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Chapter 6: Because of You
It was 6:55 and Draco stood outside the restaurant, nervously checking his watch every 30 seconds. Why was he so nervous? It was just Granger. It’s not like it was a date. So how come he felt the same way he did before a date? Damn! He checked his watch again, wondering if she would even turn up. At exactly 7 o clock, a brown haired, wide eyed woman appeared in front of him, scaring him when he looked up from his watch.
‘Jeez Hermione! Warn a guy when you’re gonna sneak up on them like that!’
This caused a little giggle to escape from Hermione’s lips.
‘I could say I’m sorry.... But I’d be lying’ She replied sweetly, before strutting past him into the restaurant. He stared after her, his eyes ogling the sight in front of him. He’d only ever seen her in school uniform or been too concerned about her tears to notice anything but damn!! He noticed now! She was dressed in a knee length black dress that hugged all the right places. Her height improved by the 3 inch heels she was wearing (although she still wasn’t as tall as Draco). She turned around and stared at him.
‘Well?’ she asked. ‘You asked me here, am I just gonna go in by myself?’ a small smile playing on her lips. Draco shook his head and sauntered towards her.
‘My lady?’ he said, offering her his arm.
‘Good sir’ she said, taking it, and together they walked into the restaurant.
A dark figure across the road watched them enter. The figure puffed on a cigarette, the glow from the end lighting his face enough to show an ugly scar going from the corner of his left eye, down over the mouth and stopping by the right corner of his mouth. The mysterious figure threw the cigarette on the floor, let out a final puff of smoke, turned on the spot and disappeared.
Inside the restaurant, Draco was pulling back Hermione’s chair and offering to take her coat.
‘Wow’ said Hermione as she shrugged off her coat into his waiting hands. ‘Who would have thought Draco Malfoy knew how to be a gentleman’
Draco chuckled as he hung up her coat and Hermione sat down.
‘Now now’ he replied, pushing her chair closer to the table. ‘Even foul, loathsome, evil little cockroaches know how to treat a lady’
‘Oh God, I remember that!’
Draco chuckled again.
‘How could I forget it? That punch left my face swollen for a week’
‘Well, if I recall correctly, you totally deserved it’ said Hermione, a slight twinkle in her eyes.
‘Yes well’ huffed Draco. ‘I’ve done a bit of growing up since then’ he smiled.
Hermione felt herself blush. What the- Blushing?! She was blushing?! Because of Draco Malfoy?! Oh dear....
‘Well’ said Draco, pouring her a glass of wine and pulling her from her daydream, ‘at least you know how to protect yourself if some guy tries to- oh shit sorry! Hermione I’m so sorry’
At Draco’s words, Hermione had gasped loudly, tears filling her eyes, and her hand flew up to the bruise on her cheek.
‘Shit. I’m so, so sorry Hermione’ Draco pleaded, his pale face, paling even more.
‘No, no. It’s fine’ gulped Hermione. ‘You’re right. By rights, I should know how to.....’ she trailed off.
Draco mentally slapped himself. God sake Malfoy, show some depth, he thought angrily. He watched as Hermione dabbed a napkin under her eyes, obviously trying not to disturb her makeup.
‘You know I almost cancelled on you tonight’ he heard her whisper as she lowered the napkin. ‘On my way home I was thinking of a way I could cancel without Michael finding out about it. Then... Something happened and- and I just didn’t want to be I that place tonight. So I slipped him a sleeping draught with a dream potion mixed in.’ She laughed sourly. ‘When he wakes up he’ll think he’s been at the pub all night and passed out on the sofa.’
Draco listened to Hermione’s story, feeling himself getting angrier with each passing word. How could someone who claimed to be a man, do this to a woman. Sure, he had done some bad things in his lifetime, but he could proudly say he had NEVER hit a woman. He leaned across the table and placed his hand on top of Hermione’s.
‘Just forget about him for tonight. It’s just you and me and a fancy French restaurant that’s WAY overpriced and our ‘non-date’. Ok?’ said Draco, smiling across at her. She gave a watery giggle.
‘Overpriced huh? Good job you’re paying then’
Across town, the mysterious stranger glided up the stairs towards the flat Hermione shared with Michael. He silently unlocked the door and went inside. There was Michael, snoring away. The stranger shook his head and muttered a spell. Michaels eyes flew open and within a second, he was on his feet, advancing on the stranger.
‘Who the hell are you and why are you in my house?!’ he yelled.
‘Shut up Anderson. It’s me’ said the stranger, pulling down his hood. Michael instantly relaxed.
‘What the fuck are you doing here?’ he growled at the visitor.
‘I have news’ came the reply. ‘I noticed your little girlfriend leaving earlier, all dressed up.’
Michael growled again.
‘So I followed her’ he continued, ignoring the interruption. ‘Naturally I was curious. I wondered why she was out alone. But then, she wasn’t alone’
‘Anderson’ the stranger warned, and Michael quieted. ‘She was meeting someone. A boy. For, what looked to be awfully like a date.’
‘It’s that scumbag Weasley isn’t it?!’ screamed Michael. ‘I’ll kill him! I’ll kill her! I’ll-‘
‘It wasn’t Weasley’ said the man, stopping Michael in his tracks. ‘Although that would have made this whole thing a lot easier.’ There was a pause. ‘It was Draco Malfoy.’
Michael’s mouth flew open.
‘Draco Mal- but how is that even possible?!’
‘Believe me I have no idea’ replied the stranger, rubbing his forehead. ‘But hush now. Don’t tell me you’ve actually begun to have feelings for the mudblood?’
‘No fucking way!’ yelled Michael. ‘But- your son. This is gonna be more difficult than we thought’
‘Yes’ replied Lucius Malfoy. ‘It is. But if he picks the wrong side, I won’t hesitate to do what I have to.’