Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter & co. - just write what could have been :)
Hermione stared at the Black family tapestry, no longer gloomy looking from the previous owner's color scheme. The background was black but the tree that connected everyone was a rich emerald. The brightest green branches were the newest ones that had been restored a couple of weeks ago. Andromeda Tonks nee Black was no longer burned off the ancient family tree and four new sets of branches that connected to Grandma Dromeda as Teddy called her. Edward Tonks connected to hers and from their union, Nymphadora Lupin nee Tonks. Hermione's fingers slowly traced Tonks vine to Remus Lupin and circled around their death dates. Hermione couldn't stop the tears that sprang to her eyes at the thought of the couple – her old professor and her role model. She bit her lip as she traced down the fourth bright branch to Edward Lupin. Hermione bit the inside of her cheek hard to stop herself from openly crying; a war orphan that Andromeda and Harry now took charge of raising. Barely a child himself, but Hermione knew Harry wasn't going to let the chance of raising his godson to someone else, even if it was his maternal grandmother. Letting her honey eyes linger for a second more, Hermione glanced up to see Sirius Black's name shiny and new just like Andromeda's. Now a soft smile formed on her lips as she finally let her hand fall from the tapestry.
Harry's voice filled the room and she turned to look at him. He was wearing his Auror uniform, a white pristine, oxford shirt, fitting black trousers, and an onyx cloak over it with a bright patch with the D.M.L.E insignia on his left side; while he looked professional and dashing, his hair was sticking up at all odd places and that was one thing that could never change about Harry. She smiled at him before crossing her arms over her chest.
"Hi Harry, how was work?"
Harry opened his lips to answer but a loud,
"Harry is the firewhiskey in there or should I check the – "
A redhead appeared behind Harry, poking his head through the gap and catching Hermione's eyes. She quickly looked back to Harry and forced a smile on her lips.
"Sorry, I should leave – "
"'Mione don't, Ron was just picking up a bottle."
Hermione nodded once and looked away from the pair. She crossed her arms tighter around herself and she couldn't help herself,
"It's fine Harry, I have a ton of work to do anyways."
Ron said, a desperate tone in his word. Before anyone could say anything, they could possibly regret, Hermione forced herself to look at her best friends, at least one of them was still her best friends.
"Call me later."
Hermione said before finding her wand in her front pocket of her jeans and apparating. While she usually didn't abuse her apparating into and out of the Grimmauld Place privileges, she needed to get out of the boys' sight before an argument ensue.
She mumbled to herself. While it was dark inside her flat, she knew she landed in the middle of her living room. A soft nudge at her shins reminded her she didn't live by herself and she let out the sigh she had been holding out. Fucking Ronald Bilius Weasly, she angrily thought to herself and flicked her hand with a fluid movement, the lights in her living room flat turning on. The warm light revealed wooden floors with a canary-colored rug covering most of the floor. There was a crème-colored sectional and at one end was a small table covered in parchments and a book and at the other end was a medium sized bookcase covered in books. There were windows behind the couch covered in white window curtains. A loud meow coming underneath her momentarily distracted her from her thoughts and she leaned down to pick up her beloved, fluffy orange half Kneazle up. She nuzzled the top of his head, ignoring his fur tickling her nose.
Hermione wanted to assume that her brilliant half Kneazle, half cat familiar knew when she was distressed so she absorbed all the attention her gave. Another long sigh left her lips and before she could finally sink into her couch, a knock came from her front door. She kept the groan to herself before letting Crookshanks fall onto the soft, plush couch and made her way towards her door. Before Hermione could look through her peephole, a loud voice said,
"Hermione dearest, please open the fuck up."
Hermione's left eyebrow twitched ever so slightly, and she clenched her fists together. She was tempted to ignore the call but another, less loud voice said,
"Granger, please or Nott will be unbearable for the rest of the night."
Zabini's drawl was enough to catch her interest, but she still hesitated. If those two were here than did that mean?
"It's just us two."
Nott seemingly answered her own question. With a heavy sigh, Hermione unlocked the three locks and opened the steel door. Theodore Nott's toothy grin was the first thing she saw, and Blaise's dark scowl was the second. Both wizards were dressed impeccable as ever – both wearing three-piece suits, Nott's in a dark sapphire color with a dark gray oxford underneath while Zabini wore a rich burgundy one with a white oxford underneath. Zabini also wore a matching cloak over his suit while Theodore opted for none. They both seemed out of place in front of her very nonmagical flat building.
"Did Harry send you?"
Was the first question Hermione asked before turning around, letting access to the men behind her. She could hear the hard click of their shoes, no doubt some type of animal, and the soft click of her door closing.
"No of course not!"
Nott answered first with Zabini shortly following. Hermione didn't know to be relieved that her best friend could be so thoughtful. Or upset that the only people he could think to send were Nott and Zabini. She frowned at the latter and made herself busy fixing a pot for her unscheduled guests. Nott leaned against the island counter and Zabini opted to sit down.
"Weasley is out of town and Lovegood was busy with the Quibbler."
Zabini said as Hermione turned back around while the pot heated. He didn't look at her as Nott glanced at her. She didn't look at Theo's penetrating cerulean eyes and opted to look at Zabini's hands. She nodded, grateful for Blaise Zabini's presence. Nott could be too much for her despite the Pureblood manners. Hermione wanted to fidget with her hands, but she opted with jamming them in her back pockets.
"Right, so you both are going to do what exactly here in my flat?"
She asked and left a soft smirk grace her lips. Even if she hadn't planned for the Slytherin pair to pop up after her leaving Harry's place, that didn't mean she was going to force out her only company. Nott smiled again and reached towards her, his long limbs almost reaching the end of her small kitchen island. His fingers tips pressed into the fake granite and she watched them turn white without the blood circulation. Zabini looked towards the pair as Nott answered,
"Let's go to a muggle pub, club, wherever it is we can discreetly get inebriated."