.”

“Well what do you propose I do, Pansy?” Draco asked her, his voice still angry. “Dump Hermione and put everything I have into fixing my ‘image’?”

She rolled her eyes. “No, I’m telling you to be a fiancé. They need to see that you’re still responsible, and that you’re not just being a young adult, going out and partying, not taking your soon-to-be marriage seriously. That headline – that front page doesn’t show anything about responsibility. You need to protect Hermione as well – not just you.”

“Don’t you think I’m trying to do that?” he snapped at her, loosening his tie. “Try to keep this down, Pans.” Draco requested after a few moments of contemplating to himself. “Is it possible to get warrants against reporters and photographers?”

Pansy chuckled. “Not unless they did anything to you.”

He sighed, and stood up from his chair. “Great.” He said sarcastically. “Oh and Pansy, please send an owl to Carrow and tell him to meet me at the Leaky Cauldron in twenty.”

Giving him a strange look, Pansy nodded. She walked behind his desk and pulled out a spare sheet of parchment. “Do I want to know what you’re about to do?” she asked him, scribbling quickly with a quill. “Be careful with yourself.” She reminded, folding up the paper.

Once she looked up from the table, she noticed that Draco had left. She sighed and followed suit, walking to his secretary and handing her the note. “Please owl this to Wesley Carrow. Wherever he may be.”


Lucius Malfoy brought the Prophet down to his desk, and folding his hands across his stomach. He eyed his son who was sitting a few feet away from him, and sighed exasperatedly. “Well, Draco – this is just what we need at the moment.” He said, his voice dripping with sarcasm. “Your fiancé splattered on the front page, being accused of having an affair.”

“She didn’t have an affair, Father.” Draco spoke, trying his best to refrain from yelling. “It’s just a misunderstanding.”

His father sat up in his chair and took a drink of water. “You do know what the committee has been saying these days, don’t you Draco?”

“Yes Father.” Draco replied through gritted teeth. He kept his eyes on his lap, as he sat back carelessly on one of the arm chairs his father had in his spacious office.

Disappointed, Lucius stood up and walked around his desk and sat on the armchair opposite from Draco. “They feel that you don’t have the potential to run this company all by yourself.” Draco stayed quiet. “Draco, this is not the time to be making mistakes.”

“I know father.” He almost snapped. “That reporter exaggerated the story too much that it’s a complete lie.”

“I don’t care what the reporter did – I care about what you and Hermione do.” Silence fell between father and son. Draco never looked up to meet his father’s eye, and Lucius Malfoy kept his eyes on the drink that was in his hands. “Wouldn’t Miranda have made a better choice?” he questioned suddenly. “She’s the ministers daughter – a great asset to this company. Or even Astoria, I’m sure she would be able to support you in leading.”

Draco grew angrier and angrier, at each word his father spoke. “Miranda and I have been over since she left.” He replied, trying to keep his voice calm and collected. “I’ve told you this several times, father.” He practically spat out the word ‘father’. “I love Hermione, and she’s the woman I’m going to marry.” Out of instinct, Draco winced at the careless use of the word ‘love’.

His father rolled his eyes. “Love.” He spat. “What good does that do, Draco? It does not get you anywhere in life. What will happen when the committee officially decides that you’re not fit for my title – what are we going to do then?”

Standing up from his seat, Draco quickly walked to the door. “Give it to someone else, someone who actually wants it.” He snapped at his father, and walked out of his office.

He quickly walked to the lifts, furiously pressing the button as he waited for it to come. Last night had been one of the best nights of his life, and suddenly – this horrid day came along and everything just seemed to be thrown into the brink of falling apart. Only a few hours ago he was laying in bed, happily with Hermione, thinking about nothing else but how much he was enjoying his time with her.

As the doors of the lifts open, there was another wizard standing in the corner of the spacious lift. His face was shielded by the daily prophet, and Draco growled quietly to himself once he see’s Hermione plastered on the front page. “Wonderful.” He spat, resisting the urge to take the strangers newspaper and set it on fire. Before he could do anything drastic, the doors of the lifts opened and he quickly ran for the first exit he could find.

The Leaky Cauldron

“Let’s cut to the chase.” Wesley said immediately, adjusting the jacket of his suit around his body. “I’ve got to be somewhere in ten minutes.” He picked up the bottle of liquor that was placed in front of him and took a small sip. “I supposed you called me here to talk to me about the picture on the Prophet?”

Draco leaned back in his seat, trying to control his anger towards Wesley. “I’m here to tell you to stop whatever you’re trying to do.” He replied bluntly. Within a matter of seconds, a smug grin formed on Wesley’s face, causing more anger to rise in Draco’s body. “I’m serious, Carrow.” Draco snapped. “Hermione’s my fiancé, so just cut the crap and leave her alone.”

Wesley’s smugness was clearly visible on his face and poster, as he sat back in his seat with extreme calmness. “I’m afraid I can’t do that.” He countered. “You see, I happen to like Hermione.” The grin on his face widened. “You always did know how to chose them, Draco.”

As he listened to Wesley’s words, his hands tightened around his own glass. His knuckles and fingertips soon turned white, but he couldn’t draw his hand back. “Rubbish! You don’t even like Hermione, you twit.” Draco exclaimed, rather angrily. His voice boomed louder than he had expected, causing a few bystanders to cast a curious glance towards them. “You and I both know that she’s just another game to you – and you for one, enjoy playing games.” He said angrily. “You don’t think I see what you’re doing? She won’t fall for it – she’s a smart woman. You always had a thing for the stupid ones. Why change taste in women now?”

“I honestly don’t know what you’re talking about.” Wesley said innocently, his face plastered with smugness. “I’m sorry, but I can’t do anything about it if Hermione wants to spend time with me. My charm has never disappointed.” He flashed Draco his most charming smile, causing Draco to look away – utterly repulsed.

Draco rolled his eyes. “You think she wants to spend time with you?” he asked. “You practically sexually assaulted her last night, and you think she’s going to want to spend time with you?” Draco demanded, glaring at Wesley. “She’s not an idiot – I know that she can see right through you.”

A chuckle came from Wesley’s mouth. “I’m sure she’ll understand me when I explain to her that I was extremely drunk that night. I come out as a perfect gentleman to women, didn’t you know?” he smirked. “Miranda sure saw me as one.”

There was undeniable tension that had settled between them, but neither of them cared enough to break it. Draco’s face slowly turned into a scowl. “You can’t keep playing the Miranda card forever, Carrow.” He snapped, feeling his blood pressure rising. “She no longer means anything to me.”

“Then why are you so bothered when I simply say her name?” Wesley taunted, obviously not caring how far he pushed Draco. “C’mon, Draco. We both know that you will never get over Miranda. I feel bad for Hermione though, it looks like she’s growing rather fond of her fiancé. You know, I think she might actually love you,” He scoffed bitterly. “Only Merlin knows why.”

At the sound of the word ‘love’, Draco flinched again. The corners of his mouth twitched with the unfamiliarity of the word, and he silently hoped that Wesley hadn’t noticed a change in his attitude. Nevertheless, He continued glaring at Wesley who was currently, metaphorically speaking, poking his fingers through fire. “And why would that make you feel bad?” Draco asked through gritted teeth.

Wesley smirked again – a larger smirk this time. “Don’t you think this will bother Hermione when she learns that you still have feelings for your ex-girlfriend?” he paused for a moment. “It’s a pity watching such a smart girl, make such a horrid choice of a husband.”

“I have absolutely no feelings for Miranda other than resentment.” Draco spat as he remembered their arguments over Hermione. “This is besides the point.” Wesley smirked again. “I came here to warn you. Don’t make this any harder for Hermione, or else you’ll just be digging your own grave. You got that?” He stood up and threw a few sickles on the table after he finished the remainder of his drink.

Wesley took a sip of his own drink and watched as Draco turned around and began waking towards the door. “I’ll be going after her too, Draco.” Wesley said loudly – knowing that he would hear him. “Just remember that. I won’t be backing down that easily. She deserves someone better than you – someone who doesn’t make her run to clubs and get rip-roaring drunk because of an argument you two had.” He played with the remainder of his drink, swirling it around the bottom of the short glass. “I’ll be the one that consoles the poor girl once she realizes that she was a fool to agree to marry you.”

Draco paused for a moment, allowing Wesley’s words to sink in. “Miranda will be the only woman you will ever take away from me.” His hands were balled up into fists in his pocket, and before his urge to cause Wesley as much physical pain as possible; Draco left the pub and walked into the pouring rain. Without thinking of apparition, he walked down the streets of London, not having an exact destination. He allowed the rain to seep into his clothes and his hair and he found himself enjoying the refreshing feeling.

From across the street, through the cars and busses that had passed by, his eyes settled on a small café with a few empty tables. Before his mind had even registered what he had spotted, his legs carried him across the street and into the warm café. He took a seat on one of the tables placed outside, past the double doors that could’ve passed as windows. As he waited for the waitress to tend to him, Draco sat back and listened to the rain. He could hear the rainfall loudly against the pavement and the ceiling – something he hasn’t paid attention to in years.

“What can I get you?” the petite waitress asked, approaching Draco. She had a small pad in her hands and a pen stuck in the messy bun of her hair. “Wait a sec.,” she said, holding one finger up. She was a ginger, with straight hair that was tied into a messy bun. There was a small apron wrapped around her waist, placed on top of a short black skirt. “Where did I put that darn pen?” she questioned herself quietly, slightly irritated. “I’m sorry – I just keep losing that stupid pen.” She continued to search the pockets of her apron, and her skirt and repeated the process over and over again. “Stupid muggle invention.” She muttered to herself, so quietly that Draco wasn’t sure if he had heard her correctly.

The waitress caused Draco to laugh softly to himself. He reached up and pulled the thin purple pen from her hair, causing a few strands to fall out of place. “It was in your hair.” He explained, handing it to her.

She smiled, embarrassed and set the tip of the pen against her pad of paper. “Why thank you.” She thanked him quickly. “Now what can I get you?”

Draco sat there for a moment, looking around. “Er.” He said, hoping that there would be a small menu sitting on his table in front of him. Unfortunately, he wasn’t that lucky. “What’s the best thing served here?” he asked.

The waitress scrunched up her nose and placed her hands on her hips as she thought for a moment. “Well – I can’t really say, I don’t exactly like coffee, so I never go near it.”

He chuckled, looking around. “You work in a café.” Draco said. “You’re near coffee all the time.”

She shrugged. “One of my many day jobs.” She explained. “I take what I can get – and I don’t complain.” Ginger paused for a moment. “Well of course, unless a customer asks me what I think is the best thing around here.”

“Well, you can bring me anything you like.” Draco told her, folding his hands on the wooden table. “Surprise me.” He grinned.

The waitress smiled, and nodded her head, walking off towards the counter in the front. He watched as she entered the small swinging doors located on the side and pulled a large blue mug from a cupboard.

Turning his attention away from the waitress, Draco watched the city of London once more. The sidewalks where littered with people using umbrella’s, making the place look more crowded than it really was. He watched a young couple run through the rain without an umbrella, hand in hand as they tried their best not to get wet. “Ah, young love.” The waitress said, sighing as she set down the large blue mug in front of him along with a small plate with a slice of cheesecake. “The cheesecake is on me.” She smiled. “You’re the first customer that ever asked me to bring you what I wanted.”

Draco looked down at his coffee, and noticed that it was white. “Is this coffee?” he asked her, bringing the mug up to his face.

She shook her head. “It’s white hot chocolate, with caramel on top. My favorite thing to drink when it’s pissing rain like today.” She watched intently as Draco took a sip of the hot drink, and smiled. “Good, right?” She asked.

He nodded in response. “It tastes great.”

“Say - ” the waitress began slowly, unsure of what she was about to say. “Aren’t you Draco Malfoy?”

Feeling slightly annoyed that this waitress had recognized him; he looked down at his drink and nodded. “Yes, I am.” He responded rather coldly.

A slightly sympathetic look formed on the waitress’s face. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t say anything or pry – but,” she began, still hesitant on speaking. “Congratulations on your engagement. It was a bit sudden – mum and I were surprised hearing that you were getting married so quickly, we didn’t even know that you even had a girlfriend, I mean -” she suddenly stopped when she realized that she was rambling. “Well,” Ginger began again, her cheeks flushing a soft shade of pink. “All I’m trying to say is – don’t pay attention to whatever the prophet is going to say about you two for the next few weeks.” She told him. “They’re a right load of dimwits who needs to find new accurate reporters. Hermione Granger is definitely not the type to cheat on her fiancé.”

Draco looked at her with a confused look on his face. “Do you know Hermione?” he asked, curiosity sparking in his eyes.

She held out her hand and shook it, an unsure expression forming on her face. “I don’t know her personally, but we’re in the same training session.” She informed him. “You know, auror training and everything. Smart girl, she is. She’s the only one in our entire class that bothers to read those blasted textbooks they give us, rather than just learning it in class.” Draco chuckled after hearing this. “She hasn’t been to class lately, and we all suppose it has something to do with the fact that she’s about to marry a Malfoy.”

“What do you mean by that?” he asked.

Ginger shrugged again, brushing some hair out of her face. “Well, it takes a lot to marry a Malfoy, don’t you think?” she asked. “You have to maintain some sort of status level or something – don’t you? Mum always mentioned how brave Hermione must be to jump into a pit full of hungry lions – or was it alligators?” the quirky waitress trailed off, placing a finger on her chin and staring out into space. “Well, the point is – she’s got guts, you know? Her life will have practically ended once she’s officially bound to you by marriage. To be honest, I don’t know how she’s going to manage being an Auror once you two get married.” It took her a moment to realize how much she had been rambling for the past ten minutes. “Oops, I’m sorry.” She apologized, laughing softly to herself. “I tend to do this a lot – my boss keeps telling me that he’ll cut me lose if I continue rambling on with customers like this.”

Draco shook his head and laughed. “It’s fine. Thank you for your insight.”

Looking around cautiously, the waitress pulled out her wand and pointed it to the tip of his cup and muttered a charm that he did not recognize. Draco looked up at her with confusion and she shrugged, smiling. “I love serving wizards and witches.” She explained to him. “It gives it a little sweetness – try it now, you’ll love it.”

Doing as he was told, Draco found that his drink was indeed tastier, in a sweeter way. He thanked the waitress, and looked up at her face. He realized that she looked familiar to him. “What’s your name?” he asked her.

Another small smile formed on her face. “Adrianne Greengrass.” She said. “I’m Astoria’s second cousin.”

Confusion spread over his face, as he continued to stare at her. “You’re a Greengrass and you’re working day jobs in a Muggle area?” he questioned.

Adrianne shrugged. “It beats going home early and dealing with my parents’ petty dilemmas,” she continued. “Plus, I’m a big girl and I’m learning to fend for myself.”

“That’s very brave of you, considering – your er, cousins.” Draco replied hesitantly as he suddenly felt afraid that he had offended the girl.

She laughed, a laugh that sounded similar to Astoria’s. “That’s not the first time I’ve heard that.” Adrianne said. “Hermione’s better for you.” She said thoughtfully after a few moments of silence. “Don’t mind my family and my cousins – Astoria’s just not used to being rejected by a guy she really wants.”

Draco nodded. “I know.” He replied. “Thank you, for talking with me and for the cheesecake.”

Adrianne gave Draco another smile before she walked off to another table that needed her services. His mind wandered off from the quirky waitress that was a mere table away from him, and towards the rain. The coffee no longer smelled like brewed coffee mixed with the sweetness of the treats they served. A new murky rain smell and mixed in, making the coffee house momentarily feel like home.

Home, Draco thought. He realized that there was a home waiting for him back in his flat. She was probably curled up on the couch reading another one of her favorite classic novels with a cup of coffee sitting in front of her. His mother had finally returned home, upon the early arrival of his father, and Hermione was more than overjoyed.

Finishing his drink and his desert, Draco left a galleon on the table along with a few sickles. He walked around several round tables and approached the counter, where a different blonde woman sat behind the register. “Please give me two slices of cheesecake and a cup of hot white chocolate to go, please.” Pulling out more money, he handed the woman the coins as she handed him a tall cup of coffee and a small container, holding the cheesecake.

He thanked her once more and walked out of the café, shielding his purchases from the rain, with his jacket. As he entered a small, deserted alley, Draco hid from the public view and apparated in front of his flat, and into his home’s opened arms.


The couple sat by the windowsill on the right hand corner of their flat. The rain had once again, resumed from it’s small break earlier that afternoon, and it rained harder this time. The streets of London were filled with small puddles of water, and there were some cases of slight flooding in different areas of the street.

As Hermione leaned against the thick frame of the window with the hot chocolate Draco had brought her, she stared idly into the streets. She watched the stoplights change colors every few minutes or so, giving the signals to cars to drive and stop. A small feeling grew in the pit of her stomach, and she knew that she wanted to be out there – in the rain, letting it fall on her face.

She glanced at Draco, and noticed that he was doing the same. There was a serene look on his face as his eyes focused on the rain making contact with the black pavement. “Do you want to just go out there?” she asked with a gloomy look on hr face. “At times like this, I really miss being a little girl.”

Draco tore his gaze away from the rain, and his eyes fell on Hermione’s face. She was staring at him, with her big brown eyes. It was the first time that day he had noticed how pretty she looked. She was wearing one of his old t-shirts that he had grown out off. The sleeves were folded all the way to her elbows, and she had buttoned it up to her chest. He also recognized one of his old pair of boxer shorts that he had put in a box along with all his other old clothes.

Once Hermione had noticed what Draco was staring at, she smiled sheepishly. “I’m sorry, but they’re just really comfortable.” She brought her hand to her face, pushing her hair out of her face – an act she did when she felt embarrassed or shy.

He smiled. “It looks good on you.” Draco replied. “I was meaning to get rid of all my old clothes anyway – feel free to use them.”

Hermione smiled once more, but didn’t say another word. She returned her gaze towards the streets, and noticed that there were fewer and fewer people walking on the sidewalks. “There hasn’t been a day like this in a while.” She spoke softly, feeling strange once the silence was broken.

“Hermione,” Draco began, staring at her. “Don’t pay any attention to what the world says.” He said, suddenly; baffling Hermione. “The Prophet, all those old prejudice people, don’t pay any attention to them.”

A small, sour smile formed on Hermione’s face, but had disappeared quickly. “I know, Draco.” She said. “I’m not worried about what they say about me in the prophet, and I could care less about what all those other people think.” Draco continued staring at Hermione, his eyes tracing the contours of her face. He felt genuinely interested by the woman in front of him. He had known her since they were eleven years old, and has spent ample amounts of time with her for the past several weeks – and yet, she still struck him as the most mysterious and fascinating woman he’s ever met. “I’m worried about your career, and what will happen to your business if things like this continues.”

Draco sighed. “Don’t worry about that – I’ll handle everything.”

“I know how much things like these affect big, well known companies.” Hermione replied, staring at him. “It doesn’t matter to who this news reaches out to, but as long as it reaches the people who make the big decisions – it’s risky.”

His only reply was his smile. He was amazed by how much Hermione knew about everything. Once she had caught him smiling at her like a fool, Draco turned away and it was his turn to feel bashful. “I’ll handle my father and the board.” Draco reassured her, placing a hand on hers. “All you have to worry about is being the most perfect fiancé you can be.”

Although Hermione wasn’t entirely convinced, she nodded and grinned. “I’ll treat you so well, you’ll never want to let me go.” She teased as her confidence rose in a matter of seconds. “I’ll be the best fiancé I can be.” She promised, smiling at Draco. “No more encounters with strange men that my fiancé doesn’t approve of.”

Draco grinned broadly at her. There was something about this girl that made him happy – even in the worst of times. He watched her pretend to be the fiancé he never had, and he smiled while she joked around and teased him. They spent the rest of their night sitting by the windowsill, chatting as they watched the rainfall together. To Draco, he had momentarily forgotten his stressful day, and all he could think about was the girl sitting beside him wearing one of his most favorite things in the world. Her smile.


Three letters arrived for Draco that night from three different owls. As he sat up, leaning against his headboard, with Hermione sleeping soundly beside him, he tore open the first letter and began to read it. He immediately recognized Pansy’s neat handwriting printed on the paper.


You must’ve had a rough day, considering the whole commotion concerning those photographs, and this probably won’t make it any better – but you must hear this from me. Your wedding is growing near, and you MUST keep things clean. Don’t pull any more stupid things. Don’t have any more secret meetings with Wesley, and do go allowing people to get the idea that you go into café’s in the middle of the day, flirting with pretty redhead waitresses. You don’t know who’s following you. These days, those blasted reporters and photographers practically carry around invisibility cloaks with them. Be careful. I’m serious. Keep reading you twit and don’t get angry.

I’ve been keeping in touch with Ginny and we’ve been discussing wedding plans for Hermione and you. We’re almost done with everything – Narcissa has helped out a lot. We’ve got the dresses all sorted out, the whole deal. The only thing is, we need you two to pick out your wedding bands and write your own vows for the ceremony. The rehearsal dinner is all planned out, and your parents have sent over this extremely long invitation for the rehearsal dinner alone. We’ll be sending out the invitations soon enough.

Look, I know the dynamics of your marriage, and I know that it isn’t exactly what one would call a real marriage, but please make your wedding vows sweet and honest. It doesn’t even have to be long, just make it from your heart, Draco. You know, those beating things in your chest that every human being has?

Remember what I said. No more nonsense from either of you. Your mother is planning a Gala tomorrow night so the two of you will have your chance to redeem yourselves. Send Hermione off to my place tomorrow night, and I’ll get her ready. It’s already too late to go shopping and I’m sure your taste in dresses isn’t exactly adequate.

I’m being serious Draco. Don’t mess up.


By the way, Blaise says ‘hi’ and insists that I write it in here. He’s watching over my back at the moment.


Draco folded up the letter and set it on his bedside table. The next letter was from his mother, with the Malfoy seal, taping the envelope closed. After glancing at Hermione, making sure she was still sleeping, he opened the letter and began reading.


Dear Draco,

I’m extremely disappointed in both you and Hermione. I hope you know what this is doing to the both of you, and to your father. I completely agree with him one hundred percent when he says that Astoria or Miranda would’ve been finer choices. But if you insist on Hermione, then do whatever you please. You’re as stubborn as your father, and unfortunately, I can’t sway your decisions.

I’ll keep this short and brief. I will be holding a Gala in the manor tomorrow and I expect you and Hermione to be there. You two will be flawless and perfect. Seriously, Draco. If you two mess up one more time I’ll hang your heads and feed you to the dogs.



Scowling, Draco crumbled up the letter and dropped it on the floor. The last people he waned to hear from were his judgmental parents. Picking up the last letter that was placed on his lap, he frowned once he saw the unfamiliar seal, confining the letter in its envelope.


To Mr. Draco Malfoy and Miss Hermione Granger

My name is John Darley from the Daily Prophet, and I’m sure that both of you aren’t too happy with the front-page story that was printed and distributed earlier today. I’m giving you the chance to clear your names with a private interview, in your own home. You may schedule the interview anytime of the day.

I will be extremely honored if you replied with your approval of this proposal.

John Darley
The Daily Prophet

“The nerve of this guy.” Draco mumbled to himself as he reread the letter once more. Slowly, he set the paper down on his lap while his eyes traveled to Hermione once more. Her back was facing Draco, and her hair had moved up the pillow, exposing the back of her neck to Draco.

He sighed. “Maybe an interview won’t be such a bad idea.” He whispered before he grabbed a quill on his side table along with a clean sheet of parchment. Scribbling his response, he slowly climbed out of bed – careful not to wake Hermione and walked into the corner of his bedroom, where his owl was perched on the top of the dresser.

Carefully, he brought the owl outside his cage and walked towards the opened window. “Send this to John Darley.” Draco ordered, placing the letter tightly between the owl’s beaks. He stood by his window, watching his grey owl fly off into the night, slightly regretting his decision in agreeing with a dirty reporter.


A/N: HI GUYS ! so i'd like to give you guys some news about Contours it's coming to an end soon! probably 25-26 chapter tops. i've written the entire plan out, and it goes up to twenty four, but there may be some complications and i may change things around a little, so yeah - it may take a little more than the set number. i realized that this is how i should do my novella's from now on so that i don't take forever to just update. plan everything out so i don't forget. stupid me. yes, i never did that - all i did was write spontaneously which is why updates took so long. i figured that it's a lot easier making up a story on the spot, rather than thinking of one along the way. a little thing us liars have a knack for. haha anyway.

this chapter was actually supposed to be much more than 6000 words. the gala was supposed to take place in this chapter, but i decided to create a whole different chapter for it and just put more drama and complications. hehe. here's a little sneak peak for the next chapter. please keep in mind - it hasn't been written yet, but it'll give you an idea of what's going to happen next. it's sort of a raw thing.

Chapter Nineteen-

Miranda: Hermione, may i speak to you please? Listen - i know i'm the last person you want to talk to tonight, and i know that these reporters haven't been making your night as spectacular as it should be. But woman to woman, i think that you should know something

insert text here ;)

Hermione stared at her, completely baffled. No, it couldn't be - it just couldn't be. Several million things were running through her mind, and she couldn't completely understand everything that was going on around her. She moved her eyes to the floor with horror and then back up to Miranda's completely serious face. Then she realized - she wasn't lying. This time, Miranda wasn't spitting out lies for her own benefit. She was really telling the truth, and it scared her more than ever.

Miranda: I know you're in shock right now, but i would be too. Let me just remind you - you, being his fiance is the only woman in this entire world capable of hurting him so. I just want to give you a warning as to what you're doing. Watch yourself, Granger - and watch out for him, because things are going to get ugly from here.


eesh, i feel like i revealed too much. well there's much more going on than that. so please tell me what you think, and leave a review! the mailing list is still open. if you have any questions regarding Contours, feel free to ask. :)


Chapter 20: Chapter Nineteen
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

By: Gryffindorgirl153

Chapter Nineteen
The Malfoy Manor

A sleek black car with dark black windows slowly entered the grounds of the Malfoy Manor, trailing behind several other muggle cars. Hermione's attention was glued on the window, while she tried to focus her mind on anything else but the feeling of uneasiness that settled in her body. Her hands were neatly folded on top of her bare legs, while her mind was completely absorbed in her thoughts. Sensing Hermione's nervousness, Draco reached over and unfolded Hermione's hands, taking her right hand in his. "Relax." he whispered, giving her a soft smile. "Everything will be fine. Just relax, Hermione."

She turned to Draco and gave him a shaky smile. "I know, but everything depends on tonight right?" Hermione reminded him. "If tonight turns into a disaster, then your mom will seriously throw a fit."

Draco chuckled. "Don't worry about my mother." he squeezed her hand in reassurance. "Just act natural - there's no need to force ourselves to look happy." she turned to him with a strange look on her face. Clearing his throat, Draco said, "What I meant was, all we have to show them is the real us - we don't have to do anything more than that. Now, you look beautiful tonight, Hermione - how about we go out there and just get this whole night over with."

For a short moment, Hermione sat in the still car, fixing her eyes on their intertwined hands. She then lifted her head, and forced a smile on her face. "Alright." Draco smiled once more, ready to give Hermione all the support she needed to get through the night and keep her sanity intact. As soon as Draco stepped out of the car, several photographers immediately took this opportunity to get as much pictures as they could. Camera flashes could be seen through the opening of the car door and Hermione's heart raced. Hesitantly, she held her breath and stepped out of the car, into Draco's waiting arms. She soon faced several reporters, who were all flashing cameras in their faces - eager to get a photograph of the current most interesting couple.

Hermione forced a smile as she stood on the base of the stairs, allowing the photographers to take their pictures. Once she felt Draco tug lightly on her waist, she turned around and slowly walked up the stairs. "Calm down," he whispered in her ear while he led her through the entrance of the manor.

No matter how many times Hermione visited the Malfoy Manor; there was always something new that amazed her. This time, it was the grand ballroom that had been transfigured by Narcissa, in place of their sitting room. "Wow," she breathed, looking up at the large arc that had appeared in the middle of the room.

A chuckle filled her ears as Draco appeared by her side. "You'll get used to it." he said, taking her hand, leading her into the ballroom. "C'mon, mom sat us over there." Draco told her, pointing to a table placed in the middle of the ballroom, bordering the dance floor. "Typical of mum to do this." he muttered to himself.

"I think your mum is just worried about you, Draco." Hermione said, following him to their designated table. She scanned the ballroom, seeing all the men dressed in smart tuxes accompany their dates, who were all dressed in beautiful gowns. She took the seat beside Pansy, who smiled when she saw the couple walking towards them.

"Why, Hermione," she said, grinning from ear to ear. "You look absolutely beautiful tonight - I wonder who's at fault." Pansy - as usual, was dressed in black. She wore a simply black dress, flowing outwards down to her feet. Her legs were covered with sheer black stockings, and her feet were covered in black pumps.

Hermione smirked and flipped her brown hair all over her shoulder. "Well, it's all natural, did you know?" she answered, jokingly.

Draco laughed and slipped his arm around her shoulders. "She isn't lying, you know." Smiling, he leaned forward and planted a chaste kiss on her cheek.

Obviously surprised, Hermione turned to him and stared. Their eyes met for a moment as Draco's face grew serious. Thankfully for Hermione, Pansy jumped up from her seat beside her and straightened out her dress. "Theo." she began, pulling him up to his feet. "Come dance with me!" Hermione and Draco were both forced to look Pansy's way due to her sudden outburst.

Hermione cleared her throat, stealing a glance from Draco. She quickly averted her attention elsewhere, when she was sure that his eyes grazed her. Draco pulled back his arm, and nonchalantly moved his hand down to her bare thigh as he reached forward for the un-touched glass of champagne sitting on the table. Her long white dress draped around her legs like a curtain, exposing her legs from thigh down, when pushed back. Once she felt Draco's skin touching hers, she drew a shaky breath. The unfamiliar contact sent shivers down her back, while memories of their nights together filled her mind. A slight, rosy blush formed on her cheeks and she discreetly attempted to hide her pink cheeks from Draco.

A few moments ago, Draco had made the mistake of reaching forward and planting a kiss on Hermione's cheek. He had sent her the wrong idea - or he himself, had the wrong idea. She quickly turned her head towards him, her hair sending a wave of fragrance to linger in between them. For a moment, he sat there - intoxicated and spellbound as her light brown eyes caught his attention. He couldn't miss the moment to properly see the beautiful girl sitting in front of him. The tempting opportunity made it difficult for Draco to look elsewhere, amazed by what he saw from a simple look. She was afraid - and he knew it. His attention was finally steered away from Hermione when Pansy suddenly shot out of her seat. Noticing their unusual position, Draco moved his arm from around her and immediately cursed his hand for acting upon its own accord. His hand landed on her thigh - a usual and familiar act of possession. In his attempt to hide his obvious nervousness, he reached forward and drank some of his champagne. 'Smooth,' Draco thought to himself bitterly.

Feeling a hand on his shoulder, Draco turned around to find Blaise grinning down at him. "Hullo, mate." He greeted. Draco noticed his eyes moving to Hermione, and he knew that Blaise was thinking the same as he. Hermione was absolutely gorgeous, and there was no one in this room that would even dare of thinking otherwise. "Hey, Hermione." Blaise said, smiling. "You look lovely tonight." Draco mentally scoffed, knowing the word 'lovely' was an understatement.

Surprise came over him as Blaise walked around him and to Hermione's side. Blaise held out his hand, being the proper gentleman he is, and gave Hermione one his most charming smiles. "Hermione, I believe that a beautiful lady like you shouldn't spend the night sitting down with boring ol` Draco here." Blaise earned himself a smack behind his head as Draco scowled at him. "Come dance with me, beautiful." he continued, causing Hermione to blush slightly. "I'll show you that I can dance a lot better than this git."

She reached up and placed her hand in his. "Why I'd love to, Blaise." Hermione answered, smiling. Once she stood up, Blaise offered his arm to his dance partner, and Hermione carefully looped her arm around his. He led her straight to the middle of the dance floor, and they began dancing, joyfully.

"Excuse Draco." Blaise told her, his mouth close to her ear. "He's rather shy around pretty girls."

Hermione blushed for the third time that night. "Draco has no reason to be shy around me." she told him, fighting the urge to smile. "He's definitely anything but shy."

Blaise chuckled and said, "Trust me Hermione. If you were any other normal girl, he wouldn't be sitting down at a table, drowning in champagne." At the word 'normal', Hermione gave him a quizzical look. "Well, let's face it." he said, smirking. "You're Hermione Granger. So far, you're the only person I know that can completely make him all hot and bothered," Blaise winked. "If you know what I mean."

This comment caused Hermione to throw her head back and laugh. Blaise, enjoying her mirth, twirled her around, and brought him back into him. Their dance was cut short once he felt a hand on his shoulder. Blaise immediately grinned when he saw Draco standing behind him with his arms folded behind him. "Well Draco, you certainly took a while."

Draco cleared his throat, and glanced towards Hermione. "May I take my fiancé back?" he asked, slightly amused. "I wouldn't want to put her through anymore torture - not every girl has the ability to deal with your horrid dancing." Draco couldn’t fight the small grin that crept upon his face.

A joyous laugh came from Hermione's mouth once more, and Draco smiled upon looking at her. Blaise scowled at Draco, and let his arms drop from Hermione's
side. He turned to Hermione and smiled. "It was a pleasure dancing with you, my darling." With one last look, Blaise turned around and headed to the other side of the ballroom. Draco and Hermione watched him for a moment, and they both shook their heads with a chuckle once they notice Blaise advancing on a long-legged blonde.

They both turned towards each other, and Draco immediately took Hermione's hand in his, and wrapped his other arm around her waist. Together, they began to waltz across the dance floor as Draco led her gracefully and flawlessly. During their entire dance, Draco kept his eyes on Hermione's face, unable to get enough of her. He noticed the blush that formed on her cheeks when she felt slightly embarrassed, and wondered if it was his effect on her. "You know, if I didn't know any better - I’d say that you're blushing, Granger." he said beside her ear, smirking widely.

A string of curses flew through Hermione's mind once she felt the familiar sensation of heat pooling around the cheeks. Stealing a glance from Draco, she silently hoped that he had not noticed how much she had been blushing."Shut your face, Malfoy." Hermione snapped, embarrassed as she turned away. "I am not blushing." With a deep, throaty chuckle, Draco managed to distract her from her embarrassment, as he twirled her around the dance floor, dancing circles around everyone else. She noticed his flawless steps, along with the way his body moved, in unison with the rhythm of the music. Realization came crashing down on Hermione, once she remembered what he was - an explanation of his fine taste and perfect dancing. The word 'pureblood' crossed her mind again and again, until it was permanently etched into her brain, making it something she wouldn't be able to forget, for the time being. 'Pureblood' - the label she has grown to hate - the label that has put so many barriers around their relationship, that Hermione no longer knew how to get around it. Being a pureblood was simply inevitable, and it was something that Draco couldn't run from, and she knew she wouldn’t be able to in the future. Simply thinking of the word, she scowled wondering why the high status had put them in such a predicament such as this. Doubt has crossed her mind more than it should have in the past few days, leaving Hermione feeling guilty of her own thoughts.

The song slowed, and another tune blended in with the fading waltz. Draco recognized it immediately and smirked. "The next song is a tango, Granger. Do you know how to dance a tango?" he asked in a whisper, leaning forward, closer to her ear. Without waiting for an answer, he drew her body closer to his and grinned when he heard a soft gasp come from her mouth. Knowing Hermione's unfamiliarity with the tango, he began to lead her, knowing she would be able to follow without a problem.

With every move, their dance grew more and more intimate the proximity of the distance between their bodies endlessly teased Draco, causing a throaty growl to slip past his lips and into Hermione's ear. However, no matter how much it pained him to be so close, yet so far from her - he enjoyed the feeling of her body pressed against his. Knowing that the song was about to come to an end, Draco abruptly pulled Hermione against his chest, and he shut his eyes tight the moment her chest made contact with his. Their faces were merely centimeters apart, and he could feel her hot breath on his face. She hooked her right leg around his hip before his hands gripped either side of her waist, and carefully pushed her back, dipping her low to the ground.

As he watched her curve against his hands, he wondered how she was able to move her body so. His hands cradled her waist, assisting her body in creating a perfect arc as her hair fell from her shoulders. He watched as her head dipped lower to the ground, her body moving sensually - artistically. Draco’s eyes fixated on her for a moment, before she slowly drew her body back up, causing her body to accent her chest, as it rose higher. Their eyes immediately met as soon as Hermione stood upright. He could feel the air being knocked away from his chest, windswept by Hermione’s beauty. With their feet rooted on the spot, neither of them seemed to notice the song coming to an end. Draco continued holding Hermione close to him, his arms wound tightly around her waist.

Before Draco moved away, he gave her a smile that caused Hermione's insides to squeeze tightly together. She felt her knees grow weak, buckling against each other, and she found herself standing before him - breathless. "I didn't know you could dance so well, Hermione." he commented as he continued to smile down at her.

"Well, there's a lot you don't know about me, Draco." Hermione breathed, still dazed from his smile.

"We're just going to have to change that, won't we?" he asked with twinkling eyes.

Hermione felt an unsettling feeling in the pit of her stomach, and she dropped her gaze to the floor. "What's the point?" she mumbled to herself, almost inaudibly. "We're going to divorce eventually anyway,"

Unfortunately, Draco had heard what Hermione had said, and anger bubbled inside him. He abruptly turned around and faced Hermione, before they had even got the chance to return to their seats. "What are you talking about?" he asked with fiery eyes.

Hermione's eyes widened upon seeing Draco's formidable expression. "Well - I uh, I didn't say anything, Draco." she whispered, dropping her gaze to her feet.

He scoffed, and rolled his eyes. "You've never been the best liar." Draco informed her, scoffing bitterly. "Is that really what you think of this marriage?" he demanded furiously. "A relationship that's not even worth a try because you know it’s going to end eventually?"

Sensing the tension, reporters were instantly swarmed around the couple, their quick quotes quill floating beside them - eager to catch what Draco and Hermione were saying. "No, that's not what I m - " Draco had cut Hermione off before she was able to finish her sentence.

"That's just great, Hermione." he said sarcastically, his voice rising. “What a great thing to say.” His voice was cold, and it cut through Hermione like an old, jagged, dirty knife that tore at her skin. It was then when the couple realized just how open their conversation was. With a scowl on his face, Draco stared at each of the reporters crowded around them. He grabbed Hermione's hand and pulled her away from the crowd and out of the manor.

He pulled her around the manor, and towards the garden planted in the back. Hermione stumbled against the ground that mostly consisted of pebbles, struggling with Draco's fast pace. Once he had let go of her hand, the cold movement caused guilt to wash over her. She kept her eyes on him, unable to tear them away. He looked severely troubled, and there was a mixture of emotions painted on his face. "I hope you know that they heard everything." Hermione began said softly, attempting to break the tension between them.

"Never mind them." Draco answered exasperatedly, running a hand through his hair. "Mum will take care of them." Another moment of silence fell upon them while Draco walked in small circles in front of Hermione. His hands were tucked in the pockets of his trousers and he pulled his right hand out every now and then to pick at his hair.

She wrapped her arms closer to her body, the moment she felt the cold claw at her skin. The wind picked up, causing her dress to be pressed closer to her skin, and the loose fabric around her legs mingled with the wind behind her body. Her legs felt bare and exposed, and the cold crawled down upper body and traveling to her legs. "Draco," she began quietly. "Why did you bring me out here?"

At first, he didn’t respond. He merely looked up at the cloudless sky, and held his gaze. His eyes traced the pattern of the stars, tracing them back to the moon and around. He kept his eyes away from her, afraid that she would finally see what he’s been trying to hide. Draco knew she was growing impatient – a usual act when she was denied an answer. The thought almost made Draco chuckle; however, he held his laughter, knowing it would simply aggravate the situation.

The moment he turned to her, he wondered what she was thinking. She looked solemn, and rather cold. He wanted to put his arms around her to keep her warm, but he knew better than to spontaneously change his mind in a situation such as this. It angered her to no end, and he would do anything to avoid her wrath. Finally, he spoke. "Is that really how you see us?" he asked, knowing he had to get it out. "Is that all I am to you? Someone temporary - something that you're just going to have to deal with for the next few years?"

"What are you talking about?" she questioned.

"What you said back there!" He exclaimed, throwing his hand up in the air. "That's really what all of this means to you? Just a bloody contract?"

As his words sunk in, Hermione grew angry at their futile argument. "Isn't that all that we are?" she asked, taking a step closer. "That's what we agreed on, isn't it? We agreed on a simple contract marriage. Draco, we both agreed that we'd be divorcing in the span of two or three years - what are you so angry about?"

His features softened as he looked at her. "So that's really it? This is just something you're going to forget when it's all over." He asked. “I mean absolutely nothing to you? Jesus, Hermione! Am I just a bloody CONTRACT to you?”

She glared at him, before she retaliated with her own argument. “You asked me for a favor – we made a contract, we agreed on a set or terms, and we both signed it.” The more they argued about it, the more Hermione felt dirty, and fake. Never in their entire relationship had they felt any more artificial than they had now. “None of this is real.” She reminded him. “We were never real – it was fixed from the start, it’s the simple truth, Draco.” He growled quietly, angering Hermione even more. "What would you like me to do?" she spat sourly. "Hang onto something that has absolutely no possibility of being real?" This time, Draco didn't respond. He stood there in front of Hermione, clearly hurt by the coldness of her words. "What do you expect?" she asked. "We're not real, Draco. This isn't real - we agreed this wouldn't be real."

"I know that, I'm not a bloody idiot." he snapped angrily, ruffling his hair with his hands again. "I just - I don't know anything anymore." Draco finished wearily.

"What?" she questioned.

Draco shrugged, and started sorting the pebbles on the ground with his feet. "These days, I don't seem to know much anymore." a nervous chuckle came from his lips. "I don't know how to do anything, I don't know what I'm going to do at work, or the next day, or in the afternoon - I don't know anything."

Annoyed and tired, Hermione rolled her eyes. "Stop with the crap, and just tell me why this sudden outburst about our marriage." she snapped impatiently, hugging herself tighter.

"I'm sorry," he began softly. "I never expected us to end up where we are now."

Hermione looked at him, clearly confused. "And where are we now, Draco?" Draco fought the urge to smile upon hearing her voice. It was as sweet as sugar, so innocent and so curious. It was one of the things he liked so much about her. How he was able to hear the curiosity in her voice, and how it sounded so sweet. No woman he’s met ever asked a question that made Draco smile even the slightest bit.

"We're here, standing behind my parents’ house - arguing about our future." he said in an informative tone. "Who knew, huh?" Still unconvinced with Draco's explanations, Hermione gave him a quizzical look. She didn’t understand his words, what was he saying? "I never thought I'd feel this way - about anything." He quickly added.

"How do you feel?" she pressed curiously, after a couple moments of silence found its way in between them. Hermione's anger completely subsided once she saw how nervous and shaky Draco looked. He still refused to meet her eyes, as he continued staring down at his feet, as if they were the most interesting thing on earth. Hermione noticed the unfamiliar expression on his face while he racked his brain for words to say to her.

Draco gulped loudly before he finally tore his gaze from the ground to look at Hermione. He opened his mouth, and shut it again - repeating this gesture three more times before he finally realized that there were absolutely no words to explain how he felt. There was a mixture of labels for emotions that ran through his mind, but none of them could perfectly describe the she made him feel. Just by staring straight into her eyes, all the anger he had felt moments ago had washed away from his body, leaving him completely drained of any feeling associated with remorse, annoyance, anger and regret. "I - err.." He trailed off; still unable to find words she would be able to understand.

He merely stood in front of her, staring straight into her eyes. Hermione was confused, watching his face soften the longer he held her gaze. However, she was more surprised when he tore his eyes from her, slowly following something moving from behind her. "What are you doing here?" his voice was cold and angry, sparking Hermione's curiosity.

Wesley Carrow was walking towards them slowly, his hands in his pockets. "Draco." he began. His eyes trailed from Draco and landed on Hermione. "Hermione- listen," Wes was unable to finish his sentence before Draco rudely interrupted him.

"What are you doing here, Carrow?" he snapped, glaring daggers towards his former mate. He was surprised to see the effectiveness of the facade that Wesley had managed to hide behind. "We're busy." Draco added, wanting to rip the man standing before them into shreds.

Ignoring Draco, Wesley turned to Hermione with a genuine look of remorse on his face. "Look, Hermione - I'm really sorry about the other night." he said, ruffling his dark hair. "I had no idea - "

"Apology not accepted." Draco snapped, wrapping his arm around Hermione's waist protectively and leading her back into the manor. "Leave her alone, Carrow." he told him before they were out of earshot - leaving Wesley standing in the garden, alone.

"He was trying to apologize." Hermione whispered, attempting to reason with Draco. "You could've at least been a little nicer."

He rolled his eyes. "As smart as you are, Hermione - you're really, really gullible. I stand by what I told you ages ago - stay away from him."

They both stopped before they reached the double doors leading into the manor. Once he noticed the missing warmth in her body, Draco shrugged off his coat and placed it over her shoulders. In response, Hermione smiled thankfully and adjusted his coat around her body. "Let me guess," she began, trying to lighten the mood between them - their previous conversation momentarily forgotten. "People got in the way and deceived us, causing us to argue over something petty like this?"

Draco smiled at her words - slightly comforted to know that she was beginning to able to anticipate his actions. "Not quite." he replied. "Let me handle this one." With a wink, Draco pushed open the doors and was immediately bombarded by reporters and several photographers.

The couple stood outside the entrance of the ballroom, overwhelmed once they saw the crowd that formed around them. Draco wrapped his arm around Hermione, pulling him close to his body, afraid that he would lose her in the swarm of people. As soon as Draco opened his mouth, lies immediately spilled out flawlessly and effortlessly. Hermione stood, rooted on the spot, partially surprised at how easy it was for Draco to feed the press complete lies. Her eyes were fixed on his calm face and she wondered how many more times Draco would have to cover up for their mistakes, and how many more times he would have to tell complete lies to the public. As her mind trailed away from the important matter at hand, she began to wonder how many lies Draco had told her in the past, now that she was fully aware of his impressive ability to lie. His face showed absolutely on emotion - no sign of fear or nervousness. This caused her to wonder why lying was such a painless act for Draco. Did he feel no guilt as he created ridiculous stories on the spot?

It was that moment when Hermione realized that no matter how much lies Draco told and no matter how much times he'll have to lie in the future, he was no better than she was. Hermione was lying to the word as well as he was. They had both fooled everyone in this room, all their friends, their family - everyone. It struck her like a hex. She was a liar, a bigliar, and so was he.

"Darling, let's go." The word 'darling' brought her out of her trance, and she realized that she had been staring at Draco this entire time. He kept his arm around her, and he pulled her through the crowd and into the ballroom. "You can relax now." he whispered to her. "They bought it."

After hearing his words of reassurance, Hermione let out a breath she didn't know she was holding, and followed Draco back to their seats. She noticed everyone's eyes settling on Draco and her as they walked through the ballroom. Attempting to ignore everyone, she quickly strode past several tables, and plopped down beside Pansy.

"Do you guys have any idea what a mess you've created?" Pansy snapped immediately, looking directly at Draco. "Draco, your mother is furious with you! Those reporters will eventually find something wrong with your lies, and trust me when I say this - they will find out everything."

Draco sighed. "Not now, Pansy."

However, Pansy chose not to listen to Draco. "Your mother had to lock the entrance down so that they couldn't leave the bloody manor! It took her ages to sort the lot out."

"Pansy, I said not now." he snapped angrily, taking two glasses of champagne from a waiter walking by.

Attempting to hide her annoyance from Hermione, Pansy turned away, only to find herself staring at a tall blonde standing under the arc that led to the ballroom. "What in the name of Merlin -" she turned to Theodore and whispered to him, "I'll be right back - make sure Draco and Hermione don't see her." She instructed, placing her small beaded bag on the table. Pansy straightened out her dress at the request of Theo, and made her way to Miranda.

At the sight of Pansy, Miranda smiled forcibly, and flipped her blonde hair over her shoulders. "This is just like you, Miranda." Pansy said once she realized the eyes of many men being drawn to the gorgeous blonde dressed in red. "Arriving fashionably late, and wearing something that's nowhere near acceptable for a social event such as this."

Miranda smirked, taking Pansy's words as a compliment. She wore a tight red dress - practically molded with her skin. Her legs were bare, and she wore high, four inch heels, with the purpose of emphasizing the length of her legs. "I couldn't resist." Miranda grinned, placing one hand on her hip. "You know how I love the attention, Pansy."

"What are you doing here?" Blaise demanded, appearing by Pansy's side. "I was told that you rejected Narcissa's invitation."

She shrugged in response. "I changed my mind." A small devious smile formed on her lips. "Who could resist crashing a party like this one?" Miranda finished. The devilish smile played on her lips while she walked around Blaise and Pansy, and to the table she had set her eyes on. The smile grew wider once she saw Draco's surprised expression as his eyes landed on hers. "Hello, Draco." her charming demeanor caused Pansy to scowl as she returned to her empty seat.

Miranda inwardly frowned while she watched Pansy explain their current situation to her boyfriend, Theo, who was seated beside her. Her frown grew once she turned back to Draco, and much to her dismay, she noticed that he had turned his attention away from her, and to Hermione instead. She continued watching the couple with a slightly disgusted look on her face. Miranda watched Draco, who was intently staring at Hermione who seemed to have his complete and undivided attention, while she blabbed on and on about something undoubting boring. Miranda grew more and more curious as she paid more attention to the strange dynamics of the couple. Hermione talked, and rambled on about anything and everything she could possibly think of. All the while, Draco sat beside her, absorbed in her words, listening to every single syllable - every single letter that came from her mouth. It was then when she knew that no matter what Hermione said, no matter how boring she was - Draco would sit there and listen to anything she had to say. Jealousy suddenly washed over her, a feeling that she grew familiar with ever since she returned to London.

"You're staring." Miranda didn't have to look to see who the voice belonged to. Wesley took the empty seat beside Miranda, once he silently acknowledged the rest of their company. "It's quite rude to stare."

She turned away from the couple, and placed her attention on Wesley. "It's quite rude to fool people as well, Wesley - yet here you are."

He chuckled at her sourness, and casually leaned back against his chair. "You're plotting something." he said, as he watched her intently.

Miranda drank a sip of her champagne, her gaze not moving from Hermione and Draco. "You see those reporters over there?" she asked Wesley, pointing to a crowded corner of the ballroom. "By the end of the night, they're going to be having a story that's good enough to make the front page."

"What are you going to do?" he asked, hesitantly. Miranda merely stared at him in response, drinking the last of her champagne before she set the glass back on the table. "Whatever you do, Miranda - leave Granger out of it. I’m serious – leave her out of it.”

She ignored Wesley's request and turned her attention towards Draco once more. “You know, Carrow.” She began, her eyes staying on Draco. “I don’t think Draco’s the only one who’s fallen for this leech.”

Making her decision, Miranda forced a charming smile on her face and stood up and slowly strutted towards Draco, placing a steady hand on his shoulder. "Come dance with me," She invited softly. "I'm sure Hermione wouldn't mind, right?" Miranda glanced at Hermione while she attempted to hide her distaste behind her words.

Hermione chose to ignore her, and simply smiled at Draco. "Go," she said, offering her approval. "I'll manage on my own, you don't have to stay."

Before Draco could even respond, Miranda pulled him up to his feet and roughly dragged him onto the dance floor. Disappointment - something she knew she shouldn't be feeling, caused her to look away from Draco, who had turned around to look at her one more time.

"Hermione." she looked up to find Wesley standing before her with his right hand extended outwards - and invitation to dance."Would you like to dance?" he asked, incase his gesture needed more words. His expression looked hopeful, almost desperate, with a hint of nervousness.

Her reply was hesitant, and a solid 'no' almost slipped out of her mouth, but Wesley cut her off before she could reject his request. "C'mon, Hermione." he said, offering a small smile. "It's just a dance." Wesley didn't wait for a response. Instead, he took her hands in his and pulled her to her feet.

Together, they walked to the middle of the dance floor, stopping not far from where Miranda and Draco were. They began dancing immediately, and Hermione slightly stumbled against his feet. “Look, Wesley, I don’t really think I should be dancing with you.” She said, feeling guilty for speaking so harshly. “You saw the Daily Prophet – if these reporters see us then -”

He scowled. “In other words, Draco told you to stay away from me, correct?” Hermione didn’t respond. Instead, she merely twirled as Wesley extended his arm slightly, moving Hermione’s body outwards. "So you're letting Draco make your decisions for you now?" he asked her cynically, once she was close to him again. "I never pegged you as the type of girl that could be made into a puppet."

It was difficult for Hermione to comprehend what Wesley was saying. Her eyes were glued on Draco and Miranda, who seemed to be dancing circles around them. They were a perfect set, and there was no denying it. Miranda followed Draco around flawlessly with poised and graceful movements. Miranda had no trouble following Draco's lead, and they both spun around in perfect circles like magic.

"Hermione," Wesley said, snapping her out of her gaze.

She turned back to him, and gave him an apologetic look. "I'm sorry, I was just - distracted." Hermione apologized. "What were you saying?" she asked.

Sighing, Wesley repeated himself once more. "I never took you as the type of girl that could be treated like a puppet." Hermione was taken aback by the coldness and bitterness of his tone - something he didn't bother to hide from her. "You know, I think I'm even starting to see the strings tied around you."

Hermione angrily stepped away from him. "Don't be rude." She snapped. "You don't know what you're talking about."

A small gasp came from her throat as Wesley roughly grabbed her arm and dragged her out of the ballroom. "Wes, let go of me." she ordered in an affirmative tone. However, Wesley kept his hold on Hermione until they were both safe from the crowd, standing in front of the coat room. "What do you think you're doing?" she demanded impatiently, rubbing her arm.

They stood there for a moment - Wesley leaning against the counter of the cloak room, and Hermione walking in small paces in front of him. "Wesley, why did you bring me here?" she inquired, keeping a safe distance between them. After the previous nights' events, Hermione found it harder to trust Wesley, no matter how much of a gentleman he was.

Wesley ignored her question and leaned against the counter top with a sulky expression visible on his face. His eyes seemed to be glue onto his feet as if they were suddenly the two most interesting thing in the world. "Why are you doing this?" Wes asks her abruptly. "Why are you marrying Draco?"

Surprised by his words, Hermione merely stared at him. “What kind of silly question is that?” she finally replied. “I’m marrying Draco because I care about him.” It’s not a complete lie. She thought to herself before guilt could even think about coming over her.

He scoffed louder than he had intended. “That’s a load of shit.” Wesley spat, glaring towards the entrance of the ballroom. “Look at you.” He told her. “You’re becoming a puppet controlled by strings – I always thought you were free.” Before Hermione was able to speak, Wesley continued rambling, his voice growing louder and louder as anger rose in his body. “Free to make your own decisions, free to do whatever you wanted! Not to be controlled by a whole family of purebloods!” he exclaimed loudly.

“I am free.” Hermione replied sourly. “They don’t control my actions or my decisions.”

Wesley rolled his eyes and said, “Oh, please.”

“You were once friends with Draco.” She told him, as if to remind Wesley of his past. “You two were friends, almost like brothers. Why do you speak so badly of Draco now?” As she spoke of Draco, she suddenly missed his presence. Hermione turned around, her eyes moving straight inside the ballroom as she searched for Draco’s familiar head of blonde hair.

“I don’t like what he’s doing to you.” Wes forced the answer out of his mouth. “He doesn’t deserve someone like you.”

Hermione’s head turned back to Wesley, looking confused. “What is he doing to me, Wesley?” she asked. “He’s not doing anything to me.”

He rolled his eyes again. “You can stop pretending for now, Hermione.” He answered. “I know all about your fake marriage.” She blinked, surprised. “Are you really surprised? Draco doesn’t do well lying to people that’s known him for years.”

“I- I – I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Hermione replied quickly, looking away.

A bitter scoff drew Hermione’s attention back. “And you’re not a very good liar either.” He added. “Draco may care about you – sure, but he will never love you. I hope you know that, Hermione.” As Hermione stared at his face, she noticed the genial look that had replaced the scornful expression on his face. There were no tricks or hidden acts of deception – it was the pure truth. “His heart is set on Miranda, it always was.”

She let out a breath. “I know that.” Hermione told him. She closed her eyes tightly, wishing that she was sitting on her seat back in the ballroom – back beside Draco. “I’m not asking for anymore than that.”

“You don’t care that your future husband will never learn to love you?” his tone sounded surprised. “Hermione, you don’t have to put up with this.” Wesley reminded her. “You don’t deserve any of this – you deserve your own life, and not a life that’s tangled with Draco’s. It was cruel of him to ask you to marry him, dragging you into this lifestyle. You can walk away right now – and forget everything.”

It wasn’t much, but it reminded Hermione of something very important. She had a choice. She was able to chose between this and freedom. There was always the choice of turning back, and falling back into her old life. It wouldn’t be hard to forget – no, for Hermione, it was always simple. Here he was, standing before her – giving her the choice that no one bothered to give her. Hermione was given the choice of marrying Draco, or turning away and leaving it all behind. He was asking her to run away – and she knew he would help her.

Feeling guilty again, Hermione shook her thoughts out of her head, and turned to Wesley again. “Why do you care so much?” she asked, ignoring his questions. “This matter has absolutely nothing to do with you, Wes. Why is it that you keep pestering me about marrying Draco?”

He stood there quietly, pondering to himself for a moment. “Because I care about you,” he answered quietly. “I care about you, Hermione – and I don’t want you to get hurt again because of Draco.”

Draco’s words rang in her ears once Wesley’s words sunk in. ‘He’s going to try and steal you away again. Just like before.’ “Look, Wesley – you don’t have to worry about me. I can take care of myself.” She turned around and slowly began walking back into the ballroom.

“He’s got you wrapped around his finger, and you know it!” he cried, causing Hermione to stop in her tracks and turn back. “When I first met you Hermione, I thought you’d be the one to make the Malfoys adjust to you, not you to them.”

“Carrow – leave her alone.” Hermione was in utter shock to see Miranda standing a few feet behind her. “I’m serious – leave her alone. You’re talking nonsense. If Draco were to hear you say those things, you’d be dead by now.” Miranda snapped.

Hermione stared at her, simply surprised. Why is she doing this? She asked herself. “Uh -”

Miranda turned to Hermione after sending a glare towards Wes. “Listen, Granger – I want to talk to you.”

“Can we not do this right now?” Hermione asked, looking past Miranda and scanning the ballroom for Draco once more. “I would really like to sit down for a while.”

Miranda shook her head. “Now, Granger.” She walked towards the main staircase, forcing Hermione to follow after her.

“Remember what I said, Miranda.” Wesley told her quietly while Miranda walked by him. “If anything happens – I swear -”

She turned around and looked at him. “If anything happens, it won’t be by my hands. It will be by yours.” Miranda turned her head back and quickly walked towards the base of the main staircase, leaning against the intricate railing.

Hermione followed suit, resting her body on the other side, facing Miranda. “What did you want to talk about?” she asked hurriedly, not bothering to hide the twinge of annoyance in her voice.

Miranda sighed. “Look, Granger I know I’m the last person you want to talk to right now, and to be honest, I’d rather not spend my night conversing with you.” She began. “I know I’m not your favorite person in the world either, and if I were you – I wouldn’t believe anything that came out of my mouth but -”

“Then why are we having this discussion?” Hermione snapped, interrupting Miranda.

“But,” Miranda continued, ignoring Hermione. “I think you should know something.” She paused, contemplating on what to say.

Hermione rolled her eyes. “Let’s hurry it up shall we? I’d like to get back, if that’s okay with you.” Her attitude surprised her, as well as Miranda – however, they both chose to ignore it as Miranda said the next set of words.

“Draco’s in love with you.” She told her. “He’s seriously and genuinely in love with you.”

Laughter bubbled in Hermione’s throat after a few moments of unbroken silence. As she continued laughing, Miranda stared at her, clearly exasperated by her immaturity. “I’m not bloody kidding.” She snapped. “I’m being serious – he loves you. Merlin! You’re the only one that can’t see it! Everyone else see’s it – why can’t you?”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Miranda.” Hermione responded once her laughter subsided. “Draco is not in love with me – that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard all night.”

“Granger – that man walks around as if he’s ready to die for you.” She informed her. “He’ll kill any man that even dares to touch you, and he’ll hex any person that disrespects you in anyway. He believes in you so strongly that he’s willing to defy his parents and the rest of those silly pureblood rules. He’s willing to go through hell just to marry you. That idiot is completely restless without you by his side, he doesn’t know what he’s doing and he’s stumbling over everything! Nothing can compare to you in his eyes, not even me. He cares about you so much that – tha - that he let go of me without even giving it a second thought.” Miranda finished quietly. “If that’s not love, then I don’t know what is.”

Hermione stared at her, completely baffled. No, it couldn't be - it just couldn't be. Several million things were running through her mind, and she
couldn't completely understand everything that was going on around her. She moved her eyes to the floor with horror and then back up to Miranda's completely serious face. Then she realized - she wasn't lying. This time, Miranda wasn't spitting out lies for her own benefit. She was really telling the truth, and it scared her more than ever.

“I know you’re in shock right now, but let me just tell you something, Granger.” She continued. “You’re the one person in this world that is capable of hurting him. I’ve giving you a warning – watch yourself, and watch out for him too. Things are going to get ugly from here, and you know as well as I do that it’s the inevitable.” Without another word, Miranda left Hermione standing by herself, leaving her with her own thoughts.

It was too much to take in. He doesn’t love me. She repeated in her mind, over and over again as if she was trying to convince herself that it wasn’t the truth.He doesn’t love me – he loves Miranda. We’re just friends. For the next few minutes, she ignored everyone around her. She closed up her mind and forced herself to believe that she was the only person in the manor. Hermione attempted to bring herself back down to earth, pushing all the information she had retained tonight, into the back of her mind.

As she closed her eyes, she wished that she was back in her old flat, lying in her comfortable bed with an open book by her side. Stop thinking about the past. She said, forcing herself to forget about everything. After a few more minutes by herself, she finally decided to search for Pansy. She needed to know something – and she just wouldn’t be able to wait to get her answer.

Upon entering, Hermione immediately scanned through the crowd and the tables, searching for a familiar brunette. She found Pansy and Blaise standing by the windows on the right side of the ballroom. Blaise had a tall legged blonde wrapped around him, and she seemed to be laughing at something Pansy was saying.

“Pansy,” Hermione breathed as soon as she reached her side. She had skillfully avoided Draco, knowing that he wouldn’t leave her alone once he found her. “May I speak to you please?”

“Oh, are you Draco Malfoy’s fiancé?” The blonde asked with a thick French accent. If she hadn’t caught Draco’s name, and the word ‘fiancé’ she wouldn’t never know what the blonde was talking about.

“Yes I am.” Hermione replied slightly impatient.

The blonde smiled widely. “You must be a tough girl to agree to marry someone like him.” She commented, rather naively. “I bid you both happiness.”

Sensing Hermione’s uneasiness, Blaise turned to his company and said, “C’mon love, let’s leave these girls alone to chat.” He said, pulling her away. “Hermione – relax,” Blaise told her, looking back. “Oh and by the way, Draco’s been looking for you for ages. The nutter’s going crazy trying to find you.”

Hermione offered a small smile. “Thanks Blaise.” Once Blaise was out of earshot, she turned back to Pansy. She let out a deep breath, and crossed one of her arms across her chest, propping the other arm against it and dropping her head in her hands.

Noticing this act, Pansy grew concerned. “Are you alright?” she asked.

She ignored her question, and asked one of her own. “Does Draco love me?” She asked bluntly.

“Err, what?” Pansy asked, confused.

“Does Draco love me?” Hermione repeated. “It’s a simple yes, or no question Pans.” She said, irritated. “Please, just answer this question for me.”

Sighing, Pansy said, “To be honest, I don’t know. Draco has never said anything like that, only because he’s not the type or person to talk about his feelings so openly.”

Hermione let out a breath, slightly relieved by Pansy’s answer. “But I do know this.” She continued. “He cares about you more than anything. To him – this isn’t fake, to him, this is all real. Everything he says to you, everything he does, and he does it for you and not for all those people out there.” Pansy said, pointing to others in the ballroom. “Draco’s careful to say when he loves a woman, because it’s still so new to him. After going through betrayal, I’m afraid it’s just not the same for him anymore.”

“Thank you, Pansy.” Hermione responded, still thinking deeply about Pansy’s answer.

“He means well, Hermione.” Pansy reassured. “Whatever he says to you, he means well by it.”

Hermione nodded in response. “I know.”

For the rest of the night, Hermione hid away by the main staircase, sitting on the steps of the first landing where no one would be able to see her. After her conversation with Pansy, she managed to avoid Draco for the second time that night, hiding behind small groups of people before she finally managed to find her way out of the ballroom. For a short moment, Hermione considered forgetting everything that happened, and returning to Draco’s side. She knew he would be looking for her for the rest of the night, but she couldn’t seem to face him. Not after what happened.

Frustration ran through her as Miranda’s words ran through her mind again. ‘Draco’s in love with you. He’s seriously and genuinely in love with you.’ It wasn’t his feelings that became a problem for Hermione. It was the consequences that came with it. They both knew that they were in nothing more than a fake relationship. ‘You’re the one person in this world that’s capable of hurting him.’ Either way, no matter what her decision was – to marry Draco or to run away – either way, he was going to get hurt. The price to pay for marrying Draco was too high for Hermione’s standards. There will always be someone in their lives who will try to intervene in their marriage, making it impossible to momentarily live happily together. There will always be reporters and photographers following them around, eager to hear about their latest mistakes.

If Draco did truly feel this way, what would happen if they had to part? It was the inevitable – parting was. They would have to do it sooner or later, and Draco chose later. Would he let her go when the time comes? Or will he ask her to leave her old life, her past desires and her old goals, so she can start a different – a real life, with him? Hermione groaned in frustration. There were so many things to consider, so many things that could go wrong. No kind of love ever came easy. Hermione thought bitterly to herself. Would we both be willing enough to create a compromise? Then she chuckled sourly. What kind of compromise could we possibly make in a situation like ours? It’s either all or nothing.

Hermione sighed, remembering Wesley’s words. ‘You can walk away right now – and forget everything.’ It was true. She had the choice of walking away and to return to her old life –the life she once knew. However, walking away meant leaving the one person she never expected herself to care about. Walking away
meant leaving Draco behind, forced to clean up her own mess. No matter how difficult it was, or how much it hurt her to be restrained from the world – she
couldn’t leave him, not now. He had so much to deal with, and it would be immoral to leave him alone to fend for himself. They had grown accustomed to
each other and fallen into a constant routine. They needed each other in their lives, and they both knew it. Hermione knew that he was the only one keeping her
from packing her bags and running back into Burrow, and into the arms of her family.

My old life can wait. She decided. It’s not going to run away, it will always be there as long as I still want it. And she did still want it – she wanted and missed it terribly. Hermione wanted to wake up in the morning and go to training, then have lunch with Ginny in a new restaurant they had chosen for the day. She wanted to visit the Weasley’s in the Burrow, and see Teddy grow. She missed her nights out with Ginny, and her afternoon’s with Harry and Ron. There were a whole handful of memories that she wished she could repeat for the rest of her life.

“Draco.” She whispered to herself, as he crawled back into her thoughts. There had been so many things she wanted with Draco as well. Surprisingly, she was okay with the thought of spending the next two to three years as his wife. He made it easier for her to adjust to her new lifestyle, and she was sure that it would’ve been enjoyable to be married to him. However, nothing ever stayed perfect in their world.

“I wanted so many things.” Hermione whispered, staring at the patterns on the railing. “Can I really just throw it all away?”

A flash brought her out of her thoughts. Her hands immediately flew to cover her eyes and her face as the camera flashed again. After her eyes had adjusted to the sudden light, she found herself face to face with an unfamiliar face. The man smirked, and picked the camera up and the camera flashed for the third time. “Smile, Miss Granger.” He said. Hermione looked to his right and noticed a quick quotes quill floating in the air beside him. “You just made the front page of the Daily Prophet.” The smirk stayed plastered on his face, after he saw Hermione’s eyes on the floating pad of paper beside him. There were pages and pages used, and Hermione knew that it was impossible to gather that much information from watching her sitting and sulking to herself.

She merely stared at him, surprised as she pieced everything together. She gulped loudly when she realized that things had just gotten a little bit out of hand.

A/N: edit 8.7.10. hey guys. i finally managed to fix this one :) tell me what you think of this chapter! i got a few reviews saying they got confused about what happened in the end, but it will be cleared up in the next chapter, hopefully. 

read and review! 
much love, stace.

Chapter 21: Chapter Twenty
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

By: Gryffindorgirl153



Chapter Twenty

The next morning was a mind tearing blur. Hermione had woken up in a completely temperamental state, having had one of the most stressful nights of her life. She woke up alone, in her own room, feeling uneasy and strange. To Hermione, her room felt like a strangers’ bedroom. Having spent the past week with Draco, she had forgotten how it felt to wake up alone, or without hearing the shower in the bathroom. Absentmindedly, her arm reached out to the right, only to feel the space of an empty bed. Normally, when she was the first to wake, she would wake up to Draco sleeping close behind her. Close enough to feel his breath against her neck. Mornings with Draco weren’t exactly the epitome of her perfect morning, but it was enough to make her happy for the rest of the day. It was a feeling that led Hermione to believe that she had simply grown attached to him. She had grown to accept the little things about him that absolutely drove her insane, that they no longer registered in her mind as annoying. She realized they had fallen into a routine that circulated around each other. They were both a large part of each others’ lives, making it insanely difficult to just forget.

The sun streaming in through the cracks of her curtains caused a feeling of nostalgia to hit Hermione. She suddenly wished she was beside Draco- her morning simply felt wrong without him.



Four days ago

Hermione turned to her right, mumbling to herself in her sleep once she heard their alarm clock go off. She pulled the sheets tighter around her, and crushed her head deeper into the soft pillows. Half awake, she sighed softly once her body recognized the familiar feeling of comfort, and smiled to herself. 'Now if only that bloody alarm clock would just shut up.' she thought to herself. About five minutes later, Hermione gave up in finding sleep, and took her wand from the bedside table, charming the alarm clock off. Her eyes fluttered open, and she found herself faced with Draco, who was still sleeping soundly beside her. Adjusting her sleepy eyes, she stared at him. Slowly, she took him in, her eyes trailing across the contours of the right side of his face. His blonde hair fell across his forehead, tousled slightly through sleep. He was shirtless, the only comfortable way for him to sleep. Her eyes ran over the muscle on his arms, and she noticed how pale his skin was. Hermione lifted her left hand, and carefully placed it beside Draco's, comparing their skin difference. She was tan, and he was like a white sheet compared to her.

She let her arm fall against his, her hands resting on his forearms. Her thumb traced along his veins, lingering on a faded scar that ran from his shoulder, down to his elbow. Hermione lifted her gaze from his scar, and back to his face. He was snoring softly, something that always bothered her about men. However, as she continued staring at his face, his snoring drowned out in her mind. His hand twitched against her arm, and her eyes returned down to his arm, immediately finding the scar. Her fingers continued to run along his scar, as if continuing the motion would eventually make it go away. Again, she moved her eyes back to his face, and noticed the frown that creased his forehead. She couldn't help but smile, realizing that he was dreaming. A muffled moan came from his lips, while he suddenly reached forward and draped his arm across Hermione's waist, causing her to laugh softly.

"You can stop pretending, I know you're not sleeping anymore." She whispered, her face now centimeters away from his. Draco's eyes didn't open like she had expected. Instead, he brought his face closer to hers, their noses touching. Hermione smiled again, and he let out a breath. "Draco," Hermione cooed playfully, and his arm wound tighter around her, pulling her body closer to his. "You're not very good at pretending." she continued, unable to wipe the smile off her face. "You're going to be late for work." Another frown came onto his face, but left quickly when Hermione began tracing small circles on his shoulder. "Your mum's going to come in here if you don't get up soon."

He groaned, and opened his eyes. "I forgot about my mother." he told her truthfully. "I don't want to go to work. I want to stay in bed."

Hermione laughed quietly. "You sound like a child, Draco." She commented, her fingers now tracing his collarbone absentmindedly. "You have to go to work today, or else your father will be angry."

"No." he pouted, closing his eyes. "He can get on without me. I'm going to stay home today."

She laughed again. "You didn't go to work for the last two days," She reminded him. "You at least have to go to work today." Absentmindedly, her fingers moved lightly along his collar bone, and up his neck, moving up and down.

Draco opened his eyes and immediately found Hermione looking directly at him. "What are your plans for today?" he asked, reaching up, and stopping Hermione's hand from moving further down his neck. "Granger, stop that. You're driving me insane." he mumbled, forcing Hermione to smirk triumphantly. "If I go to work, I suggest you leave as well."

"Maybe I’ll go to the Burrow, and visit the Weasleys. I haven't seen Ted in a long while." Hermione answered, their voices in hushed whispers. Once his hand slipped away from hers and back down to the waist, she continued her ministrations, lightly moving her hand across his skin. "And Ginny wanted to speak to me as well." He nodded in response, but didn't seem to comprehend anything Hermione said to him. Draco continued looking at her, his eyes moving down her cheek and to her lips."We should really get out of bed before your mum comes in here again."

Reluctantly, Draco nodded, and unwrapped his arm from Hermione. Hermione was the first to roll out of bed. She pushed the sheets off her body, and sat up, lingering on top of the sheets. The sun had already risen, its rays coming in through the window, shining on Hermione. She slowly turned around to face him, noticing that he hadn't moved. "C'mon, get up!"

Draco stared at her - it was difficult not to. The sun emphasized the brownness of her hair and the softness of her skin. He had never seen anyone look so beautiful right when they woke up. "Your hair is brown." he found himself saying, as he continued to stare at her.

Hermione laughed. "It's always been brown. Now c'mon!" she exclaimed standing up. "Fine, I'll shower first. You better be out of bed by the time I’m done."

Humming softly to herself, she stood by the foot of the made bed, with her hair wrapped in a towel, and a thin robe covering her body. She threw a white, high waist skirt, with blue patterns on the bed before she walked back to the dresser, pondering over a top. She pulled a plain white v-neck shirt from a small pile, and threw it on top of the skirt.

Draco walked out of the steaming shower with a towel wrapped around his waist. His wet hair was a mess on top of his head, and there was still a slight layer of water on his body. He glanced at Hermione who was hunched over the bottom drawer of the dresser, rummaging through her belongings. Upon noticing Draco walk by, she lifted her eyes for a moment, and couldn't help but stare at him. A smirk immediately found its way onto Draco's face. "Like what you see, Hermione?" he asked, raising his eyebrows.

In any other circumstances, she would have yelled at him for being an arrogant, pompous bastard. But surprisingly, she had gotten used to his arrogant remarks, and simply laughed them off without giving them a second thought. A small laugh escaped Hermione's lips, and she moved her eyes back into the drawer, continuing to rummage through several pairs of socks. Draco walked over to his own dresser and quickly chose a pair of jeans, and a black long sleeve shirt. "What are you looking for?" he asked, walking past her and dropping his clothes on the bed. He heard Hermione mumble something from the floor, but he couldn't hear her. "What?" he asked, chuckling slightly, catching the irritable tone of her voice.

"Black stockings." She answered shortly, and she continued rummaging through the drawer.

Draco rolled his eyes and walked over, picking up something thin and black from the corner of the drawer. "Are you looking for these?' he asked, holding it up closer to her face.

Her eyes brightened and she took the stockings from his hands. "Yes!" she exclaimed, and shut the drawer loudly. A comfortable silence fell upon them as they got dressed. Every now and then, Hermione would glance at Draco, noticing how easy it was for them to do this. As she pulled her stockings over her knees, she smiled softly to herself, thinking about their mornings for the rest of their marriage. "Pass me my watch, please?" she asked from his side of the bed. She took his watch from beside the lampshade, and turned to him just as he held out her watch for her to take. They exchanged watches, and slowly clasped them onto their wrists. "Don't forget those lists of food your mum was asking you to buy." she reminded him as she pulled her boots onto her feet.

"And you've got to come back early to make dinner." he said, pulling his jacket from the small closet by the door. "Or mum will throw a fit."

She nodded, and they both exited the bedroom, making their way to the kitchen. Slightly teasing each other, they both made themselves coffee. As Hermione found herself pouring the wrong flavor of coffee cream in her mug, she abruptly reached forward and switched cups with Draco. "I accidentally put that hazel nut thing in there." she explained, taking a sip of Draco's already made coffee.

"No wonder I couldn't find it." he shook his head and taking a sip of his coffee. "I thought I was going to have you use that vanilla thing you put in your ruddy coffee. This is good by the way." Draco commented, holding up the mug in his hands. "When are you going to leave?" He walked over to the table, looking for the Daily Prophet, and frowned when all he found was mail. "Hermione, where's the-" he turned around to find the Prophet already in Hermione's hands. Chuckling, Draco leaned against the edge of the table and drank more of his coffee. He examined Hermione, watching as she read the front page news. Her hair fell over her face, one side tucked behind her ear. She opened the prophet wider, and her eyes scanned the rest of the news. Without tearing her eyes from the page, she reached to the side and pulled her coffee from the counter, and brought it to her lips. "Don't you miss Hogwarts?" she asked suddenly, looking up at him with a smile.

"Yes," he nodded, smiling back at her.

"I should get going." she told him, folding up the Prophet and handing it to Draco. She grabbed her bag from the table and finished her coffee, placing it in the sink. "Have fun. I should be back around six." she gave him a small smile, and without thinking, she gave him a peck on the cheek, and quickly strode out of the kitchen.



Present Day

It only took a week for them to grow accustomed to each other. Waking up next to Draco immediately became a permanent part of her morning, and it was a strange feeling - waking up alone. To get dressed without steam crawling out of the bathroom as Draco showered, to find her watch in their bedroom without his help was weird to think about. For Hermione, it would even be difficult to get through the day without his idiotic, arrogant, pompous and sarcastic remarks. The more time she spent with him, the more she found his arrogance hilarious, instead of annoying. Hermione shut her eyes tightly, and wondered what things will be like when they weren't together anymore. What Hermione failed to realize however, was how much it would hurt when Draco was no longer by her side. For a few moments, she laid on her bed, staring at the white ceiling, thinking about how difficult things were getting for Draco and her. She groaned, and rolled to her side, wanting to disappear into her bed for the rest of the day. Hermione pulled her thick blankets over her head and closed her eyes, hoping to find more sleep.

“Granger,” Hermione’s eyes flew open, upon hearing her name. She pulled the covers off of her slowly, and sat up in a sitting position to face Draco. He strode into her room and sat down on the side of her bed. “I’m going to ask you one last time – what happened last night?” his tone took Hermione off guard. It almost sounded threatening. “And tell me the truth.” he added shortly after.

She sighed once she saw the Daily Prophet folded up in his hands. “I guess you saw the Prophet, huh?” she whispered, unable to find her voice. “I think you can read everything there.” Hermione told him, pointing a finger towards the prophet.

Draco released the prophet, leaving it by Hermione’s feet. He propped up his elbows on his knees, and dropped his head in his hands. “Hermione, tell me what happened.” He requested, his voice turning softer, more pleading. “I’d rather hear what you have to say, rather than the Prophet.”

“What’s the point, Draco?” she asked, playing with the ends of her hair. “Why does what I say matter? You read the Prophet, you know what happened. And so does the rest of the wizarding world.”

From in front of her, Draco examined her guilt stricken face. It was obvious that she wanted all of this to go away just as much as he did. There was no question that she regretted ever leaving his side last night, even though it wasn’t her fault. Her big brown eyes spoke the truth, and it took all the willpower Draco was able to muster, in order to prevent himself from reaching out and comforting Hermione as best as he could. He wanted to reach forward, and grab her hand to tell her that everything would be okay. He wanted to wrap his arms around her, and hold her to make every obstacle they faced, disappear. “Hermione,” He began. “Tell me what happened.”

Hermione took a breath, and looked up at him with wide eyes. “I spoke to Miranda and Wesley that night.” She began, choosing her words, careful not to anger Draco. “Wesley knows about the fake marriage, however I’m not sure if he told Miranda. A reporter was following us, hiding somewhere, and I didn’t realize it. But he eventually found me when no one else did, and he figured it all out – he pieced it all together into what is now the front page of the Daily Prophet.”

“What did Wesley and Miranda say to you?” he questioned quietly. “Hermione, tell me what they said.” Draco pushed, after a few moments of silence passed.

“They didn’t tell me anything important.” Hermione replied in a whisper. “Wesley told me to leave you. He told me he knew the truth, and told me to leave you.” As her eyes followed the movement she spotted, she saw Draco’s knuckles squeezed together tightly, turning white. "I guess a reporter followed us there and heard everything, which would explain why they now know that this whole thing is fake."

“And Miranda?” he asked, his body tensing. “What did she say to you?”

She shrugged. “She told me to be careful, because things are going to get worse.” Her stomach twisted into knots upon remembering the truth of Miranda’s words. Draco shut his eyes tightly, and clasped his hands together. “Draco,” Hermione whispered. “Will they never go away?” she asked, staring at him. “Will this never go away? Is it going to be like this for the next few years? Are we going to have to deal with reporters following us around, every day?”

The pain Draco felt upon hearing her words, surprised him greatly. A few months ago, he would’ve laughed at the thought of finding it difficult to let go of Hermione. He would’ve laughed if someone were to say that he would be lost without her by his side. He didn’t think much of it then, however, now, it was difficult to think of his life without her. “It will get better.” He replied, staring down at the carpeted floor. “I promise, it will.” As he looked at her, he sensed doubt and regret. He knew she’s been having second thoughts, and the time he would have to let her go was nearing. But how could he ever let her go, if she became the source of his happiness?

“But until then?” she asked, shifting his legs beneath her blanket. “What will happen?”

“We’re going to have to deal with it.” Draco answered. “What are you thinking about, Hermione?” he asked her.

Hermione’s eyes shifted towards him, and she watched as he clenched his hands together tightly. “Draco, your father and mother will be furious.” She said. “You’re already walking on a rather thin line at work, and now this comes out?”

He shrugged. “I could care less about who takes over after my father takes leave.”

“But your father wa-”

Draco interrupted her before she could finish her sentence. “I don’t care about what my father wants.” He snapped angrily. “They’ve never given a second thought to the things I want. If they did, then they wouldn’t be forcing his bloody company into my hands.”

“What do you want?” She questioned. “What are you planning on doing with your life? Continue working in your father’s company in the very position you’re in now?”

“I want to make my own decisions.” Draco replied quickly. He stood up, and grabbed the Daily Prophet from her bed. “I don’t want to live my life with someone else telling me what to do, every single bloody day of my life.” He threw the Daily Prophet in the disposal bin beside Hermione’s bedside table. “I don’t want you reading the Prophet.” He said, with his back to her. “It won’t do you any good. It fell into the wrong hands a couple of years ago, anyway.” Draco left quietly, closing her door behind him.

He walked into the kitchen, and straight into the cupboard, pulling out a bottle of fire whiskey. “Well Draco, who knew things, would all come to this?” Draco turned around at the sound of the voice, and narrowed his eyes once he saw Wesley Carrow sitting by the dining room table. “Morning, Draco.” He greeted pleasantly.

“What are you doing here?” he snapped, downing half the bottle in one sip. “Get out.” Draco ordered. He noticed Wesley sitting on the chair, unmoving. “Carrow, are you bloody deaf? I said get the fuck out.”

Wesley sighed and shifted his gaze away from Draco. “Draco, I came here to ask a favor of you.” He said, folding his hands on the table. “And I’d like you to agree to it.”

Draco scoffed irritably. “What the fuck makes you think that I will ever agree to a favor you ask of me?” his retort was vicious, and full of malice. “Don’t make me say this again, Carrow. Get the fuck out of my apartment.” The bottle of whiskey was empty by the time he finished his sentence. No matter how much it burned his throat, Draco needed more of it. He had the strangest urge to get piss drunk, just to forget the world. “Get out!”

However, Wesley sat on the chair, staring up at Draco calmly. “I want you to let Hermione go.” He continued. “I want you to stop this nonsense, and let her go. She doesn’t deserve this Draco, she deserves better than you do.” Draco didn’t reply. “Let her go. She’ll lose herself if she stays in your family. You know as well as I do that this is not good for her.”

“Get out, Carrow.” Draco fumed, obviously uninterested with his proposal.

“Let her go.” Wesley repeated. “Let her go. You know very well that she wants to be free.”

Draco pulled another bottle of fire whiskey from the cupboard. He cooled it with his wand and uncapped the bottle, taking a long sip. “You don’t know what she wants.” He growled.

“Oh and you do?” his tone caused Draco to squeeze his hand tightly, causing his knuckles to turn white. “You don’t know anything about her,” he continued. “Now go, before I throw you out myself.”

Wesley finally stood up, and began making his way to the door. “She won’t be going anywhere.” Draco informed him. “She’ll be staying right here with me – I will assure you of that.”

Wes scoffed. “You’re seriously going to sit here and keep her prisoner until you’re done screwing with her?” he snapped, his tone turning angry. “What if she wants to leave? Will you let her go then?”

“But I don’t.” Draco and Wesley both turned to the hallway, finding Hermione standing before them, her hands folded in front of her chest. “Wesley, I appreciate the fact that you care, but I think it’s best that you leave.” She said softly. “Now.” Her eyes bore into his, and she hoped he was able to see the apologetic gleam in her eyes.

Before Wesley began to walk to the front door, he turned to Draco. "Remember what I told you, Draco." he said softly, almost inaudible. He turned to Hermione, giving her one last look before he continued walking down the hallway and out of their flat.

Relief washed over Draco as he watched Hermione stare after Wesley. He took a step forward, wanting to take her into his arms and hold her as long as he possibly could. He wanted to thank her for staying with him, after everything they've been through. But he couldn't. His eyes were fixed on Hermione, watching her pour herself a cup of warm coffee. Draco had seen her do this several times, that he could perfectly predict what she was about to do next. She reached for the sugar on the counter, taking two spoonfuls and dropping it in the mug, followed by the crème she had extracted from the refrigerator. She stirred the coffee longer than he had expected, and he knew she was pondering deeply. Her eyes were glued on the counter top, her head slightly bent to the right. Without pulling her out of her thoughts, Draco pulled his wand from his back pocket and pointed it to the mug in her hands.

Hermione shook herself from her thoughts, and turned to look at him with a confused look on his face. "I thought you might like it hot." Draco explained, pocketing his wand. He watched as she gave him a small, grateful smile before she walked out of the kitchen, and into the sitting room. Normally, Draco would've followed her in, settle beside her, and do anything he could to make her feel better. As he watched her leave, he knew there was something wrong, and this time - he wouldn't be able to fix it.




The Daily Prophet practically glowed with potential, sitting on top of Miranda's desk. She stared at the front page, drowning with delightfulness as she sat back and admired her handiwork. She didn't expect the article to become this impressive. She had undeniably underestimated the reporter she hired, and it was by far, the best idea she's had in weeks. A knock on her door broke her from her thoughts. She looked out the window, and noticed the rain pouring harshly against the pavement. "Who is it?" she called, walking towards the door. "Wesley." A drenched Wesley Carrow was standing in her doorway, looking extremely livid. He glared at her, holding a damp, folded Daily Prophet in his right hand. "What are you doing here?" she questioned, keeping the door shut a reasonable amount.

Wesley pushed the door opened, forcing Miranda to stumble back slightly. "What do you think you're bloody playing at?" he snapped, throwing the Prophet at her, causing some rain water to splash on her face. "I specifically told you last night, Miranda. Leave Hermione out of whatever the hell you were plotting!" he bellowed, pushing his wet hair out of his face. "What the hell is the matter with you, don't you even think at all?"

She peeled the Prophet opened, and her eyes landed on the picture on the front page. A smirk formed on her face as she read the headlines, followed by the article. "Well, she got what she asked for." Miranda said with a smirk still plastered on her face. "And if you don't remember Carrow, I told you last night that if Granger is inflicted in any way, it will be your fault - not mine." she pointed to the third paragraph. "You see there?" she asked shoving the Prophet to his chest, and walking around him. "You're the one that told her you knew that this whole thing is fake. I honestly knew nothing about it. Well, I had a feeling there was something behind their sudden engagement, but I only supposed it was Grangers doing. And now the entire wizarding community knows." she laughed menacingly. "I even told you that I would give those reporters something for their front page. So in the end, Carrow- you're the one that spilled the beans. You're the one that made this plan of mine work ten times better than I expected." Miranda smirked, and took a sip of her coffee, before sitting down on the couch, crossing her legs. "You're the one that brought the pain on the girl you love." the word 'love' rolled off her tongue sweetly, almost tauntingly, as she thought of Wesley's obvious feelings for Hermione.

"Yes but this-" he began, throwing the paper on the coffee table. "Is going too far. Do you realize that Draco will never, ever get his company off his father's hands now? The board would never ever give up the company to him if this is all they see." Wesley cried, bending down to meet her gaze. His black cloak was still dripping wet from the pouring rain. "Did you even stop for a moment to think that your father will take over the company, and all the shareholders that are involved? It will leave the Malfoys' with absolutely nothing."

Completely unfazed by this bit of information, Miranda took the Prophet, and threw it in the disposal bin. "I thought you wanted them apart." she said, glaring at Wesley. "You wanted Granger all to yourself and you will. I promise you Carrow, you will have her by the end of this week." she took another sip of her coffee. "Draco will have no other choice but to break it off with Granger, and do all he can to regain the company back to his name, which brings us back to the part where Draco comes crawling back to me." Miranda smirked at her plan, thinking about the several different ways she could force Draco to beg for her to take him back. "It won't come easy for him, but I’ll eventually let him come back to me."

He scoffed. "You don't think he's already figured out what you've done?" He stood up, and began pacing in front of her. "Draco's not daft, Miranda. I'm sure Hermione would've told him by now what happened, and he'll figure it all out." Wesley told her. "I've already gone there, and he has no intention of letting Hermione go, even if she wanted to. They're bound by a contract - don't you remember? A magical contract, which has rules - and it won't be broken unless Draco agrees to let Hermione go."

"Believe me, Carrow." Miranda snapped. "Granger will be wanting her old life back. Don't you see it in her eyes? The bloody wretch is afraid, and she knows it. She's going to want to go back to her old friends, and back into the arms of Weasley. Trust me; she will want to give this up."

Wesley stared at her incredulously. He thought many things of this woman; however, he never thought she would jeopardize the Malfoys hold on their own company. "At what cost?" he asked her. "How much further are you planning to go, just to get Draco back? You've already gone far enough to leave Draco and his family with absolutely nothing. What more can you possibly do?" He found his words dripping with disdain once he realized how selfish Miranda was being. "And," he continued before Miranda could say any more. "Just because Hermione will want to give it all up, doesn't mean he will too."

"For the sake of his family, he will let her go." she answered nonchalantly, looking away from Wesley. "He won't have another choice but to let her go."

"I don't understand, Miranda." Wesley said, turning to her and crossing his arms. "If you were going to want Draco back this badly, then why did you screw it up with him before? You cheated on him! With me of all people." Nostalgia kicked in, and he felt guilty for all his wrong doings back in their seventh year at Hogwarts. "I gave you the choice, and you wanted it. You didn't even bother hiding it from Pansy, or Blaise. This is your own fault - yet you're acting as though someone just snatched Draco from you. You're the one that left him, remember?"

Anger bubbled inside her, and she stood up, glaring at Wesley. "She did snatch Draco away from me." she snapped. "Why should a girl like her end up marrying a man like Draco? What has she ever done to deserve someone as good as Draco?"

Wesley laughed loudly. "And you think you do." he continued laughing. "You made him suffer for years when you left, and you think that you deserve him? Hermione's got a good heart, and that's a lot more than what you've got. Maybe that's why Draco loves her and not you."

Through impulse, Miranda drew her arm back and slapped Wesley right across the face. Her cheeks had grown red, and her breaths were heavy. "Get out." she ordered, seething. Wesley needn't be told twice. With one last glare at Miranda, he quickly walked out of her flat, and back into the pouring rain. As she watched Wesley's cloak disappear as the door shut behind him, she immediately fell to the floor, her elbow colliding the soft cushion of the couch. Tears immediate sprung from her eyes, and a sob escaped her throat. "I'm not heartless." she said loudly, as if she was trying to convince herself. "I have a right to fight for what I want." she continued. "I deserve Draco. I always deserved Draco." Tears continued to stream down her face, dropping into her open palms. Her cries filled her flat, matching the steady drops of the rain, sliding down her window.




Ron Weasley stood outside a large white door, and gulped loudly, nervous of what was to come. After reading the Daily Prophet earlier that morning, he grew worried as to how Hermione was holding up. He knew she was incredibly strong and independent, but what he wondered, was how much more she could take she would break. He lifted his large fist, and softly knocked on the door. He silently hoped that Draco wasn't home - not wanting to have to deal with any questions that might come from him. As he waited for the door to open, he shook the rain from his hair and his jacket, feeling idiotic for not thinking about bringing an umbrella when it was pissing rain outside. After not seeing Hermione for a while, he wasn't sure what to do when he decided to visit her for the very first time. He was caught in between buying her some sweets or a couple of flowers in the streets. He decided to stop by a small coffee shop, purchasing two cups of decaf coffee, and two slices of chocolate cake.

After waiting for a few more moments, no one came to answer to door. He decided to just let himself in, and he pulled out his wand and muttered "Alohamora,", and the lock clicked open. He slowly opened the door, and poked his head inside. "Hermione?" It was completely silent in the flat. Ron stepped inside, and shook off the water one more time, before he continued deeper into the apartment. "Hermione?" he called again, this time louder. He looked to the right, and let out a sigh of relief once he saw Hermione sound asleep on the sofa. He walked over and set the food on the coffee table, before he shrugged off his jacket, and set it on the coat by the corner. Walking towards Hermione, he smiled slightly once he saw a book opened up on her stomach, and her reading glasses slightly askew on the bridge of her nose. He reached forward and took the book from her body, closing it, and placing it by the coffee he brought over. Next, he carefully tried to pull the glasses from her face, when she suddenly woke up with a jerk.

"Ron?" she mumbled tiredly, sitting up immediately. "What are you doing here?" she asked, confused as she pulled the glasses from her face, and wiped the sleep out of her eyes. "Oh dear, it's raining." She muttered, looking towards the window. "What are you doing here?" Hermione asked again.

Ron gave her a small smile, and sat down by her feet. "I saw the paper this morning, and I decided to come by and see how you were doing." he said nervously. "I missed you the last time you visited at the Burrow, so I haven't seen you in a while." He glanced at the coffee on the table. "I brought you some coffee!" he said brightly. "I figured I needed something sweet to cheer you up."

Hermione smiled, and took the coffee from Ron's extended hands. "Thank you, Ron." she smiled, taking a small sip. It tasted bitter- much too bitter for her liking. "I really appreciate you coming over." She continued, and placed a hand on his.

"I brought you some chocolate cake as well." he said, pulling out a clear plastic container, with a slice of chocolate cake inside. "Err, you like chocolate, right?" She laughed and nodded, taking another sip of the coffee.

She suddenly remembered the white chocolate Draco had brought over for her the last time it rained. It tasted heavenly, along with the cheesecake. Smiling to herself, a strange feeling of happiness spread through her body upon the thought of Draco's perfect choice. In all honesty, she didn't like chocolate as much as she used to - it simply gave her headaches when she ate something that was too full of chocolate. She was getting tired of coffee as well - the bitterness of the drink tasting worse and worse in her mouth.

“To tell you the truth, Hermione- I half expected this place to be swarmed with photographers.” He said, looking around their flat, carefully examining it.

Hermione chuckled lightly. “They don’t know where we live- thank goodness for that.” She replied. “Draco put charms around this place before he left, just in case they figured it out.”

They fell into an awkward silence. Hermione slowly drank the coffee Ron gave her, and he continued raking his eyes around the flat. Once his eyes rested on hers, his expression changed. "Is there anything wrong?" Ron asked, staring at her.

Hermione quickly looked up and shook her head. "No, everything's fine." she gave him a small smile, and looked down at her hands. "How's Gin and Harry?"

"They're alright. They're pretty worried about you though." he said. "Gin was furious when she saw the paper. She owled Pansy right away, and well - I didn't really bother to pay much attention to her after that. I sort of learned to stay out of Ginny's way when she's ticked off." Hermione let out a small laugh, remembering the times they all spent together in the Burrow, when Ron would purposely do something that would get Ginny raging mad. "So how are you holding up?" he asked, looking around their flat. "Malfoy treating you alright?"

She nodded, without any sign of hesitation. "Draco's been great." Hermione told him.

Ron sighed, and leaned forward, resting his elbows on his thighs. "You know, I never really liked the thought of you together. I still don't really trust that git."

Hermione found herself rolling her eyes at their old never-ending rivalry. "Yes, I know. You threw a fit when I told you the news. But you know Ron, Draco really takes care of me." she whispered, suddenly realizing that he wasn't home. "Even though I don't know where he is right now," she frowned. "He treats me well."

"So that's it, huh?" he asked, leaning back against the couch, and draping his arm over the back. "You're really going to marry him? No second thoughts at all?"

Sighing, Hermione shrugged and leaned back against the square pillows. "Of course I'm having second thoughts, but they're not about Draco." she found herself saying. "I just don't know if I’m ready to give up my life just yet." Hermione told him. As she looked up to face Ron, she suddenly saw everything that she was missing. She saw the laughter he used to bring out in her, and the petty arguments they used to have. She saw Harry and Ginny in his eyes, the couple sitting before them, laughing and talking about the future- just as they always did. She saw her ambition to become an auror, a dream that she was forced to momentarily give up, due to the difficulties she had to face. Days by the lake in the Burrow, where the four of them sat under the large oak tree, completely absorbed in each other's company, haunted Hermione's mind. She saw Ron's big blue eyes, beckoning her to return to the Burrow, and never leave the life she had there. "There's so much that I'm giving up."

Ron chuckled, as if he knew what she was going to say. "Hermione, that's the deal with getting married." he said. "Even if it's not Malfoy you're marrying- there will always be something that you would have to give up. But in your case, you can restart your life again in a year or two."

"And live my life in chaos for the next few years?" she whispered, afraid to speak of her fears. She tore her eyes away from Ron, afraid to see any more reasons why she should leave Draco and run away- run back to Ron. "With reporters following us everywhere and the pressure of having to become the perfect wife for Draco. We can't do this, we can't do that - we have to keep appearances, we have to go to this party, we have to go to this Gala, there's just so much that I can't keep up with!" Hermione dropped her head against the pillow, and came face to face with the ceiling. "I wasn't made for this lifestyle, Ron." she continued softly. "I wasn't made to play a Malfoy. Malfoy's are perfect, well educated, clean-cut and pure. There's no way that I can be any of that. I'm Hermione Granger."

In response, Ron nodded. "That's right. You're Hermione Granger." he looked forward, and looked straight out the window. "You're the girl that never gives up or runs away. You're the girl that has no fears, because you know to face them and move on. You're the Hermione Granger. The smartest witch I know. Any Malfoy should be damn lucky to have you as a wife." Hermione smiled. "Look, I'm not going to convince you to stay here, because well - I don't really trust Malfoy. I'm not going to convince you to leave him either, because then Ginny will kill me, and Harry will have absolutely no say in the matter because he's afraid of her. But what I am going to tell you is that you always knew what you want. It seems like Malfoy's brought out the worst in you - and yet, he makes you happier than I've ever seen you." A slight hint of sadness could be heard in his voice, and it was enough to tear open Hermione's heart. "You always did whatever you wanted, and what you knew was right. You should continue acting upon it, not following behind Malfoy's decision. But Hermione, I don't want you thinking that you're in this situation without a choice. You always have a choice. You can choose to leave him, or you can stay." he spoke as if it was the simplest thing in the world.

"Since when did you get so smart, Ron?" Hermione laughed.

He sighed. "Honestly, I have no clue. I'd want nothing more than for you to leave the git- but like I said, Ginny will kill me if I manage to convince you to do that. She rather temperamental at the moment, and I really don’t want to have to deal with her anger right now."

Hermione laughed again, but her laughed ceased as she heard the front door open, and shut loudly. Both Ron and Hermione turned to see Draco standing by the door, shrugging off his coat as he examined the scene before him. "Hi." she greeted, smiling softly at him.

"Malfoy." Ron said from the couch. Slowly comprehending the awkwardness of the situation, Ron stood up and grabbed his coat off the rack. "Well, this is my cue to leave. Come by the Burrow again soon, okay? We're always there." He walked forward, and enveloped Hermione into a tight hug, kissing the top of her head. "I'll see you around." he began walking to the door. "Malfoy." and with that, he left.

Draco slowly hung his wet coat on the rack, and sat down on the couch beside Hermione, slightly confused as to why Ron Weasley was in his house. "Why was he here?" he questioned, frowning, his mind replaying the kiss he gave her.

"In attempt to cheer me up." she answered, absentmindedly sitting up, and moving closer to Draco on the couch. "He brought over some cake and coffee." she pointed to the chocolate cake on the coffee table. "It was rather sweet. But honestly, I’m getting a bit tired of coffee." Hermione admitted quietly, looking up at Draco.

He laughed, and placed a brown paper bag in front of Hermione, followed by a plastic cup filled with a thick, pink, liquid. "I had a feeling you'd want something else other than coffee." he said. "I had this the other day, and it's really good. It's a strawberry milkshake. And I got you some more cheesecake." Hermione beamed as she peeked through the opening of the paper bag. "I thought you might like something sweet, you looked pretty down this morning." Draco explained to her quietly.

"Where did you go?" Hermione asked, pulling the cheesecake from the bag, followed by a plastic fork she fished out from the bottom. "I fell asleep, and then when I woke up, you were gone."

He nodded. "I accidentally agreed to an interview with the Daily Prophet scheduled for tomorrow." Draco admitted. "Well, it wasn't an accident, but it was before anything had gotten out in the paper. I went over to try and cancel the interview, but they wouldn't have it. They're too interested in us now." He finished, looking rather angry. "They'll be coming here tomorrow at noon."

In the midst of chewing, Hermione stopped and stared at him. "What are we going to do?" she questioned softly. "They know everything about it now, so what do we tell them tomorrow?"

"The truth- it's all we can say." he answered. "It will be futile to continue lying like this. Especially since Wesley let contract slip." She nodded, and Draco wrapped his arm around her shoulder, and drew her closer to him. "Just tell the truth tomorrow Hermione - I would hate to ask you to continue lying." he whispered. "I know you hate lying, and you're pretty bad at it too."

Hermione playfully smacked Draco's stomach. "Hey, I'll have you know that I’m an amazing liar." she retorted with a 'humph', settling closer into him. They fell into a comfortable silence, as Hermione continued eating the dessert Draco had bought for her. Laying her head on his shoulder, her body impulsively molded against him, and her body immediately became attuned to his. Their heartbeats grew into synch along with their movements. For the first time in a few days, Hermione felt at home. After she placed the plastic container back on the table, she leaned back against him and breathed in his musky scent. Sighing with content, she pushed her head further into his neck. "Things can only get better, right?" she whispered, her lips practically grazing across his skin. She felt Draco nod, his arm tightening around her. He pulled her legs over, and draped them over his, making her more comfortable beside him.

"Did you mean what you said this morning?" he began, feeling slightly flustered by the closeness of her lips to his skin. "You're not going to leave?"

She frowned against his neck, her forehead creasing slightly. “Do you want me to?” Hermione asked, confused. As always, her fingers made their way to the back of his hand, slowly tracing over the patterns on his skin, as if she was trying to memorize it. She appreciated the coarseness, finding the way it felt against her fingers, interesting.

“No for course not,” Draco answered immediately, his eyes moving to his hand in hers. “But I can’t think of anyone who would willingly stay for this.” He brought her body closer to hers. “You can’t blame me for wondering why you’re willing to stay for this.” Draco finished with a whisper.

“I don’t want to leave you, Draco.” Hermione said after a short moment of silence. “As much as I would want to run away from all this,” she realized the impact of her words. She realized that this was the big decision she was so hesitant to make. What scared her most was how easily she said no to the only chance she had to turn away. “I don’t want to leave you. Believe it or not, I can’t. It wouldn’t be fair to you or me.” Draco studied her carefully as she pondered to herself for a moment. Hermione bit her bottom lip and looked down at her hands. “I mean, who’s going to find my socks for me when I can’t find them in the morning? Who else am I going to trade my coffee with when I realize that I put the wrong coffee crème in? No one else in this world is going to come home and bring me strawberry milkshake with a slice of cheesecake on a rainy day." He could almost see a pout playing on her lips. "Believe it or not, you're the only one that knows what I like, and when I like it." she admitted, her tone playful. "If I end up with anyone else, they will be coming home to bring me a slice of chocolate cake and some more bitter coffee."

Staring down at her, he felt happy. As her words sunk into his mind, he found himself smiling, as his right hand found the side of her cheek, he carefully pushed her face up in order to meet his. Before he knew what he was doing, he kissed her.

It wasn't like their last few kisses. There wasn't any sign of lust or the simple feeling of want. There was something so much more than that, that Draco just couldn’t find the words to explain. There was the sense of security, and the feeling of passion growing in between them. With each second that passed by, he pulled her as close to him as possible, knowing that he will never want to let her go. She responded with similar sensuality, indulging herself in the feeling of their lips pressed together. For a long moment, Draco regretted the lack of appreciation he showed towards Hermione. He wanted to prove that he could be so much more than what he was, and all he needed was her by his side. There was no doubt that he had fallen for her- it was a simple fact that he had chosen to push aside ever since their first week together as a 'couple'. However, now - as they kissed passionately on their couch, in their flat, Draco couldn't push the thought out of his mind anymore. He couldn't sit beside her, and continue to pretend that they were simply part of a lie. Because in fact, their situation that was once a lie, soon turned to the truth.

Unable to pull herself back down to reality, Hermione clung onto the only thing she knew was real. Her hands pulled Draco's face closer to hers, and her arm twisted around his neck, refusing to let him go. In her mind, she knew that this was wrong. There was just so many things wrong with kissing what she knew was a lie. But she couldn't stop. His scent intoxicated her, drawing her closer and closer to him; so close, that she couldn't find her way back anymore. Once their lips met softly, there was no denying the familiar feeling of desire that ran through Hermione's body. She desired him, in the most nonsexual way possible. While time progressed in agonizing bliss, she could not help but believe that this was the only thing she knew. Draco's lips were the only thing that kept her feet planted on the ground, yet to her, his lips were a part of something unreal. How could she be standing in a dream and in reality at the same time? But as she caught herself sighing, she noticed the familiarity between their bodies, moving in synch as if they both knew exactly what the other needed. Would it be like this forever? Could their bodies and minds stay so adapted to each other for the next couple of years, or will they finally break from the dream they're in, and allow Hermione to walk back into the life she once knew?

He practically groaned with agony as he slowly pulled them apart. He needed more of her; he needed her closer to him. He watched as Hermione's eyes fluttered open, capturing his attention yet again. "Hermione," he croaked, his voice hoarse and ragged. Draco closed his eyes tightly, and leaned his forehead against Hermione's. "I don't think I can live without you." he whispered, his eyes still shut. "I can't - it's too difficult to imagine my life without this, without us."

Despite her heart screaming in agreement, she stared at him with wide eyes. Slowly, she untangled her body from his, and crawled backwards to the edge of the couch. "What?" she whispered, completely betraying her heart, and listening to the logical reasoning in her mind.

Slowly, his eyes opened, and immediately found hers like a magnet. "I- the day you leave," he began, breathing roughly and unevenly. "The day you leave, I won't be able to bear it. I need you, Hermione. I honestly need you. I never thought it would come to this, I didn't expect t-" before he was able to finish his sentence, she kissed him again. Launching herself from the other end of the couch, her hands immediately found their place in his hair, and her lips automatically found his. His hands gripped her hips tightly, pulling her on top of him as he leaned back against the cushions.

In her mind, she knew this was wrong. She knew how deep they had both gotten, and she knew better than to give into temptation and make them both fall any deeper. But as she sat before him, listening into his heart, the rhythmic pulses pounding into her brain, she couldn't help herself. Every bone in her body forced her forward, and she felt her heart jolt out of her chest upon the immediate contact of their bodies. All she could hear was the rain falling loudly outside, banging against the Earth, and Draco's heartbeat, pulsing against her chest, begging to let him in. To her surprise, she let him- and they both fell deeper than they ever had before.




The rain hadn't stopped falling ever since this afternoon. Fortunately, Miranda's tears have ceased, and she was now sitting in her study, facing the window, a desk separating her and the clear glass. She wasn't sure how long she sat by her desk, staring out the window, but she did notice that darkness slowly began to creep through London. Wesley's words were a smack across the face, and she still felt the sting of pain he had left her with. Moving her eyes at her reflection in the small mirror propped up on her table in front of several candles, she stared at herself. Her mascara stained her cheeks, running from her eyes along with her tears. Her lips were plump and swollen from her sobbing, and her hair had been abused by the clutches of her hands. She looked like a downright mess, and Miranda never looked like a mess.

In her entire life, she never had to beg for anything. Her requests were immediately fulfilled with a simple snap of her fingers. She had servants waiting on her hand and foot, and no one dared to deny her of anything she wanted. It was an understatement to say that she had the world at her hands. She had more than the world - she had power and magic. Even as a child, Miranda never broke down. She had absolutely no reason to. Draco brought her down to experience all the heartache in the world, and she hated him for it. 'Who the hell could ever resist me? The Ministers daughter?' No man ever said no to her before, no man, except Draco.

Anger rifled through her body once more- anger towards Wesley, to Draco, and most of all, Granger. Why should a plain woman like her take the place in Draco's life that she has always wanted? 'Why should the honor of being a Malfoy wife come so easy to Hermione bloody Granger, and not to me? Why does she deserve it, why does she get to marry Draco, when I’ve spent the majority of my life loving him? When all I’ve ever done is love him, why the bloody hell does Granger get to come in and make him fall for her. She's a wretch, a stupid, cold and heartless wretch. She doesn't belong in our world; she was a mudblood after all.' A slight feeling of guilt broke through her thoughts as she thought about her father’s words. All wizards and witches were equal, there was no pure and there was no dirty. There were just wizards, and that was all. 'Granger is dirty. She doesn't deserve to be here. She stole Draco from me. She took him right from my hands, and she dares to call him hers? No. There's no way in hell I’m going to let that happen. Draco is mine. He was always mine. He will always be mine, and there's no way I'm going to let a stupid, silly little mudblood wretch. She's a no good, deceitful whore. Draco is mine.'

Without thoroughly thinking her actions through, Miranda jumped up and ran to the fire place, throwing a handful of floo powder in she shouted, "Malfoy Manor!" and disappeared as bright, green flames surrounded her.




Narcissa Malfoy spent her night in their sitting room, perched up on the sofa by the fire with a novel opened on her lap. Excusing herself from their bedroom, Narcissa was grateful that her husband didn't ask questions as to why she wasn't planning on going to bed this late at night. Despite the book in her lap, Narcissa's attention was fixed on the fire while her mind wandered off to her sons' personal life. She worried deeply about Draco, and what might become of him, along with her family when these scandals settle down.

Watching her husband calmly react to the paper earlier that day, scared her. She knew Lucius was disappointed in Draco. There was no doubt that her husband was extremely disappointed in his own son. She studied his face carefully that morning, hoping to find something in his expression that he chose not to share with her.

She regretted, more than anything, allowing Draco to marry Hermione Granger. If he had only listened to her when they arranged his marriage with Astoria Greengrass, none of this would've happened- and his public image wouldn't be tethered. To Narcissa's dismay, there was nothing she could do to change Draco's mind. She could see that his mind was set on Hermione, and it would take more than a simple threat to pry him off of her.

Her vision was suddenly disrupted by green flames tearing through the fire, eventually engulfing it as a whole. Miranda Caldwell stepped out and immediately faced Narcissa with a grim expression on her face. Narcissa noticed the diluted black streaks that stained her face. Her eyes were puffy, and her makeup smeared greatly. "Miranda, what's going on?" Narcissa asked, closing her book and setting it on the table. "Is anything the matter?"

Miranda took a break, and closed her eyes. Before she could change her mind, she quickly said. "Make Granger leave."

Narcissa blinked. "What are you talking about, child?" she questioned, standing up and stepping closer to Miranda.

"Mrs. Malfoy, this is the only way to make this all go away." Miranda said, praying in her mind that she would get her way this time. "Make Granger leave. Send her to the other side of the world and make her stay there. Draco will have time to fix up the mess he made, and I’ll be sure to help him and my father as well. He agrees with my proposal. Make her leave for good. Send her to another country- and I assure you, this situation will fix itself, and you will no longer have anything to worry about."






A/N: hey guys. This chapter should clear up any of the confusion you guys had in the previous chapter. I didn't write the article on the daily prophet, but it did explain what happened. any questions, don't be afraid to ask! i do answer them. my computer's still down so i'm currently doing my best to write whenever i can. i lost the outline for contours, so i just completely improvised while writing this. i believe this chapter was supposed to be VERY different.

so what do you guys think? are you feeling sorry for Miranda yet, and is Wesley starting to seem just a tad bit nicer? are you really hating on miranda right now? cause i know i would. you think she was getting a little bit of sense into her head, and then BAM!

and what about hermione and draco? they're finally accepting their feelings for each other! well not hermione - she's still got a bit to go. :P what do you think is going to happen between them? ;)

if you search 'coffee' in this chapter, you'll probably find it like 40 times -__-

leave a review and tell me what you guys think! i'd love to hear it.

P.S. since i don't have my computer, i lost my mailing list- so it will have to be MIA for now! sorry guys.

EDIT 8.6.10-  I officially finished the plot to Contours! it's different from the original one, but i think this one works out better :) . It goes up to 26 chapters. I tried to shortten it a little, but in the end i decided against it. I know I said it would come to an end soon, but i couldn't decide how to break the chapters. so i'll go the slow way xD 

the next chapter is DONE. it should be up by the end of this week!

here's a litle preview!

"Let's get married, as soon as possible."

She grinned. "You're mental."

"I'm completely serious!" he exclaimed. "If you're serious on leaving, then let me marry you first."

Hermione pondered over this for a moment. "Are you taking a piss?" she asked, suddenly feeling guilty for her vulgar language. "Are you serious?" she habitually corrected herself.

His face told her more than she needed to know. "I'm completely serious," Draco said. "We're getting married anyway." he reminded her. "We might as well just do it now."

yours truly,

Chapter 22: Chapter Twenty One
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

By: Gryffindorgirl153

Chapter Twenty One

Pansy sighed heavily, sauntering through the dark, paved streets of London. She had been wandering around aimlessly for about an hour in counting, in attempt to rid her body of the anger that accumulated in her system hours ago. The only sound that broke through the heavy silence was her four inch leather boots slapping along the pavement with every step. Throughout her years as a woman, she found that she immensely enjoyed the sound of her heels clicking against the ground. It was one of her favorite things about being a woman- to have the privilege of creating such alleviating sounds with a pair of leather boots. She brought her black coat closer to her body and shook her hair away from her head. The cold night chill strangely brought Pansy a sense of comfort, but it wasn’t enough to shake her mind from her previous conversation with Miranda.

From years of taking care of someone as careless as Draco, Pansy learned the values of trust and friendship. After years of standing by his side as one of his most trusted friend, she grew to understand just how stubborn and steadfast he could be. She understood that Draco trusted her; having had entrusted his life in her hands in more than several occasions. Perhaps this was the reason as to why she found it so difficult to go against what Draco desired the most. Pansy understood the difference between what's right, and what had to be done. The right thing to do was to allow him to live in ignorant bliss, despite what happens to his job, his life or his family. On the other hand, there was the critical matter at hand- what had to be done. She knew his family would suffer if he chooses to act upon his own decisions. She knew the consequences his father would have to face if Draco chooses the less moral choice.

She released a heavy, exaggerated breath, and turned a corner- all the while, she continued deliberating over Miranda's 'brilliant' idea. Most shops and restaurants were already closed, leaving the sidewalks of London dark and almost empty. Pansy turned another corner giving her feet free reign for the night. She could hear a nagging voice in her head, reminding her of her boyfriend who would be worried if she didn't return home soon. However, no matter how many times she thought of Theodore, she couldn’t push the belligerent voice- that seemingly split her brain in half, out of her head.

Recalling her previous meeting with Miranda, a grimace fought its way onto Pansy's pretty face, distorting her lips. The moment she walked through the door of her flat, there was a familiar brown owl perched outside the closest window, loudly tapping against the clear, dirt-grimed glass. A Malfoy owl delivered a letter from Narcissa Malfoy, requesting her presence as soon as possible. Despite the tiredness that devoured her bones, she immediately traveled to the manor via the floor powder network, hoping that the current 'emergency' was not anything serious. Upon arriving in the manor, Pansy was immediately greeted by a broken Miranda. She immediately recognized the dark shade that covered the skin under her eyes to be smeared mascara that managed to stain her skin.

Once her eyes landed on Miranda, Pansy immediately regretted choosing the latter of her debate before leaving her flat- before she decided to fulfill Narcissa's urgent request. Following a short conversation that painfully consisted of counterproductive small talk, Miranda immediately brought up her proposal. Narcissa appeared to be in compliance with Miranda's thoughts, believing that it was best for both Hermione and Draco if they were separated for a given period of time. Disregarding the discreetly hidden insinuations in Miranda's offer, Pansy couldn't help but agree to the logical reasoning behind it. With Hermione away from Draco for a while, he would be able to focus on fixing the damage he managed to cause in the span of a couple of mere months, in order to keep his fathers' company under the Malfoy name. Both Lucius and Narcissa would also be able to see their son at his prime; succeeding in what should have been his months ago.

However, there was always the latter. Although Hermione's leave would logically fix their current dilemmas, Pansy couldn't bring herself to make the ultimate decision that would alter both Draco and Hermione's lives for the next year. With all the heartbreak Draco had to endure for the past few years of his life, taking Hermione away from him would border the line of cruelty.

Suddenly hating herself, Pansy’s face broke out in anger before she quickly apparated away from the dark street and into Draco and Hermione's flat.


The steady breathing of Hermione alone, was enough to set Draco down from his high. Contently laying beside her, his eyes never growing weary from staring at Hermione, Draco felt at peace. Never in his life has he felt happier than he does now. It was an uncanny concept for Draco- how one girl managed to make his entire world appear happier. Ever since Miranda, he had evaded relying on a woman for happiness or company, with Pansy being the only exception. The wounds that Miranda inflicted on him once upon a time were healed- patched up by something better; stronger.

He stared at her, his eyes moving across her face once again, enamored by every single feature. He could never get enough of her. He couldn’t help but realize how Hermione was nothing like Miranda. Every single thing about Hermione contradicted Miranda’s persona in so many ways. His heart swelled as he thought about how long he has waited for someone like her- for someone he would want to spend the rest of his life with. With Miranda, it seemed almost impossible to ignore the dubious feelings he harboured- which explains why he had never asked for Miranda’s hand in marriage. On the contrary, there was Hermione, who liberated any signs of doubt and the feeling of emptiness from Draco’s mind, replacing these ideas with a permanent, unchanging substitute: Hermione is the only woman for Draco. She was his soul mate; his other half-the missing piece of the puzzle, the night to his day, the moon to the stars, the peanut butter to his jelly-she was his one and only. Never had he been so certain of anything in his life. It was an imperceptible feeling- one that Draco couldn’t get a complete hold of. Nonetheless, he appreciated and welcomed the love that had grown for Hermione without a single question.

Hermione's shirt was left forgotten and discarded on the floor, while Draco's white button up shirt rest on Hermione's petite form. The couple lay facing one another, their foreheads slightly touching. Draco's arm was draped affectionately over Hermione's waist, while her arm rested over his-tracing light circles over his skin. The silence roamed over the couple for about twenty minutes, neither of them willing to break it.

A tiny smile immediately formed on Hermione's face as Draco shifted on the bed and moved closer to her, resting his chin on the top of her head. He tucked her closer to him, protectively wrapping his arm around her. As she lay beside him, wrapped in his arms, Hermione recognized what she had been missing all her life. There was so much of Draco that she wished she could keep forever, and it scared her more than anything. After several weeks of living with him, she had come to the point where living without Draco was no longer an option to choose from.

His heartbeat rhythmically thumped against his chest, allowing Hermione to indulge in the consistent drumming. She smiled again, her ears tuning into the pulsation of his chest, memorizing the distinct rhythm.

Draco’s earlier words knocked against Hermione’s brain, pushing themselves inside, searching for a response. Earlier that evening, they had been left unanswered- the only response being her lips latching onto his for the second time that night. Deciding her answer, she let out a small breath and stared up at his neck. “I don’t think I can live without you either.” Her voice was below a whisper, almost mingling in with their steady breaths, and loud heartbeats. However, Draco heard the words that composed her tiny tone. “I can’t,”

If his heart had a face, it’d be smiling childishly from ear to ear. His face mimicked the feeling in his heart, and smiled widely as he bent down- kissing Hermione softly on the lips. For the first time in his life, Draco was able to enjoy the experience of kissing Hermione freely- simply because he wanted to. He was allowed to, without the need of a legitimate excuse. He smiled to himself, and kissed her once more, marveling at the softness of his lips.

A hurried knock on the door broke the couple from their thoughts. Draco groaned in annoyance and sat up slowly, keeping his arm affectionately wrapped around Hermione as she too, picked herself up to a sitting position. They both turned to look at their bedroom door, silently wondering who could possibly be visiting them at this ungodly hour. Hermione frowned. "Who could that be?" she whispered. To appease their curiosity, Draco grudgingly strode out of bed and stumbled to the door as he quickly pulled his jeans on. Meanwhile Hermione stayed seated on the disheveled sheets, running a hand through her wild, ruffled hair. She looked at the empty space on the bed beside her, and silently wished that Draco hadn't left.

He had just finished buttoning his jeans when he opened his bedroom door, coming face to face with a flushed Pansy Parkinson. "Pansy," he stated, sounding slightly relieved. He frowned, leaning against the door, partially irritated that Pansy forced him out of bed, and away from Hermione. Her hair was slightly tousled, windswept from the harsh winds outside. "What are you doing here?" he questioned, glancing at the clock. "It's nearly midnight."

Pansy rolled her eyes, and strode into the room, her heels clicking loudly behind her. “I’m glad you can tell the time, Draco.” She retorted sarcastically as she walked in. A look of surprise immediately found her face upon seeing Hermione sitting on his bed, wearing only Draco’s white, crisp shirt. When she turned back to Draco, Pansy smirked knowingly, and slyly commented, "I seem to have interrupted something."

In response to Pansy's comment, Hermione blushed furiously. "Hello Pansy," She smiled sheepishly, looking away to hide the blush that spread to her cheeks.

"Good evening, Hermione." Pansy grinned, enjoying the torment she was succeeding on inflicting. "Glad to know that someone enjoyed themselves tonight." her amused grin was still plastered on her face.

Draco grimaced as he picked up a discarded plain white undershirt from the floor. "What are you doing here?" he asked exasperatedly, leaning against his dresser and crossing his arms in front of him. "I'm guessing that you didn't come here in the middle of the night to have a nice chat over a cup of tea."

"Don't get smart with me, Draco." Pansy scolded, strangely resembling an irritated Narcissa Malfoy. "Hermione, would it be okay if I spoke to Draco alone?" she asked, glancing apprehensively towards Hermione.

Understanding, she hurriedly walked out of bed. "I need a shower anyway. Would you like anything Pansy?" she asked politely, stopping briefly by the door. "A cup of tea perhaps?"

Pansy chuckled and shook her head before saying, "No, thank you." she immediately turned to Draco once Hermione left the room. "You should sit." she began slowly, secretly fearing his reaction. She decided to break the news down on him slowly in order to cushion a rough fall. "You're not going to like what I have to tell you."

Draco immediately frowned, and fell back against the edge of his bed. "What's going on?" he questioned cautiously. "Have you done something illegal again? You didn't kill anyone, did you Pansy?"

"What? No! I tell you that I'm about to tell you something you won't like, and you immediately come to the conclusion that I killed someone?" she demanded incredulously, suddenly feeling like her and Draco were back in Hogwarts again. Pansy stood before him, biting her lip and suddenly finding herself wishing that she had in fact, killed someone- and that was the news she had to tell Draco.

Draco shrugged nonchalantly. "Now, what's so important that it can’t wait till morning?"

She sighed, and sat down on the other side of the bed. "Miranda had a little chat with your mother today." she began, biting her lip again. From out in the hallway, she could hear Hermione humming loudly as she walked into the second bathroom. Hearing Hermione's loud humming- a sign of blissful happiness, Pansy found it more and more difficult to tell Draco what had to be done. She noticed the immediate stiffness of Draco’s body upon the mention of her name, and she knew that Miranda was the last person Draco wanted to hear about tonight. "She had this offer, and your mother seems to be in agreement with her. She's going to be trying her best to get you to agree to it as well."

"And what's this offer of hers?" he inquired skeptically. "And where do you come in?" Pansy could sense the new found anger that tore through Draco's calm demeanor.

She took a breath and continued. "Your mother seems to think that I'm the only one that can convince you to allow it. However, I'm not so sure that I'd be of much help this time," It honestly broke her heart to have to be the one to set off the bomb to Draco's healing heart. She felt as though she was telling a little boy that his favorite toy has been ripped into shreds and he would never see it again. "Draco, please promise me that you'll think about this calmly and rationally, and that you won't rip my head off after you hear this." The last time Pansy had been this worried over Draco's reaction, was back in their Hogwarts days, when their only problems were school work, friends, boyfriends and girlfriends.

He chuckled softly. "Pansy, just spit it out. Tell me what it is." his lighthearted tone tore Pansy even more, and she was sure that the heartache she felt for her friends would be nothing compared to what they would feel later on.

"Draco, Miranda and your mother believe that the only way to fix this," she took a breath, feeling her heart pump wildly in her chest. "Is if Hermione stayed... away for a while."

He stared at her with a look of confusion. For a small fragment of a second, Pansy saw the little boy that she met when she was a child. She saw the frightened little boy that had a wall of steel built around his heart, preventing anyone from reaching his core. She caught the familiar look of heartbreak that swamped his eyes for months after Miranda abandoned all of them. Pansy was suddenly thankful that the small little boy she once knew allowed her to walk right into his life, and settle down in the depths of his heart. And now, she had to break it. "This isn’t fair," she sighed, looking away from him. "They want her to leave." she induced more clearly. They want Hermione to spend about a year abroad, or anywhere else that’s far away from London. They think that's the only way to make your lives easier. Your mum knew that you'd never agree to it if she asked you."

Draco stayed quiet. He couldn't believe what Pansy was asking of him. He had just found Hermione, and now they wanted him to let her go. "Pansy, I can’t do that." he finally spoke, staring down at his clenched fists. "You can’t ask me to do that. I won't allow it."

"Draco, you know more than anything that your mum or Miranda won't give up until Hermione's on a plane, flying to wherever they decide to send her." she reasoned, placing a hand on his. "Maybe this is the only way," she whispered. "You know that Hermione would be willing to do this too, if she knew about it of course. This is why I wanted to speak to you alone. I wanted this to be your choice."

"The only way she's getting on a plane and leaving London, is if I'm going with her." he snapped furiously, glaring at Pansy. "We'll find another way- there's always another way."

She bit her lip. "Think of your father. You know, he's still trying to convince the committee that you're a suitable candidate to take over the company?" A flash of assorted came across Draco's face, but quickly left. "He still believes in you."

A cynical laugh came from Draco. “My father doesn’t believe in me. He just wants to keep it under our name." he replied dryly. "You can tell my mother that Hermione's staying right here with me."

"Miranda managed to convince her father to help. Although, I doubt she even asked- not that she needs go. That man can never say no to her." Pansy shook her head once she realized how far she was beginning to stray from the subject. "He's the Minister for Magic, Draco. It's practically promised that this will all go away, and you will be managing your fathers company. The public and the committee just need to see that you're willing to take things more seriously. If you’re going to show them that you’re serious- you can’t have Hermione by your side. For the time being."

Draco abruptly stood up, clearly angered. "Are you agreeing with this?" he demanded, glaring at her. "Is that why you're here? To try and convince me to send Hermione off for a bloody year?" Pansy winced at the sound of his voice.

"I'm just trying to protect you, Draco." Pansy retorted furiously. "But you're making it so goddamn difficult! Do you honestly think," she began, before Draco could begin to say anything else. She glared at him indignantly, angry that he would even think that she wanted this to happen. "That I’d be happy to watch her go? That I'm doing all of this just so I can rejoice at the sight of your misery once Hermione's gone? It was hell when I picked up your pieces when Miranda left." her voice turned soft, but Draco knew better than to believe she was no longer angry. "That's not something I want to have to go through again."

Draco slumped back against the wall adjacent to the bathroom, in defeat. He carelessly pounded his fist against the plaster and dropped his head down. "She's not leaving." he grounded out, not lifting his gaze. "I'm telling you right now, I'm not letting her lave."

He heard Pansy sigh, followed by her heels clicking loudly against the floor. She stopped in front of him, and placed her hand on his arm. "I'm your best friend." She reminded him. "I don't find it pleasant when you're downright miserable. You're also not the only one who has grown to love her. Just think about what I said. You best make your decision before your mother gets a hold of Hermione." After a simple, thankful look from Draco, Pansy walked out of his bedroom slowly. Almost instantly, Draco could hear Hermione and Pansy's voice breaking through the silence of their flat.

Slowly, Draco plopped down on the side of the bed, and buried his head in his hands. With Hermione gone, would he be able to live normally, and take on his own responsibilities? He believed that Hermione was someone he needed by his side, everyday, until the end of time. He had just recently made up his mind that he wouldn’t be able to function properly without Hermione- and now, they wanted to take her away from him? They were forcing him to choose, between the girl he needed, and his family, who seemingly needed him.

Draco angrily gripped the thick bedspread and hauled it over his head, forcing it to fly across the room. He could hear Pansy and Hermione saying their goodbyes from the living room, and Draco felt angry tears welling up in his eyes. His chest constricted painfully, shooting a familiar feeling of pain throughout his body. He irrationally drew his fist back, and forced it into the closest wall, hoping that it would relieve him of his anger. Draco's bones cracked upon impact, and he could feel blood pouring from his knuckles. With an angry cry, he reached over to the side table, and began throwing anything he could get his hands on. He grabbed the alarm clock, forcibly chucking it at the wall directly in front of him. He ripped the lampshade out of its socket and viciously threw it as well. The porcelain base shattered upon impact with the wall, just as Hermione slowly opened the bedroom door.

She silently looked at Draco, and at the mess he made on the other side of the room. She noticed the tears streaming down his face, along with his fists that were balled up at his sides. As his eyes settled on her worried face, Draco immediately fell back down on the bed, and dropped his head in his bloody hands.

Watching Draco break down in front of her, Hermione felt a small part of her die. Never had she seen Draco so vulnerable- so weak. For once she hoped to see his overly confident smile take over his lips. She wanted him to lift up his head with the smirk that seemed to be glued on his lips, and say something incredibly arrogant or sarcastic. But nothing happened. Draco stayed on the bed, slumped over with his head in his hands. She could see his shoulders slightly shaking, and she wondered why this affected him so.

Slowly, Hermione walked into the bathroom, and grabbed a small wash cloth and ran it under hot water. She squeezed the excess water out and walked back to Draco, kneeling before him. She carefully tugged on his arm, and began cleaning his bloody hand. "You didn’t have to punch the wall," she whispered, as she cradled his hand softly. Conjuring a roll of bandages, she began wrapping his hand in thick, beige gauze.

Once she tied it off, Hermione turned to face him. Silently, Hermione reached up, and cradled his face in his. His tears glistened against the light, and she felt her own heart break into millions of pieces. "I really wish you wouldn't cry," she whispered softly as she bore her eyes into his. Hermione was careful with her words, relinquishing a soft tone in the wake of his livid state. She was afraid of saying the wrong things, which would only result in more outraged breakdowns.

"Why not?" Draco questioned quietly.

Hermione sighed. "It hurts me." she answered simply, as if it should have been something Draco already knew. Before she knew it, Draco enveloped her into a hug. He drew her body close to his and he buried his face into her hair. His arms wrapped tightly around her and she felt safe, as usual. She held him close, her arms wrapped around his neck, playing with the ends of his hair. “I heard what you and Pansy were talking about," she whispered. “You shouldn’t be so mad at her, she means well.”

Draco pulls us up from the ground and placed her beside him on the bed. "You heard us?" he asked, surprised.

Reaching up and carefully wiping his tears from his cheek, Hermione chuckled halfheartedly. "The walls of this room don’t exactly do well to drown out your yelling." she informed him, the corners of her lips rising sympathetically. "I can understand what she's trying to tell you."

He sighed angrily, and shifted his body around to face her. "Don’t start with that." he pleaded darkly. "Don't you dare fucking start going on about that."

She shook her head. "That's not what I'm doing." She told him softly.

"Then what are you doing?" He asked her, even though he already knew what her answer would be. Draco stared at her for a moment, and then realization suddenly hit his brain, forcing him to see what Hermione truly wanted. "You want to leave, don't you?"

Hermione bit her lip, and dropped her gaze, not being able to look at Draco. "I don't want to," she began, feeling slightly guilty. "Draco," she said softly, taking his hands in hers. She twined her fingers around his, and realized how perfectly their hands fit together. "There's nothing I would want more than to stay here with you."

"Then don't leave." he told her immediately, gripping her hands tightly. "Stay here then."

She sighed heavily, finding it more and more difficult. "Draco this is beyond you and I," Hermione said. "Your parents are involved in this too- and your father more so! We can't just leave them to clean up our mess."

"There are other ways to fix this." he told her, stubbornly pulling his hands away from hers. Draco propped his elbows up on his knees and dropped his head in his hand once more. "You don't have to do this." he growled, his voice was muffled by his hands. "This is just one of Miranda's little schemes."

"It may just be a scheme, but it's one that will work." They spent the next few moments sitting in silence. Every now and then, Hermione stole short glances towards Draco, strangely flattered by how badly Draco wanted her to stay. She sighed, and moved closer, pressing herself against his back and wrapping her arms around his waist. "Draco," she began softly, feeling him relax under her touch. "Think about it," Hermione pleaded. "It works out well- you'll manage your fathers company, you'll fix everything- your parents will be happy, and when I come back, everything will be normal." As she attempted to reason with Draco, Hermione couldn't help but to see this as an opportunity to live her live, and be with Draco at the same time.

He chuckled ungraciously, and turned to look at her. "Since when were we ever normal?" Draco queried. Ever since Hermione entered his life, nothing has ever been simply normal. There would always be the sharp corners in his life he would have to walk around, the small and large changes that he eventually grew accustomed to. It was never normal with Hermione. There wasn't anything normal about an annoying, insufferable know it all barging into his life, changing everything around him, and making fall in love with her. There was never anything normal about Hermione Granger. "We're far from normal, Hermione."

She almost smiled at the sound of her name against his lips. "As normal as we can be," she corrected, feeling the tension rise slightly. "You know," she began, as she stayed seated behind him with her chin resting on his shoulders. Her arms were still around his body, and he had clasped both his had around hers tightly. "If someone had given me this chance, to go out and see the world, I would've instantly taken it without any questions." As Hermione guiltily spoke these words, she realized that they were in fact, something she's never told him before. "I wouldn't have even looked back to see what I was leaving behind. I don't think I would've even planned to come back to London once I found my way out." Draco turned around to face her, and before she knew what she was doing, she leaned forward and kissed him. "But now, I think it'll hurt me more than ever to leave."

"You don't have to go." he croaked, staring at her. "Don’t act like this is an obligation. This isn't something you have to do."

Hermione sighed sadly, and pulled Draco back against the bed. She flicked their lights off, and the room instantaneously surrendered to the darkness. With her wet hair sprayed behind her head, Hermione laid beside Draco, facing him. "I'm not really leaving, you know." she said in an informative tone. "Just taking a short vacation."

"I'm not going to let you leave." he told her, glaring straight at her. The light from the streetlamps seeped in through the window, slightly illuminating their faces. "Unless I'm going with you, there's no way that you're getting on a bloody plane, headed away from London." he knew he sounded childish, but he didn't care. He meant every word when he told Hermione how incapable he was without her by his side. "I promise you, I'll find another way around this. Goddamnit Hermione, you're not leaving. You're going to stay here, right next to me. You're going to wake me up in the morning with your stupid, annoying reasons, and you're going to steal my ruddy coffee cream and force me to drink that load of dung you use." Hermione chuckled softly at this. "You're going to fuss over things that you've lost, and I'm the one that's going to have to find it for you. I'm going to walk into that kitchen every morning and find that you've already beaten me to the Prophet, and I won't get to read it until you leave for the day. Which I absolutely hate, by the way. Before I go to work, you're going to force me into a bleeding suit, and I'm going to ignore you like I always do. I'm going to walk into our bedroom after work and get annoyed at all your bloody knickers lying about. I'm going to fall asleep by your side every night, Hermione." he told her sternly, trapping her body in his arms. "For the rest of my life." Draco finished with a sigh.

"For the rest of your life?" Hermione questioned with a smile, feeling her heart soar with his words.

Draco frowned. "Yes, Granger," he drawled tiredly, as if it were something she should have already known. "For the rest of our loves, we'll be bickering until we're old and gray. And even then, we'll still be bickering over the stupidest things."

She smiled fondly. "I like the sound of that," she whispered, opening her eyes and staring at him.

They laid together in silence for a while. Hermione absentmindedly traced circles on Draco's neck, while he comforted her with his steady breathing. Her mind repeated his words over and over again, causing another smile to play on her lips. After long moment of silence, Draco’s voice broke through her thoughts.

"Hermione," he began with a whisper, being the first to speak.

"Hm?" was her response.

He stayed silent for a moment, delving back into his own thoughts. Marriage has been on his mind for the longest time. What reason did they have not to get married? They were already engaged, and due to be married- why not do it right? "Let's get married." Draco told her, staring straight into her eyes.

Hermione frowned. Surely he wasn't serious? "I'm sorry?"

"You heard me," he said in response, propping himself up on his elbow. Draco gazed down at her and continued. "Let's get married, as soon as possible."

She grinned, despite her words. "You're mental."

"I'm completely serious!" he exclaimed, feeling himself get more and more excited by the moment. There was nothing in the world that he wanted to do more, than to marry the woman in his arms. "If you're serious on leaving, then let me marry you first."

Hermione pondered over this for a moment. "Are you taking a piss?" she inquired seriously, suddenly feeling guilty for her vulgar language. "Are you serious?" she habitually corrected herself.

His face told her more than she needed to know. "I'm completely serious," Draco said. "We're getting married anyway." he reminded her. "We might as well just do it now. What’s the use in waiting?"

"You don't feel that this is just a bit... Sudden?" she asked hesitantly, looking away from him.

Draco in turn, frowned. "We're already engaged, Hermione," he manage to say. "Why is this coming as a shock to you?"

"No," she immediately said. "It's not that- but, well.." he glanced at Draco and noticed that he was growing angry. "This is just new," Hermione admitted sheepishly. "You and me, it's just new. Before our engagement was simply under a contract- but now, it's something more. Our feelings were never involved before."

As Hermione bit her lip, Draco stared at her. He stared at the girl in his arms and wondered why he had been lucky enough to get a girl like her to devote herself to a guy like him. It was then, when Draco realized the things they did, and didn't say to each other. The couple had skillfully maneuvered around the subject, making it easy to sway around the inevitable. However, the inevitable never, ever went way. "Hermione, there's no one in this world that I would want to spend the rest of my life with, other than you." he told her sincerely, lifting her head up to look at him. "You're already technically mine," she smiled at this. "But now, I'm asking you as a man to a woman- will you be mine, Hermione? Will you do me the honour of being my wife, forever?"

She was surprise to hear the words come out of his mouth that she hadn't even realized what he was really asking. All she could think of was that Draco was here, right in front of her, setting his heart out on a string right before her. "Draco..." she trailed off, sighing tiredly. This was going too fast- she just needed to catch her breath, and then she'd be able to give him the answer he needed.

However, her short moment of hesitation was the only answer Draco needed. He irritably untangled himself from Hermione, walked out of bed and left the bedroom without a single word.

Hermione was left on the bed, sitting up with shock. She didn't mean to hesitate. All she needed to do was think for a moment. She wanted to think about what she was giving up, even though in the back of her mind- she already knew it. Instantly, Hermione stood up and followed Draco into the kitchen, watching as he flicked the lights on and pulled out a bottle of firewhiskey from the cupboard. "You sure do drink that a lot these days," she whispered, leaning against the counter beside him.

Draco didn't respond. "Draco," she began slowly, dragging out the last syllable. "Please understand me."

“That’s just it, Hermione.” He snapped, taking a swig. “I don’t understand you. I don’t understand what you want from me. First, we have mind blowing sex, and then you tell me you can’t live without me, and then you say that you want to leave London- and now, what? You don’t even want to marry me?” Draco’s faced turned into a scowl, and he drank more of the whiskey. “What the hell do you want from me, Granger?”

She winced as her last name left his mouth. “I want you to wait for me!” She said bluntly. “I want you to let me go, and I want you to wait for me. I want you to let Miranda help you fix everything. No matter what her real intentions are, I want you to let her help you. I want you to tell me that it’s okay to live, and have you at the same time.” He continued to stare at her, angered by what she was asking of him. “Draco, I don’t want to marry you under these conditions- where all these bloody reporters and photographers are after us because we faked a marriage. If that’s what you’re going to ask of me, then my answer is no.”

"You want me to wait for you, for a year?" he eventually said, dropping his gaze to the ground. "Hermione, if you really cared for me- none of those things would matter. I would marry you even if we were in the middle of a bloody war. Why do those things matter so much? "

"Like I said," she quickly replied. "This is beyond you and me. Your family is involved in this too. And if I'm going to be a part of your family, I want to do this right."

Draco scowled again. his eyes flashing with anger when the words he wanted to hear were left unsaid. "You just want a reason to get out of here."

“It’s different now.” She took the bottle from his hands, and drank a good portion herself. She winced at the unfamiliar burning sensation of the firewhiskey traveling down her throat. “I have a reason to come back.”

"I’m still not okay with this." he retorted angrily, snatching the bottle back from Hermione.

Hermione was slightly disappointed that she failed in attempting to convince Draco that this was a good idea. “I know,” She responded softly, stepping forward and taking her face in his hands. She stared into his eyes, and silently pleaded for him to understand her. “I wish you would be though..”

“How can you even expect me to be okay with this?” he demanded, taking another swig of the whiskey. It slithered down his throat, leaving a burning sensation. “You’re leaving for a whole bloody year. You’re being selfish, Hermione.”

The world selfish slapped Hermione straight across the face, stinging tremendously. She stood in front of Draco as her arms dropped to her sides, and stared at him with disbelieving eyes. How could he possibly be calling her selfish? Her eyes slowly changed from disbelieving to a shade that was familiar to Draco- anger. He had caused and witnessed this particular rush of emotions that welled up in the depths of her eyes enough to be able to recognize it anywhere. “I’m being selfish?” she snapped coldly, glaring daggers at him. It was a mystery to Hermione how she had been feeling nothing but love for him just a moment ago, and now- all she felt was anger and hatred. “How dare you tell me that I’m being selfish- I’m doing this for you and your family you daft, insolent bastard!”

Draco snorted resentfully, and roughly slammed the empty bottle of firewhiskey on the counter. The bottom of the glass collided with a marble, and Hermione could have sworn she heard it crack slightly. “No, Granger- you’re doing this for yourself. You’re doing this because you’re finally given the chance to have what you always wanted, and even when you have me here, standing right in front of you, offering my whole fucking heart- you’re still too selfish to even think of turning away from the only chance you have to get out of London.”

She couldn’t believe the words coming out of his mouth. Had he really thought this of her? Was this how he saw this entire situation? That it was a chance for her to go live her dream, and leave him behind? “Do you honestly think that I want to leave you? That I'm doing this for my own benefit?" She practically spat. “You think that I want to be away for a whole bloody year, while you’re left here to clean up the mess that I equally made? What the hell do you take me for, Malfoy?”

“A selfish cow, that’s what.” His response was immediate, and she knew that he had been searching for a chance to call her a ‘selfish cow’. The name was simply lingering on the tip of his tongue, searching for the perfect moment to spring out and catch her by surprise. “You’re being selfish- and you know it.”

“Have you seriously not been listening to anything I’ve been saying to you for the past hour?” She shouted, obviously enraged. For a moment, Hermione felt as though Draco was the prat she met in Hogwarts- and she was the bookworm that couldn’t tolerate being in the same room as him. They were arguing as though they were children once more, leaving Hermione to feel slightly guilty from their immaturity. “Have you heard anything I’ve told you about how I felt about you, and why we have to do this? No- obviously you haven’t. Because as always, you’re too busy thinking about your own needs, and your own feelings, that you’re incapable of seeing everyone else’s! You’re a hypocrite for calling me selfish, you arsehole.”

Before she could lash out on him any more than she already has, Hermione briskly strode out of the kitchen in fury and walked into her own bedroom- slamming the bedroom door behind her. She sank down on her bed, and allowed the tears to escape the confines of her eyes. She wondered how could doing the right think feel so wrong.

About five minutes later, she heard footsteps outside her bedroom door, and from the small crack in between the bottom of the door and the floor, she could see the shadows of Draco’s footsteps lingering outside her bedroom door. Hermione watched the shadows carefully. She could see that he was pacing quickly, resulting in complaints from the floorboards due to the sudden shifting of weight. A low groan could be heard through the wooden door, and then suddenly, he was gone. The shadows retreated, followed by a door, loudly slamming shut, causing Hermione to jump slightly from where she was seated.

After she shed a few more tears, Hermione forced herself into bed. However, no matter how hard she tried, sleep never came over her. She laid in bed awake for the longest time, thinking about how much has changed within a day. For the first time, she came face to face with the long-term feelings she had been harbouring for her fiancé, realizing that they were matters that until recently, she had skillfully been pushing into the back of her mind. They were finally together, in every affectionate way possible. Though, to Hermione’s dismay, their time together only lasted a few hours, until Pansy arrived with the dreaded news. Now, she was back to sleeping in her own bedroom, only to find herself wishing that she was beside Draco instead.

This was their first legitimate fight as a ‘couple’. They argued several times, but never did they resort to calling each other horrid names, and being driven to sleep in separate rooms. It was usually Draco who would be the first to swallow his pride and find Hermione after an argument to apologize for everything he’s said. He knew Hermione well enough to be absolutely certain that she wasn’t going to be the first to yield with an apology. However, as Hermione watched Draco’s shadow move back into his bedroom, she slightly felt a little piece of her heart breaking, a small little fact dawning on her for the first time. This wasn’t an issue either one of them could fix with a simple ‘I’m sorry’.

Thinking of the many things that were left unsaid that night, Hermione sighed loudly. She fought the urge to walk into his bedroom, and climb into bed with him. She wanted to tell him just how much she wanted to be with him; how she missed him already, and he was only a room away. She desperately wanted him to understand the predicament they were both in, which forces them to placate their responsibilities first, instead of their own desires. Leaving Draco was the last thing she wanted to do, but it wasn’t like her to put her own heart before her duties. She was going to be the wife of a Malfoy, and she understood everything that came along with it. More tears streamed down her face, and she angrily wiped them off as she continued thinking of several things she wanted to say to Draco at the moment.

For a while, Hermione forced herself to focus on Draco and nothing else. She didn’t want to think about what they would have to face in the future in order to be together (which seemed almost tangible). She wanted to think about him in a way that made her insides melt. She turned to her side and sighed, wondering why their paths couldn't have tangled together sooner. Maybe things would be different if they fell for each other in Hogwarts- or a year before. Maybe there wouldn't be so many responsibilities on their shoulders, which would allow them to be together liberally, without Miranda or his parents standing in between them. However, Hermione knew that real life worked with sharp corners and unearthly surprises. At any rate, she and Draco came this far, and she was determined to go all the way.


Pansy was having an extremely long, horrendous night. While she forced herself to walk further along the paved roads and towards a familiar pub, her mind continued returning on the bed that rested in her flat- the empty, inviting bed that she shared with Theodore. She thought of her warm pajamas and the delicious cup of hot chocolate that she would make herself once she arrived home. Her mind returned to her boyfriend, who was waiting for her to return, and she wanted nothing more than to climb into bed with him, and get a good night’s sleep.

Needless to say, Pansy was exhausted- extremely exhausted. There was more than enough on her mind to think about; causing her to realize just how much she detested being the middleman in Draco’s affairs. She had just caused her best friend even more pain than he could ever imagine, and she detested herself for agreeing with Miranda’s ridiculous proposal. She wanted to be able to say that she was on Draco’s side. Pansy wished to tell Draco how much she cared about him- enough to stand behind him in any matter, and to tell him how stupid and futile it would be to force the couple apart. Much to Pansy’s dismay, it was very rare for her heart to work over her mind, making it almost impossible to disagree with Miranda’s offer. And now, Pansy was on her way to envelope the open arms of anger’s wrath- knowing that it would come upon her soon or later.

The pub was dark; the only think illuminating the spacious bar was a dim light on the ceiling, and several candles on the tables. There were several muggle men crowding around the bar, their eyes absorbed in a television that hung above several bottles of liquor. There were a few women scattered around the pub, arms wrapped around various men. It was a typical night out in London.

The moment Pansy entered, she searched the crowded pub for Miranda, and found her sitting in a table by the window. She quickly wove through the crowd and several waitresses, making her way to her. "Let's get on with this." Pansy said immediately as she sat down. "I’d really like to get home as soon as possible."

"Thank you for meeting with me, Pansy." Pansy scowled as she listened to her voice, dripping with fake sweetness. "I didn't think that you would come after our meeting with Narcissa."

"That's actually why I wanted to come," she began nastily. "Miranda, I knew you were conniving, but I never thought that you would stoop down this low."

A small smirk itched its way on Miranda's face, but she fought it away. "What are you talking about, Pansy?" She asked nonchalantly, faking cluelessness. Miranda fought a smile as she scrutinized her perfectly manicured finger nails.

"Oh come off it." Pansy sneered. "You know as well as I do that your father would be willing to help the Malfoy's without Hermione there. Sure, it would make things easier, but you just had to force her out of the picture, didn't you?"

This time, Miranda smirked openly. "Pansy, I think you should know by now that I always get what I want." she told her. "And this time, it worked out perfectly. Narcissa didn't even see through the offer that I presented. With Hermione gone, Draco can focus better- isn't it just perfect?"

"Do really think that just because Hermione is gone, you can get Draco back? You've tried everything Miranda, everything. You gave him up years ago. And it's about time you deal with the consequences. You broke him- and quite frankly, I'm glad that you did. It brought him away from you and to Hermione." Pansy sat back into her seat, and the two women stared at each other with demeaning and intimidating expressions. It was a game. They were both contestants. They were on different sides of the court, and there was only one goal, and that was to defeat your opponent. However, there was only one rule-don’t let your opponent see any fear. Pansy understood how much Miranda loved the chase. She was in it for the game, but this was the one game that she was not going to win. "You know as well as I do that you’ve lost, Miranda. It’s about time you own up to it and give up." she spat menacingly. "Draco won't be leaving Hermione. He will wait for her until she returns."

To Pansy’s surprise, Miranda smirked. "Draco has never been the patient type of guy."

In response, she scoffed unpleasantly. "Oh, trust me," Pansy retorted quickly. "For Hermione, he'll wait."

"Why would he wait, for something that's not even real?" Miranda snapped, glaring back at Pansy. In spite of her words, Miranda knew that anyone who knew Draco could easily pick out the falsity of the statement. Even Miranda, who didn’t want to believe it, can’t deny the fact that there was indeed, something between Hermione and Draco. However, this was Pansy she was arguing with, and there was absolutely no way that Miranda will accept defeat. So she used the only reason she could think of- the large, now blatant lie that both Hermione and Draco created. "They're under a contract marriage- it's bound to end sometime."

It was Pansy's turn to smirk, seeing right through Miranda’s words. It was now Pansy’s move, and she laughed at her thoughts, realizing how Miranda had just forced herself into a corner. "Draco and Hermione are real. They've always been real. They’re bloody in love with each other, and even you can see that! You thought that telling Hermione that Draco’s in love with her would shake her up, and force her to run?” Pansy laughed resentfully. “Oh, you thought I didn’t know? Please, Miranda- you know me better than that. Slytherin’s are cunning to the core, aren’t they?” she mused to herself with amusement. Hermione came running to me after you spoke to her, and asked me, rather bluntly might I add, if Draco was in love with her. Who else would tell her this but you? Surely Wesley wouldn’t- he seems to have gained a liking for Hermione, why would he allow her to see how Draco feels about her? Draco has never said ‘I love you’ to anyone, since you left. So who else but you, would ever say something like that to her?”

Miranda glowered at Pansy. “She did run away. She ran off- away from Draco.”

“For a moment, yes- she did.” Pansy replied evenly. “You know, I was with Draco tonight.” She smiled in amusement at the memory of Hermione and Draco basking in the aftermath of sex. “I was over at his flat, and you will never guess who was in his bed- clad in nothing but his shirt.”

Another grimaced fought its way on Miranda’s face. “Whore,” She muttered under her breath. “That little mudblood is a whore.”

“Don’t be so petty, Miranda.” Pansy snapped. “She’s Draco’s fiancé, if you remember. She has every right to sleep with him.”

Miranda glared at Pansy, and sat back in her seat. “No matter,” her calm exterior took over once more, causing Pansy to laugh bitterly. “Draco is in a vulnerable state. He has been ever since I left. Hermione was there to pick up the pieces, explaining why he’s so fond of her- enough to force himself to believe that he loves her. Once she’s gone, he’ll realize how badly he has chosen.”

“How would you know how Draco was after you left?” Pansy asked, her voice suddenly turning dark. Miranda’s sudden absence has always been a touchy subject. After Draco fell into a mess, Pansy losing control, and Blaise losing himself; their wounds were cut deep. “You never bothered writing and you left for years. Don’t you dare ever say that you know what happened after you left.”

“Look who’s being petty now,” Miranda retorted grudgingly.

Pansy stood up, and sighed heavily. With matters concerning Miranda, Pansy was incredibly worn out. Upon her return, she had done well to keep Miranda at a safe distance from her, and this spacious barrier in between them meant that Pansy no longer had to deal with Miranda’s juvenile delinquencies. This talk was just forcing more anger into her than she could handle. She wrapped her coat tighter around her body, and looked at Miranda one last time before they departed. “Listen closely, Miranda- because this better be the last time I have to fucking say this to you. I’m bloody sick and tired of having the same conversation with you over and over again. Stop being so immature! We’re adults’ now- we’re not in Hogwarts anymore. We don’t have room in our lives for your trivial schemes, and bratty, juvenile behavior. You’re the ministers’ daughter, so grow up, would you? You’re not a teenager anymore. You don’t scheme against girls that stole your bloody boyfriend. Own up to your fucking actions. It’s about time you stop messing around with them." She said through gritted teeth. "You can’t just run to daddy every single time you want something, and expect to get it. You’re not a little girl anymore. So stop acting like such a child. You gave Draco up, and you've got to deal with it."

"Yes, that’s right. We’re adults now. Adults handle things maturely. I’m handling this maturely. I’m telling you now, I won’t put up with Granger. She will go back to where ever the hell she came from." Miranda growled forebodingly. "Trust me, Pansy- I'll be getting Draco back and I’ll do whatever it takes to make sure that it happens."


Authors Note: hi guys! here's the 21st chapter, as promised! this was a lot longer than it should've been, originally, but oh well. i apologize for any spelling or gramatical errors!

now, i know some of you are probably seething in your seats after reading MIranda's conversation with Pansy. you guys probably wish for her to die, right? well i'm not that mean to give miranda a happy ending with draco! i promise she'll go away by the end of the fic. xD she'll just play a major role in the last few chapters.

i was definitely about iffy about draco and hermione's attitude towards each other. i wasn't so sure how to portray it, but this seemed like the best in my mind. i didn't want them to come out all lovey dovey, yet i did want them to show some kind of emotion and likeness for one another- since that was the pooint of this entire chapter. since hermione just figured out her emotions for draco, and draco just recently openely admitted them, i didn't want them to be all over each other. i'm not really sure if i pegged this correctly..

i'd post a preview for the next one, but haven't gotten around to writing it yet D: but the next chapter should be interesting! it's draco and hermione's interview! now what do you guys think will end up happening then? especially since they're in a fight now? ;)

so enjoy! please tell me what you think :)
review! it keeps me motivated!

edit 8/27/10- hey guys. contours is currently undergoing edits. i will be going over every single chapter and i'm sorry to say that the next chapter won't be up till i'm finished. so hang tight! updates may start coming slow, since school is coming up in a week and a half and i haven't even started my summer reading assignment. D:

love, gryffindorgirl

Chapter 23: Chapter Twenty Two
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By: Gryffindorgirl153

Chapter Twenty Two

The next day, Hermione irritably woke up to the sound of an owl tapping harshly against the window on the other side of the room. With a groan, she angrily pushed the thick duvet off her body, and feebly walked to the window. As she muttered angry remarks to herself, she slid the window opened and snatched the letter from the owl’s beak. Being awoken by an owl was not Hermione’s idea of a lovely morning. In fact, it was the exact opposite—especially after last nights’ events. She came to the conclusion that today was not the day for anyone to even try to anger her.

The envelope was signed with a neat, elegant scrawl that surprisingly irritated Hermione even more. She ripped the envelope open, and quickly scanned the short letter from a reporter who worked for the Daily Prophet.

Mr. Malfoy and Ms. Granger,

This letter is to notify you that I, along with other accomplices will be arriving in your flat in about half an hour for the interview Mr. Malfoy has agreed to.

John Darley,
The Daily Prophet

Hermione angrily crumbled up the letter in her hand, and threw it into the disposal bin. It was about twenty past eight in the morning, and she was tired. Her eyelids felt much too heavy for her liking, and her body felt weaker than it ever has been. Her temper had grown extremely fragile, and her mind became overly sensitive in the span of six hours. She momentarily grew a reasonable amount of distaste for Draco, for even agreeing on a ridiculous interview such as this. What could they possibly ask that they didn’t already know? The Daily Prophet was easily able to acquire information without going through the nuisance of setting up a pathetic interview.

She stalked out of her room, ruffling her hair and making it even more of a mess than it already was. Without thinking, she stormed into Draco’s bedroom, only to find his bed made and empty. She narrowed her eyes at the empty, untouched bed; feeling ample amounts of anger rush through her body. There was no way that he was going to leave her alone to handle this interview. For the next few seconds, she searched their flat for any signs of Draco, but simply found herself disappointed once again. He was nowhere to be found. Not a single trace of a used coffee cup, or a plate with crumbs that came loose from a piece of toast.

Growling loudly, she quickly walked back into her bedroom and pulled the crumbled paper out of the disposal bin, and walked into his bedroom, towards his owl. “Bring this to Draco,” She directed, smoothening out the letter and placing it in between the owl’s beak. “And hurry.”

It wasn’t until two minutes before nine that Draco finally showed up. Hermione had been bustling around their flat, cleaning anything she could. She completely transfigured her bedroom into looking like a guest room, and moved the rest of her belongings back into Draco’s room. She placed several picture frames around his dressers and tables; attempting to make sure that his bedroom looked as if it was her own too. She tidied up the kitchen, and placed random novels lying around the flat, back into their respectively empty spots on the bookshelf.

In the past thirty minutes, she had showered, and hurriedly dressed herself—all the while, her anger still bubbling in her stomach. Each minute Draco spent away from home, Hermione felt an ounce of anger dropping in her body. The moment he walked through the door of their flat, all Hermione could do was glare at him. She couldn’t think of anything else to say; nothing even came close to describing the anger she felt towards him at that very moment. Never in her life did she feel so much resentment—so much anger towards him. Steam was practically seeping from her ears out of fury.

“Look, I know you’re mad, but in my de—” Draco began, but Hermione cut him off before he could even begin to explain why he was gone.

“Save it,” She snapped, irritated. “Just get dressed, and let’s try and get on with this interview without killing each other.”

As Hermione moved back into the living room to remove various magazines from the coffee table, Draco stayed; rooted on the spot in front of the door. “I think you’re the only one who will be having a problem in trying to refrain yourself from killing me.” He replied—more coldly than Hermione expected.

She turned to him, and glared daggers at his direction. “Where the hell were you? Did you even remember that we have an interview today? The interview that you so kindly agreed to?”

“You don’t seem to care where I’ve been—you just immediately jump to conclusions and become angry!” Draco retorted. “If you must know, I spent the night at Blaise’s.”

Hermione scoffed bitterly. “What—you just couldn’t handle sleeping in the same house as me?” She looked away from him, and continued arranging the mess on the coffee table. “That’s so typical, Draco.”

“Are you kidding me?” he demanded. “You were the one that angrily stomped off from our conversation last night.”

“Who called me selfish?” she asked him incredulously. “Why would you even think for one second that I was being selfish? Do you even know me at all, Malfoy? After months of being with me, you don’t even know a single thing about me—do you?”

His eyes flashed with anger as they just walked into the conversation that he wished to avoid. “Oh I know who you are, Granger. Don’t think for one second that I don’t. You’ve got a short temper, and you don’t even care that maybe you’re being irrational by getting angry over such petty things. You’re a know-it-all, and you make assumptions about everything and everyone without even knowing the full story! You’re selfish too—I bet you didn’t know that about yourself.”

“I’m not selfish, you smug bastard.” She retorted furiously as she advanced on him. “How about you, Draco? You think that you’re not selfish? The only person you ever think about is yourself. You put your feelings in front of everyone else’s, making you too blind to even see or care about what other people are feeling. What about your father, Draco? His company is suffering—and here you are, trying to make me stay here with you, when clearly, that’s the only way to properly fix this issue that we single handedly created.” By the time she was done with her harangue, she was standing only a few centimeters away from him. “You’re just as selfish as you make me.”

“Yeah, that’s right. I’m Draco Malfoy, remember?” he spat. “I’m a vile, selfish Slytherin that will never grow out of his old habits.” Without another word, Draco shrugged off his coat, and walked down the hallway and into his bedroom. The loud door, slamming shut was enough to draw out an angry cry from Hermione.

Just as expected, the doorbell rang, and Hermione dropped the stack of magazines on the coffee table, and attempted to compose herself. “Look as happy and alive as possible.” She murmured to herself on her way to the door. “You’re happily married, and you’re in love with your fiancé. You’re happily married, and you’re in love with your fiancé.” She continued repeating the phrase over and over again, forcing herself to believe and act upon it.

She apprehensively opened the door, expecting to see an immediate flash from the other side. Instead, she was greeted with something—someone, rather, much worse. “Er, hello.” Hermione spoke, slowly, suspicious as to why Miranda Caldwell was standing outside her flat.

Miranda’s brilliant smile almost blinded Hermione as she pushed herself inside. “Hello, Hermione.” She greeted sweetly. “Fancy running into you today, eh?”

Hermione’s baffled state grew more confused as a woman, and two men followed Miranda inside. “It’s not running into someone if you show up at their apartment.” She informed her, closing the door shut as the last man walked inside. “May I ask what you’re doing here, Miranda?”

As if on cue, Draco appeared behind the tallest, bearded man—casting a skeptical glance at Miranda. Hermione’s anger immediately rose once she noticed how long Draco’s gaze lingered on the blonde. “Miranda,” he choked out. “What are you doing here?” However, her anger slightly subsided when Draco found his way beside her—which was either out of habit, or simply a show put on for the photographers. Either way, it slightly assured Hermione—only slightly.

“Well, I ran into John here, in the Leaky Cauldron the other day—oh!” She exclaimed, realizing that the rest of them did not know the story behind their coincidental acquaintance. “While I was in France, John and I used to work together in a small branch of the Daily Prophet—having I told you that, Draco?” The confused look on Draco’s face gave her the answer she was searching for. “Oh, well.. I ran into John in the Leaky Cauldron, and we just got to talking…”

John Darley looked to be close to Draco’s age, disregarding the few strands of grey hair visible on the right side of his head. He had brown hair, and blue eyes—standing at a towering height of six feet and two inches. The knowing smile on his face as Miranda told their shared anecdotes led Draco to believe that there was something more to their relationship than Miranda had let on.

“And when he informed me that you had agreed to an interview with the Daily Prophet, who was I to give up an opportunity to help and show off just what a wonderful couple you two are.” She smiled widely, looking straight and Draco and Hermione. “Being one of your oldest friend, John allowed me to come along. Isn’t that great, Draco?” She asked excitedly, pushing her blonde hair away from her eyes.

Hermione and Draco looked befuddled—more confused than the small redhead woman that came along with them. Draco stared at Miranda with a confusion written all over his face, while Hermione stared at her the same way—except she had a mixture on disdain plaguing her pretty face. There were so many questions she restricted herself from asking Miranda, mostly because the majority of her questions would lead to painfully embarrassing Miranda’s intelligence. To Hermione, the story of how they met didn’t come close to making the slightest shred of valid sense.

“Oh John, you’re going to just love them!” Miranda cried happily. “They’re the perfect couple—so bloody in love with each other.”

From beside Hermione, Draco shifted uncomfortably on the spot. ‘Of course,’ Hermione thought to herself. ‘At the mere voice of ‘love’ coming from his ex girlfriend, he becomes all uncomfortable,’ She quickly shook the thoughts from her head, feeling guilty of assuming ridiculous things about Draco and Miranda’s rocky relationship. She blamed the resentful thoughts on the anger that seemingly never left, ever since she woke up that morning.

“Let’s get on with this, shall we?” the small redhead beside Hermione cringed as Miranda continued gushing about love. “We have another appointment; surely we can’t spend our entire day dawdling around.”

Draco mentally thanked the unnamed redhead, and lead Miranda and John—along with his small crew of photographers and reporters—into the sitting room. “Can I get you lot anything?” Hermione asked politely as everyone else took a seat around the coffee table.

“I’d like a cup of chamomile tea.” Miranda was the first to speak, as she delicately crossed her right leg over her left. The skirt she was wearing rode up to mid thigh, and Hermione noticed one of the unnamed reporters take an indiscreet glance at her legs. “I’m sure Jane would like one too, wouldn’t you Jane?” She asked the redhead, who was squished between the two unnamed men on the sofa.

The redhead sent a short look of disgust at Miranda’s direction, before turning to Hermione. “A glass of water would be fine.” She said softly, offering Hermione a slightly apologetic smile, as if she were apologizing for Miranda’s actions.

“Make that sparkling.” Miranda interjected, before John could make a request. “Darling, don’t be shy.” She said quietly to Jane, who looked absolutely furious. “Did you know Hermione worked as a waitress once she left Hogwarts, in order to pay for auror training?” Miranda turned to John as she said this. “At some shabby pub too!”

“Sebastian, would you like something?” Jane immediately asked, cutting through Miranda’s words. She turned to the short blonde haired man that was seated on her right side. “Spit it out Sebastian, we haven’t got all day.” She snapped, as Sebastian began stuttering.

“W—water would be fine.” He said, looking at Hermione hesitantly. “Thank you,”

Hermione nodded, and turned to John, who was currently scribbling down on a thick pad of parchment. “I’d like some chamomile tea as well,” he told her, before he turned back down to what he was writing.

“Me too!” the man on Jane’s right piped up.

Without another word, Hermione angrily walked out of the living room and into the kitchen, where she wasn’t afraid to show how angry she truly was. Miranda had definitely chosen the wrong day to be herself.

About thirty seconds later, she could hear Draco say loudly from the living room, “I better go help her.” She forcefully slammed the cupboard closed once she pulled a box of teabags out. “Oh right, that’s it.” Draco began sarcastically, once he strode into the kitchen. “Don’t even bother trying to hide your anger, Hermione—I’m sure they can’t hear you from ten feet away.” His voice—full of sarcasm and disdain—was enough to completely throw Hermione off from her feeble attempt at appearing composed. She pulled out two teacups and vigorously slammed them both down on the counter, not caring if they shattered into small tiny pieces. “Stop taking your anger out on cups, and cupboards!” Draco exclaimed, taking a hold of her hand as she was about to slam a tall glass down on the countertop. “Would you get a grip of yourself?” he snapped, his eyes flaring with anger.

“Don’t even start with me.” She roughly snatched her hand back from his hold, and continued to fill two glasses with tap water. “Sparkling water my ruddy arse.” She muttered to herself. Hermione looked at the box of tea. “This isn’t even chamomile tea.” She murmured.

“Just give them anything.” Draco snapped irritably, watching her search the cupboard for the specific type of tea Miranda requested. “Who the fuck cares?”

Hermione whipped her head around to glare at him. “Why are you even here?” She questioned. “Go back to Miranda and whoever the rest of those people are.” Hermione didn’t bother trying to hide the anger that was vehemently obviously in her tone. She dropped three tea bags in the three teacups she had set out, and drew water from the tap. She quickly pulled out her wand and charmed the water to be searing hot, hoping that Miranda would burn her horrid tongue in attempt to drink it.

As he watched Hermione take her anger out on various household items, he felt slightly guilty for the pain and anger he had inflicted upon her. He was almost a hundred percent positive that the reason for Hermione’s irritable mood was because of him, and his inability to control his own anger as well as his irrational actions. Her brows furrowed with rage as she looked over the description on the box of tea that was sitting in front of her. Draco could feel the beginning of an ‘I’m sorry’ slipping past his tongue, but he quickly bit it back—knowing that it would only result in another fight.

“I’m here to remind you what we have to show them, Granger.” He drawled lazily, closing the cupboard that Hermione left open as she returned the box of tea. “We’re supposed to be happily mar—engaged, remember?” Draco mentally cursed himself once he realized how close he had come to letting the ‘m’ word slip. “We’re supposed to be happily engaged to one another, so control your incessant anger, and look happy, alright?”

Despite their talk about the interview yesterday, Hermione couldn’t help but to glare at him as he ordered her around. How could he possibly ask her to look happy with him, when the only feeling he could make her feel was anger? “My incessant anger wouldn’t be in existence, if you hadn’t gone and piss me off in the first place!” she snapped furiously, as she began levitating five cups and glasses into the living room. “Shut up before I break my concentration!” Hermione practically screamed, not caring that the people in the next room could very well hear her.

To Hermione’s surprise, none of them seemed to hear a word they said. Hermione suspected that Draco placed a silencing charm in the kitchen the moment he walked in—aware that their conversation would eventually turn into an unnecessarily loud argument.

“Oh, finally!” Miranda exclaimed once she caught sight of Hermione, levitating a trail of cups and glasses in front of her. “We were wondering why you two were taking so long.”

Hermione managed to put a small, pathetic smile on her face. “Sorry, we were—er, having trouble with finding the tea.” She explained, shooting a skeptical glance at Draco. “We couldn’t find chamomile, Miranda—we’re sorry, this is all we had.”

She watched carefully as Miranda took a sip of the tea, and scrunched her nose up with distaste. She instantaneously set the teacup down on its saucer, and set a fleeting glare at Hermione, making sure that Draco didn’t get to see the look of hatred on her face. “I was never a big fan of green tea.” Miranda spoke, pushing the cup of tea far away from her. “And it’s way too hot, Hermione.

At the sound of her name, Hermione couldn’t help but notice just how disgusted Miranda sounded as she spoke her name. It was as if her name was an infectious bug she just couldn’t wait to get out of her system. “Right, sorry Miranda. You can always cool it off with a charm, you know.” Hermione took a seat on the last available armchair across from Miranda, and Draco perched himself up on the arm, beside Hermione. “So, if you don’t mind me asking,” she began, forcing a small smile on her face. “Who are you three?”

Jane was the first to speak. She carefully placed the glass of water back on the table, and turned to Hermione. “My name is Jane Perry, I’m an intern of John’s. He believed that it would be good for me to experience an actual interview—you know, so I get the hang of things.” Jane looked no older than eighteen. Her dark red hair fell around her waist, and her brilliant blue eyes sparkled as she spoke of the possibilities of becoming a big time reporter. “This idiot here is Sebastian Glover, he’s a photographer.” She pointed to the last man who was left unnamed. “And this is Bart Haggard, John’s assistant.”

Draco frowned, and spoke before Hermione could say anything. “I didn’t know reporters needed assistants.” He said, eying John curiously. “Surely all you do is gather information, and write your story.”

John smiled casually, as if this was a common question. “There are always exceptions for the best.” He replied nonchalantly.

This time, Hermione immediately interjected, and voiced Draco’s exact thoughts. “What’s a big time reporter like you, covering a story like this?” she asked curiously. “We’re getting married, not blowing up Hogwarts.”

“Mr. Darley didn’t come here to be interrogated.” His assistant, Bart cut in, before his boss could reply. “He’d prefer it if he wasn’t questioned on trivial matters.”

“No, Bart—it’s quite alright.” John turned back to Draco and Hermione, who were both eagerly waiting to hear his response. “You see, I find you two—how should I say this—interesting.” He said. “It was reported that you two were under a contract marriage—and you see, that’s the first time we’ve ever come across it. So naturally, I took the initiative to gather information, and set up a personal interview myself.”

Draco scoffed. “So you would much rather write about a couple that’s going to get married—rather than what’s happening in the rest of the world?” Hermione caught the exasperation in his voice, and she elbowed his sides roughly. “That’s hard to believe.”

“Why don’t we get on with this interview, yeah?” Miranda proposed quickly, before John had a chance to reply. “Draco, Hermione, how about a tour of your flat?” she asked, standing up, and smoothening out her skirt. From beside her, Bart immediately eyed her slender figure. “How about it, Sebastian? Up for some photographs?”

Sebastian immediately conjured a large camera with his wand, and stood up, following Miranda’s lead. He snapped a few pictures around, making sure to include Hermione and Draco in most of them. “Would you mind if we take a look at your bedroom?” he asked, wandering down the short hallway.

Miranda managed to beat him to it, and she opened the first door she reached—the guest bedroom—in other words, Hermione’s own room. “Er, Hermione—do you sleep here?” She questioned, stepping inside with curiosity. She picked up a book on the bedside table that Hermione had missed when she was cleaning up. “It sure is.. quaint.”

“Er, no actually.” Hermione answered, leaning against the doorframe, with Draco standing closely behind her. “I sleep in the other room, with Draco.” She knew the last part would get to Miranda; and but the momentary flash of anger in her eyes, Hermione’s speculation was correct. “This is the guest room. Narcissa stayed over a couple of days ago, and she must’ve left that book behind.”

To Hermione’s surprise, she felt Draco’s arms winding stiffly around her waist from behind. “Miranda, honestly—does it look like anyone sleeps in here? There hasn’t been a shred of life in this room since mother left.” He led them into his bedroom, and realized for the first time that day, just how much it changed. He noticed the various picture frames that Hermione placed around his room—picture frames that she never bothered moving from the guest room. He found that the bathroom now included her entire set of toiletries, and inside the cabinet, his toothbrush no longer stood alone.

In attempt to calm her anger down, Draco kept his arm wrapped firmly around Hermione’s body, keeping her relatively close to him at all times. It was for both his and her sake that he kept close—wanting to show Miranda and John that they were indeed, a happy couple. To his satisfaction, he noticed Hermione’s shoulders relax after a period of silence fell upon the group. She relaxed against his body, and he assumed that she had forgotten the reason why she was angry in the first place. Out of happiness, Draco smiled down at her, and planted a chaste kiss on her forehead. A flash came from the camera in front of them, but Draco paid no attention—he simply kept his eyes locked with Hermione’s, enjoying the sudden happiness that came upon them.

“Draco, I always thought you were allergic to orchids.” Miranda said, breaking the silence. She stood by the window, observing a fully grown orchid that was perched up on the windowsill. “I’m surprised to see this in here.”

Draco stared at the basted plant, and realized that he was in fact, allergic to orchids. “Er—yes, I am.” He glanced at Hermione, and was surprised to find that she was glaring straight at Miranda. “It’s Hermione’s favorite—I couldn’t say no.” He forced a cheeky grin, and Miranda seemed to understand, since she continued walking around their bedroom, scrutinizing the pictures and books that was littered around the room.

“Orchids are not my favorite flowers.” Hermione growled, impulsively tensing under his touch. Draco was surprised to see that anger had found his fiancé once more, and she was now glaring up at him. “You’re a prat, you know that?”

“What?” Draco blubbered defensively, making sure that no one heard their conversation. “What else was I supposed to say—she wouldn’t have believed anything else I said!”

She continued glaring at him. “What’s my favorite flower then?” Hermione questioned.

Draco pondered to himself for a moment. “Uh—roses?” At the answer, Hermione immediately pushed him away and walked to Jane’s side. “Bloody hell, women are so difficult.” He muttered to himself, staring after Hermione.

“You’d think that she has better things to do that critically examine every single aspect of a home.” Jane said quietly, once she noticed Hermione standing beside her. “I don’t even understand why she had to come along—she has absolutely no business here.”

“Yes, well—that’s Miranda.” She said, as her and Jane made their way back into the living room. “She’s got her nose in everything Draco does.”

Jane scoffed. “Hermione, if I were you—and Miranda is such a ‘big’ part of Draco’s life, or so she says—I would do well to make sure that she doesn’t mess with my fiancé anymore.” She then shrugged. “But that’s just me—I don’t really do well taking crap from people.” Jane walked as Miranda continued disparaging each and every object in their flat that was apparently coated with a thin layer of dust. “You’d think a small bit of dust was lethal.” She spat venomously, glaring at Miranda who had now made her way back into the living room. “You know—I agree with you two. I don’t know why John is covering a story such as this. I mean, no offence Hermione, but this isn’t the type of story that is worthy enough for the front page of the Daily Prophet. You two have been the center news for the past few weeks when there are more important things going on around the world.” Hermione noticed the suspicious glances Jane sent in Miranda’s direction, and for about the fifth time that day, Hermione understood her. “If you ask me, she has something to do with this.”

“What could she have possibly done?” Hermione asked, following Jane’s gaze to Miranda.

Jane shrugged. “Beats me. But I know she had something to do with this. John had a story prior to this one—but he just blew it off.”

“Hermione, we’re going to start the interview now.” Draco said, interrupting their conversation. He placed a hand at the small of her back, but she quickly shrugged it off, and sat down on the sofa in front of the camera the photographer set up. “What the hell is wrong with you?” He questioned with a low whisper as he leaned closer to Hermione. “Would you mind telling me why you’re so mad?”

He placed a hand on her knee, but she discreetly slapped it away. “You’re so bloody difficult, Hermione.”

“Alright, let’s start—yeah?” John took a seat in front of the couple, and Miranda scurried to the spot beside him. “Now, remember—you two can choose not to answer some of these questions, it’s completely up to you.”

Miranda rolled her eyes. “Now why would they choose not to answer some of these questions?” She asked. “It’s not like they have anything to hide, do they?”

“Can we get on with this?” Hermione asked, resisting the urge to glare at Miranda. “I would like for this to be over before lunch.”

“What’s the rush, Hermione?” Miranda replied. “Do you have other plans?”

“As a matter of fact, I do.” She retorted. “Start with the questions, please.” Hermione found it more and more difficult to sound polite with Miranda sitting right in front of her.

John nodded, and the camera beside him flashed brightly. “Now, if you don’t mind—tell us how you met.”

Hermione hesitated for a moment before answering. She was reminded of their past, and the hatred they once held for each other back in Hogwarts. “Er—well, you see—”

Before Hermione was able to say anything else—Miranda rudely interrupted her. “Oh, you wouldn’t believe how these two were back in Hogwarts!” she exclaimed, throwing her hands up in the air, with a large, amused smile on her face. “They were unbelievable. They hated each other with such passion—it was unbelievable.”

“Miranda,” Draco warned dangerously. “We didn’t hate each oth—”

“Oh don’t lie, Draco.” Miranda said. “Everyone knows how much you two would’ve just loved to kill each other.” She turned to John, who had a quick quotes quill hovering in the air beside his head. “They couldn’t even stand being in the same room with each other without killing each other with their eyes.” She chuckled lightly. “Let me tell you, John—it was insane how much they hated each other.”

“Miranda,” Draco warned darkly for the second time. “How about you let Hermione and I answer the questions?”

She rolled her eyes. “Please, anyone can answer questions about you two when it comes to your past. Everyone knows the story about how you two were enemies. You used to come back to the common room going on, and on about how much you hated that—what did you call her, Draco? Oh that’s right!—mudblood, and how she was so vile and horrendous.”

Hearing Miranda’s words, Hermione turned to glare angrily at Draco. “I’m vile, and horrendous am I?”

“Don’t listen to her.” Draco said instantly, trying to fix the damage Miranda single-handedly caused. The last thing he wanted was to get into another horrible fight with Hermione. “I promise you, I have never called you vile or horrendous in my life.” He placed a hand on top of Hermione’s, only for it to be pushed away again. “Hermione,” He groaned. “Please—I really never said those things. Why would you believe what Miranda says?” Draco whispered.

Hermione glared at him. “She was your girlfriend back at Hogwarts—I’m positive that she would have some recognition about the things you said back then.”

Your girlfriend. “Is that what this is about?” he asked, making sure that his voice was low enough so only Hermione could hear him. “Hermione—sure, she would know the things I did and said back then. But think about it—why would she remember the things I said about you? You were nothing to her back then, so why should those things I supposedly said be even close to important?”

“Are you saying that I’m insignificant?” She snapped coldly, looking away from him. “May we get on with this interview, please?” Hermione asked through gritted teeth. She caught a sympathetic look from Jane, and she momentarily held her gaze—as if trying to show Jane just how angry she is.

“Er—alright.” John said, glancing back and forth between Draco and Hermione. “So, it’s said that you two dated back in Hogwarts. Can you tell me how this came to be? I was under the impression that you dated Miranda until about a year after graduation.”

Draco cleared his throat. “It was also revealed that this marriage was fake,” The word ‘fake’ caused Hermione’s insides to twist and turn. “We told that story to make it seem more believable. I was in fact, dating Miranda until a year after we graduated. Hermione and I never dated before. It was all a lie for the public. I needed to get out of my marriage with Astoria—and then I met Hermione.”

“Why did you choose Hermione as an alternative?” John inquired. “You said you wanted to get out of a loveless marriage, yes? Why did you believe that your marriage with Hermione would be any different than yours with Miss Greengrass? Surely you don’t love Hermione—so why did you choose her?”

Hermione nervously settled her eyes on Draco again. She had asked him this question countless of times—but would his answer be sufficient enough for this journalist? She watched his head drop to his lap while his eyes focused on the ground. He was hesitating to answer—and she knew it. ‘Just tell the truth.’ His voice rang in her head. ‘That’s all we can do at this point.’ After a couple of short moments of watching Draco’s hesitation, Hermione realized that she feared the answer to this question. She was nervous to hear it as well—it wasn’t just Draco, but herself as well.

His voice startled her. “I barely knew Astoria. My only first real interaction with her was the night our arranged marriage was announced. I hated the idea of being married to someone I did not know. We moved in together for a while, and I found myself avoiding being at ‘home’ at all cost. At the night of our engagement dinner—I wanted to get away from the mess my parents created. I found Hermione in a small restaurant not far from the Manor.” A small smile formed on his face at the memory. “She was the same know-it-all bookworm from Hogwarts—and she said that I was the same old Malfoy. We teased and argued as if we were still those same two students from Hogwarts.

“Yes, I did hate Hermione when we were young. I hated that she was everything that my own parents wanted me to be. I couldn’t match up to her—and I hated it, truth be told. In the restaurant, I realized, I knew Hermione Granger. I knew her more than I knew Astoria at that time. There was something more than resentment between us. Maybe it was hate, but it was something more than resentment. I can deal with hatred, only because I’ve learned that hatred goes away. I guess I realized that I can deal with Hermione being my wife for a few years, even if she is still a know-it-all. She’s not perfect like Astoria—she can’t cook, or clean properly—but it’s the imperfections that you learn to love.” He finished, averting his eyes from John, and to Hermione. He smiled softy at her—a real, genuine smile. To his delight, Hermione smiled back. He supposed that she wasn’t expecting a truthful answer from him.

John smiled appreciatively. However, from beside him, Miranda looked furious with his perfect answer. “So, Hermione,” Miranda began, taking another sip of her tea cup. “Have you learned housewife lessons from Narcissa yet?” she asked. “Did she get to teach you Draco’s favorite dishes and such? He was always a picky eater—Draco is.”

Hermione struggled to hide the glare she was itching to send towards Miranda. “No, I did not. I have no plan to become a housewife.” She answered through gritted teeth. “I will be working, and completing my training to be an auror. As for Draco—yes I know he is a picky eater, but he always seems to enjoy the food I feed him, so I don’t think we will have a problem there.”

“But surely a good wife should know her husband’s favorite dishes!” Miranda exclaimed, with fake shock. “Back when Draco and I were dating—I would cook for him all the time! He loves a woman that can cook, don’t you Draco?” She looked to John with a smile. “They always say that the best way to a man’s heart, is through his stomach.”

“Well then maybe you should marry him.” Hermione snapped irritably. “He’ll just have to deal with the fact that I don’t know how to cook his favorite foods. He can go home to his mother if that’s what he wants.”

Miranda smirked. “Hermione, you don’t exactly seem like you’re happy with this little arrangement. Now tell us—how exactly do you feel about Draco Malfoy?”

Draco was now interested with this question. “Yes, Hermione,” he spoke. “Tell us, how do you feel about me?”

“I feel like we’ve just entered the battle zone.” Sebastian leaned forward and whispered to Jane, who was currently glancing back and forth between the couple, and Miranda. “Is it just me, or did it get really cold in here?”

Hermione let out a breath. “I’d rather not answer this question—if that’s okay with you, Miranda.” She turned and shot Draco a dangerous look. “Shut it, Draco—don’t encourage her.”

“Moving on.” John said quietly before Miranda could say another word. “Tell us more about this contract marriage.”

“How silly.” Miranda muttered into her tea. “What kind of person concocts a contracted marriage?”

“It’s just a set of rules we abide by to keep each other happy.” Draco answered. “We keep a distance from each others’ personal lives, er—no sex, and a few others that I can’t remember off the top of my head.”

Miranda raised an eyebrow. “No sex?”

“Yes, no sex.” Hermione answered slowly. “Is that too difficult to understand?” She snapped.

“Is there a problem with meaningless sex?” Miranda inquired, cocking her head to the side. “I’m sure you’re rather used to the idea, Hermione—meaningless sex, I mean.”

“I’m sorry Miranda—not all of us are into that sort of… lifestyle—to put it nicely.” Hermione retorted, resisting the urge to chuck Miranda out of her house.

Draco spoke up before either Hermione or Miranda could say anything else. “That’s enough Miranda.” He snapped seriously, taking a hold of Hermione’s hand. However this time, he wouldn’t let her go. “Anymore questions?” he asked John.

“Yes, actually. Now that the marriage is out in the open—why do you two still insist on staying together?” he asked. “And Draco, what are you real feelings towards Hermione?”

He pondered to himself for a moment. “Hermione…” he chuckled lightly, before looking up at John. “Hermione is well—she’s Hermione. How do I say this?” he asked, chuckling again. “I—well, I’ve never met anyone like her. She’s passionate, smart, beautiful, and temperamental—don’t look at me like that Hermione, you know you are.” Draco said laughing slightly when Hermione turned and narrowed her eyes at him. He squeezed her hand, and held it tighter when she attempted to pull it away rather abrasively. “She makes me feel like I can actually be who I want to be, regardless of what my parents want. After years of feeling nothing—she made me feel something again, and I’m grateful for that. After these few months together, I’ve fallen in love with her.” His voice turned soft, and Hermione suddenly stopped pulling her hand back from Draco. “I love Hermione Granger, and I hope to one day truly marry her, and make her my wife.” He smiled softly. “I hope that answers your first question.”

John nodded. “It certainly does. Will there be a wedding in your future?”

Draco sighed and shrugged. “Well, this all depends on Hermione, you see.” He answered. “I’ve asked her to marry me—and she has yet to give me an answer.”

“So what will it be, Hermione?” Miranda asked patronizingly. “Are you going to marry Draco?”

Hermione’s eyes were fixed on Draco’s. It was the first time she’s ever heard him say ‘I love you’, and she was a bit angered that the first time she heard him say it wasn’t directed towards her. Instead, it was directed towards a journalist who could care less about his true feelings. “That’s actually none of your concern, Miranda.” Hermione snapped, not caring about rudeness anymore.

“Hermione will be going abroad,” Draco began, causing Hermione to snap her head back towards him. “She will be going abroad for maybe a year or so to complete her studies as an auror, and because she wanted to see the world before she settles down. She will be leaving soon—and until she returns, I cannot give you an answer on a wedding.”

John frowned. “Where do you plan on going?”

“I haven’t thought it over yet.” Hermione answered truthfully. “This was only decided yesterday.”

From beside John, Miranda was smirking smugly. She had just witnessed her plan unfolding before her very eyes, and she couldn’t be any happier.

“Truth be told,” Hermione said. “I’m a bit hesitant on leaving Draco.”

Miranda’s smirk grew wider. “Don’t worry, Hermione.” She said, looking at Draco. “I’ll take good care of your fiancé.”

Hermione sighed heavily. “I’d rather you not, Miranda.” She snapped.

“Draco, I think Hermione is jealous.” She said, laughing.

“Miranda, stop it.” Draco snapped angrily, glaring at her. “Please, just stop.”

Unfortunately, she didn’t seem to understand the concept of stop. “Oh please, Draco. She’s just threatened by me. She knows of our history, and she’s afraid that it might happen again—aren’t you Hermione?”

John’s ears perked up at the mention of ‘our history’. “History?” he asked, cutting into Draco’s sentence. “You mean when you two dated?”

“Yes,” Miranda said sweetly, her voice sprinkled with sugar. “We started dating—when was it, Draco? Third or fourth year? And we went steady ever since. Let me tell you, we were crazy in love.”

“Yes, and then you cheated on him with his best friend.” Hermione interjected. “We all know the story, Miranda—we don’t need to hear it again.”

“Are we done here?” Draco asked, knowing that both Hermione and Miranda were about to jump into a steaming argument. “Hermione and I have some matters to attend to.” He said.

John nodded, and stood up. “Thank you for your time—and for allowing us to interview you. You can trust that your story will appear on the front page of the Prophet tomorrow.” He shook both Draco and Hermione’s hand, as the four began making their way to the door.

“It was nice to meet you Hermione; Draco.” Jane said pleasantly, shaking both their hands. “Have a nice day!”

“Nice to meet you too Jane.” Hermione replied.

Miranda stopped in front of the couple, being the last one out the door. “Well, this was lovely.” She began. “Draco—will you tell your mother about Hermione leaving, or shall I?” No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t fight the smirk that played on her lips. “Or will she have to read about this in the Prophet tomorrow morning?”

Draco, having had enough from Miranda, began guiding her to the door. “Don’t say a word—do you understand? I’ll stop by the Manor later to tell my parents. You should leave, Miranda. Now.”

“Draco, before I go—may I speak to you? Later today—say, around three? At the usual place.” She requested, looking at him with her big eyes.

“I don’t know, Miranda.” He answered hesitantly, glancing towards Hermione.

“Please, Draco? I would really like to speak to you.”

He sighed again. “Alright, later. At three.” Before she could say another word, Draco quickly closed the door, and turned back to Hermione. “That was.. interesting.” He said, not knowing what to say next. Draco wasn’t surprised when he found Hermione glaring at him. “What? What did I do know?” he asked her exasperatedly. “Did my answers not suffice?”

She continued glaring at him. “Why are you so bloody angry, Hermione?” he asked, stepping closer to her. He reached down and took both her hands in his, but she slowly pulled them away, breaking their eye contact in the process. “What did I do?” he asked softly. “Hermione—I’m serious. Why are you so pissed?”

“Nothing.” She answered, looking away from him.

Draco rolled his eyes. “Nothing my arse. Tell me why you’re so angry.”

“I’m not angry, alright?” She snapped. Hermione turned her back to him and began making her way back to her bedroom. However, before she could take another step, Draco quickly grabbed her arm and pulled her back towards him. “What?”

“Tell me why you’re angry.” He said evenly. “If you insist that you’re not angry, then tell me why you’re acting this way.”

She looked away from him again. “I’m just not feeling well.”

Draco looked at her with a bemused expression. “Are you sick?” he asked. He made a move to place his hand on her forehead, but she quickly stepped back away from his reach. “Hermione, tell me what’s wrong with you.”

Finally, Hermione lifted her eyes to meet his. “We’re just—different.” She finally said.

“Different.” He stated, still confused.

“Yes, different.” She snapped impatiently. “You know—not the same?”

The confused look still stayed on Draco’s face. “I wasn’t aware that we were alike.”

“That’s just the thing, Draco. We’re nothing alike! We’re polar opposites. We’re not alike at all.” She said. “How can you love someone who’s the exact opposite of you?”

“Well, I managed. Does that answer your question?”

She glared at him. “Don’t be cheeky you prat. Maybe you don’t really love me.” Her voice turned softer, but he could tell that she was still angry with him. “Maybe you only think you love because I’m the first girl that’s ever made you feel something.”

Draco stared at her. Was she seriously going to say something like this after he just told the entire world the way he felt about her? “Where is this coming from?” he demanded. “I don’t think I love you, Granger—I know I do. I love you more than I’ve ever loved another person before. I don’t want to lose you.”

She shook her head, her brown curls falling into her face. He lifted his hand to push her hair back behind her ear, and she inched away from him. “How can you love someone that’s the complete opposite of you?” she whispered. “You said it yourself—I’m everything you’re not. You’re everything I’m not. How does that work?”

“Why are you questioning it?” he asked her. “How do you plan on questioning how a person feels? Do you think I can control this? You think I want to be in love after knowing all the pain it entails?” He stared at her, annoyed that she couldn’t even meet his eyes. “Hermione,” he began, realizing that she had left a question in the interview unanswered. “How do you feel about me?” he questioned softly. “You never answered the question—and you’ve never directly told me either.”

Hermione stayed silent. “How do you feel about me?” he asked again, growing nervous. “Hermione.” He said, more steadily. “How do you feel about me?”

She continued gazing at him, unable to remove her eyes from his. Draco admitted how he felt, so now, she should be able to—right? “I—I,” she stuttered helplessly. “I—I,” You know how you feel about him, you idiot. Just say it! I love you! “I don’t know.” Hermione finished pathetically.

He raised his eye brows at her. “You don’t know?” Draco repeated. “After all this, you still don’t know how you feel?”

“No—Draco, listen to me for a second.”

To Hermione’s dismay, Draco did everything else but listen to what she had to say. “Mother of Merlin, Granger!” He exclaimed angrily. “Are you just trying to play with my bloody feelings here?” he asked her incredulously. “Was that your plan this whole time? To make me fall in love with you, just so you can mess around with me?”

Hermione stared at him with shock. How could he think something like that? “No!” she shouted. “Why would I ever think of doing that?”

Furious, Draco walked around Hermione and stalked off into his bedroom. Hermione quickly followed, determined not to let him go. “Draco!” she shouted, entering his bedroom. “Please, just listen to me!”

“What?” he asked tiredly, sitting down on the edge of his bed. “What’s your big reason for being so incapable of telling me how you really feel?”

“I’m just—” she let out a breath, and looked down at him. “I’m just not used to this, okay?” Her voice turned softer as she forced herself to be more understanding towards his outburst. “I’m not used to being involved with someone. This just—this isn’t me!” Hermione slowly felt everything crumbling down around her. She felt tears stinging in her eyes while her chest clenched tightly. “The sex, the kissing, the handholding; going out together and going to dinner or parties. This just isn’t me, Draco! I’m not used to feeling like this—feeling so dependent on another person. Yes, I am used to you, but I’m not used to the way I feel about you. I’ve still got my own problems to sort out, and I didn’t quite get there just yet.”

Allowing the tears to fall freely from her eyes, she choked out a sob, and sank down onto the bed beside Draco. “I’m sorry,” she told him softly; her tone true, and sincere. “I really am. But I’m not sure about anything right now.”

Draco let out a heavy sighed, and leaned over, placing his elbows on his thighs and dropping his head in his hands. After a few moments in that position, he slightly picked his head up and turned to Hermione. “So what do you want me to do?” he asked her. “Wait helplessly until you sort out your own head? Exactly how much waiting do you want me to do? If you want to leave, at least tell me how you bloody feel about me so that I have something to go by for the next fucking year!” His attempt in trying to compose himself failed pathetically the moment his voice broke out with anger.

Hermione shut her eyes tightly, tears streaming down her face. “Draco, I’ve told you that I wanted to be with you, didn’t I? I told you I didn’t want to leave—that I can’t live without you. Shouldn’t that be enough?” she asked desperately, hoping that he would give her the answer she wanted.

“No, that’s not enough.” He stated. “That’s nowhere near enough.”

Hermione shut her eyes tightly, tears streaming down her face. “Draco, I’ve told you that I wanted to be with you, didn’t I? I told you I didn’t want to leave—that I can’t live without you. Shouldn’t that be enough?” she asked desperately, hoping that he would give her the answer she wanted.

“No, that’s not enough.” He stated, shaking his head. “That’s nowhere near enough.”

She looked away from him for what seemed like the hundredth time that night, and focused her eyes on the floor. A cold silence spread around the room, making it difficult for both of them to even think of what to say next. The prolonged silence lasted longer than either of them would’ve liked, making Hermione more and more nervous with each second. Tension—mostly coming from Draco—mingled with the silence and created an environment that became even more uncomfortable for Hermione. She had the urge to cut the awkward tension with a knife, but she knew better—she knew that silence would be the only way to get Draco to calm down.

“Do you love me?” he asked abruptly, slightly turning his head towards her. When she didn’t answer, he said with an even more softer tone, “Hermione, answer the question please.” He pleaded. “Do you love me?”

How can she say yes, when everything she was doing to him practically screamed out ‘NO’? She was hurting him beyond belief—what kind of love is that? How could this be taken as behavior of a woman who loves her fiancé?

For as long as she’s lived, Hermione had never been in love. She never believed that someone so young such as herself could even be in love until she’s seen everything—until she’s seen the world. She never wanted to be in love. The mere thought of being so attached to someone infuriated her. She’s seen several failed relationships, and she’s seen the way women get so attached to their other halves. After seeing how badly broken down these women get when they’re alone again, she decided that she did not want to be one of them. Rejecting men her entire life—she suddenly meets Draco, and everything changed; including her perception of love.

Things will be easier this way. She told herself. It will be easier to momentarily let go if he thinks that I don’t love him. In her life, she has never had to make a more difficult decision than this. Hermione thought long and hard, ignoring Draco’s expectant looks. She fixated her eyes on the floor, going through all the possibilities in her head. No matter how many books she’s read or what kind of knowledge she’s acquired throughout her life, she couldn’t seem to find the answer. For the first time, Hermione Granger—the smartest witch of her age—didn’t know the answer to her own dilemma. She was cornered, unable to find her way out.

Draco’s sour laugh cut through the silence like a knife. “I guess you’re silence is the only answer I need.” He said flatly. “You can go,” She turned to him, her vision turning blurry. “To wherever you want—for however long you want. I don’t care anymore, Hermione.” He stood up slowly and straightened himself out. “Make sure you have dinner tonight—maybe go to the—”

“Draco,” Hermione pleaded, standing up as well.

“—Weasley’s if you can’t find anything to eat around here. I’ll tell Pansy and my mother of your decision, so you won’t have to worry about a thing.” He continued, walking into the closet, and pulling out a black coat. “And don’t—”

“Draco,” Hermione repeated, her voice more desperate as she followed him out of the bedroom and into the hallway. “Please, Draco.”

However, he ignored her pleading and continued speaking to her in a steady, even voice. “—wait up for me. I’ll probably be back tomorrow morning or maybe after work.” He was ready to walk out the door before he finally listened to Hermione’s pleading.

“Please,” she was crying. “Please, just listen to what I have to say.” She told him. “Don’t just leave like this.”

Slowly, he turned to her. “If you’re going to say everything else but what I want to hear, then don’t bother saying it.” Draco said coldly. After she stood before him in silence, he nodded stiffly and turned around, and walked out the door without a ‘goody-bye’ or an ‘I’ll see you later’.

He left her standing in the empty flat alone as she fell to her knee’s and began sobbing. She forced her mouth shut, muffling her cries, and forced her body to stop shaking furiously. She shut her eyes tightly, hoping that if she closed her eyes, the rest of the world would disappear as well. She hoped for all her troubles and pain to perish before her closed eyes, but it didn’t. The pain was still as distressing, and her troubles were still as upsetting as ever. For a long while, she sat in the hallway, silently wishing that Draco would return. Never in her life did she miss the feeling of a man’s arm around her, and yet here she was—pleading for Draco to return, as if he could hear her cry.

What hurt Hermione the most, was how everything was her fault. She brought this upon herself—she pushed Draco away. Saying those three words—saying I love you—would have been just as easy as breathing. Yet, she chose not to. She chose the latter—the more difficult route. Out of fear and sheer foolishness, she turned her back on him and went against everything she promised him during the nights prior. It hurt her more than ever to know that she wedged this now growing distance in between them, and there was nothing more she could do about it, except to lie in her now made bed.

She never knew what true heartbreak felt like, till now.


“I’m really sorry.” Draco never thought that he would here those three words coming from her mouth. He sat before her, stunned beyond belief. “I’m really, really sorry. For everything—for all the pain I’ve caused you.” He knew how stubborn she was and how much it took for her to finally yield and apologize for her own actions. “I don’t know why it took me this long to apologize—but its better late than never, right?” she forced a feeble laugh out. “Again, I apologize. I was out of line, it just wasn’t my place.”

For a minute, Draco had no idea how to react. For the most part, it was always he who took the first step and apologized first. He was the one to first approach her with an apology at the ready, and it was always her who would do the forgiving. Never in his life, did he ever think that he would be the one on the other side of the street. “Er..” he began, still unsure of what to say next.

She laughed heartily. “Usually around this time, you say that you forgive me, and we both get past this awkward apology.” She told him, a small smile resting on her pretty face. “You were always the one who apologized—I certainly remember that.”

Clearing his throat, Draco offered a small smile. “It’s fine, Miranda.” He said. “Really—just forget about it. None of it matters anymore, anyway.” He knew that he was being soft. After everything she’s done to him, he knew that he shouldn’t be forgiving her this quickly. But he did, and that was that.

“Of course it matters, why wouldn’t it matter?” she asked, frowning.

Draco shook his head. “It’s complicated, don’t worry about it.”

Knowing that she wouldn’t be able to get anything out of Draco, she nodded. “Look, I know that this probably won’t mean anything—but will you please tell Hermione that I’m sorry?” she asked, looking at him with big eyes—something she knew that he always fell for. “I was just out of it, and I’m not really used to this an—”

He nodded, cutting her off. “I’ll tell her.”

Miranda surveyed him. She cocked her head to the side, and gave him a strange look. “You know, for someone who’s in love, you don’t look so happy. Is everything okay?”

“Everything is just perfect.” His voice sounded more sarcastic than he planned. “Just dandy.” He added.” She gave him a quizzical look, and he sighed, leaning back against the bench. “Things aren’t going that well, that’s all.”

“You mean with Hermione?” Miranda asked, leaning back as well. “Is everything okay?”

Draco nodded, despite his thoughts. “It’s fine. We’ll sort it out.”

She chuckled. “Sorting it out with silence, you mean?”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” he asked, confused.

Miranda sighed. “You were always the type of guy who never faced your problems. Sure you apologize, but that’s only with trivial matters. When have you ever faced something bigger than a silly argument?”

“It’s not like that.” He told her, shaking his head. “With Hermione—it’s more than just a silly argument.”

“Well, if you’re still the same Draco that I know, you should be glad that she’s leaving for a while.” Miranda casually placed a hand on his, which was lazy draped across his lap. “Maybe this time apart is coming at the right time for the both of you—it will give you two the chance to think about what you both want.”

Feeling strange, Draco withdrew his hand from Miranda’s, and ran it through his already messy hair. “I already know what I want.” He told her. “And it’s her.”

The three little words caused Miranda to winced, and she hoped that it went by unnoticed. “So what’s the problem? You want her, she wants you—I don’t understand.”

He laughed slightly. “That’s just the thing—she doesn’t want me.”

“Then don’t waste your time on her, Draco.” Miranda told him. “Forget about Hermione.”

He shook his head, to her dismay. He placed his elbows on his knees and leaned forward, placing his head in his hands. “I can’t just forget about her. It doesn’t work that way.”

She sighed, and tore her eyes away from Draco, looking forward to an old couple sitting together on a bench not far from them. They were holding hands, and leaning against each other as they hid from the sun’s kiss. “Look, Draco. You can either be like that,” she pointed to the old couple seated on the bench. “Or you can be like me. Pining for a lost love.”

Miranda placed her hand on Draco’s once again, but this time he didn’t pull back. He lifted his head, and was surprised to find Miranda’s face inches from his own. Her eyes were boring into his, and he found himself unable to pull away. He was familiar with her gaze—the very gaze she would use in order to get what she wants—and his mind was screaming to look away, but he couldn’t. It was like old times, when he couldn’t—wouldn’t dare refuse to give her what she wanted. But what exactly did she want now?

Her face slowly began inching towards his, but he couldn’t pull away. She paused when they were centimeters apart—he could feel her minty breath on his face; her scent engulfed him with one sweeping motion.

Hermione smelled better.

In an instant, Draco blinked, and drew back—leaning against the bench again. He tore his eyes away from Miranda, and forced himself to push both Miranda and Hermione out of his mind. He focused on a tree that stood out amongst all the others. There was a red ribbon tied around it, with a perfect bow tied on the center of the trunk. He frowned, wondering why there was a ribbon tied to the tree.

His mind returned to Hermione, and he wondered what she could have been up to. Draco willed himself to stay away from his flat—away from Hermione—at all times. He wanted to give both of them a chance to think things through and he silently hoped that in the morning, she would wake up with some sort of impulsive epiphany where she realizes that she truly loves him.

The thought forced another sour laugh out of Draco’s mouth.

“Look, Draco. I’m not going to force us together anymore—I guess I can finally see how much you really care about her.” Miranda began. “But let me just tell you this. If you want something, go and get it. Just please, don’t make the same mistakes you made before. Hermione won’t be waiting forever. I’m almost a hundred percent positive that she loves you as well. You two will work it out—but you need to actually work it out.” She stood up, and gave Draco one last look. “Take her to the park, take a stroll in the moonlight or do something romantic. Girls like that.” She smiled at him, and began making her way down the concrete road, leaving Draco alone to sulk to himself.

“Well, that was impressive.” Miranda’s heard jumped out of her chest, and she turned around to find Pansy standing behind her. She had her arms crossed over her chest, and an expression on her face that told Miranda, she wasn’t impressed—not at all. “What’s your plan now?” Pansy asked her, coming closer. “Get on Draco’s good side, apologize for everything—and jump back on him when Hermione’s gone?”

Miranda stared at her. “I just wanted to apologize, Pansy.” She said sweetly. “Is there something wrong with apologizing?”

Pansy snorted. “Coming from you? Yes. When did you ever apologize for something in your life?”

“Well Draco seems to believe that I am truly, genuinely sorry—and that’s enough.” Miranda replied.

Releasing a heavy sigh, Pansy dropped her façade, and took another step closer to the blonde. “You may have Draco fooled, Miranda—but not me. Trust me when I say this, he has too much going on in his mind right now. Even if Voldemort were to apologize, he would forgive him. I’m bloody serious Miranda. You better not go any further than a simple apology.”

She rolled her eyes in response. “Pansy, you can’t tell me what to do. Draco is a big boy. He can do whatever the hell he wants. You’re not his mother.”

“You’re not anything to him either.” Pansy snapped. “Leave him alone for now. If friendship is what you truly seek with him—judging by your little apology—then you’ll be generous enough to give him time to sort his head.”

“What makes you think I won’t be able to help him do that?” she asked Pansy.

Another snort came from Pansy. “Because you caused most of it! Just leave him alone for now. Please—if you truly care for him, then leave him be.”


“Hermione?” Their flat was dark. The moment Draco entered; he felt a cold chill sweep through his body. He suddenly began worrying—what if something happened to Hermione? Fortunately, his fears were dismissed once he heard the sound of a cup being placed on the coffee table. “Why are you sitting in the dark?” He asked softly, flicking the light switch on.

Hermione groaned as the light momentarily tortured her eyes. She shut them tightly, and almost cried with frustration when her eyelids didn’t do the job shielding the brightness from her eyes. She felt her head pounding against her skull and she felt her face swollen from crying. Her first reaction to Draco’s presence was moving her face away from his view. She didn’t want him to see her crying—she felt strangely weak and helpless with tears staining her face, and her eyes read, and swollen.

Once he got a good look at her, Draco instantly felt guilty upon realizing that he was the cause of her pain. Her eyes were puffy, and her lips were incredibly red. Her cheeks looked tearstained, and her hair looked like a nest. “What’s wrong?” he asked carefully, sitting down beside her.

After his talk with Miranda, he tried everything to keep him away from Hermione. He went to a pub, visited Blaise, spoke with Pansy and even went back to his office to get some early work done. To Draco’s dismay, he couldn’t take his mind off Hermione the entire day. He had spent days away from her before—what made this so different? Unfortunately, by the end of the night, his self-control grew weak, and he found himself apparating back home and to his fiancé. He was hesitant to walk through the door at first—hastily brewing up a big, hearty speech about how much he cared about her, and everything else that was left unsaid between them—but the moment her face popped into his mind, he immediately turned the knob, and pushed the white door open.

“What happens when I leave?” she suddenly asked him, keeping her eyes fixed on her lap. “What will you do?”

He took a moment to respond, surprised by the abrupt question. “I’ll do what you wanted me to do. Fix everything and make it better for when you come back.”

“What about Miranda?” she asked softly.

Draco frowned. “What about Miranda?”

“What’s her role in your future?”

He was confused as to why she was asking such strange questions. What was this about? And why was she suddenly bringing up his old girlfriend into the conversation? In their entire ‘relationship’ she has never show any interest in Miranda—none at all. So why now? He yearned to read whatever was going on in her mind—maybe that would give him the answers to his questions. “What do you mean?” he asked her slowly. “She’s Miranda, Hermione. What other role could she possibly have?”

Hermione bit her lip, and Draco stared. She chewed on her bottom lip as she continued pondering. Her hands were clasped together, and from time to time, she would brush one through her hair. “I saw you today.” She told him, her voice slicing through the pregnant silence. “You two almost kissed.”

“Y—you saw us?” he sputtered. “What—why—how?”

She shrugged. “I went to find you so I could apologize, and tell you what you wanted to know. I asked Pansy where you might be, and she told me that if you were meeting Miranda, then I would find you in that park. And I did.” She explained what happened after he left, and she repeated, “You two almost kissed.”

Draco sighed. “We didn’t.” he told her.

“Do you still feel something for her?” she asked him. “Anything at all?”

Without a moment’s hesitation, Draco shook his head. “No.” he answered steadily. “Haven’t I already told you how I felt?”

Another silence came upon them. Draco surveyed Hermione, as she continued chewing on her bottom lip, leaning back against the couch. He knew she was in deep thought, and in any other circumstances, he would have allowed her to think—but not this time. “You don’t trust me with her, do you?”

“No I don’t.” she answered instantly. “It’s not you I don’t trust, it’s her.”

“Well, that’s all that matters—isn’t it? If you trust me, then you trust that nothing will happen?” he replied.

“You two almost kissed today.” She bit back, glaring straight at him. “How do I know that it won’t happen again? Or go any further?”

He rolled his eyes. “You don’t trust me do you?”

“I don’t trust you with Miranda.” Hermione told him. “There’s a difference.”

Draco stood up and shook his head. “No, there’s not. You don’t trust me.” He walked around the couch, and made his way towards the door again. “Bye, Granger.” And then he walked out—leaving Hermione alone for the second time that day.

Authors Note: this is my longest chapter yet. i pondered over this long and hard, deciding if i should break it wouldn't work out though. the next chapter, Hermione is leaving! it's a lot shorter than this one. :P

SOOO. what did you guys think? are you guys finally able to stand MIranda? Or do you all still hate her? and how do you feel about Draco and Hermione? Do you think she should've told him how she felt, or was it really better off this wayy? And was she reasonable to think that maybe while she was gone, something might happen between Miranda and Draco?

And how about Draco? Was it rational for him to just storm off like that? he seems to be doing that a lot when Hermione can't find an answer to his questions.

and what do you think about John? Why would he be doing a story on something as small as a little fake marriage?

Lastly, how did you guys like the interview?

Let me know what you think! Any questions or confusion, don't be afraid to ask!

Any 'why don't they just do this...' questions should be answered in the next chapter!

Contours is still in the process of being edited. i know i said i wouldn't post this chapter till i'm finished, but at the rate i'm going, it would take about two weeks to edit all twenty two chapters.

The next chapter should be out shortly!

Preview for Chapter Twenty Three

"Ron, you’re practically drooling on the carpet. That redhead is way out of your league anyway." Ginny said, shaking her head.

Ron shot a hateful look in Ginny's direction. "Anyway, Hermione," Ron said, continuing where he left off. "Why didn't you just apparate to Australia?"

"Yeah, Hermione. You're a witch, remember?" Blaise told her. "Use your godly witch abilities and save yourself loads o—" Another woman walked by, completely capturing Baise’s attention. This time, the woman had short brown pixie hair that stuck out at all angles. She was a thin, short woman, barely reaching his shoulders. “I love the airport.” He announced with wide eyes as he turned back to his friends. “Seriously, this place is amazing!”

yours truly,

Chapter 24: Chapter Twenty-Three
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

By: Gryffindorgirl153

Chapter Twenty-Three

The last time Hermione has seen Draco, was when he abrasively stormed out of their apartment about five days ago. The moment he left, Hermione instantaneously broke down on the spot. Her body functions seemed to have impulsively shut down all together, making it almost impossible for her to move or do anything but cry. It was as if Draco was the only thing her body knew, and without him, she would pathetically break down. How did it come to this? How could she have possibly fallen this hard for Draco? And in so little time too. Everything had happening so fast—one moment, she couldn't wait to be free again, and then the next minute, all she wanted was Draco.

Around four in the morning—after hours of waiting for Draco to return—Hermione realized that Draco was never coming back. After several attempts of trying to find sleep, she finally gave up—deciding that she needed fresh air—and walked out into muggle London. The streets were dark, with dim lampposts illuminating every other street. Hermione noticed that the only places that were opened were pubs and bars, which were all packed with people. She continued aimlessly walking nonetheless, allowing her feet to take her anywhere. The fresh air helped with the feeling of suffocation that racked through her body back in the apartment. The stores, shops and houses she walked by, did a better job at keeping her mind away from Draco; a lot better than her four hundred-page novel she attempted to finish when he left. The liberating feeling of walking around at four-thirty in the morning gave Hermione the chance to sort her head for the first time in two days, yet she still couldn't answer the ultimate question: (question from the previous chapter).

For the next week, she tried her best to continue with her days without Draco. She went on the next five days without a scrap of news from Draco. He never showed up for work, and Pansy claims to have never seen him. Both Narcissa and Lucius Malfoy—who were both incredibly nonchalant about Draco’s absence—haven’t seen Draco either. Blaise—who in fact, had been completely oblivious as to what was going on between the couple—declares that he hasn’t seen Draco since the night of the Gala. This confused Hermione even more, making it difficult to go through a single moment without worrying about Draco. She pondered over sending him several owls, but when it came time to sit down and write, she ended up deciding against it.

After the fourth day without a word from Draco, Hermione came to a decision that her best choice was to leave London early. After speaking to Pansy, she arranged a trip to Australia for six months—in order to finish up her training—and another trip to Greece for about a month; the rest has yet to be decided. Together, Hermione and Pansy halfheartedly planned Hermione's trip, arranging everything beforehand. Pansy made several attempts to get Hermione to stay or resolve her problems with Draco first; however, just like how Pansy predicted, Hermione refused every single one of her requests. She was determined to leave, and Hermione was not the type of girl that could be easily swayed from her decision.

However the one request Pansy made that she didn't allow Hermione to turn down worked out perfectly. After a small going-away party—one that Draco failed to attend—with Hermione's closest friends, they each took a suitcase, and headed for the airport. Despite Hermione’s protest, all her friends accompanied her to the airport in order to see her off. Finally, after countless of complaints from Blaise and Ron, the group finally found themselves standing in the middle of Hermione’s terminal.

"Are you sure about this?" Harry asked skeptically, hoping that he would be the one to convince Hermione to stay in London. "It's not too late to change your mind, you know?" he informed her, handing Hermione's carry-on bag to her.

Hermione chuckled at his feeble attempt to make her stay. "Harry, everything is already set. I can't change my mind now."

Ron, Harry, Ginny, Teddy, Blaise and Pansy were all crowded around Hermione, ready to see her off. Prior to the airport, they were all gathered in Hermione and Draco's apartment, chatting and eating take-out food as they each enjoyed their last moments with Hermione. Each of them have said their own personal goodbyes, conveying their thoughts on how strange Hermione’s absence would be.

Through all the goodbye's, tight hugs and small gifts, Hermione couldn't help but to feel empty, regardless of the several people surrounding her. The one person she needed to see was not present; leaving her with an unsettling feeling of emptiness that rendered her speechless. During the entire 'party', Hermione barely spoke to anyone. Everyone but Ginny and Pansy had believed that it was because Hermione was leaving London for a whole year, making it difficult for her to utter anything but a smile or a laugh. There was something that made Hermione hope for Draco's presence, but neither Ginny nor Pansy had the heart go tell Hermione the one thing she was dreading—Draco was not coming. Even at the airport, Hermione continued hoping that Draco would arrive and she would get the chance to see Draco once more.

"I still don't see why you insist on taking a plane to Australia." Blaise said, scanning the perimeter of her terminal. Ever since his nasty break-up with Daphne two and a half weeks ago, Blaise had not stopped ogling at other women. He had apparently missed the life of a single man because of his four-year relationship with the woman he now refers to as ‘The Blob’. No one knows where this nickname came from. "Wow," he wolf-whistled quietly as he easily got sidetracked a long-legged blonde that just walked by. Blaise quickly elbowed Ron who was standing braiders him, and quickly whispered, "Check her out!" he muttered excitedly. "Have you ever seen legs longer than those? They’re a mile long!"

Both Ron and Blaise's eyes were fixated on the blonde who now joined her redheaded friend not far from the sliding doors, which led outside. "Her friend's pretty hot too." Ron agreed, following Blaise's gaze towards the girls. "You think they're from around here?" he asked, completely absorbed in their beauty.

“Look at these two idiots.” Ginny murmured, shaking her head with disapproval.

From beside her, Harry chuckled quietly, making sure that Ginny wouldn’t be able to hear his amusement. “Let Ron and Blaise have their fun, Gin.” He said, still chuckling. “Or else they will get crabby on the way home.”

Blaise shook his head in response, completely ignoring Harry and Ginny’s comment while he ran a hand through his dark hair—a signature move. "Not a chance. They look clueless. They're holding a map too."

Ron elbowed Blaise in response. "What's say you and I offer to give them the full tour of London, eh?" he suggested, grinning broadly. "I think they'll appreciate our generosity, don't you?"

Both Ginny and Pansy simultaneously cuffed both boys on the back of their heads. “Oi! Thickheads!” Ginny exclaimed, shooting her brother a dark look. “Your friend is leaving for a year! And you two dim-witts are standing there, wondering if Miss Not-So-Hot Blondie and her friend with a bloody mustache, are tourists.”

Amused, Blaise stared at Ginny. “Who pissed in your pumpkin juice this morning?” he asked, chuckling.

“Excuse me for having respect, and considerate of my best friend who is leaving to Europe for a whole bloody year!” she shot back. “Oh, seriously, Blaise?” she snapped once she noticed that his attention had left her, and back to the ‘hot’ girls standing by the sliding doors.

"You're both idiots." Pansy said, scowling. "With extremely short attention spans!" she muttered, shaking her head, and moving forward to play with Teddy.

Both Ron and Blaise tore their eyes away from the two girls, and turned back to Hermione, grinning at her cheekily. She couldn’t help but laugh once she caught both boys shoot a dreadfully painful look towards the girls. Ginny suddenly sighed. "Ron, you’re practically drooling on the carpet. That redhead is way out of your league anyway." Ginny said, shaking her head.

Ron shot a hateful look in Ginny's direction. "Anyway, Hermione," Ron said, continuing where he left off. "Why won’t you just apparate to Australia?" he asked. “I’m sure it’s a lot easier than flying all the way there. Why would you want to get on a death trap flying three thousand miles above the ground?’

"Yeah, Hermione. You're a witch, remember?" Blaise told her, slinging an arm around her shoulder. "Use your godly witch abilities and save yourself loads o—" Another woman walked by, completely capturing Baise’s attention. This time, the woman had short brown pixie hair that stuck out at all angles. She was a thin, short woman, barely reaching his shoulders. “I love the airport.” He announced with wide eyes as he turned back to his friends. “Seriously, this place is amazing!”

Pansy laughed. “Blaise, your attention span amazes me.” Pansy, who had Teddy in her arms, rolled her eyes at Blaise, and Hermione laughed softly, tearing her eyes away from the entrance of the terminal.

"If I'm going out to see the world, then want the whole experience." Hermione answered, even though she no longer had his attention.

"You're positive you don't want to stay?" Harry repeated, wrapping his arm around Ginny's shoulders. "It's never too late to change your mind."

Hermione sighed, and placed a hand on Harry's upper-arm. "Harry, I’m going to go to Australia today." she said evenly. "I'm really going to miss you though. You all have to promise that you'll all write to me."

Harry sighed in defeat. "I still don't understand why you chose to leave early. Didn't you decide on staying one more week?"

Their goodbyes were more painful than Hermione could imagine. However, it became more and more difficult each time any one of her friends reminded her of Draco. Her eyes constantly moved over the crowd and towards the entrance, hoping that any second now, Draco would walk through the sliding doors, and run to her side. Each time she caught the doors sliding open and closed, her eyes automatically searched for a familiar head of blonde hair—only to find herself wallowing in a pit of disappointment each time.

She gave Harry a small smile. "Things got complicated." She answered truthfully. "It's better that I leave today, anyway. There’s no time like the present."

"Hermione, does this have anything to do with the Prophet that night?" Ron asked, sneaking an indiscreet glance towards the woman he was checking out moments ago. "If so, you shouldn't leave just because of that."

She shook her head. "The prophet is nothing I can't deal with." Hermione's independent nature kicked in, allowing Ron to truly believe that she would not truly be swayed by something as small as an article on the front page of the Daily Prophet.

Hermione impulsively turned her head towards the entrance the very moment her eyes caught the sliding doors opening and closing. "Honey," Pansy said softly, handing Teddy over to Blaise. “Blaise, seriously—there are plenty of women in London. Here, play with Teddy.” After Blaise rolled his eyes, and smiled brightly at Teddy as he took him in his arms, Pansy turned back to Hermione. "He's not coming." she said; quiet enough so that only Hermione could hear her. "Come with me." Pansy took Hermione's hand and led her away from their friends. They ended up standing not far from the women Blaise was now showing Teddy. Pansy began fishing out something from her large purse—a letter, sealed in an envelope with Draco's handwriting printed on the back. She slowly handed Hermione the letter, who in turn, took it hesitantly. "You didn't think that he would let you leave without a single word, did you?"

Hermione looked up at Pansy incredulously. "This isn't a word, this is letter." she stated bluntly, holding the letter up in her hand. "He couldn't have come over here and said this to my face?" Her expression was unreadable, yet Pansy could hear a mixture of disbelief and disappointment in her voice. "Personally? Seriously, who writes a bloody letter to someone they won’t see for a whole year?”

Offering her a small smile, Pansy sighed and shrugged. "It was too hard." she answered simply. "He couldn't face you, not when you're leaving like this."

Hermione scoffed sourly, and rolled her eyes. "That's just great. I won't be returning for a whole year, and he can't even come to see me off?" she furiously. It had been the first time in five days Hermione showed any emotion towards Draco. Pansy looked at her with sad eyes, watching as she tried ripping the letter open but Pansy stopped her before she could completely open the envelope.

"Open it when you're on the plane." She instructed, releasing her hands. "He wants you to read it on the plane."

Hermione gave her a bemused look. "Why?" she asked.

Pansy shrugged and scowled slightly. "This is Draco we're talking about—when do I ever understand why he does the idiotic things he does? Honestly, Hermione—that’s like asking me why apples grow on trees."

Hermione sighed and silently agreed. She placed the letter in her purse, and they both made their way back to her friends. “Hello, Hermione.”

Abruptly turning around, Hermione was shocked to find Wesley Carrow standing behind her—his hands deep in the pockets of his trousers. “Wesley!” she exclaimed, completely taken by surprise. “What are you doing here?”

“May I talk to you please?” he asked politely, glancing at Ron and Blaise who were standing directly behind her. “Alone?”

Reluctantly, Hermione nodded, and walked off with Wesley. “What are you doing here?” She asked again. “I haven’t seen you in a while.”

Wesley nodded, and they both took a seat on a short bench by the doors of the terminal. “I’ve been away for a while. The first thing I saw when I returned was your interview in the paper, and well—I had to come, didn’t I?” he pathetically failed in trying to harbor a lighthearted tone. “I know, I shouldn’t have come today, but I couldn’t resist. You’re going to be gone for a year. I wanted to apologize as well.” He chuckled. “I sure am apologizing a lot, aren’t I?”

She offered him a sympathetic smile. “It’s fine.” She told him. “You don’t need to apologize to me.”

Despite Wesley, sitting in front of her and apologizing for his mistakes, Hermione couldn’t focus on a word he was saying. The only thing her mind could understand was Draco. Her eyes continued darting towards the entrance, hoping that he would magically appear on his white horse and sweep her away. ‘Silly girl.’ Her mind said.

“No—it’s not fine.” Wesley stated. “Hermione, I’m sure I’ve caused a lot of conflicts between you and Draco, and I’m very sorry for that. Before this week, I never understood how you two really felt about each other. I wasn’t used to being said no to, and not getting what I wanted. I wanted you, and you were Draco’s.”

Unsure of what to say, Hermione nodded. “You’re forgiven, Wesley.” She said. “Any troubles between Draco and I are our own faults.”

He laughed softly. “Hermione, you’re too kind for your own good.”

“That’s because you caught me on my good day.” She replied, grinning. “If you manage to catch me between the ungodly hours of six to ten, you might just get yourself a mini Voldemort in your hands.”

Wesley’s laughter rang through her ears, momentarily ridding her mind of all thoughts concerning Draco. “You’ve gotten more sarcastic.” He commented.

Hermione rolled her eyes. “Oh Merlin, this is all Pansy’s fault. She’s got me talking like her.” She replied. “After a week of non-stop Pansy, she will eventually rub off on you.”

“Draco’s lucky.” He blurted out. “He really is. Why is he not here? I half expected to be shoed away by a grouchy dog protecting his territory.”

She shrugged, trying to seem as nonchalant as possible. “Pansy said he won’t be coming today.”

He gave her a bemused look. “Why not?” he asked. “I thought he trailed after you like a lost puppy.”

Hermione laughed. “Don’t be rude, Wesley.” She reprimanded jokingly. “I’m not sure where his is. Things happened, it got complicated, and now I’m leaving.”

Silence fell upon them. In any other situation, the uncomfortable silence would’ve put a damper on Hermione’s mood, but this time, she didn’t even come close to noticing how uncomfortable the silence was. She was too absorbed in her own thoughts to notice Wesley fidgeting in his seat as he stared at her hopelessly. She didn’t notice the longing look in his eyes, along with Ron and Blaise secretly plotting Wesley’s downfall about fifteen feet away from where they were sitting. Hermione was hopelessly and irrevocably lost. The only thing keeping her two feet on the ground was Pansy’s words of wisdom, and her empty flat screaming in the silence. Empty flat = No Draco, that’s how it worked in Hermione’s books.

“So, are you excited?” Wesley asked, clasping his hands together and cutting through the outstandingly long silence. “Are you ready to take on Europe?”

Hermione laughed. “Well, you know me—ready to talk on anything.” She replied. Hermione spaced out, completely ignoring Wesley’s presence. She focused her attention on her friends, watching as Blaise kneeled on the carpeted floor, doing some strange hand motions with his hands while he spoke, in order to amuse Teddy. Pansy stood beside him, hitting him behind his head as she continued reprimanding him for what looked something he was saying to the little boy. Ron was muttering something to Harry, who seemed to be incredibly amused by what Ron was saying, and Ginny and Pansy were laughing together as well. Hermione couldn’t help but notice how happy her friends looked after years of being ‘arch enemies’.

“Hermione, your plane will be leaving soon.” Ginny called, bringing Hermione out of her trance.


“You should go.” Wesley said, before Hermione could speak. “I’ll see you around, yeah?”

Hermione shut her mouth, and smiled at him. “Yeah, you will. Bye Wesley.”

After a couple more casual conversations, and chasing Teddy around the terminal, the time came for Hermione to leave. She gave each and every one of her friends’ final hugs, and made her way into the plane. "Bye." she whispered, turning back after walking past the flight attendant.

She was doing this—she was really doing this. Her bags were packed and loaded on the plan. She had just handed her ticket over, making it unconditionally impossible to turn back. She was past the gate, now saying one final goodbye. All six faces were staring back at her sadly—both Blaise and Ron completely forgetting about the two girls they had been checking out the past fifteen minutes. Blaise raised a hand and halfheartedly waved goodbye, the corners of his lips slightly turning up in a pathetic attempt to smile. He snaked his arm around Pansy’s shoulder out of comfort, drawing his best friend closer. "Bye," Hermione saw Blaise mouth a soft goodbye, and it was the last familiar face she saw before she continued walking into the plane.

As Hermione stared out the window she almost forgot about what she was leaving behind—her friends, her flat, London, and most of all, Draco—and she suddenly felt excited for whatever was waiting for her in Australia. She looked forward to finally completing her training, as well as her chance to finally see the world. She was finally getting what she always wanted—to get out of London, away from her restrictions and confines. She was now on a plane, flying over London and to Australia non-stop. This was it—her chance to live—and yet, once she caught a glimpse of her city planted several hundred feet beneath her, she was nowhere near to being happy. She could no longer find a shred of happiness in her body as the feeling of excitement immediately dissipated as the thought of leaving re-entered her mind.

“You just have to grit your teeth and do it.” Hermione muttered to herself. She earned a strange look from the man who plopped down on the seat beside her. She slowly inched closer to the window, not exactly comfortable with sitting beside a complete stranger. As she moved quickly, she accidentally elbowed the man in the ribs. “Sorry!” she squealed immediately. “Oh, I’m sorry.”

The man glared at her, and inched further away on his seat, trying to be as far from Hermione as possible. ‘This is going to be a long plane ride.’ Hermione thought, sighing sadly.

She suddenly remembered Draco’s unread letter, which was now burning a hole in her purse. She was surprised she didn’t immediate read it the moment she boarded the plane. Slowly, she pulled the letter from her purse, and stared at it for a moment. It was half opened, and a small rip cut the flap in half. ‘Why did he want me to read it when I was on the plane?’ she questioned quietly. ‘Either way—in the airport, or on the airplane, he wouldn’t even be there… Unless—no, it couldn’t be. He didn’t show up.’ Eventually, Hermione opened the envelope, ignoring the already snoring man next to her, and read—

Dear Hermione,

Knowing you, you’re probably very mad at me right now. I apologize for not going to see you off. By the time you read this, you will hopefully be boarded on a plane, heading straight for Australia. Pansy told me everything, just in case you're wondering how I knew. I would have liked to see you once more before you leave, but when I was about to, I realized that I couldn’t do it. Trust me, it is better this way. I've already willed myself to do as you ask and stay put in London, and it would be hard to stray away from this track. I will prove that I am more than capable to take over my father's company, and all these scandals will go away. The reporters, photographers—everything you hate will all be gone by the time you return. I promise you this.

I also want to tell you how deeply sorry I am for the way I have been acting over the past few days. I'm not angry with you, although I wish I were. All I can hope for now is that you will return safely. I know that if I go and see you off, it will be harder for me to let you go.

Hermione, I just wanted to let you know that I honestly don’t give a damn if we're complete opposites. I don’t care if we don’t like the same things, or if we don’t think the same way. I used to hate you, for being everything I never was. But now, I couldn’t be any happier. You're my other half—everything I need to be complete—and I love you for it.

For the past week, I've been staying in the house by the lake—the one that we fixed up. It's beautiful out here; I think you would really like it. During my sleepless nights, I would sit out on the roof and it's amazing. It’d be really nice to live here.

I only have a few favors to ask while you’re gone. Please promise to write, and come back whenever you can. I miss you more than ever, and it will be hard when you are gone. I hope you get to do all the things you always wanted to do.

Have fun touring Europe. Please do not get yourself killed in training.

I'll be waiting.

I love you, and I miss you,

P.S. I’ll actually be there to see you off. You won’t be able to see me—but I’ll be there. Good luck, Granger.

There were several paragraphs and sentences crossed out, and Hermione chuckled sadly, remembering at how terrible Draco was when it came to how he felt. She didn’t even realize she was crying until one of the flight attendants offered her a pack of tissues. In fact, she was sobbing, furiously. Her shoulders were shaking, and her chest was heaving heavily, attempting to fill her lungs with its need for oxygen. She couldn’t remember the last time she ever cried this hard. Pain shot through her body, and she clenched her first tightly, crumbling up the letter in her hands. The tears wouldn’t stop streaming down her face, and no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t control the sobs that racked through her body.

She really did it—she left. She left Draco behind. She was on a plane, flying to Australia, to start a new chapter in her life, without the man she loves.

The following is a series of letters throughout the year Hermione was touring Europe. Please note that not all the letters are included—and some were left unanswered.

Dear Hermione,

This is the first time I’ve written a letter since Hogwarts when you would constantly pester Ron and I to write to you. I won’t be surprise if Ron barely writes in the next year—you know how he is. Anyway, it’s been about a week and a half since you’ve gone. Things are slowly getting better. I hear from Ginny that Miranda and Pansy almost worked things out, yet Pansy sometimes still can’t stand her. I can’t blame her though. That Miranda is a right nasty piece of work. I can’t believe she’s the Ministers’ daughter.
It was Teddy’s birthday last week. Thank you for the present you sent him, he loved the miniature broom! Ginny wouldn’t let me buy one for him, even though I begged her several times. Now he can finally learn how to play Quidditch! Don’t tell Ginny I said that. She will be very, very angry. I attached a picture from his birthday in this letter. You should have been there. He was asking about you, I don’t think he understood that you won’t be back for a while.
How’s Europe? Send Ginny and I a post-card wherever you go, yeah? She’s been begging me to take her to Rome for years now, but with work and Teddy, we couldn’t manage.
Right, before I forget. I’ve spoken to the Auror Office there in Australia, and I managed to convince them to allow you to finish your training early. If you want to stay in Australia for six months, that’s completely up to you—but after three months, you’re free to go wherever you please! I know, I’m wonderful. No need to thank me! You could have always taken the easy road with Ron and me, you know. But you insisted on taking the entire course. They were happy to let you skip the entire training process you know—since you ARE in fact, THE Hermione Granger, but I told them that you wouldn’t like that. Their letter is somewhere in this envelope too—feel free to read it, although I’m sure they’ll notify you when you attend your next training session.
Hey, I heard that in Australia—the toilet flushes the other way, is that true?

Lots of Love,
Harry Potter


P.S. That was Teddy.

. . .

Dear Hermione,
You will never guess what happened. Theo proposed! I’m bloody engaged! Can you believe it?! It happened just last night when he took me out for dinner. I completely messed up his proposal though. He was about to bring it in a glass of champagne, but another man just proposed to his girlfriend in the table beside ours, and I told him how cheesy it was, and then bam. There goes his proposal. He ended up proposing in a park. He tripped over the roots of the trees, and the box just fell out of his pocket and rolled to my feet. Then it just sort of happened. Can you believe it?! I’m engaged! I never thought that this would happen.
The wedding will be sometime around next year when you return. You would’ve been my maid of honor, but you won’t be here for the preparation—so I’ll have to make you a brides’ mate. It’s so much more exciting planning your own wedding—you’ll love it. Soon enough, you’ll be back in London planning your own wedding with Draco. Don’t try and denying it, Hermione—I know you two will eventually get married.
Speaking of Draco, give the guy a break. He’s been asking me every day if I heard some news from you, and I’m forced to lie to him because you won’t write back! I understand how hard it is, but you can’t manage to write a small little note just for him? He’s literally going insane over here. I don’t think he’s ever stopped thinking about you. Each time I’m with him, he’s always spaced out and everything. He’s gotten better, but I think that’s just time talking. It’s been about seven months since you left, so I guess it’s a good thing that he’s not moping around everywhere anymore. I think by the time he hits a year without you, he’ll be able to actually live life and have fun again.
He’s been doing great by the way. Even though he refuses to tell you anything about his life now, we all know that he’s really excited for you to see his progress. He’s due to take over Malfoy Corp. in about two or three months when Lucius finally steps down. The reporters have been off his back lately, and he’s really showed the world that he matured—you know? He’s still the same old Draco, but he puts on this face to the public that just makes them all love him. You’d really be proud of him if you could see him. I didn’t have to scold him once in the past five months!
Blaise has gotten a new girlfriend—what a shocker. (Note my sarcasm). Ever since Daphne, he’s been dating non-stop. I think one night, he even managed to go out with five different girls in the same night, in the same restaurant, and none of those girls even knew about it. I think he’s influenced Ron as well. They go out to drink after work about three or four nights a week. Sometimes Theo goes along, and the things they do—you don’t even want to know.
The picture you sent me of Greece is BEAUTIFUL. Maybe Theo and I should spend our honeymoon in Greece. It’s absolutely gorgeous. The beeches look so relaxing. I’ve talked Ginny into going over to visit you in two weeks. So expect us to show up in your fireplace sometime soon once you’ve settled into your little cottage—was that what it was?
Blaise insisted on telling Draco that we managed to connect your fireplace in Greece to our floo network—you know, since you settled down there and everything. But I after the silence between you two, I think it will mess with his head even more. If I tell him, I have a feeling that I’m going to find him pacing back and forth in front of his fireplace deciding if he should go see you or not. It will make things harder for him, and I don’t want Draco going through that whole phase again. He almost let it slip, Blaise did. When Draco was over at his flat, your owl came to Blaise and Draco recognized it. He almost told Draco that you had been keeping contact with Blaise as well. Fortunately, Ron showed up that very moment and took the letter from Blaise, saying that it was his.
You should really consider flooing back here for a while. Don’t you miss London? I’ve seen Teddy a few times in the past week. He’s gotten really big! Come by for a little reunion! Don’t give me any of that ‘it will be hard to leave again if I see any of you guys again’!
Anyway. When Ginny and I go over there, brace yourself for some shopping. We’ll get you a whole new wardrobe! Oh it will be wonderful.

See you soon!


. . .

Dear Blaise,

If Pansy read your letter to me, she would be shaking her head at you at this very moment. Seriously, Blaise—SIX women in ONE night? Pansy told me about the time you took five women out to dinner, but REALLY? SIX?! How did you manage to pull that off? Oh please, at least tell me that you didn’t take ALL SIX of them home with you that night. And please tell me that Ron wasn’t with you.
I think you should give Daphne another shot. She seems really genuine with her apology. And stop calling her ‘The blob’! I still don’t understand where you came up with that name. It wouldn’t hurt to date her again, you know. Since Daphne, you’ve gone out with literally, countless of women—so what would one more old flame hurt? Pansy would agree with me!
Blaise, you know why I can’t tell Draco. Parting was already so hard—I don’t want to have to do it a second time. I rather just do it once, and never have to do it again, regardless of the fact that I will be able to see him again. You know I miss him—I really do. I love Draco, and I wish I had the courage to tell him that before I left. It’s too late now—about eight months too late. But I will tell him when I return, I promise. Is he angry with me? It was hard to ignore all his letters. He wrote to me every day for seven months. Sometimes twice a day when he was feeling lonely. I tried to ignore them, and once I almost wrote back. If we speak again, I won’t be able to stop myself from flooing back there and never coming back.
Greece is wonderful. I decided to spend my last few months here. I rented a cottage by the beach, and it’s beautiful. Pansy and Ginny have been over here for three days, and it was great. You should come by sometime and bring Ron and Harry with you. You guys would love the Wizarding Alley they have here. There’s a massive store filled with all things Quidditch. They even have a mini Pitch inside the store! It’s hidden somewhere, and not all Wizards get the chance to visit. Come by someday, and I’ll take you guys along!
I think you’ll like the Netherlands as well. You’re the only one I’ve met that has a likeness for old castles. I visited hundreds of them in the past few months, and they’re all so wonderful. One of them almost looked like Hogwarts, except for the little torturing chamber they had in the dungeons…
Anyway. I must go—I’ve got an appointment with a friend. Have fun on your date!

Love, Hermione.

P.S. One woman at a time, Blaise. I’m serious!

. . .

Dear Hermione,


P.S. I’ve sent over your brides’ mate dress! You’ll love it!

. . .

Dear Hermione,
Talk to Malfoy! He’s moping around and Blaise and I are sick and tired of it! We’ve tried getting him to come to a pub or a club with us, but he would budge! Talk to the poor guy, please.
And tell me about this date you have. Blaise and I have been wondering what’s been going on with you. You haven’t written back to either of us in a while.

I can’t wait to see you! Keep safe.

Ginny says Hi. So does Harry.

Ron Weasley

. . .

Dear Hermione,
YOU’RE COMING BACK IN TWO DAYS. I CAN’T WAIT! I MISSED YOU SO MUCH. Come over to the Burrow the moment you return, you got that? Blaise and Ron will pick you up at the airport—I still don’t understand why you insist on riding a plane back and forth. Anyway, they will pick you up. Harry wanted to go along, but he had something going on at the Ministry, and he couldn’t get out of it. He’ll see you when you get to the Burrow though.

Ginny Weasley

. . .

With the joy in our hearts, we,
Pansy Parkinson & Theodore Nott
Request the honor of your presence
As we exchange marriage vows
And celebrate our new life together
Wednesday, November 17th

You of course, will be joining me for my bachelorette party the night before!

Pansy Parkinson

. . .

The Blue Elephant
Pleasant Leaf Bank
8:30 PM, Tuesday

Love, Blaise
Good luck Babe, you know I’m rooting for you

. . .

Dear Ginny,
There’s been a change of plans. I’m halfway to London right now. I had to stop in Thailand to change my flight. I’ll be returning on Monday night, around six. How about I meet all you guys at Pansy’s wedding? I’ll see you on Tuesday for Pansy’s bachelorette party. I have something that I need to take care of. Tell the guys thanks, but I’ll find my way around myself. I’ll see them maybe later that night. If you’re wondering, ask Blaise—he’ll explain everything.

See you soon,

Authors Note: hi guys! here's the next chapter! there's no appearance of draco, i know D: but there is that letter! Draco will be in the next chapter though :)

i know most of you are rather disappointed that hermione is leaving, but she WILL be back next chapter. her leaving is important concerning the plot. the next chapter is about 2/5's written. school started so updates will be slower than before. we're almost done guys!

so tell me what you guys thought about this :) what do you think the last few letters were about? especially the one from Blaise? any thoughts? questions? suggestions? don't be afraid to leave them in a review! :) & how do you guys like what's happening with the rest of the group? (meaning pansy, blaise, ron, ginny, harry etc) and what about Wesley? Are you guys all happy that he finally backed down? don't you wish Miranda would do that too? xD what do you guys think will happen in the next chapter? :) it's the third to last chapter, (this is ending on the 26th one). any thoughts?

here's a little treat for you guys. Preview for Chapter Twenty-Four

In return, she glared at him. “You’re just doing this to spite me, you insufferable arse.” She snapped, throwing the closes dishrag at his face. “How did you go from Daphne Greengrass—who is, mind you, a very bright and intelligent woman—to this girl who can’t even spell her own name?”

“It’s not her fault she has a name she can’t spell.” Blaise pointed out, placing a piece of cake in his mouth.

Pansy sighed, and shut her eyes tightly. “Her name is Anne.” She told him through gritted teeth.

remember to review!
gryffindorgirl :)

Chapter 25: Chapter Twenty-Four
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

By: Gryffindorgirl153

Chapter Twenty-Four
Twelve months and four days later

"Well, this is new." Miranda commented, walking into Draco's new office. "It's so... Unnecessarily big." She ran her perfectly manicured fingers over the large black leather couch that was seated in the middle of the carpeted floor. "Your father really went all out, didn't he?" she asked once her eyes fell upon his own personal lavatory in the corner of the room.

Draco nodded in agreement, sitting on the edge of his large mahogany desk. "I know, it is rather big, isn’t it?” He noted as his eyes traveled around the large office once more. "I would’ve preferred my old office, to be honest. But you know my father—he wouldn’t allow it. He says that the head of the company should always have the best."

Her eyes landed on the small miniature fridge propped up on the high counter in the far left hand side. "Merlin, you'd think that you'll be living in this office!" she exclaimed, laughing slightly. “It is rather impressive. I’d enjoy having an office like this.” She leaned back against the couch and crossed her legs. As always, Miranda dressed to impress. She was wearing a short black skirt—with sheer black stockings and black booties—and a light pink blouse with a long green wool pea coat. She had discarded her large, brown leather purse on the space beside her, and stuck her hands in her coat pockets. Despite the autumn climate, a cold chill had fallen in London ever since November rolled around, making it cold enough for coats and scarves. "So," Miranda began, grinning at Draco. "How does it feel to have an entire company in the palm of your hands? Great, I hope? You’ve worked so hard for this.”

Over the past year, Miranda and Draco's relationship mended easily after her heartfelt apology. They went out on several lunch dates—as purely platonic friends, or so Draco thought—and attended countless of dinner parties together. As they both fell into a comfortable stage of friendship, Draco was easily reminded of his likeness for Miranda when he was younger. He found that he greatly enjoyed her company—she was funny, smart, and insightful and one of the most interesting people he's ever met—along with their conversations, which lasted for hours. In her company, he noticed how her easy-going attitude made it so effortless to stop thinking about Hermione.

"It's pretty strange." Draco answered nonchalantly, shrugging. "I’ve got more free time on my hands that ever. I actually have no idea why my father spends so much time in the office.”

She nodded. "I can't imagine ever having complete control over anything." Miranda replied, her eyes roaming around the room once more. Despite his silence, Draco found her words repugnantly ironic. "Your parents are very proud of you, you know that, right?"

He nodded, his eyes glancing over to the large calendar placed on his desk. It was two days away from the fifteenth of November, which was circled several times with a red, ballpoint pen. Miranda followed his gaze, and sighed heavily once she realized what he was staring at. "She's returning in two days, isn't she?"

In spite of the fact that Miranda now held most of Draco’s undivided attention, she knew that there was always something prodding at him in the back of his mind. In several occasions, Draco would speak as if he didn’t know what he was saying. About half of their conversations ran on Draco’s instinctive responses, which he had practically mastered over the past few years. Regardless of her absence, she never really left Draco. Hermione Granger will forever be pestering him to no end—continuously haunting his thoughts and dreams. She could never really leave him, not as long as he was still in love with her.

In attempt to comfort herself, Miranda attempted to disregard the blatant fact that she was not the sole possessor of Draco’s heart. She tried to convince herself that Draco was hers, and no one else’s. Although their relationship was currently bordering two possessive states and was nowhere near official, Miranda allowed herself to believe that she had taken Hermione’s place. She was currently the one standing by Draco’s side, and she was almost positive that he would not allow Hermione to roll back into his life so quickly, which would give her enough time to strengthen her ground and secure her hold.

Nodding again, Draco tore his eyes away from the calendar. "On Tuesday night." The closer the day came, the more anxious Draco became. Not long ago, he had been praying relentlessly for time to speed by and to bring him the day where Hermione would finally return. Now that the very day was sitting less than forty-eight hours away from him, he no longer knew what to think. Things were changing—things have changed. The world Hermione was about to return to was no longer how she left it. What would happen?

She nodded, biting her lip as she began contemplating, shuffling through her thoughts. To her dismay and great annoyance, her mind seemed to have chosen the most convenient moment to shut down and completely stop any transactions of thoughts and decision making, which made it extremely difficult for her to verbalize the following words. Nevertheless, time was running out, and she knew she had to act quickly. "Draco, I know this may seem rather strange, considering everything we've been through, but—" she looked up at him with big, familiarly convincing eyes. "Would you like to go on a date with me?" she blurted out quickly, shyly looking away from Draco. “I—er—yes, a date. Would you go on a date with me?” she repeated as she tried to sort through her own jumbled thoughts.

Taken aback by shock, Draco stared at her for a good minute or so. Her question didn’t register in his mind completely, and it took a while for him to realize what she just said. “A date?” he repeated slowly. “You’re asking me on a date?”

No. Was his mind’s immediate answer. No, I won’t go on a date with you. It was practically screaming out loud, blaring through his skull.

Miranda nodded sheepishly. “Yes, a date. A real date in a restaurant, where we’ll have dinner and other… date things.” She finished pathetically.

No. “Sure.” Draco found himself saying, despite his disbelief. "A date sounds fun. What do you have in mind?"

Miranda blinked. Has Draco really just agreed to go on a date with her? After months of trying, she has finally gotten Draco to agree to go on a date with her? She couldn't believe it. Just like Draco, Miranda was shocked, and took a long moment to compose herself. "Er—"

To he surprise, Draco chuckled. "You didn't think I would day yes, did you?" he asked, slightly amused. "I wouldn't mind going on a date with you. What did you have in mind?"

The way Draco saw it; Miranda would be the perfect distraction. Hermione was returning in two days, and since he found that nothing he did would help him from keeping his mind away from her, he decided that maybe it wouldn't be so terrible to date his ex-girlfriend once more. Miranda has certainly done well in proving herself throughout the months Hermione was gone, reminding Draco of the Miranda he knew and liked back in Hogwarts.

"How about dinner in that restaurant we always wanted to try, but we never found the time?" She suggested, smiling softly. "I heard from Daddy that the food there is exquisite."

Draco smiled in response and nodded. Despite himself, he found that he began to think about Hermione once more. 'Hermione was never one for fancy restaurants.' he thought to himself. 'She would’ve killed me for dragging her out for a nice dinner when she would have preferred a cheap meal.'

Suddenly, Miranda stood up and grabbed her bag, slinging it over her shoulder. She buttoned the top button of her coat, and took Draco's hand to lead him out of his office. "Let's go get some gelato. Remember that parlor we passed by last week? The ice cream there is amazing!"

"Sure," he replied, following Miranda to the lift. All the while, as Miranda continued talking about various topics while the lift descended down to the main floor, he couldn't help but point out plain, obvious differences between the two women he believed he once loved.

Miranda wore silk pajamas to bed, while Hermione was comfortable in cotton flannel pajamas and a large t-shirt. Miranda spent ample amounts of money everyday, and Hermione could go months without shopping. Miranda liked expensive restaurants, whereas Hermione was content eating in a shabby diner. Miranda liked large diamonds and sapphires, and Hermione found large diamonds too ostentatious, settling for a simple silver band as a ring. They were completely opposite people, making Draco wonder how he could've liked both women during some point in his life. With Miranda, Draco was the man his parents always wanted him to be—powerful, well-known, elegant, poised, which was everything a pureblood should be—but with Hermione, he was a whole different person. He was more impulsive and laid-back. He had a whole different view of life as opposed to his views now. There were so many things Hermione gave him—he just wished that he could find them again.


"Blaise," Pansy began exasperatedly as she entered the kitchen of Harry and Ginny's new house. "Please, please, please—I beg you with ever bone in my body—please, control your girl." She collapsed on the counter, pressing her forehead against the cool surface. “Please don’t make me go out there again.”

Blaise, who was indulging himself in a piece of chocolate cake beside her, looked entirely too amused for Pansy’s taste. “But Pans, she’s my girlfriend! Now, I do recall you making a little deal with me, that forces me to introduce you to every single one of my girlfriends.”

In return, she glared at him. “You’re just doing this to spite me, you insufferable arse.” She snapped, throwing the closes dishrag at his face. “How did you go from Daphne Greengrass—who is, mind you, a very bright and intelligent woman—to this girl who can’t even spell her own name?”

“It’s not her fault she has a name she can’t spell.” Blaise pointed out, shoveling a piece of cake in his mouth.

Pansy sighed, and shut her eyes tightly. “Her name is Anne.” She told him through gritted teeth. “It’s one syllable, and four letters. After having such a simple four-letter-name for the past twenty one years, wouldn’t you think that a girl like her would—oh I don’t know—be able to spell it?”

“Pansy,” he began with a mock sympathetic expression. “You know, you’re really turning into a grouch.”

She growled back. “I am not turning into a grouch.” She muttered. “You’re an arse, you … arse.”

Blaise snorted at her pathetic attempt to insult him, and continued eating his cake.

Ginny entered the kitchen seconds later with a very annoyed look on her face as she clutched Pansy’s purse in her hand. "She had her hands all over them," she told her, handing Pansy's purse over. "Merlin, you should hear what that girl says! It's like she's a three year old without a fully functioning brain! Are all supermodels’ this ... daft?"

"Gin, a long as she's beautiful, sexy, has the ability to walk down a runway, and knows her way around the bedroom, there's no need for a supermodel to have a brain." Blaise replied into his cake. "Although, I do agree. Teddy is smarter than she is." He added, frowning slightly towards the door. “And by the way, what kind of hostess are you, hiding out in the kitchen while your guest is in there playing with your godson?”

Pansy stared at him. “What kind of boyfriend are you? Hiding out here in the kitchen, while your girlfriend is conversing with a little boy who is more mentally mature than she is?”

“A very good one actually.” He replied, grinning. “Especially since I am sitting here, eating wonderfully tasting chocolate cake. Supermodels can’t have chocolate. Did you know that? Sitting out there with this cake would be toxic to her health!”

“You’re getting too cheeky day by day.” Ginny commented, popping a piece of cake in her mouth. “But I’m pretty sure chocolate won’t kill a model.”

“Not a model Gin,” Pansy began. “A SUPER model. Who would’ve known, huh?”

Ginny laughed. “What do you think will happen if she eats chocolate?” she asked with a smile on her face. She ran a hand through her hair, pushing it out of her face and ate another piece of cake.

Pansy composed herself, and placed her elbows on the counter. “Maybe she’ll blow up until she explodes.” She laughed, nibbling on a pretzel stick. “Hey Blaise, why don’t you go feed your girlfriend some of this cake. I’m sure we can charm it to make it look like it’s fat-free and not chocolate.” She raised her eyebrows, with an amused grin on her face.

A loud giggle filled the dining room, traveling towards the kitchen. "I give up!" Harry exclaimed, walking into the kitchen with his hands thrown in the air. "I can't stand being in there for another second! Mate, PLEASE don’t make me go out there again."

Ginny looked at Harry, dumbfounded. "You're joking." she said with disbelief. "Don’t tell me she doesn’t know how to spell orange too!" Ginny cried mockingly as Harry fell by her side.

"It's true," Ron's voice immediately filled the kitchen, causing Pansy and Ginny to turn and loo at him. "I left her in there with someone that matches her level of intelligence. Honestly, she is incredibly lucky that she's hot."

Blaise chuckled. "Hot is not the only thing she is." he added with a sly grin plastered in his face.

Pansy rolled her eyes and threw a blue napkin at his face. "You've got frosting on your face Casanova." she said. "And please, spare us your little sexual escapades with daft, mentally retarded, supermodels."

Sighing Blaise gave Pansy a mock-sympathetic look. "Pansy, just because Theo won’t put out—” he didn't get the chance to finish his sentence, since Pansy scoped up a handful of frosting from Hermione's 'welcoming' cake, and slapped her icing-filled palm on Blaise's face. "Thanks, Pans." Blaise said, his voice dripping with sarcasm. He nodded sarcastically, and looked and Pansy who was laughing heartily. Quickly, before Pansy was able to step away from him, he took the cake on his place, and threw it against Pansy's face.

She immediately stopped laughing, and shot Blaise a hateful look. "You did not just throw cake at my face." she growled dangerously as she picked up a slice Ron was about to eat.

"Oh but Pansy, you look a lot prettier with the cake on your face." Blaise said, grinning cheekily. "Much prettier. You should consider making this your permanent look!" Before he knew it, his hair was up covered with bits of cake, and a whole lot of icing. "You know," Blaise began. "You'll learn a lot of things from Theodore when you two get married. " he began; taking what was left of the cake, and holding it in front of him, ready to throw it at Pansy. "One very, very important thing you'll learn—never, ever, ever, go for the hair."

By the end of the night, all five of them were covered with icing and cake. Somehow, in the middle of Pansy and Blaise's fight, Ron, Ginny and Harry got involved, and soon, their entire kitchen was covered on chocolate icing. Ron found a large tub of icing in the refrigerator, and once the cake was gone, they fought with chocolate icing. It was an intense fight, where the three men teamed up against the girls who were extremely experienced with icing-fights.

Eventually, they ended up sitting on the floor of the kitchen, leaning against the icing-covered counter. They each had a dishrag in their hands, which they used to wipe the icing and cake off their faces. It became almost impossible to walk across the kitchen without slipping, so they were forced to stay on the kitchen, slumped up against the counter.

“Hey,” Ron said softly, breaking the silence that the five of them settled comfortably in. “Imagine Hermione never left. We wouldn’t be here right now, in a messy kitchen, basking in the aftermath of a wicked chocolate-icing fight.”

“And I wouldn’t have my best leather boots coated with chocolate icing.” Pansy added, but stopped once she saw the look Ron gave her. “Kidding.” She said quickly. “I guess it’s a good and bad thing that Hermione left.” Pansy slowly unzipped her knee high boots, and slipped them off her feet. “Who knew that a year later, we would be right here?”

Harry shrugged. “I certainly didn’t.” he replied. “It’s a shame Hermione’s not here.”

“I’m craving something salty.” Blaise announced, running a hand through his sticky hair. “Any one up for some chicken? We didn’t have dinner yet.”

Ginny gave Blaise a look of disbelief. “Thank you for ruining a great moment for us.” She said, sarcastically. “You just ate half a chocolate cake!”

He shrugged. “I’m hungry! I want some baked chicken. Let’s go to dinner! I’m sure Delandros is still opened. Let’s go!”

Pansy sighed and rolled her eyes. “Alright, let’s go. I’m getting hungry as well. Any one of you have your wands?" she asked.

All four of them shook their heads. "What kind of wizards are we?" Harry chuckled. "None of us have wands to clean this mess up with."

"Well, one of us will just have to make it to the door without slipping, and our problem will be solved!" Blaire exclaimed, clapping his hands together. "Who's up for it?"

"No way." Ron said. "It's a death trap walking to the door!"

"Hey, why didn't Draco come tonight?" Ginny asked. "Didn't he want to prepare for when Hermione returns? It's unlike him to miss something like this."

Blaise sighed. "I think he's out with Miranda tonight." he answered. "On a date."

Raising her eyebrows, Pansy looked at Blaise who was sitting beside her. "A date? With Miranda?" she asked. "Why on earth would he be on a date with Miranda?"

"How am I supposed to know?" he asked. "I can never understand anything Draco does these days. He's so out there, he's not himself anymore. Ever since Hermione left, he hasn't been himself."

"But she's back now." Harry pointed out. "She's coming back tonight. Are they over, or something?"

Pansy shook her head. "Not that I know of." she answered.

"When is Hermione arriving?" Ron asked, slowly standing up. "Isn’t her flight scheduled to land at six?"

"Yes, but she said she had something to do before she comes over." Ginny explained, remembering the letter Hermione sent over. "She said she would be over later tonight."

Pansy looked at Ginny with a confuse look. "What is it that she has to do?" she asked curiously. "What's more important than seeing her friends?" Pansy exclaimed incredulously.

From beside her, Blaise chuckled. "She's just handling some... Unfinished business."


"This place looks even better inside!" Miranda said, clearly amazed. "Look at that chandelier!" she continued, looking up at the ceiling. "It's huge!"

Draco chuckled halfheartedly. "It is rather big, isn't it?" he asked, sitting down on the cushioned seat.

Smiling sweetly, Miranda turned back to Draco and said, "It's magnificent!"

She straightened out her silver dress and shifted on her seat. "What should we start out with?" She surveyed the menu the waiter had given to her, biting her lip as she looked over the appetizers. “The food here looks amazing.”

He nodded, not really listening to what she was saying. His mind began wandering further than the menu opened in front of him, going exactly where he didn’t want it. Although he agreed to the date with Miranda, Draco never fully expected her to work perfectly as a distraction. He knew that at one point or another, he would start thinking about Hermione once more. His point was proven the minute he walked into the restaurant, and his eyes landed on the extravagant chandelier hanging from the ceiling. Unsure of how a large chandelier relates to Hermione in anyway, Draco finally gave up on attempting to push Hermione out of his mind. He knew she would be arriving tonight, and it took almost every single ounce of self-control in his body to keep him from apparating into Pansy’s, Blaise’s or Ginny’s home. “I’m feeling like some salmon.” Draco stated, once he found something in his mind that did not relate to Hermione at all.

“There are so many different dishes of salmon.” She said, looking up at Draco.

With Miranda, there were always so many dishes of everything. Nothing was ever simple. There would always be more than two different choices to choose from. It was never either this, or that. Miranda was everything but simple.

After about twenty minutes of debating over the type of salmon Draco should order, the waiter finally brought their order in through the kitchen, leaving them alone for the next twenty to thirty minutes of talking. For a while, they sat in silence, quietly sipping their wine. “So..” Miranda began, slowly setting her glass down on the table. “This is… sufficiently awkward.”

Draco cleared his throat. “I’m sorry—there’s just been a lot on my mind lately.” He apologized as he desperately racked his brain for something to say. “I just, haven’t really been on a real date in a really long time.”

“Well, you’re with me almost every day.” She said. “This shouldn’t really be any different. The only difference is, instead of saying ‘hey, I’m going to a casual dinner with my friend Miranda’ you say, ‘hey, I’m going on a date with my friend Miranda’.” Once she realized she was rambling, she sheepishly looked down at her plate. “I’m sorry. I’m rambling. I’m just … sort of nervous.” She finished.

He chuckled. “It’s okay, I’m nervous as well.”

“Okay, so just to break this rather, thick, cold ice between us—do you have any plans for Saturday night?” There was a small smile on her face, as if she knew he would like what she had to say next.

“I don’t think so, why?” Draco asked curiously, taking a sip of his wine.

Miranda’s smile grew wider. “Well then, you can accompany me to a Quidditch game! You see, Daddy gave me these tickets to see the Cannons play against the Harpies, and I knew you always wanted to see them play.” She explained. “So, are you going to make me go alone, or would you like to accompany me?

“How can I possibly pass up a Quidditch Match?” he asked, smiling as well. “I’ve been dying to se—”

“My, my.” A voice behind Draco interrupted him. It was a familiar voice; a voice he couldn’t forget even if he tried. He was almost positive that his mind was playing tricks on him once more, but the incredulous look on Miranda’s face, along with another chime of the sweet voice proved him wrong. “Having a nice date?” He was afraid to turn around. He was afraid that once he did, she would be gone.

Finally, he slowly turned around, only to have his breath knocked right out of him. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing. For the first few seconds—for the sake of his sanity—he chose to believe that the Hermione Granger standing in front of him was simply an illusion created by his mind, where in fact, she wasn’t really standing before him. She wasn’t really here—no, she couldn’t be. There was no way she would do something like this—something that was far from sensible. He blinked several times, hoping that if his eye were momentarily closed, her illusion would disappear. But it didn’t. No matter how many times Draco blinked or shut his eyes, Hermione was still standing there behind him, wearing a delectable smirk on her pretty little face. She wouldn’t go away, she was really here.

Over the year, she had made exceptional changes in her appearance that Draco barely recognized her. Her hair was a lighter shade of brown, and it was shorter and straighter. The fringe of hair that fell into her face became thicker, grazing across her forehead. Her skin was no longer pale; instead, it was tan and golden—an expected result from several visits to the beaches in Greece. Her body had filled out more, while she lost weight in other places, giving her the perfect curve. As his eyes scanned her body once more, he noticed how Hermione looked like she had just stepped out of Pansy’s closet. In short, she looked gorgeous.

“Is that Hermione Granger?” Miranda asked incredulously, breaking the tense silence around their forsaken table.

The smirk of Hermione’s face grew wider. “Please, you can’t be that shocked to see me.” She said, briskly walking forward and taking the empty seat in between the couple. A waiter immediately placed a glance of red wine in front of her, along with a copy of their menu for the evening. “Both of you knew very well that I was arriving tonight.”

Miranda stared at Hermione with wide-eyes, watching as Hermione scanned the menu with her eyes. She glanced skeptically in Draco’s direction, suddenly afraid of his reaction to Hermione’s sudden appearance. “What are you doing?” she demanded frankly. “It’s rude to interrupt.”

Hermione laughed into her drink and looked up at Miranda. “You’re giving me a lesson on rudeness?” she asked, her eyes dancing with amusement. “That’s hilarious.” She then turned to look at Draco, whose eyes were fixed onto her face. “You don’t mind if I stay, do you?” Without waiting for an answer, she instantaneously called the waiter over and ordered a delicious steak.

“You’re going to stay?” Miranda asked slowly.

“Oh, I’m sorry.” Hermione apologized mockingly. “Is that going to be a problem?”

“Yes.” Miranda answered through gritted teeth, curling her hands in tight fists.

Hermione smiled sweetly. “I’m sure Draco doesn’t mind, right Draco?” she asked, turning to him.

Ever since Hermione came into view, Draco stayed silent. For the past few minutes, a single word hasn’t slipped past his thin lips. His eyes were simply glued to her face, shamelessly and relentlessly staring at her. It was almost as though he never blinked. His eyes were fixed on the woman that walked out on him one year—twelve months—three hundred and seventy days ago. There was absolutely no way she could be here at this very moment; intruding on the first date he’s had in months—no—there was absolutely no way.

She quickly turned back to Miranda with triumph. “See, he doesn’t mind having me here.”

Miranda’s hands circled around her glass of wine. Anger suddenly washed over her and pulsated through her arms, suddenly crushing the glass beneath her fingers. “Oh!” she gasped in surprise as the glass shattered, and wine was left to flow freely along the white tablecloth. “Oh, I’m sorry.”

The sound of glass shattering seemed to have brought Draco out of his trance. “Why are you here?”

However, despite the pervious sentenced being Draco’s first few words since Hermione had arrived, she flagrantly ignored him and kept her focus on Miranda, who was now dabbing the spilled wine with her tablecloth. “Why, Miranda—you’ve changed a lot over the last year. Tell me, has your hair gotten lighter?”

“What?” she asked with disbelief as waiters hustled over to their table, magically cleaning the mess Miranda created. “Er—I may have dyed it.” She answered skeptically. “Look, Granger. I’m not going to beat around the bush here and even attempt to be nice to you. So would you just please, leave?” Miranda requested, glaring at Hermione. “You obviously interrupted our evening. I would appreciate it, if you just left.”

Hermione smirked, and leaned back into her seat, bringing her drink along with her. “You know, Miranda, I distinctly remember you being the cause of most interruptions between Draco and I.” she pointed out, glancing at Draco, who was still sitting in his seat staring at Hermione with a blank expression on his face. “I think it’s only fair to return the favor, don’t you?” she cocked her head to the side, fighting the smirk that daringly played on her lips as she looked at Miranda.

In her seat, Miranda was seething. Her hands were still balled into fists and her eyes turned into slits, throwing death glares in Hermione’s direction. “You’re ruining our evening just to get back at me?” she questioned. “Don’t you think that’s a bit juvenile?”

Again, she laughed. “Don’t you think you’re being a bit hypocritical?” Hermione asked, raising one eyebrow. “I’m only playing your game by your rules. Don’t tell me you can’t play your own game.”

“This isn’t a game anymore, Granger.” Miranda snapped. “That ended the day you left.”

Hermione detached her forefinger from her glass and motioned in between Miranda and Draco. “This ended the day,” her finger landed on Miranda. “You left.”

“Things can start up again.” Miranda pointed out.

Hermione downed her drink, and set the glass back on the table. “Right back at you, babe.”

“Leave.” Miranda ordered through gritted teeth. “Now. Or I’ll throw you out myself.”

Another smirk formed on her face. “Let me tell you a little secret, Miranda.” Hermione said, leaning in closer to the blonde. “You were never intimidating, and you still aren’t.”

“I’m serious. I’ll have you thrown out of her in a second if you push my limits.” she sneered.

“Ah, but you see—I don’t think Draco would appreciate it if you threw me out.” Hermione replied, finally looking at Draco. “Hello Darling, how are you?” she asked sweetly, placing her hand on top of his.

This seemed to have helped Draco finally find his voice. “Hermione.” He said, standing up. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

“I’m waiting on dinner, what’s it look like I’m doing?” she asked innocently.

Unexpectedly, Draco reached over and grabbed Hermione’s wrist tightly, pulling her up from her seat, and dragged her outside of the restaurant, straight into the cold. It wasn’t until they rounded the corner that Draco finally released Hermione’s wrist. “You’ve gotten rather rough, Draco.” Hermione stated, attempting to lighten the darkened mood between them. “You look like you’ve just seen a ghost.”

Upon releasing Hermione, Draco began pacing before her while he constantly ran his hand through his hair. “Did you drag me out here in the freezing cold just so you can pace in front of me?” Hermione asked, crossing her arms over her chest. “If so, let’s just go back inside, because this is rather fu—”

“Why did you come here?” Draco asked suddenly, turning around to face her.

“I told you—I arrive today.”

He shook his head. “You’re not answering my question.”

Hermione shrugged in response. “You didn’t answer mine.”

“You didn’t ask one.” He retorted.

“On the contrary Draco, I did.” She said. “Remember, when I walked in? I asked if you two were having a nice date.”

Draco stared at her. He wasn’t sure where he was taking this. “It’s a rhetorical question.”

She shrugged again. “There was nothing rhetorical about it. I meant it—were you two having a nice date?”

Rolling his eyes, Draco sighed exasperatedly. “Look, Hermione—I’m pretty damn sure that you don’t give a damn as to how my date with Miranda went. So how about we cut to the chase, and you tell me what the bloody hell you’re doing here.”

“You were on a date with Miranda.” Hermione told him simply. “You were on a bloody date with Miranda.”

He stared at her for a moment. “I’m sorry, am I not allowed to date?” Draco demanded. “I’m not in any kind of relationship—at least not with anyone who was actually considerate enough to write one single bloody letter back.”

“You promised.”

“You never wrote me.” He told her flatly, his voice cracking slightly. “You were gone for a whole year, and I had to go an entire year without a single letter from you. A whole year! That’s twelve months, three hundred and sixty five da—”

“I know how long a year is, Malfoy.” Hermione snapped irritably.

However, Draco didn’t stop. He allowed his anger to get the best of him, and finally released all his pent up anger. “—ys. I wanted for a whole year for a response from you—a single word, a sentence. Not even a single word just to notify me that you’re alive, and not lying on the street’s dead! Do you have any idea what that’s like, Granger? To sit here, waiting for a letter that may, or may not even come? To sit here wondering if you’re okay or hurt? I didn’t even know how you were doing, do you have any idea how much that hurt me?” he asked her incredulously, feeling every single emotion he has held in for the past year, suddenly flow out of his mouth like vomit. “I wrote you hundreds of letters, and they all went unanswered. For a whole year, you chose to ignore me—to cut me right out of your life. I thought you had forgetting about me! Or you found some other bloke, and decided to run off and marry him instead! What the bloody hell was I supposed to think? That you were simply too busy to even write a simple letter, and that should be enough to excuse your year-long silence?” He was relentless. There was nothing that could stop him from executing every once of anger he felt for Hermione ever since she left. “Now, you’re suddenly back, and you expect me to welcome you back with open arms? Did you really expect me to be sitting here, in the very same spot you left me in, waiting for you to return?” Well I’m sorry, things don’t work out like that. I thought you were better than this, Hermione—I thought you would know better than to handle something like this so childishly. You stooped down to Miranda’s old games—which she left behind long before, mind you. You were supposed to be the mature one. There’s nothing mature about cutting in on my date, and completely provoking both Miranda and I till we’re boiling with anger.”

Standing with her arms crossed over her chest, Hermione stayed silent. Her eyes were glued onto Draco’s, as if she were trying to speak words she couldn’t entirely say. Her eyes held absolutely no notion of regret or remorse—none that Draco was searching for. Surprisingly, Hermione didn’t immediately apologize like Draco expected her to. He readied a retort—an irrational comeback that would’ve probably gotten Hermione’s anger boiling. Instead, he was left speechless as well, unable to tear his eyes away from Hermione’s.

As he stared at her, he noticed the blunt differences in her attitude, appearance—basically everything about her. This Hermione Granger standing before him had grown to be more forward; more fiery. The instinctive girl she once caged in had erupted from its confines over the year, and had finally made its appearance. She knew what she wanted, and she was no longer afraid to get it. Although she was still as determined as ever, there was a certain spark that heightened her unyielding characteristic, confusing Draco greatly. He wasn’t sure what to make of her—a new and improved Hermione Granger, or someone he didn’t even want to know.

Eventually, as small shreds of emotions began to flicker through her eyes, Draco eventually found small fragments of the woman he loved shining through. For a short moment, he found himself staring straight at the woman he remembered. Past feelings immediately washed over his heart, making it more difficult to resist the urge to touch her, even in the most minimal way possible. There was something familiar with the way she looked at him for that small moment, but he couldn’t exactly recall what it was. As fast as she came, Hermione left, her eyes turning cold.

“What happened to you?” he asked her suddenly, speaking his thoughts. “You’re not like I remembered.”

Hermione was silent for a few more moments. When he was almost certain that she wasn’t going to respond, he opened his mouth to say the next best thing that came to mind—‘I missed you’. However, she beat him to the punch. “You’re right. I’m nothing like how you remembered.”

And again, Draco was left standing alone on the streets of London, staring at the spot where Hermione had just spontaneously disappeared. He came to the conclusion that he has been in this situation too many times before and there was absolutely no way that he was going to allow it to happen again.

Due to everything that happened, Draco eventually found himself apparating back into his apartment, completely forgetting about Miranda, who was sitting silently in an empty table, waiting for his return.


“How did it go?” Blaise asked softly, entering the guest room of Ginny and Harry’s home. He was leaning against the doorway with his wrist carelessly dangling against the doorknob. He was staring straight into a mirror, watching as Hermione slowly brushed her hair. “You didn’t say much when you arrived. Everyone else was starting to get worried.”

Hermione offered Blaise a small smile. “It went as good as it can go.” She answered wistfully.

He sighed sadly, and walked over to where Hermione was seated on a stool in front of a small table. Blaise lovingly wrapped his arms around Hermione’s shoulders, squeezing her tightly from behind. “He’ll come around. Don’t worry.” He reassured her. “Draco’s been hurt, and he’s still as stubborn as before. There’s no way he can turn you down. He’s been a downright mess ever since you left.”

“This isn’t over yet.” She told Blaise, looking at him through his reflection in the mirror. Her expression was cold, hard and determined. Blaise knew that Hermione was not about to let go of Draco without a fight. “Miranda won’t get what she wants this time—not if I have something to do with it.”

Blaise grinned widely in approval. “You know, I think I’m really starting to like this new-and-improved you.” He gave her a swift kiss on the cheek and smiled down at her. “Sleep well, Granger.”

Authors Note: hi guys! i'm doing good with updates, aren't i? :D i actually started this chapter about two or three weeks ago, and i only managed to finish it now. i was in a bit of a slump, and it was hard to pump anything out. i forced myself to write last night because i didn't want to fall out of the habit again like before, which would mean no update for MONTHS. i think it's been about a week since my last update, yes? lets hope i finish the next chapter by next week!

this is the third to last chapter. things are moving a bit quicker now that Hermione has returned. the next chapter will be longer. this chapter wasn't the best, it didn't really satisfy me, but i couldn't have any more contact between Draco and Hermione, or else that would ruin the rest of the story. nothing much happened, but at least Hermione is back! i was actually seriously contemplating on making something happen between Miranda and Draco, but that would just lengthen this story more, and create more unnecessary drama, and i'm sure you all want nothing more than your favorite couple to be together already!

now tell me what you guys think! how do you all like Hermione now? i tried making her seem like she changed a lot, but still the same.. if that makes any sense. before any of you guys ask or comment, she didn't turn into a complete b*tch, but she did become more forward, just like Draco had described. she's still the same Hermione Granger, but she's just steadfast on getting draco back. any questions--the next chapter should clear it up. :P

what'd you guys think about Miranda asking Draco out on a date? i bet you all hate her. xD

the next chapter shouldn't take that long to be written. please be patient! i will edit with a preview for the next chapter once i start writing. :)

don't forget to review, guys! ^_^

yours truly,

Chapter 26: Chapter Twenty-Six
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

By: Gryffindorgirl153

WARNING: this chapter contains some strong language and some sexually graphic scenes.
just sayinnn!


“He’ll come around. Don’t worry.” He reassured her. “Draco’s been hurt, and he’s still as stubborn as before. There’s no way he can turn you down. He’s been a downright mess ever since you left.”

“This isn’t over yet.” She told Blaise, looking at him through his reflection in the mirror. Her expression was cold, hard and determined. Blaise knew that Hermione was not about to let go of Draco without a fight. “Miranda won’t get what she wants this time—not if I have something to do with it.”

Blaise grinned widely in approval. “You know, I think I’m really starting to like this new-and-improved you.” He gave her a swift kiss on the cheek and smiled down at her. “Sleep well, Granger.”

Chapter Twenty-Five

The sun was slowly descending from its highest point in the sky as the couple bustled through the Malfoy Manor, both extremely nervous for the next hour to come. Despite the several hired help Narcissa Malfoy had insisted on having, neither Pansy nor Theodore could calm him or herself down. After several failed attempts, Draco had finally forced both Pansy and Theodore on a seat in separate rooms. He sent Miranda to tend to Pansy, while Blaise tried his best to get Theodore down from his anxious high, and back onto his feet.

For the past five hours, Draco had been bustling around the Manor making sure that everything was perfect. He was almost positive that if one little thing were to actually go wrong, Pansy would have a mental breakdown. After the previous night’s events, he made sure to occupy his mind with anything and everything he could possibly think of. He quickly delved into wedding preparations, with hopes that it would bring his mind further and further from Hermione. For the first few hours, it worked. He arranged the white, folding chairs in the garden, and hung several lights amongst the trees. However, as the day drew on, sunset—which would mark the moment Pansy and Theodore will be wedded—was quickly making its way.

“You know, if you keep running around like this, you’re going to eventually run out of things to do before the ceremony begins.” The voice startled Draco, causing him to slightly bump against the doorframe on his way out of the kitchen. “I swear, you’ve double checked on this cake about five times. It doesn’t have legs, Draco. The cake isn’t going anywhere.”

He turned to find Miranda standing by the sink, holding a saucer in her hands. She was completely dressed, wearing one of Pansy’s assigned brides-mate’s dresses. “You scared me.” He said, releasing his hold on the swinging door as he turned around to face Miranda. “What are you doing in here?”

“Pansy hasn’t eaten all day. I thought I’d get her some tea. If only I could find some.” She chuckled softly, and turned back to face the cupboards above the counter. “Help me, will you?”

Draco nodded and stepped forward, saying, “I’ll get it.”

As he fixed the cup of tea, silence fell upon them. For a moment, Draco thought that Miranda had quietly walked out of the kitchen, but the soft sound of fabric ruffling behind him told him otherwise. He held a small spoon loosely in his hand, slowly mixing the tea and honey. Unsure of what to say, Draco slowed his motions, hoping that Miranda would eventually grow tired of watching him fix tea, and leave the kitchen.

“Draco,” she began, her voice startling Draco again. “You know that you will eventually have to face her, right?”

The last person Draco wanted to talk about was Hermione; the last person Draco wanted to talk to about Hermione was Miranda. He then concluded that Miranda shouldn’t be saying anything about Hermione at all—ever. It was simple logic.

“I’m not avoiding her, if that’s what you’re implying.” He responded quickly. “I don’t want Pansy driven to insanity on her own wedding night. “

To his surprise, Miranda scoffed. “Don’t try and deny it, Draco. Anyone in this house can tell that you’re trying your hardest to keep your mind away from her. Especially after what happened last night, she never really left you.”

Adding more hot water to the small teacup in front of him, Draco tried his best to ignore the bitter retort that clawed through his throat, wanting to escape. “She did leave me, Miranda. She left me a year ago, and that’s that. Don’t try to make this something that it’s not.” He told her, keeping his eyes fixed on the swirling, brown liquid.

“Don’t try and hide it.” Miranda replied shortly after. Her voice turned hard—more solemn and cold. “You can’t avoid her for the whole night, no matter how hard you try.”

This time around, Draco didn’t answer. No matter how many times he denied it, the fact would still remain. Hermione would never leave him—no matter where she is in the world—and there is absolutely no way for Draco to remove Hermione from his mind. He was abandoned and forsaken, and no matter what Hermione said or did, there was nothing any one could do to take it back. There was nothing that could take back the yearlong pain Draco was forced to face the moment Hermione decided to leave, despite its temporariness. A changed Hermione Granger wasn’t anywhere near enough to clean up the mess she made out of the man that loved her.

“The ceremony will start soon.” Miranda said suddenly, breaking through Draco’s thoughts. “Bring that to Pansy, and meet everyone out in the garden.”

Her assertion startled him, but all the while, he expected a cold response. Although she spoke of it, the situation between Hermione and him was always a touchy subject. He could easily pick out the resentment in her tone whenever anyone came even close to uttering her name. Hermione had what Miranda wanted to most, and Miranda hated her for it.

“I will.” was all he said in response.

The ceremony was shorter than Draco had hoped it would be. Blaise, the pianist, played as Pansy descended down the aisle, and Theodore stood at the end of the aisle, grinning like a madman. The minister said his part, and both the bride and the groom said his and her vows. Once the words ‘I now pronounce you husband and wife’ came, they were bound to each other, as husband and wife.

Draco stood by Theodore’s side; unable to disregard the feeling of jealousy that racked through his body the moment Theodore became Pansy’s husband. Although he knew that all he should be feeling at the moment was pure happiness for his best friend, the only thing he could think of was how it should’ve been Hermione and him up there. How it should’ve been the two of them kissing for the first time as husband and wife as they basked in each other’s bliss.

No matter how hard he tried, his eyes continued to wander towards Hermione, who had appeared by Pansy’s side about a minute before the ceremony started. She missed walking down the aisle, and Draco momentarily wondered if she decided to run away again. However, her sudden appearance beside Pansy told him otherwise. Her dress, being more extravagant than the brides mate’s dresses, made Hermione look even more stunning than ever. Her hair was straightened with bits of sparkles glistening from sporadic strands. Unlike Miranda, her face steered clear of make up, except for a soft shade of lipstick, mascara and some eyeliner. As she held both her flowers and Pansy’s, she smiled at the couple being wedded before her. Throughout the entire ceremony, her eyes remained on the couple, with the exceptional glances directed to her hands or to the Minister. Nevertheless, Draco was left disappointed by the end of the ceremony when he realized that Hermione didn’t even spear a single glance—not one.

“I can’t believe our little boy is married!” Blaise exclaimed as he approached Draco and clapped a hand on his back.

Draco was leaning against a post by the outskirts of the dance floor with his hands tucked into his pockets. His face looked sullen, and his eyes remained empty. After dodging both Miranda and Pansy for the first half hour of the reception dinner, he gave up on running and remained standing, watching as happy couples danced. To his dismay, his eyes would constantly scan the crowd, searching for a familiar brunette that made his fists clench with anger with the mere thought of her name. However, no matter how much he searched, Draco could not find her. It was as if she didn’t bother showing up to the reception.

“She didn’t leave, if that’s what you’re wondering.” Blaise said suddenly, following his gaze towards the crowd. “Pansy said she would arrive soon. She just had to get some things settled inside the Manor.”

Draco frowned. “What is she doing in the manor?”

Shrugging, Blaise retracted his hand from Draco’s shoulder and tucked them inside his pockets as well. “I wish I knew. I haven’t seen much of Hermione since she returned.”

“Why is that?” Draco questioned, turning his gaze back to the dance floor.

Blaise shrugged again. “I don’t know.”

“Aren’t you the least bit worried?” A frown formed on Draco’s face—the first emotion he has displayed in hours—as he asked Blaise. “She’s running off doing god-knows-what by herself, and you don’t even seem worried at all.”

He chuckled. “Draco, you don’t need to worry about her. She’s a big girl. She was doing fine in Greece all by herself. She did more than fine in fact. I’m sure she can handle being back in London.”

“Hermione wrote to you?” Draco asked, suddenly turning towards Blaise who looked surprised by his sudden question. “While she was gone, she wrote to you?”

Unable to think of the proper answer, Blaise looked down at his feet—a usual act of nervousness—and attempted to discreetly rack his brain for an answer. “Er—mate, you see, the thing is—”

Clearly exasperated, Draco rolled his eyes and glowered at his friend. “I want a straight answer. Don’t give me that load of dung. It’s either a yes, or a no.”

Blaise sighed in defeat, knowing that he could never get anything past Draco at this point—especially if it involved Hermione. “Yes, we kept in touch while she was gone. She wrote to all of us, mate. I’m sorry we didn’t tell you. She begged us not to let any of you know.”

Upon his revelation, Draco scoffed bitterly. He slumped back against the post, and allowed the music to momentarily drown him. His throat ached for alcohol, and his hands craved for impact against something; anything hard. “How typical of her.”

“Look, Draco. She didn’t do this just to spite you. She didn’t do it for her own selfish reason. If I were her, I wouldn’t have written to you too.” His animated demeanor was suddenly diminished by the glum look that took over Draco’s handsome face. “Mate, I think you two need to talk. I can’t tell you anything more than I already did—I shouldn’t have said anything in the first place. You need to talk to Hermione. Don’t listen to what everyone else says. Listen to Hermione, and hear what she has to say. I know it’s hard, but please—for both your sakes—just talk to her, and listen.”

Before Draco could respond, a sudden applause brought Draco’s attention back to the crowd. Pansy and Theodore had just returned to their party. However, unlike the several other guests scattered around the garden of the manor, it was not the bride that caught Draco’s attention. Behind Pansy, there was Hermione Granger—perfect and smiling—strapped onto another mans’ arm. Her left arm was effortlessly twined with his right, as they walked through the crowd, making their way to the-now-empty dance floor. As Pansy and Theodore began dancing, stepping to the beat of the waltz, Hermione and the unnamed man began dancing as well.

A sudden monster erupted in Draco before he could even help himself. There was suddenly an incredible amount of rage residing in his body, and he had no idea what to make of it. There she was, dancing with another man at her best friends’ wedding, and all Draco could do was stand in the sidelines, watching with immense contempt. He had never wanted to punch anything so badly in his entire life. He could feel his blood surging towards his right hand as he tightly clenched it into a fist, as if it did any good. His lips pressed together tightly, and he tore his gaze away from the dance floor, gluing them onto his feet, hoping that it was permanent. Unfortunately, his eyes didn’t do well in following his commands, because he found himself searching for her through the crowd once more. It was a terrible habit that he seemed to have picked throughout the days he’s known Hermione—searching for her in a crowd, something he found incredibly strange, unorthodox, and natural all that the same time.

She was smiling, as if she was having the time of her life. Her loud laughter rang through his ears, reminding him of how musical it sounded. The man she was with looked too incredibly happy himself. Draco grimaced at the smug expression that was plastered on the bloke’s—who most likely believed that he was the luckiest man in the room—perfectly formed face. It took every ounce of rational thinking in Draco’s mind to prevent him from smashing his first into said man’s face. Every, single, ounce.

“Is this what she had to settle?” Draco growled spitefully, glaring daggers at Hermione and her date. “This stupid, incorrigible prat?”

He quickly turned back to Blaise after a few more moments passed without an answer. “Don’t look at me!” Blaise exclaimed quickly, throwing his hands up in the air. “I know nothing about this. She never told any of us that she brought a date.”

Scowling, Draco regrettably turned back to the dance floor. His eyes automatically found Hermione once more, and he wasn’t surprised to find that she was still smiling happily in the arms of another man. “You two communicate for a whole bloody year, and she doesn’t bother to mention that she’s bringing a date to Pansy’s wedding? That’s simply wonderful.” Draco spat sardonically. “What right does she have to intrude on her own friend’s wedding by bringing in an outsider?”

Before he knew what he was doing, Blaise rolled his eyes. “Mate, I’m pretty sure Pansy knew that Hermione was going to bring someone. I do remember seeing a plus one next to her name. It’s only a date, Draco. Relax. They could just be friends for all you know.”

For a small fragment of a moment, Draco believed the words Blaise spoke for comfort. A small voice in his mind agreed, believing that Hermione would never be able to do that to him, or any other man for that matter—not in a million years. Although the two left on bad terms, Hermione could never—no—would never replace him. Never.

As Draco averted his eyes away from the ground, and back to the dance floor, just as the song was coming to an end, his body spontaneously reacted quicker than his mind, and he suddenly felt a familiar feeling of rage flaming through his veins. His hands balled up tightly by his sides, and it was not until Blaise took a step forward beside him that he finally realized what had caused the sudden eruption of anger in his body. He kissed her. Full on the lips—he kissed her. It was nothing close to a friendly peck, or even a familiar kiss on the cheek. No. It was moderately long, passionate, and disgusting.

The man’s hands found the back of her head, and slowly brought her closer to him. All the while, he sported a sly, disgruntled grin—one that strangely left his perfect face pristine. It was repulsive to watch, and yet, Draco could not look away. Part of him expected Hermione to recoil with the same disgusted look that was etched on his own face. Unfortunately, Hermione did just the opposite. She leaned in closer to her partner, hooking her right arm around his neck, and it looked as though she was deepening the kiss.

Suddenly, a pair of hands poked through his line of vision, and his eyes moved from Hermione and settled on Miranda. “What?” he asked, more rudely than he wanted to. “What is it?” he asked again once he composed himself.

A bitter chuckle slipped past her lips. “You need to do a better job in hiding your own anger.” She told him, taking a step closer. “It’s as if you’re practically beating him to death in your mind.”

“Oh trust me,” Blaise spoke, picking up a glass of champagne from a waiter walking by. “He is.” He took a sip, and his face suddenly scrunched up with disgust. “Ugh, I forgot how much I hate drinking this load of dung.”

Before Draco could pick his fist up to throw a punch at Blaise, Blaise left the glass on a random table, and made his way to the bar. “He never could stand the taste.” Miranda spoke quietly. “What’s on your mind?” she then asks him gently, making her way to his side. “It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that something is troubling you. It’s her, isn’t it?”

“If you’re going to go on and on about just how stupid it is to be holding onto her, then please, spare me.” Draco snapped suddenly, surprising both Miranda and himself. “Look I’m sorry, but I’ve heard enough of what you’re about to tell me from everyone else. I don’t really need it right now.”

Miranda sighed heavily, and downed the rest of her champagne. “Look, Draco. I understand what you’re telling me. But let me just tell you now. If you keep holding on to the past like this, you’re going to miss out on the present, and you will regret it. Maybe not now, but I assure you. You will eventually regret it.”

The next few seconds were a complete blur. One moment, he was watching Miranda walk away, with a feeling of slight relief settling into the pit of his stomach, and then the next moment, his legs were moving him through the crowd and across the dance floor. Unknown of what sparked this spontaneous decision of his, Draco decided to go along with it for the sake of his own sanity. Hermione grew closer and closer, and so did her smile, her scent, her laugh and everything about her. It felt strange to see her standing before him like so. There were several times in the past year when Draco wished she would appear before him, but she never did. Now, she was standing before him, right there within arms reach, but Draco could not kiss or hug her like he had always wanted. Times were different now, and so were they. Could they still possibly want the same things?

“Hermione.” She turned around at the sound of her name, and he could swear that a small smile found its way onto her lips. But the smile vanished as quickly as it came, and was replaced by a scowl. “Let’s dance.” Draco did not find it suitable for a request, but instead, a command.

She nodded reassuringly to her previous partner, and he complied, walking off the dance floor and disappearing into the crowd. “You know, most men usually asks a woman if they want a dance.” Hermione said, wrapping her arm around Draco’s neck just as his found their way around her waist. “It’s only polite.”

“I’m not in the mood for politeness.” He replied rather irritably. “I’m actually not in the mood for anything you have to say right now.”

Hermione frowned. “Then why are you dancing with me?” she asked him. “If you’re not in the mood for what I have to say, then I suggest you find another dance partner. Miranda, perhaps?”

Impulsively, Draco leaned forward, his lips grazing across her ear. “If I didn’t know any better, I would think that you were jealous.” He whispered tauntingly. A smirk played on his lips as he drew back and settled his eyes on a stunned Hermione Granger.

“Shove off, Malfoy.” She snapped angrily as she attempted to shove his body away from hers. “You really do know how to irritate someone, don’t you?” she sneered, as Draco simply tightened his hold on her, and brought her body closer to his. “It’s as if it’s some special ability that only Malfoy’s possess.”

He smirked wider. “You know what I find amusing, Granger?” he asked her. “The fact that you didn’t even bother to deny that you are jealous.

“I don’t need to deny something as ridiculous as that.” Hermione replied haughtily. “Only you would ever think of something so incredibly stupid.”

“I never thought I would see the day when Granger became jealous.” He said, more to himself than to her. “You barged in on my date with Miranda, and now you’ve brought some random bloke with you, just so you can rub him in my face.”

She scoffed and gave Draco and incredulous look. “You, Malfoy, are really an egotistical asshole. What makes you think that everything revolves around you?”

Draco smirked once more. “Because, my darling. It is all about me after all. Everything you do, everything you think of, always comes back to me.”

“Don’t flatter yourself.” He spun her around, and swiftly pulled her body back into his. “I haven’t thought about you all year.” Hermione bore her eyes into his, glaring sharp daggers in his direction.

Suddenly, Draco’s expression became serious and sullen. Despite the increase in tempo, he—being the lead—slowed down, forcing Hermione to fall into a slow rhythm. His intense gaze prevented Hermione from moving her eyes away from his, no matter how much she wanted to. For that short moment, he captured her entirely; her breath, her heart—her whole soul. Something erupted in between them. It was something much greater than Draco or Hermione, much greater than what they had. And it stayed. It stayed in their souls, unwilling to leave. It left them both breathless. Completely breathless…

“I suppose that is why you didn’t bother writing a single letter.” He whispered softly. “You’ve forgotten about me, haven’t you, Hermione?”

Within the few moments she spent swaying in silence, Hermione could not find an acceptable response that would be able to justify herself in her current situation. Everything had just been so complicated, that she grew tired, and weary, and she could no longer find the will to take a final leap of faith, which would lead her straight into Draco’s arms. She couldn’t understand why it was so difficult—but it was, and that was that.

Through impulse, Hermione did the one thing that only made sense. She dropped her arms to her side, gave Draco one last look, and walked away. Again, she left Draco alone, standing by himself, wondering where he went wrong.

It took him a couple of minutes to realize that he was not going to take silence as an answer again. It solved absolutely nothing, and it simply left one—if not both—parties unsatisfied and irritated. He lived in silence for the past year, and he certainly did not want to continue further into a series of unfinished conversations that composed of several important things that were left unsaid. His eyes immediately scanned the crowd the moment he finalized his decision. There were several brunettes who had hair, which slightly resembled Hermione’s, but none of them was she. He walked over to the bar, but was immediately disappointed when he found each seat filled with a cousin of the groom, and their dates. He weaved through the crowd and began searching through the large, round tables. Unfortunately, there was no sign of Hermione anywhere.

“I saw her heading back inside.” A voice startled Draco, causing him to swiftly turn around, only to find himself face to face with the bride. “Hermione, I mean. I saw her heading back inside not long ago.” There was a knowing smirk on her face, one that would normally annoy Draco to bits. “I think she said something about a bathroom…” Pansy thought aloud, trailing off as she turned to stare towards the back entrance of the large manor.

Draco’s face split into a wide smile. “Thank you.” He swiftly kissed Pansy on the cheek before he bolted for the door.

During his conversation with Pansy, Draco had momentarily forgotten how many bathrooms there were in his house, thus, preventing him from realizing just how difficult it would be to find her. Out of sheer desperation, he summoned a couple of house elves, and ordered a search on all lavatories in the entire house. Once he had finally located her, Draco ran as fast as his legs could carry him. He wasn’t going to let her go. Not this time.

“You sure do have a knack for running away.” He spoke these words before he even stepped onto the tiled floor. “That’s not really something one should make a habit out of.”

Hermione was sitting beside the wide sink on an empty counter. Her ankles were crossed as her legs dangled over the edge. Her hands gripped the edges, keeping her upper-body propped up, as she hunched forward. She remained silent.

“You need to stop running.” He told her sternly. “It won’t do you any good.”

“It’s done me plenty.” She retorted, surprising Draco.

Draco scoffed. “Are you referring to that blonde piece of crap that you’ve brought with you tonight?” he demanded. “That bloke who is, by the way, hitting on Theodore’s younger cousin as we speak? If so, then yes. I’d have to agree with you, Hermione. You’ve done very well for yourself while you were gone. Splendid, really!” His voice, currently dripping with sarcasm and distaste, irritated Hermione. She wanted to knock the angry look right off his face. “What the hell have you been doing?”

“I’ve been having the time of my fucking life, Draco.” She snapped back angrily, jumping off the counter and advancing towards him. “I’ve traveled around the world, I’ve lived in Greece for half a year. I have the most amazing man outside who is crazy about me. I have a legitimate career as an auror, and I have the best friends in the world. I’m having the time of my life, and it’s all because I decided to leave.”

He stared at her with disbelief. “So that’s it, then?” he asked slowly. “That’s why you haven’t been writing at all? You’ve been enjoying your time without me so much, that you don’t want it to end.”

Hermione slowly shrunk back against the counter, and slowly dropped her gaze to the floor upon his words. “Don’t.” she said simply. “Don’t even go there.”

“Why the fuck not?” Draco raged. “I think I should be informed why my fucking fiancé—who, by the way, I loved more than anything in this whole world—couldn’t even find the time to pick up a quill and write a simple letter. You wrote to Blaise, to Harry, to Ron, to Pansy. Why not me?” he demanded. “Why did you talk to everyone but me?” His voice rose with every word that left his lips. It began echoing against the white tiles, blaring against her ears, and tearing through her chest. “Tell me why!” Hermione winced. “Did you just take that trip as an opportunity to finally leave me? Is that what this was all about? Was it all a little well thought out trick, so that you would be able to leave? Tell me, Hermione. Tell me the truth!”

“It was too damn hard!” she shouted, having had enough of his assumptions. Words began slipping past her lips like vomit, and she could not stop. “It was just too damn hard to keep away from you! I knew I had to, I couldn’t simply leave and come back after a day. I couldn’t do it! The moment I read your letter, I was so close to jumping off that plane and running back to you. But I couldn’t! You had your responsibilities, and I had my own. If I wrote to you… If I ever wrote back… we wouldn’t be standing here like this.” Her voice turned softer and softer, and slowly, it shrunk to a soft whisper. “We wouldn’t be fighting like this. We would probably be married, dancing together as husband and wife.” She finally found the courage to look at him, and lifted her gaze off the ground. “I’m sorry… I just… I couldn’t. I tried. Believe me, I tried. I tried so hard, but it would have just made this whole ordeal even more difficult for the both of us.”

Draco was at lost for words. There was so much that he wanted to say to her, but no single word in the human language could ever define what he was feeling. He raked though his brain—rummaging through every single word he has learned in the past years of his life—but failed miserably to find one that did it justice. “Running won’t do either of us any good.”

“I didn’t run.” She told him. “Do you honestly believe that I would run from you out of fear? If so, then you don’t know me at all, Draco.” Her voice held a piercing tone of disappointment. “Look at how much you have accomplished. Your father’s company is in the palm of your hands, and there hasn’t been a single shred of scandalous news printed on the Daily Prophet in a year. That’s saying something, don’t you think?”

“We could have made that happen without you leaving.” He replied stubbornly.

She heaved a heavy sigh in response. “Draco, please—let’s not go over this again. I thought that we would have gotten past this by now.”

“You can’t waltz back into my life, after a bloody year, expecting everything to be fine. Because it’s not. Nothing is fine. Sure, our lives look absolutely perfect to the rest of the Wizarding world, but to us, it is a complete disaster.”

“You’re talking as if you are the only one that has been hurting the past year. It’s been hard for me too, Draco. But unlike you, I am willing to try this again. Just let it go—put the past behind you. What’s done is done, and we can’t change anything anymore. I’m here now,” she lifted her eyes, and held his gaze. “Isn’t that enough?”

Draco stared at her for a couple of moments. His shoulders were heaving up and down due to sheer anger, and his lips were pursed into a straight line. “No.” he finally said, once he let out a breath he had no idea he was holding. “That doesn’t change anything. It’s not enough—not nearly enough.”

Without another look, Draco swiftly turned on his heel and headed for the door. The next few moments happen entirely too quickly, that it took Draco a few minutes to allow it all to sink in.

He headed for the door, ignoring the loud sound of heels clicking against the marble floor of the bathroom. As his hand came into contact with the brass doorknob, he felt a sharp pull against his left arm. Within seconds, he was suddenly violently shoved against the door, while his mouth attached to a pair of incredibly tantalizing, soft lips. He tasted strawberries and mint, with a hint of alcohol that Hermione must have consumed earlier that night. Her scent immediately engulfed him, and then he was lost. His hands automatically found their stance on her body, around her neck, in her hair, on her bum, or around her shoulders.

After a year of her absence, he suddenly realized how much he missed her intoxicating scent and her sweet, luscious lips. His hands wound around her bottom, and he hoisted her up, allowing her legs to wrap themselves around his hips. Draco immediately placed her on the counter top, pressing her back against the wall plated with several mirrors. Never once did their lips part. Once their breathing grew erratic and heavy, Draco detached his lips from hers, but was unable to draw his body away.

“This doesn’t change a thing.” He whispered.

Hermione nodded her head in agreement. “Nothing.” She whispered hoarsely.

Taking it as an acceptable answer, Draco immediately dove back into her lips, reminding himself that the following events shall never happen again.

A/N: HI GUYS! let me start off by apologizing ): i know this chapter took EXTREMELY long. school has started, and i barely have time to write these days. there's just too much on my mind, so it's difficult to think of things to write. however, i do try my best. i try to at least write a page a day. but obviously, that didn't really work out. i ended up writing a paragraph a day, or so :P so i'm so very sorry. i think this chapter took about two months to write, since it is now november -_- . but anyway!

so how do you guys like this one? :) hermione is pretty.. assertive, sorta, eh? (: she didn't completely turn into Miranda, if that's what some of you were thinking. i tried my best not to turn her into someone you guys would all end up hating :P but i'm pretty sure some of you are hating on Draco right now! since he's being a little girl, and he won't just be with Hermione. hehe. and i know some of you are hating on me at the moment, because of the last line of this chapter. (; this is the second to last chapter, which means the next chapter will be the FINAL chapter. how do you think it will end? :O i'd like to hear your thoughts and feedback :)

there won't be a preview, and i won't be letting out any hints as to what will happen the next chapter. i will try to keep the update under a month! wish me luck guys.

Chapter 27: Chapter Twenty-Seven
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

By: Gryffindorgirl153


Once their breathing grew erratic and heavy, Draco detached his lips from hers, but was unable to draw his body away.

“This doesn’t change a thing.” He whispered.

Hermione nodded her head in agreement. “Nothing.” She whispered hoarsely.

Taking it as an acceptable answer, Draco immediately dove back into her lips, reminding himself that the following events shall never happen again.

Chapter Twenty-Six
Four Months Later

By the time it was seven-thirty on a perfect July morning, Draco had officially decided that at his young, tender age, he had found the most perfect—the most divine beauty to wake up to. Several older people—those who have already gotten the chance to live, and see the world—would blatantly express his or her disapproval of his judgment. Young men who have yet to see more than one face and one horizon shouldn’t be so quick to judge the potential beauty of he rest of the world. However, at that very moment, at that small instant in time, Draco knew that nothing could be more perfect than waking up to Hermione Granger sleeping peacefully beside him.

Although there were several times before when he had woken up to Hermione’s beautiful face, each time always felt like the first time. Each time he awoke beside her, he could not contain the swell of happiness that spread through his chest.

Absentmindedly, Draco tightened his arm around Hermione’s bare waist, drawing her naked body closer to his. A content sigh rumbled through his throat as he pressed his face against her soft curls. “I love you,” he whispered, just like he did every other morning after their nights together.

“Draco,” her voice startled him. It was unusual for her to be awake at such an early time. “What time is it?” she whispered, her eyebrows slowly knitting into a frown.

“About seven-thirty.” He answered after a short pause. “Go back to sleep, it’s early.”

He felt her press herself closer to the mattress while her head dug deeper into the pillow. He fought the smile that played on his lips as she ran her hands up his arms, drawing them as close to her body as possible. Shortly after, she sighed and turned around to face him.

“Good morning.” She said with closed eyes, smiling softly at him. Her voice was still hoarse from her sleep, a voice that Draco fell in love with the first moment he woke up beside her. Hermione planted a kiss on his lips, and began running her fingers over various parts of his body.

Draco smiled. “It’s early.”

She shrugged and kissed his jaw. “I like waking up early.”

He chuckled soundly, his happiness evident in his eyes. “That is a complete lie, Hermione.” He pointed out. “You love sleeping in.”

Hermione shook her head and smiled. “I love having you to wake up to.”

Like the start of every other morning they spend together, Hermione kissed his lips softly, and Draco pressed forward, deepening the kiss. His hands roamed her naked body and hers dove right into his tousled hair.

Unexpectedly, Hermione rolled out of Draco’s arms and jumped out of bed, grabbing a spare towel on the way to the bathroom. “You’re taking a shower now?” Draco asked curiously, propping himself up on his elbow. “It’s Sunday.”

“Ron just called me in for a raid somewhere in Scotland.” She answered. “I’ve got to be in the office in about an hour.”

The shower came on, and Draco plopped back down against the pillows. “You know Hermione, I’m beginning to think that I’m simply a ‘shag-and-run’ case for you.” He joked halfheartedly, slightly bitter that she was leaving his side so early in the morning.

The only response Draco received was the sound of laughter echoing throughout the tiled walls of the bathroom.


“Pansy, are you sure this is going to work out?” Pansy sighed exasperatedly as she heard the very question for the fiftieth time that afternoon. “I just—I’m sorry, I just want this to be perfect.”

Pressing her palm to her temple, Pansy groaned. “Really, Draco? I’m sorry, I didn’t quite catch just how perfect you wanted tonight to be in the past billion times you told me.”

“Cut the sarcasm, Pans. This has to be perfect.” He retorted—defeated—plopping down onto the leather couch beside her.

The word perfect was beginning to sound strange to Pansy. She thought of the distinct sound of per was starting to sound unorthodox; like a word she has never heard of before. Her ears began picking up syllables that would have usually gone unnoticed suddenly registered in her mind as parts of a word that she has never heard before. It was times like this when Pansy knew she has heard a word too many times with in the span of ten minutes. Perfect. The word was biting on the corner of her mind, pestering her to no end.

Draco’s mouth opened slightly, his words nearing the brink of sound. “I swear to Merlin, if you say the word perfect one more time—”

Before the threat left her mouth, Blaise waltz through Pansy’s front door with a large red box in his hands. “Hello friends.” He greeted casually, plopping down on the couch beside Pansy. “Cookie?” he asked, bringing the box in front of Pansy as he lifted the lid open. “Daphne baked it herself.”

Pansy stared at the box of cookies hesitantly, and then looking back up at Blaise. “I’m not entirely sure that this would be safe to eat...” she trailed off.

“Why do you think I brought this over before she forced one down my throat?” Blaise asked. He pulled the lid over the box, and set the box on the coffee table sitting directly in front of them. “So, Draco. I called in this morning, and I wasn’t able to get you a table at that French restaurant you requested—BUT—before you get your knickers in a twist, I got you something better.” he said, with a wide, devious grin plastered on his face.

Minutes Later

“Blaise, what the bloody hell is this?” Draco demanded as he stared across the spacious room. There was half a brick wall standing on the far right hand side—the other half, having been blown off; the rubble, scattered on the ground by its feet. Several piles of bricks surrounded each corner of the room, as if the house was left unfinished. A roof was missing, leaving the sky wide open for their viewing pleasure. A fireplace sat on the left side—it’s mantle severely damaged. “How is this better than what I asked for in the beginning?”

Blaise rolled his eyes. “Well, not now it’s not. But trust me mate, this place has serious potential for a ‘romantic’ date.”

From beside him, Pansy sighed exasperatedly, followed by a small sound of laughter. “When are you going to give it up, Blaise?” she asked. “Everyone knows that you are a romantic bloke, there’s no need to hide it. That’s just trying to hide the fact that you are still madly in love with your ex-girlfriend—the only girlfriend that ever meant anything to you.”

Draco heard Blaise growl from behind him. “Why must you always insist on bringing out the worst in me?” Blaise cried with a playful tone. “And for the record, I am not still ‘madly in love’ with Daphne. We are simply friends now.”

A grin crawled through Pansy’s face. “Stop using air quotes as if what you’re saying isn’t the least bit true. And I never said anything about this ex-girlfriend of yours, being Daphne.”

“You really think this place has potential?” Draco asked, interjecting into Blaise’s retort before his friends fell into another one of their full-blown arguments. “Will you help me Blaise? Tonight has to be—”

“Perfect—we know!” Blaise and Pansy chorused together, throwing both their hands in the air.

“C’mon Draco, let’s leave Blaise to it. We still have to go to Ron and Harry to set up dinner.” The three said their goodbyes, leaving Blaise standing alone in the middle of what was left of the old, forsaken manor.


“Morning Ron,” Pansy greeted the moment she entered the conference room in the Ministry of Magic. “Shouldn’t you be in Scotland with the rest of the Auror’s?” she asked, taking a seat beside him.

“I had to come back to search some names. Harry would’ve sent Hermione, but he decided that it was best to keep her away from London for a while. Today is the big day isn’t it?” he asked, looking at Draco who sat on the table not far from Ron and Pansy.

He nodded. “I’m hoping for it.” Draco replied. “Which is why we need your help.”

Ron shrugged. “What can I do?”

Pansy picked up a large bag from the floor, and set it on the table in front of Ron. “Get Hermione to wear everything in this bag. Keep her away from both her apartment and Draco’s. Bring her your apartment, or Harry’s—it doesn’t really matter—and get her to change and doll herself up.” She instructed carefully. “Then feed her a lie, tell her a story—whatever you need to get her to this address. It’s crucial that you make something up, Ronald. Or else she will suspect something, and this entire thing will be ruined.”

Slowly, Ron picked up the piece of paper Pansy had set in front of him. “You’re underestimating Hermione’s intelligence, Pans.” He said, glancing at Draco. “No matter what sort of lie I make up, she’ll know that there’s something wrong. She’s a trained auror, mate. The last time Harry and I slipped a lie past her was in our second year, when we told her that she looked cute as a cat.” A small smile formed on his face at the thought of his Hogwarts days.

“It doesn’t matter if she realizes that there’s something wrong, but she cannot suspect that I have anything to do with it. Lead her astray, make her think that you bought a dragon as a pet, and you’re too afraid to show anyone because they will call you bonkers and take it away. Get creative—anything.” Draco explained. “This has to go perfectly.”

Ron rolled his eyes. “I’ll try my best, but I cannot assure anything.”

Draco nodded. “Nice talking to you, mate.” He clapped a hand on Ron’s shoulder as both he and Pansy made their way out the door. “Oh, and get her there by nine o’clock sharp.”


To Draco’s dismay, the rest of the night did not work out as well as he had hoped. In the process of decorating the tattered estate, Blaise managed to blow up the remaining half of the fireplace. Blaise sent patronus after patronus to Pansy’s apartment, begging her for help, in fear that Draco would pop a vein and suck Blaise’s body dry of his soul. When Pansy demanded for an explanation, Blaise told his long, extravagant story that could basically be summed up into: ‘In the midst of casting a spell, I dropped my wand, I cursed, and I ended up blowing up a wall’.

In addition to Blaise’s mishap, Draco managed to forget the most important part of the night. Dinner. The thought dawned on him about two hours before Hermione was due to arrive, and Draco—for a lack of a better world—flipped out. He sprung up on his feet and disapparated quicker than any breathing person on the earth could blink. He wasn’t entire sure where he was going, but somehow, he managed to apparate himself back into the Malfoy Manor. Without thinking, Draco ran through the gates and into the sitting room where he found his mother lounging on a chair, reading a lengthy book.

She peered over her reading glasses, sporadic strands of blonde hair falling from its hold at the back of her head, and into her face. Due to maternal instinct, Narcissa immediately read the distress written all over Draco’s face. By the end of their discussion, although Narcissa was displeased with his choice in women, she promised a full, well-cooked meal by eight-thirty.

The lack of food was not the only thing Draco seemed to have forgotten. Music. He had no idea how he could’ve forgotten such a crucial detail that sets the entire atmosphere for the whole dinner. Once he apparated back into his flat, he rummaged through the many CD’s that were carelessly shoved in the drawer beneath his flat screen TV. Draco sat in his flat for a good hour and a half before it finally dawned on him. He set the CD’s in his hands down on the floor, and heaved a heavy sigh.

“I am a failure.” He mumbled glumly to himself. “I can’t even get a single date to go right. And it hasn’t even started yet.”

Giving up on selecting music, he decided to check on his little minion who should have been back in his flat hours ago.

The moment he apparated to the torn-down estate, Draco sincerely, desperately, unequivocally wished that he had stayed in his flat, rummaging through his collection of music. The bright, white lights that were supposed to be hanging across the roofless ceiling was currently tangled around Blaise’s entire body, making him glow like a lightbulb, while Pansy was being shocked by an electrical socket on the opposite side of the room.

“What the bloody hell have you two been doing?” Draco demanded, grabbing their wands that were set down on the table in front of him. “You two have wands for a reason.” He pointed out impatiently, holding the two wooden sticks up to their view.

Blaise growled under his breath. “Shut the bloody hell up and untangle me!” he snapped, struggling to free himself of the wires.

Rolling his eyes, Draco made his way over to Pansy first.

“Hey!” Blaise called out, struggling in his confines even more. “Bloody hell, mate! Whatever happened to bro’s before hoes?”

“Pansy, you’re not supposed to be sticking your finger into the hole.” Draco bent down beside Pansy, who was nursing her electrocuted finger. “You’re going to get shocked.” He chuckled as Pansy glared at the socket. “Why didn’t you just use your wands? This house is a dump, I wouldn’t trust the electrical wiring here if I were you.”

“Yeah, yeah.” Pansy grumbled as she picked her self up off the floor. “Let’s help Blaise before he somehow manages to tighten the lights around himself.”

Unraveling Blaise was the hardest part of the night so far. Neither Draco nor Pansy had any idea how he managed to wrap twinkling lights around himself without the knowledge that he was doing so. It took a whole ten minutes to get Blaise unwrapped.

After another ten minutes had passed, Pansy furiously threw the small portion of lights that were in her hands down onto the ground. “Screw. This.” After thinking to herself for a moment, she grabbed her wand off the table and various sized light orbs began floating out from the tip of her wand, taking their assigned positions above them.

From the ground, Blaise stared up at Pansy’s wand in amazement. “Why didn’t we think of this sooner?” he asked, entirely too amazed that Pansy could in fact, produce magic. “We are terrible wizards, guys.” He said—louder this time.

The lighting was done in a matter of minutes, thanks to Pansy. From where the three were standing, it looked as though the stars in the sky decided to take a refuge closer to earth for the night. A couple light orbs were scattered around the room; the majority of the orbs hovered around the small round, well-dressed table.

“I can’t ever leave you two alone to work together, can I?” Draco asked his friends as they took a step back and reveled at their beautiful work.

“It’s his fault!” Pansy remarked, pointing a finger at Blaise who was standing on the other side of Draco. “That stupid idiot managed to get stuck in a bunch of wires.”

Blaise retorted with a look of disbelief. “Who managed to electrocute herself?”

Literally standing in the middle of his friends’ argument, Draco awkwardly stood in between them with his hands in his pockets, shaking his head.


By the time it hit nine-thirty that evening, Draco has never been more anxious in his life. Hermione was thirty minutes late; Hermione was never late. She was the most punctual girl he’s ever met. Of course there were those rare occasions where life just happened to get in the way, which would literally stop her from showing up on time; however, Draco was almost ninety-nine percent certain that this was not one of those ‘rare occasions’. There could not possibly be anything keeping her from arriving on time. After all, tonight was an important date—it was already decided days ago. Ron must have clarified the importance of this evening, and how critical it was that she arrived on time.

Perhaps it had slipped Ron’s mind to force Hermione to said location at the present time. Perhaps there was an accident in the Ministry—in her department—and someone was sent into St. Mungo’s. Of course they needed her for that, right? There was also the slight possibility that Hermione Granger did not want to attend their date tonight. There was the possibility that she was sitting in her flat, curled up on her sofa with her head buried in another one of her novels. Draco sincerely hoped that it was one of the earlier situations that had clawed through his mind; otherwise, if Hermione Granger’s head were buried in a book, it would be extremely difficult to bring her back down to Earth.

Time began moving painfully slow for Draco. As he sat on the set table in the middle of the room, he felt that time decided to torture him that evening. His wristwatch eventually traveled from his wrist, and onto his plate set in front of him. The seconds’ hand was going by much too slow for his taste. There were several times when he thought his watch had stopped working, but then he realized it was merely a figment of his imagination. Draco had no idea what to think of this. Should he be happy that time was indeed moving on, and with ever tick, Hermione became later and later? Or, should he be happy that time itself had stopped for a short period of time, giving Hermione the chance to arrive closer to the set time?

Honestly, his head was in shambles. Half his thoughts were not making the least bit of sense. This woman was driving him mad. How could the absence of a single person make him this nervous and jittery? Draco didn’t expect to be feeling this way until the time was right to finally propose. But of course, this was Hermione Granger. She wouldn’t be Hermione if she didn’t make Draco feel anxious even before she arrived.

Seconds passed, and so did minutes. Soon, an entire hour passed by, and still no Hermione was in sight. Sitting in the very spot he had sat in for the past hour, Draco strained his ears, hoping that he would hear the slight sound of a ‘pop’ in the distance, indicating Hermione’s arrival. However, no matter how much Draco strained his ears, no matter how silence the night became, there were no apparition sounds—none at all.

“If she didn’t want to show up, she could at least have the decency to write.” Draco grumbled, clanking his fork and spoon together like an angry little child. There was disappointment written all over his face—disappointment with a hint of anger and a twinge of sadness. The anxiousness that bubbled in his stomach earlier that night soon began to ebb away, only to be replaced with feelings that were worse than anxiety.

More seconds passed, then minutes, and then another hour. The magic in the light orbs were slowly beginning to die out, leaving the room dim and eerie. It would take two to make the atmosphere more romantic, regardless of the dimming lights and the increasing darkness. However, it was only Draco. It was only Draco who had touched his silverware the entire night. It was only Draco who had complemented on Pansy’s choice of red wine, and only Draco who had the chance of enveloping the feeling of sitting down at the dinner table, and seeing the beautiful scenery around him. Why? Because Hermione did not bother to show up for the rest of the night.

Tired of waiting, Draco bitterly stood up from his spot and slowly walked out of the estate. He took a few steps into the woods, and apparated back to his flat. He unlocked the door with his wand, and stepped inside.

The sound of a woman muttering in the dark slightly scared him out of his shoes—something he would never admit to anyone. Curious, Draco slowly walked down the hallway and turned right, facing Hermione’s old bedroom.

“Oh, where is it?” he heard someone mumble. “I’m going to kill Pansy if she borrowed it without asking!”

There were a couple of loud thuds before Draco finally realized who it was. “Hermione?”

There was a short silence, and then suddenly, Draco found himself face to face with a frazzled looking Hermione Granger. To his surprise, she was dressed in the outfit Pansy had chosen out for her earlier that morning. Her curls were slightly tousled, which was something Hermione did out of habit whenever she grew frustrated. “Draco?” she piped, clearly surprised. “What are you doing here?”

“Er.. I live here.” He answered stupidly.

Hermione sighed and her shoulders slumped forward as she dropped her head. “I’m so sorry.” She apologized, running her free hand through her hair. “I tried to get back on time, I did, really! But the ministry disabled apparition out of Scotland, and the floo-network was blocked as well, so I had no way of getting back. And then by the time I finally arrived, it was ten-thirty, and then Ron started acting all strange.” Despite his disappointment and anger, Draco couldn’t help but laugh as Hermione rambled on about her efforts on arriving on time. “He kept pushing me to get ready, and you know me. Whenever Ron pushes me to do something, I would much rather piss him off than actually do what he asks of me. And then I realized that I lost my favorite earrings, so I came here to find it, and I really wanted to wear it tonight, and I still can’t find it!” she cried furiously.

Chuckling, Draco reached forward and wrapped his arm around Hermione’s shoulders, bringing her into him. “I’ll owl Pansy and ask her if she has your earrings.” He said, hugging her tightly. “It’s alright if you’re a little late.”

“A little?” Hermione asked, laughing slightly. “Draco, it’s eleven thirty. A little late is an understatement.”

Draco smiled. “Honestly Hermione, I’m slightly relieved that the only reason you’re late is because you were stuck in Scotland for the night.” He released her and smoothened out her hair. “I was beginning to think that you didn’t want to come tonight.”

She frowned. “Why would you think something as silly as that?” Hermione asked. “That’s ridiculous.”

Shrugging, Draco enveloped Hermione into his arms once more. “How about we just start the night over, and pretend that we were supposed to meet at eleven?”

Hermione smiled gratefully, suddenly not feeling so guilty anymore. “I’d like that.”

Grabbing her hand tightly in his, Draco apparated both Hermione and himself into the old house as he silently prayed to himself that she would be amazed. To his dismay, Hermione took one look around, and turned back to him. “Shall we eat?” she asked him with a smile. “I’m starving.”

Draco gulped loudly, and nodded, following her to the table. Once they were both seated, Hermione gave Draco and expecting look. “Oh!” he exclaimed suddenly, chuckling to himself for a second or two. “Sorry.” He apologized nervously. With a flick of his wand, food appeared on his plate, and their wine glasses were half filled with red wine.

About a couple more minutes into the date, Draco realized that he has never felt more awkward before in his life. It was then that he realized that he and Hermione rarely went out on a conventional ‘date’. Of course he had gone on several before he met Hermione, but never once did it occur to him that Hermione was the type of girl that would be wooed by a fancy dinner in some decorated house that no one has stepped foot in about a decade ago.

Their dinner went smoothly. Hermione laughed at his jokes (as if they were funny), and they found several conversation topics (as usual). This was probably the only part of the day that ever went well. However, despite the smoothness of the evening, Draco could not push the feeling of anxiousness out of his body. There were so many things that were simply going wrong on this perfect date. As much as Draco hated oxymorons, this was not one that he could simply overlook.

“Tonight was great.” She began casually as the couple walked through an empty street in London. “I’m surprised that you took me out to dinner.”

Nervously, Draco chuckled in response. “I don’t do it often, do I?”

“No, you don’t.” she said with a small, shy smile. “But it’s fine.”

“Fine?” he pressed further on. “Fine doesn’t exactly mean fine, Hermione. Especially when it comes from you.”

Hermione sighed, knowing that she had just walked right into an argument that she would not be able to breeze her way out of. “Draco, it’s fine, really. I’m not exactly the type of girl that bases a relationship on the kind of dates we have.”

“What kind of relationship are we in, exactly?” he asked calmly even though his insides were overflowing with uncontrollable anxiety. It was the one question he has been pondering over the moment he and Hermione—both being completely flustered and breathless—began searching for their clothes that were scattered around the bathroom during Pansy’s wedding. Unfortunately for Draco, despite what he had hoped, neither him nor Hermione has ever made their stances clear. It was now the moment of truth, and Draco was afraid out of his mind.

The pause that Hermione took in between his question and her answer was enough to make Draco want to crawl into a ditch and never come out. There were several thoughts running through his mind, that he did not even notice that Hermione had stopped walking. “Draco,” She spoke softly, as if the words that would come after were enough to slice through his heart. Her tone frightened him, and the look on her face did not help ease the anxiety that ripped through his body. The next few seconds ticked painfully slow—too slow. Silence rippled through the night, and the only thing Draco could hear was his own breathing. “Do you expect anything from me?”

For a small, fragment of a second, there was this urge pulsing through his hand—this urge that wanted to strangle Hermione for answer his question with another question. The inner voice in his head was screaming in frustration through all his built up fear and anxiety. He almost spoke the words that were shooting through his mind, but Draco skillfully held his tongue. ‘This is so typical of her.’ He thought to himself. ‘Why can’t she just answer my bloody question first? I swear, if this woman interrogate me before giving me a blasted answer, I’m going t—’


“I expect an answer, Hermione.” He responded after pulling himself out of his thoughts. “And please don’t ask another question. It will just drag out this ‘talk’ of ours.”

She exhaled deeply. “We’re… Draco, we’re friends.”

Friends. That one simple word painfully screwed up the rest of his night. Friends. They were just friends. Friends meant spending time together, but never kissing; holding hands, but not in the affectionate way; sleeping in the same bed, but without cuddling; present sexual tension with the absence of sex. He and Pansy are friends. Ron and Harry are friends. Ginny and Hermione are friends. There was absolutely no way—not even in the magical world, where the impossible is actually very possible—that he and Hermione were simply friends. After a couple more thoughts of friendship, Draco realized just how much he detested the godforsaken word. It was a parasite, and a disgusting one at that.

“Friends.” Draco repeated slowly, inwardly cringing. “Friends? Hermione, we’re not fucking friends.”

His language surprised her, and so did the anger evident on his face. “For the past few months, we’ve been anything but friends.” He continued.

“What do you want me to say?” Hermione retorted quickly. Her voice rose with every word she said. “What exactly do you want to hear from me? That we’re a couple? That we’re dating, even though we never really established anything earlier? Draco, we’re not dating. We were never dating.”

Every word that came out of her mouth was dripping with bitterness and resentment. Was she angry with him for this? He could not decide. It was difficult to interpret the glossy look in her eyes, and the anger that carved her face. He could not understand what she was saying, or why it sounded as if it was he who made the mistake.

“We were never in a real relationship, Draco. It was all a lie. Everything was a lie.” She said, slightly lowering her voice. “It was a well thought out lie. We fooled the entire world—I guess somewhere between all those lies, we managed to successfully lie to ourselves.”

“What you’re saying now is a lie.” Draco snapped. “What we had wasn’t a lie. Maybe it did start out with one big selfish lie, but it sure as hell didn’t turn out that way. You should stop lying to yourself, Hermione. You know as well as I do that you loved me.”

She turned her head away, and looked down at her feet. “I don’t know.”

“You don’t know?” he demanded. “What the fuck do you mean, ‘you don’t know’? What the hell are you so bloody afraid of? Just say it, Hermione. You loved me. You still love me. What is all this bullshit about lies and friendship? You know very well that it’s not true.”

“I don’t know what I know, alright?” she exclaimed loudly. “Draco, I didn’t ask for this. There’s just too much uncertainty between us. How do you expect me to answer your question if I don’t even have a clue as to what is going on?”

Draco let out an aggravated sigh. “It’s not difficult, Hermione!” he shouted. “There’s no need to look into it, or to over analyze anything. Would you stop being your bookworm self for just five minutes and think about how you feel? This isn’t something that is to be calculated or anything of the sort. Even an illiterate five year old would be able to give an answer.”

“Please stop.”

“What?” he asked, surprised.

“Just stop, I don’t want to talk about this anymore.” She replied softly.

Draco blinked and simply stared at her. “I want to talk about it.”

“Well I don’t!” she exclaimed. Giving Draco one last look, she turned her heel and began quickly walking away.

“Granger.” Draco growled, almost threateningly. “Granger!” He shouted loudly when Hermione continued walking. “Granger, I’m not going to let you walk away again.”

Almost without a thought, Draco’s legs began moving quickly and swiftly, carrying him to Hermione faster than he could blink. “You really need to stop running away.” He said to her, scowling as he grabbed her arm and sharply turned her body around to face him. “This is all you ever do, Hermione. All you do is run. Once you find something good in your life, you run. It’s as if it’s some innate instinct that you can’t seem to break. I thought you were supposed to be courageous and self-righteous. Never did I think that Hermione Granger was a coward.”

As her eyes narrowed into slits, a disgusted scowl distorted her pretty little face. “Don’t you dare call me a coward, Malfoy. You of all people shouldn’t talk about cowardice.”

“You’re afraid, and we both know it. And when you’re afraid, you run. It’s as simple as that. Now tell me Granger, what’s biting you?” he asked, clearly angry at her stubbornness.

“I’m not afraid, you prat. Stop making assumptions about me and leave me alone.” Hermione spat.

She tried to stop around him, determined to get back to her flat and sleep the rest of her horrendous night away. However, Draco was too quick for Hermione. He stepped in front of her before her foot came in contact with the pavement. “Don’t even try to run away again. I won’t let you anymore. It’s about time that you tell me what’s got you so afraid.”

“I’m not afraid.” Her voice—her lies—were beginning to falter under his gaze. It wasn’t only Draco that noticed this too. Hermione knew that she was breaking, and in truth, it scared her more than ever. “Move.”

“If you weren’t afraid, then you wouldn’t have simply called us friends. Merlin Hermione, just a day ago we were in my flat, in my bedroom, on my bed, having sex over and over again.” With the mention of sex, Hermione’s eyes shifted towards the ground, and she slightly winced. “In the past month we’ve had more sex than I can even count. Are you telling me that this is what friends do? Screw until you can’t even move anymore?”

“It’s only sex.” she answered. “Sex is sex. It’s not associated at all with love.”

He stared at her for a moment or two. His eyes were fixed on her face as he attempted to try to read her expressions, her sighs, her eyes and her movements. “You can’t honestly tell me that you feel absolutely nothing for me, Hermione.” He said softly, suddenly realizing that his words were slowly breaking through her. Draco lifted his hand, and slowly started tracing the contours of her face, his finger barely touching her skin.

Hermione shifted her eyes from his face, to his shoulder and then straight down to her feet. “I don’t know anymore, Draco.” She whispered softly in a voice that cracked in mid sentence. “I’m sorry, but I don’t know.”

Nodding, Draco dropped his arm back to his side, and began to fish something out of his pocket. A little, black, velvet box appeared I the palm of his hands. “I brought you to dinner tonight to give you this.” He placed the box in her hands, and lifted his eyes to look at her. “I wasn’t really sure at first, but I guess now I am. Goodbye Hermione.”

This time, it was Draco who turned his back and walked away, leaving Hermione to cry out a thousand heartaches.



4:00 AM

For the rest of the night, Draco laid in his bed, wide-awake, unable to allow sleep to overcome him. Despite his tiredness, there were too many thoughts racing through his mind. He had finally received an answer to his question—the question he has been pondering over the past couple of months was finally answered. After that night’s events, he wasn’t sure if he should be happy that he is no longer blissfully oblivious, or if he should be sad that he is now miserable and far from being content. The one girl he had learned to love was now gone. He was stupid enough to let her go out of sheer tiredness and frustration, and now—she’s gone. It was as simple as the abc’s. She’s gone. A very simple matter to comprehend.

After the heartache of losing Miranda, the girl he had thought he loved, was finally swept under the rug, he no longer believed that he would be able to feel that way about another person ever again. No matter what his parents threw at him, no matter what life had in store for him, there was always a feeling in the pit of his stomach that loneliness and emptiness would consume his life until the day that he died. In a million years—in a million century, Draco would have never been able to guess that he would be able to find—and to learn to—love again. And not once, would he have ever guessed that he would find it in Hermione Granger.

The moment he looked up and found Hermione Granger staring back at him in the diner that fated night, his stomach churned violently. Back then, when his beliefs were set straight by purebloods and his manipulative ex-girlfriend, Miranda, he strongly believed that the churning of his stomach was a paradigmatic reaction to seeing Hermione once more. While he was in Hogwarts, he was not too fond of seeing this girl anywhere; despite the seven years he had spent knowing her. She was a muggleborn—a mudblood; everything his father taught him to hate. She had bushy hair, and a voice that clawed at his ears until they bled. There was nothing special about her. She was plain Jane. Simply Hermione.

So he allowed her to sit. There was no plausible reason. He simply allowed her presence. He could have easily made her leave the diner in order to find his sanctity, but he did not. His eyes landed on her disheveled figure, and an anomalous feeling soaked through his skin the moment he looked through her glasses and into her eyes. For a short moment, he allowed himself to be entranced by the warmth of her eyes that was more than enough to melt his cold self. To his surprise, she neither smiled nor frowned—she just stopped and stared. At that moment, Draco felt as though she could suddenly see right through the walls that surrounded him—the very walls that every other person in the world posses. So he turned away, and then she spoke.

Her voice carried out through his ears, and he vaguely wondered how she managed to soothe him with the very first word she spoke. Her voice alone was enough to soothe him until he melted to bliss on his seat. This trance of his ended as quick as it began. He shook the eccentric thoughts of Hermione Granger from his head and forced out the typical attitude he has always conversed with. He became rude, sullen, and snarky faster than the blink of an eye. Fortunately for him, Hermione did not expect anything better.

What neither of them expected, however, was the sudden contract that was constituted that night—the unanticipated contract, which was sealed absolutely with a kiss that sparked the media. There was much more than fireworks that night for Draco. There was a whole future than ran through his mind for the short moment his lips were latched onto Hermione’s.

From that moment on, no matter how much he tried to deny it, he began to fall for her. He was not sure why, or how, but he did. There were moments when he stopped in mid-action only to realize that he had been thinking about Hermione. In spite of his lingering attachment to Miranda—which only resulted from the lack of closure from their ‘break-up’—he could not help the growing affections he held for Hermione. It was so blatant and lucid, that there was absolutely no point in hiding it any longer. He fell for her, the girl he swore to hate when he was eleven years old, and he fell hard.

A faint sound of knocking brought him out of his thoughts. At first, Draco thought it was his mind playing games on him, but he heard it again, this time louder. Dragging himself out of the comfort and warmth of his bed, Draco trudged down the hallway and to the door, not bothering to turn on the lights on his way. He certainly hoped that it was merely a muggle who got the wrong apartment. He was in no mood for company, not wanting to hear voices and nagging. Unlocking the bolts on the door, and turning the knob, Draco pulled the door with annoyance.

“Wh—” the sight before him knocked the breath right out of him. His mouth was left gaping open as if the ‘at’ got stuck somewhere in between his teeth and his throat. For a moment, he scolded his mind, telling himself that it was playing tricks on him again. However, after a couple more moments and a hundred blinks later, he realized that this was not his imagination-gone wild. It was as real as it could get. And it was right here. She was right here. “Hermione.” He breathed.

She stood before him—her face angry mixed with guilt and solemn. She was drenched; her hair and clothes clung onto her body, weighing her down. To Draco, it looked as though Hermione did not care about her appearance at all. There was a determined glint in her eye—one that he saw in Hogwarts on many occasions. “Wha—what are you doing here?” Draco inquired as he stood in the doorway, feeling slightly stupid for stuttering like a moron. “You—you’re wet.”

“What the hell is this?” she asked, holding up the black velvet box that he placed in her hand earlier.

He stared at the box, and then looked back at her as if she was a mad hatter. “Er, it’s an en—engagement ring.” He answered, feeling rather stupid again.

Hermione glared at him and shoved the ring back to his chest, where Draco was forced to take it in his hands. “You don’t just bloody give this to a woman, and then walk away. Honestly, who the hell does that?” she demanded. “Usually, a question comes with this box. Honestly Draco, are you that daft?” she sounded angry, and slightly vengeful—but Draco did not know where the vengefulness came from. Hermione gave him one last ‘are-you-stupid’ look before she pushed past him and walked straight into his flat.

Draco watched in awe as Hermione took of her shoes and began peeling her wet clothes off one by one, leaving a trail behind her as she slowly sauntered into his bedroom. Once she disappeared from his view, he followed her inside and watched with great confusion as a half naked Hermione pulled a shirt from his closet and wore it as if it were her own clothes. “Er—uh, Hermione?”

“What?” she snapped viciously while she buttoned the shirt.

“What do you mean that this box comes with a question?” he asked slowly, unable to figure out what she was doing. He seriously believed that they were done; finito; finished. The silence she chose to give was enough for him to understand that she did not want the same things he did. They were after different things, and it needed to stop—right? He spent the last three hours contemplating on their now broken—or so he thought—relationship in order to begin the mending process. And then now, she was standing before him, clad in nothing but his white button-up shirt possibly demanding for a question along with the ring?

Hermione rolled her eyes at him. “I cannot believe that you just handed this to me and just walked away.” She told him. “Did you think that a question would just be shouted out by opening this ‘magic box’ and then everything would be alright?”

“What the hell are you talking about?” he demanded, sick and tired of her games. She was being cryptic and vague—everything he hated about women. Hermione was always straightforward. When she wanted to know something, she asked directly. She never took fourteen right turns and five left ones, instead of one right and one left just to get to her destination. She believed in the practical approach, which was one of the many things he liked about her. There was no guessing with Hermione—it was all absolute facts.

She stared at him with an infuriated expression on her face. After a few more moments of silence, she groaned in frustration and walked out of his bedroom and straight to the dark living room. “Hermione?” he called exasperatedly. “Would you stop walking away from me?” Draco found her curled up on the end of the couch, hugging a pillow close to her stomach with her bare legs folded beneath her. The moment she heard his voice, she looked up at him with her big brown eyes, and Draco immediately softened upon impulse. He sighed and walked around the couch before he kneeled in front of her. “Hermione, would you please tell me what this is about?” he asked her softly. “You show up in my apartment at four in the morning talking nonsense, and I would genuinely like to know what’s bothering you.”

Hermione sighed and looked away. “Never you mind.” She replied.

Draco sighed as well, and looked down at his hands. “How am I supposed to make this better if I don’t know what’s bothering you?” he groaned. And then it clicked. His hands squeezed the black velvet box lying on his palm, and he suddenly realized what Hermione wanted. Fighting a grin, he raised his eyes and stared at her. “About two years ago, I never would’ve thought that I would ever buy one of these things. After my relationship with Miranda, marriage wasn’t one of the roads that I planned to take in the future. I guess things change, huh?” he smiled, and opened the box, taking the ring in between his fingers as Hermione watched him intently. “The first time I gave you an engagement ring, it was not exactly my choice. Because of our little situation, I was forced to buy you an engagement ring for a lie that we created on the first night that we met again. This time, Hermione, I want to do it right.” He took her left hand in his, and nervously looked at her gorgeous, smiling face.

Unexpectedly, Draco smirked. “So, Granger—how’s say you and I get married? For real this time.” His soft tone completely changed in less than a second, causing Hermione to roll her eyes at him. “I’m joking.” He chuckled once he caught the amused look on her face.

She was not supposed to be amused. She was supposed to be amazed, excited and happy beyond belief.

“Hermione, will you please do my the honor of being my wife? My real wife, whom I will love for the rest of my life?” he asked slowly.

A smile.

A kiss.

Another smile.

“That was all I asked for,” she answered, smiling broadly at her new fiancé.

Draco slipped the diamond on her finger, and before he could even take in the look on her face as the ring took its rightful place on his new fiancé, he was attacked by a breathtaking kiss.

“Do you think we’ll last till the actual wedding this time?” Draco joked as he regretfully broke their kiss.

Hermione rolled her eyes. “Shut up, Draco.” And then she leaned in to kiss him again.

The End

No for real this time!

A/N: hey guys! long time no update. ): BUT i finally managed to finish this one. i pumped it out of me during my winter break since i had nothing to do because i was snowed in. WOOHOO for blizzards. (no -_-) anyway, it took a LONNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGG time, but Contours is officially completed. i get to now go back and change 'WIP' to COMPLETED. hehe.

so what do you guys think? happy ending is good right? :) did you guys scream and go like NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO when i had that fake 'the end' when Draco walked away from Hermione? hehe i wouldn't do thattt. i'm not a big fan of sad endings. ): Hermione and Draco worked thinks out, Miranda is out of the picture and there's no one standing in between them anymore. :) this chapter was actually supposed to go a bit differently, but i decided against it.

even though i'm a super crappy updater (school makes me tired).

LOVE, gryffindorgirl.