Chapter 4 : Chapter 4
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“Well, well, well. I never imagined seeing you here? What are you doing here Hermione?” Draco was stunned to see her standing there-especially looking so beautiful after a full day of work.
“Draco! I had no idea you lived here! How long have you been here? I am shocked you would live in Muggle London instead of the Manor!”
“I bought this flat several years ago as a convenient place to crash on late nights when I was just too tired to go home. The manor has been completely redone to get rid of the bad memories. My mother lives in our country side home. She never wanted to go back there unless it looked completely different. Anyway, you live here? This is crazy!”
“I am stunned right now. Totally stunned! Draco Malfoy is eating pizza!” She giggled as he smirked at her.
“Hey Draco, I am starving! Hurry up!!” She heard a voice yell as she saw Blaise step into the doorway. “Hey Hermione! How are you?” He stepped out and gave her big hug. They talked for a minute and then the smell got to them and they men said goodnight as they went into Draco’s place to eat.
The men closed the door and Draco looked at Blaise with an odd look on his face. “I live next door to Hermione and the weasel? I never knew! How crazy is that!”
Blaise looked at him with a questioning face. He could see the light in Draco’s eyes. He hadn’t seen that look since Blaise graduated from Hogwarts and Draco came to the ceremony. “Still?”
“I don’t know what you are talking about!”
“You still love her. Hermione. I know you and I never see you look like that unless she was around. I always wondered why there was never anyone serious in your life and now I know,” Blaise looked at him knowingly.
“Just keep it to yourself. I will move on sometime. I think I will always have feelings for her.”
Blaise shook his head and dug into the pizza.
As Hermione walked down the hall she smiled a little to herself at the thought of Draco eating pizza. What next? Going to an amusement park? She reached her door, used her wand and opened the door. She was nervous entering, but soon found that no one was home. Breathing a sigh of relief she put down her sweater and briefcase on the counter and made herself some dinner. She had no idea where Ron was and didn’t care at this point. She ate some spaghetti and went into the small library that she created in the office. She pulled out her favorite muggle book, “Complete works of Shakespeare” and started in on ‘A Midsummer Night's Dream’. She fell asleep on the overstuffed couch in there and slept from the mental exhaustion.
She woke up when she heard some noises in the living room. She checked the clock and it was 2:30am. She grabbed her wand and crept into the hall to see what has happening. She peeked around the corner and saw Ron fighting to take his jacket off. He was incredibly drunk and she couldn’t believe he was still upright. She went into the living room not wanting him to break anything.
“Problem Ron? Having some trouble getting your coat off?” She asked him, her voice filled with contempt.
“What do you care? I’m gonna go bed. Leave me ‘lone.” He replied, slurring his words and stumbling towards the hallway.
She went to turn and go back to the library, when he said, “You should really be more careful Mione. Running into walls is gonna leave bruises like you have now. You don’t want anything bad to happen to your pretty face, do ya?” His voice was dripping with malice. He really knew what happened, she could tell. She turned down the hallway, went back in the library and slammed the door. She magically locked it and went back to the couch. She set an alarm on the clock and went back to the couch. She would owl Dean in the morning and start the paperwork right then. She was done! The nerve of that bloody arse!! She was going to go on vacation too. Where should she go? The country? A beach somewhere? America? A warm tropical beach did sound good. She fell back asleep with thoughts of palm trees and warm sand.
The alarm went off at 6:30, waking her out of a very realistic dream about her and Draco kissing very passionately on a beach. It felt so good! She quietly made her way to the master bathroom, thinking herself to be losing her mind. She grabbed a quick shower, put on her make-up which still took a long time to cover all the bruises then magically dried her hair. She let it cascade down her back in wide curls. She went into her large walk in closet and selected a grey pencil skirt with beautiful pink blouse and grey heels. She felt totally feminine and it made her feel good. She went into the kitchen, grabbed some coffee to go, some fruit and briefcase. She grabbed her short black rain coat and left. The sky was thick with clouds and threatening to rain at any minute. She quickly walked to the apparation point and turned on the spot. She arrived at the ministry apparation point and walked to the lifts with many others. She smiled and waved to others as they waved to her. She got into a conversation with Nathan Sockling, a member of the Department of Mysteries about some necessary paperwork he needed to fill out. They laughed and went their separate ways. She got into the lift and went up to the next level. They stopped and a few people got off, leaving her and the new person who got on. She looked up and saw Draco smiling at her. Her heart stopped beating as he smiled at her.
“Good Morning Hermione. You look beautiful today!” as he looked her up and down with a longing she had never seen before-even in the early days with Ron.
Beautiful? How long had it been since she had heard that? When had anyone looked at her that way?
“Thank you Draco. You don’t look so bad yourself.” She looked at him appraisingly and saw the dark navy muggle suit he was wearing. She could tell it was expensive and was cut so beautifully that it was like his second skin. He was wearing a simple white shirt and a bright red tie, in a tight knot at his throat. He looked so… She didn’t know if there was a word to describe how sexy and amazing he looked. She bit her lip to keep from making a fool out of herself.
He smirked as he saw her bit her lip. He would have given all the galleons in his vaults to kiss her and bite that lip for himself. She finally woke up from her daydream about ripping that suit off of him and tasting what was underneath and asked, “What brings you here today?”
“Oh, I have to give my testimony for the accident to the law enforcement and magical games and sports. They have questions so they know how to proceed,” he said with a bit of worry in his eyes. He just didn’t know what would happen.
“Good luck Draco. Just tell the truth and everything will work out. I just know it. Viktor deserves whatever punishment they give to him.” She squeezed his hand as she got out on her floor. She stepped out as the electricity flowed between their hands and shot him the most amazing smile. He was rooted to that spot in the lift and was tongue tied in awe of her.
Finally, he regained his brain function as the door to the lift was closing and said, “Thank you.” Then the lift was on its way. Merlin, the power she had over him was incredible and she didn’t even know it. He took several deep breathes to regulate his heart rate and get his head on straight. He was in for several hours of emotional and grueling questioning. He had to keep her out of his head for the rest of the morning. That was like asking him cut off his own arm. Not going to happen! He went to the office and walked into the waiting area until they called for him.
As she got off the lift, she smiled as she walked away. When was the last time she had that kind of power over a man? All she did was smile at him and he was like jelly. Did he really have some feelings for her? She didn’t know, but maybe this was something to pursue when she got the divorce. The world would be open to her when all this was over.
She giggled to herself and went into her office. She talked with Samantha before she went in her office to start her day. She felt good for the first time in a few days about the future and what it might hold for her. She sat right down and wrote an owl to Dean saying to get paperwork started right away. She didn’t want to lose any more of her life. She sent out the owl and started in on her impressive inbox. She didn’t look up from her desk until her stomach growled at 12:30. She had Samantha get her a sandwich and an iced green tea. She took a few minutes to enjoy the break she gave herself and think about Draco. She hoped that everything was going well for him.
Two owls flew into her office at that point. She opened the first and saw that it was from Dean. He started the paperwork and would have it done tomorrow morning, ready for her to sign. Once that happened, he would file it and Ron would be given notice. He suggested that she start thinking about somewhere else to stay. That might be easier and safer for her then asking him to move out. She didn’t mind at all. She made plenty of money and had a huge amount in her vaults in Gringotts. She would treat herself and stay in one of the nice hotels in Diagon Alley until she found a new place. Dean also would come up with a settlement for her to think about in terms of dividing their assets. She quickly wrote back that she agreed and she would be waiting to hear from him.
The other owl was from Molly Weasley. She mustered up some courage and opened the letter.
I was wondering if you would be so kind to join me for some tea on Saturday to discuss a few items. I am worried about Ron and am requesting your help as his wife. That is if you can pull yourself away from your work. I know that you are busy, but I am hoping that you could have some compassion for him, as he is hurting.
Please send your response at your earliest convenience,
The NERVE of that woman!! Who the hell did she think she was? Demanding that she come to her to discuss Ron? This wasn’t her fault! He was a drunk and an abuser! Oh she was pissed now!! She wrote back that she would be delighted to meet her on Saturday at her favorite tea shop in Diagon Alley. She would take no more shit from any of the Weasley family! She was DONE!!
She was in a bad mood for the rest of the afternoon. She was short with everyone and felt bad. Samantha knew something was wrong, but just kept giving Hermione what she needed until she felt like talking. She knew she would eventually talk and, Samantha was right. At 5:20, Hermione called her in her office and had her sit down.
“Sam, I need to tell you something. First, I apologize for my behavior and mood today. You didn’t deserve that and I am truly sorry.”
“Mione, I know that something is bothering you. It’s ok. Please let me know how I can help you.”
“What I am going to tell you now no one else knows anything about and I need it to stay that way until I say otherwise. I am telling you now so that when the necessary precautions take effect, you will not be surprised. I am filing for a divorce from Ron. It is most likely not going to be pretty and I just want to warn you ahead of time.”
Samantha was speechless and sat there for a minute. Once she regained her composure, she replied with tears in her eyes, “Oh I am so sorry! I wasn’t expecting that. Of course, you can count on me. Your secret is safe until such time as you release the information. You know that you can trust me with anything. I will do anything that you ask.”
Hermione was relieved. She hugged the woman and thanked her. She told her to go home early and she would see her tomorrow. Samantha gathered her things, gave Hermione one more hug and left. Hermione straightened up her desk, grabbed her coat and left. She went out for a quiet dinner by herself at a little café and then apparated home. She landed at the apparation spot by her home and walked the block to her building. She loved her flat and had bought it after she graduated. She would have to decide if she wanted it after Ron was gone or if she should sell it. It held some bad memories for her. But she could think about that later. She walked into the entry way and waited for the lift. She wondered if Draco was home and if she should stop by and see if his meeting went well. She shook her head, she wasn’t that brave just yet. She was afraid of what she would do when alone with him and didn’t want to give any reason to make the divorce take any longer than it needed to.
She quickly walked past his door and to her door. She heard the TV on in their flat so she knew Ron was home. What state would he be in? She mustered her courage, being the true Gryffindor that she was, and went in, wondering what the night held for her.
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