Disclaimer: Not mine, JKR's. Really! And I'm not making any money from this either, though I know that's hard to believe. Chapter titles may belong to the many singers who have entertained you and me through the years.
A/N: The first few chapters will focus on establishing their relationships/ past. The story will spin around between the present and flashbacks, humor and drama, sarcasm and romance, with a little suspense thrown in. It's gonna be a ride! Hopefully, fun for all. I've put in my soul... can you see the rainbows and dragons?
I have written non-fiction before, but never published fiction. I would seriously love feedback/edits to improve my writing skills. I already have the first 8 and last 2 chapters written, so this story will not be abandoned (if all goes well).
Many thanks to my beta Dixie, who has helped the following pages be much better than the original version.
We Meet Again
Harry Potter was the boy that lived. Ron was the boy who stood beside him through his years at Hogwarts, almost always anyways. Hermione was the brain and the soul that kept them together, standing, planning and progressing against Voldermort. Draco was the jackass. He was the stitch in their sides that they eventually learnt to ignore, and then live with. Once he decided to turn to the Order of the Phoenix, after the Dumbledore tragedy, he was with them all the way… helping them take out Death Eaters, finding the horcruxes and eventually taking down 'Voldy' himself. Bickered through it all, mind you, but was a constant.
That had been 8 years ago. Since then Harry had moved on to become an exceptional auror (no surprise there); Ron played quidditch for Puddlemere United. Hermione was moving up the ranks in the Ministry of Magic. She had started as the assistant to the new head of the Department of Muggle relations, as the Death Eaters had run havoc among muggles in the previous years. Within 3 years she became the head of the department, after demonstrating quite easily that she was far superior in logic, planning and strategy than her superior (who in embarrassment and honesty opted for another post).
Such progress was unheard of, for one so young. Even though pre-war, the department of Muggle relations had been an insignificant one, it didn't stay so under Hermione's shift. She incorporated it with the Department of Relations with Magical Creatures and helped raise awareness and funds to enact new laws to better safeguard the basic rights of magical and non-magical beings. In light of the bigotry that had caused such loss and tragedy, she convinced the populous and the policy makers that prevention was better than cure; that an equitable society would be the foundation of a peaceful one. Her war hero status and her repute of being Harry Potter's closest advisor, helped her spear through many social and political obstacles. She wasn't too shy to employ the influence she apparently wielded.
Draco was still rich and gorgeous; so he didn't really need to do anything. Tiresomely for him, he was also smart and bored easily. So he decided to do what he liked best, infuriating Ron by becoming seeker for Ron's favorite quidditch team, the Chudley Cannons. It helped that Draco liked quidditch and was a spiffing good seeker, even though he said it himself. He suppressed the information that he had never fairly won against Potter, since that was neither here nor there. The glitz and glamour suited him and his ego. The constantly entertaining lifestyle suited his restless disposition and the traveling suited his lack of good repute with the ladies of the city he chose to call home in any given month. The short stints in the big cities of the World were just long enough for him to become the most sought after eligible bachelor in the region. They were however, not long enough for the naïve natives to catch on to the fact that they were not, after all, going to net the richest known bloke in the Wizarding world.
Despite the constant bickering between Malfoy and Weasley, they were inseparable when they did happen to be in the same city. Something to do with making new friends and neither being good at it… but that's not what they told themselves, or Merlin forbid, the other. They knew where they stood, trusted each other more than they would ever give credit for and enjoyed the sarcastic banter that flowed naturally. When they were back in London from their various tours, the same rules applied with Hermione, Harry and Ginny. The five didn't hang out together as much as the four did, still, the wizarding world would be astonished to discover just how much time was spent together over butterbeer, fire whiskey or hot chocolate. It may have had something to do with the bitter lessons Draco had learnt in his 6th and 7th years- of being bereft till the Order gave him refuge and purpose. Harry and the others had eventually given him a chance and he had not let them down. Draco proved very useful to the Order, using his sly Slytherin ways to out-think the Death Eaters that the in-your-face Gryffindors, fair Hufflepuffs and sharp but not shrewd Ravenclaws hadn't been able to, without Dumbledore's direction. And then, of course he'd saved Ginny.
All that was now, thankfully, in the past. Their present were now much more serene and stress free. Eh, nevermind that. Harry being an Auror, Ginny's husband and dad of 1 ½ children found his active and full life exhilarating but sometimes exhausting. Ron was involved ever so often in the occasional drunken brawls. Malfoy was ever so often the root cause of said brawls, covertly of course, as was the Malfoy way. Hermione constantly had to fight bureaucracy to bring about changes that seemed humane and logical to her but unjustified to said political figures. She also had an op-ed column in the daily prophet that kept her busy along with the War-orphan charity that she oversaw for Malfoy- a cause she had guilt-tripped him into, like only she could.
It was their charity's fund-raiser annual ball that had the war-heroes reuniting in London on this very cold December night. Harry was to be accompanied by the glowingly pregnant Ginny. Ron was coming with Fleur Delacour's cousin- Elma (only they knew what they were waiting for, they had been going around for 2 years and Hermione expected to hear about their engagement any day.) That left Hermione and Draco with the standing arrangement of going together. When it had become so, neither remembered. It suited them, so it stuck. It was also seemly, Hermione figured, to display solidarity amongst the historically rival houses that they came from. In her mind, they were setting a good example for Hogwarts students.
Sharp at 4:00 pm Hermione heard a knock on her town-house style apartment door and checked the mirror a last time, to ensure her new 'daring cleavage' midnight-blue dress was leaving at least some things to imagination. Ginny had accompanied her to the last shopping trip, an error in judgment Hermione regretted. Tremendously. As little as there was on the front of the gown, there was less on the back, and that meant no bra. The material was a dreamy flow-through-your-fingers satin, which draped every curve like a kiss – which meant no knickers! But Hermione reminded herself of the mantra that Ginny was trying to imbibe in her… if not now, when?
Hermione picked up her charmed-to-heat wrap and opened the door to the sight of platinum blonde hair framing stormy- sky eyes, skin of cream and the smirk of the devil. In a charcoal gray shirt and midnight black dress robe, making a regal portrait out of her doorframe stood Draco Malfoy. A portrait her neighbor seemed to be eyeing with much interest presently; with the dream of re-decorating her bedroom evident in her glossy eyes. Hermione waived the nuisance of her neighbor goodbye and gave Draco a quick hello peck on his cheek.
"My, my Granger, the ugly duckling may have some potential after all!"
"Hello to you too. Can't say I've missed you much, especially not through the duration when you landed yourself into Italy's finest prisons. I read about the fiasco you call a day in your life. How much did you have to give out in bail?"
"Funny, funny, Granger, a weakling sense of humor triumphantly emerging. But please, no more surprises tonight, I might not recognize you at all. Besides, it wasn't like that, not that I have to explain myself to you. Just a matter of some underhanded miscommunication. Worked out like a charm. No jail, no bail."
"Wonder how much the Malfoy lawyers had to contribute to the Italian lawmakers' individual family welfare plan to get you out of that one. Kindly elaborate on the exact sequence of events, I'm sure it's a hilarious story, from my perspective at least."
"I might have expounded, had we ample time. I would, however like to get there before any guests arrive, to ensure anything with my name on it starts and runs exceptionally. I may have been coerced into the charity and blackmailed into the event by a rambunctious pain in my arse, but now that the deed's done, it had better continue magnificently."
"Are you saying I was magnificent?"
"A magnificent pain in my arse, yes."
"I wouldn't fit in there Draco, not with the quidditch broom you have jammed up there."
"Hush child, do you ever stop talking? Come on then, apparate us already. I'll slide along since I don't know which part of the Cultural Center we are headed to first."
They landed smoothly into the kitchens of the Cultural Center. She spoke with the caterer and head chef, confirming all was as planned. The decorator had done her job well – nothing too elaborate or wasteful, but simple and elegant contemporary décor with a black and white theme and tasteful candle centerpieces. The charity manager sought them out, accompanied by the other coordinators who ensured them that everything was as planned. She went through the itinerary and speech intros with the compare. As she spoke with everyone, Malfoy observed, quietly; not unobtrusive because he wouldn't know how. Hermione noticed and ignored the hush that fell in all vicinities that Malfoy approached.
She then went in search for the lead singer of the band they had booked tonight -Spellbound. It was an up-and-coming band that Hermione had been told was classy and artistically well endowed. As she identified the young, beautiful and classy blonde, she realized the well-endowed reputation might have been from another perspective entirely. Hermione introduced herself and was surprised that Draco didn't jump into the conversation. She did see Shaylyn throw various glances towards him though, and stored that information in her brain – where she stored other such Draco-related morsels.
When she seemed to have gone over everything that she thought was required, she looked at Draco, raised eyebrows, seeking approval. He nodded. He gave one of those fleeting rare smiles that turned up the wattage in a warm-blooded woman's nervous systems significantly, if she were lucky enough to get a genuine smile, rather than his trademark smirk.
He walked over took her hand and went over to a table in a secluded area. "Relax for a while, before the circus begins."
Hermione closed her eyes as Draco wrapped her arm around his. His cool fingertips played iridescent notes on the nerves stretched taut in her spine. But as she was used to, she had herself superbly composed. Not a hint to anyone that this idiotic, egotistical, neurotic, notoriously fickle prick had been the object of her affection and shameful lust for the insane time span of 7 years.
AN: So what do you think so far?