Disclaimer: I own none of the characters here. I just use them for my own amusement. JK Rowling and co. own them No copyright infringement intended.
Summary: When two old enemies meet up again, will they be able to look past their differences and get along? What happens if they fall for each other but he's slated to marry someone else? Will he follow his heart or his parents' wishes? Dramione.
Author's note: Lyrics by Taylor Swift.
He said let's get out of this town
Drive out of the city
Away from the crowds
I thought heaven can't help me now
Nothing lasts forever
But this is gonna take me down
He's so tall, and handsome as hell
He's so bad but he does it so well
Hermione sat at her desk inside the Ministry poring over her case files for an upcoming trial. Her newest trainee was busy filing in the corner of her office and she tried not to look at him. He'd been working there almost a week now but they'd said barely three words to each other that weren't absolutely necessary. Hermione had never felt more awkward in her life. Mostly because her trainee was no stranger to her. He was Draco Malfoy. She hadn't seen or heard of him really since right after the war when he and his family had been on trial themselves. But they were let go because it was deemed they were coerced into helping Voldemort. And after that, Hermione hadn't given Draco much thought. She assumed he went on with his high society life and sat in his manor with his father and counted their money. So imagine her surprise when her boss told her that her new assistant was none other than Draco Malfoy. Why would he even need or want a lowly job like this, she wondered. But she didn't have the guts to actually ask him. For his part, he did everything she asked him to do and didn't outwardly complain. In fact, he tried really hard not to say a word and just get through a day. But on the inside he was upset to be there at all. He didn't think he needed the job. And he certainly didn't want to be working for Granger. That was the ultimate nightmare. Mostly because he knew he'd been an utter prat to her their whole lives. He couldn't believe she didn't have him scrubbing toilets with a toothbrush, except that did fall outside the realm of his job description.
But she was unbelievably quiet around him. She'd bark a few orders at him, and then sit at her desk in silence with nothing but the sound of papers shuffling to fill his ears. It was maddening. He wished she'd just talk to him. Even if to say how much she hated him. But he didn't hate her anymore. He felt somewhat grateful to her and Potter for what they'd done in stopping Voldemort. It was something he couldn't do himself, so he was relieved they were up to the task. But they were hero types, unlike him, so it wasn't a big surprise. However it seemed obvious that she would rather die than give him the time of day. He wished it were different. And that's what he was thinking as he stood with a file in his hands and just started at Hermione for a moment. He was lost in thought and didn't realize what he was doing until she looked up at him.
"Is there something wrong?" she asked with some slight annoyance in her voice.
"No, it's fine. I was just lost in thought. You know, filing is rather dull," he admitted, looking away from her.
"Well I'd like to say it gets better, but that's why I have an assistant. So I don't have to take the time to file," she said with a sigh.
"Isn't there anything else I could do?" he wondered to her.
"Yes, you could get me a cup of coffee. That would be splendid," she said, holding out her empty mug.
"Coffee? Now I'm fetching you coffee? I feel like a house elf," he grumbled as he snatched the cup out of her hand and exited the office towards the break room.
He didn't understand why she was so cold to him. Or maybe rather, he didn't want to remember why she would be so cold to him. He knew why, he supposed. It just seemed like a lifetime ago when he was calling her names. He'd changed. And he didn't much care anymore who her parents were or whether or not her blood was pure. But he didn't dare try and bring it up and make nice with her. He was too afraid she'd shoot him down and not accept his apologies. So he remained silent and just got her coffee. Only he didn't know how she liked to drink it. So he grabbed up creamer and sugar packets and shoved them in his pockets. Then he trudged back to the office. He sat the coffee cup down and dumped the sugar and creamer packets on her desk.
"I don't know how to make your coffee so you can do it yourself," he said softly.
"I like two cream, two sugars. Just so you'll know for next time," she said coolly, opening up the sugar and dumping it in her drink.
"Right. For next time. So do I ever get to do anything important? Fetching coffee wasn't exactly what I had in mind when I asked for something different to do," he told her with a sigh.
"You're still learning the ropes. So I'm afraid this is all there is to it for now. Perhaps at a later date I'll show you how to set a trial in order. But that's far too complicated right now," she told him stuffily.
"Complicated? You do realize I'm not daft. I was right up at the top of our class with you in school, so I'm not some imbecile who can't understand things," he complained boldly.
"Malfoy, you just do as I say for now, alright? I don't have time to teach you how to do what I do right now. Just be quiet and keep filing," she said with exasperation.
"Fine. Whatever. Don't think I don't realize why you're doing this," he said somewhat under his breath, but she heard him.
"Treating me like garbage. I know you hate me. But I'm not your enemy anymore."
"I didn't think you were my enemy. And I never said I hated you. I'm indifferent. I'm not treating you any differently than I'd treat any other trainee," she informed him.
"But see, you can't be indifferent. We have a history. And it's not all that glowing. I'd wager you'd at least speak to another person and not just ignore them," he shot back.
She sighed and ran her hands through her hair.
"What do you want me to say, Malfoy? It's weird having you here. I-I don't know what you want me to say," she admitted uneasily.
"What's so weird about it? I'm just here to do a job like everyone else," he pointed out.
"Why do you even need this job anyway? Where have you been the last three years?" she asked finally.
"My father wants me to have a respectable job. I've been in hiding basically for the last three years. I got my own place and lived off my trust fund. But my father says it's time for me to stop gallivanting around without a care in the world. So that's why I'm here," he explained, relieved to be able to explain himself and not have her just avoid speaking to him.
"Well I hope you enjoyed your time off. Because now that you're employed here, this is what the job entails. Like it or leave it," she told him, as she picked up another case file absently and pretended to look at it.
He was hoping for a better dialogue to happen, but it was clear she wanted nothing to do with him. So he just sighed and picked up a file too.
"Fine. I'll file. And keep my mouth shut. It's not like I really wanted to talk to you in the first place," he muttered.
She tossed her file down and looked at him.
"If you don't want to talk to me, then why are you talking to me? I thought things were fine when they were silent. What would we talk about anyway?" she asked him pointedly.
"I don't know. Anything. I know nothing about you really. What have you been up to, besides working here, that is?" he asked her curiously.
"You wanna know what I've been doing? Why? We're not friends. We'll never be friends," she said giving him a look.
"Why can't we be friends?"
"Because you're the one who hated me. Why do you want to be my friend?"
"I don't hate you. I've changed. None of that stupid stuff I used to say even matters anymore," he said vehemently.
"It doesn't matter? To you, maybe. But to me it still matters. You used to call me names any chance you got. Am I just supposed to forget that now because you've supposedly changed?" she wanted to know.
"Look, you don't have to believe me. I'll just prove it to you somehow. Like keeping my head down and doing as you say. I'll even fetch your bloody coffee without a word. You'll see I've changed," he told her.
"You don't have to prove anything to me. I don't care," she said with exasperation.
"Yes, it is great. Now get back to work," she said finally, ending their little standoff.
She just shook her head and didn't understand why Draco Malfoy would want to be her friend now. She was still just a filthy little mudblood to him. She was sure of it. Any pretense of friendship was simply for show because he was a fish out of water and it was her pond. He only wanted to make nice so she'd stop giving him shit work to do. That had to be his ulterior motive because she refused to believe he actually had changed. That'll be the day. People like him never changed. Especially since he was obviously still following Daddy's orders if that was the entire reason he had the job in the first place. She just couldn't let her guard down around him. Because that's when she knew he'd probably say or do something unforgivable again. No, she wasn't going to let him get to her. She'd just keep piling on grunt work until maybe he got bored enough to actually quit. That would make her life complete.
The next morning she arrived and found that Draco was already there. He was sitting at his own little desk with a bagel in his hand and a cup of coffee. When she looked at her desk she saw another bagel sitting there waiting for her, along with her cup of coffee just the way she liked it. She looked at him curiously.
"What's this?" she asked suspiciously.
"It's a bloody bagel. What does it look like? I figured you might be hungry since you never eat breakfast. You should have something more than just coffee," he told her with a mouthful of his own bagel.
"How do you know I never eat breakfast?" she wondered with a dumbfounded expression on her face.
"I just know. Am I wrong? You don't have to eat the bagel, but it's not poisoned or anything," he informed her.
She put her briefcase down and sat at her desk. She was famished honestly. She never did have time for breakfast. But she still didn't know how he knew that. Did she look starved all the time? Perhaps. Maybe it was the way she'd sneak bites of her lunch when she thought no one was looking because she was so hungry before lunch time came? She picked up the bagel and took a bite. It was heavenly. Just the right amount of cream cheese too. She took a sip of her coffee and noted it was still hot so it hadn't been sitting there forever. She looked over at Draco.
"Thank you," she said simply, not wanting to make a big deal of it.
"You're welcome." He sat back smugly in his chair. Who knew that a bagel would be such a nice peace offering? But at least she was eating it instead of tossing it in a bin.
"So really, how did you know I'd be hungry?" she asked him finally, curiosity getting the better of her.
"Because I can sometimes hear your stomach growl when we're sitting in here in silence. I figured you must not eat before you get here. And apparently I was right," he smiled at her.
"You can hear my stomach growl? That's embarrassing," she admitted, feeling her face turning pink.
"It wouldn't kill you to have a radio in here or something. If we're not gonna talk, at least there needs to be some music to get through the day without me listening to your stomach make noises," he said with a smirk.
"A radio? I never thought to have one. But I suppose I could do that. A lot of offices have music in the background, right?" she said, mostly to herself.
"I'll even bring one. How's that?" he offered.
"Finish your bagel. You have a meeting in exactly twelve minutes. And don't worry, I organized the case files for you and put them right there on your desk. Everything you need is right there," he said proudly.
"Thank you. Again. Since when did you become so efficient?" she asked with a slight smile.
"Well this job is boring as shit, but I'm stuck here. So I'm trying to make the most of it," he explained.
"Yes, well, I do hope you learn to like it a little bit," she said in a small voice.
"I'm sure I will. After all I took it upon myself to organize your files for the meeting. It was better than what I normally do. I'm trying to show you I can be more useful than just an errand boy," he told her.
"Nice work. I suppose I should head off to my meeting though. I like to be early," she said taking another bite of her bagel before scooping up her files and heading for the door.
"See you later," Draco waved after her.
She didn't know what to do or say so she just smiled at him. Then she walked away shaking her head. This new Draco was going to take some getting used to. Bringing her bagels and organizing her files for a meeting when he didn't have to, was very strange. But she wouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth. She just went to her meeting and presented her case files and discussed them and tried not to notice that Draco had drawn doodles on a post it note and stuck inside one of the files. He had drawn a picture of a stick figure man buried under a mountain of paperwork. He had x's for eyes and his tongue was hanging out of his mouth like he was crushed to death. And Draco had written, "this is me, boss" in his scribbly handwriting. She couldn't help but laugh slightly which was totally inappropriate for the meeting and they wondered if she'd lost it.
"Is something funny?" one of the men asked her.
"No, I'm sorry. Just nervous laughter. Forgive me," she said feeling stupid.
She tried to compose herself and go on with the meeting, but it was hard for her for some reason. She was highly amused especially when her next case file had a doodle of a stick figure lying in a casket with a girl stick figure with incredibly bushy hair laughing at the death scene. Draco had outdone himself. She could tell the stick figure was her and it had a little thought bubble that said, "hahaha!" She closed up the files and sat back down and tried not to laugh. Normally these meetings were super boring and not a place you'd get the giggles, but Draco was kind of a funny, she had to admit. Once the meeting was over she collected her things and went back to the office. She pulled out the drawings and intended to confront him about them. But when she walked in she heard music playing softly and Draco was hard at work filing again.
"You got a radio already?" she asked with some confusion.
"Oh yeah. Sorry. I popped back to my place on my break to grab it. I wasn't gone but twenty minutes. I realize my break is only fifteen, so I'll make it up at the end of the day if you want," he said dutifully.
"No, that's fine," she said shaking her head as she walked to her desk and put her files down. Then she walked over to his desk and put the sticky notes on his desk. "What on earth were these doing in the case files?" she asked with amusement.
"Oh, you like them? That's my artwork. I'm brilliantly gifted at stick figures," he smiled at her.
"They are ridiculous. And my hair does not look that big!" she said holding up the offending picture.
He laughed and shook his head.
"Maybe it's not quite that big, but it's close. I just thought you'd get a laugh maybe. You need to laugh more," he told her.
"I did get a laugh. Right in the middle of a serious meeting! I looked like a buffoon, thanks to you," she said with a pouty lip.
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make you embarrass yourself, but you need to lighten up a bit."
"Because why are you so morose all the time? Is it because I'm here or what?" he wondered.
"No, it's not because of you. I just don't tend to burst into laughter or crack jokes when I'm working. I'm a professional," she said seriously.
"Well work kind of sucks, so the least you could do is smile once in a while. There's no harm in that."
"I don't usually have a lot to smile about," she admitted quietly as she sat back down at her desk.
"Oh, now we're talking. Your life sucks eh? Tell me about it," he said eagerly, dying to hear something personal about her.
"I'm not telling you about it. Why would I do that?" she scoffed, trying to get back into work mode, unsure why she let it slip that her life was less than perfect.
"Come on. I'll tell you more about my life, if you tell me about yours," he offered.
"Malfoy, my life is my private business. And I'm your boss," she reminded him.
"So? We're just people in the end. And I'm curious about you," he said trying to get her to open up.
"What do you want to know?" she sighed and leaned back in her chair.
"Any special man in your life?" he asked.
"Next question," she refused to answer.
"I'll take that as a no then. What ever happened to Weaslebee? I thought you two were thick as thieves. Meant to be, or some such shit?" he said going off what he read in the papers after the war.
"His name is Ron and we just didn't work out. Not that it's any business of yours," she added, trying not to feel highly uncomfortable by his intrusion into her personal life.
"Maybe it's not my business but I was curious," he informed her.
"Because. If you weren't single, I'd say you probably should be given how miserable you seem. But now that I know you're unattached, I get why you look that way all the time," he shrugged.
"Excuse me, but look like what?" she asked haughtily.
"Like you never have any fun," he said plainly.
"I do have fun! Lots of fun. Just not at work. You wouldn't know," she said defensively.
"So then you wanna get a drink after work? God knows I could use one. And if you like to have fun, you'll say yes," he smiled at her smugly.
"If I say no, it doesn't mean I don't like to have fun. It means maybe I have other plans?" she offered, trying not to let him get to her. He was saying a lot of true things she didn't want to admit. And she didn't have other plans, but he didn't have to know that.
"What other plans do you have?" he challenged her.
"Just plans! Why would you want to have a drink with me anyway?" she asked flustered by his boldness.
"I just thought it might be nice for us to get away from this place and then you can show me how you like to have fun. Otherwise I'll just keep thinking you do nothing with your spare time except play with your cat and drink wine alone on your couch."
"How do you know I have a cat?" she asked weakly.
"The fur on your clothes."
"Well I don't drink wine alone on my couch. Maybe I have a date already?"
She was silent for a bit and then she just sighed.
"Alright, so no, I don't. But I could! I could have loads of dates and it's none of your business."
"So then you don't have plans tonight?"
"No, I don't," she admitted softly.
"Great. So then we can get a drink after all. We'll get to know each other better, so then maybe I won't feel like I'm being tortured in a Chinese prison when I come to work," he told her happily.
"It's not that bad here, is it?" she wondered.
"Feels like it sometimes. But it doesn't have to be that way. It's already better now that we're talking. Don't you think?" he offered.
"It's weird, is what it is. But fine. Okay. One little drink. It is Friday night after all," she relented against her better judgment.
"That's the spirit. Knew I could talk you into it," he grinned.
"Don't look so smug. It's one drink. It doesn't mean I'm going to bare my soul to you," she reminded him.
Only she wondered if that were true or not. Something about Draco made her feel like baring her soul. She had no idea why. It was just the way he spoke to her and was so cocky, like he already knew everything anyway. She couldn't seem to pull a fast one on him because he was so damn perceptive. But she wasn't going to let herself get out of hand. It was one drink. And she'd drink it quickly and be home in time to watch her favorite show on the telly. At least that's what she kept telling herself.
Once it was quitting time, they got their things together and Draco said he'd pick the bar. She thought they'd go to the Leaky Cauldron, but he had other ideas. He knew of a place in the city where they had games like pool and darts and a jukebox. It was a dive, admittedly, but Draco liked going there because no one knew who he was. He could just be another face in the crowd instead of a Malfoy. That's how he'd been living his life the last few years, trying to distance himself from his family and their name and everything they stood for. But when his father threatened to take the money away if he didn't get a job, he was forced to comply. He couldn't be without his money. But he still wanted to distance himself from that life as much as possible. So that's why he took Hermione to his favorite bar. She looked at it with some distaste and realized they were far too dressed up for such an establishment.
"We don't exactly fit in here," she noted as she put her briefcase down next to her as they sat at an empty table.
"Sure we do. Just because everyone else is in jeans doesn't mean we don't belong. That's the beauty of this place. No one cares what you look like or who you are," he explained.
"It's kind of a dive. I never would have imagined this is where you'd wanna go," she noted, wondering if they had a menu of drinks or appetizers at least.
"You'll grow to love it. Trust me. And if you're looking for something to eat, the hot wings are excellent," he told her with a grin.
"Okay seriously, are you reading my mind? Because you're always saying what I'm thinking. It's off putting," she said giving him a glare.
"I just read people well. And you looked hungry again. Plus I know you're hell bent on not getting too drunk, so you'd wanna eat first. You're really not that complicated to figure out," he shrugged.
"Well stop figuring me out. I don't like it," she said with annoyance. "But I will take those hot wings if there's a waitress."
He signaled for someone to come to their table and they placed their orders for hot wings and a glass of red wine and a beer for him. They sat in silence sipping their drinks while waiting for the food to arrive. Draco had a lot more observations about her he'd like to make, but he didn't want to make her uncomfortable. It was a miracle she was sitting with him at all and he didn't want to ruin it. But finally he spoke because silence drove him batty.
"So, red wine eh? I knew it. I knew that's what you liked to drink," he noted.
"So? Lots of people like red wine," she shrugged.
"You don't look like you're having fun though. I thought you said that you were a laugh riot outside of work," he pointed out.
"I never said that. But I do have fun! It's just this isn't fun to me. I don't know why I even said yes to this weird date. I don't even like you," she told him plainly.
"Ouch. Okay. Well have you ever played darts? That's fun. And maybe you'll beat me and you can gloat. That's bound to give you a happy," he offered.
"I'm pretty good at darts. My father taught me. I wouldn't mind gloating over a win," she said with a small grin.
"Perfect. Darts it is."
They got up from the table and Draco got the darts off the board and handed them to her. She took her turn and did very well, but never got a bullseye. Draco went next and hit the bullseye straight off. And he kept hitting it until all his darts were gone. He smiled at her.
"Looks like I won that one."
"You're a cheat. You made it seem like you weren't that good at this," she pouted.
"I never said I wasn't good. I just say maybe you'd beat me? But no such luck. Shall we go again?"
"No. Our food is at the table now and I don't want it getting cold," she said looking at the hot wings that were calling her name.
They went back to the table and sat down. They dug into the pub food and Hermione tried to eat the wings as daintily as possible, but there was no way to shove chicken wings in your mouth without making a mess. She had sauce all over her fingers and her lips.
"Okay, I feel like a pig here," she laughed slightly.
"Nah, you're fine. No one looks elegant eating wings," he laughed back, as he reached over and wiped her face with his napkin.
She was taken aback at his touch but tried not to show it. She wasn't used to him being nice, or being with him at all. This whole experience was surreal to her. She didn't quite know what she was doing.
"So where are you real friends tonight, Granger?" he asked, licking his fingers of the chicken wing residue.
"My real friends?"
"Yes. Potter and whoever else you usually hang out with. I'm assuming you're still friends with him right?" he asked curiously.
"Yes, Harry and I are still friends. But he's probably with Ginny. They're sort of joined at the hip most of the time. Do you remember her?" she wondered as she took a sip of her wine.
"Sure. Red hair, bit of a temper? She's a Weasley right?"
"That would be Ginny, yes."
"So they're an item eh?"
"Yes, quite a lot. I don't get to see Harry a lot because his work keeps him busy. And then his downtime is usually spent with her. But that's alright. When we do see each other, it's great," she said trying to convince both of them that her life wasn't sad and empty.
But as usual, Draco seemed to see right through it.
"I think it's right gloomy that you're the third wheel. I bet it was different when you were with the Weasel right?" he asked her pointedly.
She was momentarily flummoxed and at a loss for words. How was he reading her so well? It was unnerving.
"You really need to stop with the legilimency or whatever you're doing. How do you know so much about me? I'm serious. Just stop," she held up her hand.
He laughed and shook his head.
"I'm not using legilimency, I swear it. I just know how people tick. I'm a people watcher. I have a good intuition," he shrugged.
"Well stop using it on me. I don't like that you know things without me telling you. It's creepy," she shuddered.
"I can't help it. But I'll try and let you answer the questions before I just tell you the answer. Okay?"
"Okay. That would be nice."
"So then was it different before when you could double date and what not?" he asked, restating his observation.
"Sure it was different then. But that doesn't matter anymore because Ron and I are over. We've been over. What about you? Do you have a girl?" she asked. It was her turn to ask nosy questions.
"Nope. I'm all lone wolfy. My parents keep talking about setting me up with someone to marry, but I keep dodging that bullet. I'd rather pick my own wife, thank you," he said shaking his head.
"That would be super weird if they picked someone for you to marry. I didn't think people actually still had arranged marriages in this country," she noted.
"Tell that to my father. He thinks it's still the Dark Ages. But I got the stupid job like he asked me to do, so I wager he'll shut up about marrying me off for a while. At least I'm doing one thing he asked. For a time, I was sort of wild," he admitted.
"Wild huh? Like how so?" she was curious and couldn't imagine stuffy Draco doing anything wild at all.
"Well I did a lot of dumb things. Like drinking too much with Muggles. Bars like this were my home and I fit right in. Plus I shagged a lot of girls that my father would die if he knew about. They were all Muggles too. I sort of tried to blend in with them and hide. I had a rough go of things for a while, but I know you don't wanna hear about my woes," he added downing the rest of his beer and signaling the waitress to bring another.
"You shagged Muggles? Now that is weird. And wild. What on earth would possess an elitist pureblood snob like yourself to lower yourself that far," she was astonished.
"I don't care about blood purity anymore. I honestly never really did. That was my father's thing. And he still cares. But what difference does it really make? Voldemort wanted the world to be nothing but magical people and kill everyone else. Even the Muggleborn witches like you. And in the end, it doesn't make any fucking sense really. We're all just people. People trying to live a life. That's all I wanted to do after the war. Live. For way too long I didn't think I was going to live at all, and if I did, it would be in a world I couldn't stand. But when everything turned out the way it did, I just wanted to escape. I had to get out of my parents' house. They're stifling. You have no idea," he added taking a long swig of his beer.
"I lost my parents," she admitted quietly as she finished her own drink.
"Did Voldemort kill them?"
"No. I obliviated them and implanted false memories of a life where they never had a daughter. Then I sent them to Australia. They have no idea who I am. I tried to get them back and undo the spell but it couldn't be done. I wrecked everything really. You should be thankful you still have your folks. Even if they kind of suck," she told him.
"Now that I wouldn't guess about you. I had no clue you did something so crazy. Why did you do that anyway? To protect them? There are better ways," he said honestly.
"I didn't know of a better way at the time. I thought I was doing the right thing."
"You could have just shipped them off without ruining their memories."
"Yeah, but I didn't want them to miss me in case I died," she said softly, looking away from him.
"Oh. Now I kind of get it. I'm sorry, Hermione," he said sincerely.
"You just called me Hermione. That sounds weird," she laughed slightly.
"It's your name, isn't it?" he laughed right back.
"Yeah, but you never have ever called me by my name. You always called me Granger."
"And you've always called me Malfoy. But you don't have to. You can call me Draco."
"I-I'm not sure I want to," she said shaking her head.
"Why not? You don't like my name?" he wondered.
"No, the name is fine. But then it'll seem like we really are friends or something. And we're not. I don't even know why I'm here with you tonight," she stammered awkwardly.
"You're here because you had nothing better to do. You don't have to make it a thing. I know you don't like me," he said with a tinge of disappointment in his voice as he sipped more of his beer.
"I could have still said no. I guess I just wondered what it'd be like to spend the evening with you."
"I don't know the answer to that question," she admitted with a laugh. "You're just sort of a mystery to me. Maybe I thought I'd get some answers if I went out with you?"
"What kind of answers are you looking for? I'm sort of an open book. Ask me anything," he offered holding his arms open wide to welcome her questions.
"Why me? Why tonight? Why not just go alone?" she shot back quickly.
"Good question. I do not know the answer to that either. I suppose I just wanted to see what an evening with you would be like too?" he echoed her earlier sentiments about him.
"So then neither of us really knows what the hell we're doing here right?" she chuckled softly.
"Not entirely, no."
"I need another drink," she said after a long pause where they both just stared at each other uncomfortably.
They called over the waitress and he ordered another beer and she another glass of wine. Then they just sat in silence for a bit. Neither of them knowing exactly what to say. Finally when the drinks arrived, Draco spoke again.
"So do you want to play pool?" he offered her just to have something to say.
"Are you as good at pool as you are at darts?" she asked with a grin.
"I'm not bad. I'm not saying I'm good, but I've been known to win a few times."
"You're going to wipe the floor with me, aren't you?"
"Fine, let's play," she said getting up from the table and walking over to the pool area.
They got their game set up and played for a while until Draco did inevitably win. But it was a close game. And Hermione found herself having a lot of fun with him. They'd give each other shit and try to knock each other's shots to hell. But they were laughing the entire time. When Draco won, Hermione threw her pool cue down and cursed under her breath.
"Damn it! You stupid fucker!" she muttered.
"What did you just say?" he laughed at her crude language because he was surprised she knew words like that.
"You heard me. You fucker. I can't believe I lost!" she pouted about it.
"I didn't know you knew how to swear," he chuckled.
"Of course I do. I'm not eleven anymore, in case you hadn't noticed. Plus I went out with Ron and his mouth will scare the sailors away. I learned a lot of bad words from him," she said with a goofy smile as she was starting to feel slightly tipsy from her wine.
"Well good, then I can swear in front of you and not worry about it. I was policing my mouth somewhat. But I learned to talk like a Muggle spending all my time in dives like this. It's hard to go back to being a proper gentlemen. I wish I could see my father's face when I drop an F-bomb in his direction but I don't have the stones to do it. I pretend to be a very good boy around him. If only he knew."
"I would love to be a fly on the wall when you called your dad a name he deserves."
"Yeah like a motherfucking racist snob?" Draco laughed.
"Exactly! That's what I was thinking to call him," she giggled back at him.
"I'd call him that if I saw him again. He can't take my money away from me."
"True. Although I'd hate to subject you to him. I know he's probably one of your least favorite people."
"Definitely up there in the top five, yeah. You used to make the list too," she informed him.
"I did? How am I ranking now? Still up there?" he asked with a raised eyebrow.
"No, I think you're sort of okay, Malfoy. I had a good time tonight," she confessed feeling surprised.
"I had a good time too," he nodded his head in agreement.
And for a minute they both just stood there together staring into each other's eyes. It was the most uncomfortable moment, but at the same time, neither of them could look away. But finally Hermione averted her eyes and looked at her shoes. She didn't know what was happening between them or why she'd even gone out with him to begin with. But she meant what she said. She kind of sort of liked him a little. He was nothing like she remembered. And for his part, he found himself just wanting to be in Hermione's company. She was pretty and amusing to him. Especially when she was swearing, because he'd never seen that side to her. And he liked it. She was always so untouchable to him, but now she was feeling a little more human. They weren't so different after all really. And they both realized that as they stood there in the bar not saying a word. They just knew they both had fun. And maybe they'd even do it again? Stranger things have happened.
To be continued…. Please leave feedback! I love reviews! They keep me writing faster….