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14th February

Hermione sighed from her spot at what she'd dutifully dubbed "The Singles Table." She watched from afar as small cherub shaped forms fluttered around the large Ministry ballroom while smoothing her hands in circles over the rather loud pink and white tablecloth before her.

A ball. Always a ball. Why was there always a ball?

Perhaps, Hermione thought tartly, if there were less funds being allocated into these miserable Ministry social functions and more being pushed towards new employee wages for the number of individuals needed to properly dissect the laws currently barring entire communities of magical creatures from being bestowed their proper rights and, therefore, appropriately funding the manpower required to establish a truly equal society for wizard, witch, Muggle, and magical creature alike, the Ministry might be a touch more respected.

But no.

Instead of hiring more workers for her department there were half naked gnomes with bum fattening charms, curlicue hairdos, and wings fashioned from goose feathers pinned to rose colored tunics flying about her head while her coworkers got pissed off of the company coin.

Brilliant, she thought. Bloody fucking brilliant.

Hermione raised the glass of expensive Ministry alcohol – when in Rome – to her lips and downed what remained. She relished the burn of it as it trickled down the back of her throat all while wondering idly if she were to get rigorously sloshed before the speech they always found some reason for her to give, if they would think twice before making her attendance for the next one mandatory.

Gods she hoped so.

Her hands whipped out the next time a waiter wandered too close to her table and she snagged a glass in each hand for which to begin her experiment.

"Is this seat taken?"

Somewhere in the middle of downing her second and third glass of spite, Hermione was interrupted by a familiar smooth and polite voice.

"Mngh-!" She tried to speak mid swallow and dribbled the golden liquid down her lips and chin.

The man let out a soft chuckle and produced a pristinely folded handkerchief from his pocket, shook it out, and offered it to her without hesitation.

Hermione took the proffered cloth from Percy Weasley and blotted her face, neck, and the neckline of her dress demurely. She made sure to swallow this time before speaking.

"Percy, thank you." She nodded her head to the seat across from her at the small table. "Please, have a seat."

Percy unfastened the single closed button of his blazer and slid into the chair with the fluid, practiced ease of a true socialite. Hermione felt a brief spike of jealousy at just how smooth the movement was compared to the stiff way she always seemed to trundle around whenever she wore one of these slim fitted corseted gowns that were so fashionable at the Ministry events; she took another swig.

"What brings you to my corner of fun?" Hermione asked with a smirk that was a touch too slanted to one side and a head that wobbled as though it weighed a little more than her neck could carry.

Percy quirked one manicured ginger eyebrow, smothering his grin to the point where just the edges of his lips twitched up.

"Is that what we're calling it now?"

"S'what I'm calling it." She sipped.

His previous grin faltered at the sound of her slur and both brows went up this time.

"Miss Granger, I believe you are drunk! "

She snorted and held up a finger.

"First, I believe we've known each other far too long for you to insist on still calling me that. It's Hermione." She held up a second finger and continued, "And two, I am hardly drunk. Not yet anyway, although hopefully soon."

Raising her mostly empty glass to him in a toast, Hermione made to down the rest of it only to have the flute plucked from her fingers and set on the farthest point of the table, clear from her reach.

She let out an indignant huff, "Percy!"

"To answer your earlier query, I came over when I spotted you here alone with hopes that you would be willing, and sober enough, to discuss work in an attempt to liven up what is otherwise another dreary mandatory party."

Hermione blinked owlishly at him.

For the average witch or wizard, the prospect of discussing work at a social event would have been an offensive sort of lunacy and the person suggesting it would receive an unpleasant beating; fortunate for the both of them that neither were what anyone would consider ‘average’.

Hermione grinned and her eyes brightened for the first time all evening.

"You’re a man after my own heart!"

Percy coughed into his hand, the lighting in the ballroom too dim to properly highlight the coloring to his cheeks. He cleared his throat and nudged his glasses up his nose before taking up Hermione's previously confiscated drink and having a sip, his tongue coming out to lick off what he could only imagine was the residue of the shiny gloss she sported on her lips—she tasted like his favorite flavor of sugar quill.

The simple thought brought his smile back in an instant and he rumbled warmly, "That a yes, then?"

Her attention had been distracted, the tiny motion of Percy Weasley's tongue sliding over his lip to taste her caused a pleasant trickle of warmth to work its way through her extremities. He caught her staring and she only noticed this much by the shape his mouth made when it said her name.

Hermione blinked back up to his face, eyes wide.

"Sorry?" she asked.

He chuckled.

"You are sober enough to talk about work, aren't you?"

Hermione's eyes flicked from his eyes to his mouth and back again and she shook the fuzziness out of her head.

"Yes, actually. Unfortunately?"

"Or fortunately," Percy said with a shrug and what passed for a thinly veiled look of hopefulness. "I was very much wanting to ask you about your newly proposed task to dissolve the Regulation of Magical Creatures laws 214 through 228 and their related amendments. I'd heard about it through the grapevine and was wondering what the specs of pushing something of that magnitude through looks like." He leaned forward in interest, an intense, conspiratorial look coming into his eyes. "I've a similar issue, you see, in needing to move to abolish some equally archaic Transport laws still currently in effect. You're the first of anyone that has ever attempted to take on such a project and I’d very much like to hear your insight!"

With the topic change and subject matter, Hermione felt the rest of her light buzz receding as all sorts of facts and figures came to the forefront of her mind before he'd even stopped speaking. Her brows went up, recalling the leg work it’d taken to work up to declaring the task in the first place. When Percy leaned in, she moved in as well.

"Expensive," she said the first word that came to mind, then gestured around them. "At least that's what they tell me immediately before informing me I’m to attend such ludicrous and extravagant social debacles." Hermione scratched a nail over a snagged bundle of threads in the tablecloth in front of her while sporting a small grimace. "If you're looking to stir the pot, Percy, I can recount my experiences and the work hours I've put in just to have the proposal snubbed for another 'revision' time and time again, but my professional advice would be to just not. The Ministry is not…shall we say…very forthcoming with change to those so obviously archaic rules that you and I apparently take issue with."

Percy loosed a scoff that was aimed not at all at her and every bit at the Ministry finance and marketing departments.

"They need to reevaluate their priorities, then!" Hermione smiled at that and it bolstered him to continue even if he'd shocked himself with his own outburst. "The work you do, Hermione, it's truly invaluable whether or not they choose to recognize that appropriately. I, for one, would love to hear and see all the efforts you've put in towards your cause." At the way that smile of hers widened, Percy felt the flush return to his cheeks and cleared his throat again. "Perhaps we can…combine efforts and…suss out some sort of plan that would…"

"Would you like to come in my office?"

Percy's head snapped up from where it had drooped so he could get a better view of his twiddling thumbs and it was Hermione's turn to go red in the face.

"To!” she practically shouted. “Would you like to come to my office? I've got—ah, I’ve...I’ve got—”

“The proposal files?” The words were out of Percy’s mouth before his brain caught up with what he’d just said.

Was it warm? It seemed warm.

Yes. The files—for the proposal. I’ve got them there. In my office. Those files. Do you want to see?” she asked.

His tongue came out in a quick flick across his bottom lip at her question and Hermione was entranced with the bobbing of his Adam's apple. She was admiring how it shifted the perfectly symmetrical knot of his silk tie when he swallowed and spoke in that soft, smooth tone that carried just between the two of them.

“Th-the files?” Percy asked, voice strained.

My files,” she breathed.

"Yes," he rumbled eagerly. "I would very much like for you to show me your files."

Percy was on his feet and helping her to stand in another half a breath.

. . . . .

" Thank you everyone for joining us this evening! I hope you've all enjoyed yourselves thus far at our yearly Ministry Valentine's ball! There's a great deal of partying left to be had but, before everyone is too far gone, I'd like to welcome everyone's favorite speaker and esteemed war heroine, Hermione Granger to the stage to speak on our plans for this year!"

A smattering of applause mixed with a few inebriated murmurs of neutral enthusiasm carried throughout the room for an awkwardly long time. The emcee continued clapping his hands, eyes searching the crowd for a bushy head of hair making its way to the stage but noted a distinct lack of movement. His claps petered out several long moments after the others and he fidgeted, frowning briefly before plastering a wider smile than before on his face.

" What I meant to say is that we'll hear from Miss Granger in just a minute, of course! First, shall we hear from one of our OTHER most beloved speakers? Yes, that's right, all! The BROTHER of most esteemed war hero, Ronald Weasley—" A collective groan rippled throughout the crowd. "—Percy Weasley!"

The emcee clapped all the harder that time around as if to drown out the previous failure of an announcement. Percy had never let him down before. He would just have to do until he found out where the hell Granger had disappeared to after being practically glued to her table all evening.

The man didn't realize how long he'd been clapping, waiting for his most reliable Weasley to show when…he didn't.

The crowd shifted with some agitation at being promised a monkey show that was not, in fact, happening.

" Where the bloody hell IS everyone tonight?" the emcee groused suddenly and stormed off stage. He whispered harshly at another pair of workers to the side of it who looked to be doing their best to disappear into the floor.

. . . . .

The journey to Hermione's office was short but filled with a painful bout of strained silence.

When the lift dinged and opened to her floor, the pair hurried down the hall, walking stiff at each other’s side. They were met with quiet so far from the festivities save for the stuttered sounds of their dress shoes clacking across the tile, slowing when they both got moving into something bordering a jog, then steadying back into a suitable hurried hustle for an office space before starting the loop over. Once they reached her office door, they slipped inside the modestly sized space and Percy shut and locked it behind them.

As if on autopilot, Hermione crossed the scant space to her desk and located a stack of paperwork that she’d been pouring her heart and soul into over the past few months. Plucking it up and turning on her heel, she gasped when she found that Percy had also made quick work of the distance and was less than a foot away.

Hermione shivered, lashes fluttering when she felt the puff of his breath tickle over her skin. The hint of champagne mingled with a warm, woodsy musk reached her nose and sent a pleasant heat tingling throughout her body. It pooled low in her belly and between her thighs making her mouth go dry.

“One of the copies of my proposal,” she said, brandishing the papers with more snap than she’d meant to and wobbling with the movement.

Percy’s hands came out automatically, one hand at her hip and the other grasping her wrist to steady her. He plucked the papers from her but didn’t bother to remove his other hand from her hip. Instead, he took that half step forward until his front was flush with hers. Only half a head taller and—even with as lean a build as his—Percy dwarfed her petite frame. It was a fortuitous thing, he mused, for at least his height afforded him the most wondrous vantage point with which to admire the beautiful lines of her face. He lost himself for uncounted seconds, gazing down into the half lidded eyes framed by those impossibly long, impossibly dark lashes before he found his voice again.

“Forgive me, Miss Granger—”

“Hermione,” she said, her head tilting slightly one way while his began to tilt the other.

" Hermione, " he echoed in a huskier tone than before. "But I don't bloody care about the files."

Percy moved in hungrily, his sights set solely on her lips, only to pause in his descent to give her a thoughtful look.

"Well, truthfully I do ,” he said, “but at this moment I'd really rather hoped you would agree to being bent over your desk and thoroughly shagged."

Hermione let out a loud bark of laughter and answered by ripping her papers from his hand, chucking them back over her shoulder and dragging his mouth to hers by way of his lapels.  

When their lips met, he growled and used both hands this time to jerk her hips roughly to his with full palmed grips. Her lashes fluttered at the sensation and she moaned in kind, rubbing herself against the growing erection in his trousers. Hermione’s fingers threaded up through his hair and she made a different, pleased sort of purr as she thoroughly ravaged his neatly slicked ‘do in favor of letting the gelled ginger locks go wild and free.

Her toying drew a snarl from his throat and he hiked her skirt high enough to heft her into his arms right where they stood. Hermione let out a surprised yelp, finally breaking their kiss and clinging to his shoulders. She blinked dazedly at him and Percy smirked, nuzzling his nose to hers while they both caught a breath.

"That a yes, then?" he murmured.

Percy caught sight of her devilish smile just before her mouth came crashing back to his.

They never made it to properly bending her over her desk.

In fact, they somehow overshot it completely and, at present, Hermione was pressed against one of her office walls, skirt hiked up to her waist, her legs on either side of his, and her arms looped tightly around his neck.

Hermione never pegged him as an overly strong individual – he certainly didn't look it at first glance – but currently the ginger was having precisely no trouble at all balancing her weight in his arms with his hands gripping the underside of her thighs.

Percy was nose to nose with her, his eyes darting all over her face, taking in the gorgeous flush to her cheeks and the way her lips parted with breathy pants. He swallowed and shut his eyes, inhaling the lovely subtle scent of her soap and fragrance she'd worn for the event.

"I’ve wanted you for ages ," he rumbled, nosing his way into the crook of her neck and shoulder. His nuzzling awarded him a sweet mewl from the witch in his arms and a less innocent rubbing of her hips against his.

Hermione's fingers clenched in his blazer when his tongue traced over her exposed skin and drew it sharply between his teeth shocking her with a sudden wave of delicious tingles that made her thighs twitch.

Percy Weasley was a biter. Who would've thought it?

Her head knocked back ungracefully against the wall at her back and she tightened her legs around him, trying to relieve the sudden ache between her legs at his bite.

"Percy," his name came out a moan.

It earned her another firm nip, one that she was sure would bruise come the morning. Hermione salivated, her mouth stinging with the sudden anticipation of more of that and more of the prominent hardness pressed flush to her knicker-clad center. She found herself pushing him away just enough to claw his jacket off, curling her hands around his narrow suspenders after she was through and using them to jerk his mouth back to hers.

Percy grunted into her sloppy kisses, tilting and turning his head, alternating between the kissing and suckling and nibbling of her lips until she was vibrating with need in his arms. She clawed at him again, dragging her nails down his front and earning a feral rumble of a growl for her efforts.

At the sound, she bit him— hard .

His hips jerked and Percy groaned at the maddening feel of her heat oh-so-near. He ground his cock against her, rubbing at the seam of her lips through their layers of clothing and drawing more and more heightened whimpers from her throat.

“Hermione,” Percy panted against her cheek. “ Merlin shite —you’re bloody gorgeous like this.”

Hermione’s blood was on fire. Her limbs soaked through with warm, wet heat, and— gods —the surmounting pleasure coiling in her belly was dizzying. She wanted him, she wanted Percy’s touch so badly she keened for it.

“Percy, please ,” she cried only half aware she’d said anything even as her hands were scrabbling for his belt buckle.

She wanted to feel his burning hot skin pressed to hers.

She needed him to take care of the ache he’d stirred and stoked and was now working to overtake every last logic driven cell in her head at breakneck pace.

It was then, even in her lust addled haze, Hermione felt the wash of magic rush over her. In its wake, she felt a significant weight lifted from her shoulders—in a literal sense.

For the briefest moment, her ardor cooled as she tried to place what it was and then both of Percy’s hands joined her fumbling with his belt.

Hermione was floating.

It must have shown on her face because without ever breaking stride, he opened his trousers and took himself—his rather impressive self, she might add—in hand, Percy explained, “Levitation charm. More useful than just floating feathers.”

In addition to his wandless, nonverbal spell, he muttered a different charm under his breath and the sides of Hermione’s knickers were severed with a neat slice that left her delicate skin untouched. Percy swiped her falling panties and shoved them into his back trouser pocket.

A renewed flush of want surged through her veins.

Hermione’s snarl was purely a feral thing.

“Fuck me. Now.

And Percy, ever the gentleman, did precisely as the lady desired.

. . . . .

15th February

After what felt like several hours of resisting acknowledging the sounds of twittering birds and the insistent light of the mid-morning sun shining against her eyelids, Hermione cracked open her eyes. Her plans for the day after the Ministry Valentine's ball nonsense had originally involved nursing a terrible hangover from too much expensive booze. The unforeseen factor known as Percy Weasley had gummed all of that up, however.

And how wonderful that had been.

Hermione grinned to herself remembering just how thorough Percy had been in fulfilling her demand the night before. Even the mere thought made things low in her belly tingle and her thighs clench. She sighed before slumping back into her nest of blankets and pillows atop her mattress.

Shutting her eyes, Hermione relaxed into the plush down beneath her head and only then noticed the faint smell of cooking food. Before she had much longer to ponder on it, the door to the bedroom creaked open and a shirtless, bedheaded Percy Weasley holding a tray of breakfast fixings greeted her.

"Morning," he said, voice still thick from sleep. "Sleep well?"

Hermione’s gaze roamed over his pale, freckled chest and all the lean, unassuming muscles she’d thoroughly mapped with her tongue the night before. Licking her lips, she followed the trail of red hairs down his toned midsection where they disappeared beneath the band of his pyjamas.

Looked like someone else was waking up, too.

Gnawing at her bottom lip, Hermione caught his eyes behind their usual horn rimmed glasses and said, "Very much so."

She watched him settle onto the bed beside her, waiting for her to wriggle into a more upright position before he placed the tray between them. Percy reached out to smooth her curls from her face and she leaned into the touch.

"You?" she asked.

The wizard smiled and pressed a kiss to the top of her head.

"Absolutely." Percy basked in the fond look she gave him a moment before nudging her towards the food.

When Percy shifted around her on the bed to attempt the impossible task of trying to sort out the mess of dry tangled curls she hadn’t bothered to contain the night before, Hermione let out an amused hum around a mouthful of eggs. She was about to warn him against it when she heard him mumble an incantation she didn’t recognize. Whatever he’d done, she felt his fingers combing through her curls more and more easily with every pass until he was satisfied and moved on merely to playing with it.

Too sedated by the previous night’s many orgasms to grill him about the miracle he’d just performed, Hermione opted for purring her pleasure with half lidded eyes and a watery smile.

"Percy Weasley, are you actually perfect or are you currently a dream?"

He smirked, leaning over to kiss and nip her bare shoulder.

"No and no. I think over the course of time," Percy hesitated before continuing carefully, "if you are so inclined to…‘entertain’ more of my company, you would find that I am anything but ."

Hermione hummed again and leaned back against him. Nuzzling her cheek against his, she trailed the fingers of one hand down his arm to find his.

"I'd like that. Very much, actually."

Percy snaked his fingers between hers, rubbing warm circles over her thumb with his before kissing her again.

"S'that a yes, then?" he asked.

"Yes, my perfect Percy.” She grinned. “That is, most ardently, a yes ."