Hermione made some decisions. Decisions that will change her whole life. Will she end up regretting them?
I dont own Harry Potter or anything pretaining to it.
"It doesn't look like much now," Hermione replied as she lead Ginny through the rooms of an old abandoned building. "But once the renovations are done it will be beautiful." She assured her friend.
Ginny eyed her friend with a mixture of delight and concern. Hermione was happier than she had seen her in a long time. Her eyes sparkled and her skin glowed. It didn't seem possible. Only a month ago Hermione was in a depression so deep that she had turned to drink. It seemed to good to be true. She'd have to keep an eye on her, she told herself. "Hermione, when you told me you were giving up magic I was shocked," she told her friend. "I mean you of all people. You love magic. But I have never seen you looking happier."
Hermione smiled. She was happy. When Ginny had pulled her from that pub a month ago she had talked to her about everything. And it turned out that Ginny had been right once again. Talking had helped. She had put the death of her parents behind her, she would always miss them, but life went on. She no longer felt guilty about their death. She even made peace with Ron, they were now friends again. The biggest thing was her decision to be magic free at least for the time being. Then she quit her job and bought a run down book store. Books were her life and never disappointed her. She knew she would be happy running her store.
"Ginny, my decision to be magic free is only temporary," she assured her friend. Not wanting to go into detail she quickly changed the subject. "Now what do you think of my little store?"
Ginny looked around the room with scepticism, wrinkling her nose and blurted out the truth. "It needs a lot of work."
Hermione laughed not at all offended. Ginny, being Ginny always told it like it was. It did need work, she admitted. She had a vision and this bookstore was going to be a hit. "I know. I have a worker coming to talk about the renovations, today."
A representative from B&D Construction was coming by at three to have a look at the store and talk about what needed done. Hermione was excited about it. This was her very own project she was going to see it through what ever it took.
"So when you think its gonna be ready," Ginny inquired.
Hermione shrugged. "I'm not sure. I hope it isn't going to take long."
Ginny grinned. "It won't if you use magic," she joked.
Hermione grinned. Actually, it had taken all her willpower not to perform magic on it, but she had won that battle. The renovations were going to take a big chunk of her inheritance, but she was determine to do this magic free.
Three o'clock on the dot a knock sounded on the door, Hermione lifted herself off the floor where she'd been sitting, dusted herself off and headed for the door. Her excitement showed with the bounce in her step and the twinkle in her eyes. This was going g to be great business adventure, she thought as she pulled the door open.
"You," Hermione gasped in shocked surprise as she recognized the man who stood there. Her hand automatically going to her back pocket for her wand. It wasn't there, she had removed it in order to stop herself from using it. Now she wished she hadn't done so.
"Me," Draco Malfoy replied with his normal sneer.
Hermione frowned in confusion. Merlin, how she hated that sneer of his. Draco Malfoy was the last person she expected to see when she opened her door to greet the renovation man who would restore her little store. What was he doing here? She silently wondered. And at her store.
"What are you doing here, Malfoy?" She asked all pretense of politeness gone.
Draco frowned as well. He was just as surprised to see her. He had no way of knowing that the H.J. Granger who had hired his firm was the same girl that he had gone to school with. The same girl that he had formed a hatred with. "I came to talk with a H.J. Granger about work on this dump," he responded his old deplorable self coming out. "I had no idea it was you."
"You're my renovation man?"
"I'm not your anything," he replied sharply a frown on his brow. He wasn't sure what made him bring out that arrogant, insufferable boy, that he'd been his years at Hogwarts. He thought he had buried him deep inside himself. And that was where he wanted him to stay. However there was something about Granger that brought him to the surface.
Hermione pushed her brown hair out of her face and tried to fight a blush. Damn him, she silently cursed him. Draco always brought out the worst in her. He had been the only one at Hogwarts that she hadn't been able to tolerate. "Oh, you are right there," she muttered angrily. "There's no way I'd ever consider a coward for-".
"Watch it, girl," Draco interrupted with a growl. He may not be the man he had been before the war, but he wasn't letting anyone call him a coward. His father had been displeased with him there at the end when he refused to obey him. Finally, he had stood up to him and he had felt good about himself. No one was going to take that away from him.
Hermione brustled. "Look, I dont want you in my store. I'll find someone else for the renovations."
Draco stiffened feeling another account slipping away. This wasn't the time to let the past get in the way of the future. Blaise would kill him if they lost another account. They needed this job, as much as he hated having to work for Granger, he would have to suck it up and be polite to her. "Wait, just a minute, Granger," he said sharply. More sharply than he intended. "I went to alot of trouble getting these figures, the least you can do is listen to our pitch."
Hermione paused thinking about it. She suppose it was the right thing to do, and she was all about doing the right thing. She signed because she knew she was going to listen to him. Damn her good naturedness. "Okay, I'll give you ten minutes if you can't convince me then it's no go," she retorted snippily.
The businessman in him pushed the hogwarts teen aside and replied, "That's all we ask."
The next hour was spent with them both harboring silent resentments, but professionalism prevailed as they soon came to an understanding. Hermione soon discovered that Draco knew his business and after a brief tour of the building they signed the papers and made their business relationship official.
"So how did your meeting go?" Ginny asked, later that day.
Hermione eyed her friend. The two women were having tea at Hermione's. It was a normal, friendly inquiry but she really didn't want to talk about it. She knew Ginny would get a laugh out of it. "It was okay,"she answered. "Against my better judgement, I hired them. The B&D Construction Firm now work for me. I'm not looking forward to it either."
Ginny looked at her in confusion and set her teacup down. "Explain."
Hermione sighed deeply, took a deep breath and let it out. Might as well get it over with. She would find out eventually. "You will never guess who owns the B&D Construction firm."
"Who?" Ginny asked with raised brows.
Hermione shrugged. "The B stands for Blaise Zambini, and the D stands for Draco Malfoy of all people." Hermione told her.
Ginny's eyes filled with shock for a sec than a twinkle of amusement as laughter flowed out. She laughed heartily for many seconds. "Talk about fate," she murmured.
Hermione frowned again. It wasn't fate. It was bad luck. Of all the firms too pick she had to pick theirs.
"I can't believe you hired Draco and Blaise to restore your store." Ginny laughed again.
Hermione frowned. She found no enjoyment in the situation at all. Hiring D&B Construction was something she hadn't wanted to do considering who it was, but after meeting with Draco and listening to him talk she realized that he really knew his stuff. She hired him right then and there, but she promised herself she would keep an eye on him.
"So how did he look?" Ginny questioned.
Hermione took a sip of her tea and frowned. "Who?"
"Draco, silly, how did he look? Was he changed much."
Was he changed much? She repeated to herself, thinking back to their meeting. He seemed the same as he had at Hogwarts. He was still tall, arrogant and still wearing that sneer that he wore in the early years of Hogwarts. That last year after the war he was different but not noticeably. "No, he hasn't changed at all. He is still the insufferable, deplorable, arrogant arse."
"Come on, Hermione," Ginny said pushing her tea aside. "He wasn't that bad in our last year. He seemed changed."
Hermione shook her head. "He wasn't changed, he was different. The fact that he had no friends and everyone hated him made him different." Their last year at Hogwarts wasn't kind to Draco, the only friend he had had been Blaise. Even the rest of the slytherin house couldn't stand him. His parents had been sent to Azkaban and many thought that Draco should have joined them, he had been after all a deatheater.
"I feel sorry for him," Ginny admitted to her.
Hermione laughed. "Don't," she told her friend. "He isn't worth it. " And she didn't trust him at all.
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