Summary: Hermione Granger, Arithmancer extraordinaire, is sent to America to handle the business dealings of a successful wizard. What she expected to be a boring business trip turns out to be quite the opposite. Dramione.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Here Comes The Sun
"Shortly we will be landing at Los Angeles International Airport. Please ensure that your seat is in the upright position, that you weigh less than a hundred pounds, and that you have excellent teeth."
- Prologue taken from the novel "Angels" by Marian Keys
It had been a long time since I had taken a ride on an airplane. The last time had been on a trip to Bangkok, Thailand with my family. That had been three years ago. Oh the tour was infinitely interesting, the journey, however, was not. In fact, it had been an absolute nightmare. I could still remember the scene like it was yesterday: a twenty-two year old daughter wedged in between her parents holding a barf bag to her mouth and looking an unimpressive shade of green. The flight attendant who had been quite dashing took one look at me and vanished to the other end of the aisle. Suffice to say, I vowed never to take another plane ride in my entire life.
But alas! My ever-so-kind boss had entailed me to travel to America for a job, thinking he was doing all his other employees a favor in sending a Muggle-born witch who knew exactly how to blend into the normal world. What else could a hard-working, responsible witch do but say yes? The added bonus to my salary made the decision a little easier. And the bottle of anti-emetics in my pocket. Ah, the wonders of Muggle medicine.
So here I was, standing in the middle of Los Angeles International Airport feeling rather – lost. My client was supposed to pick me up. And it had only occurred to me that I had no idea what he looked like. Nor did I even know his name. He had been quite adamant in keeping his identity a secret. Which was why I could not travel to him through magical means, much to my despair. Apparently, he was someone who preferred a low profile while he raked in a multitude of Galleons from his Wizarding enterprise.
I shifted on my feet, glancing around uncertainly. He could be anyone of those dimwits. I thought forlornly, watching families embrace kiddies and couples share one last passionate kiss before departure. How the hell am I supposed to know which one he is? I could be standing here for hours!
Oh, thank Merlin! I turn around with a bright smile on my face, expecting to see a young, budding businessman (possibly handsome – a girl could dream) waiting to take her luggage. Instead, a middle-aged man with graying hair that suspiciously looked like a toupee was staring at her expectantly. He was dressed in a nondescript navy blue suit. He even had a cap on.
"Yes?" I said tentatively. "I apologize for not recognizing you Sir. They didn't exactly give me any specifics about my client."
The man chuckled, his forehead crinkling with amusement. "Goodness no, ma'am! My name is Henry and I'll be your chauffer for today. I'll be driving you off to the boss's office. The car's waiting outside. Are these all you have?" He gestured at the small trunk beside her.
I nodded, feeling oddly relieved. There was hope yet. I followed him outside and into the parking lot. I found myself squinting underneath the harsh glare of the California sun. It was definitely a far cry from Britain. I reminded myself to take a trip to the beach before returning to London. Ginny would never forgive me if I return without a tan. I thought wryly, thinking of the feisty redhead that had become one of my best friends.
"Oh. My. God. Hermione, I can't believe you're going to the States! I soooo envy you!" Ginny had squealed delightedly. She was an artist – a painter to be exact, which left her with a lot of free time on her hands but, unfortunately, with not too much money. "Lav went there a few months back, did you know that? I think she went to Spami. Or Mami. Or – crap, I keep forgetting the name…"
"It's Miami." I supplied helpfully.
"That's right! She went to Miami and she came back with all sorts of stories that you wouldn't believe. Beaches, parties, and bloody gorgeous male specimens that will make you drool on sight. Their tan is enough to make you sweat. I swear Hermione, if you come back here without a tan, I'm going to skin you alive."
Knowing Lavender Brown, I probably wouldn't have believed any of her stories. But now that I was here (not that this was Miami, but hey, it was still the same country), I could see for myself. Perhaps I could even get a little taste of American living.
An hour and forty-five minutes swept by and I found myself gazing out the window at the multitude of palm trees. I wondered where the 'boss's office' was located. I hoped it wouldn't be too far from where I shall be staying. Not that I had a problem with commuting. I was Muggle-born after all.
Pretty soon we came to a halt. I frowned. We were in a subdivision. An incredibly upscale subdivision to be exact. The houses – mansions, to be more precise, lined the edges of the road, all of which were surrounded by wrought-iron fences and twelve-foot high gates. Their tiled rooftops glinted under the LA sun. The divider between passenger and driver rolled down to reveal Henry's smiling face. "We're here, Miss."
He helped me out of the car, carrying my miniscule trunk towards the gate. I briefly noticed the silver color of the gate and a tiny insignia of a dragon in the middle of it. I paid no attention to it, my eyes firmly locked on the enormous house waiting in front of me. The security guard exchanged a few words with Henry before allowing us in. He accompanied me all the way to the front door before leaving me alone on the porch.
I suddenly felt nervous.
What had I gotten myself into? I knew nothing about this man I was going to work for! Well, I did know a thing or two about his business (buying and refurbishing Muggle antiques and enchanting them to the witch or wizard's desire, or simply just selling them as is. I had seen more than a few of his pieces and mind you, they were quite beautiful things.) But other than that, I didn't even have a clue as to how old he was, if he was a maniac, or a psychopath, or worse, married with ten kids. Not that I had anything against children. In fact, I would love to have a few of my own. I just wouldn't want so many running around all the time, causing stains and stinks where stains and stinks shouldn't be.
You're supposed to ring the doorbell idiot.
Right. I pressed the small button by the door and stared at the wood paneling with a deep breath. A miniature dragon was carved onto the wood. It was breathing fire. Dragon number two. I counted in my head. I expected more to come. Some people had odd fixations. This I learned from growing up in the Wizarding world.
"Good afternoon." I said pleasantly when the door swung open to reveal – nothing?
Something poked at my knee. I shrieked. Then calmed down somewhat when I realized that it was nothing more than a little boy, a little boy with white-blonde hair and clear blue eyes. Oh dear. My worst fears have come to take me away to my grave. Carefully, I squatted down to his height so that we were eye-level. "Hi there. You don't happen to have any siblings, do you?"
Not exactly the first question you would ask upon entering the residence of your client. But I was desperate. He shook his head. "It's just me and Father." He said this with such aristocracy that I blinked three times. Yes. Three times.
"How old are you sweetie?"
"My name is Scorpius and I'm four."
Aristocracy and arrogance from a four year old. Who would have expected? My back began to ache from squatting. I stood up and straightened my clothes. "Is your father around Scorpius?" I asked, half-hoping that he wasn't. I was starting to feel the effects of jet lag and would have liked nothing more than to hit the sack and wake up at twelve noon the next day. But that, I knew, would be severely impossible.
"He's in his office. Who are you?"
"I'm Hermione Granger. I'll be working with your father for a while, is that alright?"
"What kind of work?" He asked suspiciously. "If it's the kind of work that doesn't involve talking, I think you should just leave."
I stared at him, appalled. Who on earth was this boy's father?
"I assure you Scorpius, that it involves a lot of talking. And a lot of boring paperwork too." I said gently, feeling strangely sorry for this motherless child who obviously had a man-whore as a father. I was happy to see him relax. He nodded once before ushering me inside.
I resisted the urge to gasp once I stepped into the foyer. The floor was marble. The staircase grand. A chandelier hung from above. It had the air of an old English manor. It almost made me feel like I was back in London and not in California where everything seemed to be covered in bright, glaring colors. Scorpius led me through an empty hallway lined with portraits of random landscapes. There were a few doors on either side of the walls. He did not stop until we reached the very end.
He knocked. "Father! There's someone here to see you!"
"Who is it, son?" There goes the equally aristocratic tone of the father. I thought dryly. But my curiosity had peaked.
"Someone from work."
"Let her in."
"Go on." Scorpius gave me a little push. I felt a tad bit silly, being led around by a four-year old. But you couldn't really blame me. He acted like he was thirty. Which was kind of sad, seeing as every kid should enjoy every millisecond of their youth. I waved at him and mouthed a small 'thank you'. He responded with nothing more than curt nod.
Without another moment's hesitation, I turned the doorknob and let myself in. Unlike the rest of the house, the office was highly modernized in shades of black, white and silver. There was a metal desk in the center, an end table made entirely of glass by the door, a black recliner, a plasma screen TV covering half of the wall, and a slim MacBook Pro on top of the desk. The windows were from floor to ceiling, shaded by white blinds. I had taken so much of my time looking around that I had almost forgotten that I was in the presence of my client.
"Make yourself at home, Granger."
And it was with that one line, with that utterance of my last name in a drawl so unmistakable that I put two and two together. The dragons, the blonde-haired boy with a man-whore for a father, the utmost protection of his identity…it was him. Damn it. Damn the whole fucking world. I was going to be working for Draco Malfoy.
Now I almost wished I had gotten the client with ten kids.
A/N: What do you think? Shall I continue or not?