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"We fight all the time, you and I...that's alright. We're the same soul. I don't need to hear you say that if we weren't so alike, you'd like me a whole lot more..." -U2 "Sometimes You Can't Make it On Your Own"

Chapter Three

Oh, damn, Hermione sat up quickly in bed the next morning and groaned. I forgot a wedding present.

Meanwhile, Draco, who was sleeping right next to her rolled over in his sleep. “.... Yes, my biceps are rather impressive....”

Hermione couldn’t help but laugh. Only Draco Malfoy would say something like that in his sleep. She quickly hopped out of bed and looked at the clock on the bedside table which read 10 35. Deciding that she had better get ready, she began to get dressed.

Quietly, she picked out a white tank top and a jean mini and headed to the bathroom so she could get ready. She really felt like a hot shower would be nice at the moment, since Draco had denied her her nightly bath just a dozen hours before when he had made that horrid move on her.

Still, Hermione couldn’t shake the pleasure she had gotten from that second kiss. It was no wonder that Draco was the best in the business and one of the most popular guys in school back at Hogwarts. He really could kiss and now she knew that all the stories that all those pathetic girls at school used to tell were indeed quite true.

At that moment, the door opened and Draco appeared, only in his boxers.

“Excuse me,” Hermione said sharply. “I’m trying to get changed.”

He shrugged. “So? I can change in here as well.”

“I’d like my privacy,” Hermione added impatiently, willing him to leave. Seriously, she thought. Why can’t he give anyone any privacy, especially when he wants everyone else to do what he wants?

“I’d actually rather stay here,” he smirked.

Hermione rolled her eyes and then put one hand on either of his shoulders, so as to push him backwards towards the door. He was strong and bigger than she was, she had to admit, so it was quite hard for her to push him backwards. He looked amused as he raised one eyebrow in doubtful manner. “Get-Out.”

Suddenly, Draco dug his feet into the ground and quickly, before she even realized what he was doing, he had grabbed her hands and pulled her to him. His arms wrapped around her and then his lips were on hers again, kissing her softly, tenderly.

Hermione couldn’t help it. She felt herself melting up against him. She sighed and wrapped her arms around his neck, and she felt him pull her even more closely. She allowed her hands to run through his hair and she kissed him passionately.

And then, he pulled back and smirked at her. “See. I knew you wanted me to stay.”

She screamed in frustration. “Fine! Stay! I don’t give a damn!”

He smiled. “I’ve got to go get some clothes. I’ll be back.”

When the door shut behind him, Hermione almost thought of locking the door, but she knew it would be easy for him to just pull out his wand and open it like that. Plus, what she was thinking about doing was rather childish. There was no reason for her to do something as immature as that. She was an adult now, and, Draco Malfoy or not, she was going to be mature. Besides, it was true that she had hired him to be her date, and even though she’d been desperate, he had agreed and now they were here. She might as well try to get along with him. She shook her head. There were times though when she just wanted to strangle him as much as she used to and it was still hard to forget all the torture he’d put her through in school.

At that moment, the door opened again and the said torturer entered, smirking, as was his usual expression. Hermione sat down on the ledge of the marble bathtub and looked at him thoughtfully. “So, I have a question.”

“Ask away,” Draco said, turning towards the sink to brush his teeth.

“Have you ever smiled before?”

Draco turned back to her with an amused expression on his face. He continued to stare at her and Hermione felt color flood her cheeks. Had it really been that stupid of a question? According to his expression it had been. “You’re not serious,” he said. It wasn’t a question.

“No, I am,” Hermione said confidently, even though she felt like an idiot. “I mean, I don’t think you’ve ever smiled at me before.”

“What about yesterday? At the wedding party?” Draco asked.

“I guess,” Hermione shrugged, leaning over to turn off the water since the bath was now full. “But that was just for the job. I don’t think you’ve never genuinely smiled at me before.”

“You’ve never deserved one,” he shrugged.

“You jerk,” Hermione threw a bottle of shampoo aimed for his head. Unfortunately, his reflexes were excellent and he caught it expertly.

“Alright, alright,” Draco sighed. “You want a smile?”

Hermione shrugged and then said sarcastically. “Only if you feel like I deserve one. I mean, we do have a different sort of relationship now. Wouldn’t you say?”

And then, without warning, he grinned.

Hermione was so shocked that she almost fell back into the bath tub. It was the first look that she had gotten from him that was so unguarded and she had to admit that it was brilliant. Again, she could definitely believe why he had been dubbed the Slytherin Prince, because his smile was absolutely amazing.

His grin melted into his signature smirk because he knew what his effect on her had been. “Is that good enough for you?”

All she could do was nod. It was at that moment when she realized that she had to get in the bath. “Um... I’ve got to...”

Draco followed her gaze towards the tub. “Don’t worry. I won’t look.”

Hermione looked at him suspiciously. “I don’t trust you.”

He rolled his eyes. “You are so third year right now.”

She raised her eyebrows quizzically. “What the Hell are you talking about right now?”

“Like oh-my-God,” Draco raised his voice to sound like a girl’s. “Don’t look at me.”

“Shut up,” Hermione said, slightly stung at his last comment. “There’s this certain level of intimacy and respect that we don’t have in our particular arrangement.

“I’m sorry I sound immature to you,” she snapped. “But I don’t trust that you won’t look at me.”

“Why don’t you just put a blocking spell up?” Draco asked. “If you’re so worried that I’ll look at you in the bath.”

“I don’t have my wand,” Hermione glared at him. “It’s in my suitcase.”

“You know,” Draco said, as if it were obvious. “All you needed to do is say ‘hey, Draco, do you think you could go get my wand in the other room? It’s in my...’ Get it?”

“Draco?” Hermione sighed, trying to calm herself down. “Could you go get my wand? It’s in the back pocket of my small suitcase.”

He nodded at her. “See. That wasn’t so hard. And yes, Hermione. I would be delighted to go get your wand for you.”

While he was gone, Hermione let the hot water run for a little while longer so the bath would heat up a lot. When he got back, he was fully dressed in a white teeshirt and a pair of blue jeans. His hair wasn’t slicked back with a crazy amount of gel. Instead, his bangs were falling casually across his face, making him even more sexy than he usually was.

Hermione shook herself out of her reverie when she saw the way Draco was looking at her. Again, she had lowered her defenses enough so that he could tell that he was getting to her. She did not want to give him that type of pleasure and control over her. The strange attraction that she had felt towards him this past day would stop here and now. “My wand, please?”

“Why certainly,” Draco handed her the wand and she felt him brush her fingers slightly during the exchange.

With one flick of her wand, Hermione put a blocking spell up which caused her to still be able to see Draco, but enabled him not to be able to see her. If he put one up than neither of them could see the other, but they could still talk and have conversations.

“So,” Draco finally spoke again. “What are we doing today?”

“Shopping,” Hermione said, as she conjured up a Tupperware bucket to help wash her hair. The hot water felt so nice on her body and she shivered despite the extreme temperature.

“Shopping?” Draco asked, disgusted. “Eeuw. Why?”

“Because...” Hermione trailed off because she knew that he would probably have something smart to say about why she hadn’t yet bought a wedding gift for the bride and groom.

“Because what?” Draco asked curiously, conjuring up a copy of the Daily Prophet to read.

“Because I forgot to buy a wedding gift for Ginny and Harry,” Hermione said quietly.

Just as she’d suspected, Draco did burst out laughing. “Ha. You forgot to buy them a wedding gift. That’s really important.”

Hermione smirked, even though she knew he couldn’t see her. “I figured that out already.”

He gave her an amused look. “Just giving you a friendly reminder.”

“Thanks, Draco,” Hermione rolled her eyes. “Thanks a lot.”


A little while later, after the two had dressed and then eaten downstairs in the really expensive restaurant, they headed out onto the streets of Paris to try and find a shop where Hermione could buy the almost newlyweds a wonderful wedding gift. She wanted it to be perfect, something that they would cherish forever.

As the two were walking down the Champs-Elysee, Hermione sighed.

“What’s wrong?” Draco asked, actually looking slighly concerned.

“I have no idea what to get for them,” Hermione shook her head hopelessly. “I’ve just had so much stuff going on. And then Ron broke up with me a couple weeks back, and, I don’t know.....”

Suddenly, Draco stopped and pulled her into his arms. Hermione felt too bad to protest and she was glad she had someone to lean on, even if it was her old enemy. She felt one of his hands go up to rest on her head and he started to slowly run his fingers through her hair. “Hermione, it’s okay. Everything’s going to be okay.”

Hermione pulled back a minute or two later and smiled up at him. “Thanks, Draco. That’s exactly what I needed.”

He shrugged. “It’s part of my job,” he did some weird interpretive dance thing with his hands. “You know, feel what the client feels and then do whatever’s in your power to comfort them.”

“You are the best in the business,” Hermione smiled wryly.

They walked for about twenty minutes down that street, though Hermione could not find anything that she thought would suit Harry and Ginny perfectly.

“Are we almost done?” Draco whined, sounding like a little boy.

Hermione rolled her eyes. “Tell me you did not just whine.”

“So what if I did?” Draco raised one quizzical eyebrow.

“It’s annoying,” Hermione frowned at him. “And no. We are not done.”

“It would maybe help if you knew what you were looking for,” Draco shrugged and when he received an annoyed look from Hermione, he continued. “You know, narrow the choices down a bit.”

“I know exactly what you mean,” Hermione snapped and then sat down on a wrought iron bench on the side of a bridge. Draco sat down next to her, a safe distance away. “I don’t know, Draco. Something useful that they could use forever.”

Draco watched the cars passing by and Hermione watched him. He did seem to look as if he was trying to help her sort out her problem. All of a sudden, he sat up straighter and grabbed Hermione’s hand. “I have the perfect idea!”

He pulled her up and she looked at him, curious about why he was suddenly so happy. “Where are we going?”

Draco didn’t say anything, but instead heralded over a taxi. The car pulled over for them and the two hopped in. “Can you please take us to Boulevard Rouge?”

“Oui, Monsieur,” the taxi driver said.

“Where are we going, Draco?” Hermione asked, wondering why he was being so secretive.

He actually grinned at her and Hermione couldn’t help but grin back. Some people were so magnetic that when they smiled, you couldn’t help but smile right back. Draco was definitely one of those people.

Finally, the taxi pulled over on the side of a street that said Boulevard Rouge. Draco handed the driver some cash and then escorted Hermione out onto the sidewalk. “Okay,” he said, wrapping his fingers tightly around hers. “You’re really going to like this store.”

He lead her into a little store called Le Marche Mignon. Surprisingly, he was right. It was filled with little trinkets and shelves of just random things. It reminded Hermione of a garage sale, except that, as she looked around, she realized that all the stuff she was looking at, was Muggle stuff.

“Draco,” Hermione pulled on his sleeve and he looked down at her. “This is a Muggle shop.”

He nodded. “I know. Follow me.”

Again, not having any idea of where he was taking her, Hermione followed Draco through the back of the shop and through a door. Inside the room was filled with shelves and shelves of books. Hermione was still curious about where the Hell they were, but she decided not to say anything because she figured that Draco knew where he was going.

A moment later, they appeared onto the sidewalk of a whole other section of town. Hermione was reminded of Diagon Alley, the wizarding community that was hidden behind London. She wondered if this was the equivalent in Paris. “Where are we?” Hermione asked in wonder.

“Welcome to Ruelle Arbre Rouge,” Draco grinned at her. “The equivalent of Diagon Alley in London.”

Hermione grinned at him. It seemed that since she had had that conversation with him not smiling this morning in the bathroom, he had actually been much more willing to smile for her. Another part of her nodded to the fact that since they were in public he couldn’t be his usual conceited self if he was going to pull off their charade, but Hermione chose to ignore that part. For now, she was happy to be in this magical part of the City of Lights.

“So, where are we going?” Hermione asked. “Is there a specific store that you were planning on taking me?”

“Yes, actually,” Draco offered her his arm and, deciding to play along, she took it. “We’re going to a little wizarding gift shop called Le Cadeaux Parfait.”

“It’s called the perfect gift?” Hermione asked, raising a quizzical eyebrow. The name made it sound lofty, as if the store already knew that it was the best. Then again, she reminded herself. It is Draco Malfoy taking me to this shop.

When she arrived, she was nicely surprised to find that it actually wasn’t the largest store on the block. Instead, it looked just like a little French boutique should. It was white on the outside, with matching white wicker benches for guests to try out and then maybe buy if they suited them. Hermione followed Draco inside and looked around at the shelves which held the strangest little knick knacks she had ever seen.

In one area of the store, there was a room full of books, on another set of shelves, there were little glass gifts. In a whole other section there was little fountains and magical gardening supplies. As Hermione looked around, she realized that the store was much bigger inside than it looked on the outside. Ah, she smiled to herself, as she brushed the feathery softness of some silk bed sheets. The joys of magic.

“What do you think?” Draco asked.

“It’s amazing,” Hermione smiled, still in awe. “How’d you find this place?”

“I’d been to Paris several times as a child,” Draco explained, leading her through the bedding section. “Of course my father always knew where to go.”

Hermione nodded and said playfully, “Of course.”

Draco laughed at her tone and Hermione felt a warm feeling go through her. It was nice to be getting along, at least for the moment, with Draco Malfoy.

After spending an hour looking through the store, Hermione was starting to get hopeless. Although the sheer amount of things that the store had, she still had no idea what to get for Harry and Ginny that would be meaningful.

And then, as if it was a sign from Merlin, she remembered the clock at the Weasley house. Whenever she had gone to visit, she had always loved the clock and how it had always been useful to knowing where everyone was. She knew that Ginny would probably be reminded of home when she saw her very own clock, and Harry, who had never seen a wizarding clock before going to the Weasleys, would love it as well.

“I know what I want to get them,” Hermione said to Draco as he was looking at nice new leather change purses.

“Oh yeah?” Draco asked. “What?”

“A clock,” Hermione explained excitedly. “Like the one the Weasleys have at their house.”

Biting back a rude comment about what the Weasley house must look like, Draco forced a smile. “That’s an excellent idea. Come upstairs and you can pick one out.”

Hermione followed Draco upstairs where a whole other layer of gifts lived. He lead her to the back corner where there was a room full of clocks of all sizes. There were some smaller clocks that sat on shelves and then big grandfather size clocks that each was unique. The one that Hermione finally settled on was a big, standing clock with fancy hands to represent each family member. In a little velvet bag there were extra hands for future family members.

“I found it,” Hermione said, almost skipping towards it.

“This one?” Draco asked. “It’s definitely nice, but look at the price tag.”

Hermione did and her spirits fell. It was almost 2500 galleons and there was no way she had that much money to spend on a gift. “Never mind,” she said dejectedly. “Let’s go find something else.”

Suddenly, she felt a hand wrap around her wrist and pull her back so she was practically in Draco Malfoy’s arms again. “Oh, no you don’t,” he shook his head. “We’ve spent too long to look all over again.”

“I don’t have enough money, Draco,” Hermione pulled back. “Come on. Let’s go.”

“How much money do you have?” Draco asked.

“I have 1500 to spend on a gift,” Hermione replied. “Why? You’re not thinking of...”

“I’ll cover the rest,” he smiled.

“... Paying for it...” Hermione looked back up at him, shocked. “You don’t have to.”

“Sure I do,” Draco smiled. “This is their perfect gift, right?”

“I guess, but, I mean...”

“Hermione, shut up and let me prove to you that not everything I do is 95% selfish,” Draco said seriously.

“Are you sure?” Hermione asked meekly. “I could just get them that set of china downstairs that I saw.”

“No, don’t, Hermione,” Draco shook his head. “You want to get them this and Merlin be damned, but I’m helping you get them this.

“Besides, we’re supposed to be a couple,” Draco continued. “Even if we’re just a made-up couple. We still split the cost of things.”

Hermione almost felt herself go teary. So Draco Malfoy was actually generous when he wanted to be. She liked this side of him and at the moment, she never wanted to fight with him again. She reached up and hugged him. He wrapped his arms around her and hugged her tightly. “Thank you,” she said in a choked whisper.

“You are so welcome,” Draco replied. He pulled back a moment later and smiled at her, brushing back a stray lock of hair. “Let’s go pay for this clock now.”


A/N: I hope you're liking it so far. If you know the The Wedding Date then you'll know there is no scene like this at all in the movie and that the concept of the wedding gift is totally, completely null. But since I'm not copying it word for word, I'm going to put in these little scenes. Plus, it's interesting to see contrast in Draco's character and their relationship.
Look for chapter four coming up as soon as I get it out on paper :)

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