New story! I own nothing! I thought I would get the first chapter up while I have a little down time before a training session. Gotta say, extra responsibilities at work are a thing of which I am not fond. Also, humidity. Not a fan of that either.
A muggle bookshop was the second to last place one would expect to find Draco Malfoy. A muggle bookshop owned by Hermione Granger was the very last place one would expect to find Draco Malfoy. But there he was browsing the travel section wearing jeans and a dark gray hooded sweatshirt with a tan messenger bag slung over his right shoulder.
Hermione had spotted the brilliantly blonde shock of hair from across her shop. It was the third day in a row that he patronized the small establishment, and it bothered her to no end. She hid behind a row of self help books, watching as he pulled book after book from the shelves as if deciding, based solely on the covers, which destination was right for him. But he always put them back, never buying one of them. They were always put back in the correct order, too - alphabetical according to country and then publisher. Fodor's always came before Frommer's, and Fiji always came before Greece.
From her spot behind the shelves, she noticed Draco glancing up to look at her. Sheepishly, she stepped around and moved nearer. "Anything I can help you with?" she asked, trying to remain the friendly proprietor. Draco shrugged and pulled a book on Rome off the shelf. It seemed he either didn't remember who she was or didn't care that the muggleborn he tortured daily was asking if she could assist him. "The Frommer's is better," she said, pulling it from the shelf.
He replaced the book, but didn't take the one she suggested either. "I think I'll just browse. Thanks anyway," he replied, turning the corner to the next aisle.
It wasn't until he was next in line to check out that Hermione saw him again. He deposited three books, two fiction and one history, on the counter for her to ring up. "Find everything okay?" she inquired, scanning the first bar code. He nodded and fumbled around in his bag, Hermione guessed, for his wallet. "Cash or charge?"
Wordlessly, he produced a bank debit card. She examined the card, her eyes widening at the name printed in raised silver letters - Derek Malloy. "Something wrong?" he inquired impatiently, noting her frown.
"Do you have ID?" she requested, holding the card between shaking fingers. With a dramatic sigh, he reopened his wallet to pull out his identification card and threw it down on the counter. The name on the card matched the name on the ID, and the picture was most definitely Draco. Her brows furrowed in confusion, but she rang up his purchases without another word. He grabbed his card and receipt, signed, and took his bag with a huff.
"Was that Draco Malfoy I saw run out of your shop?" Ginny Potter inquired, walking up the employee side of the counter. Hermione nodded and excused herself to the back office. "Was he on the muggle side of the shop?" she asked, taking a seat in front of Hermione's desk.
"And he seemed to have no idea who I am," Hermione added. "Like I was a complete stranger."
"He's been gone for years though. No one's seen him since the war. Why would this be the place he makes his reappearance?" Ginny wondered. She leaned back in her chair, arms on the rests, and her head turned towards the wall of books as if deep in thought.
Hermione, too, had occasionally thought about where Draco Malfoy had gone. Trials had been set not long after the war had ended. It was her testimony, as well as Harry Potter and Ron Weasley's, that saved him from a life in Azkaban. A probation hearing had been set for the next week, but Hermione hadn't attended. And then no one heard from him again, and two years had passed.
Her store had opened a year after the war and trials ended. Several departments of the Ministry clamored to have Hermione Granger among their ranks, but she had other ideas. Flourish and Blott's, the wizarding bookshop in Diagon Alley, had been burned to the ground during a Death Eater raid. Hogwarts was on the mend, and the school children would need a place to buy their school books. Ergo, Granger Books was opened. It was a two-sided shop, catering to both the wizarding and muggle worlds. Muggles never knew about the other side, and most witches and wizards didn't come through to the muggle side. It was the best of both her worlds.
Ginny sighed. "Maybe Harry'll know something," she decided. Her fiancee, after all, was an Auror with access to every case file ever created by the Ministry of Magic. "Are you coming back to the Burrow tonight?"
Hermione knitted her eyebrows in confusion. "Why am I doing that?" she asked, toying with a ballpoint pen she found buried beneath a stack of invoices.
"For the third time this week, tonight is my bachelorette party," the redhead reminded her. "As a bridesmaid, your attendance is mandatory. We were thinking, in honor of my soon-to-be husband's half blood status, that we would do a little wizard pub hopping and then a little muggle pub hopping. We're to call Ron at the end of the night to help us Apparate back to my parents' house as we will all be far too pissed to go it alone."
Hermione groaned at the thought of her ex-boyfriend. She had kissed him in the middle of the battle, purely running on adrenaline and the fear that she might never see him again. It was Ron who took things to the next level, declaring her his girlfriend not long after. They held hands, they kissed, she lost her virginity to him. But the entire relationship felt wrong. And so she ended it six months previously.
Ron hadn't seen the end coming. Not since his brother Fred's death had she seen him cry, but he fell to his knees, clutching her legs, and begged her not to leave him as a single tear dripped down his freckled cheek. She whispered apologies as she tried to back up towards the floo, desperate to escape. His grip was strong. It took two of his brothers to pull him off of her, and she left hastily.
That was the last time they had seen each other.
Ginny spoke her name so worriedly that it made Hermione snort. She brushed back an untameable curl and smile at her friend. "Don't worry. I'll be there."