Hermione Granger sat at her desk in her room at Malfoy manor fuming silently to herself. She didn't know how she'd gotten herself into this mess. The summer had been miserable of course, she didn't know how it could've gone any other way, but what she'd done had been necessary. It wasn't that she liked Draco or anything, because she didn't. It had been a business deal, that was all.

It had started after Hogwarts had let out for the summer holidays. She'd gone back home and found her parents sitting on the couch in the living room watching television. When the two of them got a good look at her, her father grabbed the remote and turned the TV off. Then the room was silent.

Then, just when the hum of the air conditioner was threatening to lull her to sleep, her mother finally spoke.

"Darling, get packed. We're meeting the Quinns for our yearly vacation to the beach and we don't want to be late."

Snapped out of her reverie, Hermione finally got a good look at her parents who were dressed in full-on beach attire including sunglasses and floppy hats. On either side of both of them were two large, tan suitcases undoubtedly filled with more clothes and things with which one could have hours of fun in the sun and surf.

She groaned internally. How could she have forgotten about this? The yearly beach vacation with the Quinns was her parents' favorite part of the summer.

Steve and Cheryl Quinn were friends of theirs that her parents had known since their early school days and to Hermione, they were two of the most annoying people to ever walk the earth. They were perky and they treated her like she was five years old. But the real issue that Hermione had with the Quinns was the Quinn boys.

There were two of them. Jonathan, the eldest, was a quiet sort, very shy. Both sets of parents had tried to push the two of them together for years with the idea that if he and Hermione were together, Jonathan would come out of his introverted shell and he and she would live happily ever after.

Timothy was the younger of course, and he was the exact opposite of his brother: loud, obnoxious and rude. He had had a crush on her for years, and had never made her doubt his intentions. He almost stalked her, calling the Granger cabin at odd hours of the night to whisper what he considered to be sweet-nothings in her ear. Her parents knew about it, but they had told her that if she ignored it, he would get bored and eventually leave her alone. That had been five years ago, and the silent treatment hadn't done a thing.

Even so, she got up from the couch and walked up to her room to pack, reminding herself that this was the last summer she would have to do it. After that, she would explain the whole wizarding world maturity-adult situation to her parents and pray that they would let her live on her own.

After she finished packing, she lugged her suitcase downstairs and handed it to her father, then followed her parents to the car and resigned herself to fate and another summer at the beach.


At Malfoy manor, there was panic everywhere. Lucius had just gotten an owl from his parents saying that they were coming for a visit to see Draco and his fiancée. When Narcissa had confronted him about it, he confessed that he had told his parents that Draco was engaged to stop the nagging letters that the clock was ticking.

"So you told them that Draco was engaged?" she had shrieked at him hysterically. "Do you realize what your parents will say when they find out that you lied to them and that he's not engaged at all? What are we going to do?"

Lucius sighed. "Yes, I realize that that wasn't the wisest course of action, but there's nothing that we can do now. We shall simply have to find someone to play the part."

Narcissa's face turned white. "You want to lie to your parents? Get Draco a fake fiancée?"

He nodded. "Yes, of course. My parents won't know the difference. Now, who shall it be?"

"Pansy Parkinson?" suggested Narcissa.

Lucius shook his head. "No, she's dumb as a post. Plus, my mother wants a pretty granddaughter-in-law."

Just then, there was a knock on the study door and Draco entered the room.

"What are you talking about?" he asked.

"Well," Lucius answered, "in a moment of weakness, I told your grandparents that you were engaged and they're coming in a fortnight to see you and meet your new fiancee."

Draco's eyes widened. "Really? And who might that be?"

Lucius shook his head. "That's the problem. All the girls you know are either too stupid or too ugly to consider."

Draco paused for a moment and looked pained. Then, he slowly pulled out the latest issue of the Daily Prophet and set it down in front of his father.

"Look at page three," he said quietly.

Lucius did, and was surprised to see a picture of a very pretty girl accepting some sort of award from Professor McGonagall. The headline was short: Granger Scores Top on O.W.L.s

Lucius didn't read anymore. He was having a hard time accepting what he was going to have to do, and he knew Draco was too. But he wouldn't show it.

"Is that really Miss Granger?" he asked.

Draco shrugged. "Yeah, she's really changed."

Son looked at father, then Draco asked, "shall I send her an owl?"


Hermione was hiding under her bedclothes in the cabin and trying not to make any noise. Timothy's goal for this summer was to try and kiss her, and he'd nearly given her heart attacks several times, jumping out from behind bushes with his lips puckered.

Then, she heard the squeaking noise. It sounded like an owl. Hermione pulled the covers away and saw the owl sitting at the end of her bed. It didn't look like Pig or Hedwig. She carefully crawled to the end of the bed and took the letter off its leg. When she opened up the rolled up parchment, she groaned right away.

Granger,

I never thought I'd say this, but an emergency has arisen at home and I need your help. My grandparents are coming to visit and they think I am engaged. After a lot of brainstorming, my parents deem you the only girl suitable to be my fiancée. I will send an escort to come pick you up tomorrow.

Draco Malfoy

Only the plot is mine.