When Evening arrived Harry was the only one left to arrive at the table. Lord Malfoy looked scathingly at the empty chair as if he could conjure Harry out of thin air. At that moment the rather flushed tutor ran through the door, only stopping when eight pairs of eyes looked in his direction.
"Good evening" Harry mumbled. "Good evening children".
"Good evening Master Harry" they chorused. Harry calmly walked towards the chair at the bottom of the table and took his seat opposite the Malfoy patriarch.
"Ahhhh!" Harry shouted in surprise as a sharp pain shot through his rear. He looked down to find the perpetrator was miniature Hungarian Horntail that obviously belonged to one of the children. The captain sneered at Harry. "Enchanting little ritual." He paused. "Something you learned at the Order?" Harry flushed a deep red that spread through out his entire face.
"No it's um it um rheumatism." He blundered for a cover story.
"Hmmm" Malfoy sneered as he began to eat his meal. His children followed suit. Harry looked at the family in shock.
"Excuse me captain haven't we forgotten to thank Merlin?" Malfoy let out an exasperated sigh but put his cutlery down none the less. Harry smiled, "For what we are about to receive may Merlin make us truly thankful." Harry ended the short grace and began to discuss the earlier delights of the day with the children.
"I'd like to thank each and every one of you for the precious gift you left in my pocket earlier today." Worried looks were shared between the children as their father raised his eyes to meet with Harry's. "Um, what gift?" The children all stared at Harry. He smiled and answered "It's meant to be a secret captain, between the children and me." Lord Malfoy did not look amused. "Then I suggest you keep it and let us eat." Harry continued as if the man had never opened his lips. "Knowing how nervous I must have been… a stranger in a new household… knowing how important it was for me to feel accepted… it was so kind and thoughtful of you to make my first moments here warm and happy and pleasant." He saw the imminent fits of tears appear on the faces of the younger children. Millicent was the first to cry in earnest. Lord Malfoy was exasperated at not being able to eat a peaceful meal.
"O what is the matter Millicent?" he snapped. "Nothing" she spoke through broken sobs. This set the other children off. Over the din Malfoy asked,
"Potter is it to be at every meal or merely at dinnertime that you intend on leading us through this rare and wonderful new world of indigestion?" Harry just smiled innocently and replied with "O they're alright captain they're just happy." He resumed his meal while the children cried around him.
The doorbell rang in the grand hallway. Argus Filch the butler answered it. There stood a tall dark handsome Italian boy with a letter, the owls were considered to unreliable of late. "Blaise, Good Evening"
"Ah Good Evening Argus I trust everything is under control?" Filch looked back into the house before answering. "Yes, yes" Blaise seemed satisfied with this answer. Argus looked around before asking if there were any developments. Blaise replied with a rather vague "Yes Perhaps…Is the captain at home?" Filch looked him up and down. "He's at dinner"
"With the family?"
"Yes" Blaise gave a satisfactory nod. "Please give him this letter at once" Filch took the offered note and backed into the house "Certainly". When the door was closed Blaise looked around before grabbing his broom and zoomed off into the manor's extensive grounds.
Meanwhile back in the house Filch delivered the letter to a rather absent minded Draco Malfoy. "A letter for you sir" Malfoy looked up and took the letter.
"MMM" Hermione looked around at the others and then looked at the butler. "Argus who delivered it?" she asked innocently. Filch looked at her. "That young lad Blaise of course." She looked down at her plate barely suppressing a look of total joy. Once she had composed herself she turned to her father. "Father, may I be excused?" Malfoy did not show any indication of hearing his daughter. "Hmm" He put the letter down on the table and addressed his family. "Children in the morning I shall be going to Vienna" The table erupted with variations of "Not again father." Little Luna looked up with wide teary eyes and asked "How long will you be gone this time Father?" He looked at his littlest girl and replied bluntly "I'm not sure Luna I'm not sure." He turned back to his wine glass.
"To visit baroness Pansy again" piped up Ginny. Her brother turned to her "Mind your own business" he whispered harshly. Malfoy looked at his youngest son with carefully guarded amusement and replied to Ginny.
"As a matter of fact yes Ginny", Millicent put down her spoon. "Why can't we ever get to see the baroness?" She looked rather put out.
Seamus turned to his sister on the other side and hissed "Why would she want to see you?"
"It just so happens Milli that you are going to see the Baroness I'm bringing her back with me to visit us all"
A resounding "Good" echoed through the room once this point was made. However that could not hold a torch to the cacophony that could be heard once the children had been told that Uncle Crabb would also be visiting. Only Harry noticed the sixteen year old slip out unnoticed.
Hermione walked through the garden until she reached the out house, instantly seeing Blaise she called to him. "Blaise, O, Blaise" As soon as she reached him she threw her arms around his shoulders. "No Hermione we musn't" Blaise said trying to push the younger girl away. Hermione looked affronted but shrugged off the feeling almost instantly. "Why not silly?" Blaise looked at her and hesitantly spoke "I don't know it's just that…" He trailed off whilst looking into Hermione's deep hazel eyes that were filled with confusion. "Isn't this why you're here waiting for me?" Blaise smiled at her affectionately. "Why yes of course I've missed you Hermione"
"You have? How much?" she demanded." Blaise just laughed at her child like antics and lead her to an ornate marble love seat. "So much that I even thought of sending you a letter just so I would be able to deliver it here" Hermione's eyes shone as brightly as her smile. She looked at him from her where she sat. "O that's a lovely thought. Why don't you? Right now" Blaise looked at her slender form completely mystified by the being that was Hermione Malfoy. "But I'm here"
"Please Blaise, send me a letter. I'll start it for you, Dear Hermione" she smiled up at him, her gaze filled with expectation. "Dear Hermione I'd like to be able to tell you how I feel about you STOP. Unfortunately this wire is already too expensive sincerely Blaise."
"Sincerely" she repeated in a huff. Blaise ventured to try and appease the feelings of the girl he had just unknowingly slighted. "Cordially" he was answered by Hermione turning away from him, "Cordially" she said coldly. Blaise walked until he was behind her and whispered in her ear "Affectionately". He was rewarded with an armful of Hermione. "Mmm" She hummed in happiness. Blaise held her closely and asked her if there was to be a reply. She pulled back from the embrace slightly to look into his eyes. "Dear Blaise STOP. Don't stop your Hermione." She fell back into his arms and sighed. "If only we didn't always have to wait for someone to send Father a letter. How do I know when ill see you again?" Blaise stood up and began to pace. "Well… Lets see… I could come here by mistake with a letter for Mister Pettigrew! He's here staying with … oh… no one's supposed to know he is here. Don't tell your father now." He said giving Hermione a reproachful stare. When she asked "Why not?" Blaise was taken by surprise and tried to come up with a viable reason. "Your father is so… so light!" he exclaimed to her. She shook her head muttering that they were all light. He sat back on the seat and looked at her with honest eyes. "Well some people think we ought to be dark and they're very mad at those who don't think so. They're getting ready to- well let's hope your father doesn't get into trouble." Hermione giggled at him, "Don't worry about father he's a big war hero he was even decorated by the Minister of Magic himself." Blaise took her hand.
"I know I don't worry about him but I do worry about his daughter" Hermione looked shocked "Me? Why?"
"Well your so…"
"What?" she warned.
"Well you're such a baby"
"I'm sixteen what's such a baby about that" she asked. He laughed a little and began to explain.
You wait little girl on an empty stage for fate to turn the light on your life little girl is an empty page that men will want to right on
To right on
You are sixteen going on seventeen
Baby it's time to think
Better beware be canny and careful
Baby your on the brink
You are sixteen going on seventeen
Fellows will fall in line
Eager young lads
And rouges and cads
Will offer you food and wine
Totally unprepared are you
To face a world of men
Timid and shy and scared are you
Of things beyond your ken
You need someone older and wiser
Telling you what to do
I am seventeen going on eighteen
I'll take care of you
Hermione's face shone with pure adoration for the older man. She launched herself at him, only to be pushed away again. She turned and walked away. Blaise followed her and turned her around only to have his hand shaken. He followed her around until she forgave him. They sat down on the love seat again. That was until the rain began to pour down from the sky. Blaise pulled Hermione up and lead her into the glass house.
I am sixteen going on seventeen I know that I'm naive
Fellows I meet
May tell me I'm sweet
And willingly I believe
I am sixteen going on seventeen
Innocent as a rose
Bachelor dandies, drinkers of brandies
What do I know of those
Totally unprepared am I
To face a world of men
Timid and shy and scared am I
Of things beyond my ken
I need someone older and wiser telling me what to do
You are seventeen going on eighteen
I'll depend on you!
After a tense moment Blaise and Hermione met in the middle of the glass house. They looked into each others eyes. It was over so fast. Blaise leant in and kissed her on the lips before zooming away into the night leaving a very dazed Hermione in his wake.
A.N. Sorry I haven't updated this story in so long but I lost my DVD. I hope this chapter has made up for the lateness of this post. I hope that I will have more time now that I have no coursework to do.