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Drastic measures

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She was getting ready and she was very nervous. What if it didn't work?

It ought to though, she'd seen the smouldering looks he'd given her when he was accompanying Astoria. As she pulled up her thigh high fish net stockings and secured them to her garter belt, she was almost trembling. She had never done anything like this in her life! Thank Merlin that Seamus and Dean owned this place so she basically could ask them for anything.

She started applying lavish amounts of makeup. It was a huge risk and she knew it. The man she'd fallen for and his three best mates would be literally ogling her as she stripped for them. Well, she amended in her head, she wasn't stripping for them, only for him. She smacked her newly painted crimson lips a couple of times at herself in the mirror and nodded with determination.

That was her motivation.

At Blaise's huge flat, the four men had gathered to start the evening. There was a lot of firewhiskey, cigars and political debates. Since three of them worked at the ministry, it made a lot of sense but it bored Blaise out of his mind, so he tactically changed the subject to women.

His very favourite topic in the world.

Blaise was contemplating his future really. He knew he ought to start looking for a prospective wife but his reasoning was that in that very intense search, there was no reason he shouldn't enjoy himself as he was searching the country for the perfect woman, now was there?

He was the acting CEO of Malfoy Enterprises. Draco had appointed him to it as he knew he was very business savvy and was fully capable of running the large company. Draco owned it in full but he had very little to do with the day-to-day business, he'd only had one stipulation when Blaise started, that was to scour and move into the muggle markets. Draco was certain there was a lot of money to be made by such a move and he was absolutely right, their cash-flow had soared. Blaise had even initiated a branch of the company dealing with enchantments on muggle items, so they wouldn't go haywire around magic. Their store in Diagon Alley was booming with business and the owl orders flew in, literally.

Harry was there, as single as could be and he was very eager for their outing. He knew they would absolutely floor Draco and he hoped very much that it would work. He deserved love instead of that stiff patting on his arm he'd gotten when Astoria had visited their shared office.

Harry and Draco worked together at the ministry as aurors. They'd been paired during auror training and the first six months had been horrendous but their instructor had refused to change their partners. It had all changed when Draco had saved Harry's life. It was accidental and all but still, it had changed their dynamic considerably.

He used to be with Ginny but since her quidditch career had stagnated about a year after the war, she'd chosen to pretty much fuck her way to a permanent spot on the Holyhead Harpies team, it worked just like she'd planned but she'd lost Harry in the process. He'd heard from Theo, ever the gossip, that she was seeing Marcus Flint these days. He'd shuddered when he'd heard that, Flint was a right bastard but given that he was also filthy rich, he fitted neatly into the line of rich bastards that Ginny had dated since he'd kicked her out of Grimauld Place.

Now he was single and loving it. Being the Chosen One had basically secured him a line-up of shags with hot witches (and a few unnamed wizards… ahem Theo) for the rest of his life. He knew he might ought to settle down at some point but he was in no hurry. He was only turning twenty-seven this summer. He had plenty of time.

Theo was the house-gossip of the four of them. In school he had been a loner, trying very hard to distance himself from everyone to save himself from getting hurt. Only Blaise and Draco cornering him during their eighth (or repeat seventh) year got him to open up. They'd lathered him so thickly with all sorts of alcohol that he eventually had spilled his secret.

He was gay and deeply ashamed of it.

His father had beaten him to within an inch of his life when he'd found out during Christmas in fifth year and had ordered him point blank to settle down with a proper pureblood witch to produce proper pureblood heirs for the House of Nott. After that, what he then chose to do of blackening sodomy in his spare time was his problem. That order and the beatings were repeated forcefully every time he'd been home.

Thankfully his friends hadn't been judgemental, in fact, they hadn't even blinked. Both of them had promptly started berating his father and started to show Theo how he could protect himself from his father, if he didn't want to fight back.

The sigh of relief that went through Theo when his father had been accidentally killed in a rogue Death Eater attack two years after the war in Knockturn Alley was soul-shaking. His father wasn't a Death Eater himself but a strong supporter of the cause, the irony of it had Theo chuckling at random for weeks. Since he was now the patriarch of the House of Nott and could do as he damn well pleased, he had promptly come out to all of his immediate friends and the remains of his sparse family. One of his aunts had been speechless for a month, he'd relished that one.

Now he spent his time seducing as many men as he could possibly get his hands on. He'd even spent the night with Blaise at one point and Potter another, that had been especially enlightening, there was a very big reason that the Boy Who Fucked was such a successful ladies man. He didn't care at all about the fact that none of them was interesting in more, he just wanted to sample their wares really.

He'd never gotten his hands on Draco though and he was sure he never would. He sighed inwardly. This whole evening was his idea, a birthday present for their mate who was about to get stuck in his mother's idea of an ideal match. Only the man himself was pining hard for another.

He pulled out the muggle phone she'd introduced him to. He had told her to get the absolute best, so she'd gotten him something called an iPhone. It had almost no buttons but something she called a 'touchy screen' filled with small icons. She'd spent hours teaching him how to work it properly. He didn't really get it yet but if it was the best on the market, it was good enough for him. He texted her covertly.

T: Are you ready my fair lady?

H: Of course Theo, get your arses here, Dean and Seamus are waiting at your table with the drinks. If there are any left when you finally get here.

T: So bossy!

He emptied his glass stood up. "Gents, it's time to go. We have an appointment that we must keep."

Draco grinned at his friend. "Does this appointment have a name by any chance?"

Harry thumped him on the back. "This is your birthday surprise, you'll see." They all grinned at each other and went to floo to The Leaky Cauldron.

As they emerged into Diagon Alley, they were laughing and joking with each other. Blaise and Theo led the way and he and Harry followed while they all tried their damnedest to ignore the Daily Prophet reporter on the prowl for gossip. The four of them had been best mates since Draco had mended fences with Harry and right around that time Theo had started trying to bed Harry. That fact that he'd actually succeeded had astounded and amused Draco and Blaise endlessly.

The Weasel wasn't in the picture at all. He'd spent his entire ministry reward money on parties and the ugliest clothing he'd ever seen on a man. Of course, that had ruined his relationship with Harry and her rather quickly, she had no patience for material things like that. He'd always known that she was way too good for Weaselbee, even back when he knew he should hate her and every single thing she stood for, he still knew.

But, then again, she was also way too good for himself. He was nothing but an ex-Death Eater with the fading mark still brandished on his left forearm, so he'd numbly agreed to let his mother choose the witch for him when she had complained about his bachelorhood yet again this spring. He wasn't in love with Astoria, he knew it, she knew it and his mother knew it but everyone just seemed to agree to ignore it.

He would be able to ignore it too if it wasn't for the very inconvenient fact that he was very deeply in love with her. None other than Harry Potters best female friend and Gryffindor Golden Princess, Hermione Granger. She was so out of his league and he hated it, but he'd accepted it. Harry had told him again and again to make a move but he just couldn't get himself to sully her like that. She deserved better than him. Much better. In fact, he thought she deserved the world really.

So he'd stayed away, watching and protecting if necessary. She was working with Theo in the Magical Law department at the ministry and he and Theo may had scared some unwanted attention away from her. Not that she hadn't dated but the most horrible guys had been subtly or rather un-subtly convinced by them to look elsewhere for a date.

She was finally finished taming her hair, so she started on the glamours. There was no way she'd not disguise herself when doing what she was preparing to do, but the complicated part was that Draco had to see her as herself, she only needed to be glamoured from everyone else. In the weeks up to this she had researched the enchantment like crazy and eventually she had gotten it down. She had even done a few test-runs at the ministry with only Theo knowing, it worked like a charm and Draco didn't even realize it.

She just hoped that he wouldn't think badly of her for doing this. She knew it was a drastic way to get his attention but the man had been completely ignoring all of her more subtle hints this past year. All of them! She had invited him to lunch and he'd brought Harry and Theo, she had opened up to him about the scar from Bellatrix and he'd broken into a sweat, apologized profusely and basically run away, she had tried to be friendly and he had mostly ignored her except when she asked him a direct question.

The man was completely infuriating! And now he was due to publicly start courting Astoria Greengrass this summer.

Well, no.

Not if she had anything to do with it.