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“Look, Marcy: whatever this guy wants, tell him he can’t have it. This is my company, and I’m going to protect it from creeps like him whether it’s the last thing I do.” I slammed the phone down onto the receiver and took a few deep breaths.

The door opened and my young, petite assistant poked her head into the office. “Is everything all right in here, Miss Granger?” She asked worriedly.

I sighed and sat back in my leather chair. “I’m fine, Claudia. I just can’t stand it when people attempt to buy the company off me. When will they understand that I’m not selling?” I put my head in my hands and rubbed my eyes wearily.

Claudia Marselton stepped into my large, elegant office and quietly snapped the door shut behind her. “If it’s any consolation, Miss Granger, that loud man has stopped calling.” She said softly.

I couldn’t help but laugh at this. All morning Draco had been calling my office, and being horribly unacquainted with the telephone, he had taken to shouting down the line at my personal assistant. This had not taken too well with Claudia, and she had just managed to get Draco to stop calling.

“Thank you, Claudia,” I said lightly, taking a stack of papers from my ‘in’ pile and placing them in front of me. “I’ll call you if I need anything.” I then busied myself in attempting to finish off my reports.

Claudia smiled and bowed out of the office, closing the door in her silent manner.

I smiled to myself. My love of books and knowledge had led me to becoming a journalist. As I also loved muggles so much, being a daughter of them myself, I decided that I wanted to write about nothing but muggles. This had forced me to work with muggles too, but I had not been fazed about this. For three years straight, I had been the manager of a popular muggle magazine called Venus. I earned most of the money for both me and Draco (whom had been my boyfriend for almost two years), and it was great because I was doing what I loved. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I was interrupted from my thoughts by the phone ringing. Rolling my eyes irritably, I picked it up and shoved it to my ear. “Marcy, I thought I told you –”

“Hello to you too.” Draco’s voice yelled down the line.

I sighed. “Oh Draco, it’s you.”

“You don’t sound at all surprised to hear me.”

I winced at the loudness of his voice. “Draco, I can hear you even when you don’t shout. Talk quietly.” I said wearily, running a hand through my honey-brown hair.

“You sound stressed.” This time Draco was quiet.

“I am. This creep keeps wanting to buy the company off me. I’m so sick of him, and all the others who think I’m selling,” I pressed the base of my hand to my eye, leaning on my elbow. “I just wish this was easier.”

Draco sighed sympathetically. “It doesn’t exactly help that your magazine is the most popular in all of muggle England, Hermione.” His voice was calm and soft, and it was hard to believe that just seconds ago he had been shouting down the line.

I couldn’t help but smile. “Well aren’t you just the rotten cherry on top of a mouldy cake?”

“Anything for you, love,” he said with a laugh. “Speaking of cake, how would you like to meet me for lunch? I’m just about to head out now, and Raul told me about this nice café out by the lake. What do you say?” His voice was comforting, and although he knew I would probably not come due to an overly overload of work, he could hope.

I glanced guiltily at the massive pile of work I had to file. But when I thought of Draco, there was no way I could resist. I was absolutely, madly in love with him, and it didn’t help that just the sound of his voice made me go crazy with lust. I had to see him. “Sure. Meet me outside my office in ten minutes.” I smiled into the phone.

We hung up, and I decided to go through some of my work before Draco came. It felt like any other normal day, filing papers and editing the other journalists’ pieces. I wondered why I never got bored with it. It seemed like a boring job. But to me, it was part of my life, and there was no way I was letting it go.

Hence the refusal to sell.

Draco had been so good about it all too. I knew he didn’t exactly understand my love of the magazine, but he was supportive, telling me I will pull through if I kept my mind in the game. I smiled at the thought of him throwing away part of his life to cater to mine. It seemed hard to believe that this man had been my enemy back in or school days.

The day we became an ‘item’ obviously wasn’t planned. I had gone to the Leaky Cauldron for a few drinks after a long day at work. After not having seen him since graduation two years prior, I was surprised to see Draco sitting alone in a secluded booth. He had looked sad, lost, so I had boldly sat across from him, casually pushing a fire whiskey across to him. At first he hadn’t recognised me, but when he did he didn’t get furious or disgusted (surprisingly). He merely greeted me nonchalantly and skulled down the whiskey. Finding the fact that he wasn’t mocking me quite refreshing, I stayed with him in the booth. We ordered a drink after the other and talked for hours.

Draco told me that after his father died in Azkaban his life had changed drastically. He had felt as if a huge weight had been lifted from his shoulders. It hadn’t taken long for his maliciousness to fade, and his trouble-making to stop altogether. Listening to him, I had been able to tell he had matured a lot. Even his less-boyish features convinced me he had changed. Though I still hinted his blue-grey eyes were still the same in every way. But I guessed I had downed enough whiskey to believe Draco Malfoy was completely different.

Around three hours and five fire whiskeys (each) later, we both emerged from the Leaky Cauldron, tipsy and laughing as if we had been friends for years. I hailed a cab, and Draco offered to escort me back to my flat. Before the ride was even over, Draco’s body was covering mine in the backseat of the taxi, his lips pressed hard against mine. We couldn’t stop kissing each other, and when the taxi stopped outside my flat, we spilled out into the cool night air, entangled in each other’s arms. We managed to make it upstairs into my bedroom where I had slept with him. I woke up the next morning with a splitting headache to find he had gone.

Even though after that night I wanted to forget our ‘mistake’, I couldn’t deny the obvious chemistry between us. But it wasn’t until a month later that we bumped into each other in Diagon Alley doing our grocery shopping. He asked me out to lunch with him, apologising immensely for leaving me that morning. I decided I didn’t care after being unable to think about nothing but him for the past month. This Draco was different from the one back in school. And the intimacy we had shared that night, drunk or not, was something I would never forget.

We continued to meet up with each other after that. Whenever we weren’t busy (Draco worked as an Auror for the Ministry of Magic after renouncing his somewhat evil title) we would have dinner together. He often came over to my flat where I would cook for him and we would spend hours staring up at the starry sky, talking about life, work and love. We had agreed to keep our relationship strictly at friend level.

But after our two-month friendship, when Draco was over at my flat, he had pressed me up against the wall, admitting he couldn’t stand being with me and not being able to touch me. His lips had brushed against mine, and one thing lead to another and we slept together for the second time. The fact that we had both been sober surprised me the most.

And that had been the start of our relationship. Although his old habits sometimes arose (he would call me Granger sometimes instead of Hermione) he was incredibly sweet and kind. I had found it hard to believe that this man had once teased me in school. Eventually, after a steady six-month relationship, I asked Draco to move into my flat. He had gladly accepted, and things have only gotten better from there.

Now we had been together for almost two years, and I couldn’t be happier. And I knew Draco had changed so much without the chokehold of his demanding father.

Claudia knocked on the door just as I finished with one pile of filing. I called for her to enter. “Mr. Malfoy is here, Miss Granger.”

I put away my work and grabbed my coat. “I’m just going out for a lunch break, Claudia. If anything goes wrong, don’t hesitate to give me a call.” I said as I brushed past my assistant and out into the main building where all my employees were working away with their own columns.

Once out in the fresh air, I felt relieved. We really needed to get that air conditioning fixed. I spotted Draco waiting by his car and hurried over to him. He pulled me into his body and clutched me tightly.

I nuzzled into his neck, happy I was finally in his arms again. “I missed you.” I murmured against his ear.

Draco laughed as he stroked my long hair. “It’s only been three hours.”

“Three hours too long.”

He leaned down and brushed his lips against mine. We kissed again, and again, and again. Shivers ran through my veins. They still did after all this time. Draco’s kisses were the kind that would never get boring. Just the feeling I received when I kissed him was enough to make me go weak at the knees.

He disentangled himself from me and opened the passenger door for me. I slipped in and watched Draco as he went around to the drivers’ side and slid in. Within seconds we were on the road, destined for the outskirts of London. I gazed silently at the changing scenery, and it reminded me so much of the Hogwarts Express journey. The industrial part of London eventually changed into lush, rolling hills and many trees, allowing memories of the long trips I had taken twice every year for seven years. A small smile graced my lips.

“What are you smiling about?” Draco asked, glancing at me briefly before returning his eyes to the road.

“Nothing,” I said, using the secretive voice I knew Draco hated. “Where exactly are we going?”

It was Draco’s turn to smile. “You’ll see.”

It wasn’t until ten minutes later that we reached the glistening lake, and Draco came around to my side of the car and opened the door for me once again. I gazed up at the magnificent white building. “Wow, it’s beautiful.” I whispered in awe. It was a beautifully vintage, with a marvellous garden and fountain. It was the kind of place you’d expect a Queen to live in.

Draco laughed and took my hand, leading me up to the front steps. The doors were open, and beyond them stood two waitresses. They smiled in greeting. “Welcome to Port Royal Restaurant,” the first one said. “Please come this way.”

I gazed around at the mansion until my eyes rested on my suit. “Why didn’t you tell me we were coming somewhere fancy? I could’ve dressed better.” I hissed, feeling redness come to my cheeks at my work clothes.

Amusement danced in Draco’s eyes. “You look fine. No one’s going to notice.” I understood his words when I entered the dining room to find no one was there. I gave Draco a confused sort of smile, before being led to the table and seated. Draco sat beside me, very close.

“Happy birthday, Hermione.” He said as soon as the waitresses had gone, leaving wine.

“You remembered!” I exclaimed giddily, smiling across at my boyfriend. I had pushed the date aside myself, figuring it slightly unimportant.

“How could I forget?” he said. “But what I don’t understand is why you didn’t tell me it was your birthday in the first place. Normally people do that.”

I sighed. “I didn’t want to make a fuss.”

“You could never make a fuss. It’s your birthday and you deserve to be fussed over.” Draco kissed me tenderly, placing his hand on my knee.

I giggled and gently clutched his neck with my hands. I pulled away awkwardly when the waitresses returned to take our order. Five minutes later, we were alone again, and I couldn’t keep my eyes off the lavishly decorated banquet room.

“You didn’t have to go to all this trouble.” I said matter-of-factly, though I was happy that he had.

Draco took my hands in his and stroked my palms gently. “I did, because you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me, and you deserve a reward every once in a while.” He smiled lovingly, his blue-grey eyes powerful and brilliant.

I blushed. “I love you.” I pressed my lips against his and raked my fingers through his hair, smiling.

Draco pulled away. “There’s another reason I brought you here,” he stood to his feet, and immediately got down on one knee. The entire thing happened so fast that it took a while for me to register it in my brain. My breath caught in my throat. I hadn’t been expecting this. I didn’t know whether I could contain myself.

Oh Merlin, I thought, he’s really doing this. Oh Merlin.

Draco produced a small velvet box from his pocket. “Hermione –” he opened the box –“will you marry me?”

I blinked at him, traitor tears forming in my eyes. “I-I don’t know what to say.” I stammered, my voice barely a whisper.

Draco took the small diamond ring in one hand, and my left hand in the other. “Say yes.”

I was overcome with happiness, and I didn’t even hear myself say yes before I leapt into his arms and held onto him for dear life. Draco clutched my waist tightly as he kissed me passionately, lifting me a short way from the ground.

I felt hot tears sidle down my cheeks as he slipped the ring onto my finger, and I grinned lopsidedly as the diamond glistened in the soft lighting. Words couldn’t describe how incredibly happy I was. It was like a fairytale.

But my happiness was short-lived when my cell phone rang. Closing my eyes irritably, I let it ring, hoping it would stop soon. But it kept going, and in the end, I reluctantly pulled away from Draco and dug around my bag for my phone.

“Hello?” I answered, feeling guilty that Draco was now disappointedly seating himself again, taking a large sip of his wine. “Now isn’t a good time, Claudia. I’m in the middle of –” a pause –“Fine, I’ll be right in.” I slammed the damned cell phone shut.

I gave Draco a guilty look. He sighed, avoiding my eyes. “Go if you must.”

I felt my short-lived happiness ebb away at the tone of disappointment and frustration in his voice. I knelt beside him and placed either hand on his cheeks, forcing him to look at me. “I’m so happy, Draco. When I get back tonight, we’ll celebrate. I’ll be back soon, OK? I love you.”

He stared at me for several long moments before kissing me softly. “I know.”

A/N: Hi guys! Well, another story! I decided to delete Riddle of Revenge because it was going nowhere for me. Sorry! But I hope this one is better. I know that it will be for me.

And of course it's dedicated to the one and only MajiKat, because she has left me so many wonderful reviews and she is just made of the awesome. *hugs Maji* xD

I hope you enjoyed this first chapter. Please review! ^_^

Danielle xx

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