Chapter 10 : Dinner... Date?
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“Mi? You want something?” Draco asked casually as he raised a smaller towel to his hair to dry it off. Hermione swallowed a few times and then she shook her head as she removed her eyes from the masculine figure that had her heart racing.
“Yes, what is that thing you have placed on my bed?” Hermione then hissed as the black number appeared in her head.
“That Hermione, happens to be a dress, a dress you are going to have to wear if you do not wish to look out of place at the restaurant we’re going to,” Draco smirked arrogantly as he lowered his towel from his damp hair after making Hermione wait for an answer.
“But it’s floor length, and strapless and I have no shoes,” Hermione growled. Draco chuckled lightly and flicked his wand at his wardrobe so a shoebox came floating out towards Hermione. Hermione caught the box on reflex but glowered at Draco.
“Look consider them my gift to you, because you’ve actually been good company for the past week. When you take everything into account. Now get the dress on, get the shoes on, you’ll find a small bag that should match on your bedside table and don’t forget our reservation is for 7:00pm and it’s 5pm now. You are also still in what you wore all day. If it helps think about tonight as the day you’ll get your proof for your article,” Draco said casually as he dropped the towel onto his bed and rested his right hand on the knot of the towel that was only hiding his private parts by about a centimetre.
Drawn there by his hand moving to his hip Hermione found her eyes drawn to the fine trail of dark blonde hair descending from Draco’s navel and disappearing below the towel. Then she groaned and threw her spare hand up to her face as she turned on her heel to Draco’s musical laughter. Hermione stormed across the flat and into her own bedroom, where she placed the shoes on her bed, grabbed a towel and headed to her bathroom. When she stepped under the shower spray Hermione let out a long low breath.
The three days she had spent recovering from her overdose had been three of the most eye opening days she’d had since she’d heard of her parents’ death. She was still depressed, and still going to see Healer Karris, who kept telling her she would make no progress if she didn’t speak, but she had been alert. Unfortunately being alert had meant she took note of the man she was living with. When he had left his room and come for breakfast the one day in just loose jogging bottoms hung low enough on his hips for his black boxers to be visible, Hermione had for the first time truly noticed how much of a sex god Draco Malfoy was. He was Adonis reincarnated with perfect hard muscles hidden under soft alabaster coloured skin and the utterly delicious shape of his body as his strong shoulders and chest tapered into a narrow waist. Even though she was Hermione and he was Draco Malfoy, she was still a woman, and she had felt her heart rate speed up and had fought to control her breathing as he had given her a sexy, sleepy smile.
On the second night Hermione had woken up in the middle of the night as she had a dream about the plane crash and she had run into Draco’s room and stood there shaking, as she debated waking him or leaving him to sleep. Draco had woken up at the sound of her and he had slowly walked over to her and pulled her tight to him, despite being dressed only in his boxers, he had then pulled her to the bed and turned on the lamp and sat there with her. At close range in the light Hermione had noticed the palest dusting of freckles she had ever seen across his shoulders and with short laugh she had pointed them out and Draco had scowled at her, but then he stayed there at 2 in the morning and initiated a conversation where they talked about everything that had happened to them. It had lasted the best part of 2 hours and not once did he complain, when they finally climbed into bed together she felt completely safe in his arms and felt like she knew Draco Malfoy better than anyone, save his mother and himself.
With a shiver Hermione began to wash herself using her favourite coconut soaps before using strawberry smelling shampoo and conditioner on her hair as she tried to ignore the feeling of sadness and immense hatred as her recent post sprang to mind.
The same day the article was released in the prophet Hermione received almost 50 owls, none of which were actually nice. Every single one told Hermione that she was a disappointment, and their little girls used to look up to her. The worst ones were howlers, one of which came from a muggleborn who told her she was a disgrace to all muggleborns and that they had enough to deal with without the most famous muggleborn witch fraternising with pureblood scum such as Draco Malfoy and dragging their name through the mud with her drinking habits. Draco had also been sent a barrage of hate mail for fraternising with Mudblood scum and he’d had a temper tantrum when he received an owl from his mother saying she had also received similar mail and burnt it promptly. The only thing Draco would not let Hermione do however; was apologise. He wouldn’t let her even whisper the word without telling her that they could send Dementors to his door and he wouldn’t change what he promised to do. Hermione felt her heart melt as she remembered every letter Draco had burned for her and every enchantment he had set up to ensure no unwanted mail reached her eyes after the first day.
When she was finished she felt relaxed and she stepped out of her bathroom to look at the dress on her bed. It was a beautiful dress, strapless and fitted to the hips, where it would hang loosely, made of a subtly shimmering black material with a split up the one that stopped at her mid-thigh. Although strapless, it was the type of dress you wore without jewellery, as any kind, even the kind Draco’s mother wore, would look simple next to the dress and give the entire outfit a cheap look. The dress was stunning and the fact that Draco chose it made her wonder where he would be taking her that would require a dress like that, it also made her anxious to see how good he looked, because he would certainly be dressed to match the dress even if she herself didn’t look very extraordinary
Eventually when Hermione had dried her hair and placed loose curls through the ends and given herself light make-up, Hermione stepped up to the dress and pulled it on gently. The dress fit like a glove and without pausing to look in the mirror, she waved her wand at the plain black 4 inch heels Draco had chosen so they would feel like she was in flats before stepping into them and summoning her bag. Inside her bag she placed a lip-gloss, her wand and her purse, even though Draco had told her he would pay for that night.
“Mi! Are you ready yet?” Draco yelled through the door. Hermione grabbed a black shawl from off the back of her desk chair and stepped up to the door.
“There is no need to shout Draco I’m done,” Hermione said as she flung the door wide. He way Draco looked was indescribable, no word could correctly describe him, he was dressed up in a black suit, black shirt with the top button undone and no tie, with his hair casually messy and he was looking ever so cool and casual with his hands in his pockets, however only his facial expression ruined the I’m-sexy-and-I-know-it look. “Draco are you alright?” Hermione asked as she stepped closer to him.
Draco’s eyes were glued to the woman in front of him. Hermione looked absolutely beautiful, her hair had been done in such a way that it positively shined and the dress Pansy had helped him choose had knocked him senseless. Hermione Granger, although short, had curves in all the right places and a fair amount as well, the dress hugged her slim figure like a second skin and through the thigh high slit in the dress Draco could see one creamy leg, and the black heels he had given her made her look tall enough to stand comfortably at his side and made the leg he could see appear longer than it was; then he became aware of the expression the beautiful woman was wearing as she waved her hand in his face. Blinking Draco suddenly started to hear again.
“I’ll find something else to wear don’t worry,” Hermione whispered dejectedly as she started to turn away.
“What?” Draco gasped.
“You’re looking at me like you hate it,” Hermione whispered.
“No, no, no, no, Merlin, Hermione you look absolutely beautiful, and I am not lying to you, you look stunning,” Draco gasped as he saw Hermione’s milk chocolate eyes cast downwards. Hermione stayed looking down until Draco lifted his hand and raised her chin gently so he could meet her chocolatey orbs and convince her he was not lying. “Did you not look in a mirror before you walked out of your bedroom?” Draco sighed heavily. Hermione shook her head and Draco found himself wondering what woman leaves a room without checking her outfit beforehand? Draco then took her hand and dragged her into his bedroom and spun her to face his floor length mirror.
Placing his hands on Hermione’s shoulders he felt her freeze and he watched with amusement as her hand rose to her lipsticked mouth in shock before she glanced up to meet his eyes in the mirror. When grey locked with chocolate, Draco felt time stand still. Something foreign sparked between the two sets of eyes and they held onto it for as long as they could without blinking. As soon as they blinked the connection broke and as Draco saw her facial expression soften he knew he was letting down more walls than normal but looking at the image of both himself and Hermione brought out a strange feeling in him. A feeling his father would have told him was fake, a feeling his father would have blamed on an unknown spell from the clever muggleborn witch. His father would never have accepted the image Draco could see, and he felt himself sadden.
Hermione must have seen his sadness also because she suddenly whipped around and smiled brightly.
“I though reservations were for 7:00pm. Why are we just stood here,” Hermione grinned. Draco smiled weakly before her took her hand and pulled her close to him before apparating to the restaurant in Italy.
Hermione couldn’t help but gasp as she saw where they were.
“Italy?” Hermione whispered as she leant closer to Draco.
“The one and only,” Draco grinned. Hermione breathed a sigh of relief at the fact she had learnt to speak Italian. “Why the sigh of relief?”
“I actually know how to read and speak in Italian,” Hermione grinned.
“Well how about we stop dawdling and go inside?” Draco smiled as he walked up to the Host. Hermione remained closed by Draco’s side, feeling a tad bit out of depth as he conversed with the Host and got them seen to their seat.
“You two are cheery,” Hermione commented.
“My family used to come here often, I haven’t been in a while but it is beautiful don’t you think?” Draco asked with a casual gesture towards the open window. Hermione finally decided to look around and as she looked out of her window she was greeted by a deep expanse of blue sea, shimmering in the evening sun, while a light but warm breeze slipped through the window and warmed Hermione as she sat there.
“Wow,” Hermione whispered. Then she slipped her wand out of her bag and underneath the table before casting the muffliato spell on their table.
“Did you cast the charm?” Draco whispered.
“Yes. Did you tell Ginny?” Hermione whispered back. Draco nodded and Hermione visibly relaxed.
A waiter then walked up to the pair passing within the charm Hermione had set and handed them their menu’s and a small bell before letting them know that when they were ready to order they should just ring the bell and rushing off. Hermione eyed the bell curiously and Draco chuckled.
“It saves them waiting around all day, are you ready to order?” Draco then asked. Hermione smiled but shook her head as she picked up her menu.
“I’ve barely raised my menu, let alone chosen something to eat Draco,” Hermione smiled. Draco blushed a delicate shade of pink then he pulled Hermione’s menu down from her face. “You don’t need a menu to order a drink.”
“Fine, how does a red wine sound?” Hermione smiled. “A sweet one.” Draco nodded and then rang the bell lightly. The waiter heard the sound and looked up from where he was behind the bar and walked over swiftly. Draco ordered the drinks quickly while Hermione folded her hands in her lap and looked at her menu from her position, brushing her hair back over her shoulders so it didn’t fall forwards. Until she finally decided on a chicken lasagne, playing it safe and sweet as the waiter hurried away.
“I’ve decided what I want,” Hermione smiled as she looked up, but she made a mistake as she caught his liquid silver eyes.
Both Hermione and Draco stopped paying attention to the world around them as they got lost in the other. Hermione felt like she could see all the way into him; he was completely open to her, hiding nothing. She knew he had been bad, she knew he could still be a complete dick but the war had changed him, humbled him in ways only being on the losing side can.
Just then someone fell into Hermione’s chair and she gasped as she jolted in her seat and smacked her lower ribs off the hard wood table. Hermione looked up through watery eyes at the offending person and saw a head of platinum blonde curls hurrying away. Hermione narrowed her eyes into the space just behind the woman and saw a slight shimmering that indicated that someone invisible was hiding there.
“That was Rita,” Hermione whispered as she looked back at her menu, trying to gather her wits about her. At the rate this was going, she wouldn’t make it to the end of the night without jumping on a certain Draco Malfoy.
“Let the fun begin,” Draco smirked. Then he looked down at the menu. “You said you had decided on what you wanted?”
“Yes, chicken lasagne,” Hermione smiled. Draco grinned back at her and winked as the waiter arrived with the drinks.
The waiter looked at Draco who instead indicated Hermione should order for herself and Hermione smiled as she looked up at the waiter. Draco couldn’t keep his eyes from the mesmerising woman in front of him. Her black hair with loose curls was falling forwards over her shoulder as she turned and her creamy skin had a delicate pink tinge to it. She spoke Italian well without the tiniest hitch or flaw in her pronunciation as she ordered and when she met Draco’s eyes after ordering he saw the prettiest red blush shine through her light layer of make-up and colour her skin.
“Signore?” The waiter called and Draco looked up suddenly tearing his eyes from the angel in front of him and he ordered the exact same as Hermione. When the waiter walked away Draco lowered his eyes to his folded hands in front of him as he tried to avoid staring at the woman opposite. His efforts however were made useless as a soft cream coloured hand touched his. Draco looked up reflexively and met the eyes of the woman he realised he wanted more than anything.
Hermione caught the suddenly intense look in Draco’s eyes and she pulled her hand away, or tried to, because as she went to move Draco reflexively flipped a hand over and caught hers. Hermione thought he hadn’t done it on purpose but he slowly looked down and rearranged his hand so his fingers were interlocked with hers.
“You know when you wish you could understand?” Hermione whispered. Draco nodded back as the intensity of his silver eyes increased. Hermione suddenly gasped and withdrew her hand as she looked down. She couldn’t understand what was happening. Where the hell had these sudden feelings for this man come from. She had always thought he was rather good looking back at school but he was an arrogant git and a prejudiced pureblood to boot, but now, he was different and for some reason this different version of Draco Malfoy had earned a one way train ticket straight to her broken heart. Hermione took a deep breath and then looked up at Draco with a tentative smile, the smile he returned was every bit as shy as hers and then she let out the breath and turned to look out the window at the sea and the soft sunset as Draco caught her hand once more and interlaced their fingers again.
When dinner arrived Hermione and Draco ate in silence, occasionally bringing up questions they had forgotten to ask when they had spent the night talking. Draco had Hermione laughing more than she had laughed since she had left the Weasley’s and he rarely let go of her soft hand. Hermione found that she could rarely ever look away from the silver lava that was the colour of Draco’s eyes, he was intense, and his personality over dinner was just magnetic. She found herself drawn to the man more and more over dinner, completely forgetting about the actual mission behind the meal until she went to the washroom just after they finished their main.
“Mi?” Hermione heard someone whisper and she looked around the seemingly empty bathroom then she saw Ginny uncover herself in the corner and grin at her.
“Merlin Ginny you scared me,” Hermione chuckled as her friend wrapped her arms around her lightly.
“I almost didn’t recognise you, you look, well I have no words because good is not even close,” Ginny gasped. Hermione blushed and looked down at the dress as she walked over to one of the cubicles.
Ginny waited until Hermione re-emerged before leaning close to her ear.
“We have our evidence by the way. Skeeter had no idea,” Ginny whispered.
“You have it? Brilliant!” Hermione grinned after a few seconds.
“You forgot? Are you having that great a time with Mr sex-god-Malfoy that you truly forgot about the real reason for this?” Ginny snickered.
“Ginny,” Hermione sighed reproachfully.
“It’s true isn’t it? I came out of here once or twice cause it’s bloody boring when Harry’s working late and I saw you and him laughing and looking at each other all cute and stuff. You two are really hitting it off aren’t you?” Ginny asked. Hermione blushed as she stared into the mirror, brushing her hair behind her ear.
“Maybe. I can’t help myself,” Hermione whispered with a shy grin. Ginny gasped and let out a quiet squeal then she grinned at her friend.
“There’s hope for you yet, now go get back to Mr Delish,” Ginny grinned as she shooed Hermione and threw the cloak back on. Hermione shook her head and walked out the washroom to Draco who was sitting there looking ever so cool and casual as per usual as he looked out of the window.
“Did you miss me?” Hermione grinned. Draco looked back at Hermione and his silver eyes sparkled.
“Of course, do you want desert here or would you rather take it home with some of that wine you love so much?” Draco grinned. Hermione place a finger to her lip as if thinking hard but then grinned and Draco knew the answer. Wait here while I go and pay the bill and collect our desert and wine. How would you feel about Torta di Ricotta, an Italian cheesecake?” Draco smiled. Hermione nodded enthusiastically and she watched as the man rose from his seat gracefully and walked casually over to the host.
As she waited Hermione looked all around and couldn’t help but be happy with her evening. Even though she had been reluctant to call this a date she was glad it turned out like one. Draco was ever the gentleman, allowing her to choose what she wanted to eat and not ordering for her and she couldn’t remember being treated as nicely as this when she was with Weasley. Draco Malfoy surpassed Ron Weasley in practically everything. Ron had never bothered with her emotional state and he was always angry when she refused to sleep with him. Yet when Hermione had been upset and kissed Draco the other day, he had been the one to refuse her, not angrily, not roughly but kindly with a sweetness she would never have imagined coming from the Slytherin Prince himself.
“Why so deep in thought gorgeous?” A rough male voice asked. Hermione looked up from the beetle on the table and saw a man sat in front of her, leering at her almost.
“Sorry I don’t know you,” Hermione answered with a frown. The man chuckled as he leaned forwards and placed a hand on her neck.
“Of course you don’t honey, why would any man leave such a woman like you alone?” The man chuckled. His dialect was rough English with a strong Italian accent and Hermione tried to recoil and would have if the man had not wrapped his thick fingers around her neck hidden by the dark sheets of her hair.
“Please release me,” Hermione whispered as she stared into the man’s eyes scared.
“Now why would I want to do that?” The man chuckled as he pulled Hermione forwards.
“Because you wouldn’t want to cause a scene in such a high standard restaurant sir,” The host replied in a smooth English accent. Hermione looked up and her worried eyes caught a hold of Draco’s furious ones and in his anger his eyes had become a flat cold grey. The host was also looking furious and the man released me quickly and leant back with a chuckle.
“Of course,” The man said and the host drew his wand and placed it into the man’s neck on the sly.
“Get up and leave my restaurant, do not dare return,” The host snarled as the man stood up. With a short nod the man turned and left the restaurant not looking back and Draco walked over and held out his hand to help Hermione out of her chair. Using his other hand he tilted her head back and checked her neck for any signs of redness.
“He didn’t hurt you?” Draco murmured. Hermione shook her head and smiled. “Are you okay, do you still want to continue out plans for this evening?” Draco asked with a slight ghost of a smile. Hermione grinned back as she removed Draco’s hand from her chin.
“If you think some leery bastard could ruin my evening and the remainder of it you’ve still got a lot to learn,” Hermione grinned and Draco grinned back as he picked up Hermione’s shawl from the back of her chair and handed it to her along with her bag from the table. The host led them over to the bar and Draco collected their cheesecake in a box and a bottle of wine before he led Hermione out into the warm evening.
Guy’s I couldn’t help myself I wanted their romance to become a little bit more heavy here. They were in Italy and it was a sunset setting, I couldn’t help it ;). I hope you guys all enjoy this chapter as much as I did because I loved writing it. I don’t know what possessed me to add the random stranger in but I couldn’t have it all smiles could I? And what do you think of Hermione’s new found perspective of Draco, I mean she noticed him a bit before but now she’s noticed him. Please leave a review I love reading them and although I don’t answer them allll the time I really do appreciate every single one. Anyways enough of my ramblings im working on Chapter 11 now.
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