Discovered in Hiding

Ch. 8: Shopping

A/N – Yes… very very slowly as with my other stories, I have picked this one up again since no one adopted it and I was starting to miss it a little.

Draco could not believe he had agreed to immerse himself among the plebeians. Hermione could not believe it either; she figured he would hate the muggles so badly he would not dare set foot outside. She wasn't about to argue with his vanity at this moment.

She buckled him in his seat and once in the driver's seat, fought her inner smug grin. As they drove, she toured him around the neighborhood. She pointed out a variety of places from the corner store, to the grocery store, to the university she was working at, to finally the mall. Draco stared out the window in silence. Hermione could not tell if he was listening to her or ignoring her entirely. He held his chin high and snobbishly and kept silent. Silent. "Dra… Jake?" she self-corrected as a reminder of what they had to call each other in public, "Did you remember to bring a notebook with you?" She wanted to slap the look he gave her right off his face. She just rolled her eyes and parked the car.

Draco tugged his turtle neck shirt slightly to hide his bandages before stepping from the car. There were so many cars here. He didn't mind being driven around and shown everything. He considered it tactical. However, he really wished he could get about on his own. The mall was an indoor cluster of shops. He hated it. He preferred the openness of the street accessible shops of Diagon Alley or of Arthurian Circle if you wanted proper clothing of quality.

It shocked Hermione more than anything when he took her hand and tucked it in the crook of his arm like a gentleman. It took her a moment more to remember that they are supposed to be married and look it. He apparently was far better and pretending what he was not than she was. Draco tried not to stare at her blush. It made , things inside him squirm, things he was not prepared to explore, things he didn't think were welcome, things he didn't think he deserved.

Hermione could not believe how fussy he was. There were some places he would not remotely even step inside of. One look at a price tag and he would walk them right out. She thought the prices were very reasonable. When she shied at one shop, he decided to go in. Yes, those were clothes more within the quality and price range he expected. She hissed her concern and he just gave her a reproachful look. He approached the sales woman and wrote something on the notepad for her. Hermione almost missed it and her eyes grew wide when she registered his careful script.

Madame, my wife and I are new to Reading. She has a new position as professor at the university. I am here healing from a wound I incurred on our travels and cannot speak. We require proper attire for our stay and for work. I am not concerned by the cost, just its quality. I trust you know your job well enough to assist us?

The sales woman called over another sales woman and the two got busy. Hermione was too embarrassed to protest. She could not fathom the costs. Not that her family was necessarily poor, but they only shopped like this for very special occasions, not for everyday clothes. Draco had an excellent eye as he nodded or shook his head at things she tried on. He smiled to have Hermione out of her comfort zone, even within a muggle setting, for a change. This was turning out to be a great deal more fun than Draco anticipated. He was also pleased to have decent clothing of his own. This continued through several shops, including accessories and shows. They dropped bags off at the car twice before they decided it was time for lunch.

Lunch, Draco insisted, was to be in a proper restaurant. He had the business card of one nearby that he had gotten from one of the nice sales women to give him. Writing things was very frustrating, but he would never show it, not in public. It was just slow.

He and Hermione argued in the car for almost thirty minutes about this restaurant. He would scribble and she would yell. He would throw the notebook and she stormed from the car. "I thought you were enjoying this." He wondered what the hell he managed to do this time. He watched her storm away through the parking lot. He could not call her name to call her back. He looked through his notes to see if maybe he used words that were unexpectedly offensive. Sometimes, they just seemed to speak different languages. He sighed. Why was she so upset? Was it the choice of restaurant? Maybe because he did not ask her if she even wanted to go to it? Maybe she did not like French food? He sighed and waited, then started to worry.

Just as he was about to go look for her she sat back in the car and would not look at him. The silent drive back to their home was more awkward than their arguments. She only released her emotions when they got into the house. "Everything is always about you! I will never be good enough! I will always be a mudblood to you! I can't even manage to feed you food you deem worthy! And nothing I wear will ever be good enough for you! I AM NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU!" She ran up the stairs and slammed her door shut, the tears and sobs apparent half way up the stairs.

Nothing of this day was meant to give her that message. Nothing. He hadn't intended to. But he knew as he thought more about it, as he brought in the bags of fancy clothing, that perhaps that was the message he gave even if all he tried to show was that she was so beautiful sometimes in some things. And the restaurant was meant to celebrate what he though was a good morning of shopping. They had history of this argument though. That history could be so easily erased. He realized he had just flaunted his status in her face and rubbed her nose hard in it. The bags sat at his feet at the bottom of the stairs as he looked up the stairs and sighed again.

A/N – How should he fix this?