Toxic @rubberduckiez
Jealousy

Baby, give me it...

Draco paced around in his office, occasionally glancing towards his open door and then back to the mess that was on his worktable. It had been days since the fight with Olivia - no, De Loughrey - in his office and things had been tense, though she seemed to be going out of her way to avoid him.

For once. Though there were certainly a large amount of heated glances between them. Or sometimes she would watch him with a look that he couldn’t decipher and that left him unnerved.

He didn’t want to admit it, but he had been stuck on how to fix the potion and where to go from there ever since. For some reason he found without her there badgering him, he struggled to come up with a solution.

Dare he say it, but he was starting to miss having her there looking over his shoulder. Draco stopped, his eyes widening slightly at the realization. He then shook his head and walked over to his notes, going over them for the millionth time trying to find out just how De Loughrey had found where he went wrong before he had. Granted, now that it had been pointed out to him, it was glaringly obvious. But still, why hadn’t he noticed it before? And why did she have to find it before he did?

Fate was a cruel bitch, he decided. As if De Loughrey needed any more reason to believe that she was more brilliant than he was. But still, he couldn’t quite figure out how she had noticed it. He was going to have to work late at this rate if he wanted to get anything done. Sighing heavily, Draco rubbed his face and walked out, thinking perhaps some tea might help.

He couldn’t help as he glanced over towards De Loughrey’s office, seeing her standing in front of a mirror, preening a bit. She looked nervous as she took in her outfit from different angles. He wasn’t sure what all that was about - so far De Loughrey had never seemed to care about her appearance to this extent, though she was always dressed smartly.

What had her in a tizzy today just before the end of the work day?

“Word is she’s got a hot date tonight,” Blaise said, stepping up to his side. “At least that’s what Richards from down the hall said. Overheard her talking about it with some blonde witch she met with for lunch - didn’t say who. Supposedly is excited about it, though didn’t mention who it was with.”

Draco glanced at him and then back at De Loughrey, seeing her lean towards the mirror as she applied lipstick. He wasn’t sure why he suddenly felt uncomfortable about the idea of her going on a date. No, not uncomfortable.

Jealous.

And that bothered him. The desire to know who she was going out with seized him immediately, though he remained calm and appeared unaffected by the news.

“Good for her,” he said dryly, turning his back to De Loughrey to face Blaise.

Who was the bloke she was going out with? Someone else in the Ministry? Someone she had met? When had she met him? Draco then thought back to the night he saw her with the Gryffindors.

Fucking hell, she was likely going out with one of them. He quickly pushed the idea from his mind. De Loughrey could go out with whoever she wanted. Wasn’t his business. Not like he cared. He didn’t care.

He recited that like a mantra a few times in his head, hoping if he said it enough, it would be true. That he didn’t care if De Loughrey was going on a date with someone else. She was his boss. No, she was the enemy. He didn’t get jealous over that.

“By the way, Flint scored us some tickets to the match tomorrow. Box seats. You in?” Blaise asked.

“Of course,” Draco said, thinking a quidditch match might just be the thing he needed to clear his head. About the potion and De Loughrey. “Falcons and Harpies?”

“Should be a good match-up, though I’m not sure the Harpies stand too much of a chance,” Blaise said.

Draco zoned out a moment, nodding here and there when necessary as Blaise continued going through the entire lineup on both teams. He had had this conversation plenty of times before so it wasn’t as though he needed to actively participate.

He couldn’t help as his eyes drifted back towards De Loughrey seeing her back at her desk, her brow furrowed as she looked over some papers. She then looked up and their eyes met. He started to look away, but found that he couldn’t. There was that look in her eyes that he couldn’t quite define again, and he suddenly, desperately wanted to know what it was.

But then she looked back down, shifting in her chair and the spell was broken.

“Are you listening to me, Draco?” Blaise said.

Draco looked back over at him, his eyebrows raised.

“What was it?” he asked.

“Tonight. Drinks with Theo. Reckon we could discuss our little problem a bit more,” Blaise said, obviously referring to De Loughrey. They still hadn’t really come up with any sort of solid plan, having a lack of information, and for that Draco found himself somewhat grateful. While he wasn’t about to be the first to back out of it, he found he didn’t want to actively push it forward either. He was still conflicted about the plot to take down De Loughrey - which only seemed to frustrate him further. Draco finally nodded.

“Fair enough,” he said, starting towards his office.

“Malfoy!”

He stopped and turned, seeing Bones rushing up to him. Bloody hell, was he ever going to get any work done today with all the interruptions? What could she possibly want?

“I was wondering… do you have some time? I want to present some new ideas to the boss and I could use your advice,” she said. Draco stared at her. He didn’t really care to help - he had his own issues to work out with his own research. But then he remembered that that was going nowhere at the moment. Sighing heavily, he nodded his head towards his office.

“Very well,” he said. She grinned and followed him to his office. “What is it you’re thinking about?”

~~~

Draco leaned back in his chair, his thoughts once again on De Loughrey. This was beginning to get annoying. And they weren’t even discussing her at the moment.

He glanced up at Theo, who was joking around with Blaise about the match tomorrow, the two looking forward to it. Draco went to his fair share, but it wasn’t often that Theo could go with them. Between his work and his wife, he wasn’t often free at the weekend.

Draco’s thoughts then came back to De Loughrey. What sort of bloke was she out with? Did he take her to a fancy restaurant? She didn’t seem the type who would go for someone that threw money around, if her insult from their fight was anything to go by. But she had seemed into it that night…

Damnit, he was doing it again. Reliving that night in his head. Draco really needed to stop that. Fantasizing about De Loughrey wasn’t going to help anyone, least of all, himself.

“So… find anything else useful for us?” Blaise asked, changing the topic suddenly. Draco looked over to Theo, fixing him in a neutral stare. Theo sighed heavily.

“There’s not much out there, save her work,” he admitted. “Which I don’t even bloody understand most of it.”

“She worked on a lot of theoretical potions,” Draco offered, thinking over his extensive study of her work that he had done. “Managed to take a good amount of them from the realm of theoretical into practical. How she ended up with so many damn patents.”

“Well that definitely doesn’t help us and you already knew all that. Said there was nothing there useful - her work is ironclad,” Blaise said, falling back in his chair, frowning. He looked over at Theo. “What’s her family life like?”

“Told you what I know,” Theo said. “Not like she’s done any interviews on it. Only about her work and even then, very rarely. Though her family is in the New York Ghost every issue or so for something. Usually on the society pages - donating to this charity, going to that event. You know how it goes.”

“Yea, but… does she get on with them? Could we contact anyone to get information? Her brother or sister?” Blaise asked. Draco’s eyebrows rose slightly. It was an idea, but now that it had been said aloud, he shifted in his chair slightly, feeling uncomfortable with it. The way that Theo was scowling said that he was equally uncomfortable with it. “Her old classmates? A professor? You’re a bloody auror, Theo. Isn’t this the sort of thing you normally do?”

“Her school records are impeccable,” Theo said. “As are her work records. And yes, when I’m tracking down a criminal. Not a perfectly normal, law-abiding citizen.” He sighed and leaned forward on the table. “Really, I think you two should just drop it. I’m not likely to find anything that will help you and even if I did, I’m tempted not to hand it over.” He looked over at Draco. “Is this really what you want to do? Destroy her and her career just so you can get some bloody promotion? Thought you were all about earning what you got fairly?”

Draco frowned as he looked down at his glass. That was the question of the hour, wasn’t it? Did he really want to do this, knowing what he did? Well, he didn’t really know much, come to think of it. There was nothing solid that told him she had a horrible life with the De Loughreys - just supposition based on a photograph and rumours from his mother. For all he knew, De Loughrey could have enjoyed a life of luxury.

Though his gut was telling him she hadn’t.

“I’ll be back,” Draco said, standing from the table and feeling as though he needed air. He could hear Blaise protesting as he walked away, heading to the back of the pub where he could step out into a back alley for a few moments of privacy.

He was conflicted. There was obviously no dirt on her that they could find. And so far, she was proving herself in the job. Perhaps it was time that he got over himself and let bygones be bygones. Isn’t that what the changed Draco Malfoy did?

He then heard a familiar laugh and stopped, his eyes searching the tables at the back. He knew that laugh - remembered it clearly from the first night they met. His eyes found her easily, raising a glass of firewhiskey to her lips, her dark blues lit up in mirth. The top few buttons of her blouse were undone as she leaned towards the man, that infuriating coy smile on her lips that had been such a turn-on that night.

Still was, if Draco was being completely honest with himself. He could feel it begin to affect him even though she was across the room and it wasn’t directed at him.

His eyes then moved to the man seated close to De Loughrey’s side as he reached out and tucked a stray wave behind her ear. His back was to Draco, but he still could recognize him. The broad shoulders and muscled arms earned from years on a quidditch pitch.

Oliver Wood.

Draco felt a consuming anger come over him as he saw the keeper place a hand on her knee. De Loughrey looked down at it and then back up at Wood, the smile still firmly in place as she leaned towards him, her lips moving though Draco was too far away to hear what she was saying. He quickly turned and strode back to the table, sitting down so abruptly that both Blaise and Theo jumped slightly.

“What’s wrong with you?” Blaise asked.

“Nothing,” Draco said tersely. “We should reach out to her siblings. Seems to be bad blood there - they’ll know something we can use.”

Though as he said it, he couldn’t help but feel slightly disgusted with himself. He was angry, yes, but not at De Loughrey. He was angry at Wood. Angry at the fact that she was out with the quidditch player, smiling at him the same way she had smiled at Draco. He was angry that the keeper could go on dates with her, take her home even, without rules and such getting in the way.

He was angry the bloody Ministry had that bloody rule against a subordinate dating his or her direct boss.

And then he was suddenly shocked by the realization of it - that he, Draco Malfoy, still wanted Olivia De Loughrey. Cautiously, Draco glanced around the crowded pub, but he couldn’t see Wood or De Loughrey anywhere, their table hidden behind the bar. Looking up at Blaise and Theo, neither seemed to have noticed that something was off with him.

Draco took a drink, trying to calm himself down and keep his face neutral. The last thing he needed was for anyone - his friends included - to find out that he was still incredibly attracted to her. He hadn’t even told them that he had taken her home that night - that she was the mysterious one-night stand he had had.

It was the one way he could definitely get her in trouble, but that would be putting his own head on the chopping block as well. Draco, if anything, still had a strong sense of self-preservation. He told himself that he wasn’t about to jeopardize his own chances, though part of him knew it was also because he didn’t want to betray her trust.

He turned his focus back to the discussion at hand, watching as Theo reluctantly agreed to reach out to a few people in New York, though Draco could tell from the pinched look on his face that he really didn’t want to do it. But it had to be Theo. If either him or Blaise did it, it would get back to De Loughrey and they couldn’t be connected.

“You know, if there is bad blood, we can’t completely trust whatever they say,” Theo was explaining to Blaise.

“If only we could catch her breaking some rule or something,” Blaise said, his brow furrowed in concentration. He then smiled. “What if we set her up?”

“You can’t be serious,” Theo scoffed.

“Yea, I know, she follows the letter of the law, but we could make it look like she’s done something… just need to figure out what,” Blaise said. Draco shifted in his chair, uncomfortable with where Blaise was going.

It was getting too incredibly close to the truth.

“We should get someone to seduce her… someone from the department,” Blaise then said, grinning.

“Really?” Theo asked, a horrified look on his face.

“What makes you think that would work?” Draco droned, though his heart was racing slightly. “Isn’t she on a date with someone?”

“Yea, but we don’t know that that will work out,” Blaise said. “Just to decide who…”

“Well, you focus on that plan that will obviously fail. I’m leaving,” Draco said, standing smoothly.

“We haven’t figured anything out!” Blaise complained.

“I’ll see you tomorrow at the match,” Draco said, tossing some money on the table before walking off. Truly, if that was the route Blaise was going, he wanted no part in it. It was far, far too close to the truth and Draco couldn’t trust himself to keep the secret if the conversation went future.

He walked out of the pub and quickly apparated home, once again making himself a drink and standing on the terrace outside his room, looking out over the city.

Images of Olivia and Oliver danced through his mind. The way he had tucked her hair behind her ear, then touched her leg. The way she leaned towards him. He then imagined him taking her home.

Draco’s blood began to boil as the images continued and he couldn’t stop them. He was still angry about everything.

And despite the fact that they argued more than they got on, that she had taken his promotion, Draco could no longer deny his attraction to her. He didn’t want to be attracted to Olivia De Loughrey. He didn’t want to work with her. He didn’t want to continue feeling this jealousy course through him.

But he still felt it all the same. And there wasn’t a damn thing he could do about any of it. Taking a drink Draco continued staring out over the city. All these years since the war, he had been so focused on making amends. Showing that he was different. Not once had he spared a thought to his love life, though a small part of him felt a bit jealous when he saw Theo and his wife together. When all his other friends had partnered up. Even a bit with Blaise, as easily as he fell in and then out of love.

Because part of Draco thought that he would never have that. Who would want to be with Draco Malfoy, former Death Eater? Who had helped Death Eaters enter Hogwarts the night Dumbledore was killed? Whose family hosted Voldemort for an entire year?

No one, in his mind. Most people likely thought him incapable of such an emotion

But then Olivia De Loughrey had waltzed into his life. And while he was absolutely certain that this wasn’t love, it wasn’t pure and complete lust either. She excited him. Stirred something inside him that had laid dormant. Hope that perhaps… someone could come to love him.

And despite the fact that she annoyed the ever-loving life out of him, he wanted to be near her.

Sighing heavily, a dry laugh escaped his lips. This was ridiculous. Olivia was dating a famous quidditch player. And she was his boss. What’s more, as she said, it had been just one night. Nothing more.

So why did he suddenly wish he could have more?

1. Meet Cute 2808 0 0 2. Just One Night 3493 0 0 3. Decidedly Not a Meet Cute 3406 0 0 4. Declaring War 2787 0 0 5. Mother Dearest 3286 0 0 6. Fighting 3545 0 0 7. Deep Dive 2944 0 0 8. Jealousy 3143 0 0 9. A (Not So) Good Day 3897 0 0 10. Hot & Cold 2670 0 0 11. The Other Side 2206 0 0 12. Coming Clean 3275 0 0 13. Changes 2572 0 0 14. Floodgates 3591 0 0 15. Awkward Mistakes 3425 0 0 16. Making Decisions 3628 0 0 17. Falling For You 3194 0 0 18. And It All Goes to Hell 3039 0 0 19. To Find a Rat 3312 0 0 20. From Here on Out 4379 0 0