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Chapter 4 : Chapter Three
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A/N: edited 9.1.2011
The next day, Hermione walked through the very familiar doors of the Burrow, suddenly met with the strong aroma of Mrs. Weasley’s cooking. “Mrs. Weasley!” Hermione greeted excitedly, as the aging lady bustled over to give her a hug.
After a long night of debating, she decided that it was best to speak with Ginny, Ron and Harry as fast as possible, in order to avoid any misunderstandings. She knew very well that Ron had taken the news badly, and no matter how deeply she was involved with Malfoy, she was not going to let her relationship with him affect her relationships with others.
“It’s wonderful to see you dear.” Molly Weasley said through Hermione’s brown hair. “The kids are in the sitting room.” She told her, as if she already knew about Hermione’s intentions. “I’m whipping up some lunch. I hope you’re hungry!”
“You know that I could never refuse your cooking, Mrs. Weasley!” Hermione told her with a smile, before she walked further into the house. Before entering the room, the large rock on her hand suddenly felt heavier than it did five minutes ago. Without another thought, she removed it from her hand and stowed it away in her purse.
“Hermione!” Ginny exclaimed, being the first to spot her. She immediately shot up from her position beside Harry to give Hermione a hug. Her long, red hair cascaded down her back, falling around her waist, and she has grown to a height that towered over Hermione. Once she released Hermione, she turned back to the toddler that was playing on the ground. “Teddy, sweetie, don’t put that in your mouth.” She reprimanded, pulling the unknown object from Teddy Lupin’s hands.
Harry had taken in his godson, to live with him and Ginny in their spacious flat in London, not far from Hermione’s old one. Although they were yet to be married, Ginny constantly expressed how much it already seemed like she and Harry had already tied the knot.
Teddy was almost three years old, and he looked like a baby version of his father, Remus Lupin. Regardless of their lack of relation, Hermione had grown immensely fond of Teddy. During the past three years, she had grown incredibly attached and protective over the young boy.
“Hermione.” Ron greeted stiffly from the couch.
“Hello Ron, Harry.” Hermione said as she picked up Teddy from the floor and nestled him on her hip. She began playing with Teddy as she animatedly bounced him on her hip, causing him to giggle.
Harry smiled at her warmly. “Hullo, Hermione.”
“Hullo Teddy Bear.” Hermione cooed, smiling at the boy she liked to consider her nephew. “So I take it that you lot are still not that comfortable with what’s been happening lately?” she asked, referring to Ron’s cold demeanor.
Ron nodded stiffly as he crossed his arms over his chest. Ginny immediately slapped him on the back of his head before she settled on the couch beside Harry. “You failed to explain the last time you were here.” She said. “I suppose you have some explaining to do.”
Hermione sighed heavily and nodded, planting herself on one of the armchairs while she steadied Teddy on her lap. “It’s fake.” She began, deciding that it would be the best if she started there. “I ran into him, two days ago, on the night of his engagement dinner in some diner, and we got to talking. I was just on my way out when we were both practically bombarded with a load of reporters and photographers. I suppose Malfoy simply wanted a way out, and he was just that desperate. So… he kissed me, to prove that we had a relationship. And.. well.. he proposed that I marry him.”
Ron cut in. “He actually asked you to marry him?” He asked incredulously. “As in a wedding?”
“Yes Ron.” She snapped. “His parents forced an arranged marriage on him, and according to him, he can’t stand Astoria.”
“I can’t believe you’re actually going to help Malfoy.” Ginny said with disbelief. “You’re actually going to go through with this and marry Malfoy. Hermione, honey, this isn’t something like helping him with an essay, or finding a job for the bloke. You’re going to get married to him. This is going to severely impact your life, believe it or not.”
“I know.” Hermione said, nodding. She had gone through everything in her mind already, and she was growing tired of other people repeating the same things over and over again. It was like a broken record that she couldn’t fix. “The thing is, I can’t back out of it now. I wasn’t thinking the night we were bombarded by the reporters. I agreed without thinking, and I’m sort of stuck with him now.” She confessed.
They were all silent for a few minutes. “So that’s it?” Harry asked. “Soon, you’re going to be Hermione Malfoy.”
Hermione nodded, slowly, taking the name in. It sounded horrendous. “I’m not too fond of the idea either.” She reassured him. “But I don’t know how to get out of it.”
In an abrupt and brusque manner, Ron strutted out of the burrow without another look.
Hermione turned to Ginny for an explanation, and Ginny immediately complied. “He’s been that way ever since he read the Daily Prophet the other day. He barged into our bloody flat, woke Harry and me up just to tell us the news.”
“Ron just needs time adjusting.” Harry told her quietly. “Are you sure you want to do this, Hermione? This — like Gin said — this is big. He’s going to have to meet your family, and you’re going to have to meet his. You’re going to have to really commit to this.”
Exasperatedly, Hermione nodded her head and rolled her eyes, which was a very uncharacteristic trait for her. “I know, Harry. I’ve thought about it over and over again. I literally feel my brain frying in my skull, but what can I do? I already agreed. I’d feel guilty if I pushed him into an even bigger hole if I backed out now.” She sighed and collapsed against the cushions. She averted her gaze towards the ceiling, and began tracing the patterns. “We’ll be divorced in about a year or two, and it will almost be like it never happened.”
Harry and Ginny shared a skeptic glance. They both knew that something as large as this would never end as something that time could simply erase. Hermione was in for more than something that would be like ‘it almost never happened.’
Draco was in his office, sitting behind his desk as he stared at the sheet of paper in his hand and a half empty glass of scotch sitting in front of him. He grimaced and began to knead his temples, since he had a pounding headache that wouldn’t go away. On his desk was an untouched prophet with a newly printed article on page five, centered around him and Hermione. He refused to read it.
He had just survived another dinner with Astoria and her parents. Mr. and Mrs. Greengrass were furious, as expected, but they were polite enough to refrain themselves from taking out their anger on Draco. Despite his fault in the entire situation, the Greengrass’ knew very well that the Malfoy’s were extremely protective of their son, and there would be a limit to how much they would allow their son to go through.
“Those wretched reporters.” Mrs. Greengrass said. “If they didn’t announce it to the public, then maybe this could have all been fixed.” She blamed the reporters again, and again, making sure to steer clear from Draco.
Once it was over, he realized that he needed to be alone. His flat was no longer a place where he could find solitude. In the past, whenever he had a long day, he would have gone straight home and set up a date with his own flat screen. Now, due to certain circumstances, he could no longer call his home a refuge, since Hermione was residing there as well.
The sudden sound of his office door opening forced his attention away from the sheet of paper and towards his mother who had just stormed into his office. “Bring her to dinner tonight.” Narcissa ordered immediately, not bothering with greetings. “If she wants to be a part of this family, then she will have to eat dinner with us and spend the night in the manor.”
Draco stared at his mother. “What is the point of that?” he asked exasperatedly. “Astoria certainly did not have to go through a night in the manor, why should Gr — Hermione?”
“Your father and I were already familiar with Astoria. Hermione, on the other hand, we know nothing about.” She answered. “We must formally meet this woman you’re about to marry.”
He rolled his eyes. “Please, just stop making this harder for us all.” Draco snapped. “Hermione wouldn’t enjoy the dark atmosphere of the manor.”
“I. Don’t. Care.” Narcissa sneered, advancing on Draco. “Bring her to dinner tonight, and you two will spend the night there. Pansy and Blaise will be joining us as well. I thought that they should have the pleasure of meeting her as well.” Without waiting for her son’s response, she whipped around and walked right out of his office, slamming the door behind her.
Draco sighed exasperatedly, his body full of pent up frustration. Thinking of his friends, he immediately pulled out a piece of parchment from a drawer and began writing.
I’m sure by now you’re probably furious with me. I was surprised, not having had received a letter from you in the past week. To be honest, I’ve been too busy deal with all these sudden changes that it’s been hard to keep track. I’m sorry I haven’t contacted you earlier. I’ll explain once we see each other again since I don’t trust putting everything on paper. My mother and father have gone insane — more my mother than my father — but I wouldn’t be surprised if they do something as insane as intercepting my owls.
I need a favor. I know it’s short notice, and I know I still owe you an explanation, but please do this one favor for me without asking any questions, at least until we speak formally. Mother is forcing Granger and I to attend dinner tonight, and I was informed that you and Blaise have been invited. I need you to gather an entire outfit for her. One that would please both Mother and Father. You know how difficult they are to please, and Mother will probably be dissecting every inch of Granger once she sets eyes on her. You have my account number, take as much as you need. I’ll repay you with lunch when we’re both available.
Once Hermione returned to Draco’s flat that night, she found a large, white box sitting on he coffee table in the living room. Hermione approached the box timidly, her curiosity getting the best of her.
“Malfoy?” she called, setting her bag down on the couch. “Malfoy, are you here?” she kicked off her shoes and planted herself on the couch, completely exhausted. “Malfoy?” she repeated.
After a moment or two, Draco emerged from the hallway, in the midst of buttoning his shirt, with an undone tie hanging around his neck.
She looked at him curiously, inwardly wondering why he was dressed up.
“We’re going to my parents house.” He said as if he read her mind. “Wear that.” He pointed to the box on the coffee table. “And pack some extra clothes. We’re going to have to spend an extra night there.”
Surprised, Hermione gaped at him. “What?”
“Auror classes don’t start till noon, am I correct?” he continued as if Hermione hadn’t asked a question. “You’ve got plenty of time to get there. Hurry up, Granger.” He said in a snippy, impatient tone. “They’re waiting for us, and it’s best not to be late. At this point, my mother would do anything to ruin this for me.
“It’d be nice if you had told me earlier.” She sneered, picking up the box. Her anger suddenly got the best of her. She grew annoyed that Malfoy strode into the room ordering her around in a way that made her feel like a dog. “I would have been able to spend my day bracing myself for a dinner with your parents.”
Draco grimaced at her remark. “it would have been nice if I had been notified earlier as well.” He replied. “I found out not twenty minutes ago. So hurry up and get dressed.”
She stood from the couch and picked up the box, realizing that she had no choice. She suddenly felt guilty for sneering at Draco, especially when he was on the same boat as she. “Where do you buy this?” she asked, trying to play nice.
“I had Pansy send it over.” He answered. “You’re about to be sent into the Malfoy Manor with a raging Narcissa Malfoy. You’re going to need a lot more than your good manners and intelligence.”
Hermione slowly walked into her bedroom and lifted the cover from the box. She pulled out the dress and shoes. “That was decent of her.” She replied, speaking loudly so Draco would be able to her from her bedroom. She began examining the dress, and her mouth fell slightly open. “Malfoy, I would never wear this dress anywhere, much less to dinner with your parents.”
She pulled off the rest of her clothes and hesitantly pulled the dress over her head, adjusting it to the shape of her body. She stepped in front of the mirror and took a good look at her reflection.
Hermione could practically hear Draco’s eyes rolling through the door. “It’s just a dress, Granger. Hurry up and come out, or we’re going to be late.”
Not having another choice, Hermione sighed and pulled the heels from the box, slipping it on her bare feet. She fixed her hair to look presentable, and quickly applied a light layer of make up. Once she let her bedroom, she was immediately met with an irritated Draco, who was waiting outside her bedroom.
“You take so bloody long.” He commented irritably as he pushed a small, black beaded clutch bag against her stomach. “There’s an enlargement spell in there. I’ve put both our belongings inside.” He informed he. “Are there any additional things you want to pack?” he asked.
“Er..” she trailed off, peeking through the small opening of the bag. “I think you’ve got everything here.” She said, nodding. “Are we going to floo there?” she asked as she pushed the bag back into Draco’s hands so that she could slip her coat on.
Draco shook his head and handed Hermione back her purse once she tied the knot of her coat around her waist. “Too messy.” He answered. “We’re going to apparate. And since you don’t know where it is,” he then held out his hand and the gesture completed the rest of his explanation.
Hesitantly, she placed her hands over his and almost immediately, he apparated both Hermione and himself to Malfoy Manor. “Be polite.” He told her quietly. “Being your know-it-all-self won’t do either of us any good.” Nervously, he began picking lint off her dress.
Hermione immediately slapped his hand away. “You can’t pick off every single piece of lint, Malfoy.” She told him irritably. “It’s hardly noticeable. I don’t know why you’re the nervous one. I’m the one being thrown into the pit of fire.” She scowled openly as they walked up the steps, leading to the front door.
“You don’t know my parents, Granger.” He growled. “They’re extremely judgmental, and they know what they like before they even see it. My mother and father have made up their mind about you long before tonight, and their minds won’t be so easily swayed. They don’t have to like you, but it would be in your best interest to get on their good side. They like opinionated and smart women, which is why there were so fond of Astoria, but please keep it to a minimum. If you’re anything like the girl I knew in Hogwarts, sometimes, you let your passion get the best of you.” He reached the door and knocked loudly. “My father is impressed when people make artistic comments concerning the Manor, so just think of anything to say. He’s rather proud of this house, even though he wasn’t the one who built it.”
“One question, Malfoy.” Hermione whispered out of nervousness. “Do your parents think that we’re in love? Are the aware of our arrangement, or do they honestly believe the stories printed on the Daily Prophet?”
Draco’s large hand wrapping around Hermione’s, just as Narcissa Malfoy appeared in the doorway, was enough to answer her question.
“Mother.” He greeted curtly. “Good evening.”
“Draco.” His mother greeted in the same, curt tone. “Hermione Granger.” She spoke in a way that sent nerve wracking shivers down Hermione’s back. Her husband, Lucius Malfoy appeared beside his wife shortly, with the same stern look. “Please, come in.” she stepped aside, granting both her son and his fiancé entrance.
Out of impulse from his regular routine, Draco shrugged off his coat and set it into the hands of the next waiting house-elf. Being the gentleman he was, he pulled Hermione’s coat off her shoulders and handed it to the house elf as well.
“You have an amazing house, Mr. Malfoy.” Hermione commented loudly once Narcissa bustled off in order to check on dinner. “The ceiling is amazing.” She said in awe.
Lucius Malfoy pursed his lips at her comment. “Thank you.” He replied stiffly.
“The columns in the front are gorgeous.” She continued, pointing toward the front entrance. “Really, the moldings as well, it’s all very.. exquisite.” In all honesty, despite what Draco had said to her when they were standing just outside the front door, she was not trying to suck up to her fiancé’s father. She genuinely impressed by the artistic features of the Malfoy Manor.
“Dinner is ready.” Narcissa announced, abruptly appearing in the room. “Shall we go?” Her piercing eyes landed on Draco and Hermione.
As a protective instinct, Draco’s hand landed on the small of her back as he began to lead her through the halls and into the dining room. He felt Hermione stiffen against his touch, and he mentally begged her to bare with it for now.
“It was a last minute dinner.” Narcissa explained, taking her seat, opposite from her husband. “I hope you two didn’t have any problems dealing with work. However, I knew for a fact that Draco didn’t.”
Hermione shook her head as Draco sat her down on the seat beside him. He stepped in before her and pulled out her seat, treating her with an impeccable amount of respect, that even Hermione was taken aback by his gentlemanly gestures.
“I only work part time in the Ministry for three days a week.” Hermione explained. “I’m currently still training to be an auror. The part time job is only until I have a permanent job in the Auror office.”
Once they were all properly seated, Narcissa scanned the room, before speaking, “It looks like Pansy and Blaise are late. Shall we wait a few more minutes for them?”
“And what is your job in the Ministry?” Lucius asked, as if he was ready to pick apart Hermione’s life and scrutinize over every small detail. “If it’s a part time job, I suppose it should be in the lower ranking departments.”
After glancing towards Draco, Hermione cleared her throat and answered obediently. “I actually work in the Magical Law Enforcement department.” She hesitated before continuing, but the inviting look she received from Draco urged her on. “After — after the war ended, Ron and Harry were immediately offered jobs as Auror’s, while I went back to school in order to finish my N.E.W.T.S. Once that was over, the Ministry sought me out to work in the Magical Law Enforcement department. I started out as a part time worker, but when I decided to change career paths…” Hermione trailed off, suddenly aware that she had been speaking more than necessary.
“Go on,” Narcissa urged, resting her elbows on the table and tucking her clasped hands under her chin. “This is all more interesting than I expected.”
Hesitantly, she continued. “When I decided to change career paths, I took the time to go through Auror training, despite the offers I had to skip it. I wanted to be fair and go through training, like all the other Auror’s. The Ministry offered me a job three times a week, instead of completely quitting. I suppose they needed extra workers who knew how to system worked.”
“And what is your job in the department?” Lucius inquired.
“Well.. I do a little bit of everything. Although I do not hold a high position in the department due to my part time work, I aid in passing newly formed laws, I offer ideas on the structure of our society, I help fix the publics’ complaints. I mostly aid in the public relation’s office, since communicating is my strongest suit. Since the Auror office and our department are interrelated in many ways, I mingle with those matters as well.”
A loud knock kept Lucius from replying. Narcissa ordered a near by elf to answer the door. In less than two minutes time, the sound of Pansy’s heels grew louder and louder, and soon, she entered the dining room with Blaise in tow.
“Lucius, Narcissa.” Pansy greeted politely. “We’re sorry we’re late.” She said apologetically as she walked around the table to her usual place setting across the table from Draco. As she passed him, her placed her hand on his shoulder comfortingly. “I had to finish up some business with my mother. She can be very assertive when it comes to business related matters.”
Lucius chuckled. “I understand that very well.” He said. “Your mother is a smart woman, Pansy. No wonder her business is going so well.”
“How is her shop in Paris doing?” Narcissa asked, turning to Pansy. “I heard it’s doing splendidly, having had just opened last week! I must visit one day. Your mothers’ clothes were always my favorite.”
“Business is well there.” Pansy answered, smiling. “She’ll be taking the reigns in Paris from now on, which leaves me to handle the franchise here in London. We were just discussing it before dinner, since she’ll be taking a portkey to Paris first thing tomorrow morning.”
“And how are things doing in your company, Blaise?” Lucius asked, turning to the boy on his right. “Your father tells me that stocks are booming, thanks to the upcoming Quidditch season.”
Blaise nodded. “Although there’s some serious competition this year, Father doesn’t worry too much. We’re actually coming up with some new idea’s for this prototype we’ve been working on for months now. The broomstick itself hasn’t been responding well to our charms, but we’re working around it.”
“A new model, Blaise?” Draco asked, suddenly interested in the conversation.
Again, Blaise nodded, but this time, it was accompanied by a chuckle. “Are you going to be purchasing a new one again? You’ve got about five broomsticks already!”
Draco grinned. “One can never have enough broomsticks.”
“Draco, you barely have enough time to play Quidditch,” Pansy said disapprovingly. “I hardly think that you will be needing a new broomstick any time soon.”
“Yes, but I don’t think Draco will be able to resist this model.” Blaise commented with a smirk.
Hermione suddenly felt out of place as the three former Slytherins fell into a deep conversation about whether or not Draco needed a new broomstick or not.
Once they were all properly seated, the house elves began bringing in their food. “Thank you,” Hermione whispered when her plate was placed in front of her.
“So where’s Theo?” Draco asked, turning to Pansy. “It would have been nice if you brought him along.” As if Draco promptly became aware of the fact that if Pansy’s boyfriend was present, it would mean that Hermione would have to put up with more than she already had.
“Theo already had plans tonight with his family.” Pansy replied. “However, Blaise tells me that Daphne will be coming along.” She turned to Blaise.
“Yes, I hope that’s alright.” Blaise said, turning to the two hosts, Lucius and Narcissa. “We had dinner plans to begin with, but I didn’t want to miss a dinner like this.” He turned to Draco with a mischievous glint in his eyes, one that Draco knew very well. “I suppose she’s simply running late.”
“That’s perfectly fine, Blaise.” Narcissa nodded before she ordered another place setting from a house elf.
However, it was not perfectly fine. Not to Draco at least.
Once Daphne entered the dining room, the four of them — Pansy, Blaise, Hermione and Draco — were startled upon realizing that Daphne had brought her entire family with her.
“Mother,” Draco said through gritted teeth. “You didn’t tell me that the Greengrass’ would be attending dinner tonight.”
Narcissa gave him a cheeky smile. “I wasn’t aware either, but this should turn out to be a pleasant evening.”
The Greengrass’ took there seats around the table. Hermione found it extremely unfortunate that she was stuck sitting beside Astoria.
Their food was served, and dinner started with mere sounds of silverware clanking against ceramic plates filling the silence.
Pansy, who seemed to be the loudest, and most social in the table, began filling the silence with various questions concerning Astoria, and Daphne, but barely touching the Greengrass’ company, which was impending bankruptcy.
“So Draco,” Corean Greengrass began once Pansy’s questions came to a halt. She poured more wine in her glass and pursed her lips as she turned to the couple. “Tell me, how did you two meet?”
Draco glanced at Hermione, neither of them had expected to be answering questions concerning the roots of their relationship.
As Draco was about to open his mouth, Pansy immediately sliced across, surprising the entire table. “It’s an interesting story, right Draco?” she smiled. “I actually think I tell a better version than he does. A love story is always best from an observer’s point of view. Draco still denies some aspects of their relationships.” She said in a mocking tone.
Lucius cleared his throat. “Go on.”
“Well,” Pansy began without even faltering. “We all know that these two hated each other in school. I’d be a fool to say otherwise. However one day, after he moronically got them both locked in an empty classroom — I shall spare all of you the details — he… I suppose he grew a soft spot of her. They, of course, still fought. Calling each other names, and jinxing each other out of irritation. And then one night, a few days after the seventh term started, I catch them snogging in an empty corridor.”
“Pansy —” Draco warned.
Pansy turned to Draco. “Well, you did. I wasn’t sure what spurred them all, since after all, I was merely a bystander, but I suppose ever since then, he could take his mind off of her. They actually began dating about two to three months later. They’re both very stubborn, which would explain why it took them so long to finally admit their feelings for one another. However… because of the war, they were forced apart, and.. well, we all know what happened after that.” Her tone immediately grew sullen.
Draco glared at her from across the table.
“What a romantic story.” Corean remarked through gritted teeth.
“Funny,” Astoria piped up, leaning over the table to look at Hermione and Draco. “I’ve never heard about your relationship, and neither has Daphne.” She said, turning to her sister. “It’s almost impossible to sneak around in Hogwarts.”
“We were very secretive.” Hermione answered before Draco could say anything. “We only ever met in private, and we barely spoke to each other in public. Our friends wouldn’t have taken it well, so we thought it was for the best.”
Corean set her already-empty glass on the table, and began speaking again. “Well, when is the wedding?” she asked with a fake smile. “I’m sure you’ve begun the preparations already.”
Hermione shook her head slowly. “I’m afraid not. This all happened so fast, I barely had time to think of wedding plans.”
Corean gasped with fake horror. “Dear, the earlier you plan a wedding, the better it will be! Now imagine having to plan a wedding last minute.”
Hermione let out a nervous laugh. “I can’t imagine.”
“Where are you two planning on hosting it?” Narcissa asked in a cold voice. “Here at the manor perhaps?”
Draco opened his mouth to say something, but Hermione cut across, forcing his words down his throat. “Actually, there’s an old house down by the late a few miles from here. I never realized how close it was to the Malfoy Manor. I’ve been there several times during the summer, and I was thinking of having a wedding there.”
“A wedding in an old, broken down house?” Narcissa asked in a critical tone. “That’s rather unusual, don’t you think?”
Hermione chuckled and nodded. “Yes, but of course, it would have to go through renovations. It’s nothing magic cannot fix. I thought it would be perfect.”
“If you don’t mind me asking,” Lucius began. “Why did you choose that location? Does it have some sort of significance?”
“That house has been the sole root of my summers ever since I was a child. To be honest, because of my hectic life, I haven’t returned since my last year at Hogwarts. There was a small cabin not far from the house. I spent most of my time by the lake with my family. It’s.. gorgeous during the summer, and the house itself is amazing as well. I always dreamed of buying the property and fixing it up myself.”
“Describe this house to me.” Lucius told her, suddenly interested.
“Well, it seems to date back countless of years. There’s a large porch wrapped around the entire house. There’s three stories, with several windows and a lake in the backyard. Although it doesn’t sound like much, it’s amazing once you see it. She explained.
“You certainly have a lot more planning to do.” Narcissa said chipped. “It’s logical to start earlier, rather than later, regardless of your age.
“That’s quite alright, Narcissa.” Pansy interjected. “She won’t be alone. I’ll be helping her with the wedding plans. It should all turn out amazing.” Hermione was surprised when Pansy sent a warm smile her way.
“Pansy darling, will you be staying here for the night?” Narcissa asked once dinner was over.
Pansy shook her head. “No, I’m sorry Narcissa, but I’m going to have to pass. I promised to help my mother with a few last minute changes, so I should be getting home soon.”
“Send my regards to Theo.” Blaise said as he wrapped his arm around Daphne. “We’ve got to be going. I’ve got an early day tomorrow.”
Lucius nodded. “Say hello to your father for me, Blaise. Tell him that he should come by the Manor sometime and we’ll talk business.”
Blaise grinned and nodded before he led Daphne to the fireplace.
“Corean, lovely to have you over.” Narcissa said, as the two aging women exchanged kisses on the cheek. “Again, I’m sorry for the trouble.”
“It’s quite alright, Narcissa.”
Once the guest had flooed out of the manor, Narcissa turned to Hermione and Draco. “I suppose the both of you would like to go to your room now?” she asked, leading them up the marble staircase. “You’ll be sleeping in Draco’s old bedroom.” They walked down the corridor, to the last room in the hall. “Here it is.” She opened the door, revealing a bedroom the size of Draco’s entire flat. “Breakfast will be ready at 8 o’clock sharp tomorrow morning.”
Narcissa shut the door quietly, leaving the couple alone for the night.
Hermione sighed tiredly and strode into the room, not bothering to take in her surroundings. “I suppose we’re going to have to share the bed?” she asked, dropping the beaded bag on the desk sitting in front of the window. She plopped down on the bed and immediately kicked off her shoes.
Draco pulled his wand out of his back pocket and conjured up a cot by the foot of his bed. “Take the bed.” He told her in an austere tone.
“Those things are horrible.” She told him. “I really don’t have a problem sharing the bed.. It’s your bed after all. And your parents will be wondering why we’re not sleeping together if they happen to check on us in the middle of the night.”
As he began unbuttoning his shirt, he smirked widely. “You know, Granger, it almost sounds like you want to sleep together.” He teased mercilessly.
She laughed loudly. “Don’t flatter yourself. I just feel guilty if I took the bed, and you had to sleep on the uncomfortable cot.”
“Fine, if it satiates your conscience, I’ll sleep on the bed.”
Hermione pulled herself off the bed and walked over to the desk, peering inside the beaded bag. She began pulling out various clothes, and realized that Draco had packed a night gown that she did not even own. “What’s this?” she asked, dangling the thin piece of cloth by the strap, using only her forefinger.
“Er..” Draco began as he set his eyes on the thin piece of clothing. “It came with Pansy’s package.. I didn’t realize she bought something so… revealing.”
“You don’t expect me to wear this, do you?” she raised her eyebrows, staring at him.
“Are you going to sleep in that dress then?” he asked.
“Malfoy.” Hermione growled warningly.
“Then what do you propose I do, Granger?” he asked, pulling his own clothes from the bag. “Just wear the damn thing. I won’t even spare you a glance.” Before Hermione could utter another word, he strode into the bathroom and shut the door behind him.
Hermione was left to glare at his retreating figure. “Won’t spare me a glance?” she repeated angrily. “Fine.” She grabbed the flimsy night gown along with the beaded bag and waited until Draco exited the bathroom.
“You sleep half naked?” Hermione asked from the bed, when Draco emerged from the doorway, wearing nothing but pajama bottoms.
Draco turned to Hermione. “Is there a problem?” he asked.
She didn’t answer. Instead, she glared at him one last time before shuffling into the bathroom and slamming the door behind her. She quickly changed out of her clothes and slipped on the thin piece of silk. It was black, with white lace brimming the edges along her breast and thighs. After brushing her teeth and washing her face, she timidly turned the knob of the bathroom door, and hesitantly stepped out, feeling uncomfortable in her own skin.
She lifted her gaze and found Draco sitting on the edge of the bed with his elbows resting on his knees. He was fiddling around with his silver wrist watch, using the lamp on the bedside table as the only source of light.
Slowly, Hermione walked to back to the desk and dropped the bag on the surface. The sound forced Draco’s attention to turn towards Hermione, and he immediately regretted it.
Although her back was turned towards her, he managed to get a good view of her exposed skin, her tanned legs, and the dangerous curves of her body. He immediately regretted forcing her to wear the gown. The thin material barely went past her bum, covering a mere inch of her legs. He scowled and turned away once he realized what he was staring at.
Hermione then walked towards the bed and lifted the covers. She climbed under the sheets, relieved to finally have thicker material covering her body.
“Turn the light off.” He ordered firmly after he lifted the sheets on his side of the bed and climbed in.
“You’re closer to the switch Malfoy.” She said.
“I was already in bed when I asked you.” Draco retorted.
“No you weren’t.” she glared at him.
“If you had turned it off before you got into bed then we wouldn’t be arguing about this.” Draco snapped irritably.
“If you had turned it off before you got into bed, then we wouldn’t be arguing about it either. You’re closest to the door. You turn it off.” Hermione snapped. “Bloody Hell Malfoy, you’re a wizard. Use your wand.”
“My wand is in the bathroom.” Draco murmured sleepily against his pillow.
“What idiot leaves their wand in the bathroom?” Hermione asked, dumbfounded.
“Well then just use your wand.” He replied.
Hermione searched the bedside table, but her wand wasn’t there. “I must’ve left my wand in my bag.”
“What idiot leaves their wand in their bag?” Draco teased. Hermione kicked the back of his leg, and he elicited a loud hiss. “What was that for?”
“For being a wanker.” She spat angrily. “Stupid dim-witted twat.” Hermione mumbled.
Draco turned and pulled hard on Hermione’s hair. “AH! What was that for?” She exclaimed loudly, kicking him hard on his shins.
“For calling me a stupid dim-witted twat.” Draco snapped, clutching his shins.
Hermione groaned and buried her head in the pillow. “What are we, twelve?” she asked exasperatedly. “Will you just please get up, and switch the lights off?”
Draco shook his head. “Sorry Granger.” He yawned. “I’m tired.”
Hermione glared at him. She jumped out of bed with a huff, stepping over him so that her foot collided with the back of his head. Draco quickly grabbed her ankles, causing Hermione to stumble forward and fall off the bed with a loud thud. “Malfoy.” She growled dangerously, turning back to glare at him. But Draco had already flipped to the other side, his back facing her.
She stomped to the door and switched the light off, before turning back to Draco with a vicious look on her face. She quietly walked to the beaded bag on her desk and pulled her wand out before she turned back to him. With a swift wave of her wand, Draco immediately fell to a deep sleep. In a matter of minutes, Hermione managed to color his hair to turn to a mixture of multiple neon colors, and managed to lengthen it into long curls.
“Good nigh, beautiful.” She whispered with a large, mischievous smile.
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