The next day dawned cold and rainy and Hermione did not want to get out of bed. Flicking on her bedside table lamp, she brought of her book and started to read. At 7:45 she decided she should get ready for work. Heaving herself out of bed and into the shower, then walking into her closet she threw on a pair of slacks, a shirt, cardigan and a pair of heels before apparating out of her apartment. As she walked through her office door she saw a familiar back towards her. "Draco." Hermione greeted as she swept over to her desk, now facing him.
"Hermione, how are you? I have an idea on how to break our engagement to the public."
"I'm alright, thanks for asking. Do tell your amazing idea." Hermione replied drily.
"I was thinking that we would go to La Crousette for dinner, and I'll pop the question there, it's always packed with the who's who of wizarding society so the whole world will know after twenty seconds."
Hermione shrugged "Sounds fine with me, we'll have to go to my parents house soon so you can meet them, I think it'll be easier if they're on a need to know basis, I don't want them tangled up in this." Draco agreed readily and soon left for his own office. Sitting primly at her desk, Hermione turned on her computer and started checking her emails. She had one from Neville
Thank you for agreeing to the protection that was offered to you last night. I know it's not what any of us would've liked but it's definitely the best. No cases today- so just catch up on any paper work from tomorrow, or go over case reviews to see if there's anything you would like to have a look at.
Hermione started going through old cases, deciding which ones she would like to have a look at. Around twelve her computer binged, opening up her email she saw that she had an IM from Ginny:
I have today off from work and I was wondering whether you wanted to meet at that little bistro at one and have lunch?
Hermione instantly replied:
I'd love to have lunch, I have so much to tell you, it's unreal. See you there.
Hermione finished up her last bit of paperwork and put on her coat. Grabbing her purse she walked out the door and to the lift. Arriving downstairs, she walked out the front door and walked down the street and into a quaint little bistro that her and Ginny used to be frequent customers at when Hermione was in university and Ginny was at nursing school in between quidditch practices- now she usually just played quidditch, but she had her occasional shift at St.Mungo`s. As she walked through the small wooden door, a waft of spice and warmth hit Hermione's nostrils. She made her way over to Ginny who had saved them a beautiful table by the window.
"Mione! Feels like I haven't seen you in ages" Ginny exclaimed, jumping up and giving her a big hug.
Hermione laughed and replied "You too Gin, you're never going to believe what happened last night."
Ginny raised an eyebrow "Mione, all you do is read books, what did you lose your favourite?"
Hermione grumbled "Shut up Ginny... No, that's not it at all. I just thought you'd like to know that Lestrange is after me, to finish what Bellatrix started and to kill me. So Harry and Draco came up with a plan that I'll marry Draco to be safe until they catch him. "
Ginny's green eyes widened like saucers as she leaned forward "Oh.My.Goodness. Hermione Malfoy.. That doesn't even sound that bad actually, I always did sense a spark between you two."
Hermione flushed "Ginny! There is no spark, hush. Anyways, I thought I should tell you before you hear from someone else." They spent the rest of lunch chatting about the wedding and other such things until Hermione had to go back to work.
Rushing home after work, Hermione realized she had no idea what to wear for dinner. Looking through her closet her eyes landed on a dress Ginny had bought her and she had never worn because it was just a little much. It was a vibrant red halter that ended just above her knees and was skin tight. Squeezing into this, Hermione then put on a bit of mascara and a touch of lipstick. Shoving on a pair of red stilletos and pulling on her trench coat, Hermione apparated to the restaurant. Waiting right there for her was Draco and damn did he look good. He had on an all black suit and his hair was lightly ruffled as he no longer gelled it as he did when they were kids. Smiling at her, he offered her arm and as she took it lightly he led her into the restaurant. It was an extremely swanky restaurant.
It was mostly cream or red coloured with small elegant tables scattered throughout. Large crystal chandeliers hung from the charmed ceiling so that they looked as if they were floating. Draco pulled her chair out for her and they sat down. After ordering their wine and entrees they chatted about work and what kinds of cases they were going to miss. As their dessert course came more and more people were whispering about Hermione and Draco having dinner together. Once they were finished dessert Draco gave her a wink and fluidly bent down on one knee in front of her, pulling out a very large diamond and ruby ring saying sweetly "Hermione Jean Granger, you are the love of my life, would you do me the honour of becoming my wife?" Hermione acted well by gasping just at the right moment and flinging herself into Draco's warm embrace saying "Yes, yes of course! A million times yes!" As his mouth came towards her ear Draco whispered "We should make this really convincing, right?" and his lips softly touched hers.
Draco could not believe this night. It was heaven, it was hell. After his oh so heavenly kiss with Granger, they left the restaraunt and were swamped by reporters asking them a multitude of questions. Thankfully Hermione thought quickly and yelled to the reporters "Hi there. Sorry to be rude, but honestly this is our engagement night and we don't want to deal with this right now. One reporter from the Daily Prophet, one report from The Quibbler and one reporter from Witch Weekly will be invited to an interview at our flat in two days time. Thank you."
With that Hermione grabbed Draco's hand and apparated them straight into her kitchen. Draco looked around at this surrondings, Granger definitely had taste, he had to admit it. The kitchen was really nice, white marble floors and counters, red walls and a big counter. Hermione offered him a butterbeer and he accepted readily.
"So, I was thinking that if you don't mind, you could move in here at least until the interview's over so it looks like you've been living here. I mean if you don't want to, it's okay, I'm sure you have better places to be.." Hermione rambled on.
"Granger, relax! Yes of course I'll stay, I'll apparate home now and get some stuff to make it look real. See you in like thirty minutes."
Hermione's shoulders slumped as he disappeared. She couldn't believe this night, it was nothing like she expected. Well, actually she expected everything that happened.. Except she would never have expected, even with her big brains, her reaction to Draco's kiss. It was sweet, warm and oh those lips.. Those lips were magical. She took deep calming breaths as she took her last gulp of butterbeer and went to clean both of their glasses. She slowly made her way down the hallway and into her room. As she stepped into her walk in closet she pulled out her wand and charmed it so that it grew to double it's size so that there was room for all of Draco's clothing. After this she walked into the bedroom and charmed a photo of her and Harry to look like one of her and Draco. Walking into the living room, she almost slammed right into Draco.
"Oh, hi! Didn't expect you back so soon." Hermione said as she moved around him to straighted the cushions on the couch.
"I didn't have a lot to get. I charmed some photos so they look like us" he blurted, shoving them into Hermione's hands. She looked down at four photos them in frames. One was them at a beautiful white sand beach, she was wearing a blue bikini and he had green shorts on. His arm was around her and they both had huge grins on their faces. The next was them in a cute little park, sitting on a park bench gazing into eachothers eyes. Next to that they were in the rainforest just about to go across a zipline and were sharing a quick kiss. The last looked like a professionally done photo as the background was a stunning meadow filled with flowers and Draco was standing behind her, pulling her against him as they both smiled at the camera.
"Wow Draco, these are actually really believeable" Hermione murmered with wide eyes as she dispersed them throughout the flat.
"Thanks" Draco returned with his trademark smirk. "I'll just put away my clothes and other stuff." He walked towards the bedroom with his black duffel bag.
Hermione trailed after him into the closet. "Is there enough room?" she asked leaning forward to see him.
"Yeah, it'll do" he said with his trademark smirk as he finished magically sorting his clothes away.
Hermione nodded and walked all the way into the closet. Going over to her side, she grabbed a pair of sweat pants and a baggy shirt then started on her way to the bathroom. "I'm going to get a shower, I charmed an extra bed for you so don't worry. Oh and there's another bathroom down the hallway to the right if you need it."
Under the hot stream of water Hermione's body started to relax. Washing her hair with her strawberry scented shampoo she started to sing a little melody.
Draco walked down the hallway to the other bathroom and grabbed a quick shower using his favourite bodywash that smelt like a cross between scotch and mulling spices. Pulling a pair of boxers on and ruffling his hair with a towel, Draco then walked back to the bedroom. Looking over the the bed he saw that it wasn't actually one bed anymore. There was two beds. Draco chose the one nearest the wall and crawled right in, grabbing his new found favoruite book "To Kill A Mocking Bird". What the heck was that noise? Draco wondered as he roused from his book world. It sounded like singing... Was Granger singing? She wasn't bad actually, he reflected but none the less shouted "Hey Granger! Mind piping down a bit? Trying to read here!"
Hermione blushed furiously. She couldn't believe she had sung when Malfoy was within hearing distance. Using a drying spell on her hair, Hermione then pulled on her sweatpants and shirt. Casually walking into the bedroom, she swung herself under the covers and promptly flipped over so she wasn't facing Draco. "Goodnight." she murmered as she squirmed around getting comfortable.
"Night." Draco replied, setting down his book, switching the lamp off and also turning over.
Hermione's alarm blared and Draco jumped out of bed, launching himself across Hermione to hit the alarm.
"Ouch! Draco, what the hell are you doing? Get off." Hermione yelled, struggling to get out from under him.
Draco had only one thought on his mind- to get the damned alarm to shut off. His mind didn't even register that he was jumping on Granger to do so. But he'd be damned if she didn't feel just right underneath him. Her petite little body was slithering down his, trying to get out. Draco felt as if he could ravish her right then and now. Oh my goodness, what the hell was he thinking? Draco wondered as he quickly pushed himself off her and stalked out of the room saying over his should "Sorry Granger, I really hate alarm clocks. You make a great landing pad though, thanks."
Hermione groaned as she rubbed her belly where Draco had landed. Watching Draco as he walked out, she soon followed. Walking into the kitchen, she saw that he had already started making coffee.
"What do you take in yours?" he asked while holding up the box of milk, a box of cream and some irish coffee sweetener.
"The irish sweetener today, thanks." Hermione said as she reached into the bread box. "Want a bagel with cream cheese?"
"Yeah, that'd be great." Draco replied as he poured each of their coffees, setting them beside eachother in front of stools on the counter. He sat down on one of the stools, pulling his drink towards him inhaled deeply, savouring the smell of the rich brew. He watched as Hermione toasted both of the bagels and applied cream cheese. Handing Draco his, Hermione sat down on the other stool while taking a gigantic bite.
"So, I guess we should go to work... eh?" Draco asked with a wink.
"Guess so. Uhm... So what are we telling people at work? Do you think they know that we're engaged?" Hermione asked hesitantly.
"It'll be all over the news papers. It's not everyday one of the member's of the golden trio get engaged, now is it? Draco teased.
Hermione chuckled slightly ``Well no, I guess you have a point there. So we should just.. erm, grin and bear it?`` she finished lamely
Draco just nodded, finishing his bagel quickly he then made his way to the shower. After both of the apartment`s inhabitants had finished their morning ministrations, they apparated to the ministry- ready for day full of paper work and interrogations.
AN: Chapter image by SwissMiss @TDA! Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the amazing reviews, I love reading and responding to all of them. :) Also thank you to all of silent readers, you are just as much appreciated!! Also I've had some comments about Neville's career which I show in the first couple of chapters, I know in the book he becomes a teacher, but I just loved the idea of them all working together! Again, thank you to all my amazing readers!