Day 3: Blind Date/set up by friends
The steam from the bathroom was laced with the scent of honeysuckle and vanilla. Clad in a fluffy blue bathrobe her hair wrapped in a white towel, she walked to the bed where her green dress was laid out. This was her first date in months and she really wanted to look good for the occasion. Walking to her vanity she carefully applied some makeup to her face. Taking extra care to enhance her eyes with green and gold eye shadow, then applying some extra dark mascara. Removing the towel from her hair she debated on how to style it. Looking back at the dress then to her reflection in the mirror she picked up her wand and began to cast a straightening charm. Then a staying charm to keep her sleek locks in place. Satisfied with her look she went over to the bed to get dressed.
Glancing up at the clock she noticed that her date would be picking her up in fifteen minutes. Staring at her reflection in the full length mirror, she inhaled deeply then let out her breath steadying her nerves. Dating could be nerve wracking, a blind date on the other hand was another story. Her date was the friend of her friend's boyfriend (did you get that). From what her friend Ashley mentioned about this guy, he just moved back from France after being away for a few years and he was handsome, smart and well off. Hermione figured at the worst she would have if it did not work out was another dating horror story to add to the list.
There was a knock at the door breaking Hermione from her thoughts. Smoothing over the fabric of her dress she walked to the door to greet her date. She opened the door to reveal a tall figure in a well tailored suit, holding a bouquet of flowers with striking blonde hair and titanium colored eyes. "Granger?" Draco questioned. Hermione could not mask the look of disappointment quick enough before forcing a smile. Her reaction caused a uncomfortable twinge in Draco's chest. She cleared her throat then spoke. "Malfoy... um.. come in I just have to grab my coat."
Draco walked in to the apartment giving it a once over. "Your home is very you." He said. Turning back to him, her defenses up, eyes fiery she spat "What is that supposed to mean?"
Noting her change in mood he quickly followed up with. "I mean no offense, just that the floor to ceiling bookshelf packed with books, the eclectic mix of décor, the comfy red couch... it's you. Here these are for you." He tried to diffuse the situation by handing her the bouquet flowers.
Eyeing him up she took the flowers and muttered a 'thank you'. Draco picked up her coat from the back of the couch to help her shrug it on. "Thanks, I'll just pop in to the kitchen to put these in water then we can go." She said a bit cold.
"Look Granger, we don't have to go on this date if you don't want to-" He started as Hermione cut him off.
"Why, afraid to be seen in public with a Mudblood." She seethed.
The look of horror on Draco's face as the slur spilled from Hermione's mouth did not go unnoticed by her. "No, it's not that but if you are uncomfortable. Maybe this was a bad idea... I should go." He said trying to hide the defeat in his voice backing out of the kitchen. Brushing past him she walked over to the front door to open it. "I think you should." She said gesturing for him to walk out.
Draco took a beat to look at her, sighing deeply he walked towards the door. "G'night Granger." He said quietly as he passed her on the way out. She closed it giving it a light kick. Draco however, did not leave right away. He stood outside of her apartment listening to her soft sobs from the other side of the door. He pictured how, now, her pretty eye makeup, that made her eyes seem to sparkle, must be a mess. And how soft her hair looked, he wondered what it would feel like to run his fingers through it. He noticed that she had grown into her looks over the years, and that green dress was the perfect shade for her skin tone.
He had changed so much after the war. Though Draco did not know it would be Hermione that he was meeting tonight. He hoped that this would be the perfect opportunity to apologize for the past and show her that his views of Muggle-borns had changed. But when she looked disappointed to see him, it hurt. Then when she became defensive about his observation of her home he gave her the option of a way out. Though thinking of it, he never paid her any kindness in the past so why would she think he was not going to insult her now.
An hour later there was a knock at Hermione's door. She opened it to see a tall figure, not so neatly pressed, holding a bag of take away with sad grey eyes and not so well coiffed hair. "Before you say anything I was not expecting it to be you on the other side of door this evening. All I was told was that I was meeting a pretty girl who was wicked smart and has good head on her shoulders. Truthfully, I took the opportunity to get to know one other person here in Muggle London other than Victor and Ashley. Whom by the way, most likely set us up so they could be alone for the evening. Please, can we talk? I brought Thai food." Draco said a slight tinge of pink to his ears.
Hermione slowly nodded and waved him in to her home. "By the way, nice cat jumper." She spun on her heels to meet the smile on his face. Not a sneer but a genuine amused smile. Looking down she was aghast as she realized how frumpy she must look. "Great Merlin, go on to the kitchen I will meet you there in a minute." She said hurriedly as she went to change into something more presentable.
She met Draco in the kitchen, he already set out plates and silverware as well as the array of food. "Sorry to keep you waiting." Hermione said softly as she went to take a seat on the island. "No trouble, but you did not have to change." He replied. "And let you use that as ammunition later." She stated. He looked up at her then crossed over to the other side of the island, standing before her, he reached up to hold her upper arms forcing her to look into his intense gaze.
"I don't need ammunition for anything. I don't want to hurt you or anyone else ever again. I was a right little shite back then, I know that and I regret it. I regret many things, taking the mark, torturing fellow students but none so much as watching what my Aunt did to you and not saving you. Not at least making an attempt to stop it. I know it means nothing and it cannot erase what has been done, but I am sorry. So very very sorry." He said still holding firmly on to her arms. Then in a move that surprised them both he placed a gentle kiss on her forehead.
He released her arms then went back to his seat. She turned to face him, picking up a napkin she dried her eyes from the unshed tears. "I... (her voice cracked) ... I should say I am sorry too for my behavior earlier and for ruining our date." She said. Draco offered his hand for her to take, tentatively slipping her slight hand in his, he gave it a gentle squeeze then said. "No need to apologize, I'm sure you didn't suspect it was me either." He gave her a small smile.
"Maybe we could try dinner again sometime?" She asked.
"I would like that, will you wear that dress again. You look good in green." He ended with a grin.
A couple of months later after getting to know one another outside of their past. Hermione opened the door to her apartment to reveal a tall figure in a well tailored navy blue suit, holding a bouquet of flowers with striking blonde hair and titanium colored eyes. "Hermione, are you ready to go?" Draco asked ending with a brilliant smile.