You are viewing a story from

Bitter, Sweet, and Strange by loony_luna9874

Format: Short story
Chapters: 10
Word Count: 16,190

Rating: 15+
Warnings: Mild Language, Mild Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature

Genres: Romance, Action, Humor, Drama
Characters: Draco, Ginny, Harry, Hermione, Neville, OC, Ron, Fred/George
Pairings: Draco/Hermione

First Published: 09/22/2004
Last Chapter: 12/22/2004
Last Updated: 07/04/2005

Draco finds himself completely alone in the world, and ever worse, he’s broke. He must now find a job in order to survive. He finally discovers one as a servant for the new owner of a huge fortune and a mansion to match, Hermione Granger. At first they both think its going to be payback time for every harsh thing Draco ever did to Hermione. Then she starts to take pity on him and see him in a new light. Draco too starts to grow found of Hermione and think about her in ways he thought he never would. *Completed*, but reveiws are still greatly appreciated!!

Chapter 1: Then and Now
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

~~~~~ = Hermione's point of view

******* = Draco's point of view

---------- = change of scene

(A/N: this is kinda like the summary just a little deeper)

Hermione- The War was over(thank God), Harry, Ron and Hermione are graduating from Hogwarts, and Hermione still isn't sure what to do with her life. At least she has something to keep her busy at the moment. She has recently inherited her great-great-grandfather's house and everything he owned. Now she gets to clean it up since no one has set foot in there for over a century. But Hermione, no matter how brilliant, can't do the job by herself and must employ a servant. This is harder than expected because there aren't many human sevants since house elves were inslaved, and we all know that is not an option for Hermione. At last she finds someone, and it isn't a pleasant surprise.

Draco- Lusius Malfoy had been on the run from the Ministry of Magic for about a month since the downfall of Lord Voldemort. Finally they caught him and sentenced him to be kissed by a dementor for torturing/murdering numerous muggles and wizards alike. Narcissa had been killed in a duel by one of the members of the Order. At this point, Gringotts goblins show up demanding money to pay off a debt the Malfoy's had owed them. The debt is so high that Draco only has one choice, he must sell almost everything he owns. Now Draco has to find a job to keep food in his mouth. This proves difficult since he had never thought twice about having a job, he had always planned to live off his family wealth. He goes to the Department for un-employed wizard to find a job, and when one does come, he's not so sure he wants it.

Hermione woke up to the sould of Lavander moving aroung their room. Pavarti rolled over and yawned.
“Good morning all,” she said sleepily. This was what she said almost every morning. It seemed odd that after tomorrow, Hermione would never wake up to this scene again. In just two days, they would never enter Hogwarts castle as students again.
‘Don’t think about it,’ Hermione told herself. She didn’t want it to come, graduation, so she tried no to even think about it.
She got dressed, and went down to the common room. As usual, Harry and Ron weren’t up yet, so Hermione went down to breakfast alone.
On the way she got last in her thoughts about all the good times she and her friends had had and how much she would miss Hogwarts. Suddenly she realized her feet had lead her to the seventh floor by the tapestry of and man being clubbed by trolls, the entrance the Room of Requirement. A flood of memories came back to her and cause a smile to come across her face.
After a hasty breakfast, Hermione walked around the grounds that morning. There were no classes for 7th years the last week of school and Harry and Ron probably weren’t going to do much so it sounded like a good idea.
A faceless girl was standing in front of Draco in a magnificent manner. It was even more splendid then his own manner. His old manner, his dream self told him. In his dream he couldn’t decide if he was disgusted or in love with this girl. Then Crabbe grunted louder than normal as he slept.
Draco rubbed the sleep from his eyes and cursed Crabbe under his breath. He dragged himself out of bed and headed to the bathroom. He splashed water on his face, wishing he could have seen the girls face. He then got dressed and went to breakfast.
He just turned a corner and hit something head on.
“Sor- oh, ” he said, relizing it was Granger. “Watch where your going” he sneered trying to cover up his almost apology.
“You bumped into me.” Hermione shot back rubbing her head where his had hit her.
“Why would I want to run into a filthy mudblood like you?” he said like a true Malfoy.
‘Hermione sighed. Why does he have to be so immature about everything?’, she thought to herself.
I would appreciate it if you would stop acting like an immature jerk and quit calling me that.” and without another word, she continued on her way.
‘So I’m immature?’ he wanted to yell at her, but he knew that if he did, he would only be proving her point.
‘At least that’s one good thing about graduation, I won’t have to deal with awful scum like him everyday.’ Hermione thought.
“You got a letter at breakfast along with your Daily Prophet.” Ron said at lunch. “I’ll give them to you later.”
“Thanks,” she replied, “ Do you know who the letter was from?”
“Your mum and dad I think.” Harry said.
“Oh,” she said uninterested. She loved hearing from her parents, it’s just they never had much to say except what they did at work. Hermione didn’t think pulling and drilling teeth was all that exciting.
The rest of the day, she watched Harry and Ron play wizard chess and read ‘Hogwarts, a History’. The book fascinated her still, after all the times she had read and re-read it.
“Oh yeah, I still have your mail, Hermione.” Ron said. They were just going to leave for supper. He dashed up stairs, grabbed the letters, ran back down, and tossed them to Hermione.
“Thanks, I had forgotten about them too.” she said as she stashed them in her pocket.
After supper, Hermione decided to turn in early. As she was getting into her nightclothes, she heard the crinkling of paper. She reached into the pocket of her robes and pulled out mail.
She didn’t take much interest in the wizarding newspaper. It didn’t mean much to her now that the war was over. So she put on her night stand and opened the letter from her folks first.
Dear Hermione,
We have something to tell you. Your great-great-grandfather, Whitey Shirley, has left you everything he owned. It seems that he was a wizard too, a pure blood they said, (whatever that may be). They also said he didn’t trust non-magical people like your mum and I. That’s the reason he was so upset when his only child was born without magical powers, I think they called her a quib? Anyway, she married a..nuggle did you call us?, and there has been no magic in the family until you. Now in his will, it says that his first descendant that posed magical powers will inherit everything he owned, that person being you. When you get home from Hogwarts, you can move into the old house. I must go to work now. See you when you get home.
Lots of love,
Mum and Dad
‘That’s cool,’ she thought as she finished the letter. The only other time she had inherited anything was from her great-aunt, and that was only some old jewelry. ‘Actually’ she reconsidered, ‘this is really cool. I have inherited everything he owned.’
She placed the letter beside her Daily Prophet and finished getting ready for bed.
-------- --------------------------- ----------------------- ---------------------- ------------
************************* ************************* *******************************
Draco spent the afternoon searching the want adds for something, anything, he could do to make a galleon. He couldn’t find a job a seventeen year old with no experience. It was the same result he had everyday. He heaved a heavy sigh and droped the newspaper in the bin.
He had to find a money making activity, and soon. The little money he had been allowed to keep was starting to run low.
Not even his so called friends would help him out. Once they found out that he was broke, Crabbe, Goyle, and anyone else whom he had considered a friend, denied that they had even knew him.
Slowly, Draco slipped into unconsciousness.

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

Ch. 2 Graduation
The graduation went as planned. The graduating students wore robes of their house colors. They received their diplomas aphetically, just as they had been sorted into their houses their first hour at Hogwarts. Hermione smiled, thinking back. How nervous she had been!
Everyone of course clapped for the students when the students received their diplomas. But the applause seemed a just a bit louder for Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Perhaps it was because the front row was occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Weasly, Charlie, Bill, Percy (He had realized his mistakes and had been forgiven.) Fred, George, Ginny, Lupin, Mr. and Mrs. Granger, Tonks, and Mad-Eye. And of course Dumbledore and McGonagall, clapped from where the teachers sat. MaGonagall especially clapped hard for her number one pupil.
The after party was over all a peaceful party. I t was held on the Hogwarts grounds so there was plenty of room for all the friends and relatives who had come.
Fred and George took advantage of the huge crowd to demonstrate their latest creation, Babble Burst Bubble Gum. When this gum was chewed, the person chewing it would have bubbles come out of their mouth every time the y opened it. This made it impossible for the person to speak.
“A great joke to play on a talk-a-tive friend.” Fred was shouting at the swarm of people in front of him. George was to the side, putting on a good show of how he couldn’t talk no matter how hard he tried.
Soft jazz could be heard. It came from nowhere, yet it was everywhere. Some people were dancing while others talked in clusters.
“So, Hermione, we’ve never found out what you’re doing after Hogwarts.” Fred questioned. The Babble Burst Gum had worn off finally.
“Are you kidding? With the grades she’s got, she can do anything she wants.” Ron boasted.
“Ron, let’s dance.” Ginny said. Hermione gave her a silent thank-you. Ginny knew she hadn’t really thought about what she would do. She also knew Hermione didn’t like being put on the spot with the question from experience.
‘Good idea, Ginny’ Hermione thought.
“Wanna dance, Harry?” She knew he didn’t like dancing very much, but she wanted some excuse to get him alone to talk.
Harry paused , looking at the longing, no, the needing, in her eyes. “Sure, why not?”
They walked to a little platform where others where dancing to the slow, soft music.
“Harry, what are you going to do after tomorrow?”
“You know I’m training to be an Auror-“
“No, no, I meant have you thought of where you’re going to live?”
Harry was silent for a minute, thinking. He could stay with the Wesly’s or Remus, but that would make him feel like a child. And of course going back to the Dursly’s was out of the question. ”I could buy a house, I guess.”
“Yeah, I guess.” Hermione replied.
“What about you? What you going to do?” Harry inquired.
“Well, do you remember that letter I got from my mum and dad?”
“Yeah,” Harry said, only half interested.
“It said that I inherited a house from my great-great-grandfather. I’m going move in when I get home tomorrow.”
“Wicked, how did you come by that?”
Hermione explained about her grandfather Whitey and his strange will. After she had finished, he asked “Have you seen the stuff yet?” He was curious to what the odd pure blood wizard had owned.
“No, tomorrow is the first time I’ll get to see any of it.” A thought just popped into her head. “Do you want to come?” It would be nice to have one of her best friends there to explore with her. Hermione’s parents had to work that day, so if Harry didn’t come, she would be the only one there.
“That would be fun. I don’t start training for another week, so I can come.”
“Great! Do you think Ron can come too?” Hermione said
“I don’t know, he might start training that day.” Harry said. He doubted Ron would come.
Ron had been excepted as the Chudley Cannons’ new keeper. They couldn’t find their other one who had disappeared during a game a while back. Ron was beside himself with joy at being on his all time favorite Quidditch and couldn’t wait to start practicing with the team.
As it turned out, Ron was starting training tomorrow. “I’ll get to see it some other time, Hermione.” He was too excited about his first training session to be that upset abuotHermione’s new house
The rest of the evening wasn’t too eventful. George and Fred sold tons of their bubble gum and promised Hermione a huge party, if they could use her new house.
The trio went back to the common room very tired but happy. Except Ron, who was fidgeting, with a mixture of emotions. He would go on about how much he wanted to start training, then turn around and start saying he was going to die.
“I’ve become better since fifth year, but this is the majors. I mean, the Chuddley Cannons! It’ll be great to get out there with the pros.” he was still amazed at getting on the team and had seemed to run out of words.
They said good night and wondered to their dorms. As each of them fell asleep, they had smiles on their faces.

Chapter 3: Shirley Mansion
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Ch. 3 Shirley Mansion
Hermione and Harry flagged down the Knight Bus. The new conductor, Julian, helped them load their things onto the bus. It was a real swap for Stan. Julian had a clear complexion and dark, sleek hair. He was also quite handsome.
Hermione smiled sweetly at Julian, Harry scowled. Ron and Harry had become more and more like brothers to Hermione over the years. Ron had finally gotten over his crush, but was still very protective of Hermione.
Julian seated them right behind the driver’s seat, eyeing Hermione like a hungry man eyes a steak. Harry made sure he was seated closer to Julian.
“Where to?” he asked. Hermione read the address off a slip of paper. Boom!!, they were off.
“There are quite a bit of stops before the Shirley Mansion, so it’ll pry be awhile.” Julian explained. He started to strike p a conversation with Hermione about the weather, but Harry faked coughed, cutting Julian off completely.
Hermione was also looking Julian over. She took in he’s muscular arms and torso. This was one of the, soon to be many, times Hermione was annoyed by Harry. She took a stab at conversation with Julian.
“Do you work out?” she asked him, still stuck on his huge muscels.
Julian chuckled, “No, I expect it comes from carrying so many trunks on the bus.” Hermione kept Harry from ruining her chit-chat by kicking him every time he tried.
Somehow their talk turned to Qudditch. Harry then started joining in on the talk.
In no time at all, they were at the Shirley Mansion.
“We should talk again sometime.” Julian said. He handed her a slip of paper.
“See ya,” she said, and the next minute Julian and the Knight Bus where gone.
Then she and Harry turned around to face a house almost as big as Hogwarts castle.
“Wow….” Harry said in awe. Hermione just stared. She couldn’t believe that it was hers, and the place had to be full of stuff. It was all hers.
“Wow…” Harry repeated.
“Well.. Let’s go inside, shall we?” she said to him. Hermione pulled a rusty key from her bag. It was an unusually large key, about the size of a pop bottle. She placed it in the lock, turned it, and opened the door.
It creaked as though it had not moved for years. Behind it was a large front room. A staircase was about six feet in front of the door and split at the top. The walls looked as though they had once been white, but had turned grayish-brown from the dust and grim. Harry and Hermione walked around the marble floor that was covered with inches of dirt.
They admired the once glorious house. Hermione headed up the stairs. As she ran her hand up the rail, she uncovered the beautiful wood.
“I wonder when the last time someone was in here.” Harry thought aloud.
“Come on, Harry, let’s explore upstairs.” Hermione said from the top of the stairs to Harry who was still at the bottom. He seemed to jerk himself out of a daze. He rushed up the stairs to Hermione’s side.
They looked through the rooms, amazed at all the fine antiques each one contained.
Just before they were going to enter the last room Harry said “Are you hungry? It is past noon. Couldn’t we get something to eat?”
“I guess, I’m pretty hungry too. Did you bring any food? I completely spaced it.”
“No, I didn’t even think about that.”
“There’s a small muggle village near by. I bet we could find a pub to eat at there.”
“How far is it?”
“It shouldn’t be too far. Let’s get going.”
Walking past a small shed, Hermione tripped over her own feet and fell into the door to the little shed. Thus causing it to open.
“Oww… wait. Look at what’s in here, Harry.” Hermione said, opening the door a bit wider. Harry helped her up and looked inside. There where two old fashioned bicycles.
“Come on, let’s ride these to the village.” Hermione suggested.
“Let’s not” Harry said objectively.
“Why not? I think it would be fun.”
“Because I can’t ride a bike.”
“Oh? Why not?”
“I was brought up by the Durslys. Would you expect them to teach me to ride a bike?” he said sarcastically.
“I guess not. Do you want me to teach you?” Hermione said kindly.
Harry thought for a few minutes. He didn’t want to make a fool of himself in front of Hermione, but he did want to take the opportunity to learn how to ride a bicycle. The memory of Dudley on brand new, red bike came back to him. Dudley was riding in circles around Harry. He remembered the bike shining in the sun, the giant smirk on Dudley’s pudgy face, and how much he wished to be on that bike.
“I’ld like that.” he said nodding his head.
“Okay.” Hermione said and smiled.
They got out the bikes and Hermione started teaching her new pupil. Harry fell a couple of times at first, but soon got the hang of it and was riding around like he’d done it all his life.
They then headed down the road towards a cluster of houses and shops. They reached the village in no time. After asking a local for a place to eat, they found a little pub know as ‘Bottoms Up’.
“What’ll it be?” a cute little waitress who looked about their age asked them. She had blond hair that went past her shoulders, clear blue eyes, and a friendly grin.
“Hmmm…”Harry said looking over his menu at the girl. “I’ll have fish n’ chips.”
“And you?” she said turning to Hermione.
“Just a salad and water, thanks.” she answered, giving the girl an encouraging smile.
“My names Fiona, if you need anything, just give a shout.” she said and winked at Harry. Hermione could have sworn he had blushed. That got her mind thinking.
“Harry? Why haven’t you got a girlfriend? I know tons of girls who would gladly go out with you.” Hermione said.
“I bet half those girls would have only gone out with me because I’m the ‘Boy Who Lived’” he answered.
“That’s true. But still, that leaves a handful of girls.”
“I guess-“
“Here you go dears.” Fiona interrupted him.
“Looks delicious.” Harry said to her smiling.
“Thank-you, Fiona.” Hermione said. She was slightly upset that she hadn’t got to hear Harry’s answer.
“Are you two new in town?” Fiona asked pulling up a chair. That was when Hermione notice the place was rather empty.
“Actually,” Hermione started. She wasn’t sure how much to tell this muggle. “do you know that old mansion west of town?”
“Oh yeah, that place? Right old dump I’ld say. Don’t think anyone’s ever set foot in it. Why do you ask?” she looked curiously at Hermione.
“I bought it.” she answered.
“Oh,” Fiona said. She looked a little surprised. Then she got up and went to the back room.
“Great, now this whole place will think I’m some sort of freak for living there.” Hermione said with a sigh. Harry just sat there and smiled.
They finished their lunch in a hurried fashion and headed back. On the way they got into a conversation about where Harry was going to live.
“I still have no idea where to go. I never have been that good at thinking ahead.”
“Well you could stay at my house until you find a house” Hermione said.
“Really? That would be great!” Harry said as a giant smile grew on his face.

(A/N: this ones is just fluff, but I was bored so started writing. hope you like it anyway.)

Chapter 4: First Day of Work
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Ch. 4 First Day of Work

It had been three days since Hermione and Harry had moved into the Shirley Mansion. So far they had rid the kitchen and one bedroom of nasty magical creatures that infest abandoned houses.
They had been sharing the bedroom, separate beds of course, and trying out their cooking skills. Today they were supposed to start on a bedroom for Harry, but today Harry started his training. Hermione had been hoping to wish him luck, but when she woke, she found he had already gone.
So Hermione cooked herself breakfast, ate, and started on Harry’s room. Hermione worked until noon, and had hardly made a dent on the room. ‘I need help.’ she thought, ‘But who?’
While she ate her lunch she thought about her options. ‘My friends could help me. No, they’re doing what I should be doing, getting a job. Hmmm… elf? NOOO!!! How could I even think that?! I could hire some one. Yeah, that sounds good.’ So after she finished eating, she wrote a letter to the Daily Prophet to put up an add. She sent the letter with Hedwig. Hermione received a reply in less than an hour saying the add would be published in tomorrow’s paper. Now all she could do was wait.
--------------------- ------------------------------- --------------------------------- ---------------------------***************************************************************************************************************
Draco woke up, the sun was shinning through a crack in his box, directly into his eyes. He crawled out onto the grass, soaking his clothes with dew. He yawned and looked about the park. No one was there. He quickly shoved the refrigerator box full of his few possessions behind some bushes.
He left the park and headed for the Leaky Caldron. When he got near he pulled his hood up over his head so that it concealed his face. He was too ashamed to even let people see who he was. He entered the small, dim, pub and started searching the place.
‘Yes,’ he thought, spying an abandoned newspaper on one of the tables. Draco casually sat down at and started reading it.
‘Hmmm…Nothing much to repot on these days.’ He skipped to the back of the Daily Prophet, to the want adds. It wasn’t long before he found a job he could actually do. Cleaning house wasn’t exactly what he wanted, but he was getting desperate. Also the pay was great, 30 galleons a week.
Draco rose from his seat and went to the public fireplace. He reached for a small bag from which he took a small amount of Floo powder. In the add it said interviews would start that very day at 9 o’clock.
He stepped up to the fire and threw the glittery powder in it. He watched it turn emerald green and then stepped into it saying, “Shirley Mansion!”
-------------- ----------------- ---------- -------------------- ------------------- -------------------- ----------------- ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~
It was ten after nine when Hermione heard someone in the living room. She reached for her wand and entered the room with caution. Her stomach jumped and her heart seamed to stop beating. She was looking straight into the sharp eyes of Draco Malfoy. ****************** ********************** ************************ **********************************
Draco stood there, shocked, not moving a muscle. Hermione was shock out of the trance first. “What are you doing here, Malfoy?” she snapped.
“I’m here to interview for the job.” he stated simply. He then seemed to come to his senses, “What are you doing here?” he said with a sneer.
“I happen to own this house.” she was silent for a second and the exited the room.
While she was gone Draco sat thinking. ‘Oh shit. If she owns the house, she’s probably the person doing the interviews and the hiring. I’m in for it. I bet she’s out there having a good laugh at me.’ He slumped down into a chair, feeling like he could disappear through the floor. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hermione chuckled a bit after she had left the room. ‘Imagine, Malfoy, wanting a job as a servant! This should be fun.’ she thought as she climbed the stairs. She opened the door to her room and grabbed a few papers. She went down the stairs, skipping a few on the way, and reentered the living room.
“Here, fill these out.” Hermione said as she handed the papers to Draco.
“What is it?” he asked suspiciously.
“Registration forms, nit-wit. Now fill them out and I’ll be back in five minutes.” ************ ******************* ********************* **************************************** ‘Yes, your royal highness.’ Draco thought. He took a quill and a bottle of ink from a small table beside the chair and started filling out the forms. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hermione went into the kitchen. With a wave of her wand a tray of rather small sandwiches appeared. She then conjured up a pitcher of pink lemonade. “Wingardium Leviosa!” she said as she flicked her wand. The pitcher and tray hovered in the air five feet from the ground. Hermione moved with them back into the living room where Draco was just finishing up the last of he forms.
“You’re done?” Good, do you want anything to eat or drink?” she trying very hard to be civil with Draco. Hermione gestured to the objects floating in front of her.
Draco shrugged, “I guess.” He accepted the sandwich she was offering him. As he started to slowly chew the food, Hermione picked up the forms and began looking them over.
Most of it was useless information such as name and age, but some of it surprised her. Such as his current address was Syon Park. ‘He lives in a park?’ She had been wondering where Draco was going to live, now that he didn’t own a house. She hadn’t expected a park.
After she had finished checking the forms over and thinking about her options, she said “You’re hired.”
“What?” Draco said looking up. He had been mindlessly eating, deaf to all around him.
“I said that you’re hired. Now come with me. I need to show you where you will be staying.”
“Staying?” he said a little shocked. He thought he would work during the day and then leave in the evening. Obviously Hermione had different plans.
“Yes, staying. Are you going to keep questioning everything I say, or can we get started.” she said in a provoked tone. Draco gingerly stood and waited for his next command. “Follow me,” Hermione said as she walked through the doorway. Draco did as he was told and kept a few feet behind Hermione.
He looked around in awe. His former mansion was nothing compared to this. He looked through open doors at what lay within. He couldn’t believe how many rooms there were, or how spacious each one was. Further more, every room was full of ancient antiques. Every one was unique and beautiful, and worth a fortune.
Hermione led him through tow French doors into a garden that had been neglected for far too many years. Behind the garden was a regular house. It was like the rest of the property, old and in need of a good cleaning. Compared to the box Draco had been living in for the last couple of days, it looked like heaven on Earth.
Hermione pulled from her pocket the large master key. She unlocked the door and let herself and Draco insid.
“This is where you will sleep and keep your stuff. We’ll work on cleaning it up today and hopefully finish it up tomorrow. Do you need to go get your things?” she asked.
“Oh, yes. May I use some-“ Hermione held out the small bag of Floo powder to Draco. She then quietly said something and a fire blazed from the hearth. “Thanks” Draco mumbled as he took a pinch of the powder and threw it into the fire. He shouted “The Leaky Caldron!” and vanished.
Hermione turned from the fireplace to go back into the house. ‘Should I have hired him? Yes, of course. Anyone could see he needed the job badly. He was living in a park for Christ sake! Then there’s the main question, how the hell am I going to tell Harry? I’ll leave that for later. Oh God is he going to throw a fit!’ She went back into the house and up to Harry’s unfinished room. ‘I guess Harry and I will have to share my room for a bit longer.’
She started cleaning and turned on her old muggle CD player. She amused herself by thinking about cruel things she could make Malfoy do when he returned. Hermione was so absorbed in her thoughts that she didn’t notice a pair of eyes watching her. ************** ********************* ********************** *********************** ************* *****
Draco had gotten to the park and back quickly since he didn’t have many processions to move. He had left it all in his quarters and had headed into the house. Draco heard some strange music coming from somewhere upstairs. He followed the sound up the staircase and into a bedroom. He stood outside and watched a pretty little thing bobbing around the room in rhythm to the music. She had her back to him, he couldn’t recognize who she was. She had wavy brown hair and a curvy figure. His first thought was ‘Is she single?’ Then he made his presence know by clearing his throat and she spun around. The girl was Granger, he was astonished at this and took a step back. Draco had never really looked at her as anything more than a filthy mudblood. Now that he was looking straight at her, he noticed her amazing body and beautiful honey-brown eyes. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hermione heard someone cough behind her and whirled to face them. It was Malfoy! ‘What is he doing here? Oh, duh, he works for me now. This will take some getting use to.’ Hermione thought. ‘Why is he staring at me like that?’ All of a sudden she felt very uncomfortable. She could feel his eyes undressing her slowly. “What?!” she screamed at him. “What are you looking at?”
“I-I’m sorry.” Draco said. A long silence followed, Draco stared at the floor now and Hermione still gazed at Draco.
“Soo…what do I need to do?” Draco said trying to lighten the mood.
“Oh, yes. I guess we should get started on the guest house. I mean your house. Come on.” Hermione said bushing past him as she headed towards the door.
They worked hard until noon. They then took a break for lunch. The rest of the afternoon was spent in the guest house. They would spend tomorrow there too and hopefully finish it completely.
Hermione and Draco entered the kitchen for dinner. It was a pretty big kitchen compared to others. It was designed with grapes and vines on top of a creamy white. It contained a table that seated four and an island in the middle with a sink in it. Hermione thought it was a wonderfully decorated kitchen, much better than the one in her parents house.
Just as they were finishing up, someone walked in the front door. It was Harry. “Hello? Hermione? Where are you?” he called.
“In the kitchen.” she answered, a little fearful of how he would react when he reached the room.
“I’ve had the busiest day.” he said as he entered the kitchen. “I mean, I knew-“ he stopped, catching sight of Draco.

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

Ch. 5 Unexpected
“What is he doing here?” Harry asked Hermione, almost accusingly.
Hermione didn’t speak for awhile. Then she said “Malfoy, go to your room. I’ll see you in the morning. Draco was a little reluctant to obey at first, but then remembered that he was an employee and she was his boss. He turned slowly and went out the door.
“Answer me! What the hell is he doing here!? And why does he have a room?” he yelled at her.
“I hired him to help me clean up the house. I had to hire someone and he was the only one who showed up, he was my only choice. He has a room because he has to have somewhere to stay.” Hermione hurriedly explained. It seemed that she was begging for Harry to except it.
“Somewhere to stay? Doesn’t he have a house?” Harry said. He had stopped houting but was still full of anger at seeing his school for in his temporary home.
“Well, that’s another reason I hired him. He was living in a park, Harry. He really needed the job. Besides, as soon as the house is finished, his job will be finished too.”
Harry dropped into a chair at the table and sighed. “I guess its okay. Hell, it could be fun. We finally get to do whatever we want to Malfoy and no one could stop us. Harry said, becoming accustom to the idea.
“As long as you’re not too cruel. I didn’t hire him to get revenge, I think.” she said, her voice fading to a whisper by the end. “Anyway, we have to share a room for another night or two. I wanted to get Malfoy set up first so you two wouldn’t have to share a room.” Hermione chuckled. “I can just imagine it. You guys cursing and hexing each other all night.”
“Yeah,” Harry said as he yawned. “What did you have for dinner? I’m starving. I have to tell you all about training.” He said. Hermione served him some of the beef stew she and Draco had been eating and Harry told her how his first day of training had been. After Harry had finished devouring the food Hermione flicked her wand causing the dishes to become sparkling clean and put in the cupboards correctly. They then climbed the stairs to their bedroom where they fell into a deep slumber. ---------- --------------------- ------------- --------------------- ------------------------- --------------**************** ********************** ******************** **************** ***************
Draco hadn’t been able to sleep in that eerie guest house until early morning. He stretched his arms with his eyes still shut and opened his mouth to form an O as he yawned. His eyes snapped open and he looked at his watch, 8:45. He hurried into his robes. He didn’t know what time Hermione wanted to start working, but he could bet it was before 8:45.
Draco raced into the kitchen to find a pot of coffee, a plate of doughnuts, and a note.
Dear Malfoy,
Help yourself to some coffee and doughnuts. When you’re finished meet me in the room we were cleaning yesterday. I’m sorry I forgot to tell you when we will begin working. Normally I will want you ready by 8:00.
‘What? Why isn’t she sacking me?’ Malfoy wondered. He poured some himself some of the dark liquid and inhaled the sweet aroma of French vanilla coffee. He finished his breakfast quickly and ascended the stairs.
He found Hermione in the semi-clean room he had spent the previous day in. She was once again playing her CD player and dancing and singing along with the music. Draco watched from the doorway as Hermione twirled around the bedroom. He was surprised to find that Hermione had a great voice and some talent at dancing.
“What do I need to do?” he asked with a sneer, trying to gain back the edgy attitude he had been famous for at Hogwarts. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hermione turned around to face him. “You know what to do, Malfoy. I’m going to Diagon Alley to get a few things. I should be back be noon, and I want this room completely clean by then.”
“Yes, mam.” Draco said as he rolled his eyes. He pulled his wand from his pocket and began to tidy the room in little spots, not making any real progress.
Hermione left the room to change out of her old robed into some feans and a baby-tee. She grabbed her purse and headed for the fire place to Floo to Diagon Alley. Just as she pulled out her powder bag there was a knock at the front door. Hermione sighed and put the bag away. She opened the door to discover Fiona standing on the front step, a weak smile playing on her lips.
“Fiona? What are you doing here?” Hermione blurted out before she could stop herself.
“Hi Hermione, I just wanted to stop by and see if you wanted to talk?” Fiona answered.
She seemed a little nervous but Hermione choose to ignore it and said, “Sure, come on in.” Hermione stood back and opened the door wider and Fiona came inside. “What did you want to talk to me about?” Hermione asked as she led Fiona through the archway in the wall into the living room. The room was large, but not over whelming, and had clusters of small side tables and black leather chairs and love seats here and there. The girls took their seats near the empty fireplace which was 6 feet tall and 5 feet wide with beautiful carvings around the edges.
As Fiona sat down, she dropped her bag, spilling its contents out onto the floor. “Oh no!” Fiona said, not seeming at all upset or worried.
“Here, let me help.” Hermione said. She went to her knees and started grasping for Fiona’s miscellaneous objects. She suddenly froze when her hands grabbed a long, polished piece of wood. She blinked and turned to stare at Fiona. “Are you a witch?” she said suspiciously.
“Are you?” Fiona shot back. They stared at each other for what seemed forever.
Finally Hermione said clearly, “Yes.” Fiona smiled from ear to ear and sighed happily.
“Yes, I am a wich…too.” she said, and then began to laugh. After a second Hermione joined her.
Soon their laughter had reduced to mere smiles. Hermione then remembered where she had been going before Fiona had showed up. “Fiona, did you have any plans for today?” Hermione asked, silently praying that she wouldn’t have plans. It would be great to be able to talk to a girl her own age.
“No, nothing so far. Why?” she said with a grin on her face. “Did you have anything to do today?”
“Yes, I was going to go to Diagon Alley. Do you want to come?”
“Where?” Fiona asked puzzled.
“You don’t know what Diagon Alley is? How can you not know? Aren’t you a witch?” Hermione inquired.
“Yes, I am a witch. A witch from America. I’m here as an exchange student thing. I’ll explain it all after you explain what Diagon Alley is.”
“Okay. Well then, Diagon Alley is the place where most wizards shop. Its just a street with shops lining it.” Hermione rambled off. “Its kinda like an out door mall. You don’t know what a mall is either, do you?” she quit talking, realizing what she had said.
“Actually, I do know what a mall is. See, my family is completely muggle, so I know what you’re talking about.” Fiona explained.
“You’re kidding?! So am I!” Hermione almost shirked. Fiona looked at her and just smiled. Hermione was happy. No, not happy, ecstatic. This was a dream come true, a girl her age who know about both the muggle and the wizarding worlds. “Let’s get going, I can’t wait to show you Diagon Alley. This is going to be so much fun. Here, take some.” She held out her Floo-powder bag which she had just taken from her pocket. She quickly waved her wand in the direction of the fireplace and a fire sprang up. Fiona stepped into the fire yelled “Diagon Alley!” and was gone with Hermione right behind her. Soon both girls were on the bustling streets full of magical shops and people.
Hermione took Fiona all around the stores and purchased a few things here and there. Just as they walked out of the pet shop Hermione suddenly stopped. “What is it?” Fiona asked as she took a fast survey of her surroundings. She then saw what held Hermione’s eyes. It was a store for teenagers’ clothes, only the clothes were muggle style. “Let’s go!” Fiona said and the girls raced into the shop. For hours they tried on clothes, and bought almost half of the items.
“Finally, the wizarding world got some style. I’ve always wanted this.” Hermione said as they left the store. “Do you want some ice cream?” she suggested, eyeing a small boy caring a huge ice cream cone.
“That’s sounds great right about now.” Fiona answered. Hermione led them to a small table under an umbrella outside the ice cream parlor.
“What can I get for you, ladies?” A chubby waiter asked them. They told him what they wanted and sat in silence until he returned with their orders.
As they began to eat their ice cream, Hermione remembered the deal they had made at the house. “Fiona, you promised to tell me why you’re in England.” she said before scooping more of her mint chocolate chunk ice cream into her mouth.
“Oh yeah, well, I finished with my magical schooling a couple of months ago and my parents sent me to a muggle high school to make some friends because no wizards live around my area. That where I found out about these foreign exchange students thing. I thought it looked really cool so I registered to come to England. Now I will be living with the Ericsons, the owners of ‘Bottoms Up’ for the summer” She took another huge bite of raspberry sherbert and said through the mouthful “So what’s your story? I mean, why do you live in that old mansion?”
Hermione took another quick bite before she explained about how she had come to live in the Shirley Mansion. “What time is it?” Hermione said glancing at her watch. Her eyes widened, it was almost 1 o’clock! “We go to go, I told Malfoy that I would be back an hour ago!” She grabbed Fiona’s wrist and rose from her feet. In a spilt second she was back on her seat, Fiona had pulled her back down.
“Wait, who’s Malfoy? Who ever it is, I’m sure they can take care of themselves.” She said, not wanting the day to be over because of someone she didn’t even know.
“Well….I guess he can deal with my being a little late.” Hermione said, starting to relax and eat some of the mushy remains of her ice cream. “Oh, and Malfoy is my….employee.” she said with a sly grin growing on her face.
“Tell me about him.” Fiona ordered, looking very interested in learning about Draco Malfoy.
“Err…..I guess I would describe him as a self-centered, spoiled gut who is involved in the Dark Arts.”
“The Dark Arts? You mean, he was like a Death Eater of something?” Fiona asked leaning closer towards Hermione.
“I don’t know if he himself was one, but I know for a fact that his parents were, and his whole family has been know for being into stuff like that. They also hate muggle borns like me. He made fun oh me so much at school. He would call me a mud blood and treat me like of wasn’t worthy of his presence.”
“At school? He’s our age?” Fiona asked.
“Yeah, he is.” Hermione answered. Fiona’s mind thought without her permission about weather he was cute or not. ‘No, stupid. He’s a bad boy, you can’t think he’s cute….but then again, sometimes bad boys are hot.’ She was drawn out of her thoughts when Hermione spoke again.
“I better be getting back anyway, just because. But you can come over if you want to.” Hermione said, once again getting to her feet.
“I’d like that. I would love even more to explore that mansion of yours. If you haven’t realized yet, I’m the biggest snoop you will ever meet.” They both giggled at that and headed to the nearest fireplace. In less than a minute they were back in the Shirley Mansion living room surrounded by all their shopping.
“I guess I better tell the Ericsons where I’ve been all day.” Fiona said. She took out her wand and shrunk her new processions she they fit comfortably into her bag. Hermione left hers on the floor and followed Fiona to the door.
“Do you want to stay the night? I’d love to keep talking.” Hermione said, sincerely wanting her to stay.
“You could come with me to ask. Come on, I want you to meet them.” Fiona started for the door.
Just a sec, I’ll be right back. I need to tell Malfoy where I’ll be.” With that she skipped up the stairs and into Harry’s room. She stopped and stared around the room. It was sparkling clean. All it needed was a few personal touches. She then spotted Draco lying on his back at the end of a king size bed. He had abandoned his shirt, allowing Hermione to see his well toned stomach rising and falling in a slow, steady rhythm. He had fallen asleep on the goose feather bed.
She gazed at him almost longingly. She couldn’t bring herself to wake him. “Accio parchment! Accio quill!” she whispered as quietly as she could. She quickly scribbled a short note for Draco and left it in his open palm. Hermione ran on her tiptoes out of the room and joined Fiona on the road towards town. ---------------- -------------- ------------- ------------- ---------------------- ------------------------************** ***************** **************** ******************* *************
Draco’s eyes flittered open. He balled his hands into fists to rub his eyes and noticed a piece of parchment in his fists. He tried best he could to flatten the crumpled paper and began to read.
Dear Malfoy,
Have gone to a friend’s house and will be back with in an hour or so.
He looked at his watch, it was about 1:15. ‘When did she leave this?’ he thought looking back to the note. ‘And what am I suppose to do now?’

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

Ch. 6 Introductions
“They’re nice.” Hermione responded to Fiona’s question about if she liked the Ericsons. She opened the door to her house and they walked in. The blonde and brunet climbed the stairs to Hermione’s room.
“Wow…I thought your room would be….more….colorful.” Fiona stuttered to get out. Hermione had to admit her room was really plain. She hadn’t had much time to decorate with trying to get Draco and Harry settled in and all. She explained this to Fiona. “Hold it, who’s Harry? And I still want to meet this Draco character.” she glanced quickly towards the door as if expecting a boy to walk by and introduce himself as Draco Malfoy.
“Oh, you can meet them both at dinner. Harry is one of my best friends in the world. Him and Ron Weasly. I haven’t talked to him for awhile. Maybe I should have, like, a get-together or something.” Hermione seemed to be thinking aloud.
“A party?! That would be so much fun! Then you could meet my friends and I could meet yours. Wouldn’t that be great?” Fiona went on about how cool it would be and plans for the party.
Hermione took in the idea and chewed it over. The more she gnawed at it, the sweeter if became. “I guess I could have a party.” Hermione interrupted Fiona in mid sentence.
“You haven’t been listening to one word I’ve said, have you?” Fiona accused Hermione. The brunet grinned sheepishly and shook her head. “Its okay. We can talk more about it later.” Fiona stared out the window for a minute and then said abruptly “Can I use your fireplace? I’ve been dying to talk to some of my friends at home. I can’t in a letter cause its far to long of a trip for an owl and my friends don’t get muggle post, or any muggle way of communicating, and I can’t floo them cause the Ericsons would get way suspicious.” She looked at Hermione with homesick eyes and a pouting bottom lip.
“Of course you can. Anytime you need to use it you can.” Hermione said and gave Fiona some Floo-powder.
“Thanks,” Fiona said gratefully. She flew out of the room, down the stairs, and into the living room eagerly.
Hermione got out her wand and robotically said “Accio shopping!” Her new purchases floated up to the second floor and onto her bed. She cut off the price tags and put them away by hand to kill some time while Fiona chatted with her friends. When she finished, Fiona still had her head in the fireplace. ‘Now what can I do?’ she wondered ‘I can always clean up this place. Cleaning? Where’s Malfoy anyway? I guess I’ll go look for him.’
Hermione went to the kitchen and found him. He was munching on some grapes and scamming the Daily Prophet. Draco looked up as he heard her enter the room and dropped the paper. “Is there something you need me to do?” he asked. She couldn’t tell if he was bothered by her or just bored.
“No, I just wondered where you were.” Hermione said and reached for one of the rich purple grapes. “Thank-you for finishing up that room so nicely. It looks wonderful. I’m glad you got it done so Harry can have his own room.”
“Your welcome.” he said plainly and picked up the newspaper and resumed reading it. Hermione sighed and left the room. Her stab at friendly small talk with Draco had failed. She wondered down one of the wings she hadn’t been in for more than five minutes. Hermione simply strolled the winding halls, not thinking about anything, just enjoying her easy pace that was undisturbed. That was until she heard Fiona calling for her. Hermione jogged back to join Fiona in her bedroom.
“What’s for dinner? I’m starving.” Fiona said. Hermione stared for a moment, searching an answer.
“I don’t know. What do you want?”
“Pizza!” Fiona answered immediately. Hermione looked at her as though she were the oddest person in the world. “What? I’ve been egging for even a bite of pizza for ever.”
Hermione giggled and said “We can have pizza. Can you make it by magic? I can get the ingredients, but not very good at cooking it by magic.”
“I can cook it either way. Do we have time to cook it without magic though? I have always liked it better that way.”
“Oh yeah, we got loads of time.” Fiona smiled and Hermione led her down the stairs and into the kitchen. Draco had left, and Hermione couldn’t tell if she was relieved or disappointed.
“What do you need?” Hermione said, turning to the blonde next to her. Fiona listed the ingredients and Hermione made each one appear on the island counter as Fiona named tehm. Then they set about the dinner.
“There, now it just has to cook.” Fiona said, shutting the oven door. She looked at the huge mess on the counter and took out her wand. Fiona flicked it and the clutter disappeared. “What do you want to do until its ready?” she asked.
“I guess we could work on that party….” Hermione said after a moment.
“Okay, I was thinking we should have a theme and some stuff to do like miniature Quidditch games or something.”
“That sounds cool, but what should the theme be?” Hermione said. Diona, it seemed, had already thought about this.
“It should be tropical. Like wearing hula skirts and leis, and I’m sure we could make this place look exactly like Hawaii if we combined our magic.
“And we could have one of those mini bars.” Hermione interrupted.
“And karaoke!” Fiona exclaimed. They shot ideas back and forth until the pizza was fully baked.
“Yum, it smells sooo good. I can’t wait to sink my teeth into it.” Fiona said hungrily
“You can’t eat it yet though, I want to wait for Harry…..oh, and Malfoy. I got to go find him. I’ll be back in a jiff.” Hermione said and exited out the back door. She made a B-line through the garden to the guest house.
She knocked politely on the door and called “Malfoy, dinners ready.” she paused for a moment to listen. Draco was scuttling around the room doing something.
“I’ll be there in a minute.” he said gruffly. ‘Now Harry just needs to get home. Oh God, I sound as though we’re married!’ Hermione laughed at her own thoughts and retuned to the kitchen.
Fiona was still alone except for Crookshanks who was enjoying the ear rub from Fiona. While the cat purred she gazed at the pizza sitting on the table. “I guess Harry hasn’t come home then, huh?” Hermione sighed. She was getting rather hungry herself and a little irritated that Harry always seemed to be late.
After a short time Draco came through the door. Fiona’s thoughts had been true. ‘Bad boys can be hot.’ she thought. She eyed Draco as he did her, butterflies filling her stomach. Hermione ended the silence finally by saying “Malfoy this is Fiona. Fiona, this is Malfoy.”
“Hello,” Fiona said as she got up from her chair and walked over to Draco. She extended her hand for him to shake.
“Hey,” he said in a seductive voice. He shook Fiona’s hand firmly and then looked to Hermione as though he had just relized she was there. “What’s for dinner?’ ******* ********* ************** ********** ********* ***** ************ ********* ****** **********
‘Damn they’re hot.’ Draco couldn’t help but think. HE dept his eyes on this new broad, Fiona. She looked so innocent, he couldn’t wait to take that away from her.
“Pizza, that’s what’s for dinner.” Hermione told firmly as though she could read his thoughts.
“Great, are we ready to eat then?” he said taking a seat at the oval table.
“No, we are going to wait for Harry.” Hermione answered again. Fiona seemed to be trying to string two words together. After all, Draco was gorges. A little time passed and she seemed to zap out of her trance.
“How long should it be till her gets here?” she seemed to also remember how hungry she had been.
“It shouldn’t be too long,” Hermione said, mentally yelling at Harry to hurry up. He must have heard her, because he walked through the kitchen swinging door. “Hey, Harry, you’re just in time for dinner.” Hermione said. She took a seat at the opposite end of Draco at the table.
“Hi, what’s she doing here?” Harry gestured towards Fiona. Hermione quickly explained with Fiona adding in some details here and there.
Harry gathered in all this new information and sat down on Hermione’s right side. Fiona then resumed her seat and they began to eat.
The conversation was rather mild and silence soon fell over the kitchen except for Crookshanks who was purring between the two girls’ feet.
Hermione yawned while Harry sighed, Fiona tapped her fingers and Draco his feet. Everyone’s eyes zagged around the room, occasionally catching someone else’s and quickly looking away.
Fiona slapped her palm on the table and the others almost fell off their chairs. “Let’s do something. This is driving me nuts.”
“I agree. I have to do something” Harry said. He stood up and left the room. They heard him stomp up the stairs and in a second right back down. Harry flew through the door once more with a deck of exploding snap.
“What’s that?” Fiona asked looking closer at the cards.
“Exploding snap, haven’t you heard of it?” Draco snipped sharply.
“Shove it, Malfoy” Harry said threateningly. The two glared at each other until Fiona asked how the game was played.
The three explained the rules or the game and they began. Harry and Draco played vigorously, trying to beat each other. Sadly, they both failed miserably to Fiona. She won 8 times in a row when they finally quit.
“Beginner’s luck.” she shrugged, but still a smile shone through her attempts at modesty. Draco got up from the table and walked through the back door, undoubtedly going to bed.
“I guess I’m done too.” Harry said. He swigged the last of his butterbeeer and headed towards the door.
“Goodnight, Harry.” Fiona called after him.
He turned and said “Goodnight, Fiona…Hermione.”
“Night, Harry.” Hermione said, not looking up as she cleared away the remains of their dinner. Harry resumed his path to bed.
“Those two really hate each other, don’t they?” Fiona stated more than questioned.
“Oh yes they do. Its just lots of things about Malfoy that Harry can’t stand. I guess its because Malfoy had always wanted what Harry had. Fame, something Malfoy has always-“
“What? Fame? Why was Harry famous?” ‘Fiona obviously doesn’t know international news. I guess sine it happened almost twenty years ago and in a different country, and she has muggle parents who know none of this either.’ Hermione thought. She sat back down and told Fiona Harry’s history.
Fiona didn’t talk much the rest of the night. Even when Hermione brought up the subfect of the party, she didn’t say more than two words. They got into bed silently and embarked the shores of sleep. Just before Hermione set off, she studied Fiona’s preoccupied face. She was staring at the ceiling, her eyes squinting as if searching for something. Hermione rolled onto her other side and rowed toward the shore.
(A/N: I hope you all got my little piece at the very end, I thought it was pretty neat and hope you do too!)

Chapter 7: More Intros
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Ch. 7 More Intros

“I’m leaving this weekend.” Fiona said when Hermione opened the door. I t had been four days since Fiona first stayed the night. She had spent most of those days with Hermione, but hadn’t come over yesterday.
“What? I thought you said you were staying the summer.” Hermione said as Fiona came inside to the entrance hall.
“I did say that, but I meant only half the summer. But I have it all worked out. I go back as a muggle exchange student on a muggle plane, and then after I’ve been home for a few days, I can Floo back here. Does that sound okay? I mean, I don’t want to barge into your house for the summer uninvited or anything.”
“You could live here forever and I wouldn’t mind!” Hermione said. ‘This is great!’ she thought as she pulled Fiona into a hard hug.
“I better be getting back, I told the Ericsons I would only be here for a minute to tell you good-bye.” They both cracked up at that. “See ya later.” Fiona said and turned to the door.
“Yeah, see ya.” Hermione said. She shut the door on Fiona and the blueness of the mid morning sky. She headed down the right hand corridor to the newly discovered drawing room.
On the walls were hand painted pictures of cherubs that had faded over time. From the ceiling hung a small chandelier mad of brass. The floor was made of oak. Draco had already swept it, but it still needed a waxing to make it really shine. The oriental rugs with beautiful exotic designs that had covered the floor had been rolled away into a closet for safekeeping. In one coner in the back of the room was a small mini bar with never ending supply of fine liquor. The long brown leather couches and arm chairs were also gathered at the end of the room. A few larger chairs around the fire place on the left wall. The mantle of the fire place was made out of stones in various shades of light brown. On top were golden ballerinas and a wooden clock with golden Roman numerals for numbers and hands. Beside one seat was a chess board made of black and white marble. The right wall was invisible behind book shelves reaching from the floor all the way to the ceiling. Like the floor, it was made of oak and needed some work. Hundreds of books were placed here, some familiar, some in foreign languages.
Draco was in the process of packing away the chess game and objects off the mantle to be put along with the rugs. They continued cleaning and storing the valuable objects for safe keeping while the rest of the room received a brutal scrub down.
For the next couple of days they worked on the drawing room. Harry had passed his Apparating test and now came home everyday for lunch. Hermione was scheduled to take her exam in three days. In two days Fiona was planning to come back. Hermione’s life was going just fine.
That is except for Draco. He would be cheery and funny sometimes, as though he had become a different person than the boy Hermione had originally knew. Then he would turn around and be the selfish, mean git he had been at Hogwarts. Hermione didn’t know how to act around him, always on her best behavior until she knew what kind of mood he was in.
Time seemed to crawl by until Fiona was once again in the house. With her she brought a few friends expecting Hermione wouldn’t have a problem.
Fiona climbed out of the fireplace and hugged Hermione. “So great to see you! Seems like forever ago that I was here!” Fiona said. “And these are my friends,” she said turning back towards the fireplace. The first one to step forth was rather small in all ways. She was about a head shorter than everyone and very petite around. She had straight shoulder length brown hair and an unsure smile. “This is Amber, Amber this is Hermione.”
They exchanged hello’s and nodded. The next girl to a darker skin tone and darker brunet hair blonde highlights and the same dark brown eyes. “Hermione this is Rachel, Rachel, Hermione.” They smiled and nodded. Hermione looked past Rachel expecting to see more.
“Are there any others?” she said surprised.
“I didn’t want to overwhelm you. Don’t worry though, you can meet all my friends when I meet yours. At the party, remember?” Fiona answered. “Rach and Amber wanted to meet you right away.”
“Yeah, she kept talking about you 24/7.” Rachel interrupted.
“I didn’t talk about her that much…….did I?” Fiona said the last part a little sheepishly. Her American friends nodded their heads yes vigorously and they all burst out laughing.
“So where are those guys Fiona was talking about?” Amber said curiously, looking around the living room.
“You can see what her priorities are.” Fiona said sarcastically. Everyone chuckled at that.
“Harry’s at work but will be back for lunch in about an hour. Malfoy is pry in the drawing room finishing up.” Hermione said.
“Are they as hot as Fiona says they are?” Rachel said. Hermione was a little taken back by the question. She knew plenty of girls who thought they were exactly that. But she couldn’t see Harry as anything but a brother. And Draco was just that, Draco. Or was he?
“Ummm…..I guess so.” Ambers smile became colossal, Rachel simply grinned, and Fiona did an ‘I-told-you-so’ kind of smirk. “Well, I’m sorry I haven’t got your rooms ready. Actually, I haven’t even started on them yet. Hope you guys don’t mink bunking in my room for now.”
“Course we don’t mind. It’ll be just like a slumber party. We haven’t had one of those forever.” Fiona said. Amber and Rachel added a little to make Hermione feel better.
The girls took the suit cases up to Hermione’s room and transfigured some beds for the two new girls. The beds were set up to make a square. In the middle the four sat and talked.
“Hermione! I’m home! What’s for dinner?” Harry yelled through the house.
“Is that Harry?” Amber said excitedly.
“Yeah,” Fiona said getting up and leaping over the bed. Amber quickly sucking in air and dashed past Fiona. The others followed slowly and Amber waited for them at the top of the stair case.
“Hermione?” Harry called again.
“Coming.” she finally answered. They were half way down the stairs when Harry came into view. “We’ve got company.”
“Fiona!” Harry said and ran up the steps to meet her.
“Nice to see you again too, Harry.” she said as they embraced. As they came out of the hug Fiona said “These are my friends Amber and Rachel.” She pointed to them as she said their names. Harry shook their hands then looked to Hermione.
“What’s for lunch?” he asked. Hermione rolled her eyes and sighed.
“You’re acting more like Ron now a days. We need to have him over sometime. I don’t know what’s for lunch. I’ve been entertaining our guests. What do you want for lunch? ------------------ ------------------------ -------------------- ------------------- ------------------
A few days had gone by. Rachel had grown accustom to being around Harry and Draco, but Amber was still goo-goo over them both
The party was that evening and the four girls, who had become quick friends, were all still camped in Hermione’s room. Together they had worked out the details of the party and sent out the invites.
Hermione had invited Neville, Luna, Ginny, and of course Ron. Somehow Fred and George had found out about it and planned to make an appearance. Ron was also going to bring some of his team mates over too.
Fiona had invited a few other girls and some guys. Hermione couldn’t wait to meet them.
Amber burst out from behind the dressing curtain to show the others her hula skirt and pink and navy blue halter bikini top, in her hair behind her ear was a hot pink Hawaiian flower.
“You look great, Amber.” Rachel said. She was also wearing a grass skirt and a simple blue wife beater with lime green Hawaiian flowers on it, and a lei to match.
“Thank-you” Amber replied going to the full length mirror to check out her reflection.
“Do I really look okay?” Fiona asked self cautiously, standing beside Amber in front of the mirror.
“You look really good!” Amber said looking over Fiona’s outfit. Fiona was wearing a pair of white beach shorts with blue trimming. Her tube top was colored the same way with three blue stars stretching from her top right shoulder to her left waist to make a sash. Her long blonde hair was down and had a slight curl and one lei around her ankle another on her wrist made of multiple shades of blue.
“Yeah, you look great.” Hermione said finally coming out from behind the curtain after eavesdropping on the other’s conversation.
“Wow, no offense to anyone, but I think that out of all of us Mione’s got the best body.” Rachel said.
“No I don’t.” Hermione said modestly trying to hide her blushes. It was true though, she did seem to have the perfect body. She wore her hair in a messy bun with a light blue Hawaiian flower on the side, periwinkle triangle bikini top and a beach skirt of the same color with white stripes on the sides.
“Are we all done?” Fiona asked impatiently.
“I guess so,” Amber said checking the room for nothing really.
“Then let’s go!” Fiona said heading for the door.
The party was to be held in the living room. The floor was unable to be seen under the sand Hermione had conjured up. All the furniture had been transfigured into palm trees or surf boards. One rather long couch had been reshaped to be a mini bar. Hermione breathed in deep as she squeezed the sand between her toes, no one would be wearing shoes at this party. Even the air smelled warm and salty.
The girls stood in the doorframe admiring their work. Harry quietly snuck up behind them, grabbed Fiona and Amber’s shoulders and yelled, causing Fiona to scream and Amber to scream louder. The others three laughed at them for a full ten minutes.
Draco then came into the room. “What’s so funny?” he asked smiling. ‘Thank God! He’s finally in a better mood.’ Hermione thought as Fiona explained what Harry had done.
They were all startled when a green flame suddenly appeared in the fireplace, announcing the arrival of their first guest.
Hermione stayed behind and geld onto Draco as the others went to greet the person stepping from the hearth.
“Err……Malfoy? Could you please work at the mini bar during the party? When things slow down you can join in if you want.” Hermione said quickly, hoping he wouldn’t turn into Hide.
“Sure, I can do that.” he said in a false cherry voice.
“Thanks,” she said, scrambling off to meet Fiona’s friend.
“Sure, I can do that real easy.” Draco mumbled sulking as he headed toward the mini bar.

Ch. 8 The Party
“Hi,” one of the newcomers said to as Hermione walked up. “I’m Bonnie.”

“Hello, I’m Hermione.” she said shaking the girls hand. Bonnnie was wearing pink beach peddle pushers and a tank top of the same color with a picture of a sun set on it. Her reddish brown hair was extremely curly and hung down a little further than her shoulders. Her nose looked as though it had been broken once or twice and she was very tan.

“And I’m Hope.” The other person said reaching for Hermione’s hand. ‘Hope must have big bones or something.’ Hermione thought because Hope was larger than most people, but she was not fat. She was wearing khaki peddle pushers and a dark green that had a picture of a palm tree and some saying in light green on it.

“Hi Hope.” Hermione said as her hand fell back to her side. “You guys are kinda early, and that’s fine, but everyone else won’t be here for at least another twenty minutes.”

“We don’t mind.” Bonnie said. Fiona suddenly landed on her bum right where she had been standing a split second earlier.

“Sit down, guys. I feel like I haven’t sat down since I got here.” she said. She sat there looking up at them with her blue eyes as if she were a two year old. Bonnie
and Amber went down just as Fiona had. Harry quickly followed them. Hope, Rachel, and Hermione came along slower.

And then they talked, finding out new things. Hope turned out to be hilarious, doing some great voices. They compared things from their shoe brands to Ministers of Magic. All the while Draco was staring at them with envious eyes.

A sudden crash in the fire place caused them all to jump. Out of it cam a tall gangly boy with short blonde hair. He was so thin his muscles stood out without him even trying to flex.

“Hi, John.” Fiona said almost absent-mindedly. She blinked a couple of times and said “This is Harry and Hermione, this is John. And, oh my gosh! I forgot to introduce y’all to Malfoy! He’s the guy behind the bar.” she said nodding towards him and smiling.

“Philip and Eric will be here soon.” Lance said taking a seat between Hope and Bonnie.

“Okay” Fiona said, just as two figures appeared in the fireplace. Hermione was relieved to see it was some of her own guests. Well…sort of.

“Are we late?” George asked. The two stepped out what looked like authentic Hawaiian hula shirts.

“Not really,” Harry said. “These are our new American friends. Fiona, Amber, Rachel, Bonnie, John, and Hope.” he named them off going around the circle.

“And we’re Fred and George Weasly. I’m sure you’ve heard of us. The founders of Weasly Wizard Wheezes.” Fred boasted.

“Yeah, Hermione showed me your shop in Diagon Alley. You guys are geniuses.” Fiona said.

“Why yes, I’d say that we are.” George said. Laughter filled the room. For the fourth time that night, green flames filled the hearth. From it came two boys. One was dark, dark brown eyes, hair and skin. His hair was straight and went to about mid ear. He was rather good looking too. The other one reminded Hermione of the geeky side-kicks she use to watch on television when she was young. He also had dark almost black hair like the first boy’s, but his had a cow lick hair do kind of like Elvis’s did. He was like Lance only shorter, skinny with mussels, and somewhat pale. He was even like Harry a little because they both had black, round framed glasses. But one thing that was all his own were his eyes. They were a plain bright blue, the bluest you could ever see.

“Hey guys,” Rachel said to them. She looked at Harry and Hermione. “This is Eric,” she gestured to the handsome one, “and Philip.” she jabbed her thumb at the ‘side-kick’. “Eric, Phil, meet Hermione and Harry.”

“Don’t forget us.” Fred said.

“Oh yeah, Fred and George.” Harry said in a mocking announcer voice.

“Thank-you.” they said in unison. Once again someone appeared in the fire place.

‘Poor Neville,’ Hermione thought. ‘He must have forgotten our theme.’ Neville stood there gapping at everyone’s clothes in his robes.

Harry took action. “Come with me Neville, I’ll fix you up with some clothes.” He said getting up to his feet and leading Neville out of the room.

“Who was that?” Eric asked looking after them.

“Neville, I tell you he has the worst memory.” George said. He took a seat be Rachel and Fred on his other side sat by Bonnie. Eric and Philip also took a seat between Amber and Fiona. Also on Amber’s crush list was Eric, so when he sat beside her her smile widened and she sat up straighter.

“Who else is going to come?” Fiona asked. She looked around counting people. “Didn’t you say that you invited five people?”

“Yeah, I think so. Ginny and Luna should come pretty soon. Ron will most likely be late. He said he might bring a couple of his team mates with him.” Hermione said. She was eager to see Ron again and was really curious about who would come with him.

Ginny and Luna arrived together a little while later and got introduced to everyone. As Neville and Harry reentered the room, Ginny made an excuse about being thirsty and dragged Luna with her to the bar. Ever since Ginny had gone with Neville to the Yule Ball, he had been developing a crush on her. by now she was fully aware of it and avoided him when possible. She liked Neville, just not that way, and didn’t want to hurt his feelings.

Neville sighed with disappointment and stood next to the circle. Harry stayed with him, not wanting him to feel totally rejected.

Ginny stormed over to them, her face as red as her hair with Luna not far behind. “What is he doing here?!” Ginny practically screamed at everyone while extending her arm to full length and pointing towards Draco.

‘Whoops,’ Hermione thought. She had completely forgotten about that. Draco sat there in a dumb struck silence.

“Answer her, I’m curious to know too.” George said, all the laughter gone from his voice.

“He’s my employee.” Hermione answered
quietly. The twins scowls turned into sly grins and they faced each other.

“Your employee?” they said together evilly. Without even asking, Hermione knew they were planning to do something horrible to Draco.

“Err…..let’s get this party started, shall we?” she said a bit nervous. Fiona waved her wand and music started playing. She then asked Harry to dance. Before he could even think about it, Fiona pulled him away from everyone and began to move her body to the music. Bonnie and Rachel immediately grabbed the nearest boys, which happened to be Fred and George, and joined Fiona and Harry. Soon everyone was dancing, except for Hope who was seriously lacking self-confidence, and Neville who had problems with dancing.

Hermione was on the floor with Eric, who was really cute in a little boyish way, when someone whispered in her ear, “Who’s that?” She grinned foolishly, knowing who it was before she turned to hug him.

“Ron!” was all she could manage to get out. She squeezed him so tightly she thought she might burst.

“I know who I am.” he said laughing. “Who are all these people?”

“Don’t you recognize us? We’re your brothers, Fred and George!” George called to Ron from across the room.

“Shut up,” he mumbled. Harry came over to see Ron.

“Good to see you, mate.” He said.

“You too.” Ron replied. “Now will one of you tell me who all they are?” Harry and Hermione turned around to find every person there staring curiously at Ron, and Ron was staring right back.

“I guess we’ll start with Fiona.” Hermione said. Without needing to be asked, Fiona trotted over to the united trio.

“Hi” she said breathing hard, she had been fast dancing for awhile. “I guess you already know, but I’m Fiona, I’m from America, and have been living here the last couple of days.” she laughed and Ron let out a nervous giggle. Fiona went on to introduced all her friends.

As she finished she asked, “And who are your friends?” She peered around Ron to see two people gaping at the party scene from around the corner.

“Oh, you guys can come out now.” he said to them. One was a girl with shoulder length strawberry blonde hair. She was well toned and had brown eyes. The other was a boy. He had curly, light brown hair and was unusually tall. He was also well toned, had hazel eyes with specks of green in them, and a very cute smile. “This is Alex and Chris.” Ron said. He then pointed to everyone in the room and said their name, with Fiona’s help on some. Fiona once again started up the music, but did not take part. Instead she went to the new people and began to chat. Hermione decided it was a good idea and began joined in on their conversation.

“So how did you guys meet Ron?” Fiona asked. Hermione mentally slapped herself. She hadn’t told Fiona that Ron was a pro Quidditch player. But Alex was really nice about it and told her.

“We play Quidditch together. “All three of us play on the Chuddly Cannons.”

“Wow! How have the games been going?”

“Well, the season hasn’t actually started yet, but we’ve been preparing for awhile now. I think we could be really good this year.” Chris said.

“I see.” Fiona said. “You’ll have to tell me when your first game is. I’d love to see you guys play.”

“I’ll do that.” he replied. “In the meantime, would you like to dance?”

“Sure.” The two headed for the unofficial dance floor, leaving Hermione and Alex alone. They tried small talk, but that didn’t last long, and they stood in an awkward silence. Ron had been asked to dance by Rachel, who was apparently very comfortable around any and all boys.

‘Thank God,’ Hermione thought as Fiona approached them. “Are you ready to start the games?” she asked.

“Oh, sure.” Hermione said softly. Fiona shut off the music and got everyone’s attention.

“Okay, people!!” We’re gonna do the limbo now.” Fiona announced. A limbo bar made from bamboo appeared in the middle of the crowd. People made a semiformal line on one side of the bar and limbo music began to play. Hermione choose to get a quick drink first and went over to the mini bar.

“What do you want?” Draco said. Hermione half smiled. It was funny to see him as a bartender, but she began to feel sorry for him.

“Pumpkin juice, please. You can go play if you want.” she said. He put her full glass down and took off the apron he had found under the counter. He quickly jogged to the end of the line, right behind Fiona.

‘I think he likes Fiona.’ Hermione thought. ‘And everyone else seems to be having a good time, and getting along really well. I think Fiona likes Malfoy back. Is that good?’ she sipped her juice. ‘Of course it is, I’ll be happy if that’s the case. Won’t I?’

(A/N: sry it took so long. almost christmas time means shopping, wrapping, decorating, and not to mention school work piling up bhind me! that's wat i've been up to mostly and why i didn't update sooner. again, sorry!)

Ch. 9 Questions
Hermione walked into the kitchen that morning around 5:30. Fiona was making pancakes, muggle style. then when they were done she would fly them from the stove on the island to the center of the table. Around the table were Rachel and Amber. “What are you guys doing up so early?” She asked sitting next to Rachel, across from Amber. “Rachel got us up. She kept talking about her wonderful evening with Fred.” Amber said. “You didn’t hear her talking to Fiona half the night?”

“I thought I heard something.” Hermione said and grabbed one of the flying pancakes.

“Hope and Bon sleep like the dead. They didn’t move all night.” Fiona said.

“Well we know why Bon did, she was sleeping off all her drinks.” Rachel said. The three Americans laughed, Hermione looked alarmed.

“I didn’t serve liquor!” she protested.

“Oh, don’t worry about it. She only spiked her own glass. Didn’t you wonder why she was acting like that?” Fiona said. “I think that’s enough.” she said laying aside her spatula and taking a seat next to Amber.
"But everyone had a good time, right?” Hermione said, digging into her breakfast.

“Oh yeah.” Amber said. “Except for that girl Alex. She looked kind of uncomfortable. But everyone else had fun. Especially Rachel.” Amber raised her eyebrows at Rachel, who seemed to be day dreaming.

“What were you and Fred doing behind those palm trees anyway?” Fiona said, nudging Rachel under the table.

“Wh-, Oh, talking….and stuff.”

“Um-um.” Fiona said through a mouthful of drowned pancakes.

“And may I ask what you and Draco were up to after the limbo?” Rachel shot back. Fiona blushed a deep crimson. She normally seemed to be comfortable around men, but was highly embarrassed when people talked about her and a guy alone together.

“We just wanted to go outside, see the stars…….and stuff,” she said. Amber sighed.

“As long as we’re on the subject,” Fiona said, “who do you like, Hermione? You have to at least like one of the many hot guys there.” Hermione remained silent for awhile. She actually didn’t know the answer to such a simple question. Of course she wasn’t going to admit this even to herself, so she said the first guy that popped into her head.

“Eric’s sweet, I guess.” she said.

“Oh, we’ve all been there.” Rachel said. “I’ve know Eric all my life, next door neighbors. My crush on him was during elementary school. When we met Fiona and Amber at our school, Peared, they both fell in love with him. Fiona grew out of it, but Amber still likes him.” Rachel finished.

“Oh,” Hermione said. She was thinking more about the original question. Who did she fancy?

Fred and George ,who had stayed the night as did many other guests, came into the kitchen looking rather tired, but Fred was still smiling.

“Don’t you guys have a job to go to?” Hermione asked.

“Not until seven.” Fred said. sitting in the closes chair to Rachel. George sat at the very end.

“Accio pancakes!” he mumbled half asleep. As if he was in a trance, he robotically dressed and ate his meal. They all stared down the table at him. He finished and left the room.

“What’s the matter with him?” Fiona asked suspiciously.

“Long night.” Fred said simply reaching for some flap jacks. The girls accepted this answer and continued their morning meal.

Eventually almost everyone who was at the party had come down for breakfast. Some people had been too tired or out of it to go to their place. Then after breakfast most turned around and headed home or to work. By ten Ginny, Luna, Neville, Eric, Philip, Hope, Bonnie, John, and Chris had left. Fred George had gone too, but no until Fred had given Rachel a quick kiss. Alex had left that night before it had gotten too late.

“Alex’s boyfriend is in China on a business trip. She’s been down because of it lately. I hoped bringing her to the party would take her mind off it.” Ron explained as he worked on his third stack of pancakes. Draco finally came into the kitchen where everyone left had congregated still in their pajamas. Ron glared at him but remained some what calm. When he had realized Draco’s presence last night, Harry, Fred, and George had to hall him out of the room. Hermione had explained the situation, but Ron was still unhappy that Draco even existed.

Hermione caught Draco’s eye and moved her own toward the swinging door. He immediately understood and walked out of the kitchen.

Rachel had to go to work at a clothing store around noon, and Amber had promised to visit an old friend. Ron also left around the same time so he could rest some before a late night practice. Since it was Sunday Harry didn’t have training and he tagged along with Ron to go to the professional Quedditch practice. Draco had begun cleaning another room in the house.

“What do we do now?” Fiona asked slightly bored. “I mean, what do you normally do?”

Hermione shrugged. “When no one else is here besides Draco, I sometimes read or help him out.”

“Okay, let’s go!” Fiona smiled and got up off her chair. Hermione hesitated, not fully understanding what had just happened, then followed Fiona out of the living room. “Where the hell is Draco anyway?” she said looking at the surrounding halls.

“The library. Its this way.” Hermione took the lead and started down the left hand corridor.

They soon enter a room about the size of the living room with bookshelves lining all the walls from the floor to the roof except for a fireplace and a few windows. The mantle was made from dark walnut in which elves, princesses, and other fairy tale characters were carved into. The shelves were made out to the same material with rose vines engraved along the edges.

“Wow,” Fiona said as she came in behind Hermione. “So what now?” Draco took over and showed her all the things to do and shared some of the secrets he had discovered. Hermione shook her head a little and thought, ‘He’s so cute.’ She paused. ‘Did I really just think that? Draco Malfoy, scum of the earth, is cute? But he’s not like that anymore. He’s changed somehow.’ She watched Fiona and Draco and had a sudden urge to stand between them. She got up from one of the red, oversized, goose feathered chairs that were sprinkled around the room and joined the other by one of the few windows in the room. They were gazing out at the roses that magically grew around the edges of the glass. Hermione stopped just behind them and listened to their conversation.

“Wouldn’t it be so cool to see one bloom?” Fiona said staring at a bud that looked ready to burst. Draco silently took out his wand and from behind Fiona’s back began working a spell to make the rose open up. Fiona’s face lit up with it. She turned to Draco and smiled.

“Nice trick, Draco,” Hermione said. Fiona blushed slightly and Draco looked slightly annoyed. Fiona turned away to the selves and skimmed the book titles.

The rest of the day went by slowly and they all seemed to be on the edge. That evening Harry had deiced to stay over at Ron’s so it was just the three. Draco ran off to his room after an awkward dinner leaving the girls alone.

Hermione didn’t know what to do, she didn’t know why she had felt jealous of Fiona, she didn’t know why she was acting the ways she was. For once she didn’t know anything.

“What’s with you?” Fiona questioned.

“I don’t know.” Hermione said. Fiona sighed and rose from her seat.

“I’m not going to say anything except that I’m gonna go home until you do know. I’ll have my stuff outa here in a sec.” She gave Hermione a hug and went to their room to get her belongings.

Hermione sat there, still having no idea about anything, and wondering about Fiona’s and the million other questions whirling around her head.

Chapter 10: Like or Love?
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Ch. 10 Like or Love?’

“Where’s Fiona?” Harry asked the next day at lunch. He had gone straight to the ministry from Ron’s that morning. Draco and Hermione had spent the morning in the library exchanging glances and stares every few minutes.

“She went home.” Hermone said.

“Why?” When Draco had asked the same question she had made up an easy answer.

“Family emergency is all she said.” Hermione shrugged.

“Oh,” Harry said and continued eating his chili. He then turned the conversation to the training session he had attended last night. Draco was really interested and listened intensely. Hermione dazed off to think once again about her many questions.

She had an answer, but it couldn’t be right. Since she had no book to check it in all she could do was look for other possibilities. But none were as good as the impossible one. But it was just that, impossible. Hermione stared at Draco, who pretended not to notice, while her brain continued gnawing the idea.

“See ya,” Harry said standing up.
“Bye,” Draco said, clearing away the dishes. Hermione’s thinking process snapped.

“Good-bye, Harry,” she said and left the room. The boys looked after her and then at each other. Harry shrugged, being use to Hemione’s sudden outbursts, and Aparated from the manor. Draco headed to the library, which was still under construction. Hermione watched him from her hiding place and made sure he was busy cleaning. Then she went down the hallway opposite of the one Draco occupied, in search of a quiet place. She easily found one in a peaceful room designed to look like an oriental garden.

She sat on a bench by the pound fed by a miniature waterfall, and gazed at the orange and white fish. She studied them for awhile, soaking up all the beauty of the world she sat in. She then pulled out a roll of parchment and a quill, not taking her eyes off the creatures. She began writing the letter with, Dear Draco.
---------------- -------------------- ------------------------ ------------------- --------------------------------
Draco solemnly read Hermione’s neat handwriting that evening after supper.

Dear Draco,

I don’t know how to say this so I’ll just say it, I think I love you. It just happened, I don’t know when or how, it just did. I understand if you don’t feel the same. And I also understand if you would rather not be around me anymore. Just ask for your pay and you’ll never hear from me again. It’s funny, I use to help Harry and Ron figure out their love lives, no I can’t figure out my own.
Love, Hermione

The letter fell limp from his hand. He stared at where it laid, not really seeing it or anything else. He closed his eyes and fell softly onto his bed. He chose the classic choice of sleeping on it. Only he couldn’t sleep. Thoughts dept zigzagging around his head like pin balls.

It seemed he had two choices, Hermione, of course, and Fiona. There would be a good thing about one, then a better thing about the other. Hermione had told him she loved him and Fiona could just like him. But which one did he like, and which did he love?

He spent almost half the night whipping the sheets around his legs and his thoughts around his mind. Somehow the uneasiness had found its way to his stomach. He got up and went to the small kitchen in the guest house and searched for something to calm his middle. ‘Hot chocolate should fix this.’ He made himself some and finished quickly. He took the empty mug to the sink and glanced out the window above it. Through the wild garden he saw a light. He looked at his bed, then back through the glass. ‘Might as well,’ he thought and slipped on his shoes and out the door.

As he went through the vines, the kitchen’s back door opened wide. Hermione came out in her shorts and a tank top bare foot. She carefully made her way behind a large shrub not noticing Draco. He crept after he. As he peered through the branched he found a sight he would forever cherish. Hermione sat on a boulder in a flood of moonlight. Framed around her were lilac blossoms in vibrant color. Her fine legs were tucked beside her as she gazed longingly in the full moon. Her hair bounced in wavy curls around her graceful face.

Draco looked at her and listened closely to what his heart was telling him. He had the answer. Elegantly he came into the clearing. Hermione curved her neck to look at him. without blinking. Not thinking about anything except his present desire, Draco leapt onto the rock and pulled Hermione into an intense kiss filled with all the love either had ever felt.

As they gently came apart, Draco softly said, “I love you, too.”


(A/N: ok, i know that's way short but i hope ya'll liked it anyway! and this is ya'll's Christmas present, a complete story. i'll pry be starting a new fic in the new year, so please look it up! i should have an idea for one after all the time i'll be spending in a car. A BIG THANX TO ALL MY REVIEWERS!!!!!!! u know who you are, and i owe you guys the biggest thank-you ever for sticking with me!)