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They were outside the Savoy’s garden café. It was quiet, almost intimate, except for an aging couple exchanging toasts at the bar. The swimming pool sparkled with its fountains and lights, as a soft jazz piece played in the background. They chose a place near the pool, under a red Japanese lantern, and Draco offered her a seat, and then he sat down opposite to her.

“ Draco- “

“ Hermione- “

“ You go first, “ she quickly said.

“ No, ladies first… excuse the chauvinism, “ he replied.

“ Nothing. It’s just that I… it was… to put it in simple terms…I missed you, “ she finally said. “ And now you’re here and… “

“ You still miss me? “ he teased.

She laughed. “ Could be. “

“ Hermione, I missed you. More than you know, “ he suddenly interrupted. “ Those flowers, I couldn’t think of anything else… it was a spur of the moment idea, and I knew I had to heed your word… well Ron Weasley’s actually, but my mother- it was probably because of her constant whining about how I should- “

“ The flowers were lovely, “ she said. “ Thank you very much. “

“ You think? “ he shook his head and laughed. “ You know, I’d always thought I’d feel comfortable with any woman. But you’re… you make me feel conscious of myself. “

She smiled. “ I’m a fashion journalist, you should be. “

He laughed and raised his hand. A waiter instantly appeared at his side. “ Scotch please, and for the lady a-? “ he looked at her.

“ Tequila rose, please,“ she said. Tequila rose would do well; although she gave it some thought that it did not match her orange dress at all…The waiter nodded and left.

“ I love the Savoy, “ Draco said.

“ Why? Because of the ambience? “

“ Because I met you here again, “ he replied. “ Nah, just kidding. Well- the Savoy’s nice and all- plus the service and food are excellent. “

She smiled. “ How are you? Your… health? “

“ I’m fine.- I just peaked my last year’s goal of sales, my mother’s planning to expand the shop to France, I just had a heart attack two days ago- “

“ A what! “ Hermione leaned for him.

“ Just kidding. I’m fine. You know I’m fine. “

She pouted. “ Funny. Very funny. And how should I know you’d be fine? I haven’t seen you in a week. “

“ Well, I’m alive and well in front of you now, aren’t I? “

She nodded. “ True. But you never know, you might be hiding stuff from me? “

“ Like what? “ his eyebrow cocked up. “ Like me seeing someone else? Taking gorgeous, magazine-worthy women to the swankiest places? “

Her eyes narrowed. “ Right. “

“ I was kidding, I was at my mother’s almost the whole week, “ he said mildly, placing his hand over hers. “ So, How are you? “

“ Fine. Do I look stressed to you? “

He shook his head. She did not look stressed. Women. They were always thinking about their figures and how they looked…but Hermione- didn’t she realize she was making him all lightheaded just by the sight of her? Just by the sound of her voice?

“ Well, since I don’t, I actually am. I won’t delve into the wizarding world, I’ve got enough on my hands already in this job and now, and I’m even wearing a dress for this. “

He laughed. Then they both grew quiet. The waiter came up with their drinks and set them neatly on the table. “ Anything else, sir? “ the waiter asked Draco. Draco shook his head and the waiter left again He looked up at the sky and the tress surrounding them. Stars hung up like a canopy over them and a cold breeze flipped through his hair once in awhile.

“ I was wondering when I’d see you, “ she said after a few moments.

He looked at the pool. “ Hermione- “

“ Hmm? “ She stared to where he was looking at. The fountain was playfully changing colors to the directions where it spurted jets of water.

“ I need to see you again, after this, “ he said.

Hermione looked at him for quite some time. “ You do realize what you’re saying? “

“I know I’m placing you in danger, but I swear I’ll be discreet, really. “

“ No, the one that’ s in danger is you, and not me. Do you think they’ll leave you alone just because you’re no longer an active figure in the wizarding world? We don’t know who they are Draco- and we’re trying to find out. I desperately want to know who’s behind all this, we have our suspects, but suspects are just suspects… “

“ I can take care of myself fine, “ he replied. “ I just need to see you once in awhile. Damn it, Hermione, even just a week, I felt so restless, like something was bothering me every fecking day. “

She looked at him, and his hand, that still rested on hers. “ You’re not the only one who feels that way, you know. “

“ You think? “

“ I feel, “ she replied with a laugh. “ Sorry… that was so cheesy. “

“ S’okay. I hope your drink’s not getting to you… I mean, it might be more difficult to get what you’re wearing off this time if you’re drunk. “ He laughed.

“ Shut up. “

“ Kiss me first. “

She leaned in to kiss his cheek mildly, catching the mild scent of his aftershave. He wore no perfumes at all; just plain aftershave and she loved catching the whiff of it.

“ I’m shutting up now, “ Draco said with a smile. “ There’s nothing left to say, now that you’ve just kissed me. “

“ Talk, Malfoy. “ She raised a brow and tried not to smile.

“ ‘Only until you kiss me again. “

She laughed once more and gaily kissed him.

“ Would you like to dance? “

“ What? “ her brows shot up a little.

“ I’m a great dancer, “ he said with a wink as he extended his hand for hers. The chorus of the song had just started. And she soon found herself in Draco’s arms.

“ You’re a great dancer, eh? “ she repeated with another laugh. He spun her around once and they began a slow waltz as Draco signaled the waiter with a nod. The lights began to change and they dimmed progressively, until Hermione’s eyes widened in surprise.

The pool was floating with gleaming candles. She gasped a little and looked up to him, seeing a smile on his face as he looked at her. “ You’re pleased with yourself, “ she said.

“ I should be, “ he told her as they moved from one corner of the area, to the next. “ Merlin knows what I’ll think of next, just to see you smile and laugh all the time. “

It was only hours later that they realized it was past four in the morning.

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Draco smiled to himself as he drove up his driveway. It was five in the morning, and he could feel the cold morning air envelop him as he got out of his car. Just as he took his house key out, he paused. Something wasn’t right.

Breathing in deeply, he swung open the door, and was on his guard. The living room wasn’t empty. Someone was standing in the center of the room, with a smile on his face. A face he hadn’t seen or thought of in years.

“ Ey mate, “ the unwanted visitor greeted.

Draco narrowed his eyes and said nothing. He clutched his wand inside his coat.

“ What’s this? No warm hello? And just when I thought you would be happy to see me again after five years… is it? “

Draco took a step forward. There was no one else. This was a clandestine visit. “ What are you doing here? “

“ Just though I’d drop by, say hi to my ‘bestest’ buddy, well, sort of… “ He gave a smile and stepped forward. His dark eyes burned under the dim lights. He twirled his wand in one hand.

“ Hello, “ Draco said frostily.

The visitor laughed. “ Damn you, Draco. Still cool as ever, aren’t you chap? Even if you did betray the Dark Master. “

“ So this is what it’s all about? “ Draco’s jaw clenched. “ What are you? The revenge committee or something? Dream on. “

“ Join us, “ he began.

Draco gave a wry laugh. “ Join you? And do what? Chant spells to bring back the dead? Bring Voldemort back? “

“ Such impertinence for our Master now, eh? “ he said glaring at Draco.

“ What the hell is this? You crash into my house and tell me to work for you? Work for a dead man? “

“ He’ll live again, Draco. “

There was something in his words that sent the hair down Draco’s nape stand up.

“ Right. Get out of here. “

He smiled bitterly. “ I remember you had such spirit in his service. I suppose that’s just like a good memory now, like your aunt Bellatrix’s… well of course, you might need more than a little persuasion? “ He smiled another sly smile. “ Have you forgotten Draco? Or you probably haven’t heard the news? We can intercept you anytime, anyone actually, who travels through apparition now… “

“ Get out, “ Draco’s voice became lower, dangerously lower.

He shrugged and gave a short laugh. “ As you wish, but don’t think I won’t keep coming to you to convince you. I’m sure my persuasion will work out fine, next time. “

“ Try me. “

“ I will. See you, Draco Malfoy. “ And with one pop, the man was gone.

Draco’s heart pounded loudly in the silence of the room. Had he just seen Blaise in his living room? How did he know… And… Draco sank to the nearest couch, feeling his legs go jelly on him. He placed a hand over his forehead, trying to regain himself from the sudden event.

Try me....

I will....

Somehow, that defense mechanism wasn’t right. The consequences would be what he would not expect, something he didn’t not bear to think. And he thought of his mother- Blaise’s mother and his were in civil terms…but what about-?

He groaned.

Hermione!

Did they know about her? Oh god! Please not! And his heart raced at the thought of her face, and he suddenly felt the need to take Blaise more seriously now. Draco took another deep breath and tried to place his thoughts in order. How would he make a move when now he knew that someone, that people from his past were keen on watching him? Keen on him joining for their cause again?

And Hermione was an Auror.

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Cool air was billowing through the thick velvet red curtains, and a woman slept soundly in the night.


~

She was dreaming of a little boy, running in the gardens, hair flying in the wind, running past colors of blurred red, yellow, pink, green, blue- There was a woman laughing gaily, her long hair billowing in the spring wind- A man came into view, and her eyes widened, in trepidation and in deference. He walked up to them, and the little boy came to a halt. His smile was gone, but his cheeks remained red and there was a line of sweat on his little forehead. The man sneered at the little boy, and she drew the little boy close to her arms……

~


It was past three in the morning. A man apparated inside the room and stared at the woman who had remained asleep; despite his intrusion…

He stared at her for awhile, wondering if he should follow orders or not. He would’ve loved to kill her, hex her in the most excruciating ways… but, orders were orders. And he had some respect for her anyway. She was after all, well known in the wizarding community.

He raised his wand….


~

The little boy began to sniffle, and the man sneered further, walking closer to them, as they sat on the grass. He smiled at her, and she wondered if that was a good sign, or if it wasn’t. The man beckoned the boy to come closer to him, and leave her arms, and she let go, because she knew she was powerless against him-

~


The woman’s eyes snapped open. She gasped. “ You! What are you doing-! " Her words were cut off by the sound of his voice, just as she had grabbed her wand.

“ Stupefy! “

A roar of light, a soft thump on the bed sheets, a tiny pop…and the room became deathly soundless once more, like no one ever came, like nothing had ever happened.

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author notes: don't own the savoy, and even if i did, it wouldn't make any difference, harry potter still isn't mine. (haha), also i thought of hermione's dress as orange...cause i own one the same as i had described it. ^_^ please don't forget to review? also, next chapter proves to be very...exciting!!! ^_^

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