Chapter 1 : Hello Again
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"I can't deny these things that I do
Feels like the world's at stake yeah
I have been waiting for you”
-Waiting for you by Seal
Rain poured from overhead as Hermione Granger hurried along the streets of London, she held a newspaper over her head in a feeble and rushed attempt at covering herself from the rain. Her heels tapped unceremoniously on the cement as she crossed the street, her eyes darting every which way – she was not used to muggle London.
Once Hermione was on the other side of the road she took out her wand, holding it close to her side so no one would notice it. With her other hand she pulled a small notebook from her pocket, inscribed on it were the words Daily Prophet. She flipped open to a cornered page where her current location was illustrated, along with that of her destination.
She walked a bit further so that she was out of view from the prying eye before she lifted her wand at a space between two skyscraper buildings and whispered, “Ostendo Vestri”. Before her very eyes another tall, glass building grew, which fit in remarkably with those surrounding it.
It was a wizarding company that specialized in “the outside”. In other words, it was a wizarding company that specialized with wizards from areas outside of Britain, and keeping things peaceful between countries. People were understandably more paranoid after the war took place, and this company was one of the products of that paranoia. The company was called, rather informally, the 'Inner-workings' and was almost a by-product of the Ministry.
Hermione placed her wand back into the pocket of her women’s trench coat and breathed out deeply before walking up to the two large glass doors of the Inner-workings. That same morning she had gone to her work at the Daily Prophet as a reporter and had received a folder telling her to go down to the building she was now in front of, because there was a special meeting taking place this afternoon in office eleven which needed further investigation.
The part Hermione found curious was, however, the occupants of this meeting; or rather the occupant since the other party was un-named. The occupant was Draco Malfoy, a man Hermione hadn’t seen since she was seventeen years old.
She pulled the doors back and slipped inside un-noticed; in front of her was a large wraparound desk where two secretaries sat, and to her right was a wide flight of stairs. Hermione immediately began her way up the stairs, making sure to keep her back straight and her chin up so as to go un-noticed. He should be on the first floor.
Her eyes scanned the hallway and read the numbers on the doors as she walked by them. Office eleven, office eleven. She repeated to herself under her breath. It was easy enough to find, as it was at the very end of the hallway before another set of stairs and a fireplace. Why hadn’t she thought of Floo? Her eyes slowly scanned the door, her lips curving into a smile when she saw that whoever last walked into this office had been in too much of a rush to close the door properly, as it now stood slightly ajar. But again, only slightly.
Actually, all she could make out was light grey wallpaper, a wall sized window, a sleek metal desk and two black leather chairs.
“Oh.” Hermione murmured as she saw two men; one sitting with his back to her and another whom she recognised. He was a tall man with an average build, remarkably blond hair and a devilish smirk. Something about him had changed although she couldn’t quite put her finger on it, but that didn’t matter now. She went straight for her notepad and pressed her ear to the door, crouching beside it and praying no one would see her. If she had arrived earlier she may have been able to place an ear piece in the office somewhere but alas, time had betrayed her this time.
“I don’t care.” The man opposite Draco said forcefully. “I want it now, do you hear?”
“Well,” Draco replied, coolly. “That’s rather impossible seeing’s as I don’t have it.” The man opposite him let out something one could even call a growl.
“Don’t even try to kid me. I was there when you got it and it is your duty that you-“
“I know what my duties are, Rueben. And that is definitely not one of them.” She could hear the smirk in his words.
“I swear that we will get that from you at some point. If you won’t give it to us nicely we will take it by force.” The man threatened, every syllable coated in venom. Hermione scratched the words down into her notepad as she wondered what they could be talking about – if only she had arrived sooner.
Hermione leaned in further so that she was almost leaning on the door, one wrong step and that would be it. She would lose her cover, and eaves dropping on important government related things had never been something totally legal, even for a reporter.
She tried to reposition herself and stumbled in the process, catching herself with her hand before falling through the doorway, thankful that she didn’t reveal her hiding spot but still worried because the door creaked slightly fom the movement.
She glanced up.
“Force? Really, Rueben you of all people-“ Draco stopped and looked to the doorway where he evidently had heard her. She held her breath and stopped writing, hoping he would turn back to the conversation. He continued to stare at the doorway, just inches above where she crouched. Turn away, turn away, turn away. “-You of all people should know that that word is something not to be tossed around. But for your benefit I’ll let it go. This time.”
Hermione breathed out slowly when he continued the conversation. She picked the quill back up into her hand and began to copy down the latest when she heard a door handle turn from behind her. It was a slow sound, revealing that whoever was coming through a door somewhere down the hall was still talking and was taking his or her time, but Hermione couldn’t let herself be seen. Not now since she had barely gotten any information.
The door, whichever it was, creaked and Hermione turned about to see which door was opening, and lost her footing in the process. She flailed for a moment, her hands grappling to get a hold of something when she fell into the doorway of office eleven with an unmistakable thud.
Her eyes were pressed shut and silence surrounded her. It felt like her heart had dropped into her stomach, and her head was swimming. She was praying with all her might that she hadn't fallen through the doorway, although she knew she had. It wasn't something that could be easily mistaken.
Hermione opened her eyes and looked up only to find herself lying on her back just inside the doorway, her notepad, quill, and the newspaper she had been using as an umbrella scattered on the office floor. Draco and the man now known as Rueben looked down at her, their expressions changing from confusion to anger.
“Draco Mafloy! What is the meaning of this! This woman was-was spying on-" The man sputtered as he went to pick up her notepad, but Hermione was quicker and snatched it before he could lay his hands on it. Hermione stood up and brushed herself off, picking up the quill and newspaper while she was at it. Her eyes were on the ground and she didn’t want to lift them.
“Rueben you need to put down the wand.” She heard Draco say.
Eyes widened, Hermione did, in fact, look up to see them man, and sure enough he had his wand pointed directly at her. He was stout and had a scar running along half of his face.
“She’s a reporter! She heard what we said, she-“
“I said put down the wand.” Draco ordered his voice loud and clear. “She is not a reporter and she was not spying so I would be glad if you would lower your weapon-“
“Not a reporter? Not a reporter? Then how can you explain her little notebook with ‘Daily Prophet’ written on the damn cover!”
Draco looked to Hermione and raised his eyebrows hurriedly, coaxing her to speak up. “Alright, I am a reporter for the Dailey Prophet. And I came here to-“ Hermione began.
“She came here to meet me.” Draco finished. Rueben, his mouth hanging open, raised his eyes to meet Draco’s.
“Yes. Is that really so hard to believe?”
“Now tell me, why would she come to meet you? Of all people!” Rueben boomed. Everything he said seemed to be a result of his temper.
“She’s my, uh,” Draco stammered, looking to Hermione anxiously.
“We’re, um.” Hermione looked down at her feet, excuse after excuse flying through her head but none worked with the situation.
“Yes?” Rueben urged them, his mouth working its way into a sneer which made the pudginess of his features stand out even more. Suddenly Hermione had it, it was an obvious excuse. She came to interview him. She opened her mouth to speak but Draco was already there, a different lie pouring from his mouth. Why he had the need to lie for her she didn’t know and honestly she couldn’t care less once she heard what he had come up with.
“We’re engaged.” Draco said quickly, the tiniest bit of colour reaching his cheeks. “Now you’re the first to know so don’t go off spreading it.” He added with a wry smile.
Engaged? He only had to think up why a female reporter would see him and that’s what he thought up?!
Hermione looked up at Draco both in anger and in confusion. “How dare you-“ She began, outraged.
“I know-“ Draco paused as if the next part was a struggle for him to say. “-dear, but might as well tell the man the truth, although he wasn’t the first on either of our list’s on who to break the good news to first.” He took a step towards Hermione and slid his arm around her waist, making her jump a little and then tense under his touch.
“Well, then. What’s your fiancée doing at your office?” Rueben spat.
Draco looked to the clock which read twelve noon before forming his next sentence.
“Lunch. She came to bring me lunch.” Rueben and Draco both looked to Hermione at the same time, who was holding nothing in the form of food.
Hermione bit her lip, might as well play along. “The paper, actually.” Hermione spoke up. Her throat felt like the Sahara. “I came to give you the day’s newspaper since I know how much you love to read it on your break.” She forced a smile and plunked the paper into his arms, raindrops and all.
Draco did his best at a smile as he set the dripping wet Daily Prophet down on his desk. “How very kind that was of you, my-. How very kind.” He stopped himself before having to use another endearing name for the girl beside him. “Oh, and I am sorry, but it looks like we will have to continue this conversation another day.”
Rueben narrowed his eyes. “Don’t expect me to wait around before casting the-“
“Yes, yes, I know.” Draco waved his left hand nonchalantly, the one not wrapped around Hermione’s waist. “Now, I’ll talk to you later.”
He waved Rueben out of his office; he kept trying to continue their conversation, but Draco only squeezed Hermione to his hip lovingly and promised to talk to him another day, and soon Rueben was out the door. At which point Draco let his hand fall from Hermione and slammed the door, turning around and leaning on it.
Hermione shuffled awkwardly, stuffing her notebook and quill into her pocket. She looked up only to see him staring at her begrudgingly. “He thinks we’re engaged, Granger.” His voice was angry in a calm sort of way that sent shivers down Hermione’s spine.
“I do hope you know I wasn’t the one who made that up!"
“No, you were the one who stood there in silence while I did the work.” He spat at her. She remembered now why she had hated him back at school so acutely. She glared at him, wishing harmful magic was an option.
“I had an excuse! A better one than the one you so helpfully made up!”
“Any excuse is better than the one I made up.” He said coldly, walking over to his desk and tossing the paper into the rubbish bin. “But it was the first thing that came to my mind.”
Hermione paused to look at him a moment before speaking. “My excuse was-“
“I don’t care about what could have been said! What matters now is that a very important man just left my office in a temper. And a man in a temper can do many things.” Draco said darkly, his back to her. He was being dramatic and Hermione rolled her eyes.
“He better not release anything in the paper about us."
This was all happening too fast, and Hermione couldn’t quite make sense of it. She had fallen through the door and since then things were rather a blur.
Draco turned to face her again and gave her the up-down. “You’re a reporter. You’ll know what’s going to be released before it hits the market.” Hermione watched him and realized she could almost see the thoughts forming behind his eyes as he spoke. “Don’t let them publish anything. If Rueben decides to talk. He may not you know, he may think nothing of it.”
“Why don’t you just tell him we’re not really together?” She asked simply. Draco looked at her and shook his head as if it was the most obvious thing.
“And confess to lying to a man like that? I’d really rather not.”
“He didn’t look all that threatening.” Hermione said honestly. She couldn’t help but remember what Voldemort’s favourite followers looked like. The muggle snatchers, even. They were terrifying just in appearance.
“No, he wouldn’t to someone like you,” Draco said with a snicker. “He’s a foolish man, but dangerous and extremely clever. Why else do you think I had to step in when I saw he had is wand pointing at you? The thing is with Rueben he gets easily angered, and not much calms him.”
“I didn’t think it was in your nature to help someone like me, Draco.” Hermione told him angrily.
“It’s not. I just didn’t want to have to scrape your body off my office floor. Not to mention disposing of a body is nothing easy.” Hermione rolled her eyes for a second time.
“He wouldn’t do something like that.” Hermione replied, she felt stupid. Draco was playing her the fool.
“No, he wouldn’t. Not here, anyway.” Draco answered, smirking at Hermione as he said the last part.
It was obvious what he was doing, trying to scare her with petty remarks about a man whom was probably not actually dangerous in the slightest. He then raked his hand through his hair and went to sit at his desk.
“Now, Hermione,” He said, changing the subject. “I know for a fact you want rumours about us being engaged circulated as much as I want them. And with that being said I have a… proposal.” He laughed at his joke, and then glanced at Hermione who seemed to not share his humour. He sighed. “Same old Granger.”
“You said you had a proposition?” Hermione reminded him, she didn’t have time for this. The Prophet was probably wondering why she wasn’t back yet. And honestly anywhere was better than here at the time being.
“I was getting to that. The deal is you rip up whatever notes you got from eavesdropping and I will tell Rueben you and I had a spat and the real reason you came was to call it off and that’s why you were so edgy. So we’re no longer engaged.”
“And I also make sure nothing turns up in the papers?”
“So I do two things for you, Malfoy, and you do one? How like you to make sure you get less work.” She answered, doing nothing to hide the venom from her tone.
“That’s all there is to do, Granger. And if I worked at the Prophet I would be the one doing two things. It’s not anything to get upset over. Now do we have a deal?” Hermione looked down at her notepad, it only had few things written from the conversation between Draco and Rueben, but it could be used. Maybe.
“Fine, we have a deal.” Hermione told him, sighing as she went over to the rubbish bin and tore her notes into two, letting them drop into the can. “Now it’s your turn to hold up your end of the bargain.”
Draco nodded. “Trust me, I will.” Hermione stood there a few more moments before Draco looked back up at her from where he sat. “Well?”
“I didn’t know if you were done talking.” She answered.
“Well, I am. And you can leave.” Draco looked pointedly at the door, waiting for Hermione to walk out of it, which she did without even turning back to see him. “Bye, Granger. Close the doors on the way out will you? Don’t want any other pesky reporters about.”
Hermione took the handle firmly in her hand and closed the door behind her with a small bang. Oh, how that man hadn’t changed since school. She thought the war would have shaken him up a bit since she had been far from her old self for a of couple years until finally recovering and she had been on Harry’s side.
She shook her head and walked over to the fireplace she had noticed on her way in. Now to go to the Prophet and make sure nothing was being said.
Thank you so much for reading The Reunion's first chapter! It means a lot to me that you took the time to check it out. Please post a review because this is my first story on this site and I would love to hear what you think. Constructive critism is allowed and I'm sure would help me grow as an author. I love to hear what every reader thinks. Again, thank you so much for reading The Reunion.