Continuing Tales


A Harry Potter Story
by MizSphinx

Part 8 of 12

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Are you one of those believers of 'everything happens for a reason'? I've the suspicion you view life a lot more clinically than that. I think I'm a bit in between. Every action has a reaction, of course, but then again, some things are like fate and are bound to happen no matter what direction or path you choose. For instance, you and I meeting could be explained scientifically: we both applied for a penfriend service, and got what we paid for – a penfriend. But then, we each could have been matched with someone else. We each could've been paired with someone not quite to our liking. However, Fate intervened. Fate knew that we'd be the perfect fit for each other.



She handed him the bag of frozen vegetables she'd retrieved – or yanked, if one judged from her huffing and puffing afterwards – from the depths of her freezer. He eyed the package as disdainfully as one could with one good eye, and the other swiftly turning an unpleasant shade of purple.

"What am I to do with the frozen produce, Miss Granger? Eat it?"

She rolled her eyes. "No, silly. You're to place it over your eye. It'll ease the pain while I look for my bottle of Murtlap Essence."

"Dittany is best," he replied as he took the proffered bag of vegetables grudgingly. With one final distasteful look at the bright yellow packaging with the smiling carrots and peas on it, he placed it on his purpling left eye.

Hermione frowned at him. "Well, I'm very sorry, Mr Malfoy, but I, unlike you, do not have the means necessary to purchase Dittany."

He pinned her with his unobstructed eye. "Assumptions once again, Miss Granger. I make it myself."

"Really?" She could not hide her surprise. "What next? You're going to confess your secret hobby as a Potions Master?"

"Is that so impossible to believe?"

She eyed his expensive robes draped over the back of her sofa, the silver ring with its emerald inset on his finger, his dragon hide boots…

"Yes. It is. It's hard to conceive you labouring your days and nights away over a steamy, smelly cauldron." She then smirked at his hair: shiny and healthy. "After all, I don't think you'll ever suffer the injustice of lanky hair."

"As hard as it is to conceive me kissing you, and you kissing me in return?"

Her smirk disappeared instantly, and was replaced with the rapid reddening of her face. The wind out of her sails, she was reduced to her usual stammering.

"I…err...Right. I-I'll go look for that Murtlap Essence."

And off she scurried to locate the potion.

An hour earlier

Hermione did not only sell books in Tea & Tome. Occasionally, she was requested to repair and restore them as well. Sometimes, a book's ink had so faded it was illegible, or its binding had snapped, or the pages torn or scrawled upon by a mischievous child. She did not accept every request, only the books that looked particularly challenging to restore, or were of a valuable nature.

Book restoration was difficult work. It required intense concentration, patience to stay in one position for long lengths of time, and tenacity to see it through to the finish. The non-magical books were the easiest as they had no interfering power while she worked on them. However, magical books often carried their own aura. Most of the time magical books were just as simple as non-magical ones to restore, but occasionally, she'll encounter a book determined to defy her.

These defiant books even exhibited a few human traits: stubbornness to be opened, unwillingness to be fixed, or anger when she pointed her wand at them (they liked to snap their pages at her fingers). Hermione did not mind, though, for in time she'd come to realise, like some humans, these books had suffered either abuse or neglect from their owners, and were reacting defensively. She'd also come to learn that if she touched them gently or sang nursery rhymes to them, eventually they became less averse to being fixed.

Hermione liked repairing books, not only because she enjoyed seeing them restored to their former magnificence, or because they were like exciting puzzles just waiting to be solved. Most pleasurable was the handsome payment she received when she'd completed it. A successful restoration often garnered the same value as if she'd sold seven of her priciest books, and since it usually took her a week to fix a book, the compensation was greatly rewarding.

Currently, Hermione was trying her best to revitalise the ink of one of the most expensive books she'd ever received. It was a book of poems by a famous German poet named Gerald Blau, and his great-great-great-great niece, wanting to sell it for as much gold as she could get, had commissioned Hermione to restore it. But try as she might, the book refused to keep Hermione's ink enhancements.

Two weeks had already passed, ten different nursery rhymes had been sung (some in awkward, halting German), and continuous gentle rubbing had been given, and still the book remained intractable. Frustrated, Hermione scowled at the small, black book.

"Why won't you take my changes?" she grumbled.

"Perhaps you are not using the appropriate methods."

Still scowling, she looked up and met Lucius Malfoy's gaze.

"How long have you been standing there?" she asked, not trying to hide her irritation.

Nonchalant, "Long enough."

"And what do you know about book restoration, anyway?" she challenged.

"Not much, I confess," he replied.


"But my inexperience does not discount my advice, Miss Granger," he continued. "As well as it is known: if you've tried an avenue repeatedly and it does not work, then it is time to consider another."

"And what other avenue should I consider, Mr Malfoy?" she asked in snarky tones.

"Asking for help, of course."

She lifted an eyebrow. "From who? You?"

He gave her a look that clearly showed he questioned her intelligence.

"We've already established that I've no authority in this field, Miss Granger," he answered in dry tones. "I meant that you should request assistance from a compeer."

"Right. Of course." Of course, she thought, looking at the book, and angry with herself for not considering that idea sooner. Consulting with another book repairer should have been her first decision once she'd acknowledged the futility of her efforts. But she hadn't acknowledged it. Just as obstinate as Gerald Blau's book of poems, she'd been determined to solve the puzzle all on her own, no matter how frustrated she became. Unfortunately, it was taking time, she'd not made any headway, and she had only two days remaining before she had to return the book to the niece.

She lifted her eyes to meet his again, smiling shyly. "Thank you, Mr Malfoy. I apologise for my snappishness earlier."

He leant forward, and it was then Hermione noticed his hair was free of its usual ribbon. A few strands fell over his shoulder, and their movement sparked remembrance of the sex fantasy she'd had of him. She remembered the lewd scene she'd imagined, the way she'd been bent over her kitchen counter, her legs spread, Lucius behind her, in her, filling her, fucking her…

Her face grew hot, and she could no longer meet his gaze for an irrational fear that he'd immediately know her thoughts overcame her. It also galled her that with the memory came the thought: what would it be like having sex with Lucius Malfoy? Would it be as fantastic as she'd imagined? She dared a glance at him again. He was watching her. Yes, it'd be very good. Insanely good. She just knew it, and this knowledge made her blush even harder.

"Miss Granger, are you alright?" he asked, and Hermione refused to believe his tone of voice had taken on a silken flavour.

"Yes. Of course. I-I'm quite…I'm very alright. Very much so," she babbled, avoiding his gaze, and pretending to be suddenly busy. "I've just got so many things to do. So many, many things, of course. Lots. So I don't think I can…" she got down quickly off her stool, "…I don't think I can talk anymore. With you. Not that I don't like talking to you…I really like talking to you. I just have many things…right. OK."

She grabbed up her wand and the book, and practically ran to the storage room.

Ten or so minutes later after trying to will Lucius Malfoy out of her shop, Hermione finally decided to stop hiding and return to her desk. Exhaling heavily, she got up from the box she'd been sitting on, and told herself that it wasn't good business practices to keep customers waiting, or leave them unattended. It was times like these she wished for an attendant. Someone to help her with the customers when she needed a quick moment for herself. Unfortunately, she hadn't a steady enough income as yet to pay an employee. Nevertheless, it probably wouldn't hurt to acquire someone part-time – or maybe even a teenager willing to accept a greatly reduced pay.

Although she knew he was still in her shop, Hermione harboured hope that some urgent business had suddenly called him elsewhere in her absence. If that wasn't the case, then at least, when he came to make his purchase, he'd move along swiftly and out of her bookshop. She really ought to ban him. Just for her peace of mind. In any case, she was going to close in the next forty-five minutes, so he would have to leave. Evening had rolled in, and she was tired and hungry. She might even close earlier.

Cautiously, she opened the door and peered outside. Quiet – which was not unusual because, after all, it was a bookshop. Still, probably he'd left –

"Miss Granger, I did not want to believe it, but my eyes do not deceive me. You are hiding from me."

She turned her head sharply to the right and found Lucius leaning his shoulder against the wall, his arms folded, facing her.

She struggled to sound haughty but failed. Words tumbled from her mouth instead, "That's ridiculous! I'm not hiding from you. Why would I be hiding from you? If I'm hiding, it'd mean I'm afraid of you, and I'm not afraid of you, Mr Malfoy. Why would I be? And why are standing there, anyway? Have you been lay-waiting me? Why would you be – "

He stood up straight, reached out, grabbed her hand and pulled her to him. She did not go willingly. Her left hand held fast to the door knob as she tried to yank her other hand from his grip. She was momentarily victorious when her hand slipped free, but he recaptured it, walked her backwards to press her against the door, and forcefully extricated her fingers from the door knob. He pulled her again and pressed her up against the wall.

She glared up at him. "I can't believe you have the gall to manhandle me like this! If you hurt me, I swear I will – "

"Miss Granger, be quiet."

And still holding her hands between their bodies, he bent his head and kissed her.

Hermione hadn't expected a kiss and was surprised when she received one. Her body grew still for a moment as her brain caught up to speed. Lucius Malfoy was kissing her…again. And she thought, this is unreal, then, but it's quite pleasant. And she allowed him to kiss her, allowed herself to kiss him.

Their mouths opened, their tongues touched, tasted. The kiss deepened, became hungrier. All this time they'd been toeing the line, but now they'd crossed it. When Lucius released her hands, she wrapped them around his neck and pulled him as close as was possible. Breasts squashed against his chest, she kissed him with unashamed greediness.

She wanted him so badly, the yearning felt like a physical pain thrumming insistently in her lower belly. Seconds ago, she'd been fighting him, and now, she behaved as if his proximity to her body was akin in its necessity as oxygen to her lungs. Every action has a reaction. What would the consequence be to have a man like Lucius Malfoy? Did she even care?

Too fast, she thought, and yet she did not stop. She did not stop him when his mouth meandered from her lips and down to the side of her neck. She did not stop him when his hand glided up beneath her shirt to cup her breast through her bra. She did not stop him when his other hand drifted to the buttons on her trousers…

"Don't stop," she whispered.

"Father? Granger?"

Outdoing marble statues, Hermione and Lucius became rigid.

"Father! What the hell are you doing to Granger?"

Lucius recovered first. He withdrew his hand from beneath Hermione's shirt, unhooked her stiffened arms from around his neck, straightened, and turned to look at Draco.

Coolly, "Must I explain the workings of sexual intercourse to you again, Draco?"

OK, Earth, work your magic. I need a hole to hide in. Please provide it. Abracadabra Boomshakalaka! Open Sesame!

Or maybe it was better she use real magic and create a hole for herself. Or maybe, she should just Apparate away from this moment. This undeniably mortifying moment.

"You bastard," Draco said with loathing. Hermione could not see his face for Lucius' frame blocked her, but she had little doubt it was contorted in anger. "You sick bastard. You knew I…you knew how I felt, and you still…How could you, father?"

How he felt? Felt about what?

Lucius stepped forwards. "Draco, I didn't mean to – "

"Don't fucking apologise! Don't you dare!" Draco shouted. "You're not sorry. You're never sorry, you bastard!" And in a fit of rage, Draco Malfoy pulled his fist back and punched his own father. Lucius staggered backwards, nearly squishing Hermione where she stood behind him. Embarrassment forgotten, Hermione cried out his name uselessly, as she eased herself away from the wall to stand before Lucius. His hand covered his left eye, but he was still conscious.

Hermione turned on Draco. "Draco, how could you –" but her words were cut short when she saw the look on Draco's face as he stared at her. There was no anger, no hate, only hurt, betrayal, and disappointment.

You knew I…you knew how I felt…

Oh. Oh.

She was simultaneously refilled with shame and tired of suffering it. Stepping closer, "Draco, I'm sorry, I-I didn't know. I –"

"Right," he said stiffly. "Well, now you do."

He turned and walked away.

The bottle of Murtlap Essence was found in the bottom drawer of her bedside table. Only one third of the liquid remained, but she believed it would be enough for Lucius' bruised eye. He'd not wanted to go to the local medicentre, and she'd not trusted him to Apparate home safely. She'd also been unwilling to Side-Along Apparate to Malfoy Manor for fear of meeting Draco there, so she'd brought him to her flat instead.

She sat on the bed for a moment to think.

What an eventful day.

The memory of Draco's face, the hurt and betrayal etched clearly in his features loomed large and lucid in Hermione's mind. She closed her eyes as guilt washed over her. How could she have done that to him? How awful it must have been for him to see the girl he fancied snogging another man ardently. The other man being his father at that.

And if she judged from Draco's words, Lucius had known Draco had fancied her. So why had he pursued her, then? Had…had it all just been a game to him? To see if he could have her before his son? Could – no, would – Lucius Malfoy be that wicked? That heartless? Totally disregard his son's and her feelings only to sate some sick, competitive urge?


She sprang up from the bed, a range of emotions coursing through her. This situation had a solution: get the truth from Lucius. How many times had she told herself to do just that? And still, she'd yet to follow her own advice. Well, he was in her flat now. There was no avoiding it this time. She was going to demand the truth and he was going to give it.

Marching out of her bedroom and down the short hallway to her living room, she began,

"Mr Malfoy, I need to –"

But Lucius Malfoy was no longer there. In his place was the bag of frozen vegetables on her coffee table – now leaking moisture onto the glass surface – and a piece of parchment lying beside an opened bottle of ink, the quill still inside. The parchment only contained a short note in a familiar handwriting. Vaguely, Hermione realised that it resembled Legolas'. It read,

Thank you for your hospitality, Miss Granger. Until next time,



Actually, I've often been one to believe in destiny. I think that if given four paths, regardless that you will encounter different journeys on each path, they will all lead to similar destinations. It may be thrilling to consider our reality weak, and easily susceptible to the slightest change, but I doubt this. Even if time-turning is considered, I am of the opinion that whatever a time-turner changes in the past, only delays it in the future. Therefore, forgive me if I don't find our meeting very surprising, for I sincerely believe that whatever path I had chosen in life, my sweet Athena, it would have somehow led me to you.



A Harry Potter Story
by MizSphinx

Part 8 of 12

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