A/N: I finally got it done. The sequel is up, I haven't put the whole chapter in here, but I've put in a taster (just to be mean lol)
If you like what you read, please check out the full one. You'll be able to find it on my page as it's already up and running :)
Thanks for all my reviews to Tainted, you guys have been amazing!
Enlivened by the Future
~ Chapter 1: House Hunting ~
"It's too small." Draco said, bluntly.
Hermione rolled her eyes, and then smiled apologetically at the estate agent. This was the third apartment they had seen today, and while Draco hadn't discounted this one as quick as the others, he still dismissed it ridiculously quick – at least they had made it through the front door this time.
"It's an apartment," Hermione said tiredly, "Not a manor house, it's supposed to be small. And we've barely looked at half of it." She reminded him.
"It only has one bedroom." Draco stated, clearly not being put off his decision.
"We really only need one bedroom," Hermione pointed out, "The space is adequate."
"It's not." Draco insisted, and Hermione felt close to screaming at his stubbornness - it really had been a long day, and it was only the middle of the afternoon. "We need space for our work," He pointed out, "There's no room to hold meetings here."
"Okay, for starters, we are not holding meetings in our home." Hermione declared, in her infamous no-nonsense voice. her hands even moving to her hips, making Draco's mouth itch into a small smile.
"If either of us are going to hold any meetings in the city, we will do it at a hotel: we will book out an entire suite, or function room. This is going to be our home, not our office." Hermione thought for a moment, and then gave a resigned sigh, "But I suppose you have a point about business: we do, do a lot of work from home." She looked at the estate agent, trying her best to ignore Draco's smug look,
"We're going to need a second bedroom: a guest room that can be used primarily as a study." Hermione stated, "And good entertaining space, we like dinner parties." She added as an afterthough, before turning back to Draco, "You were right, it's too small."
Draco smirked, "I'm always right." Earning himself that famous Hermione-Granger-Eyeroll, which only made him smirk more.
"I may have something that could suit you." Their agent said hesitantly, "It hasn't gone on the market yet – I just picked up the keys from the seller on my way to meet you. I haven't even photographed the place yet. It's a two bedroom flat, here in Knightsbride, just around the corner. Top floor, lots of space, open plan and it's newly renovated, but it is not quite finished." She said, "Would you like to see it?"
"When you say not quite finished?" Hermione asked slowly, the last thing she needed was a home renovation project on top of everything else she was embarking on.
"All the major work is done: New kitchen and bathrooms, carpets in the bedrooms. All the rooms have been painted with a base coat, but there are no finishing coats done – so it's a blank canvas for you." The agent said, trying to sell the property, "And the floor boards in the rest of the house will need finishing off – staining and varnishing."
"Original floorboards?" Hermione asked, and the agent nodded.
"One of a number of original features: there's a fireplace in the living area, as well as one in the master suite. High ceilings, original cornices, and the windows and doors have been expertly restored in sypathy with the building." The agent said, continuing in her selling tone.
Hermione looked at Draco and shrugged, "It's worth a look." She said to him; She had that determined glint in her eye and Draco knew it was futile to resist.
"Lead the way," Draco sighed, "But this is the last one today. I'm over it already, and I'm hungry." He complained.
"Stop pouting like a spoilt child," Hermione scolded as they followed the estate agent. God knows what she thought of their bickering: no doubt she thought Draco and Hermione buying a place together was the stupidest idea, as they had done nothing but bicker since viewing the first apartment today. And it had been the same two days ago when they had been shown four others.
But that was just how they were: their bickering wasn't done in anger, and they always laughed about it after. If anything, their bickering was more playful than serious, but to an outsider who didn't truly understand their dynamic, it could be quite daunting to hear them argue.
"When we're done here, we'll take the tube to Covent Garden, pick up some take-out and call in on Harry." Hermione said, trying to placate him, as they made they way up the street.
"Oh joy, just what I want to endure when I'm tired and hungry, Potter and Weasel." Draco drawled.
Hermione rolled her eyes, "Relax, Ron won't be there, apparently he has a date." She told him.
"Seriously?" Draco asked.
"Yes, seriously." Hermione said, "It will just be Harry and Ginny. Blaise is busy, apparently." She commented, as the agent came to stop, outside a long, white, four storey terraced building that stretched the whole street.
"Here we are," She smiled, walking up the steps to one of the many large front doors of the building. Upon entering the foyer, it was bright and surprisingly airy, with a large staircase winding up to the next floor. "There are two flats on each floor," the agent told the, signalling to the doors on either side of the hallway, before venturing up the stairs.
On the fourth floor, they stopped outside a door with a large '8G' on it, and the agent fished around in her purse for the correct key. When they entered, Hermione smiled: the place was certainly spacious, and they were only in the hallway.
The hallway was long, but wide enough that it would never feel cramped; there were three doors along the right hand wall, but only one on the left hand wall, down at the end. They took the first door on the right to begin with, and found themselves in a good-sized room, with a plush cream carpet. "The second bedroom, with built in wardrobes." The agent said, "Which you can easily turn into a suitable study."
Hermione nodded: The wardrobes ran the entire length of the left hand wall, most of the back wall, opposite the door was taken up with the large windows, but the right hand wall was bare.
"We can build in a desk that runs the entire wall," Hermione gestured, moving into the room, "Have it continuing through the corner up to the door?" She suggested. "Plenty of room for us both – have shelving running up the walls, we'll fit all our files in here no problem. There would still be plenty of room for a couch, or sofa-bed if we ever have anyone over to stay."
"It could work." Draco said, and Hermione smirked. She knew he had no complaints, but he wasn't one to get enthusiastic just yet.
They moved back into the hall to the next room, adjacent to the second bedroom: The main bathroom, recently done to the highest specifications complete with a free standing roll top bath, separate shower, and a good sized vanity unity with a large sink and plenty of storage space. "Very nice." Hermione commended, and she could already picture herself soaking in that bathtub after a long day of work.
The final room off the right side of the hallway was the master suite, and it was fantastic – even Draco couldn't complain about the size. It was carpeted the same as the second bedroom, but it was twice the size. The back wall was taken up mostly by windows again, the bed would go on the right hand wall; a king size bed would fit in easy, with plenty of room on either side for bedside tables. The left side of the room housed a large walk in closet, with an entrance at either end. They walked into the room to explore, and found the door to the en-suite next to the door to the hallway: The en-suite was the same width as the hallway and housed a double shower, separate his and hers sinks, and once again plenty of storage space.
"This is great," Hermione said grinning, looking at Draco, "Even you can't fault this I'm sure."
"There are still a few things left to do to the place before it's ready to live in." Draco reminded her, but Hermione could tell he liked the place.
"Painting, furnishing, and the floors need finishing." Hermione said, "It's nothing more than we'd want to do on any place we find: if anything, this is better. It's already a blank canvas, we won't need to do anything to ready it, just put our stamp on it right away." She grinned.
"So far so good." Draco said to the agent, "Show us the living space."
Their agent smiled, and turned back into the hall and on through the doorway opposite to the bedroom door. Hermione actually gasped aloud at what she walked into, and even Draco let out a whistle.
"I'll admit I'm impressed." Draco said.
The entire right side of the apartment was completely open plan: the doorway they had come through took them into what would probably be the dining area, a space which could fit a dining table big enough to seat ten easy. To their right was the kitchen, all brand new with built in, first-rate appliances.
"White goods included?" Hermione asked; Draco had no idea what the hell that meant, so he just kept quiet.
The agent nodded, walking into the kitchen and going through it, "All in built, you've got your fridge-freezer, dishwasher and washing machine. The oven is electric, but the hob is gas." She explained – half of this went straight over Draco's head, and he could see Hermione giving him an amused glance, knowing full well he didn't have a clue. He scowled at her, and she just stuck out her tongue.
The kitchen sink was set in an island bench top, which doubled as a breakfast bar, which was perfectly in line with a set of double French-doors that lead out onto a balcony, which looked out onto the street that fronted the property. There were then five sets of windows that spanned the length of the of the whole room, before another set of double French-doors led out to another balcony in the sitting area. On the far wall, which backed onto the outside foyer, there was a large ornate, and clearly original, fireplace, around which three couches could easily be placed.
"Is the fireplace usable?" Draco asked; he knew enough about muggle properties to know that full working original fireplaces were becoming rare.
The estate agent smiled, "Of course," she said "You should be able to get an excellent blaze going in there, enough to heat the entire room without a problem."
Draco nodded thoughtfully; the fireplace was certainly big enough for a person to stand in, and he wondered how difficult it would be to get it connected to the Floo network – surely not too difficult, especially if the request came from Hermione: the ministry wouldn't refuse her anything.
Hermione looked at Draco, barely containing her grin, "I love it." She said, and Draco could see in her eyes that it was a complete understatement.
"I can see that," he said, with a smile, before looking up at the agent, "What's the asking price?" He asked.
"It's a little over the budget you gave me," she admitted. Draco smiled: considering the fortune he was able to access, and Hermione's generous payout from the Ministry - not to mention her own fortune - price really wasn't an issue. "But I'm sure he'll be willing to negotiate." She offered.
"Can we take another look around, and discuss it?" Hermione asked with courtesy.
They remained at the flat for another half an hour, the agent remained in the kitchen while Hermione and Draco took another look around the place, this time discussing in more detail how they could furnish it, and spending a good ten minutes arguing over the colour scheme of the master suite.
"We are not having emerald green," Hermione said flatly.
"Why not?" Draco countered, "Your bedroom at your parent's house is green." He pointed out.
"Precisely," Hermione said, "I'm moving out of there for change, not to go somewhere that looks the same."
"Well we sure as hell aren't having it red. There is no way I am sleeping in a room decorated like Gryffindor Tower." Draco retorted.
Hermione smirked, "You didn't complain at school when you slept in my room." She reminded him.
"That was different: you didn't personally choose the colour scheme, and by the time it came to sleep I was often too exhausted to really care about the colour scheme." He smirked, coming up to her and snaking his hands around her waist, causing her to feel that familiar flutter in her stomach that always accompanied his touch – she wondered briefly if that feeling would ever disappear, before hoping adamantly that it never would.
Hermione grinned, "Anyway, I wasn't going to suggest Gryffindor colours, I was going to suggest something more neutral." She assured him, before kissing him.
When they broke apart, Hermione asked, "Do you like it?"
Draco grinned, "Being kissed by you? I love it." He said, before kissing her again.
Hermione laughed against his lips, and hit him playfully in the chest, "No," she said, when they broke apart again, "The apartment. Do you like it?"
Draco thought for a moment, "It does seem perfect for us, for now. It has the space we need, but it's not too big. We can really make it our own. I don't know if I'd pay the full asking price, though." He said.
"But we should at least make an offer," Hermione said, hopefully.
Draco nodded, "Yeah, we should." He agreed. "Alright, let's go talk numbers," he said, taking her hand and moving back into the kitchen.
A/N: SO I cut you off half way through - I know, I'm mean, and I'm sorry :(
I'll leave this on Tainted, but any future updates to Enlivened by the Future won't be posted on here, this will be the last time Tainted is updated.
Thanks again to you all for reading :)