(All characters and canon situations belong to JK Rowling and I make no money from the publishing or writing of this story, so relax, enjoy, and please, tell me what you think. Thanks!)
A New Spin on an Old Story
Summary: Hermione Granger sat at her desk at work and wondered something: If a tree fell on her head in the middle of the woods, and no one was around to hear her scream, did that mean she would be alone for the rest of her life? Those were the weird thoughts that plagued her mind. Her best friends told her she was looking for Mr. Perfect, and he might not exist, but what was wrong with waiting for what you want? Why settle for less?
She thought Draco Malfoy was close to being Mr. Perfect, but he didn't think of her in the same way that she thought of him. She even told her friends she was going to marry him some day.
Draco gave her some advice, he told her not to look for 'Mr. Right', because he might not be out there. He told her to look for 'Mr. Right Now.' How can she tell him that she found her 'Mr. Right', and it was he?
1 – If a Tree Fell on Your Head, Would it hurt?
An old adage said, "If a tree fell in the woods, and no one was there to hear it, would it make a sound?"
According to the laws of physics, there would only be a sound if there were someone there to hear it. No receptor meant there was nothing there to pick up the sound waves, hence no sound. Hermione Granger sat at her desk at work and wondered something. If a tree fell on her head in the middle of a forest, and no one was around to hear her scream, did that mean that she would be alone for the rest of her life? Yes, those were the weird thoughts that went through her head. She sighed and grabbed her purse and coat, and decided that it didn't matter, for the laws of physics didn't mean a hill of beans to her anyway. The answer was that since Hermione Granger was all alone, then no one would hear her scream, so without a receptor to the sound, there would be no sound, and without someone with her, she would probably die with a bashed in skull. Someday she would have to test that theory, but not tonight. Tonight she was going to a New Years Eve party that Lavender Brown was hosting at some posh nightclub.
She worked with Lavender at the paper. The Daily Prophet, a newspaper Hermione once thought of as a rag, was now her rag. She was assistant editor, soon to be editor. Lavender had a beauty column, and reported directly to Hermione. They were never very close friends at school, since they were so different, but they had become quite close in recent years.
Lavender was forever trying to fix Hermione up with a man. Hermione wanted to have someone special in her life. She wouldn't pretend otherwise, but it was easier said than done. She went out on occasional dates, but no one excited her. No one sparked her interest. She didn't get butterflies in her belly. Lavender told her that sometimes that came with time, but Hermione didn't want to wait. If she didn't feel that spark of attraction at the get go, then there was no reason to waste her time.
Meanwhile, everyone she knew was getting married. Ron married Luna. Harry married Ginny, and Lavender was set to marry her long time boyfriend Mike in the summer. She would never get married. If she got married, then she wouldn't be alone in the woods when the tree fell and hit her on the head.
She remembered that on the night of the paper's Christmas party, Mike had brought Draco Malfoy to the celebration, and Hermione felt a small, miniscule, tiny little, 'feeling' for the man she once disliked. He was handsome, charming, and well, handsome. Yes, he was so handsome that it begged to be stated twice. He didn't even acknowledge her except to say, "Hello, Granger," when he arrived and "Happy Christmas, Granger," when he left.
However, she tried all evening to avoid looking at him, and probably to no avail. After Lavender began pointing out single men to Hermione (Lavender's favourite pastime), she pointed at Draco and said, "What about him? He's smart, rich, and handsome, plus you already know him. What about Draco? Can you imagine yourself with someone like him?"
And in a moment of temporary insanity, Hermione said, "Yes, I can imagine myself with him. In fact, that's the man I'm going to marry someday."
Lavender laughed and said, "Well then, you better get over there and talk to him or something."
Hermione was so embarrassed that she said, "I'm joking." The funny thing was that she wasn't. That thought came to her, but it was honestly how she felt at that moment, and she had been thinking about it every moment since then. She hoped he wouldn't be at the New Year's Eve party, but since he was a friend of Mike's, he probably would.
She didn't want to go. She wanted to go home, cuddle up under her grandmother's old quilt, read a romance novel, eat some popcorn, and when the clock struck twelve, she would wish her big fat white cat, Iggy, a 'Happy New Year!' That was what she wanted to do. Sometimes though, what a person wants and what a person gets are two different things.
Lavender had been a good friend to her after Hogwarts, so she would go to this bloody party, with gits she didn't know, and she would have fun, damn it! She walked to the lifts, and adjusted her skirt. She knew everyone there would have fancy, frilly clothing on, and here she was, daring to go to the party in her work clothes. Maybe there was time to change? Maybe she could stop at the shop down the street and buy a new dress. Maybe if a tree fell on her in the woods, she wouldn't even scream, because she would die immediately. What a morbid thought. No, she would wear what she had on for it was fine. Black skirt, white sweater, black pumps. Who cared anyway? Surely not the tree that was going to bop her on the noggin.
She arrived at the nightclub and told the man at the door she was with the Brown party. He gave her the once over, to which she cringed slightly, and showed her to the private party room in the back. The party was in full swing, and she was late. There was loud music, and loud conversation, and alcohol flowing everywhere. She noticed there was one very long table, and that was all. There were three empty chairs, which did not appear taken, as there were not coats on the backs, no food on the plates in front of them, and no one sitting in them. She decided to sit on the one near the end, when Lavender walked up to her, apparently already pissed.
"Hermione!" she said, kissing her cheek. "You're late, sweetheart!"
"Sorry," she said humbly. No one would notice anyway, would they?
"Have a seat, and get some food and something to drink, sweetheart," Lavender said.
Hermione nodded and sat in the seat she was going to sit in the first place. She placed her jacket on the back of the seat, her purse under the chair, and told the waiter she would have a salad and a coke.
"Coke?" a man beside her laughed. "Hi, I'm Joseph."
"Hi," she said quickly.
"Are you Lavender's friend?" he asked, "Or Mike's friend?"
"Lavender's," she answered. "You?"
"Mike's." he answered. He pointed toward Lavender's boyfriend, a tall gangly fellow, who at that moment was talking to Draco Malfoy. The man said, "Do you know who that is? The bloke talking to Mike?"
"Yes, I know him," she said, putting her chin in her hand.
"He's dreamy, isn't he?" he said. "I think I'll go talk to him." The man got up suddenly and left.
Hermione raised her eyebrows and said to herself, "Was it something I said?" Then she looked back over at Mike and Draco Malfoy. Wow, Draco Malfoy. He was so good looking, so posh, and apparently, the boyfriend of some leggy red head who currently placed her hand on his bum, and now had her tongue down his throat.
Okay, enough of that.
She started to eat her salad when a mousy little woman next to her said, "They should get a room, those two."
Hermione looked back over at a snogging Malfoy and his red head and said, "Yes, they should."
"My name is Marie McCormick," the girl said.
"Hi, Hermione Granger," she said back.
"Oh, I know who you are," the girl said. "Lavender works with you. She said she was friends with you from way back, but none of us believed it was true. Are you still best friends with Harry Potter?"
Hermione felt like screaming. It had been ten years people! Enough already! "When I see him, we're friends. I don't see him much anymore," she lied. She really saw him frequently, but it was easier to say that to people, in case they wanted her to get his autograph or some such trite.
"Oh, that's too bad," the girl said. "So you went to school with Draco Malfoy as well, I take it?"
"Unfortunately," she said.
"I think he is dreamy," the girl said. "Don't you?"
"Sure, dreamy," Hermione said in response, not meaning a word she said. Apparently, she had a lot of competition for Draco's affection: the leggy red head, the man who sat beside her, and now this mousy little thing. She might as well forget about marrying him someday. That thought almost made her smile, but only almost. She looked back over, as the red head was now dancing off to the side, and Draco Malfoy was looking right at Hermione. He raised his glass in acknowledgement to Hermione, and mouthed the words, 'Happy New Years'. Hermione quickly looked away. She was sure she blushed.
"I want to marry him someday," Hermione said suddenly. Why did she say that? The other girl giggled.
"No, I didn't mean that," she said. "I meant, oh, never mind."
"What?" Marie asked.
Hermione didn't know this girl and probably would never see her again, so why not be truthful. "It's just the last time I saw him was at a party, much like this one, and I made a prediction, to Lavender actually, that I was going to marry him someday. I didn't know why I said it that time, and I'm not sure why I said it this time."
"I want to marry him someday, too, so maybe we could share," the girl said with a laugh.
Hermione smiled at her. She liked this girl.
"Do you work with Lavender at the paper?" the girl asked.
"Yes, but I'm not a reporter, like her. I'm the assistant editor. What do you do?" she asked.
"Boring work for boring people," Marie answered. She told Hermione that she worked as a researcher for a private acquisition company. It wasn't terribly exciting, but it paid very well. They dealt in antiquities, buying, selling, and such.
Hermione started to tell the girl about her job, but Marie had already turned to talk to someone else.
Hermione wondered if a tree fell on her head in this private party room, would anyone here even care, since people kept leaving her. She took another drink of her coke and stood up. She bent down to pick up her purse, and when she popped her head back up her future husband, (unknown to him, of course) was standing right there in front of her.
"Not leaving are you? You just got here, Granger," he said.
"Hello, Draco Malfoy," Hermione said. Why did she say both of his names? She felt so stupid. She placed her purse on the table, and struggled into her coat. The damn sleeve was turned inside outwards, and she was having a hell of a time.
"You must not get dressed often, Hermione Granger." He laughed. He said both of her names with a lilting voice, apparently finding humour in the fact that she had said both of his names. "Seriously, it's only ten o'clock. Aren't you at least going to stay to ring in the New Year?"
"I don't think so," she declared, still pushing hard to get her arm in her sleeve. He pulled her coat off her arm, pulled the sleeve out, and handed it back to her. "Thanks," she said, embarrassed.
The red head, Hermione would call her 'slut' for the time being, walked up and said, "Draco, Dan was just telling me the funniest story. Come and let him tell you. If I try to tell it, I'll mess it up. I always do you know."
"Kristen, this is Hermione Granger, we went to school together," Draco said, pointing to Hermione.
"Really? Was she ahead of you in school," Kristen 'the slut' asked.
"No, we were in the same year," he said with a smile.
Hermione frowned. The girl pulled on Draco's arm and said, "Come on, before Dan leaves. It's such a funny story."
"Okay, love," he said. "Well, nice to see you again, Hermione Granger. Have a nice New Years."
"Sure, whatever," she said as a response. She took her purse and started toward the door. She looked back once, as Draco and the slut laughed at what the man 'Dan' apparently had to say. Stupid laughing people!
Hermione headed toward the door and Lavender stopped her. "Where do you think you're going? You haven't even been here twenty minutes."
"I have other plans," Hermione lied. Lavender didn't have to know it included ice cream and her cat.
"Draco Malfoy's here," she told Hermione.
"Why is that something that needs pointed out?" Hermione asked.
"Well, I know you have a thing for him," she said.
Hermione pushed her friend and said, "I do not!"
"Yes you do. The last time you saw him you said you were going to marry him some day. When I saw him at the paper the other day, I invited him just for you," she said.
Hermione wanted to scream. "Did you invite the red headed slut, too?"
Draco stood behind her and said, "No, the slut invited herself."
Hermione took a sharp intake of breath. How much had he heard? Apparently enough that he knew she meant his slut, when she said 'the slut'. Goodness. She couldn't even turn around. Lavender winked at her and walked away. Hermione wondered if Draco was still behind her. She couldn't stay turned away from him indefinitely. She could walk out of the room sideways, but that might look strange.
She felt a tap on her shoulder. She didn't turn around. He said, "I'm still back here, you know."
"Really?" she said. She still didn't turn around. Now she felt even more stupid for holding a conversation with him with her back turned.
"So, you have a thing for me?" he inquired with a laugh.
"No, she meant someone else," Hermione said, with her back still turned. He put his hand on her shoulder, and she wanted to melt. He turned her around.
"Someone else named Draco?" he asked with a smirk.
"Maybe, I'm sure there are other people named Draco," she said.
"Just like there are other people named Hermione," he said, still laughing.
"Exactly," she said. She looked down.
He bent his head down so he could look her in the eye and said, "You told Lavender you were going to marry me some day? I'm flattered, Granger." He laughed again. "When are you going to propose?"
So he heard that part too, not just the 'slut' comment. She took a deep breath, pulled out her old Gryffindor bravery, looked back up into his face and said, "Pardon?"
Okay, that wasn't very brave. Hermione actually looked up at the ceiling. A big tree falling right about now would be a welcome thing. Before he could say another word, the man from earlier, whatever his name was, walked up to her and said, "Hey, gorgeous, do you want to dance?"
He was talking to Draco, who looked as if someone had stupefied him, so Hermione took the man's hand and said, "Sure," even though he wasn't asking her. She really didn't care about Draco's discomfort, she was only thinking of getting the hell away from him.
She took her coat off again, put her purse on the table, the man led her out to the main nightclub, and she danced, and danced, and bloody well danced, until her feet wanted to scream.
At 11:50, her new friend, who was actually very nice, and very gay, and she now remembered his name was Joseph, but he preferred to be called Joey, escorted her back to the private party room. All of the revelers were louder than ever. Lavender asked her if she was having fun and she admitted that she was.
She looked around for Draco and the slut, (that would be a good name for a book, she thought, "Draco and the Slut") and when she couldn't find them, she sat down. Her feet hurt so much. She slipped her shoes off and kicked them under her chair. She laid her head on the table. Even though she hadn't drunk a lick of alcohol, she felt woozy. She closed her eyes. She opened them for a moment when she heard everyone count down…ten, nine, eight, she sat up and bent under the chair for her shoes, seven, six, five, four, three, she slipped them on her feet, two and one… "HAPPY NEW YEARS!" The crowd in the room erupted in applause and jubilation. Hermione twirled her finger in the air and said, "Yeah, happy effing New Years."
She stood up to leave, but Joe grabbed her by the waist and planted a quick kiss on her mouth. "Happy New Years, Hermione!" he said.
Soon, she was being passed around like a joint at a Grateful Dead concert. She was kissed on the mouth, the cheek, the other cheek, and one person missed her mouth completely and kissed her nose. She was pushed, pulled, and finally found herself in the corner of the room. She shook her head to clear her fuzzy brain and bent her head, hoping no one else would try to kiss her, and she headed toward the door.
She had just reached the door when she saw Draco, sans red head, standing there with her purse and jacket. "Don't want to forget these, Granger. Oh, and Happy New Years." He leaned over and kissed her cheek. She honestly felt drunk, and just by a kiss on the cheek from him! She couldn't speak, (did she ever know how?) so she merely nodded. He said, "What, no kiss back for your future husband?"
"Listen, Malfoy, about that, well…" she started.
He laughed and said, "Yes?"
She just looked at him. Hell, whom was she kidding? She did mean it when she said it, so to proclaim it as a mistake now would be doing them both a disservice, so she just said, "Happy New Years." She leaned forward, placed her hand on his chest, and kissed his cheek. She turned and walked out of the room. He stood and watched her, his hand on his cheek.
"Happy New Years," he said back, though she was gone.
"I love this place," she said, her voice echoing in the empty rooms. "But I could never afford it."
"He actually doesn't want a lot for it. He just told me to find another witch or wizard to rent it, and one that wouldn't cause trouble, would pay on time, would be responsible, and somewhat quiet, and I thought immediately of you," Mike said with a laugh.
"I'm not that quiet. I might have wild orgies up here, you never know," Hermione said, her back to the door of the bedroom.
"Granger, I always come in at the most awkward part of your conversations," Draco said from behind her.