A Change of Heart

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Chapter 13: The Job Offer

Hermione was somewhat disoriented by Draco grabbing her hand and suddenly Apparating with her like he did. She looked around, and didn’t know quite where they were, wondering if they might be at his house. She'd never been to his house before, so she asked, “Is this your house?”

“Yes,” he barked. Then, he walked up the stairs, leaving her alone. She went into what she assumed was the living room to wait for him.

He came back downstairs after a short while and she said, “Are you going to show me around?”

“No,” he said. Then he handed her the book.

“Why haven’t you brought me here before?” she asked, as she put the book down on a chair.

“I don’t know,” Draco answered. He looked angry.

“Do you live here by yourself?” she asked, forging onward, not taking into account his angry countenance.

“Are we playing twenty questions?” he asked snidely.

“I’m sorry.” She picked up the book and sat with it on her lap.

He sat on one of the couches, and put his feet up on the coffee table.

“Do your parents still live at the Manor?” she asked.

Draco looked at her and said, “I thought we weren’t playing twenty questions.”

“What's your problem?” she pleaded as she stood. She threw the book back on the chair.

“You have fifteen more questions,” he said with scorn.

“Fine!” She sat beside him on the couch. “Do your parents know about us?”

“No,” he answered.

“Why not?” she asked.

“I have no clue.” He faked a yawn.

“Am I boring you?” she asked.

“Do you want to waste one of your turns with a rhetorical question?” he asked.

Hermione stood up, picked up the book, turned suddenly and threw it at him. It was a rather large book, and if it had hit him, it might have hurt, but her aim wasn’t as good as the time she threw the apple, so it landed on the couch next to him. He picked it up, stood up suddenly, and grabbed her arm as she was retreating from the room, and said, “Don’t you want your book, Miss Honesty?”

What was that supposed to mean? Did he somehow know the truth? “What did you mean by that?” Hermione was at her wit’s end.

Draco walked away from her and sat back on the couch. “I seem to recall a conversation I just had with you in the nursery of the Potter’s house; something about being honest with each other, and not telling lies. Remember? It was just a couple of hours ago. Do you recall the conversation to which I am referring?”

“I recall,” she huffed, folding her arms across her chest. “I also recall asking you if you would give me the book back, and not ask any questions.” ‘He knows’, she thought. She didn’t know how, but she knew he knew.

Draco stood up, and said, “Show your self out. Goodbye, Miss Integrity.”

Hermione sighed. Draco started toward the stairs. She reached out for his arm as he walked by, and he spun around so fast, it almost knocked her over. “Why are you angry?” she asked.

“If you won’t be honest with me, I don’t feel compelled to be honest with you! You don’t deserve to know why I’m angry,” Draco countered, pointing at her chest. “Unless you want to tell me why you want the damn book back!”

“You said it was my book.”

He screamed out of frustration. “So help me, Granger, I’m going to shake the living daylights out of you!” he said as he grabbed her arms.

“Lay one finger on me, and prepare to become a soprano,” she threatened.

“You know what?” Draco said, as he let her go, “I no longer care. I apparently love you more than you love me. I’ve been honest with you since that day at the hotel. If you can’t afford me the same luxury, then I don’t think I want to see you anymore.” He again started up the stairs.

“GET BACK HERE!” she yelled, and actually stomped her foot. Then she said, “You just said you loved me.”

“You’re so thick, Granger,” he said back.

“You’ve never come right out and said it before,” she said, meekly.

“I didn’t know you needed daily affirmations!” he shouted. Calming down a bit, he sat down on the stairs. “You should know that I love you.”

She came and sat beside him. “You should know that I love you as well.”

“How would I know that?” he asked, “When you can’t even confide in me.”

“You heard me talking to Harry, didn’t you?” Hermione asked him.

He looked at her, and with the palm of his hand, he hit her forehead and said, “About time you figured it out, Einstein.” He moved closer to her on the stairs. “Why didn’t you just come to me? I would have helped you out.”

“Draco,” Hermione began, “I’m an adult, and I have to learn to solve my own problems, and some things don’t concern you.”

“The book concerns me,” he said with spite.

“I can’t count on you to always bail me out of my problems,” she concluded.

“Why not?” He really wanted to know. He was used to people bailing him out of his problems, and he figured that was just another thing people did for the person that they loved.

“Draco, please understand, I’m alone now, I don’t have a family anymore. I need to learn to take care of my own problems. Selling that book, to get the money that the Parkinsons reneged on, was the only way I could see to solve the problem,” she explained, standing.

“Come back here,” he ordered, so she did. He pulled her back down on the stairs, to sit on the step below him, between his legs. “I’ll say this only once, so you'd better take heed. You may not have a mum and dad anymore, but you have me. I’m your family now, and it doesn’t mean you’re a weak person just because you ask someone for help. That’s part of being in a relationship, Hermione. If you can’t handle that, you should leave now.”

She tried to stand, and he pulled her back. “Where are you going?”

“You told me to leave,” Hermione said, defeated.

“I said if you couldn’t handle it, to leave. Now, do you have anything else to tell me?” he asked.

She leaned against his right leg, and turned her face up to look at his face. “Not at the moment,” she began, and then she said, “Wait, I just thought of something. You’re a git.”

“Gee, tell me something you haven’t told me before,” he said, pulling her hair.

Hermione sat back, and he enveloped her with his arms. Her arms were draped across his knees. “Here goes,” she said, “full disclosure. You want the truth; I’ll tell you the truth. Pansy’s family withdrew their donation of 25,000 galleons that Gringotts was using to help pay for the cost of the gala. I was told to cut that much from my budget, but everything from the hotel to the entertainment, to the food, was already all paid for, so I told Mr. Moss I'd ask you for the money, but he said the Board of Directors expressly prohibited me from asking you. It would be unseemly.”

He kissed her cheek, and said, “I’ll make it an anonymous donation. They won’t know it’s from me; 25,000 galleons is nothing.”

Hermione said, “Draco, do you happen to just have that much money lying around your house?”

“Of course not,” he laughed, wondering why she asked that.

“Do you have an account with any other Wizarding Bank, of which I’m not aware?” she asked.

“Are we still playing twenty questions?” he joked. She turned to look at him again, and frowned, and then moved to sit beside him. He answered finally. “No.”

“Then don’t you think that bunch of greedy little goblins that comprise the Board of Directors would deduce that the money came from you, if you withdraw that much, and then that much is just magically donated.”

“I’ll tell them I need a new pair of shoes,” he said with a smile.

“Draco, stop joking,” she commanded.

“Whom are you planning on selling the book to, may I ask?” Draco was tired of all this.

“I was discussing the whole thing with your assistant, Scott, the other day, after our meeting, and he said he knew someone who collected rare books, and he said he could arrange for them to buy the book in exchange for a donation to the gala fund,” Hermione explained.

Draco narrowed his eyes, and said, “You really do know Scott's gay, right?”

“So you keep telling me.” She laughed. “I think he might actually have a crush on you,” she said.

“No he doesn’t, because he’s not really gay,” he said, hitting her arm.

“Whatever you say,” she replied, “and stop hitting me.”

“Let me get his straight,” Draco finally spoke, “you confided in Potter, and even in my assistant Scott, but you didn’t confide in me. How lovely.”

She didn’t know what to say to that statement, because he made a very good point.

He stood up and walked back down the few steps to the foyer. She followed. Draco said, “This is my fault. The Parkinsons withdrew their money because of me.”

“No, because of us. It’s my fault as well,” Hermione reminded.

“No, the blame goes to me,” he amended.

“The blame?” She didn’t like him applying ‘blame’ to their relationship.

“Whatever,” he said distracted, waving his hand in front of his face. He was pacing around the foyer. “What’s the good of having money if I can’t use if for good? Whenever I want to use it for evil, sure, no problem, but when I want to use it for good, I can’t.” He yelled to no one in particular.

“The book will go to someone who will appreciate it as much as I do. I’m alright with this decision.” She put her arms around his waist. “Anyway, I have four other copies of Hogwarts a History at home.”

He kissed the top of her head, and said, “But none of them are from me, none of them are a rare second edition, and none of them cost one million galleons.”

She looked at him, smiled, though she felt sad, and said, “You can buy me another book. That’s what we’ll do for our first date. You can buy me a book and I can buy you one.”

“A book. How exciting,” he deadpanned. “You’re such a hopeless romantic. What shall I buy you for our first anniversary, a calendar?”

“What gift would you prefer?” she inquired with a small laugh.

He touched her cheek and said, “Something involving you, a bathtub, whip crème, and a big red bow.”

She gave him a strange look, and then said, “I have a strange imagine burned in my brain now, and I'm going to ignore it by asking if I may I see your house.”

“You may see my bedroom.” He winked.

“That would be nice,” she smiled.

“You’re a brazen hussy,” he joked.

Hermione shook her head and said, “Honestly, Draco. No one talks like that anymore. Sometimes you speak as if you’re from a different century.”

He hit her arm, yet again.

“Does that mean I’m it?” she asked him.

Draco looked confused and said, “What does that mean?”

“You know,” she said, “the child’s game. Tag.”

“There’s a child’s game called ‘it’? And why did you call me ‘Tag’?" He groaned. "Are you talking Muggle to me, again?” Draco was very confused.

“Are you serious?” she asked. “Do you really not know? There’s a Muggle child’s game called ‘tag’ where someone is ‘it’ and the person who's ‘it’ has to chase the other people around, and when they ‘tag’ another person, then they’re ‘it’ and they have to tag someone else.” She realized her explanation didn’t make a lot of sense.

He walked up to her, felt her forehead, and said, “Are you delirious? Do you have a fever?”

She slapped his hand away, and said, “No you idiot. Let me explain again.”

“I don’t want you to,” he said, seriously, “it sounds like a stupid game. Muggle children must not have any fun.”

Hermione sat back on the stairs and said, “What do wizard children play? Who has the biggest broomstick?” As soon as she said it, she regretted it.

“Yes, and I always won that one,” he joked, wiggly his eyebrows.

“Did you also play, 'pass around the cauldron'?” she joked.

“I loved that one,” he said. “Fun times, indeed.”

“Then I bet you really loved 'hide the house elves',” she said, standing back up.

Draco smiled and said, “That was an actual game.” Then he snickered.

“You’re talking rubbish. If you’re serious, then that’s awful,” she chastised.

“They didn’t mind, unless you forgot to find them,” Draco said. Then he walked up to her, hit her on her arm and said, “You’re it, Granger!” and he ran away from her as fast as he could.

She didn’t know what possessed her, but she started chasing him. They ran into his dining room, and around the table three times. He finally slid right over the damn thing, to try to escape her, but he slipped on a rug in the foyer and fell to the floor.

 She looked down at him and said, “Are you okay?” through her laughter.

He raised his arm, and said, “Help me up, Granger.”

She walked over to him, and slapped his hand, and yelled, “You're it, loser!” and she ran up the stairs.

He stayed on the floor for a moment and yelled, “No sympathy for the maimed at all.” Then he stood up and ran after her.

She ran into one of the many bedrooms. She hid behind a wardrobe. He came down the hall and said, “Come out, come out, wherever you are? I’ll find you, my little Muggle-born beauty!”

She actually felt somewhat anxious. Her breathing became ragged. She decided to venture her head around the corner of the wardrobe, and as she inched it out slowly, she was shocked beyond belief when she saw that he was standing right in front of her. She let out a blood-curdling scream and hit him several times with her hands.

“YOU SCARED ME!!” she yelled. He wrapped his arms around her waist and threw her on the bed, and then he jumped on the bed and landed on her.

“GET OFF!” Hermione screamed. They fell back on the bed, side by side, both out of breath. “Honestly, you’re 28 years old - acting like a child,” she scolded, out of breath.

“And how old are you?” he asked, poking her ribs. Then he said, “You're it!” and he jumped off the bed and bounded out of the room.

She was tired of playing, but Hermione Granger was not a quitter. Also, she liked to win everything she did. She couldn't let him tag her last. She would tag him one more time and then they could quit. She walked out of the room and started searching the house for him.

Honestly, did he need a six-bedroom house? She looked for twenty minutes, and she hadn’t even left the upstairs. She was yelling his name. Where was he? She went into what must have been his bedroom.

She looked all around, and as she did, she picked up a few things that were on the dresser and the desk. She decided it was a cold looking room, because there were no personal affects at all, and only assumed it was his room, because it was the largest bedroom in the house. Opening the closet, she saw his clothes contained inside.

She sat on the bed, and said out loud, but to herself, “I’m going to get him a picture of me, to put on his night table.”

Falling back on the bed, staring at the ceiling, she thought of how late it had become, and how she had to work the next day. Where was he? She yelled, at the top of her voice, “DRACO!”

Suddenly, something, or someone, grabbed her ankle. She yelled again, and removed her ankle from the person’s icy cold hands. She jumped up on the bed, still screaming. If it was Draco, he had yet to reveal himself. She sat back on the bed, and rolled over on her stomach. Slowly, she looked over the edge of the bed, but didn’t see anyone.

She moved back to the center of the bed, and her body came into contact with something hard. Turning around quickly, she screamed for the third time that evening. He jumped on her, and put his full body weight top of her, forcing her to her back.

“You’re a loud little thing!” he said, and then added, “In this picture you’re going to get for me, for my nightstand, will you have clothing on or not, or just whipped crème and a red bow?”

She was breathing hard. He didn’t know if she was still frightened, or if she was as excited as he was. He sat on her, straddling her body, and began to tell her, in a calm voice. “Sh, Hermione. It’s okay.”

Leaning down to kiss her lips softly, he decided right then that he was going to make love to her, and there would be no interruptions this time. He leaned over and kissed her again. This time, he played with her lips for a while, and then he kissed her long and hard. He lay beside her, and kissed her neck. He put his hand on her neck.

He watched her for a moment. He let his fingers feel her pulse. It was still rapid. From the game they had just played, or from the anticipation of what was to come? Her eyes were shut. What did that mean? He ran his hand down the center of her chest. He rested it on her stomach. He reached under her shirt. He played with the hem of her shirt for a moment. He kissed her cheek, her forehead, her lips, and her neck. He put his hand under her shirt. He had yet to touch her breasts.

He kissed her mouth, hungry for her. Starving for her. She kissed him back. She was just as famished. He pushed aside her bra, and gently pinched her left nipple. She hummed. He liked that. It was like he was fine-tuning her.

He moved from her, and removed his clothing. All of it. She looked at him. She didn’t say anything. He had such broad shoulders. Broader than she imagined. He had a nice body. She blushed, which made him blush. She put her hand up to her mouth and giggled.

He said, “Do you see something funny?” She laughed again. He crawled up her body, unbuttoned her jeans, then removed her shoes and socks. She let him do it all. She just remained still. He pulled down her pants. He threw them off the bed, ran his fingertips up her right leg, across her pelvic bone, and down the left leg. He straddled her again, and she turned her head.

He tilted her chin up with his finger and thumb and said, “I want your full attention, Granger.”

She took a deep breath, watching intently when he removed her shirt. She now was in only her knickers and bra. He kissed her stomach, his lips twirled around her navel. She giggled again. His breath was warm and moist on her skin. He put both hands under her bra straps, and slowly pulled them down her arms. He pulled her bra down more, and then unclasped the back, then threw it off the bed. With a hand on each breasts, his thumbs pressed down on her nipples. He bent down and kissed one, then the other. She hummed again. That was the most erotic sound Draco had ever heard.

His fingers lightly traced her areolas. He then let his fingertips lightly travel under each breast. He traced her rib cage. He was being so gentle, but his touch was burning her, marking her, branding her. She was his.

Hermione said, “Draco, please.” ‘What did she want?’ he wondered. He'd soon find out.

He removed her knickers. He let his fingertips gracefully trace her hip and pelvic bone, then the fingers of one hand travel to where her heat was, and explored her with his fingertips, just lightly touching. His mouth was slowly following the path along her body that his fingers had just taken, as his hands played along.

He couldn’t take his eyes off of her. She had her eyes closed once more. She found his touch electrifying, and terrifying at the same time. His touches, his caresses, were so tentative, that she almost felt she was imagining things. He continued to kiss each breast, as his hand brought her to a near climax.

She felt a mixture of pleasure, pain, and gratification. He lowered himself so that he was between her legs, and he kissed her gently where his hands had just been. She thought she would die. She was going to die. She was quietly saying, “No, no, no.” He knew that meant, yes, yes, yes.

She was so close, so he decided not to withhold his own pleasure any longer. He glided into her, and their bodies intertwined. He loved her. He loved making love to her. He would love her for all of time. He was in total, unbridled rapture. He was now moaning. Between her small hums, and his loud guttural moans, it was almost as if they were singing in harmony.

He wanted his release, but she had not yet had hers. It would be better for them both if she climaxed first, although he couldn't wait much longer. Finally, she started crying. Actual tears. He was at the point he couldn’t pull out if he wanted to, but he realized in that split second her tears were not from pain. He finally reached his limit, and he had to have his release. Hers was close to follow.

She was still crying when they finished, so he pulled out finally, and put a hand on her cheek. He kissed her eyes, and tasted her salty tears. “Don’t cry,” he managed to say. He didn’t know how he had the strength to speak.

She put her hands up to her face, and cried even harder. Now she had his full attention. What was wrong? Did he do something wrong? These were more than tears of joy. He sat up beside her and said in a voice that sounded sterner than he meant for it to sound, “What’s wrong?”

She curled up on her side, away from him. He touched her hip. He leaned down, and kissed the same hip, and ran his hand along her arm. “Hermione, did I hurt you or something?” he pleaded, gentler.

She turned back toward him and said, “I feel so stupid.”

He frowned. “Why do you feel stupid?” He felt angry. He didn’t know why she would feel stupid, when they had just made love.

“I feel stupid because I’m crying, and I’m crying because I suddenly realized, while we were in the middle of making love, just how much I truly love you,” she admitted.

He pulled her to his chest, and covered them both with the bedspread. Then he said, “You're perhaps the most complex person I've ever met, and please don’t ever change.”

He tried to stay awake, because for some strange reason he wanted her to fall asleep first. He was afraid if he fell asleep first, she might disappear, as if in a puff of smoke, but he couldn’t fight slumber any longer. He drifted off to sleep, and when he finally fell asleep, she crawled out of bed.

Dressing as quietly as she could, she followed that by going downstairs to retrieve the book. She came back upstairs to his room, and silently went to his desk. She wrote him a note, put it in the front cover of the book, and put the book on the pillow where her head had just rested. She brushed back his hair, and leaned down and kissed him, and Disapparated home. He woke up, when he heard the gentle ‘pop’ of her Apparition. He sat up, and immediately his eyes went to the book. He got up, found his wand, and illuminated the room with light.

He picked up the book, and the note fell out. He read the note:

Draco,

It’s my turn to give the book back to you. I’ll find another way to get the money. By the way, I believe I’m winning the book war, because I’ve given it to you more times than you’ve given it to me. I love you. I’ll see you tomorrow.

Hermione

He took the note and put it back in the book. She wouldn’t have to find a way to come up with the money. He already had that all figured out, and if she had just waited, he could have explained this to her.

Hermione went to work that next morning feeling a sense of apprehension. She really had no clue how she was going to get the money, and if she couldn’t get the money, she'd probably lose her job, because she wouldn’t be able to cut the budget at this late date.

She went into her office, and said to Gail, “No interruptions for a while, okay?”

“Too late for that,” Gail informed her. “Draco Malfoy’s in your office.”

She walked into her office and Draco was sitting behind her desk.

“Just act like you own the place,” she said, as she took off her jacket and hung it up on the coat tree.

He stood up and gave her a good morning kiss. “Did you sleep well last night?” he asked.

“Not really,” she answered. “Did you?”

“I'd have slept better if you hadn’t left me,” he said.

She sat in her recently abandoned chair and said, “Sorry about that. Nothing personal. I had to go home and work on a solution to my problem.”

He walked up to her, and said, “Open either your right desk drawer, or your left. I don’t care which. They both have solutions to your problem, but I must warn you, pick wisely.”

She narrowed her gaze at him, and looked at both drawers. She picked the right, and it contained the book. “What’s in the other drawer?” she asked him.

“Twenty-five thousand galleons,” he said, as if it meant nothing.

She bit her lip as she gazed up at him. He said, “You have to decide. Pick one or the other. I can’t pick for you.”

“If I pick the money,” she started, “then I might lose my job, because they’ll surely know it came from you. If I pick the book, I’ll be sad.” She put her head on her desk, and said, “Help me, Draco.”

“The answer’s before you,” he said, “to me, it’s a clear choice. I don’t know why it’s not clear to you.”

“If I pick the money, where would I work when I get fired?” she said, with an air of anger in her voice.

“You could work for me,” he said, sitting on her desk, just like he did three weeks ago.

“What would I do for you?” she asked cautiously.

“My company needs someone to handle charitable donations. I also don’t have anyone for public relations. You'd do pretty much the same thing you do here,” Draco explained.

“Everyone will think I got the job by sleeping with you,” she said with a hitch in her voice.

“Well, that’s partially true,” he said, seriously.

“I don’t want people to think that,” she explained with a moan.

“Then sell the damn book,” he retorted, “Although I think working for me is the better choice of the two, Apple Cheeks.”

“Don’t call me stupid names while I’m in the midst of a crisis,” she said, standing.

“You always over-react, Cupcake,” he laughed. She saw nothing funny in that statement. She looked as if she might hit him, and he added, “What? I’m just still trying out different nickname for you. If I recall correctly, you didn't like it when I called you 'Sweetheart', so I need to find the right one.”

“Here,” she said, picking the book up and handing it to him, “you can take the book to the damn gala as your date, if you call me one more ridiculous name.” He took the book from her hand and placed it on her desk.

He stood up and said, “Let me know which one you decide to do. I told you, it’s up to you, and I’ll support you either way, my little Peach Blossom.”

She was walking toward her door when he said that, and she turned around and looked for something to throw at him, but he rushed her and grabbed her hands, and put them behind her back.

“What’s more important to you Hermione, this stupid job and the gala, or our relationship?” he spat.

“Oh, I see. You really do care which one I pick!” she yelled. “Why give me a choice then? If I pick the money, it means I love you more than my job, and all is right in Draco Malfoy’s little world. If I pick the book, it means I love my job more than you, and isn’t that a shame for poor pitiful you! You’re the same as Ron. You want me to pick you over everything. You don’t want me to have a job AND a relationship.” She tried to squirm out of his clutches, but he held fast.

“I’m not saying anything of the sort!” Draco yelled back. “I said I would support whichever decision you made! If you pick the damn book, it just means you pick the damn book.” He let her go, walked to her window, and looked outside. He was trying to conceal his anger, but he wasn't quite unsuccessful. He was angry because she hit the nail on the head. He did want her to pick the money. He did want her to say their relationship was more important than her damn job. Was anything wrong with that?

She sat in a chair by her desk, and it hit her that she was taking out her anger on the wrong person, but just because she realized that didn’t mean she felt like apologizing. Not yet.

He sighed and said, “I’ll be back at one o’clock. We can go to lunch. Don’t even tell me which you’ve picked, if you don’t want to.” He started to leave, and continued with, “Just stop making everything so difficult, and stop treating me as if I’m your enemy. I haven’t deserved that title for ten years or more.” He opened her door, and turned back around. “Will I see you for lunch?” he inquired.

“I need to get back to work; I’ll let you know later,” she replied, walking around to sit at her desk.

He came to stand in front of her. “I said, let’s go to lunch, and I’ll see you at one.”

She looked up at him, frowned, and said, “I’ll let you know.”

“Dammit, Hermione!” He slammed his hands on her desk. “I’ll return at exactly one o’clock, and you'd better be ready to go to lunch with me.”

“What are you, a cave man?” she asked, standing, facing him.

“I don't believe I like that form of endearment. Now, where do you want to go to lunch?” he asked with malice.

Hermione took a deep breath, and tried to count to ten, but only made it to five, when she exploded, “Get out of my office!” She sat back down and put her head back on her desk.

“Hermione?” he asked in a clipped tone as he sat back down on her desk. She looked up at him, and then sat back up in her chair. “With my looks, and your brain, we can accomplish anything. We could rule the world. If you’d like, we’ll figure this out together. I won’t leave it all up to you,” Draco finally concluded.

Hermione rolled her eyes, and said mockingly, “Yes, with my morals and your disdain for all that's good and right in the world, I can tell we'd be an awesome team.”

“Exactly,” he whispered. He pulled her to stand between his legs. She rested her head on his shoulder. “You have a good head on your shoulders, and a wonderful brain resting inside. I have a beautiful head on my shoulders, and a mediocre brain inside, so the way I see it, we compliment each other. We’ll figure this thing out.”

She looked up and said, “It’s so tempting to take the money, and just come and work for you. I think I could actually find working for your company challenging and rewarding. Somehow, I know how Eve must have felt when she was tempted by the serpent with the apple from the tree of knowledge.”

“Am I the apple or the serpent?” he asked. She cocked her head, as if to say, ‘which do you think’, and he said, “Yes, I know, hiss, hiss.”

She sat back down and asked with a shrug, “What good is magic, if I can’t just magically conjure up some money? I’ve always wondered about that.”

“Haven’t we all,” he agreed with a small laugh. He got off her desk, and said, “Is lunch on or not?”

“I thought I had no choice in the matter?” she said sarcastically.

“Of course you have a choice, Banana Muffin,” he said and then he laughed, “That one was stupid, I admit. I think I’ll stick with ‘Granger’.”

“See you at 1:00 pm, stupid git,” she said, walking over to him. He raised one eyebrow, and she said, “What, you can have a nickname for me, but I can’t have one for you?” He pinched her cheek, and then he walked away. She sat back at her desk. It was time to decide her fate

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