Actions

Work Header

Past Transgressions

Chapter Text

“Hermione Granger?” A flighty voice said to her right at the bar. It took Hermione a second to realize it was Pansy Parkinson.

She forced a smile. “Hi, Pansy, how are you?”

“Engaged!” The Slytherin girl giggled and held out her left hand for Hermione to inspect.

“Wow, what a gorgeous ring!” Hermione gaped at how large the stone on her finger was. “Let me guess, Malfoy?”

Pansy guffawed. “Yeah, right! He and I barely lasted until the war. No, it’s Blaise Zabini, remember him?”

Hermione nodded, but her brow knit together at Pansy’s reaction to Malfoy’s mention. She noticed the brunette swaying in her hooker heels.

“We’re doing my hen party and bar hopping around London. You should totally join us, Granger! Get sloshed with us! Doesn’t look like you’re meeting anyone, anyway.”

Before Hermione could protest, Pansy hooked arms with her and she had no choice but to follow -- mostly out of the fear that the petite girl would topple over in her state and heels. Of course, her hen party consisted of all the Slytherin girls of their year who eyed Hermione like the vipers they were.

“Look who it is, girls!” One of the Greengrass girls was already a lost cause and let out a cheer despite the negative reactions from the others.

“Honestly, Pansy, I’m meeting--”

“Just one drink, Granger, come on. For old time’s sake!” Even more confused, Hermione found herself sipping the sickly sweet cocktail Pansy pushed into her hands that everyone else was gulping down.

“Okay, Pansy, who was your best shag at Hogwarts? You gotta tell us single ladies,” the other Greengrass girl gushed.

“Oh, Daph, I can’t possibly! You know I have to say Blaise, right?” The Slytherin girls giggled.

“What about Draco? Weren’t you with him the longest?” Another girl Hermione didn’t know said.

“Oh, it was definitely the kinkiest with Draco!” Pansy said, taking another sip of her drink. The group burst into a tizzy and Hermione felt herself blush. The girls started chanting for Pansy to tell them the kinkiest story about Draco Malfoy.

“Fine! Fine!” At this point, Pansy was slurring and didn’t acknowledge Hermione anymore. She took this as her cue to leave, plus she didn’t want to hear whatever explicit story Pansy was going to tell. As she stood, she heard, “It was sixth year. He’d brewed polyjuice potion and must have been planning it for months!” Hermione froze, now interested, and discreetly sat back in her chair on the periphery of the hen party group. “It wasn’t for him to change, it was for me to change into someone else.” The Slytherins booed at this part and said things like “How dare he?” and “What a prick!”

“Anyway, he said I’d have to be blindfolded and didn’t want me to know who it was, but he said that it would be the sexiest witch he knew. Thought maybe it was some famous model witch. I swear, he ravaged me that night! He did everything, even went down on me and it was mind-blowing!”

“Who was it, Pans?” The other Greengrass sister asked.

“Well, when he’d fallen asleep, I went to look in the mirror and it was that Granger girl!”

Apparently, they were all so drunk, they hadn’t remembered Hermione was present for this story. She managed to stifle her gasp with a cough -- they could barely hear anything over the bar music anyway.

Hermione had planned to meet Ginny, who was late as usual, but now she didn’t know if she should stay at the bar or go. Malfoy had sex with Pansy bewitched to look like her? She felt violated, naked, and slightly aroused at Pansy’s description. At least he didn’t forcefully rape her or something…. No, this was different, it was on a whole other level. He took something that she wouldn’t have let him have. Pushing that last feeling out of her mind, Hermione spotted her redheaded friend walk into the front entrance.

“Ginny!” She dragged the Weasley girl over to the bar. “You’ll never guess--”

“Ugh, what are the Slytherin slags doing here?” Ginny interrupted her, glaring at the pack of hens.

“That’s what I was just going to tell you!” Then, in hushed tones, Hermione reiterated the story Pansy had just told. To her surprise, Ginny burst into a fit of laughter. “Gin!! Why are you laughing?”

Wiping tears of mirth from her eyes, Ginny explained: “Because it was always so obvious, even from stories I heard from the boys that Malfoy was into you!”

“What?” Hermione almost spit out her drink.

“Oh come on, ‘Mione! He teased you relentlessly! I know he called you that foul name, but still!” She couldn’t help gawking at her ginger friend.

Just then, Draco Malfoy walked through the pub door, half-carrying a very drunk Blaise Zabini. The platinum blonde hadn’t seen them in the din of the bar, but headed straight for the gaggle of girls.

“Oi, Parkinson, I believe this wasted bloke belongs to you,” Hermione overheard him say.

“Oh, Blaise, darling! We were just talking about you. And you, Draco,” Pansy purred. Hermione’s stomach flipped as Pansy whispered something to the tall blonde and pointed at the bar where she and Ginny were sitting.

Why would she tell him? Pansy purposefully told that story in front of her… Why? Hermione couldn’t gather her thoughts before Malfoy started walking over to her.

“Now’s your chance to ask him!” Ginny poked her.

Hermione swatted her friend away. “Ask him what?” Her mouth went dry at the sight of Malfoy leering at her as he sauntered over. She could feel his molten silver eyes roaming her body, her body that he’d already seen naked. A shiver ran down her spine. The sip from her martini didn’t help her dry mouth, but it did help her mind stop from racing.

“C’mon, you’re single, Hermione! And you haven’t slept with anyone since Ron fucked everything up!” She was too focused on not focusing on the man approaching her to glare at Ginny, but instead kicked her in the shin.

As Ginny swore and started rubbing her leg, Malfoy had just reached their vicinity. Hermione thought she was going to faint, her body felt hot despite her short skirt and short-sleeved top with a plunging neckline. She was both grateful and remorseful that she’d worn this breezy yet revealing outfit. His silver eyes were still appraising her. She could almost feel his hands caressing her legs, her hips, his mouth kissing up her thighs. Another pang of embarrassment and something else shot through her.

“Weaslette, Granger.” He nodded to them as he passed Hermione and stood to her right, flagging down the bartender. His suit jacket brushed her bare arm and she shivered.

“You look good in blue, Granger.” Hermione blushed deeply.

“Black suits you well, Malfoy.” She cursed herself for complimenting him back. He raised an eyebrow at her.

“No snarky comment, Granger?” His classic smirk appeared.

“I’d rather not stoop to such an immature level, thank you. We can be civil, can’t we?” She barely knew what she was saying at this point.

When he turned to pay, Ginny signaled that she was going to the loo and silently fought Hermione’s insistence to stay. The redhead would have claw marks on her arm tomorrow.

“Ah, but I like your witty banter.” Malfoy winked as he took his glass of firewhiskey from the bartender. Then, he slid another martini in front of her. Hermione hadn’t even realized she’d finished her first.

“Trying to get me drunk, Malfoy?”

“Trying to be civil.” Another smirk. She inspected the contents of the glass he’d given her. “Don’t worry, I didn’t slip anything in it. Besides, even if I did, you’re the brightest witch of our age, you could figure it out.” Narrowing her eyes at him, she realized Malfoy was enjoying this too much. She had to take him down a peg.

“Brew any polyjuice potion lately?” Hermione said taking a sip. Tasted fine to her.

Malfoy froze. “She told you… that bitch had no right---”

“Excuse me!?” Hermione sputtered. “You had no right to brew polyjuice potion with my essence without my knowledge and have--have…”

“Sex with your body?” He ground out, jaw so tense it seemed wired shut.

Hermione stood up abruptly. “Yes! How dare you! Do you know how disgusting and despicable that is?! I knew you were depraved, but you’re not evil, Malfoy. You would have saved us if you could… But this is truly a new low for you.”

For a second, she saw a flash of shame and regret on his angled features. Hermione had folded her arms and drew his eye to her cleavage that was further pushed up out of her revealing top. His eyes darkened with lust -- she had no doubt that’s what it was now. Gone was the boy with the cruel words and privileged smirk. Here was the man revealing his true nature, his true feelings.

“I couldn’t help it. I was a sixteen-year-old boy!” The immature Malfoy recovered.

“You’re blaming it on hormones?! Merlin, Malfoy!” Hermione rolled her eyes. To her chagrin, he leaned into her, his firewhiskey breath in her face.

“Didn’t Pansy say how I worshiped your body?” He growled into her ear. Hermione refused to give him the satisfaction of moving away. “How I put my mouth on your sodden quim and ate you out like my life depended on it? How it was the best sex we’d ever had because I craved you. Your intelligence, your wit, your innate sex appeal, your forbiddenness….”

She stood her ground, but her breath hitched at his figure looming so close to her. A burst of pleasure shot down to her core, her nipples tightened. She imagined him smirking at her from between her thighs, his platinum hair sticking out from her hands gripping his head. She didn’t understand it, but Hermione was getting turned on by what he was saying despite her own degradation.

“Why-why didn’t you say anything?” she whimpered staring at the buttons of his vest, unable to meet his eyes. He seemed to chew on her words, his jaw twitching.

“I couldn’t. Everything was against us.” Malfoy sighed and drained the rest of his firewhiskey before walking away.

Hermione felt frozen to the spot, intoxicated by his words. A tap on her shoulder made her heart jump into her throat. He’d come back for her!

“Earth to Hermione!” Ginny said.

“Sorry Gin, I don’t know what just happened…” She felt tears sting and cloud her vision. Had she imagined it? No, that was real and she’d let him leave without any response. Malfoy was right, in a way. The Malfoy heir in love with a Muggle-born witch? His parents would have never… not to mention Harry and Ron….

“Hermione! Where are you going?” Ginny called after her as she caught Pansy before she and the rest of the hen and stag parties left.

“Pansy, where did Malfoy go?” Despite her drunkenness, Pansy gazed at Hermione with a knowing smile.

“Sometimes he visits his mother’s grave in Wiltshire,” the Slytherin girl said with clarity.

“Thank you, Pansy… and congratulations!” Hermione said and Pansy giggled.

Turning back to a confused Ginny, she explained, “I have to do this, Gin. I’m sorry. I’ll tell you tomorrow.”

Ginny nodded and yelled after her, “You’d better, Hermione Granger!”

A second later, as the clocks in London were chiming at the arrival of midnight, Hermione apparated into the graveyard in Wiltshire. A pale blonde head shown in the moonlight not far from where she’d landed. On the hill behind Malfoy was the manor. Hermione felt uneasy, trying to force her nightmares about the drawing room aside.

He heard her walking up to him but didn’t turn as he stood before his mother’s ornate gravestone. She saw the white lilies he’d set before the stone.

“I tried everything. I tried to banish those feelings using Occlumency, put up walls around how I felt. I thought you’d put me under a spell or slipped me a love potion, but it couldn’t have lasted that long… since you punched me in third year. And then, I had to focus on my task during sixth year…” She gulped and knew he was talking about Voldemort’s task for him to kill Dumbledore. “But I couldn’t do that with you filling up my thoughts, invading my dreams. I thought I was so weak. How could I, Draco Malfoy, son of Lucius Malfoy and Narcissa Black, fall for a Mu--ggle-born?” His hands balled into white-knuckled fists. Hermione released a breath she hadn’t realized she been holding when he refused to say mudblood. “I thought maybe, if I fucked you, if I got you out of my system, that it would help me refocus.”

“Did it?” she half-whispered. Now he turned to her and she could see tears rolling down his face, glistening in the moonlight.

“I thought you were the ‘Brightest Witch of our Age’?” he scoffed. “Of course it didn’t. It wasn’t you. I wanted all of you to be mine.” His silver eyes bored into her, trying to penetrate her soul.

Hermione felt weak in the knees and helpless. She couldn’t argue with him; she couldn’t reciprocate his feelings. And yet, perhaps now, this side of Malfoy appealed to her. The honest Malfoy.

“Do you still feel this way?” His eyes flashed.

“I wish I could say I didn’t, but seeing you again tonight brought everything rushing back. Once again, I’m pathetic and reduced to the pining boy I used to be…. You have every right to hate me… for everything I’ve done. So lap it up, Granger. You won!” Malfoy said, throwing his arms wide.

“I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m sorry.” Malfoy’s brow furrowed. “I’m sorry for not realizing what a mess you were… and are. I could have helped you---” Hermione faltered as he gaped at her and then recovered.

“Typical Gryffindor, always wanting to rescue everyone,” he smirked, but the self-pity still swam on his face. “I know what I’ve done and that you’ll never forgive me. Just leave me alone.”

“Oh shut up, Malfoy! Am I really going to have to do this?” Hermione huffed.

“What are you on about, Granger?” He raised an eyebrow.

“Well, if all that is true, and even though I haven’t forgiven you, you could start by being the better person by calling me by my first name… and asking me out on a date,” she suggested. His jaw tightened and she could see the cogs in his mind turning as they stood feet apart.

“I’ll do you one better, Hermione. Will you be my date to Pansy and Blaise’s wedding next week?” he said, swaggering a little closer to her, his confidence returning. Hermione gasped, not quite expecting such a serious proposal.

“Draco, I would be honored to accompany you.”

Chapter Text

He looked a little shocked but pleased by her acceptance. Hermione broke the ice with, “Do I have to wear green and silver?”

“I prefer you in blue, Gra--Hermione,” he said, stumbling over her first name. Again, she felt his lascivious eyes cascading down every curve of her body. Hermione was sure he was undressing her with his eyes.

“I’m surprised. I thought you were the Slytherin Prince?” Hermione flirted back.

“Love, I’m the Slytherin King , but I know what I like. Your skin absolutely glows in that color. I couldn’t take my eyes off you tonight.”

“I’ll take that in consideration when I pick out my dress,” she said, hands on her hips.

“Oh, and make sure it’s not a long gown, I want to see those incredibly long legs of yours parading around the wedding, making everyone jealous.” Draco rubbed his chin thoughtfully.

Hermione huffed. “Draco, I’m not your trophy. I refuse to be one.”

He just smiled wickedly. “It turns me on when you keep me in line, Hermione.”

She fought the smirk playing at her lips. “Are you just going to stand there or are you going to apparate home with me?” Now he looked stunned.

“You want me to go home with you?” He gave her a look torn between fear of rejection and delight at the invitation.

Hermione looked at him from under her eyelashes. “Only to be a gentleman and make sure I get in okay.”

“Right, then,” Draco said, clearing his throat. “My lady, if you would take my arm, please.” He was putting on an act, Hermione knew that, but at least he was trying.

They popped in front of Hermione’s flat in Diagon Alley. It was only a block from Flourish and Blotts and two blocks from Obscurus Books, her second favorite bookshop. Plus, Ginny worked at Quality Quidditch Supplies when she wasn’t in season.

“Charming piece of real estate you have here!” Draco commented, clearly amused by its proximity to everything she loved.

Hermione rolled her eyes. “It’s not as grand as your manor, Draco, but it’s home.”

“I was being sincere, Hermione. The manor is a bit cold and lonely sometimes.” His thumb reached out to stroke her cheek, and she could see the honesty in his eyes, practically shining with it.

“Sorry, I’m just not used to your-your…” Hermione searched for the word.

“Charm?” he offered and she snorted.

“I was looking for ‘candor,’ actually.” She smiled and bit her lip. Her breath hitched as he lowered his head towards hers and was about to pull away when his lips landed on her forehead.

Draco stepped away, looking a little abashed but hopeful. “I’ll owl you the details, Hermione. I can’t wait until Saturday.” Then, he disapparated with a crack.

~ ~ ~

A few days later, Hermione received an owl when she’d just gotten home from working for the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. Her eyes felt dry from staring at the mountains of paperwork for her latest cause -- werewolves -- but they lit up at the envelope from Draco. The letter had a silver stamp with the Malfoy seal.

“Who’s that from?” Ginny said as she walked into the living room from the kitchen. Hermione nearly jumped since she didn’t know her roommate was home.

“Merlin, Gin! You nearly made me curse you,” Hermione said, glaring at the red head.

“Sorry, ‘Mione! Who’s it from, though?”

“Draco,” she said hesitantly. Ginny looked confused for a second and then registered who that was.

“Draco... Malfoy? You mean… You never told me what happened!” Hermione felt her insides turn into pixies.

“Well… I followed him to his mother’s grave. And he said he’s been in love with me since I punched him in our third year….”

“I told you!!!” Ginny squealed with glee. Hermione was pretty sure all of their neighbors could hear her.

She rolled her eyes at her best friend. “Fine, fine, I’ll admit you were right. I’m still processing everything he said and what he did.” A shudder ran through her, but she couldn’t tell if it was disgust or lust or both.

“What does the letter say?” Ginny was practically bouncing up and down.

Hermione opened it, trying to ignore Ginny’s excited state. The wedding was at Blaise Castle at 13:00 on Saturday, but Draco said he would meet her at her flat at 12:30 to escort her there. There was a postscript at the bottom: Don’t forget to wear blue, Hermione. She could almost see him smirking as he wrote that line.

She gasped as Ginny tore the letter from her and danced away to read it. Her freckled jaw dropped at the contents.

“He invited you to Pansy and Blaise’s wedding! This is serious, Hermione,” Ginny said with awe in her voice. “Malfoy invited you into the snake’s nest with him. Can you imagine?”

Hermione’s anxiety spiked at the thought of all the Slytherins. “I’m rather trying not to think too much about it, Gin.”

“We have to go shopping tomorrow, Hermione!”

Hermione brushed her off. “I can wear something I already own.”

“Like what, your Yule Ball dress again? Everyone at the wedding will have seen it already. You can’t show up to a pure-blood wedding in something you’ve already worn before. It’s an elaborate occasion, especially for those snakes.”

Hermione thought about it and sighed. “You’re right, Gin. We’ll go tomorrow.”

The next day, Ginny dragged her into a dress shop, Madame Elvira’s, that Hermione had only ever walked by and window-shopped. It was pretty much the most exclusive shop for pure-blood witches, which she was not.

“Gin! We can’t go in here--” she protested.

“None of that, ‘Mione! It’ll be fine, it’s not like it’s warded or anything.” The woman at the front desk frowned at Ginny’s red hair and Hermione’s muggle clothes. Even though Ginny was pure-blooded, everyone knew they were so-called blood-traitors.

“May I help you?” she gritted out, her dark lipstick practically screaming bitch .

Ginny strided forward, arm in arm with Hermione and bravely said, “My friend here is attending the Zabini-Parkinson wedding and needs a proper dress.” The woman’s perfectly shaped eyebrows shot up and almost disappeared into her hairline.

“Do you have your invitation?” she sneered with a Slytherin smirk.

“Excuse me?” Hermione burst out. “I don’t see how that should matter!” Ginny patted her arm.

“Elvira, is it?” Ginny said in a sickly sweet voice. The witch eyed her wearily. “You should be informed that my friend here is attending the wedding as Mr. Draco Malfoy’s plus one .” Now, Elvira’s eyebrows furrowed. She clearly didn’t want to assist them, but she couldn’t refute these two pieces of information.

“Elvira,” a familiar voice drawled from within the store. The wicked witch turned to see Draco Malfoy emerge from the fireplace having flooed in. Ginny pinched Hermione and she bit back a yelp. “Would you please grab my order for me… Why, Miss Granger and Miss Weasley! Fancy meeting you here,” he purred.

Hermione couldn’t keep a blush from breaking out across her cheeks. Draco glided over to them and past the stunned Elvira.

“This is quite a coincidence, Malfoy,” Ginny said. He grabbed the redhead’s hand and placed a chaste kiss on the back of it to her chagrin.

Hermione waited for him to do the same to her, but instead he kissed both of her cheeks as if they were the stars in a black and white muggle film. A little dazed, her hand still in Draco’s, Hermione heard him say:

“Elvira, would be so kind as to help Miss Granger find a stunning dress for the wedding on Saturday?”

His thumb was tracing a mesmerising pattern over the the back of her hand as he escorted her into the shop. Elvira looked flustered and begrudged Draco’s timely entrance as she lead them to a sitting area near the dressing room.

Hermione regained her wits once the three of them were seated on the most luxurious plush settee she’d ever sat on. Elvira had disappeared into the back once Draco had given her Hermione’s correct size and his requested color. His arm slung around her back, tracing that same pattern into her hip.

“Thank you,” she whispered into his ear so that her bottom lip brushed his earlobe. The hair on the back of his neck rose at the sensation.

“It was pure coincidence, love. Perhaps fate.” He winked. His cologne reminded her of a wooded forest: pine, dewey grass and a hint of musk. It was intoxicating and made her want to be alone with him instead of sitting next to her best friend waiting to try on dresses in a pureblood shop.

“How did you know my size?” she asked him and felt Ginny’s eyes on them.

He smirked. “I have an eye for dress sizes, pet.” Draco’s eyes traced her form, every curve, those he could see and could not see from the tee and denim skirt she had on. Hermione blushed remembering he’d already seen her body naked thanks to his delinquent polyjuice potion.

“You don’t have to stay, you know. If you have somewhere else to be,” Hermione said, almost shyly.

His lips curled and shook his head. “Nowhere better to be, pet.” Ginny stifled a giggle. “What’s so funny, Red?”

“Oh nothing, Draco ,” Ginny said innocently. His eyes flashed.

“Stop it, you two. We’re not at Hogwarts anymore. Can we be adults, please?” Hermione glared between them.

Elvira brought a rack of dresses out at that moment. Immediately, from where she was sitting, Hermione felt drawn to one. It was a navy blue satin with a lovely neckline that was a cross between a decolletage and a sweetheart neckline -- she’d spent years listening to Lavender Brown obsess over fashion, so she knew the lingo by heart. The bust was fitted until the fabric flared into an a-line skirt with two neat pleats in the front and the hem would end just above her knee. She knew it was simple, but she had a feeling Draco would love it.

Without another word, she picked it off the rack and disappeared into the dressing room. Once the dress was on, she called to Ginny.

“Can you please zip this up?” Hermione said when she saw the redhead appear behind her.

Once zipped up, Ginny looked smug as Hermione took in the final product. “It’s perfect!” Ginny squealed.

“Are you sure? You don’t think it’s a bit… busty?”

“On the contrary, ‘Mione, you look radiant and seductive!” Her roommate wiggled her eyebrows.

She turned in front of the mirror a few times and couldn’t find any fault with the dress. Then she thought of the only caveat: the price.

“Can you look at the price tag, Gin? I don’t think I can bring myself to….” Ginny gasped as she looked at the price etched in thread magically near the zipper.

“How bad is it?” Hermione couldn’t breathe.

Ginny bit her lip. “Er, you could just ask him… he’s right out there--”

“How much?” she insisted, unwilling to let Draco Malfoy’s money influence her decision.

“A month’s wages at least!” her friend managed.

Hermione felt tears well up but refused to release them. “Why did you bring me here, Gin? What did you think was going to happen?”

“I didn’t think it would be this expensive!” Hermione frowned at her reflection.

“I don’t think I can justify buying a dress for an obscene amount of money… And don’t suggest it again, Ginevra!” she admonished when she saw Ginny open her mouth. “I’ll just have to find something somewhere else.”

Her friend retreated into the other room after unzipping the perfect dress. Hermione clutched the bust up just to look at it a little longer before taking it off. She did look damn sexy in it, she couldn’t deny that no matter the price. Hermione was so distracted that she barely heard the footsteps behind her.

A low whistle sounded as she whipped around and grabbed her wand from the pile of her clothes, still clutching the dress to her body. “Settle down, Hermione. It’s just me,” Draco said, putting his hands up.

“Trying to get a peek at me undressing?” He gave his trademarked smirk.

“No, love, as tempting as the prospect of that was… Red told me about your dilemma.”

Hermione rolled her eyes. “Of course she did. I’m not letting you pay for my dress. I don’t care that you invited me to the wedding, I just won’t let you buy me like that, okay?” she huffed, her arms now folded across her chest.

“Will you at least let me have the full effect? Let me see the dress as at should be on you?”

Her mind screamed for her to not let him, but her head nodded anyway. She turned back towards the mirror and lifted her hair up. It became a little harder to breathe when she felt him close to her, his own breath on her bare neck. Hermione looked at him in the mirror, his eyes down on the expanse of her back. His touch came lightly as he slid the small zipper up from the small of her back to between her shoulder blades. The pressure from his hand made her skin breakout into gooseflesh

She didn’t realize she’d been holding her breath until she exhaled upon meeting his eyes in the mirror. Swallowing, Hermione willed herself to stand still for his appraisal. His eyes were hooded again, his gaze brushing along her curves, especially analyzing the tempting neckline.

“How do you feel in the dress, Hermione? How does it make you feel?” he purred.

She hadn’t expected that question. Hermione had expected some remark or perhaps a compliment, but she didn’t think he’d ask her opinion.

“I feel… I feel sexy but refined,” she whispered, still unable to look away from his eyes reflected back at her, their molten silver depths hypnotizing her. The edges of his lips curled up in agreement.

“I dare say you do, love.” Draco took a daring step towards her back, his solid presence only inches away. She saw his slender hand move to her hip in the mirror before she felt it. Trembling, she allowed it. “I can’t let you accompany me in any other dress but this one. Please let me at least split the cost with you, 75 - 25,” he offered as she could feel his breath on her right ear.

“Um… okay. 50 - 50, though,” Hermione countered, still unable to give him leverage. She felt his lips brush her ear lobe and she had to close her eyes to think straight.

“60 - 40, love. Final offer.”

“Fine,” she half sighed half moaned as she could feel the fabric of his jacket rustle against the bare skin of her shoulder.

Hermione gasped as she felt him lower the zipper and smirk, “Pleasure doing business with you, Hermione.” She caught his wink in the mirror as he left for her to change. Her knees felt like they’d give out at any moment.

To her surprise, when Hermione found Ginny and Draco on the sofa, the redhead was laughing at something he’d said. She could see tears of mirth in Ginny’s eyes. Draco himself looked amused as well.

“Glad to see you two are getting along,” she remarked with a smile.

Ginny started beaming when she saw the dress draped over Hermione’s arm. “You’re getting it?!”

Hermione nodded. “Draco and I agreed to split the price, though.” The redhead rolled her eyes.

“Do you need any alterations, Miss Granger?” Elvira interrupted and motioned for Hermione to give her the dress.

Before she could even respond, Draco stood up and said, “It fits her perfectly. Can you please retrieve my suit as well now?”

Elvira gave the two women a haughty glance and bobbed a polite cursey to Draco as she went into the back. Hermione felt a blush creeping into her cheeks at Draco’s insistence of the dress’ perfection, although way that he’d inflected it sounded like he’d mean the compliment about her.

He turned to her, his mind clearly working on something, a decision of some sort. Hermione hadn’t realized that no one had spoken in over a minute. Ginny looked uncomfortable as the third wheel.

“I think you should allow me to put your dress on my account. I’ll send the bill to your charming flat later,” Draco explained casually.

Hermione’s brow furrowed. “Why can’t we just split it now?”

He didn’t look surprised at her rebuttal, simply frustrated. “Because we’re in a pureblood shop and as you can tell Elvira doesn’t take kindly to things that go against tradition. Splitting the bill would not only offend her, but it would damage both of our reputations at this establishment.”

Our reputations? That witch didn’t even want me to cross the threshold until you waltzed in here! If you think being with me is going to damage your reputation, then let me tell you, when we show up at the wedding together, you’re going to be ruined, Draco Malfoy,” she said in disgust.

Anger flashed through his silver eyes. “I don’t care about what they’ll think at the wedding. If anything, they’ll be wondering who the goddess on my arm is and why hadn’t they seen you before I did,” he said, his voice as sharp as a razor that cut right through Hermione. Then, something calmed him. “I only care about appearing like a gentleman at this shop. A gentleman wouldn’t allow his date to buy her own dress or even contribute to the cost. I’m doing that because you’d prefer it, but I would prefer that Elvira not know our arrangement.”

He pleaded with her and took a step towards her and lowered his voice further, “Believe me, Hermione, if my mother raised me to be anything, it was a gentleman. My father raised me to be cruel and I’ve done my best to forsake his wishes in every way.”

She’d been holding her breath during the last few sentiments. All she wanted him to do was kiss her right now. Was a public display of affection allowed in the gentleman’s handbook?

Unfortunately, Elvira cleared her throat behind them as she strutted behind the checkout counter. Draco searched Hermione’s eyes for an answer. To his relief, she relented by nodding.

While Draco chatted with Elvira as she carefully wrapped their purchases, Hermione retreated back to Ginny who looked a little flabbergasted by the interaction she witnessed.

“Thought you might have forgotten about me during that lover’s quarrel,” she teased.

Hermione glared at her. “That’s what it’s like with him. One moment he seems like a prat and the next he completely redeems himself,” she explained flippantly.

“Oh sure, it is. That and the fact that you both looked like you wanted to tear each other’s clothes off and--”

“Ginny!!” Hermione covered the redhead’s mouth before she could say something that Draco and Elvira could hear.

When she removed her hand, Ginny smirked. “You know it’s true, ‘Mione!” She crossed her arms and her friend mirrored her stance. “Do you want me to leave you with him?”

“I don’t think--” Draco interrupted her response by touching the back of her arm, which made Hermione jump. “Oh! Sorry.” He looked amused and a little abashed.

“Can I buy you cuppa or coffee?” he asked, rather shyly, she noted.

Her head was spinning and all she managed was, “Oh, er, I thought our date was the wedding?” She wished she could withdraw the words as soon as they left her mouth.

“Hermione, since I have you here, I thought we might, er, discuss a few things about that day. I realized my invitation didn’t quite cover everything you may want to know.”

She tried to decipher his meaning, but she wasn’t quite sure what he was getting at. “Oh well, I’d rather not be ill-prepared for it, I supposed.” Hermione saw Ginny’s eyes light up in her peripheral vision.

“I should probably get going,” said Ginny quickly, the couple clearly in their own little world. She squeezed Hermione’s arm as she left.

Draco nodded at the redhead’s exit and gestured to the door, “Shall we?”

Chapter Text

She felt his hand against her lower back as they exited Elvira’s shop. His touch sent tingles throughout her body as they walked down the street. Hermione’s head was swimming with thoughts and emotions. She didn’t know if she knew the world anymore after all that had changed and after all that she’d been exposed to recently.

“Don’t go silent on me now, Hermione,” Draco said, now at her side as he lead them towards The Hopping Pot.

She bit her lip and tried to think of a response, but all she came up with was, “Sorry.” He didn’t say anything else.

Once they were inside the small yet charming cafe and Draco had ordered them a pot of tea, Hermione had finally gathered her wits. He examined her as she finally opened her mouth.

“I realize that I don’t know much about pure-blood traditions. As much as I’ve learned about the wizarding world and what it means to be a witch, I have never really learned about your culture and traditions. The Weasleys, as you know, are not a typical pure-blooded family, so I really don’t know much about that,” she rambled and tapered off to sip her tea.

“I never thought I’d hear the brilliant Hermione Granger admit that she didn’t know something,” he mused, examining his tea leaves swirling in the cup.

She opened her mouth to reprimand him, but he held up a hand. Her jaw shut with the clack of her teeth.

“You don’t know much about pure-blood families because we don’t advertise our traditions in history books. It’s almost like a secret society. That’s why the two wars happened: only pure-bloods were privy to Voldemort’s rise to power, they were his faithful followers,” he explained bitterly.

Hermione took a deep breath and asked, “What do I need to know for Saturday?”

Draco looked loathe to have to explain but relieved that she seemed to understand now. “I wished we’d gone out for something a little stronger,” he mused. She smiled but now she was nervous for what he was going to say. “In a pure-blood marriage, the couple are bonded by and with blood at the ceremony. It’s not the most pleasant tradition, but I wanted you to be prepared. Although, I know you’ve seen more gruesome things than this ritual.”

She nodded, staring at her tea leaves. Was that a dragon? Hermione blinked at the design and looked up, unconvinced as she usually was about divining with tea leaves. She met his gray eyes.

“Also, there is an archaic tradition of the bedding ceremony.” She cringed. “Trust me, I don’t want to see Blaise and Pansy go at it either,” he chuckled humorlessly.

Then, she was reminded of why they were here. Why she was going as Draco Malfoy’s wedding date: his transgression with Pansy…. Hermione didn’t think it was the tea making her nauseous.

“I’m sorry…” Draco said, taking one of her hands in his and lightly squeezing it.

Hermione shook her head. “At least we can both be a bit uncomfortable at the wedding. After all, your best friend is marrying your ex-girlfriend.”

He nodded slowly. “Maybe we can ditch the bedding ceremony, then?”

“And do what instead?” she challenged.

A wicked gleam darkened his fair features. “Oh, I can think of a few things, don’t worry.”

“Draco…” Hermione warned with a huff. If he really thought that she’d sleep with him on a first date, he was delusional.

“Oh pet, your mind is ahead of my mouth! I meant we could play a game instead,” he suggested.

“A game? What kind of game?”

Another smirk tugged at his lips. “You’ll just have to wait and see, Hermione.”

“I swear, Draco, if this is some asinine plot to get me to sleep with you--”

He took her hand in his, effectively shutting her up by the unprecedented gesture. “Believe me, Hermione, when it comes to what’s between you and I, I’m playing the long game. With this specific game at the wedding, all I’m aiming for is for you and I to get to know one another better, that’s all. Satisfied?”

She studied him for a moment, trying to ignore how good his strong hand felt around hers. Even in this simple gesture Hermione felt secure somehow. Hermione didn’t know if she fully trusted him, but at least there was some form of security between them.

“For now, I suppose. Will you walk me home, now? Unlike some, I have a job I have to go to in the morning.” The ends of his lips turned down at her insinuation as she stood up, her hand digging around in her bag.

Hermione huffed when a hand grabbed her wrist. When she looked up, her stomach flipped at the man towering over her with his platinum blonde hair falling across his eyes.

“Don’t bother fishing out your hard-earned change, Granger. I had them put it on my tab.” The bitterness in his voice reminded her of their past. He relinquished her arm, turning on his heel and walked out of the store.

She closed her gaping mouth and hurried after him. Draco Malfoy was leaning against a street lamp waiting for her with his arms crossed.

“Do you make it a habit of walking out on people or is it just me?”

He smirked at her and shrugged. “You bring it out in me, especially when you insult me.”

“How--”

“Miss Granger! Mr. Malfoy!” Draco looked like a deer in headlights and Hermione grabbed her wand with a determined glare directed at none other than Rita Skeeter.

“Hermione, let’s go.” He grabbed her hand and disapparated before she could send a spell toward Rita.

He had to keep both hands on her to steady the off-guard Hermione as they appeared in front of her flat.

“Malfoy! You git! You have to warn me before you take me on a side-along apparition! I could have gotten splinched,” she yelled and pushed him off her.

“Excuse me for saving you from doing something you were going to regret.”

Pointing her wand at him, Hermione took a step closer. “You have no idea what I was going to do.”

“I saw that look in your eyes, Hermione.” Draco stepped towards her, hands up.

“I appreciate your concern, but I don’t need it. I can take care of myself, thank you. I’ve already gotten my revenge on Rita once. I was just going to give her a reminder of what I could do when I was fifteen and what I can do now.”

He couldn't deny that this glimpse into Hermione acting like the powerful witch he knew her to be turned him on.

“What did you do to her?"

She threw one of his trademarked smirks back at him. "I wasn't called the brightest witch of our age for nothing, Draco."

"Come on, tell me. This way I know what you're capable of if I ever cross you,” he said, smiling.

Hermione thought for a second before saying, “Fine, but not out here.” She gestured to her flat.

“Merlin, Hermione. You're making it sound so serious," he teased.

She ignored him and ushered him through the door. Her place was small but not without its charms, literally.

“I thought you'd have more books," Draco commented as he sat on her living room sofa.

“There's an extension charm on the bookshelves,” she said before unceremoniously putting a plate of biscuits in front of him.

“Clever girl." Hermione rolled her eyes.

“If you must know about Rita, I figured out she was an animagus during fourth year and trapped her in a jar as a beetle for a week. I threatened to tell the ministry that she was an unregistered animagus if she told any more of her viscous lies. Clearly, she didn't learn her lesson going after us like that.”

"Yes, by interrupting our lovers quarrel. How dare she,” Draco smirked but still looked indignant.

Hermione scoffed at him. “Lovers, no. Quarrel, I suppose, but you storming out didn't quite evolve anything into an argument.”

"You really won't apologize?” He managed to look down his nose at her while sitting down.

"For what?”

"For insinuating that I don't earn my money.”

Sitting on the sofa arm opposite Draco, Hermione's hand twitched with an overwhelming urge to slap the injured look off his face. She balled it into a fist, nails biting into her palm.

“That's what this is about? You're telling me that even with the Malfoy fortune in your vaults, you work?”

His lip curled into a smirk, but he didn’t say anything. “Are you working for your father?”

Her question wiped the indignant smirk off his face. A darkness clouded his features and she was reminded that he could be dangerous. She didn’t know this Draco Malfoy, but he was a Death Eater, a bigot, and a bully. And now he was obsessed with her, had been in love with her for years. Her insides twisted into a knot of tension.

At first she didn’t think he’d say anything. “I haven’t seen my father in years,” he ground out, his voice uneven. “I no longer associate with him or his beliefs. I happen to be working as a contractor for the ministry.”

Hermione nearly fell off the edge of the sofa arm. “You’re what?”

“I’m a contractor for the ministry,” he repeated smugly, amused at her reaction.

“What kind of contractor?”

“A potions developer. I have my own lab and an assistant.”

Hermione thought for a minute. The Draco Malfoy she knew would not have worked for the ministry; he wouldn’t have worked period. She thought he was some kind of millionaire playboy living on his trust fund.

“My mother had been the one keeping up appearances, hosting benefits, placating the other socialites and influential families. My father,” he said bitterly. “has withdrawn from society, especially after my mother passed, as he should after what he did.”

Hermione moved to the sofa cushion next to him. “Don’t look at me like that,” he pleaded, struggling to meet her eyes.

“Like what?” she said, her voice breathy.

“Like I’m a beaten house elf you can go on campaign for.” His eyes reminded her of frosted glass, trying to keep her from looking through to his soul.

Hermione bit her lip. “I’m sorr--” His lips crashed against hers and left her apology unfinished. She felt overwhelmed by his passion but didn’t fight him. Draco made her feel something, feel alive and desired, unlike anyone else had. When he sucked on the lip she’d bitten a moment before and then pulled away, she whined at the loss of contact.

“Don’t apologize,” he said huskily, panting. “Not for that. I want you to see me how I am. Not how I was, not your perception of me, not how the rumours and tabloids depict me. I’m trying to be a better man, Hermione. I’m trying to be worthy of you.”

Chapter Text

“Draco," she breathed. His lips were still close to hers when he pulled away.

“I should go before we get ahead of ourselves."

Hermione huffed. "We're both consenting adults, Draco. There's no protocol on what happens between us,” she reasoned indignantly. If she was anything, it was logical, but her arousal was adding a dangerous edge to her logic.

He turned back to her and took her hand as he'd done to Ginny back at the dress shop. Draco’s thumb traced her knuckles lightly. It made her tremble.

“I'm very much aware of that, Hermione. But I do follow a gentleman's code--” he stopped her before she could argue. "As an adult. I don't wish to repeat my youthful mistakes and indiscretions. Especially when it comes to you.” She bit her lip and his lips caressed the back of her hand.

Hermione finally admitted to herself that she wanted Draco Malfoy, the man. He was a prissy git in school but now, he was refined and a gentleman. She wasn't blind or in denial about how much he'd changed.

“Erm, right. I appreciate that." More than you know. No man had ever treated her like someone they cherished. Other men had been intimidated by her accomplishments, by her mind and magic, by her fierce capacity to love, but they'd never looked at her the way Draco Malfoy was staring at her right now. Like he wanted to both worship and consume her, to both caress and bruise her, to both love and possess her.

“Something else you want to say, love?” Draco asked, studying her.

She blushed deeply as she realized her mouth was hanging agape as though she were waiting to catch a fly. “I-I’m looking forward to the wedding.”

He couldn’t help flashing her one of his trademarked smirks and nodding. “So am I, Hermione. You should receive your dress tomorrow. And then, I’ll see you here in a few days to escort you.”

Hermione couldn’t read his expression. He appeared conflicted or disappointed. She searched for an excuse to see him before the wedding, anything to wipe that starched look off his face. She'd much rather see him smile or even smirk.

“Are you sure I know everything about pure-blood weddings?”

Draco sighed. "I'm not withholding any information intentionally, Hermione.” His hand rested on the door knob.

Hermione cringed at his interpretation. “That's not what I meant at all, Draco. You know I enjoy learning, so I just want to be well-informed.” A little light had returned to his features as he faced her again.

“You should expect to be stared at, but I suppose you already knew that.”

"Right, because of my bl--”

A bark of laughter spilled from his mouth. "No, you daft witch, because you're the Golden Girl, Hermione Granger, on the arm of the disgraced Death Eater and Malfoy heir. They will question our sanity and their own. Everyone will be whispering about us.” His molten lead eyes penetrated hers, petrifying her.

“I don't--"

“Care? I know, but it doesn't make it less probable. Truth be told, the bride may try to hex me for this. For you attending.” Draco displayed a self-deprecating smirk.

“Why? She was nice to me at her hen party.” Hermione felt a curious anxiety about the wedding now. She hadn't considered Pansy's feelings about this date happening during her wedding.

“Yes, Granger. That was to torture me for betraying her. Now that she'll be seeing you with me… on the happiest day of her life. I'm not sure what she'll do. I'm sure Rita is dreaming of crashing this wedding,” he said bitterly.

"Maybe--”

"Oh Hermione, don't tell me you've lost your Gryffindor courage. It's only been a few years since you saved the wizarding world.”

His jibe set a fire in her, eliciting the reaction he wanted.

“I'm not scared, Malfoy. I'm simply concerned that if she avada’s you, I'll be dateless at a pure-blood wedding.”

Draco's smile gleamed. “You'll be just fine, Hermione. I know you won't let anything happen to me," he teased, winking at her.

She gave him a rueful grin. "You better play your cards right, Mister Malfoy."

“They're close to my chest, Miss Granger." Draco patted a hand over his heart, giving a slight bow before making for the door.

“I'll floo call you tomorrow, if you don't mind. I just want to be sure your dress gets delivered.”

Hermione nodded and then remembered their argument from before. “Let me get the coin that I owe you before you go."

His hand caught her elbow as she turned toward the rest of the flat. Draco had a habit of stopping her in mid action. It was infuriating yet sexy, the way he commanded her attention.

“Not now. I want to make sure everything is in order before that happens. Okay?"

She thought for a second, chewing on her bottom lip. “I suppose that makes sense,” Hermione conceded.

His thumb pulled at the lip she’d been chewing on and her breath hitched as his head bent towards her. A few strands of Draco’s fine blonde hair fell into his eyes and she sighed as his lips claimed hers. Her hands framed his face, his light stubble tickling her palms.

“Hermione,” Draco mumbled between kisses. “I should go… before I can’t control myself.” His forehead rested against hers as she panted.

“You’re right.”

He smiled, one of his true dazzling smiles, and she wanted to take back her agreement to his leaving. “If only I can hear you say that more often,” Draco teased and winked as his hand found the door knob again.

~ ~ ~

Hermione Granger loved her work on pretty much every day but today. She kept checking her watch for when she’d need to floo home to receive her dress. It didn’t have anything to do with the fact that’d she’d hear from Draco around that time as well. At least that’s what she kept telling herself.

“Ms. Granger,” her assistant Miranda’s butterfly patronus flew through her door, interrupting her reverie. “Mr. Malfoy here to see you.”

Her stomach flipped as though she were back on a broom at Hogwarts. “Thanks Miranda, let him through.” She barely recognized her voice at it seemed more shrill and girly than usual.

“Sorry to interrupt, love,” he drawled from the now open doorway.

Hermione stood and nearly knocked over her inkwell. He looked like a model leaning against her door frame in his maroon oxford shirt and tight charcoal trousers.

All she could think of to say was, “I thought you were going to call later?”

He chuckled and came towards her. “I thought I’d personally deliver this.” A black garment bag appeared in his arms.

“My dress!” she squealed in a very Ginny-like way. “Thank you, Draco.” Hermione took the bag from him and hung it on the coat hook by the door.

“You’re not going to try it on?”

She turned to face him, his molten ore eyes tracing her form lasciviously. Hermione put her hands on her hips.

“Draco… You really shouldn’t see my dress before our date,” she reprimanded.

“Hermione, dear, I’ve already seen it on you.” The way he was looking at her made her feel naked.

“Touche,” she breathed. Draco stalked towards her, his hands finding her hips as he backed her towards the door. He toyed with the edge of her blouse, a finger skimming her hip bone.

“Do you want me to help you try it on?" he purred into her ear. A shiver shot down her spine. Hermione couldn't think with him this close to her.

She steeled herself against his charm. “I think I can manage on my own, Draco." He pouted, his lips the perfect shape to make the expression effortless.

She twirled her finger in mid air. He huffed, crossing his arms and turned around. Hermione unzipped the garment bag and then vanished her work clothes magically before slipping into the dress.

“You can turn around now. Zip me up please?"

His large hands were on her in seconds as he toyed with the zipper. Hermione shifted in place and felt his pelvis brush her arse. She bit her lip she turned around in time to see him lick his lips at the sight of her.

“You'll be the most beautiful witch at the wedding. I wish our date could start now.” His silver eyes blazed with hunger.

Warmth began pooling in her core and he wasn't even touching her. Hermione was definitely a sapiosexual in many ways and Draco seemed to thrive in the words arena as well as the traditional romantic arenas.

“Technically, this could be our second date if--"

He raised an eyebrow. "If there was food or drink involved,” she finished.

“My dear Granger," Draco said in disapproval. "Does food and drink really constitute a date? I could think of many dates that have not required anything besides the two participants.” His eyes were smoldering, burning her from the inside out.

"So you're saying this is a date right now?" she challenged, struggling to keep up in her state of arousal.

“Yes. But let me ask you this: how many dates does it take to get Hermione Granger into bed?” he asked, his voice husky with desire. She swallowed thickly.

Hermione hadn't had sex in a while, not since she'd had a regrettable one night stand with Victor Krum about six months ago, right after she and Ron broke up. They'd ran into each other at a charity gala. Her fingers could only do so much….

Her mouth felt dry, like her tongue would turn to dust if she spoke. She answered anyway, as best as she could.

“I don't know, Draco. It's been a while since I actually dated someone.” Her response seemed lame, but it was the truth. She didn't want to seem as desperate as she felt with his eyes boring into her.

Draco took her hand and said, “I'll leave it up to your discretion then." He lifted her arm and twirled her. Hermione giggled but found herself flush against him when the earth stopped spinning.

“You’re still going to try your hardest to get into my knickers at every opportunity, aren’t you?” she accused lightly.

His smirk returned and made him look like a sexy rogue from an old movie she’d once seen. “I always try my hardest, love.” Draco rolled his hips into hers and she bit her lip to keep from moaning at the hardness she could feel through his trousers.

Hermione gazed up at him from under her eyelashes. “I think I’ve already shown that I want you, Draco.”

His lips crashed hungrily against hers, sucking at her tongue and nipping at her lips. She thought his grip on her hip would leave fingerprint-shaped bruises but she didn’t care. His other hand had released her low bun, tangling in her wild curls as he claimed her mouth.

“I still don’t think I can fully believe that, pet. Not until you give yourself to me fully. I don’t think you’re ready to do that yet.” His thumb stroked her cheek softly. “And that’s okay,” he murmured when she shied away. “It’s okay if you want nothing to do with me. I know what I was getting myself into, unsure if you’d ever forgive me, let alone speak to me after everything I’ve done. And yet here you are, wearing the dress for our date, and I have all the hope in the world. If anyone is going to fuck this up, Hermione; it’ll be me.”

She shook her head at his self-deprecation, a side of him she’d only just come to know. “Shut up and kiss me, Draco.”

Chapter Text

Hermione couldn’t fall asleep the night before Pansy and Blaise’s wedding. In the flurry of thoughts she had, she realized in the course of his unprecedented visit to her office that she’d forgotten to give Draco the check for her part of the dress. It was too late to deliver it, so she’d have to do it after the wedding. She tossed and turned for almost an hour before she got up and took a sleeping draught. Her dress was hung on the hook outside her closet with the four-inch pumps underneath it.

Unfortunately, even though she got her beauty sleep, Hermione had forgotten that the draught tended to give her intense dreams. When she woke up with the sun streaming into her window, she’d kicked her covers off, a thin film of sweat coating her body. She’d had the most deliciously sexy yet disturbing dream….

She was in the Slytherin dormitory, in what she assumed was Draco’s bedroom. He came out of the bathroom with a vial of Polyjuice potion -- she recognized the stench. Hermione glanced at her robes and realized that they were Slytherin colors and had its crest. She was Pansy Parkinson. That fact wasn’t fully what made her skin crawl.

“Drink this for me, love. I promise you nothing but pleasure,” Draco said with a wicked smile. He wasn’t looking at her like he normally did; it wasn’t how he looked at Hermione Granger. No, this was how he looked at his teenage girlfriend -- with an air disappointment. Before, when she’d heard the story, she’d felt disgusted on her own behalf, but now she sympathized with Pansy. Her boyfriend had literally wanted her to be someone else and acted on it.

Automatically, she went along with the scene and drank the potion like the willing-to-please girlfriend Pansy had been. He tied a blindfold around her head like Pansy had described. She felt her skin started to bubble and her bones start to shift; she was becoming herself. She heard Draco kneel in front of her as she sat on the bed. Without seeing him, Hermione could feel the hungry look trained on her body.

He kissed her and felt a little less experienced than the Draco she’d come to know as an adult, but he didn’t lack the passion. If anything his passion was unbridled, unleashed upon her as he kissed her like a man starved of human contact. His hands began to greedily divest her: shoes, socks, robes, skirt, shirt and tie, so that all she had on was a bra and knickers.

“Fuck," she heard him whisper like a prayer. His fingers started to massage her clit over the lace and Hermione had to bite her lip to strangle her moaning.

“You want me to taste you, don't you, Princess?" he asked, his voice thick with arousal. Draco slid her knickers down with her help of lifting her hips up.

She was bare to him now and even with his adolescent hormones, he seemed to have stopped to admire her pussy for a long second. It was a torturous amount of time before his tongue swiped her swollen button. They moaned in unison and her hands threaded into his short blonde hair.

Pansy was right to say that he’d ravaged her. None of her previous partners had been keen to eat her out, but Draco was a different story. And that was how she’d woken up: sweaty and horny.

Hermione prescribed a long soothing bath with a little self-love to soothe her nerves and the other emotions bubbling to the surface that morning. Her thoughts kept going back to that dream. Why had she dreamt of that night? She supposed that night had lead her to today’s date.

Should she be more upset at Draco for that night? He’d been sixteen -- she’d thrown that fact back in his face, but now she considered it more. He’d been in love with someone he couldn’t have, and not everyone does the right thing, especially at that age. She remembered sending a swarm of birds at Ron’s face during sixth year because she couldn’t have him. It wasn’t as despicable, sure, but it was still an indiscretion.

Her mind wandered back to where Dream Draco’s touch had left off. Plunging her hand under the water and between her legs, her thumb almost felt like his tongue had, slippery yet firm on her swollen button. It only took a few minutes to bring herself over the precipice and into a toe-curling release.

Hermione could barely shave her legs after turning her limbs to jelly with that orgasm. She walked into the kitchen humming some song she couldn’t remember the lyrics to. Ginny stomped in, red hair ablaze.

“What happened to you?” she asked her roommate.

Ginny practically growled. “That bloody bitch Romilda Vane knocked me off my broom during a scrimmage, right into the swamp. Almost ten scourgify’s later and I still can’t get the mud out of my ears.”

Hermione found it difficult to empathize with her friend. She had to stifle a laugh at Ginny’s persistence to clean out her ears.

“Sorry, Gin. I’d help you but--” She glanced at the clock. Almost half eleven! “I’m running late!”

The ginger scowled. “Oh right, your date with Malfoy… Romilda is bound to show up at a pure-blood wedding, so push her in the fountain if you get a chance.”

“Sure, Gin. I’ll do what I can!”

As she stormed into her room, Ginny mumbled something that sounded like “yeah, right.” Hermione rolled her eyes and set to work on her makeup and hair. She liked to apply and style by hand and then set everything in place with magic.


She had a faint gold shimmer on her eyes -- a chic reminder of her status as the “Golden Princess” -- and a bold blood-red lip to reinforce her Gryffindor nature as well as attract her kissable date to her mouth. After wrangling half her curls into a bun and calming the frizz on the rest, she slipped into her dress and heels.

The mirror didn’t betray how nervous she felt. The diamond earrings she received as a Christmas from her parents when she was thirteen glittered in the light. Just above her decolletage was a simple gold locket that was her mother’s that she’d taken before she’d obliviated their memories.

Hermione blinked away the tears that started to form. She was doing this for them: giving her childhood bully a second chance, standing up to those who would belittle her muggle lineage, and most of all, not letting her fear stand in the way of what her heart wanted.

“Hermione?” a familiar voice called from the living room where the fireplace resided.

Her stomach fluttered with nervous pixies. “I’ll be right out!” Her voice sounded flighty and foreign.

Taking a deep breath, Hermione straightened her spine and joined him in the living room. Draco’s silver eyes bulged and she saw his adam’s apple bob as he swallowed with difficulty. She licked her lips as she roamed his gray tuxedo with silver threads and silver satin lapels. His pocket square was a pop of gold and she saw his cuff links were gold D and M.

Neither said a word as they consumed one another with their penetrating gazes. Finally, she saw his eyes were darkened, his hand twitching.

“Shall we?”

He smirked. “I wish we didn’t have to. I’d much rather spend this delightful Saturday exclusively in your presence.”

“You’re a groomsman, Draco,” she reminded him with a laugh.

“I hope you keep that smile on for the rest of the day, love.” He took her hand in his and led her outside to apparate.

* * *

After the topsy turvy sensation of apparition subsided, Hermione took in the spectacle of the Blaise Castle Estate. The bride and groom must have had it enchanted because the normal gray stone facade of the castle glittered and shown like silver. An emerald snake wound around one of the turrets and the engraved crosses had pansies on the ends of them.
“It’s spectacular,” she said in awe. Draco smiled at her and chuckled.

“Not how I was going to describe it… I’d say it’s obnoxious and ostentatious.”

Hermione frowned at him and elbowed him lightly in the ribs. “Stop being such a git. It’s a beautiful display of magic.”

Draco rolled his eyes but led her arm in arm around the castle and into the gardens where the ceremony was being held. It was a gorgeous summer day; perfect for the wedding -- although Hermione suspected that the witches and wizards on the planning team would have cast some weather charms to mimic the natural beauty of this day.

A few peacocks strutted through the gardens, which was lush with all manner of flora. Hermione had never seen some these plants outside of a textbook. Draco was patient with her by stopping near every flower of interest to his date. They were so distracted that the couple didn’t even feel the hundred eyes following them as they approached the chairs in front of an elaborately decorated gazebo.

Before allowing her to sit in her chair, Draco wrapped an arm around her waist and bent close to her ear, so she could feel his warm breath ghost over her lobe. “Remind me to take you beyond those hedges later so I can snog you senseless,” he whispered in a teasing voice.

She giggled lightly and sat gracefully as she could manage. The chairs must have been magically cushioned because it was the most comfortable lawn chair she’d ever sat on. Hermione was surprised when Draco sat next to her, his hand automatically landing on her knee.

“I thought you were a groomsman?”

“I am, but I don’t really feel like mingling with these people right now. I’d much rather not neglect my gorgeous date,” he said, eyeing her darkly, his thumb rubbing circles into her inner thigh. She was lost for a long moment in his molten mercury eyes that matched his tuxedo. For that moment, she didn’t hear the whispers or even acknowledge the presence of the pure-blood guests.

“Won’t they be angry?”

“Angry?” he laughed. “They’re already planning my social demise, love. And I really don’t care. The only thing that matters is that you’re here with me.”

She smiled at him and laid a hand on his cheek, cradling his strong jawline. “I think you’re one of the bravest people that I’ve met, Draco.”

His eyes widened in surprise. “Me? That’s doubtful. Potter--”

“Was brave, yes,” she interrupted him. “But, you face a lot of adversity too. You were forced to become a Death Eater to protect your mother. You faced death to complete your task sixth year, you lived in the same house as Voldemort and survived. All because of your bravery, your self-preservation, but also you made sacrifices for your family. You once told me you were weak, but honestly, you’re one of the strongest people I know.”

Draco’s jaw twitched as if making a decision on how to respond, but instead he pressed his lips to hers. He was kissing Hermione Granger at a pure-blood wedding in full view of the entire guest list including former Voldemort supporters and blood supremacists. She was breathless when he finally pulled away.

Half her lipstick ended up on his lips and she was sure her makeup was in disarray. All she could do was smile at him and wipe the lipstick off his face.

“I don’t think you have to take me behind the hedges anymore,” she joked.

He quirked a smile and said, “Oh, believe me, that’s still happening. I just couldn’t help myself right now. I don’t know if I’ll ever truly recognize what you just said about me, but it means so much to me that you see it.”

“That was quite a display, mate,” a deep familiar voice said behind him. Draco turned to see Blaise in his wedding robes and tux. “It’s lovely to see you, Hermione.” The groom said warmly with a polite nod toward her.

“Need anything, Blaise?” Draco asked a little forcefully. The dark-skinned man shrugged.

“Sit tight, I guess. We’ll be starting in a moment.” The groom winked and strolled toward the gazebo.

Chapter Text

Fortunately, for the time being, Hermione and Draco were spared from the wrath of the pure-blood elitists by the arrival of the bride. All heads turned toward the spectacle near the entrance to the aisle.

Hermione had always known Pansy Parkinson to be a drama queen and a princess type girl, but apparently, when there was a wedding and more wealth poured into her personality, it was even more over the top than she could have dared to dream up.

Blaise waited just outside the entrance to the ornate gazebo. It reminded her of a Hindu wedding she'd attended once. And then the bride appeared, riding majestically on a unicorn down the aisle of guests. The unicorn pranced slowly while Pansy rode side-saddle -- of course, Hermione thought, this is an antiquated pure-blood wedding after all.

Her veil, which had to be at least ten meters long and five meters wide, flowed behind her and was decorated with intricate lace pansies and serpents. Her bridesmaids, the Greengrass sisters each held up a corner of the ridiculously long veil.

“Wow," she blurted out in a whisper. Draco turned to her with an amused expression. He quirked an eyebrow at her reaction. “I didn't think they'd have the audacity to train a unicorn for this purpose. It's outrageous!” Hermione explained in a whisper.

Draco smirked. “Of course you'd be thinking about work at a time like this. But I agree with you… This entire ordeal is outrageous.” She couldn't help but shiver when his lips brushed her earlobe.

The sister bridesmaids gracefully walked to where the unicorn halted in front of the gazebo. The older girl took out her wand and levitated the bride off the rare creature. The crowd ooh'd and ahh'd as the bride effortlessly landed on her feet. Pansy waltzed up to Blaise with her bridesmaids in tow.

The bride and groom shared Slytherin grins with one another and the moment was blissful as if no one were watching them. Of course, they were and one of their Slytherin peers from the crowd gave a whooping cry. Pansy instinctively glanced back into the crowd to find the perpetrator, but her gaze stopped on Draco and Hermione.

Stomach clenching, Hermione held her breath. Draco had stiffened beside her, trapped in Medusa’s gaze. Pansy looked like she might either burst into tears or burst into angry flames for a split second. Hermione tried not to visibly wince at the uncomfortable moment. And then, Pansy Parkinson gave a smirk and a wink before returning her sights to her fiance.

The odd couple released their breaths simultaneously. Draco put his hand on her thigh and squeezed it in relief and appreciation. Hermione had the urge to giggle drunkenly after that minute of pure dread.

After the bride and groom gracefully entered the gazebo, Pansy’s train still flowing out of the entrance, the guests could hear them speaking with the wizard officiant but couldn’t see them. Draco’s arm pressed into hers as he leaned over to whisper something.

“Looks like they’ve chosen to keep the blood-bonding ceremony private, which is very modern.” Hermione nodded in understanding.

She felt relieved at the reprieve. Not that she was squeamish or anything -- she’d seen more than enough of her fair share of blood on the battlefields. There was something intimate about having blood present and shared at a marriage. It was something she didn’t want to witness, especially when it came to the people who despised her blood.

The officiant definitely sounded like he was over 100 years old, which was certainly possible. Chanting voices washed over the audience. Hermione hadn’t heard anything so enthralling and unsettling.

“Urvillus was present at my grandparents' marriage, I believe,” Draco whispered to her. She had to bite her lip to stop from laughing out loud. Had he read her mind?

“Does he have to oversee the bedding ceremony?” she whispered back. Draco smirked.

“Of course! He has to document everything.”

Hermione blushed fiercely, thinking about a decrepit wizard watching her have sex. Then, her stomach turned at the prospect of Pansy and Blaise having sex.

“Don’t worry, princess, I have something else to occupy us during the bedding.” Again, she wondered if he could read her that well or if he was covertly entering her mind with wordless and wandless legilimency.

She pushed that over analyzation out of her mind and started trying to guess what they would be doing during the bedding. It was a sprawling estate, so the possibilities were endless. Hermione cursed herself for not doing any research on the venue.

Draco’s lips whispered against her ear again, “I can hear your mind whirring, Hermione. Turn that brilliant brain of yours off for once.”

“Sorry,” she whispered. His thumb stroked the back of her hand, tracing the veins and bones that stood out against her skin.

All of the sudden, the rest of the crowd stood as if on cue. She and Draco followed suit as Blaise exited the gazebo with Pansy in his arms. Her absurdly long veil floated behind them.

“This witch is officially mine!” Blaise cried out and the pure-bloods clapped politely.

Then, the unimaginable happened. The bride and groom were swarmed by young and middle-aged witches and wizards. Hermione recognized Theo Nott grab the bride from his mate and whisk her away with some other wizards. Blaise looked like he was in heaven when a few witches latched onto his arms and lead him in the direction that the wizards had taken Pansy.

Draco slipped his arm around her waist as the audience milled about, some of them wandering towards the estate house that the bridal party had gone. He started escorting her in the opposite direction, in the realm of the hedges he’d mentioned dragging her behind earlier.

“I thought you weren’t going to drag me behind the hedges,” she teased.

Draco gave her a sly smile, “Don’t tempt me, witch!”

They passed fountains and gardens until Hermione saw where they were going: an outdoor sanctuary. She heard a piercing cry, one she’d heard before, years ago. Large wings flapped behind a few trees.

Hypogriffs. He’d brought her to the hippogriff sanctuary!

“Draco… are you sure?” she sputtered in total disbelief.

“Yes, Hermione. I wanted to show you that I was a right prat the last time I interacted with these creatures and it was wrong to have him executed.”

She smiled at the bittersweet memory of having to use her time turner to save Buckbeak and Sirius’ lives and save Harry from Lupin’s werewolf form. Part of that was Draco’s doing, she realized now. It was in the past now, and he was trying to make it up to her, show her his maturity.

One hippogriff, with sleek black feathers, peeked out at them. Draco smiled and bowed toward it. It was a deep, gentlemanly bow, something he’d been taught as soon as he could walk. Hermione had never seen Draco Malfoy show deference to anyone but his father. To say this gesture warmed her heart was a drastic understatement.

She hadn’t felt simultaneously proud and attracted to someone at the same time until now. After a long twenty seconds, the hippogriff bowed back to him. Hermione saw a smile, a genuine smile, erupt over his handsome features as he slowly approached the creature.

“What should I call him?” he called to her from where the hippogriff was nuzzling his palm.

“How about Midnight?” she suggested. Draco considered it from a second.

“Midnight Malfoy, I like the sound of it.” Hermione laughed and bowed to Midnight in order to approach him.

The hippogriff bowed slightly as if knowing that she was well-meaning almost instantly. She stroked the raven-like feathers of his neck and caught Draco’s staring at her.

“Want to ride him?” he asked. Cold fear bolted into her stomach at the prospect of flying.

Hermione shook her head. “I really shouldn’t. I’d hate to ruin this dress,” she said weakly.

“Would you ride him with me? I promise I won’t let anything happen to you or your dress.” His endearing smile lessened her apprehension.

She watched him climb onto Midnight’s back with the grace of an expert rider. Draco extended his hand to pull her up. Hermione hesitated for a second, but her Gryffindor courage overpowered her fear. He lifted her up easily and she marveled in his strength.

Here, she was doing something she was nervous about for him as he had done so for her. As Midnight took off galloping and picked up speed, she hadn’t felt more alive and safe at the same time with Draco’s arms wrapped around her waist, his chest pressed against her back.

Closing her eyes for a second, Hermione didn’t realize they’d left the ground until she opened them again and saw how small the pure-bloods looked from above. She’d much rather be riding a hippogriff than watching the bedding ceremony. It was the most surreal experience she’d had in years.

Her heart was in her throat when they landed back in the sanctuary. For a minute, she was glad she set her hair with magic because it wouldn’t have stayed in place otherwise.

“Thank you,” Draco murmured into her hair, his voice husky. He slid off Midnight first and caught her when she followed.

She pressed her body against his, her arms already strung around his neck. He shuddered with desire against her. Hermione wasn’t sure who initiated the kiss, but he stole her breath away. For the second time that day, she felt intoxicated even though she hadn’t even had a drop of wine.

When his tongue swiped over her teeth, she moaned into his mouth. Draco pulled her to him tighter and Hermione could feel him hard in his trousers. She sucked on his tongue lightly and reveled in his growling response.

“Do we have to go back to the wedding?” she asked when they came up for air. He chuckled.

“I wish we didn’t have to, but there’ll be gourmet food and drinks there at least.”

“Can we bring some back for Midnight?” Hermione asked, glancing over at the majestic creature laying down under a tree.

“I highly doubt they serve opossum and squirrel at pure-blood weddings.”

Chapter Text

When they reached the grand ballroom in the main estate building, Hermione was happy that the crowd was busy talking because her stomach was growling loudly. She hadn’t eaten anything that day due to her nerves but after the flight on Midnight, she was definitely hungry.

With his palm pressed to her lower back, Draco guided her towards one of the tables away from the throngs of pure-bloods. Hermione marveled at the centerpieces, which hovered a foot above the table, that were serpents wrapping themselves around the fresh flowers -- pansies, of course. She felt his eyes on her, which were still smoldering after their flight and passionate snogging.

Tapping his glass with his wand, red wine appeared in it. Draco brought it to his lips but swirled and sniffed the bouquet. Smiling, he took a sip and glanced at her through the corner of his eye. Hermione bit her lip and slid her wand out of her thigh holster, which made her date nearly choke on his last sip.

Following his lead, she tapped her plate with a determined stare at the fine china. A lovely wedge salad appeared and she grinned even though she’d hoped for something more substantial. Hermione replaced her wand with her fork in hand and started to devour the mountain of iceberg lettuce and creamy dressing.

She nearly bit her tongue off when she felt his warm yet slightly calloused hand ran up her still exposed thigh under the table. His hand nearly gripped three-quarters of her thigh around, his thumb massaging light circles on her sensitive inner thigh. Draco’s eyes had darkened again, which sent a tingle to her core.

“Just the first course, love,” he drawled huskily. “A teaser, eh?”

Somehow, Hermione managed to drown out the crowds around them. It felt like they were alone, which made her want to snog him again. She swallowed and licked the dressing from her lips. His hand tightened around her thigh and a barely growl audible left his lips.

She felt like he was hanging by a thread, a thread away from ravishing her in front of the pure-blood aristocrats. Despite her hunger, Hermione felt more hungry for him than the salad in front of her.

“I see you’ve started without everyone, Granger,” Theo Nott said prowling up behind them.

Draco glared at his Slytherin mate for interrupting their moment that had seemed so private. Even so, he didn’t release her from his grip. Hermione panicked for a second, thinking she’d made a faux pas.

“Go bother one of those pure-blood bints over there, Nott,” Draco suggested with a forced air of boredom.

Theo smiled slyly, not at all fazed by Draco’s insult. “Ah, Master Malfoy, I can’t even speak to your lovely date? How disappointing.”

The blonde rolled his eyes and Theo smirked before walking away. Hermione thought she’d have to go freshen up magically in the powder room soon with the rate she was soaking through her knickers.

“Pay him no mind,” he remarked, taking a sip of his wine. “The lot of them could go to hell for all I care.” Draco stared at his swirling glass of garnet.

Raising her napkin to her lips, Hermione dabbed at any dressing that had escaped her tongue. His hand was forced to relinquish her thigh when she stood. Draco followed suit looking concerned.

“I’m just going to the loo to… erm… freshen up. I’ll be back before you miss me,” she assured him with a smile.

He still seemed a bit forlorn, his furrowed brow creating creases on his forehead. Pulling out his wand, he raised it above his head as he took her hand and pulled her within reach.

“Hold on, Princess.”

Hermione felt the sensation of an egg being cracked on top of her head when he tapped his wand over her. The spell trickled down to her feet and she couldn’t help but feel relieved. However, it was a bit overprotective of him. She could hold her own with the pure-blooded gentry in terms of magical ability and courage. Although, she knew he didn’t think she was weak. He’d seen her in the war, surviving Bellatrix’s curses and torture took a lot of willpower.

“Thanks,” she whispered and headed toward the restrooms where a large blooming pansy hovered over the women’s loo. With the disillusionment charm, Hermione felt a little more confident weaving her way through the groups of giggling witches and whiskey-sloshing wizards with magic on her side.

When she entered the loo, she was overwhelmed by the expansiveness of it. It was almost like a muggle spa: a large sitting area with plush sofas, walls that were completely mirrored, a few sinks with beauty products of all sorts tastefully laid out, as well as the typical stalls with toilets. Hermione stood there, stunned, marveling at the interior.

A second later, she’d been unceremoniously knocked over, face pressed into the cold tile floor. She groaned and heard the perpetrator burst into giggles.

“Oops! Sorry about –– Granger? I thought I saw you earlier!” Hermione peeled herself off the floor, the disillusionment charm gone, and took in her accidental assailant.

She recognized her as the younger Greengrass sister. “Erm, yes. Remind me––”

“Astoria Greengrass – I mean, Nott. Still not used to my new surname,” the blonde witch said blushing.

She’d stuck out her hand and Hermione shook it and noticed the huge rock on her finger and her other hand resting on a slightly protruding baby bump. She gaped for a second and sputtered her next words.

“Congratulations, Astoria. I didn’t realize Theo was married already.”

The blonde’s smile faltered for a second before plastering it back on. “Oh yes, just last year and now we’re expecting a little one in about four months.”

Hermione nodded with a smile, unsure of why this witch was being so pleasant to her. Perhaps, it was her pure-blooded upbringing along with the psychological consequences of the war.

“I need to rush to the toilet, but I must know how you’re here with Draco Malfoy!” The pregnant blonde ushered her over near the stalls and entered one.

Hermione grimaced. “I suppose it’s a strange story, but I ran into him at Pansy’s bachelorette party.”

“Oh yes! I remember you were there for a few minutes. Of course, I was sober, so I’m probably of the few who noticed you,” Astoria squealed from the stall. “You two weren’t close at Hogwarts, though, right?”

She held back a derisive snort. It was the understatement of the century! “We were not close, not at all. I suppose you were two years behind us, so you may not have heard much about our feud.”

A second later, Astoria exited the stall and went over to the sinks to wash her hands.

“I'm not sure what your feud was, but it seemed like you were all Draco ever talked about," the younger witch explained and caught Hermione's eye in the mirror. “I'd always thought he'd had his eye on someone else, that's why he broke off our betrothal.”

Her jaw dropped and she stuttered, "You were engaged to Draco?"

Astoria gave a curt nod and a sly smile when she turned to face her.

“I don't mind, even in hindsight, that he dumped me for a muggle born like yourself. He would have been miserable if he kept pining for another witch. And I've always thought the blood purity ideal was nonsense. But of course, everyone else is gossiping about your presence here.”

Hermione bit her lip. She'd figured as much.

“Don't worry, Hermione. My sister can spread the worst rumors, but the truth is safe with me.”

Her statement touched Hermione's soul. She felt the urge to embrace the blonde but refrained. Though, she couldn't refrain from blurting out, “What are the rumors? So I can prepare myself."

Fixing her hair, Astoria said, “Daphne said that you're Draco's Ministry-appointed escort to keep him from consorting with the Dark Lord's supporters “

Hermione scoffed. "I'm not even an Auror,” she muttered while Astoria applied some perfume.

“Well, I appreciate your candor, Astoria. I'm happy to have officially met you.”

The blonde turned toward her and said, "It was a pleasure, Hermione. Draco is a lucky wizard."

She waited a moment after the Greengrass girl left to exit herself. Halfway back to the table, Hermione realized she hadn't even freshened up. She ignored the eyes on her back and the gnawing in her stomach.

Draco was effortlessly lounging in his chair, sipping his wine, looking haughty as ever until he spotted her. A true smile graced his lips as he took her in.

“You didn't recast the disillusionment spell?" He inquired, eyes darting suspiciously into the crowd.

Hermione rolled her eyes and took his hand in hers. “Draco, let them see me. I'm not afraid of them, what they'll say. I've already been through horrors worse than what a few derogatory words can do to me. After all, I'm giving you a second chance after all the mean things you said and did. I know you want to protect me, but I'll be fine.”

Draco captured her lips in a gentle kiss that promised more sensual things in the future. They should probably stop publicly displaying their affection, but honestly, she didn't care about what they thought. Her and Draco's feelings only mattered in their relationship.

She returned to her salad and Draco tucked into his own. His left hand returned to her thigh, though, and Hermione blushed. Filling her glass with a Sauvignon Blanc, she took a long sip for some liquid courage.

“I ran into your ex-fiance in the loo,” she said and winced when he dropped his salad fork, which clattered against his plate. The tables around them went quiet for a second and stared, but returned to their meals until Draco's icy glare.

“Astoria?" he asked. She nodded.”What did she say to you?"

“She actually said she was happy for us. Can you believe that? She's pregnant too. And I can't believe Theo is married to her. He seemed single when he came over here…” she rambled.

He nodded and explained, “Their marriage is arranged, not a love match. She knows he's unfaithful, but there isn't anything against that in the contract.”

“What about Blaise and Pansy?"

“Theirs is unique. Technically, they've been betrothed since birth but fell in love before marriage. So you could say they're both a love match and arranged.”

"But why did Pansy date you, then? If she knew she'd marry Blaise?”

Draco grimaced at the sore subject. "Because you can contest the arrangement if both parties agree. That's how I got out of my betrothal to Astoria. She was a kind enough person to know that I was too broken for her.”

Hermione cupped his cheek with her hand so he'd look at her. His silver eyes glinted in the light.

“Astoria said she knew you were hung up on another witch. I'm sure she just wanted to give you a chance to be in a love match.”

"I certainly owe her for that even though I hadn't dreamt that you'd ever give me the chance, Hermione. I don't think you'll ever truly know how much this means to me. How much you mean to me.”

Their lips were about to brush when a booming voice erupted from the other side of the room: “Witches and wizards, please stand and welcome the newly wed Mr. and Mrs. Blaise Zabini!”

Chapter Text

To Hermione’s surprise, Pansy and Blaise did not enter the room on a parade float or any kind of flamboyant display. Although, they were in different clothing now. Pansy had traded her wedding dress -- presumably after the bedding ceremony -- in for a voluminous ball gown with enough tulle to clothe an army of house elves. There was a snake entwining around the skirt and up to the fitted bodice in a spiral until it reached between her breasts. Of course, the rest of the dress was dotted with pansies.

Blaise wore a three piece suit entirely of dark green scales -- Hermione hoped it wasn’t genuine dragon leather -- with a pansy boutonniere and a pink tie. The couple smiled broadly and began to waltz in the kind of perfect synchronicity that Hermione hadn’t seen since the Yule Ball.

As she stared, mesmerized by their dancing, she knew Draco’s eyes were glued to her face. He hadn’t even looked at the newlyweds since they appeared. Hermione felt her mouth dry out and blushed under his close watch. While everyone stood to watch the couple dancing, Draco pulled her, with little resistance, onto his lap to sit. His hands ghosted over the silky material of her dress and his mouth tortured her with barely-there kisses on her neck and shoulders.

Needless to say, Hermione was a quivering mess. And her knickers were officially ruined.

She squirmed in his lap, just to give him the taste of his own potion. A groan came from behind her as his groin sought more friction from her bum. Draco panted in her ear, “Little minx… I don’t think I could get up if I wanted to right now. Everyone would see how badly I want you. How badly I’ve wanted you for years.”

He practically purred that last word -- years -- and it made her veins turn to ice. It had only been a week. They’d been seeing each other (if you could even call it that) for a week. This was technically their first date, official at least. Hermione couldn’t let him get carried away. Nothing was guaranteed, right? He thought he had her, but did he?

“Stop,” she said and he froze as well. “We shouldn’t be doing this, Draco.”

“What’s wrong?” Draco ground out through clenched teeth. “Scared of what you’re feeling?”

At that challenge, Hermione slipped off his lap and back into her own chair. “Draco, I’m just worried--” But she didn’t get to finish her thought when he got up and stormed onto the now crowded dance floor.

Part of her wanted to run after him, but she should have know he’d behave this way. Especially after his hasty exit at the tea shop a few days ago. Hermione hadn’t meant to ruin their date. She’d been having a good time up until things got out of hand.

From her vantage point, she couldn’t see his pale blonde head of hair over the sea of writhing purebloods. She should probably go look for him instead of fueling more rumors about her relationship with him by looking dejected and alone. Fuck them, Hermione thought vehemently.

She stood up and smoothed down her dress, but when she stepped forward and looked up, she came face to face with a man in a tuxedo. At first, she was relieved that Draco had returned. And then, she saw his hair was sandy blonde instead of the Malfoy platinum.

“Theo?”

The Slytherin smirked at her. “I see Draco’s left you unattended. Would you like to dance?”

“Erm, well I was just about to see where he went.”

“You didn’t answer my question,” Theo said, eyes glinting with mischief.

“I’m not really in the dancing mood right now, Theo.”

He pursed his lips and then seized her hand. “You did look like you needed cheering up, so that’s why I came over to ask for a dance.”

Hermione looked at her hand in his. It felt wrong. “Why do I have the feeling that this wasn’t asking me to dance but rather demanding one?” She raised an eyebrow.

Theo smiled lasciviously. “You really are the brightest witch of our age, Miss Granger.” His grip tightened around her hand, not too tight but possessive.

She stood her ground and regretted having to keep her wand in her thigh holster as her fingers inched towards the hem of her skirt.

“Oh, Miss Granger. No need to get feisty. It’s just a dance,” he warned, grabbing her wand hand before she could fully grasp it. “Don’t make a scene, wouldn’t want hexes to go flying right now.”

Hermione surveyed their surroundings. Everyone was out on the dance floor, but if wands were drawn, she’d have the wrath of purebloods against her. She reluctantly acquiesced and allowed Theo to lead her where the other couples were dancing.

She willed herself to relax. It’s not like Theo was going to do something. It was a casual dance with her date’s friend who was married yet dubiously faithful. His hand slid to her waist and a slimy sensation wormed its way into her stomach. It was uncomfortable as they moved to the beat.

Hermione had hoped that her search for Draco, or even Astoria, wasn’t obvious, but he purposely led her into a spin that threw off her equilibrium. After that topsy-turvy moment, she regained her wits and saw a familiar platinum head a few couples away.

Draco was dancing with the bride. He and Pansy were swaying close, their heads and necks bent around one another like swan lovers. It almost appeared conspiratorial. Hermione swallowed the jealousy creeping up like bile in the back of her throat.

Then, she felt Theo’s warm breath on her neck as he whispered to her, “I’m sure they’re discussing how their plan backfired.”

Her eyes darted back to the ex-lovers. “What?” she breathed.

“Tsk, tsk, Miss Granger. I can’t believe you didn’t figure this out already. Draco and Pansy have been playing you. She made up that story about the polyjuice potion. You fell for that load of bollocks?”

Her throat constricted, her eyes burned. “How do you know this?”

“My dear, Miss Granger,” he said with pity in his lilting voice. “I know when someone’s being fooled. I am a Slytherin, after all.”

Theo spun her again, this time letting her hand go and as she started to stumble, a pair of hands caught her. Hermione realized it was Draco holding her by the waist. Her breath caught in her lungs, her head still not quite on straight.

“I’m sorry,” Draco said, a strand of blonde hair falling into his eyes.

As she recomposed herself, Hermione didn’t respond. She let him lead into a waltz while she was thinking about what Theo said and trying to reconcile it with the past week of interactions and events. Perhaps, she’d interpreted everything wrong. Were her instincts that off?

Had she imagined his embarrassment when Pansy had whispered into his ear at the bar and pointed her out? Was he that good of an actor when he was angry at Pansy for spilling his secret to her? Had he faked his long-held attraction? He’d physically reacted to her, though… She supposed maybe, even if he was faking the emotional investment, Draco could be sexually stimulated by her.

The bigger question was what were they trying to get out of it? Her secrets? Her deepest desires? Her embarrassment in front of the entire pureblood population of Wizarding Britain? She hadn’t really questioned why he wanted her, ever. It had seemed like a given. He’d cried in front of her.

Hermione looked back up at him, his eyes silver intense, trying to read her mind -- without legilimency. The little crease between his brows made him look like a child who wasn’t getting his way. She finally found her voice.

“Please tell me Theo was wrong.” The crease deepened.

“About what?”

“About why I’m here.” His fierce gaze sought out his friend in the crowd.

“What did the bastard say?” Draco demanded, his grip on her waist tightening to where she’d more than likely have bruises the next day.

“Like you don’t know,” she scoffed, trying to pull out of his arms. He didn’t fight her, but he stood close.

“I don’t, Hermione. Theo lies as easily as casting a summoning charm.” Draco reached for her again and then thought better of it.

“He-he said this was all fake,” she said, voice shaking with anger. “You and Pansy were plotting a way to get me here... to embarrass the mudblood.”

He looked as if she’d slapped him with the last word. Draco was speechless for a minute as Hermione glared at him. After he didn’t confirm or deny her accusation, she turned on her heel and made for the exit.

“Hermione, wait!” she heard him call as she’d almost escaped the dance floor.

Throwing a stinging jinx behind her, Hermione felt better with her wand in her hand. It grounded her to reality. It made her feel powerful in this absurd situation that she’d allowed herself to be fooled into. Tears started to spill unbidden.

Suddenly, a blur of tulle appeared in her path. It was Pansy, holding her arms out to stop her from leaving. Taken aback, Hermione gaped at the bride.

“How do you walk so fast, Hermione? Damn, witch!” Pansy said out of breath. “Please don’t leave, Hermione. Theo’s a sodding snake! He tried to destroy my relationship with Blaise, too. He thinks we should all be as miserable as he is.”

Hermione crossed her arms. “Why should I believe you? How am I supposed to know that this wasn’t some sort of game to mess with my head?”

Blaise and Draco had appeared on either side of Pansy. The groom’s arm slipped around her waist where the sewn snake also wrapped around her. Hermione felt her resolve breaking at the sight of that gesture. She wanted Theo to be lying, but she didn’t want to be blindsided. She wanted all those lovely moments with Draco to be real.

“Because I want Draco to be happy. We’ve put all the shite that we’d done to each other when we were together behind us. We’re better off as best friends than lovers. But you, your intelligence and your bravery, are perfect for Draco. I think you’ll compliment and balance one another out. He can be stubborn, but he’s loveable. I hope in time that you’ll see all that if you haven’t seen some of it already. He’s mad for you, Hermione. He’s been suffering because he thought you hated him. How can we prove that Theo has filled your head with lies?”

Hermione let her words sink in. She’d been swept up by Draco’s affections and then so quickly swayed by Theo’s words. What was wrong with her? Who was she? She no longer felt like the Golden Girl.

She realized that at some point the music had ceased and, as she glanced over her shoulder, they four of them had an audience of aristocrats. Anxiety bubbled in her stomach like shaken-up champagne. Hermione shook her head.

“I won’t be made a fool of. I don’t care that everyone is watching. So even if that’s what you wanted, according to Theo, you’ve been unsuccessful.” Hermione thought she saw Draco smirk at that. “I think I could develop feelings for you, Draco. Given more time and dates, I want to fall for you, even though it scares me to say that much. I was afraid that I was leading you on before because I’m physically attracted to you, but the emotional feelings aren’t there yet, at least not at the level that you have expressed to me. You have no idea how it feels to have someone head over heels for you when you barely know them as an adult. It’s like we’re on two different paths right now and they could converge in due time.”

Draco approached her slowly, as if she were a skittish animal. Once he was close enough, his eyes pleaded with her to let him take her hand. She nodded.

“You have no idea how happy it makes me to hear you say all that. And I should have realized sooner how you’d feel, especially since I’ve been in that position too,” he admitted and looked back at Pansy. Hermione couldn’t hide her blush. Pansy must have been in love with him at Hogwarts. “Hermione Granger,” he projected his voice so the wedding guests could hear him. “I love you for your courage, your intellect, your wit, and most of all for your honesty. And it’s fine if you don’t feel that way. As long as there’s a chance you might one day be, I’ll wait and try my best to help you get there.”

Hermione bit her lip shyly. He’d proclaimed his love for her in front of the society that raised him. She wouldn’t be surprised if his parents were in there somewhere. Her stomach dropped just imagining Lucius Malfoy keeling over at the sight. It made his confession all the more powerful. Theo had been lying.

Before she could think any more of it, Draco swept her into a passionate kiss. Her arms draped around his shoulders, her feet leaving the floor.

Chapter Text

“Harder, Draco! Just a little bit--”

He cut her off with a sharp look and she blushed, realizing how dirty she sounded. She bit her lip to keep from laughing as he continued to struggle to open the bottle of wine. Draco’s face had reddened a bit from the amount of strength he exerted trying to pry the cork from the prized bottle of Domaine Leroy Chambertin Grand Cru 1990.

Hermione had insisted that they have their first date after the wedding in a private setting and prepare dinner together the “muggle way.” She’d seen his face fall at the last stipulation, but it didn’t stop him from buying expensive cuts of beef and fish as well as the nearly priceless bottle of red.

His face lit up as the cork loosened and slid out of the bottle’s neck. She smiled back, knowing that he was trying his best to do it the muggle way. Draco poured them each a glass in the fanciest crystal glasses Hermione had ever seen. Of course, he’d have such fine glassware at his London flat, what bachelor wouldn’t?

“To us,” he toasted, winking at her.

“To our first private date.” She couldn’t resist one-upping him. He smirked at her, a spark flashing in his silver eyes as he took a sip. Hermione mirrored him. She resisted the urge to giggle because the wine didn’t taste any different to her than the very cheap bottle she bought last week.

The steaks and fillets were laid out on the granite countertops near the stove -- the kitchen was nearly as big as her entire flat. While he stared at the stovetop controls, Hermione went into her bag for some tools she brought that she thought he might not have.

When he saw her pulling out a meat thermometer, he remarked, “Wow, love, I didn’t think you were ready for that yet.”

Hermione rolled her eyes at him. “Shut it, Draco. This is a meat thermometer. We use it to make sure the meat is cooked thoroughly.”

He scoffed. “I know what a thermometer is, pet.” Even as he said it, she thought the word sounded foreign on his tongue.

“Right, then. I await your command, master chef!” she challenged him. He looked down his nose at her, his lip curling deviously.

“Get me a pan, sous chef.” She felt his molten silver eyes following her movements as she bent over in her skirt that only reached the middle of her thighs. He’d be delighted to get a peek at her navy blue lace knickers that barely covered any of her ass cheeks. Hermione knew not to tempt him too much lest he become hungrier for more carnal things.

“Here you are, sir. What else do you need?” she said, placing the frying pan on the stovetop.

Draco hesitated, wracking his brain for his very basic cooking knowledge, which was learned from watching house elves in the Manor’s kitchens. He eyed her bag for a second.

“What else did you bring there, Hermione?” She bit her lip again and damn if it didn’t drive him up a wall. He wanted to suck it into his mouth and worry it with his teeth then soothe it with a few swipes of his tongue. She was distracting and challenging him to lose his mind.

Frustrated, he summoned her bag and she frowned, a line creasing between her brows. “Draco…” she warned. “I said no magic!”

“You’ve got me on the end of my tether, love! I can’t use magic, I can’t ravish you like I want to, what more will you take away from a wizard?” he said in exasperation.

“Ravish me?” Hermione quirked an eyebrow. He saw a teasing glint in her eyes and a grin that hinted toward something more than amusement.

He set the bag on the counter behind her as he backed her in the corner between the stove and the countertop. “What that a question or a challenge, pet?” His hands were on either side of her, not touching her waist, but gripping the edge of the countertop as he leaned toward her.

Her stomach flipped at his closeness. She wanted him. Her body was constantly at war with her logic on the subject. All Hermione wanted was for his well-muscled form to press against hers and create some friction against her aching nipples and throbbing clit. Her tongue wet her lips and his eyes nearly turned black with desire as he dipped his head towards hers.

“You’re so tempting, my little sous chef,” he whispered huskily. “I might need your help with something non-cooking related.” His hips pressed into her stomach briefly, but long enough to feel the steel rod barely contained in his trousers.

“Draco,” Hermione whimpered. “We agreed we wouldn’t do this…”

A heavy sigh escaped him.

“But I really do want to,” she finished and met his molten metal eyes now reignited with passion.

Without any further hesitation, Draco captured her lips in a bruising kiss, his teeth scraping at her tantalizing lower lip and then sucked it into his mouth to soothe it with his tongue. She moaned into his mouth and threw her arms over his shoulders to bring him closer. Hermione didn’t even care that the counter was jabbing her almost painfully in the lower back.

Their tongues battled for dominance, chasing and sucking and moaning in unison. Draco was the first to break away to see her swollen lips and half-lidded eyes.

“A little snogging never hurt anyone, love,” he remarked, nipping at her nose playfully. “While the snogging is that good, the other stuff can wait and it’ll be just as fantastic.”

She grinned and pulled him down again, a clash of tongues once more. It was selfish, wanting him closer, so she could gain some friction, which only seemed to make her hornier. Hermione pulled away, breathless.

“Thank you, Draco. For waiting. It’s not easy, I know.” He smirked at that, his lips a vibrant red against his pale skin and his silver-blonde hair sticking up from when she’d run her hands through it.

“Shall we continue cooking, then?”

“Yes, master chef! I’m quite famished.”

Chapter Text

“Draco,” she warned upon opening her door and unable to see him past the giant flower arrangement.

“What? That’s all you say to a man who shows up on your doorstep with flowers?” he said defensively, his voice muffled behind the bouquet.

“I told you that I don’t do Valentine’s Day!” Hermione crossed her arms, still not letting him through the door.

“It’s not for Valentine’s Day. Can’t a bloke bring his girlfriend flowers on any given day?”

She rolled her eyes. “I suppose, but not two dozen red roses!”

“Hermione, my love, you’re dating a Malfoy.” She scoffed at the implication. “I can’t just buy you carnations. It’s all or nothing, pet.”

Hermione noted that he said the word “carnation” as if it were something as disgusting as liverwurst.
“Will you at least let me in? It’s cold out here!” Draco whined.

“Fine, but the flowers stay outside.”

She saw him hesitate for a second and he set the flowers on the front step when he saw her raised eyebrow. Out of the corner of her eye, Hermione thought she saw him cast a charm, most likely a stasis charm on the flowers. She huffed as he followed her inside.

He was dressed to the nines in his finest robes complete with a tasteful silk cravat while she was wearing her flannel pants, Draco’s soft t-shirt he’d bought from a muggle store when she forced him to go, and the hippogriff slippers Draco gifted her for Christmas.

Draco glanced around the room and frowned. “Was I interrupting something?” He eyed the books and various papers littering the expanse of the rug in the living room.

“Yes, actually. I’ve been doing some research at home because I needed more space to organize the information than my broom closet of an office.”

“This is organizing? Ow!” Draco yelped as she had shot a nonverbal stinging hex at his arse.

“What do you want, Malfoy?”

He winced, not from another hex, but because she only ever called him by his surname when she was enraged. Draco knew self-preservation well and knew when to use it. Throwing his hands up, he gave up.

“Alright, alright. I was hoping to surprise you with an unforgettable Valentine’s Day, hoping it would change your mind about it, but it seems I’m out of luck. I had flowers, a lovely dress for you to wear to our dinner of sushi and sake, and even some mochi for dessert.

Hermione’s eyes brightened for a second when he mentioned sushi -- a delicacy and favorite new food for her. Her gaze flickered to her work strewn all over the floor and returned to his disappointed expression.

“I even had this,” he continued, trying to pique her interest. Draco held out his hand with a Japanese-looking coin in the center of his palm.

“Is that… is that an international port key?” she asked in disbelief.

Draco smirked and shrugged. “I was going for authenticity.”

She pulled his head down to her level for a kiss, trying to not let his comment ruin the moment. He deepened the kiss by sucking on her lip until she opened her mouth for his tongue to sweep against hers. Hermione couldn’t help but moan at the contact.

“Will you put it on and come with me?” he whispered into her ear, licking her lobe.

“Hmmm?”

“The dress, Hermione,” he chuckled against the soft skin of her neck.

“Oh, right. Fine,” she reluctantly relinquished her hold on him.

“It’s on your bed, love.”

She eyed him suspiciously. He just gave her one of his blindingly sincere smiles as he followed her to the bedroom.

Hermione looked as though she was going make a kind of snarky retort when she saw what was waiting for her.

“Oh my… Draco, it’s beautiful!”

“I was hope you’d say that about the roses too, but I take it,” he grumbled, leaning against the door frame.

Hermione held up the handmade red silk dress that was similar to a Japanese kimono, but not quite the same, with a more Westernized spin on it. She went to take the t-shirt off, but remembered Draco was still present. He was appraising her, like he always did when they were alone.

They hadn’t had sex yet even though it had been almost six months. They’d done other things, of course, so he’d seen and felt her curves, but not her fully naked underneath -- or on top of -- him. He’d give anything to see every inch of her supple skin.

“Go on,” he dared her, a glint in his eye. “I’ll need to fasten it anyway, so I might as well stay here to make sure it fits.”

She rolled her eyes, but something in the way her lip curled told him that she didn’t mind him seeing her undress. Draco held his breath as she shed his t-shirt that she’d adopted as hers. He’d speculated that she hadn’t been wearing a bra and was correct. She’d turned away from him, but he could see the delicious swell of one breast as she picked up a bra from her bureau.

His cock stiffened remembering how he’d brought her to orgasm a few weeks ago but just sucking on her nipples and all it took to tip her over the precipice was a strum of her little button. She’d drenched his hand and almost made him cum in his shorts.

Annoyance took the edge off his burgeoning erection when she slid the dress on without taking her flannel pants off. Hermione demurely glanced at him and tugged the pants down with the dress covering her bottom half. The dress fit her like a glove, sure, but he hadn’t gotten to glimpse her pert arse in some of those lacy panties she liked to wear.

Hermione pulled her hair over one shoulder and turned her back to him, waiting for him to clasp the back. He stalked over to her and molded his front to her form after closing the dress. His half-hard erection dug into the dip of her spine before it met her bum.

“You’re such a tease, witch,” Draco growled into her ear.

She laughed and pressed her hips backwards, grinding against him. “You love the chase, Draco, don’t deny it. You’d been handed everything in your life until me. You enjoy going after what you can’t have.”

“I almost have you, darling. Don’t forget who you’re with,” he rasped, grinding into her and sneaking a hand around to palm her through her bra.

She tilted her head back to look at him and bit her lip. “How could I forget? I’m with a Malfoy,” Hermione purred sweetly before he captured her mouth with his.

Chapter Text

Draco could tell her eyes were puffy and her nose was stuffy from crying. She’d attempted to cover it up with glamour charms, but he knew her too well now. He would have voiced this concern except for the fact that Hermione had thrown herself at him before he’d even walked through the floo.

She’d pressed him against the brick in a cloud of floo powder and started snogging the living daylights out of him. If it weren’t for the fact that she was wearing a sheer nightie and absolutely nothing underneath, he would have questioned everything about the situation. However, with her warm, supple curves pressing against him and her desperation for his mouth, hands, and the rest of his body to be as close as humanly possible, Draco’s rational and emotional brain was currently on vacation and the helm had been left to his baser instincts.

His hands had automatically gone to her shapely bum, and she’d wrapped her legs around his hips. With his cock in full control of his decisions, Draco walked them over to the sofa where he laid her down and subsequently was pulled on top her, but not before she’d cast a non-verbal vanishing spell on his clothes, so now he was bare arsed-naked with the woman he loved.

He could barely think about what had spurred this random sexual attack, let alone process why it was happening. All he could think was that it was going to happen. Hermione was going to let him make love to her. His body and brain were so overstimulated that he almost didn’t hear her whispering something in the middle of all her delectable noises.

“Please,” she kept chanting, over and over again in between sniffling. Hermione Granger didn’t beg.

Draco finally took a good look at the witch writhing under him. More tear tracks lined down her face, the mascara smudged around her eyes like a badger. Hermione was clutching him like a lifeline, like an escape from something.

The knot in his stomach halted him from continuing to ravish her. Sighing, he kissed her lips and tasted the salt from her tears. Her hands were clutching him, trying to cajole him into having sex with her.

“Hermione,” he croaked. “What’s wrong?”

He saw the desperation in her tawny eyes transform into rage. “What’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with you? I throw myself at you and you’re questioning me?” she mocked.

“That’s not fair, love. As much as I’d fuck you in a heartbeat right now, I want to know why you’re crying.” Draco was trying to be gentle despite her pettiness.

He snarled when she grabbed his cock and started stroking it with expertise in her small, warm hand. The primal part of his brain resumed its reign for a second and Hermione was grinning at her dominance over him. She let go of him to caress his balls, which allowed him enough time to pull out of her grasp.

His erection bobbed obscenely as he put a few feet of distance between them. Hermione looked like a harpy glaring at him. Draco tried to collect his thoughts now that her body was no longer so close to his.

“Fuck, Hermione,” he said in exasperation. “Please tell me what happened.” She bit her lip and looked resolute for a second before grabbing her wand.

Draco panicked. This was it, she was going to hex his bollocks off and his wand was all the way across the room. He wondered if he could grab it if he made a dash for it. As he prepared to leap, he saw her cast a spell towards the floor.

“Expecto patronum!” she cried. Hermione sobbed as a silvery half-cat half-kneazle formed in front of her. His eyes widened in recognition.

“Crookshanks… Merlin, no!” Draco dropped onto the couch beside her. Forgetting his nudity, he took her hand in his, rubbing light circles into her knuckles. She sobbed into his shoulder as the silvery patronus pranced about and then disappeared.

“We’ll get through this, Hermione. I’m so sorry, love.” He hadn’t particularly had a good relationship with Hermione’s familiar, but it was still sad and he knew she’d loved him fiercely.

Draco pressed a kiss into her wild curls on the top of her head as she cried herself to sleep in his arms.

***

Hermione struggled to open her eyes, which were swollen shut from crying. A pale arm was slung around her middle as they lie in her bed. She turned to see Draco sleeping peacefully with his silvery hair sticking up in all directions. It warmed her heart to see him so relaxed without a care in the world.

Then, she felt his erection nudging her hip, and she realized he was naked under the sheets. And at the sight of his nude form, she remembered the events of last night. Hermione felt absolutely mortified!

She’d basically jumped his bones trying to shag him in her grief; she’d mocked him when he tried to get her to talk about it, to which she’d tried to manhandle him into sex; then he’d pushed her away and she’d broken down completely. He’d been patient with her and he hadn’t been angry with her at all, even when she’d snapped at him.

What did she do to deserve him? Draco Malfoy was a good man even though she wouldn’t have thought that six months ago. A man who denied her so their first time together could be special instead of during her rock bottom. She wanted to make it up to him for last night.

***

Draco was having the most pleasant wet dream he’d had in a while. Perhaps, it was because he’d come so close to finally shagging Hermione last night despite the circumstances. She was sucking his cock like her life depended on it. His hand was buried in her voluminous hair and then she deep-throated him and he couldn’t hold back the pull in his balls as he emptied himself into her mouth.

The force of the orgasm woke him as he yelled, “Hermione!” His jaw dropped when he saw and felt her give his cock one last suck and then murmur a spell over her throat. “Holy shit, love.”

The witch gave him a sly smile. “I wanted to thank you for last night. And to say I’m sorry for manipulating you like that… I just was so overcome…” She sniffled, her cheeks turning a pink tinge.

Draco reached to pull her up to lay flush against him. She was still wearing that silk nightie, which felt almost as divine against him as her actual skin did. He stroked her skin to soothe her as she buried her face into his chest.

“It’s alright, love. No need to thank me because I’ll always be here for you when you’re sad, angry, happy, drunk and especially horny,” he murmured and tugged on her earlobe with his teeth.

Hermione squealed and giggled as his hands assaulted her with tickling. Once he relented, they kissed lazily, a much different pace from her aggressive snogging last night. She broke the kiss and her honey-eyed stare made his stomach flip.

“I love you, Draco Malfoy. And not because you didn’t take advantage of my state last night, but because I know I can trust myself with you, I can confide in you, and I know you’ll always be there for me.”

He knew he was crying and he didn’t care as he reignited their kissing with more purpose. “I love you too, Hermione Granger.”

***

Hermione had wanted to tell him she loved him for over a week, but she’d never found a good time to do it. The moment always felt off or not significant enough. This moment, however, seemed perfect. She’d felt intimate with him and needed to say it.

Draco had looked so happy with tears spilling down his face. His silver eyes had melted for her and she wanted to give him the world. Even with the absence of Crookshanks still tearing her apart, she felt like with Draco’s care, she could get through anything.

She threw her leg over his hips and pushed him onto his back as they kissed. When she pulled back, Hermione could see the wonder in his eyes. Grabbing the hem of her nightie, she slowly revealed the length of her body and threw the material to the floor.

His eyes widened. “Hermione,” he breathed. “You are the most beautiful woman, truly.” He reached out almost hesitant to touch her. She bit her lip to stifle a giggle as he drew his thumb over her hip bone.

“I’m all yours, Draco.”

His jaw dropped and hunger built in his eyes. He opened and closed his mouth a few times before he could manage, “Are you sure?”

Hermione nodded and felt his hardening erection nudging her bum insistently. He sat up to kiss her, his tongue plundering her mouth. She moaned as their tongues stroked one another and she imagined what he’d feel like deep inside her. A gush of wetness dripped onto her inner thigh.

Raising herself up on her knees, Hermione took him into her hand to line the weeping head up with her opening. Draco groaned under her, his tongue and teeth running along her collarbone.

“You’re so ready for me, love. So wet for me.”

Hermione sank down slowly onto him, feeling the tip slide into her tight channel. She hadn’t taken anyone in a while besides Draco’s fingers and tongue. Her nipples hardened against his warm chest. He was panting as she sank a bit lower, letting herself adjust to his size. If she was honest, Draco had the longest cock she’d ever seen. He didn’t have as much girth as past partners, but she looked forward to seeing how deep he could go.

“You’re so tight for me, Hermione. I can’t wait to feel you come around – Fuck!” he swore as her pussy fluttered around him at the mention of her coming. She giggled. “You love when I talk dirty to you, don’t you love?”

“I’ve only known your tongue so far, Draco. I’ll let you know if I like your cock better,” she joked breathlessly as she took him in farther. He grunted, unable to say more as his cock disappeared inside her.

When she was flush against him, Hermione’s eyes were rolling back at how deep he was, how full she felt. He shifted under her and she gasped. Her nails were digging into his shoulders as she tried to raise herself up.

She managed to get halfway up before her legs gave out at the sensation of him filling her to maximum capacity. Draco was breathing hard, trying not to move.

“Draco… I can’t…” she said barely coherent. His hands reached for her arse cheeks to help guide her up and down.

“Oh my…” she babbled as he went at a gentle pace, lightly thrusting up into her from the bottom. Hermione felt like she’d never been so full or wet in her life. If she hadn’t been so preoccupied by her building orgasm, she would have been embarrassed by the squelching sound of her pussy around his cock as they moved.

“Fuck… love, can I lay you down? I promise I’ll make you come faster,” he said huskily into her ear.

“Yessss!” Hermione hissed as a slight change in angle made her see stars.

***

Rolling her onto her back, Draco took control and delved into her sweet pussy. She gasped every time he bottomed out inside her and then her walls clenched as his cock retreated. It was heaven and it was exactly as spectacular as he’d imagined. Her legs were wrapped around him, her heels digging into his arse as he pumped in and out.

He knew she was close, especially when she whined and her hips snapped up towards his, chasing her blissful end. Draco was thankful that she’d perfectly sucked him off before this or else he’d never had lasted with her angelic body encasing him. Wickedly, he knew exactly what would make her cum.

“You want to cum, don’t you, pet?” His words made her walls clench. She bit her lip and nodded. Her nails were scraping down his back in an effort to have him closer.

His stubble brushed down her neck, placing kisses here and there: her beauty mark on her throat, her clavicle, the scar just between her breasts, and then the main course. Hermione had the most gorgeous pair of tits he’d ever seen. Draco had cum on them countless times by now.

He engulfed a stiff nipple in his mouth and sucked on it. His other hand pinched its sister and he heard Hermione scream. Her head was thrown back in pleasure, the veins on her neck standing out. Simultaneously, her pussy tightened like a vice and practically squeezed his own orgasm from him. It was an out-of-body experience for Draco.

Using all his willpower, he held back his own pleasure to see Hermione through hers. Her face was contorted into a silent scream now that the sound had escaped her, her curls strewn across the pillow. Draco kept thrusting into her contracting heat and suckling her tits. She was gasping for air.

After at least a few minutes, her body relaxed into a boneless heap beneath him. He would have thought that she’d passed out until he looked up from her breast to see her tawny eyes half open. Hermione sported the laziest grin he’d ever seen on her after an orgasm.

“That good, huh?” he teased.

She hummed in response and gasped as he circled his hips. Her eyes rolled back for a second.

“I’ve rendered Hermione Granger speechless. I’m officially a sex god!”

***

Hermione swatted her prat of a boyfriend on the shoulder. “Shut up and prove that you can do it more than once,” she dared him.

His smile was infectious and roguish. “Are you proposing an experiment, love?”

“Did you forget who you were shagging, Draco?”

He squinted at her in mock confusion. She laughed and spanked him. “I love you, Hermione Granger.”

“And I love you too, Draco Malfoy.”