You may hate on me. I totally hate myself. It does not feel like it's been three months since I updated! It's ridiculous. Next time, I think I'm just going to make sure I have the story finished before I begin to post it so that I don't leave you all hanging for so long.
So, I won't keep you longer. I just wanna say thanks for sticking in there with me.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own anything related to the Harry Potter enterprise. Use of its characters and names are for entertainment purposes only.
Saturday, March 14th 1998
The next morning, I was getting ready to leave the Manor to head to Theo's when my mother knocked on my bedroom door.
"Draco, darling, are you decent?"
"Come in, Mother," I call out, shrugging on my Quidditch practice robes.
My mother entered the room a moment later, dressed in fine black robes and a small smile on her face.
"Darling, may I have a moment of your time before you head off to Theo's for the day?"
"Of course," I nod, motioning for her to take a seat in the sitting area of my bedchamber.
I waited until my mother took her seat and then took a seat for myself.
"Is everything alright, Mother?"
"Yes, dear, everything is fine. I just wanted to ask you how your time in Italy was. Did you enjoy yourself? Did Hermione enjoy herself?"
I smiled at my mother and nodded. "Everyone had a good time, mother. I enjoyed myself, Hermione loved being there and everyone seemed to enjoy the break before going back to school for our NEWTs. It was a well deserved break all around, I'd say."
"That's wonderful, dear," she nodded. "Well, I won't keep you. Enjoy yourself at Theodore's. Will you be home for dinner?"
"I expect so, but I will Floo you and let you know either way."
"Splendid, enjoy yourself."
I watched at my mother left the room just as gracefully as she entered before I went over to my fireplace and floo'd over to my friends for the day.
"You idiot, you could've killed me!" Blaise was yelling at Theo.
"Dude, calm the fuck down! That was nothing, what's up your ass today?!" Theo countered.
I watched silently as my friends argued and fought over absolutely nothing. Theo accidently sent a bludger towards Blaise. Luckily, Theo's aim is shite, so it wasn't even bad.
"Would both of your chill the hell out? No one was hurt. The two of you need to grow up. We are about to graduate from Hogwarts after all. You can't do out into the real world acting like a couple of toff's thinking the world revolves around you," I snapped after two solid minutes of listening to their bickering.
Two sets of dark eyes scowled at me.
"When the hell did you become so enlightened, anyways?" Theo challenged.
"Oh, don't you know, Theo," Blaise piped up. "Now that he's dating the school brainiac and poster girl for good morals, he's turned into a poof."
"Back off Zabini, you don't know what the fuck you're talking about," I snarled.
"Oh, but I think I do. Since you became an item with Granger, you've not been yourself. You're all about throwing parties with EVERYONE involved and saving helpless Kneazles."
"If I recall correctly, and I do, you are the one that encouraged MY FATHER'S idea of a party, and you supported me dating Hermione, so what the hell has raped your asshole?!"
"Excuse me, masters," a squeaky voice interrupted from behind me. I turned to find a small house elf timidly approaching.
"What is it, Slinky?" Theo asked.
"I is so sorrys to interrupt Master Theodore, but Lady Samantha requests that Master and Master's Friends join her for teas in the sun room," the tiny elf squeaked, eyeing me and Blaise.
"Very well, tell her we will be there in a moment, Slinky. That is all," Theo nodded.
Rolling some of the tension out of my shoulders, I headed towards the trunk that houses Theo's Quidditch balls.
"Will you two bitches behave when we have tea with my mother please?"
"Oh, Mrs. Nott, you're too funny!" Blaise drawled.
"You flatter me, Blaise, but please, call me Samantha; 'Mrs. Nott' makes me feel far too old."
I suppress the urge to roll my eyes. I'd been wondering how to approach the owl subject for a few minutes now, and then it dawned on me.
"Theo, may I borrow your owl? I told mother I would let her know if I'd be home for dinner and the poor thing hasn't been feeling well lately, so I don't want to risk waking her from a nap by floo'ing her."
"Wish I could, mate, but I haven't seen my owl since Blaise borrowed him yesterday morning. Where did you send him off to anyways, Blaise?"
Blaise shrugged nonchalantly before answering.
Wait, did Theo just say Blaise borrowed his owl yesterday morning? I tuned out Blaise's response as I processed this new information. Blaise borrowed Theo's owl yesterday morning. That means that Theo can't be Nicolas Grant. Blaise is Nicolas Grant. Oh Gods. What the fuck is going on here? This is all way too much to think about right now.
"Draco, dear, did you hear me?"
I snapped back to reality to find three pairs of eyes on me.
"I'm sorry I must have zoned out there. I'm just worried about my mother, I guess. I hate to cut the afternoon short, but you'll have to excuse me. I think I should return to check on her."
"Of course darling! Such a caring son you are. Send Narcissa my best won't you? Tell her I will be by later this week to visit?"
"Of course Samantha," I nodded, standing and heading towards the door.
"Oh, just use the Floo in here, Draco. Saves you trudging to the other side of the house," Samantha smiled.
"Thank you," I nodded and smile slightly. "I appreciate your generosity."
With a small nod towards my "friends", I grab some of the Floo powder off the mantle of the marble fireplace and within another moment, I'm gone.
New development in NG case. Will fill you in first thing Monday. Can't wait to see you.
I re-read the note that I had written for my girlfriend. It doesn't sound right. Maybe I should just tell her on Monday when I see her. But she wouldn't be happy if she knew I knew something and didn't tell her.
Crumpling the scrap of parchment I grab a light cloak and head towards the front of the manor. This is something that had to be said in person.
Heading to the edge of manor's wards, I disapperate and almost immediately find myself stood in front of Hermione's family home.
Approaching the front door quickly and with purpose, I knock on the door. It is only then I realize it is still tea time and they are probably sitting down to eat their evening meal.
A moment later the front door opens and reveals a tall woman with hair redder than the Weasley's and eyes as blue as the Caribbean Sea, holding a tall glass of white wine in one hand and a beer bottle in the other.
"Draco! Darling, what a pleasure to see you here! I daresay we weren't expecting you, but what the hell, come on in!" Florence says to me.
"Florence! Great to see you, too. I didn't realize you were going to be here," I said after a moment of surprise.
"Nah, neither did the rest of them, just thought I'd drop in," she winked, leading me into the sitting room. "Look what the cat, or rather I, dragged in," Florence laughed as we entered.
Three shocked faces looked at me in shock for a moment before smiling my way.
"Draco!" Hermione gasped, "What are you doing here?!"
"Well, he obviously couldn't live without you, Hermione," Florence and Cat nudged each other at Cat's teasing.
I felt myself flush momentarily before regaining composure. Malfoy's do not blush after all.
"I was on my way home from Theo's. Just thought I would drop in and say hello," I smirk.
I thought that was a great excuse. Hermione knew where Theo lived, but hopefully no one else did so for all they knew, Theo lived just outside of their suburban community.
"How very thoughtful of you, son. Come in, come in," Henry motioned for me to sit down. "Can I grab you a tinny?"
"Erm, a what?" I asked, slightly confused.
"A tinny… Oh, sorry! A lager?" Henry explained.
"Oh, sure, I'd love one, thank you," I nodded as I sat down across from Florence and Cat.
"Do you have dinner plans, Draco? I have a roast finishing off in the oven, you are more than welcome to join us," Cat smiled and winked at Florence. It was more than obvious that they had had their fair share of the three wine bottles sitting on the coffee table.
"I'd be honoured. Oh, thank you," I added as Henry returned with a beer for me.
"Not at all. Hermione was just telling us all about your very, erm, educational trip to Italy. Did you enjoy yourself, Draco?"
"Oh, uh, yes, very much so, sir. It was very, uh, enlightening."
Educational? Sure, if you count finding out that one of your supposed best friend's has been blackmailing and taunting you for the past few months. Sure, very educational.
"Jolly good," Florence mocked her brother.
"That's it, I'm cutting you off the wine," Henry laughed.
"I'd like to see you try," Florence giggled, sticking her tongue out.
At that moment a buzzer sounded from the kitchen.
"Oh, that'll be the roast," Cat smiled, standing up. "Flor, Henry, come and give me a hand will you?"
"What the hell do you need me for?" Henry rolled his eyes.
"I don't, dear, but it's obvious that Draco came to speak to Hermione about something, so I was trying to be subtle and get you to leave the room to give them some privacy," Cat smiled sweetly at me while giving her husband 'the look'. Henry looked at me, then to his daughter, then back to me before standing and following his wife to the kitchen.
After they left, I stood and walked over to sit beside Hermione. "You know, I think I like it when your family is around. It's the only time I've ever heard you not talk," I teased her before kissing her lightly on the lips.
Hermione smiled at me hesitantly and took a sip of her wine before speaking.
"So, what's up?" she asked me. "What's so important that it couldn't wait until Monday?"
Straight to the point. Gods, I love this girl. No beating around the bush.
"Erm, well, okay, I'll say this quickly. Yesterday I got another letter from Nicolas Grant, after you left Italy. What it said isn't important, but Blaise then told me that it was Theo's owl!"
"I knew it was Theo! He was acting so strange whenever the Grant name was brought up," Hermione hissed. The wine had obviously gotten to her too.
"Let me finish, babe," I chuckled at her intoxicated state. "But today, at Theo's I asked to borrow his owl, just to make sure it was the same one, and he told me he hadn't seen his owl since Blaise borrowed it yesterday morning. I got the note after you left, in the afternoon, after lunch."
Hermione giggle. "I do understand the concept of afternoon, sweetie. But yes, that's rather odd. Now I'm really confused."
"That makes two of us," I concurred.
"Hermione! Draco! Dinner's ready," Florence's voice carried through the corridor from the kitchen.
"We'll talk more about this later, Draco. It'll probably have to wait until Monday now," Hermione smiled, grabbed her wine glass and stood up.
"Why until Monday?" I asked, grabbing my beer and standing up as well, facing Hermione.
"Because we're about to eat dinner now and we can't discuss it in front of my family, and after dinner, we'll probably end up in the back yard and in the hot tub, and after my parents go to bed, I have a very devious plan that includes you in my room with a silencing charm. Then after that charm wears off, I'll place another one. Then you'll have to go home, because I can't have you here when I wake up to get ready for church in the morning. That just wouldn't feel right," Hermione winked.
"Huh, why not?" I was so lost.
Hermione laughed. "Because, I very well couldn't get ready to go and confess my sins when I'm still in the middle of committing one, can I?" she threw her free arm around my neck and pulled my face to hers in a quick sultry kiss.
"Let's go before my father catches me sinning, too."
Fuck. I love this girl.
Monday, March 16th, 1998
"Draco! Are you listening to me?" Hermione's voice interrupted my thoughts. We were sat in the back corner of a pub in Muggle London talking about Nicolas Grant.
Rather she was talking about Nicolas Grant. I was considering renting a room from the bar keep and taking Hermione up to it and putting it to good use. Multiple times.
"Of course I am," I smirk.
"Then what did I just say?" Hermione challenged.
"You said 'Draco! Are you listening to me?' in that snappy voice of yours that give me a hard on," I smirk again.
I watched as Hermione's cheeks flushed and her eyes went dark with sexual desire. A moment later that desire was gone.
"Stop it! This is serious. Who do you think it is?!"
"I don't know," I sighed, taking a long sip from my whiskey. "On the one hand, it would make sense if it was Theo, he got so defensive when the Grant's were brought up in conversation, but I don't really think he has it in him to create such a plan. I mean, he's a Slytherin, I know, but he's always been one of the softer ones, unfortunately. As for Blaise, he's almost, almost, as cunning as I am, so I can see him pulling a plan like this together, I just don't understand why! We've been friends as long as I can remember and as far as we know, there is no relation between him and Grant. I mean, apart from them being neighbours, obviously."
"Hmm…" Hermione contemplated what I had just told her. "My guess is that Blaise knows more than he's letting on…. We can go back to Adoption theory. Blaise could be adopted and the reason why the Grants moved in to their house is because their biological son lived next door."
"I don't know, but either way, until we figure this shit out, I don't want you alone with either of them!" I growled.
"I'm a big girl, Draco, I can take care of myself," Hermione sniffed indignantly.
"That's not the point. Better safe than sorry, and the last thing we need is for you to wake up somewhere without any recollection of what happened. Or worse. Please, just humour me and agree?"
Hermione rolled her eyes before taking the last swig of her wine. "Let's just go, shall we?"
"Not until you agree," I counter, sitting firmly as I watched her stand.
"I agree, okay?" she replied, rolling her eyes once more. "It's completely unnecessary but I'll humour you, can we go please? I really want to go have a look around Hamley's."
"What the hell is Hamley's?"
"Seriously, Hermione? A toy store?"
"Not just any toy store darling. This is the world's largest toy store. And they have toys for adults too, it's not just a children's store."
"Oh, is there a restricted section, you mean?! Is that the adult part?" I got excited for a moment.
"You're ridiculous, no; there is not a restricted section. I more so meant that they sell model planes and cars. Many muggle adults collect things like that."
"Sounds boring," I roll my eyes.
"Honestly, Draco, I thought you wanted to learn more about this stuff? Broaden your horizons?" Hermione looked at me with her hands on her hips.
"No, you wanted me to learn more about 'this stuff'" I used air quotes to emphasize my point. "This was your idea, but you wouldn't let it go, until I agreed so I said yes."
"I only asked you once and you agreed! Why did you say yes if you didn't want to do it?" Hermione hissed, moving out of the way for a mother with a double buggie.
"Because I know you and the fact that you asked me means that it means a lot to you. And you wouldn't give up until you got what you wanted. That's one of the things I love about you."
Hermione looked shell shocked for a moment before giving me a small smile.
"What else do you love about me?" she asked.
"It's a secret. Do me a favour and let this one drop for now and maybe I'll buy you a special something from in here."
"Explain to me again why we are going here?" I asked Hermione as we entered the museum.
"Because it's part of the Tourist Checklist of London. Seriously, Draco. Some of the world's most renowned persons have been sculpted and put on display in here. The Beatles, Marilyn Monroe, Hitler, Hitchcock, Ghandi, many fictional characters as well. Many of the Avenger's are here as well."
"The who?" This is so weird. Who wants to go look at a bunch of wax sculptures, anyways?
"No, I don't think The Who are in here, sorry," Hermione giggled, at her own joke, I guess. After noticing my face, she sighed. "Never mind, just come on, I'm sure you'll enjoy it."
"You are never taking me in there again," I hissed at her as we left the building. Hermione was giggling at me.
"Seriously? You can handle ghosts, ghouls, poltergeists and all sorts of other magical beings but you can't handle stationary wax sculptures of people?"
"They weren't all stationary! That Sleeping Beast was moving!"
"Sleeping Beauty!?" Hermione laughed a little harder. "There's a little computer like device that makes it look like she's breathing. It creates the illusion."
"Right, well, I still didn't like it. They were all staring at you. It didn't seem to matter if you were looking at them or not, they were looking at you," I huffed and continued walking away from the stupid museum.
"Gods, you sure are a drama queen sometimes aren't you?"
"So, apart from the 'scary looking' wax sculptures, did you enjoy your day in Muggle London?" Hermione asked me after we were seated at our table at 'The Fat Duck'. It was supposed to be delicious. Hermione read about it ages ago and argued with me about bringing her here because of the price, but my baby deserves the best.
"Hmmm," I thought about it for a moment, apart from the freaky museum, we went to the London Eye, Tower Bridge, went past Buckingham Palace – side note: as if Muggles still have royalty and keep the Monarchy? Don't they understand that it's many powerful people that control society, not just one 'Royal' family? Anyhow – we also went to the National Gallery of British Art. And now we are having dinner before heading to take a 'romantic' stroll along River Thames.
"Yes, I suppose I did. Some of it was a bit boring, but you were right. It's kind of nice knowing about some of the culture you grew up surrounded by."
"Mark this day on the calendar ladies and gentlemen - Draco Malfoy enjoyed himself in Muggle London," Hermione joked before taking a look at the menu.
"Ha ha," I grimaced. "So long as I don't have to do it every day, then I'm okay with it."
"Fair enough. Got anything planned for tomorrow?"
"Not that I'm aware of, why?"
"I want to take you somewhere else. I can guarantee you'll enjoy it," Hermione smiled mischievously.
"Is it another Muggle place? Because I vaguely recall you said I'd enjoy the creepy wax people place too," I hissed at her as our waitress come over to take our drinks order.
"Wait and see," Hermione winked before turning to our waitress. "Hi, I'll have a bottle of Bin four please, the Chenin Blanc. That's me sorted, what are you drinking, darling," she grinned at me.
"Oh, Hermione, Draco! There you are! We were beginning to worry," Cat smiled as we entered the garden.
"Mum, it's hardly ten o'clock," Hermione rolled her eyes.
"Don't roll your eyes, Hermione, it's very rude," Henry scolded his daughter.
"Yeah, Hermione, it's much better to scoff and walk away," Florence laughed.
Well, there you go guys, I hope you enjoyed it. And enjoyed how the plot thickens. If everything goes right, I will have another chapter up soon! Like, by the end of next week soon. But I want lots of reviews first. ;) Pretty please? The more reviews I get the sooner I'll update, I PROMISE!
And just to give you all a heads up, the art gallery mentioned is now known as Tate Britain, its former and founding name was National Gallery of British Art and was changed in 2000 to its present name. It is the 9th most visited museum in the world, behind its sister, Tate Modern, which is placed 5th.
Anyhow, stay tuned. More to come!
Lots of love, D.