The Therapeutic Chef:
NC-17 version, when there are NC-17 parts will be up at Portkey or
Disclaimers/Spoilers: Simply Irresistible & Harry Potter
Pairings: Draco and Ginny, Harry and Hermione
Category: Romance and Fantasy
Summary: 'A seductive story based on "hex" appeal'…and who said food and magic wasn't a way to a man's heart?
Extended Summary: Ginny has a passion for cooking...especially sweets...and she's good at it. Opening a bakery shop has been her dream, but because of her personal money problems she's had to work with a French caterer named Giselle. She's barely getting by, but when she agrees to cater Harry's wedding someone very important in the money world notices her talent and offers her a deal that could not only open her shop, but also keep her feet on the ground for two years. The only problem is the person who's asked her is none other than Narcissa Malfoy and the requirements may be a little more than Ginny can handle.
Note: I will be using dialogue from Simply Irresistible. The first line of the summary belongs to the summary of S.I.
Broken Wedding I
"Deep breaths Gin," Ginny spoke to herself in a panic as she dashed through the kitchen of the Sugar Beach Resort, preparing Harry and Cho's wedding cake, and the two different dinner dishes. It had been hard to convince the teppanyaki chef to give up the kitchen at such a time in the day, especially when nearly half of the guests had made requests for sushi. Therefore Ginny had repeatedly promised a full day of her time so that he could teach her the art of real cooking.
Ginny, however, secretly was looking forward to that day, knowing that a chef with different skills and background would definitely be a boost for her beginner hands.
Most of the guests agreed heartily to mosey on over to Paul & Virginie Seafood Grill so that the main dining area could fully be in Ginny's capable hands to disperse food to certain tables and names to opposite chairs. She, so thrilling accepted the duties of chef and the dinner seating arrangements.
She'd done it for what most people thought to show that she was over her feelings for Harry, but mostly she accepted the invitation to prove to herself that she was capable of it.
She paused for a moment and smiled to herself as a familiar melodic song filled her head. "Gin, Ginny, Gin, Ginny, Gin, Gin, Ginnery—oi, I'm making myself sick! I never, never should have watched that movie with Hermione, Mary Peppers, no that's not it, Mary Pippin? Oh bloody hell."
"Ginevra, you watch your mouth!" Molly screeched as she walked into the international gourmet looking kitchen.
When she'd first walked in she hadn't expected her working space to be so elegant and homey at the same time. The wood of the cabinets and table that stretched through half of the room was a softy sanded. Perfectly untouched with what could sometimes be considered as a foul cover up. It was why Ginny had instantly felt at home. Although still soft because of the wood it was also vibrant and alive with colors. A blue, darker than a sky blue, but not by much lined the corners and borders of the sun bright walls with tiny flowers and leaves.
What Ginny especially loved, was that on each side of the silver plated sink, attached to the wall were matching cabinets. The cabinet to the right held spices that were arranged in alphabetical order and in the cabinet to the left was the beautiful gold utensils: knives, whisks, tongs, a miniature skimmer, different types of thermometers—a candy one, a culinary laser one, a meat, a chocolate…it was just breathtaking to her. Ginny knew if she tried to explain this to someone like Ron that he wouldn't understand, but it was good to know that he knew, along with everyone else how much she loved cooking.
Ginny quickly apologized for her foul language, dodging her mother's domineering form. As a habit she nervously stuck the tip of her index finger into her mouth and began biting her nail.
"Don't bite your nails darling," Molly added absently as she stirred the Tomato Florentine Soup.
As if her mind was jumping topics Ginny went into an unexpected outburst.
"Ron is a complete nutter!" Ginny said suddenly, tearing her 'kiss the cook' apron off and slapping it onto the cutting table. "He decided that he wanted the Chicken Mediterranean instead of the Chicken Florence, which isn't even on the menu," she snapped out as she stomped over to Sous chef to examine his progress.
Ginny's face suddenly lit up with mischief, but then quickly fell into a frown. "If I didn't want to make my name known as being a good chef I'd add more garlic and Tillamook cheddar cheese to this," she mumbled softly to Brian, her muggle Sous Chef.
His response was a simple snort of amusement as he continued to wash the spinach stems.
Ginny swiftly turned on her heels and averted her attention back to her mother. "Ron insisted that since I'm his sister that I had no other choice than to make it for him and Neville suddenly remembered that he's allergic to seafood therefore he can't eat what he ordered, which was the Seafood Manicotti. It has the word 'seafood' in it!" Ginny raved.
Molly frowned. "I really do worry about that boy sometimes."
Ginny rolled her eyes. "Neville doesn't like Chicken Mediterranean so since I'm such a nice girl I offered to make him something different. He's narrowed it down to two. So now I'm waiting on him to choose between the Chicken Wellington or the Chicken and Sausage Gumbo, which may I remind you were only on Neville's mind because Harry suddenly insisted that we have a 'taste' of New Orleans! That's three different options now…I agreed to two. I've already gotten ten changes in dinner orders. By the way aren't we in Hawaii? It would have been less stressful if I didn't consider Red Beans and Rice a side dish. Harry said 'Ginny just put a lot of Red Beans and Rice on a plate and it can be considered a dinner', but do I listen? No!"
Molly sighed heavily. "Goes from one subject to another," she mumbled shaking her head in irritation, "Ginny, go do your breathing exercise. I'll take care of this myself."
"Gin, love, this is your very first time doing anything this big. Most of the big jobs are already done. I'd say you've done a magnificent job. Usually you're just cooking for that woman," Molly said softly her voice filling with a certain amount of hatred.
"Oh Mother, Giselle is not that bad. She's French, her standards are a little higher than ours, and she's made me a better chef than ever, even though she couldn't cook if her life depended on it. With all the sweets I make she's also made it her 'obligation' to keep me in shape. She's starting to fear that she's going to loose me!" Ginny grinned sheepishly as she started to leave the hotel's kitchen.
"Why is she in that sort of business anyhow? … Darling?"
Ginny turned swiftly, accidentally bumping into one of the penguin dressed attendants. "Sorry. Yes mum?"
Flipped a stray strand of curly red hair out of her face. "Do remember to put on knickers underneath your dress. I know you find wearing them terribly uncomfortable, but love this is a dress."
Ginny's eyes widened and her face tinted red. To make matters worse, it would seem that the inhumanly gorgeous attendant she'd run into had heard everything. She swiftly bowed her head in embarrassment when she saw the very handsome black haired, blue-eyed server smirking in amusement as he walked by. "Merlin! That woman has x-ray eyes."
Ginny groaned and threw her head backwards in exasperation. Her humiliation was complete as she walked towards the velator…what did Harry say the name was again? She thought whilepushing the button frantically as if to make the heavy metal doors open faster. She hadn't even taken time to stare in awe of the finally furnished common room or at the black marbled desk where the man in black took reservations, or at the beautiful scenery of palm trees and a white sandy beach. It was a site to see, that it was.
As soon as the doors opened Ginny flung herself in, pushing the three people that were already in the elevator to the side so she'd have access to the tiny black circular buttons. She shoved her hands into the back of her cotton gray cargo pant pockets and grunted with impatience as the rectangular contraption jolted and then slowly proceeded.
"Bloody rectangular boxes are like flitting feathers—take their damn time going places," she growled out softly as she punched the button to close the door. "It would be so much easier to dis—woops" Ginny's back stiffened as she remembered where she was-a Muggle hotel. Her complaints slowly dissolved, but her glare steadied on her face.
A chill ran down Ginny's spin as she felt eyes dancing over her bare back. Her white cotton halter top that tied only around the neck had seemed the perfect choice when she'd arrived to start cooking, because nothing would get in the way, but at that moment she'd wished she'd worn something less revealing.
Brushing off the feeling she began taking deep breaths, inhaling slowly in and pushing slowly out. She repeated this about five times before someone pushed her into the button panel. Her shoulder managed to push all the buttons below the floor she was after.
Rage engulfed her as she twirled around, her face flushed. "NO! These blasted things take long enough as it is," she cried, stomping her foot like an immature child. "What is your problem?"
"'These blasted things' are called elevators," a masculine voice filled the compact area. "Mr. Malfoy, you remember the littlest and only girl Weasley don't you?" Blaise Zabini smirked down at her shocked expression.
Ginny felt suddenly very short in the enclosed compartment. She was a good 5'6 in height, but everyone in the elevator, including Blaise, was at least 6'1 and change. Ginny had always had to worry about wearing heals when she went on dates, so she wouldn't bruise the guys ego, and now she knew what they felt like as she glanced up at three men. She shuddered involuntarily and silently praised the men for their inhumanly beautiful looks.
It just wasn't right for men to look so delicious and be so sinful at once.
Lucius Malfoy's permanently evil eyes slowly took in Ginny's image, looking impressed. "You've improved immensely in the look department, I must say!" he commented.
Ginny glared slightly in fear. "Well I can't say the same for you. You look exactly the same—dark and oozing with evil and sin," she growled in a whisper that couldn't be heard.
The elevator chimed and opened on the second floor. Ginny started to walk out, but a broad set of shoulders blocked her. She glanced up and at that moment she could have hit herself for being lazy and not taking the stairs. "And they travel in packs…" Ginny whispered irritated.
Draco Malfoy, inhumanly beautiful, muscular deliciousness and all, stared down at her with an expression Ginny couldn't pinpoint. "What was that?" His seductive voice seemed to caress her cheeks.
What a bunch of threatening bastards! Ginny thought to herself, her gut filling with hot molten lava as the anger rose up to blush her cheeks and neck.
"I said 'and the bloody bastards travel in packs'. I won't repeat what I said before that. Got a problem with it?" Ginny gritted out wishing she could just hide herself in a far away corner on the other side of the world.
Draco licked his lips and raised one eyebrow. "Bit of a—" he started, but was interrupted as the elevator stopped on the third floor with a ding.
Ginny twirled past Draco, her messily pony-tailed hair smacking her cheeks, as she stepped out of the elevator and ran as fast as her legs would carry her; her destination—stairs to the fourth floor.
"Mm, that girl can run," Blaise, commented flicking his eyes towards Lucius and Draco.
Lucius lifted his eyebrow up towards Draco and Blaise as both men continued to stare after the girl. "Mm, distractions are fun and can be played with any other time, but when on business it waits," he stated in a soft, deadly tone.
"But of course, not that the littlest Weasley could hold my interest long enough to be a distraction," Draco smirked. "I can't believe she's dressed like that. So bloody mousy, her hair is stringy and I believe I saw a smudge of dirt spread across her left cheekbone. She's at a wedding and still the ruddy brat can't look even the slightest bit presentable. It's rather sad."
"I agree," Lucius snorted in disgust as the elevator doors closed.
Strange it was that they would be hereon the very same day Harry Potter, The Boy Who Lived, was to get married.
"They're up to something—those devils," Ginny sighed in the mirror.
"Ginny?" a small voice peeked through the door.
Ginny brightened instantly. "Hermione! I-I thought you weren't coming."
The older girl gave a half smile. "I wasn't going to, but I got a letter from Harry," then, in a very playful sarcastic voice Hermione added, "something's going down and it involves Cho. Turns out she's a Death Eater that was assigned to marry Harry and kill him on their wedding night."
Ginny gasped in playful shock. "NO! How did they find out?"
"Harry just said he found out by an Auror that wished to remain anonymous," Hermione laughed. "Wouldn't that be great? Then I could have him. I wish it were true."
Hermione smiled down at Ginny's leopard green handkerchief cut, spaghetti strapped dress, and glass heels. "Would you like me to help with your hair and make-up?"
"Sure," Ginny smiled. "You look amazing 'Mione. I think you'll make Harry swallow his tongue. He might even forget his vows. You really should have taken up Ron's offer to be the half naked girl at the bachelor party to pop out of the cake."
She gave a small smile and shook her head.
Ginny had always been slightly envious of Hermione looks. She had full lips and a body any woman would die for and Ginny barely had a flare to her hips. She had come to the conclusion that Hermione had stolen all of her curvaceous parts.
Hermione wore white platform heels and a purplish pink A-line dress that hugged her voluptuous body like a second skin. Her hair was up in a spread bun with curling tendrils framing either side of her face. Her choice in make-up matched the color of the dress giving her, a dark exotic aura about her and the outfit was completed with a matching black choker that wrapped around her neck.
Hermione gave a soft sad smile. "He would never see me like that."
Ginny shook her head and smiled reassuringly at Hermione. "Yes he would. I can tell he loves you. I know he doesn't love Cho, he never smiles at her like the way he smiles at you."
Hermione bit her bottom lip to keep it from trembling as she pinned Ginny's hair. "There, all done. He's always had different smiles for me and different ones for Ron, I mean after all we are his best friends."
"I just don't believe that."
Ginny saw Hermione's eyes begin to well with tears. She nonchalantly shrugged her shoulders and batted angrily at her eyes. "Well believe it."
"Don't you want to know why I don't believe it?" Ginny pushed.
"Fine, why? Lets just try and make my make-up smear a little bit more."
"Because Harry looks at you the way my father looks and mum. You know, one time I asked my dad about love and you know what he said…you can't choose who you love just like you can't choose which wand would be best for you, but at that one moment when you look into that persons eyes and all you can see, all you can feel is how much that person loves you, then it's all worthwhile. Knowing that you truly loved and was truly loved in return is enough to make someone feel complete. He told me that once I found that once in a lifetime spark, that I'd know it was for real. It took me a week to actually apply what he meant. It was then I realized that Harry was only another brother to me, another protector. I'd be lying if I said I didn't thoroughly enjoy Harry, along with the rest of my brothers, being over protective and running to my rescue. I realized that I don't have six brothers, I have seven and I love each of them dearly."
Hermione sighed and dropped her tearful eyes away from Ginny's mirror image. Ginny knew then that the subject desperately needed to change.
"You aren't going to believe who I saw in the elevator!" Ginny gasped suddenly.
Hermione instantly grinned and then dropped her head in a thinking stance. "Hmm, could it possibly be Blaise Zabini, Draco and Lucius Malfoy?"
Ginny's jaw dropped. "How do you know that? You ruined my surprise—dreadful surprise maybe, but all the same!"
Hermione grinned broadly looking rather pleased. "Because they ogled me as I walked past them."
"What did you do?" Ginny puffed out with anticipation dripping from her voice.
The twenty-four year old teacher/author grinned evilly. "I used my wide intellect and vocabulary to wow them into a second dimensional shock."
"A-huh," Ginny mumbled, her brow furrowing in confusion.
"I just told them my name," the other girl snorted with laughter.
Ginny was thrilled that she was laughing, but sadly that sweet sound drifted away and once again Hermione frowned and glanced down at her feet as an awkward silence filled the room. "Well, I'm going to go wish Harry luck," Hermione whispered.
Ginny gave her a sad 'I-understand' look. "Be tough sweets!" she encouraged.
I can do this; I need to do this, for closure.
"Pretty pathetic when you…" Hermione started to scold herself then paused as she reached the outside of Harry's hotel room. "Stop it, just knock on the door and wish him good luck."
Smoothing her hair, taking a deep breath, and adjusting her dress strap on her shoulder she lifted her curled hand and rapped on the off white flower engraved door.
"Harry?" she called softly.
"Hermione?" Harry's muffled voice came. "I thought you said you couldn't make it? Being a famous writer and all I kind of figured—"
Hermione laughed and smacked her hand lightly on the door. "Are you going to open the door and invite me in?"
There was a silent pause and a rustling of clothing before he finally spoke. "—Er, yeah, come on in!"
Hermione gathered her courage as she reached for the door handle, pushing the door in.
The room looked pretty much like Ginny's except for the king sized bed with blue and yellow sheets. The walls seemed to bath in the warm glow of the sun that sparkled through the extremely clear glass of the balcony, which out looked magnificent green palm trees and white sandy beach. The room was so close to the beach in fact that Hermione had a feeling that near the start of dawn the whispers of the waves crashing to the shore would awake Harry and Cho from their sleep.
When she walked in he was slipping his button down t-shirt over his wet and wild hair. He looked up and grinned at her widely, walking over to embrace her in a hug. Hermione gently sniffed in his smell, holding back a moan of pleasure as she hugged him back.
"You look great!" he commented. "I'm so glad you could come."
She smiled into the curve of his shoulder, holding him tightly, not wanting to let him go. Perhaps because she knew that this time, when she did let go, it would be permanent.
In the mean time—he smelled so good. She could just imagine herself wrapping all her limbs around him, snuggling him, loving him, for hours on end. Embracing and letting lover comments linger in the air afterwards as they covered each other in kisses. Then he would tell her that he loved her…that he wanted to be with her forever and ever.
"Ah…Hermione? You can let me go now," Harry's amused voice snapped Hermione out of her daydream.
Oh well, I'm not supposed to have these girlish daydreams anyhow. I'm the bookworm Hermione after all!
Suppressing a tired giggle at how sarcastic she sounded, Hermione pulled back, letting her hands rest above Harry's forearms.
"You look really handsome," Hermione whispered softly, making sure she smiled with her eyes.
Harry lifted the corner of his mouth in a lazy half smile and Hermione felt her heart plummet from the effect of that seductive smirk that always left her weak in the knees.
"Thank you! You don't look too bad yourself 'Mione."
Hermione's mouth dropped. "I go from looking great to 'you don't look too bad yourself'?" She scoffed in playful anger.
A full-fledged smile spread across his face. "Well technically—"
"What?" Hermione squealed and gently rapped him on the arm.
He rubbed the area, pretending to be hurt. His green eyes twinkled with happiness and it was then Hermione knew that she had to do at least once so that she could move on. She needed to kiss him.
You're being selfish Hermione Granger!
I just don't want to have any regrets.
What if the desires to have no regrets could ruin someone's marriage?
One kiss won't ruin someone's marriage.
Be sure about it.
"Harry I—" she stopped, her eyes widening.
One kiss could not ruin someone's marriage. No way! It couldn't because he is in love with Cho.
Talking herself into it she took a deep breath.
Harry grinned at her in amusement. "Hermione? Earth to Hermione, are you in there? Oh Merlin, you definitely have been hanging around Ginny too much."
Hermione shifted her eyes up to his. "Pardon?"
"Her breathing exercises, only she does them when she's nervous or angry," Harry's brow furrowed in sudden distress. "You aren't angry are you? To the gods if you're mad—"
Hermione waved her hands in his face rapidly back forth shaking her head. "Harry! Harry! No, I'm not mad!"
He sighed in relief. "Good, I can't afford to have the life scared out of me at the moment."
Hermione lifted her eyebrows in surprise. "Shouldn't you already be scared out of your life? I mean, you're taking the biggest most dreaded and hopeful step anyone out there can take."
Harry snorted. "Don't be dramatic Hermione, it doesn't suit you on topics like this! I'm actually not nervous at all. I feel calm, collected."
Hermione squinted at him and swiftly lifted her palm to his forehead checking for a temperature. "Hmm, no fever."
Harry laughed. "Would you stop? Just because you read about everything doesn't mean it's always true. The grooms don't always get cold feet."
"True, but I read a good portion of the time if they don't have cold feet something is the matter."
"Hermione you are delving too deeply into this." The transition from playfulness to seriousness happened so swiftly on Harry's face than Hermione had to look at him twice to see that it really happed. She knew she needed to change the subject.
"You're right, I'm sorry."
You're procrastinating. Since when did you become a procrastinator?
"Harry, I'm sorry, I'm really, really sorry."
Harry shook his head, smiling. "Hermione, it's not a big deal. No harm, no foul. I'm seriously not nervous tho-"
Hermione had taken that opportunity of him waving off her apology to clutch the sides of his face and pull him into a soft, tantalizing kiss.
It was wrong, dear Merlin she knew it was wrong, but she had to do it, if only for a moment.
It was indeed soft and tantalizing, but it was also heart-fluttering, toe curling.
She felt Harry stiffen in shock and she knew any moment know he'd be pushing her away in disgust. Telling her how disappointed he was.
Hermione felt her knees weaken as the gentle butterfly kisses of their eyelashes brushed against cheeks and the soft invasion of her mouth on his continued.
Hermione growled in fury at her weakness…or should it be directed to the fact that Harry wasn't responding the way she had hoped. She hardened the kiss, pushing her closed lips harder against his, demanding a pliable response.
Hermione frowned when she still got no response. She pulled away defeated and embarrassed.
"Like I said, I'm sorry to have wasted your time," she whispered heart brokenly making sure to never allow her eyes to lift to his face.
"'Mione, what did you do?" Harry whispered harshly.
With her back towards him, her shoulders slumped at the hint of anger in his voice. "Harry, I hope I didn't ruin things between us. I just-I just had to—"
She gasped as she felt Harry's arms go around her waist, twirling her around, plastering the front of her body to his. He shoved his hands into her tidily pinned up hair and descended upon her lips. For the first time in her life Hermione Granger did not know what to do as she felt Harry's hands slide away from her face and clutch at her chest with frantic need. She moaned lovingly into his mouth as he expertly coaxed her lips apart, his teeth nipping and nibbling as much as possible. He seemed to be begging her to open up and let him in.
It wasn't because Hermione hadn't wanted to kiss him it was from the shock…because she hadn't expected this response from her best friend.
When Harry finally succeeded in his task the only thought in her head was bliss.
Hours seemed to pass as the kiss went on. Hermione vaguely remembered Harry's hands shoving back into her hair destroying the many hours she'd put into making the style just right. It was funny how something that could take so long to make could be undone in a matter of seconds.
"Mm," Harry groaned against her lips pulling away so he could breath. His nostrils flaring with intensity as he gripped her hips closer to his, which were softly and very slowly grinding against hers in such a seductive way that Hermione had to shake her head to clear it.
"Oh God," a gasp came from the door.
The beautiful haze that had surrounded Harry and Hermione instantly dropped as Harry viciously shoved Hermione away. The fact that Harry's eyes had widened with fear as they quickly looked over her to see if he'd hurt with his roughness when he shoved her away completely left her mind.
Hermione covered her mouth, still slightly dazed from the passion of the kiss that had swept her out of her mind. She hadn't realized until Harry had apologized just how hard he had shoved her.
He pushed her as if he hadn't realized it was her, or as if he had never realized his feeling were so intense for his best friend. Harry's eyes seemed to search Hermione for an answer. Very much ashamed of her actions Hermione dropped her gaze.
Harry studied her awhile longer and he coughed as if signaling he'd come to a decision.
"Cho," Harry spoke helplessly.
Hermione flinched, knowing he'd made his choice, but she failed to notice, because she hadn't been looking, the regret that was filling his oak green eyes.
Cho let out a swift sob and sucked it back in, her eyes welling with tears. "That's all you have to say? My name? Something like 'this isn't what it looks like' or 'I can explain'?"
Harry bowed his head and leaned back against the dresser he had run into when he jerked away from Hermione. "That's it. I don't know what to say…this is what it looks like. So yes, that's it because I don't want to lie to you," he spoke softly.
"But you'd kiss another woman? Not to mention your best friend on in which you had to convince me was just that!" Hermione flinched at the high hysterical pitch Cho was screaming in.
Slowly Hermione backed out of the room, her heart heavy as she left.
To Be Continued…Dialogue that wasn't mine: "Gin, Ginny, Gin, Ginny, Gin, Gin, Ging-ery" – Burt from the movie Mary Poppins (Chim chimney, Chim chimney, Chim, chim cher-ee, a sweep is as lucky as lucky can be…) "Gods! That woman has x-ray eyes." Mildred Hubble's best friend Maud Warlock…The Worst Witch A HUGE thanks to Nicole Girage for beta-reading for me!