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"I would be delighted to go to this wedding with you. Or telling me."Hermione let Draco hold her hand their fingers entwined, until the food arrived.He smiled at her after he took his first bite of the risotto."I'm just a poor blood traitor who likes my men pretty." She paused for a moment. "But don't you think that would be a little rude to our friends? ""Not professionally," Ginny said, "but it keeps a girl in shape to stay active."Squirming's always good, though.""And making you squirm? "That coaxed a smile to her face and he held out her chair for her as Blaise did the same for Ginny. I like to keep my endurance up." She smiled at him across the table." Ginny asked, adding, "I love riding a broom," as Draco leaned over towards Hermione."Is she always like this? " she whispered back."One week," Draco said as Ginny licked a little champagne off her lips and Blaise stared at her."I say tonight, and you're on," Hermione said."What do I get if I win? Hermione licked her own lips and looked at him and it was his turn to look off balance. "Are you she's a pureblood," Blaise demanded as he watched Ginny lean back in her chair and grin at Hermione. Going out with me might besmirch your reputation.""Not possible," Draco said."You're still…should we order?"I know Hermione grew up on the wrong side of the tracks so she has an excuse, but shouldn't Miss Weasley here be a little more… "Ginny put her hand over her heart and said, "Surely you aren't suggesting – ""No," he cut her off in horror lest she think he was accusing her mother of infidelity and he get a visit from one of her many brothers ready to defend the woman's honor. " Blaise asked as the waiter approached them."Why don't you be all manly and just take care me? "Draco shrugged as he twisted the heavy gold ring he'd borrowed from Blaise.
I hope the dinner you pick for me is as good as this.""I shall certainly try not to let you down," Blaise said."Do you like flying? "Want to make a bet on how long it takes her to get him into bed? " she asked."Something appropriate for a man to give his pureblood girlfriend," Draco said with a smirk as he tried to regain control of the conversation. "I might think you're up to something.""Maybe we are," Hermione said, keeping her hands under the table and smirking until Ginny laughed in obvious delight. He and Draco exchanged glances and Draco picked Hermione's hands up and set them on the table.Blaise did not, but he did engage the man in a few rapid questions about the vintages they had readily available and put in a request for a champagne that he assured the table was, "truly excellent.""I can only assume that means it's also jaw-droppingly expensive given it's you who picked it out," Hermione said and Blaise blew her a kiss across the table."You know me, only the best will do," the man said."Nice ring," Ginny said to Draco, who was still twisting the heavy gold band. "All I need is good food, good alcohol and good – " He cut himself off. "But then, unlike the rest of you, I'm not Sacred Twenty-Eight so the pressures on me to be a proper little aristocrat are a tad less." He smirked a bit.His flush was evident even in the dim light but all he said was, "Thank you."Hermione looked at him, a long, measuring look that he returned with only an enigmatic smile and that flush."Draco," Blaise said, "has apparently discovered a hitherto untapped vein of nobility running far, far beneath the surface of what I assumed was his shallow soul.""He's a good man," Hermione said and Ginny eyed her before turning her attention back to Blaise."Are you? "And, of course, my mother has no interest in my bringing home a good girl."I was going to say, I just don't want you to break Draco's heart.He's had a rough enough time without that."Hermione stilled."I am sitting right here," Draco said with obvious annoyance. I am actually quite capable of scaring people away without your help." He took Hermione's hand, the ruby on his own flashing even in the dim candlelight.