NOTE: Alright guys, this is it. Thank you so much for sticking with me. I am happy to say I have finally finished a multi-chapter fic! Also, not sure if anyone knew, but the fic and all chapter titles are named after The Killers first album, Hot Fuss. If you haven't heard it before, give it a listen. It's my favorite. Like always, please review and check out my other on going fic, The Pitch.
Everything Will Be Alright: Part 2
Giving her hand a comforting squeeze, Ginny smiled at Hermione as the cart headed towards vault 247. Hermione appeared nervous as the cart finally came to a halt. The goblin escorting them hopped off the cart and headed towards the door.
"Key please." His outstretched hand became inpatient as Hermione gripped the key close to her chest. "Ma'am, the key please. To the vault." Opening and closing his hand as if to say, 'now.' Hermione looked to Ginny, who gave her an encouraging nod and placed the key in the goblins hand. Waddling his way over to the door, he placed the key in the lock and turned it. The sound of the locks clicking into place filled the silent tunnel.
"Oh Ginny, I can't look." Hermione turned towards Ginny with the intention of burying her face in her shoulder but Ginny wouldn't allow it.
"You can do this Hermione. You are strong. Everything will be okay." Hermione closed her eyes and took a deep breath before turning around to see inside the open vault. Her heart dropped when a pile of golden galleons stared back at her.
"Gin-" Not letting her finish her sentence, Ginny urged her to go inside. Reluctantly lifting her feet to walk forward, Hermione's heart began to beat fast when she noticed a parchment roll sitting among the gold.
"We'll give you a minute." Ginny followed the goblin back towards the cart permitting Hermione space to figure out what this was all about. Allowing herself to take another deep breath, she carefully untied the ribbon and with shaky hands, unrolled the parchment.
Miss Hermione Granger,
We are so happy you plan to continue to fight towards a better tomorrow for all creatures and are delighted to hear about your past work with S.P.E.W.
As you may know, during the Night of Equality, a silent auction was held. We are pleased to offer the funds made from that event to start S.P.E.W. the proper way.
We are looking forward to great things from you Miss Granger.
Her heart was beating a mile a minute. How could she have forgotten about the silent auction and what she was given? She looked around the room again, sizing up the piles of galleons when something else caught her eye. A photo had been left under the parchment. She was unsure of how she'd missed it in the first place. It was a muggle photo no bigger than a 4x6. A retail location was shown with a large sold sign in the window. Flipping over the photo for an indication of what it was for, her heart stopped beating.
Draco's elegant handwriting was staring back at her. A tear drop slid down her face and hit the picture.
I'm sorry I let you down.
She studied the picture again and hugged it to her chest. It was everything she'd dreamed of. The front windows were large, allowing her space for large posters and signs. It looked clean and fresh, flowers in the window boxes. The door was a light green and inviting. Hermione sank to the floor, tears trickling from her eyes. She described a place like this to him once before. She had been sure at the time he hadn't really been listening. She'd been dreaming out loud, about what she would do if she'd had the money to start her own firm. He'd actually been paying attention to her.
"Gin!" Hermione come running from the vault. "We have to go. I have to find him." Ginny tried not to smile at her friends' realization.
"Let's get a move on then! Goodness knows where he is." They climbed back aboard the small cart, Hermione urging the goblin to go as fast as possible. They sped through the tunnels, headed back towards the surface. Finally coming to a stop, Ginny felt sick to her stomach due to the increased speed and urged Hermione to carry on without her.
Sun long gone, Hermione emerged from Gringotts to find Diagon Alley in the middle of a downpour. Becoming drenched rather quickly, Hermione racked her brain, trying to determine where to begin looking for him. There was a chance he'd still be at his office, but she very much doubted that, checking her watch noticing the time. Looking down at the picture again, she thought for a moment.
No, he wouldn't have. Would he? Examining the picture harder, Hermione swore the picture had been tampered with. Some kind of magic had been used on the photo. Had he placed a spell on it so he'd know when she finally saw it? Hoping he actually had, she began searching the alley, looking for the store front that matched the photo.
The chilly rain had reached her bones and sent shivers up her spine but she was determined to find him. As she reached the last street in the alley, her eyes lit up as she spotted the light green door. She could see a dim light through the window and her heartbeat quickened. Placing her hand on the door, she took a deep breath before pushing it open.
Her eyes scanned the room. It was already furnished. Desks were set up, supplies placed on them as if someone was already working here. Walking further inside, she noticed a door towards the back with a name plate on it.
Head of S.P.E.W.
She gingerly touched the words, smiling to herself. It didn't feel real. Pushing the door open, she finally found what she was looking for. Draco sat at what she assumed was her desk, chin on his hands looking down. Upon hearing the door creak, his head shot up, hope in his eyes.
"I didn't think you'd come." He'd stood now, slowly as if afraid to scare her off. It's been over a month since he'd seen her last.
"I uh got your picture." Hermione flashed the photograph she still had in her hand. "Only took a minute to realize you'd put some sort of enchantment on it. How'd you know I'd come?"
"I didn't. I had hoped you would, but I knew it was a long shot after everything we've been through these past six months." Draco stuck his hands deep in his pockets and looked down again, avoiding her gaze.
"I guess I just don't understand why you felt the need to lie to me in the first place Draco? I'm a big girl. I would have understood what you and Blaise were trying to do for your company and granted, pulling at heartstrings is a terrible way to raise stocks," she gave him a pointed look. "You still helped bring attention to an equality problem that has to be fixed for us to move forward after that terrible war. But the lying. I can't handle a liar Draco." Her look was stern. She'd crossed her arms over her chest at some point during her speech.
His eyes were lo, she couldn't even see the whites of them anymore. His body had tensed and he stood ridged, afraid of the words that would come next.
"I guess I'll be out of your hair then…." He made a move towards the door trying to skirt around her but she moved, stopping him.
"I do however and the terrible flaw it might be, believe in second chances within reason." Draco's eyes shot up, finally meeting hers. "And you've happened to catch me on a good day, as this," she motioned around to the building they were in. "You listening to me, has earned you a second chance."
Hermione reached out and grabbed his hand, giving it a gentle squeeze.
"I'd like to take you on a proper date Hermione. No cameras, no lies, just the two of us." Her eyes brightened for the first time in a month. She nodded her head in agreement.
"I'd like that very much Draco."
"What are you doing now? We could grab dinner; discuss your plans for this place. Maybe I could talk you into letting me be a part of it." Hermione stopped in her tracks, turning to face him.
"Let's just keep this to dinner Malfoy. The last thing we need is to work together again." Taking a step closer to her, Draco brought Hermione into his arms.
"I dunno Granger. Seems to me like the last time we worked together turned out pretty well." She rolled her eyes and was about to respond when his lips came crashing into hers.
When they finally parted, she looked up into his steel grey eyes. "I guess it turned out okay. Seems like it took a long time to get here." She gave a small laugh.
"I'd do it again in a heartbeat, just to be able to hold you in my arms like this." With that he silenced her again with his lips.