Pairings: H/D (implied), R/LL (implied), HG/SS
Challenge: February 25, 2005 challenge
A/N: I couldn’t help myself. It is supposed to be funny, but we’ll see.
x-posted: hpdailyannettefanfic and 30minutefics
Hermione took a deep breath as she pulled open the door to “The Goblin Inn”. Harry and Ron would be waiting for her. She hadn’t seen them in four years. Of course they had sent Owls, but no had time to Floo or Apparate for a visit. Hermione squared her shoulders and set her posture to one of defense. It was automatic, a hazard of being a loner and a book worm.
Hermione walked past the two young men seated at a table near the bar.
“Hey, Hermione! Oi. You’re looking great,” called Ron as she walked past.
Hermione stopped. How had I missed them, she thought? “Ron. Wow, you’re not looking so bad yourself either. I’ve missed you. Where’s Harry?”
“Always looking out for Harry? Well now, I don’t know if I should feel hurt or not!,” he teased as he reached out a hand to ruffle Hermione’s hair. Hermione ducked back.
“Ron, please, my hair,” she said as she took an additional step back to stand up straight.
Harry’s voice invaded the scene, “Oi, Hermione worrying about how she looks, are you sure this isn’t a Polyjuiced imposter?” he joked. He knew that Hermione had to care about her appearance with her new job as a junior intern for the Wizengamot.
“Yes. Oh, look at you Harry! I see that the scar has faded a bit.”
Harry’s hand unconsciously brushed across his forehead. “Yeah. I’ll always have it but it isn’t as …”
“Pink …” cut in Ron. “We know you will the scar to stay so you have an excuse to sport the color!”
“Oh, old times, already!” added Hermione. “I need a drink. Shall we?” she asked making her way toward the table.
“And she is a drinker,” stated Harry and Ron simultaneously, in surprise as the followed her to the table.
“Not a drinker , you two make it sound like I am sitting around my flat, surrounded by parchments, with ink stained fingers, and the fingers of my free hand wrapped around the neck of a bottle of cheap Muggle wine. Merlin! I haven’t gone that far off the deep end yet. S… certain people keep me from taking the leap.”
“Ooh, now we’re getting somewhere,” said Harry. “Who is this certain person?”
“People, it was plural, Harry,” corrected Hermione. A cocktail server approached the table and got Hermione’s attention. “I’ll have a shot of Firewhisky with a Butterbeer chaser.”
“Yes, Miss. Any one else?” asked the cocktail server.
“We’re all set,” replied Ron as he and Harry sipped their drinks. The server walked away. “Now, back to business, you haven’t mentioned anyone in your letters. So who is he…”
“Or she,” added Harry.
“Oi, Harry, just because you …”
“Ron…” warned Harry.
“Wait a minute. Just because Harry what?” said Hermione, eager to get attention away from her certain someone.
Harry took a deep breath and a long swig of his drink before he even started to answer. “Well, I’ve discovered that, well I’m not, well you see the thing is …”
“Harry I already know you’re gay,” said Hermione softly.
“How did you know?” Harry asked in shock. Hermione gave him what he and Ron referred to as The Look “Right, know-it-all and everything.”
“So who is he?”
“He won’t say. I’ve been trying to get it out of him since he walked in. Saw that hickey on his neck … all I got out of him was that it wasn’t a woman.”
“What about you Ron, you haven’t said anything about Luna,” offered Harry. He too was desperate to keep attentions off of his love life.
Ron’s face darkened and the smile vanished from his face. “She left me. Yesterday, in fact. She couldn’t get over that … indiscretion… I had last season.”
Hermione and Harry nodded. Ron’s indiscretion had made front-page news. He was playing Quidditch for the Chudley Cannons, and he couldn't avoid the temptation of all the beautiful women. He was just swept up in all the attention he got merely for being Ronald Weasley that he couldn’t resist. He had tried to make amends with his wife, but it didn’t work out.
“Sorry to hear that Ron,” said Hermione as she was served her drinks.
“Yeah, well it was my own bloody fault. It’s probably for the best at any rate. So Hermione, I see the new hair, and the new clothes, I read your name in the Prophet at least twice a week and I still have no idea what you do.”
“Well, I want to be involved in the law, so I am working in an internship at the Wizengamot. I know you know that, it is vague. Basically, I read, write up reports, and fetch tea, and when Albus comes there is the lemon drops, too.” After she finished that boring tale, she slammed back her Firewhisky. She didn’t even grimace.
“Where’d you learn to drink like that?” asked Ron in shock. This was not the demure Head Girl who was his best friend.
“S…certain people, I discuss work with,” she replied as she internally berated herself for almost slipping a second time.
“Fine. I’ll tell you who my boyfriend is if you tell me who yours is,” said Harry. “You go first!”
“I already know who you’re seeing,” she replied as she winked at him and sipped the Butterbeer.
“Draco Malfoy!” said Hermione in an astonished tone. “You are seeing Draco Malfoy?”
“You said you knew,” said Harry with anger underlining his voice.
“It is a trick. I use it when interviewing clients all the time. I am surprised that it worked on you. You did go through Auror training, even if you don’t work as one.”
“Yeah, well that whole interview thing was the boring bit. I’d rather fire spells first and ask questions later.”
“Oi, mate. Draco Malfoy? You can’t be that desperate. You’re Harry Potter, incase you’ve forgotten, you can have any bloke you want!”
Harry’s face contorted into a scowl. Hermione giggled.
“What’s so funny?” asked Harry.
“Nothing, you just reminded me of Severus when you made that face.”
“Severus? Since when are you on a bloody first name basis with that old bat?”asked Ron.
Hermione was quiet.
“Oh, hell. I have to put up with Draco and Professor Snape if I want to be friends with you lot? My week just keeps getting better and better.”
“Relax a minute Ron, she hasn’t even said anything. Snape has been working with the Wizengamot on those new laws for Dark Arts, maybe they just have a working relationship. In which case, we won’t have to worry about putting up with him.”
“Putting up with him? I haven’t seen you in four years as it is. I don’t think you’d have to worry about that anyway!” said Hermione is a raised voice.
“Calm down, Hermione. We didn’t mean anything by it. If you are dating him, which I hope you’re not, we’ll be supportive,” added Ron.
Harry elbowed Ron in the ribs. “Not the best thing to say,” he whispered. “ You better let me handle this.”
“Hermione, we would never merely put up with anyone you were seeing. We would of course accept this person, whomever he or she is. If it is Professor Snape then we’ll be happy with you no matter what.”
Hermione relaxed at that. “Thank you, Harry.”
“So, are you seeing him?” asked Ron, worry apparent in his tone.
“You’re deductive reasoning still needs work, Weasley,” said a voice from behind Ron.
Ron gulped. “Hermione, is he standing right behind me?”
Hermione nodded and then smiled at the person standing behind Ron. “Hello, Severus. Did you manage to find those papers you were looking for at the Archive?”
“Yes, I did,” he replied as he made his way to the empty seat next to Hermione, stopping to place a chaste kiss on her forehead before he sat down. He looked at Harry and Ron, “You two don’t mind if I join you, do you?”
“N..no , Sir,” stammered Ron.
“You don’t have to call him, sir,” began Hermione.
“They most certainly do have to address me as such,” he said in his ‘classroom’ voice, as Hermione called it.
“Severus, really, don’t be so petulant,” she chastised.
Severus glared at her. “You two may call me Severus,” he said in a defeated tone.
“Now, where were we on catching up?” asked Hermione as both Harry and Ron shrunk back in their seats. Suddenly, they were no longer in the mood to chat and reminisce. The day was ruined.
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