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Chapter 10: Just Friends
Hermione got up from her slumber and commenced on her daily routine. When she got in the bathroom, she couldn’t help but think about the vivid dream she had about Malfoy.
“Why are you after her forgiveness so much, Draco?” a voice sounded from the door. Draco and Blaise turned around and looked towards the door where Narcissa was standing.
“Because I just want it. There does not need to be reason.” Draco lied.
“Don’t lie to me, Draco. You know you can’t lie to me. Spit it out.” Narcissa said.
“I had promised myself that I would stop being cruel to He- Granger, but instead, I did the opposite. We were put in the same office because the Minister believed that it would be a good idea to keep the department joined together. But instead of being civil towards her, I was off being rude. I saw how hurt she was by my words, mother. I saw her cry because of me! I had no intention of doing that, but I did it anyways...I...I don’t like to see her cry, mother. I-I don’t know why, but it hurts me to see her hurt.” Draco explained.
Narcissa and Blaise looked at Draco and then at each other. They were in disbelief, he had never wanted anyone’s forgiveness so badly before. Hermione must have really affected him. Narcissa placed her hand on her son’s shoulder.
“Just apologise to her, dear. She needs to know that you are genuinely sorry. She probably thinks that you are a coward, sending her a note like that.” Narcissa reasoned, and she was right, Draco knew that.
“Alright, mother. I will do that tomorrow.” Draco sighed.
Then, the dream was somehow disconnected? If that was possible. It was so vivid, it seemed so real, but she knew it couldn’t be. The Draco Malfoy she knew would never say or even think something so caring or nice about her. She knew him too well to believe that weird dream. One thing she did like though was that he gave her the idea of making him apologise in front of the Ministry. She will definitely as that of him, if he wants to be forgiven. She placed her thoughts aside and finished her shower.
She had her delicious breakfast before she bade Molly goodbye and apparated to the Ministry.
Nothing could go wrong on this day, she thought.
Hermione will find out just how wrong she is today...
She opened the door to her shared office and noticed that Dr-Malfoy was not present yet.
She sat down at her desk, and just as she did that, she heard the door open. In walked their secretary, Liz.
“The minister sent these for you and Mr Malfoy.”
“Oh please, call me Draco, Liz.” He said in a seductive tone. Liz blushed at that and nodded. Hermione rolled her eyes. Typical. Liz passed half of the stack on her desk and half on his, before exiting out.
Hermione started on her pile straight away, but Draco didn’t. He was hesitant on how he should do this. He has never apologised to anyone, so he didn’t understand why he was starting now, but he felt as if compelled to do it. He cleared his throat attempting to get Hermione’s attention, but when she didn’t listen, he called out to her. “Granger, I ne-need to tell you something.” He stuttered slightly.
This was new – Draco Malfoy, stuttering. She couldn’t wait what Merlin had in store for her next. She looked up with an amused expression and waited for Malfoy to continue.
“I uh...I uh...um...” he couldn’t seem to get the words out for some reason, he didn’t understand why. It was just Granger.
“Yes...” Hermione smirked inwardly, enjoying the scene of Malfoy struggling.
“I’m s...I’m s...” Damn it, Draco! Spit it out! Just two words and you’ll be off the hook! Two words! Spit. It. Out.
“You’re...” she waited patiently, still smirking inwardly at his struggle.
“I’m sorry.” There, he said it. He finally said it. That wasn’t so hard, was it? His mother said inside his head. Harder than you think it is, he replied.
Hermione smiled. He said it. He apologised to her. Now, should she make him do it in front of the Ministry? No, she was not that kind of person. She looked straight into his grey orbs. She seemed to melt into those dreamy eyes –wait a second. What the hell was she thinking?! She shook her head and broke eye contact. “I accept your apology.” Hermione said.
“Thank you.” Draco said with relief. Hermione was just about to go back to her paperwork when Draco spoke again.
“Um...can we be friends, as we’ve kinda gotten on kinda good terms with each other?” he asked...hopefully?
“Um...sure?” Hermione said confused. He held out his hand for her to accept. Hermione shook it awkwardly. He broke out into a smile. Wow, Draco Malfoy, smiling. That was something you don’t see every day. She put her thoughts aside and smiled back.
He went back to his desk and embarked upon getting all his paper work done. Hermione did the same, though still trying to get over the fact that Draco Malfoy wanted to be friends with her and him smiling...now that was really weird.
She went back to her documents and commenced signing them.
“Hey, do you want to go for a coffee?” Draco asked. Okay, this was getting utterly bizarre, Hermione thought.
“Um...okay.” she replied.
“Great, I’ll just send these off to the Minister and then we’ll go.” He glanced at her desk. “Do you...want me to take those for you?”
“Yeah...okay.” he was up to something, she was sure of it. He had to be. He was acting so nice. Draco Malfoy was never this nice. He walked to her desk and took the stack of papers with him out of the door.
Hermione put her coat on since it was quite cold outside, and waited for Draco to return.
“Shall we go?” he asked, returning. Hermione nodded and smiled to him sickeningly sweetly, playing along to whatever game he had planned on playing with her. He smiled back, as if clueless to what Hermione was trying to do.
They left the doors of the ministry and headed to a small cafe Hermione believed to be newly opened, as she had never seen it before. It was named Parkinson’s.
No...It couldn’t be. They were going into Pansy Parkinson’s cafe. She stopped in her tracks.
Draco walked ahead, and then noticed that Hermione was next to him. He looked back and saw her stopped in her tracks, as if her shoes are glued to the floor. He knew why. He walked up to her and put a hand on her shoulder.
“She won’t bite, Granger.” She still looked a bit scared. “She’s not the same Pansy she used to be. She’s changed, okay?” he assured her. She nodded, though still hesitant about this. Draco sighed and grabbed her hand, pulling her inside.
“Hello, how may I –Draco? –Draco!” Pansy Parkinson ran up to him and embraced him lovingly.
“Hi Pans. How are you? How’s Theo? You cafe looks wonderful.” Draco added.
“Thank you. Oh, Theo’s fine. I am, too.” She then noticed that he was not alone.
“Hi, Granger.” She greeted smiling at her, and held out her hand for Hermione to shake. Hermione awkwardly answered.
“Hi...” she said.
“Pans, a table for two, please.” Draco said. Pansy led them to a two seated table.
“Do you want to order now?” Pansy asked them. Draco looked towards Hermione, as if asking her if she wanted to order. She nodded. That small gesture did not go unnoticed by Pansy and she smirked. She knew exactly what was going on here.
“I’ll have a...” he studied the menu.
“Chocolate muffin and...Vanilla milkshake.” Draco said.
“What about you, Granger?” Pansy asked. Hermione seemed to be lost in her own thoughts as she was startled to hear her name.
“Ur...I’ll have a Chocolate muffin and Vanilla milkshake.” Hermione said, observing the menu.
“Okay, two Chocolate muffins and Vanilla milkshakes coming up.” Pansy went behind the counter, into the kitchen to grab their orders.
“How’s your boyfriend, Granger? I heard you were dating a serving boy.” Draco smirked.
Hermione rolled her eyes at him. But wait...how did he know she was going out with Jake? She hadn’t even told anyone but the Weasley clan and Harry. Maybe he had seen her with him. She was so lost in her thoughts again, that Draco had to wave his hand in front of her face, snapping her out of her reverie.
“Hello? Granger.” He said.
“Huh? Oh, right. He’s fine and his name is Jake.” Hermione huffed.
“Okay, I was just asking.” He said, smirking.
“Here are your muffins and milkshakes.” Pansy set them down on the table and left them to eat in peace.
Hermione hadn’t thought that she was that hungry, but she was. She was munching away at her muffin like a pig, which was very unladylike for her to do, mind you. But she didn’t care, she was just too hungry.
Draco couldn’t help but smile. He wanted to laugh, but he tried to keep it in by taking a small bite out of his muffin.
Hermione noticed that Draco was on the verge of laughing and squinted at him. “What? I’m hungry, okay?” Hermione snapped.
“I didn’t say anything. Please, continue.” He said smiling innocently. Hermione just rolled her eyes at him and returned to her muffin.
Draco and Hermione were on this way out of the cafe. They were going to the door, when it opened backwards towards them. Hermione was pushed backwards and she just managed to get her balance, but only because she grabbed...well, rather pushed Draco, unintentionally, of course. What she didn’t know was that Draco had been facing his back to her and that Pansy was holding a large cake in her hand.
Draco was pushed face first on the cake, causing it to be smothered all over his face.
Hermione turned around when she heard a squelch like sound from behind her. She saw that Draco had his face in a cake that Pansy was holding.
He slowly removed his face from the cake and turned round.
Hermione was trying so hard not to burst out in laughter. She was about to speak, when Draco interrupted her.
“Don’t you dare even think about it.” Draco warned. Hermione quickly shut her mouth.
“Where is the restroom in this place?” he asked through gritted teeth. Pansy pointed behind the counter. She had her lips pursed, in attempt to contain her laughter.
“Thank you.” He said with gritted teeth and walked towards it.
When Hermione and Pansy saw that Draco was out of ear shot, they looked at each other and burst out in laughter.
“I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to do that. It was a total accident.” Hermione and Pansy looked to where the voice had come from and found that it was Blaise Zabini. This caused them to laugh even harder at the situation.
“Hermione?” Blaise knew who it was that had been smothered with that lovely, delicious cake. “Oh shit, that was Draco, wasn’t it?” Blaise asked scared to hell that he was in serious trouble if he ever found out that it was him who had done this to him.
Hermione and Pansy nodded, still giggling about the incident.
“Ur...I’m outta here!” Blaise scurried out of the door and bolted to wherever his feet led him, anywhere would be good right now.
Blaise was so drowned in his thoughts that he didn’t pay attention to what was in front of him. He bashed into a solid figure and fell on top of it. He looked at who he had fallen on and found beautiful violet eyes. He just seemed to be in a trance, looking into those mesmerising eyes.
“Hello!? Get off me!” she shouted. Blaise quickly removed his body from the fragile beauty and straightened himself out.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to fall on you like that.” He said quickly.
“Don’t you watch where you’re going? Honestly.” She huffed and brushed past him. As she did that, Blaise inhaled her scent and felt like he was in heaven. She smelled like strawberries. He closed his eyes in pleasure.
He was going to find out who she was and make sure that she was in his bed. Oh yeah, he was going to do just that. He smiled like an idiot and walked on. Where? He had no idea, because all on his mind right now was that sexy strawberry.
Draco splashed the water on his face and wiped it, removing the cake frosting off. Ugh, this was all granger’s fault, if she hadn’t pushed him, he wouldn’t have gotten smothered by a cake. And why did Pansy have to be right there, with that large cake in her hand? She always had the greatest of timings(!)
Believing to have finished wiping the frosting off his face, he pulled out his handkerchief and starting wiping his wet face. Whilst doing that, he stepped out of the restroom, only to find his best friend and Hermione laughing their heads off.
Hermione saw that Draco was coming towards them and gestured Pansy to stop laughing. Pansy stopped, placing her fingers on her lips, like a child attempting to stay silent. Hermione looked at the blonde with pursed lips, receiving a deadly glare from him.
“That was not funny, Granger. That was your fault it happened in the first place.” Draco reasoned as he continued to clean his face with a handkerchief.
“No, it wasn’t my fault. This was all because of yourself.” Hermione said between giggles, unable to have contained them.
Draco looked at Pansy, who was giggling quite a bit now and glared at her. Pansy noticed that there was still some frosting on his nose, but decided to leave it be. He’ll notice it soon, she thought mischievously.
“Is there still some frosting left on my face?” he asked Pansy first. Pansy shook her head. He narrowed his eyes at her and then turned to Hermione. “Is there any frosting left on my face?” he asked her.
“Draco. I’m hurt that you don’t believe me.” Pansy said in mock hurt.
“Granger, is there anything on my face?” he turned back to Hermione, ignoring Pansy. Hermione spotted the little spot of frosting left on his nose, then, she noticed that Pansy was trying to call her. She glanced at her and acknowledged that she was trying to say something to her. Pansy was waving her hands about and shaking her head, trying to get across the message that she should just say he doesn’t have anything on her face. Draco detected that Hermione was looking behind him and turned around. Pansy quickly stopped waving her arms and stood still, smiling innocently at Draco. Draco turned back to Hermione and asked her the question again. She shook her head in refusal. Draco nodded, believing her answer to be true. But, boy was he wrong.
“See, I told you you had nothing on your face, but no, you wouldn’t believe me. How is it that you believe Hermione but not your best friend?” pansy accused in mock hurt, emphasising on the word ‘best’.
“Because I know you, Pansy Parkinson. You’re always trying to prank me, Pansy. Don’t think I don’t know when you’re up to no good.” Draco countered. He rolled his eyes. “We should get going now. We have to get to work. See you soon, Pans.” Draco hugged her and left the cafe with Hermione behind him.
Hermione glanced behind her and saw that Pansy was giving her a thumbs up and a wink. Hermione smiled. Maybe Pansy Parkinson wasn’t so bad after all. She walked up to Draco’s side quickly, before he suspected anything.
When they entered their department, all the workers started to look at Draco funnily. Hermione kept her lips pursed, not laughing at all, but on the inside, oh, she was laughing uncontrollably.
“Why are they looking at me like that?” Draco asked, more to himself than to Hermione.
“I don’t know.” Hermione said, thought she knew very well why they were giving the blonde the funny looks. Draco shook the question off as they both entered their office, both returning to their desks and started on their next pile of important documents.
Hermione wondered how long it would take for Draco to be unaware of the frosting on his pale nose. That was when a knock was heard on the door. The person entered the office, revealing it to be Liz.
“Mr Malfoy, Ms Granger, Mr Shacklebolt wants to see the both of you at the end of the day.” Liz said, looking from one to the other. When she looked at Draco though, she spotted a small white mark on his face.
“Liz, I told you this morning, call me Draco. Please.” Draco interrupted, smiling.
“Okay...Draco. You have a...something on your nose...” Liz said, pointing at her nose with her finger.
Draco reached for his nose and brushed it with his finger. He looked at it and knew exactly what it was – cake frosting. He looked at Hermione who seemed to be back to her paperwork. Then, he looked back to Liz. “Thank you, Liz, you may leave now.” He said. Liz nodded and exited the office.
“Granger. You did not just do that.” Draco said, closing his eyes, trying to contain his annoyance at her.
“Do what, Malfoy?” Hermione asked innocently, pretending that she had no idea what he was on about.
“Don’t try to act so innocent. I know you knew about this.” He was slowly calculating his thought and came to the realisation. “Pansy put you up to this, didn’t she?” he accused.
Hermione started sniggering, confirming Draco’s accusation.
“That’s not even funny anymore, Granger. Seriously.” Draco scoffed.
“Well, the fact that you actually believed me was your fault. You could have checked in a mirror, which I'm pretty sure you keep inside one of your pockets.” Hermione remarked.
“Haha, very funny, Granger.” Draco drawled. Draco started to attempt fixing his tie now, but it just wouldn’t happen.
“Here, let me fix it. Honestly, I would have thought by now you had learnt how to fix your own tie, but I guess not.” Hermione stood up from her seat and walked over to Draco’s desk, settling down on the edge.
She grabbed the two ends and tied them together. “See, now that wasn’t so hard, was...it?” Hermione seemed to go weak under his intense stare.
She stood up from the desk and cleared her throat. Draco stood up from his seat and looked into her chocolate eyes. Hermione hadn’t noticed just how close he was to her – just an inch. Too close, Hermione thought, too close. She started to back away from him but slipped. She was almost going to stumble too...if Draco Malfoy hadn’t circled his arms around her waist, preventing her from falling. Thinking that she may fall, she circled her arms around Draco’s neck.
Their eyes locked and none made a move to move from their current position. Draco was leaning in, slowly. Hermione was panicking, she demanded her body to move, but it was not obeying, again! What was wrong with her?! Hermione, get away from Draco Malfoy! You have a boyfriend for Merlin’s sake! Step away...step away! Hermione found that she could finally control her body again and let herself free from Draco’s grasp, and straightened herself out.
Draco cleared his throat and awkwardly walked back to his seat and returned to his documents.
‘What the hell were you thinking?! You idiot! She has a boyfriend!’ the voice inside his head scolded.
‘Yeah, a serving boy.’ He scoffed. ‘She can do much better than that. Well, I guess he’s better than Weasel.’
‘I can’t argue with you there.’ The voice inside his head replied back.
Draco put his thoughts aside and went back to his work.
‘Hermione! He was going to kiss you! Again!’ a voice inside her head cried.
‘Like I didn’t know that already.’ She scoffed. ‘I knew I should have just let him fix his tie by himself. I'm so stupid sometimes.’
‘Like I didn’t know that already.’ The voice said.
‘Hey! You’re not supposed to agree with it! I’ll have you know I'm the brightest witch of our generation!’ she exclaimed.
She put her thoughts at the back of her mind and went back to work.
“Come in.” Shacklebolt said. Hermione and Draco opened the door, and entered the Minister’s office. “Ah, Hermione, Draco. Please, sit down.” He pointed to the two seats in front of him. Hermione and Draco settled down and waited for the Minister to speak.
“I have chosen you two to be Aurors, temporarily, for a few days.” The two wizards looked at him confused, but excited at the same time. “Both of you will be joining the other Aurors and will be going to Sydney, Australia for a mission to catch the remaining Death Eaters that are in hiding, soon to be rising to create chaos to the wizarding world. Now, I know you both must be thinking why I have chosen you. This is because you are most capable and most experienced at this, as the Death Eaters are heard to be very dangerous. You both have also fought greatly in the war against The Dark Lord. The head of Aurors also agrees to this decision and hopes that you can join him to find those Death Eaters quickly, before they create another war on us.” He paused for a second. “So, I am giving you a choice. You can help the Aurors with their mission...or you can continue with your job as wizard lawyers. You may have the rest of this day to think about this. I will need your answers tomorrow morning, as the Aurors are to leave the day after.”
“Thank you for the great opportunity, Minister. We will return tomorrow with our answers.” Hermione smiled.
“Alright, you both may leave. Have a good day.” Shacklebolt said as they made their way to the door.
“You too, sir.” Hermione said.
Hermione and Draco headed for the doors of the Ministry. “So, are you going to go?” Draco asked.
“I might. It’s definitely a great opportunity.” Hermione replied. “What about you?”
“I might. Yeah.” He answered.
“Cool.” Hermione said, causing Draco to chuckle. “What?” she asked, baffled.
“I never thought I’d see the day when Hermione Granger would say ‘cool’.” He sniggered.
“What’s so funny about that? Loads of people say that.” She reasoned.
“Well, from your mouth, it’s sound quite funny.” He said.
Hermione rolled her eyes at him. “Well, see you tomorrow.”
“Yeah, you too.” With that said, they awkwardly parted their ways, reminiscing when Draco had tried to kiss Hermione.
This is probably the longest chapter I've written now, so I hope you all liked it. If there's anything that doesn't seem right, please don't hesitate to tell me. Thanks for reading! :)