Draco woke up and noticed a tray with food on the side table. He stretched out and drank the coffee. He looked at the clock on the mantle and saw that t was almost noon. He rushed to his room to change for his lunch with Hermione. Just thinking about the hug they shared last night, brought an emotion that he had never felt before. He shook his head to clear it.
"Draco? Could I have a word with you?"
"Of course father. Let me just change and I will join you in your study."
Lucius nodded and left him alone. Draco went to his bathroom and took a quick bath. After that he got dressed and went down to talk with his father before he went to his date with Grang…no with Mia. He knocked on the door and waited for his father say he could go in. When he did he opened the door and closed it behind him.
"What is it that you wanted to talk to me about father?"
"Have a seat Draco. How are things going with Miss Granger?"
"We have been fine. I have already apologized for my behavior during the ball." He looked at his father suspiciously. "That is not why you asked me to talk to you. What is the real reason behind this meeting?"
Lucius sighed. "You are right of course. That is not the real reason why I asked you to talk. Draco, I have recently found out something that does not please me."
"What did you find out?" Draco gulped, surely his father had not found out about the agreement that he and Hermione have.
"It seems that there are some people in the ministry that are not happy with your choice of brides. They are trying to get you to marry one of the girls from the list that the sent. There is one family in particular that is starting all this."
"Surely they can't do anything about it. They would be going against us and against Hermione Granger. Who could possibly be delusional enough to try?"
"The Nequam Family. Rayner Nequam is the one causing the problems."
"Why would he want to ruin my engagement to Mia?"
"Mia? I was not aware you had pet names already?" Lucius raised a brow at that.
"I couldn't keep calling her Hermione. Potty and Weasel already call her Mione. I had to call her something else." He blushed and looked away.
Lucius was amused by his son's reaction to a simple question. "What does she call you?"
Draco became even more embarrassed. "She calls me Dragon." He mumbled.
"Dragon, very fitting. But we digress, Rayner wants you to marry his daughter. Her name is on the list that the ministry sent before your announcement. He wants to dissolve your relationship with Miss Granger."
"The Ministry can not possibly consider his proposal. Mia has done many things during the war and she was the brains behind the defeat of the Dark Lord. If they do anything to hurt her, a lot of people will be upset."
"I have already talked to Dumbledore about this. He and I have talked to the Minister of Magic and he has assured me that they will not dissolve your engagement to Miss Granger. But I felt I had to warn you about Rayner."
"Thank you father. I will discuss this with Mia. She needs to be aware of this."
"Are you sure it is wise to tell her?"
"Yes, she has a right to know what is going on. I really must go now. Mione must be waiting for me to go to lunch."
Lucius watched his son walk out of the study and smiled. Draco might not know it yet but he had a feeling that he cared more for Hermione Granger than he lets on. He also knew that they were hiding something from everyone. He just hoped that whatever it was that they were hiding wouldn't hurt them in the end.
Draco and Hermione had lunch in a restaurant in Daigon Alley. They talked about everything and by the end lunch they were laughing. After that they went to a few shops including the book store. Once there in one of the secluded corners he told her about Rayner Nequam. She was not surprised in fact she was surprised it had taken so long to have someone trying to break them up. He was amazed by her reaction but reasoned that she had already gone thru so many things that this was nothing. They spent the rest of the day shopping and really getting to know one another. They were in the ice cream parlor having fun and laughing when Rita Skeeter showed up with her photographer.
There was a big flash that made them jump. "Well hello there Mr. Malfoy. Tell us what possessed you to propose to Hermione Granger? Did you really hate each other during Hogwarts? Or was that all a ploy to keep your torrid affair in secret? Were you afraid of the reactions your relationship might have on your friends and family?"
Draco and Hermione glared at her for different reasons. Draco glared at her for ruining their day. Hermione glared at the fact that Rita was acting as if she was not there. How dare this awful woman ignore her. She was about to put her in her place when Draco beat her to it.
"I advise you to leave our presence this instant. I will not answer your ridiculous questions. When we decide to grant the papers an interview we will let the Daily Prophet know. And be assured that you will not be the one conducting the interview." He sneered.
"Come now. You can not hide from the press. Surely you know that. Considering that the Malfoy's have always been in the public eye this should come as no surprise. The people want to know all the details of your wedding. It is not everyday that a pureblood marries a mugleborn." She smiled evilly. "As I recall the Malfoy's have always hated mugleborns. You are one of the oldest pureblood families. There must be something more going on between you and her. Perhaps you are merely using her as a means to and end? To prove to everyone that you really have changed for the better?"
"That is quite enough!! How dare you insinuate that Draco is using me!! Although this might be hard to believe, we love each other!! The Malfoy's are a great family that has been gracious enough to have me in their family!! I will not have you insult us any longer! If you do not leave this instant I will not hesitate to curse you!" Hermione was shaking with fury. All the other patrons had turned to look at the commotion when she got up.
"Miss Granger, you might be a war hero to many but to me you are just a girl that seeks the attention of every powerful male that crosses your path. I do not know how you managed to ensnare a Malfoy but I will find out." She glared at Hermione.
"Leave us a lone before I do something I might not regret in the least." Hermione pointed her wand at her.
"I will leave for now. But I will get the real story behind this strange engagement that you have." She turned to leave but Draco's voice stopped her.
"If I see you any where near my family, and that includes Mia, I will have you fired from the Daily Prophet and sent to Azkaban. I suggest you do not cross the path of a Malfoy or you will regret it." He threatened coldly.
Rita Skeeter kept walking away her photographer followed behind her. Draco hugged Hermione to calm her down.
"There she is gone now. Don't let her get to you. She is not worth it."
"I hate her so much. I had to use all my self control to not use and unforgivable on her. How dare she try to say those things about your family. Your mother and father have done many good things for this world. Your mother does not deserve to have a person like Rita Skeeter question that just because of me."
"Hey, this is not your fault. That woman is an evil and bitter witch. She is jealous of what you have which is why she always tries find something bad about you. You are not at fault here." Draco kissed her. She responded to his kiss and forgot all about Rita Skeeter.
The kiss was supposed to be short and sweet but turned into more. They forgot about everything around them. They didn't care that there were many people looking at them. They didn't hear the people start to talk about the incident with Rita Skeeter and how Hermione Granger had defended the Malfoy family. They didn't hear a few patrons clap and laugh at their display. All they could think about was how right the kiss felt.