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Chapter 3: Getting to know each other
When Draco woke up the next morning, the entire house was filled with the sweet smell of maple syrup and bacon. He got up, jumped in the shower, put on a pair of faded jeans and a white t-shirt, then went downstairs. When he got to the kitchen, Richard was sitting at the table reading the paper, Anna was setting the table, and Hermione was still in her pajamas, fussing around in the kitchen.
"Good morning Draco." Anna greeted him happily.
"Morning Mrs. Granger." Draco smiled.
"Nonsense; call me Anna." The older woman instructed.
"You're just in time for breakfast. Hermione is almost finished."
Draco looked at Hermione, "You made it? I don't know if I want to eat it, you might poison me." He grinned wickedly at her.
Hermione smirked, "Not a bad idea; I'll keep that in mind for the next time. Sit down."
Draco did as he was told.
Anna and Richard stole a knowing glance at each other; they could feel that all the tension between the two teenagers from the previous morning had vanished.
After breakfast, Hermione went upstairs to take a shower, and Draco got started on the work. After her shower, Hermione grabbed a pair of jean shorts, and white sleeveless shirt, and put her hair in pigtails; It was only eight in the morning and she could already tell that it was going to be a very hot day. She went downstairs, grabbed a basket, and went outside. She went out to the chicken coop and started checking for eggs.
Draco heard Hermione in the chicken coop and went over there without making a sound. He watched her as she collected the eggs and talked to the chickens.
"Hey Bernie, you seem to be the one with the most eggs; as always." She ruffled the chicken's feathers and went to the next one.
"Henrietta, you don't have any; as usual." She chuckled, then moved on to the next one.
Draco smiled, "Do you get all your food from the farm?"
Hermione jumped and spun around, "Jesus, you scared the shit out of me!"
Draco grinned, "Good."
Hermione glared at him, "Shouldn't you be working?"
"I am…well I was. I needed a break."
"So you decided to watch me getting eggs."
"Yes, I had a very good view...until you turned around; but I like this view too." Draco commented.
Hermione looked at him, “Do those lines work on all the girls?”
Draco went back to cleaning the stalls, and Hermione finished her chores.
Around noon, Hermione came outside with a water bottle and threw it to Draco, who was just finishing the stalls. He gave her a grateful smile and poured half the bottle over his head, and drank the rest.
"Jesus, it's like a damn inferno out here!" He complained.
Hermione laughed and Draco threw the empty bottle at her.
She caught it without flinching, "I have to go into town and get some stuff; can you maybe give me a ride when you're finished? I'd go myself, but grandma and grandpa went to look at some stupid farm equipment, and they took the car."
Draco smirked at her, "What's in it for me?"
Without missing a beat, Hermione replied, "The satisfaction of knowing that I won’t poison your breakfast tomorrow morning."
"Works for me. When do you need to go?"
"Whenever you're done here."
"As you wish."
Draco smiled and went on with his work.
Hermione heard the sound of a car coming towards her house and she ran to see who it was. A red Geo Metro pulled up and Vanessa and Carly got out.
"Hey girl, what's up?" Vanessa asked.
"Nothing much, just roasting to death."
"We're headed into town to do a little shopping, wanna go?" Carly asked.
"Actually, I'm going later this afternoon to get some stuff for my grandparents. Draco's gonna give me a lift."
Vanessa grinned, "Oh that's right, you've got a serious hottie living right down the hall. Where's he at anyway?"
"He's in the back, working."
"Ooh." Carly and Vanessa said in unison.
They went around the house and spotted Draco putting fresh hay into all the stalls. His shirt was drenched with water and sweat and his entire face was covered in sweat. His hair was still wet, but it was drying quickly.
"God, he's gorgeous." Carly was practically drooling.
"Can I have him?" Vanessa asked.
Right then, Draco looked up and spotted the three girls staring at him. He winked at Vanessa and Carly and they both blushed, and quickly left. Draco looked at Hermione and she rolled her eyes at the cocky grin on his face.
She went around to the front of the house, "I think you guys just boosted his ego about ten points."
"We better get going, call me tonight." Vanessa smiled.
"Have fun." Carly wiggled her eyebrows at Hermione.
"Yea, but don't do anything I wouldn't do." Vanessa added.
"Bye." Hermione smiled.
The girls got in the car and drove off.
Hermione went over to Draco again and threw some hay at him, "Don't let it go to that already swollen head of yours. Their not used to seeing a...city boy out here in the middle of nowhere."
Draco smirked, "Is that why you were staring at me too?"
Hermione looked at him for a moment, then changed the subject, "Are you hungry, ‘cause I am."
Draco smiled, "Yea, I could eat."
"Good, I'll go order a pizza."
"Yea, I don't wanna cook."
"There's a pizza place around here?"
"About thirty minutes away."
"You're gonna make them come all the way out here?"
"That's what they're paid for, isn't it?"
"So I've been told." She smiled at Draco, then went inside.
Hermione bounded into the house, grabbed the phone book and searched for a pizza place. Just after she hung up the phone, it rang.
’How are you?’
"Oh, my god! I miss you so much!"
She heard Harry chuckle, ‘Yea, me too.’
"How's your summer going?"
Hermione giggled, "Yea, I bet; you're finally out of your horrible aunt and uncle's house. How does it feel to be on your own?"
’Great. How's your summer going?’
"Well, my grandpa hired someone to help with the farm this summer. You'll never guess who it is; Draco Malfoy."
’You're kidding, right?’
’Holly cow, are you ok? Did he do anything to you? If he touched you, I'll kill him!’
"Whoa; down boy. I'm fine. He's not the same person we went to school with; he changed."
"Oh, yes it is. He had a...falling out with his dad and he's on his own now. He really has changed."
’Well, as long as you're ok.’
"I'm fine. Have you talked to Ron lately? How is he? Did he get his financial aid for school?"
’He's doing ok, but he didn't get the financial aid; he has to wait a year, then apply again.’
"That's so unfair; he should get to go to any school he wants, but his family can't afford it."
’He's not going to give up.’
"That's good. How's Ginny? I miss her terribly."
‘She's excited to be a senior.’
"I bet; we were too."
’I better go; phone bill is going to skyrocket. I just wanted to see how you were doing.’
"I'm fine. Give the Weasley's my love."
’I will; be careful 'Mia.’
"I will; don't worry."
’I'll call you soon.’
"Ok, bye Harry."
Hermione hung up the phone and sighed; she missed Harry and Ron so much. They'd been friends since the first day of first grade and had never been apart all summer before. She knew it was time for everyone to lead their own lives. She snapped out of her thoughts and finished cleaning up the house. An hour later, the doorbell rang. She grabbed her money and ran to the door.
She smiled at the cute delivery guy, "Hi."
He gave her a once over and smiled, "How's it going?"
"Not bad. Thanks for coming all this way."
She took the pizza, gave him a ten-dollar tip and smiled, "Thanks."
He took the money, winked at her, then left.
Hermione was so used to getting that kind of attention, it didn't even faze her anymore. She shut the door, dumped the pizza on the table, and went out back.
She hollered at Draco, "Hey stud, pizza's here!"
Draco dropped his pitchfork and headed inside.
Hermione laughed and took a step back, "Boy, you smell. How do you expect me to eat with that smell running around in my nose?"
Draco took a step towards her, "Why don't I go throw you in that manure pile, then we'll see who's laughing."
Hermione grinned, "Fat chance farm boy; go clean up or you ain't getting no Pizza."
They had a staring contest for a minute before Draco gave in, "Fine, but don't eat it all."
Hermione pretended to be insulted, "I'm not a pig!"
Draco smirked at her, then went upstairs to take a shower.
About twenty minutes later, Draco came downstairs and headed straight for the pizza. He scarfed three slices in less than two minutes.
Hermione looked like she wanted to barf, "Who's the pig now?"
"Let's see you work out in this weather for 8 hours and NOT be starving when you're done."
"Why are you working here?"
"Huh?" Draco was going in for another slice.
"I know that your dad...disowned you, but why? If you don't mind me asking."
"It's a long story."
"You can tell me on the way into town."
"Oh yea, you still gotta do that. Ok, let's go."
Hermione grabbed the list her grandma left her and they got in his car.
About five minutes into the trip, Hermione smiled, "Ok, spill it."
"Why so interested in my life?" He asked.
"I want to know what caused this total 180."
"Well, my father wanted me to take over the family business. When I said no, he freaked and disowned."
"Just because you didn't want to take over his business? It must have been really bad. What was it, plumbing?" Draco laughed, "Not quite."
"So what was it, like the Mafia or something?"
She waited for Draco to laugh again, but when he didn't, her eyes bugged out, "The Mafia?!"
"In a way, I guess. Ever seen General Hospital?"
"He's like that Sonny guy."
"Wait, you watch soap operas?"
"No, my mom did. Sometimes when my dad was being an asshole to her, I'd go sit with her. I was comfort for her."
"Well, when I didn't want to do that shit, he kicked me out. There's no way in Hell that my family is going to go through all the shit that my mom and I went through because of him. My family will have normal a life."
"So, you're totally on your own?"
"Yea, my mom wanted to stay in touch with me, but my dad threatened to kill her if she did."
"That's so sad. Don't take this the wrong way, but if you're on your own, how can you afford to go to Yale?"
"Ok, I'm lost."
"The day my mom was born, her parents created a trust fund for her. Every month they put a thousand dollars in it. They were both surgeons, so they could afford it. When she was 18, she had around 200 thousand dollars. For ten more years, she put about $500 in it every month until she got married. When she found out who my dad really was, she put all the money in some Swiss bank account so he could never touch it. Well, when I was born, she started a similar account for me and put $100 in it every month and never told my dad. That's how I'm going to college."
"Wow; she's so different from your father."
"Yea, she is."
“So if you have all that money for school, then why are you working here?”
“My mom and I both know that my dad is keeping tabs on me and if he knew that I wasn’t working, he would suspect something.”
When they got into town, Hermione dragged him to all the stores, and a few more.
After about an hour, on the way back to his car, Hermione was staring at Draco.
"What?" He asked.
"This is bad."
"This...you and me being...friendly."
"Why is that?"
"Because for 12 years you were a total jerk to me. It started on the first day of first grade when you called me a poppy face, and as the years wore on, the insults got worse."
"I thought you knew I was sorry about that."
"I do, but one 'I'm sorry' is not going to make up for 12 years."
"Let me make it up to you."
Draco pointed to a huge sign that was hanging over the basic entrance to the town, "That."
"The town festival?"
"Yep. Let me take you to this town thing and try to make you forget with lots of junk food and scary rides."
"That's how you're gonna make it up?"
"Let me try?"
"Why not, it's not like there's anything better to do in this town anyway."
When they got to the car, he opened the door for her and she climbed in.
"Hey, Vanessa's birthday is tomorrow and there's a party for her down at the lake tonight. I promised her I'd go, you wanna come?"
"Is this like a date?"
"Not even close. You've got a LONG way to go before you prove that you're...date worthy."
"That hurts, really."
"You deserve it." Hermione stuck her tongue out at him.
"Have you ever gone on a date?"
"Well, not really. My last boyfriend, we never actually went on a date. We just hung out and did a bunch of group things."
"Was he your only boyfriend?"
"Well, there was Ron, but that lasted like 3 days. We decided we were better off as friends."
"So you've only had one boyfriend?"
"Was it serious?"
"I don't wanna talk about him."
He dropped the subject when he noticed the tense look on Hermione's face. They were silent the rest of the way home.