Disclaimer: Belongs to J.K Rowling
Idea Dedication: Written on request by ChloeDracoMalfoy and based around her idea.
A/n: Hello there readers! Here's a request story I was asked to do. The ending was not decided for me so I'm not sure how long of a story this will be. Anyways, I hope you all enjoy it. Follow me on my facebook by going through the link on my profile, and I hope you enjoy this story as well. It has been interesting to write for sure :D This story has a beta now and was edited by Tessa Cresswell as of 11/29/2012.
She fidgeted nervously, brushing already perfectly styled blond hair from her ears again and again. She was nervous, hoping that tonight he would ask her to dance, but that was only a hope, one that would be fulfilled if his crush again danced with that Italian Slytherin.
"You should just dance with Seamus," Hermione said, watching her friend stress. This had been going on for months now, and it was a sad spectacle to witness. Luna looked so pretty in her dress, her hair pulled half back in a difficult up do. She wore tinges of make up for the first time Hermione could remember, and she knew it was because she desired the boy's attention. If only he would treat her right.
Luna looked up, her eyes having been focused on him again. "Pardon?"
Hermione sighed. "Nothing." It's going to be a long night.
It had been a long five years. After the war the Ministry had to start from scratch, with so many of the former employee's having been killed. England was finally beginning to come together again, the madness having ceased when the newest (and hopefully last) round of Death Eater's were caught and kissed by Dementor's. Now after five long years, the residents of England could start living their own lives again. And to commend the occasion, Hogwarts had decided to hold reunions for the seventh years; a five year reunion.
It was smaller than one would hope. There were a lot of memorable faces that no longer existed in the crowd, people who had fought and died for a cause. The event was lively, but not as much as it could be. The former students were humbled, reminded of all the things they had once gone through.
Ron was there someplace amidst the crowd, his wife Lavender with him. Hermione and Ron had broken off their relationship together just after the war, and since Hermione knew they were not meant to be, Ron had gone on to Lavender. Now they had been married for four years, and had a daughter. They were not the only ones in the crowd who had been hitched either; many couples had brought their children along, proudly introducing them to former classmates.
Even the Slytherin's were in the spirit of things. For the graduated students, house placement was not such a big deal anymore. Everyone had lost someone; everyone understood their peer's pain a bit better. But of course, there were the exceptions.
People like Draco Malfoy, for instance, who were still running around as bachelors. He had sauntered into the Great Hall ages ago, that classic smirk on his face and the few top buttons of his shirt undone. For being twenty three, he looked good. He had grown into himself, let his fringe get longer, and had filled out his lanky frame. The once skinny git was now a head turning stud. Even Hermione couldn't deny that he looked great- no matter how much it bothered her. All of the single women had been watching him since he made his appearance.
Shifting her gaze again from the blond man, her eyes fell on Ginny. Ginny, the fiery redhead was currently across the room, giggling like a moron at something else her ridiculous boyfriend had said. Hermione didn't particularly know Blaise Zabini well, but she did know that he had a knack for toying with her heart. Whenever she disappointed him he would shove her to the side, and she would go running right back into Harry's open arms. And when Zabini owled her saying that she was forgiven, she would break away from Harry and go right back to him, thinking he wouldn't shove her to the side again. But he always did, and the girl was too love-struck to notice his game. She was a toy, a possession in his mind; something that could easily be replaced.
It was this chain of events that eventually got back to Luna. Hermione knew the girl's feelings towards Harry had developed over the years, and had grown substantially since the war ended and he stayed near to comfort her when her father was announced dead. But Harry was naïve and never noticed. Whenever Ginny turned her back on him he went to Luna- not because of an emotional tie- but to talk out his problems with her until the cycle repeated. What was only friendship to Harry was so much more to Luna, and it tore her apart each time that he so easily went back to the ginger who wouldn't love him. For Hermione, it was a painful process to watch between her friends.
And low and behold, look who was coming up to them.
"Harry," Luna said, obviously trying to smother her excitement, "What brings you over?" He had just been speaking with Ron, who was now holding his daughter Susan as he spoke with Seamus, the boy Hermione had attempted to suggest to Luna to dance with.
He sighed, sitting beside them in one of the chairs. Inclining his head in the general direction of Ginny and Blaise, the message rang clear. "She came to talk to me a minute ago."
"About what," the blond asked, sitting up in her chair. Hermione watched her fidget in her chair, trying to figure out what to do with herself. She withheld a sigh, tired of watching Luna do this to herself. If Harry's interests were elsewhere, then why did she have to stay around waiting for him? She could do better; she could find someone who was not stuck in this continuous pattern.
"She wanted to know if Ron and I cared to come sit with her and Blaise. Can you believe her? Why would I want to do that when she obviously knows how I feel?" He threw his hands up. "She is so inconsiderate sometimes."
You're preaching to the choir Harry. The brunette's eyes slid over to her friend, whose expression had dropped a degree. Setting her drink down, the Gryffindor stood. "I need another drink." She didn't wait for the duo to reply, and simply hurried off. It was awkward sitting with them, and she just needed to give them some space. If only they would just open their eyes, things among the friends would be so much simpler.
There were assorted snacks and beverages to chose from up at the table since there was minimal food on the tables guests sat at, but Hermione could only be grateful that she had yet to grab a glass. Picking a cup, she chose wine to hopefully soothe her nerves, before downing half the glass.
"It's a shame they invited your kind back," a voice drawled, and she glanced over to meet slate eyes, eyes that seemed to be trying to penetrate her soul. She rolled her eyes at his comment, and didn't even grace her old enemy with her full attention.
"I could say the same about you."
The blond, someone she had not been in close quarters with in nearly five years, chuckled. She watched him as he did so, unsure what to think about his mannerisms. Five years was a long time in the aftermath of war, and unfortunately it didn't seem to have done anything to help Draco Malfoy enter the twenty-first century. Sure wizards and witches were set in an older time frame of mind, but he was prehistoric. Many racists were now dead, but Draco Malfoy stood above the small sea of people who still turned their noses up at anything impure. He resided in a group of people who were quickly becoming extinct, and unless the few remaining families planned on incestrial marriages soon, there were few options left for them except foreign relations. With such a downgraded population, there were not nearly enough candidates for one's spouse, a task many had found difficult to complete. Hermione was one of them, and was still riding solo in the world, just like the ignorant bachelor before her. It disgusted her that she now lay in such a similar situation with Malfoy, yet they were so different.
"Ouch Granger," he said, placing a hand drastically upon his chest, "That tactful comeback has certainly hurt my pride."
She rolled her eyes, ignoring his sarcasm. She had not come here today to be bothered by this blond buffoon. "Malfoy, can't you go run off with one of the women who have been chasing your sorry arse since you arrived? They obviously can ignore your true colors, so why don't you bother one of them? At least they won't be trying to ignore you. Now I really have better things to do with my time." Flipping sleek brunette waves over her shoulder, she turned to go.
"Granger, do I even have to point out to you why all those women are single still?" She could hear it in his voice, the teasing tone that was so smug, so sure that he was bothering her that he didn't even hide it. Giving into child animosity, she turned with her drink still in her hand, glaring him down.
"Is it because they are not impartial to any one man and sleep around, or perhaps it is their high squeaky voices that grate on a man's nerves? Don't play me a fool Malfoy; I have eyes and ears of my own. Those girls are constantly running around making fools of themselves, causing scandals throughout the papers. They sound perfect for you actually; loose and careless."
The composed expression on the blond's face dropped a degree. Her responses no longer lacked their common vigor, and it was obvious that she said all of this in hopes of brushing him off to go brood with another drink. He could see it deep in her almond eyes, the desire to be rid of him. But that was the only problem; there were no masks up, and he could read her like an open book. Without the shields around to protect her, he could clearly see her irritation, and if he did not take advantage of the situation and vibe off of it he would not be his usual self.
"A least there is someone perfect for me," he drawled, sipping his own glass. "Unlike you Mudblood- even the Weasel took a step up from you to Lavender Brown. All your friends are going on with their lives, yet you seem unable to even find yourself a date here." As her mouth opened to retort, he waved his hand. "And I did come here with a date by the way; we are just no longer together. I found her kissing some Ravenclaw dolt that works at St. Mungo's in the corridor and dumped her. She's probably off with someone else by now."
Hermione blinked as she took in the news. Had this been a girlfriend of his, she would expect him to be fiery mad, but he was brushing the entire topic off. Obviously, it was not a concern of his, and this girl meant nothing to him. It was appalling to think about how careless Malfoy was with his relationships.
Someone bumped her from behind and she stumbled in the tall platforms, falling into Malfoy. A sneer overtook his features as he shoved her off, nearly causing her to fall in the other direction. As she straightened herself, she looked around. Who was being so pushy today? The answer came to her as she saw Ginny storming out the Hall's doors, catching more than a bit of attention in her exit. The brunette sighed before looking in the other direction to spot an angry looking Blaise, an annoyed Harry and a distraught Luna. There went any sort of peaceful setting.
"Weasley's sister is still grasping at straws with Blaise I see," Draco said from her side, but she didn't look at him. When no response from the Gryffindor came, he continued on with what he had been saying. "She realizes Blaise is heartless, right? He doesn't know how to love anyone or anything, so it's beyond me why she bothers. Wouldn't it be easier to just put all her feelings for him behind her and move onto Potter? At least the dolt seems to care."
His words startled her, and she finally looked back. It almost sounded like the Italian was disgusted with how Blaise played with hearts, but that was absurd when he did the exact same thing. But it was odd to hear that Malfoy thought Ginny should remain with Harry, when he very well hated the boy. And besides that, Luna would be heartbroken if the two became a couple. Ginny and Luna were her best friends, and it was so hard to watch them share affections for the same man.
"Are you actually trying to sound compassionate Malfoy," she said at last.
He raised an eyebrow. "I don't do compassion Granger; I am merely pointing out the cycle I see. Have you so quickly forgotten that I am Zabini's friend, and I more often than not hear about his woes? I know where the ginger runs to whenever he hurts her feelings." He smirked, the smug expression immediately setting her on edge once more. "I also know that your ditzy friend over there desires the attention of Scarhead." He pointed in the direction of Luna, who was now sitting with Neville and another new addition to the Hogwarts staff- someone she presumed he was seeing- but the girl was looking at neither of them, and instead playing with something on her almost barren plate. "It's a shame that everyone falls ill to the domino effect in this situation, isn't it?"
"Don't presume you know anything about my friends," she snapped, clenching and unclenching her hands once. "You know nothing about their feelings, nor what goes on in their minds. Why don't you just leave my friends to me, and you can continue to speak to Zabini about the newest methods he can use to again break someone's heart!"
She turned then, not waiting for a response. Out of the corner of her eye she spotted a tuft of red hair, and realized Ron had been about to come over and intervene in their conversation. That was an unneeded measure really, for she could handle herself. Besides, making a scene was the last thing she wanted to do.
With her back turned, she never saw the git smirk; lifting his glass to his lips once more.
A few weeks passed with nothing happening. Hermione's thoughts were constantly haunted at work by the blond idiot and his words to her; they kept ringing in her head. But why did they bother her so much? She didn't know.
It was over lunch at a café one day that Luna snapped her thoughts to other things. "Blaise and Ginny are together again."
She almost choked on her drink. She had spoken with Ginny after the reunion, wondering what her so-called boyfriend had done now to upset her. Apparently, he had spent a good deal of their time together that night flirting with other women. This wasn't uncommon with Blaise Zabini, but it just made her wonder why Ginny kept going back to him. He never laid a hand on her, that much was true, but he still mistreated her.
She supposed it was that way with all Slytherin's, although she had only been in close quarters with a few in recent years. They all seemed to have this need to have more than one person at a time, but were always disappointed when said person left them. Although Ginny was an exception in this play since she always returned to Blaise, many people did not return after the first breakup. Hermione could only wonder how long Ginny would let him drag her across the ground.
"She can do better," Hermione replied, shoving her drink away to work at her salad again. She didn't want to look at Luna just then.
"Harry wanted me to go with him to dinner tonight," she continued, shoving her own food around on her plate. "It's the same restaurant that Ginny and Blaise are going to, so you can imagine why he is taking me. I only hope he doesn't start screaming at the Italian again- you know what happened the last time he did."
Hermione nodded grimy, having been told the tale hours after it occurred, with both Ginny and Luna appearing at her house fighting mad because of what went on. Blaise kept his usual habits up, bothering Ginny, and Harry and Luna who had been on the opposite side of the restaurant had seen it all. Harry had been horrified by the way he treated her while on a date, and made his opinion known. The girls had just been glad that nothing broke out into a fight, just a heated screaming match. Both girls had been angry, but Hermione noted Luna's reactions more. Not only had Harry stood her up on their "date" he had done so to defend the girl he really cared for. It was a heavy blow to the blond, one that was not easily forgotten.
"I do," she replied when she realized Luna wasn't even looking at her. "Just don't go- don't keep dragging yourself after Harry. If Harry wants to let himself get dragged through the dirt because he can't stop chasing Ginny, then that is his problem. There are plenty of other fish in the sea. What about Neville? He's quite kind."
"And taken," the former Ravenclaw sighed, shoving her food away. "I just don't understand what he sees in her! She is head over heels for that Slytherin prick- why doesn't he see that? Why does he keep making me be his date- why can't you be it?"
The brunette raised an eyebrow. "That would just make everything harder Luna; the complicated triangle the three of you have unwillingly created would only become more complex if you added me in. I prefer to stay out of this, thank you."
Luna sighed, tapping her fingers against the table. "You know how I feel about Harry- I really do like him- but I can't just keep being his rebound. And I know this date is just another ploy to make sure Zabini respects her. He won't even look at me the entire time." Her face lit up then as an idea occurred to her, and Hermione found herself uneasy as the girl clasped her hands together. "Oh, I know! You can come along! That way when Harry decides to get up and intervene, we can just leave and do whatever we want!"
"We could go clubbing! Oh Hermione, it's been forever since we went out. Don't you think it would be fun? And this way I don't have to just go to your place and cry, because you can just take me out to have fun. Oh, doesn't that sound marvelous! Yes, what do you say?"
Hermione was a bit stunned by the girl's sudden idea, and only stared for several moments. She could not be seriously thinking about dragging her along as a third wheel. And she could only imagine what Ginny would say- that redhead was always overreacting, and Hermione knew she would come up with some ridiculous scenario to explain why Hermione came with Luna and not herself. And on top of that, the ginger would probably be horrified that she came along as a third-wheel instead of with her own date.
But the excited gleam in Luna's eyes kept her from telling her it was a stupid idea. She really did want to go with Harry as his date; Hermione could see it, even though it was an awful idea. But she couldn't tell Luna that, not as she looked on at her with hope. Hermione would be able to ease the blow of another rejection, and although that was not how she wanted to spend her night she already knew what she was going to say.
"When is it," Hermione asked weakly, waving the waiter over. She was going to need a drink- and fast.
Luna gasped and reached across the table to throw her arms around the brunette. Hermione could only pat her on the back until she let go, hoping her actions came across as sincere. "Oh thank you Hermione! It's this Friday, seven o'clock. I'll let Harry know you are coming!" Jumping excitedly at the prospect of not being left alone, Luna grabbed her bag and quickly waved goodbye to her friend, skipping out the door. As the waiter came over to see what she wanted, Hermione allowed her head to fall and hit the table.
Why did I just agree to this madness?
A/n: So let me know what you thought! Also, this story will be in need of a beta! I hope it won't be too lengthy, so any takers? Let me know in a PM or review!