A/N: This was my entry for the Otter and Ferret Fest 2014. It was based on the prompts given by Kinnu.
Her prompts were:
(1) Hermione returns to England after a few years (Atleast 5). Then, Draco and Hermione surprise Hermione's/Draco's (any one or both) friends with their marriage.
(2) "I like Granger", Draco blurts out and slaps hand to his mouth.
Lucius smirks and says, " You owe me a 100 galleons, Narcissa."
Draco's eyes widen. "What?", he shouts, flabbergasted.
(3) Ron and Ginny walk in on Draco and Hermione talking/ cuddling/ whatever.
(4) "Oi, you!"
I hope you all like it. :)
"We have to what?" shouted Draco. Never mind that he was a 24 year old grown man. The situation he was being forced into was tantrum worthy.
"Calm down, Malfoy. It's not like I want to work with you either. But you don't see me throwing a hissy fit now, do you?" Hermione said, tilting her hair slightly to the side.
"Excuse me! I do not throw hissy fits!" Draco said angrily.
"Yes, I can see that. Anyway, Mr Bilington, you can see why it simply would not be possible for the two of us to work together. We don't get along too well, to say the least," Hermione addressed their boss, the Head of Magical Law Enforcement.
After the war, Hermione had opted to go back to Hogwarts and complete her schooling. Minister Kingsley had immediately sat her down the day of her graduation and convinced her to join the Ministry. He knew that she wanted a career in Healing, but argued that the Ministry needed her as a spokesperson of sorts from her generation, showing the world that they were trying to do good, while they tried to mend the fragile community. Even though her heart wasn't in it, she had agreed.
She was assigned to the MLE, and like any other employee did, worked her way through promotions and offices to the Deputy Head of the department. She refused special treatment, and did her job with perfection. With her suggestions and strategies, the Ministry had managed to weed out the Death Eaters and dole out apt, but not severe punishments-at most 15 years in Azkaban- to most of them within a year. They weren't trying to be like the very people they had stopped, after all.
Her first year working had gone great, professionally and personally.
It was all downhill from there. Harry and Ginny got married, leaving her stuck with a whiny Ron. He kept pestering her to marry him, even after being turned down five times. Eventually, she had gotten sick of his incessant whining and clinging, and had broken up with him, and spent the next two months dodging questions from reporters and friends.
Her old boss left that year, and the new one openly hated her. He thought that she had played on her status as "Friend of Harry Potter" to get to where she was, and continued to embarrass her in front of her colleagues and loaded her with unimportant work.
Her third year wasn't great either.
Ron started trying to make her "jealous", by dating Lavender Brown once again. He only managed to piss her off more than before. At work, she had been reduced to a mere filing girl in the attempts of her humiliation by her boss.
Her fourth year saw Harry and Ginny welcome Baby James Sirius, Ron get Lavender pregnant and finally somewhat over her and her running around to get the employees coffee.
She considered quitting, but didn't know where she'd go if she did. Healer training took five years for training and two years for research, and she didn't want to be in her thirties without a definite job.
Her fifth year was the worst. Ron got married to Lavender, and she had to give up her visits to the Burrow to avoid puking on account of the Lav-Lav's and Won-Won's. Their son, Henry Fred was adorable, granted, but Hermione found it hard to stomach the goofy, lovey-dovey things Ron did, which still seemed to be an attempt to throw his happy life in her face.
None of that was worse than April 14, though. That was the day Draco Malfoy re-entered her life. He had left the country after the war, and had been rumored to be in his family home in Singapore.
Robert Bilington knew of the animosity between the two, and quickly assigned her to show him around and train him, not letting a single chance of annoying her go. The year had been terrible, and Malfoy had come close to being hexed countless times. Obviously, her pleas and cries had gone in vain, and she had had to stick with the git.
"Miss Granger, I would appreciate it if you kept your sarcasm and lectures to yourself. I am the Head, and I know what I am doing. You and Mr Malfoy will work together on the Annual Ministry Staff Party this year, and I expect nothing but perfection. Mr Malfoy?" Mr Bilington said in a stern voice, and turned to look at Draco.
"Yes, Robert," Draco said in monotone. Their boss had no problem with Draco, something Hermione had grumbled about every time she had been taunted for a job, and he, praised for the same thing.
"Good," he smiled. "Now Miss Granger, do I have to remind you about the honor that is bestowed upon us with the planning of this party?"
She shook her head.
"You know its only the most spoken about event of the year. You both will have to arrange everything from the hall, the caterers, decorations and the entertainment.. We must beat out last year's Dragon rides organized by the Magical Creatures department. The budget will come from the MLE funding, of course. I do not want to be pestered for each nitty gritty detail, Miss Granger. Good luck, Mr Malfoy," he said, leaving no room for protests or discussions.
"Why is he so nice to you always?" Hermione grumbled once they were outside.
"Everybody loves me. I'm just delightful."
"If you say so. You must've bribed him, or slipped him a love potion. Have you seen the way he looks at you?"
"Do I detect jealousy, Granger?"
"Ha! As if I'd be jealous. Don't get your hopes high, okay?" she said, before walking off towards to her office, right at the end corner.
"Seems to me like you're the one with the high hopes, Granger. Anyway, send me all your plans by the end of the week."
Hermione stopped walking.
"What do you mean 'send them to you'? If you think I'm going to do all the work, and you're taking the credit for it all, just forget it. We are going to work as a team. So we either divide the main points, or we collaborate on it all. Which one is it to be then, Malfoy?"
"But you'd be happier if you got to control all the details, wouldn't you, Granger?" Draco smirked.
"Well, yes," Hermione said, blatantly ignoring his sarcasm. "But I'm not letting you walk away with Bilington's praise. Just decide, already. Actually, never mind. It'll probably be better for my health and sanity if we spent the least time together possible. I'll owl you the list of things you have to take care of by the evening, okay?"
She walked off before he could protest or tease her again.
Here's the list, with all things you will have to check over.
1) Drinks (bar, drinks, bartender(s), drink menu, ingredients for drinks)
2) Guest List (compilation of names, invitations, owling invitations)
3) Music (check with bands for availability)
4) Security provisions
We are going to have to meet and collaborate on the Theme and auction part.
I'll see you in my office at 7.30 today.
Please acknowledge receipt of the list.
I "acknowledge receipt of the list".
Not being your personal monkey, I'm not coming to your office.
Feel free to popover to mine if you have any queries.
Please acknowledge receipt of your head being dislodged from your arse as soon as possible.
Draco Lucius Malfoy
Must you always be so crass?
Just have a few ideas ready for when I come over.
Whatever you say, Granger.
Draco Lucius Malfoy
Stop writing that, people are going to get the wrong idea.
Writing what, Granger?
Draco Lucius Malfoy
Aww, Granger loves me. I knew it.
Draco Lucius Malfoy
I DO NOT.
I meant that you should stop writing that in your letters to me.
Sure, try lying to yourself all you want. ;)
And why should I, anyway?
Draco Lucius Malfoy
Sure, try inflating your ego even bigger all you want.
Just stop. I don't like it and it doesn't suit you.
I don't need to "inflate" it any bigger than it already is, if you know what I mean. ;)
Okay, so give me an alternative and I'll think about using that instead.
Draco Lucius Malfoy
Ugh, why must everything be perverted with you?
And where did you learn how to use emoticons?
Umm, how about "Regards"?
Hermione Granger, get your mind out of the Hippogriff dung.
It was meant to be an innocent comment about the many written articles about me that call me an egoistical, but rich, swoon worthy handsome wizard.
Now that you mention it, the other thing too. ;)
And aren't they great? Blaise taught me. He learnt them from his Muggle girlfriend.
Are you sure you are only 24, and not a 70 year old grandmother? Who says that anymore?
I'm just going to stick to lovingly.
Now don't just mull around. You get paid to work.
Draco Lucius Malfoy
Ha, you're one to talk, Mr My-boss-is-in-love-with-me.
And I don't know why I'm telling you, since you are obviously going to make fun of me with this information, but I've already kind of finished all my plans for the location, decorations, catering and ideas of the theme and auction and special attraction.
If you're done, we could meet up now. Let me know about your progress.
Ha, I knew you were jealous.
About the other thing, you wouldn't be Granger if you didn't. :)
And I know your "kind of" means written, memorized, color coded with your post-its and filed.
I know you too well. Sure, just give me 5 minutes to sort through all the drafts, okay?
Draco Lucius Malfoy
They ended up deciding on "A Winter Wonderland" for the theme.
Hermione had fought nail and tooth against his juvenile idea of "Dragons VS Robots". He'd been weirdly fascinated with Muggle customs, and Hermione almost blanched at the image of the beautiful ballroom at the Hotel Lutetia, which she had booked almost as soon as she had seen a picture of it, decorated with tacky tin Robots and the foul smelling, fiery Dragons. Draco had fought hard against her idea of "Beauty and the Beast" inspired by the recent trend of Wizard-meets-Muggle. Deep down, he actually liked the idea, but he couldn't resist disagreeing with her and seeing her get worked up and frustrated.
They came up with the idea for the wonderland based on their Yule Ball at Hogwarts. Since the theme was tame compared to the ones from previous years, they could go all out on decorations.
For the next week, they lunched together.
It started off unplanned, when Draco came to her office with his blueprint for the placements of furniture and some of the bigger decorations during lunchtime. That day, they both ended up sharing her pasta while fighting over differing opinions.
The next day, Draco brought over his choices for the music band and a bag of cheese and ham sandwiches.
Hermione took the initiative on the third day. She took two burgers and a box of brownies along with her file of budget proposals for him to look over.
The fourth day, he pulled her to his Floo to go to a pizza place he knew.
The fifth day, she grabbed him and apparated them to an Indian restaurant, introducing him to the delicious and spicy world of curries and naan bread.
They spoke about plans, of course, but they also spoke about common interests. It surprised Hermione to know about his love for theatre, and Draco was astonished at her deep running passion for traveling.
And then came the day that changed the easy tandem they'd established. The downfall happened in a number of steps.
Hermione had asked him about his opinion on having a predominant influence of Greek food in their buffet. He had agreed, and had co-ordinated his drink menu to her food menu. He had even secretly contributed a bit of his own money to ship in the best ouzo, straight from Greece. Well, to him it seemed a bit. It was actually an equivalent of 4500 galleons that he spent.
Then that morning, he had received an owl from Hermione telling him that she had changed the cuisine from Greek to Mid-eastern, believing it to "fit better" with their theme.
No problem, he had thought. More for me.
Later, he discovered that his plans for ice furniture held together by freezing charms had been chopped off in the blueprints.
He was a tad annoyed, but he let it pass.
Even later, he saw big crosses and scribbles over his plans for "The Weird Sisters". Right at the bottom of the page he saw written in her handwriting, "Replace with Illuminating Symphonies."
Now he was very annoyed. The Weird Sisters were much more better, and much more fun than the Illuminating Symphonies, who played jazz music.
The final straw came when he saw that she had cancelled out the names of his parents from the guest list. She'd gone too far with that.
He stormed over to her office, and flung open the door.
"Oi, you," he shouted angrily.
"You, who?" she said calmly, refusing to cooperate and talk nicely with a shouting Draco.
"You, you," he shouted, getting more angry by the minute.
"Out," he bellowed at Susan, a colleague of theirs who had been in Hermione's office. "Now."
"Draco, really, that's no way to…Susan, don't cry, I'll come see you once I settle him down, okay?"
"Settle me down? Settle me down?"
"Draco, sit and tell me what happened."
"I'm not listening to you about anything anymore. You have to control everything, don't you? Well, this time, you are the one who is going to listen. Music was my department. I want the Weird Sisters there, they are going to be there. You wanted Greek food, I got my drinks to reflect the cuisine. Then you change the freaking cuisine. I wanted ice furniture, you don't want to listen to anything anyone else has to say and without even consulting me, you cut the idea out. And you had the gall to don't want to invite my parents. Who gave you the right to-mmphhh" He stopped talking at the shock of the feeling of her lips on his.
Her hands were at the nape of his neck, and her eyes were closed. For a few moments, he stood there dumb. Then being of the male variety, he began to kiss her back, taking control of the kiss, pulling her body closer to his, running his tongue along her bottom lip until she opened them slightly and granted him access. She tasted like the mints she always kept popping, and he tasted like the dark chocolate he secretly indulged on after lunch.
She moaned, and leaped up to wrap her legs around his waist, and he walked them over to press her back against the door. The kiss grew deeper, and more fervent at this point. Hermione began to sub-consciously loosen his tie, and take off his jacket, and Draco began to unbutton her shirt to reveal a dark contrasting black bra against her milky skin. He latched onto her neck, and sucked on the skin while Hermione raked her fingers through his hair, holding him against her tightly. He completely unbuttoned her blouse and was about to pull down the cup of her bra, when she regained her senses.
"Draco, we need to stop," she whispered, in a husky voice.
He processed her words for a minutes, and saw clearly in her eyes that stopping was the last thing she wanted. However, he placed her down, and watched as she righted herself.
"Why did you do that?"
"It seemed like the only way to shut you up."
"You can't just kiss me, Hermione."
"Well, I just did, and by the looks of it, you didn't really seem to mind."
"Obviously, which guy would mind if he had a girl all over him?"
"I wasn't! I just wanted to stop you from talking."
"Well, Hermione, it didn't stop me from being mad at you."
"Why don't you list out what you were mad about, one at a time, and calmly, and I'll tell you exactly why I made the changes."
"Like I said, fits better with the theme. Bilington suggested we allow the guests to pick out their fresh seafood from a tank, or vegetables or kebabs and get it cooked on a barbecue right in front of them."
"The furniture. I wanted ice furniture."
"Just like you want everyone's arse frozen to their chairs? Think practically, Draco."
"The band. No one wants to listen to old people music."
"Firstly, The Weird Sisters are already booked for that evening. Secondly, I booked Illumination Symphonies, the mixer artist, not the jazz group."
"Oh," remarked a flabbergasted Draco. "The biggest thing, you crossed out my parents from the guest list. I know you don't like them, but families are allowed, and I want them there, and you shouldn't have cut them out."
"They sent back their declination letter. They are going to Australia that week."
"Oh, okay," said Draco, his anger dissipated and embarrassment replacing it. Draco mumbled his apology to a smirking Hermione, and made to leave her office.
"Hey, you." Draco turned around. "Want to grab some coffee?"
The party was a huge success. Their auction garnered an approximate of 6 million galleons, and everyone was amazed by the food, decor and entertainment put up. Hermione had installed a projector, and shown the awestruck employees movies for the first time. It was simple, yet a huge success amongst them. There was no one who didn't enjoy the party, and everyone raved about it for the next two months.
Hermione and Draco had begun dating after that eventful day at the office. The base of the relationship had been set the moment they'd started actually spending time together for the party. Bilington's plan of humiliating Hermione had backfired majorly, and Hermione had ended up finding a great partner in Draco.
He kept her on her toes, never letting there be a slack in their conversation or relation.
She found she didn't have to dumb down her talk; he was equally intelligent.
He could be open and frank with her; she didn't judge him and listened to his reasoning.
She found she loved the banter; it not only gave her a different insight of the topic at hand, it also made for a great mood setter.
He found he loved their journey; rather cliched, but somehow perfect, even in all its flaws.
She found that she could laugh freely around him; his constant implications and jokes were a great stress buster.
He found that he was a better person with her in his life; her morales and principles making him want to be a better person, just for her.
They fought, but the intention was never to hurt. They didn't establish any rules, or say anything out loud. They settled into an easy harmony, and moved in together in their fifth month of dating. The idea of them was accepted really well by their friends and family, and really badly by the media and other members of society.
The media mocked the seemingly impossible relationship between people so far apart in the community, and the public went crazy at the thought of the two together. They received a lot of backlash, but they worked through it all, and stood strong at the end of the day.
They were surprised at the easy acceptance by their friends and families though.
"We, that is to say, Draco and I, we're, well, in a relationship," Hermione muttered, clutching Draco's arm and not daring to look at her parents.
"And he is the…boy…from your stories of school?"
"Kitten, don't you think you've exaggerated him a bit too much. He doesn't seem to be like how you described him at all."
"Like I said, he's changed."
"As long as you're happy and believe that, we support you entirely. Welcome to the family, Draco," her father said, and stood up to pull Draco into a big hug.
They'd decided to tell their friends at once. They both sent out letters asking their friends to meet them at The three broomsticks. Harry, Ron, Ginny, Pansy, Blaise and Theo were more surprised to see each other than to hear about their relationship.
"Finally!" Harry exclaimed.
"She's hot, mate," winked Blaise.
"Granger, how did you finally get around to asking this idiot out? He obviously didn't have the balls to do it," joked Theo.
"Yeah, Granger. He's always complained about you, since Hogwarts really. How did you do it?" said Pansy, leaning forward.
"Um, we sort of knew," Ginny said sheepishly, gesturing to herself and Ron, who was red in the face.
"What do you mean?" Hermione asked. "Well, last week, we'd come to your office to ask if you were coming over for Mum's surprise birthday party, and…um, Malfoy was there too."
Hermione's eyes went wide, understanding what she meant.
Besides her, Draco started laughing, setting off the rest of the table in guffaws as well.
Draco's parents' reaction was the most confusing one they had had.
"Father, I have been in a relationship with Hermione for the last two months," Draco said, calmly, masking his anxiety.
"Ha, you owe me 100 galleons, Cissa," his Father shot up.
"I, uh, I don't understand!" Draco said, surprised.
"Oh, we had a bet. I bet that you two had been together for at least two to three months, and your mother bet it had been only two or three weeks. I was closer, so I win," Lucius said.
"But how could you have even known of the two of…oh, never mind," Draco trailed off, remembering the spies his Father had everywhere.
Lucius and Narcissa had identical smirks on their faces.
Hermione and Draco just looked at each other in shock.
They didn't have a regular relationship, but they worked. Really well.
Right now, a year later, she was stood in a corner at the hall hosting the Annual Ministry Staff Party, cradling her flute of pink champagne, and she looked around and sighed at the roller coaster that the previous year had been.
"Why are you hidden away?"
She turned to her left and saw Draco, dressed impeccably in a Muggle tuxedo, his hair just slightly slicked back.
He nodded, and put an arm around her shoulders.
"Did I tell you, you look stunning today?"
"Thanks, you do too."
"Don't I always?"
She swatted his arms playfully, turning towards him and sniffing the scent she'd come to recognize as uniquely his.
"I love you." It was the first time he'd said it openly.
"You, who?" she said, reminiscent of the day of their first kiss.
"You, Hermione Granger, annoying little know it all, bookworm, gorgeous, amazing, love of my life. I love you," he said, and leaned down to kiss her, before pulling away and placing his chin over her head.
"You, who?" he smirked, using her own play against her.
"I love you too," she said, pulling him down into another kiss.
Another year later…
Lunch at that Italian place near my house at 2. Be ready.
Draco Lucius Malfoy
Too much work. No. I don't get paid to "mull" around.
PS, stop signing off like that. I know your full name already.
I'll bring it over to your office then. Be ready.
And you're the head, you can mull around all you want in that massive office of yours.
PS, happy? And can you stop signing off like that, it makes me feel unimportant.
If memory serves right, you weren't my personal monkey. But I'm not going to say no to food.
Jealous, Malfoy? ;)
PS, how would you like me to sign off then?
I'm not, it's just what a good boyfriend does.
It wouldn't be nice if you died of starvation after all.
You bet your arse I am. Want to switch?
PS, how about at least your initials? Make me feel loved.
It wouldn't be nice if you had to take care of yourself tonight too, wouldn't it? ;)
Still no, I like the view too much.
PS, feeling loved enough already?
You wouldn't do that. You were a Gryffindor.
PS, a bit, can I ask you something though?
All the more reason for me to have the courage to, baby. ;)
PS, as if you've ever needed the permission, but sure, go ahead.
Well then look forward to me stopping doing that thing you like. You know. THE THING.
PS, would you be open to changing the initials?
PS, better now?
Actually, no, you're right, I probably wouldn't. ;)
PS, actually I was thinking more along the lines of something like HGM/HM/HJM/HJGM. I'd prefer HM, but what do you think?
Is that what I think that was?
What do you think it was?
I'm not sure I'm reading this correctly.
Have you ever analyzed anything incorrectly?
DRACO MALFOY, WAS THAT YOUR WAY OF ASKING ME TO MARRY YOU?
Would you be mad if it was?
PS, what would your answer be if it was?
What was that Yes for? The proposal or the are-you-mad part?
Lovingly, and anxiously,
Both, Mr Malfoy.
-HG, soon to be HGM.
Hermione, I love you. Now lets talk wedding plans, shall we?
soon to be your husband.