Man on a wire
"I need to go, Aunt Cissy, I still have an early meeting tomorrow," Theo said.
Narcissa stood up from her perch, "Visit by anytime you like, Theodore, you're always welcome here."
Theo leaned forward and kissed her cheek, "I will and I promise to come back soon," he replied. He then shrugged on his coat and gestured towards door, "I'll floo myself out, thank you again."
"I'll hold on to that, I'll tell Draco you dropped by, have a good night."
"I bid you goodnight too, see you soon," he said before retracing his steps back to the floo room. He tugged on the sleeve to free his hand, "Bloody prick, didn't even have the decency to show up," he huffed with annoyance. He made a quick turn to his right and was met with his best mate's smug looking face. He stopped in his tracks and folded his arms on top of his chest, "Well, well, well, if isn't the elusive, Draco Malfoy, glad to see you're still alive," he said with all the sarcasm he could muster.
Draco's head snapped towards him, "Nott?" he asked, his face full of surprise.
"The one and only, long time no see," he said dryly.
Draco grinned as he stalked towards him. He pulled him into brotherly hug and tapped his back, "I've missed you, man, and yes, it's been a long time."
He thumped his friend's back, "You hid well, arsehole, I've missed you too," he quipped.
Draco threw his head back and let out a fully belly laugh, "Glad to know you're still your old self," he said. He then pointed towards the couches, "Why don't we sit down for a bit, you didn't tell me you're coming."
He threw him an incredulous look, "Are you kidding me? You've been home for months and you didn't even have the decency to let me know, and now you're asking why I dropped by without telling you?"
Draco cringed, "About that, I'm sorry, mate," he said as he padded towards the couch.
He followed his friend and took the adjacent seat, "So, care to tell me where you've been all day?"
The corners of Draco's lips quirked up and the dreamy look he's sporting a couple of seconds ago are back, "Somewhere," he replied.
"Somewhere? Aunt Cissy told me that you went out on a date."
"What the hell?"
"Why are you yelling?" Narcissa asked as she peeked from the French doors.
Draco turned his gaze towards his Mother, his eyes full of disapproval, "Why are you discussing my private life with Theo?"
Narcissa's eyes moved towards him, "I thought you're going home, Theodore?"
"I was, but then, I saw your son standing in the middle of your living room, grinning like a fool," he said, his voice dripping with amusement.
"I'm not grinning like a fool!"
Narcissa clapped her hands in delight, "Oh my! Did your date turn out wonderful like expected? Did she like the garden?"
Draco buried his face into his palms with an exasperated groan.
Narcissa didn't seem to be deterred with her son's reaction, "Did you get lucky? Tell me you kissed her!"
"Yeah, mate, tell us. Did you get to kiss your date goodnight?" Theo jeered.
Draco glowered, "That's none of your business, both of you," he snapped.
"Someone's pussy whipped," he drawled.
He threw Narcissa an apologetic look, "Sorry about that."
Narcissa folded her arms on top of her chest and cleared her throat, "Did you at least enjoy your day?"
"Yes, thank you for letting me use it," Draco replied.
"Good for you," he found himself saying. He tapped his thighs before standing up, "Well, as much as I want to stay and tease you, I have to go. I have an early meeting tomorrow."
"Can't you cancel?" Draco asked.
He shook his head, "I can't, it's an important one. We can play catch up another time, just owl me," he said.
He straightened his robes, "Have a good night, you two," he chimed before he made his way towards the floo room.
"Good night, Theodore."
The next day:
"Bloody hell!" Hermione yelped when she saw the time on her alarm clock. She threw the comforter off her body and hastily scrambled out of bed. She ran towards her bathroom and took a shower in records time. She threw on her work clothes and made a wild dash towards her bed to snatch the wand she tucked under her pillow. "I can't believe I slept through the alarm, should've used my wand instead," she grumbled as she dragged herself out of her room. She managed to grab herself an English muffin as she frantically searched for her shoes. Once she spotted it, she slipped it on in a rush and scooped a handful of floo powder. She stepped into the hearth just as she swallowed the last bite of her breakfast; "Ministry of Magic!" she announced clearly before tucking her arms to her side.
She stumbled out of the fireplace inside her office and magically cleaned the soot that clung to her robes. She threw her bag on top of her chair before padding towards her door. She cracked it open and saw her secretary scribbling away on her hot pink notebook, "Morning Kate," she greeted.
The tall blond woman snapped her head towards her direction and stared at her with wide eyes; "Hermione! Where have you been? You have an appointment in 10 minutes!" Kate said.
She threw Kate a sheepish yet apologetic look, "I overslept, but don't worry, I got everything ready. Did the client say which room we're supposed to meet?"
Kate let out a relieved sigh before moving her eyes back to her notebook, "Conference room-Uhm, wait, I think we have a problem-" she turned to the next page, her brows furrowed with confusion. She re-read the notes a couple of times before moving her eyes back to her, "-it says here that the client called in yesterday when you were off and requested that you meet them outside the Ministry."
"Where did they want to meet?"
Kate thumbed the pages back and forth, "The meeting is scheduled at the newly opened restaurant in Diagon Alley, Vanilla Twilight," she replied.
She slipped back into her office to grab her bag, "The one near the Emporium?" she called out.
"Yes and if you don't want to be late, you should heading out now."
"I'm on it, I'll be back as soon as I'm done - hold the fort for me, will you?"
She stepped back into her fireplace, "Leakey Cauldron!" she called out.
"Rise and shine, it's a beautiful day!" Narcissa announced loudly.
Draco turned to his side and buried his face into his pillow, "Go away," he grunted.
Narcissa ignored his protest and yanked the covers off his body, "No can do, love," she chimed.
"What the bloody hell are you doing?" he yelled as he tugged the comforter back. "What if I'm naked? Are you crazy?" he added as he rubbed the sleep off his eyes.
Narcissa made a show of rolling her eyes, "I'm your Mother, of course I've seen you naked, no need to be bashful, love."
He let his hand fall to his lap, his eyes narrowed in annoyance, "I'm a grown man, that's different," he huffed. He turned his head to the side and caught a glimpse of the time, "Why did you wake me up at this ungodly hour?" he asked through a yawn.
"You have a visitor."
Narcissa smiled at him brightly, "Your cousin just arrived a few minutes ago."
"Luci is here, she's downstairs, waiting for us."
"I'll be down In a few, just need to freshen up," he said as he scurried towards the edge of his bed.
"We'll wait for you downstairs then, do hurry up, love," Narcissa said as she walked towards the door.
"Okay," he replied as he made his way towards his bathroom.
"Did you get him to wake up, Aunt Cissy?" Luci asked when she spotted her Aunt walking towards her.
"I did, he's just freshening up," Narcissa replied as she took her seat.
"That's new; he's always up at the crack of dawn, late night?"
Narcissa threw her niece a coy smile, "I'm not at liberty to discuss anything, sweetheart, we don't want him throwing temper tantrums this early," she winked before taking a dainty sip of her morning tea.
"That didn't stop you before," Luci chuckled. She plucked her coffee and took a generous sip, "I wonder if it has something to do with a certain brunette," she mused.
"I'm still not going to answer that, you know how Draco gets when he doesn't get his way..."
"He screams like a little girl?" Luci offered with a giggle.
"I do not scream like a little girl!"
Luci turned around and saw her scowl-sporting cousin walking towards the table, "You just proved my point, you just yelled," she said with a large grin.
Draco rolled his eyes as he made his way towards her. He leaned forward and planted a chaste kiss on her hair before sitting down, "As much as I loathe what you just said, I still missed you, brat."
"Wow, you're creative - brat? Really?"
Draco seemed to ignore her statement and started piling his plate with food, "It's not that I'm not thrilled to see you, but what brings you here this early?"
"Why? Don't you want me here?" Luci asked with a pout.
"That's ridiculous, of course I want you here," Draco replied after swallowing a mouthful of scones. He then wiped his lips with a napkin, "I'm just surprised that you didn't owl me beforehand, you always owl me when you're up for a visit."
A large excited smile curled on Luci's lips, "That's because I'm not here for a visit."
Luci shared a look with her Aunt before moving her eyes back to her cousin, "I'm here to stay indefinitely, surprise!"
Draco's eyes widen comically, "You're what?" he choked out.
"I'm staying a few weeks or months - it depends on Aunt Cissy, really."
"I need some help in decorating some rooms so I asked Luci for help," Narcissa explained.
Draco volleyed his eyes between the two of them, "I - okay, that's a surprise."
Luci turned towards Draco, "Don't worry, Dray, I promise to be at my best behavior," she winked.
Draco stared at Luci's face for a few seconds, his eyes narrowing with suspicion, "For some reason, that statement worries me more."
Luci gave him a sweet smile, "So, having said that, care to tell me why you woke up late? Late night with a certain brunette, I presume?'
A loud groan rumbled from Draco's throat, sending Luci burst into fits of giggles.
Hermione apparated directly to the alley next to Vanilla Twilight and checked the time. She began walking towards the meeting place as she took several shaky breaths, "Here goes nothing," she mumbled to herself. She stepped into the fancy restaurant and was immediately approached by a stern-looking maitre d.
"Good Morning, Mademoiselle, welcome to Vanilla Twilight."
Hermione let out an awkward smile, "Good Morning, I'm actually here for a reservation under the Ministry - Hermione Granger."
"Ms. Granger, your party has not yet arrived, but your table is ready," The Maitre D responded before he politely gestured towards the empty corner table.
"Thank you," she replied as she followed him. She fought the urge to let out a gasp of surprise when the man pulled a chair for her, "Thanks," she said as she took her seat.
"Can I get you anything while you wait, Ms. Granger?"
She accepted the menu that was propped towards her and gave it a quick scan, "I'll have Iced Chai latte, thank you."
The Maitre D gave her a quick nod before leaving.
She pulled the documents she prepared from her bag and started reviewing it. She was on the third page when she heard a dainty throat clearing. She lifted her gaze and saw a beautiful blonde woman smiling down at her, she knew they went to Hogwarts together, but for the life her; she can't seem to remember her name.
"Long time no see, Ms. Granger."
Something clicked inside her head upon hearing her chime like voice, "Daphne Greengrass?"
"In the flesh, for a moment there, I thought you wouldn't remember me," Daphne teased. She then gestured towards the vacant seat, "May I?"
The Maitre D appeared out of nowhere and carefully served her tea. He then produced another set of menu and stared at them in question, "Would you like to place an order now, Mademoiselles?"
Daphne caught her gaze and offered her a kind smile, "I'm the one you're meeting with, Ms. Granger, in case you are wondering why I'm here."
She returned the smile, "Great," she replied. She then gestured towards the menu, "Go on please."
Daphne accepted the menu and started perusing it. After a few minutes of silent deliberation, she snapped it close. "I'll have chocolate chip bagel with cream cheese and Rose tea, milk on the side, thank you."
The server nodded and turned his gaze towards her.
"I'll have the chocolate chip banana muffin, thanks," she replied.
The waiter gathered the menu, gave them a curt nod before turning on his heels.
Daphne unfolded the napkin and draped it on her lap. She then leaned back on her seat and stared at her, "I didn't know you work for the Ministry - Hermione."
She felt herself relax when she dropped the formality between them, "I've been with them ever since graduation," she replied.
"And you're the head of this project, I assume?"
Draco entered his room with Luci in tow. He made a bee line towards his bed and sat down with a loud plop, "Stop following me, for Circe's sake!"
Luci walked towards the adjacent loveseat and sat down, "Come on, Dray, just tell me."
Draco rolled his eyes, "I already told you, nothing happened last night. I just went out to see Mum's garden, end off."
"I don't believe that for second," Luci held out her fingers. "One, you hate flowers and two, I know when you're lying through your teeth, so spill because I'm not going to stop bugging you."
He glared at his cousin as he crossed his arms on top of his chest, "I don't hate flowers and I'm not lying!" he said defiantly.
"Nice try, now spill it."
"You're so frustrating!" he huffed. He then fell back on his back and fixed his eyes on the ceiling, "Did Mum put you to this? Did she tell you anything?"
"You don't' really want to know."
He grabbed a pillow to smother his curses.
Luci rolled her eyes, "Don't be so dramatic, it's not as if I don't know what you were up to. In case you have forgotten, I helped you get her back, you owe me."
Draco peeked through his pillow and stared at Luci, "Really? You're using that as a bargain chip to get me to talk?" he asked with heavy sarcasm.
Luci bit her lower lip to hide her smile, "I promise not to pry that much, just answer the basics and I'll shut up."
Draco let out a tired sigh, "Yes I was with Hermione last night and I took her to one Mum's garden for our first date."
"See, it's not that hard, right?" Luci teased.
He moved his arms and folded his hands behind his head, "I refuse to talk about it not because I'm being a prick, I just don't want jinx it. I've waited years to get this chance with her again and I'll do everything I can to not mess things up, you know my rotten luck."
"It's going to work; you love each other too much."
"I hope so, Luc, I really hope so."
"I know so, now, why don't you stop being superstitious and tell me more," Luci said excitedly.
"But you said that you just want that basics."
"You know me too well to believe that, please continue."
"You're back, how did it go," Kate asked when she saw her boss strolled towards office.
Hermione stopped by her assistant's desk and sat down, "We got the deal," she said with a beaming smile.
Kate returned the smile, "That's great! I knew you would get it."
"We, it's a group effort, Kate," Hermione reminded her.
"Always the humble one," Kate teased.
Hermione shook her head and began pulling parchments from her bag. She gave the documents a quick run through before pushing it towards Kate, "Would you be a dear and send this to the Minister?" she asked politely.
"Sure thing, will you be heading out?"
"Not really, I still have a lot of things to work through, you go on ahead and take your lunch," Hermione said as she stood up.
"Did you need me to get anything for you?" Kate asked.
"No, I'm all set, thank you," Hermione called over her shoulder before disappearing into her office.
Blaise dusted off the soot from his cloak as he stepped out of his private fireplace. He dropped his bag haphazardly on the floor and began peeling off his jacket. "Trudy!" he called.
A little elf popped right in front of him and bowed lowly, "Welcome back Master!" it squeaked happily.
He smiled, "Did I get any mail?"
"Trudy is keeping your mail safe master; do you want Trudy to fetch it for you?"
He chucked his jacket on top of his bed, "Did I receive any howler from Mum?"
Trudy fidgeted with her scrawny fingers as she bobbed her head timidly, "Yes, Master."
"It's alright Trudy; kindly bring it inside my room. I need to change my clothes anyway," he said with a long-drawn sigh.
Trudy's ears began to perk up, "Does Master want Trudy to draw his bath?"
He considered the suggestion for a minute before nodding, "That sounds great, I'll have it in 15 minutes."
"I'll get it ready Master," the elf bowed before vanishing with a loud crack.
He walked towards his bed and sat down with a loud plop. He braced his elbows on his knees and buried his face into his palms. "Get yourself together," he chided himself.
"I hate to disturb you but I've got news."
"This better be good or I'll have your arse on a platter," The cloaked figured hissed.
"He's back, the person you asked me to follow."
The cloaked figure stood abruptly and cackled like a maniac, "Really? When?"
"Just a couple of minutes ago, I was alerted by the charm I placed around the place."
"Good job! Now we need to start our plan."
The cloaked figure walked towards the loveseat and sat down, "As soon as possible of course, but before that, we need to celebrate our success!"
"I like that!"
"Doc!" The cloaked figured summoned.
A little elf appeared with a loud crack, "Master summoned, Doc. What can Doc do for Master?"
"Bring us a bottle of Firewhisky, we are celebrating!"
The elf snapped its nimble fingers and instantly Firewhisky appeared on top of the table, together with a bucket of ice. "Would Master want Doc to serve the whiskey?"
"Of course," The cloaked figure replied.
The elf carefully handed each glass and bowed, "Is there anything else, Master?"
The cloaked figure tipped its glass in salute, "To the Mudbloods Downfall!"
Glasses clinked together, "Cheers".