"I've had a really great time with you," Cormac said, and though Hermione herself wouldn't have described their night as great, it hadn't been nearly as awful as she'd anticipated.
"Me too," she agreed.
"Can... can I see you again?"
"You see me at work all the time."
"I know, but I'd like to take you out again."
Hermione felt her neck heating up. There wasn't any reason to say no. Cormac was attractive, they'd had a decent time, it was convenient, and it wasn't like she was seeing anyone—not really—and so, it didn't really feel like she had much of a choice when she said, "I would like that. Yeah."
Cormac grinned and said goodnight, and when he kissed her, it was nice. Stars didn't fall, mountains didn't move, but it was nice, and then he left her.
Alone in her apartment, she swore under her breath before she slid off her heels and went to shower the night away.
Working for Albus Dumbledore was a dream come true. Sure, it was a reception job, and sure, most of the other lawyers in the firm seemed to think her only job was fetching them coffee, but serving a year as Albus Dumbledore's personal receptionist would set her up for life. With him as her reference, no law school in the country would turn her down, and she liked to think she'd made a good enough impression to secure herself a job after school, too.
It might've been a job at the bottom but working for Dumbledore wasn't that bad. She liked many of the other lawyers he worked with. McGonagall had always been kind to her, as had Slughorn. With Dumbledore, she learned something new every day.
The only problem with working for Dumbledore, was Grindelwald. What Dumbledore saw in him, Hermione didn't understand, but even she had to admit, he had a good track record. The occurrence of Grindelwald losing a case was almost as rare as Dumbledore losing one, and as such, it seemed he was there to stay, lack of morals and all.
And then... there was Riddle.
Hermione had hated Tom Riddle from the very moment she first laid eyes upon him, and the feeling was, undoubtedly, mutual.
Tom Riddle, Grindelwald's best associate, was possibly the most selfish, arrogant, unbearable employee the firm had to offer. To make matters worse, he was painfully beautiful, far too intelligent for his own good, and it was evident that he genuinely believed the sun shone out of his arse.
She hated the way he never asked for his coffee, instead outstretching a wide palm as he passed her desk in the morning as if getting it for him was her first priority of the day.
She hated the way his overpriced shoes would click obnoxiously against the floors whenever he passed.
She absolutely loathed the way the others in the firm would hang onto his every word, vying for his attention as if he were some sort of celebrity, as if they would better themselves by merely being seen to associate with him.
But what she hated the very most about Tom Riddle, was that he was an unbelievable fuck.
The best she ever had, to be precise... not that she'd ever tell him as much.
But it was because of that, that she didn't even have the defence of saying she'd only slept with him the once.
The first time had been out in the cleaner's storeroom the night of their work Christmas party. She'd had far too much to drink that night and after overhearing he and Malfoy discussing his victory over his most recent unwinnable case, she hadn't been able to help herself. She'd accused him of setting a fraudulent madman free without the slightest bit of remorse and had demanded he feel some semblance of shame for himself. Needless to say, he hadn't, and they'd instead bickered for a solid half hour, and when he abruptly asked her if she'd like to step out somewhere more private with him, she'd been far too worked up to say no.
And it had been...
It'd been good. So good, in fact, that a week later, after Tom had gotten in an argument with Grindelwald that the whole office had been able to hear, she didn't even consider saying no when he invited her into the stairwell with him.
After that, their... arrangement had begun. They met in his office when Dumbledore and Grindelwald were out. They met in the printing room under the stairs. They met in the disabled bathroom, they frequented out to Riddle's car, and once (Hermione's personal favourite), they'd fucked on Malfoy's desk.
They never spoke about it—what they were—but she thought they had an understanding.
It was just sex. Great sex, at that. Nothing more.
And for months, so it'd been.
It wasn't that Hermione wanted to stop sleeping with Riddle... it was more that she had to stop sleeping with him.
Truly, she hated herself for it. He was the last one she wanted herself to want. But she just couldn't... really... stop thinking about him.
His hair, the feel of it in her fingers.
His chest, the warmth of it under her palms.
His lips on her neck, his hands on her waist, his co—
Hermione cleared her throat and swept her hair back, attempting to focus her thoughts on what was on her computer screen and not what was in Riddle's pants.
But the point was, she was gone. Absolutely, awfully gone for Riddle, and it went against every single one of her morals, and she hated herself for it.
She needed to get over him, and to do that, she needed to nip what they had in the bud, and so... Cormac.
Ginny always said, the best way to get over a man, was to get under another, and besides, Cormac made sense. He was awfully keen on her, and he was nice to her, unlike Riddle. He wanted to be with her, and be seen in public with her, unlike Riddle.
They would be good together. She knew it. It was just a matter of time.
Initially, she'd hoped she could simply avoid Riddle and after a while, their arrangement would just... fizzle. But as though he sensed her desire for space, he tried to single her out not once, not twice, but three times that week. She avoided him—quite successfully—by slipping into the bathroom, popping into Dumbledore's office and ducking under her desk.
But on that Wednesday, the fourth time he came looking for her, she was far too distracted by her work that by the time she noticed him closing in on her desk, it was far too late.
She'd been spotted.
Hermione didn't immediately look up, and his fingertips began to tap impatiently on her desk. Instead, she took her time in finishing the sentence she was typing before she glanced up, giving him her best impression of unbothered.
He was looking down at her with a familiar sort of glint in his eyes, and he didn't hesitate before saying, "the photocopier down the hall's jammed again. It could really use your... hands."
Hermione ignored the flush of heat building under her skin and crossed her legs. "...was that your attempt at an innuendo?"
Riddle glanced down the hallway before he leaned in. "It sounded better than come fuck me in the closet down the hall, didn't it?"
Hermione snorted loudly before she too checked around them to make sure no one was in ear shot. "Marginally," she said, and before he had the chance to say anything, she added, "well, I'm sorry Riddle, but you'll just have to look after yourself." She glanced at her computer pointedly. "I'm swamped."
"Dumbledore's not in."
She raised an eyebrow. "And...?"
"How busy can you be when your boss is gone?"
"Quite busy. Exceedingly busy, actually. I don't think I'll even have time for lunch."
"Busy doing what?"
"Um," she said, frowning, "not that it's any of your business, but Dumbledore's got a very demanding schedule. Managing him is a full-time job on the best of days, but today it so happens that I need to not only find time to pick up his dry cleaning but also fetch Fawkes from the groomers."
Tom's eyes narrowed. "You're lying."
"I am not!"
"I've been doing this a long time, Granger. Long enough to know that you're fiddling with your pen like that because you're lying to me."
She huffed. "For your information, this is how I like to hold my pen."
"Whatever you say," he said dismissively. "I'll come back then. Four-thirty?"
"Are you free at four-thirty?" He asked, voice louder now.
"No, I heard you. I just couldn't quite believe you were actually attempting to pre-book a convenient time to have sex with me."
"I wanted to be spontaneous, but you said no," he said, shrugging.
She rolled her eyes. "Well it doesn't matter. I can't. At this rate, I think I'll be busy all night."
Tom hummed and leaned closer, eyes narrow. "Are you trying to avoid me?"
His frown deepened. "Then what's wrong with you?"
"What do you mean, what's wrong with me?" Hermione asked, straightening. "Nothing's wrong with me. Something doesn't need to be wrong with me for me to not want to have a shag with you in a cupboard."
He nearly laughed and leaned closer still on her desk. "It doesn't have to be the cupboard," he said, glancing toward Dumbledore's office behind her. "How about—"
"That's—ugh, how could you even—that's even worse!"
He was properly laughing now. "But it'd be thrilling, no?"
"That's not what you called me last time. If I remember correctly, it was more along the lines of please, My Lord. Fuck me harder, My Lord. Oh yes, right there, My Lo—"
Hermione slapped his arm, "Tom!"
He laughed louder. "No one's around," he said. "The verdict of Gellert's latest is today. If you actually were as busy as you say sorting Dumbledore's schedule, you'd know that that's where he is."
Hermione's eye twitched. "...well, then why aren't you there with him?"
Tom smiled sweetly. "I had some photocopying I wanted to get done."
She took a breath to calm herself. "Well, I know you're not used to hearing the word no, but there it is. I'm too busy." She gestured to the stationary cupboard behind him. "Feel free to take a box of tissues though. For... you know."
His fingers thrummed against her desk. "Why?"
"Why not? You've never said no before. Last time, I got you off twice, it couldn't have been too bad—"
Hermione cut him off with a sigh. "If... if you absolutely must know, I... I'm actually..." Her stomach turned, just do it, just do it. "I've started seeing someone."
Tom's features seemed to freeze in place, as if he was waiting for her to go on. Her cheeks heated at his prolonged attention, and eventually, he shifted to rub at his stubble.
"Is it serious?" He eventually asked.
"It's... I don't know. It's still early," she said. "But as you can imagine, I'm fairly certain that my fooling around with another man would be a bit of a deal breaker, so—"
"Don't tell him."
"I—bloody hell, Riddle," she said, scowling. "Not all of us are void of a conscience."
"If it's not serious, then it doesn't matter."
"It does matter."
"Have you agreed not to see anyone else? Because if you haven't, then it really—"
"It matters to me," she interrupted, voice hardening. "That's it. I'm sorry. If you're so determined to... to use the photocopier, you'll just have to... find someone else to help you."
He stood at her desk with his mouth open, looking very much like he was about to protest, but then, he grumbled, "fine," and stepped away back the way he'd come, his shoes tapping with each step.
The very moment he was out of sight, Hermione dramatically rolled her eyes.
God, he was a prat. How dare he come to her like that? As if she owed it to him? As if it was her duty to be there to shag him whenever he liked?
And how dare her heart be beating so fast? She'd turned men down before. It was no big deal. So what if it was him? It was only Riddle. She hated him. She hated him, she hated him, she hated—
Hermione glanced back up to find him a few steps away. "Sorry?"
"Who is it?" he asked.
Hermione blinked. "That I'm seeing, you mean?"
His lips thinned in a way that made it clear that yes, that was who he meant.
"I—it doesn't matter. He's no one."
"Granger," he insisted. "Come on, if you're going to wound me like this, you could at least tell me who—"
"No one," she repeated, this time more firmly, because she absolutely was not going to go telling him she'd been casually dating Cormac from security. "He's no one."
Tom rolled his eyes, and left the foyer without another word, his shoes tapping as he went.
Hermione managed to go two full weeks without speaking with Riddle again, and if it hadn't been for Slughorn's birthday drinks at the local pub, she was sure could've avoided him for longer.
She’d only just retreated out to the back corner of the beer garden, eager for just a moment on her own away from Slughorn's drunken enthusiasm when he found her.
He didn't immediately speak. Instead, he simply leaned against the decorative wine barrel and stared for a good long moment, and when he finally did speak, he did so with a slight slur to his pronunciations. "McLaggen, Granger? Really?"
Hermione narrowed her eyes. "Who told you?"
Tom adjusted where his elbow rested on the barrel. "Don't try to deflect," he said, grimacing. "He's a security guard."
"What do you mean, 'so'? He's a bottom feeder."
"He's a kind man, and you could learn a lot from him."
"A kind man?" Tom scoffed. "Oh my God, Granger—you don't want a kind man, you want someone who will push you, and challenge you, and pull your hair when he fucks you."
Hermione snorted. "How would you know what I want?"
"I've been sleeping with you for three months; how wouldn't I know what you want?" he retorted, his movement toward her resembling a prowl.
"Well then, it's a good thing that this isn't up for discussion." She cleared her throat and held her chin up as though the dwindling of space between them wasn't concerning her.
"Granger..." When he reached her, he leaned forward to take her hand and he ran his fingers over her open palm.
"What are you doing?"
"I don't like McLaggen. With you."
She snatched her hand away. "Stop it."
Not one to be deterred, Tom advanced, placing his hands on her hips and pushing her backward against the fence as he leaned in toward her ear. "Come home with me," he murmured.
"I..." She closed her eyes, willing herself no to feel his hands, not to feel his breath on her neck. "No. I have a boyfriend."
"And I have an uneaten sandwich in my bag." His fingertips trailing just underneath the hem of her shirt. "Who cares?"
"I... I do."
His teeth caught on the upper cartilage of her ear. "I know it's not serious."
"You—you know nothing of the sort," she disagreed, swatting his hand away from her arse. "Stop it, Riddle. Someone could see."
"I don't care."
"Of course you don't care. You've probably never spared a thought for anyone other than yourself in your entire life."
"Just one more time, Granger," he breathed, dismissing her. "Let me be inside you, one more time."
God. He never called her that.
He must've really been desperate.
"Tom," she whined when he started kissing down her neck. "You're... you're guilting me. Guilting someone into having sex with you is a really shitty thing to do—"
"Is it working?"
"I..." She rolled her shoulder to numb the shiver that the scratch of his stubble against her neck gave her. "It... it might be."
"Come home with me," he breathed. "Let me take care of you. I bet McLaggen wouldn’t even know where to start with someone like you."
She blinked once. Twice.
"Dumbledore might see,” she said rather feebly.
At the mention of Dumbledore, Tom stepped back and checked behind him to make sure they were out of sight. "Then, come with me."
Hermione pressed her lips together and Tom looked her up and down.
And then, he left, turning his back on her and retreating back through the pub in the direction of the exit.
She knew that she shouldn’t.
Hermione reached out for her wine glass on top of the barrel and downed what was left in a single mouthful.
And then, she followed after him.
Hermione didn't want to see where Tom lived, how he lived. It would be too much to try to forget, and so, the moment she got in his car, she told Riddle to take them to her place.
The ride there was quick. He was speeding—he had to be speeding—and he seemed like he must've been slightly too drunk to be driving, but they made it there in ten minutes flat.
A new record.
There was no small talk, no pleasantries on the way up to her apartment. He kissed her like he'd been starving in the foyer, in the elevator, and by the time they made it upstairs to the front of her door, she could barely remember her name, yet alone where she kept her key.
She could've protested when once they were in and Tom let her go. But then he stepped backward from her, not bothering to look around her place, and she saw the raw hunger in his eyes.
"Take off your dress."
She hesitated only for a moment before she did as told, unzipping the fabric at her waist and letting it fall around her legs without breaking his eye contact. She stepped out of the dress and as his hunger intensified, features close to pained, she wished she were wearing nicer underwear.
She dropped her bra to the carpet, her stockings and knickers, too.
He backed up to the couch at the sight of her fully bare and lowered himself down on it. "Come here."
Normally, she'd feel self-conscious, but the look on his face... like he wanted to... like he would... it blew her reservations out of the window.
Slowly, she approached, and Tom gripped her thighs the moment she was within an arm's reach of her.
"I'm going to..." He pulled her onto the couch, placing her knees on either side of him but didn't let her lower herself. "Just quickly..."
He leaned back and pulled her closer, and they both moaned when his tongue passed over her, hungrily running up the length of her slit.
Hermione threw her head back when he started at her clit, circling his tongue in just the way he knew she liked, and she couldn’t remember why she ever thought sleeping with him again would be a bad idea.
"You," he breathed against her, increasing the pressure of his tongue over her clit. "Taste so... so good..."
This is... is it, she thought when he sucked gently. She would never be getting over him, not now when he... not when...
"Fucking hell, Granger." She was wet enough that his fingers slid into her without resistance "You have no idea how much I needed this..." he said against her, breath warm on her lips.
And he didn't stop, not until her hands were in his hair and her legs were trembling and all that left her were whimpers, and she could've cheered when she finally heard the sound of him undoing his pants.
Tom freed himself hurriedly, his fist around his cock, and he leaned back to look up at her. "Granger. Granger, I—"
She lowered herself down onto him before he could finish, and his words were entirely lost to his groan. The sound of it—the raw, textured, roughness of it—had her muscles tightening around him and her toes curling.
And it—they, together—was perfect. He barely let her ride him before he pushed her back onto the couch. He was rough and demanding, gripping her hands too tightly over her head while he fucked her. And yet, he did so slowly, savouring every touch, every sound, every long stroke, his moans slow and drawn—you're so... yes, Granger, mine, mine, mine—
And she, she was lost. Only Tom—only ever him—made her lose herself so thoroughly. She gripped the arm of the chair so hard that she couldn't feel her fingers, and she didn't know what she said to him, but her words were losing form, losing shape as she closed in on the edge, closer and closer...
He bit down on her lip as he slowed, and she whined against him. His fingers moved lower, sliding across the slick skin where they joined, and lower, between her cheeks, and—
The sensation of his fingers there brushing over her delicate skin had her gasping and bucking against him.
"Do you have any lube?"
At once, she tried to pull her head back to gape at him. "Lube?"
"Yeah." He kept them close, his voice a whisper on her lips. "Do you have any?"
"I—w-what do you need lube for? Am... am I not... is it too...?"
"Oh," he sounded after a pause, quickly catching on. "Oh, no, Granger, you're almost dripping. No, I want... I want to fuck you in your arse."
In those eight short syllables, all of her embarrassment flipped into panic.
"Please, Granger. I'll make it good for you," he murmured, trailing his lips down her throat as his fingers brushed over her again. "I promise. I'll make you feel so good, and you can tell me to stop whenever you want."
"Please. You're so... you have no idea how often I've thought of it. Of you."
Her breath hitched and she remembered a drunken conversation she'd had once with Ginny. One which contained far more information about Harry's sex-life than she'd ever wanted to know.
It's good, she'd said. It hurts at first, but once you get used to it... at the time, Hermione had laughed at the way Ginny trailed off to mouth oh my God.
Since then, Hermione had become, admittedly, a little curious. It was only natural. And Riddle... he wanted her. He wanted her that way, and after all of the countless times she'd been with him, it'd never been terrible.
"I don't know..."
"You have the most perfect arse, Granger," he murmured, and as he did, he shifted his hips, his cock still pressing blissfully deep inside of her. "Just thinking about it makes me... I want... I want to do this for you. I want to be the only one." His voice was low and gravelly, and it made it hard to think. "I want you to think of me every time you let him take you from behind."
The notion of virginity was misogynistic and primitive, but God, the buzz of the alcohol and the blood rushing to her head had her feeling far too brave, and the thought of him having that... of Tom being the first one... the only one who...
Hermione swallowed. "O-okay."
Tom stiffened and pulled back to meet her eyes. "Okay?"
"Fuck," he breathed, and she thought he sounded surprised. "Fuck, okay. I'll go slow. I promise."
He kissed her roughly, hungrily, before he pulled back and eased himself up and out of her.
"I-in the bedroom," she said, gesturing down the hall.
He helped her up, allowing her to lead him down the hall and into her room.
Instantly, she flushed. Her room was a mess.
But if it bothered him, he didn't say so, and so, she dug into her top drawer and fetched out her small tube of lube.
He took it from her quickly and kissed her, long and drawn out.
"Turn around," he instructed lowly, breathlessly. "On your knees, up on the bed."
She did as instructed and when she shifted toward the middle of the bed, she felt his weight on the bed behind her, his cock pressing against her hip.
He came up behind her, his chest flush against her back as he kissed the skin under her ear. "On your hands." His hand between her shoulder blades gently guided her down. "A bit low—good girl. Fuck."
Leaning forward on the bed on her elbows with her arse up in the air wasn't the most comfortable of positions and she was sure it wasn't the most flattering, so when Tom didn't move and didn't make a sound, she quickly flushed. "Tom."
He stayed silent.
"Sorry," he said, running a palm over her arse cheek, spreading her. She jolted when the thumb of his other hand slid just inside the opening of her cunt. "I just..." She heard it when he swallowed. "I want to remember this."
And then he let her go.
Hermione stayed where she was, and just as she thought that maybe she was being a bit too reckless and should tell him to stop—the trickling of cold.
"Sorry," he whispered after she hissed, his fingers rubbing what felt like a silly amount of lube onto her, and then—
Tom's breath hitched at the same time hers did when he pushed the tip of his finger inside.
"I..." she breathed deeply at the tightness of it, "Tom... I-I don't know if I can—"
Tom's other hand ran down her spine to rest between her shoulder blades, his skin wet. "You can take it," he murmured, easing his finger deeper. "All of me."
She whimpered and felt a flush of cold when he removed his hand.
Then, it wasn't his fingers pressing against her, and it was...
He gently ran the pads of his fingers down her spine, and she tried to focus on them, the pleasure they gave her.
"Relax," he murmured.
She tried. She really did, but he was hot and hard and thick and—
"Tom." She whimpered and moved forward to alleviate some of the pressure, "Tom, I-I can't—"
"Shh, just relax," he breathed, bending forward to press a kiss between her shoulder blades. "I've got you, just re—"
Hermione tried to do as he said, to relax, but between that and the new angle, something gave way. Something gave way, and all too quickly, he was bottomed out inside of her, and Tom was choking.
"Fuck," Tom hissed, "oh my God, don't—ah, don't move."
"What?" she squeaked. "What's wrong? Why—"
"I'll come if you do—oh fuck." The curse let him, desperate and breathless, and she'd never heard him make such a sound. "You're—you're so fucking tight, Granger."
A whine slid past her teeth, and at the sound of it, he groaned. Tom pressed wet kisses into her skin, holding himself still and giving her a chance to acclimatise to him, but it wasn't helping. He was too big, too much, and she was so full, and it felt like she would tear, but then he slowly started to pull back. He pulled back, almost to the head and it hurt.
Her eyes watered and she pressed her forehead into the mattress. "Tom. Tom, please, I—"
He pushed back in, slowly, testingly, and the pain started to ebb, and—
Oh, oh, oh.
His movements were only small and there wasn't anything in the way of friction thanks to the sheer amount of lube he'd poured on her, but it... it was...
His hand reached between her thighs and his fingers found her clit. "You... you good?"
She went to say yes, but the sound that came out was far from coherent.
"Tell me," he instructed, slowing his pace. "Tell me how it feels."
"It's..." He slowed further, almost to a stop. "I can't, I... don't stop, please—"
"It's... good," she managed, and her eyes rolled back as he moved again, faster, deeper. "It's so... I'm so..."
Completely fucking in love with you.
Tom’s fingers abandoned her clit and he ran them down over her lips, parting them, sliding a single digit inside—
And that was when she lost it.
It was tight, much too tight, and—fuck, Tom, fuck—she'd never felt anything like it. She pressed herself against him, driving him in even deeper, and then he replaced his finger with two, and—
It was his fingers that did it. The fullness of both them and his cock at once.
It drove her off the edge, and she had no control over the sounds that left her mouth. She clenched around him and she was vaguely aware of his hand tightening around her waist as he rode her through it, his pace not giving way even when she collapsed forward onto the pillows, and then, when he came, he was loud.
He groaned into her skin—Hermione, yes, yes, Hermione, you're so fucking, yes—
He hovered over her for a long moment, breathing deeply against her skin. When he pulled out, he very quickly collapsed onto the bed beside her and she rolled over to look at him. His eyes were closed, and he was panting through his nose, visible sweat on his forehead.
As if sensing her, his eyes cracked open and though he was still panting, he grinned. “I… told you I’d… make it good.”
Hermione whacked him with one of her pillows, and then lay her head back, basking in the warmth circulating under her skin.
She felt the bed move beside her and when she opened her eyes and pushed herself up, it was in time to see him disappearing out into the hall.
A moment later, the sound of the shower running answered her question before she had to ask it.
She stayed on the bed and closed her eyes, her skin still thrumming with warmth, her blood still rushing pleasantly.
When the shower stopped and Tom came back, he didn't dress as she expected him to, even though he had his clothes. Instead, he left them by the foot of the bed and threw himself back on the bed to lay next to her, sprawling out comfortably with his arms behind his head.
They lay in silence, the only sound between them their breathing until Tom said, somewhat abruptly, "you can do better than McLaggen."
Hermione laughed and the surprise of what he'd said had the sound humiliatingly high-pitched. "Like you, you mean?"
Tom's response was immediate. "Yeah."
She looked to find him staring with his features blank, giving nothing away. He was as stony as he appeared in court.
"You're really good at that, you know," she said.
His brows creased. "Good at what?"
"Keeping a straight face when you joke."
Tom's mask was broken by a roll of his eyes and he pushed himself back up from the bed. "Yeah, okay."
"It was a good one though. I mean, could you imagine?" She laughed so hard she snorted. "If we were together like that, we would kill each other in three days fla— Tom? What are you doing?"
"Wh-what? That's it?"
"Yep." He pulled his pants up as if he were in a hurry, zipping his fly loudly.
"B—oh," she sounded, not managing to keep the hurt from her voice as she sat up. "I just... I thought..."
"That I'd stay? That I'd like to stay in bed and cuddle and play house with you?" he asked harshly, pulling his undershirt over his head. "Isn't that what your boyfriend's for?"
"I'm just a quick fuck, aren't I? Why would I stay?"
"Wha-why are you being like thi—"
"Because I wasn't fucking joking!" He suddenly yelled. "You always do that. You always think—Christ, I don't know what the hell goes on in your head, but you never listen to me!"
Hermione gaped. "I-I listen to you all the time! When haven't I listened to you?!"
"Right now! Right fucking now, and—" he broke off, running his hand through his hair. "A security guard? What the fuck, Granger? What the fuck? What can he give you that I can't?"
"Um... a serious relationship, for one," she said. "The respect to actually want to be with me. The respect to see me as something more than just a shag."
He watched her for a long time, his jaw stuck in a cycle of tightening and relaxing, before he eventually said, voice dangerously low, "are you kidding me?"
"No. No, of course I'm not kidding. I don't know what you expect me to say here Riddle, but surely you hadn't expected me to h-hold out on the prospect of a proper relationship for some sort of—I don't know—fuck-buddy arrangement!"
Tom looked as if she'd grown a second head. "I asked you out. Twice!" he yelled. "And both times, you did exactly what you just did! You laughed at me. You brushed me off. You told me you didn't want a serious relationship, and now you're... McLaggen, Granger? God, what the fuck?!"
Hermione's brain stalled.
"Wha—hold on. Wait, wait, wait. You... you did what?"
Tom laughed, but there was no humour. "Jesus fucking Christ, Granger, are you having me on? Is this some sort of—ah, you know what, whatever. It doesn't matter. I'll see you at work."
He was out of the room before she had time to comprehend what he'd said.
"Wait," she breathed after him. "Wait!"
She hurried to her feet and went to follow him without a care in the world for her clothes, but then—
Warm trickling down her thighs.
"Shit.” Not wanting to stain the carpet, Hermione turned back and shuffled to the bathroom.
She hurriedly wiped his come off her legs with a wad of toilet paper, swearing when she palmed a patch she'd missed by her knee. Once she was sure she was clean, she hurried back out to the living room, still without a care for her clothes.
The front door was shut.
"Tom?" she called darting to the window, "Tom—"
From the view from her window, she saw the lights of his car. And then, just as quickly, the car took off and was gone.
Hermione groaned and ran her hands through her hair. Then, she slumped down onto the couch, the very same one they’d fucked on.
Immediately, she thought back on all the times she could remember that they'd spoken.
He hadn't asked her out. She was positive. He couldn't have asked her out, because she would’ve—
Suddenly, she remembered their time in the stairwell. He'd kissed her afterward, and she specifically remembered it because of the way he'd done it. It'd been slow and awfully nice for a moment in a dirty stairwell. Romantic, even and it might've been the moment that had kick started her crush.
He'd kissed her, and then, he'd mentioned the new James Bond film. He said that he'd already seen it, that it was surprisingly good, and then he'd...
We should see it sometime.
Hermione laughed nervously.
But surely, that can't have been what he meant. That was a passing comment, that was him telling her to go and watch a movie, that wasn't him asking her out—
But then Hermione remembered their second venture in Malfoy's office, after they'd finished and were getting dressed, Tom had been mid-way through retying his tie. He'd mentioned a cocktail bar just around the block from the office.
They put on a good show on a Friday. That is, if you're interested.
Hermione eyes shot open.
Had... had that been what he meant? Had he been... had he actually...?
Hermione covered her eyes with her hands. Oh, God, he'd asked her out, and she'd responded with a quip about him sticking out in a nightclub like a boner on a horse.
Oh God, oh God, oh God.
He'd asked her out. More than once.
Had asked her out.
And she'd thought him joking! She'd thought him taunting her, teasing her like one would tease a dog.
But he hadn't...
Rather suddenly, Hermione felt fucked in more ways than one.
The very first moment she saw him again, Hermione swooped.
He was on his way past her desk with Malfoy in tow, and when she spoke, he stopped.
He stared at her tiredly, irritably, but she didn’t let that deter her.
Tom glanced at Malfoy. "I'm busy."
He sighed through his nose and nodded Malfoy on. Malfoy gave him an odd sort of look before vanishing down the hall.
"What?" he asked once Malfoy was gone.
Hermione wanted to say that she was sorry. She wanted to say that she hadn’t realised, that she was an idiot, that she should have listened. But, knowing that was the exact sort of bullshit Riddle didn’t appreciate, she blurted, "I broke up with Cormac."
He swallowed. "...oh."
“Not that I… I don’t expect anything, I just… I wanted to tell you, in case you…”
Tom opened his mouth, and then snapped it shut. Then, he nodded, and then, he walked away.
Hermione closed her eyes and leaned over to rest her forehead on her desk.
She stayed there for a long time. The phone rang, but she ignored it. Lavender passed by, but she ignored her too.
She stayed there long enough, that when she jumped at the sound of her name, she must’ve had a decent sized red mark on her forehead.
She blinked. She hadn’t even heard his shoes.
"I... um..." Tom murmured lowly and gestured down the hall. "The photocopier's jammed. Paper's wedged really... deep up in there. Help me out?"
Hermione struggled to tame her smile.
"I'll be right there."