Thanks to kriss, Lindsii, and AppreciativeReader for taking the time to review the last chapter! Sorry I haven't updated for a long time! I promise to update more frequently. Once again, JK Rowling owns the Harry Potter world- I only own my plot. Happy reading!
When Hermione woke up, she nearly screamed. Draco Malfoy, tie and all, was snoring lightly next to her. She could see he’d barely taken the time to kick his shoes off. His feet were even dangling off the bed.
With an internal groan, she got up and ran to the bathroom. What a sight! Her eye makeup had smudged, and her hair was a mess. Malfoy had been right: here was Marilyn Manson! She whipped her wand quickly, muttering ‘Scourgify’ before hopping into the shower. Hermione also made sure that she locked the door with such a powerful locking spell that not even a fire would break the door down.
Ten minutes later, clean and relaxed, Hermione stepped out of the bathroom. Damp locks hung in her eyes as she snuck glances at her bed. He was gone. Wearing her one of her dad’s old rugby shirts and a pair of boxer shorts, she went to the kitchen and, this time, screamed.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?!”
There sat Ron Weasley, bags under his eyes.
“Hermione, I…I want to apologize to you…”
“GET OUT OF HERE!” she screeched.
“No, please! I just…you looked really pretty last night.”
“Oh, so I’m not the ugly mudblood that embarrassed you anymore, is that it?” Hermione asked coldly.
“I would never call you a –“
“You might as well have. The day you told ‘Lav-Lav’ that you were with me for the publicity, you might as well have called me a mudblood, put me under the cruciatus curse, and burned me alive. I’m done with you, Ronald.”
“But…last night…I thought you…”
“Thought what? That I’d want to get back with you?” Hermione scoffed, “Don’t be ridiculous. The only reason you were invited is that Draco felt kind enough to invite that bloody cow when we saw her moping at Madame Malkin’s. I wouldn’t marry you now if you were the last man alive.”
Ron was turning red. When he turned red, he got angry. And when he got angry, he said nasty things.
“You know why I left you for Lav? Because you were such a bloody saint! You said you were a romantic, but no, you were a bloody prude!” Ron spat.
“Mi, do we have guests over?”
Out walked Draco, covered in nothing but a towel.
Now Ron was purple.
“So you are sleeping with him!” he cried.
“Weasel-ey, how nice to see you too,” Draco laughed sarcastically.
“That’s none of your business anyways,” Hermione said through gritted teeth.
“How could you?!”
“Who’s the prude now?” Hermione shot back.
“Tired of Lav yet?” Hermione replied, evading the question.
“As much as I love you in our kitchen, Weasley, what in the blazes are you doing? How did you get in here?”
“I…the door was open,” Ron mumbled.
“I suggest you find yourself out now, as well. Hermione and I have a lot to do before the ball tonight. Until then, Weasley,” Draco nodded, prodding the ginger towards the door.
“Thank Merlin!” Hermione sighed. “Now, why are you here?”
“I just practically saved you! No thank you, at the least?” Draco teased.
“No. Put some bloody clothes on,” Hermione sniffed.
“I have shorts on, Granger. Relax…maybe the weasel was on the right track. You need to get out more, Granger.”
“I’ve had plenty of nights out, thank you. We didn’t, erm…did we?”
“Are you asking if we shagged?”
Hermione nodded, glad that she didn’t have to say it. She would never want to say out loud her name, Malfoy’s name, and the word shagged in the same sentence.
“I think that if I’d shagged you, a few things would’ve been different this morning. I wouldn’t have woken up with my socks, my suit, and my belt on for one. And you wouldn’t have been coherent this morning, Granger.”
“Yes, foul, loathsome little cockroach. I know. Anything new to say?” Draco smirked.
Hermione just shook her head, trying to appear dignified.
“Now you’d best hoped you haven’t gained any weight since yesterday,” Draco said warningly.
“Since you were moaning about the bloody shopping, I sent for your dress for tonight after I dropped you off.”
“You better not have gone overboard.”
“You’ll like it. My only mark is the color.”
Draco nodded smugly.
“I also figured you ought to be patriotic tonight. It’s a Vivienne Westwood. I hope to Dumbledore that you know what that is.”
“Of course I do,” Hermione sniffed, “My older cousin wore one when she attended Princess Diana’s wedding.”
“Weren’t you two or three when that happened?” Draco scoffed.
“I’ve seen the pictures. My cousin was one of Lady Di’s flat mates.”
“So besides the dress, what else did you get?” Hermione asked knowingly.
“What would make you say that, Granger?”
“You were the one fussing over the bloody pearls.”
“I just picked up a few jewels. Just a little something to make you really stand out.”
Hermione raised her eyes at the word “little”.
“Don’t worry about it. So, what shall we do today?”
“I did tell the weasel that we had things to do today. Perhaps we can announce to the world our newfound love,” Draco suggested sarcastically.
“I would sooner shag Parkinson than do that.”
“That could be arranged.”
Hermione wrinkled her nose in disgust. Shag Parkinson?! That would be the end of her pathetic life.
“I’ve got an idea. Let’s go to the BM,” Draco quipped suddenly.
“You want to go to the British Museum…?”
He must have meant another BM. Malfoy would never go to the BM…Harry and Ron would never have wanted to go to a museum with her. After all, museums were filled with decaying and decrepit pieces.
“Yes, I am fully aware of what the BM stands for, Granger. I’ve heard they’ve got a new exhibit up. I haven’t been there in several months, so I’ve been a bit antsy to check it out. I personally am fond of the Egyptian collection. I think that we even rival Cairo’s collection of sarcophagi and mummies. Although, they did have a few Zoroastrian displays that were quite interesting…”
Hermione was shell-shocked. So shocked, in fact, that she let her impulses take over. She walked up to Draco quickly and planted a kiss on his lips. She didn’t even think of anything other than the fact that here was an intellectually stimulated man who had saved her from social embarrassment at least twice in the span of a day. Once the kiss ended, however, Hermione turned a bright red.
Needless to say, Draco was surprised. Although he and Hermione now had a truce, he didn’t know that she felt that strongly about him. He could have taunted the kiss to her fiery red face. He could have acted like the brat that he’d been throughout Hogwarts. He could have made Hermione feel a hundred times more embarrassed than she was. Instead, he chose to be kind…his heart was no longer two sizes too small…
“So I take it you want to see the medieval European ‘Treasures of Heaven’ collection on display?” Draco asked, hoping his smile wasn’t too pronounced.
Hermione nodded profusely, her blush receding slowly.
That is precisely what they did. Draco and Hermione spent the afternoon acting like a typical Muggle couple. They went out to lunch at a small café. Draco insisted on going to the Harrods Ice Cream Parlour after, despite Hermione’s protests against ingesting thousands of calories and spending more pounds than was worth.
“I want to go,” Draco mocked stubbornly.
Sighing, Hermione indulged the child within. They sat on the bar stools, eating one of the most fattening sundaes Hermione had ever seen. Old couples looked at the two wistfully, as if imagining their good old days, while children laughed as the goofy blonde man tried to impress his pretty girlfriend with a straw moustache.
Stomachs full, Draco and Hermione hopped over to the BM. They spent several hours marveling at old wooden panels, painted with gold, and gazing longingly at the ancient canopic jars and scepters in the Egyptian exhibits. When they were done for the day, Draco asked a tourist outside if he wouldn’t mind taking a picture of the two of them. Snap! The digital camera captured an image of Hermione laughing and Draco grinning at the lense. It had been eight years since Hermione had properly laughed. It had been eight years since Draco had properly grinned.
“Oh this was the most lovely day, Draco!” Hermione beamed.
Draco’s ears perked up. She’d called him by his real name, without any pressure to do so. It sounded lovely, her calling him Draco. It sounded like the wind breezing through red and orange leaves during autumn. It sounded like the first boot crunching through freshly fallen snow. It sounded like the lull of rain. It sounded like absolute bliss.
“It was, Hermione, it was,” Draco whispered.
“But the ball’s tonight,” she pouted.
“Well, we could say we forgot and scheduled a vacation…” Draco suggested lightly, “but knowing you, you’d never be able to lie that well. You’d probably blush at McGonagall and apologize.”
Hermione turned pink.
“That means we’re going to the ball?”
“Yes,” she sighed.
“Then you know what that means.”
“Hours worth of torture?” she wailed.
He raised an eyebrow.
“Fine, so it was worth it. But still, do I really need fifty people waiting on me?”
His eyebrow was still raised.
“Ok, it wasn’t fifty. But you know what I mean,” she sighed.
“I promise you’ll never have to undergo this torture again after tonight if you don’t want to,” Draco swore with a grin.
Hermione relented. Draco Apparated them back to Hermione’s flat before Summoning a hairdresser, makeup artist, and the rest of the fifty people.
Only, this time, he wasn’t in control. He would get to see the final product, Hermione told him gleefully, instead of watching each process.
Hermione stared back.
Draco used puppy dog eyes.
Hermione didn’t care for dogs.
“Fine. Only, no trashy red,” Draco warned the makeup artist.
She nodded quickly.
“No red, understood,” Draco told Hermione.
Draco left and the Rene took out his ‘power tools’ as he called them: bottles of Sleakeazy’s Potion and his wand.
“What do you have in mind, Rene?” Hermione asked affably.
“Zis eez a formelle event, yes?”
“Probably one of the biggest,” Hermione replied.
“Zen you must look your best, oui? Very chic, very sexy.”
Hermione closed her eyes. She trusted Rene now. She could feel the potion run on her hair as Rene’s trained hands glossed over every curl and every split end. She felt tugging, and it hurt like nobody’s business, but the pain would yield beauty. She needed to shine tonight. She could feel the manicurist touching up the mani/pedi she’d received yesterday, making sure nothing was chipped. She must have fallen asleep, for it seemed like the whole ordeal had been only minutes when Rene said he was done.
Hermione gasped when she saw herself in the mirror.
Then the makeup artist stepped forward. She closed her eyes once more, only opening them once to remind the makeup artist “no red.”
“Don’t worry. There is a better color for this occasion.”
Hermione didn’t worry. She was in the hand of experts. It took much longer, but she was finally declared perfect. In the corner of the room was her dress, hung up and covered by plastic.
“Do you need help getting zipped up?”
Hermione opened the bag. There was a beautiful, emerald green gown. It was strapless, full length, and made of the stiffest silk she’d ever seen. It fanned out mid-thigh, and she felt like a princess. Accompanying the dress were a pair of silver pumps.
Draco had entered. He too had dressed, and he looked quite dapper in his black suit. Instead of the normal black shirt he paired with it, he wore a white one for a change, with his Slytherin tie. Hermione looked at him skeptically.
“You can take the wizard out of Slytherin, but you can never take the Slytherin out the wizard,” Draco smirked.
“It’s a beautiful dress, Draco,” Hermione said softly.
“For a beautiful woman,” he countered. “But something’s missing…”
From his pocket, he retrieved a box. Inside was a necklace with the most jewels Hermione had ever seen. Emeralds were the piece de resistance on this jewelry, but diamonds framed them, and a matching pair of earrings was produced as well.
“You said it was just a little something…”
“It is. It was sitting in my vault, and I thought it would look lovely with your dress,” Draco laughed, putting the necklace on Hermione. “And it does.”
Hermione looked in the mirror. The smoky eye look had worked, and her hair- Rene called it a braided updo- was beautiful. And there was no red. Her lips were a nude shade.
“Come on, Cinderella, it’s time for the ball,” Draco teased.
She took one last glance back before linking her arm in Draco’s. Then he Apparated them away to the entrance of Hogwarts, only to be met by flashing lights and gasps.
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