Hi, all. This is my first Harry Potter fanfic. I hope you enjoy it. I'll hope to update frequently but I can't guarantee it. Um, if there are any Beta readers out there, would you mind uh, helping me? Lol. Constructive criticism please, no pointless, irritating rude comments.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything. It's all J.K Rowling. Poo.
Hermione rested her head against the smooth, polished wood of her kitchen table. She was so tired after Ginny forced her to go for a Girls Night Out in one of the sophisticated, wizarding London clubs. Ginny had turned up on her doorstep at 10pm, wearing a tight dress which barely covered her backside, let alone her chest, with Luna hanging dreamily onto her arm – at least she was dressed more sensibly, if you could call Luna sensible.
"Ginny! That article of clothing is totally inappropriate for a young woman who is engaged to be married." Hermione's eyes had travelled down to where a large amount of leg was showing.
"Oh, Harry doesn't care-"
"- I'm sure he does,"
"-and anyway, we're going out." She had finished, ignoring Hermione's interruption.
"Congratulations. And you're telling me this because?"
"You're coming with us, of course! It's what 23 year olds do." Ginny had exclaimed, pointing to herself and Luna, who had nodded.
Despite her many protests and excuses, which Ginny had ignored, Hermione had danced until about four in the morning and found she had actually enjoyed herself. Until she woke up four hours later.
Raising her head, she reluctantly got up and fetched a rarely used hangover potion in a vial. Quickly swallowing the bitter tasting, electric blue coloured liquid, she glanced at the clock and nearly choked. Crap! She had to open up in about 10 minutes. Hermione rushed into her bathroom, stripping in the process. Two minutes later, after setting the world record for the quickest shower, she dried her hair and body with her wand and donned the first clothes which came to her hands.
Making sure her apartment was locked securely, she Apparated with a small pop.
Hermione smiled to herself as she arrived in the bustling Diagon Alley. Everything had almost returned to its original state before the war, 6 years ago. Ollivander had immediately retired after being locked away in the Malfoy's dungeons for a year, undergoing rounds and rounds of torture. Florean Fortescue's ice cream parlour had been left untouched for four years until Hermione had bought it. Now it was 'H.G Books'. Of course, the owner of Flourish and Blotts was extremely unhappy about this new addition to Diagon Alley, but Hermione managed to create some differences between the two shops; not only did she sell the necessary Hogwarts books and many other wizarding authors, she also sold a whole range of Muggle books.
Unlocking the door, she smelt the fresh and the musty parchment of shelves upon shelves of books. Similar to the tents at the Quidditch World Cup, the inside of the shop had been magically enlarged to fit the mass of books. Hermione had just reached the cash register and set down her bag when her colleague, Olivia, entered the shop.
"Hello!" She said brightly. "Cor, you look tired; late night?"
Hermione nodded. "Four o'clock in the morning to be precise."
"Ouch. I did an all-nighter once. Wasn't clever." Olivia shook her head. "It's what you do when you're seventeen though, right?"
"Er, yeah, I guess." Hermione mumbled. She didn't want to have to remind Olivia or herself the fact that she didn't get round to much partying when she was seventeen. It was more: find-another-Horcrux-and-stab-it-before-Voldemort-kills-us-all.
She sent Olivia to sort out a bunch of books which had been shoved back into the shelves in the wrong places, and then looked up as the first customer of the day strolled in. It was the last person she expected to see, least of all in hershop. He hadn't changed much in the last six years; she had seen him briefly in Diagon Alley, but they never stopped to exchange pleasantries. Like thatwould happen. He was still tall, very tall at that, and still had that smirk constantly plastered on his pointed face. But one thing Hermione Granger could not deny, no matter how much she tried, was the fact that Draco Malfoy actually looked quite dashing in his black slacks and shirt with his tie loosened.
"Well, well, hello Granger." Malfoy smirked, slipping his hands into his pockets. "I see you have a bookshop. How surprising." He added sarcastically.
"Is there anything you actually wanted, Malfoy?" Hermione asked, trying not to rise to his snide remarks.
"Actually, there was." Malfoy nodded towards the Muggle section of the shop.
Hermione's eyes nearly popped out of her head. Draco Malfoy wanted a Muggle book?
"Look, I know I'm so good looking that it's almost criminal," he flicked his platinum blond strands of hair to emphasise his point, "but try and refrain from drooling, and get Moby Dick for me. Please."
Hermione's eyes narrowed. "Like I would ever drool over you. Some girls would, like Pansy Parkinson for instance and the rest of the girl population with only one brain cell, but definitely not me."
Malfoy only raised an eyebrow, the smirk still on his face. "As I was saying…Moby Dick, please?"
Hermione didn't say anything but scowled at Malfoy instead before storming off to the correct aisle and returning with a copy of the book by Herman Melville.
"I didn't know you enjoyed reading Muggle stories." Hermione said, handing him the change from two Galleons.
"I don't usually, but it's nice to read something different once in a while." He tucked the book under his arm. "Thanks."
Hermione watched him in amazement as he strolled back out of the shop and even hold the door open for an old witch and her husband. And did he, Draco Malfoy, just say 'thanks' to her? What a very strange morning.
Taking a break at one o'clock, Hermione arranged to meet up with Harry and Ron for lunch at a nice little restaurant just a couple of shops down from her own.
She grabbed her purse from her bag and left her bookstore, looking for Ron's flaming red hair amongst the throng of wizards and witches. Instead, she found Harry grinning and waving at her from a table just under the awning of the restaurant, his hair still sticking up at the back. The Daily Prophet had long left The Golden Trio alone so they could now peacefully meet up without having Rita Skeeter popping up everywhere with her acid green quill.
"Hey, how's the head?" Harry asked, smothering a laugh, once Hermione had settled herself next to him.
She glared at him, "Ginny told you what happened, I guess? And my head, it's okay actually. I took a potion this morning. Where's Ron?"
"He should be here soon," Harry scanned the crowd, "he said he's bringing someone. Probably another 'girlfriend'" He rolled his eyes.
She laughed. "It's all the fame, bless his heart. Bet you're glad you didn't become a professional Quidditch player now, eh?"
"Yes, I've had enough fame to last several lifetimes. Anyway, you can't talk; you went out with Ron for ages."
"A year and a half to be exact, but that was two years ago, so be quiet." Hermione slapped him on the arm playfully.
They turned to see Ron grinning wildly and holding hands with someone beside him. As Ron came over and kissed Hermione's cheek, she saw who it was and couldn't believe it. It was Pansy Parkinson. Of all the women in the world, Ron had to pick Pansy Parkinson. Her day couldn't get any better.
"Hermione, Harry, you remember Pans, right?" Ron asked, staring at us both.
"Er-" Harry began.
"Yes, of course. It's lovely to see you." Hermione forced a smile onto her face as she glanced at Pansy.
"Isn't she gorgeous?" Ron said proudly, kissing Pansy on the cheek, which couldn't have made things more awkward.
Truth-be-told, Hermione had to agree. Gone was the pug like look from Hogwarts. In replace, she had beautiful high cheekbones and full lips. Her eyes were a deep sapphire blue, and her black hair was pulled casually into a high ponytail.
Harry nodded but didn't say anything, averting his eyes from Ron.
They were all saved from an awkward silence when the waitress came over, and they placed their orders.
"So," Hermione began, staring at the new couple. "How did you two get together?"
Ron nudged Pansy to answer whilst he tucked into the bread which suddenly appeared on the table. "It's like Hogwarts!" He exclaimed, grinning.
"There better not be house elves in the kitchens," Hermione said slowly. "Anyway, carry on Pansy."
"Well, you know he plays for the Chudley Cannons? Their last match was against Puddlemere United who I've always been a fan of," to this Ron gave a cry of indignation. She ignored him and carried on, "and I saw Ron play and well, yeah. After the game, he came and spoke to me and we hit it off, really."
"That's good," Hermione said, shifting slightly in her seat.
"Look, Hermione and Harry," Pansy leant forward in her seat, "I'm sorry about our time at Hogwarts. I just want you to know that my family and I, well, we've changed. There's an occasional slip-up, but nothing serious. And I need you to know that I've changed. I'm not that same, childish bitch at school; I've grown up."
Hermione immediately relaxed. "Oh, I'm pleased for you Pansy! It must have been difficult." She took back her insult of Pansy from earlier that morning.
"It was at first," she admitted. "But we didn't want to remain as a prejudiced family who no one admired anymore. We needed to change for the family's benefit and now, we're still well known but for the right reasons."
Harry smiled hesitantly at her. "Well, that's really cool that you've done that."
"Thank you," she said softly, a smile gracing her pretty features.
"Wash 'appnd 'oo 'Alfoy?" Ron asked spraying everyone with bread crumbs.
"Sorry, what?" Hermione grimaced and flicked a crumb off her shirt sleeve.
He swallowed. "What's happened to Malfoy?"
Pansy grinned. "You wouldn't believe this; Lucius actually gave a quarter of the Malfoy fortune to St. Mungo's and the Ministry of Magic to help restore it back to normal."
"I thought that was just a rumour! I never believed it!" Hermione exclaimed. "I've had the weirdest morning."
"In what way?" Harry asked. "Aside from the hangover."
"Ha ha. No. Draco Malfoy came into my bookstore and bought Moby Dick, a Mugglebook. And he said thank you to me! To me, the know-it-all, Mudblood." Hermione jumped as their main course appeared on the table.
"Don't call yourself that!" Ron scolded, tucking into his steak.
"Well, a lot of pure-blood families have begun to change including the Malfoys. Blaise Zabini is still much the same though, but he never really was that prejudiced anyway. As for Goyle, Theodore Nott, Daphne and Astoria Greengrass…I don't really know what happened to them. I expect Draco does though."
"Are you still friends with Malfoy?" Ron asked shrewdly.
"Yes…good friends at that." Pansy replied.
"Well, don't be. I hate that slimy git of a ferret."
"Excuse me, Ron Weasley. Don't you dare tell me who I'm to be friends with." She said fiercely, her blue eyes flashing.
Ron shrank slightly under her glare. "Okay," he mumbled meekly.
Hermione grinned at Harry, "She's good for him." She whispered in his ear as they watched Pansy continue to glare at Ron until he had apologised.
"Well, I have to get back to the shop now; it's not fair to leave Olivia on her own for too long." Hermione checked her watch and smiled stood, ready to leave.
"Which shop is yours?" Pansy asked, interested.
"I own H.G Books." Hermione grinned. "It's doing great actually."
"Oh nice, I might pop in there." Pansy got up to hug Hermione. "I'm sorry, I truly am. Maybe we should meet up for coffee sometime?"
"Oh yes, that would be lovely." Hermione thanked her and her two best friends before stepping into the crowd of surging witches and wizards.
After bumping into about ten people, she finally arrived back at the bookstore where Olivia was frantically trying to serve three people at once.
"Oh, my gosh I'm so sorry Olivia! I should have been here sooner!" Hermione cried and dumping her bag, she ran to assist some more customers entering the shop.
"No worries. We've had a great lunchtime though; a really fit blond guy came in and bought 3 Muggle books."
"What?" Hermione whirled round to face Olivia, ignoring the customer.
"Yeah, he was gorgeous. Amazing eyes too; like this steel grey but it has a tiny hint of this really pale blue in them."
Hermione didn't say anything but she knew it was Draco Malfoy. She just knew. It was strange meeting him like this after six years of no 'look, it's the know-it-all Mudblood' or 'Oh, here's Scarhead, Weasel and the bookworm.' It had grown rather tiresome. But what was also strange, was that he hadn't uttered a single insult at her when he came in.
This really was a strange day.
A/N: How was the first chapter? I hope to make this a long story… I hope you enjoyed it…BETA READERS PLEASE?