A/N: Thanks for the reviews! I'm not too ashamed to beg for more. I missed all of you.
Ch: 30: The Classiest Date Ever (Part One)
10:45 PM. ARRIVING AT MALFOY MANOR. READY TO PLOT SOME PLOTS.
I appeared in the fireplace in the great room of my home, and immediately was met with the sound of aggravated voices coming from the parlor down the hall. I could make out Lucius' snobbish voice and Mother's judgmental low-toned chattering. There was another familiar voice that I could not quite place, a man's very loud and boring drawl. It sounded like the man was shouting at Father.
"LUCIUS! FOCUS! CONCENTRATE!"
"But I feel fine!" Lucius hollered back. "I'm FINE!" As if to prove his point, he laughed manically.
Right. Not wanting to get involved, I quietly crept out of the great room toward the main staircase but unfortunately tripped over the large sphinx hide in the middle of the floor. I fell down, cursing angrily. At once, I heard Mother's high-heeled boots clacking down the hall. I tried to crawl away.
"I see you there, Draco! We were extremely worried about you!" she called out. "Whatever have you been doing? It seems I haven't laid eyes on you for ages, darling!"
I managed to get myself up, dusting off my jacket. "Well, I—"
"You just won't believe your father," she went on quickly, "he's acting even stranger than usual! Why, today he smiled for two hours straight!"
I stopped in my tracks. "Smiled?" I said, just to make sure. The word felt foreign on my tongue.
She nodded, and I could spot tears in her eyes. "He smiled."
"He hasn't truly smiled since Aunt Bellatrix did a naked victory dance after Voldemort went back into power," I said, concerned. "Are you certain it was a smile?" I then did my best impression of a false, cheery, normal person's face. "Like this? Like a smile smile?"
She patted my cheeks and nodded. "Oh dear, but don't do that again. You don't want to mess up your lovely jaw line. You could get smile lines. But yes, he smiled for two hours! Two! I tried to leave the manor but he just followed me, smiling. I was so terrified I hid inside one of the chests in the artifact room for much of the day. And just when I thought he was better, he took more medication and the smiling started all over again! I know we are supposed to be reformed dark wizards but I'd much prefer being the wife of a wanted Death Eater to this." She shuddered. "At least the Death Eater I knew was dashing and ill-tempered."
"Oh, Mother," I said solemnly. "I am so sorry." I encased her in a rigid hug for a really long while (3.5 seconds) and then we broke apart at once. "What's to be done? Can he be put on new medication? Can we cure him? Can ANYTHING be done!?" I was quickly becoming panicked. It was a Malfoy Family Emergency!
"I owled Severus. He was our only hope," she said, and her nose wrinkled slightly. Mother wasn't a fan of Severus Snape. Apparently he was very creepy back when they all went to Hogwarts, if you can imagine that. He was snoopy, and had a habit of staring at female people for much too long. Plus there was that business of him being in love with Harry's mother, Lily. Of course, some people thought it was only because Lily was the first girl not to burst into tears when he approached her, and she had very nice tits (sorry, Potter, but I've seen photos). Besides, Snape had very strange reactions to things (he screamed a lot), and he was constantly hung over when I was at Hogwarts (can you blame him, really?). He had other odd habits like sleep-walking, and he owned a dirty old gray nightgown. She never really understood why my father was friends with Snape and anytime she thought Snape would be anywhere near her she was always prepared with moist towelettes and protective gems (she was very fearful of grease). She put up with him now because of that whole Unbreakable Vow rubbish and the fact that he had saved my life made her feel obligated to at least invite him over for a hot meal sometimes. "He's been working with your father for the past half hour and I think we're making progress but I'm not certain—"
"Snape is HERE!?" I shouted. "Snape, the only person at Hogwarts who understood me!?" Even though camping and hiding out with Snape was extremely drawn out and uncomfortable, he did actually care for my safety and wasn't cruel to me. He was almost like a real family, even if he never showered and was angry at nothing! He had excellent comedic timing and was the most caring person I'd ever met in my entire life(of course, I had high hopes that Hermione would be a new contender for that role- Snape is great and all, but even that still left me feeling lonely at night).
"The very one," Mother answered, and as I headed for the parlor, she added, "be sure to wash your hands if you get too close to him!" She began to spray the hallway with Lysol.
I walked quickly into the parlor and stared, vaguely horrified, at the scene. Father was crouched on the floor and on his face was a look of utmost insanity. His gray eyes were glinting madly and he was grinning. GRINNING. Professor Snape stood over him, his black robes billowing out behind his tall, skinny form. His hair was glinting with sweat and grease in the dull candlelight.
"Lucius," hissed Professor Snape, "work with me now! Glower! GLOWER! GLOWER, MAN, GLOWER!"
Father's face was set somewhere between a sneer and a jubilant smile. "It's no use!" he cried, his voice not matching the wild expression on his face. "My face just won't go like that anymore!"
"Even a true smirk would be better than this sickening display of excited emotion," Snape fired back, crossing his spidery arms across his chest. "Honestly, Lucius, this is the most disappointed I have ever been in you and that's saying something."
"Severus," croaked Father, "you don't mean it." He punched the marble floor with his fist and cursed loudly. But he was still smiling.
I headed over to Snape's side. "Professor, I have not heard from you in a long while! I sent you owls but maybe you changed your address. I've been waiting to hear back from you! Thank you for attending to Father."
"Stay out of this, you insubordinate brat!" Father said, but he was still smiling. It was very eerie.
"Hello, Father," I sneered at him. "Nice face."
He narrowed his eyes and pulled at his cheeks self-consciously.
"Ah, Mr. Malfoy," Severus said, turning around and nodding his head once. He loves me so much, which is understandable because I was the only smart person in my year at Hogwarts aside from Granger. Everyone else made a shitty mess of Snape's classroom every single day and drove him to drinking. I was actually his appointed alarm clock for when he was too drunk to get out of bed to teach. We were pretty much the best of friends. He patted me on the shoulder gingerly. "Regarding you letters: My address is the same but forgive me… I've been unable to… er… receive owls as of late. The mail system is faulty in my neighborhood. Bad weather."
"I sent you post last summer, too and never heard!" I said.
"Perhaps the Ministry is intercepting my letters again. Or someone is stealing my mail," he said quickly. If it were anyone else, I'd say he was lying but he's basically my father away from father and I know he'd never do anything to hurt me. "But that does not matter. How have you been, Malfoy? How is the post graduate life treating you?"
"Father won't let me have my own apartment. I bought some very sleek new dragon hide boots last week. I have been taking classes at Saint Mungo's to become a magical surgeon. And I've made a few new friends," I said, my eyes moving from side to side, trying not to attract Father's attention.
"How delightful," Snape said dryly. He's always so proud of me.
"New friends?" Father spat out through his hideous smile. "What would the point of that be? You have all the friends you need! Crabbe, Goyle, and that Parkinson girl of yours with the interesting chest and round bottom—"
"Father, I don't hear from Crabbe or Goyle unless they need money for cigarettes or food. And she's not my girlfriend anymore," I said," she broke up with me to be with a woman—"
"Oh?" said Father in interest.
"Do not even try," I told him. "They don't want a man to watch. I already asked."
"That reminds me," Snape interrupted very quickly, "Parkinson and Bulstrode flagged me down in the apothecary last Sunday. I tried to hide behind a spice rack but Parkinson is like a bloodhound when she's trying to get what she wants." Lord Voldemort, didn't I know that! Severus went on. "It would seem I am obligated to host an alumni party for Slytherins. Slughorn is a better man for the job, but alas Parkinson pushed that I be the host. And we all know the Parkinsons are the head benefactors of the Slytherin alumnus program. A fact I am reminded of all too often." He cringed. "My point is that you shall be receiving post from me concerning that party."
"I thought your owl service was acting up!" I said earnestly.
"I have a strong feeling it will work this time," Severus said. He's so intelligent. "Now, Lucius, we really need to focus on this. Your wife is very, very concerned about this medication you are on. She did not fall in love with you for your cheery smile or happy disposition. At least the effects are not long-lasting in the latter area. But this disturbing facial expression has got to leave your face or you may be facing something much more serious than the psychological problems and emotional baggage you already possess. Focus on this, for Narcissa. I am not quite certain if you two make a good couple, but you would certainly be foolhardy to throw this marriage down the cauldron after all she has done for you!"
"What would you know about marriage?" Lucius challenged, smiling sweetly. "Your longest relationship has been with a bottle of elf-made wine and a copy of WutheringHeights!'
"You abandoned your family to dance after an insane dark lord who made you his bitch!" snarled Severus, a bit of drool hanging off his snaggle tooth. Father was still smiling, but cowered.
Tom Riddle appeared in a portrait of Salazar Slytherin, pushed Slytherin aside, and let loose a slew of Shakespearian insults in Snape's direction.
But Severus paid the portrait no mind. "Your wife is the third hottest woman who was at Hogwarts in our day and all you can think about is your hair, your appearance and saving your own vain arse! You raised your son as though he was a posh little puppy in your purse and when he got too old and too opinionated you cast him out to the shark pit to fend for himself against bullies and dark magic! Look at him! He's exceedingly narcissistic," (my mouth fell open), "yes, but he's more self-sufficient than you will ever be, Lucius!" (I did a victory dance!) "When you look in the mirror, what do you see? A pop princess or a good father?" Severus' voice was rising. It was very, very scary. "WHAT DO YOU SEE?" he bellowed.
Lucius had backed into a corner and had an expression somewhere between slight amusement and bewilderment. The huge beaming grin was nearly off his face! "You don't know what you're talking about, you greasy Mudblood-boffing traitor!" Mudblood-boffing. That made me think of Granger.
"At least I know myself enough to know I'm too emotionally retarded and malicious to ever care for a family but you knew all that about yourself, wanted a Pureblood child to show off to the world, and so you did it anyway! And now look at your life, Lucius! You're weak and those designer robes you're wearing will never hide that fact from the world!"
Tom Riddle stopped screaming. "Severus is actually right on this one," he said icily, and disappeared.
At this Lucius burst into tears and immediately covered his face. "Oh-oh-oh n-n-no, not tears! I-I-I'm hideous when I cry!" he whined and Severus forcefully removed his hands. The grin was completely gone! He was frowning and looked completely and severely unhappy!
"Good work, Lucius," Severus said quietly. "Good work." They embraced, my father wailing into Severus' shoulder like a baby.
Extremely uncomfortable, I inched out of the room, making to break into a run.
"Mr. Malfoy," called Snape over his shoulder, "wait in the great room. I'd like to speak to you before I leave for the night."
Sighing, I did as I was told, even though I was itching to plan my first official date with Hermione Granger. You just don't disobey the head of Slytherin house. (I learned that the hard way in first year.)
Severus showed up about fifteen minutes later, attempting to dry his damp robes with a heating charm.
"You wanted to see me, sir," I said, smirking.
Severus approached me and dropped his drawling voice to a whisper: "I know," he said simply.
I raised my eyebrows. "Er. You know… what?"
"I know all about it, Mr. Malfoy," Severus said, and raised his eyebrows back at me in the same way.
"You are going to have to be more specific," I told him.
"Oh living hell… This family," he whispered, rubbing his temples. "Look, Malfoy, I know all about Operation Saving Prefect Granger."
I blinked and paled deeper than corpse white. "Operation what? Saving what? Professor, I think you've been sniffing too many potions or something," I said, my voice trembling obviously. "Granger. Granger." I stared up at the ceiling as though I was trying to uncover a distant memory. "Isn't Granger that obnoxious jumped up Mudblood with frizzy hair that used to raise her hand for every question you asked in class? Did she own a fuzzy pig for a pet? Was she friends with Potter and Weasel Head? Or am I mistaken? I could certainly be mistaken because I wasn't friends with Gryffindors and I hate Mudbloods—"
"Can it, Mr. Malfoy," Snape whispered. "I know the plan, and I know that you have been fraternizing with Gryffindors. I know about your escapades with Potter and your tea times with Percy Weasley, and I know that you and Granger had a very-nearly chummy lunch at that bizarre little Chinese restaurant just off Diagon Alley where the angry man thinks it is still the late eighties. I know that you became Ginny Weasley, and I know that you plan to take Granger on a full-fledged date tomorrow evening at Rolina's."
My mouth dropped open. "How do you know all this?" I shouted, and Snape clapped his hand over my mouth.
"Shut it, Malfoy, if you want to keep this quiet from your family," he hissed. "I know all about this because I am still a double agent—"
"But the war's over!"
"Old habits die hard, Malfoy," he said gravely.
I stared down at the black velvet throw rug. "I'm sorry, sir."
"Sorry for what?"
"I've disgraced Slytherin," I warbled. "I never thought much about my attraction to Granger back in school but after seeing her recently she's all I think about! I swear I never meant to shame you!"
"Malfoy, what in Salazar's green hat are you blubbering about?" Severus demanded angrily. "I am only reaching out to you because, as you already should know, I was once in love with a Muggle-born girl, too. She was far more attractive than Granger, much cooler, and definitely smarter, and I had a lot more history with her and probably had an actual chance with her before I mucked it all up with my adolescent awkwardness and cowardice but my point is, I understand the feeling of having a forbidden love."
His insults toward Hermione aside, Severus' words filled me with hope. How could I not put it all together! I knew about Snape and Harry's mum but I'd never thought in a million years that he could help me on this issue. He was so close all along, yet so far. Yet so close.
"And to be honest, I saw a little bit of myself in you, Malfoy. The petty insults, your constant jabs at her appearance, your jealousy of Potter and Weasley… This attraction to Granger goes back much farther than this year, though I am certain her maturity and newfound romantic confidence is sparking it up for you even stronger than your feelings for her back in school."
Snape was good at spying. Too good. I nodded. "If I can't have Granger, I don't know what I'll do! I get everything I want! Instantly! But there's the business with my family… and the fact that Granger can't go ten seconds without yelling at me or calling me hateful or mean—"
"Can you really blame her? Your infantile behavior has nearly cut all of your ties with anyone worth a salt, Malfoy. If I could go back and change anything, I would cut out all of the times I insulted Evans out of jealousy and turned her against me. If you wish to actually court Granger, as it seems you do, you are going to have to try a bit harder for her affection."
"I'm planning on a very romantic evening," I said. "I'm going to prove to her that I am different now! Reformed!"
Severus cocked an eyebrow. "But are you? Make certain that you are. You have a terrible habit of saying everything that comes into your mind as though it is the astounding genius of an ancient prophet." (Snape thought I was a genius!) "Granger might be an obnoxious know-it-all but she's intelligent. Remember that, Malfoy. We shall be in touch."
And before I could ask more advice, or protest, or utter one more word, Severus did an army roll into the fireplace, threw a handful of floo power down and disappeared.
3:15 PM. LOUNGING ON MY BED IN MY SILK BLACK BOXERS, LOOKING EXTREMELY SEXY (OBVIOUSLY).
I yawned and stretched, flexing my slender chest and winking at my reflection in my bedside mirror. Today was definitely my day. I felt readier for this than anything else in my life. I had stayed up excruciatingly late devising the perfect game plan for my date with Hermione. I had sent her a late owl stating that I would be picking her up at her flat at seven o'clock sharp. I had laid out a handsome outfit. I had planned my moves for the evening: I was going to pick up flowers at Jordan and Son's, order fine wine and appetizers as well as dinner to show her that I was willing to spend some Galleons on her, I was going to ask her if she would like to move on to a small café I knew between Knockturn and Diagon for dessert, I would be appropriately charming and humorous (as usual) but also ask a lot of questions to show her that I did in fact care, and (most importantly) I would make the move to give her a kiss on our way back to her apartment.
This entire plan was not only exceedingly perfect, it was exciting. With Pansy, I often felt like a dutiful slave. The flowers I'd gotten for Pansy were out of fear of my life, and the dates we'd had were, admittedly, out of necessity to keep up a public appearance. The only thing I was grateful for was that back in the day so many years ago, Pansy had attacked me with wet snogs after the Yule Ball, thus making me into a very Knowledgeable man when it came to the female body and mind. Pansy and I had been physically inseparable after that point (sometimes to my chagrin, as you know), but I had to admit it was now very helpful. My loads of experience were going to impress Granger and leave her winded. Because frankly, Hermione probably hadn't ever properly kissed, let alone frisked a good-looking and suave bloke such as myself. I flicked my own face with my fingers. "Ow." But I deserved it. I had to stop being perverted if this date was going to go well tonight. Severus was right—Hermione was intelligent. She deserved precision. Elegance. Class. And I was just the wizard to give it all to her.
"Sir! Here is your grandedoubletripleshotmochawithalmondandextrafoam, " came a squeaky voice at my door.
I stretched again and got out of bed to receive my coffee from Lobby, who was in a deep bow. He had made the wrong order, and though my first instinct was to snap at him, I reasoned with myself. It was very, very difficult. Thinking of Granger, I cleared my throat. "Er… Thank you, Lobby. That will be all."
He looked up with tears in his gigantic creepy eyes and his voice came out in a disturbing pant. "Sir has never said 'thank you' to Lobby! Lobby is so, so, SO happy to serve you, sir!"
"Right…" I trailed off as Lobby skipped down the hall. Being nice caused horrifying results in life. How anyone could be nice all the time was a complete mystery to me. As I sipped my coffee, I began to get ready for the date. After showering, shaving my face, straightening my bangs so they flopped lusciously over one eye, having Lobby shine my shoes (he cried out of joy the entire time), ironing my suit jacket and slacks with a charm, and applying my favorite cologne (a scent called simply Villainous) I felt ready to take on the world.
I had decided upon my favorite gray dress shirt with the black embroidered detail and a black silk tie, and my black suit jacket and trousers. I wore my silver skull ring, dragon hide leather shoes, and the softest black socks I owned (okay, so I knew Granger wouldn't see my socks but they pulled the outfit together AND they were comfortable!). I looked so outstandingly handsome, I could have shagged myself.
6:15 PM. JORDAN AND SONS.
"Well, well, well, would you just look!" Fred exclaimed the second I walked into the store. I smirked at the Weasley twins and shrugged.
"From Gryffindor girl to bad boy in less than a day!" George cheered.
"It's like magic," said Fred in a deadpan voice.
"Our ickle boy is all grown up and dapper and dark," George said in baby talk.
George pinched my cheeks. "He smells nice, too."
"Classy wee snake," Fred chided, elbowing me.
"Quit that!" I exclaimed. "You're going to wrinkle my fabrics. I've layered my outfit just so." I surveyed the flower display, lightly fingering a red rose.
"You look like you're going to a funeral, blondie," Zoë said by way of a greeting. "So who died then?"
I glowered. "Nobody's dead! I'm going on a date, as you all should know."
Fred, George and Zoë instantly surrounded me. "It worked?" George asked excitedly. "You're taking out Hermione?"
Zoë's mouth fell open. "So you're the mystery bloke Ron was going on about. I knew something fishy was going on!"
"Zoë, this isn't your area," Fred said. "You don't understand—"
"Do you fancy Granger?" she asked. "Is she the girl you've been spazzing out about?"
"I never spaz," I said grandly.
"Says the amazing bouncing ferret," George quipped. I stepped on his toe and he winced.
Zoë crossed her arms. "I have half a mind to tell Ron. He's up in arms about the fact that his girl is in the process of breaking it off! And you two are his brothers! Why would you side with this blonde little weasel—"
"Ferret," corrected George. I stepped on his toe again. "Blast it, Malfoy!" he cursed.
"She's not exactly his girl," Fred explained quickly. "We're tricky, but we're not evil. This plan is so much more complex than you know, Zoë. Ron's been miserable with Hermione. They're best friends and probably should have broken up ages ago but they feel some sort of strange obligation to each other—"
"Besides, you seemed to enjoy Weasley's company fairly well last night," I said, eying Zoë with a smirk. "I find it interesting that you would want to get him and Granger back together."
She blushed slightly. "Stuff it, blondie!"
But it was too late. Fred and George were on her in an instant, giving noogies and elbowing her. "Our wee brother!" Fred shouted. "I never would have thought!"
"We're mates!" Zoë responded, shoving them off of her. "We're just mates. We like the same Quidditch teams is all."
"Did Ron tell you all about his broomstick?" asked Fred.
"Did he tell you how he'd show you the world?" asked George. "Take you places you've never been?"
Zoë blushed deeper. "Shut it!" The three of us blokes cracked up laughing as she ran to the back of the shop.
"The funniest part is, Ron would have reacted the same exact way. Good call, Malfoy. You're a fine matchmaker," said George, doing a golf clap.
"They were practically sitting in each other's laps. It was obvious, though I think one of them is going to need to make a more definite move," I said. "Could I please purchase a dozen blue roses and a sprig of unicorn coil? I want to present Granger with a stunning bouquet."
"Coming right up. Hermione's not going to know what hit her, but we'll do things your way, Malfoy."
I didn't ask what he meant but I found out soon enough. Bouquet in hand and a spring in my step, I walked off in the direction of Hermione's apartment. Snow had begun to fall and the street lamps were already on. I had to admit that my heart may have been beating a bit faster than normal but I blamed it on the cold.
6:45 pm. OUTSIDE GRANGER'S APARTMENT. SHIVERING SLIGHLTY, FROM THE COLD. JUST THE COLD. ONLY THE COLD. OF COURSE.
It was time. I took a deep, shuddering breath and rang the doorbell. The cold air was making my palms sweat, and it seemed that the snow was making butterflies in my stomach. These were allergic reactions to winter I'd never known I had before. I suppose some things develop with age.
I heard a bit of rustling and footsteps from behind the door, as though someone was rushing around. A few moments went by. It felt like forever. "Just a minute!" Hermione finally called out in a loud voice.
"Perhaps I'll read the Daily Prophet while I wait," I responded somewhat sarcastically, and then mentally cursed myself, remembering what Snape had said. I needed to think before I spoke or else I was going to get myself in trouble. "I mean… sorry…"
"What?" she called from behind the door, still scrambling around. I heard a loud thunk.
"Are you battling some sort of beast in there?" I shouted, smirking, but having to take another deep breath. What was she doing?
After what seemed like a million years, the door opened and from behind it she said meekly, "You can come in if you want! I'm sorry for keeping you out there so long."
I entered and did a scan around the room. Several winter cloaks were laid out on the couch, as well as a couple blouses. A few pairs of boots were on the kitchen floor. The door swung shut, revealing Hermione.
She looked absolutely stunning.
I felt my throat begin to swell a bit. Damn these winter allergies! It sounds odd to say, but she almost looked slapdash in her beauty—a vision which set me back thinking on our schooldays. There was something about Hermione's unkempt look that was positively charming, and I wouldn't normally say that about a woman. Her hair was more like I remembered, free and wild with springy curls and she was wearing an oversized blue blouse tucked into a matching long skirt. She was sporting long blue spiraled earrings and laced up boots.
"You look…" I trailed off, trying to think before I spoke and not make a complete idiot out of myself.
"I know that tone," Hermione said, turning to face me, and to my astonishment, she began to tug her hair slightly and bit her lip. "You think I look ridiculous!"
"I think you look…" I trailed off again. "B-beautiful," I stuttered. My Godric, what was my damn problem?
But Hermione didn't seem to hear or notice my stammering. Her eyes scanned me and her thick eyebrows rose. "Oh, I'm a prize idiot. You've gone and dressed up! You look so smart! I'm not nearly formal enough! I should have known! I wasn't certain how you were going to dress,—"
"Yes, I'm sorry I forgot to send the memo to you, Granger. We could have worn matching suits," I said.
She gave a forced, loud laugh. "I was worried, you know. I was worried this was prank and it was not a real date—is it supposed to be a real date? Because if it's a real date, I can definitely put on a nicer cloak, and—I was trying to prove a point but I feel silly now—"
"Of course it's a real date," I declared, happy I was finally getting real words out instead of blathering like a little dweeb. Fear descended upon me. "Wait… You want it to be a date, don't you?"
She stared at me as though trying to interpret code. "You want it to be one, right?"
"I just said that," I declared, getting more and more nervous by the second.
"Right," she said. "Well, yes, I think I want it to be a date, as long as there are no expectations. I'm still trying to figure you out, Draco Malfoy."
I chortled falsely. "Alright. But… What point were you trying to prove?"
"Oh, it's not important now!" she said loudly, and raced over to the couch. "Maybe I should change?"
"Granger, come on! You look great." I pushed the flowers toward her, trying to regain my suave composure. "These are for you," I said stiffly.
She looked surprised. "They are? They're lovely! Thank you. You shouldn't have. Let me put them in water—" She made to reach for them and due to my sweaty palms, I dropped the flowers onto the floor.
"Oh, Granger, I'm sorry!" I said.
"It was my fault," she replied quickly. "I'm sorry."
"Here," I said, making to pick the flowers up.
"Here," she said, following my lead.
We both knelt to the floor to grab them, and my hands fell on top of her hands. They were small and very soft. We made eye contact as our hands lingered together on the flowers.
"Sorry!" Hermione said timidly, and in the act of pulling our hands off each others', we bumped foreheads together. There was a loud crack and we pulled apart, making similar pained faces.
"I think you've broken my brain," I drawled, rubbing the place on my head where we'd made contact.
"Oof," she said, nodding in agreement. "I'll get us some ice. You can take a seat, if you'd like."
I slowly stood up and sat very cautiously in Percy's overstuffed chair, being careful not to set any fires or break anything. My perfect plans were already going down the toilet and it was only… I checked my watch. "Seven fifteen!" I shouted.
"Pardon?" Hermione asked, coming back in with an ice pack shaped like the philosopher's stone, no doubt another one of Percy's strange knick knacks.
"Seven fifteen! Our reservation at Rolina's is for seven thirty! They might give our table away!"
"You made a reservation?" Hermione asked, looked befuddled. "I've never known anyone to plan ahead that far."
"Of course! I always make reservations! I love reserving things!" I blabbered. "We need to get a move on!"
"Wait a moment! You're starting to get a bruise. Hold this ice to your head and I'll grab a jar of healing solution."
"I'm fine, really," I assured her. "We really need to be leaving. It's not like a Malfoy to not show up for a reserved table—"
Hermione snorted. "If you drop the Malfoy name, I'm sure they'll keep it for us!"
I stood up and walked past the couch, one hand on my forehead. " It's not about my name. I know it's your favorite restaurant and I just simply won't have them giving our table away," I said, and then all of a sudden, I was no longer walking. I was instead tripping over the assortment of boots Granger had left in front of the couch. I stumbled, made to keep my balance and then fell over, hitting my head on the coffee table in the process.
"Percy!" Hermione shrieked. "I think I've killed Draco Malfoy!"
That was the last thing I heard before I descended into darkness.