A/N: Yes, I know, another oneshot. I'm starting to appreciate them more, they take less effort because I don't need a complete and long plot all thought out. Don't worry, I do still have plans for longer stories.
This isn't betaed... I don't bother betaing the oneshots. There shouldn't be too many mistakes though – I hope.
On another note, The Devil's Secretary has been nominated in the Spring 2012 Round of The HP Fanfic Fan Poll Awards. There's a link in my profile. Voting opens February first, so vote for your favourites!
Hermione smiled and closed her eyes, enjoying what had to be the best cup of tea ever. Just because she thought this every morning didn't make it any less true. Cafe Amore - while clichéd in name - had the most amazing blends of tea, and Hermione showed up every morning to claim her corner table and read over the paper before she went in to work.
The best thing about her morning ritual was that the cafe was Muggle, so she never had anyone ask her if she could introduce them to Harry Potter. Nothing was more annoying than trying to savour one's tea, only to have a gaggle of giggling schoolgirls ask if Harry would ever consider dating a younger woman. She'd spend a whole day sick to her stomach every time something like that had happened – and it had happened entirely too frequently.
When she finished savouring her sip of tea and finally opened her eyes to read the paper, it was obscured by a shadow. Someone was blocking the delightful sunlight that usually shone into the large windows and washed over the entire interior of the cafe.
Backlit by the bright sunlight, the person was impossible to identify. His face was entirely obscured by shadow. It was certainly a he though; no female would have a body like that.
She was just about to enquire if he wanted something when the figure slid into the chair opposite her.
One glance at his face and Hermione's eyes widened in shock. Why was Draco Malfoy sitting at the table with her, and why was he looking at her like a predator about to consume a weakened gazelle? While it could be argued that Malfoy shared some characteristics with predators, she certainly didn't exude the same attitude as a weakened gazelle... Did she?
"Hello gorgeous," he said in a low, silky voice he probably thought was alluring. In a different bloke, it probably would be. Hermione was too disturbed by the fact that this tone was coming from Malfoy and directed at her. There had to be a punch-line somewhere.
Fleeing seemed like an attractive option but that was what a gazelle would do, and Hermione was a predator too, damn it!
Instead of throwing some money on the table and rushing out of the shop like she dearly wanted to do, Hermione raised an eyebrow at the blond. She tried to put all of her distaste into her eyes. Lasers of irritation that would reduce Malfoy to a tiny pile of dust and ash, that's what her eyes were.
The stubbornly un-burnt Malfoy lost a tad of his confidence at her look, but he was undeterred. His pale hand extended towards her, a charming smile on his face.
"Draco Malfoy," he said, obviously expecting her to respond with her name as well. "I couldn't help but notice that you were all alone over here and thought you could use some company."
She blinked a few times, still waiting for that punch line that was seeming less and less likely. Sure, she'd changed a little since school; taming her hair, developing some curves, but had she really changed that much? Maybe the real issue was that she'd made so little of an impression on Malfoy that he'd completely forgotten her in the years since Hogwarts.
Somehow she found it hard to believe that you could just forget someone who you watched tortured by your insane aunt on the parlour floor. Then again, he'd lived with Voldemort, so that had probably been a regular occurrence there; torture until their Crucio-ing hand got tired (Merlin forbid they get Carpal Tunnel), then a quick teatime to rejuvenate them, followed by some verbal abuse just to make sure prisoner moral stayed low.
Hermione was glad that she was skilled at Occulmency. Never mind the secrets that lurked in her mind; if someone plucked the image from her brain of Voldemort holding a delicate china teacup with his pinkie extended, they'd have her committed.
Malfoy's smile was starting to fade into a look of confusion. He probably didn't get turned down very often. Hell, he was rich, handsome, and – when he hadn't decided that you were inferior because of your blood – capable of being very charming; he probably hadn't ever been turned down before.
Hoping he'd just go away, Hermione lifted her paper so he couldn't see her anymore. A nasty confrontation first thing in the morning was the perfect way to ruin her entire day.
It was only a moment later that her paper was snatched from her hands. She should have known better; Malfoy was never one to take it well when he was being ignored. Even she knew that and she didn't know him all that well.
"Look," he said, "We've obviously got off on the wrong foot. I've been presumptuous. Can I make it up to you by buying you a refill, perhaps one of the éclairs the other customers are raving about?"
"Look, I'm sure most women fall for your act, Malfoy, but I know you for the evil little ferret you really are, so just leave me to my tea," she said, keeping her voice level.
Like a cat suddenly doused in water, he was up out of his chair so quickly that Hermione had barely seen him move. The chair fell to the ground with a clatter, tangling his legs and knocking him to the ground with a thump. He popped immediately back to his feet, staring at her owlishly.
After seeing him so composed and confident, it was amusing to see him so dishevelled.
"Granger?" he said disbelievingly. His already pale complexion had bled of colour. Hermione had seen marshmallows with a healthier glow about them. He looked like he'd seen a ghost.
She gave him a false smile and picked up her paper again.
When she peeked over the top of the page a moment later, he was gone.
After the odd morning she'd had, Hermione was glad that the rest of her day seemed to be following a more normal pattern. She had opted not to share with her friends the little incident in the tea shop for fear they'd insist on accompanying her; there would be no calming morning tea if Ron was there attempting to shove entire croissants into his mouth and Harry was glaring suspiciously at everyone who walked in the door.
"Miss Granger?" her secretary asked, poking her head in the office.
The woman came forward and placed a pile of files on Hermione's desk.
"Tom's vacation has started, he's left you his case files."
Hermione nodded her thanks and picked up the top file.
She was the magical equivalent of a lawyer, but, as there was no such thing as parole officers, she was also a parole officer of sorts. At first, she had thought it odd that she was charged with defending people in front of the WIzamont, but she was also technically an Auror, part of the law enforcement department. The sketchy job description allowed her to pretty much do whatever she wanted within the Ministry.
Going over the community service of former Death Eaters wasn't something she wanted to do.
She started to frown as she read the first file. Something wasn't quite adding up. Going back to the starting of the file, she reread it.
He has shown remarkable improvement in attitude since the beginning of his community service. While there was initial doubt that he would be able to handle the sick, his ability to listen and ready smile has brought more than one patient out of their shell and onto the road to recovery.
That in itself was enough to raise questions with Hermione. The Malfoy she had met just that morning hadn't changed much since school, and she couldn't imagine him at St. Mungo's caring for the sick. She shook her head and read on; while the description of him seemed off, it wasn't what was bothering her about the file.
Volunteer time: Every Tuesday and Thursday, 7am-11am
There! That's what the problem was! The file claimed that he had never missed a day, but it was Tuesday. The magically update file clearly said that Malfoy had checked in that morning, but he had been in a Muggle cafe, trying to get into Hermione's pants.
This needed to be investigated.
As a child, the sterilized atmosphere and strange machines of hospitals had always unnerved her and she'd feared the places of healing. Magical hospitals were slightly better, but they definitely weren't her favourite place in the world.
Malfoy's supervisor, the head of the recovery ward, was a portly old man whom all the children loved because of his resemblance to Santa Clause. After navigating her way through a series of receptionists and long corridors, Hermione eventually found herself seated in the man's office, snacking on gingerbread cookies.
"What can I help you with, my dear?" Healer Cringle asked.
Upon first meeting him, Hermione had actually laughed when he introduced himself, thinking there was no way his legal name was C. Cringle. He hadn't understood the joke.
"I just wanted to check in and make sure that Mr. Malfoy is actually attending his assigned community service."
"Of course, of course!" he said loudly. Grabbing a cookie for the road, he ambled out of the room, beckoning for Hermione to follow.
As soon as she saw Malfoy, Hermione knew that something was off. The blond was smiling widely, bouncing a small child on his knee while making jokes with the child's mother, who was in the hospital bed. Bouncing children was not something a Malfoy would do, they'd bred kindness out of that family line centuries ago.
"Mr. Malfoy, can we just have a word with you?" Healer Clause asked in his genial way.
Malfoy gently place the child on its mother's bed and made his way over to them, still with that smile. The most disturbing part was that it seemed genuine. Not only was he doing his community service, but he was enjoying it?
No, something was horribly, horribly wrong. This couldn't be Malfoy.
Hatching a plan, Hermione extended a hand and smiled, showing her teeth. "It's lovely to meet you, Mr. Malfoy."
There was no hesitation as he clasped her hand and shook it. Strange that he had been so horrified to meet her just that morning and now he was smiling and shaking her hand.
"I've temporarily taken over Tom's caseload, I'm just checking in with everyone and making sure my files are in order," Hermione said, making it up on the spot. She strongly doubted this man in front of her was Malfoy, and she didn't want the real one to know that she was suspicious of him. If he didn't know of her investigation, then he wouldn't work so hard to cover his tracks.
The still-mute Malfoy just continued to smile at her and nod.
Taking a gingerbread cookie to go, Hermione left St. Mungo's.
The home address listed in Malfoy's file wasn't for Malfoy Manor, something that had initially surprised Hermione but then started to make a lot more sense. What twenty-one year old wanted to live with his parents when he had more than enough money to buy a house of his own?
When she got there, she experienced yet another surprise; it wasn't a house, it was more of a cottage. In fact, it looked like just the sort of place where a little old lady would live with her cats, waiting for her grandchildren to come and visit.
Hermione walked up the path, bordered by well tended flowers. There was a gingerbread trim and flower boxes under the windows. Flowerboxes! Once again, she was getting a feeling that something wasn't right.
She knocked, the feeling only intensifying.
When the person who came to the door wasn't a blond man, but the little old lady Hermione had been picturing all along, she knew that Malfoy had fooled the Ministry once again.
"Hello, I'm looking for Draco Malfoy, is he here?" Hermione asked, just to be sure. Best to cover all of her bases before she started to make a fuss.
The woman blinked slightly clouded eyes at Hermione, a cat peeking out around her ankles. "Sorry, dear, I've never heard of him. Funny name though, are you sure he's from around here?"
Thanking her, Hermione headed back to the Ministry. She seemed to be back to square one.
A tiny House Elf stared up at her, trembling. Hermione didn't blame the poor thing, Malfoy Manor was creepy at the best of times, and the little creature had to live there.
Hermione showed it her Auror badge, something that didn't get much use while she was working courtrooms. "I'm here to see Draco Malfoy, is he in?"
The little creature's trembling increased until Hermione was sure that it was going to shake something loose.
"Young Master no lives here anymore. He moved in with Master Blaise m-monthes ago," the elf said. The moment the words were out of its mouth, its tennis ball eyes widened almost impossibly large and it began trembling so badly that it could barely stand upright. "I nots supposed to s-say that."
Hermione was about to comfort the creature when it slammed the door in her face. She scowled at the wood only centimetres short of her nose. Courtrooms were definitely preferable to this field work thing.
There wasn't really anything she could do for the poor elf, which was surely punishing itself that very moment. The only thing that would help the situation was finding Malfoy, then she could have a talk with him about his family's treatment of magical creatures.
Blaise Zabini hadn't changed much since school. He'd always been handsome in that tall and dark way that always had girls swooning after him. Hermione hadn't understood the attraction while they'd been in school – her mind had been preoccupied with a certain freckly redhead – but she was starting to understand what her dorm mates had always been on about.
"I'm looking for Malfoy, is he here?"
As it was well past eight in the evening on a Wednesday, Hermione had hoped that she'd catch Malfoy at a time when he was in. She would have preferred to ask the blond her questions yesterday, when she'd discovered all the trouble, but her various trips had stretched rather late, and it had taken her the better part of Wednesday to find out where in the world Blaise Zabini lived.
Her frustration had been immense when, after hours of searching and asking around, she'd discovered that Mr. Zabini lived in the same building as she did. With the use of Apparition and Floo, the chances of actually running into him in the lifts was incredibly unlikely, so Hermione had been completely floored to discover that she lived within the same walls and the person she'd been hunting.
Looking her up and down, Zabini raised an eyebrow. "That depends; are you here to sob and beg him to take you back?"
"No!" Hermione spat, offended he'd even suggest such a thing.
That seemed to be the answer he'd been searching for, since he gave her a little nod of approval.
"Are you here to hit him with various objects for shagging you and never calling?"
The expression of horror on Hermione's face was enough to tell him that she had a different reason for visiting.
"Pity," Blaise said, shaking his head, "It's always entertaining to watch him try to fend them off without-"
Magic. He'd stopped himself from saying magic. Zabini thought she was a Muggle as well. Had she really been that unmemorable in school? She'd been top of all of her classes despite the war going on in the background, she would have thought people would remember her a little better.
Tilting his head to the side in an almost birdlike motion, Zabini narrowed his dark eyes. "You look a little like someone I knew in school..."
Huh. Maybe it was her change in appearance that was throwing them. Apparently she wasn't Hermione Granger without bushy hair and shapeless robes.
"That's because we went to school together, Zabini," Hermione said impatiently. "Now I'm here on Ministry business and I need to talk with Malfoy."
"Merlin, Granger!" he exclaimed, realization having dawned. "Draco said you'd changed, but he never said how much. No wonder he tried to pick you up."
Feeling distinctly uncomfortable, Hermione straightened her posture and put on the prim attitude as she always assumed when unnerved. The way Zabini was looking at her was definitely unnerving.
"I'd prefer to keep this visit professional," she said crisply.
Zabini grinned at her, showing a line of straight, white teeth. "Right this way, Granger."
Malfoy was inside, lounging on the sofa and reading. Only a few floors up from where she lived, he'd been lounging around and reading the entire time.
"Who was it at the door?" he asked without looking up from his book.
"Granger," answered Zabini as he watched his friend intently for a reaction.
He wasn't disappointed.
Once again doing an impression of a doused cat, Malfoy jumped off the sofa and whipped around to face them, his expression wary. Hermione was betting he really wished he was allowed his wand at the moment.
"Why the bloody hell did you let her in?" the blond hissed angrily.
Zabini shrugged, completely unfazed. "I told you when you moved in that I wasn't going to lie to the Ministry for you, and she's here in an official capacity." He grinned evilly at his friend. "I'll just leave you two alone to talk."
Grabbing his coat, Zabini brushed past Hermione and was out the door, Malfoy's protests completely ignored.
Suddenly finding herself alone with the man she'd spent so much time searching for of late, Hermione was left unsure how she should proceed. Luckily, she was Hermione Granger, so it only took her a moment to regain her mental faculties.
"Malfoy, how is it that you could be in a Muggle cafe trying to pick me up and doing your community service at the same time?" she asked.
"I have no idea what you mean."
Hermione wasn't buying it. She knew what she'd seen and that was Malfoy, in a Muggle establishment, trying to pick up what he thought to be Muggle women. It was just horrible luck that it had been her, the Ministry official temporarily in charge of his case.
"Try again," she snapped.
"You're being careless, Granger. If I was doing something – and I'm not saying I am – then you've just tipped your hand and practically invited me to dispose of the evidence – something I don't have because I'm innocent."
"You underestimate me if you think I'd be so careless. I'm bringing you into custody, where we'll only have to wait until you show up for your community service."
Malfoy sighed, turned his eyes to the ceiling and started unbuttoning his shirt.
"What are you doing?" Hermione squeaked.
He gave her a look that said it should be more than obvious. "Trading sexual favours for your silence."
"I don't want your sexual favours!"
If she were being honest with herself, Hermione would admit that the sliver of his chest she could see was rather enticing. Thankfully, she was wonderfully, blissfully ignoring everything but how much he annoyed her.
"Shame," he said, looking over her with a leer, "You're almost attractive enough for me to forget how filthy you really are."
"Is this why Zabini left us alone? So you could seduce me into forgetting that somehow you're breaking the law?"
Briefly, a scowl flashed over his face. "No, Zabini left us alone because he's gotten it into his head that I have a thing for you. He's been harping about it like a housewife since..." he paused, mentally counting something, "Well, as long as I can remember, really."
She found it slightly odd that even while they'd been completely against her because of her blood, Zabini had been trying to get his friend to admit an attraction for someone of her parentage. This attraction couldn't exist, it went against everything she knew and he believed.
Malfoy was watching her, looking amused. "Don't be so surprised, Granger. My mind can abhor you even while my body wants you."
"Well I assure you that I'm of one mind with regards to you, Malfoy: loathing. None of that pesky attraction to make me think you might not be as horrible as I think."
One of his eyebrows rose challengingly. "Really?"
No, it had been an outright lie. If her reaction to that one glimpse of his chest was any indication, attraction to him was going to be a major problem in her future dealings with the narcissistic blond. She shouldn't have lied to him so baldly when he had probably caught her earlier covetous glance. She could only hope he'd also caught the expression of revulsion and horror that immediately followed it.
He started undoing the buttons that he'd only just closed, watching her challengingly all the while.
Keeping her eyes averted, Hermione panicked and stunned him.
All she knew was that bad things would happen if he got that shirt off; bad, sinful things that she'd probably enjoy entirely too much to properly hate him ever again. The hatred would be tainted by lust.
When her immediate panic cleared, a second wave set in. She'd just stunned an unarmed man in his own home, and he hadn't really been doing anything wrong – not in the eyes of the law anyway. The Ministry kind of frowned on its Aurors doing that kind of thing.
She indulged herself in a few panicked minutes of pacing back and forth across the room – after making sure Malfoy wouldn't see her distress, of course - while trying to decide what she should do.
As she paced away from him once more, arms wrapped around her middle, bringing her against a hard body.
"Having some concentration troubles, Granger?" he asked, his hot breath on the shell of her ear, sending unwilling shivers down her spine. He didn't sound upset, just darkly amused.
"I'm an Auror and you're assaulting me," she said clearly.
Instead of realizing the legal repercussions of his actions, Malfoy chuckled. "Only returning the favour. I was under the impression that stunning an unarmed man with no provocation was against those laws you're supposed to uphold."
Shite. She'd been hoping – apparently in vain – that he wasn't that familiar with the law. She should have known better; to break the law without getting caught, one must first know the laws very well. Malfoy seemed the type to prescribe to that school of thought; he probably got it from his father.
Her body must have tensed and, intimately pressed against her as he was, Malfoy noticed. "Don't fret, Granger. I'm sure we can come up with something that would be," he paused; for effect or just searching for the right words, Hermione was unsure, "Mutually beneficial."
She couldn't have that. If the growing hardness at her back was an indication, then Hermione wasn't going to like his proposition – well, she would, but she didn't want to.
Desperate, she did the last thing he expected and stepped back, pressing herself into him. At the same time, she slammed her shoe-clad foot down onto his bare and vulnerable one.
Second, physical assault charge, her mind noted, adding it to the growing list of her infractions.
Instead of releasing her, Malfoy's hold only tightened, forcing her to jam an elbow into his stomach. That got him to let go.
While he was bent over, clutching his middle and gasping profanities while he tried to breathe properly, Hermione magically handcuffed him.
Her mind was throwing around phrases involving "lose your job" and "thrown in Azkaban". Hermione had to push the thoughts aside so she could bring the blond into custody. He was already in handcuffs, so she may as well finish what she'd started.
Searching around in her robes, she eventually produced the portkey that all Aurors were required to carry with them. She found and unwrapped the coin and made sure they were both touching it at the same time.
After the jolting feeling of her stomach had faded, Hermione grabbed Malfoy and dragged him to her office, breathing a sigh of relief when no one crossed their path. Technically, he was still in custody while in her office, he just wasn't in holding like he should be.
"You're just digging yourself deeper here, Granger," Malfoy drawled. He made himself comfortable – or as comfortable as possible when his hands were magically bound in front of him - on the sofa Hermione had against the wall in case she needed to take quick naps while working long hours.
Hermione sat behind her desk, put her elbows on the hard surface and rested her head in her cupped hands. What was she going to do?
First of all, she wasn't going to let Malfoy look like he didn't have a single care in the world.
"You really shouldn't be talking when you're about to be thrown back in Azkaban for skipping your community service," she said. There probably could have been more venom in her voice, but she just didn't have the energy to waste on anything that wasn't her immediate problem. The immediate issue was one hell of a problem.
Hermione rubbed her temples as she tried to think. She'd really dug herself deep this time, there was only one solution her formidable brain could produce, and she really didn't want to have to resort to that.
"I'm a horrible Auror," she mumbled. This was why she had been working a desk job; she let her emotions get the better of her when it came to criminals and completely ignored protocols. Now she was hiding Malfoy in her office after assaulting and arresting him. Merlin, she was going to end up in Azkaban herself.
"Now, Granger," Malfoy said, obviously having heard her mumbling, "While you're irritating to no end, you were the only one to catch on about my alleged lawbreaking. That has to count for something."
Blinking in disbelief, Hermione raised her head from her hands to stare at what had to be a mirage sitting on her sofa and saying something almost nice. While it looked like Malfoy, it made more sense that someone had created an elaborate illusion to bring her on this whole wild goose chase than something almost encouraging coming out of Malfoy's mouth.
Suddenly suspicious, Hermione got up from her desk and paced over to the blond sprawled on her sofa. He didn't open his eyes as she approached, so she was free to examine him as closely as she wanted. She could faintly see his pulse beating at the base of his neck; if it was an illusion, it was a good one.
Haltingly, with many wary glances to make sure his eyes were still closed, Hermione reached out and gently placed her fingers against that beating pulse. It wasn't just something visible, she could feel it too. Her next cautious glance up at his eyes found them open, staring at her.
She snatched her hand back, embarrassed at being caught. She hadn't thought far beyond checking that he was an illusion, and now he was looking at her. Her cheeks flushed under his stare.
"What was that?" he asked, smirking.
"I was making sure you're not an illusion," she muttered.
"I promise you, Granger, this is all me. I know it's a situation out of your wildest dreams to have me here, ostensibly at your mercy, but I'm real."
Hermione started to go back to her desk, rolling her eyes at him, but Malfoy's bound hands darted forward, grabbed the front of her robes and yanked her right on top of him. His hands were squished under her body, but he still managed to use his legs and elbows to flip himself on top of her, trapping her there.
"Malfoy, you're squish-mmpmf"
To stop her from complaining about being crushed under his full weight, Malfoy kissed her. Hermione knew she should pull away, but his lips were magnetic and hers were inexplicably drawn to them. Suddenly, she cared a whole lot less about his weight on top of her, she wanted him there. However, she did need to breathe and her compressed lungs were struggling.
A twist of her hips and a hard shove later and Malfoy was on the floor, swearing.
"What the hell, Granger?" he spat once he'd finished his tirade.
Hermione peered down at him, unapologetic. "I was trying to say you were squishing me before I was so rudely interrupted."
"You kissed me back," he said, his voice borderline petulant.
"That doesn't mean you're a substitute for air, despite what you seem to think." She tilted her head to the side and regarded him seriously. "How'd you go from running away as if Voldemort was on your heels when you realized who I was in that cafe to trying to snog me in my office?"
If he was trying to get himself free through sexual favours again, she was going to remove certain body parts that would make performing such favours very difficult in the future.
He must have read the direction of her thoughts on her face, because he answered immediately and with what seemed to be the truth. "It was shock that made me run from you, I never would have thought that the beautiful brunette playing hard to get was Hermione Granger, bane of my youth. The snogging is the natural progress of that attraction, is it not?" His eyes darkened, so slightly it was nearly imperceptible, but Hermione was pay very close attention. "Unless, of course, you want to skip straight to the shagging, I'm all for that option."
Ugh. How could he manage repulsive and charming within a few sentences? The worst part of the whole ordeal was that Hermione wanted to kiss him again and was actually considering taking him up on that offer of his.
A devious little plan started to form in her mind. A way for her to get everything she wanted without any of the consequences. She just needed to be properly persuasive.
Hermione rolled off of the sofa on top of Malfoy, making sure to land a leg on either side of him so as not to hurt him.
"Decided to take me up on the shagging after all?" he asked.
She leaned down and kissed him without answering, balancing on her elbows so that she could press herself against him.
Malfoy's hands strained against the bonds holding them together. Eventually, he turned his head to the side, frustrated that he couldn't touch her.
"Granger, release my hands," he growled.
She ignored his request – order – and moved down to his neck since his mouth was turned away. With lips and teeth, she nibbled and sucked right on the pulse point she'd tested earlier with her fingers. His pulse had noticeably increased since she'd last felt it.
"Granger," he said, more of a groan this time, "My hands."
Hermione smirked against his skin. "I have a proposal for you, Malfoy."
"What?" He tugged on the bonds some more, probably hoping that her concentration had faded while she messed with him. The bonds held firm.
"I'll unbind your hands and drop my investigation of your failure to do your community service provided you forget about all of my... less than legal tactics of the past few hours."
To make sure he wasn't thinking too hard about her deal, she went right back to her ministrations on his neck.
"Fine," he said.
Grinning, Hermione grabbed her wand and removed the binding spell on his wrists.
Immediately, he pulled his hands apart, grabbed her and flipped her over. This time, he had the use of his hands so that he didn't crush her as he leaned over her.
When he kissed her again, Hermione no longer had to worry about him thinking he was getting out of his trouble with sex. This time, the only thing she had to concern herself over was the impropriety of using her office for something so... unprofessional.
"Granger," a very familiar voice growled. It preceded the slamming of her office door as Draco angrily stormed in.
"Yes, Malfoy?" she asked innocently. She had a pretty good idea what this was about, but she wasn't too worried about his reaction. He essentially had one form of conflict resolution whenever they fought, and Hermione enjoyed it just as much as he did.
"Why is it that I was brought in for questioning about my community service today? You said you'd drop the investigation."
Hermione smirked at him. "I know you were a little distracted at the time, so you weren't thinking too carefully about my wording. I dropped the investigation, but Tom came back from his vacation yesterday. I may have given him a few hints."
Draco's eyes narrowed. "Do you know how much it's going to cost me to bribe my way out of this investigation?"
"If you started attending you community service, then they'd have nothing to investigate and this would all go away."
He glared some more before it morphed into a heated stare. "You're lucky I think it's bloody hot when you're being devious."
"Just for the record, how were you doing it - shirking the community service?" Hermione asked. She had several theories, but she didn't like not knowing for certain.
"Am I talking to Auror Granger or my girlfriend Hermione?"
She rolled her eyes; always the suspicion with him. It was so Slytherin of him, and Merlin help her, but she found it just as appealing as he found her deviousness.
"The latter," she reassured.
"I'm paying some kid just out of Hogwarts to take Polyjuice and pretend to be me," he admitted quietly, not wanting anyone to overhear.
Hermione nodded; that had been one of her theories. Whoever the kid was, she was willing to bet he had a future at the hospital. He'd been so good with the patients - which had been Draco's downfall.
"You're revelling in your victory, aren't you?" he grumbled. "Now I actually have to do my community service so they can't catch me skipping it."
"Good always prevails and all of that," she said.
Draco mumbled a string of profanities she couldn't hear and wrenched the door open, ready to storm off.
"We still on for tonight?" Hermione called after him.
"Of course; the make up sex is half the fun of fighting."
Hermione went back to writing the report she'd been working on when he'd so loudly interrupted her, smiling fondly all the while.