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Chapter 3 : The Woman of his Dreams... Literally
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Standing up slowly, he made sure he looked presentable before extending his hand to the chair across from him. "Hermione Granger."
He barely saw her nod, his eyes focused on her specifically; her dark brown eyes, the crease in her brow, the curve of her lips. And he knew where he had seen the woman in his dream, realized why he knew of her but had never known her personally. He'd seen the woman in papers for the work she did and for her family and her friends, he remembered seeing her around school but never speaking to her. He'd stayed out of any and all confrontation between her, her friends and Malfoy.
But he knew now and the knowledge had him stumble back and almost fall into his seat.
"Are you okay?"
It took him a moment to realize that she had indeed spoken to him and he looked up to lock eyes with her. He averted his gaze quickly when he remembered the fear he saw in them and the L- He couldn't even think it. "Fine. I am fine and you, you are n-here. Can I help you?"
Hermione moved forward to stand in front of him and sat down at the chair across from him. Theo copied hesitantly, hoping she wouldn't notice his rambling which he shamefully knew always happened to cope with whatever reason he had for his shock. He couldn't have her know that the woman of his dreams had walked into his office. Literally.
"I came to you because you're the best," Hermione said. "I've read about your cases and I know you can help me."
"W-What's the case?"
"A missing person," Hermione answered, Theo watched her hold back another tear. Whoever was gone was someone very close to her, he knew, and his mind quickly went through the list of names he had heard of that could be missing. He remembered articles saying she had married, saying they had two children. Could it be Weasley?
Theo looked down at the white tan line on her ring finger; separated or divorced. He'd heard no news of that, making him think it was mutual and quiet; it could be Weasley. But why not go to Potter?
"What's the Auror department said?" he asked, thankful he sounded more like his old business-like self.
"Harry's got a few, more trustworthy people in his department looking, but he thought it best to have someone impartial, who wasn't close to me or my family and could do whatever it took with a clear head. I agreed," she told him. "But you'll have his help. I'm willing to give you this."
Theo took the piece of paper from her hand cautiously and opened it up; it was a Gringotts cheque. His eyes focused on the amount. "Oh, my G - Twenty five thousand galleons," he whispered.
"Half?!" His eyes widened when she nodded. He sat back against his seat and rubbed his jaw, dropping the cheque onto his desk and staring.
"You'll get the rest when you've found him, You'll also get everything you need to help you with this case and the help of the Aurors," Hermione said. "I will do anything you ask."
Theo tore his eyes away from the money slowly to face the woman in his office. He knew this case was important, he knew he should take it, and he remembered his dream. But it wasn't the money that him ignore the dream and take the case; it was the newly formed tears that fell down her cheeks as she noticed the picture of his son on the desk.
He had a terrible feeling he knew who he had to look for and dread and fear filled his stomach. He didn't even want to imagine what she was going through if he was right. "Ms Granger, who's missing?"
She didn't look up from the picture when she answered, wiping the tears away. "You have to find my son."
Once she had stopped crying, Hermione returned to the strong person he'd heard so much about and told him everything she knew. "Both Ron and I work, as well as many others in our family, so my kids go to school near my home. The other day the school called saying Hugo was unwell and to pick him up. I couldn't so I went to Ron and he said he would, but when he got to the school Hugo was gone. We have no idea why, there was no note or ransom sent to us, he just disappeared. You have to find him."
"I will, I promise." Theo gave her a reassuring smile before frowning, both of them turning to the voices behind the door.
"He's talking to a new client," his secretary called out but she couldn't stop the door from opening and a little boy running in.
"Daddy, Uncle Draco brought me to you because you weren't home and Scor is sick so I didn't want to go to his house." The little boy jumped up onto his knee, then noticed Hermione in the room and buried his head in his chest. "Who's this?" he whispered.
Theo opened his mouth to speak, only to face the door when he heard a knock. Draco Malfoy stood there awkwardly, not looking at Hermione. "Er, I'll see you later," he muttered, leaving quickly.
"So, this is your son?" she asked, trying to rid the room of the awkward silence.
Theo noticed her voice waver slightly and he remembered the reason she was in his office in the first place. He wrapped his arms around the boy's waist and instinctively held on a little tightly. He cleared his throat. "Yeah, this is Lex. He's a little shy at first, but give him a minute and you'll wish he stayed quiet."
"Hey," Lex protested and Hermione chuckled softly, seeing his expression of horror given to his dad. Lex turned to Hermione. "Is Dad helping you?" Hermione nodded. "Dad's Superman."
Hermione grinned, remembering the comic book hero. "Does that make you Lex Luthor?"
Lex stood up, his mouth open, and he jumped up and down in excitement. "Yes! Dad, she knows! What's your name?"
"Lex, I still have to talk to Hermione about work, so I need you to go wait with Courtney until I'm done, okay," Theo told the little boy.
Lex pouted and Theo groaned; he hated when that happened, it made it so hard to say no. "But I want to stay with you."
"I know, mate, but this is very important, so you have to wait outside." Theo flashed a cheeky grin. "Why don't you use her phone. If you leave now, you'll be able to catch your girlfriend."
Lex flushed a deep red. "She's not my girlfriend," he growled, walking out. "At least I can get a girlfriend if I wanted one."
Theo's mouth fell open as Lex slammed the door shut and Hermione wasn't sure what to say. "Cute kid," she settled on saying. "You named him after Lex Luthor?"
Shaking his head slowly, Theo focused more on the case and not on the fact that his son was probably right. "No, his name is Alexei; Lex is a shortened name. But he is evil, so it fits."
Hermione nodded and smiled sadly. "Hugo loves comic books. He spends all his time at the little green shop in London, Adam's. He loves it there. It's the only way to get him to calm down."
"You know Adam?" Theo asked in surprise.
"Yes," Hermione said slowly. "You know Adam?"
"Since I was seven," he said quietly, Hermione's words running through his head. The only way to calm Hugo down... "I think I know where to start."
A/N: Superman and Lex Luthor belong to DC Comics.
More about Theo's family and connection to the Malfoy's soon... :)
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