Hermione fingered the beautiful black material of the dress that Draco had left for her in the bathroom. It had been hour since he had left her in the bathroom. Even though she had just gotten out of the shower when he had walked in on her, she was in need of a bath so she drew a warm bath with lavender salts and retrieved a book she had been reading for the past few days. She had lost track of the time because she had cast a spell on the water to stay the correct temperature. By the time she had realized she needed to get ready it was already six.
As the lovely material slipped through her fingers she wondered what they were going to be doing tonight. Hermione figured it was a ritzy pureblood party. She hadn’t been forced to go to one since they had gotten married but it had been fabled that Draco attended them regularly before the marriage. With a shrug of her shoulder Hermione remove the dress from the hanger and slid the smooth material on to her body. Hermione frowned at the mirror when it was slightly too big but she remedied the situation with a quick flick of the wrist. Then she grabbed a short purple bottle off the counter and smoothed the potion over her hair so that it fell in smooth ringlets over her shoulders. With a little make up she was ready to go.
Hermione found a shoebox on her bed containing strappy low-heeled shoes and a light blue shawl for her to wear. When she finally left the room she was running five minutes late. She mentally cursed at herself as she briskly walked to meet Draco in the foyer so they could leave. She turned the corner to see Draco in a tailored suit. She gave him a small smile.
“I was wondering if I would have to send a house elf to find you.” Draco teased her. Again she flashed a quick smile that didn’t reach her eyes. He waited for a comment but when none came forth her continued on.
“Are you ready to go?” Draco questioned, again hoping for a response and again all he received was a head nod. He didn’t know what he was expected her to act like after this morning. He couldn’t help be elated by hearing her voice this morning only because he hoped she would come out of her depressed mood. He wished her to get better or at least hold a normal conversation with him. He was starting to like her company before she went “comatose” as Ginny loving referred to her depression.
Hermione noticed the disappointed look on Draco’s face as he turned away from her. She didn’t want to disappoint him. He had been nice to her since the wedding. He had listened when she needed it and left her alone when she needed it and gave her a verbal slap in the face to wake her up when she needed it. She didn’t want to disappoint him tonight.
“Where are we going?” She asked timidly as though she was unsure of the words coming out of her mouth. Draco head snapped in her direction so fast Hermione was afraid he would suffer from whiplash. Hermione watch his pale face spilt into a small grin.
“We are meeting some friends at a muggle restaurant in London.” Draco responded as he extended an arm towards her so he could escort her to the apparition spot. Draco was help at the sound of her voice which annoyed him for a moment. When had his emotion become to rely on the emotions of the woman who was currently taking his arm? Hermione saw his smile falter and she was worried she did something wrong but then mentally slapped herself to remind her that this was Draco Malfoy. His emotions were too complex to let them affect her whole night.
“This dress is beautiful Draco. Thank you.” She tried to compliment him. He nodded in response as his eyes traveled down her body. His eyes took in the outfit he had picked out for her. It was a nice dress but the woman wearing the dress made it beautiful. Then he shook his head to get those thoughts out of his head. Sure, he thought to himself, he felt like he needed to take care of her and make sure she was okay but as a friend or something. He was her fake husband and friendship was a must to get through this year completely unscathed. His mind wandered back a few months to the night in Diagon Alley when they had shared a kiss. It had been magical but they were just caught up in the moment, right?
Hermione would have given anything to know what Draco was thinking at that moment. She studied his face as well as she could without fully facing him. He led them to the street from the alley and started to walk down the street. He didn’t say anything to her until they were standing outside a restaurant called “Café Lorenzo”.
“Here we are.” Draco said as the glass doors swung open by the doorman. They walked into a medium lit room and Draco stepped up to the hostess stand where a pretty young blonde woman stood.
“Mr. Malfoy, How good it is to see you tonight. It has been forever since you last came. Plus one?” She asked in reference to Hermione but never actually looked her way. Hermione watched as the girl swished her hair around and giggled at Draco. Hermione was a little put with the woman and her behavior towards Draco. Draco noticed Hermione’s annoyance. Draco put his arm around Hermione’s waist.
“Actually, My wife and I are expecting two more to join us.” Draco stated. Hermione was shocked at his proclamation. He had said in one time before have but that was in front of Pansy because she was being evil. Hermione watched as the girl’s face twist into a snarl. The girl’s eyes sized up Hermione before turning to Draco.
“Wife, hmmm… We’ll see how long that last’s I see nothing special.” She stated with venom dripping from her voice. Hermione felt Draco tense up for a moment and then relax. Draco stared at her pointedly.
“Well, at the moment I don’t see anything special.” Her mouth dropped in shock. “I think I’ll have a talk with Lorenzo tonight. Will you let him know I’m here.” By the time Draco finished it looked like the girl might start crying.
“Yes, Mr. Malfoy. Please follow me to your table.” Draco placed his hand on Hermione’s lower back and guided her as they followed the blonde hostess. They were lead towards the back of the restaurant to a small alcove with a table just big enough for four people. They were seated and the blonde had started to leave when Draco got her attention again.
“Clarissa, I haven’t seen Lorenzo it quite a while. Will you still let him know I’m here.” Draco used a smooth voice. The girl looked like she would crumple before them and nodded quickly and left them. Hermione just shook he head at the scene. Her bewilderment came from the idea that he was defending her.
“Clarissa?” Hermione asked. Draco kind of shrugged.
“She has been working here for years. She is a muggle and has tried suggest that I take her on a date more than once. She always makes snide comments to my dates but this time it was unacceptable.”
“Why was this time unacceptable but other times were not?” Hermione questioned. Draco stated without hesitation.
“Because you are Hermione Granger. Well now it’s Malfoy.” He said with a smile. Hermione was more confused now.
“Why does it matter what my name is?”
“It’s not the name you are “the brightest witch of our age” and one-third of the “Golden Trio” and the Hermione I knew always defended herself and her status.” He told her. “I thought I might help you out and remind you.” He smiled at her again. Hermione confused but it was for an entirely different reason this time. A waiter came to the table and Draco ordered a bottle of wine while they waited on the guest.
“We are a little early and knowing them, they will be a late.” Draco stated as he looked at his watch.
“Early? I thought I was running late earlier?” She asked.
“Ha. I accounted for your inability to maneuver the Manor.” She laughed a strangled sound but it was close.
“You did, did you?” She quirked her eyebrow.
“Of course I did. How many times have you been lose in the Manor?” He laughed. This time she couldn’t contain herself. Her pure laugh graced the air.
“I don’t even know. Sprinkles’ has to save me almost every time I leave my room. Truth be told I had her escort me to the foyer tonight.” She started laughing again.
“Did you really?” His laughter joined with hers.
“Hermione?” She heard a female voice question from behind her. Hermione turned to see that Ginny was there with Harry. Hermione stood up and hugged her red headed friend.
“Ginny, I’m sorry I have been so pent up lately.” Hermione apologized for her quietness over the past few months.
“It’s okay. I’m just glad you are talking again.” Ginny told her. Hermione quickly hugged Harry before they all sat down at the table. The wine came and the waiter served the wine by Ginny refused. Hermione drank her first glass quickly. Hermione gave Ginny a puzzled look. Ginny’s face turned deep red and she looked to Harry who nodded for her to go on.
“I have some big news.” Ginny told them as Harry grabbed her hand. “I’m pregnant.” She blurted out. Hermione was happy for the two of them. Hopefully this time they would have a little girl. They already had James and Albus but Hermione knew Ginny wanted a little girl. Draco was the first to congratulate Ginny. He stood and gave her a friendly hug.
“Congratulations Ginny. That is wonderful.” He turned to Harry and grabbed his hand in a firm handshake. “Harry, you’re going to be a father again. Can you handle a pregnant Ginny again?” He joked. Ginny laughed and playfully slapped his arm. Hermione had never been so confused in her life. Who was she? What was this parallel universe she was living in? Draco was nice. Harry and Ginny and Draco were all friends. Last by not at all least Hermione was married to Draco. Hermione grabbed her wine glass and finished her second glass. Finally some sense hit her and she started to congratulate the happy couple. Harry turned to Hermione.
“Are you two ever going to have kids?” Harry joked and Hermione remember he wasn’t in on the contract marriage. Hermione smiled and laughed as she shook her head as she grabbed for wine glass which the waiter had already refilled.
“No Harry. We just haven’t spent enough time alone, we need some couple time first. Right honey?” Hermione turned to Draco and she put her hand on his leg in show of her love. Draco could barely answer as the electricity from her hand shot through his body. He nodded.
“That’s right Dear.” He responded as he put a hand over hers and locking it in place. Hermione took another big swig from her wine glass.
After the awkward encounter they continued with the happy chatter until the food came and they all enjoyed the food and company. They had finished dessert when an older man approached the table. He looked Italian and wore a designer suit.
“Draco, my boy. It has been far too long.” He slapped Draco on the shoulder.
“Lorenzo Zabini. You are looking good in your OLD age.” Draco joked. Draco watched out of the corner of his eye as Hermione drained her fifth glass of wine and was a little worried but she didn’t act like it was affecting her yet.
“Keep laughing. You and my son are going to be this old someday.”
“True. But not for a long time.”
“It flies by faster than you think” The older man commented. “Harry, Ginny it is wonderful to see you two again. Now Draco, Who is this lovely young lady you have with you?”
“This is my wife, Hermione.” He told the older man. Lorenzo looked at everyone at the table and then back. “THE Hermione?” Hermione was on her fifth glass and definitely feeling a slight bit buzzed.
“Yes, The Hermione.” Draco told him. At this Lorenzo swept around the table and grasped Hermione hands and kissed the back of both of them.
“I just want to thank you. For save the world my son lives in.” He finished. Hermione weakly murmured “Your Welcome.”
“Lorenzo, Is Blaise’s father and a muggle.” Draco stated. “Blaise told everyone he was dead at Hogwarts to save his father’s life and because he was sorted in to Slytherin.” Draco explained quickly.
“Lorenzo, I need you to do me a favor. Clarissa offended me and my wife when we walked in. I don’t want to get her fired but I would like it if you would let her know that her attitude is not acceptable.” Draco told him.
“Of course Draco. I will take care of her. It was nice seeing you again and meeting you Hermione.” He nodded towards Harry and Ginny and then walked away. Hermione watched the old man walk up to the hostess but was unable to see or hear what he was saying to the young girl. She got the gist when the girl’s face paled and the look of pure terror crossed her face.
“So are you doing anything else tonight?” Harry asked the pair which brought Hermione’s attention back to the table.
“Yeah, I was thinking we would go to “Hole” tonight. I haven’t been in a while and I think Hermione needs an educational experience.
“You’re going to take her to “Hole”?” Harry asked incredulously. Draco just nodded.
“You coming?” He asked. Harry turned to Ginny who nodded energetically. Harry shrugged.
“I guess so.”
“What’s “Hole”?” Hermione asked the trio. Ginny’s face spilt into a wide grin.
“You will see.” Ginny laughed.
A/N: As you can probably guess. Their trip to "Hole" will be part 2. I hope you liked this chapter. Please let me know one way or another.
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