A/N: Oneshot. There will be no sequel. Voldemort was defeated in the seventh year with how JK had him defeated in the Deathly Hallows, but thats the only thing thats the same from the seventh book. People who died in the book are alive in this book, besides Dumbledore and Sirius and obviously Harry's parents. The relationship is not R/Hr like it was in book 7. Harry however is still with Ginny. Forget JK's epilogue. Sorry if any characters are OOC. Anyway, I thought of this idea, thought it was cute and had to write it. :)
Let Me Lead
Twenty-one year old Hermione Granger inwardly groaned as she re-read the letter in her hand. It was from the Minister of Magic, Francis Jones.
Dear Miss Granger,
I would like to cordially invite you to the annual Ministry of Magic Christmas Masquerade Ball this coming Sunday, December 24th. It would be an honour to have your presence here at the Ministry of Magic on this wonderful evening at seven o'clock sharp. Remember to wear a mask.
Minister of Magic,
Hermione hated those balls. It involved getting dressed up in a fancy dress, and trying to dance all night in stilettos. Hermione knew her best friends, Harry Potter and his girlfriend of four years and now fiancée, Ginny Weasley would be there. Harry Potter, also known as the wizard who defeated the darkest wizard of all time Lord Voldemort back in Hermione and Harry's seventh year of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, was Head of Aurors in the Ministry of Magic.
Hermione herself was the head healer in the magical hospital St. Mungo's. Her other best friend, Ronald Weasley was also an Auror working in the Ministry of Magic alongside Harry.
Suddenly, there was a loud 'pop' outside of her front door. Then, there was a quick knock at the door. Hermione answered the door to find a petite girl with flowing red hair and intense brown eyes standing on her doorstep grinning.
"Hey Mione," Ginny Weasley, Hermione's best girl friend and also Harry's fiancée, said, pushing past Hermione and into her house.
"Gin!" Hermione wailed exasperatedly. "How many times must I tell you not to apparate directly in front of my house?! I live in a muggle neighbourhood! Anyone could have seen you!"
Ginny smiled sheepishly. "Sorry Hermione, I forgot. Anyway, I decided to come and get you so we can go shopping together."
"Shopping? For what?" Hermione asked, bewildered. Ginny rolled her eyes.
"Hello? We're going to need outfits for the Ministry of Magic Annual Christmas Masquerade Ball!" Ginny exclaimed. Hermione sighed.
"Right," She murmured. Ginny cocked an eyebrow, but shrugged and continued talking.
"So we'll go into Diagon Alley for some shopping and then head to the Burrow for some of my mum's homemade cooking for lunch. Sound good?" Ginny asked. Hermione nodded and glanced down at her clothes. She was wearing a faded and torn pair of old jeans, and a baggy tee-shirt.
"Just let me go get changed first," Hermione replied dryly. Ginny smiled and nodded. It was Friday, so Hermione had the day off. Ginny too, working at St. Mungo's as a healer like Hermione, had this day off.
Five minutes later, Hermione came back down the stairs wearing a nicer and newer pair of blue jeans and a light blue sweater. She grabbed her coat off the hanger and plunged outside into the snow with Ginny.
They walked away from Hermione's quiet neighbourhood until they found an alleyway and apparated to the Leaky Cauldron. Upon entering it, they were greeted by two cheerful voices.
"Ginny! Our darling sister!"
"And Hermione, what a delightful surprise!"
Hermione outwardly groaned. "Not you two!" She cried jokingly. Fred and George Weasley smiled at the two girls.
"What're you two doing here?" Fred asked.
"We're on our way to Diagon Alley to shop for dresses for the Christmas Ministry Ball. Then we're headed to the Burrow for lunch. Care to join us?" Ginny asked. Fred looked ready to answer but George beat him to it.
"We'd love to, except we have to get back to the shop. Busy it is over there, with all of those wonderful Hogwarts kiddies on their Christmas break there to buy our wonderful jokes!" George exclaimed, grinning happily. Fred and George, who were twin pranksters, had opened their very own joke shop which was blooming.
"Well, I'm sorry to hear you can't make it to the lunch. Are you coming to the Ministry Ball?" Hermione asked. Fred shook his head sadly.
"We can't. After the stunt we pulled at the last ball, they're highly unlikely to let us in now." Fred replied solemnly. Hermione couldn't help but chuckle fondly at the memory. Balloons everywhere had popped over all of the dancing wizards and witches, covering them in sticky green slime. Fred and George had been responsible for it and greatly embarrassed their mother and father, Molly and Arthur Weasley. Hermione could still recall the yelling from Molly.
"When will you two ever grow up?" Hermione stated, exasperatedly. The twins grinned.
"Never," they replied together. Hermione shook her head and her and Ginny said good-bye to the boys and headed to Diagon Alley.
"So where to first, Gin?" Hermione asked, in a much better mood now because of their encounter with the twins.
"Madam Malkins?" The redhead suggested. Hermione nodded and they walked into the small store.
After an hour and a half of trying on all sorts of dresses, the two girls had finally found their complete outfits – dress, mask, and shoes.
"So Gin, have you and Harry figured out a date for the wedding yet?" Hermione asked as the girls walked out of Madam Malkins, carrying two or three bags each and preparing to apparate to the Burrow.
"Um, we're thinking about mid-July of this year. It seems like a good month to have it." Ginny said thoughtfully, smiling slightly.
"I still can't believe I'm getting married, Mione! Isn't it wonderful?" Ginny said, sighing happily. Hermione grinned.
"I can believe it; Harry's been head over heels in love with you since his sixth year." Hermione replied. Taking a breath, and turning in a quick circle she apparated to the Burrow, her second home.
Stumbling a bit as her feet hit the ground once again; she started up the walk to the Burrow. Checking her watch, she saw that it was nearly noon, so Harry and Ron would be on their lunch break. Ginny appeared beside her with a 'pop' and they entered the house.
"Hermione dear! Oh, how wonderful it is to see you!" A voice exclaimed and Hermione was squashed in a hug by Molly Weasley, Ginny, Ron and the twins' mother.
"Afternoon Mrs. Weasley, it's great to see you too." Hermione replied politely, smiling. Looking around the familiar kitchen, Hermione saw friendly faces. Remus Lupin was there with his wife, Tonks. Harry was there, who stood up and embraced and kissed Ginny and then hugged Hermione. Ron hugged both girls as well.
"Arthur couldn't make it. He said there was too much stuff for him to do at work. Poor Arthur's been so busy lately," Mrs. Weasley said sadly. "Anyway, sit sit! Lunch is already made! I'm so glad you girls could make it!"
Hermione smiled and sat down next to Ron. Mrs. Weasley served the lunch and soon everybody was busy eating or talking. It was a very enjoyable lunch.
Saturday went by fast for Hermione, she went to work, came home ate supper and showered and then went to bed. Before she knew it, it was already Sunday afternoon and Ginny and Luna Lovegood were there as the three girls prepared for the ball.
"Should I curl my hair, Mione?" Ginny asked, turning to face Hermione and flipping her straight red hair over her shoulder.
"Yeah, you'd look gorgeous with luscious curls, especially with your dress Gin," Hermione replied, blow drying her own hair with a charm.
"Thanks," Ginny said. By the time the boys came to pick the three girls up, they were ready.
"Wow, girls you look amazing," Harry said, kissing Ginny and hugging Luna and Hermione. Ron kissed Luna and hugged Hermione.
Ginny's dress was a deep emerald green and sleek that had no sleeves. It came down to her knees and was tight to her and fitting every curve. She had curled her red hair in loose curls flowing down her back. Her mask was a sparkly green and went over her eyes. She had green stilettos to match.
Luna was wearing a lavender dress, which had a low back. It came down to her ankles and was tight at the bodice but puffed out at the waist. She had a white mask to go with it and pink stilettos. She had her blonde hair pulled into a fancy bun with a few pieces left to frame her face.
Hermione was wearing a deep scarlet dress that clung to her. It had spaghetti style straps and came down to her knees. Hermione's hair had been left in natural soft falling ringlets. She had pulled half of it up behind her head and half of it still flowed down her back. Her bangs were curled around her face. She wore a silver sparkly mask that covered her eyes and red stilettos.
Harry was dressed in black dress robes and wore a green mask to go with Ginny's dress. Ron wore brown dress robes and a black mask. The third guy, who Hermione didn't know but knew he was a friend of Harry's, was also wearing black dress robes and had a black mask. He had short brown hair and green eyes.
"Hermione, this is Josh. He offered to escort you to the ball, he's very nice." Harry said quickly at Hermione's look of apprehension. She smiled at him and murmured thanks, feeling ridiculous. Josh kissed her cheek and took her arm to lead her away to apparate with her to the ministry.
They entered the Ministry and went to the section of the Ministry where the ball was being held, where they could hear the jazzy music. Harry led a beaming Ginny down the stairs and into the ballroom. Ron led Luna next and then Josh led her. The room was nicely decorated, the same as it is every year. There was a large space for dancing and then a table off to the side with food set out and chairs for people to sit. There were flashing lights over the dance floor where a few couples were waltzing.
Harry and Ginny headed over to the tables and Hermione, Ron, Luna and Josh followed. They spotted Mr. and Mrs. Weasley sitting with Lupin and Tonks at one of the tables. Hermione smiled at them. Tonks was wearing a pink dress with her flaming pink hair. She looked brilliant. Lupin looked tired, as always but he had a smile on his face as their group approached.
Ron grabbed a few things off of the food table and Hermione rolled her eyes. Luna swatted him. "Didn't you just eat?!"
He nodded with his mouth full. "Bhut-''
"Ronald, don't you dare talk with your mouth full. It's rude." Mrs. Weasley scolded. Ron smiled and swallowed.
"I was hungry and that food looked good." He said.
"Well, well, well if it isn't the Weasley bunch. How very – er nice it is to see you here." A mocking cold voice said behind Hermione. She turned and glared at Lucius Malfoy. He was standing tall behind her with his wife Narcissa.
After Voldemort died, the Malfoy family was determined innocent as deatheaters. Lucius claimed he was under the Imperious Curse and his son Draco and Narcissa were too scared to stand up to the Dark Lord. Now, Lucius had his power in the ministry back up, and Draco was getting just as powerful.
Draco Malfoy had gone to Hogwarts with Hermione, Ron, Ginny and Harry. He was arrogant, annoying and loved to torment Harry and his friends. During the final war, Harry had saved Draco and now Draco owed Harry for a life dept. Draco was at least civil with them since then.
"Yes yes, nice to see you too, Lucius." Arthur Weasley spluttered awkwardly. Lucius was always mocking Arthur for his position in the ministry and lack of money.
Lucius smirked. "Did the ministry give you a raise yet, Arthur? Your children and wife seem to actually have better clothes this year."
Arthur's jaw dropped and Ginny stepped up to Lucius. "Hey, you leave my dad and family alone, you slimy git!"
"Ginny!" Mrs. Weasley called, shocked. Lucius looked down at Ginny, amused.
"Need your daughter to stand up for you, Arthur?" He sneered. Hermione rolled her eyes.
"Oh, grow up! You're about as immature as your son!" She muttered. She thought she had said it quietly enough so he wouldn't hear but apparently he had heard – everyone heard her. His face flushed.
"What did you say?! What position are you in to tell me to grow up? You filthy little –''
"Lucius!" Narcissa broke in, angrily. "Do you want to be kicked out of here?!" She snarled. Lucius immediately shut his mouth and stalked away, glaring at Hermione.
"Blimey Hermione, you sure told him." Ron said, grinning. Hermione smiled too.
"I didn't mean for him to hear it," She said sheepishly. She suddenly felt hot and decided she needed some fresh air. The others nodded and she made to leave the room. As she reached the doors however, a hand grabbed her arm lightly.
Hermione turned around. A young man wearing black dress robes and a silver mask stood in front of her, still holding on to her arm. He had blonde tousled hair and a familiar face but she couldn't place him.
"I'm sorry, but I saw you and just had to ask such a pretty young lady if she would have this dance?" He inquired, sliding his hand down to take her hand. Hermione blushed.
"I- I'm not very good at this type of dancing," She murmured. He smiled.
"That's okay, I don't mind. Please?" He asked again. She smiled and nodded. He led her out to the dance floor. A waltz was playing. He placed one hand on the small of her back and she put a hand on his shoulder while their free hands connected.
She was nervous and he must have realized. "Just let me lead," He whispered in her ear making her shiver. "You'll do fine," His voice was soothing and soft and somehow familiar. He started moving gracefully over the dance floor and Hermione followed. He twirled her and dipped her and she laughed.
Hermione smiled and looked into the man's eyes. He had gorgeous eyes, they were so piercing. She could get lost in them very easily. He was smiling at her as they moved around the floor. Finally, the song ended.
"Would you like to go for a walk with me?" He asked. She smiled.
"Sure," She replied and again he took her hand and led her out of the ballroom. He didn't let go of her hand. She could feel a tingling sensation in the hand he was holding. Why is he making me feel this way? I don't even know him, Hermione thought.
"So where do you work?" Hermione asked, trying to strike up a conversation with this mysterious man.
"At the ministry, as an Auror." He replied, smiling. "Where do you work?"
"St. Mungo's, I'm a healer." She said quietly.
"Ah, a healer, such an important job." He murmured seriously. Hermione blushed.
"So what's your name? You haven't told me," She said. He smirked playfully and the smirk was so familiar she almost gasped. However, she still couldn't place him.
"Ah, that I won't tell you yet." He replied. She huffed.
"Why not?" She inquired.
"Because," He said. "If I told you, then you wouldn't be talking to me like this."
"So, I know you?" Hermione asked, genuinely confused. He grinned.
"Yep, you know me." He replied. She groaned in frustration.
"Just tell me your name!" She cried. He smiled and shook his head. "Can you give me a hint at least?" She asked, pouting.
He laughed. "You're cute when you pout."
"So will you give me a hint?" She asked hopefully. He shrugged and nodded.
"I guess," He said. "I went to Hogwarts with you,"
"Hogwarts, huh?" She murmured and thought hard. "Were you in my year?"
He didn't reply, just smirked at her. This was very frustrating for Hermione. But she had to admit, it was fun.
"So, who was your favourite teacher at Hogwarts?" She asked. He pondered and she had the vague feeling he was trying to decide whether or not to tell her that.
"Snape," He said, with a smirk. She pursed her lips.
"Were you in Slytherin?" She asked. He glanced away and she had her answer.
"Well, that narrows it down a bit," She said and he smiled uncertainly. "Just tell me who you are,"
He shook his head, smirking. A lot of the Slytherins smirked. She could name at least ten. Her jaw dropped. Why didn't she think of him first!
"You know?" He asked. She smiled hesitantly.
"I have to check to be sure," She said slowly and he rose an eyebrow. Gathering up her courage, she stood on her tip toes and leaned up to him. His confusion shone on his face and she smiled, glad it was his turn to be confused.
Putting her arms around his neck and pulling herself towards him, she lowered his head and placed her lips on his. She felt him smile as he kissed her and wrapped his arms around her waist. Yep, it's him, she thought smiling, recognizing his kiss.
As she pulled away, out of breath she smiled. "Hi Draco," She murmured. "I should have known right away,"
"I'm glad you remembered my kiss," He said, smirking.
"How could I forget? It's the best kiss of my life," She replied and he smiled and leaned down for another kiss.
On their last few days of school, Draco had gathered up the courage to apologize to the Golden Trio for all the past years. He apologized to Hermione in private for calling her all of the names and tormenting her. They had later partied together and gotten a little bit drunk. They played a game of truth or dare and Hermione and Draco ended up kissing. It was the best kiss Hermione had ever had.
"I saw you tonight and recognized you standing over with the Weasleys' and Potter. So I decided to ask you to dance and well, here we are." He said, still holding her in his arms.
"I still can't believe it took me that long to figure out! I found things oddly familiar but I just couldn't place you! Ugh, I feel so dumb!" Hermione cried, leaning against him.
"Guess I'm just a really good secret keeper," Draco said and winked. Hermione laughed.
"By the way, you look amazing tonight." Draco whispered in her ear. She blushed and smiled.
"Thank you; you don't look so bad yourself." She replied.
"There you are, Hermione! We wondered where you'd gotten- Oh." Ginny's voice came from behind them. Hermione pulled away from Draco, her face red.
"Er, hey Gin, you obviously remember Draco?" Hermione said turning to face the surprised redhead.
"Of course I remember him," She said.
"Hey Weaselette," Draco greeted, winking at her. Ginny rolled her eyes at the nickname.
"Are you two coming inside or what?" Ginny asked, smiling. Hermione smiled and nodded. Draco took her hand and they walked in behind Ginny back to the Ball.
"Hey Draco," Harry said as they approached the table Harry, Ron and Luna were now sitting at.
"Hey Potter, how's it going?" Draco asked taking a seat and pulling a scarlet faced Hermione onto his lap. Harry smiled at them.
"Good. And it's about time you got the courage to talk to her," Harry said and Hermione's jaw dropped.
"I told you I would tonight," Draco replied proudly.
"You knew?!" She exclaimed to Harry, shocked. Harry nodded.
"Draco and I talk all the time at work, he asked me how you were doing, and told me that he liked you. I mentioned that you would be at the ball and here we are." Harry explained. Hermione shook her head in amazement.
"So are you two together?" Ron asked, raising his eyebrows. Ron hadn't quite forgiven Draco for the past years, but they were still civil with each other.
"Er-'' Hermione began.
"Yeah," Draco said and Hermione looked at him and smiled. Draco laced their fingers together. He pushed Hermione up and led her back to the dance floor. She laughed.
"I like dancing," Draco said, smiling. Hermione smiled too and kissed him.