Chapter Eight – Everyone Loves a bit of Harmless Flirting
After such an eventful day Hermione was thankful for the peaceful evening she had to herself, though admittedly she was slightly upset that Draco was away on business – sorting out the latest dispute with the Southern Atlantic Mermen. No matter, she’d be able to tell him when he was back but even then the information wouldn’t be fresh in her mind. Her Mother’s letters were becoming more interesting, the latest letter was from her Mother’s mystery man.
Count the days. One, two, three, four, five. Then I’ll be there to take you away. Don’t fret, don’t worry, and don’t fear. I’ll be there to take you away. I found the perfect little home for you. Somewhere where you will be safe and no one will be able to hurt you.
My Birthday was a quiet mind-numbing affair. My Mother threw a party. It was filled with all the cream of Pureblood society. All the well bred gentlemen and simpering annoying girls. I fear she wants me to choose one as a bride but how can I think of those monstrosities when my heart belongs only to you. Yours is the face I want to wake up next to and the smile I want to see every day. Your heart is the one mine beats loudly for. It will always be you. I belong to you, I always will.
The Dark Stranger.
After reading the latest installment Hermione found herself wishing for a love like the one her Mother had. They’d had but one meeting and were already declaring love for one another. It was like the world’s best love story, like all the classics rolled into one. What Hermione wouldn’t give for a love like that, she sighed, dreaming achieved nothing but disappointment. If she wanted a love like that she’d have to actively go out and find it. Besides she didn’t even know what happened with the love between her Mother and this strange man.
Urgh! Thought Draco as he pulled yet more seaweed off his wet body, why were all the Mermen disturbances over Mermaids? This time a Mermaid from one prominent family had been pledged in marriage to the son of another. The problem was she was in love with someone else and refused to marry the Merman she was pledged to. This had caused a riot within the Mere Clans and thus Draco had been sent to sort it out.
He wished he was at home though; he had a strong suspicion that Hermione needed him for something. He hadn’t seen her since before she went to dinner with his Father and Severus. He missed her, she’d become a permanent fixture in his life and not one he was willing to give up.
In all his years growing up he’d been searching for that special someone. He knew love matches were rare within Pureblood families but he continued to hope against all hope that he found a love match that suited him before his Father decided it was time for him to be married via an arranged marriage. He still hoped his Father had changed those ideas.
No, the sooner he was back home and away from this water the better. All this seaweed really was enough to put you off swimming.
Hermione proposed not to meet the remaining Lords until Draco was back. She told Lucius and Sirius that Draco made her comfortable and had the ability to make her forget everything else. She said she’d need him to walk into the lion’s den with her. Lucius asked her why Sirius and he weren’t enough to soothe her concerns. But she replied saying that they were more than adequate but that Hermione didn’t want the formality or the pressure that would come from meeting the other Lords with two Lords present. After all she countered, she’d be perfectly safe with Draco as he would be the next Lord Malfoy and had already taken his vows. At which point Lucius and Sirius realized they didn’t have a leg to stand on and couldn’t argue with Hermione anymore. They left with a bow to Hermione declaring they had business to attend to leaving a tired Hermione to wait for Draco.
As it turned out Hermione fell asleep before Draco returned, so it was a very hyper and energetic Hermione who graced Malfoy Manor with her presence the following morning, sparing no glance to her surroundings as she walked merrily to Draco’s room. She stopped dead after opening his door, there was Draco half naked. His lower half wrapped in a towel, his chest still glistening with water droplets, his hair slick against the back of his neck. Hermione felt her mouth go dry as she looked upon his glorious body.
“Enjoying the view there Hermione?” asked Draco.
“Sorry” she stuttered, when had he got so close? She could clearly see the line of hair on his chest that disappeared under the towel.
“I’m up here Hermione” he whispered huskily.
She managed to raise her eyes to meet his.
“Hello” he breathed.
“Hi” she muttered.
He lowered his head to hers, giving her every chance to pull away and kissed her longingly on the lips. She sighed into Draco’s mouth as his tongue fought with hers. Both were breathing heavily at the end but neither seemed to pull away.
“Ahem” the sound and accompanying cough made the two jump apart as if struck by lightning.
“Ah Draco you’re back. I trust you are well Hermione?” asked an amused Lucius.
“Uh fine thanks” stuttered a very embarrassed Hermione.
“Are you seeing a Lord today, seeing as Draco’s back?” he asked with a mischievous smile.
“Of course, I said I would” replied Hermione slightly agitated.
“Right well, I’ll leave you to it. Hermione, perhaps you should knock next time you come to surprise Draco” said Lucius sniggering.
Oh that man! Thought Hermione, her magic acted but she had some control over it and Lucius ended up with a pillow hitting him full speed in the back of his head. He turned around in shock but Hermione merely stuck her tongue out at him and disappeared into Draco’s room. Draco shrugged at his Father; this had been an amusing morning he thought.
The Manor that Hermione and Draco stood before wasn’t as grand as Malfoy Manor. It wasn’t big and spooky nor was it a cottage with a white picket fence. It just looked like a normal Manor house and not the Manor of a Pureblood Lord. However looks can be deceiving as Hermione would find out when she remembered that she was a witch and he was a wizard.
“Miss Granger” Hermione jumped grabbing Draco’s hand in the process.
“I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to startle you. I just wondered if you were going to stand out here looking at my house all day” he said his mouth curling upwards.
“I’m sorry Sir” replied Hermione.
“Let us go inside. I heard from others that you tend to miss meals” he smiled at Draco’s expression, “So why don’t we treat ourselves”.
From her only two experiences with Pureblood Lords, Hermione wasn’t expecting what she was seeing. He led them down brightly lit hallways filled with colorful paintings and antiques. The man of this Manor seemed to break the mould of the typical Pureblood that Hermione had become accustomed to but perhaps that was too judgmental after all Lucius had changed for the better hadn’t he?
“Please sit” he motioned to the two seats opposite him.
Lord Lysander Gold sat elegantly in his chair, his arms on the arm rests, his hands tipped together under his chin. Lucius Malfoy had warned him that Miss Granger would be stopping by and he’d received a formal letter from Miss Granger herself.
Miss Granger was a complex person to study. She seemed at ease with the situation though not with her surroundings. Her facial expressions showed an air of confidence yet her eyes showed her nervousness. She seemed to unconsciously lean towards Draco for support, he wondered what was going on between the two of them. Adding to that, he could feel her magic pulsing around the room. Her magic was remarkable, it almost seemed to have a life of its own, roaming around the surrounding area, making sure Hermione was safe before retreating back in her magical core.
“Thank you for letting us into your home Sir” said Hermione.
“No need, Miss Granger, and please call me Lysander. It makes me feel old to be called Sir” he chuckled.
“Then you must call me Hermione” she replied.
“You are very powerful Hermione. It must have been a shock to find out your true heritage”.
Hermione paled slightly before realizing that Lysander was talking about her heritage as a descendent of Mother Earth and not the heritage of her parents and where she came from. The slight whitening of her face was something that did not go unnoticed by Lysander and he filed the information away for later use. Perhaps the other Lords would know something that would cause Hermione’s slight panic.
“Yes it was shocking but at the same time it explained a lot” she admitted.
“Explained a lot?” he enquired.
“Well I’ve had outbursts of magic before but I never really thought about what was causing it. I spent my time at Hogwarts thinking most things were incredibly easy. I spent so much time in the library because I needed something to challenge me. Learning spells was a good way of doing that” she paused for breath.
“I’ve always been very aware of my intelligence and the attitudes of others. When Lord Malfoy told me who I was and why I was so powerful it just made sense. Like all the baffling things in my life were suddenly explained”.
“She brewed the polyjuice potion in her second year, had her patronus by her fifth year. Created countless new spells, saved many lives during the War and because an animagus in fourth year though she won’t tell me her form” grinned Draco.
Lysander nodded thoughtfully, she was a remarkable woman. Lysander wondered if seeing him first was the correct move to make. With his light open Manor, his caramel coloured skin, bright eyes and a flare for colour he was probably the least intimidating of all the Lords. She’d be in for a shock if she thought the others would be as easy going as him.
Imagine that, the great Hermione Granger sitting in his Manor. He’d heard great things of course and Mr. Malfoy had just confirmed some of those things. He’d been neutral in appearance during the War but he had a heavily stocked potions lab in his basement in which he had brewed many potions mostly healing ones for people during the War. Sides didn’t matter to him so much; he’d tried to stay neutral. Everyone deserved the right to be healed, he’d become a doctor to the masses if you will.
“Lucius explained everything to you?” he enquired.
“Not in detail”.
“Is there anything you’d like to do?”
“I want to help people. Draco and I have helped a lot of magical creatures at work but there are so many others that need help”.
“Like those orphaned by the War, those still stuck in St. Mungo’s, those who’ve been falsely accused and need representation” she said.
“That sounds like a lot of work, how would you do it?” he asked politely.
Draco nodded for her to continue, he was the only one so far to have heard her idea. It was a dream she had that she wanted desperately to become real but she didn’t have the funds nor did she think that anyone would take her seriously.
“I want to open a practice that deals with four main areas: reconstructing families for the orphaned and the lost, a healing center dedicated towards the permanent residents of St. Mungo’s, a law firm for those falsely accused or those in need of representation and a magical creatures section. Draco and I have spent too long making significant improvement in that department to give it up now”.
“You’ve given this a lot of thought”.
“Yes” she replied.
“Why is it not up and running yet?”
“It was just a pipe dream I haven’t the money and things kept getting in the way” she admitted.
“But it is still something you want to do?”
“Absolutely” she replied.
He was pleased with her response, her incredible mind was fully up to the challenge and she’d definitely picked three areas that the Ministry was failing in. With some serious thinking her pipe dream could become something more real. Hermione might not have much money but the Lords’ certainly did. He’d be happy to head up the healing sector if she so desired. Good things were bound to come from this and bad things would probably follow.
Since the beginning of their conversation the sun had moved from its original position in the sky and was now setting in the far East turning the sky from a light blue to the pinkest orange it now was. Time flies with good conversation.
“We must be heading home” said Draco, the setting sun acting as a reminder for what time it was. He’d prefer not to be over-tired for work tomorrow.
“Right” said Hermione distractedly, “Thank you for inviting us into your home and for the pleasant conversation Lord Gold” said Hermione formally.
He bowed in response, Oh she was good he thought.
Lord Lysander Gold - A Lord of my own creation, if you wish to use him please ask first ~ Zyii
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