All characters belong to JKR
A Valentine's Day Surprise
Prompt: They were forbidden, their love hidden from the world, but for this one day a year, nothing else mattered but their feelings for each other. Written for Granger Enchanted Valentine's Day Challenge 2009.
Hermione Granger had lived twenty-six years on the planet earth, and in twenty-six years, she had learned many life lessons. Things like, don't run with scissors, don't swim right after eating, two plus two equals four. Basic things really, but the most important life lesson was learned the hard way, years ago, when she was in school, and that was that Mudbloods and pureblood just don't mix.
Sure, purebloods could get over their prejudices against Muggle-borns, and they could pretend that blood didn't matter, but deep down inside, they would always wonder if maybe it did matter.
The same with Muggle-borns; they could tell everyone they were just as good as purebloods, and just as deserving of their magic, but there would always be that small grain of doubt.
Family and friends could pretend to accept relationships between the two, yet everyone knew that when push came to shove, the word 'Mudblood' would eventually come out of one of the pureblood's mouths, and it would always be like the elephant in the room…too big to ignore.
Hermione had fallen in love. Normally, that would be a good thing, especially on Valentine's Day, after all, it was paramount to criminal to be alone and lonely on Valentine's Day, but Hermione couldn't tell anyone she was in love, and the reason was so simple that it made her want to laugh until she cried. She was Muggle-born, he was pureblood, and therefore, they couldn't get over their differences, and perhaps they never would.
They had been dating for only two months, but she knew she felt something akin to love for the man. He told her that he cared deeply for her as well. Nonetheless, she had not yet taken him home to meet her parents, she hadn't told her best friends, nor had she told anyone at her work.
It was the same for him. He hadn't taken her to meet his parents, all of his friends were purebloods as well and only two of them knew about them, and he told her that none of them would understand.
She understood, though, and he was right.
Still, a simple card or a rose would have been nice, since it was the fourteenth day of February. Instead, he owled her at work and told her that he had a business meeting tonight, and perhaps, PERHAPS, he would see her later. On Valentine's Day! She didn't send a response back, because she felt he didn't deserve one. It was over. Simple. Clean. It was better this way, really it was.
She decided to call two of her oldest friends from primary school. They were both Muggles, but only one of them knew she was a witch. She always went out to dinner with them the fourth Friday of every other month, and she had for the last five years. It wasn't a Friday, and it wasn't the right month, but she called Mary, the one who knew that she was a witch, and asked her if she and Lisa would like to go out to celebrate a un-Valentine's Day with her.
Mary, who was divorced, was overjoyed! Then she called Lisa, who had never been married, but was the mother of one, and she too thought it would be a blast for the three single women to go out and celebrate together.
Hermione hated to think that she was single again. She didn't consider herself single, yet she could hardly tell her two friends that she had been dating a pureblood wizard, because they wouldn't even know what that meant or the implications, and besides, after his owl this evening, she assumed that she was single again. Single on Valentine's Day! What utter and complete malarkey!
The three women met at a very posh and swank local restaurant that was completely decked out for the special day of love. There was a live orchestra and all the romantic trimmings necessary for Valentine's Day, down to red roses and candles on all of the tables. They were the only three single women in the whole place! The place was crowded, and booked, and utterly Muggle, and there were no openings, as every single table had been reserved weeks in advance, but they had one advantage: Mary's mother and father owned the place.
Hermione arrived late. She had changed clothes five times! She had originally bought a smashing red dress, sexy but not showy, glamorous but not glitzy, a week ago when she was under the assumption that she would spend Valentine's Day with her new boyfriend. Now that she was alone on this fateful day, she decided in the end to wear it anyway.
She walked to the table and waved to her friends. Mary stood and kissed her cheek as Lisa was on the mobile phone, talking to her daughter. Mary said, "I already ordered the best champagne, and it's totally on the house! I also ordered food for all of us, if that's okay."
Hermione merely nodded. She didn't care. She didn't want to be here anyway. It wasn't that this wouldn't be a nice place to spend Valentine's Day, but it would have been one-hundred times nicer if she had her boyfriend with her.
"I can't believe we're all alone on Valentine's Day!" Lisa whined as she closed her phone. Lisa was hardly ever without a boyfriend. It was odd that she had never married.
Mary said, "I'm glad I'm alone this year. The thought of being with my ex-husband makes me nauseated."
Lisa laughed and looked at Hermione and said, "I thought Mary told me that you were seeing someone."
She considered how to answer that for a moment, and then said, "I was, but I think its over."
"You think?" Mary said with a laugh. "Either its over or its not."
"Okay," Hermione leaned forward and said, "If your boyfriend of two months said that he had a business dinner planned, on Valentine's Day, would you believe him?"
Both women gasped. Mary said, "The bastard!"
Lisa joined in, "He's apparently seeing another woman or worse, maybe he's married!"
Hermione frowned. "No, I think he really has a meeting, but still, shouldn't spending the holiday with me be more important?"
Mary hit Hermione's arm, rather hard, and said, "The bastard! I say either way, whether it's another women or he's really picking work over you, its best that you put him in the rubbish pile, tout de suite, and say toodle-oo to the bastard. The bastard!"
Her friends were right, and she smiled at how supportive they were being. She forgot how nice it was to be with them sometimes. She could forget the troubles of her world. There were not blood issues, and no worries. She took a drink of champagne and said, "You're both right. Let's celebrate."
Two glasses of champagne later, and with only part of her lobster eaten, Hermione leaned forward and pulled on Lisa's sleeve. She had been regaling a story to her friend, about her new boyfriend and her, but the other woman kept fidgeting in her seat. "Are you paying attention to me?" Hermione asked.
Lisa looked back toward her friend and said, "To be truthful, I hardly ever listen to you when you talk about complicated things." Mary laughed, Hermione looked agitated, but Lisa was quick to add, "I was watching those four men over at that table. Don't you think it's odd that four men are here at a posh, classy restaurant, on Valentine's Day, without dates?"
"We're without dates," Mary pointed out.
Hermione looked over her shoulder and said, "Maybe they are on dates. Maybe they're with each other. Maybe they're gay."
Lisa laughed and said, "I never thought of that."
Hermione continued to look over her shoulder and then she quickly turned back to her friends. No, it couldn't be them! Not here! It was a Muggle restaurant!
"What's wrong?" Lisa asked her.
"Nothing," she said quickly.
"We should see if they want to join us," Mary commented. "Gay or straight, we need someone to dance with. I want to dance!"
"I know," Lisa said. "Let's have fun! I'll go up to them and see if they want to join us! We'll give them made up names, and fake sob stories, about how we're all alone on Valentine's Day, and maybe they'll have pity on us and join us!"
Hermione said, "We are all alone on Valentine's Day, we have real sob stories we could tell, and why do we have to have made up names?" Besides, she knew that at least three of the four men knew her name.
"It'll more fun this way," Lisa complained. "Let's get our stories straight. My name will be Laverne, and I'll have just been recently widowed."
Mary laughed and said, "Well, I'll be Maxine and my husband ran away with his secretary."
Lisa pointed at her and said, "Your husband did run away with his secretary."
"I know, and it's a good sob story, so let me have it!" Mary harped. "What's your name going to be, Hermione?"
"Well, if you two are seriously going to go with Maxine and Laverne, for goodness sakes, then I'll be the third Andrews sister and be Patty," Hermione decided.
"Who are the Andrews sisters?" Lisa asked.
Mary giggled and said, "They were a sister act from the forties, a long, long time ago, and their names were Patty, Maxine and Laverne. I thought when you said Laverne, that's where you got it from, from the Andrews sisters."
"No, I just like that name," Lisa said.
Mary rolled her eyes and Hermione added, "Fine, anyway, my sob story will be that my bastard of a boyfriend had a business meeting tonight. I think that's a good enough story." Hermione decided to play along with her friends. Sure, as soon as Lisa went over to talk to the men, most of them would recognize Hermione from school, and they would know that she was lying, but at this point, she hardly cared. It was Valentine's Day, she was alone, and her bastard, pureblooded boyfriend was apparently ashamed of her. These men were all purebloods, too. Perhaps they would give her some insight as to what his problem was.
Lisa took a compact out of her purse, fixed her shiny nose, put some fresh lipstick on, and said, "I'm going in girls, wish me luck. Should I invite us to go to their table, or them over here? We have a bigger table, and it's closer to the dance floor."
"You decide," Mary said with a laugh. Lisa stood, straightened her shoulders, held her blonde-head high, and walked over to the table of four men.
"She's so confident," Hermione observed.
"You usually are, as well. Seriously, was the man you were dating a wizard?" Mary asked.
Hermione nodded. She didn't want to explain the wizarding blood-hierarchy to her friend, but thankfully, she didn't have time to do so, because Lisa was back at the table with a smile a mile long on her face. "They're on their way over here! They would love to join us!"
Lisa sat down at the head of the table and said, "I forgot about the fake name, so I told them our real names."
Hermione raised her head and asked, "What did they say when you said my name?" She knew that three of the men went to school with her, although only one was in her year.
"One of them laughed and said, 'no one is really named Hermione,' but his name was Darco or something strange like that, so what would he know," her friend said. "Here they come!"
Hermione turned her head slowly, hiding her face partially with her hand. As the four men walked their way, she saw that three of them had smiles on their faces. Adrian, who was aware that Hermione had been dating a pureblood, gave her a knowing smile and a wink. Marcus smiled in recognition and raised his hand slightly. The man she didn't know even smiled at her. However, Draco Malfoy glared at her, with no sign of a smile anywhere in sight. She wondered what his problem was.
The four men walked over to the table and the tallest of the four, a dark haired, muscular man said, "Hello ladies. We're so delighted to join you. My name's Marcus Flint, this fellow's name is Adrian Pucey, the blonde fellow is Draco Malfoy and last we have Andrew Bishop." He took the chair to the left of Lisa, while Adrian took the chair to the right of her, placing him at Hermione's left. The man named Andrew sat at the other end of the table, while Mary moved so that she was on the side between the Andrew and Marcus. That left the chair to the right of Hermione open. Draco, who was standing beside that chair the entire time, finally sat down.
He pulled on Hermione's sleeve. "What's your name?" he asked with his world famous smirk.
Instead of Hermione answering, Mary laughed and said, "Oh, excuse us. I'm Mary Cosgrove and this is Hermione Granger. We're all old friends from primary school."
"Hermione?" he asked.
"Yes, Hermione," Hermione said back. He held out his hand to her. She rolled her eyes, but shook his hand.
Marcus started to say something to the affect that they all knew Hermione, but Draco gave him a look and a shake of his head, which didn't go unnoticed by Hermione.
Hermione ignored Draco and asked the man named Andrew, "What are you four lads doing out without dates on Valentine's Day?"
"Business," he answered quickly.
Lisa laughed and said, "Hermione said that perhaps you were all on dates with each other."
Marcus and Adrian laughed, but Draco pinched her arm, under the table, very hard. She gave him a sharp look. "What are you three ladies doing out alone on such an auspicious occasion?" Draco asked, no longer looking at Hermione. He directed his question to Mary.
"Well, we are all single, and without significant others, so we thought we would celebrate together," Mary answered.
Adrian said, "I thought you were dating someone," to Hermione.
Mary asked, "Do you two know each other?"
Before Hermione could answer, Draco said, "I thought I heard you were dating someone, too."
"How do you know each other?" Mary asked, undeterred.
Hermione looked at Mary and said, "We might have gone to boarding school together. They look slightly familiar."
Marcus laughed and said, "We did go to school together, and you know that, Granger." He looked at Mary and said, "She and Draco were younger than Adrian and me. They were in the same year, and they hated each other back then."
Adrian almost choked on his gin and tonic. Before he could say anything, Draco said, "That was a long time ago. Now we merely detest each other, isn't that right, Granger?"
Hermione sighed and placed her chin in her hand, and ordered another drink. She looked at Marcus and said, "Really, gentlemen, did you really have business to attend to on Valentine's Day?" She looked disgusted.
Before Marcus could respond to her observation, Draco said smugly, "Business doesn't care what day it is."
Lisa laughed and said, "She just feels like crap because her boyfriend couldn't spend the day with her because he had business as well. He stood her up."
Mary added, "We told her that he probably didn't really have a business meeting. We told her it was probably another woman, but it apparently doesn't matter, because she claims they're no longer dating, as of tonight."
"Broken up with the chap because he had business to attend, Granger? That's harsh, even for you, to break a man's heart so ruthlessly," Draco said as he took a large drink from HER glass.
Marcus said, "I agree with your friends, Hermione. That sounds like a feeble excuse. Toss the wanker to the curb."
"But you're all on business," she pointed out, although she wasn't sure why she felt the need to defend her wayward boyfriend.
The man named Andrew said, "That's my fault. I was only in London for this one night, and Marcus is trying to woo me to join their company, but of course, they're all single, so they didn't have previous plans for Valentine's Day."
Hermione raised her brows, looked at Draco and asked, "You're all single?"
"I assume so," Draco answered, ambiguously.
Hermione frowned. She was on the verge of ordering another drink when the orchestra finally started to play. Many couples from the surrounding tables got up to dance. Hermione suddenly felt sad and alone. She saw young couples who were just falling in love, older couples still in love, and it made her cheerless and morose. She reached behind her chair for her coat, but Draco's chair leg was on the hem. She leaned toward him and said softly, "Malfoy, could you move your chair so I can get my coat. I'm leaving."
Draco plunked his glass down and said, "You want to dance, you say? It's quite forward of you to ask me, but you women do things differently these days. I would be charmed and delighted to dance with you." He grabbed her hand, pulled her from her seat, and headed toward the crowded dance floor.
Once in his arms, in the middle of the restaurant, she hissed, "I didn't want to dance. I was leaving!"
"Why?" Draco asked. "Are you planning on hunting down your boyfriend to see if he really lied to you about his business meeting, or do you no longer care?" He pressed her closer than ever, his hand firmly on her back and he looked down into her deep, brown eyes and said, "Well?"
She didn't answer. Instead, she decided to just dance. The song was a old standard, with a deep melodic, complex blend of instruments, which not only played around the pair on the dance floor, but each note, each stanza, each rhapsody, pulled at every fiber of Hermione's heart and soul. She was in a walking slumber, unaware of anyone else on the dance floor but her and him, and she wondered why that was.
She felt overwhelmed by the emotions and expectations of the day, so she rested her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes. The hand he had on her back moved down her spine, and then back up, as if she was one of the stringed instruments, and he was her bow. He placed one of her hands on his heart, clasped in his. He held her other hand down at their sides, their fingers barely touching. He let go of that hand and his fingertips skimmed up her arm. She removed her hand from his, to place both her arms around his neck. He placed his hands low on her waist and whispered in her ear, "You look lovely in red. Too bad your boyfriend had better things to do tonight."
"Are you dating anyone?" she asked as if in a dream like state.
"Apparently not," he replied.
"What does that mean?" she asked, as she lifted her head from his shoulder. "Either you're dating or you're not."
"It's Valentine's day," was his answer, although she didn't know what that meant. "We're a sorry pair, aren't we?" he asked. He felt her relax again, as she placed her head back on his chest. It seemed as if it was an innocent enough gesture, but it felt so intimate. Why was that? He liked having her in his arms, even if it was only while they danced.
He said, "Maybe your chap isn't good enough for you, Granger. Maybe you need someone better. Someone who can challenge you, love you, treat you right, and who would give up a business meeting for Valentine's Day."
She suddenly stiffened in his arms. "He's good enough for me. He challenges me."
"Yet, you're not here on a date with him tonight. You're with your Muggle friends, who begged a bunch of wizards to join them, and now you're dancing in my arms," he reasoned. "Something's not right here." He let one hand drift up her back, and he tilted her chin upwards with his other, so that she had to stare right into his eyes. "Maybe it's simpler than that. Perhaps it's because he's a pureblood and you're a…" his voice drifted.
"Go on, say it," she urged.
He kept her chin in his hand, and placed his mouth next to hers. "Mudblood," he said. Then he kissed her gently, softly, hesitantly and quickly.
Her head reared back; she was shocked. Not just because he used such a derogatory word, but also because he said it so gently. Moreover, he kissed her in a public restaurant, where all of their friends could see them! She tried to leave the confines of his arm, but he tightened his hold. "Do you think that?" she asked.
"Do I think what?" he asked, his face closer to her than she thought it should be.
"Do you think I'm a mudblood? Do you think that's what he thinks? Do you think that perhaps he really thinks that I'm not good enough for him? After all, that's what many people think. Surely, you do, too."
He shook his head slightly and said, "No one in their right mind could think that, Hermione."
At that moment Marcus walked up to the pair and said, "May I have the next dance?" The orchestra had just started another song.
Draco looked at his friend and said, "I don't think so. I don't think I'm ready to give her up yet."
Marcus held up his hands in defeat.
Hermione looked at the center of Draco's silk tie, unable to look in his eyes, in case her eyes betrayed her, and said, "Maybe I wanted to dance with Marcus."
"And maybe you wanted to dance with your boyfriend, too, but we don't always get what we want," he said lightly. He pulled her ever closer, and this time he flattened one hand on her bare back, above her dress. The other one tangled lightly in her hair as it traveled from her back to her neck.
He whispered in her ear, "Do you wish you were here with your boyfriend?"
She sighed and said, "I'm happy at the moment."
He liked that answer. He said, "But surely, you aren't really giving up on him so easily. You'll forgive him, right? You wouldn't break up with him on Valentine's Day, and without his knowledge, would you?"
He turned her slightly, and she found that they were at the edge of the crowd, slightly away from the throng. They were near a double set of doors, which led to an outdoor garden.
She stopped dancing and said, "I don't know anything any longer. Perhaps we aren't still dating. We made no formal proclamations that it was over, but we've only been dating for two months. I don't know what's going on in his heart; however, he should have made an effort tonight."
"Because it's Valentine's Day," he echoed.
"Perhaps you both feel different things for the other," he proclaimed.
"I think my feelings ran deeper," she concluded. Now he stopped dancing. He pulled her over to the doorway, opened it, and ushered her outside.
She immediately put her arms around herself to ward off the late winter chill. He took out his wand and her hand went to his, to lower his wand. She said, "This is a Muggle establishment."
The feel of her hand on his, skin on skin, seemed even more intense than when they were dancing. He liked that. "A simple warming charm?" he asked.
She said no. He took off his dinner jacket and placed it over her shoulders. "Now, explain. Why do you think your feelings run deeper than his?"
"Seriously? Must I keep reiterating?" she asked.
He rolled his eyes and said, "Why, because it's Valentine's Day? It's just another day on the calendar, Granger. Whoever made it a holiday for lovers should be shot."
"They're probably already long dead," she said off handed.
"Exactly, probably shot by a boyfriend who had business on February 14th, and his girl broke up with him because of it," he deduced.
She had to smile.
He found his hand coming up to her cheek. He wanted to touch her. He wouldn't mind touching her all night. He said, "Do you love him?"
"I reserve the right not to answer that," she said.
He smiled, but out of frustration, and he immediately pulled her to him with the hand on her face. Then he pushed her up against the outside wall of the patio. He pressed his hard body against her soft one, and said, "Fine, don't answer. By the way, you look beautiful tonight, you really do." Then to her surprise, he kissed her cheek. His mouth skimmed its way to her ear, to her neck and jaw, and back up to her hairline, and she did nothing at all to stop him. In fact, it felt marvelous.
He lifted his head, stared in her eyes and said, "I stand by my observation though. You'll never be equals."
She pushed him away. "You do think he's better than me, don't you? Why are you kissing me, then, if purebloods are so much better than Muggle-borns?"
He smiled a sardonic smile and took her hand. He brought it up to his mouth, to kiss the top, and again, to her shock, and his supreme satisfaction, she was a willing participant. He finally said, "I assure you that one of you is too good for the other, but it's you that's too good for him. I'm certain of it."
She was becoming angry, because she thought he was playing with her emotions. "Stop saying that! First, I'm not, you don't know anything! Second, I'm not some conceited woman who could even begin to agree with an asinine assessment such as that."
He let go of her hand, and turned so his back was against the wall, his shoulder touching hers, as she stood next to him. He shifted his head slightly to look at her and said, "Why shouldn't I say it? It's what everyone else is saying. Adrian said it just this evening. He said, and I quote, 'Granger is way too good for her boyfriend'."
"To hell with Adrian," she said.
"Potter said it," Draco added.
She turned to face him and said, "Harry doesn't know about us."
"Ah, so you are ashamed of him, since you haven't told Potter yet," he reasoned.
"You tricked me, and no I'm not ashamed. Maybe I just don't want to share what we have yet. Maybe I want it to be just us for a while. Perhaps I don't want to worry about the complications that our reunion will bring. And please, don't insult either one of us. You don't know anything. I'm not good enough for him. I've never been good enough for the likes of him, and do you know who's made me painfully aware of that fact my entire life? You, Malfoy!"
She tried to storm away, but he pushed himself off the wall and grabbed her arm. She shrugged off his jacket and it fell to the floor. She hissed, "Let go of me!"
"You're making me angry."
"I don't care."
"I mean it, Malfoy!"
"I'm scared," he said sarcastically. He pulled her roughly to him. He clutched her tighter than he did even on the dance floor. She felt a tingling in her stomach, which traveled to all of her extremities.
Finally, she gave up. She collapsed against his chest. He pushed her slightly away so that he could reach down for his jacket. He placed it back on her shoulders, and then pulling on the lapels of the jacket, he pulled her to him and kissed her mouth, with more eagerness than he did when he kissed her earlier.
They stayed locked in the other's embrace for several long moments and he said, "Do you love your boyfriend, Hermione?"
She looked up into his molten grey eyes and said, "Yes, I love him. Help me, because I do."
"Good to know, I guess. That lets me know where I stand," he surmised. He leaned back toward her mouth, and as if a gentle wisp of wind brushed her cheek, his lips touched her skin, moved to her mouth once more, and she was in ecstasy. He backed away once more and said, "Lucky chap."
"Let me go, please," she said. She felt confused and weary. He removed his arms from around her waist and she started to hand him his jacket.
"Keep it. I'll collect it sometime," he said.
"I'd rather not," she said. She held the jacket out toward him, but he refused to take it. She let it drop to the floor. She left him on the patio, went inside, told her friends and the others that she was leaving, and then she did just that. She went into the lady's bathroom, and disapparated home.
Her little house was completely dark. She removed her coat, and placed it across the banister near the bottom of the stairs. She kicked off her shoes, and placed them on the bottom step, along with her purse. She walked into her dark living room, sat on the sofa, and started to cry. She was so confused.
She heard someone apparate directly into the dark room. She wasn't concerned. She knew who it was. Her boyfriend threw his coat on the floor and said, "Where were you?"
"Where?" he asked.
"Does it matter?" she asked back. She put her head back on the sofa. "How was your business meeting?"
"Fruitful. I secured the deal," he said. He sat down beside her.
"Well, that's all that matters, isn't it?" she asked, though she didn't mean a word of it.
She leaned over him to turn on the light, but he said, "Leave it." Fine. She didn't mind the dark.
"What's wrong with you? Why did you leave tonight? I owled you a second time, to tell you that I had something planned for Valentine's Day, for after the meeting, and you never responded. I apparated here, and you were gone. I was worried." He tried to take her hand, but she pulled it from his grasp.
"I think we need to reexamine our relationship," she said.
"Because I had a business meeting?" he practically shouted.
"No, because I felt things tonight that I wasn't aware of feeling before, and now I know that we can't go on this way." She placed her head on the back of the sofa. "I thought it would be easy, if we just kept things to ourselves, and not let anyone else in, but I don't want that. I'm tired of hiding."
"It was a stupid meeting!" he said.
"Answer me this," she said. "Do you love me?"
"I reserve the right not to answer that question," he said. It was the same thing she had said earlier when asked if she loved him. She almost laughed, and she would have, if she hadn't started to cry again.
Her tears cut him like a knife. "I was a bloody fool, but I swear, I won't do it again. You'll always come first."
"It doesn't matter," she uttered. She reached over and touched his face. Her fingers left scorch marks in their wake. He felt like she had never touched him so intimately before, and all she had done was to touch his face.
He couldn't wait for her to decide what to do, and he couldn't let her leave, or say that it was over, or even give her time to think. He grabbed her to him, and with a quick, fleeting motion, kissed her mouth hard and languidly, his hands all over her body. The sensation from his soothing caresses, and soft kisses, soon caused her tears to turn to joy. His fingers seared through the material of her dress, and they became intoxicated with each other, skin on skin, lips on lips.
Only she could lift him from the depths of his unhappiness, so he wrapped his arms around her, and for at least that moment, she was his. She leaned her head to the right, his raw scent invaded her senses, his breath against her cheek, flesh on flesh, his head dipped to capture her lips and she tasted so completely like HER, and it was more than he deserved. He knew that she was too good for him.
He continued to tease her lips for many more minutes, flicking his tongue back and forth against her bottom lip. He finally parted from her and said, "You know, if you had just played along this evening, all would have turned out so much better. The whole business meeting aside, if you had waited for me, you would have seen that I had a wonderful evening planned for us afterwards. Why didn't you wait for me?"
"I'm sorry," was all she could say, because she had no excuse. "I didn't know, and you didn't tell me that you had anything else planned."
"Well, it was a Valentine's Day surprise, so I wouldn't tell you, would I?" he said, somewhat perturbed. "The meeting thing was actually a ruse. You were meant to become angry…"
"That one was a given," she interrupted.
"Well, yes, and I assumed you would come home, put on some sad music, get into some old flannel pajamas, eat a pint of ice cream, and then I was going to strike, but when I arrived you were gone," he explained.
"How was I to know?" she asked.
"Because you're smart, and because I shouldn't have to tell you how I feel about you. You should know by now. I love you. Very much." He kissed her again, and then said, "Do you know how hard it was to find someone to come to that restaurant with me, and pretend to be on a business meeting with me? Adrian had to beg his girlfriend to let him come, and Flint really was on a business dinner, with that Bishop fellow, but to get him to come to that restaurant with me, I had to tell him that I would back his little business venture, too." He sounded exasperated.
"At least now you're not a liar, since it really turned into a business meeting," she reasoned. "How did you know where I went?"
"I called your friend Lisa on her phone. She was speaking to me when you arrived," her boyfriend said.
"I thought she was talking to her daughter…wait, Lisa doesn't even know about us, neither does Mary. Lisa doesn't even know we're Wizards!"
"Ha!" he said. "Yes she does, and she and Mary were part of my original plan, because I figured you would call them tonight, but I thought you would go to one of their houses. I needed to get you out of here long enough to decorate."
He flicked his wand and the lights finally came on in her living room. There was a large banner across one of the walls that said, "Will you be my Valentine, now and forever? Please say yes. Love, Draco."
"Well, Granger, are you surprised?"
"Will you be my Valentine?"
"Yes, Draco, now and forever."
- The End-