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Chapter 14: London
chapter image by dumbledear! at tda
Hermione placed her pen and paper down, listening to the busy muggle London. Running her fingers softly along her lips she could still feel Ron’s lips press down hard upon hers. The wedding was 2 weeks ago and Hermione hand’t heard even a whisper from any of the Weasley’s. Whether Ron and Lavender had told them their version of what had happened or not, she wasn’t sure. School had finished 2 days ago and Hermione had moved straight back into her London flat. As much as she loved the country she missed listening absentmindedly to the busy streets of London.
Hermione lifted her head up when she heard 3 continuous knocks on her door. Smiling, she bounded over to the door, knowing who it was.
“Hey Draco.” She said, greeting him with a small hug.
“Hey Hermione. Wanna grab a coffee?”
“What were you doing at the wedding anyway?” Hermione asked as she picked up her coffee. Draco gave the waitress enough muggle money and in return, he received a sheet of paper with several digits written on it, “Call me.” The waitress mouthed and walked away.
“Uh, Harry invited me actually. After he heard you were facing Bridezilla he knew you would need some help.” Draco explained, staring at the piece of paper, “What the hell is this anyway?” Hermione laughed into her coffee.
“It’s a phone number. Muggles use mobiles as a way of communication.” She explained, “She found you hot and wants to go on a date with you basically.” Draco laughed and stuffed the number tightly in his front pocket.
It had been a week since the wedding and holidays had started for muggle schools. So Hermione was back at her penthouse in London for the time being. Nothing had changed in her house, except for the layers of dirt and dust that had formed over everything.
“So,” Draco said, stretching his arms behind his head, “What do muggles do in muggle London?” Hermione just shrugged her shoulders and took a sip of her coffee.
“Dunno, I was too busy working to people-watch. I guess, they go shopping in Harrods and Hamleys and sight-see.” Suddenly, Draco stood to his feet and walked over to Hermione.
“Well, come on then!” He said, grabbing Hermione’s hand and dragging her outside
“Where are we going?” Hermione asked, laughing.
“Sight-seeing.” He replied, walking onto a parked double-decker bus, “Wow, it’s nothing like the knight bus.” Draco commented, sending Hermione into another fit of giggles.
“Of course it’s not,” She wheezed, “this is muggle London. They don’t know about the Knight Bus.” Draco’s cheeks went a violent red as he realized the stupidity of his question. Hermione laughed as the bus lurched forward. Her hair was buffeting against the wind, causing a tunnel of air to ring through her ears. Draco, however, was quite happily watching Hermione battle against the wind, her hair flying in every direction. Finally, Hermione managed to pull her hair back into a messy ponytail.
“Excuse me Sir could I borrow this?” Hermione asked, walking up a portly aged man who had an unused map next to him. Staring up at Hermione, he handed the map over quickly, “Thank you.” Hermione said before walking back up to Draco, map in hand. “Here we go.” Hermione said, handing him the map, “You brought me on this bus, you decide where we go.” Hermione laughed as she watched Draco try to decipher the map.
“I know where we are going!” Draco declared suddenly. Hermione tried to glance at where Draco was pointing but he wouldn’t move his hand. After another 5 minutes of pointless chatter and endless laughter the bus came to a stop just outside trafulgar square, “Come on.” Draco said, pulling Hermione off the bus. Hermione tugged at her black and white top; trying to warm herself up.
“God, it’s freezing!” Hermione exclaimed, noticing snow clouds forming in the sky. Draco glanced at Hermione and took his coat off and placed it on Hermione’s shoulders. It was a perfect fit.,“Thanks.” Hermione said, slipping her arms into the jacket, “But aren’t you going to be cold?” Hermione asked, Draco just shrugged his shoulders. Suddenly, Hermione pulled Draco into a hug, taken aback, Draco stumbled backwards several steps before wrapping his arms around Hermione’s shoulders. Her hair smelt of strawberries and her skin was smooth. When they broke apart Hermione stared at Draco straight in the eyes; her brown eyes piercing his cold, stone grey eyes.
“So are you ready?” Draco asked, breaking away from the eye contact first. Hermione nodded.
“Sure am.” She said confidently. Above them, the snow clouds grew more and more distinct.
“NO!” Hermione practically screamed when they arrived at their destination. Draco smirked and grabbed his shoes.
“Come on Granger, you said you ready.” Draco reminded. Hermione shot daggers at Draco.
“But you didn’t say this!” Hermione said, thrusting her hand out to the ice-rink. Draco walked up to the barrier and watched as people of all shapes and sizes skating around the rink full of ice. Hermione was shaking her head, rattling off everything that could go wrong, “I could get hurt! I am so un-coordinated! I can’t ice-skate! This is insane! What if I break a bone!”
“Hermione! Please be quiet!” Draco said, seeing that people were beginning to stare at them, talking quietly amongst their groups, “Look I’ll hold your hand the whole way if you want me to. I won’t let you fall.” Draco promised. Taking a deep breath, Hermione nodded.
“Okay.” She said slowly. Draco smiled and grabbed Hermione’s hand, walking her slowly over the ice.
“Come on Hermione.” Draco coaxed, sliding onto the ice. He spun around and held his hand out for Hermione to grab. Hermione was staring at the ice, shaking her head slowly, “Hermione, I promise nothing will happen.”
She felt like a little girl again, just learning to walk. Her legs felt like jelly and she felt like she was about to fall at any second. Draco smiled and grabbed her hand.
“That’s it.” He encouraged, “Hermione when you skate, move your feet outwards like this.” Draco let go of Hermione’s hand and began to skate, his feet sliding outwards, “Now come on.” Draco began to skate backwards; watching in amusement as Hermione began to skate towards Draco.
“Draco, I can’t do this!” Hermione exclaimed, keeping her arms out for balance.
“Yes you can.” He encouraged, moving ever-so-slightly backwards.
Suddenly, Hermione lost her balance and went crashing into the ice. Letting out a small scream, Hermione put her arms in front of her face; bracing herself while protecting her face. Draco was by her side in a second, pulling her to her feet. Just below her hairline Hermione had a small cut.
“Hey, hey, hey, hermione, are you okay?” Draco asked, pulling her into a hug when he saw tears form in Hermione’s eyes, “Let’s get you off the ice.” Draco said, putting his arm around her waist for support.
“It’s only a cut Miss Granger.” The doctor said, placing a band-aid on her cut, which she knew would make a very neat scar.
“Thank you Doctor.” Hermione said, hoping off the examination table.
“Take care of yourself Miss Granger. Now if that cut gets infected you come straight back okay?” Hermione nodded and walked outside, where Draco Malfoy stood, waiting.
“You all done?” Draco asked. Hermione nodded, “Well, come on then.” Draco took Hermione’s hand once again and walked out of the hospital. Eventually, they found an alley way and walked down it. Draco tightened his hold on Hermione’s hand and spun around on the spot.
“So, you can sleep here if you like.” Hermione offered, flicking the TV on.
“Nice apartment,” Draco commented, ignoring Hermione’s offer. He paced around the front room several times before sitting down next to Hermione; his arm resting on her shoulder, “So what are we watching?” Draco asked, staring at the TV screen. “Doctor Who.” Hermione replied. Outside, Draco could hear the thunder and occasionally he would see a flash of lightning.
Turns out that the snow clouds were rain clouds Draco thought smugly, knowing that you could never trust muggle news channels or the sky.
Less than half an hour into the first episode, Draco was extremely bored and had begun to pick at the loose strands of cotton in the lounge. Glancing up at Hermione, he began to notice tiny details about Hermione that he had never seen before: he saw that on the bridge of her nose there was seven freckles, he noticed that her eyes shone whenever something exciting happens and he saw that Hermione had several, light brown streaks in her hair.
“Hermione.” He said suddenly. Hermione turned her head and looked at Draco; a small smile prancing on the edges of her lips.
He didn’t know how it happened. He swore she leaned in first, but the next thing he knew he was kissing Hermione. Her lips tasted like vanilla and honey. He wanted more, no, he needed more.
“Draco.” Hermione mummered, as he began to run his hands up her shirt, “We shouldn’t be doing this.” She mummered as he began to kiss her neck.
“Which is exactly why we should do it.” He mummered back, hearing a small groan escape from Hermione’s lips.
Draco stared at the sleeping Hermione, her bare back rising and falling in a rhythmic motion. The sun was beginning to rise steadily over London City. Standing to his feet, Draco pulled some clothes on and walked out of the bedroom.
He flicked the kettle on with a flick of his wand and began to fry some bacon and eggs.
I’ll give her breakfast in bed He decided. Smiling, he turned the TV on and listened absentmindedly to two muggles talk about the ‘breaking news’ in England. He cooked the bacon to perfection and began to fry some toast when he heard a tapping on the window. Spinning around he saw an old, rather pathetic looking owl, perched on the window sill outside; holding a thick, yellow letter. After he paid the owl he looked at the front where his name was printed on in cursive writing: Draco Malfoy. It was written in ghastly pink ink. Doing his best to ignore the pink ink, he opened the letter and swore.
Hermione woke up smiling, something she hadn’t done in a while. She stretched her fingers out, seeking solace in Draco but no one was there. Sitting up in bed, Hermione could smell burnt bacon and eggs. Getting out of bed, Hermione grabbed Draco’s shirt (which covered everything) and walked outside.
“Draco?” She asked. On the kitchen counter there was a plate of burnt bacon, eggs and toast. She walked over to the door and saw Draco pulling his jumper on, “Draco, honey, where are you going?” Draco spun around, an evil glint in his eye. Hermione took a step back as Draco reached into his pocket.
“Care to explain this?” He snarled, shoving ‘The Daily Prophet’ in her face.
“Oh my god.” Hermione said; placing her hand over her mouth. On the front cover, written in black and white: “You may now kiss the maid of honour?” and below the hideous title was something even more terrifying. It was a picture from the day of the wedding, it was Ron kissing someone who wasn’t the bride.
On the front cover of the daily prophet was a photo, in black and white, of Ron kissing Hermione.