A Wizard's Untitled:
Summary: He could tell her over and over that he didn't care that no one knew about the two of them. He could, but it wouldn't be the truth. Living in anonymity suited her, and going public might end that, but he refused to be referred to as, "I have to work late," around her friends any longer. [Dramione]
A/N: Lo and behold, it's listed as Dramione this time! Le gasp! Anywho, the events of this fanfiction occur after those in A Witch's Untitled, and you might want to read that one before reading this one. It will explain a lot about what's going on here. By the way, this story and Witch's are both written in a certain style- the main characters of this story are referred to with pronouns- as opposed to their actual names, or descriptions- unless they are referred to in dialogue or it's impossible to not use their names or a description. Sorry if this bothers you, but it's just the way I write this.
Also, I know there is a very popular dramione here on FF that has Draco as a lawyer. I've read it, and I'm not trying to copy it in any way. I can just see him as a lawyer a few years down the line.
If he thought back long and hard, he could dimly remember the plans he had once had for his future. The largest part of the plan had been falling back on his family's fortune, and smaller segments included marrying a well-bred, wealthy witch, taking a much more attractive mistress, investing in a few businesses, and watching his wealth grow. He didn't remember specifics, but he knew he had once had a much clearer image of that plan- specific witches from high ranking wizarding families, certain up and coming businesses that would surely be quite successful after his graduation from Hogwarts.
"What is it, Draco?"
He was quite glad he had decided against that plan. The family fortune was tied up in paying reparations, many of the old pureblood families had irreparably tarnished their reputations- much like his had- and lost value in the great upheaval of status following the final battle, and those businesses he had planned on investing in had probably gone under with many of the others that catered to wealthier clientelle. His life was certainly much better now than it would have been if he had stuck with it.
"Just wondering if you had plans tomorrow evening?"
It was lucky that he was such a quick thinker. He had, fortunately, taken all of the required classes to work in magical law. It payed well enough, and lawyers enjoyed enough esteem to suit his pride- a very good choice that he congratulated himself on frequently during his first few months.
"No, my schedule is pretty clear tomorrow- I'm working on a case right now though, so I might be staying a little late."
Those first few months saw a man who wouldn't be the same for much longer. Working in magical law- especially in criminal cases, as he did- meant seeing some of the worst atrocities a wizard could commit. It only took those first few months for him to change the clients he chose to represent. Originally, he hadn't cared much who he represented. Defense, prosecution- what did it matter as long as he was paid? However, before his first year at the department was over he was working strictly as a prosecutor. Bringing the murderers and criminals that he had grown to revile to justice gave him a strong sense of accomplishment that he had never felt before. A sense of justice he had mostly ignored during his formative years was making itself known- and it wasn't being quiet about it.
"Shouldn't be a problem."
This change bewildered both his parents and friends of the family. Especially friends of the family. His refusal to help "sweep things under the rug" when a prominent witch or wizard ended up in court for their misdeeds didn't earn him friends among the upper class and old families, and his obstinance when bribed frustrated them. At first, he was surprised to find he didn't care when he discovered his former peers now jeered about and insulted him when he wasn't around to hear. He did get irritated when someone called him, "A disgrace to the Malfoy name," though. He honestly thought he was doing his family's reputation a favor with his behavior.
"So, what do you have planned?"
A year or so after he started work with the ministry, it came to his atention that an old schoolmate of his had begun work there- in his department, no less. It didn't surprise him that she had chosen that vocation. After all, her sense of justice and right and wrong was as ingrained into her personality as her overachieving tendencies. He made no move to talk to her for some time. He knew she remembered him as the boy he had been at Hogwarts, and he still remembered her as Harry Potter's friend, the know it all. He saw no reason they should get along now, even if the situation- and he himself- had changed. Still, it was inevitable they would have to meet again sometime. The first case they were both assigned to, he gauged her reaction: shock, bewilderment, disbelief, and a little bit of exasperation. She probably thought he was going to make the case difficult for her, or taunt her- but what reason did he have for that anymore? His old prejudices had been out the window for some time.
"Oh, just a small dinner for four. I'll need your help inviting the other two, though."
He soon learned that Hermione Jean Granger was an invaluable resource. Her intuition, knowledge, endless dedication, and ridiculous amounts of research into each case made her a very valuable worker. He could almost swear he closed cases ten times as fast when he had her on his team. They got on well enough, considering their history. She treated him with a patient civility and calmness even if he got into an argument with her (which didn't happen often, surprisingly), and he tried to the same- but they still never spoke outside of case work. If it weren't for the fact- and it was fact, as far as the offices were concerned- that it would eventually get back to her that he had asked, he would request that she be assigned to his cases more often. Doubtless, though, there were many other lawyers requesting her assistance.
"Four? Who are the other two?"
It was two years of working together before he made that first move that had started this all. He had been sitting at home, bored out of his mind, when the ridiculous idea came to him. He'd heard rumors enough about her- that she had broken up with her boyfriend before starting her job, that she didn't really have any friends outside of work- basically that she was beginning to turn into a "crazy cat lady". It bothered him for some reason that his most valuably colleague might be turning into a crazy recluse. Of course, he also decided to make the move for purely selfish reasons.
"Oh... Just Potter and Potterette."
He was bloody tired of hearing how bloody wonderful Harry bloody Boy-Who-Lived-McPotter was.
"What? Harry and Ginny? Are you joking?"
He knew, if there was anyone he could count on to not turn the topic to the wonderful Harry Potter, it was her. Yes, she was his friend- less such than she had been, as he found out- but she knew he was human like the rest of the wizarding world. Surely she would be the last person to gush about his amazing exploits. So, he asked her out for a drink. Then. a week later, he asked her out again. This continued sporadically for two months until the drinks became a regular thing between the two of them. He watched with interest as she crawled out of her shell, becoming- not the girl he had remembered- but a new woman that he found himself quite interested in. Attracted to, even.
"No. What's the problem, Granger?"
Reformed or not, this was a bolt out of the blue for him. His plans for his future had changed, but he hadn't expected them to include a romance with the book-loving, know-it-all muggle who had been his second greatest rival durig his school years.
"I've asked you not to call me that."
Perhaps "romance" was the wrong word. Too strong a word, at least, to describe their... "relationship". The way it had started- well, not so much started as escalated (it had started long before then and was going at a frustratingly slow pace)- certainly wasn't romantic. She had gotten drunk off her arse over something that had happened at work, and he had to walk her home- she argued that she could just apparate, but he didn't think she could do it without splinching her head off of her neck. At her door, she decided she was a flirtatious drunk (he would later call that an excuse, just to irritate her until she got red). She was really bad at being a flirtatious drunk, but he was tired and amused enough to play along. Awkward shenanigans followed and they woke up naked (aside from three socks and his tie- which had somehow gotten around her left thigh) on her couch with one of her more irritable cats staring them down (apparently that was where the cat slept).
"And I've told you, I've called you that for years and it's not about to change. Answer the question."
Instead of going through the torture of the awkward, "where is this going conversation", they both decided it would be much simpler to just go with it and see what happened. This led to a few more mornings on her couch (but just a few, because the cat eventually resorted to violence and they decided the extra few feet of stumbling it took to get to her bedroom wasn't as bad as the scratches inflicted on their poor, hung-over faces), a couple of more "traditional dates", and what could finally be called a "relationship"- though they didn't really call it that. They didn't really call it anything. It just was.
Oh, but he knew it was coming. It was inevitable that they would have to have that conversation eventually. They couldn't just continue in the same casual manner they were going in. Things were getting serious, he was well aware. When he realized he would look forward to dates that didn't promise sexual gratification afterward, he knew something was happening. He knew something was up when he would immediately march into her office if he caught sight of her looking sad and wistful. It wasn't like him to do that for people- it just irritated him when she was sad. It made him feel like he was doing something wrong. He hated doing things wrong.
"The problem... The problem is- they don't know about- about... us."
He also hated the fact that he would always eventually have to roll out of her warm bed and go back to his cold, empty manor. Being a Malfoy wasn't exactly a good thing at that time, and it was starting to feel like a second job- frankly, he was tired of it. He knew his parents expected him to take on the role of head of the family- but he really couldn't- or didn't want to see himself doing anything but the job he had five, or ten years down the line. He looked around her tiny apartment, and wondered what it might be like to just have everything that close. The kitchen a short walk from her bedroom, not in an entirely separate wing and down two flights of stairs. Not that he wanted a teeny little flat like hers, but a smaller home was starting to look a lot more appealing. A small home with a smiling face to welcome him back- and he would always stop that thought right in its tracks.
"Well, then tell them about us. Or were you ever planning to?"
He didn't want things to change, he decided- or told himself he decided. What kind of idiot wants to downgrade from a mansion to a little house in the country, maybe by the sea- he always stopped that thought as well. What kind of fool trades a casual relationship for a complicated, frustrating, serious one?
"I- eventually- it's just hard to bring it up-"
Whatever kind of fool he was, he supposed. Unfortunately for confused, frustrated him, she didn't seem to be on the same page. She just didn't seem to think about them that way. She thought they were "friends", and "co-workers" who just happened to have loud, fantastic sex every now and then (and it was fantastic- in no small part due to his skill, of course). It had probably never occured to her that he might want something more from her- it had certainly never occured to him (well, until it did). Even if it had, she didn't want more. No, she was perfectly satisfied with how they were- especially the fact that nobody knew about them. She had come to terms with the fact that the wizarding world had essentially forgotten who she was, and she had decided that she didn't want to call any attention to herself.
"What, can't slip in, 'by the way, I'm dating your old rival' between their gushing and bragging over their little Potters?"
Bringing their relationship out into the open would definitely call attention to her. If not because someone finally remembered her role in The Chosen Boy Who Was The Triwizard Champion And Lived By The Way's heroics, then because he, the Malfoy heir, had begun a "romance" with a plain, muggle born, Gryffindor witch. Certain reporters who just loved labels (see: prejudiced self-superior pureblood. see: Draco Malfoy) and stirring up drama would just jump all over that- ending Hermione's peaceful anonymity.
"Draco. Don't be difficult about this- please. It's not as if- we shouldn't jump the gun on this- we don't know where this is going-"
Unfortunately for her, Draco Malfoy was not a man who liked to wait.
"Don't know where this is going? We bloody well know where this is going, Granger. I have a key to your house- You know my damn middle name, and I've never even told my closest friends that. I remember the names of all three of your damn cats- I can even tell you which bloody furball is my favorite- We've been at this for- for a year and a half! The bloody hell we don't know where this is going!"
"Don't get upset with me! All of that doesn't amount to- a year and a half, and you won't even call me by my first name!"
He had been surprised of course, and then he had been irritated. That had to be the stupidest reason he had ever heard. Of all the ridiculous- he'd look back and find it humorous, but at that point he was just annoyed. If he had known that was all it would take for her to accept that they were getting into a serious relationship, he would have cast sonorous and screamed her name at the top of his lungs from the highest tower he could find. Women were so frustrating.
"Your name? Fine! Hermione Hermione Hermione Hermione! Want me to spell it out? H-e-r-m-i-o-n-e! Your full name you say? Hermione Jean Granger! Damn it, is that really all you bloody wanted?"
"I've asked you again and again to call me that, but you never would! How was I supposed to take that?"
Still, the irritation would be well worth it if she would finally inform her friends about the two of them. He was tired of only going to pubs and restaurants that she knew her friends didn't go to. He was tired of being referred to as "I have to work late" around her friends. He wanted them to know. More than that... he wanted her to know just how much he wanted her. So much that he was willing to face her friends (who probably wouldn't have terribly nice things to say about him) for her.
"It's not as if there was some secret meaning to it-"
"'I've called you that for years, and it's not about to change,'- How am I supposed to take that? It sounds like you're trying to say other things haven't changed!"
"I don't think we were shagging in the Room of Requirement, Hermione! Things have changed, and you and I know it- and if you're not going to let your friends know that things have changed-"
"What? Then what, Draco?"
"Then I don't want to do this anymore."
Those trains of thought- he wasn't going to put forth the effort to stop them anymore. He loved her, and he damn well knew it. He wanted that, "little house in the country, maybe by the sea," and that, "smiling face to welcome him back". He wanted it bad- and he didn't want it with anyone but her. If she wasn't willing to take it that far- to even make what they had public- then he wasn't going to put himself through the pain. When he wanted something, he usually got it. If he wasn't going to get this- then he was done trying. It just wasn't worth it.
"You heard me. I'm tired of being your secret, Hermione. I love you, and I'm willing to march down to Malfoy Manor and tell my parents that I'm in love with you- but if you're not willing to do the same with your friends, then I'm done."
"Draco... wait. I- Merlin, that's quite a thing to drop on a girl...I... I love you, too- I swear, I do. I mean- I was... scared, I suppose. You know how things are with them. I'll talk to them. I promise- I'll tell Harry and Ginny and Ron about us."
"... You're sure?"
"Y-... Yes. Absolutely. Are you... really going to tell them? Your parents?"
"Of course. They'll be royally pissed at me, I'm sure- but I don't see anything they can do about it. Worst they can do is disown me-... What's so funny?"
His parents didn't quite disown him- his father came very close, but his mother intervened- however, they did decide he wasn't fit to be head of the family. Two birds with one stone.
"Nothing- it's just... I love you."
Things had changed a lot for him since his Hogwarts days- and if that day was any indication, things were about to take a turn for the much, much better. After all, if Hermione Granger wasn't ashamed to be seen with him- well that was a point in his favor. If she was willing to tell her friends she loved him- yet another point. If she was willing to tell him... Indeed, things were looking up.
A/N: IF YOU DO NOT LIKE THE PAIRING, IT IS NOT MY PROBLEM. IF YOU DON'T LIKE DRAMIONE, DON'T READ IT. SIMPLE AS THAT. Flames about pairings just make me laugh, anyway- but I really wish people would be respectful and polite in their reviews. I respect your right to read, write, and fan about the pairings you like, and all I ask is that you return that favor, oh anonymous fanfic reader.
So, this was longer than the first one- and a lot more "romantic"- unghh... I did intend it to be more of a love story- but not so "romantic", you know what I mean? Anyway, if Draco seems a little out of character... One, I tried to write him as I thought his character would develop in the situation I put him in, and two... I hate Draco. I really, really can't stand him. I'm not sure why that might be a factor in his characterization, but maybe it affected it and I didn't realize it. I don't know why I wrote such a long Draco introspective when I dislike the guy so much, but I did. I'm weird that way- but then, Untitled is weird.
I might do one more Untitled story. I haven't decided on who's point of view I would write it from, for one thing, and I might just be Untitled out, for another.
Long reviews make me a happy writer. :D