“Rose, stand still!” Hermione said as she attempted to tie her three year old daughter’s shoe laces. It was usually a struggle to keep Rose still; she was such an energetic and adventurous child. Hermione was constantly running after her when she had a mad moment and ran around like a lunatic, bouncing off the walls and making a mess of the living room. Today was proving trickier than usual to get Rose dressed. She was so excited to come to work with her mum in the book shop for the day that her legs were doing a happy jig.
Tying the lace in a small bow Hermione scooped her daughter into her arms and rushed into the living room to grab her hand bag. She pulled out a juice carton from the small fridge in her miniscule kitchen and popped it into her bag along with her purse and mobile phone. Without letting a wriggly Rose out of her arms, Hermione glided out of her apartment and locked the three locks on the front door securely.
“Mummy, Mummy, can I help you stack the books today?” Rose asked her mother excitedly as she hopped to avoid the cracks in the pavement as they wandered down the small back roads on their way to Hermione’s small bookstore. “Of course you can, but your main job is to pick out as many books as you want for me to read to you at night,” Hermione answered with a chuckle. She loved reading to her daughter before bed.
It had always been a dream of hers to run her very own bookstore in magical London. It was never a practical job, according to her ex-boyfriend Ronald Weasley. So Hermione hadn’t plucked up the courage to quit her dead-end job at the ministry and do it until 4 years ago when she fell pregnant with Rose.
As Hermione and Rose turned a corner, their eyes fell upon the tiny yellow book shop with white daisies in hanging baskets on either end of the entrance. Two circular white tables stood in front of the two paned windows on either side of the front door. A big yellow awning spread over the tables providing them with cool shade from the summer sun. On the cover were the words ‘Hermione and Rose’s Bookshop’ in white swirly writing. This was both Hermione and Rose’s favourite place in the world.
“Good morning!” Called Mrs Walton as she opened the adjoining café, that Hermione also owned to help her bookstore business. “Hello Mrs Walton,” Rose sung as Hermione opened the front door of the shop. As soon as the door was unlocked, Rose pushed the door and ran straight into the bookshop to claim her favourite bean bag in the kids section.
Hermione chuckled and headed for the counter to open the till for the day. “Rose sweetie, will you do me the honour of turning the sign to open please?” Hermione knew that there was no need to ask, for this was Rose’s favourite job to do whenever she had time off nursery, and because it was the summer holidays Rose would be with Hermione almost every day at the shop.
“Yes Mummy!” Rose called and rushed to the door. Even on her tip toes, it was a challenge to reach the sign, but Rose loved a challenge, “Can I go find Max now?”
“Okay, but get some breakfast from Mrs Walton when you’re there,” Hermione smiled, “and don’t feed any to Max this time, Coco pops will make him sick” She quickly added, seeing the mischievous look on her daughter’s face as she raced over to the door that joined the book shop to the café. Rose wasn’t listening though, she had already run off to find Mrs Walton’s dog Max, leaving Hermione alone to open up the bookstore in peace.
Hermione walked into the back room and put on the radio so that the music played quietly throughout the whole shop. Humming merrily to herself, Hermione danced around the room, putting books in their proper place and doing a bit of light cleaning. She didn’t hear the tinkle of the shop door that announced a customer’s entrance.
Hermione did a small twirl and then froze. She lifted her head slightly and blinked. Her mouth was slightly open and her body was frozen half way turning round. A tall man, around the same age as her, with strong muscles and a handsome face stood by the door to the shop. He was wearing blue jeans and a white top with a grey knitted cardigan. Hermione was still stood in shock. The man looked just as shocked as she did. He seemed to recover before her and moved his hand from his pocket and ran his fingers through his white blonde hair.
“Fancy seeing you here Granger” The man tried his best not to sound fazed by Hermione’s sudden appearance after not seeing her for almost 5 years.
“Well this is my book shop,” Hermione croaked. She coughed quietly trying to make her voice go back to normal. “What are you doing here Malfoy?” She asked harshly.
“I’m just here to buy a book,” He explained with his hands in the air, as if in surrender.
Just then Hermione noticed a small figure hidden behind Draco’s legs. She stared at the small boy in shock. He had blonde hair and blue/ grey eyes just like Draco.
“I presume that’s okay?” Draco asked, “I mean the sign says ‘open’.”
“Of course, go ahead,” Hermione whispered; her eyes still glued to the child cowering behind Draco.
Draco turned his attention to the little boy behind him and kneeled down so he was at the same level as him. “Go ahead Scorp, pick out any books you like the look of. I think the kids’ section is over there.” He pointed towards the corner of the room where all of the children’s books and toys were kept.
Scorp ran off over to the kid’s section and Draco turned back to Hermione.
“It’s a very nice shop you have here. How long have you had it?” He asked, trying to make conversation.
Hermione’s head tilted to one side, she looked at him cautiously before answering, “Four years this summer.”
He nodded as if impressed and replied, “Cool.”
“What?” He asked.
“Nothing, I just never expected to hear Draco Malfoy ever say the word cool,” She giggled.
Draco’s lips turned up slightly, “Well a lot has changed over the past five years Granger, as you can see,” He gestured towards Scorp.
“Yeah, a lot has changed,” She agreed. “He’s yours then? Last I heard you were to be married to Astoria Greengas.”
Draco’s face dropped and she knew immediately she had said something wrong.
“Yes he’s mine. Astoria was not ready for a child apparently, so we didn’t end up getting married,” He said coldly.
“I’m sorry, me and my big mouth. I just assumed...” She tried desperately.
Draco looked down at the floor, “Don’t worry yourself, Scorpius is the best thing to ever happen to me and I wouldn’t change anything,” He said honestly.
Hermione smiled, it seemed Draco had changed a great deal since Hogwarts.
At that moment Rose burst through the doors clutching Norbert, her green dragon toy. “Mummy, Mummy, I taught max a new trick, do you want to come and see?” She shouted breathlessly.
Draco looked wide-eyed between the two girls. It was Hermione’s turn to do the surprising now. She chuckled inwardly.
“Well done Rose, you can show me later. I want to introduce you to someone.” Hermione called her daughter over.
Rose, being the energetic and confident girl she was, simply bounded over to Draco and shook his hand. “It’s lovely to meet you, my name is Rose Granger, and this is Norbert,” She signalled towards her dragon.
Draco looked speechlessly at the small girl with curly brown hair and hazel eyes just like her mother. Draco seemed to come to his senses and kneeled to be the same level as Rose.
“Hello Rose, My name is Draco Malfoy. This is a lovely dragon. You say his name is Norbert?” Draco looked up with amusement at Hermione who shrugged and gave a small smile.
“Yes, Uncle Hagrid gave me the idea for the name. He said that he had a dragon once and he called it Norbert. But when I asked him what happened to his dragon, he started to cry. Mum told me it was best not to ask any more questions again about why Hagrid doesn’t have Norbert anymore,” Rose rambled on. “Do you know Hagrid?” She added.
“Yes I do” Draco said “He’s the gamekeeper at Hogwarts, the school I used to go to.”
Rose looked at her mother and then back at Draco, a look of deep thought etched onto her face. “That means you must know Mummy from school,” She reasoned. “Were you friends? Were you friends with Uncle Harry too?” She asked innocently.
Draco suddenly looked very uncomfortable and looked down at his shoes. “Yes, I knew your mummy in school. No I wasn’t friends with her, or Uncle Po-Harry. I wasn’t very nice to people when I was younger.”
Instead of backing away like he had expected her to, Rose smiled at Draco and said, “Well you seem very nice to people now”.
He couldn’t help but smile back at the cute little girl. She was very intelligent for her age he could tell. “Scorp, come here,” Draco called over to his son.
“Yes Daddy,” Scorpius said as he ran over and jumped into his father’s arms.
“This is Hermione Granger,” Draco explained and carried his son over to Hermione so Scorpius could shake her hand.
“It’s very nice to meet you Scorpius,” Hermione smiled at the sweet little boy in front of her.
Scorpius held his arms out to reach for Hermione to hold him. Hermione looked up at Draco for approval; Draco looked shocked at his son’s actions but nodded at Hermione. She took Scorpius out of Draco’s arms and held him on her hip.
“Hello Hermi… Hermi,” He struggled to say her name.
“Her-mi-o-ne,” she said it slowly.
“Hermione,” He said looking triumphant.
“Well done Scorp!” Hermione praised, and tickled his belly. Scorpius giggled and cuddled closer into Hermione. Draco looked dumbfounded at how comfortable his usually shy son was with Hermione. Hermione bent her knees so she was nearer the height of her daughter and said, “Rose, this is Scorpius, Draco’s son.”
“Hello Scorpius,” Rose smiled sweetly.
“You can call me Scorp. Hey do you want to help me pick out some books? It’s my birthday next week and daddy said I could have some books as a before birthday present,” He replied, and wriggled out of Hermione’s arms and ran over to the children’s section with Rose.
The two children began talking and looking through the books. Of course they were only looking at the front covers. After five minutes the two ran over with armfuls of books and looked up expectantly at their parents.
“These ones are for me,” Rose beamed at her pile of colourful covered books.
“And these ones are for me,” Scorpius added confidently.
Draco picked up his son with armfuls of books and strolled over to the till. Hermione soon realized what he was doing and followed them. “That will be twenty galleons please,” she said and packed the books in a yellow paper bag that had the shop name written on it in white. Draco handed Hermione the money and thanked her.
“Daddy, can we see Hermione and Rose again? Rose said she would show me her mini Hogwarts castle if we saw each other again. Please daddy?” Scorpius whispered to his father as they were leaving the shop.
Draco smiled down at his son. He had never seen him come out of his shell as much as he did around Hermione and Rose and he knew he couldn’t let old prejudice get in the way of his son’s happiness. Turning around he said to Hermione, “Umm Hermione, would it be possible to schedule a play date for Scorp and Rose sometime this summer? He doesn’t get much interaction with children his age and he and Rose seemed to have hit it off.”
Hermione was still shocked at the sudden appearance of Draco Malfoy in her shop, and now he was asking if their children could play together sometime. This day was truly strange. Hermione felt a small tug on her summer dress and looked down to see Rose looking with pleading eyes. She could never refuse her daughter.
“Yeah sure, when are you next free?” She asked with a sigh. It seemed clear that Draco and Hermione would be seeing much more of each other from now on, whether they liked it or not.