Chapter 1 : Make Coffee, Not War
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(And How It Changed Their Lives)
Neither of them knew how it started, or even when, but somehow they had become…well, not at all friends but acquaintances.
Maybe was when Draco discovered Hermione frequented the same coffee shop on Diagon Alley he himself had grown fond of. It was the only decent café on Diagon Alley—well, by their standards anyway, the rest of the coffee addicts seemed to prefer that damn chain store on the corner (where Hermione thought the coffee was far too weak and Malfoy’s never frequented chain stores). Or maybe it was when Hermione stumbled upon Draco in the Muggle poetry section of Flourish and Blotts—never mind that it completely emasculated him in her eyes forever, it was rare to find a man who read, let alone read poetry.
It was as if suddenly the other was everywhere and neither could say they were pleased about the sudden arrangement.
It was informal at first, when they spotted each other at the café—casual to the point it was simply two people who vaguely knew each other from their pasts that happened to see each other every day, at roughly the same time. Sometimes they exchanged greeting, sometimes they’d pretend they didn’t know each other—it was all very bothersome but both were determined to have the other leave because after all (as Hermione would bluster to Ron, and Draco would grunt to Astoria), it is mine.
Then on one of the silent days, Hermione left her purse behind—it was moments before she realised she had her chocolate croissant and caramel latte but no money to pay for her Spell It quill. She’d scrambled back to the café, hoping against hope that some sod hadn’t nicked off with it; so caught up in her own anxiety, she hadn’t noticed a blonde carrying a small leather purse and somehow collided into him, knocking them both to the floor. He spilled his coffee all over himself and somehow her discount card for the apothecary went missing in the ensuing argument and this bothered her more than the actual incident, much to Draco’s indignation.
The next day, Hermione bought his coffee; a double shot mocha for saving her purse from unknown thieves and bandits looking to use her discount card for the apothecary—which she discovered at the bottom of her purse—to make god-knows-what (it was all quite serious, she reasoned, it was the least she could do). As she was handing over the money, she realised she couldn’t just ignore him the way she usually did and go sit across the room and bury her nose in the Daily Prophet—no, they had a connection now, that bloody double shot mocha and she couldn’t just ignore him.
So in a daring move, she asked him to sit with her. And in an even more shocking turn of events, he agreed.
They would go home and rant about the choice of seating (“Bloody couldn’t see my hand in front of me, she sits so far back in the dark!”) or the conversation (“Of course Malfoy had to tell me all about his job at Gringotts, the smarmy git.”) but a few days later, after pointing out a spot of mud on the edge of her skirt, he asked her to join him at his table by the windowsill.
They spoke about everything and nothing—everything from their jobs (even though Hermione thought Draco a money-grabbing bureaucrat and Draco though Hermione should keep her nose out of places it didn’t belong) to their partners (even though Draco thought Ron to be a grade-A git and Astoria was Hermione’s definition of a pampered princess). They found each other irritating and offensive and challenging and they loved it and suddenly they were sitting together every morning (somewhere in the middle, because Draco hated the darkness and Hermione couldn’t stand the morning light).
Sometime along the way, the café had gone from mine to ours, though they never would admit it out loud; it was an unspoken agreement between them.
But when she let “Tomorrow then?” slip from her lips one morning, she could have sworn it was over and she had ruined it.
And for some reason this upset her in many ways she knew it shouldn’t have.
But then he smiled—a slight smile, nothing more than the smallest upturn at the corner of his lips—and she knew it was okay.
Neither of them knew really how it started, or even when, but somehow they had moved on from acquaintances to friends. Ron would still hear an earful about what an unbearable sod Malfoy was and Astoria would still be subjected to long rants of Hermione Granger’s swottiness…but somewhere along the line their criticism had gained an air of fondness and they were friends.
And both somehow knew it was kicked off with the double shot mocha.
A/N: Big thanks to Rachelle for her super-quick fix up of a couple of grammar mistakes! Different from what I usually write (being there is LITTLE DIALOUGE WHICH MAKES ME SAD) but it was an enjoyable change :) Thanks for reading, if you have the time to leave a review, I'd appreciate it :) Thanks again and I hope you liked it!