Malfoy's reaction was priceless. He stumbled backwards, almost falling on his arse, with a look of shock on his face. His wide eyes soon turned to slitted, angry ones. "What the hell are doing here?" He sputtered, righting himself. However, Hermione was laughing so hard she couldn't even see his face, let alone hear his voice. "You-you...you," Hermione tried to get out, but her thoughts sent her into another fit of giggles.
"Well I see you recovered all too quickly," Draco murmured and then a thought came to him. She wants me to put on a shirt? Well obviously it disturbs her in some way, so let's see how far I can push her. He wiped his face of anger, and instead put on his infamous smirk. "So, having my shirt off gets you all hot and bothered, Granger?" he asked loud enough for her to hear.
She began laughing even harder which only flustered him further. "You want something to laugh at," he mumbled with a sneer, "I think this will do." Draco whispered an incantation, and with a wave of his hand, a pig's tail began to grow out of Hermione's pressed pants, and her laughter turned into snorts.
She immediately stopped laughing and glared at Malfoy over her pale snout, which caused him to fall into the nearest chair cracking up. Hermione was not happy at being the butt of a joke, so she sent a quick hex his way, and he suddenly disappeared. A second passed and an angry white ferret reared its head to glare at the person who was snorting up a storm on the floor.
Draco was not a happy ferret. His current state brought back buried school memories of the most embarrassing moment of his life, and the pig woman in front of him was laughing at his pain again. So, with no wand, and a tiny rodent body, he did the only thing he could think of for revenge. He bit her. Her wrist to be exact. She squealed in pain, and he squeaked with joy.
He hardly noticed his return to humanity, because he was howling with laughter, but he did notice a very warm Granger leaning against his back shaking and hardly breathing. Many soft snorts touched his neck as he realized that Granger was laughing with him. Granger and I are laughing together. He turned and looked at her to find her face just as red as her pig snout and a magnificent smile on her face.
“I haven’t had that much fun in ages,” she said, a grin still shining up at him. “Thank you, but could you please reverse the,” she waved to her face and tail, and then gave him a smirk that looked rather odd with her pork-ish features.
Draco pretended to contemplate the situation and frowned, “I don’t see anything wrong,” and winked after a second to let her know he was joking. When she scowled unconvincingly, he chuckled and waved his wand. Her nose shrank and returned to its normal tanned, upturned nature.
She couldn’t help but give him another lopsided smile when he was nice enough to actually turn her back. They both stared at each other for a few seconds to memorize the good moment before Hermione broke it to remind him that they needed to do at least a bit of research.
They both reluctantly got up from the floor and grabbed a book to read before curling into a chair across from the other. They sat like that, quietly reading, occasionally writing something down or commenting a piece of information to the other, before returning back to companionable silence, as hours flew by. Only when the ornate grandfather clock by the entrance chimed 2 o’clock did either of them even move.
Upon hearing the time, Draco realized just how hungry he was. “Hey Granger,” he quietly called, jarring her from her reading, “what do you want for lunch?”
Granger groaned and stretched, setting her book down on the dark oak side table. “Mmmmm. I don’t know. Maybe pancakes? I have a strange craving for them,” she yawned and drew her legs closer.
“Breakfast for lunch?” Draco questioned. His parents would never hear of having a meal at an improper time. He had never had breakfast for anything other than breakfast, and the idea of breaking this previously unknown tradition intrigued him. He smiled at the idea of his mother seeing him, still in his pajamas, eating pancakes for lunch. “Dinky?” he called out for the little elf.
“Yes, Master Draco?” Dinky appeared.
“Can you please make Ms. Granger and I two plates of pancakes and earl grey?” he asked the elf, then turned to Granger, “what sides would you prefer?”
Hermione was so shocked that Malfoy actually ordered what she wanted that her response was delayed by a few seconds while she composed herself. “Strawberries and creme for the pancakes and possibly fried potatoes on the side?” she asked, unsure of overstepping his newfound kindness.
“What the lady says. But just lemon and sugar on mine, with a side of blueberry pie,” Malfoy smiled at Dinky. “That will be all, please.” With that, he turned back to his book and mumbled, “mother would have a conundrum,” before Dinky popped away, hiding a slight giggle at his Master’s words.
“Thank you, Malfoy,” Hermione uttered, giving him a small grin before quickly picking back up her book. It felt very odd thanking Malfoy.
“My pleasure,” Draco grinned at Granger’s obvious awkwardness toward his kindness. It felt very odd to be thanked by Granger. Odd, but good. Get back to reading. God only knows how long it will take the house elves to realize that pancakes can be made at any time.
A half an hour passed, and Hermione was beginning to get very hungry. “It doesn’t take half an hour to make pancakes,” she grumbled to herself, as she readjusted into a more comfortable position in her chair.
“They probably spent 20 minutes debating whether not to even make them,” Malfoy sighed, and noisily flipped a page in his book.
“Why?” Hermione asked, curious as to why there would be a debate of the else's master’s orders.
“It’s simply never been done here. It would be very improper to have the incorrect food at a meal, and they probably don’t know how to handle such a request.”
She leaned toward Malfoy with intrigue and asked, “so, you’ve never had breakfast at any other time than the morning?”
“No,” Malfoy said simply and looked at her with a questioning face, “why? Is it normal among muggles?”
“Not necessarily normal, but it isn’t taboo. It’s a bit of a treat, a fun break from tradition.” Suddenly, her smile grew, “Malfoy? How would you like to have lunch with me Saturday?”
Draco was shocked. Hermione Granger just asked him to lunch. Out of principle, he would usually say no, after all, she usually is an annoying chit. But, today they got on very well. Plus, if he was to be working under her for an indefinite amount of time, it would be best to be on better terms with the woman. But Draco couldn’t miss the opportunity to pick fun before he agreed, so he asked with a smirk, “Are you asking me on a date, Granger?”
He had never seen her more flustered in his life. It was probably because she (and he) just remembered that he was still very shirtless, and his question was assuming she would go behind her fiancé. Together that equated to a very blushing Hermione Granger.
“No,” Granger shook her head so hard it could have fallen off. “Just friends,” she continued, wide eyed, realizing her mistake. “I just wanted to show you something I think you might enjoy.”
“And what is that?” he asked, his smirk growing, while his mind was reeling from Granger calling them friends. Could I be friends with her? Would I want to? Should I say no? It would make for a very good reaction, but she also just got out of the hospital Draco thought to himself.
“Popcorn and a film,” Hermione replied weakly. She was almost sure this was a bad idea at this point. She called Malfoy her friend, and she sounded like she was asking him on a date. It was sure to make his inevitable ‘no’ even more degrading to her ego.
“A film? Like those talking pictures from muggle studies?” Draco inquired.
"Yeah," Hermione said, bracing herself for his denial and how utterly stupid she would look for even thinking this was a good idea.
"Maybe. I have the day off because I have a date. But I'll see if I can squeeze you in," Draco responded with only a slight hint of superiority. He couldn't be his fully pompous self because A. He was wearing pajamas after noon (looking like a commoner) and B. Her was raised (and grew up a bit to understand) that a recovering woman should be handled lightly. Plus, he secretly reveled in knowing the 'maybe' would kill her more than a straight 'no'. He enjoyed bringing Ms. Know it All back down to everyone else's level.
Meanwhile, Hermione was pleasantly aggravated by Malfoy's answer. On one hand he was polite enough not to completely shut her down. But she was annoyed by his vague answer. Now, she would have to prepare as if he would actually show, knowing that he probably wouldn't. Before she could say a snarky remark that would ruin their very good day together, Dinky popped in with a heap of pancakes.
"Lunch for Master Draco," he said as he set the large tray down on the coffee table and bowed.
"Could you take this to the kitchen table, and we will go down there to eat it?" Malfoy asked the tiny elf.
Dinky seemed to be shaken up by Malfoy’s question. Hermione couldn’t figure out why the little guy seemed so startled by a request to eat in a kitchen, when a few seconds later it dawned on her, and she mimicked Dinky’s gaping expression.
“Y-y-es, Master,” Dinky squeaked out. He bowed and took the tray with shaking hands, and apparatus away.
“Granger, you’re going to catch flies,” Draco snickered. She immediately shut her mouth, but her wide-eyes were still locked on him. “Now that we’ve gotten that settled,” he drawled, turned his back to her, and began to saunter out of the library, leaving a very bewildered Granger behind. “Come on,” he called out behind him, and he could see her snap out of her thoughts, and he turned his head back as she rushed towards him. She really needs to learn proper manners.
“You do know what you just asked of Dinky. Right?” Granger implored.
“Of course, unlike my parents, I believe in getting to know the help. Now, unless you want them to hear us, I would hush. If my mother found us walking to eat in the kitchen with me only wearing pants, she would have many uncomfortable questions, so hurry along and keep quiet," Draco ordered. He actually was having lunch in the kitchens because it was the last place his mother would look for him, and he was having a decent day, and didn't want her constant worrying to distract him. He loved his mother dearly, but she would scare away Granger, and he couldn't afford that when they were making good progress today. It was also pretty fun to shock Granger. She seemed to think him a walking demon, and it was entertaining to show her how much he'd changed. He wasn't saying he was an angel by any shot, but he wasn't a death-eater-wanna-be with virtually no redeeming qualities. “Now, I am an Ex-Death Eater with a few redeeming qualities,” he thought with a smirk.
Hermione was also pondering the current situation. If someone had told her that she would be having a better day with Draco Malfoy than her fiancé, she would have had them checked at St. Mungo’s. But there she was, having a decently good day with her old childhood bully. Now, she was still suspicious. No way was Malfoy being nice unless it was benefiting him. So, I’m going to find out exactly what the ferret is up to. After pancakes, of course.
The kitchen was beautiful. Probably as large as half the Granger household, and filled with bustling house elves, all wearing matching potholders and various items of children’s clothing. They all stopped to greet the pair as Hermione and Draco sat down at a small table, set for two, in the corner of the kitchen next to the oven (where there was some delicious smelling rolls baking- Twittie said she would give Miss Granger the recipe later.) Hermione couldn’t help but let her eyes wander over the beautiful white cabinets (set low for the elves) and the butcher’s block countertops. She would never admit it, but she wanted this kitchen, just not the evil house. Finally, the arrival of heaps of whipped creme drew her gaze back to the delectable meal in front of her.
“Enjoy,” Malfoy said, politely, before he began to shovel pancakes and blueberry pie onto his plate, squeezing a lemon over his final, sugary product with a smile.
Thus began a very enjoyable meal. The pancakes were perfection. Creme homemade. The house elves were simply adorable; all greeting her and making sure her meal was up to Malfoy standards. She almost moaned in pleasure at the taste of the fried potatoes. They tasted just like the ones her mum used to make. Buttery.
“Thank you Malfoy, and thank you all for such a delightful meal,” Hermione turned back to the elves and waved as she followed Malfoy back to the library. A series of squeaks, wide smiles, and frantic waves followed her out. Today has really been a good day.
“So how much longer do you have to research, Granger?” Malfoy turned to her as they wandered up the wide staircase.
“Another few hours. As long as I’m home before 7,” Hermione shrugged. She secretly didn’t want to go home and face another fight with Ron, not that she would tell anyone that.
“That’s delightful!” an elegant voice sounded behind them, and Hermione and Draco both whipped around at the same time to see Narcissi Malfoy. “Perhaps you both would like to join me for tea?” she said pleasantly, though promising interrogation.
Lovely, they both thought.