Chapter 1 : Chapter 1
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It had been another of those days. One of those days, where she had been working overtime at her job at the Ministry of Magic trying to climb up the career latter but not seeming to get anywhere. One of those days where she had been trying to get her boss Amanda Wickly to remember her name and another one of those days where she hadn’t gotten anywhere at all.
This wasn’t what she had expected working for the Ministry to be like when she first applied for the job just after graduating from Hogwarts as Head Girl and top student of the year. In the real world it didn’t matter that she had gotten the good grades, all the real world cared about was how much money one had. And she didn’t have much.
So now she was sitting in her usual coffee shop with her usual cup of tea in her usual gloomy mood after work a cold Tuesday afternoon in January.
“Will you marry me?” a voice suddenly said behind her and she turned around to see who was talking. Draco Malfoy was standing right behind her and clearly asking her.
“WHAT?!” was her only response.
“You heard me, will you marry me?” Malfoy asked again and slower this time like she was too dumb to understand a normal question.
Normally she was very bright, but for every galleon in the world she couldn’t understand why Draco Malfoy her long time enemy was standing behind her in the half filled Mary’s Coffee shop asking her to marry him when she hadn’t seen him the almost seven years that had passed since they left Hogwarts.
“Why?” she couldn’t help but ask. He wasn’t the marrying type, and definitively not the type to marry a mudblood as he used to call her. And they hadn’t seen or talked to each other in seven years.
His grey eyes narrowed as he sat down beside her.
“I need a mistress at Malfoy Manor,” he simply said, sounding very business like, “So? Will you marry me?” he asked again.
“NO!” she cried in horror making some of the other customers stare at the young couple.
“I though you would say so.”
If eyes could kill he would have dropped dead, but unfortunately for her, they didn’t and he remained alive.
“But before you turn down my offer; I want you to know what you are saying no to,” he continued. She couldn’t believe his nerve, first he asked her to marry him and now he wouldn’t understand that she was declining.
“First off all,” he said just as she opened her mouth to ask him to leave, “I have a Manor, a quite large Manor.”
She had never seen Malfoy Manor, but often heard of it. It was said to be one of the most expensive and large Manors in Great Britain with over thirty rooms, including a ballroom, it was three stories high, and attached to the manor lay a forest and a large lake. It was said that the Malfoys owned the land in a fifteen-mile radii of the manor itself, so it was quite a grand affair.
But to him she pretended she didn’t know this.
“Yes I’m sure your little shack is lovely, but hardly a reason to make me marry you.”
“Well good thing I wasn’t finished then,” he smirked and made her really want to hit him.
“Also by marrying me you’ll get the very prestigious Malfoy name, which will get you in everywhere and provide you with enormous power without ever having to lift as much as a finger.”
That was right she knew, ever since they were first years Malfoy had been able to manipulate everyone just by saying his name or maybe mentioning his fathers, then all obstacles were out of the way, he could do whatever he wanted because of that name. That name was pure power. She tried to focus on the fact that the name also was an equal to one of the most evil wizard families in the history of magic, a family who didn’t need to think about other people and who didn’t care about them anyway, they had had enough in themselves and their fancy friends with whom they shared no real bond other than their blood and their money. She didn’t want to be associated with that lot.
“Like I would want a name that reeks of blood and evil.”
He looked around in the shop, which was only halfway filled and then looked back at her.
“Some say evil, others say powerful,” came the solemn reply.
“Oh, stop trying to be poetic, I’ve known you since you were eleven and you aren’t exactly a nice acquaintance.”
He just smirked and ignored her insult.
“Then there is the money,” he continued to list the benefits of marriage, “The Malfoy family is worth approximately seventy million galleons, and for a girl who gets two galleons per hour, that’s a lot of money.”
She was almost fuming, how did he know what her salary was? And why was he trying so hard to convince her to marry him by listing all his assets?
“I don’t need your money,” she said coldly and tried to act tuff even though she knew what she could do with all that money. First there was the loan she had put up to pay for her apartment and the Weasley family who deserved the money more than anyone in the whole world for they had always been the sweetest, warmest family and they didn’t care about your blood. There was so much she could do with seventy million galleons and so many people she could help to get a better life.
“Oh I think you do,” Malfoy said, “after all you are still paying back on that loan on your apartment.”
Again she felt the urge to smack him in the middle of his pretty features. How dared he come tempt her with money, power and a marriage she knew would never work out? They were too different and all the money in the world couldn’t change the fact that he was a Malfoy and she was a muggleborn.
“I need more than just money to go into matrimony with you,” she said and stared into her almost empty teacup.
“I know that,” he said and was quiet for a bit waiting for her to say something. She shifted her stare from the teacup to the window. On the street people hurried by on their way home from work not noticing her or Draco sitting just on the other side of the glass separating them from the rest of the world.
“What more do I get if marrying you?” she finally asked sounding defeated. He cleared his throat.
“The most well equipped library in Britain.”
She looked up in surprise. Never had she pictured Malfoy as the kind of person who read. But if he wasn’t he wouldn’t have a good library and she was somehow completely sure he was telling the truth. Before her eyes she saw a grand library with shelves from floor to ceiling with ancient books on mystic languages, small and large in all the colours of the world. All that wisdom she always wanted to tap into but didn’t have to chance to see because many of the most powerful books were in private hands and not to be seen if not a close friend of the family owning them.
It was easy for him to lure her in with his books it was common knowledge that she loved books more than anything.
Why was he so clever?
“And?” she asked letting him know she expected another reason.
“What more can you possibly ask for?” he asked frustrated.
“Love? Closeness? Safety?” she answered in a low voice. He was right; it seemed almost greedy to ask for more than what he had already offered her. But the emotions were missing.
“Malfoys don’t love. Closeness disappears in time anyway and no-one are ever really safe,” he blurted.
“Malfoys must learn to love if Malfoys wants to marry Grangers,” she quietly said turning away from him intensity burning in her brown eyes.
“What if Malfoys promised to learn to care about Grangers, would Grangers then marry Malfoys?”
She turned to him again and looked him in the eyes trying to figure out if he meant it seriously.
“I don’t know.”
The silence came back and spread between them, the muffled conversations
from the other tables suddenly sounding much louder. She played with a lock of her hair thinking hard. He sat patiently waiting.
“What’s in it for you anyway?” she finally asked voicing the real issue, “What do you get from marrying me?”
He didn’t seemed to be surprised that she asked him that, and she was pleased he didn’t, at least he hadn’t underestimated her.
“What’s in it for me...” he repeated the question as if he was thinking about whether it was wise to tell her or not.
“If I marry you I’ll first off all get a lady of Malfoy Manor and avoid all questions about why I haven’t married yet.”
That made sense but she knew it couldn’t be the only reason, if he just wanted a wife he could have stopped some random person on the streets, many would be easy to persuade into matrimony with the view of being multi millionaire.
“Secondly I would get a wife with a mind of her own and not some snotty little spoiled princess who hasn’t got a sensible thought in her little ugly head.”
She was impressed, he wanted someone opinionated and strong, not a Pansy Parkinson, the girl he always hung out with back in school.
“So very noble of you,” she remarked, “now tell me the real reason.”
He looked angrily at her, but answered her question: “I’ll inherit about thirteen million galleons from a second cousin, but only if I marry a muggleborn. That crazy bastard has a cruel sense of humour, making me do this.”
She laughed hearing this, and she also felt a bit surprised that he had referred to her as a muggleborn and not a mudblood as he used to call her back in school.
“You’re supposed to marry a muggleborn and you went to me....”
“How many other muggleborns worthy of me do you think I know?” he said sarcastically.
She was surprised that he though her worthy of him, but still she wasn’t sure that was basis enough to marry him, on the other hand it was not like she had a boyfriends or anything. She had been single ever since she broke with Ron just before the three of them defeated Voldemort. After that she hadn’t had the extra space in her head that needed be there to have a real relationship. Besides that she simply worked too much.
“Are you even sure about what you are getting yourself into? Marriage isn’t just piece of cake,” Hermione said but he shook his head.
“I though about that before asking. I’m not dumb enough just to jump into matrimony without thinking first.”
The whole situation hit her as completely and utterly absurd. She laughed hysterically at him and at herself for even considering marrying the ferret. And she was considering it even though she knew her friends might not.... Okay probably would not understand her reasons, but she found it very difficult to resist the urge just to say yes.
She put her hand to her forehead.
“Malfoy I have to think about this before answering. Sorry.”
He nodded. He couldn’t expect her to just drop everything and run away to marry the worst enemy of her schooldays.
She got up and gathered her things. Then she stood for a moment looking at the man who had just proposed to her.
He looked at her and took something from his pocket.
“Here,” he gave her the little jewellery box which she knew contained an engagement ring.
“Take this, and if I see you here tomorrow wearing it I know it’s a yes, if not, it’ll find it’s way back to me.” She nodded, accepted the box and left the shop with a lot on her mind.
A/N: I absolutely love reviews, so please be a nice reader and leave me one. Thanks!