Sunteți pe pagina 1din 178

Posted originally on the Archive of Our Own at http://archiveofourown.org/works/487914.

Rating:
Explicit
Archive Warning:
Underage
Category:
F/M
Fandom:
Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling
Relationship:
Hermione Granger/Draco Malfoy
Character:
Hermione Granger, Draco Malfoy, others - Character
Additional Tags:
Explicit Sexual Content, Angst, Romance, Humor, Memory Alteration,
Dubious Consent, Secret Relationship
Series:
Part 1 of Silencio
Stats:
Published: 2007-08-16 Completed: 2012-08-16 Chapters: 15/15
Words: 87031
Silencio
by AkashaTheKitty
Summary
One late night, hate turns to lust.
Beta by MissNibbles and MazVN.
Notes
Graphic made by the lovely ls / Alice!
Chapter 1
Hermione was walking fast, almost running. She was late and curfew had set in, but she had been
unable to resist going to the library to look up a minor detail that had been nagging her, and then,
as usual, she had lost track of time. Muttering under her breath, she rushed along the corridors,
doing her best to remember everything she read, word by word.
Pickled Murtlap will help resistance to curses, while She walked head-first into a body that
seemed to be appearing out of nowhere.
Ow! Watch where youre going, Malfoy! she crossly said, while she unsuccessfully tried to
walk around him to be on her way.
Well, well, well. If it isnt Potters little sidekick, out on her own. After curfew, I might add.
Draco Malfoy smirked unpleasantly, his grey eyes filled with malice. I think I might have to
report that.
Hermione gave an exasperated and annoyed grunt. Yeah? And how will you explain being here
yourself, then? Just give it up alreadyyoure even less scary than usual without your cronies.
There was a flash of anger in his eyes, but then he smirked. Better to have cronies than to be a
sidekick, I should think. Besides, Im out on an errand for Professor Snape. Whats your excuse?
Out saving the world again? He laughed, clearly thinking this to be a great joke.
Hermione rolled her eyes and tried to get past him again, only to be slammed into a wall by
physical force. Incensed, she reached for her wand, but he smoothly grabbed hold of her wrists
and wrenched them above her head. Not afraid of me, are you? he sneered. If you had any
sense at all, Mudblood, you would be. I dont need Crabbe or Goyle, I dont even need magic, I
can easily kill you if I want.
Hermione stopped struggling for a second to give him a bored, disgusted look. Then get it over
with or let me go. I dont have time for this! On the last word, she jerked up her knee, only
narrowly missing her target, his precious pure-blooded jewels, as he shifted a leg to protect
himself.
Malfoy uttered an oath that would surely have made his mother scrub out his mouth with soap,
and, shifting both her wrists into one hand, he flung open the nearest door and almost threw her
inside, sending her stumbling for half the length of the room. Before she could gain her footing, he
had pulled out his wand and said, Accio wand! taking her only means of defense.
Despite her earlier swagger, Hermione was rapidly becoming nervous. But he wouldnt actually
hurt her, would he? Hed abuse her verbally for sure, even push her about a bit, but he wouldnt
use an Unforgivable Curse right here at Hogwarts right?
He laughed, seeing her unease. Not so cocky now, are you, Mudblood? he said with his usual
sneer and slowly began walking towards her, clearly savoring his advantage.
Hermione looked about her for some means of protecting herself or bringing him off-balance, but
nothing was readily available. They were in what appeared to be an old classroom with bolted
down tables and benches. It would have been completely dark if not for the moonlight streaming
in through the large windows occupying the one wall. Swiftly, she ran a few steps, putting a table
between them, resulting in Malfoy laughing even harder.
Oh yes, thats right, Mugglespawn, he said sweetly. That low wooden table will surely repel
any curses I might throw at you. Good thinking!
Hermione felt her face heat up. She knew, of course, that the table wouldnt help against any
curses; she just didnt want to be within physical distance of him. The way he had so easily
overpowered and disarmed her was making her belatedly cautious. She silently sent up a prayer
that Harry or Ron would come looking for her, but she knew that they wouldnt. They would
assume, correctly, that she had lost track of time, and they would probably go to bed before
looking for her. She considered screaming instead and, upon deeming that a good idea, she
opened her mouth to do so.
Silencio! Malfoy immediately said, rendering her literally speechless. Now, why didnt I do
that right away? Its so much nicer when I dont have to listen to your whiny little voice. Youre
not as smart as everyone thinks you are, are you? If you were, you wouldnt be here alone, with
me, silenced and without a wand. He laughed again.
Hermione made a dash around the room towards the door, just to hear him say Colloportus! in a
fake bored voice. She knew she had lost for now, and she could either continue to run scared,
giving him the satisfaction, or she could make a stand. Turning on her heel, she walked back
towards him and didnt stop until her body almost touched his. Defiantly, she looked up into his
face, trying to communicate a do your worst, scumbag.
Malfoy pulled back with a disgusted look on his face. This isnt a come-on, filth. Keep your
distance. He then proceeded to brush off his robes, as if she was indeed filthy, and had left dirty
marks on him.
Feeling her face flush again, Hermione narrowed her eyes. She could hardly think coherently
because of the anger rushing through her. So he didnt want her to infect him.
Because everyone knows that parentage is contagious, she thought sarcastically.
Besides, there was nothing wrong with her heritage. Her parents were good, decent, friendly,
loving people, who did the best they could for her, and led a calm, productive existence; whereas
his parents were sociopathic murderers, Death Eaters. If anything, she should be afraid of him
being contagious to her.
Instead, she took another step towards him, smiling bitterly as he retreated again. And then another
step. He seemed to realize what was going on when his legs bumped against the teachers desk,
and then he flushed with first embarrassment and then anger.
Such an angry boy, she thought, not very placidly herself.
She stood her ground and laughed soundlessly when he rushed against her, pushing her so she
went stumbling a couple of steps back. Next, he would be unlocking the door and running back to
his common room, leaving her to go back to bed. He was so predictable.
She was still laughing when he grabbed her wrist and flung her against the desk, very possibly
bruising her thigh, and forced her backwards down onto the desk, holding her wrists in the same
steely grip from before.
This wasnt supposed to be his reaction. Her laugh replaced by a frown, she struggled against him
to no avail, the only result being that he shifted to keep her legs still with his. Im going to have to
bathe and burn my clothes now, he growled. Might as well make you pay for it!
Hermiones eyes grew big and round. He did not mean tono, he wouldnt do that. Hed just
demonstrated how he loathed being near her and, besides, hed get tossed out of school and sent to
Azkaban. He wouldnt risk that, not like this. He was just scaring her. Her heart was pounding
hard and fast and she was feeling a fluttering in her stomach that she attributed to nervousness. In
spite of her own assurances, she started fighting with renewed strength.
Stop fighting! he panted, sounding rather breathless from restraining her. He wasnt as strong as
she had feared; this gave her another boost of fighting energy. Im not going toIm not going
to! Why would I want to? Stop fighting!
It wasnt so much that he had asked her to stop as the way he had said it. It was very much out of
character for him to assure her of anything except her own unworthiness of oxygen. She stopped
fighting, her blind panic abating. He was panting heavily, moonlight accentuating the paleness of
his features. She opened her mouth to ask if he would let her go, but of course, the Silencing
Curse was still in effect. She closed her mouth again and resigned herself to watching him.
His eyes were closed and he seemed to be forcing his breath down. It was odd, she hadnt put up
that hard a fight, she was sure. She was smarter than him, by far, but he was taller and more
athletic. He was probably working out to impress dull-witted Slytherin girls like Pansy Parkinson.
She sniffed loudly, making her opinion clear on the matter. But, of course, he didnt know
anything about the matter to begin with, so it was really rather redundant.
At the sound, his eyes flew open, startling her in their cold, silvery clarity. They looked
different, somehow, from their usual maliciousness. They looked almost gentle. Hermiones heart
started pounding again, this time for no apparent reason, and she felt heat creeping up her throat
and into her cheeks again. She opened her mouth to ask him to release her and his eyes flew to her
lips. Let me go, she mouthed. I wont tell. She really wouldnt. Somehow, she didnt want
anyone to know.
Slowly, he shook his head. She pushed against him, trying to shove him off her, using only her
body. He shuddered and grabbed her wrists even firmer. Her hands were going numb, and she
knew shed have bruises, but she didnt really care. Somehow, she wasnt scared anymore, either.
She could feel his body against hers, taut and forbidding, yet his heart was beating fast, his breath
was shallow, and he wasnt doing anything but holding her still.
Youre hurting me! she mouthed, resulting in a slightly puzzled look on his face, and a
loosening of his grip. Yet he didnt let her go. He seemed to be debating something with himself.
He had shifted his legs a little again, to gain better footing, and even though she still couldnt kick
at him, she could push against him using a greater part of her torso. Ignoring the little voice inside
of her that urged her to just stay put and see what he would do, she pushed up, resulting in a sharp
intake of breath and a groan from him as her abdomen connected with his.
Hermione stiffened, unsure what to do. There was no mistaking that he was aroused; painfully so,
from the look of him. He had a look of confused need that she didnt know what to make of.
Clearly, he was as taken aback as she was, and he didnt know what to do. Especially, she
realized, now that she knew. She didnt fool herself that he hadnt noticed her reaction. She
ignored the unfamiliar feelings that were rushing through her body, unwilling to examine them
further, but feeling decidedly warm all over.
Finally, he seemed to be getting a grip. He leaned down towards her and in a voice that was
hoarse from his struggle, he sneered, I hate you!
Hermione opened her mouth to mouth a reply, just as his mouth crashed down on hers.
Unprepared for the attack, she was also unprepared for the jolt that went through her, making her
whimper soundlessly. She vaguely noticed that he had let go of her hands, but it didnt occur to
her to get up. She felt his hands going to her sides, and then one hand was cradling her head,
pulling her more forcefully against his mouth.
She felt glorious and she knew she shouldnt. Harry and Ron would hate her if they knew. She
quickly thrust that thought aside. She had already sinned, might as well enjoy it before paying the
price.
Returning the kiss with an abandon that surprised both of them and made Draco groan again,
Hermione caressed his chest through his robes with hands that were only just regaining their
feeling. He felt firm, warm, and alive. Not at all like some monster. His heart beat fast and hard
against her hand, and he shivered when her hands or her mouth did something he especially liked.
No, he felt very much like a human being. She wanted more. She felt him slide her robes up her
legs, until they lay pooled around her waist, and he was nestled between her legs. She moaned
soundlessly, enjoying the feel of him there. Unconsciously, she tugged at his robes.
He broke their kiss. No, dont, he panted. I cant control With a large rip, Hermione had
ended the discussion, as she unwittingly tore the robe down the middle with a fierce pull. It was
nothing that Reparo couldnt fix, though. From the surprise on Malfoys face, he hadnt expected
her fierceness in going for what she wanted. In fact, something about the way he eyed her
suggested that he had expected nothing but a slap and a shove for kissing her. And something
suggested that perhaps he might have preferred a slap and a shove to what was probably about to
happen.
Hermione hardly noticed, she was looking at his partly revealed chest and boxers and the evidence
that he found her attractive in spite of himself. She felt a little embarrassed yet couldnt help
herself, and with another of her now trademark blushes, she reached out to touch the evidence.
Malfoy hissed in a breath and the thing jerked under her hand, but he held his ground. She hadnt
realized that she was afraid hed jump away before she was relieved that he didnt. She gathered
all her courage and looked up into his eyes. They were angry and defensive. Daring her to laugh
or ridicule him. She shook her head; she had no intention of doing so.
Go now, Granger, he bit out. Before before I decide I want to hurt you anyway. This was
such a lame statement that she just stared at him in puzzlement. Hermione he pleaded. She
tried to recall if he had ever used her name before. Perhaps even he couldnt kiss a girl one second
and call her names the next. The thought made her feel something. She smiled at him.
Damn it, he almost shouted. Have you no sense? Get out of here! Alohomora! He had
gripped his wand again and unlocked the spell-locked door. Was that what you were waiting for?
Go! She just looked at him. What is it you want from me? he asked, almost pathetically. I
dont even like you.
Hermione shook her head again. No, he didnt like her, and she didnt like him either, yet She
looked down at his arousal again. It hadnt abated in the least, and the sight made her heart beat
faster and heated her blood. She was curious and something else. She reached out again and
stroked the length of him, feeling a satisfied shiver as his head shot back and he closed his eyes on
a groan. He wanted to be inside her, and, right now, she wanted to feel him inside of her. She slid
down from the desk and as she stood closely before him, she grabbed the hem of her robes and
pulled them over her head.
Slightly shivering with partial cold, partial anticipationand partial dread that hed simply walk
out, laughingHermione stood in her underwear, unable to look up into his eyes. At least he
hadnt left yet. He seemed to just stand there, looking at her. Closing her eyes, she tried to
compose herself enough to look up, when suddenly she was being lifted back up on the table and
being ravished by kisses, while Malfoy struggled briefly to get rid of the remnants of his robe.
Sweet madness.
This time there was no hesitation in him; it was as if he was daring her to stop him, to push him
away. Nothing could be further from her mind. He really was a very good kisser, at least as far as
she could tell. He had a way of making her melt, using his lips and his tongue. She felt her bra
come loose and thought wryly that it wasnt the first time hed tried opening one of those. Again,
an image of Pansy Parkinson, followed by a feeling of resentment, entered her mind, but she
quickly tamped it down. It wasnt up to her to censor what he had done before or would do later.
This was in the now. Besides, it was nice hed practiced first. She almost giggled at that thought.
He tossed her bra aside and looked hungrily at her breasts, before bending down to caress one of
them with his lips and tongue, while gently fondling and pinching the other with one of his hands.
They werent the largest breasts, but they seemed to be met with his approval. She convulsed
beneath him as his tongue touched her nipple just right. He repeated the motion, wringing a similar
response from her again. She was almost glad he had cursed her, or she would have cried out,
alerting the whole school to what was happening. As he switched his attentions, she felt sure that
if he kept this up she was going to have a climax long before it was time. She felt feverish and
restless and she longed to feel him She rubbed her abdomen against him and fell back against
the desk as she was overcome with sensations.
Malfoy lifted his head and tugged at her knickers. Even though she knew that that was the next
step, she felt a little scared. She hadnt done this before, and she was about to do it with the one
person in the world who had least reason or inclination to be gentle with her. For a second, she
hesitated, watching as he ripped her underwear, his hands shaking. No, there was no going back.
She had to know. Then, without preamble, his finger entered her most private place. She was
moist enough to make it a very easy penetration. She convulsed so violently, then, that she banged
her head on the table, adding stars to the fireworks she was seeing. It felt like nothing she had ever
felt before! She panted violently, thrashing, silently begging for more.
Slowly, he started moving his finger, adding another one, and it did nothing to still her need. She
wanted more, more, so much more. She was vaguely aware of the haunted look on his face and
the concentration with which he regarded her. Wordlessly, she tried to plead with him; Please,
but he didnt stop fingering her, and even though he seemed to have to soothe himself every once
in a while through the fabric of his boxers, he did not release it and enter her. No matter how
much she wished he would. His jaw clenched and with sweat beading on his forehead, he was
simply watching her in silence.
She knew she couldnt hold back much longer. He seemed to know where to touch her, and she
was sobbing with unrelieved need. He wasnt going to take her, she just knew it. Hed finger her
and then go sleep with Pansy instead. The resentment inside of her grew. She wished she hadnt
started this, but she had. It made it a much better revenge for him. I hate you! she mouthed, tears
of frustration on her cheeks. He simply nodded and continued, unrelenting.
In the end, her fight was futile. When he caressed her clit with his thumb, one, two, three times,
there was nothing she could do, and with a silent scream, she let wave after wave of pleasure
wash over her, until she was left a quivering, sated blob. As she regained some awareness of what
was going on around her, she saw that Malfoy was a lot paler than he had been before; he was
slick with sweat, even though he had hardly been exercising himself, and he was shivering
violently in echo to her bodys muted aftershocks.
The idea that he was so affected satisfied her immensely. He didnt look like hed last long enough
to make it to the hall let alone the Slytherin common room. He made no move to move away from
her either; rather, he braced himself on either side of her and bent down to kiss her again.
Surprised, she didnt know whether to react favorably or to punish him by being passive, but soon
enough he coaxed a response from her, and her body slowly awoke again.
Malfoy broke the kiss and swallowed hard. I assume you are a virgin, he whispered almost
inaudibly. Itit hurts for girls. You are more relaxed now. I cant wait any longer. Hermione
realized that he had removed his boxers, and they were now both naked, and he was nestled
against her curls. He wasnt going to leave her wanting. Why hadnt he simply reassured her
before? She opened her mouth to ask, but then gasped as he was pushing against her, and she felt
the unfamiliar pressure of him stretching her. He part groaned, part growled, as he slowly inched
forward.
Hermione wiggled a little, trying to get accustomed to the feeling, but he stayed her hips. Youre
so tight, he bit out. Youre going to make me come. The very idea made Hermione feel like a
warm, exciting tide was washing over her. She wiggled a little again, and he stayed her again, this
time harder. Stop it or Ill hurt you! he growled. It wasnt a threat, he was just barely staying in
control, and if she teased him anymore, she sensed, he would lose this control and simply strive
for his own pleasure. Suddenly, he bent and bit her neck hard, and as she shoved at him and
opened her mouth to silently object to the way he was treating her, he surged forward, breaking
through her maidenhead.
The pain was blinding, and again she shoved at him, not thinking this pleasant anymore, at all.
She just wanted to get away. Get back to her warm, safe bed. Why anyone enjoyed this bit was
beyond her, and she was sorry that she had wanted it. Get off! Youre hurting me! she mouthed.
I know, he moaned. Relax, youre making it worse.
She was making it worse? She wasnt the one poking holes in others with her rigid flesh. Get
off!
He slowly shook his head. I cant. He took a deep breath. Try and relax, itll be over soon.
The pain was a great deal less than it was before, but it was still uncomfortable. She tried flexing
some of the sore muscles. It was definitely getting better. I hate you, she mouthed sullenly.
It was doubtful he even noticed her latest admission of hate, as he now had his eyes closed and his
lips were moving as if reciting something. Hermione strained to hear what he said, but the only
thing that she thought she could hear was Finbar Quigley, who was, if she remembered
correctly, some Quidditch player or other. Why would he be thinking about Quidditch now?
Still muttering under his breath, he gently withdrew a little, just to push back in, eliciting a groan
from himself. Hermione found that, this time, it didnt hurt at all. She was still a little sore, but it
didnt bother her the same way anymore, even though she was still uncomfortably stretched. He
repeated the movement a few more times, the movements of his lips growing more and more
frantic as he groaned and shuddered with each thrust. Hermione also found with each thrust that
she seemed to mind less and less, until she was once again thrashing against him, needing release.
He moved faster, harder, his control slipping, his need for his own release growing, but she now
met him thrust for thrust, until, again, she felt the tides of her release sweeping her away.
Relentlessly, he continued, making her come mere seconds later; again, and again, and again.
Within what was probably no more than a few minutes, she felt that she had been climaxing on
and off for hours, and she was convinced that she couldnt handle anymore.
With one final thrust, he surged into her, his cry sharply penetrating the silence around them as she
felt him pulsate inside her, making her tremble in response. He collapsed on top of her, shivers
going through him every few seconds for several minutes.
Hermione felt herself drifting off from sheer exhaustion.
A few minutes later, she awoke with the sharp realization of what she had just done. She had just
slept with Draco Malfoy, her best friends arch nemesis. Malfoy would be able to use this in so
many ways; call her a slut, provoke Harry and Ron to attack him, get both her friends expelled.
And her reputation would be ruined; she would be forced to leave Hogwarts as well or endure
everyones ridicule. Not to mention that Harry and Ron would never speak to her again.
She had failed them all and Draco Malfoy had won.
Her sudden movement seemed to jerk Malfoy awake, as he had been dozing as well. He took one
look at her stricken face and jumped back with an oath, the look of resentment on his face not
veiled in the least. Her legs shaking, Hermione slid down from the table and began dressing
herself, noticing her ruined knickers and the mixed fluids on her thighs with a pang of guilt.
Behind her, she heard a sharp Reparo! as Malfoy repaired his robes. The robes that she had
ripped in her wanton need for him to undress. She closed her eyes and covered her face with her
hands. What could she possibly have been thinking? She was not smart. She was stupid. She
doubted that there had ever been born a wizard or a Muggle more stupid than she had been
tonight.
She ventured a look over at Malfoy. He was now fully dressed and still wore his look of
resentment; only now, it was more pronounced and there was an added element of distaste. Any
hope she had had of pleading with him disappeared. No, it would be better to pretend she didnt
care. Perhaps if she woke up Harry and Ron and explained, they could be prepared for the attacks
from him. Perhaps nobody would believe him. Well, except the Slytherins, but they didnt matter
anyway.
Her robes in order, she made to leave the room and got as far as the doorthe unlocked door
before he caught up with her and slammed her into the wall with unnecessary force. Nobody
hears about this, do you hear? he whispered ferociously, his face now livid with hatred and fury.
I dont want anybody to think that I, Draco Malfoy, would even consider touching a filthy
Mudblood like you! He thrust her forgotten wand into her hand, slammed the door open and
marched out. As an afterthought, he pointed his wand at her mumbling, Finite! lifting her
Silencing Curse, before stomping off.
She stood there, looking after him, with a curious mix of relief and hurt clogging up her throat.
Chapter 2
Draco stormed down the hall, stomach roiling, and his palms and forehead covered in cold sweat.
No, it hadnt happened! It couldnt have! But it had. He shuddered and turned quickly against a
wall as he retched, his eyes tearing. That helped his stomach settle a little, but now he had a foul
taste in his mouth. That was, he had an even more foul taste in his mouth, and his tongue felt like
parchment.
He sniffed, cautiously looking both ways to check if anybody had seen him. Of course they
hadnt. Nobody else was out at this hour. Wearily, he waved his wand, getting rid of the evidence
of his weakness. Scourgify! Well, the evidence that could be gotten rid of, anyway. He doubted
it would be as easy to get rid of the guilt, the shame, the disgust, and the deliciously sated feeling
in his lower belly.
He was doomed if anyone around here found out. They would never let him live it down after all
the things hed said and done over the years. It would be even worse if his father found out,
Lucius Malfoy wasnt known for his love of Muggles or anyone connected with them. Heck, he
wished that, somehow, he could have kept himself from finding out, because right now he was
poised to giving himself a bloody hard time.
Taking up with the Mudblood, Hermione Granger, of Potters inner circle was not acceptable. In
fact, if they found out, it would make them question his loyalty and his dedication, something he
couldnt afford with his father already being in disgrace. He wiped his brow.
He hadnt meant for it to happen, he really hadnt. He had meant to scare the damn goose, maybe
even make her cry if he was lucky. He had meant to mock her, taunt her, punish her for the part
she and her friends had played in putting his father in Azkaban. It wasnt too much to ask, really.
Just a little revenge until they all got their just servings.
But, of course, it had backfired.
He hadnt counted on her feeling so soft and inviting beneath him, her curves stretched against the
fabric of her robe. He hadnt counted on her fighting so hard after hed threatened her, and he
certainly hadnt counted on becoming turned on from her movements. Hed rather envisioned her
pleading with him not to hurt her and that would be the end of it. Silly little Mudblood fool,
actually thinking hed have gone through with it. He wouldnt have done anything to risk being
thrown out of Hogwarts. He never had. He just wanted to see the little bitch taken down a notch
or two, to show her that he was superior.
His father was right, though; he showed an embarrassing amount of weakness when it mattered.
His mouth set in a grim line as he walked on again. Hed become aroused fast when she squirmed
beneath him, and, at first, he hadnt let go of her because he didnt want those arms and legs of
hers to connect with him in what would unquestionably have been a very painful way. He was
nothing if not good at protecting his own hide. Then he hadnt wanted to let her go, so he hadnt.
He wasnt used to doing anything he didnt want to, and he hadnt fully comprehended the
reasons to make this a first at the time.
And then and then he had made the most stupid, irreversible mistake in his life. Hed actually
slept with the Mudblood. And it had been her first time, just as he knew it would be. Who else
would have touched her? Hed bet that Potter was too self-righteous to take what was right under
his nose, and Granger did have more brains than to go for a dimwitted twat like the Weasel. She
really should, though. Weasel would be dumb enough to have her, and maybe her great-
grandchildren would be considered pure-blood, then. Of course, Weasley in himself would dumb
the genes down considerably, but that was a sacrifice she should be willing to make for the greater
good. Merlin knew that the Weasleys could use some brains injected into their line, no matter what
the source.
He was digressing. He closed his eyes as another shudder of self-loathing, mingled with
remembered lust, went through him.
The thing that bothered him the most was that he had forgotten who and what she was. He had
been as gentle with her as he had with Pansy back when he had slept with her the first time. Hell,
even more so, since this time he knew more about how to go about it. He had even tried to distract
her from the pain. He groaned loudly as he realized that hed probably left a mark; it hadnt been a
gentle bite he had administered. Not that she had seemed to appreciate his efforts. He eventually
decided that it didnt matter much, though the thought of leaving his mark on that particular girl
seemed wrong. Worse than wrongsick!
Anyway, if he had to go sleep with Granger, why couldnt he just have taken her, instead of
of catering to her needs like some fool who actually cared?
He knew the answer to that one.
She had seduced him, coming on to him like some little slut, in spite of him making it very clear
that he wanted her to go away. She had clouded his mind with lust, leaving him at the mercy of
his hormones. He may be popular in his own house, but it still wasnt every day that the girls took
off their clothes for him, inviting him to do as he pleased, and answering his advances with such
abandon. Pansy seemed to like him well enough, and they had done it a few times, but it seemed
more like she did it because he wanted to than because she wanted to. She just wanted to be his
girlfriend.
The Granger girl, on the other hand, didnt want anything from him. Yet she hadnt bothered to
hide her need. She had reacted with such lack of restraint that hed just had to see how far he
could go, touching her, watching her thrash about, begging him to take her. Soon, it had been
too late to turn back. Hed certainly not had the willpower and, oddly, it had seemed that neither
had she. Hed thought girls were supposed to be the sensible ones, the ones that said no and such.
She had even clawed at him, leaving rather deep marks on his back which were still stinging
painfully, a couple of them sticking to his clothes. He doubted that she had even realized she was
doing it, and he had a strong feeling that he shouldnt let Pansy see the marks under any
circumstances. He hadnt minded at the time, though, not at all. He had found that there was
pleasure in pain, and he had reveled in the sensation.
He felt himself becoming faintly aroused again, and blushed slightly, shooting a look around. He
was still alone.
When he had come, it had been one of the most intense experiences in his life. It had drained him
and left him almost awestruck. That was, until he realized what he had done and with whom. That
realization, however, had taken much longer than it should have.
Bile rose in his throat again and he choked it down. The difference must really only be in the
blood, because up until then she had felt just like any witch would feel. She looked the part, too,
your everyday witch. She wasnt exceptionally pretty, nor was she ugly. If she had been a pure-
blood or even a half-blood, and definitely not any friend of Potters, he wouldnt really have
minded so much. If she had been pure-blood, he might even have asked her to go out with him
afterwards. Ok, no might about it, he wouldnt have passed up the chance for a repeat
performance. He even felt a pang of regret, as it was, that it wouldnt happen againa pang he
quickly tamped down.
What he didnt understand was her reaction. Sure, she didnt like him much. She professed she
hated him, and maybe she did, although, evidently, not as much as he hated her. She must like
something about him to throw herself at him like that. Girls didnt just sleep with someone unless
they wanted something or had feelings. Merlin, he hoped she didnt! Yet, where did she come off,
looking at him as though he had just sprouted two extra heads and was about to take the
proverbial bite out of her? He was the one who had stepped beneath himself, not her. He was a
Malfoy. He came from one of the oldest, purest, most well-respected and powerful families known
to the wizarding world. From his point of view, she should be quite honored that he had paid her
any attention. Even if the attention had been unplanned and, to a large degree, unwilling.
Reaching the Slytherin common room, he was slightly more composed. There was nothing he
could do about it; he just had to forget it ever happened. He hoped that she was keeping quiet
about it, or he would definitely make her regret it.
*****
The next day, he found himself rapidly becoming annoyed. Just where did Granger get off? He
had been observing her for most of the day to see if she told anyone, and hed been trying to catch
her eye once or twice to remind her what would happen if she slipped, but the little bitch wouldnt
even look at him. She carried on with her goody-goody little friends as if he didnt exist, as if she
hadnt been wild for him mere hours before. That this was exactly what he had wanted, he chose
to ignore. His ego was bruised and he had to take it out on someone. Sneering at Goyle just
wasnt satisfactory.
Between classes, he spotted the trio in the hallway and decided that it was time to have a little fun.
With his two trusted, or rather too-dumb-to-be-true-yet-very-useful-at-times, bodyguards trailing
after him, he strode up to Potter & Co.
Hello there, Potter, Weasel Granger, he said almost jovially, noticing with a flash of irritation
that she still wouldnt look at him. Good show in there, Weasel. Its good to know you carry on
your proud family tradition of incessant inanity, ultimately resulting in your perpetual lack of
pecuniary means. It cant always be easy living up to the Weasley name. He paused expectantly,
mock-waiting for a reaction, but when Weasley just looked at him quizzically, as hed known he
would, he condescended to enlighten him. I said you were a buffoon in class as well as in life.
Really, Weasley, it takes talent to be as talentless as you.
He smirked and stood back as the Weasley boy predictably flew at him, only becoming a little
disappointed that Granger seemed to be able to restrain him before Crabbe and Goyle could have
a go at it. He narrowed his eyes as he saw her pressing her body fully against Weasleys,
whispering furiously in his ear. Potter was also trying to calm Weasley down, but he settled for a
hand on his shoulder and shooting daggers at Draco with his eyes.
All right there, Granger? Draco sneered. He man enough for you, or could you use a little
extracurricular gratification? He let his eyes roam her body indolently, even though he couldnt
see a thing through her loose robes. Crabbe and Goyle sniggered, having actually managed to
follow his meaning.
Hermione blushed, her eyes darkening with anger, and finally she looked at him. Let me know if
you find a man who might qualify, she said with a scowl. He was impressed. His goons were
jeering. She then proceeded to with great difficulty drag both her friends away from him, as they
were both incensed at the jab he had taken at their dear un-virginal friend. If only they knew He
wished he could use it to taunt them, but that was, unfortunately, out of the question.
As she threw her frizzy hair back, he noticed a very prominent mark on her neck. He smirked.
Crabbe took this as a cue to laugh boisterously, Goyle following suit. Granger turned her head
briefly to throw him a contemptuous look.
*****
Life and classes went on as usual, every day more or less the same as they had been before. Draco
was bored, really bored. Pansy was still worshipping him, and he let her. After all, who wouldnt
like that? Yet, some days she got on his nerves with her gushing over him, and he avoided her
just a little. If he had wanted someone smothering him every step of the way, hed have brought
his mother to live with him.
He didnt sleep with Pansy over the next few days because the scratches on his back hadnt
completely faded yet. At least, that was what he tried to tell himself. What came closer to the truth
was that he felt dirty and no amount of bathing seemed to be able to remove the awareness of
whom, or rather what, he had been with and how much hed enjoyed it at the time. Closer to the
truth, yes, but not quite hitting the mark. The thing he hated to admit to himself was that when he
closed his eyes he fantasized about what had happened. When Pansy approached him, offering
him every liberty he wanted, he couldnt help but notice the difference between her giving it up
and Grangers demanding to get it. The thought would immediately arouse him every time it
occurred to him, which was more often than hed like, and he was left with an erection combined
with a bad taste in his mouth.
It even seemed to destroy his desire to push people around most days. Very disruptive to his way
of life. He couldnt wait until the scratches disappeared entirely and he really could start
pretending none of it ever happened. Without the physical evidence, he was sure it would all fade.
Hed be able to be with Pansy and hed find out that the Granger girl really wasnt all that.
He was walking down a hallway on his way to the library one day after school, deep in his own
thoughts, minding his own business, and bumping into a third-year, because she just happened to
be in the way of the path hed chosen, when someone yelled, Hey! Malfoy!
Draco stopped in his tracks upon seeing who had addressed him and placed a smirk on his face.
Hello, Potter. Lonely without your little friends, are you? Did they finally get sick of that fat
scarred head of yours and ditch you?
I was just thinking, said Potter, coming towards him, about what Voldemort has had your
Mummy do lately.
Draco winced at the name and smiled insincerely. Sounds to me like youre suggesting Mother is
under the Imperius curse. I can promise you, she is not.
Potter shook his head. No, she isnt. She chooses to be Voldemorts tool, doesnt she? Doing his
dirty work, cleaning up after your father, offering him her only son. Tell me, Malfoy He
walked even closer. How does it feel to know that your mother loves her own hide more than
you?
You know nothing about what you speak of! Draco snarled. At least Mother cared enough to
stay alive instead of fighting a losing battle. Tell me, Potter, how does it feel to know that your
Mummy would rather die than look at your ugly little face one more time?
The look on Potters face was priceless.
Draco pressed on. Not that she would have lived long, anyway, a filthy thing like her. I suppose
thats why you like to surround yourself with Mudbloods and blood traitors, to remind you of
Mummy and Daddy. Does it work? Are they dirty enough for you?
Lets have it out, Malfoy, Potter bit out. Right here, right now! He pulled out his wand.
Draco jumped back, quickly drawing his own wand. I hope I get to watch when he kills the lot
of you! he announced.
Is that so? came a soft voice from behind him to the left. Draco jerked to see Granger standing
there, cold eyes and wand pointed at him, just as Potter yelled, Expelliarmus! disarming him.
Crap. He decided to brazen it out for once. Granger had seen enough weakness from him to last a
lifetime.
Hiding behind the Muggle now, are we? he asked Potter. You always did seem the type to
hide behind others, waiting for a chance to act the hero. And good choice! The world wont be
missing her, when somebody finally manages to off her. He ignored the furious look on Potters
face and looked at the bruise on Grangers neckfading, but still visible. Whats this, then? he
asked, taking a step closer to her as if to examine the mark, causing her to raise her wand and her
chin at him. Did someone already try? Id applaud him, but seeing as he failed, its hardly worth
the effort, is it?
Draco ignored whatever Potter was angrily spewing behind him, focusing on Granger. She was
about to make a comeback, her eyes narrowed angrily, when an unmistakable cold voice from
behind Draco and Potter said, What is going on here?
Draco couldnt help but let his smirk widen and turned to see Professor Snape looking at Potter as
disapproving as ever. Behind him, he more felt than saw Granger hurriedly hiding her wand. He
attacked me, sir, he said in his best offended voice. I was merely minding my own business and
then he attacked me with his wand.
The Professor narrowed his eyes on Potter. Twenty points from Gryffindor and a weeks
detention, starting now. When Potter looked as if he might object, Snape merely raised an
eyebrow and he fell silent. Draco was downright grinning now.
And Miss Granger? the Professor asked, referring to Granger, who seemed to be trying to hide
behind Draco. Did she in any way aid Mr. Potter?
Draco considered that for a second, and then shrugged. No, professor. Well, unless yelling at him
to stop getting in trouble is considered aiding? He was well aware of the surprised look on
Potters face, and he simply leered back.
Snape nodded, accepting this. Move it along, Potter, he said, pushing him ahead of him. On his
way past Draco, Potter shot him a very dirty look but proceeded to walk obediently.
Now, atta boy, Draco mumbled just loudly enough for Potter to hear. He ignored him, as did
Professor Snape, but Draco didnt miss the slight stiffening of the other boys back, proving that
hed heard it.
Draco hadnt felt that good in days. He reveled in the feeling for a few seconds and then sighed
and turned to the matter at hand. Granger. I believe the words you are looking for are thank
you, he provided helpfully, when she was just staring at him darkly.
That seemed to snap her out of it. She gave a disgusted grunt and then turned on her heel to go,
his arm shooting out to stop her.
Where do you think youre going? he demanded. This wasnt a free pass.
She gave him her best exasperated look. So what, pray tell, am I supposed to do to deserve this
honor?
Saying thank you would be nice for a start.
No. Her face was stony and determined.
No? he asked, not really that surprised.
No. Id rather be in detention every day for the rest of the year than say thank you to you
once!
Ouch, he said casually. Be careful, Granger, you might hurt my feelings.
She snorted at that.
You know, he continued just as casually, those vulgar sounds you keep making really do
nothing to make you more agreeable.
What is it you really want? she finally exploded to his immense satisfaction.
Well, first of all, I dont want to have this discussion in the hallway, he said, looking around
him. There must be some place more private.
She suddenly looked at him with great apprehension, slowly trying to move away from him.
Oh, come off it, Granger, he said irritably. I dont need you for that. He ignored the fact that
his own pulse had picked up at the hint and all too familiar images flashed through his head.
Then what? she shot back, slightly blushing.
In here, he said, dragging her into the nearest room, letting her go, as she yanked her arm away
from him. It was another schoolroom. Funny how the place was filled with them. He briefly
considered locking the door, but decided against it, as anyone who would try to open it would
undoubtedly think they were doing something they shouldnt. Which they werent. Now, he
said. Why did you do it?
She looked at him with a puzzled expression. Do what?
Why did you throw your virginal Mudblood self at me? he asked patiently, not really realizing
until now how much that question had bothered him.
Oh. That. She looked everywhere but him. I dont know.
Aha! She acknowledged that it was her fault. Was it because you have a crush on me? Believe
me, Id understand, he sarcastically said.
That got her attention back onto him. No, she clearly stated. If that was the case I should have
killed myself rather than She looked away again, turning pink.
Well, I think its safe to say that were all sorry that that isnt the case, then, he coldly replied.
Again, hed managed to rile her enough to make her look at him. How about you? she smugly
asked.
Me? He frowned, not getting her point.
Yes, you were there too, as far as I remember.
Now there was a thought, erasing memories. Hed have to look into that. I cant be expected to
answer for what I do when a girl strips down in front of me!
Oh, so you cant be held accountable, but I can?
Relieved that shed finally gotten the point, he said, Exactly!
Youre such a spoiled prat, she angrily shot back at him. You are just as responsible for what
happened as I am!
Me? he said a little too loudly. What did I do?
For one thing, you pulled me into a dark, secluded room
That doesnt necessarily lead to
And then, she cut across, you proceeded to lie down on top of me!
He had done that. He blushed. But she was getting it all wrong, damn it, it hadnt been like that! I
was just trying to give you a bloody scare; you should have just pushed me away.
I. TRIED. She was practically livid now. I even asked you to let me go, remember?
Unfortunately, he did. Fine, he impatiently said. I did that. But then I got off you, and I told
you to leave, how do you explain that? He knew he had her now.
Why didnt you leave? her voice was deceptively calm.
He even had an answer for that. I was in no condition to. Somebody might see me.
She made another disgusted noise. Please, your robes were easily fixed.
Draco leaned closer and in a theatrical whisper said, It wasnt my robes I didnt want them to
see.
Then wh Realization dawned on her face and her mouth set in a silent O. Then she shook
her head. Nobody would have seen you, anyway, she scoffed. It was way too late for that, and
you know it!
Do you really think I would risk anyone knowing that a Muggleborn had done that to me, no
matter how slim the possibility?
Granger gaped. You are just unbelievable!
Well, believe it! he said.
So you think that just because you had an erection, she said, Draco wincing at the graphical
reminder of his state, that exonerates you of all guilt?
Pretty much, he confirmed.
Well, she said through clenched teeth. It doesnt. There were numerous other ways you could
have handled the situation, you could have
Wanked in front of you? he suggested. Yes, Ive always imagined my dignity dying a slow
and painful death like that.
Waited it out, she said as if he hadnt made his crude interruption.
Heres the thing, Granger, he said in his most patient voice. When a girl is naked in front of
you, touching you waiting it out isnt really an option anymore.
The blush crawling up her cheeks told him that she now, finally, got his point. Still she
weakly said.
Whatever, Granger. You didnt answer my question. Why did you do it? You obviously hadnt
an erection, and your robes were whole. She winched at the repeated reminder that she had
ripped his clothes apart, while he had done no such thing. Good! Trying to put it on him, indeed.
I honestly dont know, she bit out. I was so angry and then She shook her head. I guess it
were hormones making us forget just what, she said the last word with a world of scorn and
loathing, we were doing.
Hormones. Yes. Why not? It was the best explanation so far, although it wasnt entirely
satisfactory. But why did she have to sound so loath about it all? Dont try that one on me, he
warned. I know you enjoyed yourself plenty.
With a new blush on her face, she raised her chin, looking defiantly at him. So did you.
Im a bloke.
So?
Blokes will have sex with anything and still enjoy it. Even, occasionally, Mudbloods. He hadnt
actually thought of that before. Good argument. Kudos to her for making him think of it.
Granger rolled her eyes. Oh, that is such piffle! Who says a girl cant enjoy herself just as much
with whoever she wants? And on an afterthought, Or doesnt want?
They can, he conceded. If theyre sluts. Are you a slut, Granger? he asked in a deceptively
gentle voice.
Apparently no more than any man, she snapped. Are we done here? I have more important
things to do, like watching Crookshanks chase his own shadow.
That would be the most important thing you had to do, wouldnt it? he said, raising an eyebrow.
I daresay you should thank me for helping you get rid of your virginity. It wasnt bound to
happen this decade or the next, was it? He watched as that one hit home, her eyes becoming
suspiciously shiny.
You arent going to start blubbering now, are you? he asked disgustedly. Im really not in the
mood for all the He was interrupted at her launching at him
You idiot! she shrieked, her fists hammering at his chest and stomach and anywhere she could
reach. You flaming moron! Filthy pig! Bastard!
Despite of her fists actually hurting him, Draco couldnt help but laugh, warding off the worst of
her blows. He did so quite merrily until she took a shot at his groin, which sobered him instantly.
There now, he said, catching a hold of her flailing arms. No dirty tricks.
Why not? she contemptuously asked, her eyes still shiny, but her emotions better in check now.
It seems to be what you excel at. Her face was flushed in a way that uncomfortably reminded
him of when she had been beneath him.
Well, yes, he conceded. But youre supposed to fight for the power of good and Muggles
and Hufflepuff. He wrinkled his nose in distaste.
Making sure that you are never able to procreate would be for the greater good! she matter-of-
factly stated.
He stood stock-still for a moment and then roared, CRAP!
Granger winced. That remark couldnt have come as that much of a surprise for you, she
muttered sarcastically, trying to get free as his hands were now clenching her upper arms
painfully.
Granger, he said, uncomfortably intense. Did you use a protection spell?
When? she said, trying to wrench free, but being largely ignored.
When do you think? he yelled, shaking her a little. Did you use a protection spell?
Puzzled, she scowled at him for handling her like a rag doll and yelling at her to boot. No, of
course not. You didnt give me a chance. Besides, if I had, dont you think that, oh, I dont know,
it would have worked, maybe?
What? he shook his head, uncomprehending. I mean a protection spell.
Slowly, it dawned on her. Oh. You mean like a contraceptive? No. Could you perhaps let go of
me now?
He let go as if burned. What do you mean no? Everyone knows thats the girls responsibility!
Hermione flushed from anger. You really have to let go of some of your stereotypes soon, she
said, her voice barely civil. There are several reasons I couldnt, apart from the very obvious fact
that you had me silenced. Number one; I dont know it.
What do you mean you dont know it? he asked, conveniently ignoring the part about him
silencing her.
They dont teach it until youre seventeen.
I know that. But that didnt stop Pansy he faltered a little from the menacing glint in her eyes,
but then gleefully resumed. It hasnt stopped Pansy Parkinson from knowing it. Shes performed
it every time Ive slept with her. It was, of course, completely uncalled for to stress that last bit,
but he felt it added a nice touch.
Do NOT compare me to that Slytherin whore! she very uncharacteristically hissed.
Tut-tut, such language, he said. But I will, you see, because shes my Slytherin whore, youre
my Gryffindor whore, and all I have left is to find a Ravenclaw whore. There can be no mention
of Hufflepuff, of course. He noticed with satisfaction that she was almost shaking with anger. So,
she really didnt like Pansy. Good to know! So, explain to me again why you didnt know it.
I did not need to know it.
Well, obviously you did.
Why didnt you do it?
I dont know it.
You just said Pansy has been performing it when sleeping with you!
Do you honestly believe my mind is on the spell then? Perhaps thats why they trust the girls to
do it.
Big fat oaf, she said. But it doesnt matter. We didnt need it.
Relief didnt begin to describe what he was feeling. Oh, good! So youre using some He did
a vague wave of his hand. Muggle-thing?
No.
NO? Youd better have some really good explanation as to why you didnt feel it was needed,
because I personally wont welcome the bastard by-product of some mad encounter I had with
some Mudblood! he growled furiously.
Not to mention that he was likely to get quite literally and irrevocably killed if it happened. The
thought hit him like a rock, and he felt the sickening sensations of horror and panic spreading from
his stomach.
If you would just shut up, I could tell you! she harshly said. According to Teen Trials and
Tribulations at Hogwarts
What?
Shut up!there were some problems with that aspect some years ago. A few students and
even one teacher had to leave quite suddenly. So, in the end, they decided to cast a spell on the
school, preventing anything from being conceived.
That was her big reason not to worry? He was dead. Groaning, he leaned against the wall.
Granger, did it ever occur to you that if it was true somebody would know?
She frowned at that. Somebody does know. I bet Dumbledore does. At his pointed look, she
rolled her eyes. So, youre saying that because Pansy doesnt know, its not true? In that case, the
world isnt round and books arent for reading.
Dont you think somebody would know? he asked more heatedly, ignoring her jab at Pansy,
which was quite frankly very accurate. That thered be a rumor? Whispering in the corners?
No, she calmly said. Its a secret. Or it was, until I found that book. When Madam Pince saw
me with it, she confiscated it, and I havent been able to find it since. They dont want us to know;
its a morality issue.
Well, well know, wont we, he groaned miserably, closing his eyes to block her out, and
leaning his head on the wall. He was shaking. He felt the by now all too familiar bile rise in his
throat once again, and he had to swallow hard, repeatedly. He wondered how many pieces theyd
find him in if his fears came true. He supposed that depended on who got to him first; them or his
father but then, after some thought, he concluded that it would be pretty much the same either
way.
I wouldnt worry about it, she airily said. Theres always options.
Like what, he said with his eyes still closed.
We dont need to discuss that, because even if there wasnt a charmwhich there isand there
was a riskwhich there wasntthen the risk would be exceedingly small from just once and in
that particular part of my cycle!
Her words calmed him a little. He didnt know what she was talking about with the cycle, but
she was right. No reason to fret. Yet. And if he was unlucky well, he could always hope she
fell down some stairs. Perhaps even help her to it. That thought cheered him immensely.
Without warning, the door opened to let in a small gaggle of Ravenclaw girls. He smirked,
thinking about what hed just been saying earlier about getting himself one. These seemed a little
young, though.
Oh, sorry, one of them said, blushing. We thought itd be empty.
It is, Granger assured them as she went around and out the door.
Wait. What? Since when did she get to decide when he would be done talking to her? He
followed her out. I wasnt done, he informed her as he caught up with her.
Oh, what could you possibly still have to say?
Dont tell anyone.
She rolled her eyes at him.
I mean it, he said, grabbing her arm. Dont you go get all confessional neither with your friends
now nor with some bloke whos the next to take a poke at you and discovers that the cherry is
popped. He watched her for another satisfying reaction at the mention of her lost innocence, but
she disappointed him by merely looking resigned.
Oh, what is it to you? she said, exasperated. I mean, telling Harry would She stopped up,
eyes wide, clasping her mouth.
Did you really think I dont know I could use this? he asked, a little amused.
Then why dont you? she asked, looking a little frightened that he just might.
I would love to, I would really love to. To see his face when he heard Id shagged his littl
Ow! She had punched him quite forcefully on the exact same spot she had pummeled him earlier.
Watch it!
Dont use that word, she said, ice dripping from her voice. And answer the question!
What? Shag? Ow! She had punched him again. He seriously considered restraining her again.
Stop that already! he bellowed, frowning and rubbing his chest.
Answer! she demanded.
He considered. Fine, it wasnt an unreasonable request. I have a lot more to lose than to gain.
That was the simple version.
What? she asked. Pansy Parkinsons affections?
He grinned, delighted that the thought of Pansy annoyed her. Among other things
Ah, dont worry, she said. You are one thing I definitely wish upon her!
He raised an eyebrow. You wish the best shag youve ever had upon her?
She lashed out at him again, but this time he was prepared and caught her, using her own
momentum to get her against the wall. He was prepared to tell her just what he thought of violent
Mudblood girls, when suddenly he noticed the feel of her subtle curves pressing against him. His
pulse speeding up, he looked at her soft, inviting lips and was leaning in to claim them, when she
whispered something inaudible.
What? he croaked, not quite willing to be distracted.
I said, she said more clearly, do you really want to be kissing a Mudblood right here in the
middle of the hallway?
Reality dawning on him, he jumped back, once again filled with self-loathing and thoroughly
disgusted that it took so little for him to get sidetracked. Without a word, he turned and stormed
back to his common room as if chased by the Dark Lord himself.
Chapter 3
Hermione was left standing in the hallway, clutching the wall, and shaking with a torrent of
emotions. For a few moments, she didnt know which one of them to go with. She felt hurt to an
extent that an almost physical numbness was spreading. She was disappointed that he had been so
easily disparaged, and she was confused at her own disappointment. Finally, she latched on to
anger, which seemed the safest thing to feel at this point. Having decided on the proper emotion,
she grasped for some thoughts to sustain it.
How dare he treat her like this? How dare he repeatedly abuse and humiliate her and then turn
around and clearly try to pick up where hed left off? Her legs really wouldnt stop shaking. What
if he was right? What if she really was nothing more than a slut eager to accept any and all
advances? She closed her eyes. What if she was forever doomed to tolerate abuse from the likes of
him in order to satisfy her own wanton needs? Even now, no matter how hard she tried to block it,
she could vividly recall her answer to all of his advances, and she felt anger and disgust at herself
for being so weak.
Tears pooled in her eyes. It didnt matter what she was or how shed acted, she had still deserved
to have a first time with someone who wouldnt take the gift and laugh at it before completely
destroying every good memory there might have been about it. Why couldnt he just have left well
enough alone? She had done everything he asked; she hadnt even looked at him in class. Nothing
more had needed to come of it.
Yet, for some reason, he seemed to be much more vicious than hed ever been before. Attacking
poor Ron when, fine, he hadnt been very clever lately. But to act like that was simply despicable.
She had been sure Malfoy had simply wanted to demonstrate that nothing had changed until hed
made that remark.
All right there, Granger? He man enough for you or could you use a little extracurricular
gratification?
The words had hit her like a blow to the stomach. She hadnt dared look at Harry or Ron for fear
of what they might see betrayed in her eyes. Instead she had dragged them both away, cooing her
usual refrain of hes not worth it, and nobody listens to him, dont let him get to you, while
hearing him and his coarse friends laugh at them. She had thought, then, that her humiliation had
been complete. Hah. Little had she known.
She sniffed and pushed herself away from the wall. Get a grip, Hermione, she thought wiping her
eyes. Its not like youre the first person ever to sleep with a bastard. Not even as a first time. At
least, you never loved him, and he never lied to you about what he thought of you.
She hadnt really thought about her first time before this. She hadnt planned it or anything. She
had just assumed that it would not be like this. She had taken a lot of things for granted. For
starters, she had thought that the boy would have liked, if not loved, her. She had also thought that
the boy would have had the decency to not have called her a slut afterwards. And, finally, she had
thought that the boy would have looked on her with smiles and warmth instead of sneers and
arrogance.
She knew it was her own fault for choosing him to begin with. It had been a rash and stupid thing
to do. Still, she had just hoped for a little more respect or at least a little less disgust. The way he
treated her made her feel worthless and that in turn made her angry, because she knew she
deserved bettershe did! Didnt she?
Feeling thoroughly downtrodden, Hermione walked up to the dormitories, only stopping at the Fat
Lady to give the password, before walking on until she entered her shared bedroom. No one was
there yet; it was still much too early. She was feeling very relieved to have the privacy, not
wanting to talk to anyone just now.
Dragging her feet slightly, Hermione went over to the enchanted mirror, where her mirror image
smiled and waved back at her, her nose and eyes a little red. She looked at her face, which frankly
wasnt a very pretty sight right now. Shed always envied those girls who could cry prettily
instead of getting all splotchy and red-nosed as she did. Her mirror image stuck her tongue out at
her. Yes, I feel the same way, Hermione thought wryly.
Normally, she didnt think her face ugly. Not really. It was just so very plain. Her features were
even but unremarkable. Her teeth were a clean white and even. Dental hygiene was important,
after all.
Her eyes were brown. She tried to think up some nice adjectives for them to make them prettier
somehow. She did come up with a few. Chocolate. Cinnamon. Amber. Walnut. Yet her eyes were
really just brown. She supposed the color was all right, though. It didnt remind her of anything
icky, which was always an upside. She decided to let it go.
The hair framing her face was her most damning feature. It didnt have some exciting exotic color
and certainly no luster to speak of. It was a dull, common shade of brown, and it always looked
dry and frizzy. She pulled at a lock, sighing. Nope, no boy would fall for that. So far, all she had
to rely on was her brains and everyone knew how that feature was very important with teenage
boys. Not.
Blokes will have sex with anything and still enjoy it. Even, occasionally, Mudbloods.
Wincing at the reminder, Hermione smoothed her hands over her robes, taking in her body. She
couldnt really see anything. Turn around, please, she instructed her mirrored self, who giggling
turned around, strutting and making poses. It still wasnt any good. Sighing, she opened her belt
and removed her robes. The mirror image just gaped at her and shook her head. Take them off,
Hermione instructed. Again the mirror image shook her head. Ill be standing here like this until
you do, Hermione warned and finally, looking apprehensive, her mirror image took off her robes.
Hermione let her hands run over her breasts, ignoring how her mirrored self blushed furiously and
scowled at her. Her breasts were as unspectacular as the rest of her. They were small, round and
firm. She had had no idea just how sensitive they could be until the other night. Letting her hands
run lower, she reached her belly. It was soft and gently rounded, not completely flat. She let her
hands slide down over her hips, taking herself in fully. She really wasnt at all like some girls
shed seen around with their belts snugly tightened to accentuate their tiny waists and generous
curves, was she? Hermione didnt really mind, but
I wonder what he thought about my body.
The question shocked her to the core. What did she care what he thought? Hed more or less said
that hed only been with her because he didnt want anyone to see that he was aroused. This, by
the way, had not been her doing in the first place. And he had then kissed her. She might for some
obscure reason, that eluded even herself, have liked and responded to it, but the fact remained: He
had started it. He had then proceeded to purposefully put it all on her, making her feel like she had
jumped his unsuspecting, innocent bones. That conceited git!
Oh please, she thought. Youre not all that, Malfoy!
No, he wasnt all that. He wasnt the most handsome boy in school, and he was far from being the
nicest. His charms were debatable, too, as were his ethics. Yet, Hermione wasnt enough of a
hypocrite to claim that she found him unattractive, not after what had happened. She was willing
to own her own part in it unlike someone. She scowled at her mirror image, who was more than
willing to glare back at her.
Why did you throw your virginal Mudblood self at me?
Hermione bit back her renewed irritation. That really had been a legitimate question, although
why did you sleep with me? would have sounded a lot nicer. So why had she done it?
Fighting her own unwillingness to delve into this topic, she tried discerning her own motives. It
wasnt that he had been irresistible; she had already covered that bit. It had just been so
Hermione searched for the word. Powerful. Yes, that was how it had felt. It had been too
powerful for her not to explore. It hadnt been very wise of her, no, but wishing she hadnt done it
didnt make it so.
So what if he blamed her for it? He had been perfectly capable of stopping at any time he wished.
It wasnt her fault that he was a coddled, selfish boy who didnt know how to tell himself no!
Reaching this conclusion, Hermione angrily put her robes back on, and turned to the mirror to
adjust it, only to realize that her mirror image had fled. Sighing deeply, she reminded herself to
bring an unenchanted mirror back to Hogwarts the next time she went home.
*****
The next morning, Hermione went down to breakfast as usual and, as had been her habit of late,
she avoided looking at the Slytherin table. Sliding in next to Harry, she heard Ron say, that
git! and concluded that they had been talking about yesterday. Oh, goodie.
She ignored their ranting about the evil that was Malfoy, absent-mindedly picking at some toast.
When Harry leaned forward for some more juice, however, she noticed something that she hadnt
noticed before.
Have you been working out? she asked, eying his arm.
Harry stopped in mid-movement. What?
Have you been working out? You know, exercising to impress the girls? Harry and Ron
exchanged looks. Hermione took a closer look at Ron. You too! she said. He gave a start.
We havent been doing anything out of the ordinary, Harry said. Just Quidditch.
Hermione looked at them uncomprehending. Thats all done by magic, though, isnt it? she
asked.
Both boys laughed at her. And how do you think we stay on? Ron asked. Takes some work,
you know. Ron and Harry both shook their heads uncomprehendingly at her sudden interest in
their fitness.
Hmm, was all Hermione replied, already retreating back into her reverie. So that was why
Malfoy had been fit, pure and simple hed been playing Quidditch. Not that it mattered at all,
because it didnt. So what if he hadnt been working out to try and impress silly Slytherin girls?
Playing Quidditch was an even better way of achieving the same end, it seemedthere being the
added popularity and all.
It was hard for her to bash him for playing Quidditch, though, when her two friends were doing
the same. But it wasnt the same, she was sure. It was just the same means to completely different
ends. Whatever the ends were. Oh, she knew what his ends were: evil, shallow womanizing.
Trying hard to ignore her own flawed logic, she mulled over this for a while.
Rons voice penetrated her thoughts. So Malfoy landed you in detention for a whole week, did
he? Hermione jerked, her heart skipping a beat, before realizing he was addressing Harry.
Yes, Harry replied. The odd thing, though, is that Hermione was there and Malfoy told Snape
that she didnt do anything.
What? Ron straightened from his eggs and looked at Hermione frowning. Why would he do
that?
They were both looking at her. She wasnt prepared for this. Um she said, stalling for time.
He-he needed help on his Transfiguration homework. She sighed with relief as they seemed to
accept this with mutters of of course and smartest girl in school. Yes, she was, wasnt she?
She looked down on her food, losing the desire even to pick at it. She could probably do with a
diet anyway.
So thats why you were alone with him in that room! Ron said, beaming. I didnt know what
to think.
Hermiones head shot up, red spots on her cheeks. Listening to gossip now, Ron? Dont you
have anything better to do? She felt a certain satisfaction quickly followed by a sense of guilt
when he blushed and avoided her eyes. She had been alone with Malfoy and none of it had been
exactly innocent.
Wait, you were alone with him, Hermione? Harry asked, looking concerned. You know thats
not very wise if hes a
Oh, get off it! Hermione snapped, forgetting everything about feeling guilty. He isnt. Hes just
some spoiled prat who talks big. She pushed her food away and got up, meeting a pair of amused
grey eyes at the Slytherin table, as she did so. Great, just great. She bared her teeth viciously at
him and stormed off, very much wishing to curse every male in her year.
*****
A few weeks went by with nothing untoward happening. Hermione took great care to not be
caught in a position, compromising or otherwise, where she would have to talk to Malfoy.
Hogsmeade weekend came and went. Hermione noticed that Malfoy went about his business
much as he had before, Parkinson never many steps away from him and his goons. Fortunately, he
seemed to grow bored with taunting her, and so, eventually, he stopped doing it, allowing her to
finally drop her guard and relax again.
Exactly twenty-six days after their last private encounternot that she was countingHermione
was dawdling alone at the library. It wasnt that she didnt want to go back to her common room,
exactly; it was more of a lack of enthusiasm. She knew what would meet her back at the common
room: an excited Harry giving her more of his evidence that Malfoy was a Death Eater. Even if
it hadnt reminded her of what they had done, she would still have been annoyed at the way he
was going on about it. She knew she couldnt stay here much longer, though; Madam Pince
would throw her out in a few minutes.
Sighing, Hermione gathered her books and slowly began the walk back to the Gryffindor
common room. It was late; when she got there, she could just say she was tired and go to bed. She
wasnt really tired, though, and going to bed sounded frightfully dull.
Lost in thought, she didnt notice anyone else being in the corridor before someone grabbed her,
dragging her into what looked like a caretakers closet, holding a hand over her mouth. She just
had time to think how stupid it had been of her not to be more alert in these times, when the
perpetrator spoke.
Dont scream, he softly said. Its me. Took your time getting here, didnt you?
Malfoy.
What did he want from her this time? Was he just bored and needed someone to harass again? She
wouldnt stand for it this time and shed make damn sure he knew it.
What do you want? she aggressively asked, when he slowly removed his hand, pulling the door
shut, so only a sliver of light entered.
You, he murmured as he bent to kiss her.
Wait What?
That was about as much coherent thinking as registered before she discovered the feel of his
warm, soft lips on hers. Just the tiniest brush made her moan with an almost forgotten longing.
Seemingly encouraged by this, he deepened the kiss, allowing his tongue to penetrate her mouth.
Her knees growing decidedly weak, Hermione grabbed an almost desperate hold of his shoulders
to keep her up, and, appearing to understand, he hoisted her up, wrapping her legs about his waist
and pinning her to the wall.
She moaned again, having now completely forgotten everything but the feeling of him kissing her,
pressing his hardness against her softness. His one hand was on her thigh, steadying her, while his
other hand slid up to cup one of her breasts. When he began gently kneading her through her
robes, it was pure bliss.
She let her hands slide up his neck and into his hair, where she entangled them, grabbing hold,
keeping his head in place. He made a low sound of approval in his throat that did strange things to
her insides, and the kiss turned hard and hungry.
Wasnt there some reason why I shouldnt?
Frowning in confusion, Hermione broke the kiss, turning her head away. Unperturbed, Malfoy
started kissing and nibbling her neck, making Hermiones pulse soar as he sucked on a particularly
sensitive spot.
Wait, she groaned, trying to gather her wits as he, deciding that he liked that particular spot on
her neck, started nibbling at it. When he proceeded to bite a little harder, everything went black for
a second.
Malfoy only shushed her gently. Dont think so much, he breathed against her pulse. Just feel.
He then slid a hand inside her knickers and, with agonizingly slow movements, touched her
everywhere but the one place she longed to be touched. She squirmed against him and his breath
labored, but he continued to just tease her.
Please, she panted, thrusting more forcefully against him.
He smiled as if he had won a small victory, and then he kissed her again, swallowing her cry, as
he touched her just right. Hermione desperately needed an outlet for her own need, so she returned
his kiss forcefully, making him groan and press harder against her.
She thought she was going to die when his finger entered her, and, judging from the shudder
going through his body, he had much the same feeling. How could she have forgotten how good
this felt? Nothing she had ever done to herself, when she was lying alone in bed at night, could
possibly compare to this.
I need he choked out.
She nodded. Surely he didnt think she would stop? Her thoughts were nothing but a blur of a hot,
desperate longing, eager to be fulfilled.
Suddenly, before they could go any further, his head shot up, he turned to face the door, and his
entire body froze.
What Hermione asked, but he clamped his hand over her mouth and then signaled for her to
be quiet. Now she could hear it too; muffled steps. Someone was approaching and trying to be
quiet about it. There was some shuffling about outside the closets door.
Hermiones heart beat fast and hard from fear of discovery, the lust temporarily pushed in the
background. She was going to lose her prefect status at the very least if she was discovered like
this, in a closet, snogging, and worse.
Hes not here, said an annoyed voice Hermione knew all too well. Harry. From the frown on
Malfoys face, hed recognized the voice as well. He had taken half a step back, letting her slide
down to stand on her own feet, and he was now listening intently.
Are you sure you read the map right? asked another voice. Ron. Hermione shot another quick
glance at Malfoy, whose frown had deepened.
Yes, take a look at it yourself! Malfoy, fourth floor. Right where we are now! Harrys voice
insisted.
Oh, this was no good at all! Now Malfoy knew about the map, and why didnt they think to look
in the closet? Malfoy looked really angry now. She couldnt really blame him; who liked being
followed around and having their fun interrupted?
Yes, but look at this bit, Ron pointed out. It says Hermione should be here too. There was a
slight pause. You dont think shes still tutoring him, do you?
Hermione looked away as she felt Malfoy glancing at her. Well, she had had to tell them
something, hadnt she?
No Harry mumbled. But something is definitely off. Right. Well. We wont find anything
here, so we might as well go back. There was some more shuffling and then their steps receded.
How come Hermione began.
Bedazzling hex on the door.
She nodded. Of course. This had been planned carefully, hadnt it? She didnt know why it
bothered her so much that he had made that much of an effort to make sure they werent
discovered, but it did. She would have been mortified if anyone, especially her friends, had caught
her, yet it was hardly flattering to be someones dirty little secret.
Feeling rather annoyed with both herself and Malfoy, she made to leave.
Malfoys hand shot out to stop her. Where are you he stopped abruptly, as she had her wand
pressed against his jugular vein.
Let go of me, she calmly said, not softening the pressure of her wand, even as he did as asked.
Hermione couldnt help but smile a little at his shocked expression as she carefully removed his
wand from his pocket. Why did you bring me here? she then proceeded to ask coldly. He made
no move to answer, and she prodded him a little harder with her wand.
Isnt it obvious? he asked, glowering at her.
She supposed it was, but Spell it out to me! she said, feeling a certain satisfaction from the
fact that he was unable to hide his annoyance.
I wanted to fuck you again, he calmly said after a small pause, smirking a little at her wince and
glare at his crude choice of words.
She shook her head. No, you said
I lied, all right? This here is not exactly something Im proud of.
You hate me, she stated, slowly, as if daring him to dispute it.
Thats right I do. I hate you and your two friends, The Boy Who Stalks and sidekick Beggar
Boy, with all my heart. That doesnt keep me from wanting to fuck you.
His vulgarity was really grating on Hermiones nerves and, again, she prodded him hard enough
for him to wince and swallow. And wasnt he looking a little paler than usual? Stop using that
kind of language, she hissed.
Then what, pray tell, am I supposed to call it? he asked sarcastically. If Im not supposed to say
shag or fuck
Then you will find a nicer term, she said, aware that her hands and her voice were shaking a
little, and doing her best to steel herself. Why do you want to?
He raised an eyebrow. Why do I want to what?
She poked him again, eliciting a grunt and a scowl from him. Why do you want to sleep with
me? she asked, all too aware that they were still standing too closely together, for all intents and
purposes hidden from the world.
He seemed hesitant to reply. She was about to jab him again when he jerked his head and said,
Im not really sure, ok? I just do.
Hermione straightened her back and looked down her nose at him. Well, its not going to
happen. Not now, not ever! I wont let you!
He laughed abruptly, stopping on a growl when she again dug her wand into his throat. Dont be
a hypocrite, Granger, he said. You want it just as much as I do.
Hermione felt her face flush. He was right. That didnt mean she had to give in to it, though. He
was still the same slimy bastard he had always been, and if she remembered that, she would stand
a better chance of resisting his advances.
I am going back to my common room now, and you are doing nothing to stop me, she calmly
informed him. Do you understand?
He gave a terse nod of the head, his eyes promising every kind of retribution.
Well, theyd see about that. Hermione, for one, was tired of being bullied around. Still facing
Malfoy, she pushed the door open and stepped into the hallway. Once she was sure that she was
out of sight, she broke into a run and ran all the way back to her common room.
Chapter 4
Draco coughed and rubbed his throat, casting another murderous look in the direction Granger
had run off. This was definitely not how he had planned this thing. Right about now he was
supposed to be sated from a most satisfying tryst, not having a sore throat from being poked. He
had been supposed to do all the poking, damn it! He lashed out in frustration, sending one of the
shelves tumbling down with a loud crash. Perversely, that made him feel a little bit better.
Fucking bitch.
He didnt know why he wanted her so badly, but he did. For the last four weeks, he had been able
to think about nothing but burying himself inside her again. The first two weeks, he had felt like
crap, trying to convince himself that he could not have release because she was a Mudblood, but,
after a while, that reasoning just seemed empty. He didnt want to marry her, for crying out loud,
he just wanted to fuck her.
Yes, fuck was his new favorite word. It described very well what he dreamed about doing every
night: taking her hard and fast, pounding into her, watching her face flush and her eyes roll back,
hammering, until he felt her walls clenching around him and
Fucking bitch.
He felt cheated. Her hands and lips had soothed some of his need earlier. She had felt warm and
wet, and they had been so close to actually completing the act. He felt like a man dying of thirst
who had gotten enough water to soothe his craving for a few minutes, just to have the need
returned all the stronger because of the taste.
Potter, it was always Potter. There was one person he wouldnt miss if he fell off the face of the
earth. In fact, wasnt there a rumor about an Anti-Gravitation spell? Hed have to look into that.
Draco stepped out of the closet, not bothering to clean up the fallen shelves, and began walking
towards the dungeons. No reason standing around like a fool. She wasnt going to change her
mind. Not tonight, anyway. Eventually, though
The thing that had changed his resolve to stay away from Granger once and for all had been when
Pansy had come on to him in the common room one day. Hed thought, Why not? Shes willing!
and had brought her to his room. There he had proceeded to kick everyone out, before taking his
pent up lust out on the girl with a kiss that should have burned them both up.
Pansy had not responded as he had hoped. While she had not pushed him away, she hadnt been a
quivering lusty morsel either. She had been rather passive, and he had noticed a brief look of fear
in her eyes, quickly hidden with a seductive glance taking its place. It had surprised and annoyed
him that she had shown fear in the bedchamber of all places. He had never given her the least of
unsolicited touches, and it angered him that she seemed to think he would start now.
She had then proceeded to coo for his patience while undressing him. He had let her, even though
patience was a word almost unrecognizable to him at that point.
When they had been on the bed, he had continued to kiss and touch her, but, to his immense
dissatisfaction, she was nowhere near his level of need, and his intensity seemed to scare her more
and more, until he finally couldnt take it anymore and told her to get out.
She had tried insisting that she wanted this, until he had wrenched her legs apart, forced a finger
into her dry heat and, leaning over her clearly wincing and frightened visage, had sneered, Not a
drop. You havent even the decency to think of someone you do want to shag. Now GET OUT!
She had jumped from his bed, gathered her clothes and, sobbing, she had run from the room.
Draco supposed hed been a bit hard on her. It wasnt really her fault that he didnt want her
anymore, either. Yet, the next day she had approached him at breakfast with a wary look, and,
upon seeing that he wasnt about to treat her any differently than usual, she had gleefully resumed
the old act. Keeping up appearances was important after all, and being associated with a Malfoy
was good, even if he did humiliate you in the privacy of his bedroom.
The whole thing had left him violently frustrated, and it was then he had started scheming to get
Granger alone again. It had been much harder than he had first thought. For a week, she had
eluded him, never being alone for a single second. At first, he had tried taunting her for a
response, but that hadnt helped at all; shed only grown more defensive. Then hed stopped the
taunts and started planning the seduction. The important part was to not allow her to think. The
closet had been the perfect place to execute the plan, and hed almost succeeded too.
If it hadnt been for that Potter!
Draco reached the stone wall blocking the entrance to his common room and mumbled,
Ambition! allowing him in. He had plenty of ambition, all right. Inside, he flung himself into a
comfortable armchair near Crabbe and Goyle, who seemed to be struggling with school work, and
continued his musings.
There were other girls, of course. Yet, somehow it seemed like Slytherin girls were afraid of
Pansy, and non-Slytherin girls didnt find him quite as charming as he would have thought. In the
week that Granger had eluded him, hed gotten the farthest with the Greengrass girl, who smiled
and blushed whenever he was around, but, after two days, she had suddenly begun to avoid him
and shoot fearful glances in Pansys direction.
Draco sighed. Maybe his love life would get easier if he simply gave Pansy the slip, yet,
somehow, he doubted it. She was much like himtoo used to getting her way. No, it was
probably better to keep her close and have at least a little control over her actions.
He rubbed his throat again. Saucy wench, he thought, having calmed down a great deal. He
couldnt keep from grinning when he imagined just how much his prize would be worth all his
hardships.
That cant be good, a dry voice commented. Draco looked at the speaker to see it was Theodore
Nott. Nott was a queer sort of fellow, and Draco was somewhat surprised to be addressed by him,
yet there was no mistaking who he was talking to.
What? he croaked, before giving a slight cough. Damn wench had really poked his vocal cord
good.
You come in here looking like murder and five minutes later you are grinning like a maniac. No,
please dont tell me what youre up to. I dont want to know, he waved Draco off before he
could reply, and then returned to the book he was reading.
Draco couldnt help but laugh.
*****
The very next day, Draco was still feeling optimistic about his chances and in a better mood than
his friends had seen him in for a long time. Grangers usual unwillingness to even glance at him at
breakfast didnt even detract from it in the least. He knew she wanted him, her moaning and
squirming and slick folds did not lie. Soon his burning need would be satisfied.
Yet, even in Arithmancy, which her moronic friends didnt take, she remained aloof, ignoring
him, while answering every single question in her usual annoying way. Draco still wasnt
discouraged, but the lack of attention had begun to get on his nerves again. Having nothing better
to do, schoolwork being out of the question, he made whispered remarks to his friends every time
she answered a question, gradually making a disturbance as his friends were trying hard to hide
their laughter and failing, while Grangers face turned a darker and darker shade of red. She still
didnt deign to look at him, though. Eventually, he had to stop as Professor Vector noticed,
berated him, and deducted points from Slytherin, promising him detention if he continued.
It was when he was on his way to Charms that it happened.
Something hit the back of his head, stretched and burst, leaving him with a decidedly sticky and
yucky feeling.
PEEVES! he roared, turning to face the culprit, while he could hear sniggering from around
him, making his face flush a little in embarrassment. He was awarded by getting another dose of
what appeared to be water balloons filled with some green, slimy substance straight in the face, to
everyones great mirth, especially one girl was laughing louder than everyone else.
Spluttering, he removed the worst goo from his eyes and mouth and then proceeded to hurl
various hexes in Peevess direction, yet lamentably missing him every time. Another balloon was
thrown, but this time Draco dodged it, and, judging from a shriek behind him, it found another
target.
Draco turned to see who had been hit, yet forgot to laugh at the fifth year girl with a giant splotch
on her robes, when he noticed who was laughing so merrily at him that she was almost jumping
up and down and clapping her hands with delight. A balloon hit the hem of his robes, but he no
longer cared, and Peeves got bored aiming at him and began juggling instead.
Granger.
Her friends were with her, of course, both wearing big smirks. Granger was flushed and had tears
in her eyes, while she pointed at him and tried to say something that came out more as a
heehawing. Draco looked at her and watched her slowly regain her composure, only to lose it
again, when Weasley mumbled, Always did say he was a slimy git.
Draco did consider trying to shut Granger up with a very suggestive crack about his effect on her,
but he recognized that he was in no position right now and settled for a scowl. She took one look
on his face and laughed even harder.
Sl she sobbed. Sssssllllllllllllllll Another burst of laughter and gasps. She had an
interesting shade of purple on her face now, and tears were openly rolling down her cheeks.
SssllllllliSlimSsssssli She seemed incapable of finishing the word and actually almost
toppled over laughing before being steadied by Weasley and Potter, who now seemed to be
paying more attention to her than Peeves antics.
Peeves made another attempt at getting the attention back by aiming for the back of Dracos head
once more, but Draco moved in that instant, and the balloon only grazed his shoulder and hit
Granger, leaving half her face and a rather large portion of her unruly hair covered in the green
substance. Even this did nothing to stop her laughing. She wiped her face with one hand, and,
upon seeing what shed scraped off, she laughed even harder, making rather desperate gasps for
air, and grabbing a hold of Weasley with the dirty hand, making him wince a little. Draco even felt
his own lips twitch as others, including her own friends, were now giggling openly at Granger,
who couldnt seem to stop herself.
Draco started fantasizing about grabbing her laughing frame, hauling her into an empty room and
kissing her until her giggle turned into a moan and she was clawing at him again. This thought left
him in a rather uncomfortable state in itself, of course, but the appeal of the fantasy could not be
denied.
Out of the way, shoo, came the voice of Professor McGonagall. Really, Miss Granger, I would
have thought you of all people would exercise more restraint. Mr. Malfoy she sighed. Wait
here. PEEVES! The formidable head of Gryffindor House then proceeded to threaten Peeves,
who was now juggling his bombs and making raspberries at her, delighted that finally someone
paid him some heed.
Granger was in no way discouraged by the arrival of the teacher, she was now giggling and
sobbing into Weasleys chest, making unintelligible sounds, while he smiled fondly down at her,
trying to avoid the goo while patting her back, and looking mightily pleased with himself.
Suddenly, for the first time that day, Draco felt angry enough to commit murder. He suggested to
nobody in particular that she was under the Tickling Charm, but Professor Flitwick, who had also
been attracted by the commotion, heard that and rushed to assure him that she was simply having a
fit of being a Teenage Girl, which was quite common for girls her age.
Nowreally, Miss Granger Professor McGonagall said, having finally intimidated Peeves to
stop, lets have a look at you, Mr. Malfoy. She flicked her wand at Draco, but nothing
happened. Frowning, she flicked it again. And again. Draco kept being as covered in gunk as he
had been before. Gingerly, she touched the substance and then sighed. I should have known. Its
ectoplasm. Theres nothing to do for it, it wont remove by magic. I only wonder how he managed
to get such quantities. She sighed again. Off you go, then. Bathe and change your clothes, and I
will let your teachers know that you will miss this class. You too, Miss Granger, if you should
manage to get a hold of yourself. Having effectively dismissed them both, she then proceeded to
talk to the other girl that had been hit, who only needed a change of robes.
Grangers sobs and giggles had receded a little, but every time she looked up at him, they would
return with renewed force. Fortunately, nobody questioned the furious glance he shot at Granger
and Weasley as he brushed past on his way off to the baths. He made sure to shake his head to
spread the wealth a little as he passed them.
Draco hadnt gone far when he saw Pansy and a group of her girlfriends. Thinking that finally she
might be of some use, he went up to her. The second she saw him, her eyes widened, and she
glanced around, quickly, as if to see how many had seen. Good old shallow Pansy. He forced a
smile at her.
What happened? she asked in a horrified voice. Why are you walking around like that?
Peeves, he replied. Be a sweetheart and give me the password for the prefects bathroom, so I
can get a nice bath, will you?
Pansy nodded and whispered the pass in his ear, being very careful not to touch any of the
ectoplasm. He couldnt really blame her; he was wishing that none of it was touching him either.
Thanks, love, he said and walked on.
Before going to the fifth floor bathroom, Draco had to go four floors down to get clean robes, and
by the time he had made it six floors up again, he was certain that the entire school had not only
seen his appearance but had bought into Weasleys feeble slimy git joke. That boy had a death
wish.
The second he pushed the door open to the prefects bathroom, he knew something was off.
Someone was there. His eyes went to the enormous tub, where a certain unmistakable bushy-
haired Mudblood was floating covered with foam, her eyes closed.
This certainly was an unexpected treat. He had forgotten that the little spitfire was still a prefect,
but of course she was. Without making a sound, he closed and bolted the door, frowning that she
had forgotten to do this. Was she expecting someone? Perhaps she had known he would come?
No, unfortunately he had to discard that theory; she couldnt have known that Pansy still let him
use the bathroom sometimes since he, strictly speaking, wasnt allowed here anymore.
Slowly, he walked towards the pile of robes and towels that she had placed next to the edge. She
didnt stir. He took the pile and deposited it where she had no chance of reaching it soon and then
tip-toed over to the pile of fresh towels in the corner to cover up the mermaid picture. It was the
mermaids indignant screech that made Granger aware of his presence. She started and then, of all
things, began laughing again when she saw him. Draco raised an eyebrow and then began pulling
off his bootsthat shut her up.
What are you doing? she asked, alarmed.
What does it look like Im doing? Im taking a bath.
Youre not a prefect. Youre not allowed in here. In fact She turned to the door, frowning.
He grinned at her. How clever of me to know one, then.
Realization dawned on her face. Pansy. That irresponsible, inconsiderate, little
Now, now, he said, having finished with his boots. Thats not very nice. She just wants a nice,
clean boyfriend, doesnt she?
Well, Granger said. As you can see the tub is in use! She blushed, as if just realizing she was
naked. He had certainly known all along. So youll just have to go bathe somewhere else. Shoo!
Youre not being very friendly, are you? he said, loosening his belt, smirking as her eyes
widened. I mean, you certainly look much cleaner than I am.
Oh! In that case Ill just her voice abruptly cut off as she turned to where her clothes had been
supposed to be. What did you do with my clothes?
It made sense to move it so it wouldnt get wet, he said, pointing across the room, not bothering
to hide the grin on his face.
Well, give it back!
He continued to grin at her. I dont think so. Why dont you go and get it? Images of a wet and
naked Granger emerging from the water were running through his head and were having a
pronounced effect elsewhere. He pulled off his robes, making her hastily look away.
You insufferable, arrogant son of a
No need to drag my mother into this.
Granger merely sneered at him. Give me my clothes back, then.
I told you, he said, stripping off his underwear. Youre welcome to go get them. He didnt fail
to notice that she had turned pink and was avoiding looking at him. He wondered whether her
flush was from anger, embarrassment or arousal. He hoped for the latter.
As he slipped into the pool, she edged warily away from him. Relax, Granger, he smoothly
said. Theres plenty of room for the both of us. He lowered his lashes, making a pretense of
washing off, while covertly watching her. He really hoped shed make a run for her clothes, and
he didnt fail to notice the gentle rounding of the top of her breasts, even as she was still warily
keeping an eye on him.
Why are you doing this? she asked in a strangled voice. Why do you keep Words seemed
to fail her.
Because I, unlike you, am not a hypocrite, he answered without stopping his washing. Damn,
this stuff was everywhere and it had dried into stubborn cakes in places. Stupid poltergeist. Yet, if
it hadnt been for Peeves, he wouldnt have been here. He had to remember to thank him if this
went well.
He coughed and spluttered, as she unexpectedly splashed water in his face.
I am not a hypocrite, she hissed.
Of course you are, he said with an annoyed glance at her. You wont acknowledge what you
want, will you?
I know what I want! she said a little too loudly while hitting down on the water, splashing it
everywhere.
There was a silence.
Do you, now? he finally asked in a low voice.
She blushed. II didnt mean I dont want
In that case, he said with a disappointed sigh, you are still a hypocrite. Deciding he had had
enough conversation that wasnt getting him anywhere, he dived to rinse his hair. While under the
water, he opened his eyes for a most delicious view, and in a couple of strokes, he was next to her,
resurfacing.
Granger shrieked and then made for the edge. She reached it just as he reached her, and before she
could hoist herself up, he had her turned and caught between his arms.
You know what really bothers me? he asked, but didnt wait for an answer. The fact that you
still act as if Im about to force you, even though you want this as much as I do. Swiftly, he bent
to kiss her.
It wasnt a gentle kiss, yet their bodies werent touching, and, had she wanted to, she could easily
have slipped away. She didnt. She stood as if stupefied by his words and allowed the kiss. Draco
was fighting himself hard not to simply press her against the side of the bath and give them both
what they needed, but he was not going to force himself on her. It would defeat the whole reason
he wanted her in the first place. He wanted her to surrender.
After a few seconds, he felt her hands on his arms, caressing him, moving up to his neck. A low
moan escaped her lips and a jolt of pure need shot through him. Did she even have the slightest
inkling of what she was doing to him? When she pressed her body against his, he felt positively
ready to go off. He broke the kiss and with an act of extreme willpower stepped away from her.
Granger made a muffled sound of objection and looked at him with big brown eyes filled with
need. Did she know how transparent she was? Why did you stop? she asked in a throaty voice.
If you want me he said, almost already regretting his resolve. Come and get me.
She slowly shook her head and disappointment seeped through him, mixing with frustration and
anger.
She will rather have us both suffer than admit she wants me. Why?
I cant, she softly said. Not again. I wont be your slut.
What?
What are you talking about? he demanded a little angrier than he had meant to.
You called me a slut, she said with her eyes averted. For you know, coming and getting
you.
Draco closed his eyes and cursed himself. Sometimes he could be such an idiot. So could she.
Fuck, Granger, he said, ignoring her reproachful look at his language. Sometimes you can be
really stupid, you know that?
At this, Granger paled, her eyes widened, and she made to get away from him. Again he grabbed
a hold of her, back to front, before she could get out. I said those things, he whispered in her
ear, because I hated what you could do to me. You were a virgin, how could you be a slut? It
was a lie. This seemed to mollify her a little, and she relaxed against him.
He felt himself reacting strongly to the closeness of their bodies, and he knew he couldnt let go
again. He had to have her; she had to want himwhatever it took. He let his hand caress her
neck, feeling her lean into him, and, slowly, so as not to scare her away, he turned her and claimed
her for another kiss. She didnt push him away.
He grabbed her closer and deepened the kiss hungrily, and still she didnt push him away.
He backed her against the edge of the basin, and she wrapped her legs around him and ran her
fingers through his hair. Draco moaned against her lips. He felt his senses fill with the feeling of
her skin against his, the warm water surrounding them, and the heady, perfumed smells of the
bubbles and foam covering the entire pool.
She broke the kiss to nibble at his neck, and he couldnt wait any longer, yet when he wanted to
enter her she pulled away from him. He growled.
I should do the getting, remember? she purred at him, before she poised herself at his tip and
slowly lowered herself, extracting a low groan from him. When she withdrew, he made a sound of
protest.
Why, she asked, nibbling his ear. Would I want to get it, though?
Because you want it, he choked out. She laughed.
Once more, she did the same maddening motion, and he was sure that he would disgrace himself
if she didnt stop teasing him soon. He told her as much. She merely laughed again.
Why dont you go to Pansy, then? she taunted. I bet shed do things your way.
I havent wanted her since He stopped, but it was too late. She had heard and from the look
on her face, she was very pleased with what she had heard. Too pleased.
Growling, he took matters into his own hand, and, holding her against the side of the basin, he
thrust into her, hard and deep. She moaned her approval as he thrust into her again and again. It
felt even better than he remembered if that were possible.
Much faster than he had hoped, he felt his control slip and his pace quickened. Fuck. He wouldnt
be able to get her off. He tried desperately to regain control, but it was a lost cause as the way she
moved against him and moaned his name was driving him rapidly towards the edge that he was
trying to pull away from. He sucked the tender spot on her neck, making her arch against him, and
he felt it coming. In another few strokes, it would be over.
Fuck, Granger, Im coming, he murmured apologetically against her ear. Immediately, he felt
her response, as she bit down hard on his shoulder to stifle a scream, and she convulsed around
him. The sharp pain made him hiss, and then he was coming too.
For several long moments, there was nothing but their heartbeats and the sounds of their breathing.
Slowly, Draco lifted his head to look at her. Damn, Granger
We have class, she interrupted, not quite looking at him. We should hurry. Weve taken too
long already.
She was right, of course, but he didnt like her reaction. Im sure youll be forgiven, he said.
Maybe if you just explain to them that you needed a good
What the hell is the matter with you? she yelled, pushing him forcefully away from her. Why,
in the name of Merlin, do you always have to be so crude?
Draco winced. Not at her words, but because some suds had made his shoulder sting. He looked
down at it to see that she had very nearly taken a bite out of himthe teeth marks were deep and
she had drawn blood. She seemed to just notice too, and her eyes grew big and contrite.
I can fix that for you, she mumbled. Hold on. She pulled herself out of the tub and went for
her wand, seemingly unaware of her naked, glistening body. Draco wasnt unaware; he was fully
capable of enjoying the sight offered him.
No, he said, when she had found her wand and was making her way back. He got out as well
and began drying off, taking care around his tender skin. Leave it. He liked the bite mark,
although he wasnt going to tell her that. The adrenaline when she had bit down had made his
orgasm even more intense, and he liked the thought that there was at least one girl around here that
he could drive wild with need. Even if he did have to stalk her for a month before she allowed him
to.
Granger didnt argue. She merely dried off as well and got dressed. Draco stood looking at her,
wondering if she was still in denial. When she was done, she looked thoughtful for a moment,
before she spoke. Heres the thing, she said. What were doing is unhealthy and deceitful and
stupid.
Draco raised an eyebrow at that. He supposed that was a yes. Not to mention wrong and
perverse, he added helpfully.
She nodded, and he stood watching her for a few moments as she gathered her things. She was
really quite pretty. He didnt know why that thought surprised himof course she was. Why else
would he want her so badly? It couldnt just be because of her rather lusty nature, as he was quite
sure that if Millicent Bulstrode started ripping his clothes off and was panting in his ear, he
wouldnt be the least interested.
When she didnt say anything further and again seemed to avoid looking at him, he decided to kiss
her. Striding over to her, he turned her and pressed his lips against hers, before she had time to
object. This was the first time he kissed her without an urgent need raging through his body. It
was a kiss holding the promise that hed have her again no matter what. He let his hand tangle in
her wet curls and dragged her closer. At first, her eyes widened, and she briefly struggled, but then
she surrendered to the kiss on a sigh.
When satisfied with her response, he broke the kiss. So, when will we do this again? he calmly
asked.
That got her attention. We just agreed
We never agreed to stop, he cut across. Dont tell me that thats what you really want.
She shook her head. II need to go to class, she said. Draco was feeling thoroughly
exasperated, when she walked away from him once again. Pausing at the door, she looked at him
and said: I guess Ill see you around? And before he knew what to make of this, she was gone.
Chapter 5
Oh, God. Oh, God. Oh, GOD!
They had done it again. They had really done it again. It was no longer a crazy one night fluke,
now it had happened twice, making it a pattern.
Sleeping with Malfoy was a pattern.
Oh, God.
Hermione was horrified. She was horrified that she had done it againand been so wicked about
it tooand she was also quite horrified that she was now feeling giddy. Giddy, of all things! It
must be the Peeves incident still affecting her.
Yet, even though the thought of Malfoys face, as Peeves hit him with the slime balloon, still made
her giggle, she knew that wasnt the reason. She was giddy because she couldnt help herself but
feel extremely pleased about what had happened. It was sick and twisted, she knew, and she tried
quelling the feeling, but to no avail.
Sleeping with Malfoy was a tremendous ego boost. It wasnt that he lied to get her into bed (or
desk, or closet, or bath)it was very obvious that he didnt. He wasnt smart enough to be that
devious. Every time he made a concession to wanting her, he seemed slightly resentful at the
thought, and he clearly hadnt wanted to let her know that he didnt find Pansy appealing
anymore.
That revelation alone she could live on for the rest of the year. Pansy with her crowd of Pansettes,
always thinking she was so much better and yetwho was it Pansys boyfriend turned to for
passionate encounters?
Hermione knew she was smirking but was unable to help herself.
She was quite perky by the time she reached Defense Against the Dark Arts and happily ignored
Harry and Rons disgusted looks.
It figures, Ron moaned. Shes happy to make it in time for this class. Doesnt know a good
opportunity when she sees one.
Oh, shut up, Ron, she cheerfully replied. If I werent here, whose notes would you copy?
The only reply was a low grumble.
Malfoy is probably milking it for all its worth, Harry said. I bet nobody sees him before
lunch.
Hermione giggled again and was on the receiving end of another couple of appalled looks, which
made her feel a little guilty. Oh, come on, she said. He did get pretty mucked up, didnt he?
And since when are you sorry to not see him around?
Just then Professor Snape came billowing in, fortunately cutting her friends off from whatever
they were about to say.
*****
Harry was right. Nobody did see Malfoy before lunch. Hermione might not have noticed him then
either, if it hadnt been for the whispers and sniggering. As it was, however, she looked up, saw
his annoyed frown and slightly pink cheeks, and began chuckling again. He had really had this
day coming for a long, long time.
As if alerted to her presence, he looked straight at her, his eyes darkening with something other
than anger, before he looked away and went to sit with his friends. Pansy, she noticed, didnt look
too happy about the sort of attention he brought with him that day. Well, that was just too bad for
her, wasnt it?
*****
A few days passed without incident again. Sometimes Hermione would look up and catch Malfoy
looking thoughtfully at her, but he made no attempt to approach her, and during the weekend they
had no reason to be around the same placesexcept at meals, which hardly counted.
Malfoy still sneered and baited Ron and Harry, but, for the most part, he seemed to pretend that
Hermione was beneath his notice. It was amusing in its own way, as he had been baiting her for
so long that his sudden change of policy seemed rather abrupt. He was acting odd in so many
other ways, however, that nobody put two and two together.
On Saturday, he even called in sick for the opening Quidditch match, making Harry extremely
suspicious. Hermione tried suggesting that he might have actually been sick, but all she got for her
efforts was a dirty look.
On Monday, Hermione went to Potions early and sat down on a carved-out stone bench near the
classroom to get a head start on her Arithmancy homework. She had managed to forget how cold
the dungeons could be in November, though, and the floor was drafty. She remedied that by
pulling up her legs and placing her feet on the bench, which also enabled her to use her thighs as a
rest for the book. She was happily sitting there, reading and scribbling down notes, when she
heard someone drop their books. Looking over her shoulder, she saw Malfoy.
Tonight, he mumbled, pretending to collect his books. Ah, so that was what this was about.
I cant, she replied just as curtly.
Why not? He seemed wary.
I have plans. She actually did. She had prefect duties. Of course, he neednt know that they
wouldnt take all night.
Cancel them.
I cant.
He sighed irritably. Fine. Tomorrow, then.
Cant.
Cancel!
No. Hermione was actually enjoying this and couldnt keep from smiling at her notes.
Malfoy dropped the pretense, snapping up his books and standing up to look down on her.
When, then?
She gave the appearance of giving this some thought. Next Thursday?
His eyes glittered angrily and she expected him to object, but he surprised her. Fine, he gritted
out. Meet me at the statue of Lachlan on seventh floor at ten. He walked on but stopped after a
few steps. Oh, and Granger?
Yes?
Dont be late. He walked away, and she was left feeling a little disappointed that he hadnt
pushed her for a sooner meeting, yet at the same time giddy again and aware that she had made an
important point.
Dont be late for what? a well-known voice asked, and Hermione banged her head into the wall
as she jumped.
Ow! Ron! Give some warning next time instead of sneaking up on me! she scolded.
Sorry, Ron said, but he was frowning. What are you meeting with Malfoy for?
Homework, she replied automatically. He, uh, really needs to pick up on his Arithmancy.
That explains why he is doing it; why are you doing it?
Extra credit. Hermione was surprised at how easily the lies rolled off her tongue.
You dont need any stupid credit, why dont you just leave him to rot?
Hermione snapped her book shut. Last time I checked, Ronald Weasley, she coldly said, it was
not up to you to decide what I need.
Ron merely looked at her. You know I didnt mean it like that, I was just wondering what he
could possibly offer to make you tutor him.
Hermione shrugged. I like teaching. I might end up pursuing that line. Who better to practice on
than the schools biggest prat?
Ron shook his head, still not quite reassured, but then their classmates were all filing past them on
their way to class, and Ron and Hermione found Harry and joined up.
Hermione secretly noticed that Malfoy seemed to be in a rather bad mood for the rest of the day.
She would like to think that she had had something to do with that.
*****
For the next ten days, Hermione saw surprisingly little of Malfoy. He showed up in class, but he
always seemed absent-minded and he was missing meals. She had to remind herself that she didnt
care what was wrong, as long as it wasnt anything she would catch.
There was one incident where he saw her coming and bent to kiss Pansy in an uncharacteristic
show of affection. Hermione had first gotten angry about the show he was obviously putting on,
but then she had been amused. He must obviously feel the need to make a statement, but it was
really rather redundant. She had ignored the couple, and he hadnt seemed to bother doing it
again.
When the time came, Hermione snuck up to the statue, and at two to ten, she was in place waiting
for him. She had considered being late, but she wasnt sure how far she wanted to push him. Yet
as the minutes passed, she was regretting being on time. Where was he? Had he decided not to
come? Her stomach turned with mortification at the thought. She wouldnt put it past him to do
something that low. When it was a quarter past, she decided to leave and never go near the bastard
again.
Just as she turned to leave, he appeared, looking pale and worried. Hermione ignored this to the
best of her ability. She really didnt care what he had to worry about, she didnt.
Youre late, she accused, aghast at her own relief that he hadnt stood her up. Well, of course
she was relieved! It was hardly flattering to be discarded or forgotten. Maybe she shouldnt put
him off for so long next time, though
Im touched by your concern, he sarcastically said, taking her arm and pulling her along with
him. I must admit, I wasnt even sure youd show up.
Hermione hadnt been completely sure she would either, but in the end she had been unable to
resist. I said I would, didnt I? she coolly replied.
Malfoy gave a short bark of a laughter. Indeed, you did, he answered.
She just realized where they were going. Room of Requirement? she asked. Isnt that a
little He looked at her questioningly. obvious? she finished.
He gave her a humorless smile. Yes, who wouldnt guess that Id bring you here in order to
debauch you?
Hermione went a little pink but persisted. Doesnt it seem like a rather immoral way to use this
room? And what if we get caught?
How will they catch us when they dont know what were doing in there? They probably think
that you conjured up some big library, tutoring me. Hermione gave him a puzzled look, but
Malfoy waved it off. That Weasel friend of yours is going around asking questions. He doesnt
seem to understand why you would help me out. He should be careful or he might get hurt.
Hermione felt embarrassed at this revelation. I would really like it if you wouldnt threaten my
friends, was, however, all she said. What was she supposed to say?
And I would really like it if your friends would mind their own business for once, but we cant
always get what we want, can we? Malfoy walked back and forth in front of the spot where the
door was to appear. Nothing happened. Then he grinned, shook his head, and tried again. This
time it was successful.
Why didnt it work? she asked.
I wished for a place to shag you senseless, he said, dragging her into the room and closing the
door behind him. Apparently the room isnt big on debauchery.
Hermione looked around. They were in a dimly lit bedroom with a huge, comfortable-looking bed
dominating the middle of the room. How did you convince it? she asked, feeling a little
apprehensive, as she fully realized what she had agreed to again.
I wished for a place where I could finally get a decent nights sleep, he replied huskily.
She would have replied that the room seemed a little excessive for that, when she was pulled
around, and he kissed her for the first time in two weeks. It never ceased to amaze her, how the
simple caress of lips against lips could make her melt so completely. She pressed up against him
and stroked his back, and he pulled her closer, kissing her more deeply.
Hermione felt her eyes close as she succumbed to the sensations. How could something so wrong
feel this good? Her eyes fluttered open again, when he began removing her belt, but she didnt
dream of stopping him. He pulled off her robes, exposing her underwear, making her blush a little
to her own chagrin. Kissing her again, he pushed her towards the bed. When they reached the bed
she pushed him off, so she could remove her boots. He removed his boots, as well, and then his
robes. She smiled nervously, averting her eyes, because in spite of everything, she was still feeling
awkward around him in the time between them getting undressed and them actually having sex.
Cant even look at me in spite of wanting it so very badly, he quietly mused, before covering
her lips with his again and moving to cover her body with his as well.
It felt wonderful just to feel his body weighing hers down. She felt her bra loosen, and he threw it
out of the way, bending to worship her breasts. She both heard and felt his groan, as she arched up
against him. You know you need release, she half-smirked, half-panted, trying to goad him to
take her. I bet you barely made it through the two weeks this time.
He didnt reply immediately, but simply smiled, took one of her hands in each of his own and held
them above her head while kissing her gently, moving to nibble at her ear and her neck. Then he
removed one of his hands and whispered. Who says I did?
Something about his tone of voice was like a bucket of ice water on her senses. He had removed
both his hands now, but when she tried to lower her arms to push him away, she found that she
couldnt. She looked to her right and saw that the hand he had removed first was holding his
wand. He had distracted her with kisses to bind her, the bastard. She struggled in vain against the
binding for a few seconds and then looked accusingly at Malfoy.
What do you mean by that? she asked, but she already knew.
Dont be so surprised, he quietly said. Like you said yourself two weeks is a long time to
wait.
Bastard! she spat out. Release me!
Why would I do that? he asked, his voice still calm. Youd only see it as an excuse to fight
me.
Damn right she would. She wasnt staying here with him for another minute. How dare he sleep
with someone else when they had a rendezvous planned for tonight? She would be out of there
the second she could free her hands.
She noticed that he was still caressing her, and she bucked and kicked at him to prevent it,
inadvertently hitting his nose, making him utter a foul oath. This pleased her a little bit.
For fucks sake, Granger! he roared, eyes watering. Isnt it enough that you keep making me
wait? Do I really have to fight you every step of the way?
Hermione looked at him aghast. How could he even consider that she would still sleep with him?
Let me GO! I dont want your used dick! She blushed a little at her own language.
He frowned at her. Does it really matter that much? You didnt care too much last time, before...
he shrugged. Before hed let it slip that he hadnt had sex with Pansy since hed had Hermione.
Last time wasnt planned. Last time was last time. Release me!
He shook his head. No, he hoarsely said. You want this, too, but you would never admit it,
would you?
She immediately changed her tactics. He had been acting so odd lately. Who knew what was
going on inside his head? Just let me go. You want me to get you, remember?
Malfoy actually smiled at her. You did come to get me at the statue, he said. Thats all the
surrender I need. He bent to kiss her, but she squirmed to avoid it and he had to settle for her
neck and her shoulders and her breasts.
Hermione tried her best to twist away from him, but he steadied her easily, and she didnt know if
she wanted to hurt him. So far he wasnt doing anything unpleasant to her. It was appalling, but
she had to admit that his caresses felt really good. If she hadnt been so angry about this, she
would have welcomed his touches more eagerly. Two weeks had been a long time for her too.
Why dont you just do it with Pansy if youre on sleeping terms with her again, instead of doing
this to me? she asked, trying to keep her thoughts from getting muffled with want.
Malfoy chuckled against her belly, which he was now kissing and nibbling at. You were the one
who made me wait, my sweet. Too late to regret it now. He was moving lower.
Hermiones eyes widened and she pressed her legs hard together when she realized what he was
about to do.
Open your legs, he said silkily.
She shook her head in desperate refusal. No, too embarrassing Dont.
He didnt heed her objections, but simply pulled her knees apart, placing himself between them.
He gingerly touched her and moaned when finding her knickers soaked. Hermiones cheeks were
burning with shame. She didnt want to want him. He removed this last obstacle and, keeping her
knees apart, he pulled back to look at her there. Could this possibly get any more humiliating?
He bent over her to kiss her again. Relax, he whispered in her ear. I wont hurt you. You know
I wont. He then started kissing his way down again.
NO!
She bucked up against him to push him off, but he wasnt that easily discouraged. Then his mouth
was on her most private place, and her eyes widened as she bucked again. Merlin, that felt so
so Stop, please! she moaned.
He didnt stop.
She tried to convince herself that the reason she was writhing so much was to discourage him.
Never mind the jolts of pleasure from the movements of his lips and tongue and mouth, as he was
doing the most wicked things she had ever experienced to her.
She was aware that there was no way that he couldnt taste, feel and smell her arousal and it
mortified her, yet at the same time it aroused her even more. She fought it every step of the way.
She didnt want to like it, she didnt want to come. She didnt want his tongue to feel that good on
her
Soon she knew she had lost the battle. She arched up and cried out, just as he plunged two fingers
inside her to press the spot that had made her wild before. She convulsed violently around them,
and she thought she heard him make a guttural sound. Then everything disappeared in waves of
pleasure.
Once she became more aware of her surroundings again, Hermione opted to keep her eyes shut.
She could still feel the aftershocks going through her sated body. How could it feel that wonderful
when she didnt want it? She heard Malfoy utter a short, gravelly, almost pained laugh, before she
felt him lie down next to her. Closing your eyes doesnt mean Ill go away, he said.
Mores the pity, she replied bitterly. She wondered why he hadnt taken her yet. Didnt he want
to anymore? She snuck a peak that reassured her that he certainly did want it. In fact, from the
way his eyes were devouring her, she was really surprised at his restraint. Get on with it then,
she said, hoping to remove a little of his pleasure. I mean, that is the plan and the reason Im still
lying here, isnt it?
He frowned, clearly taking exception at her words. Good. I dont see why youre complaining,
he said, trailing a hand over her belly in a soft caress. I meanthat orgasm you just had sure
seemed like something to me. His voice broke and his hand trembled a little with remembered
pleasure.
I didnt want it, she snarled. You know I didnt.
He nodded. And I didnt want to wait for two weeks for no reason, seems you got the better
deal. His hands wandered lower, slightly caressing her folds, making her blush as she felt his
effect on her again. Besides, you know that deep down you did want it.
Why come here at all if your needs were already seen to? she asked, ignoring his last statement.
He smiled weakly. Jealousy doesnt become you, Granger.
I am not jealous! she said, fighting a blush. The nerve!
No? he asked, eyeing her breasts hungrily, as she moved against her restraints. Then why did
you go livid before?
I Just dont like to share, thats all. If you want to be my toy, then I want to be the only one
playing. If you want to be someone elses toy, then fine. Besides, I dont remember asking you to
tie me up either. She leaned back, glaring at him defiantly.
Fidelity to the Other Woman? Malfoy mused. And whos the toy now? He let the back of his
hand brush over one of her nipples and her gasp made him groan. Will you stay if I unbind you?
he whispered.
Hermione shook her head. No, shed run as far away from him as she could.
He didnt look pleased with that. Ill take you any way I can, but Id much prefer you unbound
myself.
She smirked at him. Isnt that just too bad?
She didnt miss the angry glint in his eyes. If you prefer these little bondage games, Granger,
why didnt you just say so? I can assure you that thats a sacrifice Im willing to make. Swiftly,
he removed his boxers and plunged into her.
Hermione couldnt help the moan that escaped her before she bit down hard on her bottom lip.
Lord, this felt good. She tried to feign indifference, but, as he thrust again, she felt her hips
meeting his and her eyes rolling back. She did want this, but she refused to yield.
Last chance, Granger, he panted. Please let me unbind you.
She shook her head. This is all youll goh get She knew she was gasping and
moaning loudly, but she was unable to help herself. Refusing him full pleasure by not letting him
unbind her was all she had at this point.
Grunting, he thrust harder and faster and caught her mouth in a fierce kiss that made her bones
melt. She could feel his frustration with her in every movement. Soon, she felt the well-known
tingle announcing a new climax, and she surrendered to it, vaguely aware that he joined her only a
second later. Hermione was feeling better than she had in weeks, and she didnt even mind being
tied up anymore. She was afraid she could get addicted to this.
Having had her didnt seem to appease him the least bit, though. As soon as his shudders stopped
and he got his breath back, he rolled off her and said, Last time was better.
Hermione rolled her eyes at his grumpy mood; he had seemed to enjoy it well enough just a
minute ago. Well, its all downhill from here, then. Be thankful that its not happening again,
she said, not sure how she felt about that resolve herself. She had to get out, though, before it was
too late.
The Hell it isnt. He frowned at her. I thought you had gotten over that already.
Gotten over what?
Being a hypocrite.
Just so you know youre a hypocrite too. Dont look at me like that. Like you would ever admit
to anyone what were doing! Could you perhaps release me now?
No. He looked a lot less than pleased with her right now.
Hermione didnt believe her own ears. What? You cant keep me here like this.
Sounds like Ill have to, doesnt it? He smirked and stretched.
She stared at him. Youve got a sick sense of humor.
Wasnt kidding.
So, you just plan on keeping me here until you get tired of me? she drily asked.
Thats pretty much the plan, yeah. Now he was outright grinning.
There was a pause.
You know youre being childish, right? she asked.
And youre just being stubborn.
There was an even longer pause.
Hermione glanced at Malfoy, who actually seemed to be drifting off. She kicked at him. Hey!
Im cold.
With an annoyed grunt, he got up, pulled the bedding out from under her, and covered her up.
Comfortable now, princess? he mockingly asked.
No, she said. My arms are cold, too.
He took her cover and draped it over her, so her arms were coveredas was her face. Better?
he sweetly asked.
She made a cross sound which became muffled.
You know what you have to do, he said, slipping under the covers himself, putting an arm
across her belly, and whispering in her ear. If you want to be freed, all you have to do is agree to
my terms.
Youve finally lost it, havent you? she answered, her eyes narrowed as she considered his
motives.
He yawned sleepily. Im too tired to fight with you, Granger. Just promise you wont run off and
start avoiding me again, he said, rearranging the covers so she could get some air.
I bet youd feel differently if it was you who had to share. Hermione was now fighting
drowsiness herself.
Why dont you try me? he asked indifferently.
Im not as devious as you. I cant be in a relationship with one person and sneak off to have sex
with another. Im not adulterous.
But you are with me, he said reasonably.
Thats different. I hate Pansy.
Then its simple, isnt it? Be in a relationship with someone you hate. He yawned again and
closed his eyes, clearly intending sleep.
Right now, she could only think of one person who would fit that bill. She narrowed her eyes.
You know, this is really all your fault. You could just have chosen to not say anything. When
he didnt respond, Hermione decided to change her tactics as a boost of inspiration hit her. You
know what I think? I think the reason that youre saying these things is that youre scared that I
might actually start liking you.
His eyes flew open again. What? Bingo.
Yes, but the problem is you cant figure out what you want, can you?
His eyes narrowed and he gave her an exhausted and exasperated glare. Shut up!
Hermione sensed she had really hit a nerve and smirked, deciding to get all she could from it.
You didnt really sleep with Pansy, did you? You just alluded that you might have to show how
insignificant I am. Backfired, didnt it? You didnt like having me tied up after all, did you?
He grabbed his wand, and she felt the bond disappear as he sat up and pointed it at her hands.
Youre free to go. Dont let the door hit you in the arse on your way out.
Im right, arent I? she persisted, taking down her arms and groaning slightly at the aching.
You know, Im beginning to think youre right about one thing. This was a bad idea.
She snorted. And how long will you keep that resolve? Or is this a pattern? You seduce girls
until they call your bluff?
You talk too much, Grangergo to sleep or at least be quiet, he said in a fatigued voice, lying
back down.
Hermione studied him closely. He looked like he hadnt slept for a week. No, it isnt a pattern, is
it? You havent
Silencio! he forcefully said, rendering her incapable of speech for the second time in as many
months. Do I really need to hex you every time I want some peace and quiet? He looked at her
pensively. I dont mind being around you once you stop yammering, so just go to sleep, all
right?
This time she could easily remove the spell herself, of course, and did so, but she did recognize
that he was in no condition for her badgering. Satisfied that she had gotten the response she
wanted anyway, she got up and began searching the room for her clothes.
Or go running off as usual, whatever, she heard him mumble before he sighed and turned away
from her. Well, what did he expect?
It took her some time to find her belt and knickers but finally she was good to go. She looked over
at Malfoy and saw that he had actually fallen asleep now. He looked agitated even in his sleep.
Shrugging it off, she left the room, sneaking back to the dormitories before she was missed.
Chapter 6
Draco awoke with a jerk, his heart beating hard and fast and his breath coming out in gasps. He
was alone. Of course he was. He knew he wouldnt be able to get any more sleep, so he sat up,
rubbing his eyes, and looked at the clock. Four oclock. This was going to be a very long day.
Sighing, he got up and began dressing himself.
He had had another nightmare, of course. In the dream, he had failed, and he had had to watch
while his mother was tortured, violated, and killed, before they turned on him. There had been
more to the dream, much more, but he chose to block it out. He got the general idea. He had to get
this thing done, he had to, or his dreams would come true in the worst way.
He hadnt been as distracted by last night as he had hoped he would be.
Damn Mudblood, why did she have to be so difficult? He hadnt wanted to tie her up for the
duration. Hed just wanted to punish her a bit for making him wait so long and laughing at him to
boot. So, fine, he had gotten a little carried away, but he hadnt done anything she didnt like. He
knew for a fact that he hadnt. He had ignored her words and let her body speak to him instead,
and the response he had gotten had been overwhelming.
Still she had refused to give in, to give him what he needed. Yes, he had needed to be inside her,
but more than that he had needed more! He wasnt really sure what he was missing, but it did
not involve her fighting him and denying him her touch and kiss.
Ok, so maybe he had miscalculated a little bit with his punishment. Hinting of another girl had not
been the smartest thing, but he hadnt been able to take it back without looking like a fool. Instead
he had hoped to make her forget. No luck.
He did not need to have these problems on top of everything else. Perhaps he should simply just
let her be. Stop pursuing her. She clearly didnt want it enough, and, after last night, he was only
left more frustrated than ever.
This thought did nothing to improve his disposition, and he was left feeling the need to be
destructive.
He took one of the table-lamps and hurled it against the wall. There was smashing of glass and
clanging of metal. This helped a little bit but not enough. He took out his wand and flicked it
about. Furniture toppled over, lamps and mirrors smashed, cloth ripped He wasnt satisfied
before the room was in shambles and even then he just felt a dull emptiness.
Glass crunching under his boots, he turned and left.
*****
The day turned out to be just as long as he had feared. Classes were stupid. People were even
more stupid. The food might as well have been saw dust. To top it all off, Granger seemed to be
everywhere he looked. Just his luck. Finally he was avoiding her, as he should have been from the
beginning, and then he couldnt turn around without seeing her either with or without her friends.
The next day wasnt any better, nor was the day after that. After a while, the days just became a
blur of lessons, meals, naps, and his ever-present mission.
Previously, he had spent weeks scheming to get Granger alone, and now he came across her alone
on multiple occasions. It was driving him crazy. She had something he wanted and she didnt
on multiple occasions. It was driving him crazy. She had something he wanted and she didnt
want to give it, so why couldnt she at least have the decency to hide out in her common room, or
at the library, or anywhere she wasnt likely to run into him?
One time, he rounded a corner to see her come down the empty hall from the opposite direction.
She stopped as if to say something, but he couldnt stand to stay and hear it, so he just blindly
walked on, only semi-aware that he bumped into her shoulder in doing so. Didnt she understand?
He didnt need all of her talking and poking and teasing. He was done with it. She was now free
of him at last.
She didnt make another effort to speak to him.
Draco now had nothing to distract him from his task and his nightmares. He worked as diligently
on it as ever before, yet there was absolutely no progress. He needed a distraction, he soon had to
admit. Something that could allow him to relax a bit, perhaps even take his mind off things. He
had originally planned the meeting with Granger because of that very same urge, but that
obviously hadnt worked. He was at a loss as to what else would do it.
Quidditch didnt interest him anymore. It seemed entirely too frivolous a waste of time when he
should be doing something else, something much more important. He had a suspicion that the only
reason he wasnt kicked off the team was because of the bribe that had gotten him there to begin
with. It didnt matter, he simply didnt care. They could do whatever the hell they wanted.
No, he needed to find another outlet. Normally, he would have loved to take it out on Potter, but
since he was rarely found without a bushy-haired little vixen near him, Draco opted to avoid him,
too. Besides, Potter didnt need another reason to follow him around. For now, Draco had to live
with being stuck in a state of perpetual dissatisfaction.
*****
One night, he was lounging in the Slytherin common room, just staring at the wall, thinking about
nothing in particular. His mind was severely muddled by lack of sleep, but there seemed to be
nothing to do about it. Dark thoughts kept him awake at night, and when he finally fell asleep,
nightmares would wake him again. He had had to start casting silencing charms on the curtains
around his bed to keep his roommates from finding out.
After one such nightmare, it was very rare that he could go back to sleep again. The few times he
had succeeded, it had only been due to some stupid fantasy that he now did his best not to think
about. He didnt need it. Hed be fine without pining for useless things.
He had, of course, considered going to Madam Pomfrey to get some sort of sleeping draught, but
she would ask too many questions. Questions he didnt want to answer.
Pansy sidled a little closer to him. What are you thinking about? she asked.
Draco didnt even look her way. Nothing, he replied.
You dont look well. You should go to the hospital wing. Always with the astute observations.
Draco considered whether that was concern in her voice, or if it was simply veiled disgust. He
supposed she did have some concern for him. Im fine, Pansy, just tired, he assured her.
Zabini entered the room, looking haughty as ever. For a brief second, Draco envied him. Zabini
had not a care in the world. His biggest problems were his grades and how to assert himself as an
alpha male.
Draco even considered for a moment if he himself would be willing to live the rest of his life as an
underdog, if it meant never having to deal with this kind of stress again. With a heavy sigh, he
conceded that, no, he wouldnt. He was the last Malfoy, and he would remain on top or die trying.
He was very likely to die trying, actually, but everyone had to die sometime, right? He swallowed
hard. He had just thought that he would have at least a century to get used to the idea.
Zabini sat down in the chair across from the sofa Draco and Pansy were inhabiting and Pansy
took Dracos hand. Huh. She hadnt seemed overly eager to touch him just a second ago. He felt a
little disgusted with himself that even this insignificant and contrived touch comforted him in some
ways.
Whats up, Blaise? Pansy asked, attracting his cold, dark eyes. Draco always did wonder why
she seemed to like that bloke so well.
Nothing much. There was rumor of some Mudblood in our year puking her guts out all over the
place. Well probably all be sick from the likes of her within the month.
Ugh! said Pansy. Who was it?
Granger, I think her name was, Zabini said, eyeing Draco as he said it. Draco couldnt keep
from slightly jerking, and, judging from Zabinis smirk, hed noticed.
Disgusting! Pansy exclaimed. Shes not still tutoring you, is she, Draco? She turned to him
and then abruptly said, Oh, no. She already infected you, didnt she? She immediately dropped
his hand and moved a little away from him. Draco felt a need to groan at the lack of contact and
then immediately felt resentful at Pansy for being so fickle.
Yeah, Im wondering, Zabini said conversationally, just how close you have to get to one to
catch it or give it.
Draco shot Zabini a quick glance, but his face was carefully neutral. I wouldnt know, I havent
got it, he replied. Im merely tired.
They say Mudblood Granger spends a lot of time unconscious too. Theyre wondering why she
doesnt go to Madam Pomfrey.
Why dont you ask her? he asked warily.
Yeah, Pansy injected. We dont want to know the details. She hesitantly picked Dracos hand
up again. This time Draco didnt feel anything.
Zabini only shrugged. Just letting you know.
Draco, why dont we go to bed, hmm? Pansy asked.
Draco shot her a glance. Was she kidding? No You stay here, he said getting to his feet. I
could use the rest, though.
He was vaguely aware that Zabini was grinning at Pansy, and Pansy had red cheeks and was
avoiding looking at either of them. Found being rejected embarrassing, did she? Well, she should
be getting used to it about now. Zabini always seemed to be around whenever it happened, too, so
he shouldnt be so amused by it, either.
Whatever.
Draco almost stumbled to bed. What was wrong with Granger anyway?
*****
The next day, Draco went down to breakfast early, as was his new habit since being introduced to
the delightful world of insomnia, and stayed there, barely touching his food, waiting to see
Granger turn up. She did turn up about half an hour later, only to serve herself eggs, go grey in the
face, and run back out.
Fuck! No, it cant be.
He stood abruptly, earning a few startled looks, and hurried out after her. He couldnt see her in
the hallway, but he had a pretty good idea where shed gone.
When she emerged from the girls bathroom, slightly green in the face, he was waiting for her.
Something you feel like telling me? he asked, trying for casual but hitting strained instead.
She jumped and then clutched her chest. Oh! Its you, she breathed.
He didnt reply, but merely looked at her.
No, she said. Nothing to tell.
Then what is it? he asked much too loudly.
She made as to put her hand on his arm, but then stopped the motion as if remembering herself.
There are people around, she almost whispered. Trust me, it is nothing. She then turned and
walked away from him.
Just like that.
He felt frustrated with her for no apparent reason. He wanted to lash out at someone or something.
The halls were filling with students, however, and he didnt want to attract attention to himself, so
he had to resist the urge. Slowly, he turned and walked down to his common room.
What the hell was going on with him?
*****
If there was an upside to this ordeal, it was, of course, that it proved quite a distraction. The
downside was his imminent death, but all things considered, that wasnt so very different from
what he was facing before.
Draco began keeping a closer eye on Granger again, but he had to be careful about it, because
Zabini seemed to be keeping an eye on him in turn. Damn the other Slytherin. How much did he
know? And how did he know? They had in no way been obvious, and they had only been
together a couple of times anyway.
He noticed that Granger was pale, she looked tired, and she didnt eat properly. His certainty
about what was wrong grew. There was a whole lot of whispering going around about her
condition now. Nobody else was falling ill, and she still didnt go to the hospital wing. They said
that her excuse was not everything needs be cured by magic. She apparently also claimed that
she would get well soon and said that people should mind their own business as long as she didnt
miss any classes or infect anyone.
Potter and Weasley looked increasingly harried, which was more than a small consolation to
Draco. They didnt seem to know how to deal with Grangers strange disease. He wondered
what shed told them. Since they werent beating him up, he supposed shed lied or told them
nothing. Of course, by now people generally thought that one of them was the culprit. That
thought almost made him laughlike either of them would be man enough.
He didnt like how she seemed to wave him off whenever he tried to corner her about it, though.
Didnt she understand the gravity of the situation? Was she still holding a grudge for the things
hed said and taking it out on him in this way? He supposed he could just disassociate himself
from her completely and none would be the wiser. He really should, but he needed to know
what was going on and how she was going to fix it.
*****
I hear shes pregnant, Pansy said in a conspiratorial whisper, when they were hanging out in the
common room one evening. And the father is that blood traitor, Ronald Weasley.
Draco snorted before he could stop himself, getting an annoyed look from Pansy for ruining her
gossip and an amused and interested one from Zabini for who knew what?
Draco decided to bluff his way out of it. Weasley? he asked. You think hes man enough to get
it up to shag thatwild, hot, passionate, incredibly sexyMudblood?
Zabini looked at him shrewdly and Pansy considered for a second before shrugging. Anyone can
make babies, Draco. Everyone is so going to know how easy she is. She sniggered.
Oh, as opposed to you, then? The words had left his mouth before he even considered what he
was saying.
Crap.
Zabini gaped at him for a second and then went into a coughing fit that sounded suspiciously like
laughter. Pansy blanched, staring at Draco. Even Crabbe and Goyle, who normally stayed out of
any conversation requiring more than two brain cells, sniggered.
Draco decided that his smooth-talking with the ladies could definitely use some work. He blamed
it on his lack of sleep.
Pansy seemed to gather her wits first. Of course, it was limited how much she needed to gather.
Did youdid you just compare me to her? A MUDBLOOD?
Draco winced slightly at her shrill tone. No, of course no
Because maybe one could consider some of the other males, she has been hanging around with
and tutoring, as likely candidates. How about it, Draco? Am I dating a filthy, cheating blood
traitor? Pansys sneer was doing nothing to add to her attractiveness.
Zabini looked as if he had been given a rare treat, and Draco flushed a little. He did not have to
fake the anger in his voice. Any time you want to call it quits, Pansy, just let me know, he said.
Pansy flushed a dull pink and looked away. No, he hadnt really thought so. He leaned back with
a sigh. It had been worth a shot, though.
Zabini got up from his chair. Been fun, but got places to be Whistling, he left the room.
Draco frowned. What was that all about?
Slug party, mumbled Pansy. Excuse me. She scurried off to her dormitory.
Draco had forgotten all about the Slug Club, which only showed how preoccupied hed been. He
hadnt liked being snubbed by the fat teacher who his father had always spoken so favorably of,
but, in later days, he had been sort of relieved that he didnt have to juggle social gatherings on top
of everything else.
Granger would be there.
Another reason he was better off without it. Judging by Pansys comment, he was already linked a
little too comfortably with her.
Sighing, he got up to go to bed. He was so damn tired.
*****
Draco soon gave up trying to corner Granger in a completely private place. He reasoned that it
wouldnt be too odd that he was speaking to her in public since everyone seemed to think that she
sometimes helped him with his homework anyway.
Finding her wasnt a great problem. Apparently, the girls bathroom was still a place she liked to
hang out in the mornings. Again, he was waiting outside when she emerged, deathly pale, and
looking much more frail and thin that he remembered.
He frowned. Time to go look for some stairs yet? he asked.
She jumped. Oh. You again. She seemed to dismiss his presence entirely, as she was turning to
go.
My, Granger, enough with the flattering attention already. Youre making me blush.
Go away, she said, sounding as tired as he felt. This has nothing to do with you.
Denying it wont make it go away, Granger. You have all the symptoms.
Oh, what do you know of these things?
Quite a bit, actually. I watched Mother go through it all when I was ten.
You dont have any siblings, Granger scoffed.
Well, she lost it, didnt she? he mumbled.
Oh, she said, immediately looking contrite. Im sorry.
Dont be, he said harshly. She never liked being in that way, and so far Ive seen nothing to
like about it either.
Im not, she said. Im really not.
Why wont you go see Madam Pomfrey then?
Because I dont think She paled even more, if possible, and swayed on the spot, reaching
out to grab hold of his robes.
Granger? Whats wrong? He frowned, putting a hand on her arm to steady her.
I dont feel so she breathed, and then she fainted. He caught her without thinking.
Granger? he said, shaking her a little. Hermione? Wake up! She remained limp. He looked
around for help and noticed a few stares.
Shit.
Worse, Potter and Weasley were coming around the corner and saw him holding their friend. He
let go of her and she dropped to the floor with a thud, without stirring. He glanced at her lifeless
form, and that was all he had time for before he was flung to the wall, something constricting his
throat.
WHAT DID YOU DO TO HER? Potter shouted. He was the one holding the wand, while
Weasley was kneeling by Granger.
Draco tried to speak but couldnt get anything out, and he couldnt breathe either. All he did
manage to get out was a couple of incoherent sounds.
Might want to let up if you want an answer, Harry, Weasley surprisingly said, not looking away
from Granger.
Draco was beginning to see black spots when the pressure finally let up a little and he gasped for
air. Didnt anything fainted he choked out.
Weasley had picked Granger up and carried her with little effort. Merlin, she was way too light.
He might be telling the truth, Weasley said in a toneless voice, still without looking at Draco.
We know shes been off.
Youd better be, Potter snarled. Or I will personally make sure that you are expelled from
Hogwarts so fast that youll be gone last year, you worthless piece of shit!
Draco really couldnt care less about Potters threats; he was trying to see if Granger was even still
breathing.
Please, let her be all right.
Weasley had begun walking away, without a doubt taking her to the hospital wing. Potter
followed him, after making a flick of his wand that sent Draco flying through the air and landing
on his back a good 20 feet away.
Draco winced. That hurt. He slowly got up and brushed himself off. He looked around and the
students that had been scattered about, watching, suddenly got busy looking away and
whispering. Right. This would be old news by nightfall. He sighed.
*****
The rest of the day was worse than usual. The gossip of the day was, of course, about how
Granger had fainted dead in his arms, and he had a hell of a time trying to explain that one to
Pansy. Apparently reflexes didnt count around Mudbloods.
Zabini didnt make it any better with his veiled hints. Draco had a sneaking suspicion that
something else was going on, but he couldnt quite put his finger on it. He considered whether
Zabini wanted Pansy for himself, but that didnt add up with his indifference towards her feelings
and person. And, clearly, Pansy knew she was free to go if she wanted someone else. No, it had
to be something else entirely. Perhaps it was just a burning desire to make Dracos life miserable,
in which case, they were succeeding fairly well.
He had just emerged from his last class of the day, when he saw Potter striding purposefully
towards him, a dangerous glint in his eyes.
Draco really didnt feel up to fighting today. I did not harm her, ok? he tensely said.
Lucky for you, thats what she says, Potter sneered, and thrust a scroll at him hard, before
walking on.
Draco stared at the scroll in his hands with a puzzled expression. Thats what she says. She was
awake? Relief flooded him, making his knees weak. If she was awake then shed be ok. He
hadnt killed her.
He told himself that he was being stupid and none of this was his fault in any way, but he couldnt
help but feel that it was. None of this would ever have happened if he had just been able to walk
away in the first place. She sure didnt have any problems staying away.
He suddenly remembered the scroll he was staring at. What was this, then? He unsealed it with a
flick of his wand and opened it. It said:
I told them we were discussing your Arithmancy essay for tomorrow (22 inches on the impact of
the use of numerology in The Giant Wars, Professor Vector assigned it last week) and that I
promised wed finish it tonight.
Remember to bring your books!
H. Granger
Draco frowned. That was singularly unhelpful. She expected him to bring his books to the
hospital wing so that she might help him with some stupid essay he had forgotten all about? He
shook his head. Hed better go, though, to see what she had to say. Oh, joy, if Pansy found out.
*****
He entered the hospital room Granger was inhabiting an hour later, carrying books as instructed.
She was looking so fragile, lying there against the hospital bed with her eyes closed. Weasley was
at her side, holding her hand.
Draco had pretty much decided he was in the wrong place and was about to go away again, when
her eyes opened and she looked directly at him. You came, she said weakly.
Weasley had also looked up resentfully, and Draco knew he really shouldnt be here. Of course I
came, he haughtily said. You led me to believe you could still help me.
She smiled faintly. Pull up a chair, she said. Ron, its all right. Its just homework. Go get
something to eat.
Against his own better judgement, Draco did as she asked him to, laying down the books beside
her on the bed, and pulling out parchment, watching out of the corner of his eye as Ron got up
and moved across the room, only to remain standing to keep watch.
Ron Granger said.
Im not leaving you alone with him, forget it! Weasley eyed Draco suspiciously.
Granger sighed almost inaudibly. Youll have to excuse him, she said. Hes just worried.
And he hates my guts, Draco drily added. Feeling is mutual, I can assure you.
Im sure thats not why
Yes, it is. Dont waste your breath, he interrupted dismissively.
She frowned at him. Good. Keep her riled. That might give her strength.
I believe I came here for a reason? he said, indicating the books but meaning something else
entirely.
To his great chagrin, she actually started talking about the assignment. He opened his mouth to
object, when he saw her give a tight nod, indicating Weasley. Fine, he could play along. He
needed to hand something in anyway.
After about twenty minutes, she dropped her voice to a low whisper and said: Its really not what
you think.
Draco shot a look at Weasley, whose eyes had glazed over. Then what is it?
Hermione flushed a little. I thought it was the flu, but it turned out to be some magical virus.
They think I wasnt careful enough when I went to visit Hagrid last time, and I might have
touched something to contract it. Hagrid, of course, is immune himself, so he didnt know
You mean to say, Draco hissed. That you are here now because of that moronic half-breeds
blundering?
Dont call Hagrid a
Ill call him whatever I want, he whispered ferociously, trying to keep his voice down so
Weasley wouldnt notice. Suddenly something hit him. Wait! Does this mean that that youre
not
Thats what Ive been trying to tell you! I dont know why you didnt believe me the first three
times I told you about the charm
For the second time that day, relief hit him and consumed him completely. It was all just a stupid
virus. Why didnt you go see Madam Pomfrey sooner? he asked, a little angry that hed been
put through all this.
Again, she flushed a little. I thought my own immune system would win. Apparently thats not
the case with magical maladies.
Merlin, Granger! he said. These things can put you in a coma for life if they dont outright kill
you!
I know, she softly said. They told me.
Also, your reputation is ruined no matter what, he informed her. The school already made up
its mind.
She smiled a little wryly. I suppose it is, she replied. But I assume more boys will want to date
me now.
Draco couldnt help but laugh, which definitely got Weasleys attention.
No, this is all wrong, she said with an exasperated sigh. Are you even listening to me? Why
would the number four signify the third attack? And no, its not three either. I swear, you used to
be better at this.
Draco allowed her to go on for a little while longer.
Initially, he had wondered why Potter and Weasley had accepted her wanting to do homework
with him, but, of course, she lived for dusty old books and boring facts, didnt she? They probably
even thought he wouldnt like taking instructions from her.
He wondered if they knew the other, more passionate, side of her.
Suddenly Grangers voice faltered, and she was looking pale, exhausted, and breathless. Draco
frowned. Did she have no sense of self-preservation? She should have kicked him out long ago.
For someone that smart, she really was kind of stupid.
Right, he said, closing up his books. You wont be of any more use to me today.
Ill be fine, in a sehin a second, she whispered. She looked so weak it scared him. She would
be all right, wouldnt she?
Dont count on it, Granger. He stood up. How long do you plan on having your holiday?
A couple of days she mumbled, her eyes drifting shut.
A week, Weasley hoarsely said, sending Draco a baleful glare. At least.
Draco frowned. Curse her for being so stubborn that she needed that amount of time to recover.
A week? he said reproachfully. Now I know youre doing this just to spite me.
A ghost of a smile flitted across her face. Come back in a couple of days, she mumbled sleepily.
Well have a look at your other essay.
What other essay?
The one you were supposed to turn in last time. Her breath deepened and she was asleep.
Had she just said she wanted to see him again, or was this really all about homework?
Draco stood looking at her pale, sleeping form for a few seconds before realizing that Weasley
was still glaring at him. Donning his most annoying smirk, he said, Until next time, Weasel! and
then sauntered off, as Madam Pomfrey came hurrying into the room, shooing off Weasley as well,
and checking on her patient.
Chapter 7
It was with her cheeks red, her head held high, and her eyes sparkling defiance that Hermione
made her entrance at dinner that first night out of the hospital wing. She had had breakfast in the
sickroom and she had missed lunch due to some last minute catching up in Ancient Runes, but
now she had no more excuses to avoid meal time in the Great Hall.
She knew about the rumors about why she had been gone. Naturally, nobody believed the story
about the magical virus. Of course they didntit was the truth! What fun was truth when there
were lies to be spread?
The all-round reaction at dinner wasnt as devastating as she had feared, though. There were a few
whispers and giggles as she made her way down to the Gryffindor table, but as a whole, she
seemed to be old news already.
She sighed and almost sagged with relief. Without meaning to, she glanced at the Slytherin table
as she passed, but the blond boy her eyes searched out was deep in conversation and hadnt even
noticed her. Reminding herself that this was a good thing, she went over to her friends and sat
down with her back to the room.
Malfoy had come to visit her twice while she had been in the hospital wing. The first time was
after hed received her note, and the second time a couple of days later. The first time, he had
seemed really worried about her, but the second time, he had been his usual arrogant, annoying,
and offensive self. He had had poor Harry in such a snit that Madam Pomfrey had threatened to
throw him out for disturbing the peace. Malfoy had been the very picture of innocence until she
turned her back and then he had openly gloated. Hermione hadnt known whether to be annoyed
or amused so she had been a little bit of bothmostly annoyed, of course.
When her voice had faltered, and she had struggled for breath, however, he had made an excuse,
collected his books, and left. He hadnt visited her again after that, and at the time, she didnt
know what to make of it.
She still was far from sure.
*****
The next few days, Hermione spent trying to figure out how to get a word with Malfoy. It wasnt
that she was terribly averse to speaking to him in public; no, that was his problem. It was more that
she didnt fancy his friends listening in on what she had to say, and asking for a private word in
front of them would be just as bad.
He still appeared terribly tired and haunted and much more serious than she would ever have
thought he could be. He surrounded himself with other Slytherins and only occasionally did he
seem to revert back to his old self. On one such occasion, he hexed a second-year Ravenclaw boy,
just for being the only other non-Slytherin about. Except, Hermione had been about, hidden,
considering her next move. After seeing the hex, though, she had turned on her heel, appalled
with herself for wanting the attentions of such a bully.
Yet, most days hed just seem to sink into deep thoughts and ignore what was going on around
him. He would look human and vulnerable, and she would have an incredible urge to go to him
again.
Hermione eventually ended up concluding that she did need to talk to him, and her best shot
would be when they had Arithmancy together, as none of their close friends took that. Yet at the
time of the resolution, that meant waiting for days for the chance. Each time she saw him after that
chipped away at her courage again, but it couldnt be helped. He simply didnt allow himself to be
alone these days, and she needed that talk.
He seemed to be as indifferent as he had been before she had taken ill. She reminded herself that
he hadnt been indifferent while she was ill, but perhaps that only showed that he really was
human. Perhaps she didnt appeal to him anymore. Why would she, anyway? Perhaps she should
just let it go.
It was during break, and people were standing about in small groups, talking. Hermione had
abandoned Harry and Ron to allow them to talk about Quidditch, while making her able to retain
her sanity. Malfoy was lounging on one of the castles numerous oversized windowsills, gazing
pensively at the dark and stormy sky, not even seeming to notice the bickering Crabbe and Goyle
at his side. He looked oddly lonely.
Hermione considered if she should go up to him now. After all, those two half-wits he always
lugged around with him hardly posed a threat. Yet, she couldnt seem to find the courage. She
was Gryffindor, damn it, what was she if not courageous? She debated with herself for several
minutes, but in the end her nerve failed her.
She was stupid, anyway, for inviting all this hurt into her life just for physical pleasure. Maybe it
really was time she started dating other boys, or rather: date boys at all. Malfoy and she werent
even dating; they were sneaking around behind the backs of everyone who cared about them. For
what? A quick, passionate tumble every few weeks? It really wasnt worth it. It wasnt.
Swiftly, she turned to go, bumping straight into Pansy.
Mooning over my boyfriend again, are you? the other girl viciously said, someone sniggering
behind her. Oh, lovely, she had brought an audience. Too bad for you he doesnt do
Mudbloods.
Oh, he had done a Mudblood, all right. As usual, Hermione said in her most bored voice. I
dont have the faintest idea what youre talking about.
She made as to go around the girls, but Pansy blocked her. Dont you think Ive seen you
looking at him? she haughtily said. Dont you think everyone knows? Youre nothing but a big
joke, Granger.
Hermione knew all blood drained from her face, and there was nothing she could do to prevent it.
Most likely Pansy was just spewing bile, but what if there really was something to what she was
saying? What if there was talking?
You are seriously deluded, she managed to coldly say. And one can only wonder whats
making you so insecure. And with that, she finally managed to flee.
*****
Hermione did not dare consider approaching Malfoy again, or even look at him. She knew she let
Pansy win, but it was a battle shed lost long before that. Malfoy had shown a clear tendency of
pursuing her when he wanted her and now he didnt. She didnt know why that thought hurt
her, but she supposed that was how it felt when the other person tired of you first, nothing more.
She took to spending more and more time at the library. It was the one place she was sure to find
peace and quiet and no Draco Malfoy or Pansy Parkinson in sight. It was her safe haven. Nothing
had ever been able to calm her quite like the look, feel, and even smell of books, and now she
took full advantage of that.
So, when, one evening, someone pulled out the chair next to hers, and she looked up to see
Malfoy, she was shocked, to say the least.
I need your help, he said without preamble, dropping some scrolls on the table and sitting down.
Schoolwork? So that was what she was good for now, was it?
Oh, yay, lucky me, she drily said, looking back at her book, willing him to go away and leave
her alone.
I figured youd say that, he replied. Ill pay you.
Hermione stiffened. Of all the insults shed ever had to hear coming from him, this was well, in
the top five at least. I dont need your money, she said.
What do you need, then?
Hermione felt anger surging through her. So now he cared what she wanted? I need you to get
out of my sight and stay that way, she ground out, shooting a baleful glance at him and very
much meaning it at that moment.
He winced. That can be arranged to some extent, he replied, his calm voice belying the
involuntary expression. But I really do need your help.
Why should she care what he needed? He could rot for all she cared! Why? she heard herself
ask.
Ive been he seemed to search for words, rather negligent with my schoolwork lately; and
now they threaten to expel me. I thought theyd only have me repeat a year at the most.
Hermione stared at him, aghast. So, youre being a lazy prat and want to pay me to do all your
work for you?
He looked a little relieved that she understood. Yes. So, will you do it?
She stood up; her chair almost toppling over with the force as it was pushed back. No. You will
have to pay someone else. She turned and left the library. Of all the scenarios she had played in
her head of finally talking to him again, this one hadnt even been close to being an option.
He caught up with her a few seconds later. It has to be you, he said.
Why? she asked suspiciously.
Because you take the same classes as I do, and youre the smartest in our year, and you can make
it look like its my work. Malfoy looked as if what hed said was perfectly reasonable, and
Hermione was annoyed with herself for being hurt by his proposal and his logic. So this was
really all shed been reduced to: Brains for rent. She supposed she should be grateful that her
brains were all he was offering to buy.
I will not cheat for you, she snarled.
No, only with me, he mumbled.
She stopped dead in her tracks, unable to recall why she had ever been attracted to this poor
excuse for a wizard.
He winced again, realizing his mistake. Im sorry, he said. I didnt mean that.
Yes, you did, she coolly said, wondering why she was still even talking to him.
No, I didnt, he firmly insisted. Look, Im desperate, ok? I cant be kicked out. Name your
price.
A world of dizzying possibilities entered her mind. Just how far could she push the great Draco
Malfoy before he balked?
No more pushing people around or calling anyone Mudblo
Done!
She looked at him for a second. He really was desperate, wasnt he? He seemed to have realized
that he had given himself away too easily, because his cheeks were slightly pink.
Youd have to treat me with respect.
Always.
That includes keeping your girlfriend in line.
He frowned at that. Pansy? What?
Never mind what. Just make sure she doesnt annoy me anymore. She couldnt tell him what
had happened; it was mortifying to say the least.
He nodded, looking only slightly curious.
Youd have to make a real effort to catch up again and do part of the work yourself.
He grudgingly nodded again.
She groped for some more terms; she was letting him get off too easily. Inspiration hit. And be
nice to Harry and Ron
Now wait a
and Hagrid too.
He looked positively horror-struck.
She almost grinned. Almost. And youd have to keep it all up until you dont need me anymore.
His eyes glinted dangerously in the way she had come to be cautious of.
And, she hurriedly added, youd have to forget all about getting even with me.
I wasnt thinking of getting even, he silkily said.
Oh, yes, you were, she said. Youre quite obvious sometimes.
His eyes heated. So are you. You know theres no way I can agree to all your terms.
She crossed her arms. You can. You just wont.
No, I really cant.
Why not?
Because, he said through clenched teeth, stepping closer to her, people would question why Id
change so much and either they would guess the truth, and wed both get expelled for cheating, or
worse: everyone would think were dating.
Hermiones eyes widened. She hadnt even considered that. Had she? No. Shed merely wanted
to push his buttons. She supposed she had succeeded in finding the point at which he balked,
thoughbeing associated with her on a personal level.
Besides, he was standing too close for comfort.
Fine, she said, stepping back and away from him. You wouldnt have to be nice to my
friends. She pouted, a little disappointed at having her fun thwarted.
Youll do it, then? he asked. If I agree to the other bits?
Hermione considered. She shouldnt. He was spoiled, overbearing and all-round unpleasant.
Hogwarts would be much better without him. I suppose, she said, noting how relieved he
looked. And grateful. On one more condition.
What? he carefully asked.
I get one free request. At any time I may ask you for any one thing and you will have to do or
give it.
He looked as if hed just swallowed something that wouldnt go down. If possible, he finally
said. Only if at all possible withoutwithout risking my life.
She rolled her eyes. What exactly did he think shed ask him to do? Done, she said, turning to
go back to the library. Follow me.
Where? he asked.
I left my things back at the library, she said with a faint blush. She had been so angry and so
eager to get away from him that shed left her bag in her haste.
When they got there, she pulled out a parchment, scribbled down the conditions, tapped the
parchment a few times with her wand and handed it to him. Sign this.
He frowned, probably remembering the incident with Marietta Edgecombe the previous year.
Dont you trust me? he asked.
She laughed before she could stop herself. Apparently that was answer enough for him, and with
a dark look in her direction he signed it.
Tell me something he said, once shed signed the scroll too and rolled it up. Why are you so
mad at me?
Hermione stopped her motions. How was she supposed to answer that one without suffering an
acute loss of dignity? Your proposal
Was nothing you wouldnt expect from me and I did get you to agree, didnt I? Think of another
excuse, Granger.
Its not an excuse!
He made a disbelieving sound.
Oh, this was not at all the conversation she wanted to have. Not that she wanted any conversation
with him anymore.
The library was closing, so she grabbed her bag and left, hoping hed get the hint.
Perhaps he did get the hint, but, in that case, he chose to ignore it. Your lack of response is very
telling, he said conversationally.
I did respond. You chose to ignore it. Hermione sped up, but Malfoy only lengthened his stride
to keep up.
You know what I think? he asked.
That the world revolves around you? she guessed.
He smiled and said, I think you missed me.
Hermione stumbled, narrowly righting herself before she fell. I guessed correctly, then, she said
a bit hoarsely to her own ears.
He grabbed her arm and pulled her into a dark room and cornered her. He was so close, and the
darkness made it feel even more intimate. Why did the school have to be so big and have so many
empty rooms?
Her heart was pounding with excitement, desire, and a little fear. Fear that this was a game, and he
was really just out to expose and humiliate her; yet she didnt even consider reaching for her
wand.
What are you doing? she asked warily.
All you had to do, Granger was ask, he said, before bending to meet her lips.
He had won before his lips even touched hers. He was right, of course. She had missed him
dreadfully, and she couldnt say no to this, even if it did mean his friends jumping out of the dark
to laugh at her. Her eyes flickered to the darkness behind him. No there didnt seem to be
anyone hiding.
Then there was the soft brush of lips against lips, and she forgot all about mistrust and ridicule. His
one hand was on her waist, while the other one was at the nape of her neck, gently holding her in
place. His lips returned to massage hers and, with a sigh, she gave in and put her arms around his
neck. What harm was there in a little kiss, anyway?
Encouraged, he lifted his hand from her neck, and, softly stroking his thumb over her lips, he
parted them. She playfully bit down on it and imagined that she saw a flash of raw need in his
eyes. It was quite silly, of course; it was much too dark to see. Yet when his lips returned to hers,
it was with much more force.
She moaned slightly, when he pinned her between his body and the wall, and he took the
opportunity to slide his tongue into her mouth. She pulled him closer, wanting more, and he
obliged, pressing harder against her without breaking the kiss. His tongue stroked hers, coaxing it
to play.
Hermione felt almost dizzy. Grabbing a firm hold of his shoulders, she pulled him closer still and
returned the kiss with enthusiasm, letting her tongue stroke back and enter his mouth. She was
feeling extremely gratified when he groaned into her mouth and the kiss turned wild and hungry.
He hoisted her up, and she immediately wrapped her legs around him, making him groan again.
Things were rapidly spinning out of control, and she knew they were about to have sex, right here
in an abandoned class room only a few doors down from the library. She didnt care. She did care.
She didnt want him to stop. She had missed himmissed thistoo much.
He broke the kiss, brushing his lips down her neck, flicking out his tongue to taste her. She
sighed, letting her head fall back to give him easier access.
He pulled back.
We shouldnt, he said huskily.
No, we shouldnt. Since when did that stop you?
Oh, was what she said, feeling her face heat at his rejection. Stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
Not here, he continued. Will you come with me to a better place? Willingly, I mean?
For a few seconds, she didnt quite comprehend.
Granger? he asked. If I have to, I will take you here, and, this time, you wont deny me any
pleasure.
He wanted her?
Why are you looking at me like that? he demanded. After you kiss me that way you cant be
surprised that I
She had pressed herself against him and closed his mouth with another kiss.
Ill come with you, she softly said.
For a second he stared disbelievingly at her, and for the first time it occurred to her that maybe he
had had his own misgivings about her. Then, without a word, he grabbed her hand and pulled her
after him. She could feel the urgency in him and it matched her own. They both needed this.
Desperately.
Wait, she said when he would go one way. Room of Requirement is the other way.
She noticed a slight clenching of his jaws before he said, We cant use it. I smashed it.
You what?
Smashed it. Its useless now.
But why?
He shook his head. Does it matter? Is there any way you can disguise yourself? He had begun
walking again, dragging her after him.
She really wanted to know why hed smashed the room with the big comfortable bed, but she
recognized that he wouldnt tell her. She sighed. Why do I need disguise?
Im taking you to my room.
A shock went through her. No! She dug her heels in, forcing him to stop again.
I want you in a bed, Granger, and we wont be able to get me to yours, so well go to mine.
What? Slytherins have private bedrooms now?
Of course not. He frowned at her.
So you expect me to sleep with you in front of your friends?
He actually grinned. As entertaining as that sounds, Granger, I thought we might close the
drapes.
She groaned. No, theyll know.
They wont know.
Of course, they will!
He sighed impatiently. I always charm my drapes so I cant be heard or disturbed. If we can get
you in, they wont know.
She frowned a little at that. Why would you do that?
Merlin, Granger, do you have to question everything?
Yes, I do, she replied, pushing out her chin to look at him defiantly.
Why? Why cant you just trust me a little bit?
Trust you, Malfoy? she asked incredulously. Since when do I have any reason to?
He looked really annoyed with her. Curse you for needing reasons; youre too smart for your
own damn good. Cant you just accept the fact that I have no reason to lie to you about this?
I saw no reason for you to lie to me about sleeping with Pansy. And if you want to sleep with me
now, whats these past weeks been but a lie about that too?
You did miss me! He looked almost stunned at the revelation.
Hermione had to fight back a mortified blush. I only wondered she muttered.
I thought thats what you wanted! After last time You fought me and you said it wouldnt
happen again. I was respecting your wishes. Well, until today, anyway.
She felt light-headed and swayed a little on the spot. He had been respecting her wishes.
You ok, Granger? Youre not getting sick again, are you? He steadied her with a hand.
Because I might just have to take you anyway, and it would be really gross.
She swatted his hand away. Im fine. Thank you for your concern or lack thereof. But she
wasnt really offended by his crass statement. She couldnt be. Not when hed just said such a
wonderful thing.
Enough of this, he said. Come with me. You wont regret it, I promise.
She nodded. If he had asked her to jump from the Astronomy Tower right now, she probably
would have agreed. She took a step back, squeezed her eyes shut, and, concentrating hard, she
tapped her own forehead. Opening her eyes, she looked at Malfoy who was staring at her.
Crud. Didnt it work? She looked at her hand. Yes, it had worked, she was seeing the floor
instead of Hermione-shaped fingers. She tried walking a few steps to the side, but his eyes still
followed her.
Did I miss a spot? she asked.
He shook his head. No how did you know how to do that? Disillusionment charms are NEWT
level and very advanced even at that. And to disappear this completely is incredibly rare.
Hermione tried sneaking behind him, but he turned with her, eyes still on her.
After Harry She paused. No, he didnt need to know that. Id heard about it, and I read
about it, and I practiced it. Why can you see me, if I did so well? She was a little peeved that she
hadnt done perfectly.
I know youre there and I see ripples when you move, he said, clearly staying focused on her.
If you dont move when someone looks straight at you, you should be fine. He grabbed her
hand, fumbling a bit before he found it. Come on, lets go. He dragged her off with him.
They were really going to his room. He led her down several flights of stairs, and it wasnt until
they were standing in front of the wall allowing entrance to the Slytherin common room that she
realized shed never been here before.
He mumbled something that sounded suspiciously like Mudblood before the wall opened. He let
go of her hand and strolled inside. Hermiones heart was lodged in her throat, and she felt sure that
she couldnt do this after all. Still, she hurried inside, before the opening closed again.
Malfoy was making his way through the common room, when an annoying female voice rang out.
Draco! Arent you going to come sit with me for a bit? Pansy, of course. Hermione could hardly
see how hed get out of this one. Botheration.
No he replied. Im really not in the mood for your incessant prattling tonight.
Hermiones eyes widened at his rudeness and she accidentally let out a giggle. Hurriedly, she
clapped a hand over her mouth and looked around her to see if anyone had noticed. The room was
almost empty. Was it that late already? Only Pansy, Zabini, and a couple of boys she didnt know
were there. It was unbelievably lucky that none of them seemed to have heard her.
Malfoy disappeared through a door at the other end, and Hermione hurried to keep up. Soon, she
was in what had to be his dormitory. It didnt look all that different from the Gryffindor
dormitories, except it wasnt round and in a tower, but rather square, and underground, and the
bedding was green instead of red, and ok, maybe it did look a little different.
He walked to the bed farthest from the door and turned, frowning in her general direction. Oh,
right. He couldnt see her now, could he? She stood stock-still, wondering what hed do.
I know youre there, he said very softly, making her realize that others had already gone to bed.
I heard you in the common room. Not very discreet of you, youll have to do better. He
motioned for her to get on the bed.
She rolled her eyes, but did as he asked.
As soon as he saw the bed move, signaling her compliance, he closed the drapes and joined her,
casting some charms, and letting out a small floating ball of light from a box to make them able to
see better. Hermione absent-mindedly decided she wanted one of those floating lights; it would
make reading in bed so much easier.
You can speak freely now, he said. And if you dont mind, Id like you to become visible
again. Im not that kinky.
She hesitantly did as asked, rendering herself visible. Are you sure its ok? Someone might
decide to come and talk to you or see what youre doing....
Yeah, the last time that happened, Goyle was in the hospital wing for two days with boils. I dont
think itll happen again soon.
Grumpy in the morning, are you?
Why dont you find out? he asked, pulling her closer.
His lips were a wonderful mix of soft and firm as they caressed and nibbled at hers. She could feel
his barely leashed want, as he slid his tongue over her lower lip, tasting her, prodding her to open
up for him. Oh, my. His tongue penetrated her mouth, only to tease her and withdraw, breaking
the kiss. She groaned. She wanted more. He kissed her again, only to withdraw once more. She
tried to make him stay by holding him in place, but he was a relentless tease, withdrawing from
her every time it was getting good.
Finally frustrated, she rolled them over, so she was straddling him and bent to kiss him on her
terms. She had waited for this for too long, damn it. She didnt miss the look of surprise in his eyes
and couldnt help but smirk a little. She traced his lips with her tongue, and this time, she was the
one to withdraw when he tried to lure it into his mouth. She felt her belt coming undone and his
hands on her legs, sliding up her robes, but she didnt let it distract her... too much.
At last, she let her tongue dip in between his lips to find his and he groaned, grabbing her waist
under her robes and pressing up against her, leaving her with no doubt as to his level of need. His
need fuelled hers, and she kissed him deeper and ground against him, making him gasp and close
his eyes in an expression of pained bliss.
She pulled back and smiled, enjoying her effect.
Dont stop, he said gutturally. Never. Stop. His eyes were pleading and commanding at the
same time.
He moved his hands up her sides, taking her robes with him, pulling them off her, and throwing
them aside. She fumbled a bit with his belt, until she finally got it open and pulled it off him in one
swift motion.
The next thing she knew, she was back under him, tugging at his robes, while he was crushing her
lips with his and claiming the inside of her mouth with his tongue. She finally got the robes off
him, making him make an impatient sound, as he had to break the kiss to get them over his head.
Now the amount of fabric between them had lessened considerably, and as he ground against her,
she moaned at the hardness of him and the memory of exactly how good that felt inside of her.
He struggled for a moment with her bra, until she showed him how this one opened in the front
and then it was open, and he was staring greedily at her breasts. He lifted a hand to caress one
breast, and she pushed against him, making his touch firmer. He bent to stroke the other breast
with his tongue, and she moaned desperately. He gently bit down on her soft flesh, making her
whimper and unable to stay still. This was too much; she was feeling feverish.
She tangled her fingers in his hair and pulled him up to violate his mouth. He indulged her,
temporarily soothing her need, before he slid his lips down her throat and found the exact tender
spot at the base of her neck he had uncovered weeks and weeks before. He sucked it hard, making
her cry out and buck against him, digging her nails into his back. He shuddered against, her and
she knew it had to be now.
I need you, he whispered, echoing her thoughts, while slightly nibbling her ear. Now.
Her reply was to grab his boxers by the band and carefully pull them down off him. He kicked
them off and responded in kind by removing her knickers. Again, he was looking at somewhere
she wished he wouldntit was embarrassing. Yet, at the same time, the look of awe on his face
was worth it.
She pulled at him, wanting him to cover her body completely with his, and he complied. She slid
her hands up and down his back, wanting to feel more of his skin, and wrapped her legs around
him to urge him to go on. It had been too long. She dug in her nails again, and he made a choked
sound and surged forward, filling her in one single thrust.
Hermione gasped and for a moment time seemed to stop as their eyes locked and he was
stretching her, filling her completely. Then time rushed back, and he closed his eyes on a groan,
and started moving inside of her, withdrawing and pushing back into her at a steady pace.
It felt too good for words, and Hermione grabbed hold of him, meeting him thrust for thrust.
Merlin, Granger, he groaned before long, pressing her harder into the mattress. You feel so
good... so... He cut off with a gasp, when she bit down on his neck. She had discovered that he
liked this, and, true enough, he was now thrusting faster, harder, deeper, just as she had hoped.
Hermione knew that she would come soon, that this time would be as hurried and desperate as the
other times had been. It was too good, too intense, too powerful for her to hold back. More...
she moaned. Harder!
His eyes widened a little, and he made an unintelligible sound, before complying, taking her so
hard that the bed creaked, and she was certain the whole school must hear. She didnt care. All
she cared about was the feeling of him pounding into her and her orgasm being almost within her
grasp, almost, almost, almost...
She cried out in wild abandon as the first wave hit her, making her jerk and convulse violently as
he continued taking her relentlessly. She didnt believe shed ever felt such intense pleasure
before, not ever. Another wave hit and another, until she was sobbing, and he gradually slowed
down to let her breathe.
She opened her eyes to look at him. He was looking at her with wonder, ecstasy, and unfulfilled
need plain on his face. Hed held back to watch her come, and now he was trembling, brushing
little kisses on her face, her eyes, her lips, waiting for her to be able to take the force of what he
needed to do, but clearly having a hard time restraining himself.
She felt the strain in his every muscle and she loved that she had that effect on him. What are you
waiting for? she whispered. You know what you want.
With a strangled sound, he started moving again, hard and fast, burying his head in her neck,
while she held him close, urging him forward with her body, clawing at him in her enjoyment,
until she felt him tense, thrusting deep, and holding her still, groaning loudly, as he with great
shudders reached his own climax.
Finally he was spent and was lying unmoving on top of her, collapsed, his breathing labored,
while she stroked his back. Shed had no idea of the pleasure one could get just from making
another person come.
She listened to his breathing and felt his heartbeat thumping against her as both gradually steadied.
Finally she asked, So was last time better?
He chuckled and nuzzled her neck, but didnt make a move to get off her. She didnt mind at all.
Hell no, not even close, he mumbled against her ear.
She smiled. No, she didnt think so.
Never deny me again, he whispered, easing some of his weight off her and kissing her. No
matter what your reasons, its not worth it.
Right now she was inclined to agree with him.
*****
Hermione awoke with a jolt the next morning to find that someone was moving around, talking on
the other side of the curtains. Someone male. What were they doing in her room? She frowned.
And why was her bedding green? And why was she lying closely nestled in the arms of someone
else
The memories of last night hit her.
She was still in Malfoys bed.
She gasped as someone moved close by, angrily accusing someone else for snoring all night. She
shrank back towards the warm body behind her, as if he could save her from being seen if they
chose that moment to peek inside.
She shot a glance at Malfoy. He was still sleeping and looking more peaceful than she had ever
seen him. That cretin. He had been the one that insisted she didnt go last night, the one who had
made her lie down with him, and the one who had threatened to silence her if she didnt stop
objecting. Now look where it had brought them. She must have been really worn out to sleep
through the night like this.
She didnt even know how late it was, but since these people hadnt gone down to breakfast yet
she assumed it wasnt that late. Unless it was because breakfast was over. She groaned,
immediately clapping a hand in front of her mouth.
The movement roused the sleeping male behind her, and he gathered her closer and nuzzled her
neck. Whats wrong? he asked groggily.
Shush, she fiercely whispered. People.
He laughed. He actually had the audacity to laugh. Dont you think that if they were going to
hear anything, they would have heard plenty last night, hmm?
But I can hear them, she whispered, slightly pink from the memory of all the noise they had
made.
Yes he mumbled, losing interest in the conversation as the blanket fell away to reveal her
breasts, and only resuming on a sigh, as she covered herself up again. I didnt make it work both
ways. I figured I might want to know if a dragon got loose in here or something.
Where are my clothes? And my wand? She struggled to sit.
He let go of her and rolled onto his back with another sigh. Your clothes are right there, he
gestured to the foot of the bed, I collected them after youd fallen asleep.
She had fallen asleep first? Hurriedly, Hermione grabbed her clothes and got dressed before he
could change his mind about letting her go.
Come tomorrow, he said.
I cant.
Not that again! He sat up and looked at her irritably. He looked endearingly mussed this
morning, she noticed.
No, I really cant. Im going to the Slug Christmas Party. Hermione tried to untangle her curls
with her fingers, but soon gave it up for a lost cause and resorted to using her wand.
Oh, Christmas Malfoy frowned as if hed forgotten what time of year it was. Well, come
after?
I dont know how late it will be, and my date might think it odd if I leave him early to go be with
my lover. Hermione had been wondering if she should even tell him this, but now it had just
slipped out. She eyed his reaction warily.
Date? What game are we playing now? he asked, looking a little put out.
Hermione shot him a frosty glance. No game. I have a date. She was telling the truth; shed
asked the other boy out when shed thought Malfoy and she had been done fooling around.
Is this about getting back at me for Pansy? Because I
Its not about you at all! she interrupted. I decided I wanted to bring a date, I asked someone
and he accepted. Hermione was getting really annoyed. What was up with his egotism? It wasnt
as if she could ever have asked him!
Yeah? he asked. Who is it, then? Its that Weasel, isnt it? Hes probably right miffed that his
friends and his sister get to go while he
Are you insinuating that Ron is the only one who would go on a date with me? Hermione was
seriously angryand a little hurtnow. Because I can assure you that plenty of boys
Thats not what I said! he hurried to inject. I just havent seen you around that many boys, and
he does seem to be making moony eyes at you.
Not mollified in the least, she checked that everyone was gone, pulled the drapes open and got out
to put on her boots.
Dont be like that, Hermione he said, looking bewildered. Im sure you could have your
pick
For your information, she interrupted angrily. I have never been turned down for a date. I even
dated Viktor Krum for Gods sakes! Just because you are shallow enough to not want to be seen
with a Mudblood doesnt mean that everyone else is. I am going to the party with Cormac
McLaggen, and you know what? Illno; hell have a damn good time!
Malfoy was staring at her, clearly speechless at her outburst, as she tapped her head, rendering
herself invisible before braving the now half-full Slytherin common room.
Chapter 8
Draco fell back on the bed and stared at the canopy. He wasnt exactly sure what he had done
wrong this time, but if he knew women, shed probably shout it at him the next time he got hold of
her. It was exasperating the way she seemed to refuse to stay on good terms with him, but if she
wanted him to fight her, he would.
He would do almost anything for another night like this.
Yesterday, he had finally found an excuse sound enough for his own mind to go seek her out.
There were plenty of underlings about who he could bully into doing his work for free, but she
was the best, and of course, hed only settle for the best. That, at least, was what he told those who
questioned his decision.
Even if she did come at a very steep price.
The coursework had never been the real reason, anyway. He had wanted to talk to her, plain and
simple.
Her hostility had surprised him. He didnt remember doing anything particularly objectionable to
her for a long time. Hed been a bloody saint and had barely even looked wrong at any of the
rabble that she so loved to defend. He supposed there was no winning with her.
However last night he had felt like hed won. Not at any of their little games but just won.
For a few hours, he had been free of fear and worry and for the first time in months he had slept
like a baby.
He desperately wanted that again.
When he had suggested that she missed him, he hadnt really believed his own words. It was just
an excuse to be near her, to keep her attentions on him. It had been quite stupid, really. Then he
had decided that he wanted another taste of her, and he had had himself convinced that it would
be for the greater good, because then shed slap him, hed recover from this illogical obsession,
and everyone would be happier.
But she hadnt slapped him, had she? Shed kissed him back, setting him on fire and feeding his
never-ending longing for more.
And shed come with him to his room.
And shed given him more than hed ever dared to ask for.
And, for a short time, hed actually thought life was still worth living.
And now shed decided to storm off in a huff because he asked her a few questions about her so-
called date for tomorrow.
Women.
What was up with that? If she needed more, all she had to do was ask. It wasnt him who had
decided that they shouldnt do this more often; in fact, he felt quite certain that hed be up to doing
this every single night, should she allow him to. That thought made him smile.
*****
Recognizing the pattern of their little game, Draco didnt even bother trying to try and seek
Granger out again that day. He had his non-caring act down to perfection, and he didnt mind
utilizing it. It was better if he ignored her most of the time anyway; Pansy was being a pain about
him being around her.
Why do you need the services of a filthy Mudblood? shed asked. There are plenty of others you
could ask.
What? hed replied in his most arrogant voice. Youd do my homework for me virtually for free
and even get me an Acceptable in Arithmancy? I didnt know you were so talented.
There are others. You could get Harper to do it.
Harper isnt even in our year! Hows he supposed to do NEWT prep when he hasnt even taken
his OWLs yet?
So youre claiming shes the only one with the skills to do it, is that it?
No, hed said patiently as if talking to a child. Im saying shes the best and I know how to make
her.
How? Her eyes had glinted suspiciously, and, for a brief second, Draco had wondered what she
had guessed.
Havent you noticed? hed mocked. Shes the champion of the underdog. I lay off them and she
does my work.
It cant be that easy. She had shaken her head in disbelief.
Oh, but it is
He rubbed his eyes wearily as he recognized that if Pansy was getting suspicious, then this game
was getting dangerous indeed. But he wasnt about to stopnot now! No, he simply had to be
more careful, that was all. Perhaps being a little nicer to Pansy would help in pulling the wool over
her eyes
He didnt want to be nicer to her, though. He didnt want to answer to her either. He wanted to be
rid of her. He supposed hed liked her once; no, he knew hed liked her once. Perhaps even more
than liked. But now she was nothing more than a nagging nuisance who didnt want to get the
hint that they were through. He knew he couldnt be the one to break it off, because she would be
relentless in her quest to find out why, and he could not chance being caught with Granger.
Granger wasnt even the reason he wanted to get rid of Pansy, which would be funny if it wasnt
so damn inconvenient. Hed been tiring of Pansy before that, even then trying to hint at her that
they might be better off without each other. Thats when she had slept with him, to keep him from
dumping her, and, damn him, but it had worked.
Sex seemed to be like a drug to him; he simply couldnt say no. Only after hed had Granger, had
he been able to turn Pansy down. Glumly, he wondered if hed be like this all of his life, or if hed
ever learn to control himself better.
When he laid down to sleep that night, he realized the consequence of bringing Granger to his
own bed. He was assaulted by her scent still on his pillow and the recollections of what had
happened. Feeling himself rise to the occasion, he groaned loudly. This was going to be an even
longer night than usual. Still, this was better than what normally preoccupied him
*****
When the day for the Slug Christmas Party arrived, the whole school was abuzz. Draco failed to
see what the big deal was, but Zabini was looking smug as ever. Rumor had it he was taking
Marilyn Shaw, a rather stunning fifth year who hadnt been too keen on incurring Pansys wrath
when Draco had come on to her. Hed known that was the reason, because shed wasted no time
in telling him so. Her outspokenness had almost even amused him at the time. He supposed it had
been smart of her, though, for Pansy was already jealous of Shaws popularity with the boys.
It figured Zabini would be taking her to the party, because aside from being one of the prettiest
girls at school, she was also pureblood and Slytherin, which essentially made her perfect.
Sometimes Draco wondered if he would have gotten over his obsession with Granger if Shaw had
been more willing to see things his wayMerlin, would life have been much simpler then,
regardless of Pansys wrath.
As it were, however, Draco was stuck lusting after the most imperfect quarry he could have
chosen. Well, of course, she could also have been ugly and Hufflepuff, but strangely that thought
didnt offer him any comfort at all.
Draco found that he was feeling restless and he decided to go do something. He had no backup
tonight, but he figured it would be fine with the great commotion that was the party. Sneaking up
the stairs, however, he got distracted when he reached the second floor. The party was here,
which was just fine and dandy, but that wasnt what was distracting him.
It was seeing the back of a certain brunette as she turned a corner with a certain tall, burly, and
much too self-satisfied male that had him pause. He wasnt surprised that Granger had told him the
truth about going with McLaggen. Why should she lie? It was more seeing it that made him
uneasy.
Before he could consider what he was doing, he was following them, keeping to the shadows.
Once he had them back in his vision, he stopped, lurking, feeling decidedly out of place, but not
daring to move for fear of detection. They had stopped up at the door to Slughorns office where
the party was, and they were talking. She seemed to be smiling and nodding at something hed
said. She looked really pretty tonight, her hair up, wearing red like the femme fatale she was.
Draco briefly wondered if her choice of color had anything to do with her house, but he doubted
it. She didnt seem very keen on the whole division thing.
Suddenly, McLaggen bent to kiss Granger. Draco felt as if hed been punched in the stomach, all
air leaving his lungs in a whoosh as she lifted her head to accept the other boy. He was confused.
Why would she allow such liberties so soon? Then he noticed the mistletoe. Ah. Stupid old
custom.
Why didnt she break the kiss? What was she?
Another jolt went through Draco as McLaggen gathered her closer, and she seemed to let him and
even encourage him.
Betrayal.
The bitch was going to snog that brute for everyone to see. He felt his fists clenching painfully,
but he couldnt seem to unclench them. Anger was surging through him.
Just two nights ago she had begged him to take her harder, and tonight she was letting this this
oaf maul her.
Dracos breathing was coming hard and his heart was pounding, but he was unable to take his
eyes off what was happening right before him. He knew he should walk away; he knew it was
none of his concern. He had no claim, and he couldnt make one even if he wanted to.
Walk away. Just walk away.
He stood still, watching, unable to register anything but the kissing that wouldnt end. McLaggen
was taking liberties, scrunching her, letting his hands wander. She let him. Draco was glad that he
wasnt standing close enough to know if she was moaning.
Finally, he had had enough. He blindly turned and started walking, aiming for anywhere that was
away, running straight into Filch
*****
A few hours later Draco awoke bathed in sweat. He didnt need to look at his clock to know that
it was much too early to get up. Groaning, he sat up and rubbed his forehead. He had a massive
headache and was feeling all-round crabby.
Fighting down the memory of his nightmare, he grasped for other things to think about.
Last night
Last night had definitely been among his least favorite nights of all time. After hed left Granger to
her whoring around, he had been caught, drawn, and quartered. That was how it had felt, anyway.
At least there had been no real repercussions. He sighed.
No real repercussions indeed.
Snape was trying to control him, and worse; Granger had actually snogged the insufferable lout
McLaggen. He couldnt seem to get past that.
He wondered at the amount of thought he gave to Grangers escapades and how much they
bothered him, even though he technically speaking didnt care at all.
It was simply that he didnt want their already rare meetings to get even rarer. That made sense. If
she suddenly decided she really liked this McLaggen, then there was no telling what stupid things
she might do like stop wanting to come to Dracos bed.
He had to make sure that didnt happen.
He laid back down, staring at the darkness, waiting for morning to come.
A few hours later, right after breakfast, he sought Granger out. Leaving her to her own devices
obviously wasnt safe, so he had to use a more aggressive strategy. At least that was what he told
himself.
He caught up with her as she was hurrying up towards her common rooms. I need to talk to you,
Granger, was all he said.
She blushed faintly. Did she have the good sense to feel guilty? I cant right now. Itll have to
wait till I get back.
Get back from where?
She stopped and looked at him a little worriedly. Home? Its Christmas, you know.
Yes, he seemed to be reminded of that a lot lately. Why are you going home? he asked.
Because its Christmas. Arent you?
But your parents are Muggles. No.
So? Why not?
What can you possibly have in common with them? Youre a world apart! I see no reason to.
Granger frowned as if she was having some problems fitting the questions and the answers
together. They are my parents. And isnt your mother alone, now that her voice trailed off.
They are Muggles; you are a competent witch. Youd do better to disassociate yourself. And
yes, he added in a frosty voice, Mother is alone, but she preferred me to stay here. Where I am
safer. Because I have failed so far.
I am a Mudblood, Granger replied much too calmly. It wouldnt matter how I associated
myself in your or anybody elses eyes. Besides, I love my parents and I cant wait to see them!
Draco noticed that she didnt comment on his mother wanting him to stay. Did she feel sorry for
him? Shed better not!
Really? he asked in a thoughtful voice. And what do you talk about, pray tell? The exciting
progress youre making in spells that you cannot show them? The world of magical creatures that
they do not understand? Or Quidditch? Thrilling, isnt it? Too bad theyll never see a match. Or
maybe youll talk about how your best friend is famous without them ever having heard of him?
No? Well, maybe youll talk about Muggle events, things happening in their world that have
absolutely no impact on yours.
Granger just stared at him.
Face it, Granger. Each year you have less and less to go home for. Why bother? In fact, you
dont bother very much, do you? You hang around with those two loser friends of yours any
chance you get, and then you make some gesture like this one to make it up to them. Let me help
you out: They know. Theyre probably glad you dont come home that often.
He watched her face drain of all blood as she stared at him wide-eyed and clutching her chest.
You bastard. You despicable son of a
I only tell the truth, dont I? He knew he was pushing her away. It was the exact opposite of
what he had meant to do, but something had just snapped inside him, and he had wanted to
cruelly, coldly hurt her. He didnt feel the need to lie, however; sometimes the truth hurt the most
and this was the truth he saw. He wasnt sure of the reason for his vicious urge, but he seemed to
have succeeded.
The gratification that he had expected didnt come.
She seemed to compose herself a bit and then she looked at him suspiciously. What is it thats
really bothering you? she asked, her voice a little shaky.
That your parents are Muggles and you insist on visiting them anyway? he ventured.
I got that part, she coolly replied. That wont wash. She stared him down, all signs of her
vulnerability gone. The girl sure knew how to bounce back.
That you were whoring yourself to McLaggen last night in front of half the school? he heard
himself say. Damn it. He hadnt meant to let that slip. Now shed think he was all starry-eyed
about her and jealous to boot.
She blinked. You were there.
That response confused him a little. What was wrong with her? She was supposed to respond to
his accusation. I saw you, yes, he confirmed.
What were you doing there? As far as I know, you werent going.
She was really starting to annoy him. Could we get back to the matter at hand, please?
Oh, she frowned as she had forgotten. Shed forgotten his accusation? Hed as good as called
her a whore and meant it too! Then she shrugged. It was just a kiss.
Just a Draco saw red and threw caution to the wind. He grabbed her shoulders and slammed
her against the wall, pinning her with his body, and kissed her in way meant to hurt, to bruise,
crushing her lips. She whimpered a little when he bit her lower lip and sucked it hard.
She didnt fight him, though. She never fought him when he kissed her.
Guess he wasnt the only one she didnt fight. The memory fuelled his anger, and he forced her
lips apart, violating her soft, warm mouth with his unforgiving tongue.
Still, she didnt fight him. What was wrong with her? He pulled back to look at her. Her lips were
swollen and bruised, just like he had wanted, and she had tears in her eyes. Again he felt as if
someone had punched him. With a disgusted oath, he stepped back and let her go.
Now you know, was all she said in a quavering voice before she turned and fled.
*****
Now you know. Know what? That he was replaceable? That she preferred McLaggen over him?
That she was nothing but a whore and wanted to be treated as such? That she was probably
fucking half the school by now?
Christmas that year was by far the worst he had ever had.
He should have been doing at least a little schoolwork, but he couldnt concentrate. He should
have been going to Room of Requirement to work on the Dark Lords mission, but Filch was
keeping an eye on him. He should have been nice to Pansy, who had stayed behind too, but she
annoyed him like no one else could, getting on his very last nerve.
Now you know what? The question was killing him, but Granger had immediately left the
school, and hed had no chance to get an answer.
Zabini had stayed behind as well. Draco had begun to notice how Zabini and Pansy were always
around each other. They didnt seem particularly friendly towards each other, though. Zabini
never had been and Pansy had seemed to cool a lot lately. Perhaps they were physically attracted
to each other, but if they wanted to date, then why the hell didnt they? There was no love lost
between him and Zabini, and Pansy must be getting the message soon that they were over
At night Draco couldnt sleepagainand decided to go down to the common room. He didnt
know why; he usually stayed in his bed, but he supposed he wanted to relax somewhere he hadnt
slept with Granger, the untrustworthy tramp. She had claimed she wouldnt have two relationships
at once and he had believed her, leaving him completely unprepared for her duplicity. What had
happened after hed left? Had they stayed at the party or gone somewhere more private? Had she
moaned when McLaggen took her hard and fastjust the way she liked it?
Draco was so busy driving himself insane that he had almost reached the common room before he
heard the shouting.
Shouting? At this hour? He recognized Pansys voice and answering her was Zabini. Unable to
contain his curiosity he edged forward so he might see what was going on without revealing
himself.
What do you care, Blaise? Pansy railed against Zabini. Since when does it matter to you?
I dont and it doesnt, Zabini replied, his own voice raised. But its embarrassing to watch.
Youre making all of us look bad.
Im sure Shaw will be willing to comfort you.
Indeed, she does that so well. But we were talking about you.
My relationship with my boyfriend is none of your business! she sounded as if she was on the
verge of tears.
Your boyfriend treats you no better than a house-elf and people talk. Being associated with you
has become more than embarrassing.
Draco felt a twinge of guilt. He knew he hadnt been nice in his efforts to shake Pansy, but he
hadnt really considered her public humiliation.
Then dont be. Who needs you anyway?
Pansys effort to brush Zabini off was ineffective. I wish it was that easy. The association is
already there and it will take more time than we have left here to get rid of it. Why are you
hanging on to him? You know he has at least one other girl.
Oh, no.
You have no proof, Pansy said a little shrilly.
Unlike you, I actually sleep near the bloke. Ive seen the bruises on his neck, the marks on his
back, and the bite-shaped scarring on his shoulder. Dont insult my intelligence by claiming you
did all that.
Pansy seemed to deflate a little. Draco closed his eyes and leaned against the wall. Even she
hadnt deserved to find out this way. It doesnt matter, she said quietly, her voice shaking. Its
not like I have any options, is it?
Draco opened his eyes again to see her looking at Zabini in a peculiar way. Zabini merely
smirked. You made your choice. I dont care for used goods. Besides, you have nothing on
Marilyn. With that, he clearly dismissed Pansy by sitting down and opening a book, immediately
becoming consumed by it.
Pansy stood looking at him for a few seconds, tears now openly streaming down her face, before
she turned and ran up to her dormitory.
Draco had never thought hed feel so sorry for her.
*****
Nothing eventful happened for the rest of the holidays. Draco half-expected that the relationship
between Pansy and Zabini would change, but it didnt. He had to assume that either they were
simply acting or the fight wasnt an uncommon occurrence.
He still felt sorry for Pansy, but at the same time he had an even harder time respecting her. She
was holding on to a boyfriend who treated her badly and who she knew cheated on her. Why?
Because she couldnt get the other boy, who clearly had no interest in her, and who didnt hesitate
to rub that in when given half a chance.
Didnt she realize she would be better off without either of them?
Draco wanted to confront her about it, but didnt know how without revealing that he had been
eavesdropping. The result was that, for now, he found himself being kinder to her.
The holidays ended and, from one day to the next, the school filled with students again. Draco
was very much aware that Granger was one of the students who would be back by now, but he
knew he couldnt go running to her, so he waited.
He allowed her two whole days to get settled before he went where he knew hed find herthe
library.
She didnt seem overly pleased to see him.
Bring your books and parchment? she asked without a single word of acknowledgement, barely
looking up from her book.
Why?
Youre here for our agreement, arent you? she asked, much too coolly for his liking. He was
the one who got to be cold and angry, damn her.
He sat down across from her and leaned back. Our agreement was that you do it, he reminded
her.
I have done most, she said, gesturing at a big pile of scrolls, making his eyes widen. When had
she had the time? When she was at home with her Muggle parents? Had she thought of him? But
you will have to copy it so its in your own handwriting and finish it up.
Damn, Granger, youre efficient. He was genuinely impressed and hard pressed not to let it
show.
I am just not lazy, she primly answered. Besides, I wanted this over with.
That had him sitting up straight. Its not over yet. He decided when things were over. She
couldnt just brush him off for another lover.
She frowned at the book before her, still barely acknowledging him, making his temper flare.
Yes, it is. This is all your essays, color-coded copies of my notes for the classes I know you
werent paying attention in, and even some things for extra credit, should you need them.
He glanced at the pile again. She had written all that out for him? She hadnt even wanted to do it
in the first place!
Im not caught up yet, he said, aware that he had very little to bargain with. For once in his life,
he risked not getting what he wanted. The scroll said youd help as long as I needed you to.
That got her attention. What do you mean youre not caught up yet? What did you do these past
two weeks?
He grinned at her, relieved that that argument had seemed to work. Didnt study. It was
Christmas, you know, he said in an imitation of her.
She glared at him and then pushed a book towards him. Get started! The deal was also that you
apply yourself more.
He took the book and opened it at a random spot. He had thought she would do his work
reluctantly or perhaps do a deliberately bad job of it. He had thought she might want to avoid him.
He hadnt expected her cold efficiency.
He looked over the top of the book at her. She had given her book her undivided attention again,
but the red spots on her cheeks belied her indifference. She was angry. Well, so was he, but he
wasnt about to let her get away from him that easily.
What is it that I know? he asked.
Hm? she wasnt really paying attention, damn her.
You said now you know before you left What is it Im supposed to know?
She looked startled and then she looked away. If you dont know, then it doesnt matter.
That doesnt even make any sense! he exclaimed loudly enough to get the attention of four
Ravenclaws at a nearby table. Just how maddening could one female get?
She blushed and refused to respond. With a disgusted sound, he got up and went to find a
reference book he didnt particularly need, just so that he might refrain from doing something
stupid. Again.
When he had composed himself, he made his way back, only to stop when he noticed Granger
wasnt alone anymore. The Weasley chit was there. He looked her over. He supposed she looked
nice enough if you liked sassy little redheads from beggaring families.
Ginny Weasley looked up and saw Draco standing there, her eyes immediately narrowing and
growing resentful.
What do you want? she asked.
Draco couldnt help but grin. It was time to take out some of his frustrations. My, Granger, he
said, ignoring the Weaslettes rude question. I had no idea how far your charities extended. Its
really good of a Mudblood like you to he gasped and leaned forward with his hands on the
table.
He hadnt been hexed. Neither of the girls had reached for a wand, and the Weaslette actually
looked surprised. Granger looked smug, so he supposed she was the culprit.
What? he asked and then groaned and closed his eyes.
It wasnt pain exactly that had startled him so. It was a sensation that had started like a deep tingle,
and now it was an acute physical awareness of every tiny sensation, rather as if he had been
exposed to the sun for too long only He could feel the cloth of his robes brush against his skin
and, damn, if it didnt feel
He looked up at Granger and a lock of his own hair brushed his cheek, making him almost groan
again. It felt as if someone was caressing him, but at the same time he felt raw, exposed, as if
everything that touched him was covered in tiny needles.
You might want to apologize, she said, barely concealing a grin.
The table was making his hands burn and he jerked them away. Never had he known that the
tables at Hogwarts were so rough. The movement made his robes brush his nipple, and it was
nothing compared to the sensations he was getting further down from his boxers. He groaned
loudly again and hunched over with his hands against the table once more. The burn in his hands
was nothing compared to the humiliation of standing straight in his current state.
Whats happening to him? asked the Weaslette.
Hes learning how to be a little more sensitive, Hermione said with a self-satisfied smirk.
Is he in pain? the Weaslette persisted, but received no answer.
Draco ignored them. The feelings were getting more intense, but the stinging from the seams of
his clothes on his skin and his burning hands were unfortunately not doing anything to lessen his
other discomfort. She had known about this, damn it; she had known about his kinky streak, and it
was becoming very awkward. Other people were watching and soon they would really see
something.
Make it stop, he said in a very husky voice, staring at Granger and trying hard not to fantasize
about taking her right there on this table.
I told you, apologize, she said.
He stared at her for a long time, not bothering to conceal the heat in his eyes. Damn her. He felt a
certain gratification when a blush crept up her neck. Im sorry, he finally forced out on a moan
as he realized there was no other way. The only thing he was sorry about was that they werent
alone.
Suddenly, all the sensations were gone, and he was left flushed, panting, and with a raging hard-
on. He didnt stop staring at Granger; he needed to get himself under control before he could
move and while he was battling for that, he made sure she read his promise for retribution.
Finally, he had the control he needed and, with a sneer, he turned and left, hearing the Weasley
wench whisper, What was that spell? Watching him almost made me excited!
*****
Draco wasnt about to let this go. He had a fairly good idea what had happened. He had called her
a Mudblood, thus violating two points of their agreement at once, and had felt the consequences. It
was rather odd that nothing had happened when he had accosted her before Christmas, though
How was calling her a whore not disrespectful?
No matter. She could not go unpunished for this. He could not let her get away with using his lust
against him like that.
When she finally left the library, alone, he was waiting to snatch her.
God, Malfoy, she said irritably as he flung her into an empty room. You have to stop doing
this, its getting old!
Contrary to popular belief my name is Draco, not God, he said conversationally, and this is
much easier, faster, and more successful, than trying to persuade you to come on your own.
Yes, God forbid I might actually want to be there, she said sarcastically.
What is it with you and God today? You really should leave some of those Muggle expressions
behind.
What do you want? she asked.
He smiled, walked closer to her, much too close, and said, Bitch. Her eyes widened and he
continued. Tease. Mudblood Ungh he felt the sensations flowing over him again. Maybe it
was just in relation to that one word that this happened. How peculiar that she would choose to
associate pleasure with it. Well, ok, maybe she hadnt intended it to be pleasurable, but then she
didnt know him as well as she thought.
She shook her head in disbelief. Youre sick. She took a step back.
He laughed and then groaned. And really, really horny, he informed her. He really was. He had
only just cooled down enough for him to make the exit from the library, and since then he had
been waiting, anticipating payback.
He followed her carefully, not wanting the soft, pleasurable, stinging caresses of his clothes to turn
into real pain. He might be sick, but even he had his limits.
You have to stop it, she said. That spell can actually harm you if you dont stop it. Was she
worried? He hoped so.
He closed his eyes and felt her breath teasing his neck as she was looking up at him. He could feel
the heat radiating off her, and he noticed the gentle swell of her breasts against her robes. He
shifted and the sensations made him grunt. Merlin, he was going to burst soon, and just from
looking at her, too!
He put his hands on her cheeks and she felt so hot, setting his hands on fire he could barely
stand it. He bent and brushed his lips against hers so gently that they barely touched and still her
lips and her breath burned him, branded him, made him want more.
She moved away from him, breaking the contact. Stop it, Malfoy! she said sharply. You dont
know what youre playing with!
Fire he moaned. Kiss me again, please
She stared at him as shudders went through him. He was going to come soon, and the pleasure
would incinerate him.
She seemed to make a decision and swiftly she went to him and pressed lightly against him,
brushing her lips against his. Her stomach and breasts were just barely touching him in all the right
places, making the pleasure unbearable.
Oh, Merlin, had she any idea how she felt against him? How her touch scorched him? It was a
flaming bliss that he was sure she wouldnt understand. Yet here she was, relieving his need.
As she gently touched the tip of her tongue to his lower lip, branding him again, he grabbed hold
of her arms. The cloth hurt his raw hands, shredded them, as every little sensation overwhelmed
him, and, with a hoarse cry, he came against her.
For a moment, he was aware of nothing but her scent, her blazing proximity, and the intense
climax that was shaking his body in unbelievable, pained pleasure.
It didnt take long for him to regain his senses. The stinging was now uncomfortable, especially in
one particular place. He winced.
Im sorry, he mumbled, making the sensations go away, leaving behind soreness. He probably
had cut it a bit close.
No, youre not, she replied evenly.
No, Im not, but it stopped being fun. He looked at her. She looked a little flushed. My, my, it
seemed like she had actually enjoyed it, the witch. He couldnt resist kissing her.
After a few seconds, she broke away. Youre sick! she repeated.
So are you, my sweet. I can tell you liked it.
She flushed a deep scarlet. Was it really that embarrassing to be turned on by a little game? You
werent supposed to use it that way, she said. It was supposed to make you behave!
Oh, but I will in public. He scourgified himself. Why doesnt it work if I disrespect you? I
thought that was a term of our agreement.
It is a term, but if I had applied the sensitivity spell so that you would suffer it every time you
dont treat me respectfully, then it would never stop.
He stood up straighter. Thats not true!
Of course it is, she scoffed at him.
He stared at her. Ok, so he might like to bother and tease her a little every once in a while, and
they had their obvious differences, but all in all If your idea of respect is me kissing your feet

Of course it isnt.
Then what would you have me do differently?
She raised her chin. You could stop deliberately trying to hurt me!
Come on, Granger, he said, feeling a little confused. You know better than to listen to me.
Do I? she asked. Like you know better than to get jealous when Im kissing other boys?
He ignored that. He hadnt been jealous. Fine, Ill try to behave. Just let me know when you get
bored.
Yes, Im sure Ill find having you not stepping all over my feelings terribly dull.
I think you would. I think you like the nature of our relationship.
She stared at him then shook her head and made as if to go. Youre unbelievable.
He touched her arm, stopping her. Youre telling me that the secrecy, the intensity, the fear of
getting caught isnt part of the appeal for you?
Yes.
So it isnt my sparkling personality and it isnt the excitement. Then what is it?
She didnt have an answer. He knew she wouldnt. She probably even did believe he was
mistaken, when he knew he wasnt. She liked doing something that was wrong for once.
Come with me, he said. They didnt need to discuss this right now.
She gave him a slightly puzzled look. Where?
Where do you think?
But you you just she made a vague gesture to the area of his groin.
He immediately took offense. So? Im sixteen, not a hundred and ten! This was just a game!
She looked doubtful and he decided to abandon all ideas of going anywhere. He grabbed her and
lifted her onto the teachers desk, loosening her belt. She shrieked and tried to still his hands.
Somebody could come! she said.
Damn right somebody could. And somebody will. He slid his right hand into her hair and held
her still so he could suck her bottom lip into his mouth, much more gently than he had done last
time, and his left hand was sliding up her robes.
Stop! she gasped, laughing, if he wasnt mistaken. I get it, you can do it. Youre a big manly
man.
If anything, her mocking comment only spurred him on. His hand slightly changed its direction
and was brushing up her inner thigh, ending its journey at her knickers. Her decidedly moist
knickers.
Wait, she moaned. If you wait, Ill go with you.
I can have you here, he said, unwilling to wait. He was a little tender, but nothing that couldnt
be ignored given the right incentive. She was the right incentive.
Ill stay with you all night The manipulative little bitch.
Lets go. He wasnt complaining.
Chapter 9
Hermione hurried into the Great Hall. Oh, no. She was late for breakfast again, and now she
would have to hurry again. Harry and Ron were waiting for her and she almost jumped onto
the bench, sitting down hard. She stiffened, her eyes watered, and she groaned loudly. Both of her
friends stared at her.
Dont blush. Blushing is what gives it away.
I, uh, missed the disappearing step and bruised my behind, she said rather lamely. They didnt
seem to notice, though.
Ah Ron said, grinning. Pain in the bum that step is, isnt it?
Come on now, Ron, Harry said, barely hiding his own grin. Dont arse about.
Oh, ha ha, very funny! she said, scowling at the two jesters. Yet she was relieved that they
hadnt questioned her. The same way she was relieved that it was still so cold that it wasnt odd
that she was wearing her scarf, covering her neck all the time
She hadnt missed the step, of course. Her behind was just fine. The reason for her slight
discomfort was Malfoy and his rather intense pursuing of her over the last week or so. He hadnt
missed a single beat in cornering her every chance he got. She had spent the past many nights in
his bed and there had even been a few free periods dedicated to well, not Arithmancy, in any
case. It was beginning to take its toll on her. Last night she had been set on saying no, but
Goodness! He could be so persuasive when he put his mind to it.
Its not his mind he puts to it
She almost giggled at that thought. She knew what was driving him, anyway. He was still jealous.
It was as if he thought that if he seduced her enough times in a short enough time, then she would
forget all about other boys. It worked, but she wasnt about to tell him that. Not that he had any
reason to begin with, but she wasnt about to tell him that, either.
She had indeed let McLaggen kiss her. It hadnt been a very good kiss. It was something done to
her rather than with her. She had tried to close her eyes and enjoy it, but nothing happened.
Absolutely nothing. And then he had become just a little too fresh, and she had fought her way
free. As she had turned away from him, she had thought shed seen someone disappear around the
corner and for a second she had thought it was Malfoy. She had scolded herself for being silly
enough to think that, but then the next day he had cornered her and had been so angry and
spiteful. When she had realized the reason, it had thrilled and scared her. He had punished her
with the most hurtful kiss, which was, ironically, still better than what she had gotten from
McLaggen.
Now you know.
She wasnt entirely sure where those words had come from, but she could hardly hide the truth of
it. Now he knew how it felt to give himself fully to someone who then turned around and flaunted
someone else. There was no question in her mind that he had given himself fully that one night
before Christmas. The times they had been together since then had been goodno, better than
good; great!but he had been holding something back, as had she. She couldnt define what that
something was, but it had been a vital part in making that night special.
Still, she had no reason whatsoever to complain on that front.
She really had to say no tonight, though. She did. One reason was that she had seen Lavender and
Parvati put their heads together whenever she walked into a room and she knew why: as her
roommates, they had noticed that she hadnt slept in her bed for a long time. It was just a matter of
time before they told others. Hermione didnt know what she should do about this. Her reputation
was still suffering from the virus shed had and this would certainly be the death of any claim she
had to the benefit of the doubt.
She hurriedly ate some toast and got back up. I have to go. See you later, boys.
Wait what? Harry snapped back to attention. We barely see you as it is, and now you cant
even sit down with us for a free period? What is it that youre doing?
Well, if you must know, Hermione replied, what Im doing is taking a bath. I didnt have time
this morning, and Id prefer to still have friends after class!
Harry still looked disgruntled. Hermione felt really bad, but she wasnt exactly lying, and he
wouldnt understand the rest of it. Ill spend the rest of the day with you, I promise, she added.
Please dont be mad.
She hurried off to soothe her sore muscles with a bath.
*****
She was early in going to class, but she figured she could do with the time to read up on the
homework once more. Somehow, tutoring Malfoy involved less studying than she had ever done.
She really ought to change that.
Against all odds, she saw Malfoy on the third floor and he motioned for her to follow him into the
Trophy Room.
Well, it certainly was a step up from being dragged.
What are you doing up here? she asked. Their next class was Potions, so he hadnt had to leave
the dungeons.
Looking for you you left? he scowled at her.
I was hungry, she stated simply.
His bad temper immediately seemed to disappear. Ah yes Good. Eat more. You need it.
Everybody needs food.
Yes, but youve been he made a vague gesture indicating her body too skinny since
youve been sick.
She narrowed her eyes. Was he even trying? Too skinny? she sweetly asked. Are you saying
that you dont find my body pleasing?
He frowned slightly. That was a stupid question. You know I found it quite pleasing twice last
night.
The memory heated her blood. Crud. Wasnt she supposed to become less aroused by him? She
was still irritated, though. Then whats your point?
My point is that I like your soft places, and if I wanted to ride a broomstick
She gasped. He could be so crude. You know what I like? she snapped. When you shut up!
He smiled slowly and wickedly and looked her up and down, letting his eyes dwell in all his
favorite places. She might as well have been naked for all her clothes. That can be arranged, he
purred.
He reached for her, and she quickly evaded him. No! she said. We have class soon. Dont try
anything She evaded him again. Youre hopeless! Didnt you get enough last night? She
was hard pressed to stay annoyed, when he was being so playful.
He pouted a little at her. He was such a spoiled brat Shouldnt that detract from his charm? I
was going for three times, but someone wouldnt let me.
I needed sleep! Some of us still have to function during the day, you know.
Then come earlier.
I cant. You know I cant. She shook her head.
He sighed. Yes, I know He gave up trying to catch her and leaned against the wall, looking at
her. You could have come back.
I needed a bath.
So did I
She couldnt help but grin. He really was impossible. I needed a rest! she exclaimed.
Youve got me there, I couldnt offer that.
She tilted her head a little. You know, you dont have to prove anything.
For a second his eyes became very intense, piercing hers, but then it was gone. Oh, yes, she had
hit the mark. Whats to prove? He shrugged, the liar. Its not like you seem to mind what were
doing, so what are you trying to prove?
She raised an eyebrow. That Im tired and need to rest every once in a while?
I let you sleep You didnt leave bed at all Saturday Again his eyes turned sensual.
I wasnt sleeping for much of that, she replied drily. And I need to start sleeping in my own
bed again.
He straightened. No.
Yes. She folded her arms.
Why?
My roommates are noticing I
Ill be truly labeled a slut. She couldnt say that. Hed just say something horribly insensitive like,
but isnt that what you are?
Then trick them, he softly said. Youre smart. How hard can it be to make them think youre
sleeping in your bed?
She frowned disapprovingly at him. You mean like mess with their heads? I wont do that.
You wouldnt need to. A few pillows and a glamour charm or something should do it
She stared at him. Well, if he put it like that, it was really simple, wasnt it?
You know, Im really surprised at you, he said teasingly. I thought youd have figured that out
by now.
No, you arent! she snapped. Youre always telling me how stupid I am! Well, guess what? I
dont know everything!
He looked really taken aback and Hermione knew shed been unreasonable but she refused to
acknowledge it to him.
Nobody expects you to, he replied hesitantly.
I have to go, she said, turning and leaving the room. He positively looked like hed been hit by a
Bludger, but what did he expect? He was being so irritating.
*****
Hermione felt guilty. Then she got angry that she felt guilty. Finally, she just settled on being
terribly impatient with the worldespecially when Malfoy was near. To her great annoyance, he
wisely kept his distance.
Uh, Hermione, Harry ventured later that day. If you really dont want to be here, then its ok.
Hermione glared at him. All shed said was that he might do a little better in class, if he actually
cared enough to do his homework instead of always running off to play Quidditch, or whatever it
was that he was doing. She looked down at the parchment she was scribbling on and noticed
shed punctured a hole in it and there was a big blot of ink.
What do you mean? she asked, slamming down her quill. This was useless. Why wouldnt I
want to be here?
Harry looked to Ron for help, but he just shook his head and backed away. You just seem a
little Harry ventured.
Yes? she snapped. Out with it!
He winced. Youre biting our heads off for no reason, Hermione.
She gaped. She was not! I am not!
Again Harry looked pleadingly at Ron. Forget it, mate, Ron said, gathering his things. Ive told
you before: when this happens, just let it go.
Let what go? Hermione demanded.
Since when are you an expert on how to handle women? Harry asked irritably.
I have a mother and a sister; this was a hard-learned lesson. Ron walked up to Harry and patted
his shoulder. Have fun! He walked off.
I do not need to be handled and I was not biting your head off! Hermione said, feeling really
hurt, tears gathering in her eyes. But if thats how you feel She started packing her things
together.
No! Harry grabbed the book from her. Just you were telling me about the uses of
Jobberknoll feathers? He offered her a cautious smile.
Hermione looked at him for a second. Used in Veritaserum and Memory Potions She sniffed.
You really should do your homework.
I know, he said, smiling at her. Chocolate frog?
*****
The following day, Hermione was standing around, just talking to her friends during break. She
was aware that she had been a little insane the day before, but Ron and Harry were both kind
enough not to mention it, which was a huge relief. Luna had joined them for a chat, and today she
was wearing what appeared to be a multitude of yellow and purple strings knotted together from
each ear.
Your earrings Ron said, earning him a questioning glance from Luna and a warning one from
Hermione. Um do they protect against anything?
No Luna replied with a smile. I just like them. Dont you?
They all rushed to agree, not wanting to hurt Lunas feelings.
Hermione saw Malfoy approaching from the corner of her eye but thought nothing of it before he
actually spoke.
Oh, grand, theres a whole bunch of you today, isnt there
She turned to see him not looking too happy about being there. He sneered a little at Ron and
Harry, but to his credit he stayed quiet, and then his eyes fell on Luna and he just stared.
Did you want something, Malfoy? Hermione asked.
He briefly looked at Hermione before looking at Luna and back again. Err Yes. Book. You
have it. He had turned to stare at Luna once more.
What book? Malfoy? Hermione almost grabbed him to get his attention but caught herself just in
time.
Uh, my Charms book You must have taken it by mistake.
Well, do you need it now?
If you wanted me to study, I do, yeah. I got Charms after this period.
Hermione sighed. I suppose Ill be right back.
Wait, Ron said, scowling at Malfoy. The class starts in fifteen minutes. Why should you spend
your break running errands for him?
I seem to have his book, she said. I wont be long. Malfoy?
Luna seemed to just have noticed his staring and smiled sweetly. Yes, Draco, is there something
you want? Bless her for not being one to carry a grudge after the whole Umbridge incident.
Uh, no, he said. Nice earrings. He turned to follow Hermione, who was waiting for him
impatiently, and Luna beamed at his back.
Hermione waited until they were out of earshot before she said Very nice, Malfoy, maybe theres
hope for you yet!
Did you see? he almost spluttered. Your social circle is a regular freak show!
And there goes that hope, Hermione said on a sigh. Shes a little quirky, yes, but
A little?
shes a real sweetheart. You could learn something from her, you know.
As long as you dont mean her fashion sense, he grumbled.
And you were doing so well just a minute ago.
Yeah? he said, quickly scanning the area around them. Not many people were about. She felt
the knuckles of his hand brushing hers and her pulse jumped. How well was I doing? he asked
in a low, seductive voice.
Hermione quickly removed her hand in a pretense of fixing her scarf.
Draco! a feminine voice interrupted. Not Pansy. Slightly puzzled, Hermione stopped and turned
with Malfoy as the girl caught up.
Malfoy was grinning. Well, hello there, Marilyn. Hermione fought hard not to roll her eyes and
snort. So the girl was prettybig deal! No reason to put on a show.
Marilyn Shaws eyes grazed Hermione and immediately dismissed her. Have you seen Blaise
around? He said he would meet me in the common room, but he seems to have disappeared.
Sorry, love. Havent seen him since breakfast.
Shaw did not look pleased at this. So typical! Thanks, anyway. See you later?
You sure will, he confirmed, and Shaw left again. Malfoy watched her go with a smirk on his
face.
Very nice, Hermione said sardonically. A bit obvious, though.
I dont know what you mean, he innocently replied.
Shes seeing your friend. Perhaps you should choose to salivate over someone available if you
want a reaction?
Zabini isnt my friend. As far as Im concerned she is available.
Ah, but then theres still Pansy, isnt there?
He didnt respond, and, feeling annoyed with him again, she started walking. A few seconds later,
he caught up. You didnt come last night. I waited for you, he said, as if the other conversation
hadnt taken place.
She flinched. She had hoped he wouldnt bring that up, but it hadnt been realistic to expect him
not to. I didnt feel like it, she said in her best prim voice.
Why not?
You annoyed me!
I always annoy you. Its what I do! Its what gets you off
Certainly not! A thought occurred to her. Are you really missing a book?
He sighed dramatically at the change of subject. Yes, I am really missing a book. Otherwise I
wouldnt have braved the freaer, your friends, I mean.
Keep trying, Malfoy.
Whatever it takes to get into your knickers, Granger.
That doesnt take much at all.
I didnt know you liked to cross-dress.
Was that really your best comeback? he asked in an amused voice.
No
Then what is?
Wouldnt you like to know?
Yes. Yes, I would.
She didnt reply, but just smirked, hoping to drive him mad.
They had reached the Fat Lady, who eyed them curiously, and Hermione almost sighed with
relief. Snowball, she said, making the portrait swing open. Wait here, she hurried inside.
It took her some time to find the book. Somehow she had managed to kick it under her bed in
spite of not even knowing she had it. She hurried back out, aware that she would be late for class,
and then stopped abruptly. Malfoy hadnt noticed the painting swing open, and was just standing
there, leaning against the wall, slightly frowning at his feet. Merlin help her; she thought he looked
cute. Malfoy was many things, not all of them entirely bad, but cute wasnt one of them.
He finally noticed her arrival. Took you long enough. Whats wrong?
Hermione blinked a few times. N-nothing. It had snuck under my bed. Here.
He smirked a little at her as he received his book back. You know, if you wanted a keepsake
Definitely not cute. I must have dropped it in the dark and, since I didnt know I had it, I didnt
put it away with the other books. They were walking again. She was going to the first floor, and
he was going to the dungeons. It would be odd not to walk beside him. She had to say something
to get her mind off her thoughts. My Illumination spell works nowhere nearly as well as your
neat little floating light, but, of course, I never get to read in your bed.
Wrong. Dont mention being in his bed. Stupid.
He shot her a glance. You read by an Illumination spell? He didnt make some lewd comment
about the benefits of his bed?
She nodded. Hadnt really considered that there might be options. But of course there is; this is
the world of magic, after all, isnt it?
He snorted. Only a MuMuggleborn wouldnt know.
Nice save, she drily said. Choking on your promises yet?
Not yet Come see me tonight.
Not tonight.
Why not?
She scowled at him irritably. I cant go there every night, deal with it! and with that she stalked
off, leaving him looking perplexed again.
*****
It wasnt the first time in this past week that Hermione was late for class, although usually there
had been a more fun reason. McGonagall took ten points from Gryffindor, and Ron was scowling.
Hermione was feeling thoroughly harassed and made no effort to be agreeable to him or anyone
else. After the class, she managed to flee to the common room, and she ensured that she didnt run
into Malfoy again by not coming down for dinner.
She didnt do quite as well in avoiding him the following day. She ran into himin the most
literal sensebefore it was even lunch, falling on her behind, dropping her bag, books all over the
place. Watch it, Malfoy! she growled irritably, getting up on her knees to collect her things. This
elicited a frown from him as he sighed impatiently and squatted down next to her to roughly grab
a few of her books and thrust them back into her bag. She made a noise of indignant objection at
the way he was handling her property.
Hey, Im not the one walking around with my head in the clouds, he said, getting back up and
frowning at her again. Perhaps its your stupid new habit of not eating thats messing with your
eyesight. He jerked his head at Crabbe and Goyle, who were behind him, sniggering, and took
off again.
Hermione looked after him with a puzzled expression. What was his problem?
*****
Finally, classes were over. It had been a long day with everyone either avoiding her or staring at
her. She didnt know what was up with everyone. Ok, so she wasnt that stupid. She did know.
She was being a regular shrew, and she couldnt wait to go to her room and just curl up with a
book. Alone. She shifted her bag and frowned a little. Her books had fit in perfectly earlier, but
since Malfoy had just shoved them in something seemed to be jammed and it was bothering her to
no end.
She was just about to start rummaging with it when she saw Malfoy again. This was the sixth
floor, what was he doing here? Like she didnt know. She sighed audibly, making him positively
glower at her. He held a door open, and she supposed she could either go willingly or be flung, if
that glower of his was any indication. She opted to go willingly.
She walked into the middle of the room, and then turned to find him right behind her,
uncomfortably close. She didnt back down. What is it, then? she asked coolly.
Why the sudden change of heart? he asked.
The what? She wasnt following.
A couple of days ago we were doing just fine and, then, all of a sudden you turn into a vicious
little bitch who wants nothing to do with me.
That stung. Well, if Im so horrible, then why
Just answer the question, he angrily interrupted.
I have better things to do.
Like?
I dont have to answer to you!
He grabbed her arms and, frightening her a little, he pulled her closer and sneered. I need to
know what game youre playing before I can join in. Why do you suddenly hate me so much?
Just what am I supposed to have done?
She deflated a little. He thought he had done something? Its not you
He let go of her. He wasnt placated in the least. Then what is it? Feeling guilty? Its a little late
for that.
She shook her head. N-no, its just She blushed a little and looked down. Just give me a few
days.
She felt his hand on her waist as he bent to whisper in her hear. But I dont want to Not if you
cant give me a reason, Hermione. Oh, he had a way of saying her name that made her knees
weak. He probably knew it too, the rogue.
A few days isnt unreasonable, she pointed out as her pulse soared from his breath on her neck.
She was feeling a little confused by his very sudden change of tactics. It wasnt at all because his
nearness muddled her thoughts.
Youve already had two days. And two very long nights, he mumbled.
You probably needed the rest too. But what she needed was to get out of his thrall.
There was no rest. He lifted his head and smiled wickedly at her. Not until after I thought of
you
She didnt comprehend at first, but then she got his meaning. Her eyes widened, and her lips
parted, attracting his gaze. Oh! No, you didnt
He laughed huskily. Everybody does it, my sweet. I bet even you do.
Oh, no. She wasnt even going there. That was private! At this rate, soon therell be nothing left
of you, she said a little breathlessly.
He grunted and grabbed her hand to press it against his bulging groin. Feel like nothing to you?
he asked.
She couldnt help but move her hand a little, caressing the length of him, and he groaned. She let
her hand fall away and said, We cant.
Why not? he asked in an almost pained whisper.
Because its that time.
He frowned. What time?
She moved a little away from him. O-of the month. We cant have sex. He still looked
confused, so she took a deep breath and said defensively, Its my period, you moron. Happy
now?
His eyes widened. Oh! Then realization seemed to dawn. Oh No, not happy. Thats
inconvenient. He looked put out as if she had done it on purpose.
Not as inconvenient as not getting it would be. And it happens, you knowevery single month!
Isnt there something one can do about it?
No, there isnt anything to do about it; youll have to suffer like all other blokes out there. Or get
someone else to ease your pain.
He scowled at her. How long do you plan on taking with this?
She could gleefully strangle him right now. Another three or four days, and then, after that,
therell be all the time where youll have to make your inane comments up to me.
He looked at her longingly. I cant wait to do that Come to me tonight anyway.
She stared at him. What? No! Eww!
He shook his head. No, not like that. Well just sleep.
She cocked her head. Just sleep?
He smiled lazily and looked her over with a sensuous gaze that almost had her undone all over
again. Well he mused. I cant promise that I wont take a little bit advantage but your
underwear stays on, I promise.
Ok, she breathed before she could catch herself. She shook her head to clear her thoughts. What
had she just agreed to? What did he mean with a little bit advantage?
He smiled triumphantly. Too late! You dont want to go back on your promise, do you? The
valiant Gryffindor is not afraid to go to sleep next to the nasty Slytherin, is she?
Youre up to something, she said suspiciously.
Yes, but nothing new, I assure you He walked towards the door. Remember to eat first.
Your starved corpse in my bed might raise a few questions.
Hermione rolled her eyes and waited until he was gone before she left for her dormitory. There
she unpacked her bag to see what was jamming her books. In the bottom of the bag was a small
box. She frowned. She didnt recognize it. She took it out and opened it. Inside, was a small
floating ball of light.
*****
You knocked me down on purpose, didnt you? Hermione whispered near Malfoys ear. He
stiffened. She was early, and they were in the Slytherin common room. It had been easy to slip in,
much easier than it was later in the night when there werent so many coming and going. It was
risky of her to come this early, though, as a lot of people were still about, and someone might
bump into her or otherwise reveal her presence, but this had been occupying her all afternoon and
evening.
Im going to bed, he announced to his friends and then got up and walked to the dormitories.
Hermione noticed with a scowl that he had needed to untangle his hand from Pansys. Since when
did they reconcile? Nobody questioned his going, though, even though it was barely eight
oclock. She slipped after him.
I wasnt aware you missed me so much, he said, when they were safe behind his drapes, his
own light let out. If I had been, I would have gotten angry a whole lot sooner.
You didnt answer my question, she persevered in a much less genial mood than before.
He scowled at her. Figures youd be focused on that. So what if I did? Wouldnt be the first time
I set out to knock you off your feet and succeeded.
Why? And you think Luna is quirky
It doesnt mean anything. My parents are rich and Im well aware how spoiled I am. I have many
things I dont need.
If it doesnt mean anything then why didnt you just give it to me? She was being relentless.
Because I was hoping youd shut up about it! He rolled over on top of her. But you can give
me a kiss if you like
She gasped at the onslaught and then giggled. Arent you just dying to drop the subject?
If you dont want to keep it
Im keeping it!
Then shut up and kiss me.
*****
Hermione was jerked awake. They had gone to sleep not long after she had gotten there, because
Malfoy had seemed so tired. He was now fidgeting and mumbling under his breath, and it was his
movements that had jostled her. She turned to see what was wrong, but it was too dark. She
fumbled after her wand at the foot of the bed.
When she did get a look at him, she decided that whatever he was dreaming was definitely not
good, and she had better wake him up. Malfoy, she whispered, gently touching his arm. He
didnt respond to her but moaned at something in his dream. Malfoy! she tried a little louder,
grabbing him and shaking him a little.
He awoke with a start. What? he hoarsely asked.
You were dreaming, she softly said. And it didnt seem pleasant.
He lifted one hand to his brow. No no, it wasnt.
Want to tell me about it?
He shook his head. No Just go back to sleep. He pulled her close again, her back to his front,
and buried his face in her hair.
Hermione stayed still after putting away her wand, although she didnt think she could go to sleep
Hermione stayed still after putting away her wand, although she didnt think she could go to sleep
again. Malfoy didnt seem to be able to either, but simply held her, stroking her belly. Just lying
there felt nice. He moved her hair to the side and began kissing her neck. Hermione closed her
eyes and leaned back against him. Very nice indeed. His hand strayed from her belly up to her
breasts, and she felt she had to remind him. We cant
I know, he whispered. Dont worry.
He didnt stop, though, and her pulse and breath were quickening. He didnt try to remove her
bra, but just cupped her breasts, teasing them through the fabric. They were extra sensitive these
days, and Hermione moaned. She could feel his appreciation pressing against her. This was
madness; they wouldnt be able to get release. Still, she didnt say anything, and the pressure built.
Let me touch you, he murmured, his hand sliding back down her belly. She shook her head. It
wont take long, he softly pressed. Youll come soon. He softly brushed the front of her
knickers as to make a point, and she stiffened against him and moaned. He trembled slightly.
No, she whispered. I dont need to.
Yes, you do, he choked. And I need you to. He brushed the front again, and she moaned
again, in spite of trying hard not to. Please let me.
You promised that my underwear stayed on, she reminded him breathlessly, and youre staying
out of it.
He groaned in frustration. Fine he said, making her immensely relieved, before he began
purposely caressing her through the cloth.
What are you doing? she gasped. She could already feel her body tensing and knew it was too
late to stop him.
I am staying out of your knickers, he murmured and nibbled at her ear, as he stroked her nub
and sent her over the edge.
Y-you cheated, she panted, as she regained her wits.
You cant be that surprised, he drily replied. Besides, we both needed it, and I wasnt going to
let you off that easily
What do you mean you needed it? You didnt come.
I will trust me. Just go back to sleep.
So youre going to deny me my fun? she asked, turning to face him. The darkness was absolute.
He gasped as she firmly caressed him through his boxers.
Merlin, no he groaned. Please do touch me.
She found his lips in the dark and kissed him lightly, but he tangled his hand in her hair and kept
her close for a deep, passionate kiss. He really did seem to need this. She briefly wondered what
hed dreamt and if that had anything to do with this. She broke away but kept fondling him,
feeling more in control than ever.
Why didnt you just ask me to touch you before? she asked.
I dont know, he whispered. You didnt seem too keen on doing things, and I didnt want you
to leave. But please dont stop
She leaned in and nibbled his ear. Take them off, she breathed.
He didnt need to be told twice. She wondered if hed be as cooperative in other matters if she
kept him in a perpetual state of Oh, my. She still couldnt see, but she could feel. For all their
many hours of fooling around, she hadnt really felt him before. Not with her hands. He felt like
satin on steel. She squeezed, making him groan. No, not steel, it definitely did give
You having fun? He gave a short pained laugh.
You dont like it? she asked, letting go.
Didnt say that! Please He found her hand and led it back. Do whatever you want. I like it.
Whatever I want.
She caressed the length of him, experimenting, listening to his breathing and moans. He liked
having her touch him, she could tell, and he was most definitely trying to hold back. Making him
lose control suddenly sounded very appealing.
She got a wicked idea, and shielded by the darkness she bent and let her tongue flick out, tasting
him. His entire body convulsed. She drew back.
No, dont! he gasped. I was just surprised. Ill try to control myself. Please I-I want it.
She hesitated. This was so unlike her. But wasnt all of what they were doing unlike her?
You dont have to, he said in a strained voice, as if hed read her thoughts. Just stop whenever
you want to and Ill Ill finish it myself.
No, she wanted to finish it. She wanted to make him come for her.
She loved the way he responded to her touch and the way he obviously tried to contain himself.
She knew that her light touches were doing nothing but driving him insane. She knew what kind
of touches he wanted. Still, he didnt correct her. She was almost sorry that she couldnt see his
face, but his breathing, little sounds, and squirming told her everything she needed to know.
She bent again and teasingly let her tongue run down his shaft and back up. He stiffened and his
breathing stopped. It was as if he was afraid of scaring her away. She hesitantly opened her
mouth, engulfing his tip, allowing her tongue to caress him more fully.
He let his breath back out and groaned loudly. Bloody hell
She stopped and withdrew. Didnt he like it? Had she hurt him?
No! Dont stop! Ill give you anything if you dont stop!
Anything?
Sure you will.
Try me.
Break it off with Pansy.
There was a silence. She was sorry to have revealed what she really wanted when she had known
he didnt really mean it when he said anything. Hed probably thought she would have asked for
something material, or that shed just try to get him to behave better.
Yeah, she said, trying hard to hide her disappointment. I-I didnt think so.
Ill do it, he said softly. But I get to watch what youre doing.
Before Hermione had a chance to collect the thoughts that had all seemed to scatter at his words,
he had found his light and released it and was now looking at her. He smirked at her stunned
expression.
Thats what you wanted, right? Well, you get your wish if I get mine
Was he daring her? Did he think that she wouldnt really do it? She narrowed her eyes,
considering his motives. Youre blackmailing me, she hissed.
No, you stated something you wanted for doing this. You blackmailed me. His eyes were daring
her.
She lowered her gaze to his never-wavering erection and licked her lips, trying to decide on a
course of action. He groaned. She looked up into his eyes and they were no longer mocking but
filled with need. That decided her.
She bent down and slowly took him into her mouth. She heard his sharp intake of breath and felt
like smiling. He liked this. She gently sucked and caressed him with her tongue and his strong
reaction sent shivers through her. He was trembling and moaning her name. He seemed to
especially like it when her tongue delved in right under the tip. This wasnt bad at all. She took
him as far into her mouth as she could without getting an unpleasant gagging feeling.
She peeked up and noticed that he was watching her intently. When he noticed her looking at him
watching her, he flushed slightly, but he didnt look away. Slowly, without breaking eye contact,
she began sliding up again, applying her tongue where she knew hed like it, when she felt him
stiffen, growing harder if possible.
Fuck, Hermione, he moaned, his fists tangled in the sheets. Im going to come. Youd better
if you dont want ahh
She did want. She applied a little more pressure and sucked a little harder and he didnt disappoint.
He came, shouting out, pulsing into her mouth. It was the most erotic experience of her life. She
wasnt sure what to do about the hot, sticky, slightly salty semen in her mouth, so she swallowed,
licking her lips to get it all. His eyes widened, and he stared at her, a look of mesmerized rapture
on his face.
She was fit to bursting herself and let a hand slide between her legs to quickly ease the tension.
Just a slight touch was enough to make her come. He groaned, watching as her face flushed, her
eyes became unfocused, and she trembled and whimpered. He shook his head slightly as if
disbelieving.
So, she said after they got their breaths back. Was it worth it, Malfoy?
I think he slowly said, still looking somewhat dazed. That its about time you start calling me
Draco.
Chapter 10
Draco didnt know what to think anymore. Didnt know how to feel. One minute Hermione was
avoiding him or snapping at him; the next she was being hotter than any Sex Goddess he could
ever have thought to imagine, sucking him off, and licking her lips as if wanting more. He could
have come again right then and there. And then watching her touch herself he wanted to groan
just at the thought.
So was it worth it, Malfoy?
She had no clue how much it had been worth. She had no clue how much hed been willing to
give. He couldnt think of a single thing that would have been worth denying her and she had
no idea. Hed like to keep it that way.
Dangerous.
But what could she possibly want from him that might endanger him? She didnt want her friends
to know, either. She might not be in any danger, and he rather liked it that way, but she still had
something to lose. No, she wouldnt ask anything from him that he couldnt give.
Breaking it off with Pansy would be a very small price to pay for this. He needed to break it off
with her anyway. This farce was serving no purpose anymore and even though she might not
want to admit it, Pansy would be much happier on her own. That Hermione had demanded it had,
however, stunned him. He had known it bothered her, of course, but hed never thought shed
come right out and say it.
Hermione had laid back down and snuggled up against him, clearly exhausted. He extinguished
the light, once again enfolding them in darkness, and she sighed contentedly, snuggling closer,
putting her head on his chest. It had taken him days to get her to do thator rather, nights. He
didnt understand why it was harder for her to share body heat than to share sex.
You know, she mumbled sleepily, her voice slightly muffled. You dont have to do it.
Do what? he asked, a little distracted.
Break it off with Pansy. I mean, if you even really meant to.
He frowned. What was this, then? I said I would, didnt I? We made a deal.
She made a dismissive sound. I would have done it anyway. I was just testing you.
What kind of test is it if I dont have to go through with it? For some reason he couldnt explain,
he was beginning to feel upset.
A silly one. She yawned and sighed again. Thanks for saying youd do it, though.
Something sliced at him, tore at his insides. She didnt care if he did it or not? Ill do it, he said
angrily. Just give me a few days to figure out how.
She shrugged lightly. Shrugged.
Why did you ask for it if you didnt want it? he asked, fighting hard to keep his tone civil. Im
sure there were any number of things you could have chosen to test me with.
I dont know she said, sounding a little more awake. Why does this upset you?
He clenched his teeth. It upsets me, because I offered you anything, and you apparently chose you
wanted nothing from me. It doesnt.
Youre lying to me, she said. But you always do that. She had sat up, robbing him of her
touch.
Not everything I say is a lie! Why did she have to ruin this?
No You only lie about the important stuff. She was sounding put out now. What reason did
she have?
Its not important. None of this is important. He tried to brush her off.
Then why are you upset? she persevered. Annoying little bitch.
I am not upset! he all but shouted. He was well aware that it had been a mistake as soon as the
words left his mouth. Youre just bugging the hell out of me. Give it a rest, will you?
She fell silent and he sighed. How could he placate her without giving himself away?
I dont like that you extract promises from me that you dont even care if I keep, he said. That
wasnt a lie.
Oh she said. Well She fell silent again. He wondered what she wasnt saying. Finally,
she mumbled, I just didnt think youd do it.
Youll see, wont you? he asked, pulling her back down.
I suppose, she said, still sounding doubtful.
Deciding hed had enough conversation for one night, he flipped her over, pinning her beneath
him, and began kissing her neck. Ignoring her objections, he moved up to her mouth. Catching it,
he tasted the salty essence of himself and for a second he stopped, stunned.
Told you to stop, she muttered, sounding like she was smirking.
Thought she had him, did she? He kissed her again, deeper, more thoroughly. Her lips parted on a
gasp at his second onslaught, and his tongue slipped in, tasting and teasing. She felt warm and
heady and tasted like sex. She softened beneath him as she usually did, responding to his kiss. He
was hard again and shifted his body so she would know.
She moaned with need. Youre sick! she thought it fit to inform him even as she moved against
him.
He smirked against her. Yes, he was and it felt great.
*****
Before many days had passed, Draco decided that he rather liked Hermiones periods. Still, he
couldnt wait for it to be done with so he could finally have her again. Playing around was nice
and all, but it didnt compare to the real thing.
The level of his need worried him a bit. Sometimes, hed sit in class and just stare at the back of
her bushy head, not registering anything while imagining her naked and flushed with pleasure. It
couldnt be healthy to be this obsessed, but he found it hard to resist.
He was pleasantly surprised that so far nobody had a clue about his interest in Hermione. This
meant they didnt have to break it off yet. The fact that they hated each other so much made it
unthinkable for anyone that there might be more. Of course, it helped a little that they were usually
seen bickering or fighting whenever they were talking. If only people knew that it was nothing but
foreplay As far as he was concerned, it was, anyway.
Apparently, her tutoring him excused these extra communications they had to a very high degree
as she had shown people a slightly remedied public version of their contract by now, making him
the laughing stock of most Slytherins. Now people knew he was all but emasculated, and it was
only a matter of time before theyd take full advantage of that, making life hard on him. He
reminded himself that he had to punish her for that.
Punishing Hermione was always something to look forward to.
Pleasing her was even better.
Giving her the light had been an impulse. It wasnt as if hed bought her anything. Hed had that
extra light that he hadnt gotten around to returning, and she had wanted one like it. He couldnt
face her with it, though, so he had done the next best thingpushed her over and shoved it into
her bag while she was too busy being angry at him to notice.
Ok, so maybe that had been an odd way to go about it, but the end result had been as hed
wished. She had obviously liked it, and he had gotten some very long nights of sexual favors. She
would probably claim that it wasnt connected, but hed already learned that he got more from her
if he kept her somewhat happy outside of bed as well as in bed. So much more
McLaggen had met with a series of minor accidents lately. Hermione didnt seem to be aware of
this or she would surely have been on Dracos case by now. Draco, however, was innocent as a
lamb. He wasnt doing anything. So what if he did drop a few hintsor ingredientsat Crabbe
and Goyle every once in a while? He wasnt even near when it happened. Well, maybe he was
just near enough to watch It had been priceless the day McLaggen had turned purple and had
had to spend the rest of the day in the hospital wing. Draco smirked at the thought.
He was woken from his pleasant reverie as someone else entered the Slytherin common room.
Marilyn Shaw, looking annoyed and distressed as she so often seemed to be these days. She
should just dump that Zabini and be over with it.
Have you seen
No. No reason to pretend. But you already knew that.
With an exasperated grunt, she flung herself down on the sofa across from him. Hes off with
Pansy again, she said sullenly. Theyre cheating on us.
That surprised Draco somewhat. Zabini and Pansy? No I dont think so. Why would they
want to? Youre prettier than her, and Im almost definitely nicer than him.
She laughed humorlessly. Yeah? Where is she then? And why is he never where he says hell
be?
Draco shrugged. He couldnt care less. Just get rid of him. Why do you want to be with him
anyway?
She glanced at him and shrugged too, before studying her feet. Hes very good-looking.
Now theres a recipe for a nice, long relationship, he drily replied.
Look whos talking, she sneered at him. Why are you still together with that slut?
Ouch. He seemed to have hit a sore spot. Because I dont care, he calmly replied. Do you have
that luxury?
She stood up abruptly, glaring down at him, looking as if she might strike him. Then she stormed
off to her dormitory.
That had almost been fun.
*****
Time passed. Draco noticed that after he insisted Hermione call him by his first name, she had
simply refrained from calling him anything. This annoyed him. He was finally allowed to sleep
with her again, and he did, whenever she let him. She was, however, still demanding her rest and
she refused to use the glamour spell on her bed every night to come sleep in his bed. He won out
most nights, but there were still the nights he didnt
He also hadnt broken it off with Pansy yet, but Hermione didnt comment on that. This annoyed
him more. He was going to; he just needed to find the right way to go about it. Pansy might be
insecure and clingy, but she still had plenty of spite and the means to make his life a living Hell if
she should choose to do so.
In the end, the solution presented itself.
After dinner, he was walking back to his common room next to a very sulky Marilyn, who had
once again been forgotten or possibly deliberately stood up. He didnt bother pointing out to her
that she didnt really have a boyfriend anyway and might as well dump him, as she was being
terribly snappy about the whole thing. Normally, hed take great pleasure in baiting her, but today
his head was aching and shrill female voices just werent worth it.
They had left early, as neither had wanted much to eatMarilyn had been busy sulking, and
Dracos headache was seriously interfering with his appetite. Besides, he had thought it prudent to
let Hermione see him leave with another female when she had flat out refused to come sleep at his
dormitory. Again. She said she needed to study more. Yes, because she was really falling
behind as if she could.
When the wall slid away, he was treated to the last thing he had wanted: a shrill female voice.
I dont want to be with Draco anymore! Pansy loudly exclaimed at a cold-eyed Zabini.
Well, then from the look on Marilyns face, she had definitely heard as well. Duly noted,
Draco calmly said.
Pansy whirled around a panicked look on her face. Draco! I didnt mean
Do yourself a favor, Pansy, he said. Dont embarrass yourself over this.
Told you, Marilyn said, smirking.
Marilyn, please he said, his head throbbing worse than ever.
Pansys eyes narrowed on Marilyn, cold fury in them. Fine, Draco, I did mean it. But tell me; is
this the whore youve been cheating on me with?
That wiped the smirk off Marilyns face. Whos the whore, you two-timing bitch?
Draco groaned. Tonight of all nights. None of your business, Pansy, he said, not bothering to
deny it, figuring Marilyn might want some leverage against Pansy and Zabini if she was going to
fight them. He wasnt entirely unhappy either if people generally thought she had been the one.
Youre my ex now, remember? he continued to remind her. Youre free to do whatever or
his eyes went to Zabini whoever, you choose, as am I.
Pansy flushed a little. So Marilyn had been right? He didnt understand how that could be. Zabini
was such a cold, mean, condescending bastard. Ah, well, there was no accounting for taste. He
shrugged. Whatever. It really was none of his concern.
Well, have fun he said and left for his dormitory, not caring if or how they fought it out. He
was free at last. And he had a migraine that almost made him glad that Hermione wouldnt come
tonight. Almost. He wondered how shed react to the news.
*****
Didnt you hear me? he asked. They were in the library. Hermione kept insisting that they put
up a studying front, but from the way she was riding him, he hardly felt it was a front. He liked it
much better when she took him for a different kind of ride
Hed just told her that Pansy was history and she hadnt reacted in the least, not even the flicker of
an eye.
I heard you, she calmly replied.
And you have nothing to say?
What would you like me to say? she asked. Congratulations?
Why did she always have to be so bloody indifferent to him outside of bed? You got what you
wanted; cant you at least pretend to be pleased?
I heard a different story, she said coolly. It involved Pansy breaking it off because you were
sleeping with Shaw.
He blinked. That was unexpected. And you believe that? he asked. Just how much stamina did
she believe he had?
I believe that Pansy broke it off because youve been cheating on her, yes.
Pansy wouldnt have broken it off if Id had an orgy in front of her! Shes known theres been
someone for months. And you know that that someone is not Shaw. Im not into her.
She smiled unsympathetically. Yes, well, nonetheless, it was convenient. You got rid of her
without any real effort on your part.
She didnt accept the way it was done? Did she expect him to request a do-over just so she might
approve of how he did it? I thought you didnt care!
I dont, she said, looking stony. I just dont want you taking credit where none is due.
He stared at her. Then he noticed itthe strain at her mouth and her eyes. He had hurt her? How?
By not breaking it off with Pansy? I did break it off with her, he said softly, desperately wanting
her to understand. I heard her say she didnt want to be with me, its true, but she was going to

Hey, Hermione! Draco was interrupted by the Weasley moron approaching. Damn it. Thought
I could find you here. Wont you be finished with tutoring this git soon? Weasley gave Draco a
disgusted look that was darkly returned.
Yes Yes, I believe I will Hermione muttered without looking at Draco.
What? Surely she didnt mean Get your business done, Weasel, he said a bit hoarsely. Im
not paying her to waste my time consorting with riff-raff.
Weasley scowled at him and bent to whisper something in Hermiones ear. It was obviously just
to provoke Draco and it did, but not in the way Weasley thought. Draco looked them and saw the
easy familiarity, the closeness, the way they thought nothing of touching each other, and he saw
red.
He knew he had to contain himself, however, or Hermione might up and leave and not allow him
near her again. She was too damn close to doing that already. The next couple of minutes were the
longest of his life. His hands were shaking, and the grip on his book was turning his knuckles
white. Finally the Weasel left.
About bloody time, he bit out. What did he want?
None of your concern, she calmly replied.
Dont do this! he wasnt aware of what he was saying before it had slipped out. She looked up
at him, startled. He flushed a little but persevered. Dont push me away because I didnt do this
right. Please.
Not breaking eye contact was one of the harder things that hed ever had to do. He had a feeling
that if he looked away, hed lose, and she would be what he lost. But he felt her eyes could see
straight through him and that, combined with her silence, was very unsettling. Giving up was
tempting but not an option.
Finally she looked away. I suppose she said hesitantly, that maybe you can have the benefit
of the doubt.
He released a breath he wasnt aware that hed held and briefly closed his eyes. Close call. And
why did he care so much anyway? He would worry about that later. Will you come tonight,
then? he asked.
She shook her head. I-I dont think itll be such a good
So you arent giving me the benefit of the doubt, after all? he asked, feeling unduly hurt. He
couldnt stand being there, near her, anymore, and stood up, gathering his books. Let me know if
you change your mind, he bitterly said, before he hurried off.
*****
Later that night, Draco cursed his own stupidity. He could have talked her into coming. He knew
he could. He had done it so many times before. She wasnt at all immune to his touch. He could
have seduced her if he had bothered to try and get her alone. He had just wanted her to accept him
without his machinations for once. It had been a stupid want that had ultimately brought him
nothing. So what if he had to chase her? It was plenty worth it in the end.
She couldnt be allowed time to think. She was too damn smart. If she thought about it, she would
realize how stupid and hopeless this was, and she would really break it off. He couldnt allow that.
Eventually they would be done and it would be over, yes, but not yet. Right now she was the link
that allowed him to keep his sanity. Tomorrow, he would pursue her again, harder than before if
he had to.
He was just lying down, hoping to get a little sleep, when he heard a sound. He strained his ears,
trying to hear, but there was nothing. Brushing it off as just the wind, he closed his eyes and heard
it again.
Pssst!
He sat up and opened his drapes.
About time, someone breathed near his ear as his bed moved.
His heart did a flip-flop. She had come? He closed the drapes again, recasting the spells to make
sure they stayed in place. Well, you did say no he said. What caused this change of heart,
then?
She was now fully visible and had released some light. Merlin, she was a sight for sore eyes. She
decided to roll her own at his comment. If you dont want me here, I can leave again, she
offered.
No, he said. It was a simple denial. He wasnt about to allow her to go.
I figured you had a point, she said. After all, I never really did expect you to do it
In one fluid movement, he pinned her beneath him. It was a good way to get her attention and feel
her body pressed against his at the same time. It didnt even matter that she was fully dressed. I
did it, he growled at her. She would have gone on pretending, but I told her to forget it!
How many witnesses were there? she softly asked.
Two. Why?
So, in front of two witnesses and you, she says she doesnt want to be with you. She wouldnt
have been able to go on pretending anything. Especially not if one of the witnesses was Shaw,
who hates her with a passion. From the look on her face, she already knew that one of them had
been Shaw. But of course, who else would have leaked the news?
Youre exaggerating.
Hermione shook her head. Pansy ruined it for herself. But it doesnt matter, does it? Youre free
of the tedious business of holding her hand now.
He frowned down at her. It bothers you that I held her hand?
Her slightly pink cheeks confirmed it, but she shook her head again.
He let his hands slide down her arms, finding her hands. Entwining their fingers, he lifted her arms
and pinned them above her head. Now Im holding both of yours, he murmured against her ear.
Does that help?
Dont be silly, she said breathlessly. Why would I care about
You care, he interrupted a little irritably. Otherwise you wouldnt have been so mad about this
whole thing.
Look whos talking. She looked at him defiantly.
I suppose he slowly said, that were both bad at sharing.
She looked at him for a second, and then she nodded. Just one curt nod. It pleased him immensely.
He bent down to whisper in her ear. Now, stop being so stubborn and say my name.
She jerked. Did she really think he wouldnt have noticed? I-I dont know what you mean, she
said. I use your name all the time.
Yeah? he mocked. Then you must be talking about me a lot, because Ive yet to hear you say
it.
She looked him straight in the eye. Malfoy.
Wrong.
Oh, so that isnt your name? she mocked him back.
You know perfectly well what I meant. Why does it bother you so much Hermione?
Why is this such a big deal to you?
It obviously is to you too or youd just do it.
It feels too intimate, ok? I dont like using it. She squirmed, trying to get free, but he held her
easily.
He tried to process that. Youll sleep with me regularly, and you will put that smart mouth of
yours to good use sucking me off but my given name is too intimate for you?
She glared angrily at him. Just forget it. You wont make me.
She shouldnt have issued him a challenge. He could see that she realized the same thing, as her
eyes widened and her lips parted. Too late. He smirked, and a look of panic fleeted across her
face. He would really enjoy this.
He inclined his head and softly covered her lips with his. Of course she didnt object to the kiss, it
was what she was here for after all. Bending her to his will would be an exquisite way to spend
the night. He let go of her hands and shifted so his weight wasnt on her, resting on one elbow and
placing his other hand on her waist, softly caressing her through the robes she was still wearing.
She hadnt told him, but he knew she liked it if he didnt grope her too much before she was good
and ready for it. He knew more about what she liked than she could possibly imagine. He was
going to use it all to get his way.
He softly massaged her lips with his until she parted them again on a sigh and buried her hands in
his hair, pulling him closer. Fighting a triumphant smile, he allowed it and set out to explore her
warm, soft mouth with his tongue. She made a strangled sound of surprise at his continued efforts
to be gentle; they were never gentle with each other. They were always tearing and bruising. How
silly of her to be surprised. He would obviously need for her not to be able to anticipate his next
move for this to work.
Slowly, he allowed his hand to slide up and knead her breast through her robes. Such nice breasts.
They never got the attention they fully deserved. She moaned, obviously liking this new way of
things. Interesting. Say my name, he mumbled against her lips.
She shook her head. No, he supposed not yet. But she would. Pulling back, he looked her in the
eye, while lowering his breast-kneading hand to take off her belt. He had done it so many times by
now that he didnt need to look. In five seconds flat, he had it pulled off her without breaking eye
contact. She flushed a little, but he suspected it was mostly from anticipation.
He began slowly pulling at her robes, gathering them at her waist, and she did nothing to stop him.
Of course she didnt. Her objections were purely outside of his bed. Inside it, she was always
willingat least when it was still before dawn.
He let his hand stray to her bared thigh and now he had to break eye contact. He wanted to look at
her legs. Looking down, he fought hard to contain himself. Her legs were shapely, creamy
goodness, coming together where He stopped and stared. The girl seemed to have a few
weapons of her own.
She giggled, and his head snapped up. Like my underwear? she purred.
Thats new, he muttered. Her underwear was usually the sensible, generic, slightly cute cotton
thingies that he supposed most of the girls their age would wear. This wasnt. This was a sexy red
silk thong that made the blood rush from his head so fast that he almost got dizzy. It was all he
could do not to rip it off her and have his way. The minx.
Ill take that as a yes, she said in a voice sweet as sugar. Its a set, you know.
He fought a groan. This was unfair. He wasnt entirely sure that he could contain himself if he
saw her clad in nothing but her red silk set. You have one hell of a timing, Hermione, he
admonished in a hoarse whisper.
Thats what I thought, she said, sitting up to remove her robes. And here I thought that it was
just the spur of the moment.
He stared at her, seriously debating how much it was worth to have her saying his name. He could
always make her later, after all. Her skin was flawless and smooth, and the red silk really did set
off her complexion in the most delicious way. The bra cupped her breasts perfectly, making
whisper-soft caresses as she moved, hinting at the delights to be found behind it. This time he was
unable to suppress his groan. He definitely liked. Too bloody much.
You know, she purred, lying back, confident of her victory and causing the silk to ripple, I
never thought youd let me keep it on this long.
A certain part of Dracos anatomy jerked at her words, and he fought hard to contain it. No, he
couldnt let her win. Hed get her back for this, and he would take a long, long time doing it. Yes,
he knew just how. He forced his eyes away from her body and just smiled at her. Cute, he said,
making her scowl. But unless you say my name
She made a rude noise. You should be saying my name.
He smiled and whispered in her ear: I plan to. As I thrust into you over and over again But
only he paused as he felt her shudder, her breath coming faster but only after you say my
name. She whimpered a little but remained silent. Merlin, her stubborn streak was a mile wide.
Just say it so I can do what we both want.
Just take me, she whispered, pressing her body against him. He nearly came undone at the feel
of nothing but silk between their torsos and her blatant invitation.
He clenched his teeth and fought the need down. Who did he want to have the upper hand? He
pushed her back down. All in good time, my sweet. He caressed her inner thigh, trying hard to
just pick up where hed left off. Her breathing was shallow. When he reached her knickers, he
realized that she was more than ready for him and again he had to fight back his need. Instead, he
let two fingers enter her, sending her into a frenzy.
Her creamy complexion was now tinged by a blush that even reached her lovely breasts. She was
ready to come. He wouldnt let her. He slowly caressed her, sliding his fingers in and out, forcing
himself to think of something else. She was pleading with him now. Say my name, he choked
out.
W-will you take me if I do it? she asked in a desperate voice.
Oh, Merlin, yes. He nodded.
Draco, she breathed.
To finally hear her say his name sent a jolt of pleasure through him that was so intense that he had
to fight not to embarrass himself by coming right then and there. Say it again, he choked out.
Draco. Please
He ripped the remainders of their clothes off so violently that he thought he might have ripped her
knickers. Whatever. If they couldnt be repaired, hed buy her new ones. A dozen new ones. He
needed to be inside her now. She was pulling at him, urging him on.
Finally, he thrust inside of her, her sheath tightly surrounding him. He groaned. She must be close
for her to be so tense. He thrust once more and felt the ripples of her orgasm around him. Oh,
Merlin, this felt wonderful. He wanted to bury himself hard and deep, but he held back,
prolonging the pleasure. He gently kissed her, and she devoured him in turn. He had to break it
off.
Dont, youre making me come, he gasped.
Draco she whispered, making him shudder with the need for release.
Minx, he growled.
I thought you were going to say my name, she teased.
He moved slowly inside of her, savoring the feeling. Hermione he moaned. This was
agonizing and intense and felt nothing short of amazing. He wanted to make it last as long as he
could. He had to close his eyes to block out her flushed, passionate face or he wouldnt even have
that.
She had begun moving against him again, and she was touching his burning, needy skin,
caressing his chest and arms and back while he moved unbearably slow. Please, Draco, she
whimpered. Stop teasing.
Her saying his name once again had him jerk and stop for a second to regain control. He had no
idea how erotic it would sound coming from her lips. His body was slick with sweat from the
effort, and he knew that once he came it would blow his mind. It took all he had not to strive for it,
and he knew that next time he wouldnt be able to stay in control. He began moving again,
slightly faster.
This time he claimed a kiss to keep her silent just for a little while, so he could get her to come
with him. He wouldnt have thought he could last long enough, except she was tensing around
him, becoming impossibly tight, making it impossible for him to think coherently. She was making
sexy little unintelligible sounds. He slowly pushed her thighs up, making her open more, and him
enter more deeply. Her eyes widened as if in surprise and then he felt it again, the ripples going
through her, massaging him in a way that was beyond his willpower to resist.
She moaned his name, and he lost the battle. He trembled and without increasing his pace, he
came in the most intense orgasm of his life. He felt it in every inch of his body, a burning tingle of
pleasure that erupted into ecstasy and then ebbed into warm contentment. He had squeezed his
eyes shut while the worst shudders went through him, but as he opened them again, he found her
gazing dreamily at him.
Oh, Merlin, he thought in his dazed state. I love her so much.
Chapter 11
Hermione felt as if shed just leapt off a cliff and landed in a pile of feathers. She would never get
used to having sex with this boy. Just as she thought she had him figured out, he turned around
and did something that blew her away. She would never have guessed that Draco had this kind of
self-restraint in him, but what a ride The way he had moaned her name when he came had
made her breath catch and her heart start pounding all over again. Using each others first names
really was too intimate, but he seemed to like it so much. And, in a way, she secretly did too.
She watched him as he slowly opened his eyes to look at her. They were filled with wonder and a
warmth that made her breath catch all over again. Then his eyes widened in shock and the
proverbial spell was broken.
It would perhaps be an exaggeration to say that he jumped off her, but he moved very quickly,
seemingly eager to put some distance between them. Hermione wasnt all that surprised, but it still
stung a little. He was the one who had been been doing whatever this was to hernot the other
way around.
It was always him, who initiated new intimacies, yet he always acted as if it had been her, who
had done something, something horrible. As if he didnt really want it. She pushed her hurt
feelings down and openly rolled her eyes.
What? he asked, looking positively panicked.
Youre freaking out, she said in her best matter-of-fact voice. Get over it. Not every time needs
to be fast, hard, or perverted.
Felt pretty perverted to me, he muttered, looking calmer, but still scowling and eyeing her
warily.
What had she done to deserve this? He had wanted her to come here tonight, hadnt he?
Clenching her teeth hard as to not show him any weakness, she sat up and began rummaging
around for her clothes. She found her knickers first. They were damp and slightly ripped. She
sighed and put them on anyway.
What are you doing? Draco had sat up to give her a confused look. Right. Be an arse, and then
be confused about it.
Im getting dressed, she calmly replied. I dont want to stay in your line of fire, so Im leaving.
She clasped her bra.
He frowned a little, processing this. Im not doing anything! he protested.
She shook her head. No, but as soon as you recover from your surprise, you are going to figure
that this was really all my fault and attack me for it. Im leaving.
He started. W-what did I say? he asked, looking even more pale than usual.
Hermione was getting annoyed now. Good. Anger and annoyance was better than hurt. What do
you mean what did you say? We had slow sex and now youre acting as if as if I dont know
any better! She angrily reached out and grabbed her robes.
No, wait! His hand shot out to stop her before she could pull them on. I promise I wont take it
out on you. I dont want to sleep alone tonight. Stay.
She really didnt know what to think. He looked sincere. He looked as if he didnt want her to go.
He looked lonely. He slowly pulled her robes from her grasp, tossed them aside, and patted the
bed beside him.
Against her better judgment, she found herself laying back down. He laid down next to her, not
touching her, and not extinguishing the light, but merely watching her. It was unnerving.
Suddenly, he spoke. Were no good together out of bed, are we?
Hermione fought the urge to roll her eyes at him again. Well, duh! That was saying the least.
They were only ever getting along when they were fooling around or sleeping. She couldnt recall
them ever having had just one nice conversation. They definitely werent friends.
He nodded and pulled her closer for a kiss. He was acting so strange, but she didnt mind the kiss.
She loved the kisses. Some days she thought that a day spent kissing him would be a day well-
spent indeed. That was utter nonsense, of course, but it still felt nice. His lips were tracing hers,
feeling them, as if he hadnt been kissing the same lips for months now.
Actually, now she thought about it, it was now almost five months ago that he kissed her that
night. Well, ok, he hadnt just kissed her, but that had definitely been the start of it. She was
surprised at how long ago it was, yet at the same time also surprised that it hadnt been longer. It
felt like a lifetime. It had been a lifetime.
His hand on her waist pulled her a little bit closer, and he buried his other hand in her hair. He was
insatiable. Hermione really didnt know how he could keep being so enthusiastic about going at it
all the time. She was exhausted and sated, and, yet, she had no doubt that if he wanted to go for
round two, he would persuade her to join him, and she would love every minute of it.
He didnt make a move to do so, however. He just kissed her. His eyes were closed, and his
lips were caressing and nibbling at hers in a way that once again had her heart pounding with
something other than desire. She moved her hand from his arm up to his neck, and he moaned
slightly at the simple caress. His heart was beating hard and fast against his chest, she was close
enough to feel it.
He didnt seem to be randy again, though. Instead he seemed almost agitated. She could feel it
barely restrained in the way he held his body tense.
Hermione was confused. What was wrong? She opened her mouth to ask him, but his tongue
sliding in to taste her effectively cut her off. She knew that he did it on purpose, that he didnt
want to hear her questions And for now she let it go. After all, this kiss did feel really nice. She
put both arms around his neck and concentrated fully on the sensations.
Suddenly he broke it off, looking almost as horrified as he had before.
Get some sleep, he whispered, and without looking at her, he extinguished the light, and, for the
first time ever, he laid down to sleep without pulling her close to him again.
*****
Dracos (it was hard for her to keep even thinking that name after night became day again) strange
behavior didnt seem to change much the next day. He didnt look at her as she hurriedly got
dressed, and he didnt kiss her goodbye. He didnt ask her when shed come back either.
Hermione was, by now, used to him taking all initiative, so she didnt know how to respond. In
the end, she decided not to respond at all. He would come around again once his strange mood
passed. And if he didnt if he didnt, that was ok too. At least she tried telling herself that.
Perhaps that was what he had been trying to tell her.
Were no good together out of bed, are we?
But it just didnt make sense after the way he had, well, almost made love to her. Perhaps that was
the reason, perhaps he hadnt liked that.
No, she could clearly tell what he liked in bed, and as far as sex went, that definitely had to go on
at least his top three. She had never seen him that consumed by his own climax before. Perhaps he
didnt like liking it so much with a Mudblood
Her final conclusion was that she probably didnt want to know what was wrong. It had to be
something unpleasant, and she preferred not to hear it. If he was going to end this thing, she would
much rather that he spared her the details and just did it. It wasnt as if she didnt know it was
coming sooner or later. As if they really had anything more than lust between them. Even if they
didwhich they had time and again proved that they didntit would never work. Nobody could
know about this. Nobody would understand.
It was Thursday, which meant tutoring at the library in the afternoon. That could be the reason he
hadnt bothered securing an assignation. No, that didnt make any sensehe always bothered.
They met in the library three times a weekMonday and Wednesday night and Thursday
afternoon, each time for a couple of hours, and this time was the first time hed simply let her go in
the morning.
Since when did it matter so much to her anyway? She couldnt even meet him tonight, but it
would be nice if hed just ask
You know, Hermione said, after they had settled down with their books that afternoon. You
dont really need me to help you anymore. Youve caught up nicely and if youll just continue to
apply yourself
He briefly glanced at her. I know, he muttered. He didnt elaborate.
He didnt make any excuses to keep it up, nor did he suggest that they stop. He just kept reading
his stupid book. For a flash, Hermione had the urge to tear the book from him and shout her
frustration. Then she composed herself. This was nothing to be this upset about, she was clearly
overreacting.
Youre really quite clever, she said. I dont know why you dont bother more. There is life
after school, you know, and good grades might help there.
That elicited a small smile from him and a teasing look that made her heart beat faster. What do
you know he mused. Hermione Granger, the notorious Muggleborn know-it-all, just called
me, a merepure-blood, of coursemortal, clever! This should be a national holiday.
She wasnt a know-it-all, was she? She hadnt been that bad for years! No, he was just pulling her
leg. This was not entirely new, but still There had been no malice in the words, nor any
innuendo, which was entirely new.
As should the day you called me a competent witch! she countered.
He looked a little taken aback at her words. Had he forgotten? He had probably never meant to
say it in the first place, but he had been beside himself with jealousy at the time and had attacked
her parentage.
They are Muggles; you are a competent witch. Youd do better to disassociate yourself.
She certainly hadnt forgotten. It had possibly been the greatest compliment he had ever paid her
his recognition of her being a witch, and a competent one at thateven if it had been veiled in
insults directed at her parents. He had even said it so naturally, as if her being a witch wasnt a fact
hed normally dispute every chance he got.
She waited to see if he would comment further, but he didnt. Instead, he fell silent again and
stared down at his book.
I cant come tonight, she finally said. Ive got my duties and then I plan on hanging out with
Ron and Harry.
He just nodded. He never just nodded; he always had to make a fuss!
And, of course, tomorrow is out of the question.
He looked slightly puzzled. Tomorrow is Friday, isnt it? Whats wrong with Friday? So he
did still want her to come? Or was this only because he didnt know why she couldnt make it?
Its the fourteenth, she said.
This didnt seem to ring a bell with him.
February the fourteenth? she ventured.
This time there was a hint of wary recognition in his eyes.
Anyway, she continued, trying hard to ignore that look. Since its on a Friday this year, theres
a Valentines bash at the Gryffindor common room, and I already agreed to go.
She waited to see if he would comment or ask her any questions about, say, whether she had
agreed to go with anyone, but he merely nodded. This didnt please her at all.
So I can trust that nobody will turn purple? she asked.
His head whipped up.
Oh, come on, Malfoy, she said, deliberately reverting to his last name and getting some
satisfaction from the annoyance she was causing him. You know Im not that dense. I knew it
was you all along, or, most likely, your cronies acting on your behalf.
Then why didnt you confront me? he asked. So that got his attention?
I thought it was kind of cute and it wasnt as if Cormac McLaggen didnt deserve it.
No, shed better not say that. You had to get your pent-up aggressions out somehow, didnt
you? she said instead. And Im sure he could at least handle himself.
Again, he only nodded and then paid more attention to his book than her. Hermione had to remind
herself of the times she had had bad days and had been unresponsive or downright rejecting his
advances. Still, she couldnt keep from grinding her teeth.
*****
Hermione tossed her bag on her bed and left again without bothering to unpack it. She was in a
terrible mood, and this time she did not have the excuse of hormones, yet she kept telling herself
that she was horribly overreacting. So what if Draco was acting all distant? It was bound to
that she was horribly overreacting. So what if Draco was acting all distant? It was bound to
happen sometime. He couldnt always focus all his energies on her. So what if it had happened
after the one time they had Hermione blocked the thought. Last night had been no different than
any other night. They had just gone a bit beyond, that was all.
She went up to the boys dormitories to see if Harry or Ron was around. They sometimes waited
for her on Thursdays. Besides, she just really seemed to love hanging around boys dormitories
lately. She finally reached the top of the tower and peeked in to find that Harry was indeed there
with his back to her, seemingly inspecting something. Ron was nowhere in sight, though. He was
probably off somewhere with Lavender.
Hey, Harry, she said, striving for a casual tone. Merlin, not letting her friends know what was
going on with her was really hard sometimes. Want to come for dinner?
In a second, he muttered.
She went in and around him to see what he was looking at. It was the Marauders Map. She
wouldnt exactly say she had forgotten about it, but she hadnt seen or heard about it for months.
What are you looking at? she asked.
He looked up at her, a frown on his face. You know what and who I am looking at.
Hermiones heart skipped a beat. I-I thought we agreed that he wasnt
No, Hermione, we didnt agree. You decreed. I know hes some pet project of yours, but that
doesnt mean he isnt still up to his old tricks.
Oh, for Heavens sake, Harry, she huffed. Hes been as tame as a kitten since I had him sign
that contract. Just what do you base this on?
Did you know, Harry asked, more or less ignoring her last statement, that when you leave him,
he always goes to the Room of Requirement? Perhaps you can tell me what hes doing there?
When I leave him Oh, no! He cant know!
W-what do you mean when I leave him?
Harry gave her an odd look. After your little study dates, of course.
Oh. Right. Of course
Hermione suppressed a sigh of relief. She had never considered what would happen if Harry one
night took out his map to check if Draco was in his bed. With a pang, she realized that she
couldnt go there anymore. It had just become too dangerous. She was just thankful that she had
been going back to the Gryffindor castle to set up the glamour for the past couple of months
before meeting up with Draco.
Well, then? Harry persisted. Do you know?
What? Oh. No I dont. But Im sure theres a perfectly reasonable explanation for it.
He made a disbelieving sound and rolled up the map. Yeah Lets go get that dinner, shall we?
*****
Valentines Day at Hogwarts was never really anything spectacular. Not since Hermiones second
year where Gilderoy Lockhart had made such a vulgar display, which Hermione at the time had
found quite charming. An excuse for a party was, however, an excuse for a party and the
Gryffindors were all feeling the anticipation.
In the spirit of the day, the common room would also be open for dates from other houses.
Somehow, however, Hermione doubted that included Slytherins. Not that she would have invited
a certain Slytherin, but even had she wanted to and been able to she couldnt because of this
mentality.
The segregation issue was really beginning to annoy her. Why didnt anyone try to bridge the
gaps? Professor Slughorn might be a rather silly and self-indulgent man, but at least he didnt
enforce the house division. Instead, however, he made judgment on who would be successful and
who wouldnt and divided people because of that. There simply wasnt anywhere that anyone
from any house with any potential could go and nobody seemed to care! Instead the whole system
seemed to enforce this bigoted way of thinking.
Also, why was Shaw constantly hanging around Draco instead of Zabini at mealtimes? Hed said
he wasnt into her, and Hermione believed him as far as shed believe any boy wasnt into a
beautiful blonde, blue-eyed girl with a chest that Hermione could only dream of ever gettingbut
they sure did seem friendly. Shouldnt Shaw be eating lunch with her boyfriend on Valentines
Day at least?
How typical. Finally Pansy was out of the picture and then all of a sudden there was someone
even worse to compete with.
Hermione knew she was being paranoid and unreasonable, but she just couldnt seem to stop
herself. When Shaw handed Draco a card with dancing hearts on it, and he accepted with a
lopsided smile, Hermione decided that she didnt want any more lunch anyway and left the hall.
*****
Hermione figured she had a few options. One was, of course, to wait Dracos odd mood out and
see what happened, but she was sick of being passive. Another option was to forget that she was a
prefect, dip into the firewhisky at the party, and see if Gryffindor had someone who was a better
kisser than McLaggen. That one was not entirely without merit. The last option she could think of
was to demand answers, which would be a tricky business indeed.
She had yet to entirely make up her mind, as she was making her way back to the common room
when school was finally out. Unwittingly, just then she came across Draco talking to Crabbe and
Goyle in a hallway on the second floor. She really didnt understand why he felt he needed to be
the leader of such a dimwitted gang. Right now he didnt look pleased with them either.
Seeing him made up her mind for her. She caught his eye and almost imperceptibly nodded in the
direction she was going, to get him to follow her. He didnt react, so she thought he might have
missed it or was ignoring her, but, nevertheless, she stopped around the corner and waited.
A few minutes later he turned the corner as well.
What? he asked, giving her a decidedly guarded look. Good grief, what did he think she
wanted? Cards with hearts on them? She almost laughed out loud even though she was hardly
amused. God forbid she might want that sort of recognition. God forbid she might want even a
kiss from him today.
Were close to being found out, she said, deciding that now was not the time to badger him after
all. She didnt trust herself not to say something she might regret if she did.
He gave her an incomprehensive look. She sighed.
Harry has this way of seeing where people are. He could notice if I go to you, so I cant
anymore. Like you care. Youre already bored with this, arent you?
He frowned slightly and slowly nodded. And this way is new? He bloody well knew it wasnt,
so why did he even ask?
No Hermione didnt know whether to glare or fidget, so with some effort she decided against
doing both, but I didnt really realize the risk before.
You mean: you didnt realize he was spying on me. He sounded unnaturally calm. It was so
unlike him. Everything was so unlike him.
Hes not spying on you, she insisted. Hes just checking that you arent up to anything.
He raised an eyebrow, and she had to acknowledge that he had a point.
Its not like hes following you or anything, she muttered.
Except for the times when he is, he pointed out.
Hermione didnt know how to answer that. She remembered the time they had been in a closet
and Harry and Ron had been stalking Draco. She was also well aware that Harry had been
following him a few times since without his knowledge.
Well she finally said. Its not exactly like youre being forward about what youre up to.
There was a tic in his jaw. And what exactly is it that you want me to be forward about? he
asked.
Why did he look at her like that? He didnt think she meant them, did he? Good grief, he was
actually afraid that she might want to take their relationship further? She tried not to think about
how this revelation made her feel. I mean whatever it is youre sneaking off to do. Harry thinks
its something really bad.
And you dont? he asked, sounding somewhat surprised.
She shrugged. No, she didnt. She didnt really think him capable of it anymore.
Thats your mistake, he said. His face was suddenly stony.
Hermione blinked. What? Its a mistake to think that you wouldnt do something nasty?
Nothings changed, he coldly replied. What were doing doesnt change my views or priorities.
You should know this.
That stung. No, it didnt sting, it bloody hurt. Just how much did she have to take from him today?
So you still think Im worth less than whats under your shoe? she asked much too quietly.
For a few moments he didnt look like he would reply. She had to look away and blink a few
times as her vision became suspiciously blurry. Why did she let him do this to her? No, he
finally said. It was clipped out as if it cost him great effort. But just because I wont cheer at your
funeral, doesnt mean that I wouldnt rather be rid of your precious friends for good.
She looked at him again. He had just acknowledged the barest minimum of regard for her, but that
didnt assure her as much as it might have only a few minutes ago. And how far would you go in
achieving that? she asked.
You dont want to know, was his reply.
No, she suspected that she really didnt. Well, she said a little shakily. I have to go. She
turned and fled.
*****
Hermione groaned and desperately tried to block out the light. She felt as if she ought to be dead.
Her tongue was swollen and her throat felt dry as parchment, while her head was throbbing in the
most painful and nauseating beat. She swallowed as her stomach lurched at the movement she had
made.
Go away, she rasped at the offender who had opened her drapes.
I would love to, said a female voice belonging to Lavender Brown. But Ron begged me to
give you this. She shoved a plate of toast at Hermione, who promptly leaned over the side of her
bed and vomited.
Sod off, Lavender, another voice said. Ginny. Cant you see shes sick, you moron? Right
now Ginny was Hermiones favorite person in the world, especially because she hadnt raised her
voice.
She just got smashed last night, probably because she couldnt get a date. I hardly think that
warrants any sympathy! Lavender huffed as she left.
Hermione winced at the grating voice and then leaned back and tried hard to remember. No, it
wasnt because she had been dateless that she had started drinking. It had been because she had
been hurt by Dracos words and drowning her sorrows had seemed like such a good idea at the
time.
She had thought it to be great fun to demand a bribe in the form of a tithe in order to not confiscate
everyones alcohol. Little had she known how happily they would all pay and just how much
alcohol they had. She strongly suspected that she hadnt even come close to drinking the amount
she had demanded, and she was really happy that she hadnt, because this hangover was bad
enough as it was.
She groaned and then sighed with relief as Ginny blocked out the sunlight for her and scourgified
the vomit. She was quite possibly an angel in disguise.
Why did you get smashed? Ginny softly asked. Its not like you at all.
Hermione had a few flashes of the party last night. Ron and Harry had been surprised, amused,
and then concerned at her abandon. She remembered Ron suggesting that perhaps it was time for
her to go to bed, which she had replied to by demanding more liquor. Fortunately, it didnt seem
as if she had followed up on the whole trying to find a better Gryffindor kisser thing. Imagine
having to look people in the eye after that.
I dont know, Hermione forced out and swallowed as the bed moved when Ginny sat down on
it, making her sick again. It seemed like a good idea at the time?
I hope you got rid of your demons, Ginny said, because Id hate to see you pull more stunts
like this. The school song will never be the same to any of us again.
Hermione winced a little at that particular memory.
The only demon she needed to get rid of was Draco Malfoy, and she didnt want to get rid of him,
not really. It was a bitter potion to swallow, but in spite of all his mean words, she had missed him
last night, and she missed him now as well. She would much rather have woken up in his bed
after a night of debauchery than in her own bed after a night of drink. Shed had to drink until she
could barely walk just to keep from seeking him out. He clearly didnt want her to, and shed be
damned before she humiliated herself like that.
Id hate it too, Hermione whispered, clenching her teeth to keep her stomach in place as Ginny
shifted on the bed again. You dont need to lecture me, she said when it was safe to speak
again. Trust me, I know it was stupid.
Im not lecturing you, Ginny replied. And you were hardly the only one to go a bit overboard
last night either. Im just wondering.
Dont, Hermione replied. Just please dont. Im fine. Or I will be as soon as the room stops
spinning.
Ginny got up. Ill leave you to it, then. Try coming down for lunch. And some non-alcoholic
fluids might help you too.
She left and Hermione slipped into the blessed darkness again.
*****
Hermione did make it down to lunch. She was still pale, queasy, and slightly unsteady on her feet,
but the extra sleep had done her a world of good, and she was starving.
When she approached the Gryffindor table, however, they all started whooping and cheering and
banging their plates to her great mortification and headache. Would she ever live this down? She
ducked her head, trying to conceal her pink cheeks as she tried just slipping into a seat near her
friends.
She didnt miss the attention she was now getting from the other tables, and certainly not a certain
penetrating grey stare, so when people continued to make grinning remarks and sing the school
song in imitations of last night, she recognized that she might as well play along for now.
Placing a bright smile on her face, she did just that.
*****
So what exactly did you do last night to make your house greet you so enthusiastically?
Hermione jumped at the voice. She had opted to not stay in her common room to study since that
would mean getting no studying done today for her. Instead, she had found a nice quiet space on
the sixth floor, a room with a comfortable couch that she was currently lounging on with her
books spread out. It looked like an unused office of sorts, and Hermione didnt think she was
breaking any rules by being there. That Draco had found her suggested that he had possibly been
looking for her for some time, since Ginny was the only one who knew where she was at, and she
wouldnt have told him.
She didnt know how to feel about him looking for her after yesterday.
I slept with them all in the middle of the common room, she said. It was fun, you should have
been there.
He laughed. He seemed genuinely amused. Hermiones own lips twitched a little. She couldnt
imagine saying something like this to anyone else under any other circumstance. He was the only
one that brought out this other non-Hermionic side of her. Whether it was a good thing in any way
remained to be seen.
Forgive me, he said, not looking contrite in the least, but I cant seem to believe that. He came
in and closed the door with a soft click.
She shrugged. She hadnt really looked up from her books. She didnt want to look at him. She
didnt want him to say more hurtful things to her. Perhaps if she didnt look at him, he wouldnt.
Perhaps he would just go away, but then againshe didnt want that either.
She hated the way he made her so skittish around him. She hated the way she seemed to lose her
independence around him. She hated the way he made her feel about herself, about her friends,
about her life, and about him. She hated the way she always wanted to be around him.
Im sorry, he quietly said. I know I shouldnt have said those things yesterday.
Didnt you mean them? she asked.
He was quiet. It was a telling silence.
Then theres not much more to say about it, is there? she said, the tiny hope gone.
We shouldnt always say what we think, he said. I was out of line.
You were terrified that I might want to be your Valentine, she said as calmly as she could. So
you made sure that I didnt. Except she did, didnt she? Shed be damned if hed ever know.
I already said I was sorry, what more do you want?
What did she want? She recognized the absurdity of wanting him to be someone that he was not.
If he was someone else, then he wouldnt be him, and she wouldnt be attracted to him. Still, she
wished that he would be just a little bit less himself sometimes.
I want What did she want? What could she let him know that she wanted? I dont want
this, she finally admitted on a sigh.
Neither do I! he said so forcefully that she had to look up at him. He had apparently been
leaning on the door until just now where he pushed away from it to glare at her. A lock of his hair
was getting into his eye, and she wanted to brush it away.
She quickly looked back at her book.
I dont want to want you, he continued. But I do. What am I supposed to do about it?
Hermione felt a jolt go through her and her face heated up. She knew he had wanted her sexually
before, but she had been far from sure that he still did. She was glad he didhappy even. Yet it
was both gratifying to hear him say it and hurtful to know how little he wanted it. Apparently he
still did find her beneath him.
You could stay away, she muttered, afraid to look at him. Its not like theres nobody else you
could could do it with.
Yeah? Look how well Im doing at staying away so far, he said. You only have to look at me
and I He broke off the sentence, uttering a thoroughly exasperated sigh.
She finally looked up at him again. Youre saying that its all my doing? That Im like some
Veela? How typical of him to try and put it on her, to find excuses for why he might be wanting
to sleep with the boring little Mudblood prude!
Youre worse than a Veela, he said. But no. Its me. Im weak and I cant resist touching
you He looked as if he very much wanted to touch her right now, but he didnt make a move
to do so. Nor did he say anything more. He just stared her down, daring her to come with a
reaction.
He didnt even have an idea how much he hurt her, did he? She had to fight back the pain, she
had to. He couldnt know how much power his words had over her.
Im sorry that its so much of a hassle for you, she said, numbly aware of the sharpness in her
voice. If I had realized how much of a chore it was for you to sleep with me, I can assure you
that I wouldnt have succumbed to your advances so easily! She snapped the book shut and got
up.
He looked truly confused. Chore? he asked. Arent you listening?
I think I heard enough, she said, gathering her things. The common room was looking much
better to her now.
I think you didnt hear me at all, he said, going to her. He took the books from her hands, threw
them down on the couch, and, grabbing her arms, he forced her to look at him. My family is in
deep with the Dark Lord. I could get us all killed for wanting you, and yet I still do and you call it
a chore? This is a real threat, Hermione. I cant just ignore it. It wont just go away.
Hermione felt a little dizzy and it had nothing to do with last nights overindulgence and only a
little to do with his nearness. Of course she had been aware of some danger in being connected to
him, but she hadnt really considered the very much less-than-shallow risks he might be taking. If
he was telling the truth, then maybe he wasnt just being mean to her? It was a silly hope that she
immediately tried to thwart. Its just sex, she breathed. He wont care.
Draco smiled cynically. How many lives do you want to bet on that?
She had to look away. She felt she might have severely misjudged him, and she cursed herself for
wanting it to be the case. What do you plan to do about it then?
What can I do? he almost whispered. I cant stay away, can I? But nobody can know,
Hermione. Nobody.
He had pulled her closer and was leaning in for a kiss. There was a small voice inside her head
telling her that this was a very unwise move and that she should stop it, but it was drowned in the
clamoring of voices that desperately wanted the caress, needed it. Her eyes drifted shut, and she
willingly offered her lips.
There was a loud gasp and a clank behind them.
They both whirled around to see a pair of big, golden, horrified eyes in a face curtained by ginger
tresses.
Oh, no, Ginny!
The redhead closed her mouth, shot them a look of pure loathing, and turned on her heel and left.
Hermione looked down to see the drink tray that had fallen to the floor before she ventured a
glance at Draco. He looked frozen in place, his eyes cold and distant.
He thinks Ginny might talk. Hes going to end it.
The thought was unbearable. I-I can fix this, she said desperately. Dont dont worry. She
hurried out the door after Ginny, praying she could get her to not tell Ron or Harry.
Chapter 12
Draco watched Hermione go with cold detachment.
Dont bother, he wanted to say. It wont change anything. Its enough that she knows.
But it did matter. They still had to do damage control. So he stayed quiet and blessed the
recurrence of his ability to shut down all feelings. If he had ever needed it, now was the time.
He had revealed his need and the danger to Hermione and it was all for nothing. His lips had
barely touched hers before it was all over.
All over. Forever.
No, he mustnt think about that now. He would have plenty of time to lament his loss later, but
now it was all about getting that stupid little Weasley bitch to keep her mouth shut.
Merlin, how he hated her.
He had a few ideas about how he could forcibly erase the memory from her mind, but he was well
aware that Hermione would never let him. She might even hate him for even suggesting it. He
considered doing it anyway, as he was well aware of the risk the mere presence of the knowledge
presented, but at the thought of all the things that could go wrong, Draco dropped the idea. By
using a spell, he could render the chit brain-dead or worse. It wasnt because he cared if her brain
stopped functioningshe was a Weasley after all and it hardly made a differencebut because of
the pain it would cause Hermione, and how much she would despise him for it. Soon she would
be hurting and despising him anyway, but at least she would still have her friend.
He fucking hated caring about her. He hated caring about her feelings. He hated the way she
could turn those big brown eyes on him and make him feel like an absolute cad when he was only
telling the truth. He hated that he was almost certain that hed made her cry yesterday. He hated
that he was completely certain that he would make her cry again. Possibly today.
He wished he could just go back to hating her.
Ah, but you never hated her quite as much as you should, did you?
Draco had to admit that he hadnt. He had always lived a very sheltered existence and Hermione
had been one of the first Muggleborn he had ever met, as far as he knew. He would probably not
even have noticed her at first if she hadnt been hanging around that annoying, self-righteous
Potter. It wasnt that hed been attracted to her, he had been too young to even contemplate that,
but he just hadnt felt the same level of contempt for her as he did for Saint Potter and the Weasel,
even after he found out about her birth. He had made up for it in insults as best he could, but it just
hadnt seemed to work. She just wasnt what hed expected from everything hed ever heard
about Mudbloods.
Still, it was a long way from not quite hating someone to to
Dracos volatile feelings threatened to resurface, and he blocked out the thought. He didnt have
time for that now. He had to stay composed so he could do what needed to be done.
As calmly as he could, he waited.
When Hermione finally came back, she was looking shaken and her eyes were red-rimmed. It
apparently hadnt gone so well.
Will she talk? Draco asked, dimly aware that his voice was cool and distant.
Hermione glanced at him and then swallowed. No no, she wont, she said shakily. He could
tell she wasnt telling him everything.
Then what? he asked.
Hermione looked as if she might cry, and he hadnt even started yet. What the fuck had that
pathetic little excuse for a witch been saying to her? He felt anger swelling in him and he tamped it
down.
She said she began and then faltered before taking a breath and trying again. She told me
that I had to tell my friends.
Not a chance, Granger, he said. Hermiones eyes widened at the use of her last name. You
wont tell them a thing, he coldly pushed on.
She wont stand by and let this continue, she whispered, clearly realizing where this was going.
He had to get out of there. He couldnt do this. Not yet. Been fun, he said. But you knew as
well as I did that it was over the second she saw us.
What happened to cant stay away? she whispered. What happened to cant resist?
Dracos control was slipping fast; he needed to end this now. He violently grasped her shoulders,
digging his fingers into her soft flesh through the fabric of her robes, sneering into her frightened
face. I told you that nobody can know, he growled, slightly shaking her. What do you think
this is? Some epic love story? We fucked, we got caught, and now its over! Real life caught up,
princess. He thrust her away, sending her stumbling, and he walked away, willing himself not to
flinch at the muffled sound of her sobs.
*****
Draco was soon finding himself fighting a losing battle. He had gone to his newly found secret
refuge, the bloody bathroom on second floor. That whiny little ghost they called Moaning Myrtle
was effectively keeping everyone at bay, and nobody would dream of looking for him here. His
hands clasped tightly on a stone sink, he was hyperventilating.
Its not too late, he thought. If I go back and tell her Im sorry
NO! He couldnt. Shed be as good as dead. They would all be. An image flashed through his
mind of Hermione dead, her eyes glossed over and unseeing.
He grasped the sink even harder. He could do this; he could let her go.
To her, it was just sex anyway. Sex wasnt worth dying for. Not unless there was more. Was there
more? NO! It didnt matter. It wasnt worth her dying. His miserable existence would be snuffed
soon enough, but she would live! The war might kill her yet, but he couldnt be the reason. He
just couldnt.
Whats wrong? Myrtle asked, popping her head through a stall.
Of course. It had been too much to ask to just be left alone.
Nothing, he gasped, mildly surprised at how hard it was for his body to register the oxygen. I
just need to He didnt finish the sentence. He couldnt finish it. What was he supposed to say?
I just need to pick up the pieces of my heart, so I can go out there and pretend that I cant stand
the girl starring in all my dreams and my every bloody waking fantasy? He was screwed.
It doesnt look like nothing, Myrtle observed. You can tell me.
He wanted to, he realized to his great surprise. He longed to tell someone. But he couldnt. Myrtle
wasnt the brightest of peopleor ghostsand couldnt be trusted not to let something slip.
Im fine, he said. Please leave me alone.
He wished he had appreciated Hermione morebeen nicer to her or something. He ached just to
hold her again and cursed himself for not savoring it while he had the chance. He had assumed
thered be another time, another chance. There wouldnt now, not ever. Even if the Dark Lord
were defeated, they wouldnt have a chance. He was on the wrong side. He would kill
Dumbledore or die trying, and she would forever hate him for his treachery. Even if she might
come to understand his motives, she would hate him for not doing what shed call the right thing.
The odds of him surviving the next few months were extremely bad, anyway.
When he had realized that he did indeed love her, he had wanted to break it off right away. He
knew that while there might be some quarter given when it was just a physical relationship, loving
her was unacceptable. Even his parents might cut him off for that. But then, after he had done
some thinking, he had arrived at the conclusion that he was likely to die and that nobody would
get hurt by him stealing a little happiness before that happened. He would love Hermione so often
and so well that she would have no cause for complaint. He would make sure that she wouldnt
regret it, even after she realized what he was.
But it hadnt worked out like that. They had been caught before he could even get a satisfying
kiss.
He felt the dampness on his cheeks and sneered at his own mirror image.
Get a grip!
He couldnt get a grip. Once the dam was breached, the flow only got worse.
He would never touch her again. Never kiss her. She would never know how much he longed to.
She would have to be convinced that he was a coldhearted bastard who had only been using her,
when nothing could be further from the truth.
A heart-wrenching sob racked his body.
It gets better if you talk about it Myrtle said in a gentle voice.
And to his own great horror, he did
*****
Draco took to avoiding Hermione, but he knew he was living on borrowed time. She would
bounce back and seek him out once enough time had passed. She might think herself weak and
him a cold and arrogant prat, but in reality she was gutsy and determined, and she knew him much
better than either of them would openly admit. These were all things he loved about her, but it was
also what made him need to be ruthless to her. If she started pursuing him, he would without a
doubt succumb to her advances, and he couldnt allow that to happen.
A week passed. Two. The days blurred together, and the weeks just kept passing. Draco was both
glad that he was allowed time to compose himself and wishing that it would truly be over. Not
even almost killing Ronald Weasley by mistake cheered him. It was probably the almost bit,
because Merlin knew he would love to see the whole Weasley branch eradicated.
Potter getting brained at yet another Quidditch match that Draco chose to miss, helped a little
more, but againthe fact that hed get over it ruined it. That, and the way he caught a glimpse of
a worried and relieved Hermione later that day. He could never wish unhappiness on her. If Potter
living made her happy, then he would almost gladly tolerate his existence.
This annoyed him. Since when was he such a lovesick fool? Hed never get the girl, and if this
was being in love, then good riddance! He didnt like being subject to her every mood and whim
when they hadnt even spoken in weeks! He didnt like pining for her at night! He didnt like all
this feeling! Gladly tolerate Potters existence, indeed!
Still, he wouldnt change a thing about what had happened. If he could do it all over, hed only
not get caught.
Ginny Weasley was looking at him with even more contempt than she usually did, which really
didnt bother him at all, but her relationship with Hermione also seemed strained. What was wrong
with the brainless little bitch? Couldnt she tell that Hermione probably would need a friend who
knew what was going on, right about now? Hermione might not love him, but he had been her
first lover, and he was by now being an enormous wanker towards her at every chance he got. He
saw the hurt in her eyes when he taunted her, and it tore at him. The Weasley chit should be
comforting her, not judging her.
Merlin knew that he was glad that he had someone he could confide at least partly in, even though
it was just a silly ghost, and even though he couldnt be too specific. Somehow it made everything
a little easier, to hear someone tell him that he wasnt the worst creep on the planet and that it
would all be all right. Even if he knew it was all a lie.
He was deep in thought as he was quickly walking along the fourth floor corridor. The place was
deserted as classes had already started. He was late again, and he didnt really care.
Suddenly a certain brunette stepped out from the shadows to block his way.
Get out of my way, Mudblood, he snarled. Their agreement had expired as soon as he hadnt
needed her anymore, which was ironic in its own way.
No, Hermione replied in a clear and steady voice.
Im late for class, he said, attempting to push her away, but finding himself at wandpoint.
Isnt that just too bad? she coolly asked. We will talk.
He never thought hed see the day when she didnt care about classes. I have nothing to talk to
the likes of you about, he responded. Now get that wand out of my face and scram.
She rolled her eyes at him. Youre trying too hard, she informed him. Why?
On the contrary, my little Mudslut, I stopped trying at all. He leaned his shoulder lazily against
the wall.
I dont believe you.
He sighed. Look, Granger, he calmly said. I know that Ill be hard to top in the sack, but you
really have to let it go.
She narrowed her eyes. Who are you?
You dont want to know.
You bloody well know who I am, he said irritably. Its not my fault that youre so fucking
gullible that youll jump into bed with anyone who makes moony eyes at you.
He noticed the hurt before she managed to hide it. Why couldnt she just leave him alone? He
wanted to pull her close and kiss her until the world went away and instead he had to stand here,
watching her just accept the blows. Why? Why couldnt she just give it up? Why couldnt she
stop being so bloody stubborn, just this once?
I didnt see you complaining, she calmly replied. In spite of me being a Mudblood and all.
Well, he said, deliberately giving her his most lecherous look. I have to admit that you were
good. You could easily go pro, you know I guess your kind has some uses.
She gasped as if hed slapped her. In a sense, he supposed he had. He calmly met her eyes. She
was obviously fighting for some control. He wished that she would slap him and tell him never to
go near her again.
This isnt the last of it, she said in a trembling voice, before she turned and walked away from
him.
He was afraid that she was right.
*****
Draco didnt drink. Alcohol made people do stupid and embarrassing things, and he had never
seen the appeal of it. He preferred to point and laugh at those who did drink and perhaps
blackmail them the next day using photographs of them in assorted compromising positions. At
least that was his usual modus operandi.
Tonight he had decided to forget all that and had robbed Crabbes stash. Well, not literally robbed.
He had, in fact, paid generously for the goods. He just really wanted to sleep tonight and he had
been assured that if he consumed enough firewhisky, then he would sleep soundly for several
hours. He was currently working on that. He couldnt drink too fast, though, or he would just get
sick. Fortunately, it probably wouldnt take much, since he wasnt used to the stuff.
He grimaced as he took another gulp. It burned. He actually rather liked that feeling; it matched
his mood. But it still took some getting used to.
He was lounging on a comfortable sofa in the common room, which was already deserted. Maybe
not already since it was two in the morning, but it was Friday and that usually meant that some
people stayed up later. Still, it didnt matter; he didnt want to be sociable.
Another swallow; another grimace.
When was this stuff supposed to start working, anyway? He didnt feel anything. He was tired, to
be sure, but he always was. He hadnt had a decent nights sleep since he had to sleep alone again.
Before, he used to either not have the nightmares or to wake up and hear Hermiones soft
breathing and feel her slow heartbeat as her warm body was snuggled against him. He would bury
his face in her wild hair, and it would calm him and lull him right back to sleep. The cold, empty
darkness didnt quite have the same effect.
He was lifting the glass to his lips again as Shaw entered the room from the dormitories. Perhaps
she couldnt sleep either.
Drinking alone, Draco? she asked, sounding amused. Thats never a good sign.
Shut up, he said unceremoniously as he took another swig.
Youre such a prat, she said, but instead of leaving him alone, she went over and sat down next
to him. Unfortunately she knew him well enough not to take his words at face value. Can a girl
have a taste?
Only got one glass, he said, about to lift it again, as it was lifted from his hand, and she drained
it. He looked at her with some amusement; the girl was certainly not shy.
So, she said, grimacing. Draco was glad he wasnt the only one doing that. I know why Im
drinking, why are you?
None of your fucking business, he said, snatching back the glass and refilling it.
Youre such a bundle of joy tonight, Draco, she said, leaning back and stretching, which
incidentally showed off her breasts to an advantage. Draco didnt even bother hiding his glance, as
he was perfectly aware that she knew it too. I bet you its a girl, she added.
I already told you it was none of your business, he said irritably, downing half of his glass and
wincing as the burn brought tears to his eyes. He coughed slightly.
She pretty? she teased. How does it feel, not having the luxury of not caring?
So, what are you up to, Marilyn? he countered. Still mooning after Zabini while he sneaks off
to shag Pansy? Or doesnt he even bother to sneak anymore?
That got a rise out of her. What the fuck do you know? she growled, again snatching his drink
and swigging it. Her eyes were shiny and her cheeks were tinged with red. Draco felt a brief pang
of empathy, as he realized that she might be feeling some of the same things he was.
I know that its about time you got over him and moved on, he said, accepting his glass back.
He doesnt even respect you. Why the hell do you let him carry on like this?
Look whos talking, she sneered. Treated Pansy like dirt for months and now youre here,
drinking, because whoever she is doesnt want you. Youre one fucked up mess, you know that?
Who said she didnt want me? he said tonelessly, regretting it the minute the words were out.
Perhaps this stuff had an effect after all. Hed better be careful.
Marilyns eyes widened. If she does want you, then
Just stay the fuck out of it! he growled. Its none of your goddamn business why Im doing
this!
She moved closer to him. Fine, she said. But I get to have more of that drink.
He handed her his glass. Three quarters of the bottle was gone now. Was that a lot? He had no
clue. But his thoughts were less intense and that was a relief in itself. She leaned in to get the
bottle from him, and his eyes fell on her chest again. She giggled.
Want to feel them? she asked, taking another generous swig of the golden liquid.
His eyes widened slightly. Merlin, Marilyn, no! he said.
His eyes widened slightly. Merlin, Marilyn, no! he said.
Why not? she asked. You wouldnt be the first. Probably not the last, either.
Youre drunk! he said, relieving her of his glass and booze. Go to bed.
Yours or mine? she asked, winking at him.
Yours, he said without hesitation.
She pouted a little. She had the art of pouting down to perfection. I dont want to, she said.
Why do you have to be such a stickler?
Youll thank me in the morning.
No, I wont, she said, moving closer to him on all fours on the couch. Whats the problem?
People think were doing it anyway
Im not Zabini, he said. Its not me you want.
He was, however, unable to not react to her proposition. He doubted any boy in school would be
immune. He shifted a little so she wouldnt notice.
She smiled sadly. If you were Blaise, I would want a whole lot more than just this. As it is,
however, this will do. She leaned closer and kissed him.
He jumped back. Fuck, Marilyn, stop it! he exclaimed.
It was all of a sudden as if his mind was wrapped in wool and he found it hard to think coherently,
but he knew he didnt really want this. At the same time, he was well aware of how soft she felt
against him, and how lonely these past weeks had been.
His weakness when it came to women really was overwhelming.
She leaned in and kissed him again, and this time he pulled her closer, crushing her, willing her to
object, to push him away. She didnt. She was soft and compliant. He longed for something warm
and yielding. He couldnt turn her down, didnt want to say no again.
Blocking out all thought, he aimed to forget.
*****
He woke up, heart pounding. He hadnt had a nightmare, but something was bothering him,
making him feel guilty and on edge. This was combined with a slight headache and a sour taste in
his mouth. Right. He had been drinking. With a start, he realized that he wasnt alone.
Hermione?
No, not Hermione. His heart sinking and bile rising in his throat, he realized what he had allowed
to happen. He edged as far away from the sleeping form as he could, lighting his wand, before
poking her with a foot.
Wake up! he whispered, not quite wanting to hear his own voice. If he didnt, then maybe this
wasnt real. Go back to your own bed! Yes, please go back to your bed. I dont want you
sleeping in mine.
Hmpf, Marilyn mumbled sleepily. Back to your charming old self, are you? she sat up,
stretching and yawning, allowing him a perfectly good view of her naked body. He looked away.
You dont want Zabini seeing you coming from my bed, do you? he asked bitterly. He hadnt
wanted this.
You know perfectly well that he wouldnt care, she replied as she was slipping on her
underwear. And that if he did, I would be thrilled.
Yes, he knew. But he couldnt be rid of her fast enough. Just leave, he said.
She smiled a little sadly at him. Dont worry, shell never know. Not from me.
An involuntary shudder went through him and his vision got blurry. Get out of here, he
whispered.
She pulled on her robes. I thought that there was no way that you could be worse off than me,
but I was wrong. I dont envy your being in love with Granger, what with the Dark L
WHAT? He had blanched and was staring at her.
She stopped in the middle of righting her robes and gave him a reproachful look. Im not stupid,
Draco, she said. You said her name.
Had he? He couldnt remember. He didnt want to try. He had just put Hermione in an even
greater danger than she already was. He gripped his wand tighter and wondered what it would
take to right this wrong.
No need to look at me like that, she continued. Your secret is safe with me. I have no reason to
want to hurt either of you.
Ill kill you before you hurt her, he said, not caring how revealing that statement was.
She nodded. I suspected as much. But do be careful what names you call your partners, not
everyone is as accepting as me.
And why would you accept being used to fill in for a Mudblood? he had to ask.
I already knew I was being used, as were you, and my brother married one to our parents great
chagrin. Theyre a lot like us, really, arent they?
He didnt reply. No, they werent. If Hermione was anything to go by, they were a whole lot
better.
Marilyn smiled softly at him. See you around, she quietly said and then slipped out and
disappeared.
He laid down and finally gave in to the overwhelming sense of remorse that was threatening to
consume him.
Now she has even more reason to hate me. All I wanted was her, and I cant even tell her.
He knew that he wasnt with Hermione anymore; he knew that he never really had been. He
knew that he couldnt ever be with her again. Still, he felt as if hed betrayed her. He knew
without a doubt that shed feel the same way if she ever found out. He swallowed hard and tears
sprang to his eyes for Merlin only knew what time since that dreadful day they were found out.
He didnt want to hurt her. He didnt want her to hate him. He desperately wanted her to fall in
love with him too.
But he knew what he had to do.
*****
Draco didnt have to wait long. In fact, the wait was lamentably short. He almost panicked when
she managed to corner him in public. He couldnt use force to intimidate her or rush off without
attracting attention now. Still, her plan was somewhat flawed, it seemed, for he wouldnt be able
to speak to her civilly either. This didnt seem to faze her.
Why dont you go play with those first-year Hufflepuffs a bit? he asked Crabbe. It seems like
they dont know the rules. He nodded towards a group of children whose only offense was not
staying sufficiently out of the way. You too, Goyle.
They looked at him oddly but obeyed. They werent quite ready to disobey him yet, but they were
becoming a liability. They knew that his familys standing with the Dark Lord was rapidly
decreasing, and if he didnt finish his mission soon, they would rebel. He supposed it was pure
survival instinct on their part.
Charming, Hermione drily said. For my benefit, I suppose?
She looks lovely today. Did someone tell her? They should.
What do you want, Granger? I havent got all day. He looked away, as he couldnt quite look
her in the eye, his heart still pounding with near-panic. Instead he caught Marilyns eye over
Hermiones shoulder. She wasnt close enough to hear anything that was said, but her look of
sympathy was apparent.
I want you to fulfill the last part of our agreement, she calmly said.
What are you talking about? he sneered.
She smirked at him. Conveniently forgot, did you? My free request.
I get one free request. At any time I may ask you for any one thing and you will have to do or
give it.
He had forgotten. He could think of nothing that he could do or give that would not conflict with
his own stipulation: Only if at all possible without risking my life, or worse, risking hers.
What is it you want, then? he hoarsely asked. Compensation for your time?
Her eyes flared angrily. You can forget about keeping that up, Malfoy. We both know better.
Then what? he asked.
Tell me whats going on, she said. Tell me why youre acting like this.
He felt as if hed been punched, and his eyes widened slightly, giving away his surprise. He
couldnt tell her that he was trying to keep her safe, because then she would only scoff at him and
tell him just how capable she was. He couldnt tell her about the extent of the danger, because
then shed demand to know more, and he really couldnt tell her about his mission. If he told her
about that, she would expect him to become a bloody hero, and when he failed to do that, she
would have no choice but to go to the Order with her information. He couldnt tell her anything.
He briefly wondered how bad a curse she had attached to this particular clause.
Well? she asked impatiently. Im waiting.
Theres been someone else, he blurted out. It wasnt a lie, but it wasnt actually answering the
question either. He suspected that if shed attached a curse to this clause at all, it would be related
to whether he told the truth, not whether he answered the question. He also realized that he needed
to tell her so that she would stay away, and doing it under the cover of her own attempt at
extracting the truth from him was not a bad plan at all. In fact, it was cruel and devious and she
would never forgive him, even if she found out that he was bending the truth.
He felt the panic rising again as it became obvious he wouldnt be able to turn back from this.
Perhaps it really wasnt necessary to tell her. Perhaps she would accept that hed just lost interest.
He didnt want to tell her, he didnt want to see the look in her eyes when truth hit home, didnt
want to truly alienate her.
He didnt want to eradicate all hope.
She obviously didnt believe him. Really? she asked. And who might that be?
His eyes flickered back to Marilyn, who was still watching them, and Hermione followed his
gaze.
Her? Oh, come on, Malfoy! You tried that one on me before.
Yes, isnt that ironic? I didnt even want her then, either. I just wanted to provoke that fire and
fierceness in you that made you almost devour me whole.
He slowly began untying the scarf that he was wearing under the guise of a slight cold. He noticed
the widening in Marilyns eyes as she realized what he was up to. She even shook her head at
him, motioning for him to stop it, but he ignored her. This was what he had to do.
Removing his scarf, he craned his neck so Hermione would get a better view of the slowly fading
bruises covering it and trailing down onto his shoulders. The night he had spent with Marilyn had
been far from gentle, and he knew that it showed. It had been a hard and bruising fuck, where he
had kept demanding more, and where nothing had been enough.
That wasnt to say that he hadnt got off, only that it had hardly been as satisfactory as making
love to Hermione was. Not even close.
He knew that Hermione would recognize the bruises for what they were, having adeptly
administered a few to him herself over the months.
Want to see my back too? he asked in a distant voice. I hear its quite a sight. And my left
arm
Hermione had gone completely still. She looked stricken and more than a little nauseous. He could
relate. Tears were gathering in her eyes. Fuck, not here. He hurriedly replaced the scarf, blocking
the view from her, carefully avoiding looking at both Hermione and Marilyn.
Y-you claimed you werent into her, Hermione said in a low, hurt, and confused voice. You
said
And it surprises you that I lied, why? he asked, just wishing to be dead already. I cheated on
Pansy with you, and sleeping with Marilyn hardly qualifies as cheating on anyone.
I was unfaithful to you, I know. Please forgive me after Im dead, even if you dont know my
reasons.
Do you love her? she asked. Is that why? She would actually forgive the supposed deceit if it
was because he had fallen in love? Yes, he supposed she would. She was all honorable like that.
He gave a short, bitter bark of a laughter. Whats love got to do with fucking? he asked. I hope
you know better than to mix up those two things. I would hate to get stuck with tender feelings
from a Mudblood.
Are you mad enough yet? Have I burned the pain out of you? Attempting to cauterize your
wounds is the least I can do to stop you from feeling my agony.
She was unable to keep back a sob as tears spilled from her eyes. It broke his heart all over again.
Why did he have to be so good at hurting her? He wanted to say something, to comfort her, but he
couldnt. Instead he just stood there, watching, as she turned and ran from him. She was openly
crying, not caring how many saw her.
Marilyn started walking towards him, but before she could reach him, someone violently grabbed
his arm and flung him around.
What did you do to her? Potter furiously screamed at him. What did you say to her, you
miserable sack of filth? Draco didnt have time to reply, before he received a punch to the gut.
Welcoming the fight, he tackled the other boy.
Chapter 13
Hermione was lying on her bed, staring up at the canopy. It was dark and quiet outside of her own
little world. Light hurt her abused eyes, but she wouldnt put it away. Her gaze flitted back to the
floating ball that he had given her.
It doesnt mean anything. My parents are rich and Im well aware how spoiled I am. I have
many things I dont need.
Yes, well, it had meant something to her. It had meant that he had listened to her and that he had
tried to fulfill one of her wishes. He hadnt had to do thatshe certainly hadnt expected him to
but he had done it anyway. In spite of his awkward way of handling it, it had been really sweet.
At least, she had thought so at the time.
She had no more tears left and numbness had taken over. Ginny had been right. It had taken
Hermione far too long to reach this conclusion, but Ginny had actually been right. After
everything he had said today, there could be no more doubt.
He doesnt want you. He doesnt care about you. Hes just using you! I cant just stand by and
watch you betray and hurt everyone for someone like him! Either you cut it off or you tell Harry
and Ron. You are supposed to be their friend! If you dont do it, I will!
It was over. One more tear that she hadnt thought she had slid down her cheek.
She should just get over it. She should just shrug this off and go out there and go back to not
caring about him.
It was much easier said than done.
It certainly didnt help when she remembered all those times he had seemed like he did care, like
he might be falling just a little bit for her.
What do you think this is? Some epic love story? We fucked, we got caught and now its over!
Real life caught up, princess.
She had never expected him to agree to having a real out-in-the-open relationship with her; she
wasnt that stupid, but she had hoped for just a little bit more. A little reluctance or regret on his
part would have been nice. But, no, he just ruthlessly threw her aside and began sleeping with
Shaw instead.
She had a vision of him taking the same pleasure in Shaw as hed always seemed to take in her,
and the pain threatened to crush her, threatened to stop her from breathing. She tried to push it
away again.
He had every right to sleep with whoever he wanted, of course, but why couldnt he want her
instead? She didnt care about lying to Ginny and her friends, as long as she could just be with
him! This should shock her, but it didnt. She had known for a while that her priorities had
changed significantly. It was none of their damn business anyway; it wasnt as if she was off to
join Voldemort.
Ok, so spending time with him might have changed her a little, loosening her up towards certain
behaviors, but her views and loyalties were still the same. She wouldnt change those for anyone;
not even if she hadnt been a Mudblood, as he so charmingly called her each chance he got.
Why was it that she wasnt good enough for him anymore? Could it really matter that much that
Ginny knew? She hadnt even told him about Ginnys threat. Was it because she wasnt as pretty
as Shaw? Perhaps, if she smoothed her hair and wore some makeup No, she would never be
that pretty, but perhaps if she made an effort, she would still appeal.
Or was it that she hadnt truly satisfied him in bed, the way she had always thought she did? He
had seemed to be more bruised after Shaw than he had ever been after their nights together He
could have told her if he was feeling unfulfilled, told her what she needed to do. She didnt mind
being a bit kinky. She didnt mind not making love again. She would do anything.
She knew she was being pathetic. This wasnt like her at all. She was, however, well aware of the
truth hidden in these thoughts and how it should horrify her. But it didnt.
After all, shed be stupid not to have noticed that she had fallen irreversibly in love with him, in
spite of all his many, many shortcomings.
Her thoughts flickered back to Ginny shouting at her.
Just WHAT is making you do this? Do you love him? Snap out of it, Hermione, this isnt love. If
you want love, then take a look at my brother. Hes been mooning over you for ages, trying to
catch your attention, going out with that stupid bitch. But hes not good enough for you, is he?
Oh, no, it has to be someone who is mean and hateful and abusive Dont you dare tell me that
Malfoy is not all of these things!
These days, sometimes when he said hurtful things to her, she would think that she saw a flicker
of pain in his eyes, but it was always gone before she could be sure. It was most likely wishful
thinking on her part. She should stop all of her wishful thinking and pining and start facing reality.
Fact: He had dumped her.
Fact: He was now always mean and derisive to her, even showing some signs of violence.
Fact: He was sleeping with Shaw.
Fact: He didnt care the least about her person and he openly made light of her feelings.
Whats love got to do with fucking? I hope you know better than to mix up those two things. I
would hate to get stuck with tender feelings from a Mudblood.
Pain stabbed at her and her dry eyes stung.
Did he know that she had fallen in love with him? Were he and his friends laughing at her in their
common room? Had it been some sick joke to see how long he could keep it up? Was he telling
everyone what a gullible moron she was?
She couldnt believe it, she wouldnt!
Its not my fault that youre so fucking gullible that youll jump into bed with anyone who makes
moony eyes at you.
Not anyone, just him. It had never been anyone but him. He knew that. He knew that she had
been a virgin and that her soft spot was for him alone. He had to know that. But he didnt care,
did he? She hadnt been the only one for him and he just kept adding to his list, touching other
girls, being intimate with them
And still she couldnt hate him. She wanted nothing more than for him to say that he was sorry
and then kiss herand she knew that if he did, she would forgive him.
She had never thought she could be this weak and spineless or that shed settle for anything less
than a whole relationship.
She supposed the reason was that there had never been a whole relationship. She had had to
settle, all along. Still, settling with him had given her more pleasure than a full relationship with
anyone else she could think of would have.
He wasnt as bad as everyone, including himself, seemed to think. He had never really treated her
badly. He said thoughtless things, yes, but before now it had always been in his eyes and touch
that he didnt mean it. He had often apologized, taken back his words and even tried to be nice to
others for her when he didnt have to. His caresses had always been gentle, except when she
didnt want them to be, and hed never ever left her wanting in bed. He had truly changed, if only
for a while.
It was all so inconsistent.
What was she supposed to believe? His cruel words and actions or the way he had looked at her
after they had made love?
She supposed it didnt really matter; he had tired of her and moved on.
She turned over and buried her head in her pillow, sobbing. There were more tears after all.
*****
Hermione knew she looked dreadful the next day, but she didnt care. Her eyes were puffy and
red-rimmed, and her nose was swollen. Her skin had a grey tinge, and even her hair seemed more
dull than usual.
Who was she trying to impress, anyway? She supposed that another way of handling this was to
try and look her best and maybe flirt a bit, but that only worked if the boy cared. Her boy didnt.
She obediently went down for breakfast, where she just sat staring at her toast, occasionally
poking it.
She wasnt surprised that there was gossip; after all, her breakdown had been fairly public. If that
wasnt enough, then Harry and Draco coming to blows over it had surely done the trick. It had
landed both of them in detention for weeks and neither had been allowed to go to Madam
Pomfreys for more than a safety check-up, so today they were both sporting black eyes and split
lips. Rumor had it that Draco even had a cracked rib, but it was impossible to know if he was
merely exaggerating. He had been known to do that, after all.
This whole thing was supposed to teach them a lesson not to fight, but really it just made it all the
worse for Hermione because speculation ran high and she was in the middle of it all. Neither
Draco nor Harry had been forthcoming with any story, which made it even worse. Harry, of
course, wasnt completely sure what Draco had done, bless him, only that hed made her cry.
Draco, on the other hand, could have come up with a lie easily. She assumed that this was merely
another way of torturing her.
Hermione? Ron said, touching her arm.
She looked up at him.
Werent you listening? he asked.
She slowly shook her head.
He made a face. I dont know what Malfoy said to you yesterday, but I dont get why you care.
You should know better than listen to him. Hes always been an evil git; it runs in his family.
She just looked at him, or rather through him, for a few minutes and then she sighed and said No,
I suppose you wouldnt understand.
Explain it to me then, he said.
Hermione shook her head again.
Look, I know you thought he got all nice from your influence, but thats just not the case. Just
goes to show that not everyone can be turned around, doesnt it? Some people just dont have it in
them. Theyre born that wayits in their blood!
Hermione felt her apathy abating, being replaced by fury. Shut your stupid mouth, she growled,
getting a shocked glance from Ron.
Hermione, theres no reason to
Just how is what you just said better than what any nonsense some pure-blood fanatic might
spew? she interrupted, slightly raising her voice and earning a couple more startled looks. The
world would be a much better place and there would be no Dark Lord if wizards like you could
get it into their thick heads that the only thing worth mentioning about blood is hemoglobin! She
stood up and leaned down to shout at a very pale Ron. Anyone can be whatever the hell they
want to be. It just so happens that some people want to be pricks. Leave blood the hell out of it!
She turned to leave and noticed that she had gotten quite an audience. Cold grey eyes in a pale,
battered face were watching her from the Slytherin table with seemingly little interest, and beside
him Shaw had a knowing, pitying look.
She knows? He told her of all people?
Her heart was threatening to beat through her chest and she felt as if she was going to be sick.
This couldnt be happening! Shaw couldnt be aware that she had had something with Draco. The
humiliation was complete.
She rushed from the room.
*****
Hermione couldnt sleep. Every time she tried, every time she closed her eyes, she had only one
thing on her mind. This was eating her up. She swore to herself that she would never ever allow
anyone else to affect her like this, because it was pure torture. She deliberately ignored the fact that
she would not change a thing even if she got the chance.
Sighing, she got out of bed and pulled on her robes. Lavender was snoring and it was annoying
her to distraction, so she was going to just go down to the common room.
When she got there, however, it was already occupied by a fifth-year couple, heavily snogging.
Hermiones first thought was to act the prefect and break it up, but then she realized that it would
be hypocritical of her and besides, she was more jealous than outraged.
She tapped her head with her wand, rendering herself invisible, and snuck past the couple, who
probably wouldnt have noticed it if she had stomped over them while singing the school song at
the top of her lungs. The painting swung closed behind her and she just kept on walking.
How many times had she snuck out? How many times had she pretended to go to bed, only to
sneak eight floors down to indulge in forbidden fruit? She briefly wondered if they would have
even been attracted to each other if it hadnt been wrong and exciting.
While she would acknowledge the edge it might have given their sex at times, she was pretty
convinced that she would have been attracted to him regardless. Goodness, on the rare occasions
when he had genuinely smiled at her, she would have followed him to hell and back. Imagine him
actually being a nice, normal person. They might even have been able to really be together
To her great shock, she had reached the dungeons and had, in fact, progressed deeply into them.
Habit. She turned to go back up and then froze at the sound of a voice. His voice. No, it couldnt
be. She edged closer to the classroom where the voice was coming from, unable to make out the
low answer that was coming from a female. Finally, she reached the door and she peeked in,
seeing Draco and Shaw in what appeared to be a heated argument. A lovers spat?
What a pity, she thought gleefully.
Damn it, Marilyn! he ground out. I told you to let it go, its none of your fucking business!
You made it my business when you involved me in it! she shot back. What am I supposed to
tell her if she confronts me about it?
If who confronts you about what? Whats going on?
She wont! And if she does, why dont you just tell her the truth?
The truth, Draco? Shaw asked haughtily. You mean, how you were drunk and didnt want to
and then the next day you felt so bad that you were damn near blub
Dont you dare finish that sentence! he shouted, lifting his hand as if to slap her.
Hermione gasped.
His head whipped to the side and he stared intensely at where Hermione was standing.
Oh, crud.
Hermione knew that if she moved he might see her, but at the same time, he would almost
definitely reveal her presence if she remained where she was. Thankful for the darkness of the
dungeon, she slowly slid to the side, out the corridor and a few steps along it.
He came charging through the door, right where shed been standing a few seconds earlier, and
she froze in her tracks. He stopped up, as if listening intently.
Youre being paranoid, Draco, Shaw said, having followed. Nobodys here.
Maybe, he said, sounding unconvinced and scanning the area. He was standing too close.
Hermione was sure that he should be able to hear her breathing or sense her body heat. But this
conversation is over, he continued. Never mention it again. If anyone hears, it was all for
nothing! He stalked off and Shaw silently followed.
Hermione was afraid to move for several minutes and then she sprinted out of the dungeons. What
secret was it that Draco was so eager to keep?
*****
Hermione knew better than to approach Draco in the weeks after he had hurled the fact that he
was sleeping with Shaw at her. He had clearly stated what he wanted, and even though she might
wish that things were different, she had more self-respect than to throw herself at someone who
had chosen to be involved with someone else.
She ignored the voice telling her that he had been involved with Pansy Parkinson for most of the
time they had been sleeping together. After all, he hadnt really been involved with her; that had
all been for show right?
No point in going there. No point in dwelling on useless things.
Harrys bruises and cuts faded and disappeared, as did Dracos. Draco kept moving carefully for a
long time, however, and wincing even when he couldnt even suspect that someone was
watching, which did lend some probability to the story that he had hurt his rib. Good! Let him feel
some pain for once! Strangely enough, he wasnt raising hell about it this time, but then again
his Daddy was in Azkaban where he belonged, and so could hardly come to his aid.
The weather gradually improved while spring continued. April had quickly come and gone, and
then it was May. Would the school year really be over soon? The thought made Hermione happy
and relieved, but in another way it made her anxious and sad. She only had one more year left at
Hogwarts; soon she had to go out into the real world, and that was a scary thought.
Almost eight months had passed since her first encounter with Draco. Where did the time go? And
why did she even keep track of it? There was no use in thinking about it, time would keep passing
and one morning shed wake up and this would all be in a distant past. The thought was
depressing.
*****
HE KILLED HIM! Myrtle shouted at Hermione. YOUR POTTER IS A MURDERER!
Hermione nearly had a heart attack before realizing that this was just another one of Myrtles
antics. Then she got annoyed.
She was at a girls bathroom on the fifth floor, where she had been freshening up before dinner,
when suddenly the screeching ghost had emerged from one of the cisterns, throwing her mad
accusations around.
Who did Harry supposedly kill? she asked irritably.
Draco Malfoy! Myrtle said, breaking into sobs. He wasnt doing anything, we were just talking
hes really a nice and sensitive boyand then Potter barged in and killed him! Like this! She
did a wild slashing motion.
Hermiones heart stopped and her eyes bulged. M-Malfoys dead? she whispered.
Myrtle nodded dramatically and Hermiones world started spinning.
He cant be dead. Why would Harry kill him? He cant be dead. I love him. He can be as mean
as he wants to be, as long as hes not dead!
Tears were threatening to take over, but she needed more information.
W-why did Harry do this? Are you sure that Dra-I mean, Malfoys dead?
Harry Potter is a mean boy! He doesnt care how others feel. I bet he did it just out of spite! And
Malfoy was sliced right up, there was blood everywhere when Professor Snape came and closed
him up and took him to the hospital wing! The ghost started wailing again.
Something registered with Hermione. He was healed and taken to the hospital wing? she asked.
Then hes not dead?
Well, Myrtle said, sniffing and looking thoughtful. I suppose theres a chance that he might not
be yet
You idiot of an excuse for a ghost! Hermione hissed, feeling relieved and furious at the same
time. Be glad that youre already dead or I would kill you!
Myrtle shrieked with outrage, and, with a plop, she disappeared down the cistern she had come
from.
Hermione was battling to get her feelings under control. Draco was not dead. That simple fact
now had her feeling what almost felt like euphoria, but Harry sure had some explaining to do!
*****
Hermione was sitting in the common room, playing with her light. It stayed hovering wherever
you put it and it was sort of amusing to just poke it around. Not that she felt very amused right
now. She supposed Harry might have had his reasons for using the unknown spell on Draco, but
that simply wasnt good enough. Ginny was, of course, being a bitch about the whole thing and
defending her boyfriend. It probably didnt help that she was still sore about catching Hermione
kissing Draco. Hermione didnt think that either of them was being fair in vilifying Draco that
much, but she could hardly say anything about the matter without risking that Ginny would tell
Harry everything.
She wouldnt risk it. Not because she didnt want them to knowsometimes, she thought it
would be easier if they didbut because Draco had been all but begging her never to tell anyone.
My family is in deep with the Dark Lord. I could get us all killed for wanting you, and yet I still
do, and you call it a chore? This is a real threat, Hermione. I cant just ignore it. It wont just go
away. Nobody can know, Hermione. Nobody.
Nobody would know, not from her. She could do that much for him.
Hey, Ron said, cautiously approaching her. He had been walking on eggshells around her since
she had blown up at him even though it had been weeks. She didnt hold any grudges against him,
though, not really. He hadnt meant anything by his unfortunate choice of words.
Hey, she said, poking the light again, dimly wondering if it would just go out one day, since
there was no way of actually turning it off.
Whoa! Ron said, noticing her toy. Where did you get that?
Hermione looked at him with a puzzled expression. Arent they quite commonplace?
Well, yeah, Ron replied. If you can afford them. Theyre, like, a hundred galleons if youre
lucky. We dont have one. Mum says wandlight does just fine. So where did you get yours?
Hermione stared at him for a second. Uh, my Mum and Dad sent it, she mumbled. It figured.
The spoiled little rich brat would just happen to have an extra hundred-galleon light lying around.
And he hadnt even told her its worth to gain an advantage.
*****
Hermione clutched the scrolls to her chest and took a deep breath. As far as peace offerings went,
this was pretty lame, but it was all she knew how to give. She had stayed up all night the past two
nights, assembling essays and copying notes for his benefit. It hadnt been hard to figure out how
far Draco had fallen behind in his classes. In fact, it appeared that he had been putting in minimal
effort since she stopped helping him. How typical of him. Didnt he realize that he might need it
later in life?
Still, she was going to bail him out because one of her best friends had literally almost killed him
from sheer stupidity.
She was hesitating outside of the room she knew he was in. Chances were pretty good that he
would be cruel to her and maybe even reject her work. She didnt know how well she could
handle that.
Youre a Gryffindor; find your bloody courage!
Breathing deeply again, she pushed the door open and immediately wished that she hadnt.
Inside was an, even for him, very pale, but obviously not dead, Draco, lying in a bed. There was a
fading red mark on his cheek and a similar red mark disappearing beneath his neckline. The fact
that the marks were even still there was telling of the severity of the wounds.
But this was not what had her regret.
Next to him was Shaw sitting on a chair. They looked as if they had been interrupted in the middle
of an important conversation, her chair was pushed up, and she was leaning in over him. Draco
had turned his head, looking at Hermione with a clear look of surprise, and Shaw was frowning
disapprovingly at her.
Hermione had really not been pining for another chance to see Draco together with his new
girlfriend.
She went over and dumped the scrolls on his bed.
H-he didnt mean to do it, she mumbled, not quite looking at him. It was an accident. He didnt
know what the spell did. She turned and hurried away again, vaguely aware that they hadnt said
a word.
*****
Fortunately, it seemed that Draco would have no permanent injury, and he was up and about
again in a few days time. He didnt in any way mention Hermiones gesture, and she didnt know
how to feel about that. In the end, she settled for relieved, as he at least didnt mock her for trying
to right Harrys wrong. It was nothing more than she would have done for anyone else.
Right, you would have done Crabbes homework, for sure.
Ok, maybe not anyone else, but most people. At least most people who were Draco Malfoy.
She was now officially a dimwit.
Classes were the worst. She had no way of always avoiding looking at him for the duration.
Potions was especially gruesome. Hermione did her best to stay focused on her cauldron, but since
this was a practical class, it was harder to not occasionally look up or look over at the others. At
least in Arithmancy she could remain focused on her books and notes, Professor Vector, and the
blackboard.
All right then, class, Professor Slughorn said in one of those dreadful Potions classes, not long
after the incident. You will be working in pairs on a project for the rest of the year.
Grand, Ill be stuck with Ernie Macmillan.
True enough, Ron and Harry seemed to be huddling closer together. Hermione raised an eyebrow
at Ernie, who nodded. Well, at least he took his work seriously.
Your partner may not be one from your own House, Slughorn continued.
Hermione smirked as a look of shock and panic went across her friends faces.
Good one, Slughorn, she thought approvingly. Think outside the box.
She looked around her. Draco had caught the eye of a Ravenclaw girl, who reluctantly nodded in
response. Zabini openly sneered at Slughorn, and Nott looked positively bewildered. Finally
everyone seemed to have found a partnerexcept Ron and Harry.
No, no, this wont do at all, Slughorn sighed when he realized that things hadnt quite worked
out. Robert and Ernie team up, Harry and who do we team you up with, then? he scanned the
faces.
There were sniggers at Slughorns repeated inability to get Rons name right. Hermione rolled her
eyes. Honestly, sometimes people could be so childish.
She put up her hand. Sir? Sir, Ernie and I already had a cross-house team, she pointed out. She
was slightly less enthusiastic about this idea now that she didnt know who she might end up with.
Ahh, yes, but certainly Rudolpho needs someone to keep him rule-bound more than you do,
yes?
This mollified her a bit and made the Slytherin table erupt in peals of laughter. Ron didnt look too
pleased, but what did he expect? Slughorn had caught him yesterday, playing with some toy from
the Weasleys Wizard Wheezes that he had confiscated from some other student. Hermione
wholeheartedly agreed that he needed to be kept in line.
Ahh, what about the lovely Lisa? Yes, shes done well this year and maybe she can help you
remember your talent again, Slughorn said, winking at Harry, whose talent was hidden deep in
the Room of Requirement.
Hermione blinked. Lisa? Wasnt that She turned and only had to glance at Draco blanching to
realize that indeed it was. Lisa Turpin was the girl he had teamed up with. Trust him to seek out
someone good to do all the work for him. Right now he was glaring at the poor girl as if she had
deliberately switched to Harry.
That leaves you, Hermione, and who? Ah Slughorns voice faltered a little. Draco.
No! Draco exclaimed. I dont want to team up with that her! Give me someoneanyone
else.
At this, Zabini coughed, looking as if hed swallowed something the wrong way, while Slughorn
frowned. That is no way to respond to being teamed up with a perfectly responsible and
intelligent girl who, I believe, has already been tutoring you, yes? You could learn a great deal
from her, young man! Havent you already?
Draco looked positively desperate. But I hate her!
Zabini was now openly sniggering, having the time of his life, while Hermiones back had
stiffened, her face had flushed, and she knew her eyes were too bright. She couldnt help but
being hurt and humiliated by this exchange. She didnt want to team up with Draco either; at this
moment she never wanted to lay eyes on him again. Being talked about like this was simply too
much. She wished Slughorn wouldnt force them to work together.
Harry leaned in and whispered. Dont worry about it, Hermione. You know thats just how he
is. When she didnt reply, he added Want me to beat him up again? which brought a small
smile from her, but she was still considering whether dropping Potions might not just be worth it.
The professor now looked really angry, his face red, bordering on purple. It was the first time
anyone had seen him in this state. Twenty points from Slytherin! he barked. You will team up
with Hermione Granger. You will do your part. And you will do well at it or, so help me, I will
make sure that you never make your NEWT next year in this class! Am I making myself clear?
A silence fell over the room before Draco weakly said Yes, sir.
Good, Slughorn said, suddenly beaming again and beginning to hand out their assignments.
Each assignment is unique. You will make everything from scratch, following these directions,
and in one month you should have something to show for it. Have fun!
Not bloody likely.
Harry left to go to join Turpin at her table and Ron and Ernie bent over their assignment, studying
it. Hermione stared at the piece of parchment with their directions. Their directions. Fortunately,
most recipes required a whole lot of waiting, and they didnt have to be near each other for that.
She began reading. It didnt seem very complicated, it was mostly about timing. A few minutes
later, Draco walked over and leaned against the table, not looking at her or the instructions. She
ignored him while she finished reading.
So, what am I supposed to do? he asked, still not looking her way.
Merlin, was he pouting? What a brat.
Get your cloak, she said. Were going out. She was glad that she had spent the break outside
in the nice weather and so had her outerwear with her.
Why? he asked.
Youd know if youd bothered to read the assignment, she bit out and began walking, not
bothering to make sure that he kept up.
He caught up with her a few minutes later, clasping his cloak.
You know, he said. You dont have to be such a bitch about it.
Hermione clenched her jaw painfully to refrain from replying to that.
So where are we going? he asked again.
To the gardens, she forced out. It has to be fresh, so were cutting the ingredients ourselves.
He frowned. Shouldnt that be a part of Herbology instead? Neither of them were taking
Herbology this year, as he well knew.
Well, funny enough, Herbology and Potions are connected.
Still with the bitching, he said.
Hermiones hands were now tight fists, her nails digging into her palms.
Just ignore him. Hes only trying to provoke you.
Madam Sprout had been expecting them and in short order they were left on their own to dig up
stuff with admonitions to not take more than they needed or step on the sprigs. Hermione went to
work, but Draco only stood around with a look of distaste on his face.
You know, she said, wiping her brow, well aware that she would get dirty smudges on her face.
Youd be out of here faster if you actually helped.
He carefully rearranged his robes, so he wouldnt get dirt on them, while making his way through
the garden to where she was standing.
Dont we have people for this? Like that enormously stupid Longbottom
Hermione straightened. You noticed that Neville is good with plants?
Draco frowned. No But there you go!
Hermione made a derisive sound and threw him the gloves, not caring that dirt spattered onto his
robes. You get the Devils Snare!
He blanched. We need bits from a Devils Snare?
And then the mandrake root.
Youre joking!
Hermione considered for a moment but then sighed. No, they really didnt need either of those
troublesome and deadly plants. It would have been fun to watch him struggle, though. I suppose.
But we do need wolfsbane.
He shot her a very dark look before he obliged. Hermione couldnt help but smirk. Lamentably,
however, he seemed to handle the poisonous plant well enough to not die or even need to go to
the hospital wing again.
Finally they had what they needed and were making their way back.
How come nobody else is out here? Draco asked. We cant be the only pair out of six to need
fresh plants.
I suppose they could start out with preparing dried or conserved things, Hermione said,
shrugging.
And why couldnt we?
Because I said so, and you didnt even bother to read the bloody assignment?
We needed this first. Well have to hurry if we want to get it all chopped and sliced in class.
He didnt reply but merely sped up his pace. It seemed he couldnt be rid of her fast enough. Well,
fine, right back at him. Still, there were some details they needed to work out.
We need to make a plan, she said. He didnt reply. The most important thing is the full moon.
If I remember correctly, that will be on the twenty-second. That is this Thursday, so you will need
to meet me out here at midnight.
He stopped dead in his tracks. What?
I said
I heard you the first time, he rudely interrupted. What the hell are you playing at?
Homework, she gritted out. And guess what? Youll have to meet me at least once before that
to get everything else ready in time.
He glared at her as if she was making all this up just to be alone with him and Hermione lost it.
She yanked the instructions out of her bag and shoved them at him so hard that she sent him
stumbling a step back.
READ THE DAMN ASSIGNMENT!!! she shouted, before she stalked off.
Chapter 14
Draco looked longingly after the brunette. He knew it was better that she was angry than hurting,
but she was so damn sexy when her passions were rising.
He sighed and looked at the piece of parchment labeled Group 4: Hate Potion. An exercise in
timing and teamworknow, wasnt that ironic? He slowly and carefully read the instructions that
Hermione had so violently thrust upon him. Then he read them again.
It really could be worse.
But this was bad enough.
He really didnt want to be out alone with her at night. She had looked so adorable, all mussed
and with dirt on her face, that he had hardly been able to keep his distance in the daylightand
that was before her outburst. He knew he was hopelessly warped to be turned on by her anger, but
there wasnt much he could do about it. The thought of what would happen to his resolve when
they were alone under a full moon, however, was frightening.
He hadnt put them both through this much just to give up now; he had to find a way around this.
She didnt hate him the way she should. She had even tried to make up for Scarfaces attempt at
killing him, instead of being sorry that the attempt had failed. Some days Draco was almost sorry
himself that he hadnt just died, why couldnt she be?
Shes too bloody noble.
He was worried about her safety, but even if he hadnt been even if he had wanted to see the
look of disgust and loathing in Hermiones eyes, when she found out who he really was He
couldnt risk his family, just because he had fallen in love with some girl. People fell in and out of
love all the time. He just had to wait it out, was all. She would get over it soon enough and move
on. Hopefully, so would he.
He just had to keep a distance between them until that happened.
He walked back to the classroom, where Hermione was attacking a root with a vengeance. Draco
winced a little. If she wasnt careful, shed let most of it go to waste, and theyd have to go out for
more. She looked positively gorgeous when she was angry, though
He definitely had to drop that line of thinking.
What do you say, we divide some of these tasks? he asked hopefully.
Well, that was the general plan, she said, not looking up from her mauling. Draco itched to take
the knife away from her, but he was well aware where it might end up, then. She might not hate
him, but she did have a temper.
You might want to let up on that, he suggested, earning a scathing look from her. Her cheeks
were red, her eyes were blazing, and she still had a streak of dirt on her forehead. He looked
away, before his attraction showed. Fine, have it your way, he said on an exaggerated sigh, but
Im not going back out for more, when you cant use what youve got.
That worked to some extent, she started cutting more carefully.
What I meant before was, he continued, we dont both need to be going out for things, at the
same time. Why dont I prepare everything else, and, then, you can go get the bearsfoot
Hermione threw down her knife and effectively cut him off. What now? He eyed her warily.
So youre suggesting, she hissed menacingly, placing her hands on the table, that I go out
alone in the middle of the night, in these times, because youre too wimpy to do a task with me
that will take less than an hour in total?
No, actually, he had tried offering her the easiest task, so she would accept, and he wouldnt have
to spend any more time near her than he had to.
He raised an eyebrow. Did you just call me wi
Dont push me!
He sighed again, looking away, as his heart was pounding. For fucks sake, when would he get
past this? Fine, well switch. You slice and dice; I go out.
She resumed her butchering of the ingredients. As much as Id love not having to lay my eyes on
you again He was not bothered by this statement, not at all. I already asked about getting
permits to go out, and were only allowed out that late in pairsand before you askyes, these
pairs. So, you go ahead and do all the other work alone if you want, but youre coming out to
harvest with me Thursday!
Fine, he said again. But please start paying attention to your chopping; Id like to pass this
class. He then took out his own knife and smugly did a much better job of it. She might be
smarter than him, but she allowed emotions to interfere with her results.
He didnt.
*****
Draco was in a foul mood when class was finally over and Hermione let him go at last. She could
be a right shrew when it came to schoolwork, and he hadnt been able to just blow her off with
Slughorn keeping an eye on him. How was he supposed to keep this up? He wasnt very good at
this whole self-sacrifice thing. He would much rather leave that stuff to Saint Potter.
He entered the common room, and Zabini began laughing. Draco didnt quite get it, but he was
certain it had something to do with having to team up with Hermione. He glowered at him. The
bugger needed a good thrashing.
I didnt know just how fond you were of mud, Zabini sniggered, gesturing at Dracos boots.
Draco frowned and looked down. Indeed, his footwear had cakes of dirt on it. Disgusted, he took
out his wand and scourgified them, before plopping down in a chair across from Zabini. Pansy
was there, actually sitting next to Zabini. There was still a good foot between them, but it was a
step up for those two, he supposed. He didnt understand them; nothing was standing in their way.
That was another thing. While Draco had been in the hospital wing, Shaw had finally managed to
dump Zabini. She wasnt over it, but as far as Draco could tell, she was rapidly making her way
through the male population of the school to make up for it. He really had to admire Shaws ability
to keep her affairs quiet. He supposed that most boys agreed to keep it quiet, in the hope that
theyd get another taste. After all, she wasnt bad at it, at all. She just wasnt
Hermione.
Dracos mood got even worse.
I dont get the problem, Pansy said, frowning at Draco. You already let her tutor you for most
of the year. Why is it suddenly a big deal?
So Zabini had been filling her in, and obviously enjoying it, too!
Because I cant stand being around her and I thought I wouldnt have to anymore! Draco
angrily replied. And why even have houses, if theyre going to insist that we mix with each
other? That doesnt make any sense!
He really wished that his mother would have allowed him to attend Durmstrang. He had it on
good authority that they didnt even accepted Muggle-born there. Imagine, he could have been far
away; he could have never met Dumbledore, Potter or Hermione
Never have met Hermione. The thought tied his guts in a knot. Never have known her kisses
No, he had to let this go. If he hadnt met her, then he wouldnt have known what he was missing.
If he had gone to Durmstrang, there would probably have been a nice pure-blood girl in his life.
Yes, like Pansy.
No, not every pureblood was like Pansy. He could have met someone better.
Or maybe you would never really have fallen in love. Maybe you would have settled, like you did
before.
A life without love? The thought made him sick. He had to believe that there could be someone
else for him, if he survived this. The thought, of never experiencing these feelings again, was
devastating.
Draco? Pansy asked, pulling him from his brooding thoughts. Arent you listening?
No, he really wasnt.
*****
Thursday came much too fast for Dracos peace of mind. Of course Hermione didnt allow him to
prepare everything by himself. The little busybody had to have a hand in everything; she couldnt
just trust him to get it right. So, as his way of petty revenge, he refused to do anything before on
the day of the full moon, since he already would have to look at her Mudblood face all night,
anyway.
He could tell that it annoyed her immensely, seeing as she loved to have everything worked out in
advance, but rather than doing the work alone, she eventually agreed. Was she getting tired of
doing his work for him, then? It didnt matter. As long as he could get her to stay mad at him there
really was no danger, and he actually got some sort of twisted pleasure out of being around her.
Everything was coming to an end and soon he would probably never see her again.
Watch how youre handling that! she snapped, as they were cutting up various disgusting
animal bits on the night in question.
This part of Potions he could really live without.
Keep your knickers on, Granger, he lazily replied, having deliberately lighted her fuse by
feinting with his knife. Im not completely inept. He cut up the boomslang skin, feeling glad that
at least he wasnt the one squishing leeches. I dont get why anybody would go through this
much trouble just to hate somebody.
That was an outright lie. He understood perfectly why someone might try to reverse their feelings,
and he even considered sampling it, if it turned out all right. The look Hermione shot him
suggested that she didnt need a potion, but he knew better. She didnt hate him, no matter how
much she should. Sometimes he thought she simply lacked the ability.
I suppose its like with the love potion, isnt it? she said, concentrating on her squishing.
Well, no, he said. I mean, I understand the love potion.
She looked up at him, startled. You do?
Yes, of course, he said. It saves you a lot of trouble getting a girl into bed, doesnt it? And I bet
some people even take it themselves so they wont mind who theyre getting laid by so much. It
was meant as a veiled and completely untrue hint that he might have done just that, so he added a
smirk and raised an eyebrow at her.
She made a disgusted face at him. I should have known you would be completely unaffected by
morals or standards, she growled.
If you know another use for love potion, then let me hear it, he invited.
She opened her mouth and then closed it again, looking thoughtful. She clearly had never thought
about the actual morally superior uses one could have for making someone into an obsessive idiot.
Ive never taken it, so I wouldnt know the benefits, she said, scowling as he grinned. But I
suppose that if someone were as sick as you, they might indeed get a kick out of using it to take
advantage of some poor girl, or for sex games
In other words, you would? he asked.
She shot him a contemptuous look. However, she said. I could probably think of some
scenarios where it would be beneficial to have someone think better of you.
Like, if you want to sleep with them? he mocked.
Like, if they wanted to get something done! she shot back, motioning at his snakeskin, which
was still only half-sliced.
Youd feed me love potion? he asked incredulously. I hate to tell you this, Granger, but that
would hardly get your homework done.
Our homework. And why is that, then? she asked.
Because, it creates an obsession with the other person and an inability to see reason to the
exclusion of all else.
Meaning?
Meaning, Id be too busy trying to get into your aforementioned knickers.
Now, if that wasnt adequately describing the way their relationship had worked, he didnt know
what was. She glared at him, and he didnt flinch.
Fine, she finally said. Then it would just have to be poison.
Fine, she finally said. Then it would just have to be poison.
That absurd statement took him by surprise, and he actually let out a short laugh, before he could
stop himself.
Careful, now. You dont want to get too friendly.
He schooled his features and continued his work.
I dont know why you think you have to do that, Hermione continued. It just seems so
contrived.
What does?
She made a vague gesture with her hand. Your whole mission to demean me. I get it: You dont
like being around me now that youre with Shaw. Let it go already. Big deal, if she feels
threatened; nobody told you to tell her. In fact, I was of the impression that nobody could know.
But maybe that only counted for my friends?
Draco stared at her, as she continued with her things. She was looking strangely calm, all signs of
her anger gone. Instead she was resigned and being effectiveness incarnate.
She hasnt got a clue.
Thats what you wanted.
Yes, but it still bothers me that shell never know.
There is one way
Its too risky.
Its much safer than the current state of affairs.
How can you even think its safe?
Ok, so it comes at a price, but isnt that price much smaller than your familys life? Her life?
She would try to make me turn against Him if I told her what was going on; she wouldnt
understand.
She wouldnt try for long
She would hate me.
Not for long
We could still never be together.
No. But you might have more to show for it.
What? Her turning me horribly down, and rightfully so after everything Ive done to her?
Then youd know, wouldnt you?
Malfoy? Why are you staring at me like that? Hermione demanded.
Draco shook his head. It was all so tempting and confusing. No, he couldnt do it.
Nothing, he said. It just really threw me that you would think that insulting you isnt great fun
in itself.
She rolled her eyes and ignored him for the time being. Draco let out a breath he hadnt known
hed held in. He really needed for tonight to be over.
*****
Getting the herb had not been as bad as hed feared. The moon was bright in the sky, flooding
them with cold light, removing some of the intimacy of the darkness. Fortunately, she seemed to
want it over with as well. There was only one incident, where his hand accidentally brushed hers.
She had looked up at him questioningly, the pale light making her look almost eerie, and he
burned to just bend down and kiss her, to make her his again.
Instead, he had jerked his gaze from hers, and had begun walking back.
He really hated doing the right thing.
Draco was wishing that he had had the foresight to have many shorter meetings, instead of one
long session. Unfortunately, this had been his own doing, so he could hardly complain without
rousing her suspicions. It would take well into the night, but theyd essentially be done after that,
and in a way that was a relief too.
He managed to keep his distance for the next couple of hours. They had been unable to actually
start brewing the potion before they had gotten the bearsfoot. Of course, they were alone in the
Potions classroom; nobody else was dumb enough to do all the work tonight. He hadnt
considered that.
Hermione had pulled her hair back in a ponytail to keep it out of her face, but after hours of
concentration and scratching her head, wisps of hair had come free and were occasionally getting
in her eyes. She seemed unaware of her mussed appearance, but Draco was mesmerized, and his
hands itched to smooth the hair back.
He tried to avoid looking at her.
Oh, no! she exclaimed.
Draco looked up from staring hard at the potion, having done his best to think about nothing but
the assignment.
What? he asked. Im not doing anything wrong!
No, she said, but we forgot one thing!
No, we didnt! he said, grabbing the instructions from her and frowning as he realized, they had,
indeed, managed to miss one item. Unicorn hair, actually. Why the hell did this potion need
Unicorn parts, anyway? It was mostly filled with disgusting or poisonous things.
He scowled at Hermione. How could you let this happen?
Me? she almost shrieked. Youre in this team too!
Yes, but Im not the nutty know-it-all, am I? he asked. What now?
Theres still time, Hermione said, rushing into the storage.
Draco certainly hoped so; he didnt fancy failing after suffering all day.
DAMN!
Uh-oh, Hermione hardly had any outbursts unrelated to him. He looked uneasily at her, as she
came back.
There is none, she said. Its all gone. She began pulling on her cloak.
Where are you going? he asked.
We are going to wake up Hagrid, she said. I know he must have some.
Why would he help us? Draco asked.
Hermione shot him a contemptuous glance. Hes my friend. Hell help me.
Oh, right. She actually liked the oaf. Draco glanced at the potion that was still simmering.
If it doesnt burn or get too cold well still have time, Hermione said. Come on!
Reluctantly, he followed her.
*****
Hermione knocked on the door a little harder this time.
Give it up, Granger, Draco said. Hes not going to open up. Either hes not home, or he sleeps
like the dead.
But he has to, Hermione said. We need that hair!
Draco shrugged. Well, we wont get it, will we? I say its time we just call it a learning
experience and give it up.
Yes, you would think like that, wouldnt you? Hermione said resentfully. Forget it. Im getting
it myself. She stomped off towards the Forbidden Forest.
What?
You cant go in there! Draco said, bewildered by her resolve.
This was just a stupid Potions project, why was it so important to her? Professor Slughorn would
accept that they had exhausted all possibilities. He might berate them for forgetting an ingredient
in the first place, but nothing serious would happen. They wouldnt really fail. They had worked
together and everything.
She just kept on going.
Granger? he asked a bit louder. No response. Hermione! he shouted, as she disappeared into
the darkness. Nothing.
Shit.
He hurried after her.
Just how do you plan on getting it? he asked, when he finally caught up with her. You going to
hunt a Unicorn down and yank a hair from its tail? He cautiously looked around him. Who knew
what things were waiting to eat them? He really should just leave her to it.
Yeah. Right. I could let her walk in here alone.
Maybe he could forcibly haul her back. He glanced at her. No it looked, as if he tried, he might
find himself less of a man. He really was too attached to his man-parts to risk it.
I heard something about the hair getting caught in bushes and such Hermione mumbled,
looking around her.
How far are you going to go in? Draco asked, flinching at a sudden sound.
I didnt ask you to come, Hermione drily replied, looking utterly unaffected. Stupid Gryffindors
with their recklessness. Since when did she condone breaking the rules, anyway?
And how would it look for me if I left, and you got eaten?
She sniffed. I wont get eaten. I never have yet.
Well, Granger, I hardly think you will live to tell the tale after it does happen.
Wouldnt that suit you just fine? she asked bitterly.
Draco was getting annoyed. She had no right to think that he wanted her dead. He was here with
her, wasnt he? He didnt particularly want to be, but he wasnt turning back. He was aware that
the credit he deserved was limited, but couldnt she just give him that much?
It wouldnt suit me at all! he growled, before he thought better of it.
She gave him a startled look. I thought you were all for the Mudblood eradi
First of all, he interrupted, stopping up. Im just against Mudbloods mixing with real wizards
and witches. I dont mind if they live out their natural life, as long as they do it somewhere else.
Second of all, I told you that I wouldnt cheer at your funeral, didnt I? He began walking again.
She actually stomped her foot at him. You cant do that! You cant claim theres a line between
Muggle-born and wizard-born that decides everything. YOU called me a competent witch, are you
taking that back now, too? She glared at him but then made a dismissive hand-gesture. No,
forget that. It doesnt matter if you are, because I am a witch!
Draco sighed. You cant be sure that one of your grandparents wasnt a squib, HerGranger.
She didnt seem to notice his slip-up but merely glared at him again. Usually they leave the
wizarding world and go to live as Muggles. True, youd only actually be, like, one fourth or one
eighth witch, but it would usually be enough to get you the label of half
And what if I said Im completely sure that my grandparents are Muggles?
I would have a hard time believing you, and then Id question your great-grandparents.
You just cant deal with the fact that you slept with a Muggle-born, can you? she asked
incredulously. If ever there was one, I am it!
What was he supposed to respond to that? Im afraid that youre right, because then everything I
have ever believed in will disappear, and I will be left with nothing? No, that wouldnt do. And
this conversation was getting too personal.
Whatever, Granger, he said, faking boredom with the subject. What about we get this over
with?
She huffed and stomped deeper into the forest. He really wasnt liking this.
Look, Granger, he said, eyeing the dark nervously. Ill tell Slughorn that it was my fault that
we didnt get it, if youll just agree to get out of here.
Whats the matter, Malfoy? she mocked him. Afraid of the dark?
No, he replied. Im afraid of whats in the dark!
She stopped dead in her tracks. He stopped with her and turned to see what had her attention, and
saw the positively ugliest thing he had ever laid his eyes on. It was covered in reddish brown hair
and had five club-footed legs and a low-slung body. Dracos first thought was that it looked rather
silly, but then he noticed the intensity of the way it was staring at Hermione.
Its going to attack her!
Hermione had gone pale and was slowly walking backwards. The beast opened its mouth and
showed off rows of needle-sharp teeth, making an awful sound, before crouching as if to jump.
The sensible thing would have been to pull out his wand and hurl a hex at it. Draco didnt think
that far. He grabbed Hermiones arm and pushed her behind him. She was too shocked by
everything to object.
He went into a staring match with the beast, and then he felt it: The thing that up until now had
only given him troubles and grief. The thing that made him more powerful than any one beast in
this forest. His eyes darkened, and he smirked, as the beast backed down and lumbered off.
Is it gone? Hermione weakly asked behind him. H-how did you do that?
Its more afraid of us than we are of it, he said, unconsciously rubbing his arm. Luckily for us,
it seems to respond to lack of fear.
It wasnt true. He had been afraid. He had actually been more afraid than ever before in his life.
He had been afraid that it would attack him, but hed been terrified that it would attack her, and
that he would have to stand there and not be able to do anything about it.
She shook her head. No, Im quite sure that was a Quintaped. It eats people. It doesnt care if
youre scared or not. She looked thoughtful for a second. Why did you get between it and me?
It could have attacked you instead.
Draco turned to her and grabbed her arms hard. He was angrier at her than he had ever been
before.
YOU COULD HAVE BEEN KILLED, he wanted to shout. THIS IS THE STUPIDEST THING
YOU HAVE EVER DONE! WHAT DID YOU THINK I WOULD DO? JUST STAND BACK
AND LET IT HAPPEN?
You obviously didnt know how to handle it, did you? he bit out instead. And Unicorn hair or
no Unicorn hair, were leaving now! He wasnt going to endure more of this. He wasnt going to
let her risk their lives for something as stupid as a school assignment.
She only nodded, as he let her go. He turned away from her and had already begun walking when
she let out a sound of surprise. He looked at her as she bent and carefully pulled something from
the bushes. It was a few silvery, shining strands of hair. The girl certainly had good eyes.
The only thing she could never see was reason.
Come on, then, he irritably said and walked on.
She hurried to follow.
*****
Dracos nails were digging into his palms as he watched Hermione carefully stir the potion. He
wasnt still angryeven though he did still have the urge to scowl at her and shake her whenever
he thought about what could have happenedmostly, he really, really wanted to kiss her
senseless.
They had hurried back to make it in time, and now her hair was in wild disarray, her face was
flushed, and her eyes were gleaming. It reminded him of how she had looked, so many times
beneath him, and he knew that there was no way he could even go near his bed tonight.
He closed his eyes and willed the effect to go away. They would be done very soon; she was
finishing their work even now, and he would be able to go. He might not get any rest, but maybe
hed find a little peace.
He opened his eyes again and found himself looking straight into hers. A jolt of awareness went
through him, and he was unable to hide his reaction from her in time. Her eyes widened slightly,
and then she frowned, watching him. He looked away, well aware that his cheeks had turned
pink.
Are we done here, then? he asked.
She didnt reply, and eventually he had to look back at her. She was still watching him.
Let it go, he wanted to say, but he was afraid to acknowledge his reaction with words.
Whats going on? she asked. He opened his mouth to reply, but she interrupted him. And if
you lie to me again, I will personally make sure that you wont sleep with anyone for the next
decade without severe pain!
Now that was a threat to be reckoned with.
I just want to get out of here, he said. Is that too much to ask?
Her lips parted slightly and his eyes immediately flew to them. They were full and pink, and he
vividly remembered their softness Her tongue darted out to wet them, and he almost moaned.
Stop evading, she slowly said. I know that look. You want me.
So damn much.
So? he hoarsely replied. Its been a few days Weeks. Months.
She tilted her head slightly, looking at him, allowing him a nice view of her lovely neck and the
delightful spot that had sent her over the edge more than once.
He really needed to get out of there, but he was standing as if rooted, imagining all the things he
wanted to do to her, all the things he wanted her to do to him.
He could only deny himself so much, and just looking at her gave him great pleasure. He
shouldnt have come here tonight when he hadnt had release in far too long. His guilt, his
heartache, and his worry had put a severe dampener on his drive, and he simply hadnt thought
that it would make a difference. Now he knew that it made every difference.
Their little foray into the forest didnt help either. The fear, the adrenaline, and the overwhelming
urge to protect her was intensifying everything he felt. He wanted to possess her, to make sure she
never did anything that foolish again. He wanted to touch her. He wanted so many things.
Fortunately, she couldnt possibly want anything to do with him.
She took her wand from the table and walked closer to him, probably in order to tell him to forget
it, that hed never have her again. The thought hurt a little, but right now he was too busy enjoying
the vision of her to really care.
After all, looking never harmed anyone.
Why have you been such a git if you want me? she asked.
His thoughts were slightly muddled. She was close enough that he could catch her scent, the very
same scent that had once clung to his pillow every morning after shed left.
I dont want you, he lied. Cant a boy get a little randy without you taking it personal?
Her gaze travelled downwards and he fought an urge to moan. The way he was reacting, it might
as well have been her hands. The thought of her hands on him made him squeeze his eyes shut for
a second to regain control. He shifted uncomfortably, but knew it was pointless to try and hide the
obvious.
It doesnt look like a little to me, she observed. And you forget that I used to sleep with you.
You look much as you did while under the sensitivity curse.
He trembled at the memories she called forth. As if he could ever forget that they used to sleep
together.
Is there a point with this, Granger? he forced out. Because Ive got places to be, people to
fuck
That made her glare at him.
You disgust me! she growled.
He winced slightly. He didnt like making her resent him, but the alternative was too much to
contemplate.
There is one way
She was tapping her chin with her wand, looking at him thoughtfully. He couldnt take his eyes
off her. He just needed to look at her for a few more seconds
I think youre full of it, she finally said. And I can prove it.
Oh, Merlin, please dont.
Not a chance, Granger, he said, willing his feet to move and take him away from there. He had
half-turned, when she slid her wand down to her neckline and down her robe, leaving a clean cut
in it as she slowly moved her wand lower.
He couldnt not stop and stare, as her creamy flesh was slowly revealed.
When the cut went beneath her breasts, she pushed the fabric aside, making him clearly see one
perfectly rounded breast, cupped in coppery silk. He began salivating at the thought of what hed
like to do with that breast, and he had to swallow hard.
Why did she have to wear that thing today? Had she thought that something might happen, or was
she always wearing sexy underwear now?
Neither thought did much to ease his discomfort.
Tease he whispered.
Are you ready to be honest yet? she coolly replied.
Was she really unaffected? The thought fed his frustration. He needed her so bad and suffered so
much; the least she could do was need him, too!
He was vaguely aware that he wasnt making any sense.
Hey, he forced himself to say, cursing this whole situation. If I had known that you wouldnt
care how many other girls I fucked
She took a step closer and slapped him so hard that his head whipped to the side, his ears were
ringing, and his vision swam.
I care, she said in a shaky voice, looking at him with what seemed to be equal parts hurt, anger
and desire.
He lost the battle.
He grabbed her and pulled her close, praying for just a taste before she pushed him away. Just one
taste.
His lips covered hers, and he didnt care if she questioned the lack of violence in the kiss. He
didnt care if she guessed everything. He just wanted one kiss, and then then hed do what he
had to do.
She softened in his arms and returned the kiss, taking him completely by surprise, her tongue
flipping out and teasing the tip of his tongue.
His need reached unknown proportions. He had to have her. If he could have her just one more
time
I love her so much.
I love you he heard himself whisper.
She stiffened and pulled back and the horror of what hed let slip, struck him.
She wasnt supposed to know!
Guess theres no turning back now
I dont want to do it.
You have to. For her.
She wont thank me.
It wont matter. You wont be there for her to thank.
W-what? she asked.
Nothing, he said, reaching for her again. She evaded him.
Did you mean it? she asked.
You have no idea.
You cant hold me responsible for what I say when Im this randy, he hedged.
Maybe I can still get around this.
Tell me the truth, and Ill sleep with you tonight, she said.
He stared at her. The temptation was overwhelming. More than overwhelming; it was devastating.
What if the truth is no? he asked in a hoarse whisper. Will you still sleep with me, then?
Of course, she replied.
This is so unlike her. Why would she trade sex like that?
Do you care as long as you can have her?
Yes no I dont know I just want her.
And once you do what you already know you have to it wont matter anymore if she knows.
Well? she asked, moving her wand, cutting her robes to her navel, revealing so much of her
lovely body.
Yes, he moaned. Yes, damn it! I do love you.
She stopped and stared at him, her eyes big and shocked.
He glanced at her nervously. Was this a turnoff? Should he have lied? He swallowed again.
You arent going to go back on your word, are you? he asked. You promised
Just let me kiss you again. It will be enough; it will be worth it.
N-no, she said, visibly shaken. I just never thought that youd even if you did I thought
that youd say no.
It doesnt matter, he said. It doesnt change anything. It can only be tonight.
But if you do, then why did you
He cut in impatiently. I dont want to talk about it, ok? It didnt work, did it? Im still here,
wanting you I fail.
Do you want to know how I really feel? she softly asked.
NO! his response was quick and forceful and she looked taken aback. I-I dont want to know,
either way. Please dont tell me.
If she didnt love him, it would shatter all of his fantasies for another world, another reality, where
they could live happily ever after. If she did love him, it would hurt him too damn much to know
what he had to do after tonight. No, he really didnt want to know.
He pulled her close again and recaptured her lips in a heartfelt kiss. There were no more pretenses;
she knew he wanted her that he loved her, even.
I need you, he whispered against her soft lips. So much.
She didnt reply, she just tangled her hands in his hair and pulled him closer again, teasing his
senses with her scent, and the feel of her body and her lips.
He quickly looked around them. The Potions classroom was hardly the right place to do this. His
dormitory was close, but he wasnt sure he could bear being with her there again. The bedroom in
the Room of Requirement had been wrecked by his idiotic self, and her room was unavailable
It seemed that his room was their only option. He just had to bear it.
Lets go outside, she said, caressing his cheek, having guessed his thoughts. We have
permission and its nice and balmy, isnt it?
He really didnt think Slughorn had this in mind when he signed the permission. That almost made
it worth it.
He glanced doubtfully at her. Youll catch a cold, he said. Its not that warm.
Youll make sure I wont, she said. Besides Wouldnt it be nice, under the full moon by
the lake
Hermione under him, bathed in moonlight, moaning his name
They would need something warmer than their normal cloaks to shield them.
Let me just get my winter cloak, he said.
*****
They didnt have as much time as Draco would have liked. The sun would rise in only a few
hours. Perhaps this wasnt such a good idea, after all.
What about here? Hermione softly asked.
The grass in this place was soft and inviting, and some bushes were shielding from the view of
anyone from the castle. He looked at her and saw her slightly shiverin spite of her wearing her
repaired robes and her cloakas a wind blew in from the lake. It was probably too cold to do this.
We dont have to do this, he said, wrapping his winter cloak around her. Its too cold for you.
He wasnt bothered by the cold himself; he was used to it. He lived in a bloody dungeon for most
of the yearshe didnt.
He didnt understand what she was doing here with him. He had to let her know that she didnt
have to do this. He had to allow her to rethink her decision. He was almost behaving like an idiot
Gryffindor, but, for some reason, this was important to him.
She looked at him defiantly. Then youll just have to warm me, wont you?
Before he could reply, she had pulled his head down and was kissing him deeply, passionately,
making him completely forget time and place, the way only she could.
She broke the kiss a few minutes later. There, she said a little breathlessly. All warmer.
He couldnt help but smile at her, and her eyes widened slightly, as she stared at him as if
mesmerized.
What? he asked.
She merely shook her head and kissed him again, gentler this time.
She was pressed against him, and he reveled at the contact, even though there technically were
two sets of robes and three cloaks between them.
Too much cloth.
He unclasped his cloak and spread it out on the ground, before gently pushing his other cloak off
her shoulders as well. He still wasnt sure that this wouldnt be too cold for her, so he hesitated at
her own cloak. She rolled her eyes at him and unclasped it herself.
Im not that delicate, she pointed out.
No, he supposed that she wasnt. But that didnt mean that he didnt want to protect her. With his
life if he had to.
The thought saddened him. Before he could think too much about it, he pulled her down onto
their makeshift bed with him and began undressing her, only leaving her underwear on for now.
He was touching every inch of her skin, taking his time.
Merlin, shes so beautiful. And tonight shes mine.
Youre teasing again, Draco, she moaned, shivering a little from the cold, and pulling at his
robes. He hurriedly pulled them off and covered the two of them with his thick, fur-lined winter
cloak.
Im not teasing, he murmured. Im savoring.
Well, stop savoring, she demanded, pushing against him. I want to feel you!
He chuckled at her impatience, before kissing the top of her breastjust visible above her bra
and sliding one hand down between her legs. She was so moist for him. She always was. He
moved her knickers aside and slipped a couple a fingers inside of her, earning him a gasp and a
low moan from her.
Moving his fingers, he slowly let his tongue trace her lower lip and then sucked it into his mouth.
He could feel she was rapidly losing control. He let go of her lip and thrust his tongue into her
mouth, mimicking the motions of his fingers, and she whimpered.
Please, Draco she pleaded, breaking the kiss. I cant hold back.
Then dont, he rasped, pushing aside her bra and taking a nipple into his mouth, suckling her,
making her move restlessly, wanting more.
I want you inside of me when I come, she whispered, caressing his back and grabbing hold of
his shoulders.
He shuddered, fighting back the need. That will happen, he assured her. But theres no need to
He shuddered, fighting back the need. That will happen, he assured her. But theres no need to
rush, is there? I dont mind if you have more orgasms, in fact I insist on it
He stroked her nub with his thumb and she stiffened, moaning his name. If there was anything
sexier than Hermione moaning his name and begging him for release, he hadnt discovered it yet.
She was intent on resisting, though. He almost smirked. She was fighting a losing battle. He
wanted to feel her tighten and convulse again and again
He slowly moved down her body, kissing, touching and distracting in a way that by the time he
had reached her belly, she still hadnt caught on to his intentions. The musky smell of her arousal
was overwhelming his senses, making him almost lose his mind.
The silly girl never let him do this.
He slowly began removing her knickers, kissing her thigh as he was sliding them off her. She
obligingly shifted to help him remove them. Good girl
He then resumed his earlier ministrations, making her moan and squirm. It wasnt until his lips and
tongue followed his hand that she caught on and bucked against him.
No she moaned.
Yes he replied. You trust me, dont you?
She looked at him with fevered eyes for what seemed like a long time. Then she nodded.
You really shouldnt. Im going to hurt you yet. But in this you can trust me.
Then just lay back and enjoy, he murmured, his breath teasing her, making her tremble, as she
reluctantly did as he asked.
He loved the feel, smell and taste of her. He pressed his fingers deep inside of her, pushing the
right spot, and applied his tongue. Before many seconds had passed, she tensed, crying out his
name, and he felt her muscles contract around his fingers.
It felt amazing when she came. He fought hard not to lose control himself, making a strangled
sound as a feeling of ecstasy swept him.
He could do this to her. He could make her so wild for him that she lost all thought for anything
but the blinding pleasure. Even the first time they had been together, she had given herself fully to
the sensations.
He didnt attribute this to any great skill of his own. Hed been with other girls and they had
required considerably more effort. No, this girl was special in so many ways.
He hated that he had to give her up, but took a small comfort in knowing that the pain of it
wouldnt be there for long.
He laid down next to her and pulled his cloak tighter around them so she wouldnt feel cold now
that her first rush of passion was over.
She snuggled closer to him, and he just held her.
That was silly of you, she muttered. Its really, really late and now Ill just get sleepy. She
yawned as if to make her point.
Then sleep, he said, realizing that he didnt mind in the least if she did, in spite of his almost
painful erection. Of course he wanted to take her, to come inside of her, but he wanted to just hold
her just as badly.
You promised me youd take me, she said, glaring at him accusingly.
He took her hand and led it down his body so she could feel her effect on him. Any time youre
ready, sweetheart. But we have He looked at the sky. At least a couple hours yet.
It has to end when the sun rises? she asked.
Yes, he said, unable to look at her. It does
Why am I being honest? Its not like I wont have to do it for sure. It doesnt matter what I say.
Then Im not wasting any time sleeping.
He hugged her closer and kissed her cheek. That wasnt enough for her. She kissed him deeply,
tasting herself on him. She was pressed against him, her breasts flattening against his chest, and
her softness was teasing his erection, making him want to just
Stop he groaned, fighting for control again. Please, he held her a little apart from him. We
need to take this more slowly.
Why? she asked. I thought you liked it hard and fast. She nibbled at his neck and everything
went black for just a second. She would make him come with her teasing soon if he didnt stop
her.
I love it any way I can get it when its with you, he said, making her blush a little. But I had
hoped to last a little longer than three thrusts
She bit her lip, eyeing him as if she were starving and he were a feast. She did it on purpose, he
knew. She loved to make him lose himself in her. There was no greater pleasure for her than when
he couldnt hold back. He knew the feeling. Any other time, he might have let her have her way,
but it was just too damn important tonight.
Please let me do this right, Hermione he said, gently nibbling at her neck and stroking her
arm. I wont have another chance.
Still with the honesty
I cant lie to her.
Youll have as many chances as you want, she breathed, sending a stab of pain through him.
Another reason why I need to do what I need to do. She wont turn me away. Shell be better off
without me, I know it.
Instead of replying, he kissed her again and caressed her breast, slightly pinching her nipple to
make it pucker. Such a lovely, responsive body He removed her bra, which was still caught
under her breasts.
She let her hands slide down to his waistband, but he stopped her.
Not yet, he whispered.
She shook her head. You dont get to decide everything, Draco, she said, before pulling down.
She shook her head. You dont get to decide everything, Draco, she said, before pulling down.
He gasped as he sprang free and the mere brush of her hand almost made him come. He was
much too close. He cursed himself for not having the foresight to ease some of the tension earlier.
But hed never thought hed end up here. With her.
I want you inside of me, she whispered. Now.
Who was he to argue? She was already halfway beneath him, and he shifted so he covered her
body, and then slowly entered her burning heat. He had to take it slow or hed burst. She pulled
up her knees, making it possible for him to enter to the hilt, and he trembled.
Im going to come, he thought. Our last time together and Im going to go off like a virgin.
I cant hold back anymore, he groaned. I-I have to come.
I know, she replied. I want you to.
He shook his head. This is not how I
She pulled his head down and kissed him. Youre sixteen, not a hundred and ten, she
whispered. Youll make it up to me.
He grunted a reply. He would have to. He couldnt stay still anymore, and he knew that as soon as
he moved, he would go over the edge.
He moved.
Merlin, I love you! he exclaimed just before everything disappeared in a burst of intense
pleasure.
If anyone would have told him a year ago that sex could be worth dying for, he would have
laughed at them. If they would have told him that love could be worth dying for, he would have
laughed even harder. If they would have told him that making love to the girl you love would be
the most incredible thing he could ever hope to experience, he would have told them to get lost.
Now, he was fighting to catch his breath after spending himself inside of Hermione, and he knew
that a year ago he had been an idiot.
Hermione was stroking his hair and his back and smiling lazily at him. Her face flushed and her
eyes gleaming wickedly at him, she looked like a cat who had just gotten away with eating a
whole bowl of cream.
I dont get why youre so pleased, he mumbled, a little amused, as he was moving his weight
from her.
I cant tell you why, she replied. Other than I love watching you come.
Just give me a minute and youll get an encore.
She raised an eyebrow. Youll come again in one minute? she asked. That would have to be a
world record.
He scowled at her without any heat, and she laughed at him.
She seems happy, he thought with some surprise.
All right, then, he said, after he had gotten his breath back. Lets see about making it up to
you
He pulled her atop him, savoring the pressure of her body on his and the amount of skin against
skin. He began nibbling at her swollen, tasty, all together kissable, lips. She sighed with
contentment and returned his kisses, deliberately squirming against him, getting him hard in no
time.
Look at that, she teased. And I think we have fifteen seconds to spare
Witch, he muttered, rolling them over, pressing against her, and making her gasp.
Im glad you continue to acknowledge that, she said.
How can I not?
Again, he slid his hand down, but she pushed it away, denying him. Oh, no, you dont!
Well, how can I be sure that youre ready for me, then? he teased.
She placed his hand on her breast instead, effectively distracting him. Just assume that I am.
He smirked. I would never presume to make assumptions
She pushed him back onto his back and swiftly impaled herself, completely taking him by
surprise. His eyes bulged and he moaned at the contact with the searing heat that had made him
come so recently. She had never actually taken control like this before, and he found that he rather
liked it.
She began moving slowly, experimenting, and his eyes drifted shut. She knew just how to drive
him crazy.
Do you like it? she asked, ending her question on a moan as she seemed to rub a particularly
pleasant spot.
Oh, yes, he rasped, opening his eyes to watch her.
She was atop him, the moon bright behind her, flooding them with its light. Her face was flushed,
and her eyes were closed as she moved. She seemed completely oblivious to his presence in this
moment, and he realized that he didnt mind even if she was simply using him for her pleasure.
Funny, he never figured that hed take well to being used by anyone for anythingnot unless he
was using them too. He wasnt using Hermione. The sex was just the only way he knew to get the
intimacy with her that he craved.
She opened her eyes and smirked at him as she quickened her pace, placing her hands on his chest
for support. Since when had she taken to smirking, anyway? His breath was coming faster and
shallower, but he let her set the pace and just ran his hands up her thighs to rest at her waist.
Suddenly, she stopped.
He was about to object when she pushed down a little lower, making him enter her more
completely. He sucked in his breath. Merlin, she was so hot and tight. Being inside of her was like
nothing else. He lifted his hand to fondle her breast, when she slowly began moving her hips in a
circular motion. He saw stars and moaned loudly. He noticed that her smirk had widened.
Stop teasing, Hermione, he said.
Im not teasing; Im savoring, she quipped.
He raised an eyebrow. Using his own words against him, was she? Well, stop savoring!
She slowly moved up, driving him out of his mind, before she stopped and then quickly impaled
herself completely again. She made a sexy little sound, and Draco had had it with the teasing and
flipped her over.
Hey! she halfheartedly objected, giggling a little, but it turned into a gasp and a moan when he
thrust forcefully into her.
I want to feel you he whispered into her ear.
He thrust again, and again, and all playfulness drained from her face, leaving nothing but passion.
He loved that look on her. He could feel her tensing, reaching, and knew that she was close. She
would come again. He caught her lips and thrust his tongue deeply into her mouth, and then she
moaned loudly against him and gripped him tight, lost in her climax.
He was really close himself, but he held back, continuing to move inside her, prolonging her
orgasm.
I love you, she whispered.
Draco felt the shock of the words to his very core, but he couldnt process them; he just felt his
control slip and another taste of ecstasy, as he had to surrender to his own climax.
They had barely gotten their breaths back before he asked Did you mean that?
She was still flushed from their lovemaking, but her cheeks turned a deeper red.
I thought you didnt want to know.
That was before you went ahead and said it anyway.
I-I didnt mean to You cant hold me responsible for what I say when Im
Hermione!
Ok, ok She looked away and then sighed and shrugged. Yes.
He stared at her. He was ecstatic and devastated all at once.
She loves me? Why? What good have I ever done to her?
Hermione squirmed uncomfortably under his gaze. Her cheeks were ablaze, and she didnt seem
to be able to look at him. He realized that he wasnt acting very encouraging. But what was there
to encourage? She shouldnt fall in love with him.
Im sorry, he said, realizing almost immediately that that was the wrong thing to say.
Her eyes filled with tears and she pushed him away.
I didnt ask for your pity! she said in a trembling voice.
No, thats notI meant, Im sorry for how things are, he said, trying to explain. Im sorry that
Im hurting you. Im sorry that Im not a better person to love.
Im sorry that we can still never be together, and that I have to lie to you and betray you.
But are you sorry that I love you? she asked, her voice more steady.
No He pulled her closer. No, he repeated. Im rather happy about that.
He kissed her, and, for a while, nothing else seemed important.
*****
The sun rose much too soon and they began dressing in silence. Eventually, there was no
evidence left of their meeting other than an imprint on the grass where their bed had been. Draco
was staring at it for a second, unable to allow himself to think too much.
You know, Draco Hermione said, breaking the silence. It doesnt have to be this way.
I can answer anything to that and it wont matter. I can hurt her or make her happy.
Everything will be fine, he said, offering a small smile. Dont worry about it.
His own words stabbed at him and he couldnt look at her; instead he carefully folded his spare
cloak.
It had been very selfish and weak of him to even allow this night, but he couldnt feel sorry about
it. It had given him something that he would otherwise never have had.
He didnt have to hurt her with words anymore as long as he convinced her that it was better for
her to keep a distance until he was ready to do what he had to do. It was a cruel and heartless
betrayal, but one that wouldnt hurt either of them for long.
What now, then? she asked, frowning slightly. We go back to the way things were?
Pretty much, he confirmed. Nobody can know. She looked at him and he added, Not yet.
Soon.
I hate lying to her, but I seem to do little else. Im sure she doesnt really love me, she just thinks
she does. She thinks that Im a better person. Shell learn, soon enough.
She nodded, and a few minutes later, she made her way back alone.
The night was over, and with the harsh light of day came the reality crashing back.
*****
Before going back to his dormitory, Draco made a detour to the Potions room to make sure they
had everything cleaned up properlyand to break into Slughorns personal stock. He knew it was
there. He had seen it.
It was, of course, a potion much too dangerous to leave lying around for the students to
accidentally get their hands on, so it was locked away with the other potions and ingredients
deemed unsafe. Draco had watched the fat teacher carelessly charm the cabinet, and he knew how
to get past it without triggering any alarms.
A few minutes later, he was holding the vial of the dark golden liquid.
Looking back into the cabinet, he knew it would be too obvious if it was the only thing missing,
so he carefully put it aside and then smashed the entire row of containers. This was much better.
so he carefully put it aside and then smashed the entire row of containers. This was much better.
They would believe it to be nothing but vandalism, and theyd never figure out what hed taken.
His eyes fell on a vial on another shelf. The antidote. Hed almost forgotten. He reached up and
grabbed it, looked at it for a second, and then he smashed that too.
Now everything was set.
Chapter 15
Hermione had no idea how she should feel. This, in itself, was not really something new, as her
relationship with Draco frequently threw her and turned everything she thought she knew upside
down.
But no matter how she should feel, she felt remarkably happy. Ecstatic even.
He had said he loved her.
She didnt quite understand everything he had done to push her away over the months, but that
didnt matter much now. All that was about to end. Everything that had seemed so dire and
important before was now fading in the light of their love.
Love.
Could it really be? She wasnt deluding herself, was she? She hadnt fallen asleep and was
dreaming up this whole thing? She pinched herself. Ow. No, she was awake, and he had truly said
the words and assured her that everything would be ok, they would be together.
Of course, she knew it wouldnt be easy for him to date a Muggle-born, with his parents and his
House and everything, but somehow everything would work out now. It had to. She couldnt bear
the thought of some stupid prejudices keeping them apart. Not again.
She refused to believe that the danger was as great as Draco had always claimed. It had just been
another way for him to push her away. If there was any danger, then it could be overcome by
contacting the Ordereasy as that! If the Order would accept someone as horrible as Snape, then
surely a repentant Malfoy or two wouldnt make people as much as raise an eyebrow.
She wouldnt acknowledge any obstacles. She wanted happily ever after.
Forever?
Well, nobody could guarantee that, could they? Her logic told her that they were both still very
young and statistically, they were both bound to date several more people before settling down.
Her heart didnt seem to care about the statistics, though. It wanted to conquer all odds and be
with him and nobody else. Who cared about the future; it was the now she had to live in.
And he wanted to be with her too. Right here, right now.
Hermiones heart skipped every time she thought of that.
She hadnt meant to do what she had done. She supposed it was true what they said about full
moons making everyone a little crazy. She had felt the old attraction to him, but he had been so
cold, distant and annoying, and she had assumed that he truly was over her. It had sobered her and
made her focus on the task at hand until she had looked up and caught him gazing at her like that.
He had looked at her with such a pained yearning that it had stolen her breath and her good sense
away.
Of course he had tried to deny it. Tried to get away from her. So she had captivated him the only
way she knew howwith her body.
And it had worked. Merlin, had it worked.
He loved her.
He obviously had never meant to say the words for whatever foolish reasons he had for trying to
resist. He had meant to go on pretending that he didnt care about her, allowing both their hearts to
break in the process.
Ill have to punish him for that.
Hermione smiled. Yes, she definitely had to punish him for trying to deny them both. What
possible reasons could he have that were good enough? None that she could think of. No, hed
had some stupid idea about what would work and what wouldnt work, and he had tried pushing
her away, enforcing his idea that their relationship wouldnt work. Well, he was wrong!
Yeah? And what about punishing him for the fact that he slept with Marilyn Shaw?
The familiar pain twisted her insides and her smile faded. She was fairly certain that it had been
another stupid and desperate scheme of his to push her away. It did hurt, and she did hate that he
would even do this to her, but she wasnt going to allow it to break them apart. She wasnt going
to give up on them. Not this time.
And if he does it again?
If he did it again Then he couldnt really love her, could he? If he did it again, hed prove that
he was incapable of staying faithful and staying in a meaningful relationship. But he wouldnt do
it again. She was sure of that. Wasnt she?
She tamped down her insecurities. It wasnt that she was going to forget this easily, but she had
already decided to forgive, and she refused to let it bother her more than was necessary. It was
necessary to remind herself that she wouldnt tolerate any more infidelity, but it wasnt necessary
to become bitter and suspicious and start chasing shadows.
He had made a mistake. A big mistake, yes, but nevertheless just a mistake.
When shed asked him about it, when they were just lying together at the lake, hed tried to avoid
her questions, but ultimately he had admitted to feeling horrible ever since it had happened. He
had admitted that hed felt it to be a betrayal too, in spite of trying to convince himself at the time
that it didnt matter because they werent really together. Hed said he didnt feel like he could
make any excuses for it, but hed been lonely and miserable, and Shaw had come on to him when
he was feeling particularly vulnerable. Hed said that hed never done anything that he regretted
more.
That helped a tiny bit.
She knew intellectually, of course, that sex wasnt always as intimate and fulfilling as when she
and Draco did it. Yet she had no basis for comparison, did she? In fact, hed had three times the
partners that she had. He had grudgingly admitted that hed only slept with Pansy a couple of
times and not since meeting Hermione, and that he had only been with Shaw that one time. Hed
said that they didnt compare, that nothing was like being with her, but still
No, this was pointless. She believed him when he said he loved her. Merlin knew, hed lied to her
often enough and she had learned to tell the difference. He had been so sincere, so vulnerable, so
sad
Why does loving me make him sad?
Because he didnt believe in them. She had clearly seen what he hadnt tried very hard to hide
even as he reassured her. He didnt believe that they would make it against all odds. He didnt
truly believe that they could be together.
Well, shed show him!
*****
All right, class, let me see what you have to show for it! Slughorn said, and then began making
his way around the room.
It was the second Monday after the full moon, they had Potions again, and Hermione was not
happy. Their project was going very well, to be sure, and they virtually had nothing to do but stir
at it every few days, but Hermiones dissatisfaction was not academic.
It was Draco.
He had not tried to get her alone again, not once. He hadnt smiled at her or talked to her He
barely even looked at her!
She was fairly certain that that wasnt how he was supposed to acteven if they were still
keeping things secret. He had never wanted to keep a distance like this before! Something was
going on that he wasnt telling her about.
And you two? Slughorn asked, surveying the hate potion, which by now mostly resembled
something that someone had already partially digested once. It smelled a little that way too. Ahh,
very good, very good. Yes, the color is just right. He looked at Draco, who was sitting with his
head in his hands, his bored gaze fixed on the cauldron. Perhaps, since this potion requires timing
more than labor, you can use your free time in class to write me an essay on the properties of the
ingredients and the potion itself, yes? He made his way to the next pair.
Bloody brilliant, Draco grumbled, getting out parchment and quills. We get to do extra work.
Well. Hermiones patience was wearing thin. Maybe if you had looked less like you were in a
coma and more like there was an actual use for you, then we wouldnt have to.
He looked taken aback, but then it was as if understanding dawned on him, and he held his
tongue. Hermione knew what conclusion he had drawn and it annoyed her even more. Why was
that always the first conclusion that boys drew? It wasnt as if she was only annoyed with him at
that time of the month! Far from it! And it wasnt that time! She felt like growling at him, but what
was the point? She wouldnt get anything useful from him while anybody else was around.
Instead, she wrote the title of her essay in her neat handwriting, and glanced covertly at him again.
He was scowling at his parchment. Really, sometimes he was just impossible.
The properties of aconite Hermione mused aloud, hoping to get him started.
Also known as Dumbledores Delight, monkshood or wolfsbanenot to be confused with the
potion of the same name. Highly poisonous. Has been known to cure aches, which is kind of
ironic if you think about it Dracos expression hadnt changed in the least and he didnt seem
more than slightly aware of what hed said.
Hermione gaped. Very good! she exclaimed, getting a somewhat confused and annoyed look
from Draco.
I do know things, Granger, he said after a few seconds. Im just not a bloody know-it-all like
you.
She frowned. What was this all about? Why was he acting as if As if
As if they hadnt made love under a full moon.
Right, was all she said, glad that her voice remained steady. Sorry.
She turned back to her parchment, blindly staring at it. Hadnt he meant what hed said that night?
Had he just been playing with her? Did he enjoy hurting her? Was it possible that she had
misunderstood everything that they had together? After all, it wasnt as if she had a lot of
experience with boys. Perhaps all sex really was like what they were doing. Or, maybe
She felt him touch her arm, but didnt look up. He probably needed help with his essay. Well, he
could write his own damn essay.
Im sorry, he whispered. You know I dont mean it.
She ventured a glance at him, but he wasnt looking at her. No, God forbid that anybody might
catch him looking at her and actually talking to her civilly. After all, hed only told her he loved
her a week and a half ago.
Youre overreacting.
Perhaps she was, but she was sick of the hiding and the lying and the pretending. She just wished
that Draco would show some backbone in this matter.
And what if people might really get killed if he did?
She ignored that thought and began writing her essay instead. No matter what, she would still
have to hand this in.
Why havent you tried to see me? she asked a little later in a calm and steady voice.
He jerked and quickly glanced around the room. Merlin, Granger. Not here!
She didnt look up. She knew nobody was within earshot. The only thing people might notice is
you being skittish and acting as if something is out of the ordinary.
He blushed. Hermione looked over at Harry, who had indeed seen and was raising an eyebrow at
her, but she simply shook her head, dismissing his questions.
Look, Im just not comfortable talking about it here, Draco said. Cant it wait?
If you regret what happened by the lake Hermione couldnt keep a slight tremble out of her
voice at the last word. All you had to do was say so. Id understand. No, she wouldnt. But it
would have been a lot kinder than leading her on.
Regret? he asked incredulously. Merlin, I dont He broke off and lowered his voice, which
had risen. Hermione, I dont regret it.
She glanced at him. He looked sincere. She relaxed a bit.
Im just not he continued. You have to give me time to get things sorted. You said that you
were good with this. If you arent, then Ill Ill understand. I wont force you to stay with me.
There was a flicker of something in his eyes that Hermione couldnt clearly decipher. Sadness?
Hope, of all things? Something else entirely?
Of course Im staying, she muttered. I just wish youd seem happy about that.
Of course Im staying, she muttered. I just wish youd seem happy about that.
Then please dont be like this, he said, looking away. Soon, none of all this will matter.
*****
Draco wasnt the only person who had changed. Ginny, who had been treating Hermione as if she
had dragon pox ever since shed caught her with Draco, was suddenly acting as if nothing had
happened. Hermione didnt know how to react to that.
Shed tried broaching the subject without actually mentioning it, but Ginny had just said I dont
really know why I got so mad at you. Im really sorry. Cant we just forget it? and Hermione had
agreed. She didnt enjoy being at odds with her friend and was glad it was over.
They were having dinner in the Great Hall and Hermiones eyes kept darting back to the Slytherin
table.
Why is he talking to her?
Draco was sitting next to Shaw and they seemed to be having an animated discussion, maybe
even an argument. For the life of her, Hermione couldnt figure out what it was that he needed to
speak to her about. She didnt like him being around the girl hed slept with and who he
supposedly didnt want to sleep with again.
The jealousy was eating away at her and she saw no reason to deny it or even hide it very well.
Draco looked up and caught her eye and he went very still, just looking at her for a second. Then
he quickly glanced around and shook his head slightly as if to say that it was nothing.
Hermione narrowed her eyes. She decided when it was something.
Abruptly he stood, and with a final glance at Hermione, he hauled Shaw to her feet and took off
with her.
What? Surely, taking off with Shaw to where she couldnt see what they were doing wasnt
supposed to help anything?
They deserve each other, Ginny said, having followed Hermiones look.
W-what?
Hes a total git and shes a total slut. I hope they live unhappily ever after. Ginnys voice and
eyes held no malice or I-told-you-so; she was just stating what she considered a fact.
Hermione stared at her, feeling rather hurt. What kind of a thing was this to rub in her face when
she knew?
Ginny, however, just continued eating as if nothing was out of the ordinary.
Hermione got up. I have to go, she muttered and then she proceeded to her dormitory as fast as
she could without drawing attention to herself.
*****
It was exactly two weeks after their little adventure at the lake, when Draco finally sought her out
a couple of days later. Hermione was hurt and angry that it had taken him so long to bother. There
hadnt been as much as a touch or a kiss in two whole weeks. She should turn him down. She
really should.
Yet, when he suggested that she met him outside that afternoon, in a secluded spot just at the edge
of the Forbidden Forest, she found herself accepting.
After all, she could always give him a piece of her mind then. And she did.
What are you doing with Shaw? she demanded as soon as she got there.
Draco forgot to look nervous and twitchy long enough to scowl at her. You know you have no
reason to be jealous.
Do I, then? she demanded. I suppose its normal to accept that your boyfriend? The word
stuck in her throat. He still wasnt really, was he? lover is going off with the girl he cheated on
you with.
I needed to talk to her, ok? And you were giving everything away with the way you were
looking at us.
Needed to talk to her about what?
He opened his mouth as if to reply, but there wasnt a sound. Finally, he said, Ill tell you later.
But its not what you think. Please, can we not fight?
Why? She wanted to fight, damn him.
He smiled cynically. Because its my birthday?
Hermione gaped at him, all accusations forgotten. Y-you didnt tell me.
Im telling you now.
Its a bit late, isnt it? I didnt get you anything.
Who needs things? he asked, moving closer to her. Youre all that I want
His words, the way he looked at her Even if tinged with sadness, it was the old Draco, the one
she had fallen so hopelessly in love with. She felt her resolve melting away. She knew there were
issues that they had to work at, but they didnt have to do it right here, right now. It was his
birthday and he was spending it with her.
She offered him a shy smile and said, Happy birthday, Draco, before pulling his head down for
a kiss.
He pulled her closer, enveloping her in his arms. She sighed with contentment at the contact. In
spite of just having yelled at him, there was no place shed rather be. His lips slowly caressed hers.
It was a gentle kiss, full of affection rather than passion. It wasnt anything like his normal kisses,
but she liked it a lot. She felt treasured. She felt cared for.
She felt special.
She caressed the seam of his lips with the tip of her tongue and he shivered, breaking the kiss,
before hesitantly pulling back.
She was a little confused. Why had he broken the kiss when it was just getting nice? Surely he
expected more for his birthday than just a chaste kiss and she would be more than happy to oblige.
He pulled out a flask.
Whats that? she asked.
His lip twisted. Its not pumpkin juice.
I didnt think you drink.
I dont, he said weighing the flask in his hand. But a boys got to be allowed to do something
different for his seventeenth, right?
She glanced towards the castle. Nobody would see them here. That was the exact reason why
hed chosen this spot for their meeting. They were hidden by a few trees at the top of a slope that
went down towards the lake.
He looked at her for a second and then sighed. Should have known that youd be the
consummate prefect. Youll probably be Head Girl of the Century next year.
Hermione was feeling a bit miffed at his unfair characterization of her. Would the consummate
prefect have been fooling around with you all year?
Then please share a birthday drink with me? he asked, offering it to her.
She accepted the flask and took a big gulp. It was firewhisky as she had suspected and it burned.
It also had a slight aftertaste that she couldnt quite define. She took another swig and had to
steady herself with a hand on a tree trunk as the world became unfocused for a second.
Thats enough, I think, he said hoarsely, reaching to take the flask from her.
She looked at him, shocked to see pain in his eyes, and jerked the flask out of his reach.
Something was off. The world became unfocused again, and she knew that it wasnt just the
firewhisky. She hadnt reacted like this the last time.
What did you do to me? she whispered.
I-I He didnt seem able to actually reply, and he shook his head. Nothing, Hermione. Itll be
ok.
Dont lie to me! she shrieked as she was now feeling a little sick and her head had started
pounding. Did youdid you poison me? You did, didnt you? Her eyes filled with tears.
His eyes widened. Merlin, no! Id never hurt you like that. Im not a complete His voice
faltered and he reached for the flask again. Again, she snatched it away from him.
Then what did you do to me?
He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Im making you forget.
WHAT? She stared at him as if hed grown an extra head.
He opened his eyes and they were troubled, but conviction shone in them. Im making you forget
about us.
Y-youre Obliviating me? After everything that had happened between them? Everything
theyd shared?
Its not exactly the same, he explained. His voice was calm and distant. How could he be calm?
How could he do this to her? The Obliviation Spell is more than I dared pull off and its designed
to cut out chunks of your memory. I couldnt risk that you forgot about my existence entirely as
to cut out chunks of your memory. I couldnt risk that you forgot about my existence entirely as
someone was bound to find that out and cure you. With this potion I could make you forget that
we ever his voice broke and he cleared his throat that you ever slept with me that night and
anything to do with our personal relationship, and still keep day to day memories of me.
What night? To her great horror she realized the potion had started working and certain memories
were getting harder to conjure. NO!
What he was doing to her cut at her and tore her heart in pieces. The tears spilled over and she
couldnt hold back a sob. S-so you planned this for a long time? she asked, without needing an
answer. You knew you were going to poison me, violate my memories He made a sound of
objection, but she ignored it. And still you kissed me and told me th-that you l-loved me She
covered her mouth with her hand as she tried to regain some control over her trembling body.
Hermione, its not like that. It wasnt a lie. He seemed desperate and frantic. Please, Hermione,
its why I have to
STOP saying my name! she yelled. You dont get to say my name like you care, anymore!
Raw grief had taken over and she could feel nothing but an excruciating pain.
He never really loved me. He tricked me. Im such a fool for thinking that he could ever love me.
He still thinks that Im a Mudblood, that Im beneath his notice Ive been such a fool.
His face became stony. No, youre right. I dont, he quietly said. Please give me the potion
Granger.
She stared at the flask in her hand and realization dawned on her. You plan on taking it, too,
dont you? You plan on forgetting your Mudblood affair! Promptly she turned it upside down
and started pouring it onto the ground.
NO! He lunged for her, but she threw the flask as far as she could, and it tumbled down the
slope, spilling its contents. He stared after it, a look of hopelessness on his face as he realized he
couldnt salvage any of it, before he turned to her and grabbed her shoulders. Do you have any
idea what youve done? he choked out. Do you have any idea what Again, his voice broke
and he seemed unable to finish. Youre punishing me for everything by making me remember? Is
that it?
I loved you! she said, making him flinch. And you did this to me. You RAPED my MIND!
she pulled free of his grasp and glared at him through her tears.
She briefly considered if there would be an antidote, but she knew there wouldnt. If there had
ever been one, he would have gotten rid of it. He wouldnt do this without making sure that it was
irreversible. That was why he had stayed away for so long. He had been plotting and planning.
I had to do it, he said, the remorse plain on his face. I had no choice. Its the only way for us to
go on the way we have to. We couldnt have been together, Hermione. It just couldnt be.
Because you are a coward and refused to ever give it a chance! she railed, her tears refusing to
stop pouring. She hated that he saw her weakness, but she supposed it didnt matter because in a
few minutes shed forget.
Thats not why! he yelled in frustration. You dont understand!
Then why dont you make me understand?
He pulled up his left sleeve. Look!
She looked at his arm and then up again, uncomprehending.
No, Hermione, he said. Look!
She looked again and something flickered. She wiped at her eyes to clear her vision, and then she
saw it.
The Dark Mark.
She gasped and stumbled backwards. H-how can it be? How long?
All year. Youre the only one Ive had to hide it from, nobody else whos seen me without my
robes minded. In fact, I bet thats what did it for them. And you a simple glamour charm was all
it took, because you never even suspected.
She turned away from him and gave in to her nausea. He just stood there, his face turned slightly
to the side, looking crushed and bitter. Finally, her stomach was empty, but her body wouldnt
stop jerking and shuddering. She leaned against a tree to compose herself.
Hed been a full-fledged Death Eater all year. All the times they had been together. She had
known that he had different views than she, but she had thought him to be basically decent. She
had believed she could turn him around. She hadnt thought him incapable of such cruelty. But
then again, hadnt he proved over and over that he was perfectly capable of being cruel? Hadnt
he been cruel to her time and again?
Still, wasnt he a bit too young to have gotten the recognition that the Mark was to his kind?
I knew youd never accept me when you found out who I was, he said in a hoarse and strained
voice. We never had a chance.
Youre right. Her voice was trembling and he flinched as if shed slapped him. If that is indeed
who you are, then we wouldnt. If your idea of a good time is to murder and rape innocents, then
we are incompatible. She had to focus her thoughts now; they seemed to want to slip every time
they turned to him and their relationship.
Hell murder me and my family if I dont do what he says, he said, sounding as if he was
pleading with her to understand. What did it matter? In a few minutes she would forget and shed
never ever know the difference. In fact, I have virtually no chance of surviving the summer, he
continued. If I tried to be with you, hed murder you too.
So, you just decided that I couldnt be allowed to remember you anymore. Her voice was dull,
lifeless.
Now, if you have to fight me You can.
She glared at him. As if I would ever have fought you! You are a conceited bastard and the most
spoiled brat I have had the misfortune to meet, but youve always been all bark and no bite.
Its not true, Hermione he began, but was cut off.
Then why not just let him kill me? Or do it yourself?
Just because I love you doesnt mean that I wont kill others. I will. I have to.
The Order will help you. They can protect you. Its not too late.
It is too late. They cant protect me and they certainly wont protect my father, even if he wanted
them to.
Your father is in Azkaban, he hardly needs protection from Voldemort there.
Draco flinched slightly at the name. You have no idea how powerful the Dark Lord is, my love.
My love.
Im obviously not your love, she whispered. So dont call me that.
He looked disconsolate. But you are. At least, until he swallowed and looked away. Until
you forget.
She shook her head. You wouldnt do this to someone you l-love She was having problems
holding on to her anger as her heartbreak was taking over again, and more and more memories
were slipping from her mind.
Draco didnt seem like he would reply, but then he said, Instead of sacrificing your life for our
relationship, I sacrificed our relationship for your life. How can you say that I dont love you?
Others know, she said. How will you keep Ginny from telling me.
Its already taken care of. I slipped her the potion days ago.
Days ago. When shed suddenly become friendly again.
Shaw she began.
Yesterday. Thats what we were fighting about when you saw us. She didnt want her mind
manipulated any more than you did. In the end she gave in.
She gave in or you forced her? she asked bitterly.
I forced her to give in, he said coldly.
Like you did me?
No I tricked you.
She slapped him. It was one last desperate effort to hurt him the way he was hurting her. When he
recovered, she slapped him again on the other cheek.
He grabbed her and forced a kiss on her. It was violent and bruising and passionate and
exquisite. She clung to him, answering the kiss, tasting tears. His or hers?
Perhaps I wont forget. Perhaps if he keeps kissing me like this, it wont take effect.
It was as if a fog lifted and she gasped, a pair of arms suddenly letting her go.
When she gathered her wits, she frowned and looked around to see Malfoy standing there, his
back turned. He was gazing away from her. He seemed to be trembling a bit.
W-what am I doing here? she asked him.
Beats me, Granger, he said in a voice barely more than a whisper. But you caught me.
Caught you?
He gestured towards something lying in the grass further down the hill. Celebrating. Apparently
you dont think a boy should be allowed a drink on his own birthday. His voice was bitter, as if
she had denied him Paradise itself.
He didnt quite look at her and he looked sad. No, not sad. Miserable. And lonely. Perhaps
there had been more to why he had wanted the drink than what he let on. Why couldnt she
remember?
Did you hex me, Malfoy? she asked suspiciously.
He shot her a glance. Hex you? Now, why would I do that? he asked.
She sniffed. They both knew perfectly well that if there was any way he could bother her, he
would.
He shook his head. No, no need to hex you. A good push down this slope, on the other hand
youd break your scrawny neck and nobody would be the wiser.
His words had no heat and he was surprisingly unconvincing.
Are you ok? she softly asked, making him start and glare at her. His eyes were red-rimmed. She
wondered what had happened to him.
Im fine, he sneered. I dont need some little Mudblood trying to mother me.
She folded her arms across her chest. Fine, Malfoy, whatever you say, she said, abandoning
being nice to him. I wont give you detention since this is your birthday, but at least try and
behave.
She turned her back on him and walked away.
*****
Where have you been, Hermione? Harry asked, a little concerned, when she reached the
Gryffindor common room. You just took off.
Hermione shrugged. I went for a walk and Malfoy was being a prat as usual. I swear, one of
these days his attitude will backfire.
Id be careful of him, Hermione. His actions are very suspicious lately; we dont know exactly
what hes up to and why. You cant be sure that hes not a Death Eater.
Hermione shook her head. I dont think he is. We dont know everything there is to know about
him, Harry. Even he has his own problems.
She couldnt shake the image of how unhappy hed looked as she had left him behind.
Please drop by the archive and comment to let the author know if you enjoyed their work!