Chapter IV

A pale light showed itself through a tiny gap in between my curtains. It was morning. The manor was quiet today. Too quiet. I looked over to the clock on the wall – it read 8:41AM. Usually, at this time, the manor would be loud with the noisy clatter of spoons, plates, and… well, just the house elves getting breakfast ready, really. I contemplated staying in bed a little longer, but then I began to wonder. What the hell was happening? What were the house elves doing? What was she doing?

Hermione had just moved into the Manor last week without much protest, even though she really did not want to. I kept true to my promise though – we saw each other only during meals and she had the entire east wing to herself. Life actually continued on normally, well, that is, for me. My daily routine was same as it was – I'm not too sure about Hermione's though, because, aside from the fact that we don't see each other and that I really could care less, when we do actually see each other, we do not talk.

Our last real conversation was at WildKat. None after that.

Then again, I never promised to sweep her off her feet. All I promised was that we would be civil with each other until one of us finds a way out of this.

I tried going back to sleep – but to no avail. I sighed. I got up and put on a green silk robe, and got out of my room, and made my way to the dining hall. The room was set, there was food – though it didn't look like the usual thing that was served in our table. I looked around, but there were no house elves to be found. It was strange. I sat down, picked up a piece of toast, and picked up the Prophet.

I wondered how the Prophet even made it to my table. The prophet wasn't even a news source anymore, it turned into some kind of gossip tabloid after the war – when everyone decided it was not a reliable news source, and because most of the people who are running it now are… well, the new head was Ms. Slag of the Year, Lavender Brown, surely that must tell you something. On top of the paper was a card, in a script that I very well know was Blaise's.

"You're in the paper. The headlines are hilarious. You have to read them.

- Blaise."

I was almost afraid to even look at the paper now – but I did anyway, out of curiosity. For people with a sick sense of humor – much like Blaise, apparently – they would find this headline funny. But I, being the subject of the headline, do not find this funny at all. Not. One. Bit. I am appalled to find that the headline which my friend has supposedly found extremely amusing read,

Most Eligible Bachelor in London No Longer Eligible?

'No longer eligible'? Seriously? I twitch at the fact that I am actually intrigued with what the author of the article has to say about me. Normally, I would not give a shit. Not at bloody all. But I am Draco Malfoy. Once the famed Slytherin Sex God – I would never actually say that out loud though – and apparently, the former most eligible bachelor in all of London. I start reading the article – however, I fear that what I read wouldn't be pretty.

Most Eligible Bachelor in London No Longer Eligible?

By Padma Patil

Monday, 30th of August – Last week, Draco Abraxas Black-Malfoy (CEO of Malfoy Enterprises, five time winner of Witch Weekly's best smile) was hitched with Ms. Hermione Jean Granger (Auror; Order of Merlin first class, SPEW advocate, and lawyer) as per requirement of Wizarding Law 2778 – or the Marriage Law. "Truly a match made in heaven." Says Kingsley Shacklebolt, the Minister of Magic who was said to be the one to bind the two together. We have no official statement from both Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy at this moment, but more than half of London's female population is devastated…

Padma Patil? The name didn't seem to ring any bells. This has now confirmed my thoughts on the Prophet, and the piece of horse dung it has become, as well as my thoughts on the people who run the thing. I couldn't bring myself to read the rest of the article. There were a number of things wrong with that article. First, as much as I'd hate to admit it, I'd only won best smile four times, not five – the last one I lost to the boy who just wouldn't die. Second, I highly doubt Shacklebolt would say something like 'match made in heaven', and third, fat chance I'd ever be giving your sorry lot a statement. However, on the subject of women devastated, then… no comment. Not much to be said there. Fourth, I'm simply appalled at the lengths they go to stalk me. It's no longer flattering. It's scary as hell. I shall tell Blinky to remind me to have my lawyers to write me a restraining order for a certain 'Padma Patil'.

While still in my reverie, I didn't notice Hermione taking a seat. "Good morning." She says casually, taking a piece of toast from the basket. I nod at her. We ate breakfast in silence, like we did the past week. Breakfast – and all other meals if we're being honest – was a quiet affair; we didn't have much to say to each other. From the corner of my eye, I can see that Hermione has taken interest in the Prophet that was sitting in front of her. Then, she turned to me.

"You actually read the Prophet?"

There was a tone of humor… and disgust all at the same time in her voice. Almost as if she wanted to laugh. Not that I can blame her – the Prophet was a joke.

"Blaise sent it to me." I said, treading cautiously. "I was on the headline."

"Hmmm."

"So, where are you off to?" I ask her.

"To work, actually. I assume you're skipping yours, again?" She said casually, taking another sip of her coffee.

"Of course." I reply nonchalantly. "I mean really, what's a powerful man if he isn't powerful enough to skip work once in a while?"

She laughs; she's clearly amused at what I said and looks at me with a smile. "You don't skip work once in a while; you skip work all the time!"

"And how would you know this?" I tease; I mean really, it can't be that bad to flirt with your wife, right?

"The House Elves…and Blaise, I think I just got my fifth owl from Blaise this week telling me to get you out of bed." She says.

"And, I haven't seen you do that once?" I challenge.

"I'm true to my word, Malfoy," she said, getting up from her seat. "I promised that I wouldn't bother you at all, and we see each other only meal times and we wouldn't even have to talk."

I sigh. "Look, Grange—I mean, Hermione, you can talk to me too, you know."

This causes her to raise an eyebrow.

"What I'm saying is that whether we like this or not we're here together. We might at least make this mutually satisfying."

"No Malfoy, I'm not getting into bed with you." She says with a disgusted look on her face.

"I don't mean that either, but if you wanted to I'd be more than happy to oblige, really."

She rolled her eyes.

"See you at dinner. Or not."

She turns her heel to leave, and I watch her as she goes out the door.


OK, it's been forever since I updated this story, and to tell you the truth, I would've probably given up on this had it not been for a PM I received from edwardsoneandonlylove. I couldn't find the will to or anything so, yeah. I'm continuing this story, but please expect rather slow updates, I'm sort of busy, since it's almost my senior year in high school and I'm taking review classes for college entrance tests. So yeah.

This chapter was boring too. I hope the next one won't be.

- Reese~~