Note: This fic is Note a sequel to The Order Of The Serpent. Some things might not make sense to you if you haven't read that one first.
Hermione sighed as she entered Platform 9 3/4. The Hogwarts Express shone, ready to leave for another trip to the castle tomorrow. It would be Hugo's first year. And her first year alone with Ron at home.
Maybe it would help them come together again, if Ron didn't have the kids there anymore to distract him. He was a wonderful father who would do anything for his children, but every once in a while she'd like to get some attention from him too. She wasn't at home very often, being the youngest Minister of Magic ever wasn't handed to her in giftwrapping, so that wasn't much to ask, was it?
She loved coming here on her lunch break. She learned a long time ago that she had to go out in order to eat, or she wouldn't be able to eat at all. When they were younger, she used to go to Wizard Wheezes to visit Ron. Lately however, it was always too busy in the shop for lunch. She had offered to take her break on another time so they could eat together, but he'd refused, claiming it was always busy and that he ate little bits in-between customers.
With another sigh she walked to her spot. It was a lovely little bench, positioned perfectly between the entrance and the toilets. It was always clean, never drafty and you could watch the Hogwarts Express from a perfect angle. She had ate her lunch here, by herself, almost every day over the past ten years. It was her spot... And now someone was sitting on it.
Surprise coloured her cheeks. It hardly ever happened that there was anyone on the platform at noon and it had never happened before that there was someone in her spot. That was HER spot! Determined she walked up to the bench.
"Hello Hermione", a deep voice said when she opened her mouth to ask the man to move.
She jumped a little and almost screamed. He turned his head towards her and let the hood of his black cloak fall back. Firewhisky eyes met stormy grey ones, which instantly turned a shade darker. Even after all those years...
"Draco", she breathed, "I didn't know it was you. You scared the hell out of me, how did you know I was there?"
"You breathe so loud, I could have hexed you in the dark", Draco smirked.
"Prat", she scolded and he chuckled, "That still doesn't explain how you knew it was me."
"I know you lunch here often", he said, "So it was an educated guess."
"How do you know that?", she frowned, "It's been years since I last saw you."
"I told you a long time ago", he answered, "I protect what is mine."
Oh smooth Draco, very smooth...
"I haven't been yours in a very long time", she whispered, a pang of regret shooting through her heart.
"Once a Serpent, always a Serpent", he said with a crooked smile. "You're still part of the Order, even though we're not needed as such anymore."
"Oh", she breathed, suddenly feeling a little silly. "Mind if I join you?"
He didn't answer, but just padded the spot next to him. For a while, they sat in comfortable silence whilst Hermione ate her lunch salad. When she was finished, she took her apple and split it in half, offering a part to Draco. He smiled and accepted it. She jumped a little when his fingers brushed against hers and she blushed. Quickly she turned her head away from him and she finished her half whilst staring at the Hogwarts Express.
"So", Hermione said, "It's quite obvious why I'm here. Why are you?"
"Scorpius is at Diagon Alley with my mother", Draco answered, staring at his shiny black shoes. "I just... needed to get away for a moment. Tomorrow will be the first time he leaves for Hogwarts after his mother's death."
Hermione winced, she'd forgotten about that.
"I'm sorry for your loss Draco", she said softly.
"I know", he smiled sadly, "I got your mirror message."
"I wasn't sure you still used it", she whispered.
"I do", he answered, "I carry it with me all the time. You?"
"Always", she answered, patting her pocket.
They smiled at each other and were silent for a few minutes. Hermione fiddled with her sleeves and glanced at him, while he kept staring at his shoes.
"So", she said hesistently, "How did it happen? Astoria's death?"
"A blood malediction, caused by a curse on one of her ancestors", he answered sadly, "It resurfaced with her and made a pregnancy dangerous. I told her that I wouldn't mind if we didn't have children, but she wanted one anyway."
"You really loved her, didn't you?", she said surprised.
Damnit Hermione, you shouldn't have said that out loud...
She gave me Scorpius, how could I not love her?", he muttered glancing up at her. "Being a Malfoy wasn't a treat after the war and after Scorpius's birth her health slowly deteriorated, so we hid ourselves away... She was my best friend."
"Like Ron was mine", she answered.
"Was?", he asked.
Stupid, stupid Hermione, how could you forget that Draco is a perceptive man?
"Ron was the one who took care of me, after Bellatrix tortured me", she answered. "He helped me forget."
"Hermione", Draco winced, "I never..."
"After the war", she interrupted him, "Everyone wanted a piece of us. We had to lock ourselves away to stay safe, me and Harry especially. He because he was The Boy Who Lived, me because I was the Mudblood that helped him. There were still a lot of Voldemort's followers on the loose, lashing out at anyone they could. Ron distracted me and helped me through it."
He kept silent and now it was her turn to stare at her shoes.
"It's been years since we had fun together, just the two of us", she murmured. "We were always busy with the kids and our careers. Maybe, now Hugo's going to Hogwarts too, we'll get back together."
Draco still didn't answer, but just looked at her, observing her features. A bleeping sound came from Hermione's pocket and she stood.
"I have to go", she said, turning away, "I have a meeting in fifteen minutes."
"Hermione", he blurted and she turned back to look at him. "If you ever need anything, you know where to find me. You're still keyed into the wards of the Manor, you can floo in anytime."
He grimaced internally. Hello verbal diarrhea old friend...
"Thank you Draco", she smiled softly, kissing him on the cheek.
Secretly he inhaled her scent of honey and lemon.
"Anytime Sweetheart", he whispered. A tingle went through her stomach when he called her that.
Ugh, focus Hermione, you're married and he's grieving over his dead wife for Merlin's sake!
"Bye Draco", she blushed.
He stared after her as she walked down the platform.
Damn, she still has an incredible fine arse. Even after all those years...
Note: Read very carefully, I will only say this once. Updates will be very slow and highly irregular. Please have patience with me!