It is a fine spring day and the weather is perfect, sunny and slightly breezy just enough to keep the edge off the heat. Today would be a perfect day to curl up with a book at the park. Yes, it would be except that it is Monday.
Monday’s are dreadful days, the day that the blissful weekend ends and another tormenting week of work begins. Not only is it Monday but also it is Monday morning, seven o’clock in the morning to be exact. Here I am hurrying to get to work. I’m not usually this cranky but apparently today is an exception. Apparently the opening person has fallen ill, and by default I am called. I suppose it makes perfect sense considering it is my store, Hermione’s Books, and I am the only other employee, but today is supposed to be my day off. I dislike Mondays.
I remember the specific day, by chance; I found the perfect place to open my bookstore in Magical London. I needed to do something with my life other than what I was headed for; my job, life, and pretty much everything seemed to be falling apart. I had taken a wonderful job at the ministry in the Department of International Magical Cooperation and quickly became the go to person if you didn’t particularly want to solve your own problems. I do love to work out problems, but doing everybody’s work in my department, because I wouldn’t say no, was getting very old. Also I needed to be my own person, I was tired of just being a third of the Golden Trio, I needed a change and on that particular day when I saw the building, I just knew. The building is not too far from the ministry, but still able to be partially secluded. It had been a little over a year since the war, and Harry became an Auror, Ron took a job in the Department of Magical Games and Sports at the Ministry, and Ginny decided to follow her Quidditch career as a beater for the Holyhead Harpies. Currently she is touring with the team winning most of their games.
Ron and I had been dating since the war, but I found Ron cheating on me with Lavender. Finally I said no, I packed up what things he had left at my flat and kicked him out, then changed the locks and wards about a month ago. I quit my job shortly there after, and decided to just live life for a while. I haven’t talked too much to anyone since the split not wanting to keep feeling so sad and used. It seems to be easier if I’m not around the people who make me think of him. A week after I kicked him out, while just living life, I took a walk and found the perfect little building for rent then found my newest desire, opening and managing a bookstore; I love books and what better way to deal with life, but to escape through reading. So I made it into a bookstore with the reward money I got from the ministry for being a war heroine. So far none of my friends have been by to check out the store, I did put an add in the Daily Prophet once I had everything set up, but discouraged with the rest of my life, I didn’t call Harry to let him know he doesn’t usually read the Daily Prophet, and Ginny is in Australia or somewhere. I haven’t invited the Weasley’s yet either, I was planning to have a big grand opening and inviting everyone, but I haven’t had the time yet. Today would have been my first day off since I signed the rental agreement.
I live about five blocks from the store, so I usually walk to work, to get in my exercise. I’m just about a half block away from the front door of my shop as I pull open my bag to look for my wand to unlock the door. A couple seconds later I run smack into a rather hard and unyielding object.
“Oomph.” I grunt as I begin to topple backwards fully expecting to fall on my bum. Suddenly I feel myself grasped around the waist and steadied.
“Whoa.” I hear a deep silky voice say and then chuckle. I look up in to the smiling gray eyes of none other than Draco Malfoy.
He looks the same from when I last saw him at the post war memorial gala. Except he looks more mature, more filled out, less boyish, manlier. He has molten silver-gray eyes that are glinting mischievously and an amused smirk on his handsome face.
“Oh.” I say eloquently as I feel myself blush. “I wasn’t looking at where I was going and I figured nobody would be out at this time, I mean that usually nobody is here.” I stop myself realizing I am rambling like an idiot.
I may not like Malfoy very much, but he is very handsome, it is hard to figure out what exactly I should be saying to him, when I am quite literally knocked back from him.
“Well, Granger maybe next time you should watch where you are walking?” He responds with a smirk.
“Whatever, Malfoy. Excuse me.” I say, his arrogance knocking some sense back into my head, as I try to step around him to get to the door of my shop. I realize I can’t go further because his hands still rest on my waist, holding me in place quite well. I look down at his hands then back up at Malfoy annoyed. “Do you mind?” I question raising my eyebrows.
“Hmm?” He says as he smirks down at me. “Yes I mind that you tried to run me over then don’t even try for an apology.” He answers still smirking though it seems less intense more amused.
“Huh?” I can’t help it my jaw drops and I wonder if maybe I have misunderstood, but no, he really is expecting me to apologize.
“I apologize Malfoy, I will be more careful next time.” I say after I snap my mouth closed. “Excuse me.” I say again and this time he drops his hands and I step around him.
I stalk to the front door; I unlock it then reset the wards so that people will be able to enter during business hours for today. I flip the sign to read open as I push open the door and flick my wand so the lights turn on. Still annoyed I walk straight in and to the curved counter where I keep the cash register. I walk behind the counter turn back towards the door, and then stop as I realize Malfoy followed me into the store and is looking around with interest.
“What are you doing?” I ask not rudely I tell myself, just firmly. “Don’t you have random people to terrorize?” So much for not being rude I think mentally shrugging.
He settles his gaze on me and smirks. “The sign does say open, yes?” he says simply and then walks to a shelf and starts perusing the books. “I have the rest of the day to terrorize.” He adds nonchalantly flashing me a gorgeous smile over his shoulder.
I narrow my eyes then shrug not feeling like arguing quite yet this morning, besides what could he really do. I turn the key on the register and set the date, after I quickly organize the front counter I head to the back office to stash my bag and grab the money to put in the drawer. I unlock the safe and pull out the bag I magically lock at night; I slide it under my arm and then grab a stack of books that need to go on a display out front. I leave my office, shut the door and lock it with my wand, then continue to the front. I quickly add the money to the drawer and then put away the books. I glance around and don’t see Malfoy so I figure he left, I shrug again to myself and sit down on the stool already feeling tired.
The last time Harry, Ron and I had seen Malfoy, he walked up to us and very briskly said ‘Sorry for the mean things I have said.’ then turned and walked away, that was it. We were all attending a Post-War Memorial Gala, to honour the fallen, and also to reward those who had been pivotal in the downfall of Voldemort. We hadn’t said anything to him being as he walked away quickly, instead we exchanged startle glance then laughed it off that maybe he had been dropped, repeatedly, as a child. I seem to remember he was there with Astoria Greengrass, and last I heard they were to be married. I shake myself away from thoughts of Malfoy, he may have apologized, but he is still a prat and I have no intention of finding out anything about his life.
Making myself not think of Malfoy, I think about the store, I think of Cassie, a girl I hired to help out at the bookstore, I also hired a barista, Jake, who started a week ago after I finished with the addition of the cafe. Cassie is a squib so can’t help me with all the magical things, but otherwise she is a very hard worker, and has since become my friend. She is related to Neville Longbottom, down the line, so when I posted for help, Neville asked me if she could give it a try. I have had to adjust some of my magic in the store, for her to be able to do certain things. The bag I keep the money locked in overnight, I charmed to open at Jake, Cassie, and my touch. The wards recognize her and then are changed by either Jake or I to allow others in as well during the day. Otherwise we have no problems when she needs something done magically, she asks. She called me this morning and told me she is sick, she thinks she has the flu. I told her not to worry, that I would work for her today. Which explains my Monday blues.
We serve a variety of muggle and magical drinks, including coffee and butterbeer in the Cafe. Jake is wonderful with all the coffee drinks being a muggle-born like me. He also helped me make additions of certain quick foods and other drinks that have helped tremendously, to make the cafe popular with the people who work at the Ministry. We open at seven in the morning, not too early, however we do get quite a bit of ministry traffic, since they start work at eight.
I check my watch; Jake should be here soon to open up the cafe in the front corner of my shop. I feel my stomach start to turn on me, I suddenly feel quite nauseous. I have been feeling a bit under the weather lately, tired and nauseous every now and then. I have been achy yesterday and this morning, I wonder if maybe I have what Cassie has. I see Jake walking up to the front door at the same time I realize I really have to vomit. I jump up and sprint towards the bathrooms that are on the other side of the store from the cafe and dart into the women’s just in time to throw up into the toilet.
On my knees in front of the toilet, I empty my stomach and slump against the wall. I lean my head back and close my eyes; I feel light headed and still a bit nauseous. My stomach turns some more and suddenly I have to vomit again, I lean over and find out I didn’t quite empty my stomach the first time. I feel somebody pull my hair back from my face and hold it back for me, and I figure Jake saw me run in here and came to see what’s up. I finally finish, close my eyes, and lay my head down on my forearm, groaning feeling like somebody just punched me in the eyes.
I feel somebody smooth my hair and then tuck it behind my ears for me. I turn my head a little so Jake can understand me.
“Thanks Jake. I’m fine now.” I realize I really am fine, I don’t feel sick at all, and my eyes sting just a little.
Before I can move, I hear a chuckle and the smoothing on my hair stops. “I don’t believe anybody has ever called me Jake before.” A deep, silky very familiar voice says, “That’s definitely a new nickname for me.” I freeze and my eyes pop open.
Here I am laying my head practically on a toilet seat sitting on the floor after puking my guts up a couple times in front of a toilet, and who comes in to investigate, but Draco Flipping Malfoy. This particular Monday can’t get any worse.