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Chapter 9 : Chapter Eight
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There was something different about how Draco had been acting ever since they had returned home after their weeklong escapade. Hermione was able to assume that it had something to do with Wesley’s presence back in their lives. The topic was touchy, and Hermione noticed that even Miranda’s name caused him to stiffen. Nevertheless, she continued to feel that maybe she was the cause of most of his troubles, despite the fact that he was the one who had asked her to do this.
Hermione spent the rest of her days away from her current ‘home’, and more with her old friends. Ron still never accepted what she had agreed to do, but he had come to an agreement with himself that he wouldn’t allow her situation to get in between their relationship. However, Ron was still the same overprotective person he was, and if not- maybe even more. He would constantly owl Hermione, checking up on her to see if Draco had made a move to attack her or anything of that sort.
Harry was also as overprotective as Ron was. He’d done several background searches, scraping up any dirt he could get on Draco, but unfortunately for him, he couldn’t find anything. Harry predicted that due to their high position in the Wizarding World, Malfoy Sr. must’ve pulled a few strings to set their records straight. However, this was not able to hold up since Hermione had found Lucius’ old records. There were several ruined estates that were placed under his name, and a few attacks that fortunately did not lead to death. He had been placed in Azkaban for five years, but had been let out early due to testimonies from various people convincing the ministry that he was no longer a Death Eater.
“Are you two happy now?” Ginny asked exasperated. “Malfoy is no longer a death eater, and I’m sure that Draco isn’t one either.”
After auror raining, Hermione would visit the Weasley’s at the burrow, staying there until the sun had begun to set. She knew that Draco left work at seven, and she knew that she would have to set some sort of food on the table for him. Something a proper fiancé would do. Her afternoons were spent playing Quidditch out in the field, walking around aimlessly in London, or spending her time helping Molly Weasley cook in her kitchen.
When she arrived home that night, she was surprised to find that Draco was already home, sitting on the kitchen table with the Daily Prophet sitting in front of him. “You’re home early.” Hermione said, setting her keys down on the counter. “I wasn’t expecting you till seven-thirty.” Draco didn’t respond. “Have you eaten yet?”
Draco stood up furiously and stomped out of the kitchen, leaving Hermione baffled. She walked over to the small table, scanning the prophet for anything that would anger him. What surprised her most was a large picture of her, plastered on the page with a long article surrounding it. There were several pictures of Ron, Harry, Wesley and Draco around it as well.
Draco Malfoy’s current fiancé, Miss Hermione Granger has been seen by several reporters and photographers mingling and maybe even flirting with a few of her old friends, not to mention Draco Malfoy’s former best friend. The group of seven had gone to The Wizard Resort for a week, most likely searching for some peace and quiet, and Wesley Carrow has been said to be hitting on Draco Malfoy’s fiancé. Now what is he going to do about that? Miss Granger, soon to be Mrs. Malfoy had showed no sign of resistance toward him, nor to her other two friends Harry Potter and Ronald Weasley.
Sources report that Miss Granger would visit her old friends at the Burrow where the Weasley’s currently reside, instead of going straight home to her loving soon-to-be husband. Quidditch, and small dates around Diagon Alley would fill the majority of her days, and unfortunately, not with Draco Malfoy. No news yet on how Draco Malfoy is taking this new Hermione Granger, as opposed to a shy bookworm.
A small interview with Astoria Greengrass, who we had seen traveling alone in Diagon Alley tells us that she’s hoping for a breakup, and she is also able to see one in the near future. “I doubt Draco knows about what Hermione has been doing the past couple of days. If he did, I don’t think that he’s that much of an idiot to stay with a woman who’s been cheating on him.” It must be terrible to find out your fiancé has been cheating on you through a newspaper. Perhaps there is a lot more to Miss. Granger than the shy bookwork she had let us all know she was.
After several interviews with sources, we’ve found out that not only Hermione Granger has been frenzying with other men, but Draco Malfoy has also been spotted spending more and more time than the Ministers Daughter, Miranda Shacklebolt. He’s been spotted walking in and out of their home at various times of the day, mostly after the young Malfoy has finished a day’s work. There have been many signs throughout the week that maybe Miranda and Draco had been picking up where they have left of back in Hogwarts. Good luck to Mr. Malfoy and their long engagement.
Hermione angrily grabbed the newspaper on the table, and stormed into Draco’s bedroom where she found him lying on his bed with an arm slung over his eyes. “Do you honestly believe this?” she asked, furious as she threw the newspaper at his feet. “You think I’m cheating on you?”
“You can’t really be cheating on someone unless you’re in a real relationship with them, Granger.” Draco answered, his tone apathetic. “But I do believe that you’re doing something that you’re not supposed to.”
Hermione looked at him, surprised. “Spending time with my friends is something that I’m not supposed to do?” she asked. “Malfoy, it’s not as if I’m having other relations with other men.” Hermione countered.
Draco scowled and sat up. “If you don’t remember some of the conditions that we’ve made, then allow me to remind you Hermione.” He told her. “Neither of us is allowed to do anything that’ll attract attention to either of us. You suggested it yourself.”
“It’s not as if I did this on purpose to get us both plastered on front page of the prophet.” Hermione snapped. “What did you want me to do? Completely cut contact between Harry, Ron and myself and to constantly ignore Wes if he tried to speak to me?”
“If it makes all of this go away, then yes.” Draco snapped. “Don’t you get it Granger?” he asked. “Because they caught you spending more time with other men, than your own fiancé, this practically puts me to shame, not to mention my mother and father. Do you realize that my mother could no force me to marry Astoria, despite what everyone else might think?”
Hermione was seething. How dare he blame everything on her? “Don’t you dare put all the blame on me!” Hermione snapped. “Did you read the rest of this article?” she asked him. “It’s about you too.” Hermione said, crossing her arms over her chest. “And don’t even dare lie about it either. I know that you still have feelings for her, and I know about your history with her.”
He glared at her. “Don’t even try to turn this on me.”
“I have every right to.” Hermione snapped. “I don’t see why you’re forbidding me to talk to my own best friends, while you’re out doing god knows what with Miranda.” She told him. “You can’t forbid me to see my best friends.” Hermione said sternly.
Draco looked away from her, grabbing the prophet from his bed and throwing it in the garbage. “Then what do you propose we do?” he asked in an even more softer tone. Hermione knew that Draco could never give up his relationship with Miranda; no matter how much pain she’s caused him in the past. “You obviously can’t give up those two idiots, and I can’t give up my friends either.”
“This marriage wasn’t supposed to have to interfere with our personal lives.” Hermione said, sitting down at the edge of his bed.
“You can’t expect to have a marriage that doesn’t interfere with your life.” Draco told her. “That’s just completely impossible.” Draco sighed. “We need to make some sort of compromise.” He said. “My mother will probably use this as an excuse to get me to marry Astoria.”
“Then what do you want us to do?” she asked. “Spend every waking moment together?”
Draco snorted. “Well that is what married couples do.”
She looked at him with disbelief. “Are you serious?” Hermione asked. “First of all, we’re not exactly married yet, so please don’t refer to us as a ‘married couple’. I can’t even begin to explain how wrong that sounds.” She said, feeling shivers go down her spine. “And secondly, if you haven’t noticed, we can barely get along. I’m surprised that we even lasted this long in the same house.” She told him. “How exactly do you expect us to go days together without killing each other?”
He smirked. “Well we’d have to work things out then, don’t we?’” He asked playfully. “This isn’t a stroll in the park for me either, Granger.” Draco said, his playful tone suddenly bitter. “But I would at least like this to be easier for both of us, without the entire Wizarding world watching our every move.”
Hermione groaned. “You know what, to save both of us the time and to keep both of us sane, let’s talk about this tomorrow.” She said, before she left his room, closing the door behind her. “He’s bloody insane.” She murmured to herself.
The following Saturday, Hermione was reading the prophet in the kitchen, wearing a large sweatshirt and pajama pants. She was wearing thick-rimmed glasses instead of her contacts, and her hair was up in a messy ponytail. Hermione looked the same as the night Draco and her had met for the first time in years. She was lounging back on the chair, stirring a coffee in front of her as she concentrated on the latest news being exposed in the prophet.
She heard the familiar sound of someone flooing in from the fireplace, and frowned as she looked up at the clock. It was only seven, and Draco wasn’t even up yet. Hermione stood up, and shuffled into the living room, to find Narcissa Malfoy standing in a cloud of dust. “Mrs. Malfoy?” Hermione asked, surprised.
“Hello, Hermione.” Narcissa said. “Is my son awake?”
Hermione shook her head. “He’s still asleep.” Hermione suddenly panicked when she remembered that she and Draco slept in separate rooms. “Would you like me to go and wake him?” she asked, hoping that Narcissa would say to do so.
“Yes dear.” She said, as she began pulling things out of her pocket.
Hermione quickly walked to her bedroom instead of Draco’s, whipped out her wand and instantly cleared her belongings and tidied her bed in order to make it look like a guest room. She then went into Draco’s room and pulled the cover’s off his body. “Get up, your mother is here.” Hermione snapped. “Hurry!” Draco made several objections before she shot cold water out of her wand and to his body.
She rushed out of his bedroom before she could hear the string of profanities that came out of his mouth. Hermione re-entered the living room, only to find it empty. She quickly walked down the hallway and to the kitchen, where Narcissa was looking around. “Sorry, he’s just a heavy sleeper.” Hermione said. “Er, sorry I must’ve forgotten my manners.” She said. “Would you like anything to drink?”
“No, that’s perfectly alright.” Narcissa said. “I would however, like a tour of the house.”
“Oh well, then let me show you around.” Hermione said, hoping that Draco had already gotten out of bed. “This is the dining area, and that over there is the guest room.” she pointed to the door which led to her bedroom. “And this here is our bedroom.”
Narcissa pushed the door open and entered the Hermione’s room. “Dear, why are your belongings here?” she asked, motioning to the books piled on the table.
“Er.” Hermione said, quickly thinking of a lie. “Draco didn’t want our bedroom to seem cluttered with my books.” She said. “I insisted on purchasing a bookshelf to put somewhere around the house, but he said to store it in here in for now.”
“And your clothes?” Narcissa asked, after she saw clothes pilled in the drawers. “Surely there are enough dresser space in your bedroom for these.”
“Pansy recently brought me shopping, so these are my old clothes that I’m planning to store in a few days. I just haven’t found time to do so.” Hermione said smoothly. “And I didn’t get a chance to unpack those just yet.” She said, pointing to the vast amounts of shopping bags grouped in the corner of the room before Narcissa could even ask.
They left Hermione’s room and entered Draco’s bedroom. "What are you doing here mother?” he asked, obviously not caring about how he spoke to his mother. “It’s seven in the morning.” He was standing in the bathroom, wearing nothing but sweat pants.
“This is a charming room.” Narcissa said, ignoring Draco. “Did you let Draco pick the furniture?”
Hermione nodded. “Just to save us from arguing.” She met Draco’s eyes, and motioned for him to lead them all out in the living room. “I let him chose.” She immediately added once Narcissa turned to face her.
“Mum, why don’t we all go to the living room?” he asked. “M- our bedroom is no place to talk.”
“What is she doing here?” Draco hissed to Hermione as Narcissa quickly walked back into the living room. “Is this about the paper?”
“I don’t know.” Hermione whispered back. “We’re just lucky that it was easy to lie about our living arrangement.”
Draco ignored Hermione and turned to his mother. “What are you doing here mother?” he repeated, dropping down on of the armchairs that wasn’t filled with wedding gowns. “It’s seven in the morning.”
“Well, Draco.” Narcissa began. “I decided that it was time that Hermione began choosing her wedding dress!” she said excitedly.
Draco’s eyes widen as if he was dropped back down to earth, and was just informed that he was to be married in a year. “Mother, don’t you think it’s a bit too early to begin preparing for the wedding?” he asked. “It won’t be for another year!”
Narcissa frowned. “I will not allow you to convince me to procrastinate on planning the wedding, and have me stressed on the day of your actual wedding.” She snapped. “It is never to early to begin wedding preparations. It just gives us more time to relax and to plan.”
Hermione looked at Draco, giving him a look that said ‘Do something!’ “Uh, Mrs. Malfoy, would you like a cup of tea?” she asked her.
“That would be wonderful, dear.” Narcissa said as she riffled through her bag.
“Draco, why don’t you come with me?” Hermione asked, turning to him. “I’m sure you’d like coffee yourself.” She didn’t wait for him to respond. Instead, she pulled him up to his feet, and ushered him into the kitchen. “This is crazy.” She spoke in a soft whisper, afraid that Narcissa would hear their conversation in the other room. “Why is she doing this? I expected her to storm in here, raging about the prophet.”
Draco snorted, as he began pulling two saucers and two cups out of the cupboard. “I’m just glad that she hasn’t done so yet. Granger, we’re getting married.” He said. “You know that she would’ve done this anyway. I guess it’s better sooner rather than later.” He poured coffee in one cup, and hot water in the other.
Hermione walked to the other end of the cupboard, pulling out a teabag, and placing it in Narcissa’s cup. “Does she like honey?” she asked.
“Lots of it.” Draco answered. Hermione proceeded to pour an excessive amount of honey into her cup as Draco stirred. “So just go along with this, alright?” he asked. “All you have to do is try on dresses.”
“Doesn’t this bother you at all?” she asked. “This is basically a way of saying, Draco Malfoy is no longer free. He’s chained to her by marriage, and their life will be damned.”
Draco frowned. “Is that your view on marriage?”
Hermione scowled. “That’s not the point.” She said. “I’d actually feel better planning this wedding when we’re set on it.” Hermione told him. “Preferably speaking, next year!”
“Alright.” Draco said. “Just please try on a few dresses, and I’ll tell my mother some excuse, and just go along with it, okay?”
“What excuse?” Hermione asked, confused.
“I don’t know yet.” Draco told her.
Rolling her eyes, Hermione picked up Narcissa’s cup of tea, and Draco grabbed his coffee before they walked back into the living room. “Thank you, dear.” Narcissa set her tea on the coffee table, before she pointed her wand at the small black box that was settled on the floor. “Engorgio.” She said, and the black box immediately went back to its former size as a large suitcase.
“I’ve got some sample dresses here, my old one as well and a few that the shop has sent me.” She said. “We could start measuring your size and all that jazz.” Narcissa began pulling out several white dresses from the small suitcase, laying them out neatly on the couch. “Now, Draco.” Narcissa began. “Pay very close attention to this. I’d like to hear your opinion on each one of them.”
Hermione glanced at Draco apprehensively. She never thought that she would have to begin trying on her wedding dress any time soon. Apparently, Narcissa has been getting a head start on the wedding plans. “Oh, Hermione.” She said, turning to her. “I’ve spoken to the lease holder of that gorgeous house by the lake that you’ve introduced us to, and he’s agreed to allow me to take it off his hands.”
“Oh?” Hermione replied timidly.
She nodded. “The house is ours for the wedding.” Narcissa said with a bright smile on her face. She picked up one of the dresses and held it before Hermione. “Let’s try on this one first.”
Hermione stared at it, horrified. The dress was bombarded with ruffles. There were ruffles on the sleeves, the cuffs, the waistline, the bust line, the shoulders, and the rest of the dress from waist down. “Are you sure?” Hermione asked. Panicked, she picked up a plain, simple white dress and held it up. “How about we try on this first?”
Narcissa shook her head. “Nonsense. This one is lovely.” With a wave of her wand, Hermione was now wearing the hideous dress she had chosen for her. “Now, look at that.” Narcissa conjured a mirror in front of her, allowing Hermione to see her reflection.
Hermione heard Draco snickering behind her, and she wanted nothing more than to throw a ridiculously hard object on his head. “What do you think Draco?” Narcissa asked, telling Hermione to turn.
Draco laughed softly. “I think she should try on the next one.” He said.
Another dress suddenly appeared on Hermione, but this time there were no superfluous ruffles. Instead, there were several sequences covering her body, shining as the light reflected off them. Hermione could barely move in this dress. “Next.” Draco laughed.
The next dress was rather tight. It outlined her form perfectly, however, she couldn’t even walk two feet without tripping. ‘Next.” Draco said.
The dresses Narcissa had brought over looked extremely ridiculous. Some had too much ruffles, some were too pink, and others were too shiny. In all, it was simply atrocious. If Hermione didn’t know better, then she would think that Narcissa was purposely forcing these hideous dresses on her. If she didn’t know any better, then she would’ve thought that Narcissa was purposely acting this way to stop he wedding from happening- to annoy Hermione till she can’t take it anymore.
“Mother.” Draco said, stopping her before she put another dress on Hermione. “I’m sorry, but I completely forgot.” He said, standing. “Hermione and I have a date planned in about an hour.” Draco said.
Narcissa nodded. “That’s completely fine.” She said, smiling. “I’ll be back soon then, to discuss everything else.” Hermione suddenly appeared in her pajamas once more, and Narcissa’s suitcase was neatly packed. “Where are you two headed?” she asked.
Draco thought for a short moment. “Er, we were planning to spend the day in Diagon Alley. Most likely to grab some lunch and do a little shopping.”
Narcissa’s smile widened. “Perfect, do you two mind if I tag along?” she asked. “I’ve got some errands to run, and I do have something to talk to you about, Draco.”
“Is your mum planning something?” Hermione asked, as they walked down the street towards the Leaky Cauldron. “It’s impossible to have missed the prophet this morning.” Hermione was wearing one of the many outfits Pansy had chosen for her, and a bag that she had picked out herself.
Draco laced his hands in hers as the crossed the street towards the pub. “Obviously.” he said. “I’m pretty sure she is planning something.” He told her. “So whatever happens, don’t even think about showing defeat.”
“Why not?” Hermione asked. “It’s pretty difficult to be set on something that doesn’t exactly make me enthusiastic.”
He laughed. “Well you’ll have a year’s worth of practice.” Draco said, winking. “And we DID agree that we should spend more time together, no?”
“I thought you were joking.” Hermione told him, as he opened the door of the pub for her. Noise suddenly filled her ears, as the smell of smoke and alcohol filled her nostrils. “You were joking, weren’t you?”
“Now Granger, why would I kid about that?” Draco asked. They walked into the back room, and he pulled out his wand as he began tapping various tiles on the wall.
“Are you sure that’s correct?” Hermione asked, confused. “I remember it to be a sort of diamond shaped.” Draco rolled his eyes, trying again after his first failed attempt. “That’s still wrong you dolt.” Hermione snapped. “The third one you chose was wrong. It’s the brick below it!” Draco tried once more, but failed. “Honestly, Malfoy. The one you did before was right, you just had to change the third one!”
Draco scowled before he opened his mouth to say something, but was cut off when Hermione pushed him aside and pulled her own wand from her bag. She tapped various bricks, and they began to shuffle aside, allowing them to pass. “Know-it-all.”
“Stupid prat.” Hermione sneered, glaring at him. “Where were we supposed to meet your mother?”
They both entered Diagon Alley, hand in hand as they searched for the familiar shop where his mother was to meet him. “Looks like your mum isn’t alone.” Hermione adjusted her bag on her shoulder, and walked across the busy street towards the small table where Narcissa Malfoy was sitting with Astoria Greengrass, and to her surprise, Wesley Carrow.
A/N: hope you guys like this one ;)
it came a lot quicker than i expected.
please read and review!
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