A Purely Platonic Double Dinner Date
Disclaimer: You know I own nothing.
A/N: This is what happens when you pair a bored Fanfiction writer with an idea for a crack fic. I mean, don't you just love mentally torturing HP characters? I meant for this to be just Draco meets Harry, but looks like I have to add more of Daphne's POV. Oops, please bear with me! Thanks to happygirl122 for helping me with the dialogue!
Working as an Auror was not as exciting as it was always cracked up to be. For one thing, Aurors spent more time at the office filling out paperwork than actually hunting Dark wizards. Who knew? Harry had thought writing Potions essays were tedious, but Ministry forms were just a whole new realm. Lucky there were always a few more experienced witches and wizards who took pity on him and finished it for him.
"Thank you so much, Greengrass," Harry repeated for eighth time, while the witch rolled her eyes and continued stacking parchment onto Harry's outstretched arms.
"I swear, Potter, one of these days, no one's going to be here to help you, and Merlin help you when Robards finds out," she grumbled.
"Nah, he knows, I think he just pretends not to notice to make his life easier," he replied airily.
"Yes, because we all know how much trouble you are even when…no. You're trouble all the time, Potter."
"I'm so sorry, Ms. Greengrass," he apologized stiffly, sniffing audibly, with a tone to match Percy Weasley's, "I was not aware how my actions affected you."
For the second time in five minutes, Daphne rolled her eyes.
Harry sighed dramatically, and continued, "Say, I'll make it up to you, okay? What about I take you out for dinner sometime? I'll pay."
"No thanks Potter, I'm quite busy at the moment."
"What, at the International Magical Trading Standards department? Come on, who are you kidding? You have enough time to check my filing, and you can't go to dinner with me?"
"Are you trying to get me to go on a date with you? 'Cuz it's not working," she said.
"Please? I promised Kreacher he could visit the Hogwarts kitchens tomorrow –"
"So you want someone to eat out with you?"
"Yeah, so? I can't cook."
"Don't you have a girlfriend?"
"Yes," he answered at once, "But she's training with the Harpy's right now, so…I promised her I wouldn't get into any relationships with my co-workers."
"Aren't you trying to do that now?"
"No!" Harry's sudden movement shook the papers stacked a foot high in his arms. "I'm just trying to pay back a favour, nothing wrong with that."
"And not eat alone," she added.
"Well, how pathetic would I be if I did that?"
"Don't you have fangirls?"
"Ginny hates them," he shuddered as though reliving a nasty memory.
"See, I beat you! Now you have to go out for dinner with me," he chanted gaily.
"You're still pathetic." She suppressed an eye-roll.
"Okay, I'll pick you up at 7:20, tomorrow night."
"What? No! I don't need you to pick me up," she snapped, trying to regain whatever dignity she had left. "And I'm only going because my sister's going to be out with her boyfriend tomorrow, so –"
"No company either, eh?" he raised a questioning eyebrow.
"No, I just thought I might treat myself," she corrected daintily.
"Fine." He rolled his eyes and walked away, disappearing behind Longbottom's even higher mountain of parchment.
Meet me at Les Cendres Phénix at 7:30 tomorrow, west end of Diagon Alley. I got us reservations, just say you're with Potter. I hope you purebloods don't mind eating in the open area, a private room for two seems quite suggestive, don't you think? I told Ginny about our dinner, she doesn't mind, as long as "the Greengrass girl keeps that attitude." She seems to enjoy the thought of me being rejected by a girl. Anyway, just remember, after this, I don't owe you anything else for the paperwork, agreed?
The owl arrived rather dramatically during Daphne's lunch break. She had just been sipping coffee and deliberating whether to indulge on a chocolate frog when a mass of swirling grey feathers hurtled through the doorway and crashed into the opposite wall. The blur then picked itself up, and flew towards her, dropping the sealed parchment letter into her coffee.
She rolled her eyes at his blunt response. Really, men didn't know anything about being subtle these days. No wonder she was still single. Despite all the eye-rolling and derisive comments exchanged back and forth, Daphne found her mind pondering the dress robe choices for the evening more often than not. So the question was, lilac or turquoise?
Harry stepped into the richly furnished restaurant, the door chime tinkling behind him. It was still early in the evening; the front lounge and tables beyond it were nearly deserted. The restaurant itself demanded a certain amount of respect from its patrons, the handsomely carved door and gilded sign made it clear. Not his type of place, but it would do.
The hostess, a young, curvy blonde, appeared from the kitchen doorway, and with an unnaturally brilliant smile, asked, "Good evening, sir. Would you like a table, or do you already have a reservation?"
"Reservation for Potter at 7:30, but I'm waiting for a friend," he replied, and swept his unusually dressy robes to the corner, to prove his point. The woman nodded and smiled again, then disappeared once more through the doorway, no doubt to spread the news.
Harry had been standing peacefully for a few minutes –admiring the long silk drapes, the gilt frames of the silent oil paintings, and wondering if plain black robes would have been more suitable– when the door opened again.
The door chime announced the presence of another young man in dressy robes, though he more at home in the dining institution. Robes billowing majestically behind him, he strode to counter, and tapped his fingers impatiently against the wood. Harry waited until the newcomer finished speaking with the same blonde hostess and turned to lounge on the sofa before he revealed his presence.
"Good evening, Malfoy," he said graciously, but the corners of his mouth had an inane urge to twitch. This was too good of an opportunity to waste.
Draco started at the sudden familiar voice, and looked up to find Harry strolling out of his corner. "Evening, Potter," he replied stiffly, giving a curt nod.
"Fancy seeing you here, tonight," Harry continued.
"Yes, indeed," said Draco shortly.
Seeing Draco distinctly uncomfortable, Harry pressed on, "I suppose you're celebrating the Wizengamot dropping those charges on you?"
"Hardly," he ground out through gritted teeth.
"Really, no need to be so cold," he lowered his voice conspiratorially, "It was I who convinced them to let you walk free."
"What's with the formality, Malfoy? After all, we were schoolmates together. A little acknowledgement would be nice." That would definitely hit a nerve.
"I don't need you on my side, Potter. I thought I'd seen the last of you after the trial, but, evidently not…" Malfoy scowled.
"Would you prefer me to testify against you?" This was way too much fun.
"So what are you doing here, if not to celebrate?"
"That's none of your business," Draco snapped.
"Ah, but it is, Malfoy," he smirked, "You see, as an Auror, it's also my duty to make sure certain individuals whose intents we question are not up to no good…"
"If you must know then," Draco sighed dramatically, "I'm going on a date with my girlfriend. Soon to be fiancée," he added smugly.
"Oh Merlin, poor girl," Harry winced. Draco glared at him.
"Then I must ask the same question, what are you doing here? I never thought you were the type to appreciate fine dining establishments."
"Same reason as you, I met a girl."
"Oh?" Draco raised an eyebrow, "I thought you were dating the Weasley girl?"
"Was. Past tense," Wait, that wasn't right. Harry had no idea where he was going with this, and both Daphne and Ginny would probably kill him later for it, but he took a deep breath and pressed on, "Like I said, I met a girl."
"And?" Draco looked genuinely curious.
Harry raised his left hand, displaying a shining silver ring. "We got hitched."
Draco really had some fascinating facial expressions, Harry thought, that could be employed more often. He stared horrified at the ring, jaw dropping open, and several erratic sparks shooting out of his clenched wand and onto the rug. Harry tried his hardest not to burst out laughing, only the thought of Ginny's expression later kept his mirth in check.
"You…you…what? Good lord!" Draco stuttered, eyes still fixed on his hand. The truth was, it was just a promise ring given to him by Ginny before leaving for training with the Harpy's. It looked nothing like an actual wedding band he would buy –besides, he was pretty sure they both would agree that one ring was enough, and it wouldn't be on him. Still, it was convenient that he had it on him.
Finally, Draco regained his pureblood composure, and croaked, "Congratulations."
Pleased with the results his unexpected words had brought, Harry settled to just standing in silence and observing the various expressions of Draco as he thought over what he had just said.
The door opened yet again, and this time two young ladies entered. Recognizing the elder, Harry jumped up and walked over to greet her.
"Daphne!" he exclaimed pleasantly, "You're here!"
Daphne smiled haughtily and replied, "Yes, Potter. I wouldn't dare to leave you to eat alone. Now, look who I met!" she dragged Harry by his sleeve to the other side of the room, "Harry, you remember by sister Astoria?"
"Pleasure to meet you," he gave a slight bow, but almost tripped when he saw Malfoy slip his hand into Astoria's.
"Nice to meet you too, Mr. Potter," she answered.
"Please, call me Harry." Draco emitted a strangled croak. The three others turned to look at him.
"You've met, I presume, Harry?" Daphne asked tentatively. They both nodded.
"It's been too long since we've met, Ms. Greengrass," Draco added, nodding respectfully to Daphne, "I was not aware that you had met Mr. Potter here."
"Are you jealous, Malfoy?" Harry teased, "Really, we are old school friends, after all."
The ladies didn't seem to catch onto the sarcasm.
"In that case, Daphne," Astoria turned to her sister, "Since we're all friends, why don't we share a table tonight? I'm sure it would allow us to catch up with one another, don't you think?"
Daphne smiled, "Yes, that's sounds nice."
Draco was stricken, "Astoria, dear…that's really not necessary, I'm sure Potter wouldn't…" he trailed off.
"On the contrary, Malfoy, I think that sounds like a wonderful idea."
Draco glared daggers at him.
"That settles it, then!" Astoria said cheerfully, and grabbed her sister's sleeve, dragging her towards the front counter.
"Potter!" Draco hissed, back facing the women, "What the bloody hell do you think you're doing?"
"I don't understand, Malfoy. What do you mean?" Harry whispered in mock politeness.
"You know –I can't believe you just said–" he spluttered, struggling to come up with a word to accurately express his feelings, "You're going to be my brother-in-law?" he mouthed, pale face turning an uncharacteristic shade of red.
Harry grinned evilly, "Won't prevent me from hexing you when necessary. Besides, it's your choice, after all," he nodded to the square lump in Draco's pocket. Draco gulped. Millicent Bulstrode was looking awfully attractive at the moment.
Amazingly enough, they managed to get through the first course without incident. Harry thought it might have had something to do with the scalding hot shellfish soup that demanded all of their attention. The food was delicious, but both men were barely paying attention to it, choosing instead to participate in a fierce staring contest. Harry, having been involved in many over the years with various people (Uncle Vernon, Voldemort, Snape, in ascending levels of professionalism), soon had Draco watering at the eyes. Finally, Draco turned away, scowling, to compliment Daphne on her magnificent, swishy lilac robes. When he turned back to scowl some more, Harry couldn't help but mouth "Loser," triumphantly.
When the main course came along, things started getting…iffy.
Deciding that now would be a good time to engage in some casual conversation, Harry paused from delicately cutting his chicken, to say, "Ms. Greengrass, (this was to Astoria, of course) I've heard you are an enthusiastic Quidditch fan, is that so?"
"Of course, Harry. I'm looking forward to seeing the new Holyhead Harpy's lineup this season, I've heard they've been working on something new during training," she replied thoughtfully.
"Psh," Draco scoffed, "The Montrose Magpies absolutely destroyed them last time, and I doubt their top-secret strategy this season will be little more than that new Chaser, Weasley, they got."
"Nonsense, Draco!" Daphne scolded, "They paid a record fee for a new player, didn't you hear?" then turning to Harry, added, "I'm sorry, Draco here doesn't seem to have much taste in Quidditch."
Draco turned slightly pink, but continued airily, "Well then, I doubt she got in less on skill than connections, with all her relatives at the ministry." He shot a pointed look at Harry, which he promptly ignored.
"Oh really, Malfoy?" he replied casually, grinding more pepper onto the dish, "I seem to recall that the Weasley girl kicked some serious– I mean, beat you more often than not during Quidditch, especially as a Seeker those last few years…"
"Pure luck," he said through clenched teeth.
"So who do support?" Astoria pressed on, ignoring her boyfriend's inaudible mutterings.
"Puddlemere United," he answered promptly, earning a surprised look and a raised eyebrow from Daphne, "Frankly, I'm quite busy at the moment to be so caught up in the game, but my old House Team captain is the Keeper for Puddlemere."
"Oh really?" Astoria said, and they steered the conversation into less volatile waters.
Dessert was when it all started going horribly wrong.
The waiter had come with their desired confections (Crème brûlée for the ladies, crème caramel for Malfoy, and much to the surprise of the server, treacle tart for Harry), leaving Malfoy looking understandably nervous, and hands fidgeting with his robe pocket.
Perhaps he just wanted to know how his long-time enemy, who was never quite the womanizer, managed to elope with his girlfriend's sister of all people, but whatever the reason, Harry would never forgive him for asking the question he did.
"I hope you find Harry here to be a tolerable companion, Mrs. Potter?" he inquired airily.
"Pardon?" Daphne almost choked on a dainty spoonful of the creamy dessert. "What did you call me, Draco?"
"I'm sorry, aren't you–" he stuttered, then realization. A gloating smirk materialized on his face, as he collected his thoughts, and corrected himself, "I only meant, well you see Potter here, he has been telling me the most amusing stories."
Harry froze, and slowly put his fork down, and looked up. Malfoy was almost grinning, Daphne was sitting ramrod straight in her chair, eyes darting intensely between the two, and Astoria was looking at the scene unfolding with a look of polite puzzlement.
"May I ask what stories, Draco?" she responded in a deadly calm voice after a long, uncomfortable pause.
"Strange, too, I thought. Potter seemed to be implying that you two were in some sort of…wedded bliss." He genuinely smiled this time, his glee just couldn't be suppressed any longer.
Daphne stood up, wrath overcoming her features.
"Uh, please Daphne, I can explain…" Harry pleaded feebly, getting up too.
Instead of responding, Daphne whipped out her wand and aimed it straight between his eyes, "No need," she whispered.
"Please don't hex me!" he squeaked. Draco snickered.
"No, that's quite unnecessary, I have a better idea. You see, we Slytherins aren't so rash, we like to find the most painful way of doing things," and on that happy note, she stalked out of the restaurant.
"Please! Daphne! Don't go!" with one last careful glare at Malfoy, he grabbed his things and chased after her.
Again, ignoring the strange looks thrown his way by diners and waiters alike, he hurtled over the plush carpeting to the exit. Outside, it had begun to rain, a cold, dreary, gray rain that raised a cloud of fog over Diagon Alley. Into the fog and crowd, Daphne was disappearing, her lilac robes out of place in the gloom. Harry picked up his pace to follow her, weaving through the dense crowd of bodies, continually shouting her name. She never once looked back or replied.
Finally, she stopped and turned to step into an old-fashioned tea shop, with one hand on the doorknob when Harry caught up, bent over and panting from his efforts.
"Daphne, please…" he gasped.
The witch turned around…but it wasn't Daphne. The stern, old lady looked at him strangely, looking remarkably like Neville's gran.
"Pardon?" she asked.
"Uh, sorry, thought you were someone else…I'll be going now…" he mumbled, not meeting her eye. He quickly scampered away, and disapparated.
By the time he reached Number 12 Grimmauld Place's dilapidated weedy yard, the cold drizzle had turned to a full out downpour. Great. It complimented his mood perfectly. Draco had gotten the last laugh, and he would be able to use that little prank against him for Merlin knows how long. Daphne would probably murder him as soon as he set foot in the ministry the next day –Auror or no Auror. Not to mention once Ginny got wind of this recent incident (and he was sure she'd hear, with Draco knowing), she'd resurrect him from the dead just to kill him again, personally. The best he could do now was either to A) Run and hide in Albania for a while, or B) Somehow bribe Malfoy and the Greengrasses. Being the Gryffindor he was, both options were quite unpalatable, but he already made a quick mental note to visit Gringotts first thing next day.
The door creaked open with a few taps of his wand, revealing the shadows and horrors within. Harry gave a small, melancholy sigh, and added "House repairs" to his extensive to-do list. Speaking of horrors, one was currently waiting inside for him, standing with arms on hips, pure fury dancing in her eyes.
"Honey!" Harry called, trying not to show his absolute terror, while unconsciously reaching for his wand, "Er, what brings you home so early?"
"Potter," she said in a voice of complete calm.
Harry gulped. This couldn't be good.
"What did you do?" she continued in the same monotone. Never before had the similarities between Ginny and Mrs. Weasley struck out so much, though while Mrs. Weasley preferred shouting, Ginny just had this creepy, quietly dangerous tone. He almost favoured the former option.
"What do you mean…I only mean…"
"You know very well what I'm talking about, Harry, dearest."
"Please, I can explain!" he pleaded, backing onto the troll leg umbrella stand, and almost knocking it over, "Ginny…"
"You really should think next time, or is that too difficult for your tiny brain to understand?"
"What -?" Ginny never insulted his intelligence before, why was she doing so now? Unless…
Too late, her barely contained rage simmering inside of her for the past few minutes spilled out all of a sudden, in the form of various hexes, curses, jinxes, even a few physical blows. Poor Harry never had a chance.
"Oh, Harry, dear. What was it this time?" a warm voice asked. Harry blinked, trying to clear his mind and understand what she had asked.
"Wha?" was all he managed.
"Did you get into another duel with a death eater? Or tried to rescue a baby hippogriff? Or was it a dragon this time?" the nurse continued, fussing with the potion bottles on the sideboard.
Right. He was in St. Mungo's. But why?
"Um, I dunno, exactly, Florence," he answered vaguely.
"Poor dear," Florence tutted, "You've been in this ward far too many times for your own good, we might as well make you a permanent resident here, really, Aurors these days…"
"Do you know how I got here?" he inquired.
"Well, you were checked in by Ms. Weasley a while ago…"
"How long ago?"
"Er, a day or two, give or take a few hours? You've been asleep for the last 5, the Mandrake Draught took a while to take effect…"
He groaned. This was just totally wonderful.
"If you want to know more, there are two young ladies outside who seem quite eager to talk to you," Florence added.
So Florence finished arranging some sympathy flowers (how he still got them, it really was a wonder) and opened the door to admit said young ladies.
One of them had dark black hair, and wore silver trimmed robes. The other had bright red locks, and plain muggle clothes. Both wore identical, furious expressions.
All of a sudden, Harry could remember how he came here. Well, not really, he must have passed out after a few minutes, but he remembered why he was here.
"No, please, Florence, actually, I think I need a bit more rest…" he called weakly, but she had already closed the door.
Daphne and Ginny walked over and sat on the visitor chairs. He was a grown man, for goodness sake! Yet, those two still made him feel like a disobedient child. "Grow up!" he thought furiously.
"So…" Daphne began, narrowing her eyes in scrutiny.
"Now that you can actually talk again, explain," Ginny demanded, tapping her wand irritably against the bedframe.
So there you have it. Hope you enjoyed the fic!
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