Chapter 4 : Alone In The Office...
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Hermione turned from the window, and looked sadly at the mess covering her desk. Records from teachers, reports of students and letters from Ron, Harry and Ginny covered the desk, burying the photos of her and Ron’s wedding, photos of Rose taken just after she was born, of Ron holding his daughter for the first time and another with Ron and Hugo. Her favourite photo however, was of Hermione, Ron and Harry, taken the day after the war. The 3 of them stood in front of the castle, on the broken stone steps. Harry stood to the left, smiling out of the picture, his hair short and uneven, having been just attacked by Mrs Weasley. His face was black with dirt, his clothes torn, cuts and bruises covering his skin, but he never looked happier. Hermione stood in between the two boys, one arm thrown around Harry’s shoulder, her hand twisted in with Ron’s and her head resting on Ron’s shoulder. Ron’s face was a mask of disbelief, but he was grinning like hell. But it was what was in the background that caught Hermione’s eye. Behind the cracked oak doors of the castle, a pale face and lots of blonde hair peered around the edge of the door. She’d looked at this photo a million times, but only recently had she noticed Draco in the background. He simply stood there, watching the trio. Occasionally he looked up out of the picture, but mostly just stared at the trio, or ducking back behind the doors. Hermione was watching the picture so intently that a sharp knock on the door made her jump.
“Um, come in!” she called, stashing the picture back under the pile of papers.
The door opened slightly and Draco hesitantly poked his head around the corner, reminding Hermione very much of the photo she’d just been looking at.
“Um, hey Hermione.”
“Hey Draco. Come on in, I’m not busy.”
“Oh good. I thought I’d come and see you. We’ve hardly spoken in the last few weeks.”
“Did you miss teasing me or something?”
“Ha-ha, a little bit. Good god Hermione, how on earth do you work in this mess?!” Draco half shouted as he approached the desk. Hermione merely sighed, shrugged her shoulders and with a wave of her wand, all the papers littering her desk filtered into neat piles and floated away into their drawers. “Better?”
Draco simply laughed.
“So how’s the teaching going?” she asked as she stood and moved to the front of her desk. Even when she’d asked him to come back to teach, she wasn’t sure how well he’d do in the position.
“Better than I expected actually. Slughorn left most of his lesson plans behind so I’ve been using those mostly. It was mostly the kids I was worried about anyway. I think they prefer me to Slughorn anyway. Either way I’ve had no issues. It’s interesting though, having Scorpius call me ‘Professor’.”
“Ha-ha yes I’m sure. How about Rose? How’s she doing?”
“Just like you were at school. Knows every answer and can’t help but call it out in the middle of class. In fact the only part of Ron I can see in her is the bright red hair.” Draco sat on the edge of her desk and she sat beside him. They sat in awkward silence staring around the room, attempting to avoid eye contact.
“Look Hermione. I did want to say I’m sorry for what happened at breakfast, at the start of term. I shouldn’t have mentioned anything about the tattoo. I was just surprised that you still-“
“Draco, don’t worry about it. I really need to invest in new robes. But really, I had rather forgotten I had it.”
“You forgot? Doesn’t Ron give you hell for it every time he sees it? I would’ve thought he’d made you get rid of it years ago.”
“Actually, Ron’s never said anything about it. I’m not even entirely sure he’s seen it, or cared if he has.”As she said this, Hermione knew she was right. Ron had never seen the tattoo, nor even asked if she had any tattoos.
But Draco knew. She looked up into his face well and truly. He had hardly changed since his school days. His hair was still blonde and slicked back, his skin still pale white. The only change was his eyes. No longer did they seem like ice, with hatred burning behind them. Instead they were like rays of moonlight, sparkling bright and beautiful. She wondered...
“Draco...I have to ask. You know I still have mine, but do you still have yours?”
His face cracked into the slightest of smiles as he stood and faced her, untying the clasp of his robe, and unbuttoned the emerald shirt he wore underneath. There on his ribs, lay an emerald serpent, entwined around the long stem of a budding violet rose, the colours seeming more and more vivid against his pale skin. It was identical to Hermione’s. He dropped the side of his shirt and buttoned it up again. As his smile grew even wider, Hermione looked into his face once again, seeing the boy she had shared a tower with back in their school days, when they had been Head Boy and Girl together-back when they had given each other the tattoos. Hermione smiled and stood beside him, and slowly dropped the shoulder of her robes again; allowing Draco to once again, see the tattoo that lay resting across her shoulder, all the time never looking away from his face. Draco’s eyes held hers as his hand lifted, same as before, to caress the intricate design they’d thought of together.
“Knock knock! Is the headmistress in?” called a voice. Dracos hand quickly dropped away, Hermione’s robe readjusted as the door burst open, in walking Harry, closely followed by Ron.
“Harry! Ron!”She cried as Draco stepped away, and Hermione ran at the two men, her face, and wide with a smile at the sight of her husband and her best friend.
“Hey Hermione,” Harry said, hugging her before releasing her to the arms of her husband.
“Ron, I didn’t know you were coming. Where’s Hugo?”
“With Ginny and Lily back at Harry’s. I couldn’t be bothered waiting for the excuse of a Quidditch match to come and see you,” he whispered to her before kissing her gently.
“Well please excuse me for killing a moment, but I’m not in the mood to watch this puke-inducing love fest,” Draco said angry at being being interrupted, catching the attention of Ron and Harry for the first time.
“Malfoy! What the hell are you doing here?”
“I’m a TEACHER Weasley.”
“I know that, Malfoy. I mean here as in, alone with my wife.”
“Oh come on Weasley. Even you can’t be that thick. If you must know, I was here discussing you’re daughters excellent progress in my class with her mother.”
Ron stood there glaring at him in angry silence, his face bright red, glaring at Draco.
“So I’m assuming then that Potter’s the ‘surprise’ professor?” Draco asked Hermione.
“Yes, I thought he was the best choice with his history and such.”
Draco simply nodded.
“Well as good as this class reunion has been, I have work to get on with, homework to mark,” Draco said, before striding from the room, his hands buried in his pockets, cursing the Ron and Harry and their damned timing.
-So I thought I'd better make this chapter a bit longer. I hope you liked it. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, please review, or just review anyway
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