Welcome to a story about the most unlikely pairing since Voldemort and Molly- drum roll- it's a Draco and Hermione story! enjoy!
Chapter One: Congratulations Mr Malfoy
"Well congratulations Mr Malfoy you have managed to scare away all your partners" The chief was saying, the vein near his temple throbbing dangerously.
Draco smirked at the recollection of his latest partner. He had been an edgy sort of character, not a bad wizard- much more accurate and knowing than the ones before him, but that being said Draco couldn't stand him. Russell or 'Rusty' as he insisted being called had a cocky attitude among other things but his major downfall was his hastiness to use magic even before finding out the real facts. That's what special agents were hired for, for Merlin's sake, finding out the real facts. Draco understood like all good agents that you were defined by your ability and not by the weapon and that the best of them actually didn't need to rely on magic at all. Stupid, arrogant and self-important rookies never understood though and Draco took it upon himself to put them back in their places.
Rusty had also talked endlessly about his personal life which violated everything Draco stood for. There was a professional line he found himself always pointing out but to no avail. Draco knew it was partly his fault the partnership didn't work out but he didn't ask to hear about Rusty's marital problems with his wife Jen and how although their life was perfect Rusty thought there was something wrong. Draco wasn't a people person and listening to that everyday slowly drove him crazy. He couldn't help that he didn't like people- he had a low tolerance for stupidity and what could he do about the fact that was mostly everyone he encountered. But he was civil up to a certain point. The point ending for Rusty when he once again acted without thinking and used magic in front of a muggle family and on an innocent muggle.
Now back in his Hogwarts' years Draco wouldn't have cared less but he had changed during the war, for Merlin's sake he double crossed Voldemort and after the war joined the Special Forces in the ministry. He had changed in loyalties but not so much else. He knew he was the same smartass, sarcastic and somewhat bitter person but it worked for him.
Rusty seemed to take it personally and Draco remembered how he enjoyed jinxing the muggle, Draco had seen the same look in his eyes as one of the death eaters and it sickened him. So Draco had thrown Rusty's sorry ass into a nearby creek telling him to cool down. He could have done worst he defended; it was really an improvement considering he didn't play in malicious pranks on him… besides the crocodiles he had projected in the creek. In the end Rusty had filed an official complaint and transferred, a far better result than the usual A.V.O or lawsuit Draco thought.
"Stop smirking" The chief interrupted Draco's thoughts, "You're not indispensable you know, you may be one of the best but your proving not to be worth it" The chief loosened his tie and rolled up his sleeved, looking uncomfortable in his chair and frowning across at Draco so deeply, Draco almost couldn't see his eyes.
But Draco had grown accustomed to seeing his boss like this- all bothered and stressed and barely flinched. However he did not enjoy seeing his boss like this because he admired and liked the guy.
Neil Henderson was a fifty-two year old, proud father of four, accomplished wizard, special agent and a major player in the war against Voldemort. He was also a no bullshit kind of guy which was why Draco liked him. They first met when Neil became Draco's contact for the allies when he was a spy and had grown used to each others ways and eventually became friends when the war ended.
"That hurts chief it really does" Draco said dryly sitting back in his chair.
"Listen boy" Neil snapped, "I don't care if you have poor people skills, you cannot use that excuse for not keeping a partner, everyone needs one, its protocol, the shit that happens out there is too much for one person"
"I can handle it Neil, I'm good at what I do" Draco sprang up from his chair to argue his case, "I didn't need anyone during the war"
"Well this isn't the war" Neil replied with a smirk, using the line he always used to win the argument, "you are a simple ministry agent, under my office and you'd do well to remember that"
Draco wanted to scream some more but he restrained himself. He would work something out without compromising his dignity, he was not about to stoop to a five year olds level by throwing a tantrum.
"Fine when do I come back to the office?"
"Your new partner will start on Monday, enjoy the weekend"
"But today's Thursday!"
"I said enjoy the weekend" Neil said sternly.
"Yes sir" Draco muttered and left his office in the worst mood.
Hermione entered her chief's office hardly noticing the people saying hello to her on the way she was distressed.
"Bonjour Hermione" The chief greeted her from her seat, the spectacular view in the window behind the chief not even drawing Hermione's attention as she entered.
"Bonjour Gabbie" Hermione said as she hastily took her seat.
"Merci pour votre temps, ah thank you for your time" Gabbie reverted to English as she always did so she could practice her English out on Hermione, one of the few fluently English speaking agents she came in direct contact with on a regular basis.
"No problem Gabbie you sounded anxious on the phone" Hermione couldn't hide the anxiety she herself felt. She had just finished completing the forms for her case; her and her partner Anthony had closed just that morning when she had received Gabbie's call. Instantly she had dropped everything and cancelled her date. Hermione was about to go out to dinner with a man her work friends had set her up with. It was the result of constant complaint about her lack of love life, especially made pathetic by the fact she was living in Paris for the last three years. It wasn't her fault she had often said, her department needed her and she hated to admit it but she relied on that draining need. She liked being the number one agent and she worked her ass off for that title. And although she liked men they always just came and went, her job was the one constant.
"Ah yes sorry but I have some important news that could not wait til Monday" The older woman said with a heavy French accent, pushing back her greying strands of her hair and adjusting her glasses fretfully.
Hermione looked at Gabbie closely. Gabbie was in very good shape for her senior years, she was a small framed woman like Hermione and adorned skirt suits much like muggle lawyers, always a neat and a graceful example to the whole department. Hermione was more of a leather pants and boot wearing agent, finding skirts impractical for her line of work, plus her boss Gabbie didn't mind as long as she got the job done.
"Well cutting to the chase it seems that the British department needs a new agent, they cannot find anyone good enough or brave enough"
"What do you mean by brave enough?" Hermione asked confused. All jobs in the Special Forces required a certain amount of courage and guts but it wasn't exactly in the job description.
"Oh they were not talking about the job itself, they are talking about bravery to deal with the other agent they would be working with"
"I see… how bad is the agent? Hang on you aren't suggesting me for the job, I have a place here" Hermione said alarmed standing up. For a minute there she had thought Gabbie was asking for her advice on whom to send.
"Si I didn't suggest you but seeing you are here temporarily and are on an exchange program by the British, they asked for a report and of course I could not lie so I told them you were the best" Gabbie looked miserable holding out a folder to Hermione she said, "this is your new partner and all the details of your department, you will have to leave on Sunday"
Hermione was silent for a moment before she took the folder and slid it into her bag.
"Merci pour ton soutien. Thankyou for your support" Hermione said angrily not understanding why her boss was selling her out. She started for the door.
"Hermione I didn't have a choice, you are the best agent I have had the privilege of working with, I was trying to make you a permanent" Gabbie swore, "I am powerless and I can't stand it! Those greedy British, after learning you were the best they had to snap you up quick fast and our ministry couldn't overrule them, you are a British citizen after all"
Hermione nodded seeing that Gabbie looked distraught. Part of her knew Gabbie couldn't have done anything.
"And Hermione, tomorrow is only Saturday you will enjoy your last day in Paris, we shall have a going away party for you then it doesn't matter how short notice-ok?" Gabbie said trying to sound cheerful.
"Alright but no speeches" Hermione joked and then left before she started to cry and ruin her confident, tough girl image she knew Gabbie never bought.