So sorry this took me so long! I had a long vacation before I started college up again, hopefully I will be updating quicker. Thanks to all of you who waited all this time-here is the next chapter!!
The next morning, Hermione work up with her head pounding and a horrible taste in her mouth. She groaned and put a pillow over her head.
"Missus must get up or she will be late for work!" Tuffy squeaked, pulling at the pillow.
"Leave me alone," Hermione muttered, pulling the pillow closer.
"Missus, if you don't get up I will have to go get Master Malfoy," Tuffy warned.
"No, no," Hermione said, visions of the night before playing in her mind. She sat up slowly. "I'm up. Don't bother him."
"Here, Missus. Tuffy made you a Pepper-Up potion mixed with headache remedy," Tuffy handed her a cup containing the mixture. Hermione drank it and slowly made her way to her bathroom to take a bath. She returned a few minutes later considerably better as the potion worked. She dressed quickly and ran down the stairs to apparate to the Ministry and made it into the lift with 5 minutes to spare. Jumping off on her floor she made her way to her office.
"Good morning, Mrs. Malfoy," Miles said, smiling. "Here are your messages. And Harry Potter is waiting for you."
Hermione nodded. "Really, Miles, call me Hermione," she began to walk into her office but paused. "Miles, can you get me an appointment with Theodare Westfield please?" Miles nodded and Hermione continued into her office.
Harry sat in front of her desk, waiting for her. He made a face as she smiled at him. "Ugh, Ron was right, you look like hell."
"Thanks," Hermione said, dropping her things in another chair and removing her cloak. "What can I do for you, Harry?"
"Ron came to see me last night. He said he ran into you and Malfoy yesterday and that it looked like you were afraid. Is Malfoy hurting you, Hermione? You only have to let me know, I'll take care of it."
"What? Merlin, no Harry. Ron is daft, ignore him." Hermione sat down behind her desk and faced him.
"Then what's wrong? You don't look good," Harry asked worriedly.
"I spent the evening throwing up, first in front of Malfoy and then in my room. I'm a little tired, I had way too much wine," Hermione admitted. "My own doing though."
"You're sure?" Harry asked doubtfully. "Ron said-"
"Ron saw me blushing over something Malfoy said, nothing horrible," she said as Harry opened his mouth. "Everything's fine, really Harry,"
Miles knocked on the door and peeked in. "Mr. Westfield will see you at 10," he said before disappearing.
"Why do you need to talk to your department head?" Harry asked.
"I'm going to ask for a cut of my schedule," Hermione told him. "I've got way too many things to do and not enough time. Mandy Zabini suggested cutting back on my hours here. For the year anyway," she added.
Harry just stared at her. "Did Malfoy tell you to do this?"
"No! Honestly, you're the one going on about how I should be trying to make this work. This is the only way to do everything and not go crazy."
Harry slowly nodded. "I guess you're right," he said, standing up. "Don't forget your meeting next week."
"I know. Goodbye Harry," Hermione smiled and waved him towards the door. Harry grinned and disappeared through the door. That left Hermione a few minutes before she had to go to Theo Westfield's office. She did a few quick things and then walked toward the director's office. His secretary showed her in and the older man greeted her warmly.
"Hermione! How great to see you," he shook her hand. "Please, sit," he gestured to the c hairs and Hermione say. "To what do I owe this pleasure?"
"Well, sir, I recently married-"
"Yes, to Draco Malfoy," Theo interupted. "And?"
"There are many obligations I need to fulfill. Charities and such. I just recently saw the list and it is very long. I was hoping I may be able to change to part time, just until I get used to the schedule," she said.
Theo stared at her a second. "I thought this might happen as soon as I read who you had married," he said finally. "Normally, I would say no, however, the Ministry has asked us to do everything in our power to help these marriages succeed. You can go to part time effective immediately. You'll be able to leave at lunch every day. Just let me know when you are ready to go back to full time."
Hermione's mouth dropped in shock. "Really sir? That's wonderful," she said, a little surprised at how quickjly he'd agreed. "Did my husband speak with you?" she asked suspiciously.
"No," Theo said. Eyeing her. "That would be highly irregukar."
"Of course," Hermione said quickly. "I'm sorry." She stood up. "I guess I should get back to work. Thank you again."
"No problem, Hermione." Theo said, walking her to the door. "Let your secretary know we'll have other work for him to do in the afternoons."
"I will, " Hermione said, walking out the door. She sighed in relief as she walked back to her office. First thing when she got back she sent an owl to Mandy to see if they could meet that afternoon. Then she talked to Miles about his new duties before getting back to work. She worked with no interruptions until lunchtime when Miles buzzed her.
"Your husband is here," he said.
Hermione finished the paper she was working on and put it to the side. "Send him in," she said.
Immediately, Draco opened the door and grinned when he saw her face. "Feeling better?" he asked.
"Some," she said, rubbing her temple. "I think the Pepper-Up potion is wearing off." She paused as Draco put a new one on her desk. "Thank you," she said, downing it quickly. "Sorry for last night."
"Not one of your finer moments," Draco said. "Fancy lunch? I know that you didn't have breakfast."
Hermione stared at him. "Did you just ask me to lunch?" she asked.
Draco shifted on his feet but met her eyes. "Just fullfilling the contract," he said lightly.
"Alright," Hermione said, getting up and grabbing her cloak. They walked out and Hermione said goodbye to Miles.
"See you in the morning!" Miles replied, waving.
"What did he mean by that?" Draco asked as they got into the lift. "Are you off this afternoon?"
"Let's talk about it at lunch," Hermione said as the lift filled with people.
Draco was silent, but frowned until the lift reached the atrium and they got off.
They walked out onto the street and blended in with the other people going to lunch in London.
"How about Eddie's for lunch?" Hermione asked. Draco nodded destarctedly.
"Tell me now," he said as they cut across a nearby park.
Hermione laughed. "Impatient are we?"
"Well?" he asked, ignoring her.
"I asked Westfield to cut my hours," she said. "I work until noon now, at least until I get a grasp on all I'm doing."
"Really?" Draco asked, stopping dead in the park. Hermione stopped as well and turned to face him. He had a very peculiar look on his face as he stared at her.
"Yes, really. What else was I supposed to do?" Flustered by the look on his face, Hermione heard herself snapping slightly. "You gave me all these things to do, how else am I to get it all done?"
Draco continued to stare at her. "I just didn't think you would," he said finally, beginning to walk again.
"I didn't really have a choice," Hermione muttered, walking with him.
"You always have a choice," Draco said quietly.
"Don't act so surprised, you won, alright?" Hermione began to walk faster. "This is what you wanted, why else would you hitch me with all those activities?"
"I thought that you'd like them," Draco said sulkily. "You are always going on about one cause or another, now you can actually participate."
"You mean, you actually decide on things?" Hermione asked, slowing down to look at him. "It's not just for show?"
"Of course not. Is that what you thought?" He smiled slightly. "No wonder you fought this."
"I can decide things?" hermione asked, her mind beginning to work.
"Within reason," Draco said. "You still represent the Malfoy family, you can't go freeing elves or anything. Some things, of course you can change."
"This is wonderful then," Hermione smiled at him. "I can't wait to start."