Playing with Fire

Chapter 14: Still Burning

Song: Trouble’s Coming - Royal Blood

“To the new Minister of Magic!“, Pansy raised her glass and shouted over the loud music at the Inebriatus. Everyone seemed to be celebrating Draco’s new position of power - except him.

Pansy dropped a kiss to Draco’s cheek and he smiled as genuinely as he could manage. Daphne averted her eyes.

Blaise and Daphne raised their glasses as well, offering their congratulations. The table went quiet, everyone else in the bar seeming to have a great time, excluding the group of friends.

“I miss Theo”, Daphne said, taking a sip of her cocktail. Everyone nodded in agreement.

“Has anyone heard from him?“, Pansy asked. They all looked at Draco, as if being Minister of Magic meant he now knew any more than they did. He shrugged.

The two girls redirected their attention to Blaise, implying the same question they posed to Draco.

“He sent me an owl about a week ago, said he missed us all and that Romania is dreadfully boring. He’s convinced the Dark Lord just sent him there to get him away from his father. Putting the two of them in a room together is like planting a bomb.”

“At least he’s far, far away from that piece of shit that somehow contributed to his existence. Nott Sr. can go to hell as far as I’m concerned.“, Pansy downed her drink.

Draco finished his drink and stood from the booth.

“Going somewhere?“, Blaise asked him, “It’s only 11, has being the Minister of Magic turned you into an old man?”

Pansy and Daphne both chuckled.

“Ha ha ha. I have work to do, you know, being the Minister of Magic and all”, he told them, not even cracking a smile.

Daphne, Blaise, and Pansy all stared at him silently. They were trying to make light of the situation, Draco knew that. But they all knew he didn’t want this position. He was sure they were just glad he wasn’t moping about his mother’s death anymore.

“I’m tired. I don’t mean to be snappy”, he told them regretfully. Pansy placed a hand over his, “It’s okay Draco, we understand.” He gave them a stiff smile and took the floo home.

~~~

Draco sat at his desk, looking through forms and documents as part of his new position. How lively. It had only been fifteen minutes when Granger walked in.

Draco didn’t look up from his desk, he never did. But it was odd that she was just now reporting to him, considering how late it was.

She told him everything that happened that evening, following the same routine, barely paying any attention to her, when he heard the words “Winters of Wimberly”. That was his mother’s favorite book. His father had sent her to retrieve and read that book to him?

He looked up, meeting those fire-lit eyes, and a blush spread across her cheeks. It sent a heat to his pants that didn’t surprise him - he ignored it like he always did.

When she finally finished describing the evening, he dismissed her and refocused on the papers spread out across his desk. Well, not entirely refocused. He knew what was coming next.

“Why am I here?“, she asked him.

“Surprisingly, you still serve a purpose for the Dark Lord. He just doesn’t need you yet.“, the words slipped past Draco’s lips before he could stop them. I’m just sick of being asked the same question that only holds a disappointing answer for you.

Her breath hitched audibly, “What does that mean?” For fuck’s sake, can’t she just be pleased that I finally answered her?

“I’ve already given you more information than you deserve”, he said, eyes still on the documents in front of him.

“Than I deserve?“, she huffed. “I deserve much more than you’ve given me Malfoy“, she said with a growl. “You are absolutely the most loathsome creature on this earth apart from your sadistic Lord“.

She marched straight out of the room.

Draco couldn’t stop the small smirk creeping across his lips - he almost laughed. There’s that fire, Granger. Still burning.

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