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    "My love is like to ice, and I to fire
    How comes it then that this her cold so great
    Is not dissolved through my so hot desire
    But harder grows the more I her entreat..."

    -Edmund Spenser

    Hogsmeade and the Visiting Viktor

    Hermione woke up Saturday to the strangest noises. It sounded like yelling, squealing, and the sloshing of water. If she didn’t know any better, she would’ve thought that Malfoy had brought one of his hussies into the bathroom.

    Grabbing a brush and running it through her hair, Hermione sat up and made her way to her door. She cautiously opened it, expecting to find something chaotic in the living room, but it was still dark. Hermione threw a glance at her alarm clock. It was almost seven in the morning. The light in the bathroom was on…hmmm…

    Troubles bathing?

    Hermione grinned wickedly and grabbed her camera, walking quietly to the bathroom. The door was slightly open and she was almost splashed with water as she peeked inside.

    Malfoy was drenched from head to foot, still in his black pajamas, holding a loofah in one hand and a bar of soap in the other. Water sloshed onto the tiled floor as he scrambled around to regain his footing. Meanwhile, a half clothed Blaise was running around, evading Malfoy’s attempts to grab him and properly bathe him. The little boy was rather quick on his feet.

    Hermione snickered as Malfoy turned red in the face from his efforts. He managed to stand and run a couple of steps before he fell back down, suds from the soap covering his pants.

    “I swear Blaise, if you don’t come here right now, there’re going to be serious consequences!” Malfoy threatened loudly, still struggling to recover from his fall.

    Hermione quickly took pictures of Malfoy running around the bathroom, trying to catch the little black haired boy. She only had a second to move before the door burst fully open and Blaise came running out, Malfoy barreling after him.

    “Grab him!” Malfoy snarled at her, sprinting to the other side of the couch where Blaise currently was.

    Hermione rolled her eyes. “Don’t be ridiculous, Mal-er, Draco.”

    “He won’t let me bathe him!” Malfoy protested, a scowl forming on his lips.

    “Why not?”

    Blaise ran to her, hugging Hermione around her knees as he peeked out at Malfoy. “He doesn’t know how to do my hair, mummy!”

    “I brush it!” retorted Malfoy, making his way over to the two of them. Blaise’s grip tightened on her legs.

    “And he sometimes gets the soap in my eyes, like he did yesterday before you came back home!”

    “You bloody know well why!” Malfoy said, pointing an accusing finger at Blaise. “You won’t sit still!”

    Picking up Blaise onto her shoulder, Hermione pushed past Malfoy and walked back to the bathroom. She heard the blond follow her and she sighed with exasperation. Hermione set Blaise down and told him to pick out his favorite bubbles before turning to face Malfoy.

    “Why didn’t you just wake me if you were having trouble?” Hermione asked, smiling a bit evilly.

    “I was trying to be considerate,” Malfoy snapped back. “You just got out of the infirmary yesterday so I though that you’d need more rest.”

    She raised and eyebrow. “So it had nothing to do with your inability to wash a child or your pride?”

    “Of course it did,” he snapped back indignantly before turning his mercury eyes on Blaise.

    “By the way, Granger, we’re going to dinner tonight, with the rest of the “parents”. Request of Dumbledore in order for us to get along. Wear something decent. I don’t want to embarrassed.”

    Hermione rolled her eyes. “You do a good enough job of that yourself, Malfoy.” She paused. “Where will Blaise be?”

    “One of your friends can baby sit him,” Malfoy answered, shrugging. “Get the flirty, dim Weasley chit.”

    “Her name is Ginny,” Hermione spat at him. “And she’s not dim…just a little focused on boys right now. Not like you have any right to talk with all the notches on your bed post. Besides, younger students can‘t baby sit.”

    He opened his mouth to speak but before he could, Hermione was pushing him out of the bathroom, mumbling insults under her breath. Then she slammed the bathroom door in his face.

    After breakfast and after Hermione had ran around, pleading with Hannah Abott to baby sit Blaise for the night, she was squashed in a carriage with five other frustrated teenagers and “parents”. The other six (a/n I added another couple) were in the carriage in front of them.

    Hermione had enlarged the carriage floor so that the three kids could play with their toy wands and other various objects. The seats, however, had been less cooperative and wouldn’t lengthen. She was now stuffed in between a smug Malfoy and a very annoyed Ron. Harry, Dean (in his male form) and Pansy were sitting on the other side.

    Yelling, puffs of smoke, and whining filled the carriage to capacity and Hermione was about to cast a silencing charm on everyone. Harry and Pansy were arguing again and the children were screaming, while Ron was making frantic hand motions, obviously about Quidditch, to Dean. She and Malfoy were the only ones not talking, or not quarreling for that matter.

    “My parents are coming soon,” the blond said to Hermione quietly over the din, trying to make conversation. Her eyes widened until she resembled a deer in headlights.

    “What?” she shrieked as something exploded on the carriage floor. Seamus had blown up his teddy bear and in turn, lit Lavender‘s long hair on fire. She heard Dean yell something before she continued. “Your muggle hating parents? Please don’t tell me you’re actually serious? ”

    “They’re coming. They want to see how we’re doing with the project.”

    Hermione made small, incoherent noises before she was able to form a sentence. “But…but why?”

    He shrugged nonchalantly and then pulled out something neon green from his robe pocket. Hermione leaned in to see what it was, and when he unfurled it, she gasped.

    “This is what else I wanted to talk about…”

    “You made flyers for Blaise’s birthday party?” she asked incredulously. “With dancing, half-naked girls on it? That’s ridiculous!”

    Malfoy smirked, looking down and admiring the cage dancers. “Well I thought it was a good idea-”

    “You obviously weren’t in your right state of mind!” Hermione shot back. “We’re throwing a small party for a six year old, not a rave for a teenager with a sex drive of a rabbit!”

    Again, Hermione’s words were drowned out, this time by the screaming of Seamus who was now floating near the carriage ceiling thanks to Lavender. The little girl was quite upset over her hair. This eventually distressed Pansy, who was so overprotective, and started calling Ron and Dean “monsters” and asking “how could they allow such behavior from a girl”. Her words were answered by a yelling retaliation from Dean who said “that she was the pot calling the kettle black” and that “she would’ve reacted the same way if someone had set fire to her hair” which he then called “hideous”.

    It all ended in some nasty hexes being thrown, none of which hit their targets, thankfully, and a tearful Pansy, cuddling Seamus, huffing in the corner.

    “Somehow I don’t think that you’re parents will be too happy to see me,” Hermione said coldly, fiddling with a lock of her hair that rested on her shoulder. His eyes watched her fingers for a moment before traveling back up to her face.

    “They already know about you,” Malfoy admitted.

    There was silence between the pair before Hermione spoke.

    “We have to buy him presents, you know. For tomorrow.”

    “You and your stupid muggle traditions,” he said, watching Blaise on the floor. “Why don’t we just transfigure something? It’s not like he’ll use it for long.”

    Hermione crossed her arms over her chest. “No. It’s not right.”

    “Why not?” Malfoy asked exasperatedly. He really didn’t want to spend any more time with her than he already had to.

    “I said no, Malfoy,” Hermione snapped back in a voice he knew signaled finality. “He deserves something real. And aren’t the Malfoys all for the top of the line things? Transfiguring cups into toys doesn’t really fit into that category , does it?”

    Malfoy narrowed his gray eyes at her before deciding to ignore her comment completely.

    The carriage lurched over a bed of rocks and Hermione glanced over Ron’s shoulder and out of the window. She could see the faint outline of Hogsmeade getting clearer. It was a slightly heavy weight in her lap that made Hermione look up. Blaise had climbed onto her legs and was now laying his head on Malfoy’s chest. He was obviously tired but his violet eyes still rested on them.

    Almost instantly, Malfoy slid his hand into Hermione’s. It was just about a second nature whenever Blaise looked at them to hold hands and create strained smiles, just to keep the façade that they got along, although they barely did. They had held hands many times in the past couple of days.

    But this time, as Hermione’s smooth skin met the slightly rough skin of Malfoy’s palm, something felt different. Something that definitely shouldn’t have been there, especially between two rivals from two very different worlds.

    Hermione later, after their long engagement and life lasting marriage, would describe it as a spark and Draco would jokingly say it was the beginning of his lifelong hell.

    At this time, though, at this very moment in this story, where two enemies know naught of the future or the troubles and hardships they would have to go through to be together, they could see nothing but the supposed hate they felt towards each other. Although embarrassment and dislike was still apparent, especially when Hermione pulled away, biting her lip, and when Malfoy looked as though he was going to protest, but slightly blushed a manly blush, they could not deny that they had felt something.

    This “thing” wasn’t love, definitely not at that point, but a small feeling of either comfort, want, like, and lust.

    And they both could not disagree on one thing that they had felt.

    It was the feeling of everything changing.

    “We’ll meet you at the Three Broomsticks in two hours,” Harry and Ron said to her in unison, looking down at Neville’s bewitched watch.

    Harry, Ron, and Dean had met up with Neville while Terry had managed to escape Susan’s wrath by casting an appearance altering charm on himself. Parvati and Ginny were accompanying Hermione and Malfoy, much to the Slytherin’s dismay and Pansy had left with little Seamus to meet up with her friends at Madame Puddifoot’s.

    “Fine,” Hermione answered, allowing herself to be drawn into their hugs. “I’ll be there.”

    She held tightly to Blaise’s hand, not wanting him to get lost in the crowds surging through Hogsmeade. The Bulgarian Quidditch team was staying there for a week while they prepared to play a big, but not huge, match against England. Naturally, hoards of girls and die hard fans were stalking the streets with cameras, looking for the members of the Bulgarian team. Hermione had inwardly groaned, hoping not to see Viktor. He had taken things a little badly when she broke up with him last summer and continued to ask her out on dates.

    Malfoy was casting glares at the two Gryffindor girls who were whispering excitedly to Hermione, planning out outfits for Blaise and decorations for the party. Hermione noticed, left the two to their planning and approached Malfoy.

    “I don’t want you starting any trouble,” Hermione said harshly, her amber eyes flashing. “If you do-”

    “Why would I even waste my time talking to them?” Malfoy snarled back. “They’re not worth my precious breath.”

    Hermione rolled her eyes. “Yet you waste your time with Crabbe and Goyle who can’t comprehend half of what you’re saying?”

    “Those two aren’t much different, giggling over trivial things,” Malfoy shot back, nodding to Ginny and Parvati who were pointing at a dress in a shop window.

    “Just say you won’t Malfoy,” Hermione said irritably. She was getting too annoyed to argue.

    “Fine,” he said grudgingly, turning his nose up at her. Hermione rolled her eyes and walked back over to Ginny and Parvati, still holding tightly onto Blaise’s hand. She felt the little boy tug her back.

    “Yes?” she asked, patiently.

    “Are you mad at Daddy?” he asked, his large eyes tearing up.

    Hermione sighed with exasperation and walked back over to Malfoy. He looked surprised at first but then realized that Blaise was pulling on his robes. Scowling darkly, he took the other hand of the little boy and the three of them, two linked together by the likes of a child, walked with two giggling girls into the closet clothing shop.

    “He has to have this, Hermione!” Ginny told her excitedly, throwing more black and blue shirts into the already overflowing basket.

    Hermione who was lugging it around with one hand with trying to hold onto Blaise, winced at the extra weight.

    “Can you take him, please?” Hermione asked Malfoy irritably. He raised an eyebrow. “I have to hold this.”

    Malfoy swiftly picked up Blaise with one arm, holding him to his chest in a very fatherly manner that Hermione hadn’t expected. Mentally shrugging to herself, Hermione looked down at the clothing that Parvati and Ginny had picked out.

    “Why is everything black or blue?” Hermione queried, picking through the clothes

    Parvati threw a few more dress robes into her basket. “Because, those are his colors, Hermione,” she answered, as if she was explaining it to a two year old. “Like my Rachel. I dress her in mainly yellows and blues because they go with her eyes.”

    Hermione scowled at the black haired witch and hoisted the basket higher up on her arm. Eventually they got to the counter, paid for their things and left. Standing outside, Hermione nudged Ginny to signal to her that they needed to take Blaise.

    “Oh yes!” the red head exclaimed, plastering on a wide smile that made everyone else grimace. She leaned in to talk to Blaise, who was still resting comfortably in Malfoy’s arms. “Would you like to come with us, Blaise? Mummy and er…daddy need to go get some personal things.”

    Blaise eyed her warily. “Do I have to?” he asked, turning to Hermione. She grinned at him and nodded.

    “It won’t be for long,” she promised, kissing him on his cheek.

    Malfoy glared at the two girls before reluctantly releasing Blaise to Parvati. Hermione watched the three walk into the crowds before turning to her partner.

    “So what do we need?” she asked, glancing around at the surrounding stores.

    Malfoy shrugged. “I’m not big on birthdays.”

    “Really?” she answered, raising an eyebrow.

    “I don’t understand what the big deal is,” he further explained, walking towards a costume shop across the street. It looked as if the curtains were drawn across the windows. Hermione followed, elbowing many people in the process. “It’s merely the day you were born. It’s not like you did something else other than slide out some woman’s-”

    “You know, I‘d like to hear about it, but now is not the time, Malfoy,” Hermione interrupted sarcastically, pushing open the door.

    She stopped when she got inside, waiting for the blond to catch up. The shop was rather dark and had a slight musky smell to it. There were rows and shelves filled to the brim with things for parties and balls. A wall of dressing rooms stood on the opposite on the far side of the shop. Malfoy wrinkled his nose at the dust covered racks.

    “Well let’s get started,” Hermione said brightly, picking out a stuffed bookshelf.

    It was nearly an hour before they left the shop. Hermione and Malfoy had gotten into petty arguments over the decorations. He wanted streamers that had naked girls on them, claiming that “Blaise would remember everything when he turned back and would appreciate it.” Hermione had rolled her eyes and threatened to hex him when he was actually preparing to buy the god forsaken things. They eventually went for a dragon theme, since Blaise had a thing for the winged beasts, and had gotten decorations that exploded into tiny light dragons that flew around the room.

    The Three Broomsticks was as crowded as ever as she pushed her way through, holding tightly to Blaise’s hand. They finally reached the table where the “parents” were sitting. Almost everyone was scowling, bouncing smiling children on their knees. Ron brightened when he saw Hermione and quickly brought a chair over for her and Blaise. Malfoy leered at the red head for the absence of a chair and proceeded to stand behind Hermione.

    There was awkward silence as Pansy gently rocked a tired Seamus to sleep. The group was getting looks from the customers of the pub, all wondering what Hogwarts students, at the age of seventeen, were doing with children.

    “Did you get the things you needed to?” Harry asked her, nodding towards the huge bags in her hand. Hermione nodded, settling back in her seat.

    Noticing that everyone else had a drink and that Blaise was probably hungry and thirsty, Hermione got up. “I’m going to go get us something to eat. The little one is probably hungry.”

    “Get some more butterbeers!” Neville called out after her, looking around at the empty bottles on the table. “Five…no six more!”

    Hermione nodded and deftly maneuvered her way to the counter. She smiled at Madame Rosmerta who was cleaning out mugs.

    “How many?” the waitress asked her.

    “Seven butterbeers and a plate of chicken fingers, please.”

    The older woman smiled and busied herself with the orders and Hermione leaned against the counter.

    “ ’ermione?” a slightly rough and deep voice asked from beside her.

    She froze. She would recognize the butchering of her name anywhere, although he pronounced it almost correctly.

    “Viktor?” she said, turning towards her right.

    The Bulgarian seeker was beside her, looker a lot better than he had two years ago. He had grown out his hair and wasn’t as lanky as he was before. It seemed as though his nose had been broken a couple more times because there was a slightly bigger bump at the bridge. He gave her a toothy grin and drew her into a hug.

    “I ‘ave missed you very much,” he told her, releasing her from his tight grip.

    “I have too.”

    Viktor’s smile grew. “ So vhat are you doing here?”

    “Er…school trip. We go almost every weekend.”

    “As, yes. I ’ave forgotten.”

    Hermione nodded. “Your English seems to be getting better.”

    “Thanks,” Viktor answered, still grinning. “I ‘af been practicing. I am to be moving here very soon.”

    Hermione almost choked on her spittle. He gently slapped her on her back as she looked back up at him “What?”

    “I am needing a change from Bulgaria,” he continued, not noticing her reaction. “The ministry has offered me a job. Someving about sports and those things. I am thinking of taking it, but I vant to move here anyways.”

    “Why?” Hermione asked stupidly.

    “I thought it would be obvious, Herm-oh-ninny,” Viktor answered, staring into her eyes. “I vanted to be closer to you.”

    Hermione managed a bright smile. “That’s very nice, Viktor, but I’m sure you don’t need to move her just for me-”

    “Nonsense,” he interrupted. “You’re very important. I ’ave no one as important as you in Bulgaria, besides my parents who are moving to France anyway.”

    “Viktor, I’m flattered. But we’re just friends, I mean, friends live far away all the time.”

    “So you do not…vant me here?” he asked, a troubled expression playing onto his dark features.


    “No!” Hermione said. “I do, but I don’t want you to leave behind a perfectly good life in Bulgaria for me, who’s just a friend,” she added putting emphasis on her last words, hoping he’d catch the point. She stll wasn’t sure what she felt for Viktor.

    “My life is not perfect if you are not in it, Hermy-own,” Viktor told her. “Ve are good, friends, are ve not?

    “Of course we are, Viktor.”

    “Mummy?” a little voice sounded from beside her, once again.

    Viktor’s gaze drew from Hermione’s reddening face to the little raven haired boy in Malfoy’s arms.

    “Yes, Blaise?” she answered, not meeting Malfoy’s accusing gaze.

    “I’m tired.”

    “We’ll be leaving soon,” Hermione said. “But after you eat.”

    “He wants chicken,” Malfoy informed her, looking back and forth between her and Viktor, a little scowl playing on his lips. The tall blond, taller than Viktor now, placed a hand on her shoulder and Hermione glared up at him. He was doing it to make Viktor jealous

    Hermione nodded. “That’s what I got, Ma- Draco.”

    “So are you and daddy taking me home soon?” the little boy continued, playing with Malfoy’s long silvery hair.

    “Of course,” Malfoy answered for her. “Mummy’ll be back in a minute.”

    Viktor cleared his throat and spoke. “I do not believe we ‘ave met.”

    “No, I don’t we have,” Malfoy answered. “I’m Hermione’s husband, Draco. And this is our son,” he added, nudging Blaise slightly, signaling him to say hello. The little boy waved lightly.

    Still smirking at them, Malfoy turned and made his way back to the table. Hermione felt Viktor’s eyes on her again and then on her hands which rested on the counter top. She had forgotten that she was actually wearing the fake wedding band that Dumbledore had given each couple.

    “Last time, I ‘ave seen you, you were not with child,” Viktor said. “How old is he? Six?”

    “He is actually,” Hermione said, fiddling with her silver bracelet nervously. “He’ll be turning seven tomorrow.”

    “You’re husband is a handsome man,” Viktor said. He looked happy but his weary voice betrayed him.

    “It’s only a project Viktor,” Hermione explained, guilt taking hold. “Dumbledore thinks that it’s important for the students to learn about raising children, so he inserted an extra class. We’re paired into couples and given a child to care for, for a month.”

    “Dumbblydore is a good man,” Viktor said, smiling once more and butchering the headmaster’s name. “Very good idea.”

    “Yes it was,” Hermione agreed.

    Madame Rosmerta finally came back with Hermione’s order. She silently thanked the gods and paid for it. As she was about to walk away, Viktor stopped her.

    “Vould you like me to help?” he asked, motioning towards her hands. She was struggling to balance everything. Hermione smiled gratefully and nodded.

    Ron caught site of the seeker before everyone else and a scowl quickly crossed onto his face. Hermione mouthed “Be Nice” to him, before setting down the butterbeers .

    “I’m sure everyone knows Viktor,” Hermione announced, motioning towards the tall man beside her. She heard a few squeals from Pansy, Ginny, and Parvati’s direction before Viktor was bombarded by them. He gently shook them off and set down the plate of food in front of a anxious Blaise.

    “I am assuming that these belong to you?” he asked nicely. The little boy nodded and smiled up at Viktor.

    “Vell I should be going,” Viktor said, straightening up.

    “You should,” Ron muttered, before Harry kicked him under the table.

    Hermione was drawn into another tight hug.

    “Write me,” he whispered in her ear. “I would like to hear from you. I vill come to see you later this week.”

    Hermione nodded, blushing furiously when she realized that almost everyone in the pub had stopped to look at them. A few flashes of a camera went off and Hermione groaned, knowing that it would be all over the papers the next morning. Viktor released her before waving goodbye at everyone

    “I don’t like him,” Malfoy declared, glaring at Viktor’s back as Hermione sat down.

    “You had no trouble when you were fawning over him in fourth year,” Hermione retorted, picking up a knife and cutting Blaise’s food into smaller pieces. “And it doesn’t matter on whether or not you like him. I’m sure he could care less.” Malfoy scowled at her.

    “For once, I have to agree with Malfoy,” Ron piped up from beside Harry. “I never did like the bugger-”

    “Oh please Ron,” Ginny said with exasperation, coming to Hermione’s defense from the other end of the table. “You had no problem with him until he started hitting on Hermione. We all know how you feel so why don’t you just -”

    Ginny was quickly silenced by a sharp elbow to the ribs. She frowned at her brother before smiling back up at Hermione.

    “Forget I said anything,” she said.

    The brunette witch raised an eyebrow, before seeing Blaise stuff his chicken down his throat and pull on her arm.

    “I am done,” he told her, smiling and showing her the half masicated chicken in his mouth. Hermione nodded, taking a small swig of butterbeer.

    She and Malfoy said her good byes, well the blond really just stood there, took Blaise’s hand, plus the bags, and went back to Hogwarts. It was after they had put Blaise to bed for a nap when all hell broke loose.

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