Continuing Tales


A Harry Potter Story
by MizSphinx

Part 6 of 12

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My lovely Athena,

If ever I've cherished a gift, it is the one you've recently sent me. Fidelus Melkin's Potioneer's Extraordinaire Kit combined with his much sought after extensive cookbook of potion recipes – ah, how you've spoilt me. When I unwrapped the package, I felt like a very young boy who has been given all of his greatest gifts imaginable on Christmas Day. I'm afraid I may be falling in love with you.

Now I feel absolutely ashamed of my meagre gift of sweets when compared to the invaluable one you've sent in return. Allow me to make amends. Doubtless your exquisiteness far exceeds it.

Hoping you'll return this elf's growing affections,


"Fucking hell! Are those diamonds?"

Holding the bracelet aloft, Hermione was far too shocked to even respond to Ginny's outburst.

"Yes," she said faintly. She stared wide-eyed at the thin piece of jewellery that still managed to twinkle prettily even without direct light upon it. "Yes, it seems so."

"Who sent it?" Ginny wandered closer to where Hermione sat on the sofa. "Was it that Legolas bloke you were telling me about yesterday?"

"Yes," Hermione answered again in misty tones. "Yes, Legolas sent it."

"Bloody, bloody hell," replied Ginny in an awed voice. "That looks so expensive, I'm sure it's worth what I make in four months. And I make a lot of money."

Hermione did not speak right away. She placed the bracelet back in its velvet coated container, gazed at it some more before resolutely replacing the lid on the box.

"I'm sending it back."

Ginny snatched the box out of her hands and away from her. There was a scandalised look on her face. "What? Don't be ridiculous!"

"Ginny, I can't accept a gift like that!" Hermione protested as she attempted to retrieve the gift, but Ginny held it out of her reach. "It's too extravagant!"

Springing to her feet, Ginny stood before Hermione, glaring down her freckled nose at her friend. Clutching the black rectangular box to her chest with her right hand, she flipped her hair ostentatiously over her left shoulder.

"Rubbish. You know you want it."

Hermione frowned but she did not respond. Ginny was right, of course. She did want the bracelet. Its arrival was significant, as well as the letter that came along with it.

Legolas fancied her.

Well, at least she hoped so.

Still, what more (or less) could she gather from such a luxurious gift? And his letter! He did say he was 'falling in love with her' and that he 'hoped she'd return his growing affections.' Wasn't that a clear enough sign that he was willing to take their relationship up a notch? Absolutely!

She was shocked and exhilarated and terrified and anxious all at once. Where she sat on her living room sofa, she could feel her heart beating a little faster than normal as the most pertinent thoughts and questions circled through her mind: I don't really know this man? Is this a good idea? He could be dangerous. What if he's not what I've believed him to be? What if he's actually an awful person who's been lying to me all this time?

And when she voiced these concerns with Ginny, this was her response:

"Hermione, it's a lot like if you'd met him in person, anyway. Like a blind date. The way I see it, this way is loads better. At least you can find out a bit more about him first before agreeing to a meet-up."

"But, Ginny, that bracelet!" Hermione eyed the black box still clutched in her friend's hands. "I'd like to keep it but I don't feel comfortable accepting a gift like that." Here, her face became a mask of doubt. "What if he thinks it's…you know…a down payment?"

Ginny smirked, a mischievous shine in her eyes. "A down payment for what?"

Hermione bit her lip. "For…for sex. Sexual favours."

Ginny's smirk deepened. "Do you want to have sex with him?"

"No!" cried Hermione hotly. "I don't know. Not yet."

Feigning ignorance, "But, Hermione, how are you two going to have sex if you're just sending each other letters? Are you going to write things like, 'Oh, Legolas! How I long to feel your big, hard cock—'"


Ginny laughed. "Right, right. Sorry. I won't tease you anymore. At least, not about the sex. Or the lack of it."

Hermione rolled her eyes. "Ginny, as hard as it may be for you to comprehend, sex is not the be all and end all to life."

Placing the box on coffee table, Ginny sat in the sofa again. Conjuring a brush, she proceeded to brush her already shiny hair into extra shininess.

"So says the woman who hasn't got any nookie in over a year." She stopped brushing her hair for a moment to give Hermione a concerned look. "Hermione, I'm happy for you and this Legolas bloke, but ever since Seamus, you haven't been physical with anyone." And then, the smirk and mischievous look returned. "Well…except for Lucius Malfoy."

Hermione's mouth opened partly in shock. She'd completely forgotten about that incident. And what an amazing feat, too, because for the past few days following that eventful day, she'd thought of nothing else. Before she went to bed, and just after she'd risen from it, all she'd thought about was the way Lucius Malfoy's face had come closer and closer, his head angling in just that way, his lips milliseconds away from touching hers in a kiss that was doubtless in its intensity.

Merlin. She'd just stood there. Stood there and waited for him to do it. Anticipating the moment. Her chest actually heaving as she'd breathed fast and deep from the excitement, the novelty that Lucius Malfoy was on the verge of kissing her.

That was a week ago. She'd not seen the man ever since. And during that time, she'd wondered: what would have happened had Ginny not interrupted? Well, of course, the obvious: they'd have kissed. But what then? What would have happened after that? The shop had been fairly empty with one or two customers enjoying a read in their respective seats, and she and Lucius had been secluded in the back, the storage room – though tiny it may be – readily accessible…

She would've kissed him back. Every single particle that made up her body knew, without a doubt, but with ample servings of shame, that she would have flung her arms around Lucius Malfoy's neck and kissed him back as hard and as with as much fervour as required. As a matter of fact, she might have done more at his provocation.

Shameful. Utterly, utterly shameful.

"We didn't do anything, though," mumbled Hermione. "Your loud mouth saw to that."

Ginny paused her brushing, face alight with interest. "Is that disappointment I hear?"

"No, it's relief, actually," Hermione lied, and she got to her feet. "Besides, I don't think he was serious. I think he was just trying to scare me off because he thought Draco and I had been snogging in the storage room."

Ginny nodded as she placed the hair brush on the coffee table. "I wouldn't put it past Malfoy. He's one evil git when he wants to be."

"Exactly," agreed Hermione. "Unlike Legolas, he's not a nice man. And the further I keep away from Lucius Malfoy, the better I will be."

"Hello, Miss Granger."


Well, there went her recently purchased quill. And to think she'd paid a whole galleon for it. Why did she even bother buying breakable things? It seemed inevitable that she'd test their durability, especially when in the presence of Lucius Malfoy. Really. This clumsiness needed to stop. It was becoming repetitive to the point of being annoying.

She'd been writing to Legolas wherein she had been thanking him for his overly generous gift, detailing her initial hesitancy to keep it, but how her friend had convinced her otherwise. She'd been just about to segue into a confession of her interest in furthering their relationship when, to her surprise, he had interrupted her.

She lifted her head so quickly, there was a short instance of pain in her neck.

"What are you doing here?" fell from her mouth before she could stop herself. She'd had all intentions to say, "Hello, Mr Malfoy," in return but that ship had sailed. She considered rectifying her tone of voice to sound less caustic, but instead she stayed silent.

He peered at her curiously. "To purchase a book per usual." He smiled. "Should there be any other reason?"

Frowning, she couldn't subdue the angry undertones in her voice. "No, there really shouldn't. Just making sure you're not up to any more of your deviousness."

Feigning innocence. "Pray tell, what sort of deviousness would I be engaged in?"

Her frown deepened into a scowl. Pushing aside the parchment and the broken quill, she intertwined her fingers to appear professional and in control.

In quiet, clipped tones: "Mr Malfoy, I did not appreciate that little stunt you pulled the other day. I ask that you never do it again or you will find yourself banned permanently from my bookshop."

"A permanent ban? The punishment exceeds the crime."

Irritated, "I beg to differ. You were trying to scare me off because you thought Draco and I were...were…canoodling – "

"Were you?"

"O-of c-course not," she stuttered under his direct gaze, astonished by how important it had suddenly become for her to tell him the truth. "Draco and I didn't…w-we've never – "

The intensity of his stare diminished. Softly, he said,

"Good." Then: "I apologise, Miss Granger, for my behaviour. And to further demonstrate my remorse, I'd like to invite you to dinner tomorrow evening. Would that be acceptable?"

Surprised and still struggling to retain a hold on her righteous indignation, she felt as though this had all happened too fast for her to comprehend. Later, she told herself that it was her confusion that led her to say: "I guess…"

A very satisfied look graced Lucius Malfoy's face, and, nodding once, he turned away and left her bookshop.

What the…what just happened?


I've never seen nor received anything as beautiful as the bracelet you've sent me, and for you to claim with such confidence that mine outshines that of this lovely gift flatters me immensely.

Yes. Of course I will return your affections. I quite like you very much, Legolas, and in 'that' way. I confess I've often thought about you outside of my writing you letters. Your charm and wit and humour are so alluring, and I feel as if I've known you my entire life already. Where have you been all this time?

A few nights ago, I tried to imagine what you looked like, but then I stopped myself because I felt as though to imagine another man's face would be doing you a disservice. I cannot help imagining your voice, though. From your letters, I've gathered you'll have one of those smooth voices. Cultured. When you speak, everyone listens, and maybe the way you talk gives everyone the impression that you're enigmatic. I'm sure you've applied it well in regards to having a few women do your bidding?

Your (not so) secret admirer,


Hermione stood by the door, outside of Fred's, trying her best to calm her anxiety through deep breathing and talking to herself.

Deep inhalation. "Ok, Hermione, you can do this." Deep exhalation. "It's just dinner." Deep inhalation. "It may not be a great idea." Deep exhalation. "But it's just dinner. With Lucius Malfoy."

She looked down at her simple ensemble: a short-sleeved, button-down, hunter-green shirt, a slim pair of black trousers, and a comfortable pair of black ballet pumps. Although the pumps fit well with her clothing, she'd pondered wearing something a little more…sophisticated? Some fabulous heels. Probably a nicer top, too. And maybe instead of trousers, she should've worn that pretty red dress with the thin black belt she'd bought the other day –

No! This is fine. What I'm wearing is fine. No heels. Not after that debacle the other day in this same restaurant.

She exhaled one more time, resolved to get this done with as much expedience as possible. She'd had many opportunities throughout the day to send a missive to Lucius Malfoy rejecting his offer, but every time she'd sat down with parchment, quill and ink, she'd suffered with her conscience; her inability to be so impolite. From her mother's numerous lessons on manners, it was not good etiquette to accept someone's dinner invitation then reject them the very next day for no rhyme nor reason.

Hoisting the straps of her small handbag a little more securely onto her shoulder, she smoothed her palms on the thighs of her trousers then made her way inside the restaurant. A quick turn of her head, and she spotted him sitting in the same inconspicuous corner he'd been in last. When approached by a waitress to be seated, she pointed at Lucius and walked to where he sat.

He rose to his feet, and when she sat, so did he. Hermione eyed this with great interest.

"And here I'd thought chivalry was dead," she commented.

"Possibly. But I've intentions to continue its legacy."

He intertwined his fingers and placed his hands on the table. Again, he'd taken off his robes, foregone the charcoal waistcoat, and was wearing…a hunter-green button down shirt.

They noticed their similarity of clothing simultaneously.

"What are the odds," he said, a small smile curving his lips.

Hermione did not know whether she felt annoyed or amused. She half considered transfiguring her shirt into a different colour, but decided against it. So what if she and Lucius appeared as one of those couples that liked to dress alike?

We are not a couple. This is just dinner.

She shifted nervously in her seat and then cleared her throat. "Why did you invite me to dinner, Mr Malfoy?"

A waiter came by and enquired whether they'd like something to drink, or were ready to order. Hermione asked for orange juice. Lucius took water.

"To apologise for my uncouth behaviour, of course," he finally answered after the waiter had departed.

"I don't believe you," she said. "Men like you do not go to such great lengths for someone like me."

The smile on his face disappeared. It was as if she'd been watching one still of Lucius Malfoy smiling, and some invisible hand had just pulled it away and left the original: straight mouth, impassive gaze.

"You'd be surprised," he said in cryptic tones.

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"It means as it sounds, Miss Granger. You do not know me well enough to declare so confidently what I would or would not do. I would never be so presumptuous towards you."

Chastened with the knowledge that he was right, she replied in less biting tones, "I'm sorry. That was impolite. I just…" her eyes wandered over to the neighbouring tables, watching as the other guests enjoyed their meals and conversations. "You can't fault me for being sceptical, Mr Malfoy. I just can't believe you'd willingly invite me to dinner without some ulterior motive."

"When did I deny that I have an ulterior motive?"

She turned her head sharply to stare at him. "What?"

The waiter came again, and irritated that the young man had delayed Lucius' response, she ordered the meal she'd had the last time with Harry and Ron. Lucius, however, took his own sweet time to make his choice, obviously aware of her growing impatience.

When the waiter left again, she did not hesitate. "Do you have ulterior motives concerning me, Mr Malfoy?"

"Miss Granger, it would not be called an 'ulterior motive' if I am to make you privy of it."

She glared at him, her anger like a spit of fire that had been put out, but was now reignited. She got to her feet.

"You have some gall, Mr Malfoy. You lured me here under false pretenses. I can't believe I fell for your ludicrous excuse. From this point on, stay the bloody hell away from me!"

Grabbing up her handbag, Hermione swiftly made her way out of the restaurant, conscious of the many pairs of eyes following her. If the news that she'd been seen dining with the 'prestigious' Lucius Malfoy didn't make it into the Daily Prophet, then her angry departure – most likely spun by a glib writer into a 'lovers' spat' – surely would.

She'd just taken her first steps out of the restaurant, and had been about to Apparate home, when someone grabbed her shoulder and spun her around.

"That, Miss Granger, is going to be a problem," said Lucius, and before she could make an angry retort, or any kind of statement, really, he shoved her up against the wall of the restaurant, placed his palms against her cheeks and kissed her.

Shock paralysed her. For a few seconds, what clouded her brain the most was the unavoidable, undeniable fact that Lucius Malfoy was kissing her. Lucius Malfoy's mouth was on hers. Kissing.

She inhaled deeply. Lemon and rosemary. Her rigidity softened. And when Lucius dropped his hands from her face to coil her hands around his neck, she let him. And when he curved his hands around her waist to pull her against his body, she let him. And when he pried her lips apart with the tip of his tongue to deepen their kiss, sweet Merlin, she let him.

Stop it! Stop! Push him away!

But how could she when, as soon as his tongue touched hers, it was as though some fire had kindled in her belly? Her hands had come to life, smoothing along the back of his neck, the tips of her fingers amidst the strands of his hair. Lucius kissed her and she kissed him back. Deeply, and with an urgency that was bordering on shameful as she pressed herself as close as possible against his front.

And when they broke their kiss, they did not immediately pull apart. Their breaths mingled, their noses and foreheads touched. His hands were bunched in the material of her shirt, a few of his fingers grazing her bare skin, and her hands were still wrapped around his neck.

"You taste like oranges," he said softly.

This was bad. Wasn't it?

This was wrong. Wasn't it?

She liked Legolas. She did not like Lucius Malfoy.

Lucius Malfoy was not a good man. He hated her? She hated him? Was that it?

He released her. Weakly, she did the same.

"Goodnight, Miss Granger."

"Goodnight, Mr Malfoy."

And he went back inside the restaurant.


A Harry Potter Story
by MizSphinx

Part 6 of 12

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