Chapter 8 : shopping in knockturn
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“Do you really think we should be trusting Malfoy? I mean, what if he changes the date on this port-pill?”
Hermione glanced over at Ginny, then returned her eyes to the castle doors. She had been staring at them for five minutes now. “Ginny, I’ll buy two, that way he can’t possibly fix the date. I’ll keep one hidden until the day before, nothing can go wrong. Oh, here he comes.”
Ginny turned her head towards the castle, then pushed herself off the tree, scowling as she took one last hit of her cigarette and flicking it to the side. Draco returned the scowl but his face softened slightly (not that the girls really noticed) as he turned towards Hermione.
“Yeah,” Hermione said, motioning Ginny to start walking. “What did you tell Dumbledore?”
“I just said that we wanted to get a head start on the Holiday Ball, and since we didn’t have classes today we wanted to go into Diagon Alley and look for decorations or local entertainment. He agreed, and gave us permission to go, along with any prefect who wanted to attend. I told him that Weaslette was the only one that wanted to go,” Draco added, getting an evil look from Ginny. “And he said that was all right as well.”
The three excited the gates, heading towards Hogsmeade. The Three Broomsticks had a connector floo to Diagon Alley, so they wouldn’t have to take the train. They walked in silence for ten minutes or so, the awkwardness finally broken by Hermione reaching for another cigarette, offering one to Ginny.
“Fancy another fag before town?”
“Hmm?” Ginny asked, looking up from the ground she had been staring at. “Oh, yeah.” She grabbed the cigarette and lit it, not even bothering with the lolly charm. They didn’t really need to, it was the middle of the day on a non-Hogsmeade trip, no one would be out. Hermione lit her own, not bothering with the charm either. Draco glanced at the two Gryffindors, a little shocked that Ginny was smoking as well as Hermione.
“Weaslette, I didn’t know you had it in you. Trying to follow in Grangers footsteps are we?” Draco asked with a smirk, obviously trying to be offensive. Ginny stopped, causing her companions to stop as well. Draco turned towards her, the smirk still on his face. Ginny took a deep drag and held it in her lungs, walking up to Draco and blowing the smoke in his face.
“Well, fancy that,” Ginny said, a huge grin on her face. “I am trying to be like her. Imagine, trying to achieve success in this world,” she said as she started walking again. Looking over her shoulder at Draco, she added. “Oh, and don’t try to act all manly around me, I’ve heard of your smoking attempt, and if you can’t even do that with some dignity then don’t expect me to be the least bit impressed with you on anything.”
Hermione giggled as she caught up with Ginny, leaving Draco to stare after them for a minute before jogging to catch up. ‘So she told the Weaselette about that huh? I figure I should be mad, but at the same time, she’s talking about me, and the things we do together, to her best girl friend. Don’t girls do that, gab about the people they like to each other?’ Draco thought as he walked, a few steps behind the girls so he could watch them, especially Hermione. ‘Wait, if she told Ginny about that, did she tell Ginny about the other thing? I mean, what if I’m no good, and she and Ginny are laughing at me?’ A look of panic crossed over his face as he stared at the back of Hermiones head. Feeling eyes upon her, Hermione turned and glanced at him, giving him a playful smile and scrunching up her face at him. Draco smiled, and she turned back around, continuing her conversation with Ginny about Harrys transportation device. They were amazed by it, for they had never heard of such a thing, and they were trying to figure out how it worked exactly. ‘She looks so cute when she’s talking. Wait, did I just think that? GAH!’
The three entered Hogsmeade, heading towards the pub. Walking in, they were greeted with a nod by the barkeep. “You folks want anything?”
“No thank you,” Hermione replied, searching for the fireplace. “We’re here to use the connecter floo? But, I can’t seem to find it....”
“Ha ha,” the barkeep laughed. “Don’t worry it’s in the back. I was wondering when you three were going to show up, Dumbledore left note with us saying you’d be hear at noon.”
“Well, it’s only five past...” Ginny mumbled as the barkeep started walking towards a door, beckoning the group to follow.
“This way folks ”
Taking them through the door and down a short hall, the barkeep stopped just short of the end of the hall. Before them stood a fireplace with multiple buttons on it. The barkeep leaned over and pushed the one marked Diagon Alley, and stood back as the fireplace erupted into green flames. He laughed as the three students each jumped back, startled at the sudden burst of magical flames.
“Isn’t there any floo powder?” Hermione asked, staring in wonder at the fireplace.
“Nope. This is a connector floo, which means it only goes to certain places. It’s for people going long distances by floo. Pretend with me for a moment that you are from Dublin, and you want to get to Norway. Now, you could spend 45 minutes in one floo, or you can spend 20 minutes, stop, have a drink, take a quick peek around town, then go on your way. It works a lot better if you have little children. There have been many cases of children falling asleep on long floos and falling out of the wrong fireplace.”
Ginny and Hermione winced at this, though Draco just stared, zoning out the conversation.
“That happened to Percy once,” Ginny said, shuddering. “We reckon that’s why he’s so different from the rest of us. He was stuck in Scotland for three days before mum and dad could find him.”
Hermione laughed, imagining a little Percy falling out of a fireplace at some random Scottish home. Draco watched her as she laughed, noting how beautiful her voice sounded. ‘WHAT?!? Did I really just think that the Mudbloods voice was beautiful?!? That’s it, I’m out of my mind,’ he thought as he walked towards the fireplace.
“Can we get going? I have things to do later, and I want to get them done before dinner,” Draco stated haughtily. The others turned towards him, their laughing faces quickly turning into sneers.
“Yeah,” the barkeep said, turning back to the girls and giving them a winning smile. “Step into the fireplace, it’s already set to Diagon Alley.”
The girls thanked him as Draco pushed in front and walked into the green flames, smirking before he disappeared. Ginny rolled her eyes, sighing.
“Malfoys,” she said, crossing the hearth and vanishing. Hermione turned towards the barkeep, smiling in appreciation again.
“Thank you again. We really appreciate this. If it weren’t for this, we’d have to ride that blasted train for about five hours ”
The barkeep chuckled. “Anything for a pretty girl,” he said shyly, dipping his head and looking up with his eyes just as shyly as he spoke. Hermione smiled, ducking her head slightly. ‘Merlin,’ she thought as she faked a blush, ‘why me? Why do they always think I’m cute or pretty?’
Walking up to the fire, she turned and gave him a shy glance. “I guess I’ll be seeing you when we get back.”
“Yeah, sure,” he said, shuffling his feet. “Mikal.”
“Mikal. My name is Mikal.”
Hermione smiled. ‘They are all such saps,’ she thought, sticking out her hand. He took it and she shook it, smiling up at him. “Hermione.”
“Wow, that’s a pretty name. It sounds sweet, like the girl it belongs to.”
“It’s a sweet name, but not so sweet a girl,” Hermione laughed as she stepped in to the fire. The last thing she saw was a very confused but very smitten barkeep.
“Omph,” Hermione mumbled as she landed in the fire place at Gringrotts, smashing into Draco. He held her for a second, looking into her eyes.
“Are you all right?” he asked. Hermione looked up. ‘There’s something different about his voice,’
“Yeah, I’m ok. Let’s get going, I want to get back to the castle.” Grabbing Ginny’s arm, the girls exited the bank, Draco grumbling as he followed.
“What took you so long?” Ginny whispered, keeping her head low and close to Hermiones.
“You’ll never believe it, but the barkeep was hitting on me.”
“The bartender? He must be at least ten years older than you ”
“Will you two get a move on? Merlin,” Draco mumbled, making the girls look at him in annoyance. “I really don’t want to hear about your newest love-fest Granger.”
“You’re just jealous Malfoy,” Ginny huffed, grabbing Hermione by the hand, pushing past Draco and out to the street.
“Jealous! Me! Right, I’ll get right on that,” he replied, following the girls out of the building and down Knockturn Alley.
Hermione and Ginny stared in awe. Hermione had been down Knockturn Alley many times of course but had to keep up pretenses. Ginny had never been down this particular sleazy bit of cobblestone, and she didn’t really quite know what to expect. Ginny clung to Hermiones hand, afraid of being lost in the sea of ill-repute, as she eyed the buildings and people carefully.
“Jesus Christ Malfoy, is this really the only place we can find this port-pill?” Hermione asked, trying not to let her excitement shine through. She absolutely loved Knockturn Alley, all the unique shops and so many of her fathers supporters all in the same spot, it was like Christmas. “I feel as if I’m going to be eaten like Hansel and Gretel.”
“Who the fuck are Hansel and Gretel? And my name is Draco, not Jesus Christ, if you’re going to make up a name for me at least make one up that makes sense. Who would name their kid Jesus Christ?”
Hermione stared at Draco in disbelief for a moment as he calmly gazed back. All of a sudden, she threw her head back and laughed. She laughed until tears came and she had to sit on the cracked walkway, forcing Ginny down with her. Draco looked quizzically down at Hermione, then over at Ginny, as if ask for her help. She shrugged, then turned back to her friend, watching as the tears rolled down Hermiones face.
After what seemed like ages, Hermione finally calmed down, hiccuping as Ginny helped her off the ground. Draco and Ginny were still giving her an odd look, as if expecting an explanation.
“It’s a muggle thing,” she stated, hoping that was good enough for her companions. They looked at each other skeptically, then Draco shrugged, concluding that it was no big deal. Ginny looked at Hermione a bit longer, but then figured out why Hermione had been laughing.
“Wait a second, isn’t Jesus that guy from Muggle Studies? One of the Muggle religions savior or something?”
“Yeah,” Hermione replied, giggling into her hand. “He was the son of the Muggle Christian god, and all Muggles, be them of the Christian religion or not knows of him, so when you two didn’t know who he was, I just couldn’t help but laugh.”
Draco steered them towards a rather nice looking shop as the girls giggled, getting slightly annoyed at the two of them. He pulled open the door to the shop scowling at the girls as they entered, eyeing the nice look of the store.
“See,” he said, sweeping past the girls and towards the back. “Not all the shops are a mess here. Now,” he continued, searching the shop. “Where is Tyler?”
“Did someone say Tyler?” a voice from further back asked, scaring the girls as Dracos mouth stretched into a large grin. “Cuz, if ya’ll looking for Tyler, i’s got to know ya’ll aint gonna hurt him or nothing, so let’s get to the questions, aight?”
Ginny looked at Hermione, frightened and questioning all at once. Hermione grabbed her hand and squeezed to reassure the red head, the same look on her face. They turned to Draco, who was just grinning like a mad man.
“All right then, what are the questions?”
“First, if ya’ll know Tyler, then ya’ll know Tylers favorite liquid refreshment. And before you ask, it’s not any kind of malt liquor,” the voice laughed, waiting for an answer.
“That’s easy. You’re favorite beverage is Vitamin D milk. Next ” Draco yelled, glancing back at the girls and giving Hermione a wink.
“Oh.... nicely done. Next question. If ya’ll know Tyler, then who is Tyler’s favorite musician and the musician he respects the most.”
“Ha! Another easy one. You’re favorite musician is Jimmi Hendrix, and the one you most respect is Freddie Mercury, and you are possibly the only person on the planet who knew they were actually wizards and not just extremelt talented muggles. Come on now, I thought these were supposed to be hard,” Draco kidded, looking at the girls again. They both had looks of fright and what-the-hell-is-going-on plastered on their faces.
All of a sudden, a young wizard popped up behind the girls, tapping Ginny on the shoulder. She screamed, whirling around with her wand out and ready as Draco and the surprise visitor laughed. The wizard pushed past the girls and walked towards Draco, giving him a handshake that turned into a hug. Still laughing, Draco waved his hands towards the girls.
“Tyler, these are Ginny Weasley and Hermione Granger. I’m sure you can figure which one is which.”
Ginny glared evilly at Draco as Tyler shook hands with Hermione, then Ginny. “I haven’t seen a Weasley in here forever man. What ya’ll doing down here anyway?”
“We need a port-pill Tyler. Some sort of holiday surprise for this ones,” Draco went on as he gestured towards Hermione, “boyfriend. Got any in stock?”
“Yeah, I got a few. How many you want pretty lady?”
Hermione ‘blushed’. “Two please, in case I lose one.”
“Smart girl, always get extras,” Tyler said before disappearing behind a tie-died beaded curtain.
The three wandered around the shop as they waited, looking at the unique wares that Tyler sold. The shop, called The Magic Starts Here, was, well, basically it’s a head shop. Selling pipes, t-shirts, bongs, glow-in-the-dark posters and many other accessories and decor items, Tyler truly had the most unique shop in all of the magical world. These types of shops are not unusual to the muggle world, but to magic folk these were few and far between, which is why Ginny was so enthralled. She had just picked up a color changing glass pipe when Tyler came back holding a small vile containing two small pink pills.
“Here you are young lady. Ya’ll be careful with these,” Tyler said has he handed the vial to Hermione. “You don’t want to give them to the wrong person or say the wrong date man, it’s close to disastrous.”
Smiling, Hermione reached for her coin purse. “I’ll be careful. How much?”
“For a pretty girl such as yourself, 2 sickles.”
Hermione blushed and handed Tyler the silver coins. Ginny, who was still enthralled with the many trinkets the shop had to offer, continued to stare at the color changing pipe as she started firing questions at Tyler. Chuckling, he walked over to her and patiently explained the many uses of his wares.
Putting the vial in her pocket, Hermione started to meander around the store again, looking through the floor length cotton skirts.
“I never knew you to lose anything, let alone something this important.”
Shivers shot up and down Hermiones spine as she turned to find Dracos face less than two inches from her own. Smiling, she leaned in and whispered seductively in his ear.
“Maybe they're not both for Potter. Did you think about that?”
She started to walk away as Draco grabbed her wrist, pulling her close to his body. Eyes downcast, Hermione tried to catch her breathe as feeling shot through her body like fire. Noticing her unease, Draco smirked to himself as the fire shot through his body as well, his breathe catching in his throat. He traced his other hand up the side of Hermiones body, chuckling slightly as she drew a ragged breath.
“So,” he whispered, his mouth right by her ear and his breath sending more tingles down her spine. “If one of those is a surprise for Potter, is the other a surprise for me?”
Hermione looked up and smiled. Leaning in, she grabbed his ear lobe between her teeth, tugging slightly and causing him to moan softly. “Maybe,” she whispered and moved to his other ear, doing the same thing. Draco moaned again, pulling her a little closer. “Maybe not,” she breathed. Pulling away suddenly, Hermione walked over to Ginny, putting an extra sway in her hips. Draco watched her move, battling inwardly with himself as he joined the others.
“So you smoke a pot out of this?” Ginny was asking Tyler of a glass water bong. He laughed at the littlest Weasley, and tried explaining again.
“No no, you smoke flavored tobacco out of this, like grape or mint, but many muggles also use it to smoke marijuana, or pot for short. It’s an illegal substance that alters your mind and gives you a feeling of euphoria, or ‘being high’. I have some in the back if you want to try it?”
“No,” Hermione interrupted as she reached the two. “She doesn’t. But she thanks you for the fabulous offer, Ginny doesn’t need to be doing anything illegal like that.” Hermione stared Tyler down. After a few seconds, he smiled, laughing as he held his hands up and backed away.
“All right, it’s ok ladies. I didn’t mean to cause any trouble,” Tyler mocked as he backed in to the doorway. He continued as he looked over Hermiones shoulder. “Draco, it was nice to see you mate, come again soon. I's got some stuff to do, so I'll just be seeing you later, aight?” he ended, not waiting for a reply as he disappeared behind the colorful beads. Draco laughed as Hermione grabbed the bowl form the red head and set it down and led her out of the store. He followed quickly catching up with the girls as they left the soiled alley and walked back into the light, sun filled main street. The three shopped around a bit, Draco stopping at the broomstick shop to buy a cleaning kit as the girls window shopped at the jewelry store. Hermione found a dark red ruby ring set in a silver band. It was beautiful, but expensive. She could have gotten it anyway, money really wasn’t an option for her, but Hermione had to act middle class, not creme-de-la-creme, so she simply sighed and gushed over it with Ginny and promised herself she would buy it later.
“Hermione, it’s beautiful ”
“I know If I save up, I can get it for myself before holidays,” she sighed sadly walking away from the window. Ginny gave the jewelry display one last longing look before turning away as well. Draco came out of the store just then, and the trio walked towards Gringrotts.
“Hermione,” Ginny said, linking arms with her friend as they gazed at the passing shops. “I think you should ask that barkeep out. He was pretty cute you know.”
“Yeah,” she laughed. “I bet that my parents would love that. Mum, dad, I’d like you to meet Mikal, the barkeep from Hogsmeade that’s ten years older than me. That would go over real well.”
The girls giggled together, not noticing Draco scowling behind them. ‘I might have to have a talk with this barkeep.’
They walked into Gringrotts and over to the connector floos. Hitting the button, Ginny stepped into the green flames and was whisked away. Hermione pushed the same button and was about to get in when a voice boomed over the din of the crowd.
“NO BODY MOVE! ” A masked figure yelled, apparating out of thin air about thirty feet from the fireplace. Seven more men quickly appeared, all wands out and pointing in different areas of the bank. “You, goblin, start emptying this place out I want all the money you can fit into this bag.”
The tellers all looked at each other, smiling. Obviously, these intruders didn’t know that it was impossible to rob this bank. As the leaders men walked around slowly, making sure that no one was trying to call for help or be a hero, one of the tellers grabbed his wand, pointed it at the ceiling, and shouted, “INTRUDERS! ”
Out of the nowhere, hundreds of little blue pixies swarmed the robbers, picking them up by their ears or casting small hexes on them that turned their skin purple. The patrons laughed as the would be robbers were carried away, turning purple and unable to defend themselves. The pixies had flipped the leader upside down, carrying him by his ankles, his head hitting the tiles more often than not as the thief brigade was taken downstairs and out of sight, probably locked up for the rest of their days. But the truth we will never know, for no one really knows what happens when you attempt to steal from Gringrotts, the safest bank in the world.
Hermione laughed as the intruders were carried away, leaning against the fireplace to catch her breath. “That...” she gasped, “is why you never try to steal from Gringrotts.”
Draco laughed with her, watching as the tellers and patrons gossip about the event. Grabbing Hermiones hand, Draco pushed her towards the flames. “Let’s get out of here,” he laughed. Hermione nodded, walking into the green flames and stepping out in the Three Broomsticks. Ginny stood there waiting, flirting with the barkeep. Seconds later, Draco appeared.
“What the hell took you two so long?” Ginny asked, forgetting the man next to her momentarily.
“Some group of would be thugs tried robbing the bank,” Hermione explained, brushing ashes off her clothes. Draco grinned at the memory of the punks turning purple, chuckling slightly to himself.
“Really?” Ginny mused, looking at the barkeep as he shrugged his shoulders.
“Everyone knows that Gringrotts is the most secure bank in the world,” Mikal said as he stole glances at Hermione. “Why anyone would try to rob it is completely mind boggling.”
“Yeah,” Hermione replied, ignoring Mikals looks. “Must have gone completely fucking mental to try and pull that off.”
The group laughed as they left the back hall, making their way to the door, the three students obviously wanting to leave.
“Do you guys want to stick around?” Mikal asked hopefully, his face looking a bit like a lost puppy. “I mean, business is slow and it gets kind of boring around here in the middle of the day.”
The three glanced at each other, none wanting to stay. They all had things to do, Draco had to get the courage to talk to Hermione, Ginny had to calculate the exact time and place that Harry was to be taken by the pill, and Hermione had to see her ‘boyfriend’ before dinner and think of fun and interesting ways to kill him. Their schedules were full, and they really had no time for drinks. No one wanted to tell Mikal no though. He had been very kind to them, and had even flirted with boh girls. Finally, Draco answered for them.
“No thanks mate, we really need to be going. Let’s go girls.”
Hermione and Ginny gave each other a look. You know that look, the one that says, ‘what the hell does he think he’s doing, he can’t control us.’ So of course, they both stalked over to the bar and sat down. Mikal grinned, shooting a cheeky grin towards Draco, and sauntered over to the bar, grabbing two glasses.
“What’ll it be ladies?”
Draco scowled, sullenly walking to the bar and sitting beside Hermione. “I’ll take a firewhiskey mate.”
Mikal smiled and grabbed the bottle, pouring a double for the beaten blonde soul. The girls giggled, Ginny smiling slyly at the barkeep. “I’ll take a butterbeer.”
“Oh! Me too, please.”
Bending down and pulling the bottles from a bin below, Mikal pulled the tops of and set them down in front of the girls. They clinked bottles and took a drink as Draco watched, scowling into his firewhiskey.
“So, Hermione,” Mikal started, ignoring Ginnys flirtatious glances. “Is there a special guy out there for you?”
“Ummm... yeah. I’m dating someone,” she said into her drink. ‘I love hurting peoples feelings,’ she thought to herself. Pulling on her sorry face, she looked up at Mikal.
“Oh, umm... that’s cool. Who is he?”
Mikal dropped the glass he was cleaning, shattering it across the bar. Draco snorted into his firewhiskey as the shock wore off and Mikal started wiping up the glass. Ginny excused herself, laughing into her hand all the way to the bathroom. You could hear her laughter throughout the bar as the door shut, and the two other people in the bar were looking towards the front with confusion in their eyes.
“Wow, Harry Potter huh? That’s... umm... that’s cool,” he mumbled, picking up glass while trying to hide his embarrassment.
“Yeah, he’s really sweet. I love him,” Hermione said dreamily, pretending to be lost in her own world of memories. “Actually, I told him that I would meet him before dinner, so we’d better get going. How much do we owe you?”
“Oh, umm you know what, it’s on me. I guess I’ll see you guys around?” He asked hopefully as Ginny sat back down, it painfully obvious that she had been laughing to the point of tears in the bathroom.
“Yeah, definitely. Gin, are you ready to go?”
“Yeah, sure,” Ginny smiled at Mikal again, only this time he noticed her flirtatiousness, and he smiled back. Scoffing, she turned and followed Draco and Hermione out of the Three Broomsticks, holding her hand out for a cigarette as Hermione lit one of her own.
“What a scum bag. First, he hits on someone entirely too young for him, and when he finds out she’s taken, he turns his attention to her friend. Douche bag.”
Hermione laughed, pulling on her cigarette and exhaling before she spoke. “I wasn’t too impressed with him either.”
“He was a predator,” Draco said. “You know, just wanted to get his shag on with some one who wasn’t in his university classes. What a mook.”
The three laughed off the encounter as they headed towards the castle. They made it back just in time to change before supper. Ginny separated from the others and went to her dorm, telling Hermione she would see her at dinner. Draco and Hermione walked up the stairs to the statue of Helga Hufflepuff, saying the password and entering their commons.
“My what an interesting day,” Draco sighed, flopping onto the sofa, stretching across the cushions. Smiling, Hermione set down the vial of pills and climbed on top of Draco and giving him a sly grin.
“That it was,” she said stretching her arms above her head. Draco placed his hands on her hips, smiling. He loved these moments with her, no matter how short lived they were. “Now what to do before dinner?” she asked, leaning forward and putting her hands on either side of his head. Draco squeezed her waste, pulling Hermione in a little closer.
"I could think of a few things."
“I could think of a few things too”
“Well,” she paused, slowly rotating her hips above him. Draco let out a low growl, sliding his hands up her arms. “I think,” she continued, lowering herself even more. “That I’ll,” she paused, her lips inches from his. “Mess around with my boyfriend,” she finished, slipping out of Draco’s grasp and to the floor.
He turned to his side, grabbing her hand. “Is that what you’re calling me now-a-days Granger?”
Hermione laughed, pulling her hand from his grasp and walking towards the exit. “No, Malfoy, I said boy-friend, not boy-toy. See you later,” she sing songed as the door closed behind her.
“AHHHHH!!!!!!!!!” Draco screamed, throwing a couch cushion across the room. “That girl is going to be the death of me!”
a/n: so this chapter isn’t what I expected of it at all.... and it took me forever to get done... but I did have a bit of fun writing it. anyway... it’s done... and the next one will be way more exciting... at least I think... thank you to all my reviewers... and readers of course... and continue to leave me your thoughts on everything...
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