Chapter 21 : Coffee
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Hermione arrived back in her flat by 4pm after going back to Captonia Manor for tea with Narcissa, Molly, Pansy and Ginny, and realising she had at least an hour and a half before she had to get ready she curled up on her sofa with the book that was teaching her how to become an animagus. She had seen her animal, she now knew what it was but the question was how to get her body to be forced into that form. There was no incantation for this particular part of the transformation. It was done solely on the magic that lived inside of the person and that was why so many people couldn’t do it. As Hermione finished the little paragraph that told her that she had to imagine herself becoming the creature and willing herself into its form with her magic, her mind began to wander to the dress she had bought for her dinner with Draco.
The dress was thigh length, fitted her like a glove and was practically backless as the neck of the dress scooped down to expose almost all of her back in a soft V that stopped at the base of her back. The Slytherin green of the dress gave way only to the silver silk at the hem of the dress. It was simple but elegant and not something Hermione would normally wear, but when she had let slip that she had a date with Draco that night, Ginny and Pansy had insisted that they help her find a dress and Narcissa and Molly had been there to help. Hermione chose the dress she could cope in the most. As some of Pansy’s and Ginny’s designs were too daring and some of Molly’s and Narcissa’s were a tad bit old fashioned for her taste, the dress she chose was one of Pansy’s and Ginny’s ideas in the end.
It was in the rare moments she spent alone that Hermione began to think back on all the things she should have done differently where her parents were concerned.
“No,” Hermione murmured out loud as she cut her thoughts off cold. “Don’t go there.” Hermione stood up and stretched before making her way over to her desk where Loki was sleeping in his cage. It was only when she sat down when she realised that on the desk were 2 little gift wrapped boxes. Frowning Hermione touched her finger to the box and watched as it grew to its normal size then she unwrapped the bigger one, which turned out to be all manner of treats and things for Loki. Unwrapping the second package revealed a delicate letter cage that could be tied to Loki’s leg so he could deliver letters easier and she could attach them easier. They were obviously presents from Draco.
Smiling Hermione sat down and drew paper and pen towards her as her mind began to focus on the only person she was able to see at the minute.
I know I only saw you three days ago, but I need some company to take my mind off things, if only for an hour. Do you want to meet me at the little muggle coffee shop we used to go to when I was staying with my parents?
Could really do with a chat,
P.S. Owl is called Loki. Watch yourself.
Hermione finished the letter and folded it so it would fit comfortably inside the letter cage and when she looked up she saw Loki staring at her with one amber eye and she smiled as she opened the cage.
“Come here boy,” Hermione cooed. The owl hooted softly as he hopped out of his cage and onto the desk. Hermione smiled softly at the owl as she stroked his head. “Can I tie this to your leg please?” The owl blinked one amber eye lazily in assent and held out a leg for Hermione to tie to the straps around. With a spell she fixed the straps snugly around his leg and put the letter inside the cage. “Take this to Harry Potter for me, and be nice… Oh and here,” Hermione waved her wand over the owl then smiled. “That should get you through his wards.” Loki hooted softly and took off out of the window Hermione opened magically.
Half an Hour later Loki returned and he fluttered down onto the desk, waking his mistress from her light sleep. Hermione jumped and then looked at the letter Loki held inside his harness. She could see her own writing so it was obvious Harry had replied on the back of the letter. With a swift smile at Loki, she relieved him of his letter ad he hopped back into his cage, somehow managing to close the cage door with one of his claws.
“Well aren’t you a clever boy,” Hermione cooed softly. Loki only clicked his beak in the direction of the letter. Hermione smirked and opened the letter to see the hurried scrawl of her oldest friend.
Sure thing, I’ll see you there in five.
P.S. Beautiful owl Hermione, reminds me a bit of Buckbeak… Very proud.
Hermione chuckled at Harry’s P.S. then looked with a smile at her ‘Very proud’ owl.
“Harry seems to think you’re proud Loki,” Hermione said softly. The owl somehow managed to puff out its chest in an important way and Hermione giggled. “Right, I’m going to meet Harry, I’ll be an hour, windows open if you wanna go out,” Hermione smiled softly. Loki blinked an eye at Hermione then covered his head with his wing, obviously choosing to sleep. So making sure that her front door was locked she apparated out of her flat to the small alley by the little coffee shop.
Just as Hermione sat down on a soft cushy chair upstairs with a coffee Harry appeared with his own coffee in hand and sat opposite her. Neither friend felt the need to start jumping in with conversation; their greetings were said in the small smile on their lips and the sparkle in their eye. Ginny had only witnessed their new greeting once around two months after Ron left and Hermione and Harry came back from somewhere alone. Of course being a hot headed Weasley she jumped to the worst possible scenario for her and cried for hours until Harry convinced her that Hermione is like his sister, will always be like his sister and was no way involved with him past their sibling love for each other.
The silence continued for a few minutes as they drank their drinks until Harry lowered his and looked into its depths with a frown on his forehead.
“Mione?” Harry murmured.
“Mmh?” Hermione answered.
“Do you ever… Do you ever think about Ron? Wonder what he’s doing?” Harry asked in a small voice. Hermione froze for a second and looked up at her the man who was as good as her brother with her icy retort on the tip of her tongue. But when she saw the look on his face she felt the iciness melt.
“Not really… And if I do, I… I don’t think nice things. Harry what brought this on?” Hermione questioned quietly as she wrapped her fingers around her coffee mug.
“I guess I understand where you’re coming from… I just, we only have 2 weeks left till the wedding and because Ginny is getting married to me, she can’t have one of her brothers at her wedding. I mean he should be here…For Ginny,” Harry said quietly. Hermione sighed almost inaudibly.
“Have you spoken to Ginny about this?” Hermione asked.
“I don’t know whether to mention it, because practically all the Weasley’s disowned Ron when he left, I’m not sure where Ginny stands. I dunno whether to ask her or just leave it,” Harry sighed.
“Harry put it this way. You can ask her and the worst that happens is she says no I don’t want him there and doesn’t speak to you for an hour, or you can invite him off the bat and she blows up at you on your wedding day. It’s not really my decision to make if you understand me,” Hermione said. Harry smirked at her tone as he immediately recognised the know it all voice but Hermione ignored him very used to the smirk he presented her with, instead she got back at him.
“You look like Draco when you do that,” Hermione said as she raised her drink to her mouth. Harry’s jaw dropped open and he spluttered, lost for words for a few seconds.
“I do not,” Harry finally gasped.
“Yeah, sure,” Hermione said patronisingly, earning herself a withering glare from Harry. The couple lapsed into silence again after that, until Harry noticed Hermione staring at a small muggle family seemingly unconsciously.
“Mione?” Harry murmured. Hermione cut her eyes to her friend and he was startled to see that her eyes were wet with unshed tears. He quickly moved around to her side and wrapped her in a hug. “I’m sorry,” Harry whispered as Hermione dissolved into tears, but after a few seconds she shrugged away.
“I don’t understand what’s wrong with me. I mean when I’m with Draco I’m fine, but now I’m on my own I’m a mess,” Hermione sniffled as tears kept rolling down her face.
“Hermione you lost your parents. It’s not like losing Remus and Tonks. You could argue that I don’t know what it’s like but just know that you don’t have to be on your own, because I’ll be here for you. And don’t forget Draco wants to help too,” Harry said in a low voice as he pulled her back into his arms. Hermione sniffled a few more times then fell quiet.
After a few minutes of just sitting there Hermione took a deep breath and sat up.
“You okay?” Harry asked. Hermione nodded with a soft smile.
“I will be,” Hermione grinned.
“Good… You have everyone behind you to get you through this you know that,” Harry murmured before he placed a kiss on top of her head and settled back in his chair. Hermione nodded her head and took a deep breath before finishing her almost cold coffee.
“So how are you holding up? Surely the Weasley’s is getting hectic?” Hermione asked with a grin. Harry sighed heavily and ruffled his already messy hair.
“I’ve avoided the place. Ginny spends some time there but comes back to Grimmauld Place in the worst mood possible. I spend most my time at work at the minute, Kingsley’s given me extra work as an excuse,” Harry murmured. Hermione gasped then covered her mouth as a snicker escaped.
“You asked Kingsley for more work?”
“Hey, at school I was only lazy because Ron was. I actually read all my set books in the holidays!” Harry said indignantly. “And I always downplayed what I could do in class because Ron would get hissy.” Hermione gawped at Harry and then groaned.
“Please tell me you did the best you could in your exams.” Hermione asked causing Harry to grimace.
“I did the best I could but if I didn’t do well in my tests it was because I didn’t exactly revise much,” Harry answered. Hermione rolled her eyes.
“That boy was terrible for you,” Hermione then said. Harry shrugged.
“He was my first friend what could I do?” Harry replied.
The friends lapsed into silence again until Harry frowned.
“Why did you say you only had around an hour or so?” Harry asked and Hermione blushed.
“Draco’s taking me out on a date. I don’t know where we’re going but… yeah. He’s picking me up at half 7. He told me so right after he kissed me in public,” Hermione said quietly.
“He did what?”
“Kissed me… In public,” Hermione repeated.
“Well if he chose to make your relationship public at least we know he’s serious right?” Harry eventually said.
“I guess so,” Hermione shrugged.
Harry and Hermione spent another half an hour in each other’s company then Hermione apparated back to her flat. When she got there she found Pansy and Ginny leaning casually against her wall.
“Merlin’s beard!” Hermione yelped. “What are you doing here?” Pansy and Ginny only laughed.
“We’re here to help you get ready for your date with The Dragon,” Pansy smirked. Hermione blushed and unlocked her door with a key and allowed Ginny and Pansy into her small flat.
As soon as she was over the threshold Ginny moved straight for Hermione’s bedroom while Pansy took Hermione over to a chair and sat her down.
“Seriously guys I can get ready you know,” Hermione pouted as Ginny re-appeared from her bedroom with her barely touched make-up, straighteners and all manner of other female products Hermione had always abandoned.
“Mione this is your first official date with Dragon, we want him to find you unbelievably stunning Pansy winked. Hermione rolled her eyes.
“Okay,” Hermione conceded, knowing it was useless to argue with Pansy or Ginny on their own, let alone when they were together. Ginny and Pansy hi-fived each other and then set to work.
Hermione was first ordered in the shower and told to wash her hair and when she returned she was forced to sit in a chair for an hour as Pansy and Ginny worked on her hair, nails and face until they were satisfied. Pansy then used her magic to swap Hermione’s dressing gown (which she wore over her underwear) for her dress. Ginny then helped Hermione to slide on and fasten the green and silver heels she had matched with the dress. Once the shoes were on Pansy enlarged a mirror from her bag and allowed Hermione to have a look at herself.
Hermione gasped as she caught sight of the witch in the mirror. Her long brown hair hung over her right shoulder in elegant waves and her face looked almost flawless. Pansy had opted for the smokey eye look and the dark red lipstick that she wore stood out without making her look like a harlot. Hermione knew that the dress fitted her in all the right places, emphasising all her curves but she was stunned further when she found that with the right make-up and hair the dress seemed to radiate beauty. Completing the look with heels coupled with the short dress gave Hermione the appearance of having longer legs than she did.
“There is no way Draco is going to find any faults. You look perfect,” Pansy said softly.
“I don’t think there’s any way anyone will find faults to be honest. Draco will be fighting them off for you,” Ginny then answered. Pansy then stood back and frowned.
“Wait I almost forgot.” Pansy drew from her bag an emerald and silver purse bag and from inside it a box. “I found some earrings that would go perfectly. Since your hair is over one shoulder you need something that dangles and sparkles so here. That’s all I got in the jewellery sense. Oh and you may borrow the bag,” Pansy grinned. Hermione gasped as she saw the earrings, they were perfect.
Hermione slipped the earrings in and then slid her money purse (not that she thought she’d need it), phone and a lippy into her someone knocked the door. Pansy and Ginny went to open the door while Hermione shuffled nervously. It was half 7 on the dot.
“Hey Pansy, Ginny, what are you doing here?” Draco asked from outside.
“We came to help your girlfriend get ready,” Ginny replied.
“She could get ready on her...” Draco came round the door and froze. “Own.” He eventually finished when he managed to get his lungs to work. “Wow Mione. You look… wow.” Hermione blushed and walked forwards nervously, admiring Draco in his grey almost silver suit complete with a white shirt and a green tie.
“We match,” Hermione observed as she reached Draco.
“Thanks to my mother, she told me your dress colour… You look amazing,” Draco whispered softly as he cupped Hermione’s face. He was just about to lean down and kiss her when he was interrupted by a shocked screech.
“No! Wait!” Pansy yelled. Draco and Hermione jumped.
“What?” Draco drawled as he faced Pansy who was marching forwards with her wand in her hand.
“Unless you want to smudge her lipstick on your mouth please let go of the witch and step away,” Pansy said in a rush. Draco lifted his hands and stepped back in surrender and Pansy smiled sweetly before murmuring a spell she directed towards Hermione’s face and hair then stepped back away from the couple. “There, now you may kiss her,” Pansy grinned. Draco rolled his eyes and pulled Hermione against him and kissed her softly.
“You look good enough to eat,” Draco whispered into Hermione’s ear, causing her to blush even further.
“You don’t look so bad yourself,” Hermione then smirked, causing Draco to laugh. Pansy and Ginny slipped out of the door after waving to Hermione and she waved back as Draco took her hand.
“Right shall we go,” I have a reservation booked for quarter to 8,” Draco grinned.
“Where are we going this time? Italy?” Hermione asked.
“I’m not just going to tell you,” Draco winked. “But I do hope you like French food,” Draco then grinned before he headed to the door and picked light grey coat off a hanger and handed it to Hermione as she passed him.
“It probably won’t help your ego, but you’re amazing,” Hermione murmured. Draco shrugged and waited for Hermione to lock her door.
“I know,” Draco grinned then one she’d taken his arm, he disapparated.
*Hides behind a barricade of everything I can find*
Lovely readers I’m so so so so so so so so sorry for the delay in getting this chapter up. I had my final exams of school ever (happy dances) they were solid, then ive been contending with writers block. I am however back and writing again.
This chapter is a bit of a filler but I wanted to throw some light on the relationship Harry and Hermione now have, having been friends for almost a decade. The next chapter will contain the actual date (even im looking forwards to this as I never know what’s going to appear till I let my fingers run wild). Please leave me a review. I love to read them love to answer them and they help me become a better writer.
I Hope you all enjoy this chapter and accept the sincere apology I have provided.
(on another note I reapplied to Pottermore because I forgot my account and I’m now a Slytherin!!! WHAT! Oh well! I love it there ;) )
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