A/N: I'm back with another story! This one is loosely based on one of my favorite movies, CLUE and also sprinkled with a dash of murder and mystery- Agatha Christie style. Just remember that this IS a Draco/Hermione story, even though it might not seem like it (you know how I love the twists!)
Disclaimer: Don't own it but wish I did.
The night was pitch black and the rain was coming down in torrents. He stood in front of the iron gate, which was swinging on its creaky hinges in the strong wind. He had to be out of his damn mind, coming here at this hour and this weather! Maybe he should just forget about the letter and go back to his warm and cozy flat; after all, he was sure this had to be some kind of joke!
But what if it wasn't? Could he just risk it? Sighing, he reached out a shivering hand and swung the gate open. There was a flash of lightning that illuminated the large impressive and somewhat creepy Manor house at the top of the long drive. He stopped, the rain pelting him hard in the face, a feeling of doom spreading through his soaked body, fear clenching his heart. He knew deep down that something terrible was going to happen this night, something that was already set in motion, something unstoppable.
A boom of thunder made him almost jump right out of skin, and when a hand fell on his shoulder, he screamed- the sound lost in the wind and rain. Turning, his face changed from one of anger and fear to one of confusion and slight happiness.
"What are you doing here?" he said, taking the man's hand and shaking it.
"I haven't the foggiest! This impressive owl brought me a letter this evening, informing me that I was invited to a dinner party." Neville pulled out the parchment from his pocket and the wind immediately caught it, whipping it high into the bare branches of the nearest oak tree.
Harry smiled and shook his head. "Slick, Neville!"
Neville looked up into the tree, the rain blinding him. "It's gone," he said, frustrated at his bad luck.
"Doesn't matter, does it? We know we were both invited here tonight for a feast at this lovely house of repressing evil, right?" Harry and Neville both looked up the drive. "Do you suppose we will be murdered as soon as we set foot inside?"
"I guess we'll find out, won't we?" Neville said, gulping. "Ready?"
Together they walked up the long winding path against the wind, dead leaves crunching under their feet. By the time they got to the front door, the rain was so heavy that it was difficult to see right in front of their faces. Harry lifted the heavy brass knocker that was in the distinct shape of a coiling snake. "Who do you think lives here?"
Neville was about to take a guess, when the door slowly opened and there stood a small house elf, wearing a lilac tuxedo. "Good evening sirs, Master is expecting you." He ushered them in, and closed the door. "If sirs would please follow me..." His white loafers made loud squeaking noises on the highly polished marble floor.
Neville and Harry eyed each other, repressing smiles. The clothing the elf was wearing was just so hideously ugly; it was hard not to laugh.
"Um... that's a lovely outfit you're wearing," Harry said. "I love the color, it's so... purple."
"Thank you sir, my Mistress made it for me." The elf caressed the polyester material lovingly. He picked off a piece of lint and fixed his plumb colored bow tie. "She is having very good taste, my Mistress!"
"Your Mistress?" Neville asked. "And just who is this Mistress you speak of? I thought you said your MASTER was expecting us?"
"Master IS expecting you, he has been talking of nothing else for days!"
"Does this Master of yours have a name?" Harry asked, very curiously. "Do I know him?"
"Not as well as I know you, Potter."
They had reached the door to a huge drawing room and there in the corner sat Draco Malfoy; a glass of brandy in on hand and an unlit cigar in the other. He looked as smug as ever; richly dressed and manicured. He uncrossed his legs and stood up, stretching slightly, as if bored already. His pale hair fell onto his forehead as he bent over to pet a pure bred blood hound on the head as it slept at his feet.
"Malfoy, what is the meaning of this? Why have you invited us to a dinner party? How did you find my address? Who do you..."
"Too many damn questions Potter. Ignorance is bliss as they say," He snapped his fingers as the end of his cigar lit up. He puffed it twice, the sweet smelling smoke circling around his head. "Cigar?" he held out an ornate gold box. "The best money can buy..."
"Um, no," Neville said, wrinkling his nose.
"Potter?" Draco offered.
"Smoking is for losers," he said, "But I WILL have a drink."
Draco smirked and closed the cigar box with a loud snap. "Such a hypocrite, Potter! Won't puff a stogie but will kill his liver with booze!" He snapped his fingers again and the House Elf appeared. "Mr. Potter would like a..." He raised his eyebrows in question.
"Sherry? Are you serious?" Draco chuckled. "Very interesting... very VERY interesting!" He turned to the elf. "Mr. Potter would like a SHERRY." He laughed again, shaking his head slowly.
Harry frowned. He saw nothing wrong with drinking Sherry. What the hell was Malfoy laughing about?
"I'd like a drink," Neville said.
Draco took another drag of his cigar. "Let me guess, Longbottom, you'd like a Mint Julip?"
Neville rolled his eyes. "Why would I want a girlie drink like that? I'll have a glass of your best scotch. You're not the only one with expensive taste, Malfoy."
Draco gave Neville a huge knowing grin. "I think we share more than a taste for good liquor, Longbottom."
Neville blanched. "I... I'm sure I don't know what you mean."
As Neville took the Scotch from the elf, a woman strolled into the Drawing room. She was dressed in a blood red tight cocktail dress that hugged her every curve and her jet black hair was smoothed into extremely tight French knot on the back of her head. She smiled; her bright red lips making her teeth look very white. "Hello, Neville," she said sweetly.
Neville's jaw dropped and his hand began trembling so badly that he dropped the drink on the expensive white carpet under his feet. The house elf immediately dropped to his knees and began to sop it up with a towel he conjured. "P...Pansy?"
"I'm sure you remember my WIFE," Draco said, with a hint of disgust.
Pansy's highly lacquered nails flashed in the firelight as she held her hand out to a visibly shaken Neville. "It's been so long since I've had the pleasure of your company, Mr. Longbottom."
Draco snorted into his glass. Everyone's head snapped towards him. "What?"
"Something funny, Draco?" Pansy asked, her black eyes glinting with what could only be hatred.
"No, DARLING," he said with fake sweetness. "I was just remembering a joke that Blaise told me at the office earlier." He smirked at her. "It was about this woman who was cheating on her husband," he said, loving the stunned look on her face. He was clearly enjoying this he knew she knew it.
Pansy gave him a dirty look and then turned back to Neville with a smile and a light tinkling laugh. "My HUSBAND is such a comedian!"
Harry had the strange feeling that something was going on, like he was sitting in the audience watching a play unfold. Clearly these three people were hiding something. Neville was shocked at seeing Pansy. Why? He'd seen her millions of times. Draco looked as tough he was enjoying watching Neville squirm uncomfortably and his eyes kept darting between his wife and Neville as if he was a studying fungus under a microscope.
Neville finally managed to calm himself a little and took Pansy's still out stretched hand. She grasped it and pulled him closer, embracing him as if he were an old friend and not someone she had absolutely loathed for years. His eyes closed momentarily as if he were savoring a delicious dessert.
Harry watched them with keen interest. If he didn't know better, he'd think Pansy and Neville were closer than everyone thought. But that was just ludicrous! Neville would never sleep with Malfoy's wife! Then again, why would Malfoy be glaring at Neville in that murderous way if something wasn't going on?
His thoughts were interrupted by a loud knocking at the front door. The house elf got to his knees, straightened his tux and swiftly left the room. The three in the Drawing room heard distant talking, the door closing and then the elf's squeaky footsteps followed by the distinct sound of a woman's high heels.
Draco and Harry looked up as the new guest entered and stood in the doorway, her well plucked eyebrow raised in amused curiosity. She was wearing a stunning black dress that fell to mid thigh, showing off toned muscular legs that were sheathed in black fishnet stockings. Her brown hair fell in luscious tendrils down her back and framed her beautiful face.
Neville and Pansy looked up as the house elf announced, "May I present Mrs. Hermione Granger-Weasley."
She took a few steps forward and then rushed towards Harry. "Harry!" she kissed him on the cheek. "I'm so happy to see you, it's been months!"
Draco was frozen in place, his heart thumping erratically. God she was gorgeous! He closed his eyes, thinking she was most definitely some illusion. Nope! still there. He scanned her from head to toe, from her sparkling eyes that were outlined in very black liner, to her almost impossibly high patent leather pumps. A vision of himself slowly making love to her while she had on nothing but those shoes flashed into his mind. She was walking talking sex, that's what she was!
The last time he had seen her, she had been doing research in the archives at the Ministry. Her hair was a tangled mess, twisted and held on top of her head by a quill, so that the feather stuck up like some sort of Indian brave. She had been wearing Muggle clothing; a grey and maroon plaid skirt and a white oxford shirt, the sleeves rolled up, halfway unbuttoned and almost all the way untucked.
She looked frustrated and- more than a little sexy. He hid in the row of yellowing parchments closest to her and spied on her. She was chewing on the end of her glasses. "When had she gotten glasses?" he wondered. He was mesmerized by the way she kept crossing and uncrossing her legs, sighing every time she turned a page in the giant tome she was reading.
He spent hours among the smell of moldering parchments and books just observing her. "Weasley is such a lucky bastard!" he thought. He would give anything to come home to her every night; spend the early morning hours making love to her, holding her hand as they walked down the beach at sunset. It wasn't fair that he was stuck with a whore like Pansy for a wife while Weasley got the prize! Pansy was trash and Hermione was treasure.
He had left the archives and strolled out of the building and into the bright sunshine, dreaming about how different his life would be if only he was married to Hermione! If only there was some way he could make her leave that red headed moron! He sighed, thinking that there was probably nothing he could do- and then, much to his delight; he came across a scene that made his heart leap for joy.
He had crossed the street and made his way through the park, towards the shady part where everyone went for privacy. Low and behold, there, on a secluded bench was the answer to his prayers!
He had a chance! He knew he wanted her and now he knew it was possible! She was the most beautiful thing in the world, even when she was a fashion disaster. Now here she was, dressed like a seductress and coming towards him, looking very angry.
"Draco Malfoy! What is the meaning of this?" She shoved the invitation in his face. "Tell me!"
Draco suppressed the urge to grab her by the bare shoulders and smash his lips onto hers. "Please, Granger...I mean Weasley, calm down, no need to get your knickers in a twist. All will be revealed- in time." He took a puff from his cigar and blew it in her face. She coughed and waved the smoke away with the parchment. "Now sit down and be a good girl or I'll have to sick the dog on you."
The dog looked up with tired bloodshot eyes and then its head fell back to the floor with a thud.
Draco frowned. "Some attack dog you are!" Draco walked over to the fireplace, Hermione's laughter following behind him. God he wanted her but she must not suspect it- yet. Maybe after he revealed what he knew, he would tell her, but not until then. Draco smiled as he thought about the secrets he carried, secrets that were going to destroy friendships and marriages!
There was a blinding flash of lightning and a loud boom of crashing thunder. The knocker on the front door sounded again and everyone looked up, wondering who in the world would show up next.