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Hermione and the Beast by DMlover

Format: Novel
Chapters: 28
Word Count: 118,017
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Mild Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Substance Use or Abuse, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme

Genres: Drama, Humor, Romance
Characters: Harry, Hermione, McGonagall, Lucius, Narcissa, Draco, Pansy, Ginny, Blaise (M)
Pairings: Draco/Hermione, Harry/Ginny

First Published: 02/24/2010
Last Chapter: 06/11/2011
Last Updated: 06/11/2011

Summary:




banner by love_jillmarie @ TDA

Hermione decides to finally open up the bookshop she always wanted. Everything is going great until she recieves a ancient, very rare book full of magic and spells. And things get even more complicated when the blonde haired bad boy from her school days visits her bookshop. Let's just say things get a bit...furry!


Chapter 1: Once Upon a Time Books
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**This story used to be called 'Beauty and the Beast' like the Disney movie, but I had to change it because it violates a copyright issue, so I'm sorry if I offended anybody with that. But for those of you who followed my story before note that it is still the same story and nothing has changed, just the title ;) so please keep reading!!!

AN: I don’t own any thing from Harry Potter and the plot is based off Vicki Lewis Thompson novel Blonde with a Wand with my own special twist. Hope you like it.





 





Hermione was sick of her work as a healer even though that is what she has always dreamed about becoming all throughout her school years at Hogwarts. But since the war ended she couldn’t stand the sight of the wounded, it just brought back to many awful memories. So she decided to make a drastic change mainly for herself. She resigned and took what money she’d saved over the five years from working as a healer and bought this cute little corner shop in the heart of London, which just happened to be a few blocks from her small one bedroom apartment and just around the corner of the Ministry of Magic muggle street entrance and turned it into a bookshop.





 





Though she truly despised the nicknames that were given to her from the students at Hogwarts like ‘know it all’ and ‘bookworm’ to name a few. Even though if she was truthful, that is really what she was, not necessarily a know it all…well yes okay, so what? She liked to know all the little tiny facts about everything, just because she always felt like she had to prove herself not only to the professors but the students as well…of course a whole lot that did, hence the nicknames. But a bookworm she was proud to admit was true. Books were her passion. She loved the high and excitement of getting a book that she never read before and opening it up and learning all its secrets. She loved books of all genres; fiction, non-fiction, academic, magical. Sure Harry and Ron always teased her on how she memorized Hogwarts A History mainly for a pleasure read not because it was part of the curriculum. But hey because she was smart enough not only to read it but to memorize it as well, thanks to her the Golden Trio escaped some pretty sticky situations over the years at Hogwarts.





 





 So she opened up her very own bookshop Once Upon a Time Books. Her concept was to create a charming atmosphere where people of all ages could come and get away from the city life of London and relax and get lost in the books she had to offer. She even set up a little drink and snack bar inside the shop for the customers to enjoy, Butter Beer and Pumpkin Juice being the top two on the menu, which was surprisingly very popular with the muggles. Though her shop was located in an area that was populated by muggles she still wanted to cater to the magical world as well. Her shop was stocked full of magical books on herbiology, potions, to learning how to fly, and magical creatures. You name it, she had it. And she was proud to admit that she read every single one of those books. But of course to keep the muggles at bay without revealing the secret of the magical world she had to keep them hidden in a special room that you could entered through one of the portraits in the back, as long as you had the password. Of course there hasn’t been one person from the magical world to come visit her shop except for Ginny since she opened up a month ago to this day.





 





She knew opening up in London instead of Diagonally would be a challenge with getting magical people to come by, but she was hoping that she could get Ginny, Harry and Ron to help her spread the news, but so far nothing. Not that she expected her shop to be overflowing with magical people, even though the war was over there was still prejudice out there with purebloods, muggleborns, as well as muggles though the muggles didn’t know about it. And she could understand why people wouldn’t want to get out of their comfort zones and venture out into the muggle world. She still wished that people would still come by to at least look. If not she’ll have to stop ordering magical books altogether to save money for all the other books she has to keep stocked as well as for her shop.





 





But other then that little dilemma Hermione was very content with her life as well as he shop. Since opening Once Upon a Time Books she hasn’t felt this relaxed in about six years no twelve years. Even after the war and after school it still felt like her life was going by way to fast for her to keep up with, becoming a healer straight out of Hogwarts as well as attending a muggle University on the side. She feels like she can finally breathe since starting her own business. Usually her shop is busy when the muggles go on their lunch break or when their coming home from work and weekends are non-stop busy, but other then that she has a lot of downtime. Definitely more then she ever used to have. She started reading again, not just to learn something but to actually enjoy; something she is sad to admit hasn’t done in some time. Every time she would pick up a book it was to learn about something that would help them survive or something she had to read for school.      





 





It was evening, the after work five o’clock rush finally had died done. Hermione got a new shipment of books today in the morning but it was one of those days where it was just busy non stop and she never got around to unpacking them, until now so she went behind the counter where she put the boxes earlier and started going through them. Mainly it was just fiction novels from best selling authors and other popular selling books that were flying off the shelves. When she got to the third box she noticed it was full of new magical books that she ordered, of course not that she need anymore at the moment because the ones she did have weren’t selling. But she was excited nonetheless. There was a new book or rather old book in there that she has never read before. It was a very rare ancient book on spells that was written in the early 1700’s. Okay so it was a risk in buying it and it cost her a fortune just to get her hands on it, but she figured why not! She opened a bookshop to cater to everyone’s wants and needs which meant she had to carry books that were new and old, used and very rare books like this one. She should wait and go through this particular box later when she closed up she thought. That was she could move it to the ‘back room’ and besides the box itself weighed a ton there was no way in Hades that she would be able to lift that by herself without using her magic, which of course would be forbidden in front of a muggle. So she would just have to wait. Although, her fingers were just itching to open it up and take a peak, she could practically feel the magic surrounding it. Oh why not, if somebody see’s it, she could just tell them it was a history book on fantasy, myths and legends…all purely fictional of course. So what could it hurt if she looked through it while sitting behind the counter by the cash register?





 





Once she opened up the book she was immediately hooked, she only had to stop twice to help check out two customers who and came and went, but other then that she was completely absorbed in the ancient book, she didn’t even realize hour many hours had passed since she first opened it up or the fact that a particular person came through the door just then. She heard the bell chime at the door when the person walked in but didn’t lift her head to see who it was. She was reading a chapter on Transfigurations that she was sort of put off guard when this so called person cleared his throat, she didn’t even realize he was standing there. But still without looking up so she could finish this sentence she was on, “How can I help y…” She started to say but was abruptly stopped when she looked up and noticed a all too familiar smirk across this mans mouth then glanced up and her eyes instantly met cool grey ones. She gasped by quickly covered it up when she calmly replied through gritted teeth, “What in Merlin’s name are you doing here…Malfoy?”


Chapter 2: Ancient Spell Gone Bad
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AN: I don’t anything of Harry Potter. Based on novel Blonde with a Wand by Vicki Lewis Thompson.



 



 



“Well, well, well if it isn’t the bushy haired bookworm Granger.”



 



“What do you want Malfoy?” Hermione said as she glanced over at the clock on the wall annoyed. Oh Merlin, 7:40pm, she was supposed to close the shop at 7:00pm, 40 minutes ago. But then again this gave her just the thing to get rid of him.



 



“I came here to purchase a book,” he replied.



 



“Well so sorry to disappoint but we’re closed, you’ll have to come back another time,” she replied almost too cheerfully.



 



“The sign in the window claims your open,” he retorted.



 



“Well we close at 7:00pm, so you’ll have to leave.”



 



“And deny my money that I’m willing to pay for a book here?” he said as he looked around with a look of snobbish disgust, then added “which by the look of this place looks to be as if you could use a lot of help in that department.”



 



“What the bloody hell is that suppose to mean?” she almost shouted. So what she bought all of her furniture at yard sales and thrift stores so therefore nothing matched…it was eclectic, that’s what gave the charm of her shop.



 



“Oh nothing, just the fact that it looks like everything here is from so garbage dump that nobody would dare to have in their homes.” When she didn’t reply and just simply glared at him he continued, “So can I get a book or what?”



 



She let out a frustrated sigh, “You have ten minutes then I’m kicking you out.”



 



“Fine,” he smirked.



 



God he was so irritating. “So are you looking for something particular?” she asked going into bookstore owner mode.



 



“A book,” he replied.



 



“Wow, could you be anymore specific?” she muttered sarcastically.



 



“I’m looking for a book…” he quickly scanned the small shop trying to come up with something “…on gardening.”



 



“Gardening? I had no idea you would want to go through the trouble and get your hands dirty. You do know that gardening implies you have to dig in the dirt don’t you?” she said mockingly.



 



“It’s not for me Granger, it’s for my mother. Her birthday is next week.” Which was true, but he doubted his mother would actually read the books, she rather use her creativity by herself, instead of being taught how to from a book when it came to her gardening.



 



After studying him for what felt like eternity she finally said, “You’ll probably find what you need in the back behind the portrait of the castle. The password is broomstick. And remember you have ten minutes.”



 



He just simply nodded and went towards the back. Merlin what the bloody hell did he think he was doing. He overheard Potter talking to someone about Hermione opening up a bookshop in London and he had to admit he was…curious. He hadn’t seen or heard of her since Hogwarts other then random tidbits he overheard from Potter and the weasel over at the Ministry…not that he cared, but he was still curious. Last he checked he thought she was working as a healer over at St. Mungos or something. He just recently moved to London a week ago to a flat just a couple blocks away from the Ministry of Magic. Because even though he would be the last to admit it, he hated, absolutely despised appariting to work or anywhere for that matter. He could never get used to it…and quite frankly he would rather walk, ha or fly if he could but living in London that’s not an option and the floo network is to messy. He still had his place out in the middle of the country, away from everything, but he felt…lonely? No that wasn’t it, he just felt isolated from anyone and everyone which he pretty much did on purpose. After the war he just became bitter and grumpy and didn’t want to do anything except work. He was more then happy when the war ended and Voldmort was defeated and even after everything went relatively back to normal, he still was haunted by everything he had to do for that demented excuse for a man. And because of that Draco just shut himself off from the world and busied himself in his work. But he realized that he couldn’t live like that anymore and he needed to get out, so the first thing he did was buy a flat in London. And just because he was surrounded by muggles didn’t mean he had to actually interact with them, and he was finding out that his fathers point of view on muggles was rather stupid they really are just like everyone else, just completely oblivious to the magical world and magical beings.



 



When he heard about Hermione’s shop, which happened to be located right around the corner to his new flat, he was curious. Of course he was only going to walk by and maybe look through the window, not actually go inside. But then he saw her hunched over, her nose buried in a big old looking book behind the counter, biting her bottom lip which if her remember correctly she always did when she was concentrating on something. And the next thing he knew there he was at the counter clearly his throat to get her attention. Then she looked up, her golden brown eyes became huge at first then narrowed once she discovered who he was. And now after all of that, he was on his way to the back of the shop to look for a book on gardening, Merlin what a pathetic excuse that was, he thought. He should have just left when she told him she was closed, but no, he had to keep pushing. He couldn’t help it, he enjoyed making her mad or annoyed just like back in school, because when that happened her jaw would clench and her lips would push together making her nose which was still dusted with freckles across the top to crinkle up. If she wasn’t so annoying in her know it all ways he would almost find it cute and charming. But this was Granger, and no matter what, he had to push her buttons just because he could.



 



When he got to the back portrait that Hermione told him to go to, he realized that she must sell magical books as well even though this appeared to be a muggle shop. Interesting he thought, risking as well. “Broomstick,” he said and the portrait opened up. As he walked through he was impressed by the wide collection that she manage to have here. He quickly scanned the bookshelves until he found a book called Magical Gardens & Landscapes, and walked back out of the portrait opening. As he was walking out he noticed a small section on Gardening & Landscapes and he wondered why she didn’t tell him to just look here. He looked over the books and picked one that was called How to Create a Magical Garden with your Own Two Hands, and walked back up to the counter where Hermione was sorting out books from boxes that were on the floor. “Finished,” he announced when she didn’t look up at him. She took the books that he laid on the counter from him and started to ring up the purchases without looking at him.



 



“You do realize that this is a book for muggles don’t you?” she said.



 



“So?” he shrugged.



 



“So, I thought you were always anti-muggle?”



 



“It looked interesting,” he said



 



“Won’t your mother care?” she asked.



 



“I doubt she’ll even notice unless I tell her.” She looked at him funny but didn’t push farther. “So I thought you were a healer or something, what did you get fired? You weren’t good enough or something?” he pushed.



 



“No Malfoy, if you must know I was actually promoted but decided to resign instead.” She said trying desperately hard to just ignore him and ring up his purchases.



 



“So what, your now a cashier at a bookshop?” He pushed farther.



 



“No, I own this bookshop!” she replied trying to keep her temper at bay. “Why do you even care?” she asked.



 



“I’m just trying to make conversation,” he replied in a fake innocence.



 



            She glanced down at the still open book on the counter that was open to the chapter she was reading before Malfoy interrupted her. Thinking to herself how funny it would be if she could turn Malfoy into a cockroach or something then maybe he would leave her alone. Of course she would never do that because it was illegal and cruel, but she could still wish it could happen, and she could still threaten him with that, but even then she wouldn’t be able to do that because technically he hasn’t done anything wrong other then annoy her with his present. Damn why did he always make her flustered, even when he was pissing her off he could still manage to make her heart beat race. She always chalked it up to being because he was sadly blessed with gorgeous looks. But that didn’t mean she was attracted to him, she just thought he was good looking. And with it being what five, six years since she last saw him, he was even better looking then she remembered; tall, broad shoulders, lightly muscled at least what she could tell through his button up dress shirt he was wearing. He seemed to be a little tanner then she remembered, and his hair was grown out a bit and fell into his eyes in a boyish kind of way, and his lips were full but in the most perfect way. “…collection of magical books you have here.” Damn-it he was talking to her and she was staring at his mouth. “What was that?” she asked acting bored.



 



“I was saying, that is an impressive collection of magical books you have here.” He repeated.



 



“Uh, thanks, I like to be well stocked so I can provide whatever people might need,” she said rather lamely.



 



“You know it’s quite a risk your taking by selling magical books in the present of muggles, does the Ministry know what your doing?” he asked.



 



“As a matter of fact they do. I made sure to run it by them before I opened up the shop and they gave me their blessing.” She explained.



 



“Uh-huh,” was all he said.



 



She let out a sigh, “What Malfoy?”



 



“Nothing, nothing, it’s just that its risking and anybody could find out about it, then your shop could be in jeopardy is all,” he said.



 



“It’s fine, I have everything under control, besides it’s not like it’s a problem now anyway. Besides me, you’re the only one to actually go back there,” she admitted.



 



“Oh really, so I take it nobody from the magical world has come by to check out your shop?” he said clearly enjoying this.



 



“No,” she gritted through her teeth, ugh why did she have to tell him that.



 



“Hum, I wonder why that is? Maybe it has to do with your attitude, you know, your not very friendly to your customers. Specking of which I think I want to file a complaint.”



 



“What the bloody hell is that suppose to mean?” she practically screamed.



 



“You know what I won’t file a complaint, instead I think I’ll write a review and put it in the Daily Prophet, and hey that way you can get word out on your little business here. Of course after they read what I have to say, you probably won’t be getting any customers.”



 



“You wouldn’t dare Malfoy?” she growled as he was walking towards the door. “If you do I’ll…I’ll…”



 



“You’ll what Granger?” he asked smirking in her direction.



 



She pulled out her wand and pointed it at him and said, “I’ll turn you into a…” she glanced down at the ancient spell book and then back up at him, “…a toad.”



 



“A toad! Ha, really Granger? For someone who was known as the brightest witch of our generation, that’s the best you could come up with? Bravo very original,” he clapped mockingly.



 



            Okay so that was really lame she thought, but it’s the only thing she could come up with. Her wand still pointed at him he started walking back towards her.



 



“Tell me Granger, if you turn me into a toad...” he came extremely close so that the tip of her wand came into contact with his chest and he was lowering his head so he became eye level with her, his eyes slowly roaming over her face, “…does that mean you’ll have to kiss me to turn me back into a human?” he whispered looking down at her lips.



 



            Trying desperately not to fall for his bullshit, she tried to keep her control over this. Merlin, why did he have to smell good on top of everything else? No, she was threatening him to try to make him leave, not so he would kiss her. Just then he lowered his mouth towards her so he was only a brush away from making contact with her lips, and she almost forgot to breathe and also the fact that her wand was still pointed at him.



Then out a no where a horn from a car outside blared, startling them both, when Hermione realized that something terribly wrong must have happened because the next thing she knew Draco yelled and fell to the floor knocking over her chocolate milkshake she made for herself earlier on top of him. And his yelling turned into yowling like from an animal or something. She was almost too scared to peak over the counter to see if he was alright. So when she peaked over she almost passed out when she saw on the floor was not Draco Malfoy, instead there was a pile of clothing covered in chocolate milkshake and a yowling and hissing pale yellow cat with grey eyes.



 


Chapter 3: Meow?
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

AN: I don’t own anything from Harry Potter and the plot of this story belongs to Vicki Lewis Thompson and her novel Blonde with a Wand.



 



 



 



            Oh Merlin, what had she done? She quickly raced around the counter to the pile of clothes that now lay currently in a puddle on the floor where Malfoy was standing…or well is still standing just not in his human form. Oh god, oh god, oh god, what did she do? She didn’t even cast a spell, how could this have happened? She was reading the chapter in the book on ancient transfigurations and sure she thought about turning Malfoy into something vile, but she wasn’t actually going to do it. She remembered reading the spell a few times thinking it was a rather simple spell, but oh god! How could this have happened? She quickly scooped up the clothes and the now empty shoes and the cat…uh Malfoy out of view from everyone else. Oh Merlin, everyone else! It was nearly 9:00pm now, but the streets and sidewalks were still busy with people milling about and all her lights were on which meant anybody could have easily seen what happened. Oh god, she could go to Azkaban if this gets out or a muggle happened to witness this mishap. “Stop moving Malfoy, I need to get us out of here and back to my apartment so I can fix this. Ouch! That’s my arm!” she roared as Malfoy apparently figured out how to use his claws. “I promise I’ll fix this just stop moving,” she quickly looked about the shop and gathered everything she needed, her bag as well as the book that started this in the first place. She quickly stuffed the book into her bag and fished out her keys preparing to lock up. She didn’t have time to put the money from the cash register in the back, but it should be okay she had many magical wards set up around her shop so it should keep out trouble. She turned the lights off and locked the door and started towards her apartment.



           



           



            “I swear to god Malfoy, if you don’t stop digging your claws…I mean nails into my arm I’m going to drop you and leave you here and then you’ll have to fix this yourself,” she whispered. And all she got was a hiss from Malfoy through the bundle of clothing she was hugging against her chest.



 



“Hermione dear, is that you? What do you have in your arms? And why are you in such a hurry? You know it’s not proper for ladies to run.”



 



“Sorry Ms. Moffit. I just need to take care of something,” and of course Malfoy choose that moment to make himself known by meowing at the top of his lungs.   



  



“Dear heavens, is that a cat you have there?”



 



“Yes Ms. Moffit, I found him out by my shop and I thought I take him in until I find a new home for him.” Hermione lied. Merlin, Ms. Moffit, her neighbor was a sweet older women, but the one thing she hated was animals of any kind.



 



“Well you better be careful with that, especially strays, they could have diseases and who knows what else. In fact, there is a 24 hour pet clinic down the road and they have a special going on that will spay and neuter dogs and cats for free.”



 



            Even though Draco wasn’t accustom to all things muggle, he knew what the word neutered implied and like hell if he was going to let that happen. He started to move but Hermione just clutched him tighter against her chest probably to keep him from bolting.



 



“Well that’s nice, but I would rather I take him to my own vet to get him checked out. But unfortunately their closed now so I’ll have to take him another time,” Hermione said trying to keep walking away from Ms. Moffit so she could get inside.



 



“Well you need to get him fixed as soon as possible we can’t have him going around impregnating all the other strays who roam around these parts. If you don’t do it soon I’ll be forced to take him in myself and don’t think I won’t, that last thing we need is a male cat full of sperm.” Ms. Moffit warned.



 



“Thanks, but like I said I’ll take care of it. Have a good night Ms. Moffit,” she said as she opened her door to her apartment and walked inside. “That was close,” she said out loud mainly to herself. Still holding Malfoy and his clothes against her chest she walked into her living room and was immediately greeted by her cat Crookshanks. “Now Crookshanks you’re going to have to be nice to Malfoy, he’s not used to this.” Crookshanks glanced at her lazily then sniff the air and let out a hiss and bolted out of the room. “Okay well that went better then I thought it would.”    



           



           



            When they entered what he guessed was her home he was immediately assaulted by a smell that could only mean that there was another cat in the area. How he knew that smell meant cat he didn’t know, but he knew regardless. Oh great she still has that fluff ball of a monster that she had back in school. What was its name? Cracksticks? Whatever he didn’t care he just wanted Granger to let go of him so he could run away and hide and figure out what the hell happened to him. He obviously realized he was now in a cat form, but he could still think like himself although he couldn’t talk; every time he tried to speak it came out as a meow or a hiss. He rather hiss then meow, it just seemed manlier and besides it described exactly how he felt at the moment. Oh Hermione was going to pay when she changed him back.



 



 



            “Okay Malfoy, I’m going to put you down now, you can’t run way because I need to change you back and the sooner the better…hey!” Draco bolted as soon as Hermione let go of him. He didn’t know where he was going he just headed through the closest open door, though all the lights were off it didn’t matter because apparently he had excellent night vision now and he ran into the room which he guessed was her bedroom. He could make out a bed, at least that is what he assumed was a bed, it was hard to tell when you are only 10inches tall. He could hear Hermione coming down the hall so he ran under the bed into the farthest corner. Ha she won’t get mehere, he thought.



 



“Malfoy come out from under there.” He saw her bend down and peak under the bed. “I need to change you back. And I know you won’t want to change back when your under the bed,” she warned.



 



Damn she’s right, he thought, but he was far to stubborn to do what Granger told him to do, he’ll come out when he feels like it. So in answering he let out a hiss in her direction.



 



“Ugh, I’ll just have to get you out myself.” She left the bedroom to retrieve her wand. When she came back she looked under the bed, and sure enough he was still there in the farthest corner, but she could easily spot him with his pale yellow fur…hair, he practically glowed in the dark.



 



            She pointed to the bed and did the whole switch and flick motion to levitate the bed. “Huh? That’s weird,” she said. She tried again and nothing. “Maybe if I say it out loud, Wingardium Leviosa,” she said in a clear voice and still…nothing. “What on earth? I’ll just have to get the broom,” she said as she left the room. Why wasn’t her magic working? She tried turning on the lights on and off and still nothing, then she tried turning on the blender she had in the kitchen. “What the hell?” she was starting to panic. But she wasn’t going to ask for help, not yet. She was the one to make this mess, now she’s going to clean it up on her own. Nobody except Malfoy and herself will know what happened. Of course having Malfoy involved could cause all sorts of trouble for her, maybe she could use a memory charm on him after she turned him back, but even that was illegal and she already broke enough rules as is. “There has to be a counter-curse in that book,” she muttered to herself as she fished out the broom from her closet.



 



 



            She walked back into her bedroom and sure enough Malfoy was still under the bed. So she got down on her hands and knees and stuck the broom under the bed and was met with a hissing yowling Draco, who was now running back into the living room. “Works every time.”



 



 



            Merlin what the hell? She turned him into a cat and now she comes after him with a broom, why couldn’t she just leave him alone. I mean really it was just a broom, he thought, but when your 10inches tall and weigh 6pounds, that broom is like trying to beat away a dragon with a stick. Luckily he was running away from her now. Damn-it her monster cat is blocking the way, now what? He looked up and without thinking leaped up onto the tallest bookcase. The fur ball just stared up at him growling. Ha well, look who can’t jump high? He wanted to brag. Just then Hermione walked back in, “Crookshanks stop tormenting Draco.” She picking up Crookshanks and putting him in the broom closet along with the Dragon Broom of Death she shoved at him earlier.



 



            When she turned around she noticed him looking at her from on top of the bookcase he was claiming. “What? Don’t freak out he actually likes it in there, besides it’s probably for your own good, he doesn’t play well with others.” He just continued to stare at her because that was pretty much all he could do at the moment. “Okay lets change you back shall we?” she walked over and picked up her book that was in her bag and set it on the coffee table and started flipping through the pages.



 



 



            As she was looking for the counter-curse, Draco was watching her and trying to figure out what he was going to do to her once she changed him back, first off he was going to turn her into the Ministry, I’ll sure they’ll love to hear how Little Miss Perfect managed to screw up so badly, then he would…



 



“Damn-it! There’s no counter-curse listed here, shit.” He was cut off from his evil planning when she got up and started pacing and swearing. Huh? He had no idea Miss Goody Two Shoes had such a colorful vocabulary.



 



“Maybe I do need help with this. I’ll have to get back-up,” she muttered.



 



Back-up! He thought, oh hell she better not get Potter or Weasley here to help out, he doesn’t want them to know what kind of state he’s in. She went over to the kitchen and picked up some sort of contraption and held it to her ear. Must be what the muggles call a phone. They have such weak means of communication.



 



“Ginny, hi…oh um…I’m okay. Listen I need your help, could you come over it’s sort of an emergency. But please don’t tell Harry anything…okay thanks, see you then, bye.” Thank god she convinced Harry and Ginny to get cell phones. Some people could get suspicious when you constantly have owls coming through you window all the time. Just then she heard a pop coming from her kitchen. “That must be Ginny,” she said up towards Draco then pointed at him, “Behave!”



 



Which he just replied with a hiss.



 



     


Chapter 4: Here, Kitty Kitty
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

AN: I don’t own anything from Harry Potter, and the plot is based off of Vicki Lewis Thompson novel, Blonde with a Wand.



 



 



“Hermione? What’s going on?” Ginny asked as she walked out of the kitchen.



 



“Um, well it’s kind of hard to explain,” Hermione replied, feeling like maybe this wasn’t such a great idea to ask for help from anybody. How on earth was she suppose to explain something like this.



 



“You didn’t tell me you got a new cat?” Ginny said as she walked towards Draco who was still perched on top of her bookcase. “What a pretty kitty,” she cooed reaching out to pet him.



 



Draco pulled back his paw…hand, ready to swipe her hand away from him, his claws at the ready.



 



“Draco!” Hermione warned his as she caught him attempting to scratch the daylights out of Ginny.



 



“Whoa, Draco? Ha ha I knew you always had a crush on the guy, but I didn’t know you had it that bad, to name your new cat after him,” Ginny teased.



 



“I did not! And I didn’t name him that, um…that actually really is Draco,” Hermione said.



 



“Uh, come again?” Ginny asked looking back at the cat.



 



“Let me just start from the beginning,” gesturing towards the sofa for Ginny to have a seat. Hermione was too keyed up to sit still, so she paced in front of her mantel as she explained to Ginny what was happening.



 



All while Draco sat patiently on the bookcase following Hermione with his eyes, tail swishing back and forth as Hermione paced back and forth, listening intently.



 



“So I got this rare book I ordered for the shop, and I was reading on ancient transfigurations when Malfoy walked in…”



 



“Wait, Malfoy actually came into your shop? Why?”



 



“I don’t know? To buy a book,” Hermione said getting frustrated all over again.



 



“A book? On what?” Ginny asked disbelieving.



 



“On gardening and before you say anything it was for his mother or so he said,” Hermione warned as Ginny started chuckling. “So I don’t know, he pissed me off, and I might have possibly pulled out my wand on him and the next thing I knew he was a cat. But I swear to god I never casted a spell, I mean sure I threaten him with one but I wasn’t actually going to do it. And now…now I can’t do anything! My magic it’s…it’s gone.” Hermione tried to hold it together and not cry, she needed to be strong so she could fix this. Merlin, she’s been in worse situations then this and never once shuttered under pressure.



 



“Bloody Hell Hermione, you’re serious aren’t you?”



 



“Yes,” Hermione said regaining her strength. “That’s why I need you to help me, since I can’t do magic at the moment, I need you to help me with trying to undo the spell. And I really don’t want you to tell Harry or Ron. I mean I know their my best friends too and they wouldn’t turn me in, but I just really don’t want the Ministry to find out.” She pleaded.



 



“But Harry’s my husband and we tell each other everything and Ron’s my brother, I can’t not tell them,” Ginny explained.



 



“I know, but can you just not tell them right away, help me try to fix this first and if we can’t then you can tell them. Please?”



 



After Ginny thought it over for a minute she said, “fine, is there a counter-curse to whatever it is you think you did to him?” nodding over towards where Draco was sitting.



 



“No, that’s it, I reread the chapter where I saw it and there’s no counter-curse. It said it was only used on murders and criminals who do such horrible things that this was their punishment for breaking the law, to suffer for the rest of their lives in whatever form they take.” Hermione explained.



 



“Let me see the book in case you missed something,” Ginny said as she reached for the book on the coffee table.



 



Fuck, Draco thought. This has to be some messed up dream he is having. Of course if this was a dream, why the hell was he a cat and why was Granger in it, and not only her but now the Weaslette too. And now she’s saying that there is no counter-curse to this nightmare. And she has the nerve to tear up over it; she’s not the one who is currently a cat! And not only that, it’s permanent too? And what was that about her not being able to do magic? Could it be because she is responsible for turning him into a cat that she lost her magic ability? Does he still have magic? He tried to do some wand-less magic in his head, but nothing happened, maybe if he could get his wand, but how was he going to hold it? It’s not like he has opposable thumbs at the moment. He needs to take a look at this book, surely she missed something.



 



He hunched down preparing to jump down, but instead went flying half way across the room when he leaped miscalculating his landing spot, instead landing soundlessly on the hardwood floor. Damn that was close, he forget he had these new cat muscles and reflexes.



 



“Careful Malfoy you almost crashed into the coffee table,” Hermione said glancing down at him nervously as if she was afraid he attacked her. Instead he just hopped on the coffee table trying to get a better look at the book that cause this mess.



 



If this was a dream, which he thought, it has to be, maybe it’s one of those crazy sex dreams, and if it was maybe he should just play along and then Hermione will change him back, and then they will shag each others brains out, then he’ll wake up. Of course if it was a sex dream he doesn’t want the Weaslette in it so hopefully she’ll leave. Of course Hermione wouldn’t exactly be his first choice to have dream sex with, and if it’s a dream then it’s not real so what does it matter? But if he had to choose between the two it’ll be Granger. Merlin he can’t believe he almost kissed her and actually wanted to kiss her back at her shop. Oh wait, this is a dream right? So therefore since this isn’t real that wasn’t real either.



 



            Maybe this was his mind telling him he needed to get laid more often. He was always known as the Sex God back at Hogwarts, not that, that wasn’t true, but it certainly was an exaggeration. In truth he only went all the way with two girls, but with rumors and gossip it turned into every girl in Slytherin and many more, blah, blah. It’s not that he didn’t like sex; he loved sex, he just rather it mean something rather then meaningless shag or a one night stand. He’s been pretty much a workaholic since getting out of school and hasn’t gone out much. Sure there were a few women, but definitely not the One. He just was never in the mood. He almost would rather work, then have to endure shagging some random woman just for the sake of shagging. Merlin was he pathetic or what?



 



            So maybe this is a good thing, that this was happening to him or it’s a good thing that he ‘dreaming’ this is happening to him, he reminded himself. Besides in his ‘dream’ Hermione was certainly more attractive then he remembered, her bushy hair was now tamed and fell in long soft curls making him want to run his fingers through it, her eyes were innocent and reminded him of chocolate. She had creamy white skin like buttermilk that looked soft and smooth, long legs and slightly curvy hips, tiny waist and small but perky breast, just big enough to fit perfectly into the palms of his hands. Merlin, he sure wishes this dream of his would hurry along already. He didn’t like being stuck as a cat. Maybe it would help if he help look over the book, it wouldn’t hurt to have a third pair of eyes. Of course it was rather difficult trying to read upside down. 



 



“Why did you cast a spell that has no counter-curse?” Ginny asked.



 



“I didn’t know it didn’t have a counter-curse, and I didn’t cast the spell. At least not on purpose, it must have been like a knee jerk reaction or something,” Hermione said.



 



“That’s so unlike you,” Ginny pointed out.



 



“Yeah, well I was a little flustered at the moment, what with Malfoy trying to piss me off.” No was in hell was she going to tell Ginny that she almost kissed him before it happened.



 



“Well he must have really pissed you off then if you unconsciously turned him into a cat.” Ginny said.



 



“Well, he was, but that doesn’t mean he deserves to he a cat for the rest of his life.”



 



“Or that you should lose your magic for the rest of yours.” Ginny said.



 



“Wait, what? Hermione glanced up at Ginny.



 



Ginny squeezed her shoulder. “It says here, that if a witch or wizard transforms a person into an animal, no matter what the reason, they much reverse the spell within ten minutes.”



 



“Ten minutes?”



 



“That’s all the time they have before they lose their magic abilities. And those abilities won’t be restored until the person is restored to his or her original form.” Ginny continued. “Maybe we could get somebody who knows what their doing to help. I mean I’m more then willing to help in anyway I can, but I’m not as smart as you, and if you don’t know what to do, then how will I?”



 



“No, we have to figure this out, just the two of us, together we can figure it out, just no outside help, not yet, not until we’ve tried everything.”



 



“Okay,” Ginny let out a sign and continued reading.



 



            Hermione went over to the bookcase and started pulling out anything and everything she could think of to help solve this and taking them back over to where Ginny was sitting on the sofa and Draco on the coffee table.



 



“Hermione?”



 



“Hum?” she said not looking up from the book she had in her lap.



 



“What is Malfoy covered in?”



 



“Huh? Oh um chocolate milkshake, it fell on him when he changed,” she explained as she looked over at Malfoy. Merlin, how could she have overreacted so badly, sure he’s and ass but he doesn’t deserve this, she thought.



 



“I guess that means you get to give him a bath” Ginny said wiggling her eyebrows and breaking Hermione’s concentration.



 



“Yeah I guess, but only because I don’t want him to die, cats can be deadly allergic to chocolate, so don’t lick yourself.” She pointed to Draco.



 



            Like I would want to, Draco thought rolling his eyes.



 



After a while Ginny looked over at Hermione, “finding anything?”



 



“No nothing, it all the same stuff.”



 



“Maybe there is some kind of potion you can make to change him back?”



 



“Maybe?” Hermione thought.



 



            Just then Ginny’s cell phone rang, “that’s probably Harry. Lily still has that ear infection.” Ginny said as she went into the kitchen to take the call.



 



            Hermione continued to read, thinking about what Ginny said about the potion, she’ll have to look into that. She wasn’t the best at potions, but she remembered Draco was pretty good at it, maybe he’ll find something?



 



“That was Harry, Lily’s been asking for me and it’s getting really late.” Ginny said as she walked back into the living room.



 



“So you’re leaving?”



 



“Yeah, but I’ll come by first thing tomorrow to help I promise.” She said as she was retrieving her coat. “Call me if anything changes okay?”



“Okay.” Great now what? She can’t fix this on her own and now she has to cat sit Draco for the night. That is unless he changes back on his own, but that’s wishful thinking.



 



“Hermione?”



 



“Yeh?”



 



“You do realize that when you turn him back it could mean a lot of trouble for you?”



 



“I’m well aware of that,” Hermione replied.



 



“Have you considered not changing him back?”



 



In the silence that followed, Draco’s blood ran cold.   



 



 


Chapter 5: Bath Time and Litter Boxes
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

AN: I don’t own anything from Harry Potter, and plot is based on novel Blonde with a Wand by Vicki Lewis Thompson.



 



 



            Of course Hermione was going to change Draco back, she wasn’t that cruel and besides if she didn’t then that meant she wouldn’t ever get her magic back. Not that she really needed it; she did grow up surrounded by muggles after all. But as of lately she’s been relying on her magic more than ever, usually doing simple stuff like keeping her shop clean and in order as well as her apartment. Not to mention putting up security wards around both places. Oh no! If she lost her magic did that mean her protection wards don’t work anymore? Not that it would be horrible if she didn’t have that extra protection, but it was nice to know she had it just in case. It wasn’t like she had anyone after her, except without her magical protection she’ll now have to worry about magical beings from breaking in especially pixies, their known for causing trouble just because they can. Although living in London probably meant she wouldn’t have to worry to much about pixies disrupting her shop or apartment. No matter she just focus on trying to fix the problem with Draco first and worry about the other problem later.



 



            She could hear Crookshanks scratching at the closest door which either meant he was hungry or he had to use the little box. She got up from the chair she’s been sitting at and walked over to the broom closet. As soon as she opened the door Crookshanks leaped out racing passed her straight towards Draco who was sitting on the coffee table; which looked like he was trying to read one the books she had scattered about her living room. Crookshanks let out some kitty version of a warrior battle cry, which is when Draco choose the moment to look up and bolted as soon as Crookshanks got close enough. Creating a chaotic game of chase around the living room moving so fast Hermione only saw blurs of motion, up and down, under and over. And they manage to knock over just about anything they came in contact with.



 



            Draco managed to leap onto his safe spot on top of the bookcase. Ha, now what fat ass? He thought looking down at Crookshanks. You think you’re so tough, but I’m faster and more in shape then you, you can’t even jump high. Draco wanted desperately to stick out his tongue out at the beast who if he wasn’t mistaking now panting out of breath. Crookshanks just glared up at Draco making hissing noises waiting for Draco to come down. Which if it was up to Draco, that wasn’t going to be anytime soon.



 



“That’s enough you two, look what you did to my living room, you either get along or you’re going back into the broom closet,” Hermione said to Crookshanks who wasn’t paying attention to her still glaring at Draco. “And you,” pointing up at Draco. “I need to clean you up so you don’t get chocolate all over anything else,” she said as she reached up to pick him off the bookcase cradling him to her chest and walked towards her bedroom and into her connecting bathroom.



 



“I guess that means I have to get your clothes clean too, so when you do change back you’ll have fresh clean clothes.” She closed the bathroom door so Crookshanks wouldn’t come in and continue to torment Draco. She sat Draco down on the counter and turned away to pull back the shower curtain and reached down to turn on the water in the tub.



 



            While she was doing that Draco thought it would be wise not to stare at her ass when she bent over so instead he turned towards the mirror behind him. Bloody Hell he really was a cat, seeing his reflection for the first time. I guess it kind of looked like me, he thought noticing that he still had the same coloring; pale blonde hair and grey eyes but other then that there wasn’t much more similarities. Thank Merlin he was a short haired cat, and not some sissy, fluffy, froo froo cat, like the monster cat Hermione had in the living room.



 



“The water’s lukewarm, Malfoy,” she said. “I’ll make this as quick as possible I just need to get the chocolate milkshake off of you.”



 



            Draco took a look at the water in the tub as she lowered him towards it, for one panicky moment he picture drowning in the water, and he struggled. She held him tight in her arms and her sweater she was wearing kept his clams from digging into her skin. Nevertheless he somehow ended up standing in that water while she scrubbed him down with a loofah, he hated every minute of it, but he understood it had to be done. 



 



            He searched for a distraction to try to make him forget that he was a cat getting a bath. Looking up he noticed that her hair was coming out of its arrangement she put it in earlier, she soft brown curls falling across her cheeks. And her smell, with his new super cat senses he could smell everything; the soap, the shampoo she used, her perfume, and the scent that was everything Hermione Granger. And he couldn’t help but think that she looked sexy as hell. He became so engrossed at watching her that when the bath was over he was almost sorry…almost.



 



“There you go. Such a good kitty.” She dried him with the towel while she crooned endearments.



 



Kitty? He growled at her, insulted that she called him that. He was a man, with a manly job, he had money, came from a well respected line of purebloods, he loved firewhiskey. He was so loaded with testosterone it wasn’t even funny. And yet the more she rubbed him down, the more he had the urge to…purr.



 



            The sound rumbled up from his chest, surprising the hell out of him. A manly man didn’t purr damn-it! But cats did, and whatever she was doing with that towel was terrific. He couldn’t stop the purring from getting louder.



 



“That wasn’t so bad, was it, Draco?” she gave him one last swipe with the towel and set him down on the bathroom floor. And damned if he wasn’t still purring. It must have been some sort of cat reflex that he couldn’t control. “I’m glad you let me give you a bath,” she said. “Are you hungry? I have some left over chicken in the refrigerator. Let me get you some. It’s the least I can do.”



 



            Being nice to him, was not going to get her off the hook, but since he was stuck like this at the moment he’d take anything she offered, because he couldn’t be expected to eat those dried rabbit droppings that they call cat food. She scooped him up in her arms and carried him out of the bathroom. Being carried meant he wasn’t in charge of his movements, which he didn’t like one bit, but it also meant he wouldn’t be attacked by the monster cat that was waiting right outside the bathroom door now, ready to pounce. And being cuddled against Hermione’s chest wasn’t the worst thing in the world. An damn-it he started purring again.



 



            Hermione walked into the kitchen and set Draco down on the counter. “I’ll feed you up here, so Crookshanks can’t get you.” Then she bent down trying to give attention to the said monster cat, but got rejected when Crookshanks stalked away from her touch. “This is only temporary, Crookshanks,” Hermione said. “You’re still my main man and Malfoy will be gone tomorrow” she said then muttered something that sounded like I hope.



 



            Hermione went about getting the chicken ready for Draco. He watched as she put it in a black box that turned on when she pushed on some buttons. She noticed him looking at it strangely. “It’s called a microwave, muggles use it to heat up food,” she explained then went to retrieve it when it dinged. “I got you some water too.” She sat a bowl next to the plate of chicken in front of Draco. The food smelled like heaven, which probably explained why Crookshanks was yowling in displeasure as he passed back and forth on the kitchen floor.   



 



“I can’t give you any.” Hermione told him. “The vet said no more table food. Being overweight is bad for your heart.”



 



            Draco tried to enjoy his triumph as he ate the chicken, but Crookshanks sounded pitiful. If the orange cat hadn’t tried to rip his throat out, he’s might feel sorry for him. Crookshanks gave up realizing he was going to go chickenless for the night he pranced out of the kitchen yowling in complaint and making quite a racket the entire way.



 



“Crookshanks you’re going to have to keep quite. You’ll disturb the neighbors.” Sure enough, a thumping sound came from above them, “see?” Hermione said as she scooped him up and put him back in the broom closet.



 



            Draco was working very hard not to feel sorry for Crookshanks. If Hermione would do that for a couple of noisy yowls no telling what she would do to him.



 



“Don’t look at me like that Malfoy. I already told you he likes it in there. He’ll get over it, and the darkness settles him down.”



 



            Some of Draco’s tension went away thinking that kind of made sense on how a quite, dark space would be a cozy place to relax and sleep or it could be a place that could drive a person absolutely mad.



 



“Since he’s um, tucked away for the night, you can feel free to use the litter box if you want.”



 



Litter Box? Oh bloody hell.



 



“It’s in the laundry room down the hall on the floor. I always keep the door open for easy access.” She explained.



 



            She could tell him that in there would be where he would get to live out all of his fantasies. He was not going in there and uses that sand box as a toilet not now, not ever.



 



 “Um, I’m not sure where you want to sleep for the night; I don’t have a kitty bed because Crookshanks usually sleeps with me. So I can clear off the sofa if you want to sleep there?” she asked waiting for an answer she obviously wasn’t going to get. “Hum, I wonder if there is a way that we can communicate better. That way I can sort of know what your thinking, well of course I have a pretty good idea of what your thinking, what with being pissed at me for turning you into a cat and all.” Oh god she was rambling, even in cat form he still managed to make her flustered. And why did she have to bring up the sleeping issue, it’s not like she offered her bed for him to use if he wanted. But really would it be that bad, what could he do, he was a cat?



 



            Draco sat on the counter and listened to Hermione talking not really hearing what she was saying. He was really tired he realized and the talk of sleep made him even more aware of the fact. After the ordeal he’s been through he could sleep for days. But first there was on major issue he wanted to deal with before he called it a night, but he didn’t know how to let Hermione know that there was no way in Hades that he was going to use that bloody litter box, and he really needed to pee.



 


Chapter 6: Typing Lessons and Potions
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

AN: I don’t own anything from Harry Potter and the plot is based on novel on Blonde with a Wand by Vicki Lewis Thompson.



 



 



            Hermione didn’t sleep a wink that night, she tossing and turning. A little uneasy with the fact that she let Draco roam free in her apartment. Maybe she should have locked him in the bathroom or laundry room, at least then she would know where he was at all times. And she could have sworn she heard the toilet flush half way through the night. She kept having nightmares that Draco changed back into a man and be more then pissed at her for what she’d done. She could imagine him being in a murderous rage when he changed back and that made her nervous. Because knowing him it could be very possible, hopefully Ginny will come by like she said she would. And then she’ll have to figure out what to do with Draco when she went to work this morning. Does she leave him here or take him with her? Maybe she could convince Ginny to watch him, and she’ll work a half day and close early.



            Oh god, what about Draco, he works at the Ministry, she’ll have to ask him what he thinks would be best. But how can he answer her. She glanced around her bedroom; ugh it’s only 4:30am. She kept looking around her bedroom, only the street lights from outside her window providing the only light to see with. Her eyes landed on her laptop. Yes! That’s it, she thought. Maybe she could teach Draco how to type. He couldn’t write with no way to hold a pen, but he could type she was sure of it. She would just have to teach him how, which shouldn’t be that hard. He was smart, and he could probably pick it up easy enough. Yes that was it, he could tell her what he wanted and maybe if she helped make him as comfortable as possible, he’ll be nicer when he changes back…maybe?



            Just then she heard a scratching at the door, great she thought Draco must be awake also. She pulled back the covers and slipped on her slippers and opened the door.



            Damn-it, Damn-it, Damn-it Draco thought. He slept for a grand total of 3 hours and when he woke up, he was still a cat. So much for this being a weird dream, he thought. He was now convinced that this was real, absolutely real, which meant he had to change back, there was no way he was going to live the rest of his life as a cat. Man he was pissed. He looked around at all the magic books that were still scattered around the living room from the night before. Well he was awake now and he wanted to fix this. He remembered the Weaslette talking about maybe being a potion that could change him back. He never heard of any such potion that could do that, but he was a star pupil of Professor Snape’s, so he could figure it out. He noticed a book on Advanced Potions and went over to it. Since he didn’t have hands he had to open the book using a combination of his paws and his nose to lift the cover and then push it over and open. Which was a frustrating process but he managed. He ended up reading cover to cover until he found something that might work, but it would involve using magic which neither her nor Hermione had at the moment. So he would have to get Granger to get the Weaslette back here and make the potion. Hopefully Hermione had all the ingredients here in her apartment. Because he wanted it to be made now so he could change back. Of course there was no guarantee that this potion would work and it took 2 hours to brew and then it would take at least 8 hours for the transformation to actually work. Which meant it had to start now, he didn’t care it was only 4:30am, he was going to get Granger up if it meant waking up the entire building, so be it.



            Hermione opened the door to her bedroom and saw Draco waiting. He then let out a meow and glanced over at a pile of books, and then turned back to her.



 



“Yes, I know, I’ll keep looking until I find something that will change you back, I promise,” she told him.   



 



            Then Draco ran over to the pile of books and looked at her and meowed again pointing with his paw to a book that was opened.



 



“What is that? Did you find something?” she said walking over to where he was. He responded in another meow. She bent down to take a closer look; it was her Advanced Potions book from school. She read over the potion, “hum, this might work, I think I have everything in here. But we’ll need Ginny to perform the spell,” she said as she reached over and scratched him behind the ears and he started purring. She tried to hold back a chuckle.



 



“I’ll call her later this morning,” she said and his purring turned into a growl.



 



“Malfoy, it’s 4:30 in the morning, the sun isn’t even up yet. And if I call her now, then Harry will find out something is up, and I know you don’t want him to find out about this. I’ll call her at 7:00am.”



 



Draco growled again.



 



“Okay, 6:00am and we can start the potion and let it brew until she get’s here, but first I want to teach you something so we can communicate better,” she got up and headed back to her bedroom to retrieve her laptop.



 



            She came back and set her laptop on her kitchen table. She looked over at Draco who was till on the ground by her potions book. “Well come here, I’m not going to hurt you.” And he started walking over to her cautiously. He hopped you onto the table next to the laptop, looking at her then the laptop and then back at her.



 



“This is called a computer, muggles us it to write letters, do research and a lot more that is probably to confusing to explain right now. What I wanted to show you is a program that can allow you to write out what you want to say.” She showed him how to open it up from the main screen on her computer.



 



“Do you understand so far?” she asked and he gave a nod with his head.



 



“Good, so now you use the letter keys to type out what you want to say,” she showed him how to put spaces between words and how to move up and down between lines.



 



She typed out on the screen to show him an example, HOW ARE YOU.



 



He replied slowly since he didn’t know the key placements very well, IM A CAT.



 



“Okay good, that’s good, I mean not good that you’re a cat but good that you understand how to type,” she quickly added.



 



“Is there anything else you need to tell me?”



 



SND OWL 2 WRK TELL THM IM SIK



 



“Okay I’ll get on that.”



 



CALL WEASLE SIS



 



“I will don’t worry.”



 



NOW



 



“Draco it’s still too early, I promise I’ll do it as soon as the sun comes up. Is there anything else you need at the moment?”



 



After a while he responded, LEVE LID UP IN LOO.



 



“Ha Ha okay, why am I not surprised you didn’t want to use the litter box,” she said as she scratched behind his ears again without thinking.



 



“Okay well I’ll leave this on and if you need to let me know something, just type it out, okay?” he just started at her. Okay I’m just going to take that as a yes she thought.



 



“Well I’m going to let Crookshanks out, so be warned, then I’ll fix you guys breakfast.” She said as she walked over to the broom closet.



 



            He would never, ever admit to Granger or anyone that he was simply fascinated with this muggle machine called a computer. And it was a good idea to communicate with Granger. He’s heard a little about all the other stuff muggles can do with computers. He might decide to invest in one once he gets changed back.



            His hackles went up once he discovered Crookshanks in the room. He slowly turned around and the saw that he was glaring up at Draco, fortunately it didn’t look like he was going to attack, at least not at the moment which was good. He could hear Hermione moving around in the kitchen which meant she was preparing breakfast; he could already smell the chicken and apparently so could Crookshanks because he sprinted towards the kitchen. Draco waited a few seconds after Crookshanks took off so he wouldn’t get attacked again.



            He walked into the kitchen and quickly hopped up onto the counter while Crookshanks wasn’t looking. Hermione set the plate of chicken in front of him.



 



“I just got off the phone with Ginny, she has to get ready and then drop Lily off at the Weasley’s, and then she’ll be right over. I got all the ingredients ready and started brewing the potion. I’m going to take a quick shower, in the meantime try to stay up high so Crookshanks won’t attack you. He really is a sweet cat, he just doesn’t like strangers to much.” She said walking out of the kitchen leaving Crookshanks and Draco to finish their breakfast.  



 



            Crookshanks ate up his disgusting diet cat food quickly then stared up at Draco in longing. Draco tried to ignore Crookshanks pitiful stares. Oh no you don’t act all sad and pathetic when I know what kind of Demon cat you really are, he thought. He finished up his chicken and sat on the counter thinking about what he could do as he waited for Hermione to get back. He looked back down at Crookshanks sitting on the kitchen floor watching him. From this vantage point, Draco could evaluate Crookshanks bulk. Even though he was covered with long fluffy orange fur, you could still tell he was big, fat actually. He might be lazy by nature, but he didn’t really have much here to motivate him to exercise, what with being holed up in this tiny apartment. Unlike his house out in the country, now if Hermione and Crookshanks lived out there with him, Crookshanks would have all the room in the world to run around and play. Wait, why was he thinking about them living out there with him? This little game of playing house was only temporary, like him being a cat was only temporary.



            Draco kept thinking about what he could do to pass the time. He could, however work off some of his stress and possibly some of Crookshanks flab at the same time. He leaped from the counter and landed right in front of Crookshanks who jumped back in shock. Draco let loose a taunting hiss, and then ran like hell. Because Crookshanks was no match for Draco’s speed and agility. Draco paced himself so the monster cat wouldn’t give up. Staying just out of reach, he raced through the apartment when Crookshanks go a little close; Draco would leaped for the first available high place. If he knocked over a few things, so be it. Then he was off again, tearing from room to room like a mad man. It was the best fun he had in ages.



            Hermione walked into the living room wearing only a bathrobe and her hair was hanging in wet ringlets down her shoulders, she smelled almost spicy, no exotic. Not flowery or fruity like most women wore. And Draco really liked that, he could smell her all day if he could.



 



“Holy Shit, Draco! Crookshanks! Stop right now!” she yelled.



 



            Draco leaped onto his favorite spot on top of the bookcase. Damn she looked pissed, he wish he could tell her that it was all Crookshanks fault, but he couldn’t talk and besides he was furious at her still, so he didn’t care if she was upset. With a certain degree of satisfaction he surveyed the damage he’d inflicted on her apartment. Besides the books that were already scattered across the room he saw that they managed to knock over all of her plants she had around the room scattering dirt all over the floor and he noticed that he and Crookshanks must have tracked through it several times because black paw prints decorated every piece of upholstered furniture in the living room and carpet. He knocked several knick knacks she had on the bookcase, most of them laid in broken pieces on the ground. And Draco’s one attempt to climb the drapes had tempted Crookshanks to follow and the weight of both cats had pulled the rod out from the wall and onto the floor. And a couple of framed photographs had fallen off the side table with the glass cracked.



            If Draco could smile he would impressed with the destruction he caused. His game of chase, wore Crookshanks out. He flopped down on the carpet, panting. He might not be grateful for the game, but it was good for him. He also hopefully drained him out enough that he wouldn’t want to fight later on.



            Hermione wandered around trying to straighten and pick up but gave up and plopped down on the sofa and buried her head in her hands.



 



“I’m not used to cleaning without magic,” she said realizing that she might have depended on her magic more then she thought. Just then she heard a pop, which meant Ginny was here, thank god she thought.



 



“Hey…whoa! What happened here?” Ginny said walking into the living room.



 



“Draco and Crookshanks playing chase,” Hermione said defeated.



 



“You want me to clean it up for you?”



 



“Oh yes please,” she said. “And then I need you to sent an owl to the Ministry saying Draco is sick and can’t make it to work and make it so it looks like he wrote it.”



 



“Okay what else?”



 



“Um I need to finish getting ready then we’ll work on the potion. It should almost be done brewing.”



 



Ginny pulled out her wand and just like that her apartment was spotless. Hermione let out a sigh of relief.



  



 “Thank you Ginny,” she said as she walked towards her bedroom.



 



When she came back out Ginny asked, “Uh who typed this message?’



 



“Draco,” she said as Ginny looked over the message that Draco painstakingly typed out. Then she turned her gaze to Draco.



 



“Well done, I wouldn’t have used the litter box either.”


Chapter 7: Ms. Moffit and Pixies
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

AN: I don’t own anything from Harry Potter and plot is based off novel Blonde with a Wand by Vicki Lewis Thompson.


 


 


“We have something for you Draco,” Hermione said. “I can’t guarantee that it will turn you into you’re normal self, but the information in the book looked promising.” She sat the potion in a bowl in front of Draco on the kitchen counter.


 


            The stuff in the bowl smelled like they’d ladled it out of a sewer. Why couldn’t a potion smell like pumpkin juice? As he was bracing himself for the challenge ahead, someone knocked on the apartment door. Draco froze in place. Should he make a break for it if Hermione opened the door? No, that was panic talking. He might have the recipe for the transformation in his head, but he couldn’t go out and shop for the ingredients and he couldn’t brew it or even hold the utensils to stir it, if he was still in a cat form.


 


“I know you’re up,” a voice called through the door and Draco recognized it from before. “I heard you yelling earlier.”


 


            Bloody hell! It was the women who’d Hermione talked to the other day while she carried him to her home in a bundle of his clothing. It was the women who wanted to de-man him. He edged towards the bedroom, where he could run and hide under Hermione’s bed. Hermione scooped him up into her arms before he made it to the hall.


 


“It’s just Ms. Moffit,” she said. “Don’t be scared.”


 


            Scared? No, he was terrified. Any women who would want to destroy your manhood were women you should stay far away from, Draco thought. But Hermione held him tight as she unlocked the door. The hateful woman stood in the hallway with a pet carrier in her hand.


 


“I see you still have that stray.”


 


“Yes I do.” Hermione scratched gently behind Draco’s ears.


 


            He shouldn’t like that, but to his shame he loved it. Ears must be an erogenous zone for cats. His stress level decreased the longer Hermione kept up the soft caress.


 


“The special on free spay and neuter is still on today,” Ms. Moffit said. “So just let me take him and save you the trouble. I’ll keep him until you get home later.”


 


            Draco glanced over Hermione’s shoulder and there was Ginny smirking. Oh yeah this was hilarious. A real laugh. He struggled to get away, but Hermione held him tight.


 


“Thank you, Ms. Moffit but like I said the other day, I plan to take him to my personal vet.”


 


Ms. Moffit frowned. “He’ll charge a fee, won’t he?”


 


“Yes, but my vet should get to know him if this cat is going to be a part of my household.”


 


            Surely Hermione was making this up as she went along. Draco prayed that was the case. The thought of becoming part of Hermione’s household, eating from a dish off the counter everyday…he might have to drown himself in the toilet bowl if it came to that. Then another horrible thought came to him, what if he couldn’t change back, would Hermione keep him? If so would she end up taking him to her vet? He shuddered at the thought.


 


“It’s a ridiculous waste of money,” Ms. Moffit said. “But if you want to throw your money away, I guess that’s up to you.”


 


“I appreciate the thought, Ms. Moffit.”


 


Draco didn’t.


 


“Just trying to help,” Ms. Moffit stomped back to her apartment.


 


“Thanks,” she called out and locked the door.


 


“Bossy woman isn’t she?” Ginny said.


 


“She doesn’t like pets. Now where were we?”


 


“I believe we were trying to turn Malfoy to his original self before your neighbor threaten to castrate him. I’m sure that could really ruin a guy’s day.”


 


“Right, but don’t worry Draco, I won’t let her get her hands on you.”


 


            If he wasn’t keen on the potion before, he was all over it now. He’d drink the sludge from an oil pan if it would keep him out of Moffit’s clutches. Ginny and Hermione stood hovering nearby as he crept towards the bowl, his whiskers twitching. The closer he came, the worse it smelled. Of course his sense of smell was ten times better then it ahs been as a man. And if he was a man, he could just hold his nose as he drank. As a cat he had no option except to take it like…like a cat. Slowly he lowered his face towards the bowl. He couldn’t gulp it back like a shot of fire whiskey, he had to lap it up with his tongue. He took a taste and backed away. Dear Merlin that was hideous stuff.


 


“Remember the goal, Draco,” Hermione encouraged.


 


            Exactly. The goal, to become a man again. So he could avoid castration, and getting back at Hermione for doing this to him. He forced himself to keep going, with each lap of his tongue he imagined Hermione homeless, living in a box by the river. With every swallow of this evil tasting brew he vowed to find a way to bring her down.


 


“Wow, he drank it all, he even licked the bowl.” Ginny said.


 


“Yeah, maybe it tasted better then it smelled.” Hermione added. “And now we wait, I guess?”


 


“No, you go to work, I’ll wait.”


 


“Really Ginny! Thank you; you’re such a great friend. When we get out of this mess I promise I’ll treat you to something big.”


 


“Oh don’t worry about it, but be for warned that you might be on babysitting duty for a while.”


 


“Ha ha done.”


 


“Now, go go I’ll handle things here.” Ginny said.


 


“Okay thanks, call me if you know anything changes.” She said as she glanced over at Draco. “I’m planning on closing early so I’ll hopefully be back a little after lunch.”


 


“Okay sounds good have fun.”


           


            Hermione went about he apartment making sure she had everything, she went to grab her want then realized that it was useless to her at the moment. Man she hoped that she would get her magic back when Draco changes back.


 


“Oh one last thing, could you do a cleaning spell on Draco’s clothes, there still covered with chocolate. I would wash them myself but me and laundry don’t mixed and his look expensive and probably hand tailored as well.” Hermione said.


 


“Okay sure. Wow I just now realized that when he changes back he’ll be naked, won’t he?”


 


“Um, yeah probably,” Hermione said trying to keep her blush that suddenly appeared on her cheek hidden, trying not to picture Draco Malfoy naked. “Um so you know, keep his clothes somewhere where he can access them quick and easy.” She said blushing even more. “Okay I’m off to work, bye.” She left before she made even bigger a fool of herself.


 


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Hermione walked to her shop an hour early, which was fine because she had a lot to do if she wanted to close early and she still had to stock the book that she got in yesterday. She walked around the corner and immediately froze. Her storefront window was shattered. Oh no, no how could this have happened? She cautiously walked towards her door to unlock it even though it was probably pointless since she could have walked through the window if she wanted, since there was no longer any glass in it. Her first thought was that she should call the police. But her gut told her she should wait and study the situation first. The first thing she did was call Ginny.


 


“Hermione?”


 


“Ginny, somebody broke in to my shop!” Hermione cried.


 


“Okay calm down, what happened?”


 


“I don’t know, but who ever did completely destroyed my shop.” She couldn’t keep from wailing.


 


“Okay I’ll be there as soon as possible and I’ll bring Draco.”


 


“Okay hurry!”


 


            Hermione hung up and looked at the destruction. Every book was pull off the shelves. They laid everywhere, pages ripped and torn. Her furniture was ripped to shreds and all the pictures where either on the ground or askew on the walls. She started walking about. She checked the cash register…oh; no she thought she didn’t put her money away last night because she was in such a hurry to get Draco out. She opened up the register prepared for the worst…huh? That’s really weird, whoever they were, they didn’t take the money. If somebody broke in, why didn’t they want the money. She started walking towards the back towards her hidden room. She was shocked to notice that the portrait was hanging open. Which only meant that whoever did this was magical otherwise no one would have been able to get in regardless of her lack of wards.


 


            She slowly walked in the room, and was met with the same destruction that was throughout her entire shop. She turned back to walk out when she saw a message written in ink on the wall.


 


SHOP UNGUARDED, HAPPINESS FOUND. WE CAME IN AND MESSED AROUND!


 


She heard a pop and heard Ginny call out. “I’m in the back,” she said.


 


Ginny raced in the back, Draco at her heels. “Bloody hell, Hermione what happened? Who did this?”


 


Hermione still looking at the message on the wall, “Pixies” she said with disgust.


 


“Damn nasty buggers,” Ginny said.


 


“Yeah they must have sensed that I lost my protection wards.”


 


“Do you think they stole anything?”


 


“No, I think they just messed everything up.”


 


“I already fixed your window and fogged up the glass so nobody could see in.”


 


“Thank, would you mind cleaning up and restoring my wards?”


 


“Sure, no problem. Are you okay?”


 


“Yeah, just annoyed and a little relieved that it was just pixies and not a real person who broke in.”


 


            Bloody hell, when Ginny got the call from Hermione, he automatically knew something was wrong. He could hear the panic in her voice over the phone. He wasn’t sure what exactly was going on but he knew it was bad. Without asking Ginny scooped him up and pulled her wand out getting ready to apparite. Even though he didn’t want the Weaslette touching him, he wanted to go and make sure Hermione was okay. And if it meant he had to go along and play nice with Ginny so be it.


 


            They arrived seconds later in the middle of her shop. Bloody hell, he felt sick. If he thought it was bad when he was a human the sensation of appariting as a cat was ten times worse. But he quickly lost the feeling when he looked around her shop and felt sick in a completely new way. Everything was destroyed, nothing was in one piece or was left untouched, even the countertop was cracked. Now instead of feeling sick, he was pissed. Whoever did this was going to pay, if they ever came across him human or cat. He looked around panicky searching for Hermione, where is she he thought. Then he heard her voice from the back room and relief swipe through him. It was one thing when he was the one doing the destroying and making Hermione upset but when it was somebody else…well he didn’t like it. And he felt a strong need to protect her or defend her. Though normally he would never think twice about being there for Granger, but seeing this and knowing she could have been hurt and helpless without her magic did something in him…but it was just because he needed her to help change him back…right? Yeah that had to be it, she was his ticket to freedom, he didn’t have feelings for her, that would be impossible.


           


            Pixies, ugh he hated the things. They were known for creating chaos and trouble. He remembered when they tried to mess with his house when he first moved in. Ha, yeah he scared them so bad, they haven’t messed with him again since. Yeah well if they messed with Hermione again he would rip them apart with his teeth…okay maybe not his teeth but his claws definitely.


 


            It took less then five minutes to clean up her shop. Everything looked as if it was never touched. She loved magic, she just wished she had hers at the moment, if she did then this wouldn’t have happened.


 


“Okay, I think that’s everything, do you want us to stay with you?” Ginny asked.


 


“No, thanks Ginny with the protection wards back up everything should be okay.”


 


“Okay, well I guess we should be heading back to your place, you know in case he changes back.”


 


“Okay sounds good,” she said.


 


“Alright come on Malfoy.” He stayed back near Hermione as if he didn’t want to go with her.


 


“It’s okay Malfoy, she won’t hurt you, besides you don’t want to be here if you change back, they you won’t have clothes and it could happen in front of someone.” He let out a sigh and reluctantly went towards Ginny.


 


“Ah, isn’t that sweet, I think he wants to stay with you.” Ginny teased and Draco let out a low growl under his breath.


 


“Yeah okay, ha ha funny, I’ll be home in a few hours.” She said ignoring the comment.


 


            Once she opened up the shop, things pretty much went back to normal, lucky it was a rather slow day and not many people came through her doors. So closing early wouldn’t be a problem, actually maybe she should close the book shop for the weekend since tomorrow was a Saturday and put a note in the window saying she was on a short holiday and would be back soon. She really wanted to get home, mainly in case Draco changed back. Not necessarily because she wanted to witness it, but she was anxious to find out if the potion worked. She looked at the clock three more hours to go before he was supposed to change. Okay calm down Hermione, she thought. If he changes back it could be bad for you, he could do serious damage if he wanted. So why was she almost excited about him changing back? Ugh this whole situation was just frustrating and confusing and she wanted it to be over so her life could go back to normal. She set about making sure that she had everything set to close up shop for the weekend. She made sure she put her money in back in the safe, just in case something bad happened again not that it would. Once that was done she grabbed her bag and keys, turned off the lights and locked up, double checking that the lock was set, better safe then sorry. Then she started walking towards her apartment.


 


            Merlin, when was Hermione getting home? Draco thought. It was almost time for the potion to kick in. Hopefully she is alright, she hasn’t called again since Ginny apparited them back into her apartment. And why couldn’t he stay with her at work? If he changed then he would have figured something out and Hermione and he would get their magic back so they could always conjure up some clothes for him. He mainly wanted to stay with her because he didn’t like being cat-sit by Ginny, who watched him like a hawk by the way and making it almost impossible to relax. And she fed him cold chicken, cold! She didn’t warm it up like Hermione did and she put it on the ground, did she honestly think a Malfoy such as me would eat off the ground? Luckily Crookshanks was sleeping in the broom closet. Their little exercise this morning completely wore the guy out. And Ginny took up his sleeping spot on Hermione sofa watching TV, another muggle invention. And she shut all of the doors so he couldn’t hide under Hermione’s bed, so he leaped up onto his spot on top of the bookcase and pretended to sleep instead of counting the minutes until Hermione got home.


 


            He managed to finally doze off when he heard the locks turn on her front door and he was greeted by the exotic scent of Hermione. His heart beat sped up. And he wanted to go to her and greet her, but then it would look like he cared or missed her…which might have been kind of true but just because Hermione was nicer to him then Ginny was. Maybe it was just the anticipation of changing back into a man that had him all riled up.  


 


“Hey I’m home,” Hermione said. “Has anything happened, and changes?”


 


“Nope nothing.”


 


“Has he been good? You know been on his best behavior?”


 


            What the hell, she acting like he is a child being watched by the nanny, Draco thought.


 


“Yeah, he’s been fine mainly he’s been up on that bookcase glaring at me,” Ginny said.


 


“Okay well I guess that’s normal, for him anyway.”


 


“Well if you have everything covered for now, I should probably be going. I need to pick up Lily from my parents and I want to be home when Harry gets off work.”


 


“Yeah, sure go ahead, and thanks for everything,” Hermione said.


 


“Okay is there anything else you need before I go?”


 


“No, I think I’m good.”


 


Ginny gave Hermione a quick hug then said under her breath, “I want to know everything, you know after he changes.” She said wiggling her eyebrows.


 


“Yeah, yeah well I’m pretty sure nothing is going to happen…in that way I mean,” she said under her breath sneaking a quick glance at Draco.


 


“Well still, I want details.”


 


“Fine, now go home!”


 


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


 


“Okay one more hour to go.” Hermione said as she nervously flipped through the channels on her television.


 


Draco was asleep on the corner of her sofa. She gave up on the TV nothing was on. So she picked up a book and started reading it refusing to look at the clock. She was half way through the book when she looked up. Damn three hours had passed. That was the thing with reading once she got hooked nothing else existing and time flew by like that. She looked over at Draco who was still asleep and still very much a cat. Why didn’t he change back? He was supposed to change back two hours ago. Did they not make enough of the potion or did they not brew it correctly? She didn’t have the heart to wake him up and have him be disappointed when he realized he was still a cat. So she left him to sleep.


 


            He woke to the scent of warm chicken. A quick check told him that his cat status hadn’t changed. It should have by now. A sick feeling of dread curled in his stomach. He followed the chicken smell which took him to the doorway to the kitchen. Hermione had her hair pulled up off her neck and was wearing a pair of flannel pajamas with pictures of cats on them, if he wasn’t still a cat he would find them funny but now they just seemed to annoy him as if each cat was silently mocking him. Crookshanks wove a figure eight through Hermione’s ankles. He looked at the clock 7:30pm, more then 12 hours had passed since he’d lapped on that evil brew and nothing had changed.


 


            Hermione turned to him. The look in her chocolate brown eyes told him all he needed to know. She was worried.


 


“I see you’re awake,” she said. “I fixed you some chicken.”


 


            Draco should have been to upset to eat, but if truth be told he was starving. He didn’t want to push his luck with Crookshanks so he waited until she put his bowl in front of him and as he was shoving his face into it was when Draco made his move up on the counter and began to eat.


 


“I don’t know what to think, Draco,” she said. “We’ll see what happens later tonight, and if you’re the same in the morning, I’ll have to swallow my pride and ask for help. In the meantime, I can’t do much but wait.” Hermione kept talking as she was washing dishes in the sink. “To bad I didn’t ask Ginny to renew the protection spell on this apartment.”


 


“Anyway,” she continued as if trying to convince herself, “the bookshop was the interesting place to break into. They won’t be excited about a boring little apartment.” She said as she dried the dishes.


 


            Draco was intent on eating that he was only half listening to what she was rambling about.


 


“But specking of that, I can’t remember if I locked the dead bolt.” Putting down the towel as she left the kitchen.


 


            Once she was gone Crookshanks meowed softly. It seemed directed towards Draco. He peered over the edge of the counter at the orange cat and sure enough he was gazing pitifully up at Draco. He supposed Crookshanks had been through a lot in the passed 24 hours, so therefore he should get some kind of reward. Crookshanks wasn’t supposed to have chicken, but Draco couldn’t stand the sad look on his face. So he ‘accidently’ dropped two pieces of chicken down to Crookshanks. You better eat that up fast before Hermione gets back in here, he thought as he watched Crookshanks devour the chicken pieces.


 


“Dead bolt is on,” Hermione said as she walked back into the kitchen. “Of course a dead bolt won’t stop pixies from getting in, but I doubt they’ll bother the place,” she mumbled almost too softly for Draco to hear.


           


            He hoped they didn’t show up here either. But if they did he would be ready. Hermione spent the rest of the night reading and Draco spent it watching her read, which should have been boring to him but he was oddly fascinated by it, he liked watching her facial expressions change when she liked a certain part or didn’t like a certain part, and he loved how she would bite her lower lip once she get really into the book.


 


Around 10:00pm she yawned. “Time for bed,” she said as she glanced over at Draco and Crookshanks. “Can you guys manage to share my bed without fighting?”


 


            What, why did she ask him that? Did she want him to sleep in her bed? Or did she forget that he’s a man in a cat suit? Or did she just feel bad for the potion not turning out as it was supposed to? He decided not to fret about it and instead followed her into the bedroom.


 


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


 


            Hermione wasn’t sure what woke her up, she laid still in the dark, and she could have sworn she heard someone or something. She looked down at the bed and both cats were gone. Okay it just the cats, she thought. At least they weren’t fighting, which was a relief. Maybe they were becoming friends, ha yeah right Draco Malfoy and Crookshanks friends! She barely closed her eyes when she heard the sound of laughter she sat straight up, did she leave the TV on? She heard it again only this time it was followed by a crash. Oh god, is it pixies? Did they manage to get into her apartment as well? How was she suppose to stop this, she had no magic so her wand was useless. And the cats? What awful things could they do to the cats? She hoped Draco and Crookshanks were somewhere hiding. For the most part pixies were harmless, they were just mischievous.


 


            She was fully awake now; she bent over the bed and peaked under. “Crookshanks? Draco?” she whispered and nothing she couldn’t see very well in the darkness of her bedroom but she could sense that they weren’t under there. She grabbed her wand which was useless, but they didn’t have to know that and crept slowly towards the door. Once she was in the hallway she began to see what they were doing to her place. And she was angry. It was worse then what Draco and Crookshanks did earlier that day. As she slowly entered her living room still unnoticed she searched for the cats her eyes landed on Crookshanks in the corner, tail twitching, fur sticking out. He crouched as if waiting to pounce on one of the little buggers and scratch their eyes out.


 


            She searched for Draco and couldn’t find him anywhere. She turned back to the pixies, she only counted three. Okay she could handle this, just act mean and tough she told herself. Raising her wand with as much authority as she could and cleared her throat, all three turned in her direction, but she could tell that they were unfazed by her attempt at being threatening.


 


With her in her pajamas and wand pointed at them, “You should all be ashamed of yourselves,” she said in the meanest voice she could muster at the moment. “Put everything back the way you found it…or suffer the consensuses.” For a second she thought she had them worried. But they all looked at one another then back to her and started laughing. They were laughing so hard they could barely stay in flight.


 


            Then one of them scooped down towards her reaching for her wand but before he could get it, her wand was taken by another. But not a pixie, no instead of a tiny blue hand holding her wand, it was a human hand, a large male human hand. She kept staring at his hand afraid to look up. Then she heard his voice in a way more menacing tone then she used.


 


“Get the fuck out of here you beast!”


 


She gulped, “Draco, you’re…”


 


“Going to take these three apart, I think.” He advanced towards them fingers flexing. “I could use magic to do it of course, but I prefer the satisfaction of rippling their limbs from their sockets with my bare hands.”


 


            All three pixies backed away looking frantically for the closest exit. Two of them manage to escape, but the third was not so quick, Crookshanks was faster. With a leap that was astounding considering his bulk, Crookshanks snagged the fluttering creature and landed with it clutched in his paws.


 


“I’ll be damned.” Draco said as he walked over to the cat and crouched down. “Good work, buddy you got one.”


 


            Hermione took this time to stare at Draco. He must have changed when the pixies got here because he didn’t have any clothes on, instead he wore two kitchen dish towels tied around his waist, which barely covered him…barely! He most certainly wasn’t a cat anymore but a man, a broad shouldered, narrow hipped man. He was beautiful. She tried desperately had to stop staring. So what he came in and saved the day, it doesn’t mean that he’s cares for you, once he gets done with them he’s coming after you, but in a bad way.


 


            Draco picked up the pixie that was left behind from Crookshanks clutches and pointed Hermione’s wand at him. “You clean this up and put everything back together the way you found it. And never come here or her shop ever again.” He told the pixie in a threatening voice. The pixie snapped his fingers and everything went back to normal. “Good, now get the fuck out or I’m feeding you to the cat.” He flicked it away and the pixie vanished into thin air.


 


            Draco turned to Hermione to hand her, her wand back. Hermione’s breath caught in the back of her throat as his fingers touched her hand. Which were warm and slightly calloused and he was so very naked.


 


“Um, thank…,” she cleared her throat. “Thank you for that, Um I’ll go get your clothes.” She said trying to look anywhere but his naked chest. She was about to turn and leave but he caught her arm. Hermione immediately froze up. This was it; he was going to seek his revenge on her now.


 


But instead he said, “You’ll need to put up a new ward around your apartment, maybe even the whole building.”


 


“Okay” was all she managed to say as she looked back at him then added, “I had one up before…before”


 


“You turned me into a cat” he finished for her.


 


Was he smirking? No he must be furious at her. “When did it happen? I mean when did you change? She asked.


“Sometime after the pixies showed up. Crookshanks and I came out here to investigate and as I was watching them destroy everything I was getting really pissed, then I felt weird. Somehow I just knew what was about to happen so I ran into the kitchen.”


 


“Did it hurt?”


 


“No, I’m a little sore but other then that I’m fine,” he said flexing his shoulders and back.


 


“Your clothes are in the bedroom in my closet if you want to change,” she said again distracted by his nakedness as if it was the big elephant in the room. Then she just realized that she just asked a naked man to go to her bedroom, she could feel the heat of her blush upon her cheeks. Fortunately he didn’t seem to notice or care as he walked passed her to her bedroom. She of course would politely stay out in the living room to give him privacy and wait until he was done and then figure out what to do next.


 


            She was about to sit down on her sofa, when she heard him yell. She took off immediately to see what happened but when she stepped into her bedroom all that was there was pile of clothes and a blonde haired cat.   


 


 



 





 


Chapter 8: On The Run
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

AN: I don’t own anything from Harry Potter and the plot is based on the novel by Vicki Lewis Thompson Blonde with a Wand.



 



 



            Fuck, Draco hissed in fury as Hermione burst into the room. He been a man again, why didn’t it last?



 



“Oh no Draco, I’m so sorry.” Hermione’s eyes filled with tears.



 



            As if tears would get her off the hook, it certainly wouldn’t do him any good. Her being upset over this was nothing compared to how pissed he was at the moment. He was so upset he could chew the carpet up. And the worst part of it was, when he had been a man, instead of wanting to drag Hermione to Azkaban himself, he wanted her. Even in her ridiculous bagging non-figure flattering flannel pajamas and her hair all messed up and her cheek pink from sleep. He found himself being attracted to her. Instead of being furious at her he wanted her. Maybe it was the way she was staring at him in her living room as if she wanted to devour him but at the same time extremely afraid of him. And when he touched her, he definitely didn’t expect to feel the bolt of electricity that shot up his arm. But now none of that mattered, he was a damn cat again. And it was all her fault, like it has been from the very beginning.



 



            Looking around for someway to vent out his frustration that he felt, he spied the delicate posts of her antique bed. Yes. Walking to the nearest one, he scratched his front claws as far as they’d go and began to mark up the wood. Let her try to stop him. She didn’t, and eventually the thrill died off. In fact he soon felt ashamed of what he did, even if she deserved it for what she did to him. So instead he walked into the living room and hoped up on her dining table where her laptop sat and tap it until it came on. He looked over at Crookshanks who was on the floor playing with a toy mouse. Maybe catching the pixie back there inspired him to be more active.



 



            Hermione followed him into the living room. She leaned over and helped him bring up the program he needed to use and adjusted it so he could reach the keyboard better. He tried to ignore the fact that she smelled really good. And damn it to hell if he wanted her to reach over and scratch him behind the ears and maybe under his chin too.



 



CALL GINNY, he typed.



 



“Okay I will, but it’s in the middle of the night she’s probably asleep. And Harry will definitely know something is up when I call.”



 



LIE 2 HIM.



 



She let out a sigh, “okay, but I’m warning you. He’s going to find out eventually.” Draco gave her a looks as if he could care less. “Okay I’ll do it.”



 



She tapped her fingers on the table as the phone rang and finally it picked up.



 



“Hello?” Damn it, it was Harry.



 



“Hi Harry, it’s me Hermione. I’m sorry for calling so late but I need to talk to Ginny it imp…”



 



“Did Malfoy change back? “ He asked.



 



“What? How did you know about that?” She asked glancing over at Draco nervously.



 



“Ginny told me, you know she’s horrible at keeping secrets especially from me.”



 



“Damn it” she muttered.



 



“Listen, don’t be mad at her. I had to practically force it out of her.”



 



“I’m not mad at her. I just have yet another reason for Draco to throw me in Azkaban and leave me there.”



 



“Oh its Draco now is it?”



 



“Harry! This is not the time.” She snapped getting frustrated. “Listen did Ginny tell you about the potion?...okay well we gave him the potion around 7:00am yesterday and it was supposed to take eight hours to work. So we waited but nothing happened. Then tonight my house got invaded by pixies…yes pixies, and well somewhere a little before midnight he changed. Everything seemed to be going okay then before we knew it he changed back into a cat.”



 



“How long after midnight did he change back?”



 



“Um probably about ten minutes after I guess I didn’t really check the clock. Why? What do you think is going on with this? Do you think it was the potion? Do we need to make more?”



 



“Whoa, Hermione slow down, first off I have no idea if it was the potion because I wasn’t there when you made it and besides you were always better at potions then I ever was. If it were up to me I would go to Professor McGonagall she was out Transfiguration teacher at Hogwarts if anyone knew what to do, it would be her.”



 



“Oh Harry you can’t ask me to do that. If I went to her it would be like I failed her or something. I was her prized student after all.”



 



Draco swatted the air getting her attention; she looked over at him as he typed.



 



SUC UP UR PRIDE AND DO IT.



 



“What did Malfoy want?”



 



“He wants me to ‘suck up my pride and do it’”



 



“Well I can imagine he doesn’t like being a cat, especially a cat in your care. Wait how did he tell you that?”



 



“I taught him how to type on the computer,” she explained.



 



“Hum, that’s clever, so what are you going to do?”



 



She didn’t want to, but she owes Draco that much at least. “I guess I’ll contact her, and Harry you can’t tell the Ministry about this…not yet.”



 



“You know I won’t, I’m on your side remember and besides I’m sure he had it coming.”



 



“No he didn’t, he didn’t deserve it then or now.”



 



“I have to go to Hogwarts tomorrow for work; do you want me to talk to McGonagall?”



 



“Would you do that that would be awesome?”



She looked over at Draco who just typed out, WIMP.



 



She made a face at him as she continued to talk to Harry.



 



“Yeah no problem, I call you as soon as I find out what’s what.”



 



“Okay so now what? Do we just wait around until tomorrow? What time are you going tomorrow, maybe I should go with you.” She asked.



 



“It will be early like around 7:00am, I’ll come over and get you since you can’t apparite. And Ginny can come over to cat-sit Malfoy.”



 



“Okay I owe you two big time for all you’ve done.”



 



“No problem Hermione, I’m sure the sooner you have Malfoy out of your life the better.”



 



“Yeah, okay thanks again and sorry for calling so late.”



 



            She hung up and felt a strange tighten in her chest. She had a strange feeling that she might actually miss Draco when all of this was over. Would he never speak to her again, would he stay far away from her once this was over? She never liked the guy but these past two have been…well stressful for one, but she couldn’t help but think how empty her tiny little apartment would feel like without him here. And Crookshanks would be crushed, she saw how Draco praised him for catching the pixie he’d purred, he never purr’s especially for strangers. Of course there was no way that she would want him to suffer being a cat for the rest of his life, so of course she would do anything she could to free him.



 



            Great now Potter knows of his unfortunate position, how long will it be before the Weasel knows too? At least from what he could hear of the phone conversation, he’d agreed to help instead of mocking him of course he hasn’t seen him in this state yet. Damn this was depressing. He was a man for more then ten minutes, twenty minutes to be exact. He managed to look at the clock before he changed and it was ten till midnight then he changed back around ten after midnight. Was that it, the key to this mess was that he would only change at midnight? Is that why the potion didn’t work, because it would only work at midnight. No that can’t be it, because the potion said it would take eight hours to take full affect, it didn’t say anything about midnight.



 



            McGonagall better have the answers he needed. But he would have to wait until morning which seemed so far away. He looked over at Crookshanks who has now lost his mouse under the sofa and was struggling to get it out. He much have sensed Draco looking at him because he gave him a pitiful look and then back at the sofa as if asking him to help out. Draco let out a sigh and strolled towards him. He crouched down looking under the sofa for the mouse, it was stuck right in the middle to far for Crookshanks to reach and the opening was to short for Crookshanks to crawl under but Draco could fit. So he bent down real low and scooted under till he got the mouse and set it down in front of Crookshanks who snatched it up and went to his corner of the room and continued to play with it. Draco would have joined him, but right now he was too depressed so he just strolled back into Hermione’s bedroom and instead of hopping up on her bed he decided to go to her closet and sleep there for the night. At least then he could have his space while he thought about what happened. And frankly right now he just wanted to be alone and sleep.



 



            Hermione watched Draco as he helped get Crookshanks toy out from underneath the sofa. Then watched how he sulked away to her bedroom. He looked so miserable and after everything that happened that night she could understand if he wanted to be left alone. She had to find the answer to the spell. He changed back, but it wasn’t permanent. He can’t be an animagus, because he can’t change at will. And he’s not a Were, because it wasn’t a full moon that triggered the change so it most definitely had to be the spell she put on him. The potion was useless because he didn’t change when he was supposed to. Hopefully McGonagall will have an answer.



 



~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~



 



            The next day Hermione woke up bright and early and got ready. She tried not to disturb Draco who was still sleeping in the confines of her closet. Harry and Ginny arrived at 6:30am. Harry wanted to see him as a cat, because he still couldn’t believe that it has really happened but Hermione forbid it she knew Draco was hurting and Harry mocking him wasn’t going to make it any better. Luckily Harry let it be for now. Hermione told Ginny to warm up some chicken for him if he woke up and to call if anything happened. Harry gave his wife a kiss good bye and then took Hermione’s hand as they apparited to Hogwarts.



 



            Hermione and Harry went there separate ways as Hermione walked towards the Headmasters quarters and Harry went in the opposite direction for Auror business. He told her to call him when she was done so he could apparite her back to her apartment in London.



 



When Hermione got to the Headmasters office, the eagle guarding the entrance recognized her, “Good morning Miss Granger what brings to you Hogwarts today?”



 



“I’m here to see Professor McGonagall, it’s rather urgent.”



 



“I’m so sorry Miss Granger, but the Headmaster is out of town at the moment”



 



Shoot. “Do you know when she’ll be back?”



 



“Not for two weeks I’m afraid, is there someone else I can get for you?’



 



“No thank you, I’ll just send her an owl instead.”



 



“Sorry to disappoint, have a pleasant day.” The eagle said before turning back to a statue.



            Great so much for that, I’ll have to send her a letter and hopefully she’ll know what to do from that. Just her luck that the one person who could help is out of town. She left the school building and headed towards the Owlery. When she got there she went about writing a very detailed letter explaining what happened, what book she used and what spell and asking her to please reply back with an answer as soon as possible because it was urgent. As soon as she sent the owl off her cell phone buzzed.



 



“Harry?”



 



“Where are you?” he said sounding frantic.



 



“I’m in the Owlery, why what’s wrong?”



 



“Ginny called, its Malfoy something bad has happened. Stay there I’m coming to get you.” He hung up and not two second later did he apparite in front of her without saying anything he grabbed her hand and apparited to her apartment. 



 



            Draco heard Hermione get up that morning and could hear her as she took a shower, but he didn’t care. He heard when Harry came to get Hermione and take her to Hogwarts to talk to Professor McGonagall and he knew Ginny was out in the living room, he could hear the TV blaring. But still didn’t come out of his make shift bed he made out of a sweater of Hermione’s that was on the floor of her closet. It smelled like her which was oddly comforting. He was afraid once this was all over her smell would be embedded in his memory forever. But he wasn’t coming out until she came back with answers. As he was drifting off to sleep again he could have sworn he heard somebody knocking but he thought it might have been the TV. Why did Ginny have to have the volume up so high he was trying to sleep here!



 



The next thing he knew he heard Ginny shouting. “What are you doing here? You’re trespassing you know, you don’t just walk into someone’s home like that.”



 



“I used a key; I am the landlord of this building so therefore I have to right if I have a reason. Now where is that cat?”



 



Every hair on Draco’s body went straight up. It was that damn women again.



 



“You can’t take him, Hermione said she would take care of it but something came up and she had to attend to it.”



 



“She’s waited to long and besides she’ll thank me for this. She’ll be saving money and she won’t have to take the time off to do it for him.”



 



“Still you have no right, this Hermione’s cat not yours so you better leave now or I’ll have to get the authorities.”



 



“No need I told her if she didn’t take care of it soon I would, regardless.”



            He saw the bedroom door open and in walked the old women with a horrible stench of tuna fish. And Ginny at her heels. Draco was still in the closet the doors were only cracked open so maybe if he stayed really quite she wouldn’t look in there. No such luck the doors swung open and she found him.



 



“Here kitty, kitty.”



 



He hissed at her crouching down ready to attack if she touched him but she was unfazed by his warning. She reached for him.



 



“Draco Get Out of Here!!” Ginny screamed behind her.



 



He ran like hell but she was too fast she caught him and shoved him into a pet carrier.



 



“I won’t hurt you, you beast! I’m just fixing you so we won’t have anymore of you pests polluting our streets and alleyways.”



 



“Don’t you dare step out that door with him. I’m calling Hermione, she will not be happy.”



 



Ms. Moffit didn’t seem to be afraid of the threat for she kept walking. Crookshanks tried to stop her by taking a bite out of her ankle and she just kicked him away, so hard he flew across the room and landed with a thump. Ginny went after Crookshanks.



 



“You Horrible woman, you don’t treat animals that way.”



 



            Ms. Moffit choose that moment to make her escape. Shit, why wasn’t Ginny using her magic to stop her? He wanted to shout out but couldn’t, the only thing that came out of his mouth was a angry hiss. Who cared about the muggle law, this was pretty much a life or death situation here. He felt sick with panic. Not just for where she was taking him but what would happen to him. But for being trapped and so completely helpless. And Hermione wasn’t here to save him.



 



            Ginny panicked. Shit this wasn’t suppose to happen. The one time I get up to go to the loo this happens. Hermione was never going to forgive her if something happened to Malfoy, she knew she cared for him a lot, even more then she would ever admit. The damn woman escaped. And of all the days she left her wand at home, man she was really losing her touch these days. She ran out the door after the woman and shut the door behind her so Crookshanks wouldn’t get out. And pulled out her cell phone and called Harry. Shit the old woman was fast she was already down the four flights of stairs and out the door. About ten seconds later Harry arrived with Hermione. They apparited in the lobby of her apartment, luckily nobody was around to see what happened.



 



“What happened? Where is Draco?” Hermione yelled, panic and tears filling her voice and eyes.



“Your neighbor took him I couldn’t stop her I’m sorry.”



 



            Without saying anything Hermione took off running in the direction of the clinic. Harry and Ginny followed behind. She ran a block when she spotted Ms. Moffit.



 



“You let him go right now or I will have you arrested for stealing my property.”



 



“Dear Hermione, I’m doing you a favor.”



 



“No your not! He’s more then a cat he’s…special and he’s mine. I’ll will do with him how I want. Now let him go.” She yelled at the women, she knew she was making a scene but she didn’t care. She reached for the pet carrier. Ms. Moffit tried to pull away but Hermione managed to pull the latch on the door. The pet carrier swung open and out leaped Draco.



 



“Draco Run!”   


Chapter 9: Where's Draco?
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

AN: I don’t own anything from Harry Potter and plot is based on novel Blonde with a Wand by Vicki Lewis Thompson.



 



 



            As soon as Hermione released the latch on the pet carrier Draco exploded out of it. And following Hermione’s orders, he ran like hell away from the crazy women. He didn’t know where he was going but he kept running regardless.



            He finally stopped and hid in a random alleyway. At first running away felt like freedom, he was finally free but now that he stopped and the adrenaline was wearing off he realized he had no idea where he was. He thought about hopping up on one of the trash cans along the wall to try to get a better view and find out if he could make out his bearings, but that didn’t seem very wise considering he was a stray cat…a stray cat, now that was a depressing thought. If he didn’t find Hermione or if Hermione didn’t find him he would have to be left to defend for himself. Damn it I shouldn’t have ran that far, he thought. Hopefully Hermione will come looking for me, surely she wouldn’t give up. She might be bossy, stubborn, head headed, but she wasn’t cruel, she was determined. Once she started something she always saw it through no matter what it took and hopefully he fit into that category where she would see to his becoming a human again to the end. Oh who was he kidding, this was Hermione Granger, the girl he made certain that her life was miserable, who constantly reminded her that she was scum, beneath him because she was a muggle-born. Why would she come looking for him when he’s been a complete ass to her all throughout school? And even at the bookstore he was awful to her which caused her to lose her temper and now look at him. She’s probably relieved that he got away.



            Draco thought about his choices, he could try to find out where he was and maybe go back to his loft…if he could find it, and if he did how was he suppose to get in? It would be difficult to explain to someone what happened to him. Or he could slowly retrace his steps back to where he came from and hopefully run across Hermione’s apartment building. He never got a good look at what her building looked like so it would be really hard to locate it especially being 12 inches tall, it would be hard to recognize anything from his perspective. And if he did find it he would have to be very careful to avoid the crazy Moffit woman because she lived in the same building. Maybe he could look for her bookstore that would be easy to locate. Okay that was it, he would go there, but he would still have to hide incase another animal snatcher came across him.



            Draco started having second thoughts; maybe he should just stay here and pray Hermione would come looking for him. He was still under her spell and if he changed last night, it might be a good possibility that he would change again tonight, and he would be naked when that happened. And being naked in the middle of a alleyway in London was a whole other kind of trouble he didn’t want to deal with, somebody would take him in for sure if that happened.



 



“Get away you mangy beast!!” someone yelled.



 



            Draco looked around to see who the grumpy man was yelling to, but he didn’t see anyone, just then a rock came flying past him almost hitting him in the head. So the mangy beast he was talking about was him. Another rock went flying banging loudly into a metal trashcan. Draco had no choice but to run. He ran in the direction that he came from earlier, hopefully bring him closer to Hermione and ducked into another alleyway. This one seemed more crowded which meant more places to hide.



            Merlin this was just disgusting, if his father saw him right now hiding behind rubbish, he would box his ears and tell him that he was an embarrassment to the wizarding world. He saw a broken down card board box in the corner and headed towards it. From there he would be able to hid but still look out for Hermione if she came strolling by looking for him. He started to duck inside it when he heard a cat hiss; he apparently wasn’t the only one wanting to seek shelter in the box.



            Oh no, Hermione wasn’t thinking when she told Draco to run. Sure she wanted him to get away from that woman but she didn’t think he would completely disappear. After Hermione forced Ms. Moffit to give her, her key back she turned around and didn’t see Draco anywhere. She raced to the corner of the street and looked in all directions; he was no where in sight.



 



Harry and Ginny caught up with her, “Man Hermione you weren’t kidding when you said Malfoy was a cat. I mean he had fur and everything.”



 



“Harry not now!!” she yelled. “Did any of you see where he went?”



 



“No not really. I mean he took off back towards your apartment but I doubt he would go there knowing the old woman lives there,” Ginny said.



 



“Yeah and the fact that he doesn’t even know what my apartment looks like.” Hermione added.



 



“Maybe we should split up, each go in a different direction looking for him.”



 



“Maybe, god he could be anywhere and I doubt he knows his way around London very well. Do you think you could do a locating spell to find him Harry?”



 



“Yeah, but I’ll need something of his to perform the spell, and I don’t know if it will work properly since he isn’t in a human form.”



 



“Well, we can always try. I have his clothes at my place, you can use those. Keep an eye out for him and look low, he’s a cat so he’ll probably be hiding somewhere.”



 



            They made it to Hermione’s apartment in less then 2 minutes with no sign of Draco, she and Harry went up the stairs while Ginny kept searching for any whereabouts of Draco. Hermione grabbed his coat from her closet and shoved it at Harry. Waiting impatiently for him to locate Draco. It was absolute torture, not being able to use magic. If she could she would locate him and apparate to where he was and make sure he was alright. She can’t imagine what he’s going through right now. If anything happened to him while he was abandoned in the streets of London she would never forgive herself.



 



“Got him!” Harry said. “I don’t know his exact location, but he is somewhat close by. Three maybe four blocks away. I just don’t know which direction. He’s in a alleyway I think, I see a lot of rubbish and it’s dark and dank.”



 



“Okay so we’ll just split up and look for him and call each other if we find him. I’ll just grab some chicken.”



 



“Are you hungry?” Harry asked confused.



 



“No, it’s for Draco incase we have to coax him out of his hiding place.”



 



“Ah, well you know what they say; the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”



 



“Shut up Harry, this isn’t the time.” She scurried past him anxious to find him and soon.



 



            Hermione searched more then ten alleyways down her street; she was beginning to get weird stares from people walking along side her. She couldn’t find him anywhere. She was about to lose hope when her cell phone rang.



 



It was Ginny, “I found him, but he won’t come out. I think you need to do it.”



 



“Where are you?”



 



“A couple blocks south from your shop, next to the drugstore.”



 



“Okay stay right there, I’m on my way.” Hermione shut her cell phone and practically ran to where Ginny said she was.



 



            By the time she reached her she was out of breath. She peeked into the alleyway and sure enough there was Draco sitting in the opening of a card board box.



 



“He won’t budge. I tried everything; he’s not coming out of that box.” Ginny said.



 



“That’s weird, let me try.”



 



She reached in her bag and pulled out a container full of chicken. She got down on her knees so she was eye level with him and tried to coax him out.



 



“Thank god your okay, I was so worried. Okay come on lets go home. I promise Miss Moffit won’t get you anymore you don’t need to be afraid.”



            She reached out to grab him but he ducked away farther into the box.



 



“Come on Draco. I promise I won’t hurt you or let anyone else hurt you please.” She begged offering him a piece of chicken.



 



He just stared at her, but something in his eyes told her he needed something. “What? What is it?” she asked quietly.



 



            He looked over his shoulder into the depth of the box. It was then that she saw them. It was a mother cat with three new born kittens that only looked days old. They all looked to be in really bad shape. The mother looked liked she hasn’t eaten in days.



 



“Oh Draco that’s why you wouldn’t come out. You were trying to protect them. Here can you give her the chicken, see if she’ll eat it? Maybe if we feed her, she won’t be so aggressive.”



 



            Draco walked towards her hand which held a small piece of chicken and gently took it between his teeth and turned back to walk into the box and dropped it in front of the mother who gobbled it up right away. She was already reaching for more pieces when Ginny walked up behind her.



 



“What’s going on? Why won’t he come out?”



 



“Look, he was guarding this family, I think he wants me to take them some where safe.” She said as she watched in amaze how Draco kept offering pieces of chicken to the mother cat.



 



“Oh my they are so cute! What do you think you’re going to do?”



 



“I don’t know, I could always take them to a shelter but then they might get separated to soon and that won’t be good.”



 



“Harry and I could take them. I always wanted a cat and we have a small shed out back that they could live in and run around in. We could take care of them until their old enough to be given away.”



 



“That would be awesome. Draco did you hear that, do you think that will be a good plan?” Draco looked back at her and gave her a curt nod of his head.



 



            Ginny got on her cell phone with Harry and told him to buy a pet carrier and some more chicken so they could get the mother and her babies out from the shelter of their card board home.



            It was a struggle but they finally managed to get all four kitties into the carrier. Once they were all safely tucked inside Harry and Ginny decided to head back home with their new little family. Draco sat at Hermione’s heels the whole time. She reached down to pick him up and take him back to her place. She hugged him tight against her chest and pressed her face into his fur.



 



“You did really good Draco,” she whispered. “Really good. They’ll be safe at Harry and Ginny’s place I promise. Let’s go home now.”



 



~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~



 



            Draco was so relieved when Hermione came running down the alleyway to him. Even though he would never admit it in person but he was relieved when Ginny spotted him first. Because he knew if Ginny was there then Hermione was surely short behind. He didn’t so much as move when Ginny tried to coax him out. He wanted to wait for Hermione, hopefully she would understand about what needs to be done with the family. When he found them he noticed how malnourished they all were especially the mother and is the mother was in bad shape then her babies would make it. They were so small, as if they were born days ago. He didn’t know why but he couldn’t leave them, he felt like it was his job to help get them to a safe place. And when Hermione came up to him he almost doubted her, in that she wouldn’t care and she would just leave them and let nature take its course. But once she realized what he was protecting he knew that he could trust her to make sure they were taken care of. He wasn’t necessarily trilled that they were going to go home with Potter, but what could he do. He knew deep down that they would take care of the mama and her babies.



            Right now he just wanted to go home and sleep for hours, this day has really taken a toll on him. When Hermione walked into the apartment he noticed Crookshanks pacing back and fourth in front of the door as if he was waiting for them to get back and he could have sworn that the cat let out a sigh of relief when he noticed Draco was back. But that was crazy, that cat couldn’t possibly miss him.



            As soon as Hermione put him down on the ground Crookshanks came up to him with a toy in his mouth. He set it down in front of Draco, he just looked at it not sure what to do with it. He appreciated the offer but he wasn’t going to play with a half eaten felt mouse and enjoy it. But he didn’t want to let Crookshanks down either; he had a mean strike so he wanted to stay on his good side. Of course Draco was realizing that Crookshanks just put up a evil front and that deep down he was a big softy who just wanted a buddy to play with. He decided what he should do with his new gift. He wasn’t keen on picking it up in his mouth, because who knew where that has been. But he didn’t want to ignore it either so instead he kicked it with his paw so it skidded across the floor past Crookshanks. Then he ran after it encouraging him to follow which then started a game of chase among the two.



 



“It’s okay if you two play, just don’t mess up my apartment this time.” Hermione said as she walked to the couch.



            Hermione threw herself onto her sofa. What a crazy day, she thought. She was so relieved to have Draco back. And she was so shocked that he was so determined to help out the mother cat and her kittens, she selfishly thought that somebody like him wouldn’t have the heart to do that. She could picture him just ignoring them and going on his way. But he didn’t, he made her stop and help them. Apparently there was mare to him then she ever thought possible. She soon fell asleep on the couch thinking about Draco.



            Draco played chase with Crookshanks for about ten minutes to the point where he was absolutely exhausted and hungry. He walked back into the living room to see if he could get Hermione to fix him something to eat and then he would sleep. He walked into to see Hermione sound asleep curled at the end of her sofa. Pieces of her curly hair falling into her face lying across her cheek. If he was human he would reach out and tuck those pieces behind her ear so he could see her face, then linger the back of his fingers down her cheek to see if her skin was as soft and smooth as it look. Man he was turning soft. Being in her presence constantly was making him start to feel things he would never imagine himself feeling for Granger. He didn’t have the energy to wake her up so she could feed him, he could wait a little longer. He hopped up onto the sofa and curled himself at the end of her legs, engulfing himself in the body heat and scent of her. Propping his chin on her ankles he to soon fell into a peaceful sleep.



 



~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~



 



            He woke up with a lazy stretch and when his front paws came into contact with the back of Hermione’s thighs did he remember where he currently was, she stirred a bit but didn’t wake up. He glanced at the clock, 8:00pm they both slept for more then six hours. Then he remembered something, which was Hermione went to talk to McGonagall. He wanted to know what she said about his condition. Hermione must have forgotten to tell him when all the excitement broke lose earlier this morning. He carefully got up from his comfortable spot behind Hermione’s legs and leaped to the ground making his way to the table where her laptop sat. He tapped it until it came to life then he wrote his message when he was done he looked back at Hermione who was still asleep. She looked so peaceful, but he wanted answers, so he walked back towards her determined to wake her up. Besides she slept most of the day away which meant she’ll be up all night so in away he was doing her a favor. He hopped up so he was by her shoulder. He tired tapping his paw on her arm, and nothing, he tried farther up. He tapped her cheek and all that did was cause her to brush it away with her hand but she still didn’t wake. Merlin she was a deep sleeper, he thought about scratching or maybe bite her but he didn’t want to hurt her…hum, I wonder what would happen if I did this…he licked her on the lips, sure he could have licked her cheek, chin or even her hand but he figured if he was going to chance it he might as well go all the way. He couldn’t help it being eye level with her mouth was just too tempting.



 



“Wha..?” Hermione woke up with a start. Opening her eyes she noticed she was face to face with Draco the cat, whose head was mere inches away from hers. “Draco? What’s going on?” She asked.



            Was it her imagination or did he just lick her on the mouth? If it was any other cat like Crookshanks she might be a but grossed out, but since it was Draco who was a whole other thing she wasn’t sure about, she felt better because she knew he wasn’t really a cat and she was pretty sure he hasn’t been licking himself or anything else along those lines. Of course now she was getting all flustered thinking about it, in a way it was as if he kissed her, at least it was close enough to a kiss that he could manage. Oh good grief he didn’t kiss her, he was just trying to get her attention. She snapped out of her daydream, when he looked back towards her computer clearly he wanted to let her know something. She sat up on the sofa and stretched, wow she didn’t realize her sofa was so comfortable, she slept really good, better then she had in a long time. She got up taking Draco with her cradling him in her arms absently scratching behind his ears. Oh she better stop doing that, she can’t seem to help it since he was in a cat form it was just a reflex to pet him. Apparently he didn’t mind because he started purring. She walked over to the table and set him down leaning over to see what he wrote.



 



WAT DID PROF MCGON SAY



 



“Oh my gosh, I completely forgot about that.” She said realizing she never told him. “She wasn’t in so I sent a owl to her explaining what happened and that she respond as soon as possible,” she said and noticed that Draco’s shoulders slumped a little when she told him the news.



 



“Sorry, she’ll respond and we’ll fix this soon.”



            She wanted to say that she promised but she was sick of making promises she wasn’t sure she would be able to keep. She decided to change the subject, because there wasn’t anything she could do until McGonagall responded.



 



“Are you hungry?” His stomach growled. “Ha ha I take that as a yes, come on I’ll fix you up something to eat.”



           



She walked into the kitchen with Draco at her heels, “I wish I could feed you something other then chicken, I’m sure your sick of it by now. I’m not sure what kind of people food you can eat and can’t eat. But then again Crookshanks used to eat anything and everything back in the day but now he’s on a diet.”



            She looked through her refrigerator; it was pretty bare she would have to go to the store sometime soon. She pulled out a piece of steak she’s had in her freezer for a while. She’s always been to busy to cook it up and eat it. So she decided to cook it up. In away for apologizing for all the trauma he went through today as well as the past couple of days. She wasn’t a gourmet cook by any means but she managed to thaw out the meat and season it with spices she had around and threw it in the skillet and had it ready in less then ten minutes. She cut off a piece for herself and planned on giving the rest to Draco. Unfortunately Crookshanks walked in around the time she was setting down cut up bite size pieces for Draco.



 



“Sorry Crooks, you can’t have any.” She heard a tapping coming from the living room, so she left to go see what it was.



            As soon as Hermione left, Draco dropped a piece down to Crookshanks so he wouldn’t start begging. He gobbled it up and looked back up to him as if asking for more. Oh why not, he dropped down another piece. Of course that’s when Hermione came back into the kitchen.



 



“Draco! Don’t do that, he’s on a strict diet, and I’m trying to get him to the point where he will stop begging for food.”



            Draco just looked at her all innocently, glancing down at the letter that came for her in her hand.



 



“I got this from McGonagall. I guess that means she got my letter, so now we’ll have to find out if she has the answers to this,” she said as she held up the envelope in her hand. 



              



              



 


Chapter 10: The letter and the night alone with Malfoy
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

AN: I don’t own anything from Harry Potter and the plot is based on the novel Blonde with a Wand, by Vicki Lewis Thompson. 



 



            She tore away the seal on the back of the letter and opened it up, with shaky fingers. Draco ducked around so he could see what it said as if he wanted to be the first to read it.



 



“What? It’s blank?” she said out loud confused. Flipping the sheet of parchment over back and forth. There was absolutely no writing on it. “Why would she send me a blank piece of paper? Surely you wouldn’t need magic to open it, I told her about my loss of magic.”



 



            She took the letter into her living room trying to figure out what it had said or why it was blank. As she walked farther into the room she could have sworn she saw a hint of writing on the empty sheet. But as soon as it appeared it disappeared. Draco hopped up onto the coffee table apparently anxious to find out what was going on.



 



“I don’t know what is up with this. Clearly it’s enchanted I just have to figure out how to trigger it so it will reveal the letter she wrote.”



She started pacing back and forth willing the words to appear. She went over to the dining table so she could have better light to see with. When she reached the table it happened again, more words appeared. She started to read the beginning.



 



Ms. Granger,



 



            Then they disappeared again, she looked down at Draco who walked over towards her. Hum? I wonder… she turned and walked away from him and the words appeared, but when Draco started following her the words would disappear.



 



“Stay there Draco, I want to try something. Don’t move.”



 



            She walked past him and quickly went to her bedroom and shut the door so he couldn’t get in. She glanced down at the parchment in her hand, and sure enough the contents of the letter were revealed.



 



Ms. Granger,



            My sincere apologies for the secretive way of conveying this message to you. As you know by now this letter is for your eyes only and Mr. Malfoy is to not know of what it contains. You are to not speak of what you read in here. The only way to break the spell is in him. He is the key. But he has to figure it out on his own. This is a very complicated spell you have ‘accidently’ put him under and it only works on those who deserve it. Since you two never got along while at school I’m assuming that this is his punishment for treating you so poorly when you did not deserve to be treated so back then. The spell must have detected that he needed to be taught a lesson. From what I know of this curse, Mr. Malfoy must perform good deeds, for other people and his environment around him. But it must be his doing and his doing alone. He can not be provoked or tricked into doing something good. So therefore you can not help him accomplish such things. You can only help him if it is a task that he simply can’t do by himself or if he asks you to help him. But keep in mind he needs to be the one doing most of the work, I don’t know for sure how many good deeds he needs to do in order for the spell to break, that all depends on him. Remember you cannot tell him any of this. If you don’t mind I’ll stop by tomorrow afternoon around one o’clock to discuss this in farther detail of what needs to be done. Make sure you’re in the room alone so Mr. Malfoy can’t hear what will be said.



Best Wishes,



Professor McGonagall



 



            She kept staring at the letter watching the words disappear once she finished reading it. She could hear Draco scratching at the door. So he’s the key, it’s up to him to break the curse? But he has to figure it out on his own. There was a knock on her door. Hermione froze. Who on earth could that be?



 



“Granger open up,” came a voice she knew all to well.



 



            She put the blank parchment down and saw that it disintegrated into nothing the moment her hands left it. She walked to her door and opened it up, coming face to face with Draco...human Draco. Who apparently grabbed a bath towel from the guest bathroom and tied it around his waist to cover himself up with.



 



“You’re…human again.”



 



He gave her a look that expressed that he thought she was a complete genius for pointing out the obvious. Okay so apparently her mind had a problem of going completely blank when he was in the room walking around in only a towel.



 



“What did the letter say?”



 



“Um…”



 



“Well?” he said as he walked past her towards her closet where she kept his clothes.



 



            She glanced at the clock, ten o’clock, two hours before midnight this time. Maybe since he found the mother cat earlier today and brought it to Hermione’s attention to help them, it must have been his good deed of the day. And the bigger the deed the more time he is allowed in human form until the curse is broken. But what caused him to change last night?



            Just then Crookshanks strolled into the bedroom completely undisturbed of having a new person in the room; he carried that felt mouse of his in his mouth. He walked over to Draco and sat in front of his feet.



 



“Not now buddy, later okay?” he told Crookshanks.



 



            Huh so Crookshanks knew that that was Draco the same Draco he knows as a cat.



 



“Hello? Granger are you listening to me?”



 



“Huh? Sorry what?” she glanced up snapping out of her thoughts and noticed that he was now wearing his pants but was still naked from the waist up.



 



“What was in the letter? What did McGonagall say?”



 



“Um…It’s…I can’t…she’s meeting me tomorrow to discuss the details.” She managed to say.



 



“So, she’s has the counter-spell? She knows how to break the spell?”



 



“Yes, but she won’t tell you what it is and I’m not allowed to say anything either.”



 



“Why the Hell not?” he raced towards her grabbing on to her shoulders and pining her to the wall.



 



“Please. I can’t tell you. That’s all I can say. Just wait until tomorrow when I talk to McGonagall and then she or I might be able to tell you more.”



 



            He eased his grip a little bit but didn’t let go of her. He was really quite scary when he got mad and he was much bigger then her and stronger. Definitely not the skinny wimp he was back in third year when she punched him. And that thought scared her. He could easily hurt her if he wanted to. He must have seen the terror in her eyes for he let go of her completely and turned his back to her.



 



“Sorry,” he said quietly.



 



She let out a breath she didn’t realize she was holding, “it’s okay. You have every right to be mad me right now. And if I could answer your questions I would. I want to break this curse just as much as you do. But I just can’t tell you.”



 



He took a deep breath in and let it out; she noticed that he seem to relax a bit with that.



 



“It’s ten o’clock which means I probably only have a little less then four hours before I change back.”



 



“So you think it has something to do with midnight as well?”



 



“I don’t know, I guess? Last night I changed ten til midnight, and changed back ten after. Now its two hours til midnight so I’m guessing it will be two o’clock when I turn back into…” he looked down at Crookshanks.



 



“A cat.” She finished for him. “Do…Do you ever think you’ll forgive me for doing this to you?”



 



He let out a breath. “I don’t know…” he took in another breath and let it out. “Let’s just break the curse first then I’ll let you know.”



 



“That seems fair. And we will break the curse, we’ll find a way. I won’t let you live the rest of your life like this.” She reassured him for what felt like the millionth time, and in away she was reassuring herself as well.



 



What was she going to do with him for the next four hours? “Um, do you need anything right now? Something to eat or drink?” Merlin why was she so intimidated by him, all she ever used to be around him was either annoyed or pissed off. “Or you can leave. I mean you don’t have to stay here if you don’t want to. I don’t want to make you feel like a prisoner here. It’s up to you.” She didn’t want him to leave, but she couldn’t make him stay either.



 



He didn’t answer right away, just finished buttoning up his shirt that he put on. “I think I’ll stay, if that’s okay?” he sounded unsure, like he was the one who was afraid that she would kick him out or something. “I don’t want the risk of not knowing for sure when and where I’ll change back, at least not until I’m sure of the time limitations.”



 



“Okay, is there anything I can do for you? I mean I never asked if you had pets or anything else back home that needed taken care of.”



 



“No pets and I have a house elf Smitty who takes care of all the housework.”



 



“Oh, of course you do.” She remembered that Dobby was a house elf for the Malfoy’s before Harry helped free him from his enslavement. And she remembered how badly treated he was there. She could only hope that Draco wasn’t so cruel.



 



As if Draco sensed her thoughts he turned to her and looked her in the eye, “I’m not my father,” he said in a low voice. “I make sure Smitty is taken very good care of. He’s been with me since I was a baby.”



 



“Okay,” was all she could say under the heat of his stare.



 



She broke eye contact and started to move out of the bedroom, a place that was beginning to feel way to intimate for her liking. He followed her out into the living room not saying anything. Probably lost in his own thoughts just as she was. With him being human, her already tiny apartment only seemed to get smaller and smaller with him occupying the space. Now what was she suppose to do? Going to bed would be pointless and she wouldn’t be able to sleep anyway knowing he would be in the other room very much human.



 



“So what did you want to do, um for the time being?”



 



He plopped down onto her sofa and shrugged his shoulders, “I guess wait it out and see what happens.”



 



“For four hours?”



 



“Do you have something better in mind to occupy the time?” he smirked at her with a teasing stare.



 



To her embarrassment she could feel the blush creepy up her cheeks. Pretty much letting him know that she knew what he was implying with that comment.



 



“In your dreams Malfoy.”



 



He chuckled low at that. “Eh it was worth a try.” He said flipping on her Television like he owned the place.



 



“Um so do you want anything to eat or drink?” she knew she was repeating herself for she already asked him that once before.



 



“You don’t have to wait on me hand and foot Granger, even though the thought of you catering to my every whim is pleasing. I can take care of myself. I’ve been here long enough to figure out where everything is and your anxiousness is making me anxious so just stop and relax, your too tense. The sooner you relax the quicker the time will go and before you know it I’ll a cat again, one who doesn’t talk back.”



 



“I guess that’s a perk to all of this.” She said in a teasing tone. “Well still I’m going to the kitchen do you want anything?”



 



“You don’t happen to have any ice cream do you?”



 



“Ha ha yeah I think I do,” she replied chuckling.



 



“What’s do funny?”



 



She stopped right away when he caught her laughing. “Nothing I guess I wasn’t expecting that from you, you just don’t seem like the ice cream type.”



 



“Oh? And what type do I look like?” he said smirking at her daring her to answer him.



 



“I don’t know something classier like…” she tried to think of some dessert that someone as ‘superior’ as himself would like. “Crème burlee or tiramisu?”



 



“Ha ha, yeah well those are both delicious, but what can I say, I’m a sucker for good old fashion plain ice cream.”



 



“Okay, I’m going to make some tea as well, would you like some?”



 



“Sure,” he said as he watched her walk into the kitchen.



 



            Merlin he needed to do a serious mental check on his emotions. He was all over the place. First he was nervous about what the letter said, and then he was angry when he found out that she couldn’t tell him anything to the point where he almost hurt her. He could see the terror in her eyes when he backed her up against the wall in the bedroom. He was not his father; he didn’t beat up women when they did something he didn’t like. Then he was ashamed of himself that he couldn’t even look her in the eye after that. And then when she mentioned about it being okay if he left, he didn’t want to, because quite frankly the thought of him leaving with a strong possibility of him changing at any given minute terrified him. And he didn’t want to be stranded in the streets of London, not again. And now he was relaxed enough that he was teasing Hermione to the point where he could tell he was making her nervous which of course only made him want to tease her more.



            He wondered why he changed back so early this time. What caused him to do that? He didn’t drink the nasty potion today. Maybe the curse was only temporary and it would ware off completely in the next couple days. No that can’t be it, because the first day when Hermione and Ginny were looking over the spell book it said the curse was permanent unless she changed him back in the first ten minutes of him changing into a cat. Why wouldn’t McGonagall tell him what it would take to break it? Was it something he had to figure out on his own?



            He could hear Hermione in the kitchen gathering everything. He scented her the moment she walked out. Funny that he still had some lingering cat senses when he was human. Or maybe it was just Hermione. Maybe she always smelled that good?



 



“Do you need help with that?” he stood up and headed towards her as she almost dropped a tea cup on the ground as she juggled everything in her arms.



 



“Thanks,” she said as he grabbed the tea cups and tea kettle as she still held the bowls of ice cream.



 



            He walked back over to the sofa and set the kettle and cups on the coffee table and poured the tea into the cups as she handed him his ice cream.



 



“This isn’t going to kill me or make me sick is it?” he said half jokingly but also half serious.



 



“What?” she asked confused.



 



“It’s chocolate. You told me the first night that I couldn’t lick myself because I was covered in chocolate and cats are allergic to chocolate. So therefore you had to give me a bath to wash it all off.” He said with a wink.



 



“Um, I think you’ll be fine.” She said not looking at him.



 



            She already knew her face was bright red so there was no use hiding it. Oh god, he had to bring up the bath. Of course it was completely harmless and innocent but hearing him say it out loud put a whole new perspective on it. Sometimes she forgets that he really is Draco Malfoy even though he looks like a cat, it’s still him on the inside.



 



She decided to change the subject, “what are you watching?”



 



He shrugged, “I don’t know, I think its called Shark week? It’s…interesting.”



 



“Ha ha yeah, it’s apparently very popular in America, I’m not sure why, but people seem to go crazy when it’s on.” She said as she settled in on the opposite corner of the sofa from Draco.



 



“Well it is intriguing.”



 



“Mm,” she nodded as she took a bite of ice cream.



 



            While watching a documentary on Great Whites, the silence between them, should have been awkward but it wasn’t, it was…comforting? They should have had a million things to talk about but neither one really seemed to be in the talking mood. Crookshanks took that moment to jump on the sofa by Hermione. He walked across her lap heading towards Draco. Hermione reached out to pet him but he was too fast for her. Before she knew it he was in Draco’s lap purring adoringly up at him.



 



“Ha ha I think you have a friend for life there.”



 



“Yeah we’re good buddies now.” He said as he scratched Crookshanks under the chin.



 



“Well he must really like you. He never takes very well to strangers, especially male strangers.”



 



“We’re not strangers, well not anymore obviously…Do you have a lot of strange men that you bring home to meet Crookshanks?” he asked teasingly but he was bizarrely anxious to hear what her answer would be.



 



“No, not really except for Harry and Ron and well I guess there have been a couple men I’ve brought over.”



 



He let out a breath he didn’t realize he was holding and what he didn’t expect was the wave of jealously he felt when hearing about the other men in her life.



 



“What? Why do you look mad all of a sudden?”



 



“Nothing, I just didn’t expect you to be the kind of girl to bring men to your home.”



 



She looked at him as if he grew horns, “Well first off you asked, and second what is that supposed to mean? I’m not a nun and even though you might find me repulsive doesn’t mean that every male out does too.” She replied trying to keep her temper at bay.



 



“Sorry, that’s not what I meant; I meant that you didn’t seem like the girl, woman to bring a guy over unless it was serious. I didn’t mean to insult you or anything.”



 



            As if Crookshanks sensed the tension between them. He got off Draco’s lap and stepped down between them rolling onto his back as if asking someone to scratch his belly. They both reached for him at the same time and their hands collided with each other. They both pulled back as if they’ve been shocked.



 



“Sorry,” they both said at the same time.



 



            Draco starting scratching under Crookshanks chin again as Hermione scratched his belly. And Crookshanks was in kitty heaven.



 



“You’re so spoiled” she muttered to him.



 



Draco cleared his throat. “So, uh whatever happened with you and Weasley. Weren’t you two a couple at one point?”



 



She snorted, “I guess you could say that. During 7th year we were kind of together but I don’t know it just got weird. It was like snogging my brother. We mutually decided just to be friends and nothing more.”



 



“Mm” was all he said to that.



 



            After that they fell back into the oddly comfortable silence again. The only sounds in the room were the TV which was almost to low to hear over Crookshanks purring. Once the show that they were watching was over Hermione reached over to grab their dishes.



 



“Here let me help with those.” He said as he reached over to grab the now empty tea kettle.



 



She was about to tell him not to worry about it, but then she remember what he was supposed to do to become human again so she let him help. They carried the dishes to the kitchen. He set the dishes in the sink.



 



“How about I wash, you dry?” he asked.



 



She didn’t want to tell him she had a dishwasher right next to him so he didn’t need to even offer, but she let it pass and actually thought it was sweet that he offered in the first place. Now Draco and sweet was something that she never thought she’d use together when describing him.



 



“Okay,” she said as she handed him the dirty bowls.



 



            She watched in amazement as he rolled up his sleeves and started washing the dishes.



 



“What?” he asked not taking his eyes off his task.



 



“Nothing, I just never thought I see the day when the Draco Malfoy is washing dishes.”



 



“Well don’t look so shocked. I’ve washed dishes before.”



 



“Really?” she asked not believing him. “Didn’t you have servants growing up?”



 



“Well yeah, but I live by myself now so I have to fend for myself.” He said handing her a clean bowl to dry.



 



“Yeah with a house elf to help.” She reminded him imitating his famous smirk.



 



“Okay, okay fine you win, but I’m still capable of doing a little house work every now and then.”



 



“Uh huh, I think you missed a spot.” She teased. “Hey!” she ducked when he splashed soapy water in her direction. “Okay I take it back.” she surrendered laughing as she wiped soapy suds from her shirt.



 



“Good,” he smirked. “You uh have some suds on your cheek.”



 



She wiped her cheek off. “Did I get it?”



 



“No the other side.” He said.



 



“Is it gone?”



 



He chuckled. “No, here let me,” he reached out and ran his finger down the length of her nose. “Got it.”



 



She tried her best not to flinch away when he touched her. She practically stopped breathing when his finger touched her skin. But she recovered quickly.



 



“That was my nose, not my cheek.”



 



“Oh, my mistake.” He smiled back at her then returned to the sink.



 



            That jerk, he was just messing with her. So why was she smiling? She shook her head and reached up to open the cabinet to put the clean dishes away.



 



“Ouch! Damn-it!” she pulled her hand quickly away.



 



“What? What’s wrong?” he rushed over to her looking concerned.



 



“It’s nothing, just a splinter.”



 



“Let me see.” He reached out to her all teasing gone.



 



“No, really I’m fine.”



 



“Stop being stubborn, let me see.” He took her hand in his and looked at her palm where the splinter was. “It’s in there deep. Come on lets go into the living room and I’ll take care of it.”



 



“No really I can handle it.” He just ignored her and started pulling gently towards the living room.



 



“Sit,” he said as they reached the sofa. He waited for her to do as he said. “Please.” He added as he stuck out his bottom lip trying to give her the sad puppy dog look.



 



She let out a frustrated breath and did as he said; trying not to let him see that she was trying hard to fight back a smile. He sat next to her, so close their legs were touching, so close she could smell hints of his aftershave or maybe it was his cologne. She tried not to be affected by it but when he took her hand again it sent pleasant little tingling shivers up her arm. She wanted so desperately to lean in and snuggle closer to him and maybe lay her head on his shoulder.



 



“Ouch!” she flinched and tried to pull away.



 



“Sorry,” he looked over at her.



 



“I’m certified to do this, let me do this,” she tried to pull away again but he kept a hold of it.



 



“So what caused you to leave St. Mungos?” he asked clearly trying to distract her, but this was not something she wanted to talk about.



 



“Um, I just got tired of it is all.” She flinched again when he went back to work on her hand.



 



“Why do I get the feeling that you’re not telling the whole story?”



 



She shrugged, “It’s the truth.”



 



“So what happened?” he looked at her.



 



“It’s…complicated.”



 



“Maybe it will help if you talk about it.” She flinched. “Don’t move.” He said.



 



“Why do you care anyway?” she said trying to avoid the subject.



 



“Just trying to make conversation…so?” he wasn’t giving up. “Did you always want to be a healer?”



 



“Yeah, well both my parents are dentists so I’ve always kind of been around medical people and facilities growing up. Then I found out about magic and Hogwarts and they have their own version of doctors and hospitals only they were better and more advanced, because you got to include magic and potions that muggle doctors would never think of. And I just knew I wanted to do that. So I worked as hard as I could and tried to learn as much as possible so I could excel and become a healer someday. But then…” she trailed off.



 



“What?” he asked quietly.



 



“The war happened and I doubted for a while if that’s what I wanted to do, but I did it anyway. I always loved helping people and the best way to do that is to help heal the sick and hurt. But I don’t know, I didn’t think it would affect me so much, seeing the hurt and dying. It just brought back to many awful memories of the war. But I just figured it would be something I would get over and just learn to block it out. I mean it’s your job as a healer to keep your emotions to yourself and not let those things get to you.”



 



He remained quiet, probably lost in his own thoughts about the war. Still working on her hand, “So what was the final straw that made you quit?” he asked.



He looked up at her; he could tell it was something bad for she had a sad look in her face and the hand he was holding started trembling.



 



“You don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to, but like I said it might help if you did.” She looked up at him clearly debating with herself whether or not she was going to tell him what happened.



 



She let out a shaky breath. “Um…I was always good at what I did, I never once made any errors ever.” She said quietly. “Then this one day…this mother brought in her son.” She took in a breath and continued. “He fell in a lake in their back yard and when she brought him in he was unconscious and was suffering from hypothermia.” She paused trying to keep hold of her emotions.



 



            Draco removed the splinter in her hand a while ago before she started telling him the story, but he didn’t let go of her hand. He knew she needed comforting so he lightly moved his thumb in soothing circles along the inside of her wrist.



 



“I did everything I could think of to save him but…I was too late, he had too much water in his lungs and his brain was deprived of oxygen for too long.” She drew in another breath. “He was only four years old. He was so small. And the hardest part was having to tell his mother that I couldn’t save her little boy, not even with magic. It was probably one of the worst days of my life.”



 



“It wasn’t your fault Hermione.” He told her quietly, still not letting go of her hand. “You did everything you could, you can’t blame yourself.”



 



She nodded not looking at him. “I know.” She whispered.



 



            He could see the unshed tears in her eyes. He lifted her hand to his lips and kissed the center of her injured palm where the splinter had been.



 



She quickly turned to him, “What…what was that?” the sadness in her voice was replaced with shock.



 



He shrugged, “Just changing the subject.” He said smiling slightly.



            She just looked at him unsure of his motives, then lightly pulled her hand away from her grasp and gave him a faint smile in returned. If he wasn’t looking at her face intently he would have missed it completely. Then she turned away.



            She couldn’t believe she just told him all of that. She hasn’t even told Ginny the whole reason why she quit, so why did she tell him? She hasn’t thought of that awful night in over five months now and bringing it up again just made her realize that it was something she may never get over.



 



“So where did you get the idea to start a bookshop?” he asked.



 



Thankful for the change of subject she said, “It was completely on impulse. I was walking home from work and I past by the shop which recently went on sale. And I don’t know what came over me but I called the realtor and bought it on the spot, and then turned in my resignation papers the next day. It was probably the smartest thing I’ve ever done or the stupidest.”



 



“Nah, it suits you, you look completely in your element when you’re around books.”



 



Taken back by compliment she looked at him very aware of the fact that even though she removed her hand away from him. He never moved away from her.



 



“Thanks,” she replied.



 



“Are you happy there?”



 



            She turned her head away but she could still feel him watching her. She looked up at him. “Yes I am,” she replied and realized she meant it.



 



He never took his eyes off her; she could feel him leaning in closer. He reached up with his hand and with his fingers grabbed a piece of her curly hair that fell across her cheek and tucked it behind her ear, then with the back of his fingers he slowly traced the contours of her cheek. She shivered at the touch and her lips parted ever so slightly as he leaned in closer never taking his eyes off her. His hand slipped into her hair and cupped the back of her head easing her closer towards him to meet him half way. She didn’t breathe afraid if she did she would come to her senses and ruin the moment. His lips lightly touched hers with a testing touch light and sweet. Then he added a little more pressure causing her to close her eyes to savor the moment, she would have never guessed that his lips would feel so soft against hers. He sucked in a breath and quickly pulled away.



 



“Draco?”



 



“I…I have…to go.” He said as he jumped off the sofa.



 



She got up to, “What’s wrong?” she asked worried, was she a bad kisser? Did he come to his senses and realized he was kissing his enemy? Did she hurt him in some way?



 



“It’s…happening.”



 



            She could see a light sheen of perspiration on his forehead. He backed into the kitchen, the swing door swinging shut behind him. She didn’t follow him. Minutes later he walked back out, he was once again a cat. Bringing her back to reality reminding her of the situation they were both in.



 



“I’m sorry.” 


Chapter 11: McGonagall's Visit
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

AN: I don’t own anything from Harry Potter.



 



 



            Hermione watched as Draco strolled back into the living room. She didn’t know what to do or what to say, so many things were running through her head at the moment.



 



“I think I should get to bed, the sooner I sleep, the faster the time will go until McGonagall gets here with more answers.” She turned to leave, not looking back.



 



            She shut her bedroom door and leaned her forehead against the door, and let out a shaky breath. She knew it was childish, hiding behind the locked door of her bedroom, but she didn’t want to face him. Merlin, what is wrong with me? She asked herself. She can’t allow herself to suddenly start developing feelings for him. Sure she felt really sorry and responsible for the state that she put Draco in but she never in a million years thought that she would actually start falling for him.



            Why on earth would he kiss her? Why would he want to? She was always the girl he picked on at school and not in a good way. He would say horrible things about her and where she came from. And now she’s turned him into a cat, so why?



            He should be furious her. She just spent four hours with the man and not once did he try to hurt her or punish her in anyway. Well except at the beginning when she told him she wasn’t allowed to say anything about how to break the curse. But even then he pulled back; like he knew he was about to do something bad and he stop. He had every chance in the world then to leave or go straight to the Ministry and demand she be taken to Azkaban. But instead he stayed and ate ice cream and watched TV with her, then helped wash the dishes. He even managed to coax her into talking about her failed career as a healer. Which she still can’t believe that she told him that, I’m such an idiot. I should have never told him that. What if he figures out how to break the curse then uses all of that information against her and shut down her only source of income because of what she did.



            Maybe it was a trick, him being so nice and sweet to her, just a ploy to get her to fess up and then when she wasn’t looking he’d turn everything against her? She kept going through all different scenarios, trying to figure out why he kissed her. And it wasn’t just any kiss, this kiss was…perfect. It was the only way to describe it; it was so delicate and sweet and unsure but confident and strong at the same time. Not at all what she would have imagined. She remembered how he kissed the inside of her injured palm, he claimed it was just to change the subject away from her sad story about the boy, but the look in his eyes when he did it said otherwise like he understood her pain and that he wanted to make it better. Her heart practically melted when he did that. And now thinking about everything, the way he kissed her, the way he reassured her it wasn’t her fault, the way he tended to her injured hand, the way they managed to sit in compatible silence or have a civilized conversation without trying to out-hex each other, the way he treated Crookshanks, everything.



Her heart started pacing to a frantic beat and her palms started sweating. No, she can’t fall for Malfoy, no matter how sweet and normal he’s acting now towards her. It would never work, besides how could she possibly ever fit in, in his world. She wasn’t a pureblood, how would his family ever accept her and how would she be able to accept them? She remembered how horrible his father was. How could she look him in the face knowing he was once a lackey for Voldmort, one of his deatheater pets. No, the best thing was for Draco to break the curse and then leave and go back to his normal life and she can go back to hers and then they won’t ever have to interfere with each other again.



She let out another breath then pushed off the door and went to change into her pajamas, then got into bed and turned off the lights letting sleep overtake her. She could convince her brain not to fall for Draco, but she knew deep down it would be extremely difficult to try to convince her heart to do the same. 



Draco watched as Hermione practically ran to her bedroom and he took into notice how she didn’t invite him or Crookshanks to share her bed tonight. And she made it clear when she shut the door, so there would be no way in regardless. He shouldn’t have kissed her, he knew it was wrong and it would mess everything up. But…he couldn’t help it. Hermione was not the girl he remembered in school, though yes she still had the know-it-all qualities and bookworm-ish looks but she was different now, he couldn’t explain it.



            When he asked her about her job, he was not expecting that as an answer. He figured that it was because her job wasn’t that much of a challenge for her and that she quit because she was bored, because she was always too smart for her own good. Something silly like that. Not because she felt guilty about a little boy dying, one that she couldn’t save. He knew now why she didn’t want to talk about it. And he meant it when he told her that regardless it wasn’t her fault and that she shouldn’t blame herself for the boy’s death. And the next thing he knew, he was kissing her, and ever so slightly she began to kiss him back.



            He was an idiot and clearly Hermione thinks so too, otherwise she wouldn’t have ran away and was hiding from him now. But he now knew what she tasted like, and he’d be damned if he could make himself not want to touch her, want to fell her embraced within his arms or taste her again. Though the kiss was very innocent he knew he would never get enough of her, that he would always want more of her. Even though she was everything he was taught to stay away from, to never associate with. He just had to somehow convince her that he was no longer that boy he was back in his school days.



            Who was he kidding, she would never accept him. She’ll always think of him as the enemy. What he should be focusing on is breaking the spell and McGonagall had the answers and he had a strong feeling Hermione knew them too but she can’t tell him. He was human for four hours tonight, and not once did they talk about the spell or how to break it. Of course Hermione made it clear she couldn’t tell him, but he didn’t even try to ferret out any hints from her instead they spent most of the time sitting cozily on the sofa watching TV, which by the way, he was definitely going to purchase one when he returned to his normal self.



            He let of a sigh, he didn’t know what to think anymore, he hopped up onto the sofa and curled up in his favorite spot in the corner and drifted off to sleep. Hopefully everything will become clearer tomorrow, like his feelings towards Hermione and whatever the hell it’s suppose to take to break this damn curse. He knew one thing for sure, he was sick of being a cat.



 



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            Hermione woke up around 7:00am. She didn’t sleep very well at all last night, kept tossing and turning. It didn’t help that she had a long nap yesterday afternoon and she was anxious to hear what McGonagall had to say and nervous about facing Draco this morning. Does he regret what happened last night? Was she supposed to act normal or pretend like nothing happened? I mean he’s a cat right now so it’s not like he can say anything about it, but she still didn’t like not knowing what was going on inside in his head. She lay in bed for a couple more minutes trying to delay seeing him.



            She decided to delay seeing him even longer when she ducked into the bathroom for a shower. Maybe that would help clear her head. After taking a quick shower and making herself semi-presentable she took a deep breath and opened the door. She walked out into the living room, heart pounding. And there he was…asleep curled in the corner of the sofa. Merlin, she was losing it, she was such an idiot! I’m freaking out over absolutely nothing. Last night we were just both caught up in a weak moment that was all, nothing more.



            She ducked into the kitchen getting ready to brew some coffee, strong coffee. While she was waiting for that she got out some pumpkin juice from her fridge and grabbed a banana from the counter. She really needed to get to the store and buy some groceries, she barely had anything to feed Draco except cat food and she knew he wouldn’t want that. Maybe she could rush over to the store real quick before McGonagall arrives. She was making a list of groceries that she needed when Draco walked into the kitchen.



 



“Hi…um Good morning.” She said, so much for trying to play it cool.



            She knew her face was flushed but she could blame it on the hot coffee she was drinking. He hopped up onto the counter and awaiting patiently for her to do something.



 



“Are you hungry?” she asked. Of course he was hungry otherwise he wouldn’t have come into the kitchen. She really needed to get a grip. “I’m afraid all I have to offer you is a little bit of steak that’s left over from last night, is that okay?”



 



He replied with a soft meow. “I’ll take that as a yes,” she said as she put the steak in the microwave.



            She set the plate in front of him along with a bowl of fresh water. Then she sat about getting Crookshanks breakfast ready.



 



“I need to go to the store today to buy groceries. I was planning on doing that before McGonagall gets here. Do you think you will be okay here on your own? Or do you want me to call Ginny and have her come by to watch you?” Realizing that he couldn’t answer her, “um tap your foot once for staying here by yourself and twice if you want Ginny here to watch you.” She could have sworn she saw him roll his eyes at her, but he hesitated at first but finally tapped once.



            She felt relieved about that, she hated how much she was relying on Ginny to help her out with all of this.



“Okay I won’t be long it’s just across the street and I’ll leave my cell number just incase. If something happens just take the phone off the receiver and dial the number. Don’t worry; I’m sure nothing will happen. Ms. Moffit surely has learned her lesson and shouldn’t mess with you anymore besides I took back my spare key I gave her incase of emergencies. So you should be safe.” She grabbed her list and everything else she needed and headed out.  



 



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            When Hermione came back she noticed Draco on the sofa lazily watching TV again. She shook her head amused, he was watching Shark week again. Boys! No matter where there from they love television, she thought. It was a quarter till one and she was anxious as ever. She put her groceries away and eating a quick snack before heading for her bedroom. Draco must have seen the time and followed her. She never mentioned to him that McGonagall wanted to speak to her alone without Draco in the room.



 



“You can’t come with me Draco; she told me she wanted me to be alone when she arrived. Maybe she’ll talk to you after she’s done with me?” he glared at her then turned around and hopped up back to his spot on the sofa.



           She sat on her bed tapping her fingers nervously, why was she nervous? Draco should be the one who is nervous. Talking to Professor McGonagall was bad enough through a letter, but in person was worse. She was always one of McGonagall’s prized students and she never once scolded her for always having the answers like Snape always did. She still can’t believe that this happened to her and she had no clue how to fix it other then what they already knew and having to seek help from McGonagall was just humiliating. As if n cue she heard a pop.



She turned around and there she was, “Hello Ms. Granger.”



 



“Hello Professor.”



 



“Please dear call me Minerva; you’re no longer my student you shouldn’t have to use such formalities.”



 



“Sorry old habits I guess. It only seems like yesterday we were in school attending classes.”



 



“Ah yes things have changed so much since your year has graduated and moved on to bigger better things. It’s definitely not as exciting since we no longer have the golden trio always getting in to mischief all the time.”



 



Hermione smiled at that. Yes her Hogwarts years were definitely some of her favorites.



 



“Would you like something to drink? I could put a pot of tea on if you like?” she didn’t realize how unnerving it would be to have an old teacher in your bedroom.



 



“No thank you I’m fine. We should get straight to the point as to why I’m here today with you. I assume Mr. Malfoy is in the other room?” she nodded her head.



 



            She watched as McGonagall went around her room securing a silence charm. When she finished she turned around and looked at Hermione. She should have put Draco in the bedroom so she and Professor McGonagall could talk in the living room where there was more seating.



 



“Please have a seat.” She said as she offered her old teacher the only chair in the room while she sat at the end of her bed.



 



“Well as I told you in the letter, you cannot tell Mr. Malfoy anything of what we discussed. It’s something he has to figure out on his own. It was a very ancient and complicated curse you managed to put him under. I’m impressed that you were able to do such magic.”



            Whoa impressed? She didn’t expect that, instead she expected her to give her the third degree and tell her she did something dangerous and stupid.



 



“However it was very careless that you even thought about doing that in the first place. And I understand that it was an accident. You still shouldn’t ever mess with magic that strong unless you know what you’re doing.”



 



Yeah that was more like it, “I know, and I’m sorry. Trust me this was never my intention. I found the book on the internet of all places and was curious so I bought it for my store. And I started looking through it and while I was reading the chapter on Transfigurations Draco walked in. And one thing led to another and before I knew it he turned into a cat. I never even chanted the spell or used my wand; I don’t even think I accidently said it in my head either.”



 



“But you had your wand out yes?”



 



“Yes.”



 



“And you had the spell fresh in your mind yes?”



 



“Yeah I guess.”



 



“Then your wand must have recognized the need to be used and the spell must haven sensed Mr. Malfoy to be the perfect candidate for the transformation.”



 



“What? So your saying the spell picked him? Like the spell had a life of its own? How can that be?”



 



“I don’t know dear, it’s very ancient powerful magic and some things can’t be explained or controlled.”



 



She thought about that for a bit, “so it’s not my fault he turned into a cat, it’s his fault for being a jerk?”



 



“For the most part yes, but you still had a bit to do with it.”



 



“Okay. You said in the letter that Draco had to perform good deeds to increase his time as a human. So when he does enough to reach up to 24 hours does that break the spell?”



 



“Yes and no. He has to do good deeds to change back into a human but it’s not permanently there is still more to the spell then that but he has to find it within himself to fully break it. There is a limit on how much time he gets as a human before it’s fully broken, he might get up to 12 maybe 18 hours at most in human form.”



 



“What’s the rest of the spell?”



 



“Ah that I can’t tell you, but like I said before Mr. Malfoy is the key he has to find the answer deep within himself to fully break the spell, you just have to trust me.”



 



 “Well that’s just frustrating.” She said. “If he manages to break the curse, will I get my magic back?”



 



“I believe so yes, though I’m not 100 percent sure. This situation hasn’t happened to anyone in over 300 years and there is very little recording of the outcomes.”



 



“Is there something I can do or that needs to be done to help break the curse? I mean Draco has to do good deeds, what can I do?”



 



“Not much I’m afraid. However, though you can’t tell him what he needs to do, you can tell him if he guesses what it might be. If he figures out what needs to be done and he asks you what he thinks it might be then you can either confirm it or not confirm it. And if he guesses correctly then you can tell him what he can do to help. But remember it has to be his idea, he has to want to do it in his heart, not just do a good deed because he knows it will buy him more time.”



 



“Okay, it’s a lot to take in but I think I can manage that.”



 



“I know it is Hermione dear, but I have a strong feeling it will all work out in time.”



 



“Okay.”



 



“If you don’t mind I would like a word or two with Mr. Malfoy alone. There are some things he must know as well.”



 



“Alright I’ll go get him for you.”



            She got up from her seat on the bed and went to open her door. And she wasn’t surprised to see him right outside the doorway.



 



“She wants to speak with you for a bit.”



            She let him walk through then shut the door behind her. And couldn’t resist the urge to press her ear up against the door to try to hear what she had to say. But of course she heard nothing; the silence charm was to powerful.



 



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“Ah, Mr. Malfoy please come in. You’re looking well, or as well as you can be in that form. I must say you make a very fine looking feline. The cat is a very nice form to take. It’s one of my personal favorites. You can be quick and agile and graceful all at once.”



            Draco hopped up onto Hermione’s bed so he could be more at eye level with the Professor. This was absolutely frustrating how was he suppose to ask questions when he was a cat? He should have made a list last night and had Hermione ask her.



 



“Well since you can’t express your thoughts I’ll tell you want I know about your condition and what you can do to help break the spell.”



            Help break the spell? So she’s not going to tell him how to break the spell?



 



“To break the spell, it has to come from you. I’m sorry to say I can’t tell you what it is to break it completely. But there’s something you can do to gain more time in your human state. But like I said I can’t tell you what that something is, you have to figure it out on your own. And yes, Ms. Granger knows what that is and she can’t tell you either but she can help you as much as she can along the way.”



            He was so confused. So there is something he has to figure out in order to gain more human time? And nobody can tell him what that is? This is so messed up. How was he suppose to break the spell if he didn’t know what he was suppose to do in order to break it?



 



“I don’t know how long it will be for the spell to break, it all depends on what you do and the choices you make.”



            Choices that he makes, what does that have to do with anything?



 



“I know this must be terribly frustrating for you Mr. Malfoy, you just have to be patient and find the answer within yourself. It might help if I suggest that it isn’t as difficult or as complicated as you think and that it’s rather quite simple. Just don’t think to hard on it, it will only drive you mad.”



            Oh good, he thought sarcastically. How could she be sure that he hadn’t already gone mad?



 



“Now you must listen carefully, you know you have to do something to gain more human time however that won’t fully break the spell. In order to break the spell for yourself as well as for Ms. Granger you have to find love.”



            Love? Now what was she talking about?



 



“Since the spell was cast with Ms. Granger’s wand, it created a bond between the two of you. In order for Ms. Granger to regain her magic you must get her to fall in love with you and in order for you to become human again permanently you must love her in return. Now Mr. Malfoy listen, I’m talking about love in all its glory not a school boy crush. She must love you with her heart and soul and you must love her with everything you possess. Don’t think you can fake it. The spell will recognize what’s fake and what’s true love and it will result in consequences. If you find love between you two then the spell should break.”



            Well shit, he was doomed. No way in hell would he ever get Hermione to love him and he didn’t know for sure if he would be able to love her in return. Thinking back he’s not even sure if he’s ever been in love before. He’s not even sure he’s capable of it.



 



“Ms. Granger does not know of this, and she must not know of this ever, so you can’t tell her. I know the two of you have always been at each others throats and it’s a lot to ask but you must try. Obviously I can’t make you fall in love with her. You just have to find it in your heart and try if you want the spell to break.”



            Draco was lost in his thoughts when McGonagall went and opened up Hermione’s bedroom door and asked her to come inside. Apparently that was all the answers he was going to get from her today.



 



“I trust you two will see this through to the end I have no doubt that you won’t overcome this. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. And I’ll keep in touch to see what progress you’ve made. But now I must really be getting back.”



 



“Wait,” Hermione said. “What about Draco’s job, surely he can’t stay away for more then a couple of days. We told the Ministry that he’s out sick but I’m sure if we keep that up somebody will be checking up on him. What do you think we should tell them?”



 



“I’ll take care that Ms. Granger don’t worry. I’ll tell them that Mr. Malfoy is assisting me with an important assignment for Hogwarts. Oh and don’t worry about your neighbor Ms. Moffit either I erased a bit of her memory so she doesn’t remember you ever bring Mr. Malfoy in as a cat. So she shouldn’t be bothering you anymore.”



 



“Okay thanks; is there anything else we should be aware of?”



 



“No, I’ve told you both all that I know.”



 



“Well thank you Prof…Minerva for coming out of your way to stop by and assist us.”



 



“No problem at all. Good luck to you both. And have a nice day.”



            And just like that she was gone leaving Hermione and Draco alone staring at each other.


Chapter 12: Babysitting Potter-Weaslette Junior
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

AN: I don’t own anything from Harry Potter or anything from Disney's Beauty and the Beast.





 





            Well that was just frustrating. McGonagall didn’t say anything helpful. How in the hell would he get Hermione to fall in love with him? Girls constantly fell for him some practically throwing themselves at him. But Hermione was different, she was smart, she wouldn’t fall for his charms. Not that he ever had to use his charms to get women; they always flocked towards him because of his family name, good looks, wealth and many other nonsense reasons. That’s why he hasn’t gone out much especially with those women, they were too easy. He wanted more of a challenge…like…Hermione?





            Getting Granger to fall for him would be the ultimate challenge, but how could he guarantee that he could fall for her as well? Because in this case it had to go both ways in order to break the spell.





            He followed Hermione back into the living room. She seemed to be just as frustrated as he was. She walked over to the dining table where her laptop sat.





She looked at him, “You probably want to come over here because we need to discuss some things.”





            He hopped up onto the table and sat next to the computer and waited for her to bring up the screen.





 





She let out a breath, “Okay, what did McGonagall tell you?”





 





CANT TELL, he typed out.





 





“Great,” she let out a frustrated sigh. “Did she tell you anything or give any hints as to how to break the spell?”





 





YES





 





“And you can’t tell me what they are?”





 





NO





“I wonder if she told you the same thing she told me, only told us both not to tell the other.” She muttered mainly to herself.





            Great she didn’t know how to ask him what McGonagall told him without revealing what she knows that she couldn’t tell him…Damn why did all of this have to be so confusing and secretive.





 





“Okay well obviously I don’t know what she told you, but she did tell me that I can reveal what I know of how to break the spell although this part won’t break it completely, it will just allow you more time as a human or as yourself I should say. But I can only tell you if you guess and only if you guess correctly. Now I don’t now how many guesses you get so I would think really hard before you make your guess…Does that make sense?”





 





YES





 





“Alright well last night you changed around 10:00pm so I guess you’ll probably change around the same time tonight, or earlier…I don’t know.” She got nervous just thinking about it; maybe she shouldn’t help him do good deeds because that would be more human time, which could only lead to more confusing moments between them.





 





“Um so I guess we just have to wait until then.”





            He watched as she busied herself around her apartment, cleaning there, arranging something here. When her phone rang.





 





“Hello?”





 





“Hi Hermione, listen I need a really big favor.”





 





“Of course Ginny, what’s up?”





 





“Can you watch Lily for a couple of hours tonight? I have a…appointment and Harry’s working and my parents are busy and can’t get out of it.”





 





“Sure thing no problem, bring her on over. Is everything ok?”





 





“Oh yeah, just a check up is all…”





 





“Ok.”





 





“Is Malfoy there? I mean is he still a cat?”





 





“Yeah he is at the moment at least.”





 





“So he changed back last night then?”





 





“Yeah, listen just bring Lily over and I’ll get everything set up for her.”





 





“Okay…just so you know I want details later. We’ll be over in a few.”





           





She hung up and looked over at Draco on the sofa, “just so you know Ginny’s bringing her daughter Lily over because she needs a babysitter. So be nice, no scratching, and no biting. But I wouldn’t blame you if you decided to run away and hide from her. Crookshanks can’t stand her; I always have to put him away in the closet.”





            She went about putting all her breakables up high so Lily couldn’t get to them, then went and got out some of her toys and coloring books that she always likes to play with when she comes over. She was doing some last minute clean up when she heard the pop from her kitchen.





 





“Hermione we’re here.” she heard Ginny call out.





 





“Crookies, where are you?” came a tiny voice.





            And like that Crookshanks bolted to Hermione’s bedroom probably to hide. Hermione watched him hide trying to hold back a smile; Crookshanks was terrified of the little girl. She went to greet her guest.





 





“Hey Ginny, hi Lily.” She said as she bent down to give her favorite little girl a nice big squeeze.





 





“Aunt Mione!” The little girl squealed.





            She was the cutest little three years old ever with little ginger pigtails on each side of her head and freckles across her face.





 





“Where’s Crookies?” she asked looking around.





 





“Crookshanks is taking a nap right now so I don’t think he’ll want to play tonight.”





            The little girl stuck out her bottom lip pouting. When she spotted Draco on the sofa she let out a squeal of excitement.





 





“You got a new kitty! Can I play with her?”





 





“Actually it’s a boy, his name is Draco. Now Lily listen to me, Draco is a new kitty, he’s not used to people so he probably doesn’t want to play with you so you have to be extra, extra nice to Draco. And listen to what Aunt Mione tells you okay?” Ginny told her daughter.





 





“Okay mummy, but can I pet Draky?” Ginny looked at Draco on the sofa then back to daughter.





 





“Only if you be really, really gentle. He’s not the nicest kitty in the world.”





            Draco just glared at her resisting the urge to stick out his tongue at her, but made no move to bolt out of the room. He looked at Hermione who silently mouthed ‘be nice’ to him. He watched in horror as the little girl with chubby hands and sticky fingers reached towards him to pet him. And of course her idea of gentle was way different from his. He could feel his skin being peeled back with every stroke she took. He’d be lucky if he still had hair on his body by the time she was done with him.





 





“Pretty, pretty kitty. That’s what you are Draky. You’re my favorite kitty in the entire world.”





            Now he knew why Crookshanks bolted as soon as he discovered the little monster was in the apartment. He wanted to badly to run away but he was afraid if he did she would just chase after him. So he just sat there miserably as she petted him. Maybe her attention would be drawn else where in a bit. Kids were known for short attention spans right? Then he could at least get away and hop up onto his safe haven up on top of the bookcase.





“Poor Draco I almost feel sorry for him. If he can survive a night with Lily then he can survive anything I think.” Ginny said quietly to Hermione.





 





“Ha ha I take it you haven’t told her about the new little family you took up yet?”





 





“No of course not, that’s why we put them in the barn out back, and she won’t know of them until they get nice and healthy first.”





 





“How are they doing by the way?”





 





“Good, they are so cute. The mother still doesn’t trust either of us very well but at least she’s eating everything we give her. And they all are starting to fatten up a bit which is good.”





 





“Good I’m sure Draco will be glad to hear that.”





 





“No! Honey what did I say? Pet him gently.” Ginny told Lily when she noticed she was this close to yanking his fur out. “You might want to watch her closely with him.” She told Hermione.





 





“I told him before you came over that no matter what he wasn’t allowed to scratch or hurt her in anyway.”





 





“Well I wouldn’t blame him if he did; she can be a little terror when she wants to be. Well I should be heading off to my appointment. I should be back in a few hours, do you mind feeding her dinner?”





 





“Absolutely, no problem, I just went to the store today so I have plenty. Is everything okay? Your not sick or anything? Do you want me to check you out? I still have some of my healer equipment and supplies here.”





 





“No, no I’m fine, it’s nothing serious. It’s just I think maybe I’m…”





 





“You’re pregnant!”





“Shh…ha ha I don’t know yet but…maybe?” Ginny said with a tiny smile.





 





“Oh Ginny that’s awesome, I’m so happy for you. Is it a surprise? Or were you and Harry trying to have another baby?”





 





“No we weren’t trying, but we haven’t really been trying to prevent it either. But don’t congratulate me yet, it could just nothing. I’m still not 100 percent sure yet, that’s why I’m going to get it check out.”





 





“Does Harry know?”





 





“No, I haven’t said anything to him yet. I don’t want to get his hopes up in case it’s a false alarm.”





 





“Well regardless I’m so happy for you. You have everything a wonderful husband, a happy marriage, a beautiful little girl and a possible baby on the way. It will be a shock if I don’t become an old maid in the next couple of years. Ha it’s bad enough that I’m probably already qualified to be known as the ‘Crazy Cat Lady’.”





 





“Oh Hermione don’t say that, you’re smart and gorgeous. Who wouldn’t want you and besides maybe your luck will change soon.” Ginny said as she made a not so subtle glance over at Draco and then back at her.





 





Hermione noticed the hint. “Yeah right, that will never happen. Not now, not ever.”





 





“Uh huh, we’ll see.” Ginny said with a wink. “Well I should get going, call me if anything happens.” She walked over to Lily. “Lily I’m leaving, give me a kiss and remember to listen to what Hermione tells you.”





 





“Okay, bye mummy.”





 





“Bye honey.”





            When Ginny left Hermione turned the TV to something child appropriate and something that will entertain Lily for a while.





 





“Aunt Mione?”





 





“Hum?”





 





“Can you take my hair down, it’s hurting my head.”





 





“Sure sweetie just let me get my brush.”





She went and got her brush then went back to where Lily was on her sofa. She pulled Lily into her lap which caused her to let go of Draco. Draco choose that moment to retreat to the far end of the sofa. She chuckled to herself at that. She started taking down her hair down first undoing the ribbons she had in her hair and laying them on the coffee table. Then she brushed out the tangles and smoothing out her hair. Hermione remembered when her mother used to brush her hair when she was a kid, and with hair as curly as her hair was it was a nightmare and she hated it every time. But Lily loved it she always giggled or hummed to herself as she got her hair brushed.





 





“There you go, all shiny and smooth.”





 





“Can I brush Draky’s hair?” Draco jerked his head towards them; Hermione could see the fear in his eyes.





 





“Um no I don’t think he’ll like that very much.”





 





“But doesn’t he want his hair to be shiny and smooth too?”





 





“No I think he likes his hair the way it is.”





 





“Mm okay.” Lily said pouting.





 





“Why don’t you draw me a pretty picture instead?”





 





Lily perked up, “okay I’ll make you the prettiest picture ever!”





 





“Okay you do that, I’m going to make us some dinner.”





            Hermione went about making her childhood favorite, macaroni and cheese for her and Lily to eat. She also put a batch of brownies in the oven for desert. When she came back out to the living room to get Lily she was not expecting what she saw. There was Draco on the sofa covered head to toe in pink ribbons. She tried to conceal her smile but failed.





 





“Well it looks like you’ve been busy.”





 





“Doesn’t Draky look pretty? I did it myself.” Lily said quite proud of what she did.





 





“Yes, he looks…interesting.”





 





“No Aunt Mione, you have to tell him he looks pretty otherwise you’ll hurt his feelings.”





 





She tried to swallow a laugh that she desperately wanted to let out. She had a strong feeling that his pride’s hurt more then his feelings would be.





 





“Yes Draco you look quite pretty.” She said chuckling.





 





“Like a princess!” Lily added giggling.





 





Draco growled.





 





She shook her head smiling, “Come one Lily dinner’s ready.”





 





“Wait do you want to see the picture I drew for you?”





 





“Sure let’s see it.”





 





She handed her the picture. She wasn’t expecting much from a three year old, but she was excited nonetheless. What she saw was a stick figure with wild hair and some kind of animal? It was hard to tell. Then she drew a big pink misshapen heart like shape in between the two stick figures.





 





“It’s beautiful Lily who are these people?”





 





“That’s you,” she said pointing to the figure with wild hair…figures, she thought. “And that’s Draky.” Pointing to the animal-like figure, “and your getting married because your in love and then your going to live happily ever after and have lots and lots and lots of babies and kitties.” Lily giggled.





 





Hermione was speechless, what was she suppose to say to that? “Well it’s beautiful; I’ll hang it up in the kitchen. Come on lets go eat.”





            She picked Lily up and avoided looking at Draco as she walked to the dining table. She didn’t want to get into explaining to Lily that humans and cats can’t get married let alone have babies together. Of course Draco wasn’t an ordinary cat, but Lily didn’t know that. Kids and they’re crazy imaginations.





She glanced over as Draco got down from the sofa. He was having trouble walking because Lily put ribbons around each foot just above the ankle and he kept tripping on the loose ends of them. He even had a ribbon tied to the tip of his tail. And Lily still didn’t quite know how to tie a bow so mainly they were all tied in knots. She watched as he carefully took every step trying to avoid stepping on the ribbons which didn’t help because he tripped anyway, it must be hard to go from having two legs to four.





 





“Do you want a brownie?” she asked Lily who nodded enthusiastically. “Okay you stay there and finish your macaroni and I’ll go get you one.” She said as she went to the kitchen picking up Draco on her way there.





            That way she could help him get the ribbons off without Lily seeing. She set him on the counter and went about untying the knots quickly. When she was all done she couldn’t resist retying a pink ribbon around his neck with a nice big bow.





 





“There now you’re just as pretty as a princess again.” She cooed and he growled at her in response. “Okay, okay I couldn’t resist.” She said as she untied the bow.





            While in the kitchen she quickly fixed him his dinner then went back to Lily with her brownie.





 





“Yummy I love your brownies Aunt Mione.” Lily said with a mouthful of chocolate.





            How is it that little kids no matter what they ate they always managed to make a mess of it and usually got covered from head to toe in whatever they ate? She shook her head and managed to brush it off most of Lily’s clothing, but went back into the kitchen to get a wet rag to wipe her hands and mouth with. When she walked in the kitchen she caught Draco single handedly feeding Crookshanks part of his dinner. He looked up at her guiltily knowing he’d been caught. She was about to tell him off again about feeding Crookshanks but she guessed that would be part of his good deeds and shouldn’t interfere with it, even if it wasn’t good for Crookshanks.





 





“I know you mean well and it’s hard to resist his sad looks but it’s really not good for him so try to just say no next time.” She told Draco. “And no more begging.” She looked down at Crookshanks.





 





Just then Lily walked in. “I have to go potty.” She looked at Hermione then spotted Crookshanks who backed up into the far corner of the kitchen. “Crookies! There you are.” She started towards him but he hissed at her and ran past her as fast as he could. “Fine I don’t like you anymore anyway because Draky’s my new favorite bestest kitty friend ever!”





 





“Now Lily be nicer to Crookshanks, you don’t want to hurt his feelings. Come on I’ll take you to the bathroom then we can watch a movie together how does that sound?”





 





“Yah, can we watch Beauty and the Beast again?”





 





“Sure sweetie.”





            Draco debated whether or not he should hide in the kitchen till the kid left. But he didn’t want it to look like he was scared of her. He just didn’t want to be decorated up like a Christmas tree again. And the little nickname Lily gave him would be really annoying if she wasn’t so cute. Even if she was the spawn of Potter and Weaslette. He might as well join them otherwise Hermione might think he’s chickening out about hanging out with a three year old. He walked in and they were both on the sofa watching some cartoon on the TV. He tried to sneak past Lily so he could sit on the opposite side of Hermione. But Lily was too quick.





 





“Look Draky’s here, he wants to watch too. Can he watch too?” she asked Hermione.





 





“Sure he can.”





            Thankfully Lily wasn’t very strong otherwise she would probably be breaking his rips right now she was squeezing him so tightly.





 





“We’re watching Beauty and the Beast, it’s my favorite movie in the whole world and it’s Aunt Mione’s favorite too. Right Aunt Mione?”





 





“Um hum.”





 





“I think Aunt Mione should be Belle and you Draky can be the Beast. Then you two will fall in love and live happily ever after.”





He noticed Hermione blush when she said that and went back to avoiding making eye contact with him. Man this little girl was determined that they would end up together, did Hermione lack a love life so badly that even Potter’s three year old daughter was trying to play matchmaker? Of course that some she was trying to match her up with would be him and he was currently a cat, but she didn’t know he was anything other then that.





 





“Yeh, it’s starting! Draky, you need to watch this, it’s the bestest movie ever.” She hugged him to her chest tightly.





 





“Lily hold him gently, not to tight. Just let him sit in your lap so he can be comfortable okay?”





 





“Okay.” She eased her grip on him slightly but didn’t let him go like she was told to do.





            The movie started it’s intro, he had no idea what they were watching and could really care less. He glanced at Hermione who was half watching and half reading. She probably knew this movie by heart if Lily made her watch it every time she came over. He didn’t realize that he was staring at her, which he’s been doing a lot of late. Not necessarily trying to get her attention but just watching her. Watching her read again.





            He got pulled away when he heard the narrator talking about a curse that this beast character was under. Apparently he was once a human but since he was unkind and selfish he got turned into a monster by an enchantress. And in order for him to break the spell he had to prove that he had kindness in his heart and that he had to find his true love and earn her love in return. Otherwise he would remain a beast until the end of time.





            Well hell that sounded way too familiar. Could it be that simple, prove he had kindness in his heart. Could that be the missing piece to this puzzle? He glanced at Hermione who was now staring at him. Did she notice the similarities in the story as well? He made eye contact with her, but she didn’t pull away, then suddenly looking unsure she shook her head mainly to herself and turned away focusing back on the movie rather then him. Did she figure out the missing piece in her puzzle, about the true love part? If so she didn’t say anything. She didn’t so much as look at him during the entire movie which happened to have lots of singing in it and everything a song came on Lily felt it was her duty to sing along to every word and completely out of tune. It was bizarrely charming and annoying.





            A little more then half way through the movie, Lily fell asleep but she still clung to him like he was her favorite stuff animal. He didn’t want to move for fear he would wake her up, since he would have to wiggle his way out of her arms. And besides he wanted to find out what happened at the end. But of course like Lily said the two characters fell in love despite their differences which broke the spell and they lived happily ever after.





            Hermione turned off the movie then looked over obviously noticing for the first time that Lily fell asleep a while back and she still clung to Draco.





 





“Sorry.” She said quietly to Draco as she gently pried her little arms from Draco’s body.





            When that was done he hopped off immediately knowing something was changing. Perfect timing he thought as he bolted towards the kitchen. Hermione must have not noticed what was happening for she let out a small squeak when he peeked his head out of the kitchen door, but she managed to keep her voice low so she wouldn’t wake Lily up.





 





“Can you get my clothes for me?” he said staying inside the kitchen and just peeking out the kitchen door.





 





“Um sure, stay in there and don’t come out yet, not until you get your clothes on, just don’t come out.” She said blushing again.





 





“Duh I not stupid.” He said with a wink.





            She ignored it and quickly went to fetch his clothes. She thrust them through the doorway not coming in or looking in and waited for him to get changed.





 





“Can I come out now?”





 





“Yeah just be quiet. I’m going to move her to my bedroom to sleep until Ginny gets back.” She went over to the sleeping Lily and bent down to pick her up.





 





“Here let me do that, you just tell me where to put her.” He said as he reached over and took the sleeping girl into his arms.





He figured if it was acts of kindness that was going to help get him out of this mess then he might as well start and any little thing counted.    





 





“Okay just try not to wake her up, I don’t want to have to explain to her who you are.”





            He carried her easily and headed towards her bedroom. That was something you don’t see everyday she thought. She always thought it was charming to see a grown man handle a child with such sweet care like putting a child to bed. And it was alarmingly charming to see a man such as Draco Malfoy helping put a sleeping child to bed. She wondered what he would be like as a father, would he be like his father cruel and self centered? Or would he be the kind of father who took time to tuck a child into bed? She shook her head trying to clear her thoughts and followed him to the bedroom.





 





“Just put her on top of the covers.” She said to him as she watched him gently laid her down making sure her head was comfortably on the pillow then he took the throw blanket she had at the end of her bed and pulled it over and tucked her in.





 





She didn’t realize she was probably smiling like a love sick school girl, “What?” he asked looking at her now.





 





“Nothing.” She said as she wiped the grin off her face.





 





“When’s mummy coming back?” a sleeping voice said from behind Draco.





 





Hermione swiftly moved so she could see Lily. “She’ll be here in a little but, go back to sleep sweetie.” She said re-tucking her back in.





 





“Okay goodnight Mione.”





 





“Good nite Lily.” She said as she bent down and placed a kiss on her forehead.





 





“Goodnight Draky.”





He turned around quickly to face her. Was she talking to him the human him? Or just saying that because she thought he as a cat was somewhere within the room?





 





“See I told you he would turn into a handsome prince” she said mainly to Hermione who just stared at him not knowing what to say to that.





 





Breaking her stare she looked down at Lily. “Yes he did, go back to sleep now okay.”





 





“Your still my favorite kitty anyway Draky.”





 





He let out a small laugh. “Thanks kiddo” he reached and ruffled her hair. “Sleep well.”





 





And with that they both left the bedroom.





 





“How did she know who you were?”





 





“I don’t know,” he shrugged. “Kids have a big imagination.”





 


Chapter 13: Human Again
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

AN: I don’t own anything from Harry Potter.



 



“But still, how could she have known?” Hermione continued.



 



He let out a sigh, “I don’t know maybe Potter or Ginny told her?”



 



“No they wouldn’t tell her, that kind of thing would be to confusing for her to understand.”



 



“Does it really matter? I mean aren’t you glad she didn’t freak out or start crying because she thought I was a stranger?”



 



“Well yeah I guess,” she said looking around realizing that they were pretty much alone now with nothing to do.



 



“And now that she does know maybe she won’t dress me up in pink bows,” he said grinning.



 



“Ha ha yeah there is that, but you looked so pretty it was a shame I had to take them off of you. I should have taken a picture so you could always remember that moment.”



 



“You wouldn’t dare.” He glared teasingly.



 



“Just be grateful I didn’t think of it this time, just wait till next time…”



 



            For a minute Draco actually looked panic like he believed her then realized she was just messing with him. A pop coming from the kitchen turned both their attention to that instead.



 



“Hey Hermione guess what?” Ginny said excitingly as she walked out of the kitchen. “The doc…oh wow!” she suddenly stopped when she spotted Draco. “You’re human again.” She said staring at him. “Wow so you really are under a curse. I mean of course you are I’ve been cat sitting you for the past couple days. But you were just a cat so really it could have been anybody, but here you are standing in Hermione’s living room very much human, which makes this whole thing that much real.”



 



“Okay…?” he said carefully.



 



“Ginny, calm down your rambling. Yeah it takes a bit to get used to at first but you get over it.” Hermione said walking towards her.



 



            She almost completely forgot why she was babysitting Lily in the first place. She lowered her voice so Draco wouldn’t hear.



 



“So what did the doctor say?”



 



            Ginny looked pasted Hermione at Draco who was trying not to interfere with their conversation.



 



“Okay I know when I’m not wanted, I’ll just be in the kitchen getting something to eat.” He said as he walked past the two girls and into the kitchen, Crookshanks following behind him at his feet.



 



When he was out of sight Ginny turned back to Hermione, “Bloody Hell this whole curse thing with him is really real isn’t it.”



 



“Yeah.”



 



“Wow I know Harry and Ron work with him everyday, but I haven’t seen him in person since Hogwarts…he’s hot!”



 



“Yeah,” Hermione sighed blissfully, then caught herself, “Um I mean he’s okay. What?” she said when Ginny just simply grinned at her. “Were talking about you not Malfoy…so spill what did the doctor say?”



 



“Well I’m pregnant!” she said excitingly.



 



Hermione almost screamed with joy, “Oh Ginny that’s wonderful when are you due?”



 



“Around May,” she sighed then yawned.



 



“Well you should probably get back so you can tell Harry the good news. And then go gets some rest, doctors orders.”



 



“Yes sir, doctor Granger.” Ginny giggled in a mock salute.



 



“Lily’s asleep on my bed. Hey did you by any chance tell her about Draco? Not really being a cat?”



 



“No why?”



 



“Well as you know Draco was a cat the whole night and then he changed back about 20 minutes ago. And she was already asleep by then, so he helped me take her to bed but she woke up and she knew exactly who he was and not as the Draco Malfoy but as the cat Draky who she was playing with all night.”



 



“Huh, that’s weird. Maybe she just figured it out or something? You know she is really to smart for her own good sometimes and sometimes I just don’t know what to do with her.”



 



“Yeah and now you’ll have another little one to worry about.”



 



“Yep that I will.” Ginny said patting her flat belly.



            As Ginny and Hermione went about getting Lily, Draco was in the kitchen making a list of all the things he’d done in the past 4 days that would cause him to change back. What did he do the 2nd day? He only got 20 minutes of human time, so it wasn’t much. The only thing he could think of was when he chased Crookshanks around the apartment, but that wasn’t really playing at the time, he was just trying to ware him out so he wouldn’t have the energy to kill him later. That was the night the pixies invaded her home and that’s when he changed back and scared them off then later that day was when he found the mother cat and kittens, that had to get him some bonus points which caused him to gain an hour and 50 minutes on either side of midnight. Then he tried to help out Hermione that night and was nicer to her then he’s ever been in the past. Then of course he had to endure the child when she treated him like a toy, which had to count right? But this time he only gained an extra 30 minutes. What could he do tonight that would gain him more time for tomorrow night? But first he’d have to ask Hermione whether or not he was even right on his assumption of doing good things. Otherwise he would just be wasting his time and energy. Although even if it wasn’t that, it still wouldn’t hurt for him to be a little nicer and giving. Maybe he could make some kind of donation somewhere?



            Just then Hermione and Ginny walked in with Lily in Ginny’s arms. Draco tried to hide his list he was making behind him but Hermione caught him and just simply raised an eyebrow in question but didn’t say anything.



 



“Well let me know if you need anything,” Hermione said to Ginny/



 



“Sure you too.”



Lily wiggled out of Ginny’s arms and onto the floor. She went over to Hermione. Hermione bent down and hugged her good bye.



 



“Thanks for letting me stay with you Aunt Mione.”



 



“Of course sweet heart.” She said hugging her again.



 



Then she turned around and went over to Draco, she wrapped her little arms around his leg and squeezed before Draco could stop her. “Thanks Draky for letting me play with you.”



 



He patted her awkwardly on the head, “Uh, sure thing kid anytime.”



 



She brighten up and looked up at him, “so you’ll be here next time I get to come over?”



 



He looked over at Hermione not knowing how to answer that. “Uh, I don’t know?” He said down to her.



 



“We’ll see.” Hermione added.



 



“Come on Lily it’s time to go home. I’m sure daddy wants to see you before he goes to bed.” Ginny said taking her back into her arms. “You two play nice now.” She winked at them before they popped out of sight.



 



Both staring at the space where Ginny and Lily apparated, Draco turned to Hermione, “Now what?”



 



“Huh?” she turned towards him.



 



“What’s the plan for tonight?”



 



“Um…” she looked at the clock, 9:45pm almost 10pm.



            If he changed around 9:30pm then that meant he had until 2:30am until he changed back. And for the life of her she didn’t want to be stuck in her tiny apartment all night knowing he was there and very much human. She did not want a repeat of last night…although the kiss was amazing. She would absolutely, no matter what fall for that again. She could not for any circumstances get involved with Malfoy. She needed a distraction and something to distract him as well, not that he would want to kiss her again, and maybe he thought it was a mistake as well. Ugh, regardless they needed to get out of the house. She didn’t care that it was practically 10 o’clock at night. She just needed to get out.



 



“We’re getting you out of here.” she said.



 



“What?” Panic clearly written on his face.



 



“Relax, I’m not kicking you out, I’m going with you. We just need to get out of this apartment. Besides it wouldn’t hurt you to get some fresh air, you know stretch your legs a little.”



 



“Um okay,” he said unsurely. “What if I…”



 



“If everything goes as planned you won’t change back until 2:30am which is plenty of time. And we’re not going far.” She said as she went to grab her purse.



            Her wand was sitting besides her bag, even though she had no magic she grabbed it anyway just incase. He grabbed his suit jacket and when he saw her he held open the front door for her.



 



“Thanks,” she mumbled as she walked past him.



            The night was perfect, the moon was high and the stars were bright and the temperature was a little chilly with the breeze but otherwise bearable. They walked down a couple of streets in silence towards no particular destination.



 



“Where are we going?” he asked.



 



“I don’t know.” She said honestly. “We can stop by your place if you like?” she said since she knew he recently bought a place somewhere near by. “So you can check on things or get a fresh pair of clothes or whatever since you’ve been gone for over 4 days now.”



 



“Okay I guess that’s a good plan. My flat is only a block away from here.”



 



“Okay.”



            The interaction between them wasn’t awkward but you could tell there was tension between them. She just didn’t know if it was good tension or bad tension.



 



“This is it.” He said as they stopped in front of his building.



            Figures that he would live in one of the nicest buildings in downtown London it even had a doorman.



 



“Good evening Mr. Malfoy welcome back, I haven’t seen you around the past few days. Were you out of town?”



 



“Evening Richard.” He looked at Hermione. “Yes I’ve been out of town on business.”



            Thank god he didn’t say anything like he’s been held hostage and have been living as a cat for the past 4 days.



 



“Ah well welcome back, evening Miss.” He tipped his hat towards Hermione.



            She caught the once over he gave to her, obviously he suspected that whatever was going on between them had nothing to do with business and more to do with pleasure.



 



“Evening” she replied.



            Of course he was probably used to it thinking that she was just another girl he brought home for the night. Draco did always have a reputation for being a ladies man. She wouldn’t be surprised if he brought home a new girl every night. And that was another reason as to why she would not, could not get involved with Malfoy. She was not a toy you could play with then throw out when you get bored with it.



            They walked to the elevator lifts and he stepped aside as he let her enter first. Has he always been such a gentleman? Or was he just trying to get on her good side? She couldn’t help noticing how he would hold doors for her or let her lead the way. The tension between them became even more noticeable when they were both inside the small confines of the lift. It was a huge difference from being outside in the open to this tiny space. It seemed like neither of them knew what to say so they just rode in silence.



 



“This is a nice place.” Hermione broke the awkward silence.



 



“Thanks. I like it here.”



 



“What made you want to live here?”



 



“Uh I don’t know I was walking by it one day and I liked the architecture on the outside. And well I was in the market to buy a flat in London anyway, so I bought it.”



 



“Neat.” She said as then mentally kicked herself, who said ‘neat’ anymore.



 



“Here we are.” He announced as they came to the 8th floor.



            She expected to walk into a lobby and see multiple doors that lead to different apartments. But was completely shocked when the elevator opened up into a grand foyer which then led to a spacious living room and huge kitchen. He had his own elevator lift entrance.



 



“Wow,” she kept gaping.



 



He grabbed her hand, “You better step out of there otherwise the door is going to close on you.” He said as he tugged her out of the lift.



 



“I knew you had a flat, but this is amazing.” She said as she started to look around.



 



She became aware of him staring at her so she turned around and faced him, “What?”



 



He chuckled and shook his head, “Nothing you just look like your about to go into shock.”



            She stuck her tongue out at him then turned back to look around some more. He chuckled again then said he was going to go change and that he would be right back. She smiled slightly to herself relieved that the tension between them was semi-broken for now at least. As she continued to look around without him watching her she became painfully aware that her place was a complete embarrassment compared to his. Her apartment was the size of a cabinet compared to this place. But she wasn’t going to feel belittled by that fact, yes he had a beautiful place and hers was a hole in the wall. And yes he had the money to afford a place like this and she didn’t, but that wasn’t going to let her down. At least she worked hard and earned that money where as he probably just got his from the family vault.



            Holy shit is that a Picasso? He has an original Picasso hanging along the back wall. He had other various pieces of art hanging around she didn’t know enough about art to know if they were famous or well known but she bet they were valuable and expensive. Draco Malfoy certainly had the bachelor pad look down to a key minus all modern muggle appliances.



            Instead of his place being dark and cold, it was surprising warm and inviting with rich colors and rich brown leathers. Besides the expensive décor this place is not at all what she would imagine Draco Malfoy ever living in. There along one of the walls was a huge fireplace which was surrounded by shelves from floor to ceiling of books. She was in complete awe. There along this wall alone probably shelved more books than her shop did. She walked over to see them up closer. She found all of his school books from Hogwarts and other various magical authors who wrote fiction as well as some non fiction novels. He had books in all genres; she was surprised to find a few muggle classics in collection as well. Wow, who know Malfoy was a closet bookworm. She could spend hours in complete heaven here.



            She heard a pop come from behind her, startled she turned around.



 



“Sorry Miss didn’t mean you fright you.”



 



She looked down at the voice, “it’s alright, I was lost in thought and wasn’t expecting you, and you must be Smitty.”



 



“At your service Miss, would Miss like something to drink while waiting? Hot tea, coffee, brandy?”



 



“No thank you I’m fine, but thank you for asking.” She could have sworn the little house elf was blushing.



 



“If you need anything just call upon me Miss.”



 



“Will do Smitty and please call me Hermione.”



 



“As you wish Miss Hermione.” He bowed then popped out of sight.



            She smiled to the now empty space where he was moments ago. He didn’t look in anyway mistreated; no bandages on his hands or wearing dirty rags for clothing. Maybe she misjudged Malfoy on that. Where was he anyway? She wanted to look around the rest of the flat but she didn’t want to snoop. So she turned around back to the shelves of books. On some of the shelves there were framed pictures, a couple of them were of him and his friends at Hogwarts. There was one with him and the Minister of magic. One of him and Professor Snape. Then there were a couple pictures of his family. There was one of a little boy no older then 2 or 3 eating cake with chocolate all over his face, sitting on his mothers lap. He looked so happy there, it was hard to imagine Malfoy as a little kid, and he was so adorable. She smiled to herself.



 



“My mother insisted I put that up there, it was either that or one of me in my diapers.” He said directly behind her looking over her shoulder.



 



She spun around placing a hand to her chest for fear her heart might jump out, she had no idea he was standing there. She felt as if she just got caught snooping around somewhere she wasn’t suppose to be.



 



She chucked to hide her nervousness, “Now that I would pay to see.” She teased.



 



“Ha ha,” he said dryly.



            It was then that she took in his appearance, he was fleshly shaven and he must have taken a shower because the tips of his hair were still damp. And damn if he didn’t smell good, he’s been a cat for so long she almost forgot how good he smelled. He was wearing a white cotton t-shirt and jeans that rested loosely on his hips and sneakers. He looked so normal she had to do a double take to make sure it was still Draco Malfoy.



 



“Why are you looking at me like that?” he said bringing her back to reality.



 



“Your wearing jeans!” she blurted out.



 



He looked down and then back up at her. “So?”



 



“I don’t think I’ve ever seen you out of school robes and uniforms or tailored suits.”



 



“I don’t wear suit all the time, I have been known to go casual every now and then.” he smiled.



            Of course he did, she was just being silly, but seeing him like this out of a dress shirt and tailored pants it made her wonder what he slept in, if he wore anything at all. Oh Merlin, what the hell is she thinking. It’s getting late, she’s had a long day and she’s just being delusional.



 



Clearing her head she decided to change the subject. “Are you ready? Or I mean you can stay here if you want? I’m sure Smitty could take care of you when you’re a…cat. You don’t need me around necessarily.”



 



“Ah, but I do need you to help me figure out how to break the spell.” He said stepping closer to her looking at her with heat in his eyes.



 



She took a step back away from him, “But I’m sure Sm…”



 



“No you’re stuck with me whether you like it or not at least until the spell is broken.”



 



She let out a sigh not really sure if it was a good thing that she was relieved that he didn’t want to get rid of her.



 



“Are you sure you wouldn’t rather stay here?” she said looking around. “Your place is a million times nicer then my pathetic excuse of an apartment.”



 



“Nah, I like your apartment…it’s cozy.”



            She snorted then glanced at the over stuffed sofa facing the giant fireplace; she could easily picture herself cozying up there reading a good book.



 



“If you say so,” she said lost in thought.



 



“You could stay here if you want?” he said.



 



Whipping her head around, “What? No I couldn’t I have to stay at home for Crookshanks and I just couldn’t. But thanks for asking…I guess.”



            She certainly wasn’t expecting that. Draco Malfoy practically living in her apartment already was one thing but staying at his place? She couldn’t imagine, it felt to intimate.



 



“Okay whatever,” he said. “So now where are we going?”



 



“I don’t know, where do you want to go?”



 



He shrugged. “Is there anything open this late on a Sunday night?”



 



“No probably not.”



            Crap now what? It was only 11pm and she didn’t want to go home yet with him like this. She was kind of hoping that he would want to stay here and then she could go home and sleep. But she was bizarrely glad that he wanted to stay with her.



 



“Why don’t we just walk around and see what’s around or we can go back to your place. It’s been a long day and you look tired.”



 



She gave in, “Okay sounds good.”



            It was a very interesting feeling having Hermione in his home. He has never brought anyone over to see his home in London except his mother. He was almost nervous about bringing her here and letting her see it. He found himself wanting to know what she thought about it. Thankfully she liked it, he was relieved about that. Not that he had a bad place, it was actually very nice but nothing about it was really personal to him except his books and pictures. When they arrived at his place he had no idea how to act or what to do. He knew that he had to somehow start wooing her to try to make her fall for him, but she’s been pushing herself more away from him since he changed back earlier that night. Apparently the kiss last night didn’t do much for her. So when they entered his flat he left her in his living room as he went to take care of things and think.



            On the way there he’s been thinking of something he could do to gain more time, and he still hasn’t asked Hermione about his guess. On the way to his flat he thought about sending a letter to a friend of his who works on the Daily Prophet and telling him to put a ad in for Hermione’s book shop, since he knew that she hasn’t had much luck getting the magical population to come and check it out since it’s located in London and not Diagon Alley. He wrote down as much details as he could remember to put in the advertisement to help sell her shop. And with it he put in a sizable donation to pay for the advertisement. He sent it by owl, so surely they would get it by morning. He pulled out another piece of parchment and started to write a letter, this time keeping it anonymous and with a very large donation to the local animal shelter in London. This letter he would have to give to Richard to send out.



Once he finished both letters he hopped into the shower even though he didn’t look like he needed it. It’s been 4 days and he still looked like he did the day he change into a cat. He went ahead and shaved too for good measure. Then he quickly put together a small bag with an extra change of clothes and toiletries to take back to Hermione’s. He changed into something more comfortable since he probably wouldn’t be going to the office anytime soon. It was weird not going to work everyday, if he didn’t have to deal with being a cat most the day, he would probably think it was a very nice, long over due break.



When he walked out he caught her looking through his book collection, she didn’t notice him right away so he just took his time watching her until he made his presence known. He decided to say something when she started looking at the pictures he had along the shelves. He’d forgotten about his baby pictures he had there, his mother gave them to him as a house warming gift and since he never had anyone over he didn’t think anything of it. Luckily she didn’t make any wise comments about them.



He could picture Hermione curling up on his sofa in front of a fire reading a book with a glass of wine, her hair up off her neck and him sitting beside her watching her read with Crookshanks sleeping in front of the fire. He’d be lying to himself if he said he didn’t want to kiss her right now. He meant it when he asked if she wanted to stay here. Then again he would pretty much do anything to make sure he stayed by her side most of the time because he needed her to break the spell. She just didn’t know how much he needed her.



 



As they were heading back towards the lift she turned around, “you’re sure you don’t want to stay here?”



 



“No like I said your not going to get rid of me that easily, might I remind you you’re the reason we got into this mess.” He lightly pushed her into the lift and pressed the button for the ground level.



 



“If you hadn’t ticked my off, like always, we probably wouldn’t have gotten into this mess. So therefore it’s more your fault.” She pointed out.



 



“But you were the one with the wand in your hand, and you threaten me remember?”



 



“I did not…not really.” She said not really remembering the conversation they had before everything went down.



 



“You threaten to turn me into a toad remember? Which by the way if I had to change into anything I’d rather it be a cat then a toad.”



 



“Yeah because if you were a toad Crookshanks would have probably eaten you by now. Which reminds me you can’t keep feeding him, he’s needs to break the habit of begging for food.”



 



“He only begs because you feed that disgusting crap you call cat food.”



 



“It’s healthy, he’ll get used to it.”



 



He let out a sigh, “You know if you didn’t live in the city you probably wouldn’t have to make him go on a diet, because then he would have room to actually run around and play. Instead of being the fat house cat you’ve turned him into.”



 



“I know it’s my fault, but I can’t afford anything else except the crappy apartment I’m currently in and I couldn’t leave him at my parents they wouldn’t know what to do with him.”



 



They walked out of the elevator. “Maybe you should get him a friend, you know another cat.”



 



She laughed, “Well I know he probably does get lonely, but I’ve already experienced what it’s like to have two cats running around my apartment and it too crowded.”



 



“What? Is that why you want me to stay here, so you won’t have to deal with me?”



 



“No, I just figured that you would be more comfortable here is all, and that’s not why I wouldn’t want another cat. It’s just twice as much cat food and supplies to buy and twice as many medical bills to considered because if I got another cat, a real cat, I have to make sure they got all of their shots and got fixed.”



 



Draco cringed.



 



“Sorry” she chuckled, he glared. “And besides your not a real cat your different.” She whispered as they got near the doorman.



 



“I need to speak to Richard for a moment.” He said.



            She watched as he walked over to him and handed him an envelope that she didn’t realize he was holding. When he walked back they headed out the door into the night.



 



“What was that that you gave him?” she asked.



 



“None of your business.” He said forgetting he was supposed to be trying to woo her.



 



She looked away looking hurt.



 



Damn-it he thought, “It’s nothing just a letter I needed to have sent out.”



 



“Why not send it by owl?”



 



“It’s to a muggle.”



 



“Oh,” was all she said.



            Damn-it they were actually doing fairly well, they were actually talking, well arguing but still it was in complete sentences at least. Now they were back to single word answers. He cleared his throat thinking he might as well tell her what in the letter, then he can make his guess.



 



“Actually it was a donation I’m making to the animal shelter here.”



 



She lit up, “Really? Why are you doing that?”



 



“Because helping out the mother cat and her kittens the other day got me thinking that there needs to be more involvement in getting those animals off the streets, somewhere where they can be looked after and nursed back to health and then sold to families who will care for them.”



 



“That’s very noble of you, how much did you donate? Wait never mind I don’t want to know.”



 



He ignored her and answered anyway, “A couple million.”



 



She stopped walking and stared at him.



 



“What?”



 



“Did I hear you correctly, did you say you donated a couple million pounds to an animal shelter?” she said unbelieving.



 



“Yeah,” he shrugged. “I figured they could use to money to help expand, get better supplies and more employees to run a more successful business. Now are you coming or not your blocking traffic.”



She looked around, “There’s no one around, its 11:30 at night.”



            She didn’t know whether or not to hug him or slap some sense into him. She can’t believe he did that and on his own. That should earn him so major points for tomorrow evening. She caught up to him and he started walking again. But in the opposite direction of her apartment.



 



“Where are you going?” she asked.



 



“There’s a coffee shop around the corner that is open late.”



 



“Oh okay” she said as she followed him.



            They got there just in time, they both decided to get their coffees to go so the owners could close up for the night. She took a sip, this coffee was delicious, she can’t believe she’s never stopped here before. Instead of going back to the apartment they decided to walk around a small park that was near by. It was odd that they were being so civil with each other, it still baffled her. The whole situation was weird, walking in public together, drinking coffee was so odd but in a good way. It was like they were never enemy’s, but friends. She can’t imagine what it would be like if anyone they both knew saw them together like this.



            The park was beautiful; there were fountains everywhere that were lit up at night creating a very romantic scene. Draco broke the comfortable silence first.



 



“So you said before that I can make a guess right? Well I think I have my guess.”



 



“Now wait, are you sure you know what it is? Like I said I don’t if you have a limit on how many guesses you can make.”



 



“I’m positive.” She blew out a breath hoping he got it right because she didn’t know how long she could keep the secret. “I think it has to do with doing acts of kindness, doing good deeds?”



 



She let out a sigh of relief and smiled. “Yep that’s it, how did you figure it out?”



 



“I’ve been going through everything I’ve done in the past 4 days and it just started to make sense when I gained 2 hours after rescuing the cats and then tonight I only got 30 extra minutes because I haven’t really done anything that big since then. And then the movie you and Lily watched and well…”



 



“Yeah you noticed how similar the situation was as well?”



 



“Yeah the prince got turned into a beast because he was unkind and he had to prove that he wasn’t a heart-less monster in order to change back.”



 



“So that’s the real reason you made the donation, right?”



 



“Yah, but I also wanted to do that.”



 



“Okay well that’s good because in order for you to gain more time it has to be something you want to do and not just do it because it will get you more minutes.”



 



“Okay. Can you think of anything else I should do?”



 



“I don’t know if I can help you come up with something, it might interfere with the curse.”



 



“Okay, but you can make a suggestion right? And then I’ll make the decision.”



 



“Well there’s what you’ve done so far with making donations to various places. You could help out at a soup kitchen or a nursing home? That kind of stuff.”



 



He looked at her funny, “What’s a soup kitchen and what’s a nursing home?”



 



She laughed of course he wouldn’t know what either one was. “A soup kitchen is a shelter that people who are less fortunate go to, to get free meals or sometimes a place to sleep. And a nursing home is a place where elderly people who are sick or are in need of taking care of because they can no longer take care of themselves go. And you can go volunteer at either one and help out with whatever needs to be done.”



 



“Hum that sounds…interesting.”



            She could tell he wasn’t very keen on either one of those. But she couldn’t force him or convince him to do either. They kept walking through the park both lost in thought. The temperature dropped and was colder out then it was before.



There was a group of guys walking towards them and from the looks of it, they were coming home for a night at the bar. As they were getting near, Draco could tell they were openly checking out Hermione. Draco felt a pinch of jealously, they shouldn’t be checking her out, couldn’t they see that she was clearly with him? He glanced at Hermione from the corner of his eye, he could tell she noticed them too and looked uncomfortable with them gaping at her. So he pulled her towards him and wrapped his arm around her waist keeping her close to his side. This was not the time to notice how perfectly she fit up against him. They went by with no complaint just a couple wolf whistles in Hermione’s direction.



 



“Boys” Hermione muttered the same time Draco muttered “assholes.”



            When they were a couple of feet away from them Hermione lightly pushed away from Draco’s embrace making his arm around her waist fall to his side. She immediately missed the contact, but she told herself it was only because of the coldness outside.



 



Draco looked over at Hermione, “You’re shivering.”



 



“Oh I’m fine. It just got chilly out,” she said as she wrapped her arms around her waist.



 



“Here you can wear this,” he said as he took off his jacket and placed it around her shoulders before she could protest.



            She wanted to argue but as soon as he did that she was warmer and completely engulfed by his scent. His jacket smelled perfect, just like him, she tried desperately hard not to openly inhale.



            The quietness between them returned as they kept walking. She wanted to say something so she just blurted out the first thing that came to mind.



 



“So did you know that Ginny’s pregnant!”


Chapter 14: Impossible
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

**This story used to be called 'Beauty and the Beast' like the disney movie but I had to change it because it violated a copyright issue. For those of you who have read my story before please note that it's still the same story as it was before just a different title. So please keep reading.


AN: I don’t own anything from Harry Potter.





 





“Is it Potter’s?”





 





“Oh course its Harry’s! Why would you think otherwise?” she said shocked.





 





“I don’t know. You’re the one who just blurted it out like it was some forbidden secret you couldn’t keep any longer.” He retorted.





 





“Well it’s not a secret. I don’t think. She just found out tonight that’s why she brought over Lily.”





 





“Good for them, I guess.” He sneered and looked away. “Not that we need anymore Potter-made brats running around.” He added.





 





“Be nice.” She warned.





 





“What’s the big hurry anyway? We’re not even 25 and they already have a 3 year old. And now another one on the way?”





 





“Well Ginny grew up in a big family and Harry never really had a family, at least not a normal one. They’ve been in love with each other for a while before they even got together. So why not start now?”





 





“Yeah but the last couple of years we had at Hogwarts were although memorable, they were also rather traumatic. And you three were gone most of the school year. How could they have possibly known they were meant to be together?”





 





“I don’t know, they always say that traumatic experiences bring people closer together and I guess you just know when you know your suppose to be with that person forever. It’s like a soul-mate connection.”





 





“Do you believe in that? Soul-mates?” he asked turning more serious.





 





She thought about it a little before she answered. “I want to believe it’s possible, that for everyone there is their perfect match, their other half. But realistically, I don’t know? I feel like if I purposely wait for that someone to show up in my life then I’ll just end wasting my life away waiting instead of letting it happen naturally. I mean you’ll never know unless you try.”





 





“Yeah like say you see a guy who comes into your bookshop. Instantly you don’t like him based on his appearance alone. He asks you out for coffee, but you’re unsure because you don’t know him. If you say yes, even if you have a feeling it might not work out you’ll be polite and except his offer. Then fast forward 20 years and you two are blissfully in love and married with two kids with frizzy hair like yours.” She shot him a glare as he continued. “But if you would have declined his offer because you didn’t think he was the right guy for you then 20 years later you could still be waiting around for your prince charming to sweep you off your feet thinking what if? ‘If only I’d taken that date with that guy way back when, then I wouldn’t have become the frigid old hag I am today.’” He said making a horrible impression of her.





 





She shoved him playfully, “I am not and will not ever become a frigid old hag or a crazy cat lady, so don’t even say it.” He chuckled. “But yeah that’s what I was getting at with the whole soul-mate thing. What about you, what’s your take on soul-mates?”





 





He shrugged, “same I guess. It’s something you want to be real, like how little kids want fairy tales to be real. But you can’t just wait around for something that you might only find in said fairy tales.”





 





“Mm.” she nodded. They walked towards the exit of the park and started heading back to her apartment. “Well I’m sure you’re getting lots of practice in ‘trying’ to find your ‘one’.”





 





“What is that supposed to mean?” he asked turning towards her.





 





“Oh, come on. You’re Draco Malfoy, one of the magical community’s most eligible bachelors. You must have women throwing themselves at you and I’m sure you have your ways of weeding out the crops.”





 





“Jealous.”





 





She snorted, “no of course not.”





 





“Mm well though it true, women do throw themselves at me but I’m not big on ‘weeding out the crops’ as you say.”





 





“Oh right. I forgot, you have a reputation to hold on to so therefore most of them don’t even make the cut right?”





 





“No that’s not it.” She rolled her eyes. “To me there has to be more then just good sex. It has to mean something. So therefore I don’t go around sleeping with a different woman every night, besides after a while it gets old.”





 





She thought about that for awhile. “Are you gay?”





 





“What? No, what just because I claim I don’t sleep around with every woman who claims they just want a good time makes me gay?”





 





“No I’m just checking.” She eyed him carefully even though she was just teasing.





            Before she could say anything else he grabbed her and pulled her towards him and kissed her hard on the lips. His hands placed on either side of her head keeping her in place. She made a small gasp against his lips but didn’t pull away.





            The kiss started out hard and possessive as if to prove a point. He then soften his lips against hers so he wasn’t smashing her mouth to the point where neither one of them could feel the sensation of the kiss. He didn’t pull back because he knew once he did it would be over. She would push him away. So he had to stay connected as long as possible.





            He brought one of his hands down and snaked his arm around the back of her waist pulling her closer to him as his other hand got lost in the curls of her hair as he cupped the back of her head. Her arms seemed to be glued to her side as if she was forcing herself not to give in to the kiss, even though her lips parted ever so slightly. He took that opportunity to deepen the kiss, to conquer her mouth with his. He licked her bottom lip before sucking it into his mouth and lightly nibbling on it. She moaned quietly into his mouth then gave in and wrapped her arms tightly around his neck, pressing herself up against him and kissing him back with the same ferocity as he was kissing her.





            This is so wrong she kept telling herself, but how could something so wrong feel so right? This was so different from the kiss he gave her last night that was sweet, innocent and unsure. This was passionate, hungry and exciting. She tried to hold back, make him think she wasn’t interested, but oh the wicked things he was doing to her mouth with those lips and tongue of his. Even as she relished in the incredible pleasure pouring through her, her mind was screaming that this is wrong, so wrong. They couldn’t do this, not now, not ever they were in the middle of the sidewalk in front of her apartment building for Christ sakes.





            He broke off the kiss leaving them both breathing heavily but he didn’t let go of her.





He leaned in and nuzzled the side of her neck, “Now do you still think I’m gay?” he asked kissing her just below her earlobe.





 





She closed her eyes at the sensation on her neck. She couldn’t breath or think let alone have the ability to form words.





She shook her head, “N-No” she whispered, her voice taking on a more husky tone.





            She didn’t even realize that somewhere during all of this he managed to back them up against a wall, pining her body with his. Which she was grateful for because if he so much as let go of her, she wouldn’t be surprised if her knees decided to give out on her. She never did understand the expression ‘he makes you weak in the knees’ until now.





            They stayed like that for a few more seconds trying to catch their breath. She opened her eyes just as she noticed a couple walking along the sidewalk doing their best to ignore them.





 





“Hermione…” he said against her neck.





 





“No,” she whispered cutting him off bringing them both back to reality.





            She laid a hand on his chest and lightly pushed him away from her. He stepped back without argue. Whatever he was going to say she didn’t want to hear it.





 





“That was wrong.” She said, trying to gain courage to look him in the eye.





 





“What do you mean that was wrong?” he asked looking confused, he stepped further back to get a better look at her.





 





“We can’t do this,” she said heading towards the entrance to the building.





 





“Why can’t we do this?” he asked following her up the stairs.





 





“We just can’t Draco, you and me, whatever this is between us. It’s just not a good idea.”





 





“I feel like I’m repeating myself. Why isn’t it a good idea?” he asked as they reached the door to her apartment.





            Damn-it why did she choose to come back to her apartment now? After what just happened between them down there. It was probably not the wisest decision to make, forcing them to be alone in her apartment instead of out in the open outside. She should have just stood her ground outside until this cooled over. She unlocked the door with shaky hands and walked in without answering him. Crookshanks greeted them at the door. She glanced at the clock. It was already 2:00am, how did time fly by so fast? Only 30 more minutes and he would be a cat again.





 





“Hermione, will you please just answer me.” He said as he came up behind her reaching out to touch her shoulder. “I’m not going to force myself on you or anything. I just want to know why?” he said in a softer tone.





She let out a sigh. Did she really have to explain to him why it wouldn’t work between them? She turned slowly around to face him. Merlin, he looked sexy with his hair tousled about in different directions and his lips slightly red and puffy from their kiss. Bugger, why did this have to happen?





 





She looked him in the eye, “You’re Draco Malfoy.” She explained. “I’m Hermione Granger. We’ve been enemies since day one of meeting each other. You made my life a living hell every single day, constantly reminding me of what I am and how I will never be as good as you just because of my blood.” She walked towards the sofa and he remained standing where he was allowing her to continue. “You come from one of the wealthiest, most powerful, pureblood families in the magical world. If it weren’t for me being friends with Harry I would be nobody, I’m still a nobody. The only thing I will ever be known for is being the Know-it-all from school.” She turned back towards him. “Tell me. If we happened to be walking down the street in Diagon Alley together, what do you think people will say about it? It will be the topic of gossip for months and not in a good way. We’re like oil and vinegar; we’ll never be able to mix. If your friends asked about it, what would you tell them? Would you just laugh and make fun of me behind my back and deny everything? Or would you tell them the honest truth? Would you be ashamed or proud that we were together? What would your family say about it? Now I’m not saying that this,” she gestured between them “is even going to lead to anything, but if it did what would you do, how would you deal with all the criticism?”





He took a while to answer. She looked away convinced that she made her point.





 





“Hermione,” he said walking towards her. “I’m not the same bloke I was in school. I admit I was horrible but I’ve changed.”





 





“Really? So if your friends or family asked if you were dating a muggleborn you would tell them the truth, you wouldn’t be ashamed or embarrassed?”





 





He let out a sigh and ran an agitated hand through his hair. “Yes I would tell them the truth. If it turned out we were dating, which at the moment were not even a couple. Bloody hell Hermione all we did down there was kissed.”





 





“I know. I’m just trying to put it all in perspective for you Malfoy as to why we can’t do this. So it’s best that we just put a stop to this now before it gets even more complicated. Besides the only reason you kissed me is probably because you’ve been forced to stay here with me for the past few days and besides Ginny I’m the only female around who understands what’s going on with you. So I don’t know, you must be confused or frustrated or something because if it the circumstances were different the mere thought of me even touching you would probably repulse you.”





 





He laughed. “So let me get this straight, if the circumstances were normal I wouldn’t even want to come near you.” She nodded. “But instead since I turn into a cat for the majority of the day and therefore am forced to stay here with you, you think I’m confused because you’re the only female around who will tolerate me when in cat form, that that’s why I kissed you?” he laughed hard again.





           





Okay so that sounded lame even to her.





 





“Did it ever occur to you that maybe I find you attractive and actually wanted to kiss you? Even before you turned me into a cat? Did you ever think about the real reason I walked into your shop that day?” he asked walking towards her.





 





She tried to back up but came up against the wall instead, she tried to turn the other way but he had her cornered. “You were looking for a book for your mother.” She reminded him, her voice more shaky then before.





 





“No I just made that up,” he said as he placed his arms on each side of her body, hands against the wall trapping her.





 





He leaned in closer, “The real reason was I just wanted to see you.”





 





“Why?” she said breathlessly looking at his lips.





 





He leaned in so his lips were just a whisper away from hers, “Because I…shit, bloody hell not now!” he yelled as he pulled back instantly.





            She remained pinned against the wall as she watched him retreat to the kitchen. When he returned he was once again a cat. He hopped up onto the sofa, tail swishing angrily behind him as he glared at her. She tried to gain her composer as she pushed herself off the wall.





 





“That’s the other reason as to why we can’t do this. You’re cursed and until this curse is broken nothing is going to happen between us. That way we can both go our separate ways when this is all over and pretend it never happened.” She told him as she walked towards her bedroom.





 





She turned back to him, “I’m going to go to work tomorrow. I’m assuming you’ll be fine on your own?” she asked not expecting an answer. “I’ll see you in the morning.” She said more softly as she shut her bedroom door shut for the night.


Chapter 15: Awkward Tensions
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**This story used to be call 'Beauty and the Beast' like the disney movie but I had to change it because it violated a copyright issue. For those who have read my story before please note that it is still the same story as it was before just a different title. So please keep reading. 



AN: I don’t own anything from Harry Potter.


Damn-it all to hell, Draco thought as he heard the lock on Hermione’s bedroom door click into place. This was not at all how he pictured things going. He imagined that she would be hard to get but he wasn’t expecting himself to feel so devastated when she told him they could never be together. This was going to be much harder then he thought it would be, she made it clear as to why they couldn’t be together.


            A small part of him agreed with her. And of course why would she want him after the way he treated her in the past. Thinking back on it he’s not surprised at all as to why she turned him into a cat. He deserved it for treating her so poorly. But he was an idiot back then, he never really meant all that crap he told her back in school. He only did it because he thought it would please his father. She was tough and appeared to never be effected by his insults or so he thought. He didn’t realize he caused her so much pain and grief. Of course then again he never thought he would be turned into a cat and the only way to change back was to get the one girl who wants absolutely nothing to do with him to fall in love with him.


            And all that stuff she said about what he was going to tell his friends if they ever asked him about them being together? He told her the truth on that…well he thought he did. When she asked him that, the first thing that came to mind was yes, he would be happy to confirm that they were together and that he wouldn’t be ashamed of it. But the more he thought about it, the more he wasn’t sure.


            What if they truly got together someday, what would his friends say? What would Blaise and Pansy think about him dating Granger? What would his family think? His mother probably wouldn’t be too fond about it at first but if she saw that he was happy, then she would accept their relationship in time. But his father, absolutely not! He’s all about keeping the Malfoy bloodline pure, only purebloods, anything else would be unacceptable. Of course that would only be if him and Hermione got married and decided to have children together.


            But wait, he’s thinking way too far ahead. He only has to get her to fall in love with him. He doesn’t have to marry her or spend the rest of his life with her. He just needs to focus on getting her to open up and take that leap and well he has to too, if he wants the spell to break. His friends and family will never have to know about it. Yeah that was it, but why does that thought make him feel sick inside? He’s thinking to much. He can’t focus on the future, all he should be thinking about is now and how the bloody hell he was going to get Hermione Granger into his heart.


            He knows for a fact that she wasn’t completely repulsed by him. He could tell that part of her wanted him badly. He could tell the way she kissed him back with as much intensity as he was giving her. And the way she melted in his arms and molded every inch of her perfectly to his body. He mentally groaned inside just thinking about it. Damn-it if only he didn’t turn into a bloody cat he would have been able to convince he to…to what? Allow him to bed her? To convince her to fall in love with him? To convince her that he wasn’t the same bloke he was in school? Yes to all he supposed.


            Her problem is that she thinks too much, she thought of every worse scenario that could’ve have happened if they were to get together before they even managed to get anywhere. All they had done so far was kiss. If she just stopped thinking and let everything happen on its own then well he would be able to continue on and everything would hopefully work itself out easier and quicker.


            He shouldn’t have jumped her like he did; he should have kept it nice and slow and then maybe work up to that level. But damn one taste of her and all rational thought disappeared. If he was going to get Hermione to fall for him, she needs to learn to trust him. And it would probably end badly if he ended up sleeping with her right away. What if things went badly, then they wouldn’t get anywhere. No he needed to go with original plan, to woo her and gain her trust first. And it’s going to be bloody hard to keep his hands to himself.


            Damn-it if he closed his eyes he could still taste her, feel her hands running through his hair, feel her pressed up against him. He was so confused. Part of him wants her so badly it hurts and then the other part is agreeing with what she said. At the end of the day she’s still Granger, one-third of the bloody golden trio, know-it-all, bossy, stubborn…muggleborn. He let out a sigh. Could he ever truly be with Hermione if and when all of this was over? Would he care about what everyone thinks?


            Damn-it, he needs to start taking his own advise and stop thinking, just let things happen on there own. And maybe 20 years later they would still be together blissfully in love with 2 kids with frizzy hair like their mother…He snorted. Yeah right like he and Hermione were soul-mates? He smiled to himself as he curled up in his corner of the sofa and drifted off to sleep dreaming of Hermione walking down the aisle towards him in a beautiful white flowing gown, then watching her belly grow swollen with their first child that they made together. And her whispering to him that she loved him.


What the hell just happened? Hermione thought. Her heart was pounding so rapidly she thought it might leap out of her chest. She thought for sure the small kiss they shared the night before was just a fluke, something that happened when they both were just caught in the moment, not thinking straight. But downstairs and again in her living room…well it was incredible and if she never stopped him then who knows what could’ve happened and whatever would have happened would have turned out to be incredibly awkward when he changed back into a cat. She didn’t want to even think what kind of state they would have been in during that moment.


            Bloody hell, why did he have to be Draco Malfoy, why couldn’t he have been some random stranger? She knew she was right when she explained to him why they couldn’t be together. But as she was telling him the more and more she didn’t want it to be true. Its better off that she stopped him when she did. If she allowed him to continue on, the harder and complicated it would be to end it and go their separate ways. She knew deep down that when the spell was broken he would leave without looking back and he would never want to see her again and he would go back to the old Draco Malfoy that she’s always known. So she couldn’t allow herself to fall for him, just to end up getting her heart broken.


            Even if he kisses her like she’s never been kissed before, even if he makes her weak in the knees just by looking at him, even if he steals her breath away every time he touches her. She could not fall for him. That was final. So why did she feel so horrible about making the right decision? Was she making the right decision? Ugh why did she have to think about everything to every detail? Why couldn’t she for once follow what her heart thinks is right and not what her brain tells her.


            Right now she’s being a complete hypocrite. She even told him back at the park that you should go out and try, don’t just push someone away because you don’t think their the right guy for you. Of course she was talking about soul-mates and Draco was definitely not soul-mate material at least not for her…was he? No he couldn’t be, they can’t stand each other. He grew up being taught to hate her and everybody else like her. Regardless if he’s changed or not he’ll never be able to truly accept her for who and what she is.


Merlin she was getting a headache thinking about all of this. She just needs to sleep on this, maybe by morning they’ll both come to their senses and realize that this is for the best. She changed into her pajamas and took a small potion to sooth her headache, then climbed into bed and turned off the light waiting for sleep to come.





Sleep never came; no matter how much she tried she couldn’t sleep. She spent the rest of the night tossing and turning. Every time she closed her eyes all she could think about was Draco and the way he kissed her, the way he looked at her, the way he touched her. Then all she could think about was how he reacted when she told it wasn’t going to work between them. She finally gave up on sleep around 6:00am and got up to take a cold shower. Still trying to convince herself that she was doing the right thing by pushing him away she got ready for the day.


She put on a flowery sundress with a cardigan to match incase she got cold and some strappy sandals. She decided to leave her hair down and left it curly instead of straightening it like she’s done in the past. And besides without magic she would never get it to look right anyway. She kept her makeup light so she looked natural and took a quick breath before she opened her bedroom door.


She tried not to look for him or seem anxious to see him, but there he was on the sofa as if waiting for him.


“Morning,” she mumbled in his direction without actually looking at him.


            She headed straight towards the kitchen prepared to make a very strong cup of coffee. Crookshanks came strolling in and rubbed himself along her leg, weaving in and out of her ankles. She bent down to give him a good rub.


“Good morning Crooks, are you hungry?” as if answering her he meow.


Draco came in as she was straightening back up. “I suppose you’re hungry too? Just give me a second and I’ll prepare your breakfast.”


            She turned so her back was too him. Damn she was acting ridiculous. They were both adults and what happened last night was a mistake and all they had to do was forget that it happened in the first place and fast! She put together Crookshanks meal first then set about making Draco’s as she waited for her coffee to brew. She set down his plate on the counter with a bowl of water.


“I’m going to work in a bit and I probably won’t be back until about eight tonight. There’s a lot that I need to get done at the shop so I probably won’t come back on my lunch break either.” Okay so she was planning on escaping to her shop to hide and stay there as long as possible. “Are you sure you’ll be okay by yourself?” She asked and received a stare from him. “Okay I’ll take that as a yes. Well I left my number for my mobile and my shop number so if something happens call me. I have caller ID at the shop so I’ll know it is you.” He gave her a blank stare as if he could care less. “Okay well I’m going to leave now. I guess I’ll see you later.”


            She bent down to give Crookshanks one last pet before she headed out, not looking back towards the kitchen where she knew Draco was staring at her watching as she left.


Draco watched as Hermione left for work. If he could laugh he would, he found it oddly charming that he managed to make her so flustered. He supposed that was a good thing for that meant he was getting to her, regardless that she pushed him away last night. He ate him meal trying to ignore Crookshanks yowls for him to drop down some of his food. He wasn’t going to fall for it this time, if he stopped feeding him then maybe Hermione would come around…just a bit. Of course she left so she wasn’t around to witness anything. He gave in to his begging and dropped down a small piece of meat. And gave Crookshanks a look saying that this was going to be that last time.


Once he finished he stretched out and gave a big yawn. Being a cat definitely had its perks. No matter what he always slept better then he has in the past. Even though last night he could hear Hermione tossing and turning in her bed all night with his super cat hearing ability. He thought about going to her but how could he when he was a cat and she locked her door on him. So instead he stayed in his corner on the sofa and slept the night away.


            He wondered if Hermione received the Daily Prophet at her place. She surely wouldn’t get it through the muggle post, but he wondered if she got it some other way. He knew she didn’t have an owl of her own so that option was probably out. He wanted to read it so he could keep up to date with the life he’s been absent from the past week. And he also wanted to check and see if his new advertisement for her shop was put in, thanks to him.


            As if…well magic a new issue of the Daily Prophet appeared on her coffee table. He hoped up on the table so he could have a better view and started reading. If only Hermione was kind enough to pour some of that coffee she brewed into his dish, then he would be all set. But unfortunately she didn’t so he would just have to do without. He finished reading with a smug look on his face. Sure enough they put the ad in and if he said so himself it looked perfect. They even somehow managed to take a picture of the storefront. It was better then he imagined, surely this will help bring in the non-muggle customers and help jump-start her business even more.


            Now the question was, was she going to see this? Did she even read the Daily Prophet? Of course she did, he could remember her reading it while in the Great Hall at Hogwarts. Was she going to know it was him that sent in the request for the advertisement? Was she going to be angry or happy about it? Well he couldn’t worry about that now since she was most likely at her shop by now and he was stuck in her living room as a cat.


            He left the paper open to the page he advertisement was on so that when she came home she would see it then he would be able to gauge her reaction. He turned the TV on with the remote and hopped over to the sofa since there was nothing else to do but wait until she came home or until he changed back…


            Hermione got to her shop and immediately regretted that she took the long weekend off to help out Malfoy. She still had boxes full of books that she needed to catalog and sort from last weeks shipment plus a brand new shipment that arrived earlier that day. But she couldn’t do a thing about them since she had to be in the front to attend customers, maybe she should finally consider hiring someone to help out. She didn’t want anyone at first, because frankly she couldn’t afford to hire anyone well enough and also she was determined to handle everything herself.


            Since she opened her doors that morning people have been strolling in and out all day. Not once allowing her to take a breather. She’s had little time to get work done since she’s been busy ringing in customers. Just then a lady came into her shop and right away Hermione noticed that she wasn’t any ordinary customer; there was something different about her. Her clothing was a definite give away. She wore a taffeta skirt that went past her knees with black high heel boots that looked like old witches boots. She couldn’t see her shirt because it was covered up by a cape that was a bright pink. She had a lime green hat that barely fit through the door. And she had on a pair of rhinestone cat eyed glasses.


            She got some odd looks from her other customers in the shop but no one paid any real attention to her. She spotted Hermione at the front counter and walked over.


“Hello, welcome to Once Upon a Time Books. Can I help you find anything?”


“Why yes you can. You must be Hermione.” The woman said as she took off her glasses.


“Yes I am, I’m sorry do I know you? How did you know my…”


“Oh no I’m sorry dear of course you don’t know me. I saw your ad in the Prophet and heard great reviews and I thought I take a peak and check out for myself. I’m Claudia by the way. Your little book shop came highly recommended and I’ve been looking for a specific book on herbology.”


Hermione’s eyes brighten up, “Oh, what book are you looking for?” she asked excited that she finally got her first customer from the magical world besides Malfoy.


“It’s called The Romantic Side to Herbology.”


“Well you’re in luck because I believe I do have that. I remember ordering it when it first came out a few weeks ago. It’s going to be in the back room. You just walk to the back of the shop and it’s going to be behind the portrait of a castle. And the password is Broomstick.”


“Ah that’s so charming.” She said as she clapped her hands together.


“Would you care for some pumpkin juice or a butter beer while you look?”


“Um I would love a cold glass of pumpkin juice.”


“Alright coming right up.” She quickly poured a glass of juice and handed it to her.


            She tried to reach for her purse to pay but Hermione stopped her and told her it was on the house. She was the first magical customer after all.


“Just let me know if you need help with anything else.”


            Hermione was nearly bouncing with joy. Finally, she was finally doing what she loved; selling books to both magical and muggle books. Of course she had no idea what she was talking about when she mentioned an ad. Maybe Harry and Ron finally lived up to their promise and spread the word around about her shop.


            The day was flying by really fast. And she already had two other customers that were non-muggle in the past two hours. She was celebrating by sipping on a nice cold frothy butter beer when her phone rang. For a moment her heart stopped, what if it was Draco calling because something bad happened. She checked the caller ID and let out a breath it was only Ginny.


“Hey Ginny,” she said as she picked up her phone.


“Did you see it? Why didn’t you tell me you were going to put in a ad? I thought you didn’t want to spend that kind of money?”


“Whoa, what are you talking about?” she asked confused.


“Do you have the Daily Prophet in front of you?”


“Um yeah it’s around here somewhere. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet. It’s a mad house here.”


“Well open it up to the second page.”


“Okay hold on,” she grabbed the paper that was hidden beneath all of her paper work and other mail that came in today.


She opened it up and scanned the page. “Whoa…” she barely had time to catch her breath as Ginny continued.


“It’s fabulous, don’t you think? I’m so proud that you finally decided to put it in. It must have cost a fortune to get a fourth a page spread plus a picture. It’s amazing it turned out great.”


“Ginny…I didn’t do this.”


“What? You’re kidding. Well who did then?”


“I don’t know. I mean the only people who I thought knew about my shop was you, Harry and Ron, and well I guess there also Malfoy. But he wouldn’t do this.”


“Why not? He definitely has the money to afford this kind of thing.”


“Well it couldn’t have been him, why would he do such a thing? In fact the first day he came in here he threaten to put a bad review in the Prophet so no one would want to shop here. And besides I turned him into a…” she lowered her voice so no one in her shop would hear. “He’s a cat so when would he have the time to do something like this?” she asked.


“Uh I don’t know, from what I’ve seen he doesn’t stay a cat for the entire day.”


            Merlin how could she forget that, just thinking about it brought back memories from last night and how he kissed her. No he definitely wasn’t a cat then.


“I still don’t believe he would do something like that.”


“Well why don’t you ask him. Where is he?”


“I left him at the apartment. I figured he would be fine without me for a few hours.”


“Okay so what did you guys do last night after I left with Lily?”


“What? Nothing!” She sounded like a teenager getting caught doing something bad causing her voice to squeak out on the last part.


“Uh huh sure. I want details.” She prodded further.


Hermione cleared her throat. “Really Ginny nothing happened. I made him get out of the apartment and we went to his place…and before you say anything it was just so he could get a fresh pair of clothes and other stuff he needed to take care of. Then we walked around a bit then returned to the apartment and he changed back and I went to bed.”


There was a pause on Ginny’s end then she said, “Why do I get the feeling you’re leaving some major details out? You’re my best friend you can tell me anything you know…and besides I’m selfishly noisy and want to know the dirt.”


Hermione laughed at that, and then let out a sigh. “Okay so he might have kissed me last night but it was a mistake…a huge mistake.” She said as a blush crawled up to her cheeks.


“He kissed you!” Ginny squealed so loudly that she had to pull the phone away from her ear. “Oh my, that’s wonderful.”


“What? No it’s not. This is Draco Malfoy were talking about. He and I would never work out, it was a mistake and I’m sure he regrets it even happened in the first place. Listen I know you want details but I really need to get back to work.”


“Fine avoid this all you want but I’m not through with you yet. I’ll talk to you later.”


“Okay bye.” She hung up and let a breath.


            Damn-it she should have never told Ginny, because she’ll probably tell Harry who will tell Ron which just create a viscous cycle. Well she couldn’t do anything about it now since the cat was out of the bag so to speak. She now had to figure out who put the advertisement in the Prophet. She was still convinced it wasn’t Malfoy.


Draco awoke with a start. He must have dozed off while watching TV. He had that tingling feeling again, he glanced at the clock on the wall, 7:00pm. Wow he gained a little over 2 hours. He quickly darted into the kitchen then realized he was being ridiculous because no one was around to witness him change except Crookshanks. He grabbed his clothes which Hermione must have folded for him this morning since last night she went straight to bed after he changed back leaving his clothes in a crumpled heap on the kitchen floor. Now the question was what was he going to do now? It was only 7:00pm and Hermione said she wouldn’t be back till a little after 8:00pm so that meant she would still be at work. He could go there and surprise her then convince her to go to that soup kitchen or whatever it was she was talking about last night.


            Of course since last night after he kissed her she probably wouldn’t want to do anything with him…but we’ll see about that, he thought. Whether she liked it or not he was going to make her his. He just had to be careful not to push her too far to fast because she could end up kicking him out all together and then what would he do?


            He decided to go freshen up real fast then grab a quick bite to eat and went ahead and fed Crookshanks since he had no plans for them to be returning to her apartment for the awhile. And then he was out the door heading for Hermione’s bookshop.




 




Chapter 16: A Very Exhausting Day
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AN: I don’t own anything from Harry Potter and the plot is based on the novel Blonde with a Wand by Vicki Lewis Thompson.



 



Hermione continued to stay busy, with ringing up customers and doing paper work also while chatting up some of her regulars who have come in to look around and enjoy a butter beer before going home for the day. She glanced at her antique clock hanging on the wall, only an hour to go then she can close up and get some real work done.



She was talking to one of her favorite customers Lisa who pretty much came to the store everyday whether it was to study for school or just come into read and get away. She thought about asking if Lisa wanted to work for her, part-time of course since Lisa was a University student trying to get her degree in children’s education. But she wasn’t sure she would up to it and also she was a muggle so it would be hard to explain about people coming in asking for certain books or how to get to the ‘back room’. She decided she would think about it some more before she asked.



Hermione was explaining to Lisa abut why she closed the shop for the past couple of days. Of course she didn’t mention a thing about Malfoy, just that she needed a small holiday to sort some things out. The bell rang at the front door indicating she had another customer who walked in.



“Whoa, who is he?” Lisa asked all her focus on the person who just walked in.



            Hermione turned her head to see who she was talking about but then stopped cold. Of course it had to be Malfoy. Damn him for making jeans and a t-shirt look so good. Memories of last night flooded her brain and she could feel the blush creeping up her neck. She bent her head and tried to make it look like she was busy sorting out paperwork and that she didn’t have time to greet him. But of course he ignored her attempt at avoiding him and walked up to the desk and stood next to Lisa.



“What are you doing here?” she blurted out a little too forcibly.



He shrugged then smiled at her. “I got bored so I decided to come by and see what you were doing.” He said as he leaned his elbows on the desk making his head drop so he was eye level with her.



“I’m working.” She said focusing all her attention on restacking a pile of papers that she already properly stacked minutes ago.



“Ah but you get off soon right?” he asked.



“The shop closes soon but I still have lots of work to do here.” she said still trying to avoid him.



            Just then Lisa elbowed her in the rib reminding her that she was still there. And the way she was eyeing Malfoy indicated she was clearly interested in him. And for some reason that made her a little uneasy. But why should she care right?



“Um sorry…Lisa this is Draco, Draco this is Lisa.” She introduced them.



“Hi nice to meet you.” Lisa held out her hand for Draco to shake.



Draco turned her hand over and pressed a kiss on the top of her hand, “the pleasure is all mine Lisa.” He said.



            Hermione gaped at them, watching as Lisa blushed at his chivalrous greeting and she batted her eyelashes flirtatiously at him. And Malfoy pouring on the charm. Sickness pooled in the bottom of her stomach as she slowly realized she was jealous of the two. And that Draco should be the one flirting with her not Lisa.



“So do you come here often?” Draco asked not letting go of Lisa’s hand.



            Hermione tried not to roll her eyes, thinking pureblood or muggle; men were always the same with their cheesy pick up lines. But Lisa bought it regardless because she giggled even more causing Hermione to see more green as she tried to tame the green giant of jealously inside her at the moment.



“Yeah I practically live here, I come just about everyday. Although I can’t say that I’ve ever seen you here before.” She leaned over causing the top of her shirt to gap open revealing her cleavage.



            Hermione slammed the cash register at little to loudly trying to focus their attention off one another. Lisa jumped a little but Draco didn’t so much as glance at her.



“Oops sorry it got stuck.” She said when Lisa gave her a knowing look.



            She honestly didn’t care what the two of them did just as long as they didn’t do it in front of her. At least that’s what she was trying to tell herself.



            They continued talking for a bit longer and Hermione occasionally noticed when Lisa would reach out and casually touch his arm or toss her hair back to get more of his attention. She was one of those women that every girl dreamed of being; tall, body like a supermodel, curvy in all the right places, long perfect straight hair, flawless skin and to top it all off she was smart, not some brainless beauty. Hermione did her best to block them out. But if she touched him one more time she was seriously taking back her idea’s for asking her for a job here.



Just then Draco turned to her, “I’m going to go look in the back, do you need anything taken back there?” he asked eyeing the rapidly growing stack of boxes she had piled behind the desk.



“Um yeah if you could take a box back, that would be great.”



            And just like that if was as if the weight in her chest lifted for once again his attention was back on her and not Lisa. He walked behind the desk and lifted one of the boxes as if it weighs nothing, then turned to Lisa and winked. And just as quickly as it disappeared the weight was back. He winked at her, how cheesy was that? Who even does that anymore? And what they hell was wrong with her for even caring about whether or not he was interested in Lisa. She snapped out of it once she realized she was staring at Draco’s retreating form as he disappeared through the aisles of bookshelves.



“Oh my god, he is gorgeous.” Lisa said pretending to fan herself with her hand.



Hermione just shrugged not actually answering her.



“So how do you know him?” Lisa asked.



“Uh we went to school together.”



“So you two aren’t together?”



Hermione’s head snapped up, Draco just spent the past 10 minutes flirting with her and she thought they were together? “Uh no we’re…just friends,” that is if you call two people who grew up hating each other and then years later reunite and one gets turned into a cat by the other and then they randomly start snogging each other as if their lives depended on it then turn around and pretend it never happened, friends? Then yeah I guess you could call them friends.



“Oh good, so…is he seeing anyone?” Lisa asked.



“Uh not that I know of.”



“Oh good. Could you do me a favor and give this to him and tell him to give me a ring. I have to run I have a study group meeting in 20 minutes.”



“Um sure no problem.” She took the piece of paper from Lisa and watched as she walked out the shop.



            What the hell was she doing saying she would give Draco her phone number for her when not 2 minutes ago she was enraged that she was even looking at him in the first place. She stood there for a minute still holding the piece of paper in her hands trying to debate on whether or not to give it to him or throw it away when he walked up to the counter.



“What’s that?” he asked pointing to the paper.



“Uh it’s for you,” she said as she handed it to him.



“Ah you shouldn’t have.” He teased.



“It’s not from me, it’s from Lisa.” She forced the last part out through her teeth.



“Ooh is someone jealous?”



Jealous? Oh course she was jealous, “No,” she replied putting up her best poker face.



“So you wouldn’t mind if I gave her a call?”



“Why would I mind? Just remember you’ll turn into a cat in less then 8 hours.”



“9 actually I changed back around 7:00pm and I’m not going to call her tonight, I have other plans for tonight instead.”



That got her attention. “What plans?” she asked.



“As soon as you get done working here you’re taking me to that soup kitchen place you were talking about last night.”



“And what makes you think I’m going to take you there?”



“Because your nice and agreed to help me since it is your fault I’m got turned into a cat in the first place.” He gave her his best puppy dog pout. “You don’t want me to stay a cat forever do you?”



She snorted trying not to smile at how ridiculously cute he looked while doing that and rolled her eyes instead. “Okay fine, but I really do have to get some work done here first.”



“Okay, what do you need help with?”



She looked at him for a bit, he really wanted to help her? “Um you can take the rest of the boxes to the back while I finish closing up here.”



“Alright,” he said as he stepped back behind the desk brushing Hermione’s arm as he passed by on his way to the back.



            Hermione tried not to read into anything when an electric current shot up her arm the second he touched her leaving goose-bumps along her arm. She shook her head as if to shake off the feeling and went back to sorting out her paperwork when she spotted the Daily Prophet peaking out from the piles of papers. She forgot all about that when Draco walked in. She was going to ask him about it, but now that he was here she was having second thoughts about it. What if she asked and he didn’t know anything about it that would be embarrassing. But then again if he did have something to do with it then it would be rude not to thank him. She watched as he came back to grab another box. He must have seen the paper in her hands.



“Is that today’s Prophet?” he asked pointing to the paper.



“Yeah, um did you have anything to do with this?” she asked showing him the paper.



“Have anything to do with what?” he asked playing dumb.



“This,” she said pointing to the ad.



He shrugged, “maybe.”



“When did you submit it?”



“Last night, why is there something wrong with it? I thought it looked pretty good myself.”



“No there’s nothing wrong with it. I just…you didn’t have to do this. I pay you back for the cost.”



He bent down to grab another box. “Don’t worry about it, consider it one of my good deeds.” He said as he walked towards the back.



            She watched as he disappeared to the back then glanced back down at the paper and smiled. Wow who knew that Draco Malfoy would do something this kind and generous for her?



            Draco walked towards the back with another box full of books that Hermione must have ordered for the shop. He couldn’t help but smile, she didn’t seem mad at him for putting the ad in the paper just more shocked then anything. He was pleased that he could surprise her. She is to straight forward and thinks she knows everything there is to know about him. Well he was glad he could throw her off a little bit.



            He knew if he was supposed to make Hermione fall in love with him then he shouldn’t have flirted with that one girl, what was her name? Tina? Lesley? He couldn’t even remember now. He just wanted to see how she would react to it. He chuckled to himself, yeah she hated every second of it, and he could feel her eyes glaring into him every time he ignored her to focus his attention on Lydia? He pulled the piece of paper out of his pocket after he set the box down in the store room. Lisa that was it. Yeah it shouldn’t matter whether or not he remembered her name because he had no intention of contacting her. Sure it wasn’t a nice thing to do but he just wanted to see if it would irate Hermione.



            And even though she denied it, which meant whatever the hell she said last night, she does have feelings for him even if there little, there still there. Now he just needs to remember to take things slow with her tonight. He has to try to control himself to win her over.



            He went back to grab the last of the boxes from the front, to find Hermione hunched over in a pile of paperwork calculating the day’s purchases. She looked up at him as he approached her desk and gave him a small smile. He noticed she pinned up the Prophet behind her desk for everyone to see. She must be pleased with it then if she wants everyone to see it.



“I just need 10 more minutes then we can go.”



“Okay but what about the boxes? Don’t you need to unpack them and sort through them?”



“Yeah, but I’ll get to them tomorrow. I just wanted to get them to the back first so they weren’t in the front where everybody could see them. And they were too heavy to lift by myself without magic so they have been piling up here until now, thanks to you.”



“No problem glad I could be of help and it’s quite refreshing to know that I’m more talented at something then you are.”



“Oh haha, yeah I’m so devastated that I don’t have manly man muscles to lift heavy objects with.” She teased.



“Ah so you think my muscles are manly huh?”



“Ha yah you wish.” She said looking away.



            And if he wasn’t mistaken she was blushing. He chuckled as he lifted the last box and made his way back to the back.



            Draco waited while Hermione locked up her shop. Sometime during the day she must have put her hair up. She had it twisted up in a way that caused some pieces to fall lose and it looked to be only secured up by a pencil that she stuck back there. He clutched his hand in a fist; his fingers just itching to yank the pencil lose and watch her hair fall lose around her shoulders.



“Okay are you ready?” she turned to him and asked.



“Yeah, lead the way.”



“Well we’ll have to take a cab or the bus to get there since it’s on the other side of town. But first I need to stop by the apartment to feed Crookshanks.”



“Oh don’t worry I already took care of him.”



She stopped and looked at him, “You did?”



“Uh huh.”



“You fed him cat food right?”



“Of course I did.”



She eyed him suspiciously, “Fine but I still need to go so I can change.”



He looked at her starting at her sandaled covered feet and up slowly roaming over her bare legs then up her sundress to her exposed neck and shoulders. She crossed her arms over her chest and arched an eyebrow at him.



“You look fine to me.” He smiled at her.



            Merlin’s beard all he had to do was look at her and she would likely surrender to anything he wanted. She tightened her arms around herself trying to cover up the evidence of how he was affecting her with just one of those looks of his.



“I can’t wear this to the soup kitchen.”



“Why not, we’re not going to be doing any manual labor or anything are we?” he asked.



“Well no, but I rather wear something a little but more comfortable and easy to move around in.”



“Hum…” he looked her up and down again. “Okay come with me.” He grabbed he hand releasing her hold from around herself and dragged her into a nearby alley.



“Draco what are you doing…?” she said then stopped cold when he whipped out his wand and pointed it at her.



            She backed up with her hands raised, panic creeping up her chest. Oh no this was it, she thought, this was him seeking revenge on her for what she did to him. She backed up until her back hit the brick wall trapping her. Draco walked towards her, wand pointed at her chest.



She tried to find her voice. “Dr…Malfoy…what are…what are you doing?”



“Just hold still.” He said then flicked his wand at her.



            She tried to be strong, hold her ground, but she flinched despite herself and cringed away shutting her eyes tight and waiting for the pain to come or whatever he was going to do to her. She waited and nothing happened.



“Hermione?” he said as he reached out and touched her shoulder lightly.



            She jumped and gasped as his fingers lightly grazed her bare shoulder her eyes snapping open and she looked around and then down at herself. She let out a breath of relief.



“Are you alright?” He asked looking a little worried. “I didn’t hurt you or anything did I?”



She let out an embarrassed chuckle, “No, I thought you were going to…I didn’t know what you were going to do.”



He stepped closer to her. “I would never hurt you Hermione.” He said softly looking truly concerned.



She stayed glued to the brick wall. “I…I know…wait…you can do magic?’ she said changing the subject.



He shrugged, “Yep apparently you’re the only one who lost the ability.”



“Well that’s not fair.” She muttered relaxing a bit.



“Well on the contrary I got turned into a cat, so I say it’s only fair that I got to keep something that’s still me. And if it makes you feel better I don’t think I can perform magic when I’m in cat form.” He said.



“Okay fine, you win.” She said then looked down at herself again. “You know I was hoping to change into jeans and a t-shirt…not this.” She pointed to her clothing that was no longer a sundress but a ivory layered empire waist tank top and navy short shorts with the same sandals she was wearing before.



He looked at her once again, “I think you look great and you can move around in that more comfortably rather than a dress right?”



“Yeah I guess.”



“Okay great then let’s go we’re wasting time.” He grabbed her hand and tugged her out into the busy sidewalk.



            It was unseasonably warm out for September and there were lots of people milling about at 8:30 at night. They walked to the bus stop to wait for the next bus to arrive. Draco never rode the bus before and he was curious about what it would be like. Hermione tried to tell him it wasn’t that exciting but he didn’t want to hear it. The bus arrived and to their dismay it was jammed packed full of people. Apparently there was some concert downtown that everyone was trying to get to. And so it was standing room only in the tight quarters of the bus.



They were shoved in the middle of the bus with no space to move without touching someone else. And a foul odor radiated throughout the bus, it was a mix between body odor and cigarettes. Hermione and Draco had to share a hand bar that hung from the ceiling keeping them in very close contact with one another. Through Hermione did her best to keep her hand away from his and stay very still and made sure that no part of her touched Draco’s body or anyone else’s for that matter.



She made a quick glance at Draco and his face looked so comical. If she wasn’t so uncomfortable herself she would have laughed. He looked like he wanted to jump out of his skin and he was standing just about as rigid as she was. He probably has never been surrounded in a place that was tightly packed with muggles before.



“It probably would have been easier to apparaite there.” She whispered to him.



“Yeah you’re probably right.”



            Just then the bus made a abrupt stop jerking Hermione forward. She lost her footing and her hold on the hand bar above her. Draco snagged an arm around her waist pulling her up against his chest. It happened so fast she didn’t quite know what happened until she could feel his breath ruffling her hair and his lips lighting brushing against her forehead. She could feel his rapid heart beat beneath her palm.



“Careful.” He whispered against her forehead.



“Yeah thanks,” she said trying to push away and not look at him, but he wouldn’t let go.



            And unfortunately this was the stop for all the concert goers so everyone was trying to get off at the same time which meant a lot of pushing and shoving going on. Draco tighten his hold around her pulling her even closer to him just to get them both out of the way from the madness going on around them. Luckily Hermione was pressed up against him so close that she had to turn her head to the side to fit comfortably under his chin instead of being face to face with him. As soon as all the passengers were off, the bus jerked to a start causing Hermione to jerk back and this time she wasn’t holding on to anything so she grabbed the closest thing which was Malfoy. One arm flung around the back of his neck and the other around his waist.



“Sorry” she muttered as she quickly pulled away once she got her footing again.



            He just smirked at her and pointed to some empty seats behind them. She quickly stepped out of his embrace and scooted into the empty seats. Of course he took the seat next to her so there was no way to avoid him. But if she was being honest with herself she really didn’t mind being plastered up against him. He currently smelled better then the other people on the bus did. And she always loved the sound and feel of someone else’s heartbeat, there was always something so comforting about that sound. Of course this comfort was making her very uncomfortable but in a good way. She crossed her legs when his knee came into contact with hers and tried to angle herself so she was facing away from him and towards the window.



            She glanced down at her legs. Of course of all the things he could have put on her he choose shorts that exposed almost her entire leg leaving very little to the imagination. Thank Merlin she shaved her legs this morning. It was so frustrating having to do everything the normal way without magic. She snuck a quick glance at Draco; she followed his gaze which was also centered on her bare legs. She shifted in her seat turning further away from him mainly to hide her reddening face. He never paid the slightest bit of attention to her before and now he couldn’t seem to stop looking at her and he seemed to actually enjoy touching her. He just wants to get laid she kept telling herself. He doesn’t want a relationship, not with her anyway.



            They remained in silence for the rest of the bus ride until their stop come up. They got off and walked down the street to where the soup kitchen was. It wasn’t really in the best part of the town but the building looked nice and well constructed. Before they got to the doors Hermione stopped Draco.



“Okay now I’m sure you know this but you have to be nice to these people in there. You have to be on your best behavior. You can’t criticize or judge them. Most of the people in here don’t have the luxury of owning homes. Some are jobless, and some just can’t afford to feed their families. For the most part their all nice and very grateful for what the soup kitchen provides them.”



“I get it Hermione you don’t have to scold me like a school boy.”



“I’m sorry I’m just trying to prepare you. This probably won’t be like anything like you’re used to doing.”



“I know I promise to be on my best behavior.” He said and held out his arm silently asking her to lead the way.



            Once they got to the door he held it open for her to enter while laying a hand on her lower back ushering her inside. They entered into a very sterile lobby. It reminded Hermione of the Hospital, white floors, white walls, and the smell of bleach in the air. A little old lady who sat behind a bullet proof glass window greeted them.



“Good evenin’ can I help ye two?” she asked with a slight Scottish accent.



Hermione walked up to the window. “Yes hello my name is Hermione and this is Draco. We’ve come here to do some volunteer work tonight.”



“Oh bless ye two, tis a mighty kind thing ye’re doin’, not everyone can be as kind and generous. Well ye’re just in luck tonight happens to be one of the busiest nights of the week…bingo night.” She said with a wink. “The cooks and some of the other volunteers are just now startin’ to prepare the food for the second eatin’ session of the night. Ye’re welcome to help them out. Tell me are ye good at cookin’?” she asked.



“As long as there’s a recipe to follow we can pretty much hold our own.” Hermione provided.



“Great well fill out these forms and you’ll be on ye’re way.”



“Great,” Hermione said as she accepted the beat up clipboard from the old woman.



“What is this form for?” Draco asked.



“It’s standard procedure. It just asks who we are, why we’ve come here, how long we want to work, that sort of thing.” She said as she continued to fill out the paperwork. “How long do you want to work here?” she asked him.



“Um how long is this place open?”



“It’s open all night, 24 hours.”



“I don’t know, we’ll work until we get tired?”



 “Okay I just mark down 3 plus hours, that way it will get you some extra points but also give some room incase you want to stay longer.”



“Sounds good.”



            Just then an elderly man dressed in many layers of clothing walked in. It seemed silly that he should be dressed in so many layers when it was so warm outside, but they could be the only clothes he owned and he had to be prepared for when winter came around. He walked up to the window and signed his name on the sign in sheet. He turned to them and tipped his hat.



“Evenin’” he said.



“Good evening.” “Evening.” Hermione and Draco replied.



            Then he turned and went through the doors leading to the canteen. Hermione turned back to Draco and smiled slightly then finished filling out the paperwork. The old woman, Ruthie was her name, returned and told them to go on back and a guy named Peter would be there to tell them what needs to be done. Hermione led the way to the back towards the kitchen with Draco following.



“Have you done this before?” he asked her.



“Yeah my family comes down here every Boxing Day to help out. Of course I’ve never had to cook anything before; they always would put me out front to serve the food.”



“Hum, well I guess I should tell you that I don’t have much experience in cooking. They only thing I can make are pancakes, bacon and maybe scrambled eggs.”



“Maybe?” she asked smiling at him.



“Yeah well it usually takes me a couple tries before I can make them at least edible.”



She laughed and he smiled enjoying the sound of her laughter.



“Well I doubt they’ll make us cook anything that too difficult, just act like its potions class; follow the recipe, add the correct ingredients…easy.”



“If you say so.”



            They met up with Peter the head cook. He put Hermione in charge of making a huge vat of bread pudding. And put Draco to work on cutting up vegetables that were going to go into a chicken noodle soup. Hermione never liked bread pudding, she could never get pasted the texture of mushy bread. But it was fairly easy to make and it was easy to make loads of it to feed lots of people. She started measuring out all her dry ingredients first then looked over at Draco to see how he was doing. Even though they were assigned different tasks they were still stationed next to each other. He was hutched over paying as close attention as he could in cutting up carrots so they all looked the same.



“They don’t have to be perfect you know. You don’t have to worry about getting bad marks from Professor Snape because your carrots aren’t cut to the exact measurements.” She said teasing him.



He stuck out his tongue at her and went back to cutting. She laughed and turned back to her pudding concoction.



Just hearing her talk about Snape brought back a lot of memories. Oh how he missed that man. He was more of a father figure then Lucius ever was to him. It was him and his mother who convinced him not to go through with becoming a full fledged deatheater like his father. Snape would always take him in when his father would beat him when he would do something that wasn’t to his liking. And it was because of Snape that he didn’t have any deaths on his hands. He found out later that night that Snape was a double agent of sorts; he appeared to be a follower of Voldmort but was really an ally to Dumbledore. Dumbledore of course knew of his mission and knew Snape vowed to protect him and take his place if he couldn’t complete the mission. Dumbledore knew exactly what was going to happen and yet didn’t do a thing to stop it. He knew that Snape was going to end him, one of his most trusted friends and yet he allowed it just to save Draco from the burden. He shook off the feeling and put that memory in the back of his mind. And focused back on cutting up the carrots. Hermione was right he needed to loosen up; nobody was going to care how well the carrots were cut, just as long as they tasted good.



After about one hour of cutting up various types of vegetables he looked over at Hermione who was getting ready to dish out her bread pudding into paper dishes. He watched as she dipped a finger into the mix and brought it to her lips to taste. He watched her mesmerized.



“How does it taste?” he asked licking his own lips.



She looked at him, “I don’t know it’s missing something I think.” She dipped a clean finger back into the batter, “it tastes rather plain. I thi…”



She stopped when Draco snagged her finger between his lips tasting it for himself. She stood there dumbfounded her eyes locked on his lips that were still around her finger, her own lips parted and her breathing picked up. Then before she knew it he released her finger but she was still too stunned to pull it away herself. He had to reach up with his hand to pull her hand down.



“Um…” was all she managed to say.”



“Did you add cinnamon?” he asked causally as if nothing happened.



“No.” she said turning away from him so he wouldn’t see her heated face.



“Maybe you should try that.” He said as he picked up his tray of cut vegetables to give to the head cook to add to the soup.



            He came back to the station with a crate of potatoes that needed to be peeled. Hermione was still dishing out the pudding.



She glanced over, “What are you suppose to do with those?” she asked him eyeing the box of potatoes.



“Peel them then cut them up and when your done with that your suppose to help me.”



“Oh goodie,” she said sarcastically. She finished one tray and started filling up another, “After this I don’t think I want to see, smell or make bread pudding ever again.” She said as she continued to scoop out globs of pudding into paper dishes.



“Yeah I feel the same way about carrots.” He smiled at her.



            About 2 hours and about 358 peeled potatoes later Draco and Hermione finally got moved from kitchen duty to food serving duty. Their jobs were to make sure all the food that was laid out was properly stocked, and made sure there were fresh fruit and fresh coffee and juice laid out for the people. For 11:30 at night it was still fairly packed, people were constantly coming in and out.



Hermione tried to appear cheery but she couldn’t stop yawning. If she had known she was going to be spending all night doing this plus a full day of work she would have tried to get more then 2 hours of sleep the night before.



The second dining shift ended around 2:00am then they decided to stick around and help clean up a bit and swipe down tables. Draco watched Hermione amusingly. He wondered if she noticed that she’s been cleaning the same spot on the table for the past 5 minutes. She looked exhausted, which was probably his fault since he made her come here to work here for not 3 but almost 6 hours after she’s been working at her shop all day. When she looked like she was about to keel over he finally went over to her and told it was time to go. They left after signing out and saying goodbye to everyone.



They managed to get a cab that was near by instead of waiting for the bus. Hermione scooted in first then sleepily told the driver the address. Draco watched as Hermione laid her head back against the seat and closed her eyes.



No this wasn’t his ideal way to spend an evening but he had to admit he felt pretty good about himself for what they did tonight. But he was really sick of smelling chicken noodle soup all night. Unfortunately he and Hermione had to eat some too because they both skipped dinner.



As the taxi pulled up to Hermione’s apartment building he pulled out his wallet to pay the driver trying not to stir Hermione who was now leaning against his shoulder fast asleep. He pulled out his wand and made sure the driver wasn’t looking and said a quite incantation so he could easily move Hermione out of the cab gracefully without waking her. He carried her to the front door and quietly opened the door without stirring her much. She managed to curl herself closer to him one of her hands somehow made its way under the collar of his shirt and her face burrowed closer in the crook between his neck and shoulder. A small sigh escaped her lips and he couldn’t help but smile. He climbed the stairs until he reached her apartment. He would have to dig out her keys from the depths of her purse but he already has his wand out.



Alohomora.” He whispered as the lock clicked open.



            He pushed his way through the door then shut it quietly behind him. He ignored Crookshanks who greeted him at the door and walked straight back to her bedroom. He laid her down on her bed. She was out like a light. He finally got to remove the pencil that has been keeping her hair up all night to let her hair fall loose against her pillow. He moved lower to remove her sandals from her feet. And although it took some effort he managed to get her under the covers and tucked into bed.



Crookshanks hopped up onto her bed and curled himself at her feet. “Hey buddy you’ll watch over her tonight right?” he whispered to the cat as he scratched him behind his ears.



            Hermione stirred a little but just to snuggle deeper into the covers. He reached up to move a lock of hair off her forehead and tucked it behind her ear. Then trailed the back of his finger down her cheek. Her skin was so smooth and soft it was addicting, he just wanted to touch her everywhere. Instead he leaned forward and pressed a small kiss against her temple and regretfully left her bedroom to retreat to the sofa where he would be sleeping for the night and waited for the change to take over.


Chapter 17: The 'New' Hermione Project
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AN: I don’t own anything from Harry Potter.



            Hermione woke up with a start automatically glancing at the clock. Ugh 6:00am, no matter how tired she was she still managed to wake up early. She glanced down at Crookshanks who was stretched out on his back at her feet and looked around to see where Draco was…wait why was she looking for him? She only let him sleep on the bed once and that was because she felt sorry for him.



            He hasn’t been a cat that long and yet she was already expecting to find him there along with Crookshanks. She scrubbed a hand down her face, what was she thinking? He was a human being, not a cat.



            She noticed that her face felt greasy like she went to bed without washing her face and leaving her makeup on. In fact she didn’t even remember coming home and going to bed. She glanced down at herself; she was still wearing the outfit that Draco conjured up for her before they went to the soup kitchen. She looked further down and noticed her shoes were neatly placed on the floor beside her bed. That was weird, why would she leave her shoes on the floor instead of putting them in the closet like she always did that way it was a guarantee that Crookshanks wouldn’t get to them and chew them up. And why would she go to bed without putting on her pajamas?



            She honestly couldn’t remember anything. The last thing she remembered was wiping down tables and cleaning up. Then she vaguely remembered saying goodbye to everyone and catching a cab. But anything after that she couldn’t remember, how was that possible? Was she that tired that she just completely passed out? How did she get to bed or even into her apartment for that matter? Surely Draco didn’t put her to bed, did he?



            She does remember that she had a very interesting dream that starred Draco and it involved him taking her to bed, him carrying her and tucking her in like a little child. But that couldn’t have really happened could it? Of course in the dream he followed her to bed and laid down next to her while gently tugging her to his side go she could snuggle closer. She glanced over to the opposite side of the bed which was completely untouched not even a dent in the pillow next to her so obviously that last part didn’t happen. But oh god, maybe the first part really did happen, she thought. Mortified she felt the heat creep up the back of her neck. Did her really do that for her? She was completely passed out that she didn’t even wake up once they got into the cab.



            She wasn’t overweight by any means, but she couldn’t possibly be anything close to light if he had to carry her dead weight out of the cab, up two flights of stairs and into her apartment. And not only that instead of just leaving her on the bed with no covers, he actually tucked her in and took her shoes off for her.



She looked around and noticed that he shut her bedroom door even, giving her privacy instead of leaving it open. She tried to remember when they left the soup kitchen, was it 2, 3:00am? It felt like they were there forever. This meant he would have had only about 2 hours until he would change back. She wondered if he was still here. if he stayed at her place or went back to his place? Thinking of that she felt an unpleasant drop in her chest. Surely he would have stayed here because it was convenient and she always made sure he was taken care when he was…well not himself.



This situation they were in just kept getting weirder and weirder. Just when she got used to him being a cat he would change back and then when he was himself it was so hard to picture him as a cat. She didn’t want to admit it but she rather him be human rather than a cat. Mainly because he wasn’t to bad to look at and the fact that he was annoying charming when he wasn’t being a jerk also had its perks. Especially last night, he didn’t complain once. He even chatted with a few old chaps who were engaged in a chess match while they were busy cleaning up after serving the food. And she was ashamed to admit that she was counting down the minutes until they could leave once it hit midnight.



She felt so conflicted, she knew she was letting her guard down little by little the more she hung out with him, and the more she hung out with him the more she wanted to be with him, the more she wanted to open her heart and allow him inside. But the mere fact that he was who he was was the only reason she’s been keeping his at arm’s length. She fell back against her pillow. She was sick and tired of her racing mind trying to figure out what she was going to do about Draco Malfoy.



She looked under the covers. She was still fully dressed so he didn’t take any advantage of her or anything while she was dead to the world. She chuckled to herself, she much have looked just lovely while she was passed out. Her hair was a mess, her make-up probably smeared from rubbing her eyes all night and her clothes still smelled like chicken soup. Yeah, she wouldn’t want to take advantage of her either when she looked and smelled like she did. She could only be so lucky if she wasn’t caught drooling in her sleep or god forbid snoring.



She sighed and glanced at the clock one last time before finally deciding to get up and get ready for the day.



She started walking towards her bathroom but paused as she started to walk past her bedroom door. She desperately wanted to open it just a crack to see if he was still out there. But unfortunately in order to check she would have to open the door all the way and then walk down the short hallway which led to the living room and well she wanted to at least attempt to look clean and refreshed before he saw her. And she didn’t want to appear eager to see him; just because he was doing nice things for her didn’t mean he still wouldn’t judge her or anything.



She shook her head and continued on towards the bathroom. When she walked in she automatically noticed something different about it. First there was an extra towel hanging on the towel rack that she didn’t put there and there were other toiletries on the counter that weren’t hers. She saw an extra toothbrush and a razor that were neatly placed beside her sink, as well as shaving cream, men’s deodorant and cologne. Of course they were Draco’s she thought since her bathroom was the only one with a shower and bathtub. She suddenly got butterflies in her stomach; there was something very intimate about sharing a sink and counter space with someone of the opposite sex who wasn’t related to you in any way. You can actually learn a lot about them and how well they take care of themselves. For instants she knew he used a real razor and shaving cream to shave, not the expensive electrical shavers that you have to plug in and charge up, but a real old fashion razor. This also meant that he didn’t use magic to shave like she did, well back when she had magic.



Don’t ask why, but she always found men who shave to be so sexy. She honestly didn’t care if they were cleanly shaven or scruffy but the act itself, she always found sexy and primal. Of course she’s seen Harry and Ron shave and she didn’t necessary think that was sexy, but they didn’t count since they were more like her brothers.



She moved on to inspecting his cologne. She knew she shouldn’t mess with it because it wasn’t hers and it looked expensive, but she couldn’t help but pull the cap off and take a sniff. She inhaled and closed her eyes. Yes this was definitely Draco’s; it smelled perfect just like him. Warmth pooled into her belly as a small sigh escaped her lips and she took a few more minutes to enjoy the scent. When she opened her eyes she caught a glimpse of her reflection in the mirror with a goofy grin on her face.



She immediately wiped the smile off her face and set the bottle down while recapping it. Just because she thought the man smelled good didn’t mean she was attracted to him…oh Merlin who was she kidding, of course she was attracted to him, everything about him the second he walked into her shop the first day attracted to her, all he had to do was be in the room and her heart would race. When he kissed her the other night it took every ounce of will power to push him away, and again on the bus last night when she lost her footing and he caught her against his chest, it took everything in her not to just close her eyes and melt into his arms.



Maybe he really has changed and it was just her who needed to accept that and accept him. She stared at her reflection mentally giving herself a prep talk. They are both mature adults, neither one of them the same as they were in school. Maybe she should just allow herself to just go with it, go with the flow as they say. To let whatever happens happen. No ones saying that they are going to get into a serious relationship or even get married. Again she felt the drop in her chest thinking about that.



No, she shook it off. This was only going to be about having fun, they could be friends with benefits. Someone to turn to, to satisfy their sexual needs…ugh she cringed thinking about that. She has always been the girl who wanted it all; friendship, passion plus love and all the works. Not just a partnership based on sex only. No, again she mentally gave herself a shake. This was the new her, the girl who was just going to go with the flow, no strings attached, no commitments. Not the girl who wants the fairytale ending. That’s why she’s been single for so long, because she’s been in the mind set of trying to find her Mr. Right instead of Mr. Right Now. And that Mr. Right Now for her was Draco. Yeah, this new Hermione wasn’t going to hold back next time. She gave herself a small smile in the mirror before stepping into the shower.



After she showered, she got dressed. The weatherman on the radio said that the day would be once again quite warm and pleasant out. She rooted through her closet, her eye kept landing on a peacock blue thin strapped summer dress that was in the back of her closet, she was feeling spontaneous this morning and decided to wear it. She paired it with high heels that Ginny insisted she buy while out shopping one time saying they made her legs look long and well toned. Not that she was trying to dress to impress anyone, but if a certain someone did take notice so be it. She was no longer going to hide behind books and push away any unwanted attention. Of course she did want to look like she was trying to hard either.



She finished putting her hair up in a messy twist then took a look at herself in her full length mirror. Oh Merlin, she looked like she was about to go to a cocktail party or some fancy tea party her mother insisted she attend to meet eligible men she thought would be perfect for her. Instead of about to go to work at a small bookshop for 12 hours.



She really did love the dress she was wearing, she bought it on impulse one time thinking she would eventually get enough guts to wear it out but unfortunately it’s been sitting in her closet for the past 3 months with the tags still attached. She let out a small sigh and went back to her closet to pick something else out. As she was inspecting her closet she found a white cardigan that again she has never worn mainly because she could never find anything to go with it. It was the kind that tied high up on her waist but it was always the wrong shade of white so she never wore it. She decided to take it off the hanger and try it on just to see what it looked like paired with the dress. And to her surprise it actually looked rather cute and definitely made the dress appear more causal.



She gave herself one last look in the mirror and opened her bedroom door before she decided to chicken out and change into jeans and a t-shirt. As she was walking down the hallway she completely forgot that Draco was likely in the living room either asleep or waiting for her. And suddenly all that confidence and prep talk she had about the new her and that she was just going to go with the flow and don’t hold back just vanished. She looked down at herself, what was she thinking wearing this dress with heels? She was about to turn around and change after all when he appeared at the end of the hallway once again a cat.



He stretched out his front paws and arched his back as he let out a big yawn like he just woke up probably from the sound of her heels on the hardwood floor and looked up at her. She tucked a stray hair behind her ear and continued walking into the living room because it would seem silly if she turned around and came back out wearing something different since he already saw her in the dress and heels.



“Morning,” she said as she walked past him.



            He in turn leaped onto the table where her laptop sat. She was going to go to the kitchen but stopped since it appeared he wanted to say something. She turned and leaned over to read what he slowly typed out.



GOOD MORNING DID U SLEP WELL



She chuckled, “Yes I did although it didn’t seem long enough, and you? Did you sleep okay?” She figured it was only polite since he asked her.



FINE, he typed out. SORRY I KEPT U OUT SO LATE



“Its okay, I didn’t mind…I had fun.” She said as she reached out to scratch him behind the ears, once he started purring was when she realized what she was doing and snatched her hand away. “Sorry I keep forgetting,” she muttered.



IT OK I DNT MIND IT FEELS GOOD



“I kind of figured since you purr every time I do that, which is very manly by the way.” She teased.



FUNNY, he typed out. Y R U DRESS UP



Crap that means he noticed she dressed up then she usually does when going to work. “Oh this,” she waved it off, “I wear stuff like this all the time to work.” She lied, which he could probably tell but since he couldn’t talk or type fast enough he didn’t say anything.



U LOOK NICE



“Thanks,” she turned her face so he wouldn’t see her blush. “Are you hungry?” she asked quickly taking the attention off her which is exactly what she told herself that she wasn’t going to do back in her bedroom.



CHICKEN



            Was he calling her a chicken because he caught her changing the subject or was he asking if she was going to serve him chicken again? She opted for the second.



“Um yeah or I have some cold turkey deli slices if you would rather have that instead since I can imagine that by now your probably sick of chicken.”



OK, he typed out.



 “Okay great.” She said as she turned and headed towards the kitchen. “Crookshanks are you hungry?” she called out figuring it would be more comfortable to have a third party present even if it was her and two cats.



            Damn 30 minutes of this new her and she was already failing miserably. But then again he was currently a cat at the moment so the real test wouldn’t began until he changed back, so technically this didn’t count since he couldn’t do anything to her in his state. Oh god what if he already lost interest in her because last night he didn’t even try to kiss her…okay so there were a few heated moments on the bus and again when they were in the kitchen prepping food. But he didn’t try to move on any further then that.



            If she was this flustered around him when he was a cat around her, how was she going to pull off attempting to be seductively flirtatious towards him? He probably just laugh in her face and tell her she looked like an idiot.



            One step at a time, she mentally told herself. Don’t think to much about it, just let it happen naturally, don’t force it. She put together Crookshanks meal first then put together Draco’s. She glanced at the clock, 7:30am she should probably head out so she can get some work done before she opened at 8:00am.



“I should get going…I guess call me whenever you change back or stop by…or whatever you want to do, your choice…um okay bye.” She said as she hurried out the door and locked it behind her.



            Damn it yeah she needed some serious work on her ‘new self’. What happened to all her Gryffindor courage? Put her in the middle of a war to help defeat dark wizards, no problem. Making her take her O.W.L.S. exam when she is completely unprepared, unnerving but she could manage. Opening her own business on a whim, risking but exciting. Trying to attract the attention of the one guy she never in a million years think she develop feelings for, terrifying. And she would manage to turn into mush and wouldn’t be able to form complete sentences without blushing or making a fool of herself around him. She really was a pathetic excuse for a girl and a Gryffindor.



           



Draco once again watched as Hermione practically ran out the door. If he could smile he would, he didn’t think she knew how cute she looked when she was flustered. He finished his breakfast fast before Crookshanks finished his so therefore he wouldn’t have anything left that he would want. He stretched again, Hermione’s sofa was comfortable when he was a cat but when he was in human form, the sofa was just to short for him to lay down comfortably and sleep.



After he put Hermione to bed last night he made a makeshift bed out of her sofa but he wasn’t tired, well he was physically but he couldn’t sleep. Instead he just laid there staring up at the ceiling, just thinking about nothing in particular but at the same time everything. The sofa was making his back ache, he wanted so much to just go into Hermione’s room and lay down on the bed which he had a feeling was a lot more comfortable on his tall frame then the sofa was. But he stayed where he was even if she was asleep and she probably wouldn’t even have noticed if he was there or not. But that wasn’t right and he didn’t want to make her uncomfortable in anyway even if he wasn’t going to remain human much longer. So he stayed on the sofa being uncomfortable and staring up at the ceiling until he felt the change about to happen around 4:30am.



He didn’t bother running off to the kitchen to change so he just stayed where he was on the sofa. He quickly shed his clothes so he wouldn’t be suddenly engulfed by a pile of clothing when he changed. He found it difficult to fight your way out of a shirt and trousers when you didn’t have hands or opposable thumbs. He managed to neatly fold his now discarded clothing and placed them on the coffee table before he felt the final tingle take place and he was left looking up at the coffee table from his 10 inch tall body.



After that he hopped back onto the sofa and curled into a somewhat more comfortable position and finally fell asleep. The next thing he knew he was being drawn awake from the sound of heels walking down the hall or rather he smelled her first; a mix of jasmine and exotic vanilla. With that he hopped off the sofa and went to greet her. He didn’t expect her to look like she did; sure he’s seen her dressed up before but never when she showed that much leg and the dress she was wearing hugged against her small frame very nicely. He had to admit he liked what he saw…a lot. She always had great legs but attach a pair of spiky heels to her feet and well he had to double check to make sure he wasn’t drooling.



It was funny she almost looked uncomfortable, like she knew she was to dressed up just to go to work and he had a good feeling that she was lying when she told him she wore stuff like that to work all the time. So why was she all dressed up? Who was she trying to impress…him? Of course that’s what he wanted to think but she made it clear that she didn’t want anything to do with him the other night, even if she would occasionally let her guard down when around him. He prayed to who ever was watching over him that this curse, spell, whatever it was didn’t have a timeline because it would take some doing to make her fall for him even if she was close, this wasn’t something he could pull off in a couple of days.



After she left he hopped back onto the sofa and curled into his favorite corner. Crookshanks followed and took the opposite corner. He soon drifted back to sleeping wondering when he would change next. He wondered how much time he earned for working all night in the soup kitchen.



 



Working at the bookshop was uneventful, she had a steady amount of customers come and go through her door both muggle and magical. But it wasn’t nearly as close to the mayhem as it was yesterday.



Normally on days like this Hermione felt okay leaving her corner near the cash register to go re-stock or check on her customers. But that was back when she was able to create a magical ward around the front that prevented anyone from stealing anything without her knowing.



Normally she could sense them, but now she felt nothing not even a little tingle in the air. And she had a strong feeling that they were no longer up because she could see a thin layer of dust gathering along her display in front of the register. When she had her wards up they also served as a cleaning tool, always making sure the shop was spotless and remained so. She ran her finger through the dust. Great another thing to add to the growing list of things to do; clean the shop by hand, unless she could some how chorale Draco in doing that for her when he got here…if he decided to stop by. She needed to remember that when he was human, he was free to do whatever he pleased. She really had no control over him especially since she now knew he still had his magic intact when he was no longer a cat. She couldn’t help wishing that he would show up.



Since she no longer had any wards up she almost felt paranoid to leave the front to grab something in the back or finally get to those boxes she had Draco put back there last night. She really didn’t have anything worth stealing except the money in the register and she did trust her customers. Besides she was pretty sure she still had the wards up along the outside that Ginny put up for her after the pixies attached and destroyed everything. But they were on the outside to protect her shop for when she wasn’t there. Ugh she really did need to find someone to help out around the shop especially since she no longer had her magic and pretty much had to do everything by hand for now on which took up so much time. She wondered when she would get her magic back…if she would ever get it back.



Four hours had pasted and she never got a chance to go through the boxes because she either had customers to ring up or help or get drinks and pastries for. Around 3:30pm Lisa came into her shop and went straight to the counter where Hermione was busy ringing up a customer. Hermione glanced up and was surprised to see her there; she normally would come by later in the day after her classes.



“Hey what are you doing her so early, don’t you have classes around this time?” she asked.



“Yeah in about 20 minutes. I just came in to ask if your friend Draco was going to be coming in today and if so what time.”



Oh yeah she forgot about Draco and Lisa and their flirty chat they had yesterday. “Oh um, I honestly don’t have any idea if he will or not.” This was sort of true, she told him to stop by if he wanted to.



“Oh bollocks,” Lisa said with a pout. “I was really hoping to see him again. He didn’t give me a call last night. You did give him my not I wrote to him didn’t you?”



“Yeah I did, maybe he was busy and forgot? You know how guys can be.” Because he was busy spending the evening with her instead of calling Lisa she thought.



“Well I don’t have much time,” she said looking at her watch. “Do you think you can give me his phone number? Since I never got his yesterday since I had to run out to meet my study group.”



“Oh actually I don’t know what his number is, and I know he doesn’t carry around a mobile. So I’m afraid I can’t help you out with that. Sorry.”



“Damn.” Her shoulders slumped. “Well I’ll be back around 6:00pm like always, but if you see him can you tell him to call me because I would really like to get to know him better if you know what I mean.” She winked at Hermione.



            Hermione didn’t understand she always thought Lisa was such a nice, sweet, smart girl always filled with gossip and always lent out an ear to listen when needed. Now all she could think was that she was acting like some trollop and she just felt like slapping her.



“Um I’ll make sure to pass along the message if I see him.” She said trying to calm herself down.



“Great well I got to run, I’ll see you later. Chow.”



            Hermione waved goodbye. Surely Draco wouldn’t go for someone like her, of course she was beautiful and smart but she was a muggle, no ounce of magic in her. Of course right now Hermione to was practically a muggle as well. She went back to work to take her mind off of it.



            About an hour later her bell rang on her front door. She was busy looking up a book for a customer so she couldn’t see who came in, but as soon as the door shut she just knew it was him. She could feel the goose-bumps rise along her skin. She turned her head and there he was leaning against the counter, she gave him a small smile then returned back to the customer trying to play it cool even though her heart was racing like a hummingbird trying to take flight.



            Once she finished up she turned back to Draco who was patiently waiting while looking through one of the books displayed in the front.



“Hi,” she said as she looked at the clock. “Wow it happened earlier then I thought it would.”



“Yeah I know, I was surprised to.” He said as he placed the book back where it belonged.



“So what are you doing here?” Which was a stupid question she figured but she didn’t know why he was here with her instead of doing whatever the hell he wanted to do.



He shrugged, “I didn’t have anything else going on so I figured I’d come here and help you out…if you need it.”



“Okay, but aren’t you curious about what’s going on at your work? I mean surely there’s stuff that you need to catch up on or take care of at the Ministry. There’s no reason you should get behind because of you’re…condition.” She said lowering her voice.



“Don’t say it like that, you make it sound like I have some kind of disease.” He said looking around to make sure nobody was listening.



“Sorry, but you know what I mean.”



“To be honest I haven’t thought about work since the first day. And McGonagall said she would take care of everything so no one would get suspicious. And really I haven’t found any need to go and check up on things, which is weird because I’ve always been a workaholic never taking time off, but now I’m rather enjoying this unexpected holiday…thou strange as it is.” He said smiling.



She smiled back but then turned serious. “But aren’t you worried you might get sacked or something, maybe you could talk to Harry or something since you two work in the same department…”



He cut her off, “If there’s something I need to be aware of I’m sure Potter will let me know about it.”



“Okay I just don’t want you to get sacked because of me.”



“If I get sacked it wouldn’t be because of you, it would be because of me for something that I did, not you.” He said as he reached out and put his hand over hers.



She looked down at their hands getting that warm feeling again, “Lisa came in today asking for you. She still wants you to call her because she says she wants to get to know you better.” Damn it what was wrong with her, why did she bring that up. She sure did know how to ruin a good moment between them.



“Who?” he asked looking confused.



She couldn’t hide her smile, “Um Lisa, that girl you talked to yesterday, the one who gave you her number.”



“Oh yah her, um I actually don’t remember what I did with that, I think I might have lost it…don’t tell her.”



“Haha you lost it?”



He just shrugged not answering her and smiling.



“Well you better watch out because she’ll be back around 6:00pm after she gets out of class.” Crap she really just needed to shut up, and stop encouraging him to talk to the girl.



“Oh good,” he said actually sounding more intrigued then she wanted to hear. “So is there anything I can help out with here?” he asked quickly changing the subject.



“Well actually I wanted to go to the back to sort through those boxes you put back there last night and check them off on my inventory list. You can do that if you want, it’s pretty straight forward. There’s a clipboard in the back with a list of all the shipment orders and all you have to do is check off all the orders that arrived and then bring it up to me so I can add them to my computer catalog system.”



“Alright sounds easy enough.” He said as he walked towards the back.



            She watched as he made his way to the back, she didn’t even notice what he came in here wearing since she was working with a customer at the time. Today he was wearing a black button shirt that he had rolled up to his elbows and had the top two buttons left undone exposing his collarbone as well as leaving the shirt tails un-tucked from his dark faded jeans with well worn looking Italian black leather shoes. She was pretty sure he could wear a chicken suit and still make it look sexy. She sighed and went back to work.



            A few hours later she amusing made Draco go around dusting shelves with a frilly, dainty looking feather duster. Even after he insisted that it would be so much quicker and easier if he used magic to get the dusting done. But she pointed out that he couldn’t do that while muggles were present. He just didn’t want to be seen holding a frilly feather duster and she admits she just wanted to see if he would actually do it if she asked him to. She tried desperately hard to cover up her amused smile when Ginny walked in.



“Hey, what are you doing here?” She asked as Ginny walked up to her.



“Hey I came by wanting to kn…” she did a double take, “Is that Malfoy dusting?”



“Um yeah, he’s helping me out around the shop today.”



“Huh, I never thought I see the day of Malfoy doing physical labor…wait isn’t he suppose to be a cat?” she asked lowering her voice on the last part.



“He changed back early, we um went to the soup kitchen last night to volunteer which earned him some extra time.”



“Huh interesting” she said still watching Malfoy, then turned and looked up and down at Hermione. “Is that why you’re all dressed up then? I mean your wearing heels, the last time I saw you wear heels was at my wedding.”



“I’m not dressed up.” she said. “I just saw this in my closet and thought why not? As for the heels well nothing else looked good with the dress so I wore them.”



“Uh huh okay then, hello Malfoy.” Ginny said looking past Hermione’s shoulder; damn-it how long was he standing there?



“Weas…Ginny.” He said when Hermione sent him a warning glance at him.



“So what brings you here today?” Hermione asked her again.



“Well actually my parents have Lily for the night and Harry and I wanted to go out and celebrate our good news,” she said patting her flat stomach. “And we were wondering if you two wanted to join us, we’re going to the Thirsty Turtle Pub here in London.”



“Ginny you’re pregnant why would you want to go to a pub?” Hermione asked.



“I’m not going to drink, in fact they just happen to have to the best fish and chips out there and I’ve been craving them for the 2 days now. And they have a live band that plays and everything, please say you’ll come.”



“Okay yeah I’m game,” then she turned to Draco. “What about you, do you want to go, or do you have other plans tonight?” Hermione asked hoping he didn’t have any other plans.



“No, I’d love to go.” He said.



“Great,” Ginny said excitedly. “We’re going around 8:00pm, so just come by when ever you get done closing up here. Well I’m off to do some shopping see you two later.” She said as she waved bye to both of them.



Just as Ginny left Lisa walked back in, “Oh Draco, you’re here perfect. I was hoping you show up. I wanted to ask you something.”



            Hermione watched as Lisa made a b-line towards Draco and took him by the arm and led him away from the counter where he was leaning up against. To Hermione’s dismay he went without complaint focusing all his attention on her.




Sorry everyone it took me so long to update, I had to get through 2 weeks of finals before I could add to my story. I know this chapter is kind of boring and nothing really happens but I promise there is so much more exciting things to come. So please keep reading and reveiw to tell me what you think!! :)


Chapter 18: Jealousy and Fistfights
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

AN: I don’t own anything from Harry Potter



            Hermione figured by the way Draco talked when he told her he lost Lisa’s phone number that he wasn’t interested in her. But the way he was looking at her now said otherwise. Lisa managed to pull him out of ear shot from Hermione, but she still managed to catch a few words here and there while she was pretending to work instead of eavesdropping on their conversation.



            Hermione cringed every time she would reach out and casually touch his arm or when she took her fingertips and flirtatiously trailed them down the front of his shirt. She tried to ignore them especially when Lisa would giggle at something he said.



            By the time they were both laughing together, Hermione had the end of it.



“Draco,” she called out. “I need you to get me something from the back.” Trying to advert his attention on her instead of Lisa.



“Yeah ok in a minute.” He said not even glancing at her and went back to his animated conversation with Lisa.



“Never mind I’ll just get it myself,” she muttered as she walked past them towards the back.



            It has slowed down tremendously since the after work rush, so she figured it would be alright to go to the back leaving the register unattended. She grabbed one of the boxes of books that needed to be shelved but in her rage she pulled to hard forgetting how heavy the boxes could be and nearly threw her back out.



“Damn it,” she muttered as she set the box down and rubbed her lower back.



            Note to self, she needed to invest in a library cart to make it easier to transport books and boxes around her shop. Instead of grabbing the box, she selected a armful of books and made her way back to the front. As she was walking towards the front she managed to pick up on Draco and Lisa’s conversation. She hid behind one of the aisles pretending as if she was about to shelve the books in her arms but instead listened intently.



“So my friends and I are going to this pub later, just to hangout and listen to music, nothing fancy. And I was wondering if you wanted to join me?” Lisa asked while she played with the end of his shirt that was left un-tucked out of his jeans.



            Hermione was disgusted by the way she was practically throwing herself at him, in her bookshop no less. But she held her breath to make sure she could hear his response. She was worried that he would want to spend the night with her instead of Hermione and her friends. Of course if he had the choice she wouldn’t blame him if he choose Lisa instead of with Harry, Ginny and herself, seeing as how he was never really close to any of them before.



“Actually I already have plans for tonight, sorry.” He said although she couldn’t see his face to judge whether or not he was disappointed or not that he couldn’t go.



            She couldn’t help but smile just a little that he choose to go out with her tonight instead of taking Lisa’s offer.



“Oh well shoot, maybe another time then.” Lisa said looking distraught over the fact that he didn’t take her offer.



He shrugged in return; again she couldn’t see his face to tell what he implied with that action.



“Well I’ve got to run so I can get ready. Give me a call some time and we’ll do something.” She said as she stood on the tips of her toes and kissed him lightly on the cheek.



            Hermione grabbed hold of the bookcase to steady herself so she wouldn’t be responsible for throwing something towards Lisa’s head. Draco muttered something to Lisa that Hermione couldn’t make out and waved goodbye to her as she left the shop. Then he turned towards the desk where Hermione was but when he realized that she wasn’t there he looked around until he spotted her by the aisle she was hiding behind.



            That cad, she thought he didn’t even notice she left the room. When he approached her she pretended that she was busy shelving books.



“What did you need from the back?” He asked.



“Nothing, I already took care of it while you were busying chatting with Lisa.”



He folded his arms and leaned against the shelves while he crossed one of his legs over the other. “You know, you’re awful cute when you’re jealous.” He smirked at her as she continuously when about pretending to search fro where the book that she had in her hand was suppose to go.



“I’m not jealous,” she said not looking at him.



“Uh huh, so you weren’t over here hiding and pretending not to eavesdrop on our conversation?”



“Oh don’t be ridiculous. Why would I do something like that? She said as she continued to search fro nothing as if it could cover up the lie she just told him.



He leaned in so his mouth was inches away from her ear, “okay so if your over here shelving books…and not eavesdropping, tell me why are you about to shelve a book on Karma Sutra positions in the Children’s section?” he whispered to her.



“What?” she shot a look at him then down at the book in her hands. Merlin’s beard, she felt her face turn red, “I…um…oh shut up!” She said as she quickly turned on her heel and headed to the proper section where that book belonged.



Draco chuckled after her, “I’ll just go get the rest of the books in the back.” He said and headed towards the back of the shop.



            They spent the last couple hours re-shelving books and cleaning up the shop both in silence until it was time to close up.



            Draco waited in the front while Hermione put away the money in the safe in the back. He glanced at the clock; it just turned 8:00pm which meant it was time to meet Potter and his wife at the pub, well that should be interesting he thought. Going to school with him was one thing, working with him everyday at the Ministry was another thing, but hanging out with him outside work and school for fun? Well it should be interesting was all he could think of. And if he did this it would hopefully please Hermione and prove that he was at least trying to be civil with Potter and her friends. He sighed; this was going to be a long night. Speaking of long, Hermione was taking an awfully long time putting the money in the safe.



            And almost most as if on cue, he heard her heels clicking along the hardwood flooring. When he saw her walking towards him he almost had to do a double take. She looked amazing; she looked like a completely different girl…woman. She was wearing the same dress she had on all day but she ended up taking her sweater off leaving her shoulders and arms bare. And she took her hair down so it hung in loose curls past her shoulders. It also looked like she might have added a little bit more makeup then she normally wore. Not that she needed to do all of that in order to look attractive, he thought she was attractive when she would wear those ridiculously baggy flannel pajama’s that she wore to bed every night.



            She had her head down as she was trying to search for her keys in her bag so she didn’t notice him staring at her.



“Are you ready?” she asked still looking for her keys. When he didn’t answer her she looked up at him, “What?”



He shook his head ad for the first time was actually speechless around her, he cleared his throat. “Um nothing, I think your keys are over there on the counter.” He said pointing over by the register.



“Oh okay thanks. I was wondering where I put them.” She said as she walked over to where he pointed.



            She grabbed them then did a last minute check to make sure she didn’t forget anything when she closed up.



“Okay well I think that’s everything, are you ready to go? Or I mean if you still want to go tonight. You don’t have to if you really don’t want to.” She asked not knowing why she was giving him an out.



“No I said I’ll go, so I’m ready whenever you are.” He said heading towards the door.



“Okay,” she grabbed her keys then followed him out the door.



            The pub was to far away for them to walk there so they decided to call a cab instead of risking the bus this time. Once they were settled into the cab Draco looked towards Hermione.



“So what is this Thirsty Turtle place like? It’s a pub right?”



“Yeah, but that’s pretty much all I know, I’ve never been before. But I would imagine it’s like any other pub…that is a muggle pub.” She said glancing out the window.



He nodded in response even though she probably didn’t see it.



            When they got there Draco paid the driver before Hermione even had a chance to reach for her purse. He slid out of the car then turned around and reached out his hand to help Hermione out. She glanced at his open palm tentatively then finally slipped her warm small fingers into his, as he helped pull her out. The pub was located in a lively part of London where there were other various pubs and restaurants that lined the streets. He glanced at the Thirsty Turtle; Ginny mentioned there was a live band that plays every night. He could hear the bass beats thumping from the outside of the building. Which had no windows on the front, just a big red door at the entrance?



            When they got to the entrance Draco opened the door and his hand went to the small of Hermione’s back as he escorted her into the building. This action became more and more natural to them as if he’s always done these kinds of things for her. They were immediately assaulted by the loud rock music, which was the cause of the thumping you could hear outside.



“Well this is not exactly what I was thinking.” He heard Hermione say as she looked around.



            The place was dimly lit. The band was playing over to one side of the bar with a large dance floor in front of the stage where people were dancing together and some just listening to the music while swaying to the beats. On the opposite side was the bar which was lined with people almost no sitting room available. And in the back it seemed to have some billiard tables and dart boards where people, mainly men were having a throwing contest while groups of women watched and cheered them on. In the middle of the place were tables and booths where people could sit, drink and eat.



            It took a minute for their eyes to adjust properly, them both searching the place for Potter and Weaslette. When he spotted them at a table towards the dance floor he leaned low so Hermione could hear him over the blaring music and pointed towards them.



“There they are,” he said as someone else to the side drew his attention else where.



“Oh my god, Draco I knew you would change your mind and come after all. Oh my god my friends are just going to die when they meet you, come on I’ll introduce you.” Lisa came over and all but dragged him away from Hermione. 



            Apparently Lisa only had eyes for him because she didn’t even acknowledge Hermione standing next to him. Hermione was left standing there with a shocked expression on her face; she seemed just as surprised to see Lisa come out of nowhere as he did. He had no idea that this was the same pub that she was talking to him about earlier. He should have paid more attention to what she was talking about. She continued to pull him by the arm towards the back by the pool tables.



“Go ahead we’ll just be over here,” Hermione shouted after him looking disappointed if not hurt than quickly turned and walked towards Potter’s table.



            He needed to tell Lisa flat out that he wasn’t interested in her. Which he should have done earlier when she asked him out in the first place. And showing up here where she said she would be tonight didn’t look to good for him when he was panning on turning her down. As they got to the back it became much more quieter and he could actually hear himself think. If he was going to turn her down he needed to do it now and quick so he didn’t hurt her to much.



            But before he opened his mouth he was engulfed by a circle of females which he assumed were her friends she was talking about. Great now how was he supposed to do this subtlety without embarrassing the girl, he thought. He was quickly introduced to the girls which of whom he already forgotten their names. He glanced over to where Potter was sitting. He was disappointed to discover that neither of them especially Hermione were paying any attention to him. He returned to the group of girls who were babbling on about something he had no particular interest in. But pretended he did regardless.



            He stopped a waitress who walked by and asked her to get him a pint of whatever they had on tap. When she returned he took the chilled mug and brought it to his lips and took a nice cold drink and closed his eyes to savor the taste. It wasn’t firewhisky but it was good enough to quench his thirst. And help him get through this evening quicker.



            The girls decided to go off to the dance floor leaving him and Lisa alone. He glanced over at Hermione’s table once more and caught Hermione looking at him but quickly turned her head when she caught him looking over. Lisa stepped closer laying her hand on his chest. Merlin, this girl was touchy feely. He looked over at Hermione’s table again just as he caught Ginny and Hermione disappear within the crowd on the dance floor.



“Tell me what made you change your mind about coming here tonight?” Lisa asked running a lazy finger down his jaw, clearly a little smashed.



            Great just what he needed to make this more complicated then it already was. He caught her hand and pulled it away from him.



“Listen I need to tell you something. I meant it when I said I had other plans tonight. I just wasn’t aware that we would be attending the same place.”



She pulled back, “But I didn’t see you come in with anybody,” she said looking a little irritated.



“Actually I did, I came here with Hermione. And we were meeting…um our friends here at the bar. See that guy over there with the glasses,” he pointed to Potter sitting at the table they occupied. “That’s my colleague Harry, we work together and him and his wife Ginny are really good friends with Hermione.”



“I don’t see Hermione anywhere,” she pointed out.



“I just saw her and Ginny go off to the dance floor.”



“Wait, when I asked Hermione if you two were together she said no, that you were just friends.”



“We are friends and maybe…more…it’s kind of complicated right now.” He said looking over to where Ginny and Hermione disappeared to.



“Well this certainly changes things.” Lisa said looking disappointed.



“I’m sure you’re a wonderful girl, but I’m already interested in someone else. And I’m sure you’ll find someone out there who will be your everything. You’re beautiful and smart and there’s someone out there who is going to be the perfect guy for you. Unfortunately that someone isn’t going to be me.” He said truly feeling bad for turning the girl down.



She smiled slightly then shook her head, “I should have known, I knew she liked you even though she wouldn’t admit it. It was obvious just by the way she would look at you. But I just didn’t want to admit it to myself that you were already taken.”



“I am sorry and I should have told you sooner. And please don’t let this come between you and Hermione. I know your one of her favorite customers who comes to her shop.”



She smiled, “Thanks, I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have Once Upon A Time Books to go to after school. But if things don’t work out between you two don’t hesitate to give me a call.” She said giving him a pat on the shoulder jokingly.



“I’ll keep that in mind,” he said relieved that she wasn’t upset or making a scene in any way.



“Now you better get over there and tell her how you feel before someone else snatches her up before you get a chance.” She said as she started walking away towards her friends on the dance floor.



“Yeah will do,” he muttered mainly to himself as he started making his way to Potter’s table.



 



            Lisa was the last thing she expected to see at the pub when Hermione and Draco walked through the door. Then she pulled Draco away the second she spotted him. Who was she kidding; she could never compete with someone who looks like Lisa. Draco was all but drooling when she pulled him away.



            She was wearing this skin tight ting black dress that was completely backless, and she doubted anyone was questioning whether or not she was wearing a bra because she clearing wasn’t since her perfect cleavage was hanging out of the low cut neck line of the dress. And the dress was so short that she would have an impossibly hard time sitting down without showing her knickers that is if she was even wearing knickers at all.



            Hermione looked down at herself, she looked like she was about to go to her grandmothers tea party instead of going clubbing or to the pub or whatever this place was.



The music was so loud she couldn’t hear herself think. She should just let him go have fun. She was stupid to think she still had a chance with him. She shouted out to him that he should go ahead and don’t worry about her she’ll just hang out with Harry and Ginny. But he didn’t even look at her or acknowledge that he even heard her.



Ugh, she felt sick, this is exactly what she felt like when Ron started going out with Lavender. All she wanted to do was go hide in a corner and cry.



Get over yourself it’s Draco Malfoy, this is probably a good thing that you don’t get any more involved with him then you already are, she told herself as she went over to the table Ginny and Harry were at. She put on a smile and walked up to them. She noticed that there were already two orders of fish and chips on the table that Ginny was plowing through. Harry was enjoying a pint while watching a rugby match on the televisions above the bar.



“Hey guys,” she said trying to sound cheery.



“Hey Hermione, it’s about time, wants some chips there divine.” Ginny said with her mouth full.



“Where’s Malfoy? Ginny said he was coming too.” Harry asked.



“Oh he’s here; he’s over there talking to Lisa who he met at my shop yesterday.” They both turned to look where Hermione pointed.



“Wow, she’s…attractive…ow!” Harry said as Ginny kicked him under the table.



“She looks likes she’s trying to hard, I mean look at that dress she’s wearing. It looks like she only wants one thing.” Ginny said then went back to her eating, then looked up at Hermione. “You look nice though, I love that dress, it’s a great color on you.” She said



“Thanks,” Hermione responded as she took a seat at the table.



“Do you want a drink? I’m about to go up and get another pint.” Harry asked.



“Yeah I’ll take whatever you’re having.” Hermione said looking towards the dancers on the dance floor and not trying to look over at Draco by the billiard tables.



“Since when do you drink beer?” Harry asked.



“I’ve always have and tonight it just sounds good.” She said.



“Okay, honey do you want another virgin daiquiri or water?” he asked Ginny.



“Um both would be lovely.”



“Okay I’ll be right back,” Harry said as he went over to the bar.



“Okay so why is Malfoy over there talking to that Lisa girl and not over here with you?” Ginny asked when Harry was out of earshot.



“Did you get a good look at Lisa? There’s no way I can compete with that. Besides I had my chance the other night when he kissed me but I blew it and now he’s over there with her.”



“Have you looked at yourself lately? I’d say you have a good fighting chance in my opinion and besides he has to come home with you because of his condition regardless so no matter what you still have the upper hand.”



“Yeah well not so much, he changed back around 4:00pm today which means he won’t changed back until about 8:00am giving him plenty of time to go home with her and leave in the morning and be back before…you know.”



“I still say you have a fighting chance. I mean spending that much time together has to be doing something to both of your hormones. Unless you two are repulsed by one another which clearly you two aren’t…anymore, otherwise you’d be ripping each other apart.” Ginny explained.



“I don’t know,” Hermione sighed grabbing a small chip. “I figured it just easier to give up all together…it could only lead to heartache if I even allow it to get anywhere.” She said risking a quick glance over at Draco, who was circled by a group of scantily clad girls and Lisa.



Harry came back with the drinks, “What are you girls talking about making you look so serious.” He asked as he set their drinks down.



“Oh Hermione was just telling me about some muggle vitamins that will be good for the baby.” Ginny said sneaking Hermione a quick wink.



“So how is Malfoy dealing with being a cat part time? Ginny mentioned he changes back for only a few hours every night. Well obviously he’s himself right now, but why does he change back only temporally?” Harry asked Hermione.



“He has to perform good deeds for other people or things around him, in a way to redeem himself for always being so narrow minded and selfish. And the more good deeds he accomplishes the more time he gets at being human.” She explained.



“So how much has he earned so far?” Harry asked.



“Um…about 16 hour’s worth.”



“So when he reaches 24 hours, he gets changed back permanently?”



“Um no actually, Professor McGonagall said he would only reach up to about 18 hours worth of ‘human time’ and Draco has to accomplish something else in order to permanently to break the spell but I don’t know what the last piece is. Apparently I’m not allowed to know about it; only Draco and McGonagall know what it is.” She explained glancing back over to where Draco was, the girls that were around him had left leaving him alone with Lisa.



            Lisa reached up and laid a hand on his chest. With that he looked up at her and caught her looking at him and she quickly turned away pretending she wasn’t watching him.



“So does he have a time line or anything that he needs to complete all of this in order for him to break the spell?” he asked



“According to McGonagall, no but I keep getting a horrible feeling that the clock is ticking fast.” She said as she took a sip of her ale.



“Come on Hermione lets go dance, I love this song.” Ginny said getting up and tugging Hermione to the dance floor.



            Hermione followed without complaint. She figured it was better then sitting there moping about, while he was over there having a good time. Hermione had no idea what they were dancing to, but she tried to sway to the rhythm as much as she could.



“Come on Hermione at least attempt to look like your having a good time,” Ginny yelled over the music. “Make him think you’re not interested in what he does.”



“How is that suppose to help?” Hermione shouted.



“I don’t know it might make him jealous or something.” Ginny shrugged then took Hermione’s hand and spun her in a circle.



            It caught Hermione off guard and caused her to start giggling and lightened up just a bit. She smiled and started getting more into the music. Forgetting all about Draco and Lisa. They were smiling, giggling and dancing when Ginny suddenly stopped and brought her hand to her mouth.



“Are you okay Ginny?” Hermione asked when she stopped dancing.



“I think I’m going to be sick,” she said as she looked frantically around the pub for the restrooms.



“Well here let me take you to the loo.” Hermione said reaching out to help support her.



“No, no please stay here I’ll be fine, it will pass soon, I just need to go but I’ll be back I promise. Stay here and have fun.”



            Hermione watched as Ginny made her way through the crowds towards the restrooms. She wanted to help her but she understood that she wanted to be alone. No one wants somebody else to witness you getting sick. But she needed to let Harry know that Ginny was experiencing some morning sickness and that she might want to leave because of it. She turned planning on heading to the table, but instead she ran smack into a wall of chest.



“Oh,” she said startled. “Sorry.” She started to walk around him, but he sidestepped, blocking her.



“Not a problem, are you leaving?” he asked.



She recognized him as a guy she saw at the bar then came to the dance floor to listen to the band and he was sway to the music next to them as they were dancing. “Yeah, it’s getting late and my friend isn’t feeling well.” She explained



His words were harmless, but something about the way his eyes roamed over her stirred a ripple of wariness inside her.



“No, it’s not late the party’s just getting started.” She jumped as he grabbed her waist, pulling her tight against him.



            She struggled slightly, then realized she wasn’t going to easily break his strong hold.



“Come on, let’s dance.” The guy’s words were slurred and she smelled the beer on his breath.



She pushed on his chest a little harder this time, “You know I really am tired.”



“One dance,” from the way his hand sneaked down and started to squeeze her bum, she didn’t think dancing was at all what he had in mind.



            She squirmed, trying to slip out of his hold, but that only made him grip her tighter. Tight enough that her ribs ached.



“I’ve been watching you all night. And I’ve got to say you’re the prettiest thing in the place.”



            Normally if a man told her those words she would be flattered but now and the way he was rubbing up against her had her panicked. She tried to turn her head towards the table that Harry was at but she couldn’t see around this guy. No one else pay any attention to the two of them, to anyone else it probably looked like they were just dancing. She felt sickened and nervous.



She tried to reason with him, “I’m flattered, but I think…” Before she could finish, his head came down and his mouth covered hers.



            Wetness and the stale, sour tang of beer filled her mouth. His teeth ground against her lips, rough and painful. She turned her head, breaking the disgusting kiss and shoved at his chest, but didn’t get any leverage. She tried to pick up her knee to knee him or stomp on is foot but her dress wouldn’t allow it. It was times like this that she really needed her wand. She again looked around seeking Harry, Ginny, Draco even Lisa, someone but she saw no one. He dived in for another kiss but she managed to dodge him.



“Let her go,” she thought she heard Draco’s voice from somewhere behind her, she struggled against his hold to look over her shoulder at Draco.



            He stood at the edge of the dance floor, glaring at them. Although his hard stare wasn’t directed at her but at the guy holding her captive. He hadn’t noticed the command at all. He still gripped Hermione tight, tight enough that she couldn’t suck in a full breath. She struggled against his grasp, panic started to take full effect.



“Let her go,” Draco repeated, and this time his words did capture his attention, because the band stopped playing and switched over to the sound system so the music wasn’t so deafening as before.



The guy frowned over at Draco, blinking. “Mind your own business, mate.”



“I am,” Draco said, his voice calm but hard. “Let her go.”



            Hermione attempted to use his distraction to escape, again shoving at his chest, but despite his obvious drunkenness, he was too quick. Quick and strong. She was pinned against him, his fingers digging into her rib cage. She made a small gasp, pain shooting from her ribs. Draco shot through the crowds who have all stopped to watch the commotion they were causing.



“Get your fucking hands off her,” Draco growled. “She’s mine.”



            Obviously the anger heard in Draco’s voice must have unnerved him because he loosened his grip on her waist. Despite Hermione’s panic and Draco’s possessive words, she used his stunned reaction to jerk free, stumbling backwards away from him. Draco took a step closer to her, his gaze darting to her, just long enough for the guy to lunge forward and throw a punch. His fist caught Draco in the cheek. Hermione screamed, but Draco barely seemed to notice the blow, and caught him right in the stomach. He stumbled backwards but managed to keep his footing, then charged forward again. This time he missed Draco completely. Draco landed a fist directly in the guys face. Blood spurted from his nose, and he staggered as if he wasn’t quite sure where he was or what happened. He stumbled backwards, leaning heavily on one of the tables near by. Two other guys who were apparently his friends approached him. They didn’t even cast a look in Draco’s direction as they gathered up their bloodied friend and half carried half dragged him out of the pub. Going by their reactions this wasn’t an uncommon ending to their nights.



            Draco watched as they all left then turned to Hermione, striding towards her. He pushed some of his hair that fell into his eyes away from his face as his eyes roamed over her.



“Did he hurt you?” he asked.



Hermione shook her head, fighting the urge to rub a hand over her mouth. “No, I fine.” Instead she reached out and touched his cheek, where a purplish bruise was appearing on his cheekbone. “But he hurt you.”



He caught her hand, pressing her fingers to his cheek, “I’m fine too.” Then he moved her hand away, releasing it.



She stared at him, not finding any words. Finally she offered him a small smile and admitted, “I don’t know what to say. This is kind of out of my sphere of knowledge. What’s the appropriate thing to say or do when a person gets in a fistfight for you?”



Draco stared at her for a moment, and then smiled. “I think you say thanks…then you throw yourself into said person’s arms.” He said jokingly.



            Hermione laughed. But moved towards him, putting her arms around his neck, hugging him. His arms tentatively came around her, then pulled her close. Hermione breathed in the scent that only Draco could prefect, loving the solid feel of his body against hers.



“And,” he said, his lips close to her ear, his breath warm. “I think you kiss said person’s poor battered face.”



She pulled back slightly, offering him a small smile. “Really? Even if they ignored you all night and spent it hanging out with another girl?”



Draco pretended to consider that, and then he nodded decisively. “In this case, yeah I think so.”



            She smiled. Then surprising even herself with her boldness, she pressed a light kiss onto his bruised cheek. But before she could press more then one to the battered skin, Draco turned his head and caught her mouth with his. Then there was nothing light about the touch. His hand cupped the back of her head as he moved his lips over hers. Deep, devouring. Hermione moaned, her arms tightening around him. They remained that way, lost in their own desire for each other. Until they heard someone clear their throat behind them.



            Draco pulled back from Hermione without totally releasing her, so he could look over at Harry who interrupted them.



“Sorry to um…interrupt you two but um Ginny’s not feeling well, so were going to head out.” Harry said a little embarrassed that he caught them snogging.



“Hey I heard there was a fight going on out her is everything okay?” Ginny asked coming up behind Harry, then eyed Hermione who was still in Draco’s arms and smiled at her.



“Yeah everything’s fine now, it was all resolved.” Hermione said not evening trying to hide her heated face, Harry already witnessed too much so there was no use hiding anything anymore. “You should drink lots of water and maybe some ginger beer if you can stomach it.” She told Ginny trying to draw the attention away from them.



“Yeah, yeah don’t worry I still have all your notes on your dos and don’ts that you gave me back when we had Lily.” Ginny said.



“Okay just gets some rest.” Hermione said going into healer mode.



“Okay well like I said before, we’re going to head on home…are you going to be okay?” Harry asked, his question directed towards Hermione as he eyed Draco.



“Yes Harry, I’ll be fine now go take your wife to bed.” Hermione reassured him.



            She could tell he was just dying to give Draco the third degree but he refrained knowing that she would never let him hear the end of it if he did.



“Malfoy.”



“Potter.” Draco nodded towards Harry.



            They both stood there as they watched Harry and Ginny leave the pub. Suddenly the band that went on a break started up again making it impossible to hear your own breathing. Draco bent down so she could hear him.



“Do you want to get out of here?”



            She nodded in response not trusting her own voice. He let go of her, but grabbed her hand and twined his fingers through hers and together they walked out of the pub. Instead of flagging down a cab, Draco pulled them into a near by disserted alley.



            Once in the darkness and away from muggle eyes he reached for Hermione’s face and snuck a quick kiss on her lips.



“Hold on,” he whispered against her lips.



            Her arms came around and circled his waist and held on tight as he leaned down once more for a kiss. Once their lips met they apparated out of sight.



 


Chapter 19: No Regrets
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

AN: I don’t own anything from Harry Potter



On a random note I mentioned back in a previous chapter that Hermione opens her shop at 8am, well on Wednesdays she opens at 10am because it’s usually a slow day. I know it’s random but it works better with  my storyline if its this way.


They arrived in a pop in Hermione’s kitchen. They both pulled back a little stunned.



“Wow,” Draco murmured. “To be honest I moved to London because I absolutely despised appariting to work everyday. But I have to say kissing someone while appariting is definitely the way to go.” He said against her lips.



            Hermione giggled feeling almost lightheaded and leaned in for another kiss. Her hands lazily made their way up his chest only to tangle into his hair. He groaned and pulled her closer till there was no space left between them. He backed her up against the cabinets kissing her senseless. He laid all of his weight into her, pinning her to the wall to the point where her feet were no longer touching the ground. He reached down and grabbed the back of her thighs and brought her legs up to wrap around his waist.



            He lifted her weight off the cabinet wall and supported her body against his as he made his way to her bedroom. All while trying to sidestep Crookshanks who kept at his heels. Once he brought them to the bedroom he looked down at Crookshanks.



“Sorry buddy, for what I’m about to do to her doesn’t require an audience.” Draco said then shut the door keeping his out.



He looked up at Hermione who had a smirk of her own on her face, “And what exactly are you about to do to me?” she asked amused.



He smiled a wicked grin, “I’m about to ravish you.”



            She smiled a slow grin in return, her eyes bright. If he wasn’t looking at her so closely he would have completely missed it but for a tiny moment she had a look of uncertainty. But she quickly covered it up as if it was never there. He set her down onto her feet.



“You know, I will never do anything that you don’t want me to do,” he whispered to her looking her in the eye to show her that he was being sincere.



She nodded, “I know,” she said in a tiny voice, the uncertainty back. “I just have one condition.” She said sounding a bit stronger.



            He braced himself for what exactly this condition consisted of. He nodded, allowing her to continue.



“If we do this, it has to be with no strings attached, just keep things fun. No emotions that could just complicate things…just sex.”



            His heart dropped to his stomach upon hearing her words. Why was he taking this so badly? This normally would have been the perfect arrangement. No relationship required, no promises of a future together, just sex. But that wasn’t what it was supposed to be in order to break the spell. He realized that she was standing there looking up at him waiting for him to agree or disagree.



“If that’s what you want,” he said.



She nodded, “it is.” Her voice not as steady as it was before when she made the proposal.



He looked into her eyes noticing that the uncertainty was back, maybe he would be able to break through her walls that she keeps building around herself after all, he thought.



“Fine but I have one condition as well. You have to promise that you’ll have no regrets if we do this.”



“Okay.” She nodded.



He stepped back from her and reached out his hand, “Deal.” He said, waiting for her to shake his hand confirming their new arrangement.



She looked at his hand, the playful amusement look back in her eyes. “Really? I think we’ve moved past the being civil and courteous stage here.”



He pulled his hand back and smirked at her, “Well then tell me how should we go about sealing the deal we’ve arranged?”



She stepped towards him, “Oh I think we can think of a few things,” she said as she kissed him lightly on the lips.



            That was all it took for his hunger for her to return. He can think about how he can weave around there little arrangement later, now all he wanted to focus on was conquering her and doing things that he’s been dreaming about since he first walked into her bookshop.



            He took control over the kiss running his tongue along her bottom lip silently asking for passage. She opened for him and allowed him to plunder her mouth. He ran his hands along her back searching for the zipper of her dress, while walking her backwards towards the bed. He stopped just before the back of her knees hit the mattress. Instead of letting her fall back he kept her in place. Long enough to undo the zipper of her dress completely.



            His lips left hers to kiss along her jaw to her ear, as he slipped the dress off her shoulders. She dropped her hands which were gripping the front of his shirt to allow her dress to pool to the floor, leaving her in nothing but her lacy bra and matching underwear.



            He ran his hands along the sides of her torso, marveling at how soft her skin was. She let out a slight gasp as he reached her ribs. When he looked closer he saw faint purplish bruises forming along her ribcage.



He felt his blood boil, “I can’t believe that oaf hurt you.” He hissed.



“Draco please, I’m fine…just don’t stop.” She whispered against his lips trying to keep him focused on his task.



 



            Hermione couldn’t believe how bold she was being. If you would have told her last week that she would be in her bedroom standing in only her lacy knickers that she only wore on special occasions in front of Draco Malfoy, she would have laughed until so could no longer breathe. But now, she be damned if she let him stop. She wanted this more then she wanted anything before. She didn’t know why she had this feeling, whether it was because she got caught in a scary situation and Draco was there to save her, or if it was because she hasn’t been with a man since…well longer then she wanted to admit.



            She laid down the ground rules and he agreed, nothing romantic, just fun. Though he seemed a little reluctant at first, but he agreed nonetheless. He even set his own condition, no regrets from either one of them, not just herself. No awkward morning after, no excuses of being to smashed to think clearly…nothing.



Regardless of what was going to happen afterwards, right now, all she could think of was how utterly amazing it felt when Draco would kiss her just below her earlobe, it made her knees weak.



She sat at the end of the bed; he bent lower so his lips never left her skin. He kissed down her neck, slightly sucking, while sliding her bra strap off her shoulder with his fingers and following them with soft kisses along her collarbone and shoulder. Then turned his attention to the other side and did the same.



She reached back and unhooked her bra and let it slide down her arms then let it fall to the ground. Draco pulled back and watched every second intently.



“You’re beautiful,” he whispered as his eyes racked over her naked torso and chest.



            She blushed even though it was way beyond the point to be embarrassed. She smiled shyly when he just stood there looking at her. With trembling hands she reached out and grabbed hold of his fingers, she smiled at the fact that his hands were shaking too. She brought his hands up to her bare chest, and he sucked in a breath with his fingers made contact with her soft skin. He murmured something that she didn’t quite catch, but she could have sworn he said something along the lines of ‘perfect fit.’



            And just like that his lips were back on hers, kissing her as if it was his last dying breath. She laid down till her back was against the mattress and her feet were left dangling over the edge of the bed. He broke the kiss only to focus on kissing down her neck, over her chest, along her battered ribs, and down her flat belly. All while removing what little clothing she still had on. He kissed her till she was left breathless and panting.



            She shut her eyes, trying to get her breathing under control when she felt his weight lift off her. She cracked one eye open and for the first time realizing that she was completely nude laying on her bed while he was still fully clothed and standing at the foot of the bed watching her. He started to unbutton his shirt but she got up on her knees and pushed his hands away.



“Let me,” she said as she started to unbutton the buttons on his shirt one at a time as she kissed his neck and lightly nibbled on his earlobe.



            He made a sound that she was all too familiar with and pulled back.



“Did you just start purring?” she asked trying not to laugh, as she watched a blush creep up on his face.



“Apparently so, I seem to have no control over that.” He muttered, his blush deepening.



She kissed his heated cheek, “Don’t be embarrassed, I think it’s sweet.”



He turned his head and kissed her on the lips, “Well only you would think that, if someone else heard that they would probably laugh their asses off.”



            She giggled; she couldn’t help it, and then went back to her task of unbuttoning his shirt as she kissed down his naked chest. When she unbuttoned the last button she ran her hands up his naked torso marveling on how perfectly muscled his body was, he was all hard muscle and soft skin, the perfect combination. She pushed his shirt off his shoulders and let it fall next to her discarded dress on the floor. She then began working on undoing his belt and jeans. Before long they to, laid on the floor by his feet. She couldn’t help but stare. This man was breathtakingly beautiful. She didn’t get to stare too long, for his lips captured hers and before she knew it, he flipped her till her back was once again laying against the mattress of the bed.



            She let out a squeal at the sudden movement and giggled, but stopped when he climbed on top of her. She couldn’t believe how prefect his weight felt on top of hers. She wrapped her legs around his waist locking them with her ankles so she couldn’t let go. She ran her hands up and down his muscular back then into his silky hair.



            She shut her eyes tight instead of looking at him because she knew if she opened them she would already be breaking the promises they made. She wouldn’t be able to control her emotions and that could lead to lots of regrets later on. So instead of looking at Draco she shut her eyes and let all of her other senses take over for her. For nothing else at that moment existed but him and her together and right now that’s all that mattered.



Draco couldn’t sleep; he laid there on Hermione’s bed watching her sleep in his arms. How could he have been so blind, how could he have not been attracted to her during their time together at school? Sure back then she had frizzy uncontrollable hair, buck teeth and had been an annoyingly smart know-it-all. And now he found her hair which is no longer frizzy but a bit uncontrollable at times sexy, and you couldn’t even notice her teeth anymore because she grew into them and her brains definitely gotten her and her friends out of many tough situations. And she was adorably cute whenever she got flustered or embarrassed.



            She was perfect and all he could think about was how heartbreakingly beautiful she is. And his mission to fall for her was something he thought to be impossible. But now he couldn’t be happier that it happened so quickly and he never wanted to let her go, not even after the curse is broken.



            He tucked a stray hair behind her ear and leaned down and kissed her forehead, inhaling the scent of her hair. She sighed and snuggled closer to him as their legs tangled into each others with her head on his arm as his other was wrapped securely around her waist. Her hand lay limp on his chest just above his heart.



            He didn’t want to look at the clock on the table beside her bed. He knew the change was going to happen soon, but he didn’t want to ruin anything about this movement and he didn’t wasn’t to waste it counting down the minutes so instead he tightened his arms around her and snuggled closer to her and soon fell asleep.



           



Hermione woke up blissfully content; she glanced at the clock, 8:30am. Thank Merlin it was Wednesday when she opened at 10:00am instead of 8:00am like she normally did. She could easily fall back to sleep, she snuggled deeper in to the covers enjoying the warmth they brought to her skin and stretched out her legs all the way to her toes. She realized her muscles were a bit stiff but in the best way possible.



            That’s when the events of last night and earlier this morning for that matter came flooding back. Some time around 4:00am he woke her up while kissing the back of her neck and shoulders…and well she couldn’t resist, then one thing led to another. She smiled to herself thinking back on it. She stretched one last time before sitting up while clutching a sheet around her bare chest. And looked around her room, she knew he wouldn’t be human since he was suppose to change back around 8:00am or so.



            She found him curled up by her feet asleep. She watched him for a bit finding she could never get used to this curse, especially since four hours ago he was definitely doing very human male things to her. She sat there trying to figure out how to get from the bed to the loo without waking him and having to see her strutting around the room in the buff. Even though he has already seen her naked, it was still a very different feeling when daylight was streaming through the windows lighting her entire bedroom, instead of being drunk on sexual desire for one another.



            Ugh she was being ridiculous, she should just walk to the bathroom, who cares if he sees her or not. Just as she started to crawl out of bed he cracked one eye open. And when he saw that she was awake he opened both eyes and perked up.



“Um hi,” She waved at him shyly, Merlin she was so lame.



            He stood up on his legs and stretched his back out then sauntered his way towards her. He made her promise not to have any regrets in the morning after, and she didn’t, but that still didn’t mean that she knew what the proper thing to say to the person you just spent the entire night shagging with, the morning after. It’s not like she can offer him a cup of coffee or kiss him good morning or anything remotely normal since he was a cat. And she hated always having a one sided conversation when he was like this. She hated not knowing what he was thinking unless he was at her computer, but even that was too time consuming and didn’t allow him to express himself fully.



            She reached out her hand and he extended his head so it made contact with her palm, she then began scratching behind his ears and under his chin as he nuzzled his face against her hand and purred in contentment.



“Okay so this is going to sound ridiculously lame, but do you think you can turn around and shut your eyes while I run to the loo so I can get ready for work?” she asked him trying not to blush.



            He made a sound that sounded awfully like a snort and turned around and jumped off the bed disappearing at the foot of the bed. She started to get out when he hopped back up, carrying his shirt that he wore the night before and walked over to her and dropped it into her lap. She smiled at him and gave him one final rub then took his shirt and slipped her arms through it and buttoned it up just enough to ensure that she was covered thoroughly to make it from her bed to the bathroom.



            She got up from the bed and walked to the bathroom in nothing but his shirt which left her legs bare for all to see. Before going to the bathroom she slipped by her bedroom door and crack it open incase he wanted to go out to the living room or kitchen instead of being trapped in her bedroom while she got ready. She turned and looked at him, he sat on her bed and watched her, she smiled at him and ran a hand through her hair trying not to think of how crazy it must look right now.



She walked into the bathroom and shut the door behind her. She caught her reflection in the mirror and realized that indeed her hair was definitely a mess, it was all over the place and she had a ridiculously goofy grin on her face that she couldn’t turn off. For once she actually looked and felt well rested, her eyes were no longer puffy and her skin actually had a glow to it. She took one final whiff of the scent that lingered on his shirt before stripping it off and stepping into the shower.



After her shower she towel dried her hair leaving it curly and applied light makeup to her face. Then wrapped in a terrycloth robe she walked into her bedroom and found it empty. She walked to her closet and picked out a cute violet blouse and decided to go casual today and paired it with a pair of dark jeans that made her legs look slim and long and her bum look good.



When she was dressed she walked out into the living room and caught Crookshanks and Draco playing chase or some form of hide and seek. Where Draco would run and Crookshanks would chase him. But since Draco was faster he would hide and when Crookshanks would finally catch up Draco would then jump out at him, which then started another game of chase. They both stopped when they saw her walk out then followed her to the kitchen so she could prepare their breakfasts. Oh men, the way to their hearts is through their stomachs, or however the saying went, she thought.



She started brewing coffee for herself and grabbed an apple to eat on the way to work. Before she left she gave both cats a nice long scratch behind the ears then walked out the door.



Wednesdays were always slow in the mornings. So she was busying checking inventory and daydreaming about Draco and last night…okay so she was busy daydreaming about Draco while trying to cover it up by checking inventory and casually sipping on pumpkin juice. When her front door open and in walked in none other then Narcissa Malfoy.




Chapter 20: Magic Nevermore
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

AN: I don’t own anything from Harry Potter

            Hermione’s blood ran cold the second she spotted her. Her mind raced with all the possibilities as to why Draco’s mother stepped into her shop. Could it have been that she found out what she did to her son and now she’s here to get her revenge or turn her into the Ministry or send her off to Azkaban? Was she here to buy a book? What could she possibly be doing here in her bookshop?

            Hermione took a few deep breaths before finally getting up the courage to greet her newest customer.

“Welcome to Once Upon A Time books Mrs. Malfoy. May I help you?”

            The elegant woman dressed in the chicest wizarding apparel turned towards her. She looked at Hermione; her expertly made up eyes regarding her from head to toe and her ruby red lips pressed together as if she had a bad taste in her mouth. Her skin pale, much like Draco’s. The woman had such an aura about her you would almost think she were royalty they way she carried herself.

            Hermione looked down at herself suddenly wishing she wore something a bit nicer then jeans and a casual blouse.

Mrs. Malfoy looked down her nose at Hermione and arched one perfectly shaped eyebrow and asked, “Do I know you?”

Hermione’s throat suddenly felt dry, “Not personally, my names Hermione Granger. I went to school with your son.” She said.

“Granger?” Mrs. Malfoy’s eyebrows went up in surprise. “You’re that…muggle-born girl Draco’s always talked about. Your Harry Potter’s friend correct?”

Hermione’s heart skipped a beat when she mentioned Draco talked about her, but then again she was being silly…beyond silly, anything Draco would have said about her back then couldn’t have been anything pleasant.

“Yes ma’am I am.”

“Hum…I thought Draco said you became a healer over at St. Mungos.” Mrs. Malfoy said.

“I was, but it was a little to fast pace for me. So I decided to do the next best thing I love.”

“Working in a bookshop?” the scowl back on her face.

“Actually I own this bookshop. I opened it up a few months back.” Hermione explained, bloody hell she felt like she was giving the same speech she gave Draco when he first walked in here.

Narcissa looked around the room taking in every detail with a judging eye. “Hum, well it’s very quaint. Much more organized then the bookshops in Diagon Alley.”

“Are you looking for anything in particular?” Hermione asked.

“Actually I’m here to inquire about my son, you haven’t seen him around here have you?”

Hermione’s stomach dropped, how did she know that Draco’s been coming here much less hanging out with her? She tried to pull herself together before Narcissa became anymore suspicious.

“Um, what do you mean have I’ve seen him around here?”

Narcissa turned and looked back at her, “Well he lives close by and I’ve been trying to get a hold of him. I went to the Ministry looking for him since I haven’t heard from him. I talked to your friend Potter and he said that my son was on a special assignment but if I needed to get a hold of him to come here.”

            Shit, why did Harry tell her to come here? She had no idea how to handle Draco’s mother. What on earth was she supposed to say to her regarding her son?

“He has been known to stop by every now and then. But it usually isn’t until after 4:00pm.” Hermione explained to her, which wasn’t a lie he has stopped by everyday when he changes back which is usually after 4:00 or so.

Mrs. Malfoy looked displeased.

“If he stops by later I’ll let him know your looking for him.” Hermione informed her.

She nodded, “Very well, just have him owl me as soon as you see him.”

“Of course.”

Narcissa looked around her bookshop. “Are these all muggle books you sell here?” she asked.

“No I also sell magical books in the back.”

“In the back?” Narcissa sneered.

Hermione ignored her remark, “Yes I keep them behind the portrait of the castle.”

“Why not keep them out front?”

Hermione looked around her shop to make sure no one was listening in on their conversation. “This is muggle London. I can’t have just anyone looking through them.” Hermione tried to explain.

Mrs. Malfoy looked displeased that Hermione was trying to prove her wrong. “Then why sell them at all if you have to keep them hidden in the back?”

Hermione tried not to end up being the one sneering since she realized that Mrs. Malfoy was trying to insult her. “I sell them because I want to cater to both worlds, since I myself am a part of both worlds. I want to let all witches and wizards and other magical beings know that it’s okay for them to live in harmony with muggles.” She explained then added, “And the books aren’t hidden in the back as long as you know where to look.”

            Mrs. Malfoy turned away with an unladylike snort. Hermione tried not to grin for she knew she won this round.

Once Mrs. Malfoy composed herself she turned back to Hermione, “You wouldn’t happen to have any books on gardening would you?”

“Is there anything in particular that you’re looking for regarding gardening or gardening in general?”

Mrs. Malfoy let out a sigh and her posture became more relaxed and less cold. “I’m having a problem with rabbits. Their eating all the heads off my flowers and I’ve tried everything to keep them at bay but they keep coming back. My friend told me about a spell on garden gnomes. She said they would keep the rabbits away as well as other vermin. Do you have any books on magical garden gnomes?”

“Not specially but I think I might have a book that has some information. Just let me look up the title in the catalog system.”

            Hermione turned to the computer on her desk. She looked up the title then noticed that she no longer had that particular book in stock. Suddenly remembering that Draco bought that book for his mother’s birthday the first time he came in. That must be why she’s came here looking for him because her birthday was coming up. And knowing the Malfoy family she probably had some big party planned to celebrate the occasion.

“I’m sorry Mrs. Malfoy I had the book but I recently sold the last copy a few days ago. I can order it if you like, but it’s going to take a few weeks before it comes in” Hermione told her, she figured it wouldn’t be wise to tell her that her son bought the last copy as her birthday present.

“No that’s fine I’ll just ask my friend if she remembers the spell. Thanks anyway. And remember if you see my son tell him I’m looking for him.”

“Of course Mrs. Malfoy have a nice day.”

“You too Miss Granger.” Mrs. Malfoy gave a curt nod in Hermione’s direction before leaving the bookshop.

            Hermione let out a breath she didn’t realize she was holding. Okay so good news was she had no idea what happened to Draco, bad news was she was looking for him which means she would most likely eventually find out and she would be in deep shit. What was she going to do? She needed to contact McGonagall again to find out if she’s made any progress on finding an alternative way to break this spell. She realized that she still had the ancient book where she found the spell in the first place. But that was fine with her; McGonagall could keep it for all she cared. She didn’t want anything more to do with that book that had spells in it that effected people’s lives like it has hers and Draco’s.

            Draco! She needed to warn him about his mother looking for him. She couldn’t leave the shop to go check on him and she had no access to using an owl since they didn’t recognize her since she had no magical abilities any longer. She looked at her phone that was on her desk. That was it; she would call him or rather leave him a message on the answering machine that he would surely hear. She picked up the phone and dialed her number; it rang five times before sending it over to her voice mail.

“Hi Draco…it’s me Hermione. I’m calling because I just wanted to give you a heads up. Your mother is looking for you. She came into the shop about 10 minutes ago asking for you. Apparently she went to the Ministry first and ran into Harry. And he told her that she could probably find him here. And she wanted me to tell you that she wants you to contact her immediately. I don’t think she suspected anything thing…you know about the spell but anyway as soon as you…change you should send her an owl or go see her before you do anything else. Just incase it’s something serious…which I don’t think it is, she just seemed very insistent that you get a hold of her. Anyway I just wanted to let you know that, I guess I’ll talk to you later. Okay bye.” She hung up feeling silly that she called and left a message on her own answering machine, but he had to be there because there was no way he could leave until he changed back.

            Shortly after Mrs. Malfoy left her shop the crowd died down tremendously. She figured this was the best time to go to the back since there were only about two customers looking through the shelves. She picked up some magical books that she had up front under the counter that she needed to take to the back. She walked up to the castle portrait and whispered the password and waited for it to reveal the secret entryway. But nothing happened. She said the password once again a little louder and still nothing happened. That’s weird why wasn’t it working, she thought. She took a deep breath and tried to focus on the hidden doorway and spoke the password one last time.

“I’m sorry dear, did you say something?”

Hermione turned around and looked at the elderly woman who spoke. She sneaked a quick look at the portrait, which was still a portrait, no doorway in sight.

“No, I’m just talking to myself,” she waved it off as if it were an everyday thing for her.

            The elderly woman just smiled and turned back to the book she was looking through. Hermione turned back to portrait which was still hung on the solid wall. Panic started to rise in her chest. She quickly walked back up to the front and set the books on the counter. What was going on? Why wouldn’t the doorway open? And why did that woman even notice her? She thought. There was supposed to be an enchantment on the hidden doorway so muggles wouldn’t notice the comings and goings of other customers. But that woman clearly saw Hermione standing there speaking the password.

            Why wouldn’t the doorway open? Did it suddenly stop working? When she set the whole thing up, she remembered reading about it and it said as long as her shop was in business under her management the doorway would remain open. She never read anything about it having to be renewed or anything like that. So why wasn’t it working?

            She took a deep breath telling herself not to worry about it right now. Once everyone leaves she can go back there and investigate further. She went over and poured herself a butter beer. It only managed to fill up halfway before it sputtered and spitted out foam and nothing else. Great just another thing that needed to be done. She only had one more keg in the back, which meant she needed to order more soon.

            She went back to the counter where the magic books sat. She was about to put them back under the counter until she could figure everything out. But something made her pause. She glanced at the book on top. Love Potions Made Easy, she reached out to open to the first page. But nothing happened; it was as if all the pages were glued together. She couldn’t even lift the cover up. She lifted the whole book and examined every corner and surface of it, maybe there was a hidden lock or something that she had to push in to open it. But she couldn’t find anything; it looked like any other normal book. What was going on here? She tried to open it up again and it wouldn’t budge.

            Frustrated she slammed the book down on the countertop and turned to the next book, Centaurs and Hippogriffs and Unicorns Oh My! Magical Creatures from A to Z. She took a deep breath and lifted the front cover. And nothing. She set the book on it’s spine and with her hands she tried to pry the book open, tugging in opposite directions. She pulled and tugged till her fingers hurt and sweat beaded on her forehead. She gave up convinced this was some horrible trick somebody was playing on her. And she just needed to relax and not let it affect her. It had to be a trick or a prank right? Why else would the hidden doorway not open or the books.

            She glanced around the shop there was a gentleman in the sports section leafing through a book on rugby and clearly he wasn’t having any issues opening the book. She walked over to a random shelf and picked a book, taking a deep breath to help center herself she lifted the cover. It lifted with no trouble. She went through the entire book making sure none of the pages were sticking together.

            She smiled to herself, see there was nothing to worry about it was just a silly temporary prank, she told herself. She walked back to the counter and lifted the cover to the book about magical creatures and nothing; it was like a solid piece of wood.

“Damn-it,” she muttered.

            She shoved the books under the counter getting them out of her sight. She just wasn’t going to deal with any of this now. As soon as the two customers that were in the shop left she quickly went over to the front door and turned the lock and flipped over the closed sign. This would be the prefect time to take a quick lunch break anyway.

            Once the door was locked she quickly made her way to the back to her office. She went through her small personal bookshelf until she found the book she was looking for, How to Run a Business with a Magic Twist. She pulled if off the shelf and without thinking about it she opened it up.

“Shit,” she practically screamed.

            It wouldn’t budge like it was welded shut. What is happening here? She needed this book to try to fix her magical doorway. Without it she didn’t know what to do. She shoved the book back on the shelf and stomped back out and over to the portrait.

Taking a deep breath as she stood in front of the portrait and said the password loud and clear, “Broomstick.”

            She shut her eyes thinking maybe that would help. And when she popped one eye back open and stared at the solid wall. She felt like she wanted to either start crying or screaming. What in Merlin’s name was going on here? She walked up to the wall and laid her hands against it to make sure it was a solid wall and not just an illusion.

            She tried again this time keeping her hands on the wall. And again nothing. She knew it was a bad idea but she went over to the corner and started dragging a small step stool over to the portrait. She stood on top of it and lifted the portrait off the wall. This as she expected was a bad idea, because the picture weighed just about as much as she did. She set it on the ground as gently as possible and then examined the now bare wall. It didn’t look any different. Just a bare solid wall with cheery wood paneling.

            She said the password again, but this time with very little hope of it actually working. And sadly she was right. Nothing happened. She ran a shaky hand through her hair trying to control the mayhem of emotions that threaten to come forth. And with a very audible grunt she hefted the portrait back up and placed it where it has always hung. She stored the stepping stool where is has always been placed in the corner.

            With a heavy heart and shoulders sagged she walked back up to the front. She figured she should open the shop back up since she has lost her appetite and she needed something else to distract her from all of the complications she was experiencing. What was she going to do? She had load of books back there and what was she going to do now that she couldn’t serve 50% or her clientele…okay so currently it was more like 25 maybe 30% of her clientele, but someday it would be 50% if not more.

            And after all that work Draco did to put her shop in the Daily Prophet. She needed to figure out what was going on. Mrs. Malfoy was the only magical customer so far to come in today. But surely she wouldn’t do something like that. She might not like her that much but she wasn’t evil. So if this was a prank, who would have done it? Maybe it was just her, and it wasn’t a prank at all. She lost her magical abilities when she turned Draco into a cat but that didn’t mean she became fully muggle.

            She couldn’t sense or perform magic but she could still see it. And just the other day she’d been walking in and out of the portrait with no issue. Were all her senses in magic fading? It would sadly explain why all the magic books she came in contact with wouldn’t open. She laid her forehead on the cool countertop by the register and tried practicing some evening breathing.

            Just then the chimes on the front door tinkled to life, she knew automatically that it was him without lifting her head. She heard his footsteps come near the counter. She slowly peaked her eyes over her arm that she had carelessly thrown on the counter and her other one thrown over her head. She looked up at him. He had a mix between an amused and confused look on his face with one eyebrow arched up in question.

“Hi,” she said quietly as she straighten up to greet him.

“Hi, what’s wrong?” Draco asked looking more concerned when she didn’t return his smile.

“Can you go to the back and get me a book and bring it up here?”

His eyebrows grew together which caused his forehead to crease, “Okay,” he said slowly as if he wasn’t quite sure what she was asking. “Anything in particular?” he asked.

“No, just anything it doesn’t matter.”

“Okay I’ll be right back,” he said sounding more confused then ever as he started making his way to the back.

            She didn’t want to watch, she was sadly secretly hoping that he didn’t make it through the hidden doorway. At least then it would mean that she wasn’t the only one having issues. He came back a few seconds later holding a thick book with weathered pages on potions. Bloody hell that meant he could get through the threshold and she couldn’t.

She took a deep breath preparing herself for the next test, “Okay, now open it up.” she said as he set it down in front of her.

            He arched an eyebrow up at her in question but did as she asked. He easily opened the cover and flipped to a random page. She looked down at the pages and rubbed her eyes to make sure she was seeing what she thought she was seeing.

She pointed to the center of one of the pages, “What does it say right there?” she asked her voice growing shaky.

He gave her a confused look, “Um Hermione it doesn’t say anything beca…”

“Ha I knew I wasn’t the only one.” She cut him off almost wanting to jump for joy, relieved that she wasn’t the only one staring at pages that were completely blank.

“Uh what are you talking about, ‘you aren’t the only one?’” he asked sounding worried now more then confused.

“I’m not the only one who can’t see any words written down in the book, there just blank pages.” She said knowing she was on the verge of sounding completely mental.

“No Hermione, I was saying it doesn’t say anything because it’s showing a picture of a Norwegian Ridgeback dragon and on the next page is the potion on how to create Dragons Blood. Hermione what’s going on?”

“Damn-it,” she muttered in an almost inaudible whisper, tears filling up her eyes.

            Eyes that were staring blindly at the blank pages in the book in front of her. she felt the blood rush from her face, she knew she had to sit down before she passed out. Immediately Draco shut the book and came around the counter and pulled her into his arms and held her tight gently rocking her back and forth as his hands rubbed calming circles along her back.

“Its okay honey, just tell me what’s wrong,” he said in a worried yet soothing voice.

            Which just made the tears that threaten to fall erupted and cascaded in a waterfall down her cheeks, soaking part of his shirt. Normally men would run at the first sight of a woman crying but Draco just held her tight, letting her cry until she calmed down enough to speak.

“My…ma…magic its…gone…it’s…disappearing.”




Sorry everyone that it took me so long to update. I thought I knew where I wanted to go with the story from the last chapter, but when I went to write it out I drew a complete blank. But I'm pretty sure I'm back on track now...hope you enjoyed the chapter and keep reading and reviewing!!!

Chapter 21: Dinner with Mother
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AN: I don’t own anything from Harry Potter.







 

 

“What do you mean it’s disappearing…wasn’t it already gone?” Draco asked carefully, pulling her hair back from her tearstained face and tucking it behind her ears.







 

 

            What was going on here, he thought. Did she suddenly decide to have a break down about her magic that’s been missing for what, a week now? Why was she getting so upset? Well of course she would be upset, who wouldn’t when you lost your magic, but why now, why the tears?







 

 

“My magic is disappearing. Before I was practically a squib. I couldn’t cast but I could still see and interact with magical things around me.”







 

 

“Hermione you aren’t a squib, that’s a condition you’re born with and you would have to have been born from wizarding family. Which clearly you weren’t since your parents are muggles,” he said the last part with a slight distain in his voice though he didn’t realize what he did at the time.







 

 

Hermione stepped back out of his embrace suddenly as if he just slapped her, “You don’t think I know that Draco.” She spat now angrier then upset. “I was just trying to make my point.” She yelled at him, and then quickly turned away from him because she didn’t want him to see her cry again. “As I was saying before. I lost my magic back when I turned you into a cat, but the only thing I lost was the ability to cast. Now it seems I’m losing every sense of magic.” She took a deep breath, willing herself not to burst into tears again. “Every magical book I pickup I can’t open, or in this case all I see are blank pages. And I can’t even get into the back room anymore. The doorway won’t open for me. I’ve tried everything, one of the customers came up to me probably thinking I’ve gone completely mental because I was talking to a wall. Owls don’t recognize me…” she took another deep breath getting ready to admit the thing she’s been dreading to even think about, “I’m turning into a muggle.” She whispered, turning her back completely towards Draco.







 

 

            He came up behind her and intended to put his arms around her to comfort her, but she shrugged away from his embrace. Clearly still mad at him for the way he just described her parents.







 

 

“You’re not turning into a muggle Hermione. It’s just this curse that we’re both under. As soon as it’s lifted we’ll both be back to normal.” He managed to lay a hand on her shoulder and when she didn’t shrug it away he added, “I didn’t mean what I said about your parents. It came out the wrong way I intended.”







 

 

She was silent for a moment still with her back towards him. “What am I going to do?”







 

 

He laid his other hand on her shoulder and squeezed trying to massage the unwanted tension that has built up between her shoulders with his thumbs. “We’ll figure it out.” He said reassuring.







 

 

She snorted, “Yeah figure it out. Like we’ve been trying to figure out how to change you back?” she turned around to look at him making his hands drop to his sides. “It’s been 7 days Draco, and entire week and we’re still no closer to breaking this curse, spell, whatever the hell this is, then we were a few days ago. What if there’s some kind of timeline on this that we don’t know about? What if we get stuck like this forever?”







 

 

“We’re not going to be stuck like this forever.” He said.







 

 

“What time did you change back?”







 

 

He shrugged, “Around 3:00pm.”







 

 

“Bloody hell, you gained an hour. That means your 18 hours is up. You won’t be able to move forward from here.” She started pacing trying to think or at least clear her head.







 

 

“Hermione you need to relax, you’re going to make yourself sick if you keep on worrying about this. Why don’t you close early tonight? I’ll help. Then go home and relax. Unfortunately I have to meet my mother tonight in about an hour for an early dinner. If I could get out of it I would, but if I didn’t show up then she would know something was up and that would only lead to a lot of unwanted questions.”







 

 

            Hermione cringed inwardly knowing that one of the questions being his involvement with her…a muggleborn. She tried to push that thought away. She didn’t want to add her insecurities about her and Draco being together, to her growing list of things to worry and stress about. But if the question did come up, what would he say? Would he keep it a secret or would he tell her the truth? Wait, wait! What was she thinking; she was such a daft dimbo. First off, she told herself not to think about it and second, she and Draco weren’t even in a relationship, that’s what they agreed on last night…just fun, no strings.







 

 

“Don’t worry about it, I’ll be fine. I just had a moment where everything suddenly caught up with me and it was a bit overwhelming. But I’m better now.” She lied.







 

 

He eyed her suspiciously then nodded, “Okay, but I still think you should close early and call it a night.”







 

 

She let out a sigh, “Fine,” she said as she busied herself with the money in the cash register.







 

 

“Maybe we should talk to McGonagall again and see if she knows anymore about this?”







 

 

Hermione nodded, “I was about to write another letter to her before you walked in, but I won’t be able to send it to her. You’ll have to do that.”







 

 

“Okay you write the letter and I’ll close up.” He took the money out of her hands and started making his way to the back where her tiny office was.







 

 

            Feeling completely defeated, Hermione walked to the front door and flipped over the close sign. Then went back to the counter and made a small sign telling her customers that she would be closed tonight and to come back tomorrow. Then she went about writing the letter to Professor McGonagall.







 

 

            An hour went by quickly as they both managed to put misplaced books back where they belonged, changed out the keg on the butter beer and counted the money and stored it safely in the safe. She handed him the letter for him to read incase he needed to add anything else to it. Then he went outside to send it off. Hermione watched from inside the shop trying to look for any sign of Draco’s owl, but she never saw it.







 

 

“Done,” he said.







 

 

            She was dumbfounded and at the same time heart broken. She never saw the owl come or go. Apparently muggles were completely oblivious to the comings and goings of owl postage.







 

 

He must have seen the look on her face because he came over to her and put his arms around her. “It’s going to be okay.” He said then kissed her lightly on her forehead.







 

 

“Since when are you the rational one and I’m the nutter?” she mumbled into his chest.







 

 

He laughed softly, “Well for the record I’ve always thought you were a nutter. It’s just that no one has ever been brave enough to tell it to your face.” He teased.







 

 

She swatted his arm, “That’s not funny.” She cracked a small smile.







 

 

He glanced at the clock and let out a sigh, “I need to get going. I would walk you home, but the restaurant is in the opposite direction.”







 

 

“That’s okay I’ll manage on my own.”







 

 

He leaned in and kissed her again on her forehead. “I’ll see you later.”







 

 

“Bye.”







 

 

            She watched him leave the shop. Then she herself locked the door and headed in the opposite direction to her apartment.







 

 

            She got home and was prepared to be greeted by Crookshanks. Poor guy he must have been having a tough week too. Not only was her attention distracted elsewhere but there was a new cat in their household…well kind of. Tonight she would give in and feed him chicken instead of his diet food. But just this once.







 

 

            She opened the door and looked around for him. He wasn’t anywhere in the living room. That’s odd, she thought. He always came up to greet her when she got home.







 

 

            She finally noticed him hiding underneath the dining table. She crouched down and reached out to pet him. But he made no move to come near her.







 

 

“Crookshanks, what’s wrong?”







 

 

            He inched forward to sniff her hand then pulled back and let out a hiss and darted into her bedroom.







 

 

“Great my own cat doesn’t recognize me anymore.” She said to her empty living room trying to keep her tears from spilling out.







 

 

            In some horrible way it made sense since Crookshanks wasn’t your normal house cat because he was part Kneazie, making him a magical creature. Why the hell is all of this happening? Not being able to cast was one thing, but she could learn to work around that. Losing everything was too much. Even her own parents were able to interact with Crookshanks, though he was a bit skittish around them. And they were always able to see owls when they were sent to her house. It was always difficult to have to explain certain things sense they couldn’t see some magic and tricks being performed, but they could still see some things, as long as they knew where to look and what to look for.







 

 

            Knowing it was completely hopeless she went over to her bookcase and pulled out one of her school books on Charms. She looked at the cover then opened it. Nothing happened. Argh, she wanted to throw it across the room, but she refrained herself for if she made a mess she would have to clean it up the old fashion way, the muggle way.







 

 

            She needed to call Ginny. This was as good a time as ever to have some major girl talk and she needed it badly. She went over to her phone and dialed her number. No one picked up which meant no one was home at their house. She tried dialing her cell number but it went straight to voice mail, which meant she either had it turned off or her phone died. Ginny always had a horrible knack for forgetting to charge her batteries. With a heavy sigh she put the phone back in the cradle.







 

 

            Now what was she supposed to do? She didn’t feel like going out since she was already home there was no point going out alone. She wasn’t very hungry since she discovered her lack of powers she lost her appetite a while back. But she should probably eat something so she wouldn’t wake up in the middle of the night to a growling stomach.







 

 

            She walked into the kitchen and went through her cabinets. She found a can of soup, which was the only thing that sounded remotely good to eat. As she heated it up on the stove, she went ahead and prepared some chicken for Crookshanks and placed it on the floor. Even though he was still hiding from her.







 

 

            She found a bottle of cheap wine that she bought with Ginny when she told her that she resigned from her job as a healer at St. Mungos. Ginny insisted they celebrate by getting completely snockered that night, which at the time sounded good but they both regretted it the morning after. She popped the cork and poured herself a glass. She sipped on it lightly as she waited for her soup to heat up. Merlin this stuff was awful, but maybe it would help ease her racing mind and calm her nerves.







 

 

            When her soup was done she poured it into a bowl and went over and plopped down on the sofa and flipped the TV on. After she finished her soup and flipped through all the channels on the television she gave up. Watching TV alone wasn’t going to calm her down.







 

 

She went back to the kitchen to refill her glass of wine then headed towards her bathroom to run a bath. A nice hot bubble bath was what she needed to relax. She turned on the water till it was the perfect temperature then pulled out a bottle of exotic bubble bath that Ginny and Harry brought back from Hawaii when they went on their honeymoon.







 

 

Immediately she was surrounded by the aroma of coconuts and jasmine. She went to her bedroom and brought in some candles that she kept for special occasions and emergencies. Once all the candles were lit she turned off the small bathroom light and flipped on the radio that she kept on her bathroom counter to some random oldies station. Then slipped into the hot bubbly water with wine glass in hand. She leaned back against the tub and closed her eyes willing herself to relax and stop thinking.



 







 

 

Draco left the bookshop confused and worried. Why was all of this happening? And why was Hermione losing her powers? Why didn’t she lose everything when the curse was cast at the beginning? Was she losing power the more he became human at night? That every hour or minute he gained the more she lost? Was that possible?







 

 

            He ran a hand through his hair and quicken his pace. His mother had horrible timing. Tonight of all nights she choose to drop in and wants to chat over dinner. Luckily the restaurant she choose was close by.







 

 

He had a feeling that his mother was going to discuss the details of her upcoming birthday event. This in his mother’s opinion is better and bigger then the Christmas holidays. Of course he didn’t see the point in discussing the details like the decorations and food that will be provided since it’s always been the same every year; huge enchanted tents that get setup outside so they can enjoy the outdoor scenery and the gardens along Malfoy Manor in any weather condition. Tiny little tea cakes and pastries and finger sandwiches for people to snack on with champagne, which of course is always the most rare and expensive you can find. And his mother’s 100 or so close friends who are pretty much all women and the occasional husband or boyfriend who got dragged along.







 

 

He loved his mother with all of his heart but he hated every time she threw one of her parties because all of her friends who had eligible daughters regardless of age seem to think that they would be the perfect match for Draco. So at these parties instead of sneaking out to join all the men who gather around to play wizards chess or poker while sipping on Fire Whisky, he’s always got stuck trying to fight off the flock of girls who were trying to win his attention. Which was beyond annoying.







 

 

Yeah he much rather be spending time with Hermione then discussing details of his mother’s party. He slowed his pace as he thought about last night with Hermione. A slow grin formed on his face. He had no idea Hermione Granger was such a lioness in bed. Very responsive and definitely didn’t make him do all the work. She could do things with her body that would bring a grown man to his knees before her feet. And yet she had moments where she was so shy.







 

 

Like this morning when she woke up and didn’t want to walk to the loo in all her bare assed glory with him watching her. Which she shouldn’t have any reason to be shy or self conscious about anything especially her body?







 

 

            She might not look like a supermodel but she had perfectly toned lean legs, perfectly round hips, a tiny waist and small breast that were just the perfect size to fit into the palms of his hands. And she had the cutest bum he’s ever laid eyes on. Her skin was so soft he could spend hours stroking it with his fingertips and her hair though unruly and uncontrollable at times was as soft as silk that he loved burying his hand in when he kissed her.







 

 

            Ha, yeah he’d definitely rather spend time making love to her then having to go to dinner with his mother at the moment. Wait, when did he start to think of it as making love? He’s never thought of it as making love, with anyone. It was always just sex, it was only suppose to be sex between them. Or at least according to Hermione that’s what they were doing. But it’s not like her could tell her that in order to break the curse it has to kind of go beyond just sex and more into the emotional involvement between the two of them.







 

 

            And the worse part was, was that he was running out of time especially with this new development Hermione seems to be experiencing with her loss of powers. He suppose he could just come out and tell her that he loved her or was in love with her and just hope she says it back. But even if he attempted that, would it be the truth? Sure he had feelings for her, possibly strong feelings for her and there was the sexual attraction he felt towards her but was it enough to claim true love? With time he could see himself falling in love with her, rather easily now that he’s gotten to know her and spend time with her, but it wouldn’t happen that soon for either one of them. And with the added pressure of the curse hanging over their heads it was rather hard to let it happen naturally instead of being forced to which was how this all started out to be.







 

 

            Frustrated he ran another hand through his hair, then scolded himself knowing his mother wouldn’t approve of his unruly hair since it was no longer styled the way it should have been. But frankly he didn’t care anymore besides he was a grown man and didn’t have to do everything his mother told him to do.







 

 

            He finally reached the restaurant and stepped inside looking around for his mother, when he spotted her at a small table placed near the back. He tried to keep his amused smile from surfacing when he could tell how uncomfortable she seemed to be surrounded by muggles. But it was essentially her fault since she picked the restaurant.







 

 

            She spotted him and waved him over. When he got to her table he leaned over and kissed her on the cheek.







 

 

“Hello mother. Sorry I’m late.” He said as he sat down to join her.







 

 

“Hello Draco, I’m glad you could join me, since your schedule seems to be so busy nowadays. It’s been nearly impossible to contact you this past week.”







 

 

“I know I’ve…been on assignment. One that McGonagall assigned me.” Damn he wished now that he talked to McGonagall about his cover story.







 

 

            He couldn’t tell his mother the truth because she would most likely think the worst and get Hermione in trouble.







 

 

“What does she want now?” His mother asked.







 

 

“Oh just to discuss and come up with new ways to ensure the students and faculty’s safety at Hogwarts, stuff like that. She wants to get a heads start with planning the upcoming Triwizarding Tournament that Hogwarts will be hosting again next year. And come up with ways to improve it from past years.” He said which wasn’t necessarily a lie since it was his job to look after the events of the Tournament since he worked in the Department of International Magical Cooperation at the Ministry and since the Tournament was next year it was only a matter of time when McGonagall would contact him about it. “So what do I owe this pleasure tonight?” he asked changing the subject.







 

 

“What I can’t spend time with my only son?” His mother had the decency to look offended. “Actually I wanted to discuss the events of my birthday party this weekend. I just want to make sure you attend this year.”







 

 

“Mother I always attend. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”







 

 

“Yes I know, but I just want you to be on your best behavior. I’ve invited the Greengrass family. You remember their daughters Daphne and Astoria don’t you?”







 

 

“Of course I remember them I went to school with Daphne and wasn’t Astoria a few years younger then I?”







 

 

“Yes, oh good you remember. Well Daphne is already called for but her sister Astoria is single and quite beautiful. She just got back from a two year stay in France.”







 

 

            Oh great she was trying to set him up with a Greengrass. He remembered them well. Some of the clingiest girls he’s ever met. Though they were beautiful, but annoying as hell to be around. And they weren’t the brightest girls out there.







 

 

When he didn’t respond his mother continued, “You know the Greengrass family is one of only a few Pureblood families left in the Wizarding Community. And no pressure or anything but don’t you think its time you’ve settled down and started a family of your own?”







 

 

“I’m 23 years old mother. I still have plenty of time to find someone and settle down with.”







 

 

            And he did not want to get set up with Astoria Greengrass, let alone settled down with her. When he did decide to settle down he wanted it to be with someone he choose. Hermione immediately came to mind. Which gave him an idea, though it would be tricky but it could prove to Hermione that he was willing to be serious between them.







 

 

“Actually mother speaking of that I actually wanted to ask you if I could bring a guest with me to your party.”







 

 

“Oh don’t worry I’ve already invited Blaise and Pansy. I could send an invitation to Gregory Goyle if you like but I thought you two lost contact over time after you left Hogwarts.”







 

 

“No mother that’s not it. Actually I wanted to bring along a girl I’ve been seeing.”







 

 

His mother looked surprised, “A girl? How come I had no knowledge that you were seeing someone?”







 

 

“Well its still relativity new and I didn’t want to jinx it by saying anything.”







 

 

“Do I know this woman?”







 

 

“Yes as a matter of fact you do. And I believe you talked to her earlier today.”







 

 

His mother suddenly paled and her surprised looked turned more into a scowl. “Please don’t tell me your involved with that Granger girl are you?”







 

 

“Yes, I am mother and her names Hermione.”







 

 

“But she’s a muggleborn.”







 

 

“Yes and I don’t care about that and neither should you. We live in a new time mother; things like blood status shouldn’t matter anymore.”







 

 

His mother looked away in thought. “So that’s why when I went to the Ministry and talked to Harry Potter he said to go to her bookshop to get a hold of you?” He nodded in confirmation. “Do you intend on marrying this girl?”







 

 

He let out a sigh and raked his fingers through his hair. “I don’t know mother, it’s still to soon to tell, but there is a strong possibility that someday…yes.” He noticed his mother taking a deep breath through her nose and sign that she was trying to control herself.







 

 

“You know your father won’t approve of this.”







 

 

“Quite frankly I don’t give a damn what father thinks of this.”







 

 

“Language Draco, we’re in a public setting. As I was saying your father won’t be pleased with this. You’re our only son and therefore the only one to carry out the Malfoy name. Although since the war and with your father’s involvement in such matters he’s managed to taint the Malfoy name indefinitely and we’ll never be as powerful as we once were. Although you’ve managed to save our reputation as much as any with your positive involvement at the Ministry and all of your hard work. I’m just making sure you know the consequences of being involved with Ms. Granger. Do you know what your father will do? Do you remember what happened to my sister, your aunt when she went off and married a muggleborn?”







 

 

“I’m well aware of that but like I said, times have changed and we shouldn’t have to live by these archaic customs anymore and I’ll deal with father when the time comes. I just want to make sure I have your approval first before anything.”







 

 

“My approval of what?”







 

 

“Hermione and I being together.”







 

 

She thought about that for a moment then sighed, “She’s not a Pureblood. She’s not even Half Blood. But if I remember correctly she’s rather intelligent.”







 

 

“The brightest witch of our generation and she would have made head girl at Hogwarts our 7th year if she didn’t take the year off to help Potter win the war.”







 

 

She nodded, “And she seems well mannered and polite. And she runs her own business which is always a good thing, its good to be a strong independent woman these days. She’s somewhat pretty in a mousy kind of way I suppose.”







 

 

She’s breathtaking; Draco wanted to correct her but decided against it.







 

 

“I guess as long as your happy then that’s all that matters. So therefore you have my approval.”







 

 

Draco smiled. “Thanks mum, that means a lot to me and I’m sure it will mean a lot to her as well.”







 

 

“I thought you two used to detest one another back when you were in school?”







 

 

He shrugged, “Times have changed, we’ve both have grown a lot since then and our opinions about one another have changed.”







 

 

“Well I still think Astoria would be a perfect match…”







 

 

“No mother case closed. I’m with Hermione now.”







 

 

“Fine but if you take her to my party you’ll have to deal with your father since he will be attending as well.”







 

 

“Why did you invite him?”







 

 

“We have to keep up appearances Draco, you know that. Even though he’s not the most liked man in the wizarding world, he’s still my husband, legally at least. And we still have a reputation to uphold.”







 

 

“You’ve been separated for the past what? Four years now. I think people would understand if you two just got a divorce like a normal couple. It’s not like it will be all that unexpected since I believe people already suspect that you no longer live together and barely speak to each other.”







 

 

“In the Wizarding world divorce is something that’s looked down upon. It doesn’t happen as freely as it does in the muggle world. And I’m perfectly content with our arrangement that we have going. He stays in France with his whores and I get the manor with house elves and his bank account at my fingertips.”







 

 

            Draco shook his head, he wished his mother would just settle for a divorce as they could get rid of the bastard once and for all and be completely free of him.







 

 

“Fine then I’ll just deal with him then. I’ll try not to let my new ruin your festivities.”







 

 

            After a quick dinner he kissed his mother goodbye and started walking in the direction of Hermione’s apartment. He ordered desert to go for Hermione since he suspected she only had a small meal by herself at her apartment. And maybe chocolate cake would be just the thing to help cheer her up.







 

 

            Now since he made a big deal of it, he’ll have to somehow convince Hermione to come to the party on Saturday as his girlfriend. He had the make some work excuse to his mother about having to arrive later since he would have to wait until he changed back before he could attend her party. But she said as long as he comes by and makes an appearance then it didn’t matter.







 

 

            He was even more relieved then he thought possible when his mother approved of his involvement with Hermione. He didn’t realize how much pressure he felt by telling her that. He now knew why Hermione as so against them being together because it would be nearly impossible to convince their friends and family that they were together and have them approve of it.







 

 

            His mother was already taken care of. Blaise and Pansy would probably be more shocked then anything but he’d think they would eventually approve as well. Ginny and Potter didn’t seem to have any real issues with them. But his mother was right his father would never approve of their relationship. He would probably do everything in his power to try to break them up. And it didn’t help that not only was Hermione a muggleborn but she seemed to be turning into a muggle more and more each day with this curse. And that was something he didn’t want his father to know about.







 

 

            He reached the apartment, but realized that he didn’t have a key to get into the building. He pulled out his wand and unlocked the door. He went up the flights of stairs until he reached Hermione’s floor and was about to unlock her door when a voice called out.







 

 

“Oy, who are you and how did you get in here?”







 

 

            He immediately tensed up, the hairs on the back of his neck stood on end. He recognized that voice anywhere. He turned around with a fake smile on his face to the old lady Ms. Moffit, who was wearing a bathrobe and had curlers in her hair.







 

 

“I’m a friend of Hermione’s. She uh buzzed me up.” Damn he knew he should have just apparated in instead.







 

 

Ms. Moffit narrowed her eyes at him. “How come I’ve never seen you before?”







 

 

“Uh I guess we just never had the pleasure of crossing paths until now.” He tried to put on the charm but she wasn’t giving in to it. “My names Draco Malfoy by the way. You must be Ms. Moffit, Hermione’s neighbor. She’s uh told me lots of um interesting things about you.”







 

 

“Isn’t Draco that name she gave that stray she’s been keeping?”







 

 

Draco turned to face her fully while hiding his wand behind his back so he could unlock the door without Ms. Moffit seeing.







 

 

He looked her straight in the eye. “Sorry I have no idea what you’re talking about. Well Hermione’s expecting me, it was great to meet you.” He said with his fake charm.







 

 

“Hrmp, I’m watching you boy.” Was all she said then turned around and shut her own door leaving him alone in the corridor.







 

 

“Crazy bitch,” he murmured under his breath as he opened Hermione’s door and walked in.







 

 

            As he shut the door behind him he had a strong urge to call out ‘Honey I’m home,’ like he saw someone do on some black and white television show he watched the other day. Instead he walked into the empty living room. The kitchen light was on but the living room was dark and empty.







 

 

            Just then a blur of orange fluff came darting out of her bedroom and went straight to Draco. Crookshanks started circling in figure eights between Draco’s legs then rubbed up against his leg affectionately while purring loudly.







 

 

            Draco bent down and gave him a good scratch behind the ears and under the chin since he knew first hand how good that felt.







 

 

“Hey buddy, where is she?” he asked.







 

 

            Crookshanks turned his head towards the bedroom then darted and hid under the sofa in the living room. He straighten up while shaking his head, strange cat, he thought. He took off his jacket and hung it up in the closet and was about to set the take out bag on the counter then decided against it and entered the kitchen to grab two forks instead. Then he made his was to the bedroom.







 

 

            The place was so quite he was almost afraid that she would be asleep. It was only 9 o’clock, to early to go to bed, but then again neither one of them got that much sleep the night before.







 

 

            As he got near the bedroom entrance he began to hear a soft hum coming from inside. He quietly opened the door all the way and peaked inside but she wasn’t there. The lamp by the bed was on and Hermione’s pajamas he seen her wear before were laid out on the bed. The soft humming sound was coming from the bathroom. At first he thought it might have been Hermione humming but he soon realized it was coming from a radio.







 

 

            The door was only cracked open and he could see a flickering light coming through the crack like from a fire or candles maybe. He quietly crept over to the bed and set the desert and forks down on the nightstand, then made his way to the bathroom door. If he was polite he would have knocked to make his presents known but he just wanted to see her so he quietly opened the door enough for him to slip inside.







 

 

            He stopped at the sight of her in the bath tub covered in bubbles. This throat went dry, dear Merlin she was beautiful. She must have been lost in thought because she didn’t notice him walk in. 







 

 

            She had her curly hair piled up on top of her head with a few tendrils that managed to escape were glued along the sides and back of her neck that was slick with moisture from the bath.







 

 

            The bath water and the bubbles came up just enough to cover her breast but just barely, he could still see the top swells of her breast peaking through the bubbles. As well as her exposed neck and shoulders. She had a wine glass in her hand and had it resting against her chest. The only other skin he could see was her knee which she had propped up along the wall and her toes which were painted a bright ruby red were peaking out at the end of the tub.







 

 

            The flickering light of the candles made the slickness of her wet skin glow making her look radiant, that it took his breath away. She was staring at unseen spot on the wall, as she worried her bottom lip causing her eye brows to draw together making the space between her brows crinkle in concentration.







 

 

            After a few minutes of just standing there watching her he lightly cleared his throat. She gasped and nearly dropped her glass of wine in the bubbly water. When she realized he was standing there, she immediately sunk lower in the water till only her head was exposed.







 

 

“How long have you’ve been standing there?” she gasped.







 

 

He shrugged, “A few minutes.” He replied with a smirk on his face.







 

 

“You scared me half to death; I wasn’t expecting you to be back so soon.”







 

 

He leaned back against the countertop and crossed his arms over his chest as he continued to watch her as she continued to stay hidden under the now rapidly disappearing bubbles. “My mother doesn’t like to linger long in places, so dinner was short and sweet.”







 

 

She nodded looking all shy and adorable in the soapy water. He couldn’t tell if her cheeks were red from the steam or if she was blushing with him being in the bathroom with her.







 

 

“So how did that go?”







 

 

“It went fine; she just wanted to talk about her birthday party she’s throwing Saturday afternoon. Which by the way you’re invited to as well.”







 

 

That got her attention; she sat up straighter in the water but still kept most of her body hidden. “Me? Why am I invited?”







 

 

“I asked her and she said okay.”







 

 

“She just said okay? Why do I think it wasn’t as simple as that? I’m not necessarily the most liked person among your family. Are you sure this is okay?”







 

 

“Yes Hermione, it will be fine, she approves of you.”







 

 

She gave him a skeptical look like she didn’t believe him.







 

 

He let out a sigh, “To be completely honest I want you to come along to be some what of a safety shield for me. You see if you come along with me, then people will believe that you’re my girlfriend and then all of my mothers friends who have eligible daughters won’t eat me alive.”







 

 

She smirked at that, and then bit her lip thinking. “If I go with you, then everyone will know we’re together or at least involved in someway. Like your family and all of your mothers friends and whoever else will be there will see us together.” She mused mainly to herself. “Are you sure you want to do this? I could ruin your reputation or something if you’re seen with me.”







 

 

“Hermione I don’t care about my reputation anymore or care about being seen with you. My mother already knows about us or at least suspects as much.” He told his mother they were seeing each other but he didn’t really know where they actually stood. “So will you please come?”







 

 

She looked at him for a bit, “I’ll think about it.”







 

 

He smiled, “Good enough.”







 

 

            The bubbles in the water were disappearing to the point where she had to bring up her knees to her chest and wrapped her arms around her legs to keep her covered. And even though she was doing her best to stay cover up it still left very little room for imagination.







 

 

“So do you need help scrubbing your back?” he asked smiling as she blushed a pretty pink.







 

 

“Actually I was about to get out before you came in.”







 

 

He grabbed a nearby towel hanging on the towel rack and opened it up and held it out for her.







 

 

 “Well…um…I…uh…”







 

 

He laughed at how adorably flustered she became. “You know I’ve already seen you from just about every angle and you have nothing to be embarrassed about. Your beautiful and you have an amazing body.” She just kept staring at him and made no move to get out of the tub, he sighed. “Okay you win I’ll shut my eyes.” He turned his head and shut his eyes but continued to hold the towel out.







 

 

            He heard her giggle and told him not to peak. He could hear as she pulled the drain in the tub and the water splashing about as she got out of the tub. As soon as he sensed her close by he quickly wrapped the towel around her body. He turned his head and noticed she was facing him looking up at him shyly.







 

 

“Hi,” he whispered, his arms still wrapped around her holding onto the towel.







 

 

“Hi,” she said back quietly before his lips brushed against hers in a kiss he’s been waiting all day to do.







 

 

            Her stiff body quickly melted away when he deepened the kiss. She managed to free her arms from the towel and wrapped her arms around the back of this neck. This gave him the perfect opportunity to drop the towel that he held around her. She squealed when the towel pooled on the floor.







 

 

“Hey you did that on purpose didn’t you?”







 

 

“Maybe.” He smiled down at her then kissed the tip of her nose.







 

 

            Before she could say anything else or grab something to cover herself up, he picked her up which caused another squeal to escape her lips.







 

 

“Draco, I’m still all wet.”







 

 

He kissed her on the lips, “Good I’m counting on that.”







 

 

She snorted then smiled, “Your awful.” She swatted him playfully, as he carried her out into the bedroom.




AN: Hey everyone, I'm sorry this chapter is soo long. I couldn't stop writing and I didn't want to separate it into different chapters. But I hope you enjoy it, and please, please review and tell me what you think so far. I'll try to get the next chapter up soon.


Chapter 22: Breakfast for Two
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

AN: I don’t own anything from Harry Potter.



 

 

            Hermione laid in her bed fully stated. Her head resting on Draco’s shoulder, while her hand drew lazy circles with her fingers along his bare chest. She laid curled against his body, with one of his hands stroking the skin above her hip, while the other buried into her hair. Playing with her soft curls, still wet from the bath.



 

 

            Hermione couldn’t imagine anything more perfect than being right here, laying next to him, in perfect compatible silence. The only sounds were each other’s breathing and heartbeats.



 

 

“Did you hear anything from McGonagall while I was gone?” He asked.



 

 

And with that he had to go and ruin their perfect evening by bringing them back to reality. She closed her eyes and let out a sigh.



 

 

“No, I take it you haven’t heard anything either?” She felt him shake his head.



 

 

“Hopefully we’ll hear something by tomorrow.” His had left her hair to stroke her back.



 

 

            She closed her eyes, loving the feel of his caress. How was it, that one simple touch from him caused her to just melt and forget almost everything? She smiled, snuggling herself closer to him, because it seemed no matter what she couldn’t get enough of him.



 

 

She opened her eyes, noticing for the first time the bag on the bedside table, “What’s that?” she asked lazily pointing to the bag.



 

 

Draco followed her gaze and reached for the bag, “Dessert.” He said, “I picked up some chocolate cake from the place mother and I ate at. Do you want some? I brought in forks so we can share.”



 

 

            She nodded, and then sat up so they could make a makeshift table out of the bed. They started off being careful not to spill any crumbs on the bed, but it didn’t last long when they started to feed each other bites. Hermione always thought that couples feeding each other were always a corny thing to do. She never liked having people watch her eat. But with Draco it became very enjoyable, especially when they decided to forego forks altogether and use their fingers. Draco would purposely miss her mouth, smearing chocolate frosting all over her face, then insisted on licking it off. This led to a couple more rounds of mind blowing sex, forgetting reality once more and focusing only in that moment of time.



 

 





 

 


            Hermione woke up to the sound of her blaring alarm clock. Without opening her eyes, she blindly reached out to make it stop. Groaning she opened her hers and sat up. It was only 6:00am. If she really wanted to, she could sleep another hour and then take a quick shower, then go to the shop; of course she would have to skip breakfast if she did that. But, then again, if she went back to sleep, she might not wake up in time and be in an even bigger rush, which will just make her groggy and grumpy all morning. Decisions, decisions…



            She finally decided to just get up and start the day. She realized that something or rather someone was missing from her bed. Even though she knew he wasn’t there she glanced over to the empty side of her bed. The sheets were rumpled and bunched up and the pillow still had an indention that someone had slept there and just recently gotten up.



            She looked around her empty bedroom for any signs of him. The light in the bathroom was turned off, so he wasn’t in there. It was only 6am, so he shouldn’t have changed back yet. That wasn’t supposed to happen for another three hours or so. Surely he didn’t leave, even though all they were having was sex, he should still have the decency to say goodbye.



A lump in her throat formed startling her. No, she forced it to go away. So what if he left? He had every right to, like they agreed…just sex. And she wasn’t about to go and get emotionally attached to the man. Because, she told herself a million times, it will only lead to heartbreak and absolutely nothing good would come out of it. They came from different worlds and they weren’t even right for each other.



Her little dark cloud disappeared when she heard some commotion outside her bedroom. It sounded like metal against more metal. Like maybe someone was in the kitchen. Instead of a lump in her throat, she had butterflies in her stomach and her heart was fluttering like a humming bird.



Oh hell, she tried to force herself to calm down. She was acting like a Lavender Brown wannabe. Once she got herself under control she started to get out of bed. It was then that she noticed his shirt laid out at the end of the bed. How did she not see that before? A small smile formed on her mouth, he must have left that for her, because by now he knows her well enough that she wouldn’t be brave enough to walk out into the kitchen in the nude. Even if it was her own kitchen.



She grabbed the shirt and put it on. As she was buttoning up the buttons she couldn’t help but wonder that, if he left his shirt in here, did that mean he was currently not wearing a shirt at all? Hum, him cooking with his naked torso exposed made a delicious visual. Playing Quidditch all those years at school definitely did his body good. Harry and Ron always talked about how flying in general was always a workout in and of itself because you had to put your whole body into it. Not that she would know since the only attempt at flying that she’s ever done was during first year at Hogwarts because it was a requirement. After that it was only an extracurricular activity, so she didn’t bother.



            Going back to Draco’s perfectly toned body she wondered if he still flew on occasion. She assumed he didn’t do much since moving to London, but she remembered he talked about owning a place out in the countryside and then there was always the Manor. He was always a cocky flyer, always thinking he was a hotshot.



            She got to thinking, since he left his shirt in here, would he be brave enough to walk into the kitchen naked? She remembered the first night he changed back to fight off the pixies and he came barging through the kitchen door with only two small tea towels to cover up with. She smirked and shook her head, a hotshot he might be, but a very adorably vulnerable one at that. She couldn’t believe that, that had only been a few days ago.



            She looked around the floor and didn’t see any other discarded clothing of his laying around, which meant he probably wasn’t naked. Sigh. All is well though, since cooking nude could be a very dangerous thing, too many sensitive areas exposed that could be harmed.



            She made a quick stop to the bathroom room to brush her teeth and freshen up, and then walked out of her bedroom. She was greeted to the smell of bacon and possibly pancakes or maybe waffles…she couldn’t tell. Yum, she could get used to this. Since she normally only had a slice of toast or a bowl of cereal in the morning before work.



            She got to the kitchen and sure enough he was there cooking breakfast, shirtless, just like she imagined. His feet were bare and he wore the jeans he had on the night before, which hung loosely on his lean hips. He hadn’t noticed her yet so she stayed silently watching him from the doorway. Enjoying the way his biceps and the rest of his muscles in his back would bulge when he flipped over the pancake in the skillet. She was almost jealous at how creamy white his skin was. Normally it probably wouldn’t look right on a man, but Draco pulled it off perfectly. She couldn’t imagine it any other way. His hair was tussled as if he just woke up or spent the night having crazy monkey sex. His jaw had a fresh new growth of stubble, which made him look all the more desirable.



            She pushed from the doorway and walked towards him. She didn’t want to startle him and cause him to burn himself. But she walked up behind him anyway, surely by now he would be able to sense that she was there. She peaked over his shoulder and managed to do it without touching him.



“Mmm, smells good.” She said inhaling the scent of what looked to be a very tasty meal as well as a very delicious smell of Draco himself.



Without even flinching at her words, he turned his head slightly to her and said, “It will be ready in a couple of minutes. I hope you’re hungry.”



            As if on cue her stomach growled. He chuckled and went back to work on the food. She turned and went about getting plates and silverware out on the opposite side of the room. She was reaching up to get coffee mugs, when strong arms wrapped around her mid section, hugging her tight.



“Morning,” Draco whispered in her ear as he nuzzled and kissed along her neck.



            Her breath caught in her throat, not because she was startled by him, but by the simple intimate gesture, which made her heart start to flutter and the butterflies to return. She leaned back into his embrace as he continued to kiss her neck. Then his arms and hands moved her body around so that she was now facing him. And his lips that were on neck were now connecting with her lips. After a very long smoldering kiss, she pulled back and leaned her forehead against his and sighed.



“Good morning,”



He smiled and pulled back slightly, “So did you enjoy the view?”



Still in a daze from their kiss she was confused, “Huh?”



“Don’t think I didn’t notice you in the doorway checking me out.”



Damn, so he did notice her watching him, but instead of blushing and shying away from him she said, “Well I couldn’t help it, you’re a breathtaking visual.”



He chuckled then kissed her nose, “No love, you’re a breathtaking visual, especially when you walk in here wearing only my shirt. It’s very sexy.”



She ran her hands up along his bare chest, the put her arms around his neck. “Well it just so happens that someone conveniently laid it out at the end of the bed.” She teased.



            He lowered his head and kissed her again pulling her tight up against his body. Deepening the kiss he managed to lift her and sat her on the countertop behind her. So he had easier access to her mouth. She felt his hard body against hers and could tell that he was definitely prime and ready for her and she was ready for him herself, but she caught of whiff of the food and her stomach let out an embarrassingly loud growl.



He chuckled against her mouth, “I guess I should probably feed you first before anything else happens.”



She nodded, “Yeah we wouldn’t want the food to get cold.”



            He stepped back and she silently cursed her stomach for interrupting as he helped her down from the counter.



            To the sounds of plates being filled with delicious food Crookshanks walked into the kitchen and sniffed the air. He automatically walked over to Draco who was busy plating bacon onto his and Hermione’s plates and circled himself around his legs meowing loudly. Draco looked down at the beast and then over at Hermione as if silently asking permission to feed him some.



She shook her head, “No way, I already caved last night and fed him chicken.” She said as she walked over to the pantry to retrieve his diet cat food, then poured it into his bowl along with fresh water. “Come on Crookshanks eat your real food and stop begging. He won’t give you any, if you beg.”



Crookshanks completely ignored her and kept looking up at Draco with sad kitty eyes, “She’s right you know,” Draco said looking down at the cat.



            Crookshanks apparently gave up and made a snort/sneezing noise and walked away from him. Hermione reached out to him as he was leaving the kitchen. As soon as Hermione’s hand got close enough Crookshanks snapped at her, biting her hand.



“Ow. Bad Crookshanks.” She grabbed her injured hand as she watched her cat dart out of the room.



“What the bloody hell was that about? He couldn’t have been that mad about not getting table scraps, could he?” Draco asked walking towards Hermione, who was now at the sink washing out her wound.



“No, it wasn’t because of that. I don’t think he recognizes me anymore since my magic is gone. You should have seen him last night. He wouldn’t even come near me and when he did, he would hiss at me then run away and hide somewhere.”



“How’s you hand?” he asked, gently taking her hand away from the running water to examine it, sure enough there were little teeth marks on the side of her thumb.



“I’ll live; I have some cleansing potion in the bathroom that should clean out the wound.”



“Will that work on you?” he asked.



“Oh, I didn’t think about that. Well I can still try I suppose. If it doesn’t work then I’m sure I have some muggle ointment around here somewhere that my mother always used to use.” She went off to go find it and tend to her wounds.



            Once all of that was taken care of, they finally managed to ear the delicious smelling breakfast that Draco made and for once Crookshanks wasn’t at their ankles begging for any handouts.



“Oh my god Draco, this is amazing.” She told him between bites.



He took a drink of his orange juice studying her, “Why do you look so surprised?” he smirked at her.



“Well, I know you told me you could make breakfast, but I don’t know. I guess I just assumed that you would do it with magic, and not the muggle way.”



“Yeah well believe me I started out using magic, but it never tasted right so I had Smitty teach me how to make simple things like breakfast.” He explained.



“Well it’s very good,” she said taking a big mouth full.



“Good, I’m glad you like it,” he smiled.



Merlin he was truly stunning when he actually smiled, she smiled in return then glanced at the clock. “Damn-it,” she muttered. “I need to get ready for work,” she said getting up and grabbing her empty plate to take to the kitchen.



He stopped her and took the plate from her hand. “I’ll clean up, you go get ready.”



She didn’t argue, she leaned in to kiss him on the cheek. “Thank you,” she said then turned and walked to her bedroom.



 



            Draco was still washing dishes and cleaning up when Hermione left for work. She seemed to be in a happier mood then she was the night before. Of course knowing her and how stubborn she is, she’s probably just forcing herself not to think about the curse since she has no control over what happens now to her.



            He hoped for both their sakes that McGonagall would have answers or more answers to what they needed to do to end this curse. And soon. It was 8:45am and he could already feel the first tingles happening, meaning he was going to change soon. It’s funny, at first he was pissed that this was happening to him, but now…not that he’s happy about it but he’s more accepting of it…yeah that’s a good work for it, he’s accepted the fact that he changes into a cat everyday for a few hours.



            But that still didn’t mean that he would rather have that instead of his normal human self all day everyday. He still would do anything to be normal again.



            He went over to sit on the sofa to wait for the change to happen since it would happen any minute now. He was so relieved that he was able to convince his mother to allow them to arrive late for her party. He didn’t want to explain to her or to anyone about his condition. The fewer people who knew about it the better. Already too many people knew about it. He knew Blaise; his best mate would be there with Pansy. Could he trust them with this secret? Or should he just keep mum about it until the curse breaks?



Crookshanks came out of hiding and jumped up onto his lap, “And what is wrong with you Crooks? You don’t go around biting people. Especially Hermione, who has done nothing but love you with all of her heart. She’s going through a ruff time right now. We all are. She’s still the same person she’s always been. So you should take it easier on her.” Draco told Crookshanks, scratching under his chin.



            He felt a burst of tingles shoot through him and he knew it was time. He stood up and managed to get out of his jeans fast enough before he dropped on all fours. He let out a sigh; this really was depressing when it came down to it. He really didn’t want to spent the rest of his life dealing with this, he wasn’t sure if he could take a couple more days of it. He jumped back up onto the sofa and curled into his corner spot and drifted off to sleep.



 



            Hermione opened the shop on time and went about getting ready for the day. For once she was thankful for it being extremely slow. Only a few people came in to look around and thankfully they were all muggles looking for muggle books. She was really hoping that no one magical came in and asked questions about certain magical books, because she wouldn’t be able to help them much. She could probably get by with a little bit here and there but eventually she would have to fess up.



            When she first came in, this morning, even though she didn’t want to, she went over and tried to open the portal to the back room. But the same thing happened, that happened yesterday, which was nothing. And there was no decent way to notify anyone who came into her bookshop that the backroom would have to be temporarily ‘out of order’ until she got her magic back. It’s not like she could put out a sign without revealing anything to the muggles.



            But she told herself that she wasn’t going to worry about it and let it stress her out. As long as she felt confident that everything would eventually work out then it would. And to be honest the thing that was freaking her out the most was Narcissa Malfoy’s birthday party on Saturday. She told Draco that she would think about it, but she was having serious doubts about going.



            This was why she didn’t want to get involved with him in the first place, because of is background, and his family and their friends. Ever since she first met him he has been awful and prejudice against her because of the influence that came from his family and his friends. And even if he’s changed, there is no saying that they haven’t. If she went to the party with him then she would be smack dab in the middle of it all surrounded by people who have hated her kind for centuries.



            It was enough to make her very uneasy about the entire thing. And with her lack of magic was enough to cause her a full blown panic attack. If she had her magic then it would probably be a different story, at least she would be confident enough to know if she had to she could defend herself. But without her wand and powers it would be like feeding raw meat to a bunch of hungry sharks.



            By the time noon came around, business was still slow, which was fine by her. she was busy ringing up a customer when the bells on the front door jingled. She looked up to see who walked in and smiled. Ginny waited patiently until Hermione finished ringing up the customer.



“I wanted to stop by and see if you wanted to get a bite to eat?” Ginny said.



“I would love to, just let me lock up really fast and we can be on our way.”



            Hermione was so glad that Ginny came by, even though she was feeling slightly better now then she did last night, she still desperately wanted, needed some serious girl talk. About her magic, Draco and well everything.



They ate at a small deli close by and had sandwiches and tea. “So, I’m still waiting for details.” Ginny said taking a sip of her tea.



“Details? On what?” Hermione asked coyly.



“Oh you know exactly what, Hermione. So stop dodging the question.”



Hermione sighed. Once they sat down she wasn’t sure she wanted to share everything after all. But she needed to vent out to someone other than Draco before she would slowly go insane.



“Well first off; this curse that I put Draco under seems to be effecting me more and more each day. Not only have I lost my powers but anything and everything magic related, I can’t seem to sense. I think I’m turning into a muggle.” She went on to tell her about how she couldn’t get the backroom to open for her and the books either appeared black or wouldn’t open at all, and also about Crookshanks treating her as if she were a complete stranger.



“Oh Merlin, that’s awful. Why is this happening and what are you going to do about it?” Ginny asked.



“It’s some horrible punishment for turning Draco into a cat. And we sent out a letter to Professor McGonagall last night to see if she has come up with anymore answers to our problem. But we still haven’t gotten any word yet. So I don’t know I guess we just have to wait until we hear something or…” she sighed, “I don’t know.”



“Well you know if you need anything all you have to do is ask, and you’ll see it will all work out for both of you in the end. You’ll see.”



“Thanks, Gin. I since both of my parents are muggles is the only reason I’m taking all of this so well. If I grew up knowing magic my whole life I think I would go mad, if I suddenly lost it.” They ate in silence for a few minutes.



“So, on a lighter note, what’s going on between you and Draco?” Ginny asked and smiled when Hermione’s cheeks flamed bright pink.



“There’s not much to tell.” Hermione said her cheeks turning an even brighter pink.



“Hermione you’re such a liar,” Ginny laughed. “And the way Harry and I left you two the other night at the bar definitely told otherwise. He couldn’t take his hands off of you.”



“Like I said there’s not a whole lot to tell, we’re just…having fun.”



“Having fun? What the bloody hell does that mean?”



“It means we’re just…sleeping together, and nothing else, no strings attached…just fun.”



“And you’re okay with that?” Hermione nodded, but Ginny could tell she was still lying; Hermione hated how Ginny could read her like an open book. “That’s not like you at all, since when do you just sleep with someone? With you it’s always been all or nothing.”



“Well it has been till Draco walked back into my life and it’s just different now with him.”



“How is he different?”



“Oh come on Ginny, we’re talking abut Draco Malfoy here. You were there at school when he made my life miserable. I mean yeah he’s changed tremendously since school but…I don’t know. There is just no way we would be able to be together. We’re from different worlds practically. I just…I can’t trust myself to give my heart to him…and yet at the same time I can’t seem to say resist him either and just say no.” she sighed. “I don’t know what I feel. Part of me wants to move forward with him, but then another part of me is screaming ‘no don’t do it’ because it will only lead to heartbreak.”



Ginny nodded silently, “Hermione has anyone ever told you that you think to much?”



Hermione laughed, “Yeah, all the time.” They both laughed easing away some of the tension. “What do you think I should do?” she asked Ginny.



“I don’t know? Is the sex good?”



Hermione blushed and nodded. “Yeah, I think he’s pretty much ruined me for any other guy.”



“Really now?” Ginny asked raising her eyebrows teasingly.



Hermione bit her lip and nodded. “Yeah it’s extraordinary.” She said then blushed again, it wasn’t easy talking about her sex life with Ginny, she never wanted details about her and Harry because it was just too weird to think about.



“Well, how does he feel about your little arrangement?”



“I think he’s okay with it, he hasn’t really said much about it. I don’t know. He’s changed so much it’s almost unnerving sometimes.”



“How so?”



“Well I mean he’s still Malfoy; conceded, arrogant, and stubborn. But he’s also kind and understanding, funny and sweet, passionate and romantic…ha words I never thought I would use when describing him. You know he made me breakfast this morning, and um…well he invited me to his mother’s birthday party this Saturday.”



Ginny almost choked on her tea, “Wow, well I’d say that’s a big step in the ‘it’s more then sex’ direction, if he’s inviting you to a family function.”



“I don’t think it’s like that necessarily. I mean he said he wanted me to come along so all the other girls who his mother and his mother’s friends tries to set him up with will think he’s already taken and will lay off him. He told me he wanted me to go with him pretending to be his girlfriend…not to go as his girlfriend just his pretend one. And also I think he wants me to go with him so it will piss his father off.”



“Wow so are you going to go?”



“I don’t know, I’m going to stand out like a piece of coal in a crowd with a bunch of diamonds. And to be honest I really don’t want to go especially since I have no power to defend myself with.”



“Yeah, but they won’t know about all of that. And if you say Draco has changed that much then surely he won’t let anything happen to you. And if something does then me, Harry and Ron will go over there and personally kick his ass.”



“Speaking of Ron, where is he? I haven’t heard from him in a while.”



“Oh him, he’s on some holiday in Rome with his girl of the month. Of course I think he might actually be serious about this girl at least more so then with all the others he’s been with.”



            Ginny walked her back to the shop then apparated back to the burrow to get Lily. Hermione felt better after she vented out to Ginny but she was still confused as to what she was feeling towards Draco. Her heart wanted her to fell one thing but her head told her otherwise.



            She decided that she was going to go to the party after all. Ginny was right if something happened at the party then Draco would be there to help and no one would find out about her loss of magic…right?





 

AN: Hey everyone, sorry it took me so long to update. I've been busy with school and finals and didn't have time to write. I hope you like this chapter...it's not perfect but I needed to post something since I know a few of you are probably going stircrazy waiting for the update. I was going to write about the birthday party during this chapter but I decided to wait and give it its own chapter, which hopefully will be exciting. I have an idea as to what I want to happen during the party...it should be interesting. I hope...haha. Anyway please, please review and tell me what you think!!! I have over 20,000 reads which is incredible. So please keep reading and reviewing.


Chapter 23: Pre-Party Jitters
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

AN: I don’t own anything from Harry Potter.





 

 

 

 

            Friday flew by like a blur. Things at the bookshop have been relatively clam despite everything. But having no magical powers, Narcissa’s birthday party happening tomorrow and still no word from McGonagall had Hermione more stressed then ever.





 

 

 

 

            Draco’s been great, but he didn’t understand why she was freaking out about the birthday party. He honestly didn’t think it was going to be a big deal. How could he be so calm about everything? He turned into a cat for half the day, he should be freaking out!





 

 

 

 

            She had a million things running through her head. She couldn’t sleep. She opened her eyes to her pitch black bedroom, except for the neon glow of her alarm clock. She knew it was an ungodly hour in the early morning, but she couldn’t see the clock because Draco’s body was blocking the way.





 

 

 

 

            His warm lean body laid flush up against her back in spoon fashion. A heavy arm splayed across her torso keeping her in place, his legs tangled with hers. She could feel his even breathing against the back of her neck, alerting her that he was deeply asleep. She carefully slipped from beneath the heavy weight of his arms and legs and shifted around until she was on her side facing him. She studied his face, and just took her time looking at him. He was far too pretty, but in a rugged, almost intense kind of way. And he was hers…





 

 

 

 

            Wait! What was she saying, what was she thinking? She had no claim over him, or did she? To be honest, he was the main reason that caused her so much stress. He was what terrified her the most. The more time they spent together the more her walls came down that she built around herself, and the more she felt for him.





 

 

 

 

            She lied to Ginny when said she was okay with just keeping their relationship based on sex. She lied to Draco and to herself as well. She couldn’t do this, for her it’s always been all or nothing. She thought she could get away with it, to do something for once that was spontaneous and not thought out to every last detail. But she was wrong, now she was way in over her head and she didn’t know how to fix it without getting heartbroken.





 

 

 

 

“You’re killing me, you know.” Draco murmured, his eyes still closed, his voice a gravely mumble.





 

 

 

 

She stared for a moment, wondering how long he’d been awake. “How am I doing that? I’m just lying here.”





 

 

 

 

“Thinking,” he said. “I can hear the wheels grinding from all the way over there. Speaking of which…” he reached out and covered her hip with his hand, and the next thing she knew, she was right back, flush up against him tucked into the warm curve of his body. He nestled his cheek on top of her head and nestled her closer. “Much better. Now quiet down in there.”





 

 

 

 

            She should be annoyed, but she was smiling, which made the annoyed part much harder to sustain. Somehow, with him wrapped around her, so steady, so certain, it made it much easier to think there might be a solution. Maybe that was the trick. Staying close to him, letting him be the one to keep reality at bay. Maybe he would figure it out and she wouldn’t have to worry so much.





 

 

 

 

“Still grinding,” he murmured then pressed a warm kiss to her temple. He finally opened his eyes to stare deeply into hers. “Don’t worry so much, where there’s a will…”





 

 

 

 

“I don’t see a way,” she whispered. “Draco what are we doing? How can we…”





 

 

 

 

            He cut her off with a short kiss, then heaved a deep sigh as he rolled her to her back and settled his weight half over her. His eyes were still dark with sleep and his hair was soft and tousled. His jaw was shadowed with the start of morning stubble. He wasn’t happy, but he wasn’t annoyed either, just…steady.





 

 

 

 

“What?” she asked when he simply kept looking at her.





 

 

 

 

“Don’t run.” She scrunched up her eyebrows together in confusion. “Don’t run from this,” he looked into her eyes. “Don’t run from us.” He whispered.





 

 

 

 

After a few moments she nodded, “Okay” she whispered.





 

 

 

 

“Okay,” he kissed her softly on the lips, then her forehead, her eyelids, nose, then her chin and along her jaw.





 

 

 

 

 





 

 

 

 

            He felt her began to relax so he gently rolled off her and set her back in the curve of his body. She set her head in the crook of his neck as she closed her eyes. He knew he should have told her then and there that he was in love with her. He could have easily taken that chance to break the curse between them. But selfishly he wanted her to say the words to him first and not just hear them repeated back to him.





 

 

 

 

            And at the same time he was terrified that maybe she wouldn’t even return the feeling. He knew she was having doubts about whatever the bloody hell they were doing with each other. She kept going on about how she wouldn’t fit into his world. He’s a pureblood and she a muggleborn. How they were enemies from the very beginning and how can they just turn around and pretend as if everything is okay between them as if nothing happened back then.





 

 

 

 

            He honestly didn’t care about any of that anymore. If you would have asked him how he felt about dating a muggleborn a year ago, hell even a month ago and he would have sneered at the idea and turned away without a second glance. But now he had nothing against it, at least not with Hermione. He didn’t know how to prove it to her that he wasn’t planning on going anywhere, that when the curse was broken he had no desire to up and leave and say ‘well it was fun while it lasted, you were a great shag’ and then walk away.





 

 

 

 

            He sighed, great now she had him worrying about the future and soon he would be losing sleep over it just like she did. He should have told her when he had the chance. He was about to just come out and say it when he heard a soft snore coming from her. It was so soft it almost sounded like a purr. She shifted a bit until she positioned herself into a more comfortable angle against his body and continued to sleep deeply. He smiled to himself watching her.





 

 

 

 

            Tomorrow, tomorrow he would tell her. And if they could both get through his mother’s birthday together alive then surely that would be good testament that they would be okay together.





 

 

 

 







 

 

 

 


 





            It was 3:45pm, Saturday afternoon. The day of the birthday party. Hermione already tried to come up with a million excuses in her head on how to get out of going. But none of them sounded reasonable or believable and she didn’t want to be a coward by not going at all.





            She didn’t want to wait around all day doing nothing, waiting for Draco to change back so she decided to go to work for a few hours to help get her mind off everything.





            Now here she stood, a quarter to 4:00, staring at her closet, which she’s been doing for the past hour now, all while Draco snoozed on the sofa with not a care in the world.





What the hell was she supposed to wear to a Malfoy event? Did she need to wear something fancy or did they do casual? Somehow going casual didn’t sound like a good idea. Even when Draco went and met his mother the other night for dinner he wore black dress slacks and a button down shirt. Nothing casual about that. This wasn’t going to a cozy family get together like the Weasley’s had. In fact this was going to be the exact opposite of a night at the Weasley’s.





Draco mentioned the party was going to be outdoors, and it was quite warm outside. She grabbed a strapless white baby doll dress. It was short but tastefully short. She would still be able to sit down or bend over without showing her knickers to the world. She held it up against her body and glanced at herself in the mirror.





“Did you finally decide on something to wear?”





She whipped around clutching the dress around her body to cover herself up even though she was wearing a robe, “You startled me,” she said taking in the sight of him.





            He stood there wearing nothing but a pair of faded jeans that hung loose on his hips. He crossed his arms over his bare chest, leaning against the doorframe, smirking at her. You think she would get used to seeing him like this but yet he still managed to steal her breath away.





“You’ve been pacing in front of your closet the second you stepped out of the shower.” he said still smirking at her.





“I don’t know what’s appropriate to wear to your mother’s birthday party.”





“What you have there looks perfect.”





She huffed a sigh, “Are you sure? Maybe I should wear th…”





“Hermione that dress is fine. Don’t worry about it, relax, everything will be fine. Now hurry up because we need to get going.” He said as he went to retrieve his t-shirt that laid crumpled on the floor.





She watched him start to get dressed. “Is that what you’re wearing?”





His head popped out of the top of the shirt and he continued to drag it down his torso, and then looked down at himself. “No, are you joking. If I wear this mum will kill me.” He joked.





She glared at him. “You know that doesn’t make me feel any better.”





“Hermione you’ll look great. Now get dressed. We need to stop by my place first so I can change and grab a couple of things before we head out.”





“Okay, okay I’m going.” She said as she took her robe off and began dressing, while Draco went looking around for his shoes.





            She reached back to pull up the zipper but it was stuck and it wouldn’t loosen. She tried yanking it up but she didn’t want to rip it. Giving up she called out to Draco to help her.





“What is it?” Draco asked walking back into the bedroom.





“My zipper is stuck; can you help me get it loose?”





“Sure turn around.”





She did as she asked and she could have sworn she heard him suck in a breath. “What’s wrong?”





“Nothing.”





            He cleared his throat and started working the zipper loose. She was very aware of his strong fingers touching the bare skin on her back and it was leaving her a bit breathless. After a few tugs he got it unstuck. Then slowly as if taking his time he started to work it up. The whole time dragging the back of his fingers up along her spine in a deliciously slow caress. She tilted her head to the side as if anticipating his kiss. He bent his head and pressed a light kiss along her favorite spot just below her ear.





“You’re beautiful,” he whispered.





            This left a chill run throughout her body leaving goose bumps along her skin. He continued to kiss down her neck meanwhile never taking his hands off of her. a thought crossed her mind, maybe she could convince him to skip the party all together and just stay here making love to her all day and night. But she knew it was wrong and he would eventually regret missing his mother’s birthday.





With a sigh she stepped out of his embrace. “Weren’t you just saying that we needed to get going if we want to make it on time?”





“Yeah, just give me a couple of minutes then we’ll leave.” He mumbled between kisses.





“Ha yeah right, you know perfectly well as I do that what you have in mind right now will definitely not take a couple of minutes.” She stepped even further away from him smiling. “Besides I’ve spent a lot of time getting ready and now I’m already dressed so what you have in mind will just have to wait.”





He smiled wickedly at her, “What if I promise to make it really quick and you won’t even have to remove your dress or mess up your hair.”





“Mmm, how romantic,” she replied sarcastically. “It really is true; all guys ever think about is sex, isn’t it?”





He managed to catch her in his arms and held her tight against him, “You never seemed to complain before especially since I’ve managed to memorize all the places on your body that drive you crazy. Like when I kiss you here…” He bent down and kissed the spot below her ear, then sucked the tip of her earlobe between his teeth, nibbling lightly.





            Hermione’s knees buckled underneath her, but Draco kept her body upright. A moan managed to escape her lips.





“And when I touch you here…” Somehow his hand made its way under the hem of her skirt and started making its way up, caressing her inner thigh.





She stopped him before he could go any further up. “Draco,” her voice coming out huskier then she intended. “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but we need to get going. The last thing I want is to get on your mother’s bad side by showing up late to her party.”





            The mention of his mother must have cleared his head for he came out of his foggy haze. He cleared his throat and stepped away from her.





“Your right. Well it was worth a shot at least.”





She smiled, shaking her head at him.





“Your not working tomorrow, correct?” he asked.





“No why?”





“Good, then you might want to pack an overnight bag and bring it with you.”





Hermione automatically went on alert. “Why? Your not planning on staying overnight at the manor are you?” she asked nervously.





“No, I wouldn’t torture you with something like that…yet. I have something else in mind for tonight.”





That peaked her interest, “Where?”





“It’s a surprise.”





“What, no hints?”





“No.”





“Do I need to bring anything in particular?”





“No, just a change of cloths, you can keep it casual, a toothbrush, that kind of stuff.”





“Okay just give me a minute.”





“I’ll be in the kitchen.”





            She quickly went about putting together a bag for her. She hoped Draco was being serious when he said keep it casual because she stuffed a pair of faded cozy jeans and a vintage t-shirt into her bag. She didn’t bother with pajamas because well, since her and Draco have been ‘having fun’ there has never been any need for them. And if anything she could always borrow one of his shirts to sleep in. At the last second she packed a matching set of lacy lingerie into her bag, just in case, you never knew when they might come in handy.





“Hermione are you ready?” she heard him call out from the kitchen.





            She made one last glance around her bedroom making sure she didn’t forget anything. She turned to leave when a tapping noise caught her attention. She turned and saw a gray spotted owl; one she didn’t recognize perched outside her bedroom window. He held an ivory envelope in its beak with her name on it in elegant scroll. She lifted the window to retrieve the letter. She wondered if it was from McGonagall, but it wasn’t the owl that she normally used. But it must be important because she could see the bird, when the past couple days she hasn’t been able to see anything that came from the magical post.





She was about to open it when… “Hermione, you coming?” Draco called out again.





She stuffed the letter into her bag and walked out into the living room, “I’m ready.”





“Okay good. I went ahead and fed Crookshanks.”





“Um Draco, how exactly are we going to get to the party?”





“Well I’m going to try appariting first. It worked the other night when we left the pub.”





“Yeah, but that was before I discovered my magic was disappearing. What if it doesn’t work?”





“Then we’ll fly there.”





Hermione’s face paled. “Surely we could come up with something other than flying right?”





“We’ll see. It won’t be that bad. But for now just put your arms around me and hold on tight.”





            She closed her eyes as well prepared for it not to work. She heard a pop and all of a sudden she felt like she was getting ripped apart, and pulled in all different directions and being turned inside out. All while her stomach took turns dropping to the floor then shooting up into her throat. The next second she noticed her feet landing with a thud. She pulled away from Draco so fast that she became dizzy.





“Easy there.”





            His strong arms came around her helping her settle down into a nearby chair. She put her hands on her knees trying to force the sickness in her stomach to subside. He bent down so he was eye level with her and cradled her clammy cheek in his hand.





“Are you okay? You look a little…green.”





She nodded not trusting her voice to speak just yet.





“Smitty, please get Hermione a glass of ice water…and maybe a gingerbeer or something to settle her stomach.” He turned back to her. “Well good news is that you can still apparaite.”





“Ha, and the bad news is that it was the absolute worst appariting experience I’ve ever had.”





Regret filled his eyes, “I’m so sorry.” He stroked her cheek. “We probably should have just walked here but I wanted to test it out and see if you could still do it or not.”





“It’s fine, I’m fine. I just need a second to regroup.”





“Okay. Well just stay here and rest, lay down if you need to. Make yourself at home. I’m going to go and get ready. Smitty will be here incase you need anything else.”





            She nodded. Once the room stopped spinning she got her bearings straight. She realized they were in Draco’s flat. A glass of water and a glass of gingerbeer sat on the coffee table in front of her. She didn’t know how they got there…wee she knew Smitty, Draco’s house elf was behind it, but she never saw him appear.





            She decided to go with the gingerbeer, taking small sips, hoping to ease the queasiness in her stomach. She’s never had problems with appariting before this, and this was completely awful. She felt like she just went through a muggle washing machine set to the spin cycle. Just thinking about it made her stomach lurch.





            She really didn’t want to go through that again; mainly she didn’t want to get sick in front of the Malfoy’s and all their pureblood friends. Once her stomach settled she got up to walk around. She was still amazed of the space of his place. It was like a mini version of the Malfoy Manor all the way down to the furniture although it was more modern and up to date.





“Are you feeling better?” Draco asked attentively behind her, he now wore black dress slacks and a emerald green button down shirt. In one hand he carried a small black suitcase and his other hand was hidden behind his back.





“Yeah for a second it was just a bit overwhelming.”





“I’m thinking we shouldn’t apparaite to the party. I don’t want to make you any more uncomfortable then you already are.”





“What do you have in mind?”





            He pulled out his broom from behind him. It was a Phoenix Flight 360x, the newest, fastest broom on the market. She hated flying with everything in her being, but if it was that or apparaite, she have to go with flying. Where were Harry and Ron at a time like this? They would never believe her if she said she was about to get on a broomstick, she’d have to have proof otherwise they wouldn’t believe her for a second.





            They gathered all of there belongings and started heading towards the lift. Draco called out to Smitty and asked him to look after Crookshanks while they were gone.





“I can’t believe that you would rather stay at my place, when you have this.” She gestured towards his flat as the doors on the lift were closing.





Draco pressed the button for the rooftop. “Your place is cozier, lived in. Mine is cold and sterile feeling. And it’s too big for one person.”





“Haha, then why did you get it?”





He shrugged, “It seemed like a good idea at the time.”





            Once they got to the roof he took her suitcase from her and he shrunk both his and her suitcases with a shrinking charm, and then stuck them in his pocket. Then he held out the broom.





“Would you rather sit in front or behind me?”





“Um, which would be easier for you?” She asked already regretting her decision to fly.





“It doesn’t matter to me. If you sit in front of me then I can keep my arms around you, but you would have to hold on to the broomstick. If you sit behind me then you just have to hold on to me.”





“Um…” If she sat in front of him, his arms would be around her making her chances at falling slim, and if she sat behind him then she would have to trust herself not to let go of him.





He straddled the broom awaiting her decision.





“I’d rather hold on to you, than the broom.” She didn’t mean for it to come out sounding sexual in anyway but the way his eyes darkened into dark silver meant he was thinking about something else other than flying.





He held out his hand, “Do you trust me?” he whispered, looking her in the eyes as he spoke.





She nodded, “Yes,” she replied breathlessly as she took his hand.





He turned her palm over and kissed the center of it then closed her fingers around it. As if he wanted her to keep that kiss of his forever, hidden in the center of her palm. “I won’t let anything happen to you, I won’t let you fall.”





            She knew he was talking about flying, but she heard more unspoken meanings in his words as if he were also talking about the party, their time together…their life together.





She mentally shook herself and stepped behind him on the broom and wrapped her arms tight around his waist. Keeping his hidden kiss tucked safe in the cage of her fingers. She laid her head on the back of his shoulder and inhaled a deep breath and capturing the scent that was his and his alone. Then she squeezed her eyes tight. The next thing she knew they were up in the air.











AN: Hey everyone. Okay so I lied last time. I said this chapter we would finally get a glimpse of the Narcissa's Birthday Party, but obviously it's not. But I promise the next chapter it will be all about the party. Let me know what you think. I love reading all of your reviews so keep them coming. Hope you enjoyed this chapter. I'll try to get the next one up soon. Please keep reading and reviewing. Until next time. :)

 


Chapter 24: The Birthday Party: Part 1
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

AN: I don’t own anything from Harry Potter



 

 

            She felt the wind in her hair and the loud soaring noise in her ears as they flew through the air. And she also felt the warm solid strength in Draco’s body as he shifted his weight to turn right or left.



 

 

            She knew she was safe as long as she held on to him. And yet she couldn’t make herself open her eyes to look around at the sights below them. She didn’t know how long they’ve been up in the air, but she did know that her arms started to ache from holding on so tightly. She was starting to feel sorry for Draco; he probably couldn’t breathe with her plastered to him like this.



 

 

            She heard him calling to her over his shoulder, but she couldn’t understand what he was trying to say. The ringing in her ears and the pounding of her heartbeat was so loud everything else sounded muffled. She tried to concentrate on his voice.



 

 

“We’re almost there, so you can open your eyes now, if you want to.” He shouted over the wind.



 

 

            Yeah right, she thought. She’ll only open her eyes when their safely back on the ground. She rather keep her face tucked safely in the shield of his back instead. She could tell they were slowing down and descending by the way her stomach felt like it was dropping to her feet. After a while she was alerted by Draco clearing his throat.



 

 

“You can let go now Hermione, we’ve landed.” He said when he turned slightly to look at her, it was obvious that he was trying not to smile by the way she was still clutching her arms around his waist as if she still wasn’t sure that she wouldn’t fall to her death if she let go.



 

 

            She slowly let go of her death grip and made sure her feet touched the ground before relaxing completely.



 

 

“There now, that wasn’t so bad, was it?” He smirked at her.



 

 

            Flying should be illegal; she thought but didn’t tell him. Her face felt numb from the wind and she didn’t even want to think about how her hair looked now. Her hands went up and started flattening out her hair self consciously.



 

 

“Can you hand me my purse, so I can try to look more presentable.”



 

 

            He chuckled and muttered ‘women’ under his breath as he reached into the pocket of his trousers and pulled out her hand bag, then charmed it back to it’s original size and handed it to her. She took it and reached for her pocket size mirror and flipped it open and grimaced at her wind blown appearance. At least it wasn’t humid outside otherwise her hair would look like a giant puff-ball.



 

 

“You look fine,” he reassured her.



 

 

            Easy for him to say, he wasn’t born with uncontrollably curly hair. With one last attempt to sooth her hair down she gave up and realized it was as good as it was going to get. She tucked her mirror back into her bag and turned towards Draco. Her breath was caught in her throat when she spotted the scene behind him.



 

 

            They stood a few feet away from a giant wrought iron gate. Behind it, a long straight driveway with decorative hedges on both sides, leading to the front of the manor that loomed in the background. Tonight it looked like an enchanted mansion surrounded by twinkling lights and beautiful greenery, a huge fountain in the center spilling out sparkling water and several albino peacocks were seen roaming about. It looked like something out of a fairy tale instead of the haunting image that she remembered from the last time she stepped foot on the grounds.



 

 

            There was a huge white billowing tent off to the side of the manor where she supposed all of the people were being entertained. In the air there were soft sounds of music flowing about. Hermione suddenly remembered exactly where they were at and why they were there and she froze.



 

 

Draco must have sensed it, “We just have to make an appearance and I’ll have to say hello to a few people. But I promise we will leave as soon as it’s possible.”



 

 

            She just nodded and started to follow along on shaky legs. Oh why did she agree to something like this? She thought. They went through the front gate and started walking along the driveway towards the party.



 

 

“Um Draco, shouldn’t we come up with some sort of story to tell everyone about us?” She asked him.



 

 

“Why would we need a story?” he asked.



 

 

Was he serious? She thought. “Well because people might find it difficult to believe that you brought me along as you date to your mother’s birthday party.”



 

 

He stopped as if the thought just occurred to him and turned fully towards her, “Why don’t we just tell them the truth then?”



 

 

She laughed, “What? That I turned you into a cat and you’ve been forced to live with me for the past week? Yeah I’m sure that will go well with everyone.”



 

 

He smirked at her, “No, I figured we could leave that bit of information out. I meant, we should tell them the truth, that I walked into your bookshop and we connected and we’ve been inseparable ever since.”



 

 

“And you think they’ll believe that?” she asked still uncertain.



 

 

“They better because for the most part that is the truth.” He tugged her towards him and kissed her quickly on the lips. “Relax you’ll be fine. Just be yourself and they’ll love you.”



 

 

She let out a breath, not believing one word he said, “Okay.” Then started walking forward, closer to the party.



 

 

            They rounded the corner and stopped, if she was in awe over the front drive, then this was really something.



 

 

“Wow, mum really outdid herself this year.”



 

 

She turned to him, “What? You mean your mother’s parties aren’t always this…extravagant?” She waved a hand towards the party.



 

 

            There were crystal chandeliers everywhere with flickering candles, hanging from the trees and ceiling. Some were on stands that stood about the space, and she would bet there were some floating magically above them as well, but she couldn’t see them if there were any. On top of that there were white roses everywhere along with millions of tinkling fairy lights strewn about the tent and in the trees and bushes.



 

 

            It was now dark out so the whole place was lit up by candle light. It was truly breathtaking. You would almost think you were attending someone’s wedding.



 

 

“No, there always this extravagant. But I’d say that the guest list has doubled in size since last year.” Draco replied.



 

 

            Before Hermione could respond to that a familiar voice called out somewhere off to the side.



 

 

“Draco darling, so glad you finally made it. For a while there I thought you weren’t ever going to show.”



 

 

“Hello mother. You look beautiful as ever. Happy Birthday.” Draco said as he leaned in to kiss her on the cheek. “You remember Hermione?”



 

 

Narcissa turned towards Hermione giving her one good look over, “Of course I do. So glad you could make it, Hermione.”



 

 

Hermione suddenly felt very self conscious in her simple white strapless dress, feeling quite plain in a setting such as this. “Thank you for having me Ms. Malfoy. And Happy Birthday.”



 

 

Narcissa waved a hand in the air, “Although I don’t like the idea of becoming one year older it still gives me a excellent excuse to throw a party. And please call me Narcissa, any friend of Draco’s is a friend of mine. Now you two go get a drink and enjoy the party I’m going to go continue making the rounds.”



 

 

            She started to walk away but stopped to whisper something to Draco. It was to low for Hermione to overhear, but she could tell whatever it was it wasn’t good news because Draco frowned then nodded towards his mother before she slandered off to the rest of her guest. Even though Hermione knew it wasn’t any of her business, she couldn’t help but ask.



 

 

“What was that about?”



 

 

He ran a hand through his hair. “Nothing, it’s just my father is furious because I brought you here.”



 

 

“Gee I can’t imagine why,” she replied sarcastically.



 

 

            Not that, that was any surprise to her, it still didn’t help make her feel any better. And it was just one more thing to help her feel less than welcome here.



 

 

            Draco grabbed her hand and intertwined his fingers through hers, giving her a little bit of encouragement. It wasn’t enough but it was still enough to help her get through this.



 

 

“Don’t worry about it. Just stick with me and everything will be fine. Besides he won’t do anything here. He’s all about image and at a public event like this he won’t be making any scenes, trust me.” He leaned down and whispered to her, tugging her closer to him so he could kiss her neck. She turned so his lips would touch hers, when a bright flash blinded them.



 

 

“Picture for the Daily Prophet.” A short man with a checkered bow tie and thick black horn rimmed glasses said.



 

 

            They instantly pulled apart from each other, but still managed to let him take another picture with them standing next to each other. Great, it was one thing to be attending a high end party pretending to be Draco’s girlfriend. And she was almost certain that she was the only muggleborn in attendance here at the Malfoy Manor. But to have their picture taken together for the Prophet was going to create all kinds of chaos and gossip. Who knows what kind of picture he managed to get of the two of them before he made his presence known. She just wanted to remain somewhat under the radar until they figured everything out. The last thing she needed was to get the Ministry involved.



 

 

*~*



 

 

            Why did he think this was a good idea? Draco thought. He honestly didn’t think this would be a huge deal. But by all the looks they were getting from the guests, it was obvious they were both becoming the main topic of gossip instead of being inconspicuous like he thought they would be. Now the Daily Prophet was getting involved and everything. Its not that he was embarrassed or ashamed of Hermione it was just not the way he imagined outing their relationship.



 

 

            But in a way he supposed that it was a good thing that they already put themselves out there, so now the next time they go out in public together it wouldn’t be such a shock to the world.



 

 

            He despised functions like this, always smiling and trying to make polite chit chat with people you don’t know or don’t remember meeting before. He couldn’t wait to leave and take Hermione to his country house where they could spend the entire weekend doing whatever they pleased.



 

 

            He left Hermione, who was busy talking to his Aunt Andromeda. He figured she would be safe with her while he went to get two flutes of champagne for him and Hermione. A good way to make this party go smoothly will be to avoid his father at all cost. So far he hasn’t seen any sight of him but that didn’t mean he wasn’t here. He made his way to the beverage table when a familiar voice stopped him.



 

 

“Well if it isn’t The Famous Draco Malfoy. Prince of Slytherin. Mr. Hot Shot businessman of the International Magical Corporations Department. The Hottest most eligible bachelor in the Wizarding Wor…”



 

 

“Yeah, yeah I got it haha. How’s it going Zabini? Long time no see mate.” Draco interrupted him to give Blaise a brief manly hug.



 

 

Blaise laughed, “Not much. Just got back from Italy. Mum got married again…this is husband number 8…I think. I don’t remember I’ve stopped counting after the fifth one.”



 

 

“Haha, do you think this one will last?” Draco asked.



 

 

“Honestly…I’m not holding my breath. You think by now she would just give up or at least try to be single for a bit, who knows she might like it if she’d just try. But no, she can’t last 24 hours without someone there to fill in the gap. It’s sad really. But enough about her how are you? How’s work?”



 

 

“Works good, I’ve been on somewhat of a holiday for the past week so if anything new has happened there I wouldn’t know of it.”



 

 

“I was talking to your mother and she mentioned you moved to muggle London, is that true?”



 

 

“Yeah I moved to a flat there about a month ago. It’s close to the Ministry so I don’t have to apparaite there everyday. But I still have my country house. I wasn’t ready to give that up yet.”



 

 

“I never thought I hear the day that you Malfoy would ever want to even consider living next to muggles. I mean how can you even stand it? Its making me cringe just thinking about it.”



 

 

“It’s not too bad. They mind their own business and I mine.”



 

 

Blaise shook his head, “Hum. Speaking of muggles I could have sworn I saw mudblood Granger over there talking to someone here at the party a few moments ago.”  



 

 

Draco cleared his throat, it was mow or never to fess up to his best mate. “Well actually you did see her. She came here with me.”



 

 

Blaise choked on his drink. “I’m sorry did I hear you correctly, did you just say she came here with you?”



 

 

“Yes you did. I invited here. We’ve been somewhat seeing each other.”



 

 

Blaise stared at him for a moment then burst out laughing, when he realized that Draco wasn’t joining him he stopped. “Oh my god mate, you’re serious? But why? I mean how did that happen?”



 

 

“She runs a bookshop not far from my flat and I went in there one day and I don’t know we hit it off. And well…” he shrugged. “Something just happened, I can’t explain it.” No way could he explain the full truth, he would think he’d gone mad.



 

 

“But she’s a mudbl…muggleborn.”



 

 

“Yeah and I’ve decided it doesn’t matter.”



 

 

“What about your parents, do they know?”



 

 

“Mother seems okay with it. And my father…well I haven’t seen him yet but its not hard to guess what he will think about it.”



 

 

“Yeah that will be a conversation I don’t want to be present for.”



 

 

Draco lightly punched him in the arm. “Gee thanks for the support mate.” He said sarcastically.



 

 

Blaise rubbed at his arm. “I support you man. If you want to be with her then that’s cool. I just don’t want to stick around when your father decides to express his opinion on the matter. She must be a really great shag if you’re willing to go against your father’s demands.”



 

 

“Don’t make me hex you Zabini,” Draco joked.



 

 

Blaise raised both hands surrendering, which left them both laughing. “Your mother also mentioned that the Greengrass sisters are here. I had a brief glance at Astoria. Have you seen her yet?”



 

 

Draco shook his head.



 

 

“Man she has really turned into something. If I wasn’t married I would…”



 

 

“If you finish that sentence Blaise Zabini, you’re sleeping on the sofa tonight.” Blaise’s wife Pansy said stepping out from behind him. “Hello Draco, how have you’ve been?”



 

 

Draco leaned in to give her a hug. “I’m good, How are you? You look very…”



 

 

“Pregnant I know.” Pansy interrupted rubbing her belly.



 

 

“Haha I was going to say you look lovely tonight…but yeah you’re right you look very pregnant as well.” He teased. “So when is the little tike due?”



 

 

“Ugh, four extremely long months to go. I swear I feel like I’m going to explode.”



 

 

“Hey guess what? Draco’s dating Hermione Granger.” Blaise told his wife.



 

 

Pansy stared at him the same way Blaise did earlier. “Wait you mean Granger…from school?”



 

 

“Who else would I be talking about?” Blaise asked.



 

 

“I’m just making sure I heard correctly. May I ask why and… how?” She turned to Draco.



 

 

But Blaise answered for him. “Because he’s in love with her, that’s why.” He stated, then held up a hand stopping whatever Draco was about to say in protest. “Before you deny it, it’s true. I can tell and besides you wouldn’t risk going against everything your parents raised you with or bring her here with you tonight, if you weren’t in love with her.”



 

 

“Wait, she’s here?” Pansy asked looking around trying to spot her.



 

 

            Draco noticed that Hermione was currently sitting at a table close by. Blaise and Pansy followed his eye sight and they both spotted her as well. Hermione must have felt them all staring at her because she looked up at them and gave a shy wave in their direction. Draco smiled and waved back in return.



 

 

“See look at his face. The bloke is completely done for.” Blaise said to Pansy.



 

 

Draco just rolled his eyes at his friends.



 

 

“Well aren’t you going to introduce us to your girlfriend?” Pansy asked.



 

 

“Oh why not, just be nice.” Draco said.



 

 

Pansy looked offended. “I’m always nice.” She said then added, “When it counts.”



 

 

Blaise just snorted at her.



 

 

Draco turned to him as well, “You too.”



 

 

Blaise raised his hands up, “Hey you might be the one gifted with the looks but I’m the one with the charming personality.”



 

 

Pansy smacked him, “More like the one with the annoying personality.”



 

 

“Ah and you love me for it,” Blaise said kissing her soundly on the lips.



 

 

“And I’m still trying to figure out why,” she teased. “I promise he’ll be on his best behavior,” she said turning towards Draco.



 

 

“Okay well come on then,” Draco said walking towards the table Hermione was sitting at.



 

 

            Hermione stood up as they approached. Draco came around and handed her, her drink.



 

 

“Thanks,” she murmured.



 

 

“You remember Blaise Zabini and Pansy Parkinson now Pansy Zabini.” Draco said.



 

 

“Of course I do. How are you two doing these days? And congratulations.” Hermione said gesturing towards Pansy’s stomach.



 

 

“Congratulations on what?” Pansy asked.



 

 

“Oh um your baby. When are you due?”



 

 

“What baby? Are you saying I look fat?” Pansy replied.



 

 

Hermione visibly paled while Draco chuckled. “Oh um…”



 

 

“Relax Hermione, she’s just joking.” Blaise said. “Which by the way honey you’re not very good at. I’ve told you a million times that joke isn’t funny anymore.” Blaise told his wife.



 

 

“Hey I was just trying to lighten the mood. Sorry Hermione I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable. And thank you we are both very excited about the baby. I’m due in mid January. Which can’t come any sooner if you ask me.”



 

 

Just then Narcissa Malfoy walked up to the group. “Would you do your mother proud and take her for a spin on the dance floor?” She asked Draco.



 

 

He glanced at Hermione, “Haha go on don’t worry about me.” She told him.



 

 

“Don’t worry mate will keep her company.” Blaise told him.



 

 

“Well then I’d be honor too mother, shall we?” he held out his arm for her to take.



 

 

“I won’t keep him long I promise.” Narcissa told the group.



 

 

*~*



 

 

            Hermione watched as Draco led his mother to the dance floor leaving her with his friends who were both watching her intently. They all stood there, no one saying anything until Pansy broke the silence.



 

 

“Do you mind if I sit down my back in killing me.”



 

 

“No of course not, go ahead.” Hermione said.



 

 

Pansy sat down in the seat across from Hermione.



 

 

“I’m going to go get a drink, do you need anything love?” Blaise asked his wife.



 

 

“Um something cold to drink…ooh and something to eat I’m starving…make sure it’s something salty.”



 

 

He chuckled, “I’ll see what I can find. Hermione would you like anything?”



 

 

“No I’m fine thank you.”



 

 

As soon as Blaise was out of earshot Pansy took a candy bar out of her purse and took a big healthy bite, “So, you and Draco eh?”



 

 

Hermione nodded, “Yeah, hard to believe isn’t it?”



 

 

Pansy thought that over, “No, not really.”



 

 

Hermione raised an eyebrow in question.



 

 

“I’ll let you in on a little secret. And if you mention it to Draco, he’ll probably deny it because that’s just the way he is. But I always thought he fancied you, back in school I mean. Out of everyone you were the one he picked on the most. And when he wasn’t picking on you he was complaining about you or making fun of you behind your back.”



 

 

Hermione took a moment for all of that to sink in. “So you’re saying he made my life a living hell because deep down he might have had feelings for me?”



 

 

Pansy laughed, “Okay so I guess when you really think back on it, it doesn’t sound terribly romantic. But still I remember moments when I would catch him staring at you, and don’t get me started on the Yule Ball. He was so jealous…again not that he would ever admit it to anyone. But he was so jealous that you went with Viktor Krum. The whole night that’s all he talked about and he couldn’t take his eyes off of you. Actually that night Blaise finally confessed his feelings for me. See I went with Draco to the Yule Ball, strictly as friends of course because Blaise didn’t puck up the courage to ask me first. And then when Draco kept on ignoring me all night, I took a chance and snuck off with Blaise where we ended up…expressing our true feelings for one another so to speak.” Pansy giggled.



 

 

Hermione chuckled, “I see.” She said wanting to believe what she said, but she couldn’t quite image it.



 

 

“So how did you two meet up again?”



 

 

“Um well he came to my bookshop and was looking for a gift for his mother’s birthday actually. And it kind of just went off from there. Although he’ll probably say we hit it off right away but really that’s far from the truth. What really happened was he came in acting all arrogant like he’s always been, then he said something insulting to me. And then I threaten to hex him if he didn’t leave my shop. And it wasn’t until after that, that we somehow hit if off.”



 

 

“So I take it, it wasn’t love at first sight?”



 

 

“Haha no definitely not.” They both laughed at that easing away the tension.



 

 

“Wait you said you have a bookshop? I could have sworn that you were a healer over at St. Mungos.”



 

 

“Well I used to be yes, but I resigned a few months ago and I ended up buying a shop near my apartment in London and turned it into a bookshop.”



 

 

“In muggle London?” Pansy asked.



 

 

Hermione nodded.



 

 

“So it’s a muggle bookshop?”



 

 

“Yes but I carry magical books as well. I got special permission from the Ministry to sell to magical folks as well as muggle. The only downsize is that I have to shield the magical side from the muggles so they won’t find out about it. So everything magical is in a back room that only people from the wizarding world can enter into.”



 

 

“Wow that’s sounds interesting. Do you get many customers from the wizarding world?”



 

 

“Honesty not as many as I was hoping for. But the other day Draco helped me put in a add to the Daily Prophet and that has done wonders.”



 

 

“Well that was generous of him; he must really care for you if he used his connections with the Prophet to help out your shop.”



 

 

“Yeah believe me I’m still shocked over it. Especially for my shop which at the moment the majority of the clientele is mainly muggles.” Hermione said.



 

 

            She went on to explain how she was in desperate need to find someone to help out around the shop. And how hard it was to possibly find someone who could handle magic as well as being around muggles all day. She never expected it, but Pansy was really easy to talk to and she found they had a lot in common. She could easily see herself becoming friends with her; she actually reminded her a lot of Ginny.



 

 

            Pansy even wanted to come to her shop to check it out and maybe even work part time managing the front…at least until the baby was born. They set up a day and time next week so she could get a feel for the place.



 

 

            Blaise returned shortly with a plate full of chicken legs and pumpkin juice for Pansy and a firewhisky for himself. The two of them were telling her a funny story about Draco when he was younger that had the three of them laughing so hard that their sides ached. Hermione was trying to catch her breath when she looked over to where Draco was dancing with his mother except he wasn’t dancing with her. Instead he was dancing with someone else and he looked rather chummy with her too.



 

 

“Who’s that?” she asked trying to ignore the pang of jealousy that kicked in.



 

 

Pansy and Blaise stopped laughing to look at who she was talking about.



 

 

“Oh, that’s Astoria Greengrass.” Blaise said drowning the rest of his firewhisky.



 
 
 


Chapter 25: The Birthday Party: Part 2
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

AN: I don’t own anything from Harry Potter.



 

 

“Greengrass?” Hermione asked sneaking what she hoped looked liked casual glances over at Draco, without looking like she was about to go into a jealous fit over this mystery woman.



 

 

“Astoria Greengrass, Daphne Greengrass’s little sister, do you remember her? She was in our year, pureblood and a Slytherin of course.” Pansy said casually looking at where Draco was currently on the dance floor with Astoria. “Apparently she just got back from spending a year in France. You know she’s a very successful high fashion model in the Wizarding World, or so she says.” Pansy continued on as if it was nothing to fret about.



 

 

            Hermione continued to look on as Astoria leaned in closer to whisper something in Draco’s ear. The closer she looked the more she started to recognize her from pictures in the Daily Prophet modeling dress robes and the like. She also vaguely remembered her from school. She did remember her sister Daphne though; she took her N.E.W.T.S with her. As she recalled she seemed to be all beauty and no brains.



 

 

            She started to calm down once the song they were dancing to came to an end. She waited almost impatiently for Draco to return back to her, not that Pansy and Blaise were doing a bad job at keeping her company, they were quite enjoyable actually. But she would still feel more comfortable if he were here with them and not over there with that tart on the dance floor.



 

 

            To her disappointment another song started up and they remained on the dance floor. Again she tried desperately hard not to feel jealous, but she couldn’t help it. Pansy must have sensed she was uneasy about it.



 

 

“Don’t worry he’s just being polite, I’m sure his mother put him up to it.”



 

 

            She just nodded, afraid she might say something horrid if she tried to speak. The champagne she was drinking and the nerves from the party were starting to catch up with her. Causing her stomach to twist uncomfortably. She’d be damned if she got caught getting sick in front of all these people. She asked Pansy where the restrooms were, then politely excused herself, turning down Pansy request to accompany her.



 

 

            She walked briskly towards the loos, which happened to be located inside the foyer of the manor and focused on breathing evenly. When she entered the ladies washroom, she was relieved to find it empty. She turned on the faucet to the sink and let the water turn cold. She looked at her appearance in the mirror, her hair was a disaster, most likely from broom ride over here and her cheeks were flushed. She ran her hands under the cool water then patted her forehead, cheeks and neck with them which helped ease the nauseous feeling in her stomach. She stood like that for a couple more seconds before turning the tap off.



 

 

            Once she was feeling a bit better she looked again in the mirror at her reflection and cringed. Great now she looked even worse then she did before. She opened her bag she brought with her to locate her compact to retouch her makeup, which might make help make her look a bit more human. She peered inside and gasped inside it was the letter that was sent to her before her and Draco left her apartment. But she forgotten all about it after she stuffed it in her back right before they apparated to Draco’s flat. She looked around the restroom interior, then towards the door. She knew she was alone, but she wasn’t quite sure if it was a wise idea to read the letter here or wait until she was completely alone. Decisions, decisions…Oh be done with it, she thought as she ripped open the letter and held her breath as she began to read.



 

 

Dear Hermione,



 

 

I’ve kept my word and continued to research this curse you and Mr. Malfoy are still currently under. I know some wizards back in Scotland who are familiar with ancient curses and the darker arts. And as it turns out they have some very helpful information regarding your delicate conditions. I should first mention I’ve discovered some good news, but unfortunately I have bad news as well.



 

 

Hermione’s heart was racing and her palms were sweating as she continued to read.



 

 

The good news is that there is an alternative way to break the curse, but I must warn you, it comes with consequences. It’s rather simple actually, you must decided whether or not you want your magic back or if Mr. Malfoy wants to get his true human form back and not continue to have to convert to his feline self during the hours of the day. And beware I used the work ‘or’ because with this spell you can’t have both, it’s either one or the other. You must choose whose life you want to make complete once again.



 

 

And as I said before this counter-curse has consequences. Not only will the other person not get their life back to normal but instead it will change drastically. For example, if you decided to choose yourself to return your magic back to its full capacity then Mr. Malfoy will continue to stay a cat. But not in the way he has been this past week. I’m afraid he will become a cat permanently, never to change back to his human form at the stroke of midnight. And he will no longer be the Draco Malfoy you have come to know. His body and his mind will be completely taken over by his feline instincts. 



 

 

Oh my god no, she thought. She couldn’t choose that kind of fate for him, that wasn’t fair in the least. Her stomach dropped and the sickness returned but this time for a completely different reason. She was almost too afraid to continue reading to find out what would happen to her if she choose Draco’s happiness over hers.



 

 

And as for yourself, if you choose Mr. Malfoy’s life over yours then you will be stripped of all magical ability and sight permanently. In other words you will become a muggle permanently and everything you’ve ever known in the magical world will disappear and it would be as if it were all a distant dream and all of your memories and those you’ve met over the years associated with the magical world would be altered. Yours replaced with muggle memories as if you’ve always live a normal muggle life. And with the others, their memories of you will be erased, as if you never existed in the first place. And yes, that includes Mr. and Mrs. Potter, Mr. Weasely, and Draco as well, as well as everyone else you’ve encountered once you entered the magical world back when you were eleven years old.



 

 

Hermione couldn’t breathe and she was shaking all over, this couldn’t be true, it was a no win situation no matter who she choose, the other will still suffer from it. There was still more to the letter. McGonagall did say this was an alternative solution to what was apparently already in progress, so therefore they didn’t have to use this option to break the curse, it was just a last resort type of thing. Okay, that made her feel a little better. She continued to read the rest.



 

 

Once you have made your decision, you must drink a potion that I will be sending to you shortly in the next day or two. You must drink it and afterwards you need to say the words ‘magikal, amingus, reverso’ three times. And yes if you’re wondering you are allowed to inform Mr. Malfoy of this counter-curse. Since in the past I’ve made you two keep certain things from each other regarding the curse. But you cannot allow him to make the decision for you. No matter what it is, it’s your decision to make since it was from your wand that casted the curse in the first place. Now I must reveal the bad news.



 

 

How can this get possibly worse, she thought and braced herself for what was to come as she read on.



 

 

Unfortunately there is a time limit to all of this. One I was not aware existed until just recently. You have exactly two more days to either make your decision or let the rest play forth, until midnight of the second day, which would be this Monday. I’ve also been informed that the original counter-curse (the rest that Mr. Malfoy is aware of) will only work if the souls and hearts are absolutely pure with the truth. But even that might not be enough to break the curse completely as I previously thought. Which means it would be a wiser choice to drink the potion and make a decision. Because if you and Mr. Malfoy are not pure of heart and soul by Monday at midnight the curse will take on full affect and change both of your lives for the worse permanently.



 

 

I’m sure by now your noticing more and more loss of your magical abilities as the days go on. Be very careful at what you try to do or what you’ll be exposed to. I must warn you do not try to use your wand at any cost and whatever you do, do not try to apparaite. You’re body is losing its ability to guard itself against magical influences and it would put yourself in grave danger if you try to apparaite. And you must know by now your body will not be able to heal and recover from magical potions and remedies. So please avoid that at all cost. I know this is a lot to take in and I’m sorry I couldn’t tell any of this to you in person. I will do my best to meet with you before the time is up. Please do not lose fate in this or give up altogether. I still have every bit of faith that this will all work out in the end. And feel free to ask any questions you have regarding this letter.



 

 

With Best Wishes,



 

 

Sincerely



 

 

Professor Minerva McGonagall



 

 

            She stared at the letter for a few more minutes, wishing she would discover a hidden message in there saying this was all a big joke. But she didn’t see anything. She slowly looked at her reflection in the mirror. She was numb, that’s what she was feeling and thinking, just numb. She had two more days to make the biggest decision of her life, or it would end in misery for both of them. Tears welled up in her eyes. This was all her fault, how could she have been so stupid, it was never meant to happen.



 

 

The tears began to fall and she gave up trying to stop them. How could this possible all work out in the end? And what did she mean ‘our hearts and souls had to be pure?’ She so desperately wanted to know what McGonagall told Draco not a few nights ago, which now seemed like forever ago since she came to visit her tiny apartment. She wanted to know what the last piece of the puzzle was. That way she could help break the curse, because two heads were better then one. But if he told her, after he was specifically told not to tell her anything, would that still affect the outcome of the curse? Or will it have no affect at all?



 

 

She spent a few more minutes crying when she remembered where she was and who was probably waiting for her and wondering what was taking her so long. She rinsed her face off and reapplied her makeup, which still did no good, she still looked puffy and sploshy no matter what she tried to do.



 

 

            After taking a few more calming breaths, she stuffed the letter back into the envelope and opened the door of the loo. She was trying to put the letter back into her bag when she ended up walking straight into someone. With a start she jumped back and started to apologize for not looking where she was going. When that someone turned around to face her.



 

 

She immediately relax, “Oh its you,” she said to Draco.



 

 

“Are you okay, Pansy came and told me you ran in here a few minutes ago and she thought you might be ill? I was about to go in there to check on you before you came bursting out the door.”



 

 

“I’m better now. I guess I just had to much champagne and little to no food. I’m fine now. Really.” She tried to smile.



 

 

He came up to her to rest his palm against her cheek, while his thumb made soothing strokes along her skin. “Have you been crying?” he asked softly, concern showing in his eyes.



 

 

She gently pushed his hand away and looked out towards the party outside, not wanting to look him in the eye. “No,” she lied. “I just splashed some cold water on my face, which helped ease my stomach. I think the heat was also getting to me. But I’m fine now so don’t worry about it.” She hated lying to him and she needed to tell him the truth, but she didn’t want to do it here.



 

 

“Do you want to go home, we can leave now if your still not feeling well.” He asked.



 

 

“No, don’t be silly we just got here and I’m not sure your mother would appreciate us, first arriving late and then leaving thirty minutes later.”



 

 

He grimaced, “Yeah your probably right, but the second you start feeling bad, you tell me and we’ll leave.”



 

 

“Okay deal, but really I’m fine.”



 

 

            They started walking back towards the party. But instead of going to the party he grabbed her hand and started tugging her towards the opposite side of the house. She was about to ask where they were going, when he pulled her around the corner and she saw it.



 

 

“Oh wow,” she gasped.



 

 

            Before them was what looked like acres upon acres of beautiful gardens. It looked just like what she imagined when reading the muggle book, The Secret Garden. It was breathtaking. There were benches laid out through out the landscape, small pebble paths made walkways into the garden. Fireflies mixed with butterflies where flying about in every which way. Towards the right was a tree swing, one she used to have back when she was a child, in the middle was a small gazebo that was lit with what looked like thousand of fairy lights.



 

 

“Its beautiful, is it enchanted?” she asked Draco, because she couldn’t believe something this magnificent was done without magic.



 

 

“No, not that I know of. She did this all by her hands, at least the garden part. After my parents separated she needed something to help ease all her frustrations.” He said as they walked up along the pebble pathways, hand in hand.



 

 

But something that he said made her stop, “Wait, did you say your parents are separated?”



 

 

“Uh huh, they separated about three years ago, after the war. It was very private, no one knows about it and they want to keep it that way. So when public functions come about they show up together and act as though their still married, which I guess legally they still are.”



 

 

“But why? If they’re that unhappy with one another, why don’t they just get a divorce and be done with it?”



 

 

“Because my father is all about image and if they get divorced it will make him look bad or so he thinks.”



 

 

“But what if your mother meets someone and wants to get married again?”



 

 

He smiled at her, “Do you know something I don’t?”



 

 

“What? No, I was just curious. It doesn’t seem fair though.”



 

 

“Well I assume that when and if that happens, it will be worked out then. But for now I think they’re quite like their arrangement. He gets to go what he wants and my mother gets to keep the Malfoy name and money, as well as stay in the same social groups and attend big fancy parties and galas.”



 

 

“Hmm, and no one knows about this at all?”



 

 

“Nope, not even Pansy or Blaise knows about it.”



 

 

“Really? So why did you tell me?”



 

 

He shrugged and gave her had a squeeze, “Because I trust you.” He told her simply.



 

 

“You trust me, but you don’t trust Pansy or your best mate Blaise?” She teased him.



 

 

“Nah, I trust them, but it’s sort of a different trust. If you didn’t know, Pansy is somewhat of a gossip. She would probably say something to someone without realizing she said anything in the first place.”



 

 

“Ah I see,” She laughed.



 

 

            They walked hand in hand until they reached the gazebo. Even though they were away from the party they could still hear the music. A slow song picked up, one she actually recognized as a muggle song. Draco moved in front of her and held out his hand.



 

 

“Shall we?” he was asking her to dance.



 

 

She smiled, “Really?” Stepping closer towards him.



 

 

He took her hand and pulled her up against his body, wrapping his other arm around her waist, “Oh why not?” he teased.



 

 

She went willingly into his embrace and wrapped her arms around his neck as though they’d never wrapped around anyone else’s and they began to slowly sway to the music. She remembered hearing this song a while back on the radio. Even though they were far away from the party, they could still hear the music clearly.



 

 

Lights twinkled all around them with a magical promise and the scent of roses in the air. There was nothing but her and Draco. There was nothing but his lips resting against the top of her head, his heart pounding a steady rhythm against her ear.



 

 

They danced in silence. It was almost too perfect, dancing under the moonlight in a gazebo in the middle of a beautiful garden, with fireflies dancing along with them. She didn’t want to speak; afraid she would ruin the moment. So instead she closed her eyes and focused on the music and his heart beat she could feel against his chest.



 

 

How was it, that a million awful things could be plaguing her mind, but one touch from him and it all just disappears in an instant and the only thing she could think about was him and her, together in this moment and nothing else.



 

 

She made her decision, well she made it as soon as she finished reading the letter. And regardless of what she decided, no matter what she was going to lose him in the end and they would no longer have perfect moments like this. She buried her face in his shoulder and willed herself not to start crying again. As she pressed herself closer to him and held on tighter, never wanting to let go.



 

 

If I’m not made for you then why does



 

 

My heart tell me that I am.



 

 

            The lyrics drifted all around them, saying exactly what she couldn’t say out loud. She couldn’t take it anymore. She needed to tell him now before she chickened out and it would be too late. She tilted her head back and blue eyes met brown. His arms hardened around her, one hand splayed across her waist, the other between her bare shoulder blades, evoking so many emotions deep within her..



 

 

“Draco, I need to tell you something,” she said breaking their perfect moment.



 

 

“Shh love, not yet.” He whispered. His eyes grew smoky, glazing over in an all consuming look, she would never forget. No one had ever looked at her like this, with so many different levels of intimate emotion she couldn’t separate one from the other. She soon started to realize that she didn’t want to separate anything when Draco laid his mouth on hers.



 

 

Cause I love you,



 

 

Whether its wrong or right



 

 

Draco’s mouth moved against hers in a deliciously heartbreakingly slow dance, teasing her lips, skimming them with small hints of promise. Neither of them could keep from deepening the kiss melting them both from the inside out. A moan of the pleasure escaped her lips and slipped into his mouth as she clung to him, never wanting to leave the shelter of his arms Tears welled up in her eyes, not from what she was about to tell him, but from the sheer passion and intensity in the kiss they shared. Which scared and confused her all at the same time. They finally ended the kiss long after the song ended.



 

 

Draco rested his forehead against hers and kept his arms around her body. “I have something I want to tell you too,” he said breathlessly.



 

 

“Okay you go first.” Damn-it, she was already chickening out on this.



 

 

“No, ladies first,” he said smiling down at her, still not letting go.



 

 

“I’m afraid what I had to say isn’t good news.” She said breaking eye contact with him.



 

 

He pulled away slightly. “Did something happen? Are you hurt or are you feeling sick again?” he asked feeling her forehead for a fever.



 

 

She pulled his hand away. “No, I’m not hurt or sick. But um, did you happen to receive any letters recently?”



 

 

“No did you hear back from McGonagall?”



 

 

She nodded, “I got a letter earlier today but in all the chaos in getting her I completely forgot about it and when I was in the loo. I found it and read it.”



 

 

“What did she have to say?”



 

 

She started to pace, “Well she had some good news and bad news. The bad news is that we only have two more days to break the curse and if we can’t find away to break it by Monday by midnight, then you’ll turn into a cat permanently and I’ll become a muggle permanently.” She looked over at him to gauge his reaction to this.



 

 

“And what’s the good news?” he asked rather calmly.



 

 

She took a deep breath, “The good news is that she talked to some wizards who are familiar with ancient curses and they found a potion that will change you back into your normal human self again. But I can’t take it until that Monday at the stroke of midnight.”



 

 

“Wait, why do you have to drink the potion?” he asked.



 

 

“Because it was from my wand that the curse was casted, so therefore I have to be the one to take the potion in order to break the curse.”



 

 

“And she said this will definitely break the curse. And I will no longer have to change into a cat during the day while you have to feed me luke warm chicken and drink water from a bowl. I’ll be just as normal and human as I was before the curse was casted?”



 

 

She nodded, “Yep that’s what she said.”



 

 

He swooped her up in his arms and started spinning her around while he laughed and cheered, than sat her down to kiss her soundly. “Ph this is the best news I’ve heard in a long time. Thank you.”



 

 

She tried her best to smile and look as happy as he was, but apparently she wasn’t doing a very good job about it.



 

 

“What’s wrong? You looked worried.”



 

 

“I’m fine, I’m just worried about the deadline and just trying to imagine what would happen if we didn’t fine out in time. But I am happy, really. I guess I’m still trying to take everything in still. You know me, I over analyze everything.”



 

 

He grabbed her hands, “There’s nothing to worry about, not anymore. We’re going to get our lives back and everything will be perfect.” He said kissing her forehead, then her lips.



 

 

“Well if it isn’t Ms. Granger. How lovely it is to see you again.”



 

 

They both froze, than slowly turned towards the speaker. “Hello father. I was wondering when I would be running into you this evening.” Draco said as he stepped in front of her in a protective manner shielding her with his body. “What do you want?”



 

 

“I just wanted to welcome Ms. Granger to our home and ask if she would accompany me with the next dance.”



 

 

“No you may not. Whatever it is you have to say to her, you can say in front of me.” Draco said taking her hand in his.



 

 

“My, my a little possessive are we? You were never one to share when you were younger. I taught you well. All I’m asking is for one dance. I promise no harm will be done to her.”



 

 

She didn’t believe one word he was saying and the way Draco was gripping her hand, he didn’t either. Something in Lucius’s hand caught her eye. It was an envelope, much similar to the one McGonagall sent her. Actually it looked exactly like the one she sent her. Oh no, she quickly looked down into her purse. The letter wasn’t in there, it must have fallen out when she bumped into Draco coming out of the loo. Panic made her heart race. He knew, he must have read it and he knew everything. She looked up to meet his gaze, the look in his eye told her that she knew he knew. And Draco couldn’t know the full contents of that letter. She needed to act fast.



 

 

“Draco, it’s fine really. Its one dance. He wouldn’t be able to do anything here anyway with all these people around.”



 

 

“I don’t trust him.”



 

 

“I’ll be fine,” she was really beginning to hate that expression since she was anything but fine. “You can trust me.”



 

 

“Fine one dance, if he tries anything I give you my permission to hit him. And if your not back her after the song is finished then I’m coming in to get you.” He whispered to her.



 

 

“Deal.” She squeezed his hand reassuringly before he gave her a brief kiss on the lips.



 

 

“Charming,” Lucius said behind them.



 

 

            She cringed, it was now or never to face him and find out exactly how much he knew. She reluctantly walked over to him and whispered low so only he would hear.



 

 

“Let’s just get this over with.”



 

 

“My pleasure,” he said while looking down at her.



 

 

            He looked repulsed by just standing next to her. He grimaced and held out the crook of his arm to her. She eyed it suspiciously before she slipped her hand in, but not quite fully resting her hand on his arm just incase she needed to quickly retreat.



 

 

            As they started walking towards the party she looked over her shoulder at Draco who was left leaning against the side of the gazebo with a scowl on his face. She game a small weak smile to hopefully reassure him that there was nothing to worry about.



 

 

            The walk from the garden to the party felt like the longest walk of her life. Lucius had her letter, but she wasn’t sure whether or not he read it and she didn’t want to out right ask him if he did or not for fear she would accidently give away her and Draco’s secret. But if he did know and did read it, why wasn’t he saying anything?



 

 

“It’s funny this morning I received a letter addressed to Mr. Malfoy. When I opened it to find out what it was about I was rather surprised to find out that it was from your old school teacher McGonagall and also the fact that it wasn’t addressed to me at all but to Draco. The bloody bird must have been to stupid to know which Mr. Malfoy was which. And well anyway, curiosity got the best of me so I read on. At first I thought it was some sort of prank, because how could any son of mine be daft enough to get cursed into a cat by the likes of you.” He sneered at her. “But then she went on to talk about an alternative solution to the curse and to warn him that there was very little time left to complete his task. I’ll be honest, I was quite disturbed to find all of this out and I was planning on confronting him about it here when I just happen to come across your letter and as it turns out yours was just full of interesting detail.”



 

 

“It’s illegal to read someone else mail.” She said yanking her hand free.



 

 

“Just so we’re clear. I might not be on good terms with the Ministry, but I still have friends in high places and one word from me and you’ll be sent to Azkaban in a heartbeat and no one would think twice. Because turning someone against their will especially in a curse of this magnitude is illegal in the eyes of the Ministry accident or not. And I’m sure they would be very interested in finding out that little Miss Muggle Born Granger isn’t so perfect and smart after all.”



 

 

She tried not to flinch at his threat, they were at the party now and he grabbed her hand rather painfully and shoved it back through his arm with a fake smile upon his face and led her to the dance floor. That slimly bastard thought he could fool everyone.



 

 

            She tried to act casual because to her dismay she could see and feel everyone watching them.



 

 

“And also I know about your little dilemma as well with the loss of your magic, so I wouldn’t try anything if I were you because you’ll just end up making a fool of yourself.” He said in only a voice she could hear.



 

 

            The hand that was holding hers was crushing her fingers and the other biting into her waist in a painful reminder that he was the one in control.



 

 

“So let me just give it to you straight. By Monday at midnight your going to take that potion and you are going to give Draco’s life back and you’ll shrink away and disappear forever to live your miserable muggle life leaving my son and family in peace.”



 

 

“If you read correctly it said no one can influence my decision.”



 

 

“Then I trust you make the right decision and if you don’t then I’ll hunt you down and see that you get punished, that is if the Ministry doesn’t get to you first.” He said through clenched teeth.



 

 

“Noted.” She said flinching at his painful grip on her hand.



 

 

“And your going to drink that potion instead of relying on that rubbish McGonagall was going on about. About true love breaking the curse. Because no son of mine will ever love a mudblood like you, no matter how many times you spread your legs for him.”



 

 

She tried to jerk her hand free from his grip with every intention of slapping him, but he held on tight. “What are you talking about, true love breaking the curse?”



 

 

“Ah, you didn’t know? Hmm perhaps I shouldn’t have mentioned that part to you.” He said looking anything but innocent. “Draco has to love your with all his heart and soul or so McGonagall said but it has to be real otherwise it won’t work. And I’m telling you now so you don’t get your hopes up, that he will never love you. He might tell you you’re a great shag, kiss you and whisper sweet nothings in your ear. But its not real, he will never love you, not now, magic or not and especially not after, when you turn into a muggle once and for all. He’s a Malfoy and a Slytherin, we’re known for lying and deceiving, it’s in our nature to tell people what they want to hear in order for us to benefit in the end.”



 

 

“So if you’re known for lying and deceiving, how am I supposed to believe anything you’re telling me right now?”



 

 

“Let’s just say you should listen to me at least this once. And don’t forget come Monday you have a very important decision to make. Oh and do be careful out there, you don’t want to come across the wrong people, especially now that you no longer have any means to defend yourself. Now do enjoy the rest of the party while you still can.” And with that he walked away leaving her speechless on the dance floor.



 

 

            She walked off avoiding everyone’s curious glances in her direction. She scanned the area for Draco; she finally spotted him in the far corner talking with his mum and a few other people. She needed time to think, but she wasn’t going to go hide away in the loo like last time, but she still wanted to be alone. She learned too many things tonight and it was overwhelming. Lucius Malfoy knowing about the curse wasn’t a good thing at all especially since he kept threatening her about throwing her in prison.



 

 

            And what was he talking about true love breaking the curse? Was it true or was he just trying to screw her over? Was that really the missing piece that Draco had to complete? Was that what McGonagall was talking about with having your heart and soul be pure and true otherwise the curse wouldn’t break? She didn’t want to believe what he said about Draco just using her, she didn’t want to believe that he could be that cruel after everything they’ve shared and been through together. It was making all of her insecurities come back. Would her blood status really prevent them from being together fully? Would she be holding him back from what he truly wanted to be?



 

 

            Ugh, she was getting a headache, and she was definitely ready to leave right about now.



 

 

“Well if it isn’t Mudblood Granger,” someone said from off to her side.



 

 

Great, just what she needed. Someone else to tell her she was worthless and a waste of Draco’s time, she thought as she turned to the speaker of the voice. And of course it was Astoria Greengrass and a gang of girls who she assumed were her friends, perfect just what she needed to top off the night.



 

 

“And you are?” She asked even though she knew who she was; she couldn’t help taunt her and was tired of pretending to be nice.



 

 

“Astoria Greengrass,” she sneered as if she expected her to automatically know who she was. “Perhaps you’ve seen pictures of me in the Daily Prophet? I’m a model you know.”



 

 

“Really? I had no idea, actually now that I think about it, weren’t you the cover model for the potions that helps relieve gas and constipation?”



 

 

Astoria turned red with anger, “No, but rumor has it your Draco’s girlfriend.”



 

 

“Yeah that’s right.” She answered, her patience running thin.



 

 

“I don’t know why he would be interested in you, you’re a mudblood.” Astoria stated.



 

 

“Well you’ll just have to ask him about that.” She said as she started to walk away.



 

 

“You’ll never fit in, into his world. Do you really think he wants to spend the rest of his life with you?”



 

 

She stopped and turned around, “You know you’re not the first person to tell me that today. And I’m well aware that I don’t fit in here because of people like you telling me I don’t. And yet he still for whatever reason keeps coming back to me. I’ve given him every chance for him to walk away and yet he hasn’t.”



 

 

“Well I’m sure he’s just using you until something better comes along.”



 

 

“And by something better, do you mean you?”



 

 

“Why yes, that’s exactly what I mean. Wow you really are smart.” Astoria mocked.



 

 

“And wow you fit the perfect description of a gold digging whore whose too dumb to find an actual career, so instead you seek out men for their money, so you’ll never have to lift a finger.”



 

 

“How dare you talk to me like that you filthy mudblood. I’m the perfect woman for him; before you know he’ll be in my arms and not yours, so I would watch out carefully if I were you. And by then he’ll realize your nothing but filth, because you’re a mudblood and nothing will ever change that. I mean look at his family, do you really think they will ever accept you? Right now to them you’re just a temporary inconvenience. You’ll never live up to the Malfoy standards; you can’t even give him pureblood children.”



 

 

For the most part she was tuning her out because this was all stuff she hasn’t heard before but for some reason that last part struck a nerve. Not that it mattered, by Monday she would never see Draco or these people ever again.



 

 

“We’ll see, now if you’ll excuse me I’ll be leaving.”



 

 

“You’ll see in the end he will choose me, he’ll soon realize that he’s falling head over heels for me.” Astoria said.



 

 

She was just turning around when Astoria tipped her glass full of red wine all over the front of her dress.



 

 

“Oops, you really shouldn’t wear white, it stains quite easily.” Astoria said smugly as she walked off followed by her posse of giggling girls.



 

 

She stared down at her dress, completely speechless. She grabbed a napkin off a near by table and started dabbing at it, but it just made it look worse. She looked around frantically for Draco, but he was no where to be seen. She couldn’t even use a cleaning charm to fix this and she certainly couldn’t ask someone else to use one for her with out looking suspicious.



 

 

Damn-it, she thought as she headed back to the girls washroom for the second time that night. She was not going to cry, she wasn’t going to let what Astoria said get to her, even though she was right about almost everything. If Draco was smart he would realize that she wasn’t right for him. One day she wouldn’t be enough to truly fulfill his life.



 

 

A tear slipped down her cheek. She angrily swept it away with her hand as she marched into the restroom. The stain was worst then she thought, it started at the top of her dress and spread out all over her chest and torso then ran down all the way to the hem. The deep red color standing out against the white of her dress. She grabbed a hand towel and wet it down with water and started to clean her neck and arms where the wine splashed onto her skin then attempted to clean her dress.



 

 

After five minute of useless scrubbing she gave up. She couldn’t do anything else except go back out there with her head held high. She was not going to give Astoria the satisfaction by showing how upset she was over this. She was going to find Draco and accept his offer to finally leave this party. She’s already had way too much fun for one night she didn’t think she could handle anymore.



 

 

She walked out of the loo, stained dress and all and walked out to the party. She was coming out the door when a giggle caught her attention; she glanced over to the right and caught a glimpse of white blonde hair. Draco, she thought and walked towards him only to stop short when she found him with his hands and lips all over Astoria in a small dark corner near the entrance to the manor.



 

 

“Draco?” she gasped, shocked and hurt, confused and pissed off all at the same time.



 

 

His lips broke free from Astoria’s mouth as he looked over at her. “What are you doing here?” he sneered.



 

 

“I came looking for you. What are you doing?” she stuttered.



 

 

“Well you found me, now bugger off, we were in the middle of something.” Draco said as Astoria giggled.



 

 

She turned to Astoria, “What the bloody hell did you do to him?” she practically shouted.



 

 

“Me? What makes you think I did anything to him, he came to me. Just like I said he would. I told you to watch out for him, in the end its going to be me he decides to be with and not you.”



 

 

“Mmm, that’s right baby whatever you say.” Draco mumbled into Astoria’s neck completely ignoring her standing there.



 

 

All she could do was glare at him. “Draco I’m ready to leave now.” She sneered.



 

 

He turned towards her again, “Then leave, no ones stopping you.” He said before he went back to nibbling along Astoria’s neck.



 

 

“Draco what is wrong with you, why are you acting like this?”



 

 

He sighed and pulled away. “Because I want her instead, can’t you get that through that thick head of yours?”



 

 

“That’s right leave; you’re not welcome here anymore.” Astoria said smirking at her.



 

 

She gave Draco one more pleading looked which he ignored before she turned and walked off leaving them behind. She pulled out her cell phone and tried to dial Ginny’s number but it was nearly impossible to do while she was running and tears were blurring her vision. Ginny answered on the first ring.



 

 

“Hey Hermione, everything okay?”



 

 

She burst out into hot heavy tears, “No its not.” She managed to answer between sobs.



 

 

“Where are you?”



 

 

“Malfoy Manor,” she was shaking all over and she couldn’t breathe she was crying so hard.



 

 

“I’ll be there in two seconds, meet me outside the gate.”



 

 

She dialed off and tried to make it to the gate as fast as she could, unfortunately someone stopped her.



 

 

“Hermione what’s wrong?” Pansy asked looking concerned.



 

 

“Nothing I’m fine, I’m just leaving.” She hiccupped.



 

 

“Yeah, nothing my fat pregnant ass, was it Draco? Did he do something to you? Or did his father do or say something to make you so upset? And what the hell happened to your dress?”



 

 

“All of the above, plus Astoria, now if you’ll excuse me Ginny’s waiting for me to take me home.” She ran off despite Pansy’s attempts to stop her and let her help whatever it was that was upsetting her.



 

 

When she got to the gate she almost collapsed with relief that Ginny was there waiting for her, which only caused her to burst out into more tears.



 

 

 Ginny gave her a once over at her appearance and muttered, “I’ll kill him.”



 

 

Then took her hand and apparated away. The last thing she remembered was collapsing on a hard surface in agonizing pain before the world went black.



 

 

 





 

 

AN: the song and lyrics are from the song "If You're Not The One' by Daniel Bedingfield.
Okay so please, please don't hate me. I know there is a lot of drama in this chapter and I wanted to make sure I got it all in so I wouldn't have to make another chapter of a continuation of the birthday party. So what do you think of the letter? Do you think she's making the right decision by choosing Draco's happiness over hers? Do you think she'll change her mind now that she's caught him with another woman? The scene with her and Lucius I had all planned out before I wrote this chapter but once I started writing it I couldn't remember how I wanted it to play out so its kind of weak the same with Hermione's interaction with Astoria, so I'm sorry for that. And what do you think is wrong with Draco? Why would suddenly start making out with Astoria? I mean how can it be possible when what he and Hermione have together is almost perfect. So how could he do something stupid like that?...a love potion perhaps? ;) I guess you'll have to find out officially in the next chapter. But don't worry this story does have a happy ending and this is just a minor hiccup in their almost perfect romance. So again please don't hate me for this chapter. And please continue to keep reading and reviewing!!



 

 

 


Chapter 26: Splinched
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

AN: I don't own anything from Harry Potter. I also want to warn anyone that this chapter has some substance use in it so be aware of that.

**AN: Hey everyone, okay so I set this chapter up a little differently then the rest. Instead of it being told from Hermione's or Draco's perspective it's going to be told from Ginny's and Pansy's perspective. I tried to split it up so it's easy to follow. But it's going to go back and forth between Ginny's pov and Pansy's. Starting with Ginny's. I really hope you like and please review and tell me what you think.

 

 

 






“Hermione! Hermione, oh my god! Please wake up.” Ginny screamed as she watched, almost in slow motion as Hermione collapsed on the tile floor of their kitchen. She didn’t know what happened. “Harry! Come quick!”


Harry came barging down the stairs seconds later, “What is it? Is it the baby? Are you hurt…what…what happened? Why is Hermione on the floor?”
 

“I don’t know what happened?” She started crying. “Hermione called me from Malfoy’s party crying so I came and got her, then we apparated away and…she just keeled over…I don’t know what happened, she won’t wake up. I think she might have splinched.”


“Honey calm down, are you sure she didn’t just pass out?”


“If she fainted, surely she would have woken up by now. Oh Merlin, I don’t even think she’s breathing. We need to take her to St. Mungo’s now!”

“Ginny, you need to calm down. Go to the loo and see if we have any pick-me up potion and I’ll see if I can wake her.”

 

 

 

Ginny scrambled into the loo, frantically searching the cupboards for pick-me up potion. All she could find were potions to reduce fevers and children’s potions they had for Lily. There was also so muggle medication Hermione gave her to reduce cramps. But no pick-me up. Damn it, she grabbed the potion to reduce fevers just in case, then ran back to the kitchen.





Harry was carrying Hermione into their living room and onto the sofa. “I sent an owl to St. Mungo’s saying we need immediate medical attention.”

“Immediate? So you do think it’s serious? Was I right? She did splinched, didn’t she?”

“I don’t know Ginny, the only time I’ve ever seen anyone splinched was Ron and when he did, it almost tore his arm off. As far as I can tell, I don’t see any open wounds and she doesn’t seem to be in any pain. And yes, she is breathing and has a pulse, but it’s faint. That’s why I sent the owl. I’m afraid to take her ourselves because if she did splinch, we wouldn’t be able to transport her anywhere without hurting her even more. Are you sure nothing else happened before or during apparating?”

“No, like I said she called me all upset. So I went to pick her up. When I saw her she was crying and her dress was ruined, so I didn’t ask questions, I just left thinking it would be best just to get her out of there as soon as possible. And get answers later.”
 

 

 






Where the bloody hell is Draco? Pansy thought. I’m going to kill him, he finally had something good going for him and he blows it. She huffed and wiggled her way through the crowds. Nobody seemed extremely urgent to get out of her way. She wanted to scream ‘move your bums people, pregnant lady trying to get through,’ couldn’t they tell that she wouldn’t be able to get by unless they pulled up their chairs a few millimeters. Her belly was the size of Jupiter for crying out loud, you think someone would take pity on her. She was just a hair shy from making a scene when someone grabbed her arm.

“Jeeze woman, where do you think you’re going in such a hurry?”
 

“Blaise, where is Draco? I need to kill him.”

Blaise laughed, “And why is that love?”

“This is no joking matter. I’m being serious.” She said as she tried to yank her arm free.

“Okay, what’s the matter? What happened that you find the need to hunt and destroy Draco?”

“I don’t know, that’s what I need to find out.”

“Um…okay, I’m totally lost now.”

She huffed out a sigh. “Draco did or said something to Hermione and now she just left the party crying her eyes out and her dress was completely ruined. I tried to stop her and find out why she was so upset, but she wouldn’t say, only that she had to leave immediately. And I don’t know about you but I’m not going to just stand by while the only woman Draco’s ever been involved with that actually makes him happy runs off upset because of something he did or said. And whether you like it or not, she’s probably the best thing that’s ever happened to him.”

“Besides us of course,” Blaise joked then got serious after she shot him a glare. “Okay, okay I believe you. But honey you need to calm down. Remember what the healer said, you can’t allow yourself to get worked up for the baby’s sake. So you just need to relax a bit. I promise we’ll find Draco and sort this entire thing out.” He said as he gently kneaded the tense muscles in her neck.


She sighed, “Okay. So do you have any clue as to where he might be?”
 

“Um the last time I saw him, he was talking to Astoria…”

“Astoria? I bet anything she had something to do with making Hermione upset. Where did you see them?”

“Out by the fountain in the front yard.”

“Good, come on.” She grabbed his hand and headed towards the front yard.
 

 

 






“I’m sorry Mr. Potter, but I don’t know what’s wrong with her. She isn’t responding to anything I’ve been giving her. I can’t even get a scan of her skeletal form or her inner organs from my wand. It’s almost like it can’t even pick up her essence.”

           Ginny heard the healer explain as she chewed on her fingernails trying to stay out of the way. When something he said caught her attention. She pulled Harry aside.

“Harry, Hermione told me the other day that she feared she was turning into a muggle with this curse that she and Malfoy are under. She told me that she was afraid she would lose everything and turn into a muggle permanently. What if she’s not responding to the healer because her body doesn’t recognize any of the magic coming from it? Maybe she needs a muggle doctor or something?”

Harry took some time to think that over, then turned back to the healer. “You wouldn’t happen to have any muggle medicine with you? She’s a muggleborn and maybe her body isn’t responding because she needs muggle medication.”

The healer took his glasses off to pinch the bridge of his nose. “We have some supplies back at St. Mungo’s; I can have a mediwizard send some over right away. Or perhaps it would be best if I had them send over our transportation vehicle so we can bring her there instead. I’m afraid it might be our only resort. I’m not sure how much more time we have, her pulse is getting weaker and her breaths more shallow.”

“Oh god, Harry it’s all my fault.” She cried.

“Shh honey, it’s not. She’ll pull through. She’s strong, always a fighter.” Harry hugged her to him rocking her back and forth hiding her face away so she wouldn’t see just how worried he was about this. 
 

 

 






“I swear to Merlin if Astoria had anything to do with making Hermione run out of here I’m going to kick her skinny as…”

“Baby chill, let’s not go start making accusations before we know exactly what went down.”

            They both stopped when they heard giggling coming from behind a couple of bushes. Blaise creeped up to it silently before pulling back the branches. They both gasped and pulled back from what they saw.

“Draco! How could you? You git!” she shouted and started to march towards him before Blaise pulled her back.



“Draco man, what are you doing?” Blaise asked.


Draco sighed, “Can’t anyone get it through their thick heads that we’re in the middle of something and want to be left alone.”

“In that case why are you out here where there’s a party a few meters away instead a bedroom or something more private.”

She hit Blaise on the back of his head. “Don’t give him any ideas.” Then turned to Draco, “What the bloody hell did you do to Hermione? She ran out of here crying her eyes out.” She gave a hard glare when Astoria giggled.

“I don’t know what Granger’s problem was I just told her the truth.” Draco explained looking annoyed.

“Yeah he told the mudblood he didn’t want anything to do with her and that he choose me instead.” Astoria replied while Draco stared dreamy eyed at her.

            Oh dear Merlin, he was under a love potion. She looked over at Blaise and he seemed to caught on to that little fact as well.

“Blaise darling, go take Draco and sober him up while I have a little chat with Astoria.”

Blaise sighed, “Fine. But please Pansy for the sake of our unborn child please don’t do anything drastic.”

She patted his cheek, “Don’t worry I have it all under control,” she gave Astoria another hard glare as she pulled out her wand.

Blaise shook his head and turned to Draco. “Come on mate lets go get a drink.”

 

 





           Harry and the healer decided it would be best to take Hermione to St. Mungo’s where they could have access to immediate medical supplies, if Merlin forbid anything more horrible happened. They only issue was that they needed a way to transport her there. Apparating was out of the question and she didn’t even want to attempt the floo network. Neither her nor Harry owned a muggle car, let alone knew how to drive one. The healer had a mediwizard coming over bringing their version of a muggle ambulance, which was scary just thinking about. Who knew the last time it was used.


            The healer still had no idea what happened to Hermione, the only conclusion was that she was stuck between splinching and not splinching whatever that meant. This was all her fault, she shouldn’t have apparated away so quickly. She must have not given Hermione enough time to prepare. And now she wouldn’t wake up and they were taking her to the hospital. Oh Merlin, she felt sick.


The fireplace lit with green flames, seconds later her mother walked through. “Oh Ginny dear, where is she?” She pointed to the couch where Hermione laid unmoving. “Oh my, did they figure out what happened?” Mrs. Weasley went over to Hermione’s still form and laid her hand across her forehead.


Harry walked over to her and whispered low. “The healer thinks she might have splinched. That’s why we’re taking her to St. Mungo’s.”



“Oh dear, that’s horrible. Where’s Lily?”



“She’s sleeping in her bedroom.”


“Ok good well you and Ginny go be with Hermione. Stay as long as you need to. I’ll looked after Lily.”


Harry leaned down to kiss her cheek. “Thanks Molly.” She patted his cheek.


            The healers arrived with their automobile which looked like it was made the year cars were invented and smelled and sounded like it belonged in a traveling carnival.


            She stood by her mother and watched as the laid Hermione on a gurney and loaded her up in the back of the vehicle.


Her mother squeezed her hand, “Go. I’ve got everything covered here.”
 

 

 






“If you just wanted to talk why do you have your wand out?” Astoria asked warily, slowing backing away.

Pansy noticed and flicked her wand, sending a binding spell to Astoria. Astoria screaked when veins shot out of the bushes, binding her wrists and ankles so she couldn’t run away.

“Pansy you can’t do this. There’s a no magic rule here at the party.”

“Says who?” Astoria was about to answer but came up short and was left opening and closing like a goldfish. “That’s what I thought.” Which only made Astoria glare at her. “Now tell me why you put a love potion in Draco’s drink or whatever you put it in?”

“What makes you think I gave him a love potion? Is it too hard to believe that he might actually want to be with me?”

“You know I might have actually believed that, if he didn’t arrive tonight head over heels in love with Hermione Granger.”

“She doesn’t deserve him. She’s not one of us. She’ll never be good enough for him. Or fit in with the Purebloods. She’s a mudblood for bloody sake. Why would he choose her? Why?” She practically screamed. “She probably only wants him for his money. I would be perfect for him. Physically as well as publicly.”

She snorted. “I think you just want him for his money.” Which she only received a sneer from Astoria in response. “Now tell me where did you get the love potion because I’m not buying that crap about him realizing suddenly that you’re the one for him.” Astoria looked away attempting to cross her arms then realizing they were still bound and couldn’t move them so instead she just gave her the silent treatment. “Okay let’s do it this way. If you tell me then I won’t be forced to use the bat-boogie hex on you.”

“You wouldn’t dare.” Astoria glared at her.

“I don’t think now would be a wise time to test me.”

            Astoria continued to give her the silent treatment. She tapped her wand in her hand.


“No?...you have nothing to say?” She faked a sigh. “Well have it your way then.” She began to flick her wrist.


“Wait!” Astoria shouted. Attempting to hold up her hands in defeat. “Fine. I’ll tell you.” She said through gritted teeth. “But do you promise to let me go afterwards?”

“I’ll only let you go if you tell me the truth and if you promise you’ll never go after Draco again?” she gave a hard stare in Astoria’s direction, wand still pointing towards her.

After a few seconds hesitation she spoke, “Fine, I’ll tell you. Yes I slipped him a love potion in his fire whisky when he wasn’t looking. But the truth is, it wasn’t my idea to begin with. And before you say anything. Yes I’ve always wanted to be with him. Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to be with him. But before tonight I would have never gone to this length to achieve that goal.” She took a deep breath. “The truth is…Lucius Malfoy approached me earlier this evening. And handed me the vial of love potion and told me to do anything and everything in my power to get Draco to break-up with Granger.”


“And what was in it for you?” she asked.


“The opportunity to be with Draco.” Astoria skirted her eyes away from hers. “…and 30 gold galleons.”

She snorted, “Figures.” She shook her head in disbelief. And stepped closer towards Astoria who had the decency to shrink away in…fear? Of her? Ha! “Speak of this to no one. And stay the hell away from Draco and Hermione. If I catch you coming near them again I will hunt you down and make you wish you were never born.” She pulled back a bit to look into her face. “Do we have a deal?”

Astoria nodded her head. “Yes.” She whispered.


“Good not go home, I think you have over stayed your welcome here.” She said as she released her bounds.

            She waited until Astoria scurried away out of sight before she checked on the boys. Haha this was kind of fun, she thought. Maybe she should try her run at being an Auror; taking down the bad guys and putting them in their rightful place. Ha yeah, her husband would love that. She thought as she made her way into the manor.

            She walked into Draco’s old bedroom, just as Blaise was giving him something to drink. Probably the counter-curse, she thought.

Blaise saw her enter. “How did it go?” he asked.

“Fine. Everything is taken care of.” His eyes narrowed at her. “What? I didn’t do anything to her…much. We just talked. I can be very persuasive you know.”


“Oh I know and that’s what scares me.” Blaise smirked at her.

“Apparently Lucius bribed Astoria and gave her a love potion to give to Draco and do anything and everything to get him away from Hermione.”


“Merlin’s beard.” Blaise cursed and scrubbed a hand down his face. “I’ve never liked that man.”


“Mmm, so what’s happening here?” she asked.

“I’ve just finished mixing up a potion to counteract the love spell.”


They both watched as Draco drank the last dropped.

He blinked then his shoulders sagged. “Ugh, what happened?” Draco said rubbing his eyes.

Before Blaise could say anything, she sprang on him like a banshee and went in swinging. “You idiot! How could you be so stupid! What is wrong with you?”

“Ahh, what the bloody hell Pans!” Draco shouted as he tried to cover his face from being hit.

“Jeeze, Pansy calm down. Let the man adjust first before you chew him out.” Blaise said as he pulled her away from Draco. “Here drink this.” He handed Draco a glass of fire whisky.

Draco took it and drowned it in one gulp. “Now will one of you tell me what the bloody hell is going on…without beating me to a bloody pulp.” He shot a glare at her, and she glared back.


“Maybe you should sit down mate.” Blaise said.
 

“Just tell me what is going on,” he looked around the room. “Where’s Hermione?”
 

“She’s not here, she left.”

“Left? Why where did she go?”


 

Blaise gave her a look, she knew from experience that this meant he wanted her to take over. “Astoria Greengrass slipped you a love potion sometime when Hermione was on the dance floor with your father. And Hermione saw you two together and you and Astoria said something to her…at least that’s what I assumed happened. She wouldn’t tell me” Draco sat down in the chair with a thud and ran his hands over his face and through his hair leaving it to stand on end. She walked over to him, the anger disappearing when she saw how upset he was over this. “She was really upset Draco, she ran out of the party crying.” She laid a hand on his shoulder.

“What have I done?” she heard him murmur to himself.
She stepped back a little when he suddenly sat up.

“Wait, you said she left? How?”
Blaise looked at him, “What do you mean how?”

Draco ran a nervous hand through his hair. “She…um she left her wand at home and she can’t fly by herself. So she couldn’t have left alone.”

 

 

 

 Okay clearly he wasn’t telling them something since he stammered on the first part, she thought. But then she remembered something Hermione said as she was rushing to get away.




“I think she said that Potter’s wife, Ginny was waiting for her to take her back or something.”


“Thanks Pansy, I have to go.” Draco said as he stood up and starting walking towards the door.

“Wait mate,” Blaise stopped him from leaving. “You should know your father bribed Astoria to give you the love potion and get you away from Hermione.”
 

            She watched Draco clench his teeth; nostril’s flared as he gave a curt nod towards Blaise. Then stormed out of the room.     
 

 

 






AN: Wow you guys I have over 40,000 reads...so please keep it up!! keep reading and please keep reviewing. There is only a couple more chapters left before it ends :( which is sad but exciting at the same time. I'll to update as soon as I can!! 
 


Chapter 27: Time's Up!
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 



 

 

AN: I don’t own anything from Harry Potter. This chapter contains language and some mentionings of substances being used.



 

 

Draco was furious as he left his childhood bedroom. Furious at his father, for destroying his relationship with Hermione, furious with Astoria for giving him the love potion and furious at himself for being stupid enough to fall for all of it. Shit, he didn’t know who to scream at first. Should he track his father down or go find Hermione?



 

 

            Damn it, how could he have let this happen? What did he say to Hermione? How much did she see? He needed to go to her now. Explain what happened, gravel if he needed to.



 

 

            He made his way outside, down the long front drive. Not bothering to say goodbye to everyone. He was to the front gate when his father stepped in front of him.



 

 

“Where do you think you’re going Draco?”



 

 

Draco glared at him, wand clenched in his fist at his side ready to strike if need be. “Get out of my way old man.” He gritted through his teeth.



 

 

“I see your back to your usual self.” His father replied.



 

 

“You had no right to do what you did you horrible bastard.”



 

 

“All I did was make sure you don’t go around making a horrible mistake by embarrassing the Malfoy name.”



 

 

“Oh I think you’ve already done plenty to embarrass the Malfoy name, father and none of them have anything to do with what on at this party. And you no longer have any right to control anything I do, and anything I choose to do in life or anybody I choose to spend it with.”



 

 

“She’s filth Draco.” His father spat.



 

 

“No she’s the women I love and you can’t do anything to change that.” And with that he apparated away before his father could get the last word in.



 

 





 

 

He landed with a thud, both feet on the ground. Taking in a deep breath to help settle his stomach after it felt like it was getting pulled in all directions whenever he apparated anywhere. He looked around at the countryside finally turning around to see a moderate size, two story country home. Which he assumed was the Potter’s house. At least he sure as hell hoped it was the Potter’s house, since he’s never been here before. And the only thing he thought about was Hermione and that she went back with Ginny so that’s where he went.



 

 

            He never apparated blindly before but his gut feeling told him he was at the right place. He glanced at his watch and winced, it was a little past midnight. But when he looked at the house he could see a light on from inside the house. Well it was now or never, he thought as he marched up to the front door.



 

 

            Without second guessing again he knocked loudly on the door. Damn, he sure hoped Hermione was here otherwise he would just be making a huge fool of himself. And if this was the Potter’s home and Hermione really did leave upset then he wasn’t looking forward to the wrath Ginny the Weaslette was surely going to rain upon him. He didn’t know her all that well, but he’d bet money she was scarier than Pansy is when she’s pissed off at someone.



 

 

            The night grew chilly and he left the party in such a hurry that he left his jacket along with his broom at the Manor. He crossed his arms trying to keep away the chilly air whipping around waiting impatiently. He raised his hand, about to knock again when the door flung open.



 

 

            He looked down to see Lily holding the door open with one hand and held on to a ratty old, what looked like to be a teddy bear at one point in the other hand. She looked up at him and squealed.



 

 

“Uncle Draky!” and flung her little arms around his legs and squeezed tight. He patted the top of her head, her hair all askew as if she just woken up from bed.



 

 

“Hey squirt. I know it’s really late but is Hermione here? I really need to talk to her.”



 

 

She looked up at him with big vibrant green eyes. “Aunt Mione? No, she’s sick.”



 

 

“Sick? What do you mean she’s sick?”



 

 

She shrugged her little shoulders, “She’s sick so mummy and daddy had to take her to see the healers. But they wouldn’t let me go with them. They said I had to stay here with Grandma.”



 

 

He tensed, and then kneeled down so he was level with her. “Lily, you have to tell me what happened. Why was Hermione so sick?” he asked worried now.



 

 

“I don’t know. Grandma said Aunt Mione was really tired and fell asleep but she was having trouble waking up. I know when I’m sick I like sleeping too.”



 

 

He literally felt his heart stop. What did she mean; she fell asleep and wouldn’t wake up?



 

 

“Lily! I told you never open the door to strangers. Always wait for me or your parents.” Mrs. Weasley said waltzing towards the door.



 

 

“But Grandma, Uncle Draky isn’t a stranger.”



 

 

He straightened up to greet Mrs. Weasley.



 

 

Mrs. Weasley stopped short when she saw him. “Mr. Malfoy?”



 

 

“Mrs. Weasley.” He gave a curt nod. “I’m here looking for Hermione. I know it’s late but I need to see her, please.”



 

 

“He’s the Kitty cat man I was telling you about Grandma. He’s the one Aunt Mione is going to marry and have kitty cat babies with.” Lily giggled hugging her teddy bear close.



 

 

Mrs. Weasley looked from Lily back up to Draco. “Lily I think it’s time for you to go back to bed. It’s well past your bedtime.”



 

 

Lily rubbed her eyes and yawned. “But I’m not sleepy anymore.”



 

 

“I know, but you need to try. Now say goodbye to Mr. Mal…uh Draco and go on up to your bedroom. I’ll be there in five minutes to tuck you in.”



 

 

“Okay.” Her shoulders slumped and she walked over to Draco and reached around his legs and hugged him tight. “Goodnight Uncle Draky.”



 

 

He bent back down to her level and wrapped his arms around her tiny shoulders. “Sleep tight squirt.” Then released her and watched as she climbed the steps to her bedroom. Then turned back to Mrs. Weasley who was watching him closely.



 

 

“She really likes you. You should hear all the imaginative stories she makes up about you. She kept telling me that you turn into a cat every day.”



 

 

He choked out a small forced laugh. “Huh, imagine that. Kids and their imaginations eh?” he said becoming uncomfortable.



 

 

“I guess you didn’t hear what happened to Hermione?” Mrs. Weasley asked.



 

 

“Only what Lily told me and I’m assuming that isn’t the real story.”



 

 

“No not quite. Come on in from the cold and I’ll explain. Would you like some tea? I just finished brewing a fresh pot.”



 

 

“No thank you. I appreciate the offer but right now I just want to find out what happened so I can go be with her and make sure she’s all right.”



 

 

Mrs. Weasley face turned grave, “Oh course dear.” Mrs. Weasley finished explaining what she knew about Hermione’s condition.



 

 

            He felt sick to his stomach. If he just made sure Hermione never left his side at the party then none of this would have happened. And they would be off having the romantic weekend he had been planning at his home out in the country. He stood up faster then what was considered polite and pleaded with Mrs. Weasley to tell him where she was, what room she was in, everything. Once she told him he apparated away without a word. He would apologize later for his rude actions, but right now he just needed to see her. He arrived with a pop and was immediately blinded by the bright lights and stark white hospital room.



 

 

            As soon as his eyes adjusted he was assaulted by something else entirely.



 

 

“You asshole, how dare you show up here after what you did to Her. What you put her through?”



 

 

Before he had time to react, Ginny had a wand pointed at his chest. His hands went up automatically. He completely forgot about the Weaslette and Potter being here.



 

 

“Whoa, I can explain. But first where is she?”



 

 

“Oh no you don’t. There is no way I’m letting you near her.”



 

 

“Please, I need to see her.”



 

 

“Ginny let him go. At least let him explain his side before you jump to conclusions. Besides there is no use threatening him here because this is a no magic zone.” Potter tried to reason with her.



 

 

“Whose side are you on Harry? For all we know Malfoy could have been the one to do this to her.”



 

 

“Yes honey I agree, but we don’t know for sure. As much as we know he could have nothing to do with this.”



 

 

“He’s right I didn’t…well not intentionally…it was my father. I mean I have no idea if he had anything to do with Hermione becoming unconscious. He had Astoria Greengrass slip me a love potion behind my back and Hermione saw us together which is why she left upset. But that’s all I know when Pansy and Blaise gave me the antidote, they told me that she left and I went after her to your place only I ran into your mother instead. And she told me that Hermione was taken here. So I came as fast as I could. Is she…is she alright? Has she woken up yet?”



 

 

He saw Harry shake his head then tilted his head to the back left corner of the room behind the curtain. Which he noticed for the first time was a bed, a hospital bed. He ran past both of them not caring one bit that the Weaslette still had her wand pointed at him. The only thing he cared about at the moment was Hermione laying there unconscious in the bed.  



 

 

He went and sat on the bed next to her and grabbed her hand. It was cold and lifeless. He reached up with his other hand to cradle her cheek which was equally cold.



 

 

“Hermione? It’s me, I’m here. Please Love, you need to wake up.” He squeezed her hand willing her to squeeze it back.



 

 

            Her hand was so cold. He put his other hand on top of hers and attempted to warm it up. He took in more of her appearance, her skin was so pale, he couldn’t even make out the dusting of freckles she had across her nose. Her lips even had no color in them. That’s when he noticed all the tubes and machines surrounding her.



 

 

“What is all of this?” he asked.



 

 

“She wasn’t responding to anything the healers were trying, so they have her hooked up to some muggle machines and medicine that monitor all her vitals.” Potter explained.



 

 

“Do they know what happened to her?” he asked still not letting go of her hand.



 

 

“They think she might have splinched when Ginny went to go pick her up and then brought her back to our house. But it’s hard to tell as far as we know she has no internal injuries or external. At the moment she’s in a coma state and all we can do is wait until she wakes up.”



 

 

            They all watched her in silence, he still clutched her hand and wasn’t letting go until she woke up. They all stayed that way for a few moments.



 

 

“Well, now that Malfoy’s here we should probably get going, it’s late.” He heard Potter tell his wife.



 

 

“But…” Ginny started to protest.



 

 

“She’ll be fine. Malfoy won’t do anything to hurt her. And you should rest, all of this stress isn’t good for the baby.” Potter went on cutting off his wife.



 

 

“But…”



 

 

“I’m sure Malfoy will let us know immediately if she wakes up or if something changes in her recovery.” He went on but was looking at Draco to get his response.



 

 

“Of course,” he nodded in agreement.



 

 

“Okay good, we’ll stop by again tomorrow to see how’s she’s doing.”



 

 

Draco nodded but wasn’t looking at them, instead was looking at Hermione. They were walking out the door when he turned towards them.



 

 

“Potter?”



 

 

They stopped just outside the door to look back at him.



 

 

“Thank you, both of you for being there for her when I wasn’t.”



 

 

They nodded or well Potter nodded at him knowing they both had an understanding, while the Weaslette just scowled at him like always. When they left he edged closer to Hermione thinking that the closer her was to her the more his body heat would help warm her up. Still holding her hand and whispering words of encouragement to get her to open her eyes for him. Thinking that maybe if she could hear him and just needed that extra push, she would be able to wake up.



 

 

He sat there all night watching and waiting. Or at least it felt like it was all night there were no windows in this room and it was hard to tell if it’s been hours that have pasted or just minutes. Regardless nothing changed and nothing happened. Sometime during the night a medi nurse came into check on her. At first she seemed startled to see him there, but if she was suspicious of him she didn’t say anything, just fiddled with one of the machines and changed a bag of clear liquid that was connected to a tube that went into Hermione’s arm. He had no idea what that was for but he wanted to think that whatever that clear liquid was, wasn’t hurting her but helping to make her better.



 

 

The medi nurse left just as quickly and quietly as she came in. It wasn’t until much later that he too drifted off to sleep. But still not once leaving her side.



 

 





 

 

He woke up with a start, sweat beading down his back. He looked around the room in panic for a second forgetting where he was. His gaze landed on Hermione’s sleeping form. Oh no, he thought this cannot happen here.



 

 

            He looked around the room one last time trying to find anywhere, anything to hide behind so no one would witness him change. On the opposite corner of the room was another door. A closet perhaps? He opened the door.



 

 

“Oh thank Merlin.” It was a small water closet attached to her hospital room.



 

 

            He dashed in quickly leaving the door open a crack, so he could walk out on all fours easily, without having the trouble of attempting to turn the handle with no opposable thumbs.



 

 

            He stripped his clothes off, hiding them under the sink where hopefully no one will mess with them and he would be able to retrieve them easily later on. Within seconds the change occurred. It was shocking how used to this he was becoming. And how much of a rush it was when it happened. It was like every nerve ending in his body were shooting rivers of tingles throughout, making him shiver and the next thing he knew he was a cat.



 

 

            He walked out cautiously looking towards the door of the room, which was still thankfully closed. He didn’t exactly know what the policy was on having animals inside the hospital, but for all he knew it was a health code violation.



 

 

            So it was best that he stay hidden if necessary. He would just have to be overly cautious and keep and ear out for anyone who has to come in and check on Hermione’s condition.



 

 

            He padded lightly over to her bed and hopped up; making sure land softly and not shakes the bed disturbing Hermione. He plopped himself down next to her thigh, sighing heavily as he laid his head down on her hip. He watched her sleep, watching the way her chest moved evenly up and down with each breath. Slowly but evenly.



 

 

            He could no longer communicate verbally with her in this form; he could only do so by touch. He glanced at her hand lying motionless at his side. Remembering how she would sometimes absentmindedly reach out and scratch under his chin or stroke his back. Even in the beginning when all the tension was so high between them. It was like for a second she would forget who he was and just starts petting him, almost as if it was not only to comfort him but to comfort her as well. And then that ridiculous noise that emitted from his body anytime any human skin would come in contact with his fur lined body, no matter who the petter was. It was humiliating and he still couldn’t control it.



 

 

            But regardless he needed that contact with her now. He started rubbing his cheeks across her knuckles, which started the deep rumbling purr from his chest. Oh what he would give if she could just move her fingers up a hair and scratch that spot he loved so much under his chin.



 

 

            He closed his eyes imagining what it would feel like. A light touch softly grazed the underside of his chin, then a second stroke this time a little bit bolder and more aggressive. He closed his eyes tighter and purred louder and leaned into the imaginary touch trying to ignore the fact that it felt so real.



 

 

            He went against his thoughts and opened his eyes. Just as he thought, she was still unconscious…but…but her fingers were moving. He stood up and started softly tapping his paw against her hand and then butted her hand with the top of his head. Anything to get her to wake up fully.



 

 

            His heart was racing, she was awake, she was going to be okay. With a quick intake of breath her eyes popped open and she looked around a bit groggily and probably a bit disorientated. He rubbed his head against her hand once again, this bringing her gaze to him.



 

 

            She looked at him, a pained expression coming across her face. Her eyebrows knitted together, eyes sad and face pale.



 

 

“Draco,” she whispered.



 

 

He licked the top of her hand wishing his tongue wasn’t so rough against her smooth skin.



 

 

            She turned her face away from him, her eyes tearing up. No! he wanted to shout. I’m here, it’s me, I love you, I’m sorry. All these things he wanted to say to her but couldn’t, not in this form. He licked her hand again, but she pulled it away from him out of reach.



 

 

“Why are you here? I thought you didn’t care anymore?” she whispered roughly not looking at him, her hand wiping away a fallen tear.



 

 

‘No, that’s not true. I do care about you. I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you. I’m sorry for whatever I told you or did last night. I was under a love potion. It wasn’t me. Please baby, I love you so much, I’m so sorry.’ He wanted to scream but couldn’t, so instead he kept on repeating that over and over again in his head thinking by some miracle it would transfer over into her thoughts. But it obviously didn’t, for she still wouldn’t look at him.



 

 

            He padded softly closer to her, next to her pillow he lighting rubbed his cheek against hers.



 

 

“Draco please, just don’t” her voice was rough from crying.



 

 

            She once again moved out of his reach. He still refused to let this go, he started to step closer when the door to her room opened and in walked a medi nurse. Damn it, he should have stood his ground but like the coward that he was he jumped off her bed and hid beneath it.



 

 





 

 

Heavy. That’s all she could think of, every inch of her felt heavy. Like her limbs were full of lead. She tried to move her arm, her leg, anything but for some reason it was just too much work. She was awake but even trying to open her eyes was a huge undertaking. So she just laid there, eyes closed for a minute or two.



 

 

            She pretty much figured out right away that she wasn’t in her own bed because the bed she was in now was small, hard and had scratchy linens. She tried to recall what happened because she didn’t remember falling asleep in a random bed. She went over the events. She remembered the party and…Draco and how he and Astoria…and then Ginny coming to get her and take her back. But after that…nothing except when they apparated away it was the most painful thing she’s ever felt. Just thinking about it now made her muscles and bones ache.



 

 

            She felt something soft brush up against her hand. She tried to mover her fingers, lifting one slowly then another attempting to caress the softness that was there. Her body was slowly becoming more awake and the heaviness was lifting. She managed to finally open her eyes. She looked around, groggily, her vision blurry at first.



 

 

            She recognized the room she was in, she was at St. Mungo’s. Which meant something must have happened to her between leaving the party and going back to Ginny’s house. There was an steady beeping noise coming from the side of her head. She looked to where it was coming from. They were machines used on muggles, she has always seen them around, but never had to use them on anyone before.



 

 

The softness she felt before butted up against her hand. She turned her gaze to it. “Draco,” she whispered, her throat felt dry and scratchy.



 

 

            What was he doing here? He told her as plain as day that he wanted nothing to do with her ever again. Tears welled up in her eyes, she turned her head so he wouldn’t see how much pain he caused her. Of course he was probably just here because of that stupid curse, came here wanting her to do the spell McGonagall gave her to break it. So he could be with his precious Astoria. His perfect pureblood counterpart. Because why would he want to stay with her? A muggle who can’t do magic?



 

 

“Why are you here? I thought you didn’t care anymore?” she asked, her face turned away from him.



 

 

            Of course he couldn’t answer her. He tried to get her attention again but she wouldn’t buy into it. Just then a nurse walked in. She quickly glanced to where Draco was, knowing if the nurse saw him, she would throw him out because they didn’t allow animals inside the hospital rooms. Not that she should care, but still she couldn’t bring herself to say anything. Luckily for him he went into hiding somewhere out of sight.



 

 

“Oh my. You’re awake! I was just coming in to see how you were doing,” the medi nurse said.



 

 

“What happened to me?”



 

 

“I need to go fetch Healer Charles, he’ll explain everything. Do you need anything right now before I go?”



 

 

“Water would be nice. I’m really thirsty.”



 

 

“Sure thing.” She went over to the side of the room where a pitcher of water and a couple of glasses where setting on top of a rolling cart. “Here you go honey. I’m going to go get the healer in right away. You just hang tight.”



 

 

Healer Charles arrived seconds later. Not giving Draco anytime to come out of hiding. “Ah Miss Granger, glad to see your awake.” Healer Charles said as he entered the room. “How are you feeling?”



 

 

“A little tired and a tad sore. I guess but other than that I feel fine. What exactly happened to me? I don’t remember how I got here.”



 

 

“From what we’ve gathered from what you’re friends who brought you here, Mr. and Mrs. Potter, described to us is that you splinched from a side along apparition with Mrs. Potter last night.”



 

 

Splinched? She glanced down her body but couldn’t see any wounds.



 

 

“It was quite strange, you had no exterior wounds and we couldn’t get a magical reading on you which is why we have you hooked up to these muggle machines because you weren’t responding to anything we were trying. But we eventually found out you had not internal injuries as well. All we had to do was wait for you to wake up. But we still would like to keep you here for a few more hours just to make sure your condition doesn’t worsen, and then if everything looks okay your free to leave tonight.” He went about checking her readings and did some routinely checkups to make sure everything was functioning properly.



 

 

            After that he and the medi nurse left, leaving her along or so they thought. As soon as the door closed Draco hopped back up on the bed. He sat down on the bed by her feet and kept a watchful eye trained on her. But she refused to look at him. It was stubborn and childish yes but she didn’t care.



 

 

“You know you’re wasting your time, being here. I can’t break the spell until midnight.” 



 

 

He cocked his head to the side studying her.



 

 

“So you’re just going to have to wait to be with your precious Astoria until then.”



 

 

He growled at her.



 

 

“Don’t you dare growl at me Malfoy. You’re practically the reason why I’m in here to begin with and I didn’t make the rules. I’m just following what McGonagall told me in the letter. God, I can’t believe that for a second I actually believe you changed, that you were different then who you used to be at school. And that I was stupid enough to fall for it.” Tears welled up in her eyes but she pushed them away. “For a while there I actually thought I was fall…God, what am I saying, it doesn’t even matter anymore. Come midnight you won’t even know I exist, no one will.” Tears where falling freely now.



 

 

Draco started towards her, but she stopped him. “No! Don’t come any closer. You’ve down enough. Just do us both a favor and leave me alone!” He stopped when she told him to and his ears dropped and shoulders sagged.



 

 

            He looked at her a few seconds then quietly jumped off the bed and retreated underneath it. Once he was out of sight she stared at the spot he once occupied and cursed herself for still having feelings for him, for still wanting to be with him despite everything he did to her. She turned away on her side and brought her knees up to her chest and cried.



 

 





 

 

            A couple hours later she was about to fall asleep when the door opened and in walked another medi nurse.



 

 

“Miss Granger, you have a visitor.”  



 

 

She sat up and wiped away at her swollen eyes and nodded letting her know it was okay to let them in.



 

 

She left and in walked Professor McGonagall.



 

 

“Professor McGonagall,” she said as she sat up straighter.



 

 

Draco upon hearing who it was came out of hiding and hopped back up onto the bed.



 

 

“Oh Hermione, I came as soon as I heard what happened. How are you feeling?”



 

 

“Better. I’m ready to go home now but they’re not ready to let me go yet. I feel so stupid, you clearly told me in the letter not to apparate but I wasn’t thinking and just acted on impulse and well here I am.” She gestured to the bed.



 

 

“Well thank Merlin, nothing worse happened. And Mr. Malfoy how are you today?” when he clearly didn’t answer her she went on. “Would you mind giving me and Miss. Granger some privacy?” he looked at McGonagall then to her then hopped off the bed and went into the water closet. McGonagall followed him. “It will only be a moment.” She told him as she shut the door. Then turned back to her. “Have you made your decision Ms. Granger?”



 

 

She nodded and replied, “yes.”



 

 

“And you’re positive of your decision?”



 

 

“Yes,” she replied weakly.



 

 

McGonagall regarded her for a few moments, “It’s a very honorable choice you’re doing for Mr. Malfoy. Most wouldn’t be that selfless, choosing someone else’s happiness over their own.”



 

 

“How did you know…?”



 

 

McGonagall gave a slight shoulder shrug and smiled. “Because I know you Ms. Granger. You would put someone else’s life before your own regardless of the consequence. You’re a good person because of it.”



 

 

“A lot of good that’s done me so far.” She muttered to herself.



 

 

“It seems hard now, but once the spell is broken everything will go back to normal.”



 

 

            Yeah everything will go back to normal for everyone else. For her, she’ll be living a completely different life, a false life. But instead of saying that out loud she just nodded. McGonagall reach into the pocket of her robe and pulled out a small vial of blue liquid.



 

 

“This is the potion you need to drink at midnight. And you must drink every drop. And repeat the spell that I wrote to you in the letter.”



 

 

She nodded again and accepted the tiny bottle.



 

 

“Unfortunately you and Mr. Malfoy need to be separated when this occurs, otherwise it won’t work.”



 

 

Despite being hurt and angry at him, her heart still twisted painfully with the thought of never seeing him again. She nodded. Not trusting herself to speak.



 

 

“So if you don’t mind Mr. Malfoy will be leaving with me. Which will give you time to prepare for tonight.”



 

 

She nodded again like a repetitive robot.



 

 

McGonagall walked towards the door.



 

 

“Wait,” she said as McGonagall was about to let Draco out. “He doesn’t know about the decision I made. All he knows is that he’ll be changed back to normal and I like to keep it that way. It will just be easier for both of us.”



 

 

This time McGonagall nodded. “Would you like me to give you and Mr. Malfoy some privacy so you can say goodbye?”



 

 

“No, I’ve already told him all he needs to know.”



 

 

McGonagall regarded her sadly. “Very well,” she said as she opened the door to let him out.



 

 

Draco walked out and hopped back onto the bed. Watching her closely. She wouldn’t meet his eyes. This time not because she was hurt but because she couldn’t stand not being able to see him again after this. McGonagall came out of the loo holding his clothing and wand in her arms.



 

 

“Well this is it, you remember what I told you? And what you have to do with the spell?”



 

 

She nodded.



 

 

“Very well. I guess this is goodbye then.”



 

 

Tears welled up in her eyes again. “Goodbye and thank you for everything.”



 

 

McGonagall took her hand. “Oh my dear, it’s been a pleasure to work with you. You have always been my favorite student… and always will be. Don’t worry this isn’t the end, we will meet again someday. I promise.” With that she gave her a hug. “Mr. Malfoy you’ll be coming with me.” She said as she gathered up his things once more.



 

 

Draco looked from McGonagall back to her. When she wouldn’t look at him he tapped his paw against her leg to get her attention.



 

 

“Just go with her Draco,” she whispered.



 

 

He moved closer to her.



 

 

“Please, just go.” She told him on last time before turning about from him.



 

 

He inched closer still and licked the top of her hand which just made her cry harder.



 

 

“Time to go Mr. Malfoy.”



 

 

He looked at her once more before going to McGonagall. McGonagall scooped him up in her arms.



 

 

“Good luck Hermione.” And they both apparated away.



 

 

 



 

 





AN: Hey everyone. Again I'm sorry for taking so long to post this chapter up. I've been crazy busy with school and hadn't had time to write. But anyway so here it is I hope you liked it. I made sure it was long and not short like the past couple chapters have been. AHH I am almost finished with this. One more chapter to go...maybe two I haven't decided yet. Thank you so much for reading and please review as always. :)
 
 


Chapter 28: The End
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AN: I don’t own anything from Harry Potter. Warning contains substance use. 




 

 

           She rolled the vial of potion between her fingers staring vacantly at the blue liquid inside. Would this really change everything? Completely alter her life as if she never knew magic? Would it happen right away? Or take some time before it worked?




 

 

            She wanted to get out of here and get this over with. Staying in this hard lumpy bed wasn’t helping time fly. She was getting tired of all the medi-nurses constantly coming in here checking on her and looking at her with sympathy, thinking she was in pain or something because she hasn’t been able to stop crying since Draco left. 




 

 

         A small part of her wished he would escape McGonagall and come back to be with her. But no, she couldn’t think like that. It was for the best and it would be much easier to leave everyone behind, if they weren’t around to say goodbye to. 




 

 

“Ms. Granger, you have some visitors here to see you.” And medi-nurse informed her. 


 

 

 

            For a second she hoped that maybe Draco came back after all, but of course this time of day he would still be a cat and it would be almost near to impossible for him to get through security, much less getting through downtown without being noticed. 




 

 

            A few seconds later Ginny and Harry walked through the door. Ginny rushed to her side once she noticed that she was awake and hugged her tight. 




 

 

 “Oh Hermione, I’m so glad your awake. I’m so sorry. I had no idea that would happen if you apparated. It’s all my fault.” She patted Ginny on the shoulder awkwardly giving her position on the bed.   

“It’s okay Ginny, you didn’t know. And I wasn’t thinking clearly at the time. I forgot I couldn’t apparate anymore.”

 


 

 Ginny pulled back slightly, “Wait, you knew you couldn’t apparate?”




  “Uh, yeah I just found out last night. McGonagall sent me a letter. She talked to some wizards and they think they found a cure, but the longer we stay like this the more muggle I become, which is why I can’t apparate anymore.”

 
 

 

 “Then how did Draco get you to the party last night?”



 “We flew.”

 
 

 

 “You flew?” Harry asked astonished. “You mean Malfoy actually got you to fly…on a broom?” 




 

 

 “Oh don’t look so shocked I’ve flown before.”




 

 

 “Yeah, but never because you wanted too.”




 

 

 “Well I didn’t. Not at first, but I really didn’t have a choice in the matter.”




 

 

 “Okay whatever. Speaking of Malfoy, where is he?” Harry asked looking around the room.




  “He left.” Was all she said. 
 

 

 

 “Really? Last night he seemed pretty determined to never leave your side.”





 

 

 “He was here last night?” she asked a little surprised. She thought he came here earlier this morning, before he turned into a cat for the day.




 

 

 “Yeah he arrived shortly after we brought you here.” 




  “How long was that after you came and got me from the party?” she asked Ginny. 

 
 

 

Ginny shrugged, “A little less than two hours after we left.”  




 She looked away for a second, thinking things through. “He didn’t bring Astoria with him, did he?” 

 
 

 

 “Why would he bring Ast…he didn’t tell you did he?” Harry paused and looked at Ginny. “It was Lucius.”




  “What do you mean? Lucius Malfoy came here last night? 

 
 

 

 “No, it was Lucius. He gave Astoria Greengrass a love potion, which she than gave to Draco. The whole idea I guess was so that you would catch them together and then break up with him.” Harry explained. 




 “What?” she sat up in bed almost yanking the IV tubes out of her arms. 

 
 

 

 “He said Pansy and Blaise found out about it and gave him the antidote, but by then you already left and was brought here.”




 

 

 “You mean it wasn’t real?” she asked mainly to herself. Now she felt sick.  




  “He didn’t tell you any of this when you woke up this morning?”

 
 

 

 She shook her head. “He had already turned into a cat when I woke up…” she trailed off.




  “So where did he go than?” Ginny asked. 

 
 

 

“I don’t know. I told him to leave and never talk to me again because I thought he was only here about the curse. And then McGonagall came by and gave me the potion that’s supposed to break the spell, but I can’t take it until midnight and she said we had to be separated when it happened. So she took him with her when she left.” She buried her face in her hands. “What have I done? I didn’t even tell him goodbye.” She started to cry again.  




  “Hey now, Hermione. It’s okay, you’ll see him again tomorrow when it’s all over.” Harry said awkwardly patting her ankle, which only made her cry harder. 

 
 

 

            She didn’t want to explain to them that she would never see him again once the curse was broken. Just then Healer Charles walked in the room.





 

 

 “Good evening Ms. Granger. I took a look at your charts and it looks like your good to go on home.”




 

 

 Harry and Ginny stayed and helped her get home…the muggle way.




            McGonagall apparated him to his loft and after having a word with his house elf, left him there with instructions not to go back to Hermione until after midnight, otherwise the potion wouldn’t work. That’s all she told him. Even though he knew for a fact that there was more she wasn’t telling him.

 
 

 

            When she talked to Hermione in the hospital, she didn’t use a silencing charm to silence the room when she shut him in the water-closet. He couldn’t hear every word, but they were definitely talking about the potion and what Hermione had to do. All this, he already knew, but at the end Hermione said something that caught his attention. “Wait he doesn’t know about the decision I made. All he knows is that he’ll change back to normal. And I like to keep it that way. It will just be easier for both of us.” 




              What did Hermione not want him to know? What were they keeping from him? Apparently he would be cured, but what about her? Was she not going to get her magic returned? Was she going to get in trouble with the Ministry? If so, then he would fight with everything in him to see that she didn’t get blamed for this.

 
 

 

             He paced around his living room. He hated this. He felt trapped in his own home. Hermione looked like she was in so much pain when he left. Not just physically but emotionally as well. And he knew it was all his doing. He was the one to blame for her pain. He screwed up so badly. His claws retracted from his paws and the next thing he knew he was scratching up his leather sofa, ripping up pillows, tearing up his curtains, anything he could get his claws through. Before he knew it, he was standing in the middle of his living room with destroyed furniture and stuffing hanging out of his pillows and sofa cushions.




             He felt the anger subside, but it still wasn’t enough. He huffed a sigh and laid down among the mess. All he could do was wait until he changed back and then he was going to go wherever Hermione was despite what McGonagall said about them being separated.

 
 

 

             Harry and Ginny made sure Hermione got home nice and safe. Then they made a comfortable setup on the sofa for her. She wanted to tell them not to worry about it. She felt better once she started moving around. It was being still that would cause the aches and pains to bother her again.




             Ginny made them dinner in her tiny kitchen. She already spent the day cooped up in a hospital bed and she was already going stir crazy. She wanted to go down and checked on the shop, anything to get her mind of the potion that was currently in her pocket and Draco.  It felt like it had been forever since she last stepped foot into her bookshop. She told them her plans, but they refused to let her go down there. Instead Ginny grabbed her keys and told her that they would check it out for her, all she needed to do was rest. She gave up and did as she was told.

 
 

 

             After a while they called and said everything looked fine and that they put a new sign in the front window saying she would be back Wednesday, giving her an extra day to heal. She was too tired to argue, so she just let it slide. It didn’t even occur to her that, that was probably the last time she would ever see them again.




              She pulled the vial out of her pocket and rolled it between her fingers. One little vial could change so many things. She put it on the coffee table. It was eight o’clock, which meant Draco was already changed back. But he hasn’t tried to come over to check on her or contact her…anything. She tried to push that out of her mind. It was for the best, she kept telling herself.

 
 

 

            She set some food out for Crookshanks who was still hiding from her, then when to take a bath. She figured it would help ease the aches she still felt throughout her body. She filled the bath with hot water and her favorite bubble bath, than sank into the warmth and closed her eyes.




            She was immediately swamped with memories of the night when Draco came home from dinner with his mother and walked in on her taking a bath. And how he pulled her out and carried her to the bedroom and made love to her all night. She opened her eyes shivering at the memory. There was no chance of him walking in on her tonight. She looked over and saw his toiletries, like his toothbrush, razor, shaving crème and cologne sitting on the counter next to hers. Everywhere she looked there were memories of him.

 
 

 

            She gave up and pulled the drain in the tub and decided it would be easier to just take a shower instead. Once she was dried off she walked into her bedroom to put on some soft comfortable pajamas. She pulled open one of the drawers and found one of Draco’s t-shirts. He was only with her for a week, but yet it was as if he was already living with her and because of that her tiny apartment felt so empty. She pulled it out and couldn’t resist holding it up to her nose and taking in his scent that still lingered on the shirt. She knew she was acting like a love struck teenager, but she didn’t care at the moment. And since no one was around t to see her, she put it on over her head and wore it. Then paired it with her own pajama bottoms. 




              She was tired even though she pretty much slept on and off all day, but she didn’t want to go to bed. Again there were just too many memories of her and Draco in her bedroom. So she went out to the living room and laid out on the sofa. She set an alarm for 10 till midnight, so she wouldn’t miss it even though she really didn’t plan on sleeping; she probably couldn’t even if she tried. Only a couple more hours to go before her life would change forever.

 
 

 

           When three o’clock came around Draco immediately through on some clothes, grabbed his wand and tried to apparate to wherever Hermione was. But nothing happened. He tried again, but still nothing. Surely he didn’t lose his magic either? 




            He quickly pointed his towards the living room which was still a mess and in an instant everything repaired itself. Okay, he thought he still has magic, but he couldn’t apparate. Surely by now Hermione would be out of the hospital. He should just stop wasting time and just walk to her apartment instead of trying to get there by magic. 

 
 

 

           He went to the front door of his flat and tried to open it, it wouldn’t open. He checked to make sure it wasn’t locked. And tried again, but it still wouldn’t budge. What the bloody hell was going on? Why couldn’t he leave? Fine, he thought I’ll do this the hard way. He went to the coat closet and pulled out his old broom that he used back in Hogwarts and went to the largest window to open it. But just like the door it wouldn’t open. He tried unlocking it by hand, and when that didn’t work he tried unlocking it with magic, but still nothing worked. He even tried to break the glass with magic but it wouldn’t even crack. He took the end of his broom and tried breaking the glass. He tried over and over again until his hands and arms hurt.




              He was doing more damage to the broom then to the window. He finally gave up on the window and went over to the fireplace. It was his last option. He grabbed a handful of what little floo powder he had and stepped inside and shouted ‘Hermione’s Apartment’. Nothing happened; no green flame erupted around him. All that he was from that was floo powder all over his jeans and shoes. He stepped out and raked a hand through his hair. He was trapped in his own home and couldn’t leave. 

 
 

 

             Out of nowhere an envelope came shooting out of the fireplace and landed at his feet. He bent down and picked it up and ripped it open with more force than was necessary. It was from McGonagall. 



 Mr. Malfoy,

 As you’ve probably noticed by now you cannot leave your home. It’s crucial that you and Ms. Granger are separated until the potion is taken and the spell is complete. I’ve put a ward around your building to make sure you stay in place. I’ve also placed a ward around Ms. Grangers building as well. But don’t fret, the ward will lift at midnight, then you are free to come and go as you please. I understand it must be frustrating having to deal with this and all you can do is wait. But I assure you it’s for the best. 

 
 

 

        He read the rest then crumpled up the letter and threw it in no particular direction. He threw himself down on the sofa. He was stuck here. Now what was he supposed to do? He couldn’t go to Hermione and talk to her. He had to see her, he was going crazy just staying here all day. He could understand being separated at midnight for the spell to work, but did they really have to be separated all day long?




              He needed to apologize to her, tell her what really happened last night. Would she forgive him once he told her the truth? Would she tell him she loved him too if he told her he loved her?

 
 

 

            Six hours passed and he still couldn’t leave, even though McGonagall said he couldn’t leave until midnight he still checked every hour just to make sure. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Smitty cleaning in a corner.




              Smitty, of course! Why didn’t he think of that before? He called Smitty over and told him to go over to Hermione’s and check to see how she was doing.

 

 

             He winked out of sight once he gave him the message he wanted him to deliver to her. He was gone for at least five minutes, which seemed like eternity. Once he came back he told him that he couldn’t get her attention. She was there by herself, but she wouldn’t acknowledge his presence, which probably meant she really couldn’t see him because Smitty was a magical being. He asked Smitty how she was doing, whether or not she was alone, was she awake or sleeping? All Smitty told him was that she looked sad. 




              He ran a hand over his face and thought for a minute, she couldn’t see or hear Smitty, but he needed answers. What were the consequences she would be facing with this potion she had to take? What was the part she didn’t tell him? He felt awful for snooping, but he felt like he didn’t have a choice. He told Smitty to go back to her place and look for anything he could find that gave any clues as to what this spell was going to do to her if he got turned back into himself.  

 
 

 

             Again Smitty winked out of sight. He returned 20 minutes later with a letter in his hand. For second he hoped that maybe Hermione saw Smitty and sent a letter to him. But when he looked at it, it was addressed to Hermione from McGonagall. It was the letter she received last night. The more he read the more sick he felt. He couldn’t believe it. This was not a potion to break the curse; it was one to destroy someone’s life. No wonder she looked like she was crying when he ran into her outside the loo at the Manor. How could she go through with something like this? Why was she choosing to save him and give up hers? She didn’t deserve this, she never did anything wrong. 




              Why was she even saving him, she should have chosen to keep her life. He would make do living as a cat, it would be horrible, but at least she would be happy and that’s all he cared about. McGonagall described it as if her entire existence would be erased from the magical world. That’s why McGonagall was so melancholy when they left Hermione’s side at the hospital. Because she knew that was what Hermione choose and that she would never see her again. 

 
 

 

             He felt as if his heart was bleeding. He needed to see her, talk to her, and beg her to change her mind. He couldn’t stand the thought of never seeing her again or talking to her again. No matter what McGonagall told her in the letter and no matter what happened in the end he knew in his heart he would never forget her and he wouldn’t stop looking for her ever until her could be with her again.




             He had to get out of here and talk to her, make her change her mind. He tried to leave but nothing would budge. He grabbed his wand and tried throwing every spell he could think of at the door and windows, but still they wouldn’t open and he was trapped.

 
 

 

           She had been staring at the clock for the past two hours, any second the alarm she set would go off and then she would have to wait an extra 10 minutes. She hated this, but she was ready and just wanted to get this over with. She looked at the vial on the coffee table, taking in the blue liquid.




              The beeping of her alarm went off. She reached out to turn it off. It wasn’t until then that she noticed how badly she was shaking. She clenched her hand shut and grabbed the vial. She stood up and began pacing, trying to work off the nervous energy. She read the letter a million times to make sure she knew what to do when the time came. But she needed to read it again, one last time just to double check. She set it on one of the end tables by her sofa. She reached out to get it, but it wasn’t there. Maybe it fell on the ground, but when she looked it wasn’t there either. Where could it have gotten to? She wondered.

 
 

 

             She glanced at the clock, five minutes til. She had five minutes left until she had to drink the potion. She gave up looking; she knew what she was supposed to do. She hated this, two minutes til midnight. She was shaking so badly now and she wished somebody was here with her. She wished Draco was here with her. She didn’t want to go through with this by herself. She never felt so alone in the world until this moment.




             She had no idea what her life was going to be like tomorrow. One minute til. She gripped the back of the sofa to steady herself. All she had to do was drink the vial and repeat the words McGonagall wrote down and then it would be over. 

 
 

 

             10 seconds left. She looked at a picture of her, Ginny, Harry and Ron; silently telling them goodbye. And sent a silent farewell to McGonagall, Lily, the Weasley’s, everyone she knew in the magical world. And last she said goodbye to Draco, she pictured him in her mind and brought the vial to her lips, but before she took a sip she whispered “I love you,” to the image of him in her head, then shot the vial back emptying all the contents into her mouth.




            Draco watched the clock closely he had one minute until the wards would lift. He had his wand in one hand and his other on the door knob, ready to leave in case he still couldn’t apparate. He waited for an agonizing 60 seconds and as soon as the clock struck 12 he apparated. But instead of apparating inside her kitchen like he normally would have, it brought him outside her apartment door.

 
 

 

 Without a second thought he started pounding on the door.  




 “Hermione! Open up!” He was about to bang down the door when he heard her. 

 
 

 

            She swallowed the potion just when someone started banging on her door. It startled her so much the empty via fell from her hands and shattered on her living room floor. It took her less than a second to realize it was Draco. She ran to the door. 




  “Draco! What are you doing here?” She yelled through the door as she tried to open it. 

 

 

 “Don’t do it Hermione! Don’t choose your life over mine.” 




 “It’s too late, I already drank the potion.” Tears were choking up her words. 

 
 

 

 She heard him curse, “Open the door.” 




  “I can’t its stuck.” 

 
 

 

“Stand back,” he shouted through the door.




 She did as he asked and heard lots of commotion on the other side of the door but nothing budged. 

 
 

 

 “Damn-it the wards must still be in place.” He said. 




  “What wards?”

 
 

 

 “McGonagall put wards around your building and mine so we couldn’t escape and see each other. She said they would life at midnight. That’s why I haven’t been able to get to you until now. I’m so sorry baby, about last night I never…”  




  “Its okay, Ginny and Harry told me what happened. I’m sorry I didn’t trust you like I should have.”

 
 

 

 “Why did you do it?” he asked through the door. 




She rested her forehead against the door anything to get as close to him as possible. “Because I couldn’t stand the thought of you living the rest of your life as a cat. If it meant giving up my magic then so be it.” 

 

 

“It’s not worth giving up your entire life for.” 




  “It wasn’t your decision to make; besides it’s too late now it’s already done.”

 

 

 She heard a thump on the other side of the door like he hit the wall or something. 




  “If it’s already done why hasn’t anything happened yet?” 

 
 

 

“I don’t know maybe it takes sometime before it takes effect…oh no! I never said the spell, I was about to, then you came and I got distracted and never said the words.”




  “Wait don’t say them! Maybe it won’t work if you don’t say the words.”

 

 

 “I can’t do that Draco; if I don’t complete the spell then our lives could both be in trouble.”




  “Whatever happens…” she heard him say through the door. “Just know that I will always love you. And I won’t stop loving you. And if the potion does work, then I won’t stop searching for you until I find you again.”  

 
 

 

 Tears welled up in her eyes. He loved her. Despite everything she did to him.




  “I love you too Draco.” She was crying so hard now she hoped he could understand her through the door that was still locked. “I’m so sorry for everything.” She could hardly keep her eyes open, for some reason she was becoming extremely tired. 

 
 

 

“Shh, don’t worry about it love. I’m right here, I’m not going anywhere.” His voice sounded faint as if he was far away. She could hardly think straight. Soon the room instantly faded away into darkness. 




              Draco was leaning against Hermione’s door. Her voice was muffled but he heard every word as clear as day. She loved him back. He smiled to himself as he slumped against her door. He didn’t realize how exhausted he was, he slid down her door until he was sitting on the floor after trying to open her door one last time. Then everything faded away. 

 

 





 

 

He woke up to something poking him in the arm. He cracked one eye open and came face to face with the end of a cane. He sat up and immediately regretting it. His back and neck were extremely sore and no wonder, he realized that he just spent the night on the floor outside Hermione’s apartment. He became alert, Hermione! What happened to her, one minute they were talking through the door the next everything went black. 




            He glanced at the stairs and saw the daylight shining through the entrance. He got poked with the cane again. 


 

 

 “Oi! We have rules here about loitering.” Ms. Moffit said as she was about to poke him again. 




  He stood up quickly to avoid getting poked again. “Sorry…” he looked at the door. “I got locked out.”  

 
 

 

 She slammed her cane down and squinted her eyes at him, which she probably though was a menacing glare, but to him it just looked like she was having trouble seeing clearly. 




  “Last I checked you don’t live here or pay rent.” She put her free hand on her hip.

 
 

 

 “My girlfriend lives here.”  




  “Hmmm, well if she locked you out then it probably means she didn’t want you around anymore.” 

 
 

 

 “No it wasn’t like that. There was something wrong with her lock, it got stuck.” She eyed him with her lips pursed in a thin line.  




  “I don’t want no hooligans in my building. If you’re not out of this hallway in 20 minutes I’m calling the authorities.” 

 
 

 

 He nodded, even though he had no idea what hooligan meant. “You don’t have to worry about that.” She started to turn away but he stopped her. “You don’t happen to have the time?”




 She glared at him. “It’s a quarter after 10.”

 
 

 

 “In the morning? It’s 10:15 in the morning?”




  “Are you daft? That’s what I just said.” 

 
 

 

 He shouted out with joy and went to her and threw his arms around her and started spinning her around in a circle.




 “Oi, you bloody oaf put me down. I think I heard something crack.” 

 

 

 He sat her down and kissed her leathery cheek. “Thank you Ms. Moffit you just made me the happiest man alive.” 




  She stared at him as if he’d gone mental then pointed her finger at him. “You have 20 minutes then I’m calling the authorities.”  

 
 

 

 “Yes ma’am.”  




  He watched her go back into her apartment while she shook her head muttering “Kids these days, their all nutters, every last one of them.” 

 
 

 

           As soon as her door shut he went to Hermione’s door and pulled out his want and unlocked the door. The door clicked open, which was music to his ears and stepped inside. All the lights were still on in her living room. As soon as he stepped through the door he saw her lying on the floor. Crookshanks sat by her head watching her carefully. 




              He shut the door quietly and crouched to her. He caught a piece of her hair that fell into her face and placed it behind her ear. She was sound asleep, but he had to wake her up, make sure the spell didn’t work the way it was supposed to.

 
 

 

 “Hermione...Hermione love, wake up.” He ran a hand lightly over her hair as she started to stir.




             She opened her eyes and saw Draco silver eyes staring down at her. For a second she forgot where she was, but then it all came back.
“Draco?” When he smiled down at her she sat up and laughed. “Draco!” she threw her arms around his neck and pulled him tight. 

 
 

 

           His arms automatically wound around her and pulled her tight against his body. He stood up taking her with him. She wrapped her legs around his waist and pulled back slightly to kiss him which he to her relief returned. When they both pulled away she was left breathless. She laid her forehead against his. 




  “What happened? It must have not worked.”

 
 

 

 “Yes it did, look at the clock.” He told her. 




  She turned to look at the time. It was 10:30am now. She looked back at him.

 

 

 “You’re not a cat.” She giggled and hugged him tighter. “But how? How did that work?”




  “It was because you told me you loved me. It must have broken the curse before the potion took place.”

 
 

 

 She smiled at him. “Do you think my magic is back?” 




 “I don’t know? Why don’t you try it?” 

 
 

 

         She unwrapped her legs from his waist as he sat her down on the floor. She turned and headed to her bedroom to grab her wand from her nightstand. Draco followed close behind her. She reached in the drawer to pull it out, she immediately felt the warm soothing strength she felt the first time she pick out her wand when she was eleven. It no longer felt like an ordinary stick or wood. She bit her lip, turning around to face Draco.  




  “Well, go ahead try something.” 

 
 

 

 She took a deep breath, “Lumos,” the tip of her wand lit up like a torch. She shrieked with happiness and ran back into his arms. “It worked! The curse is broken.” She kissed him soundly.  




  He picked her up and spun her around then dropped her on the bed and climbed on top of her. “I love you,” He said and kissed her lips, nose, and eyes.  

 

 

 “I love you too.” 




  He smiled down at her. “Good, so I was wondering if you still wanted to keep this thing between us still based on sex.”  

 
 

 

She looked at him and smiled, “No actually I was thinking we should move forward with this relationship and take it to the next level.” 




 He smiled at her and kissed her again, “Good I was hoping you would say that.” He kissed her again until she was left breathless and squirming underneath him. “Can I ask you something?” He kissed her one last time. 

 
 

 

 “Anything.” She smiled up at him.




  “Marry me?” 

 
 

 

 Her eyes grew wide and her voice got caught in her throat. “What?” she asked breathless, making sure she heard him correctly.




  He climbed off her and pulled out a ring out of his pocket and got down on one knee. She couldn’t breathe, this was really happening.

 
 

 

 “Hermione Granger, will you marry me ?”




 She sat up and tears welled up in her eyes. “Are you sure?” she still couldn’t believe it why would he want to marry her? 

 
 

 

He got up and pulled her to him, “Of course I’m sure. I love you and I want to be with you forever. I want to fall asleep every night with you in my arms and wake up every morning with you next to me. I want to have the chance to make love to you every day…or at least whenever you let me.” She snorted at that and swatted his arm playfully. “I want to grow old with you, make babies with you, spend the rest of my life with you. This week I’ve learned so much about myself and you and I know for a fact that I can’t live another day without you in my life.” 




 She couldn’t stop the tears from falling. “Oh Draco.” She smiled and kissed him. 

 
 

 

He cupped her cheek and brushed away her tears with his thumb. “So what do you say?” 




  She nodded, “Yes…Yes, yes, yes!” she kissed him between each yes.

 
 

 

 He took her hand and slipped the ring on her ring finger. “It’s beautiful.” 




 “You’re beautiful.” He told her. 

 
 

 

She looked up at him, “I love you Draco.” 




  “I love you too Hermione.” 

 
 

 

She smiled up at him and reached up and grabbed the collar of his shirt and yanked him forward onto the bed. “You know Ginny put a sign on the bookshop telling customers I wouldn’t be in until tomorrow, so I happen to have the whole day free.” 




 He grinned down at her. “That’s funny I made Smitty send a letter to the Ministry requesting the day off as well. What in Merlin’s name should we do with all this free time?”  

 
 

 

 “Oh I’m sure we can think of a few things.” She smiled wickedly at him and pulled him close kissing him until he was the one left breathless.  



 

 




AN: Oh my gosh you guys, this is the end. I hope you liked it. Thank you so much for everyone who read it and enjoyed it. And everyone who left reviews. I had so much fun writing this and I'm really sad to see it come to end. I can't believe I started this story a little over a year ago, it felt like just yesturday that I was writing out the first chapter. Again thank you so much to everyone who took time to read my story. Especially those who have stayed with me from the very beginning, you all have been very patient with me. I have a few other ideas for more HPfanfics featuring Draco/Hermione. Right now I'm currently writing a new one called Playing House with Malfoy, so please go check that out as well. Again I can't thank you enough for reading my story. And as always I would love you hear your feedback. So please read and review as always. :)           


 

 
 

 


 

 


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