Summary: Two university sweethearts reconnect at a chance encounter in an airport terminal.
A/N: I received a visual prompt from safewordisdevilsnare with the caption "What would you say to the one that got away?" and came up with this. Hope you like it. Dramione Muggle AU.
To see the image, check out safewordisdevilsnare on tumblr
The wheels touched down on the tarmac and Draco was awoken by the unsteady landing. He groaned and cursed under his breath. "Bloody pilot." Not even first class on Emirates could make the flight from Dubai more tolerable. Playing the willing British businessman got old with the Arab tycoons. They distracted him with luxuries while fucking up his deals—twelve million pounds to be precise. He was just happy to be home, sort of.
He stretched and wiped the sleep from his eyes. The flight attendant muttered something to him, but he couldn't comprehend anything with his ears clogged from the descent. The man nodded mindlessly to the beautiful woman pretending to hear what she had to say. Honestly, this is practically second nature at this point. No matter how beautiful a woman was, he couldn't manage to pay attention to her.
While walking through the terminal, he looked down at his watch and realized how much time was left in the work day and would need some coffee if he had any hope of surviving it. He ruffled his white-blond tresses, massaging his scalp, hoping it would stimulate some blood flow to his brain.
"I'll take a double-shot cappuccino. In a medium cup. One pump of hazelnut, only one. I don't like it too sweet. Oh, and a sprinkle of cinnamon," the woman two spaces ahead of him said bossily.
That woke him up. It was her order. It was her. It had to be. His heart was in his throat. Hopefully, the sod in front of him had an easy order so Draco could catch up with her before her ridiculous coffee was ready.
"Medium dark roast. Black," The older, pudgy man told the barista.
Draco sighed with relief. Once the man paid, received his coffee and left, Draco, looked at her out of the corner of his eye to see she noticed him. Alas, she was on her mobile, texting, and had the cutest smile. "I'll have a large dark roast, black, two pumps simple syrup."
"Draco?" a voice called from behind. Just as recognizable as her order was, so was his.
He bit his lip before turning around. "Hermione? Is that you?" he feigned innocence, "hold on let me pay."
It was her, and she recognized him. The one who got away. The once-in-a-lifetime love, but he was too young, too stupid to realize it. The barista handed the paper cup to him, and he carefully walked with the steaming coffee to his university sweetheart.
She had barely changed. A little older, but somehow more beautiful. She was dressed in business casual with a scarf around her neck and the lightest touch of makeup.
"Still ordering complicated drinks, I see," he joked.
"And you with the old standby," she reminisced. "Oh, don't be a stranger." She awkwardly hugged him trying not to press her chest against his. But the minute they pulled away, it felt like a rusty old car had been turned on for the first time in years—five years to be exact.
Draco, a bit shocked how much things didn't change, including her perfume. All the memories of him nuzzling his face in the crook of her neck washed over him. Late nights in her dorm studying...and not studying. Then the tearful goodbye when they ended things at graduation. He took a sip of his coffee to distract himself. He cleared his throat and asked, "Arrival or departure?"
"Leaving. Heading to Saudi for a goodwill mission," she beamed.
A voice called behind them, "Herm—"
"Hermione. Thank you," she reached over the counter to grab her drink and turned back to Draco. "I don't leave for another hour and a half. Do you have to be anywhere?"
Fuck, the thought to himself. Sod the investors. They can wait. My luggage, too. "Not for another two hours," he lied.
"Wanna catch up?" she asked pointing to the bistro tables.
More than you know. "Sure," he said casually not wanting to let on how much he's missed her.
As they rolled their carry-on luggage to the table, the friendly nature of their reconnection was being replaced with anxiety. He snuck a peek at her left hand just to make sure there was no engagement ring or wedding band—not a single gem or sliver of gold adorned her finger.
Hermione took off the silk scarf, exposing her long, elegant neck. To this day, she still carried herself like a ballerina. Only this girl could pull a double major in international relations and dance. The dancer and the rower. Both attended boarding schools then Oxford. Their poshness would be downright irritating if it didn't suit them so well. She took a sip of her coffee and her eyes locked with his, and he was staring. She tried to stifle a laugh but couldn't. "Why are you looking at me like that?"
Not even thinking, he let slip, "How did you manage to get more beautiful, and all I've managed is to get fat and grey hairs?"
She blushed and looked him up and down, "You're not fat. You may no longer be in your peak athletic form, but you're still fit." She said with a wink. "So tell me! Where are you working now? Married? Kids? Dog?"
"You're too kind. I have most definitely let myself go. All this airport food and business trips. I never take care of myself. My father conveniently retired early, but still sits on the Board of Directors. I got passed up for the CEO position as they wanted to "groom" me," he scoffed. "So mostly I live out of suitcases, travel, and get screwed out of deals."
"So no time for family?" He caught her look down at his left hand as she asked, curiously.
"Fraid not," he replied. "You?"
She sighed. "I...um. The UN has me travel a lot. I'm actually based out of New York but have been in the London office for the past few weeks. I head back here after Saudi, then back home."
Why did it feel like she was holding something back? He thought. "Are you happy?"
"What an odd question," she remarked.
"Not odd. It's valid."
"I guess? My work is rewarding. My cat is still alive," she joked.
"That ruddy ginger cat. He's ancient. How?"
She laughed, "I have no idea. What about you? Are you...happy?"
"I thought I was content until today, but I realized—No. I'm not happy." He wasted no time cutting to the chase. "When do you get back?"
"A week," she seemed hesitant to answer.
"Have dinner with me. Let's catch up over something better than terrible airport coffee," he said without question.
"I...I don't know, Draco."
"Please, no expectations. Just talk. We— I —didn't do that when we went our separate ways. I thought it was for the best. I now realize how wrong I was. Please say yes. It could be at a pub, or a curry house, or a Michelin Star restaurant. Your choice." Somewhere in that pleading, he had reached for her hand and was rubbing it with the pad of his thumb.
She licked her lips as she melted under his touch. Maybe she had missed him just as much and didn't realize it. A fire burned in her gut telling her to nod her head yes. Hermione wasn't sure why, but her eyes started to water. She refused to embarrass herself in front to her ex-boyfriend, so she started blinking quickly and said, "Eyelash. Sorry. Um, yeah. I have a new number. Let me text it to you."
They swapped information and smiled at each other. A series of texts flurried across Draco's screen—work. "Shit. Sorry. I have to go. I'll text or email you later," he said flustered. "Okay, bye." Not even thinking, as if it were the most natural thing, he gave her the quickest peck on the lips and said, "Love you."
He was five steps away when he realized what he had done. He turned around, mortified.
She sat there, her elbow on the table and her chin resting on her knuckles with a wide grin.
Draco was about to apologize, but she interrupted. "Me too. Never stopped."
Thanks for reading. Feel free to leave a review. I'm also on tumblr: harrypotterandthegobletofwine and Facebook: saintdionysuswriter.