This fic was inspired by an episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine where Jake does the same to Amy. A huge thank you to Strictly Dramione for hosting the Prank Fest so this idea could come to fruition, otherwise I might never have written it. Another huge thanks to SaintDionysus for her amazing beta skills and her fabulous cover art.
Hermione sneered at the unwelcome blond presence who stood in the doorway of her office, grinning like an idiot. "What do you want, Malfoy?"
"It's the 31st. You know what that means?"
She groaned. How the hell had she ever allowed herself to be talked into this stupid bet?
It started the night Harry insisted the entire office go out on Valentine's Day to celebrate the fact that they were all "lonely, toxically work-obsessed adults who were still surprisingly single on the most romantic day of the year." His words. The fucker.
It was around tequila shot Numero Quatro that everything went tits up.
"You know what, Granger?" Malfoy drunkenly slurred as he slung his arm around her shoulders.
"Don't touch me."
He gingerly removed the appendage from her person. "You would be SO. MUCH. HOTTER. If you would just lighten up every now and then."
Another tequila shot. "Maybe I don't care if you think I'm hot. Y'ever think of that, Malfoy?"
He booped her nose. "Even when you're slushed…shlooshed…sl-o-sh-ed. Even when you're sproshed, you're kind of a bitch."
She covered his face with her palm. It was not entirely clear what she was going for, but Dutch wisdom can never truly be questioned. "I am NOT. A bitch." Hiccup. "You're a little prat. A littlllle…pratty little ferret thing. A sssstupid face. A stupid ferret with a stupid blond face and a ferrety head."
He laughed. "You're drunk."
"YOU'RE drunk." She was oh, so very drunk.
"Yup." Hiccup. "And I'm a better Auror than you."
"ARE NOT!" Drunk Hermione was an exclaimer.
"Wanna test it?"
"HOW?" A loud exclaimer.
Drunk Draco didn't seem to notice or care. "A bet. Whoever closes the most cases in March wins."
She winked. Or closed both eyes and squeezed, but hey, whatever. Drunk Hermione did not have the best command of her facial muscles. She clicked her tongue and shot a finger pistol at him. "You're on, Malfoy."
He chuckled at her discomfort. She dearly wanted to pop him. What possible right did he have looking so comfortable in her office?
"You remember our terms, Granger?"
She grumbled. Yeah. She fucking remembered. If she won, he had to do all her paperwork for the next two months. But if he won, she had to go on a date with him.
She had to go on the worst date ever with him. His words.
As of yesterday, she was ahead. But she could barely find the will to be smug about it when he stood there, eyes twinkling, like he had some great secret she didn't know about. "Of course, I remember, Malfoy. But unless you can close two more cases by the end of the day, I believe I win."
His grin spread menacingly across his face. Like a pox. Shit-fuck. What did he do?
"I knew you would be keeping track, Granger. But perhaps my math is off, you know, seeing as I'm an inferior being compared to Her Royal Swotness, Hermione Granger—"
"Get to the point, Malfoy."
"—but I seemed to have happened on a bit of luck today. If you would be so kind as to remove your smart little arse from that chair and peek over to the interrogation chamber?"
Hermione wanted to shank him with her letter opener. But alas. The paperwork.
She did as he bade and stifled a gasp. "Is that…?"
"Margolis Ionesco, the French-Canadian Squib who's wanted by both MI-6 and our Department for smuggling an estimated 20,000 kilos of heroin into the United Kingdom?"
"If you would direct your attention to the gentleman sitting next to him, you will see—"
"—Mikhail Dubrovkavich. Russian arsonist who blew up a Muggle pre-school."
"Correct-o-mundo! Her Royal Swotness strikes again! I believe that makes us tied, wouldn't you say, Granger?"
She cleared her throat. "Doesn't matter. The point is, you don't win either, which means that I don't have to go on a weird, awful date with you."
"Yes. That is fortunate for you." He gasped. "But wait. Is that…? No. It couldn't be."
Hermione followed his eyes' line of sight. "What…oh, shit!"
Handcuffed to Harry's desk, currently having her fingerprints magically extracted from her, was Maria Puccini, the infamous Italian assassin the Department had nicknamed, The Rouge Ripper, as her modus operandi was painting her victims' lips with red lipstick after she killed them.
Hermione's jaw fell on the floor.
Draco made absolutely no attempt to hide his glee at her defeat as he nudged her arm, nearly knocking her over. "I can see your arithmetic is better than your detective work. I do believe that makes me the victor of this little game of ours."
"So, should I pick you up at 7, or would you prefer—"
She rounded on him. "You listen here, blondie! I will not be going on a date with you."
Draco pouted sympathetically. "I'm afraid that's not how bets work, Granger. Who would have thought Her Royal Swotness didn't have a basic grasp of the importance that rules play in our society? Why, they're the very cornerstone—"
He sniggered. "Yeah, no. I didn't."
"I don't know how you did this, but—"
"I was already pretty close to solving these last three cases. All I needed was a little nudge. So, I bought a vial of Felix Felcis and took it this morning with my breakfast. And I have to say. It did add the most delightful little zip to my morning pumpkin juice."
Hermione dug her nails deep into the palms of her hands to keep herself from striking him. "You cheated!"
"Nah-ah, Granger. I did not cheat. We never stipulated that neither of us could use a little bit of help. What I did was no different than relying on an informant or setting up surveillance—"
"Felix Felicis is illegal in all sporting events. This was a game. You cheated. You lose. End of story."
"Felix Felicis is illegal only in regulated competitions, Granger. You and I might be Ministry employees, but that doesn't make this a government matter. I won. Fair and square." He paused for a beat. "Okay, maybe not exactly square, but I did not cheat. And you know what that means?"
Hermione whined and bounced in place. "Please don't."
Draco ignored her. "You have to go on a date with me." He cleared his throat. "EXCUSE ME, can I have everyone's attention?"
The office stilled and turned to face Draco and Hermione.
He grinned. "As you all know, Granger and I have had a bet going on for the past month. And I am pleased to announce that because of our efforts, this Department has had a record-setting quarter for arrests." He began clapping, and the entire office joined in.
Hermione seethed next to him, not clapping. Although it was interesting about the record. She didn't realize their little row would render such favorable results for the Department.
Draco motioned for the room to be silent. "This month has now come to a close, and the results are in. And it is my pleasure to announce that I, Draco Malfoy, the superior Auror, have emerged victorious." He began clapping again, but this time no one joined in.
Draco motioned at Maria Puccini. "Couldn't have done it without you, doll."
She slipped him the finger, vividly imagining how he would look in red lipstick.
He ignored her. "But enough about me. Now it's time for Granger to pay up." He reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out the tackiest, gaudiest ring Hermione had ever seen. It was covered in waxy, poison-colored gems that were undoubtedly not only fake, but of negligible value. It wouldn't have surprised her if he'd stolen it from a maiden aunt's heirloom drawer.
Little did she know, it was actually an arcade vending machine.
He got down on one knee. She groaned, rolling her eyes. He looked up at her, eyes shining with mirth as he took her hand. "Hermione Granger. Will you do me the honor of going with me on the worst date in the history of the world? You have to say yes."
She glared at him for several seconds before muttering with closed lips, "Yes."
"Excellent!" He slid the atrocious piece of costume jewelry on Hermione's finger. "Be sure to wear this during our date tomorrow."
She regretted everything.
As I stated at the top, this was inspired by an episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. As this is fanfiction, based off of pre-existing literary characters and worlds, this is 100% okay. I'm not hiding that fact. PLEASE READ THE AUTHOR NOTES BEFORE LEAVING SALTY COMMENTS. Thank you.