Disclaimer: I don't own Hermione Granger, Draco Malfoy, or anyone else from Harry Potter.
This oneshot is for my Best Laid Plans reviewers. I've left you all in a dramoine famine, haven't I?
Warning: Some minor Ron-bashing that was necessary for the plot.
Hermione Granger wasn't known for her sweet temper, but she'd been trying, Merlin she'd been trying. Still, the blonde standing in front of her had taxed all of her patience and long-suffering. Why, why did he still feel it necessary to come and bother her? They'd both fought for the Light during the Great War, they'd graduated before their peer from Hogwarts thanks to extra credit, both top of their class as Head Boy and Girl. They'd even given a joint speech at the graduation ceremony, danced the first waltz as was expected of them, and acted amazingly civilly around each other to get through the night.
She'd been so happy thinking that that would be the last she'd see of Draco Malfoy. But, of course, fate had had to laugh in her face and make sure that the bane of her existence not only saw her again, but saw her every day.
Why me? WHY ME?
Harry had disappeared after the War. He'd gone MIA and the whole Wizarding World were searching for him while the tabloids were filled with ridiculous stories of suicide, love-children, sordid love-affaires with muggles and other trash that hadn't happened.
Not even Ron knew where Harry was.
Only Hermione knew where her best friend was, and she kept it a secret from her boyfriend since the War because Harry didn't want even Ron knowing.
Harry had told her his plan to leave the Wizarding World and drop off of the face of the map for a while. While everyone were celebrating the fact that Voldemort was gone, Harry was stuck with his morbid connection with the monster, and with the nightmares of all they'd had to go through to attain peace, so he needed to get away from everything and find the peace he'd fought so hard for.
He was living in Muggle Brazil under the name of Xavier Hanson and wrote to Hermione regularly. He'd learnt Portuguese and was giving tours through the Amazon to tourists, and while it was a dangerous job, he seemed to have grown to love it and its connection to nature.
"I know I'm handsome, Granger, but really, you don't need to stare at me so speechlessly."
Wincing at that voice, Hermione looked up at the man she'd forgotten was there. "Why must you torment me with your presence, Malfoy?" Her voice was close to a whine. "What have I done to you lately that you want to torture me?"
His smile slipped for a second before returning full-force. "C'mon Granger, it's not like I'm asking for your first-born."
Hermione glared at him, trying to convey with that one look just what she thought about this idea.
When she'd decided to open a Book Store in Wizarding London she'd been sure that hers would be a peaceful--if not somewhat boring--life. That was why she'd decided to open Wizard-N-Muggle Book Store. She'd had enough adventure during her childhood and only wanted to sit back and relax.
She hadn't expected for the shop right across from hers to be bought by none other than Draco Malfoy, who opened up a sports store that specialized in Quidditch yet still sold muggle and other Wizarding sports equipment as well.
Nor had she expected Draco Malfoy to be a regular in her store.
She looked back up at Draco since she'd started ignoring him once more in favor of the book in front of her. "Really Malfoy, that whine of yours didn't help you in Hogwarts and it isn't going to help you here. I am not helping you dispose of Greengrass. You stepped into that nest of hornets on your own."
"You came to me--asked me for advice when she was making advances--and I gave you that advice so you'd leave me alone. Do you remember that?" She asked, closing the book loudly in irritation. "Do you remember what I told you?"
"That she was a slimy, gold-digging stalker." Draco replied word for word.
"And what did she end up being?" She was trying not to be impressed by his good memory.
"A slimy, gold-digging stalker." The blonde murmured.
"So why, I may ask, should I help you when your not listening to me in the first place--after forcing me to give you love advice for Merlin's sake!!--got you into this trouble?" Hermione sat back in her seat, looking up at him, annoyed that he was still there. "I think you should just marry that chit."
She got a sick satisfaction at the green pallor his face turned at the thought of marriage to Daphne Greengrass. Good. It served him right. He spent more time in her store than he did in his own, and he wasn't even buying anything from her. She had no pity whatsoever for him.
Then again, putting herself in his shoes and thinking of Greengrass obsessed with her…
Okay. So maybe she did pity him, but only a little bit, and only on her good days.
"Don't you have some male friend you can bother about this?" She asked him, truly wondering if he had any friends at all, and if he did, why in the world he came to bother her! "I remember you having a flock of clones in Hogwarts. Zabini, Goyle, Crabbe…Whatever happened to them?"
Draco sighed, collapsing onto the chair uninvited. "Zabini's off on a sabbatical to research the Griffins in Iceland. And do you really see Goyle and Crabbe giving me advice?"
Hermione frowned, tapping a finger against her bottom lip. He did have a point there. "Well, you're right; they were never the sharpest tools in the shed but--."
"But what?" He leaned forwards, elbows on her desk.
She decided to ignore that violation of her personal space. "Well, aren't they heirs as well of some considerable fortunes? Many a woman would have them despite their lacking in wits because they would more than make up for it with their money."
Draco leaned back, frowning. "I didn't think fortunes swayed you."
"Not ME, Malfoy!! Stay with the program!" She ran her hand through her wild curls in agitation. "Greengrass! GREENGRASS!"
He blinked. "You lost me Granger."
"And he graduated only second to me." She murmured to herself, shaking her head before sighing and trying once more. "What have we agreed that Greengrass is?"
"A slimy, gold-digging stalker." Draco dutifully repeated.
"And what have we decided Crabbe and Goyle are?"
"Rich idiots." He smirked.
She rolled her eyes at him before speaking once more as if to a child. "And, having said that, what conclusion does the great Draco Malfoy come up with?"
Draco thought for a moment before a smirk lit his handsome face. "You should have been in Slytherin, Granger."
"No thank you very much, I am proud to have been a Gryffindor." She motioned around her at the Décor of Wizard-N-Muggle, which consisted of gold and red.
"Duly noted." Draco intoned before smirking and standing.
"Are you leaving?" She tried not to sound too hopeful.
He smirked at her. "Don't want to run into your Weasel. He always comes here to pick you up Wednesday nights at around this time." With that Draco Malfoy turned and left Wizard-N-Muggle without a word of thanks.
But Hermione wasn't dwelling on that, no, she was busy wondering how he knew Ron's schedule.
"How did it go?" The head that was Lucius Malfoy in the floo channel asked.
It was late and Draco had closed up the store and was speaking to his father, the Minister of Magic. His father had become a big war hero for trading sides and helping the Light win the war by giving out secrets of the Dark Lord, and after a lot of community work, and with the support of most of England, he'd been elected Minister.
"I'm alone, aren't I?" The blonde asked dejectedly, looking down at the softball in his hand. "She asked me to leave a couple of hundred times before finally deciding that the only way I was going to go was if she helped me and she told me to hoist my made-up problem with Greengrass on either Crabbe or Goyle."
Lucius paused, thinking of that and then smirking. "She should have been in Slytherin."
"Told her that, but she didn't bloody appreciate the compliment." He sulked.
"Of course she wouldn't appreciate it--Slytherins made her life impossible in Hogwarts. Really Draco, if you continue like that your mate is going to marry that Weasley brat and you'll die before your 21st birthday!" Lucius growled, impatience and worry tinting his voice darker. "You've only managed to stay alive so far because you're in constant contact with her—but how long do you really think that will last? You can buy up any shop next to hers, go visit her daily, but soon that won't be enough! You need to woo that girl and at least mark her before your next birthday!"
"You think I don't know that, father?" Draco hissed, standing up and stalking the room angrily. "You think I don't feel fury when that Weasel puts his hands on my mate? You think that I don't feel the pain of rejection every time she tries to get rid of me despite my attempts to get close to her?"
Spent, Draco collapsed in his chair once more, the softball dropping to the ground, and the wizard holding his head in his hands. "It's getting unbearable, father. I'm in constant pain. I—I need her so much!"
Lucius sighed, pained to see his son reduced to such. "It's all my fault." He growled in self-loathing. "If I hadn't been brainwashed and filled your head with those ridiculous ideals, and if I hadn't been there for you to help you understand your Veela heritage I would have realized sooner that what you felt for that girl was the pull of the mate and this wouldn't be this way. You would have marked and claimed her during your years at Hogwarts!"
"No use going over the 'if onlys'." Draco sighed, pulling his hands from his face. "I need to dwell on the future and find a way to make Hermione mine now. I can't run the risk of Weasley asking her to marry him. I can't risk losing her."
"I know, I know." Lucius nodded in agreement. "I'll think something up, don't you worry. Even if I have to invent something as ridiculous as a Marriage Law I'll find a way to help you get that girl."
"Thank you father." Sighing, Draco looked up and saw a light on in Hermione's shop. She'd gone out with Weasley hours ago. The blonde frowned. "I got to go, I think someone just broke into her shop."
"Bastard! Bleedin' cocksucker!" Hermione Granger screamed more and more obscenities as she threw books and anything that was close at hand at the walls in frustration and hurt. "Dirtbag! Cockroach! WEASEL!"
She collapsed on the ground in a heap of tears.
How horribly unfair and ironic was it that the name Malfoy had given Ron was actually the most fitting?
How could Ron do this to her?
They'd been together since the WAR and he was having an affair with Lavender?! Why? What had that woman given Ron that she herself hadn't been able to? Hermione had always been in love with Ron, she'd sacrificed a lot, done everything she could to make sure that their relationship worked--she'd even given up her virginity before she'd felt ready because he'd gotten impatient and told her about how he and Lavender had lost their virginities together.
So how could he do this to her?
"Granger?! What the bloody hell are you doing?"
Her gaze shot up and she silently cursed all fates when she saw Draco Malfoy somehow inside of her shop once more. Shadows from the few candles she'd lit with her wand danced on his face as he came closer.
"What a-a-are you doing h-here?" She asked, humiliated that he'd seen her like this, at her most vulnerable. He'd never let her live this down.
"I saw a light and thought you were a thief." He knelt down next to her, looking at her as someone would eye an injured animal liable to snap out and bite the hand of the one trying to help it. "I came to check things out."
Hermione was shocked when she read the sincerity in his face. He really had thought someone was robbing her store and had come to check things out.
That clashed horribly with the image of Draco Malfoy that she'd cultivated throughout the years.
The twenty-year-old witch wiped at her eyes and smiled shakily at him. "Thank you. You didn't have to do that."
He gave her an honest-to-Merlin smile that was surprisingly…nice, before frowning, placing a hesitant hand on her shoulder in what was obviously supposed to be a comforting motion.
While she should have been surprised that Draco Malfoy would try to comfort her, what surprised her most was that he was indeed doing a good job of it. She didn't feel as horrid as she had before.
"What happened Granger? When I got here you were acting like a poltergeist, throwing your beloved books around, and cursing the heavens." He paused. "Did someone die?"
"I wish." She snapped, letting her anger speak without her mind first okaying whatever came out. "And it would have been preferable if the deceased was a redheaded Weasley named Ronald!"
Draco blinked, an odd emotion changing his features for a second before he was stoic once more. "I take it you and the Weasel had a little tiff."
"Tiff?" She gasped. "TIFF?! If you call us having a nice dinner and him asking me to marry him only to have his LOVER come upon us and spilling the beans right after I'd said YES as a 'little TIFF' then YES it WAS a little tiff!"
Draco blinked once more, yet his hold on her tightened.
"I threw the ring back at Ron, told Lavender she could have him, and came right back here." Her shoulders slumped in defeat. "I—I can't believe he'd do that to me. I would have expected it from anyone else but NOT him."
"You want coffee?"
Her head shot up at that and she wondered if he'd gone insane.
Draco's face betrayed no emotion. "Whenever I have a problem on my mind I have coffee. It helps clear my mind and helps me see things differently. I think you need coffee and I know of a coffee shop that stays open all night."
She let him pull her up and drag her towards the door. "But—but I look horrible! I'm sniffling, my eyes are red and puffy, and my nose--!"
"Granger, I never guessed your deadly sin was vanity." Draco tsked as he led her out of the shop and took her keys from her, closing up the shop and then linking her arm through his and beginning to lead her down the darkened street.
Hermione sputtered with indignity. "I am not vain!" She frowned. "And I'll have you know that VANITY is NOT one of the 7 deadly sins anyway!"
"WRATH I would have guessed." He went on, completely ignoring her. "PRIDE I'd have bet on--you were a Gryffindor after all." He continued. "LUST only a man could help but wonder. They always say that 'it's always the quiet ones'…then again…you never could shut up, so they obviously weren't talking about you."
She glared at him and was about to open her mouth and let him know (in her rather extensive vocabulary) just how much she could talk and how many curse words she'd learnt while going out with Ron--when she suddenly realized what he was doing.
He was provoking her on purpose; making sure that she was too busy arguing with him to think of Ron.
That thought struck her silent as he led her to the coffee shop she hadn't noticed before and chose a table for them.
Draco ordered their coffees and then went to where she was already sitting down, giving her a small smile. "You were silent the whole walk here. Using WRATH to think of any nasty hexes to cast on me?"
She mock-glared at him, managing to actually laugh. "No, actually, I was thinking that you mightn't actually be the devil's spawn after all."
He chuckled at that. "You learn something new every day, don't you, Granger?"
The brunette watched him as the waitress brought them their coffees, wondering if she'd ever seen him smiling as much as he had been doing during the last couple of minutes, and if she really knew the real Draco Malfoy as good as she'd always believed.
"Yeah," she agreed, taking a sip of the coffee and was surprised to discover that it was her favorite, down to the sprinkle of chocolate shavings on top. No one knew how she liked her coffee.
She looked at him silently as he took a sip of his coffee before adding: "You really do learn something new every day."
Okay, I hope all my Dramoine readers liked this! I made it all for you guys, especially all you who reviewed my other stories and asked me to do something with our favorite witch and wizard. Please review!!