Here, as promised, is part two in the Ensnared series. I have yet to write the third installment and promise to post it upon completion. Please review and let me know what you think. Thanks lovelies!
"Why?!" she hissed at the cowering figure of her friend, whose green eyes were now rather wide with alarm. Glancing covertly over his shoulder, Hermione spotted the primary cause for her agitation, and yanked her friend behind the large pillar with her.
That was better, at least now he had yet to spot her.
Harry released himself from her vice-like grip, and braced his hands on her upper arms in an apparently soothing gesture. The fact that her nostrils were still flaring to such an extremity should have spoken of the futility of the gesture.
"Calm down! What's the problem? You just about attacked me there and I've got no idea why-" Harry paused at her expression, and chose the safe option of retracing his steps. "Well, perhaps attacked is, uh... gently accosted, maybe..."
"Harry, do stop." Hermione stared her friend down, feeling infinitely more calm now that her location was obscured. She ought to say something nice to Ginny about the furniture layout in the house. That plant to her left was superbly, not to mention conveniently, positioned.
"Then tell me what's going on! It's a party, Hermione, and..."
"Yes, exactly. It's a party, a celebration. Can you not think of a reason why my ability to celebrate might now be tainted?" Apparently he could not because he was increasingly beginning to resemble a goldfish. "Zabini!" she hissed at him. "Zabini is here and he shouldn't be!"
"Oh." Harry looked a bit nonplussed and she thought it rather a poor reflection on their friendship that he could not immediately grasp the severity of the situation. "Ginny might have invited him. Look, I know you have a bit of a fixation with him but he's not all bad."
A fixation? He thought she had a fixation? If Harry Potter did not start choosing his words more carefully she was going to fixate on him. Violently. Hermione narrowed her eyes to indicate her displeasure at his comment, but was brushed off by an exasperated Harry who told her to seek out his wife for an explanation. It was possibly the only helpful contribution he had made all evening.
Now alone in her hiding place between the pot plant and the pillar, Hermione reflected miserably on quite how pathetic she must look in that moment. Desperate times called for desperate measures, and all that nonsense. Inching in her most stealth-like manner to the left so that she could peer between the greenery, Hermione scanned the room for one Blaise Zabini, usurper of elevators and house parties the world over.
Hermione spotted him standing by a grasping looking girl near the refreshments table; she could not help but notice how receptive he seemed to the girl's attentions. Honestly, she thought, the calibre of people that Ginny invited into her home was nothing short of astonishing.
At precisely that moment, Hermione saw the red-haired girl bustling into the kitchen and fairly ran after her. Sneakily, of course.
"Oh, Hermione, there you are! Everyone's been looking for you and..."
"Everyone? Who's everyone?" She was rather breathless now from her covert sprinting and so leaned against the supporting weight of the kitchen counter. She did not like the way Ginny was surveying her. There was a knowing sort of look in her seemingly dispassionate gaze that irked Hermione to no end.
"Why, Ron of course. I was looking for you too because there was something I forgot to -" She didn't get to finish her sentence though because a look of sheer horror had come across Hermione's flushed features.
"Ron's here? But I thought... he said he was tired... his trip, you know." She mumbled a little bit incoherently at the prospect of a conversation between her former, and possibly still current, boyfriend Ron Weasley and the curmudgeon of her life, Blaise Zabini. Bad. It would be very, very bad.
The knowing look in Ginny's eye was back. "Well it is New Year's after all. You didn't really expect him to sleep through it after he's been away so long?" She poured something into a glass and handed it to Hermione before continuing, "Have you spoken to Blaise?"
It took great restraint not to cough out the burning liquid as it slid down her throat. "Really? I didn't..."
Ginny barked out an indelicate laugh. "Please don't pretend you're unaware... Harry said you practically molested him behind a pot plant in order to get some answers." Hermione wanted to swipe the smug expression off her friend's face.
Instead she straightened her spine and went with dignified irritation.
She could not resist the urge to ask the question though. "Why is he here, Ginny? You know I don't want him here... too, too messy." She groaned into her hands.
According to Ginny, however, Blaise Zabini had not been on the original invite list for the Potter residence New Year's Eve party. He had sought out Ginny in order to invite himself along, and Ginny could hardly deny him the welcome. It was, Hermione reflected dismally, the worst possible scenario.
Clearly he had come with the express intention of causing her discomfort. For what possible other reason could there be? She did not like to think.
"I suppose I can gather from the look on your face that you didn't tell Ron about the... erm.... interlude... between you and Zabini?" She paused for a moment before continuing, "I don't blame you, goodness knows he would overreact. Besides, you were both broken up then, right?" Ginny was saying all the right things to placate her, but Hermione could plainly see that she wanted to say more.
It was a discussion they had had several times in the two weeks since the aforementioned interlude. She had told Ginny because, frankly, she had needed a female perspective on the situation and Hermione did not have a gaggle of girlfriends to fill the void. Ginny may have been Ron's sister but she was also a firm believer in her brother's ability to infuriate and so had been quite a handy venting device when the need arose.
The two women had always gotten along famously, but their friendship had certainly strengthened in the last five years. It was something for which Hermione was utterly grateful. Boys could be ridiculous at times, utterly clueless too.
In any case, it had only been a couple of days after that night when Ginny had demanded that Hermione spill the proverbial beans, which incidentally she had after much prodding. That was when the knowing looks had begun. Hermione only wondered when they would stop.
She had hoped that the whole situation would blow over, and under the circumstances, as she had told Blaise Zabini at the time; it was hardly their fault to begin with. That line of discussion had not gotten her very far with him, and Ginny's response was regrettably similar. Her reply had been a careless "hmm" followed by an extremely unconvincing "perhaps." As it turned out her friend had been much in favour of Hermione enjoying the experience and pursuing a repeat and perhaps more explicit performance rather than wondering about the whys and wherefores.
You're only young once, she said. You and Ron are broken up... again, she said. You need to date for a while to really know if you two are right for each other, she said. Hermione had interrupted the flow of Ginny's streaming pearls of wisdom to remind her that she had married Harry barely two years out of school. Apparently that was different though, because Hermione had never really dated.
How she enjoyed being reminded of that fact.
Although Ginny's suggestions had made her laugh, Hermione was quite well aware that the situation was in no way as clear cut as her friend seemed to believe. There was firstly the fact that Hermione's opinion of Zabini was on par with her appreciation for blast-ended skrewts. The man was a spore on society's shining face. An attractive spore, perhaps, but then Hermione had never considered herself to be superficial.
There was also the fact that aside from the antagonistic nature of their, for lack of a better word, acquaintanceship, she had scarcely any idea of his views on the matter. What had happened was hardly something either had chosen, and although she could not help but to flush a bit upon recollection of it, she was hardly going to pursue the miscreant for a repeat session.
Although none of that explained his presence at the party that evening, she simply chose to put that down to an increase in the pleasure he derived from baiting her. And with his new material, he surely could not resist a side of torture with his cocktail aperitif.
None of this, however, was the real cause for Hermione's sudden distress. That honour belonged, as ever, to her sometimes boyfriend, Ron Weasley, who was according to Ginny, now at the party.
He had arrived from his extended trip only two days before, and Hermione was completely uncertain of where they stood with one another. He was, at present, sleeping on the couch of their shared apartment, though she had the distinct impression he was ready to take another crack at moving into the bedroom.
They had broken up - again - just as he was leaving for his trip to Jamaica. She could not quite remember why they had broken up on that occasion, only that it was one of many times for many trivial reasons. The whole process got quite exhausting after a while, if she were being truly honest.
Oh she loved him, infuriating as he so often was. She did not think she would ever not love him, but sometimes she wondered what it would be like to just take a break, to review the situation after some healthy distance. That was Ginny's argument, and she supposed there was a twisted logic to it; but old habits were hard to break. And Hermione Granger had always been a creature of habit.
Even though she was not entirely sure she wanted to get back together with Ron straight away, she knew without a doubt that she did not want him having a cosy chat with Blaise Zabini about how she had spent her Christmas. He would rant and rave despite all reason and logic which essentially stripped him of his right to do either under the circumstances.
And she just did not want Zabini muddling up the very nicely ordered aspects of her life that he seemed ever so keen on muddling.
She muttered under her breath as she swilled the remaining contents of her glass.
"That looked like an in depth conversation." Ginny commented obliquely.
Hermione sighed in agreement, "Yes, well... plenty to think about." She tensed as Ron's voice boomed in laughter over the music. "Pour me another.... no, bigger than that."
It would appear that the only way to get through the evening was to be completely and utterly numb to it. She had never been one for drinking hugely with the boys, but saw a sudden merit to the activity.
Ginny, good friend that she was, obliged her and saluted her adieu before vacating the kitchen to find her husband.
Hermione took the opportunity to pour a small dash of the burning liquid into her glass and was almost ready to throw it back when she was interrupted most inconveniently by him.
"What did I do to deserve this," she muttered as she eyed him standing in the doorway. He was looking irritatingly shiny and handsome. He looked like he smelled good too, which was quite an alarming thought. How could one see a smell? She pondered the thought for a moment before turning her gaze upon him once more.
"Where else would I get such a welcome, eh, Granger?" He grinned in a way that he must have surely known would irk her. Something in her face must have shown as much because his grin widened further still. If only his teeth were yellow, she mused dismally. Surely she knew a spell or two for such things. If her thoughts were not so deliciously fuzzy, she might have recalled it.
"Why are you here, Zabini?" She went straight to the point and was exceedingly proud of herself for doing so.
He did exactly the thing that she found most frustrating and answered her question with one of his own. "Why, pray tell, are you hiding in the kitchen? You never struck me as excessively domestic."
Exasperated at his speedy entrée into an argument, she rebutted quickly. "I'm not-"
"Excessively domestic? Quite so... that story about you and the pot roast is still doing the rounds at the ministry..." His attention seemed diverted, and she took the vacant and amused expression to mean he was reminiscing once more at her expense.
"I meant," she said with the tone of an all suffering first-year professor, "that I wasn't hiding. And how do you know about the pot roast anyway?"
The slowly unfurling grin told her that her slight tipsiness had given him exactly what he wanted: a rise to his bait.
"Yes, you were." He said in a silky sort of tone that irked and, though she was loath to admit it, intrigued her all at once. "It appears that you like playing hide and seek with me, Granger. Never would have pegged you for a kinky one."
She had the good sense to look affronted, but truthfully the few drinks had distracted her from her usual hauteur. Instead, she really wanted to ask him where he had stashed the girl from the living room, but she figured it would probably sound as though she was jealous. She was, unequivocally, not. Certainly not enough to tell him anyway, the infuriating man had an ego disproportionate to his redeeming features.
Instead she rolled her eyes and asked the obvious question, "Why are you here? Don't tell me you were invited either, because I know you invited yourself. Quite rude, actually..."
"Shall I do lines for penance?" He asked in a manner he clearly thought was endearing but which only made her want to clobber him with a fry pan. Truly, some people had no sense of self preservation.
"I'm here, Granger, because you're here and you can't run away now." Well, she thought that sounded rather ominous.
She pushed her shoulders back and looked at him squarely, which was difficult as there was a slight fuzziness to the edges of her vision. "Zabini, I can't imagine what you want to say to me... all we do is argue. And it's not my fault either; you've got some sort of combative personality disorder... completely insensitive too." She sniffed quite disdainfully to punctuate her meaning.
"Thanks for the character assassination, but I don't recall you being all sunshine and daisies either. In fact, you're the insensitive one, if anything, by rebuffing my advances." If she were not quite so flabbergasted at his frankness, she might have found the expression of wounded male pride amusing.
"Your advances?! What are you talking about?"
He looked to the ceiling and back again as though amazed at her ineptitude. "I'm talking about the fact that for some godforsaken reason, we're attracted to one another. This is despite your ignorance and perpetual state of denial, which incidentally, I find rather inconvenient and insulting to my ego."
"I'm not bloody ignorant!" she exploded, latching onto the first of many not-so-thinly veiled insults in his absurd statement. "And I don't appreciate being told who I'm attracted to; incidentally, that's Ron and not you." She paused again to tell him off for sneering before she continued. "Stop making this into a big deal; you're not that good a kisser."
"Yes, I am." He spoke quite matter-of-factly.
She ignored him entirely. "Look, I don't even know why we're having this conversation. It's ridiculous." She crossed her arms in front of her chest and looked at the infuriating man.
He sighed and looked heaven-ward again, as though praying to some divinity for the patience in dealing with an unruly child. She took said child to be herself in this instance and was suitably miffed.
He spoke slowly, clearly wishing to drive the point home. "We're having this conversation because we almost had sex on the library floor."
He sneered in a rather Slytherin-esque way and looked quite pityingly at her.
"It was not nearly... on the floor," she said, rather mortified at the brutally honest direction of the conversation. She was used to talking about these things in round-about ways with Ron. Blaise Zabini clearly went for shortcuts.
"Excuse me?" She stared at him, perplexed. He was the strangest man.
"You can say it, you know, without offending my sensibilities." He paused for an uncomfortably long moment as he appraised her. "Sex."
The look she sent him was scathing.
"I thought we had agreed to put this down to an extremely abnormal situation and leave it at that. It wasn't our fault it happened." She only wished her logical contribution did not sound quite so rehearsed.
"Please tell me you aren't still labouring under that delusion, are you?"
She stood straighter, her jaw jutting defensively and would not deign to comment further.
"So," he said, "If it had been... oh, say, Marcus Flint, instead of me... would you have been purring in his ear too?"
She blanched in horror at the mental image. "I'm not going to pander to your ego by answering that question," she said with all the hauteur she could muster.
He grinned smugly. "You just did."
Hermione's mouth opened slightly to refute the comment when Blaise got all the more frustrated.
"Granger," he said, "you are quite the last person on earth that I would wish to be attracted to. Indeed, it makes it all the more clear to me how completely irrelevant an interest in someone's personality is when it comes to issues of," he paused to look at her and finished quite emphatically, "sex."
She was both insulted and horrified. "If that was a come on it was quite the most insulting I've ever heard. Furthermore, you are not attracted to me. You hate me."
"Oh yes," he agreed quite readily and she was not sure how to take that. "When you talk I pine for the days of old when women were silent and obedient." He sighed mournfully before continuing, "But I do want you, strange as it may seem. You want me too, you're just in denial."
She ignored the latter comment. "You can't just change your mind in a matter of days. It doesn't work like that."
He shook his head emphatically. "Yes. You can."
Hermione put down her empty glass and peered at him for a moment, quite perturbed by his convinced tone and increasing proximity to her. When, she wondered vaguely, had that happened.
"You know, I've read about this sort of thing," she said as realisation dawned.
He looked at her nonplussed.
"Serious traumas can have this sort of effect on a person; you imagine feelings and all sorts of things..."
He stared at her, bewilderment colouring his aristocratic features. "You consider our little encounter on the floor to be a traumatic incident?" He paused and seemed to reassess the situation, glancing at her speculatively. "Well, yes I suppose in retrospect I can see how it should have been."
His probing gaze came to hers and she swallowed unintentionally. His eyes traced the movement at her throat. Hermione was suddenly very warm indeed.
He seemed to slink towards her until he was far too close and had one arm braced against the counter behind her. She would wonder later quite how it had happened. His nose almost brushed hers and she felt certain for one quick, hallucinatory second that he was going to kiss her.
"I'm not going to kiss you."
"Want me to, I know." He flashed an irritatingly charming smile at her. She was unsure quite when had it become charming instead of repulsively arrogant. "But you're half way to drunk right now and I don't want to hand you another stupid excuse to lean on if something does happen."
She should have made some sort of pithy comment but her tongue was highly uncooperative. The fact that he seemed to know it too made it all the worse.
He dipped his head lower and his lips brushed the sensitive skin of her ear, his whispered words tickling the fine hair on her neck. "Two hours until midnight and then I'm coming to find you."
With a grin he sauntered out of the kitchen, leaving Hermione embarrassingly weak-kneed and more than a little pole-axed at her apparent lack of self-control.
It was about ten minutes to midnight by her calculations and she was most certainly not hiding from Blaise Zabini. No, indeed. She had simply sought some solitude to clear her jumbled mind. The fact that she was conveniently obscured by a poorly tended, and thus overgrown, confection of weeds and flowers was mere coincidence.
If she were being utterly truthful, she was not quite sure it was actually Zabini she was hiding from anyway. She still felt a little bit tingly when she thought of their encounter in the kitchen, of the way he stood so close, and the unbelievable words that left his mouth. He was right, of course, which was part of the problem. She was attracted to him. It was totally unfair that the universe had gifted such an infuriatingly arrogant specimen with such... appeal. Admitting that to herself was one thing, admitting it to him was an entirely different kettle of fish.
In spite of the fact that he seemed suddenly able to turn these things on and off like a tap - so typically male of him, she thought - she was not quite so able. An uncomfortably strong part of her wondered what it would be like to not care if he was playing her for a fool and simply go forth and fornicate, as it were. She, however, was never quite that impulsive. Her innate distrust of him did not help matters either.
She thought back to the moments after his departure from the kitchen, where she had been leaning on the cabinet in a stupor for more than a minute. She had left the kitchen and upon entering the living room, where all of the action was occurring, had been swooped down upon by the man she was trying to avoid. Ron, bless his soul, truly had the most appalling sense of timing.
He had also had more than a couple of drinks. This was most unfortunate, as it seemed the alcohol had blurred his recollection of their present relationship status. He had thrown one arm around her shoulders, hauled her up to his lanky form and given her an embarrassingly public kiss. When she pulled away, she found herself instantly searching for a certain pair of dark eyes and hating that she was. She found him, leaning against a wall and in conversation with one of Ginny's teammates. He had, by all accounts, missed the entire display. She told herself she was relieved.
Hermione had managed to extricate herself from Ron's embrace long enough to drag him into the hallway and give him a piece of her mind.
After that the night had seem to roll along just fine, but she felt out of sorts. It disturbed her that she was on home-ground so to speak, that Zabini had invaded her space and once more seemed to be having a better time then her. No matter what he did, or where they were, he disconcerted her every time. The realisation was much too raw for her to deal with. That was why she had slipped away moments ago to seek the quiet embrace of the night-time sky and its blanket of bright-hued stars.
She also was not entirely confident that Ron would not attempt a midnight kiss to ring in the New Year if she had stayed where she was. Hermione sighed, brushing back the errant wisps of curly hair that fluttered about her face in the chilly air. She had found the initial blast of cold air as she stepped outside to be quite the refreshment she needed.
"I didn't think you'd take me quite so literally about the hiding..." The smoky voice made her jump, clutching her hand to heart as it rang out in the silence.
She turned to face the man to whom it belonged, noted the way he melted in with the surrounding shadows in a way that was slightly ominous. She wondered how long he had been standing there watching her.
She lifted her shoulders carelessly, uninterested in more verbal sparring. She just wanted to enjoy the still night air. "Who said I was hiding from you?"
She held back a small smile as she watched his brows shoot up at her response. Good, she was glad to throw him off balance for once that evening.
He appraised her for a moment before he spoke, clearly choosing his words more carefully than usual. It was a rare sight to see the normally eloquent Blaise Zabini contemplating his words.
"You didn't seem quite so keen to escape Romeo a little while ago." His probing gaze was on her firmly now.
"Ah," she said with chagrin, "You saw that."
"I wonder at the person who didn't. Trying to make me jealous, Granger?" His words were teasing, but his tone said something else. Or at least, she thought it said something else. It was easier to make something of nothing in the setting they were in.
She shivered a little. "No. I wasn't trying to do anything."
"It worked," he said simply, and watched for her reaction.
"You don't play very hard to get, do you Zabini?" She queried with a raised brow.
Blaise chuckled in response and it was a warm and low sound she found she rather liked. "I think you'll find I never was." He paused for a second, glanced around and then looked back at her. "Without wanting to ruin this very special moment, are you aware that we're currently standing in the bushes?"
"So we are," she said simply and felt a burble of laughter trip off her tongue. He laughed too, and for a moment she forgot about how very strange the whole situation was.
Hermione let him take her hand and help her out of the bushes, but found that when the time came to let her go, he pulled her closer. "Countdown," he whispered. She could hear the drunken cries of her friends as they merrily counted down to midnight. She knew what that meant.
"Oh," she whispered as his nose brushed the slightly pink tip of her own. He looked quite beautiful in the moonlight, with his long dark lashes fanned against the hollows of his cheeks. She wanted to touch his skin and see if it felt the way she remembered through that foggy haze of two weeks prior.
There was not a whole lot of rational thinking after that, she just thought to hell with it. He smelled too good for any reasonably minded girl to turn down anyway.
Her lips tingled as his mouth brushed over hers in the lightest of kisses. He did it again until she, quite tiresome of his teasing, took a firm grip of his jacket and leaned up to kiss him properly. Boy, she thought, did he get the message.
He tugged just so on the lower seam of her mouth, making her shiver down to her toes with anticipation. He tasted like something dark and remembered and she revelled in the taste, the smell, the touch of him. Warm hands, despite the chill, danced between the layers of her clothing to make contact with bare skin. A brush of fingers across her abdomen had her broiling within.
He muttered something against her mouth which sounded, to her lust-fogged brain, like "inside" but she dismissed him quite immediately. "Uh, uh. Here." To punctuate her statement, she tugged him until they both fell in a rather ungainly tumble onto the crisp, green grass underfoot. The important thing, to her mind, was that he was warm and everywhere. His long and lean thigh was presently cushioned between her legs and she felt quite content to let it stay there.
"Here?" he questioned a little breathlessly, much to her delight. "Like a couple of fifteen year olds tumbling in the grass? I underestimated you, Granger."
She paused for a second, took a breath and said, "You were tumbling in the grass like this at fifteen?" The astonishment must have been clear in her voice because a grin split his face and fairly blinded her. She had never seen him smile like that before. The man had an unfair arsenal at his disposal.
"And what about you, Granger, what were you doing?" He shifted slightly and she felt him press against her stomach, the only clear thought was a definitive oh! No kidding about that arsenal, she decided.
"Um, library." She managed to say, as she wriggled somewhat beneath him. She mentally cackled at the slight hitch in his breathing. Served him right.
His laughter was barely a breath against her hair before he responded. "Tumbling in the library, eh? I should have known." He kissed her then and she forgot to tell him that the only things she was tumbling with were her favourite dust covered tomes.
His hand carded through the tangle of her hair, holding her firm as his tongue touched hers in a way that made her giddy. His other hand spanned across the soft skin of her abdomen, creeping over her ribs to touch the scrap of lace which lingered higher. When his thumb brushed the puckered skin of her nipple she quite forgot that they were in the garden and felt about ready to divest him of all his clothing there and then.
She satisfied herself with running eager hands under the layers of his clothing until she found firm, slick skin beneath. They were a breathless jumble of mouths and limbs, intertwined and enthusiastic. She heard him mutter an expletive under his breath before cursing her jeans. "These muggle pants sure look great on... but they're really not conducive to this sort of... exercise."
Hermione had to agree with him there.
She pushed him enough to make him ease his weight from on top of her so that she was able to roll him over. Now sitting astride him, Hermione was able to fully appreciate how delicious he looked in that moment. She leaned down, feeling more adventurous and impulsive than she ever had in her 25 years, and kissed him quickly on the mouth before hauling herself into a standing position.
"And just where do you think you're going?" he asked as he propped himself up on his elbows. Hermione grinned at him and sauntered off to the other end of the garden, the much darker end. As she walked she turned around to face him, unsnapping the top button on her jeans as she went. Though it was much too dark to detect the colour of his eyes at that distance, she could have sworn they burnt black. Catching on quickly, Blaise scrambled to his feet to follow her.
She was just pushing the offending article of clothing down her hips to gather around her ankles when he joined her, a most fortuitous moment indeed. "Your turn," she whispered and found he was most obliging. His mouth found hers again, much to her delight, all the more so when she felt a stray finger brush along the edge of her underwear. The giddiness was back, she could not believe she had never been this reckless before... it was fun.
It was right when Blaise had hauled her against him, right when things were about to get a whole lot more tingly, when their little pocket of darkness was flooded with light. The horrified shriek that followed certainly caught their attention. Hermione glanced at Blaise, recognising a guilty face much like her own, before she turned to their intruder: Harry.
He had covered his eyes as a man does only when he has seen something truly scarring. "Merlin, Hermione, you're in your bloody underwear and it's freezing out here!"
As they were zipping their respective trousers, Blaise chuckled to himself. "This seems to be turning into something of a pattern, Granger."
"Erm... you're not wrong. Public places aren't our forte, clearly." She looked apologetically at Harry, whose pained expression almost caused her to laugh. "Sorry about that, Harry... the... erm... hydrangea bushes didn't see anything too untoward, I promise."
"How lucky for them," he muttered as he walked back to the house to inform the search party that Hermione had indeed been located.
Hermione turned back to her companion, feeling the overwhelming crush of mortification settle upon her. He looked ready for a second attempt though, which was most heartening.
"Perhaps," he said, instead, "we should try a non-public space for once. How about dinner and at my place tomorrow night?"
The 'and' sounded infinitely more delicious, but she was intrigued enough to ask him, "You're cooking?"
His expression was horrified. "Good grief, what do you take me for? Of course, I'm not bloody cooking."
She ought to have known.
"Alright Zabini, you're on. But be prepared... hide and seek isn't the only game I know how to play!" With that final comment, she chuckled to herself and headed into the main house, leaving one Blaise Zabini eagerly anticipating tomorrow.