A/N – This is my new short story, which is a twist on my usual style reunion stories. It has 7 chapters plus an epilogue and updates will be Tuesdays and Thursdays. This story is set in a universe with no war – so everyone attended all seven years of Hogwarts. It's rated M for steamy scenes in later chapter. I hope people enjoy An Unexpected Reunion.
Sitting in her plush penthouse apartment that overlooked the river, a glass of chilled wine in her hand, Hermione Granger gazed down at the golden edged invitation that sat on the glass coffee table. The invitation was for Hogwarts ten year reunion. Someone in their graduating year had organised for the entire year group to spend a weekend at a luxury spa resort in the Cotswolds. The idea of a weekend away actually appealed to Hermione, she just wasn't sure about the reunion part.
Hermione had never really been impressed with the idea of reunions. In her opinion anyone you went to school with that you wanted to keep in touch with in later years, you did so. The only people at the reunion that Hermione hadn't seen since school were the people she had no interest in keeping in touch with. So why would she want to go along to a reunion just to spend a weekend with people she wasn't even close with in school?
"But that is so not the reason you don't want to go," Hermione muttered to herself as she took a swig of her wine.
Truth be told, it wasn't the people she didn't want to see, it was their judgment she didn't want to face. Hermione knew reunions were pretty much an excuse for people to compare lives with the people they'd gone to school with to see if they'd done better in life. Hermione wasn't interested in comparing lives, but she knew other people would measure themselves against her, and in some respects she would come out on top, but in others she would be the loser of the year.
In a professional sense, Hermione knew very few of her classmates would be able to touch her achievements. In ten years, Hermione had worked her way up through the ranks at the Ministry of Magic and she was now the youngest Head of Department. It was unheard of for someone under thirty to be a head of one of the main departments, but Hermione had achieved that feat eight months ago when she was appointed Head of Magical Law Enforcement. Not only that but she was widely tipped to be the youngest ever Minister for Magic, and a lot of people said she would hold the post before she even turned forty. Hermione wasn't sure about that, but she had to admit the idea of being the actual Minister for Magic was appealing.
However, Hermione knew her professional life wouldn't be the only place she would be judged. People would also look at her private life, and Hermione already knew that area of her life was a complete and utter failure. At twenty eight, Hermione was still single. It had been two years since she'd had any sort of serious relationship and going on for a year since she'd last had sex. Hermione doubted anyone else at the reunion would be able to boast such a bad love life as hers.
Not that it had always been that way, and that was what had made it worse. When she'd left Hogwarts ten years ago, Hermione had been totally loved up with her long term friend, Ron Weasley. After years of dancing around each other, the pair had started dating in their final year and when they'd graduated they'd been blissfully happy and so full of plans for the future. Ron had also joined the Ministry, in the Department of Magical Games and Sports, and within six months of leaving Hogwarts the pair had bought a flat together and moved in with each other.
For a while, everything was great between them and they were genuinely happy. All the little doubts Hermione had ever had about them working as a couple had been put aside as they'd embarked on a relationship that was seemingly going to last in the long term. But ever so slowly the honeymoon period wore off, and small fights and arguments began creeping into their daily routine.
Ron struggled with the fact Hermione made quicker progress at work than he did. After only a year at the Ministry, Hermione already had more responsibility than Ron and her first promotion came shortly afterwards. Of course more responsibility at work, meant that Hermione had to work longer hours, which meant less time she spent with Ron. Even the additional money she'd earned, which had helped them have fancy evenings out when they did have time together, had been a barrier between them. Ron didn't like the fact she earned more than him and more than once he'd overstretched himself just to pay for something he couldn't afford, because his pride refused to let Hermione pay for it.
Another bone of contention between them was the lifestyle they clearly wanted. The longer they were together the more Hermione became aware that what Ron really wanted was a witch like his mother, someone who would be there when he finished work and put him first. They'd had several arguments over the fact Ron refused to cook meals, and even if Hermione had been home later than him, he still expected her to cook for him. Hermione had tried to understand that it was just how Ron had been brought up, and his example of a marriage was the one his parents had set for him, in which Molly was a wife and mother first and foremost and the needs of her family outweighed her own. Even so, it had been a stark contrast to how Hermione had been raised, and the sort of relationship she'd always seen herself in.
Hermione had been raised by two working parents. She'd seen how both her parents valued their careers, and there had never been and bad blood whenever Hermione's mother's career was progressing ahead of her husbands. Just like there had never been any resentment when Hermione's father had been the one to be made partner in the dentist's office they both worked for. The pair had also divided the childcare duties, and a couple of times a week when Hermione had finished primary school, it had been her father that had picked her up and made her dinner once they were home. Hermione had seen her parents both have good careers, yet still have time for a loving marriage and a solid family life, and that was what she'd always wanted.
Sadly, Hermione had never gotten that with Ron, and after a particularly nasty row, during which Ron had accused her of choosing her job over him, they'd called it quits. The break-up had been bitter, and for a long time afterwards, Hermione had hated Ron for not supporting her. However, in time things got better between them, and although they would never be the close friends they were before their romance, they were still friends and there was no bad feeling when they saw one another at social gatherings.
Still, Hermione knew that at the reunion, she would be viewed as the losing party in her break-up with Ron. It had been six years since they'd broken up, and aside from one ill-fated relationship with a handsome French wizard who'd been working in the Department of International Co-operation on an exchange programme, Hermione had been single ever since. Ron however, had indulged in a string of romances before settling down two years ago with a witch named Anna, who was a Hufflepuff who'd been in the year above them at school. Last time Hermione had seen Ron and Anna, they were engaged and Anna had been gushing about how they were going to start trying for a baby even before the wedding.
Tipping back her glass of wine, Hermione purposefully gathered the invitation and dumped it on the kitchen table with the rest of the recycling. She knew her best friend, Harry Potter, wanted her to go to the reunion, but she just didn't know if she could face it. Why would she want to go and be judged by her peers, when she was more than capable of judging herself and wondering what had gone so wrong that she had the fabulous career, but not the supportive husband that she'd always wanted.
Despite telling people over the years that her career was more important to her, Hermione had always longed for a family as well, but just being reminded that it was a decade since she left school made her realise just how far away her dream was. She was still young enough to find someone, settle down and get the family she wanted, the question was, would she? Would she ever meet the wizard of her dreams, or was it already too late for Hermione to get the life she secretly wished for?
When Draco Malfoy had received the thick invitation to the Hogwarts ten year reunion, he'd immediately thrown it in the bin in his study. The only people he wanted to talk to from school were already in his life, so he saw no point in traipsing off for the weekend to spend time with a bunch of people he didn't really know. Back in school, Draco had only ever been friends with the other Slytherins, and he doubted anyone but his friends would miss him at the reunion.
Unfortunately for Draco the bin hadn't been emptied before his best friend, and business partner, Blaise Zabini, called round with his wife, Daphne Greengrass. Blaise had spotted the invitation when he'd gone to grab a bottle of firewhisky from his friend's study when the bottle in the front room had ran out, and he returned to the front room, minus the firewhisky, but with the invitation in his hands.
"Where's the firewhisky?" Draco asked with a frown.
"Never mind drinking, what was this doing in the bin?" Blaise asked, throwing the invitation down on Draco's designer coffee table.
"It's where the rubbish goes, Blaise," Draco replied, cursing himself for not emptying the bin before his friend arrived. He should have known a nosy sod such as Blaise would have found it.
"You threw it away?" Daphne asked with a soft gasp.
"Yes, Daph, I threw it away," Draco confirmed. "What else was I going to do with it?"
"Send off the R.S.V.P," Blaise replied.
"Why? I'm not going," Draco said with a shrug as he got to his feet.
"Why not?" Blaise called after Draco as his best friend headed towards his study.
"Because it's stupid," Draco called back. When he reappeared he was carrying the bottle of firewhisky Blaise had gone to get, and he poured them all a drink before retaking his seat. "Why would I want to go to a reunion?"
"To catch up with people. To see what's happened to people since we left school," Blaise replied.
"I know what's happened to my friends, I've been in touch with them all these years," Draco argued. "I work with you, and I see you and Daphne all the time. I see Pansy every week or so, and I see both Greg and Vince every few months. I even saw Theo regularly until last year, and even now I know what he's doing with his life."
"This is about her isn't it?" Blaise questioned with a sigh. "I might have bloody known that bitch was behind this."
"Blaise," Daphne hissed, glaring at her husband.
"Sorry sweetheart," Blaise apologised with a wince. "I know she's your sister, but Draco's like a brother to me and she broke his heart."
"She did not break my heart," Draco protested, knowing Blaise was talking about his ex-girlfriend and Daphne's younger sister, Astoria Greengrass. "I'd already decided things weren't going to work out with Astoria. She just beat me to the punch and broke up with me before I could do the same."
"Yeah, then she ran off and eloped with your other best friend a week later," Blaise said with a snort. "No matter the state of your relationship, it still hurt you that she married Theo so quickly."
"Of course it did," Draco said, drowning his glass of firewhisky and topping it up again. "They can deny it all they want, but you don't fall in love and get married in a week. They had to have been carrying on behind my back."
"And that's why you need to show them that you're not bothered by them," Blaise urged. "You just know Astoria won't pass up the opportunity to go to this spa resort for the weekend, and if you don't show, you look like the loser."
"I look like a loser if I show up," Draco retorted. "Paint it any way you want Blaise, but that's what everyone is going to say. The entire world knows all about what happened with Astoria. I'd rather not be there as they talked about me."
"And what happened to the boy I met at Hogwarts? The boy who didn't care if people called him the son of a Death Eater?" Blaise asked. "What happened to the Draco who couldn't care less what people think of him?"
"He grew up and realised that he doesn't want to be thought of as a loser," Draco replied quietly. "Yes, I could go and I could ignore the gossips, but they're still going to be there. I'm going to come away from the reunion thinking about how shit my life is."
"Just your love life," Blaise argued. "Our business is going great guns."
"Yes, it is," Draco agreed with a nod. He and Blaise owned a chain of hotels around the world, and they were wildly popular and successful.
"So go and show everyone just what you've made of yourself," Daphne urged. "Make my stupid little sister jealous, and show her just what she's missed out on. Don't get me wrong, I like Theo, but you're the better catch."
"I doubt Astoria sees it like that," Draco chuckled. "She can wrap Theo around her little finger. That's probably why she married him and not me. I wouldn't stand for her nonsense, and I didn't indulge her the way she wanted."
"Then Theo's made a rod for his own back," Daphne said with an elegant shrug of her shoulder. "Don't let them spoil the weekend, Draco. Come with us, and we can all have some fun."
"At least say you'll think about it," Blaise said, jumping in before Draco could protest again.
"Fine, I'll think about it," Draco said, holding his hands up in defeat. "But I'm not promising anything."
"That's fine, all we ask is that you don't rule anything out," Blaise said, sharing a triumphant look with his wife. He was confident that together they would talk Draco round and he would attend the reunion and have a good time. It was going to happen, Blaise would make sure of it.