A/N: well people after a long hiatus, I am back. i had to redo the whole foundation of this story but i think i made it work. and even better news I think i can make it work without changing the begining. GO ME!!
“This is so much fun; we should do this every week.” Neville said to no one in particular.
“Yeah, just hanging out, it’s cool. It’s normal.” Harry agreed. It would have been hard to miss the pleasure he got from everyday happenings; especially fun things like that.
They were sitting around the dinning room table in Harry’s house. It had been a week since the ‘unpleasant news’ had arrived. By unspoken agreement no one mentioned it unless it was unavoidable and even then it became avoidable. Harry and Ron spent most of there time a Grimmauld place as they now lived there. Ginny was a frequent house guest, and Hermione was becoming more so now that she had spent some time with her parents.
It was just today that was different. Both Luna and Neville had decided to drop in and say hi.
So there the six of them sat doing and talking about nothing in particular. Just enjoying each others company and acting like 16 and 17 year olds should. They were in their own little world until a large black hawk owl flew in and dropped something in front of Hermione Granger.
“What is it?” Ginny asked, she was sitting beside Hermione and was one of the three people that saw what happened. The other 3 were too wrapped up in their conversation to notice.
“A letter; But it doesn’t have a return address.”
“Well read it and find out who it’s from.”
Meet me in front of Gringotts bank at 6. Don’t be late.
Hermione handed the letter to Ginny, who after reading it for a second whispered; “The nerve of some people. He just expects you to show up wherever and whenever he wants. Jeez. I wouldn’t go if I were you”
“I can’t just ignore him.” She answered. Her spirits somewhat diminished.
“Then owl him back. Tell him your busy and next time to give you more than...” she looked down at her watch, “4 hours notice…Really Hermione. Don’t go. Don’t give him the upper hand; think about it, he wouldn’t drop what he’s doing for you. ”
“No…” she shook her head and laughed at the thought, “If I were having fits all over his floor, he wouldn’t stop what he was doing.” The youngest Weasley was always able to put things into perspective for her, and she valued her opinion. Apart from Harry and Ron, she was her best friend. “I think you’re right. Gin, besides if it were that important…well I can’t think of anything that would be that
important.” She shrugged her shoulders.“ Turning to Harry, who was laughing at Neville’s reenactment of Filch being chased around the castle by some Cornish pixies that Seamus had released, last year. “Harry…Harry!”
“I’m not deaf Hermione.”
“Well you weren’t listening. Anyway can I borrow Keelo. I need to send a letter.”
“Yeah…sure.” He waved his hand at her, barely paying attention. As far as he was concerned, Filch being chased by little blue pixies was much more entertaining than any post Hermione might send.
“Thanks.” And she ran up the stairs to the sitting room.
After jotting down something similar to what Ginny said. She folded it up and jotted down the name on the outside. And went up to Harry’s room where his new owl Keelo slept. Not long after the war had ended Harry decided he needed a new owl, he really missed the companionship he got from Hedwig. Keelo was a very pretty owl. Not all white like Hedwig, but with brown and black spots in there. His temperament was what made him awesome. He either liked you or he didn’t. No gray area’s no forced cooperation. Just black white either like or hate. If he liked you great, he would be well behaved and most attentive, but if he didn’t. Well, than it was probably just stay away from him, as Charlie Weasley found out.
Hermione had never had any problems with him, although that could be because she hadn’t tried to use him either. That being the case, she made sure she took one of the larger owl treats up with her. After about 30 seconds of intense staring, it took the treat from her and looked at her like she was a fool for being afraid of a bird. Go figure animals.
“I see that he likes you.”
“RON!!” she jumped and did a full 360 to see him standing with his arms folded across his chest. This was the first time she had been alone with him since everything had started. In fact now that she thought about it, it was the first time she had looked directly at him to. When she had told him about the meeting with Malfoy she had been staring at her hands or the floor most of the time. She had forgotten that he was so tall. She liked tall guys, it made her feel girly. Malfoy’s tall.
Oh she was so not thinking of Malfoy like that. He’s Malfoy!! I don’t care if he was the tallest most beautiful man alive I will not think of him like that.
She needed to be stern with herself; there was no way she was going to let that thought go anywhere, but straight to the rubbish bin where it belonged. He could be the most beautiful man alive. At least in the top 20. NO!!!... Focus Hermione. Think of how he behaves…He’s a ponce. A spoiled one at that….thank you…and prejudice…yes, yes very prejudice…and he’s selfish, and inconsiderate. He said that himself…exactly. Now you’re on the right track.
She blamed her wayward thoughts on his tedious and completely uninspiring kiss that hadn’t affected her in the least little bit. Yeah, cause someone believes that nonsense…URGHHH!!!!...will you shut up…well you’re the one that’s talking to me like I’m not you…enough if this.
Deciding to talk to Ron, instead of herself she said, “I didn’t hear you come up, you startled me.”
“Sorry, didn’t mean to. So what did he want?” he was talking calmly and quite frankly that worried her.
“Who? Keelo?” that’s an odd question. But whatever.
“I meant Malfoy.” His tone was just as calm as it was before, no one would believe that they weren’t talking about something as mundane as weather patterns.
“How did you know the letter was from him?” she hadn’t known anybody but Ginny had even seen the letter.
“Who else would it be from?”
“Any number of people. it could have been from the Ministry, or the school. Or this author I’ve been talking to about her theories on hereditary magic…” It was just like Ron to assume that he knew everything about everything.
“Fine than, who was it from?” now he was starting to get a little angry. Good.
Not that Hermione wanted him angry, but angry Ron she knew how to handle. This calm quiet person…thing. She had no idea about. And frankly didn’t like it. It reminded her of…of…Draco? Defiantly too weird for words. Ron wasn’t calculating and manipulative. He was way too much of a hot-head for that.
“Malfoy.” She hated having to say it, but it was either that or lying and she’d never liked lying much.
He just snorted at that. “So…”
“What did he want?”
“Ron, it’s really not that important. Let’s just go back downstairs and see what the others are doing” She finished tying the letter to Keelo’s leg and watched him fly through the window, into the sun.
“If it’s not important, why won’t you tell me?”
“‘Cause I don’t want to talk about it. I already said that Ronald.”
“So you’re keeping secrets now…we use to be friends Hermione. We use to tell each other things, even before we started dating. But I guess that’s not important either…me and Harry and Ginny and everyone else that was in your life before, we don’t matter. You have Malfoy now. You’ll have a mansion, and house elves, and every luxury that money can buy. That’s what girls want isn’t it?”
“Ron, that is neither fair nor true. You and Harry and Ginny and my Parents, you’re the most important people in my life. You know that. You know me better than that…or at least I thought you did.” He had gotten a wild look in his eyes, and she could almost see the electricity coming out of his hair. It was quite a scary sight.
“You’re right, I’m sorry for being a git…”His eyes, so scary and wild a moment ago, were now soft and pleading for forgiveness. He looked like a lost puppy. “I guess I’m just afraid. I dunno what’s going to happen to us once you marry Malfoy. And…and I don’t want things to change.”
“Ron, you will always be my friend. We just have to leave it at that.”
“What if that’s not enough…what if we were meant to be more.” He was starring her dead in her eyes. Willing her to tell him what he wanted to hear.
“It…it will have to be enough. We both have other commitments now…commitments that we have to honor. Oh, don’t you see Ron…Ohhh.” She ran past him, and he heard a bedroom door slam a few seconds later. She was hurting, he was hurting, and it was all Malfoy’s fault. Before this was over Malfoy would be hurting too. He would see to that.
Hermione didn’t know how long she spent in her room crying, but she knew it was long enough to decide she hated men. They put women in the worst situations. This whole mess could be traced through males. Malfoy forcing her to marry him despite the fact that she had a boyfriend, Ron trying to get her to break her marriage vows before she had even made any. Women would be a lot better of without men. She would certainly cry a lot less; and would defiantly have a lot less stress. Yeah, life would be better without men. End of story. She really couldn’t tell who she was angrier at; Malfoy and his arrogant self-centered ways that had started this; or Ron who was trying to convince her to do things that went against her morals. She was leaning more towards Ron, he should know better. She didn’t have much time to think on it though because there was a knock on the door.
“Come in” she called, all the while hoping it wasn’t Ron. She couldn’t talk to him right now.
“Hermione” Luna ducked her head through the door.
“Come on in Luna”
“I just came up to tell you that you have a visitor down sta~”
“I’m right behind you Luna.”
Hermione knew that voice. It was the voice woe. It meant that despair and misery were soon to follow. In fact she wouldn’t be surprised to see horsemen on the horizon, bringing a dark cloud of death. That voice meant bad things. That voice was the voice of none other than Draco Malfoy. Her immediate thought was, of the distance from her window to the ground, and then the chances of survival. No matter how she wanted it to be, that really just wasn’t an option. Bucking up her courage she took a deep breath and said “its okay Luna, he can come in.”
The person in question strode into the room and promptly shut the door behind him. He was wearing a black cloak with crimson lining, and black robes, with a crimson linen shirt to match. His blond hair was lacking the usual amount of gel; instead he had it pulled back into a ponytail, which was held in place by an intricately designed band of red and black. The colors were striking on him. They made him look vampiric and dangerous. Hermione would have been apprehensive had she not decided 5 years ago he was a spineless git. “What are you doing here Malfoy?” she said in a resigned voice as she sat up on her bed, lying down put her too much at a disadvantage. He had moved to stand beside the window and assumed his usual arrogant lean. He studied her for a minute before answering.
“What does it look like? I’ve come to fetch you. In the future why don’t you save us both some time and just do what I ask. That way I won’t have to fetch you and you wont have to cry about disappointing me.” he crossed his arms over his chest and looked down at her like she was some naughty child in need of reprimanding.
“You must be thicker than I thought if you think that I would cry over you, for any reason.” She was disgusted at the thought. And you thought this guy was hot, ewww…for the record we said he was beautiful…oh no!! there’s more than one of you, me, whoever.
“Well, honestly I really don’t care why you were crying, just as long as you stop. I really do loathe crying, so in the future...don’t do it if there is a chance I might be around.”
“I have a better idea, in the future don’t come around and than you won’t have to worry about it.” He had another thought coming if he thought he could just pop up and pick on her whenever he felt like.
“Hopes and dreams…..”A small smile played across his lips before his usual smirk came back. If nothing else Granger was entertaining. “Unfortunately your way isn’t possible, so we’ll have to stick to mine. But that’s neither here nor there; we have some errands to run so come on.”
“Errands! What do you mean errands?! Didn’t you get my note, I’m busy. I’m spending quality time with my friends today.” She couldn’t believe she actually had to have this conversation.
“Yeah, because having them force you to hide in your room crying is just the best way to spend the day.” No one could miss he sarcasm dripping from that last statement.
She cocked her head to the side. “Didn’t know you cared, Malfoy”
His head shot up, obviously not expecting that response, “I don’t. But since you didn’t get it, I felt the need to state the obvious. Anyway, we actually do have to go. We have a lot to do and I want to be done as quickly as possible.”
“Don’t you listen? I’m not…”
“Save it. If you hurry it won’t take that long and you can let Harry and Ron verbally abuse you some more for marrying me.”
“If you want to know why I’m crying than you should ask.”
“Don’t really care.”
“Than why do you keep bringing it up?”
“Can’t help but notice. Your face is so red; you’ve probably been up here for hours.”
She snorted at his rude remark. “What time is it anyway?”
“Where is it you’re trying to go, than I’ll tell you if we have enough time?”
He looked at her for a minute, contemplating whether he should fill her in on his plans. Finally he decided just this once couldn’t hurt, and giving her information might make her a little more manageable. One way to find out, “We have to go to Gringotts to introduce you to the Malfoy vault keeper. That way you can access it. Then we have to find you some dress robes for next week, then we have to meet my Aunt Andromeda at Café Caldonia in Sian Alley. She’ll be helping you prepare for the wedding. So can we go now?”
“what…first of all, I don’t particularly want access to your vaults, second of all, I am not doing anything next week that would require dress robes. And lastly, I thought you
were planning the wedding. I don’t know anything about weddings or what to do for them…”
“Which is why my aunt is going to help you…oh and my mother will probably look in on it from time to time to make sure it’s up to scratch. Now can we go?”
“NO!! You still haven’t told me why you think I need new dress robes.”
At some point she had managed to get up on her knees, and she looked rather funny throwing her arms in the air every time she had a point to make. He kind of liked watching it. Careful there mate. We have a mission, let’s not forget…too right you are, thank you.
“You yell an awful lot...You should work on that. In any case you’re starting to annoy me but I’ll humor you this one last time because you need to know anyway.”
Hermione merely raised an eyebrow at his latest barrage of ludicrous statements. He was going to answer her, and that was all she cared about.
“Next week is Blaise’s wedding, it’s supposed to be held at the groom’s house in Scotland. The wedding invitation was addressed to Master Draco Malfoy and the Future Lady Malfoy, which would be you…” after snickering at his own joke he continued. “Before you ask yes you have to go, and you will need dress robes for the occasion. I dont want to be seen with a slob. I even think your friend Potter got an invitation.” He looked at her questioningly, expecting her to pick up on the fact that he wanted confirmation of that fact.
“Uhh…oh yes. I think he did. At least Ginny was talking about some gala or another that they were attending next week. But I hadn’t received one, nor do I care over much for parties, so I really didn’t pay much attention. Anyway…”
“Well your invitation is apart of mine and it came 3 days ago. Hand delivered by the groom himself.” Obviously that fact was important to someone. Something’s just never changed
. She sighed to herself. “So now that you know, can we go?”
Had she not just gotten into it with Ron than she might have protested more, but as it was she really waned to get out of the house anyway. And there was always the chance that Andromeda would bring little Teddy with her to their luncheon. So with a defiant flick of her hair, which she had managed to gather into a high ponytail, she said, “I’ll humor you this one time because I wanted to get out of the house anyway, but in the future if you want me to do anything I require at least 24 hours notice. Let me wash my face and then we can go.” she hoped off her bed and left the room for the bathroom. Because she walked straight out she didn’t see the smile that graced his face or hear his whispered “Very entertaining indeed.”
In case for some reason you might have thought otherwise, the standard disclaimer applies.