Chapter 3 : Chapter 3
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The first thing she could do when she regained her composure was smile and walk up to him. Her brain seemed to not be working correctly as all that was running through her mind was how incredibly HOT and sexy Draco had become. Ginny was right-dear Merlin, he was so handsome!
“Mr. Malfoy, how are you doing? I heard about your accident from The Minister, Harry and Ginny. Are you alright? Should you be out of the hospital? Please sit down so that I can stop worrying you might fall over!” She realized she was babbling and needed to regain her composure. She led him to her little sitting area. They sat down.
“Please call me Draco, we don’t need the formality do we?”
“Sorry Draco, you are right. And yes, call me Hermione. I don’t need the Madamn Undersecretary all time, especially when we are working together. Kingsley told me about you retiring from the national team and coming to work here. I am sorry it happened like this, but congratulations on your position and on your success in Quidditch. It really is quite impressive. But how are you doing really?”
“Coming from you, that means a lot. I am sore and feel like I have been run over by the Knight Bus, but my bones are healing well. The lacerated organs are a bit tricky, but the doctor I have a St. Mungo’s is really good and is sure I can make a full recovery. Of course he better, he is one of my best friends.” He said with a wink. “But seriously, thank you for your concern. I will be back to normal soon. I am glad that Kingsley told you about my new position. I am excited; I wanted to leave the game on a high note. This wasn’t what I was thinking, but this is as good a time as any.” He said smiling at her.
She couldn’t believe that she was having a civil conversation with Draco Malfoy in her office. But who could say no to that handsome face?! The bone structure was perfect and his silvery blue eyes were sparkling as he looked at her. His white blond hair was longer than when they were at school, but it fell perfectly messy in his face in a basic sex god way. He had muscles all over, but not in a gross body builder way. Just very fit and you could tell he worked out. He was wearing a dark grey t shirt that was fit him like second skin. She could tell that his legs were equally as muscular with the tight fitting black jeans. She wouldn’t mind running her hands down his stomach. Having him kiss her with those perfect lips was something that she wouldn’t mind having done right now. Wait…What?!! Why was she thinking about Draco in a sexual way?! She must really be sleep deprived. She had to snap out of it! This was all Ginny’s fault! Damn her and her suggestive thoughts. But damn it all to hell if he didn’t stir her juices, in a way that has NEVER happened before! She hadn’t felt like this in months, maybe years!
Draco was looking at Hermione and couldn’t believe that he was actually here, talking to her. She was even more beautiful than he remembered. Her hair was different. He thought it was long and could tell that if she took out that bun, it would cascade down her back. He would love to run his hands through it. Her chocolate eyes were still so deep that he was he could lose himself in them. She had grown into her curves, with nice legs and full breasts. Man, he would give anything to run his hands all over her. He noticed that while her eyes were still beautiful, they were a little sad and he wanted to make it better for her. His whole reason for coming was in front of him and he knew it was now or never.
“Hermione, there is reason that I came by today to talk with you. It wasn’t about the accident or investigation. Whatever happens with that is fine.” Hermione looked a little confused, but let him continue.
“I don’t really know how to say this, so I will just come out and say it. Hermione, I am truly, deeply sorry for the way that I treated you in school. I was a nasty little git that was brought up by a mean, evil father who would rather help Voldemort than his own son. I can’t tell you how awful my life was, but that is another story. This is about you and my apology to you. I can’t tell how badly I feel about what my Aunt did to you in our home. I can never forgive myself for not stopping her from hurting you. I still have nightmares about that. I was just so scared and didn’t know what to do. I know that is no excuse, but I was stupid and young and feared for my life as well as my mother’s. If I didn’t do exactly as my father said, He would have killed my mother and then me. It was all we could do to stay alive. Neither of us believed his pureblood nonsense. We had to keep up appearances for our safety.
“When you testified at our hearings, I knew that I had to make it up to you. You saved my mother and me with your testimony. I vowed to make sure that my life was filled with hope and doing good things for others. So I just wondered if you could find it in your heart to call a truce so that we can work together in a few months.” Draco looked at her with hopeful eyes, waiting to see if the rest of his life might be happy.
Hermione couldn’t believe what she had just heard. Her heart was breaking for the little boy who had to endure so much growing up. And it was breaking for the man in front of her, bearing his soul to her in an attempt to right the wrongs that his father had committed. Harry was right, he had changed. Her eyes welled up with tears as she replied to him.
“Draco, I am so sorry for everything that you went through growing up. Please don’t worry about what happened at the manner. You couldn’t have done anything more than you did. I still have some nightmares, but I have accepted it and moved on. The war is over and we all experienced horrors that we would like to forgot. I think it is time you forgave yourself. It is admirable that you have done great things with your life. I bet your mother is proud of you. Harry and Ginny have told me of all the amazing things you both are doing in the community. But, I am afraid that I can’t honor your truce, though” as she watched his face fall, “How about if I just forgive you instead? Life is too short to hold grudges.”
He looked like Christmas had come early as she said this. They both stood up at the same time and he drew her into a huge embrace. As soon as their skin touched it was like an electrical shock. They both jumped back a little with the sudden feeling. They looked at each other in an odd way.
“Must have been an electrical shock from the carpet, I’m sorry about that Draco.”
Not believing her explanation, he replied, “No problem, Hermione. I should go anyway. I am sure you have a busy afternoon and I have some things to take care or my over protective healer will string up my arse!”
They shook hands with the same shock and burning feeling in their hands and he left. What the hell!!! Hermione blinked a couple of times to try and clear her head, as she rubbed her hands together to get the burning and warmth from their hands touching to subside. What is happening to me? Physically attracted to Draco Malfoy?! Who wouldn’t be, but is that something she really wanted to even think about?
She went back to her desk, just as Samantha came in and asked, “What is going on with hot men coming to see today? You are the luckiest woman ever!!”
“Oh stop! He was an old classmate at Hogwarts-“
“Oh don’t give me that! He is a famous Quidditch player! It’s a darn good thing that I am married with a beautiful little girl as home!!”
Hermione just smiled at her friend and coworker. “Do you say someone else was here to see me?”
“Oh!! Sorry!! A Dean Thomas is here to see you. He said you are expecting him.”
“Yes, another fellow Gryffindor. I am in need of his advice. Please send him in.”
Samantha left and Hermione moved over to the other side of her desk so her and Dean could go to the sitting area to talk. She was nervous about this meeting. Samantha showed Dean in and they hugged. She offered him a drink as they sat on the couch.
“Hermione, I have to say I was shocked to hear from you about needing legal advice.”
“I know Dean. I am in shock myself. Before we go any further, I need to know that whatever I say to you here will stay between us.”
“Attorney/client privilege is now in effect. Everything you say is confidential unless I have your permission to say it in a court of law.”
Hermione nodded and took a deep breath. “Dean, the reason I asked you to come today is that I would like you to represent me in my divorce from Ron. I know that this isn’t your unusual type of case, but I don’t trust anyone else but you to take care of this with grace, efficiency and discretion.”
Dean’s jaw dropped. “Are you sure Hermione? I mean, it’s Ron. We have known each other for years.”
“I am very sure. We don’t have a marriage or a partnership anymore. The drinking is out of control, as is his temper. I can’t keep putting myself in this toxic environment anymore,” she said as the tears fell gently from her eyes.
“Oh, Hermione! I am truly sorry. I guess you never really know what goes on behind closed doors. I will absolutely take your case. When would you like to start?” as he reached for her hand in a reassuring way.
“Well, what is a normal time frame look like in these cases? Do I need to be present in court or can you just file the necessary paperwork?”
“Once you file the initial notice, you are looking at 6 months for it to be finalized. That is standard wizard law. The only way that can be sped up is in cases where there was abuse by one of the spouses.”
Hermione sighed again. She had been doing that a lot. “I really wanted this to go faster and just be done. There is no other way unless abuse is a factor?”
“I’m sorry. Plus if there is abuse suspected, Magical Law Enforcement has to do a little investigation. But, that doesn’t take long. The process only takes about 4-6 weeks. They want to make sure that the victim and any children are taken care of and in a safe environment quickly. Why are you asking about abuse, Hermione?”
“Confidentiality, right?” Dean nodded. Hermione took her wand and took the make-up off with a flick of her wand. Dean took in a sharp breath when he saw her face.
“Oh my… I am so sorry. When did this happen?”
“Last night. He was drunk again, and was pissed off by some news we got. We flooed home and he just turned around and hit me. He said some horrible things then went upstairs and passed out. I left early this morning before he woke up, so he hasn’t even seen his handy work.”
Dean’s professional voice came back, “Hermione, do you think this will happen again? Do you want to leave now? How do you want to proceed? I don’t want you hurt anymore!”
“Let me think about this for a few days. I am not sure how I want to proceed. I don’t want to do the abuse option unless I have to. I want as little fuss as possible. I don’t think he will do anything else. He will be so embarrassed when he sees this. Can I owl you with my choice?”
“Ok, only if you are sure about this. This isn’t what I would normally advice my clients, but you are Hermione Granger Weasley. I will wait to hear from you.”
They both stood and he grabbed her in a big bear hug. “Please be safe! Let me know if you need anything. If I haven’t heard from you by Friday, I will be in touch.”
“Thank you Dean. I really appreciate it. I will be in touch before then. Don’t worry, I will be fine.”
He nodded, took a few photos as evidence and left. She went to her desk and put her make-up on again. What should she do? She pushed it from her mind for the next few hours and finished up some busy work. She didn’t feel like she could do anything really important with her mind being so preoccupied. A few hours later, Samantha knocked and came in.
“I finished the notes you made for those reports and will get them out first thing tomorrow. I am going to head out and pick up my little angel from the sitters. I will see you tomorrow.”
“Goodnight. Give your little Daisy a hug from me. I will see you tomorrow.”
It was 5:30 and she should probably head out as well, no matter how much she dreaded it. She collected her brief case and set off for the lifts to go out. A few people waved and said good night as she went. In order to think some more, she took the Muggle Underground home and walked the rest of the way, thinking about her life and what she should do. She knew neither option was ideal, and many people would be upset. But she had to think of herself for the first time in 5 years. She deserved that much at the very least.
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