Continuing Tales


A Harry Potter Story
by MizSphinx

Part 3 of 12

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Although she was a capable witch with a formidable arsenal of spells, charms and jinxes beneath her belt, Hermione still liked to do things the old fashioned way – the Muggle way. For some reason, doing menial tasks she knew that could be completed by a quick swish of a wand helped her feel closer to home. She was of the opinion that her acclimatisation to the Wizarding World's ways did not mean she had to adopt allof their customs.

Therefore, with this mindset, late May on a Saturday afternoon found her engaging in a bit of spring cleaning. She'd already tidied up the storage room in the back. Books that had warranted organisation had been organised. All available countertops had been wiped down. Tea things had been replaced. The two, street-facing windows had been cleaned, and the sofas and rug in the diminutive sitting area had been vacuumed (she'd had to use magic since electricity did not work in the Wizarding World).

After sweeping the floor, she'd decided to go the extra mile and mop it, too. While doing so, she was smiling as she thought about her blossoming friendship between her and Legolas. They'd been writing each other letters for about a month and a half now, their replies becoming more and more frequent as time passed.

Legolas' letters were a joy to read. He never failed to make her laugh or surprise her with some new and interesting titbit of knowledge. He was also polite, intelligent, and quick to compliment her on the simplest of things. He really was a fantastic find in a friend. So enthralled was she by this Legolas persona, that she wished she'd tried WizFriend sooner.

She wondered what he looked like – this Legolas. She'd been trying her best to ignore that train of thought, but the more she communicated with the man, the more her imagination wandered. Was he old or was he young? What colour hair did he have? The colour of his eyes? Was he slim? Not so slim? In between? Was he a good looking bloke? Was he not? Did that even matter?

She told herself that it certainly did not matter what he looked like. After all, theirs was just only a friendship, a very young one to boot. Concerns about his attractiveness were superficial and were best left if she were to consider a more romantic relationship between them – which she most definitely did not want. Not now, anyway.

Though, I can't quite rule out the thought. I do like him. Maybe something might grow –

Hermione forced herself to end that thought, and pumped her hands faster as she swished the mop back and forth across the floor. So, yes. It may have been a while since she'd last been romantically involved, but she wasn't that desperate! And she may have gone to the length of paying for a friend, but she certainly wouldn't do so for a man! What next? Paying for a male prostitute, too?

Come to think of it, that might not be such a bad idea. It has been a while since I've had a good, hard –

The wind chime tinkled.

Her body stiffened with dread.

It couldn't be, could it? Surely it wasn't him. She had not seen hide nor hair from the man ever since that Episode – for she refused to call it anything else other than that – about a month ago. She'd thanked all existing deities for the reprieve, and had tentatively hoped for a permanent absence, but that had probably been a ridiculous amount of wishful thinking. A la Legolas – a 'dangerous amount of hope.'

Damn it all, and here she'd thought she'd locked the door after cleaning the exterior panes of the windows. Still, her back was facing the door, so she couldn't know for sure right away. Besides, he wasn't her only customer.

She spun around.

Lucius Malfoy.


Eyeing his refined, expensive clothing, she became highly conscious, firstly, of the red, paisley-patterned kerchief on her head, secondly, of the bleach-stained, oversized purple shirt – it read FARTS BEFORE TARTS! – that had once belonged to Seamus while they'd dated, its sleeves rolled up to her armpits, and, lastly, of the frayed jeans-shorts she wore that advertised a bit too much leg now that she thought about it.

Lucius Malfoy eyed her in return. Not bothering to hide his silent appraisal of her in all her raggedy-clothed glory. Merlin. Merlin. Where was that effing hole when she needed it? Where the hell was it so she could just jump right in?

She longed to lift her hands and cover herself. Or at least, cover that immature slogan on the shirt from Lucius Malfoy's judgmental gaze.

Finally, he said: "Good afternoon, Miss Granger. You look very…homely today. Have I come at an inopportune hour?"

Yes, you have. Now, get out and get lost before I drag this dirty mop across your pretty, pretty shoes.

"Er…well, I-I was doing a bit of cleaning, you see," she replied, trying for a smile and failing. "Spring cleaning. 'Cause it's…erm…spring. You know."

Oh, just wonderful, Hermione. So articulate.

"Well, then," he said, already turning towards the door, "I shall return another day. I'll not inconvenience you further."

"Oh, no, no! No inconvenience!" Stupid! What are you doing? "It's quite alright!" Stop this madness, woman! "I'm nearly done, anyway."

He turned to face her again. "If you're sure…?"

"Yes! Very!" she proclaimed in a higher than normal voice. "I'll just finish up here and then I can attend to your needs."

He came towards her, a mischievous look in his eyes and a ghost of a smirk visible. "You'll attend to my needs? That's incredibly ambitious, Miss Granger, for I've many. Would you like it if I prepared you a list?"

Oh my god. Is Lucius Malfoy…flirting with me? Impossible.

Trying for nonchalance even though her heart beat a little harder with excitement, she replied,

"How can a wealthy man still have needs?"

"Not every need can be bought," he answered.

"Any and everything is purchasable."

A blond eyebrow lifted. "That is surprisingly cynical of you, Miss Granger. But I beg to differ."

Emboldened, she replied, "And that is surprisingly naïve of you, Mr Malfoy."

He didn't respond right away. He simply gazed at her for a short moment before he came closer to where she stood. Horrified that he was close enough to smell the pervasive scent of the cleaning solutions on her, she tried edging away. Unfortunately and inevitably, her clumsy side reared its ugly head.

A puddle of water had formed where she'd unwittingly left the mop on the floor. In her haste to get away, her bare left foot – Oh, Circe, he's seen my hideous toes, too? – stepped in it, and slid out from under her. Down she might have went with an embarrassing splat in the puddle beneath her if Lucius hadn't reached forwards and grabbed onto her upper-arms to keep her upright.

Her face was momentarily pressed into his chest, the soft material of his robes against her nose and lips. She made the mistake of inhaling, and her olfactive sense was flooded with that same delicious, citrus scent. A sharp, pleasant lemony odour gentled by…rosemary? Yes, rosemary. Lemon and rosemary. She inhaled again. And yet again, very deeply in astonishment, when his hands glided slowly, smoothly, down the length of her exposed arms before releasing her.

He stepped back, his features unreadable. She was breathing hard, and her heart felt like it had manufactured drums within her chest, and was playing along enthusiastically. What just happened? What the bloody hell just happened? Had…had Lucius Malfoy just felt her up?

"You – " she began, but Lucius cut her off.

"You're absolutely right, Miss Granger. Everything has a purchasing price. But then, there are some things that exceed monetary worth." He turned away. "I will leave you to your duties. Enjoy the rest of your afternoon."

And he left her bookshop.


Did you hear about the new Ministry edict abolishing elf enslavement? I'm sure you did, since…well…you're an elf. Ha! What are you doing with your newfound freedom? I heard knitting is an acceptable pastime…

I must stop teasing you about your penname. It'll only incense you to retaliate. Although, I can take any jibe you've got in store. During my schooling, I endured a gamut of insults hurled my way in regards to my physical appearance, and other noteworthy characteristics of mine. There was one particular boy who made it his honour-bound duty to make me cry at least once a week. He succeeded, you know. And it's ironic, because I had a suspicion that this boy liked me, and there came a point in time when I'd actually developed a fancy for this boy in return. But I saw sense fairly quickly, not to mention there were other significant factors as to why it was impossible we could ever be together.

I see him occasionally. Sometimes, he visits where I work. We've progressed to amiable small talk. It's quite an accomplishment since we were such bitter, bitter enemies during our childhood years.

I see his father too. I don't think his father ever liked me much. I used to hate him, too. He was…something. He wasn't a very nice man. Still isn't. Probably. I don't know.

But I do know that you're nice, Legolas! And I tell you all of this just to warn you that I've got a thick skin. So, if you've intentions of teasing me, then bring it, Mr Elf!

By the way, how is your potion work going? Have you concocted any groundbreaking solutions that would suddenly make you a very wealthy man? Wouldn't that be nice?



I was simply under the impression that you had a strange fancy for elves. I never knew you felt so strongly about our welfare as well. I've heard of elf-human unions, and I've also never known love... Maybe my time has finally come? Ha!

I feel, inexplicably, that I must apologise for that boy's behaviour. I suppose I'm suffering from second-hand embarrassment for the boy. Or, perhaps it is that I see a bit of myself in him. But it pleases me that you've matured into such a confident, forgiving woman despite this boy's attempt to debilitate your self-esteem. I, too, believe that he was besotted with you. From reading your letters, I gather that you've such immense inner beauty. Doubtless it has manifested itself in your physical traits as well. Perhaps he felt so intimidated by this beauty, by the idea that he might never garner your affections if he tried in earnest, his only recourse was to shun you instead. Indeed, your willingness to still have discourse with him is inspiring.

And his father – you merely disliked the boy, but hated the father? My, such intense emotions! So far, you've not struck me with the capability to hate. Surely you exaggerate? After all, you would not have had much interaction with the boy's father, neither he with you. Possibly he does not hate as you might have believed?

Regrettably, I've not made any potions worthy of even the tiniest mention in the Daily Prophet, let alone any known potioneer journal. Though, that honour would have been swiftly attained by a dear friend of mine. A brilliant man. But he is dead now. The anniversary of his death draws near.

Ah, but isn't this a morbid missive? Albeit strange, I shall segue into a cheerier topic – what is your preferred season, Athena? Spring, I presume?


On Tuesday, around noon, Hermione had just returned from serving a customer some ginger biscuits when she found Draco Malfoy standing at her desk.

"Granger," he greeted in quiet tones.

"Hello, Malfoy," she returned just as politely. "How are you?"

"Fine. You?"

"The same."


Then, "Do you need something? A book?"

"Yes," he answered. "I was wondering whether you had...err…Quell's Spells?"

She nodded. "I do," and she guided him to where he could find the book.

Moments later, he returned to her desk to pay for the book. Upon searching his robes' pockets and unable to find his money purse, he began sifting through the many other bags he carried in a quest for the misplaced purse. During that time, Hermione took the chance to scrutinise Draco.

He's got taller, she thought. Filled out a bit more, too.

He was still slim, still pale, still blond, and still pointy-chinned – but there was a change. He'd mellowed. Became a little less burdened. Before, he was once all sharp edges, but she supposed blades dulled eventually. She remembered her last missive to Legolas, and the one Legolas had returned just yesterday. Could it be that Legolas was right? Had Draco secretly liked her during Hogwarts, but had found it easier to ridicule her just because of their opposing origins instead? Maybe. Although, it was questionable that that kind of meanness he'd exhibited in Hogwarts had been all an act.

It didn't matter, anyway. Because, even though the events of the War and his horrid behaviour towards her had been forgiven, and even though they were slowly rebuilding the bridge between them, and even though he'd managed to become an attractive bloke over the years, she no longer fancied him.

He found his purse. Catching her looking at him, he offered her a tiny smile. She returned it. Feeling generous, she said,

"Quell's Spells, hm? I heard it's on the upcoming syllabus. Returning to Hogwarts for another year?"

She was surprised when a bit of pink coloured his cheeks.

"Well, in a way, I am. McGonagall hired me as the new Dark Arts professor," he replied in an uncharacteristically modest manner. "I start this September."

Her smile broadened. "Oh, Draco. That's lovely news! I'm so happy for you!"

"Thanks," his own smile widened too, and it transformed his face in such a positive way that, for a split second, Hermione reconsidered her 'no longer fancying Draco Malfoy' proclamation. "I'm really looking forward to it, too…Hermione."

They smiled at each other some more.

And then, the wind chime jingled.

And then, Lucius Malfoy found them both smiling away at each other.

And then, Draco's smile was gone, and hers was frozen into place.

"Good afternoon, Miss Granger, Draco."


"Good afternoon, Mr Malfoy."


Then, as if some urgent call suddenly bid him elsewhere, Draco quickly handed Hermione his payment – overpaying her by ten galleons – mumbled out his goodbyes, and then left with great haste.

And, with the same amount of speed Draco left with, came the memory of her last moment spent in Lucius Malfoy's company.

The scent of lemon and rosemary. His hands on her skin. Touching, smoothing, feeling


She should call him out on it. She really should. Tell him she hadn't liked it, and that he should never, ever put his hands on her again.

But wouldn't that be a lie?

Hands a bit shaky, she turned and stowed the money Draco had given her. She turned to face Lucius again.

"Mr Malfoy – "

But he'd already moved on to peruse the bookshelves.


A Harry Potter Story
by MizSphinx

Part 3 of 12

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