A/N: This is a SHORT STORY, meaning it will only contain three chapters. It is also a rather simple short, as I did not do much to show how Draco and Hermione's relationship evolves. Each chapter is a different Valentine's Day. I do hope you review once you've read this chapter! Thanks and enjoy!
Disclaimer: Unfortunately, Harry Potter does not belong to me.
February 14, 1999
Hermione Granger looked around the small cafe she was sitting in. Her brown eyes narrowed at the little heart decorations and she let a sigh slip through her lips as she stirred her hot chocolate. He was late. Ron was always late these days and this was supposed to be their first valentines as a couple. The bell on the door behind her dinged and she turned in her seat quickly, hoping that she'd see the familiar redhead coming in. Her mouth curved into a frown as she noticed that it was Draco Malfoy, who seemed to be looking for someone. She turned back around and took a sip of her drink, wondering how long she had been waiting. The chair across from her screeched as it was pulled back from the table suddenly. She looked up in surprise as Malfoy sat across from her. His steely grey eyes peered at her beneath the ends of his blond bangs.
"Granger. Weasley sent me," he stated.
She sat back, straight and raised a brow at him. Malfoy and Ron often ended up partnered together in the Auror department, but they rarely spoke civil to each other. Ron still hated him and claimed he was still a Death Eater, despite the fact Voldemort was gone. Why would Ron send him? She voiced her question, trying to keep the anger she felt from seeping into her words.
"He said to tell you that Harry needed him to go somewhere on a mission," Malfoy said with a shrug. He looked bored and as if he really didn't care to be there. He probably didn't.
"It's Valentine's Day."
"Really Granger? I had no idea."
Hermione blinked. She hadn't even thought of the possibility of him having a date, some pureblood witch to get to. Anger flared even more in her. Ron wasn't thinking of anybody, and his excuse probably wasn't even true. Harry had Ginny at home to get back to. Hermione felt tears prickle her eyes, ones caused by frustration. They started to flow before she could help it.
Malfoy looked panicked. "Granger, stop that," he demanded.
"Oh sorry, Malfoy. I've just been stood up by my boyfriend and probably lied to," she wailed.
"Granger," he growled, "would you please quit it?"
"Why don't you just go? I'm sure you have plans tonight."
He stared at her, his expression strangely blank. She didn't know what he was thinking. She wiped at her cheeks and her cries subsided to hiccups. "Why are you even here? You should have just told him no. Don't do him any favors- he certainly wouldn't for you," she said.
"I'm not. I was doing you a favor. I would hate for someone to see the great Hermione Granger stood up by the Weasel on Valentine's Day. And no, Granger, I don't have plans. But I hate to leave you alone to wallow in self pity. Come on, let me take you out," he said, scooting his chair back and standing. He looked down at her, mouth set in a firm line. Hermione stared up at him, mouth slightly open and brown eyes still filled with tears. What was he saying? She blinked, confused.
"Draco Malfoy, are you asking me on a date?" She asked, trying to ease the unnerving feeling she had in her stomach.
He rolled his eyes. "Granger, we've managed to be civil and become somewhat acquaintances since the war this last year. I'm trying to be...friendly."
The term sounded strange to her, coming from him. And she could tell it was foreign to him as well. She took a deep breath, her mind wandering to Ron. What would he say? Hermione found that she didn't care. She stood up. "Okay," she said.
He didn't seem surprised, but she assumed he was. He walked ahead of her as they left the café, her having to walk at a faster pace than what was normal for her in order to keep up.
Hermione looked up, smiling at the man in front of her. She couldn't believe that just a few hours before she was crying to him over being stood up by Ron. Draco had managed to take her out for a nice evening. He'd treated her to dinner and then a music show in Hogsmeade. "Thank you, Mal...Draco," she said, watching a small smile spread across his lips at her use of his first name.
"It was my pleasure, Hermione. Hope you give Weaselbee hell for making you spend tonight with me. I'll be off now." He had barely stepped off the bottom step before she called out to him. He turned around and Hermione licked her lips, feeling nervous. She debated on inviting him inside for some tea, but it was rather late- nearly midnight!
She blinked and choked out, "It wasn't so bad. I was thinking... Maybe we could do this again sometime?"
Draco studied her for a moment before giving a curt nod. "I'll owl you," he said before walking down the sidewalk a little ways and apparating away.
As Hermione unlocked the door to her flat, she felt a knot in her stomach appearing. Ron wouldn't like for her to spend time with Draco, but the man had been very nice to spend the evening with her. She found that she rather liked his company. When she stepped inside and walked through the kitchen, Hermione found a large bouquet of roses on her counter, with a note from Ron.
I am so sorry about tonight.
Hope Malfoy didn't bother you too much when he met up with you.
Let me make it up to you tomorrow evening. I'll be round about six.
Wear something nice- I'll take you to that new restaurant you've been raving about.
I love you, Mione. Happy Valentine's.
She couldn't help the feeling of joy that rushed over her, but it was followed by a new wave of irritation with the redhead. Sure he could take her out tomorrow, but it still didn't fix the hurt she'd felt about being ditched on Valentine's Day. Hermione set the note down and gave the roses a flitting glance before heading off to her room, where she fell asleep to the memories of music in her ears.