A/N: Krissy and AnnHarrisForever, thanks for being my fabulous betas! And thank you to all of you who take the time to comment and review. I really appreciate it!
Disclaimer: JKR owns the world and characters of Harry Potter, not me. I am making no money from the posting of this story.
Hermione was digging through her wardrobe trying to find something to wear. Her eyes kept stopping at the short red dress she had bought the other day, but she simply shook her head. She wasn't going to wear that. It was just casual drinks with a friend, not a date.
But after trying on at least three different outfits, she gave up.
"Screw it," she mumbled, grabbing the dress. She slipped it on, immediately loving the feel of the material on her skin. She still thought it looked too short, but she couldn't remember the last time she had looked so good. Moving into the bathroom, she put a bit of eyeliner and mascara on. She then pulled her hair back into a loose bun. Checking her appearance over in the mirror, she deemed herself ready.
Moving into the living room, she slipped into some heels. It was ten to six, so she decided it was time to leave. Closing her eyes, she Apparated to Moreau's.
Opening her eyes, she looked up at the restaurant. She had never been to Moreau's before but had heard fabulous things about the place. It had opened up in the upper end of Diagon Alley shortly after the war. Taking a deep breath, she walked inside.
"Can I help you?" the waiter asked, not looking up from his papers.
"Umm, I'm meeting Mr. Malfoy here," Hermione said.
At the sound of the Malfoy name, the waiter looked up. His eyes almost bulged out of his head when he saw who was standing in front of him. "You're Hermione Granger!" he exclaimed excitedly.
Hermione blushed. "Yes, I am."
"Oh Merlin, I've read so much about you. It's an honour to meet you!" The waiter held his hand out for her to shake.
Still blushing, Hermione firmly shook his hand. After the Ron incident, Hermione really didn't go out in public. It made sense that once she became more public, people would be all over her. It was embarrassing, but she would deal with it. She was Hermione Granger after all.
"It's nice to meet you too, Mr.—?"
"David Wellesley, Miss!"
"Well, it's a pleasure to meet you David, but I don't want to be late," Hermione said gently.
"Oh, yes of course. Mr. Malfoy is in a private booth in the back. I'll take you to him."
Hermione nodded, following David towards the back of the restaurant. The ambiance of the restaurant was nice, giving off a pleasant vibe. "He's right there."
Hermione thanked him for his help. Turning, she saw the booth ahead. Walking forward, she approached the table. "Hello, Draco," she said, looking up.
A small gasp escaped her lips. "Oh, Mr. Malfoy, I'm sorry. I was supposed to meet Draco here for dinner, but I seemed to have gone to the wrong—"
"No, Miss Granger, I, too, was supposed to meet Draco for dinner. It seems we were both played tonight."
Hermione stood there awkwardly, the surprise still etched on her face. "Well, I'll just go then." She turned to walk away.
"Wait, Miss Granger, you might as well take a seat," Lucius said, reminding himself that he needed to be polite.
"If you're sure," Hermione said, sliding into the booth. She felt so incredibly awkward. Merlin, when I get my hands on Draco, I'm going to wring his neck.
Meanwhile, Lucius was thinking the same thing. He was so surprised when he saw Hermione approach him. At once he knew Draco had set the two of them up. Why Draco thought Hermione would be a good match for him, Lucius wasn't sure. But he was certain that he was going to give his son a firm talking to when he got home.
Lucius was just going to leave, but when he saw that Hermione had dressed up and actually gone out in public, he just had to have dinner with her. Besides, there wasn't any harm in having dinner with an employee, right?
Hermione kept staring at her hands silently, and it was starting to bother Lucius. "Miss Granger, you look lovely," he said smoothly before taking a sip of his wine.
Hermione flushed. "Thank you Mr. Malfoy."
He smirked. "Well, since we're having dinner, we might as well use our first names."
"If you insist Mr. Mal- Lucius," Hermione said. Her face was flushed. She was going to kill Draco when she got her hands on him.
The two fell into an awkward silence. The waiter came over. "Hello, my name is Pierre and I'll be serving you tonight. What can I get you?"
Hermione blanched. She didn't have time to look at the menu.
"I'll have the braised rabbit with steamed vegetables and she'll have the roasted salmon with lemon," Lucius said, sensing her distress. "Bring us a bottle of elven wine as well."
Pierre nodded, quickly walking away.
"Thank you," Hermione said softly.
Lucius nodded curtly. "The food here is exquisite."
"I've heard good things," she replied.
The two sat in an awkward silence once more. Hermione shook her head. "Draco is something else, huh?"
Lucius nodded stiffly.
Hermione internally sighed. She was just trying to make conversation, but he was just sitting there. She was starting to get frustrated. She sighed loudly, knowing that it was incredibly rude.
"Calm yourself witch," Lucius replied.
"Well, you're not being very talkative, Lucius," she replied cheekily.
Lucius rolled his eyes. "I've been thinking. It stings a bit knowing my son wants me to find someone new."
Hermione was quiet. "Did Draco try and set us up?"
Lucius sent her an annoyed look. "Of course he did, why else would we both be sitting here?"
Hermione flushed. "Why would he? I mean you're so—"
"Don't finish that sentence," Lucius hissed, his eyes flashing dangerously.
"I didn't mean—"
"But you did, Hermione. I know I'm a nasty old man, and you're just so perfect," Lucius said coldly, his words cutting through her like ice.
"No, Lucius, that wasn't what I was going to say!" Hermione protested. "I simply meant that I hadn't thought of you that way before."
Lucius simply waved his hand. At that moment, Pierre came over with their food. He placed it down, asking if they needed anything else. Lucius quickly dismissed him.
Grabbing Hermione's glass, he filled it with the wine.
"Thank you," she whispered.
He remained silent.
The two of them ate dinner quietly. Hermione found that the salmon was cooked to perfection and was enjoying her meal immensely. She could see why so many people liked Moreau's.
Finishing, Hermione dabbed at her mouth with a napkin. "Thank you, Lucius," Hermione said, placing her napkin down onto the table.
"You're welcome, Hermione," Lucius replied.
She could tell by the tone of his voice that he was still upset.
"I'm sorry," she said gently. Reaching across the table, her hand brushed his. "Lucius, I've just grown accustomed to the idea that I would spend the rest of my life alone. Tonight, being out with you, it just shocked me, that's all. I didn't mean any disrespect to you at all. You're a wonderful man, Lucius, and I wasn't trying to be rude."
"Apology accepted," Lucius said. "I admit that I acted a bit harshly earlier, and I apologize for my rash behaviour."
"It's all right, Lucius." Hermione gave him a small smile. It wasn't their fault they were thrown into an awkward situation.
"Pierre, just put the bill on my tab," Lucius said. The waiter nodded. Lucius stood. "Allow me to escort you to the apparition point?"
Hermione nodded, standing up. "Thank you."
Lucius held his arm out to her. Taking a deep breath, Hermione grabbed onto it. The two of them walked out of the door, David waving enthusiastically at them. Once outside, Hermione shivered.
Lucius, ever the gentleman, handed her his cloak. "As wonderful as you look in that dress, it was rather foolish of you to forget a cloak."
Hermione blushed. "Yeah, I suppose I didn't really think that through." She slid the cloak on, grateful for its warmth.
Together, the two of them walked down the street. "Oh, I need you to sign some papers for me tomorrow," Hermione said.
Lucius smirked. It seemed the witch was always thinking about work. "Just bring them by my office tomorrow."
"Okay," Hermione said with a nod.
"Do you ever think about anything but work?"
Hermione laughed at that. She gave a shrug. "Sometimes. Not very often though."
"Well, it would be beneficial for you to do so."
Hermione stopped. They had approached the point. "Well, despite the awkward situation, I did enjoy being out tonight. So thank you, Lucius."
The older wizard flashed her a smile. "It's always my pleasure to escort a pretty witch out to dinner."
Lucius took her hand, pressing a kiss to the back of it.
Hermione's blushed deepened. "Good night, Lucius."
"Good night, Hermione," he replied, flashing her a smile.
Closing her eyes, Hermione Apparated home. Opening her eyes, she smiled. That actually wasn't that bad.
Vaguely, she realized she still had Lucius's cloak with her. Pulling it up to her nose, she sniffed. "Oh," she said softly. She sniffed again. That was the most wonderful thing she had ever smelt. It was a mixture of cologne and spices.
Hermione got ready for bed quickly. Climbing under the covers, her thoughts wandered. She had never thought of Lucius as a man. He was always just her boss or her friend's father, but after tonight, Hermione decided she wouldn't mind thinking of him as a man.
She inhaled the spicy scent once more before drifting off into a deep sleep.