**This story used to be call 'Beauty and the Beast' like the disney movie but I had to change it because it violated a copyright issue. For those who have read my story before please note that it is still the same story as it was before just a different title. So please keep reading.
AN: I don’t own anything from Harry Potter.
Damn-it all to hell, Draco thought as he heard the lock on Hermione’s bedroom door click into place. This was not at all how he pictured things going. He imagined that she would be hard to get but he wasn’t expecting himself to feel so devastated when she told him they could never be together. This was going to be much harder then he thought it would be, she made it clear as to why they couldn’t be together.
A small part of him agreed with her. And of course why would she want him after the way he treated her in the past. Thinking back on it he’s not surprised at all as to why she turned him into a cat. He deserved it for treating her so poorly. But he was an idiot back then, he never really meant all that crap he told her back in school. He only did it because he thought it would please his father. She was tough and appeared to never be effected by his insults or so he thought. He didn’t realize he caused her so much pain and grief. Of course then again he never thought he would be turned into a cat and the only way to change back was to get the one girl who wants absolutely nothing to do with him to fall in love with him.
And all that stuff she said about what he was going to tell his friends if they ever asked him about them being together? He told her the truth on that…well he thought he did. When she asked him that, the first thing that came to mind was yes, he would be happy to confirm that they were together and that he wouldn’t be ashamed of it. But the more he thought about it, the more he wasn’t sure.
What if they truly got together someday, what would his friends say? What would Blaise and Pansy think about him dating Granger? What would his family think? His mother probably wouldn’t be too fond about it at first but if she saw that he was happy, then she would accept their relationship in time. But his father, absolutely not! He’s all about keeping the Malfoy bloodline pure, only purebloods, anything else would be unacceptable. Of course that would only be if him and Hermione got married and decided to have children together.
But wait, he’s thinking way too far ahead. He only has to get her to fall in love with him. He doesn’t have to marry her or spend the rest of his life with her. He just needs to focus on getting her to open up and take that leap and well he has to too, if he wants the spell to break. His friends and family will never have to know about it. Yeah that was it, but why does that thought make him feel sick inside? He’s thinking to much. He can’t focus on the future, all he should be thinking about is now and how the bloody hell he was going to get Hermione Granger into his heart.
He knows for a fact that she wasn’t completely repulsed by him. He could tell that part of her wanted him badly. He could tell the way she kissed him back with as much intensity as he was giving her. And the way she melted in his arms and molded every inch of her perfectly to his body. He mentally groaned inside just thinking about it. Damn-it if only he didn’t turn into a bloody cat he would have been able to convince he to…to what? Allow him to bed her? To convince her to fall in love with him? To convince her that he wasn’t the same bloke he was in school? Yes to all he supposed.
Her problem is that she thinks too much, she thought of every worse scenario that could’ve have happened if they were to get together before they even managed to get anywhere. All they had done so far was kiss. If she just stopped thinking and let everything happen on its own then well he would be able to continue on and everything would hopefully work itself out easier and quicker.
He shouldn’t have jumped her like he did; he should have kept it nice and slow and then maybe work up to that level. But damn one taste of her and all rational thought disappeared. If he was going to get Hermione to fall for him, she needs to learn to trust him. And it would probably end badly if he ended up sleeping with her right away. What if things went badly, then they wouldn’t get anywhere. No he needed to go with original plan, to woo her and gain her trust first. And it’s going to be bloody hard to keep his hands to himself.
Damn-it if he closed his eyes he could still taste her, feel her hands running through his hair, feel her pressed up against him. He was so confused. Part of him wants her so badly it hurts and then the other part is agreeing with what she said. At the end of the day she’s still Granger, one-third of the bloody golden trio, know-it-all, bossy, stubborn…muggleborn. He let out a sigh. Could he ever truly be with Hermione if and when all of this was over? Would he care about what everyone thinks?
Damn-it, he needs to start taking his own advise and stop thinking, just let things happen on there own. And maybe 20 years later they would still be together blissfully in love with 2 kids with frizzy hair like their mother…He snorted. Yeah right like he and Hermione were soul-mates? He smiled to himself as he curled up in his corner of the sofa and drifted off to sleep dreaming of Hermione walking down the aisle towards him in a beautiful white flowing gown, then watching her belly grow swollen with their first child that they made together. And her whispering to him that she loved him.
What the hell just happened? Hermione thought. Her heart was pounding so rapidly she thought it might leap out of her chest. She thought for sure the small kiss they shared the night before was just a fluke, something that happened when they both were just caught in the moment, not thinking straight. But downstairs and again in her living room…well it was incredible and if she never stopped him then who knows what could’ve happened and whatever would have happened would have turned out to be incredibly awkward when he changed back into a cat. She didn’t want to even think what kind of state they would have been in during that moment.
Bloody hell, why did he have to be Draco Malfoy, why couldn’t he have been some random stranger? She knew she was right when she explained to him why they couldn’t be together. But as she was telling him the more and more she didn’t want it to be true. Its better off that she stopped him when she did. If she allowed him to continue on, the harder and complicated it would be to end it and go their separate ways. She knew deep down that when the spell was broken he would leave without looking back and he would never want to see her again and he would go back to the old Draco Malfoy that she’s always known. So she couldn’t allow herself to fall for him, just to end up getting her heart broken.
Even if he kisses her like she’s never been kissed before, even if he makes her weak in the knees just by looking at him, even if he steals her breath away every time he touches her. She could not fall for him. That was final. So why did she feel so horrible about making the right decision? Was she making the right decision? Ugh why did she have to think about everything to every detail? Why couldn’t she for once follow what her heart thinks is right and not what her brain tells her.
Right now she’s being a complete hypocrite. She even told him back at the park that you should go out and try, don’t just push someone away because you don’t think their the right guy for you. Of course she was talking about soul-mates and Draco was definitely not soul-mate material at least not for her…was he? No he couldn’t be, they can’t stand each other. He grew up being taught to hate her and everybody else like her. Regardless if he’s changed or not he’ll never be able to truly accept her for who and what she is.
Merlin she was getting a headache thinking about all of this. She just needs to sleep on this, maybe by morning they’ll both come to their senses and realize that this is for the best. She changed into her pajamas and took a small potion to sooth her headache, then climbed into bed and turned off the light waiting for sleep to come.
Sleep never came; no matter how much she tried she couldn’t sleep. She spent the rest of the night tossing and turning. Every time she closed her eyes all she could think about was Draco and the way he kissed her, the way he looked at her, the way he touched her. Then all she could think about was how he reacted when she told it wasn’t going to work between them. She finally gave up on sleep around 6:00am and got up to take a cold shower. Still trying to convince herself that she was doing the right thing by pushing him away she got ready for the day.
She put on a flowery sundress with a cardigan to match incase she got cold and some strappy sandals. She decided to leave her hair down and left it curly instead of straightening it like she’s done in the past. And besides without magic she would never get it to look right anyway. She kept her makeup light so she looked natural and took a quick breath before she opened her bedroom door.
She tried not to look for him or seem anxious to see him, but there he was on the sofa as if waiting for him.
“Morning,” she mumbled in his direction without actually looking at him.
She headed straight towards the kitchen prepared to make a very strong cup of coffee. Crookshanks came strolling in and rubbed himself along her leg, weaving in and out of her ankles. She bent down to give him a good rub.
“Good morning Crooks, are you hungry?” as if answering her he meow.
Draco came in as she was straightening back up. “I suppose you’re hungry too? Just give me a second and I’ll prepare your breakfast.”
She turned so her back was too him. Damn she was acting ridiculous. They were both adults and what happened last night was a mistake and all they had to do was forget that it happened in the first place and fast! She put together Crookshanks meal first then set about making Draco’s as she waited for her coffee to brew. She set down his plate on the counter with a bowl of water.
“I’m going to work in a bit and I probably won’t be back until about eight tonight. There’s a lot that I need to get done at the shop so I probably won’t come back on my lunch break either.” Okay so she was planning on escaping to her shop to hide and stay there as long as possible. “Are you sure you’ll be okay by yourself?” She asked and received a stare from him. “Okay I’ll take that as a yes. Well I left my number for my mobile and my shop number so if something happens call me. I have caller ID at the shop so I’ll know it is you.” He gave her a blank stare as if he could care less. “Okay well I’m going to leave now. I guess I’ll see you later.”
She bent down to give Crookshanks one last pet before she headed out, not looking back towards the kitchen where she knew Draco was staring at her watching as she left.
Draco watched as Hermione left for work. If he could laugh he would, he found it oddly charming that he managed to make her so flustered. He supposed that was a good thing for that meant he was getting to her, regardless that she pushed him away last night. He ate him meal trying to ignore Crookshanks yowls for him to drop down some of his food. He wasn’t going to fall for it this time, if he stopped feeding him then maybe Hermione would come around…just a bit. Of course she left so she wasn’t around to witness anything. He gave in to his begging and dropped down a small piece of meat. And gave Crookshanks a look saying that this was going to be that last time.
Once he finished he stretched out and gave a big yawn. Being a cat definitely had its perks. No matter what he always slept better then he has in the past. Even though last night he could hear Hermione tossing and turning in her bed all night with his super cat hearing ability. He thought about going to her but how could he when he was a cat and she locked her door on him. So instead he stayed in his corner on the sofa and slept the night away.
He wondered if Hermione received the Daily Prophet at her place. She surely wouldn’t get it through the muggle post, but he wondered if she got it some other way. He knew she didn’t have an owl of her own so that option was probably out. He wanted to read it so he could keep up to date with the life he’s been absent from the past week. And he also wanted to check and see if his new advertisement for her shop was put in, thanks to him.
As if…well magic a new issue of the Daily Prophet appeared on her coffee table. He hoped up on the table so he could have a better view and started reading. If only Hermione was kind enough to pour some of that coffee she brewed into his dish, then he would be all set. But unfortunately she didn’t so he would just have to do without. He finished reading with a smug look on his face. Sure enough they put the ad in and if he said so himself it looked perfect. They even somehow managed to take a picture of the storefront. It was better then he imagined, surely this will help bring in the non-muggle customers and help jump-start her business even more.
Now the question was, was she going to see this? Did she even read the Daily Prophet? Of course she did, he could remember her reading it while in the Great Hall at Hogwarts. Was she going to know it was him that sent in the request for the advertisement? Was she going to be angry or happy about it? Well he couldn’t worry about that now since she was most likely at her shop by now and he was stuck in her living room as a cat.
He left the paper open to the page he advertisement was on so that when she came home she would see it then he would be able to gauge her reaction. He turned the TV on with the remote and hopped over to the sofa since there was nothing else to do but wait until she came home or until he changed back…
Hermione got to her shop and immediately regretted that she took the long weekend off to help out Malfoy. She still had boxes full of books that she needed to catalog and sort from last weeks shipment plus a brand new shipment that arrived earlier that day. But she couldn’t do a thing about them since she had to be in the front to attend customers, maybe she should finally consider hiring someone to help out. She didn’t want anyone at first, because frankly she couldn’t afford to hire anyone well enough and also she was determined to handle everything herself.
Since she opened her doors that morning people have been strolling in and out all day. Not once allowing her to take a breather. She’s had little time to get work done since she’s been busy ringing in customers. Just then a lady came into her shop and right away Hermione noticed that she wasn’t any ordinary customer; there was something different about her. Her clothing was a definite give away. She wore a taffeta skirt that went past her knees with black high heel boots that looked like old witches boots. She couldn’t see her shirt because it was covered up by a cape that was a bright pink. She had a lime green hat that barely fit through the door. And she had on a pair of rhinestone cat eyed glasses.
She got some odd looks from her other customers in the shop but no one paid any real attention to her. She spotted Hermione at the front counter and walked over.
“Hello, welcome to Once Upon a Time Books. Can I help you find anything?”
“Why yes you can. You must be Hermione.” The woman said as she took off her glasses.
“Yes I am, I’m sorry do I know you? How did you know my…”
“Oh no I’m sorry dear of course you don’t know me. I saw your ad in the Prophet and heard great reviews and I thought I take a peak and check out for myself. I’m Claudia by the way. Your little book shop came highly recommended and I’ve been looking for a specific book on herbology.”
Hermione’s eyes brighten up, “Oh, what book are you looking for?” she asked excited that she finally got her first customer from the magical world besides Malfoy.
“It’s called The Romantic Side to Herbology.”
“Well you’re in luck because I believe I do have that. I remember ordering it when it first came out a few weeks ago. It’s going to be in the back room. You just walk to the back of the shop and it’s going to be behind the portrait of a castle. And the password is Broomstick.”
“Ah that’s so charming.” She said as she clapped her hands together.
“Would you care for some pumpkin juice or a butter beer while you look?”
“Um I would love a cold glass of pumpkin juice.”
“Alright coming right up.” She quickly poured a glass of juice and handed it to her.
She tried to reach for her purse to pay but Hermione stopped her and told her it was on the house. She was the first magical customer after all.
“Just let me know if you need help with anything else.”
Hermione was nearly bouncing with joy. Finally, she was finally doing what she loved; selling books to both magical and muggle books. Of course she had no idea what she was talking about when she mentioned an ad. Maybe Harry and Ron finally lived up to their promise and spread the word around about her shop.
The day was flying by really fast. And she already had two other customers that were non-muggle in the past two hours. She was celebrating by sipping on a nice cold frothy butter beer when her phone rang. For a moment her heart stopped, what if it was Draco calling because something bad happened. She checked the caller ID and let out a breath it was only Ginny.
“Hey Ginny,” she said as she picked up her phone.
“Did you see it? Why didn’t you tell me you were going to put in a ad? I thought you didn’t want to spend that kind of money?”
“Whoa, what are you talking about?” she asked confused.
“Do you have the Daily Prophet in front of you?”
“Um yeah it’s around here somewhere. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet. It’s a mad house here.”
“Well open it up to the second page.”
“Okay hold on,” she grabbed the paper that was hidden beneath all of her paper work and other mail that came in today.
She opened it up and scanned the page. “Whoa…” she barely had time to catch her breath as Ginny continued.
“It’s fabulous, don’t you think? I’m so proud that you finally decided to put it in. It must have cost a fortune to get a fourth a page spread plus a picture. It’s amazing it turned out great.”
“Ginny…I didn’t do this.”
“What? You’re kidding. Well who did then?”
“I don’t know. I mean the only people who I thought knew about my shop was you, Harry and Ron, and well I guess there also Malfoy. But he wouldn’t do this.”
“Why not? He definitely has the money to afford this kind of thing.”
“Well it couldn’t have been him, why would he do such a thing? In fact the first day he came in here he threaten to put a bad review in the Prophet so no one would want to shop here. And besides I turned him into a…” she lowered her voice so no one in her shop would hear. “He’s a cat so when would he have the time to do something like this?” she asked.
“Uh I don’t know, from what I’ve seen he doesn’t stay a cat for the entire day.”
Merlin how could she forget that, just thinking about it brought back memories from last night and how he kissed her. No he definitely wasn’t a cat then.
“I still don’t believe he would do something like that.”
“Well why don’t you ask him. Where is he?”
“I left him at the apartment. I figured he would be fine without me for a few hours.”
“Okay so what did you guys do last night after I left with Lily?”
“What? Nothing!” She sounded like a teenager getting caught doing something bad causing her voice to squeak out on the last part.
“Uh huh sure. I want details.” She prodded further.
Hermione cleared her throat. “Really Ginny nothing happened. I made him get out of the apartment and we went to his place…and before you say anything it was just so he could get a fresh pair of clothes and other stuff he needed to take care of. Then we walked around a bit then returned to the apartment and he changed back and I went to bed.”
There was a pause on Ginny’s end then she said, “Why do I get the feeling you’re leaving some major details out? You’re my best friend you can tell me anything you know…and besides I’m selfishly noisy and want to know the dirt.”
Hermione laughed at that, and then let out a sigh. “Okay so he might have kissed me last night but it was a mistake…a huge mistake.” She said as a blush crawled up to her cheeks.
“He kissed you!” Ginny squealed so loudly that she had to pull the phone away from her ear. “Oh my, that’s wonderful.”
“What? No it’s not. This is Draco Malfoy were talking about. He and I would never work out, it was a mistake and I’m sure he regrets it even happened in the first place. Listen I know you want details but I really need to get back to work.”
“Fine avoid this all you want but I’m not through with you yet. I’ll talk to you later.”
“Okay bye.” She hung up and let a breath.
Damn-it she should have never told Ginny, because she’ll probably tell Harry who will tell Ron which just create a viscous cycle. Well she couldn’t do anything about it now since the cat was out of the bag so to speak. She now had to figure out who put the advertisement in the Prophet. She was still convinced it wasn’t Malfoy.
Draco awoke with a start. He must have dozed off while watching TV. He had that tingling feeling again, he glanced at the clock on the wall, 7:00pm. Wow he gained a little over 2 hours. He quickly darted into the kitchen then realized he was being ridiculous because no one was around to witness him change except Crookshanks. He grabbed his clothes which Hermione must have folded for him this morning since last night she went straight to bed after he changed back leaving his clothes in a crumpled heap on the kitchen floor. Now the question was what was he going to do now? It was only 7:00pm and Hermione said she wouldn’t be back till a little after 8:00pm so that meant she would still be at work. He could go there and surprise her then convince her to go to that soup kitchen or whatever it was she was talking about last night.
Of course since last night after he kissed her she probably wouldn’t want to do anything with him…but we’ll see about that, he thought. Whether she liked it or not he was going to make her his. He just had to be careful not to push her too far to fast because she could end up kicking him out all together and then what would he do?
He decided to go freshen up real fast then grab a quick bite to eat and went ahead and fed Crookshanks since he had no plans for them to be returning to her apartment for the awhile. And then he was out the door heading for Hermione’s bookshop.
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