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If

It Kills Me
by Hidge

Hermione has returned to Hogwarts for her 7th year but things have changed since
the fall of Voldemort, including Malfoy. The relationship that develops between her
and Malfoy is one that she would have never expected, and one that complicates
everything.
Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Drama - Draco M., Hermione G. - Chapters:
31 - Words: 101,253 - Reviews: 901 - Favs: 1,624 - Follows: 621 - Updated:
6/2/2011 - Published: 10/10/2009 - Status: Complete - id: 5433025
URL: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5433025
Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21
Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Epilogue
Chapter 1
A/N: This fic does follow the events of the series and takes place after DH. It
does have your typical story line of Hermione and Malfoy as Head Girl and
Head Boy, but I promise that its different and interesting. This is my first
attempt at a Harry Potter fic and I hope that you guys like it. Happy reading!! :)

Disclaimer: I do not own anything belonging to the Harry Potter universe.

Chapter 1

September – Hogwarts Express

Hermione Granger could not believe that both Harry and Ron had neglected to
return to Hogwarts for their final year of magical education. After the Battle of
Hogwarts the school had agreed, under the leadership of Headmistress Minerva
McGonagall, that all students should be given the opportunity to repeat the year that
was interrupted by the Death Eater influence. So, Hermione received an official letter
confirming that she was enrolled as a seventh year student at Hogwarts School of
Witchcraft and Wizardry and that she had the honorary position of Head Girl. She, of
course, jumped at the opportunity to finish her education, but she was returning to
Hogwarts with a heavy heart. Her best friend and boyfriend were war heroes who
were welcomed into Auror training with open arms and applause. Hell, they had
seen more then enough dark magic to bypass the training process if they chose to,
but Harry and Ron wanted to return to normalcy, and that meant completing the
training process like every other Auror in the department. Well, Harry did, at least.
Ron enjoyed the fame and glory just a tad bit more then his dark haired best mate.
She just didn't know what they were going to do without her. Who was going to get
them out of trouble? Who was going to help Ron with his essays? And what was she
going to do without them?

Fortunately, a few friends from her year including a good portion of Dumbledore's
Army, were returning, such as Neville Longbottom, Dean Thomas, Hannah Abbott,
Seamus Finnigan, Lavender Brown, and the Patil twins, Padma and Parvati. Ginny
Weasley and Luna Lovegood were also returning as sixth years. She knew that the
separation from Ron and Harry would be just as hard on Ginny, but both promised to
frequently send owls to the two most important women in their lives.

After changing into her school robes, complete with her new, gleaming Head Girl
badge, she found the train cart that Ginny, Luna, and Lavender were occupying. She
set down the cage that she was carrying and let Crookshanks out of his confines.
"Hello Hermione," Luna greeted her pleasantly. "How was your summer?"

"Wonderful," she answered smiling. She had located her parents in Australia and
had lifted the Memory Charm. The three of them had spent time together on the
beautiful beaches of Australia before returning to England where she visited The
Burrow. "Yours?"

"Wonderful as well, as I said in my letters, my father and I rebuilt his statue of


Rowena Ravenclaw."

Hermione chuckled to herself. She and Luna shared very few ideas, but she was a
loyal friend. She turned from Luna to Ginny and frowned. The youngest Weasley
looked upset and she could only assume it was because she was separated from
Harry.

"And how was your summer, Lavender?" Hermione asked after a moment of
contemplation, deciding it would be best if she spoke to Ginny in private.

"It was relaxing," she chuckled. "Thank goodness."

Hermione smiled. She had gotten over her dislike for Lavender. She was aware that
it had only stemmed from jealously from when she and Ron had briefly dated.

Their polite conversation was interrupted by a group of loud and excited first years
who were running up the aisle. "My Mum was in Hufflepuff, so that's where I'll be!"
One young, male voice stated enthusiastically.

"Well, I wanna be in Ravenclaw!" Another voice, this one female, spoke eagerly.

"No! We're gonna be in Gryffindor!" A third voice piped in, another male. "Just like
Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger!"

The three eleven-year-olds stopped in their tracks and stared with open mouths at
the four young women who sat in the cart. "Can we sit here?" The girl asked shyly.
She was very petite with long, blonde hair and a cherubic face. Both of the boys
were gangly but one had messy, golden brown hair while the other had sleek, dark
hair. All three children had already changed into their school robes.

"Sure," Luna replied kindly. She moved closer to Lavender and Hermione scooted
closer to Ginny. The two boys sat on the bench with Luna and Lavender while the
small girl tentatively took a seat next to Hermione and Crookshanks. Luna smiled
friendlily before making introductions, "Hi, I'm Luna, and this is Lavender, Hermione,
and Ginny. What are your names?" After asking her question, Luna's gaze wandered
and her eyes were unfocused. No doubt she was thinking about something
ridiculous like nargals. The younger children looked slightly confused by her change
in demeanour.

The dark haired boy answered. "I'm Daniel, and this is Henry and Rebecca."

"You guys are war heroes!" The messy haired boy, Henry, blurted out as he stared at
Hermione.

Hermione smiled awkwardly and flushed in response. It looked like they were going
to have their very own Colin Creevey.

-()-()-()--()-()-()--()-()-()-

Draco Malfoy sat quietly in his train cart with his head leaning against the glass
window. He was sitting in a cart surrounded by his long-time friends, Blaise Zabini,
Theodore Nott, and Gregory Goyle, but he was in no mood to talk. Actually, he was
rarely in a mood to talk to anyone. He had spent his summer in his room of the
magically reconstructed Malfoy Manor. He only left his room for meals and to say
goodnight to his mother. It was the least that he could do for his mother after she had
risked everything, lying to the Dark Lord, in order to find him in Hogwarts. It was his
mother's love for him that allowed the Malfoy family to escape imprisonment in
Azkaban. Even though his mother had never been a Death Eater herself, as she had
not been branded by the Dark Lord, he and his father had been. In fact the Dark
Mark on his left arm was currently being hidden by a very powerful Concealment
Charm.

He glanced down at the Head Boy badge pinned to his robes and grimaced.
McGonagall was really taking a risk with him, a point that she had highly emphasized
to him in his Hogwarts letter. He remembered her exact phrasing: "Draco Malfoy, if
you step even one foot out of line, I will not hesitate to expel you." He was without a
doubt the most magically gifted male prefect but he was the "bad" guy. He knew that
students, parents, and teachers alike would be appalled by his accepted return to
Hogwarts, but he had changed. He had retained some of his arrogance and feelings
of superiority, but he had watched the torture and murder of innocent witches and
wizards at the hands of the Dark Lord and his followers. He had seen the Dark Lord
take over his home, bully his father and mother, and he himself had committed
unforgivable acts in the Dark Lord's name out of fear for his family and himself.

You cannot remain the same after witnessing, firsthand, the rise and fall of He-Who-
Must-Not-Be-Named.

"Draco, why are you so quiet?" A female voice questioned, clearly in an effort to
sound sexy.

He groaned internally. When had Pansy Parkinson entered their cart? He did not
want to deal with her right now, of all people. She had badgered him enough over
the summer via owl. Along with his newfound set of morals and beliefs, he had lost
all interest in his on-again-off-again Slytherin girlfriend. She was whiny and annoying
and he hardly found her physically attractive anymore. His tastes had changed.

"Not now, Pansy," he growled.

Blaise looked up from the book that he was reading and glanced over at his best
mate. There was a very perceptible change in Draco Malfoy, which he found odd
because Malfoys didn't change.

"Drakie," Pansy cooed and the young Malfoy subtly rolled his eyes. "I'm so excited
that you're going to have your own private quarters this year. Aren't you excited?"

Malfoy simply shrugged.

"Well, he'll have to share a common room with the Head Girl," Nott pointed out. "Do
you know who it is?" He asked curiously.

He shook his head but Blaise answered for him. "Is there any doubt?" He snapped
his book shut. "It has to be Granger. She's the top of our year and the most brilliant
witch of our generation, according to Witch Weekly," he added with a classic
Slytherin smirk.

"That bucktooth, frizzy haired prude cannot be Head Girl!" Pansy stated angrily.

"She hasn't been bucktooth since fourth year," Blaise replied matter-of-factly.

Malfoy ignored the small argument that was taking place and turned to Blaise. "She's
back?" He asked interestedly. He knew that Potter and Weasley were in Auror
training and surely they couldn't be separated from their Gryffindor princess, could
they?

"I assume," Blaise responded simply.

"She is," Goyle reassured. "I saw the Mudblood board the train."

"Don't use that word," Blaise spoke through gritted teeth. The Zabini family had
never publicly, or privately, supported the Dark Lord and his views on blood purity, so
the occupants of the train cart were not blown away by Blaise's comment. The
surprise however was that Blaise was saying exactly what Malfoy was thinking. That
word now sent chills down his spine. Whenever that word was spoken it brought him
back to his home when Hermione Granger was tortured by his Aunt Bellatrix. The
memory filled his stomach with a sick, sinking feeling.

Luckily, the tension in the train cart was interrupted. "Anything from the trolley,
dears?" The elderly lady asked pleasantly.

"Please," Draco sighed in relief as he rose to his feet. "Two chocolate frogs," he
requested as he pulled change from the pocket of his robes. When she handed him
the two pentagon boxes he replied with a polite, "Thank you." Maybe some
chocolate would calm his nerves.

-()-()-()--()-()-()--()-()-()-

The Great Hall

The Great Hall of Hogwarts was buzzing with energy. All of the first years had been
sorted and now were sitting at their respective house tables eating supper. Hermione
ate while having pleasant conversation with her fellow Gryffindors. It felt good to be
back in school. But throughout the course of her meal, her eyes kept landing on a
certain blonde Slytherin. She couldn't believe that he was back; however, she felt
there was a different air about him. She wondered if others noticed it too. He looked
much older then his actual eighteen years and he appeared drained and battle worn,
not unlike Harry. But he was Malfoy. Just uttering his name made her flush with
anger. And noticing the Head Boy badge on his robes did not help her temper. She
would have to share her living space with him. That thought alone made her wish
she still had a room in Gryffindor Tower. He was going to make her final year a living
hell, she just knew it.

After supper she led the first year Gryffindors to their new home before making her
way to the Heads' common room. She reached the appropriate portrait of a pleasant
wizard and whispered the password that Professor McGonagall had given her. The
portrait swung open and she stepped inside.

The Heads' common room was breathtaking. It was spacious and the design,
architecture, and colors were a blend of Slytherin and Gryffindor. The walls were a
rich oak color, like those in Gryffindor Tower, while the floor was black marble, like
the floors in the Slytherin dungeons. The windows were high arched with alternating
scarlet and emerald green drapes. The common room would be well lit on a bright
sunny day. Like every common room there was a fireplace, yet this was elegant,
made of granite with a rug with the crests of the Slytherin and Gryffindor Houses
superimposed over each other. There were two large sofas that faced each other
and two large wing backed chairs, and they were a neutral snow white in color. On
the right side of the common room was a doorway that led to a spiral staircase and
on the left side there was a doorway leading to another spiral staircase, but this one
led downwards. Next to the doorway on the right there was a sparkling placard that
read Head Girl: Hermione Granger. Even the placement of their rooms was a
reflection of their houses. Her room was a high tower whereas his was down in the
ground like a dungeon.

Malfoy was nowhere in sight so she excitedly ran up the staircase and reached the
door to her room. She opened the door and gasped in awe. Her room was perfect.
The focal point of the room was a large, four-poster bed complete with a comforter
that had a proud lion adorning it. There was also a bedside table, a big work desk,
and bookshelves. She could finally have her own private study space. She walked
around the room and gently brushed a hand over her dresser and wardrobe. Her
room really was perfect and to top things off, a door on her right led to her own
bathroom and everything was decorated in Gryffindor colors. Professor McGonagall
had thought of everything for her.

Her trunk was sitting at the foot of her bed, waiting to be unpacked, and
Crookshanks had already made himself comfortable on an ottoman in the corner.

She was going to enjoy having her own room. Maybe all the pros of being Head Girl
would outweigh the cons of living with Malfoy.

She sighed as she remembered that she had hallway patrols to attend to before she
could settle into her room. It was just one of her many Head Girl duties. She left her
room and locked the door behind her. She entered the common room and there was
still no sign of Malfoy. Maybe he was down in his room sulking, or in the Slytherin
dungeons brooding, or with his awful girlfriend Pansy Parkinson. It didn't matter to
her as long as he didn't neglect his patrols.

She left the common room through the portrait and began her patrol by walking back
towards the Entrance Hall. The halls were quiet because most of the students were
already in their dormitories, or at least in their own common rooms. But she did hear
muffled voices yelling.

She quickened her step as she grasped her wand through her robes, a natural
instinct.

"Go back to the dungeons! You slimy Slytherin!"

She frowned as she heard two boys snickering and one sobbing. She was about to
intervene but Malfoy bet her to the punch, so she remained in the shadows. She was
curious to see how he would handle the situation. His tall, lean frame towered over
the two boys that she recognized as Gryffindor second years. She was ashamed to
see how they were acting.

"Go back to your rooms!" He ordered menacingly.

The two Gryffindors ran in the opposite direction. They knew not to mess with Draco
Malfoy.

Hermione watched in amazement as Malfoy knelt down in front of the boy that she
recognized from the Sorting Hat Ceremony. He was very small for his age and he
had shoulder length, dark hair, and glasses. "I don't wanna be in Slytherin," the boy
sobbed.

She fully prepared herself to step in. She was afraid that Malfoy would yell at the
small first year about pureblood Slytherin nonsense or something as equally
distasteful. But once again he surprised her by speaking in an uncharacteristically
soft voice, "What's your name?"

"Jeffrey," he sniffed.

"Jeffrey, I'm Draco, and you should be proud to be a Slytherin."

'Here he goes,' thought Hermione.

"Slytherins are cunning, ambitious, and clever, and we're a very close house. You
won't be left out, don't worry. And Severus Snape, one of the bravest and most
talented wizards in history was a Slytherin."

Hermione couldn't believe that she was hearing Malfoy speak in a soothing,
comforting voice.

"Yeah, my Mum told me about him. He was a Slytherin," the boy repeated through
small sobs.

"Yeah, he was, and if you ever want to talk about other great Slytherins then you can
come and talk to me," Malfoy offered kindly.

"I can?" Jeffrey asked in surprise.

Malfoy nodded. "Yeah, just find me, and if you can't find me, then find Blaise Zabini,
he's a good bloke, and he'll help you find me."
"Okay," Jeffrey smiled weakly.

"Okay, now you can go on back to your room. Do you remember the way?" Jeffrey
nodded. "Okay, then I'll see you at breakfast."

Jeffrey turned and started to walk slowly towards the dungeons. Malfoy stood up and
brushed off his robes. He stayed a fair distance behind Jeffrey but made sure that
the boy made it to the entrance to the Slytherin common room without any more
incidents.

Hermione stayed rooted to her spot. She could not believe what she had just
witnessed. Malfoy had been kind, understanding, and down right sweet. What the
bloody hell was going on?

A/N: Review and tell me what you think. I need feedback!!!! lol.
Chapter 2
A/N: Thanks for the reviews, alerts, and favourites!! I forgot to mention two
things in the note for the beginning of the fic, 1) I will be posting once a week
on either Saturday or Sunday. 2) This story will eventually be rated M.

Disclaimer: Same as chapter 1.

Chapter 2

The Great Hall

Malfoy sat at the Slytherin House table and immediately dug into his breakfast. He
was starving and tired. After returning from his patrols last night, he had unpacked
his trunk, and promptly gotten into bed. He had had difficulty sleeping, as he did
every night. His sleep was frequently plagued by nightmares, a fact that nobody
knew.

His peaceful breakfast was interrupted by a shrill, feminine voice. "Good morning
Drakie, you look so handsome this morning."

He looked the same as he did every bloody morning! He was wearing his school
uniform and robes and his white-blonde hair was perfectly in place. Pansy was
desperately seeking his attention by complimenting him, but it did feel good to have
his ego stroked.

"Morning Pansy," he forced out. She began to run her fingers through his hair and he
resisted the urge to violently strike her hand away. That would cause too much of a
scene. His fellow Slytherins would wonder what was wrong with him, and sadly
enough he valued his reputation. The Slytherins respected him and he would keep it
that way for as long as he could. And Pansy was a pureblood from a reasonably
wealthy family; the type of woman that he was supposed to marry upon his
graduation from Hogwarts; his father's words, not his. He knew that if he offended
Pansy it would somehow get back to his father and his father's views had not
changed since the fall of the Dark Lord. He was still the cruel, angry, blood
supremacist that he always had been and did not give a second thought about
torturing his own son because he was not living up to the Malfoy name.
Unpredictably, the Malfoy name still meant something in the wizarding world,
particularly in Knockturn Alley. Some followers of the Dark Lord, besides his father,
had escaped sentences to Azkaban and they wanted revenge more then anything.
And he was supposed to be a leader in this revenge plot as the Malfoy heir.
His reverie was interrupted by his best mate sitting down next to him with his book
bag slung over his shoulder. "Excited for class, Zabini?" Goyle snickered from across
the table.

"You're such a git Goyle, at least I'll pass my N.E.W.T.s," Blaise retorted.

Goyle's grin fell and Malfoy laughed. "What classes are you taking, Blaise?"

"Charms, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Transfiguration, Herbology, Arithmancy,


Potions, and Astronomy." Blaise Zabini was a gifted wizard, one of the brightest of
their year, and he was a Slytherin prefect. He was a sixth generation pureblood and
his mother was a beautiful and talented witch. But Blaise knew that he did not have
the pressure put on him to excel and lead like Draco did. "What about you Draco?"

"Charms, Potions, D.A.D.A., Transfiguration, Herbology, Ancient Runes, and History


of Magic," he answered as he continued to pick at his breakfast. Potions was his
best, and by far favourite subject, and despite what most students thought, it did not
have to do with his deceased godfather. Sure Snape had favoured Slytherins but his
talent at Potions was all his own.

"Oh, that's wonderful Draco!" Pansy squealed. "We have all our classes together
again!"

Malfoy gritted his teeth together in annoyance. Now, Pansy wasn't the sharpest tool
in the shed, but she had done enough on her O.W.L.s in fifth year to ensure that they
would have the same classes for their last two years. He had forgotten about that
fact until this very moment. This time last year, he would have been thrilled, but now
he was downright infuriated.

"Look! Look!" He heard excited first years yell.

He looked around to see what all the commotion was about and realized that the
post was here. He watched as dozens of owls flew over the four house tables
dropping letters and packages. The muggle-born first years were astonished by the
sight. He noticed a sleek, charcoal grey owl fly towards him and he recognized it
immediately. It was the Malfoy family owl, Byron. He dropped a package on top of
Draco's empty plate before quickly flying off. It was a care package from his mother
consisting of homemade sweets and his wizard chess set, which he had accidentally
left home. It also held a letter congratulating him once again on becoming Head Boy,
asking him how people were treating him so far, as she expected some animosity,
and inquiring about who was Head Girl.

He grabbed the package that his mother had sent him and rose to his feet. "I should
go and get my things together for first-period Ancient Runes," he stated before
leaving the table and swiftly striding out of the Great Hall.

When he reached the Heads' common room he was surprised to see Granger
emerging from the doorway to her room with her bag, no doubt full of heavy books,
in tow. He stood frozen, he wasn't sure how to address her and this was the first time
that he had run into the Head Girl.

Hermione was startled to see the figure of Draco Malfoy but she was determined not
to let him ruin her jovial mood. She had gotten a letter from Ron this morning.
"Malfoy," she acknowledged him brusquely as she headed for the portrait.

"Hey, wait a second, Granger," he called out without thinking and immediately
regretted it; she was going to chew him out for sure.

Hermione reluctantly turned around. Even after seeing his tender display last night
with the emotional first year, she still wanted absolutely nothing to do with Draco
Malfoy, and why would she? He detested Ron. He loathed Harry. And he hated her.
He had been in Voldemort's inner circle. He had disarmed Dumbledore. He had
indentified them at Malfoy Manor and had attempted to kill her and Ron at Hogwarts
while trying to capture Harry. Despite all of that, they had saved his life. But he
wasn't even worth her time. "What do you want Malfoy?" She asked angrily and with
an expression that the Slytherins would be proud of.

He took a deep breath. She had no idea how much of his pride he was swallowing
by saying this. "Thank you for saving my life. I was hoping that we could be civil to
each other this year, at least privately."

She almost wanted to ask him if she had heard him correctly. Was he saying that he
wanted to be civil to her? "As in no more comments about me being a bushy haired,
prissy, know-it-all Mudblood?" She asked suspiciously.

"As long as I'm no longer an arrogant, chauvinistic, smarmy ferret."

"Oh but Malfoy, you are all those things," she said while smiling too sweetly.

He resisted the urge to retaliate. In reality, he had always enjoyed arguing with her.
She could get so riled up very easily. "Fine," he replied coldly, "don't accept my
chivalrous offer. I thought that that would appeal to a Gryffindor."

"Okay Malfoy," Hermione sighed heavily. "I suppose that I can tolerate you as long
as you don't behave like a prat."
She turned and left through the portrait before he had a chance to respond. He
smiled to himself before going down to his bedroom to gather his books and drop off
the package from his mother.

He was the last student to enter Ancient Runes and Professor Babbling scowled at
him. "You are practically late, Mr. Malfoy." Professor Babbling was extremely severe
when it came to tardiness. "Why don't you take a seat next to Ms. Granger?"

Malfoy quickly moved to sit at Hermione's desk while avoiding the horrified
expression on Pansy's face. He felt Hermione stiffen beside him and he frowned.
Maybe turning over a new leaf would be harder then he had originally planned.

-()-()-()--()-()-()--()-()-()-

Hermione was just heading back to her room, from the library, when she was
stopped in the hall by Professor Flitwick. "Ah, Ms. Granger, there you are!" He
announced happily.

"Were you looking for me Professor?" She asked curiously.

"Actually yes dear, I was." Professor Flitwick's fondness of Hermione had been
apparent since her first Charms lesson. He had always felt cheated that she was not
sorted into his house.

"What for?" She inquired politely.

"Well, Professor McGonagall and I decided that it would be a fine idea to reinstate
Duelling Club," he answered proudly.

"Duelling Club?" She repeated sceptically. In her mind, having students facing off
against each other, wands drawn, didn't seem like a very healthy idea. At least not
so soon after the war.

"Now, I know what you're thinking Ms. Granger, but duelling in a controlled
environment is a sport, and is supposed to be a bit of fun, and if the students learn a
trick or two that could help them when they graduate from here then all the better.
You know that there'll be no dark magic," he said in a low voice so as to not be
overheard by younger students. "And correct me if I'm wrong," he smiled, "but wasn't
the Room of Requirement used for similar things back in your fifth year?"

She smiled back at him but then turned serious. "That was a little different."

"Don't worry Ms. Granger, its purpose is to boost student morale and encourage
inter-house unity." He flailed his arms animatedly as he spoke and Hermione had to
suppress a laugh. Seeing the tiny man so excited was a comical sight. "Anyway, the
reason that I was specifically looking for you was to ask if you would participate in a
demonstrational duel."

"Me?" She asked shocked.

"Don't be modest Ms. Granger," Flitwick beamed, "you are one of the most
exceptional witches that I have had the pleasure of duelling alongside of."

Hermione turned crimson. "Thank you, Professor."

"So you'll do it then?" He asked enthusiastically. She nodded as she could see that
Professor Flitwick was very adamant about his. "Splendid!" He rejoiced. "Seven
o'clock in the Great Hall!"

-()-()-()--()-()-()--()-()-()-

As she had been instructed, Hermione arrived at the Great Hall at precisely seven
o'clock. The gigantic room had been transformed. The house tables were no longer
in sight; instead a long stage ran down the middle of the room. She recognized it as
a typical duelling stage. The number of students gathered around the structure was
what surprised her. Almost the entire enrolment of Hogwarts was present, along with
the majority of the staff.

Professor Flitwick stepped onto the stage and silenced the energized crowd. "For
our younger students, we will now have a demonstration by our Head Girl and Head
Boy."

Hermione groaned. Flitwick had not mentioned that she would be duelling Malfoy. A
small part of her wanted to make a snide comment that Malfoy might feel
uncomfortable duelling without his Death Eater robes. He, like she, had come
without her school robes, so he was simply wearing his black trousers and black
sweater over his white oxford and emerald green and silver tie. His blonde hair was
falling in his face.

As Hermione stepped onto the stage she could see the excited faces of the
Gryffindor first years that she had seen staring at her throughout her meals. She
realized that they thought that she was some insanely gifted witch instead of just a
hard worker. She was certainly no Harry Potter.

"Come on, Hermione," she heard Ginny encourage.


At the opposite end of the stage, Malfoy nervously glanced down at his opponent.
When he had been approached by Professor McGonagall to do this she had given
him a look that clearly said, 'Prove me wrong.' She thought that if he duelled he
would get angry and aggressive and would focus on attacking as opposed to
disarming. This was a test of his character.

He sized up Granger again. She looked so…girlish without her robes. In her grey
skirt and matching, formfitting sweater she looked very feminine and unprepared for
a duel. But he knew better then that, he had seen her in action after all.

She began to walk towards him and he did the same. They met in the middle and
bowed like good sportsmen before turning their backs and walking five paces.

He spun around and anticipated her first move by yelling, "Ennervate!" He had
assumed correctly that she would cast quickly and that her first instinct would be to
stun him. She had used Stupefy.

"Well played Mr. Malfoy!" He heard Flitwick shout. "Fifty points to Slytherin!"

He thought quickly on his feet and responded with, "Flipendo!"

She must have blocked his jinx using non-verbal magic because she did not utter a
single word but she did not fly backwards as he had intended.

"Excellent Ms. Granger! Fifty points to Gryffindor!"

Hermione had to admit that Malfoy was good. He had been trained by some of the
best after all. He would surely anticipate any classic defensive spells so she uttered
the first charm that came to her mind and it was something that he would have never
expected. "Expecto Patronum!" The whole room watched in awe as a small, silver
otter emerged from the end of Hermione's wand and danced its way across the
stage and around Malfoy's body. Malfoy watched the animal with great interest and
she used his loss of concentration fully to her advantage. "Expelliarmus!" His wand
flew up into the air and then down into her free hand.

The room was silent for a moment before the students, except for the Slytherins,
burst into cheer and applause. "Very creative Ms. Granger," Flitwick congratulated
her once the room quieted down. "Seventy-five points to Gryffindor!"

She smiled at her Charms professor before walking up to Malfoy and handing him
his wand. "Here you go," she smiled smugly.

"Thanks," he replied in disbelief.


They bowed to each other once again before leaving the stage.

-()-()-()--()-()-()--()-()-()-

Slytherin Common Room

Later that evening, after Duelling Club had adjourned, Malfoy decided to follow his
friends to the Slytherin common room. He sat in the most comfortable chair in the
dungeon common room and Nott and Blaise were sitting on the sofa across from.

"I can't believe that Granger bet you," Nott laughed hysterically.

Malfoy simply glared at him. "Nott...shut it."

Nott continued to chuckle. "The whole school saw it!"

"She's quick on her feet and she took him by surprise," Blaise reasoned.

"But she's a Mudblood!"

Blaise's jaw tensed at the word but he did not comment.

"Shut up, Nott," Pansy looked fiercely at Theodore as she entered the common
room. "We all know why Draco didn't win," she stated confidently as she walked
towards Malfoy's chair. "Because McGonagall was there," she finished as she sat in
her favourite Slytherin's lap. "It wasn't a fair duel."

"How so?" Blaise asked with a raised eyebrow.

"Well Drakie wasn't going to curse Granger with professors around." Pansy smirked
at Malfoy as she began to rub his chest. "She would be dead if they were actually
duelling." She leaned down and began to nibble on her boyfriend's ear.

Blaise looked Draco over inquisitively. He was unusually quiet and seemed to not be
enjoying Pansy's display of affection. In fact, he seemed rather disgusted.

"Yeah, Granger would never cast an Unforgiveable Curse," Nott agreed. "She's too
weak."

"I have patrols," Malfoy announced abruptly. He was sick of hearing about his duel
with Granger.

"Do you want company tonight?" Pansy whispered hopefully in his ear.
"No, I'm tired," he replied harshly. And desperation was an intense turnoff.

"Okay," she spoke dejectedly as she got up off of his lap.

Malfoy hopped out of his chair and nodded to Blaise and Nott in a 'See you at
breakfast' gesture. He left the dungeons and began his patrol of the hallways.

He wasn't upset by his loss to Granger. He had just been taken by surprise. A
Patronus Charm! His father and Aunt Bellatrix had never taught him to combat a
Patronus Charm. He had rarely seen one conjured, let alone in a duel. The small,
silver otter had startled him and he had had no choice but to watch it sail around his
hips and shoulders. He knew that it wasn't harmful; a Patronus Charm was as far
away from dark magic as you could get, yet he was absolutely entranced. It had
been an incredibly clever move on her part.

He finished his patrols without encountering a single person. He entered his


bedroom and slammed the door behind him. He was frustrated. He laid his wand
down on his bedside table and changed out of his uniform and into a pair of black,
silk, sleep trousers. He sat on the edge of his four-poster and laid his head in his
hands.

He came to a decision and stood up. He left his bedroom once again but his
destination this time was the Head Girls' tower. He slowly walked up the spiral
staircase and arrived at her closed bedroom door. He assumed that the door was
locked and that she was in bed so he pushed his shoulders back so that he was at
his full height and knocked determinedly on the door.

When he received no response after a few minutes, he continued persistently


knocking.

The door flew open and a very perturbed Hermione Granger stood in front of him
with her wand pointed at his chest. Her hair was pulled back into a messy ponytail
and she was wearing a muggle bathrobe. "What do you want Malfoy?"

"I want you to teach me how to produce a Patronus Charm."

A/N: Review!!!! :)
Chapter 3
A/N: Thanks to everyone who reviewed. :) But I didn't have as many reviews as
I did alerts, so that saddens me a little. lol. Enjoy the new chapter! :)

Disclaimer: Same as previous chapters.

Chapter 3

Hermione had been lying in her bed, reading a letter from Ron, when she heard
obnoxious knocks on her door. She rolled her eyes and ignored the sounds but they
continued. She angrily jumped out of her bed and pulled her bathrobe on over her
tank top and tiny sleep shorts.

She snatched her wand off of her bedside table before violently pulling open her
bedroom door and staring at the blonde ferret that had disrupted her night. "What do
you want, Malfoy?"

Her eyes took in his appearance and she involuntarily blushed. She had only ever
seen Ron without a shirt on. But Malfoy was wearing only his sleep trousers and his
torso was lean, yet firm and well-sculpted. She noticed his strong jaw line and
handsome face for the first time and finally saw what all of the other girls at
Hogwarts had been talking, and giggling, about since fifth year. Draco Malfoy had
grown into a very attractive young man.

She lowered her wand as she noticed that he was unarmed. "What did you just
say?" She asked confused. She had heard him speaking but had missed his actual
words because she had been looking over his body.

"I said that I want you to teach me how to produce a Patronus Charm," he repeated
calmly. He had not missed Granger's eyes moving over his bare chest and he
grinned conceitedly in response. "Distracted?"

She flushed again. "Sod off Malfoy! I'm going to bed."

She began to close the door but he stopped it with his foot. "Wait, are you going to
teach me?"

She looked at him in utter shock. "You actually want me to teach you how to produce
a Patronus?"

He nodded, "Yes."
"Why?" She probed as she crossed her arms over her chest. Malfoy was after
something, she just knew it.

"Because I think that it's useful," he answered slowly. That was a legitimate part of
his reason, but it was not the whole truth. He was not about to tell her that he found
her Patronus fascinating or that he wanted to produce one because his father had
always told him that the use of a Patronus Charm was the sign of a "good" wizard,
the Order of the Phoenix communicated through their Patronuses, after all. He
wanted to prove to himself that he was capable of conjuring something as pure as a
Patronus.

She shook her head; she didn't believe him for a second. "No."

"No? Because you can't or you won't?" He asked in irritation.

"I won't, but you should know that Death Eaters can't produce a Patronus," she
replied coldly. She glanced down at his bare, left forearm. "A powerful Concealment
Charm isn't fooling me," she told him in a quiet voice before slamming the door in his
face.

He stood in front of her closed door for a few moments before heading back to his
room. He hadn't expected her comment about him being a Death Eater to bother him
half as much as it actually did.

-()-()-()--()-()-()--()-()-()-

Library

Hermione sat at her usual table at the back of the library. The library was still her
place of refuge. Even though she had her own room, she felt comfortable and at
home in the library, so it was where she preferred to do most of her studies. She was
even able to do her work in the Head's common room if she chose to do so because
Malfoy was being quiet and considerate. Surprisingly.

It had been three days since Malfoy had asked her to teach him how to produce a
Patronus Charm. Three days since she had slammed the door in his face and called
him a Death Eater. Everything that she said was true but she couldn't help but feel
slightly guilty about it. It was in her nature. Besides, even Harry had admitted to
feeling sorry for Malfoy. He had told her and Ron that he had seen Voldemort force
Malfoy to do terrible things.

She was completing a Herbology essay for Professor Sprout when she felt a gentle
tap on her shoulder. She laid down her quill and turned around. It was Blaise Zabini.
"Hi Blaise," she smiled brightly. Although he was a Slytherin, Blaise was pleasant,
hardworking, and kind. Before this year, she had never considered him as anything
other then one of Malfoy's mates, but he was her partner in Arithmancy, and a great
partner at that.

"What are you working on?" He asked curiously.

"Herbology," she answered. "You?"

"I came here to research something for Astronomy," he responded while holding up
the book that he held in his hand.

"You're taking Astronomy?" She asked smiling.

"Yeah," he smiled back. "I love it. May I?" He asked while gesturing to the chair on
the other side of the table.

"Sure."

He sat across from her and smiled as he placed the book in his hand and his book
bag on the table. "How are things going as Head Girl?"

"Fine," she replied slowly, "why do you ask?"

"Just because Draco has been very to himself since the school year started. He
doesn't really talk to anyone, not me, not Pansy…"

Hermione cut him off, "But I thought that he and Pansy were together?"

Blaise shook his head. "Not anymore, at least not on Draco's part anyway." He
paused to remember his previous train of thought. "So I thought that since he hasn't
been talking to any of us then maybe he mentioned something to you?"

Hermione chuckled quietly although they did not need to keep their volume levels
down. They were at the back of the library, out of Madam Pince's hearing range, and
nobody else was around. "Why would Malfoy talk to me?"

"Because he's different." Hermione gave Blaise a very sceptical look. "No, he really
is." He leaned in towards her and lowered his voice as a precaution. "Things that I
tell you about Draco, you can't repeat to anyone, clear?" When it came down to it
Blaise, could be as loyal as a Hufflepuff.

"Okay, I don't spend my time with my friends talking about Malfoy anyway."
He nodded in understanding. "So after the Battle of Hogwarts, things changed for
Draco, as they did for everyone involved. As you know, he and his family narrowly
escaped Azkaban and after they restored the manor, he practically locked himself in
his room for the summer. His letters to me were…odd...to say the least, and if I
hadn't seen him myself over the summer I would have said that he was under the
Imperius Curse."

"What kind of things was he saying in his letters to you?" Curiosity had gotten the
better of her.

Blaise smiled knowingly. "You'll have to ask him yourself. But honestly he's changed;
he just doesn't want to lose his 'Prince of Slytherin' reputation."

"After our duel, he asked me to teach him how to produce a Patronus, and I said no,"
she confessed with a heavy sigh.

Blaise's eyebrows knitted together in confusion and his handsome face took on a
deep and thoughtful look. He had received his mother's good looks, her dark hair,
almond eyes, and high cheekbones. "Why?"

"He said that he thinks that it's useful," she answered honestly.

"Well, it's certainly an exceptional display of magic," he smiled while complimenting


her. "Why did you say no?" He inquired.

"Why?" She repeated in disbelief. "Because Draco Malfoy insulted and belittled me
for six years and then last year attempted to kill me on two separate occasions." Her
voice had become a little more high-pitched then she would have liked. "Why would I
ever want to help him do anything?"

Blaise grimaced; everything that she had said was one hundred percent true. "Okay,
I understand but he has changed. I promise." He got to his feet and slung his book
bag over his shoulder. "Give him a chance, and if he acts like an arrogant git then
you can hex me for talking you into this."

Hermione couldn't help but laugh. "I'll think about it."

"See you around," he smiled. He grabbed his book on Astronomy, "Hopefully Madam
Pince will let me check this out," he chuckled.

"Bye Blaise." Hermione waved as the dark haired Slytherin began his walk out of the
library.
-()-()-()--()-()-()--()-()-()-

The Great Hall

"Hermione, have you heard from Ron?" Ginny asked as the two young women ate
supper at the Gryffindor House table.

"Yeah," she replied smiling. "He's sent me a letter practically everyday since we've
arrived. He's being terribly sweet."

She missed her boyfriend an outrageous amount, but the letters helped. She kept a
muggle calendar above her bedside table and crossed out the days as they passed
so that she could see how close she was to Christmas holidays and seeing him
again. But right now it seemed very far away.

"Have you heard from Harry?" She had received a few letters from Harry herself and
was pleased to hear that is Auror training was going so well. His only wish was that
Tonks was there to show him the ropes.

Ginny smiled dreamily. "Yeah."

The redhead didn't need to say anything else; her smile gave her away entirely.

"Hermione," Lavender Brown, was who sitting on her right, whispered hurriedly in
her ear.

"Yes, Lavender?" Hermione asked irritated. Lavender was using her gossip voice.

"Draco Malfoy is staring at you." Lavender had continued whispering and she was
actually grateful; she did not want the whole table to hear Lavender's observation.

Hermione glanced up and saw that Lavender was correct. The blonde Slytherin was
sitting directly in her line of vision at his own house table and had his silver-grey
eyes trained on her. He was wearing an unreadable expression.

"He's so good-looking," Lavender sighed as she rested her head in her hand. "I'd just
love to run my hands through his hair, I bet its soft."

"Lavender," Hermione snapped in a low voice, "its Malfoy."

"Doesn't mean he can't be good-looking," Lavender argued before she returned to


her meal.

'Well, that's certainly true,' a voice in Hermione's head spoke to her. 'As you saw the
other night, Draco Malfoy is very good-looking.' She almost cringed at her own
thought. Besides Malfoy being the horrible person that he is completely outweighs
his physical attributes. 'But according to Blaise, he's changed.' She would just have
to see for herself.

Hermione decided that she was done eating. She was willing to bet that if she got up
from her table, Malfoy would follow.

"I'm going to go up to my room for a little while, but I'll drop by the common room
later," she promised Ginny and Lavender before she got up from the table.

"Okay Hermione," Ginny replied.

"Bye," Lavender added.

Hermione walked out of the Great Hall, not daring to look over her shoulder. She
proceeded to walk the path towards the Head's common room and heard the steady
sound of footsteps behind her. 'I would of thought that his expensive, designer shoes
would walk in silence,' she snickered to herself. She stopped in front of the
appropriate portrait and the footsteps behind her ceased as well.

"Following me, Malfoy?" She asked smugly.

"Yes," he breathed truthfully.

She muttered the password and the portrait swung open to allow her and Malfoy to
step inside the Heads' common room. She turned around so that she could face him
and saw that he still had that intense look on his face. In fact, it was an expression
that she was beginning to associate with him.

"I've decided that I will attempt to teach you how to produce a Patronus, but the
lessons are conditional so I can stop them whenever I want if you…"

He cut her off, "Act like an arrogant git?"

She looked at him curiously as she examined his word choice. Maybe it was just a
coincidence that he had used the same exact words as Blaise, because Blaise had
said that Malfoy hadn't been talking to him about anything substantial since school
started. "Yeah, if you start acting like yourself then I'll stop," she clarified.

"Okay," he accepted her one condition immediately. "When will we start?"

"Tomorrow morning."
He raised an eyebrow. "Saturday morning?" His Saturdays at Hogwarts in the past
had consisted of sleeping in, eating, lying outside on the grass, and snogging with
Pansy.

Hermione nodded and he noticed that she was looking rather determined, and a
determined Hermione Granger was something that no wizard should challenge. "At
nine," she stated. "If you're not up and here waiting for me," she said referring to the
common room, "then I'll come in and wake you. Deal?"

He nodded, "Deal."

"Then I'll see you in the morning," she said annoyed before storming out of the
common room.

Malfoy scoffed as the portrait slammed shut. That girl really needed to loosen up.

A/N: Leave me your thoughts!! :)


Chapter 4
A/N: Once again, I got lots of alerts but only 1 review. :( Review please people!!
:)

Disclaimer: Same as previous chapter.

Chapter 4

The Head Girl's Tower

Hermione's alarm clock woke her at exactly eight thirty a.m. She had her lesson with
Malfoy at nine, so she figured she would take a quick shower before the torture
began. She slowly got up out of bed and carried her things into her bathroom.

After her hot shower, she wrapped a towel around her thin frame and walked back
into her bedroom. A part of her had expected to see Malfoy lying back on her bed
with a smug look on his face and going on about the fact that he was up and ready
before she was, but luckily he was nowhere to be seen. She picked up her wand and
cast a simple drying spell on her body and hair. Using magic was extremely
convenient, yet during the summer she always fell back into the comfort and routine
of doing everything the "muggle way."

She looked at herself in the mirror and decided to leave her hair down today; she
wouldn't consider it bushy or frizzy anymore, just curly. Not that she cared about
what her hair looked like. She knew Ron liked it, and the thought made her smile.
She changed into her weekend clothes, jeans and a t-shirt. She tucked her wand
into her jeans pocket before leaving her bedroom and locking the door behind her.

She reached the common room and was not shocked at all to see no sign of Malfoy.
She walked down the spiral staircase to reach his bedroom and knocked on the
door. After waiting several minutes for him to answer, she flicked her wand and the
door opened soundlessly. She stepped inside his room and looked around
enquiringly. His bedroom was very similar to her own, except for the Slytherin colors
of silver and emerald green. His bookshelves were full, his desk was covered with
current assignments that he was working on, and his wand lay on his bedside table.
She noticed that his broomstick was propped up against his wardrobe. Except for his
work desk, his room was exceptionally neat and tidy, which was odd for a teenage
boy. Ronald's room was a mess. As she looked around more closely, she also
observed that Malfoy hadn't made his room his home; there were no trinkets or
photographs. His room was very impersonal.
Her eyes finally fell on the young man tangled in the sheets of his four-poster bed.
He had also received a comforter with the symbol of his house on it. The sly snake
was wrapped around him as he tossed and turned in his bed. Hermione frowned as
she walked closer and saw that he was sweating profusely and mumbling in his
sleep. He was having a nightmare.

"No…don't…I'll do whatever you want...just don't hurt my Mum…"

Was he dreaming about his time with Voldemort?

He groaned in pain and clutched his left arm, where his Dark Mark was.

She started to pity him. "Malfoy, wake up," she spoke softly. "Wake up." She placed
a hand on his shoulder and gently shook him.

Upon her touch, he awoke instantly, reached for his wand, and bolted up into a
sitting position. "Granger?" He asked in disbelief once his eyes had adjusted. "What
are you doing in here?" He asked angrily.

"I came in to wake you up," she answered shakily. He held her wrist in a vicelike grip
and his wand was still pointed directly at her. His face and bare chest were covered
in sweat and his hair was in his eyes.

He could see the ounce of fear in her eyes and he slowly released her hand before
placing his wand back on his bedside table. "Sorry," he muttered.

She stepped back quickly and looked away in embarrassment. She had caught him
in a very vulnerable position. "Why don't you shower and I'll go get some breakfast?"

He got up out of his bed and pushed his hair out of his face. Both his sheets and his
body were soaked with sweat. He had been having another nightmare and Granger,
of all people, had walked in on him. "Sure," he answered while staring at her. He
would not shy away like she was doing now. He would make her forget that this had
happened by acting like it didn't bother him.

"What would you like?" She asked while looking down at her feet.

"Whatever," he answered in an even voice.

"Okay, I'll meet you in the common room." She quickly turned around and left his
bedroom as fast as possible without being too obvious.

Hermione raced out of the portrait and then slowed her steps before reaching the
Great Hall. She walked to the Gryffindor table and sat down. Luckily, none of her
friends were around, just a few of the gawking first years. She really wasn't prepared
to explain what she was doing with her Saturday morning so she ate a little breakfast
herself before she began piling a variety of the breakfast foods onto a plate. She
knew how much a teenage male could eat. She grabbed the plate and a goblet
before quickly leaving the Great Hall.

She returned to the Head's common room to find Malfoy sitting in one of the white
armchairs wearing a pair of black trousers and a black turtleneck and his hair was in
perfect place once again.

He walked towards her and took the breakfast off of her hands. "Thanks," he said
quickly.

Hermione sat on one of the sofas and waited awkwardly for him to finish eating.

"Okay," he said after laying the empty plate and goblet aside. "So what's to this
Patronus Charm? An intricate wand movement?"

Hermione shook her head. "No, it's not like that at all."

"Well then, what is it?" He asked frustrated. His father had never explained how one
conjures a Patronus, just that it was inexplicably "good."

She tried to remember how Harry had explained a Patronus to her. "A Patronus acts
like a shield. It's a positive force, a projection of hope, happiness, and the desire to
survive."

"The Order of the Phoenix uses their Patronuses to communicate, don't they?"

She looked at him suspiciously. "Yes," she answered simply.

"What else can you tell me about Patronuses?" He asked excitedly as he moved to
sit next to her on the sofa.

Hermione was extremely taken aback by his closeness. "Umm…well," she thought
for a moment. "The form of a Patronus Charm reflects the personality or feelings of
the witch or wizard, in some way. However, they can change if the caster goes
through an emotional change of some sort. It usually has to be very drastic though."

"Every member of the Order can cast a Patronus, can't they?" Malfoy couldn't help
but find this whole topic fascinating.
She nodded. "Yes, Patronuses indentify the caster and they are Dark-proof." Dark-
proof was a term she had first heard used by Dumbledore and he used it as a
reason to explain his faith in Snape. "Which is why I feel that these lessons will be
useless," she added quietly.

"You believe that I'm only capable of dark magic," he frowned.

"Frankly, yes," she answered honestly.

"At least give me a chance to prove you wrong," he responded quickly. He was a
capable wizard after all. "How do you conjure it?"

"You have to concentrate on a single, happy memory and a Patronus will only last for
as long as you are concentrating on the memory." This was where the problem
arose. What happy memories would dark wizards have? She was proven right when
she saw the frown appear on Malfoy's face.

Hermione got to her feet and held her wand straight out in front of her. She brought
forth a memory of herself and her parents vacationing in the English countryside, the
summer that she had received her Hogwarts letter. Her last full year without magic.
She focused on an image of her parents dancing in the living room of their cottage.
She had watched them from the top of the stairs because she was supposed to be in
bed. They looked so happy and in love and it always brought a smile to Hermione's
face when she reflected on the memory. "Expecto Patronum!" The small, silver otter
burst out of the end of her wand and made its way around the room. She allowed the
memory to fade and as a result, her otter disappeared.

She hadn't noticed that Malfoy was also now standing. "What did you think about?"

"I would never tell you that," she stated incredulously. She couldn't believe that he
had the gall to ask her something so personal.

"I could just find out for myself," he announced in a low, threatening voice.

"How?" She challenged as she crossed her arms over her chest.

"I've been trained in Legilimency, as well as Occlumency, and I'm quite good," he
boasted.

Hermione ignored him. "Well I'm done for today if you're not going to attempt a
Patronus." She began to walk towards the doorway to her room but a hand wrapped
around her upper arm to stop her.
"Wait, I'll try!"

She turned around to face him and he let go of her arm. She sat back down on the
sofa and watched as he straightened up and held his wand out in front of him. His
face hardened in concentration. "Expecto Patronum!" He yelled. Nothing. "Expecto
Patronum!" Still nothing. "EXPECTO PATRONUM!"

"Are you thinking solely about your memory?" He nodded. "Then you're memory isn't
strong enough," she advised.

"I was thinking about seeing my mother after the Battle of Hogwarts," he said sadly.
"I don't think that I have a happier or more vivid memory."

He really did love his mother. It was almost endearing. "Malfoy," she began softly,
"what were you dreaming about this morning?"

He turned to look at her with a livid expression. "Nothing," he answered coldly. "And
you should have never come into my bedroom. Don't do it again!" He warned. "I'm
done!"

She watched him storm out of the common room in typical Malfoy fashion, throwing
a temper tantrum. The spoiled, little, rich boy has to have everything his way. Well if
he thought that it would bother her then he was sorely mistaken.

-()-()-()--()-()-()--()-()-()-

Malfoy took deep breaths as he walked away from the portrait that leads to the
Heads' common room. He had a temper but as a Malfoy he was suppose to remain
calm and in control. He had just broken that rule and now he needed to settle down.
Only one thing truly calmed him, and that was flying, but he was not about to return
to Granger and her know-it-all, self-important attitude just to get his broomstick. That
girl was infuriating. He would just have to walk it off.

"Draco," he heard a voice behind him call.

He rolled his eyes. It was Pansy. He paused for a moment before smiling
mischievously. A decent shag was almost as good as flying, and Pansy would have
to do. He knew that she was willing anyway. He turned around slowly and flashed
her one of his smug grins. "Pansy," he started in a cool, seductive voice, "I was
looking for you."

"Really?" She asked excitedly.


He nodded as he walked towards her and took her hand. "Let's go to your room." He
didn't bother to ask politely if they could go to her room, he knew that Pansy loved to
be bossed around by him. This worked for him because he loved to be control, in
every facet of his life.

Pansy hurried along the corridors with Malfoy at her side. She blurted out the
password for the Slytherin common room as soon as she reached the portrait and
dragged him inside. She lead him to her dormitory room, which she shared with
three other girls, and closed and locked the door behind her. Her roommates were
out and that's all that she cared about. She hadn't been alone with Draco in so long.

"Draco, I wasn't sure what was going on there for a while but I'm happy that we're
back to normal," she gushed.

Malfoy ignored her and captured her mouth in a rough kiss as he pushed her back
onto her bed. This was not unfamiliar territory for the two of them; they had been
casually snogging since fourth year, and shagging since fifth. Well, casually in his
mind, in hers they were in a serious relationship. He had never bothered to correct
her because being "with" Pansy made his father happy. He had however, been with
other girls over the course of their "relationship", and he was aware that Pansy knew
of his promiscuity. She just seemed to be happy being the one that he always kept
coming back to. He did take her as his date to social events, he bought her nice
things, and did more than a good job satisfying her in bed, but he was not a
boyfriend. His only focus was physical release.

But as he ravaged her mouth, pushed his hands up her shirt, and felt her hands
moving down his back, all he could think about was brown, curly hair, brown eyes,
and a small, otter Patronus. He was thinking about the Gryffindor princess! The
female member of the 'Golden Trio'! The most brilliant witch of the generation,
according to Witch Weekly! He was thinking about Hermione Granger while
snogging Pansy Parkinson!

He pulled away quickly and stared down at the girl lying beneath him. "Something
wrong?" She questioned insecurely.

"No," he replied before resuming their previous activities. Pansy was pulling at the
belt of his trousers as images of muggle bathrobes and nicely fitted Gryffindor
uniforms flashed in his mind. And this morning she had looked so cute in her muggle
clothes! And Draco Malfoy never thought that anything was cute. He pulled away
from Pansy again.

"Drakie, what's going on?" She whined.


He got up off of her bed and straightened his clothes. "I just remembered that I have
somewhere else to be," he told her insensitively.

"What?" She asked confused. Draco had never before turned down her body.

"I have better things to do," he spat frostily.

"Okay," she replied quietly. "I'll see you at dinner."

He didn't respond. He turned around and left her dorm room without a word.

Malfoy had reached a new level of frustration. He was attracted to Granger! He


thought that she was cute! Bloody hell! He stopped and leaned up against a
dungeon wall for support. Just because he was attracted to her didn't mean that he
fancied her. She was insufferable.

His head snapped up as he heard footsteps approaching him. He sighed in relief as


he saw that it was Blaise.

"Hey Draco, I didn't see you at breakfast." Blaise had eaten his breakfast at the
Great Hall relatively early and had spotted Hermione but not Draco. He figured that
his friend was still sleeping; he tended to get lazy on the weekends. So Blaise had
decided to study in the library instead of paying a visit to Draco. He was very
pleasantly surprised to run into him outside the Slytherin common room. As he got
closer to his friend, he grinned. "You look freshly snogged." Maybe he and Pansy
had returned to normal.

Malfoy ignored Blaise's comment completely. "Is it almost time for dinner?"

Blaise nodded. "Yeah, we can go to dinner, I just have to drop off my bag."

Blaise ducked into the Slytherin common room and quickly dropped his bag off in his
room before rejoining Draco in the hallway. He looked very forlorn. "What's going
on?" He asked as they made their way to the Great Hall.

"Nothing," Malfoy answered too quickly.

"Okay." Blaise was unconvinced. "So, were you with Pansy just now?"

"Zabini, just sod off," he growled.

Blaise raised an eyebrow in disbelief. He and Draco had always been on a first
name basis. The only times that he ever called him by his last name was when he
was pissed off about something. "What's got your knickers in a knot?"
"Granger," Malfoy replied quickly.

He rolled his eyes. "She's not that bad."

"Not that bad," Malfoy scoffed. Blaise didn't know the half of it. She was driving him,
and now his libido, crazy.

They finally reached the Great Hall and took their seats at the Slytherin House table.
Malfoy noticed that Granger was not sitting with the Weasel-ette. She must still be in
the Heads' private quarters.

"So what did she do now?" Blaise asked curiously.

"What?" Malfoy had not been paying attention; he had been too busy staring at the
Gryffindor table.

"I asked what she did now."

He sighed as he began to eat his dinner. "Oh, nothing in particular, she's just being
herself, an unbearable know-it-all."

"She's teaching you how to produce a Patronus, then?" Blaise questioned quietly.

Malfoy glared at his best friend. "How do you know about that?"

"I'm the one that convinced her to say yes," he admitted rather proudly.

"Well keep it to yourself, Blaise," Malfoy threatened.

"You know I will."

Something else, besides his desire to produce a Patronus, was bothering Draco.
Blaise knew that he would figure it out, eventually.

-()-()-()--()-()-()--()-()-()-

The Head Boy's Dungeon

After dinner, Malfoy spent his afternoon with Blaise roaming the grounds, mostly
discussing Quidditch. It was a topic that allowed him to stay aloof and distant. He
didn't have to reveal anything about himself that Blaise already didn't know, such as
the fact that he found Granger's pale, thin legs very appealing in her uniform skirt.
He had thought that Quidditch would have been a safe topic, one that allowed his
mind to not think about the Head Girl, but he had been proven wrong when Blaise
had brought up the Bulgarian seeker, Viktor Krum. The mention of Krum had
automatically made him think of the Triwizard Tournament and the Yule Ball, where
Granger had been his date. Many questions arose in his mind, such as did anything
happen between Krum and Granger? He found himself unbelievably curious. Luckily,
the conversation involving Krum had ended rather quickly as it had been supper
time.

Afterwards, Blaise had decided to head to the library for another study session while
Malfoy returned to his bedroom. He had not run into Granger, nor had he seen her at
supper.

He lay on his bed and stared at his ceiling while he twirled his wand in his right hand.
He could do homework but he wasn't in the mood. He was also not in the mood to
go flying, or spend time with any of his fellow Slytherins. Truthfully, he wanted to see
Granger more then anything.

He sat up on his bed and grabbed his container of sweets off of his bedside table.
He ran a hand through his thin, blonde hair and tucked his wand into the waistband
of his trousers.

He left his room and marched up to the Head Girl's door. He hoped that she was in
her room. He knocked once and paused to listen for any movement behind the
closed door. He was incredibly pleased when the door opened and she stood in front
of him, still in her cute muggle clothes.

"Yes?" She asked annoyed.

"Peace offering," he said as he offered her the container that he was holding. She
raised an eyebrow in scepticism. "May I come in?" He asked politely.

She quickly looked over her shoulder. "No," she groaned, "what do you want?"

"Just to talk," he answered simply.

She looked at her muggle wrist watch. Did she really want to spend her Saturday
evening with Malfoy? She knew that he would continue to pester her until he got
what he wanted, so she might as well get it over with now. What caught her off guard
the most was the fact that he was speaking in the same soft voice that he had used
to comfort the sobbing first year.

"Okay," she huffed as she pulled her door wide open. "Come in."
A/N: Review please! :) It will make me very happy. lol. Happy Halloween
everyone!
Chapter 5
A/N: Thanks to everyone who reviewed, alerted, and favourited! :)

Disclaimer: Same as previous chapters.

Chapter 5

"What is that?" Hermione asked, referring to the container that Malfoy was carrying.
She walked back into her room and sat on the edge of her bed while he took a seat
on her desk chair.

"It's my weakness," he grinned. He peeled back the cover and handed her the
container.

She chuckled at what she saw. "Sweets."

"Yeah, go ahead and take whatever you want," he encouraged.

She gently rifled through Malfoy's personal stash. He had a little bit of everything,
Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans, chocolate frogs, liquorice wands, and peppermint
toads. There was also a smaller container within the larger one that she opened up
to find that it was filled with cauldron cakes, pumpkin pasties, and treacle tarts.

"Those are my mothers. She sends me homemade sweets every now and then. Try
one, they're really good."

Hermione chose a cauldron cake before laying the container on her bedside table.
Malfoy was trying to bribe her with food that tasted absolutely unbelievable. "These
are really good," she admitted.

"I'll tell my mother you think so," he smiled.

She observed him warily. He was actually smiling; she found such an occurrence to
be very unnerving. But he was smiling and he had brought her sweets accompanied
by a calm, polite, and patient demeanor.

Malfoy watched intently as she ate his mother's cauldron cake. Her lips were also
very attractive, full and pouty. He shifted his attention quickly, so that she wouldn't
become suspicious, and began to scan her bedroom. It was like his except it was
obvious that it belonged to a female Gryffindor. She had small bottles lined up neatly
on her dresser; his guess was that it was skin cream and other feminine products.
Her wardrobe was closed, much to his disappointment. Her desk was very
organized. Her quill and parchment were sitting near the corner and she had her
completed and uncompleted assignments in separate, neat piles. He noticed a stack
of letters on her bedside table. Interesting. From the Weasel, perhaps?

He got to his feet and began to inspect more closely. "What are you doing?"

"Just looking," he answered simply. He walked towards her closed bathroom door
but stopped when he noticed photographs covering the wall. "How come this one
isn't moving?" He asked confused as he stared at a photo of a younger Granger and
two people that he recognized as her muggle parents.

Hermione moved to stand beside Malfoy. "Because it's a muggle photograph."

He nodded in understanding as he looked at the magical photos that she had


chosen to hang in her room. There was one of her, Potter, and Weasley taken during
their first year at Hogwarts next to photos of Dumbledore's Army and the current
Order of the Phoenix. He sneered as he focused on one of her and Weasley. It
looked to have been taken recently. He was grinning like a fool and he had his arms
wrapped around her waist. She was laughing and resting her head back on his
shoulder.

'She looks…beautiful and she's with Weasley,' he thought in irritation.

"So, you're really with the Weasel?"

She easily picked up on his mocking tone. "Yes, I am with Ron, not that it's any of
your business."

He huffed loudly; little did she know that everything having to do with her was now
his business. His mind was made up and he had decided that he wanted her.
"Draco, Malfoys always get what they want." He heard his father's voice in his head.
"We take what we want." He inwardly disagreed with his father. In this case, he
wanted her to want him too. He would wait until that time came. His approach would
be very subtle.

"So," Hermione began, "you said that you wanted to talk...what about?" Having
Malfoy in her bedroom made her feel strange and uneasy.

He turned towards her before speaking. "I want to apologize first, for storming out
this morning. It was very childish of me."

"Yes, it was," she agreed whole-heartedly.


"Will another cauldron cake make you forgive me?" He asked with a small, crooked
grin.

"Maybe," she smiled back. The cauldron cakes that he brought her were amazing.

Malfoy realized that he was standing less then an arm length away from her and that
he towered over her petite frame. Well, he was six feet and two inches while she
was no taller then five foot five. He also noticed that she smelled wonderful, like fruit
and flowers. In fact, her whole room smelled intoxicating.

He turned his attention to the only photo that he hadn't studied. It also looked to
have been taken recently and it was of her and Potter. What confused him was the
fact that Potter was holding a baby in his arms. "Who's this?" He asked curiously.

"Its Harry's godson," she answered apprehensively. Why was Malfoy so interested in
everything in her bedroom?

"Who is...?" He continued to question.

"Teddy Lupin," she stated quietly.

"My little cousin," he whispered to himself as he gently ran her fingers over the frame
of the photo. "My mother and Aunt Andromeda talk frequently now, but my father
doesn't know," he confessed as he walked back to her desk and sat down.

Hermione looked at his back in bewilderment as he crossed her room. She knew
that Andromeda Tonks had been estranged from her family because she had
married Ted, a muggle-born wizard. The war with Voldemort had taken almost
everything from her. All she had left was her grandson. From what she had gathered,
her sisters, Bellatrix and Narcissa, Malfoy's mother, were disgusted by her, so the
fact that Andromeda had reconciled with her living sister was amazing. She needed
the support of her family. But why did Malfoy just tell her that? It was something
extremely personal.

"Why did you just tell me that?" She posed the question that was bothering her.

He shrugged. "I know what you think of my family, and I can't argue with any views
you have on my father, but my mother was never a Death Eater and she's changed
since the war. She's seen Teddy and held him, but I haven't. She visits Aunt
Andromeda while father is attending to business."

Hermione returned to her bed and sat down. "Malfoy," she laughed without humor, "I
don't understand what you're doing. You're telling me all these personal things, and
asking me to teach you how to produce a Patronus, and actually being bearable to
live with. Why?"

"I'm trying to change," he spoke in a serious and firm voice. "I want to continue with
our Patronus lessons."

She frowned. He seemed sincere and it was not something that she was
accustomed to dealing with. "Okay, here, sign this." She handed him a piece of blank
parchment that had been lying on her bedside table. She had expected him to come
to her about his aspiration to conjure the Patronus Charm so she had gotten
prepared.

"What is this? Is it hexed?" He inquired as he turned the parchment over in his


hands.

She nodded and replied honestly. "Yes. If you sign that piece of parchment then I'll
know if you repeat anything that I tell you about good magic to a dark wizard."

"More cunning then I imagined," he smirked. She was a brilliant witch. 'Perfect,' he
thought to himself.

"I'm not taking any chances on you, Malfoy."

She watched carefully as he picked her quill up off of her desk and signed the
parchment in his elegant script. He folded and handed it to her with a small smile.
"Call me Draco, Hermione," he said in a low voice.

She had never heard him say her first name before but it sounded seductive in his
low voice. She flushed involuntarily and quickly turned away from his gaze. "Okay,"
she started awkwardly. "Here you are," she said as she handed him his container of
sweets. "Thanks."

He stood up and took his container off of her hands. "You're welcome." He would
love to stay in her bedroom all night but he knew that it was time for him to leave. "I'll
see you in the morning." He gave her one last smile before he opened her door and
closed it behind him on the way out.

-()-()-()--()-()-()--()-()-()-

The Head Boy's Dungeon

Malfoy awoke with a smile on his face. He stretched his long limbs lazily. He loved
Sunday mornings. He sat up in his bed and ran a hand through his hair. Of course,
he would be much more content if he woke up with his favourite Gryffindor lying next
to him. But that time would come, he told himself confidently. He had a plan after all.
He would be patient and meticulous during their Patronus lessons. His magical
talents would impress her eventually. He would be respectful and hard-working in
Ancient Runes, where they were partners. Typically, he didn't pay any attention in
that class because quite frankly, the material came naturally to him, almost like
Potions, but he knew how seriously she took all of her classes. He would also open
up to her about things that he had never discussed before; he found her presence to
be very calming. He knew that she valued honesty and sensitivity. And of course he
would listen when she talked to him. He knew that the Weasel wasn't the best
listener. Lastly, he would always look his best around her. The rest of the girls at
Hogwarts were attracted to his lean body that was chiselled from Quidditch, his soft
blonde hair, grey eyes, and Prince of Slytherin reputation. Naturally, she would grow
to become attracted to him too, if she wasn't already.

He was better then Weasley in every possible way and he was ready to prove it. He
was better looking, richer, a much more talented wizard, a better Quidditch player…
he could continue to list things all morning.

Granger…Hermione deserved better then the Weasel, and that was of course him.

He jumped out of his bed and headed for his bathroom where he planned to enjoy a
long, relaxing bath.

After bathing, Malfoy returned to his room in a fresh pair of silk, sleep trousers. He
stared at his bedside table in confusion. Someone had left a full breakfast in his
room. 'Maybe it was Hermione,' he thought to himself with a smile. He walked
towards his bed and sat down, whoever it was had left a note.

He picked up the piece of parchment and read the note with a smug grin. He
recognized her penmanship.

Good morning Draco,

Excellent, she was using his first name.

I brought breakfast to your room because Pansy asked me to,…

'Oh,' he frowned, 'Pansy.'

He continued to read the note even though he was now very agitated.

…well, not asked, she demanded. At first, she asked me for the password into the
Heads' common room and when I refused she screamed at me to deliver this to
"Drakie" and shoved a plate in my face. I left it on your bedside table because you
were in the bathroom.

Well, he certainly would have not been upset if she had accidentally walked into his
bathroom while he was in the tub. He scrunched the note up in his hand and tossed
it in his trash bin. Pansy was still chasing after him; he would have to do something
about that, and tell her about that horrendous nickname, Drakie. He shuddered. He
absolutely despised that nickname.

But right now he would eat his delivered breakfast. He was famished.

-()-()-()--()-()-()--()-()-()-

Heads' Common Room

Hermione was curled up on the sofa closest to the fireplace with Ginny. She was the
first person that she had brought back to the Head's common room.

"It's beautiful, Hermione," Ginny stated in awe as she studied the large common
room.

"It is," Hermione agreed.

"But how is living with Malfoy?" She asked in a hushed tone. She had not seen the
Head Boy since she arrived.

"Its fine, he spends a lot of time in his room." Hermione wasn't sure why she was
telling Ginny half-truths. Malfoy…Draco did spend a lot of time in his room but he
spent time with her in the common room and in her bedroom. She knew that Ginny
would not believe her if she told her that he was being a gentlemen. She wanted to
keep her pseudo-friendship, or whatever it was that she had with Draco, a secret, at
least for as long as possible.

"Has he been bringing girls back to his room?" Ginny asked curiously.

"I don't know," Hermione answered uncertainly, "not that I know of."

"I know that Pansy made you bring him his breakfast this morning, so they're
probably still together, but it wouldn't be the first time that he's cheated on her."

"Really?" Hermione asked startled even though she knew that she should not be
surprised.
Ginny nodded, "Yeah. I know a couple of Ravenclaw girls in my year that he's been
with."

Ginny grinned wickedly and Hermione quirked an eyebrow. "What is it?" She asked
laughing lightly.

"You haven't heard things about the famous Prince of Slytherin?" She questioned
incredulously.

"No," Hermione shook her head, "I try not to listen to gossip."

"Well," Ginny smiled, "according to Luna's friend Jade, Malfoy was sorted into the
right house because his tongue is just as active as a snake's."

"Ginny!" Hermione could not believe what her closest female friend had just said.

"Her words, not mine," Ginny laughed. "Basically, the rumor in Ravenclaw Tower is
that he's a very worthwhile companion."

Hermione was now blushing from head to toe and the collar of her blouse felt tight.
She had to share quarters with the apparent - she mentally hesitated on the word -
sex god of Hogwarts. "What else do the Ravenclaw girls say about him?" She asked
curiously, she couldn't help herself.

"They say that he has a gorgeous body."

An image of waking him yesterday morning came to her mind. 'He certainly does
have a beautiful chest.'

"From head to toe," Ginny finished giggling and Hermione knew what she was
implying. She may be very sexually inexperienced but she was still an eighteen year
old girl. However, that did not stop her from flushing in embarrassment again. She
and Ginny were having a discussion about Draco Malfoy's…assets.

To make matters even more uncomfortable for the Head Girl, the topic of their
conversation had just emerged from his dungeon. He was wearing black trousers
and a black, button-down shirt. Hermione noticed that he wore a lot of black, but
oddly enough it looked good with his pale complexion and light, blonde hair. She
blushed once more at her thoughts.

"Good day," he greeted the ladies politely and with a small nod.

"Hi," Hermione responded awkwardly while Ginny stayed silent.


Malfoy smiled smugly to himself as he exited through the portrait. He had heard the
latter end of the girls' conversation and he had caught Hermione blushing. He knew
that she was attracted to him. It was a start. He put his hands in the pockets of his
trousers and strutted down the Hogwarts corridor.

A/N: I have 26 alerts for this story so I would love at least 26 reviews please! :)
Chapter 6
A/N: Thanks to everyone who reviewed! I was happy with the response but
let's go for even more reviews this time! lol.

Disclaimer: Same as previous chapters.

Chapter 6

October - Heads' Common Room

September had absolutely flown by. Hermione had continued giving Malfoy Patronus
lessons, as she had promised, every Saturday morning. He was still at square one,
but he was very determined and she began to wonder what form his Patronus would
take. He also paid regular visits to her bedroom and in return, she had begun to visit
him. Much to her surprise, it was incredibly easy to talk to him. They had discussed
practically everything. He had told her every detail about his upbringing in Wiltshire
and how his father had taught him that muggle-born witches and wizards should be
denied a magical education. He also revealed his father's feelings on "blood traitors",
goblins, and house-elves, and she was stunned to learn that his opinions were very
different from his father's. She had laughed hysterically at him when he recounted
his first time on a broomstick and had chuckled along with him when he confessed
that he had no idea what his father did for a living and that he knew nothing about
the business that he was supposed to take over one day. He always talked of his
mother with a bright smile on his face that she couldn't help but return, and she had
admired the patience that he had shown when they spent one evening playing
Wizard's Chess. He also enthusiastically discussed his love for Potions and he
helped to expand her knowledge of dark magic. Sadly, his Aunt Bellatrix had taught
him a lot of things and she could tell that he wasn't proud of his practical knowledge.
He had not opened up about his time as a Death Eater. He never discussed
Voldemort and he still used a Concealment Charm on his Dark Mark. She could tell
that he wanted to talk about it, but he just wasn't ready yet.

In return, she had told him stories from her childhood in London and had explained
her parent's dental practice to him. She recited the plots of her favorite muggle
movies and novels, and it was now one of his favorite topics of conversation. She
had revealed her life goals to him and her desire to work in the Ministry's
Department of Magical Law Enforcement, something that she had not told anyone
before.

No one knew of their friendship. He hadn't told his closest friends, Blaise and Nott,
and she hadn't confided in Ginny or Luna. And she definitely hadn't mentioned it in
her letters to Ron and Harry. She could only imagine their reaction. They would want
to physically remove her from Hogwarts and admit her to St. Mungo's.

Hermione was sitting on one of the sofas in the Heads' common room, working on a
Potions essay for Professor Slughorn when she heard someone enter through the
portrait. She looked up to see Draco returning from Quidditch practice in his
Slytherin practice robes. The House teams were just starting to begin practicing
every day and she knew that the Slytherin team practices were always rigorous, and
things would certainly not change this year with Draco as captain. His robes and
face were dirty and his hair was wind blown. He looked ruggedly handsome.

"How was practice?" She asked smiling.

He grinned, "Are you asking as a Gryffindor?" She rolled her eyes; Hogwarts boys
were so secretive when it came to Quidditch. He laughed at her expression. "It went
well. I'll tell you more about it after I get a quick shower."

"Okay," she replied as she watched him walk towards the doorway to his room with
his broomstick in hand.

She continued to work on her Potions essay while she waited for Draco to return to
the common room. It was late in the evening on a Friday, so when he returned, he
was in his sleep wear, just a pair of silk trousers. Hermione buried her face in her
Potions textbook as she blushed. She felt incredibly guilty being attracted to Draco
when Ron was her boyfriend.

He sat down on the sofa next to her and sighed. "I'm sore," he complained.

"Quidditch is far too violent," she stated as she placed her work on a nearby table.
He laughed as he absentmindedly rubbed his chest. "So how was practice?" She
asked again as she tried not to stare at his bare torso.

"Good," he answered as he pushed his wet hair out of his face. He had neglected
using a drying spell in an effort to return to Hermione faster. "Well, we decided to
have me play the valuable position of seeker," he grinned cockily as he watched her
roll her eyes again. "Goyle and Derrick are at least competent enough to be beaters.
Bletchley is a decent enough keeper, Nott and Blaise are natural chasers, and
Adrian is a veteran." His two best friends had been playing Quidditch all their lives
and he had finally convinced them to tryout for the Slytherin House team. "We're
gonna wipe the pitch with your Gryffindors this year!" He teased smiling.

She playfully pushed his shoulder but realized that he was probably right. Ginny had
told her that they were having lots of problems at practice. Her strategy, as captain
and seeker, was to catch the snitch as quickly as possible.

"Hermione," he started softly as he shifted his body so that they faced each other on
the sofa.

She loved that tone of his voice. "Yes?"

"Why don't we go for a ride?" He asked and she could see that his grey eyes were
sparkling with excitement.

"What?" She asked with a raised eyebrow.

"I'll get my broomstick and we'll go for a ride around the grounds," he explained.

Her eyes widened. "No!"

"Why not?" He asked, chuckling as he scooted closer to her on the sofa.

Hermione broke their eye contact and her eyes roved over his body. His broad
shoulders, defined pecs, sculpted abs, the perfect V of his pelvis and the line of light
blonde hair that disappeared into his trousers were all very visually appealing.

His eyes had been following hers and he was very pleased with the path that they
had taken. She enjoyed his body. He felt just about as proud as the white peacocks
that lived in the gardens of his family estate. He cleared his throat loudly and her
gaze snapped back to his. "Why not?" He repeated.

"Because you know that I'm terrified of flying," she stated quietly.

"How are you supposed to get over your fear if you never get on a broomstick
again?" He reasoned.

"I do not enjoy flying as much as you, Ron, and Harry do, okay?"

At the mention of the Weasel he forced himself not to sneer. But an idea did come to
his mind. Weasley had never gotten her on a broomstick before...but he would.

"Okay," he smiled as he got to his feet. "I'm going to work on that Potions essay as
well," he said, referring to her half-completed assignment that was lying on the table
next to the sofa. "Are you going to Hogsmeade tomorrow?" He asked curiously. It
was the first Hogsmeade weekend of the school year.

"Yeah," she nodded. She, Ginny, and Luna had plans to go together.
"I'll see you in the morning," he smiled again. "Goodnight Hermione."

"Goodnight Draco."

Hogsmeade Village

Malfoy was wandering the streets of Hogsmeade on a Saturday afternoon with


Theodore Nott. He could see a group of Slytherin girls up ahead and Pansy was
among them, so he abruptly turned into the nearest alley in order to avoid her. He
still had not made things clear to her. He would have to get around to that.

"What was that, Draco?" Nott asked confused.

"Avoiding Pansy," he explained briskly.

"Oh," Nott nodded. "So what are we going to do now? Let's see if we can get our
hands on some Firewhiskey," he proposed devilishly.

Malfoy didn't particularly care what they did. He had seen Hermione go into The
Three Broomsticks with the She-Weasel and that crazy Luna Lovegood, and since
he was banned from that particular establishment, he was stuck outside. He
genuinely regretted placing the Imperius Curse on Madam Rosmerta and he
understood her reluctance to trust him in her pub. Also, Lovegood had accepted the
apology that he offered for the fact that the Death Eaters had captured her and
imprisoned her in the basement of his home. He had to admit that Lovegood had
been very forgiving.

"Firewhiskey actually sounds good," he agreed. It would take his mind off of some
things, like the other thousand apologies that he had yet to make.

"Brilliant," Nott grinned. "I'll go convince a few of the girls to get some for us."

Malfoy watched Nott walk out of the alley. At least Nott realized that he, the son of a
Death Eater, and Draco, a former Death Eater himself, would not be welcomed in the
pubs of Hogsmeade. He would smooth talk a few of the Slytherin girls into
purchasing some alcohol for them. Nott was a clever prat.

As he waited for Nott's return he thought of Hermione and the progress that he had
made since the beginning of September. So far his plan was working perfectly. Now
he had to think of a way to get her on a broomstick. It would show such a level of
trust in him that if the Weasel ever found out he would loose his mind.
But his failure to still be unable to produce a Patronus was a sore spot for him. They
had had another lesson this morning and still nothing. It was incredibly frustrating.

"Got it," Nott announced triumphantly as he waltzed back into the alley.

The two young men slowly walked out of the alley and Draco peered around the
corner to make sure that Pansy was not in sight. He sighed in relief as he saw that
the streets of Hogsmeade were free of Slytherin girls. They made their way towards
the hills at the end of the village. They were at the last building within the fences of
the village, the Owl Post Office, when he saw Lovegood and Hermione; they were
just leaving the post office. And he was blessed to be with Theodore Nott, his
Slytherin friend who fancied Luna Lovegood, because in Nott's words she was
perfect. Translation: she was a pureblood witch and he thought that she was cute.

Nott stopped him when he spotted the two girls. "Can I invite them to join us? Can
you endure Granger long enough?"

'I love you Theodore Nott!' He exclaimed inwardly. "Fine," he shrugged with a sneer.
He was not about to let Nott know that he had just made his day.

"Ladies," Nott called out and Hermione and Luna turned around to face him.

"Yes?" Luna asked in confusion while Hermione sent Draco a look that silently asked
him the same question.

Nott and Draco approached them and Nott spoke quietly so that he would not be
overheard. "Draco and I have obtained some Firewhiskey and we were wondering if
you two would like to join us?"

"I don't know," Hermione began apprehensively.

"Sure," Luna spoke in her typical dreamy voice.

Hermione sighed. Luna's judgment wasn't always the best, but at least she would be
with her. "Okay," she agreed.

Luna walked alongside Nott and Hermione alongside Draco as they walked into the
hills behind Hogsmeade.

"You have Firewhiskey?" Hermione whispered harshly to Draco.

He recognized her accusatory and judgmental tone. "You don't have to drink any if
you don't want to," he told her in an effort to calm her. Seeing her angry at him was
something that had never bothered him before, but now he instantly felt the urge to
apologize. "It's just Nott…"

She cut him off, "Yeah, its just you two trying to act like the 'Slytherin bad boys' that
everyone thinks you are, even though you're Head Boy!"

'Ouch,' he thought to himself.

Nott had reached his destination and the four of them sat down in the fall grass.
Hermione noticed that he was sitting rather close to Luna; she would have to ask
Draco more about his friend later. Nott pulled the Firewhiskey out of the inside of his
robes and grinned before opening the bottle and taking a swig.

"Care to try some Luna?" He asked with a winning smile.

"Just a little, my father told me that…"

Malfoy zoned out as Luna rambled about some mysterious magical creature. His
attention focused on Hermione, as usual. Since it was a nice fall day she was
wearing muggle jeans and a pale blue t-shirt under a beige jacket. Her hair was
down and blowing in the light wind. He wondered how he looked to her in his casual
robes.

"Draco," Nott spoke his name as he offered him the bottle of Firewhiskey.

Malfoy took a sip before offering the bottle to Hermione. She shook her head but he
pleaded with his eyes. "Just try one sip…but I won't force you." He backed down and
made the motion to hand the bottle back to Nott but Hermione placed her small hand
on his forearm.

"Let me try some," she spoke assertively. She took the bottle of the brownish, red
liquid from Draco. She had missed normal adolescent moments because of the war
and drinking alcohol with a group of people her age had been one of them. She was
over the age of seventeen, so really she wasn't doing anything wrong. She would at
least try the Firewhiskey. She lifted the bottle to her lips and tentatively drank. The
alcohol burned her throat on the way down and she coughed a little. She didn't know
how Draco and Nott had drank it like it was nothing, Luna had sputtered like her. She
handed the bottle back to Draco and saw that he was smiling pleasantly at her.
"That's enough for me, thanks."

Nott placed the bottle of Firewhiskey inside his robes once again and spent the rest
of his afternoon trying to romance Luna. Since Nott was extremely focused on the
blonde Ravenclaw, Malfoy was free to talk to Hermione.
"So what were you doing in the village?"

"Luna, Ginny, and I went into The Three Broomsticks," she lowered her voice and
looked at him with purpose. "I got you a Butterbeer for later, I know how much you
like it. It's not as strong as Firewhiskey though," she chuckled.

"Thanks," he replied sincerely. The gesture was very intimate. 'Like something a
girlfriend would do,' he thought blissfully.

"Anyway," she blushed as she tucked a piece of hair behind her ear. The way that he
was looking at her was making her nervous. "Then Luna and I went to the post office
and Ginny went to Honeydukes with Neville. What were you doing?"

"Nothing," he answered truthfully. He turned around so that his back was to Luna
and Nott while overlooking Hogsmeade and the castles of Hogwarts were acting as
a scenic backdrop. Hermione followed his movements. "I almost went to
Durmstrang, you know." He told her as he studied the towers of his school.

"Really?" She asked surprised.

"Yeah," he nodded. "It was my father's idea."

"Really?" She repeated. She would have thought that Lucius Malfoy would have
wanted his only son to continue the Slytherin tradition more then anything else.

"It's because he knew Karkaroff, and he knows that Durmstrang looks at blood purity
more closely," he explained. "He wanted me stuck in that close-minded environment.
But my mother insisted on Hogwarts because she didn't want me going to school so
far away. I'm glad that she got her way," he laughed lightly.

"Me too," she said softly and the statement shocked them both.

Draco turned to her and she had never seen a brighter smile on his face.

The Head Girl's Tower

Hermione was getting ready for bed; it had been a long day. She had woken up this
morning, gotten breakfast, had her Patronus lesson with Draco, ate dinner, spent her
afternoon in Hogsmeade, most of it with Luna, Draco, and Theodore Nott, of all
people, who she had discovered did indeed fancy Luna. She had asked Draco and
he had answered openly. They had returned to Hogwarts for supper and after that
she and Draco had talked for hours in the Heads' common room while he shared the
Butterbeer that she had brought back for him, with her. When she had decided that it
was getting late, she retired to her room and did a little homework so that she
wouldn't consider the day completely unproductive.

She was about to change into her pajamas when she thought that she heard a
tapping at her window. She looked around confused before she walked towards her
wardrobe. The tapping reoccurred except his time it was louder and it lasted longer.
Crookshanks began to hiss and arch his back in defense. She raced to her window,
which was just above her beside table, and her mouth dropped open in shock. There
hovering outside her window, at almost midnight, was Draco Malfoy on his Firebolt
that his parents had given him for Christmas two years ago.

She threw open her window. "What are you doing?" She hissed at him.

He simply showed her his perfect, white teeth and motioned for her to move to the
side. He gracefully flew in through her bedroom window and hopped off of his broom
and onto the floor. "I'm taking you for a ride on my most prized possession."

"Umm…no," she replied flustered.

"It's my thank you for the Butterbeer," he beamed.

"How about I just take another cauldron cake?" She attempted to negotiate.

He shook his head. "No. Okay, how about this being my thank you for the Patronus
lessons?" She did not have a response for that. "Brilliant," he said as he grabbed her
hand.

She immediately pulled back. "No." Her fear of flying was immeasurable. She had
not been on a broomstick since her first year flying lessons. She hadn't even let Ron
or Harry take her for a ride. "Don't make me hex you," she threatened.

He laughed heartily. "Come on Hermione. I know that you'll love it and I'll go slowly, I
promise." He was being sweet again and a sweet Draco had a very persuasive
power over her. "I can see that you're giving in," he teased.

"Is it cold outside?" She asked practically.

He smiled enthusiastically. "It's not that bad."

She walked back to her wardrobe and quickly glanced back at him. He was wearing
his classic black trousers and black turtleneck under a black cloak. She grabbed a
cloak from her wardrobe and pulled it on over the clothes that she was still wearing
from earlier today. She tentatively approached him and his still hovering broomstick.

He confidently mounted it and turned to grin at Hermione. "Hop on."

She looked at him on the broom nervously. "Do I sit on the back or the front?" Proper
broomstick etiquette was one of the few things that she knew very little about.

"Whatever you're comfortable with," he answered calmly. He was trying to hide his
overwhelming glee. He felt like a young child on Christmas morning again.

She thought for a moment before she made her decision. She awkwardly got on the
back of the broom. "Okay," she said shakily.

"Hold on tight," he whispered. She quickly did as he instructed and wrapped her
arms tightly around his waist and rested her head on his back. He flew out of her
bedroom window and into the night.

After the initial jerking motion of the broomstick and the first cold breeze of the wind,
she relaxed. She felt comfortable and safe with him. Despite the fact that she had
absolutely no control and they were hundreds of feet in the air. The view was
incredible. They flew around the castle and over the Quidditch Pitch. He was flying at
a very nice pace in her opinion, not slow enough that she felt like a child, but not as
fast as she had seen him fly during a Quidditch match. He then flew them over the
lake and she noticed that the moon was reflecting beautifully off of the surface of the
water. It was almost…romantic.

He flew her around the castle one more time before heading back to her tower.

They were hovering inside of her bedroom but she was still on the broom and
holding on to him. "I'm too cold to let go just yet," she explained.

"That's fine," he answered understandingly. He had the happiest grin plastered on


his face, but she could not see it. He pulled his wand out of his robes and with a flick
he closed her bedroom window and cast a heating spell.

"Thank you," she murmured.

"You're welcome." He had shuddered when her words had caused her to breathe on
his neck. "How do you feel about flying now?" He inquired curiously.

"Better," she laughed.

"Good, I can take you out on a broom whenever you want," he smiled.
She finally got up off of his broomstick and plopped down onto her bed. Draco
noticed that her cheeks were tinged red and her hair was windswept. He wanted so
much to kiss her in that moment but he knew that it was not the right time.

He dismounted his broomstick and took it in his hand. "Goodnight, Hermione."

"Goodnight, Draco," she replied dreamily. She watched him leave her bedroom and
groaned loudly when she guessed that he would almost be to his own room. She
could definitely not tell Ron that her first ride on a broomstick since she was eleven
had been with Draco Malfoy. She had a feeling that she was getting herself into a lot
trouble.

A/N: Reviews make me smile! :)


Chapter 7
A/N: Thanks to anyone and everyone who reviewed! :) I apologize for not
posting on Saturday, my usual day, but my internet stopped working so it was
out of my hands. Enjoy the chapter! :)

Disclaimer: Same as previous chapters.

Chapter 7

Alongside The Lake

In was late Friday evening and the Head Boy and Head Girl had already finished
their patrols. Draco had once again surprised Hermione outside of her bedroom
window and they had gone for another moonlit broomstick ride. He had landed
elegantly near the lake and the two seventh years were now lying next to each on
the soft ground and peering up at the star spattered sky.

If someone had told Hermione that her return to Hogwarts would lead to a close
friendship with Draco Malfoy, allowing him to fly her around the grounds, and be out
of her bedroom after hours, she would have never believed them. But here she was
lying next to the lake with Draco at midnight.

"Can we reschedule our Patronus lesson?" He asked quietly.

"Why? Do you want to sleep in?"

"Yes," he responded honestly, "but only because I'm so worn out from Quidditch
practice."

"Okay," she replied understandingly. "Maybe you can take it easy in practice though,"
she proposed tentatively.

The light from the moon allowed her to see his silhouette shake his head. "No,
Halloween is only three days away, and our first match is on November fourth. We
only have a week left until we play Gryffindor. Who will you be cheering for?" He
asked good-humouredly.

She laughed, "Who do you think?"

He grinned in the darkness. "Secretly, you'll be cheering for me." She rolled her eyes
and was fully aware that he could not see the action. She was about to make a
snappy retort when he spoke again. "I think that my parents are planning on
attending the Gryffindor-Slytherin match."

She turned her neck so that she could see him. "Draco," she began in a quiet,
unsure voice. She watched as he turned so that they were now face to face. Their
close proximity startled her, their noses were practically touching. "Do you want to
talk about your father?" She knew that he understood what she meant. He had
discussed his fathers' prejudices and acquaintances, but he did not talk about his
feelings towards his father or their relationship, whereas, he talked of his mother
frequently.

He had never opened up to anyone about his father. He had hinted at certain things
in his letters to Blaise over the summer, but he hadn't clearly stated how he was
feeling. "My father has always put a lot of pressure on me but I'm his only son, so
I've never really thought that much of it. I've exceeded his expectations in some
ways. My father never played Quidditch and I know that he's proud that I'm the
Slytherin House seeker. He was a Prefect when he was at Hogwarts so I was
supposed to be, too, and I did that and now I'm Head Boy." He paused and exhaled
loudly. "Do you really want to hear all this?" He asked Hermione insecurely.

"If you want to tell me," she answered considerately. Her fingertips gently grazed the
top of his hand in comfort.

He smiled inwardly. If she caressed him and spoke to him in that voice then he was
liable to tell her anything. She exuded warmth and trust. "My father was raised with
the pureblood elitist mentality and he began faithfully following the Dark Lord almost
as soon as he graduated from Hogwarts. He was one of the Dark Lord's closest
companions. But towards the end of the Second War, he was merely a lowly servant.
We were forced to surrender the manor as Death Eater Headquarters and my
father's wand was taken by the Dark Lord. My father abandoned the Dark Lord
because in the end, he loved his family more then him, unlike dear Aunt Bella," he
sneered. "My father may be guilty of a lot of things, but I know that he loves my
mother and me," he justified. He took a deep, shuddering breath before he
continued. "I used to want to be my father."

"Used to?" She picked up on his past tense.

"Now I'm just terrified that I'm growing into him. I've already inherited his looks and
talent for duelling, Potions, and the Imperius Curse," he admitted shamefully. "I'm
afraid that I'm going to be a man who loves his family but is ultimately an arrogant,
selfish, bigoted, pressuring snob who wears the Dark Mark!"

By the end of his ramble, Draco's body was shaking from head to toe and Hermione
was greatly concerned. He was much more emotionally damaged then she had
previously thought. "Calm down," she cooed into his ear.

His body visibly relaxed at her voice. "I want to go back and do things over," he
whispered hoarsely. "I want the Dark Mark gone!" He bellowed. His serenity did not
last long as he bolted up into a sitting position, roughly grabbed his left forearm, and
began to scratch roughly at the skin.

"Stop it," she demanded. She sat up next to him and took his right hand which was
damaging the skin of his left arm and entwined their fingers. It prevented him from
harming himself and it seemed to bring him back to his senses.

"I'm sorry," he mumbled in embarrassment. He had certainly not intended to break


down in front of Hermione. It was not part of his plan. He did not want her to pity him.
But once he had started expressing his fears of turning into his father, the floodgates
had opened. He had found himself at the mercy of his emotions. "Malfoys are always
in control of themselves." Hearing his father's voice in his head at that moment upset
him further, and he held back the sobs that desperately wanted to escape. He would
not cry in front of Hermione. The last time that he had been caught crying, he had
almost used an Unforgivable Curse on Potter. He held his eyes shut tightly but he
opened them again when he heard her murmuring. She was performing a healing
spell on his arm, which he had made bleed. "Thank you."

"Its okay," she told him comfortingly as she looked up into his eyes. He looked so
broken, it made her heart wrench painfully. She had healed his left arm and she was
still holding his right hand in hers. She gently brushed his hair out of his face with her
free hand.

He swallowed loudly before he spoke again. "When I was younger, all I wanted was
to be a Death Eater, and only when I got what I thought I always wanted did I realize
that I didn't want it at all." Hermione took a sharp intake of breath; that was a
powerful confession. "I was terrified but I tried to do whatever the Dark Lord asked
me to because he was threatening my family. He was threatening my Mum while my
father was in Azkaban and it was my job to protect her."

'So that's what his nightmares are about,' she realized.

"Its okay," she repeated as she ran her hand through his hair. "Your mother is fine
and your family loves you." He hiccupped and it caused a small smile to play across
her face. "And you're not going to turn into your father. You're not the bloke that I
used to hate, you've changed so much." She was telling him the honest truth. He
was no longer the spoiled brat that referred to her as the Mudblood. He was a polite,
handsome, and good man.

"You're part of the reason that I have changed," he declared in a whisper. He brought
their joined hands to his lips and gently kissed each one of her fingers. "I couldn't
bear to watch Aunt Bellatrix torture you," he admitted. He pulled her closer to him
and began to breathe heavily. Her lips were so close to his. It took an unbelievable
amount of strength for him to settle for hugging her. "Thank you," he said into her
hair.

"No need to thank me," she replied. The part of her that was still an insecure, eleven
year old could not believe that she was sharing an embrace with Draco Malfoy, and
the woman within her could not believe it for a whole different reason. He was warm,
even though it was chilly outside, and he smelled so good.

Draco pulled back slowly and let go of her perfect little body. She was tempting him
far too much and it still was not the right time. He wanted her to figure it out for
herself that he worshipped her. "Are you ready to go back?" He asked with a weak
smile.

She ran a hand through his hair again and he had to suppress a groan. "Let's wait a
little while longer." She began rubbing the freshly healed skin of his left arm. "Does it
feel okay? I haven't had that much practice with healing spells."

"It feels great," he smiled. "You're brilliant at everything."

She was glad that it was dark because she felt the blood rise in her cheeks.
"Thanks, but…"

He interrupted her, "No, don't even try to argue with me. You are brilliant. My father
used to talk about your grades all the time because I've always been second to you
in our year."

With that comment, he disrupted their light-hearted moment and Hermione could tell
that he was frowning. "I bet he's not happy about that, is he?"

He shook his head slowly and chuckled. "No, definitely not." "I would have thought
you'd be ashamed that a girl of no wizard background beat you in every exam." He
hated having his father's voice in his head! "But he's seen you duel, so he knows
how talented you are." He took a deep breath. "Are you ready to go back now?" He
inquired a little impatiently.

She gave a small nod, "Yeah, okay. But Draco, can I just say something first?" She
asked nervously.
"Of course."

"I know how difficult it was for you to tell me some of those things but I'm glad that
you did." Tonight, he had most likely disclosed some of his darkest secrets to her
and she did not take his confessions lightly. "Even though you haven't been able to
conjure a Patronus, you've still proven me wrong." She smiled, "I've been starting to
wonder what form your Patronus will take. I'm thinking," she laughed pleasantly, "that
it will be a large, beautiful dragon because of your name." She had spent one of her
free periods in the library researching Draco's name. He was named for a
constellation in the far northern sky and his name is Latin for dragon.

"You've been thinking about my Patronus?" He asked happily.

She laughed nervously, "Yeah, I also find the fact that the majority of the Black family
is named after constellations incredibly fascinating."

He liked her laugh, it was very melodic. "Mum says that it's a Black family tradition."

"But your mother isn't named after a constellation, right?" She asked curiously.

He nodded. "Yeah, that's right. I don't know what Grandfather and Grandmother
Black were trying to say by doing that."

"Maybe they knew she would do something extraordinary," she spoke softly.
Narcissa Malfoy had lied to the Dark Lord's face and had saved Harry's life. And she
was responsible for Draco's presence in this world. She was more then okay in
Hermione's book. She shivered slightly when she felt Draco's hand cup her jaw. She
pulled her wand out from under her cloak and uttered, "Lumos," under her breath.
She could see all of his facial features clearly now and he was looking at her with
that intense expression again.

"We need to go now," he stated almost angrily as he removed his hand from her face
and jumped to his feet.

"Why?" She asked confused. They had been in the middle of such a nice moment.

He quickly pulled out his wand. "Accio Firebolt!" His broomstick, which was lying
several feet away, flew into his awaiting hand. He mounted it and turned to her with a
stern look on his face. "Come on Hermione."

"What's wrong?" She didn't understand why his mood had shifted so quickly.

"Just trust me," he barked.


She huffed in frustration before climbing onto the broomstick and wrapping her arms
around him. He took off hurriedly but decelerated once they were high in the air. "Tell
me what happened just now," she demanded in his ear.

He sighed. "If we hadn't left the lake then I would have done something that we'd
both regret," he answered loud enough to be heard over the wind.

"Why don't you try to sound just a little more cryptic?"

He laughed loudly and threw his head back. He sailed through her open bedroom
window and gently levitated her onto her bed with his wand. "You'll figure it out.
Goodnight Hermione, sweet dreams," he grinned.

She stared at him in astonishment before he disappeared out her window. She
scrambled to her feet and stuck her head out into the October night air. But she
couldn't see him on his broom. She closed her window with probably more force
then necessary and collapsed back onto her bed. She heard Crookshanks purring
before she saw him. He padded towards her and curled up by her side. She petted
his fluffy head affectionately. She turned her head to the side and caught sight of the
stack of Ron's letters that she kept on her bedside table. She missed him but things
were changing…drastically. She was very confused.

"Why are boys so much bloody trouble?"

A/N: I hope that you enjoyed Draco and Hermione's heart-to-heart. Review! :)
Chapter 8
A/N: Thanks to everyone who reviewed the last chapter. :) The rating has now
changed, I hope that this doesn't deter anyone. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: Same as previous chapters.

Chapter 8

November – The Head Girl's Tower

Hermione awoke sluggishly and practically rolled out of her bed. She would have
loved to sleep in , for once in her life, but she had to wake Draco for his Patronus
lesson. She left her bedroom, still in her sleepwear, and headed towards his. She
reached his closed bedroom door and knocked once.

"Come in," he responded huskily.

She slowly opened the door and poked her head inside. She wasn't surprised to see
that Draco was still in his bed but he had the bedcovers pulled up to his neck. "Are
you going to get up for our lesson?"

He nodded, "I will, but come lie with me for a little while first." He shot her his
irresistible grin and she took tentative steps towards his four-poster bed. He reached
for her and wrapped an arm around her small waist. "Its warm under here," he
smirked. She raised the bedcovers and he swiftly pulled her down so that she lay
beside him. She gasped as he rested his hands on the small of her back and hugged
her body to his. She realized that he was shirtless and that he was aroused and
pressing up against her. "You're so soft," he said with his lips against her neck.

"Draco," she moaned as her hands moved over his smooth chest.

"I want you so much," he groaned, "let me have you."

He gently kissed her cheek and ran one hand through her hair. He looked at her and
his grey eyes, which had the capacity to be so cold, looked warm, inviting, and
sincere. "Yes, take me," she whimpered.

He leaned forward and kissed her passionately as he rolled their bodies so that she
was lying underneath him.

Hermione's eyes rocketed open and she sat up in her bed. She pushed her long,
brown hair out of her face. Her whole body was flushed and sweaty. 'What an absurd
dream!' It had also been a very inappropriate dream. The weirdest part was that the
dream had seemed so real. It was as if she could feel his heated skin under her
fingertips, his soft lips touching hers, and his male anatomy hard against her
stomach. She flushed again in embarrassment. The dream version of herself had
enjoyed it too much.

She felt awful even dreaming and, if she was being completely honest with herself,
thinking about such things - a lot - when she was with Ron. They had been friends
since they were eleven. She had had a crush on him for years. Even when the
world's most famous Quidditch player had been lavishing her with attention she had
been wishing that it was Ron. They were both Gryffindors, Order of the Phoenix
members, and Harry Potter's best friends. They were meant to be together.

Yet she found herself fantasizing about Draco Malfoy, of all people.

'I know that he doesn't even think about me in that way! Draco's just been content to
have a friend to talk to,' she reasoned with herself.

She thought that she had been confused after returning the other night from their
conversation by the lake. Now she was more puzzled then she could ever imagine. It
would all be much easier if Draco had stayed as a despicable, irritating, typical
Slytherin. But he had wanted to change and better himself and now he was one of
the most respectable young men that she knew. And she did not believe for one
second that he was acting. She would swear on her life that his change was
genuine.

Draco Malfoy was now on an equal playing field with Ronald Wesley and that posed
a serious problem for her and her conscience. She was afraid of what she would do
if she spent any more time alone with him. Her whole body tingled when he was
near. The only way that Hermione saw that she could prevent something from
happening that she would later regret and be ashamed of herself for, was to avoid
Draco at all costs. As irrational as it sounded, it would be her plan of action from now
on.

With that decision made, she walked into the bathroom to get ready for the day
ahead.

The Great Hall

"Are you nervous?" Blaise asked Draco conversationally. Today was the opening
match of the Quidditch season, Slytherin vs. Gryffindor, and Blaise had noticed that
his friend, seeker, and team captain was being very quiet and was only picking at his
breakfast.

He shook his head. "No. You?" He asked unenthusiastically.

"Yeah," Blaise answered truthfully.

Draco knew that he should say something supportive to his dark-haired mate but he
just didn't have the energy. He was tired, frustrated, and upset. Hermione had been
avoiding him for the past few days and he had no idea why. She had been spending
all of her free periods in the library and her evenings in Gryffindor Tower. She had
stopped visiting him in his bedroom and kept making excuses that she was tired and
needed to go to bed early when he attempted to visit her. She only talked about the
assigned material in Ancient Runes and in every other class they had together, she
didn't even acknowledge his presence. Recently, he had been focused on Quidditch
but he had noticed the absence of their late night broomstick rides and his Patronus
lessons.

Things were not going according to plan and he was getting quite angry. Up until the
night by the lake everything had been perfect. He had told her his darkest secrets
and deepest fears and then she had started brushing him off like he was an
insignificant pest! It had not sat well with him from the beginning but he had ruled
against confronting her. However, now his patience was wearing thin and he was
unable to concentrate on anything but her, which would not bode well for this
morning's Quidditch match.

He looked across to the Gryffindor table and saw her laughing with Longbottom. He
was irrationally jealous instantly. 'It's only Longbottom!' The sane portion of his mind
screamed.

"You okay, Draco?" Blaise asked, concerned. His blonde friend looked furious, like
he was going to murder someone.

"Fine," he spoke through gritted teeth.

Blaise raised his head and gave an approaching Pansy a look of warning. He knew
that now was not the time to talk to Draco.

"Drakie," she started as she sat down beside him. "I wanna wish you good luck this
morning," she said suggestively.

Draco turned his neck and glared at her. "Pansy, I want to make this very clear. I
don't want you."
"What?" She asked in pure shock.

"I. Don't. Want. You." He stressed and enunciated every word perfectly. Luckily, his
voice was low so he wasn't causing a scene in the Great Hall.

"I…I don't…I don't understand," she stuttered.

"That doesn't surprise me," he replied cruelly.

Blaise winced at Draco's unkind comment. 'He must really be in a foul mood, he was
never that rude to Pansy, at least not to her face,' he thought.

Pansy leaned in closer to his ear and her pug like facial features looked less
appealing then ever. "If you're just saying this because you're trying to shag some
fifth year tart then fine. I know that you'll be back," she said confidently.

He rolled his eyes. Pansy chose this moment of all of their moments together to gain
some self-confidence. "I'm finished with you, Parkinson."

She squealed annoyingly and then huffed before turning on her heel and storming
out of the Great Hall.

"What's all that about?" Nott asked nosily as he sat down at the Slytherin table after
passing an irate Pansy.

"I guess that she and Draco just broke up," Blaise answered cautiously.

Draco wasn't even paying attention as his friends were discussing his business. He
was fixatedly staring at Hermione. She was wearing her Gryffindor uniform and
robes and because it was beginning to get cold outside, she was also sporting her
scarlet and gold scarf. 'She looks so fucking cute!' He slammed his fork down onto
the table and both Blaise and Nott looked at him, startled.

"I'm going to head over to the pitch," he told them as he stood slowly.

"Okay," Blaise answered. They were still baffled by Draco's outburst.

"What's going on with him?" Nott asked Blaise urgently once Draco had exited the
Great Hall.

Blaise shrugged, "I have no idea."

"Well, it better not affect the bloody match!"


The Quidditch Pitch

Hermione sat in the Gryffindor spectator box between Neville and Seamus and
waited anxiously for the match to begin. She had seen Draco angrily leave the Great
Hall this morning. He was not taking her avoidance well, and she knew that, and to
top things off, she could see Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy sitting in the guest box. She
hoped that he wouldn't be distracted.

She was taken aback when the sobbing, first year, Slytherin boy from the first night
of the school year walked up to her. Jeffrey, she remembered his name being,
obviously wasn't intimidated by entering the Gryffindor box in his Slytherin robes. He
was a very brave first year.

"Draco wants you to meet him outside the locker room," he whispered into her ear.

"Thank you," she smiled.

The young boy smiled back brightly before scurrying out of the box.

Hermione got up out of her seat and Neville looked up at her. "Where are you
going?"

"Head Girl stuff," she answered quickly, "save my seat!"

She raced down the high staircase until she reached the ground floor, which was
beneath the actual pitch. She walked along the corridor searching for the door to the
Slytherin locker room when she was grabbed by an arm and to a viewer, looked to
be pulled into the wall. "What the…?" She looked up at Draco in confusion.
"What's…?" She was at a loss for words.

"Disillusionment Charm," he grinned.

'Wow, powerful Disillusionment Charm,' she thought to herself.

"So, you sent a messenger to tell me to meet you here," she addressed the situation
at hand after getting over his impressive magical feat.

"I'm glad that you came," he said softly as he played with the ends of her scarf. He
was unable to stay mad in her presence, but he needed answers. "Why have you
been avoiding me the past three days?"

She sighed loudly. "I have not," she denied. He looked so gorgeous in his Quidditch
robes, tall, lean, and unbelievably masculine.
"Yes, you have." He ran a hand through his hair in frustration. "Hermione, just tell
me, I need to know! I won't be able to concentrate; I'll be bludgered to death."

She chuckled quietly as she saw the smile on his face. "I'm sorry," she apologized
sincerely after she had finished laughing. "But I needed…need," she corrected
herself, "I need to. Its very selfish, very Slytherin of me," she teased playfully. "But I
need to," she repeated.

"Why?" He asked sadly. "What did I do wrong?" 'I sound like a whiny, teenage girl!' If
it was anyone besides Hermione he would be embarrassed for himself but he would
beg for her if he had to. He would cast his pride aside for her.

"Nothing," she assured him. "It's the opposite actually. You've done everything right."

"Then I don't understand."

An adorable crease formed between his eyebrows and she smoothed it away with a
finger. "I've been avoiding you because I don't want to cheat on Ron," she admitted
in a small voice. "I want you and I think that what I was supposed to figure out is that
you want me too." She blushed involuntarily.

He smiled triumphantly. He would forever remember this as the happiest moment of


his life. Every other happy memory was now immaterial. He felt on top of the world.
In that moment the answer to one of his father's most frequent questions hit him.
"How can someone disgrace their family by marrying a muggle?"

'Well father,' he thought, 'it doesn't matter when you're in love.' Love, that was a big
word and he inwardly sighed. He realized that infatuation, possessiveness, and
obsession could be playing a factor; he was still a Malfoy after all. Yet, he had never
felt this strongly about anything before. He would have to explore these feelings for
an extended period of time later.

"You have no idea how much I want you," he responded gruffly. He held her face
gently in his hands. He heard numerous footsteps approaching them and realized
that both of the house teams were going onto the pitch for the warm-up. "Fuck," he
swore in annoyance. She giggled softly at his cursing and he smiled. "I have to go.
The match will be starting soon."

She nodded understandingly. She looked down at her Gryffindor uniform and then
stared at his Slytherin robes before she uttered what some would consider traitorous
words. "Good luck."

He grinned, "Thank you." He stared into her brown eyes; he wanted to kiss her so
badly. "I'll come to your room tonight, okay?" He asked in a whisper.

"Please," she replied.

"Okay," he smiled again. He took her hand in his and brought it to his lips. "Until
tonight," he smirked before stepping out into the corridor.

Hermione had to admit that she had swooned a little. The gesture had been very old-
fashioned and gentlemanly, and Ron was so not the romantic type. She wasn't used
to such things. 'Uggh…Ron.' How was she supposed to break-up with him? He
wouldn't be expecting it at all. She instantly felt terrible about herself.

Hogwarts Grounds

Draco had played one of the best Quidditch matches of his life. Slytherin had
trounced Gryffindor two hundred and twenty to forty. They were going to win the
Quidditch Cup this year for sure. Blaise and Nott had played a wonderful match as
rookies and he was pleased at how Derrick and Goyle had constantly hounded the
Gryffindor chasers. And the Gryffindor beaters had been horrendous! Ginny Weasley
had played a respectable game as seeker but in the end he had first spotted the
snitch hovering just beneath Bletchley's feet, chased it down, and captured it. He
had held it in his hand with a grin while his teammates celebrated around him. To the
rival teams it looked like he had been smugly taunting the Gryffindor box when really
he had been looking at Hermione. He knew where the inspiration for one of the best
flights of his life had come from.

"Brilliant match, Draco!" A group of fourth year Slytherins called as he walked the
grounds with his parents. He nodded in acknowledgment and the group continued
on towards the castle. They were probably headed to the party in the Slytherin
common room. He had promised to make an appearance later in the day, after he
finished talking to his parents.

"Yes Draco, you played quite well," his father complimented in his pompous voice.

"Thank you father," he responded.

His mother smiled sweetly at him but did not add to the conversation. She wasn't
exactly Britain's biggest Quidditch fan.

"I spoke to Professor Babbling; she's very impressed with your performance in
Ancient Runes. You seemed to have taken an actual interest in the subject this
year," Lucius stated almost suspiciously.
"Yes sir, I've been very focused on all of my studies this year."

"Have you been taking care of yourself?" Narcissa asked concerned.

"Yes mother," he answered with a small smile.

They walked the grounds of Hogwarts while his parents asked him more questions
about his classes, new living quarters, and his duties as Head Boy. They specifically
asked about some of his Slytherin friends such as Blaise, Nott, and Goyle. He was
relieved that his father had not brought up Pansy. He was expecting that dreaded
conversation when he returned home for Christmas holidays. His father had also not
expressed his true feelings about Hermione, a muggle-born witch, being Head Girl,
but Draco knew that it was because there were so many students around, enjoying
the bright, sunny day.

"Ah, Horace," Lucius announced as he spotted Professor Slughorn approaching


them.

"Good day Lucius, Narcissa," he greeted the Malfoy couple politely. "Draco," he
smiled brightly, "way to make a Head of House proud." He shook Draco's hand
enthusiastically.

"Thanks, Professor," he responded awkwardly. Professor Slughorn had been slightly


wary of him so far this year.

He missed the words that were exchanged before his father and the Potions Master
walked off together to talk in private, leaving him alone with his mother. She pulled
him over to a nearby tree and they both sat, but not before Narcissa summoned a
blanket for them to sit on instead of the ground. She turned to him with a bright smile
on her face; he hadn't seen her smile in so long. It brightened her whole face and
brought out her beauty.

"Okay, who is she?" She asked urgently.

"Who is who?" Draco asked confused.

"The girl that makes you smile," she explained. A mother always knows.

"There isn't a girl," he lied as he avoided his mother's gaze and began to pull at
blades of grass.

"Draco," she began as she maternally rubbed his back, "don't lie to your mother."
His mother had never asked him about Pansy, or any other girl for that matter, yet
she had seen him and known instantly that something was different. He didn't think
that he looked that different but obviously it was something discernible to his mother.
Or she had used magic on him. 'No,' he thought to himself, 'it's that whole woman's
intuition business.'

"I don't want to talk about it," he mumbled. He knew that he was acting like a child
but he wanted to keep whatever it was that he and Hermione had to himself, at least
for now. Publicly, she was still happily involved with Ronald Weasley, just last week
Witch Weekly had published an article about the famous war couple. The Weasel
had gushed about how happy he was with "Mione", it had made him sick and
insanely jealous.

The secrecy was one thing. He also didn't know how his mother would react if he
told her the truth. His father's reaction was completely predictable, he would want to
disinherit him and then curse him into oblivion. His mother was a different story. But
there were so many differences between him and Hermione that he couldn't imagine
her being anything but flabbergasted. He was a Slytherin and she a Gryffindor. He
wore the Dark Mark, albeit reluctantly, but she was an important member of the
Order of the Phoenix. He was a pureblood of magical privilege and she was…a
Mudblood. They were supposed to be enemies, but in their world they were anything
but.

Narcissa could see that her son was concentrating very hard on something. 'He
must have strong feelings for this girl.' She patted his knee to get his attention.
"Draco?"

"Yeah Mum?" He answered.

"Does she make you happy?" He nodded slowly and a beautiful smile, the Black
family smile, spread across his face. He looked so much like Lucius when she had
first met him at Hogwarts…except for his smile. She was pleased to see that he had
inherited at least one physical feature from her. "Good," she replied pleased. "Then I
will hear all about her later."

Draco tiptoed up the stairs to the Head Girl's Tower excitedly. It was fairly late in the
night so he hoped that Hermione was not asleep. He had anticipated being able to
visit her earlier but they had kept him in the Slytherin common room longer then he
had expected.

After he had said goodbye to his parents, receiving a firm handshake from his father,
a knowing smile from his mother, and words of "We'll see you at Christmas", he had
grabbed a late, slight dinner before heading to the dungeons. The party had been in
full swing. There was music playing, a rare occurrence in Slytherin, and the boys had
broken out their stashes of Firewhiskey, Butterbeer, and sweets. He had been patted
on the back numerous times and pushed into the center of the large crowd of
rejoicing Slytherins. He would have thought that they had already won the Quidditch
Cup by the way they were getting on. But it had been refreshing. The Slytherin
common room hadn't felt that welcoming in a very long time. As much as he had
enjoyed the camaraderie and being with his housemates, he wanted to see
Hermione! But they had forced him to feast with them in the dungeons. When they
finally allowed him to leave, he had raced to the portrait that concealed the Heads'
common room. Even though the journey had only taken him mere minutes he
wished he could have Apparated to get there even faster. He had rushed into his
bedroom and changed into his sleep trousers.

It had been a long but wonderful day for him and he hoped that it was about to get
even better. He knocked once on her door and she answered it immediately. He
smiled, "Good evening."

"Hi," she smiled back as she pulled her door open, allowing him to enter her
bedroom.

He walked in and laid the late night snack that he had brought for her on her bedside
table. "A Butterbeer and a cauldron cake courtesy of Slytherin House."

"Thank you," she smiled. He was so sweet to her. He had brought her two of her
favourite treats. She sat at the top of her bed and opened the bottle of Butterbeer.
"Sit down," she suggested.

"I have another present for you," he grinned.

"What?" She asked questioningly.

He reached into the pocket of his trousers and slowly pulled his hand back out. He
was hiding something in his clenched fist. "I really hope that Krum didn't do this," he
stated nervously. He opened his hand and the tiny, golden snitch from today's match
fluttered weakly.

"For me?" She asked flattered. He nodded and placed the snitch in her small palm.
"Thank you Draco." She blushed awkwardly. "I don't have anything for you."

"Its okay," he laughed as he took a seat on her bed. "I like giving you things."
Hermione watched the snitch in her hand before she laid the small, golden sphere in
the top drawer of her bedside table. She looked over at Crookshanks who was
perched on the ottoman, as usual. "I wouldn't want Crookshanks to get at it," she
chuckled.

He watched her while she ate her cauldron cake and sipped her Butterbeer. Her
long, brown hair was pulled up into a messy bun at the top of her head and she was
wearing a purple tank top and tight, little, black shorts. She looked mouth-watering.
He began to trace patterns on her shin with his index finger. "Hermione," he spoke
huskily, "I want to kiss you."

She looked up at him through her eyelashes. A part of her just wanted to jump his
bones. He was wearing just those bloody silk, black trousers again. His perfect torso
was on display again! She placed the remainder of her Butterbeer on her table
before turning back to him. She kept her eyes on his face but that didn't really help
matters because he was gorgeous. "I don't want to cheat on Ron, he doesn't
deserve that."

"What does that mean for us?" He asked frowning. He wanted to be with her now.
He lay down on the bed on his stomach, and his body was so long that his legs were
hanging off the end of her mattress. He flipped over so that he was lying on his back
and his head was resting on her crossed legs. He tilted his head back and she came
into his eye line. He smirked broadly, "This is comfortable."

She laughed lightly and ran her fingers through his blonde hair. It was just as soft as
a lot of the Hogwarts girls assumed it would be. "I can't break up with him through a
letter," she confessed quietly. She would not feel right doing that.

"So what do you want to do?" He brought his own hands up to play with her hair
since her fingers were driving him crazy. He pulled her hair out of its bun and
threaded his fingers through the long, dark tresses.

"I'll have to talk to him in person," she answered. "I'll see him over Christmas break."
'What a terrible time to possibly break somebody's heart,' she thought. She would
have to wait until the very end of the holidays, just before she returned to Hogwarts.
Draco's loud groan of frustration interrupted her thoughts. "What?"

"You're telling me that I have to wait until after Christmas holidays to show you how
much I want you?" He asked in disbelief. She nodded weakly. "You have no idea
how tempting you are to me," he stated lowly.

"I'm sorry," she apologized sincerely. She felt terrible for being a tease. "But I feel the
same way," she countered. She wanted to run her hands over every single inch of
his flawless body. She flushed at her naughty thought; she hadn't had thoughts like
that about Ron.

"What are you blushing about?" He asked grinning as he ran a finger across her red
tinged cheek.

"Nothing," she shook her head. She leaned back against her headboard and Draco
shifted his position again. This time he was lying beside her on his side with his head
on her stomach. "Draco," she scolded playfully.

He looked up at her and smiled cheekily. "My body needs to be close to yours." As
she was running her fingers through his hair again, he heard her yawn. "Are you
tired?"

"Yeah, it's been a long day," she replied. After the Quidditch match, she had had a
tutoring session with Neville in Potions before she tackled her own homework. But
thoughts of Draco had distracted her, so she didn't get as much done as she would
have liked.

"Are you ready for bed?" He asked quietly. Truth be told, he was quite fine with
spending the rest of the night lying on her stomach. She was warm and soft.

"Yes, I have a lot of work to do tomorrow so I should get some sleep. Do you want to
have a Patronus lesson tomorrow?"

"I have a lot of homework to do tomorrow too," he replied honestly. "So can we
reschedule again?"

"Sure," she answered unbothered.

Draco lifted his head and crawled up her body until his face was hovering above
hers. He was supporting the full weight of his body on his arms. "Can I stay?" He
asked hopefully.

"What?" Hermione found herself breathing heavily.

He smiled smugly at her reaction. "Can I stay and share your bed?" A skeptical look
spread across her face and he could practically see the cogs turning in her head.
"As friends," he added. She arched an eyebrow and he chuckled. "Haven't you and
Potter shared a bed before?"

"No!" She responded, slightly offended. He stuck out his bottom lip and gave her a
very over the top pout which caused her to laugh hysterically. "Don't do that, you
look too cute!"

Once she stopped laughing, he jumped off of her bed and onto the floor. Hermione
noticed that he had a smooth quality to all of his movements, almost as if he was
levitating himself. "I'm not used to this you know," he stated as he stood above her.

"Not used to what?" She asked puzzled.

"Not getting what I want." He spoke to her honestly and uninhibitedly, something that
he didn't do for anyone else.

She swallowed loudly. He looked powerful. He stood tall with a straight back and
shoulders. His chest bare and his jaw set. She hadn't realized that the dark tone of
his voice had turned her on. "Draco, I…" she began but he cut her off.

"Hermione, I'm not trying to put pressure on you," he explained. He took her hand
and brought it to his lips for the second time that day. Then he turned it over and
kissed her palm. "Goodnight, sweet dreams."

She gave him a small, flustered smile. "Goodnight Draco."

He released her hand and left her bedroom. He felt selfless, noble, and respectful
just because of the fact that he hadn't pounced on her like an animal as soon as he
had laid eyes on her. He would have to practice restraint until she broke up with the
Weasel. But right now, he was the happiest that he had ever been.

A/N: Thanks for reading. Review please! :)


Chapter 9
A/N: Thanks to everyone who reviewed the last chapter! :) It had a great
response. At this point If It Kills Me has over 4,300 hits, 46 favourites, 76 alerts,
and 53 reviews and I am very happy! :) Enjoy the new chapter!! PS. Rated M for
a reason.

Disclaimer: Same as previous chapters.

Chapter 9

The Head Girl's Tower

Hermione's alarm went off at nine o'clock A.M. She was anxious to start on her pile
of homework but she wanted to do something else first. She freshened herself up a
little bit before she left her room. She was slightly self-conscious about her
appearance now. She wanted to look at least mildly presentable for Draco, even
though she was still wearing her pyjamas.

She opened the door to his bedroom without knocking and saw that he was still
sleeping. He was not having a nightmare. In fact, he looked peaceful. She slowly
approached his bed and ran her fingers across his forehead and into his hair. She
sat down next to his sleeping form and softly spoke his name. "Draco. Wake up,
Draco."

He stirred instantly and his eyes flickered open. "Hermione," he smiled. He tugged
on her wrist gently. "Lie with me for a little while."

'This seems an awful lot like a recent dream,' she thought to herself.

But she knew that it was no use getting into an argument that in reality she wanted
to lose anyway, so she slid under the covers of his bed. He ran a finger down along
her jaw line. "I can't wait until after Christmas holidays," he sighed. His arms snaked
around her back and he pulled her closer. "I'm not going to bite," he paused and
grinned mischievously, "unless you want me to."

"Stop it," she replied firmly, but couldn't keep from blushing.

"Aw, such a good girl," Draco crooned. "Tell me about your sexual experience,
Hermione."

"Tell me about yours," she countered quickly.


"Touché," he smirked. The creamy white flesh that was exposed by her tank top was
driving him mad, as was the bare skin of her legs that he could feel underneath the
sheets. 'Fuck restraint,' he thought to himself. "Hermione," he groaned, "I'm going to
bloody die. Can we just send the Weasel an owl?"

"No," she scowled, "we cannot send Ron," she emphasized his name, "an owl."

Draco released her from his grasp and rolled over onto his back. He kicked the
clothes off of his side of the bed in a childlike tantrum. The sneer on his face was
unmistakeable. "I want to hex him," he mumbled to himself. His head snapped up as
he felt a soft touch on his stomach. He looked down to see that Hermione was
running a finger along the trail of light blonde hair that started at his navel and
disappeared into his pants. He raised his head and noticed that she was intently
following her finger with her eyes. "What are you doing?" He asked breathily.

"I find this incredibly attractive and I don't know why," she explained slowly. 'His
whole body is incredibly attractive,' her mind yelled. But for some reason in
particular, the soft, blonde hair on his stomach made her whole body buzz with
anticipation. Maybe it was because she knew where the path ended.

"Hermione," he groaned, "you can't do things like this after you've told me that I have
to wait until after Christmas." He was only a man after all, and one who very much
enjoyed being sexually active. But right now he would settle for as much as kissing
Hermione. He had never wanted to kiss someone so much before. And
unfortunately, a certain other part of his body acknowledged that fact as well. His
member was now standing at proud attention, but he was hardly self-conscious. He
was proud of his male assets.

Hermione on the other hand was blushing scarlet. "Oh my," she stammered. She
stopped her movements and rested her hand flat on his abdomen.

"What is it?" He asked sounding utterly oblivious. She couldn't bring herself to look
him in the eyes. Her gaze was transfixed on the rather large tent in his sleep pants.
Draco couldn't contain his smirk any longer. "Hermione," he whispered seductively,
"do you see something you like?"

"Draco!" She screeched as she slapped his shoulder. She was flustered beyond
belief. Ron's anatomy had never made her feel so embarrassed, mostly because
she had had minimal contact with it.

"Is that a yes?" He teased as he rolled over onto his side and began to tickle the
exposed skin of her stomach. She laughed uncontrollably as his fingers worked their
magic. Draco took his opportunity to pin her beneath himself and the bed.
"Hermione," he practically growled. His body was pressing against her soft curves
and it was causing his hormones to race. He wanted to take her on every surface of
the Head Boy and Head Girl's room. He noticed that she was panting and that her
brown eyes were practically black. She wanted him just as much as he wanted her.
He leaned down with the intention of capturing her lips but she pushed hard on his
shoulders.

"I can't," she whimpered. Draco Malfoy was such a temptation while he was lying on
top of her, shirtless and hard, but she wanted to stand her ground, even if he was
trying to persuade her otherwise. He wanted to do this one thing, in particular, the
Slytherin way. "We should get out of your bed," she reasoned.

He shook his head before burying his face in her neck. "No," he answered before
placing an open mouth kiss on her skin. Her whole body shivered at the slight touch.
"What did you do with Krum?" He asked inquisitively.

"We just kissed," she replied honestly. Viktor Krum had been her very first kiss. It
had been pleasant but slightly awkward. He had certainly enjoyed it more then she
did.

"And the Weasel?" He demanded. Krum was bad enough, but the thought of
Weasley touching her was enraging.

"Draco, do we have to talk about this?"

"Yes," he answered before kissing her neck again. Her whole body was now flushed
from a combination of embarrassment and arousal. "Have you two shagged?" He
questioned bluntly.

"No," she replied quickly. She was still a virgin. Her virginity was a gift that she had
been saving for Ron…but she wasn't so sure now.

He grinned against her skin; he found that information quite pleasing. "Malfoys don't
share." He heard his father's voice once again, except this time he embraced the
message. He definitely did not want to share Hermione.

"We've only done one thing," she confessed quietly. She briefly reflected on the
experience. At first it had been pleasant but it had quickly turned into uncomfortable
and awkward for her. Ron hadn't known that anything was wrong. He had come out
of the experience proud of himself.

Draco quickly raised his head and she could see the spark of anger in his eyes.
"What?" He leaned down to her ear and gently kissed it. "Did he try to get you off
with his fingers?" She reluctantly nodded and he gritted his teeth. "And did he?"

Hermione was silent for a very long moment before she spoke, "No."

"Brilliant," he laughed loudly.

She was disappointed and irritated by his reaction. He was still such a git. She
angrily pushed him off of her and got to her feet. Draco reigned himself in
immediately and caught her by the waist. She spun around and he could tell that she
was livid. "That was really personal and I didn't tell you so that it could give you a
laugh!"

"I know that," he replied seriously. "Come here." He slowly pulled her down into his
lap so that she was sitting with her back to his chest. "I wasn't laughing at you; it's
not your fault that Weasley didn't know what the bloody hell he was doing." 'What an
idiot,' Draco thought. "It should be criminal to leave such a gorgeous creature
unsatisfied," he whispered into her ear.

"Draco," Hermione whispered. He was so sexual and she loved it. Ron didn't exude
the sexual confidence that he did. She was at the very least in lust with him and she
had never had those feelings towards Ron. There was no passion between them
while the passion between her and Draco when they were alone was practically
tangible. She raised her arms and wrapped them around his neck so that she could
run her hands through his hair. He was still hard and poking into her behind.

"Want me to give it a go?" He asked smirking as his hands splayed across her
stomach.

Her eyes widened at his idea. 'That action would certainly count as cheating,' she
thought. She bit down on her bottom lip, hard. She desperately wanted to say yes.
Her body was prickling with excitement. She could only imagine the things that he
was capable of. She truly believed that his reputation would be true. "Yes," she
whispered. She knew that it was wrong, but she couldn't help herself. She felt
magnetically drawn to him.

His reaction was not instantaneous. He had to pause for a moment to make sure
that he had heard her correctly. But after that he was so thrilled that he moved
swiftly. He placed his hand under her chin and turned her head so that their lips met
in a fierce kiss. It felt like he had waited an eternity to kiss her. Her lips were just as
edible as he had predicted and his kissing skills were not exaggerated.

While their lips were joined, he pushed her back onto his bed in a lying position and
happily crawled on top of her. He had been imagining and dreaming about this, he
planned to make sure that she enjoyed every second. He pulled away from her
mouth and moved down towards her neck. "Just relax," he whispered soothingly. As
he kissed and sucked her neck, he felt her hips rise up to meet his. Hermione
Granger was a sex goddess waiting to be unleashed, he just knew it. All she needed
was a proper orgasm.

One of his hands found her hip and squeezed playfully. She yelped and dug her
blunt nails into his back in response. Her felt her tense as he slipped his hand inside
of her shorts and began to push them down. "Do you want to leave them on?" He
asked considerately. She really needed to be comfortable in order to enjoy this.

"No, take them off," she answered breathily. Her hands joined his and assisted him
in removing her shorts and underwear. She was now naked from the waist down and
she did feel a tad self-conscious. After all she knew that Draco had seen his fair
share of unclothed women.

As much as he wanted to dive right in, so to speak, he ignored her nudity and
returned to kissing her perfect lips. 'I wonder if she'll take her top off too,' the devilish
part of his brain thought.

Her hands were tangled in his soft blonde hair as she found his tongue with her own.
He was such a good kisser. She was already incredibly aroused. More so then she
had ever been with Ron. She felt like a taught bow string.

Draco could not get over how enthusiastically she was kissing him. It only added to
his ego. But on a more sincere note, he had never felt more wanted then when he
was with her. And in return, he wanted to show her how much he truly wanted her.
His lips left hers and trailed down to her collarbone. That muggle tank top of hers
was driving him mad. He wanted to rip it off of her; he knew that she was wearing
nothing underneath. He pushed the bottom of it up to expose her flat midriff. He
kissed her stomach lovingly as he continued to inch the tank top up her body.

"Hermione," he muttered against her skin. "Let me see you naked."

She quickly pulled her shirt off of her head and considered it to be quite a personal
feat. It had been a big step for her; he was the first boy to see her nude.

'Oh, she's beautiful,' he thought to himself. The workings of his own mind actually
surprised him. Typically, he was cruder when it came to girls in a state of undress,
but Hermione was just flawless. Soft, pale skin, pouting lips, long legs, full breasts,
and cute toes…yes, she was perfect.

"You're beautiful," he told her honestly. Her cheeks flushed and she pulled him down
for a fervent kiss.

She fully realized that he was treating her with kindness, consideration, and respect,
and that that was not how he had treated girls in the past. "Draco," she panted. She
was gasping for air and her heart was beating fanatically. "I have very strong feelings
for you." She never thought that she would have any feelings other then utter hatred
for Malfoy, but she had been proven wrong in the most extreme way possible.

"Good," he grinned broadly. He rubbed his smooth cheek along her bare chest and
she shuddered in pleasure. "I'm in love with you Granger." He felt that the moment
was intimate enough for him to utter what he had been feeling for a while now. His
feelings towards her since the beginning of the school year had confused him and he
had not been able to label them. But after yesterday's Quidditch match and his talk
with his mother, it was clear that he loved her.

Hermione was taken aback to say the least. She had enjoyed the light-hearted
manner in which he had used her surname but she had no idea that he felt that
strongly about her.

"You don't have to say it back," he added quickly. "I just wanted you to know." He
stopped her from responding by claiming her mouth. He kissed her aggressively as
his hands trailed down her body. A part of him acknowledged the fact that he could
remove his sleep pants and sink into her but he was content with concentrating on
giving her pleasure. For once he was not concerned with his own.

His fingers teased her opening and she moaned loudly into his mouth while gripping
his shoulder. He kissed her cheek tenderly as he slipped a single finger inside of her.
"Mmm, Draco," she groaned into his ear.

'Fuck, that's sexy,' he thought to himself. He gave her a quick kiss on the lips before
he wandered down to her chest. Her hands were once again in his hair and he
growled at the feeling of her fingernails on his scalp. He took one of her nipples in
his mouth and his free hand massaged the other.

The combination of sensations was sending her into a frenzy. She now felt two of his
long fingers inside of her and his thumb brushing her bundle of nerves, along with
his mouth showering her breasts with attention. She felt her body aching to reach a
foreign goal. "Draco," she panted.

He raised his head immediately; he needed to watch her come. "Do you feel close
Hermione?"

"I think so," she whimpered.


They kissed again before he pulled back. "Scream my name for me," he instructed
lowly. He could tell that she was dangerously close, she was tightening around his
fingers and her breathing rate had picked up. Not to mention the fact that a gorgeous
flush was beginning to form on her chest.

She felt like she was going to combust but instead pleasure washed over her in
quick, sharp waves. "Draco!" She screamed not because he had told her to but
because she couldn't have stopped herself if she tried.

'A screamer,' Draco's inner devil grinned.

But he had never seen a girl look more beautiful. When she had finished riding out
her orgasm, he kissed her softly on the forehead. "Was it as good for you as it was
for me?" He asked smiling.

She giggled…actually giggled in response. She leaned forward and gave him a peck
on the lips. "It was amazing."

He rolled over onto his side and wrapped his arm around her so that he was
spooning her from behind. He used wandless magic to bring his bedclothes up to
cover them both. He pulled her in so that their bodies were pressed together and
kissed the back of her neck while tickling her stomach. "How do you feel?" He asked
quietly.

"Wonderful." One of her hands came to rest on top of his and she began to caress
his knuckles. The simple, caring gesture made him happy. Her eyes fluttered shut
and she hummed in contentment. She turned in his arms so that she was facing him.
She kissed his chest and wrapped her arms around his waist. "I'm afraid because I
love you too," she admitted sleepily.

A/N: Fluffy, I know, but I hope that you liked it anyways. Review! :)
Chapter 10
A/N: Thanks to everyone who reviewed the last chapter! :) I really did not
expect so many people to respond to this story so thank you. Your comments
mean the world to me. :) Enjoy the new chapter. I cannot promise an update
next Saturday because final exams have taken over my life and the next
chapter is not yet ready. However, I will try to post shortly after next weekend
because the next few chapters are somewhat Christmas themed and it would
be nice to post them in season. lol.

Disclaimer: Same as previous chapters.

Chapter 10

The Head Boy's Dungeon

Draco held Hermione as she slept. He smirked to himself; he had worn her out. But
of course she would be exhausted after her first orgasm. She had fallen asleep
almost immediately after she had said, "I'm afraid because I love you too."

'She loves you too,' he thought to himself. He felt almost overwhelmed with
happiness. But there was still the matter of the Weasel. He sneered against her
slender neck which he had been peppering with kisses. He wanted her to himself
now! His arms tightened around her body in a possessive manner. He never thought
that he would ever give Hermione Granger, the know-it-all Mudblood, a second look
and now he couldn't take his eyes off of her. The war had changed every single
aspect of his life.

He smiled as she snuggled closer to his chest in her sleep. She was still naked and
pressing against him. He loved the feeling of her soft, womanly curves. He kept one
of his hands on the small of her back and the other trailed down over her supple
buttocks. She squirmed slightly but did not awaken. He smirked to himself, 'Maybe I
should wake her up properly.'

He began to massage the flesh of her behind and she moaned softly. "Draco, stop
it," she groaned drowsily.

He chuckled, "I'm just going to make you feel good again."

"We shouldn't do that again," she murmured. As she spoke she clung to his body.
She wanted to do it again. He tangled his free hand in her hair and kissed her
shoulder. "Draco," she cried softly.
He grinned widely, she was practically whimpering for him. "You're so sensitive right
now that you'll come almost immediately," he reassured her. He slipped his hand
between her legs and found what he was looking for without delay and in response
she squirmed and shrieked. He was right, she was incredibly sensitive. Her hands
wrapped around his shoulders and pulled his head closer to hers so that they could
kiss. He devoured her mouth as his fingers worked their magic again. In no time, she
was writhing beside him with one of her legs thrown over his hips to provide him with
better access. Their chests were pressed together and their mouths were joined.
She pulled away from his kiss and screamed into his shoulder. He worked her
completely though her orgasm and then kissed her tenderly on the forehead.
"Beautiful," he murmured.

"Draco," she panted as she ran her fingers through his hair, causing him to shiver.
"Thank you."

He chuckled, "Don't thank me; I want to do that all day, everyday."

"I'm tired again," she laughed.

"That's natural." He laughed along with her. "It boosts my ego to know that you're
thoroughly spent," he grinned as he pulled her flush against his body.

"Like your ego needs boosting," she teased. She laughed to herself but stopped
when she felt his hard manhood against her center, through his sleep trousers.
"Draco," she began but he cut her off.

"Don't be embarrassed that you make me hard." She blushed at his statement and
he smiled. 'So innocent.'

He pushed his hips into hers and she gasped. "I can't…do that," she emphasized
shyly.

"That's okay," he replied understandingly. He was willing to wait until she was ready,
she meant that much to him. With any other virgin he would persuade and seduce.
He had done it before after all, but Hermione was different. "Just tell me when you
can," he whispered in her ear. He kissed her on the forehead again before slipping
out of bed.

"Where are you going?" Hermione asked self-consciously as she pulled his blankets
up to cover her naked body.

He looked down at her and grinned, seeing her wrapped up in the Slytherin crest
was extremely erotic. "I'm going to clean up and then get us something to eat." He
leaned down and kissed her intensely on the mouth before moving into his
bathroom. He stood in front of his mirror and stared at the grin plastered across his
face, and he hadn't even gotten off! He really just wanted to stay in bed with
Hermione all day. 'Hmm, maybe that can be arranged,' he thought to himself. He
walked back into his bedroom and smirked as he saw that Hermione was still lying
naked in his bed. He growled playfully as he gently pounced on her.

"Draco," she laughed, "I thought that you were going to get food."

"Change of heart, I want my mouth on you."

She pulled away from his demanding lips. "Draco, I really think that I should shower,
dress, eat, and do homework."

He buried his face in her hair and sighed, "Fine." He would have to settle for having
her naked and writhing again tonight. "You can use my shower." It would provide him
with many fantasies. He gave her one last kiss. "Okay, go shower."

Hermione blushed innocently. "Can you close your eyes?"

"Why?" He asked with a highly arched eyebrow.

"Because I'm naked," she replied quickly. She was definitely not comfortable enough
to hop out of his bed and waltz into the bathroom, completely naked while he
watched. He groaned out of frustration but did not protest before he placed his hand
over his eyes. She slipped out of his very comfortable bed and scurried towards the
open bathroom door. At the doorway, she turned around to glance back at him.
"Draco!" He was lying on the bed with his hands under his head and his eyes wide
open. He was wearing his trademark smirk.

"I'm not apologizing," he stated seriously. "You look practically edible."

She quickly closed the door and was happy to have these moments of privacy to
shower and clean up. She quickly hopped into the shower and turned on the hot
water.

She had no idea that her body could feel that good, she still felt tingles. Draco had
made her feel so amazing. But now that her mind was clear and she was alone, she
felt incredibly guilty. 'Ron.' She sighed as she ran her hands through her knotted hair.
She was officially a cheater. Ron could be hard to deal with sometimes. He could be
childish, stubborn, and a downright git but she knew that he would never cheat on
her. He was loyal and loving. She groaned loudly, she was a horrible person.
A light knock on the door startled her. "Hermione," Draco called out softly. "Is
everything alright?"

"Fine," she answered quickly.

"Okay, I'm going to wait out here for you."

She cleaned up using his shampoo and body wash and realized that she was
probably going to smell like him for the rest of the day, well she probably did before
she got in the shower anyway. Draco smelt of pine and something else that she
couldn't quite pinpoint. But his scent was distinctly masculine and attractive.

She turned off the water and grabbed a towel off of the rack. Some aspects of living
in Hogwarts were similar to her home in London. She wondered if the wizarding
world knew that when it comes to the routines of bathing they behaved just like
muggles.

She wrapped the large, fluffy towel around her body and stepped out of the shower.
Draco was leaning against the vanity, still only wearing his sleep trousers. He looked
unbelievable. His hair was slightly tousled from her running her hands through it and
she couldn't help but blush at the memory.

"All clean?" He grinned. She merely nodded in response. He placed his hands on
her hips and pulled her towards him. "I know that you're thinking about him and I
want you to stop. It's just the two of us here."

"I know but…"

She began to argue but he cut her off with an intense kiss. "Did you enjoy that?" He
asked once he pulled away. She nodded once again. "Then you have nothing to feel
guilty about." He moved his hands up to her shoulders. "Now, go back up to your
room and get dressed before I ravish you." She blushed instantly at his words. "But
come back as soon as you're done, we'll eat and study, I promise."

"Okay," she agreed. She left his bathroom and made her way back up to her tower.
She quickly spell dried her hair and changed into her comfortable muggle clothes.
She grabbed her bag full of books and homework, and took a deep breath before
returning to Draco's room. Her body was heavily persuaded to only be concerned
with seeking pleasure when he was near. She desperately needed to keep her wits
about her.

She opened the door to his bedroom and saw that it was empty. 'He must be in the
bathroom,' she told herself. She took a seat on the edge of his bed. However, the
ruffled bed sheets were quite distracting. She heard the 'click' of the bathroom door
opening and her head snapped up. Draco was standing in the doorway with a towel
around his hips and water dripping off of his body. 'Now that's much more
distracting,' she thought to herself.

He grinned at her and she knew that she was in trouble. "You're back soon." He
spoke in a smooth and husky voice and it caused her to squirm. She was getting
aroused.

"Draco, you planned this," she accused.

He laughed lightly, "I did not." He walked towards her and sat down next to her on
the bed. "Do you find me distracting?"

"No," she lied while her mind screamed, 'Yes!' He really did have a beautiful body.

"Liar," he teased. He leaned in and kissed her on the mouth.

She pulled back quickly. "Draco…"

He cut her off, "Right, there will be time for more of that later." She sighed as she
observed his wicked grin. She knew that he would be hard to resist.

Hermione had been absolutely right in her assessment of Draco, he had been hard
to resist. Despite of all of her efforts, after eating and studying, she found herself,
once again, beneath him on his bed. She had absolutely no idea how he managed to
do it! But her arms were wrapped around his neck and his hands were tangled in her
hair as they kissed intensely.

She pulled away from a kiss and when she did she was panting heavily. "Draco, stop
for a second." He had made his way down to her neck and was gently sucking and
biting. "Stop," she repeated as she patted his shoulder.

He raised his head and looked at her curiously. "What is it?"

"I need to think clearly for a minute," she explained.

"Hermione," he groaned. "That's your problem, you think too much. You overanalyze
everything!"

"I do not!" She protested.

He smirked, "Yes, you do." He leaned down and began to place light kisses on her
bare shoulder. She shivered at his touch. He had managed to figure out the
reactions of her body way too quickly. Draco Malfoy was an incredibly talented man.

"Draco," she sighed breathily as she ran a hand down over his bare back. He had
been shirtless almost the entire day. She felt the sinewy muscles of his body and
moaned. "Maybe I should go back to my room now," she attempted to reason.

"You'll stay here with me tonight," he replied.

Obviously Hermione noticed his phrasing. He wasn't posing it as a suggestion, it was


a demand. "Draco, I'm tired," she sighed. That meant that she didn't have the energy
to fight with him and she certainly didn't have the energy to have her body all worked
up again.

"Do you want to go to sleep, lovely?" Her mouth twitched upwards at the
endearment and she nodded. "Okay then, we'll go to sleep."

"I have to go and get ready then," she stated quietly.

"Right, girl things," he chuckled as he rolled off of her. He watched with a grin on his
face as she scurried off of his bed and out the door. He would give her space to go
through whatever feminine ritual she had before going to bed. God knows every one
of them had one!

Hermione returned surprisingly quickly. He should have known that she wasn't like
other girls; she had already proven that many times. "Ready for bed?" He smiled.

She nodded shyly. "Yeah." She had spent the night in the same bed as Ron before
but it was all very innocent, hand holding type stuff. She knew that if she shared a
bed with Draco it would be sexually charged and anything but innocent.

He invitingly pulled up the covers of his bed and she slipped underneath. He
immediately inched closer so that he was spooning her from behind. "Malfoys can
cuddle too," he joked playfully.

She couldn't help the laugh that escaped. "Sorry."

He kissed her gently beneath the ear and found one of her hands with his own. He
smiled to himself as he entwined their fingers. He had never held hands with a girl
before but it felt…nice. "Goodnight Hermione," he whispered.

"Goodnight Draco," she mumbled back.


A/N: Aww, aren't they just the cutest? :P I hope that the chapter was enjoyable!
Review and good luck to all of you who are also writing exams at this time! :)
Chapter 11
A/N: Thanks for reviewing! :) This chapter is a little late but I hope that you
enjoy it all the same! Happy reading!

Disclaimer: Same as previous chapters.

Chapter 11

December – The Head Girl's Tower

"Hermione, what are these?" Draco asked curiously.

Hermione spun around to see what he was referring to. She chuckled, "Those are
muggle sweets." He was wondering about the batch of chocolate chip cookies that
her mother had sent her.

"Are they any good?" He inquired as he closely examined one of the cookies.

"Yes," she laughed. She walked towards her desk chair where he was sitting and
took the cookie out of his hand. She took a small bite before offering the rest to him.
"Try it," she encouraged. He leaned forward and enclosed his lips around the
remaining piece of cookie and her thumb and forefinger.

He grinned at her as he sucked on her fingers before releasing them from his mouth.
"You were right, they are good." He pulled her down into his lap and placed a soft
kiss on her neck. He sighed contentedly; he was so incredibly happy and he feared
that his jovial mood would change over the Christmas holidays. Both he and
Hermione were leaving Hogwarts tomorrow morning, (the Prefects that were staying
for the holidays were taking on extra duties,) and he was nervous. Hermione was
planning to end things with Ron over the break, but what if she changed her mind?
He didn't know if he'd be able to handle that. As well, he was going to be away from
her for a longer amount of time then he was used to. Not to mention the fact that he
would have to return to the Manor to hear his father prattle on about Pansy
Parkinson and taking over the family business. The thought alone made him sick.
"We should have just both stayed for the holidays," he whispered into her hair.

"You know that I can't do that," she replied quietly. She was excited to spend time
with her parents and Harry, but she was incredibly apprehensive about seeing Ron
again. She really did not want to break his heart.

"I know." He sighed, this time in frustration, before kissing her neck again. "I love
you."

Hermione smiled to herself. He hadn't said those three words since his first
confession. Somehow, the fact that he hardly said it made it that much more special
when he did. She knew that Draco did not like to show a lot of emotion unless it was
passion. She turned her head and kissed him sweetly on the mouth. "I have to finish
packing," she said as she hopped off of his lap.

Draco did not miss the fact that she hadn't said, 'I love you too.' He frowned to
himself. Sometimes he felt as if Hermione had too much control over him. Her mind,
her body, even her magic, everything about her drove him wild, and he had been
growing frustrated and impatient as of late. The hold that she had on him was
incredibly dangerous, especially when he was never one hundred percent certain if
she returned, or even understood the high level of his feelings for her. He could
reduce her to a quivering mess in his bed but she hadn't allowed anything physical
between them since that first morning, day, and night. He smirked at the memory
that they would hopefully build on in the near future.

"What are you smirking about?" She teased.

He laughed at being caught. "I'm thinking about you," he paused and stood, "naked
in that bed," he finished as he glanced at her perfectly made bed.

She blushed furiously; sometimes it was a bad idea to ask Draco what was on his
mind as it was usually about sex. "Knock it off," she spoke sternly.

He chuckled, "Are you getting angry with me? Because it's kind of turning me on."

She took a step backwards so that her four-poster bed was separating them. She
could see the mischievous gleam in his eye. "Draco, I'm packing," she said
warningly.

"I can see that," he grinned. "But there are better things that we can do with our
time." He pulled his wand out of the pocket of his trousers and with one small flick all
of the clothes that she had neatly piled on top of her dresser were perfectly situated
in her trunk. "See," his grin widened. Hermione rolled her eyes. Draco grew up doing
everything the "magical way"; of course he would take over her packing. "I just want
a kiss," he pouted, "I won't even be able to see you over the holidays."

She sighed softly and instead of walking around to the bed to meet him she hopped
up onto her mattress so that she towered over him. Though not as tall as Ron, Draco
was tall and was currently eyelevel with her stomach. He pulled her towards him and
lifted her into his arms. His large hands supported her thighs and she wrapped her
arms around his neck and her legs around his waist. He nipped at her bottom lip and
smiled when she giggled. He hungrily captured her mouth and laid her gently down
on her bed so that he could lie on top of her.

"You said that you just wanted a kiss," she laughed. She didn't have it in her to be
irritated with him.

"You know that I always want more," he responded simply before moving his lips to
her neck.

She caught the double meaning behind his words immediately. He wanted more
from her physically and emotionally, and she wasn't sure if she was prepared to give
him either. "Draco, you know that I care about you…so much," she said as she ran
her hands down his shirt covered torso. "I just can't give you everything that you
want right now and I thought that you understood that?"

He raised his head so that they were making eye contact. "I do," he groaned, "it's
just frustrating when I'm use to getting what I want right away."

"I know that you were a spoiled child," she teased.

"I was an incredibly spoiled child," he agreed, "and when I wanted something I was
given it."

"Well be patient," she advised as she ran a hand through his silky, blonde hair.

"I don't think that's a word in the Malfoy vocabulary," he grumbled.

She pulled him in for a passionate kiss and spoke after she broke away. "Well make
it one." She lightly patted his cheek before pushing him off of her.

He rolled onto his back and grasped her hand. He brought it to his mouth and kissed
her palm lovingly. "I will," he murmured. He kissed her hand again while inhaling the
scent of her skin. "I'm going to go to my room and double check that I've packed
everything. Come and see me before you go to bed please."

"I will," she smiled genuinely.

He kissed her hand one last time and she blushed at his moment of chivalry.

Hogwarts Express

Draco sighed as he sat down in an empty train chart. Hermione was with Ginny
Weasley since they obviously could not be seen together in such a casual setting. It
made him even more incredibly frustrated. Even if his wishes came true and
Hermione broke up with the Weasel and came running into his arms, they wouldn't
be able to act like a "normal" couple, like he wanted to, because she was the
wizarding world's golden girl and he was Draco Malfoy. Very few people had been
able to understand, and forgive, his actions during the war.

He exhaled loudly and rested his head against the cool glass of the window.
Everything was simple when it was just the two of them in the privacy of one of their
bedrooms. Last night she had visited him before she went to bed and it had lead to
the most intimate and affectionate snogging session that he'd ever had. He couldn't
stop thinking about her lips and the feel of her hands running through his hair and
down his bare back.

Draco jumped slightly when the door to the train cart slid open. His pleasant
thoughts had been interrupted. He raised his head and was relieved to see that it
was Blaise.

"Good morning mate," Blaise smiled.

"Morning," Draco mumbled.

"Wow," Blaise chuckled, "you look like you're achieving quite a bit by brooding in
here."

The corners of Draco's mouth twitched upwards into a smile. "Shut it Zabini," he
laughed.

Blaise took a seat across from him. "What's going on?" He asked quietly. "You've
been in a better mood since you started those Patronus lessons and broke up with
Pansy." The dark haired boy paused for a moment and allowed all of the puzzle
pieces that he had collected over the beginning of the school year piece together.
"Those two things…aren't connected, are they?" His friend simply scowled at him.
"Draco!" He scolded in a hushed tone. "You're skirt chasing Hermione!"

Draco shook his head furiously. "It's not like that Blaise. It's not a game," he
whispered softly.

After a long moment Blaise spoke again. "Okay," he nodded, "I believe you." He had
noticed so many changes in his best mate that he was unable not to believe
something that he would have found absolutely absurd a year ago. Draco's words
from his letters over the summer flashed through his mind.
I want to forget everything that I've ever known…

I see people in a different light now…

Sometimes I wish that I had been born on the other side…

I'd give anything not to be marked…

Draco was being sincere, he could tell.

The silent exchange of understanding that was being exchanged between Blaise
and Draco was interrupted by the cart door being excitedly pulled open. "There you
are!" Theodore Nott exclaimed.

"Will Ron be at the station?" Hermione asked nervously. She knew that they were
nearing London now.

Ginny shook her head. "No, today is their last day of training before the holidays."

Hermione wasn't sure if she felt relieved or disappointed by Ginny's news. What she
did know was that her hand was in the pocket of her jeans, under her robes, and she
was holding the snitch that Draco had given her. She also knew that she missed him
already. Some of her feelings were very clear while others were incredibly hazy.

Ginny mistook Hermione's faraway look as longing for Ron. "He's so excited to see
you," she reassured. "But I'm sure that he's told you that."

And he had. He had written it in his last few letters. She nodded and forced a
passable smile. "I'm excited to see everyone, it has been so long."

"It has," Ginny agreed.

Both girls changed out of their robes, with Hermione tucking the snitch safely away
in one of its pockets, and waited for the train to come to a complete stop.

Hermione and Ginny saw that Mr. and Mrs. Weasley were excitedly waiting for them.
They stepped off of the train and were instantly enveloped in one of Mrs. Weasley's
hugs. "Look at you two girls!"

"Young women, Molly," Mr. Weasley corrected with a chuckle.

As Mrs. Weasley let go of Ginny so that her father could greet her, she held
Hermione for a second longer and whispered in her ear. "Ron has been bouncing off
of the walls for the past week." She pulled back and tucked Hermione's wavy, brown
hair behind her ears. "It's so nice to see you."

Hermione smiled because she was glad to see Mr. and Mrs. Weasley since they had
been like second parents to her since she started at Hogwarts. She subtly glanced
down the platform to see Draco hugging his mother. She swallowed nervously and
felt her whole body flush. Maybe getting away from him for a while would be a good
thing. He dazzled her with his soft lips, perfectly sculpted body, and large, talented
hands.

"Hermione, dear," she heard Mrs. Weasley say.

"Hmm? Sorry," she blushed. She knew that Mrs. Weasley had asked her a question
but she hadn't caught her words.

"Where's your luggage dear?"

"Oh," Hermione blushed again. "This way."

"It's going to be so nice to have you home for the holidays," Narcissa crooned as she
hugged her only child. "It'll be different this year," she added quietly.

"Where's father?" Draco asked curiously.

"He's working. Are you disappointed that just your old mother came to pick you up?"
She teased.

"No mother," he laughed lightly.

"I have some last minute Christmas shopping to do in Diagon Alley; do you want to
come with me or Apparate home?"

Draco thought for a moment. He knew that any form of shopping with his mother
could drag on for hours but he did want to shop for a present for Hermione. "I'll come
with you," he answered finally. Narcissa's eyes widened in surprise. Her son loathed
shopping. "I need to…get something…for someone," he answered in response to
her silent question.

A smile light up Narcissa's face upon Draco's words. "A Christmas gift for my future
daughter-in-law, perhaps?" She questioned eagerly.

"Mother," he scolded quietly. He actually found himself embarrassed.


Narcissa wrapped an arm around her son's shoulders and began to lead him away
from the platform. "Come on, tell me all about her."

A/N: Anyone else love Narcissa? Lol. Review and let me know! Happy holidays
everyone! :)
Chapter 12
A/N: Thanks to everyone who reviewed the last chapter! We're almost up to
100! I love you guys! Ha. I'm glad that you all like Narcissa. I really want to
write her as the "typical" mother because its very evident in the books that
she's a very different character when it comes to her family, especially Draco.
Enjoy the new chapter! :) P.S To my awesome beta: I changed your changes
because I use italics for other things. ha ha. Thought I'd mention it. Lol.

Disclaimer: Same as previous chapters.

Chapter 12

"Draco, you need to tell your mother these things," Narcissa begged. The younger
Malfoy simply shook his head. They were now walking down Diagon Alley and his
mother had been badgering him about the secret woman in his life ever since they
left King's Cross station. "How am I supposed to help you pick out the perfect gift if I
don't know anything about her?"

He laughed lightly, his mother was certainly persistent. "She's beautiful mother, and
brilliant. Her magic is unbelievable." Narcissa smiled widely at the fact that her son
was finally divulging his secret and talking to her. "She's kind and compassionate,
and I can talk to her about anything. She's willing to forgive me for some of the awful
things that I've done."

"Sweetheart?" Draco looked at his mother nervously. "You deserve the best and she
sounds lovely. Why were you so reluctant to tell me about her?"

He took a deep breath. "She's not a pureblood, Mum," he confessed quietly.

Narcissa placed her hand under Draco's chin and lifted his head so that she could
look into his eyes. "Is that what you were worried about?" He nodded once. "All I
care about is that she makes you happy, and gives me grandchildren," she added
with a smile.

Draco smiled back at her. Having his mother's approval meant the world to him. But
there was still the problem of his father. "What about father?"

She frowned. "We'll deal with your father when the time comes," she answered
calmly before smiling again. "Now, why don't you tell me who she is?"

"Maybe later, Mum," he replied.


"Okay baby." They stopped in front of Twilfitt and Tatting's. "Why don't we go in here
and pick her out some nice dress robes," she proposed excitedly. He simply nodded
and followed his mother into the posh wizarding clothing store.

"Mrs. Malfoy! And young Mr. Malfoy!" The shopkeeper greeted them enthusiastically.
"What can I do for you today?"

'Well the Malfoy money still means something,' Draco thought cynically.

"We're looking for your finest female dress robes," his mother answered smiling.

"Do you like the robes that I picked out Draco?" Narcissa asked as they made their
way out of Diagon Alley. Draco had been correct in his earlier prediction; they had
spent the whole morning shopping. His mother took one of her favourite pastimes
very seriously.

He nodded slowly. "I think that they'll look beautiful on her." His mother hadn't been
satisfied with anything besides the most expensive, most high fashion, female dress
robes in the whole shop and he had to agree with her that they were stunning, and
would look gorgeous on Hermione. 'As everything does,' he thought.

Narcissa grinned playfully. "I can't wait to see her in them."

"Mum," he whined.

She laughed happily before changing the subject. "I'm going to your Aunt
Andromeda's for tea, would you like to come?" She asked apprehensively. Narcissa
wasn't quite sure where her son stood on the topic of her once outcast sister.

"Yes," he answered quickly. He would like to speak to his only living aunt for the first
time in his life. And see his baby cousin.

They Apparated to a deserted location not too far away from Andromeda's house
and walked the rest of the way. Draco observed that they were definitely in a muggle
neighborhood. Narcissa walked up to the front door and knocked gently.

When the door first opened Draco was startled. It looked as though his Aunt Bellatrix
had come back from the dead. But upon closer inspection he could see the key
differences in appearance. Andromeda's hair was a shade of chestnut brown as
opposed to Bellatrix's coal black. As well, her facial features weren't as harsh as
Bellatrix's had been as a result of her imprisonment in Azkaban, and her eyes were
a warm, soft brown. It was certainly easy enough to tell that she was a Black though;
she had the same tall, lean stature and striking good looks.

"Narcissa, come in," she smiled happily. Narcissa walked into Andromeda's home
and Draco followed. "Oh my," Andromeda gasped. "If your hair was longer you'd look
just like Lucius when we were at Hogwarts." She sized up her nephew for a long
moment before saying, "It's nice to finally meet you Draco."

"Likewise, Aunt Andromeda," Draco smiled.

"Ahh, the Black smile," Andromeda remarked.

"I know," Narcissa beamed.

Andromeda pulled Draco into an embrace and sighed contentedly. It felt so good to
have normal relationships with her blood family. "Let's go into the kitchen," she
suggested with a smile after letting Draco go.

Narcissa and Draco walked out of the porch and down a short hallway where they
passed the sitting room before reaching the kitchen. Narcissa noticed that the house
was immaculate as always. Her older sister had always had a magical talent for
cleanliness.

"Where's Teddy?" She asked.

"He's napping," Andromeda answered as she prepared tea.

"I'm just going to look in on him." Narcissa loved Teddy and doted on him as if he
was her own. He was an adorable baby boy and Narcissa hadn't cared for a baby
since Draco. Teddy had brought out her dormant maternal instincts.

"Go ahead Cissy," Andromeda smiled.

Narcissa exited the room leaving Andromeda to place a cup of tea in front of Draco.
"So handsome," she smiled as she sat down next to him at the kitchen table.

Draco flushed a little. "Thank you for the tea."

"I'm glad that your mother brought you with her," she stated. "Didn't you just get out
of school for the holidays?"

He nodded. "Yes, Mum picked me up this morning and then we went to Diagon
Alley."

"Yes, Harry and Ron mentioned that the train was arriving this morning," she
commented offhandedly.

Draco's eyebrows rose in interest. "Potter and Weasley?"

"Yes," Andromeda nodded as she sipped her tea, "they visit frequently to spend time
with Teddy. They're very excited to see their friend, Hermione Granger. She went
back to finish her seventh year too. She's a lovely girl, incredibly talented too."

'Oh, I'm aware,' Draco thought to himself.

Draco was burning with jealousy but was trying not to let it show. It was just another
reminder that the Weasel was spending Christmas with Hermione and he wasn't.

Luckily, his mother re-entered the kitchen which prevented him from scaring his aunt
by talking to her through clenched teeth. "I can't believe how much he's grown since
my last visit!"

Andromeda smiled proudly. It was clear to see the love that she had for her
grandson, and Draco smiled in response despite his overall bad mood. This visit was
the nicest family moment that he'd ever had.

Number 12, Grimmauld Place

Mr. and Mrs. Weasley dropped Hermione off at Grimmauld Place after she had
checked in with her parents and dropped off her trunk at their home. Her plan was to
stay with Harry, Ron, and the Weasleys until Christmas Eve and then spend
Christmas Day with her parents. Her plans for New Year's were still undecided.

The Weasleys informed her that since Harry had moved into Grimmauld Place
permanently, with Ron as his roommate, existing charms had been recast and new
ones had been added. The new key to being able to access the Order of the
Phoenix Headquarters was the ability to cast a Patronus. A Patronus casting witch or
wizard belonging to the Order could enter the old home welcomed and unscathed
while an unfamiliar or dark magical being would be immediately trapped. It was a
precaution in case any former Death Eaters ever decided to attempt revenge on the
Boy Who Lived.

She had to be honest, at the first mention of Patronuses she had thought of Draco.
She found his determination to master the spell endearing. He was trying so hard but
he hadn't made any progress. Hermione's theory was that some of the resentment
that he was harbouring towards Lucius and his frustration towards Pansy was
preventing the good, pure magic that he had within from forming into any form of a
Patronus.

Hermione entered Harry's new home and set her backpack down. Grimmauld Place
looked exactly as she had remembered it. The long hallway leading away from the
front door was lit by gas lamps and a large chandelier. She could see Mrs. Black's
curtained off portrait and the umbrella stand that Tonks had tripped over on many
occasions. She guessed that Harry found it inappropriate to alter, at least for now.
The wallpaper and carpet could do with being replaced. "Harry? Ron?" She called
out softly, she didn't want to wake Mrs. Black and have her start wailing and
screaming about the Mudbloods and blood traitors that were currently residing in her
home.

She smiled as she saw Harry emerge from the dining room. He hadn't changed a bit.
He was still of average height and lanky with his messy hair and glasses. He was
dressed in his typical lounge clothes, a t-shirt and jeans. "Hermione," he grinned.

"Harry," she smiled back.

He ran towards her and hugged her tightly. "It's so good to see you," he declared.

"It's good to see you too," she answered with another smile.

"Its odd, the three of us being separated," he stated. When Hermione had returned
to Hogwarts and he and Ron began Auror training, it had felt extremely strange for it
to be just the two of them. For him, Hermione had always been there for support,
even when Ron had shunned him during their fourth year because of the drama that
had ensued thanks to the Tri-Wizard Tournament. She had always been a true friend
to him. He pulled back so that he could get a good look at her. "You look good."

"Thanks," she laughed, "you too." He still looked worn from the war, much like
Draco, but his expressions were no longer melancholy. His bright green eyes were
not sad or angry but alive. It was great to see him looking so carefree.

"So how's being Head Girl?"

She shifted awkwardly. "It can be…exhausting." 'Yeah, snogging with Draco can be,'
her conscious quipped and she inwardly cringed.

"You were meant to be Head Girl from our very first year," he complimented. He
turned his head towards the staircase and yelled loudly. "Ron! Get down here!" Harry
knew how excited Ron was for this moment.

They both heard a commotion upstairs before Ron came barrelling down the stairs.
"'Mione," he breathed. Harry hadn't seen his best friend smile that big in a very long
time. He jumped off of the last few steps and pushed Harry aside. He wrapped his
arms around Hermione's slender body and lifted her off of the ground. "Gods, I
missed you," he whispered into her hair.

"I missed you too," she whispered back automatically. Truthfully, she really had.
Seeing Ron for the first time in four months was bringing forward a whole realm of
emotions that she had not been prepared for.

He set her back down on the floor and cupped her face with his hands. "Letters are
nothing compared to seeing you," he spoke quietly with his forehead pressed
against hers.

'When did he start saying things like that?' She asked herself.

"It's nice to be here," she replied in a shaky voice.

He chuckled before leaning down to give her a tender kiss. His lips were certainly
different from Draco's. Draco's were skilled, passionate, and experienced while
Ron's were…comforting and familiar. Ron pulled back slowly and smiled down at her
as he wrapped an arm around her waist. He led her into the dining room where
Harry was waiting for them. "This is better," he exclaimed, "the three of us together
again, and no Horcruxes to hunt down or dark lords to fight!"

Hermione couldn't help herself from smiling; she was reunited with her two best
friends. But now she felt even worse about herself and the kind of person that she
was. She was happy with Draco and she was happy here with Ron and Harry. She
felt so guilty and confused. These Christmas holidays were not going to be easy on
her or anyone that she loved.

A/N: Still plenty of drama to come, I assure you. Stay tuned!! Let's try to get
everyone who has this story on alert to review!!! :) Please. Lol. :)
Chapter 13
A/N: This is a special New Years' post! Happy New Year everyone (well its the
new year where I live lol)! :) Thanks to everyone who reviewed the last chapter.
This story is now over 100 reviews and that makes me so excited! :) Enjoy the
update!

Disclaimer: I do not own the world of Harry Potter or any of its characters. I
also do not own the excerpts from The Deathly Hallows that I used in this
chapter.

Chapter 13

Malfoy Manor

Draco watched his mother, her face distraught and exhausted, as she addressed the
disgusting werewolf, Greyback. "Take these prisoners down to the cellar, Greyback."

"Wait," Bellatrix called out sharply. "All except…except for the Mudblood." The
Weasel protested and Aunt Bellatrix promptly slapped him across the face. "If she
dies under questioning, I'll take you next. Blood traitor is next to Mudblood in my
book. Take them downstairs, Greyback, and make sure they are secure, but do
nothing more to them – yet."

Bellatrix cut Hermione free from her binds and dragged her into the middle of the
room by her hair. She waited until Greyback had disappeared with Potter and
Weasley before she began to torture Hermione.

"Where did you get the sword?" Bellatrix bellowed and with a flick of her wand
Hermione was sent down on her knees.

"We found it," Hermione screamed.

"You are lying, filthy Mudblood, and I know it! You have been inside my vault at
Gringotts! Tell the truth, tell the truth!" She kicked Hermione in the chest so that she
fell backwards before yelling, "Crucio!"

Draco watched in horror as Hermione's body writhed unnaturally and she screamed
uncontrollably. He heard more screaming from both Hermione and his Aunt Bellatrix
but he was unable to register any of the words. "Stop it," he said quietly to himself.

His father's voice brought him out of his trance. "Draco, fetch the goblin, he can tell
us whether the sword is real or not!"
But Draco was frozen, not able to move a single muscle and all of the sudden the
scene before him morphed until it was just him, Hermione, and his father in the
drawing room. Hermione was curled up at his father's feet and he could not tell if she
was breathing or not.

"I can't believe you wanted this filth Draco," Lucius stated calmly as he kept his wand
pointed at Hermione. "You are my son, a Malfoy. You are better then this Mudblood.
If you want her then here, have her."

Draco dropped to the floor and cradled Hermione in his lap. Her eyes were closed
and her face was pale. He gently placed his hand on her chest but he could not feel
her heart beating. He looked up at his father with wide, tear-filled eyes.

His father stared back at him coldly. "You should have let the blood traitor have her.
She would have been better off with him."

Draco awoke in a cold sweat. He slowly sat up in his bed and ran a hand through his
damp hair. He had had a lot of nightmares over the past year or so but that one was
by far the worst. He yearned to see Hermione right now so that he could be sure that
it all was truly a terrible dream. But he knew that that wasn't possible. 'She's in
London…with Weasley', he sneered to himself. He willed himself to calm down; it
was useless to get worked up over something that he could not control.

He got up out of his bed and looked around his childhood room. His queen size
mattress was covered with black, silk sheets. His dresser, desk, and highboy were
tidy and clean with the wrapped package that his mother had purchased for
Hermione yesterday at Twilfitt and Tatting's sitting atop of his highboy. His large
closet had the door closed and his trunk from Hogwarts was sitting nearby. The
Slytherin crest was painted on the wall above his bed and aside from a Quidditch
poster the only wall decorations in his room were a few photographs. He knew that
his bedroom was much larger then most people's his age, as it was even connected
to his own bathroom complete with a full bathtub and shower. But he was the Malfoy
heir and had been spoiled by his parents.

He took in his haggard appearance in the floor length mirror that stood in the corner
of his room and groaned. 'You look awful Malfoy,' a part of his brain criticized. And he
had to agree. He felt awful too.

A small 'pop' startled him. He turned his head towards his bedroom door to see his
personal house elf, Pinken. "Master Draco, Mistress Cissy told me that you had
arrived, it's so good to have you home, it pleases Pinken so," the house elf gushed.

Draco sat down on the edge of his bed and gave the elf a small smile. Surprisingly,
he had always treated Pinken fairly well. His father had been incredibly cruel to
Dobby but Pinken was a very happy and fulfilled elf. "What time is it?"

"Its twenty minutes after ten, Master Draco. Would you like some breakfast?"

He nodded, "Please."

"Right away Master Draco, where would you like it?" Pinken asked excitedly.

"I'll be in the library Pinken." Another 'pop' signalled Pinken's exit.

After breakfast, Draco showered, dressed, and retrieved a small pouch of his
personal money from his dresser. He still had some shopping to do. He walked down
the large marble staircase and into the foyer. He was greeted by his father.

"Where are you off to son?" Lucius asked curiously.

"Diagon Alley, I have yet to pick up gifts for Blaise and Theodore," he lied.

"Do you need any company?"

"No father, I'm fine, you can attend to business," he suggested smoothly with a small
smile.

Lucius smiled back at him. "Okay Draco, I'll see you for supper."

Draco nodded before heading out the front door. As far as Lucius was concerned he
was still his father's son and nothing had changed. 'Oh, how wrong he is,' Draco
thought to himself.

As Draco walked down Diagon Alley, he passed Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes. He


stopped for a moment as the windows were too colourful and distracting not to look
at. However, what captured his attention was the brunette that he could see behind
the assortment of goods. It was Hermione and she was holding hands with Weasley.
The gangly redhead smiled down at her before letting go of her hand and walking
off.

Draco wasn't sure which one of the emotions that he was feeling was dominant. He
was hurt, angry and jealous, but also happy that he was given the opportunity to see
her again. It was like he physically needed to be around her. And that was the
reason why he could not help himself from entering the shop that he knew he would
never be welcome in. He could see the Weasel, the living twin, Potter, and the She-
Weasel, but he made sure to stay out of their line of sight.
He stealthily walked up beside Hermione and grabbed her hand. He pulled her into a
nearby aisle, out of sight. She had surprise written all over her face. "Draco," she
gasped. "What are you doing here?"

"I just needed to see you," he answered slowly. "I can't help it." He lowered his head
and stared at their entwined fingers. His heart told him that this was how it was
supposed to be.

Hermione sighed. His hand felt warm and kind wrapped around her own. He looked
gorgeous; he was impeccably dressed, as always, in black trousers, dress shirt, and
suit jacket with a purple tie. But his eyes looked remorseful at having entered the
shop to see her. "Draco, I needed to see you too," she whispered.

He grinned at her. "Hermione, I can't wait to be with you. When is that going to
happen?" He questioned anxiously.

She shifted uncomfortably. "Draco, it's…difficult…"

"I understand," he mumbled. He lovingly ran his thumb back and forth across the
back of her hand. "But it is for me too." He let go of her hand but took a step closer
to her. "I want to kiss you so bad."

"I…," Hermione began but she was interrupted.

"Oi! Get away from my girlfriend!" Ron yelled angrily. Draco took a step backwards
and turned to glare at him. "Malfoy?" He asked incredulously.

"Weasley," Draco sneered.

"What the bloody hell are you doing in here?" Ron questioned and everyone could
easily see that he was fuming. Whereas Hermione could tell that while Draco was
the picture of perfect calm with his back straightened and his hands relaxed, he was
boiling on the inside.

"I had some things to discuss with Hermione," he replied coolly, "Head Girl and Head
Boy business." He was aware that he was subtly rubbing it in Ron's face that he was
at Hogwarts with Hermione and he wasn't.

"You're Head Boy?" Ron asked in disbelief.

Draco rolled his eyes; the redheaded git was just full of questions. "Yes."

Ron scoffed, "Why in the bloody hell would anyone make you Head Boy?"
Hermione spoke quietly for the first time. "He's always been second in our year."

Ron could not believe what he was hearing. Was Hermione seriously defending
Draco Malfoy? "Come here 'Mione," Ron suggested with a tight smile.

Draco's eyes narrowed as he watched Hermione walk towards the Weasel and he
promptly wrapped his arm around her waist and pulled her into his side. Some of his
anger dissipated as he saw the awkward, apologetic, and sad look on her face. For
Draco, everything clicked in that moment. She was having difficulty choosing. The
Malfoy in him, the arrogant, self-involved side of him was flabbergasted. 'How was it
a difficult decision?' But the part of him that fell in love with Hermione in the first
place understood. Being with Ron was what she was familiar with. The Weasel was
the safe choice and he wasn't. 'Well, I'll just have to work a little bit harder,' he
thought to himself.

He fixed the cuffs of his suit jacket as he spoke, "I'll be leaving now. I'll see you back
at Hogwarts, Hermione." He smirked in satisfaction as the Weasel's eyebrows rose
in shock.

"Yeah, get out," Ron spat. "We don't serve scum like you. Death Eater."

Draco stopped in his tracks on the way out the door. His hand was itching to draw
his wand. But he resisted and took a deep breath before storming out of the shop.

He had shopping to do and a girl to sweep off her feet.

The Burrow

After helping George close down Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes for the holidays, Ron
and Hermione travelled to the Burrow where she was spending the night. Molly was
more then pleased that they were visiting, the house seemed fuller. The Weasley
house was practically an empty nest now. Bill had his own home with Fleur, Charlie
was in Romania, and George lived in his flat above the shop with Angelina. Percy
lived in London, as did Ron with Harry, and Ginny was away at Hogwarts. Thankfully,
George, Angelina, Percy, Ron, Harry, and Hermione would be spending Christmas
Eve at the Burrow so the house would be alive again.

Mrs. Weasley had cooked a large supper because of her guests and afterwards Ron
lead Hermione to his bedroom below the attic. He was certain that either his father or
his mother would make some statement about leaving the bedroom door open or
making it clear that Hermione would be sleeping in Ginny's room but neither one of
them commented. Then again, his parents absolutely adored Hermione and the
prospect of having her as a daughter-in-law excited them greatly.

He closed the door behind him and sat down on his bed. Hermione did the same. He
noticed that she had been abnormally quiet since Malfoy's appearance in the shop.
Ron had called him a slimy prat after he left but that had been the end of it. He had
been overwhelming angry at seeing his former classmate but the last thing that he
wanted was to spend his time with Hermione discussing Malfoy. He had more
satisfying things on his mind. Last night he, Hermione, and Harry had stayed up late
into the night talking. It had been great to reminisce and catch up with him and Harry
telling some of their stories from Auror training, but it had not allowed the two of
them to have any time alone.

"Hermione, is everything okay?" He asked cautiously.

She looked up into the happy, freckled face of the first boy that she had fallen in love
with. "Yeah," she lied. She was such a coward.

"Good," he smiled brightly and she saw his blue eyes twinkle. He placed his hand on
her denim covered leg and began to rub her knee. "I missed you so much ya know?"

She nodded weakly. "I know."

Ron inched closer to her and leaned in to plant a barely there kiss on her neck. She
turned her head towards him and he captured her lips. She let him kiss her because
she needed to remember how it felt. She pulled back slowly and he smiled lazily at
her. She concealed a frown. She and Ron's physical relationship lacked the spark
that she had with Draco. That feeling that made her want to rip Draco's clothes off
and stay in bed for days was not present with Ron. But was that feeling enough to
give up what she had with Ron? She honestly didn't know. With Ron she knew that
one day they'd be happily married with children. Her immediate future with Draco
was glorious in her mind but the long term picture was very foggy.

He kissed her again. "So pretty," he murmured.

She gripped his hair and surrendered to his eager, slightly sloppy kisses. She didn't
deserve either of the boys that loved her.

A/N: Review please!!! :) Tell me your favourite line from either this chapter or
the whole story thus far.
Chapter 14
A/N: Thanks for the reviews. There were quite a few comments urging
Hermione to breakup with Ron already (lol) and some concerning Hermione's
cheating. I just want to say that I do not condone cheating, in fact I personally
find it appalling and would never do it to someone but this story kind of wrote
itself that way. Simply put, Hermione feels terribly guilty for cheating on Ron
but can't contain her physical attraction to Draco when they are alone. With
that being said this is just a warning for this chapter: there is no breakup but
there is Hermione/Draco alone time so if you do not want to read that then turn
back, if you do I hope that you enjoy! :)

Disclaimer: Same as previous chapters.

Chapter 14

Christmas Day – The Granger Home

Hermione curled up in her bed with a contented sigh. It was almost midnight and she
was exhausted but it felt nice to be in her home, spending time with her parents.
Everything felt normal, like she didn't have any concerns or decisions to make. It felt
like she didn't have to choose between two incredible, but different, young men who
loved her.

The night that she had spent at the Burrow, just her and Ron, had made things even
more complicated. They had snogged on his bed until they heard footsteps leading
up to Ron's room. Mrs. Weasley poked her head in and said goodnight with a large
smile on her face. Hermione had blushed in embarrassment and Ron had grumbled
a goodnight in response. Afterwards, Hermione said goodnight to Ron herself and
made her way down to Ginny's room. He had been disappointed but sweet. It was
almost as if their time apart had made Ron realize that he had spent too many years
taking her for granted. But maybe his epiphany had come too late.

Her time with Ron had been wonderful and Christmas Eve with the Weasleys had
been great. Fred's absence was apparent but the Burrow had been happy and lively
with George telling his siblings that Fred would have wanted them to have a party for
him. Hermione had been fairly emotional the whole evening but had hidden it well.
Harry, the Weasleys, and the rest of the Order were like family to her but she
couldn't stop thinking about Draco. She had been wondering how he was spending
his Christmas Eve and if he was happy being home with his parents. He was always
on her mind and that definitely told her something.
The sound of a 'pop' in her room frightened her and brought her out of her reverie.
She instinctively reached for her wand. "Don't be scared Miss Granger, Pinken
means no harm," she heard a small voice say.

She reached towards her nightstand and flicked on her bedside lamp. She was
surprised to see a small, female house elf standing on her bed. "Hello," she began in
confusion.

The house elf smiled happily. "It is an honour to meet you Miss Hermione Granger,
an honour," he repeated. "Master Draco cares for you very much."

"Master Draco?"

The elf nodded quickly. "Master Draco said you might be upset that he sent Pinken
but Master Draco is a wonderful master. Pinken loves Master Draco."

"Um, okay, Pinken." Hermione was still confused. "Why did Master Draco send you?"

"Master Draco wants Pinken to bring Miss Granger her Christmas gifts." The elf
snapped her fingers and a medium sized box appeared in her hands. "Master Draco
says Merry Christmas," she smiled.

Hermione accepted the box and gave Pinken a returning smile. 'Draco is so sweet,'
she thought to herself. "Pinken, can you tell Master Draco to come by in a half an
hour, I would like to see him."

Pinken clapped her hands together excitedly. "Of course! Master Draco will be so
happy!"

"Thank you Pinken."

"Anytime Miss Hermione Granger." The small house elf vanished with the same
resounding 'pop'.

Hermione ran her hands over the box which was wrapped with metallic, gold paper
and had a card with her name on it attached to the front. She opened the envelope
and pulled out the card written in Draco's elegant script.

Hermione,

Merry Christmas. I hope that you enjoy your gifts and that I'll see you soon.

Love Draco.
His message was short and direct, much like him. She noticed that he had said gifts,
Pinken had also used the plural term. She knew that Draco was ridiculously rich but
she hoped that he hadn't spent a fortune on her.

She tore off the wrapping paper and removed the lid of the box. Her mouth fell open
as she realized that the box was bewitched. Draco had cast a spell on it like the one
she had cast on her purse when her, Harry, and Ron were hunting Horcruxes. There
were multiple, possibly large, things in the box.

She pulled out the first item in the box and smiled at the circular container which she
knew contained Draco's mother's homemade sweets. He knew how much she loved
his mother's cauldron cakes.

The next gift made her laugh and smile. It was a framed photograph of Draco during
a Quidditch match. He looked handsome, graceful, and determined in his Slytherin
Quidditch robes riding his broom. He had joked before that he wanted to be on her
wall where all her other photographs hung. She laughed out loud when the Draco in
the picture turned his head and winked at her.

Next she pulled out a book, one that she had mentioned to him once that she
wanted to own. It was all about the history and purpose of the Department of Magical
Law Enforcement, the department of the Ministry that she hoped to work in one day.

After the book was a mahogany case that was meant to hold her wand. It was
beautiful and her name was engraved on it along with the Gryffindor lion. She
chuckled to herself, 'It must have caused Draco physical pain to get this done.'

Draco's next three gifts were wrapped in their own individual packages. The first two
boxes consisted of a beautiful blue dress and a set of equally gorgeous dress robes.
The third box made her gasp and flush from head to toe. He had given her a black,
lace nightgown – lingerie. She couldn't help but be flustered; she had never worn
anything that one would consider sexy. Her cheeks were still tinged pink when she
set the gift aside.

She reached her hand into the box again. 'How many gifts does he have in here?'
She asked herself in slight irritation. An eyebrow rose in curiosity when she grasped
a wooden handle. She knew that it had to be a broom. She pulled it out of the box
and sure enough it was a sleek, gleaming, top of the line broomstick with a second
card attached to it.

Don't worry baby, I'll teach you how to fly.

The second part of this gift I can't buy you until right before we go back to Hogwarts.
There was a small business card inside of the envelope and she knew immediately
what the second part of the gift was. He was getting her an owl, the card was from
Eeylops Owl Emporium.

'I'm going to kill him,' she thought to herself. He was spoiling her.

The only thing remaining in the box was a long, thin, black, velvet case. "Draco," she
said aloud to the dark, empty room.

"Yes, baby?"

Her head snapped up. She hadn't even noticed that Draco had Apparated into her
room. He looked perfect wearing black trousers and a white button-down that was
open at the collar and tucked into his trousers. He was holding a bouquet of red and
white roses in one hand and two empty wine glasses in the other. He was acting
incredibly romantic. He laid the glasses down on her nightstand and offered her the
flowers. "Merry Christmas," he grinned. "I got you roses; I was told that they're very
popular among muggle girls."

She smirked as he sat down on her bed beside her. "You went shopping in muggle
London for me?" He nodded. "Thank you…for everything but it's really all too much."

"Rubbish," he dismissed. "I wanted to get you all those things. And if you're worried
about the monetary value then don't. If it makes you feel better then I'll tell you that
my mother bought the dress robes and obviously the sweets and the photo," he
chuckled, "didn't cost me anything."

She smiled, "That does make me feel a little bit better but still…"

He cut her off by placing a finger over her lips. "I wanted to, end of discussion." He
looked down at the jewellery box in her hands. "You haven't opened this one yet?"

She shook her head. "No, I was about to when you came in."

"Well, go ahead," he encouraged while smiling at her.

She slowly opened the case. "Draco," she sighed. She picked up the silver necklace
that had a dragon as its pendant. It was obviously purchased from a wizarding
jewellery store because the dragon slowly flapped its wings before settling in
Hermione's hand.

"Do you like it?" He asked eagerly. He had put a lot of thought and effort into this
particular gift. He had found it in a shop in wizarding Paris.
"I love it," she answered quickly. It was gorgeous and personal. With his name being
Latin for dragon it was like she would be wearing a piece of him whenever she wore
the necklace.

He smiled happily. "Let me put it on you." She turned around so that her back faced
him. He took the necklace out of her hand and carefully clipped it around her neck.
She spun around immediately and he smiled again. "It looks perfect on you."

Hermione gathered her presents from Draco, carried them across her bedroom, and
laid them on her trunk. While she was up Draco noticed that she wasn't even
wearing shorts tonight, just knickers and a tank top. He licked his lips without
thinking.

"Thank you again," she said as she came back to her bed.

"You're welcome," he responded as he handed her one of the glasses that he had
brought with him, which he had just now magically filled with wine.

"What did you get for Christmas?" She asked curiously as she sipped from her
glass.

"Clothes, new Quidditch equipment, a new Wizard's Chess set."

"I got you something," she stated nervously.

"You did?" He smirked.

"It's not much," she mumbled, "I mean, what do you get the boy that has
everything?" He chuckled playfully. Hermione reached under her bed and pulled out
a small gift box.

Draco accepted it like an eager child. He pulled on the ribbon and removed the lid. It
was a silver, very classy looking watch. What was interesting about it was that it had
two faces, one that simply told the time like a muggle watch and the other was
magical; it had the names of all of the important people in his life: his mother, father,
Blaise, and Hermione, and their current locations. It was something that he had
always wanted.

"I remembered when you said that you really like the look of muggle watches but
couldn't find any wizard watches that looked like that," she rambled.

"Hermione, it's perfect," he said softly. He quickly put it on his left wrist. "Thank you, I
love it." He leaned forward and kissed her lips quickly.
"You're welcome." She placed her fingers over her lips. "Draco, I need to tell you
something," she began tensely. She was not sure how he would react to her
confession.

"What is it?" He was still smiling so she took that as a good sign.

"I want you." He smiled brightly. "But the other night…I kissed Ron…well it was more
like we made out." She watched his forearms tense and his forehead crease. "But I
want you to know that I started to think about you." The words rushed out of her
mouth quickly and Draco just stared back at her.

He took her glass out of her hand and placed it on her nightstand along with his own.
"I don't like to share," he finally said. He placed one hand on the back of her neck
and pulled her in for an intense kiss.

This was what was missing from her relationship with Ron; passion, longing, and
fire. Her whole body was tingling and she was highly aroused. She wrapped her
arms around his neck and pulled him down onto the bed on top of her.

Draco smirked to himself at Hermione's willingness. She wanted him just as much as
he wanted her. "I'm a very possessive bloke Hermione," he murmured in her ear
after nibbling along her jaw.

"I know," she replied breathily.

"Admit that it turns you on," he grinned.

She kissed him hungrily before confessing, "It does."

He lowered his head and began to kiss along the edge of her thin tank top. He
realized that she wasn't wearing a bra and it was driving him mad. Her felt her
fingers working open the buttons of his shirt. He helped her pull it out of his trousers
and discard it on the floor. She ran her hands all over his torso, lingering on his left
forearm. "What's wrong?" He asked inquisitively.

"Your Dark Mark," she replied in a whisper.

He groaned loudly and sat up. "Fuck," he cursed angrily. Being home in Malfoy
Manor automatically meant that he forwent his Concealment Charm because his
father would be outraged if his son was hiding the Dark Lord's mark in his home, and
he had completely forgotten about it before coming to Hermione's. "I'm sorry." He
pulled out his wand and pointed it at his arm.
Hermione gently placed a hand around his wand wrist. "It's okay." Her fingertips
hesitantly traced the edges of his mark. "It's faded," she commented.

"Yeah," he answered. "I can see a difference in it from month to month. Eventually it
will just be a scar."

She had never been a girl who had been drawn to the rebellious type; after all she
had pined for Ron Weasley for years, but there was definitely something exciting
about being with a reformed bad boy. She had never been so on edge before in her
life and she didn't care that she was in her parents' house and that it was almost
three o'clock in the morning. What she was focused on was a shirtless, panting
Draco who has been nothing but patient, generous, and loving with regards to her.

"Draco, I love you."

His grin was infectious. He knew that he would never tire of hearing her say that.
She pulled him back down into a lying position and wrapped her legs around his
waist. He groaned into her mouth. His hard length was now pressed against her
warm center. "You know I love you too," he smiled. She smiled back at him as he
pulled her hair out of her messy bun. "I love your hair down…something to hold
onto," he grunted. Her hands raced to his belt and began to undo the buckle
furiously. He looked up at her in shock. "Hermione, are you sure about this?"

"Yes," she whimpered as his hands massaged her hips. "I've made up my mind. I
want you."

"Okay," he nodded. His body was more then ready to be one with Hermione. 'It's
been ready for months,' he snidely remarked to himself. Well, he was only a teenage
male after all. He helped her get him out of his trousers and he stood at the side of
her bed in only his black, boxer briefs.

She openly gaped at him. He was gorgeous, for lack of a better word. He was all
pale, flawless skin and lean, taught muscle. Her favourite features of his body were
the defined 'V' of his hips and the trail of light, blonde hair that started at his navel
and disappeared into his boxers. The large tent that was visible at the front of his
boxers certainly wasn't unappealing either.

"Come here," she requested quietly and her voice had a slight quiver to it.

Draco knew that Hermione was unaware of how truly sexy she was and Lord knows
that the Weasel never let her know. He thought that she looked like a pin-up model
lying on her bed with her dishevelled hair, kiss swollen lips, erect nipples, and partly
open legs. His chest rumbled in arousal as he rejoined her on the bed. His hands
snaked up her top while hers disappeared into his underwear. "Oh, Merlin, fuck," he
cried out as her small, soft hands caressed him.

She smiled to herself in response to his reaction. It felt powerful to reduce the Prince
of Slytherin, Hogwarts' male sex symbol to grunting and cursing in her bed in her
muggle parents' house. All of the irony was not lost on her but she was distracted by
the sheer size of his male anatomy. He was long and thick; he did not let his
reputation down.

His mouth met hers hungrily. His arms enveloped her slender waist and pulled her
body close to his. She must have understood his need for intimacy because her
arms wrapped around his back and shoulders, hugging their bodies together as they
kissed feverishly.

Their moment of primal, raw passion was interrupted by a familiar 'pop'. "Oh! Master
Draco! Pinken was worried!"

Draco removed himself from Hermione's embrace. He could not believe that this was
actually happening to him. He slowly sat up but made sure that the blankets of
Hermione's bed were covering most of their bodies. "What's the matter Pinken?" He
asked while doing his best to keep his temper under control.

"You were not in the Manor and it's very, very late, Master Draco," Pinken explained.
To the house elf the logic seemed sound. All of the Malfoy house elves have been
cautious and protective of their masters since the war, especially Pinken.

Draco glanced at Hermione to see that she was blushing, embarrassed at having
been caught, even if it was by a house elf who was not cluing in to what they had
been doing before she had made her unannounced appearance. He leaned in and
kissed her on the cheek. "You don't know how sorry I am but I should probably go, I
get the feeling that she's not going to leave without me," he said while looking at the
elf through his peripheral vision.

"She's attached to you," she chuckled. "Its okay," she kissed him sweetly on the lips.
"Merry Christmas."

"Merry Christmas to you too." He paused and looked at his house elf. "Um, Pinken?
Can you close your eyes?"

"Of course Master Draco," Pinken obeyed promptly.

He got up out of Hermione's bed and redressed as quickly as he possibly could


without magic. She giggled to herself as he shyly looked away from her while he
struggled to zip up his trousers. "Okay," he started awkwardly after he had won the
battle with his zipper. "When will we see each other again?"

"I don't know," she answered.

"I want you to meet my mother," he told her smiling while buckling his belt.

She swallowed nervously. 'Wow, he's wants me to meet his mother. That's a big
deal,' she thought to herself. "I think that I should talk to Ron first." She saw the
sceptical look on his face. "Soon," she promised. "I just want to be with you."

He grinned before leaning down to kiss her. "Goodnight lovely."

"Goodnight," she smiled.

"Okay Pinken," he groaned. "We can leave now."

"Yes Master!"

Draco waved with that perfect grin on his face before he Apparated from her room.
Hermione sighed as she fell back on her bed. Her bed sheets faintly held Draco's
smell and she burrowed her face in her pillow. Her body was incredibly worked up
and on high alert; she was never going to get to sleep now. She hopped out of bed
and tiptoed downstairs. Maybe some muggle television would keep her mind off of
things.

A/N: So what do you think of the fact that Draco got cock-blocked by his own
house elf? lol. Review!! :) By the way, Wednesdays are the new post days!

Review and you get a teaser from the next chapter! :)


Chapter 15
A/N: A big thank you to everyone who reviewed the last chapter, it is the most
reviewed chapter yet! :) I hope that everyone enjoyed the teaser. Enjoy the new
chapter, its one that many of you have been waiting for!

Disclaimer: Same as previous chapters.

Chapter 15

December 27 th - Nott Manor

Lucius Malfoy made himself comfortable in Theodore Nott Sr.'s study. He and
Theodore had been friends for years. They had attended Hogwarts together and
both had been in Slytherin House. They had served Lord Voldemort together, their
sons were the same age, and they were neighbours. The Notts were a family of
pureblood lineage as long as the Malfoys. Lucius looked at Theodore as his equal in
every way.

"What is it that you wanted to speak with me about Lucius?" Nott asked as he
handed Lucius a glass of scotch.

"I have a proposition for you, Theodore," Lucius stated coolly.

He raised an eyebrow in curiosity as he sipped from his own glass of alcohol. "A
business proposition?" It would be the first time that Lucius had openly asked him to
be an investor in a business venture but it didn't seem like the type of request that
would require such secrecy and privacy.

"Not exactly," Lucius replied evasively.

Their conversation was momentarily interrupted by a knock on the closed door.


"Come in," Theodore called out, knowing that it could be only one person.

Lucius turned his head to see Nott's only son, Theodore Nott Jr., enter the study. The
young man of Draco's age was tall and thin, he was built like a bean pole. But he
had dark, unruly hair and the handsome facial features of his father. He was an
excellent student and talented Quidditch player, like his Draco.

"I'm going out, father," the younger Nott announced.

"Okay Theodore, just be back for supper." Since it was only him and Theodore - his
wife had passed away when their son was still young - he valued family dinners
when his son was home from Hogwarts.

"Yes father. Mr. Malfoy," he nodded politely at Lucius.

After his son left, Theodore Sr. smiled happily. "I think that Theo's got a girl that he's
not telling me about."

Lucius ignored Theodore's moment of fatherly pride. "Theodore, how would you feel
about getting revenge on Potter and the Order of the Phoenix?"

He looked at his friend in shock. He could not believe what he was hearing. "What
are you suggesting, Lucius?"

"I'm suggesting," Lucius started slowly, "that although the Dark Lord is no longer with
us, we are still Death Eaters."

Theodore swirled the scotch in his glass thoughtfully. "There are so few of us left,"
he said quietly. "Bellatrix and Gibbon are dead, Barty Crouch's mind is gone, the
Carrows, Dolohov, the Lestrange brothers, and Yaxley are all in Azkaban. Not to
mention the fact that Avery, Mulciber, and Rookwood fled during the Battle of
Hogwarts and haven't been seen or heard of since."

"I found them," Lucius revealed smugly.

"No," Theodore responded in disbelief. "Where?"

"Hiding out in the Cayman Islands, and Azkaban still isn't as impenetrable as it once
was."

"These are very dangerous ideas that you're entertaining Lucius," he said hesitantly.
He needed a moment to consider the facts. The Death Eater beliefs had not died
since the end of the Second Wizarding War but the die hard pureblood elitists were
much quieter then they had been before, and more afraid since they did not have the
Dark Lord to lead them. "Who would lead us?" All of the Death Eaters knew that
Bellatrix had been the Dark Lord's unspoken second in command.

Lucius smiled as he could tell that his idea had taken root in Theodore's mind. "I was
thinking that our leader should be," he spoke slowly, "Draco."

Number 12, Grimmauld Place

"Harry? Ron?" Hermione called out as she came through the front door.
Ron stepped off of the last stair and smiled at her. "Harry and Ginny are gone out."

'Good,' she thought. 'I didn't want to have this conversation with an audience.' "Ron,
I need to talk to you about something," she said hesitantly. God, she was so
nervous!

"Yeah, sure," he answered cheerfully. "Do you want anything to eat or drink?"

She shook her head. "No, I'm fine, thanks."

"Okay, I'm just going to grab a sandwich. You can wait in my room if you like."

'Of course he's thinking about food,' she thought to herself. She made her way up to
Ron's bedroom on the third floor and slowly walked inside. It was similar to his room
at the Burrow, messy and covered in Gryffindor banners and posters of the Chudley
Cannons. She sat down on his unmade bed and waited for him while she fidgeted
anxiously.

Ron walked into his bedroom with a plate in his hand and a mouthful of sandwich.
He sat down next to her and swallowed before speaking. "So what do you want to
talk about?"

She took a deep breath. She could tell that he was not expecting what she was
about to say. "God, how do I say this?" She asked herself quietly. "Ron, I think that…
we should end things between us…and see other people."

His mouth fell open in shock. "What? Are you serious?" She nodded timidly.
"Blimey," he gasped. "I did not see that coming." He pulled at the ends of his hair in
frustration.

He was taking this a lot better then she had foreseen.

"Why?" He asked finally.

She looked up at him awkwardly, she found that avoiding eye contact was much
easier but cowardly. It was time to show that Gryffindor courage. "There's just
something missing."

"I don't understand," he replied confused.

She sighed, "Ron, I love you and I didn't want to hurt you but I can't do this
anymore."

"But we're perfect together!" He protested.


"Perfect is not enough," she said softly. "It's like there's no spark between us."

"Spark?" He was starting to get progressively more upset now. "Hermione, I love
you," he practically sobbed.

"I know, and I love you," she repeated. "But things like passion and romance are
important to me, and we don't have those things in our relationship. I want to let you
go now so that you can move on and find someone else who fits you better," she told
him sincerely. She truly wanted nothing but happiness for Ron. She wanted to see
him happy with a wonderful woman. That thought would have torn her apart not that
long ago but now it only gently stung. He was her first love so a small part of her
would always love him.

He couldn't believe that she was saying these things. "I don't want to find someone
else. Wait," he paused, "is there someone else for you?"

"Yes," she answered honestly. "And I'm in love with him."

"What?" He raised his voice and Hermione winced. "Sorry," he quickly apologized.
"But I really don't get this. How did this happen?"

"I don't know," she shrugged, "it just did." She got to her feet. "I think that I should get
going now."

"Wait!" He wrapped his long arms around her waist and pulled her into him. "Please,
don't," he murmured against her stomach. "Just tell me what I can do to make it up
to you," he begged.

"Ron." She bit her lip to try to hold back her tears. "I should go."

"I don't want to let you go," he said as he tightened his grip around her waist.

"Ron," she whimpered tearfully. "I know that I owe you more then this, you deserve
better and I'm so, so sorry." She leaned down and kissed him lovingly on the top of
the head. "I love you and I want us to still be friends."

He nodded reluctantly against her abdomen. She had made up her mind and he had
no say. "'Kay," he sniffed. He looked up at her and she had not seen his face so sad
since Fred's funeral. "I'll always love you 'Mione."

"And I will too," she answered. "I wasn't planning on falling in love with someone
else," she told him honestly.
Her words hit him like a ton of bricks. He had lost her while he was chasing the
dream of becoming an Auror. If he had just decided to go back to Hogwarts and
complete his seventh year then he would still have her. Or would he? She had fallen
for someone else. His curiosity rose. "Who is he?"

"Can we talk about that later?" She gave him a small smile. "Maybe I can come by
tomorrow and we can talk." All she wanted was to end things with Ron on good
terms; she needed him in her life.

"Yeah," he nodded. "I'd like that." He pulled back, slowly letting his arms fall from
around Hermione's waist. He wiped away his traitorous tears. 'How unmanly,' he
thought to himself. "Tomorrow," he said while trying to smile.

"Okay," she replied quietly as she brushed his cheek. "Bye Ron."

"Bye 'Mione." He watched her as she walked out of his bedroom. He burst into tears
after he heard the front door close.

Hermione waited until she was in her own home before she let her tears fall. It had
been just as hard as she had imagined it. It was almost unbearable to see Ron look
so hurt and lost and know that she was the cause of it. She felt horrible but she did
want to be with Draco so breaking up with Ron was necessary. Now she could give
herself to him without a guilty conscious but right now she could not focus on that
because she was blubbering like an idiot.

"Hermione, honey, what's wrong?" Her mother asked as she walked out of the
kitchen. She had heard her daughter crying.

"Mum!" She practically launched herself at her mother.

"What's wrong sweetie?" She asked as she enveloped Hermione in a hug and let her
cry into her apron.

"I broke up with Ron!" She wailed.

Mrs. Granger was definitely surprised. As far as her and her husband knew, their
daughter was very happy with Ronald Weasley. Both sets of parents thought that
there was a wedding in the future. "Why? What happened?"

Hermione pulled back so that she could look at her mother while she explained
herself. "I love him but more like a friend or a brother. I feel like we were together
because we were the perfect war couple, the wizarding world expected us to be
together. There was no spark," she sobbed. "And I fell in love with another man."

"You did?" Her mother asked in surprise. Hermione nodded. "And what's he like?"
She knew Ron and that he was kind and brave, a talented wizard that came from a
good family, but he was also slightly immature and oblivious to a woman's needs.
But he was also a boy who loved her daughter very much.

"There's spark Mum," she answered.

She smiled warmly at her daughter. She knew that it was hard to deny chemistry;
she had had a similar decision to make when she was a teenager. "Do you want to
help me with supper?"

Hermione nodded. She loved cooking with her mother when she was home. "Yes,
just let me go and clean up first." She went upstairs and washed her face before
going into her room to change her clothes. Upon entering her room she noticed a
slight, dark grey owl on her windowsill. She recognized him as Draco's owl,
Lancaster, and he was patiently waiting for her. She walked over to her window and
slowly opened it, which allowed the owl to hop gracefully onto her nightstand. The
owl let her pet him affectionately as she untied the piece of parchment from his leg.

Hermione,

If you need me or anything, call for Pinken. Please.

Love Draco.

She smiled at the note, Draco had perfect timing. She grabbed parchment and a quill
off of her desk and quickly scrawled a reply.

Draco,

You always know just what to say. Thank you. I want you to come and see me
tonight, at midnight. I'm finally all yours.

Love Hermione.

She gave Lancaster a treat before tying her note to his leg. She watched him hop
onto her windowsill and take off gracefully into the crisp afternoon air.

After supper and watching the evening muggle news with her parents, Hermione
retired to her bedroom. Falling back on the work ethic that had gotten her the
position of Head Girl, she read ahead in her textbooks and completed her holiday
assignments. She was determined to have some of the highest N.E.W.T. scores that
Hogwarts has ever seen. Then the pureblood racists left in the world would see what
muggle-born witches and wizards were made of. That thought made her smile
deviously to herself.

Finally, Hermione put her books away and changed into a tank top and a pair of
shorts. Knowing Draco's preference, she left her hair down. She flicked on her
bedside lamp and climbed into bed.

At exactly twelve o'clock, Draco Apparated into her room. He was also dressed in his
pyjamas, a pair of those maddening black, silk, sleep trousers. He gave her a
lopsided grin. She lifted her bedcovers invitingly and he swiftly slipped into her bed.
"How are you?" He asked in concern.

"Better now," she replied as she snuggled into his warm body.

He took one of her hands and entwined their fingers while he soothingly rubbed her
back with the other. He knew that she just wanted to be held tonight. He was aware
that she had had a rough day; breaking up with Ron had taken its toll on her. He
placed an innocent kiss just below her ear. "Sleep love," he whispered.

"Thank you for coming here Draco," she said sleepily.

"You're welcome." He pulled her body closer to his and waited to hear her peaceful,
even breathing before he fell asleep himself. He had longed to hold Hermione like
this since September. But this feeling of unconditional acceptance, he had longed for
his entire life.

A/N: So there, the breakup has taken place, lol. Isn't Draco sweet? And what is
Lucius up to? There are more obstacles for our couple. Give me your
thoughts, review!! The goal is to get more reviews then the last chapter! :)
Chapter 16
A/N: Thanks to everyone who reviewed the last chapter, its wasn't as many
reviews as the previous chapter though. :( lol. Enjoy the update! Happy
Wednesday! :)

Disclaimer: Same as previous chapters.

Chapter 16

The Granger Home

Hermione awoke in the warm, comfortable cocoon of Draco's arms. She sighed
contentedly and closed her eyes. She scratched her fingernails gently down his
chest and heard him groan lowly. He mumbled drowsily and she smiled to herself.
He looked so boyish and…adorable. His hair was messy and he slept with his lips in
a slight pout. She leaned forward and kissed him softly.

He opened his eyes slowly and smiled. "What a wonderful wake up call," he grinned.

"I thought you would think so," she said flirtatiously.

He chuckled as he hugged her close and tilted his head down so that he could nip at
the skin of her neck. "You smell fantastic."

"Thanks," she giggled. 'Draco Malfoy was able to make Hermione Granger giggle,'
she thought to herself. God, she was in deep.

"What time is it?" He asked aloud, more to himself then to Hermione. He glanced at
the watch that Hermione had given him for Christmas. "Its eight o'clock. You're an
early riser," he teased.

She nodded. "I am, and you're not. I know that you love to sleep in."

"I do," he grinned, "but one part of me is an early riser."

She looked at him in confusion before realization crossed her face. "Draco," she
lightly smacked his chest. "Don't be so vulgar."

"What?" He laughed. "I like talking dirty while I'm shagging and it's even sexier when
a girl talks back."

She blushed furiously. "Well…that's interesting to know," she replied awkwardly. She
uncoordinatedly climbed out of her bed and pulled a sweater and lounge pants out of
her dresser; it suddenly felt chilly in her room.

Draco sat up in bed and watched her dress. "Hermione, did I say something wrong?"
She shook her head no. "Okay, then why did you just tense up?"

"I guess that I'm just not as comfortable discussing sex as you are," she shrugged.

"That's fine," he answered simply. He hopped out of the bed and walked up behind
her. He wrapped his arms around her waist. "You're perfect just the way you are," he
paused, "and that's why I want you to have lunch with me and my mother today."

She spun around quickly in his arms. "Draco, today? Are you…"

He quickly cut off what he knew would end up being a long and panicked rant.
"Please." He kissed her quickly. "Mother is dying to meet my mystery woman."

"Is this important to you?"

He nodded. "This is very important to me," he told her honestly.

"Okay," she exhaled. "Then I will do it. Tell me when and where."

"I'll come and get you at noon," he smiled brightly.

She nodded and bit down on her lip nervously. "Umm…what should I wear?"

He chuckled softly, 'What a cute question,' he thought to himself. "Whatever you


want, muggle clothes though," he added quickly. He remembered that they would be
walking the streets of a muggle neighborhood.

"Okay." She took his hand and stepped backwards until they were an arms length
apart. "Speaking of parents, you should leave before my Dad finds you or otherwise
he'll probably attempt to kill you the muggle way."

His facial expression was a mixture of confusion and amusement. "And how would
one go about that?"

She laughed before wrapping her arms around his neck and kissing him deeply.
"Thank you for staying with me." She kissed him a second time. "I'll see you in a
couple of hours."

"Looking forward to it," he smirked. He moved out of her reach and Apparated to the
Manor.
Once she was left alone, Hermione took a deep breath and ran a hand through her
hair anxiously. She had to get ready to formally meet Narcissa Malfoy.

Hermione sat on her bed and stroked Crookshanks to calm her nerves while she
waited for Draco. She had had breakfast with her parents, who were now out running
errands, and then she had decided on a long, hot shower. She was currently wearing
some of her nicest muggle clothes, a pair of black slacks and a red, silk blouse. Her
hair was falling down her back in long curls and she was also wearing the necklace
that Draco had given her. The dragon's wings were gently flapping against her chest
and it was oddly relaxing.

Draco Apparated into her room with a smile on his face. "You look exquisite." He
took her hand and kissed her palm.

She blushed, "You're not so bad yourself." Draco's personal clothing style still
amazed her; he dressed like a classy, professional businessman as opposed to a
typical, teenage boy. Today he was wearing black trousers and a royal blue, button-
down shirt. His choice of shirt brought out the blue in his predominantly grey eyes.
His hair was perfectly in place and he smelled divine. He really had to stop stunning
her with his beauty. She bit down on her bottom lip as she looked him up and down.
"I wish that we could just stay here," she said coyly, "my parents aren't home."

"Hermione," he groaned, "God, how you torture me. I'll be thinking about that all
through our lunch which my mother."

She smiled shyly, "Sorry. So where are we going?" She asked as she stood next to
him, waiting to Apparate.

"We're going to my Aunt Andromeda's house. She went out with Teddy so it will just
be the three of us for a while," he explained.

"I'm nervous," she confessed.

He wrapped an arm around her waist and kissed her hair. "Don't be. She's so excited
to meet you."

"Because she doesn't know it's me," she argued.

"She'll love you," Draco said firmly. "Now, are you ready?" She gave him a small
nod. "Okay," he smiled as he tightly grasped her hand.

Draco Apparated to the same spot that he had with his mother when they had last
visited Andromeda. They held hands the entire walk and Hermione took another
deep breath when Draco reached for the handle on the front door. Narcissa Malfoy
was born into the rich, prominent, pureblood Black family and the family that she was
raised by was exactly like the one that she married into. Mrs. Malfoy would not be
able to relate to or understand her background at all.

"Mum," Draco called out as they entered the house. "We're here."

Narcissa scurried out of the kitchen upon hearing her son's voice. She was thrilled
that he was finally revealing who the young woman is that he is so clearly in love
with. She could read her son like the back of her hand, and even though he was
devilishly talented at hiding his emotions from others, she could tell that he was head
over heels for this girl. She stopped in the hallway and sized up the woman who was
holding her baby's hand. Draco had fallen in love with the witch who had the purest
magic of his generation. But it wasn't a shock to her that he was with Hermione
Granger, Order of the Phoenix member. Her son had been acting so happy and light-
hearted around her that she knew that whoever he was captivated by had not been
brought up in the same world or with the same beliefs as he had. Also, Miss Granger
was able to match Draco intellectually and she was a beautiful girl. She had a slim,
womanly figure and delicate, feminine facial features which were set off by her large,
brown eyes. Her hair was exceptionally gorgeous, long, mahogany curls with natural
streaks of varying shades of blonde.

"Miss Granger," Narcissa began with a wide, effortless smile. "It's wonderful to finally
meet you."

"It's nice to meet you too, Mrs. Malfoy."

Hermione politely held out her hand but Mrs. Malfoy pulled her into a friendly hug.
"Please call me Narcissa or Cissy."

"Okay," Hermione replied shyly.

Narcissa turned to give her son a hug and a kiss on the cheek. "I'm going to have
such beautiful, gifted grandchildren," she whispered giddily.

Draco chuckled in embarrassment. 'She needs to stop thinking about grandchildren,'


he thought to himself. "Slow down Mum," he muttered in response.

"Let's head into the kitchen," Narcissa suggested.

Draco and Hermione, still hand in hand, followed Narcissa into the kitchen. Narcissa
beamed with pride as Draco gentlemanly pulled Hermione's chair out for her and
then pushed it back in. She saw the small smile that the young couple exchanged
and it reminded her of she and Lucius when they were that age.

She took a seat at the table, as did Draco, and flicked her wand so that the prepared
food appeared before them. "So Hermione, where did Draco have to go to get you?"

"I'm staying at home with my parents, their house is in Hampstead, it's not much but
its home," she trailed off uncomfortably. Draco, sensing her unease, grabbed her
hand under the table and soothingly ran his thumb back and forth across her skin.

"Hampstead is a lovely neighborhood," Narcissa complimented. "And what do your


parents do for a living?"

Hermione took a sip of her tea before answering, "My parents are dentists…they
tend to people's teeth."

Draco stared at his mother intensely and waited for a hint of her former
condescending and snobby attitude to seep through. But she surprised him yet
again. "Interesting, so muggles have to have their teeth regularly attended to then?"
Hermione nodded in confirmation.

He wanted to avoid his mother asking any more questions about the muggle world,
just as a precaution, so he cleared his throat. "Do you like my watch, mother?
Hermione gave it to me for Christmas." Previous to this moment, he had hidden his
present from his mother.

Narcissa gently pulled Draco's wrist towards her and examined his watch closely. "Its
lovely dear," she said while smiling at the two of them. She stopped talking to take a
small bite out of a sandwich and drink a bit of her tea before she resumed her line of
questioning. She didn't want to seem overwhelming but these were the questions
that she had been dying to ask ever since she realized that Draco had found
someone. "What are your plans after Hogwarts, Hermione?"

"I want to work for the Ministry," she answered quickly.

"What department?" Narcissa asked interestedly.

"Law Enforcement, hopefully." She squirmed awkwardly in her seat. The reason that
she wanted to work in that particular department was so she could work on revising
and eliminating some of the existing pro-pureblood laws.

"Fine, respectable work," Narcissa praised. "Draco hasn't made up his mind yet."
Draco sent his mother a small smile. He appreciated the fact that she acknowledged
that that decision was his own. In his father's eyes it was already set in stone that he
was going to work at Malfoy Enterprises, a company that had been started by his
great-great-grandfather and had always been run by at least two generations of
Malfoy men. Currently his father and his great-uncle were at the top of the company
pyramid but he was the Malfoy heir. "I have to weigh my options," he stated quietly.
He knew what his father expected. Madam Hooch had recently told him that he has
been receiving interest from scouts from the British and Irish Quidditch leagues, and
Hermione felt that he had the delicate wand talents of a Healer. The decision of what
to do with his life after Hogwarts heavily weighed on him.

While Draco was caught up in his thoughts, Narcissa had been thinking about
something that she read in Witch Weekly not too long ago. "Hermione, the tabloids
claim that you have a relationship with Ronald Weasley, is that true?" She tried not
to sneer his name but despite her recent revelations she still wasn't fond of the
Weasleys.

Draco winced. Their breakup was fresh and Hermione was very kind-hearted. The
fact that she had hurt Ron bothered her a great deal. "It was," he answered for her.
"They're not together anymore."

"Well of course, you're with my Draco now," Narcissa grinned.

Hermione smiled affectionately at Draco before she spoke. "Excuse me; I'm going to
go to the loo." He reluctantly let go of her hand as she got up out of her chair and
headed up the stairs. She was familiar with the layout of the Tonks home.

Draco drank from his cup of tea while his mother simply stared at him with a knowing
smirk on her face. "What?" He finally asked.

"She's perfect for you." She knew that Hermione Granger was exactly what her son
needed. He needed someone who would be able to challenge him and she was
certainly capable of doing that. Even as an eleven-year-old boy, he had been
frustrated by the fact that his grades were only second in their year. She was a very
magically gifted girl. He needed someone who wasn't after him because he was a
Malfoy and her upbringing and position in the wizarding world showed that that was
the last thing on her mind. Finally, Draco needed someone who was a big enough
person to forgive his past misdoings and she had already done that. And she put
that perfect, Black smile on his handsome face. Yes, she was perfect for her only
son.

"You're being honest?" He asked sceptically. His mother loathed Pansy Parkinson,
despite her riches and pureblood status, and he was sure that if he had introduced
her to any of the other girls that he'd shagged around with, she wouldn't like them
either. She wasn't a fan of a few of his friends either. Basically, his mother liked very
few people who were fixtures in his life.

"Of course! I always am," she replied passionately. "This is the happiest that I've
ever seen you, Draco, and its easy to see that she cares for you a great deal. I don't
care that she's muggle-born," she added quietly.

He smiled happily; he was so relieved. He knew that heading into this lunch date he
desperately needed his mother's approval because his father was a lost cause.
"Thank you Mum."

"You're welcome sweetheart. I love you Draco."

"I love you too Mum," he replied bashfully.

"Why don't you and Hermione go and spend some time alone together?" Narcissa
suggested cheerfully. "I'll stay here and wait for Andromeda to come home."

"Okay," he smiled.

Narcissa and Draco stood as Hermione re-entered the kitchen. "It was lovely to
finally meet you," she said. "We should do this again some time. Next time I'll bring
Draco's baby pictures."

"Mum," he whined.

Hermione laughed, "It was nice to meet you too."

Draco placed his arm around Hermione's waist and pulled her close to him. "I'll see
you back at the Manor Mum."

Narcissa leaned in to kiss Draco on the cheek and took Hermione by surprise when
she placed a kiss on her cheek as well. "Take care Hermione," she said kind-
heartedly.

The young couple left the house and Draco excitedly pulled her down the street. He
Apparated abruptly and they were in her bedroom before Hermione noticed a
change in scenery. He swept her into his arms and kissed her hungrily on the mouth.
"She loves you," he stated breathlessly. He kissed her again. "I love you."

She breathed heavily when he released her. His kisses were always intense but this
was something completely different. He was pouring every single emotion that he
had into kissing her. "She actually likes me?" She asked in disbelief.

"She loves you," he grinned.

He tugged her back onto her bed and continued to kiss her. When he would pull
back in between kisses she could see the bright smile on his face. Draco Malfoy was
absolutely giddy. She laughed as she ran her fingers lightly over his strong
cheekbones. "I don't think I've ever seen you so happy," she commented.

"I don't think I've ever been this happy," he replied. "I feel like I could cast a Patronus
right now."

"Maybe you should try," she encouraged.

"I know that there will be plenty of time for that later." He laid back and pulled her
down on top of him. "I'd rather concentrate on you right now." He ran his hands
through her hair and down her back, feeling the silk of her blouse under his
fingertips. His hands finally settled on her hips. "Hermione," he groaned out her
name.

"Yes Draco?" He was looking at her with that intense stare that she had become use
to, the one that made her feel wanted and longed for. She put her hands on his
shoulders so that practically every inch of her body was pressed against him. She
leaned down and kissed him, gently probing his mouth with her tongue.

He eagerly embraced her tongue. He had never enjoyed snogging so much before
Hermione. His hands slid down to her butt and he cupped the firm flesh. "I love your
arse."

She laughed, "Girls at school claim that you're a breasts man."

He grinned mischievously. "I don't play favourites when it comes to your body."

She laughed again and kissed him sweetly and innocently on the lips. She sat up so
that she was straddling his lap and looked down at him timidly. "Draco," she began
as she bit down on her bottom lip yet again. "I want to try something."

"You can try anything you want," he answered chuckling. He knew from the dark look
in her eyes and the flush on her cheeks and neck that she was thinking about
something sexual, and he couldn't be more excited. She insisted that he simply lie
back while she hurriedly unbuttoned his shirt. She ran her hands slowly down his
bare chest, feeling his muscles flex involuntarily under her touch. She undid his belt
and popped open the clasp on his trousers. Draco watched as she chewed on that
damn bottom lip while she stared at the large tent in his boxer briefs. 'No, massive
tent,' his childish mind corrected.

She desperately wanted to touch him again but she did have an irrational fear of
inadequacy and failure. But judging from the way that he was looking at her, she
guessed that right about now she could get away with almost anything. Another thing
that Draco was able to do that Ron could not was make her feel sexy. She had never
strived for impressing the male species with her looks but feeling sexy and confident
also made her feel powerful. Her hand gently grazed his hardened bulge and he took
in a deep, shuddering breath. His response encouraged her and she grasped him
firmly in her hand. Hermione realized that so far Draco has guided her to her climax
twice and she's never given him pleasure in return. Well, she wanted to do
something for him this time.

She flicked the waistband of his boxers before peeling them down his legs. The
sound that escaped her mouth was a cross between a gasp and a moan. He looked
even larger then she thought he was going to be. She knew that she had no prior
experience in this subject area but he had to be larger then most blokes. 'How is he
supposed to fit inside me?' She blushed immediately at her own thought.

"Hermione," he laughed insecurely. "Is something wrong?" He didn't feel comfortable


with the amount of time that had passed with her in silence since she had stripped
him naked. He felt unselfconfident, a rare feeling for him.

She shook her head quickly. "No…it's big," she gulped.

'Oh God!' He started to inwardly panic. 'She thinks that I'm too big.'

"Mmm," she moaned lowly. She leaned down to speak against his lips. "I love it."

He laughed as he threaded his hand through her hair and kissed her enthusiastically.
'I knew it, future sex goddess,' he cheered to himself.

She sat back up quickly and began stroking him. She had read the occasional
muggle, romance novel so she knew what she was doing…in theory. She could
barely fit her hand around him but she developed a steady rhythm that Draco
seemed to enjoy. His head was tilted back with closed eyes and his hands,
desperate to touch any part of her body, struggled with her blouse so that he could
expose some bare flesh.

"Fuck Hermione, I love your hands on my cock." He couldn't wait until it was her
mouth.
'Awe, so there's his dirty talk,' she thought to herself. She found it strangely
stimulating.

Draco held out for as long as he possibly could but eventually the feel of her hands
on him, their frantic kissing, his owns hands groping her full breasts, the smell of her,
and just the overall sight of her sitting on top of him all became too much. "Fuck!
Hell! I'm gonna come!" He climaxed with a masculine groan that made Hermione
squirm in arousal.

His head fell back against her pillows and he closed his eyes while he regained his
breath. When he opened his eyes he groaned again, this time in frustration. He had
made a mess all over his stomach and Hermione's hand. Usually when a girl gave
him a hand job he was still alert enough to grab his wand at the last minute and
avoid the whole unhygienic situation. But Hermione reduced him to incoherency.
"Fuck," he swore again. "Hermione, I'm sorry."

She shook her head. "Don't worry about it." She raised her wand and muttered a
quick cleaning spell.

He sat up and wrapped his arms around her waist. He kissed her neck reverently,
hoping to leave a mark. "That was amazing."

She smiled, "You're sexy when you lose control."

He growled playfully and she began to laugh. He attacked her neck with little,
affection bites. "I like making you lose control," he said suggestively as he made the
move to dip his fingers into her slacks.

"Maybe some other time," she replied quickly. She took his hands in hers and smiled
at him, attempting to play off the situation as anything but a rejection.

"Not now?" He asked confused.

"Umm…yeah." She kissed him quickly on the lips and got to her feet.

He looked at her in utter bewilderment. 'Some other time, seriously?' He thought to


himself. He was sitting practically naked on her bed, his shirt was open but still on,
and he wanted to reciprocate the satisfaction that she had just given him. He could
tell that her body was rearing to go. "Do you have plans or something?"

She shook her head. 'This is so mortifying!' She ran a hand through her thick hair.
"No but I can't…feminine reasons," she told him quietly.
"Oh." He understood immediately although Pansy had always been a tad more blunt
and crude when that was her reason for not wanting to have sex. "Some other time."
He grinned before adding, "Soon." He pulled his boxers and trousers up and hopped
off of the bed. He buttoned his shirt back up as he spoke. "I should probably head
back to the Manor anyway; my father wants to talk to me about something this
afternoon."

"Okay," Hermione nodded as she placed a hand on his chest.

He gave her a goodbye kiss. "Call for Pinken if you want me," he smiled.

She smiled back at him before he disappeared, Apparating out of her room. She
couldn't wait to go back to Hogwarts where only two staircases separated them.

A/N: Review to support the Hermione and Draco sexy times!!! Ha ha! :)
Chapter 17
A/N: Thanks for reviewing people! :)

Disclaimer: Same as previous chapters.

Chapter 17

Malfoy Manor

"You wanted to talk, father?" Draco stated as he strolled into his father's study with
his hands in the pockets of his trousers.

"Yes Draco, come in." Lucius stood at the bar and poured himself a glass of brandy.
"Would you like a glass, Draco?" His son was eighteen years of age and despite
Narcissa's constant coddling, his son was a man now and he would treat him like
one.

"No thank you father," he answered politely.

Draco went and sat down in one of the high, winged back chairs that were facing his
father's desk. As he expected, his father took a seat in his chair behind the desk and
carefully laid his drink down. Lucius looked all business today; this was the
conversation that he had been dreading since the beginning of the holidays.

"We need to have a discussion about your future Draco," he began calmly. "You
haven't been inside our offices since renovations so I was thinking that after
Hogwarts it will be best to show you the ropes of the company and start you out on
the investment side of things."

Draco had learned recently that a large part of his father's business was
manufacturing potions for apothecaries and hospitals throughout Great Britain. But
the company also held a large amount of stocks and made investments in smaller
companies in various fields. He knew that if he wanted to work for his father's
company at all then he wanted to work in the Potions Lab.

"Father," he began timidly. "I was thinking that after graduation I could maybe travel
abroad for a while."

Lucius considered what his son was saying. He didn't mind the idea of his son
travelling; it could be beneficial for him. In fact seeing the rest of the world and their
wizarding customs could aid the company. The word expansion flashed across
Lucius' mind. "I don't see anything wrong with that," he finally answered. "Where
have you thought about going?"

Draco's eyes widened slightly. He didn't actually think that his father would agree
with him. 'Well this conversation is starting off reasonably well,' he thought to himself.
"I was thinking about spending some time in Ireland, France, Italy, maybe Asia, I'm
not quite certain."

His father nodded in understanding. "You think about where you want to travel to and
your mother and I will organize the trip. It will be your graduation present."

He smiled, "Thanks father." He placed his hands on the arms of the chair and began
to push himself upwards.

Lucius saw that his son was making a motion to leave. "Wait Draco, we have more
to discuss."

He sat back down in the chair half-heartedly. "Okay."

"How are things between you and Pansy?"

Draco visibly tensed. He'd much rather talk about business and Malfoy Enterprises
than this. "Nonexistent," he answered honestly.

Lucius raised an eyebrow in confusion. "What do you mean?"

The younger Malfoy straightened his back and maintained eye contact. It was finally
time to stand up to his father. "I broke up with her."

"Why?" His father angrily hissed.

"Because she's vile," he retorted.

"She's a proud pureblood! The Parkinsons are expecting a marriage!" Lucius


bellowed.

"A marriage?" Draco scoffed, "They're lucky I was dating her for so long."

Lucius got to his feet and stared at his son coldly. "You are a Malfoy boy!"

Draco stood up as well, he was taller then his father. "I know," he yelled.

"Then it's about time you start acting like one! A pureblood marriage is critical," he
stated. "There are very few wealthy, pureblood families left in Britain, Draco. You are
making the wrong decisions," Lucius stressed.
For once the voice in Draco's head was not his father's. "I once knew a boy who
made all the wrong decisions, don't be that boy, Draco." "No father," he answered, "I
am finally making the right decisions. I'm not going to be a coward anymore, like
you."

With a subtle flick of his wand, Lucius sent his son sprawling across the study. "What
has gotten into you, boy?" He asked as he reached the spot where his son was lying
on the rug on the floor of the room.

"Nothing," Draco breathed heavily.

His defences were down; his mind was unfocused, unprepared, and vulnerable so
despite his advanced training and skill in Occlumency, his father was easily able to
delve into his mind.

"Legilimens," Lucius muttered as he pointed his wand at his son. Draco tried to fight
him off but he could clearly see flashes of the memories that were at the utmost
surface of Draco's mind. All of the flashes that he saw had one thing in common;
they consisted of a young, brunette Gryffindor that Lucius was all too familiar with.
He lowered his wand in shock. "Explain what I just saw Draco!"

He continued to breathe heavily; fighting off a Legilimens was exhausting, both


mentally and physically. "What do you want explained father?" He answered in an
overly sweet tone.

"Explain to me why you've been kissing that Mudblood," Lucius demanded.

"Don't call her that," he growled. Draco clambered to his feet and drew his wand.

"Are you going to duel me Draco?" Lucius asked in disbelief. He didn't answer; he
just continued to pant with angry, narrowed eyes while he held his wand in a shaky
hand. "Did I insult your filthy, little Mudblood whore?" Draco's nostrils flared. "You're
a disgrace to the name of Malfoy. Crucio!"

Draco dropped to his knees in pain. He couldn't hold back the screams as his body
bent at unnatural angles. The Dark Lord had forced him to torture others but he had
never resorted to the Cruciatus Curse and he had never had it performed on him.

"Lucius stop!" Narcissa wailed as she entered the study after hearing screams from
two floors below. She rushed to her son and knelt down next to him. She pushed his
hair out of his eyes and ran a hand over his face. "What do you thinking you're
doing?" She asked in disbelief as she looked up at her husband. "Performing an
Unforgivable Curse on your own son?" Draco was drenched in a cold sweat and he
had tremors.

"Our son," he spat the title, "thinks that he loves a Mudblood."

"So what if he does?" Narcissa shot back quickly. "He can date, love, and marry
anyone he wants."

"Narcissa," Lucius began, "did you know about this?" His wife nodded and he
instantly felt betrayed. They had never kept secrets from each other.

"We'll talk about this later Lucius," she said firmly. Lucius stormed out of the study,
leaving her alone with Draco. "Are you okay sweetheart?" She asked in distress.

He nodded slowly. "I'll be fine," he choked. "How do you do it Mum?" He asked


curiously.

"Do what, honey?"

"Live with him," he clarified.

Narcissa sighed loudly, "Because he's my husband and I love him. I know that it's
not what you want to hear right now Draco but I married for love when I married your
father. When we met at Hogwarts, he could make me laugh so easily," she
reminisced. "He was such a bright wizard and so happy and carefree before the First
Wizarding War broke out. Sometimes, I still see that in him." She ran a hand through
Draco's hair. "I'll talk to him."

Number 12, Grimmauld Place

Hermione walked through the front door of Grimmauld Place. She had promised Ron
that they would talk and she was not going to go back on that promise just because
she had the inkling that it will be awkward.

She was greeted by Harry. "Hey Harry," she smiled. His lips barely twitched into a
returning smile as he gave her a knowing look. She knew that he badly wanted his
two best friends to be happy together.

"Why?" He asked bluntly.

She sighed loudly, "Harry, it's complicated, and private."

He scowled at her. "We're best friends Hermione."


"I know," she sighed again. She stepped up to him and hugged him tightly. "I just fell
in love with someone else and he's what I want," she whispered.

"Who is he?" Harry asked inquisitively. "I talked to Ginny and she was shocked, she
didn't know that anything out of the ordinary was going on with you."

"I didn't tell anyone," she explained. "Ron was the first person that I told. He, at the
very least, deserved to be that person."

"He's devastated, you know." Harry had returned home that day to find Ron
wallowing in his room. He had been curled up on his bed with his face in his pillow.
He had jokingly called him pathetic and Ron had gotten to his feet in a flash of anger,
asking him how he would feel if Ginny said that she didn't want him anymore. Harry
had stared at him in confusion until he had finally muttered that Hermione had
broken up with him.

"I know, I'm sorry," she apologized. "I never wanted to hurt him but I can't be his
girlfriend anymore."

"It's your decision," Harry said comfortingly. "I can't force you guys to be together. I
need to know who this guy is though. Is he good enough for you?"

Hermione finally pulled back from Harry's embrace. She looked at him nervously,
"Harry, I…"

"I think I figured out who it is."

They both turned as they heard Ron's lifeless voice from the stairs. "Ron," she said
while attempting to give him a compassionate smile.

"No," he stopped her from saying anything else. "I've been up thinking about it all
night. Obviously, it's a bloke which you know will royally piss me off if I saw you two
together."

Hermione cringed at the thought of Ron and Draco in the same room together.

"It's Krum," he declared.

She looked at him in confusion. She had genuinely believed that he had figured it
out. After all, since when does Draco Malfoy stroll in Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes.
But he was off the mark, although she could see his line of thinking. Her dating his
Quidditch hero had gotten him riled up enough the last time. "Viktor?"
"Oh, I'm sorry," he sneered, "Viktor."

She shook her head. "No." Sure, they still owled each other occasionally, exchanged
holidays cards, and he even wished to take her out to lunch the next time that he
was in Britain, but everything between them was strictly platonic, at least on her part.
"We're just friends."

Ron's face dropped. "Oh…well then who the bloody hell is it!"

"I'm not sure if I'm ready to tell you guys," she said honestly.

"Don't tell me it's that git McLaggen!" Ron shouted.

"No! God no!" Hermione found the idea of her and Cormac McLaggen together
utterly repulsive.

"Then who?" Harry questioned.

She looked pleading at Harry as she said quietly, out of Ron's range of hearing,
"Promise not to judge?" He gave her a small nod while Ron stared at her in
confusion before moving to Harry's side. She had to muster up all of her Gryffindor
courage before she spoke. Revealing the name of her new boyfriend to Harry and
Ron was way scarier then facing Voldemort. "Its Draco," she confessed in a murmur.

"Malfoy!" They both screeched.

Ron began breathing very heavily. "I'm gonna kill him!"

Harry looked at her in scepticism. "Okay, let's avoid the obvious here, like that fact
that Malfoy is a Death Eater, a slimy git who tortured you for years, and a
womanizer, he's just plain unbearable."

'He's judging,' she thought to herself. "You guys wouldn't understand…he's changed"
she explained quietly. "He's a completely different person when we're alone."

Ron's face reddened in anger. "He'll go out on you Hermione, you know he will."

She shook her head defiantly. "No, he won't."

"He only wants you for one thing," Ron told her cruelly.

Harry shot Ron a look that simply said, "You've done it now, mate."

Hermione stared at him, enraged. She was having flashbacks to the Yule Ball in
fourth year and what Ron had insinuated about Viktor's motives. "I think he's got a bit
more than friendship on his mind." "You haven't matured a bit Ronald!" She turned
on her heel and stormed out of Grimmauld Place. She faintly heard Harry calling out
her name and asking her to come back but she didn't heed him.

Malfoy Manor

Draco lay on his bed with one hand draped lazily across his abdomen and the other
beneath his head. He could hear his parents arguing, about him.

"Narcissa, you cannot be condoning this unacceptable behaviour!"

"Don't start on unacceptable behaviour Lucius! I can't believe you had the nerve to
use the Cruciatus Curse on our only son!"

"Our only son is running around with a Mudblood!"

"I don't care who he runs around with as long as he's happy!"

Draco sighed before pointing his wand at his ceiling and muttering a quick spell.
"There," he said contentedly. He could no longer hear the raised voices of his
parents. "Pinken," he called out to his house elf.

"Yes Master Draco?" She asked excitedly after instantly appearing in his bedroom.

"Can you fetch Hermione for me please? Bring her back here." He just wanted to be
near her when he was upset and he had never felt like that towards anyone. He had
always wanted to brood and wallow in private.

Pinken nodded numerous times before disappearing to fulfil his master's request. In
a matter of seconds, Pinken reappeared with a loud 'pop' and he was holding
Hermione's hand. She looked just as lost as he felt, and she looked exhausted. Her
hair was pulled up into a messy bun and she was wearing a pair of shorts and a long
sleeved, Gryffindor House shirt. She still looked gorgeous though. "This room is
more like you then your room at Hogwarts," she commented with a small smile as
her eyes flitted across his bedroom.

He smiled back at her as he opened his arms and beckoned her closer. She walked
towards him and crawled onto his bed. She rested her head on his chest and
snuggled up to his body. "Harry and Ron know about us," she murmured.

"My father knows about us," he countered.


Hermione inhaled sharply and she tilted her head up so that she could look at his
face. "How?" She asked curiously.

"He read my mind," he answered simply. "He didn't take it well," he stated
nonchalantly. "He's arguing with my mother as we speak." He discreetly looked up at
his ceiling as if he could see through walls.

She lightly traced his cheek with her fingertips before kissing him softly on the lips.
"I'm sorry," she whispered. She knew that there were very simple ways to please
Lucius Malfoy and having contact with her was certainly not one of them. Lucius
would be content if she was Pansy Parkinson or one of the Greengrass sisters.

"Don't apologize," he told her fiercely. "He's archaic." He gripped the back of her
neck and pulled her in for a hungry kiss. His tongue swept along her bottom lip
eagerly. She pulled back and giggled softly against his lips. God, he loved it when
she laughed. "Your nose scrunches in the cutest way when you laugh."

She blushed and ducked her head. "Thanks."

He quickly captured her lips again and slid one of his hands down to cup her
delicious ass. Draco slowly withdrew from the kiss and looked over Hermione's
shoulder. Pinken was still standing on his bedroom floor, anxiously awaiting orders.
"Um, you can leave now Pinken."

"Okay Master Draco! Farewell Miss Hermione!"

His house elf had been seriously killing the mood over the holidays. "I can't wait to
go back to Hogwarts," he told her through chuckles.

"Me either," she agreed.

"Three more days," he said hurriedly before they kissed again. When they returned
to Hogwarts on the first of January, they could return to their personal bubble that
they had created prior to the holidays. 'And now that she's broken up with Weasley,'
he thought, 'things can only get better.'

A/N: Review!! :) Give me your thoughts. Personally, I love Draco in this


chapter. I would also like to point out that I have more story alerts then reviews
so REVIEW!!! Please. :)
Chapter 18
A/N: Guys, I am SO SORRY for the long wait. Between exams, work, and
university Winter Carnival week, I have not had time to write or post. I will try
to be better about updating because I don't want to disappoint you guys. With
that, I hope that you enjoy this chapter! :)

Disclaimer: Same as previous chapters.

Chapter 18

January – Hogwarts Express

Draco patrolled the hallways of the train, making sure that none of the other students
were acting rowdy. Everyone was exuberant to question their friends about their
holidays. He just felt relieved to be going back to Hogwarts because his holidays had
been anything but relaxing. And even with the events of the war still weighing on
everyone's minds and their knowledge of him as a Death Eater, he still felt
comfortable at Hogwarts with schoolwork and Quidditch to distract him…and
Hermione.

The last few days of the holidays had been tense at the Malfoy Manor, to say the
least. His father looked at him with disdain and only talked to him in clipped tones.
His father was wishing now more then ever that his son attended Durmstrang. 'There
are no muggle-borns at Durmstrang,' he thought to himself. He hoped that his
mother would eventually talk some sense into his father. Narcissa was one of the
few people capable of changing Lucius' mind.

He smirked to himself as he saw his Head Girl standing with her back to him at the
end of the hallway, he hadn't spoken to her since they boarded the train but he had
caught a glimpse of her on the platform with her parents. She was looking out the
window and had already changed into her school robes. He sneakily walked up
behind her and whispered in her ear. "I've never seen a Gryffindor uniform look so
sexy."

She spun around and smiled cheekily at him. "And where are your robes?" She
questioned.

"I was just about to change into them, care to help me?" He grinned.

She playfully smacked his chest. "There'll be time for that later," she promised
seductively.
He raised an eyebrow. "Is that so?"

Hermione blushed and nodded shyly, "Yeah."

He hummed appreciatively, "Well I'll be looking forward to that."

Her cheeks were still tinged red as she smacked him for a second time. "We're
almost there." She stepped past him and began to walk down the hallway.

'She looks unbelievable in that skirt,' he thought to himself. And he was partial to the
knee-highs that accompanied it. He whistled lowly and laughed when she spun
around with a look on her face that was a mix of irritation and amusement. He stared
back at her innocently. "We're almost there," he repeated her words with a large grin
on his face. He laughed as she scowled at him before walking away. 'God, it's good
to be heading back to Hogwarts,' he thought with a grin.

Headmistress' Office

Draco squirmed in the uncomfortable chair in front of the Headmistress' desk. He


had never been called into this office before so he came to two conclusions quickly.
The first was that he was anxious about what Professor McGonagall had to say to
him and the second was that they must have made this chair dreadful on purpose.

"I am very impressed with you so far this year, Mr. Malfoy."

Draco's eyes widened slightly. "Really?"

She nodded slowly, "Yes. Your grades are still impressively high, from what I can see
you've been doing an exceptional job as a house Quidditch captain, and Professor
Flitwick tells me that you've been a great help in Duelling Club. You've also been
performing your duties as Head Boy very well."

"Thank you Professor."

"And Miss Granger has not complained about you once," she added seriously.

'I would certainly hope not,' he thought to himself.

"What I am trying to say Mr. Malfoy, is that you haven't made me regret the decision
to make you Head Boy."

"Thank you Professor," he repeated. He had always found Professor McGonagall to


be very stern and quite intimidating so her praise of him was almost overwhelming.
"But those things aside, they're not the reason why I called you here." Draco raised
his eyebrow in curiosity. "The English National Quidditch team is taking a similar
approach to the Bulgarians. They're scouting the school and they want to offer you a
tryout, Mr. Malfoy."

"Are you serious?" He asked excitedly.

"Yes, Mr. Malfoy, the first weekend in February you are invited to attend their training
camp in Newcastle." She pulled a prestigious looking envelope out of one of her
desk drawers and handed it to him. He looked at it in awe and ran her fingers over
the glistening material. "None of your professors will ask questions about your
absence from the grounds on that weekend," she added quietly, telling him that she
wanted to keep this information quiet for a little while.

"Okay Professor," he responded simply. He was practically at a loss for words.

"That is all Mr. Malfoy," she said dismissively. Draco got up out of his chair, still
staring at the envelope, and began to slowly walk out of the Headmistress' office.
"Oh, and Mr. Malfoy." He turned around. "Congratulations."

He smiled brightly, "Thanks Professor."

Draco practically skipped back to the Heads' Common Room; he was in such a
terrific mood. Even though it was early evening, the corridors were deserted. He
guessed that most students were taking an early night to prepare for the
recommencement of classes in the morning while that was the last thing on his mind.
He was on cloud nine.

He strolled in through the portrait and spotted Hermione on one of the couches with
a book in her lap. He walked behind the sofa and leaned down to kiss the side of her
neck. "Let's go down to the lake," he whispered.

She looked up at him inquisitively. "Why?"

He grinned, "Just because. Come on, let's go for a ride."

"Draco," she began unyielding, "its freezing outside."

"That's what heating spells are for, baby."

"Draco," she laughed lightly as she sized him up carefully. "You look practically
giddy, what's going on?"

"I have something that I want to tell you," he smiled. "But I want to take you for a
broomstick ride first."

He took her by the hand and pulled her up off of the sofa. "Draco," she squealed. He
led her up to her room and instructed her to put on a sweater, a thick cloak, and a
scarf. He summoned his Firebolt with a smile on his face. He looked so happy that
she couldn't argue with him anymore. That handsome smile did unnatural things to
her. So she pulled on a sweater, a cloak, and a scarf and looked at him expectantly.

"Hop on," he grinned.

She carefully settled herself on the broom and wrapped her arms tightly around his
midsection. "Not too fast," she requested.

"Okay," he laughed. He opened her bedroom window with his wand and set out into
the chilly, January evening. He smiled to himself as he felt Hermione's face burrow
into his back and her arms tighten around his waist. He flew her around the grounds
twice before he landed alongside the lake, behind the cover of dense trees and away
from potential prying eyes. He had begun to affectionately refer to it as their spot.

"What is it Draco?" Hermione asked as she sat on the ground and looked across the
lake. The water was eerily calm.

"What do you want more then anything?" He questioned her seriously as he took a
seat beside her.

"God, I don't know," she answered, "to ace my N.E.W.T.s. Why?"

"Because for me it's to be recognized as something other then a Death Eater and
that's been happening this year. First with Professor McGonagall and then you," he
said quietly as he placed a soft, quick kiss on her lips. "And now this." He pulled the
envelope out of his robes and handed it to her.

She read his name, Draco L. Malfoy, in elegant, glittering script on the front and had
spent enough time with Harry and the Weasleys to notice the crest in the corner. She
opened the envelope quickly and began to read aloud its contents. "The English
National Quidditch team is pleased to extend an invitation…" she skipped the rest
and read quickly and silently to herself. "Draco, wow!" She was practically
speechless. "No wonder you've been in such a good mood," she chuckled. "This is
amazing." He simply smiled. She placed her hands on his face and kissed him
sweetly. "Congratulations," she smiled. "Now let's go back to my room," she said
quietly as she attempted to hide her facial expressions.

Draco laughed, "Are you grinning?" She nodded shyly. She was grinning and it was
because she had something up her sleeve. She had spent all of last night planning it
out in her head; well it had taken her all of yesterday day time to work up the
courage to plan it. "What is it?" He asked excitedly. 'She seems awfully anxious,' he
thought to himself. 'Well she was hinting at something on the train.'

"You'll see," she answered teasingly.

"Well let's get back to your room then," he smirked. He quickly hopped onto his
broom with a boyish smile and Hermione joined him. "Hold on tight."

Draco gracefully guided the broom upwards until they reached the Head Girl's tower.
He steered them through the window and settled on the floor. Hermione jumped off
and immediately raced towards her bathroom. "What are you doing?" He asked
chuckling.

"Just make yourself comfortable," she answered from behind the closed door.

"Okay," he said unsurely to himself. He carefully placed his broom next to


Hermione's desk and removed his cloak. He sat down on Hermione's bed and
loosened his tie. "Hermione, are you okay?" He asked concerned.

"Fine," she squeaked. She slowly opened the door and poked her head out. She had
pulled her hair down so that her long, mahogany curls framed her face. "Hey," she
stated nervously.

"Hey," he laughed, "what's going on?" Hermione's cheeks flushed red from self-
consciousness as she put one foot in front of the other and stepped into her
bedroom. "Whoa," Draco choked out. She was wearing the lingerie that he had
gotten her for Christmas and she looked utterly unbelievable, as he had expected.
The fabric hugged her curves perfectly and it was long enough to cover her behind
but short enough to show off her lovely legs. The nightgown also gave her fantastic
cleavage and the black contrasted with her delicate, porcelain skin. He beckoned her
forward and she slowly approached him. He placed his hands around her waist and
looked up at her in awe. "You look gorgeous."

"Thanks," she answered shyly.

He ran his hands down to her hips. "No underwear?" He asked with a raised
eyebrow. She shook her head and he groaned. "What are you doing to me
Granger?" He pulled her down onto his lap and claimed her mouth hungrily. He
threaded his fingers through her hair. "What are you doing to me?" He asked again
quietly.

"What do you mean?" She whispered back against his lips.

"You know that you drive me crazy," he ran one hand along her bare thigh, "and I
usually don't let girls get to me but I need you." He kissed her again. "Gods, I need
you," he breathed, "you can't leave me." He knew that this was the most vulnerable
moment of his life but he needed to be completely honest with her. She had become
his world.

She could see all of the emotions in his eyes and it startled her a little. He must have
a lot of things on his mind. She gently brushed his cheek and ran her fingers through
his hair. "Draco, I won't," she told him honestly. He pulled her body even closer to his
and kissed her again while his hand slipped between her legs. "Ugh," she groaned
as her fingernails dug into his shoulders. "Draco."

"I'm going to make you come so many times tonight," he promised as he kissed and
licked her neck.

"We have classes tomorrow morning," she protested through a moan. It was hard to
talk and not to concentrate on what his slender fingers were doing to her.

"That's okay baby," he cooed. He knew that he was very good at distracting females,
but Hermione was no ordinary girl. In fact, she was one of a kind and stubborn as
hell. He manoeuvred them both until they were lying on her bed with him on top.
"Let's not worry about classes right now."

"Umm…okay," she agreed through kisses, "but I'm setting an alarm." She placed a
hand on top of her wand which was lying on her bedside table and cast a quick spell
so that it would alarm tomorrow morning and give her plenty of time to get ready for
the day. She wrapped her arms around Draco's neck and embraced his enthusiasm.
He was incredibly hard to say no to. 'He wasn't a year ago,' a part of her mind
quipped but she quickly silenced it and kissed him lovingly. They really needed to
spend this carefree time together. Their relationship was shifting and they were
becoming more and more important to each other, and they could both feel it.

A/N: Review please!!!!! It will make me feel better about my lack of updates.
Lol.
Chapter 19
A/N: So...finally!!! All I can offer are apologies. I was really busy with school
and then when I wasn't busy it took me a really long time to get back into this
story. So I apologize for making you guys wait so long and I hope that you
enjoy the update, aka it was worth the wait. Lol. And I will be updating more
regularly from now on! Enjoy! :)

Disclaimer: Same as previous chapters.

Chapter 19

The Head Girl's Tower

Hermione awoke before her alarm went off; it was something that she did regularly.
But she hadn't been sure how having a partner would affect her sleeping pattern.
She turned her head slightly and looked at the partner in question. Draco was still
asleep and spooning her from behind. His body was fully pressed against hers and
his arm was draped across her waist. He was in just his boxers and she was
miraculously still in her nightgown from the night before. Aside from the fact that she
was a little warm from the extra body heat, she was perfectly content. 'He loves to
cuddle,' she thought to herself, 'who would have thought?'

"Draco," she whispered as she ran a hand down his cheek. She laughed to herself
when he showed no signs of waking. She removed his hand from around her waist
and slowly slid out of bed.

Her absence woke him. "Hey," he mumbled sleepily as he rolled over onto his back
and squinted against the morning light. "Come back to bed."

She smiled softly; he did not look awake at all. "We have breakfast and then Ancient
Runes first period," she reasoned. She leaned down and kissed him quickly on the
lips. "Come on, get up."

He opened his eyes wide and looked at her with a sly grin. "We could skip," he
proposed.

"I don't think so," she shook her head.

He laughed loudly. "Can't blame a bloke for trying. You just look sinful in that." He
licked his lips slowly and it caused her to blush. Finally, he hopped out of her warm,
comfortable bed and moved to stand in front of her. "This is a proper good morning,"
he grinned before kissing her intensely on the mouth. "I'll see you at breakfast."

She nodded and then watched him leave her bedroom. They had yet to have a
conversation regarding if they were going to be a public couple at Hogwarts and she
wasn't entirely sure how she felt about the subject. They had been holding back
before because Ron and his parents hadn't known, but now both their families knew
of their relationship; where did that leave them? She shook her head and ran a hand
through her hair to clear her thoughts. She didn't want to overanalyze things right
now so she decided to head for the shower.

-()-()-()--()-()-()--()-()-()-

The Head Boy's Dungeon

Draco smirked to himself as he got dressed for a new day. Yesterday had been
amazing for him. Returning to Hogwarts, receiving praise from Professor
McGonagall, the letter from the National Quidditch team, and his wonderful night
with Hermione, everything had been perfect. They hadn't progressed any further
physically last night but emotionally, he felt that they had taken leaps. She was now
aware how important she really was to him. He had bared himself to her and had
finally opened himself up to someone. It was a huge step for him personally.

When he was fully dressed in his school robes, he slung his black, leather bag over
his shoulder and grabbed his wand before leaving his room. He practically skipped
to the Great Hall; he was in that good of a mood. He took a seat next to Blaise at the
Slytherin House table. "Hey mate," he greeted, "how was your holiday?"

"Good. How was yours?" Blaise responded.

"It had its moments," he answered honestly. In certain aspects his Christmas holiday
had been both fantastic and abysmal. But at the moment his spirits were too high to
dwell on the argument with his father.

"So rumour has it that Pansy's moved on," Blaise stated quietly.

"Really?" Draco asked with a raised eyebrow. Pansy Parkinson was incredibly clingy,
she did not get over guys that quickly, especially one like him. All Pansy wanted in a
bloke was money, power, and pure blood, and in the context of Hogwarts he was the
top candidate in those three categories. "Who?" He asked curiously. He was
genuinely not jealous, just interested in who she managed to sink her claws in.

"Nott," Blaise revealed.


"No way," Draco scoffed. Theodore Nott was one of his best mates; he would not get
together with an ex-girlfriend. Also, he knew that Nott had his sights set on another
Hogwarts girl and he had expressed his opinion of Pansy on more then one
occasion and it certainly wasn't flattering. But he did fulfill all of Pansy's criteria.

"No way, what?" Blaise and Draco turned in their seats and looked up at the owner
of the voice, Theodore Nott. He took a seat next to Draco and began to eat
breakfast. "You guys seemed to be having an interesting conversation."

"Yeah, we were," Draco chuckled. "Blaise was just telling me an interesting rumour
that he heard."

"Oh, do tell," he stated inquisitively. He loved to hear Hogwarts gossip.

"That you and Pansy are Hogwarts' newest couple," Draco sneered.

"What?" Nott practically spit out his mouthful of pumpkin juice. "Are you bloody
kidding me?" He exclaimed.

"That's the rumour," Blaise confirmed.

"Says who?" Nott asked in disgust.

"Pansy," Blaise murmured in response.

Nott groaned loudly. "Of course she would say something like that," he said to
himself.

"What was that?" Draco prodded.

Nott turned to Draco to answer his question. "Over the holiday I ran into Pansy at a
club in wizard London. We danced and she tried to get me to go home with her but I
quickly turned her down. Nothing happened," he explained. "You know that I fancy
Luna," he whispered.

"I know," Draco replied before chuckling loudly. "She was all over you wasn't she?"

"Yes," Nott huffed, "it was dreadful."

That comment made Draco laugh even louder and Blaise joined in on the fun as Nott
scowled at them. It really was great to be back at Hogwarts.

-()-()-()--()-()-()--()-()-()-
Heads' Common Room

"Hey," Hermione smiled as she found Draco sitting on the sofa closest to the
fireplace. "How were your classes?" She hadn't seen him since Potions which was
just after lunch.

"Good. It would have been better if we had more classes together," he smiled back
at her. He opened his arm wide, inviting her to take a seat next to him. "Where were
you?" He asked curiously as she laid her bag on the floor before snuggling up next
to him.

"The library," she answered simply.

"I figured," he grinned. He ran one hand along the bare skin of her leg between her
skirt and her knee-high sock while his other arm wrapped around her shoulders. "So
are you ready for dinner?"

She grabbed his wrist and looked at the time on his watch. "Isn't it a little early?"

"Well I have Quidditch practice at six, love," he explained.

"Oh okay," she nodded. She took his hand off of her leg and entwined their fingers.
"But why are you asking me to go to dinner, its not like we can sit together."

"Do you want to?" He asked worriedly. It never occurred to him that she may be
upset by the fact that publicly they were still supposed to be enemies. But it was
definitely something that should have crossed his mind.

"No…I mean, yes…well, it doesn't really matter…" she huffed in annoyance, she
was confusing herself. "Sorry," she apologized. "Its not that we have to sit at different
house tables, that doesn't bother me. But I do think that there needs to be some
public acknowledgement that we are together so that it doesn't feel like we're trying
to keep this a secret because everyone who matters knows about us now."

Draco nodded in understanding. "If that's how you feel," he replied cryptically. He
kissed her quickly on the forehead before getting up and heading to his bedroom.

Hermione sighed heavily and placed her head in her hands. Everything had been
going amazing between them but she just had to go and open her mouth. 'Just
couldn't help yourself could you?' Her subconscious quipped. Maybe everyone was
right; maybe she did talk too much.

She hopped off of the couch and left the Heads' Common Room. She was going to
the Gryffindor Common Room to get Ginny and Neville so that they could go to
dinner.

At the Great Hall she barely touched her food. "Are you alright Hermione?" Ginny
asked in concern.

She turned to her red-headed friend and gave her a small smile. She had to
appreciate the fact that Ginny had been unbelievingly understanding of her breakup
with Ron. "I'm fine," she lied. She turned back to her plate but subtly looked over to
the Slytherin table. Draco was dressed in his Quidditch practice robes and sitting in
between Blaise Zabini and Theodore Nott. The three of them were laughing
hysterically and he looked so…unbothered. It made her angry and depressed. He
was acting like he didn't care, the polar opposite of how he was acting last night. She
watched as he got up from his seat at his house table and began to walk towards
her. He was wearing his signature arrogant grin and she had no idea what he was
up to.

He stopped and stood directly in front of her. The whole Great Hall had stopped
eating and was currently gawking at him but he appeared unaffected. "So I have
practice now love, but wait up for me?" He asked as he grabbed her hand and
brought it to his lips. She nodded dumbly and he smirked. "Excellent. Bye beautiful."

As he strode out of the Great Hall there was absolute silence. Every table, including
the head table full of Hogwarts' staff, was in a stunned state of silence. As soon as
the large, oak doors closed behind Draco the staff resumed normal dinner
conversation but there were loud gasps and rampant chatter from the Hufflepuff and
Ravenclaw tables and ear splitting shrieks of distaste from Pansy Parkinson and
every other single, Slytherin girl. While the rest of the Gryffindor table, aside from
Ginny, stared at Hermione in utter shock.

Lavender was the first to speak. "Oh my God! Draco Malfoy," she squealed.
Hermione simply nodded again, her vocal chords seemed to be temporarily out of
service. "Tell me all about him! His body, his lips, is he a good kisser? He has big
hands and big feet, does he have a…?"

Hermione tuned out Lavender's energetic babble and a slow smile began to cross
her face. Draco did care and that had been his public acknowledgement of them as
a couple. And he was being just as sweet and gentlemanly to her in public as he was
in private.

-()-()-()--()-()-()--()-()-()-

The Head Girl's Tower


Hermione was sitting on her bed with her Defence against the Dark Arts textbook in
her lap when she heard a knock on her door. "Come in," she said with a broad smile.

Draco stepped into her room in just his drawstring sleep trousers. He had just gotten
out of the shower by the looks of his hair. 'He looks sexy,' she thought as she placed
her book on the bedside table.

He chuckled as he watched her motion him towards her with a seductive smile on
her face. "You look like you're in a good mood," he commented as he sat next to her
on the bed.

She clasped her hands around his neck and pulled him in for a kiss. "That was some
stunt you pulled in the Great Hall."

"But it's what you wanted, right?" He asked insecurely.

"Mmm hmm," she answered as she pulled him down on top of her.

He chuckled as she kissed his neck and felt her hands roam all over his torso. "I
should do things like that more often if this is the kind of response that I get."

She laughed along with him. "It was romantic," she stated before kissing him
passionately on the mouth. "How was practice?"

He laid his forehead gently against hers and smiled down at her. "Good. Some of the
guys gave me a hard time about you but I don't care. Most of them are just jealous
because they think you're hot as hell." She raised a questioning eyebrow. "Years of
locker room talk," he smirked. "What about you? Did the Gryffindors give you a hard
time?"

"No, because most of them think you're hot as hell," she mimicked his voice and
laughed loudly.

He grinned as he tightly gripped her waist. "Funny," he said sarcastically. He claimed


her mouth and effectively silenced her uncharacteristic giggles. 'She really is in a
good mood tonight,' he thought.

"Draco," she moaned as his hands snuck up her shirt. She really hoped that what
she was experiencing wasn't just the 'honeymoon period' because she had certainly
never felt this way about Ron. She was serious about Draco and she believed him
when he said that he needed her. She moaned again as he pressed her further into
the mattress. She gripped his shoulders and whimpered his name as something
occurred to her. She was beginning to need him too.

A/N: Please review and restore my confidence in this story! Thanks. :)


Chapter 20
A/N: A big thanks to everyone who reviewed and my beta! As promised, a
regular update! Yay! Enjoy! :)

Disclaimer: Same as previous chapters.

Chapter 20

The Head Girl's Tower

Draco always thought that he was a guy who liked his room, his bed, and his things,
but he was getting used to sleeping in Hermione's bed and he was definitely getting
used to sleeping with Hermione. This time he awoke before her and watched her
sleep. He was lying on his back and she was pressed against his side with her head
on his shoulder and hand on his stomach. He was incredibly comfortable. He never
thought that he would enjoy having a serious girlfriend this much. He had started his
unusual relationship with Pansy in their fourth year and when she had begun to refer
to him as her boyfriend, he had rebelled. He had hated being tied down and that was
why he had shagged so many girls behind her back. He had been in complete
control of their relationship because Pansy had been, and still was, willing to do
anything to be his trophy wife. But he knew that he would never cheat on Hermione
and he was certainly not the sole dominating force in their relationship. The equality
unsettled him because he knew that he would be a wreck if she ever left him.

He took a slow, deep breath and focused his eyes ahead on her wall of photographs.
He smiled as he saw that she had hung the framed photo of him that he had given
her for Christmas. 'But she still has the photo up of her and Weasley,' he said to
himself. He sneered and tore his eyes away from the wall. It didn't matter anyway;
she had broken up with the Weasel. And well…if she wanted to stay friends with him
then he would just have to deal with it. "Malfoys don't share." That's what his father
had always told him as a young boy. But he realized now that he might have to learn
if he wanted to keep Hermione.

He lowered his head and began to kiss her awake. He smiled when her eyes
fluttered open. "Good morning."

"Mmm, morning," she answered as she stretched her limbs. She closed her eyes
again and buried her face in his neck.

Draco laughed, "Someone is going to sleep through first period."


"No," she argued. "You woke me up before my alarm."

"Well," he grinned, "since you're up anyway." He placed his hand under her chin and
tilted her head up until her lips could meet his. She moaned softly as he deepened
the kiss and as their tongues tangles he rolled her over so that he was on top of her.

She gripped his soft, blonde locks as she kissed him back eagerly. She knew that
she should either be sleeping or getting ready for the day ahead but she was
powerless when Draco got passionate. He pulled away from her mouth and started
to kiss down her neck. She laughed and dug her nails into his scalp as she felt the
light stubble of his jaw brush against her skin. It tickled and she wasn't accustomed
to the feeling, his face was usually perfectly smooth. "You need to shave," she
commented teasingly.

"You don't like the new look?" He asked pouting.

She placed a hand on his cheek and gently pushed him back so that she could
inspect his facial features closely. She brushed a lock of hair out of his captivating
blue-grey eyes before running a finger along his strong jaw line. "Well, it is kinda
sexy," she admitted bashfully.

"That's what I was going for," he grinned. He kissed her quickly on the lips again
before sliding down her body until he was under all of the bed clothes and eyelevel
with her stomach.

She felt him press his lips to the skin near her belly button as she battled with her
sheets. When she had finally accomplished pushing the majority of her bed sheets
onto the floor, she was greeted with Draco smirking up at her. "Draco," she laughed
nervously, "what are you doing?"

His fingers toyed with the top edge of her blue, cotton underwear. "I want to taste
you," he answered as his mouth was pressed against the top of her mound.

She blushed in embarrassment and ran a hand through his hair in an effort to coax
him upward. "What?" Although she was pretty sure she had heard what he had said,
he had been muffled by cloth.

He looked up at her again. "I said that I want to taste you, love," he repeated.

Hermione sat up in bed with an apprehensive look on her face. 'We haven't done
that yet,' she thought to herself.

Draco quickly began to soothe her unspoken worries. He sat up as well and kissed
her sweetly. "I want to," he whispered as he peppered her face with kisses. "You'll
love it, trust me," he beamed.

"I trust you," she breathed heavily. He already had her body incredibly worked up;
why not let him finish what he started?

He gently pushed on her abdomen until she was back in a lying position and then he
hurriedly removed her panties. He could stare at her all day; he thought that she was
that gorgeous. Her skin was so fair and her natural curls were trim. Truthfully, he did
not enjoy women who were completely bare. From his position on the very edge of
her bed he could see her blushing so he excitedly smiled up at her as he lifted her
foot up onto his shoulder. He kissed her ankle and slowly trailed his lips up to her
kneecap. "Your skin is so soft," he spoke quietly.

"Thanks," she stuttered. She squirmed under the power of his intense gaze and
attention. His eyes had turned a dark, steel grey so she knew that he was highly
aroused, just in case the bulge in his boxers wasn't a giveaway. "Draco." She let out
a breathy, little moan as he neared the apex of her thighs and he grinned smugly. He
finally reached her aching core and pressed his mouth against her. She gasped
loudly and gripped his hair.

Draco realized that he would be doing this regularly if this was the kind of response
that he received. The way that she writhed under him and the sounds that she was
making were sexy as hell. He couldn't wait until she was ready to have sex with him
because he knew that it would be simply incredible. They were too compatible for it
to be anything but. His talented tongue continued to work the most sensitive part of
her body, leading her towards an orgasm.

She bit down on her bottom lip to stop from screaming. The sensations shooting
through her body were almost unbearable. "Ugh…Draco, please," she begged
desperately.

"Your wish is my command," he responded before one long swipe of his tongue sent
her over the brink. Her back arched and she ran both her hands through her hair as
she cried out loudly. "Mmm, beautiful," he whispered as he kissed her lower
stomach. He slid up her body and observed her heavy breathing, closed eyes, and
the lazy smile on her face. He smiled brightly as he lowered his head and kissed her
softly.

"Hi," she giggled when she opened her eyes.

"Hey," he laughed, "do you feel good?"


She wrapped her arms around his shoulders and hugged him appreciatively.
"Amazing. Thank you." She lightly tugged on his earlobe with her teeth and he
growled playfully. "Draco, you're a wonderful lover."

He chuckled. "You don't even know the half of it yet, love."

-()-()-()--()-()-()--()-()-()-

As Hermione dressed she listened to the sounds of water drops hitting the bottom of
the bath. 'Draco is naked and in my shower,' she thought while feeling blush spread
over her cheeks and down her neck. He was so passionate, but also caring and
considerate.

They had missed breakfast this morning but it had definitely been worth it. She was
still slightly flushed from their activities earlier even though she had taken a shower
before Draco. He had humorously asked to join her but she had declined. She didn't
think that the two of them being naked at the same time was the wisest decision right
now. Despite how amazing this morning had been she still wasn't fully ready to give
herself to him, not yet. She made up her bed, without magic, and finished buttoning
the sweater of her uniform. She was standing in front of her mirror and running a
brush through her hair when she heard her bathroom door open.

Draco slowly approached her with just a towel wrapped around his hips. "I think that
you need new towels," he commented.

She looked at his reflection and laughed. The towel that he had grabbed from her
pile of fresh linens had the Gryffindor crest on it. "I think that those colors compliment
you," she taunted.

"We both look much better in Slytherin emerald and silver I think."

She scoffed, "Funny Draco. We both know that I'm a Gryffindor through and
through."

He ignored her statement as his eyes raked over her. "I know I'd love to see you in
one of my Slytherin shirts."

"Really?" She asked in surprise.

He nodded. "It's every bloke's fantasy to see his girl in his shirt."

Hermione smiled to herself and tucked that little nugget of information away for later.
She turned to face Draco and placed a hand on his firm, bare chest as she kissed
him softly on the lips. "I've had an amazing morning so far, now let's go to class."

He moaned lowly and leaned forward for another kiss. "Okay, give me ten minutes
and then I'll walk you to Arithmancy."

"Okay," she smiled as she watched him leave in just her towel. 'There he goes being
sweet again,' she thought happily.

-()-()-()--()-()-()--()-()-()-

The Head Boy's Dungeon

It was after midnight and Draco and Hermione had just returned from the last of their
late night patrols. Draco was now sitting at his desk, working on his dreaded History
of Magic essay. He turned his head to look at Hermione who was lying on her
stomach on his bed. She had a book opened in front of her and he knew that it
wasn't a textbook. 'She probably has all her assignments done for the next month,'
he laughed to himself. Her intelligence and thirst for knowledge certainly turned him
on. He turned back to his work and dipped his quill into his pot of ink; he was
determined to really put a dent in this tonight.

Their first two weeks back at Hogwarts after the holiday had flown by. They had both
gotten back into the routine of their classes and their duties as Head Boy and Girl.
He had resumed his helping hand in Duelling Club and the gruelling Quidditch
practices. They were playing Ravenclaw this Saturday after all. In addition to those
responsibilities, he was sitting on the committee, along with Hermione, that was
planning their graduation. They met once a week to discuss things like the
entertainment, the menu, the guest list, speeches, and a lot of other things that
Draco didn't really care about. He was just thankful to be graduating.

But a few of the things that he had done in the past two weeks hadn't been as
draining. He and Hermione had gone into Hogsmeade where she had gotten them
Butterbeers at the Three Broomsticks and he had bought a variety of sweets at
Honeydukes. They had then decided to picnic in the same spot that they had been to
with Nott and Luna before. Neither of them had a problem with being seen together
in public but they weren't in the mood for a date at Madam Puddifoot's Tea Shop.
Besides, Draco doubted that Madam Puddifoot would have allowed the amount of
snogging that they had done on the picturesque hill.

When they had returned from their relaxing afternoon, Hermione had suggested that
he try to produce a Patronus. He had charmingly stated that he had other things on
his mind and it had lead to both of them lying half naked atop Hermione's bed. But
the truth was that at this point he was afraid to attempt a Patronus again. If he tried
and couldn't cast one then what did that say about him? That after all of the amazing
things that he had experienced with Hermione and although he had nothing but the
purest feelings for her, that he still had too much dark magic in him? That's exactly
what he would think and he didn't even want to imagine what Hermione's reaction
would be.

"Hey, are you okay?" Hermione's soft voice brought him out of his thoughts. He didn't
even hear her get up off of his bed. "Draco?" She asked as she placed her hands on
his shoulders and lightly kissed his neck.

He laughed lightly in an attempt to appear as if everything was normal. "Yeah, I'm


fine. I guess I was really deep in concentration." He looked down at his parchment
and frowned. He had written three sentences in the past half hour.

"Are you sure?" She inquired again. Something about his behaviour seemed…off.

"Yeah, I'm just…beginning to feel stressed about school and Quidditch and
everything," he lied.

She wrapped her arms lovingly around his neck. "You need to relax. I think that the
weekend in Newcastle will be good for you. You'll be able to take your mind off of
things and just fly." She really did not want him to start stressing out because he
really did have a lot of things on his plate. Along with everything that was currently
happening in his life, he was trying to plan his future. She had seen the application
for the wizarding medical school in London in his bag; he was seriously considering
becoming a Healer. And she also knew that nagging at the back of his mind was his
current relationship with his father. He had confessed to her that he was sending his
father letters in an effort to make peace. He was acting like a real man and she
couldn't have been prouder of him.

Draco grinned at her before pulling her down into his lap. "You're proud of me, huh?"

"What?" She stared at him in utter bewilderment. "Draco? How did you know what I
was just thinking?" She gasped loudly, "You did not just perform non-verbal,
wandless Legilimency?" She was both appalled and impressed.

"It's not something that I can do all the time or with just anyone," he explained
quietly. "When you're silent and I can tell that you're thinking really hard about
something because your eyebrows are furrowed together," he said with a smile,
"then if I concentrate and do everything that Aunt Bellatrix taught me, I can hear a
scattered in the moment thought."

"So it's just me?" She inquired shakily.


"Just you," he confirmed.

"Wow," she breathed, "that's powerful magic."

He tucked a stray strand of hair behind her ear and gently caressed her face. "When
I was a kid, my mother used to tell me stories of wizards and witches having their
abilities strengthened because they found their soul mate. I thought that it sounded
ridiculous and that it was just her, she really is just a hopeless romantic at heart," he
chuckled.

"I've heard of stranger things," she answered lowly. She leaned forward and pressed
her mouth against his urgently. When she pulled away from him she smiled shyly
and decided to lighten the mood a little. "Do you try to read my thoughts often?" She
wondered curiously.

"No," he replied honestly before smirking mischievously. "Only when I have you
coming undone, beautiful. It's when your mind is at its weakest and its too tempting
to not take a peak inside that fascinating head of yours." He nipped at her bottom lip
playfully and laughed loudly when he felt her trying to push him away.

"You're a little devil!" He continued to laugh as she got up off of his lap and returned
to the bed. He knew that she wasn't truly angry and he was proven right when he
caught a small smile tug at her lips. "Let's go to bed," she chortled softly.

Draco left his work at his desk and got up out of his chair. He grasped Hermione's
waist and tugged her towards him. "I'll try to stop it if you want me to," he stated
sincerely.

She considered his offer for a moment before shaking her head. "No." Oddly
enough, it was just another thing that Draco did that made her feel special.

A/N: Review! Pretty please! :)


Chapter 21
A/N: As always, a big thank you goes out to my beta and to everyone who
reviewed the last chapter! Enjoy the update! :)

Disclaimer: Same as previous chapters.

Chapter 21

February - The Head Boy's Dungeon

Draco's wand alarmed and he quickly reached out to silence it. He was getting up
way too early for his liking; it was still dark outside. But he had a full day of travel
ahead of him on his way to Newcastle. Professor McGonagall was using her powers
as Headmistress to Apparate him off of the grounds of Hogwarts and to London.
From there, he would be taking a train. His tryout for the National Quidditch team
would start at exactly six o'clock tomorrow morning, so he needed to leave today.

He slowly slipped out of his bed and glanced at Hermione who had managed to
sleep through his annoying alarm. He watched her sleep for a moment before he
headed to the shower. He really was dreading being away from her for a weekend.
They had been so hot and heavy the past couple of weeks, barely managing to keep
their hands off of each other. Intercourse still eluded them but they had now done
everything but. As he shampooed his hair, Draco smirked widely while thinking about
how her mouth felt around him. She was absolutely incredible.

After his shower, he shaved and began to dress quietly. He had packed his trunk and
laid out his clothes for the day last night. Since he was travelling mostly by muggle
transportation he had decided on a pair of black trousers, a simple white, button-
down shirt and a black tie. He picked up his Malfoy family ring off of his dresser and
examined it closely. It was silver with emerald jewels. The design on the face was
the Malfoy crest and his full name was engraved on the inside. It was a Malfoy family
tradition to be given the family ring the day that you receive your letter from
Hogwarts. He remembered being so excited when his father had given him his own
ring because he had been admiring his father's since he was a young boy. He twirled
the ring back and forth before slipping it on the ring finger of his right hand. It was
one of his most prized possessions, and he looked forward to giving one like it to his
son one day.

He picked up another one of his most prized possessions off of his dresser, the
watch that Hermione had given him for Christmas. He liked that no matter where he
was he could look at it and know where Hermione was and whether or not she was
safe. It made him feel a tad bit better about being away from her. 'Maybe when I'm
older I can get my children added on,' he thought to himself. He paused in strapping
the watch to his wrist. He was getting very sentimental about his things, and he was
repetitively thinking about children. Sure, he wanted to have the manor full of kids
but it wasn't something that he thought about often.

The direction that his thoughts had carried him had caused him to turn and look at
Hermione's sleeping form in his bed. He decided that he would contemplate his
future while he was alone in Newcastle. He needed some uninterrupted time to
himself to think more about his desired career, children, and Hermione. He was very
serious about her; he just wasn't sure if she realized just how serious he was.

He slowly walked towards his bed and leaned down to kiss her on the forehead.
"Hermione, wake up," he called softly.

She turned so that she was lying on her back and quickly opened her eyes. She was
a lot easier to wake up then he was. "Good morning," she mumbled. "You look nice."

"Thank you," he smiled. "I have to leave soon," he stated forlornly as he walked
towards his desk. He grabbed his long, black coat off of his chair and slipped it on,
along with his scarf. "I have to meet McGonagall."

"Well good luck, I know that you'll be great," she said encouragingly.

"Thank you," he said again. He moved back to the bed and sat down next to her. "I'll
miss you," he grinned seductively as he leaned forward for a kiss.

She gave him a quick, closed mouth kiss and when she pulled back she laughed
softly. Draco was pouting dramatically, he wanted a real kiss. "Oh come here, you
big baby," she teased. She placed both of her hands on his face and pulled him
towards her. He kissed her hungrily, with tongue, and she reciprocated.

"Better," he smiled in satisfaction when their kiss ended. "Love you," he whispered.

"I love you too," she smiled shyly.

He kissed her again before he hopped off the bed. He took his wand off of his
bedside table and walked to his closed bedroom door. He turned the doorknob and
with a fluid movement of his wand, he levitated his trunk off of the floor, through the
door, and up the stairs. "See you Sunday night, babe," he smirked.

She gave him a small smile and wave as she watched him walk out the door. She
hadn't felt this anxious about being away from him when they first parted for the
Christmas holiday. For her, that just showed how much their relationship had grown
and blossomed. He had told her that he loved her just now, but the meaningful
phrase wasn't one that he said often and she actually enjoyed that. If he said "I love
you" all the time then she knew that she would begin to question his sincerity. But he
always said it in just the right moment so it meant so much more.

She reluctantly got out of Draco's bed. His silk sheets made her want to stay in bed
all day; it was very dangerous. She made his bed before leaving his immaculately
clean room.

She walked up the stairs, crossed the common room, and trudged up the flight of
stairs that led to her own bedroom.

She took a long shower since she had the time to kill and then spell dried her hair.
As she was brushing her teeth in the bathroom mirror she noticed the marks that
Draco had left on her neck and collarbone last night. He affectionately referred to
them as love bites but she knew that part of it was because deep down he was
possessive and territorial and hoped that she wouldn't cover them up. But she had to
go to class so she covered them up with a simple Concealment Charm.

After she was fully dressed in her Gryffindor uniform, she grabbed her bag and wand
and headed to the Great Hall for breakfast. She took a seat at her house table next
to Neville and smiled. "Good morning Neville," she greeted pleasantly.

"Morning Hermione," he responded distractedly. He had his nose buried in some


book about Herbology, like usual.

But everyone else at the table was fixated on Hermione. People around her were
whispering and shooting odd glances at her. They still gossiped about her and Draco
like it was breaking news, even though they had been a public Hogwarts couple for a
month now. Sure, her openly cheering for Draco during the Ravenclaw vs. Slytherin
match had rocked the boat a little, but it was to be expected, wasn't it? She certainly
thought so. And they still received shocked looks from people when they were
relaxed in each other's presence walking the halls together. She did realize that the
idea of Draco Malfoy and Hermione Granger being civil to each other was
unbelievable to the majority of Hogwarts, so obviously the fact that they were in a
relationship was going to take a long time for everyone to adjust to.

This morning, however, Hermione realized that the reason for all of the hushed
whispers was in today's edition of The Daily Prophet. When an owl delivered her
faithful morning read, she couldn't have been more stunned by the front page. The
headline read Gryffindor Golden Girl Caught by Slytherin Prince, and below was an
intimate photo taken of her and Draco. They were sitting alongside the lake, talking
with their heads close together and he casually reached up to tuck her hair behind
her ear. They were both smiling uncontrollably. She remembered the moment clearly.
The picture had been taken a mere two days ago. Someone from Hogwarts had
followed them, snapped the picture, and sold it to the Prophet. She shoved the
newspaper angrily into her bag and stormed out of the Great Hall. She had barely
touched her toast.

-()-()-()--()-()-()--()-()-()-

Heads' Common Room

Later that day, after classes, Hermione found Ginny and dragged her back to the
Heads' private quarters so that she could vent. "Listen to this," she huffed before she
began to read from the article. "War hero and sweetheart of wizarding England,
Hermione Granger, has added another name to her long list of famous suitors. Are
you kidding me? This is rubbish!" She squeaked. "Draco Malfoy, sole heir to the
Malfoy fortune and the anticipated future CEO of Malfoy Enterprises, is her newest
beau. 'Their relationship is public now,' a source tells me." Hermione stopped
reading abruptly. "I wonder who this source is," she pondered angrily.

"Probably some jealous Slytherin girl," Ginny offered quietly.

Hermione nodded in agreement. "You're probably right. This source also goes on to
say, 'They're all over each other all the time, its disgusting.' Again, rubbish!"

Ginny laughed lightly as she pried the paper from Hermione's hands. "I think that its
time to stop reading the article for now."

She gave her friend a grateful smile and willingly gave up the newspaper. "Thanks, I
think that you're right. But Lucius Malfoy is going to lose it when he reads this," she
stated seriously.

"Ron is going to lose it when he reads this," Ginny added.

Hermione smiled sadly and ran a hand through her hair. "How is he doing? He hasn't
returned any of my owls." She had tried to reach out to Ron since returning to
Hogwarts but so far he was unresponsive. But she really did miss his friendship and
she wanted it back.

"He's having a hard time with it," Ginny answered honestly. "He wants to be your
friend, he really does, but he doesn't know if he can." She laid a hand supportively
on Hermione's knee. "At least not yet. But I know that he wants to," she smiled. "So,"
she moved to change the conversation towards a lighter subject, "tell me all about
Draco."

"What's to tell?" Hermione laughed, "You already know everything."

Ginny's mouth dropped open. "So all the rumours are true?"

"Yeah," Hermione blushed furiously.

"Oh my God," Ginny squealed girlishly.

"You sound like Lavender," Hermione teased.

Ginny playfully scowled at her. "Come on, I've been seriously committed to Harry for
a while now; I need to live vicariously through you for this!"

Hermione laughed but proceeded to shyly talk about Draco for the rest of the
afternoon.

-()-()-()--()-()-()--()-()-()-

Malfoy Manor

Lucius handed Theodore Nott Sr. a glass of scotch on the rocks and took a seat on
the sofa across from him. "How are you, Theodore?" He asked politely.

"Good," Nott answered before sipping his drink. "So what do you want, Lucius?" He
asked impatiently. He was in no mood to entertain Lucius' dark thoughts. Lucius had
unexpectedly called him over to the manor, claiming that they had important things to
discuss.

"Avery, Mulciber, and Rookwood are too cowardly to come out of hiding," Lucius told
him regretfully.

Nott sighed, "Maybe that's for the best." He had done a lot of hard thinking about
Lucius' 'plan' since the idea had first been presented, and he had ultimately come to
his decision. And it was one that he thought was best for not only his family, but the
Malfoys as well.

Lucius furrowed his eyebrows in confusion. "What do you mean?"

"I mean that things in our world are just beginning to return to normal and we
shouldn't interfere with it," Nott explained. "Do you realize how much we'd be risking
if we went after the Order of the Phoenix? We're a much smaller group now then
we've ever been, no one is positive about their numbers, and this thirst for revenge
that you have is incredibly dangerous and reckless." Nott stared at Lucius intensely
over the top of his glass. "You must remember, Lucius, that you only escaped
Azkaban because Narcissa saved Potter's life." Lucius sneered at him, clearly not
appreciating the comment. "All I have in my life is Theo and my business, and I don't
want to jeopardize my son's future for the dead Dark Lord that accomplished nothing
but death and destruction."

Lucius was quietly seething, if it was anyone else sitting in his study besides
Theodore Nott then he would have pulled his wand by now. "I see what you're trying
to get across," he said through clenched teeth.

"I have a son that I want to show the ropes of the family business too Lucius," he
stated simply. "So maybe we should just continue to talk business from now on, old
friend." Theodore downed the remainder of his drink and slowly rose to his feet. He
shot Lucius a very meaningful look before slowly leaving the study.

On Nott's way out, he encountered the lady of the house. "Good day Narcissa," he
smiled pleasantly.

"Good day Theodore," she smiled back before bustling into the study. "Lucius, we
need to talk about Draco," she told her husband urgently.

"What did our son do now?" He sighed as he got up off of the sofa and moved to his
desk chair.

"Have you been returning Draco's owls?"

He looked up at his wife and saw that she had several pieces of parchment in her
hand. "No, I haven't even read them. Why?" He asked coldly.

"Because he's really reaching out to you," she replied sadly. She knew that her son
was trying his hardest to communicate with his father and it was breaking her heart.
She didn't expect Draco to be home for the Easter holiday.

Lucius raised an eyebrow; he figured that his son would be boldly rebelling against
him, not trying to get back in his good graces. "What's he saying?" He asked
curiously.

"I don't know," Narcissa answered. "He only wants you to read them. It's the least
you could do," she muttered as she laid Draco's letters on his desk before leaving
the room.
Lucius sighed in frustration. He honestly had never seen Narcissa so fed up with
him, not even when the Dark Lord had taken over their home. He may be obsessed
with money and power and harbour very ill feelings towards those who weren't of
pure magical blood, but family always came first; he learned that from his father, and
Theodore had reminded him of it today. He knew that if he didn't talk to Draco soon
then he would lose his son and his wife. He reached for the parchment that Narcissa
had laid on his desk and began to guiltily pour over Draco's words to him.

A/N: There are 291 alerts for this story, so wouldn't it be awesome if I got 291
reviews for this chapter? :) Review everyone! :)
Chapter 22
A/N: A big thank you to my beta and reviewers. Enjoy the update! :)

Disclaimer: Same as previous chapters.

Chapter 22

English National Quidditch Team Training Camp

For the second morning in a row, Draco awoke while it was still dark outside. He had
had a tolerable day of travelling to Newcastle but he had to admit that he was tired.
After he had checked into his room at the quaint inn, run by a chatty, elderly wizard,
he ate his supper and went straight to bed.

After a light breakfast, he slowly made his way to the Quidditch pitch. The innkeeper
had happily shown him the way. He walked to the middle of the pitch and looked
around in awe. The stands for the fans were more modest and less personalized
then those at Hogwarts, but the pitch itself was in pristine condition. The three hoops
at each end practically gleamed in the dim light.

Slowly, he made his way to the main locker room and sat down on the bench below
the locker that had his name across it. His equipment and broom had been brought
there last night and seeing his beloved Firebolt put him more at ease. He was still
extremely nervous and began to take deep breaths to combat the anxiety. The guys
that he was about to play with were professionals and they were damn good. He
finally decided to put on his equipment and change into the red and white practice
robes that had been placed in his locker.

He had resumed sitting nervously again when a tall, good-looking, dark-haired bloke
entered the locker room. Draco recognized him instantly. His name was Robert
Marshall and he was the twenty-six year old, half-blood starting keeper and captain
of the English National team. He had graduated from Hogwarts the year before
Draco had entered and he had been in Hufflepuff House.

"'Ello!" He greeted Draco pleasantly once he noticed him. His accent was thick and
distinctly Manchester. "Name's Rob, pleased to meet ya," he said enthusiastically as
he offered his hand to shake.

Draco accepted it quickly. "Draco, and it's a pleasure to meet you too."

Rob smiled brightly and he could see why girls across the country had posters of him
hanging in their bedrooms. He had graced the covers of many wizarding magazines.
"The rest of the guys are here so we'll get started in a flash."

"Okay," Draco nodded frantically. His nerves were increasing.

Once he was introduced to all of the guys and Coach Butler, even though he had
already known all of their names, they made their way out onto the pitch. Draco was
initially taken aback by the fact that he was the only person here who didn't already
have a spot on the team. After all, it was common knowledge that what was
preventing the English from making it to the Quidditch World Cup was a consistent
seeker, so he figured that there would be a few other amateur seekers here to try
out. But he did consider the possibility that their tryouts were at different times. He
didn't want to think of himself as being that special.

As he hopped on his broom and flew into the air, he pushed everything aside and
focused on the task at hand, the snitch. Being a seeker was all about concentration.
So he began to ignore his competition, starting seeker Braden Shaw. It was a trick
that he had never been able to do while playing Potter because the insufferable
bloke got under his skin too much. But he had become really good at it this season.

They played four matches, in which he had captured the snitch three times, and did
countless practice drills in the freezing February weather. Some of the drills he had
never even heard of but he would be bringing them back to his Slytherin squad.
Overall, he felt satisfied with his performance. He had followed the snitch well and
had flown exceptionally.

"Great job out there," Rob complimented when they were all back in the locker room.

"Thanks. It's been great to play with you guys," he replied honestly.

"I'll be owling you," Rob smiled before he left the locker room.

When Draco arrived back at his room in the inn after a filling meal, he collapsed on
the bed. He had done a fine job hiding the physical toll that the day had taken on him
from the team but now that he was alone he could finally let out a strangled groan.
His whole body hurt and the bludger that he had taken in the gut wasn't helping
matters. He was also dirty, sweaty, and freezing cold. During the last match he
hadn't been able to feel his fingertips. But it was nothing that a long, hot shower and
a little magic couldn't fix. He got to his feet very slowly and made his way into the
bathroom.

After his relaxing shower, he lounged around his room in just his sleep trousers. He
was sitting on the bed, leaning back against the headboard with his Potions textbook
in his lap. He had brought some of his schoolwork with him, though the reading on
the simple idea, but complex, preparation of a growth potion was not holding his
interest. His mind was back at Hogwarts in the Head Girl's tower languidly
pleasuring Hermione. He grinned excitedly at the prospect of acting out his thoughts,
and more, tomorrow night when he returned to Hogwarts.

His highly enjoyable fantasy was disrupted by a knock on the door. He stared at the
door curiously for a moment because he certainly wasn't expecting any visitors. He
walked to the door and opened it curiously. His father was standing in front of him
wearing ridiculously expensive robes and his familiar facial expression of disdain.
Draco quickly glanced at his watch and it confirmed that his father was indeed in
Newcastle. 'Should have checked the bloody thing earlier,' he thought to himself.

"Draco," Lucius said slowly as he took in the astounded look on his son's face.

"Father," he replied simply.

"May I come in?"

Draco stepped aside and pulled the door open to allow his father to step into the
room. He could only imagine what he thought of the accommodations. "This is a
surprise," he stated after closing the door and turning towards his father who was
standing in the middle of the room.

"I read your letters and decided that we needed to talk. How was your tryout?" He
had always been proud of Draco's natural aptitude for Quidditch. He was, in all
honesty, proud of his son for many different reasons.

"It went well," Draco answered slowly. Lucius wasn't getting to the point. He wasn't
going for the throat and it was something that he wasn't used to. His father wasn't
really the beat around the bush type.

"Good, I'm glad. Now, take a seat Draco," he motioned to the bed, "and let's talk
about this girl."

"Hermione," Draco corrected as he did as he was told and took a seat on the end of
the bed.

Lucius pulled the chair out of the small desk and sat down so that he and Draco
were facing each other, eye to eye. "Yes, Miss Granger. Your mother seems to think
highly of her. They've met?" Draco nodded in the affirmative. "She says that you're
happy."
"I am," Draco answered as he sat up a bit straighter. He had learned over the years
that the key to having a successful, civil conversation with his father was to show
utter confidence and strength.

"She's the top of your year, correct?" He was desperately trying to concentrate on
the positive aspects of his son being involved with Hermione Granger, such as the
fact that she was a very talented witch.

"Yes, and she has been since first year."

Lucius sighed loudly, his dam finally breaking. "I don't know what I'm having a harder
time understanding; knowing that my son is in love with a muggle-born, that he's in
love with a Gryffindor, or that he's in love with a girl who helped take down the Dark
Lord?"

Draco couldn't stop himself from visibly cringing. "Father, I…"

He held up his hand to silence his son. "Let me finish Draco. You're serious about
this girl? And you're serious about becoming a Healer?" The subject of Draco's
career was another serious matter that had been addressed in his letters. Draco
nodded again. "I love you and your mother more then anything," he explained
passionately, "and I'm not risking either of you leaving me and I'm certainly not
jeopardizing the chance to see my grandchildren one day. So here are my terms.
You can have this girl and your inheritance if you come and work at the company."
Draco opened his mouth to reply but Lucius interrupted him. "After your graduation
from medical school you'll oversee the medical research department," he added.

Draco's mood had shifted completely since his father had first entered the room. He
knew that his father complimenting Hermione's magical abilities and saying that he
'could have her' was as close to an acceptance of their relationship that he would get
right now. His father was bargaining though, in true Malfoy fashion, a job at Malfoy
Enterprises for a life with Hermione. He would still go to medical school and become
a Healer, but after graduation he would go work for his father as a researcher. He
could definitely live with that and he truly feared what would happen if he did not
accept his father's offer. He feared for Hermione and their potential life together.

He stood slowly and extended his hand to his father. "Deal."

In an uncharacteristic move, Lucius pulled his only son into an embrace. Draco
couldn't remember the last time that his father had hugged him; he wasn't exactly the
affectionate type. "Good man," he said once he pulled back from the hug. Then he
looked away awkwardly. Draco was once again flabbergasted. He felt like he was in
an alternate universe. Lucius cleared his throat before speaking again. "Your mother
insisted that I bring this with me," he said as he reached into his robe.

He pulled out a small, black jewellery box and Draco's eyes widened. He knew
exactly what his father held in his hand. "Um, I don't know if we're ready for that."

"Malfoys marry young," Lucius scolded.

'He's back to himself,' Draco thought. He nodded as he reluctantly accepted the box
that held his maternal grandmother's engagement ring. He knew that it would be
given to him one day; he just didn't expect it to be at this moment. "Thank you," he
said quietly.

"Well, I should get going," Lucius stated. He was at the door when he turned around
again. "Oh, Draco, one last thing. Keep your little Mudblood off the front page." He
pulled a copy of The Daily Prophet out of his robes and threw it at his son before
storming out of the room.

"Definitely back to himself," Draco muttered to himself.

-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-

The Head Girl's Tower

Hermione excitedly raced towards her bedroom door when she heard footsteps on
the stairs. She pulled open the door and smiled widely at Draco. "Hi," she said as
she leaned on the edge of the door and looked at him with a flirty smile.

"Hi," he grinned back. "Is this my welcome back present?" He asked referring to her
attire. She was wearing just a white button-down shirt with green pinstripes that he
recognized as his own. She let him into her room and closed the door behind him. "I
really like it," he commented as his eyes roved over her body.

"Good," she smirked seductively as she approached him. She really liked the way
that he was dressed too. He looked delicious in his black trousers and charcoal grey
button-down. "How was your tryout?"

"I think that it went fairly well," he replied. He had intended to come up to her room
and talk to her about his encounter with his father and their appearance in The Daily
Prophet but he was slightly distracted by the way that she was acting. He was
beginning to think that she was seducing him.

"I missed you," she whispered as she led him towards the bed.
'Yep, she's seducing me,' he thought, 'not that she needs to put forth much effort.' He
was certainly up for anything that she wanted to do. "I missed you too," he answered
softly.

Once they were both seated on her bed, she wrapped her arms around his neck and
kissed him hungrily. She slowly began to fall backwards onto the mattress and she
pulled him down with her. "Draco," she moaned in his ear. "I don't want to wait
anymore," she revealed.

He lifted his head and looked her in the eye. "Are you sure? I'm willing to wait as
long as you want," he said sweetly.

She smiled up at him as she ran a hand over his leanly muscled shoulder and arm.
"I'm sure." She had done a lot of thinking about Draco while he was gone and she
had realized that she didn't want to wait any longer to truly be with him. She wanted
him terribly. She pulled his shirt out of his trousers and began to unbutton it.

She looked up at him and saw that her words had taken a while to sink in. His eyes
darkened considerably and a smile spread across his face. He cupped her face in
his hands and kissed her urgently while she struggled with the task of taking his shirt
off. He had to chuckle to himself at the irony of the situation. He had waited so long
for her and now that she had finally decided to let him make love to her he wanted to
take it slow while she was rushing to get him naked. When he felt her practically
clawing at his biceps, he stopped kissing her lips and moved to her neck. "Baby,
relax," he laughed. "Let's take our time."

"Let me take your shirt off," she whined.

He laughed again before sitting up on his knees and removing his shirt. "Better?" He
asked grinning.

"Much," she purred. She loved his smooth, muscled, hairless chest. She ran her
hands all over his torso as they resumed kissing intensely.

Draco's large hands ran from her bare thighs up to her stomach repeatedly before
he began to teasingly unbutton her shirt. With each button he opened, he kissed and
licked the newly exposed expanse of skin. His mouth was driving her crazy. "Sexy
knickers," he murmured as he kissed her stomach. She really had been planning to
seduce him with her red lace undergarments and his dress shirt. Unsurprisingly, he
liked the idea that she had thought this out a lot. He grinned hysterically as he
realized that while he had been busy with Quidditch and his father she had been
thinking about them like this. It sparked a wild fire inside of him. He slipped her shirt
down her arms and unclasped her bra. She moaned loudly as she buried her hands
in his hair and he buried his face in her breasts.

"Oh God, Draco." She arched her back and felt him hard against her leg. "Let's get in
the bed," she suggested breathlessly.

"Okay," he nodded. He adhered to her request simply because he wanted her to be


completely comfortable for her first time; he would have been content on top of the
bed. He got to his feet and stood beside the bed as Hermione pulled down her
bedcovers. She turned to him and smiled shyly. He wrapped his arms around her
waist and pulled her into his chest. He ran his hands along the smooth skin of her
bare back as he kissed along her cheek. "You really want to do this?"

She nodded against his chest before placing a kiss on his left pectoral. "I really do."

He placed his hand under her chin and tilted her head upwards so that he could kiss
her on the lips. As they kissed fervently, she undid his belt and pulled it out of his
trousers. Her fingers played along the dip of his pelvis and across his waist. She
stroked the line of hair below his belly button and the hard bulge below. "Hermione,"
he groaned. His hands slid down to her butt and he pulled her forward so that their
hips aligned and she could feel him fully against her.

Hermione pulled away from him and slipped underneath the covers of her bed. Her
eyes stayed locked with Draco's as she slowly removed her panties. He growled
playfully as she tossed them aside and he pulled his wand out of his trousers before
pushing them, along with his boxers, to the floor. He joined her in the bed and their
mouths instantly melded together. One of his hands trailed down to her center and
his slender fingers ran along her damp folds. She moaned and clutched his hair. He
smiled against her mouth; he loved her reactions to him. She was so wound up that
she came because of his fingers quickly. "Mmm, Draco, now," she sighed.

"One second, love." He was dangerously wound up himself but he was responsible
enough to do one thing first. He kissed her tenderly on the forehead as she reached
across to her nightstand, where he had laid his wand. He pointed his wand at
Hermione's stomach and muttered a Contraception Charm. "To be safe," he smiled.
He placed the wand back on her nightstand and held himself above her with his
hands on the mattress at either side of her head. He lowered his head and placed
soft, brief kisses on her lips. "Talk to me, okay? Tell me to stop or slow down if you
want me to." She simply nodded as she bit down on her bottom lip. He smiled
brightly, "You're beautiful." She blushed magnificently as she ran a hand through his
perfect hair.

Draco took a deep breath before he slowly slid into her. He heard her whimper and
his eyes shot up to hers immediately. "I'm okay," she spoke shakily as if she was the
one who could read his mind. She was in a tad bit of discomfort, but it wasn't painful
like some girls said that it was. Draco was just a little bigger than most blokes, but he
was being slow and sweet. She placed her hands on his shoulders and
encouragingly dug her fingernails into his skin.

At her signal, he pushed in deeper and couldn't contain the loud groan that escaped
him. "God, Hermione, you're so wet and tight." He claimed her mouth eagerly and
buried a hand in her long, thick hair while the other grabbed one of her hands off of
his shoulder and entwined their fingers. "Do you feel good, love?" He asked
worriedly because the answer to that question meant a lot to him.

"Uh huh," she replied simply. The discomfort had gone away and now it just felt
really good. She began to slowly rock her hips in time to his.

His hand moved from her hair to massage her thigh. "Wrap your legs around me."

She did as he had suggested and moaned loudly as he hit deep inside her at a
different angle. She gripped his neck fiercely and pulled him down to her for a needy
kiss. "Draco," she panted loudly.

"Yes baby?" He asked as he dropped his head and nipped at her collarbone. He was
achieving a steady pace of powerful thrusts.

"I think that I'm…uh…I'm going to…again…" He grinned smugly and quickly pinched
the soft nub of flesh above where their bodies were joined. "Draco!" She cried out.
Her back arched into him, adding to his pleasure, and her nose scrunched up in the
cutest way.

Her climax triggered his and he thrust into her one last time before letting himself go
inside of her. He called out her name and practically collapsed on top of her.

After giving himself a few moments to regain a normal pattern of breathing, Draco
kissed Hermione's shoulder and rolled over onto his back. She followed his
movement and rolled onto her side so that she could nestle herself comfortably next
to his body. She laid her head on his chest and smiled as she saw that their hands
were still clasped together. She was sweaty, flushed, and her hair was a mess but
she was perfectly satisfied and content. She had never considered herself to be a
very sexual person, but she wanted to do that with Draco numerous times a day,
everyday. She had had a flawless first experience. She closed her eyes and sighed
loudly.

"How do you feel?"


'Yum,' she thought to herself, 'his voice is still husky and he smells fantastic.'
"Amazing," she answered giddily. She propped her chin up on his chest and looked
up at him. She smiled as she pushed a stray strand of hair out of his eyes. "How do
you feel?"

He chuckled, "Amazing."

She laughed at the arrogant look on his face. "And what are you so smug about?"

"Oh, the usual," he replied laughing, "my prowess in the bedroom." She smacked
him good-humouredly on the chest. "No, I'm just glad that you enjoyed yourself. I
love making you come," he said bluntly.

She laughed again but felt herself blush at his crudeness. She threw a leg over his
and moved so that she was lying on top of him. "Thank you, it was amazing, like I
said."

He pulled their joined hands to his mouth and kissed her knuckles repeatedly. "No
need to thank me. You know that I love you."

"So," she smiled as she changed the subject, "tell me all about your tryout."

Hermione couldn't seem to wipe the smile off of her face as they lay in bed, holding
each other, and talking until it was well past midnight.

A/N: So there you have it! Draco and Lucius have kinda worked things out and
they've done the deed! I hope that you enjoyed the chapter. Review please! :)
Chapter 23
A/N: Thanks so much to my beta and to all of the reviewers, your support
means the world to me. I hope that you guys all enjoy the update! :)

Disclaimer: Same as usual.

Chapter 23

March - The Head Boy's Dungeon

Draco Malfoy had loved Saturdays ever since he was a young boy. As a child,
Saturday meant that he ran errands with his mother in the morning and played with
Theodore Nott in the afternoons after he had visited his father at the office. When he
left for Hogwarts his love for Saturdays continued. He loved sleeping in after a long
week of classes. He loved the Saturday brunch that was served at the Great Hall.
And as he aged, he loved the opportunity to spend the afternoon in Hogsmeade and
he loved relaxing until his evening Quidditch practices. Now, he had an even better
reason to love Saturdays: numerous romps in the sack with Hermione. The girl was
insatiable once the weekend arrived and he loved it.

"God Draco," she panted as her fingernails dug into the skin of his shoulders. She bit
down on her bottom lip, hard, to keep a scream inside of her.

He looked up at her with a sly grin. Typically, he felt the need to be in control during
sex, which meant that he set the pace. But recently he had become quite a fan of
this position: Hermione on top. He enjoyed the fact that he could see her whole
body, naked except for the necklace that he had given her, and he loved when she
clawed at his chest.

They both climaxed at virtually the same time and she collapsed on top of him. She
sighed contentedly into his neck as he rubbed her back.

"So what do you want to do for the rest of the day?" She asked after several
moments of comfortable silence.

"More of this," he chuckled. She couldn't help herself from letting out a small giggle.
"I'll take that as a yes."

She quickly rolled off of him and onto the other side of the bed before he could make
his move. "Actually I have another idea." Draco raised an eyebrow in scepticism.
"Stop it, I do!" She told him with just a hint of frustration in her voice.
It was true that they had spent the better part of their time since Draco returned from
Newcastle in bed together…well, not necessarily in bed; on the sofas, the desk
chairs, or up against the wall. Simply put, if they weren't in class, if Draco didn't have
Quidditch practice, or if Hermione wasn't in the library, then they were most likely
having sex. She had resorted to just blaming it on teenage hormones and stamina.
They still spent a fair amount of time talking to each other and for that she was
grateful. She didn't want their relationship to turn into one solely based on the
physical aspect. They had discussed their appearance on the front page of The Daily
Prophet and mutually decided to be a little more discreet around the castle. It was a
hard task considering their newfound passion for one another but they thankfully
hadn't found themselves in any newspapers or tabloids since. They had filled out his
application for medical school together and he had prepared a romantic little dinner
in the Heads' Common Room for them on Valentine's Day. Truthfully, she had never
been happier then she was now.

But one thing that she didn't know was that Draco was yet to tell her about the
conversation that he had had with his father while he was away. He couldn't seem to
find the right time to tell her about what he and his father had 'made a deal' about, or
at least that was what he told himself. Really, he was being a bit of a coward about it.
He wanted to tell her about his grandmother's ring too.

"So what's your idea?" He asked. Now was definitely not the right time to have the
dreaded discussion.

"I was thinking," she started as she ran her fingertips slowly across his bare chest.

"Stop that, you're distracting me." He grabbed the offending hand and brought it to
his mouth so that he could kiss each finger individually.

She laughed at his actions. "I was thinking that we could try a Patronus lesson
today." He stopped kissing her hand abruptly. "What? What's wrong?" She noticed
the worried etched on his face.

"I don't know if that's the best idea," he answered cryptically.

"Why not?" She inquired curiously. The Patronus lessons were how she had gotten
to know Draco. No way would they be lying here now if he hadn't been so
determined for her to teach him how to cast a Patronus.

"I don't think that I'm ready," he mumbled. His eyes were downcast as he was
frantically trying to avoid eye contact with Hermione.

"What do you mean?"


"What if I can't cast one?" He asked quietly.

"Then we'll keep practicing," she responded. She was genuinely confused by the
way that he was acting. "Draco," she pleaded, "just tell me what's bothering you."

He raised his head and finally met her gaze. "What if there's too much dark magic in
me to be able to produce a Patronus?" He had finally confessed his deepest fear to
her.

She sighed sadly, "Oh Draco." He had been calculatingly avoiding their Patronus
lessons all this time and she hadn't caught on at all, and she certainly had had
absolutely no idea that he was afraid of his own magic. "There's not," she stated
confidently.

"I'm not sure," he answered quietly.

He sounded so insecure, it startled here. She leaned forward and kissed him
lovingly. "I am." She placed a hand on his face and smoothed the worry lines
between his captivating eyes. "You're not the same guy that I punched in third year."

He chuckled despite himself. "You're deceptively strong for your size."

She smiled brightly at him; his sense of humour was still present. "I've seen that you
have more good magic in you then you know." She kissed along his jaw line, his ear,
and down this neck. So maybe they wouldn't be leaving his bed just yet.

-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-

Heads' Common Room

Hermione had finally managed to drag Draco out of bed and up into the Common
Room. She had gotten dressed and was now wearing her muggle clothes; blue
jeans and a navy t-shirt. Draco was wearing black trousers and a black turtleneck.
He looked just as surly and moody as his outfit suggested. He had tried the Patronus
Charm three times without success. But she knew that he was not putting his all into
it because his mind was elsewhere.

"You're not concentrating."

"I am," he replied through gritted teeth.

She got up out of her place in the corner of the sofa and moved to where he stood
with his wand outstretched in front of him. She soothingly ran a hand down his chest.
"Relax." Tension was written all over his face and was evident throughout his whole
body. "Take a deep breath," she whispered encouragingly, "and think about the
happiest you've ever felt."

He did as she advised and took a deep breath. He loosened the death grip that he
had on his wand and relaxed his arm. 'The happiest I've ever felt?' He wondered to
himself before the answer came automatically. 'Any moment with Hermione.' He
smiled as he thought of the woman who was standing beside him. She did truly
make him happy. "Expecto Patronum!" He staggered backward as a line of silver
burst from the end of his wand. He watched in awe as it took the form of a large,
beautiful dragon…exactly like the one on Hermione's necklace. His Patronus
gracefully flew around the room above both of their heads. Like Hermione had
warned, the moment that he lost his concentration the dragon disappeared. "Whoa,"
he stated stupidly because he was incapable of forming a coherent sentence at the
moment. He turned his head to look at Hermione when she didn't offer a response.
He was about to speak again when she grabbed his neck and pulled him down to
kiss her. "Whoa," he repeated once she let him breathe.

"Draco, that was incredible," she complimented. The energy from his Patronus had
been phenomenal. She was amazed and impressed…and proud. "I knew that you
could do it," she sighed happily.

"I wasn't so sure," he replied breathlessly. When he had first coaxed Hermione into
teaching him how to produce a Patronus, he never predicted feeling this good once
he had mastered the charm. He had expected to feel good about himself, proving
that he wasn't capable of just dark magic. But mostly he had expected feeling smug
by showing her that anything she could do he could do too. Now he felt like a
tremendous weight had been lifted off of his shoulders. He felt so relieved and much
more confident in himself.

He exhaled loudly and slipped an arm around Hermione's waist. "I feel exhausted,"
he told her.

"It's a draining charm because it's so personal," she answered. She wanted to ask
him what he thought about but decided to let him keep that to himself, for now at
least. Since she had yet to reveal what she though of when producing a Patronus.
"You should go to the Great Hall and get something to eat, regain your energy," she
said as she stepped out of his arms and headed for the stairs to her tower.

"You're not coming?" He asked with a slight pout.

"I'm going later, go eat with Blaise," she smiled.


"Are you sure?" He wasn't certain if he liked the idea of being away from her so soon
after he had accomplished something that was so important to the both of them.

"Yeah," she nodded still smiling. "I'll be up in my room when you get back."

He finally smiled back at her. "Okay. Thanks for the Patronus lessons, beautiful."

"You're welcome," she beamed. She galloped up over the stairs and entered her
bedroom. She sat down at her desk and pulled out her ink bottle, quill, and a few
sheets of parchment. She wanted to write her parents to ask them if Draco could
come home with her for Easter. She really wanted her parents to meet him.

She also felt like writing Harry because she missed her best friend. She didn't want
to say that he had taken Ron's side in this situation but that was exactly what it felt
like. After everything the three of them had been through she hated to think that she
could lose their friendship forever because she had followed her heart. She dipped
her quill into the ink bottle and began to write her letters.

-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-

Library

Hermione sat at a table in her favourite nook of the library with her textbooks and
parchments spread across the table in front of her. She had been feeling especially
sentimental all day and it was times like these that she missed her days at Hogwarts
with Harry and Ron the most. Their late night sessions in the library researching
some obscure form of dark magic were unforgettable. Those were the memories that
defined her magical years and had shaped her into the Order of the Phoenix
member that she was today. Those memories were also the reason why this year at
Hogwarts felt so odd to her. No Harry, no Ron, no Lord Voldemort, and very little
serious drama or trouble. And then there was Draco. Yes, this year was very
different. But just as she was beginning to reminisce on her lost closeness with Harry
and Ron she thought of her relationship with Draco and that made her smile.

Draco was supposed to meet her any minute now. In the afternoon, they had spent
time alongside the lake and then he had walked her to the owlry so that she could
mail her letters. She hadn't mentioned to him that she was asking her parents if he
could come home with her for Easter. She would wait for their reply.

Afterwards, she had suggested that he go and do something fun and "boyish" while
she studied.

"Are you trying to get rid of me today?" He had asked with a pout that she was
becoming quite familiar with.

"No," she had laughed it off. "I need to do some work." She had given him a
passionate kiss after telling him when to meet her at the library.

So he was now spending some time with Blaise and Theodore in the Slytherin
Dungeons.

When she heard the rare sound of footsteps at the back of the library, she
immediately assumed it was Draco, but when she carefully listened, she was
confused. The footsteps in question were too light to be Draco's and too…unladylike
to belong to Madam Pince. Her questions were answered when Pansy Parkinson
stepped out from behind a bookshelf. Hermione was definitely caught off guard.

"I figured that I'd find you here, bookworm," Pansy stated in a snarky tone.

Hermione sighed, "What do you want Pansy?"

"To talk," she answered simply.

"Talk?" Hermione guffawed sarcastically. "What, we're friends now?"

"No, of course not!" Pansy curled her lip unattractively and Hermione couldn't help
but laugh a little to herself. "We just need to talk about Draco."

"What about Draco?" Hermione asked suspiciously. She had disliked Pansy
Parkinson since first year but that dislike was intensified by the fact the she was
Draco's ex-girlfriend.

"You guys dating, or whatever you're doing," Pansy sneered, "is not a good idea."

Hermione nodded slowly. Did she expect anything else but negativity and simplicity
from this girl? No, not at all. "Well I think that that's for Draco and me to decide," she
responded poised.

Pansy walked closer to Hermione's table in an effort to look intimidating and tried her
best at speaking in a menacing voice. "You're sickeningly naïve if you think that he
loves you and that you're going to live happily ever after, move into the manor, and
produce little Malfoy heirs. He just wants to shag Gryffindor's little princess for a little
while," she snickered. "In the end he'll pick somebody from his world, somebody
who's not a middleclass, Mudblood Gryffindor, somebody like me," she smiled darkly.

Hermione was ready to lash out. She hadn't felt this angry in years but she managed
to maintain her composure. "Listen Pansy," she began after taking a deep breath.
"This really isn't any of your business and I think that it would be best if from now on
you keep your opinions to yourself." She was now beginning to think that Pansy was
jealous and vindictive enough to be the source that The Daily Prophet spoke of.

Pansy sneered at her and Hermione knew it was because her goal had been to
make her snap. She was pleased that she was not giving the Slytherin girl what she
wanted.

"Fine," Pansy huffed, "but just know that all of his talk of how beautiful you are and
how much he loves you and how much he needs you is just that, talk. It's completely
rehearsed and artificial. He says those things to all the girls."

Hermione's mind was whirling. She had no response because her mouth was
obviously hanging open. She was mad at herself when she saw Pansy smirk before
turning on her heel and walking away. She had gotten what she wanted. She had
shaken Hermione's confidence and she desperately needed to talk to Draco
immediately.

So much for very little serious drama or trouble.

A/N: Dun dun duh...! Review if you hate Pansy Parkinson! :)


Chapter 24
A/N: First of all, I would like to thank everyone who reviewed the last chapter. I
got more of a response then I expected so thanks! :) Second of all, this
chapter and most likely the rest of the story (which I'm saying right now will be
four or five more chapters plus an epilogue) will be un-betaed. My beta is
going on vacation this weekend so I've decided to give her an early start. So
forgive me for any mistakes. Lastly, if any of you guys are Criminal Minds fans,
like me, then I encourage you to go and sign the online petition. With all of that
said, enjoy the update! :)

Disclaimer: Same as previous chapters.

Chapter 24

Hermione angrily stomped the corridors of Hogwarts on her Head Girl patrols. She
had stormed out of the library hours earlier but on her way to the Slytherin Dungeons
she had come to the conclusion that she didn't want to talk to Draco at the moment,
in fact she didn't even want to see him. So she had dropped her things off in her
room and had been roaming the castle ever since under the guise of doing her
rounds.

She hadn't felt this angry in a long time and she knew better then to take Pansy
Parkinson's word as gospel, she was one of Hogwarts' biggest gossips, but
everything that she had said had been too accurate. Her wording had been too
exact.

"But just know that all of his talk of how beautiful you are and how much he loves
you and how much he needs you is just that, talk."

Draco says all of those things to her. Had it all been an act from the very beginning
to get into her bed? 'He is a Slytherin,' she thought to herself, 'and it had certainly
worked.'

She stopped walking and leaned her back against the stone wall next to a window.
She did feel angry, but she also felt stupid and used. But mostly she just felt
heartbroken. Pansy was right; she is sickeningly naïve because she had started to
imagine their life together living in the manor with children who had blonde hair and
grey-blue eyes.

She pushed herself off of the wall and spun around. She headed back towards the
private quarters of the Head Girl and Boy. She just wanted to go to bed and cry
herself to sleep.

When she stepped through the portrait and into the Heads' Common Room, she
found Draco leaning against the fireplace with his hand on the mantle. He turned to
her and smiled in relief. "There you are! I went looking all over the castle for you. I
thought that I was supposed to meet you at the library?" He inquired in confusion.
She ignored him completely, not even throwing him a second glance as she walked
towards her set of stairs. "Hermione, didn't you hear me?" He stared at her retreating
figure in bewilderment before following her. "What's going on?"

She spun around halfway up the stairs and saw that he was standing directly in front
of her on the next step down. "We need to talk Draco," she spoke finally.

"Uh, okay," he answered anxiously. She was looking at him with a rather cold stare
and it was unsettling. "Where do you want to talk?"

She thought about it for a moment before deciding. "The Common Room will
probably be best."

'That's also unsettling,' he thought to himself. Draco figured that she would bring him
up to her bedroom, they were already halfway there. But he turned around and
slowly walked down the spiral staircase and into the Common Room. "You seem
really tense," he commented.

She crossed her arms over her chest and walked towards the sofa. She considered
sitting down but decided against it. She wanted to be standing for their first real
argument of the school year. "I had an interesting conversation with Pansy
Parkinson tonight," she stated.

He sighed loudly and ran a hand through his hair. "What did that cow say?"

"Draco, how many girls have you slept with?"

"I don't know," he answered slowly. "Why does that matter?"

'Wow, so many that he can't even recall a number,' she thought to herself in disgust.
She knew that he was experienced but she couldn't help but be shocked by his
response. "It matters if you used the same act on them that you did on me!"

"What are you talking about?" He yelled back. Right now he wanted to go and kill
Pansy for planting this rubbish in Hermione's head.

"Have you just been trying to get me into bed?" She asked quietly. She was trying to
remain unaffected by him but she could see that he was getting emotional and that
was making it difficult.

"No!" He exclaimed. "Christ Hermione, I love you!" He took a step towards her and
noticed how withdrawn and shut down her body language was. "You don't believe
me, do you?" He asked almost inaudibly.

"I'm just feeling really insecure at the moment," she confessed with a quiver in her
voice. To be honest, she was telling him something that had been a long time
coming. A part of her had always felt less self-confident around him and she traced it
back to her fear of failure and rejection. It was something that she needed to face
before their relationship could progress any further…if there relationship could go
any further at all. "I'm just scared that the time that we've spent together has just
been an act."

"It hasn't! I swear!" He knew that he sounded frantic but he couldn't control the tone
or volume of his voice at the moment. "You mean more to me then anything! I used
to have nightmares about the Dark Lord before we started to get close and now I
don't have them anymore. I've never played better Quidditch then I have this season.
I cast a fucking Patronus while thinking about you!"

"You thought about me?" She asked with a faint smile on her face that she couldn't
hold back.

"Of course," he answered with a sincere smile. "What else would I bloody think
about?" He ran a hand through his hair again in frustration. "You can't believe
everything you hear about me Hermione, especially from Pansy Parkinson," he
practically spat her name.

But Hermione was just as frustrated as he was by Pansy. "Draco, the things that she
said…you don't understand, she was so spot on!"

"What did she say?" He demanded.

Hermione hung her head and avoided eye contact as she answered him. "That you
tell all the girls that you're with that you love them and," she paused, "need them."

He sighed loudly and stepped closer to her. He grabbed one of her hands and began
to tug her towards the sofa. "Hermione," he begged softly when she resisted moving
forward. Her demeanour softened at his voice and she reluctantly followed him. She
tried to sit as far away from him as possible but he continued to hold her hand. He
tenderly stroked his thumb back and forth across the back of her hand as he spoke.
"I'm not proud of a lot of the things that I've done, you know that better then anyone,
but I'm especially not proud of the way that I behaved when I was younger in regards
to women. I've told a lot of lies to get what I want from girls but I haven't done that
with you and I never ever told Pansy Parkinson that I loved her. That girl is
delusional," he said through gritted teeth.

She glanced down at their joined hands before looking up at his face. He looked so
sad; in fact his eyes were even kind of glossy, and she hadn't realized that she had
been on the verge of crying as well. Draco reached up with his free hand and gently
brushed his hand along her cheeks. He was so sweet and passionate, and she
couldn't help but truly believe his every word. "Draco, if I find out that you're lying to
me…"

He quickly interrupted her, "I'm not! I'm willingly to give up everything for you." He
chuckled humourlessly. "I have a ring for you for God's sake!"

"What?" She asked instantly as her eyes widened.

Draco's eyes also widened as he realized what he had just unintentionally let slip.
"Nothing," he awkwardly cleared his throat, "pretend that you didn't hear that."

"Um, no!" She protested. "What do you mean you have a ring for me?"

He leaned in and pressed his forehead against hers. "Are we done fighting about
Pansy Parkinson?"

Hermione nodded, she wasn't letting that evil girl and her insecurities ruin what they
had. "We're done fighting about it yes, but we have lots to talk about." He agreed
that they needed to fully discuss his sexual past before they could move on from this
particular conversation. He opened his mouth to speak but she silenced him with a
kiss. "But we're talking about this ring first."

He smiled at her tactic; he was definitely up to the task of talking and kissing at the
same time. "Okay," he murmured against her lips. "When I was in Newcastle, my
father paid a visit." She pulled away from their simple kisses to look at him in alarm.
"No, it was fine," he assured her, "we talked through a lot of things. He isn't as
disgraced by me anymore," he joked.

"That's not funny Draco," she told him seriously.

"Sorry baby," he apologized before kissing her again. "But he did give me my
Grandmother Black's ring."

"So what does that mean?" She asked puzzled.


"It means that my parents think that I'm going to propose to you. That ring is the one
that I'm supposed to give my future wife."

'Wow,' Hermione thought to herself. 'Maybe living in the manor and blonde children
weren't so far out of reach.' "And is that something that you want to do?"

"What?" He asked for clarification.

"Propose to me," she whispered meekly.

He smiled broadly before winding a hand in her hair and kissing her passionately.
"Of course it is…not today, but someday."

She smiled at him in return because that was her perfect answer. She wasn't ready
for marriage yet but definitely someday. She wrapped her arms around his neck and
kissed him back fiercely as he pulled her into his lap.

-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-

Hermione lazily stroked Draco's bare chest with her index finger. They were lying on
the sofa with Hermione resting on top of him and a thin blanket covering their naked
bodies. After their talk of marriage and proposals, they had made love. It was
unavoidable. She was no longer mad at him; actually she was mad at herself for
wasting so much of their time fighting about Pansy Parkinson of all people.

"You're awfully quiet," he commented. He ran a hand along the soft skin of her
shoulders and was regretful that from their positions he couldn't see her eyes. Her
eyes always told him everything that he wanted to know.

"Just thinking," she replied.

He cringed, "About the women I've been with?"

"Kind of," she sighed. "It's just that you know all about my past, in that area," she
added in embarrassment, "but I don't know yours."

"It's complicated."

She lifted her head and looked at him sternly. "I think that I can keep up."

"I'm sure you can and if you really wanna know then I'll tell you," he told her honestly.

"I do want to know," she responded determinedly. "I think that it will be good for us."
She leaned down and kissed his chest as she affectionately rubbed his side. "I won't
be mad, I promise," she laughed.

He couldn't help but laugh at her comment. "Okay, I'll hold you to that." He paused
for a moment to gather his thoughts. "Well I guess that Pansy was the most serious
that I had been with a girl before you and what we had doesn't even hold a candle to
how I feel about you." He was pleased when he felt her smile against his skin. "And
really she's the only other girlfriend that I've had. Other girls I've just slept with," he
admitted ashamedly. Like he had told her before, now that he was older he was not
proud of the fairly long list of women that he has bedded.

"How many?" She asked curiously.

"I, uh, I didn't really keep track of the number," he confessed quietly.

"How many are still at Hogwarts?"

"Including you and Pansy," he let out a deep breath, "seven."

Hermione decided that she didn't want to know who the other five girls at Hogwarts
were that had been with her boyfriend but she could certainly make a few good
guesses. "And you've been with girls that have graduated Hogwarts?"

"Yeah," he answered. 'And a girl or two that has graduated from Beauxbatons,' he
thought to himself.

She raised her head and looked up at him with an unpleasant facial expression.
"More then fifteen?" He nodded regretfully. "Okay," she sighed, "I'm done asking
questions about other girls now."

He smiled in relief. "Good, because you're the only one worth talking about." He
placed both of his hands on the sides of her face and coaxed her body upwards until
their faces were level. He kissed her softly on the lips. "I really love you," he
whispered. "Just please don't doubt that again."

"I won't," she choked out. Her throat was dry with unshed tears; it had been a very
emotional day. "It's really late, let's go to bed."

"Lead the way, beautiful," he smiled.

Hermione wrapped the blanket around her naked body and carefully got up off of
him. She began to walk towards the staircase that led to his room. "I want to sleep in
your bed again tonight," she told him.
He smiled at her statement; he was perfectly fine with fulfilling that request. He left
all of their clothes in the Common Room and followed her to his bed.

A/N: Thanks for reading, and a review would be wonderful! :) Also, if you didn't
read the author's note at the beginning of this chapter then I advise that you
do now. Thank you! :)
Chapter 25
A/N: Thanks to everyone who reviewed the last chapter and a special thank
you to my new beta, hotabad21, who did an awesome job on this chapter! :)
One reviewer asked me where this story is going, so I just want to say to
everyone that I've had an ending in mind for this story since it started and that
I've always felt that the mark of a good story is that you can't guess where its
going. So with that said, enjoy the update! :)

Disclaimer: Same as previous chapters.

Chapter 25

April – Hogwarts Owlry

Draco tapped his foot anxiously on the wooden floor and ran a hand through his
perfectly groomed hair in frustration. He'd read in the sports section of this morning's
Daily Prophet that the English National Quidditch team would be announcing their
roster in two days. He had been expecting a letter from them all week but he had
received nothing so far. He was getting incredibly nervous about it and to make
matters worse, his owl had been missing from the morning delivery at breakfast. His
owl usually delivered something every morning, whether it was a message from
home, his Quidditch magazines, or flyers showcasing the products of Diagon Alley.
His worry had caused him to take the long walk to the owlry during his free period
and he was now discouraged to see that Lancaster was not on his usual perch.

He was staring out through one of the owlry's large windows, mentally willing
Lancaster to come into view, when he heard footsteps behind him. He smiled to
himself as he felt small hands wrap around his waist. "You're not at the library?" He
inquired teasingly.

"No," Hermione giggled against his shoulder.

"How did you know that I'd be here?" He questioned quietly. Ever since their first
fight as a couple they had grown impossibly closer emotionally. So, really, he wasn't
surprised that she had found him. Sometimes it felt like she was the one who could
tap into his thoughts and not the other way around.

"I had a hunch," she answered. "And I saw how upset you looked when Lancaster
didn't show up at breakfast."

"I'm just tired of waiting for that letter," he sighed.


She rubbed his back soothingly through his robes. "I got a letter this morning," she
stated with a smile.

He turned around so that he could face her and return her smile. "Oh yeah?" He
chuckled. "Who was it from?" He asked even though he already knew the answer.

"My parents," she grinned. "They're really excited to meet you."

"I'm glad," he smiled. He was actually more excited then nervous to go home with
Hermione for Easter and meet her parents. However, when she had first told him
that her parents were inviting him to their home for the holiday he had been terrified.
He didn't have that much experience with meeting the parents. Sure, he had met
Pansy's parents but he knew that they were going to love him because he was a
Malfoy. But Hermione's parents were muggles, so to them he was just an average
bloke that was dating their daughter. And he was certainly no Ron Weasley, and
Hermione had already told him that her parents had loved him. 'Great, now I'm
getting nervous to meet them,' he thought to himself.

"I'm glad too," she laughed, "I was afraid that they would be dreading it."

"Why would they? You've already told them how wonderful I am," he teased. He
placed his hands on her hips and pulled her close to him.

"Yeah, I have," she admitted coyly.

He threw his head back and laughed loudly. "I knew it. You've already chatted them
up about me and its going to be impossible to live up to this imaginary man that
you've created."

"I didn't lie or exaggerate," she stated softly.

He playfully wrapped an arm around her shoulders. "I believe you," he grinned. He
smiled brightly at her before he turned his gaze back to the window. His heart rate
and breathing accelerated as he saw an owl flying in the distance.

"That's not Lancaster," Hermione told him forlornly.

He frowned and turned back towards her. "Sorry, I'm distracted."

"It's okay. Why don't we just go back to the castle? You're going to drive yourself
crazy waiting up here." She knew how nervous he was about this letter but it wasn't
going to do him any good to just stand and wait in the damp owlry.
"Okay," he nodded slowly. 'She does have a point,' he thought to himself.

"Besides you're going to be late for your next class," she added in a scolding
manner.

He laughed to himself as he followed her out of the owlry. She had been focused
more than usual on her studies and N.E.W.T. preparations, and whenever he
commented on it or teased her about it, she responded by telling him how many
days remained until their first N.E.W.T., which was in Charms. He did find it rather
amusing but he knew that she was very serious about it. Hermione's desire to do
well and prove herself was very strong and very sexy…too bad it was affecting their
sex life. He was desperately hoping that she would take a break from studying over
the holidays.

They parted ways once they reached the castle and he placed a gentle kiss on her
hand. She headed towards the Slytherin Dungeons to meet Blaise for Arithmancy
while he walked to Professor Binns' classroom for History of Magic. He took his
usual seat at the back of the class next to Nott and did not miss the glare that he
received from Pansy as he walked by her desk. Since she had learned that her
attempt to break him and Hermione up had failed, she had done nothing but shoot
them dirty looks when she saw them together. She tried to talk to him occasionally
but he always walked away. He didn't care what she had to say to him.

"Hey Malfoy, you're usually not this early to class," Nott commented with a chuckle.

"Nothing else to do," he answered unenthusiastically.

"No Hermione?" Nott inquired with a teasing grin.

Draco turned to him and frowned. "She's all about class and studying right now."

"That sucks," he commented simply and Draco nodded in agreement.

Nott was always honest and blunt and that was exactly what Draco needed. He
didn't want anyone to sugar-coat things for him, especially his friends. He
appreciated it enough that he changed the subject to what he knew Nott really
wanted to talk about. "So how are things with Luna going?"

"Pretty good," Nott grinned. "She's not as loony as everyone thinks, ya know?"

Draco smirked to himself as he nodded and responded with a simple, "Mm hm." His
friend had it bad for the Ravenclaw girl and it was nice to see him show an interest in
someone else after the years he had spent pining for Daphne Greengrass, who
Draco had had a brief fling with in sixth year.

Nott continued to talk about Luna quietly as Professor Binns appeared and began
his longwinded, boring lesson. Sometimes Draco wondered why he had decided to
continue with History of Magic into his last years but then he remembered that his
alternatives had been Arithmancy, Astronomy, Divination, Muggle Studies, and Care
of Magical Creatures, all subjects which held either bad memories or no interest for
him.

When History of Magic was over he began the walk back to his room. He stopped in
his tracks when he heard an annoyingly familiar, shrill voice calling out to him. "What
do you want now Pansy?" He asked with a loud groan.

She stepped in front of him and tried to look up at him though her eyelashes in an
attractive way. It was a failed attempt in his mind. "Oh, I just couldn't help but
overhear you and Theodore today in class."

"What are you talking about?" He demanded in frustration.

"That Hermione is too busy studying to give you any attention," she stated with an
overly dramatic frown.

"I never said that," he huffed.

"Pretty much," she argued. "The whole castle knows that the number one thing on
her mind is our N.E.W.T.s. If you need anything," she purred, "you know that you can
always come to me."

He rolled his eyes, "You can't be serious. I wouldn't sleep with you if you were the
last woman in the world. I'm not that desperate anymore."

She gasped because she couldn't believe the things that he was saying to her.
"That's not how you felt too long ago," she stated smugly.

"Yeah I've made some pretty stupid decisions. One of them was you," he snapped
back quickly. He pushed past her and started to walk away before he quickly spun
around and yelled, "And stay away from me and Hermione for God's sake! Jealously
doesn't look good on you Pansy." He heard her shriek angrily before he turned the
corner and he couldn't help but chuckle. He had no idea how he had tolerated her for
as long as he did.

-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-
Heads' Common Room

Hermione sat on the rug in front of the fireplace with numerous textbooks and piles
of parchment spread out in front of her. She had developed a tight study schedule
and was currently focused on Defence Against the Dark Arts. She wanted to get as
much work done as possible in the next two days so that she wouldn't have to bring
many books home with her for Easter. Between her parents and Draco she
suspected that she wouldn't have the time to study.

As she thought of Draco, she heard his footsteps on the staircase. He smiled at her
upon entering the Common Room. "Hey, I was just coming to visit you. I didn't
realize that you'd be here."

"There's more room to spread out here," she responded distractedly.

He walked towards her and pushed a few books aside with his foot so that he could
sit next to her on the rug. "I'm taking a break now," he muttered before leaning in to
kiss her neck. "I think that you should do the same." He hadn't started his N.E.W.T.
preparations yet, he was still working on class assignments, so if he could take a
break then so could she.

"I have a schedule," she protested.

"You need to take a break."

"Only forty-one days until our Charms N.E.W.T.," she replied automatically.

He chuckled quietly and resumed his attack on her neck. "Forty-one days is a really
long time, babe. And you've been spending a lot of time on schoolwork lately."

She turned her head and kissed him lightly on the lips. He smiled brightly because
he thought that he had convinced her to take a break from studying but she had
merely used the kiss to stop him from talking any further. "I won't get any work done
over the holiday so it's best that I do it now."

"Are you promising me sex in your house?" He asked mischievously.

She looked at him in shock. "What?"

"Well we haven't had the chance to really spend time together because of your
studying," he explained, "so if you're not studying over the holiday then I can
certainly think of a wonderful substitute activity." He gave her a small grin before
kissing her passionately. "And you need to make sure you're not completely stressed
out," he whispered.

She hummed pleasantly against his lips; he could be so damn persuasive. She
kissed him softly and wrapped her arms around his neck. "You can't interrupt my
study schedule anymore."

"Okay, I promise," he answered as he pulled her into his lap. He tightened his arms
around her waist and aggressively claimed her mouth.

When she pulled away from the kiss to catch her breath, she raised an eyebrow at
him. "You're lying," she accused playfully.

"Yeah," he smirked. "I'm not going to be able to keep my hands off of you during final
exams."

"You better be able to keep your hands to yourself while you're staying at my house,"
she warned.

He laughed into her neck. "I'll try my best."

She couldn't help but laugh at his comment because he was just being honest. She
knew that he would want to be physical and affectionate no matter where they were.
He had a big sexual appetite that, for the most part, she loved to feed. She tangled
her hands in his hair as he pushed her back into a lying position on the rug.

-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-

The Great Hall

Draco sat at the Slytherin House table and slowly ate his breakfast. He was in no
hurry since the train to London wasn't leaving until eleven and he already had his
trunk packed. He wanted to look nice and put together for Hermione's parents, so he
was dressed in black slacks and a forest green button-down shirt.

He looked up as he heard the screeching of owls, he had to get his letter today. They
were announcing the line-up live on television this afternoon. He held his breath as
numerous owls flew over his head. He started to fidget when he spotted Lancaster.
His owl gracefully perched on the empty table space in front of him and he
affectionately scratched behind his ear as he untied the piece of parchment on his
leg. Lancaster flew away quickly, leaving him alone with the parchment. His heart
raced as he saw the insignia of the English National Quidditch team. He opened the
letter with shaking fingers and quickly scanned the message. There were a lot of
words on the page but his eyes focused in on one sentence. He would be named as
the team's alternative, or backup, seeker. He pocketed the letter and shovelled down
the rest of his breakfast.

He jumped out of his seat and raced to the portrait that guarded the Heads' private
quarters. He blurted out the password and then hopped through the newly created
opening. He galloped up the stairs to Hermione's bedroom and burst through her
door.

"What is it?" She asked frantically as she observed his heavy panting. She had been
packing her trunk, the muggle way, when he had practically knocked her door off of
its hinges.

"I got the letter," he replied breathlessly.

"You did!" She answered excitedly. "And?"

"I'm on the team," he smiled joyously.

She jumped into his arms and kissed him happily on the lips. "That's great," she
gushed, "congratulations!"

"I'm a backup," he clarified. "But still…"

"Still great," she interrupted. She kissed him again before she suggested, "You
should go and write your parents while I finish packing."

"Just use your wand," he groaned.

"Go!" She laughed as she pushed him out of her bedroom.

She continued to laugh lightly to herself as she returned to her trunk. She was really
proud of Draco and she loved seeing that beautiful smile on his face. It made her
even more excited to introduce him to her parents. They had loved Ron but she had
no doubt that they would love Draco just as much, if not more. He was handsome,
well-mannered and respectful, her mother's dream. The fact that he possessed male
genitalia would unnerve her father but he would get over it. She would know that
Draco had been approved by her father if he asked him to watch football.

She laughed again to herself, 'Yeah, Mum and Dad will be easy.' What she was
really worried about was that she had promised Harry via owl that she would go to
Grimmauld Place at some point while she was home. Both he and Ron wanted to
see her. Ron still hadn't written her a response but Harry had written in one of his
owls that Ron had expressed to him that he had to mention that he wanted to see
her soon and wanted to be friends again. She prayed that he wouldn't retract that
offer when she went to visit them with Draco on her arm.

A/N: Review please! :) Next chapter...Draco meets the parents and comes face
to face with Ron.
Chapter 26
A/N: This story is now over 400 reviews! Woo-hoo! :) Thanks everyone! And
thanks to hotabad21 for betaing! Enjoy the update! :)

Disclaimer: Same as usual. Sadly I am not the one who created the Harry
Potter world.

Chapter 26

King's Cross Station

Hermione walked slowly through the large muggle section of the train station as she
kept an eye out for her parents. Draco walked beside her, pushing the trolley that
carried both of their trunks and Crookshanks' cage.

On the Hogwarts Express, they had shared a train cart with Blaise, Theodore, Luna,
and Ginny. Hermione loved the fact that their groups of friends were mingling. She
had grown close to Blaise through Arithmancy and had gotten to know Theodore
through Luna. There were certainly things about Theodore Nott that she didn't like
but he wasn't the terrible Slytherin that she had thought he was. Luna always
opened herself up to others no matter who they were, so her accepting Draco came
as no surprise to Hermione. But she was very impressed with Ginny. Her brother and
boyfriend loathed Draco but she was still willingly to give him a chance and get to
know him for Hermione. She was a wonderful friend and Hermione knew that she
would never be able to repay her.

She also loved Draco for making the effort to get to know Luna and Ginny. He really
was willing to do anything for her. This point was only proven further when they met
Mr. and Mrs. Weasley on the platform. Hermione had given them a tense, awkward
smile. What was she supposed to say to the people that had treated her like their
own when she had gone and broken their son's heart? Hermione knew that they had
wanted nothing more then for her to become their daughter-in-law, but Molly and
Arthur were a class act and they had given her hugs and kind smiles that exuded
warmth. She could tell that Draco was uncomfortable with the interaction but he had
been polite when spoken to and stood beside her, holding her hand. After wishing
their friends a good holiday, they had left platform Nine and Three quarters together.

She stopped walking and turned to the man that she was always thinking about. She
stood on the tips of her toes and gave him a soft kiss. "What was that for?" He asked
smiling.
"No particular reason," she smiled dreamily. They continued walking for a little while
longer before Hermione announced excitedly, "There they are!"

Draco swallowed nervously as Hermione rushed towards a petite, dark-haired


woman standing alongside a tall, dark-haired man. They looked so normal…so
muggle. 'Game time,' he thought to himself as he followed her forward.

She embraced both of her parents and then pulled back so she could make the
appropriate introductions. "Mom, Dad," she smiled, "this is Draco."

"It's a pleasure to meet you both," he said genuinely. He shook both of their hands
and received a firm squeeze from her father and a nice smile from her mother. He
decided then and there that Hermione looked like her mother.

Mr. Granger took the trolley off of Draco's hands and he interpreted it as a sign that
the older man still wanted to take care of Hermione. "Draco, that's an interesting
name," he commented as they left the train station and headed towards their parked
car.

"I'm named after a constellation," Draco answered honestly.

"It's a family tradition," Hermione added gleefully.

They reached the family van quickly and Draco helped Mr. Granger load the trunks
while Hermione and her mother climbed aboard.

"He's incredibly handsome," her mother stated with a grin.

"I know." She couldn't help but giggle after her response and her mother noticed it
immediately.

"He makes you happy. I'm so glad."

"Yeah, he really does," she replied. "He treats me really well."

"Excellent," her mother smiled. "That's something that will ease your father's mind.
Although," she laughed, "he probably won't sleep a wink while he's staying with us.
Your father will be too worried that he'll sneak into your bedroom."

"Mum!" Hermione blushed. She was not about to tell her mother that Draco had
already been in her bedroom a few times. Luckily their conversation was cut short
when two doors opened and her father climbed into the driver's seat while Draco slid
in beside her carrying Crookshanks.
"So this is a muggle car," he whispered in astonishment.

She laughed, "You're going to have a lot of those moments while we're here."

"Cool," he grinned. "I've had very little first hand experience with the muggle world,
except when I went shopping in muggle London for your Christmas gift."

She smiled and resisted the urge to kiss him. Instead she opted for gently caressing
his hand; she wasn't big on displays of affection in front of her parents.

They pulled into the driveway of the Granger's London home roughly twenty minutes
later. Their house reminded Draco of his Aunt Andromeda's; it was quaint and cozy,
not too flashy and exactly the type of house that you would picture when thinking of
a happy family. It gave the same impression on the inside. The walls were painted
warm colors and there were framed, muggle photos and small plants all over the
place.

"You have a really nice home," he finally spoke up.

"Thank you," Mrs. Granger answered proudly. "Hermione, why don't you show Draco
to the guest bedroom while I put the final touches on dinner."

"Okay," she nodded.

"Can I use magic to send the luggage up the stairs?" He asked her in a whisper.

"Yes, Draco," she laughed. She walked up the stairs and he followed her, with the
two trunks and Crookshanks' cage floating behind him. He sent her things into her
room when he passed the doorway and continued to walk until they reached the end
of the hallway. "So this is the guest bedroom," Hermione announced.

He simply nodded in response and placed his trunk at the end of the bed. The guest
bedroom was very nice, clean and appropriately decorated. "This is nice. Now can I
see your bedroom?" He grinned.

She blushed and laughed quietly, "You've already seen my bedroom."

"But I wasn't really paying attention before," he answered honestly. He hadn't exactly
been paying attention to her room's décor the previous times that he had been in
there. He had been preoccupied by other things.

"Okay," she laughed as she took him by the hand and led him to her bedroom. "Here
it is…again."
"Well I remember the bed," he grinned. It was a single bed in the corner of the room
that had dark purple sheets and pillows, and it was very comfortable. The rest of her
room was what he had expected, practical yet personal. She had a bulletin board
next to her closet that had photographs and a Gryffindor crest pinned to it. Her
dresser and desk were spotless and there was a small basket under her window
which he imagined was for Crookshanks. After seeing her home and looking more
closely at her room, he could easily picture her growing up here.

"Dinner's ready kids!" Mrs. Granger called out from the kitchen.

They walked back down the stairs and Hermione showed him to the kitchen. He took
the seat opposite Hermione at the table and slowly piled food onto his plate.
Everything looked and smelled fantastic and he had a feeling that he was going to
enjoy muggle food. He had just begun to dig into his meal when the dinner
conversation started. More specifically, the questions about him started, which he
had fully anticipated.

"What are your plans for after Hogwarts, Draco?"

He turned his head to look at Mrs. Granger as he answered her question. "I plan on
attending a post-secondary wizard school here in London."

Elaine Granger's eyebrows rose in curiosity. She thought that a Hogwarts education
was all that was necessary to obtain a job in the wizarding world. After all, she knew
that Hermione was planning on entering the work force almost immediately after
graduation. "To study what?" She inquired.

"Medicine," he replied, "I'll study to become a Healer."

"It's like a wizard doctor," Hermione clarified.

"Oh, okay," her mother chuckled a little in embarrassment. "That's terrific Draco."

"Thank you," he smiled shyly. He looked across at Hermione and stared at her
lovingly. She was helping him out the same way that he had helped her when she
had met his mother.

"So do you play any sports son?" Mr. Granger asked.

"I play Quidditch."

Hermione saw the look of unresponsiveness pass across her father's face even
though she had explained Quidditch to him in the past. She wanted to brag about
Draco's athleticism, talents, and achievements so she decided to explain it to her
father in a way that he would understand. "Dad, Draco is as good at Quidditch as Ian
is at football." Ian had grown up next door and now he played in the English Premier
League.

"Really?" Her father asked excitedly and she smiled. She knew that that statement
would peak her father's interest.

She nodded, "He just made the national team."

Mr. Granger enthusiastically turned towards Draco. "Well tell me all about that!"

The remainder of the dinner was spent primarily discussing Quidditch. Hermione had
to laugh at her father; he had not cared for wizard sports at all before today. But now
that his daughter's boyfriend was a 'real athlete', his exact words, he was fascinated
by a game that he had a hard time understanding. She even chuckled rather loudly
when he insisted that Draco join him in the living room to watch a football match. It
was official, her father loved her boyfriend.

"Your father has a new best friend," her mother joked as they washed the dishes
together.

"I know," she laughed. She swallowed and then asked nervously, "Do you like him?"

"I really do," her mother said genuinely. "He's handsome and polite. He can hold a
conversation and I can tell that he's smitten with you. Is it serious?"

"Would I have brought him home if it wasn't?" She questioned rhetorically.

"Yes, you're very sensible and he seems like a good fit for you."

"Thanks Mum." She smiled happily to herself as she finished drying the last of the
dishes. 'I knew my parents would be easy,' she thought smugly to herself.

-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-

Hermione and Draco sat on her bed, with her bedroom door open, and talked while
her parents watched television downstairs. "I really like your house and your
parents," he told her. "Everything is so much less formal then what I had growing up.
I like it."

"They like you too," she smiled. She thought for a moment before she asked the
question that had been on her mind since he had hopped into her parents' van.
"What about all the muggle things?" She asked while biting down on her lower lip
apprehensively.

"Surprisingly," he chuckled, "I like those too. I think that I could really get into this
football thing."

She laughed loudly at his statement. Hermione knew that the boys in Gryffindor
Tower chatted about football frequently because they had all become fans through
the boys who had grown up in the muggle world. But since Slytherin House was
selective about the blood lineage of its residents, she wasn't surprised that Draco
hadn't been exposed to football. It wasn't exactly something they discussed a lot in
Muggle Studies either. "Its harder then it looks," she teased.

"Harder then flying a broomstick?" He asked playfully with a raised eyebrow as he


leaned in to kiss her.

"Definitely," she spoke against his lips. He laughed before he started to kiss her with
a little more urgency. She placed a hand on his shoulder and gently pushed him
back. "Wait…wait," she panted.

"I know, your parents are downstairs," he said reluctantly.

She shook her head. "No, I need to talk to you about something."

"Um, okay." He really didn't like her using that phrase.

"I promised that while I was home I would visit Harry and Ron," she spoke slowly
while maintaining eye contact with Draco.

"Okay," he answered simply, but she noticed his eyes darken and his jaw set tensely.

"Okay? That's it?"

He sighed loudly and created space between them by scooting farther down the bed.
"Well what do you want me to say?" He asked in frustration.

"I dunno," she groaned, "not 'okay'."

"I'm trying really hard to not freak out and forbid you from seeing either one of them
right now," he confessed. The last thing that he wanted was for her to see Weasley
and he knew that Potter would try to draw her back to Weasley and he couldn't have
that. "But I don't wanna seem psycho," he mumbled.

"I want to go see them…" His eyes shot to hers at her tone of voice. She sounded so
adamant. That was the voice that she used when there was no changing her mind.
But then she added softly, "But I want you to come with me."

He moved closer towards her and replied sceptically, "Are you sure that that's a
good idea?" His past fights with Potter and Weasley were nothing short of childish
and downright dirty, and he could only imagine how bad they could become now with
Hermione in the middle.

She gave him a small smile. "I'm expecting you to behave, obviously."

"Of course, I always do," he grinned jokingly.

"I am serious, you know?"

"I know." He leaned forward and kissed her. "Are we going to see them tomorrow?"
She nodded and he kissed her again. "Okay, well in that case, I'm going to turn in
now." She looked at him in disbelief and he laughed, "As much as I want to ravage
you right now, I don't want to ruin the extraordinary impression I made on your
parents so soon."

She laughed at his commitment to pleasing her parents, it was sweet. "Then I'll see
you in the morning. Mum makes the best breakfast."

"Oooh," he said excitedly, "I love muggle food."

She laughed again before she kissed him goodnight. He left her bedroom with an
impish wink and a small wave.

-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-

Draco awoke the next morning to soft, butterfly kisses on his bare chest. He groaned
and turned over onto his side. He slowly opened his eyes and smiled when he saw
Hermione lying next to him atop of the covers of the guest bed. She was fully
dressed in jeans and a navy, long-sleeved shirt. Her hair was pulled back into a
messy ponytail that left a few tendrils of hair framing her face beautifully. "Hey," he
croaked sleepily.

"Good morning," she grinned. "Mum told me to come up and wake you for
breakfast."

"What time is it?" He asked through a yawn.

"Nine thirty. So get dressed and come down and eat with us." She leaned in to kiss
him and he quickly wrapped his arms around her waist. He pulled her close and she
giggled when she felt his morning arousal. She squirmed out of his grasp and got up
off of the bed. "Get dressed," she reprimanded playfully.

He smiled up at her innocently as she left the bedroom. He scrambled out of bed
and changed into grey slacks and a black turtleneck. He quickly checked his
appearance in the mirror before heading down to the kitchen. "Good morning
everyone," he greeted pleasantly as he took a seat at the kitchen table.

"Good morning Draco. Did you sleep well?"

"I slept very well Mrs. Granger," he answered with a crooked grin.

"Please call me Elaine."

Hermione rolled her eyes and laughed to herself as she watched her mother blush
and awkwardly tuck her hair behind her ear. Even her own mother was susceptible
to Draco's charm.

They ate their breakfast while making pleasant conversation. Her parents were really
trying to get to know Draco as well as they know Ron and Hermione loved them all
the more for it. It was nice to start the day on such a good note when she knew that
things could get dicey later on when they stopped by Grimmauld Place.

After she had helped her mother clean up the kitchen for breakfast, she walked into
the living room and joined her father and Draco on the sofa.

"So this is muggle news," he whispered as his eyes concentrated very hard on their
television.

"Yeah," she giggled. His amazed reaction to all of their muggle possessions and
traditions was actually kind of adorable.

"What's the stock market?" He asked in confusion.

Hermione couldn't contain her raucous laughter. "I'll explain it to you later." He
nodded in acceptance and continued to watch the news. He looked completely
enraptured by the program so Hermione decided to let him watch it.

When a soap opera began Hermione picked up the remote and flicked off the
television. Her parents had left to go grocery shopping midway through the news but
she wasn't sure if Draco even noticed. She was proven correct when he finally spoke
up. "Hey, where did your parents go?"
"To the shop," she laughed. "You were really into the news," she teased.

He tried to shrug nonchalantly but his grin gave him away. "It's interesting," he
admitted.

She smiled and pulled him forward to kiss her. They innocently necked on her sofa
for a little while before she asked, "Are you ready to go visiting?"

"Instead of doing this?" He questioned with a raised eyebrow. "No way," he laughed.

She kissed him once more before she got to her feet. "Come on," she pleaded. "This
is really important to me."

"I know it is," he replied softly. He got to his feet as well and kissed her tenderly on
the forehead. "Just let me go to the loo." He walked up the stairs and used the
facilities before he headed into the guest bedroom. He grabbed his wand. 'Just in
case,' he thought to himself. He fixed his hair which Hermione had mussed up
moments ago. He had a brief thought about leaving his hair alone and letting the
Weasel's mind wander but then he thought better of it. It would probably upset
Hermione and he was going to try his damndest to be civil…for her sake. He could
almost tolerate Potter; after all he had taken down the Dark Lord. But he had nothing
good to say about Weasley. And frankly he had no desire to become friends with
either one of them but it was important to Hermione. "Okay, I'm ready to go visiting!"
He called out as he ran down over the stairs.

Hermione smiled at him and extended her hand. "I love you even more for this," she
told him before they Apparated onto the doorstep of Number 12, Grimmauld Place.

She opened the door and they stepped into the home without incident, as she had
expected. She was a high-ranking member of the Order and Draco was now a
Patronus casting wizard and would therefore not set off one of the protection
charms.

Draco carefully took in his surroundings. The house was dark, damp, and dingy. The
portraits that he could see hanging from the walls were curtained off, the wallpaper
was peeling off the walls, and the carpet and curtains were dirty. His mother would
be very disappointed with the state of this house since it was once a Black family
home.

"Harry? Ron?" Hermione called out softly.

"Why are speaking so quietly?" He asked puzzled.


"Trust me you don't want to wake the portraits," she explained in a whisper, "they just
start wailing."

He nodded, "Oh."

With Draco's hand clasped firmly in her own, Hermione walked forward towards the
dining room. "Harry? Ron?" She called out again.

"Hermione? Is that you?" She heard Harry ask excitedly from the kitchen.

"Yeah Harry," she laughed, "It's me."

Harry stepped out of the kitchen but stilled in the doorway to the dining room when
he saw who accompanied Hermione. "Malfoy," he sneered.

"Potter," Draco responded calmly.

Hermione comfortingly rubbed Draco's side before she walked towards Harry and
enveloped him in a hug. "You look great," she beamed. "How's Auror training?"

"Good," he answered distractedly. "Hermione, what is he doing here?"

"He's important to me Harry," she whispered. "And if you want to continue our
friendship you're going to have to at least tolerate him."

Harry frowned, she sounded very serious about Malfoy and it troubled him. "Okay,"
he agreed begrudgingly. They had been through so much together that he couldn't
give up on their friendship because of an outside party. But he would have to talk to
her about Malfoy later, in private. "You look great too," he smiled. "You've started
preparing for the N.E.W.T.s I assume?" He laughed at Hermione's response; a loud
sigh. "That's what I expected. You'll do fine…better then fine I'm sure," he assured
her.

"Thanks Harry," she smiled. "So where's Ron?"

"Umm," Harry thought for a moment as he awkwardly scratched the back of his
neck. "He's up in his room." He knew that Ron wanted to see Hermione but he
certainly did not want to see Malfoy. Ron had spoken of nothing but killing Malfoy
since Christmas. He had moved passed feeling betrayed and grief-stricken over their
breakup, hell he had even been with other girls, but his hatred for his childhood
enemy and the bloke that had caused said breakup had only grown. "I'll go get him."
Harry exited through the dining room and headed up the stairs.
"Thanks again for doing this," Hermione repeated. She could see how uncomfortable
Draco looked in the dining room of the headquarters of the Order of Phoenix. Both of
his hands were in his pockets and he was mindlessly looking around with unfocused
eyes.

"You'll have to have a visit with my father to repay me," he teased. She laughed and
walked back towards him. He wrapped an arm around her waist and leaned down to
give her a soft kiss. "But I'll accept sexual favours," he stated mischievously.

She laughed and they kissed once more before their playful moment was interrupted
by a loud, angry growl from Ron. "Malfoy!"

"Hello Weasley." His voice was calm and even just like when he had spoken to
Potter.

"Get the bloody hell out of my house!" Ron yelled as he was anything but calm.

Hermione winced at the volume and tone of his voice. "Ron," she began soothingly
but he didn't let her finish.

"You got a lot of nerve you slimy git!"

After that comment everything was a blur to Hermione. She heard the portraits
around the house screaming joyously at the mention of the pureblood name of
Malfoy. She faintly heard Harry trying to reason with his best mate. She saw Draco
open his mouth to reply to Ron but the dominant image in front of her was Ron
lunging towards Draco with a raised right fist.

A/N: Dun dun duh...! Everyone review and maybe we can get this story to 500
reviews! :)
Chapter 27
A/N: Okay, so all I can do is apologize for the super long wait and say that life
got in the way. Also, the first incident of writer's block that I've ever had for
this story occurred while writing this chapter. I found the transition scenes
very hard to write so if its not up to par, I apologize and hope that you guys
can forgive me. I got so many great reviews for the last chapter and I hope that
you enjoy, and are not disappointed by, the long awaited update! Enjoy! :)

Disclaimer: Same as previous chapters.

Previously…

She heard the portraits around the house screaming joyously at the mention of the
pureblood name of Malfoy. She faintly heard Harry trying to reason with his best
mate. She saw Draco open his mouth to reply to Ron but the dominant image in front
of her was Ron lunging towards Draco with a raised right fist.

Chapter 27

"Ron!" Hermione shrieked. Draco was caught off guard by Ron's punch to the face
and he hit the floor with a dull 'thud'. "What the hell Ronald?" She yelled
incredulously. She rushed to Draco's side and helped him to his feet. His hand
clutched his jaw in pain but she knew that it was nothing that a little ice and a little
magic couldn't fix.

Draco could deal with the pain and discomfort. His real problem would be controlling
the anger that was bubbling up inside of him at the moment. He wanted to do a lot
worse to Ron Weasley then simply punching him in the face.

"Get him out of my house Hermione," Ron repeated.

She turned back to her ex-boyfriend and saw that Harry was grasping his shoulder to
restrain him from doing any more damage. "We came to talk like civilized human
beings," she spat angrily.

"I don't want to even look at him," he answered as he gestured towards Draco. "So I
definitely do not want to talk to him."

"Ron, calm down," Harry said softly.

Ron instantly turned on Harry. "Don't tell me to calm down Harry!"


"Maybe we should go," Draco suggested in a whisper to Hermione.

Ron glared at the sight of Malfoy whispering in Hermione's ear. He managed to


catch his words and growled angrily in response. "Maybe you should go!"

"You know what?" Hermione huffed. "Maybe we should go." She grasped Draco's
hand tightly in her own and began to stomp towards the front door, roughly pushing
past both Ron and Harry in the process. "I'll talk to you later Harry," she called out
before they Disapparated. She deliberately neglected to say goodbye to Ron
because if he continued with this behaviour she wasn't sure if she wanted to see him
again.

They landed in her living room and Draco immediately fell back onto her sofa. "I'll get
you some ice," she sighed. "I think that we can take care of this one the muggle
way." She walked into her kitchen and retrieved a bag of ice from her refrigerator.
She made her way back into the living room and sat down next to him. She pressed
the icepack gently against his jaw and cringed when he winced loudly. "Sorry, sorry,"
she muttered. "Does it hurt?" She asked sadly.

"Yup," he responded gruffly.

"I'm sorry," she repeated. "But I'm really glad that you didn't retaliate, because that's
what he wanted."

"It was harder then it looked, I assure you." He had wanted to pull out his wand and
curse the Weasel into oblivion, but if he had let his temper get the better of him then
he certainly would not be sitting with Hermione right now. She would be too pissed
off at him. He had successfully restrained himself despite the years of his father
always telling him to fight back, never lie down and take it. He now realized that
sometimes it was better to lie down and take it.

"You've changed so much," she mused as she pushed a hand through his soft hair.

He turned towards her and smiled. "For the better I hope. I'm not a complete wuss,
am I?" He inquired with a playful grin.

"No, you're not," she laughed. "You took the high road. Ronald is so immature."

"I get it; he's not over you yet. I still want to hex him but I understand. You're a hard
girl to get over, Hermione Granger," he smiled. She chuckled softly but he continued
to look at her completely earnestly. "I mean it."

"Well thanks…I guess," she responded.


He laughed, "It is a compliment."

"Do you want to go up to my bedroom?" She asked as she bit down on her bottom
lip. She was wondering to herself if it was odd that she was so turned on by Draco's
newfound restraint and maturity. How mature he had acted in the situation was
driving her wild.

"What kind of a question is that?" He replied with a laugh. "Of course I want to go up
to your bedroom but I distinctly remember you telling me not too long ago to keep my
hands to myself while I was staying in your house."

"Well, I can change my mind," she smirked. "Besides my parents could be gone all
day and we can cast a Silencing Charm around the room."

He pulled the icepack away from his face and smiled impishly. "I like the sound of
that."

She smiled back at him. "Okay, just let me put this back in the fridge," she said as
she took the icepack from him. She made a quick trip back into the kitchen before
leading him up the stairs and into her bedroom.

He cast the Silencing Charm quickly before he pulled her back onto the bed.

-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-

After their impromptu, afternoon romp, they redressed and made themselves
presentable for Hermione's parents' return. Draco had cast a spell on his face so that
the bruise that had formed was not visible. They had decided that they wanted to
avoid him eating supper with her parents with a battered face.

"So what did you two do today?" Hermione's mother asked just as Draco had begun
to dig into his potatoes and roast beef.

"Nothing exciting," Hermione lied. "We just hung around the house and watched the
telly." She didn't really want to get into the story that they had gone to visit Harry and
Ron, but that Ron had punched Draco in the face which led to an abrupt ending. She
had a feeling that it was something that they should keep to themselves.

Her parents seemed to believe her. Although her father looked Draco up and down
suspiciously as he tried to determine if the young man had acted like an appropriate
gentleman today. However, Draco had a feeling that their definitions of an
'appropriate gentleman' would vary a little bit since he considered giving Hermione
three orgasms this afternoon to be exceptionally gentlemanly. Thankfully though, Mr.
Granger returned his eyes to his dinner plate and seemed satisfied with Draco's
demeanour.

"Draco, are you planning on visiting your parents before you go back to Hogwarts?"
Mrs. Granger asked curiously. "I know that Hermione does that disappear and
reappear thing and I'm sure you do too," she giggled. "So visiting them would be
easy right?"

"It's called Apparating, Mum," Hermione corrected quickly. She tried her best to keep
her parents well educated on the magical world but some things just slipped through
the cracks. "And Draco does do it too."

"Yes, visiting them would be easy," Draco answered. "And I was thinking that I would
go and visit them…maybe tomorrow…and maybe Hermione could come with me."

Hermione practically choked on her dinner. She had already met his mother and she
thought that he had been joking about visiting his father! Obviously, he had been
somewhat serious. The only part of Malfoy Manor that she had been in since the war
was Draco's bedroom. That night, his bedroom had felt separate from the rest of the
house. She wasn't sure if she was ready to go back there and see it in its entirety
and relive some of her worst memories.

"Well that sounds nice," her mother exclaimed. "You guys should go."

She simply nodded, did not reply, and avoided Draco's gaze. He let out a small sigh
as he took note of his girlfriend's body language. She was not thrilled by his idea and
maybe he should have mentioned it earlier but he hadn't expected her to react this
way.

The rest of the meal passed quickly and after watching more of the muggle news
with Hermione's father, Draco retired to the guestroom. He had just changed into his
sleep trousers when there was a light knock on the door. "Come in."

Hermione opened the door and slipped inside the room. She shut the door behind
her and greeted him timidly. "Hey."

"Hey," he replied.

She sighed loudly as she walked towards him and gently touched his bare chest.
"I'm sorry about dinner. I was caught off guard. I didn't think that you were serious
earlier today when you made that comment about us visiting your father."

"Yeah, I get it, and it's a bad idea anyway," he murmured. He sat down on the edge
of the bed and she sat beside him. "I'm going to go visit my parents tomorrow but
you don't have to come with me."

"No! I want to! I mean, I want to if you want me to," she lowered her voice until she
was almost inaudible.

"Of course I do but…"

She cut him off, "What you did today means a lot to me." She reached up and placed
her hand tenderly on his jaw. "You took a punch to the face and you stayed calm. So
if you want me to come to the Manor with you then I'm more then happy to."

He gave her a small smile before he leaned in to kiss her. "Thank you. This will
mean a lot to me. Now we're even," he joked.

"Yeah," she laughed, "even." She wrapped her arms around his neck and gave him a
passionate goodnight kiss. "I'm going to go to bed now. I'll see you in the morning."

"Goodnight love," he smiled.

She smiled back. "Goodnight," she responded before quietly leaving his room.

-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-

Draco woke up very early the next morning and hopped in the shower. He got
dressed and made the guest bed before Apparating to his Aunt Andromeda's house.
He had promised her a visit over the Easter holiday and he knew that she was an
early riser as well because of Teddy. He also used the visit to send an owl to his
parents that he and Hermione would be arriving at two o'clock. He needed to let
them know about it in advance so that his father could temporarily lift the charms
surrounding their gates. Lucius had become a stickler for home security since the
end of the war.

He returned to the Granger home long before dinner. He heard Hermione's parents
in the kitchen but she was still asleep. He entered her bedroom to see her under the
covers of her bed, sleeping soundly with Crookshanks curled up by her side. He sat
on the edge of the bed and gently rubbed her shoulder. She was fairly easy to wake
up so he simply murmured her name. "Hey," he smiled as her eyes fluttered open.

"Hey," she replied sleepily. "Are you up early or am I sleeping in late?"

"I'm up early," he chuckled. "I went to visit Aunt Andromeda."


"I could have gone with you, ya know?"

He nodded. "I know, but it was just a short little visit. She just wanted to see me.
Although, while I was there I sent an owl to my parents telling them we'll be over at
two."

"What time is it now?" She asked curiously.

Draco quickly glanced at his wrist watch. "Its quarter after nine."

"Are my parents up?" He nodded again. "Well then I should probably get up and
shower." She sat up in her bed and Crookshanks meowed loudly because he had
been jostled. He jumped off of her bed and into the small cat bed beneath the
window. "Obviously he's not ready to get up," she laughed.

"Yeah," he laughed along with her.

"But he doesn't have to get ready to have an afternoon with Lucius Malfoy."

He furrowed his brow. He wasn't sure if she was serious or joking. He watched her
give him a small smile and he relaxed a little. She was at least partially joking. "Don't
worry about it," he assured. "It's just a formality, and besides my mother will keep
him in check."

Hermione giggled. "Big, bad Lucius Malfoy is scared of his wife?"

He nodded, "You have no idea."

"That's actually kinda cute…in a weird, Malfoy way…"

"A weird, Malfoy way?" He repeated with a laugh.

She simply nodded and giggled before kissing him innocently on the mouth. "Okay,
now I'm going to go shower," she announced as she hopped out of her bed and
began to gather the essentials for her shower.

"And I'll go hang out with your parents."

She laughed, "Well you could always pretend that you're asleep."

"No, I'll be fine," he shrugged. "Your Dad isn't terrifying and I think that your Mom
likes me a lot. So take all the time you need to get ready." He ended his comment
with a wink and she laughed. He walked towards her and kissed her softly on the
forehead before he left her to get ready for the day.
-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-

Malfoy Manor

At exactly two o'clock, Draco and Hermione Apparated onto the street in front of
Malfoy Manor. Draco held her hand tightly and smiled down at her as they
approached the wrought-iron gates that surrounded the grounds. They both passed
through the gates as if they were smoke and Hermione concluded that it magically
identified Draco as someone that it could let pass. She looked around uneasily as
they walked up the long driveway. Nothing was as she remembered it. The front
lawn, the gates, and the large, extravagant home all looked so different, not as dark
and ominous as the time that she had been here during the war. She wasn't sure if it
was the light of day or if changes had been made, but everything seemed much
brighter. The gardens around the manor and the large fountain in front of his house
were gorgeous. Even the roving white peacocks were beautiful. She could only
imagine how different the inside of the home looked.

Draco followed her line of sight and chuckled softly. "Don't mind the peacocks.
They're harmless but father loves them for some reason."

She brought her hand up to her mouth to contain her giggles. The thought of Lucius
Malfoy being attached to his white peacocks was highly amusing.

After her laughter had died down, he pointed to the mansion on the hill to their right.
"That's Nott's house." The grounds of Nott Manor were smaller then the Malfoys'
property by only a little. However, the Notts had the better scenic view.

"Is this a Slytherin neighborhood?" She asked curiously.

"Yeah, pretty much," he answered honestly. "But mostly everyone keeps to


themselves since the war except for us and the Notts. It's a quiet neighborhood." He
pulled their joined hands up to his mouth and kissed hers softly. "I'm really happy
that you're here," he muttered.

She smiled brightly and replied to him honestly, "I'm happy to be here."

When they reached the front doors, Draco pulled open a door and slowly led
Hermione inside. He didn't want to rush her in any way. A male house elf instantly
materialized in front of them with a loud 'pop'. "Master Draco and guest!" His parents'
house elf, Merrin, announced excitedly. "Master Lucius and Mistress Narcissa are
waiting for you in the sunroom."

'Sunroom?' Hermione thought to herself. 'What else does this house have?'
"Thank you Merrin," Draco said politely and the house elf disappeared. "And this
house has a lot," he said with a smirk.

"Get out of my head," she told him jokingly.

He happily grinned at her as they began to walk through the large entrance hallway.
The walls on both sides of them were lined with portraits but they weren't yelling and
chattering like the ones at Grimmauld Place. No one was screaming at her because
they knew that she wasn't a pureblood. Most of the portraits were quiet and stoic but
some of them greeted her and smiled at the two of them together. Hermione wasn't
sure if these portraits always acted this way or if it was because Narcissa had told
them to behave for their company. Either way, she wasn't complaining.

When they reached the beautiful sunroom, they found Narcissa and Lucius sitting at
a table in the middle of the room that was set for four. The house elf that had greeted
them at the door, Merrin, stood next to Lucius' chair.

Narcissa quickly got to her feet and walked towards them. She enveloped Draco in a
tight hug, kissed him on the cheek, and then did the same to her. "Hermione, so nice
to see you again," she gushed.

"You too Mrs. Malfoy," Hermione replied sincerely.

"Please, we talked about this, its Narcissa."

Hermione smiled shyly and nodded but she couldn't help her body from stiffening
when Lucius approached her. It always seemed as if Lucius Malfoy never changed.
He always wore expensive, dark robes and fancy, leather shoes. His long, pale,
blonde hair was always perfectly in place and falling over his shoulders. He always
carried that walking stick with a snakehead and he always looked down his nose at
her. The only difference this time was that she could see how much Draco looked
like him.

"Ah, Miss Granger," he drawled slowly.

"Mr. Malfoy," she responded simply. Honestly, she didn't know what else to say.

Luckily, he moved on to his son. He greeted Draco with a handshake and


congratulated him on making the English National Quidditch team. "Why don't you
two sit down," he suggested.

Hermione and Draco did as they were told and took seats across from each other at
the circular table.
Narcissa was the one to break the silence. "How are you enjoying your holiday at
Hermione's house, Draco?"

"Its great," he smiled. "I love it."

"And my parents are more then happy to have him," Hermione chimed in.

"Well, of course they are," Lucius scoffed.

Draco watched as his mother shot his father a look of warning before he stared at
his hands folded in his lap. He felt very uncomfortable at the moment and he could
only imagine that that feeling was amplified for Hermione. Maybe this really was a
bad idea.

"So…um…" Narcissa began again awkwardly but Draco interrupted her.

"Its okay Mum, you don't have to attempt small talk. Let's just talk about the elephant
in the room. I'm pureblood and Hermione's not and he has a serious problem with it,"
he stated as he gestured towards Lucius. "But he's given me permission to marry
her and my full inheritance in exchange for working at Malfoy Enterprises after I
finish medical school. You both expect me to propose soon, Hermione and I have
talked about it and we're not ready yet. And he's acting civil so that he can see his
grandchildren one day. So there," he sighed, "I think that everyone is caught up
now." He nonchalantly reached for his teacup and took a large gulp.

"Draco, let's talk in my study," Lucius said.

Draco nodded and followed his father as he got up out of his seat and left the
sunroom.

"Whoa," Hermione sighed when it was just her, Narcissa, and the house elf left in the
room. "That was…intense."

"Draco's always been very passionate," Narcissa said with a small smile. "His father
will respect him for what he just did."

Her eyebrows shot upwards. "Really?"

Narcissa nodded. "Lucius appreciates forwardness." She turned to Hermione with an


excited expression and changed the topic of conversation. "So, grandchildren?"

Hermione laughed softly and scrambled to think of a response that would allow her
to get out of this discussion. Unfortunately, she didn't come up with anything.
Meanwhile, Lucius handed his son a glass of brandy as they stood facing each other
in his study. He looked Draco up and down and nodded to himself. "That was bold
Draco."

He agreed, "I know father."

Lucius swallowed half of his glass of alcohol before he spoke again. "Parkinson
stopped by the office the other day and raved about how you and Pansy are
supposed to marry and it's my job to convince you of that. I told him to go to hell. I
told him that you are a man and you make your own decisions. So that includes
where you want to work after you finish your education."

"Wow…um…" Draco ran a hand through his hair. He wasn't sure what to say, he
was absolutely flabbergasted. He didn't know that his father could be so reasonable.
"Thank you father." He hadn't realized until he had been given the option not to that
he did want to work at Malfoy Enterprises with his father and then leave the family
business to his own children one day. "I do want to work at the company father…just
maybe not right away."

Lucius nodded before saying, "Now finish your drink so that we can get back to the
sunroom. God knows your mother is badgering the poor girl about how many
grandchildren she's going to get."

Draco chuckled as he watched his father roll his eyes. He knew that he was right
though. His mother was definitely questioning Hermione about how many children
she wanted. He finished his brandy and laid the empty glass tumbler down on the
bar. He smiled to himself as Lucius clapped him on the shoulder and led him out of
the study.

A/N: I know that some of you are going to say that Lucius is out of character
and maybe he is but its part of the character development of this story. So
drop me a review. I enjoy reading your thoughts! :)
Chapter 28
A/N: Hey everyone! I know that its been quite a long time but a university
student's work is never done. Luckily, I am done school for the year now and
have plenty of time to finish this story. :)

Just a warning that this chapter and the rest of this story is un-betaed so I
apologize for the typical grammar mistakes and awkward sentences.

Disclaimer: The usual.

Previously...(the key points):

Ron punched Draco in the face...Hermione and Ron's friendship is severely


damaged...They visited Malfoy Manor and Lucius has loosened up a little...

A skim of a few of the previous chapters wouldn't hurt. Lol. Enjoy the update :)

Chapter 28

The rest of Draco and Hermione's visit to Malfoy Manor was surprisingly pleasant.
Hermione had no idea what Lucius had said to Draco when he had taken him aside
but it completely turned around the mood of the afternoon. They talked about the
upcoming N.E.W.T.s, Hogwarts' graduation and the end of Quidditch season; all very
normal topics of conversation. The food that Narcissa brought out for afternoon tea
was delicious and Hermione felt much more comfortable around Lucius Malfoy as
each second passed. It was even a little unsettling how calm and quiet the older
Malfoy was but she could tell that he was adjusting to the situation as well.

After tea, Draco stole her away and gave her a tour of his incredibly large home that
they had indeed gotten renovated since the war. He held her hand as he led her
through the library.

"Wow," she remarked in awe as she gently brushed her hand across the rows of
books.

"I knew that you would enjoy this room," he smiled.

"It's beautiful. The whole house is."

"You really like it?" He questioned somewhat nervously. She nodded. "Do you think
that you like it enough to live here someday?"
She gave him a tentative, little smile. "Maybe."

He smiled back with a look on his face that spelt relief because he knew that her
response was actually much more than a maybe. "Come on, I'll show you the rest of
the house before we leave."

"You mean there's more?" She joked. He laughed along with her as he pulled her
into the hallway.

They were both startled when they found Lucius standing in their way. "I hope that
you enjoyed your visit Hermione," he stated coolly.

"Yes sir, thank you for having me," she responded quickly as she tightened her grip
on Draco's hand. No matter how calm his father seemed he was still intimidating and
he still reminded her of darker times.

"Anytime," he said with a tight smile. "Do you like the house?" She simply nodded.
"Draco," he started as he turned his attention to his son, "your mother has a package
that she wants to send back with you. It should do until we see you at graduation."

"Okay father, thank you."

They made their way down to the kitchen, leaving Lucius upstairs, and picked up
Draco's package from the eager house elf there.

"How many house elves do you have?" Hermione asked curiously as they walked
back to the sunroom to say goodbye to Narcissa.

He smiled in amusement. "We have three; Pinken, Merrin, and the one in the kitchen
is Ropey. They're well treated if that's what you're worried about."

"I've accepted that most house elves enjoy their duties and are lost without their
masters. I was just wondering."

"Okay, oh and there's another thing that you may be wondering about in terms of this
house," he stated as he stopped walking and turned towards her, taking both of her
hands in his own. "The former dungeon is now a cellar and there are no dark
artefacts in this whole house."

"That's, um, comforting…I guess," she replied meekly. She didn't want to relieve
those particular memories anytime soon.

"I just wanted you to know since you like the rest of the house so much."
"Thank you." She stood on the tips of her toes and kissed him softly on the lips.

"Oh there you two are!" Narcissa gushed.

Hermione pulled back and blushed at having been caught kissing by Draco's mother.

"We're getting ready to leave now mother," he announced.

"Okay sweetheart." She walked towards her son and kissed him on the cheek. "Your
father and I will see you at graduation, you too Hermione."

Hermione smiled sincerely, "Yes, and thank you for inviting me over this afternoon."

"Anytime and we hope that you'll be around more often when school lets out."

"So do I," she replied honestly before they finally left the house.

-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-

The Granger Home

Draco lay on his back on Hermione's bed with her curled up against his side. They
were both dressed in their pyjamas, him in just his sleep trousers and her in a tank
top and panties. They were talking quietly because Hermione's parents were already
in bed but they had cast a Silencing Charm on the room.

They were heading back to Hogwarts at noon tomorrow and were simply relaxing for
their last night of the holiday.

"I hardly got any studying done while I was home," she complained.

Draco rolled his eyes and he slowly brushed his hand through her hair. "You'll be
fine, I'm sure of it. I haven't even started studying for my N.E.W.T.s yet and I'm not
worried."

"God Draco," she scolded, "how can you not be worried about your N.E.W.T.s? I'm
sure that you're constantly thinking about the end of Quidditch season though."

"Yes," he admitted. He had been mentally sorting through a fair bit of Quidditch
strategy when he had a spare moment since the Easter holiday began. "It's been too
long since Slytherin won the Quidditch Cup."

"But it's more than that isn't it?" She asked as she glanced up at him. She had seen
him play and talk about Quidditch numerous times now and he always got a steely
look of determination in his eyes. It was much more for him then winning for his
house. It was personal.

"Yes, I have things to prove to the school, to my father, to myself…to everyone really.
I've been named to the national team. I'm expected to catch the snitch and win the
match."

"But you can catch the snitch and still lose," she reasoned.

He shook his head, "Not with our team."

"So you're feeling pressured to win because people see you as the best in the
school? Now you know how I feel about the N.E.W.T.s," she sighed.

"What do you mean?" Draco asked slightly confused.

"I've had the highest grades in our year since our first year at Hogwarts. I'm the
Head Girl. How would it look if I didn't receive the highest scores in the N.E.W.T.s? It
would be humiliating."

He now understood her obsessive studying. "Yeah, I do know how you feel then."

She laughed lightly and rubbed his bare chest to relieve the tension in the air. "Let's
talk about something else now; we have to worry about those things again starting
tomorrow."

"Okay." There was something that he had been meaning to ask her for a few days
now. "Are you upset about Weasley and how angry he is?"

She sat up abruptly and looked down at him in shock. "That definitely isn't what I
expected you to want to talk about."

"I just want to know if it's bothering you," he told her earnestly.

"A little bit I guess…yeah it really is," she confessed. She watched him frown and
she quickly corrected herself. "Not in a romantic way, not in the slightest, it's just that
he's my friend. He's been one of my best friends for over seven years and the things
that we've been through together have just made us closer. Ron, Harry and I have
had experiences that no one else can relate to and," she paused and when she
spoke again her voice was choked up, "it just hurts that he can barely look at me
now."

He wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her down so that she was lying
against his side again. She threw an arm across his stomach and laid her head on
his chest. He smoothed back her hair and kissed the top of her head. He knew that
she was silently sobbing and it broke his heart.

"I'm sorry that it's my fault," he finally spoke.

"Draco, don't…"

"No," he cut her off. "It is my fault and we both know it. If you had broken up with him
for anyone else he wouldn't be acting this way."

"Well that's not completely true." She was attempting to reason with him but he
wasn't open to hearing what she had to say at the moment.

"It is! And I'm so sorry for being who I was before I got to know you." His voice
lowered considerably as he said, "I wish that I had been born into your world."

She reached up and gently traced his cheekbones with her index finger before
kissing him. "Stop apologizing," she murmured. She swung her leg over his body
and moved until she was lying on top of him. "Whether you want to believe it or not,"
she began as she looked him straight in the eye, "you, exactly the way you are with
your mistakes and all, are good for me." She kissed him hungrily and probed his
mouth with her tongue as she ran a hand through his hair.

She suddenly recalled something that Draco had said to her January, just after they
had returned to Hogwarts from Christmas vacation.

"You know that you drive me crazy, and I usually don't let girls get to me but I need
you. Gods, I need you, you can't leave me."

"And I need you too."

He swiftly rolled her over so that he was lying on top of her and kissed her
passionately. "I've waited a long time for somebody to say that to me," he confessed
breathlessly.

She simply smiled sweetly at him and wrapped her hands around his neck so that
she could pull him close. She knew that there was nothing else that she needed to
say to him in order to solidify the intensity of the moment.

They continued to kiss, quite aggressively, as Draco slid his hands underneath her
tank top. He didn't waste much time before briefly pulling away from her mouth so
that he could whip her top over her head. She could sense his urgency and wasn't
surprised to feel an incredible amount of tension in his shoulders. She gently rubbed
his back with one hand and used the other to comb through his fine hair as he kissed
along her chest.

In mere moments they were both stark naked and Draco was nipping and biting at
her neck while she wrapped her arms around his upper body and gripped his
shoulders. He sunk into her with a loud groan but the only sounds that could be
heard in the room after that was their heavy breathing. His mouth covered hers to
prevent a scream from escaping upon her orgasm and he kissed her sweetly on the
forehead after he reached his own release. He kissed her twice on the lips, very
innocently, and wiped the lingering tears from her eyes before he rolled over onto his
back.

Hermione snuggled into his side and Draco pulled the blankets up to cover them
both. They had just had the most intense moment of their relationship and he wanted
to spend the night with her. He decided that he would sneak out of her room in the
morning. He closed his eyes and focused on the feeling of Hermione's fingers on his
abdomen. He was practically asleep when he heard her call his name. "Yes?" He
answered.

"I love you," she whispered.

He smiled to himself and replied sleepily, "I love you too."

-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-

King's Cross Station

"Well," Mrs. Granger began as she watched her husband unload Hermione and
Draco's trunks from their car. "We will see you both soon at graduation."

"Thank you so much for having me," Draco spoke gratefully. He shared a firm
handshake with Hermione's father before her mother pulled him into a hug.

"You are more than welcome to come back anytime," she gushed. "It was lovely to
have you."

Hermione hugged both of her parents and said goodbye while Draco got a trolley for
their trunks. By the time that he returned, the Grangers had departed. He looked in
the direction that they had left as he said, "The next time that you write your parents,
I want you to tell them again how much I enjoyed the holiday with them."

And he had genuinely enjoyed his holiday with Hermione's family. Surprisingly, he
enjoyed some of the simplicities of muggle life. He really liked some of the television
programs, the food, and he knew that he could certainly get into football. He also
liking seeing where Hermione grew up and where she came from. It provided him
with a lot of perspective and he cherished that.

"I will," she smiled. "Now come on," she said as she tugged on his hand, "or we'll
miss the train."

He followed her and they made their way onto Platform Nine and Three Quarters,
which was swarming with people who were returning to Hogwarts and their families.
He spotted his mates, Blaise and Nott, and he also saw a few members of the
Weasley family sending Ginny off. Ron was not among them and he was not
surprised.

They boarded the train and Draco watched as Hermione greeted her closest female
friend. The two girls hugged and then exchanged a laugh before both of their
expressions turned serious. He assumed that they were discussing Ron and their
confrontation. He could tell that Hermione was not satisfied with what Ginny told her
so he decided to step in to end the conversation. He approached the two girls and
wrapped an arm around his girlfriend's waist. "Hello Ginny," he smiled.

"Hi Draco," the redhead seemed slightly startled. "How was your holiday?"

"Great," he nodded. "Yours?"

"Um, it was good," she answered awkwardly. "I'm gonna go and find a seat. I'll see
you later Hermione."

Hermione watched Ginny walk away and Draco observed Hermione's reactions. He
had learned to read her facial expressions very clearly and she was confused by the
way that her friend was acting. "Why don't you go sit with them and I'll sit with the
blokes?"

"You sure?"

"Yeah, I'll be fine," he laughed. He leaned down and kissed her softly on the mouth
and they both smiled at the ease of the public display of affection. She walked in one
direction and smiled at him over her shoulder before he turned and walked in the
other.

As he walked through the train and searched for Blaise and Nott, he reflected on his
morning. When he had first awoken, he had watched Hermione sleep for a while
before sneaking out of her room and into the guest room. He found nothing more
peaceful then watching her sleep.

Unfortunately, his peaceful thoughts were interrupted by a shrill voice calling his
name. "Hey Draco!"

He rolled his eyes as he spun around. "Yes?" He asked as he came face to face with
Pansy and a small group of Slytherin girls.

"How was your holiday?" She asked with a smile that was far too excited.

"It was great," he answered honestly. "I spent it with Hermione."

He watched with satisfaction as her lip curled in distaste. "Oh?"

"I love muggle London," he added to rub it in.

He could practically hear Pansy growling and he saw over her shoulder that Daphne
Greengrass was trying to contain her laughter. "Hey Daphne?" He addressed her.
"Have you seen Blaise?"

"Actually," the girl perked up, "I was just about to go look for him."

Draco sent her a small smile before she joined him and they walked side by side to
the other end of the train.

"Thanks for giving me an excuse to leave that group," she laughed.

"No problem." After all, he knew how annoying those girls could be.

"So, it is all true about you and Hermione Granger?" She asked tentatively.

He stared at her as he considered her motives and came to the conclusion that she
didn't have any. He and Daphne had fooled around a couple of times but they had
always been on good terms. She was truly a nice, easy going girl. And in addition,
she was stunning. She was tall and slender with long, dark, silky hair and bright,
green eyes. She was a pureblood from a wealthy family and she was a fairly talented
witch. She is the most sought after girl in Slytherin House, and has been since their
third year. Even the older boys had chased her around. She had dated Nott for two
years and although he had been ready to give her the world, she hadn't been ready
to get serious, and that's when she and Draco had started their "relationship". They
were still friends and things hadn't ended badly between them, they had both been
aware that it was strictly casual. However, he had an inkling that she was now
headed towards something a little more serious with someone he knew well.
Finally, he nodded. "Yeah it is, it's all true. And you and Blaise?"

She quickly looked around to make sure that they were alone before she answered,
"We're keeping it quiet right now. We've been friends for a long time so we want to
keep it private while we're getting to know each other in a different light. How did you
know?"

"Keen observation," he grinned.

She laughed and shook her head at his response. "Well keep it to yourself. I don't
want to hurt Theo," she told him quietly.

Draco was about to respond when he was interrupted by a loud noise coming from a
nearby train cart. He and Daphne both turned their heads to find the very same
person that they had just been discussing stumbling into the hallway.

"Nott?" He asked with a laugh. "What are you doing?" His friend looked dishevelled,
to say the least. His hair was in disarray, his tie was askew, and his shirt wasn't
tucked in.

"Hey mate! Daph!" He greeted them both enthusiastically. Draco and Daphne shared
an amused expression as Nott added, "I'm gonna go and buy some sweets, I'll see
you both later."

Minutes later, they watched Luna Lovegood emerge from the same train cart. She
smiled and waved at them dreamily before she walked away as well.

Draco laughed out loud when it was just him and Daphne again. "I don't think you'll
have to worry about Theo."

She recovered from her initial shock and began to laugh as well. "Yeah, I guess not."

The two continued to laugh until they found Blaise. The three of them sat in a train
cart and neither Draco nor Daphne brought up what they had just witnessed. Draco
looked out the window and smirked to himself as he watched the Hogwarts train
station grow closer and closer. He was glad to be returning to this year's simple,
normal, teenage dramas of Hogwarts.

A/N: So a serious yet light hearted chapter. Please review! Only 2 chapters and
an epilogue left!
Chapter 29
A/N: Thanks to everyone who reviewed. I tried to reply to them all but
fanfiction is being weird about review replies lately.

Once again, this chapter is un-betaed but enjoy it anyway! :)

Disclaimer: The same as always.

Chapter 29

May - The Head Girl's Tower

Hermione dipped her quill in her ink bottle and put the finishing touches on her last
ever Charms essay. She couldn't believe that she was almost finished her Hogwarts
education. It was incredible. She rolled up her parchment and placed her quill and
ink bottle to the side of her desk. Now all of her assignments were officially
completed and she could focus solely on her N.E.W.T.s. Her studying for her final
exams was actually going quite well and it hadn't interfered with her relationship with
Draco because he had been just as busy with school and Quidditch since returning
from the Easter holiday.

Speaking of Quidditch…today was the day of the Slytherin vs. Hufflepuff match. It
was the second last match of the season and it was considered to be the most
important match of this season. Slytherin was in the lead for the Quidditch Cup and if
they defeated Hufflepuff by two hundred and fifty points, or more, then it would be
virtually impossible for them to lose the cup, regardless of the score in next
weekend's match between Ravenclaw and Gryffindor.

Draco was both excited and nervous about today's match and a glance at her
muggle wristwatch told her that she should be getting ready to head down to the
pitch. He would freak out if he flew out onto the pitch and couldn't see her in the
stands.

She grabbed her cloak and her scarf, since it was still a little bit chilly outside, and
left her room.

As soon as she stepped out of the portrait that led to the Heads' private quarters,
she ran into Luna, Neville, Seamus, Dean, and a few other Gryffindor boys.

"Hey Hermione, are you going to the match?" Neville asked.

She smiled and nodded. "Yeah, are you guys?"


Neville nodded in response and so Hermione joined their little group to walk towards
the Quidditch pitch. She couldn't help but notice that Ginny was not with them and
she frowned. Her friend had been avoiding her lately and she knew why. The rift
between her and Ron had caused some conflict for Ginny. Where Hermione was still
close with Harry but not with Ron, it had caused Ginny to feel like she was choosing
between her friend and boyfriend or her family. Hermione had apologized profusely
on the Hogwarts Express and Ginny had accepted her apologies and told her that
she shouldn't blame herself, after all Ginny supported her relationship with Draco,
but any time they were together it was noticeably awkward.

"Where's Ginny?" She finally asked Neville.

"She left for the pitch earlier with Lavender," he answered.

Hermione frowned again; Ginny couldn't tolerate Lavender at the best of times.
Neville's response didn't bode well for her friendship with Ginny.

The small group of students finally reached the pitch and took their place in the
stands. There was a sea of emerald and silver behind one set of goalposts and
yellow and black behind the other. The Gryffindors and Ravenclaws were on either
side of the pitch. The atmosphere surrounding today's Quidditch match reminded
Hermione of the matches during her first few years of Hogwarts…before the rise of
Voldemort. It was nice that some things were finally returning to normal.

Hermione stood next to Luna with a smile. Their friendship had grown even more
over the past school year. All of the things about Luna that used to bother Hermione
were inconsequential now, especially after everything that they had been through
together since the days of Dumbledore's Army. "How are you today Luna?"

"I'm wonderful, Hermione. How are you?" Luna responded in her usual far away
voice.

"I'm fine, thanks. I would be in my room studying if it wasn't for this match," she
replied honestly. "But this means a lot to Draco."

"To Theodore too," Luna nodded.

Hermione smiled to herself. She found the relationship dynamic between Luna
Lovegood and Theodore Nott Jr. totally unbelievable and rather amusing. "And how
are things between you and Theodore?" The name rolled off of her tongue
awkwardly because she was used to Draco calling him by his surname all of the
time.
"Wonderful," Luna grinned. "He's very nice and he's a very good listener."

Hermione couldn't help but giggle but luckily the Hufflepuff house team came onto
the pitch at that moment and half of the crowd erupted into cheers and applause.

"And here come the Slytherins lead by captain Draco Malfoy. This year's team is the
best that Slytherin has put on the pitch in almost a decade with Malfoy recently being
named to the English National Team!" The commentator, a fifth year Ravenclaw,
announced enthusiastically.

Draco practically strutted across the grass and stood in the middle of the pitch. He
stood straight with his shoulders pushed back, trying to use his height to intimidate.
He looked focused and determined and very sexy in his Quidditch robes. She also
had to admit that Theodore Nott looked quite dashing in his robes as well.

She looked up in time to see Draco wink at her and she smiled back at him. She
wanted him to catch the snitch and win the match so badly. He needed to, or she
knew that he would be in a terrible mood until the end of the year.

Draco shook hands with the Hufflepuff captain, Zacharias Smith, a bloke he loathed,
while he anxiously waited for Madam Hooch to start the match. She released the
Bludgers and let the Golden Snitch disappear into the air before she tossed the
Quaffle. The shrill sound of the whistle echoed through the air as the fourteen
students pushed off the ground and took flight.

Draco streaked into the air and hovered high over the pitch. He stayed where he
was, willing his body to stay calm and his eyes to stay focused, as the game started
at high speed beneath him. The commentary played in his head like faint,
background noise.

"And Slytherin has the Quaffle to start the match! Its Theodore Nott…he passes it off
to Blaise Zabini…Zabini surging towards the goal! He tosses…and beats Hufflepuff
Keeper Donald Connery! Ten-Zero for Slytherin!"

He knew that it was too early to cheer so he remained stoic. He had a difficult task
ahead of him. He needed to prevent the Hufflepuff Seeker from capturing the Snitch,
obviously, but he couldn't catch the Snitch himself until Slytherin was ahead by one
hundred points if he wanted to ensure that they were taking the Quidditch Cup this
year. He knew that his team was great but this game would certainly be a challenge.
He took a lap around the pitch at top speed and he could feel someone on his tail.
He looked over his shoulder to see that it was the Hufflepuff Seeker, Summerby,
following him. The dense bloke thought that he had already spotted the Snitch.
Draco began to take Summerby on a wild goose chase while he intently listened to
the commentary of the game.

"Hufflepuff comes back quickly! It's Smith with the Quaffle…and he's hit with a
Bludger from Derrick! Adrian Pucey picks up the dropped Quaffle and charges
towards the Hufflepuff goalposts. He shoots…scores! Twenty-Zero!"

Hermione clapped but her excited grin fell when she noticed Draco picking up speed
on his broom and intricately weaving back and forth, even threw some of the other
players, while the Hufflepuff Seeker chased him. "Does he see the Snitch?" She
asked aloud to herself.

"I'm not sure," Luna replied as she leaned closer over the rail along with Hermione.

Slytherin was now leading fifty to zero as Hermione intently watched Draco zoom
around the pitch. So far, Hufflepuff couldn't even complete with Slytherin. The
Slytherin Chasers were flying circles around the Hufflepuff team and their Beaters
were hitting everything dead on but Draco had to play keep away from Summerby
for at least fifty more Slytherin points. He was dangerously weaving through the
Hufflepuff players and she was on edge. At this rate, it looked like he was going to
get hurt.

"Hufflepuff scores their first goal of the match! Great move by Smith!"

"Damn!" Hermione swore.

Draco also cursed under his breath as Hufflepuff scored but what was even worse
was that he spotted the Snitch. Luckily, Summerby was so focused on him that he
missed a glimpse of the little, golden ball. He changed direction, away from the
Snitch's path, to entice Summerby into following him and the opposing Seeker did
not disappoint. He felt the wind pick up and he adjusted his broomstick accordingly
as he silently urged his team on to gain the lead they needed.

He was so lost in his concentration on distracting his opposition that he had missed
a majority of the commentary and he tuned back in to hear, "And Slytherin scores
again! This time it's Nott with the goal! SLYTHERIN TAKES A COMMANDING
EIGHTY TO TEN LEAD! And after a quick steal, it's Zabini with the Quaffle…"

"Come on Blaise," Draco muttered to himself.

"ZABINI SCORES!"

"Yes," Draco exclaimed as he tightly gripped his broom and set off after the glimmer
of gold in his peripheral vision. He only had to wait until they scored two more goals
before he could capture the Snitch but he was determined for it to be within his reach
quickly. He knew that Summerby was close behind him but Draco's broom was
faster and he was sleeker in the air. He had utter confidence that he could outfly and
outmanoeuvre Summerby. He raced towards the Hufflepuff goalposts as he spotted
the snitch.

Nott saw his best mate fly past him and he knew that Draco was flying with
determination. They were close to finishing off this match. "Hawkshead Attacking
Formation!" Nott called out as he took a leadership role while their captain was
preoccupied. "Let's get two quick goals!" He protected the Quaffle and Blaise and
Pucey flanked his sides. It was an easy goal once the three Hufflepuff Chasers were
forced aside because of their classic tactic.

"And Slytherin scores again!"

The Snitch abruptly darted downwards, towards the ground, and Draco followed suit.
Summerby was closer to him and was trying to lean heavily on his broomstick. "Back
off Malfoy!" Summerby yelled and he punctuated his statement with a hard bump
into Draco.

Draco refrained from the trash talk that he was famous for and lunged forward to pull
just a little bit ahead of his competition. He was nearly hit by a Bludger as the two
flyers and the Snitch came closer and closer to the ground. Draco ignored everything
as he grasped his broom firmly in his left hand and began to inch his right hand
forward towards the Snitch.

Meanwhile, in the air Theodore Nott was once again in possession of the Quaffle. He
flicked the ball to Pucey and flew towards the goalposts to wait for a long pass. It
was a play that they had practiced many times. Nott successfully caught Pucey's
pass and sent the Quaffle hurling past the Keeper and through the right hoop.

Draco heard the crowd's roars that drowned out the commentary but he was more
focused on that fact that the tips of his shoes were now grazing the ground and he
was minutes away from crashing. He painfully extended his arm and finally felt the
little, quivering ball with his fingertips. He closed his hand around it and sighed
happily. 'I did it,' he thought.

The whistle blew to signal the end of the match and Draco's feet were barely on the
ground before he was being pushed over by his overexcited teammates. "You did it!"
They hollered.

In the stands, Hermione covered her mouth with her hands to contain her
excitement. "He did it," she squealed.
-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-

Slytherin Common Room

Slytherin House was certainly in the mood to celebrate. Not one single student
currently living in the house had seen their team win the Quidditch Cup and although
it wasn't official, it was pretty certain. The music in the dungeons was blaringly loud
and Draco would bet that almost the whole house was in the common room having a
good time. People were eating, drinking, laughing, and dancing. Derrick and Goyle
were eating until their hearts' content, Bletchley had a bottle of Firewhiskey in his
hand, Blaise was snogging Daphne Greengrass in a nearby chair, Pucey was
boasting to a couple of fourth years, and Nott was in the center of all of the
celebrating, dancing and cheering with a bottle in hand while Draco stood on the
outskirts sipping a Butterbeer.

Nott emerged from the crowd and sauntered up to his best and oldest friend. He
threw his arm around Draco's shoulder and grinned. "Eat, drink, and be merry,
mate!"

Draco laughed, "I am."

"With one Butterbeer," Nott scoffed. "The old Draco Malfoy would be completely
sauced by this point. We just won the Quidditch Cup! We're gonna graduate in a
month! And we both have sexy little girlfriends! Most blokes in Hogwarts would duel
you for yours, mate," he added with a punch to the shoulder. "Let's celebrate, at least
for old time's sake," he pleaded.

The blonde gave a small nod and chuckled, "Yeah, let's celebrate."

Nott's grin widened as he announced, "Draco Malfoy, captain of this year's Quidditch
Cup team and the best Seeker that Slytherin House has ever seen!"

Draco laughed as his housemates roared and he was once again surrounded by
cheering people. Nott handed him a bottle of something a little stronger then
Butterbeer and he gladly accepted it. A gushing, third year girl asked him to tell his
side of the match and he began to explain it to a crowd that was hanging on his
every word.

-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-

The Head Boy's Dungeon


Hermione walked into Draco's bedroom to find it empty, as she had expected it to be.
She had had a brief interaction with him after he had emerged from the locker room
after the match. Their encounter had been long enough for her to congratulate him
and kiss him, and then he asked that she wait up for him in his room tonight.

She smiled as she ran her hand along his spotless dresser. She was glad that he
was celebrating with his house. He deserved it. He had worked so hard to achieve
this victory and she wanted him to celebrate with his friends and housemates. She
sat down on his bed and opened the book that she brought with her. She had
decided to read until he returned.

She raised her head from her book and looked around the room as she heard a faint
buzzing sound. It was consistent and sort of sounded like someone was flying on a
broomstick. The sound was now closer to her ear. She turned around quickly and
sure enough, the sound was coming from a Quidditch figurine that was zooming
around the room. She laughed to herself as she realized that Draco must have
brought it out today for good luck. He was very superstitious about Quidditch.

The little figure in crimson robes flew around her head before landing on the bedside
table. Hermione lowered her head to examine the figurine and realized that it was a
mini version of Viktor Krum. "Oh my God," she laughed.

Figurine Viktor promptly clicked his heels together and gentlemanly bowed to her.
"Hello Her-my-oh-nee," he pronounced her name slowly in his thick Bulgarian accent
before smiling shyly at her.

"Hi," she answered in amazement. 'He's exactly like Viktor,' she thought to herself.
Well his looks were obviously identical. The figurine was tall and thin with broad
shoulders, a curved nose, and dark hair and eyes. He even had the same surly look
as Viktor. But what astounded her was that the figurine's demeanour and actions
around her were exactly the same as Viktor's had been any time that they'd been
together. Viktor had always been quiet and chivalrous and almost insecure around
her, as if he wasn't the wizarding world's most famous professional athlete and
couldn't have any girl he wanted. The figurine's likeness to the Viktor Krum that she
knew was almost scary.

"Vere you studying?" Figurine Viktor asked. She simply nodded. "Vell, I vill not
disturb you."

She watched as the figurine laid his broom down on the wooden surface and then
sat down next to it. He gave her a tiny smile as he waited for her to resume studying.
"Oh my God," she repeated quietly to herself with a small chuckle. She felt like she
had travelled back in time to her fourth year and the Triwizard Tournament.

She wasn't sure how much time had passed since she had entered Draco's bedroom
but she had gotten through six chapters of her Transfiguration textbook and she had
said goodnight to figurine Viktor. After four chapters, she had opened up the box that
Draco kept him in and he happily flew inside after blowing her a kiss.

"Hi there," she heard a voice call from the doorway.

She closed her book and raised her head to see Draco leaning against the
doorframe with a smirk on his face. He looked so…unburdened and it made her
smile. "Well hi there yourself, Mister star Seeker. Congratulations again."

"Thanks." The smirk was still plastered on his face as he walked into the room. "How
is it that you look sexy in everything?" He asked as his eyes roved over her.

She laughed as she took in her own appearance. She was wearing blue jeans and a
blue, plaid button-down shirt and her hair was pulled back in a sloppy bun. She
looked anything but sexy. She ignored his comment when she responded. "Did you
bring me back anything from the party?" She asked jokingly.

"Actually," he smiled. "I did." He pulled a small package out of his trouser pocket and
tapped it with his wand to enlarge it. He opened the box to reveal a Butterbeer, a
pumpkin pasty, and a box of Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans. He placed the
package on his bedside table before he loosened and removed his tie and began to
unbutton his white oxford.

Hermione watched his stumbling movements and laughed. "Draco, are you drunk?"
He didn't answer her. He finished removing his shirt and then sat down on the bed.
He wasted no time in leaning forward and kissing her quite eagerly. She pulled away
from him and chuckled. "You are drunk." She was practically intoxicated just after
kissing him.

"Yeah, a little," he admitted and she laughed at him. He was more than a little drunk.
"We celebrated. Nott made me."

"Nott made you," she mocked.

He nodded with a small pout on his lips as he pushed her back onto the bed and
moved on top of her. He grabbed the book that was in her hand and tossed it across
his room. She scolded him but he didn't care. He continued to kiss her and she didn't
protest that. "So many bloody buttons," he mumbled as he struggled to remove her
shirt.
She giggled, "Let me do it."

He sat up so that she could also sit up to take off her shirt. He watched as she
agonizingly slowly slipped the buttons out of their holes. "Hermione," he growled. "I'll
rip it off you if you don't hurry up."

"I happen to like this shirt so you'll do no such thing," she retorted quickly. When she
had it unbuttoned she slipped it off and gently tossed it onto his desk chair.

"You always were feisty," he smirked. "I always loved fighting with you."

He pulled her onto his lap and attacked her neck. Since he was already shirtless,
Hermione ran her hands over his strong, bare back muscles. He played with the
edges of the tank top that she had worn under her shirt before slipping his fingers
underneath and racing them up towards her breasts. This was the first time that she
had ever seen Draco drunk and he definitely had a one track mind, although sex was
usually on his mind. She smiled to herself as a thought struck her of how to play with
him a little.

"Draco, I found something interesting in your room tonight."

"Yeah?" He inquired disinterestedly as he kissed along her collarbone.

"Your Viktor Krum figurine…"

He stopped everything that he was doing to her body and looked up at her with
embarrassment written on his face. "Oh that…I, um, bought it at the World Cup and
just had it out today for some good luck, didn't think it could hurt."

"Don't be embarrassed," she cooed. "I'm glad that I got to see him. He's just like the
real Viktor. Can I keep him?" She asked as she seductively bit down on her bottom
lip. As she expected, Draco did not look too happy. His eyes were almost black and
he had that identifiable sneer marring his beautiful face. His jealous streak was in full
force. He placed his hands on the bottom of her thighs and in one swift motion, lifted
her off of his lap and back onto the bed so that she was lying on her back. She
laughed playfully at his reaction as he quickly slid down her body so that he was eye
level with the waistband of her jeans. "I'm just teasing," she admitted with heavy
breaths as she watched him pop the button and pull down the zipper.

"Viktor Krum," Draco grumbled. He pulled off his girlfriend's jeans and kissed his way
back up her body. "I'm going to make you forget all about Viktor Krum," he grinned
devilishly.
And forget about Viktor Krum she did, and every other guy for that matter.

-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-

The Head Girl's Tower

Draco awoke in a panicked cold sweat. He opened his eyes and was startled to see
that Hermione's cat was sitting at the end of the bed, between his legs, staring at
him. "God dammit Crookshanks," he mumbled sleepily as he ran a hand over his
face.

It had been two weeks since Slytherin's victory over Hufflepuff and one week since
Slytherin had officially been awarded the Quidditch Cup. Draco had been on cloud
nine ever since and even studying nonstop for his upcoming N.E.W.T.s hadn't
spoiled his mood. His almost constant state of happiness recently is why the last
thing that he had expected to wake him up this morning was a nightmare. It was a
vivid nightmare that had included the two people that he had feared the most during
the war, the Dark Lord and his Aunt Bellatrix. He hadn't had a nightmare in months
and he was completely unprepared for it.

He rolled over onto his side and wrapped his arm around his sleeping girlfriend's
waist. He didn't want to wake her up but he needed to fully convince himself that it
was indeed just a bad dream. The war was over, he was here at Hogwarts and so
close to graduating, he had just won the Quidditch Cup, and this incredible girl that
he was holding had, for some unknown reason, chosen to love him. He had done so
many terrible things in his young life that he didn't deserve forgiveness from anyone,
least of all Hermione. She was beautiful, brilliant, unfailingly kind and soft-hearted,
brave, loyal to anyone whom she called a friend, and had done nothing but what she
thought was the right thing her whole life. She loved the two different worlds that she
had grown up in, the muggle one and the wizarding one. It enabled her to live
comfortably in either world and she was able to relate to a wide variety of people that
she met. She was proud to be a muggle-born and he loved her for it. Not to mention
her fondness for house elves, centaurs and other half-breed creatures that had
always been treated unfairly by wizards. He had convinced himself earlier in the year
that Weasley didn't deserve Hermione and he did, while in reality, he was the last
bloke in the world who deserved to be with Hermione Granger.

"Draco, what's wrong?" She asked drowsily. She could feel his heart hammering
against her back and his hold on her was tighter than usual.

"I had a nightmare," he answered quietly as he ran his hand back and forth over the
curve of her hip. Her skin was so soft and delicate and he needed to feel something.
"You know that it's just a dream, go back to sleep." Her wand had not alarmed yet
and therefore it was earlier than seven thirty AM and she needed her sleep to study.

"I know, but it's not the dreams that bother me as much as the memories," he
confessed.

Well that statement woke her up.

He traced his index finger down her left forearm where he remembered every detail
of the horrible moments when his Aunt carved one of the dirtiest words in the
wizarding vocabulary into her skin. Whoever had healed her had done a fantastic job
because there wasn't a trace of a scar. "I did horrible things and I stood back and
watched even more horrible things. Towards the very end of the war it hit me that the
Dark Lord could never win because he only wanted power and dominance while you,
Potter, and the Order were actually fighting for something worth fighting for. I fought
out of self-preservation."

She grabbed his hand and entwined their fingers. "You're right, we did have
something worth fighting for but I fought out of self-preservation too so don't feel
selfish. I'd be dead or worse if Voldemort was in power right now. I'm Harry Potter's
Mudblood best friend; an example would have been made out of me."

He was impressed that she was able to say the Dark Lord's name out loud without
an ounce of respect or fear but it didn't stop the shiver from racing up his spine. The
other word in her response that bothered him was Mudblood. "You did fight to
survive but you were fighting for hundreds of other muggle-borns too," he argued.
"I'm sorry for believing in those views once and for ever calling you a…" He stopped
and swallowed harshly, he couldn't even say the word anymore. "…That word."

Her heart had forgiven Draco for everything that he was once again apologizing for a
long time ago. "Draco, I know that it's easier said than done but you need to forget a
lot of things from your past and move forward."

"Do you know why I want to be a Healer?" He asked quietly.

She shook her head before turning over so that they were facing each other. "No,
you've never told me," she replied as she pushed his hair out of his face.

"I want to do something good to make up for everything I've done, sort of like a
penance."

She looked at him in shock and awe but the look on his face was so sincere that she
knew he was being completely honest with her. But she had never expected that to
be his reason for wanting to become a Healer. She thought that it was because it
was a respected occupation that allowed him to move out from under his father's
thumb and it played to his strengths, particularly because he was an unbelievable
Potioneer. His true reasoning however was very noble yet it was like he was
chaining himself to his past and the only way that he could get free was by putting
himself through a series of tests.

"Draco," she began softly. She could hear the sob in her voice but she was
determined not to cry. "I love that you want to be a Healer but you don't need to be a
Healer for that reason. You're a good man now and that's what you should focus on.
I wouldn't be in love with you if you weren't good," she smiled.

He kissed her neck and smiled against her skin. "You always know just what to say."

"Well," she chuckled to lighten the mood, "I am the brightest witch of the age."

He laughed along with her. "Yeah, you are." He kissed her softly on the lips. "You're
also the most beautiful." He kissed her again. "And the kindest."

She chuckled again and spoke against his mouth. "Knock it off."

"What?" He asked laughing. "I'm trying to sweet talk my way into your knickers, what
do you expect?"

She playfully swatted his arm. "Well its working so make it quick because I have to
study for our N.E.W.T.s."

He chuckled heartily as he pulled her leg over his hip and brought her body closer to
his own. "You did not just tell me to make it quick."

"Mm hmm," she hummed. She grabbed the back of his neck and pulled him in to
kiss her.

Draco grinned to himself as he eagerly kissed her back. So maybe he didn't deserve
her but he certainly wasn't going to give her up…ever. He was still a Malfoy after all.

A/N: Just a few notes:

I would of had this chapter up earlier but the Quidditch scene was surprisingly
challenging so I hope that it was okay.

I thought that the movie addition of Bellatrix carving 'Mudblood' into


Hermione's arm was intense and emotional so I decided to use it.
I fell in love with Viktor Krum when I first read GoF and I still have a soft spot
for him so I enjoyed writing that little interaction. Lol.

Please review because there is only 1 chapter and an epilogue left. PLEASE! :)
Chapter 30
A/N: Thanks to everyone who reviewed the last chapter. Enjoy the update and
remember that it is un-betaed. :)

Disclaimer: Sadly, I do not own the world of Harry Potter. :(

Chapter 30

June - The Great Hall

Draco sat at the Slytherin House table eating his breakfast contentedly. There was a
wide, irreversible smile on his face and it had less to do with the fact that they were
done classes and starting their N.E.W.T.s today and more to do with the fact that
today was the fifth of June. Today was his birthday. Hermione had awoken him this
morning with soft kisses on his chest and had given him a book about Quidditch
strategy as his present. Then he had quickly followed the seductive sway of her hips
into his bathroom. He had decided that shower sex with Hermione was his new
favourite activity.

The morning was still going well as he was eating breakfast with his two best friends.
Blaise was sitting on his right and Nott was sitting across from him and they were
chatting about their upcoming Charms N.E.W.T., the written theory portion would
start in less than two hours and the practical portion was two o'clock this afternoon.

Draco wasn't overly worried about his first exam, partially because of his
overwhelmingly good mood but it could also have to do with the fact that his lessons
with his Aunt Bellatrix during the war had greatly improved a lot of his work with
charms. He was confident in the subject. However, in the back of his mind was the
fact that he needed at least an Exceeds Expectations in Potions, Transfiguration,
Herbology, Charms, and Defence Against the Dark Arts in order to be accepted into
Healing school. In his O.W.L.s in those subjects he had gotten Outstanding in
Potions, Transfiguration, Charms, and Defence Against the Dark Arts and an
Exceeds Expectations in Herbology. He was comforted by his past marks.

Blaise didn't seem nervous for Charms either but Nott was a little less self-assured.
Charms wasn't one of his strongest subjects. His hand that was holding his spoon
was shaking as he tried to eat his cereal while flicking through his Charms textbook.
He was muttering spells to himself before he lifted his head to look at Draco. "I'm
fucked," he sighed. "The best that I'm going to do is Acceptable and my own father
won't even hire me."
"You need to relax," Blaise said. "You won't even be able to hold a quill at the rate
you're going." He pointed to his friend's hand and Nott slowly lowered the spoon to
the table. "That's better," Blaise laughed.

Before Nott could whine any more about his future job opportunities, the post
arrived. The Malfoy family owl perched down in front of Draco and he promptly
grabbed his letter. He gave the owl a bit of toast and petted it affectionately before
sending it off.

He read the letter to himself with a smile.

Dear Draco,

Happy birthday! I cannot believe that my baby boy is nineteen years old. Your father
and I have decided to let you pick out whatever you want for your birthday when you
come home from Hogwarts because we couldn't think of anything to get you. Your
father would like to remind you that your trust fund vault at Gringotts and your share
holdings of the company are available to you as of today, as he promised.

Good luck with all of your exams, sweetie! I know that you'll do exceptionally well.

We will see you at graduation in a couple of weeks.

Give Hermione my love.

Love,

Your mother

He tucked the parchment into his robes and resumed his breakfast. He really had no
idea what he wanted for his birthday either. He had a nice owl, a great broom, tons
of books, too much clothes, money; he had gotten a new Wizard's Chess set for
Christmas…he couldn't think of any material possession that he wanted.

"Hey, check this out," Blaise announced as he laid his copy of The Daily Prophet on
the table and showed it to Draco.

The headline of the newspaper read Famous Trio Will Be Reunited for Hogwarts
Graduation and Order of Merlin Ceremony and it showed a picture of Hermione,
Potter, and Weasley at last year's memorial service for those who had died during
the Battle of Hogwarts. He couldn't help but notice that Hermione was holding hands
with both Potter and Weasley in the photo.
The subject of the article was news to Blaise but not to Draco. A week ago, the
Ministry had informed McGonagall and the intended recipients that they wanted to
give out special awards for outstanding acts performed during the Secord Wizarding
War at the Hogwarts graduation ceremony, and with Hermione being one of those
intended recipients, she knew and had told him all about it.

"Harry Potter, Ronald Weasley, and Hermione Granger's heroic acts to take down He
Who Must Not Be Named in the Second Wizarding War will be remembered and
honoured at the upcoming Hogwarts' graduation where they will receive the Order of
Merlin, First Class. Granger," Blaise read aloud from the paper, "the only one of the
three to return to school to earn her N.E.W.T.s, does not celebrate her nineteenth
birthday until September and is therefore the youngest ever recipient of the Order of
Merlin of any class. Wow," he whistled.

Draco smiled, he was proud of the woman that he loved but he knew that she was
nervous and embarrassed about the attention surrounding the award. The very last
thing that she had thought about during the war was awards and honours. She was
also nervous about the fact that Weasley would now be at their graduation. It was an
unforeseen obstacle but he knew that they could handle it. He just hoped that it
didn't affect her exam performance. The highest wizarding honour had been sprung
on her at a bad time as she was studying for ten exams. She was the only student in
their year who was striving to achieve ten N.E.W.T.s. Most students were only taking
five or six N.E.W.T. level courses. Draco, himself, was taking seven and that was
considered impressive. But Hermione was brilliant, a borderline genius, and he
would be very surprised if she didn't get an Outstanding in every subject.

He looked across the Great Hall at the girl who had captured his heart and she was
sitting at the Gryffindor table looking calm and collected as she ate her breakfast.
She wasn't cramming last minute like a lot of the other seventh years. She had some
of her golden brown hair pinned back and the rest was falling around her shoulders
and she was wearing her school uniform. He shifted in his seat, that Gryffindor
uniform now did crazy things to his body because of how many times he had taken it
off of her.

He was pulled out of a rapidly forming fantasy by Blaise's voice. He was still reading
the front page article. "Hey, Draco, you're mentioned," the dark haired boy grinned.
"While Potter maintains his relationship with Ginevra Weasley, the youngest child of
Arthur and Molly Weasley, Granger is now romantically linked to Draco Malfoy, a
new member of England's Quidditch World Cup team."

"Well," Draco chuckled, "they could have described me as a lot worse than that."
Nott laughed mockingly, "You're a little footnote in an article about your girlfriend. We
know who the boss in your relationship is."

Draco sneered and pushed his friend's head back down towards his Charms book.
"Shouldn't you be studying?"

"Hermione does have that bossy little voice," added Blaise with a chuckle.

Nott's head popped up again and he smiled mischievously. "Does she use it in the
sack?" He asked curiously.

Draco got to his feet and looked down at Nott. "I hope you get a Troll in Charms."
And Nott would have thought that he was being completely serious if he didn't let a
small smirk play on his lips before he walked away from the table.

-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-

The Great Hall

Draco dropped his quill and leaned back in his chair with a sigh of relief. He took a
brief glance around the large room, where all of the students were divided into four
columns, one for each house, and saw that almost everybody was still writing,
including Hermione. He rolled up his parchment and placed it and the quill neatly on
his desk. As there was no practical portion of History of Magic, he was now finished
his last exam, and it was the last day of exams for everyone. He couldn't wait to get
outside in the sunlight.

Overall, he felt that all of his exams had gone well. Potions was a breeze, Herbology
was a little more difficult for him as he had expected, and Ancient Runes had been
tricky but he didn't care about his grade in that subject as much as the others. After
every exam, he and Hermione had discussed the questions that had been asked
and it usually made him feel better about most of his answers.

A loud chime erupted in the Great Hall and that was the signal for everyone to put
their quills down on their desks and get ready to have their parchment collected.
When Professor Binns told them that they could leave, some students actually leapt
out of their desks and rushed for the doors because they weren't just finished
exams, they were finished Hogwarts. Unlike a lot of the others, the thought of leaving
Hogwarts made Draco a little sad.

He met Hermione by the large, oak doors where she was standing with Parvati Patil
and he smiled warmly at her. "Hey," he greeted her before adding, "Hi Parvati."
The girl smiled back at him and returned his greeting before she followed her twin
sister out of the Great Hall.

"How did you find it?" Hermione asked quickly once they were alone.

"It was good," he told her honestly. "How did you find it?"

"It was fine. I just can't believe we're done."

"I know me either," he said as they walked into the Entrance Hall. He grabbed her
hand as he saw that she was headed for the staircase. "Where are you going?" He
asked playfully.

"To my room?" She asked with a puzzled expression.

"Come outside with me." He grinned and pulled her closer towards him. "Its
gorgeous outside, let's go and sit by the lake," he practically whispered.

Their little moment was interrupted by Professor McGonagall coming down the
stairs. "There's my Head Boy and Girl!" She called out in a somewhat cheery voice.
"How were your exams?"

"Fine," Draco and Hermione both answered at the same time.

"Are you both ready for graduation?" The Headmistress asked. Neither student
answered her question before she asked another one. "Can I speak to you privately
for a moment, Miss Granger?"

"Sure, Professor," Hermione responded politely.

Draco stayed rooted to his spot while McGonagall pulled Hermione aside. He
pushed his hands into his trouser pockets and looked absentmindedly around the
large foyer. He didn't want the two women to feel like he was eavesdropping
because he wasn't. She returned quickly and slipped her hand into his. "Let's go
outside," she smiled.

She led him onto the grounds where the sun was shining brightly. Almost the whole
school was outside relaxing and running about celebrating the end of exams. They
were greeted happily by everyone that they passed until they finally reached a patch
of grass by the edge of the lake and sat down.

His curiosity couldn't be contained any longer. "So what did McGonagall want?"

She tucked a strand of hair behind her ear and answered him awkwardly. "At every
Hogwarts graduation, either the Head Girl or Head Boy delivers a valedictory
speech. She asked me to do it. She feels that it's appropriate…" She trailed off.

Draco nodded. He knew why she was feeling uncomfortable telling him this but it
truly didn't bother him at all. "Well of course you should do it. I look forward to
hearing it," he grinned as he leaned in to kiss her on the cheek. "You'll be brilliant."

She thanked him and blushed. She pulled a notebook and a muggle pen out of her
bag and began to work on her speech while Draco dove into the book that Hermione
had given him for his birthday.

They sat on the grass, side by side, doing their separate activities and enjoying each
other's company. Draco's hand was lovingly covering the hand that Hermione had
placed on the ground. As he played with her fingers, she looked sideways at him
with a smile but he was focused on his reading. She smiled to herself, they didn't
need to be occupying each other all the time to be happy.

-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-

The Head Girl's Tower

Hermione stood in front of her mirror and simply stared. She couldn't fix her
appearance anymore but she wasn't ready to go downstairs yet. She was wearing
the dress that Draco had given her for Christmas and it was beautiful. It was a lovely,
sky blue in color and the design was simple, it was strapless, form fitted, and flowed
around her ankles. She was wearing black shoes with a small heel and her
Gryffindor cloak was around her shoulders. All graduating students were allowed to
wear dresses and dress robes but they must be wearing their house cloak. Her Head
Girl badge was pinned to her cloak and her hair was pulled back with only a few
tendrils strategically framing her face. She had put on an appropriate amount of
makeup but she didn't overdue it. She brought a hand up to cover the dragon
necklace that was lying against her chest. She sighed as the dragon flapped its
wings in recognition.

"Hermione, are you ready?" Draco called from outside her door.

"Umm, yeah," she answered tentatively.

She heard her door open but she didn't turn around. She then heard him gasp and
chuckle. "You look so beautiful," he told her.

She finally spun around and her breath hitched. "So do you." He was wearing
traditional wizard dress robes of black trousers, a white, perfectly pressed shirt, and
a black bowtie, and his Head Boy badge was gleaming on his Slytherin cloak. She
could tell that he had combed his hair numerous times because not a strand was out
of place. He strode towards her and leaned down for a kiss. She placed a hand on
his chest to stop him. "Lip gloss," she laughed.

"I don't care," he muttered before he captured her lips. "You look too good not to
kiss." He grabbed her hand that had tried to push him away and entwined their
fingers. "Are you ready to go downstairs?" A look at his watch told him that they were
due to be outside the entrance of the Great Hall in ten minutes.

She took a deep breath and shook her head. "No, I'm not but I guess I have to be."

"There's nothing to be nervous about," he said supportively.

"I don't really have a lot of experience with public speaking," she admitted.

"I'm confident that you'll be brilliant," he smiled sweetly. "Now come on, the faster we
get downstairs the faster we'll be back up here and I can get you out of that dress."

Hermione blushed but happily followed him down the stairs, out of the portrait, and
down to the Entrance Hall.

They gathered outside the entrance to the Great Hall with the rest of the seventh
years and waited for Professor McGonagall to usher them inside. They arranged
themselves into pairs and formed a line with Hermione and Draco in the front as
Head Boy and Girl. They linked arms and walked inside to applause when the doors
were pulled open.

Hermione looked around and recognized so many faces. The whole school was here
of course, but there were dozens of special guests and family members. Kingsley
Shacklebolt and other Ministry officials were sitting at the head table with the
Hogwarts staff. Harry and the whole Weasley family, including Fleur and Angelina
Johnson, were sitting at the Gryffindor table with her parents and Neville's
grandmother. She also noticed Andromeda Tonks sitting at the Slytherin table next to
Draco's parents. She was happy to see that the two previously estranged sisters
were now sitting side by side and clapping enthusiastically.

She took her seat at the head of the Gryffindor table with her fellow seventh year
housemates who included Neville, Seamus, Dean, Parvati, and Lavender. She
watched as Draco made his way to the head of the Slytherin table before she looked
down her own table at Harry and Ron. Harry was smiling at her pleasantly but Ron
was looking down into his lap and avoiding her gaze. She frowned, no matter how
many times she told herself that she didn't care what Ron thought of her, she knew
that deep down she actually did.

She didn't pay any attention to the welcome or introductions or anything else that
anyone said. She was absorbed in her own thoughts and she only snapped out of it
when she heard Professor McGonagall call her name along with her title of Head
Girl. She shakily got up out of her seat and made her way to the podium that she
had always associated with Professor Dumbledore.

"Good evening fellow graduates, students, staff, family members, and honoured
guests," she began calmly. There was no need to bring parchment with her, she had
this speech memorized. But as she looked at all of the faces staring up at her she
thought over everything that she had written about the merits of education and the
moulding of minds and parting ways after Hogwarts and all the other…bullshit…and
realized that it didn't fit with what she was feeling at all. She was going to, as they
say, wing it.

"I know that I speak for a lot of people here this evening when I say that over the
course of our education, Hogwarts has been more than a school. Hogwarts has
given us a home and a family and people that we'll love for the rest of our lives.

"When I received my Hogwarts letter eight years ago, I had no idea what Hogwarts
was or what I was getting myself into, and for those of you who know me, you know
that my first instinct was to hit the books." She smiled to herself when most of the
crowd let out a laugh or a chuckle. "Even after reading Hogwarts, A History several
times, I was still incredibly nervous and unprepared but I knew from the very first
moment that I stepped onto these grounds that I belonged here. Hogwarts has given
me a wonderful education but more importantly it's given me a place where I will
always feel comfortable. It has given me confidence and courage. It has given me
friends that anyone would be lucky to have, and it's certainly given me an adventure
or two. There's a muggle saying that goes, 'If these walls could talk I wonder what
they'd say'. Well, these walls can't talk but the portraits hanging on them can and I'm
sure that they'd be more than willing to talk about some of the trouble that Harry,
Ron, and I got into during our days here." Once again, everyone laughed and she
even noticed Ron crack a smile. "After everything that has happened I know that this
castle still holds a lot of great memories for all of us, and I'm sad that it's finally time
to leave but if there's one thing that I can say with absolute certainty it's that
Hogwarts will always be here for anyone that needs it."

She stepped down from the podium and when she raised her head she saw that
everyone was on their feet, clapping for her. She glanced up at the staff table and
they were on their feet as well. Hagrid was openly crying and using a large
handkerchief to dab his eyes while other staff members, like Professor McGonagall,
were a little more subdued. The Headmistress and former head of Gryffindor House
was beaming at her with glistening eyes.

Hermione made her way back to her seat and remained composed, that is until a
Ministry official began to hand out the awards that made this Hogwarts graduation
different from every other. First, Ginny, Luna, and Neville each received an honour
medal for their valiant participation in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, the
Battle of the Astronomy Tower, and the Battle of Hogwarts. Neville's grandmother
was practically bursting with pride and it made Hermione smile. Kingsley
Shacklebolt, Aberforth Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall, Hagrid, the entire
Weasley family, and other Order members that Hermione had less affiliation with
were awarded the Special Services to the Wizarding Community Award. Hermione
was fine until that award began to be presented to deceased members of the Order.
Kingsley accepted it for Moody. Andromeda Tonks accepted the award on behalf of
her daughter and son-in-law. George tearfully accepted the award for his brother.
Professor McGonagall proudly accepted it for her predecessor, Dumbledore, a man
that she had known practically her entire life. The moment that finally caused
Hermione to break down into tears was when Harry stepped forward and accepted
two awards, one on behalf of Sirius, his dead godfather, and the other on behalf of
Severus Snape. They were told that Snape's award would stay in the castle, pinned
to his portrait in the Headmaster's office.

Finally, the time came for Hermione, Ron, and Harry to accept the Order of Merlin,
First Class. The trio walked to the podium and shook hands with Kingsley. They
stood and posed for a photographer and Hermione knew that their picture would be
on the front page of The Daily Prophet tomorrow and she looked like an emotional
wreck but she honestly didn't care. Those who died in the war deserved to have
tears shed for them.

The rest of the graduation ceremony flew by. They received their diplomas, ate their
meal, and before she knew it the Great Hall had been transformed. The house tables
were removed and in its place circular tables were around the edges of the dance
floor. The Great Hall looked almost exactly as it had during the Yule Ball and people
were dancing and celebrating the end of the year.

Draco spotted Hermione standing alone, her parents had just left her to talk to Arthur
Weasley, and he quickly swooped in. He wrapped an arm around her waist and
pulled her into his side. He knew that she was feeling a little emotional since the
award ceremony and he just wanted to comfort her. "Are you okay?" He asked her
softly.

She raised her head and smiled weakly. "Yeah, I'm fine."
He looked down into her warm brown eyes and it was if every moment of their
relationship flashed before his eyes. Her smile. Her laugh. Her Patronus. He thought
about her kiss, how she smelled, and how she looked when she was deep in
concentration. He heard the speech that she had given tonight play in his head and
he gently fingered the Order of Merlin, First Class medal pinned to her cloak. She
was simply incredible and if there was one thing that he had learned from the war it
was to never take anything for granted. When he leaned down to whisper in her ear,
he blurted out the first thing that came to his mind. "Marry me." And it was a
statement, not a question.

"What?" She inquired because she couldn't have heard him correctly.

"Marry me. We can have the longest engagement in history if you want but just say
that you'll marry me," he pleaded.

She didn't get a chance to respond because Harry Potter stepped in front of the
couple. "Hermione, can I have a dance?" He asked with a grin.

She accepted his hand and she shot Draco a regretful look as Harry led her across
the dance floor.

Draco ran a hand through his hair in frustration. Potter had the worst timing in the
world and maybe he did too. He felt a hand on his shoulder and then he heard his
mother's voice. "Is something wrong, sweetheart?" She asked in concern.

He shook his head and stayed quiet.

Hermione kept a close eye on Draco as Harry spun her around the dance floor. He
was standing with Narcissa and he looked quite upset. Harry interrupted her inner
musings with a question. "What's on your mind?"

"Everything," she laughed lightly.

"Well that's nothing new," he teased. "Is it something to do with Malfoy?"

She hesitated a moment before she answered. If she couldn't talk to Harry then who
could she talk to? He was her best friend, the brother that she never had, and they
had always supported each other. They were two only children who were raised in
one world when they were destined to be great in another. "Yes," she finally sighed.

"What did he do?" He asked quickly and his voice had taken on a hard edge.

"Nothing, it's what I did."


He spiritedly twirled her around with a goofy grin on his face. He was trying to cheer
her up and she smiled back at him. He was in a fairly good mood this evening
considering the atmosphere surrounding the ceremony but she knew that Harry had
already made his peace with the war and all of its great losses. "I'm proud of you,
you know, for coming back here."

"Thanks Harry," she replied. She could feel her eyes welling up with tears again.

"And you'll always be my best friend…no matter what," he added with a meaningful
look at Malfoy. "And make sure that he knows that if he hurts you, I'm first in line to
curse him."

She stopped dancing and hugged him tightly. "Thank you so much Harry." She knew
that she didn't have to say anything else because Harry understood the magnitude
of her statement.

The two friends pulled apart to find Ron standing in front of them looking down at his
feet with his hands in the pockets of his robes. "May I cut in?" He asked awkwardly.

Hermione gave a subtle nod to Harry and he walked away to join Ginny. Ron placed
one hand on her waist and used his other hand to take hers. "Congratulations, you
were great tonight and you look beautiful."

"Thanks Ron," she blushed. "How are you?" She knew that tonight had to be hard on
him with Fred's death being brought up so publicly.

"I'm okay," he sighed. "I miss him and I miss you," he said softly. She opened her
mouth to reply but he stopped her. "You know I always thought that after I smartened
up and stopped doing the wrong thing and saying the wrong thing that we'd live
happily ever after. Pretty mental of me, huh?" He laughed humourlessly.

"Ron, I thought the same thing," she confessed. "But things changed."

"Yeah, things changed," he repeated.

"There are a few things that you should know," she began. "I want to keep you in my
life. We've been friends since we were eleven years old and I don't want to just let
that go because our romantic relationship didn't work out."

"Me either," Ron agreed in a whisper.

"The other thing is that Draco asked me to marry him and I'm going to say yes," she
told him with conviction.
On the other side of the room, Draco winced as he watched Weasley dance with
Hermione. It gave him an uneasy feeling in the pit of his stomach. He turned around
to face his mother and she asked him if anything was wrong again. He nodded
slowly but didn't give a verbal response.

Narcissa moved to stand in front of her son and looked over his shoulder to see
Hermione dancing with Ron Weasley. She gently placed her hand on Draco's face
and said comfortingly, "She loves you."

"I know," he nodded. "I just think I made a mistake."

"What happened?"

"I asked her to marry me," he admitted with a grimace.

"Oh," Narcissa gasped before a wide smile stretched across her face. "That's not a
mistake," she reassured him.

Draco had a rebuttal for his mother's words but he closed his mouth when his father
approached them. He had been talking business with Theodore Nott Sr. and a few
other fathers since the graduation ceremony had ended. He offered his hand to his
son and gave him a firm handshake. "Congratulations Draco."

"Thank you, father." Lucius pulled an envelope out of his robes and handed it to the
younger man. "What's this?" He asked in confusion.

"It's your graduation gift from me and your mother," Lucius explained.

Draco opened the envelope and pulled out a travel package and itinerary for a trip
across Great Britain and the rest of Europe. The envelope also held two muggle
airplane tickets to Brazil. "We know that you want to explore Europe so we thought
that after that somewhere to relax would be nice," Narcissa piped in.

"This package is designed for two and there are two tickets," he pointed out.

"Well, we figured you would like to take Miss Granger," Lucius replied.

Draco smiled. He couldn't believe that his father had actually thought of that. He was
pleasantly surprised and impressed. "Thanks so much." He shook hands with his
father again and hugged his mother.

Narcissa grinned, took the large envelope off of Draco's hands, and shot her son a
meaningful look before she led Lucius across the room. Draco didn't know the
reason for their abrupt departure until he felt a small hand slip into his own. He
turned around to face a smiling Hermione. "Hi," he smiled half-heartedly. "How are
Potter and Weasley?"

"Harry is great and supportive and fiercely protective," she laughed lightly. "Ron is
doing better and we decided to work on keeping our friendship intact."

"That's great," he said unconvincingly.

Hermione looked at Draco strangely and squeezed his hand. He wasn't acting like
himself. "Can we go somewhere private?" She asked softly.

"Yeah sure," he nodded.

They walked out of the Great Hall, hand in hand, and onto the grounds. It was a
beautiful night. The sky was clear, the stars were bright, and the wind was a nice
cool breeze. There weren't that many students mulling around but Hermione and
Draco walked until they were hidden by the trees surrounding the lake. It was their
spot. Almost immediately, Hermione wrapped her arms around Draco's neck and
pulled him down for a passionate kiss. She pressed her body against his and started
to run a hand up and down his chest, through his shirt.

The kiss ended only when Draco broke away from her. "What was that for?" He
asked breathlessly.

"You just look so gorgeous tonight," she laughed. She wrapped her arms around his
waist and kissed along his jaw. "Yes," she whispered.

"What?"

"Yes," she repeated. "I'd be honoured to marry you."

"So you're not going back to Weasley?" He asked fearfully.

She looked up at him in shock. "No! Where did you get that idea?"

He was embarrassed that he had jumped to that conclusion but his insecurities had
gotten the better of him. "I dunno, I saw the two of you dancing and I got a really bad
feeling. You look so comfortable with him."

"I am, because he's one of my best friends. But I told him that all we'll ever be is
friends and that you asked me to marry you and that I'm going to say yes," she
smiled.
"You really told him that?" She nodded and he let out a sigh of relief. He placed a
hand on the side of her face and tilted her head upwards. "God, you're beautiful," he
exhaled. He leaned down and planted a soft kiss on her lips. "So, you really wanna
marry me," he teased.

"Yeah," she laughed, "I think I do."

"Well, um, okay." He cleared his throat and pulled a simple, black, ring box out of his
robes. He had been carrying the ring around with him for a few days now. He had
been feeling quite romantic and sentimental recently, ever since they had finished
their N.E.W.T.s. "I guess I should do this properly." He slowly got down on one knee
and opened the ring box. He carefully held the ring between his thumb and forefinger
and presented it to her. "Will you, Hermione Granger, marry me?"

"I already said yes," she giggled.

He grinned as he slipped the ring on her finger before getting back on his feet. "Do
you like it?" He questioned nervously as he watched her inspect the ring.

"It's absolutely beautiful." And she was being completely honest. The ring was a
silver band with a single, large diamond in the middle of two emerald stones, and as
it's a Black family heirloom she knew that it meant a lot to him. "I love it," she
gushed. "And you." A sad evening had quickly turned into one of the happiest nights
of her life.

He kissed her slowly and gently nipped at her bottom lip. He wrapped both of his
hands around her slim waist and began to slide them down to her bottom. "I love you
too," he whispered. He knew that he didn't tell her that enough but he wasn't exactly
brought up to express his feelings often.

Hermione pushed him backwards as their kisses grew more heated and she felt him
hard and eager against her stomach. "We should go back inside."

"Yes, we should," he said in agreement. He brushed a hand through his hair and
straightened his robes.

"There are a few more people we should talk to," she reasoned. "And my parents
would like to meet your parents."

"Oh God," Draco groaned. "That's a terrible idea!"

"They'll have to meet eventually, Draco," she argued.


"I know but my father is so…and your parents are muggles…and my mother…all
she'll talk about now is the wedding and grandchildren, she'll be insufferable…"

Hermione shut up his babbling with a kiss. She smiled at him and entwined their
fingers. "Everything will be fine."

He took deep breaths as they walked back towards the castle. "Everything will be
fine," he repeated. And he believed her.

A/N: I hope that this ending is well received and I tried to tie up every loose
end. 500 people have this story on alert and I would love it if each and every
one of you took the time to review the official last chapter. Please! :)

The Epilogue is up next!


Epilogue
A/N: Enjoy the new, and last, update! :)

Disclaimer: Same as always.

Epilogue

Nineteen Years Later…

Malfoy Enterprises

Hermione dropped her quill and lifted her head when she heard a knock on her office
door. "Come in," she called out.

Her personal secretary, Melinda, popped her head into the room. "Harry Potter is
here to see you, Mrs. Malfoy."

"Oh send him in," she replied excitedly.

Harry walked into her office wearing dark jeans, a blue button-down shirt, and a
black suit jacket. His hair was combed and his glasses were a lot more stylish then
the ones that he had worn during his school days. Harry had aged quite well, he was
as handsome as ever and his green eyes were still as bright. He grinned as he took
a seat in the chair across from her desk. "You've been married for seventeen years
and I still can't get used to hearing you called Mrs. Malfoy."

She laughed, "Yeah, sometimes I can't either."

She usually met up with Harry and Ron once a week for lunch but sometimes Harry
dropped by for a casual visit on his way home from the Ministry of Magic. Harry and
Ron were still living their dream of being Aurors and now Harry had held the position
as Head of the Auror Office for almost ten years.

Hermione had taken a position at the Ministry in the Department for the Regulation
and Control of Magical Creatures straight out of Hogwarts. She worked in that
department for a few years where she continued fighting for the rights of house elves
and other magical creatures before transferring to her dream department: the
Department of Magical Law Enforcement. As a witch working in the Improper Use of
Magic Office and then as the Head of the Magical Law Enforcement Patrol she had
accomplished her goal of achieving equalization for muggle-borns. People told her
all the time that she, Harry, and Ron had revolutionized the Ministry of Magic but
they couldn't take all the credit. There were still a lot of great witches and wizards
that worked in the Ministry, like Kingsley Shacklebolt and Arthur Weasley.

She had devoted twelve years of her life to the Ministry of Magic and trying to make
the world a better place before she received a surprising job offer. Lucius Malfoy had
been rearranging positions at Malfoy Enterprises because of retirements and
promotions and he had offered her a high ranking position as the Head of Legal Aid
and External Affairs. Draco had come to work for his father four years earlier and at
first she had looked at it as Lucius' final, devious effort to separate her and Draco by
forcing them to work together. However, she soon discovered that Draco and
Narcissa had been the ones to suggest her for the job because of her credentials
and reputation in the wizarding world. She accepted it when she realized that she
would have more control of her working hours and more time at home then she
would if she stayed at the Ministry. She actually enjoyed the work and found that she
was still doing some good in the world. Malfoy Enterprises was now the number one
supplier to hospitals and apothecaries in Europe.

She was just about to ask Harry how his day at work had been when there was
another knock on her door. "Come in!"

Teddy Lupin opened the door with a wide smile on his face. The baby boy that had
had the most eclectic and loving family was now a strapping, handsome young man
of almost twenty years of age. Draco had hired him when he finished Hogwarts and
he worked downstairs in the Potions Lab, and he seemed to enjoy working for the
company. He sometimes complained about Draco's hovering since his cousin, who
behaved more like an uncle, had taken on the task of being his personal supervisor
but they got along marvellously and talked about potion making almost nonstop.

He walked up to Hermione's desk and handed her a stack of parchment. "We got a
shipment of supplies in from Ireland that you need to sign for," he smiled.

"Still coming over for dinner tonight, Teddy?" Harry asked as Hermione signed all the
necessary documents.

He nodded and responded pleasantly, "Yup." He lived in a London flat but between
the time that he spent at his grandmother's, Harry and Ginny's, and Hermione and
Draco's, he barely needed a place of his own.

"Bringing Victoire along?" Harry questioned impishly.

"Probably," the young man mumbled as he blushed scarlet. Teddy had started a
relationship with Bill and Fleur's eldest in his final year of Hogwarts. They were two
years apart but they owled each other almost constantly while Victoire finished her
years at Hogwarts. This coming school year would be her seventh and final year and
Teddy was very excited about it.

"Here you go." Hermione gave Teddy back the parchment that was now freshly
signed. She smiled as she remembered something. "And you don't have to come in
to work tomorrow until after lunch."

"Right," he nodded with a grin before leaving her office.

Tomorrow was September first and more than half of the company's employees
would be accompanying their children to King's Cross to see them off to Hogwarts.

"September first already," she sighed.

"I know," Harry agreed. "I can't believe we're old enough to have children who are in
Hogwarts."

Hermione laughed but she couldn't believe it either. Her and Draco's oldest,
Scorpius, was going into his sixth year, Carina was heading into her fourth, and
Aurora was just getting ready to start. Leo was their youngest and he was only five
so he had plenty of time left home. She wondered if her parents had felt these
similar feelings of both pride and dread as the first of September approached.

"We should probably get going and help pack trunks and all those things," Hermione
stated as she stood and began to pack away some of the things on her desk.
"Aurora is quite nervous for tomorrow."

"So is Albus," Harry chuckled. "But they'll be fine, they have each other."

Blaise and Daphne's youngest, Daniel, and Ron's daughter Rose were also starting
their first year at Hogwarts tomorrow.

Hermione slung her bag over her shoulder and walked Harry out of her office, he
Flooed home right away while she walked further down the hallway. She stopped in
front of a closed door and knocked gently. She turned the doorknob after hearing her
invitation inside and pushed the door open. She stepped into the room and quickly
shut the door behind her. She smiled at the sight of her husband working at his desk.
If Harry had aged well then Draco had aged incredibly. His hair was still that
unmistakable pale blonde color and he was still lean and fit. Two Quidditch World
Cups had given him a newfound appreciation for fitness and a healthy lifestyle.

She was so proud of him, and not just for following his Quidditch dreams. He
finished his two years of medical school before they got married and then took a job
at St. Mungo's. He had worked at St. Mungo's on the third floor, potions and plant
poisonings, for six years and absolutely loved his career before he felt that he was
finally ready to work with his father. He had also recognized the benefits of a job at
Malfoy Enterprises. He was initially given a position as Potions Lab supervisor and
he is now Head of Sales and Personnel, and second in command. But he still spent
plenty of time in the Potions Lab.

He is also a fantastic father.

"Are you ready to go home?" She asked smiling.

He smirked and beckoned her forward. She walked around his desk and stood in
front of him with an eyebrow raised in challenge. He pulled her down into his lap and
kissed her eagerly. They tried to keep their desire for each other in check while at
the office but sometimes it was a near impossible task. Draco gripped her hips as
she ground herself down onto his erection. Hermione was still as beautiful as she
had been when they were teenagers. She still wore her curly hair long and pinned
back from her face. Her breasts and hips had filled out a bit more thanks to four
pregnancies and she liked it. She had always felt that her curves had been a little
lacking and boyish and while Draco had enjoyed her body before they had kids, he
certainly hadn't complained once since. It seemed as if their sex drives hadn't
slowed down at all either.

Hermione pulled away from his lips and hummed in pleasure. She straightened his
tie and laughed as he tried to reengage her by gently massaging her ass. "We
should be getting home," she told him sternly.

"The kids are fine," he argued. "Mum's with them."

She kissed him chastely to appease him before saying, "But we have a lot of
packing to do for tomorrow."

"Just one more kiss," he bargained with a pout.

"Fine," she laughed.

She obliged and the kiss quickly turned hot and heavy. She wrapped her arms
around his neck and brought their bodies as close as the desk chair would allow.
Draco slipped his hands under her skirt and was one moment away from ripping her
clothes off when a knock sounded loudly on the door.

Hermione hopped off of Draco, wobbled on her heels, and almost tripped up in her
feet. She furiously straightened her clothes and tried to tame her hair while Draco did
the same thing. He pulled his chair into his desk and cleared his throat before he told
whoever was at the door to come inside.

To their surprise, Scorpius entered and grimaced when he took in the appearance of
his parents. "God," he groaned. "At work? Really?" At Hogwarts he shared a dorm
with four other teenage boys and the amount of hormones in that room was belittled
in comparison to when his parents were in the same room.

Draco simply grinned at his heir while Hermione ignored his comments. "What are
you doing here, sweetheart?"

"Granddad offered to show me around the office," he explained.

"And what do you think?" Draco asked excitedly. He was happy that Scorpius had
shown an interest in the family business all on his own. He had never once
pressured his oldest son about his future career.

"I like it," he answered as he sat down in a plush leather chair in the corner of the
room. "I really like the Potions Lab."

Hermione smiled to herself because Scorpius had inherited Draco's love for Potions.
Actually, Scorpius was so much like his father that it was frightening. He was
practically physically identical to Draco. Scorpius was tall and lean with pale blonde
hair, grey blue eyes, and a slightly pointed nose. He even dressed like Draco, like he
was going to close a business deal all of the time. Today he was wearing black
trousers, a white oxford, and a black sweater vest. He had been sorted into Slytherin
House, much to Draco's pride and amusement, and he was a Prefect. He had
received ten O.W.L.s last year, just like his mother, and excelled at Quidditch. He
was the Slytherin House Seeker and Draco and Hermione couldn't be more proud of
him. He had a healthy dose of self-confidence, again from his father, but he was a
sweet, tolerant, well behaved, and well liked boy. Carina once told her mother that
because of Scorpius' striking and well put together appearance, intelligence,
athleticism, and popularity he had the girls of Hogwarts falling all over him but as far
as she knew he didn't have a girlfriend. Hermione sometimes wondered if he was
hiding a relationship much like her and Draco had done.

Scorpius and Draco were deep in discussion about the business when Hermione
interrupted them. "We were just about to head home," she announced with a
significant look at her husband.

Draco grinned as he gathered the things on his desk that he needed to review and
shoved them into his leather, over the shoulder bag. He knew that the look on
Hermione's face meant that they would resume what had been disrupted later.
Scorpius got up out of the chair and walked out of Draco's office with his parents
following close behind him. "I'm starved," he groaned as they proceeded to the
closest Floo network access point.

"Me too," Draco agreed.

"Well, what do you want for dinner?" Hermione asked.

"Stew and biscuits…and lemon meringue pie!" Her son answered enthusiastically.
She looked at him in disbelief but he simply smiled and said, "We're leaving for
Hogwarts tomorrow Mum."

And that tugged at her heart enough for her to give into him.

-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-

Malfoy Manor

Anyone that had seen Malfoy Manor during the Second Wizarding War would not
recognize it if they stepped inside the home now. When Lucius and Narcissa had
decided to move into a smaller home in a quiet neighbourhood and allow Draco and
Hermione to raise their family in the Manor, they had seriously redecorated. With
Narcissa's help, Hermione had brought a lot of light and colour to the large house
and Draco considered it to be a much warmer environment than the one that he had
grown up in. Toys and their children's possessions littered the house and Hermione
had brought so much muggle technology into the Manor that she was sure that
purebloods everywhere were rolling over in their graves. Draco had even bought her
a piano upon learning of her childhood talent. The portraits of generations of Malfoys
still hung in the hallways and foyer but there was a very large collection of family
photographs. Hermione and Draco had documented almost every important moment
of their life together and it had started with a photograph of them at their Hogwarts
graduation, after Draco had proposed.

Pinken still lived happily in the Manor. Hermione had quickly realized that the house
elf did not want to be set free because this was her home and she had taken care of
Draco since he was a baby. She still did small chores around the house and tended
on the children but Hermione had made sure that her children were kind and fair to
the small creature. She also helped Hermione prepare meals.

"Can Pinken set the table now Mistress?" The house elf asked excitedly.

"Yes, Pinken," she smiled.


Hermione magically amplified her voice and called out that dinner was ready. She
heard a commotion on the staircase and Scorpius was the first one to appear in the
dining room. He smiled at his mother and eagerly took his seat at the table.

Their two daughters took their seats next.

Carina took after her father's side of the family as well. She looked like the
photographs that they had seen of Narcissa when she was younger. She had blue
eyes and blonde hair but she had her mother's natural curly locks. She was only
fourteen but she was already garnering a lot of male attention, which Draco was not
too happy about. Her grades were just as good as her older brother's and she was a
good flyer. She wanted to try out for the Quidditch team as a Chaser this year. She
was very ambitious, clever, and goal oriented. Hermione figured that it was those
personality traits that had also gotten her sorted into Slytherin House.

Aurora was the most like her of all of their children, both in looks and personality.
She had long, brown, curly hair and brown eyes. She absolutely adored Pinken and
she spent most of her time curled up with Crookshanks with her nose buried in a
book. She was very logical and reasonable for her age and she possessed a soft,
caring heart. Harry often told her that he saw so much of her in Aurora that it was
unbelievable and he had no doubt that she and Albus would be the best of friends at
Hogwarts.

Narcissa walked into the dining room holding Leo in her arms. The youngest Malfoy
had just woken up from his afternoon nap and he seemed overly energetic. He
wriggled out of his Grandmother's arms and raced towards his mother.

"Would you like to stay for dinner Narcissa?" Hermione asked with a laugh as she
caught Leo.

"No thank you, dear," she smiled. "I should be getting back home to Lucius."

Narcissa babysat for them regularly and doted on her grandchildren so Hermione
wasn't surprised when she kissed Scorpius, Carina, and Aurora. She wished them a
good term and promised that she would write to them often before she Flooed home.

Leo wrapped his arms around his mother's neck and started babbling excitedly
about his day. "I flew around outside and Grandma watched me! And then Aurora
read me a story!"

"That's great sweetheart," she chuckled. He had always been a very pleasant child.
"Now sit down and eat some dinner."
"Okay," he nodded multiple times. His mother placed him in his seat and he
obediently sat there and waited for his father to arrive so that they could start dinner.

After Scorpius had had his third helping of his favourite homemade pie and
Hermione had cleared the table, she walked upstairs and passed by the rooms of
each of her children. Draco's childhood bedroom, which now belonged to Scorpius,
was the first bedroom that she reached and she saw that everything was in order.
His trunk was packed, the cage that held his owl was resting on top of it, and his
wand was lying on his bedside table. He was ready to go. Carina's room was in a
similar state. She was packed as well and even had her school robes lain out on her
bed. She and her older brother were currently relaxing downstairs watching cartoons
on the television with Leo.

However, Aurora was in her room and she was slowly packing her trunk.
Crookshanks was sitting on the bed watching her complete her task. It turned out
that because Crookshanks was half-Kneazle he was going to live a very long and
fulfilled life. He was practically as loyal to Aurora as he was to Hermione.

"Do you want some help?" Hermione asked her daughter softly from the doorway.
Aurora nodded and Hermione walked inside the room. She picked a pile of books up
off of the bed and placed them neatly in her trunk. "You don't need to be nervous,"
she started comfortingly. "You'll have lots of fun, you'll make new friends, and you
have friends going with you. That will help; I didn't know anyone when I left for
Hogwarts."

Aurora looked at her mother nervously and bit down on her bottom lip. "Will Dad be
upset if I'm not in Slytherin?"

Hermione's eyes widened in shock but she should have realized that Aurora would
be worried about the Sorting, all first years were. She was about to answer but she
was beaten to it by a voice from behind her.

"Of course not," Draco answered passionately. He swiftly crossed the room, sat
down on the bed, and pulled Aurora into his arms. "You're Daddy's little girl." He
gently tickled her side and she giggled uncontrollably. "If you're sorted into Slytherin
like your brother and sister then that's great but I'll be happy with whatever house
you're sorted into. As long as it's not Gryffindor like your Mum," he added teasingly.

Hermione slapped Draco's arm as she watched Aurora's face fall. "He's just kidding,"
she clarified.

"But Carina said that all Malfoys are in Slytherin," Aurora argued.
Draco pondered that statement for a moment before he replied. "Well, traditionally
they are but sometimes change is good so if you're in Gryffindor or Ravenclaw or
Hufflepuff, we'll be proud."

Hermione rubbed Draco's back supportively. He had successfully put their daughter
at ease and he knew that his outlook on change was for her as well; after all, their
children are the first half-bloods in the Malfoy line.

"Thanks Dad," she beamed before placing a kiss on his cheek.

He smiled back before he lifted her off of his lap. "Okay, let's finish packing this
trunk!"

-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-

King's Cross Station

Scorpius and Carina lead the way across the crowded train station and towards
Platform Nine and Three Quarters. They each pushed their own trolleys while Draco
pushed Aurora's and Hermione held on to Leo's hand. The three owls in cages
hooted indignantly but garnered minimal attention.

Leo was fairly upset to see his brother and sisters go off to school for the year. "How
come I can't go Mummy?" He asked sadly.

"Because you're too young, honey," she answered. "You'll be going soon enough."
As she spoke she thought of how quickly her other three children had grown up.

Leo stopped walking, pulled his hand away from hers, and counted the number of
years until he was eleven on his fingers. "Six years Mummy!" He exclaimed as he
held up six fingers for her to see.

She laughed and picked him up as she watched the rest of her family go through the
barrier to get onto the platform. "Come on sweetie."

Hermione went through the barrier with Leo in her arms and saw that Draco and
Blaise were loading the trunks onto the Hogwarts Express. Blaise and Draco were
as close as ever, in fact, Blaise was Draco's right hand man at Malfoy Enterprises.

Her children stood by Daphne and her two boys, both of who were going to
Hogwarts too. Harry and Ginny weren't too far away and they made their way over
with James, Albus and Lily in tow.
"Are you excited?" Hermione asked Albus.

He nodded timidly and then smiled widely at Aurora.

Another trolley pulled up next to them and Hermione smiled at Ron, his daughter
Rose, who was a first year as well, his son Hugo, and his wife Katie. "Let me help
you with that," Draco offered referring to Rose's trunk. Ron accepted the offer and
took one handle of the trunk and Draco took the other.

Hermione smiled at their interaction. Ron and Draco were practically civil to each
other now. It was no secret that it had taken Ron a while to get over Hermione. But
after a few years, an unfortunate incident where Draco and Ron had duelled, and
their wedding, it had finally sunken in for him that she actually loved Draco. He had
started to casually date Katie Bell when she took a job at the Ministry and to a lot of
people's surprise, the relationship had turned serious. Hermione was truly happy that
Ron was happy with a wife and two lovely children.

Draco, Blaise, Ron and Harry had just finished putting all of the trunks onto the train
when Theodore Nott barrelled onto the platform pushing a trolley. Theodore Nott III
was behind him with his own trolley and he was followed by Luna and their twelve
year old daughter, Grace.

"Bloody muggle car," Nott grumbled. "I couldn't find anywhere to park it."

Draco laughed heartily and then helped his oldest friend get his kids' trunks onto the
train. He did keep a close eye on Nott's son as he sidled up to Carina and engaged
her in conversation. They were in the same year and they were both in Slytherin so
they knew each other quite well. But Theodore Nott III was too much like his father in
Draco's eyes. He was a little rebellious, he loved to have a good time, and he
fancied blonde girls. The young Nott liked his little girl; Draco could tell by the way
that he looked at her.

"Okay, you guys should be getting on the train," Harry announced looking at his
watch to see that it was almost eleven o'clock.

All of the children hugged and kissed their parents with promises to write and that
they'll see each other at Christmas. Scorpius led the older children onto the train
while the younger ones were a little more reluctant to leave the comfort of their
parents.

Hermione and Draco leaned down to speak quietly to Aurora. "If you have any
trouble finding anything or have any questions then ask your brother and sister or a
Professor. If you forgot anything then just write us and we'll send it you." Hermione
told her but she was certain that none of her children had forgotten anything. She
had made a list of things that they needed and had gone over their trunks with a fine
tooth comb to make sure they had everything. She and Draco had even given each
of them a tin of homemade sweets and a bag of money.

"And," Draco grinned as he playfully patted Aurora's nose, "don't worry about the
Sorting. The Sorting Hat will know what to do. Now go on," he laughed. "Have fun!"

Aurora hopped onto the train with Albus, Daniel, Rose, and Grace and poked her
head out the window to wave to her parents. Many other children were doing the
same thing as their parents stood close to the train calling out reminders.

"Don't forget that Hagrid will want to see you all for tea," Ginny said. "And give
Neville our love!"

Some of the children hanging out of the train windows and many of the adults on the
platform turned their heads at the sound of Ginny's voice and stared at the line-up of
adults. It wasn't every day that they saw heroes of the Second Wizarding War, a two-
time Quidditch World Cup Seeker, and some of the wizarding world's most
successful businessmen. After all, Harry Potter was still the Boy Who Lived, and
Hermione and Draco were still a highly publicized couple. As a matter of fact, when
Scorpius was born they were followed for months by people hoping to snap a photo
of the Malfoy heir.

"Why are they all staring?" Albus demanded.

"Don't let it worry you," Ron quipped. "It's me. I'm extremely famous."

The children laughed and Hermione hid her chuckles behind her hand. The train
began to slowly pull away and she resisted the urge to run alongside it as she waved
to Aurora. Her little girl looked excited now that she was actually on the train and it
was bittersweet for her. The train rounded the corner and disappeared out of sight.

Draco wrapped an arm around her waist and kissed her hair. "She'll be fine," he
murmured.

"I know she will," Hermione smiled. She turned to look at her husband who held their
son in his arms. Leo was still waving at the train that was no longer in sight. "Let's go
home."

-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-()-

Malfoy Manor
Hermione awoke the next morning to her wand alarming. She quickly stopped the
offensive noise and pulled herself out of bed. She walked to the bathroom and took a
shower without awaking Draco. She spell dried her hair and put on a black pencil
skirt and a pale, pink blouse for work.

She made her way down to the kitchen and turned on the coffee pot. She smiled as
she thought of the first time that she had introduced coffee to Draco. The expression
on his face had been one of disgust and disbelief but it had grown on him. He even
had it made in the office now.

Draco came downstairs a half an hour later and found his beautiful wife leaning
against the kitchen counter drinking her morning coffee. "Good morning, love."

"Good morning." She poured him a cup of coffee and offered it to him with a smile.
No matter how many times she saw him in perfectly fitted trousers and a nicely
pressed shirt the effect was always the same. He looked delicious and she
instinctively licked her lips.

Draco noticed the minuscule action and stepped closer to her. He leaned down and
kissed her soundly on the mouth. "You look pretty delicious yourself," he said with a
sly smirk.

She rolled her eyes and wrapped an arm around his shoulders. She hadn't gotten
used to him plucking random thoughts out of her head either. It still caused her to
have feelings of wonderment and affection, and it still made her feel special. "You
know you're less attractive when you open your mouth," she tormented.

He laughed, "I don't think you were of that opinion last night." They had indeed
picked up where they had left off in Draco's office.

She felt her face flush and she gently smacked his chest. He started to place kisses
down her neck and she softly moaned his name. He quickly picked her up and
placed her on top of the counter. He stood in between her legs and kissed her
passionately while kneading a breast through her shirt. She pulled away from his
mouth and placed her hand over his to still his arousing movements. "Do you hear
that?" She panted.

He immediately shook his head. "No." He tried to claim her mouth again but she
moved away from him. "Granger," he growled. He only ever called her by her maiden
name when he was frustrated.

She hushed him by covering his mouth with her hand. "Listen."
Draco did as he was told and listened carefully. He heard the faint buzzing sound
that he was all too familiar with and then they both heard happy, excited giggling. He
chuckled at his son's persistence. They had told him countless times that he should
only ride his toy broomstick outside while supervised but the past couple of mornings
he had been flying it around the house. "I think that we have another Quidditch
player on our hands," he grinned.

"Great," Hermione sighed. She had never liked the many dangers of that sport.

"I'll go get him."

Draco left the kitchen and ran up the large, stone staircase. "Leo!" He called out. He
heard a string of giggles in response and when he reached his youngest son's room,
he was just planting his feet back on the ground. "What did we tell you about flying
your broom in the house?" He tried to speak sternly but he couldn't keep the smile
off of his face. His son was just too cute, he had his blonde hair and Hermione's
warm, brown eyes, and he was showing an interest in his favourite sport.

"I'm sorry Daddy," Leo replied bashfully.

Draco lifted his son into his arms and placed his broomstick on top of his toy box.
"Just try not to do it anymore and don't tell your Mum I was so easy on you," he
whispered.

Leo giggled again before gasping loudly as a thought struck him. "Look what I found
in Scorpius' room!"

He held out his hand and Draco watched in amazement as a Chocolate Frog Card
flew into his waiting hand. Draco felt like it was an impressive display of magic for a
five year old. "What were you doing in your brother's room?"

"He said I could have his cards!" Leo explained. He handed the card to his father
and happily exclaimed, "Look, its Mummy!"

Draco chuckled; he was indeed looking at a moving picture of his wife on a


Chocolate Frog Card and the banner beneath her photo read Hermione Jean
(Granger) Malfoy. He flipped the card over and read the description that he already
had memorized.

Widely considered to be the brightest witch of the age, Granger is a heroine of the
Second Wizarding War and is a recipient of the Order of Merlin, First Class. Granger
is the most famous Muggle-born witch of all time and is known for aiding Harry
Potter in the defeat of Lord Voldemort, for eradicating pro-pureblood laws through
her former position at the Ministry of Magic, and campaigning for the rights of
magical creatures. She is currently a Senior Executive at Malfoy Enterprises and
lives in Wiltshire with her husband and four children.

"Scorpius told me that you have to be really special to be on a card!"

"Your mother is a pretty special lady," Draco smiled. "Let's go down and see her."

Draco started to walk down to the kitchen, carrying Leo in his arms, and the young
boy was full of questions. Leo could read fairly well for his age but Draco knew that a
lot of the things on that card didn't make sense to him. "What did Mummy do? What
was the war about? What's pureblood mean?"

"Slow down, buddy," he laughed lightly. "We'll explain it all when you're a little older
but for now just remember that your Mum is an amazing witch and she's important to
a lot of people, not just us."

"Okay Daddy," Leo answered contentedly.

When the two Malfoy men reached the kitchen, they faced the woman that they had
just been discussing with a smile. Draco noticed that the family owl was perched on
the window sill and Hermione was reading a piece of parchment.

"Is that from Aurora?" He asked with interest.

Hermione merely nodded and continued reading.

Draco placed Leo in a seat at the kitchen table and he began to eat the cereal that
Hermione had set out for him. She finished reading and walked towards him with a
satisfied smirk on her face. She handed him the letter and stated triumphantly, "We
have a Gryffindor in the family."

Draco sighed, "Well I had four children with Gryffindor's Princess, I considered the
unfortunate possibility of this happening."

She laughed because she knew that he was only teasing. She kissed him softly and
spoke quietly against his mouth. "Looks like your genes aren't as dominant as we
thought," she retorted.

"Yeah, whatever," he grumbled before kissing her back. "We still have Leo and you'll
be a Slytherin, won't you bud?" He asked as he smoothed back his son's hair.

"I like the lion," he answered happily.


Hermione shot Draco a grin before sitting down at the kitchen table next to Leo and
allowing him to read the letter that Aurora had sent them.

Dear Mum and Dad,

I'm in Gryffindor! Albus and Rose were sorted into Gryffindor too, and James is
there. I'm really excited! The Sorting Hat recognized that I'm a Malfoy right away and
that I would do well in Slytherin but then it said that I had my mother's mind and
spirit.

Draco smiled; she definitely did have her mother's mind and spirit.

I think that Scorpius and Carina are a little disappointed that I'm not in Slytherin with
them but I know that I'll still see them all the time.

Hogwarts is as amazing as you guys said it is! Hagrid brought us to the castle in
boats and it was incredible. I love the bewitched ceiling of the Great Hall and I can't
wait to start classes! I'm really looking forward to Potions, Dad.

I'll write again soon. Give Leo a kiss for me!

Love,

Aurora

"She sounds settled," he commented.

"Yeah, she does," Hermione responded with a sad smile.

Draco leaned over the chair Hermione was sitting on and kissed her lovingly on the
top of the head. "I'll Floo Leo to Mum's," he told her. "Are you done, big guy?"

He nodded and politely thanked them for his breakfast. He kissed Hermione on the
cheek and scurried upstairs to get ready for his day with his Grandmother.

Draco grabbed Hermione's hands and pulled her out of her chair. As he kissed her,
he absentmindedly ran his fingers over the rings on her fingers. On her left hand she
wore her half of their matching wedding bands and the engagement ring he had
given her nineteen years ago. On her right hand she wore the Malfoy family ring. He
still wore his and now three of his children wore one too. "I'll see you at work," he
murmured. "Love you."

"I love you too," she smiled.


Draco took Leo to the home of his parents and briefly chatted with his mother before
he kissed his son goodbye and Flooed directly to the office. He sat down in the chair
behind his desk and took a moment to relax. He looked down at the nineteen year
old watch on his wrist and smiled. His very first Christmas present from Hermione
told him that his family was safe and exactly where they should be. Hermione was at
work. Scorpius, Carina, and Aurora were at Hogwarts, and Leo was at his
grandparents' house.

He thought about Scorpius starting his sixth year at Hogwarts and remembered that
during his sixth year the life that he was currently leading was the farthest thing from
his mind. He was sort of thankful that the events of his teenage years had unfolded
the way that they did or otherwise he may have never realized the life that he wanted
for himself. He knew that he had worked hard to achieve his goals and regain
respect in the wizarding world but he owed it all to the woman that had changed his
life, bore his children, and occupied the office just down the hall.

His Dark Mark was now just a faded scar and he hadn't had a nightmare in nineteen
years. He couldn't be happier with how his life had turned out.

The End

A/N: I wanted to parallel the end of the actual series a little bit so I hope that
you all enjoyed that. I also continued the pattern of naming in the Black family
and I hope that you liked that little touch. Lol.

The songs that inspired this fic were If It Kills Me by Jason Mraz (Mostly
Draco's feelings at the beginning of the story) and Already Gone by Kelly
Clarkson (Ron and Hermione's relationship).

I would like to thank everyone who read, reviewed, alerted, and favourited this
story. Also, to anyone who helped with ideas and betaing. This is my most
prized work of fanfiction and I am overwhelmed by the response that it has
gotten.

I have decided that there will not be a sequel. However, I am more than willing
to write outtakes of Hermione and Draco's life together after Hogwarts. So if
you have an idea for an outtake, please tell me and place me on author alert as
I will post the outtakes as a separate story.

For the last time, please review! :)

- Hidge