I unfortunately don't own Draco, Hermione, Blaise, Harry, Ron or anyone you may recognise. I do own the plot. I guess that's something...maybe I can exchange it for Draco?
"Witches and Wizards, we are gathered here today to celebrate a momentous occasion…"
Hermione stood anxiously in the Event hall, fingers wringing together as she peered over the crowds for a certain Mr Potter and Mr Weasley. She really didn't want to be here but being co-owner of WWO made her presence mandatory.
"Hermione..." came a voice from behind her. She whirled around, her heart falling back into place with relief until she saw who it was. The smile slid of her face.
"It's good to know my presence is so unwelcome. It seems I'm finally losing my charm. You warned me this day would come and damn, I don't even have a girlfriend to act as a safety net like you suggested."
Hermione smiled. The friendship between her and Blaise had been unexpected but refreshing all the same. After working in the same department in the Ministry for months, in addition to working on many projects together with a polite and courteous attitude, Blaise had finally blown up one evening saying how stupid it was that they couldn't be more than co-workers.
Hermione's eyebrows had disappeared into her hair and she had looked at Blaise stunned before he'd realised what he'd just said and backtracked, assuring her that when he said more than just co-workers he meant friends.
Hermione wasn't one to turn down an offer of friendship so that evening they'd gone to the Three Broomsticks for a drink to celebrate a successful presentation made to the Minister of Magic that would hopefully result in more rights for the Vampire population; in England at least.
One evening of enjoyable company and drinks had turned into many pockets of spare time spent lazing around in each other's apartments over the last year or so. Hermione considered Blaise to be another brother and the feeling was certainly reciprocated by Blaise.
"Oh Blaise, I'm sorry. It's really great to see you here, and no your charm isn't failing… yet. I'm just looking for Harry or Ron. You haven't seen them have you? They're about to start soon." Hermione said in a worried tone, once again looking over the crowd to see if she could spot a mop of ginger hair.
"Two of the star lots are missing? I suppose I'll just have to console the desperate single ladies that have congregated tonight then. There's definitely enough of me to go around." Blaise replied.
Hermione shot him a stern look which caused a pout to appear on his face for two seconds before he put his arm around her and squeezed her shoulders gently.
"Relax Hermione. They'll be here. The evening will be a huge success and you'll raise so much money you'll never have to associate yourself with such a degrading act again."
Hermione took comfort in his words but it didn't last long. The thought of being auctioned off, regardless of the cause, made her stomach churn, heart twitch and brain shut down.
"If only more people thought like we did, then we wouldn't be doing such a stupid event as this." Even as Hermione said the words she knew they were lies.
Recently WWO had gotten into serious trouble financially and was in desperate need of some (a lot) of money so they could carry on providing a home for all the orphaned children. The thought of having to turn children away or sending them elsewhere was the only thing that had made Hermione get dressed this evening and turn up ready to be sold to the highest bidder.
"You look beautiful by the way." Blaise added.
Hermione turned and gave him a quick smile of thanks. If what she had to go through for the last 3 hours is what it took to get her to a beautiful status then it was most definitely not worth it. She shuddered at remembering a red faced, pregnant and bare foot Ginny waving a wand over her manically. It wasn't a sight she wanted to see for quite some time.
"Do you have the time?" Hermione asked Blaise, only to be ignored as his eyes followed a blonde haired blue eyed woman cross the room. She smiled and shook her head.
Five, four, three, two, one.
"Hermione my dear, as much as I would love to spend the entire evening in your company, I'm afraid a future girlfriend safety net just walked in."
"Don't dazzle her too much." Hermione called out after Blaise as he stalked off in her direction. Blaise turned and winked back causing Hermione to laugh even harder.
"…to join this man and this woman in the bonds of holy matrimony…"
"I don't think it's possible for Blaise not to dazzle a woman." Came a voice from behind her. Hermione whipped around only to be disappointed once again. However this time the disappointment came with shock.
"Malfoy?" asked Hermione. She knew it was him, there was no denying the fact that the wizard stood in front of her was indeed Draco Malfoy, but what was he doing here of all places?
"Granger." Draco replied.
"What are you doing here?" Hermione asked in a bewildered tone.
She and Harry had tried repeatedly to see Malfoy over the last few months to discern if he would be willing to become a benefactor for WWO only to be met with so many unsuccessful attempts that they'd ruled out the possibility all together. They'd sent him an invitation purely just so they could say that they had invited him.
"I believe I'm here for a charity event that you helped put together." Draco said as he leaned forward, "Or at least that's what is said on the invitation you sent me Granger. Going senile in your old age?" He tapped Hermione on the forehead as he said the last sentence.
Hermione stood in a daze as she stared at the man in front of her before snapping out of it quickly.
"I just wasn't expecting you to be in attendance is all. You haven't been all that enthusiastic about helping WWO in the past." Hermione replied her voice laced with slight accusation.
A look of realisation washed over Draco's face and he leaned forward once again causing Hermione to take a step back in order to put a respectable distance between them.
"Ah yes, I believe I know as to what you are referring to Granger."
Hermione frowned in confusion. "Then what are you doing here?" A light bulb clicked on in Hermione's mind. "Oh let me guess, the only way you'd give money to charity is if you get a witch out of it huh?"
Hermione looked at him in disgust but could she really judge him? He wasn't the only one here with the same agenda. In fact, there were more than a handful of faces in the crowd of various prominent witches and wizards who had point blank refused to donate any money but had still turned up at the door this evening, invitations in hand, ready and willing to do so.
Just as Hermione decided that she could judge Draco Malfoy for being here, simply because he was Draco Malfoy, she turned back to look at him to see his eyes flash dangerously.
"Are you suggesting that in order to get a date I need to pay someone to go out with me Granger?" Draco said, his voice scarily cold.
"If the shoe fits Malfoy." she shot back.
Hermione heard her name being called out and she turned to see Harry and Ron making their way towards her. She beamed at them widely and waved; her hand cutting of Draco's reply. However as she turned back around to face him he seemed even angrier.
"If I'm the one paying for the date, what does that make you Granger? The one selling herself I believe. I wouldn't be so quick to judge in the future."
"I'm doing this to raise money for WWO and not for personal gain." Hermione said outraged.
"Really, doesn't raising the money tonight mean that you and Pot-head won't have to keep draining your own bank accounts to keep the orphanage afloat?" Draco replied.
"What, that's completely different!" Hermione spluttered.
"Not in my book Granger." Draco replied as he turned to walk away.
"Merlin, I feel sorry for whichever girl you decide to bet on tonight Malfoy. Someone should warn her that she needs to go on a date with a git." Hermione cried out, before storming off to meet an amused Harry and Ron who had been watching the match between the two with grins on their faces.
"Are you sure this is going to work?" Ron whispered to Harry.
Harry smiled before answering, "Oh yes, I believe that little display will make him want Hermione even more, even if he hasn't realised it yet."
Harry and Ron turned to Blaise who was standing at the bar chatting to the girl he'd eyed up earlier. He nodded towards Hermione who was making her way through the crowd, her face flushed in annoyance, before smiling widely and raising his thumb.
The three men shared one last smile before two turned to greet a bothered witch coming their way.
They were going to get their friends together if it was the last thing they did.
"…I think it's safe to say that they didn't get of to the best of starts…."
"You bid on a girl on my behalf?" An angry Draco Malfoy asked Blaise. "I told you that I was only here to make a stupid donation to get Granger off my back, NOT to pick up some daft bint for a date."
Blaise looked at his friend of over 15 years and suppressed the smile threatening to erupt on his face.
"Draco, you can't just make a donation." Blaise replied.
"Of course I bloody can! I don't think Granger will bloody care if I bought a girl or not before donating!" Draco said.
Blaise shot him a look telling him to calm down before smiling back at the people nearby who'd been listening.
"It's too late now anyway. It's done. You can't just leave the poor girl without a date. You'll come off rude."
"I'll do whatever the bloody hell I want. If you're so worried about the so called "poor girl" then you take her out on damn date. I knew coming here would be a bad idea."
"No can do Malfoy. I have my own lovely lady to wine and dine. You'll have to take care of your own."
Draco clenched his jaw and gritted his teeth. "I wouldn't have to take care of my own if YOU hadn't bid on her."
Blaise was now getting exasperated. "Draco, it is one date for Merlin's sake. What is the problem? It's not like I purposefully set you up with a tramp. The witch I bid on is very beautiful and smart. All you need to do is spend two hours with her and that's it. Now go and find her." Blaise walked off leaving Draco standing there alone.
"I don't even know her bloody name or what she looks like!"
Blaise huffed and turned around. "She's waiting for you in the atrium." He said before stalking off into the crowd. Draco watched him go for a minute before striding off towards the Atrium.
There were a few people standing there including Granger and once he caught sight of her Draco immediately walked of in the opposite direction. He was annoyed and did not want to get into another fight with the uptight princess of Gryffindor.
He looked around hoping to catch sight of his date quickly so he could leave. He hated social events such as this. They were always the same. Boring people talking to him trying to get him to go into business with them, whilst their wives or daughters flung themselves at him in hope that he'd pick one of them to lavish the Malfoy fortune on. Deluded idiots the lot of them.
Draco mentally cursed Blaise for landing him in this situation. He should know how busy Draco was recently with the new merger occurring with Malfoy Enterprises and Goldstein Incorporated. He didn't have time to go out on a dinner date with some glamour-charmed witch.
Draco glanced at his watch and saw that he'd been waiting for ten minutes. He particularly didn't have time to hang around for a late glamour-charmed witch. He raised his head and swept the Atrium, his silver eyes landing on the lone female in the vicinity.
He eyed her frame from head to toe but dismissed the idea fast. There was no way Blaise would be stupid enough to bet on Hermione Granger of all people. He waited two more minutes before silently promising to Avada Blaise the next time he saw him.
He moved towards Granger who was standing with her back to him, looking into the auction room which had now been charmed into a large dance floor. He came to a stop behind her and drew in a breath.
"Seven 'o' clock, Monday at Papillon Granger." He growled at her before marching away. He heard her turn around and gasp in shock.
"What?" Hermione asked in confusion.
Draco sighed in frustration before turning around and repeating his instructions. He watched as her eyebrows scrunched together in confusion.
"Papillon? I swear on Dumbledore's grave Malfoy that if you're cursing me in some language I don't understand I will hex you so badly…"
Draco snorted. The infuriating woman actually thought that he would waste time cursing her in some unknown language. Gryffindor's really did think highly of themselves didn't they?
"It's the name of a French restaurant in Diagon Alley Granger. I'll see you there on Monday at precisely seven for our dinner date." He reiterated.
Hermione was shocked. "You're the one who bid on me?" Malfoy hated her, as was evident in their conversation earlier. Why on Earth would be bid on her?
Draco snorted again. "You actually think I would bid on the likes of you?" He replied viscously. "Blaise bid on you using my paddle. Poor Granger, did you have to ask a friend to make sure that at least someone bid on you?" He watched as the insult hit her and her face crumpled in pain for a second before she placed a mask of indifference over it. Draco was taken aback by the twinge of guilt he felt in his stomach and forced his mouth closed before it blurted out an apology.
Hermione heard the insult come forth from his mouth and her heart tinged in pain. She knew she wasn't the most beautiful witch in existence but to hear the words on a day in which she'd thought she looked quite pretty, hurt. Fortunately her brain registered the fact that it was Malfoy making the comment and she ignored it as best she could.
Hermione looked back up into Malfoy's eyes and saw a glimmer of sadness. That can't be right?
"There's no need for our date to occur Malfoy. WWO appreciates the money you've donated but I think it's quite clear that any date involving the two of us is quite impossible." She said before turning back around.
Draco stood frozen before breaking out of his daze. "Seven 'o' clock on Monday at Papillon Granger. I expect you to be there." He said before apparating away. If he had to go through with this insane date to squash his guilt then so be it.
Author's Note: So here's Chapter One of my new story. Let me know your thoughts and until next time, Curiositykils