AN: Ok, I had one vote for Severus/Hermione, one for Blaise/Hermione, and the rest were Dramione, so here comes a different Dramione story. I hope that this will be every bit as unique as Purebloods was and that you all enjoy it very much. This story will take place roughly in their mid-twenties when they all have a bit of work experience. Now, I know the first chapter is rather short, but the rest will be about the length of the chapters in my other story. I love reviews as you all know, so review please! Clumsy!
"That's it, I've had it!" Kingsley Shacklebolt yelled to the people sitting around the table in a conference room inside the Ministry of Magic. "I cannot afford to have my workers divided so much while most of us work tirelessly to help rebuild our world."
Looking at the table you could easily see the divide amongst the people. On one side sat Hermione Granger, Harry Potter, Stella Jones, and Shawn Davis. Directly opposite them sat Draco Malfoy, Blaise Zabini, Jennifer Smithson, and Chloe Burns. Harry, Blaise, Draco, and Jennifer were all Aurors, while the other four worked in Magical Law as crime scene investigators, so all eight of them worked together very often, and the ongoing feud was causing havoc in the Ministry.
"Now, I have resorted to drastic measures to make sure this comes to an end." He picked up. "For the next month you are all on mandatory, paid leave. The Muggle Prime Minister offered an idea that I have decided to enforce with you eight. You are all going away on a retreat together, on an exclusive island where you will participate in relationship building activities, you will be partnered as follows: Draco Malfoy, Hermione Granger. Harry Potter and Jennifer Smithson. Stella Jones and Blaise Zabini. Leaving Chloe Burns and Shawn Davis. These partnerships are non-negotiable and this retreat is mandatory, failure to attend will equal your loss of employment."
Kingsley looked around the room and noted the rebellious expressions on each of their faces, and sighed tiredly. "Look, I know you have all drawn lines in the sand but the war is over, and it's time to put away schoolyard grudges. If you won't do it willingly, I will force it. When you return from the retreat, if I don't see the necessary changes, one or all of you will be fired, understood?"
There were mumbled "yes, sirs." around the table.
"Very well then, you need to walk out to my secretary with your partners and receive your itinerary, then you are to leave the Ministry and not return until your retreat is over. I will see each of you August 1st to discover what happened during your trip."
Hermione was the first to rise from her chair and walk to the door without even looking to see if the ferret would follow, she was mad enough to spit! How dare Kingsley pair her with Malfoy when he knew what she'd endured in Malfoy Manor. She walked to the desk and asked for her travel information and when she looked at it she groaned. Hermione would be made to travel with him as well; she couldn't just meet up there. This was going to be awful!
When she turned to look for Harry she collided with Malfoy who was standing directly behind her.
"Watch where you're going, Granger." He stated.
"Eat shit and die Malfoy," she retorted. There were laughs behind them and she smiled as she walked to her friends.
Once they had all gathered their information Harry's group decided to go get lunch together at the Leaky Cauldron. Once there Tom told them to take the corner table, and allowed them to charm it to hide themselves and block what they talked about from and eavesdroppers that may be sitting close to them. This was necessary anytime they ate out because of the fame that Harry, and Hermione had to deal with anytime they went out in public. The server and Tom could see them, but nobody else could and that is probably why the group in the booth behind them didn't realize they were there. Hermione shushed her group when she heard Malfoy and he said her name. She dug out a pair of extendable ears and handed them to the other three and then they did a bit of eavesdropping themselves, laughing.
"He's mental if he thinks any amount of time together will make Granger and me friendly," Draco said with disgust. "What complete rubbish."
"Sorry mate, honest I am, but the man had a point. If we can all learn to let this stuff go, then it can only benefit all of us. To be honest with you, Harry and I buried the hatchet a long time ago. The two of you have been able to at least work together civilly for a while now, so why is it so hard with Granger and you?" Blaise asked.
"It might have something to do with the fact that you called her a mudblood for so many years." Chloe said in a controlled voice. "I can't stand the woman myself, but if I had been taunted for years by you Draco, I wouldn't want to buddy up either."
The fourth person at their table didn't have much to say as she hadn't been at school with the whole group; she moved here from America a year ago and just happened to make friends with the former Slytherin's. They were all Aurors together with the exception of Chloe and she just happened to get to know Blaise when she transferred and then Draco. Not that she had anything against Harry personally; she just got on better with her group. So she couldn't really add much as she didn't know the other four as well.
"Bloody Hell, thanks for reminding me Chloe, I always do appreciate it when someone reminds me what a prat I was." He answered her sarcastically. "Seriously though, I think I can put the past away with some effort with everyone but her. She's such a damn know it all, it shreds my last nerve!"
"Well I don't know much of the story, but I do know this, I will be working my ass off in the next month to get to know all four of them, because I'm quite fond of having a roof over my head and food on my table. I didn't go to school with all of you, so hopefully that will help, but I will become everyone's best friend because as much as I love you all, I love my job." Jennifer finally spoke up.
"Why the hell couldn't I have been paired up with that Stella? Urgh, if our jobs depend on Granger and me becoming friends, we'll both be out of jobs in a month." Draco growled and slammed his empty bottle back down on the table.
In the next booth all eyes were on Hermione, and she was pissed off! Before Harry could stop her, she had cast a curse at Malfoy that would cause a mossy fungus to grow around his privates and make him itch. It would take three days to wear off, and then she turned back to Harry smiling.
"That's what he gets, bloody jerk." She said.
"Hermione, you better find some way to get along with him, because Kingsley was completely serious." Harry said.
Shawn piped in at this point, "I can understand her side of things Harry, you know how awful he's always been to her. Of all the pairings, he put the only two together that really can't make peace. I don't understand pairing them up." Shawn was two years younger than Harry and Hermione, and he had been in Ravenclaw. Stella had gone to school in her native Australia.
"I don't know why, but he had his reasons. Now why don't we all head home, we have packing to do. Jennifer and I are the first ones to leave and that's at 9 a.m. tomorrow." Harry suggested.
The four friends paid their bill and got up to leave, they walked to the door without looking back, to go to their homes and prepare for the off.
Two days later Ginny was helping Hermione pack for her trip. Ginny and Harry had been married now for six months, and they were deliriously happy together. She was in her off season from the Harpies, her Quidditch team and was very bored. She helped Hermione shop for wardrobe and personal essentials for the trip and they were talking while they packed.
"I have to find some way to make this work Gin, I enjoy my job. Oh why the hell couldn't he have teamed me up with Blaise? I can get along with that one if I have to. You know what; I don't know why I didn't think of this, I will just go to Kingsley and ask for the switch. Once I remind him of a few things, I'm sure he'll have no problem with switching things." Hermione jumped up confidently.
"You go, I'll pack. Just don't get your hopes up Hermione; Harry thinks that Kingsley has a reason for pairing each person up." Ginny warned.
"What do you mean, you know all this? If you remember the torture, why pair me with him? It's not right to ask this of me Kingsley, and I'm talking to my friend, not the Minister at the moment." Hermione was not above pleading with him.
"Hermione, sweetheart, you weren't paired with Draco on a whim. I will tell you why this must work, if you promise to keep it to yourself. I know I can trust you. We're thinking of restructuring the Magical Law office and partnering one Auror and one crime scene investigator, therefore using each one's expertise to full benefit. If this change occurs, the partner you've been paired with for this exercise is the person you will be partnered with based on job ethics, expertise, and personalities." Kingsley shared with her.
Hermione could only gasp.
"Now, I have gotten to know and respect Draco Malfoy, and the two of you would make the finest team, if you can learn to let go of the past. You're probably the pairing that I'm most excited about, so please make the effort Hermione, for me as your friend and boss." He finished.
Hermione sighed and promised to try, returning home dejectedly. Ginny had finished packing and gone home by the time she got back to her flat. She sent an owl to Gin telling her she'd had no luck, and would be leaving by port key in the morning, and would talk to her in a month.
That night Hermione lay soaking in the bath tub trying to tell herself she could do this, Kingsley wouldn't ever hurt her this way if he didn't truly believe what he was saying. But she also thought he just really didn't understand how bad things were between her and Malfoy and how deep that bad blood was. Sighing, she pulled the plug in the tub to drain and dried off, donning a silk bathrobe. As she was making a cup of tea to relax before bed there was a knock at her door. She opened the door shocked to find Draco Malfoy standing there.
"We need to talk," he said as he pushed himself inside, shocking her.