Just a friendly reminder that HTTYA2 is here! Here's a snippet, in case you haven't gotten on the train just yet.
It was in the moments like these that Draco thought to himself, turning the white gold band between his fingertips, when all the world could go to Hell. It had taken him five bloody, painstakingly gruesome weeks of answering advertisements and bouncing from shop to store to private jewelers to find this very ring that he clutched so frantically in his hands. His nerves were in a frenzy, turning from anxiousness to spouts of full blown hyperventilation every few hours or so as he sat at his desk in the bullpen of the Auror Division, awaiting the infamous countdown of the clock to strike 6PM.
6PM was a very special moment. It would be the start of his requested time off for the weekend. He'd cleared it with Potter three months ago, even volunteering to pick up extra shifts and work overtime just to seize the date. One would think that it would be easy to procure time off, but as an Auror, where you were never guaranteed 'time off' but simply 'downtime' while being 'on call' for the next Voldemort (or perhaps Gregory Diggle) to strike, it was rather strenuous to get guaranteed time for both yourself and your loved one. Speaking of which, where was Hermione? He wondered. She should have been back from lunch with Dean by now.
He tapped his foot nervously as he slipped the ring with its oversized diamond and tiny topaz accent stones (the same color of that breathtaking dress she had worn their first… romp together) back into its box and proceeded to spin the box around on his desk in a lazy fashion. He knew he should really be writing up that report on his trip to France last week, but… oh, who was he kidding? He was much too nervous to work at this point.
What if she said no? What if she said yes?
"You alright there, Malfoy?" The lull of Potter's tone as he leaned against the cubicle wall separating Draco's desk from Dean's made Draco jump in his skin, slamming his hand down on the box to cover it. He scowled, clearing his throat, and gave Potter a look that said he very much wished he'd just keel over and die already.
"Of course I am. Why wouldn't I be?" he snapped, a bit too crisp.
Potter's eyebrows twisted up theatrically, and he nudged to Draco's hand that covered the tiny black box. "What's that?"
"Nothing." Draco clutched the box in his palm and scraped it across the desk, opening a drawer and dropping it in before slamming the drawer closed.
Potter smirked. "Sure, Malfoy. Nothing." He chuckled under his breath, his eyes dancing upwards to somewhere behind Draco. "Hey, guys. Welcome back. You're ten minutes late."
Draco spun around in his office chair, hands clutching the armrests like an emotional support system as his eyes turned on Dean Thomas, who was bundled tightly in his winter pea coat while grasping two hot foam cups of what appeared to be either coffee or chocolate, and on Hermione, who still had bits of snow woven into her curly brown hair as she clutched something between her wool mittens.
"What is that?" asked Draco, pointing to some sort of grey ball of fur against his girlfriend's chest.
"It's a kitten." She gave a grin, shoving the fiendish feline out right against the tip of Draco's nose. Silver eyes met charcoal as a rough tongue dipped out of the kitten's mouth and scraped against Draco's septum.
"Obviously." He scowled, terrified that the cat in question elicited a stoke of embers in his stomach at the adorable - er, atrocious action. "What I meant to say was what are you doing with it?"
"Poor fella was running all around Hogsmeade," replied Dean, handing his friend one of the cups in his hands. Draco inhaled the aroma of caramel mixed with hints of espresso. "He kept climbing up Hermione's leg."
"So I brought him here." Hermione gave a grin as she set the kitten atop Draco's desk. Draco glared at the offending kitten as it batted at one of his ink bottles.
"Thanks," he said to Dean, holding up the coffee. He then turned his attentions to Hermione. "We're not keeping a cat."
"Oh, that's fine. I didn't think you'd approve," she told him, scratching the kitten behind the ears as she leaned down to kiss Draco firmly on the lips. It always made his insides turn in breathtaking ways when she did. It also didn't hurt when Potter would scowl, much like he was doing now, and make up some excuse as to why he would suddenly need to leave the vicinity. Like now for instance.
"I… erm… have to… go… make some copies… yeah, copies…" He turned on his heels and scurried away at once, causing Draco to smirk into the kiss.
Hermione pulled away, tucking a bit of hair behind her ear as she plucked the kitten up and kissed its nose. "Just so we're clear, we're not keeping the cat, but I am."
His eyebrows furrowed together. "What?"
"You heard me." She patted his cheek softly, her mittens scratching against his morning stubble. "I haven't had a cat in years, not since Crookshanks passed. And Scorpius would love a kitten, you know…"
"Of course he would." Draco perched an eyebrow at her. "He's two and a half. Anything that has fur and a wet nose is bound to attract his attention."
"Cats actually have soft, dry noses," Dean joined in, sipping from his cuppa. When Draco turned his scowl to him, however, he nodded once and added, "Right. I'm just going to help Harry with those copies."
When Dean was out of earshot, Draco careened his head back towards Hermione and smirked. "We don't need a cat."
"Well, we might not need a cat. But I want him. And luckily for you, I don't need your permission." She placed the kitten atop her shoulder and leaned down to kiss away Draco's foul mood. He sighed into the kiss, realising that no matter what he might try to say, her mind was made up and they'd be keeping that mangy feline until the end of its days. Oh joy. Just what he needed. Another addition to the family.
"Are you all set for tonight?" he asked as his hands slid down her sides to her voluptuous hips. He still found himself just as attracted to her two years into their relationship as he did when they had first shared that ever so intimate kiss in his bathtub. He wasn't sure when that whole mess of 'puppy love' was supposed to end, but he was fairly certain it might never. He was completely enthralled with Hermione Granger, from her smile to her scent to her moans and screams in pleasure. Oh, and that whole bit about her being a nice person as well.
"I think so. If I'm a few minutes late, would that be a problem?"
He huffed out an agitated sigh. "Why?"
"Well, with the new Auror recruits coming in next week, I wanted to set my classroom up for the next week, and seeing as how you made me take the entire weekend off, I might not have any other time to do it."
"Bollocks your office, Hermione," he told her. "I expect you off work at precisely 6PM sharp." He could really give a damn less if the Auror trainees had encouraging posters on the wall with kittens hanging precariously off the edge of a branch with words that read 'Hang in there!' "If I don't see you here," he pressed his finger down on top of his desk, "at six, I'm going to come into that classroom and give you a lesson you'll never forget."
Hermione's cheeks tinted pink as the steely gray kitten rubbed against her neck. "Promise?"
"No." Harry cut his hand between the two and appeared once again, this time with a thick stack of files. "Malfoy, I need you to go over these cases and send them off to the appropriate offices."
"Why don't you do it?" Draco scoffed.
"Because I'm the boss," Potter told him, tossing the files into Draco's lap. "And because I plan on keeping you busy until 6PM lets out and I have an entire weekend free of you."
"Aww, Potter. You do care." Draco smirked.
"You." Harry pointed to his best friend and the kitten. "To your appropriately assigned other-side-of-the-offices desk, Miss."
Hermione rolled her eyes and shoved Potter in the shoulder playfully. It made Draco's scowl even larger. "Whatever, Harry. You know you like Draco."
"I haven't. I've never. I never will." Potter grinned, waving to both of them before setting off towards his desk at the back of the office.
"My sentiments exactly," Draco muttered, watching as Hermione herself waved him off as she took to her spot in the office, near Potter's desk, and away from Draco Malfoy. Whatever. He smirked. Tonight, he'd be rid of the four-eyed prick and confessing his undying affection for Hermione… if he could work up the nerve. He knew it was a Friday, but he was sure it could have been a Monday by the way he felt as he pried open the drawer with the ring and plucked it back out, sitting it atop his desk in front of his picture frame of himself, Hermione, and Scorpius at the park. The picture had been taken by Astoria, which was the only reason he ever wanted to burn it. But it was a special day that day - Scorpius had taken his first steps. He smiled, tapping the box with his index finger and biting at the inside of his cheek. No. He could do this. He just had to put on the Slytherin charm…
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