Chapter 47 : 3 months later...
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There was a knock on the door and Hermione was on the kitchen island, resting her head on the table while she sat on a stool. She groaned in utter frustration and sulked to the door. She rested her head on the door lazily, shouting, “Who is it?”
“IT’S ME! ENOUGH ALREADY!”
Hermione grumbled nonsense and opened the door to find her fiery-red head friend. For the first time, Ginny’s eyes were stern and she looked like a younger version of her mother. “I am sick of you shutting yourself up!”
Hermione groaned and threw her arms up then dropping down to her sides. “What do you want from me?”
“I found you a job so enough of this moping around already. It’s been three months. I would think that would be enough. And I don’t mean getting over him, juts do something with yourself already!”
Hermione flopped onto her red-brown leather sofa, groaning. “Just say his name. You avoid saying his name like he is Lord Voldemort. He-who-must-not-be-named-because-he-broke-your-heart.”
“Merlin!” scowled Ginny. “You are sounding like a bitter woman!”
“What’s the job, Ginny?” mumbled Hermione.
“Something easy. It won’t stress you out. Just a secretary for an Auror.”
Hermione sighed, “And who is this Auror?”
“Not sure,” frowned Ginny. “New. But either way, easy enough for the brightest witch of our age. Just some file-keeping.”
“Sounds boring and not thought provoking.”
“Well, it would be tortuous, but I think it’s better than you sitting on your arse all day and crying.”
Ginny was right. For the last three months, all Hermione did was squander away and cried. She would sit in front of the TV, watching romantic movies where true happy endings exist. Her diet only consisted of strawberry frozen yogurt which caused her to even shed a lot more pounds. The rest of the time was spent shopping to replace the clothes too big for her and searching for Draco in the crowds, hoping to just get a glimpse.
Hermione sighed, “Fine. I hope he is a cute Auror too.”
And she got her wish.
Hermione stepped into the familiarity of the Ministry, Auror’s Department. Although she never had the pleasure of working here in this specific department, she was always welcomed because of Ron. Now, though, she was standing on her own and she was slightly thrilled at gaining some independence back. When she was with Draco, it was nothing, but fervent dependence because it was what Draco wanted. He kept her cooped up most of the time in the Manor for her safety. Reflecting back on it, he was reasonable. She gotten herself into too much unaccounted-for trouble and she couldn’t imagine how much more trouble she would have landed in if it wasn’t for Draco basically keeping her locked up. At this point of her life though, her only focus was on her. It was a focus to bring her old self back.
Ginny rushed over to Hermione with a fear-stricken face.
“What are you doing here, Ginny?” asked Hermione, puzzled. Ginny never worked for the Ministry and expressed she never had intentions to. After the war, Ginny began training again with the Harpies, excited to re-kick her Quidditch career.
“I came to drop off Harry’s lunch. For being wonder boy, he sure forgets a lot of things,” she said quickly in one breath. “But that’s not the point! First off, I have to sincerely apologize. I didn’t know. I swear to Merlin, I did not know!”
“What is it?” hissed Hermione with anxiety.
“The new Auror, well your wish is right. He is more than cute. He is hot—”
“I don’t see the problem here, Ginny.”
“Oh, you will.”
Hermione looked from her friend to a face she knew so well. His blonde hair sleeked back, his gray eyes twinkling mischievously and he walked with such grace. She gulped, bracing herself.
“You look like a skeleton,” he commented with a smirk.
“Shit,” mumbled Ginny.
A blush washed over Hermione’s cheeks, but she quickly recovered by snapping back, “You still look like the pompous ferret you are.”
His smirk became more defined as he touched Ginny’s upper back. “Thank you. I’m assuming she is my secretary…” Draco looked back at her with sparkling eyes. “You should be more respectful to your boss. Come. We have a lot of work to be done. Thank you, Miss Weasley.” He smiled graciously at her. He walked away as Hermione followed him.
As Hermione past Ginny, Ginny mouthed the words, “I’m so sorry!”
Draco and Hermione reached the end of the Auror office with several offices with large open windows inside and out. What she assumed to be her desk was situated right in front of the last office to the right. Draco motioned to it. “This is yours. And my office is here.” With his thumb, he pointed behind him. “How have you been the past few months?” he asked with a smirk.
“Fine,” she replied with confidence. LIE! “And yourself?”
“Everything has been wonderful,” he answered with lips curling upward. LIE! He stared into her doe brown eyes, hopeless. He was using every ounce of self-control not to kiss her senseless. Continually convincing himself that he should be happy just to see her face, he grew greedy every second his eyes were on her. He cleared his throat awkwardly. “Well, I will let you get settled in…”
Hermione nodded and set her big leather purse on the desk, just staring at the empty desk. She paid attention to nothing, but Draco’s footsteps and the swing of a door. She relaxed once he was gone, all the tension washing away with a sigh. She removed a framed picture of her, Harry and Ron and another of her and the entire Weasley Family and set them on her desk. She took out her fanciest quill with a raven feather and jet black ink. She sighed and got up from her seat to look around. It was then she noticed Draco’s office had open windows. He was sitting with a couple of fingers on his mouth and his leg hoisted on the other, watching her intently. The minute her eyes met his, he swirled his chair to avoid her gaze.
Slowly, he watched her reflection walk away and once out of sight, all the built-up tension unknotted. He sighed with relief, throwing his head back. She was in his mind, day and night and when Reeves Carrington offered him a job, he took it without any hesitation. He, of course, did not need the money, but it was all for entertainment. He needed to entertain himself so he no longer thrived on the thought of Hermione. And now it was definitely impossible to forget about her. The way her beautiful brown eyes widen. The way her pink lips parted.
She caught his attention again when she came back in the reflection of the window. He cleared his throat to brace himself. He got up from his chair and stretched before facing her. At her desk, he looked down at her and said, “I need you to look at some files for me.”
“Yes, on Rabastan Lestrange. From crimes during the First and Second War so he could stand trial. It is going to be collective.”
“Bring them to my office.”
She nodded, walking away as he watched her. He went to his office and waited patiently for her to come back. When she opened the door, he perked up and sitting up to be attentive to her. “You found it so quickly.”
“It wasn’t hard…” she said gravely.
“Of course… You are the brightest witch of our age,” he smirked. “Although I still don’t understand what you are doing in a position like this…”
“I was hoping to meet a hot Auror.”
“And I bet you I was a dream come true.”
“Far from it actually,” she mumbled, purposely loud enough for him to hear.
“No need to lie, Granger.” Draco waved his wand, conjuring up a chair besides his. “Have a seat. I don’t bite unless you’re into that.”
Hermione rolled her eyes, but couldn’t suppress the ghost of a smile on her lips. She walked over to Draco, sitting and spread out the files on the table.
“Good girl,” he smirked condescending. “Now, I need you to find me the date of June twenty-seventh.”
Hermione did as she was told; speed reading through files as Draco leaned forward and began writing on parchment, or pretending to. He was overly aware of her presence. Every shift she made and every breath she took, he took notice. Draco was almost shaking, ready to break loose from the fake façade he was holding up. He wondered if she felt the same too. Honestly, she did. She was overly focused on what she was reading to not pay any mind to the man beside her that her mind went blank completely for a couple of seconds. With a fiery determination to escape his proximity, she read faster than she ever read before.
“I found it,” she mumbled. She looked up at him. He was unreasonably close.
It was that at that moment, Draco heaved a sigh, breathing out all his self-control. He slowly leaned to her, his eyes closing. She closed her eyes too, embracing herself for bittersweet impact. Her eyelashes tickled his skin as his breath was hot on hers. The lips of the pale man brushed against her, stilling. It seemed that the few seconds of hesitation lasted for hours due to the impatient anticipation. The kiss was feathery and light. It was gentle and caring. He pulled back, but again pressed his lips against hers, but this time harder in a hunger to satisfy. He cupped the back of her head with fingers tangling in her hair as she leaned up for more. It was satisfying to both to be able to finally feel the touch they longed for all these months. Draco pulled away, wanting more. He wanted to drown himself in the pleasure of her. He began to leave a trail of kisses from the corner of her mouth down to her jawline and her neck. Hermione moaned, savoring the moment. She didn’t care. She didn’t care if she would be just meat to him, if she would just be a heat in the moment.
Draco patted on the desk for a search for his wand, without breaking away from loving her neck with his lips. Once he found his wand, he waved it which caused all the binds to conceal them in the office. His hands slithered down to her buttons of her shirt, popping them out one by one slowly. The shirt was freed and Draco moved his hand up under her bra, caressing. She moaned at the warm touch.
Then, there was a buzzing, loud. Something was humming in a vibrating sound.
“Fuck,” hissed Draco in annoyance, pulling away from Hermione. “Ministry notice.”
Hermione refused to look at him with burning red cheeks, buttoning up her shirt slowly in disappointment. She stood up as he went for the door. A pink paper airplane was floating in a buzz and Draco opened his hands to allow it to land in his palms.
Hermione went to squeeze right past him and he immediately caught hold of her wrist. “You’re going already?”
She nodded without answering or looking at him.
He sighed heavily. “Stay here for a moment…” He opened the note and after reading it, crumbled the paper in his fist. “I have to go too. I will see you later…”
But he didn’t see her later. By the time he returned from the meeting, the day was already over. With hands hitched in his suit pants, he stood in front of her desk, sighing. “Fuck,” he hissed to himself and shook his head. He perked up at footsteps and saw across the room, Reeves Carrington leaving. Draco immediately jogged to him. “Mr. Carrington!”
Reeves looked curiously at Draco. “Good evening, Mr. Malfoy. How do you like your job so far?”
“Excellent. Thank you for the offer.”
“I am equally as glad you accept it. I heard you were also fabulous at the meeting. Your suggestions are quite clever. Clever enough to compare you to Miss Granger.”
Draco shrugged, not caring too much about the compliments for the first time in his life. “I try.”
“Good. Have a good night, Mr. Malfoy.”
“Wait, Mr. Carrington. I have a question to ask you.”
“Miss Granger is my employee, correct? I am her direct boss.”
“Yes, that is correct…”
“I don’t have any of her information down such as her address. I need to send her an owl regarding one of the files she helped me with.”
“Ah, yes. Here.” Reeves pulled out a beige folder with only about two pages tucked in it. “Is that all, Mr. Malfoy?”
“Ah, yes. Thank you.”
He nodded. “Good night.”
“Have a good night, Mr. Carrington.”
As Reeves walked away, Draco opened the folder. At the top left corner was Hermione’s picture which he assumed was the I.D. picture she took this morning. Beside the picture was information such as her full name, birthday, address and tel-telphone number (whatever that was). He stared at the address for a bit and a cunning smirk formed.
It was Friday, yes, but there was hardly an excuse not to show up to work. Hermione would never be caught slacking already on her second day, but knowing Draco, she could not hold him to the same standard as her. It was a quiet day in the office as Hermione took on Draco’s work and replaced him in a meeting. Although it was not part of her job duties listed, Reeves had asked personally for her to cover for Draco, knowing she was more capable than any other secretary. She did not thought this without examining the other secretaries who were almost competent, except for Harry’s and Ron’s secretaries who were just bimbos. Although for most hours of the day, she was busy, there were times he mind wandered to Draco. Every time she passed the office, she looked it as if she was waiting for him to pop out from under the desk and say, “Kidding! I am here today. Hermione, would you like to snog in my office again? Because I love your lips and more so, love you.” She shook her head of those unrealistic thoughts, but her heart was hoping with a violent passion that somehow it could happen.
At the end of the day, she was very much exhausted after hearing such a splendid speech from Auror Yale and trying to keep Ron awake the entire time because he had a misconception that the speech was tortuously boring. She was walking up the small flight of stairs to finally retire for the day to her flat and fiddling with her keys when she stopped dead in her tracks on the last step. A pale man with blond hair was fiddling with a key in a lock right next to her flat. He looked up and the piercing gray eyes confirmed either her worst nightmare or a dream come true.
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