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Chapter 4: Giovanni's
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Draco woke up to an empty bed. He sat up and looked around the master bedroom, Astoria was nowhere to be seen, but there was a note on the pillow next to his. Draco's eyes were stained and he had to rub them a few times, in order to see what it said.
"I had somewhere to be. I'll be back in a few.
"Typical Astoria." He muttered as he got up and walked to the bathroom. She was never one to stay for the night, even if she did live with him.
Draco showered and got changed into a white plain shirt and black trousers.
He walked into the kitchen of his penthouse apartment, and started to raid the fridge for something edible. There was none.
He picked up an apple that was on top of one of Astoria's magazines. The magazine was Witch Weekly, the same one Astoria had been reading last week at his office. He took a seat on one of the dining chairs and started to flick through.
There were several pictures of Hermione Granger in it, probably taken before she left, he thought, as she still had her hair. Draco wandered where she had gone to. One of the questions he was going to ask when he sees her tonight. He had been lost in the magazine that he didn't notice Astoria had apparated into the kitchen.
"Draco!" she called.
"I'm here." he replied.
"Oh! I didn't see you!" she said, startled.
Astoria walked over to where Draco was sitting and sat in the chair facing him.
"What are you doing reading my magazine?" she asked peering across the table.
"I need to entertain myself somehow." Draco drawled, closing the magazine and laying it down.
"Okay then." she said, obviously not interested "So what have you got planned for today?"
She was trying to change the conversation and Draco knew it.
"I've got a dinner date with someone tonight."
"A dinner date?" she asked now interested. Draco nodded. "Is it with a girl?"
"Someone I know?"
Draco's eyes drifted to the magazine that was in front of him.
Astoria smiled. Astoria was stunning, there was no denying that. The only thing Draco hated about her was that she was so vain. She was incredibly addicted to her appearance. It didn't matter where she was going she would always over-dress. Astoria didn't have a job anymore so it was Draco who would pay for her shopping sprees. And she wasn't an easy shopper. If Draco had told Astoria about Hermione, she was bound to get jealous. He couldn't deal with that right now.
"Hermione darling, we’re off!" Jean Granger yelled up the stairs.
"Okay!" Hermione mumbled as she ran down the stairs to give her parents a hug. "Bye guys. Have a lovely day!"
"If you need us, feel free to call!" Jean reminded Hermione.
"Mum, I'm nearly twenty-one, I can look after myself!' she said, pushing her parents out the door.”Now go! I love you both."
Hermione had planned to have a lazy day today; she was going to enjoy herself before she was due to meet Malfoy.
She had laid down some popcorns and cupcakes on the small coffee table in the living room. And was wearing her pajamas and had no makeup on. She had bought down her duvet and was slouching on the sofa watching TV.
This is the life, she thought. She could never do something like that when she was with Ron. He wouldn't have liked it. He never did like anything muggle-like, even If he never admitted it.
After watching Titanic and Romeo and Juliet, Hermione got up to go and get some tissues from her bedroom. She kicked herself for not thinking she would need them.
She had barely entered the living room, before Ginny apparated into the room.
"Ginny? What are you doing here?" Hermione practically yelled.
"What? I can't come and visit my best friend?"
Ginny was holding a brown leather bag in one hand and had stacks of papers in the others. Hermione watched as she dropped everything onto the table.
"Gee, what happened to you?" she asked. "You're crying."
"Oh, I had just been watching some movies... they're like moving pictures." she added.
"I know what they are!" Ginny laughed.
Hermione joined in the laughter.
"To what do I owe the honour?" Hermione asked, after they'd settled down.
"Your birthday. We need a guest list." said Ginny as she collapsed onto the huge sofa.
"I thought you would have forgotten about that now." she stated.
"Well I haven't! It's the only thing that's been on my mind since yesterday."
Ginny grabbed one of the cupcakes that were on the table and ate it.
"Mhm, this taste glorious!" she mumbled in between bites. "We should serve this at your birthday bash."
"Since when did it become a birthday bash?"
"Since, I started to plan it."
"Ginny, please don't go overboard with this!" Hermione said softly.
"Too late for that." Ginny grinned as she grabbed another cupcake. "You look gorgeous by the way."
Hermione threw the pillow that was next to her at her red haired friend.
Draco checked his watch. It was six thirty which meant he was due to meet Hermione at Giovanni’s in half an hour. He had been sitting at his study for the past few hours, mostly in an attempt to avoid speaking to Astoria. He knew she was getting curious about the dinner date. And he couldn't handle the amount of questions she would have asked if they were in the same room.
Draco entered his bedroom to see Astoria sprawled across the king sized bed in a thin, see through, caramel dressing gown that barely reached her thighs. She looked up when she heard Draco enter the room.
"Are you leaving now?" she asked.
"Yeah." Draco answered as he grabbed his black blazer that matched his trousers. "Goodnight Astoria."
Astoria stood up and walked to Draco. She leaned in and gave him a long deep kiss.
"I love you Draco." she said, barely in a whisper.
"Goodnight Astoria." Draco said once again, before he apparated out of the bedroom. Leaving her alone.
Hermione wore a white Peplum top, with a short black miniskirt and black platform sandals with a bow at the end. She had worn simple jewellery and had applied on light make up. Hermione took one last look of herself in the mirror, and thought she looked decent.
"Is this a date?" Jean Granger asked.
"No mum, it’s just an interview." Hermione answered as she sprayed herself with a bottle of perfume.
"If you're interviewing him, then why are you putting on so much effort?"
"Because we're going to a really fancy restaurant. And I doubt they'll let me in if I came in dressed in my PJs and fluffy flippers." she explained. "Now I've got to go. Say bye to dad for me."
With one last kiss on her mother's cheek, she grabbed her purse and apparated out.
Hermione had arrived in front of Giovanni’s which was in Diagon Alley. She started to walk towards the entrance, and only then did she realize what she was doing. She was going on a date. Yes a date! With Draco Malfoy of all people! It had barely been 10 days since she dumped Ron and already she was out dating again. She felt a pan of guilt and was about to return back home when she heard a voice from a distance.
"Granger!" the voice yelled.
Hermione couldn't make out who the voice belonged to. But he soon stepped closer.
"Draco Malfoy." said Hermione.
"The one and only."
Draco had hardly changed over the past years. His hair however looked somehow darker, making his grey eyes almost look blue. He was wearing a plain white shirt with black trousers and black blazer. Hermione had to admit. He looked good.
"You look... lovely." he said, as his eyes surveyed her up and down.
"Er... thanks." Hermione was shocked by his compliment.
"So how about we continue this conversation inside." he suggested. "Before we both freeze to death."
Hermione nodded in agreement. They walked in to Giovanni's and the man waiting at the door was quick to recognize who they were.
"Mr. Malfoy! Miss Granger!" He exclaimed.
"I booked a table for two earlier today." Draco said calmly, clearly used to meeting fans.
"Of course sir." The waiter said. "Right this way sir."
The waiter led them past a room filled with dozens of couples, into a larger room, with many sophisticated couples. The room was fancier and classier than the other room. There was a big aquarium in the middle and a grand piano that was magically playing in the corner.
"Thank you." said Draco to the man.
After the man had left them alone, Draco and Hermione took a seat at the table.
"I hope you know this isn't a date." Hermione said.
Draco looked at her confused. "I know, I have a girlfriend."
"I heard about you and Weasel. I'm sorry."
Hermione looked at him, he looked sympathetic.
"I'm over it." She didn't want his pity.
"Can I ask you a question?" Draco asked suddenly.
Hermione smiled. "I thought I was supposed to ask the questions. But yes, you can."
"Why did you leave?" He looked as though he honestly wanted an answer.
"If I had a galleon for every time someone had asked me that. I could probably buy Gringotts." She heard him chuckle. "Do you want the short version or the long version?"
"Give me the long version," he looked at his watch. "We've got time."
Hermione sank back into her chair.
"We were all trying to forget about the war. Trying to forget what had happened. But I couldn't. I had watched so many innocent people be killed that night, and it pained me that there was nothing I could have done. No matter how much that I wanted to forget about it, it was just too hard. I was followed by reporters everywhere I went; my face was constantly on newspapers and magazines. A reminder that I played a major role in the war. After 3 years, I just couldn't take it anymore. If I had stayed I thought I would have had a mental breakdown.
"So I decided to go travelling, a whole year away from the wizarding world was just what I needed. And in that year alone, I was free. Free to do whatever I want. I forgot all about the stuff I'd let behind! I went to new places, discovered so many new things, it was truly remarkable... call me selfish, but I was so happy."
Draco was staring at her as if she was the most interesting human being alive.
"Doing what you want doesn't make you selfish." he finally said. "It just makes you human."
"I'm glad you think so."
"I like your hair." He said suddenly.
"Thanks. Now it’s my turn to ask some questions."
Hermione dug into her purse that was lying on the table, and bought out her Quick Quotes Quill, that was now floating next to her hair.
"Now, why have you refused to be interviewed? Yet you jumped at the chance of being interviewed with me." Hermione asked.
"Well, your owl was the only owl that was sent to me directly." he raised an eyebrow. "How is it that your owl was not sent back before it reached me?"
Hermione chuckled. "There's a reason I'm the brightest witch of our age. You just need to know the right charms."
"I see you're still a know-it-all." said Draco.
"Just like you're still the same loathsome jerk before." she smiled. "I guess some things never changed."
"Ouch." he said, moving a mocking hand towards his chest.
"I'm sorry did that hurt your ego?" she asked flatly.
"Better this than you punching me."
Hermione started to laugh out loud.
"That was the best day of my life!" she exclaimed.
"You foul loathsome evil little cockroach." he mimicked the words she had said during their third year, when she had punched him.
"You deserved it though!" she was practically sobbing from laughter now.
"I did. I wasn't exactly the best guy back then." He was now looking at her seriously. "But people change."
Before Hermione could reply, a completely different waiter was walking towards where they sat. The waitress had long red hair tied up in a pony tail. She wore a black mini skirt that barely covered her butt, and a white see through top, with black pumps.
"Hello Mr. Malfoy." she looked at Hermione. "Miss Granger. Can I take your order now?"
Hermione was just about to protest that they hadn't even looked at the menu, but Malfoy was quick to answer.
"I will have a Gamberoni alla Griglia, and the lady here," he said gesturing to Hermione. "will have a Pollo Ripieno. Forget about the starters."
The waitress flashed a big grin at Malfoy before she left the room.
"What the hell was that?" she asked him.
"What was what?" he was confused.
"You just ordered for me! What is it with everyone thinking they can just order for me!"
"Well, I'm sorry if I offended you but I doubt you would hardly recognize anything that was on here." He said opening the menu.
"I'll have you know, I spent three months in Italy!" He was now irritating her.
"But can you actually speak the language?"
"No, but please don't order for me anymore." she answered, defeated.
There was a long silence, in which they both spent the time occupying themselves with their menu, before the waitress came back with the tray of food, floating behind. She picked them up from the floating tray and placed them onto the table. Hermione realized that her dish was stuffed chicken and that Draco's was king prawns. He liked sea food? How Interesting.
"There you go." The waitress said, only looking at Draco.
Hermione noticed that the top part of the waitress's blouse was now unbuttoned. Clearly showing Malfoy a lot more when she placed his food in front of him. The waitress flashed another big grin at Draco before strutting out.
"Well that was interesting." Hermione mumbled.
"The waitress, she was flirting with you." she explained.
"Oh, she was? I didn't notice."
"Unless you can explain why else she was showing you her cleavage."
"Oh, she was? That's nice." he said before digging a fork into his food. "She's not my type anyway."
This caught Hermione's interest. "Oh really? Who is your type then?" she asked.
"I like girls that don't go around dressing like sluts. A lady should be two things, classy and fabulous."
That was not the response that Hermione expected. Draco didn’t strike her as the kind of man who wanted a classy lady, more like the man who enjoyed a different girl each night.
"Your girlfriend must be amazing." She murmured carefully, waiting for his response.
He wrinkled his eyebrows as if trying to decide.
"Astoria's all right." he said.
"Astoria Greengrass? She's your girlfriend?" Hermione was stunned.
"Mhm. Do you know her?" He said in between bites.
"No, but I've heard about her. A model isn't she?" she asked.
"Yes. She takes a lot of pride in her work. It’s the only thing she’s good at. I can’t imagine her working at a high classed office or something.” He stopped eating. "What's your job?"
"I don't have a job. But while I was travelling I was doing my Auror training. And now that I've completed it, I'm not so sure I want to do that job anymore."
It was true; during the time that Hermione had been away, she had realized that she enjoyed traveling more than she did her job. She had lost complete interest in it, by the time she returned.
"It just doesn't appeal to me anymore."
"Well, you can always work at Malfoy Inc. If you want."
Hermione started to laugh again, nearly choking herself.
"Thanks for the offer, but I'm good." she said after having a drink.
"I'm serious. You can work as a reporter. You're pretty good at manipulating people."
"Are you saying I manipulated you to you come?"
After bickering like this for several more minutes. The waitress was back.
"Did you enjoy that?" she asked, only looking at Draco.
"Yes." he looked at Hermione. "We did."
"Would you like a drink?" the waitress asked.
"Yes, I'll have fire whisky, and she," he gestured to Hermione once again "would probably like a butterbeer please."
Hermione was insulted that he would think she was a petty little girl that only drank butterbeer.
"Actually, I'll have a fire whisky as well." she said surprising herself.
"You don't look like a fire whisky kind of girl." said Draco, once the waitress had left the room.
"I'm full of surprises."
After they had both drunk their fire whiskeys, Hermione checked her watch, it was ten thirty.
"We should probably get going. Your girlfriend might be waiting." Hermione said.
Draco simply nodded. They left the room and Draco walked over to where the man who led them to their table was standing. Draco told the man to put it on his tab. Figures, Hermione thought, she wasn’t surprised that he had been here before.
As they stepped out into the cold darkness and Hermione felt a chill run through her spin. Draco noticed her shaking.
"Here, take this." He said as he took of his blazer and placed it on Hermione's shoulders.
"Thank you." she smiled at him.
They had barely taken another step before reporters had appeared out of nowhere. There were dozens of them all crowded around Draco and Hermione, making it difficult for them to get through. Hermione saw camera flashes at the corner of her eyes, and suddenly felt sick to the core. The fire whisky she had earlier was making her feel dizzy. Hermione felt a protective hand snake round her waist, and she looked up to see it was Malfoy. His expression was ice cold, he obviously wasn't happy that their night was being ruined.
"Is this your way of getting back at Ron?"
"Are you and Ron truly over?"
"Draco, what about Astoria?"
"Has the Golden Trio Broken up?"
"Hermione what did you do to your hair?"
"Are you two together?"
The reporters were crying furiously. Hermione was feeling claustrophobic.
"Follow me." Draco whispered into her ears.
They started to run, but the reporters were still following them. They reached an alleyway after running for a while and Draco had held onto Hermione's hand and apparated them out.
Hermione was panting. She looked around to see where they were. They were in a huge room, with big modern sofas and a giant flat screen TV on the wall. There was a large coffee table placed in the middle of the room, and on it were some magazines, and a wristwatch. To top it off, there was a huge chandelier that stood on the ceiling. The room had a door that led out to the balcony. Hermione walked out the balcony and to see the view. It was beautiful. The balcony over looked the entire city, it was truly magical, it made Hermione feel on top of the world.
She heard footsteps coming from behind her, and turned around to see Draco, in his trousers and white shirt.
"Where are we?" Hermione asked him.
A/N: Romeo and Juliet is by William Shakespeare and the film is by Baz Luhrmann, and also the film Titanic is by James Cameron.
Review and tell me what you think, lovely readers!