Disclaimer: Any recognisable characters, places, etc, aren't mine. They will continue to be not mine for the entirety of this story.
A/N: Really jumping right into the action with this chapter... If was slightly mortifying to write, which means you guys will probably like it. *grins*
This idea was mean to me. I was trying to sleep when I got the idea for Ginny's spell and the rest kind of just... filled itself in. Needless to say, I couldn't sleep until I'd written it down.
Also... I wasn't going to post this until I was finished writing the entire story, but I've been having trouble finding the motivation to write it (I only have chapter 2 and some of three written!), so I was hoping you guys might be able to motivate me with your lovely reviews?
Oh! And I needed a beta reader for this story if someone has the spare time (this chapter is unbeataed – sorry).
Hermione sighed as she flipped another page in her book. She had to stop reading romance novels, they were just depressing her. There were always happy endings in romance novels, and she knew from experience that those things never happened. In real life, there was only heartache and disappointment waiting for woman.
She was midway through the sixth chapter and her thirty-second sigh when Ginny burst into the room, snatched the book from her hands, and threw it to the floor. Like usual, Ginny didn't respect pesky things like manners that required her to announce her presence when visiting a friend, or respecting that friend's possessions once she'd burst into the room.
"What was that for?" Hermione demanded irritably, looking from her discarded book to her annoying friend.
"You're wasting your life waiting for some Prince Charming to ride in on a white horse and sweep you off your feet! If you could lower your expectations a little, you could be happy!" Ginny exclaimed, waving her arms around and turning slightly red from her rant.
Hermione didn't comment right away. She gave Ginny some time to cool off as she bent down to retrieve the poor book. Smoothing out the wrinkled pages, the brunette glared at the youngest Weasley sibling as if she'd just injured a friend instead of a pile of paper bound together with some glue.
The brunette was pretty sure she knew exactly why Ginny was suddenly against reading. It was the same reason Ginny was always bursting into her house. "Let me guess: Ron's just waiting for me to be more open to his advances while he bides his time with anything in a skirt that will open her legs for him?"
Ginny's face hardened and she pursed her lips in irritation. For the sake of her own sanity, she was going to have to ignore the vulgar comments about her brother's sex life. That was just disgusting. "You could be happy with Ron if you'd just give him a chance!"
The thirty-seventh sigh of the day escaped Hermione's lips. "Ginny, that didn't work out. We're better off as friends and you'd know that too if you didn't keep trying to bring us together against our will. I'm happier 'waiting for some Prince Charming' as you put it than I'd ever be with Ron."
"I have news for you Hermione, Prince Charming always goes for the beautiful princess and right now, you hardly fit the description."
Hermione winced; that was a little harsh of her. To be fair, it was her day off and she'd planned to spend the time catching up on her reading. No one ever dressed their best when they were just lounging around the house; it was a waste of effort. She fingered the baggy sweatpants. They weren't the most flattering article of clothing she owned, but she hadn't been expecting company, particularly such judgemental company. The characters in her books hardly cared if her clothes were three sizes too big, or that her hair was even larger than usual. She would have worn something nicer if she'd known Ginny was going to burst in at nine in the morning and start poking holes in her quiet time.
What sane person was awake and visiting people at nine in the morning? It was just unreasonable.
Ginny wasn't cruel, she just had a little trouble with her habit of bludgeoning people with the truth from time to time. When she saw that Hermione was actually a little hurt by her statement, she opened her mouth to say something to soften the blow, but Hermione cut her off.
"For your information, my prince will love me regardless of what I wear." She put her nose in the air in a good imitation of the stuck up swot most people believed her to be.
Ginny wasn't fooled. She knew her friend wasn't that person.
"Hermione, you're twenty-three and have completely given up on your love life. It's depressing to watch."
Choosing not to dignify that with a response, Hermione opened her book once more and buried her nose in the papery world in which she frequently immersed herself.
Ginny huffed her annoyance. She recognised a dismissal when she saw one. "Fine, I'll go. But don't think I'm going to let this drop!" she said.
The only answer she received was the turning of a page.
Tired of being ignored, Ginny left the room and stomped her feet to the Floo in Hermione's living room. She waited a moment to make sure that Hermione thought she'd left before creeping back to her friend.
For someone who'd survived a war, Hermione's instincts left something to be desired. The brunette was completely lost in that paper world of hers, she had no idea that she was being watched.
Hermione was smart, pretty, successful, and Ginny saw no reason that she should be so alone. It was time Ginny take matters into her own hands, give Hermione that little push she'd needed for a long time.
In a bookstore she'd wandered into recently, Ginny had found a spell that was perfect for her friend. She knew Hermione would kill her should it backfire, but the potential for everything to go well was just too tempting to not give it a try.
Hermione deserved to find someone, even if she needed a little push... Or maybe a not so little push. Knowing Hermione, she was going to take a rather large shove.
Peeking around the doorway, Ginny craftily pointed her wand at her friend. The spell was only supposed to make Hermione more motivated to get whoever it was that she wanted, it wouldn't make her do anything she didn't want to do. Ginny only wanted to give her that push, not take away her free will.
The brunette jumped a little when the spell hit her, but otherwise, she didn't react.
Immediately, the redhead's eyebrows drew together. Something was supposed to happen! Why wasn't something happening?
Ginny was just starting to wonder if maybe it hadn't worked when Hermione tossed her book to the ground, stood from her chair, and Apparated away.
She'd done it! The redhead took a moment to wiggle on the spot, congratulating herself for a plan well executed with a small victory dance. Hermione was going to be in a much better mood once someone dislodged that stick up her arse.
Her celebration paused briefly as she realized that Hermione's Mr. Right might not be someone suitable, but she dismissed the notion. Hermione had never had anything but the best judgement, there was no way that she wasn't going to choose someone acceptably bookish and reasonable.
Hermione frowned up at the large building in front of her. She knew there was an important reason that she hadn't ever set foot inside that building, but it didn't seem all that important at the moment. What was important was the inexplicable draw she felt towards something – or rather, someone- inside that building. No reason for staying away could possibly be good enough to keep her from his arms.
Purposefully, Hermione marched inside and stood in front of the receptionist's desk in the main foyer. The horrified look the woman behind the desk was wearing reminded Hermione that she was still wearing the clothes she'd been lounging at home in. That wouldn't do.
Hermione's brow wrinkled in concentration for a moment before she waved her wand and transfigured her outfit into something more office appropriate. A plum coloured skirt and jacket over a cream blouse along with a pair of heels appeared on her body. There, that was better. Nothing she could really do about her hair though.
Self-consciously, Hermione patted the busy mess, but then she remembered that she'd told Ginny earlier that her prince charming would want her no matter what she looked like. What better way to make sure he really was a Prince Charming than to wear her hair in a mess that would scare away any normal person.
"What can I do for you?" the receptionist asked, still looking down her nose at the brunette on the other side of her desk.
Hermione glanced at the sign behind the woman displaying the various offices contained in the building. Her eyes caught on the name she wanted and then moved over to the title attached to that name. At least she knew he was doing well for himself – not that there was ever any doubt about that.
"I'm here to see the CEO."
Yes, that was who she wanted. There was a nagging feeling that she shouldn't be there, but Hermione dismissed it. She wanted to be there. Why would she want to be there if it was bad?
She was Hermione Granger, she never wanted bad things.
Something was off about her thought processes, but she just didn't seem to care at the moment. There was someone she needed to see. Not just see him; she needed to hold him, to be held. It had to be him.
"I'm afraid I can't let you do that miss," said the woman, sounding completely unapologetic. In fact, that looked suspiciously like a sparkle of glee in her eyes. How fitting; the woman got sadistic pleasure from turning people away at a company that was notoriously difficult to get an appointment at. The woman must spend all day ducking under her desk to cackle to herself about all the people she could turn away.
Hermione narrowed her brown eyes at the woman. That slip of a girl couldn't be more than ninety pounds, and a good portion of it was makeup, hairspray, and bad attitude. What was stopping her from stunning her and just... going to take what she wanted?
Almost before the thought had passed through her mind, the woman was slumped over her desk, unconscious.
Well, that was surprisingly easy.
A twinge of remorse made itself known in the back of Hermione's mind, but it quickly slipped away, leaving her once again determined to reach her goal. Sometimes horrible people just needed a through stunning, it would probably do the horrible girl some good.
The security of the place was really abominable. No one even questioned Hermione as she boarded a lift and rode it to the top floor. She received a few strange looks, probably for the mess that was her hair, but no one stopped her.
What if she'd been there to kill him or something? There was no way he didn't have enemies with his personality. It was an acquired taste.
She paused a moment in front of his office. That nagging feeling was back again - with reinforcements. There was an important reason that she hadn't walked through that door before. Something had been holding her back.
For the life of her, Hermione couldn't remember what it was.
Tired of the internal battle, Hermione shrugged it off. If it had been important in the first place, then why couldn't she just remember?
It couldn't have been that important.
She pushed open the door and walked into the office beyond.
Her heart leapt at the sight of a familiar blond head bent over paperwork.
Draco frowned at the sound of his office door opening. He had a lot of paperwork to do and had specifically told that useless bint of a receptionist that he wasn't to receive any visitors.
All thoughts fled his mind when he saw who it was that was standing there. It felt like his heart had stopped. Her hair was longer and her skin was a touch paler, but otherwise, she looked exactly as he remembered.
"Granger," he greeted, looking warily into her eyes. There was a determined glint there that he didn't like one bit.
She walked into the room, not looking near as awkward as he would have expected. That look in her eyes was unnerving. She wasn't supposed to look at him like that. She wasn't supposed to be there at all, so what was she doing?
"To what do I owe this pleasure?" he asked. His voice was carefully neutral, but she knew him well. She had probably heard and noted the confusion and discomfort he was desperately trying to conceal.
Could she really blame him though? It had been four years since they'd graduated and parted ways, and then she suddenly just shows up in his office. What was he supposed to think?
Hermione absently dragged her hand along his desk as she paced around it, coming to a stop beside him. Glad that he had chosen a chair with wheels for his office, Hermione pulled him around to face her since he seemed disinclined to do it himself.
"Granger, what the hell are you doing?" he demanded. There was none of the anger there should have been in his words, so she ignored them in favour of his actions. Actions spoke louder than words anyway.
Seemingly against his will, his hands had risen to rest on her hips when she stepped forward to stand between his legs. That wasn't exactly the best way to send her the signal that she needed to back off.
"Something I should have done years ago."
She caught his eyes and held them as she leaned forward; looking for any sign of genuine displeasure that she was there, any reason for her to turn around and walk right back out of that office.
She didn't find any.
When her lips pressed against his, she felt a jolt of something she hadn't felt in years. In their time apart, she'd told herself that desire had been that missing component in her other relationships, but, together with him again, she knew she'd been lying to herself.
It was something more.
For one blissful moment, he kissed her back with just as much enthusiasm as she expressed. It was a short moment though.
His hands moved from her hips and grabbed her shoulders, using his greater strength to pull her away from him and hold her at a distance.
A safe distance. She had obviously taken leave of her senses, and he wouldn't be able to regain his unless she wasn't touching him.
"We can't do this," he insisted.
That nagging part of Hermione's brain agreed wholeheartedly. It was really annoying. Irritably, she shoved it aside, doing the same to his hands.
Maybe he could remind her of the reasons she couldn't seem to remember.
"We can't. This can't happen. I've moved on." he said tightly.
Hermione glanced at his desk. There were no pictures of significant others. "To my knowledge, you've only dated Astoria Greengrass in all the time we've been apart. How is that moving on?"
"She was a nice girl," he defended, knowing her point, but refusing to recognise it.
"She married your best mate!" Hermione violently whipped her arm behind her to grab one of the only pictures he had in the office besides the one of his mother. Blaise and Astoria were waving happily at the camera while holding each other. If Hermione had to guess, she'd say this was their honeymoon, as they were obviously somewhere tropical.
"We can't," he insisted again. His attempt at claiming he'd moved on wasn't going to work, so he hoped to appeal to her reasonable side. "You know we can't."
She did know.
It was strange. How could she know they shouldn't be together, yet be completely unable to recall any specific reasons? It was like the solid reasons had been removed from her head, leaving her with only vague echoes.
Vague wasn't good enough to keep her away.
He didn't push her away when she placed a knee on either side of his legs and starting nibbling along his jaw as she pressed her chest against his hard one.
"I have paperwork," he protested feebly.
She ignored the comment.
His head tipped to the side and he groaned as she found that spot behind his ear with her tongue. She took that as permission to distract him from this 'paperwork' he was so concerned with. It probably wasn't very important anyway.
She stopped whatever he was going to say by pressing her hand over his mouth.
"That's not my name. No one will overhear. Call me by my name," she ordered.
He was using that tone of his. The one he used whenever he thought she was doing something she shouldn't, but he knew that she wasn't going to like it if he tried to talk her out of it.
Hermione wasn't going to let him talk her away. She wanted this, missed this – him.
Her darkened eyes connected with his equally story gaze. "I've missed you," she said, the small catch in her voice telling more than her words that she was telling the truth.
The rest of his inhibitions disappeared at that little tremble in her voice. He pulled her tight against him and stood, holding her up as she wrapped her legs around his waist.
"Your place or mine?" he asked, his voice low with want.
Hermione wasn't paying much attention; she was rubbing herself against him, enjoying the delicious friction. Her mouth was busy on his neck again.
He had to ask the question twice more lean away a little before she registered that he required an answer.
"Don't care," she mumbled, irritated that he had stopped her for such a stupid reason. It didn't matter where they went.
He turned on the spot, popping them out of his office before they did something even more inappropriate for the workplace.