Disclaimer- I own none of the characters!!!

Hermione took a deep breath and inhaled the fresh air as she sped towards Venice in a water taxi. Leaving her parents inside, she stood out by the rail and took in the scenery. When her parents suggested this trip, she had jumped at the chance to get away from England and just relax. As bad as she felt about leaving Harry and Ron, she felt she needed this, to relax, to forget, if only for a week. The last school year and early summer had been taxing and the thought of going away and knowing no one, not having to think, to start her summer reading, it was all too much of a temptation. She gazed at the city before her in awe as she thumbed through a guide book to decide how to spend her days.

Her mother came up from behind her and smiled. "Happy we came?" she asked.

Hermione nodded happily. She felt all the tension wash off of her in waves as she stood in the warm August sun. She felt free. As much as she loved the wizarding world she was glad to leave it for a brief time. The taxi slowed as it reached the city and Hermione and her parents prepared to get off. There were lots of taxis docked as Venice dealt with the influx of summer tourists. Mr. Granger grabbed the bags as Mrs. Granger paid the driver. Hermione stood on the pier, waiting. Her parents quickly followed her.

"We can walk to the hotel from here," Mr. Granger said, leading the way. As they walked, Hermione got a quick glance of the Piazza San Marco and resolved to return as soon as possible. Right beyond the piazza her parents stopped in front of their hotel. "Here we are," her father said. They went in and quickly were led to their room. Her parents had gotten a suite so Hermione had her own room and sitting room separate from her parents. She put her bag down on the bed and peeked out the window. "Not much of a view," she thought and then began unpacking. As she unpacked her school books she grabbed one and went to her parents' room.

"Mum, Dad, I'm going to go down to the piazza and read," she said. Her parents smiled and waved.

"Don't be too long," her father said.

Hermione left the hotel and wandered back to the piazza St. Marco. It was gorgeous- lots of people were in the square as well as pigeons. The church was at one end of the square. As she walked towards it, she stopped at a café and sat at one of the outdoor tables. She ordered a coffee and then began to read. She was on her second coffee and deep into reading when a shadow covered her book. Frowning slightly, she said, "I'm fine, thank you," assuming the waiter was checking on her.

Instead a loud drawling voice said, "You're studying on holiday? Figures, Granger." Immediately Hermione stiffened and didn't look up.

"What are you doing here?" she hissed.

"Hiding from the war," Draco Malfoy said conversationally. "You?"

Hermione finally looked up into his sneering face. "I'm on a 2 week holiday."

"With your mummy and daddy? Where are they hiding?" he quipped

"Just keep walking, Malfoy." Hermione snapped. "I'm busy."

"So I see. Honestly, Granger, could you be any more of a suck up?" Malfoy folded his arms over his shirt. Hermione noticed he was wearing muggle clothes.

She rolled her eyes. "At least I'm being productive with my time. What have you been doing besides spending your daddy's money?"

"Watch it, Granger," he growled. "I'm not above hexing you in public."

Hermione sighed. "Why are you still here, Malfoy? Don't you have better things to do?"

"Of course," he said. "I was just wondering what you were doing here, all alone.."

He said the last words as a threat and Hermione was immediately on guard. The square was busy and bright but Hermione still felt fear creep in. She paused to look around her and said quietly, "I'm not afraid of you, not hiding here like a little scared child,"

Immediately, she knew it was the wrong thing to say. Malfoy inhaled sharply and stepped on her foot under the table. "You know nothing about me, mudblood," he hissed.

Hermione tried not to flinch as the waiter hurried over. "Are you okay, signorina?" he asked, eyeing Malfoy warily.

"The gentleman was just leaving," Hermione said, still staring at Malfoy. His cold eyes stayed on hers, unblinking as he eased his foot from hers.

"I'll see you soon, Granger," he said and finally pulled his gaze from hers. He stalked off silently as the waiter apologized for his behaviour.

Hermione smiled at him and shook her head. "It's ok," she said, looking back at her book. She tried to read again but the mood was spoiled for her. "Damn him!" she thought. "Of all the places for him to be," It was strange he was here. Hermione decided to send an owl to Harry letting him know Malfoy and maybe his parents were in Venice. Her afternoon ruined, Hermione headed back to the hotel to send the owl.