It's new. I own nothing. That should cover it. Oh, and enjoy!
She never should have asked a recently single Ginny Weasley to be her roommate. Ginny often brought her latest date back to the flat in hopes he would be seen and the news would get back to Harry Potter. It never did, but it never stopped Ginny from trying. It was the young redhead's fault that Hermione Granger was seated on a barstool in The Leaky Cauldron on a warm June night. The pub was quiet and sparsely populated.
Draco Malfoy's entrance changed everything.
Already drunk, he sat down at the far end of the bar and loudly called for a drink. Tom, the bartender, quickly obliged just to quiet his shouting. It went on for half an hour before Hermione's patience ran out and she decided to leave. The stool she occupied scraped across the floor, catching Malfoy's attention. Almost falling off of his stool, he stumbled to her and draped his arm over her shoulders.
"Granger," he slurred, eyes heavily lidded, "always so nice to see you. Take me home?"
"Not likely, Malfoy," she muttered as she tried to push him away.
But Draco clung tighter. "Please?" he begged. "You wouldn't really let me app...pap...papapperate home, would you?"
Firewhiskey laced his breath, causing a foul smell to hit her nose each time he spoke. "Get some coffee, sober up, then go home on your own," she advised, failing once more to get away from him.
Sighing, he leaned his head against hers. "Don't want to go home," he mumbled. "Bad people there. Bad things happen."
Hermione steered him to the nearest table and helped him sit down. "Malfoy, the war ended four years ago. The bad people are gone," she told him. Holding up a hand, she signalled to Tom to bring coffee.
"Not them," he replied, resting his head on the table. "Grass isn't always greener."
"I don't even know what that's supposed to mean," she said tiredly. After half an hour of taking slow sips of his coffee, Draco finally finished. "Ready to go?"
Yawning, he nodded and got to his feet. Hermione rose and he once more placed his arm around her shoulders. Rolling her eyes, she led him out of the pub. A flashbulb blinded her, and when she regained her sight, she saw a photographer run away. "Looks like we had an audience," she muttered.
"Eyes feel shiny," he murmured.
"Come on, I'm not far from here," she replied, half dragging him back to her flat. "Do you think you can floo home by yourself?"
Draco shook his head. "Don't wanna go home," he insisted, opening his eyes to stare at her.
His gray eyes pleaded with her, begging her not to make him return to Malfoy Manor. She knew the horrors that took place at his family's estate before and during the war. While she had been there a matter of hours, Draco had spent years living through such hell. With a nod of her head, she continued to her flat and let him in.
"Ginny?" she called out, hoping against hope that her roommate had gone out while she was away. When she received no response, Hermione breathed a sigh of relief and placed Draco on the sofa. "I'll get you some water and aspirin. Close your eyes for a bit."
He did as he was told, and when he reopened his eyes, Hermione was seated on the coffee table in front of him with the medication she promised. "Thanks," he mumbled, shakily sitting up. He took the proffered pills, wincing as he swallowed them with a swig of water. "It's safe to floo drunk, right?"
Hermione shrugged. "Well, I've never tried it. I guess so long as you're able to say your destination clearly, you should be okay."
His head fell back against the cushions. "I don't think I can do that," he replied.
"Well, I guess you could sleep on the couch," she decided. "The bathroom is at the back of the hallway. My door is on the right, Ginny's is on the left. Don't go in there. That's for your own safety, not hers. Do you need anything?"
"More water?" he requested, holding out the glass. She accepted it and left the room to refill it. When she returned, she set it down on the end table next to him. "Hey, Granger? Why are doing this?"
Halted on her way to her bedroom, Hermione turned and frowned. "I don't know," she replied. "Why did you ask me to help you back at the Leaky?"
Closing his eyes, Draco shrugged. "Because I know you're a good person and that you'd help me," he mumbled.
"I think you just answered your own question. Good night."
She couldn't have been asleep long when she felt her bed shake. Bolting upright, Hermione fumbled for the switch to turn on the lamp by her bed. Ginny knelt at the foot of the bed, eyeing the sleepy brunette. "What?" she asked.
"Two things," she stated, throwing down a copy of The Daily Prophet within Hermione's reach. It must have been later than she thought. "Number one - Draco Malfoy is in our living room. Why? And number two - is something going on between the two of you? Something you haven't told me about? Something about an affair? You know he's engaged, right?"
Hermione rubbed her eyes and unfolded the paper to reveal a fuzzy image of the pair leaving The Leaky Cauldron the night before. "Do good girls really prefer bad boys?" she read. "Months' long secret relationship? You know this is rubbish. We ran into each other last night for the first time in four years. Tell me you don't honestly believe this."
Ginny shrugged. "I don't know what to believe," she replied, frowning. "All I know is he's in the other room and there are photos of the two of you stumbling drunkenly from a pub."
"Right, he's on the couch. If we were having an affair, what's he doing out there?" Hermione questioned. "And he was the only one who was drunk last night."
"Then why bring him here?" Ginny wondered exasperatedly. "Why would you let him into our flat? He's Draco Malfoy, one of the most infamous Death Eaters."
Rolling her eyes, Hermione got out of bed. "He's not a Death Eater anymore," she stated. Grabbing her robe, she slipped it on as she exited her bedroom. The smell of freshly brewed coffee filled the air, and she found Draco in the kitchen. "Sleep okay?" she asked him, accepting the mug of coffee he offered.
"Don't drink it," Ginny whispered, louder than necessary.
Hermione shot her a look and took a hearty sip. "So, I guess introductions aren't necessary," she said lightly. "Did you see the paper?"
Draco's nod answered both of her questions. "Yeah, I'm sure I'll hear all about it when I get home," he replied. "I should probably get going. Thanks for taking care of me last night."
Hermione gave him a close lipped smile and nodded. "Good luck."