(A/N: Alrighty, so I started this chapter in the WRONG place, but just pretend it was in the end of the last chapter. I really wanted the conversation with Ginny and Hermione in there, but (for some stupid reason) I didn't put it in the last bunch, even though it was written. Again, sorry it took so long! Keep reviewing and I'll keep writing! Everything is in Hermione's POV, no smut, but there will definitely be some soon. Gotta get that fix3 )
Ginny poured Hermione a cold glass of lemonade and they stared at the boys as they strolled towards the broom shed. The ginger haired woman looked towards her husband thoughtfully, as he ruffled his hair and hopped on his broom. He rose high in the air quickly, appearing as a small dot in the sky before swooping down swiftly, hovering at a height well above the house. The sheen of Draco's platinum locks in the autumn sunlight caught Hermione's attention, though she was sure she was using any excuse to steal a glance at him. He was leaning on his broom while he adjusted the glove of his left hand. The muscles of his forearm stretched as he flexed his fingers. She blushed and cleared her throat, hoping to start a conversation with Ginny that didn't involve the now-flying Slytherin.
"Ginny, I – "
"Let me stop you right there. Unless you are going to tell me exactly what went on while Harry and I were waiting patiently in the kitchen, I don't want to hear it," She said fiercely, obviously set on obtaining the information. Hermione couldn't help but smile at her very Weasley attitude.
"We…talked," She said simply, her eyes rolling in Draco's direction. Ginny looked at her expectantly, leaning forward as if on the edge of her seat, waiting for her to continue. "We decided to talk further tomorrow morning at Maurice's."
"Like a date?"
"No. I mean, maybe. No, definitely not," Hermione argued with herself verbally. "Ginny, he kissed me."
Ginny smiled brightly, leaning back in her chair. A look of mischief crossed with excitement crossed her face. "So, now I have to ask. How was he in the sack?" She looked like she'd been waiting to ask this since Hermione had spilled her secret. "I mean I know your first time must have been awful, but last night must have been great right?"
Hermione had been blushing already, so she was now sure she had turned purple. The fall air was slightly chilled and she took a few deep breaths. This was her best friend. She should be able to easily and freely discuss her new-found sex life with her. She'd never been able to share details before, so she bent her head to talk quietly, paranoid Harry or Draco would hear. "To be honest, the first time I never thought I could feel so complete. I felt…whole. Last night," She said letting her mind run over the smaller details. "…it was hazy, but so intense. Every muscle in my body wanted it. Ginny, he had me up against a wall behind a bookshop in London and I have never felt more alive than I did then."
It was Ginny's turn to blush a bit. She looked utterly surprised by her friend's explanation. "Sounds like you lost your virginity in a haze of bliss. And a bookshop? Hermione Jean Granger!" Ginny clutched her heart dramatically. "No offense Hermione, but I just didn't think you – "
" – were the type to do something like that, I know!" Hermione finished quickly. "That is what's driving me mad Gin. There were plenty of other options over the past two years. Any ministry function I've attended has brought me a plethora of suitors who've never failed to express their interest. I have managed to turn down every single one of them, except Malfoy. Of all the people I could have allowed to come close, I let in Malfoy. I let Malfoy fuck me against a wall in public." Verbally announcing this realization made her feel a bit dirty.
"It's Romeo and Juliet, isn't it? It used to be wrong. It's not anymore Hermione. Plus, all those ministry blokes were strangers and perverts weren't they? Draco and you have history…not exactly pleasant history, but years of memories and tension. Tension that obviously had to be released somehow!"
Hermione pondered her friend's statement as both of their eyes travelled to the men in the sky. They watched the boys warm up, tossing the quaffle back and forth between them…obviously having a conversation that was more entertaining than Quidditch. "I don't think I can sit here and watch him much longer. I'm going to head off to Diagon Alley and pick up some books I've ordered. It's hard enough to think about tomorrow morning without him looking so perfect on that damn broom." Hermione was willfully ignoring that Draco's presence in her life had swiftly brought a new set of words into her vocabulary. Fuck and damn had rarely passed her lips in daily conversation, but Draco definitely brought out a new side to her. She tried not to let that worry her.
"Let me come along. I need to pick out some maternity robes, as well as an outfit for you to wear to your brunch in the morning," Ginny smiled standing quickly. Hermione stood back as Ginny explained to her husband that they were going shopping. She tried her hardest to avoid looking at him. She failed and began to walk away, avoiding the temptation altogether.
Ginny had ultimately hijacked Hermione's coin bag and purchased a new set of chocolate-colored robes that hugged her form snugly, accentuating the bust, a slit in the material showing leg as she walked. Hermione had been slightly uncomfortable but Ginny had insisted on them, and she hadn't the energy to argue.
The next morning, Hermione stood in front of her sink, hands trembling with anticipation of the rendezvous she had ahead of her. The last two years had been so cut and dry. Everything had been planned. There was always a right and wrong path, of which she could easily navigate through. Now, she felt like she had been tossed in the middle of a maze with no map. She knew this meeting was necessary, but after that?
She checked her appearance once again, applying another thin layer of gloss to her plump lips. While the robes complimented her form, she adjusted them often, worried she couldn't pull them off. With a wave of her wand, Hermione summoned a hair pin, pulling back a loose curl. After a sigh, she disappeared from her bathroom, landing directly across from her favorite coffee shop. Opening only a few short months after the fall of Voldemort, when the wizarding world was quickly regaining their ground, Monsieur Maurice's had become the chic new hotspot very rapidly. She'd suggested this as their meeting point out of sheer comfort factor. When she was stressed, this place often brought her out of the slump. In the back of room, a large table sat secluded near a small hearth. This was her spot. Many times she brought her work here, spreading papers and files across the table, emptying cup after cup of coffee, only to have it refilled by Maurice himself. Maurice was a Frenchmen, who said that when he was a young man, he had grown tired of "the snobs of Paris". After, decided to take residence in London. While he'd lived in London for years, the empty shops of Diagon Alley had prompted him to start his own business when the real estate became so readily available.
As she pushed the door open, bells jingled overhead and she made a beeline for her table. Purposely, she'd arrived slightly earlier than planned so she could have the spot without any complications. If this uncomfortable meeting had to take place, she wanted to dictate the terms as completely as possible. She lifted her nose to smell the air. The atmosphere immediately calmed her turbulent thoughts. The scent of freshly ground beans and sweet creams tickled her nose, heightening her senses. The toffee-colored walls, fresh floral centerpieces and sparkling chandeliers pleased her senses, lulling her back into security at a time she felt she needed it most.
Right as she began to feel that relief, a very well dressed Draco Malfoy entered. His travelling cloak was black, but lightly flowing around his body. As he stepped forward, he deftly removed it, eyes scanning the room. When they caught hers, she'd meant to wave him over, but her hand seemed attached to her lap. He lowered his gaze as he made his way over, before settling himself in the chair directly across from her. "Strange, isn't it?" He began immediately.
"Strange?" She repeated dumbly, hoping that she would regain control of her though process sooner, rather than later.
"Strange to think that we'd ever sit in the same public location, let alone at the same table, intentionally," He explained, draping his robe over the chair. He was wearing a charcoal grey set of robes. Only now, with the adornment of this shade, did she see that he had a very sharp shade of blue within the silver of his orbs. "So…"
"How is this conversation supposed to go Malfoy?" She asked, rather than trying to decipher for herself.
"Draco," He replied shortly.
"My name, as you know very well, is Draco. I believe, under the circumstances, first names are warranted Hermione."
She tried to ignore the stirring within her that occurred when he said her name. It was almost a whisper and his whispers had been uttered to her in the grips of passion. These weren't memories she was currently comfortable recalling. She decided to concede, pleased that she no longer had to force herself to remember to call him Malfoy. "Alright…Draco, what next?"
He was quick to answer, obviously having prepared for this question. "Talking. Getting to know each other, the works."
"And for what purpose?" She pried leaning forward. "I'm telling you now Draco, I don't enjoy games. I don't like being toyed with and I appreciate honesty. If you do not intend to be completely honest with me, you will regret it…severely."
Draco looked quite surprised at her sharp attitude, but regained his composure quickly. "I can assure you quite steadily, I do not intend to 'toy' with you, in any un-literal sense." He smirked, raising an eyebrow suggestively.
"And what is your intention then, pray tell?" She asked, getting to the point. His answer would determine how they proceed with whatever this was and if proceeding was even possible.
He hesitated openly, obviously calculating his response with care. "Dating…to start."
Now was Hermione's turn to hesitate. Her eyebrows raised significantly and she knew how confused she must look. She had tried her best not to have expectations during her steadily increasing amount of encounters with Draco, this surprised the hell out of her. Was this a trick? Did he earnestly want to date her? She'd imagined a scene like this hundreds of times, willing away their houses and the damages left by the war, but this was practically a joke. It was a laugh to think Draco Malfoy would show a romantic interest in her, but then again, few would have expected them to have sex too. He looked sincere, his hands resting still on the table. Hermione opened her mouth, praying a response would pour out without any thought, but Monsieur Maurice himself saved her the trouble by approaching their table.
"Madame!" Maurice was a rather large man, his booming voice and wide body immediately alerting the room to his presence. "Is this young man the reason I have not seen you in so many days?" Maurice looked from her to Draco. He was no fool. Everyone in wizarding Europe knew who Draco Malfoy was if not by his reputation, then by the numerous pictures riddling the tabloids. Hermione had stopped reading them post-trial, not willing to subject herself to news on Malfoy's newest "witch of the week", as the papers said.
"Actually, the Minister forced me into vacation," She replied with enthusiasm, eager to steer the conversation in another direction. Just as she was about to compliment him on the slimming set of robes he was wearing, Draco stood, hand out to Maurice.
"Pleasure to meet you. Monsieur Maurice, I presume?" Hermione's plan to distract from the blonde was ruined immediately by the subject in question when he focused all attention the room to himself. He'd raised his voice to match the level of enthusiasm that Maurice had brought to the table.
Immediately, the whispers started. Hermione's eyes swept the room and could see table after table, duck their heads behind menus and books in a horrible form of stealth. While she had anticipated Maurice making a large deal over her brunch with the Malfoy heir, she hadn't expected such a response from him in return. Draco's thin, athletic build was slight compared to Maurice's, the older man standing nearly a foot over him, but the air of confidence Draco had was strong. He was exuding masculinity and his presence was made all the greater. His calm, focused attitude was almost…intimidating. Maurice gave a satisfied smirk, shook Draco's hand warmly and motioned for Draco to take his seat.
"Whatever the two of you like today, you have! No charge!" He boomed cheerfully before whipping out his wand and bustling away to help another customer.
Draco sat, obviously pleased with himself and the reception. "How did you win him over like that? All you did was shake his hand! No offense intended. It's just that Maurice can be quite…protective of me," She answered as a tray of tea floated to their table. Maurice gave a smile and a wave before sending over another tray of pastries and biscuits. Hermione was taken aback by the readiness with which he accepted Draco.
"Men like Maurice and I have an understanding. A handshake is really all it takes," He answered simply taking a bit of a croissant.
Hermione sat back in her chair, one arm crossed over another. Her mind was made up. "Alright, Draco."
"Alright?" He asked as dumbly as Hermione had earlier.
"Alright…I will date you."
Draco smiled into his cup of tea, sipping it carefully before slowly sliding the hand that remained on the table over Hermione's, grasping it very lightly. A flash fired in the corner and Hermione had no doubt that their picture had just been taken. Draco's eyes flitted in the direction of the camera, but ultimately neither made any movement to separate. The feeling of his hand brushing hers so softly was much more appealing that whatever picture she knew would be in the paper tomorrow. She could hear Maurice making a commotion, shuffling someone out the door, but all that mattered right now was that Draco's hand was holding hers and that this, was definitely a date.
(A/N: Guess what? I'm liking the direction it's heading….I'm in the middle of picking between two entirely different major conflicts [Really have had both of these in mind since the beginning]…if you don't have a problem with the possibility of a little spoiler and would like to give your opinion on the direction of the story, write a review and I'll message you back! I'd really love some input on this one…and your reviews fuel me :-D Oh and sorry for any errors, point them out and I'll fix them!)