Chapter 2 : That was then, this is now
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“Granger, wait!” he calls out.
And with those two words he betrays his true identity.
“For future reference, when you’re pretending you don’t know someone and this same someone hasn’t given you her name, then it’s advisable not to call her by that name, which you are not supposed to know. And since I’m married now, my name is Weasley. Understood…Malfoy?” I say, putting emphasis on his name.
“Don’t call me by that name! Not here,” he whispers and looks around before walking towards his car, “Let’s get inside my car.”
“I don’t want to get inside the car,” I protest.
“Get inside the car!” he orders, authoritatively.
“The only car I’m getting inside is my own car, Malfoy!” is my response.
“Hermione please,” he pleads and reluctantly I walk around the hood of the car and sit down in the passenger’s seat. I don’t know why I am following his orders or reacting to his plea, I can also say that perhaps his casual first-time use of my first name confuses me. Malfoy sits down next to me and looks at me from the corner of his eye. Seeming somewhat stressed he takes a deep breathe, but before he can say anything I start to talk.
“I should broadcast your whereabouts. The press and the remaining Death Eaters would have a field day. That’s what you deserve.”
We sit in silence for a moment and when I look at Malfoy I realise he actually thinks I’m capable of doing that.
“No, I don’t deserve that. I’m not that boy anymore, I’ve changed. You don’t know who I am,” Malfoy says and before he can launch into a redemption-speech I cut him off.
“Well, you’re right about one thing; you’re not that boy anymore. Because you were mean and petty and I felt something closely resembling hatred for you. But somehow, at the end of the day when it really mattered, you did the right thing. You betrayed the Death Eaters, you helped Harry fight Voldemort. That shows there is something good inside of you, after all. And I don’t know what has happened since then or why everybody now looks at you with fear in their eyes, but I know exactly who you’ve become. You are your father,” I conclude and Malfoy stares hard at me. Silence clutters the car, bounces off the dashboard and fogs up the windows. Malfoy moves his mouth to speak, but a short rap on the window startles us both. A middle-aged woman in a dark grey suit is looking at us sternly and when Malfoy electronically rolls down the window I recognise her.
“Mr. Mercer, could you park your car elsewhere please. You’re blocking the road.”
She glances past him at me.
“Good morning, Mrs. Parks. I’m Hermione Weasley. We’ve met before,” I chirp.
“Yes, I remember. It’s your daughter Molly’s first day here today, isn’t it?” she asks, but it isn’t a question and I get the distinct impression she doesn’t like me. But there’s a silver lining here; she doesn’t seem to like Malfoy either. Furthermore, she isn’t afraid of him. Before I can say anything Malfoy apologises and drives away.
“Stupid woman,” he mumbles, “doesn’t she know who I am?”
“No fear in her eyes, huh?” I say, delighted by his annoyance.
“Yet. No fear, yet,” he says and parks the car a few blocks away. Irritated I open the door and glare at him.
“Couldn’t you’ve let me out there? Now I have to walk back and I’ll be late for work,” I grumble. When I slam the door shut before he can answer Malfoy gets out of the car as well and follows me as I begin the walk back.
“What kind of work do you do?” he asks, in a conversational tone like we’re friends.
“That’s none of your business. Go back to your car and leave me alone,” I warn him, but he continues to stalk besides me.
“Are you going to tell Weasley about me?” he questions and I know he means Ron, but would it kill him to say his first name?
“Which Weasley are you talking about here? There are a lot of Weasleys to choose from. Perhaps you should be more specific. Give me a first name,” I taunt and after a couple of seconds he manages to force a mumbled ‘Ron’ from his lips. He says it the same way I used to say ‘Malfoy’; with disdain and contempt.
“I want to, but I’m not going to. Your secret’s safe with me,” I reply.
“Excuse me if that doesn’t comfort me. You despise me and I’m to believe you won’t rat me out?”
“There’s this little thing called trust. You should try it once, start now with me. It’s not as if you have a choice,” I remind him, as we’re nearing the school again. I take my eyes off of him as I manoeuvre between the leaving parents and their cars.
“Trust?” he repeats and suddenly his trademark smirk appears, “Or we could do it my way and keep each other’s secrets. Yes, I would like that a lot better.”
Confused I turn around and stare at him.
“Each other’s secrets? What are you talking about? I don’t have a secret,” I retort confidently.
And Malfoy wraps his arms around my waist and in the middle of the street in full sight of all the parents and some accidental passers-by he kisses me passionately. His tongue opens my lips and despite feeling revolted and appalled I moan as he softly traces my gums with the tip of his tongue while squeezing his lips tighter onto mine. His hands casually hold my hips as he continues to explore my mouth and finally he ceases to kiss me. With eyes wide open I look around afterwards and people won’t meet my gaze and turn away.
“Of course you have a secret, sweetheart. Our affair, remember?”
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