Title: Tempting Propositions
Rating: PG-13 (strong language, adult content); may be R later.
Pairing: Hermione x Draco
Setting: Ten years post-Hogwarts – ages about 26-28
Summary: At the ten-year reunion Hermione gets made a tempting proposition. Romance, lust, and snarky comments ensue when Hermione finds herself with Draco Malfoy as her new boss.
Disclaimer: I did not create Harry Potter nor any of the characters from the Harry Potter series. I also have a mortal fear of lawyers. Harry Potter and all its rights ©JK Rowling.
A/N: I wrote this story for all of my fans who were getting a tad bit annoyed that there hadn't been much Hermione x Draco action in my other story; An Inevitable Fate. Unfortunately it wasn't anywhere near completion by the time I finished Fate. Ah, well. This is Hermione x Draco romance and nothing else, and I hope you like it.
Said witch ignored the voice and rolled over, snuggling deeper into her warm blankets. She nuzzled her pillow and inhaled the pleasant fruity smell that had soaked into the cover. The sheets were dry now, but she'd gone to bed with her hair wet and the smell of her strawberry shampoo was imbedded in the thick white cotton.
"Hermione Jane Granger," Came the voice again, now more than a little irritated. "Get up this instant!"
Hermione groaned and buried her head in her pillow. There were snatches of the dream she'd been having still floating in the corners of her mind, and she squeezed her eyes shut tighter as she reached for sleep again. She had been able to ignore the determined voice until they literally screeched at her and all hopes of going back to bed disappeared, and she was left with ringing ears.
Bleary-eyed, she turned to see the head of Ginny Weasley floating in her fireplace.
"About time!" She snapped, but her annoyance was quickly replaced by excitement, and that, Hermione assumed, was the reason for the early wake up call. "I'm coming over!"
Even if she'd been fully awake, Hermione had no time to contest her friend's eager statement before Ginny Weasley herself came tumbling out of Hermione's bedroom fireplace. Hermione groaned and dropped her head back down onto her pillow. Just seeing her best friend bouncing back and forth on her feet like that made her want to go back to sleep.
"Why aren't you up yet?" The red-head exclaimed. "It's getting late."
A pale hand snaked its way out of the covers and fumbled about Hermione's bedside table until it found the alarm clock. Grumbling, Hermione pulled it under the sheets, where she'd buried her head, to read the digital numbers lit up in red.
Another groan and the alarm clock found a new home on the floor. "Gin, it's only eight." Her voice came out with a bit more of a whine to it than she liked, but she figured it was mostly muffled by the layers of cotton. "I need at least three more hours of sleep. At least."
Ginny just laughed and Hermione scowled into her pillow; she'd been hoping for a more sympathetic response. The next thing she knew her curled up body was exposed to the considerably colder air, and she gave a rather undignified squeal. She scissored her legs across the mattress, but found no trace of her warm blankets. Opening one eye she found that Ginny had pushed them all to the end of the bed.
"You are the most difficult person to get up in the morning," Ginny stated firmly. She could just imagine the red-head's hands on her waist and her hips jutting out to one side in exasperation, but she stubbornly refused to open her eyes.
"I have a very good reason for that," Hermione mumbled. Her arms curled around her pillow and she hugged it into a plush ball beneath her head.
She opened her eyes and grinned, "I'm not a morning person."
Ginny threw her hands up in the air and let out an inarticulate groan of frustration, that was most unbecoming; which was probably why she didn't do it often. Of the two of them, Ginny always was the more feminine one with ladylike habits and mannerisms. That's what made pushing her buttons Hermione's favorite pastime.
Hermione swung her legs over the side of the bed and stretched her arms above her head. This was followed by a sleepy yawn and a sigh of defeat as Hermione stood and pulled her robe on over her pajamas. It was light blue and terrycloth and probably one of the most comfy things she owned.
"Yay!" Ginny clapped her hands together excitedly as she motioned to the door of her bedroom.
Hermione watched her friend gracefully hurry down the stairs – one step for every stair – and shook her head at the differences between them. She stumbled sleepily down the stairs after, with heavy, pounding footsteps and staggered into her kitchen. Ginny was already there sitting at her kitchen table, having assumed Hermione would need something to drink. Smart girl.
"So what on Merlin's green earth brings you to my flat at this ungodly hour?"
Ginny opened her mouth to speak, but Hermione quickly raised a hand to stop her seeing the error of her own question. "Hold that thought, Gin. If I don't get some coffee in me I'll pass out before you can get out a word."
The red-head's mouth closed, but she nodded knowingly and waited patiently as Hermione fumbled around the room making herself a cup of coffee. Just like a lady should. When she finally had the coffee machine pouring a steady stream of rich black goodness into a pot, she remembered her duties as hostess and inquired if Ginny would like something to drink as well.
"Tea would be nice."
Hermione shook her head, but set a kettle of water on the stove to boil. Rule #45: Never trust a morning person. Rule #29: Never trust someone who doesn't drink coffee. She'd had to make exceptions in both cases for Ginny, but what were a few flaws between friends? The coffee was done.
The minute Hermione had the steaming mug cupped between her hands she felt infinitely better. After her first drink she was immediately wide awake and Hermione Granger once more. She didn't know who she turned into between the time she went to bed, at the wee hours of the morning, and the time she had her first drink of coffee, but she knew she was never truly herself until she had the bitter drink in her system. Oh, yes, coffee was good.
"Ready?" Ginny asked, stifling her small giggles at the blissful look on Hermione's face.
Hermione nodded and settled into the chair opposite Ginny, prepared for a long winding speech from Ginny to which she would listen and nod and say things like 'oh yes' and 'mm hmm', but would really end up making her slightly peeved at her friend for waking her up for such a pointless reason. Instead she got three words:
"Get your mail."
With a quirked eyebrow, Hermione tipped her chair back on its two rear legs and reached over her shoulder to grab the pile of mail dropped on her counter by the owl post. Her chair dropped back onto all fours with a loud 'thunk' and she handed the stack to her friend.
Ginny knew what she was looking for and a bright purple letter appeared in her hands almost instantly. Hermione's name was scrawled across the front in silver, curling script. Ginny handed it to her anxiously, leaning half out of her seat.
"Why don't you open it?" Hermione asked.
Ginny face was lined with disbelief, "That's against the law!"
Hermione rolled her eyes and snatched the letter from her friend's outreached hands. She looked at it curiously, turning it over in her pale fingers and wondering what could possibly be contained in a purple envelope. She deduced it was simply meant to grab one's attention, and flipped it over to break the seal.
She pulled out a thin piece of parchment and had just started unfolding it when it leapt onto the table. It shook itself like a dog shaking off the rain and stood up on its bottom two corners like feet. Writing appeared on the previously blank parchment as each word was spoken by the magically sentient letter. When it began speaking, Hermione was only mildly surprised and even then only by the suddenness of it. In the magical world one got used to seeing things walk and talk that otherwise shouldn't have been able to; though, as Mr. Weasley was fond of saying, never trust anything if you can't see where it keeps their brain.
"You are cordially invited to attend the ten year reunion at Hogwarts for the class of 1998. This event will take place on Saturday, the 6th of December, at six o'clock in the evening. A feast will be provided and directly preceded by a formal ball. Dates can be of any year or school and are encouraged, though not required to attend. We look forward to seeing you at that time. Sincerely, Headmaster Albus Dumbledore and Deputy Headmistress Minerva McGonagall."
The parchment went limp and fluttered back onto her tabletop. Hermione was idly scanning the hardcopy of the message left behind when Ginny squeezed her arm enthusiastically.
"Isn't it exciting?" She exclaimed.
"It is," Hermione agreed, albeit more calmly. "It would be nice to see the whole gang back together again." Her eyes flickered over to Ginny. "So I take it you snitched your brother's note?"
The red-head flushed. "I just happened to be there when he opened it," She murmured. Pink with embarrassment she waved the whole subject away. "But that's not the point. I came to pick you up so we could go shopping!"
"Not that I don't appreciate the gesture, although you did wake me up unnecessarily early, and I do love to shop when there's time; but what's wrong with wearing something I already have? You've made it your personal business to ensure I have an outfit for every occasion."
Ginny shook her head. "Reunion Rule #1: Thou shalt not wear what thou already owns."
Lips quirked in amusement, Hermione sipped at her coffee. "I always was rather good with rules," she joked. "Though not from Harry and your brother's lack of trying."
Ginny readily agreed and they both shared a moment of soothing reminiscence, before Ginny broke the silence with yet another 'reunion rule'.
"Reunion Rule #2: Shopping before said reunion is unavoidable required."
She was given a shrewd look by Hermione, "I think you're just making up these rules as you go along."
Her only answer was a pair of mischievous jade eyes as Ginny sipped demurely at her warm tea. Shaking her head, Hermione made her way upstairs so that she could shower before the apparently 'unavoidably required' shopping trip occurred. Already knowing that Ginny was planning on going a little overboard, Hermione said a quick prayer in hopes that she'd manage to retain some portion of self for the party. Looking over at Ginny, who was fanatically rummaging through her jewelry box, she said another little prayer for her bank balance.