Disclaimer: Not mine.

Chapter 4

The sound of shouts and laughter floated through the night sky as Draco reached the Burrow. Curious, he walked around the house and toward the backyard where he found a large wooden table surrounded by Gryffindors and one tall blond Slytherin.

"Draco, son, I'm so happy that you could come tonight. Molly made lamb chops." Lucius' steel-grey eyes almost sparkled with the prospect of his wife's cooking.

Draco said nothing and continued on his path to the table. He grimaced as his foot sank into the ground, squelching in its descent.

"Best not to be walking over there, dear. Last night's rainstorm made the ground a bit muddy, but the weather is so clear now!" Molly made sure to avoid the large patch of mud and kiss her son-in-law.

A bit muddy. Right. Draco muttered a Scourgify to get the mud out of his shoe before kissing Molly back. He then bent over to see if his only pair of fine shoes had been damaged.

When he stood, Draco realized that everyone in the garden went silent. He turned around and saw Charlie Weasley standing next to –

"Professor Snape!" Hermione's shrill voice rang out from behind him.

"It's a pleasure to see you as well, Miss Granger," Snape said wryly.

"Severus, what a surprise!" Molly smiled and spelled some dishes to fly out of the kitchen window of the Burrow and land gently unto the table. "What brings you here?" She asked Snape, rushing over to Charlie and giving him a hug. They, Draco included, sat together at the table.

"Charlie invited me… He was interested in several new calming draughts for the Hungarian Horntails–"

"No, Severus, no more lying." To the surprise of everyone there except for Molly, Charlie held on to Snape's hand and kissed it. "Severus and I have been in a relationship with one another since Mum's wedding." He spoke no more and asked Ginny to pass him the salad.

After the momentary silence, the Weasley family began to view the Potions master with interest – save for Ron and Harry, who still shared a deep dislike for their former professor. As Fred turned to Charlie to ask his brother about the actual grease content of Snape's hair, Draco met Granger's eyes. He nodded to the door leading to the kitchen and slipped away unnoticed. He hoped that Granger would have as easy a time escaping from the Weasley clan as he did.

Draco, however, didn't notice a pair of black eyes following his exit.

"Did you see that, Charlie?" Snape murmured as he saw a head of bushy hair leaving through the same door as a young man with blond hair went through minutes ago.

"See what?"

"Draco and Miss Granger leaving – separately, but purposely."

"Draco and Hermione? You can't mean–"

"Charlie, you practically shouted!" Snape hissed.

His warning came too late – all at the table had heard Charlie's outburst, and an angry-looking Fred ran into the house.

Draco didn't have time to ask Granger about her relationship with Fred, as the Weasley stormed into the kitchen of the Burrow moments after Granger had walked in.

"Hi, Fred. Draco and I were only talking–"

"So he's 'Draco' now? What ever happened to the Malfoy you despised so much?" Fred's face reddened as he spoke.

"It's okay now, Fred; you can stop now," Granger pleaded.

"What if I don't want to stop now?" Fred said furiously. "What if I want to show everyone what a git he really is?" Fred pointed an accusatory finger at Draco.

"Please stop, you've done enough, honest." Granger seemed to be begging at this point.

"How about we take this outside?" Draco internally winced as soon as he said it. He couldn't do that there, not with everyone outside. That was really a stupid idea.

"We were outside before you took Hermione in here to take advantage of her."

"I would never take advantage of her!" Maybe mess with her a little, but he would never –

Fred grabbed Draco by his shoulders before hauling him out of the kitchen and into the backyard. As Fred glared at him, Draco thought for a moment that Fred had winked at him before he was hurled to the ground. Draco righted himself from the ground and felt a heavy weight on his back. He took off his outer robe and saw that it was covered in mud.

"You arse!" Draco pulled out his wand to cast the worst hex he knew, but the sound of an "Accio" spell made Draco's wand fly from his robes.

Draco looked around and saw that Snape was holding three wands in his hand. At least the bastard's unarmed. That was the last thought Draco had before Fred tackled Draco into the mud.

"Shit!" Draco knew that this point that his clothes and pride had been thrown into the mud, Granger was watching it happen, and his shoes were no doubt ruined.

This Weasley was going to pay.

Draco fought against his attacker with a newly-found strength, taking mud into his hands and slinging it at Fred. Fred managed to knock Draco down into the mud after a few well-aimed mud balls, and Draco pushed Fred off of him to gain the upper hand. He pounced on Fred, ready to get a good stranglehold on him, when he felt his whole body freeze up.

"I said STOP, Fred. Don't you know when a ruse ends?" Granger shouted, her wand drawn.

"A ruse?" Draco had wanted to say this and luckily enough, Potter shared the sentiment.

"Yes." Granger pointed her wand at Draco and Fred. "Can I set you two free, or will you start acting childish again?" Seeming satisfied by the silent response of both men, Granger removed the spell.

"An explanation, Hermione?" Ron looked at the scene with confusion.

"There wouldn't need to be one if Fred would know when something's ended!"

"You mean – you two are breaking up?" Draco asked hopefully.

"No… I mean yes… what I mean is that Fred and I aren't actually together. It was all a lie in order for… for Draco to notice me."

"WHAT?" Everyone outside was shocked with the news.

"It was only supposed to be temporary – we were only going to fake being together for a short time until Draco would… get jealous. Fred doesn't like me that way at all. He's–"

"It's okay, Hermione. They have a right to know." Fred stood. "I already have someone else."

"Who?" George asked.

"I dunno yet, but we've been writing for each other for awhile now… through one of those agencies."

"It's all been a lie then?" Draco wondered. Had he been fooled so easily?

"Not all of it." Granger knelt next to Draco in the mud. "You know," she said quietly, "you look sexy wrestling in the mud for my honor." She smiled and ran a finger down Draco's cheek, making a clear trail of clean skin on his face.

"You're not getting off that easily." Draco seized Granger's arms and pushed her into the mud, then leaning over her to kiss her soundly.

When they pulled apart, Granger smiled. "I guess I deserved that, didn't I?"

"After making me think I was some kind of home wrecker? Definitely." As he said this, Draco couldn't help but brush some of the muddy hair from her face.

"But you wouldn't have done anything unless I made you jealous – all that stupid Malfoy pride."

"There is nothing wrong with a proud Malfoy." Lucius' comment reminded the pair where they were.

"Maybe we can discuss this later?" Draco wanted to get clean and further establish his place in Granger's life.

"Yes." Granger smiled again and kissed Draco once more.


Exhausted by another day of Potions making, Draco Apparated into his flat bleary-eyed.

"What day is it?" Draco wondered aloud. He couldn't wait until Friday when Hermione said she would have a surprise for him before they went to the Weasley dinner.

He whirled around when he heard Hermione answer "It's Friday" from behind him.

"How'd you get through the wards?" Draco asked as he kissed Hermione in greeting.

"You reset them to let me enter last week, remember?" Hermione replied as she burrowed her face in Draco's neck.

"Oh." Draco led them to the couch. He must have done it for her, but the memory of it was a blur. Actually, the whole past month had been a blur with Hermione: memories of Weasley dinners and dinner dates and kisses before, during, and after said dates. Which reminded him…

"Draco, stop." He did as Hermione asked, his lips hovering over her mouth.

"Yes?" He may have been tired, but he could summon up the energy for a post-work snog.

"We have to go. It's almost dinner time." She straightened out her robes and stood.

"So soon?"

"Don't you want to see the surprise?"

Draco sighed and stood with her. "I'd rather see–" The rest of his words were lost in the 'pop' of their Disapparation.

Seated at the dinner table, Draco ate alongside Hermione, still thinking about the surprise.

"It wasn't Fred's girlfriend, was it?" As it turned out, Millicent Bulstrode had been Fred's pen pal and consequent lover and was introduced earlier during the dinner.

"No, that was Fred's surprise for everyone." Hermione took another bite of food.

"What is it, then?" Draco's answer came in the form of a horn sounding outside.

"Oh, that's them! I'm glad they got the directions right," Hermione said, running from the kitchen table and out of the house.

"Hermione, wait!" Draco followed her out of the Burrow where he saw a Muggle car on the front yard. Out stepped a man and a woman in Muggle clothes, looking out of place and confused.

"Draco, here they are – I'd like you to meet my parents, Drs. John and Jane Granger."

Draco could hear someone mutter "Here we go again" before he passed out into the grass.

- end.

Author's Note: Thanks so much to dharkcharlotte for beta'ing this fic.

Also thanks to LPG and S. Kaiba for their input in this fic, and finally to Remy Davis, who requested a Fred/Hermione/Draco story that wasn't a threesome – that is how this story was made.

Finally thanks for the people who left a review. Your comments were great.