Story: Act 2715

Author: LadyLissaLight

"You what?!" Blaise half yelled at him.

Draco cringed. "You heard me. Don't make me repeat it."

Blaise glared at him silently for a moment. "I cannot believe you would do that!"

Draco glared back, "How was I supposed to know that was going to happen? She came onto me! I just stood there, and…"

"And let it happen." Blaise reproached, folding his arms.

"It's not like I enjoyed it! This is all your fault anyway," Draco said, ignoring the truth in Blaise's statement.

"You have to tell her." Blaise decided. "You completely screwed up my plan, and now you have to fix it."

"Excuse me? I think I've helped you out enough for one day!" Draco cried. "It isn't my bloody fault you didn't tell me about your idiotic plans. Why you would even suggest something like that in the first place, merlin only knows."

Blaise dropped his arms and then covered his face with his hands. "How can you say that when you're stuck with Astoria forever? If you had the chance to try and find proper love and make the most out of what you had, wouldn't you?"

"Well, yeah. But… it's Granger." Draco muttered as if she were a nasty disease he might catch.

"Oh please. You of all people can't possibly use that defence when you had such a little crush on her in school."

"I did not." He scowled. "But… I guess I understand. Astoria is so - "

"Accommodating?" Blaise chuckled. "Exactly. So if you had someone who you thought you could possibly be happy with, even if you really didn't see them romantically, wouldn't you try?"

"… I guess."

"Good. So now we just have to explain everything to Hermione."

Draco groaned. Did they have to?

"Explain what to me?" Came a feminine voice from the kitchen doorway.

XXXXXX

Hermione leaned forwards to take a sip of her coffee and watched Ginny's face for a reaction. "So I kissed Blaise."

The other woman, who had been sipping on her own tea, nearly choked. "Sorry, what?'

"Yeah."

She proceeded to explain the situation to her friend and watched as Ginny's face flashed through a myriad of emotions before finally settling on a bright happiness that seemed about as real as Lavender Brown's blonde hair.

"That's fantastic Hermione!" She grinned. "Now you'll get to really experience what Dean and I have."

Hermione looked at her oddly. What was going on with Ginny these days? Hermione strongly suspected that she wasn't nearly as keen on Dean as she was pretending to be – but maybe acting this way was just her coping mechanism? As if she was trying to force herself to be happy and that one day the fake would become real?

Hermione decided that if it continued on too long she would confront her friend about it, but would leave it alone for now. "I doubt that Ginny, you've known Dean for years. I've only known Blaise a little while, and that's as a friend. I think it will take a long time to change into something else, I definitely don't want to rush, and it's not like we don't have the rest of our lives to sort it out."

Ginny shrugged, glancing away at the counter. "I'm getting a muffin, you want one?"

They agreed to split one, and as Ginny got up, she bumped into someone who was carrying a mug of tea, spilling it onto their clothing.

"Oh no! I'm so sorry." Ginny quickly apologised.

Hermione stood up and pulled out her wand to perform a cleaning spell, but the woman set the mug down on the counter and said politely. "That's quite alright."

Hermione took a closer look at her as she pulled out her own wand and murmured a cleaning spell neither Hermione nor Ginny had ever heard of. She suddenly realised it was the woman she had seen Draco Malfoy with at the bar that time. His fiancée, she surmised.

"Really, I'm so sorry." Ginny apologised again.

The woman looked at her with a pleasant expression on her pretty face. "That's quite alright. I wouldn't have expected anything different." She turned away to fetch herself another mug.

"What?" Ginny frowned. "What is that supposed to mean?"

Hermione shrugged. The woman seemed way too calm. "Do you know that's Draco Malfoy's fiancée? At least, I assume it is."

Ginny raised her eyebrows and glanced back. "Well she does seem the type. Perfectly pretty and pleasant!" She laughed.

"I guess if that's your thing."

She and Ginny decided not to purchase their muffin after all and headed their separate ways, Ginny to apparition point to go back to her and Dean's apartment, and Hermione on the short walk to Blaise's.

However, upon entering the penthouse, she could hear vague voices coming from the kitchen. She hadn't spoken to Blaise since their awkward kiss and his awkward reaction, so she determined that maybe now was the time.

Turning to go into the kitchen, she heard Blaise say, "Good. So now we just have to explain everything to Hermione."

"Explain what to me?" She asked, stepping into the kitchen.

It was Malfoy that Blaise was with, and they both looked over at her with vaguely terrified expressions on their faces. She raised her eyebrows. "What? What is it?"

The two exchanged looks. They seemed to be debating.

"Just tell me!" She exclaimed, worry starting to pool in her stomach.

Blaise glared at Malfoy for a second, but the blonde stared at the floor. "Okay fine, I will tell her you magnificent coward." Blaise seethed. "Go away."

Malfoy glanced back at Hermione and their eyes met. He looked away hurriedly and left the kitchen.

By now Hermione was starting to get worried and annoyed. "Blaise."

He let out a breath and came over to stand next to her. "Hermione, you remember when I came to you the other day and asked if we could give it a go being more than friends?"

She looked at him suspiciously. "Yes, which is why yesterday - "

"Wait a minute." He silenced her. "Well after we had that conversation I had a run in with a potential client of mine and Nott's. I made a request for an appointment with him months ago and he suddenly appeared the other day and said that yesterday we could finally have our meeting, but he expected us to talk about a lot of things that I haven't even looked it. Its Nott's area of the business but he's away. Anyway so I asked Draco about it, and he knew everything there was to know on the subject but we didn't have enough time for him to teach me." He paused, looking at her in a seemingly beseeching way, before continuing. "So we decided that he would polyjuice himself to be me…"

He trailed off as her mind immediately picked up on what he was implying.

Humiliation, sharp and deep, washed over her. "Oh god." She choked out.

"I'm so sorry!" Blaise rushed out, trying to hug her as she put her head in her hands and sank onto the nearest chair. "Draco is really sorry too, this is all my fault because I didn't think anything like this would happen so I didn't tell him, but I'm so sorry Hermione."

Horror replaced the humiliation. No wonder Malfoy could barely meet her eyes. He must feel totally disgusted at having her kiss him, even if he didn't care about her being a mudblood he disliked her enough as a person that he must have been revolted.

"It's okay, really." Blaise tried to comfort her. "He is just as embarrassed as you."

She shook her head. "Ugh. I can't believe I accidentally kissed that ferret. Why didn't he stop me? This is what I get for not thinking things through and trying to just 'go with the flow'."

Blaise patted her back again awkwardly. "I don't know what to say."

She got up. "I'm just going to go to my bedroom now. I need a drink."

She left Blaise in the kitchen, watching her worriedly.

On her way down the hall to her bedroom, she almost ran smack into Draco Malfoy, who was standing in the door of his bedroom, talking to the woman she had seen at the café earlier.

Their eyes met and she felt her cheeks turn bright red. "Excuse me," she muttered, pushing past the woman.

As she closed the door to her bedroom, she heard the woman's pleasant voice say gently, "Draco it must be awful for you living with someone so uncouth and inferior."

She didn't wait to hear his reply.

XXXXXX

Ginny had been attempting to shrug off her gloom all day. Ever since she'd had breakfast with Hermione that morning, where her friend had revealed her news that she and Blaise had kissed, she'd had a sullen and dark feeling in her stomach, ruining her mood.

She'd been training all morning, her audition for the Harpies was in two days and she needed to be in top form, but her mind kept returning to Hermione and Blaise.

Angry at herself, she threw down her broom as gently as she could and went inside, fixing herself a cup of hot chocolate to try and relax her. Dean would be home soon, he finished work at 3 and it was 2.45 already. She couldn't sulk in front of him, he'd want to know what was wrong with her.

Maybe she could talk to Luna, she would understand. She was there the whole time it had been happening, when Harry had left her and she had nobody to turn to except her fellow DA members. Until Blaise had come along…

Ginny looked up from her seat on the floor as she heard the door close.

"Zabini?" She mumbled, wiping the single tear that had fallen from her eye. She never cried and the one time she did, she didn't need an audience. "The meeting isn't for half an hour, what are you doing here?"

Blaise rested his back on the door, observing her with shrewd eyes. "The Carrows are hanging out in the dungeons and I didn't particularly want to join them in telling stories of best ever Crucios", he said wryly, coming over to sit beside her.

She shuddered. The Carrows were singularly awful. "How did you get away?"

"They love me," he laughed lightly. "It was easy. Told them I had an assignation with a Ravenclaw girl in her tower and wouldn't be back for a while."

Ginny wrinkled her nose. "If that's true, please don't tell me anything further. I've no desire to hear about your love life."

He laughed darkly. "Who can even have a love life in times like this? All you have is anger and fear, there isn't time for romance."

Ginny snorted bitterly, she agreed with that. After all, hadn't she just been thinking about that?

He gave her a sideways look. "Thinking about Potter?"

She sighed, her stomach lurching with the sadness she'd felt all year. "Trying not to. Won't do any good. He's off being the hero, and here I am, trying to make do and save the school by myself…"

He gently put his hand on her knee. "You're not alone. You have Neville and Luna… and me. Potter was crazy to leave you here alone, but you're doing brilliantly."

She gave him a somewhat watery smile. "I just miss him."

He patted her knee gently. "I know."

He slid his arm around her shoulder, and surprisingly enough she let him. He was warm and smelled nice, like warm apples. "Just let me be your friend for a while, Weasley. We all need a break every now and then." He nudged her gently.

Ginny jolted from the doze she had fallen into, dreaming about the past, when she heard Dean calling for her cheerfully from the lounge.

XXXXXX

A wizard stood alone in a room full of parchment, bits and pieces falling off tall piles and floating to the floor. He wasn't worried, he knew where everything was.

Finishing the current parchment he was reading, simply a list of names, he smiled to himself.

Everything had gone exactly the way he planned. Oh, he didn't catch all the purebloods, but he got enough of them to ensure they were all unhappy for the rest of their lives, and their purity was ruined forever.

He just had to make sure nobody found out about the role he had played.