Chapter 5 : Chapter Four
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A/N: edited 9.1.2011
The next morning, Lucius and Narcissa sat across from each other, like they had done every morning for the past twenty-two years. There was a copy of the Daily Prophet in Lucius’ hands, and a copy of Witch Weekly’s magazine in Narcissa’s. They ate a quiet breakfast, finding that eating in silence was the best arrangement for the both of them.
Suddenly, loud shouts cut through the silence, alarming them both. Instinctively, both Narcissa and Lucius’ heads turned up to gaze at the ceiling. “A couples tousle perhaps?” Narcissa asked questioningly.
Lucius grimaced and turned back to his breakfast. “Draco is rather immature for his age, you know that.” He said in a bored tone. “and from what I hear, that Granger girl is just as stubborn as he.”
“I suppose you resent him for choosing her over Astoria.” Narcissa spoke, since their silence was already broken. “I’ll admit, she has some horrible qualities. That hair of hers is horrendous, and she does not fit in well in our family. But Draco is relentless when it comes to that girl.”
“I do not resent Draco for choosing her, but I do resent the fact that she is a muggle-born.” Lucius answered with a scowl. “Other than that, she reminds me of you back when we were young. Always so opinionated and witty.” Even after twenty-two years of marriage, it was still strange for Narcissa to hear Lucius speak about their past so comfortably. It was normal for couples, but not for those who were forced in an arrange marriage, like Lucius and Narcissa were. “They should be coming down soon, I suppose.” Lucius commented timidly, breaking the silence. It was obvious that he regretted bringing up the past that they barely spoke of.
“Yes, I suppose they should.” Narcissa said, glancing over the marble staircase.
“Undo the spell, Granger.” Draco ordered.
The two were standing on either sides of the large bed with their wands drawn and pointed at each other. Draco’s blonde hair was now long and curly, with various colors streaking through the strands. “You’re so bloody immature!” he snapped furiously.
Hermione on the other hand, looked livid. Her skin turned a pale blue color, and her hair turned wild red. “Then turn me back!” she demanded from across the bed. “I don’t know what spell you used for this!” she cried, gripping the ends of her hair. “I look like a bloody clown!”
“And I don’t?” he countered, pointing at the mop of hair on his head. “Change me back first! You started this..”
Hermione rolled her eyes and a cry of frustration rippled through her throat. “Malfoy, look at us.” She said shamefully. “We’re bickering like children. Just please, change me back so I can get ready and leave.” She begged as she tried to calm herself down as best as she could. “We’re not in Hogwarts anymore, you idiot.”
“You started it.” Draco mumbled under his breath stubbornly as he walked to the bathroom.
Releasing one last cry of frustration, Hermione lifted her hand and pointed her wand at the back of Draco’s head. “Stay still, Malfoy.” She ordered. “If I miss, then I won’t be trying again.” She warned. Instantaneously, Draco’s hair slowly shrunk back to its normal length, and turned back to the original blonde color.
He let out a sigh of relief upon feeling his hair change back to normal.
“Now turn me back.” Hermione ordered.
Draco turned and merely smirked. “I actually think you look better as a clown.” He crossed his arms and leaned against the doorway of the bathroom.
Hermione growled fiercely and scowled. “I swear to Merlin Malfoy, if you don’t turn me back right this instant, I will permanently turn you into a bloody toilet!” she screeched. “Your parents are downstairs, and they’re both waiting for us to attend breakfast. Turn me back now, you bloody tosser.”
Stubbornly, Draco shook his head in response. “I don’t think I remember the spell..” he pushed off the doorway and walked towards the door. “And just like you said, my parents are waiting for us.”
He reached out to open the door, but he only managed to get it halfway open before Hermione waved her wand and taped the door shut with magic. “Turn me back,” she warned threateningly. “Or else neither of us are going to leave this room. I will not walk around looking like a bloody clown.”
“The blue certainly complements you.” Draco remarked teasingly, grinning from ear to ear. He plopped down on the already-made bed and leaned back against the headboard.
Glaring at him, Hermione felt her anger skyrocket. “You know what, I don’t even know why I’m doing this. I could just walk out of her right now, and walk into the lovely group of reporters and photographers who are waiting right outside your office, who are all begging for answers from you.” As nonchalant as she could manage, she turned around and strode into the bathroom, slamming the door closed behind her. She peeled off the night gown, turned the shower on and jumped in. “And I’ll just tell them how our engagement was such a failure, and that I couldn’t stand another second of it.” Hermione shouted, loud enough for him to hear through the shower and the door.
Unexpectedly, the bathroom door opened with a bang. Hermione jumped at the sound and immediately wrapped her arms around her body in order to cover herself up. “Malfoy!” she shrieked. “What the bloody hell do you think you’re doing? I’m taking a shower here!”
Glaring at her through the glass, he waved his wand stiffly. Hermione’s skin immediately turned back to it’s original color, a pale shade of pink, and her hair was brown once again. “I was just having a bit of fun, Her-mio-nee.” He said innocently as he emphasized each syllable of her name. “There’s no need to get so touchy.”
Without another word, left the bathroom, closing the door loudly behind him.
Once Hermione was finished with her shower, she pulled out the last set of clothes that was packed into the beaded bag, which turned out to be a white, strapless sundress and a pair of brown wedges. “You packed me a dress?” she asked through the door. “Why in Merlin’s name did I allow you to pack for me?”
“Pansy sent it, along with the other dress.” Draco answered monotone. “If you don’t like it, you can change when we get home.”
After getting dressed, she dried her hair and clipped each side near her ear, allowing her fringe to fall into her eyes. She stuffed her previously worn clothes into the beaded bag, along with Draco’s, before she exited the bathroom. The moment she appeared, Draco lifted his gaze and raked his eyes over Hermione’s body. He was surprised that such a simple dress made her look so — dare he say — beautiful.
The moment he became aware of his thoughts, he cleared his throat and looked away. “Shall we head down to breakfast, now?” he asked. “We’re already thirty minutes late.”
Hermione nodded, following Draco out of his bedroom.
“This Manor is enormous.” She whispered, clearly in awe as they walked through the large hallway. “How do you live in such a big house?”
Draco shrugged. “There were always house elves’ bustling around.” He answered. “I always forced Blaise and Pansy to come over as children, so I was never alone, even when mother and father left the house for the night.”
The rest of their walk to the dining room was silent.
“Wonderful for you to join us.” Narcissa greeted disapprovingly the moment the couple stepped into the room. She was holding a glass of orange juice in her hand, and her plate was already clear of food. “What was that loud noise we heard earlier?” she asked curiously. “It sounded as though someone was yelling.”
Hermione and Draco exchanged nervous glances. “Nothing.” Draco answered immediately. “We just had a small disagreement.”
As Narcissa watched her son eat, she scowled with disgrace. “Eat your eggs, Draco. Twenty years, and you still have not learned how to eat properly.” She pressed critically. “Hermione, I certainly hope that you know how to cook.” She said. “Draco is really picky when it comes to food.”
“He’ll only eat what he feels like eating.” Lucius added, his face still hiding behind the Daily Prophet. “And he has the most horrible manners.”
Hermione had to bite her tongue in order to keep herself from laughing out loud. “Is that so?” she asked, smirking at Draco’s direction, who snarled at both of his parents. “I can cook a little bit. I’ve only ever cooked for myself though, since I’ve been living alone ever since Hogwarts. But I can always learn from my mum, and I know that Mrs. Weasley would be pleased to teach me.”
“Ah, yes,” Narcissa nodded. “I’ve heard that Mrs… Weasley really knows her way around a kitchen.”
Hermione smiled involuntarily. “Yes, her cooking is amazing.”
“Regardless, I shall teach you how to cook.” Narcissa offered. However, despite her offer, Draco knew that she simply wanted to create an opportunity to chase Hermione away from Draco. “I’ll teach you all his favorite dishes.”
“Mother, enough.” Draco warned. “I think it’s too early to teach Hermione here how to be a good housewife.”
“Hush, Draco.” Narcissa snapped without even sparing her son another glance. “Hermione, you shall start taking cooking lessons from me. It’s important to be able to feed your husband, especially since Draco is against having his own, personal house elf.”
Breakfast ended smoothly; smoother than Hermione had expected. Although Lucius and Narcissa were displeased with their son’s current path in life — marrying a muggleborn — they were courteous enough to be polite. Yet, something in the pit of Draco’s stomach told him that his mother would relentlessly plot against Hermione.
Once breakfast ended, the two said their goodbye’s and walked out of the manor. The moment they stepped outside, the weight on both their shoulders were suddenly lifted, as if they had both just been rescued from the brink of suffocation. Together, they wordlessly joined hands and apparated back to their flat.
“I will not be a housewife.” Hermione warned him immediately, glaring in his direction. “That’s much too boring for my liking. I hope you know that, Malfoy. What the bloody hell am I supposed to do all day? Clean the house, cook, take care of the kids?” she spat at the idea.
“Believe me, Granger, here won’t be any children involved in this marriage.” Draco retorted. “And I’m not expecting you to stay home all day either. Give me some credit, here. I know you better than that.”
Turning away from him, Hermione glanced at the clock and saw that it was a quarter to eleven. All thoughts of breakfast and Malfoy’s flew out of her mind the minute she found that she was late. “I’m late, I’m late, I’m late.” She muttered to herself as she began bustling around the living room, searching for her belongings. Once she gathered everything up, she rushed to the fireplace and threw a handful of floo powder inside. “See you later, Malfoy!” she shouted.
“Why hello Pansy.” Draco greeted, taking the seat across from her.
“You owe me some answers, Draco.” Pansy reminded him immediately. “What’s been going on the past couple of days? And Hermione Granger? You chose Hermione granger of all people?” She questioned incredulously.
Pansy Parkinson was no longer the pug-faced girl that Draco had known as a child. Time and genetics allowed her body to develop into the sexy, gorgeous woman that she was today. Her hair grew out, falling below her breasts, with a fringe crossing her forehead.
He sighed, knowing that he would have to answer her questions sooner or later. “my choices were rather limited at that time.” He admitted. A waitress soon approached the duo to take their order. “A cup of coffee please.” He said.
“Espresso for me, please.” Pansy requested in a perfect business-like voice. “I dose of crème and an extra shot.”
The waitress nodded and left the two to their own conversation.
“Your choice’s were rather limited?” she repeated, mockingly. “What about Miranda? Did you even stop to think about her?”
At the thought of his past, Draco scowled. “She won’t be back for another three years.” He informed her. “Hermione and I will be divorced and separated by then.”
“Do you really think that news won’t reach her?” she countered. “She’s in Paris, Draco. Paris isn’t a long way from here. News travels pretty fast, especially among pureblood witches. Parents talk during events and gatherings. You know how much they enjoy gossip.”
The waitress returned with their drinks, setting large mugs in front of both Draco and Pansy. After they each offered a ‘Thank you’ the waitress left once more.
“Miranda is the least of my problems at the moment.” Draco sneered. “She made it quite clear that she wanted nothing to do with me before she walked out on all of us. Why should she care if I’m getting married or not?”
“Did you expect her to stay here?” Pansy argued. “What exactly could she have done? She was stuck between two men, and she obviously could not choose. The two of you did not make the choice easy on her, either. Her only option was to leave.”
Draco’s jaw tightened. “She could’ve told me the truth.”
“You would have never let go of her.” She snorted. “Your temper get’s the best of you, Draco.”
Miranda Rosier, his previous girlfriend, left for Paris about a year after they all graduated Hogwarts, leaving him with nothing but a broken heart. Stricken with anger, Draco promised himself that he would forget about Miranda, even if he had to obliviate himself.
Turning away from Draco, Pansy sat back in her seat and began encircling the edge of the cup with her forefinger. “Let me guess,” she began again, as she tried to lighten the mood between them. It had been years since Miranda had been brought up in a conversation that Draco was engaged in. Out of their entire circle of friends, no one dared to bring Miranda up, in fear of drawing out Draco’s stowed away anger. “You called me here for a favor.”
Instantly, the corner of Draco’s lips rose to a small smile. “I wanted to explain things, as well.” He added.
Pansy smiled as well. “You want me to show Granger how to survive in a pureblood family, and of course, you want me to take her shopping.”
“You do have a career in the fashion industry.” Draco reminded her. “So who better to take Granger shopping than you? I’ll be paying for everything of course. You know my account number, just take whatever you need.”
Pansy eyed Draco carefully. “You know you trust me an awful lot. Enough to blindly hand me your Gringotts account number, giving me full reigns to your gold.”
He rolled his eyes. “If I feared that you would steal from me, then I would never allow you permission to my vault.”
“I suppose you’d also like me to help her with the wedding plans.” She brought the mug to her lips and took a short sip, leaving a half crescent lipstick mark on the edge. “But I believe that I already agreed to that last night.”
“I’ll be forever grateful, Pansy.” Draco grinned.
She scowled playfully in return. “You know, in time Draco you’ll be owing me your life.” She said in a warning tone. Nevertheless, she stood up and straightened out her clothes. She threw a few pounds on the table and grabbed her purse from behind her chair. “Coffee’s on me.” She told him with a smile. “But you still owe me lunch, Draco. We’ll meet tomorrow at noon in the Leaky Cauldron.” She said. “Don’t be late.”
It was twelve ten, and an agitated Pansy Parkinson was found sitting at the bar of the Leaky Cauldron. Her legs were crossed to the side formally, and she passed an empty glass of whiskey from her right hand, to her left. Her eyes constantly glanced towards her shiny, white gold watch. From time to time, her eyes would travel towards the entrance of the pub, hoping to catch sight of a familiar witch.
“I’m going to kill that boy.” She muttered to herself.
As she waited for the next five minutes, her mind wandered towards the amount of work she had sitting in her office, waiting to be touched. She began listing the amount of boutiques she would have to visit today in order to do her monthly rounds. Ever since her mother left London in her hands, work has been as hectic as ever. As she sat in the pub, waiting for Hermione Granger to arrive, she could not help but feel as though her time was being wasted.
Finally, at twelve-twenty-three, Draco and Hermione entered the pub.
“I apologize.” Draco began immediately. “I..” he glanced at Hermione, who had anger flaring in her eyes. “I… I played a little harmless trick on her, and well.. she attacked me.”
Pansy rolled her eyes, expecting no less from the two immature children standing in front of her. “You two play like children.” She scowled. “Let’s get this over with. I still have work that I need to tend to.”
Quickly, they made their way across the pub and into the backroom that lead to Diagon Alley. She tapped her wand on various bricks, and the three waited as the wall slowly opened, revealing a bustling Diagon Alley.
“Shall we start with clothes?” she asked once they entered the Alley. “What are your measurements, Granger?” she asked, as they entered Fashion Alley. “Dress, tops, bottoms, the works.”
“Er..” Hermione began, unsure of her own measurements.
They entered a clothing store, and various employee’s immediately approached Pansy, waiting on her hand and foot. She ignored all of them, and turned around, inspecting Hermione’s body.
“Hm, bust looks to be around.. thirty four inches, waist.. about twenty four, and hips about.. thirty six. My, my, Granger. You’re rather curvy, aren’t you?” Hermione blushed, and Draco chuckled beside her. “It will be rather difficult to get your clothes to fit perfectly, but it shouldn’t be a problem with magic.”
Pansy began piling various clothes on the crook of her arm, slowly making her way around the store and towards the fitting rooms.
“You pulled me out of training, for this?” Hermione whispered furiously, turning to Draco. “I have clothes Malfoy. I do not need new ones.”
Draco rolled his eyes as he turned her around and pushed her towards Pansy. “You’re about to be married into a pureblood family.” He whispered into her ear. “You need to be fully equipped.”
“You make it sound like I’m going into battle.” She whispered back.
“These clothes are too expensive!” she exclaimed, looking at the price of a blouse they had just passed. “I can’t afford any of this! Who in the world would buy such expensive clothing?” She said, muttering the last bit to herself.
“I’ll be paying for everything, remember? All you have to do is be a good girl and try the clothes on.” Once they reached the fitting room, he planted himself on one of the arm chairs provided.
Pansy stood by the clerks, and began piecing outfits together before handing them to Hermione. She walked down the hall and picked out a pairs of boots. “You know how to layer, don’t you Granger? Put these on and then come out. Then we’ll work on your make-up, and try to tame that hair of yours.” Pansy instructed before she shoved the clothes into Hermione’s open arms and pushed her into the open stall.
She then turned back to the employee’s and ordered them to follow her around the store. She trusted several outfits into their hands, followed by shoes, make-up, even accessories.
Five minutes passed before Draco’s attention was averted towards the opening curtains.
Hermione timidly drew the curtains back once she dressed herself, and bit her lip, awaiting Draco’s expected criticism. However, it did not come.
Draco merely stared at her with his mouth slightly agape.
“So..” Hermione began, looking around the room awkwardly. “Do I look the part yet?” Hermione asked him hopefully as she cutely twirled on the spot.
Upon her child-like gesture, Draco smiled. He stood up, placed his hands on her shoulders and guided her past several rooms until he reached the last one. The woman who was previously lounging back on a black, cushioned chair, immediately sat up, looking alert.
“My oh my.” The woman gasped with a snippy tone. “Have you ever heard of conditioners and moisturizers?” Hermione glared at the woman through the large mirror covering the entire back wall. She gingerly sat on the chair, and allowed the woman to pry at her hair. “What do you want me to do with this?” she asked Draco in a tone that made Hermione growl inwardly.
Draco chuckled. “It’s fine curly.” He said. “Just try to tame it. Make it less frizzy and make it shiny, I suppose.” He waved his hand, as if giving the woman free reigns to Hermione’s hair.
The next hour and a half was dedicated on Hermione’s appearance. Her face was caked with a light layer of make-up, and her hair was pried at until it shaped nicely. Pansy continued sending her back and forth through empty stalls, forcing her to try on various outfits along with shoes and purses. Once they were finished, the clerk rounded up all their purchases until Draco was surrounded by a heap of shopping bags.
By the time they were finished, Hermione looked as though she had just stepped out of a fashion magazine. She looked as chic as the models plain girls envied, and she could’ve certainly passed for one as well.
“Now, if you two will excuse me,” Pansy began as she checked her wrist watch. “I’ve got a job I should get back to.”
“Thank you, Pansy.” Hermione said genuinely. “I really appreciate your help.”
Pansy nodded curtly and smiled, slipping her large sunglasses on her face, before she turned around, her heels clicking loudly behind her, and disappeared down the street.
“You really didn’t have to do this.” Hermione said, turning back to Draco as they slowly walked down the street. “I think you just spent about a thousand galleons without even batting an eyelash. But thank you.” She added quickly.
“I’m not doing this for you.” He assured her. “You’re going to be famous now — well you were always famous, being part of the Golden Trio and all, but this will be a different type of famous. You’re my fiancé from now on, and your appearance means everything.”
She rolled her eyes. “You’re a pig, Malfoy. You seem to care more about looks thank anything else.”
Draco glared at her. “If that were true, then I would have married Astoria without a single complaint.”
“Then why work so hard in changing the way I look?” Hermione countered.
Draco simply sighed, taking a hold of her wrist before he apparated them both back to their flat. “What the hell!” Hermione shrieked the moment her feet landed on the ground. “You could have at least warned me that we were going to apparate.” She yelled loudly.
Draco winced at the volume of her voice. “Please refrain from yelling when you’re so bloody close to me.” He said, walking away from her. “You can be really loud, and it gets rather annoying.”
Hermione glared daggers at the back of his head, hoping with all her might that she could poke holes through it with her eyes.
“We’ve got a party to attend.” He informed her.
Hermione groaned. “Thank you for the early warning.” She said sarcastically. “I’m so bloody tired, Draco. I just want one day at home, to rest.”
“You’re my fiancé now,” he reminded her. “that means that you’re require to attend parties and events and any other social gatherings with me. How would it make me look if I attended a party alone?”
“Like the true, prat you really are.” Hermione muttered under her breath.
“So where’s the party this time?” she asked, tumbling on the couch. “Parkinson’s house? Zabini’s? Nott’s?”
Draco shook his head. “Pansy and Theodore live together. They have their own flat. So does Blaise. None of us live with our parents anymore.” He informed her. “It’s at the Ministry of Magic. I’m surprised that Wonder Boy and Weasley haven’t told you.”
Hermione blinked rapidly, suddenly remembering the party that Ginny had been anticipating for weeks. “Oh dear god.” She muttered, shooting straight up from her position on the couch. “Merlin, this can’t be good.”
“Would you please just relax?” Draco snapped irritably as he picked up a glass of champagne from the table. He quickly handed it to Hermione and took one for himself. “They won’t do anything to you here, there’s too many witnesses. No matter how daft I think Weasley can be, I don’t think he’ll be stupid enough to make a scene tonight.”
“That’s what you think.” She mumbled nervously as her eyes scanned the room. Ever since they arrived at the Ministry, she’s been fidgeting relentlessly, with anything she could get her hands on. At one point, she untied and retied Draco’s tie until she deemed the knot perfect.
Her arm was linked tightly with Draco as she followed him around the room. He greeted and shook hands with several people she was unfamiliar with. He mingled with almost everyone at the party, and she was surprised at how social Draco could be.
Several witches and wizards congratulated her on their engagement, and out of politeness, she smiled and offered a polite ‘thank you’.
“is this how it’s life for you every night?” she asked. “Attending parties, greeting people you’re not that familiar with?”
Draco shook his head. “It hasn’t been this hectic in a while. Usually there’s a social event at least twice every month, but since business is going well, and my parents are trying to make this as painstaking for us as possible, you can expect to attend an event like this at least once a week from now on.” He glanced at the glass of champagne in her hand. “Are you not going to drink?” he asked.
Hermione shook her head and grimaced. “Champagne has got to be the foulest of all alcoholic drinks.” Amused, Draco chuckled and downed the drink himself. “Do they serve gin?” He was unable to fight the smile that crept to his lips.
“You hate champagne and yet you drink firewhiskey.”
“There’s a certain taste in champagne that I absolutely cannot stand.” She explained. Draco gave her a strange look, which she just ignored.
They continued mingling with the rest of the guest. Hermione was introduced as Draco’s fiancé, although most of the witches and wizards in the room knew her as one out of the three of the Golden Trio.
With his hand on the small of her back, he led her away from the crowd and towards an open window. He allowed the breeze to engulf them, suddenly conscious of the suffocating atmosphere in the hall. He heard Hermione release a heavy breath as she leaned against the window sill, trying to reach out into the fresh air as much as her body would allow.
“This is so tiring.” She remarked. “My feet are going to be the death of me.”
“Comfort charm on your shoes before you leave the house. I thought you were smart, Granger.” Draco teased.
Before Hermione had the chance to respond, her eyes landed on a certain redhead, who was currently engaged in a conversation with a young woman. “Oh no,” she gasped. “Ronald’s here.” She pulled on Draco’s arm, trying to lead him away from Ron. However, Draco stood rooted at the spot, confused as to what she was trying to accomplish. “Malfoy, please, just this once, can’t you just cooperate with me?” Hermione begged anxiously, pulling hi away.
Draco, on the other hand, found her situation rather amusing. “You can’t honestly tell me that you’re afraid of facing Weasley.” He said with an amused smirk.
I’m not afraid of h — Harry!” Hermione shrieked with surprised once Harry suddenly appeared at her side. Her heart started beating against her chest loudly, and she prayed that she was the only one who could hear her wild heartbeat. Her prayers seemed futile the moment Draco turned to her direction and smirked knowingly. “How w — wonderful to see you! Are you here with Ginny?” she asked, scanning the hall.
“Ginny just went to the lavatory.” Harry answered. “Malfoy.” He greeted stiffly. “I didn’t expect to be seeing you here.”
“`Mione.” Ron greeted, abruptly appearing beside Harry. “I didn’t expect to be seeing you here. Have you done something to your hair?” he asked, leaning forward in an attempt to get a closer look. “Looks different.” He commented.
Hermione’s smile faltered, remaining weak. “I’m here accompanying Dra —”
“C’mon Weasley, did you expect Hermione to leave her fiancé dateless?” Draco asked, teasing the two men.
“Malfoy.” Hermione warned.
Ron, who had just took note of Draco’s presence, glared at him with pure hatred. Draco simply smirked arrogantly. “Listen to Hermione, Malfoy. It’s best not to provoke us.”
Draco snorted. “Pissed off, are you Weasley?” he asked tauntingly. “Pissed that you didn’t get the girl in the end?”
It took every bone in Ron’s body to refrain himself from pouncing on Draco and showering him with full blown punches. Both his hands were balled up into tight fists on both his sides, his knuckles turning to an unconventional shade of white.
As if on cue, Ginny arrived, tottering to the other side of Harry, quickly taking in the scene before her. Her eyes danced from Draco to her brother, and back. “Calm down, Ron.” She snapped, sounding more like her mother than she realized. “We’re at a party, for crying out loud.”
“Malfoy,” Hermione growled, tip-toeing to whisper in Draco’s ear. As she spoke, her lips brushed against his outer earlobe, sending shivers down Draco’s spine. “I swear to Merlin, if you do not stop, I will announce to everyone in this room why we are really getting married.” As she settled back on her feet, she found Draco glaring at her. She ignored him and turned to Ron. “Ron, you should stop as well. This is neither the time, nor the place for an argument between the two of you.”
Harry, who didn’t look any happier than Ron, growled under his breath. Ginny immediately laced his hand in his, as if attempting to remind him of her presence. He recoiled slightly, knowing that he would have to face his girlfriend’s wrath if he were to attack Draco at that very moment. “Ron,” Harry spoke up. “Hermione’s right.”
“Let’s go, boys.” Ginny said, ushering her boyfriend, and her brother away from the couple. Before leaving, she and Hermione shared a sympathetic look. “You two are like children, honestly!” Hermione heard Ginny snap before the three were out of ear shot.
Hermione then turned to Draco with a livid look in her eyes. “That’s perfect, Malfoy.” She remarked through gritted teeth. “Can you get any more immature?” Draco scowled, and looked away from her. “I made an effort to be civilized with your friends.” She reminded him. “Why can’t you do the same for me? Honestly, it’s like we’re all back in Hogwarts again! You three can’t even act like civilized adults.”
“May I remind you who made me look like a bloody clown this morning?” he snapped.
Hermione scoffed. “And who tripped me before that?”
“Who kicked me in the face?” Draco countered.
“You were the one who started arguing on who should turn the bloody lights off!” Hermione snapped, resisting the urge to stomp her feet on the marble floor.
“It’s not my fault you’re so bloody stubborn!” He snarled.
“Oh, I’m stubborn?” Hermione asked angrily, as she began following Draco while he attempted to walk away from her. “Look who’s talking, you insufferable pig-headed pra —”
“Draco!” Hermione and Draco’s attention were both forced towards the feminine voice that had approached them. As soon as Draco’s eyes landed on the woman, the glass of champagne in his hand slipped through his fingers and shattered by his feet. His mouth fell agape, and his eyes went wide.
Hermione, on the other hand, blinked rapidly, confused as to who the woman was. Her face was familiar, but she could not put her finger on it.
The unfamiliar woman began walking towards them. She was dressed in a long, scarlet red evening gown, and her blonde hair was clipped in an elegant up-do. “Draco.” She repeated with a smile on her face. Her long, slender arms reached up and wrapped themselves around his neck once she reached him.
“Miranda?” Draco breathed with disbelief.
The woman smiled warmly. “I’m back.” She whispered.
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