I hadn't intended to update until I was done with this story entirely, but because of who I am as a person, here I am. I wanted to say that if domestic dramione, and also domestic Hermione, is not your cup of tea, I suggest not reading.
Granger moved most of her things into the flat in her own time while he was at work. It had to mean something that she wasn't completely avoiding him, but it couldn't have meant much since the only time she spoke to him was to ask what he wanted for dinner.
"You don't have to cook for me. I don't expect it and if you like, we can share that responsibility."
"Maybe eventually," she shrugged. "I enjoy the distraction for now."
She wasn't the most skilled cook—not that he had any room to judge—and she admitted over a burnt pan of Shepherd's Pie that she was an excellent cook when she used magic. Before Draco could ask why she was so insistent on doing it the muggle way—which, if you asked him, looked to be extremely frustrating—she explained her mum had always cooked to relax.
Her parents were lost to her, Draco knew. The memory charm performed on them before she and the other two had gone on the run was far too strong.
Years ago, she'd thrashed in his bed in the Slytherin dorms while crying out for them.
"Son of a—" The mutter could be heard from the sitting room as he inched quietly toward the kitchen. "It can't be so bloody hard."
Peeking around the corner, he saw her standing in front of the oven, her hands on her hips, and he smelled the undeniable scene of something burning. "What's wrong?"
She jumped, and her hip slammed against the pan settled on the stove. "Merlin, I'm going to put a bell on you if you don't stop sneaking up on me!"
"I'll settle for just the collar if you will." He smirked, and laughed under his breath when she spluttered. "Why are you scolding the stove?"
Shuffling in front of the pan, she didn't let him see just exactly what it was that had burnt. "Well, cooking wasn't going well today."
"And my mother used to bake when she was angry. She used to say it calmed her, but I'm anything but calm."
He had a solution to that, but he doubted she would appreciate it. "I can see that. What did you bake?"
Draco tried to step forward, but she brandished a wooden spoon that look like it would hurt. "Come on, let me see."
She shook her head. "I'll just tell you that they were supposed to be cookies."
His boots squeaked against the tile. "They can't be that bad."
"While I would normally appreciate your overenthusiastic reassurance, I can promise you that they are terrible."
Quick as could be, he snatched the spoon from her outstretched hand and knocked her out of the way with his hip. "Oh." Presented with a split second decision as she glared at him before squeezing her eyes shut—probably out of embarrassment—Draco plucked the smallest cookie, a term he would use loosely, and popped it into his mouth.
Granger's eyes shot open. "What are you—" Crunch. "God, they're not supposed to sound like that. Spit it out, you're going to break a tooth."
Draco ignored her, and ate the entire cookie. "It's great."
"It's bloody terrible, and you know it."
Stubborn enough, and maybe foolish enough, to see it through, Draco shook his head. "No, it's not."
Her finger inched toward the whisk and he cut his losses before she made a weapon out of a defenseless kitchen appliance.
"Alright, it's a smidge crispy." Draco admitted.
"A smidge? The DMLE could patent them as a weapon." Granger dumped them into the trash, but he caught the wide smile on her face when she turned away from him. "Thanks for eating them anyway."
"If you want to make them again, I'll eat them."
"Even if they're crispy?"
Draco nodded, but he really hoped they wouldn't always be crispy. "We could both try," Draco said slowly, watching her face. "I'm sure to ruin them."
Granger mulled it over. "I'd like that, but neither of us can use magic. You'd really do that?" Without waiting for a reply, she walked out of the room with the same smile still on her face.
Granger woke him before the alarm, and it was by dropping a rolled newspaper on his face, or more accurately, his nose. "I told you it was a mistake to come to my flat at midnight." To say she looked unhappy would have been an understatement, but the frown on her face didn't stop him from glancing at her mostly bare legs, and the too short sleep shorts Granger wore.
Though, the clearing of her throat did the trick.
Draco sat upright, and reached for the lamp before he was able to make out the cover. Lead formed in his stomach. "Bloody hell."
The sun hadn't risen yet, and it made sense that it would have to be something truly terrible for her to come out of the room she slept in and into his. "I'd planned to go out today, but now that I look like even more of a home wrecker—"
"I spoke to the Daily Prophet." It wasn't something he'd planned to tell her; it was such a small thing. "And I told them that the engagement was off before I—before we—"
Granger bent forward, her nose not too far from his, and her eyes narrowed. "Right, well, the engagement was still on when you came to my flat. I would know since you brought me a fucking invitation!"
"I had planned to end it even then! It was just an excuse to see you!"
"Yes," she hissed "and that's exactly what it looks like now! An excuse to see me," Granger scoffed. "I hope you didn't tell a reporter that."
"I'll take care of this."
Sighing, she told him not to. "At this point, you're likely to only make it worse."
The blankets bunched around his waist, leaving his chest bare, but her eyes didn't wander. "Oh, is that right? Since all I can do is fuck up your life every time I come into it?"
She pulled her shorts down a bit in an attempt to cover herself, but it didn't do much. "I should have never said that to you, and no, that's not why. We're just better off waiting for this to settle rather than poking it. Please."
He wanted to pull her into bed that second, and not for any reason that he would have expected.
Granger was upset, had been for days now, and their first week as a couple had been terrible on her. "How did you get this? The Daily Prophet hasn't run yet."
"Ron sent it. I think Parkinson was able to get an advance copy, and it only came ten minutes ago."
That made sense.
Draco took the plunge. "Come to bed, Granger. Just to sleep."
Miraculously, she didn't tell him to shove it. "Why?"
"You don't like to sleep alone when you're upset. You've probably been tossing and turning since you came here." He tilted his head toward the other side of the bed. "I promise I won't bother you."
Granger crawled over him, making sure to accidentally squash his leg under her knee, and pulled the blankets over her. "Put on a shirt, Malfoy. Don't think I've forgotten your obnoxious tendency to cuddle in your sleep."
As he summoned a shirt from the wardrobe and tugged it over his head, he glanced down at her.
Dark, thick curls stretched across the pillow, and she stared up at him. "This isn't going to become a habit. Just tonight."
Several moments later, there was a sleepy, "Goodnight, Draco.
Hermione was still asleep when he cracked one eye open. The sun hadn't fully risen yet, and slow, warm rays barely streaked through the curtains as he moved carefully so as not to wake her. She lay with one eye flung over her eyes, and her lips were parted as she breathed in.
It was endearing up until she snored, and he had to muffle a low laugh behind his palm.
Still, this was rocky ground, Draco knew. It was one thing to step up and ask her to marry him—even though she might not see it as such a nice thing of him to do—but it was quite another to wake up with her beside him in his bed. It wasn't as though anything had happened, besides a bit of cuddling that he knew had happened even if it wasn't meant to.
Apparently, his body still knew the way to hers, and he'd woken with a mouthful of stubborn curly hair, plus his arm looped around her waist. Not to mention the subtle, accidental way she'd pressed her arse back into him, which reminded him of his currently uncomfortable position.
Yet he couldn't make himself move entirely away from her. Sure, Draco scooted back a bit just in case she chose the worst moment to stir, and he was ready to squeeze his eyes shut so she thought he was asleep, but what he needed to do was take a shower.
He needed to get ready for what was sure to be another long day in the DMLE, but he couldn't tear his eyes away from her.
With his fingers slowly inching across the sheets, he allowed himself to brush her back slowly, back and forth until she gave a soft, contented sigh that made his cock stir.
Not only did he need to shower, he desperately needed to wank.
"For what it's worth," he whispered. "I really am sorry for breaking up with you. Not that I think you're still angry about it, but it's undoubtedly soured any interaction with me since." Still clinging to the hope that she'd stay asleep, Draco's fingers froze as she moved slightly, and her shirt rode up. The innocent patch of bare skin was a little too enticing for what was only a glimpse of her bare back, and Draco pulled his hand away.
Waiting for her to settle again felt like an eternity, but her breathing remained level, and he'd almost believed she was still asleep.
He'd almost admitted something that he wasn't ready to say, and something she certainly wouldn't want to hear when her breath caught.
A slow smile curved his lips. "Good morning, Granger."
Her shoulders tensed, and then fell. She peeked at him from over her shoulder, pretty brown eyes still glossy from sleeping.
"Did you sleep well?"
Granger's tongue darted out and slid along her lip. "I did, actually."
Draco nonchalantly pulled the sheets up over his waist to hide his erection. "You're welcome to sleep in here any time."
Her brows knitted together, and she pushed out a harsh breath. "You're such a—"
"For sleeping." He said quickly. "Obviously. Just sleeping."
She tilted her head to the side, and pushed the blankets away. "Ri-ight." A coy little smile tugged at the edge of her mouth as she dragged the word out and she climbed over his legs.
Nearly kneed him too.
"Oi, watch it."
Color rose to her cheeks as she realized what she'd done, and there was a flash of a thought—barely even a real look of his imagination—of tugging her to him, and pressing her into the mattress until her entire body was flushed.
Draco cleared his throat.
"Would you like coffee or tea?" Dragging her fingers through her hair with difficulty, Granger set to attempting to untangle a knot while shifting her weight from foot to foot.
She nodded once and he didn't climb out of bed until the door clicked into place.
After climbing into the shower, and wrapping his fingers around his cock while under the scalding stream of water, Draco found himself with a plethora of thoughts about the witch.
But after his head had cleared, the only thing he could think of was the fact that not once had Astoria ever offered to make him coffee before work. Comparing them wasn't fair, and he slumped against the kitchen counter—the towel wrapped around his waist—while swallowing the fact that he'd probably been comparing them for some time. Even if he wanted to pretend it meant nothing, Draco knew it would have been a lie.
"Why are you so happy?" Potter asked over the crowd of Diagon Alley. "You know, on second thought, if it has anything to do with Hermione—"
Draco couldn't resist. "Oh, yes, it has everything to do with Granger." He waited for a the slightly green, ill look to pass over his partner's face. "She joined me in bed last night."
"NO. NO. NO!" Potter clapped his hands over his ears and shook his head. "Absolutely not! It didn't happen because I can't hear it, and I'm not even going to bother reading your lips."
Grinning ear to ear came effortlessly and he took a long drink from the cup Granger had shoved into his hands before all but pushing him into the fireplace herself. Apparently, while they could maintain an easy, nearly domestic relationship—so long as they avoided the hippogryph in the room—his joke at how that hadn't been how he'd imagined waking up with her in his bed had been a touch too far.
Draco could have kicked himself for the comment, too. One, it sounded like something a ponce would say, and two, it made it sound like he'd imagined waking up with her.
And he had, but that wasn't the point.
Potter's eyes dropped to the cup and the yelling stopped. "When did you get a thermos?"
"Granger gave it to me this morning. I made a comment about how I never take the time to cast a warming spell, so she gave me this. Granger didn't teach me the incantation, but I'll ask her." He shrugged.
"No, a thermos is what the cup is called. It's muggle. You didn't know?"
No, he hadn't. "Oh, that makes sense. Do you think she'll let me keep using it?"
"It's surprising she let you use it at all. That's her father's."
It nearly—nearly—slipped out of his grasp and tumbled to the cobblestone at his feet. "I doubt that. Granger has plenty of these. I would know, considering I packed most of her kitchen, and she made me do it by hand just to spite me."
Harry didn't laugh. He pulled the thermos away from Draco and held it up, allowing the side to glisten under the sun. "See that?"
He pointed to the edge of the cap, and Draco would see two letters etched into the metal. F.G.
"Sweet mother of fuck."
A mother of two glared at him from a few feet away.
He swallowed hard. "This is her father's. Why would she give it to me?"
"Maybe she didn't realize."
That was wrong. She'd have noticed and both of them knew it. Draco kept an iron grip on it for the rest of the day, and suddenly, holding onto the cup had set him on edge more than anything else did.
Draco was there when Weasley picked out a ring for Pansy, and while he teased Ron that there were better ways to spend his break, they both knew Draco wouldn't have missed it.
He wasn't there when Weasley proposed, however. The man's first idea had been to do so publicly until Draco pointed out—and only after he'd been asked—that while Pansy enjoyed extravagant things, at the center, she was a private person. After all, how else had they managed to say so happy in a secret relationship for over a year?
"Have you heard?" Granger's voice drifted down the corridor, and when she reached the kitchen, she paused mid-step. "What are you doing?"
Draco was already knelt down, and even he had to admit that he looked absurd with the tiny decorative dish in his hands. "I'm trying to feed him."
About a foot away from him, Crooks glared at him, his tail swishing back and forth against the tile. Draco tried to push the bowl toward him, and Crooks laid a paw on it before slightly pushing it backwards.
"You're such a bastard!"
"Don't call him that!" Granger laughed. "It's not as difficult as you're making it, Malfoy."
In one last attempt, Draco pushed the bowl toward the beast again. For a moment, he had hope when Crooks walked forward.
Until he sank itty-bitty teeth into the flesh between Draco's thumb and finger.
"Just let me feed you, you tremendous fucking prat. You really are her cat."
He expected Granger to point out that Crooks wasn't really a cat, but she only looked down at him with an amused expression. "What is that supposed to mean?"
Draco fell quiet.
"I don't see the similarities." The corner of her mouth twitched and her attempt to keep a straight face cracked. "If you leave his dish, he'll eat. Crooks doesn't like to eat in front of strangers. Just give him time."
"He used to." He didn't think about it before saying it, and Draco regretted it. "Nevermind. What did you come in here for?"
"Ron called this morning, but I didn't want to wake you on your day off from work." Granger turned and pulled two cups from the cupboard while switching the coffee maker on. It always struck him that she did it by hand, and didn't set up charms to do it for her.
But he also knew that all of this—the cooking, the baking, the cleaning—was an attempt to distract herself from the situation she'd found herself in, and the fact that she didn't want to leave the house even though she would have to eventually.
Dressed in the sleep shorts that barely reached mid-thigh, and a long shirt that almost defeated the purpose of pants, Granger leaned against the counter. She traced the scratches in the mug. "He and Pansy are engaged, and apparently they're not wasting any time."
Leave it to Pansy. "Oh?"
"They're getting married next week."
Draco choked. "That's no time at all!"
Nodding, she shrugged. "They didn't want to wait, and from what I understand, Pansy's taking over the Burrow this morning."
"From what Ron told me, it sounds like her parents aren't going to support her in the decision." Granger nibbled her lip, and set the cup on the counter with a soft thud. "I think they're going to disown her, and I think you should talk to her. You're close, aren't you?"
Close wasn't even half of it. He and Pansy had been best mates since before they could talk, and even then, she'd beat him all of their tiffs by screaming louder. "Yeah, we are. I'll talk to her today."
Granger laced her fingers together. "Do you want to eat breakfast with me?"
"I would like that." Draco slid to her side, and lightly bumped her hip with his. "How can I help?"
Her eyes lit up.
Just as Granger said, Draco found her at the Burrow in a sea of papers with a determined Molly Weasley sitting at the head of the table.
"Good morning, Draco." Molly greeted him, shuffling through a stack of papers. "It's been a bit since I've seen you."
"Yes," he said as he came to stand behind Pansy's chair, and his fingers tightened over the back of it. "George's birthday wasn't so long ago." Nudging Pansy's back, he asked, "Do you mind talking with me for a bit?"
Her eyes were red rimmed, and she didn't look like the happy bride-to-be she should have been. "I'm busy."
Molly shot him a terse look. "A break would be good, dear. Why don't you take a walk with Draco and I'll make lunch?"
Pansy muttered that she wasn't hungry, but rose out of her seat anyway with a nod. She followed him out the door, and wrapped her around her middle. "I thought she would hate me." She spoke first, dragging her feet as they walked down the decline of the hill. "He wanted to out our relationship a long time ago, but I was so convinced that his entire family would loathe me and—" Her voice cracked.
"Tell me what happened."
Wiping her eyes, she muttered, "My father told me if I married a blood traitor, then I could consider myself no longer a part of the family. When I told him I wasn't going to change my mind, he kicked us out of the house."
"Ron was with you?"
She nodded. "He didn't want me to go alone and then he brought me straight here. I think Molly had to have known before we arrived, but she just hugged me, and told me it would be alright now."
"Does this have anything to do with you getting married next week?"
"Yeah, my parents must think I'll come crawling back to them, but I won't. And the sooner they know that, the better. I know I've made my own mistakes, but it's been such a long time since the war, and blood prejudice…"
Draco slid his hand into his pockets and nodded. "I'm sorry."
"His mum has treated me more like a daughter in twelve hours than my parents did in twenty-two years. How fucking absurd is that?" A moment passed, and then she asked, "What do your parents think of your engagement?"
He'd known it was coming. "Father knew before I had the chance to tell him, and arranged everything before we came back to England."
"So, she really did run."
Wind swept past them, tousling his hair in one go. "Yeah, she did. Father's taking it well. It seems he realized marrying Astoria wasn't what I truly wanted anyway."
"And your mother?"
Draco winced. "I haven't seen her in person since, but I can't imagine she's taking it well. You know she adored Astoria." It was true that his mother had doted on the witch, delighted by all of the things they had in common. He thought of Hermione, and her interests, and it pained him more than he liked to admit that the pair of them might never get on. "I think she'll like Granger, but given the circumstances, I'm not sure how their first meeting will go."
He wasn't holding out hope for it to go well either.
Pansy leaned back on her heels. "Well, at least your parents have come a long way from their former beliefs. Mine never will. I always imagined a big wedding. My parents would have been there, and maybe, just fucking maybe, they would finally be proud of me."
"Come on," Draco elbowed her gently. "Are you happy?"
"Yeah, I'm really happy Besides, we're supposed to be talking about you." She pushed her hair behind her ears, and glanced up. "When are the two of you getting married?"
"We're waiting for the deadline." He didn't explain Granger's hopes that they wouldn't have to get married at all, and he turned on his heel. "I have to go, but you'll be alright?"
Pansy gave him a watery smile. "I will be. Will you let Molly know I'm going to stay out here for a few more minutes?"
Draco told her he would, and took a look over his shoulder as she stood at the edge of the hill. He ran into Weasley just as he opened the door.
"Mum said you were—"
"I know she wants a big wedding." Draco cut in, talking over him. "And she's going to get it, no matter what it costs. Bill it to my Gringotts account."
Ron's cheeks grew red. "I don't need—"
"I know you don't." Draco's voice softened. "Really, I do. It's not a handout. It's not because you can't do it for her. It's because she's been my best mate, and I want to. You'd do anything for Granger, so I know you understand."
Raking his fingers through his hair, Ron looked like he still didn't like the idea, but he nodded. "Alright, but you should know—"
Draco snorted. "Oh, I've seen lists for her dream wedding. I already know. She's out there, and as delightful as my company is, I think she needs you."
Ron pushed past him without another word.
Low voices filtered through the flat as he arrived, and Draco hesitantly made his way toward the kitchen where Granger seemed to spend all of her time.
"Is he terrible to live with?" Theo asked, and Draco paused just at the end of the corridor.
Granger's reply was slow, and he imagined she probably didn't want to answer. "No, he's kind to me. Draco tries not to hover, and I think he's doing his best to make me happy even with the situation we've found ourselves in."
There was a light sound, like ice bumping against the edge of a glass. "Are you?" There was a pause. "Happy, I mean?"
Nosy fucking Theo.
"Not at the moment, but that isn't his fault. Sometimes, I wonder if I should have ran anyway. Viktor offered, even after I moved here—"
It wasn't anything he knew, not the last bit at least.
Draco stepped around the corner, his features hardened, and whatever she'd been about to say next died on her lips. "What are you doing here?"
Theo drained the rest of his tea, and looked between the two of them. "I was just dropping by, but I've lost track of time, and I should be going. Thanks for the talk, Granger."
She waved slightly. "Why are you glaring at me?"
"Krum asked you to leave with him again?"
Granger's eyes sharpened as quickly as they narrowed. "You were eavesdropping."
"You're avoiding the question."
She huffed and threw her hands up. "Yes, he did. I told him no, and honestly, I don't see how it involves you at all!"
"Of course you don't. Why in the bloody hell would I want to know if you're considering running off with him anyway!" His chest rose and fell with shallow breaths. "You didn't think I'd be curious to know why you were still in contact with your ex-boyfriend?"
Granger stopped trying to talk over him. Fuck, he was nearly certain she'd stopped breathing all together. "You're jealous."
His mouth snapped shut.
"I can't process that right now." She took him by surprise. "Theo told me something, but I need to ask you about it."
Bloody fucking hell.
Granger took a step toward him, her arms folded across her chest. "Did you ever want to marry Astoria? I mean, really and truly want to marry her?"
"No." The answer slipped out before he thought there must be a nicer way to word it. "No, I didn't."
"Then why did you propose?"
He was going to kill Theo. "He didn't tell you that part too? I mean, while he was busy airing the rest of my ruddy business."
"No," Granger's throat moved slightly as she swallowed. "He told me to ask you."
"I thought it was the right thing to do." Draco sighed. "I caved to pressure from my parents, and purebloods typically wait so long to get married, so I proposed to Astoria. It was my thought that I would be happy, but…"
"But?" she prompted.
He glared at the ceiling. "I was so miserable the entire time. It was a mess of my own making, and more than one person was hurt."
Granger turned away from him, and pulled a drawer open. "I told him I wasn't interested, and to not contact me again, but this is what Viktor sent me. I can't imagine why you care, but you do, and I promise you that I'm not running away again. And if you'd like to see what he wrote to me, then you can." She pressed a folded piece of parchment into his hands.
When she left the room, he considered asking her to stay, but this was an arrangement of convenience on her end and he'd never particularly handled rejection well.