Chapter 1

Hermione met Blaise at work. Obviously she knew him from school, but she didn't really know him. She couldn't actually remember ever talking to him, or taking any particular notice of him. But she noticed him as soon as he walked into her office. He was gorgeous. Dark, charming and dressed impeccably. Not really something that she usually cared about, but the whole package just sent butterflies to her stomach. It took her by surprise at first.

He was a legal advisor, defending clients, typically rich ones from the old families. Hermione was a legal administration, a role that was actually more exciting than the title sounded. Her job was to manage and enact the new laws, along with the all the old ones. A position which allowed her to pick out many of the old archaic laws to be put to the Wizengamot for deliberation. She had managed to get some grossly unfair laws retracted. The pay wasn't great, but she did get the chance to improve society and some underrepresented members of it.

Both Harry and Ron were at the Ministry as well, a floor down in the Auror department. Their paths rarely crossed professionally, but they hung out just like they used to. Many of the Gryffindors still hung out each weekend at the bars along Diagon Alley.

The divisions in the magical world was still there, a little less, but still there. It wasn't exactly acceptable to mention those divisions, but removing them had proved difficult. Big strides had been made though. The old families that supported Voldemort had been censured heavily and many of the more insane Death Eaters carted off to Azkaban for the rest of their lives. The smarter, sane ones always found ways around it. Given a little remorse and pleading, they would literally be forgiven murder.

It bothered Hermione, but the trajectory of the society was for the better, so it was worth making the effort to try to integrate. Trying hadn't been that difficult with Blaise. He was nice, smart and undeniably sexy. And he obviously didn't hate her. She had been too distracted with her own nerves to realise that he came to her office more than he strictly needed to.

And then one day, he had asked her to lunch. Hermione agree, it was lunch after all, people went to lunch every day. But after lunch, he asked her to dinner on Friday. She felt embarrassed by how glad she was that he'd asked her. She'd kind of had this flirtation going with Oliver Wood, but it never seemed to go anywhere.

Dinner had gone well, a much nicer restaurant that she'd ever been to in the magical world. She went to nice restaurants with her parents in the muggle world, but in the magical world, it was mostly pub fare. During their dinner, Hermione had developed a strong like for Blaise's nice long fingers. He had beautiful hands. He also had an incredibly sexy smile.

She slept with him on their second date. She just couldn't wait. What was the point of playing coy, she wanted him and he wanted her, and the sex was great.

From there they started having lunch every day. They spent the whole weekend together in her flat. Harry and Ron were not wild about her dating a Slytherin, but if she had to date a slytherin, they conceded that he might be the best of the lot. They were quietly reserved when she brought him around on a Friday night.

"You sure about this, Mione?" Ron said as he and Hermione were waiting for drinks at the bar. "In school, he wouldn't be caught dead with someone of less than pure blooded and abundant wealth."

"He's not like that anymore." Hermione said. "If he ever really was, its not like we ever knew him. And it's a good sign that people like him are hanging out with people like me. And who can blame him, I'm smart, beautiful and awesome remember, and don't you dare argue with me."

"I wouldn't dare. You are a professional arguer. Not that I disagree with your argument in the first place. I just don't want you to get hurt. Those bastards tried their best throughout school."

"That was Malfoy and his cronies, and Blaise is nothing like Malfoy."

"I'm just saying you can do better." Ron said.

"We're just dating. Having a bit of fun." Hermione had. "And he is treating me very nicely. I'm not an idiot, Ron, how long do you think I would put up with someone treating me less than amiably."

"But what about Wood?" Ron said. "You two seem to rub along alright, and he's a professional Quidditch player. Girls practically swoon when he walks past."

"Yes well, I'm not a swooner and we're just not really doing much rubbing. That didn't come out like I intended, its just, Blaise came along and we're getting on really well. We just like each others' company. Its not like we're getting married."

"I suspect Harry is thinking about proposing." Ron said conspiratorially. "I wish he wouldn't, Katie is starting to give me that look like she's waiting for me to say something. Why the rush? You're not rushing. I wish more girls were like you."

"Studious know-it-alls with a tendency for sticking to every rule made by man kind."

"Yeah well, except for that bit."

"Sometimes I wonder if there is anything you actually like about me."

"You're my best friend." Ron said. "You're not perfect, no one is, and apparently you have atrocious taste in men."

"Who's got bad taste in men?" Ginny asked as the joined them at the bar.

"Hermione." Ron said.

"I do not."

"You mean tall, dark and handsome?" Ginny said twitching her head to Blaise who was sitting talking to Lavender Brown.

"How much time do you think a guy like that spends in front of the mirror? You would have to fight him for it every morning. Although granted, you probably don't spend an inordinate amount of time in front of the mirror. He just doesn't seem like your type, or the other way around either."

Hermione looked at Ginny for support as she suspected Ron had no idea the number of different ways he had just insulted her.

"Look at him." Ron continued. "Who wears clothes like that? Someone must have spent hours creating those creases in his slacks."

"He's been at work." Hermione defended him. "He is a barrister. They need to look professional."

"Ron's just jealous because he couldn't pull that look off if he tried." Ginny said. "I bet it looks even better when its coming off."

Hermione gasped and gave Ginny a slap on her hand for being so forthright, but it was true, he looked awesome when undressing. Hermione couldn't help but smile.

"Dirty girl." Ginny said with a wry smile.

"I refuse to be part of this conversation." Ron said grabbing his drinks and gave them a filthy look as he returned to the table.

"He is gorgeous." Ginny said. Hermione blushed a bit but could only nod and agree.

"I have to bring a date." Blaise said as he stretch in bed the next morning. "If I don't the partners' wives will be setting me up with dates for the rest of the year. I refuse to make the same mistake I did last year."

"Oh you poor thing. Have those matron's been running you off your feet?" Hermione teased.

"I have been introduced to every unattached female that has so much as walked past the office. I won't take no for an answer, you are coming with me if I have to blackmail you."

"And what would you blackmail me with?" Hermione asked.

"How about those little dimples just above your pert little bum?" He said and traced the spot he meant on her skin. "Or how about that little birthmark on the inside of your thigh?"

"You wouldn't dare."

"I'm a desperate man." He said with the sexiest smile he had. The one for which she had absolutely no power of resistance.

"Fine." She said with mock resignation. "I'll come."

"I will of course have to show my gratitude." He said and pulled her underneath him. "Perhaps starting right now." He said and kissed her. They had been together long enough now that his touches and kisses felt so comfortable, so right and so very exciting.

Blaise stayed the entire weekend, and they pretty much never left the bed. It felt like there was nothing in the world outside of their bed that held anything of interest. Hermione stretched and watched the sun rise on Monday morning. Blaise had left around half an hour ago to go home and get ready for work.

They wouldn't be seeing each other for the rest of the week, except at lunch, which made it all the more exciting. A whole week of anticipation and dreaming. She couldn't help but smile. She wondered if she'd stop throughout the whole week.

She was going to a work function for his firm the next weekend. She had to find time to shop for something appropriate. She didn't really have a great deal of clothes for that kind of thing. She had some things she had worn to celebration functions after Voldamort's fall as the 'Golden Trio' was extremely popular then, but she was younger then and her tastes had changed a bit in the intervening five years.

Things had been so dark then, it was amazing how different things were now. She didn't think her life could get much better than it was right now. An exciting, albeit not strictly lucrative job, a nice cosy place of her own, and lovely man who she adored. It had all turned out better than she'd ever expected.