Chapter 12 : Meet The Family
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Hermione woke Ginny a few minutes before dinner so she could ready herself, and in the meantime went to Draco’s room so they could walk down together. When she entered she found him on his bed; in jeans and socks, reading the book that had been on the nightstand earlier.
“That’s good?” She asked casually.
He made a sound of affirmation. “Orwell. You’ve read his stuff I assume.”
“Naturally.” She said, laying down beside him and placing her head on his chest.
He set the book on his legs and proceeded to play with her hair. “I think we can do this Hermione. Dinner shouldn’t last more than an hour, should it?”
Hermione paused a moment, thinking. “Depending on how good the food is tonight. If she made a chicken and we have cake for dessert we’ll be sitting there a while. The Weasley men can eat their fill.”
Draco chuckled, then sighed. “I should probably get a shirt on.” Hermione laughed with him as he slid on a plain black one, and then they walked down together.
The first thing Draco noticed about the dining room was its current smell. The room was filled with the aroma of chicken, potatoes, and other delicious things he couldn’t yet place. The Weasleys had all taken their seats, and he and Hermione had been left ones next to each other on the opposite sides of Mr. Granger. Draco rolled his eyes at this.
“Ah, Hermione darling! I was wondering where you’d been, Mum’s about to bring the chicken in.” He said jovially as Draco pulled her seat for her.
“Draco’s here too Dad.” She added.
“Ah yes, yes of course. How are you then my boy?”
“Just fine sir.” Draco answered shortly.
“Good, good. Where is Jane with the chicken? Jane dear!” He called.
“Hold your horses Bruce! I haven’t got the speed of light you know.” Said Jane, strolling in with Mrs. Weasley behind, each carrying something in hand.
Everyone clapped lightly as the food was set on the table, and Draco gladly joined in as he was close to starving.
Jane sat at the other head of the table across from Mr. Granger, wearing a smile while looking a bit winded. “Alright everyone! Tuck in!”
Everyone jumped at the invitation, digging into a little bit of everything at the table. Draco grabbed a piece of chicken, some potatoes and another vegetable. As he was taking his first bites, Mr. Granger began to speak.
“So Draco, you have any plans are far as a career yet? Can’t have you unfit for taking Hermione away from me.”
“Dad.” Hermione chided, looking a bit pink.
Draco looked over at Harry and Ron, who looked angry, and smiled. “I plan to go into Magical Law sir, become a lawyer of sorts.”
“There’s good jobs in Magical Law. People always needed.” Mr. Weasley said between bites of chicken.
“Yeah, he’ll probably be defending all his Death Eater friends.” Ron said just above a whisper and Draco felt his fist grip the knife tighter. Luckily, Mrs. Weasley and Ginny promptly smacked Ron on the arms.
“Oh, a lawyer! A noble profession if I say so myself.” Mrs. Granger said. “Wouldn’t you agree Bruce?”
“Sure, sure. I considered it myself for a while before going into teaching.”
“Dad is a Language Arts professor.” Hermione whispered to Draco.
“Yes, I always loved the subject. Didn’t want to be away from it after I graduated.”
“What’s Language Arts?” Fred asked.
“It’s the study of Literature and Grammar related things.” Mrs. Granger said.
“Draco loves books too Dad.” Hermione said.
“Do you now?”
“Not as much as Hermione of course, but I enjoy reading.”
“Any favorite authors?”
“I quite fond of Dickens, and Robert Penn Warren.”
“All The King’s Men.” Mr. Granger smiled. “One of my favorites as well.”
Out of the corner of his eye, Draco saw Harry pull a face.
“Do you like Hogwarts Draco?” Mrs. Granger asked.
“I like it, even more so this year.” He said with a small glance at Hermione. She patted his knee under the table.
“We had a ball this year, it was loads of fun.”
“Ah, the ball! I remember Hermione mentioning that in a letter. Did you bring the dress dear?”
Hermione nodded. “Not too many pictures though, alright?”
“It’s my right as a mother to take as many photographs as I please.” She teased. “And, Draco darling if you wouldn’t mind posing for a few yourself.”
“Pictures? Sure, that’d be fine.” He agreed, only because he’d get to see Hermione in her dress again.
“Good man.” She smiled. Her green eyes sparkling at him from across the table. He couldn’t help but smirk back.
“Jane, have I told you about Quidditch this year?” Harry asked.
“No you haven’t love! Go on then.”
Harry gave her a minute explanation of the season, then said; “Hermione only came to one game this year though. Our biggest match.” Draco watched Hermione giving Harry daggers across the table.
“We beat Slytherin 180 to 210. Draco was there.”
“Oh! Are you in Gryffindor as well Draco?” Mrs. Granger asked.
“No.” He said, trying to keep his voice controlled. “Actually, I’m in Slytherin.”
An awkward silence fell across the table before Jane broke it with a quiet, “Oh.”
A few more moments passed before Jane and Molly brought dessert in, bringing about a fresh wave of questioning for Draco.
He was cutting Hermione a slice of cake when it began again. First, Mr. Granger asked;
“Any sports interests besides Quidditch? Do Wizards have any other sports Hermione?”
“No Dad, just Quidditch.”
“What other sports are there?” Ron asked, mouthful of chocolate cake.
“Well, Football for starters…”
Hermione and her mother rolled their eyes together. “Don’t get him started.”
“What can I say! I’m a fan.”
“A little too much at times I’m afraid. Hermione and I had to vacate whatever room he was in during the World Cup this year.” Mrs. Granger said.
“We should get a game going before the holiday’s up.”
“How are we going to play in the snow Bruce?”
“Are you being silly! That’d be more fun.”
The table laughed.
“So, Draco, what do your parents do?” Mrs. Granger asked.
Another silence filled the room. Hermione was fixing her mother with a death stare, and Draco felt his face grow hot.
“I, um… my father….”
“Draco lives alone Mum.” Hermione said abruptly.
“Oh! Well, good preparation for life I suppose.” She replied, taking the hint. “What do you do in your spare time, all alone?”
“Well, I um… I read, I play the piano on occasion…”
“You play the piano?” Mrs. Granger exclaimed. “How lovely! You must play for us!”
Hermione, sensing Draco’s struggle jumped in. “Well. Mum I don’t know if…”
“Don’t be silly darling. How long have you been playing Draco?”
“Since I was about seven.”
Mrs. Granger awed while Harry and Ron pretended to be sick.
“Well, you don’t have to do it tonight, but I’m certain that Jane would love to hear you play. She’s very into the arts.” Mr. Granger said, beaming at his wife. “A couple of her watercolors are out in the car.”
“Have you done any new ones Mum?” Hermione asked brightly.
“Oh, a few.” Mrs. Granger answered, blushing a bit. “One of Crookshanks, one of the landscape we saw when your father and I went to the beach a few months ago…”
“You should bring them in!” Mr. Weasley said. “We hung the one you gave us up above the fireplace.”
“I will eventually.” She said, sighing. “Well, if we’re all done here, let’s go to the living room!”
The party continued in the Living Room. A record was playing some old Christmas music from the 60’s, Harry, Ron and Ginny were crowded around a chess board, The parents were having coffee together on two of the couches and Fred and George were sitting on the coffee table in front of Draco and Hermione.
“So,” Fred said, raising an eyebrow. “How long has this been going on then?” pointing at their hands, which were of course together.
“What do you mean?” Hermione asked innocently.
“The two of you, together…”
“Boys, please!” Hermione cut in, then exhaled deeply before answering. “Almost four months.”
“So, we’re getting serious here…” George drawled, enjoying the blush rising on Hermione’s cheeks.
“I’d say so.” Fred added on. “So, have you two…?”
“Enough, Fred!” Hermione snapped.
The twins rolled their eyes in unison. “Alright,” George said. “I guess we’re upsetting her Fred, better move on to the next ones. Oi, Ginny! How’s Dean been lately?”
As soon as the twins were gone, Hermione sank back into the cushions.
“Sorry about them.”
“Quite alright. I assumed they were only joking.”
Hermione paused. “Joking about what?”
Draco looked away from her, a bit uncomfortable. “The um.. the questions they were asking.”
“Like how long we’ve been together?”
“Umm, not that one.”
Then Hermione dawned on what he was talking about. “Oh, yeah, they were probably joking.” She said, feeling herself get flustered. “Who would gather that you and I have…”
“Well lots of kids at school have.”
“That’s just because of Pansy.”
“I mean, we are alone most nights, they could’ve guessed it on their own.”
“What are you saying!?”
“Nothing Granger! Nothing! Let’s just talk about something else, alright?”
“Fine.” She said back, crossing her arms.
Draco rolled his eyes, and got up. “I’m getting a drink.”
“Water.” He said to her coldly, and Hermione fell back, picking up a magazine.
Hermione strolled into her Mother’s room a while later to shower, as Draco was currently using their bathroom. She turned the temperature as warm as it could go without burning her and stood under the flow of water, reflecting on the day. Dinner hadn’t been a complete train wreck, but she was kicking herself for not warning her parents not to ask Draco about his home life. She wanted so badly to wipe the sadness of his face out of her memory.
Regardless of her promise to Draco, she knew she had to confront Harry about his conduct at dinner. He’d blatantly crossed the line twice, and she didn’t want him to start anything. She wondered what Harry was thinking in doing so, what he thought he was accomplishing by putting Draco down. It wasn’t like him to be so underhanded.
“Hermione?” came her mother’s voice, along with a knock. “Is that you in there?”
“Yes Mum!” She replied. “I’ll be right out!”
Hermione turned the shower off and dried herself off, then padded out to see her mother.
She was sitting on the bed, kicking off the shoes she’d been wearing. Jane smiled when she saw Hermione.
“You really are growing into a beautiful woman.” She said fondly, beckoning to her.
Hermione came over and put her wet hair in her Mother’s lap so she could braid it. Jane did so quietly for a moment or two.
“So, what do Draco’s parents do? Why couldn’t he tell me?”
“His, his Father is in league with Voldemort, and his Mother passed away last year. I’m sorry Mum, I should’ve warned you.”
Jane was quiet another moment. “How is he dealing with all of this?” She said softly.
“He um… not well. He used to be a lot worse…”
“Worse with what?”
“Well he has nightmares, terrible ones, every so often. And he doesn’t sleep well because of them. Sometimes, he also tends to…”
“Drink? You don’t have to say anymore darling. I too know the symptoms of grief. All too prominent in this day and age I’m afraid.”
Hermione closed her eyes as her mother wove her hair, leaning into the comfort of her knees.
“He won’t tell me what the dreams are about. He says they’re too awful.”
“But, you want to try and help him. I understand, but talking can’t fix everything sweetheart. Not everything. I sense that Draco’s the type of boy who doesn’t open up easily.”
Hermione laughed dryly. “You’re telling me.”
“I’ll keep an eye on him. Harry as well; what’s gotten into him lately?”
“Didn’t I tell you? He’s in love with me.”
To Hermione’s surprise, her mother laughed. “You and all this attention. Harry could be a good match for you as well I suppose. The two of you get on well.”
“Just as friends.”
“I know, I know; Draco’s ‘it’ for you. I can almost see it. You remind me of myself when I met your father.” Jane sighed, reminiscing. “Love sick and starry eyed my Mother always said about the two of us. He looks at you that way a lot. It’s quite sweet.”
“Stop Mum!” Hermione giggled. She felt her Mother’s hand on her shoulder as she finished the braid. Hermione got up to sit on the bed with her. “So, you think Draco’s good for me? You like him?”
“Yeah, I like him. I just want to get to know him better. He seems very complex; he makes me want to figure him out.”
“He has that effect on most people.” Hermione smiled.
Jane kissed her on the forehead. “Want some tea before bed? Glass of milk?”
“No, I’m fine; really tired. I need to get some water for Draco though. I’ll see you in the morning Mum.”
“Night Hermione.” She responded, as Hermione shut the door.
Hermione then got a glass of water and headed up to her room.
As she ascended the stairs, she head a creaking noise from her left, and rolled her eyes when she saw Harry walking towards her.
“Hey ‘Mione.” He said bashfully in his pajama pants and white shirt. His hair was extra messy, as if he’d been sleeping, and his glasses askew on his face. “You still up?”
“Did you get up just to see me?” she asked outright.
He nodded, sending his glasses sliding further down his nose.
“Well, I might be more flattered if you hadn’t been so rude during dinner.” She snapped, continuing on to her room.
“Aw, come on Hermione. ‘All’s fair in love and war’; Haven’t you heard that before? I’m just making my moves.”
“Yeah? Well move away. You and I are friends; nothing more, nothing less.”
“Friends don’t kiss the way we do.” Harry said with a devious smile.
His arrogance angered her further. “We do not kiss. You kissed me. End of story, and I did not enjoy it.”
“If you didn’t enjoy it, why did you let me kiss you so long?”
“It wasn’t more than a second!”
“Not by my count.”
“Goodnight Harry.” She said, ending the conversation with a swift turn of her back.
Draco was sleeping on his back when she walked into his room, a candle glowed dimly on his nightstand. Hermione sighed and put the water next to his half full potion bottle and crawled into bed with him.
He stirred instantly. “Hello Granger.” He said groggily. “Took you long enough to get here.”
“I was talking with Mum. I showered in her room tonight as well.”
“Oh.” He yawned. “Any interesting topics?” he asked, putting his arm around her.
Hermione burrowed into him, already on the verge of sleep. “Um, no, just some mother daughter stuff.”
Draco hummed something else in her ear, but Hermione was too groggy to hear it.
A/N: Hey you all :) Hoped you enjoyed this chapter, I don't have any news or anything so.... leave a review if you want!
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