Chapter 4 : To curse without a wand
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Draco conjured up a firm leather chair and sat before waving a scroll "in a day, galleons work better than noisy things that poo".
Laughter bounced off the high ceilings and gilded walls while Pansy glared from the far side of the room, finally stomping her foot and exiting to the garden. "Pans!", Draco's voice following her outside "Pansy you know that was funny!". Not hearing a reply he set off after her with a quickened pace, choosing to vault over the stone guardwall instead of taking the stairs Draco caught her silky sleeve before she entered the maze "Pans, what's-".
"Nothing is wrong", her voice small as she kept her face down "I'm just having trouble this month". Turning to face him Pansy looked up with damp eyes "I know you helped me with this but it doesn't make up for what you didn't do". Biting the inside of her bottom lip Pansy shook her head and laughed painfully "do you know what you didn't do, Draco? Do you?".
Draco let go of her sleeve and pocketed his hands "I forgot to send flowers on the day of our would-have-been anniversary?", squinting meekily before grimacing at the shriek.
"Our past anniversary date?! You think I'm upset about that?!", Pansy smacked Draco's chest with her hand before stepping back and rubbing it tenderly "Draco you not only forgot my birthday, you forgot the dates you made for the days before and after it! Not even a single word from you so I was left waiting at home in my best clothes waiting for you to collect me for the surprises you had planned!". Laughing mockingly she fanned her hands between them "some surprise, you never showed up! You stood me up twice, excluding my own birthday! 'Oh save me the first dance, Pans. First and last for me, Pans'".
Taking a moment to breathe Pansy smacked Draco again "Remember saying that? Was very nice to hear but I was laughed at during my own party because of you! I was gawked at by hundreds of people when you never appeared to grab my hand for the dance. At my own birthday party, Draco! My birthday! And even now you have nothing to say about it!".
Pansy shook her head at his frozen face "I read the papers Draco! I know that on the days and nights you asked to be just for you you were shopping and clubbing with random witches and models! On my birthday you were found in a castle with them all! To add to that it said you bought the castle so you wouldn't be charged by the owners. Who were who, Draco? Oh I remember, it was England! You bought a bloody landmark! Bet that impressed those bimbos!".
Draco hunched his shoulders, taking the abuse without question as waves of guilt washed over him. Blinking down at the near-tears witch he muttered painfully "I am sorry, Pans. You know how I can get caught up in a moment-".
"Oh yes, one of your moments!", laughing madly Pansy threw herself onto a nearby marble bench "your infamous moments always take priority over everything else in life!". Crossing her legs she sneered up at the blonde "didn't you once forget your own birthday because you were having a moment with some Muggle model?! Muggle no less!".
Pansy patted under her thick lashes, blotting away the dampness that threatened her makeup before shaking her head and dropping her voice to a speaking volume "never again, Draco. Never again will you do this to me".
Swallowing in fear Draco nodded and adjusted his shoulders, waiting for the other shoe to fall.
"But someone will do it to you", her voice serious as she stood up and smoothed out her skirt "I know it for sure, Draco. Someday everything you've done will be done to you". Pansy grabbed the scroll from Draco's pocket, stepping past him with a meaning look before Apparating.
Draco blinked at the silence before leaving the garden, climbing the steps with a muttered mantra "karma isn't real, she's just trying to upset me".
Fluffy blankets rustled as the sleeping figured stirred beneath them, a book slipping off the mattress and onto the floor with a thud that triggered weary eyes to peek out from under a mane of curls. Hermione glared around her bedroom bleary eyed, pushing the hair from her face before squinting at her alarm clock to make out the delicate gold hands "six o'clock". Sitting up in bed while patting for her wand she gripped the treasured twig and flicked open a curtain, letting the evening sky glow as she slid her legs off the bed.
Scuffing her feet Hermione made her way to the kitchen, opening her fridge for a bottle of water only to drop it a moment later.
"Finally!", Ginny's voice dramaticly loud from her seat on the couch "I have been waiting for you to wake up for three hours!".
Hermione shook her head, picking up the water and sipping it gently while leaning on the counter for support "why have you been waiting? We didn't have anything planned for today-".
"I know, we had dinner plans for yesterday", fiery hair shimmered as the girl walked closer "but you were working so here I am, ready and willing to eat!".
Laughter escaped both witches before Ginny pulled Hermione down the hallway and into the closet, the latter giving no resistance against a hungry Weasley.
"I was thinking about sushi", Ginny's voice fading as she vanished behind a closet door "haven't had it in days and there's a hidden place in Diagon Alley that is really bringing in the men-".
Hermione curled up on a plush chaise longue, rubbing her feet while muttering sleepily "sushi isn't the best breakfast meal, and since when did you need a guy?".
Ginny walked past Hermione's slumped form, dropping a complete outfit at the girls feet before perching on the unmade bed "I don't and you don't but I'm starving and it's nice to look".
"Is this looking going to", Hermione's voice halting as she plucked up a honey-colored lace bra "lead to anything?". Dropping the delicate garment back onto the pile she turned to see Ginny dotting her fingernails with sparkles, sighing before asking in a weak voice "Gin, what is this leading to?".
Admiring the sparkle Ginny pushed her wand back into the strap on her thigh and waved her hand casually while avoiding eye contact "it leads to food, nice things to look at and some fun afterwards".
Hermione pushed back into the chaise longue, ignoring the pile at her feet as she shook her head in aggravation "nice things and fun? Ginerva did you set me up on a blind date?!".
"Ofcourse not!", Ginny rushed to her friend's side, perching on the seat before meeting Hermione's gaze "I meant it when I promised to never do that again, and I've kept that promise. It's just a meal in the amazing restaurant I heard about. Cute waiters, great food and maybe I want to visit a club afterwards-".
Patting the hand on her arm Hermione sighed and looked at the mound of luxury items "just a guess but is this place very upper class or is the club actually a party?".
Ginny avoided the raised eyebrow as she fidgeted with her bracelet "it is very upper class and the party is optional".
Hermione's arms crossed as she looked at the clothes with concern before looking at Ginny's, noting the hem that pooled just above the knees "why does your dress seem to cover more skin?".
"Because I'm sitting and yours covers more than mine so enough chatter, I'm starving!", her voice a mix of laughter and whining as she pushed her friend into the clothes and left the room with a cheerful "I'll be in the kitchen!".
Pulling off her hoody Hermione stood up and walked to her bathroom, wondering how all Weasleys can eat before meals without problem as she took a quick shower and ignored the demanding shouts ordering her to hurry up.
Steam clouded the air as a damp-curled Hermione walked into her closet, leaving behind the vapours for a vanity of Muggle and magic beauty products. Pinning back her hair she used various spells to set the rosy glow that dusted her eyes and the berry that stained her lips. A soft smile slipped before Hermione began drying and styling her hair, taming her natural curls into a curtain of waves with discreetly added golden streaks and hidden ruby spirals.
Hermione frowned at the lacy bra and hipsters "what was Gin thinking?", pulling on the delicate pieces with a headshake before stepping into the lace and satin dress. Standing on her toes Hermione took a moment to enjoy the dress, gliding her hands over the detailed black lace that floated above gold satin. "Great dress, worrisome shoes", her eyes focusing on the four inch gold and black swirled heels that glistened and shined in the closet lights before biting her lip and mumbling miserably "they look polished marble". Hermione stepped into the shoes, scrunching up her face for the inevitable pinch as she pulled the back over her heel only to find no discomfort.
"They're charmed", Ginny's voice muffled as she chewed the last of her sandwich "no pain and no maintance, ever!". Smiling brightly she nodded at Hermione's hair "I guess I'm not your only red accessory tonight", tossing Hermione a clutch that matched her shoes "pack so we can go already".
Stuffing the magically expanded purse with her wand, keys, wallet, lip stain, umbrella, wellies, winter hat and gloves Hermione met her now ice cream eating friend in the kitchen with a scowl "you're eating again? Miss I'm So Hungry-".
Ginny tossed the empty ice cream into the trash, grabbed her coat and pulled on the purple trench "I'm still hungry! And get your coat on, it's cold outside and we can't Apparate directly into the restaurant". Tapping her foot as Hermione tugged on the ankle length wool tent she called a coat Ginny gave up waiting when the brunette fought with the third button "it's not that cold, hang on to me".
Hermione huffed and gripped her friend's hand before squealing at the tube feeling, landing seconds later on a stone bench with Ginny standing beside her. Turning to the blushing redhead Hermione released the girl's hand and poked her hip "was this the only spot you could think of?".
"The only way in is through this garden, it was a bench or slippery grass", stepping down off the bench Ginny groaned when her heel sunk into the grass "trust me, I did it right". Ginny gripped the bench for support as she tugged at her foot, eventually freeing it with a squelch before looking up at Hermione "come on, onto the grass".
Waving off her friend Hermione dug deeper in her clutch, pulling out the wellies and exchanging them over with a flick of her wand before jumping down onto the grass. "I'm assuming we will be walking over there", her clutch snapping shut as she pointed to a building surrounded by glittery lights and candlelit outdoor tables.
"Yes", Ginny's mouth set in a pout as she teetered on her heels and looked down at the wellies "you got another pair on you?". Letting out a whine at the headshake she sat on the bench and took off her shoes, hooking the slender heels over her finger before stepping onto the wet grass "gross, it's worse than a barrel of flubberworms".
Picking up her feet daintily Ginny walked at a quick pace, leaving Hermione a step behind as the two friends practically ran towards the flickering lights and onto the cobblestone with audible joy. Ginny cleaning her feet with Scourgify before stepping backing into her heels and towering more over Hermione until her shoes switched back with a click on the stone. Huddling together they waited in line for ten minutes before being escorted to a table inside the bustling restaurant, settling in next to the lively VIP area.
"How did we get this table?", Hermione's voice a whisper as she adjusted the napkin in her lap and looked at the posh surroundings "we didn't have a reservation-".
Ginny giggled and sipped water, murmuring into the crystal as she eyed the many waiters "yes but they're men and we have legs".
Hermione scowled at Ginny's waiter scoping and hid behind her hair when she noticed waiters looking at their table "I thought you were hungry, Gin. You know, food".
"I am", her voice a low sigh as she flipped her hair and motioned over a waiter with a tilt of her head "hope you know what you want to drink, Mione". Ginny fingered the pages of her drink menu and crossed her legs as the waiter drew closer, greeting him with a small smile "hi".
The waiter stood tall and proud with a leather folder under his arm, bowing at the twosome "good evening ladies, my name is Euan and I will be servicing you tonight". Smiling softly at Hermione's blush and Ginny's twinkling gaze, Euan discreetly slid menus onto the table "and I am sad to inform you that tonight's specials have been cancelled due to a rush in the kitchen. However there are no changes to our standard menu, nor any delay".
Flipping open his folder Euan glanced between the two, casually pushing back a lock of sandy hair with his sleek bronze quill "if you ladies have your drink orders ready I can collect those now and come back for the rest later". Light reflected off the ornate feather as it swayed into position, writing out 'redhead Pixie With A Halo; brunette Cupid's Blush'. Euan closed his folder with a lingering "I will return", making eye contact with both witches before backing away from the table.
"Well", Ginny's voice tainted with a husky purr "if you're not craving food now I hope you're atleast craving a good-".
Hermione choked on her water and stared wide eyed at her friend, setting down her glass and rubbing her chest before sputtering slightly "Ginny you can't say things like that in public, it's just not allowed".
Rubbing the menu's edge between her fingers Ginny laughed softly "you're worse than my mum sometimes, you know that right". Ginny looked around at the other waiters and male diners, noting their various qualities and weighing them in her head before turning back to Hermione "really nice selection tonight, Mione. Even you would have issues finding faults in all of them".
"It's not about all of them", Hermione pursed her lips and focused on her menu "it's about the one that matters and none of them matter to me so stop talking about it, Gin". Flipping through the menu Hermione opened her mouth to apologize before being hit on the head with a sushi roll "Merlin's hat!". Hermione drew her wand and summoned the offensive morsel, twisting in her seat to see the guilty party retreat back into the VIP lounge.
Ginny chewed her bottom lip, holding her menu against her like a shield as she muttered with worry "Hermione what are you thinking?".
"I'm thinking of reporting the incident", her tone slow and calm as she spun back around and summoned a small plate for evidence "I'm also thinking of what to order, any recommendations?".
Draco handed Blaise a silver pouch full of gold, roaring with laughter as he emptied another glass of fire whiskey "I can't believe you did it! You actually did it!". Swaying forward to reach the table Draco scooped up a handful of teriyaki chicken stuffed mushroom caps, popping two in his mouth as he watched Blaise pour more drinks and kiss a rosy-cheeked blonde. Finishing off the handful Draco turned to his right, nuzzling a cheek framed by sleek black hair "cheer up, darling. It was just a harmless bet-".
Turning to face him the sober Mackenzie took in Draco's magnetic grey eyes and silky white hair, leaning into him with her lips grazing his jaw as cameras flashed from beyond the VIP curtain while she hissed into his ear "the victim of that harmless bet was Healer Granger, as in soon-to-be-award-receiving Healer Granger. You know, the one you're due to hand an award to tomorrow at Pansy's event".
Draco rolled his head over and nuzzled Mack's nose before leaning back into the seat, a smug grin on his face as he stared off into space "I knew a Hermione Granger once, she's the only Granger I've ever heard of in the wizarding world and let me tell you-". Picking up the glass of fire whiskey and toasting the room Draco smiled before continuing "if that had been Hermione Granger, there'd be a bushy haired banshee throwing hexes and jinxes at Blaise".
Sipping the drink Draco squinted through the curtain's gap, spotting a brunette with dots of rice in her hair sitting across from a red haired witch. Draco gulped and downed his drink, setting the glass down before rubbing the thigh next to his and whispering hurriedly "the banshee isn't moving, she's out there but she isn't moving!".
a/n: So sorry about the wait! Holiday cheer got a *little* out of hand...halloween haunted house [decorations galore] and trick-or-treating week; thanksgiving dinners then five christmas trees out of hand..not to mention after holiday sales. In a nutshell, there is such a thing as too much candy, too much turkey, too many decorations and too many ornaments. Long chapter to make up for it, no tomato throwing please..please? r&r.